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Old 02-04-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
wilma-bride
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Bad Mothers' Handbook Chapter 14

The Magic of Castaway Cay

Today was our day in paradise! For many reasons this was one of my favourite days of the entire holiday.

Reason number 1 - I love Castaway Cay; somewhat surprising, perhaps, as I’ve already said many times that I’m not very good at sitting around doing nothing and I’m really not a beach person. That said it is just so very beautiful and completely relaxing that you can’t help but fall in love with the place.

Reason number 2 – This was the day I took my absolute favourite picture of the entire trip. Every time I look at this picture, it reminds me of good times – and it makes me laugh.

Reason number 3 – Serenity Bay – the most heavenly place I have ever been. No kids, no noise, just endless stretches of sun, sand and sea. Gorgeous!

Reason number 4 – This! Nuff said!!



There is nothing I can add to that except for DITTO lol

I was awake early again today and was able to sit on the end of Daniel’s bed and watch us pull into Castaway Cay. I should have got dressed and gone up on deck to watch but I couldn’t be bothered – see, I was already in the spirit of having a lazy day

Once we were all up and dressed (Sian was a little slower than the rest of us, having stayed out till 1 am), we went up to Parrot Cay for breakfast where we met up with the Longstaffs and also some other DIS friends. We were all seated at different tables but nearby so we spent a lot of time chatting across the room. It was great fun. It was a lovely fun breakfast and a great start to the day.

The plan for today was to drop the kids to the clubs down on Castaway Cay. The girls were meeting friends to go to the teen beach and we adults would head to Serenity Bay for the morning.

After lunch, we would collect the kids and spend some time on the family beach so they could swim and play.

On my recommendation, we decided against catching the tram. Last time we’d been here, I felt we had missed out on some of the atmosphere (and several photo opportunities) by opting not to walk. It was a very pleasant walk, although it was already very warm and it was only just after 9.

I’m really glad we did walk, though, as we got some great pictures along the way.













I was not convinced about this whole walking lark and remember complaining bitterly...as usual Joh was right though lmao Yes, Nat really DID write that bit

After dropping the kids at the clubs, we said goodbye to the girls and told them to meet us back at the family beach later. We caught the tram to Serenity Bay and wandered down the beach, looking for a decent spot to set up camp. Unfortunately, even at this earlier hour, there were no free hammocks. I was a little bit peeved at a young couple who had two sun-loungers and two hammocks just for them – and they weren’t even using them, they were sat on chairs. However, I was determined to remain chilled so we just decided to grab some chairs and pull them down to the water’s edge.







We spent a lovely couple of hours, relaxing and chatting. This was the point at which I also took my favourite photo of the trip – I’m laughing even now



Since we were all so relaxed and having such a lovely time, Nat and I decided this was a good time to launch our ‘Persuade Gary to book another holiday’ campaign. It was fair to say that we had all really loved the cruise and (minor tiffs aside) we’d loved being on holiday together too. Nat and I were both in agreement, though, that the 3-day cruise was too short and we would really love a 7-day. We began dropping little comments into conversation about how it made sense to rebook, we had enough money left on the Fairfx card to cover the deposits, we could always book a dummy date and then change it if necessary etc. etc.

Then, as is the key whenever trying to persuade Gary to do anything, we promptly changed the subject. In other words, we sowed the seed, gave it a little water and then left it alone to grow I never have this type of problem with John, he is probably more excited than I am about holidays so it was fair to say that poor Gary was the only one who needed a gentle prod. I was happy to be an accomplice in the plot though!

Pretty soon it was lunchtime so we headed up to grab some food. The lunch was absolutely delicious; we all had a couple of trips up to the BBQ. Some more than others <<<>>>John<<<>>>

Then we caught the tram back and went to collect the kids. We picked up Matthew and Daniel first. Daniel didn’t want to leave, he was having an absolute ball and they were just about to start some water fights. I briefly considered staying and joining in but decided against it. As we were walking down to the family beach, Nat and I spotted the wonderful Konked Out bar and, unfortunately, didn’t make it any further. We decided we would base ourselves there and the kids could go and play on the beach, knowing where we were if they needed us. John went to fetch Ellie and Gary took Daniel and Matthew for a swim. Nat and I ordered drinks! Shock!

We got talking to a very pleasant English CM, who had worked on the Magic before joining the Wonder in October. We mentioned that we were considering a 7-day cruise and asked for her recommendations. She said both were great but her preference was for the Eastern itinerary. To be honest, the idea of four days at sea sounded like heaven and I think, at that moment, we were both sold.

Conveniently, Gary chose that moment to return. Unfortunately, the sea water had aggravated Daniel’s eczema so, once we’d dried him off and got the kids some drinks, we turned our attention once more to persuading Gary that rebooking was a great idea. I played my ace card and told him how much we would have saved off the cost of this cruise had we booked it when we’d taken our previous cruise.

The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur (that may have been the ‘two for one’ cocktails ) and all too soon it was time to head back to the ship (but not before yet more photos).





We decided to walk again but it was a much slower stroll than it had been on the way down as we were all absolutely shattered – it’s amazing how doing nothing all day can wear you out!

Back at the ship, we were greeted by CMs with ice-cold towels which were wonderful. The kids also caught up with Pluto, which Rea was pleased about since she'd missed him earlier.



We quickly went back to the staterooms to get changed, as the kids needed to be at the clubs by 4.15 to prepare for ‘Friendship Rocks’. Ellie had decided she didn’t want to take part so we just dropped the boys off, then headed back to start on the packing before meeting at the theatre to watch the kids. At this point, Ellie decided she would like to take part so a nice CM very kindly found her a t-shirt and took her down to the stage to join the others.



It was a lovely little ceremony and I must admit, I did have a little tear in my eye. The kids certainly had enjoyed the clubs (especially the boys) and had made lots of new friends, including a CM called Jill who had found a special place in both the boys’ hearts, I think (that much was plainly obvious when, while stood on stage, most kids were waving at their parents except for Daniel who was madly waving at Jill). Kids eh! Both boys had enjoyed being with Jill and had apparently been very helpful to her

Back in the room, after getting changed for dinner, I mentioned to Gary again about rebooking and said that, if we wanted to, we really ought to do it before dinner tonight as I know Lesley gets really busy towards the end of the cruise. I mentioned that Nat and I were going to head down there anyway before dinner, just to get a quote and look at our options. At this point Gary tutted and said ‘I wouldn’t bother’. Just as I started to stamp my feet and prepared to launch into my ‘it’s so unfair’ outburst, he followed up with ‘I wouldn’t bother booking anything less than a 7-day’

I was on cloud 9 and, after giving him a big kiss, I ran out of the room to meet Nat before he could change his mind.

We waited for ages to see Lesley and I had started to panic that we might miss dinner. John and Gary had agreed to collect the kids from the clubs and meet us outside Tritons. Finally, it was our turn and we told Lesley exactly what we wanted – a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise in October 2011 – and, within minutes, we were booked. Woohoo, another holiday to plan! To say we were both excited is a huge understatement and we still feel the same way now...roll on October 2011

We were absolutely over the moon and did a little dance, then caught up with the others outside Tritons. I love the atmosphere in Tritons, it's much more formal than the other restaurants and so we made an effort to dress up for tonight.



Dinner, again, was wonderful – and nobody was more amazed than me when Jan presented each of the kids with, in addition to the meals they’d ordered, a massive portion of cheese sticks and fries. Ellie didn’t like them, which was great because I got to eat all of hers. I had to laugh when a man at the next table asked Jan if he could have some as well. Jan explained they’d been a special order but then, a few moments later, presented the man with a plate full of cheese sticks. A perfect example of the great service we got on DCL!

And so we had to get a picture of our wonderful servers Just an excuse to get another photo of the lovely Fernando)



Nat, John and Gary had discussed earlier that they were going to take the opportunity to try something new at dinner and so ordered a plate of Escargots between them (I'm afriad I was just not brave enough). By the look of the photos, though, I wasn't missing much! (Ellie absolutely cracks me up in the first picture)







The kids again headed off to the clubs and the girls went up to Aloft to meet their friends so we decided to take the opportunity to finish our packing then have one last drink in Wavebands.

It really had been a great cruise and we were very sad to be leaving. When we picked Daniel up from the club, he was absolutely worn out and managed to fall down a flight of stairs on the way back to the room. He was absolutely fine – luckily – but was crying rather noisily (and embarrassingly) all the way back to the room. Waiting outside the door, however, was a massive Disney bag with loads of little toys, treats and DCL merchandise together with a certificate thanking Daniel for being Jill’s helper in the club. It really was very thoughtful of her and it certainly cheered Daniel up no end (I found out the next morning that Matthew had got one too so they obviously made as much of an impression on her as she did on them). Yes, Matthew got one as well. I was really proud of both boys, they had been really well behaved on the cruise and that was another reason I was so excited about booking again I knew it would be better next time around!

We all settled into bed, a little sad that this cruise was over but very excited for the next one.

Next up: A perfect end to a perfect holiday! What a view!
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
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great choice of pics today Joh
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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Wow what an amazing day you had.

Have to agree with you Serenity Bay is pretty hard to beat - that white sand, turquoise sea, hammocks, drinks etc. etc., no children - what's not to love about it

You sneaky things - kept the 2011 cruise a secret - what a wonderful thing - well done for persuading Gary.

Loved reading your trip report girls -and what a lovely happy ending

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Old 02-04-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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what a great thing to look forward to for you both.


susan
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:37 PM   #5
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What a fabulous day girls I really must get to Serenity Bay on our next cruise, it sounds like bliss

How exciting that you booked another cruise .. and on the Magic too .. I'm so jealous

I look forward to your next installment
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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Wow Excellent you booked another cruise You lucky lucky girls!! It does look great glad you had a fantastic time.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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You should work for Disney Cruises - you've sold it to me.

Congratulations on your 2011 booking.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
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Got to agree that Serenity Bay is just lovely.

Nice job on persuading Gary to book another cruise. You didn't even resort to getting out the baseball bat like you usually have to. He must be getting softer in his old age!

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Old 02-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Stringer View Post
Got to agree that Serenity Bay is just lovely.

Nice job on persuading Gary to book another cruise. You didn't even resort to getting out the baseball bat like you usually have to. He must be getting softer in his old age!

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Old 02-04-2010, 05:16 PM   #10
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Great cruise, and exciting for you another booked all ready. Enjoy the planning.

I would love to try a cruise though keep chickening out, me and my DD are both to shy to get the most out of it.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:10 AM   #11
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some really wonderful photos
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:11 AM   #12
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Lovely day!
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:35 AM   #13
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Wow, Serenity Bay looks marvellous. Your pics of Castaway Cay are great and I really like the one of the cruise ship with the pirate ship.

Looks like you had a fab day, cocktails on a beach, um um.

AND cruising for 7 days - you're so lucky as it's something to look forward to.

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Old 02-05-2010, 05:26 AM   #14
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Yet another report that sells the relaxed lifestyle of cruising so well.

I loved reading it and seeing all the great pics but now have to face the fact that your TR is coming to an end.

I'm still looking forward to reading the final installments though
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:59 AM   #15
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Your pics are fab, I can wait to go to castaway Cay! I bet the 7 day cruise will be amazing
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