Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Disney Cruise: Nassau Day

After I had spent the first 1.5 hours of my morning roaming the ship before sunrise, I went back to our stateroom to one who was still sleeping and two who weren't. Three guesses who was who.

After we all got dressed in our swim suits for the day, we went to the breakfast buffet at Cabanas, where the only food my boys wanted to eat were the donuts. Not the Mickey-shaped waffles, eggs, fresh fruit, bacon, croissants, potatoes, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, and countless other beautiful breakfast foods. Nope. Just the donuts...and juice. During breakfast we watched the ship dock at Nassau. By the time we were done, the ship was still and almost ready for us to get off.

We met our excursion group in one of the ship's theatres, got our stickers, and waited for everyone to arrive. This was to be just the first of many periods of waiting during the day. Then, the whole group disembarked and assembled on the dock. And waited. Then, we moved toward some ferry boats. And waited. Then, we got on the ferry boats. And waited for 40 mintues as we ferried to Blue Lagoon Island. 

And that brings us to these lovely expressions on the faces of all my boys. They look really excited about the day, don't they?

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Honestly, I can't blame them. We were all tired of waiting. Even me...so of course, the boys were completely over it. 

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But finally, we got there. And Blue Lagoon Island was just as beautiful as they said it was. We had a Dolphin Experience awaiting us, so we gathered where they told us and yes...waited some more. We went through an orientation and then split up into groups of about 15-20 people. Then we met in that area under the blue awning to meet our dolphin.

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Despite all the waiting, the experience really was fun. It was so very cool to be so close to the dolphins and to get to touch and interact with them. First, they took a photo of each family or group with the dolphin. Ethan volunteered to be kissed.

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Then, each in our turn, we got to hug and dance with the dolphin. It kissed each of us on the lips. The trainer also had it do a few tricks and jumps for us. They really did allow us to handle it quite a bit, which was thrilling for the boys...and me and Casey. 

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After our Dolphin Encounter, we dried off and headed over to the beach. We had two options: 1) we could spend the afternoon on the beach, eat there, and head back to the ship on the late ferry. Or 2) we could enjoy the beach for about 20 minutes while we waited for the earlier ferry, eat on the ship, and go swimming at the pool. Honestly, as much as we all love the beach, we were just worn out from waiting. And we knew we had a 40 minute ride back to the ship anyway. So, we opted to spend a brief time on the beach and catch the early ferry. 

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The beach was lovely and the water was beautiful. There were a lot of things that you could rent to do on the beach. 

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We found our very temporary spot and let the boys play in the sand and water. This was their first official introduction to a beach of any kind. If we hadn't been planning to spend all day at the beach the next day, we might have made a different decision on this day.

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Logan liked the water, but really loved the sand. So he spent most of his time here.

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Ethan liked the sand, but loved the water. So he spent most of his time there. 

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After a few sputterings, he got used to the salt taste. And because we had brought his goggles, he didn't have to worry about it stinging his eyes either. He really did love it. 

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Casey held our shoes and kept an eye out for the ferry. We would have to wait for hours if we missed it. Not the worst thing to be stranded on a beautiful beach...but it was still not what we preferred for that day. 

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We were able to catch the ferry and headed back to the ship. Blue Lagoon was picturesque and I might consider coming back for just a beach day next time. But honestly, if I had it to do over again, we would have just stayed on the ship. We spent probably 4+ hours in transit and waiting, and about 45 minutes doing the actual dolphin experience. Although I'm glad we did it, I wouldn't do it again. We would spend our time actually relaxing and enjoying all the ship has to offer. 

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Speaking of the ship. The Disney Dream was far and away the largest (and in my opinion, the most impressive) ship that was docked at Nassau that day. We saw one Carnival and one Royal Caribbean ship for sure...the other one, I can't remember. 

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Not pictured: we spent the afternoon relaxing. We ate at the outdoor stalls by the pool, swam, rode the Aqua Duck water slide, the Mickey hand slide, and just generally had fun. Then, we went back to our room to get dressed for dinner. 

We made sure to head down toward dinner early because we knew that Daisy would be there. The boys had been wanting to meet Daisy (and get her autograph) ever since last year when we went to Disneyland and didn't get to see her. She was dressed up for formal night. We were too...just a little more casually.

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Again, I preferred my photo to the one that the photographer took with his camera. 

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We hung around the area because up next was Donald Duck. The boys loved these port hole seats. They were watching us starting to leave Nassau.

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Donald was really spiffy in his coat and tails. 

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Our dining room for the evening was Animator's Palate. This was our favorite dining experience. The room was full of screens with animation on them. 

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The ceiling looked like an artist's palate...and changed colors throughout the night. And this is a big reason why my photos in this dining room have crazy color casts and lighting...I had to embrace it because there was no way around it. 

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I loved the chairs! And the hidden Mickeys in the carpet design. 

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The coolest part of dinner was when the Finding Nemo characters came up to our port holes (screens) to talk. They talked to us just like they do in Turtle Talk with Crush at Disneyland and Disney World. It was so cool and the boys absolutely loved it. 

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All the screens are synced so that the characters look like they are swimming around in the ocean and we are just peering into it. They would swim from one screen to another, talking to us the whole way. We got to see all the Nemo characters. And when they left, the ocean coral and water was a beautiful setting for the rest of our dinner. 

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Ethan was tickled again when our waitress put his ketchup on his plate in the shape of a Mickey head. Again, he insisted that I take a photo!

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After dinner, our main waiter did some magic tricks for the boys. They were mesmerized.

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Out in the main atrium after dinner, we spotted some characters that we had not met before. I asked the boys if they wanted to meet any princesses and they said yes. Ethan is especially eager to fill up his autograph book with people that we have not yet met. Rapunzel was really sweet with the boys and this time, I preferred the photo from the other photographer as opposed to mine.

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Right after Rapunzel, we got back in line in the same place and met Snow White. It was great timing and she was really funny...asking the boys about knightly duties and such. 

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We even got our photo made on the grand staircase, although I am less than pleased with it. The red cast and the fact that it's out of focus are less than desirable.

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Finally, we extricated ourselves from the craziness of the main atrium and headed to the Walt Disney theater for the show that night...Villians Tonight. There is a show every night, but this is the only one we went to. It's not because they're bad...they are actually really well done and we enjoyed it. But they are so late, and the boys were always so tired from our fun days. Something had to give, and the shows were it. But on this night, we really enjoyed watching the villians give us a good show...I heard Ethan laugh out loud several times. 

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When we dragged ourselves back to our room, we found a bunny (?) towel animal on the bed. And there were four chocolates, but Logan was very quick to grab one before I took this photo! We crashed into bed and looked forward to our day on Castaway Cay the next day!

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