Aug 28, 2012





Another day in paradise


We got up when it got light outside at around 6.20am. A quick look outside and we were getting close to Castaway Cay already. We had ordered breakfast for 7am, so we took turns in the shower and got dressed and ready for the day. At 6.55 there was a knock at the door and our breakfast was delivered. We took it out onto the veranda to enjoy it, while docking at Castaway Cay.

Our breakfast was about the same as the last time we had been at Castaway Cay. There was coffee for Tom, and tea for myself, I had ordered some orange juice, while Tom wanted to give the chocolate milk a try. We had ordered a fruit bowl, bagels and some cream cheese and some croissants that came with an assortment of jams. And while we sat outside enjoying the breakfast the DREAM was docking at Castaway Cay. And this time it went much quicker than the last time and we were happy to hear all the Mickey whistles once we had made it there. Once we had finished breakfast we got ready to go ashore, put on our Cabana bracelets and grabbed our bag for the day.

We got off the ship and slowly strolled over to the tram. It was still early and we were within the first people to get ashore. We got on the next tram out and got off at Pelican Plunge.

We walked down to beach and explored a bit as this is a part of Castaway Cay we donít usually go to. From where we were we could see the Family beach Cabanas and were excited to see that Michelle and her family had just arrived and were exploring the area.

So, a few photos later we headed back to the tram and got on our way out to Serenity Bay. When we arrived our stateroom host was already waiting and heading over to greet us again. We exchanged a few fun sentences, he insisted on taking our photo and then we hopped onto the back of the golf cart and off we went to our Cabana. Today we were back in Cabana 19 and our host started to explain all about it, then started laughing and asked if we remembered from last time. We did and we all laughed. He made us promise that if we needed something we would ring the bell and he would fetch things for us and with that he left.

We settled in, then picked up some drinks from the fridge, put on sunscreen and then went on our way towards the ocean. The water was nice and warm, but extremely shallow.To be able to actually swim you needed to walk way out. We just drifted in the water, enjoying the sun and the crystal clear waters. You could see that there had been some currents as there were lots of broken conchs in the water. We stayed in the ocean for about an hour or so, then when we got back we quickly took a shower, wrapped in towels and while I sat on the deck, Tom put the hammock to good use. When we were mostly dried of Tom rang for the Cabana host to fetch us some drinks from the bar.

It didnít even take two minutes and our Cabana Host's smiling face entered our Cabana. We ordered and our host promised to be back soon. No problem, we wonít go anywhere soon anyway. About 10 minutes later he returned with the drinks, Tom had ordered a Corona and I had ordered a Konk Kooler. It was absolutely awesome sitting outside on the veranda, munching chips, sipping our drinks and enjoying the view. At around 11.45, after finishing off our yummy drinks we walked along the beach to the barbeque station. There was a short line, but we were soon handed a plate and filled it with yummy salad.

Tom added a cheeseburger to them, while I just wanted a hamburger patty, no bun. We found a nice shady table and enjoyed our lunch. Once we had finished our salads and burgers we sat there, sipping our drinks, when a cast member walked over, took our dirty plates and started talking. Both of us were surprised at first until we realized the cast member had been our server at Palo. The Palo team was in charge of the Serenity Bay barbeque and he had recognized us right away. And when he learned that we would be on the next cruise as well, he told us that if we had liked his service he would be happy to serve us again. Needless to say we promised to ask for him. After we had talked to him Tom got up and got us some more Diet Coke and two Chocolate chip cookies and two small Banana breads.

 I am not a huge fan of Banana bread and this one was no exception. To dry and not enough flavour for my liking, but I LOVED the cookies. Once we were done with our lunch we paid a pit stop to the restroom and then wanted to walk back to our Cabana. But no such thing with our host. When we walked down to the runway from the restrooms he was already driving up to us in his golf cart. We hopped on and I hit my head as usual and in no time we were back at our Cabana. We rested for a while in the shade with some water out of the fridge. Then we applied new sunscreen and down to the beach we went. From our Cabana we had seen that pretty far out there seemed to be a bank and this is where we wanted to go. Still the water was very shallow and we waded for quite a while until the water was deep enough to float around a bit. We swam a little towards the bank and finally reached it and it WAS very shallow, around ankle deep water.

We sat down on the bank and it felt absolutely wonderful to sit there in the ocean, looking back at the beach. After a while we got tired of sitting and laid down to enjoy the sun. But after about 10 minutes we felt pretty hot and went back to the higher water to swim a bit and cool down. Tom spotted something dark in the water and would you believe it, there were two stingrays in the lagoon. Tom was lucky to catch some photos of them. We actually spent some time in the lagoon, floating around and watching out for the stingrays.

Once we had sufficiently cooled down we headed out onto the bank again. You could see that now the tide was slowly coming back in and the water got a little higher. We sat down on the bank again and it was fun to sit there with more waves running in. We sat there for at least 15 minutes before we headed back to the beach. Again, after showering we wrapped in fresh towels and sat outside to soak up the sun. A little later we felt like we could use another drink and rang the bell for our host again. We waited for a while and he did not arrive. So we rang the bell again. And this time he knocked and asked if we had rang for him, his pager did go off, but it did not show the correct number. He checked our bell and indeed something was wrong with it.

So after that we ordered our drinks and he went off to get them. We waited out on the veranda nibbling on the fruit in our fridge. About 20 minutes later our Cabana host was back, this time with a tray with four drinks instead of two. He put the tray on the sideboard and happily  declared that he had waited for five minutes to place our order as by then it was happy hour and he got two drinks for the price of one. Donít you just love so much determination? We paid for our drinks and gave him another tip for being so clever to wait before we enjoyed our drinks again. I shared my second Konk Kooler with Tom, but he had to drink both of his Heineken beers by himself. It was very helpful to have the fridge as we could put the second ones in there to keep them cold. It was getting late and we knew we would have to get back to the ship in a bit over an hour, but the water had been to wonderful to not go back in. So, after finishing our drinks we headed back into the ocean. Now we actually had to swim to get to the bank out there, but we made it and sat down in the ocean once again. This time the water was already up to our chests, but it was still fun to sit out there looking back to the beach. When we saw that cast member started to close the umbrellas that were at the far side of the beach we decided to not stay in the water for too much longer. We floated in the water for a while, then swam closer to the beach and finally walked back out and up to the Cabana.

The shower was put to good use, watershoes were washed and then we used up even more towels to dry ourselves off. We sat outside until it were sure we should head back to the ship to give our host ample time to close up the Cabana once we had left. So we got changed, emptied the safe and packed up our day bag and then left the Cabana to walk down to the tram. But as soon as we opened the back door, our host, who must have been waiting behind the Cabanas was there with his golf cart to drive us towards the tram. He asked if we had enjoyed our stay and the Cabanas and we had a short conversation which ended in the question if he would be Cabana host during the next cruise as well.

He said that he was pretty sure he was and we assured him that we would be back. I donít think he really understood as he wished us a nice trip home. The tram was already waiting and we just got on, changed trams at the end of the runway and were back at the ship in no time. We hiked up to the front gangway, got in line to get back on and were back on board within a few minutes. Back in our stateroom we took nice long hot showers and then sat outside on the veranda to see the DREAM pull out. Once we were out on the open seas again, we went up to the pooldeck to pick up an afternoon snack.

I picked a Bacon, Brie, and Tomato Panini, while Tom got another Hot Dog. We sat close to the adult area and enjoyed our afternoon snack. Once we were done, Tom was toying with the idea of a slice of pizza and since he was already going to get some, he was kind enough to pick one up for me as well, so we both enjoyed a slice of Peperoni Pizza instead of dessert. And after all that food we were craving some coffee and since the Cove Cafť was just around the corner, this is where we headed. There were not many people around at that time as it was close to the first show and close to the first dinner seating.

Tom tried the Espresso Martini, Absolut vanilla, Godiva chocolate liqueur, Frangelico and Espresso, while I ordered the  Frozen Cappuccino, 1/3 espresso blended with vanilla ice cream. We sat there and people watched and enjoyed the drinks and time just flew by. We walked around the ship a bit afterwards and then returned to our stateroom to rest a little before dinner. We were actually a little late for dinner that day, as we had met Oana outside our stateroom who had started taking luggage to the holding area. We were pretty pleased that we would not have to get off the next day and that the stress of packing would only come our way four days later. When we arrived at the restaurant most of the tables around us had already been seated. Our server team was quickly on hand to ask about drinks and we stuck with the usual, Diet Cokes. Our dining room server wanted to know where we had been the two nights prior and we had to tell him that we had enjoyed dinner at Palo and Remy. He then went on to ask if we trusted him enough to let HIM make the decision on what we would order. Well, why not. So while he went to get our starters we sampled the bread of the evening, Six Grain Country Bread, with Caramelized Onions and Sun-dried Tomato Dip.It was pretty good but we wanted to leave room for whatever our server would get for us. When he returned he brought out three plates for two people. He put the Artichoke, Spinach and Jalapeno Cheese Dip, with triangles of crispy pita bread in the middle for us to share, then handed Tom the Chilled Seafood Medley, Lemon shrimp, smoked salmon tartare and marinated bay scallops, before he placed the Sesame Crusted Tuna Sashimi, Wakame Salad and American Caviar, with pickled ginger wasabi and soy sauce in front of me. We were stunned and quickly declined when he asked if we wanted to sample the soups and salads. We actually shared all three appetizers, which were all perfectly cooked and very good. Once we had fought our way through 3 appetizers we were hoping for only two main courses. But when the server returned he was carrying three plates again. This time he put a plate of the Yachtsman Steakhouse Center Cut Grilled Beef Tenderloin, served with William potatoes, asparagus spears, baby vegetables and bearnaise sauce in front of each of us and put the Seafood Linguini Pasta, Lobster, scallops, shrimp, clams and asparagus-white wine sauce in the middle to share. We were really torn, as the tenderloin was melt in your mouth tender, but the pasta dish was pretty darn good too. So we kept picking from both plates. Then it was finally time for dessert and we both thought about skipping it, but there was no way around it, our server insisted on us having dessert.

We knew we were in for dessert overload and told him to just get one or no more than two. Well, you guessed it, he brought out three again. He put all three, the Baked Alaska, served with ice cream loaf, sponge cake and meringue, the Celebration Cake, Layers of cheesecake covered with strawberries embedded in rich vanilla cream and glazed with white chocolate and the Chocolate Decadence, Chocolate brownie topped with rich chocolate mousse, topped with ganache and a Tiramisu shooter. It was such a shame as we were only able to eat about half of each dessert, but we were so stuffed. Once we could not eat any more our server seemed to be happy and told us about breakfast the next morning.

We reminded him that we would stay on for another cruise and that he was going to see us again. Then it was time to say good night, as they were already setting the tables for the next morning. We headed back to our stateroom, changed into very comfortable clothes and headed on deck. We were eager to find out if there would be fireworks that night. Deck 12 was packed but we were able to find a spot midship right at the railing above the party area on the opposite side of where the fireworks would be fired. We watched the party guests dancing and cheering for a while. Time came that the fireworks should have been started. Nothing happened, then another announcement and everyone was holding their breath. But this time it was the announcement that someone real special was to start the fireworks. It took a minute or two and the special guest made his appearance.

It took a minute or two and the special guest made his appearance. It was no one else but the main mouse himself in his Sorcerer costume. He waved a magic wand and the fireworks went off without a hitch. Now thatís what I call Disney magic. The fireworks were fun as always and after they had ended we stayed for a little while to let the first crowds subside. We then walked down the two flights of stairs and back to our stateroom.

It was pretty sad to see some of the suitcases still outside. For most of the cruisers this sadly was their last night. We quickly checked back into our stateroom, had a quick drink and then went downstairs to watch the Fairwell Party in the Atrium. All the characters come out to say goodbye and it was fun to watch them all coming down the stairs. They stayed for autographs and photos and we saw Michelle and her family right in the middle of it all. So we walked down, waited with them and after some time said our goodbyes, but not without vowing that we would meet again, once we would be back at Walt Disney World.

Back in our stateroom we sat out on the veranda for a while to discuss the tripís events, before we fell into bed.