We had the usual muster drill and then the sail away party (although the ship didn’t actually sail away until over an hour after it was scheduled to leave.) Zachary and the girls liked dancing and seeing the characters. The older boys liked seeing themselves on the big screen.
|Marc actually relaxing for a moment on our double balcony|
It’s a nice day today (sunny, mid 70’s) so everyone is having some pool time. Fun to watch movies at the pool! The kids like the easy access to pizza and snacks. The kids played a game of poolside bingo to pick the next movie on the Funnelvision – they didn’t win, but the winners picked Tarzan which we haven’t seen, so it worked out.
Dinner was at Caricos restaurant. Brazilian themed décor and food – neither were the best. Definitely prefer the other restaurants, but our wait staff is excellent.
Joao did a magic trick for us tonight which the kids will come to expect each night now.
Zachary loves how they always pour ketchup in the shape of a Mickey head and points exactly where he wants it on his plate (even though he never eats his fries or uses the ketchup.)
The boys and I went to the Twice Charmed show (kind of alternate ending to the traditional Cinderella story). It was entertaining. Kyrie and Zach watched it on TV in the room because we thought Zach would go to sleep. He did, but not until it was almost over. The girls stayed up latest tonight. They went to Pluto’s pajama party until 11pm.
September 19, 2016
|Filming the Morning Show|
|Youngest members of the audience|
|Every time we passed by these port holes the kids HAD to jump in!|
Today the boys took advantage of the fact that you can get Mickey Bars whenever you want from room service. It's not listed on the menu, but it's one of our favorite secrets for sure!
September 20, 2016
Zach did not sleep well last night. He wanted pizza right before bed and he woke up twice during the night to complain about it some more.
|A beautifully set table at Animator's Palate|
This morning was our character breakfast. Zach really liked seeing Goofy, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse. But after they’d all been to our table, he said, “I didn’t see Donald Duck” in a sad tone sticking out his bottom lip.
There were only three characters to meet, and it was a bit rushed...like encouraging you to just stay seated and the character moved around to each seat if you wanted to take pictures. So following are a bunch of pictures I had to include mostly because I don't know how much longer we will see genuine smiles on the older kids for something like this.
After a sugary exciting breakfast, we saw a movie then spent a little time in the pool figuring this may be our last chance as we head north.
The kids got their club time in too. The little ones came back with "flubber" they made with Professor Make-a-mess. We were surprised when we ran into Jacob and Max walking out of The Edge onto the pool deck where we happened to be with a strut and bandannas. Funny!
The girls laughed at the Disney art mimicking he Mona Lisa. I was impressed they recognized it.
As we're writing about this day, it sounds busy, but really it was just the right amount of entertainment. We even found time to relax alone a little and open the first bottle of wine (of four) we brought onto the ship. We bought this one in Barcelona but it was a sweet Italian moscato. I liked the very plain bottle. It made it seem very rustic and unique.
Somehow Marc and I watched the "Frozen Fun" that took place before dinner without kids too. Then we finally dragged them out of the clubs to spend time with us.
|May Pole dancing for the Frozen theme of the day|
Tonight they had "Freezing the Night Away," which I had imagined (incorrectly) to be similar to Pirate Night. I pictured a large party on deck with special food and drinks. Instead there was a small show on deck. I was staying with Zach in the room during that since he fell asleep during Finding Dory. After the show they played Frozen on the Funnelvision screen. The weather was freezing, so they did a pretty good job theming that. They also gave everyone light up snowflake necklaces to wear to the party. That was the best part.
When I went up there after Kyrie and I switched places, there were only a handful of people watching the movie. The only related food was a Frozen "Afterparty" in the Irish Pub on the lower level. Even there, they only had a few snacks. Just some Scandinavian food like potato pancakes and fish stuff - and no desserts!
I was amazed by the look of the island. Definitely like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The island, Sao Miguel is only 40 miles east and west and 10 miles north and south. The point at which we crossed from South to North was only a 5 mile drive! It lies near the same tectonic plates that we saw in Iceland, and consists of many mountains and several volcanoes. What struck me the most about the island is that it looks like the whole place is manicured. All the way up these mountains are hedge walls dividing fields, there are rows of hydrangeas lining roads, and everything is neatly trimmed. No doubt the cows handle most of the trimming of grass, but really even the bushes appear pruned. We saw groundskeepers quite often and they really do seem to treat the whole place as a giant garden. It’s quite beautiful.
|Boxing loose leaf tea? There were also bagging machines in the next room.|
|Gelato. Not our favorite of the trip, but still a treat.|
|Looking out over Furnas Lake|
|The view from above over Furnas where pots are cooking|
|Hole labeled with the restaurant Carlos follows|
|Putting a pot in for dinner|
|1 stick=1 pot; 2 sticks= 2 pots|
|Pulling a pot for lunch out|
|We had cabins 6528 and 6530 They are the furthest right balconies on the first level above the lifeboat.|
|Bottle #2. From Spain. Not good, went down the sink.|
|Heading off to The Edge. Just kiding, but I'm glad he's still young enough to have some fun!|
|Zoe waiting outside the adults only area|
This morning Zoe was awake and she accompanied me to buy a latte at the Cove Cafe (in the adults only area, so she had to wait just outside) and to the buffet. Europe has completely changed my coffee preference. I NEED to order an espresso machine when I get home. DCL (Disney Cruise Line) is notorious for bad coffee anyway, but I've lost my taste for weak American coffee now after the rich creamy lattes in France and Spain.
|Just Mom and Zoe at breakfast|
|Cruise Director's Morning Show|
|"Yeah! I got a hug!"|
|Our decorated doors and full "fish extender"|
We had another great day at sea today. Not much to write about though. The kids played at their clubs and we all spent some time by the pool. Still warm enough, though the seas are getting a bit rougher. I’ve really been enjoying getting our hours back as we sail back to North America.
|A couple funny guys from Spain|
|Main floor is tallest then less each floor (forced perspective)|
|Ceiling gets lower and lower across the pub|
|Martini glass/ Sorcerer Mickey hat|
|Lumiere's: The most formal of the main dining rooms|
This was our second time dining at Lumiere's themed after Beauty and the Beast. I didn't post a picture of it yet, so here it is. Tonight they made an appearance toward the end of dinner along with their entourage and did a little dancing before dessert.
The show tonight was ABBAfab. I don’t know why, but ABBA is apparently kind of big these days. When we were on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas last year, there was an ABBA cover band on that as well. This one wasn’t great, but it was something different to do.
The quality of the food is extremely good at Palo (without being too fancy for us.) I also appreciate a little adult time. It is pretty rare for us!
After Palo, we picked the kids up and took them to lunch on the deck. It was extremely windy which made it feel much colder too. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was playing on Funnelvision, so we tried to watch it for awhile, but catching fly away blankets and rewrapping the kids became more trouble than it was worth.
|"To Max- Regards, The Beast"|
|Table set for our mixology "class"|
|Double Crown Cocktail|
|Really good Mojito|
|Apricot Martini with sparkling wine|
|Marc's well layered shot. Good if you like 1/2 a shot!|
|Jacob made a parrot out of his napkin|
|Pirate Ella looking realistic with missing teeth|
|Joao made sure the kids joined the parade at dinner|
|The monkey is always the favorite towel animal|
|More sassy than scary|
Outside of the theater we spied what appreared to be a Mr. Smee convention. They were playing a game that involved tossing inflated pigs in the air and counting points depending on what parts were touching or showing when they landed. I never really figured it out, but the whole scene was so strange and lively that we couldn't help but watch for awhile.
ADD JACOB'S PICTURES
The days are flying by. Today is another sea day as we approach Canada. The ship’s captain says that this area is known for Right whales, so I’ve been looking for them all day. Haven’t seen any yet, but there have been a lot of flying fish.
It got quite cold today. We are basically as far north as we will be the whole trip. I didn’t hear the official temperature, but it was probably in the 50’s. Combined with the wind from the ship moving it was pretty cold on deck. Some kids did still use the pool though – not ours. They had blankets on deck for people who wanted to watch the Funnelvision movies or just to hang out on deck.
I correctly guessed that it was a character tea party. I had to seriously twist Max's arm to go. This would be something they'd charge upwards of $50 per person to attend if it were at a Disney resort and it would only have half as many characters.
|The boys stopped complaining once apple juice was served|
|Zach thoroughly enjoyed the whole interation|
|It was Ella and Zoe's cup of tea too|
|Minnie chose Zachary as her dance partner|
|Zach HAD to grab his crown before posing for this picture|
|Zach really started hamming it up toward the end... |
|We watched the sun set from our window|
Somehow we were the first to arrive to Palo this evening. We had the same table and same waitress we had at brunch yesterday which is fine since both were good. We had a nice view of the ocean as the sunset. One of the impressive parts about dinner at Palo is the antipasti cart they roll up to the table to assemble a custom plate for us. The antipasti and bread was the first course. Together we ordered a caprese salad to share plus the waitress decided we also needed to try the gnocchi. Marc had another salad too and I had a delicious bean soup. Next we ordered two small portions of pasta. One was a risotto loaded with mushrooms and a butternut ravioli. These were really both for Marc. Neither of those is my kind of thing. Marc ordered a portabella mushroom dish as his main coarse, while I stuck with the tried and true filet mignon. The piece de resistance though are the souffles for dessert. I ordered the chocolate of course, and Marc chose the amaretto. Both were delcious! It sounds like a lot of food, but the portions were perfectly small enough to try a lot and not get stuffed. And most importantly it was a very pleasant two hours with my husband.
These days have been wearing me out. I enjoy getting up early, so y the time we get back from a big dinner, I’m more than willing to stay in the room with anyone else who wants to. This night it was Zach…although he literally fell asleep two minutes before they got back from the show!
|Zach read his Mickey book about a thousand times tonight.|
September 25, 2016
|Can you find 5 differences from the photo above?|
Max added to his collection again. Zoe wanted every souvenir in sight. I took a picture of her which each one so she could decide later which one to buy. I actually got her to hold off until tomorrow's port to make her purchase.
|These were my favorite.|
|Marc loves to get close to the water to see what sea life he can see|
|Zach begs and begs until we get to a playground|
|I always walk behind the crew to keep all the stragglers safe.|
|A nice view of the port of Sydney next to the Disney Magic|
|The fiddle has something to do with their Celtic heritage I guess|
There were two other ships in port, which probably explains why we didn't get to port earlier. The Magic docked in the commercial area and we were quickly bused to the Cunard Center near where the other ships disembarked. We walked through a large market here where we ultimately returned and purchased most of our souvenirs.
We also walked through a very large Farmer's Market. The kids acted like they's never seen fresh fruit before. There is fresh fruit available on the ship, but they have not been choosing much of it and frankly this fruit certainly smelled good and called out to us. We bought apples and strawberries for snacks as we continued our walk.
|Girls looking at barnacles|
|The kids chillin' out as we purchase rum cake|
|Best poutine we've tried, but that's not saying much...still just fries, cheese, and gravy|
|We shared three deliciously topped beaver tails|
They had a serious inspired the Titanic that was presented well, so I included a picture.
|The kids couldn't pass up this street light art|
|We thought it was fitting that the kids rode a school bus on this trip where they learned so much without realizing it|
|A lone bagpiper played for us as we set sail again|
|Bottle #4, Cava from Barcelona|
Speaking of seafood, Marc is not a big fan either, but figured if the lobster was local he should give it a try. I even tried a bite; I'll stick to the beef.
We watched Alice in Wonderland - Through the Looking Glass. We all enjoyed it.
|Zoe and I stopped to enjoy a nice sunset with one very bright star.|
|These pictures helped to separate the daily photos.|
|Ella's new special teddy|
|My quiet morning at The Cove Cafe|
The weather on our last day of cruising is less than perfect. It’s a little drizzly and quite windy so the ship is rocking quite a lot. The temperature is getting warmer, but the pool is closed due to the waves so I’m sure there are some disappointed kids out there (the adult pool is still open). I’m enjoying the waves. It’s nice to actually feel like you’re on a ship once in a while.
|Goofy getting his conga line together|
Okay, so today everybody’s kind of doing their usual thing. The littles ones are in the kids club, Jacob is at the tween club, and Kyrie’s watching the Disney historian show. Max and I decided to go play bingo. It was a lot of fun even though we didn’t win anything.
Then this afternoon, I went to another animation session with Jacob, Max, and Zoe. Jacob was determined to win a sketch too. He wanted to increase his chances of wimming by getting more tickets (by bringing me, Zoe, and Max) but in the end it was actually Jacob's ticket that did win. He got "Angry Donald."
|Everyone making their best angry face|
I like this "show" because they show a lot of pictures they have taken in the club during the cruise. We saw lots of pictures of Zoe and Ella including a really nice one with their friend and a couple cute ones of Zach too.
|Zachary almost dancing out of his shorts (of shame...again.)|
|Ella really rocking out|
|Iron Man Zach|
|Getting along at dinner|
|Kids helping Joao levitate a spoon|
He REALLY wanted to so after the show, I let him go on stage and he did a very quiet, short song as the room was emptying out,
It was a super quick breakfast and then we waited in a comfortable lounge on the ship rather than waiting outside. Marc emailed our tour guide to see if we could start sooner and luckily they did agree to get started at 9am.
I wasn't doing much better myself at this point. This 6 -7 hour tour cost us $1400 and we just spent the first hour driving around the block and sitting in the van with kids at the port.
|The contrast of this wide open space with the city in the background was pretty cool|
|The kids ran off to climb as soon as they got a chance.|
We also drove past playground equipment. That's when Zach let lost it again.
Even as we got to the candy store Zach was complaining, "I don't want candy. I want to play!"
|Max's piece of candy|
It was a pretty cool store and everyone liked picking out their candy. I picked one of the store brand's uniquely flavored candy bars.
They were in the process of setting up the ice skating rink in the plaza.
|Zach finally took a nap|
|Look ma, no hands!|
|The kids loved the swings at the counter|
The memorial is obviously very moving. The boys are old enough and have heard us talk about this horrific event every year, that I could tell they were touched too. They have a much more realistic picture in their minds now of 9/11.