Two Trips to Paradise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by dolphingirl47, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Day 8: September 8th 2008

    We woke up to a beautiful sunrise. We had seen sunrises on the Magic, but being able to see one while sitting on the sofa in our cabin was quite special, even though DH insisted that it was 10 minutes late.

    Sometime during the night our navigator was delivered. So I spend some quality time planning my day. As we were going for brunch at the adult only restaurant Palo, we passed on breakfast. We just had a lazy morning.

    Midmorning we attended the DVC Member Celebration. We did not win anything this time, but it was fun and informative. We saw a film about Adventures by Disney and this is definitely something that we would consider doing in future. We also had some coffee and I had the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted.

    After the DVC Member Celebration, I headed back to the cabin to get changed for brunch and to pick up my invitation for the Castaway Club House. DH did not fancy going so he headed up to the gym instead and we arranged to meet up in front of Palo 5 minutes prior to our reservation.

    I really enjoyed the Castaway Club House. They had set up a buffet with pastries, cakes and fruit as well as all kinds of non alcoholic drinks. I did not eat anything as I did not want to spoil my appetite, but mineral water has never tasted so good after a week of de-salinated water. They had set up a game that was half trivia and half ice breaker questions and there was a raffle, but again I did not win anything. It was great to be able to chat with some of the officers of the ship and the captain did a really interesting presentation about the history and future of the Disney Cruise Line. The Castaway Club House finished just in time for me to meet DH in front of Palo.

    As we never got the chance to eat at Palo the previous cruise, I was really looking forward to this. First of all the view from Palo is out of this world and we were lucky enough to have a table by the window. We were soon welcomed by our server Ferhat from Turkey. One class of champagne or a champagne cocktail is included in the price of the brunch. Ferhat recommended the Bellini cocktail, so we both decided to go with this. This was the best Bellini I had ever tasted. Once he had taken our drinks order, Ferhat gave us a tour around the buffet. There was a antipasti buffet, a seafood buffet, a buffet with cakes, sweet breads and pastries and a dessert buffet. He also showed us the open kitchen areas where the chefs were cooking various egg dishes, pizzas and lunch dishes to order. He made his recommendations in each area. Then we were let loose on the buffets. DH headed straight for the seafood and came back with plate full of jumbo shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, mussels and crab legs and claws. He had never tasted crab before, but really enjoyed it. I won't go anywhere near seafood, but I really enjoyed the antipasti buffet. I had the best Parma ham I had ever tasted as well as speciality breads, humous, olives, sunblush tomatoes and various cheeses. While DH tried some antipasti, I had to try some of Palo's famous Stollen Bread. Well, being German and having almost been raised on this seasonal treat, I can confirm that this was nothing like any Stollen I have ever tasted. It was a very light, sweet yeast-based bread with a filling of ground nuts. It was absolutely delicious.

    We had heard so much of the pizza at Palo that we just had to try some. So we decided to order a Peperoni pizza to share. It was every bit as good as we heart. We could not decide between two meat dishes so we decided to order one each and to swap half way through. The only problem was dessert. The desserts were served in shot glasses and I managed to try both the Tiramisu and a chocolate cream which were both fantastic. DH is allergic to chocolate and there were no chocolate-free desserts left as we were in the last brunch seating. Still, he had so much food that he did not really miss anything.

    After brunch, we headed down to Wavebands for a towel animal folding class. We had expected this to be very busy and for loads of kids to be there. However there were only about 10 people there and most of them adults. We learnt to make a dog, an elephant, a bunny and a monkey out of towels. We had great fun even though the bunny defeated me.

    After the class DH headed back to our cabin to have a siesta while I went and found myself some characters on deck 9. It was very windy, but I still got some nice photos.

    Later in the afternoon I attended a diamond and gem stone seminar. It was mainly aimed at people who were hoping to buy jewellery in Nassau, but I still found it informative. Unfortunately the seminar overrun and I ended up missing the spa jackpot bingo. Still, all the more money for me to spent at the spa.

    I decided to head back to the cabin to catch up with DH, but he was not there. Instead I found a plate of chocolate strawberries with a card from our head server, apologizing yet again for the bad experience at dinner the previous evening.

    I grabbed my swimsuit and headed for the Rainforest Room to chill out. Eventually I caught up with DH and we decided to fill out a quote request for a 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise.

    Soon it was time for dinner and the experience that evening was completely different. We had dinner in Triton's that night. The service was quick and attentive. Our serving team was chatting with us in between courses. The food was also much better that night. Our head server came over to remind us that we could choose a drink on the house. DH and I had a glass of a wonderful white wine and the other couple had a cocktail each. Dinner was very enjoyable and we got on as well with our table mates than we had done the previous week.

    Finally it was time to head back to our cabin. This was the night for our romance turn down service. Our stateroom host had put some towel swans on our bed and sprinkled rose petals all over the covers. He also had replenished the ice in the champagne bucket. We took some photos (which I still have not downloaded) and then we sat down on the sofa and enjoyed the champagne. It was such a shame to destroy the lovely display, but after a very full day, we were tired and fell into bed.

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  3. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Day 9: September 9th 2008

    This day started a little earlier than I had anticipated. At around 3:00 am I was woken up by a very excited DH who told me that there was another ship out there. I have to say, the ship looked very pretty all lit up, but I found it a bit hard to come up with the right amount of enthusiasm considering how early in the morning it was.

    The next time I woke up, the time was a little more to my liking. I had set a wake up call for 8:00 am and it was great to have Mickey at the other end of the phone. We got up and got dressed and shortly afterwards our champagne breakfast was delivered. This was a further perk of the Romantic Escapes at Sea package. We each got a glass of champagne, a glass of orange juice, some coffee to share, Eggs Benedict, Hash Browns, Sausages and Danish Pastries. There was so much food that we could not finish it. We decided against breakfast in bed, but it was great to sit by our porthole and have breakfast while we pulled into the port in Nassau. The first thing we saw was the same ship that we had seen in the middle of the night.

    As we had been to Nassau the previous week and did not really rate it, I decided to stay onboard. DH had an email that morning to advise him that his bird watching tour had been rescheduled for this afternoon. So we had the whole morning together. It was amazing how empty the ship was. We had filled in a quote card to rebook a cruise onboard and this had been returned to us the previous evening. So we headed up to the returning cruiser desk to book our next cruise. We had our heart set on a Western Caribbean cruise, but were pretty flexible with the dates. We had requested a quote for the first weekend in September in 2009, but found out that we could save quite a bit of money, if we traveled on the 2nd October. So we decided to go ahead with this. We even managed to get the same sideways stateroom that we had on the Magic the previous week that we loved so much. The only problem is that we are now cruising over DH’s birthday and he hates to have a fuss made over his birthday. So he told me that anything will be done for his birthday then the D in DH will stand for divorce.

    Once we had completed the serious task of booking our next cruise, we headed up to the Rainforest Room and chilled out for a bit. DH decided that he could do with a haircut and we checked if they could fit him in. He probably had the most comprehensive haircut ever. Not only did the stylist cut his hair and trim his beard, but she even trimmed his eyebrows!

    I did not want to be left behind either and ended up getting an exotic hand ritual, which is hands down the best manicure I ever had. I do feel the occasional need to get a manicure, but I see it in the same way as a dental check up – a necessary evil and far from enjoyable. Well, this was a completely different experience. She covered all the little things that are part of a manicure, but she was really gentle so that I never felt a thing. Once the nails had been shorted, shaped and the cuticle tidied up. She exfoliated my hands and lower arms with a mix of salt, ginger, lime and milk and then massaged my hands and lower arms with warmed Monoi oil. This was so relaxing that I nearly fell asleep. She had also put some reviving gel on my neck and temples and put some lightening eye cream underneath my eyes. This beautiful treatment finished all too soon and after I had some natural looking polish put on my nails, I was sent on my way.

    DH had found his way to the swimming pool and I ended up on the wooden surround to the pool with my feet dangling in the water and waited for my nails to dry. This was the first time I tried out the Cove Café. This is such a peaceful retreat (adult only) with comfortable chairs and books and magazines to read. I tried on of their iced mochas and this met with my approval even though I am a bit of a coffee snob.

    Soon I had to say goodbye to DH who headed out for his bird watching tour. He was left with a stern reminder when the ship was leaving and a dire warning on what would happen, if he was not back in time. In the meantime I used the downtime to do our laundry. I have learned one thing: There is no point over packing when going on a cruise. Laundry facilities are plentiful and reasonably priced. As it is not all that pleasant to have wet swim stuff in the cabin, we did the laundry frequently and tended to wear the same clothes again.

    Once the laundry was done, I decided to get a bite to eat. Tritons had my favourite menu that day: meatloaf with mashed potatoes followed by Key Lime Pie. I was a little nervous about having a sit down meal by myself, but there was no need. I was treated like royalty.

    After lunch I headed up to deck 9 to do some people watching. I finally had a chance to have my photo taken with Donald and Daisy. Of all the character photos that I have from years of going to Disney parks, I have never had one with Donald or Daisy, never mind with both of them together. I got poor old Donald into trouble. I was wearing a very unusual necklace that day and Daisy was pointing at it gesturing to Donald that she wanted one as well. I had such a laugh.

    I was watching the hair braiders at work and decided to have my hair braided. As I did not have time there and then, I made an appointment for teatime.

    One of the couples on our cruise meet thread were having their vow renewal on board the Wonder and we had been invited to that. The original plan had been to have the vow renewal on a “secret” outside area on deck 7, but it was decided that it was too windy and the ceremony was moved to the Cadillac Lounge on deck 3. I got there nice and early and was soon joined by the “groom” who had been sent away so that the “bride” could get ready in peace. This was kind of strange as everybody on the cruise meet thread had seen photos of the gown and he was the only person who was unaware.

    The room was decorated beautifully. There was a pianist, a decorated area where the vow renewal would take place and a table with the cake (with Mickey and Minnie souvenir topper) and the champagne for the toast. Soon the bride appeared. The ceremony was performed by the captain and was very moving. After the ceremony, the cutting of the very yummy cake took place and there was the champagne toast followed by the first dance. The whole thing was so beautiful. We had planned a vow renewal for our 10th anniversary this year, but for a number of reasons, we did not get around to it. Our plan had been to have our vow renewal at Crystal Cathedral in California, but I am well aware that this venue is more meaningful to me then it is to DH. As we both loved the Disney ships, we have decided that we will have the vow renewal on the Magic during our 2010 Transatlantic cruise.

    After the vow renewal, I had some time to get some more photos with some characters. I managed to get some photos with Mickey and Minnie in pirate clothes. Soon it was time to get my hair braided. I was surprised how quickly that was done. I had a hair band style done with beads woven in and I was very impressed with the price of this considering how much they charge in Orlando for something similar. On the way down, I managed to have photos taken with Stitch in his pirate gear and with Captain Jack Sparrow, who was quite easy on the eyes.

    When I got back to our cabin, I realized that DH had safely arrived back on the ship as his bird watching gear was on the bed. He was nowhere to be found, but that gave me the chance to get ready for our romantic dinner at Palo. I had to buy a cocktail dress for a Christmas party at work two years ago and I decided to bring this for our dinner at Palo. I really enjoyed having the chance to get dressed up.

    Once DH had reappeared, we headed up to Palo. This time we did not have a table by the window, but it was dark anyway. We did however have Ferhat as our server again. We were glad to find out that he would be looking after us again. As part of our Romance package, we were able to choose a bottle of wine from the premium wine list to go with our dinner at Palo. Ferhat had told us that we had $50 to spent on the wine, but that we could choose a more expensive bottle and just would have to pay the difference. We decided on a bottle of the Fairy Tale Cuvee sparkling wine and had to pay $2.50 extra, but it was well worth it as we really enjoyed it.

    We had a fantastic meal. I tried the Polenta and Portobello Mushroom starter followed by the Beef Tenderloin, which was amongst the best steaks I have ever tasted. DH had seafood for both starter and entrée, but the thing that he is still raving about is the lobster ravioli that Ferhat brought out for us to taste. I do not eat seafood so he had all of it to himself. I just had to try the famous Chocolate Soufflé which was out of this world. Poor DH is allergic to chocolate and missed out on this treat, but he really enjoyed the berry crème brulee. Again, Ferhat brought out something extra: Almond Ravioli. This time we shared and they were really tasty, but I still preferred my Chocolate Soufflé. We really enjoyed the complimentary lemon drink that we were served at the end of our meal.

    Once we had finished our dinner, we headed back down to have our photo taken in front of backdrop with the Wonder, a sunset and a Mickey-shaped cloud. Unfortunately we had to wait a little while for the next photo session to start, but this was well worth it. The resulting photos are probably my favourite photos of the two of us together bar none. Even our wedding photos cannot compete.

    Once our photos were taken we headed back to our cabin as we both had an early start the following morning. We welcomed our latest towel animal, which was a monkey and then fell into bed happy, but very tired.

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  4. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    More photos for this day:
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  5. TCB in FLA

    TCB in FLA Mouseketeer

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    I've really enjoyed your reports! You both look great after your "makeovers" (hair cut and braids!). Thanks for sharing (esp. posting them together for a nice long read!).
     
  6. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Day 10: September 10th 2008

    I had another early morning wake up call from Mickey. In a fit of madness I had booked a 08:00 am treatment in the spa. I had been advised to be there at least 15 minutes before my appointment so that made for a pretty early start. When I got upstairs to the spa, I found out that I did not need to be there quite so early anyway, as I had to fill out all the paperwork for my Exotic Hand Ritual the day before. I was sent to get changed into disposable underwear and a robe and was asked to wait on the day beds in the changing room once I was done.

    Soon my beauty therapist came to get me. I was a little nervous as I had never had a proper spa treatment before. The first part of the treatment was the Exotic Ginger and Lime Salt Glow full body exfoliation. She had mixed some milk bath with the mixture and once she had rubbed the mixture all over me, I was wrapped in tin foil and towels and it was left to soak in. It smelled so lovely and being wrapped up felt so cozy that I must have fallen asleep. After what felt like a very short time, the therapist came back and asked me to go and shower off and then lie back down on the treatment couch. The second half of the treatment was not quite so relaxing. This was my first massage and we had agreed that she would use gentle pressure. While she was massaging my neck, back and shoulders, I was OK, but when she started to work on my calf muscles and ankles, it was all I could do not to hit her. This was so painful. I suppose this was a case of no pain, no gain and once it was all over, I definitely felt the benefits. My whole body felt so relaxed. After the treatment I decided to get some of the products and also the shampoo that had been used for DH haircut the previous day as he really loved it.

    After my treatment was finished, I headed back to the cabin to pick up the stuff that I needed for my day at Castaway Cay. I headed out and spoke to the character escort by the post office to check if Chip and Dale would be out that day. They are two of my favourite characters and the only characters that had eluded me on both cruises. I was told that I was out of luck. Still, as I was out already, I decided to walk up towards the family beach and see what characters were out and about. I managed to have photos taken with Mickey, Minnie and Captain Jack Sparrow, but I ended up purchasing only the photos with Mickey. I had a little look around the shop and then I took the tram back to the ship to get some breakfast at Parrot Cay.

    After breakfast I headed back out to Serenity Bay. The water was not half as smooth as when we went there on the Magic. As I am not a particularly strong swimmer, I decided to give the sea a miss. I decided to finally try the famous Konk Kooler and found myself a beach lounger to drink it on. Soon the time at which DH’s Kayaking and Hiking Excursion was due to be finished and I decided to head down the hiking path to meet him.


    We had lunch at the adult beach and then we headed back towards the ship to find out if our parasailing excursion was still on, but that had been cancelled. As our Personal Watercraft excursion had been cancelled the previous week, we decided to check if they still had availability for this. They told us that there was availability on the excursion that would start about 75 minutes later. We signed up for this and then headed to the family beach for a swim. I actually preferred swimming at the family beach as this was much more sheltered. Near the beach it was very crowded, but once we swam out a little, we had all the space we could possibly want.

    Soon it was time for our tour. We had a safety talk and were given a life vest to wear and then we were off to get onto the jet skis. I got a little worried once I saw them up close and opted to ride doubles with DH. We headed out towards the Flying Dutchman and the guide who was behind us signaled us to go faster. DH sped up and the jet ski turned over and we ended up in the water right in front of the Flying Dutchman. DH got back on, but I did not have the upper body strength to pull myself up onto the jet ski from the water. I could have easily swum back, but they would not let me. The boat that they use for parasailing came by and took me back to the beach while DH carried on with the tour. I will never get on a jet ski again! The staff from the tour operator who are running this excursion were great. They checked if I needed any medical attention and once I reassured them that I was fine, we chatted and I learned a lot about the Bahamas.

    Once DH was back from his tour, we headed back to the ship to pack. Once the packing was done, DH headed up to the gym while I did my last fish extender gift run. We met up in the Rainforest Room for our last visit to our favourite place on the ship. All too soon we had to think about getting ready for dinner. We bought some souvenirs on the way back to the cabin and packed them before heading for our last dinner.

    Dinner that night was at Animators Palate and again I could not understand what the hype was about. Still, we sat directly next to one of the video screens and the film that was shown towards the end of the meal was quite cute. The food was fantastic and dessert was served on palate shaped plates. There was no Sorcerer Mickey this time, but the serving staff came into the room carrying flags at the end of the meal.

    All too soon our last dinner on a ship was over. We visited Shutters one last time to buy the photos from the previous day and from Castaway Cay and then we headed back to our cabin and put our luggage out for collection. All of the towel animals from the previous nights had been removed, but our stateroom host had made us a bunny for the last night. I set the wake up call for the following morning and then we went to sleep on the ship for the last time.

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  7. LivingtheWDWdream

    LivingtheWDWdream Dreamin of Disney!

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    Wow how neat to do a back to back but one on the magic and one on the Wonder! That is neat!
     
  8. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

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    Corinna, it's so fun to 'relive' the trip through someone elses eyes. We had such an amazing time and it was so good to get to meet you and Graham.
     
  9. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    The next morning we were woken up by Mickey one last time. We got dressed, took our carry on and headed for breakfast. Getting to the restaurant was an interesting experience. We were again at Animators Palate on deck 4. The only access route is via Shutters, which was heaving with last minute photo purchases. The fact that everybody was anxious to get to breakfast and was standing in line did not help either.

    Soon we were let into the restaurant and our tablemates arrived shortly after. We had a lovely leisurely breakfast going through all the highlights of the cruise. All too soon the time came to say good-bye to our servers and our tablemates. We picked up our carry on and headed down to deck 3. This time there were no lines and we headed straight for the exit turning back only once. I was sad to leave the ship, but after 9 nights on board a ship I was kind of ready to get back on terra firma. Knowing that the next cruise is already booked most certainly helped as well.

    We got until just before the escalators down to the baggage hall, when we were stopped. They were fast tracking the people who booked their flights through Disney and everybody else had to wait. Still, we were in no particular rush, as we knew that we could not check in at Old Key West until 4 pm anyway.

    Once we were allowed in the baggage hall, we had no problem finding our suitcases and cleared customs very quickly. As soon as we left the terminal building, we were directed to our coach. We were advised that there would be a short delay before departure as there would be a two minutes silence at 9 am.

    Soon we were on our way and we saw a film about Walt Disney World followed by classic cartoons. We were the first people to be dropped off at our resort. This ends our Two Trips to Paradise, but not our wonderful vacation. If you want to read the sequel, you can find it here:

    Staying at Mouse House Central
     
  10. orlandothebeagle

    orlandothebeagle Gotta love the beagles.

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    great pictures:thumbsup2
     
  11. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Thanks for the heads up on your report. I'm here. :goodvibes
     
  12. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Oops, this is the trip report for my first ever cruises in 2008. You may find this helpful as you are embarking on your first cruise. The trip report for the most recent trip can be found under the Scared Silly, But Loving It link. You have not missed anything yet. I have just posted the prologue a couple of days ago and I will post Day 1 tomorrow.

    Corinna
     
  13. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Thanks! I'll go there. :thumbsup2
     

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