Aug 29, 2010




Adventures Away, Part 2


Since we didn’t actually disembark we slept in a little. We took a shower and got ready for our Farewell breakfast. When we got down to Parrot Cay, the nice couple from New York was already there and we had a nice and fun conversation with them until Mr. Know It All arrived and joined the conversation. He thought that there were not enough activities and the food was not to his liking, but he was happy as they were going to spend the rest of the day at Disneyland.

After he had been corrected that the place he was going to was not Disneyland, but Walt Disney World, he went on to let us know that he was so looking forward to go on his favourite ride, It’s A Small World. I couldn’t help but let him know that it was closed for refurbishment, but he was sure that was not true. Not even mentioning that we had just spent more than 10 days at Walt Disney World wouldn’t change his mind. Thankfully by then our breakfast arrived. Tom had coffee and I had some juice, as the tea I had actually ordered, never arrived. I chose to go with Route 66, Scrambled eggs, bacon, grilled sausage, grilled ham, and hash browns for my breakfast. Tom had the Chef's Farewell, a large open faced omelette topped with barbecued chicken, green peppers, onions and melted Swiss cheese. They also brought out several plates of fruit for all to share.

Once we had finished breakfast it was time to say our final farewells and were sad to see the New York couple leave, but quite happy not to see Mr. Know It All again. Since we didn’t really know how this worked, we had our paperwork for our next cruise and our passports in my handbag, then joined the line to disembark.

We left through the luggage pick-up room and soon enough were in front of the terminal building. Our car was still sitting in the parking lot and we needed to pay our parking fees for the second cruise, so we walked up to the pay-station. It was still “un-manned” so we stuck around, asked a port worker and he thought that it would be best to stick around as they were supposed to open up in about 15 minutes. About 10 minutes later one of the guys in the pay-stations showed up and after we had explained what we were here for, he got everything ready and we could finally pay for our car to stay there. We took the little piece of paper back to the car and exchanged one for the other before we walked back to the ship. There was no one trying to embark at that moment, so we went through in no time. We went through the security check and up to the actual check-in.

All the counters were still closed and we were the only people in there for quite some time. Lots of time to take lots of photos. We were finally joined by a few people and had a fun conversation with a Cast Member who was in charge of all the wigs on board. She had a few fun stories to share and time just flew by. We were there for about 3 quarters of an hour when another Cast Member arrived with a few guests in tow.

He explained to them what would happen now and we could overhear the conversation, these were back to back cruisers as well. Turns out that our reservation hadn’t been noted back to back, so we never received a letter to meet on the ship and get off and on together. But he told us that as soon as the check-in desks were open we should all check-in again and we would be allowed back on the ship soon after. Since the ship was made ready for the next guests we had to wait at the Cove Café until it was time for us to have lunch. We went back to our chairs and waited for a while until we spied a family we knew from the DISboards. Monica and her family were back to back cruisers as well and we had both signed up for the Fish Extender exchange. We hadn’t met in person, but I was determined to get to know her. So when I had finally spotted them I walked over to them and just asked if she was Monica. Yip, she was. We hit it off right away. They were cruising with their adult son, who was reading every time I saw him and their teenage daughter, who practically lived in the teens club on board.

After a short time we noticed that the Cast Members were getting ready to check people in and Monica decided to get in line. We were both Silver Castaway Cay Members, but since we are not US citizens we did not know if we could check in there too. No problem. We were checked in in no time and proceeded towards the entrance.  A little while later we were allowed back on board and headed up to the Cove Café. To our huge surprise there was a Cast Member greeting us and telling us that all coffees were free for back to back cruisers and that they had prepared a tray with pastries as well. Tom got himself a double espresso and I had a heavenly Cappuccino. We sat in those heavenly chairs, talked to Monica and her family, the Cast Member at the bar kept talking to us and after a while, Pierre, the food and beverage officer on board, who came from Britain stopped by for a short conversation.

One of the ladies who sat there waiting with us told us that she was the wife of one of the officers on board and that she was allowed to travel with her husband. Around 11.45 we saw the first guests on board the ship and decided to head down to Parrot Cay for some lunch. What a different experience from Beach Blanket Buffet. We were met at the entrance, led to a table, served some drinks and then we went to get some food from the buffet.

The offerings were the same, but it felt so much nicer there. We both had a plate full of salads, salmon and breaded cutlet and then we got up for a second plate of desserts. Needless to say that we needed that welcome drink, a Bahama Mama, as well, and this time we remembered to keep the souvenir glass. It took a bit longer to finish lunch but by the time we had finished our meal we still couldn’t get to our stateroom. So we walked around the ship for a short while and then finally walked up to our deck and waited for the hallways to be opened.

Walking along the hallway we could see our stateroom door standing out, since it was the only one decorated! We opened the door and found another “welcome back” present from the Disney Cruise Line, another beach bag, water bottles, a key ring and rice crispy treats. We sat and talked for a while, enjoyed the view from the veranda and waited for the Lifeboat Drill to start. We saw and heard the lifeboat drill at the Carneval Ship that was docked opposite our ship and then it was finally time and we had to make our way down to deck 4. The drill was short and over quickly and we were back on our way to our stateroom. After taking off our life vests and putting them back into the cupboard we picked up our cameras and got ready to leave again. We wanted to stake out a good spot for the Adventures Away Party, so we went up on deck 10 and found a nice spot overlooking the party.

They were just starting it and it was fun to watch the Cast Members interact with the guests and soon the party was in full swing. The characters were on deck and finally there was the countdown. Three, two, one ………. Adventures away and we pulled out of Port Canaveral.

Tom and I stayed on deck 10 and watched the ship pull away from the terminal where some Cast Members were waving. We stayed on deck for a while watching the coastline getting further and further away before we went back to our stateroom and sorted out our Fish Extender gifts for the second cruise. It wasn’t long until we had to leave again and walk down to see this evenings performance of the “Golden Mickeys”.

The theatre filled up quickly and the show was fun as always. When it was over, the stores had already opened and we browsed for a while. It was nearly time to go down to our assigned restaurant for dinner. Our restaurant for the night was Animator’s Palette. We were there before the restaurant opened, got in line and were soon led to our table. We were the first ones there and sat and looked at the menu.

Soon after we were joined by another couple, which sat at the opposite end of the table and there was not more conversation than a short hello. They both asked for something to drink to help with their being seasick as the sea had gotten a little rougher than usual as we went through the remnants of a tropical storm and the Florida Straight. Another couple joined us, and they sat down opposite us and we introduced ourselves and started some small talk. Shortly after we were served our drinks. I had ordered the Artist's Impression, Absolut Vanilla, Frangelico, Passion Fruit Purée and Orange Juice and Tom had ordered the Renaissance, Vodka Raspberry, Triple Sec, Raspberry Purée, Lime Juice, Sparkling Wine. They also brought out  some soft drinks for all of us and at that time the couple at the other end of the table left as they were feeling too sick for eating. We had already snacked on some of the nice Garlic and Herb Focaccia Bread and the yummy Garlic spread before we were served our starters.

Tom had the Ahi Tuna Tartare, with Caviar, Chives, and Wasabi Cream, while I had ordered the Wild Mushroom Risotto and Porcini Twist, served with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Black Truffle Oil. Right before we were served our starters we decided that instead of sitting opposite each other it would be a much better idea and much easier to watch the show and transformation of the restaurant if Teresa and Mickey, our new friends, sat next to us.

So Mick and Teresa changed seats and Teresa and I talked a lot while enjoying our starters. I felt the need to tell Teresa that I was taking food photos to post it on a website I frequent, and was surprised to hear that she was reading on a board too.Wouldn’t be the DISboards, Teri? Yes, that’s it!! How exciting is that, to be seated at the same table as a fellow DISer! Needless to say our conversations got much more Disneyfied then. All the time the dining room changed bit by bit and we finally were served our main courses. Tom had ordered the Shere Khan's Asian Marinated Beef Short Ribs, on Smashed Yucca topped with Wok-fried Bok Choy and Red Cabbage. My choice was Lemon-Thyme Marinated Chicken Breast, on top of Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, and Grain Mustard Jus, after it had been recommended by the server.

While we were still munching on our mains the “show” and final transformation of the dining room took place. Alex our new server was already quite concerned as we were already late in ordering dessert. Tom chose the Chilled Lemon Soufflé with Raspberry Drizzle. I had the Animator's Sweet Temptations, a Trio of Strawberry Sable, Cranberry and Orange Cheesecake, and Double-Fudge Chocolate Cake.

When we finally finished our desserts the restaurant was nearly empty, but Teri and I had talked about their next day’s excursion and we had let them know that we would not have dinner with them the next evening, as we had another reservation at Palo. It was quite hard to get around the ship by that time as the sea had now gotten really rough. Tom and I walked back to our stateroom, got out the Fish Extender gifts and started our first round of gift delivering. Since the group was smaller this time and we already knew our way around the ship we were done in about half an hour. We walked outside on the veranda, sat for a while watching the WONDER cutting through the waves, but we were both tired and went to bed shortly after.