Trip log, day seven. Castaway Cay.
7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral
March 22, 2019
Guests Ashore: 8:30 am Guests Onboard: 4:45 pm
Personal Navigator – Day 7
The final day (the final full day, not debarkation day) started early with a date with Emily at the gym. In a Stark contrast to the first sea day, the gym was what we normally encounter – mostly empty.
We were not due into Castaway Cay until 8:30 so we had a decent amount of time for breakfast. We love the setup of the hand washing stations in Cabanas. Unlike the similar stations on the Magic and Wonder, these do not cause a traffic jam. It also helped they were still handing out hand wipes as an alternative.
For the first time all week, Isabelle slept in until about 7:30am, and she was a little miffed that we didn’t wake her up. Emily and I had breakfast following the gym and I returned later with Isabelle after taking some photos as Captain Thord was maneuvering into the channel. Credit to the bridge crew, they managed to thread the needle and dock on the first attempt.
After last March’s near miss on the Magic, I thought we’d have a repeat due to the high winds. It did take a bit longer than normal, but the gangways were open for guest to go ashore around 8:50am.
After walking around on deck, we had a feeling water activities were not going to be on our agenda today. We left the snorkel gear in the room and headed ashore dressed warmly. Normally, we are on a bit of a mission either heading out to the 5k or to our preferred spot.
This morning, however, we didn’t having a set plan. We headed out and causally walked around stopping in the shops because we needed to pick up one of each size of the Castaway Cay reusable shopping bags (which are also $1 each regardless of size).
Emily did find a runDisney Castaway Cay Challenge shirt marked down to outlet prices making the purchase of 3 reusable shopping bags completely normal.
As we approached the second tram stop, we saw a line of people queuing up for the Castaway Cay 5k. The new procedure looked like it was working well. Instead of meeting in The Tube to get your bib and disembark as a group, you simply meet near the start line on the island to get your bib and you start the Castaway Cay 5k in mini-waves. The last time we all did the 5k on the Dream, Evolution was overflowing into The District hallway with all the runners and accompanying family members. Something had to give and I honesty surprised the 5k didn’t become a paid entry. Not to be cynical, but Disney has been finding more and more ways to nickel and dime guests for years and the Castaway Cay 5k seems to be exempt from becoming a paid Port Adventure. I mean kudos to Disney Cruise Line for keeping this a free activity with a decent finisher medal, but based on the popularity they could rake in the money with a $5 – $10 entry free to at least offset the cost of the finisher medals.
Nevertheless, the new procedure appears to handle the crowd much better and I look forward to the new procedure when I join fellow DCL Blog Group Cruise cruisers in the Trot with Scott 5k in June.
I walked around to Pelican Point to take some more photos. I was on a mission to photograph the unique signs on the island that are nods to key Disney Cruise Line personnel. I was specifically on a mission to locate a specific sign which appears to be missing. The sign in question is Bob Iger’s sign which was previously adjacent to Marge’s Barges.
I couldn’t find it today. If you see it on an upcoming trip to Castaway Cay, please let me know where you found Iger’s sign.
Anyone else miss the themed cell tower?
I returned to the beach to join Emily on a chair just close enough to the waterline to prevent getting wet with each wave. We sat along the beach for quite some time, I managed to get my feet in the water, but that was about all I could take. Isabelle got in the water up to her knees. The water was chilly and the air temp wasn’t all that warm from a Floridian perspective.
It’s hard to not laugh at the drink of the day cups on Castaway Cay right now. They resemble a disposable beverage cup one might use to take an alcoholic beverage someplace that may frowns on BYOB.
The wine glasses are not much better, but at least the pours improved.
The change to paper cups and the reusable shopping bags are just a couple of the ways Disney’s is being more environmental friendly. I get it. However, for the love of Pete, get some DCL branded paper cups that say Castaway Cay or have a graphical representation of a drink of the day cup. The Stingray, and all the other cocktails served on the island are not bloggable, tweetable, instagramable, snapable, youtubale, and any other socialmediaplatformable.
Cookies BBQ served up the usual menu which we enjoyed at a picnic table near the Gazebo where the DJ is usually setup.
As we finished, club host Chris arrived to start a character dance party with Minnie and Goofy.
After lunch, we walked around some more looking at all the signs hoping to spot Iger’s before deciding to head back to the ship for the warmer waters of the ship’s pools.
When we arrived on the pool deck, classic Cinderella was winding down on Funnel Vision. I headed in to Sweet on You to take some photos, as I hoped it would be empty given most passengers were still on the island.
Returning to the ship was a good decision for the family. The pool deck had a light crowd, the Mickey slide had nearly no wait and the AquaDuck was under 10 minutes.
But wait, there’s more! The next movie on Funnel Vision was TANGLED! This was quickly becoming the BEST DAY EVER!!! Some of you may already know this, but we are a big Tangled household. It was and remains, our family’s Frozen.
Once the lost princess returned to the Kingdom of Corona and Flynn finally said ’Yes’, we returned to the room to clean up for the evening and get a head start on the packing.
Isabelle had a big choice to make tonight because Emily and I were headed to Remy. She could either go to Royal Court for lobster from the Captains Gala menu with our serving team, or get room service. As much as she loves the lobster & our servers, she chose the laid back route of room service to maximize her time in the Club/Lab and EDGE on the final night.
I ordered Isabelle room service and headed down to Royal Court to give our serving team the thank you cards Emily writes out to each person which we put the tip envelopes inside. Our serving team was beyond excellent, they were truly spectacular. They were hoping Isabelle would still join them for dinner and when I told them she opted for room service they offered to send up a lobster tail. Knowing room service was already ordered and likely delivered by this time, I did not take them up on the offer.
As I suspected, room service delivered the food by the time I returned and Isabelle was already eating. Emily and I then headed up to Remy which recently had a menu change following Arnaud Lallement’s sailing back in February. The new menu was mostly new since the dinner we reviewed from our October cruise on the Dream. One side note, the Remy dinner menus are seasonal and the Dream and Fantasy menus differ.
We were pleased to have Jerome as our server once again. Jerome was our server in October on the Dream and recently switched over to the Fantasy. The Remy team splits their contracts between the Dream & Fantasy. Our dinner has some familiar moments based on our October dinner, but differed enough to merit a new review confiding the menu will be around for a few more months until it changes in June. We did our usual in Remy & asked our server to make the menu per his desire staying away from shellfish for me and pork/red meat for Emily and as usual, he did not disappoint. They do try to have one guest order each of the chef’s menus or offer a create-your-own a la carte menu, but we have never been steered wrong by having our server create the experience.
Additionally, we booked Remy dinner before the latest price increase. The bill was initially delivered at the new price. However, Benoit, our maitre’d, immediately noticed the oversight and quickly corrected the bill before I had a chance look it over.
We met back up with Isabelle who was heading to the shops to see if there were any new pins she could trade for in the pin trading books in Mickey’s MainSail and Sea Treasures.
On our way back to the stateroom, Isabelle grabbed an evening snack of cheese and veggies from the Vista Cafe and we finally made it to Tiffany & Co. We did receive an invitation to come at 3:30pm and shop while enjoying a glass of champagne, but we were on the pool deck at that time. I will say that it is much more welcoming of a store on the Fantasy than the location at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando or likely all other locations where the first encounter upon crossing the threshold is a security guard.
We snuck out of Tiffany’s unscathed and returned to the room to finish packing. It didn’t take all that long to get our suitcases into the hallway as we managed to pack most of our luggage before dinner. It has been a fun week with a mix of adventure and relaxation. By this time of the cruise, that combination is catching up with us and we called it a night. Tomorrow is a big day as it is back to life on land for 88 days until the DCL Blog cruise on June 19th.
Day 8 – Port Canaveral – Debarkation Day
We arrived back to Port Canaveral in the 4 o’clock hour based on the first round of vibrations and finally settled in to our birth sometime closer to 6 based on the final round of vibrations.
We finished packing up our carry-on bags. Wait, are they called carry-off bags at this point? It is rare we attended the sit down breakfast and today was no different. We left our stateroom for the final time and made our way up to Cabanas for our final breakfast.
We tried to time our debarkation to avoid the rush from the first breakfast seating and before the second seating started to trickle out. After a brief bottleneck on the gangway, we were in the terminal. Once we found our bags, the Customs and Border Control line was moving at a steady clip. A while back someone asked me if Port Canaveral was using the Mobile Passport app. Frankly, it is not necessary. We are not required to fill out the custom forms on a closed loop cruise and the customs agent barely glanced at Emily or Isabelle’s passports, and didn’t even bother with mine, which is one reason the line was moving so quickly.
And that was it; we were in our car and headed back to life on land until our next adventure.
Speaking of our next adventure, it is less than 80 days away when we embark on the Disney Dream for the Inaugural DCL Blog Cruise. For more information on our upcoming group cruises, we have one next February as well, please visit Storybook Destinations’ DCL Blog Cruise page for all the details.
Complete Trip Log Index
- Day 1 – Port Canaveral
- Day 2 – At Sea
- Day 3 – Cozumel
- Day 4 – Grand Cayman
- Day 5 – Falmouth
- Day 6 – At Sea
- Day 7 – Castaway Cay
Thanks for following along. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions about our cruise, the itinerary, ship, ports, or anything else.