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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Disney+Dream = a great adventure awaits! Part VII

Good Sunday afternoon to you all!  This week brings major perspective to is definitely running short!  We are now only 9 days away from our departure date, and I am OH SO NOT READY!  I want to be, but working full time, really is stressing me out, that I am not going to be ready!  Fortunately, I am taking my vacation from work starting on 10/7/12 so I have a couple days before to leave to tie up loose ends, and finalize picking up those last minute items for the trip.  I am going to start "soft packing" today, so as soon as I am done here, that is what I will be doing.  

As we cover the final segment of what we are looking forward to for our cruise aboard the Disney Dream,I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank the members of this blog, and all readers for taking this "pre-journey" with us.  Doing the research and posting this has etched in my mind detailed information that I might not have discovered, and then put into use.  So, thank you!  Let us set sail on this  last "leg", so to speak.

Castaway Cay- Disney's Private Island, is a Bahamian island which is located at lat. 26.0938170, lon. 77.5294880.  Not into geography?  Well, I am! 

According to Disney Cruise Line, this is what you can find to do on Castaway Cay!

From start to finish, your day at Castaway Cay is full of delightful discoveries. Be sure to bring along the Castaway Cay-vents schedule found in your stateroom. Here are just some of the noteworthy locales and activities:
Pelican Plunge
Swimming distance from shore is the new 2,400-square-foot floating platform—adorned with nautical flotsam and jetsam. At this water-play area and platform, which celebrates the island's native pelicans, take a ride on one of the 2 twisting water slides and end up in the refreshing lagoon. Or, get soaked by the giant "bucket dump" that delivers hundreds of gallons of water on eagerly awaiting bathers beneath.

Cool off at the brand-new, 2,400-square-foot water play area and find yourself immersed in what appears to be the remnants of a washed-away beach dwelling. The watery fun begins as you enter the storm-ravaged structure. Be greeted by dripping pipes, broken plumbing and hissing misters that have been exposed and twisted by the tropical tempest that wiped out the original structure.

Scuttle's Cove
The youngest cruisers will enjoy this sandy play spot, a "hub" of youth activities supervised by Disney counselors from the ship. Scuttle's Cove now features a new whimsical water play area: a 1,200-square-foot soft wet deck area provides fresh-water fun with an array of pop jets, geysers and bubblers. With organized activities and Monstro's Point—a giant whale-bone excavation site—kids will be delighted all day long. (A limited number of all-terrain wheelchairs can be obtained here.)

Marge's Barges & Sea Charter Dock
Charter a boat and then get on board for offshore recreation like snorkeling, fishing, parasailing and sightseeing in Castaway Cay's clear blue waters. Vessels include a glass-bottom boat, a fishing boat and a power catamaran. To accommodate additional excursion boats for parasailing, fishing tours and more, this area has recently been expanded.

Grouper Game Pavilion
Play all day in this fun-filled, shaded recreation area featuring complimentary foosball, ping-pong, pool, shuffleboard, basketball, golf wiffleball—even monster chess and checkerboards! Play classic sand sports at Goofy's Sand Lot nearby.

In Da Shade Game Pavilion
Take a break from the sun to play games, such as table tennis, foosball, billiards and basketball, at this new shaded structure centrally located near Castaway Family Beach.

Sports Beach
Meet at the Sports Beach for beloved beach pastimes, including volleyball and tetherball.

Character Greetings
Throughout the day, meet and befriend some favorite Disney Characters at the Post Office, Gazebo, gangway and elsewhere on Castaway Cay. And don't forget: These are perfect moments for photo ops!

Gil's Fins and Boats
Rent snorkel gear for all family members, along with kayaks, paddleboats, aqua trikes and other water equipment for your day as a marine adventurer.

Flippers & Floats
Rent inner tubes, snorkel masks and fins from this festive location.

Snorkeling Lagoon
Snorkelers of all skill levels will be enchanted by the undersea realm of marine life off Castaway Family Beach. Novices can follow the Discover Trail, and more experienced snorkelers the Explorer Trail. Keep an eye out for the hidden Mickey.

She Sells Sea Shells...and Everything Else
Be sure to stock up at this gift shop featuring exclusive Disney Castaway Cay T-shirts, polo shirts, hats, pins, key chains, magnets and towels—and have Disney cruise staff deliver your purchases to the ship.

Buy the Sea Shore
Pick up a variety of Castaway Cay-exclusive items, along with towels, sunscreen and other beach essentials. This new merchandise location is a complement to She Sells Sea Shells & Everything Else.

Serenity Bay
Is reserved for adults 18 and over.  This is where we will be most of the day.

Gorda Cay, now known as Castaway Cay, was once used as a stop for drug runners. There is an airstrip on the island, but it is no longer in regular use nor maintained. Gorda Cay has also been used for filming; the beach where Tom Hanks first encounters Daryl Hannah in Splash is on the island. 

Of the islands 1000 acres, only 55 have been developed for guest use, leaving the rest of the island unspoiled and untamed.  

Excursions that are offered on the island are:

Castaway Cay Port Adventures—shore excursions specially selected by Disney Cruise Line—let you and your family experience all the best features and recreation of this Bahamian paradise. Disney's knowledgeable guides provide a depth of insight and expertise not found elsewhere, ensuring you the best possible leisure and adventure on a rare tropical terrain.
A Man and Woman Bicycle Past a Disney Cruise Line Ship
Extreme Getaway Package
Splashtacular, Nature Adventures, Active Adventures, Family Adventures
4-in-1 fun under the sun! Relax in an inner tube, snorkel in the Caribbean blue, get up-close and personal to real live stingrays and then go biking along an offshore trail.Learn more about this Port Adventure.
Disney Cruise Line Guests Pet a Stingray on Castaway Cay
Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure
Nature Adventures, Splashtacular, Family Adventures
Immerse yourself in a wondrous water adventure where you're invited to feed, touch and even snorkel amongst real-live stingrays.Learn more about this Port Adventure.
Parasailing with a Disney Cruise Line Ship in the Background
Active Adventures
Fly high in the sky above Disney's own Castaway Cay during a breathtaking aerial adventure — and discover a panoramic view of paradise. Learn more about this Port Adventure.
Disney Cruise Line Guests Explore the Waters of Castaway Cay on Waverunner Watercraft
Watercraft Ski Adventure – Single Rider
Splashtacular, Active Adventures, Nature Adventures
Take the wheel of your own WaveRunner watercraft on an amazing guided tour through paradise while learning about the tropical marine life and compelling history of the region. Learn more about this Port Adventure.
Disney Cruise Line Guests Navigate the Waters of Castaway Cay on Watercraft Built for 2
Watercraft Ski Adventure – Double Rider
Splashtacular, Active Adventures, Nature Adventures
Navigate your own WaveRunner watercraft with a family member or friend on a guided tour through crystal blue waters while hearing about the region's many treasured wonders. Learn more about this Port Adventure.
Disney Cruise Line Guests Kayak in the Crystal-Blue Waters of Disney's Castaway Cay
Walking and Kayak Nature Adventure
Family Adventures, Active Adventures, Nature Adventures
Stroll the scenic tropical terrain on a guided walking tour before embarking on a kayak adventure and uncovering the tranquil side of Castaway Cay. Learn more about this Port Adventure.
Port Adventures are operated by independent contractors that are neither agents of, nor supervised or controlled by, Disney Cruise Line. Disney Cruise Line does not maintain their facilities or modes of transportation and is not responsible for any injury or property damage/loss that Guests may incur in connection with a Port Adventure. All Port Adventures are subject to the Disney Cruise Line Cruise Contract. All Port Adventures are subject to availability and/or cancellation based on weather, itinerary changes, and attendance. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult on Port Adventures except for specific "teen only" Port Adventures. All prices are subject to change without notice. Cancellations can be made up to 3 days prior to the cruise departure date. After that time all reservations are final and non-refundable.

We are going to attempt to do the Run Disney Castaway Cay 5K. Now, for those who know me well, know that with my bad knee running is out of the question.  I have been told by several reliable sources that you can walk the course as well. 

 I am a very fast walker, so I really think I can do this in a timely fashion.  The condition of my foot right now is the question.  I have had a stress fracture in my left foot before, and over the last several days it has been acting up.  I bought an arch support bandage, and if I can get it feeling good before we go, and if I don't abuse it too much at the parks, I will make this attempt.  I did find out that no metals are given out for this event anymore, only certificates, and that is fine with me.  I would just love to be able to complete this, and see more of the Castaway Cay Island than just the beach area.  So, I will not know if I will be doing this, until we board the ship and sign up for it.  I will let you know after we get back. 

So, there you have some of the interesting options on Castaway Cay.  Next week we will rap this story up with a few final words before we leave.  After the trip is over, I will have a synopsis and some great reviews for all of you.  Until next week, smooth sailing to you all.  

The Disney Alphabet Letters for Today are: K, J and I !

What can you come up with??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Disney alphabet letter for today is: M!

What Disney related item, word, character, location, movie, etc. can you come up with that starts with the letter M? 

Of course, I must start out with the obvious.........MICKEY MOUSE!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Disney Alphabet Letters for Today are: O and N

What can you come up with that is Disney related that start with O and N? 

Think, think, think!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Street Jam

Disney+Dream = a great adventure awaits! Part VI

 It's Sunday once again....and we all know what that means......another installment of my weekly blog.  We have been covering different aspects of this upcoming trip, and this week we will explore our choice of shore excursions in Nassau, and also talk about Senses Spa on board the Dream, and a few other things as well. 

Our choice of shore excursions was pretty simple.  We are trying to have a great trip to be remembered forever, but still being frugal and not breaking the proverbial bank.  That being said, we made the decision to book the Sunshine Glass Bottom Boat tour.   After going on the Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom on our Disney World portion of this trip, we just didn't feel we would be up to anything really strenuous.  So, this fit the bill, and the pocket book to boot.  It's only $26.00 per person for the hour and a half tour.  I think this will give us a great opportunity to see some great scenery, be done in time to do a little shopping and exploring in town, and then get back to the ship to relax.  This is what Disney Cruise Line has to say about the tour: "chart a course to the turquoise waters of the Nassau Sea Gardens during a relaxing glass bottom boat tour, and immerse yourself in the wonderous world below sea level".  They also state, On this tour you will:
  • Take a 15-minute stroll from the shipboard a 70-foot double-decker glass bottom boat and take off across the breathtaking blue of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Discover the history of Nassau and the Bahamian way of life from your friendly guide, and snap pictures of several local landmarks and celebrity homes from your seaside position. After approximately 30 minutes, arrive at the Nassau Sea Gardens.
  • Make your way to the special viewing deck, gaze out the large windows and marvel at the underwater kingdom — without ever getting wet. Behold rare fish and exotic marine life, as you guide points out the many species that dart back and forth.
  • Following your undersea tour, savor a sip of rum punch or fruit punch as you make your way back to the pier.
  • Upon your arrival, disembark and take some time to shop for souvenirs and treasures at nearby Bay Street before beginning a leisurely 15-minute stroll back to the ship.
Important Additional Information
  • This excursion includes an approximate 15-minute walk to and from the boat pick-up point.
  • This tour is available to all ages; Since it involves a boat/vessel, infants under 3 years of age must have a child's ticket.
  • A beverage (rum punch or fruit punch) is included. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase onboard.
  • Wheelchairs need to be standard size and collapsible; no electric wheelchairs permitted. Guests must be able to traverse a narrow gangway on the boat unassisted and walk up/down approximately 10-12 steps to the viewing deck.
  • Exact locations and reef visibility are subject to weather conditions on day of excursion and may vary.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring cash or credit cards to purchase optional extras, such as souvenirs.
  • You should never feel that gratuities are expected from you. However, it is customary to leave a tip in recognition of service at restaurants, for taxis and for exceptional excursion guides and drivers. It is always up to you as to what you feel is appropriate.
  • Due to extremely limited availability, Guests are encouraged to book early.

 That evening after we set sail, we have our dinner reservation at Palo, which we have talked about before, but I wanted to share some additional information about this location.
Palo on the Disney Dream is an intimate Adult Exclusive restaurant located on Deck 12, Aft that boasts Northern Italian cuisine for dinner nightly. Along with its rich cuisine and upscale atmosphere, Palo offers sweeping ocean views and an elegant décor—a perfect romantic setting for Guests 18 years of age or older.
As the preeminent venue for Disney dining on the high seas, Palo presents the best in fine Northern Italian dining, serving a varied selection of tantalizing favorites with a mouth-watering contemporary twist.
Palo, named after the signature long poles used by gondoliers in Venice, features stylish furnishings, custom art and an Italian-inspired décor. Every seat in the restaurant provides an excellent view of the ocean, thanks to raised seating banquettes along one side of the room, floor-to-ceiling windows and a semi-circular design. Adding to the magic is a backlit bar at the restaurant's center and a pianist who softly serenades diners in the intimate surroundings.
For an even more memorable Palo experience, Guests may dine al fresco on the restaurant's private outdoor teak deck, where picturesque views and warm ocean breezes caress the senses.

If you remember last week, I said that this week we would talk about Senses Spa.  I also said  I had not made up my mind if I was going to book anything there..... that decision has been made, and YES!  I did!  I booked what is called the  La Therapie Hydralift Facial.
  • Duration 50 min
  • Price $115
This energizing facial delivers dramatic skin rejuvenation, melting away the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with youthful effect. It utilizes amazing micro currents applied at a high frequency to draw out impurities that inhibit the natural beauty of your skin—all while sterilizing its surface and boosting vital oxygen supply to your cells. Skin tone and texture are restored, leaving you with a complexion that is nothing short of radiant. (So, I am figuring I should look about 12 when I am done!)

The exquisite Senses Spa & Salon provides therapeutic and beautifying personal care services for men and women in an impressive haven, spanning Decks 11 and 12, Forward of the Disney Dream. The ultimate in peaceful retreats, this immaculate setting offers spa treatments, massages, body wraps, facials, aromatherapy and much more. Salon services include manicures, pedicures, hairstyling and blowouts, plus teeth whitening at the Smile Spa, and a barber shop for traditional men's grooming services.
Experience pure tranquility, indulgent pampering and inner contentment in an environment designed to soothe the senses. Guests' bodies and spirits are nurtured in the spa's 17 private treatment rooms and 2 private luxury Villas. The interior of the Senses Spa & Salon is a calming palate of green, brown and blue hues accented with a tropical flower motif and rich wood finishes. Slip into a state of bliss in our rainforest-themed aromatherapy steam room and sauna. Before and after treatments, Guests who have booked a treatment are welcome to relax and linger in the Relax Room, as well as enjoy the rainforest-themed aromatherapy steam room. Discover the benefits of steam, heat and hydrotherapy combined with the power of aromatherapy to relax the mind and body. Specialized areas within the Rainforest room include a Hamam (steam bath), a Caldarium (steam room) and Laconium (dry sauna)
Senses Spa & Salon amenities include:
  • Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks
  • Comfortable waiting areas
  • Showers
  • Lockers
  • Sandals and robes for use during your treatment
  • Men's and women's changing rooms
  • Massage rooms
  • Laconium (dry sauna)
  • Hamam (steam bath)
  • Caldarium (steam room)
  • Beauty products
Guests of the Senses Spa & Salon must be 18 years of age and older. Please note that charges of spa services are not included with the price of the cruise.
Chill Spa
Chill Spa is a separate spa for teens located inside Senses Spa & Salon. Offering a wide variety of spa services and treatments, including facials, massages, and manicures, it's the perfect place for teens to relax and rejuvenate while onboard.
Reservations for Chill Spa may be made any time after 1:00 p.m. on the first day of your cruise. Appointment times fill up very quickly, so book your session as soon as possible. If appointments become full and unavailable, you may request placement on the waiting list.

So there you have the information for this week.  Next week, we will talk about what we plan on doing at Castaway Cay!  You may be surprised at what I have planned!!  Til them, as Dory would say....."Keep on Swimmin!"