Sunday, September 6, 2009

Disney Cruise Day Three - CASTAWAY CAY

We wanted to enjoy the serenity of the beach, so we got up early and were the first family to disembark the boat. It was worth it! The beaches were perfect, the ocean was calm, the fish were swimming around, not yet scared off by a thousand feet, and we were able to catch a couple of shots of the kids.Once they were released of their modeling duties, the kids quickly got down to the business of horsing around!The beach began to fill up, so we headed over to Castaway Ray's for our Sting Ray experience. The rays at Castaway Cay have been trained to feed off these u shaped platforms. They only enter from the right and exit from the left, and they only eat off their Mickey shaped plates. It's hilarious to watch them, when you lay that plate down on the netting, they swim straight to it and suck the Ray Jelly out from between your fingers. And as you're standing around the net, they're all swarming for their turn, so they're swimming through and around your legs. They have the most amazing velvet texture, and it's the craziest sensation to stand there and have them all over you! Once feeding time was over, it was time to snorkel with them in their cove. There were 50 -60 rays that live in the lagoon and it was fun to swim around and find them buried in the sand. We learned a lot about conservation and how they care for them. It was a fantastic hour! We left the Ray's and it was time for some grub! The great thing about being on Disney's private island, is that it's simply an extension of your cruise ship, so all the food and drinks are included as well. The kids loved the hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, ice cream, cookies, banana bread, apple cake, and more! Brooklyn devoured the ribs and had bbq sauce up to her knuckles! After lunch we swam at the beach for awhile, and then the kids were ready to go on our bike ride. There were two great trails to take, an easy 4.5 mile ride in beautiful lush tropical foliage. The first trail ended at a viewing tower. From three stories up you could take in the entire island, including the cruise ship parked in the port. The kids enjoyed looking through the telescopes and finding the hidden mickeys hidden across the landscape. The second leg of the journey was a bit longer, and Corban quickly tired. At one point he was so far behind that we were all around a water cooler drinking ICE COLD water waiting for him to catch up. We filled our cups to the top and simply pretended to be drinking when he arrived. We gave the secret signal and all together we dumped the freezing water on him. He got ticked at first, and then began to laugh uncontrollably! A game of water attack quickly ensued and we were all comfortably drenched by the end of it! We returned our bikes and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the water. We grabbed our floats and floated lazily in the bay for an hour or two. Jason took off with his snorkeling gear to explore the underwater area, and reported back that he had found all of the sunken Mickey's the kids were directed to find. It was wonderful just to hang out as a family in the middle of the water and laugh and chat. All too soon for mom, the boys were ready to head back to the boat, so Brooklyn and I stayed behind to enjoy a frozen drink, and to have Brooklyn's hair done. She held back the tears as the lady pulled very hard and very quickly through her bangs. We chatted the entire walk back and enjoyed the tropical oasis as much as we could before boarding the boat again. The boys were off playing ping pong which allowed Brooklyn and I to get ready leisurely. They posed for one pic on our deck and then we were off to the show!Tonight's spectacular offering was Disney Dreams, and it is an award winning show for a reason! It was unbelievable. It really is a 4-D experience with the confetti, bubbles, and even real snow falling on the audience! It was unbelievable. Watching and listening to Beauty and the Beast Love as Old As Time while the snow is falling on you, bubbles with Ariel under the sea, and things rising out of the stage, Peter flying around, lasers lighting up. . .amazing!After the show we headed over to the High School Musical Dance Party. Of course there were a thousand little girls on the dance floor, and Jason. Our kids stayed in their chairs while Daddy followed along and learned all the choreography! He's hilarious! We watched the sunset from Deck 4 on our way to dinner and then got attacked by Stitch just outside of Animator's Palate. Brooklyn and I had been waiting for this restaurant for almost 2 years! It starts out in Black and White and then turns to color as the evening progresses. The food was probably our favorite of all, and we again enjoyed the company of our Canadian table mates. God truly has a plan for each and every detail of our lives when we surrender it to Him! We had to pack and get up early the next morning so we lingered on the deck watching the water for awhile, and then headed up to our stateroom. We had been promising the kids they could order Room Service from the moment we got there, and had been to full and busy to do so, and even though we were stuffed to the gills and the kids were already in bed, we ordered pizza and cookies delivered to the room, and they thought it was the coolest to get out of bed and have a midnight snack! The cruise was spectacular and the kids are already talking about all the things they want to do NEXT TIME. "Cruise for a family of seven, please waiter!" OUCH!