Ok, too many times over too many message boards I have promised (either to them or to myself) trip reports of my Disney adventures, and I always start, and never finish. As such, I think it's best that I just post pictures (because who doesn't like pictures!) and caption/describe. Then maybe I'll get it done! Enjoy.
By way of background, this is my second Disney Cruise, both of them 4/3 land and sea. We tried to work out a seven night cruise, which didn't work out and I really wish it had. Disney World was hot, which made a lot of the time there miserable, and with ten people, really hard to coordinate. REALLY glad we did the cruise last, because we definitely needed a break after Disney World! While I have a ton of pictures, in the interest of actually posting this (see issues above), I'm going to keep the Disney World portion of the trip short.
We were lucky enough to stay at the Grand Floridian, and as you can imagine (/know) it is beautiful. Also lucky to get a park view. It was nice to stay there, but if I were just going to Disney World I'm not sure the extra cost would be worth it. The boat ride to and from the Magic Kingdom was nice, but it really took quite a while to get anywhere else (I realize this is a Disney World issue and not a GF issue). In sum, I'm a Disneyland kind of guy and remain so after our trip.
Did the Pirate Princess Party one night. Well worth it, not only for the spectacular fireworks display, but for the opportunity to literally walk on to Space Mountain/Splash Mountain/Anything as many times as you can. It's just a fun atmosphere overall as well.
Also got into Cinderella's Table. I usually think that most things Disney charges extra for/are difficult to get are worth the time and money whether you're an adult or a kid (e.g., Fantasmic Desert Buffet in Disneyland, Pirate Princess, etc.), but wouldn't choose to do this again without kids. Our niece loved it, though.
Alright, onto the good stuff. Here are just a bunch of pictures of the ship I took while/after boarding. It really is beautiful, and quite the sight.
The Disney Cruise is really just a big advertisement for Dale Chihuly, what with this piece in the lobby, various other pieces, and the pieces at Atlantis in Nassau.
Thought this pic was cool. Iím really interested in the workings of the ship, and think itís just darn impressive how such a big thing can move in and out of a relatively small space. This is leaving the dock in Cape Canaveral.
We had a Cat. 4 stateroom, and it was more than adequate. My sister had qualms about having a stateroom with a veranda with her little ones running around, so she was in an inside stateroom (donít ask why she didnít get an enclosed; I donít know). She regretted it.
On our second day we arrived at Nassau, and I was really happy to be up early enough to watch the ship pull in. First thing I noticed other than the island was the water. It just looks fake with how blue it is. We ate breakfast on deck, and watched it go from pure sunshine to torrents of rain in minutes. Welcome to the tropics!
The first time we cruised we didnít do any Nassau excursions. We actually went to a local beach (which isnít recommended), shopped around, and had a great time. This time around we did the shopping, which was fun, but I remember there being a whole lot more outdoor booths and stuff last time around. I donít know, maybe we were there on a market day or something. This time we also did the Atlantis beach day. For $65, I donít really think it was worth it. The beach was REALLY nice, but you still had to pay a large sum for an umbrella and beach chairs, and take the extended ďtourĒ through the Atlantis shopping complex and casino. It was enjoyable, donít get me wrong, I just question whether it was worth $65 when Iíve heard you can get a similar thing at Cable Beach for around $15.
The next morning, we woke up to this:
Castaway Cay! To be honest, I was a little less than impressed last time we were here, but I was a little more cynical then, and enjoyed it more this time around. Faults? Itís a little too crowded to be my ďisland paradise,Ē and I like my beaches natural as opposed to raked. Still, the water is fantastic, snorkeling was fun, the bike ride was actually a highlight, and, while we didnít spend much time there, the adults only beach was pretty much empty. Again, welcome to the tropics, as during the day we had spurts of ďnot a cloud in the skyĒ as well as sheets and sheets of rain. BBQ on the island was pretty darn tasty too!
Food. I needed more hours in the day to eat! Below are pictures of Palo, which for $10 you canít miss. It wasnít like any other restaurant. When my brother showed a little hesitation on what to order, our waitress brought him both! Plus, Iím pretty sure she ended up bringing us all everything that was on the desert menu. It was all fantastic. Rotational dining is fun, but a note of caution: we timed Palo so we wouldnít miss the Pirate Night meal. The problem with doing that is we missed our night in Animatorís Palate! In hindsight, and while the Pirate Night dinner was fun, I would have rather missed that then missed AP. You still get to enjoy all the on-deck festivities, as they donít start until later.
Obviously there is a lot more to report, but like I said, if I tried to report it all Iíd never get through it, and never post! If anyone would like me to elaborate on anything, or has any questions, go ahead and ask, and Iíll answer in more detail. To close, here is what makes the trip all worth it (donít know why theyíre sideways, sorry!):