Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Day 3

Today was a sea day so CSP & I slept in a bit. We had breakfast at Royal CourtUntitled then went to the Tube for the Castaway Club Gold & Platinum reception.  This was our first time attending the reception. They said they sent out about 400 invitations, and about 100 or so people attended.  Darren, the cruise director spokeUntitled and then came around and spent some time with each table.  Captain Thor spoke as well.  You could have your picture taken with each of them.  No, Captain Thor did not carry a hammer, much to CSP’s disappointment.  Wait staff passed around drinks, hors d’oeuvres, fruit and cookies.  CSP downed 4 mimosas! He said next year we’re getting there early for the drinks!  Mind you this was 10:30 in the morning!  Ha! There was a special guest at the reception- Minnie Mouse! Do you know how special it is to be able to walk right up to a character for a photo without a long line?? Untitled It was awesome!  And she was too cute too- I’m so used to giving hugs with a kiss on the cheek and she “kissed” me back, complete with smoochy noises!

After the reception CSP & I did a little shopping at the gifts shops on board. We drooled over BB8 then picked up our magnet (we get a dated Disney Cruise Line magnet each year),  a Stitch pin for my lanyard, a sparkly Ariel shirt for Ellen’s birthday tomorrow, and a cute anchor shirt for MOM of CSP for taking care of the pugs and the house while we’re gone.

We went back to the room to drop off our goodies and met up with the Family (Amy, Kevin, Ellen & Colin).  They needed lunch too so we all went off to Royal Court for lunch. We went back to the room afterward to find the stateroom host had opened and linked our balconies together to make one huge balcony!  CSP started watching Thor 2 for a little while on demand (so cool, you can start and stop movies by bookmarking them).

Next it was time for our first Mixology class! We went to the Skyline Lounge and for the next hour or so we learned about making fun drinks from Ashley the bartenderUntitled.Untitled Kevin even got in on the action! UntitledWe had 5 drinks: a champagne drinkUntitled, a mojitoUntitled, a rum drinkUntitled, a chocolate martiniUntitled, and a shot called the Big Elephant.Untitled Forgive me for not knowing all the drink names.  They can’t print off recipes for us anymore and I had both mine and CSP’s chocolate martinis and shots! I was lucky I remembered how to get back to our room!

After Mixology CSP wanted a coffee so we went to the Cove Cafe in the adults only section on the pool deck.Untitled CSP asked for a 4 shot cafe latte.  The barista could not believe CSP actually wanted 4 shots of espresso in his latte!  We were walking around and realized that all of deck 11 ( the pool deck) was deserted because of early dinner (our dinner is at 8:15).  I mean, NO ONE around.  Perfect time to ride the AquaDuck!  So we ran down to the room and CSP got changed, then we ran back up to the entrance of the AquaDuck.  They wouldn’t let him ride!!!  They said he needed a partner and there was no one around to ride with him.  I couldn’t do it because of my vertigo + mixology = I was already dizzy!  So we went back to the room to get ready for Formal Night and dinner.

Everyone looked so lovely for formal night! We saw Daisy Duck on the way to dinner in her sparkly dress! Untitled I love her little tail sticking out!Untitled Some people really go all out with floor length gowns and tuxedos!  Disney sets up backdrops all over the main atrium for professional photographs.  So we had some taken before dinner, but we totally forgot about them the rest of the week so we never saw them! Who knows if they even turned out! Doh! Untitled We were back in Royal Court for dinner, which is a gorgeous restaurant. Dinner was a French theme tonight so CSP was happy with his escargot!Untitled

When we got back to our room after dinner there was a little sign to set our clocks forward an hour upon retiring for the evening. Untitled Plus a cool dinosaur!

Next up….Day 4- Sea Day and Ellen’s birthday!!!

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Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Day 2

We woke up, gathered our things and hit the road for Port Canaveral!  It takes about an hour to get from Orlando to the port.  Not too bad!  We ate a light breakfast on the road.  We got to the port, turned our luggage and case of water over to the porters, and went upstairs in the terminal to check in.  Check in was quick and painless and we were given our very first set of GOLD lanyards!Untitled  This is our 6th Disney cruise (my 14th cruise total) and that makes us Gold Castaway Club Members!  Fun! We waited in the terminal for a bit then they started letting us board, but first we stopped for our Welcome Aboard photo. 12744512_10205847478927032_5660106759497203172_n Note our custom shirts! Untitled We were announced Untitled then we went to deck 2 to the Enchanted Garden restaurant for lunch. We were a little early so there was some waiting around for the restaurant to open. We took our time with lunch (CSP loves the shrimp and crab claws so much)  and next thing we knew it was time to go to our room to drop off our carry on bags! Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js  We have room 5546 on Deck 5 with the extended veranda.Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js  Upon entering our room we noticed our Castaway Club gift! Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js A gold (yellow) tote bag and a really nice photo album! We also noticed our Bon Voyage decorations! Amy & family surprised us by decorating our room! Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsWe freshened up a bit and dropped off our carry on bags (and unpacked them).  Then it was time to head to the Tube for the Facebook group Meet & Greet!Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Every cruise has a Facebook group. It just so happened that I was an admin for our group, along with Amy, and a third person.  Our group was big! Over 150 people.  The point of the group is to share advice and answer questions for newbies and just get excited about the cruise!  Plus Amy organized Mixology classes (more on that later) and the Fish Extender Gift Exchange.  It’s a lot of fun!  Now, let me quickly reintroduce Amy & Kevin & family.  We all met on the Disney Magic in February 2015 and became fast friends. They came to visit in June 2015 and in October 2015 Amy, Kevin, CSP & I all went on a 4 night cruise.  They live in Ohio.  Ok, so we’re caught up, back to the story!  At the meet and greet lots of our members came for a big group photo and to meet each other.  It was a lot of fun.  One member, Ray, was so nice- he called us admins up to the front of the room and presented us with Disney pins for our work! Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js How sweet!!! The hour went by quickly then it was time for the lifeboat/muster drill.  Praise the Lord our muster station was the Walt Disney Theatre!  No standing in the hot sun for a half hour!  After the drill we went back to our room where our luggage was waiting for us.Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js So we unpacked and made final phone/facetime calls to our family as we sailed away!Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI switched our phones to Airplane mode and we were all set to text each other via Disney’s Cruise app.Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js  CSP quickly discovered the on demand menu and watched Pixels while I got ready for dinner. Dinner tonight was back in Enchanted Garden.  I didn’t take pictures of our food this go round but I did take screen shots of the menu for one night so you can see some of the offerings. Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsUntitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsUntitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsUntitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsUntitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js The menus are varied and all the food is fantastic!   At dinner poor Ellen (age almost 9 today) fell asleep with her mouth open. Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js They gave us hummus with our bread tonight so Amy put some in Ellen’s mouth. OMG!- her face when she woke up and tasted something awful (to her) in her mouth!  HILARIOUS!  Fun with kids!  After dinner we went back to our rooms for bed and found the first towel animal.Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js  Let me tell you, our room steward totally set the bar for towel animals! Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js He’s a pro!  Just wait till you see what he created this week!

Next up…Day 3- at sea!

Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Day 1

Today we drove down to Orlando.  Well, I drove while CSP slept! He looked so funny in his get up.  He had his neck pillow, his sunglasses, and headphones all on at once along with his neck gaiter pulled up over his eyes to block out the sun. Untitled
The drive was pretty uneventful except when we ran into a bunch of traffic because of 3 car fires and a semi truck fire! Why were all these vehicles on fire?? It wasn’t even hot out! Weird.
We got to Orlando about 5pm and pulled into Old Key West Resort at Disney where Amy, Kevin, Ellen, & Colin were waiting for us! It’s a beautiful resort. We got settled in quickly. Untitled Then it was time for dinner at ‘Ohana! Untitled We had a wonderful dinner and even got to see the electric water parade! Untitled Back to the resort for bed! Big day tomorrow as we head to the port!

Humidify Me

I received a Honeywell Console Humidifier free from Influenster.com for testing purposes.  All opinions are my own.  This thing is HUGE! It holds 3 gallons of water!  But being big is NOT a problem.  It’s totally lightweight and super easy to move around if necessary. We have it on a little side table in the master bedroom now and we have noticed a huge difference in our skin since using it.  When we got it CSP had a split lip from the dry air. Within a week his lip healed and it hasn’t split since!  And as for my skin…when I wake up now my skin still feels as moisturized as it does when I apply my night cream the night before! And they say a humidifier is good for your furniture too.  CSP has taken to the thing as well.  He is the one who’s in charge of filling the tanks.  And since the tanks are so large he doesn’t have to fill them every night. So it works AND it’s convenient!  And it has a setting where it determines the humidity level in the room so it only runs when it needs to.  Love that! My mom has always been a big proponent of humidifiers but I never saw what the big deal was until now.  Way to go Mom!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 7

Our last day of vacation!  Sigh.

Day 7  October 5 Monday

O’hana!

We woke up and got dressed for breakfast.  But this was no ordinary breakfast!  Today we were having breakfast at O’hana at the Polynesian Resort.  Amy made all the arrangements.  We drove over (CSP’s foot wouldn’t allow us to take the boat/monorail) and sat down to wait for our reservation.  We were chatting about our drive home was going to be affected by Hurricane Joaquin and I mentioned that my friend and travel agent Lisa sent me some information about highway closures.  Just then this lady says “Excuse me, who is your travel agent?”  I said “Lisa Reese”, and she said “I work with her”!  It really is a small world after all!  'Ohana

Our buzzer went off and we were seated and breakfast was served.  Scrambled eggs, potatoes, Mickey waffles, sausage, biscuits, fruit and bacon are served family style.  Not too far into breakfast and Mickey appeared! 'Ohana Then Lilo, Pluto,'Ohana and finally….my favorite…STITCH!!!! 'Ohana I’d never met him even after all my Disney cruises! 'Ohana He signed a painting Amy & Kevin gave us and was so sweet and careful about it.  I was so excited!!!  Especially when I found out that besides the cruises ‘Ohana is the only place you can meet Stitch now!'Ohana

Once breakfast was over CSP rested in the lobby while I bought a couple things in the gift shop.  Then it was back to the room to pack, say our goodbyes and hit the road!

We left about noonish and our route was fine up until when we were supposed to take I-26 from I-95 to Columbia. 70 miles of I-95 and large parts of I-26 were closed due to flooding from Hurricane Joaquin!  CSP, being super safety conscious and conservative, wanted to drive to Atlanta then home from there- adding another 8 hours to our drive!  I said no way.  I just knew I couldn’t do it.  We were up late last night and there was no way I could drive 14-16 hours home.  So we took 95 up to just below Savannah.  Then I cut over on 16.  I pulled over onto an exit and studied the map then took 119 North through South Carolina to Columbia.  We passed through the funniest little towns on this 2 lane highway.  Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc!  They all were really just wide spots in the road but they all had a Dollar General!

Once we were on 77 North I felt better, but then that’s when we saw evidence of the flooding.  There were exits closed where the entire interchange was under water.  Spooky.  And then we needed gas.  I tried exit after exit but all the gas stations, restaurants etc. were closed.  So creepy!  We finally found a gas station about 40 miles north of Columbia.  We filled up there and made it home by 11 pm!  Only 2 hours longer than normal!  The pugs were so excited to see us!  And we were thrilled to see them too.  Too bad they don’t allow pugs on the Disney cruise ships!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 6

Day 6 Sunday October 4

Miami!

We woke up at 6am to dress and pack last minute things and we were out in the lobby about 7 am.  We decided to skip breakfast on the ship (it’s not the buffet, it’s a sit down and ours wouldn’t have been until 9 ish) so we handled our own luggage and walked off the ship about 7:30 am.  We got in our cars and CSP & I followed Amy & Kevin as we tried to make our way out of Miami.

We made a turn and there was a rail road crossing with the lights going and the bars down.  So we waited.  And waited. No train. Then a taxi behind me started honking its horn.  What was I to do?  I was trapped!  All the sudden this guy got out of his van.  His friend drove the van through the bars.  Van Dude then calmly walked over to a tree and ripped off a branch.  He walked back to the rail road crossing bar and held it up over his head with the branch, all the while EATING A SANDWICH.  That must have been one good sandwich!  It was hilarious!  But we got through!  And on the road to Orlando.

Florida has a million toll roads and turnpikes and it cost us $20 to drive from Miami to Orlando.  Yikes!  Luckily they also have these travel plazas in the middle of the highway so you can access it from both directions.  You can get gas and food.  We stopped at one about an hour outside of Miami and got bagels and gas then made our way to Orlando.

Orlando!

We made it to Walt Disney World and the Wilderness Lodge! MNSSHP It’s so nice!  We were staying in one of the 2 bedroom villas there.  The lobby was just gorgeous!  We checked in then went to our villa and got settled in and took a wee nap. MNSSHP CSP got about 45 minutes in but I only got about 20.

We woke up and freshened up and got dressed for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! IMG_0141 Amy had matching orange shirts made for all 4 of us with our names on them.  CSP won’t wear anything with his real name on it so his says CSP!  Ha! MNSSHP Amy had LED light up necklaces for us all (here’s my get up) MNSSHP and for us girls she had tiny witches hat headbands. MNSSHP So cute!  Please disregard the deranged look on my face!  I was excited!

We took a boat over to the Magic Kingdom MNSSHP and got checked in just in time for our dinner reservations at Tony’s (the Lady and the Tramp restaurant).  We were all hungry as that breakfast stop was a long time ago!   We had a great dinner then took the train over MNSSHP to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  CSP & I haven’t been to the parks since 1999 so we were thrilled to get to ride some rides.  And God bless Amy because she got us fast passes so we wouldn’t have to wait in line.  Just standing on CSP’s foot is harder than actually walking.  Getting on and off rides proved challenging with his big boot.  But the staff was great and very accommodating.  For instance on the Haunted Mansion you have to hop into your Doom Buggy from a moving walkway.  Well they slowed it down for us so CSP could get in and out without killing himself.  We rode Pirates of the Caribbean and even It’s a Small World. MNSSHP

The weather was perfect!  It started out cloudy, then it drizzled, then the temperature dropped to nice and cool and the drizzle stopped.  It was awesome! MNSSHP

The Magic Kingdom was all decked out for Halloween! MNSSHP It looked so cool all lit up at night!

Before we went on this trip I polled all my Facebook friends about whether or not I should take my big DSLR camera or just my iPhone.  Thankfully I was convinced to just take my phone.  I got great pictures and didn’t have to worry about lugging around a big camera!  It helped that just a couple days before we left I was able to get the iPhone 6S which has a 12 megapixel camera.  I was pretty impressed with its performance!

After riding our rides it was time for the parade.  Amy got us the Happy Hallowishes Dessert Premium Package.  So at 8 pm we went to the Town Square and had preferred viewing areas all roped off for the parade.MNSSHP  Prime spots! MNSSHP The parade was awesome! MNSSHP I know this pic is blurry but it is of the Gravediggers, who were so great and I kind of know one of them because he’s my friend Leah’s brother! MNSSHP Baloo the Bear came over and kissed my hand and another character (I can’t believe I can’t remember which one!!!) high fived me!  MNSSHP MNSSHP MNSSHPWe even got to see the Headless Horseman on a gorgeous, giant black horse. MNSSHP

After the parade we were led through a back stage area over to the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant MNSSHP for a dessert party.  There was a lovely dessert buffet with Halloween themed desserts.  IMG_0123 So tasty!  Then at 10 the Hallowishes fireworks show MNSSHP began and we had perfect seats for it. MNSSHP Once the fireworks show was over we made our way back over to the front of Cinderella’s castle for the Sanderson Sister’s Show. MNSSHP It was super cute!  By now poor CSP was really hurting.  And silly boy wore a short sock under his boot thinking it would be cooler.  Well instead of being cool it allowed his boot to rub his leg raw!  So we decided to call it a night and headed back to the docks to take the boat back to the Wilderness Lodge.

When we got back to our villa there was a big Halloween sign on our door.  We opened the door and found the entire common room had been decorated!  There was a flickering candelabra, spiderwebs everywhere, luminaries all over, candy, and of course a huge Mickey Mouse on the coffee table!  It was SO cool!  And I totally forgot to take pictures of it all!  I was so tired from our long, but amazing day, and I was just in awe of it and so surprised!

We enjoyed the decorations for a little while then went to bed.  We had to be up early in the morning!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 5

Day 5 Saturday October 3

Day at Sea!

CSP & I decided an early breakfast is a good idea so we were back at Cabanas at 7:30 am, even with losing an hour due to the time change.  Then it was back to the room for a nap.  I was tired as CSP didn’t get in until very late from his movie and he decided to shake my foot to wake me up and let me know he made it back.  We’re on a ship!  How far can you go?  Then I lost an hour on top of that so I was ready for my after breakfast nap.

We woke up and dressed and went up to Cabanas for lunch.  Here’s where I’m not a fan of buffets.  I love a good breakfast buffet but lunch and dinner I have a hard time.  I found some gnocchi and had a spoonful of that but that was it.  Meanwhile CSP was chowing down on some peel and eat shrimp. I love shrimp but I hate having to peel them.  It’s the prissy in me.  I thought I’d have time to grab something by the pool to eat like the schwarma, but next thing we knew it was almost 2 pm.

Time for Mixology!

We headed down to Keys bar.  There were about 30 of us who signed up for this class.  Each class is different in that you learn different drinks and techniques.  And it’s only $20 each!  You get 5 drinks for the $20, not bad considering your average cocktail on the ship runs about $8!  This is where I wished I had eaten more at lunch!  We made a Double Crown, Sea day Ratatouille Martini,Sea day Dr. Pepper (with beer),Sea day a B 52 shot,Sea day and a classic mojito.Sea day  I drank CSP’s martini and shot and gave him my mojito.  I like the flavored mojitos but am not crazy about the classic.

At the beginning of the class the bartender called up 4 of the men to do what he called a Taxi Cab. Sea day It was a shot of beer and then you’re supposed to drink the rest of your Corona as fast as you can, but the kicker is the bartender filled up the Coronas with Bacardi Limon!  And you’re supposed to do all this while standing on one foot.  Well CSP was called up to drink the Taxi Cab. Sea day All was fine until the one foot thing!  Kevin finished his cab the fastest!  We were having so much fun and had so many drinks to finish that when the class was over we just moved to party next door to O’Gill’s.

Jo, from the cruise staff, was in O’Gill’s hosting a pub quiz.  We signed up right away.  I love trivia.  Amy won!  She won 4 Disney Cruise Line baseball caps and gave CSP and I one each. Sea day Fun!

You might have noticed in some pictures I’m wearing a lanyard around my neck with a card in a plastic pouch.  I wanted to take a moment to explain the card.   It’s your Key To The World card and it acts as your room key and credit card while you’re on the ship.  You also present it to get on and off the ship. There’s a lot of information on this card.  Your name, the sail dates, the ship name, A for adult or C for child, what level Castaway Club member you are, your reservation number, dinner time, dining room rotation, table number, and the big letter is your muster station.

Then it was time to go back to the room to dress for dinner.  Our last dinner on the ship!  Tonight was in Carioca’s Sea day and it was a South American theme.  At the beginning of dinner at the large table next to us a man got down on one knee and proposed!  She said yes!  The room went wild!  It was SO loud all night.  We said our thank you’s and goodbyes to our wait staff.  They were so great!  Back to the room to pack. Sea day We didn’t get to sleep until almost 1 am!  Yikes!