Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 8- Beer from around the world and our final dinner

After CSP’s wild ride on the AquaDuck we changed clothes back in our stateroom.  Snapped a quick pic of our view of Castaway Cay from our verandah. IMG_3375 Such gorgeous water!

We went to O’Gills pub on deck 4.  CSP had a ticket for a beer tasting.  I do not enjoy beer so tasting 5 of them does not sound like fun for me.  So I was just there as the photographer.  I was surprised at how many people were there considering we were still docked at Castaway Cay.  O’Gills is a very cool Irish pub. IMG_3378 I loved the little area where we sat for the tasting.IMG_3379  The bartender told us all about the history of beer as well as interesting facts about each beer they tasted. IMG_3377 Their beers went from light to dark.IMG_3380 Five 10 ounce beers for $15 is a great deal!  Plus you learn stuff.  Well, if you can remember it after drinking 5 beers in an hour!   He had Stella Artois, Sam Adams, Boddington’s Cream, Newcastle Brown, and Guiness. We really liked the peanut dispenser dishes they had in the pub. IMG_3381 No grubby fingers digging around for nuts.  It’s a French company who makes it though- Revol.  I’m on a mission to find these in the States.  So far I’ve only found a UK site that sells them for a reasonable price.

After the beer tasting we went back to the room and….sob…packed.

Then it was time for our last dinner of the cruise.  Back in the Enchanted Garden. By now our sunburns had really set in!  Check out CSP’s red face! DSC_6055  And my pitiful farmer’s burn! DSC_6056 Thank goodness I use good makeup so I could tone down my red lobstah forehead!

For his appetizers CSP chose the Trio of SalmonDSC_6061, and the sesame encrusted tunaDSC_6062.  I had a potato and goat cheese Napoleon. DSC_6060  We both chose Potato Leek soup but CSP also had the lobster bisque.  I think he was taking advantage of being able to order a million things for dinner one last time!  I had a cranberry salad.  Yum!

For our entrees CSP chose the Beef Wellington. DSC_6063 I chose the seafood linguini.  DSC_6064  I can’t shells in my food so CSP had Beef Wellington and clams plus asparagus! lol

CSP picked the dessert trio- Celebration Cake, chocolate decadence, and a cappuccino mousse tartlet DSC_6065 and I had the Celebration cake. DSC_6066

After dinner we went back to our room and found our last (sob) towel animal of the cruise. DSC_6067 A stingray!  CSP surprised me by bringing out the towel monkey!  He had been saving him in the closet. DSC_6068

If you’re wondering how I remember the names of all our dishes and all the details of our trip (especially after the Mixology class and wine in my cabin) I take notes.  I went to the Dollar Store and bought a multi pack of these tiny notebooks. photo  I slipped one in my wristlet (one just like this one) images-1with a pen and at every meal I would just jot down what we ordered.  I would take a few minuted throughout the day to write down things we did and saw.  My friend Lisa has a mind like a steel trap and can write up a trip blog 6 months later without missing a detail!  Me- I need help!  Hence the notebook.

But wait!  There’s more!

Next up…Pictures of the ship and Debarkation Day

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 8- Castaway Cay!

One of the highlights of the cruise- Disney‘s private island Castaway Cay!   But before we get to that, I forgot to show you our towel animal from last night! DSC_6054

So, on Friday we woke up early and had breakfast at Cabanas buffet again.  We had already changed into our swim shirts and swim suits so after breakfast we went straight to the gangway to go ashore.  We should have put our sunscreen on in the room, but I thought- there’s always time for sunscreen.  That was a mistake!  By the way, I HIGHLY recommend swim shirts/rash guards for every member of the family.  I’m very fair and my swim shirt really protects me from the sun, but because it’s sort of like a swim suit it doesn’t get weighed down by the water like a regular tshirt would.

Big Bear is ready to go! IMG_3356  Waiting for the tram is a great opportunity to take a nice picture of the ship.  She’s a beauty! IMG_3355We took the tram IMG_3364to Serenity Bay,IMG_3357 the adult beach.  Tip- go early or you’ll be hoofing it to the far end of the beach to find your chairs.  There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas.  We found a great, shaded spot under the 4th yellow umbrella. IMG_3358  The view from my chair. IMG_3359  We were reading our books when we spotted the dashing Captain Jack Sparrow wandering down the beach.  IMG_3360Who knows where he came from! IMG_3361  He has the swagger of a pirate down pat!

After a few hours of lounging it was time for lunch.  Even though the map of Castaway Cay shows Cookie’s BBQ & Cookie’s Too, they also provide lunch just off the adult beach next to the bar.  It’s a buffet with burgers, hot dogs, mahi mahi, ribs, lots of sides, lots of wonderful fresh cut fruit, and even a couple of ice cream machines!

After lunch was another good time to put on sunscreen.  But by now I was ready to get in the water and that was the only thing on my mind. We were being entertained by some pelicans down the beach.  They were so fun to watch as they swooped through the air then slammed into the water to get their fish.  Not the most graceful of divers- they look like they are about to break their necks when they hit the water!  I couldn’t get the best picture of them because the only cameras I brought with me were my iPhone and the underwater camera.  But see that splash?  That’s a pelican. PICT0063

As you can tell from the pictures, it was a fairly overcast day.  It was still nice and warm and the water was very cool, but once you got used to it it was just fine.   My view of the beach from the water: PICT0055  See the building there between the umbrellas?  That’s where the restrooms, bar, and buffet are located.  Just steps away from paradise!

PICT0056  CSP came out in the water with me. PICT0054  The water is quite shallow for a looooong way out at Serenity Bay.  That’s the only thing I’d change about it if I could.  I wish it were more of a traditional beach where you can walk out like 50 yards and get to chest high water.  Plus it’s very rough on your feet.  Rocks? Coral?  Something.  But I suppose it’s good that Disney didn’t go in there and just tear stuff up too.  Regardless we still enjoy it very much.  PICT0061  And there’s the start of a VERY red forehead.  Here are some of the little tiny fish that were all around us in the water. PICT0065  You can see how shallow the water was right there.  Only a couple feet deep.

After we dried off we went back to the ship.  We had to get back in time for CSP’s 4:30 beer tasting.  I snapped a couple more pictures of the ship on the way back. IMG_3365    Here you can see Dumbo on the back of the ship painting the logo, just under the flag.  Click to enlarge.  IMG_3366And look who we ran into just outside the ship!  Stitch! IMG_3372 CSP jumped right in the short line to get a picture with him.   You can see how far out the AquaDuck juts out over the side of the ship. IMG_3367 Speaking of….

When we boarded the ship we had just enough time for CSP to ride the AquaDuck.  The line wasn’t all that long because people were still on Castaway Cay.  He was so excited! 

 The part you see in the video is when he passed Donald’s pool and Mickey’s Pool.  He especially loved going through the tunnels where the lights were all on.  Fun!

Next up….Beers from around the world and our final dinner!

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 7- Believe and a Surprise Dinner

I talked all about the giving side of Fish Extenders but I failed to mention the receiving side.  It is so much fun to come back to your stateroom throughout the day and have little presents waiting for you!  I love it!  It’s like Christmas all week long!  While I was putting together my Fish Extender gifts the phone rang.  It was Palo asking if we’d like to have dinner there again tonight!  Well of course we would!

But first it was off to see Believe IMG_3352in the Walt Disney Theatre. IMG_3350 The theatre is gorgeous IMG_3353and the showIMG_3354 was a lot of fun. IMG_3351 We noticed a lot of people coming in to see the show holding popcorn and candy that they bought at the concession stand.  Tip:  Bring your own movie candy from home.  CSP & I brought our own drinks in for the show.  No need to spend money on snacks, get one later or before.

Since we had dinner reservations at Palo and hadn’t showered yet we didn’t get to stay all the way till the end of the show.  We’ll catch the whole thing next year!  We snuck out a little early and got showered and changed for yet another wonderful Palo dinner.

We arrived and the hostess recognized us.  She never once asked our names or anything, just seemed to know who we were each time we ate there.  Our server was Jelena again.  As we were being seated, Juan the manager brought us black napkins so we wouldn’t get white lint on our clothes.  Love that.

We had the antipasti again and CSP enjoyed another bowl of cioppino.  I had a bowl of white bean soup and theDSC_6046 mozzarella and tomato salad.  For our pasta CSP chose the gnocchi with asparagus and gorgonzola sauce. DSC_6047 It was melt in your mouth wonderful.  I chose the lobster ravioli.  Amazing again.   CSP’s entree was the turbot with potatoes, mushrooms and a ragout. DSC_6048 I had the tuna filet with truffle potatoes and artichoke hearts.DSC_6049  Fabulous.  While we were eating our entrees the chef de cuisine came out and asked CSP how he was enjoying the turbot.  They don’t get people requesting the turbot often as it can be a fishy fish and most people like more mild fish.  It was a nice touch that he came out to talk to CSP about his meal.

This time for our dessert we both chose the chocolate soufflé since we had heard so much about it the previous evening.  While we waited for it to arrive I snapped a picture of the iron work on the window treatments.  So pretty. DSC_6045  And here is one of the beautiful crystal light fixtures. DSC_6051

Our soufflés arrived and oh. my. goodness.  DSC_6050  Neither one of us had ever had chocolate soufflé before and we were both just blown away.  Pure decadence.  There is a vanilla sauce and a chocolate sauce plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Jelena prepared the soufflé for us by poking a little hole in it and pouring in the sauces.  It was still very warm and just sinful.  CSP had a cup of coffee and I had a pot of Jasmine tea with mine.  Juan (from Chile) told us there was a lady recently who came in to Palo and had a chocolate soufflé for her appetizer, entree, AND dessert!  All in one sitting!  So rich!

After our fantastic dinner Jelena took our picture. DSC_6052  Then it was time to say goodbye.

We went back to the room and changed clothes then gathered up the Fish Extender gifts.  We delivered gifts all over the ship.  Delivering FE gifts is a good way to see your ship!  And a good way to walk off a chocolate soufflé!   We ran into a lady from our cruise group while we were out so we chatted with her a bit.  Note- my Facebook profile picture is a picture of my face.  A lot of people use pics of their kids or dogs or sports teams.  And that’s all well and good.  But I can’t tell you how many times I was stopped on this cruise by people from our cruise group who recognized me from my profile picture on Facebook.   Just that night in Palo a lady (I wish I could remember her name) stopped by our table to chat because she recognized me.  It’s a little like being a celebrity!  Ha!  No, but seriously, it was so cool to meet so many people from our group who couldn’t make it to the initial meet up, and all because my picture is of myself!  Once we were waiting to get on an elevator and the doors opened.  I heard “Shannon!!!” and there was a lady in the back of the elevator waving her arms at me!  So fun!

Once all the FE gifts were delivered we went to bed.  We had an early morning the next day.  It was finally Castaway Cay day!

Next up…..Castaways, pelicans, lobsters (ouch) and beer!

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 7- Bingo, Galley Tour and Fish Extenders

Today we decided to switch things up a bit and try breakfast in Cabanas instead of Royal Court.  Cabanas is the buffet on deck 11.  Breakfast there was really good- tons of choices.

After breakfast we walked around the ship a bit.  We came upon the free ice cream station- it was closed so it was a good time to take a picture of Mike.  IMG_3333  Near there is a poster of the Fantasy announcing the inaugural sailings. IMG_3334 So cool that we were able to be a part of that!

Then we went to D Lounge for Bingo! IMG_3336  This was CSP’s big concession for me.  He loathes bingo but sits through it for me. IMG_3337 Plus, unless you win, you’re basically throwing money away in his opinion, which I suppose is true but it’s so fun for me!  This time I splurged  and got the bingo machine instead of the paper cards.  IMG_3335  That was a cool experience. The machine does all the work for you which seriously cuts down on the stress factor.  They say you have higher odds of winning with the machine.  We didn’t win anything.  But we did get two free Disney calendars for attending!  Fun!

We walked around the ship some more after bingo and then went to lunch at Royal Court at 1:30.  CSP had calamari for his appetizer.  IMG_3338I had the fruit timbale. IMG_3339 I asked what does timbale mean and they said “stack”.  So I had the fruit stack.  For our soups I had the chilled raspberry soup. IMG_3341 So yum!  CSP had mulligatawny for his soup. IMG_3340 Neither one of us had ever had it, but I remembered the name from Seinfeld‘s Soup Nazi episode so I was really interested in it.  CSP loved it!  He wants to try and make it at home.

For our entrees CSP had the mahi mahi sandwich. IMG_3343 He asked for fries instead of chips but they brought him both.  I chose the pork tenderloin.IMG_3342  Both were really good.

Dessert for me was a raspberry creme brûléeIMG_3345 and for CSP it was aIMG_3344 lemon cheesecake.  We both enjoyed them.  Creme brulee is another dish I try and get as much as possible on the cruise.  It’s not something I can whip up at home.  It would involve a blow torch and as you may remember I’m married to Cap’n Safety Pants.  He is not crazy about me playing with fire.

We finished lunch at 2:25 and went and got in line for the Galley Tour.  This tour is not advertised (that I could find) in the Navigator so you have to just know to sign up for it.  It’s free and really interesting.  CSP especially loved it.  He was amazed at the size of the equipment.  I was amazed at how incredibly clean everything was.  I mean, we had JUST finished lunch in that restaurant and yet you’d never know it, the kitchen was so spotless and gleaming! DSC_6016 You know in your head that the facilities must be big to feed that many people, but to see the ginormous soup kettlesDSC_6019 is a whole nother thing.  It’s amazing.  Check out this giant immersion blender!  DSC_6025It’s like an outboard motor!  Here’s the big mixer: DSC_6026 One of the giant dishwashers: DSC_6014  Here are the huge frying pan type things where they make chicken wings and brown hamburger etc.  DSC_6020  Chef Darin was really informative and showed CSP the inside of the big walk in freezer but he made CSP promise not to take a picture inside.  Disney secrets and all.   These are the coolers where they put the desserts. DSC_6033DSC_6030  This big white board is where the servers come in and write up how many people are ordering what.  Interesting- I thought it would all be computerized.  Secret crew staircase! DSC_6034

After the galley tour we took advantage of the fact that the Royal Court restaurant was totally empty and took picturesDSC_6041 of the beautifulDSC_6036 tile mosaics DSC_6039around the dining room. DSC_6037 So gorgeous!  DSC_6040I love how the little lights are carriages.DSC_6038

Then we went back to our cabin to take a nap.  On our way back to the cabin we saw Remy.DSC_6043  Then we took advantage of an empty guest services area to snap CSP’s picture in the King’s throne.DSC_6044

When I woke up from our nap I put together my Fish Extender gifts.  A Fish Extender is a pocketed organizer thing that hangs from the Fish or Seahorse outside your stateroom door. This is ours.DSC_5679  You can make your own or have one made for you (shop Etsy or Ebay for those).  You sign up for the exchange on the DISboards.    DISboards are online message boards for Disney enthusiasts.  FULL of info and a great place to get schooled before your Disney trip or cruise.  There is a thread for each cruise sailing.  You join your thread and someone in the group will coordinate the Fish Extender exchange.  You tell that person how many people in your travel party, your names, ages, if you’re celebrating anything, etc.  Then just before you leave on your trip you print out or write down everyone’s stateroom numbers.  At some point during your trip you go around and deliver your presents.  You don’t have to spend a ton of $$.  Most people give Disney themed items or cruise themed items or items that are representative of their hometown.  Like Canadian people gave us a Canadian notepad and pencil and maple candy.  Cute!  Since we are from the Carolinas and the Carolinas are famous for barbecue we go to Shealy’s BBQ and pick up tiny bottles of freshly jarred barbecue sauce every year.IMG_3346  Then I pair that with a Thirty One item.  This year it was Thirty One luggage tags.  IMG_3347  I bag them up in a cute bag: IMG_3348  The finished gifts all ready to go: IMG_3349  I used my new Thirty One Inside Out bag for delivering the FE gifts.4090732A0000_large  Love this bag!

Next up….Believe and a surprise dinner!

 

 

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 6- Palo, Pirate Night, & Fire in the Sky

We were very excited for our Palo dinner!  But before we get to that, CSP wants you to see some of the pictures he took around the ship today.  There was a pirate ship parked next to our ship in Cozumel! DSC_5763 SO cool! DSC_5764 He also ducked back into the men’s locker room DSC_5720in the spa so you could see what they look like. DSC_5721 The women’s locker room is identical.   Here’s one of the big fabulous showers. DSC_5717DSC_5718

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset DSC_5853on our verandah DSC_5852before getting ready for dinner.  On the way to dinner we saw Pirate Stitch! DSC_5865 Stitch is my favorite Disney character.  Probably because he sort of looks like a blue pug!

 

DSC_5903

Dinner at Palo starts with an antipasti plate.  DSC_5866 The marinated artichoke hearts were TDF!  (to die for).  DSC_5867  Then the cool bread basket comes.  But DON’T fill up on bread.  The garlic aroma will entice you but stay strong!  The best is yet to come!  CSP and I decided to get martinis- CSP’s first martini ever! DSC_5871 CSP chose a limoncello martini and mine DSC_5888was a strawberry balsamic martini. DSC_5872Both were just delicious!  For our appetizers CSP chose the white bean soup.DSC_5873  Now, I’m not a fan of beans in general (except my Mama’s baked beans) but I tried his soup and it was amazing!  I couldn’t get enough of it!  I had the grilled shrimp appetizer.DSC_5874

Then CSP had the cioppinoDSC_5878 – a seafood stew with shrimp, scallops, clams, haddock, mussels, and calamari.  He LOVES cioppino.  Our server for brunch on Sunday as well as tonight was Jelena from Serbia.  She was cute as could be and did an amazing job. DSC_5887

Next comes a lemon sorbet to cleanse your palate.  No more than just a wee bite.DSC_5881

Our entrees: DSC_5870 CSP had Osso Buco.  DSC_5882He hadn’t had this dish since the last time we ate at Palo a year ago on the Magic so he was really excited. DSC_5869 I had the beef tenderloin with gorgonzola sauce. DSC_5883 Our shared sides were lobster ravioli (homemade pasta-melt in your mouth)DSC_5885 and a mushroom risotto. DSC_5884

Dessert was next.  CSP chose the tiramisu (his favorite dessert)DSC_5893 and I chose the Amaretto Indulgence.  DSC_5894I’m not sure why they call it the Amaretto anything because I can’t taste Amaretto in it.  But it’s still really good.  There’s a chocolate mousse in that chocolate wrap and on top is a tiny wee cannoli.  I enjoyed some hot Jasmine tea with my dessert.  Then at the very end they bring you a Limoncello frozen slushy shot.DSC_5895  So yummy!  It wakes you up a little too which is a good thing because otherwise we would have passed out right there in that velvet booth!

DSC_5868On the way out of the restaurant I had to take a picture of the wine storage.  Each bottle is resting in its own little leather hammock!  DSC_5897There’s no clinking as the ship rocks to and fro.

CSP had to use the restroom so I waited for him in Meridian- DSC_5901the bar/lounge between Palo and Remy. DSC_5902 The booths look like luggage. DSC_5899 It’s really a cool little bar. DSC_5900

We decided to go change clothes before the fireworks started so we headed back to the cabin. Palo is in the very back of the ship and our stateroom was at the very front of the ship so it’s a good long walk between the two.  CSP wanted to get a picture of this one hallway so you could see how long it is.  He said it reminds him of The Shining!DSC_5904  Can you spot me sitting in one of the port holes?

On the way I spied this map on the wall and took a little video of it.  Most of the artwork on the ship is interactive.  It can sense when you’re standing in front of it and it comes to life!  

Our towel animal was already in our room- a monkey! DSC_5924 DSC_5925 After changing clothes we went up to deck 12 to scope out seats for the fireworks show.  DSC_5926Disney is the only cruise line that is allowed to shoot off fireworks so this is always a real treat! We picked a spot near the Currents bar. DSC_5927 My toes were glowing in the blue light from the bar! DSC_5929 The fireworks were spectacular DSC_6001 and I took a million pictures but these are a couple of the best ones.

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Once the fireworks show was over we went back to our room and right to bed!  We’d had a wonderful long day and there was more fun to be had tomorrow!

Up next…Day at Sea- Bingo, Galley Tour, and a surprise dinner!

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 6- Cozumel & Satellite Falls

We woke up early again (no small feat for us night owls) and had breakfast at Royal Court.  It’s the same menu every day so no pictures today.   Today was the day when the cruise started going by too fast. We debated going ashore in Cozumel but ultimately it came down to that CSP still wasn’t feeling up to it.  So we stayed on the ship.  He did say though that next year he’ll get off the ship in Cozumel.

After breakfast we changed into our swimsuits.  Before hitting the pool deck though, I had an appointment at 11 am for a quick polish change at the spa/salon.  My gel manicure I got at home before we left was all sorts of chipped up.  CSP decided he would take that time and run around the ship taking pictures of the shipDSC_5728 and the DSC_5729Cozumel DSC_5731coastDSC_5727 line.DSC_5730 2 Well, my simple polish change turned into a Shellac manicure IMG_3331with a gorgeous view of the sea and before I knew it an hour had gone by. By the way, I finally soaked off my Shellac manicure today only because it had grown out so much and I was ready for a color change.  I only had a couple small chips in it and some tip wear.  Why can’t I get that good of a gel/Shellac manicure in my hometown?  The same thing happened to me on the cruise last year!  But I digress.

For lunch we decided to try the buffet at Cabanas.  CSP loved it but I wasn’t crazy about it.  I’m just not a fan of buffets overall though.  For a buffet it was good.  LOTS of choices.  They did have big cocktail shrimp and I love that.  After lunch it was time for a good nap!

We woke up and put our swimsuits back on and headed up to Satellite Falls, an adult area on the ship. PICT0051  We took our books and chilled out there all afternoon. PICT0044 LOVED it! PICT0042 There was plenty of shade for my fair, white self PICT0037and the Satellite Falls themselves were fabulous.PICT0050  I took the waterproof camera and took some pictures from under the falls.

 It’s so relaxing there.  The falling water
provides the white noise and the water is just deep enoughPICT0041 where you can lounge in it. PICT0049 The center of the falls has a circular seating area that’s heated! PICT0053 So nice!  And it wasn’t crowded at all since it was a port day.

Before we knew it it was 5:30 and time to go back to the cabin to get ready for dinner at Palo!

Next up…Palo, Pirate Night, and Fireworks!

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 5- Royal Court & Pop!

Eventually it was time to leave the Rainforest and the spa and go back to the room to get ready for dinner.  I was waiting for CSP in the lobby of the spa.  And waiting, and waiting.  He FINALLY appeared and thrusted his arm at me- “Smell my arm! Body wash!”  What??  He’d taken a shower!  He said he just wanted to look in and see what they looked like.  But “As soon as I saw the three bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash- they had me!”   Funny boy!  He even had me smell his hair.  They really do have some nice products!

On the way back to our room we passed the adult pool.  DSC_5698  Love the pool bar! DSC_5699 This is the Cove Cafe.  Like a floating Starbucks.  We toured through it once.  You can get magazines to read and little pastries. DSC_5700

We went back to the room and spent some time out on the verandah.  I had a glass of wine and CSP enjoyed a beer.  Then it was time for dinner DSC_5705at Royal Court.DSC_5703  CSP started with smoked salmonDSC_5706 and a bleu cheese polenta cake.DSC_5708  I had roma tomatoes and goat cheese.DSC_5707   My soup was the potato and sausage soup.  I had pictured in my head something like the zuppa toscana that’s served at Olive Garden but instead it had lentils in it.  Not a fan of the lentils.  So I gave my soup to CSP.  He had a mussel and saffron soup that he loved.  For our entree we both chose the NY Strip.DSC_5709  It was scrumptious.  It came with a yummy sauce, corn, green beans, and a little potato poof thing.  For dessert CSP chose the trio- lemon cheesecake, tiramisu, and chocolate soufflé. DSC_5711 I had the banana bread pudding with caramel sauce.  DSC_5710OMG.  I would have licked the plate had it been socially acceptable.

Let me just say that for 51 weeks of the year we eat like normal humans.  We try to eat healthfully and we watch our portions.  But on the cruise, for those 7 nights we’re eating at fancy restaurants having dishes we normally wouldn’t have.  So we splurge!

That night was our server Tumelo’s birthday so we made sure to wish him a happy birthday.  We heard there was going to be a great party in the crew area that night!

After dinner we went to The Tube IMG_3325IMG_3323 for Pop! IMG_3327 Pop is a Pop culture game show.  We also stayed for the 80’s music challenge.  We didn’t win, but we had a great time!  I had my High Tide drink while we were in the Tube. IMG_3326

I had to use the restroom so I ducked into the public restroom outside of the Europa district IMG_3330(where all the adult pubs are). It was the fanciest restroom I’d ever been in!  There was no one else around so I grabbed CSP and brought him in to see!  Just check out this tile mosaic! IMG_3328

At some point during the night we saw Woody DSC_5702 and Jessie! DSC_5701  And Minnie too! IMG_3321  Oh and Donald’s back! IMG_3322  We also passed the queen’s throne so CSP took a picture of me sitting in it.  DSC_5712  Then some lady walked by in a pretty risqué outfit!  DSC_5714

When we got back to the room I noticed I’d lost an earring.  Nothing expensive but a silver pair I wear ALL the time! PROD_5010421_LG Waaah!

Tonight’s towel animal! DSC_5715

Next up…Cozumel & Satellite Falls!

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 5- Costa Maya & the Rainforest

Today was Costa Maya day.  CSP still wasn’t feeling well and I was only at about 80% plus we only had 4 hours in port so we decided not to get off the ship.   We woke up and had an early (8am!) breakfast at Royal Court.  CSP had his usual lox and bagels and a weird omelet with baked beans in it.  He wasn’t crazy about that at all.  I had a mango yogurt smoothie and a waffle.

Before the trip I bought us both a day pass to the Rainforest in the Senses Spa DSC_5682 onboard. Each pass was only $16 each! DSC_5697  Since CSP was having a hard time breathing I thought today would be the perfect day to go sit in the steam room and open up his breathing pipes!   We went into the spa DSC_5681 and I bought the Vanilla Orange scrub for $9.  It smells divine.  They give you a little loofah to apply the scrub with and the spa lady told me to apply the scrub in the steam room then rinse off in the shower.  images-1   They gave us wristbands that activate the locked doors to the RainforestDSC_5683 and sent us off the the locker room.  We deposited our stuff and met back up.  The locker rooms are super nice and provide you with slippers, robes, hairdryers, shampoo, body wash, conditioner, the works!  You wear your swimsuit in the rainforest by the way.  No nakies allowed.  Although I did see nakey ladies in the locker room.  They have curtained changing areas but some ladies are free spirits!

We walked in to the rainforest DSC_5684 and had a drink of water. DSC_5685 You could choose cucumber or lemon water.  We grabbed a towel each.  DSC_5686Then we picked the dry sauna to start off in.DSC_5687  It was hot but not unbearable.  There was a wonderful view of the ocean.DSC_5694  We stayed in there for about 10 minutes then went and played in the showers. DSC_5693 You can “shower” (since you’re in your swimsuit) in all of the 4 showers. DSC_5692 They have aromatherapy in each one as well DSC_5691 as different colored lights that flash and 3 different shower programs in each one.  Like the Cool Mist ExperienceDSC_5690 has the Siberian Rain- BOY is that cold!  But so nice after a hot sauna!

We followed that pattern with each sauna.  DSC_5688Next came the steam room where I applied my scrub.  Turns out there’s a hose in there that gives cold water  so CSP hosed my scrub off me.  He had a little too much fun squirting me with freezing cold water!  We also tried out the Hamam. DSC_5689 It’s the 3rd and hottest sauna.  Even the seats are super hot.  We were the only people in there so there was no one to advise us what to do with the ladles and baskets.  CSP took that to mean you just fling water at your wife.  We didn’t stay in there long.  We tried every single shower combination then went out to the hot tubs.   DSC_5696

The hot tubs face the ocean and are made for 2 people.  The bottoms are waved so you are forced to lounge in the tub.  We were in the hot tub and CSP said to me “I am SO relaxed.  I could not get more relaxed.”  Plus he could breathe!    Once we were finished with the hot tubs we dried off on the heated tile loungers that overlook the hot tubs and the ocean. DSC_5695  Each lounger has a little book like.  OMG they are so relaxing.  I had to keep myself from falling asleep.  No one needs to hear me snore while they are on vacation!

By the way, the Rainforest and Spa were open for business when I took these pictures.  It was incredible!  CSP at one point turned to me and said “I can’t believe we’re on a ship with 4000 other people and there’s NO ONE around!”  It was so wonderful!  Every now and then there would be other people but it never got busy and we never had to wait for anything.  And the entire time you’re in there relaxing there’s this peaceful music playing and it just smells so good.  Or maybe that was me because of my scrub!  I did smell wonderful!  :)

We took a break from the spa and went to Royal Court for lunch.  CSP had dill marinated salmon IMG_3316and I had shrimp cocktailIMG_3317 as our appetizers.  Our soups were chilled tangerine for me and chicken consumme for CSP.   For our entrees CSP had the burger and fries IMG_3318and I had butternut squash risottoIMG_3319 (1).  I LOVE risotto and don’t seem to find it on menus around town where we eat so I get it as much as possible on the ship.  CSP skipped dessert because of his big ole burger but I had an apricot tartlet. IMG_3320

After lunch we swung by the room to grab my camera so I could take pictures of the Rainforest then it was back to the spa.  It was a day pass after all and we were going to take advantage!  We also picked up our books in the room and spent a good amount of time reading on the heated tile loungers.  There are 10 loungers, 2 hot tubs, 4 showers and 3 saunas.  My skin was still feeling so good and moisturized!

Next up…..dinner at Royal Court and Pop!

 

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 4- Missing the boat & the Enchanted Garden

We got back to the ship at somewhere between 3:30 and 4 and were famished!  We’d missed lunch so after we changed out of our swimsuits we went up to Flo’s V8 Cafe and got some snacks.  We sat and ate in the adult section near the adult pool and noticed that the ship was moving.   With a ship that large there are no jack rabbit starts but you can look out at the island sky lineDSC_5654 and tell you’re moving.  About 30 minutes later we stopped. That was strange!  There are usually no quick stops and starts!  We went to look over the side of the deck and saw why we stopped!   Down below was a tender boat FULL of people trying to get on the ship!  They almost missed the boat!  DSC_5651  There were 2 other boats just like it chasing after the Fantasy!

We went back to our room and took a nap then got ready for dinner.   Quick tip before we head to dinner.  The hair dryer on the Fantasy is fabulous! DSC_5659  The hair dryers on the Magic and Wonder are pretty awful so I was worried about having to pack a hair dryer and taking up all that suitcase room, but these are fantastic!  Note in the picture a bottle of Scentsy Room Spray.   A MUST pack item.  Disney staterooms are nice and large, but they are still in close quarters with the bathrooms so air freshener can become important.  IMG_3315  In this picture you can also see my makeup mirror and in the makeup mirror you can see that I was highlighting the items on the Navigator that we wanted to do that night.  Tuck a highlighter in your bag, it’s very helpful!

Dinner tonight was at the Enchanted Garden.DSC_5676  This is a beautiful restaurant.  My only complaint is that the tables are too close together.  We were sitting just the 2 of us at a 4 top table and the empty chairs at our table kept getting bumped by passengers as well as the waitstaff.  Good thing there wasn’t anyone sitting there!DSC_5660DSC_5662.  CSP and I both chose the same appetizer, the lobster ravioli.DSC_5663 SO yummy!  Then CSP had the Ahi tuna stack with avocadoDSC_5664.  Disney chefs do such a nice job with presentation.  So pretty!  I had a yummy salad- spinach and raspberry. DSC_5666CSP had an asparagus soup that he really liked.   DSC_5665 We both chose the same entree.  Scallops and sea bass on risotto with peas and fava beans and a sweet chili sauce. DSC_5667 I’d never had fava beans before (only heard about them from the Silence of the Lambs), so I was a little wary.  But OMG this was one of my favorite dishes of the cruise!  I’m not the biggest fish fan in the world either but this sea bass just melted in your mouth!

The ceiling in the Enchanted Garden changes from white to pink to midnight blue during the course of your dinner. DSC_5673 The light flowers bloom throughout the night as well.  DSC_5674 So pretty! For dessert I chose the bananas Foster sundae DSC_5668while CSP created his own sundaeDSC_5669. There is a fountain in the middle of the Enchanted Garden. DSC_5671 DSC_5672  There are special booths in the middle of the restaurant. DSC_5675 And gorgeous lighting everywhere. DSC_5677

While we were enjoying our dessert the head waiter ,Witt, came by to check on us.  He tapped me on the shoulder and said “Ma’am, ketchup?”  I turned to look at him just as he squeezed a ketchup bottle at me and ketchup came flying out of the bottle at me.  I screamed!  But it turns out it was a trick bottle like this one.images-1 So funny!

I forgot to mention something about the excursion to Stingray City.  When we came back from our port adventure there was a tent set up on the dock with Disney Cruise Line workers handing out cold water and small iced down towels.  It was so nice!  CSP loved being able to wipe down his sweaty head on a hot afternoon!

After dinner we went back to our room where we found our latest towel animal- a cute turtle. DSC_5680 We had stateroom 5546 DSC_5678.  The doors to your stateroom are metal so you can decorate them with magnets (no tape).  We watched an episode of Castle, turned our clocks back an hour and went to sleep.

Next up …Costa Maya and the Rainforest! IMG_3311

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean – Day 4 Grand Cayman & Stingray City

CSP finally got sick just as I was starting to feel better.  Poor guy.  But he was a trooper!  We woke up early and had breakfast at Royal Court.  CSP had lox and bagels and eggs benedict. IMG_3309  I had a strawberry yogurt mix and eggs benedict. IMG_3310  Breakfast was over by 9 and we couldn’t meet up with our excursion group until 11:30.  CSP was feeling pretty crummy so we went back to the room so he could lay back down for a while.

At 11:30 we met up in the D Lounge with the rest of our excursion group.  We were given a sticker to wear (Aladdin), some towels, and we were able to buy water for the trip (Evian at not bad prices).  We got off the ship onto a tender boat thenPICT0002 off that boat to the pier and followed the lady with the Aladdin sign to our meeting place.  Once we were all accounted for we got on air conditioned busses.  In Grand Cayman they drive on the wrong side of the road so the ride to the canal to get on the tour boat was a wee bit scary!   The bus driver was eerily silent as he weaved through traffic then turned into a neighborhood!  I thought for sure we were all going to be sold or killed.  But all the sudden between 2 houses there was our boat!

The crew was very informative and told us all about stingrays on the 45 minute boat ride out to Stingray City.  Stingray City is a sandbar out in the middle of the ocean where stingrays have learned boats drop anchor and food.  Sure enough, as soon as we stopped the stingrays flocked to our area.  We were a little worried about the weather because it was pretty overcast when we got on the tour boat.  PICT0003  But by the time we made our way to Stingray City it had cleared up.   Now, I have to tell you something.  Before the cruise I bought an underwater digi cam underwater-digital-camera-ca8b_600.0000001306533762from Photojojo for just $35.   Being winter I didn’t have an opportunity to hop in the ocean or pool to play with the camera before we left.  The camera takes videos (no sound) as well as pictures.  Well apparently I was taking videos when I thought I was taking pictures.  So bear with me as you check out the following 10 seconds or less videos!  They are a little Blair Witchy, but I didn’t know I was filming!  Overall though I’m really pleased with the camera’s performance.  Best $35 I’ve spent on tech!

So, we pulled up to Stingray City and dropped anchor.  Everyone put on life vests and grabbed snorkel gear (if so desired). 

 We climbed down the ladder into the crystal clear, waist deep water.
 The wind was whipping pretty good, causing some waves, but overall the conditions were perfect!   This is the tour boat: PICT0013 (1)  Here’s CSP looking for stingrays:PICT0014 (2) PICT0011 Here’s me looking for stingrays:PICT0009 You have to be careful and watch where you walk or you could step on one!  Here is a selfie that didn’t turn out so great because we clearly didn’t know how to use the camera! PICT0012 The three crew members of our tour boat were awesome.  They got down in the water with us and held stingrays for us to come pet.  Then they would transfer the stingray to you and let you hold it!  So fun!  
 Stingrays feel like giant mushrooms and are super sweet.  They rub all up on your legs and bump into you.  Like a bunch of sea puppies! 
 CSP even kissed one, a pregnant female!

There were a few other boats at Stingray City checking out the stingrays. 

 Here you can see the crowd of people checking out the stingrays:
 We had a great time and got to spend about an hour out with the stingrays. Here’s a close up of CSP and a boy stingray: 
The males are small and the females can get huge!  Like 5 feet across!  
 In this video you can see the chum bucket floating to attract the stingrays. They fill the buckets with chopped squid.  We didn’t feed the stingrays though because they can get over fed.  You can also see the boat captain & CSP handling a boy stingray.  
 Here are a couple more of CSP handling stingrays.  He became a pro! 
 
 Now, I have to tell you when I first booked this excursion CSP was all “I’m not getting off the boat!  Those things can kill you!  You risk your own life!”  But he listened to the crew’s stingray safety talk and was just in awe of the creatures.  Ask him now what was his favorite part of the whole cruise and he’ll tell you it was the stingrays!

Next up….Fantasy almost leaves without a BUNCH of passengers, and the Enchanted Garden