Trip log, day four. Grand Cayman.
7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral
March 19, 2019
Guests Ashore: 10:30 am Guests Onboard: 5:30 pm
Personal Navigator – Day 4
At some point in the last few months, Disney changed the pillows in the stateroom. The current pillows seem to be some sort of memory foam pellets that are just not nearly as comfortable. I guess, in a way, this is a good thing because I’m starting the day earlier than normal since the change. I need to find one of those concierge pillow menus and try placing an order.
Isabelle and I headed to deck 4 just about the time Emily was finishing her 6-mile run. More so than usual, there are a lot of people up and out early on this cruise. In the past, it has always seemed like a ghost town before 8AM on sea days and days with a later port arrival time.
All ashore today is 10:30 AM, which allowed us a casual port day breakfast in Cabanas. We ran into our assistant server Cindy near the drink station and she walked Isabelle into Cabanas, found her a seat, brought her a plate of 3 cinnamon rolls in the classic Mickey orientation, and sang a little Happy Birthday song to her. Isabelle enjoyed one of the cinnamon rolls & had fruit & cheese to accompany it for her birthday breakfast.
Following breakfast, I accompanied the birthday girl to the D-Lounge for a morning of coloring which was a perfect window of time for Emily to put up a birthday banner in the stateroom.
We returned to the stateroom for the birthday surprise. Look out Universal, there are 3 new passholders in town.
Grand Cayman is a tendering port, which means we must wait our turn to get a tender ashore since we are not part of any Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures. We headed down to the Walt Disney Theatre around 10 to get in line.
We ended up waiting about 15 minutes to get on the tender to the pier.
Speaking of pier, there are plans in the works to build a proper cruise pier that seem to be moving forward after years of debate.
We booked a third party excursion for the afternoon, which opened up our morning for a trip to Margaritaville, which was Isabelle’s choice.
The food at Margaritaville is plentiful, we ordered from the appetizer menu and provided all the fuel we needed for the day ahead.
We’ve always found the Grand Cayman Margaritaville to be fairly family-friendly and the best part is they have a great water slide, which Isabelle loves.
At one point, I finally came up with a way to fake lock the Castaway Club backpack to prevent anyone from easily pulling the zippers down.
When the time came, we headed to our rendezvous point for our excursion to Captain Marvin’s two-stop tour, snorkeling and Stingray City.
We’ve been looking forward to Stingray City for years, but felt it was best to wait until Isabelle was a bit older. Keep in mind, it has been a few years since we’ve last visited Grand Cayman. I think she was 8 the last time we were here.
Captain Marvin’s office was literally a 3-minute walk from Margaritaville. We arrived just after 1 o’clock, checked in, paid, and loaded into a van. The drive to Captain Marvin’s dock was no more than 15 minutes.
Upon arrival, we boarded the boat and were soon off to our snorkeling spot.
We were given about 30-minutes to snorkel off the back of the boat. The spot was great with a decent amount of coral formations and a ton of fish. It certainly helped that the crew was chumming the water to get the fish into a feeding frenzy.
After our allotted time, we headed off to Stingray City, which is an amazing sandbar with a whole bunch of rays. Truth be told, I had an irrational fear of rays as a kid, but I mastered the stingray shuffle early on in life. Thankfully, that fear is long gone. As we approached, you can see the massive rays swimming around. Did you know the large rays are female and the males only reach about 2-feet?
This was such a cool experience and the excursion is highly recommended and something we’d do again. I’ll put together a dedicated post with a lot more photos and video once we get home.
The majority of the folks on our excursion were from a cruise ship and everyone on our bus was either on the Carnival Freedom or the Disney Fantasy so the driver was nice enough to drop up off at the port instead of the pickup spot. It only saved about 5-minutes, but it was nice given the time. The last tender to the Disney Fantasy was at 5:30pm and it was just around 4:30pm.
With tendering, you need to add at least 15-minutes or longer depending on the number of fellow guests wishing to return to the ship. We were back onboard giving us all just enough time to clean up and get to dinner.
Earlier in the cruise, Emily stopped in Sweet on You and ordered a birthday cupcake. At that time, they offered to deliver it to our stateroom at a time of our choosing. She asked for it to be delivered so it would be waiting for us upon our return to the ship. Sweet on You will also coordinate delivery to your main dinning room.
Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palate with the Animation Magic show, where your placemat drawings come to life on the screens.
Once again, our servers made the right suggestions on which dishes to get and which to avoid. I hope the broccoli soup was off tonight, because it wad dreadful.
Additionally, Isabelle and I ordered the same chicken schnitzel entree. Hers was great, mine was overcooked and dry. The entree was saved by squeezing a few lemon wedges onto the chicken.
The Animation Magic dinner has an entirely new feel with the change to a full menu instead of an appetizer and soup that everyone gets by default.
After dinner, Isabelle participated in Officer Pin trading, which is always a popular event. I still would love to see a kids only offering of this event.
Tonight’s show in the Walt Disney Theatre is a special Disney on Broadway Stars Set Sail featuring the talents of Josh Strickland, who originate the role of Tarzan in the Disney on Broadway production. I’ve said before these are great shows, but tonight we just weren’t feeling it. Isabelle wanted to go the Oceaneer Club to participate in the ‘Dr Strange: Defy the Dark Dimension,’ but for some reason it didn’t happen as scheduled. I even broke out the trusty iPhone and check, it was still listed on the Navigator App for 7:45.
That’s a wrap for day 4. Tomorrow we have an early gathering time for our Port Adventure in Falmouth so we are heading to bed (to type up this trip log entry and transfer photos and videos from today).