Monday, September 16, 2019

2019 Global Tour - Part 4 - Disney Cruise - England, Ireland, Transatlantic Crossing, Canada, US

Day 19 – Board the Disney Magic!

We have all been looking forward to this relaxing portion of our trip after having many days packed full of stuff to do.  It will be very nice to have an easier pace for this part of our trip.

An eerily empty tube station
Thankfully, it is Sunday, so taking all of our bags on the tube wasn’t a challenge at all like it would have been on a weekday.  We took the tube to the train station and then took the train to Dover.    We were a bit worried about finding a taxi from the train station to the port since there were 3 ships in port.  We didn’t have any trouble though. 

The very first taxi in line was a van large enough for all of us. There was also a person there offering a Disney shuttle bus to the ship. Someone who doesn’t research as much as we do, would likely have walked to it and paid $10 per person for the short ride. I’m pretty sure the taxi ride for the seven of us didn’t cost as much as one person on the shuttle.

Embarkation was crowded, but easy enough.  We were on the ship by noon.  Kyrie and the kids went to the buffet while I tried to reserve a brunch at Palo (the signature restaurant on board) for later in the trip.  I was only able to get on the waiting list so far.  

With over 1000 Platinum members on this cruise, reservations have been tough to come by even though we’re the second highest return cruiser status- Gold, and we’ve tried to reserve since opening day.

The rest of the afternoon was a relaxing day by the pool and then the Sail-a-Wave party on deck.  A very fun way to start the cruise!  

The Magic feels like home to us, and we all jumped right into doing what we wanted to do. At this moment for the kids that meant swimming and getting soft serve ice cream on deck. 

For me that meant watching the kids have fun, taking pictures, looking at the Navigator (activity schedule), and getting a Drink of the Day.


Only brought a couple magnets but were gifted many

The White Cliffs of Dover

Dover Castle
Jacob helped me get unpacked and organized in the room. We have connecting ocean view rooms (large porthole) on the starboard side forward. I wanted the boys room, but he convinced me just to keep the one I was assigned to so that his key would match his room. Originally I just wanted the boys' room because the bed faced the direction I preferred, but later I discovered that their air conditioning worked much better than mine. Spoiler alert: I didn't get the A/C fixed until the second to last night. Therefore I didn't get the amazing sleep I usually get on a Disney cruise. I should have spoken up sooner. 


Our dinner was at Rapunzel’s Royal Table which is new since the last time we sailed on this ship.  The restaurant is decorated very nicely with lanterns.  The food was good as usual and our servers (James and Francesca) seem very nice. They both have been excellent and have served the children more quickly than ever to allow them to get back to their kids’ clubs ASAP.

We skipped the Be Our Guest show tonight.  Ella, Zoe and Zach all wanted to get straight to the kid’s club – they didn’t even wait for dessert at dinner!  I picked them up at 10:30pm and they still didn’t want to leave.   

We participated in one Fish Extender (FE) group this cruise. We usually participate in three or more. Each FE group generally consists of approximately ten cabins/families that sign up in Facebook groups or Disboard or other forums. Some kind soul from each source organizes their participants into groups. You gift whatever you want to the cabins in your group. Some people do one gift per cabin. Some do multiple smaller gifts per person or even multiple deliveries to each person. No strict rules. No dollar maximum or minimum. No expectations. It's called a Fish Extender gift exchange because people hang something to collect the gifts from the little fish on the wall outside each cabin. Disney uses those fish clips to put notes on. They don't officially condone this, but they do allow it to go on. It's amazingly widespread and as far as I know, unique to just Disney Cruise Line.

We only participated in one group this time because as the kids get older, they're less into it. It's tough to gift something teens will like. Also, we end up with SO much stuff that we couldn't possibly take it all home. Also we of course need to bring our gifts for others, which we've always creatively thought of a nice cabin gift that doesn't take up much space. This time, it took up the least space of all. We bought refillable popcorn buckets for each cabin and gave them a letter and $5 gift card to refill it three times.  Actually it was impossible for us to find $5 gift cards so it ended up being a $5 bill.  (The refill used to be $1.50 but I think it was slightly more. Whoops. Three refills was our good intention.)

The kids were busy and we wanted to deliver our gifts before people bought their own popcorn buckets, so we bought ten buckets of popcorn (with lids) and made the deliveries by ourselves. 

Day 20 – Portland, England

Portland Castle

We definitely weren’t ready for a port day yet, so we didn’t plan any excursions for today.  The three youngest went to the kid’s club right after breakfast.  The rest of us did get off the ship for a short while.  

Portland is where the D-Day forces launched from and they have a small, but informative, museum there that we toured.  

It was a good chance for Jacob and Max to learn a bit about World War II and to see some of the vehicles and equipment that were used.  Part of the museum was a video of people from Portland talking about what it was like here during that time.  

This museum encouraged touching and climbing into the equipment on display. Jacob put on the gear the troops wore as they stormed the beach. They carried about 80 pounds. It was powerfully moving for me when I internalized that many of the men were only 3-4 years older than Jacob that day.


The rest of the afternoon was more pool time and movies.

It’s been a challenge to get the youngest kids to leave the kid’s club each night.  And then of course, Zach is hungry, even though it 11pm!  I seem to remember this from last time. It’s been equally as difficult to get Max to participate in his club. Although it’s posted as ages 11-14, they told Jacob he wasn’t allowed in. That he should go to the Vibe (14-17) instead. Jacob has done that a couple of times per day. Although Max won’t admit that going without Jacob is what’s keeping him out, I’m pretty sure it is.


Day 21 – Ringaskiddy, Ireland; "Time to Start the Dominoes"
Love my cappuccinos at Cove Cafe

We were in Ireland today.  We booked a private tour which worked out perfectly.   We felt pretty special with a 20 person tour bus all to ourselves. 


Our driver took us straight to Blarney Castle, bypassing the line and inquiring whether other ship passengers had arrived yet. Nope, we were the first. Even so, we had an hour line to get to the Blarney Stone. 


It’s posted as an hour wait, however most of the “wait” is climbing up and through the castle. It wasn’t boring at all. We had information to read throughout the whole line to the stone. Kissing the stone may be what people tell about, but going through the castle was the cool part. They say sometimes the line is 3-4 hours long. Not sure how long it got that day once visitors from two cruise ships arrived.

Blarney Castle was great.  It was quite a bit smaller than most of the castles we’ve visited, but this one did the best job of describing what life was like in the castle.  The line wound through the castle itself, so we had plenty of time to view each of the rooms and read most of the signs.  
Looks like stained glass from outside, but is not glass
We had to climb the spiral staircase up through the castle.  It was probably about seven stories high and the line of people went all the way from the top to the bottom of this narrow little staircase.  Zach and his brothers were in the front of our family, which put them out of sight of us, and as they approached the top, we heard Zach say, “Time to start the dominoes.”  Not sure if he got that from his brothers or if he thought of that himself, but it was pretty hilarious. 

The wooden parts of the castle have rotted away or burned, but most of it was made of stone and that is in mostly good condition.  

It seems like it would be impossible to attack this castle between the trap door in the front, the front gate itself, murder holes in the ceiling, and then the extremely tight stairwell.


View from Blarney Castle
The Blarney Stone itself is at the top floor of the castle, on the bottom of one of the turrets.  Legend says that the Blarney Stone is magical and will give the gift of eloquent speech if you kiss it.  Well, kissing it isn’t that easy.  It requires lowering yourself backward on a stone wall and tilting your head way back.  There are some bars embedded in the stone and a helper to stop you from falling to your death.  The kids and I all missed and ended up just kissing the stone above it without realizing it.  Kyrie went last and that’s when they made it more clear that the Blarney Stone was the smooth one at the VERY bottom. 

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Kissing the stone ABOVE the Blarney Stone
Also above
The Blarney Stone is above this window a bit to the left.


I was also impressed by the gardens and area surrounding the castle.  It was very beautiful and well maintained.  There were flower gardens, a poison garden, a jungle trail, the rock close (like an alley), a druid area, and a fairy glen.  We spent about 4 hours there, but still didn’t see everything.  

After that our driver (from Paddywagon Tours) took us on a nice tour of the area for about 2 hours. 


Our driver was a little dry, although very nice and accommodating. He is originally from Wales, to keep with the theme of having tours from foreigners rather than natives. He’s lived in Ireland for 16 years though, so I think that’s alright.
He gave us a drive through tour of Cork. He offered to let us wander around the shopping streets for a while, but the kids didn’t want to walk anymore after the weeks of touring we’ve just done. He drove us up to a fort which had a nice view down over Cork and across to Cobh where we were initially scheduled to dock. I heard a Holland America ship whose captain was from this area was sailing that ship into port for his first time that day. I’m sure that was a big deal if it’s true.


Our last views of Ireland (and any land for quite some time!)...
The fort we were at



The show tonight was a magic show (which wasn’t very good).   By the way, I guess this is a good time to mention the couple things I actually don’t like about this cruise.  First of all, of course, the magician, but really, I’m probably just kind of hard to please about that.  It would have to be a pretty amazing magician for me to like it.  Next, is John Charles.  He is a singer/comedian guy that passengers seem to enjoy, but I don’t find him very entertaining.  It would be fine, but he’s been on our last three cruises and I would like to see someone else for a change!  But, my biggest complaint, is that there isn’t a daily lecture.  On our previous Transatlantic cruise there was a woman (Stacia Martin) who told a detailed history of the Disney theme parks each sea day and on our Panama Canal cruise there was a man (Captain Puckett) who lectured each sea day about the Panama Canal.  Those were some of the most interesting parts of those cruises and we looked forward to those lectures each day.  This cruise does have the man who does the voice of Mickey Mouse (Brett Iwan,) which I’m sure will be interesting, but he only speaks twice during the whole voyage and there isn’t any other lecture on the other three sea days.  I just think it’s a missed opportunity. 

I’m not impressed with the cruise director compared to the past either. He’s got a good personality, but I assume he’s responsible for planning the entertainment. There’s not as much variety in the movies shown, and the live morning shows are disorganized compared to when the women directors hosted them. No biggie, just less impressed with this guy even though others rave about him.

Okay, enough complaining.  I’m really having a great cruise and I wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that I’m anything less than thrilled to be fortunate enough to have this great adventure! Agreed!


Day 22 – 1st Sea Day

The ocean has been remarkably calm on this trip so far.  I wasn’t that surprised while we were in the English Channel or when we were between Ireland and England, but now that we are on the open ocean, I expected to see some waves.  Just some ripples so far. 

Today was definitely a day of relaxing.  Unfortunately, Zach has a cold and wanted to stay in bed all day.  So, we took turns staying with him and then doing things around the ship. 

One of the things we did was go to the Gold/Platinum Member reception.  

Commodore Tom Forberg

The captain told us some statistics about the ship and future destinations.  The ship’s Entertainment Director (not sure what the correct title is – or his name) Trent, gave us a behind the scenes look at the stage.  They used a time-lapse video of the stage setup that goes on.  Since, all of the set pieces for the cruise have to fit in a very small space they have to carefully place each piece in the exact right spot and in the exact right order.  They also had a camera man go under the stage to show the small room that they use to bring certain pieces up to the stage during the show.

I spent some time on deck and also went to see the new version of The Lion King.  Kyrie went to a variety show in the afternoon. It was a juggling comedian. It was pretty entertaining, but I can tell why he’s not a headliner.

The dining room staff was nice enough to send my dinner up to my room since I had to stay with Zach.  Disney really does an amazing job of handling every situation.  And, it was lucky for me because the appetizer was a beet and goat cheese tower that was – I’m not exaggerating – probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  It was really that delicious.  I told Kyrie that I would take a whole cruise just to eat it again.

Dinner was at Rapunzel's Royal Table. 

Tonight pub thugs met us at the door. They told Ella to keep that expression on her face all night, that she fits in with them. They were hosting a surprise party for Rapunzel. Our table happens to be right by the stage. That means we got extra attention from the pub thugs between sets.


It was part one of a two night dining experience. Four nights from now, when we rotate back to this restaurant, we'll finish her birthday party with the floating lantern celebration.

After dinner, Kyrie took over staying with Zach and I took the girls to the Twice Charmed show they wanted to see.  It is a continuation of the Cinderella story in which the Wicked stepmother and stepsisters make a deal with their Wicked Fairy Godfather to ruin Cinderella’s ‘happily ever after’. 

I guess the seas will not remain this calm for the whole voyage – before the show the captain announced that there is a hurricane foretasted to be in  our path between Canada and New York on our last sea day.  They are reviewing options in case they need to change course.  That is still several days away, so things could easily change by then, but we’ll see what happens.

I guess Jacob likes his club.  It’s eleven o’clock, which is late for us, and he’s still there.  I’m glad he’s having a good time.

It’s kind of hard to describe what makes a Disney cruise so special.  Reading our blog, it probably doesn’t sound like much and part of that is because I take a lot of it for granted.  This is our sixth Disney cruise and I already know how great the crew members are and I’ve already experienced so much of the Disney magic before that I just feel like I’m repeating myself by describing it.  But there really is a remarkable difference in a Disney cruise.

I’m sure some of it is simply because they have tons of experience dealing with families.  Our stateroom attendant has been perfect about getting our room taken care of at the most convenient times, without us ever having to ask her.  They obviously always have something for the kids to do and of course they have many activities that the family can do together.  So, we get a lot out of all of that.  Plus, I really think a big part of the difference are the passengers themselves.  There is such a comradary between the passengers.  Everyone has something in common right from the start because everyone knows at least some of the Disney characters.  I get the impression many are even bigger Disney fans than we are. The passengers are ready to have a good time and they themselves add to the magic by decorating their cabin doors with magnets, participating in gift exchanges, or even dressing as pirates on Pirate Night.  It’s really a great time for young and old alike.
1700 of the 2500 passengers on this cruise are repeat cruisers. More than 1000 have been on 6 or more. One lady is on her 93rd Disney cruise! And another one has been on 60-something. I gave up going to the Disney trivia contests because I can’t even get close to winning.

 Day 23 – 2nd Sea Day


As always, I'm early to bed and early to rise. I enjoyed my quiet mornings watching the sunrise with a cappuccino from the Cove Cafe.  

Our second sea day was a busy one.  The seas were rough this morning, but then fairly calm.  We had a character breakfast this morning.  The kids aren’t that impressed by the characters at this point, but they posed for some pictures. It was one of the few breakfasts that we’ve all eaten together since we usually all wake up at different times.  

Zach is feeling better today! Thor hammer!
I went to Anyone Can Cook.  They had a chef from the Magic Kingdom making Butternut Squash Risotto.   The chef currently works at The Skippers Cantina in the Magic Kingdom Park at Disney World, buy has also worked at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest and some others.  They passed out some samples and also a glass of wine to go with it.  The risotto was good.

We all went to the theater to watch the new Aladdin.  I’m tired of Disney making all of these live action versions of their old cartoons, but I did like that one.  I would prefer some new, original movies instead of just remakes. I agree, but I did like Aladdin and the Lion King. I look forward to seeing Dumbo too.

In the middle of the movie, the captain announced our revised itinerary.  To avoid the hurricane, they have decided that they need to cancel our planned Canada ports completely.  We instead, head directly towards New York.  We will spend the “Canada Days” at sea and then park at New York City for the whole day prior to disembarking the next day. 
Rainy and windy morning

This change won’t matter much to us, since we weren’t planning on doing much in Canada anyway, but I’m sure some others are quite disappointed.  Plus, not everyone will be thrilled with having six sea days in a row. 

It’s funny though, 30 minutes after this announcement, the rain had cleared and the sun was shining. I’m crossing my fingers that heading south to go around the hurricane brings warmer weather on the sea days than we otherwise would have had (even if there was no hurricane.)
Afternoon Snack

Here's a tip for novice Disney cruisers, two of our most desired room service items are not listed on the menu and they are also no charge. We asked for unwrapped Uncrustables sandwiches before we disembarked in Ireland, We took them in our backpack in case the kids were "starving" when we weren't near food, or in the very likely scenario that Zach didn't want anything from wherever we ended up eating lunch. 

But the Mickey bars are the real treat! I'll take one over the soft serve ice cream on deck any day!

This afternoon, the man who does the voice of Mickey Mouse did a presentation.  He is only the fourth person ever to do Mickey’s voice and has been doing it for about 10 years.  It was an interesting presentation. 

Walt Disney of course was the first voice of Mickey. I get choked up a little when they say Walt was Mickey and Mickey was Walt. I think it’s cool that Brett Iwan who is the current voice was not a voice actor or actor of any kind before trying out. He was always a big Disney fan and it is his dream come true.

The kids' usual dinner
The lobby decorated in Frozen theme
Tonight was supposed to be the Freezing the Night Away party, but it was raining, or too windy or something, so they cancelled it.  They did a little Frozen dance party in the D Lounge instead. 

The show tonight was great!  It was a hypnotist named Ricky Kalmon.  He hypnotized about 10 members of the audience.  The highlights were the guy who thought his shoe was Simba from the Lion King (and held it up for all to see), and when several audience members did their best renditions of lip syncing “Let it Go”.  Zach and Zoe thought it was the funniest things they’d ever saw.

I’m bummed I missed this show. I seriously could not stay awake. I was in bed at 7:30pm and our clock read 6:30pm making it seem even lamer. We gained another hour back for the third night in a row last night. Our mousekeeper changes the clock at turn down service.

Also tonight was the Character Campout, a chance for the younger kids to sleep over in the kids club.  I was reluctant to sign them up because we’ve fallen for this a couple of times before.  Last time, Ella and Zoe went.  I assumed they would want to be picked up before they even went to sleep.  At about midnight, I finally believed that they were really staying, only to get a call a half hour later (once I was asleep) that they would like to be picked up.

Well, this time they really did all stay the entire night – even Zach.  They had a Descendants party and it sounds like they had a lot of fun.  Apparently, they even slept because they didn’t seem that tired this morning.  I’m sure that changing our clocks back an hour for the third night in a row has helped!

Day 24 – 3rd Day at Sea

The seas were quite rough last night.  I woke up quite a few times.  I’m guessing that we’ll have mostly rough seas as we get closer to the hurricane.  They have tied up all of the speakers on the top deck – probably to keep them from doing any damage if they break off.  It rained some this morning and at one point there was a fog (or maybe just sea mist blowing off the waves) all the way around the ship.  It looked really cool – like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. 

The air has definitely been warmer since we started heading more southward.  The wind keeps it from getting that hot, but it’s pretty nice.  It’s been mostly sunny today.  Unfortunately, the rough seas are keeping the pools closed.  Zoe did go in the hot tub though.

The voice of Mickey also likes to do Disney artwork...


Jacob attended a drawing class with me. I don't know that we learned much, but I'm glad I got to hang out with Jacob! 

While Zoe was relaxing, the rest of the kids went to the movie theater to watch Avengers: End Game.  I’m glad they went, because Zach really wanted to go and I really didn’t want to have to watch it again – especially since it’s 3 hours!
Instead, Kyrie and I got to read.  It was a very lazy day for us, which was nice.

I’ve been listening to this novel on Audible. I’m about 7 hours into it with 23 more hours to go! I usually choose nonfiction personal development or business books. But I vowed to leave that stuff behind this vacation. I’m enjoying this book (which I'll name later in the blog when I remember it) because the setting is England, France, and Spain in a time period we just learned a little about during our recent tours of castles and cathedrals on this trip. The stories include Mary Queen of Scots and Queens Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. We saw where all three were laid to rest in Westminster Abbey.

Tonight, Kyrie and I had dinner at Palo, the upcharge restaurant on board.  The kids ate on their own with our regular dining staff.  It was kind of funny, because the staff and nearby tables said how good the kids were even though we weren’t there, but the kids shook their heads and told us it didn’t go that well.  They said that Zach was really cranky because some of the vegetables got in his macaroni and cheese. 

Zach has been really cranky about food the past couple of days.    He’s already a very picky eater and now he’s tired of the macaroni and cheese and doesn’t want to eat anything except sugar.  It’s going to be a challenge.

Tonight was another Hypnosis show.  It wasn’t quite as fun as the first one, but it was still pretty good.

Day 25 – Day at Sea #4

This morning we watched Toy Story 4, which was a lot of fun!

The hypnosis guy did a self-help kind of lecture today. 

We also went to another lecture from the voice of Mickey Mouse.  The highlight of this one was that he brought some people up from the audience to do some of the other voices.  They were all pretty good!

Tonight was the continuation of Rapuzel's birthday celebration at dinner. Instead of thugs, they had musicians and Flynn Rider. 

Zach with Flynn Ryder

The kids apparently did a lot of crafts and face painting in their club today.  Everyone is "busy" relaxing and doing what they enjoy independently and sometimes together. It's perfect for all of us.  

The only thing worse than Zoe's crazy outfit was Once Upon a Song

The show tonight was Once Upon a Song.  With so many great Disney songs to choose from, I expected a lot from this show, but it was quite disappointing.  The song selections were odd and even the good songs were almost unrecognizable because of the renditions.   

Day 26 – Day at Sea #5

Every sea day there's a live morning show that is somewhat entertaining 
Today is the first day that we are supposed to be somewhere else.  The food supplies seem to be holding up, but they seem to be running short on entertainment.
This was the day that we were supposed to be in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  I didn’t really mind missing this stop because we had this stop a few years ago, on a Sunday like today, and most of the shops were closed and there wasn’t much to do.  However, this is also where they would normally pickup the next entertainers on the ship.  So, they are improvising the entertainment schedule a bit and apparently not even having anything in the main theater on the last night except for a showing of The Lion King (which has been playing in the movie theater on board all week).  This is odd because we will be in New York by then and you would think they could find someone to bring on board for a night or at least play a movie that hasn’t been playing in the movie theater on board all week. 

Kyrie and I had brunch at Palo today. 

Cool photo opp today, but that's not our thing
Apparently, Marc only goes to Palo for me. He said when Jacob turns 18, it will be a free pass for him to get out of Palo. I think it will be fun for the three of us to go. Although the surcharge/upcharge now is $40 per person, so it will get quite pricey as the kids become of age. On that subject, I remember originally hearing that the charge was for the gratuity. Last cruise I heard that’s not true at all. I still have not gotten a straight answer about this which makes tipping quite awkward here. 

Anyway, I really enjoy Palo, especially their brunch. The service is generally outstanding and the food and presentation is excellent. I must comment though that since they produce good quality flatbread/pizza at Palo, they really should use the same crust for Pinocchio’s Pizzeria on deck. MSC spoiled us in this regard.


Ella and I played bingo.  It was kind of fun, but we didn’t get very close to winning.
There have been a lot of flying fish today.  That’s about the extent of the wildlife on this part of our vacation.  There were some birds following the ship for the first few days, but after that it’s just ocean out there.

Zach was excited because Max took him to open house at the young teen club on board The Edge.  Zach likes it better than Max does I think.
Jacob tried Oysters tonight

The kids were genuinely impressed by our server's magic trick tonight!

Speaking of our server, I have to give more praise to James. He's from the Philippines and has been working on the Magic for ten years. Our assistant server is Francesca from England. Her parents got to board the ship at our Portland port to spend some time with her. They have been excellent! Probably the best team we've had. I know I said Sunny on MSC was the best, but now these two have rivaled him. It's a tie!

They served the three young ones their meals quickly and offered desserts right away, which surprisingly our kids often declined, so they could get back to their club quickly. 
I like a little decaf coffee with dessert, and Francesca remembered that every night after the first without me asking. James knew Max doesn't like cheese, and even when Max would forget to specify to hold the cheese, he would automatically do it. Same for me with seafood. For instance he knew there was an anchovy garnish on one of the dishes I ordered, and automatically made sure they left it of of mine. Understated and excellent!

Since I'm talking about service, Pa our stateroom hostess has been exceptional as well.

Tonight’s entertainment was a star from Broadway.  She was in the Tarzan show (but maybe only in Germany?) That was better than I expected since I don’t really like that sort of thing.  She really put together a complete show, with songs from each of the Disney On Broadway shows.

Tonight was also Pirate Night.   Everyone had a good time on deck (and the weather was perfect).  Zach even danced a little – which was a complete change from the show on the first day when he just stood still.



I managed to stay up and attend Pirate night! This is only the second time in six cruises that have. It was fun! So cute watching Zach sword fight using his tiny glowing sword against his “buds” big fancy sword.


Zoe spent the whole time trying to get the panning camera on her to see her own face on the big screen. 

And it’s the first time I checked out the buffet afterward. I wasn’t hungry at all, just wanted pictures of the melon carvings! 

Hungry for a turkey leg after not liking the oysters?
We seem to be past most of the wind and rain.  The seas are much calmer tonight.  They have untied all of the speakers and most of the top deck is open again, so I guess we’re past the bad weather.


Day 27 – 6th Day at Sea

This being our final sea day, I may have taken even more pictures of the sunrise. My usual view from the Cove Cafe was the one with the clouds pinking up. I could get a glimpse of the sunrise at the back of the ship, but nothing picture worthy. This morning, the sun was still rising when I went to get my eggs at the buffet, so I got a full view. 

The youngest kids didn’t go to Toy Story the other day with the rest of us (because they never want to leave the kid’s club,) so I took them to it this morning.  We all enjoyed it.

Jacob took Zach to the open house at the older teen club, Vibe, today.  Zach was so excited when Jacob told him that is where they were going.  

While the others where watching Toy Story 4, Jacob and I went to the last live Morning Show and afterward, seeing the whole group of characters together, I persuaded him (easily) to get our pictures with them. This being a very desirable photo opp, they limit it to one photo per cabin. Luckily we have two cabins, since Jacob preferred his own photo rather one with just him and his mom.

It was a really nice day and the pools were open again.  I couldn’t pry Zach or Ella away from their club, but Zoe spent some time at the pool.    It was another relaxing day.  I was a little worried last night because the only books I have are on an app on my phone and they are borrowed from the library.  Well, yesterday the book I was reading expired.  Normally, that’s not a problem, I just borrow it again, but without internet I was stuck.  I looked at the on board app to see how much it would cost to buy some megabytes of data to renew my book.  I found out that they put in 50MB’s for the severe weather, so I was able to renew my book and downloaded another one just in case! 

The Cove  (adult area) pool
I actually got HOURS of time at the Quiet Cove pool today…and a lounge chair that was mostly in the sun. I swam a little and had a few moments in the hot tub by myself, but mostly I listened to more of Ken Follet’s A Column of Fire. It was pretty awesome feeling the warm sun and glancing up to the blue sky to see the fluffy clouds swiftly passing by. These few days have been as relaxing as it gets in stark contrast to exhausting although fun touring days at the beginning of this trip. Which was exactly our plan!

This really felt like the last day on the cruise. The commodore's noon announcement made it sound that way so much that Trent the cruise director got on right afterward to state that people can still reboard in New York and there was still "plenty" of entertainment. 

All of the typical last day activities were scheduled today too like Friendship Rocks which is a show with the kids from the Oceaneers Club and Lab, Disney Dreams on the main stage, and I forget what it's called, but ALL the characters come out at 11 pm in the lobby for a big group photo opp (of them all together, not with them.) I assume so people could enjoy the time in NYC if they wanted to without missing these things. 

At Animator's Palate tonight, we got to draw characters that become animated on the big screens before the end of dinner.  We've done this many times before but it is always fun. Max drew Shrek and Marc drew the German burnt toast cartoon on his character's shirt. Zach's looked a bit scribbly not surprisingly, but it turned out to look really cool when it was animated.

Tonight’s show was Disney Dreams.  Just Zoe and Ella went with me.  I’ve seen that one several times, but it was better than I remembered it being.  We all enjoyed it.
Normally, Disney always has a sea day for the last day on the ship.  That’s how this one was supposed to be.  Having a port day instead is messing up their schedule.  Instead of having the going away shows on the last day, they are having them today.  It’s kind of annoying, because it makes it feel like tomorrow doesn’t even count.  Some people are 
actually leaving the ship a day early, but probably mostly because Disney doesn’t have any real entertainment on the last day. 

Kyrie and I have both been surprised by how much time Jacob as spent at his club.  Most nights he is there until at least midnight.  Jacob is definitely not outgoing, so it was kind of surprising.  The youth staff on board is really good at getting the kids involved though, so I think that helped Jacob get past his shyness.  Unfortunately, Max is in a different club, which he has barely gone to.  We tried to make him go the first night when they introduce the kids to each other, but Max wouldn’t go and so he really never got to know any of the other kids. 

We found out tonight that Jacob’s been doing a contest in his club.  He gets points for accomplishing certain tasks.  Tonight is the end of the contest and he said he needs to get a selfie with the Cruise Director to get more points.  During dinner he was reviewing the schedule to try to figure out where he could ambush him to get the selfie.

Day 28 – Parked in New York City




Well, Jacob got the selfie with the Cruise Director last night and he won his contest.  He won a coffee mug, but he’s pretty competitive, so I’m sure just winning was the best prize.

We got to New York early this morning.  Kyrie and Zoe woke up in time to see the Statue of Liberty while the ship was sailing by it.  Not sure why, but everyone has to get off the ship and go through passport control – even if you are staying on the ship.  Overall, the process took a long time, but we didn’t have to leave the ship until the very end, so we were probably only off the ship for about an hour (mostly just waiting for them to clear the ship).

It was another very nice day outside.  Plenty of sunshine and warm weather – especially for the end of September.  We spent most of the afternoon by the pool.  I think the Funnelvision (the big movie screen over the pool), is the best invention in cruising.  There is always something to watch if there is nothing else to do.  I’m surprised more cruise companies don’t do this. 

By the way, I’m all caught up on laundry.  One of the nice things about Disney Cruise Line is that they have several laundry rooms on board.  And, not sure if this was just for the Transatlantic, but they gave us free detergent and free dryers throughout the trip!

They did have one new entertainer tonight, but for some reason they didn't put it in the main theater.  She was called "The Woman of a Thousand Voices".  She mostly did song parodies using different character voices.  Some of the impressions were very good.  It wasn't a great show, but it was better than watching The Lion King again!

Overall, this wasn't our favorite Disney Cruise, but it was still pretty great.  The food and service were all excellent as expected - only the entertainment was lacking and part of that was due to the itinerary change which they could do nothing about.  We definitely had a great time and look forward to more Disney Cruises in the future!


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1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading gave me a memory worth reviewing...we did have a wonderful time on this Cruise...hated having to waste time leaving the ship then returning due to Hurricane