Scared Silly But Loving It

Paula Sedley-Burke

Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Thanks for the explanation of differences between dunk and duck! Obviously being disabled neither are a go for me just curious.
 

Pinkocto

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
I completely forgot to comment about all those beautiful carpets! Were those part of the refurb?

We actually missed that show on the Fantasy, went to Palo that night. Hoping to catch it this time.
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
I completely forgot to comment about all those beautiful carpets! Were those part of the refurb?

We actually missed that show on the Fantasy, went to Palo that night. Hoping to catch it this time.
Yes, all the carpets were new.

Corinna
 
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 17

    Mickey woke us bright and early at 7:30 that morning. This is the one time on every cruise were I really do not want Mickey to call. Graham always complains that he is lying. Mickey tells you that there are "Doings going on" when he calls you to wake you up. Well, the only doings that are going on the last morning is that they want you off the ship as soon as possible. We packed the last odds and ends in our hand luggage and I took our door spotter and our magnets down. I decided to put the wave phone on charge for the next people and noticed that I had a text from Shutters. I was supposed to pick up my photo CD the previous night. Normally they always left a message on the normal phone. There was nothing I could do about this and we headed to Shutters on our way to breakfast. There were not many people about. We bumped into Michelle who was sorting out her prints. We collected our CD and then headed down to the Promenade Lounge to sit down until it was time for breakfast.

    Breakfast went very smoothly. As soon as we were seated, we were offered coffee and juice and handed the menu. We both had coffee. Graham had some orange juice and I had apple juice. Graham went with Route 66, which consists of Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Grilled Sausage, Grilled Ham and Hash Browns. He also had some toast. I went with my usual, the Chef's Farewell, which is a large open faced Omelet topped with Barbecued Chicken, Green Peppers, Onions and melted Swiss Cheese. Once we had finished our breakfast, we said goodbye to Edward and Putu and then headed out. By then they had called open debarkation so we headed straight up to deck 4 and left the ship.

    Debarkation was probably the smoothest we had experienced on any cruise. When we got off the ship, we were directed straight to the baggage hall where rather than rows of suitcases there were numerous airport style baggage carousels. Each of them had a character corresponding to the luggage tags next to them. We just had to wait for our luggage to come round, which did not take very long and all of our luggage arrived at the same time. We then got into a short line for customs and then we were on our way. As we got to the exit, we asked where we would get the Alamo shuttle. We were pointed in the right direction. We did not have to wait long for the shuttle to arrive. The shuttle took us to the airport where we collected our car. I was a bit worried how long this would take as there were a lot of people on the bus, but the process was very quick and smooth as well. It took less than an hour from us walking off the ship to us driving off towards Orlando.

    This time round we opted to go straight up the Florida Turnpike. I have to admit that I remember very little about this trip. I think I spent most of it asleep. We briefly stopped at a service area to use the bathroom, but other than that we had a clear run. We decided to come off at the exit for the 192. I have never really been on that road and was surprised how rough certain parts of this are. Along some stretches, the most common businesses seem to be pawnshops and bail bond offices. I was more than a little relieved when we were on Disney property.


    When we arrived at the Beach Club, we were asked for our name. When we arrived at the front of the hotel, we were welcomed by name and advised that our room was ready. The bellman had already whisked away our luggage in the few seconds that we spoke with the Greeter and given us a claims receipt. We were then escorted to the Beach Club Villas to check in. I was seriously impressed by the whole process. We quickly went up to the room to drop off our hand luggage, which had not been in the boot and used the bathroom and then we took the car to the Dolphin where we had chosen to drop it off. This also worked like clockwork. We pulled up to the hotel and the people manning the valet desk asked us whom we hired the car through. When we told them Alamo, one of them did a quick inspection and wrote us out a receipt. We did not even have to go inside to the Alamo desk. We still went inside the hotel though. I had fallen in love with the Poinsettia tree at the Dolphin last year and I wanted to check if this was there again this year. It was and this year it had a train running around the base.









    We then took a slow wander back to the Beach Club via the Boardwalk. I took some photos on the way. When we got back to the Beach Club, we got our resort mugs and got something to drink. I had treated us to the Deluxe Dining Plan for this one night and this came with a refillable mug each. We then headed towards the room. I stopped by Bell Services and asked them to bring our luggage over and while I was waiting for the lift, a Bell Man already arrived with our stuff. I took a couple of photos of our room before we had time to mess it up and then we went exploring. We were quite far from the lobby, but it turned out that we were virtually next door to a lift that went straight to the pool. Graham decided that he wanted to do the laundry that afternoon. As DVC laundry rooms are often near the pool, we headed down there. We were out of luck. We then asked at the concierge desk and were sent to the wrong floor. Fortunately there was a friendly mousekeeper around and he pointed us in the right direction.



















    We went to get the laundry and then I went off in search of some change for the detergent. Graham then headed for the pool near our room. I have to say I was struggling to get excited about a quiet pool when there was Stormalong Bay waiting at the other side of the hotel. So I got as far as sticking my toe in. As the water was also quite cold, I decided that it was too much like hard work. Not too long after it was time to take the laundry out of the washers and put them in the dryers. We headed back down to the pool and although the pool did still not appeal, the hot tub looked awfully tempting. This had been quite full earlier on, but by the time we came back from the laundry room, this had empty out. So we decided to try this out. It was quite a big hot tub and just the perfect temperature. This felt so good. We enjoyed this for a good half an hour and then it was time to come out and drip dry before checking on the laundry. About half was dry and the other half needed another spin in the dryer. We sorted and folded what was dry and then we sat down in the laundry room and watched CNN until the rest was try as well.

    Once all the laundry was done, we got showered and changed and then we headed for dinner. I had made a reservation at the Yachtsman Steakhouse. We had eaten there last year and I had really enjoyed it. We checked in and were asked to wait in a little side room near the podium and a couple of minutes later we were seated. As we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan, we got a starter, main course and dessert. Our server came to introduce himself and took our drinks order. Graham had an iced tea that he was not too impressed with and I had a Coke. We were also brought some bread with butter sprinkled with sea salt and a dish with warm roasted garlic. I admit it; I could just make a meal of the bread, especially as it is sour dough bread and therefore safe for me to eat. The mixture of the sour dough bread, slightly salted butter and the nutty flavour of the roasted garlic is utterly sublime. Still, we had three courses to come so we had to pace ourselves.

    Graham opted to have the Charcuterie Board for his starter. This consisted of Calabrese: A cured dried sausage, which is accented with cayenne pepper giving it a spicy kick; Chasseur Pâté: Produced from suckling pig, rabbit and accented with pistachio and apricots throughout; Summer Sausage: Made from an all-natural Berkshire Pig. It is garnished with Sweetbreads, fatback, and suckling pig, which pairs perfectly with blackberry sauce; Pepperoni: Dried sausage, made of all beef with spicy and oak smoke notes throughout and Duck Pastrami: A smoked Hudson Valley Duck Breast seasoned with various herbs and spices. This was served with toasted brioche. It also came with a little card describing what everything was. I had the Caesar Salad, which consisted of crisp Romaine, Parmigiano, Coppa Secca and Focaccia Croutons. The Coppa Secca, which is a type of Parma Ham was delicious and really added something to the dish. It was still the strangest Caesar Salad that I ever had. Essentially the put a whole head of Romaine on the plate and added the other ingredients underneath and above it. It was very tasty, but just strange.

    For his main course Graham went with the 16-oz Boneless Rib-Eye, which came with Brioche, Bone Marrow and Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter. I had the 12-oz Prime New York Strip Steak with White Cheddar Twice-baked Potato and Peppercorn-Brandy Sauce. This was the same steak that I had the previous year and at that time it was the stuff of my dreams. This time it was not as much. I never quite could make up my mind if this was that the quality had gone downhill or that we just had been spoiled at Capital Grille.

    Dessert was a hit with both of us. Graham had the Crème Brûlée, which consisted of Papua Vanilla Custard and Seasonal Berries. I was torn between the Sundae with Amarena Cherries and the Seasonal Sorbet Trio with Coconut Tuile and Fairy Tale Celebration Cuvée. The Sorbet won. I got a scoop of Spiced Pear Sorbet, Cranberry Sorbet and Mulled Berry Sorbet. The flavour of the Spiced Pear Sorbet was a little two subtle for my taste, but this may have had something to do with the fact that I had a cold and this affected my taste buds. The other two flavours were amazing though. Once we had finished our desserts, we settled the bill, which required touching my Magic Band against a modified iPhone and entering the pin. This is all terribly clever.

    We slowly wandered back towards the Beach Club Villas. On the way, I had a bit of a closer look at Stormalong Bay. I was surprised that we did not have to show our Magic Bands anywhere. There were not many people about, but Stormalong Bay was definitely still open.

    When we got back to the room, we reorganized our luggage, which did not take very long. We then enjoyed the second bottle of wine that we had taken on the cruise, but never got around to drinking. My original plan for the next day had been to have an early breakfast at Cape May Cafe and the head over to Epcot for a few hours. I realized that evening that I did not really feel like it. I had started to come down with a bit of a cold when we were at Grand Cayman and also I did not really feel ill, I had run out of energy. I checked if there were still later reservations available for breakfast at Cape May and there were plenty. I checked with Graham and we decided to have a lie in and then have a slightly later breakfast before chilling out at the resort. I managed to change our reservation to 10:15 without any problems. We relaxed for a while and then went to bed.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    All caught up again, just as you are almost done.

    I really liked the sundress that you wore to Palo, it was very flattering on you and a very cute dress. I would like something like that for myself.

    It's a shame that the steak you had at Yachtsman was not all that you had hoped. I would like to make it back there again someday. I don't like Caesar salads served the way you described. Too much work to cut the lettuce and the dressing never gets evenly distributed. However, for the last few years that presentation has been all the rage in the US.

    I'm glad that you had a nice calm evening and were able to change around your reservation for breakfast.
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    Ugh, I hate the wake up call on the last day of a cruise! It does sound like you have smooth sailing to get back to Orlando and checked into your hotel. Those onion rolls at Yachtsman are fantastic!

    Jill in CO
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    What a fabulous view at BCV. That's gotta be the best view I've seen!

    Such a shame about the Yachtsman steak. I've never eaten there but have only heard great things about it.
     
  • Paula Sedley-Burke

    Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2008
    Oh so many times we have been caught out with photo's left in shutters only to remember on the last day! Well done for recharging the phone and being a good roomy for the next guests you got your reward in your reminder!

    We love Alamo car rental! We use the disney car centre near MK. Nice to know there is one at Dolphin too. I was puzzled as to why you did a one way rental and why not get the cruise transport then I remembered it was Miami port! I just adore Poinsetta too :-) never been inside The Dolphin must go and have an eyeball :-)

    Shame your meal wasn't as good as you recall. Often happens I am sure Disney keep raising that bar! I wonder if the stolen bread I still dream of at night from Palo will be as good when I have the luck to try this again. Be afraid if you have a ressie same time as me. You don't stand a chance of getting any!

    Sorry you weren't feeling too good your Cape may morning.

    Looking forward to your next update. Re your laundry I was telling PIO of my shock when I first set eyes on laundry room in America and the confusion over the top loaders rather than front loaders we have here and how quick the wash cycle was! Took me a while and a kind American soccer Mom to figure it out how to load and put the detergent in and why my washing kept being taken out ( I left it for an hour thinking that's how long it took and guests quite rightly wanting to use the laundry took my washing out getting impatient I had not returned to reclaim it) .
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Disembarkation day :( sounds like it went very smoothly though. Odd that they left the message on the wave phone and not the main one.

    That poinsettia tree is gorgeous!

    Beautiful view from the room. Sorry you didn't feel 100%, thats always so much worse when you're on vacation.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    All caught up again, just as you are almost done.

    I really liked the sundress that you wore to Palo, it was very flattering on you and a very cute dress. I would like something like that for myself.

    It's a shame that the steak you had at Yachtsman was not all that you had hoped. I would like to make it back there again someday. I don't like Caesar salads served the way you described. Too much work to cut the lettuce and the dressing never gets evenly distributed. However, for the last few years that presentation has been all the rage in the US.

    I'm glad that you had a nice calm evening and were able to change around your reservation for breakfast.
    I really like this dress. It has already gone on the packing list for the upcoming trip.

    I had never had Caesar Salad like this before, but I agree with the statement that it is too much work. This was a real shame as the flavours were amazing.

    I can't believe that this trip report is nearly done, but that just means I can get started with the pre-trip report for the May trip.

    Ugh, I hate the wake up call on the last day of a cruise! It does sound like you have smooth sailing to get back to Orlando and checked into your hotel. Those onion rolls at Yachtsman are fantastic!

    Jill in CO
    This is the only time when I don't welcome Mickey calling me. I was surprised how smoothly the whole process was from getting off the Magic to checking in the hotel.

    What a fabulous view at BCV. That's gotta be the best view I've seen!

    Such a shame about the Yachtsman steak. I've never eaten there but have only heard great things about it.
    I loved that view. I just wished I had a couple of more days to enjoy it.

    Oh so many times we have been caught out with photo's left in shutters only to remember on the last day! Well done for recharging the phone and being a good roomy for the next guests you got your reward in your reminder!

    We love Alamo car rental! We use the disney car centre near MK. Nice to know there is one at Dolphin too. I was puzzled as to why you did a one way rental and why not get the cruise transport then I remembered it was Miami port! I just adore Poinsetta too :-) never been inside The Dolphin must go and have an eyeball :-)

    Shame your meal wasn't as good as you recall. Often happens I am sure Disney keep raising that bar! I wonder if the stolen bread I still dream of at night from Palo will be as good when I have the luck to try this again. Be afraid if you have a ressie same time as me. You don't stand a chance of getting any!

    Sorry you weren't feeling too good your Cape may morning.

    Looking forward to your next update. Re your laundry I was telling PIO of my shock when I first set eyes on laundry room in America and the confusion over the top loaders rather than front loaders we have here and how quick the wash cycle was! Took me a while and a kind American soccer Mom to figure it out how to load and put the detergent in and why my washing kept being taken out ( I left it for an hour thinking that's how long it took and guests quite rightly wanting to use the laundry took my washing out getting impatient I had not returned to reclaim it) .
    Normally you can't pick up the photo CD until 7:00 AM on the last morning as they burn them over night. This is the second time now that they had them ready the evening before.

    Th poinsettia tree at the Dolphin is definitely worth a look.

    That dinner was not the stuff of my dreams, which is a real shame. Fortunately this was not our last proper meal in Florida and breakfast the next morning was quite something.

    At the Beach Club Villas they have front loaders and they take about as long as my washing machine at home.

    Disembarkation day :( sounds like it went very smoothly though. Odd that they left the message on the wave phone and not the main one.

    That poinsettia tree is gorgeous!

    Beautiful view from the room. Sorry you didn't feel 100%, thats always so much worse when you're on vacation.
    While we were still away, I just felt a little under the weather, but once we were back home, this turned into full-blown sinusitis. It was only last week that I really started to feel back to normal.

    Corinna
     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 18

    I had set the wake up call for 9:30. It was great to have a lie in and I was glad that I had decided to change our reservation. We got up and got ready and then I stepped out on the balcony to enjoy our view for a bit. The view was rather nice and we had a huge balcony. We packed the things that we needed for the day into our beach bag and at 10:00 I called Bell Services to collect our luggage. A Bell Man took less than 5 minutes to get there. We followed him over to the main building.





    We checked in at Cape May Cafe and were given a pager. It did not look particularly busy so I was surprised that we had to wait at all, but in the end they made us wait for about 15 minutes. We were seated and offered coffee and juice. Our server explained which characters were about and from which direction they would approach our table and then we were let loose on the buffet. This was hands down the nicest breakfast buffet that I had the pleasure to try. Even though we were quite late, everything was fresh and got replenished regularly. They had a huge selection of fruit and we started with this. They also had a yoghurt bar with all kinds of toppings. I had every intention to try this, but I ran out of steam before I got around to it. I had Chorizo and Four Cheese Scrambled Eggs; Pork Sausage Links; Breakfast Potatoes; Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Biscuits with Home-style Sausage Gravy. My favourite though was the Spicy Sausage Corn Bread. Graham had pretty much the same, but also had some Bacon and Salmon. We were pretty full at the end of this. The character interaction was also fantastic. We had Donald, Minnie and Goofy in their beach outfits and as the restaurant was relatively empty, they kept coming over. I think this may have been my all time favourite character meal.
















     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    We slowly ambled over to Stormalong Bay. I was really surprised that there were no changing facilities near the pool. I know that Old Key West and the Villas at Wilderness Lodge have changing rooms and lockers by the pool. Surely we can't be the only people staying at the Yacht and Beach Club that have a late flight and want to use Stormalong Bay on their last day. The bathrooms had to do in this case. This was the next strange thing. There were only bathrooms for women in the actual pool area. Men had to leave the area and use the bathrooms near Beaches and Cream. This is a bit of a pain as they scan your Magic Band every time you access Stormalong Bay. There are three access points to Stormalong Bay and this time round there were cast members there with modified iPhones scanning the Magic Bands. They were also giving out towels near the entrances. We found ourselves a base and then I went to the bathroom to get changed into my swimsuit. I then headed straight for the lazy river. Graham decided to work on his tan one last time. Getting into an inner tube is a bit of a challenge. The stairs are quite steep and narrow and the lazy river is pretty deep. In the end one of the lifeguards noticed that I was struggling and came to my rescue. Then I was off. It is not a particularly big lazy river, but that just meant that I had to go round a few more times.















    I was surprised how quiet Stormalong Bay was. This was a beautiful warm day, but for the most part there were only two or three other people in the lazy river and there were some periods when I was by myself. Well, I say by myself. At one point I gained some unusual pool mates. Two ducks joined me. I figured that they must be Donald and Daisy in disguise. I learned that morning that floating in a lazy river can be a fine art. There was a current in the middle of the lazy river and if you managed to position yourself in this current in a certain way, you could just go round and round with no effort. If you did not quite hit the right spot, then you were swept towards the sides and then you got a good workout.






    At one point Graham decided to join me. This was one of those situations were the lazy river had decided that I needed a work out. When I floated past near where Graham was sitting, I saw him chilling out on this lounger. I then lost the current and by the time I was halfway round the lazy river, Graham had got changed and got in the river. After a few more laps inside my inner tube, I decided to ditch this and just swim around the lazy river. This was a very different experience, but also very enjoyable.

















    At some point we had enough of the lazy river. I heart the hot tubs calling me. The hot tubs at Stormalong Bay are rather clever. They are hidden behind rocks and therefore away from all the traffic. It is really quite relaxing. In order to get there, we swam across another pool, which was nice and warm. We spent a fair while relaxing in the hot tub and for the most part we had this to ourselves. After a while, we felt a bit too hot and headed out back through the warm pool. There was also a waterfall in that pool and we took some photos with us cooling off underneath the waterfall. We then also had a look at the other pool, which is huge. There were some pool games going on. At the opposite end they have a little area of rapids, which are great fun. I wish they had inner tubes in that area as this would have been even better then.













     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    We swam back towards the lazy river. We had enough water by that point. We grabbed our towels and clothes and used the bathrooms near Beaches and Cream to get dried off and changed. Once we were changed, we went back to get the rest of our stuff and then headed over to the Yacht Club. I wanted to have a look at the Christmas decorations, as I really loved them the previous year. This was every bit as lovely as I had remembered it and this time round, the model railway was working. I took a bunch of photos and then we checked out the gift shop. I was hoping for a Holiday pin for the Beach Club and there had been none in their shop. I did not find a Holiday pin at the Yacht Club either, but I did find a normal resort pin for the Beach Club. I even got both the DVC and Annual Passholder discount. I had always assumed that it was either or and not both.



































    We still had plenty of time until we had to get on Disney's Magical Express. We also had some snack credits to spend. So we decided to walk over to the Boardwalk. I took some photos on our way round the lake. We had a quick look at the DVC Preview Centre there and chatted to the DVC staff and had a look in the gift shop at the Boardwalk. I did not get any of the pins I was after there either. By then we were ready for a snack and headed for the Boardwalk Bakery. Fortunately we had put our refillable mugs in the beach bag. I was going to get an Orange Soda, but then I spotted a Lemon White Tea and went with this. This was delicious and refreshing. Graham had the same. He got himself some Maple Syrup Fudge, which came home with us, and a Snickerdoodle Cookie, which he had with his tea. I had a Peanut Butter Cookie, which was pure heaven. It was soft and gooey. Both cookies were huge. I saved my second snack credit as I had my eye on something back at the Beach Club. We managed to get a table outside the Boardwalk Bakery and enjoyed our snack while we watched the world go by.









     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Once we had finished our snack, we slowly made our way back to the Beach Club. I wanted to take some photos of their Christmas decorations as well and I still had that last snack credit to spend. They have a gorgeous Gingerbread carousel at the Beach Club. The previous year they also had a Gingerbread House off to one side from which they sold Gingerbread, but this was not there this time round. The carousel had also changed a bit from the previous year. If anything, I liked it better this time round. I took plenty of photos.



























     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I also wanted to take some photos over at the Beach Club Villas and of the Solarium at the Beach Club. Graham had done enough walking for one day and made himself comfortable in the lobby. I went off to take my photos and then stopped by the Beach Club Marketplace to spend my last snack credit. They have chocolate covered Oreo pops there and I was desperate to try one. I chose a white chocolate one, which also made its way back to the UK with us.











































    When I got back, we retrieved our luggage, as it was nearly time to head out to the bus stop for Disney's Magical Express. I headed to the Bell Services Desk, but they do this different at the Beach Club. Any luggage that is held for people who have checked out is held by the valets. So we went to their desk and shortly afterwards our luggage was brought out. We were still quite early so we had a bit of a wait, but I was quite happy to soak up the last bit of warmth. When the bus came, it was straight to the airport. I was quite surprised by this and had expected that we would stop at one or two resorts on the way. They have changed the film that they show on the bus. They updated the park segment, which had been quite out of date, but they have also added some behind the scenes segments.
     



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