Feb 18, 2014





Big ship – beautiful small island


We were up again shortly before 7am and headed out onto the veranda to see if we had gotten close to Castaway Cay yet. You could see land further away, but we were not sure it was Castaway Cay, so we went to take showers. Showers done we headed out onto the veranda again and now we were CLOSE to Castaway Cay. Since we were at the back of the ship we watched the ship back in and enjoyed the clear blue skies and the sight of the beautiful island.

Once the ship was docked it was time for us to head downstairs to have some breakfast. Again we headed for the Royal Palace, but this time Mario did not work there, so we were taken to a table by another server and started laughing when he showed us our “special” table. It was the same one we had had twice the day before. We ordered some coffee and juice and ordered our breakfasts. Again we started with the same starters, the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with raisins, shredded apples and yogurt for Tom and the Mornin' Tug Boat, fresh blend of strawberries, bananas, almonds, raisin granola and low-fat yogurt for myself.

Both were delivered pretty fast and were as delicious as they had been the day before. I am pretty boring when it comes to ordering breakfast at the Royal Palace, so I ordered the Traditional Eggs Benedict, Toasted English muffin with grilled Canadian bacon, served with poached egg topped with hollandaise sauce, grilled roma tomatoes and link sausages again. Tom went for the Three-Egg Omelet with peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, ham and cheese   hash browns and white toast. Again, it only took minutes for our breakfast to be served and we both enjoyed it a lot. In the meantime there had been an announcement that the ship had been cleared and we were now welcome to disembark and head to the island.

So, once we had finished breakfast we headed back to our stateroom and were surprised to see someone peeking into our veranda from the other side. We walked outside and saw that they had already started to put the wooden railing back on, which was missing at some of the staterooms on our deck. The worker who had peeked into our veranda asked if we would mind him coming over when we were out and we told him that we didn’t mind him coming over right now if that was what was on his mind.

So a few seconds later he knocked and brought the railing with him to be fixed.  And while he was doing it we got changed and put on our Cabana wristbands before we made our way to deck one to sign off and spend the day on Disney’s beautiful private island. We walked to the tram stop, but one was about to leave and there were already a lot of people waiting, so we figured that we would be as fast, just walking to the shops. We took our sweet time getting there, then stopped and looked at some items, met Oxana, who was working there and then finally bought a few items. Purchases in our backpack we walked over to the tram stop to Serenity Bay. It didn’t take long for a tram to arrive and to take us to the adult beach.

Once we got off the tram the Cabana host was already waiting and took us to our Cabana. And after having shown us around he left us to enjoy our home for the day. We made ourselves comfortable, put the valuables into the safe and sat out on the veranda in the sun. It did not take long and the ocean was pulling us towards it. It was still a bit windy, but we put on our water-shoes and walked down to the shore. To say the water felt cold would be a bit of an understatement, but we went in anyway. Once you were fully emerged in the water it felt much better, but at that time there were only 4 other people in the water. We drifted around and swam a bit for about 20 minutes, then headed back to the Cabana.

We quickly took a shower, then wrapped ourselves in the warm towels which we had hung into the sun beforehand. I sat on the seat right up at the netted railing, while Tom sat on one of the lounge chairs reading a book. After a while one of the CMs taking drinks orders walked up and we waved at him to let him know we wanted to place an order. And while we waited for him to return we tried the fruit that were in the fridge. I nibbled on some grapes, while Tom tried one of the apples. He cut one half into pieces and put the other half on the sideboard next to the fridge. The apple was pretty cold and “solid”, so he waited a while to eat his slices. All the while the other half of the apple sat outside. And while we were still enjoying our fruit we noticed some commotion on the beach.

Captain Jack was walking along the beach, stopping and talking to people as he walked along. Tom went to get his camera from the back of the cabana and there was this little bird standing on the halved apple, hacking away and enjoying a little fruit himself. He was too cute to “shoo” away, so we let him have his share of the fruit. Tom took some photos of Captain Jack and then we saw the server coming back with our drinks. We both had ordered a Konk Kooler. They were nice and cold, even though a bit on the sweet side, but that was no problem, there was lots of water in the fridge. After having finished the drinks we thought if we should go to lunch right away or give the ocean another try.

Well, the ocean won. It was now around noon and it was nice and warm and even though the water felt cold when we first went in it felt nicer once you were all wet and in the water. We swam and drifted for about half an hour, then hurried back to our Cabana, took showers and dried ourselves off.

Then we changed into dry swimsuits and walked down to the beach to go down to the Castaway Air bar and the barbecue station.We both love the salad buffet there, so we both filled our plates with salads and then I went and got myself some grilled Mahi Mahi and Tom got some freshly grilled steak. It was fun to see Corinne, one of the servers we had had at Palo’s before there and struck up a conversation with her. She clearly could not remember who we were, but let us know that she was still working at Palo and we told her that we would see her that evening. Food in hand we found a table and while I took pictures of the food, Tom went to pick up some drinks. Photos done and drinks on the table we were now able to dig in and enjoyed our lunch.

When we had finished our plate Tom went to pick up our traditional Serenity Bay dessert – Chocolate Chip Cookies. Tom picked up some more soda and we sat and enjoyed our cookies and time at the barbecue station. Once we were done we made a pit stop at the restrooms and then slowly walked along the water’s edge to our Cabana. We sat out on the deck for a while, watching other guests have fun in the water. The sand bank that was there had come out now that it was low tide and people were sitting out there, enjoying the sun. We changed into our still a bit wet swimsuits again and headed back out into the water. We quickly got over the initial cold water shock and headed out to the bank in the water, which was only about 2 inches deep there. We sat down with a view of the beach and enjoyed the sun, which was pretty nice and warm. We must have sat for quite some time, as we did see a lot of people come and go and finally we both felt that we were starting to burn. So we slowly made our way back to the Cabana. And while we were still slowly moving through the water we saw a lot of fish, some of them really big ones. Once we were back at our Cabana we took showers, then dried ourselves off, put more sunblock on and grabbed some drinks out of the fridge. When we saw a Cast Member taking orders for “more spirited” drinks,we just waved at him and ordered our afternoon drinks. Tom read a bit, sitting on his lounger, while I sat at my chair close to the railing, looking out over the ocean. About 20 minutes later our drinks arrived.

Tom had ordered a Mojito and I had ordered a Pina Colada, which again was a bit too much on the sweet side. But who cared, we were at Castaway Cay and it was really nice to enjoy the sun, but all too soon the Cast Members started to close umbrellas and collect chairs that were left at the water’s edge. About an hour before we were supposed to be back on board we started to collect all our stuff again and get changed. Once we had packed our bag again and checked for forgotten items we decided that instead of ringing the bell to get the Cabana host, we would just walk down to the tram. Imagine our surprise when the Cabana host was already waiting for us. So we quickly jumped into the Golf cart and he took us to the tram.

We said our goodbyes and Tom handed him a tip and soon we were on our way back to Pelican Point where we had to change trams. It did not take long and another tram was coming in and we were able to get on. Back at the pier we had to hike all the way to the front of the ship to get on again and once inside we took the elevator up to deck 8 and hiked all the way to the back.

Once we had both taken showers we sat outside on the veranda with a drink out of the fridge until it was time for the ship to pull out of Castaway Cay. We watched with a drink in hand, until we were quite far out at sea. And by that time it was about time to get ready for the next point on our agenda. We changed and headed upstairs to Palo, for our 6pm dinner reservation. We were a tiny bit late, so they did not even ask us to sit in Meridian for a minute, but we were escorted right in by Corinne! After meeting her at the barbecue, where indeed we had told her that we would be having dinner at Palo she had made sure we were her guests. We were led to a lovely table right by the window and handed the menus.

Then Corinne went to get some water before she would take a drinks order and get the antipasti. Fresh water with a slice of lemon on the table we decided that we would both get a glass of the Moet Ice to enjoy with the Antipasti plate. So, before our drinks were delivered, Corinne rolled the antipasti cart over to our table and filled a plate very generously with marinated olives, red peppers and artichokes, Parma ham and Brescaola and quite a lot of nice pieces of Parmesan cheese. She then offered us several infused oils and an aged Balsamic to drizzle over it. There was nothing to debate, the Balsamic it was.

And a minute after she had put the plate on the table she returned with a basket of House made Breads. And while we started to try the goodies on our table she went to get our drinks and returned with them shortly after. It only took a few minutes until our starters were delivered. Tom had ordered an old favourite, the Fritto di Calamari, lightly crusted calamari served with deep-fried cherry peppers, and I was served the Mozzarella and Plum Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing, their Modern Interpretation of a Traditional Dish. And both were really well seasoned and fresh and we enjoyed them very much. Corinne stopped by ever so often to make sure we were happy and we chatted a bit with her too. Knowing from previous visits we knew that many European cast members were missing European kind of sweets and Corinne was no exception. Once we talked about things she missed, we learned that she missed French baguette, some savoury dishes and European chocolate. Yeah, score, I was carrying a bag of chocolates in my new Disney cruise line Dooney and Bourke bag. But there was no chance to hand it over right now as she was busily hurrying away to get the palate cleanser, Lime Sorbet, which was nice, cool and refreshing. Soon after we had finished them, our main courses were delivered.

Tom had ordered the  Pan-seared Calves Liver, Mele e Cipolle, on polenta cake with caramelized apples and onions, garnished with air-dried prosciutto.Ever since it had been a special on the menu, Tom had loved it and so he had ordered it as his main course. He raved about it. I had ordered something I had had before too, the Fagotti di Petto di Pollo con Ricotta e Basilico, Baked chicken breast filled with ricotta, basil and red peppers served with pinot grigio reduction, which was to die for. We both took our sweet time enjoying our main courses and while we still did so, Corinne came by to ask if everything was okay and if we would like Palo’s signature dessert. Yes, that was what we wanted and since it takes 20 minutes to make she put in the order for us. And once we had finished our main courses, our plats were whisked away and we were left to enjoy the evening and the quiet of the restaurant, while everywhere else on board the pirates had taken over.

We sat for about 10 minutes and then Corinne arrived with our dessert, the Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Sauce. And after opening the Souffle up and pouring in equal amounts of Vanilla Sauce and Chocolate Sauce we started to enjoy this heavenly dessert. When we had finished it, Corinne brought over the bill, which was on Mickey, we only had to pay for our Champagne and add the tip for our server. When we handed her our card to run it for the tip we handed her her bag of sweets as well. And I kid you not, she was so excited and went to the back room to try one of the chocolates right away. When she finally returned, she mentioned that she could not stop at one piece, but had two of them and put the farewell drink, Palo offers in front of us. This is some Limoncello, some lime sorbet, topped with a bit of Prosecco. Very nice and very cold! When we were finally ready Corinne hugged both of us and told us to come back soon. Well, her wish was our command as we had a reservation for brunch the next day and we told her so. She just laughed and said, that she would be here to take care of us and make sure we had a nice table. We said our goodbyes for the day and rolled back to our room where we found a towel money waiting for us. We changed into more comfortable clothes and sat out on the veranda for a while. When we had recovered from food overload a bit we grabbed our Fish Extender gifts for that day and headed out to deliver them.

 It did take us a little longer to deliver them that day, as there were so many pirates in the hallways. When we returned to our stateroom we were both done. There was still about an hour and a half until the fireworks, but we were both so tired that we decided to skip the fireworks and instead have an early night. So by 10pm we were already in bed and when the fireworks started we peeked out on the veranda and could see hints of it, but we very quickly returned to our beds and called it a day.