"Witty Western-Fantasy Trip Report Title"... January 5th-12th With Pictures

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by MrRay, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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    Just curious, Timon, are you talking about way back when DCL gave honey mustard in packets...like the sauces for McDonald's nuggets? My sons loved that sauce and were disappointed when they changed.
     
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  3. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    Today we had Palo brunch planned. We were very excited. Reservation was for 11 and we woke up earlish again so we did have a small breakfast just to hold us over and got ourselves cleaned up.
    Check-In was quick and we were shown a nice table right by the window by our server... I sadly can't remember his name. I want to say maybe it's "Nikola". I know he was from Serbia, I've even been trying to look up popular Serbian names to try and stumble upon it. But anyway he was great. There is a very different feel to the service in this restaurant. Everyone speaks better english and is very prim and proper. Anything we asked for was met with a very enthusiastic "of course" and a smile...lots of smiles. He told us that any minute Disney had planned for 150 Dolphins to jump past the window.

    He showed us around the buffet. He started his tour at the desserts table and instructed us that there were no rules there, we could start with dessert if we wanted...very funny guy. There were a few other hi-lights that he pointed out, one of which he felt so strong about that he said "if you try this you will remember me forever". I didn't try it, that's probably why I can't remember his name sadly.

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    My first plate... The shrimp and scallops were fresh and delicious. I probably ate my weight in those. I had several servings of the buffet but most of what I really liked was light and all things considered pretty healthy. The roasted vegetables and arugala salad were amazing. I also can not ever get enough Tiramisu, there's is excellent and I had one with every trip.

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    A little side note about Iced Tea on the ship...From the drink stations there is only unsweetened Nestea from the fountain. I don't really drink soda and prefer unsweetened Iced Tea whenever I can, but that stuff from a fountain is just some kind of syrup still and is odd. In the restaurants I think they actually brew it, it definitely tasted better. At Palo it almost seemed like they brewed every glass for me. It was light and delicious.
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    After a few trips to the buffet we ordered. Jenna got Chicken Parmesan, which had been recommended by our server as well as Patrick the bartender from Skyline. I have a bit of a dairy allergy and try to avoid cheese so I ordered a Tilapia dish they had.

    The chicken Parm was excellent, but the tilapia wasn't all that great unfortunately. I followed it up with one more trip to the buffet and was quite content. When we finally said we were done our server looked at us, opened his eyes extra wide, smiled, and said "Are you suuuure"? Nice guy.

    We spent around an hour and a half there and had a very nice, quiet, laid back brunch. It is very classy place. I kept thinking that it felt like we were in a very upscale place, which we would never normally feel comfortable in, but here it felt like we were high class. It was a very nice change of pace and I strongly recommend it.
     
  4. Timon

    Timon DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Yes! Here's a pic from our cruise in 2009 on the Magic...

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    When I was at WDW and on the Dream in January 2011, they only had the Heinz stuff and it was GROSS!!! :crazy2:

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    Going back in November, SO glad to hear that they have a different honey mustard, even if it isn't Ken's, it does look similar :thumbsup2


    Sorry to hijack your thread temporarily, Mr Ray :rolleyes2 ;)
     
  5. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    No worries...these are the hard hitting issues that I was hoping to hit in this thread. I did go off on Iced Tea a little bit just now too...
     
  6. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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    Me too, sorry :rotfl: I just knew they changed the honey mustard! Can't wait to read more :cool1:
     
  7. stulaurie

    stulaurie Mouseketeer

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    What size kyss bad do you have? Is it the medium or the large?
     
  8. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    We got the large. It holds a lot. I think at one point we had 4 towels in there in addition to normal beach stuff and we still could have fit more.
     
  9. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    Shortly after brunch we returned to our room to do something we hadn't really done all week... We flat out took a nap. We opened our verandah door a little bit to hear the waves and we were out.

    To fill the gap here are a few more pictures of the ship.
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    Me and the Boss...
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    I find this amusing.

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    $25 for a bottle of shampoo?...They restocked our room twice a day whether we were using them or not.
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    We aren't hoarders. We donate them to the Children's hospital my sister works at for families to use who stay overnight.


    Lamps in the stateroom
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    Random side note: As I mentioned earlier I have a dairy allergy. I cheat a little on desserts but cheese and ice cream are big offenders. In Cabanas they have hard scoop ice cream and in there they keep tofutti and rice cream. One day I was walking by and saw a young boy being scooped a big bowl of fake ice cream and he was so happy that he was almost bouncing up and down... I totally know how he feels. Disney is so good with allergies.

    We can't remember what we did the rest of the day, we might have laid in the sun for a while. It was still very windy and the water very choppy this whole day. Mostly we rested and recharged.

    Dinner was back in "Enchanted Garden" for semi-formal night. We were the only ones at our table to show up.
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    It was nice having another quiet meal to ourselves though. We loved our table mates but it gave us a chance to relax a little bit.

    Our servers kept us entertained too. One of my favorite things about DCL is that with only 2,500 passengers you really form closer relationships with a lot of the crew. It's much more personal since you keep seeing the same people. There's a lot more handshaking than you would normally find and within a couple days we would get so excited to see our server Diartha that we would be exchanging hugs.

    Next- Castaway Cay
     
  10. missmdr

    missmdr Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for a wonderful way to wake up this morning seeing all the beautiful photos' - looking forward to seeing Castaway Cay!!
     
  11. bbn1122

    bbn1122 DIS Veteran

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    Love your report..... Dreaming of the fantasy.:)
     
  12. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    I'm going to take a quick aside to pay a little respect for the Disney crew. They did such an amazing job our whole cruise that I want to showcase some of their work that never got seen.

    Last year when I was doing some TV setups on the Fantasy for it's Inauguration in New York I spent 1 morning working in "Animator's Palette". There were a few small broadcasts going on in there, a couple of them live. The Disney crew working in there were all great and were clearly incredibly excited to be part of all the festivities in New York.

    Well the big spot that we had for the morning was a live broadcast for "Good Morning America and they had made an ice sculpture to mark the occasion. Unfortunately there was another smaller live broadcast not too much earlier so they weren't able to have it preset. So once that ended 5 or 6 kitchen guys came in and started to place the sculpture and were feverishly scraping it away to make it look perfect.

    Probably not more than a couple minutes before going live the "Good Morning America" people all come running in, having just finished another segment. The ice guys just barely finished as the broadcast went live. The segment couldn't have lasted more than a minute, if that much, and it was all over.

    GMA realized just as they finished that the ice had never even made it in the shot. They had their picture taken with it...so it wasn't a total waste.

    All of the Disney crew was so excited to be in the room and were asking me where they could find the video online. They weren't aware the Ice didn't make it in.


    So since it never made it on TV, here is the Ice sculpture that they worked so hard on.

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    Next...Castaway Cay...For real this time.
     
  13. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    Before we even left for the cruise we had managed our expectations about Castaway Cay. We knew it could be a crap shoot and even more we knew that it was risky in January. By this morning we had had such an amazing time that we really were content with our vacation and if we weren't able to make the stop at Castaway we would have been ok.

    We woke up early, I think before 7, and opened our curtains to see the complete opposite of the day before. The sea was wonderfully calm, the sun was shining bright, and there was hardly any wind.

    We made our daily stop by Cove Cafe and wandered around the higher decks, which were barren.

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    The only time this was ever empty.
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    The weather was perfectly warm and sunny.

    We learned our lesson from the previous days and went to "Royal Court" for breakfast. This was also where our serving team was spending the day so we got a chance to see them. I was planning on doing the Castaway Cay 5K so I didn't want too much but they had a healthier option of a buckwheat crepe with egg whites, spinach, and some other veggies in it and it was delicious. I definitely ate more of it then I should have.

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    While we were eating the ship started docking. Everything was going like clockwork so we went to get ready for our day on the island.
     
  14. tgropp

    tgropp DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the report!! We are leaving on the Fantasy on the Feb 2 cruise. Getting very excited after reading this.
     
  15. libpetersen

    libpetersen Mouseketeer

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    Love your report and pictures. We are doing this trip on May 25 and we are getting so excited!!!
     
  16. mom3bellasorella

    mom3bellasorella Earning My Ears

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    Loving your report! Thanks for sharing!
     
  17. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    We had to meet in "The Tube" at 9:15 to get ready for the 5K. I of course forgot my ID so I got my warm up run in sprinting across the ship and up and down the stairs. There is no charge for this, and there was probably about 30 people signed up.

    We were led off the ship as soon as it was cleared and walked to the starting point, which was roughly a mile from the ship.
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    Once at the starting mark we were given a rundown of the route. Basically out to the runway, running the loop to the observation tower, down to the adult beach, back through the observation tower loop, and then back to the start.

    Almost unfortunately this was some of the best weather of the day. It was sunny for pretty much the whole race and it was hot for running. It must be hard doing this in warmer months.

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    There is a few water stations throughout the route. I stopped 3 times I think and skipped a few, so there is plenty.

    A handful of hardcore runners took off right away and were gone from my view and about halfway through I was regretting my big breakfast. I was keeping pace with a kid who must have been around 12 and we had a very exciting sprint to the finish.

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    You get a certificate for finishing and you even get....to buy...a very nice t-shirt. I've heard that they have started giving out medals for finishing again, but there were none this day.
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    It was a nice start to the day and got me in the water IMMEDIATELY. I recommend doing it even if you're not a big runner. There were plenty of people taking it slow.

    Jenna had a bum foot so she was my support team...
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    Next...More Castaway.
     
  18. STLDisney_Freak

    STLDisney_Freak I don't have a short attention span, I just.....OH

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    OP, Do you have any more photos of your visit to Passion Island? I'm trying to decide if our family should take this excursion or not. You have any photos of the food area. If you had to repeat the excursion would you do it again? Do you have photos of the dolphin area in Costa Maya?
     
  19. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    I don't really have any more pictures of the Island that show any more of it. The food was really pretty terrible. It's a very small buffet with probably 5 platters on it. Some kind of chicken thigh dish, that didn't have much meat on it, a fish dish that didn't look very good, and I remember spaghetti being there, which I thought was odd. It looked particularly dried out and was hard and caked onto the pan. Maybe we just hit it at the wrong time of day but definitely don't go in expecting much.

    If it's a nice day then it's a fabulous beach day. It was a little too windy and cloudy when we were there to really spend too much time in the water.

    I don't think we would do it again, but the Island and surrounding water is really beautiful.

    No more pictures of the Dolphin area at Costa Maya, it's pretty small and right by the pier.
     
  20. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    We took a short dip in the water, but it was still a little chilly out. The water temperature is definitely not as warm as further south but if it's warm out I think it's definitely manageable. Next time we might bring a couple of swim shirts though.

    We were originally planning on lugging my sneakers and running clothes around all day but we figured we'd just take the day slow and walked back to the ship to drop some of our stuff off.
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    On the way we passed by what I think I figured out was a crab race...but I'm not totally sure.
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    We also used this time to visit the Post Office since there wasn't the rush of everyone traveling back to the ship as well as take some photos now that there were less people around.


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    The crew use this day to get ready for the next cruise already. There is a lot of cleaning and maintenance going on while the ship is so empty.

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    At one point we watched Goofy pull up in a golf cart and head back onto ship. I was really curious what his boarding procedures were going to be, I mean how does Goofy go through security? I think his handler had his Key to the World Card and scanned it for him, but he definitely blows right through the medal detector...He barely fits. Anyway it was a funny exchange.

    The view from our room was amazing.
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    Next... More Castaway
     
  21. MrRay

    MrRay Mouseketeer

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    Back off the ship we decided to go to "Cookies" before heading out to the adult beach. They had plenty of stations open and we were able to get food quickly with no wait. This was probably the only meal that I had all week that I felt wasn't very good. They had ribs that were tough and didn't have much meat and I think also some mediocre chicken. We ate quick and were on our way. I was no longer regretting my big breakfast.

    I'm glad we had eaten when we did because the smaller buffet at the adult beach had a long line. "Serenity Bay" is absolutely beautiful. The water was so clear and mostly shallow.

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    We walked through the water for a while then grabbed a couple of chairs.

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    Then we started to notice the only real misstep that we felt Disney made. The crew have a beach area for themselves along the same shoreline as the adult beach. They were playing really loud music and it just seemed like there was a huge beach party going on. You could hear the music clearly from everywhere and it pretty much destroyed the "Serenity Bay" theme. If it wasn't for that it would have been unbelievably calm. Eventually the music stopped so I wonder if someone complained, or if someone higher ranking on the crew put a stop to it but it was a little out of character. It was the only time through the whole cruise where we momentarily fell out of the "Disney Bubble".

    There were a lot of heavy clouds now and when the sun disappeared it got chilly. We noticed a sand bar a couple hundred feet out in the water and watched the sky for a nice patch of clear and then ventured out there. The water never got much higher than our waist. Once out there the water was only ankle deep at spots.

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    We watched the sky for a nice big sun patch so we could walk back. By this point a lot of people decided to make their way out to the sand bar and as we walked back to shore there were so many people wading their way towards us, carefully stepping through the sand, that it looked like a mob of “walkers” from “Walking Dead”. It was pretty funny.

    Next...Even more Castaway
     

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