I got up early and did a 2 mile walk around the Contemporary. It was cool to see the ferries moving around on the water, seemed to be moving into position for the day. I also saw a fishing excursion going on as well.
Got back just about the same time that someone from bell services arrived to take our bags to the cruise ship. The letter said for them to be ready at 8 am and the man arrived by 8:05.
Sue and I then walked over to the main building for our breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. This was another experience that we figured we would try since neither one of us had done it before and we might as well take advantage of being right there.
Chef Mickey’s is a buffet and character dining experience. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto, all dressed in chef outfits, come around at some point to your table for pictures. I never miss a chance for an opportunity for a Mickey picture! The breakfast buffet was pretty standard. I did realize that at one point I had a multitude of potato dishes on my plate, not that there is anything wrong with that! I also decided it would be awesome to have tater tots for breakfast every day! Overall, I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there but it was fun and we left satisfied.
We had about an hour until the Disney Cruise Line bus would arrive so we walked around the shops a little and then went back to our room to get our carry on bags.
Our letter said the bus would be picking us up at 11:15 and to arrive in the lobby by 11. We left our room about 10:45, took the short walk to the lobby and found we were the last group to arrive. I was surprised by that since it is rare that everyone is on time, much less early. So we checked in with the DCL representative and she started to tell us that the bus would arrive shortly and this hotel was the last hotel it was picking up from… so it was unlikely that we would have seats together on the bus. The other option she informed us of was that they were willing to get another bus to come and we would be the first ones on that bus but then it would stop at a minimum of 3 resorts before heading to the port. I really didn’t think it was a big deal that Sue and I wouldn’t be sitting together on the ride over to the port, but Sue wasn’t happy about that idea so we opted for the other bus. We did end up stopping at 3 resorts and then started the ride over to that port. It did add some time to our trip over there but no big deal.
We arrived at the port and were quickly checked in and on board. We headed up to Cabanas for lunch. I enjoy the lunch buffet at Cabanas but we were on the full side from Chef Mickey’s. Tried a few things and made sure I had room for ice cream. They usually have 3 flavors that they will scoop out for you and I think it is really good ice cream. I had a scoop of Rocky Road and it was yummy!!
By the time we finished lunch, the staterooms were open so we went to check out our room. We were in a room with a verandah on Deck 8, forward. The room was great, as usual. I had pre-ordered some bottled water and a day pass to the rainforest area of the spa for both of us. Those items were there waiting for us as well as our gift for being a gold Castaway Club member.
The Castaway Club is a loyalty program on the Disney Cruise Line. After your first cruise you are automatically a Silver member. Once you complete 5 cruises, you are a Gold member. And after 10 cruises, you are a Platinum member. This was my 6th Disney cruise, so I was happy to get my Gold lanyard and gold beach bag.
We headed up to the adult area and had a drink. It was pretty quiet in the adult area and that was pretty much how it was most of the cruise, except for on the sea day. The demographics on this cruise seemed to be heavier on the family side.
We went back downstairs in time for the mandatory boat drill. Once that was over, we found that all of our bags had arrived so we were able to get everything unpacked and put away the suitcases pretty quickly.
We had plenty of time before the show / dinner so we changed and went for a walk around Deck 4. You can walk / jog completely around deck 4, though you may have to dodge other guests playing shuffleboard or walking around at times. 2.5 laps equals 1 mile so we set out to do 5 laps for a total of 2 miles. I really love walking deck 4. There is plenty to watch and keep you entertained and love the open air over the gym any day.
We changed for dinner because we weren’t planning to return to the room between the show and dinner. The show that night was the “Golden Mickeys.” Having been on this same itinerary last year, Sue and I had seen all of the Disney production shows before. We decided to go to this one again since it was the first night and we wanted to see the cruise director.
Last year, our cruise director was Leslie and honestly, we didn’t care for her. There was nothing necessarily wrong with her but we noticed that whenever she would speak at the end of the shows people would just get up and leave or talk like no one else was speaking. On other cruises, there were always a few people that dashed out at the end of the show but we noticed it a lot more with Leslie and that it got worse each night of the cruise. I had seen that Christian was the cruise director the week before and at the boat drill a cast member even referenced Christian, the cruise director. So Sue and I were disappointed and surprised to find out that the cruise director was Leslie once again. Does that ruin our cruise? Of course not, but we were looking forward to someone different this time. Oh well.
After the show, we stopped at the bar in the lobby for a few drinks before dinner. There was live music and it was fun to people watch for a bit. We then headed to Animator’s Palate for dinner. We had requested a private table (yes, we are anti-social) and though it is not guaranteed, the request was granted. We then met our servers. Our main server was Victor who was from Chile and our assistant server was Andrea from Peru. I will say more about Victor later because we LOVED him. Andrea was fine and pleasant but Victor was just great and we looked forward to seeing him each night and wished it was a 7 night cruise so we could have had more time with him.
One part that was great about Victor was that he asked how many cruises we had been on and when. When he found out we had done this same cruise last year, he said he wouldn’t then bore us with too much information since we had already experienced the menus before. We appreciated that. He would make some recommendations each night but he didn’t go overboard with a lot of details.
We had the late seating for dinner which was at 8:15 so by the time we finished, we were pretty much done for the night. That is one thing I don’t like about the late seating. While I think I would feel too rushed to get to the early dinner seating, I don’t like eating a full meal and then basically going to bed. Now according to Victor, we should have been going out dancing and partying every night after dinner, but for this night at least, that didn’t happen.
I don't have whole lot of pictures from the cruise. I don't like to carry my phone or camera all the time. But I do have some to share as I go along. What I do have is a copy of the Navigators from each day. The Navigator is basically the daily schedule of everything that is going on each day. I will post the files here at the end of each blog entry.
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.