Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Events: Disney Cruise 2015 (Part 7)

Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, Part 3 HERE, Part 4 HERE, Part 5 HERE and Part 6 HERE.

Well, we made it. The last full day of our fantastic Merrytime Disney Cruise! Read ahead for the thrilling, edge of your seat final chapter. 

If you've been on a Disney Cruise before, you may recognize that gorgeous location in the photo above. That's right, that's Castaway Cay- Disney's very own private island! They saved the best stop for last. This was our favorite part of the last Disney Cruise we took, so we were incredibly excited to finally visit there again.

We didn't waste much time. We left the ship pretty early on, right after breakfast, so we could spend as much time as possible there! Also, we knew we needed to beat the inevitable storm heading our way. It started off a bit cloudy (as you can tell), but it wasn't long before it got worse...and even worse.

Uh oh...that doesn't look too good. It was at this point where things started looking a little more dark, gray and threatening.

 Here's me actually thinking that I'm about to go swimming! "Maybe the storm will pass", I thought.

Brita wanted to go check out the adult only beach, called Serenity Bay, so we did! It was an area that we had yet to explore there on the island. It was about a 15 (or 20) minute walk, but they also have a tram that goes there if you prefer that.

It was nice over there since it was so much less crowded. We were even able to snag ourselves a hammock, which is a hard thing to do at the Castaway Cay family beach.   

But the best part about Serenity Bay? A visit from the legendary Jac...I mean, Captain Jack Sparrow! Since there weren't a ton of people there (and no kids), it wasn't hard to catch him to take a picture with us. It was so cool to see one of the famed pirates of the Caribbean actually there in the Caribbean (well, technically the Bahamas, but it felt the same to me ;). This guy played him super well too. He really got his look, voice, walk and complete personality down to a T!

Brita enjoyed a 45 minute yoga class there on the beach as well.

We weren't on the beach for more than an hour before it started looking like this...yup, it was coming our way after all.

And then BAM! It hit us. Right at the end of Brita's class, it started trickling down. It then turned into a torrential downpour.

Luckily it was lunch time, so we took cover at the Serenity Bay BBQ (one of three BBQs on the island) where the food was just being served. It was delicious! Though all the BBQs at Castaway Cay pretty much serve the same items, this "adult BBQ" usually has a little something extra.

Serenity Bay BBQ
Serenity Bay BBQ

Expect the menu to be something like ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fruit, cole slaw, potato salad (among other salads), corn on the cob, fish and more. Ours also had a some nice ribeye steak, which was the "something extra" not served at the other locations.

Serenity Bay BBQ
Serenity Bay BBQ
Serenity Bay BBQ

After lunch, we took the tram this time around to get back to the main part of the island. The storm then got so bad that they evacuated the beaches and had everyone take cover under the giant shelters. With strong winds, thunder booming and lightning striking fairly often, it was too dangerous to walk around unprotected. Crazy!

After maybe 40 minutes or so of staying out of the storm, things finally started to calm down just a bit- enough that they started letting people leave who wanted to. It was such an adventure! We took off, running through the storm, splashing through big puddles everywhere, and taking refuge in every gift shop we could. It felt like we were in a movie!

You can see a very drenched me and some of what's in the various gift shops below...

There you have it- our very exciting times at Castaway Cay! Such bad timing as far as weather was concerned; but while it may have ruined some people's time, we thought of it as an adventure. Sure it would have been nice to have had a bright, sunny day, but we definitely made the best of what we were given! It was fun in its own way.

When we made it back to our room, we immediately got dried off and re-ready for the evening. After relaxing for a bit, we left for our very last dinner at my favorite Animator's Palate restaurant!

This was also one of our favorite things from our last cruise..."Draw Your Own Character!" How it works: They hand out the template (seen below) and everyone draws their own character in the space provided. You sign your name and they collect them- simple right? Well the coolest part is at the end of the dinner, all the characters become animated and start dancing around on the screens throughout the restaurant! How they do that is beyond me.

Brita hard at work...
My nephew Jack drew one that was heavily inspired by Mike Wazowski
My amazing Roasted Filet of Beef Wellington! One of my favorite meals

Our "Sweet Temptations" dessert trio

Can you spot Dan the Pixar Fan? This list appears on screen after the animated characters make their big debut.

 Lots of Pixar showed up on the screens there (as usual) during the meal-

Our last couple hours of the evening were spent taking pictures around the boat, seeing the "An Unforgettable Journey" farewell show (featuring the juggling & comedy of Michael Holly- really funny) and made some last minute gift shop purchases.

Note: Love the Inside Out Hawaiian shirt I'm wearing? Check out my full post on it HERE!  

Found this area I had never seen before
Michael Holly- Comedian/Juggler
"An Unforgettable Journey"- a really sweet show!
Mickey's Mainsail Gift Shop

Our last event of the evening was seeing Michael Holly's "adult" show up at "The Tube" lounge! This was so great, especially when he was juggling, tight rope walking and cracking jokes while the ship was swaying back and forth. Good stuff!

The next morning it was time to pack up and leave pretty early. We were able to have one last breakfast at the Animator's Palate, but other than that we were pretty much off and running!

Here's to a pretty incredible trip! It truly was an "Unforgettable Journey." I'm so grateful for such an amazing time and all the memories that I'll keep with me for many years to come.

And thanks again to all you dedicated readers for staying with me this past week! I really hope you had some fun reading about our times and that you perhaps even learned something new about Disney Cruises as well. What was your favorite day to read about? Shout it out in the comments below!

If you've been on a Disney Cruise before, I'm sure this brought back a ton great memories of your own. If you haven't gone, I highly recommend it! Of course it's what you make of it, but I can pretty much guarantee that you'll have the time of your life.

See you real soon indeed!

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