Trip log, day three. Castaway Cay.
3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
February 18, 2017
Day 3 – Personal Navigator
The final day of the cruise started early due to an early arrival time to Castaway Cay; we docked around 5:00 AM. Although we arrived early, we still needed to wait until around 8 AM to get off the ship.
As Emily was getting ready to run, she woke me up to see if I was interested in making the most of this early arrival to take some pictures out on deck. Since I was so well rested from my early bedtime the night before, I jumped at the opportunity. Just wish I planned for this as I left my tripod in the room and missed some great opportunities. At least this time I remembered to check my ISO settings before shooting.
The AquaLab under a half moon at sunrise.
Now here is a great shot of the Disney Wonder’s concierge sundeck. Essentially, from the area between the glass spiral staircase of the right is the concierge lounge. The Outlook Cafe is now limited to the one side. More on this space at the end.
In the funnel there is a proper entrance for the Concierge Lounge. There are other entrance points from the upper deck.
This is just a small portion of the concierge lounge. If you look in the far back there is a buffet setup.
Around 7ish, Isabelle and I headed to deck 4 to check on Emily’s 10 mile run.
Yup, you read that right. 10 miles = 30 laps. We decided to walk opposite of the suggested jogging direction to make sure we ran into her. On our walk we found a spot for service animals to relieve themselves on deck 4 port forward.
In the bow area where you can see the mooring lines and the anchor chain we noticed the coolest pontoon boat. Sure, it isn’t that great, but it has a sweet paint job.
Emily still had a few laps to go so we passed the time before heading up to Cabanas for breakfast by playing a mean game of shuffleboard.
I can think of worse places to eat breakfast.
A huge thanks goes out to whoever scheduled a hull cleaning which was the driving factor for our early arrival on the island. You can see the team from Subsea Global Solutions getting ready to get into the water.
Over on their website, they have the following video showing what it looks like to clean a hull.
A view of the Wonder from Marge’s Barges on Castaway Cay.
Passengers who frequent Walt Disney World may recognize this table, the Zika prevention initiative, featuring a table of mosquito repellant and wipes to clean your hands after you apply the repellant.
As we made our way onto the island we noticed that Sven joined Olaf as a souvenir mug at Olaf’s Summertime Freeze.
There were a lot more wagons available then we’ve notice previously along with strollers which we think are newish additions, but frankly we may have just not noticed them. The beach wheelchairs appeared to be in good supply as well.
We stopped in the gift shops and will have a separate post full of Castaway Cay merchandise. We spent the day more or less just hanging out.
With a great view and a stingray.
No, no, no, not a real stingray, the drink of the day.
Cookies BBQ lunch remains pretty much unchanged…
……except for the garlic focaccia bread, which is now a flatbread that was like eating cardboard.
The apple cinnamon bread was on point. Great flavor!
The soda offerings consisting of Coke products like you will find on the ship, with Hi-C instead of Minute Maid.
After lunch, we took took a bike ride around the island. A few weeks ago, I received a question asking me if there are any handicap accessible bike options or pull behind cards. The answer is no. Below is a selection of the bikes available.
Some of the kids bicycles have training wheels. All guests under the age of 18 must wear a helmet (which is provided).
Renting bikes makes for a quick trip to the observation tower off of the runway.
The weather was great, but the water was a bit chilly. Isabelle did go in for a bit wearing a wet suit, but mostly hung out by the shore. There is really no need to rehash the cabana experience as our thoughts are relatively unchanged from our prior review except it was even more enjoyable this time around hanging out with friends.
We toasted our friends’ 20th wedding anniversary with our favorite champagne, Taittinger.
Fruit infused water is such a small offering, but one of my favorite when returning to the ship. I love it more than the cold water towels they hand out and those can be life changing on some port days.
Returning to our room, we are reminded that we have just a short time to enjoy the rest of the cruise with th luggage tags, customs form and debarkation information sheet placed on the bed.
Our final dinner of the cruise takes us to the upgraded Animator’s Palate. The venue looks great and it was great that they included artwork from Moana considering the Wonder relaunched before the movie was released theatres.
DCL’s newest stage show, Frozen, A Musical Spectacular capped off our evening. Frozen fans will enjoy the show. The sets were well done and the puppetry of Sven mirrors the awesomeness of Maximus from Tangled. The use of projections and laser tracking adds a ‘wow’ factor to the look of the show. In terms of the show itself, we thought was just ok. I say ‘we’ as two adults and a 10 year old girl. It is right there in the title — A Musical Spectacular, which essentially means it is a sing-along show more than a musical. It seemed like it was a rush to the next song rather than bringing the story to life on stage. I waited until after seeing the DCL version to watch the version from Disney’s California Adventure. If the DCA version was the one on the Wonder, I’d have a drastically different opinion on the show. The DCL versions feels more like the Frozen Sing-Along at Hollywood Studios than a stage show.
Like I said, Frozen fans will love it. In terms of a stage show based on or inspired by a Disney animated film, this ranks 3rd behind Tangled and Twice Charmed in my book. I hope the upcoming Beauty and the Beast production is less like the Hollywood Studios version with more of a focus on the story than sing-along.
After the show it was time to finish packing up the suitcase and complete the feedback card. Love how DCL decided to take free space away and put a graphic taking away valuable space for guest feedback. Just another reason to take some note paper or use the stationary in your stateroom desk drawer.
Trip log, day four. Port Canaveral.
3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
February 19, 2017
Welcome to Port Canaveral – Debarkation Information
Debarkation morning leaves one last chance to say goodbye. While our final breakfast seating was at a more respectable time of 7 AM, we still opted for the ‘get off the ship’ fare up in Cabanas. We prefer this, as we can take our time and often choose to debark during a lull between first and second breakfast seating when the check off line and customs lines are lower.
I finally made it over to the Cove Cafe to see in Outlook Cafe.
This is what remains of the public space in Outlook Cafe.
As I was packing up my camera, we overheard that a production crew was setting up to shoot some promos from Marvel Day at Sea. Since the Wonder was in Port Canaveral and the Magic is in Miami, they choose to use the Wonder as a backdrop to promote the special sailings on the Magic. I’m sure with creative camera angles the general public will not be the wiser when they see the final product.
We made it into the car just as a morning shower hit the port.
Overall, we enjoyed the re-imagined Disney Wonder, and 3-nights was not nearly enough to see and experience all there is to do on the ship. I’m seriously left evaluating which ship is my favorite. The Disney Wonder is the first ship that we sailed on back in 2005 on our honeymoon, so she has a special place in our hearts. To be fair to the Disney Magic, I will reserve final judgement until we get some more time on the Wonder – 31 nights on the re-imagined Magic versus 3 on the re-imagined Wonder is not a level playing field. However, I am very impressed with the Wonder. DCL definitely stepped up their game and learned from the mistakes and scheduling issues that plagued the Magic’s re-imagination. While we waited a few months since the relaunch, it appeared the Wonder was in excellent shape and corners were not cut to get her back into service. We will be sailing on her this summer and are excited for a return trip to check the Wonder out in more detail.
I’m trying to wrap my head around running 10 miles… That’s commitment kudos to your wife!
I run 10 miles on a regular basis, but no way could I do it onboard a ship. 3 miles on deck 4 is my max. Any longer than that and I start to lose my mind!
Thanks for the information.
The strollers aren’t new. That looks about the way all the offerings were looking last time I was there (Oct 2015) and I also recall those big strollers from our first trip there June 2014.
Frankly, I had no idea. We left stroller age a long time ago and is not something I’ve noticed.
I love to read your trip logs. It is almost like being there. We just cruised on the Wonder in January (our favorite ship) and were impressed by the changes. We were fans of the Route 66 area, but the new spaces are so beautiful. My husband wondered the same thing about the Cadillac lounge.
Take another cruise soon so we can follow along!
It’s too bad that DCL didn’t leave the original center area of the Outlook Cafe – the part that looked out directly over the adult pool as a public area and assign one of the wing areas to the concierge guests. I suspect there will be a number of unhappy regular guests when the Wonder is on a cold Alaska cruise and they discover that this area is no longer open to them? I don’t think one can spin this as a positive change for regular DCL guests?
Another consideration – on the Wonder before the major changes, breakfast was available at the then called; Beach Blanket, Parrots Cay and Triton’s as well as some deck areas. Now only Triton’s and Cabanas serve breakfast (as well as some areas on deck). Even though Cabanas is now larger, it often feels more crowded given the reduction in the choices of locations for breakfast.
However, I have enjoyed the detail in your trip logs!
As always, enjoy your photos and observations! We were on this cruise exactly one week before you – and also had Cabana #6 and the same dining rotation. We took our own stroller ashore as we had never noted strollers before. Loved the Nassau-free itinerary.
YAY! Are you doing Alaska! When do you sail?
YAY! Are you going to Alaska this summer?
I love your trip logs! One question though. I couldn’t tell from the bicycle pictures on Castaway Cay, but are there any tandem bicycles available for rental?
Sarah, At this time there are no tandem bicycles at Castaway Cay.
I’m still waiting for the castaway cay merchandise post 😉
Your experience with the focaccia is weird, we were on the Dream 2 weeks before you sailed and the garlic focaccia was actual focaccia and not cardboard like
Love your trip reports! Can’t wait to see your Alaska one. We’re booked for the last 7nt Alaska in Sept B2B with the 4nt repositioning to San Diego. Super excited!!!