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Old 10-19-2003, 10:43 PM   #1
Mary Jo
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9/25/03 Wonder 3-day Trip (Many Photos) Excursions: Nassau City & CC Kayaking


** Please note -- this is picture intensive. If you see a red x, your server probably timed out. Right-click on the pic, and choose 'show picture' - you should then be able to see it. (Update 2006 -- I've also added links to videos and these seem to take a long time to play, so if you click on one, just leave it while you read the report & it should play ... eventually) Also, you can click on several of these pictures to get a bigger one w/more detail. **

A DISer's first-time trip on the Disney Cruise Line


*****
Preliminary Info:

Solo trip for me, and I met some fellow DISers and pal'd around with them for the most part.

Fellow DISers: Beth, Regina, Merrie, Webmaster Pete, and Walter

Cabin: Cabin #7552, Cat 5 w/a verandah

*****


I've been on a couple of cruises - a week along the Mississippi River (a long time ago), and a 3-day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, with some friends. These cruises were a lot of fun, but an adventure on the Disney Wonder is a real treat, as I was soon to find out.

This was a solo trip for me, and I comforted myself with the thought that when I do bring the rascals, I'll be a little more prepared to show them a great time ... because after this cruise - believe me, there will be a next time.

I arrived at Orlando on Wednesday afternoon, and was picked up by Ranatra of FL Tours . She was so friendly, and we chatted the entire way to the Swan resort. I was impressed with the service and the quality of the car I traveled in (I'm used to the taxis here in Los Angeles - this was a wonderful change). As soon as I got to the Swan, I barely had time to take my luggage to my room before I was whisked away to dinner @ Spoodles on the Boardwalk by Beth and Regina. Now, I've only been to WDW once before ('99), so despite the rainy weather, I was excited to be there, and tried to take in the sights as we made our way to the Boardwalk. We had a wonderful dinner, watched part of Illuminations from the bridge between the Swan & the Boardwalk, spent some time talking, and having fun before retiring for the night. What a great way to begin my trip.

Thursday, 9/25, we met for breakfast at Gullivers - it was yummy, and we weren't rushed at all. I liked Gullivers. At the time, I didn't know the name of the restaurant, just noticed that we were eating inside a gigantic bird cage. The decor was whimsical, and very nice to look at while dining in good company. Our orange juice glass was constantly being replenished ... excellent service.

View from my window @ the Swan (notice the three hot-air balloons in the distance)


Ranata picked us up in time to go to the airport and pick up Merrie, who couldn't come the day before, then head off to the ship. Well, this is where things didn't go quite so smoothly ... Merrie was held up due to a flight delay (weather), and it was some time before FL Tours could find her. Again, I was impressed with their concern that we were comfortable while we waited and their diligence in tracking Merrie down

**Note to the wise -- If at all possible, do not arrive in town on the same day your cruise is set to sail. You never know what may happen, and it's better to be safe than to stress out over being late, or worse, miss your cruise.

We arrived at the terminal (wow, that first view of the ship when you come over the bridge ). Well, Regina was so happy she started singing and dancing to the "Ketchup" song - it was great.



Soon enough, we were on the ship, and went to our rooms. I was in Room 7552, and was very happy when I opened the door and walked in. There on a table to greet me was a tray of sweets and some sparkling cider chilling in an ice bucket -- yum yum.



No time to waste - cleaned up a bit and went to the buffet lunch that was being served. Disney has a great way to keep everyone busy as soon as they get on board.




I explored the ship a bit, and then joined the Sail Away Party. At this time I was bummed that I didn't have the rascals with me (ds-15, dd-14), and felt slightly weepy -- this lasted about 5 minutes, and then I joined in the fun.

Beth, Mary Jo, & Regina at the Sail Away Party


Guests enjoy the Sail Away Party


Sail Away Party Video 1 (may take a little while to play)

Sail Away Party Video 2

Merrie, Regina, & Beth ready to watch the ship sail away from Florida


After exploring the ship, we went to Guest Services and signed up for our excursions. Since this was my first time, I wanted to learn about the ports we were visiting, so I chose the Ardastra Garden/City Tour in Nassau, and the Walking/Kayak Nature Tour at Castaway Cay. In addition, since I was sure I wouldn't be spending all that time on the beach, I also got an hour bike rental on Castaway Cay.

I then went to my stateroom to settle in, explore the room a bit and enjoy the verandah. I got a glass of chilled cider, some snacks, and sat out on the verandah ... yes, I was thinking, "Life is Good!"

Wonder Horn says bye to Florida






I am known for being a consumate planner. For this trip, I wanted to experience it spontaneously - well, spontaneous for me - so other than reading the DIS boards, and checking out a couple of pics on the site and a couple of DISers sites, I didn't do much research, and pretty much didn't know what to expect. That's probaby why when we had to go down for our lifevest drill I ended up in K, instead of I, like I was supposed to. Here I am, standing there with all these K people, wondering why they were calling all these cabin numbers much higher than mine. They were pretty close to dismissing us, and my cabin hadn't been called - then I heard a faint, "7552" .... "7552." I leaned out, looked to my left and waved cheerily, "Here I am!" .... uh, ma'am, you're with the wrong group - you belong OVER THERE! Sheesh - I was so clueless. But, I made it to the right group, and kinda huddled in with a family who was trying really hard not to laugh at me. I did get a lot of THERE'S 7552 - it says so right on your vest!! (yeah, I know I know .... shhhh)

After the drill, we went to see the show Disney Dreams (6:30pm). It was a great show. I enjoyed the very talented performers, and how they presented the various Disney scenes. It was well worth watching.



Soon, it was time to get ready for dinner. We had the late seating (8:30pm), and our first dinner would be at Tritons.



Well, I was having so much fun opening and closing the door to the verandah, I also didn't spend time reading my copy of the Navigator like I was supposed to, so, of course - I got lost .... several times. I finally made it to our table #32, where everyone had obviously been sitting for awhile. Our server, Komang, and assistant server, Jo-Gail wasted no time in seating me and putting a napkin on my lap. It was wonderful ... almost as wonderful as dinner. I had the fried camembert, mixed garden salad, garlic roasted beef tenderloin, and the creme brulee. I couldn't help it. My eyes closed while I was eating. It was that good.



Afterwards, we went to Route 66 (adults only, thank you very much), and enjoyed a nice talk in the Cadillac lounge. For you smokers out there - you'll love this lounge ... for us non-smokers, it took a little getting used to, but hey, it was just for a little while, and I enjoyed the company. Although our backs were to the piano player, Beth & I enjoyed listening to the music while we listened to the conversation. We heard the piano player say goodbye, and he played another song (he sounded just like Frank Sinatra) ... then he said goodbye, and played another song ... again and again. We commented that he sure had a long goodbye, sheesh, there he goes again! - then Beth realized - he was saying goodbye to people as they left - not saying goodbye himself.

It was getting late, so we headed for our staterooms. I set the wakeup call for 7:am - didn't want to wake up too early. I was too excited to sleep right away, so I played with the different tv channels, and thought .... Life is Good.

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Old 10-20-2003, 01:16 AM   #2
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Friday, 9/26/03 Morning at Nassau

At 7am sharp, Mickey called me to wake me up. I shot out of bed (yes, I'm one of those perky morning people . I threw open the verandah door & was immediately hit by the warm humidity. I stood out there & watched as we passed the islands. The night before, I had stood out there, too, but it started to rain, and with the lightening getting closer, I thought it better to come inside. I thought it was pretty cool, though, looking out at distant lights to have the sky light up and show an island in the distance. Also, there was another cruise ship following us in the distance and I could see the lights.

However, in the morning, there was just ocean, clouds, distant little islands, and a day waiting to be explored. I didn't have to be at the tour meeting place until 1pm, so I had plenty of time to explore the ship and play.



After getting ready, I went up to Deck 10 and wandered around, moving aside for the occasional crazy jogger who wanted to pass me. I also tried to orient myself on the ship - bow, aft, adult pool, family pool, children pool ....



Here is a rare sight - an empty Mickey pool -- and only because it wasn't even 8am yet.





I came across a couple whom I had met the night before, and chatted with them for a bit, then we all went to the railing because we were getting close to Nassau, and we wanted to watch the ship dock. I saw the most beautiful burst of color coming out from behind the clouds. I had never seen that before - bright purple, blue, green, yellow, pink... I took a picture, but it didnt do the colors justice.



However, I did take pictures of the rainbow that was growing over Nassau as we approached.


The other side


The ship that followed us through the night. Right behind it is Paradise Island (though I didn't know that at the time), and in the distance I believe that's the Blue Lagoon, where you can go for a day of fun. This pic was taken from my verandah.



View of Nassau as we docked. Pic taken from Deck 10.


After docking, I decided to go get some breakfast. I went up to Beach Blanket Buffet. The food was okay, and I enjoyed it, but if I had read my Navigator the night before, I would have realized that I could have had a sit-down breakfast at Tritons (there are certain restaurants that offer sit-down breakfasts. Still, I enjoyed my meal, and watching the families having fun, then headed down to the Promenade Lounge to get on the Internet. I got the unlimited package, so I wanted to make sure I took full advantage.

Promenade to the lounge


Then I decided to explore the ship a bit more, and lo and behold - there were two friends relaxing by the adult pool. So, I did what comes naturally to me. I took a pic.
(Imagine a great pic of two of my friends - Webmaster Regina & Beth - sitting by the pool)

Note that I had to remove the pic to protect a life -- mine.

I visited with Beth & Regina for a bit, and realized that I had to get going so I could join the tour. Where did the morning go???
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Old 10-20-2003, 01:57 AM   #3
Mary Jo
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Ardastra Garden/City Tour

I made my way to the Cadillac Lounge (only got turned around once or twice), where we were to meet for the tour. There were a few families there - people of all ages. It was raining off and on, but that didn't bother me - I was on vacation!

We walked down to the first deck, where we left the ship (making sure to have our ID and stateroom key). A gal, Kelly, with a big sign met us, and led us around the wharf, through an indoor mall type building, and out to the other side. There were a lot of people (4 cruise ships ended up being there) and I remember impressions of color, booths, people, trade, etc. - bustling). We walked out into the open, and it started to downpour. We waited a few minutes, then headed to our van where we met our guide, Tony the Pirate. Tony was cool. Tony was playing Jamaican music and blew on his conch shell. It wasn't long until the bus was rocking with Tony - despite the rain, we were ready to have fun!


We drove through the town, and past some neighborhoods, and finally made it to Ardastra Gardens, which is a zoo/conservation center on 5 acres of land. It's very informal, kind of like a tropical jungle. It's a huge garden with animals in it.


I enjoyed going into the lorrie aviary. They feed these birds at certain times of the day, and if you time it right, you can join in.


There is also a flamingo show where you watch flamingoes that have been trained march around on order. It was fun to see, and pretty cool to watch the whole flock turn on cue and move and stop.


Flamingo March - video 1

Flamingo March - video 2


The garden



After spending some time in the garden, we all got back in the bus, and Tony began his 'official' tour. He was very funny, knowledgeable, and made sure everyone had a good time. We drove through the town, and he pointed out various buildings. We also passed some local hangouts where the signs featured "steak and conch."

View of ships from Nassau. It was a busy day for the cruise ships.


We made our way to Fort Fincastle (built 1793), which is up on Bennett's Hill. In that same area you have a big water tower (built 1928) that is the highest point on the island at 216 above sea level. Very close by, you have the Queen's Staircase (built 1793-94), which was hand-made by the slaves at the time.

Because of the light showers, many vocal people said that they didn't want to stop and get out (which was part of the tour). Tourguide Tony kept asking if everyone was in agreement, and the chickens (like me) didn't say anything, so we stayed in the bus, and just drove past these monuments.

The Water Tower (taken as I leaned out the bus window)


View of the Atlantis Resort from Bennett's Hill


We left the hill, and drove back through the town, passing shops, the Straw Market, and a lot of people ... right through rush hour. Tony left us where we started, and we made our way back to the ship as it started to sprinkle again.

It was a good tour. I just wish I had had the gumption to speak up so I could walk around the fort, maybe go to the top of the water tower, and walk down the Queen's Staircase ..... ahhh, well, there's always next time.

Observations:

I think this is a good tour to take, especially if it's your first time visiting Nassau. It's a good introduction to life in the Bahamas. This is also a good tour for a 3-day cruise. There is so much to do on the ship, especially in the evenings due to the meal and number of shows that you don't have much time to just relax. Because we didn't have to meet until 1:00pm, I had plenty of time to sleep in or explore the ship (I explored the ship), or you could even pamper yourself at the spa on ship, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, etc., etc. There was also time to do shopping in Nassau either before or after the tour.

We had a good tour guide, and rode in a comfortable, air-conditioned, clean bus. I appreciated sitting back and letting someone else drive while I listened and looked out the huge windows.

Tips:

** Remember to carry your picture ID and room key wherever you go. It is especially important when you disembark and reboard. This is the way the ship has to verify that passengers are actually on the ship.
** Pack an umbrella just in case you run into rain, or a waterproof head scarf.
** Take some money with you. When you're on the ship your room key (Key to the World) is all you need to purchase anything, however, out in the city they need that cash.
** Take enough money to tip your guide. I took a lot of ones with me, and I used these to tip for all the services and excursions
** Be sure to speak up. I wish I had spoken up when we had the opportunity to explore Fincastle, water tower, and the Queen's staircase.
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:40 AM   #4
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9/26 Evening on the Wonder

I got back to the ship around 3:30 or so. That gave me time to visit the Internet and take a nap in my room before the 6:30 show.

At 6:15, I went down to the Walt Disney Theater (I didn't get lost this time), and found Beth & Merrie, who were already there. Regina soon joined us (She had gone to look for me to make sure I didn't miss the show. That was so nice of her). I'm glad Regina made it in time because I would have hated for her to have missed Hercules the Muse-ical, which is a musical comedy. I saw many of the same talent from the night before. Cool.

At first, I was a little worried about having the late seating because I am such an early riser. But, I found that I really liked it for the cruise. I never felt rushed to make it to the dining room and then the show. We had plenty of time to have fun during the day, enjoy the shows, then enjoy the other things offered on the ship before making it to dinner. I have to admit that I had so much fun doing things that I kept forgetting to study the Navigator (though I did carry it with me - good idea), and I forgot to take pictures. (Ack! The horror!!)

Our dinner tonight was at the Animators Palate. What a treat!


I really like how Disney has their dining set up. We ate with the same people at the same table, no matter which restaurant we went to. There were six of us at our table, Pete, Walter, Regina, Beth, Merrie, and me. We also had the same wait staff at all the restaurants - Komang and Jo-Gail, who really worked well together, and made our dining that much more enjoyable.


For dinner I couldn't decide which appetizer to have, so I had two - the lobster & shrimp wrapper and the duck & goat cheese flatbread -- they were both delicious, but if I had to pick just one, I probably would go with the flatbread - it was really good. I also had the creamy butternut squash soup (it was either that or gazpacho, but I've had gazpacho several times, and I wanted something I don't normally eat). For the entree I chose the pan fried veal chop. This was good, but the garlic tenderloin I had the night before was much better for me. I had the cheesecake for dessert -- yum yum


Everything was good about this restaurant, from the company at the table, to the service, to the food, to the visual presentation. It was a fun evening.

Here's our server Komang - what a great smile he has!


Animator Palate video (May take awhile to load)

Animator Palate video 2

After dinner, I got into more casual clothes (the norm for the cruise), and joined the gals. We saw the show 'Match Your Mate' and the newlywed couple was so funny - that poor girl. We went up on Deck 9, where there was a party going on. Each pool had different themed music - it was cool ... and the food! I couldn't touch a bite because I was still full from dinner, but boy, I wanted to.

We came upon Pete, Regina, & Walter, and joined them. I had such a nice time ... Here I was on a cruise ship, somewhere in the Caribbean, good music, good food, yummy drinks, and excellent company. Ahhh, Life is good.

Here's a side note .... Perspective. You know, perspective is a funny thing. I was walking with my newest good friends, and I exclaimed to one, "Wow, isn't this great! We're having fun, and we STILL have another whole day to enjoy this trip!" She looked at me and kind of laughed, and said that she had just been thinking how short this trip was, and it was almost over. Hmmmm ... perspective.

My towel puppy with all the info for having fun the next day.



Here's another side note ... when I came in my room for the evening, I was startled when water droplets fell from the ceiling onto my head. I looked up, and yup, there was a leak. I immediately checked it to make sure it wasn't ... well, err, I realized that it was the a/c condensation that was leaking - bummer, I'd have to call maintenance ... then my eyes shot to the verandah door that I had left open -- you know, the one with the big sign that says, "Keep this door closed to retain a/c in room." Ooopsies. I decided to put a wastebasket to catch the drips, and see if they stopped by morning before I called anyone.
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:54 AM   #5
Mary Jo
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9/27 Morning Over Castaway Cay

Each day I find out something new.

Before going to sleep the night before, I checked through all the channels. I found a neat one that showed the stats -- How fast the ship was going, how far we had traveled, how far to the next destination, time of sunrise & sunset the next day, what time we'e arrive at port, etc., etc.

Sunrise was at 7:01, so I set up the wake-up call for 6:30.

6:30 Mickey called & I jumped out of bed & headed straight for the shower. The nature adventure would start at 9am, so I wanted to be ready early. I got up on deck as quickly as I could.

Side note: The leak had stopped, so my theory was right - leaving the door open like you're not supposed to will cause condensation.

Sunrise over the Caribbean


Sunrise over Castaway Cay (do you see the hidden Mickey?)





There weren't too many people out, so I was able to get a cook-to-order omelette, and sit out on Deck 9, and watch the approach to Castaway Cay.





Here you see the beach where you can get rentals, then the Family Beach beyond that, and the Teen Beach beyond the Family Beach. At the far end of the Family Beach is a bar where you can buy drinks, etc. That's where I found Merrie, Regina, and Beth after my adventures. Errr, that is to say -- they were relaxing on the nearby lounges.


This pic shows the gift shops, etc. Toward the back the pine trees (not native) line the bike path, and the trail for the nature walk. In the back is the lagoon that the kayaks go through, and in the very back is an uninhabited isle where birds nest, and sharks, too.


View as you're walking to the tram that will take you to the beach
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Old 10-20-2003, 03:05 AM   #6
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9/27 Walking/Kayak Nature Tour

I enjoy learning about the places that I visit. Since this was my first visit to Disney's island, Castaway Cay, I wanted to take full advantage of the shore excursions. I booked the Walking/Kayak Nature Adventure, and I got a ticket for bike rental for an hour. There are two nature excursions, and I picked the morning one.

There was a group of 15, and we all met in the Promenade Lounge (Deck 3), where a castmember took roll, and led us off the ship. There were already a small crowd of guests leaving the ship and setting off for adventures around the island. There was a stand with towels, and we were all given one. There was also cold bottled water, and I bought one for a $1.75. We got on the tram and went to the family beach, where we got on another tram that took us to the adult beach, Serenity Bay, where we would start our hike. In the meantime, our guide, Ricky, told us a little about himself and what to expect on our excursion. Since I was travelling alone, and there were an odd number in the group, I would be paired with Ricky on the kayak (yes! That left me free to take a few pictures!)



Before leaving on the walk, we were given life vests (a requirement even for adults) and free bottled water (okay, so I had two now, which I drank).

Serenity Bay - the starting point of our walk adventure.


Serenity Bay Barbecue Area



Our nature walk took us along the bike trail to the other side of the island. It took us about 40 minutes to get there, and we strolled rather than hiked.


During this walk, we stopped many times as our guide, Ricky, told us the history of the Bahamas, and pointed out various plants, and how the people of the islands use these plants. Ricky is an avid bird watcher, so he would often stop to call and identify the different birds for us. He also showed us these dens made by big crabs and how archeologists have used them to recover artifacts.





View from the other side of the cay -- you could see cruise ships pass in the distance.



It was high tide as we walked to the other side of the island, and we could see the brackish water among the plants along the trail.

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Old 10-20-2003, 03:13 AM   #7
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Soon we were on the other side of the island at a beautiful little beach, and our second guide, Trevor, joined us there. The kayaks were lined up on the beach.



We got our paddles, were shown how to hold them, then we got in our kayaks.

Trevor is ready to go kayaking



Ricky poses with some guests before getting in the kayaks.



We set off paddling in the ocean along the shore. The water was extremely clear, and we could see plants and fish swimming below us. The two guides, Ricky and Trevor, made sure everyone was okay, and we paddled our way into a lagoon. The water was pretty shallow, so it was easy to see the plants along the bottom. In the distance, we could see the Wonder.


Like I said, kayaking with Ricky gave me a chance to take pics.



We paddled to a river, and then the current took us right on out to the ocean while we relaxed and enjoyed the ride.




Going along the ocean shore again, we saw more fish, and even a few manta rays. They were a good size, but swam too quickly for me to take a picture of them. We ended up at a secluded beach, and stopped for about a half hour.



Whoever wanted to had the opportunity to go swimming, and just about everyone did. After that, we got into the kayaks again, and paddled back to our starting point.



From there, we walked back to the adult beach. When we arrived at the adult beach, the barbecue was ready, and some guests were already eating. What perfect timing. I got some food and a refreshingly cool drink, joined some guests at a nearby table, and enjoyed my lunch.


Observations:

I really loved this tour. Like I said before, I like to explore, and this tour gave a perfect opportunity to experience the island in a different way, and away from the crowds. We had a wonderful guide who was knowledgeable, and enjoyed sharing island life with us.

There are two tours, one in the morning, and one that starts @ 12:45. I am glad I went in the morning. The day was fresh, and relatively cool for that walking. We explored the other side of the island, and returned in time to have a yummy lunch. This gave me plenty of time to relax on the beach, shop, or explore some more, if I wished.

When we signed up for excursions, I wanted to take full advantage, and was feeling ambitious, so I signed up for both the Walking/Kayaking Tour and an hour bike rental. When we returned to the adult beach, I walked with our second guide, Trevor - a young, in shape man, who had longer legs than me (not hard), and who walked fast while he talked. There was no way I wasn't going to keep up with him (I couldn't just walk back leisurely like the rest of the guests). By the time we returned to Serenity Bay, I was practically gasping for air and my face was beet red. I looked at my bike rental ticket, then shoved it in my pocket, and decided to relax on the beach & play in the water with some friends, instead.

Tips:
* Fine for kids to go on - preferably not younger than age 10
* Be sure to take water, you'll need it
* Take time to enjoy the scenery
* Wear a bathing suit so you can go swimming
* Wear shoes you can get wet and that are comfortable for walking
* Get a towel when you get off the ship, and find out from your guide if you need to buy water or if they'll give it to you on the walk
* Makes sure you use the restroom facilities at Serenity Bay - it'll be the last chance until you return

** Remember to carry your picture ID and room key wherever you go. It is especially important when you disembark and reboard. This is the way the ship has to verify that passengers are actually on the ship.
** Pack an umbrella just in case you run into rain, or a waterproof head scarf.
** Take enough money to tip your guide. I took a lot of ones with me, and I used these to tip for all the services and excursions

Note about the bike trail:
The bike trail is well shaded, and there are water stops along the way for you to refill your water bottle. We saw a few bike riders along the way, but not many. The trail is a great way to get away from the crowds and see some natural island beauty.
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Old 10-20-2003, 03:33 AM   #8
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After resting and eating lunch, I headed for the Family Beach. Somewhere out there were my friends, and I knew I'd find them sooner or later. In the meantime, I explored a little.... okay, okay ... I got lost, but I saw cool stuff along the way.

Family Beach


Somewhere in that water is Webmaster Pete. How I saw him before finding the gals is beyond me. He finally heard me calling his name, and pointed me in the right direction.


Okay, here's where I should have a wonderful picture of Regina, Beth, and Merrie, relaxing on the loungers at the beach. But, I value my life, and so the camera stayed in my backpack. (but, there's always ... next time ....... bwa ha ha ha)



It was so beautiful there, and we were so relaxed talking. It was also pretty darn hot - perfect weather for the beach. So, where was my mind when I was packing for Castaway Cay? I was wearing shorts, a DCL tshirt, and tevas. I really had no intention of getting in the water. Well, Regina and Merrie took off for a little swim. Beth said she was going, too, and told me I should at least go get my feet wet -- I mean, c'mon -- WE'RE IN THE BAHAMAS! Okay, (I'm easy), so we walked down to the water, and Beth went on in ... and so did I. I mean, I couldn't help myself. The water felt heavenly. Clothes and all - I kept going until I was submerged ... well, except for my right arm because I had forgotten to take my watch off. So there I sat with the gals, fully clothed, with my arm sticking out of the water, holding on to my watch .... for like a couple of hours (at least it felt that way). Regina had a great idea. Since it was obvious that my arm was starting to stiffen from being in the same position so long, she offered to let me tie my watch in Beth's ponytail, since Beth wasn't going to wet her head. So, I tied my watch in her ponytail (it made her look like Princess Jasmine ... really, it did), and then I was finally able to go under water. Yeah, so I was a total geek out there -- but I was a happy geek. Ahhhh, Life IS good.

We stayed out there until it was time to go back to the ship (stopping along the way for souvenirs, of course).


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Old 10-20-2003, 03:42 AM   #9
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9/27/03 Last Night on the Wonder

After getting on the ship, I headed straight for the shower. I was worried about all those sea lice I've read about, but there were no problems. (whew!) I could see that I had got a little sunburn. Well, after spending all that time in the salt water, constantly immersing myself, and not having any sunscreen - I was lucky I wasn't burned any worse.

We had a 9pm reservation at Palos, so upon the advice of the gals, I ordered a cheese/cracker tray, and enjoyed that with my remaining sparkling cider while I watched a movie in my room and watched us leave Castaway Cay.




Room 7552 (well used at the moment). I used the plug at the desk for my laptop (never did use a hairdryer), and the plug behind the tv for my camera battery recharger. It worked out well. Under the tv is the little fridge, but I never really used it. Our cabin steward, Joseph, kept the bucket for the sparkling cider full of ice everyday.



View of the room with Castaway Cay beyond the verandah. Note the pull-down bed over the couch.



Another view of my room - this shows the entrance to the split bathroom - so convenient with the sink & toilet in the first room and the sink & tub/shower in the second room.




View of Castaway Cay from my verandah. Bye bye, Castaway Cay





After relaxing in my room, it was time to meet the gals at the Golden Mickeys. What a wonderful show! The show really starts outside the Walt Disney Theater when you walk down the red carpet, and see all the paparazzi. Then a lady dressed in gold interviews young celebrities as they enter the theater. These interviews are shown on big screens inside, and timed so you see yourself as you enter. What a fun concept. We thoroughly enjoyed the show, even if Regina didn't trip Tarzan when he ran past us in the aisle.


After the show, we did some shopping in the gift shops, and Captain Henry was there to autograph souvenirs. Regina got him to sign a special gift.




At 9pm, we had dinner at Palos restaurant. I really enjoyed this dinner. Again, we had excellent company, and the food was delish. Some of us also shared champagne. I don't remember the appetizer I had, but I had filet mignon as an entree, and their famous chocolate souffle for dessert. The service was impeccable, and even the chef came by. It was a great way to end the evening, and essentially, our cruise.

Palos dessert


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Old 10-20-2003, 08:53 AM   #10
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What a great report, MJ. Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your friends. I love the beautiful photos, too
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:05 AM   #11
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Wonderful trip report. Wonderful pictures. Thanks for letting me know about this post.

I really want to do a cruise, but the one thing that really struck me is that it would be a lot more fun to go with friends.
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:47 AM   #12
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Mary Jo,

Thanks for sharing your trip report with us. That was one of the best trip reports I have ever read! I really liked how you included your photos with your report. I hope to be able to produce such an excellent report after our cruise in February!

Gayl
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:54 AM   #13
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Great trip report!
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:56 AM   #14
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Thanks for the great report! The pics of the rainbow are beautiful.
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:34 AM   #15
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Thanks for the report. Your pictures are incredible! Its nice to know that I am not the only person who took pictures of food while on DCL!!!

It sounds like you had a great time!!
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