04 March, 2006

Adventures in Cruising - Day Three

Castaway Cay

There are few places that I have visited that compare to Castaway Cay, Disney's private Bahamian island. From the white sand beaches to the beautiful clear water, family beach to adults-only area, snorkeling to barbecue for lunch, it's just unmatched.

I snorkeled for the first time this day. OMG - this was by far the highlight of the trip for me! At first, I thought I was going to hate it. As soon as I got my flippers on, I got tangled up in my own feet and fell flat on my butt. The first time I put the snorkel and mask on and stuck my face in the water, I immediately hyperventilated. I'm pretty claustrophobic, and I'm not the greatest swimmer, and I just thought, "this is not for me... I'm not swimming out away from the shore and drowning out there." But I finally got into water deep enough to swim, and was able to breathe in and out a few times in a row, and Scott and I set out on our own little adventure.

The snorkel lagoon was absolutely amazing. And I imagine that every year will make it even better as the coral takes over. There are tons of domes designed to grow coral and house fish, plus big stone vases, a giant stone Mickey statue, a small boat, and even one of the submarines from the old 20,000 Leagues ride at Disney World. I'm proud to say I swam all the way out the the sub. I'm still not sure how I made it out there, but it happened! We saw over 20 different types of fish, including a giant barracuda that threatened to eat me if I didn't swim away (ok, Scott says it was a grouper that happened to have its mouth open and that it wasn't a threatening posture at all). When we were out at the sub, the wind picked up and the waves kept smacking into my forehead, which freaked me out. It was time to swim back to shore.

After snorkeling, we went back to the adults-only area. The water was pretty cool, and the wind made getting in and out of the water unpleasant, so we sat on beach chairs and drank frozen things and basked in the absolute serenity.

Lunch on the island was delicious as always. Of course, snorkeling works up quite an appetite. Burgers, ribs, chicken, and all the fixin's were gobbled up by everyone.

Back on the ship, we enjoyed the final show, Disney Dreams. I really hope that the girl in the lead part was either sick with what I have or was an understudy, because she just wasn't that good. I still love the show, and was thrilled to see it again.

After the show, we were buying souvenirs and I struck up a conversation with the cashier. He asked where I worked, and I explained that I answer stupid questions for a living. He had some of his own to add to my collection: "which staircase goes up?" (answer: all of them) "what nationality wears a patch behind their ear?" (answer: that's a sea-sickness remedy, not a cultural thing!) "what time is the midnight buffet?" (no answer required).

It was during that conversation that I realized I didn't have much of a voice to speak of (or with). I was surprised, because my throat hadn't really hurt too badly since the first day and mostly I was having sinus trouble. By the time dinner rolled around, I had to have Scott order for me because I couldn't speak loudly enough to be heard over the dining room noise. Hot tea helped a bit, and I was able to squeak out "cheesecake" for myself for dessert!

This time around, I had the best dining experience the last night of the cruise at Animator's palette. I had great canneloni and butternut squash soup, and we had the best time playing around with our server JoJo and our assistant server Sean (seen here giving Scott "Mickey Ears" for the picture).

After dinner, Scott and I had to run back to our stateroom and get our bags packed. Then walked up on deck and contemplated how we could stay onboard for the next cruise (which is in Nassau today... without us). Of course, we didn't stow away. We got off the ship the next morning and came home as scheduled. As you can tell from the picture, I didn't get horribly sunburned this time. Yay! I got a little pink in patches on my face, and a few streaks on my shoulders and the back of one arm, which has to be some kind of record for me!

1 comment:

Janette said...

I'm so glad you tried snorkeling! I'm an awful swimmer - mostly dog paddling so I was scared to try it too. I was amazed how easy it is and I LOVE it. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the ocean.

Well it really sounds like you guys had a blast. Congratulations on a great trip! Now you get to look forward to the next one.