A taste of Disney came to NYC today at the "Once Upon a Holiday" breakfast at Saks Fifth Avenue. Saks has their holiday windows themed to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Snow White so Snow White, the Prince and Dopey came to NY to be part of this special breakfast. My sister and I took my nieces this morning to the first one (there are several more being held on up coming Saturdays).
The event was from 8:30 - 10 am and our tickets said to arrive 15-30 minutes ahead. We had booked a table for six (my other sister was supposed to come as well but was not able to) . The cost was $100 per person.
We were a few minutes early so we looked at the windows outside and then went to the door just before 8 am where a handful of people were waiting. Right at 8 am, they opened the doors and had a table with 5 people waiting to check us in. Check in was simple and we were given a small card with our table number and then directed to the elevators.
The event took place in the Cafe that was located on the 8th floor.
As soon as we arrived, we were shown to our table. The Cafe was decorated for the event and Christmas music was playing. Each place setting had a yogurt parfait waiting for us and a menu card listing what was to come.
Our server came over to get us drinks and after those arrived, he came over with a little booklet for each of the girls. There were coloring pages (crayons were on the table) and two blank pages in the back for autographs.
Within about ten minutes, music started to play and an announcement that Snow White, the Prince and Dopey were arriving. They all entered the room and walked around the entire room while music played, waving to everyone as they went by. Then the music ended and Snow White and the Prince were stationed by a backdrop for photos while Dopey started going table to table for photos.
Dopey did pause for a moment to lead all the servers out of the kitchen area and around the restaurant marching to "Hi Ho" while bringing out the second course of breakfast which was baskets of muffins (Later we received a tower with the other breakfast items and we ended with some little cupcakes).
The entire morning was a well orchestrated event. In between courses, they would have something else for us to do. One time, they played "The Silly Song" from Snow White and we all were encouraged to wave our napkins in the air. Another time, our server dropped off golden bags for the girls and said for them not to open them yet. Within a few minutes, they said for them to open the bags, they played Jingle Bells and inside the bags, there were bells for them to rings. The bells were even engraved with "Once Upon a Holiday."
At some point during the morning, each table was brought up to meet Snow White and the Prince. They were great at taking time to talk to the girls and sign their books. I was able to take a photo but they also took one photo and then printed it out and placed it in a folder for the girls to take home.
And, of course, Dopey made is way to our table as well. His handler was great. She was very energetic and helped the girls engage with Dopey. She had them naming all the dwarves. And then they took a picture.
We couldn't say enough good things about our server. He was great with the girls and had a great personality with us as well. He told me that they did special training for the servers to get ready for these breakfasts and it really showed.
At about 9:50, music played again and all of the characters danced their way around the room again before making their exit. So it ended just before 10 am.
Yes, this was not an inexpensive ticket. And we were concerned that there might be hiccups because this was the very first one. But I really can't say that was the case. If I was to make one critique, I would say that the food could have been a little more child friendly. We could have even used just a plain bowl of fruit salad for our youngest niece who was a little less willing to try some of the other items.
This morning we would be leaving the Disney Magic.
In my research prior to the cruise, I had discovered that usually 1-2 port adventures are offered that will drop you off at the airport if you have a flight after 4 pm. Our flight was at 5:45 pm so we were definitely interested. The drawback was that we wouldn't know what was available until we were on board. On one of our first sea days, we went to the port adventures desk and asked. There was one port adventure called "Royal Copenhagen." In reading the description, it did cover some of the same sites we would see on our full day tour the day before but it also went to Christiansborg Palace and either way it was better than sitting at the airport all day so we signed up.
We were given special luggage tags when we signed up for the tour and tickets that had an early meeting time of 8:15 am in one of the lounges on the ship. We finished the last pack up of our room, took our carry on luggage and went to Cabanas to grab a quick breakfast. The meet up in the lounge was just like other port adventures. When we were escorted off the ship, our luggage was all in one spot, thanks to the luggage tags, so it was easy to grab our suitcases and go to the motor coach.
There were about 12 people, all adults, on our bus. Our first stop was Christiansborg Palace. It was the royal residence at one time but it is now the government building for all three branches of the government and host to all the royal receptions. Being early on a Sunday morning, we were the only ones there. We all had to put on plastic booties over our shoes to protect the floors and then our guide was able to give us a private tour.
Each room was more magnificent than the next. Our guide was excellent. She would explain what it was like to attend a royal event there and what the protocol was for guests. It was great to have the whole place to ourselves so we could take our time and really see everything.
We had some time in the gift shop and then it was back on the motor coach. We made two more stops which were repeats of the day before.. the Little Mermaid statue and Amalienborg Palace. We didn't mind because our guide gave different information than our previous guide so we still learned new facts. And at the Palace, we got to see the guard yell at some tourists. Our guide had just told us the rules about standing 3 meters away from the buildings and she joking said that the guards are armed but don't worry they will warn you before they shoot. As if on cue, we heard yelling. The guard was yelling "Oy" repeatedly and loudly and we turned to see that two tourists had been leaning up against the palace looking a map. They realized he was yelling at them and moved. Our guide said "see, I told you they would yell first."
After our last stop it was off to the airport. We still had about 4 hours until our flight but it was fine to not be in a rush since we were navigating a foreign airport. We had time to get through security and have lunch before heading to our gate.
The trip was amazing. It seemed like we had so much time and yet it also seemed to go by so quickly. I would definitely recommend the experience.
We had reached our final destination of Copenhagen! We would actually be in port overnight so there was no "all aboard" time this day. You were free to stay in the city and come and go as you like all evening.
We had an all day port adventure scheduled which started out with a motor coach tour of "city highlights." We liked our guide right away. He was quiet with a dry sense of humor. We drove around the city and past Tivoli Gardens and other highlights and then got to stop at the Opera House to take some photos.
Our next stop was Amalienborg Palace which is actually a large courtyard with 4 identical palaces. One of them is the residence of the Queen of Denmark, one is for the Crown Prince and his family, one is for the Queen's other son and the fourth is for guests. The courtyard is completely open and you can freely walk around but there are guards. The rules are that you must stay 3 meters away from the guards and all of the palaces. We had about 30 minutes to explore on our own and our guide told us that the changing of the guard ceremony would take place at noon which was about 10 minutes away. He said that because the Queen was not currently at the palace it would be a smaller ceremony but still worth seeing. I have posted video on my facebook page www.facebook.com/magicaladventuresawait.
Once back on board the motor coach, we were head to the Open Air Museum which was about 30 minutes outside of Copenhagen. Here we were scheduled to have a "traditional Danish" lunch and then have some time to explore the grounds.
Now when traveling in tour groups, you are bound to come across a fellow guest who is not the most pleasant and may make your experience a bit difficult to enjoy. And in our tours on this trip, there were one or two but none that really worth mentioning. Unfortunately, on this tour we had a woman, let's call her Lady T, that stuck out. Lady T was seated in the back of the motor coach and she wasn't a quiet person. We were seated about in the middle and could hear her clearly. From her comments alone on the bus, she seemed unaware that we were in a different country as she compared all the prices that she saw to what things cost at home - though the current exchange rate that day was 6.5 Danish Kroners to 1 US Dollar.
I could tell you everything that she did to make herself a problem for the entire tour (and I started to write it all out) but I had to experience it and it wasn't fun so I don't think you want to read about it either. We were thankful that she was only on one of our six port adventures.
Our "Danish lunch" was a small buffet that started with some cheeses and meats, bread and herring. I was not brave enough to try the herring but everything else was good. There was then some steak, vegetables and salmon meatballs. For dessert, there was what looked like a large shortbread cookie with fruit on top. It was very light and tasty.
Once we finished, our guide started to just give us the lay of the land. The Open Air Museum is about 100 acres and has over 100 rural buildings from 1650 to 1950 from all over Denmark. They are all the original buildings that were dismantled and then rebuilt on the property of the museum. The idea is to show the different buildings from peasant / farm life over the years.
There are also people there dressed in period clothes that will do demonstrations for you. One woman showed us how she takes wool from the sheep and makes it into yarn. They will have different demonstrations on different days.
You really need a full day or more to explore the whole area. We could only do a small portion but it was a beautiful place.
Our last stop of the day was to see the Little Mermaid statue which is iconic to Copenhagen. Our guide told us the original Hans Christian Anderson story...not the Disney version. We were able to get off the bus for a photo. The statue is of course popular so it is crowded and challenging to get your photo but we managed.
Despite putting up with Lady T and her many complaints, we enjoyed the tour.
The show that evening was a variety show with two performers we had seen already, JUNNK and John Kimmons. I actually enjoyed John Kimmons more this time than his full show. It was our last night at dinner and we had the Frozen menu.
We also had to have our luggage outside by 10 pm. Boo!!
After 3 days of exploring different ports, it was nice to get back to a day at sea. It was also sad to know that it was our last day at sea.
I started out with the last session with Ian Gooding. It was an open question and answer session. It was very well attended and could have gone on for a lot longer than an hour. He answered questions about the animation process as well as what it takes to become an animator for Disney.
I then went to the atrium to get a spot to watch the character dance party. The characters came out and mingled with the guests dancing to different songs. Each character would also take a turn on the stage dancing. It was very cute and you could tell the kids enjoyed it.
After lunch, I started the packing process. We knew we would have a busy day in Copenhagen so I wanted to pack most of our things and leave out just want we would need for the last few days.
When I finished, I took advantage of something that had been going on for the whole cruise. In the movie theater, they showed different "Modern Classics" throughout the cruise, such as Forrest Gump, Ghostbusters and Top Gun. I hadn't gone to any but had time today and went to see Sleepless in Seattle.
The show was Disney Dreams which is a big Disney production show and was very well attended.
Between the show and dinner, there was a Officers Dance Party in the atrium. All of the officers were there as well as all of the characters in their formal wear. Again they all mingled and danced with the guests. I have posted some videos on my facebook page. www.facebook.com/magicaladventuresawait.
Our dinner was at Carioca's and it was the Til We Meet Again menu. Even though it wasn't our last night, the next night we would be in port overnight in Copenhagen. I think the thought was that some guests may do dinner on their own in Copenhagen so they did the farewell dinner tonight.
After dinner, we had an event we were really looking forward to... the PremiEAR at sea of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! Everyone was encouraged to come in their pajamas. I put on my PJs and a sweatshirt, grabbed my blanket and we went to the theater. The movie was great and it was a fun way to see it.
Next stop: Amsterdam I was really looking forward to checking out this city and after you read about our day, I feel like I need a do over.
Our port adventure for the day was a two hour walking tour and then a visit to Anne Frank's House. Anne Frank's House was my "must do" for Amsterdam. Yes, it was possible to get tickets on your own (they go quickly so you have be online as soon as they become available). But that would mean figuring out how to get there on our own and then we probably wouldn't have seen much more of Amsterdam. So this port adventure would give us a walking tour around the highlights of Amsterdam (they bus you to the center of the city first) and then we get into Anne Frank's House so we didn't have to worry about tickets on our own.
We met our guide and on the bus she gave out listening devices so that we would be able to hear her on the street. She said this was the first time she had used them and, of course, when we all go to test them out on the bus it doesn't go well. When we get out of the bus, we try again and some people can hear, some people can't hear at all, some people can hear a little. I could catch some of what she said but often had static. Chris' didn't work most of the time. At that point, there really isn't much she can do about it so we just have to carry on.
We are all looking around as we wait to get going and see piles of trash everywhere. There are beer bottles and paper everywhere. Someone asks the guide and she said that the day before had been a soccer game that Amsterdam had ended up losing but they were winning at one point and there were premature celebrations. The day we were visiting was a national holiday so the sanitation department was closed. Ok, that was an unfortunate series of events. But at least we knew why and once we got out of that one area there wasn't any more trash.
So we started our tour and, again due to the holiday, the streets were crowded. Our guide walked fast and it wasn't easy to maneuver through the crowds and keep up. She also wasn't very aware of this and didn't seem to keep a count or be sure she had everyone with her. And of course, most of us could only hear about half of what she was saying. We did stop a few times and gather up and then we got some information about the area and got a chance to regroup for a minute.
I do have some photos from a few times when we stopped but not that many because our walking time was spent just trying not to get lost.
While it was a shame that we didn't enjoy that part of the tour, we were still glad that we were going to the Anne Frank House. Our guide brought us to a side entrance and we were let in and given audio guides. There were no photos allowed inside.
There is an annex building that has rooms you start off in that give you information about the history of the time and of Anne Frank's family and story. Then as you step into the house itself, the audio guide says there will be no more audio until you exit the house. So you walk through the house, in a single file, in silence. There is information in each room to tell you about that room and about the family's experience. All of the rooms are empty because the Germans removed everything when the families were taken and when Otto Frank returned he said it should stay that way. It was a very powerful experience and a very well done exhibit.
When you come out of the house, there are actual pages of the diary that you can see and some more information on the audio guide. I was so glad we got to experience the entire exhibit.
We met our motor coach and headed back to the ship. In all of our Disney cruises, we have never had a "bad" tour though some have been better than others. The walking tour was not good but it was really because our guide was not the best. That is always an unknown variable. It was still all worth it to get to go to the Anne Frank house and hopefully some day I will get to return to explore more of Amsterdam
The show for tonight was JUNNK which was a combination of singing and percussion on various objects (like STOMP if you are familiar with that). For dinner we were in Animators Palette and it was animation night. You get to draw a character and then later in the evening, everyone's characters come to life on the screens around you. It is a lot of fun.
Our next stop was Dover. I always like to take a look out on the balcony first thing in the morning when we arrive in port. This is what it looked like on this morning.
But thankfully, the fog lifted as the day went on and we had a great day.
We did a port adventure to took us to the town of Sandwich and then to Dover Castle.
The ride to Sandwich was maybe 30 minutes and again our guide gave us some information about the English countryside as we drove there.
When we arrived in Sandwich, we followed our guide through the small town to the center area. It took about 10-15 minutes of walking and she pointed out some of the architecture of the buildings. We then had about 15-20 minutes to explore on our own before meeting back at the bus. It was early in the morning so many of the shops were not open yet. There was an old church that we walked too and I took some photos there.
In hindsight, it was cool to walk around the little town for a bit but nothing overly exciting. Perhaps there was more there that we missed... maybe a more in depth tour would have revealed more.. or maybe not.
Our next stop was Dover castle. We had watched a documentary about Dover castle before our trip so we were anxious to see it in person. When we arrived, our guide gave us our admission wristbands and we had about 90 minutes to explore on our own. There are underground tunnels and a free guided tour is available. We debated because we wanted to do that but if we did, it would take up most of our time and we wouldn't get to do much else there. So we decided that we wouldn't get to do the tunnels and we set out to do as much of the rest of the castle as we could.
We got a map and really were able to cover most of everything else. We even climbed all the stairs to the top of one of the towers.
We really enjoyed our visit here. We could have used a bit more time to do the tunnel tour but other than that we think we saw most of the grounds.
In hindsight, we could have done this day on our own, without a Disney excursion. Disney ran free shuttle buses to the city of the Dover and to Dover Castle. We would have missed seeing Sandwich, but we would have had more time at Dover Castle. Of course, we didn't know that beforehand... so there is a tip for future cruisers.
When we got back on board, all the morning fog was gone and we were able to see the White Cliffs of Dover.
The show that night was John Kimmons. He was a magician / ventriloquist. I thought he was ok. I like his magic better than his ventriloquism act.
We were in Lumiere's for dinner and the menu was "Princes and Princesses"
With all but one of our sea days behind us, we were now about to start exploring the port stops of the cruise
Our port adventure did not leave until late morning and there was an 8:30 am showing of Moana in the movie theater so I decided to start my day there. I had already seen it but after listening to all the talks by Ian Gooding, I had wanted to see it again to try to take notice of the details he had talked about. The theater was very quiet with only a handful of other guests and it was a nice way to start the day.
We didn't even give our port adventure choice a second thought. We wanted to see Stonehenge. We typically don't like excursions that require spending a lot of time on a bus to and from the destination but we made an exception in this case figuring that the chance to see Stonehenge would be unlikely to come up again.
We arrived at our meeting location on the ship, checked in and pretty quickly were escorted off the ship and onto our motor coach. It was about a 90 minute drive out to Stonehenge but our guide was great at providing information along the way.
When we arrived, we were given an audio guide and a little snack bag that had a scone, a cookie and an apple. You had to take a shuttle bus for about a mile or so to reach the stones. Once you were there, there were numbers in the grass along the way. You would press the number on your audio guide and it would give you information based on the location you were standing. There was a path that made its way all around the stones as you followed the audio guide so you saw the stones from all different angles as you walked around.
We headed back to the shuttle bus with about 20 minutes before our tour bus was scheduled to leave. I am not a big souvenir person but I do like a magnet from wherever I travel and I wanted to buy one from here. Well, the store was packed with a huge line so I gave up on that idea and we went to see a little exhibit that they set up at the visitor center to show what the huts may have looked like for the people that lived when Stonehenge was built. There was also a model of how the people may have moved the stones. You could pull on the rope and it would electronically tell you, based on your arm strength, how many more people you would need.
We got back on the bus and started our trip back to port. The guide gave a little more information but said she figured we would probably like to rest and maybe take a little nap so she was quiet after that.
As we got closer, we started to hit traffic and the guide said that we would be late arriving but she had called ahead to the ship and let them know. This is when it pays to be on a Disney excursion. We ended up being quite late but no worries about the ship leaving without us because they will wait as long as you are with a Disney port adventure.
We got back and got on board and we knew that we had already missed about 10 minutes of John Charles in the main theater. He is one of our favorites so we decided to go right there and see what we could. Well, unfortunately, there was hardly anyone at the show. We started gathering information from what he was saying and apparently over 900 passengers had traveled to Stonehenge on Disney excursions that day and many were still on buses heading back to port and stuck in traffic. His show is really best when he has a big audience to feed from but he did his best and we were glad we had gone to his adult show the night before.
Our dinner was at Carioca's and we had the World of Flavour menu.
Sea Day 7
It was almost like "Well, one day of touring was fun but tiring. Glad we are back to sea days for a rest." :)
We slept in and then attended the Gold and Platinum Reception at the Walt Disney Theater. This refers to the loyalty program on Disney Cruise Line. Gold members have completed five or more cruises and Platinum members have completed 10 or more. This was the first time Chris was also gold (yes, I sometimes cruise without him so I have more accumulated than him). I haven't gone in the past but I know from other people that they are usually small with some drinks and appetizers and a visit from a character. Because this cruise had a large number of Gold and Platinum cruisers, the reception was held in the Walt Disney Theater.
There were servers passing free drinks and then Leslie, the cruise director, came out and talked a little bit about Disney Cruise Line and their appreciation of their loyal cruisers. Then they said they were doing something different and showing us a "behind the scenes" element of Tangled the Musical. What they did was present one of the scenes from the show and then they did the scene change in slow motion with the microphones on for all of the backstage crew. We were able to see and hear all that goes on when there is a scene change. It was a lot and they slowed it all down for us to see. It usually happens in less than a minute. This was the first time they had done this and it did seem a little awkward but it was interesting enough. As we were leaving, everyone received a Mickey rice krispie treat.
We had received a notice in our stateroom that today we needed to pass through immigration on the ship. Our assigned time was right after the reception so we made our way there only to find a huge line. There was a Disney cast member who said they decided to re-open at 2 pm so we should come back at that time. Fine with us We headed to the buffet for some lunch.
It was nice outside so we sat outside for a bit and even saw Mickey doing the same! Then we went down for the immigration again. The line was already forming at it was only 1:50 pm. It took us about 30 minutes to go through the line and get our passports checked and stamped. It really wasn't a big deal but there was definitely a lot of complaining going on around us by other guests. To me, there really are worse things in life and, while it was a minor inconvenience, it certainly didn't ruin our day.
I did some reading out on our balcony until our evening activities began. The show tonight was ABBAFAB, which was a tribute ABBA band, We almost skipped it because I'm not a big ABBA fan. And when the show was over.. yeah, I'm still not a fan of ABBA.
Between the show and our dinner time, we went to Fathoms, one of the adult lounges, for a special performance. Some of the performers in the Disney shows were ending their contracts at the end of our cruise so they had put together a little Cabaret style show. They sang all Disney songs but some different ones that you don't hear often and they also told some stories about what brought them to perform at Disney Cruise Line.
Our dinner was at Lumiere's and we had the "Vista" menu. Honestly, I am not sure that is the title of this menu. It wasn't listed anywhere so I asked the servers. One didn't know and the other one told me it was Vista. All of the food seemed to have a California theme so I am thinking it came from the West Coast cruises.
Sea Day 8
I went to another Anyone Can Cook presentation this morning. This one was a little different. It was called Battle of the Chefs. They had two chefs set up to cook a dish that they chose and then they chose three guests to be the judges. Leslie, the cruise director, served as the emcee. One of the chefs really liked to trash talk which make it entertaining. In the end, the dishes were very different and all the guests said they enjoyed them both so it was basically a tie. But it was fun to watch.
The main show tonight was Tangle the Musical so there were a lot of little Tangled themed activities throughout the day. If you went to the desk in the lobby, you could pick a "Spot a Thug" activity page. Around the ship, there were "thug" decals and you had to find them and match them with the location. I didn't do it, but I got the sheet and did see a few when I was around the ship that day.
The rest of the afternoon, we did something I have always wanted to do.. we just sat on the top deck and watched movies on the Funnelvision. The Funnelvision is the big screen by the family pool. Typically, this area is full of families and can be pretty noisy so I retreat to the adult only area. But this cruise had a smaller number of families with children so it was pretty quiet. We found some chairs in the sun and enjoyed relaxing with some Disney movies.
The show, as I mentioned, was Tangled the Musical which was very good. And our dinner was at Animator's Palate. We had the "Land and Sea" menu.
Afterwards, we went to see the adult show by John Charles We have seen him on other Disney cruises and always enjoy him. They call him the "human jukebox" because he knows about any song you could name. He plays guitar and will go around and talk to people and take requests. He is also very funny. He was supposed to play for 45 minutes but he said he was having fun so he did well over an hour. I was glad we went because his main show the next night got a little messed up... stay tuned for that.
We have hit land! Yes, after 6 full days at sea, we arrived in our first port of call. Ponta Delgada is located on Sao Miguel Island. This was the view from our room when we arrived.
We had a full day port adventure booked through Disney Cruise Line (we did all of our port adventures through Disney Cruise Line). We met our guide, boarded our motor coach and we were off to our first stop of Riberia Grande. Just on the bus ride you could see how beautiful the island is and we hadn't even seen the best parts yet.
When we arrived in Riberia Grande, we had about a 25 minutes stop but our guide kept us together as a group and guided us around. He was very organized and kept everything running on time. He walked us through the city center that was established in the 1500s. He gave us some history of the buildings and the areas (which I should have written down because I don't remember it now). It was a beautiful and clean little town.
Our next stop was a tea plantation. Chris and I both agreed that we had never really thought about where tea comes from so we found this interesting. Again, our guide walked us through and showed us the machines that are used to dry and sort the tea leaves. We then at a little time to walk around, sample some tea which was available for free and take some photos.
On to stop number three, which was the botanical gardens. There were port adventures that spent a lot of time in this location. Our time here was just a brief stop in one area for pictures but it was my favorite stop on tour. We were very high and the views were amazing. The area was just beautiful
Stop number four was at the geothermal springs. Right in the middle of this little town is a whole series of hot springs.. like boiling hot. There were multiple signs warning you not to touch because it is boiling hot water. There is steam coming up from them as well in different spots. There is also a distinctive sulfur like smell as well. More about that later.
Our next stop was at Furnas Crater Lake where there are even more hot springs. In this area, pots are buried in the morning containing Portuguese stew and the stew is cooked by the heat from the springs underground. Around noon, the different restaurants come and dig up their pots and take them back to serve. You could see the different mounds where pots were buried and signs marking which restaurant that pot belonged to.
There was also a beautiful lake on the other side. We saw some ducks and big fish in the shallow end of the lake. The sulfur like smell was really strong and we wondered what that constant breathing in of that does to the wildlife there. There was no mention of issues so I guess it is ok or they are used to it. I know the smell was starting to get to me.
Our final stop was to go to a hotel that had a large banquet room where we would get to have a lunch of the Portuguese stew that was cooked underground like we just saw at Crater Lake. Servers came around with large trays and unless you asked for something different, they gave everyone "one of everything." Well, that sounded like a good idea because you would want to try a little bit of everything in the stew. But there was a lot of items in the stew and we all ended up with huge plates of food. There were potatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, cabbage, carrots, pork ribs, chicken, beef, chorizo,and blood sausage. And it all smelled like sulfur. Now thankfully, it didn't taste like that. For the most part, everything tasted ok. Most items were soft, as if you had cooked them in a crockpot. But there was so much food and the smell was getting to me. I only ate about half of my plate and most of the other people at my table did the same. I hated to see all this food wasted and I wish this had been set up as a buffet or maybe family style with large bowls so everyone could take what they wanted.
We ended with a dessert of sliced pineapple and some coffee and then we had a few minutes to walk around before boarding our bus to head back to the ship.
I really loved this city and port adventure. Ponta Delgada was beautiful. I felt that the port adventure gave us a great overview of a lot of aspects without feeling rushed. Our guide was great on keeping everything moving and he answered questions on the bus as well as providing information.
When we got back on board, we had a little time to relax and then it was time for our night time activities. The evening show was Greg Lonvini who was a violinist. He was definitely talented but 45 minutes was more than enough for me.
Our dinner was at Carioca's and we had the Season's menu.
Sea Day 5
Started the day with another talk by Ian Gooding. The topic for today was Storytelling through Color. Again, my mind was blown at the level of detail and thinking that goes into Disney animated movies. While it was mostly about Moana, Ian also worked on The Princess and the Frog and he started off by talking about how color was used in that movie. He said they took the colors of New Orleans, green, gold and purple and assigned attributes to them. For example, purple was bad or evil. He then showed pictures of where that was used throughout the movie. He said it is never meant for the audience to say "oh I see purple so something bad is going to happen." but it is a subliminal technique.
Tonight on the ship was Pirate night. We have done this on many cruises and had decided to skip the main dining room tonight. Instead, we decided to do a sit down lunch in Lumiere's which we had never done before. We enjoyed it and I actually had my favorite dessert of the whole cruise there, warm apple fritters. YUM!
Next up was an Oil and Vinegar seminar. Like the cheese seminar, there were little cups with a sample of different oils and vinegar. In the center of the table, we had a plate with bread cubes to use to dip in and taste. One of the chefs gave information about each and we got to try. Also like the cheese seminar, there was nothing exotic or new to me, but it was a fun activity.
Then it was time for my afternoon walk before our evening activities.
The show for the evening was Danny Buckler who was a magician. We had seen a little preview of his show on the first night. I really enjoyed him. He was very funny and worked well with his audience volunteers. At the end of the show, he had all of the audience volunteers stand up (there had been two children and one adult) and he said the show was not about him but about them and for everyone to clap for them. A big difference in personality and style than Hector from a few nights earlier
From there we went to the Promenade Lounge where a singing duo were going to doing some Beatles music.
Because we were not going to do the dining room for dinner, we decided while most of the rest of the ship was at dinner or the show, it would be a great chance to do a load of laundry. There are only a handful of machines available on three decks so isn't easy to find an empty machine. But this was a perfect time. We started our wash, went up to the top deck to grab a snack and then returned to throw it into the dryer.
Sea Day 6
Started once again with Ian Gooding. This was basically his last presentation. He would be doing one more session on the last sea day where he would take questions. Today was called My Journey as a Production Engineer. And it was just that. He spoke about growing up in Jamaica, how he started to love Disney and his journey to working for them. He is a very interesting person and I enjoyed this talk and all of his others.
I then went to a Q & A session with Bret Shuford who was the Broadway performer who had done the main show a few nights earlier. It was just ok. Just some questions about how he got started and advice for younger folks who would like to be on Broadway in the future.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. My foot had decided to act up (tendon issues) and we had a full day of touring the next day so I gave it a rest from walking. We found a spot to sit and did some reading and just hung out.
The evening show was called "Walt Disney: The Dream Goes On." It was a Disney production show that was about the life of Walt Disney. It was fun seeing old movie clips and there were some good music production numbers as well. Those shows tend to be on the corny side, but I like them.
Our dinner was at Animator's Palate and we had the Transatlantic menu.
We went from dinner to the adult area of the ship because we wanted to see the adult performance by Danny Buckler, the magician who did the main show the night before. There was a game show called "The Feud" going on which we caught the end of that was entertaining and then we saw Danny Buckler. He was funny again and I was glad we went, even though it was past my bedtime!
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.