Feb 23, 2012





„You know, it takes six hours to clean a room!“


Disembarkation day had dawned. When I first woke up we were pulling into Port Canaveral, but I went back to sleep and when we finally got up the ship was sitting in the harbour. Tom and I went to have one last rainforest shower and then tried to pack up the rest of the stuff.

We still had time until our breakfast at the Royal Palace so, to kill time we walked up to Cabanas to check out their breakfast. The offerings were nice and Tom got a plate full of Hot Breakfast, while I got two Chocolate Croissants. We got some juice and coffee and tea and started on our first breakfast. Funnily enough on the table next to us was another family that had been in our Fish Extender group. We chatted a while, while enjoying our breakfast until it was time for us to return to our stateroom. Another walk through the room, checking every drawer again, before we said goodbye to stateroom 10626 until August 2012. We went to the Royal Garden, found our table and stored our luggage in the corner.

Dania, Jimmy and Alex were missing for breakfast, but luckily enough we will sail with them again in February 2013! We all ordered our drinks and breakfast fare and soon enough coffee and tea were served and then our breakfast was delivered. Tom had the Chef's Farewell, a large open faced omelet topped with barbecued chicken, green peppers, onions and melted swiss cheese which he enjoyed very much. I had ordered the Route 66, scrambled eggs, bacon, grilled sausage, grilled ham and hash browns. All too soon we had all finished our breakfast and it was time for goodbyes. Everyone hugged and we promised Ana to be back next February. Then all that was left to do was to pick up our carry ones and join the other cruisers leaving the ship. We walked off, signed off and went down the escalator. We had a porter help us with our luggage and it didn’t take long until we had gone through the line and walked up to the immigration officer. Once we were done we walked over to the parking lot and up to our level. After tipping the porter we loaded everything into the car and started our drive towards the exit. On the last level we met the DVC rep again and we stopped and said goodbye again. But then it was time to wave goodbye to the DREAM and even though it was sad to leave that beautiful ship behind, at least we knew we had four more cruises planned for the next two years. In no time we were on our way back to Walt Disney World and around 10.30am we had made it to that well loved arch, passed under it and were on our way to the Contemporary Resort.

At the guardhouse we showed our reservation, were welcomed home for the very first time and drove to the short term parking, just to check in. I had done online check in and let them know we would arrive early, but I knew I was hoping against all odds that the room would be ready by now. The Cast Member doing the paper work looked, then removed the key cards and we knew – our room was not ready. She asked for a US phone and since we didn’t have one it would be our duty to call them or show up to ask if the room was ready. There was nothing we could do about it, so we walked back to the car and then up to the main entrance again and handed our luggage over to bell services.

We thought about what to do and decided to just park the car at Bay Lake Tower and walk over to the Contemporary to check it out. So after parking the car and a bodily break we walked up to the fourth floor and checked out the shops. There were quite a few fun things we wanted to buy later on, but we were thirsty. So we walked over to the Contempo Café and got some drinks. They have really fantastic cupcakes, so I ordered one, the Dulche de Leche cupcake, a yellow cupcake filled with lots of liquid caramel and topped with caramel flavoured frosting. Tom decided to have a snack to, so he ordered the Marinated Beef Flatbread - with oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions, arugula, and goat cheese, which was very nice too.

We sat, enjoyed our treats and then decided to walk around the grounds and catch a boat over to Fort Wilderness for lunch at 1.30. So we checked out the Contemporary pool and when we saw that there was a boat at the dock we walked over to it. Unfortunately it left before we were able to make it there. So we sat on one of the benches that were out there on the dock. It was wonderful to just sit there and enjoy the warm February sun. It took about 20 minutes for another boat to arrive and when it finally did, we got on board, found a seat and after about 10 minutes the boat left the dock again. The boat ride was very leisurely and we were able to take a few more photos while going over to Fort Wilderness.

Once we had arrived we slowly walked over to the Trail’s End restaurant and checked in about 30 minutes early. They had no problem with it, as the restaurant was half empty. We were seated a four top, but unfortunately you could feel the airconditioning too much and I already was suffering from a beginning cold, so we asked if we could change tables. I am not sure our server was very pleased with the idea, but at least he let us swap tables. It was a bit better at the new table and we ordered our Diet Cokes and studied the menus. They have a somewhat unusual menu and so Tom actually ordered the Fried Chicken and Waffles, served with warm maple syrup and butter, which was a huge portion and he enjoyed it a lot.

I felt like trying the Pan-seared Catfish, lightly breaded catfish with coleslaw, corn and chive hush puppies, and a side of remoulade. Having eaten a snack only two hours before we were not too hungry, so after finishing our dishes we decided to skip dessert and head back to the Contemporary. This time we were in luck as a boat was just approaching the dock and we were off in no time. Again, we enjoyed the boatride back to the Contemporary Resort, as the view was just incredible.

 Once at the hotel we thought we would try our luck and ask if our room would be ready by now as it was already past 2pm. So we walked up to the desk again, got the same Cast Member and no, our room was not ready and we were lectured that check in didn’t even start until 4pm. The Cast Member went then on to “explain” that guests can stay until 11am and then “it takes 6 hours to clean a room”! I was about to say something, but held my tongue and just walked away, as this was just such a stupid remark! But there was nothing we could do, so we made our way back to our car and drove over to the Beach Club Resort to meet with our friends Tina, Mark and Max for an ice-cream treat.

We arrived at the resort, were told to self park and walked over to the resort. As always when we arrive at the Beach Club I walked to my left and only realized after a few steps that Beaches and Cream was the other direction. We walked over to the ice-cream parlour, but didn’t see Tina and her family, then walked over to the Yacht Club resort. We sat in front of the Yachtsman Steakhouse for a while, then decided to walk back to the Beach Club. When we arrived at the lobby, there they were, Tina, Mark and Max.

 Hugs and presents were exchanged and we were finally off to Beaches and Cream. We were quickly seated in a booth and everyone ordered drinks and a Kitchen Sink for all of us to share. Unfortunately Mark and Max missed the moment when they announced the Kitchen Sink. But we all dug in and had some of this giant treat, but again it ended in a failed attempt to finish the Kitchen Sink. We sat and talked for a while until it was time to give up the table and walk back to the resort lobby. After our goodbyes Tina and her family headed back to Epcot, while we headed back out to the car to try and find out if our room was ready by now. We parked the car in front of the resort and just hopped in to find out if our room was ready.

By then it was and we drove over to Bay Lake Tower, found a parking spot very close to the main entrance and walked over to find out the location of our room. Now, we both might not have looked correctly but we went the wrong direction and it took a while to get accustomed to the layout. But finally we found our room.

It was considerably smaller than the one we had had at the Poly, but we loved the bright modern décor, the small kitchen and the bathroom with the sliding door. There was still the balcony to check out and the view from there was just breath taking. If you leaned out a bit and looked to your far right you were able to see Main Street USA, then the Monorail snaked over to the Contemporary, from there you could see the Wilderness Lodge, the Hollywood Tower Hotel, Spaceship Earth and even the tethered balloon at Downtown Disney. The view was just amazing.

Once we had recovered from the view, we called bell services to bring our luggage. It didn’t take long and it arrived. We unpacked part of it, but then decided to head out again and over to Publix for a little bit of shopping. We picked up some groceries and some things we wanted to take home and since we were already in the vicinity we decided to just head to Krispy Kreme to find out if the “Hot now” light was on. And yes, it was, so we stopped, walked in, ordered a dozen hot, original glazed doughnuts and some Diet Coke and sat down to enjoy the first bite of this wonderful sweet treat.

We both happily munched two of the doughnuts and when we had finished our drink we finally got back in the car and drove back to our resort. Since we didn’t have anything planned for the evening, we just sat out on the balcony, snacking on some salads we had picked up at Publix and some Doritos and salsa. Before we knew it it was time to watch Illuminations from our balcony, which was awesome. Nothing more relaxing than sitting out on the balcony with a cold drink in hand and watching the fireworks blast off behind Spaceship Earth. We had originally planned on having a few snacks at the Top of the World lounge, but we were just too tired and full to walk up there early.

So around 15 minutes before Wishes was to start we took the elevator down to the ground floor, asked a CM where to go, he checked our room keys and pointed us in the right direction. We found the elevator that takes people up to the viewing platform and lounge and found a nice spot to watch the fireworks. The music is piped in and it was amazing to see the fireworks from this viewpoint. There were many oohs and aahs to be heard while everyone watched the fireworks. After the fireworks we stayed on the platform for a little while and watched the hustle and bustle at the bus stop. When we were finally ready to leave we stopped to check out the lounge, but it was full and so we just took some photos before we left again.

Good thing, we will return next year and hopefully stay at BLT again, so we can still check out the lounge. When we finally returned to our room we were both very tired. We unpacked the rest of our stuff, sat out on the balcony for a while and enjoyed the view of the Contempory before we called it a day and went to bed.