Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Time I Did A Disney Transatlantic Cruise - Days 9 & 10

(Previously: Days 1 & 2Days 3 & 4Days 5 & 6Days 7 & 8)

Day 9 - Sunday, September 27th


When I went to get breakfast, people were acting like Disney elephants who'd just seen a mouse. Eeek! It's raining! Run for cover!

That morning I went to the Backstage Tour of the WD Theater. (I had reserved tickets two days prior; there was a notice about the tours in the Navigator.) They took groups of about 15 people through the projection booth, past the sound booth, and up to the stage, where we got to ride the "lift" (the forewardmost elevator on the stage) down 2 levels. "Backstage," we saw props, costumes, hairpieces, etc., and got to hear a lot about what goes on during the shows. They wouldn't tell us all their secrets, but I did learn a few things. We ended the tour via a crew-only door that led straight into O'Gill's Pub, which I thought was cool.

They wouldn't let us take photos on the tour, but, uh, here's a picture of the theater's ceiling.... Enjoy.

That afternoon, there was another Coaster-Making craft session in the pub, so I went. I made coasters to represent two Disney movies. Can you guess which ones? 

In the late afternoon, Pirates Of The Caribbean was playing on the tunnel vision, so I watched some of that.

I popped into the Vibe open house to play arcade games.

I got dressed up for Pirate Night. (On the ships whose itinerary includes Pirate Night, they often give guests a free pirate bandanna.)

Note my SeaBands. Oh so piratey.

Here's where the ship was today, according to this map near Guest Services:

While walking through the atrium early that evening, I saw that Mr. Smee and Captain Hook were doing photos. I also saw two people dressed as crocodiles waiting in line to meet them. I stopped to watch, because I wanted to see where this was going....

Here's Captain Hook hugging another kid. He hasn't "noticed" the crocodiles yet.

And then...

Too funny!

Around 7:30, I went to the open house in Edge (the tween club), where they were having Adults Vs. Kids "Generation Gap" trivia. About 4 adults and a dozen tweens were all sitting in chairs facing a TV screen, where the questions would appear. There'd be one question for the parents' generation about something that the kids were more likely to know (current music or whatever), then one for the kids about things the adults probably knew more about (say, 80's music.) One kid kept protesting, "It isn't fair! You were alive back then and we weren't!" It was amusing to watch, but the questions were hard for me! I knew about half of the adult-centric ones and only 1 or 2 of the ones geared toward teens.

As I understood it, Edge was in a new location (the ship had been in dry dock prior to this cruise; the arcade is now gone and Edge went from deck 2 to one of the top decks.) This is what it looks like now....

 Dinner at Animator's Palate. Since it was Pirate Night, they had pirate pictures (Captain Hook, Jack Sparrow, etc.) on the walls/screens.

I did take food pictures this evening...

For an appetizer, I had the Buccaneer's Sun-Ripened Pineapple ("Fresh island pineapple with a coconut covered banana and orange glaze").

Main course: the Sunken Vegetable Treasure ("Black-eyed pea and quinoa croquettes with a mushroom sauce").

And for dessert, chocolate rum cake!

Some of my tablemates were talking about the show they'd seen earlier in the WD Theater... Gavin Lee, Bert from the stage show Mary Poppins, singing and dancing. I think I would've enjoyed that, but I didn't remember to highlight the show in my Navigator, and I was just doing other things instead. I don't have a lot of regrets from this cruise, but not going to that show is one of them.  (I did go to his Q&A the next day.)

After dinner, it was time for the Pirate Party!

I danced a bit. A lot of people looked like they'd seen the show 20 times (and perhaps they had); quite a few seemed bored/unimpressed... until the fireworks began! Oooh... ahhh!

After the show, I went up to deck 10 to check out the lunar eclipse/blood moon. Quite a few other people did the same. The crew turned off some of the ship's lights near the sports deck. We were able to see the moon, but taking a good picture was another matter. First, my camera isn't the best. Second, we were on a moving ship. This is the best I got:

 It looked a lot better in real life.

I really wish they could've turned off more lights so the stars were more visible. We could see a couple, but they weren't very bright. Now I'm wondering if cruise lines ever have star-gazing events? I'd sign up for that...

Afterwards, buffet at cabanas. More food! I don't need it, but give it to me anyway!

Tonight's towel animal...

Heck yeah, extra bandanna! Wait, tip envelopes!? Does that mean what I think it means? Tell me this cruise isn't near its end!?

Tomorrow, our final Sea Day....

Day 10 - Monday, September 28th

My original plan for the cruise had been to look at the navigators and decide on what to do. If something didn't sound interesting, I probably wouldn't bother.

However, each night at dinner my tablemates would talk about the things they'd done that day, and they made some events/activities sound really interesting. That inspired me to try some things I wouldn't have otherwise.

One of those things was "Anyone Can Cook." Today was the final segment, and it was a competition between two chefs and I think the cruise director and her assistant. They had 3 audience members go up and judge the food that the two teams made. I was a little distracted because... THEY GAVE US CHOCOLATE CAKE! They also served us cheese on a cracker with a little strawberry. Nice. If I had known you got to eat delicious food, I'd have gone to more of these events!

At 12:15, I went up to Deck 9 to watch the "Boat Building Bash." Individuals and families had built boats out of whatever they could find aboard... I saw plastic bottles, pirate bandannas, food cartons, even some pieces of clothing. The competition involved seeing if the boats could float (most of them did) and I believe there were awards for most creative, etc.

I stayed just long enough to watch the boats all float. It was starting to get too warm for me up on deck and besides, the Gavin Lee Q&A was starting in Fathoms at 1pm...

Even though I had neglected to go to Gavin Lee's show the night before (sad), I still wanted to hear him talk. It was an enjoyable hour of him talking about theater and dancing. People in the audience then asked questions.

At 2:00 I went to the "Friendship Rocks" show in the WD Theater. I didn't know any kids on board, I just wanted to see what it was all about. It was cute. They brought up the kids from the clubs, and they did a couple of numbers. They showed a montage of kid photos from throughout the cruise. One thing that surprised me -- there were a LOT of kids there! Where did they all come from? It never felt like there were THAT many kids on board. (And that didn't even include the toddlers, tweens, or teens.)

At 2:45 I went to the "Art Of The Theme Show Tour." This was recommended by one of my tablemates, and it recurred throughout the cruise (although I think this was the last opportunity.) It began in Palo...

A crew member took our small group around the ship, pointing out different design elements on the walls, floors, ceilings, doors... everything. I really enjoyed the tour, and I'm actually glad I waited till the near-end of my cruise to take it, because it made me realize how many things I'd walked past 30-40 times over the past 10 days and never really noticed or thought about! Like, I'd been in Keys, but I  hadn't noticed that the piano keys near the ceiling are spaced incorrectly. We also saw some Hidden Mickeys.

Later that afternoon, I ordered room service for the third (and final) time. This time I got pizza, and let me just say, room service pizza is GOOD! (I didn't care for the pizza they serve at Pinocchio's Pizzeria upstairs.) I also got the cheese/fruit tray, which I put in the fridge and snacked on later.

At 6:15 I went to the show in the WD Theater, which was the Crew Talent Show. It was funny and entertaining.

Afterwards I went up to the vacation planning desk and put a deposit on a future cruise.

Yes. It's crazy because the first few days of my cruise, when I was feeling so miserable, I thought, "Cruising isn't for me. Never again." And now here I was on Day 10, putting down a deposit. I was hoping to sail in 2017, either a Transatlantic again or maybe the Panama Canal. Neither is happening, though. Nope, I'm, uh, going to Alaska!

 Dinner at Carioca's. I ordered fried eggplant & risotto, which was good.

 For dessert, chocolate lava cake. Mmmm, one of my favorites!

 That night, our server gave us a speech about how important it was for us to give the dining rooms/staff/whatever perfect scores on our comment cards. My tablemates and I just sort of smiled and nodded, but I was thinking, are you kidding me? I'll put what I want on my comment card! Awkward.

 Next event of the night: Avengers' Academy in the Oceaneer Club. I think it was the second segment in a two-part Avengers storyline. I'd missed the first event, but one of my tablemates had gone. He was planning to go to the second. However, Magic Dave was doing a show at the same time, and it seems like a lot of adults went to that (my tablemate included). So the Avengers Academy had only a handful of potential Avengers present... maybe half a dozen adults and half a dozen kids.

 I thought it was a fun event... well-written/performed, with enough "audience" participation to make us feel like we were part of the story.

 At the end, "Captain America" appeared. I will say this: maybe it's the Disney Kool-aid I'd been drinking for 10 days, or maybe this Avengers event was just THAT convincing/entertaining, but I was half expecting Chris Evans to come out that Oceaneer Club door. Alas, it was not him.  Still, a fun event.

(Hmmff, you're not the real Captain America, impostor!)

 Time for bed....

 Tomorrow: Castaway Cay!

Next: Days 11 & 12

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