Tami Farmer -- December 2001 -- Disney Cruise Trip
Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9, 2001
Thursday Dec. 6th
Before the cruise, we spent 5 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge (separate trip report). So, we woke up at AKL and spent some time in the hot tub and then had breakfast at the food court before driving to Port Canaveral. For anyone driving from WDW to Port Canaveral, have lots of quarters ready for the many toll booths you will encounter. We arrived sometime after 11 to a rather empty terminal. They had us pull up to a curb where they took our luggage and had me get out of the truck. Britt then drove across the street, paid the $21 to park for the 3 night cruise, and met me in the terminal. Check in was a breeze and so we had a while to look around the terminal and take pictures until they let us on the boat around 12:15-12:30. They give you that day's navigator when you check-in also so you can also read that while you wait. By the time they let us on the boat, the crowd was starting to get there.
The rooms were not ready until 1:15, so we headed to the Beach Blanket Buffet (Parrot Cay was already full) and ate outside trying to pick out where the space shuttle launches from in the distance. This would be a great place to watch the launch. We missed it by one day though :( I think we did pick out the Vehicle Assemble Building off in the distance. My binoculars were in my suitcase, but I should have put them in the day bag we carried on. We got finished eating and then went to Scoops for ice cream (we visited Scoops a lot during the cruise) and then headed to our stateroom (Deluxe Ocean view #6008). I liked the giant porthole to look out of, but I think next cruise I will want the verandah.
Palo started taking reservations at 1:30. First we headed to Palo's itself, but then read the Navigator and saw we were to report to one of the clubs (I think it was in Wavebands?). When you got there, they ask you what day you want and then had you take a number. We were number 10 for tonight. It took less than 5min. for our number to be called and then we headed to the spa which started taking reservations at 2:00. If you wanted to, you could have a seat and take a tour of the spa or just proceed to were the reservations were. Since we already knew what we wanted to book, we skipped the tour.
Somewhere around 2:30, we reported to where they were giving a tour of the ship. For first time cruisers, I think the tour was helpful and our tour guide Becky did a great job. There were about 20-25 people on the tour. She said the best way to remember where to go on the ship is that entertainment stuff is generally toward the front of the ship and food stuff is toward the back, or aft, of the ship. She said you can remember aft because if you ate too much, it is your back side or a#$ that gets big. For walkers or joggers, Deck 4 is the one that you want to do your laps on because it goes around the greatest distance.
After the tour, we went back to the room and organized our luggage while we waited for the 4:00 lifeboat drill which didn't seem to take to long to complete. Then, it was off to the sail away party. Once we started to sail, Britt and I went to the front of the ship to look out. From there, a lot of people were watching as dolphins were jumping in the water in front of our ship. It was windy up there, but a great place to see the dolphins.
We stayed up there for a while then went down to the room to get ready for Palo. I went with Britt to the laundry room (which took a while to find). Once we found it, some poor guy was wondering the hallways lost right outside of it. Us and the other people who had gathered in line to use the irons are like, "The laundry room is right here." He replied, "Laundry room? I'm not looking for the laundry room. I can't find the way back to my own room." LOL. When we got back to the room, our room host knocked on the door to introduce himself. His name started with a "K" and was really hard to pronounce, so Britt and I nicknamed him Kazoo.
Palo wasn't crowded at all when we were there. Other than us, there were maybe 10 other people in the whole place. Most people must do this later in the cruise. I had stuffed chicken breast. Both of us got the soufflé for dessert. If you are going to order this they like to know in advance because it take 20min. to make. After Palo, the waters started to get rough and it started pouring down rain. I wasn't feeling so well at that point so we went back to the room and went to bed. The next morning a lot of people (even the workers) were talking about how rough the waters were and apparently there was a long line for Dramamine (sp?) that night.
Friday Dec. 7th
Got up early and headed to the Beach Blanket Buffet for breakfast. Then we played ping pong on Deck 9 for a while before heading down to deck 4 to walk a few laps. Before the ship docked, they closed the front part of Deck 4 so we headed up to the top to take pictures as the ship pulled into Nassau. We were the first ship there, but soon 3 others arrived.
After the ship docked, Britt and I went back to the room to get ready to go to the Spa for the Surial Bath thing. One hour in there goes by incredibly too fast! We were told there would be a 10min. warning knock, but I never heard it. The only knock I ever heard was when they were telling us our time was up and to hurry up and get out before the automatic cleaners come on and drench us. There was some revitalizing gel in there that was great. It smelled like Vicks vapor rub, but left your skin feeling fantastic. To buy it was something like $42 or $47. The massage oils were great also. After the Surial Bath, we look advantage of the Tropical Rain Forest. There was a mint fog shower, a tropical rain shower, an aromatherapy room, some other rooms, and those great chairs in the middle that seem to heat up when you sit in them as you listen to the sound of the fountain and the soft music in the background, incredibly relaxing.
We stayed in there a while before heading back to the buffet for a snack and then back to the room to order room service for lunch. We though about getting off the boat to walk around Nassau, but decided we'd rather go back to the Tropical Rain Forest for a while before seeing Monsters Inc. that afternoon. Then, we checked out the gift shops and headed somewhere up on Deck 9 for Chicken Wraps and Ice Cream. There is also an assortment of cookies and brownies to snack on up on Deck 9.
The first part of the evening we went to the Who Wants To Be A Mouseketeer Show. The rest of the evening was spent alternating between the pool, hot tub, and tropical rain forest. Honestly, I would go on this cruise again if only to spend time in the rain forest, we liked it that much. When the spa closed, we went back to the room, changed clothes, and headed to the dueling pianos in Barrel of Laughs. I like the dueling pianos at Boardwalk's Jellyrolls a lot better. At Jellyrolls, people were actually requesting songs. On the ship, no one requested any songs, and so the piano players just did a program of preset stuff.
We finished the evening by hanging out at the deck party and the ESPN place. Kazoo had made us a towel monkey that was hanging in the room when we got back. By the way, I'm a huge chocoholic so I loved the candy Kazoo left on the bed every night.
Saturday Dec. 8th
When we woke up, we looked out the porthole and saw we were already at Castaway Cay. Breakfast was room service and then we got ready and were among the first ones off the boat. Two tram rides later, we were on the adult beach claiming our hammock and chairs. The water here was actually kind of chilly. It was a lot shallower and calmer than we though it would be also. We stilled the beach and collected seashells which I'm going to make a picture frame with. As the morning went on, the place started getting packed. I was glad we got there early to claim our spot on the beach. We pretty much spent the day taking turns between the hammock and chairs. There was an elderly man in the chair beside us that spent his time on the beach reading a Harry Potter book (I really must read this book). Britt had brought his radio so we listened to it and read magazines. We decided to eat lunch there rather than head back to the family beach for lunch. After lunch though, we did head to the family beach which was of course packed with people. I was going, "Remind me again while I gave up my hammock to come over here?" I did walk around and took some good pictures though. The lifeguards started getting everyone out of the water around 3:30-4:00.
We sailed off at 5:00. The view of the island from up there was so pretty, as was the sunset over the water. I hated that I had left my camera in the room, but wasn't about to miss the sunset to go back and get it. Neither one of us were really hungry for dinner after eating so much food at lunch, so we skipped dinner. The Disney Dreams show that night was as good as the reports I've read on it. After the show, it was off to bed (lying on a beach all day really wears you out. LOL.)
Sunday Dec. 9th
Woke up at 5 and the boat was already docked back at Port Canaveral. We were hoping they would start letting us off the boat at 6 (had to drive home and wanted to get started as early as possible), but they didn't actually let anyone off until 7:30. We did make good time though and were home by 4:30 that afternoon.
Three nights was great for a first time cruise, but you really don't have enough time to do everything (We never did make it to any of the dining rooms or the Hercules show). Guess that means, we'll just have to go back again. Darn. LOL. Anyway, favorite things on the cruise: tropical rain forest and lying in the hammock on the beach. Least favorite things: not enough time to do everything. There was so much evening entertainment that it seemed like going to the dining rooms for dinner would make us miss too much of the other stuff . Perhaps the dining rooms should be open for lunch also, not just breakfast and dinner?