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Old 06-02-2010, 09:06 PM   #61
miztigg
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Great trip report!!! I to loved the FE gifts!!! I did get to meet ya outside my door!!! I thought i saw your DF on serinity bay . I did wear my lime green braclet and was lucky to hang out mjmahnke at the adult pool we knew we were both disers cause of the lime green bracelts. Cant wait for the next installment
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by miztigg View Post
Great trip report!!! I to loved the FE gifts!!! I did get to meet ya outside my door!!! I thought i saw your DF on serinity bay . I did wear my lime green braclet and was lucky to hang out mjmahnke at the adult pool we knew we were both disers cause of the lime green bracelts. Cant wait for the next installment
I'm glad we weren't the only ones wearing them! We gave up doing so on Saturday because we never saw anyone else anyway
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:14 AM   #63
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:28 PM   #64
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More please!!!!!!

Loving your trip report so far and CONGRATS on getting engaged!
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:28 AM   #65
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I'm in. Great start.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:27 PM   #66
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Here, There, and Everywhere

Okay, so. Obviously we were not up-and-at-'em early the next day...but we were off the ship before 11 AM, so HOORAY US!

For those of you who didn't read my pre-trip TR...we debated for some time as to what we would do in Nassau. I assumed that the snorkeling around Castaway Cay would be better, so we booked our snorkeling trip for the CC day. We considered an Atlantis Excursion (just the $50-ish one), but then I figured we could just go over there on our own time and check it out for less money.

And that's what we ended up doing...but honestly...even that was a waste of money. Seriously, unless you're going to go all out and do the waterpark and beach excursion, or get the room at the Comfort Suites so that you have access to these things...I would honestly say just don't bother. Of course, we aren't big aquarium people, so our time over there consisted of wandering around and checking out the inside of the resort (we certainly couldn't afford anything in those shops, and anytime we tried to go outside we got shooed back in by security) and then walking through Marina Village. Which was pretty, but really just kind of boring. Not even any mentionable shopping.

Marina Village:



Is anyone else out there a LOST fan???



Steve did throw a few bucks down on Craps....he could have walked away having won about $40, but of course he kept playing and ended up losing. At least it was only $3!

We then headed back to the ship, annoyed with the fact that we even bothered wasting our time and money going over there. We decided to eat lunch on the boat but stopped to get some pictures before getting back on it:

Atlantis from the port...



Great group photo!



Lunch was at Triton's this day and it was really good. I had the quesadillas for an appetizer, the turkey melt for my meal (good, but could have used some tomatoes on it), and I ordered one of the kid's desserts because the rest didn't look very impressive. It was just a broken-up chocolate chip cookie over ice cream. Nothing impressive but at least I was nice and full!

We decided to give Nassau one more chance, by visiting the Pirate Museum and picking up...you guessed it...some booze!!!

Of course the Pirate Museum was cheesy and a bit overpriced for what you get. There were few real artifacts; most of it was just exhibits and little paragraphs of information on the walls. But I did like this diorama:



We weren't at the museum for more than 45 minutes, really, and I really couldn't stomach the idea of the straw market. I went to one in Jamaica years ago and I just hate being heckled. Steve and I did a bit of shopping on the way back to the port--he picked up a great pair of Aviator sunglasses (we both love Aviators and can never find proper ones nowadays--I've had my $3 pair from WalMart for nearly two years and treat them like $500 sunglasses because I feel like they're irreplaceable) and we of course grabbed up two bottles of Old Nassau rum (one coconut, one banana) and two other bottles of liquor from a duty-free shop.

So now we were hot and sticky and not caring for Nassau at all...which meant back on the boat to hang out by the pool! I even snapped some decent pictures, including this one of the lighthouse:



Once Jonathan and Jen rejoined us (they did choose to brave the straw market) it was a lazy hour or so of hanging out on the deck, reading and chatting. I seriously wish we hadn't gotten off the ship at all (or merely gotten off to buy that liquor) and just done this all day.



Jonathan had heard tell that Captain Jack Sparrow was making appearances, though, and I couldn't pass that up! I dragged Steve away from our lounge chairs and we were second or third in line to get our pictures made. (ha) The one of Steve and I with Captain Jack didn't turn out that great, but this one will do, I suppose...



::sigh::

As the ship pulled away from Nassau, we made our way back to the room to get ready for dinner...because tonight was, after all, Palo & Pirate night!

To be continued...
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:47 PM   #67
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I Don't Want to Spoil the Party...

Well folks, I didn't think I'd have time to do this today but turns out...I am a master of efficiency and have finished all my work. So I'm bored. And that means that y'all get to read about the second part of the second day of our cruise!

Now where was I...

Oh yeah, Palo & Pirate Party night!

We chose Friday night as our Palo night because we were able to snag a 6:30 reservation at the restaurant. Seeing as we didn't get out of our 8:15 seating until after 10:30 on the first night, we figured 6:30 at Palo was playing it safe to not miss one moment of the Pirate Party! This did mean missing the Toy Story show, but I wasn't too upset and I know Steve didn't care one bit about the shows at all

We made it to Palo literally just in time for our reservation, but no worries--they sat us right away and we had a great view as the ship left Nassau. Of course, the fading sunlight didn't make for the best pictures at first, but what can you do?



Now, I guess I didn't pay enough attention when people said that Palo is
s l o w.
I've been to one of these far-too-many-courses meals on a cruise before, but it didn't take half as long as Palo did. So for the first two and a half hours of the meal, we all sat back and enjoyed ourselves...but that last half hour was crucial, because it was cutting awfully close to the 9:45 start time for the Pirate Party, and I had to go get changed!

Of course, the food was amazing. I had

the tomato caprese



(different from every other caprese I've had, but I loved the Roma tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes! more flavor)

For my pasta dish I chose the lobster ravioli with mascarpone, but didn't get a picture because it kind of looked like a big white blob and the picture wouldn't have come out, anyway. At least it was delicious!

then I picked the steak and potatoes



(the potatoes were AMAZING but the asparagus was not cooked properly. sad, because I LOVE asparagus. The steak was good but I've had better, at Shula's and Jiko to be specific)

Now, it being his birthday cruise, Steve couldn't pass up the $60 bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. I passed--I'm not big on red wine--but I'm sure he enjoyed every drop of it. For $60, anyway, I hope he did.



And finally...it was time for dessert. And I'm sure you know what I ordered...

the infamous Palo souffle!!!



Of course it was great, but again...and please don't shoot me...I've had better. The one at Shula's, but there was also another cruise at another time that had a better souffle. I'll keep my mouth shut about which cruise line it was

However, it was great that when we asked for more vanilla sauce, our waiter (whose name escapes me, but he was great) provided it without question.

When I had finished my dessert, it was 9:30 and I was a bit panicked. I wanted to change into my Pirate outfit, after all, and I didn't want to miss the fireworks! (I hadn't done enough research to know that there is a good 30 minutes of unnecessary Disney whimsy before they even think about setting off those fireworks) Steve, Jonathan, and Jen graciously allowed me to escape, but knowing what I know now, I'm sad that I left! Turns out our waiter had forgotten to bring the last drink that Jonathan had ordered, so Jonathan ended up asking about it and getting both that drink PLUS another drink (a nicer version of the brandy or whatever it was that he originally ordered)...for free! Gotta love it when that old school Disney service crops up and surprises you now and again.

Also, because it was Steve's birthday (and also because he had ordered about $100 worth of alcohol at Palo--no, I'm not kidding, and we won't get into what he ordered) the waiter gave him a glass of one of the same liquors Jonathan got...also for free! So apparently I missed the party.

Ah well.

I returned to the room and got a quick shot of our second-night towel animal (note the sunglasses--they are the aforementioned awesome Aviators purchased in Nassau. also note my perfect use of alliteration just now, tyvm.)



...changed into my Pirate outfit and made my way up to Deck 10, mere moments after the party officially began!



Not long after I arrived, Jonathan joined me, and about ten minutes later Steve showed up. I was surprised and pleased that Steve even went a bit Pirate-y for the party. Some of you from the cruise may recognize his bandana



Okay. I have to pause for a second here and point something out. Look over my left shoulder. I know it's a bit dim, but you see it, right? The kid whose feet are about level with my chest?

Now, do you remember what deck I said we were on? If you don't, it was Deck 10.

You know, the deck that, other than a chest-high wall that surrounds it, is open to the world?

I may not be a parent, but I think I have every right to ask what in the world these people were thinking! The worst part was, I kept waiting for one of the cast members who walked by to say something, or for one of the family members to realize that maybe it wasn't safe for this kid to be standing a trash can or a towel bin or whatever that thing was. I could see the sign that said not to sit or stand on it...could they not see the sign? I thought about saying something to them, but honestly didn't want to deal with the fight that would possibly ensue when I made a snarky comment about the possibility of their kid falling overboard. Needless to say, I spent the entire party focused on everything BUT this kid, because it made me extremely nervous just to look at him.

Moving on.

Mickey's appearance was unexpected and cool.



And although the fireworks were no Fantasy in the Sky or Wishes or Illuminations, not too shabby for being out at sea and all!



Once the fireworks were over, we decided to escape the crowd. We all went back to our rooms, donned our bathing suits and made ready for some quality hot tub time. We were surprised to find numerous children in the adult area--all with their parents, listening to the singer or chilling in the hot tubs themselves. The four of us felt a bit awkward cramming into one of those little adult-only hot tubs with another woman and two young children, but thankfully it wasn't 10 minutes before a cast member showed up and shooed all of the children away.

Some time later, Steve went to mix a drink and discovered that Pirates of the Caribbean was playing on the bigscreen outside! We all leaped out of the hot tub, dried off as best we could, wrapped ourselves in towels and found two empty deck chairs. Jonathan and Jen squeezed onto one, Steve and I squeezed onto the other, a cast member provided us with some blankets and we settled in to watch some of the movie...until we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer and headed to bed, again around midnight.

(Man, writing about these midnight bedtimes seriously makes me feel old. No offense )

Up next: our absolute, by far, favorite day of the trip! Can you guess why?

Last edited by ickletarakins; 06-04-2010 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ickletarakins View Post
Well folks, I didn't think I'd have time to do this today but turns out...I am a master of efficiency and have finished all my work. So I'm bored. And that means that y'all get to read about the second part of the second day of our cruise!
Thank you. I was thinking we'd have to wait until Monday to get another update.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:22 PM   #69
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awesome cant wait to hear about CC
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:35 PM   #70
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Hey Tara,
Yes I recognize that Bandana, My kids wore them at the pirate party. Thanks for those gifts....

We enjoyed Atlantis on our Aquaventure excursion, but I didn't get to do any of the Casino. When we walked through I didn't even see any Craps tables. AND I LOVE Craps. I probably would have had my son go around the lazy river a couple of times and gone in to play some craps..

Looking forward to more.........


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Old 06-07-2010, 01:16 PM   #71
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Good Day Sunshine

Now, I'm a workout nut at home and after a day and a half of stuffing myself with whatever I felt like eating and drinking, I decided to force myself out of bed early on Castaway Cay day. Originally I considered a Pilates class, but I finally decided to just hit up one of the ellipticals in the gym and follow that with some time in the Rainforest Room. (Steve and I were addicted to the steam rooms during the cruise and visited them every chance we got)

After grabbing a frozen cappuccino and breakfast pastries from the Cove Cafe (that was the best coffee I had from there for the entire cruise), we made out way off the ship to meet up for our 9:30 AM snorkeling excursion. Of course we walked a bit out of the way at first to take a picture of the Dutchman:



We arrived basically right at 9:30 and waited just a couple of minutes before a cast member approached. He called out for people going on the snorkeling excursion, and as we stepped forward I could see the grim look on his face. Uh-oh.

The poor guy carefully explained that the winds were too high and there was no way we could do off-shore snorkeling that day He offered the following options:
-we could take a full refund and use our excursion coupons for FREE snorkel gear and just snorkel off Castaway Cay
-we could take about a half refund and just get on the catamaran and sail around for an hour or so

We decided to take the full refund and the free snorkeling gear. We were a bit disappointed at first, but no way were we going to let this ruin our day! Crap happens, and all that. Besides, in the end...it was a perfect day, minus one other small mishap. More on that later.

At least I got another good shot of the Dutchman--this time with the Wonder in the background--as we walked away from the ship:



We headed over to the family beach and picked up our snorkel gear without any issues or questions. The family beach had some people on it, but wasn't packed by any means. We found a couple chairs, left our stuff on them and jumped in the water (which was a bit cold! brr) We snorkeled for maybe 40-45 minutes and I was actually fairly impressed. Somehow we missed the Mickey statue, but we did see the old 20,000 Leagues sub, and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of fish we saw. I guess I had bad luck snorkeling in Belize when I went in 2005 (despite hearing about how AMAZING it supposedly is there), so snorkeling just off Castaway was better than that trip AND better than a snorkeling excursion that I did in Jamaica in 2003.

When we got out of the water the beach was packed! It was probably about 10:30 at this point so one earful of screaming children and we were more than ready to gather up our things and book it to Serenity Bay.

While waiting for the tram, I took a couple of pictures with my fancy-schmancy DSLR. We were obviously there at the absolute PERFECT time of year for flowers--I've only ever been to the Caribbean in the heat of summer so it amazed me how bright and blooming everything was!

Orange flowered tree that I was in love with:


Hibiscus:


Of course our time at Serenity bay was amazing. How could it not be?



Steve and I grabbed some chairs and ordered some drinks. I ordered a Konch Kooler, having heard so much about them...so I was a bit confused when they brought me a purple-colored drink in a plastic cup. I asked the guy if I could get the souvenir plastic coconut. He seemed a bit confused but said he'd look into it. I tasted the drink and it was actually really good, but I still thought to myself, "I would have noticed if this drink was supposed to be purple"--after all, I read I don't know how many TR's in which people posted pictures of their Konch Koolers!

Needless to say, a little while later the drink guy came back. Turns out he had given me the wrong drink! What he gave me was called a Tropical Depression (so for future info, if you don't want a Konch Kooler or want to try more than one drink, this one is great!). He brought me a real Konch Kooler, in all of its frozen glory (I hadn't realized it was frozen!) It was definitely good, even for someone who usually doesn't drink sweet/tropical style drinks (what can I say, I'm a bourbon and coke and beer girl myself).

We met up with Jonathan and Jen and of course took a few pictures...

Oceanfront massage cabana...



Steve and I. Note my manly yoga/runner legs and the fact that I'm already getting a bit red in the shoulders...oops.



The four of us. We took a bunch and this is the only one that is halfway decent of all of us



Then it was lunch time. We ate right there at Serenity Bay...as burgers and all goes, the food was good. We then took a nice long walk down the beach and jumped in the water for a cool-down...before Steve and I headed off to our beachfront cabana couples massage!

Yes, I am a total sucker for those overpriced cruise spa treatments. Honestly though...that massage was probably the best hour of our entire trip. The ocean breeze, the sound of the waves...even though the actual massage was about average as massages go, the experience was amazing.

After we brushed off the overpriced products that the masseurs try to push on you, Steve and I decided on one more drink before heading back to the ship. But Steve wanted to put a little more work into this particular drink.

To explain what happened next, I have to give some background info on Steve. He is the Boy Scout/camping nut/survivor extraordinaire. He even spent something like 28 days hiking the Long Trail through Massachusetts and Vermont a few years back. Therefore, he wanted a coconut drink.

And when I say "coconut drink", I mean that he wanted to find a coconut, break it open, and use the water as a drink mixer.

Well, we went over to the Serenity Bay bar. Steve wandered off and came back a few minutes later with a coconut. He asked the bartenders if they had something he could use to open it--they basically said "just throw it against the ground really hard, it will break open".

So Steve threw the coconut on the ground. Hard.



Indeed, it did break open and he drained the "water" into a cup provided by the bartenders.



He then decided that I needed to have one of these drinks as well, so he went off, found a second coconut, and repeated the process.

The bartenders were nice enough to give us a shot of Bacardi, ice, and a few slices of lime for each of our drinks.

And yes, they were yummy



We sipped our drinks and waited for Jonathan and Jen to meet us, so that we could all head back to the ship together. I took a sort of half-err-sort of-artsy photo of the view of the bay from the bar:



...and we all boarded the tram to go back to the Wonder.

And oh yeah, remember those already-reddening shoulders from that earlier picture? That got MUCH worse. Despite the fact that I tried to keep out of the sun for the rest of the day. Hence the "mishap" mentioned earlier

One more picture as we walked back to the Wonder...



...and that was the end of our day at Castaway Cay. Honestly...I didn't want to leave! I hate to admit it, but I was actually surprised at how awesome it was. I kind of thought that maybe all the people who wrote about it were exaggerating. They're not. And in the end, I was happy that our snorkeling excursion was canceled, because the whole day was just beautiful and relaxing and absolutely perfect.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:34 PM   #72
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Thanks for the beautiful pics and report. You said you had burgers at Serenity Bay. I heard there was steak there is that true?
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #73
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Thanks for the beautiful pics and report. You said you had burgers at Serenity Bay. I heard there was steak there is that true?
Hmm...I don't remember seeing steak, but they may have had that. There was at least one empty pan that could have been for steak. I do remember ribs, though.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #74
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I LOVE the tropical depression!!!! Its my fave !!!! Not a big fan of the Knol Kooler its too sweet and not strong enough. They did have steak it was rib-eye and im kinda of a steak snob (filet prime rib kinda girl LOL) so i didnt have any. Im loving yr TR
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:22 PM   #75
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Really enjoying your report
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