Sunday, May 24, 2009
Our Disney Cruise to the Western Caribbean: heavenly!
We're back from the Disney Cruise on The Magic, slightly tan, slightly pudgier and very, very happy. Our trip was stellar, from the moment we stepped foot into the cruise terminal. Max was wigged out by the sight of the gigantic ship and the hustle and bustle, so I found a nice Disney staffer (OK, they are ALL exceptionally nice) to escort us through the lines and find a quiet place for us to hang out before we boarded. Then Max spotted Mickey and made a beeline for him.
This is our cabin, #8580.
And here's Max on the balcony, his favorite place to be. I think he would have slept out there if we let him. Actually, we had high hopes the kids might sleep in their own beds, and they did. At least on the first night.
The kids adored the Oceaneers Kids Club. It's for ages 3 to 4, but I thought it would be best to keep Max and Sabrina together. She watched out for him (she's gotten very motherly lately, when she's not trying to maim him). The staffers gave Max plenty of extra attention, and were fine with feeding him at mealtime when he was there. Which worked out well, since Max hated the din of the restaurants.
Otherwise, we fed the kids in the cabin. Max is now totally accustomed to room service. His meal of choice: tortilla soup, lasagna and chocolate ice-cream.
In general, the food on the cruise was great. I had salmon most nights, with the occasional steak or fancy pasta dish; Dave got his fill of seafood. And almost everything else.
With our wonderful waiters, Hemant and Aswald. (Hi, Hemant, if you're reading this!) You rotate between the three restaurants on board during the cruise, and your waiters travel with you.
The last night, they served Baked Alaska.
One evening, we dined at Palo, an adults-only restaurant located on the top deck. Excellent view and very romantic, except for the part where we got beeped from the kids club. I nervously checked the Motorola pager they'd given us, concerned that something was up with Max. "Sabrina would like to know where you are," the message read. Yep.
The first port of call was Key West, we took a tram tour and hit the aquarium. Next up was Grand Cayman, we visited Botswain's Beach Adventure Park and Turtle Farm.
The kids loved the lagoon pool...
...and the turtles. They wouldn't pick one up, so I did. And, yeah, I wear a big floppy hat. You got a problem with that?
In Nassau, we cruised the shops and visited The Atlantis, which is quite the sprawling spectacle. The aquarium there was cool.
Here's a lovely eel.
Our last stop was Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. Leave it to Disney to have its own island.
It was gorgeous. We hung out on the beach, enjoyed a barbecue lunch, let the kids try their first rum punches. Kidding!
Max and Sabrina confer on sand castle architecture.
Then, back to our ship!
We didn't do a ton of activities on board, since Max couldn't stand the crowds. We played shuffleboard, walked/ran the decks and visited the characters. Dave and Sabrina went to a pirate party one night. Another time, we took a kite-making class. I didn't get to attend the napkin-folding seminar, something I will surely forever regret. Oh, and Dave developed a bingo addiction, but I am not worried, unless he starts looking for a bingo hall in our area tomorrow.
Sabrina and I also had tea with Alice in Wonderland.
Mostly, we hung out in the Mickey Mouse shaped pool on Deck 9.
Here's Max, swimming...
...and here's Sabrina, doing her best to look adorable.
At night there were spectacular, Broadway-quality shows, including Twice Charmed (the Cinderella story with an alternate ending) and Dreams (a show narrated by Peter Pan that featured scenes from The Little Mermaid and Cinderella and, yes, Sabrina was giddy).
Max liked hanging out in the video arcade with Daddy, who is teaching Max to drive like a crazy person.
They screened Disney films every day. I snuck out of the cabin at 10:30 one night to see Earth, a documentary about the planet that was both wondrous and sobering. (If you're thinking of taking the kids, note, it's rated G but there are some scary scenes involving animals chasing prey that had me covering my eyes.)
Our last night on the ship.
Coming up tomorrow: Max and his Disney posse.