Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Part 5 - Pirates

Sorry it has been a few more days than I wanted but my house was showing severe lack in attention.

Wednesday was the day we hit Cozumel! We had been informed by friends it was very touristy and what to stay away from and what were good buys there. We set off and of course the first thing we are given when we step on land is a treasure map. My kids were thrilled. Luckily it was only 4 or 5 stores but what we weren't expecting is to be having people at every shop (100's) even just those in the middle of the street trying to get your attention. It was actually a relief to stop in those other stores because they would just grab the treasure (candy or toy) and let us be on our way.

The night before we had went to a cooking class (by accident) in the Oceaneer's club where we made cookies and saw their vanilla was very thick and strong. The cookies were fantastic (we didn't actually eat the ones we made) and assumed by all the talk it was Mexican vanilla. Later we learned they make their own but the Mexican vanilla is very good as well. Anyway we were on the search for the store that was recommended to us. Very important these places don't have bathrooms my 2 year old had to go and the lady sent us to 3 different places that were all closed. We also discovered they were bars...

We headed back to the ship walking on the opposite side of the street and had a more peaceful walk. After lunch on the ship we went to the pool and just hung around knowing it was going to be a big night we wanted to get the boys to fall asleep. So I went for a run and when they were still not asleep decided to find the gym and go to a free Pilates class. This is one area I was surprised by because they didn't have a separate room for classes and there wasn't much room. There were only 7 of us including the instructor and yet we were in the way of the weights and trying to avoid hitting each other.

Still no naps for the boys so we washed up and started getting dressed for pirate night. This is a big night everyone looks forward to on the ship.

We headed to the DLounge for a pirate game show (our team won), even with all the noise my youngest fell asleep.

We took a picture with Jake from "The Neverland Pirates" (little one was still sleeping) and enjoyed a show before dinner.

There are shows everywhere especially the main deck where after dinner Jack Sparrow repelled from the top of the funnel.

By the end of the night fireworks! Because of almost every passenger being on levels 11 and above there wasn't much room or a good place to see the show even though it was on the big screen above the pools. BUT we did have an excellent location for the fireworks, in fact we were so close it was almost to bright to watch. The boys loved it and danced as we waited for everyone to clear out so we could head back to our room for much needed sleep.

Thursday - Day at Sea
We kept the day light and fun, let the boys sleep in and instead of going to get breakfast my husband went to Cabanas and brought it to us.
You hold a special card in front of designated pictures and a video will display with what to do to earn the next clue.
 We were sent to Pepe's door and the call board for more clues.
We finished up doing the detective mysteries, my boys loved it and they were younger than the recommended age. Crafts in the prelude after lunch, you could tell some hadn't had a nap and it wasn't the kids. The craft was ornaments and adults as well as children were making them. We were early and there were no ornaments left because groups of 2 were taking multiples to do although we were told they were going to go find more supplies. So as we were waiting a woman who already had 2 starts complaining in front of her daughter how horrible it was they ran out and they didn't get to do more. She made a huge scene as my family stood their in silence watching her waiting for them to return to find out they didn't have anymore globes so they brought us ceramic ornaments from the gift shop, this unfortunately made the woman even angrier when she was told that she already had the other ornaments and not allowed to have another. It is times like these that make me cringe but also can take a moment to teach the kids the examples of what not to do but that sometimes even adults forget.
They had several tile mosaics around

Another tile mosaic
We tried to hit everything that was available to us on the ship like golfing although busy and windy it was still fun watching the boys. Discovering the delicious treats (soft pretzels stuffed with cream cheese, topped with cinnamon sugar, stuffed with cheddar) offered in the afternoon for a limited amount of time. The best time to go swimming or riding the auqaduck is during the opposite time for your dinner. We went about 5:30 and had the entire pool and auqaduck to ourselves. My oldest rode it 7 times in one night, the only reason he stopped was because he had to ride with an adult and we were tired of running up the stairs well and he wanted to swim with his brother since he couldn't ride. The kids also spent time at the club giving us time to get a head start on packing. 
For dinner it was semi formal in the Royal Court. Little one fell asleep as we entered but ate as he slept. He will not pass up food and will sleep eat before skipping it. Luckily he did wake up by main course but while he slept Karol brought an extra chair for him to stretch out on and a table cloth to use as a blanket. Again Karol and Herry were awesome! Herry brought husband (I need to come up with nicknames) his tuna steak and a lobster tail since he wan't positive if he would like either one more. Both were delicious but he really liked the tuna steak. I had fettuccine which was delicious but by this point I was extremely tired of cutting my meat off the bone. I know lazy but considering I also prep both of my boys foods and feed the youngest to avoid messes I didn't like messing with mine. 

Friday - Castaway Cay 
One of my favorite days. We decided to have breakfast in our room again because I had to get everything together so the guys would be able to get on the island with everything and I wouldn't have to come back to change. I had read about the 5k but didn't know much about it so last minute I decided to go ahead and join. The guys decided to meet me later. Runners are first to be released, we had about 47 runners and normally they have over 120. Families are allowed to exit with runners but I didn't realize this until we were heading out, it worked out well though as mine got us a good spot on the beach with an umbrella. (Thanks to Karol for telling us to be the first island to get this spot) They played while I ran in the very hot and humid weather. Although not as humid as it was the next week in Missouri it was still pretty sticky. My son made me promise not to come in last which I succeeded, I came in the exact same place as I finished. They don't tell us what place or keep track of our time, it really is just for fun but I kept track of anyone who passed me and how many I passed. They also have a clock to let you know what time you finished in 30:30, not horrible but not the time I was hoping for. They gave us a "medal" plastic Mickey head on a ribbon for finishing and the option to buy a shirt at the gift shop saying we ran it.
I had to find my family, the phones from our room worked on the island which was nice. As I was on the phone trying to find them the sweat poured into my eyes with sunblock and I couldn't see anything...Glad I was out of the way as I felt like I was standing in the middle of everyone almost in tears from the burn. I found my guys tried to regain my composure and breath before heading to the bathrooms to change. Tip: there is no changing area in the bathrooms so you have to change in a stall, make sure to pick a big one as the little well you try changing from sweaty clothing into a bathing suit and you will know what I mean. 

We had a great time even though it was VERY busy. We had to keep close watch on the boys because people on rafts and flotation devices were not watching and just running over people. There were fish swimming along side us dodging people, very impressive not being caught or even rubbing up against a person. Good thing for spray grounds, we got tired of the crowd during the morning and headed over to wash off and let the boys play before getting lunch. They had a blast and we were able to relax some from the rush of people even lunch wasn't as busy but maybe because we were one of the first in line. The food was a little dry but overall good and plenty of options.

Knowing it was our last day before heading home we hit the beach one more time. This time it wasn't as crowded. I think many went for lunch and the ones using floats were further out. It was a much more pleasant experience. We were able to walk almost to the rope (about 50 yards) and still able to touch, by then my oldest was just to short. 

Seagulls began to swarm once they noticed the food left on benches. I think someone didn't watch Finding Nemo to know Seagulls are always hungry. One more trip to the spray grounds for good measure, and we found where all the people went. We looked through some shops before heading back to the ship. Little one was on my back riding when he fell asleep, I have a feeling Captain Hook didn't see him because as he was heading onto the ship he shoved me out of the way (playfully) only since little was sleeping and not holding on I lost balance, just happy I was one step in the ship so I hit a wall instead of the railing. 

After the kids woke up we headed to the shops so they could pick out a souvenir. I really thought they would pick something Mickey related but no the older picked Perry the Platypus as a spy so of course the younger wanted him too so he ended up getting "undercover" Perry. They begged to go to the club once more, perfect time to finish up the packing and go looking at the photo gallery. 

 There were so many good pictures of us, we only had 18 taken professionally but they are a bit pricey. We chose 3 we really liked and thought we could put up when we got home (before we decided to remodel the basement next blog) but ran out of time getting them. Our youngest had requested to be picked up, he was starting to feel a bit homesick now. I went and he was holding the hand of one of the helpers watching his brother play. They said he was doing good but just asked if he could go home and started holding her hand.

It was finally setting in that we were going home when we saw all our luggage packed up and ready to be put outside the door. One last dinner at the Animator's Palate with our favorite servers and girls next to us. And with that one last dinner came a very cool show. We drew people and they came to life on the screen dancing. If I can figure out how to load it I will get it up here. 

The food was interesting, we didn't get a choice for appetizer but it consisted of a sampler smoked prosciutto, grilled shrimp, raw tuna. The soup course was Corn Chowder, Sweet Corn Bread, and Caramelized Popcorn. It was on the sweeter side but I liked it, my husband thought it was just ok. 

I can't remember the main course but that could be because that is when the show was going on or we were catching up with the girls. 

 Desert though was my favorite. The boys decorated their own cupcakes, my husband had a sampler, and I had baked Alaska. I wish I could get another helping.

 It was close to 10 when we left, we said most of our goodbyes that night knowing in the morning would be rushed but we would see the girls and Herry and Karol for breakfast. We hurried back to our room to change and set out our luggage before drifting off for our last night on the ship.

Saturday was a whirlwind. Getting up and ready double checking to have everything and making it breakfast at Animator's Palate by 8am, we had to be off the ship by 9am. One last goodbye to everyone, one last time getting to learn new things about those we had spent the week with giving us a deeper appreciation for what they do. (They work for 6-12months at a time, when do they see their families?) Checkout was pretty easy and painless. Our luggage was exactly where they said it was, we did have a damaged buckle but considering our bags are 9 years old they have been through a lot. We didn't have any questionable items that we bought so customs was simple and our ride was waiting for us as soon as we exited.

Our goal was to be on the road by 11 and we beat that by almost 2 hours. Probably a good thing too because pancakes and our youngest don't go well together on long car rides and we had to stop at a Walmart for bathroom break. We picked up lunch at the same time before getting on the road. The decision to skip staying with friends and family on the way back was made last minute but worth getting home quickly. We stopped in Ringgold, GA to grab dinner at what looked like a brand new pizza hut. It quickly turned into a history lesson with the kids as we saw pictures of why it was recently built. April 27, 2011 this area had been hit by an F4 tornado. As we walked outside you could still see where gas stations and signs once stood. Again a very humbling experience to see the pictures and be standing right there answering what questions you can from a 5 year old. We stopped for the night in Paducah and attended services in Illinois before making the rest of the trip home.

No matter old or young, kids or not if you are thinking about a cruise I would recommend Disney. Their customer service is far superior.

No comments:

Post a Comment