Aug 23, 2011





Finally back to Heaven on Earth


Today was a day to get up early. When we walked out on the balcony we were nearly at Castaway Cay. We watched the ship dock for a while, then went to have a shower and get breakfast. Usually we get a room service breakfast, but since we were only one deck down from Cabanas we wanted to try breakfast there. So we headed upstairs and there was already a long line. But it moved fast and we got inside. We got in line, picked up a few breakfast foods, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, Mickey waffles, Eggs Benedict, a grilled tomato and then some more and found a table to sit down and enjoy. Tom went and got some drinks while I took photos of our food and then it was time to tuck in.

There is one thing I really don't like about buffets. Once you get to the table the food is just lukewarm. And Cabanas was no exception. Nevertheless we ate as much as we could and then hurried back to our stateroom to get ready for our Heaven on Earth, Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay. We got into our swimsuits, donned some cover ups and grabbed our previously packed beach bags and off we went. We disembarked and picked up a towel and headed towards the tram. One was just pulling in and we got on and went to the first stop where we had to change trams. We got off and decided to have a look at the shops nearby. We walked down to the Family Beach was still deserted, but then we hurried back to the tram to ride to Serenity Bay.

There were just a few people on board when the tram left and most of them went for an outdoor activity, so we headed over to the beach area. We found two lounge chairs under an umbrella and dropped all our belongings in between the chairs, put on a second layer of sunscreen and waited for a few minutes for it to dry and then off we went to test the water.

It was wonderful, crystal clean and warm, but we had to walk out pretty far to hit "deeper" water, as in up to your waist. We spent quite a long time in the water and would have stayed even longer if my eyes hadn't started to hurt pretty bad. At first I thought that it was because of the salt water getting into my eyes, to only later find out that even though I was wearing sunglasses it actually was the sun that hurt my eyes, so I had to borrow Tom's cap. We stayed at the beach for some time until my eyes had somewhat recovered. In the meantime we ordered some drinks from the Cast Members roaming the beach in order to serve the guests. We both ordered a Konk Kooler made with rum, coconut, pineapple and orange juices, and passion fruit.

We relaxed on our beach chairs while enjoying the drinks and when we were finished we went back into the ocean. My eyes only hurt again after a while so we had time to play around for quite a while. Once we were back on dry land we rested in our chairs for a bit and watched a couple who had obviously been just married have their wedding photos taken at Serenity Bay.

We all sat and watched and when they were finally done we had gotten hungry and decided to head over to the barbeque area to have some lunch. We both grabbed a plate and I did not feel like meat, so I filled my plate with salads. Tom took some salads too, but he ordered a grilled steak as well. In the meantime my eyes started to act up again and I had to dry off my eyes ever so often. Tom went and got us some desserts. He got a piece of Pineapple Upside Down Cake, a Chocolate Chip cookie and some ice-cream. We shared everything and were stuffed when we left the table to head back to our lounge chairs. More rest was in order, so we lay down in the shade and watched the waves roll in.

 Needless to say we couldn't stay on our chairs for too long and we headed back into the water. The tide had started to roll in and the water had gotten a tad deeper, so we played for quite some time until my eyes gave in again.

In the end we took some chairs down to the water and sat there, enjoying ourselves. By 3pm we packed up our stuff and headed back to the tram that took us to the first stop. Since my eyes were giving me grief again we didn't go back to the shops but waited for the next available tram back to the ship. Once back at the ship we joined the lines of people getting back on, but it all moved fairly quickly and we were back on board. Our Fish Extender was full again and we were pretty happy with the new gifts. Since we still had on our wet swimsuits we took turns taking showers and then sat out on the veranda for quite a while. When we felt like a snack we walked up one flight of stairs and had a look at what we could have as a snack.

We chose a Hotdog and loaded it up at the condiments bar. When we were done we went back to our stateroom and were right in time to see the DREAM pulling out of Castaway Cay. When we were out on the open seas again we got our Fish Extender gifts and went out to deliver them. We took our time and looked at more of the enchanted art and had another good look at the merchandise and when we finally got back to our stateroom our host had turned down the bed and left another fun towel animal. We crashed on the extra bed and watched a little TV before our Pirate dinner at Animator's Palette. The restaurant was already open when we arrived and we were led to our table. Everyone had donned some pirate gear and we were in high spirits for our dinner. Again, we had brought some candy loot for our server pirates and it was very much appreciated. Since it was pirates night we had decided on ordering some adult drinks. I had the Captain’s Treasure, Absolute Mandarin, Peach Schnapps and Orange Juice, while Tom had ordered the Rusty Anchor, Midori, Captain Morgan Rum, Passion Fruit and Cranberry Juice. Nobody really wanted to try the bread that had been served, Johnny Cake with a pigeon pea relish. It didn't take long for our appetizers to be brought out. Tom had ordered the Pirates Golden "Pot Stickers", Oriental Pork "Dumplings" deep fried and served with a Tamarind-Ginger soy sauce and Pickled Vegetables and I had ordered Blackbeard’s Jumbo Crab Cake with a golden raisin-carrot and coconut slaw served with a spicy Calypso dressing.

We all laughed a lot during dinner and it was soon time for our main courses. Tom had decided to try the Jack Sparrow’s Barbecue Marinated Beef Short Ribs, Rubbed beef short ribs with tamarind-barbecue sauce served with onion red bliss mashed potatoes and plantain chip and I enjoyed Captain Hook’s Macadamia Nut-Dusted Mahi Mahi, Jasmine rice and sauteed pineapple on a mild curry sauce. All the servers got in on the act and Sapto played more tricks on Stephanie who couldn't stop laughing and told everyone that it was always her that was picked to play tricks on. Soon enough it was time for dessert. Tom and I ordered the same thing, the Crunch Time Sundae, Rum Raisin Ice Cream, pineapple, whipped cream and croquant.

When we were finally finished it was time to head up on deck for pirates night. We said goodbye to Ali the Head Server and since he had chatted very nicely with us the day before I thought why not ask if it would be possible to have the same servers for our next cruise. He took out a bunch of papers, looked up our stateroom and made a note that we wanted to have Sapto and Ana as our servers again.

And his next question was if we would like to have a table for two. We could not believe he really offered this to us and jumped at the opportunity of having a table to ourselves. We loved our tablemates this cruise, but being seated at a two top would be the ultimate in service. So once all of that was done we thanked him again and Tom and I agreed that Ali had just earned himself an extra tip bonus. And then it was time to head  to deck 12 and find a spot to view the fireworks from. There was a lot going on on deck 11 and we watched for quite some time and finally it was time for the fireworks.

Again, they are different from the fireworks on the Disney Wonder, but still they were amazing to watch. There were lots of people watching and hadn't we been so full we would have loved to check out the pirate's buffet, but instead we watched the Pirate show for a while and then headed downstairs to our stateroom. More loot in the Fish Extender and we grabbed an adult beverage and sat outside on the veranda enjoying the night air and listening to the music that was coming from above. At around 11.30 we called it a night and headed to bed. At least the next morning we would be able to sleep in a little.