Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Castaway Cay

 Warning:  picture overload!
The last full day of our cruise was Thursday and we ported at Castaway Cay (pronounced "Key") in the morning and after eating breakfast, we got off.   The day was gorgeous!  Blue skies, beautiful sand, beautiful water!  
Disney owns this island, so we were the only ship docked at it.   We walked a little way around the island and found a place to put all our stuff.  They have over 4,000 lounge chairs and other chairs and a ton of umbrellas, so you could always find somewhere to sit and somewhere with shade.
We bought some sand toys for the little kids and while Jon took the older 3 snorkeling, I watched the 3 little ones in the water (Kate) and playing in the sand (Hannah & Hailey).   They LOVED it!

 Watching Hannah at the beach is a full time job.  She loved getting in the water and then digging in the sand.  Then she'd get in the water and move down 30 feet, get out of the water and start digging.
 This fun water slide was right off the shore.
 Hailey didn't want much to do with the water, but she dug in the sand for hours!

 Emily & Hannah

 Kate spent most of the day in the water - she loves swimming.   I don't know how she had energy to do all that swimming, but she did!

 Kate taking Hailey in.

Around noon, we decided to get out of the sun for a little bit and each lunch.   The Disney crew brings all the food off the ship and cooks a delicious BBQ for lunch.  They had lots of shaded pavilions, extra flavors of soft serve icecream (banana & mango), and pop.  It was great to relax and cool off in the shade.

Thankfully, after lunch, Hailey laid down on the chair and went to sleep.
 And the kids just kept playing and playing!

We boarded the boat again about 4:30 in the afternoon.  We had a few sunburns (Hannah's leg and a couple of shoulders, but not too bad).

That night was our last dinner on board.  We had the same 2 servers the entire time.  They'd have the kids drinks all ready for us when we'd get there, let us order as many things as we wanted and were so kind to us.  They'd even write with crayons on the table clothes for the kids entertainment - little riddles & puzzles.   One was from Thailand and one was from India.  So nice - they work 5 months straight - 7 days a week, 14-16 hours a day and then go home for 2 months.

It was interesting to me that we docked back in Miami on Friday morning and that crew turns the boat right around and sets sail again that afternoon.  Incredible!

Deboarding was easy and not too bad.  We waited for Jon to go get a rental van again and then we drove to Fort Lauderdale.  Our flight didn't leave until 5:30 in the evening, so we found a mall and then found a park.  The flights home were good - long and exhausting, but good.

We absolutely LOVED our Disney Cruise!  I'm ready to go again!  Everyone treats you so kindly and politely.  The food was yummy and plentiful.  The cabin was comfortable.  The kids had lots to do and we got to spend a lot of great time together as a family.

There was one huge undertaking when we got home though ------ LAUNDRY!  8 days of laundry for 8 people!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Disney Cruise - Day 4

Looking at these pictures again makes me miss the cruise!

Day 4 was a day "at sea."    We let the big kids sleep in again, went to breakfast and then the little girls and I went to the Oceaneer Club because they were having an openhouse so Hailey could go.  They played and they did a cute Lilo & Stitch story and had Stitch come at the end.

After playing, we waited in line to see the Disney Princesses.   There were character appearance all over the boat during certain times of the day, so it was fun to get a few pictures of the girls.

 (By the time we got to Rapunzel, Kate was up & ready to go).

Then we had make a quick stop to see Jake.   We tried to convince Jack to get a picture with him because some of his friends tease him at school and call him Jake, but he wouldn't do it.

We spent the day swimming, the big kids went and saw "Frozen" in 3D at the theater, Jon, Emily & I went to a nicer lunch in one of the restaurants.    The big kids played dodgeball and went to "smoothie hour."

 This is Kate in the middle with goggles on.
 This shows the screen right above the pool - it usually played 5 or 6 movies a day.
Later in the afternoon, the big girls were such good sports and came with the little girls to the Oceaneer Lab to attend the "Ratatouille" cooking school.   They pretended to make chocolate chip cookies and then magically TinkerBell cooked them so they were ready.

The days on the boat were so fun too!  The kids loved to swim.  They spent a lot of time with us and some time in their age-group activities.  The shows were so good each night too!