Part 1--Getting There
Part 2--Embarking the Disney Fantasy
Part 3--First Sea Day
Part 4--Second Sea Day
Part 5--St. Maarten
Part 6--St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Part 7--Royal Court Royal Tea
Part 8-- Day at Sea
Part 9--Castaway Cay
We woke up around 7:30 a.m. after a night of interrupted sleep. Our last few nights of sleep on the cruise were not so good. But we were still excited to go to Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas! It looked like another great, sunny day outside.
It appeared that we were sailing past several small islands. Then I saw this one and I knew it had to be Castaway Cay because of the one extra tall palm tree in the center of the island (that is actually a cell tower or something).
But we had some time since we weren't scheduled to port until 9:45 a.m. We had breakfast at Enchanted Garden and then we went to Deck 4 to watch the ship pull into Castaway Cay.
But first we had a quick stop on this motorcycle again:
Deck 4 was a great place to watch from as we backed into port.
First, we waited for a photo with Chip and Dale:
And then Minnie (the boys couldn't be bothered):
The tram had a line, so we walked to the entrance of the first family beach. There were still some empty hammocks:
But the kids wanted to play in the sand and water.
Both of the boys swam out to this platform with various ladders and ropes over the ocean. It was hard work! This was something we hadn't visited before.
At some point during the morning, Brian and Joshua participated in the crab races (another first for us).
This was our 4th time on Castaway Cay, and we have always rented bikes. But because I was under the weather, I didn't feel like it. We decided to drop the kids off at the club on the island (Scuttles Cove) so that they could eat lunch there and we could eat lunch on the adult beach. On our way to the tram, we stopped at this dance party for a bit:
So Brian and I took the tram to Serenity Bay, which is reserved for ages 18 and over. We had ridden bikes past the beach, but had never stopped.
We ate at Serenity Bay for the first time, since we heard it has different food choices than the family restaurants. I think the only item that was additional was the ribeye steak.
After lunch, we decided to check out the adult beach. And what a difference from the family beaches! Beautiful and not crowded.
The water was very clear and very shallow--we could walk for a very long way, and the water was never over waist-high.
At 1:30 p.m., we picked up the kids from the club for more beach time. Originally they wanted to head back to the ship by 2:00 so that they could see the movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day that was playing at 3:00 p.m. But, we hadn't had a lot of time on the island, and we felt we should enjoy the beach while we were here instead of seeing a movie we could see back home. So we persuaded the kids to stay. We took a tram to the other family beach:
The boys wanted to go down the water slides at Pelican Plunge. So we enjoyed the beach on this part of the island.
We met some others from our cruise group over here, and our kids attempted to build a big sand castle together.
Castaway Cay has optional excursions available, like a stingray experience, jet skis, glass bottom boat ride and parasailing. But we haven't felt the need to do any of those yet, as the beach and slides and club have been enough for us. All of the food on the island is included, so Castaway Cay usually ends up being an inexpensive port for us.
Castaway Cay was a fairly relaxing day for us. The kids said "hi" to Olaf before we returned to the ship at 4:00 p.m.
We took showers and cleaned up before our last dinner on the ship at Animator's Palette. This was the night we had been looking forward to the most, because we would get to draw our own characters that would be animated on the screens.
At the start of dinner, each person received a sheet with instructions for creating a character.
We all received our characters back at the end of the evening, and I laminated them to serve as place mats at home.
Alyssa was so tired from the beach that she slept through most of dinner.
And at the end, everyone's character was brought to life! The screens in the different areas displayed the characters from nearby tables, so each screen looked different. It was really neat!
And just like our cruise on the Dream, we had a wonderful baked Alaska for dessert.
Our server with the boys:
After dinner, we dropped the kids off at the clubs so that we could pack. We had to have our suitcases in the hallway by 10:30 p.m., and we had a lot of packing to do. One last photo in front of the pumpkin tree:
We got our suitcases packed by 9:30 p.m., and I picked up Alyssa from the club and took her to the pool deck to have a snack (since she fell asleep during dinner). Brian picked up the boys around 10:15 p.m. The last night on the ship is never as fun.
The next morning, our assigned breakfast time was 6:45 a.m. (since we had the earlier dinner seating). Usually this means we have to wake up around 6:15 a.m. to get everyone dressed and to breakfast. On our past cruises, we've all been so tired and grumpy on disembarkation day. So this year we decided to change things up, and we skipped breakfast. We woke up at 7:30 a.m. We had acquired some milk and cereal from Cabanas the day before and stashed them in our refrigerator for this morning. Brian even went up to the Cabanas buffet and it was open for breakfast, so he grabbed some additional things to bring back to the room. The extra hour of sleep was so necessary! We had a quiet breakfast in the room with no drama. We were off the ship a little after 8:00 a.m.
Next up: Part 10--Blunders, Tips and Favorites