Thursday, July 20, 2006

Disney Cruise 2006, The Long Awaited Conclusion

Sorry for the long delay, I've been busy or lazy or both. On the Third day of the cruise, we went to Castaway Cay, an island that Disney owns in the Bahamas. It is a lot like being at a Disney resort/park. My camera suffered from fog when we first got off. It cleared up eventually, but before it did, I took this photo of The Flying Dutchman, from the upcoming (or out, I should say) Pirates of the Caribbean sequel(s):

The Flying Dutchman

We went to Serenity Beach, a beach just for adults. There are even Disney trams on the island :-) The tram to Serenity Beach goes down an old runway used by drug smugglers before Disney bought the island. Its really cool. The beach was not very crowded at all. We got a great spot near the bar and bathroom facilities, and none to far from the water neither.

Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay


Crew Beach

We settled in, put sun screen on (and continued to every few hours) and went in the water. Ellen rented a tube to float around in. The water was calm and only a few feet deep (even pretty far out). The bottom was mostly coral. I went in barefoot at first, but I soon put on my water shoes because the bottom was quite sharp. I discovered that I like to snorkel. Ellen's parents lent us their snorkels. Ellen also brought an underwater camera, which I used. I snorkeled the whole day. Help me ID these species if you can (click to enlarge each photo):

Underwater, Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Fish, Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Fish, Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Fish, Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Fish, Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Fish, Serenity Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas

Click here for even more snorkeling and fish photos of mine

Lunch on the island was included in the cruise fare. It was an island BBQ. I had a blackened tilapia sandwich.

Having ditched my first pair of sun glasses in the bathroom at Atlantis, I bought a pair at the Disney gift shop on Castaway Cay. I had bought a pair of sun glasses in Disney World in 2005, but they fell apart. This time I picked ones that looked sturdier. I didn't wear them the whole day because I had a snorkel mask on. Over the course of the day I returned to our beach chairs to find large cracks slowly developing in the lenses of my new glasses. It wasn't that hot and they were not directly in the sun, but isn't that what they are made for? I was going to return them but then...

It had threatened to rain a couple of times during the day. Cast members came onto the beach and told everyone to get out of the water at least once, but it didn't rain. At about 4 PM, when the beach was pretty empty, we decided to head back to the ship. As we were waiting for the tram, it started to rain. Then it poured. We got pretty wet and even wetter when we had to transfer from one tram to another (there is no direct tram from Serenity beach to the ship). I don't even think the store was open to return my glasses, but I didn't even check. We were running through the rain and I was barefoot by this point in order to run faster. Ellen was wearing the pirate bandana that she got at dinner the previous night, and the blackish/purple dye was running all over her and onto one of the Castaway Cay towels we purchased. We got on the second tram and headed towards the ship. There was then about a sixty foot walk to the ship from the tram. It was still pouring, but now thunder and lightning were coming down right on top of us. When the first one hit, I looked around to see who got killed, but everyone just ducked (myself included, as if it would make a difference) and kept running. We made it back in one piece, soaked. Here is a picture of my book that was damaged (but still readable) in the downpour:

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

By the time we got all dried off back in our room, it was time to get dressed and see the show. I think it was on the third night. It was called Disney dreams and it had a lot of characters from different Disney stories.

We had some time before dinner, so we went to a lounge area. Ellen got a caipirinha, which was very good. We each got another at dinner.

We had to dress up again. We did not realize that the last night was the formal night, so we dressed up on all three nights. Our last diner on the ship was in The Animators Palate. There are lights that change color and flat screens in the restaurant. It was supposedly one of the most expensive areas on the ship to build, but it didn't seem that impressive. The menus were cool - they had those things on the font that animate when you change your viewing angle. They weren't holograms. I'm not sure what they are called. Mine had a scene from The Jungle Book. The wait-staff did this big parade thing where they marched around and everyone clapped for their servers. It was weird. After we ate, our assistant server was showing us tricks with crayons. When he found out we had not packed, the smile vanished from his face. He said we should probably go pack, so we went back to our room. Here is a picture, looking outside at some life-rafts in the entryway to The Animators Palate (you can see sorcerer Mickey reflected in the glass):

Ghostly View of The Sorcerer's Apprentice

We packed and got our luggage out in time for it to be transported off of the ship for us. We went to bed.

The next morning, we pulled back into Port Canaveral. We had breakfast in the Beach Blanket Buffet and had to be off the ship by fairly early in the morning. It rained some on the way back to the airport. We had a late flight, so we sat around the airport for quite a while. After that, our flight was delayed by some mysterious weather. We sat off to the side of the runway, and I read my water damaged book.

I liked the cruise, though I was a bit spoiled by going on a Disney cruise first. As far as I'm concerned, there's no other way to go :-)

{Ellen, let me know if I missed anything}


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