Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 3-4: En route to Aruba

The tlog continues. What a trip this was! Day 3 (Monday, May 12th) and Day 4 were days at sea, where I got to explore the finest ship on the seven seas (not just the seven seas lagoon). This was a special cruise, and Disney spared little in treating us well, even on sea days.

After getting up, I had breakfast in the Topsider buffet. Every morning they had a nice breakfast with scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, toast, waffles, fruit, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, and so much more. In addition, I never failed to take advantage of the omelet station. There are more breakfast options, such as a full-service, seated breakfast in Lumière's or another buffet in Parrot Cay.

I also headed up to the Cove Cafe for a morning mochachino, a blended frozen coffee creation. And boy was it good! The funny thing is that the Cove Cafe has frequent buyer cards, buy 5 specialty coffees, get the next one free. I made good friends with Danielle, Benita, Paul, and Suzy up there. I guess I was a regular. LOL.

My whole family ended up sitting, relaxing and reading on Deck 4. This is an outside area (which also serves as a walking/jogging/running track, 1/3 of a mile long) with padded deck chairs, the life rafts, and the wonderful sound of the water lapping against the hull of the ship. I call this therapy myself.

We attended a Disney Vacation Club gathering. My parents are members, but they raffle things off, such as $100 on-board ship credit, so it pays to go. Literally. And we got free red hats!

Disney did some extraordinary things on this cruise. They brought on several guest speakers to help fill some of the eight days at sea. One of them was Captain Ken Puckett, retired senior pilot and port captain on the Panama Canal. He was extremely entertaining, especially if you caught him at lunch (ask him about the spider monkey, the filipino chef and the pig, or the Eskimo stowaway)! Capt. Puckett gave a guest speech on the building of the Panama Canal that we attended, and then another one on traveling through the Panama Canal.

This was a formal night, which means you can get as dressed up as you want. I took my tuxedo which mostly fit! ;o) My parents and I took a picture with Brent from Australia, our cruise director. Brent (along with Captain Thorn) was on the May 2006 7-day Western cruise that we took.

Fitting for formal night, we dined in Lumière's, a fancy, french decor reminiscent of the namesake from "Beauty and the Beast." I'm not going to type out menus, I'll just post the pictures! Something particularly incredible to note this evening was the Golden Mickey dessert. Here are the pics:

The after-dinner show was "The Golden Mickeys" featuring Ensign Benson (har har), and a mock awards show for the Disney cast. The highlight of the show was the 'pre-show', where a mock Joan/Melissa Rivers interviewed little kids dressed up in their fancy outfits, being shown live inside the Walt Disney Theater.

We had back-to-back sea days on the way to Aruba. I took my AT&T Tilt that I won in Orlando with me because it has a built-in GPS. I love maps, and love to study them, so the GPS was cool to plot where all we went. Now, I can look back and see pretty much exactly where we were!

Our second day at sea featured another guest speaker, Jeff Kurtti, the project creative consultant for the Walt Disney Family Museum. He gave an indepth presentation of the goals, plans and dreams of the museum. Jeff himself is a huge Disney nerd, being both an imagineer and consultant at various times. His guest speeches came in the Buena Vista Theater, the Disney Magic's on-board movie theater. My parents are excited that the Walt Disney Family Museum is coming to San Francisco's Presido!

Boy this is a long post! Dinner the night of Day 4 was back in Animator's Palate, and we were in for the show tonight. The restaurant begins black and white, a proverbial empty canvas.
During the course of the meal, color starts to filter into the room, through the paint brushes that hold the ceiling, and above the palates. At the end of the meal, the whole room is lit up in a plethora of colors. Even the wait staff are colorful!

I didn't get a picture of the menus. I think I also skipped the show this night. It was a ventriloquist, and I really wasn't interested. I soaked in the tub, walked around on deck and dried off!

Tune in next post for more stories and pics!!

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