Thursday, May 4, 2017

January Trip Recap (Part 2)

Second Installment on my adventures! This one is all about my Eatern-Caribbean cruise πŸ˜ƒ



From Dec 31 to January 7 my mom and I were on board the Disney Fantasy. To be completely honest this is my least favorite Disney ship, but still a Disney ship and any of them is better than pretty much any other cruise ship out there hehe.
We had the best last day of 2016 chilling by the pool, riding the water coaster (the Aqua Duck) and overall just enjoying ourselves on deck. Minus the bits when we were also trying to get the last bits of cell phone reception to wish our loved ones a happy new year, which was a mess because of everyone's time zone differences and the afore motioned distractions 😜. At night we had dinner and as usual a massive deck party to ring in the new year topped with fire works at sea. It was so fun! Even if incredibly packed and we didn’t get as good a view of the stage or the fireworks as we did back in 2013 but no complains! If you’re not at the Magic Kingdom to receive the year covered in Pixie Dust, a Disney Cruise is definitely second best! 



January 1st and 2nd were days at sea (but at least we’re talking about 2017 now!) Which one would assume are nothing but relaxing, but in general cruises have so much happening on a daily basis, and Disney cruises much more so, that sea days are usually a mad dash to catch as many possible activities and shows and explore all the magical details of the giant ship in just those few "off" days.

As Gold Castaway Members we even got a special "mixer" with Captain Mickey to attend first thing Jan 1st!

The third day brought us to the British Virgin Islands and we visited Tortola. This was a new island for me which is awesome, I love that feeling of visiting a new place for the very first time! I am so blessed and do not ever take it for granted, but I was a bit disappointed on the island or rather on the services. As it is to be expected the landscape is the same as the US Virgin Islands, which is amazing!😍 No complains on that department but the service and friendliness of the people leaves a lot to be desired in comparison to other islands in the area. One lady even wanted me to go fetch her the ingredients she left away from the kitchen while preparing my smoothie! Also the cleanliness of the non-natural areas isn’t as spotless as one would want and expect in a paradise island πŸ˜• 
It was super fun though, especially going to Pusser’s landing to enjoy the Caribbean vibes and watch pelicans chill on yachts, then walking to the “souvenir market” and getting to watch lots of tiny, fluffy baby chicks trying to escape, climb on or burry themselves under their mom haha. 
That night after all the port fun we had the Pirates in the Caribbean party, which is super fun. Everyone dresses up in their best buccaneer getups and there are character’s dressed up in their pirate’s best all over the ship and there is a deck party/show before dinner, then themed dinner and later at night Pirate’s club, which is a different mini show before having it be an open air night club that includes more fireworks at sea, making Disney cruises extra special. No one else can have fireworks at sea, let alone two shows in one weekπŸ˜ƒ





On January 4th we visited both St. John and St. Thomas. Since we had already visited these islands a few times before, I decided to put photography as my priority versus adventure. Big mistake! I mean yeah the views are amazing! But the way our tours were scheduled we had free time but not enough to go swim with seals or dolphinsπŸ™ And as I realized way too late, on the way to all the fun animal encounters you also get some picture stops...So this was a live and learn situation. As it was, we ended up going on a super fun ferry boat to St. John where we got beyond soaked after 10 minutes, explored St. John’s ancient sugar mill and high island points as well as their newer areas and then we headed back to St. Thomas for lunch and to just enjoy the bits of island and shopping areas closer to the port.
video

Next time I’m going back to Ocean World or something similar so I can have more exciting stories to tell hehe 😜

January 5th was our last full day at sea which we finally took more for relaxing this time. We enjoyed ourselves by just going to a couple shows, playing mini golf on deck and having more pool time before the semi-formal dinner.
Next day our port adventure was Disney’s private Island, Castaway Cay
This is usually my utmost favorite island in the Caribbean, there are so many things to do and enjoy, there's never enough time to have all the adventures and enjoy every hidden scenic gem, but some changes seem to be happening that not everything I remember was operational, and to my iggle dismay the post office closed early, way before I could get my special stamps! 😒
There was still enough adventure to go around and we started the day on the island parasailing. This was my second time trying it and therefore the experience was less nerve- wracking than three years ago, sadly it was booked solid and they didn’t offer repeats or single rides this time, but it was super fun for me and totally relaxing for my mom lol. After returning to land we were supposed to go snorkeling but mom had gotten sick the day before and as the day’s temperatures increased she started feeling worst. We hadn’t noticed it before but apparently a bug was making the rounds in the ship and some stresses we had over this week depleted our immune systems. My mom waited for me to snorkel on my own, but without a grown up to make sure I didn’t drift off to open sea or drown I was to stressed to enjoy it. Also, the floaty bag I got my iPhone worked great outside of the water but not under, it wouldn’t recognize my finger on the screen so it didn’t focus on the fish, which were also much harder to see than in Hawaii. So I ended up out of the ocean after only about 30 mins just in time to find my mom ready to return to the ship😞
I stayed behind with the plan to just take some pictures around the island, shop for some island-exclusive goodies and head back on board early. This is when the real adventure began…
For some reason while asking a cast member at the shops where the best vistas around the main area were, he didn’t seem to know and a lady overheard us and decided to give me directions for the look-out tower. My mom and I had heard about it the night before but she told me it was inaccessible unless you took a bike, I do not know how to ride a bike so it was out of the question. I told this to the random lady and she said from where we were it was close by on foot and sent me around a not very traveled loop. I ended up getting lost in the 5K loop, where no cast members patrol, hardly any visitors ever go by and if they do is on bike! So because of bogus directions I ended up making the 5K loop and then some, carrying shopping bags and camera equipment, completely on my own, under the 90 degree sun with no water and wearing water-shoes not made for walking!! There was hardly any one I could ask for help and those I did see were unable or unwilling to help! By the time I made it back to the main areas I ended up in the grown up beach which is super boring and isolated and full of drunk people so I had to wait for a tram to come get me as the one that saw me approach left me anyway! I’m sure in the future this will be a very funny story of my misadventures but I still get annoyed. I was so exhausted and dehydrated when I made it back to the ship! For a while there I was even worried of not making it to the all aboard time, my phone had no reception and I had not brought the sea phone with me to let anyone know I was in a marshy area of the island! 
The day ended with me passing out for a while before dinner and then having to go to the last dinner alone with my bear since my mom was still not feeling well.
I know it happens, but don’t you kinda hate it when life happens while you're on vacation? LOL


Overall this was the least super-amazing Disney cruise in general. There were definitely lessons in tolerance and letting go at every moment. Lots of buttons got pushed with the staff not meeting Disney standards of service, not speaking English when visiting only English speaking Islands in an American ship! Lack of vegan options which we had never had a problem with before, super rude, loud and intrusive guests, Disney’s weird allowance of so much alcohol everywhere which is pretty new and leads to obnoxious and inappropriate drunk people…the couple of misadventures and of course my mom getting sick… But as I always say, if I don’t travel it I don’t learn it lol. My biggest lessons usually happen while traveling. And I don’t think I truly managed to learn these lessons, they still got me pretty peeved so at least I know where to focus on my growth so things like these don’t repeat and we get to enjoy our next cruise as much as we have every other Disney one!

*For more pictures and random trip details from my traveling bear's perspective you can follow their insta account. If you scroll down enough you'll see the trip day to day. If you scroll down to Xmas in Manhattan you've gone too far 😜

4 comments:

  1. I kinda want to do that Scandinavian Disney cruise, it looks super cool. Bert was actually not against it, because it has some routes other Scandinavian cruises don't have. I shall have to look up the price etc and start saving up :)

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    1. I haven't done the Norwegian Fiords one but did the Northern Europe/Baltic one in 2015 and it was amazing! For the price that most "nice" cruises go for you definitely get a lot more for your money with Disney and all their port tours and activities are safer and more fun ;) Definitely look up info and I'm here to give tips and opinions if you want :D

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    2. I will definitely come poke you for tips and opinions once we actually plan on going. I imagine it won't be any time soon as our travel budget for this year is already locked in. Hopefully next year :)

      I really do hope the service will be better than the one you had on this cruise, it does sound like it could have been better many times XD

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    3. Keeping my fingers crossed for you ;)
      Out of all the Disney cruises I've taken this was the only one with "bad" service and of all four ships only the Fantasy leaves something to be desired. That is compared to Disney service itself, it is still way better than other regular cruise lines, so really not that bad lol

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