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Old 01-22-2012, 02:40 PM   #316
RinkyTinkyTinky
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Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
Hmm pearl pasta, not sure I ever heard of it but it is better than what I was thinking it might be (some type of fish eggs) and those scallops looked great.

Oh no! I don't eat funky stuff. Fish eggs are too out there for me! I think it was more like cous cous.

I am so sorry you can not have another child, you and DH are such wonderful parents


Thank you for saying that. That's so sweet of you. It took us a little time but we have accepted that a family of three is what we are meant to be. Mostly I am just thankful to have my DD because we went through years of infertility and treatments before I ever got pregnant. For a while I didn't even think I would be able to have a child so I am very grateful for the one I have. We have talked about adoption, but there is so much to consider with that and I'm just not ready to make that leap yet. I am totally at peace with all of it though and will be happy whether we adopt or stay like we are.
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Hi there, I just found your TR, so I'm joining in a bit late! I went on my first Disney Cruise last summer and can't wait to get back on the Dream this June!

-- Dave
Welcome! I'm always glad to have someone new on board!

You are going to love the Dream! It is a gorgeous ship!
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #317
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We

We saw Golden Mickey's on the Magic so I'll go with Believe as my top choice. Our good friend Jenjolt is cruising with us so I imagine she will want to see them all!!!
It's her first cruise so I plan to indulge her.
Alright then, you are commited to at least seeing Believe! But Jenjolt needs to see them all since it is her first cruise! That is so exciting! I know she is dying to see what it's all going to be like. I remember how excited I felt for months before the cruise.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:14 PM   #318
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Hmm pearl pasta, not sure I ever heard of it but it is better than what I was thinking it might be (some type of fish eggs) and those scallops looked great.

I am so sorry you can not have another child, you and DH are such wonderful parents
I have to say, I had that too along with another entre...the pearl pasta was super nasty. Not edible at all for me. I kept saying it looked like fish eggs too, and it didn't taste much better.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #319
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OK, I just got caught up. You write really well, and both your descriptions and your photos/videos took me right back to my trip on the Dream this past summer!

I remember that scallops entree! Scallops are one of my favorite foods, and IIRC, I actually had two servings that night. Mmmm, scallops.

I also really enjoyed your description of the Dolphin Encounter. This past summer, my family opted to stay on board the day we were in Nassau, so for this coming summer, I'm checking out the possible shore excursions.

And finally, I really enjoyed the photos you took from the bow of the ship. That spot turned into one of go-to places to relax. One afternoon, I fell asleep there and almost slept through dinner, but fortunately, I had a Wave phone with me, so my family was able to give me a wake-up call.

Can't wait for the next installment!

-- Dave

P.S. Oh yeah -- I'm also interested in hearing how it worked for you and your family to go to WDW after the cruise. Both last summer and this summer, I'm doing WDW before the cruise, so I'd love to hear how it went in the other order.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #320
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I have to say, I had that too along with another entre...the pearl pasta was super nasty. Not edible at all for me. I kept saying it looked like fish eggs too, and it didn't taste much better.
Hmmm, this has me wondering. I don't remember it being gross, so I wonder if I even ate it? I really don't remember anything about it. I know I only ordered it for the scallops and since there was so much other food, it is quite possible that I didn't even eat it. Interesting. I definitely rememeber the scallops being wonderful though!

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Originally Posted by dmwang9 View Post
OK, I just got caught up. You write really well, and both your descriptions and your photos/videos took me right back to my trip on the Dream this past summer!

I remember that scallops entree! Scallops are one of my favorite foods, and IIRC, I actually had two servings that night. Mmmm, scallops.

I also really enjoyed your description of the Dolphin Encounter. This past summer, my family opted to stay on board the day we were in Nassau, so for this coming summer, I'm checking out the possible shore excursions.

And finally, I really enjoyed the photos you took from the bow of the ship. That spot turned into one of go-to places to relax. One afternoon, I fell asleep there and almost slept through dinner, but fortunately, I had a Wave phone with me, so my family was able to give me a wake-up call.

Can't wait for the next installment!

-- Dave

P.S. Oh yeah -- I'm also interested in hearing how it worked for you and your family to go to WDW after the cruise. Both last summer and this summer, I'm doing WDW before the cruise, so I'd love to hear how it went in the other order.
Thanks for the kind comments!

I should have ordered two of the scallops. I know 5 or 6 of them wasn't enough. I LOVE thos things!

I think Nassau has some great excursions. We absolutely loved Blue Lagoon. I don't think you can go wrong there. You can also do a beach day there or do a sea lion encounter. I think Atlantis is pretty awesome too. Either one of those should make for a great day.

That is such a peaceful place up there on the bow. It was always empty and quite when we went. I can surely see how that would make a good napping spot!

I'm not sure what to tell you about the order of the cruise and WDW. After our cruise, we were totally exhausted, but we were on the go the whole time. Our legs ached from all the stairs too. We just aren't used to taking stairs and it really took a toll on us. That made for already tired and sore legs by the time we got to Disney... not a good setup! But, by the end of a WDW trip, my feet and legs are screaming so I'm not sure I would have even made it through the stair climbing on the cruise after a WDW trip. I think the key is to relax on the cruise. That is just something I haven't figured out how to do yet! If I could do that though in stead of going, going, going, then I think it would be nice to end a WDW trip with a cruise to help us recoup from all the walking.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #321
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On the fourth day of Swinter my vacation gave to me...

On the fourth day of Swinter my vacation gave to me, a private island for the Dream and fun adventures under the sea!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Well I hope Iím not going to bore you guys stiff with another day of beach pictures, but day four of our Swinter adventure was spent on Disneyís glorious private island, Castaway Cay! This was our last day of the cruise and the part I had most been looking forward to, other than the dolphin encounter.

Our day began once again with a delicious breakfast at Cabanas. This time we didnít have such an early start though and we paid the price with a more crowded restaurant and lines at the buffet. We still made pretty good time though.



We all loved the mini Mickey waffles with strawberries in syrup and fresh whipped cream! YUM! We thought the eggs were really good too as they were very creamy and light.



We went to breakfast with our swimsuits on under our clothes so that we could go straight onto the island when we were finished eating, and we were off the ship by 8:45. I was so, so, so excited to be spending the day there!

Behind this welcome sign you can see a rack of towels. They had these available for all water activities and port excursions so you really donít need to pack beach towels. That should save you lots of valuable luggage space.



I wanted to mail my parents a Castaway Cay coconut postcard from here but I couldnít ever find a shop that sold them.









One of the shipís photographers took this picture of us, and I purchased it that night after dinner. They had photographers on the beach throughout the day as well.





We had been told that it was supposed to be a total washout that day (80% chance of rain), and when I looked at the sky, I was really worried that our one day on the island would be cut short at the very least.





You have two choices once you get off the ship. You can walk the path to the beach or take the tram. I had read that they have characters along the path like Captain Jack and some of the Fab Five, so we opted for the path. It was an easy walk and took about 15 minutes to get to the beach strolling along at a very leisurely pace. Here are some of the sights we took in along the wayÖ









It really looked like the bottom was going to fall out of the sky at any minute!











I think this is one of the character spots, but as you can see, there was no one there except us. I think we were up and out a little too early for Jack and Mickey! I guess the early bird doesnít always get the worm.





Continued in next post

Last edited by RinkyTinkyTinky; 02-13-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:03 AM   #322
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Lots of hammocks were waiting for lazy vacationers. And look, there's one now!





Once we reached the beach, I realized why there were no characters out yet…



Because the island was practically empty! Where was everybody?





There were only a handful of people out and about. It was really nice!









We went first to the rental booth to pick up the snorkeling equipment I had reserved for us for the day. If I recall correctly, it was $25 per adult and $10 per child. Flippers are also included.









We chose a nice set of lounge chairs with an umbrella and unloaded all our beach stuff.



We looked hilarious in our snorkeling get ups!





I had so been looking forward to this! Snorkeling was something I had always wanted to do. Once we had all our gear on and adjusted to fit properly, then the fun really began! We immediately realized that we should have waited and put all that stuff on IN the water. It was SO hard to walk in those flippers! The three of us staggered towards the water like a bunch of drunk penguins! Then once the flippers filled with water, we could hardly lift them. We finally just gave up and belly flopped into the water so we could start swimming. We got so tickled at ourselves that we laughed until we had tears in our eyes!



Once we finally regained our composure, we had to practice the whole breathing thing with the mask and tube. You really have to force your mind and body to go against everything instinctive in order to get started snorkeling. It’s definitely a mind over matter situation to make yourself breathe underwater, but after a few moments we finally got our rhythm going.



DD did so well to only be seven years old. I was really proud of her.









Continued in next post

Last edited by RinkyTinkyTinky; 01-24-2012 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:12 AM   #323
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This picture cracks me up! DD needed her vest adjusted because it kept sliding up and choking her.



And btw, the vests are required to be worn by all snorkelers. They allow the lifeguards to easily spot you on the trail. You don’t have to inflate them though so you can still swim to the bottom if you want.



Soon after we got started we had to take another break. DD’s vest was still slipping up and DH’s mask was leaking. It seemed like we had been out there forever and were just spinning our wheels, or should I say flapping our flippers, but getting nowhere. I’m sure it was obvious to everyone that we were first timers!



We could see someone parasailing way off in the distance.



Finally we got moving again and saw our first little fish!





The farther out we went, the deeper the water got so DH held onto DD’s hand just to be safe. It was also high tide and the water was pretty choppy.



You can tell by this picture how choppy the water was. It made it nearly impossible to snorkel and take pictures at the same time.



There were tons of these little silver and yellow fish swimming around us.





About the time we got some momentum going and were finally seeing some fish, DD started freaking out because the water was getting so deep. She is a very good swimmer, but from her little perspective looking down and around, she saw nothing but a huge abyss! It actually was much deeper than I had expected it to be as well, so I headed back to shore with her and told DH to stay out as long as he wanted.

DD asked if she could rent a float and since it was only $6, I didn’t mind. That’s when the guy at the rental booth told us that it was high tide and if we went back out that afternoon, it would be waist deep as far as you could see. That sounded good to DD, so she agreed to try again later in the day.

It wasn’t too long before DH came back in with this huge clam shell he found lying on the bottom.



DH said he needed to give his legs a break (those flippers will really give you a workout!), so I left DD with him and went out by myself for a while.

There were lots of these coral looking things along the bottom.



This guy was pretty big.



I was so excited because I actually found one of the hidden treasures!



They have things that you can find all along the snorkeling trails, like the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mickey and Minnie statues, etc. The sunken treasure chest was the only thing we found but we never got really far out so we missed a lot of stuff.

I did find some pots though.







This is a horrible picture but I had to share it b/c this fish was gorgeous! He was the most beautiful blue you could imagine! I was so disappointed that this one didn’t turn out well.





I was really getting exhausted by that point and the sea was so choppy that I kept sucking water into my snorkeling tube. I decided to just give it rest until low tide and head back to shore. By the time I got back on dry land I had swallowed half the ocean. But I learned my lesson… before you head out to snorkel, know the tides schedule because low tide is your friend! Thankfully, we had much better luck later in the day.

The good news though was that the clouds began to break and the sun came bursting out! We never ended up having a single drop of rain that day… miraculous I tell ya! So stay tuned… lots more snorkeling fun and Castaway Cay exploration to come!

Up next… The fourth day of Swinter: Part 2

Last edited by RinkyTinkyTinky; 01-23-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #324
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WOW, so much fun!!! The undersea pics are just great....beautiful fish!
It certaintly seems to me now that a disney cruise is so worth looking into.
You really lucked out with no rain!! I just love reading about this wondeful disney experience of yours!
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #325
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I don't think anyone could get sick of beautiful beach pictures! I love them! Castaway Cay looks so peaceful and beautiful and DISNEY-fied.
The undersea pictures are awesome.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #326
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I have to ask, because Claire want to snorkel too, did the life vest hold up your DD well. Claire can swim, but not for long periods. And is there a special snorkel lagoon? I never really looked into it much while there or planning our trip as I knew we wouldn't be doing it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:47 PM   #327
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WOW, so much fun!!! The undersea pics are just great....beautiful fish!
It certaintly seems to me now that a disney cruise is so worth looking into.
You really lucked out with no rain!! I just love reading about this wondeful disney experience of yours!
Thanks Sharon!

It is absolutely worth looking into! I think there is something everyone would like on the cruise.

I was sooooo thankful that the rain held off. We had such a wonderful day!

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I don't think anyone could get sick of beautiful beach pictures! I love them! Castaway Cay looks so peaceful and beautiful and DISNEY-fied.
The undersea pictures are awesome.
CC was absolutely gorgeous. It was even prettier than I expected. It really was perfect.

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I have to ask, because Claire want to snorkel too, did the life vest hold up your DD well. Claire can swim, but not for long periods. And is there a special snorkel lagoon? I never really looked into it much while there or planning our trip as I knew we wouldn't be doing it.
Yes. You can inflate it or leave it flat. We blew DD's up all the way and it held her up without any effort on her part. I only inflated my vest just a little bit and it held me up without me even trying. The part that was tiring was kicking with the flippers on. And the rough seas that we had made it harder to swim because it kept pulling us off in the wrong direction and we had to keep fighting to stay on track. It wasn't like that in the afternoon though during low tide. That was definitely the time to go. And yes there is a snorkeling trail. It is marked with ropes and there are lifeguards stationed on floating platforms all along the trail. It is a really long trail though. I thought we would swim the whole thing, but no way could we do it. We are too out of shape I guess.

Just a side note... I've read they have a shark fence that 'seals off' the family beach area from the ocean and won't let any kind of large fish in, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. Don't know if that sort of thing is a concern of yours, but it was for me. I am a total chicken and I probably never would have done it without knowing that shark fence was there. It won't keep out jellyfish or lionfish though so you still have to be careful.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #328
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What a fun day so far! I think Castaway Cay is what I am looking forward to most on our cruise. I've tried snorkeling before but could never get the hang of it. But, after looking at your pics, I may just have to give it another try.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:20 PM   #329
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What fun! I would be exhausted too - I'm way out of shape especially with swimming. I'm a horrible swimmer!

But I love your buildup about the weather - is it going to rain... Look at the sky!...

And wonderfully, it got sunny!!! The last time we were at CC, it was pretty cool, ony around 70 (which sounds like heaven to me today!), but when the sun came out in the afternoon, it felt so warm!
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #330
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What a fun day so far! I think Castaway Cay is what I am looking forward to most on our cruise. I've tried snorkeling before but could never get the hang of it. But, after looking at your pics, I may just have to give it another try.
Castaway Cay is going to knock your socks off! Guaranteed!

You really should try the snorkeling again. I had used a snorkel set in a pool a time or two and never really had any huge issues with it so I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. However... snorkeling in the ocean is totally different! If the water is smooth and shallow, it should be easy, but we had some challenging conditions on our first attempt. But I will tell you that after the tide went out, it was SO MUCH FUN! I say give it a shot and if you can't get the hang of it, you're only out $25. I think CC is a great place to try it out though because the water is clear and usually calm, there is a shark fence so you don't have to worry about being eaten alive , there are lots of lifeguards there in case you get in trouble, and there is cool stuff to find on the bottom. I don't think I have ever heard of another place where you can snorkel with lifeguards and look for sunken treasures. But seriously, if I can do it, you can do it!

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What fun! I would be exhausted too - I'm way out of shape especially with swimming. I'm a horrible swimmer!

But I love your buildup about the weather - is it going to rain... Look at the sky!...

And wonderfully, it got sunny!!! The last time we were at CC, it was pretty cool, ony around 70 (which sounds like heaven to me today!), but when the sun came out in the afternoon, it felt so warm!
I am sure you are in much better shape than me just because you are a nice weight. I bet you could do it with the vest pumped all the way up. It surely won't let you sink. And they have lots of lifeguards all along the trail. Have you ever done the snorkeling at Typhoon Lagoon? We did that on this trip as well and I think that is a great thing for beginners. I really enjoyed it.

I am so thankful for the weather we had! We went into that trip thinking it was going to be a disaster because of that hurricane and all the rain in the forecast and it just could not have been more perfect. I actually got a little sunburn on my face that day! You'll see that in our pictures we had taken on the ship that night.

70 does sound a little cool for water activites. It's perfect for lounging on a beach chair though! I'd take a 70 degree day at CC right now though, with no complaints!
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