Saturday, June 28, 2008

Disney Cruise!

We are back--and coated in pixie dust! We had a wonderful time; if it had been a little cooler, I would say that we were in paradise. But it was about 20 degrees hotter than paradise--haha! The ship was FANTASTIC and Spencer had a blast.
Some notes about our trip:

click on collages to enlarge

* Spencer enjoyed flying! My little goofy kid was ALL NORTH CAROLINA when we hit a small pocket of turbulence; he decided the pilot hit an air possum. UGH! He maneuvered through airports like a champ and was an angel during each flight. I do need to mention that he cried and hugged so tightly when it was time to say bye to Boppa.

* Getting on the ship was a breeze--no lines, totally organized, etc. As soon as we embarked, we went for lunch....and here is where we hit our first glitch. When we got to the restaurant, Spencer said he didn't feel good. We were up at 4am for an early flight so I thought he was just tired. He couldn't eat. He had the chills. We left Nana eating lunch and I took him to the stateroom to rest. After a few hours of rest, he was better and we went to the (mandatory) muster drill, then I took him to the pools/big Mickey slide. We got ready for that evening's show (The Golden Mickeys) and were in the theater all of 5 minutes when he got sick again. Back to the stateroom-- we ended up missing the show and our big dinner at Animator's Palette. Spencer had meds and rested-- Mom and I ordered room service and relaxed. A little after midnight, Spencer vomited. For someone who had not eaten all day, I sure had a ton of crud to clean up off the bed, the pillows, my hair, my arms, my gown (I was holding him when it happened)--what a mess! We got all cleaned up and I was going to take him to the ship infirmary and he swore that he felt better and just wanted to rest. I told him if he was still sick in the morning, he would have to go.

* The next morning, he felt better. He wasn't 100% but he was well enough that he wanted to go to the beach. So we grabbed breakfast and the beach bag and got off the ship to enjoy Castaway Cay. I am telling you-- when they say all inclusive, they mean it. The food was fantastic, unlimited towels, chairs, umbrellas, fruit, soda--everything was included. The only thing I had to pay for was alcohol, shopping and if we wanted to rent anything that day. We rented floats for the lagoon. It would have been perfect, but it was 95 degrees and 90% humidity--- too hot. We rented a FunCat--which is a battery powered lounger-- a high class paddle boat. We also went on our stingray adventure. Not so great actually. When we first got into the ocean to start feeding them, two rays got into a fight and pinched the arm of a woman in our group. Once the blood came, Spencer and Nana ripped off their snorkel gear and stomped out of the water. I could not bribe my kid to get back in the water. I fed the rays (cautiously!) but I did not snorkel-- we went on back early. We rested a bit, got cleaned up and went to Pirate Night! Lots of fun, hi jinks, special dinner, huge deck party and fireworks off the ship. Spencer LOVED it!

* The next day, we disembarked in Nassau, Bahamas. I took Spencer through the market on the way to the Ferry and I think he was a little intimidated by the people, noise, and excessive heat. It got to 103 that day! Spencer asked me as we exited the market, "Mom, why did all those women keep asking to braid your hair?" hahah! We rode a large catamaran over to Blue Lagoon Island. It was about a 30 minute transfer. The cool breeze coming off of the water and the beautiful scenery of the Bahamas made it bearable. We got to Blue Lagoon and checked in, then we were directed to walk to the Sea Lion habitat. On our way over, two dolphins swam over to meet us and exploded out of the water in a beautiful hello--dolphin style. The look on Spencer's face right then was worth the $ for the cruise....seriously. He was WOWed. I wish we could have gotten a dolphin reservation but they were booked solid before we even decided on the cruise. We lucked up and got the Sea Lion time slot. The Sea Lion habitat was buzzing-- the evening before, they had their first ever sea pup born there. The trainers were so happy, they were nearly in tears. All the sea lions in the program are aquarium rescues from Hurricane Katrina and the funds from the excursion help support ongoing rescue programs. Our encounter was with the sweetest sea lion named PJ, she was cuddly, gave the softest fish-breath kisses and she was adorable! Spencer and I LOVED getting to meet her and learn all about her. During our training class, Spencer sat in the front row and I don't think he blinked. He clung to every word the marine specialist said. The only problem we had was when it was time to get in the lagoon with PJ, Spencer freaked at what ELSE was in the lagoon. The Caribbean water is crystal clear blue so you can see EVERYTHING. Spencer saw all the big fish in the water and he was scared that the fish would bite his toes. They wouldn't let us wear water shoes in the lagoon (or sunglasses) so I held Spencer the first few minutes and then he relaxed. After the encounter with PJ, Spencer played in the touch and learn tanks and got to feels little rays, starfish, and about 10 other things I can't remember. The marine folks there are very good with the kids! After we showered and dressed and spent the customary obscene amount on pictures, videos and souvenirs, we took the ferry back to Nassau. Spencer fell asleep on the way back. He didn't feel like shopping or anything in Nassau so went went back to the ship. He was excited to show Nana his pictures with PJ! That night was dressy night for dinner. Spencer looked very handsome in his little suit. He strutted around with Goofy and we watched the new show/musical "Toy Story."

* The next day we went back to Castaway Cay. It was another 95 day scorcher so we came back to the ship by 2:00. We spent the morning lounging under palm trees then Spencer got this genius idea to rent an Aqua Trike. Oh. Good. Lord. That was 30 minutes of cycling torture. Paddling against the wind and current in the hot sun was something more suited for Guantanamo Bay--not my vacation. Never again! Back at the ship, Spencer went to Oceaneer's Club and played all afternoon. They made Flubber! I asked him how he made it and he said, "Here's the thing Mom. Grown ups can't know the recipe." Hmmpf! While Spencer was playing at the Kids club, Nana and I enjoyed a wonderful French dinner at Triton's.

* The last day was a blur. We had an early flight so we had to skip the departure breakfast. We had a smooth transfer back to the airport. All of our flights were on time and all of a sudden we were home. Well all but one suitcase made it home and Delta delivered it to the house the next day. Spencer had a great time telling Boppa all about his trip!

And a few other notes:

* if you order a glass of wine, and the entire ship is out of your selection (what are the chances?) and you let the sommelier recommend something for you.... it is going to be $20 for a half glass. No kidding.

* I got a pretty new watch-- duty free shopping rocks. Even though Spencer giggles every time he hears the words Duty-Free. Who am I kidding-- I laugh, too!

* SPF clothing ROCKS. As sensitive as my skin is, I managed to NOT GET BURNED this entire trip.

* When the room steward leaves a towel monkey hanging from the curtain rod, a little boy will fall off the bed reaching for it--and it will make his eye red and purple.

* The corndogs on the ship were better than my prime rib. The prime rib was wonderful-- there was just something special about the corndogs!

* I spent all afternoon yesterday working on my album from the cruise. (I went digital for this one!)

* The characters left surprises in the room for Spencer every day. Tinkerbell left surprises under his pillow every morning-- he was spoiled rotten on this trip!


AshleyS said...

SOUNDS LIKE AN AWESOME TRIP! Makes me want to take a Disney cruise for sure. The pics are so great--especially the ones of you and Spencer!

Anonymous said...

I want to go now and I don't even have children! I am so glad you had a great time. I missed you though. Can't wait to hear more about it!

Patti H said...

Thank you Cassandra for sharing your holiday photos with us! They are AWESOME I love the ones with the seal you and Spencer. Spencer nor you will ever forget this vacation. I don't even have small kids and I would love to take this cruise just by your photos!

Nilsa said...

Cassandra, what great pictures! Glad you both had a wonderful time.

Robyn said...

That looks like it was an amazing time. Great photos.

Leslie said...

now that was a rockin' trip! We want to do the Disney Cruise at some point too. it looks and sounded so wonderful. thanks for sharing your memories from it. sorry I missed your birthday. I'm still trying to figure out what day it is half the time...this move has kicked my butt.

Georgina said...

Oh Cassandra, Im so excited for you and Spencer - it looks like you had an absolute blast. I love the photos and Spencer looks totally adorable in his little suit

Amy said...

What an awesome trip! I'm glad he got over his illness quickly. Especially love the shot of Spencer in his suit. What fun! And how fun that your mom got to be there too.

Oscar T. Grouch said...

wow, you did an awesome amount of stuff and it sounds great. So glad you and spencer had this.

Lori P said...

awesome trip! so happy to see you both smile!

gab423 said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time! I have been thinking about this trip for my family. I may need to pick you brain a bit! Thanks for sharing your awesome photos! :)

Cheri Pryor said...

Huh-Huh. You said duty!

What an incredible vacation!!! All the pics are wonderful...and I'm glad Spencer got better before the trip was over. Poor lil' dude!

And corn dogs over prime rib? I would have to say they better be MIGHTY special. lol!