Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Kara - We both got a much needed full night of rest. We were both up a couple of times during the night so we did get to test out the gloriousness that is the bathroom “night light" - it is wonderful.
At about 10:00 a.m. they began doing crew drills - making announcements into the rooms about every 20 minutes. We decided this was our cue to finally get moving and get some things done today. (FYI, we never disembark at Nassau.)
I made the plan that we’d get ready and head up to the pool grills (Mickey & Friends Festival of Foods) for their opening at 10:45am. This would give us time to eat and then head to our ship walking tour (Walking the Wish) at 11:45am. We checked out all the grills. While I'm especially excited to try out the tacos, we both opted to do the barbecue - which I think we were both looking the most forward to trying.
We both got pulled pork and smoked chicken along with sweet potato fries. I also added a few pickles. The food was really tasty. I was pleased with the different varieties of barbecue sauce as well, so you could flavor the meat in the way that you wanted. Gayle: Yes! This venue and menu lived up to the hype! I know these photos don't show much, but trust us!
We enjoyed our brunch on the deck. After lunch and refilling water bottles, we headed back down to our room to drop off the water bottles before heading to our tour.
We met at the Enchanted Sword Cafe on Deck 5 Midship for the start of the Walking the Wish Tour. (FYI you do need to register for this in the App!) I’d say there were about 45 people on our tour - thankfully they had the ear pieces so that the guide didn’t have to shout.
We walked through all of Decks 5, 4, and 3 as a part of the tour. Gayle: FYI this is not a kid-friendly tour. You spend a lot of time listening to why and how the ship was designed, as well as understanding & interpreting some of the artwork (of which there are roughly 4000 pieces onboard)! I love this kind of stuff as it gives context and a depth of experience, but little ones would get fidgety very quickly. This is a one-hour tour.
Kara: The tour first took us to Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure. I was really excited that we got to look at this restaurant in the light. The theming is impeccable. The wallpaper is a replica of the wallpaper you see in the castle in the film. Additionally, there are small nods and touches that highlight each of our main characters - Anna, Elsa, Kristof, Sven, and Olaf. I was a little surprised at how little attention is paid to Olaf in the restaurant but we’ll see how that plays out in the show itself tonight when we dine here.
Gayle: As we were prompted (& I’d heard previously), the back of this restaurant has windows that overlook the back of this ship. In fact, you can see part of Rapunzel’s hair from the stern statue. However, as others have noted, they keep the mostly opaque shades closed 24/7. While we understand they are trying to keep a strong theme in this venue, it’s a real shame to not take advantage of the ocean views, especially during main dining. (Watch for an update on this in a later post.)
We then headed to Keg and Compass. Our tour guide, Megan (UK), pointed out the sea monsters surrounding each porthole. Each is holding a Disney inspired item (Mickey ice cream bar, Disney Wish, Dole Whip, & Mickey pretzel). The ceiling has a map that runs all through it featuring Disney characters in their approximately appropriate geographic locations. Other specific Disney relevant destinations are also highlighted. Finally, the bar of the restaurant is luggage themed and features names of Imagineers who worked on the ship.
Kara: I think we've written in previous blogs about how much we LOVE the sports bar on the Disney Magic and how WRONG Disney made the sports bar on the Disney Fantasy. I'm disappointed to say that while slightly better than the Fantasy, the Keg and Compass is not going to be my favorite place to hang out.
We then progressed down to Deck 4 along the forward staircase. We learned that the forward staircase is green to highlight the woodland enchantment theme. (The rear of the ship is blue to highlight the castle enchantment). The painting in the staircase at Deck 4 forward features Luna - which is appropriate given that the lower level of the Luna club is just ahead of that area. We walked into Luna (which is based off of the Globe theatre). We headed Aft to Hook’s Barbery, which has some lovely nods to Captain Hook including a little bronze statue of TickTock the Crock. This masculine salon even has its own bar, which Megan said has “manly drinks”.
We headed down one more set of stairs and stopped outside of Nightingale's (after hearing about a piece of art called “The Cindys” by a former Imagineer named Nikkolas Smith). There are a lot of lovely nods to Cinderella in this club including the hand-blown glass bubbles in the chandeliers, mirroring the bubbles that rose up as she sang the song "Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale" in the film.
One of the things Gayle and I took notice of as we walked was that a wedding & reception appeared to be being set up in The Bayou on Deck 3.
We ended the tour in The Grand Hall where we learned that the pumpkin tree’s name is Boo and its story is that it was the tree that grew Cinderella’s magic pumpkin. (Gayle: Excuse me, but Boo is already taken! #MonstersInc)
Kara: After the tour, we headed up to Inside Out: Joyful Sweets so that Kara could order dessert to be delivered to the Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure dining room tonight. Unfortunately, they are not doing that yet, so we opted to head back to the room - where I’m now catching up on the blog and Gayle is checking out the weather report on Hurricane Ian. (Note: Today is Tuesday.)
While Gayle watched the weather, Kara snuck in a brief nap. Kara headed up to The Rose on Deck 12 aft (outside of Palo and Enchante) for her Mixology class.
Kara: I am not much of a drinker but I love experiences where I learn something. In this class, you learn muddling, layering, and how to combine flavors - particularly sweet and bitter - to make drinks that are delicious. I was expecting that I might like one or two of the drinks and I ended up liking all five of them!
The drinks were:
- a passion fruit purée mixed with champagne champagne
- a muddled spritzer with vodka, lime, orange, and basil
- a hibiscus martini (flavored with cranberry)
- a gin spritzer with ocean spray white cranberry juice
- a shot made with Baileys salted caramel
I can’t believe that I drank 100% of all of them - but I did. If you get to come to my house for brunch, you might get that shot made with Bailey’s. Here's a little photo gallery of all the goodness.
And a quick moment from the workshop - just click the image to play the video:
My text to Gayle afterward said:
While I was at the Mixology class, Gayle showered and began prepping for dinner.
We met up in Triton’s Lounge for Disney Cruise Line Trivia. We can normally run the table with this but only managed a 15/22 possible points. We were definitely in the top third, but we did not win. (and it wasn't because I was slightly inebriated.
Back in the room, we both finished getting ready for dinner and planning our after-dinner entertainment activities. I’m most excited to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid show - and we get to combine that with the Arendelle - A Frozen Adventure dinner show. It should be a good evening.
Gayle: So, we’re back from dinner and our show and we have MUCH to report. Settle in friends - this section is going to be a doozy!
We headed to Arendelle in order to arrive at 5:30 (for our 5:45 seating). I’d heard they started the show promptly, but that wasn’t the case based on how long it takes to seat this single large dining room (& newbies arriving late). We chatted with another couple from Indiana (Lafayette specifically) who are on a back to back cruise - we think the cruise “after” ours (more on that shortly). We headed into Arendelle right at 5:45pm - and oddly there were no hand sanitizing stations out anywhere! (That has never happened in our history of cruising with Disney Cruise Line!) Luckily we carry sanitizer with us, but it was very odd.
Tonight, our table 308 was all the way in the very back of the restaurant - an area we’d walked in during our ship tour earlier in the day. This meant we knew that just outside the closed blinds you can see Rapunzel on the Aft of the ship as well as view the ocean. While we were as far as you can get in the restaurant from the stage, that was actually perfect. There was no quiet place in the restaurant - and this was as calm as it would get.
Carlos (Server) and Pitinard (Assistant Server) began service almost immediately. Carlos, who was our head server on our last cruise, remembered our selections perfectly. I have to assume there is some sort of record of these things they can refer to, but if not, I’m super impressed. We also got to chat for a bit with Simone - our head server - who was head server on our February 2022 Marvel Day at Sea cruise. Since then, Simone has earned his blue name tag which is symbolic of the Disney Legend Award. He gets to go to a big award ceremony in October to celebrate and there were only three crew across the entire fleet that were honored with the award this year!
Dinner was very tasty. The scallops came with a puff pastry over the top of the bowl. That was a beautiful presentation and quite tasty (although Gayle’s scallops were a bit over cooked).
Gayle: I’m pretty sure I sat there staring with my mouth open, because I was so happily stunned by the presentation!
Kara: I also got the potato, carrot, and cucumber salad. This was quite heavy on the vinegar. We both got the sea bass which had root vegetables with it along with a single scallop. The scallop seemed oddly out of place but the rest of the presentation and the taste was delicious.
Gayle: The sea bass is probably our favorite main dining restaurant option, so we always look forward to it on every sailing!
I (Kara) mentioned my dessert fail earlier in the day. Carlos worked his magic again and suggested the best option for me was the apple cake so I went with his suggestion. Gayle got the Elsa Sundae (mint chocolate chip idea cream with mini-marshmallows). Thankfully, Carlos was right and the apple cake with ice cream and caramel drizzle was very tasty. Gayle said she could eat her sundae all day!
After dinner we headed to find the Print on Demand Art kiosks, which we finally got to on Deck 5 outside Mickey’s Mainsail store. We both looked at a few options but didn’t opt to buy anything. We then made our way to Nightingale's where we got to enjoy a wonderful pianist.
We wanted good seats for Disney’s The Little Mermaid so we headed to the theatre at 8pm for the 8:30pm show. The doors opened at 8:15pm and we headed in to nearly the same spot we were in last night. Note: Especially due to this ship being new and sailing short itineraries, the demand for the stage shows is high. You really need to queue early, as the theatre is not large enough to accommodate all the guests!
BREAKING NEWS! Just before the show was supposed to start, the Disney Cruise Line “When you wish upon a star” chimes sounded. This is VERY, VERY UNUSUAL. Captain Andy came on the overhead system with an update. (Oh how I wished we'd recorded this right from the beginning, but you can get a sense in our response video.)
Captain Andy referenced Hurricane Ian coming onshore, its forecasted impact on the Port Canaveral area, and needing to obtain clearance to dock and ensuring the port was safe. Thus, in keeping our safety as the top priority (& it being Disney's top value), we would now not be returning to Port Canaveral until Saturday, likely Sunday.
So, for the second time in our lives, our cruise is being extended by at least one night - and perhaps more. Gayle: As expressed in our video, I’ve never heard the Walt Disney Theatre audience erupt like that. Ever!
For us, this is just a piece of information. Will it cause us hassle on the end of our trip? Of course it will. That said, we’re going to be well cared for and kept safe on the ship and right now, that’s most important.
So, the show must go on - and on it went. Disney’s The Little Mermaid started right after the Captain’s announcement. The cast as fantastic and I really enjoyed this show. There are a few slow-ish parts in the show but I think the intricacy and performance more than makes up for that.
Gayle: I’d heard mixed reviews of this show prior to sailing. While I concur the middle had a slight section of lag, it certainly is near the top of my favorite stage shows across the fleet. The cast was larger than I anticipated. Also, unless they have a live auto-tune in the sound system, this may be the most musically gifted cast. All of the lead singers, including Sebastian, were impeccable. I also have to note, at the time of an (expected) 4D enhancement to this show, I thought, “THIS is why I sail Disney Cruise Line!”
We returned to our room to grab water bottles and headed to Deck 11 to do our nightly water refill.
Then, we decided since we were wide awake we’d head to Luna to watch Match Your Mate (for the first time ever). We arrived for the end of Heard That? I laughed a bit in Heard That - but Oh My Goodness - I’ve not laughed that hard in a while in relation to Match Your Mate. The oldest couple was from Indiana and they were adorable. They’d been married for 50 years. The couple in the middle are the ones that won.
That brings us to now. We’re sitting here together watching The Weather Channel and updating the blog. We just heard that Tampa has already suspended air operations and that Orlando International Airport will suspend flight operations as of tomorrow morning at 10:30am. So, we’ll be back. Someday.
Disclaimer: I (Gayle) am a travel agent with Authorized Disney Travel Planner agency - Off to Neverland Travel. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote!
As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney | Ship Registry: The Bahamas | CST# 2090317-40 / Fla. Seller of Travel Ref. No. ST37203