Sept 1, 2012





Castaway Cay – take 3


Another day that we got up early again. We were going back to Castaway Cay and had ordered room service breakfast again. So we got up in time to be ready our 7.30am breakfast. No idea, how they do it but at 7.30 sharp there was a knock at the door and our breakfast had arrived. The server put it on the little table in the stateroom, thanked us very much for his tip and left.

We took the tray outside onto the veranda and enjoyed coffee and tea, bagels with cream cheese, croissants with jam, some juice and a fruit bowl while we watched the ship dock at Castaway Cay. Once we had finished breakfast we put the tray outside, then got our beach bag ready, put on our Cabana bracelets and waited for the announcement that the ship had been cleared. At around 9am they made the announcement and off we went. Almost everyone tried to get off at the same time and it caused a little traffic jam to get to the point where you sign off the ship. But within a few minutes we were off and on our way to the tram.

This time we didn’t have to do any more shopping, so we went to the end of the first tram line, then changed to the one for Serenity Bay and within a few minutes we had arrived. Our stateroom host was laughing and waiting for us, leading the way to the golf cart. We got on and were taken to out home for the day. The stateroom host accompanied us to the Cabana and once inside asked if everything was okay the way it was. He even mentioned that he had made sure the bell to his pager worked properly this time and after asking if there was something we needed right away, he left.

We put our valuables into the safe, then had some drinks out of the fridge and a few bites of fruit and we sat out on the porch and enjoyed the sun and the view. Soon after that we put on our water shoes and headed for the ocean. Again, there was a bank out there, but it was not as shallow as the last time. We swam and drifted and enjoyed the sun for quite some time, before we made our way back to the Cabana, showered and sat outside, wrapped in a soft towel until we had sufficiently dried off. Time for a drink. We pressed the button for the stateroom host and within a few minutes he arrived to take our orderIt took him about 10 minutes to come back with a Corona for Tom and Konk Kooler for me.

We got comfortable on the loungers and enjoyed our drinks and the lazy time before we headed back into the ocean again. We stayed out there, talked about our vacation so far and enjoyed the some mote time in the sun. We were surprised to see that it was already close to 11.30 when we got back to our Cabana and we decided to just dry off some more before we would walk down to the barbeque station for lunch. And while we enjoyed sitting in the sun we noticed some commotion further down the beach. Didn’t take us long to realize that a certain Captain had come to visit the beach, Captain Jack. He walked down the beach, talking to guests and gladly willing to pose for photos.

It took him quite some time to get to the end of the beach and head over to the Cast Member beach and once he was gone, we put on some shirts and beach shoes and walked along the beach to the Castaway Air bar, where we made a pit stop at the restrooms and then walked over to the barbeque. Everything looked good and we were just weighing our options when one of the cast members asked if we cared for some freshly grilled steaks. Very good idea. We both filled our plates with salads and Tom got a burger too, and then we stood to the side to wait for the meat. The cast member, who was manning the grill, then told us that they would bring the steaks to our table and we were welcome to find a seat.

That’s what we did. We found a shady table, picked up some drinks and a few minutes later two juicy, freshly grilled steaks arrived at the table. We were in heaven. Once we had finished our main courses, Tom went to pick up some desserts for us, a plate of grapes, pineapple and melon and two chocolate chip cookies. The perfect sweet treat after such a yummy meal. And after another trip to the restroom we managed to sneak past our Cabana host and down to the beach to walk along the water’s edge up to our Cabana. We got another drink out of the fridge and a cool towel to cool us down a bit, then applied some more sunscreen and back into the ocean we went.

We drifted around for quite a while, then headed back to our Cabana to chill some more. At around 3pm we ordered some more drinks from our Cabana host, and we were a bit stunned as it took quite a while until he returned. Again, he brought 4 drinks instead of two. We needed to chill those drinks, so we put one of Tom’s Coronas and one of my Pina Coladas in the fridge, while we enjoyed the other one. It was a very relaxed feeling, just lying on the loungers, drink in hand with a view of all the umbrellas in the ocean in the distance. But once we had finished our drinks and checked our watches there was just time for one more dip in the ocean, before we would have to say goodbye for the next 6 months.

So we slipped into our water shoes again and headed out into the ocean for some watery fun. About 40 minutes later, when we saw the Cast Members closing the first umbrellas on the far side of the beach, we headed back to our retreat, took a shower, and dried off before changing into our regular clothes. We packed up all our stuff and then we headed outside to find our Cabana host waiting for us to take us down to the runway. Once there, we thanked him for his services, handed him a tip and said our goodbyes. We got on the next tram back to Pelican Point and were there in no time. There we changed to the tram back to the ship and who should get in behind us, but AnnMarie, a server we had gotten to know at Palo, who had now moved on to be a Concierge.

She struck up a conversation with us, mentioning that she remembered us being her guests before, but could not place us. Her memory was quickly refreshed when I reminded her that I had been the one who brought her own tea to the afternoon tea! Needless to say we had a lot of fun riding back to the ship. We got back on and the air conditioning on the ship really hits you when you have been “fried” all day. Up in our stateroom we took showers, then grabbed a drink out of the fridge and sat outside on the veranda, enjoying the view and finally setting sail again. There was one more thing we had not done in all our cruises on the Dream, ride the Aquaduck.

 So while the first dinner seating was in place and the first show of the evening was on, we put on our swim suits again and headed up one floor to first enjoy the adult pool, which we had all to ourselves. Then we switched over to the hot tub, which indeed was hot and we again had it to ourselves. It took a bit of getting used to, to be able to look down to the ocean several decks below us. We talked about getting on the Aquaduck, but were not sure about it. At least we wanted to have a look at crowds. And once we were up there we struck up a conversation with another very sweet cast member, who laughed about our worries of getting stuck and told us to just go for it. It would be practically empty and she was sure we would come back to ride it again. Reluctantly we got in line and walked up to the starting point. And there was really NO one in line apart from us. Another very friendly cast member explained how to get into the boat and after telling her that this was our first time, she even explained what it would be like and that she was sure we would come back. And off we went and it was fun, a lot of fun and we were laughing so hard that we had a hard time getting out of the tube at the end. We needed to do it again and the cast member at the beginning of the stairs, just laughed and told us that she had told us so. We headed up the stairs, this time there was another family ahead of us and when they were off the cast member helping us into our boat told us, that she had told us so before, too. Again, we were laughing far too hard to easily get out of the ride at the end and when we walked around to pick up our shoes again, the cast member at the bottom of the stairs told us to just go for it a few more times, we needed to catch up. We talked to her and I briefly mentioned that this was our 6th cruise on the Dream and she said that we had to at least do it once for every cruise. And this is what we did. Rode it once for every cruise we had taken and not ridden the Aquaduck. When we were coming round for the 5th or 6th time the cast member told us that she would need to get to another station, but she wanted to try and work a little magic for us, as we were such nice cruisers. She took down both of our first names and our stateroom number and told us to fully enjoy our last evening on board. We rode our full 6 cycles, then got our shoes and headed back to our stateroom. Again, we needed to shower, I needed to do my hair and we were cutting it close to dinnertime.

Thankfully we had packed up most of our things way ahead of time, so we didn’t need to worry about and we had talked to Oana and she had told us that if we at least put our luggage out before 11am we would be fine. We indeed were 10 minutes later to dinner, but once we made it there we were quickly taken to our table. The assistant server took our drinks order and quickly returned with our drinks and we put in our order. It did not take long and our server returned with our starters, the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower, with crispy noodles and wasabi dressing and the Thyme and Garlic Brioche, filled with chanterelle, hedgehog and black trumpet mushrooms and leek stew in a light buttermilk cream and our server had decided to get us a third appetizer as well, the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli, with roasted garlic and sweet basil in a light tomato broth to share. And while we were still enjoying our first course, Zan, the head server came by to chat for a while. When he left he told us not to leave the dining room until he had returned to our table. We still had two courses to get through, so we didn’t mind. Once our plates were cleared it did not take long for our main courses to arrive at the table. Again, there were three plates for the two of us.

We had ordered the Pan-seared Sea Bass, with saffron and fennel risotto with a sweet chili glaze and the Roasted Pork Tenderloin seasoned with Smoked Salt, Citrus flavored polenta cakes and oven roasted carrots, parsnips and caramelized Granny Smith apples and we received the Caramelized Sea Scallops, with roasted asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and pearl pasta, garnished with caramelized leeks and veal jus reduction as an added bonus dish. Thanks to our Aquaduck adventure we were both pretty hungry, so we did our best to polish off all three mains. And again, we had no choice of the dessert, as our server had taken that into his hands again. So after a short while we were served the Sweet Temptations, a trio of Sacher cake, strawberry cheesecake, and chocolate silk mousse, the Steamed Lemon Buttermilk Pudding, with citrus reduction and the Banana Foster Sundae, Rum glazed bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce. We were stuffed already, but at least wanted to give all the desserts a try. And while we were still “working” on them, Zan came back, and put a small packet on our table. He told us that we were very special guests to him and his crew and because we had always been so generous and always had brought him and the servers a lot of chocolate and sweets, we deserved a little token of his friendship. Inside the packet were two small china salt and pepper bottles. We were told that when the dream was first in service they had used these salt and pepper shakers, but people had started “taking them with them” and they had exchanged them for regular ones. But he wanted us to have a “piece of Dream memorabilia”. We were SO stunned. Shortly after our short conversation he had to leave and get something else done, but he promised to be around the next morning, before we had to disembark. Happy with the gift we had just gotten and stuffed to the gills we got back to our stateroom where we found another surprise waiting. There was a rolled up “something” attached to the seahorse next to our door.

We took it inside and opened it up and it was a Magical Moments certificate from the cast member we had met at the Aqua duck. The certificate was to announce us as honorary citizens of the Disney Dream and we only then realized that the cast member manning the Aquaduck that night was indeed one who worked at the shops and we had handed her some chocolate a while ago. It really made it hard to think about the fact that we were to disembark in just a few more hours. But we still needed to get our luggage sorted and so we packed up everything we no longer needed, then found Oana and helped her getting our luggage to the holding area. There was no way we would be able to get to sleep right away, so we decided to head down to Skyline and get a drink. There were not too many people in there, we found a nice spot to sit and ordered our drinks. Tom got a Mojito, while I had a some blue concoction with a glow cube in it. We sat for quite some time enjoying our drinks before we headed back to our stateroom at about midnight. Whilst walking up to it we saw someone standing by our door. We could not believe it, but Narciso, our former stateroom host had come to say goodbye and have a chat. We went inside our stateroom and shared what was left of our drinks in the fridge and he stayed for more than two hours. We did have a good time, but when he left we were so tired, all we could still do was fall into bed and we drifted off to sleep immediately.