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Old 03-01-2007, 02:35 PM   #16
ashman
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IS LA Twins?

I Think you may have a good point, she was all over the ship! She bears a striking resemblance to one of my neighbors making it all the more cool/creepy. I was cool to see my kids in your report but I forgot about my freak look I had on my face! Witt was awesome and scary good with names! Glad you had him, our assistant was Laura from England. Anyhoo, thanks for the shoutout, great trip report so far!
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:31 AM   #17
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Masseuses and proposals...

Saturday, February 24th.

I remember it well. The excitement of waking up and realizing that today is the day. The long talked about Castaway Cay is just a few hundred yards from where I woke up. We slept in a little bit later than normal, and headed upstairs to breakfast after the ship was already at the dock. They announced that the ship was cleared to disembark at about halfway through our usual Parrot Cay breakfast. Finally, the anticipation is over…the long wait to find out what all the fuss is about is done…THE EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING!...but the fanny pack is back in the room. Well, we’ve waited this long we can wait 5 more minutes I guess.

At this point in time, I can honestly say I don’t know what to expect. I’ve built this place up so much in my mind, that I’m now at the point where I’m trying to temper it and say “It can’t be that great. Don’t build it up so much so it won’t come back to haunt you.”

Did I build up my expectations for CC to an unrealistic level? Yes. Absolutely.

Did those expectations come back to haunt me? No. I was not disappointed.

Was it even better than I ever expected it to be? Well…it’s Disney, isn’t it? They always seem to find a way to make us give them all of our discretionary income, and feel like we’re the ones who are coming away with the better end of the deal, don’t they? And in tribute to them, I offer my credit card number…because they’re going to end up with it anyway. (Shades of a post I read awhile back need to be credited to Detroitdad )

At first we were just going to take a stroll along the island, making our way past the family beaches on the way to Serenity Bay. We got impatient, though. We decide to make a quick stop in the shops and I make my customary vacation souvenir purchase here. After a few minutes, we jump on a tram and head down the road. I did my best all throughout the day to try and get a glimpse of the area where the island’s 7 “natives” actually live, but never could. I guess next time I’m going to have to rent one of those jetski’s or something to try and get a good look at their area. It’s like the underground tunnels at WDW or the apartment in the castle…I’m just dying to find out what “their” side of the island is like.

Well, we drive down the old airport runway and arrive at the Bay. We started walking up the trail to the right for a few minutes. We thought about heading over to the observation tower that we could see, but gave up long before we got there. If anyone has been all the way to the tower, can you tell me how far it is? If we rent bikes, would it be a good ride to go to? Just planning for any POTENTIAL future cruise. Not that we’ve booked one or anything. (We’ll get to that later.)

We basically were just checking out what we could of the cabanas before hitting the beach. And hit the beach we did. Very hard, for about 2 hours…under an umbrella, barely moving. I can’t really say that, we did walk as far as we could. If you look to the right on Serenity Bay, there’s a point all the way at the end that we walked to and found some gorgeous shells in that area. We actually walked around the point and found another, small secluded beach with 2 picnic tables on it. We’re not sure what that was, but did notice on the way back that there was a sign we had not noticed when we first passed it that said “Crew Members Only.” Whoops!

As for lunch, I have to wonder if the Cookie’s BBQ at Serenity Bay is that much different than the Cookie’s back at the other beaches. There really wasn’t much of a selection. The couscous were okay, and the bbq itself was pretty good, but that was really about it. No lobster or salmon sandwiches, which were what I really wanted anyway. I had figured they wouldn’t be there from what I had read on these boards.

Just a little more time on the beach, and we do the drink thing to relax. Why? Because we’re getting ready to relax. If you haven’t experienced a cabana massage, that is truly a great thing in life you need to try. The cabanas were very nice, both inside and outside. But the shower you have to take beforehand is just a little bit chilly, though. (Or alot chilly if you’re not a penguin.) My only disappointment is that when you’re laying down on the massage table, you have no view of the beach because of the row of hedges. The breeze felt really good, though. As for the massage….Cecilia of the U.K. did mine and Letha from South Africa (I could be wrong about the South Africa, but don’t think so) did my wife’s. If polygamy were legal, I’d marry one of them. Utah is not an option. That was the first massage I’ve ever had, and I can guarantee it will not be the last. I’ve actually been looking up spas here ever since I got home to find out where I can go for one. Wonderful! 50 minutes of pure relaxation. Afterwards, they actually were able to tell us things about our stress points, and Cecilia informed me how I was sitting and how it was causing me to be more stressed in general. I gave them a pretty big tip.

At this point in time, we head back for the ship. Lots more to do, and not much time to do it.

Coming soon to a DIS board near you…manicures, pedicures and haircuts. OH MY!
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:03 PM   #18
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What stateroom?!

Mozart - We were there that trip too! If it makes you feel better, we had about 30 people in all. Didn't see most of them most of the time, had one quarentined, one fall off his electric scooter wheelchair, and the littlest one fall of the bed on Saturday night while packing and break his arm(he's not even 2!) Don't have time to do a full trip report now, but still we tried to make the best of the beautiful weather!
So you're in good company......
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:12 AM   #19
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We're sailing the wrong way!

3:30 on a lovely Saturday afternoon at Castaway Cay. After the heaven of a massage, my wife and I are in the process of returning to the ship. Of course, we have to pass through the souvenir shops, and Disney cons a few more dollars out of our pockets. Did anyone notice when they visited CC how you could easily tell a non-Disney employee didn’t belong? The guy at the post office had a totally different attitude than everybody else on the island. It was amazing to me. One thing I didn’t know until recently is that the post office is closed on Bahamian holidays. Can you imagine? You go on this cruise, with one of the planned things to be sending these postcards back to friends and family, and when you get to CC, the Post Office is closed.

By the way, for the remainder of 2007, this will interfere with the following cruises:
7 Day on the Magic sailing April 1st.
4 Day on the Wonder sailing July 8th.
7 Day on the Magic sailing October 7th.
4 Day on the Wonder sailing Dec 23rd. (Christmas day on Castaway Cay!)

After we get back on board, we go ahead and dress for dinner, because spa time is continuing right before that.

On our way to the spa, there’s a stop to be made, though. The future cruise desk. Again. We’re making a few modifications to our cruise plans. Originally we were thinking about a 7 day, but we’ve now decided we need to make sure we’re not going to start going stir crazy as the number of days get longer. This time, we’re just going to move up to a 4 day cruise so that we can go again soon – September. Only 7 months away. Pricing looks good. Not quite ready to pull the trigger yet, though. What kind of room do we want? Just can’t decide on that one. Plus, after the events of this afternoon, we’d really like to do a CC double dip.

But, the Vista spa is calling. My wife has an appointment for 5 PM for a pedicure. My mother is going with her to get a manicure, also at 5 PM. I, meanwhile, am scheduled to get a haircut at 5:15. First, I decide to walk to the back of the ship, and watch us sail away form Castaway Cay. All I could think as we sailed away from that pristine paradise was “Would someone tell the captain that we’re going the wrong way?” Suggestion for Mickey – build a small hotel, no more than 50 rooms, along with a real runway, (If one isn’t already there) and find a charter service to fly people down to the island. Can you imagine a vacation which consists of 7 days down there? Of course, they'd probably charge $500/night.

Finally, I walk into the spa, sit down, and Bridgette comes out to meet me. Another South African. On board, I thought it was interesting how certain countries seemed to be heavily populated in certain services on the ship. I’m wondering why that is. The spa area is full of people from South Africa. All the waiters are from Thailand. The entertainers are from Australia. Strange.

So, I sit down and am in the middle of my haircut, and Bridgette is trying to talk me into taking a vacation to South Africa one day, when I turn around and see my wife in the mirror, laughing at me. The woman has cotton balls between her toes, and she thinks I look funny, because Bridgette is trying to “hip up” my hair? Just a few feet away is my mother, who hasn’t even realized I’m in the same room as them yet from what I can tell. By the time it’s all said and done, my hair is just a little shorter than it was before, and I just paid for the most expensive haircut I’ve ever had, but it looks exactly the same as it always has.

When all 3 of us are done, it’s close enough to dinnertime that we just start to head over there. On the way, I lean over to my wife and say “You did remember to grab the tip envelopes from the room didn’t you?”

“No”, she replied. I make a mad dash for the room….

WILL OUR COURAGEOUS HERO BE ABLE TO FIND THE TIP ENVELOPES IN THE MESS THAT IS OUR STATEROOM IN TIME TO SAVE DINNER? WILL THEY BOOK ANOTHER CRUISE? WHY DOES NOTHING + NOTHING = CHOCOLATE? FIND OUT ALL THIS AND MORE WHEN WE CONTINUE OUR STORY WITH OUR NEXT EPISODE….how NOT to tip.
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:16 PM   #20
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Great story -- I can hardly wait for the conclusion. Only 4 more months until our first Disney cruise!
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:58 AM   #21
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How tacky can we be?

As I enter our stateroom, sitting there right out on the counter is the tip envelopes that Grace had left in our room last night. It’s a grab and go, ALL RIGHT! Then I remember. My wife had decided not to use the tip envelopes, but instead was using thank you cards she had purchased before we left home. These are nowhere to be seen. After 10 minutes of searching, I give up, and head upstairs to Animator’s Palate. Yolande meets me at the door, and of course remembers that I’m at Table 25. I inform the boss (aka my wife) that I couldn’t find her thank you cards. At which time she lets outs a breath of exasperation for my incompetence, and heads for our stateroom. 2 minutes later she was back. One problem, though. In our busyness of the last 24 hours, we hadn’t sorted through everything. Over the next 45 or so minutes, my wife was sitting there filling out the thank you cards. I know Witt and Miguel were wondering what she was doing with all these cards she kept writing in, and then handing to me to verify the cash was right and did I think we needed to add more or not. (We invariably did.) Finally, after debating tip amounts at the table, and her writing furiously, we seal the envelopes just in time for dessert. Now, I’m not one to normally eat dessert at all, and over the last 3 days, I’ve eaten a dessert at practically every meal. I’m pooped out on desserts. When Witt asks me what I want, I reply “Nothing.” “You want no dessert?” “Nope. Not tonight. Nothing for me.” A few minutes later, desserts come out, and Witt brings me a plate, with “Nothing” written in chocolate on the plate. He thought he was funny. I went ahead and ate it.

One thing about the show at Animator’s Palate. Does everyone think it’s overrated? I think the problem with it is that it’s a neat show, but everyone has made it out to be this really incredible thing, and you just can’t do anything extraordinary in that kind of setting. It’s a nice little touch, and is probably the one restaurant that you don’t want to miss, as long as you remember the show is a nice background feature but is not by any sense of the imagination a dinner play that will entertain you for the full hour.

So, what do you do on the last night of a cruise that you have thoroughly enjoyed? Pack, of course. It’s interesting to note how much harder it is to get everything back into your suitcases this time, even when you’re holding the souvenirs off to the side. But after packing, there’s a few last things we have to take care of.

#1 – We head up to the top deck to have a final glass of champagne and celebrate the memories of the trip. As we took the aft elevator, a few of the Microsoft guys on their way to Palo for dinner got on with us. Remember the exchange I heard on Thursday: “This cruise will be horrible. There’s way too many kids on board.”

Tonight’s conversation was: “I wonder what they’re going to do next year. They have to switch cruise lines every year, but none of the other lines are going to be anywhere near as good as Disney.”

How things change, huh?

#2 – We pulled the trigger. Back to the future cruise desk for the secret verandah room 7620 on the Sept 23 4 day Wonder cruise. Yeah, we’re coming back. The only debate was whether we wanted to do another one this year, or wait for the double dip cruises next year.

We’re gonna do both.

On our next episode…HECK NO, WE WON’T GO!
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
#2 – We pulled the trigger. Back to the future cruise desk for the secret verandah room 7620 on the Sept 23 4 day Wonder cruise. Yeah, we’re coming back. The only debate was whether we wanted to do another one this year, or wait for the double dip cruises next year.

We’re gonna do both.

On our next episode…HECK NO, WE WON’T GO!
That's the cabin we'll be in on the April 15 - 4 day! I'll let you know how we like it.
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April, 2007 - 4 day Wonder/3 day WDW (very long) trip report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1430554
July, 2004 - Magic Eastern (very short) trip report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=609376
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:39 PM   #23
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Great report!
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:23 AM   #24
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Life stinks - The End

Who in the world actually makes a sit-down 6:30 AM breakfast on the last day of a cruise? I know one family that wasn’t going to. We all agreed that we would meet about 7:30 at the buffet. This is the first time that I will have been to the buffet, and I have to admit that it was better than I thought it was going to be. The other cruises I’ve been on have always had buffets that were a major step down compared to the dining rooms, but this one actually seemed to be pretty nice. After the buffet in which we sat outside and watched the people leaving the Carnival ship next door, we made our way to the atrium. We descended into the luggage area, where we found our bags with no delay, and then made our way to customs. It literally took no more than 2 minutes and the 6 of us were on our way to the minivan we had all come together in. I was wishing we would get delayed, but no. The cruise was over. Now was the time to return to the harsh reality of the real world, and paying for all the fun we’d had in the last few days, as well as the fun we’ll be having in September. All I can think is that my wife and I will be on Castaway Cay again in less than 7 months.

For now, it’s back to freezing temperatures, fast food, and traffic jams. Back to cleaning the house and writing out bills. Back to being entertained by television rather than Mickey Mouse. Back to a night with the dogs, rather than in a magical world with princesses. Back to a view of kids riding skateboards in my neighborhood rather than a view of the sunset on the ocean. Back to life.

Life stinks.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:40 AM   #25
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The fire at Cape Canaveral which we could see from the ship



Sail-away!



Never found out what this ship in Nassau was:



Why does this scare me?



Stingray at Atlantis:



This is how you make a postcard:



The "secret" beach we found when we accidently strayed into the CM's area just past Serenity Bay:



My "Nothing":


Last edited by Mozart; 03-05-2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Edited to make photos appear
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:13 AM   #26
ashman
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Life Stinks?!

At least when I can't see you photos, probably somehting I'm doing wrong!
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:03 AM   #27
Mozart
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Hey, they were there when I previewed the post. It appears that Kodak does not want to share the pictures. I'll figure something out.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:16 AM   #28
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Mozart- I'm going to be on the same 4 day cruise in Sept. as you! Love your report, esp. the part about eating "nothing"! I got the red x in place of your pics.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:48 PM   #29
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Bump to see if the photos work this time.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:58 PM   #30
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Well Done sir! Great pics
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