Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bon Voyage, Mickey!

Collin’s Ten-Year-Old Trip
Disney Cruise Day 1:  Sunday, June 16, 2013
Collin manages to squeeze in a morning swim at the Radisson pool before it is time to head over to the port to board the Disney Dream.  The pool reminds us of a Disney set--it is surrounded by tropical foliage and faux rocks, with several waterfalls flowing into the pool. 

We have a couple magical moments there, too--when Collin realizes he has forgotten his swim goggles, the lady at the hotel shop pulls out an orange pair for him--his favorite color, and a perfect match with his swim suit.  Then, when he returns to the pool, he runs into another kid with orange goggles and swimwear who will be Disney cruising.  We enjoy chatting with Jordan’s parents poolside, while the boys play in water.   (But, as it turns out, they have a drastically different cruising schedule, and we see precious little of them during the voyage.)

Low point of the day was probably our boarding of the ship, which involved many very long lines--a line to get into the gate to the port terminal, one to go through security, another line to register (where we got our “key to the world” cards), and one to board the boat (accessible by scanning our “key to the world” cards). 


We had lunch in the ship’s Enchanted Garden--our table was next to a big porthole through which we could watch all the action in Port Canaveral. 


Afterward we wandered all around the ship, exploring the many things to do aboard, and Collin decided that his first wish was to ride the Aquaduck, the world’s only water roller coaster on a cruise ship.  It is a very cool ride, with long clear Plexiglas tubes that span the perimeter of the ship high above the 11th floor swim and sun deck.  Two people share a raft, so first Collin rode with Grandma Gayl, then he jumped right back in line to ride again with Granddad.  Their timing was amazing--they were on the ride while we were leaving port, and there was a huge party with all kinds of music and dancing going on below, and lots of people, including Grandma Gayl, drinking fancy tropical Bon Voyage drinks in commemorative plastic glasses. 

We also made the first of many visits to the 24/7 soft serve machine to make our own cones.

 Next on the agenda--the “Golden Mickeys,” a live show based on the greatest Disney Movies.  My favorites:  a Tarzan rope act that was worthy of the Cirque du Soleil, and The Little Mermaid, featuring Ariel flipping her tail suspended over the stage, while all her colorful fish and lobster and crab friends danced acrobatically below.  The Lion King number reminded us of our time in Africa, just two weeks ago.  (We have already concluded that our African safari and this Disney cruise are at opposite ends of our enjoyable vacation spectrum--both wild in entirely different ways!)
After the show, it was time for dinner at the Royal Palace, where we met the family who will share our table for the rest of the cruise, and the two servers who will be waiting on us as we rotate through all the ship’s dining options each night.  Our fellow diners--Cheryl, her husband Allen, and their son Duncan--are from Houston, Texas, and are Disney vacation members, which is like having a Disney resort timeshare.  They have been on a Disney cruise before, and have been to Disney World and Disney theme resorts and activities way more than we can imagine possible while still maintaining one’s sanity (though they seem quite sane and normal otherwise).

Our assigned dinner hour is 8:15, and it was after 10 by the time we left the restaurant. 

There was great live music in the central hall and lots of kids and their parents dancing and getting their pictures taken with Disney characters, but we were just too pooped to party!

Collin’s favorite things about today:  the Golden Mickeys show, the Aquaduck, and our room--where our room attendant pulls a bunk down from the ceiling for Collin and decorates our bed with an animal made from an artfully folded towel while we are at dinner.  Collin also likes our big private balcony.


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