Thursday, February 26, 2015

Disney Cruise: Part 7

Our last full day on the cruise was a bit different than anticipated.

On Friday morning, the ship docked at Castaway Cay, which is Disney's private island in the Bahamas. We did our usual port-day morning routine of sunblock, water bottles, and a quick breakfast before waiting for the ship's doors to open. We made a bee line for the family beach with the hope of securing some lounge chairs for our crew. Fortunately, that scheme paid off and we found four chairs right under a palm tree (hello, Caribbean!) and set up camp.

Once again, we were greeted with a lovely, sunny, warm day. Unfortunately, Annika's cold was keeping her from feeling as fun-filled as she otherwise would feel, and Conor was following suit. We donned our snorkel gear and made our way to the water. Fairly quickly, we also realized the water wasn't as warm as we anticipated... and Annika didn't like the taste of salt water!

Conor getting geared up

Annika raring to go

Conor and me ready to take the plunge

Annika snorkeling

Heading back to shore

We opted to cut our losses. Eric and the kids headed back to the beach while I abandoned them for a little "me time" in the water. I tootled around for a bit and happily discovered lots of fish and many artificial reefs. I also found the Mickey statue, the sunken submarine, a boat anchor, and a sunken fishing boat.
A fish
(Glad I pointed that out for you, huh??)

Not quite sure what this is/was

A stripy fish

More fish!

A winch?

Underwater Mickey

LOTS of fish

The Fantasy, as seen from the middle of the lagoon

Fishing boat

Submarine's tail

A stripy fish and the submarine

My snorkeling selfie

By the time I convinced myself that I was being unfair leaving my three family members alone for so long, I made my way back to the beach, only to find both kids on their lounge chairs shivering. Eric and I gave each other that knowing look and opted to cut our losses and head back to the ship. Along the way, we did stop for a few more character photos with Pluto, Chip and Dale, and Mickey Mouse, but didn't dally too much.

Over the last few days of the trip, Annika sounded more and more congested, and by Friday night, she hit the proverbial wall. She and Eric hunkered down in our cabin while Conor and I made our way to the restaurant to meet our dining companions for our last onboard dinner. Our two servers (Gavin and Dennis) were very sweet and expressed sincere concern that "their princess" wasn't feeling well.

Friday night was spent packing up all of our belongings so they could be outside of our stateroom by 10 PM and picked up by the crew for off loading the next morning. It was a tight squeeze, but we got everything in a suitcase and ready to roll!

On Saturday morning, we woke up painfully early to dress, collect our remaining bags, and get to the restaurant for our 6:45 breakfast call. Fortunately, we saw Gavin and Dennis at breakfast, which wasn't the case any other day, so everyone was able to say a proper goodbye to our wonderful servers before we left the ship for the last time.

After we finished breakfast, we said our goodbyes to Sara, Adam, and Jackson and headed our separate ways. We then ran into them, again, in line leaving the ship, so said our "for reals" goodbyes. We then ran into them again in the customs line. After weaving our way through customs together, we said our goodbyes and eventually got on our bus to our hotel in the airport. As we were slogging through the airport and passed the rather large fountain outside of the hotel, Annika shouted, "There's Jackson!" I was just about to tell her that it was just a little boy who resembled him, but alas, she was completely right. there they were AGAIN! We were just not meant to part company as early as we thought! The Colvins were waiting for their flight's boarding time, and decided to kill some time at the fountain. Our hotel room wasn't ready when we arrived, so we wound up killing time at the fountain with them. The kids had another fun (impromptu) play date in the airport for about 45 minutes, until, finally, our room was ready and we were able to quickly drop our gear before heading out to meet our friend Kris and her husband for lunch nearby.

Our friend Kris moved to Florida many moons ago and it was such a treat to see her there while we were in Orlando. We caught up and got to know her husband, Ron, a bit. So much fun!!!

After lunch, Kris and Ron took Eric and Annika (who was feeling beyond miserable) back to our hotel. Conor and I walked across the street to a Walgreens so I could stock up on cold meds for Annika (I used up my travels medicine stash while on the ship!), and then got a Lyft car to take us back to the hotel. The rest of the day was spent taking naps (Eric and Annika), redistributing our packed items so none of the suitcases was over 50 pounds, visiting the airport's lovely aquarium, grabbing a quick dinner in the food court, and getting ourselves to bed in preparation for, yet another, early morning.

Our flight home was uneventful (woo hoo), aside from Annika's ears hurting her during landing (boo!). After retrieving our car from the MasterPark people, we made our way home and began the transition back to real life... complete with grocery shopping and laundry. Hello, reality! :)

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