Friday, March 29, 2013

Disney Cruise - Day 4 (Day at Sea)

The last day of our cruise was the only full day at sea (thank you, Bonine, for allowing me to enjoy this day). We got up and out to breakfast early, so we could make it to the Disney Junior Dance Party held in one of the teen lounges. The kids had a great time with this (dance and be crazy? don't mind if I do!) and especially when Pluto showed up to dance with the kids!

Marino, being the ham that he is, requested to sing a song on the microphone after the dance party. He sang the theme song to Super Hero Squad. 

After the dance party, Marino and I grabbed some kettle corn and headed to the theater to see Wreck It Ralph. We love movies, so having a theater playing new Disney movies was a big perk for us. Marino loved it, of course!

After the fun dance party and the movie, we headed up to enjoy the pools and (Ray, Evan and I) ride the Aquaduck. The ship has a water coaster the goes around the entire upper deck of the ship. It was really fun (I don't know why we didn't ride it earlier).  Marino wasn't big enough to ride it, but he had fun on the Mickey slide (which you can see in the right hand corner below), which is just for kids. 

Enjoying peace on the adults-only deck!

I wanted to take a few group pictures while we had the chance, so here we are before dinner. It was a gorgeous day. 

Daddy and Marino are dancing to Frank Sinatra in the atrium here. 

When you tell the Disney chefs they can choose your food, you end up with an appetizer like this. Escargot. I refused to eat it, because, seriously? I might be allergic to snails and not even know it. My stepfather was happy to eat them for me. I love them for being innovative with gluten-free dining. 

Here I am with Ashley, my hairdresser! Not only was she on the cruise, her cabin was just a few doors down from ours! 

Fun Disney details were everywhere on the ship! 
After dinner, Marino wanted to go to the Kid's Club one last time. My mom, Ray, Evan and I headed up to the adults-only deck for a drink. This deck was paradise...quiet, swim up bar, calypso band - heaven! 

Marino had a great time in the Kid's Club that night - they had a carnival! We picked him up and he looked like this...courtesy of a clown that came to entertain the kids!

Additional point of interest - we were on the ship in mid-February and the beginning of lent (and Ash Wednesday). Although the cruise doesn't normally have religious services, since this is an important part of the Catholic faith, they had a priest sail with the ship and mass was held every day. My mom and stepfather are faithful Catholics, and this was really special for them (my stepfather ended up doing some of the readings at mass).

Thursday morning we got up early to eat breakfast and then disembarked (super easy). Then we got on the shuttle headed for....Disney World!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Disney Cruise - Pirate Night

After Castaway Cay, it was Pirate Night - yay!  We were all ready with a new pirate hat and shirt for Marino that we got at The Pirate Museum of Nassau.    When we got back to our room, we each had a pirate bandanna waiting for us on our bed.  The servers at dinner were all decked out in pirate gear and then we headed up to the top deck to watch the pirate show! It was a lot of fun - of course Marino was thrilled.
   Here's Marino with our head server, Alberto from the Dominican Republic.  Both our servers were amazing - I wish we could have taken them home with us! 
Everybody got in the pirate spirit - even Grampa Ray and Gramma 

Captain Hook was the villain attempting to take over our ship!

Evan and I got to watch the fireworks off the ship that night, too (they didn't happen until 10PM - Marino was sleeping). It was a really fun night!

Friday, March 22, 2013

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5.  Marino couldn't wait to show me this. "Look, Mommy, it's you as a nice monster. See, you have one beautiful eye."

4.  Cheers over smoothies with his buddy Uli. How cute are they??

3.  He's always willing to pose for a picture these days and I love it!!

2.  He announced at dinner the other night "We're going to see Gramma on Friday. She's a very important person."

1.  Whenever he wants to make me laugh lately, he just calls me "little lady."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Disney Vacation - Day 4 (Castaway Cay)

Day 3 of the cruise was my favorite. We woke up to the beautiful island of Castaway Cay (Disney's private island). There's so many amazing things about this island, but one of the best is that the boat docks on the island, as opposed to needing to take a small boat to the island like on other cruise lines. First thing that morning there was a 5k "race" on the island. A group of us met in one of the lounges to discuss the race and then headed off the ship. It was fun to meet other people on the ship - if you run, you know there's a camaraderie among runners that is fairly instantaneous. The race is timed with a time clock, but not a chip and everyone was very supportive of each other. At the halfway point, cruise staff was there with water and encouragement. My time was 38 one point I had to stop because I wasn't sure I was going the right way (that's what happens when you're one of the sloooow runners). It was also super sunny with no shade (coming from 40 degree weather in Maryland). But it was a lot of fun and a neat way to see the island. We all got "medals" at the end and everyone was very kind to each other. Great way to start the day!

I could have stayed here several more days. It was absolutely beautiful. 

After the race, I got back on the ship (this is the great thing about not tendering!), ate breakfast (Evan brought my special gluten-free breakfast back for me), took a shower, and we were ready to hit the beach. There are plenty of shore excursions, but we decided to just hang out at the beach. Of course, Disney's private island is amazing and they've thought of everything. There's servers to bring you drinks (alcoholic and non), plenty of chairs and umbrellas, beach toys for sale (reasonably priced), water slides for older kids, several places to eat - covered pavilions to partake in the buffet lunch. There's an adults-only beach (we didn't see it) and the island has its own Kid's Club. While, for safety reasons, the kids can't swim in the Kid's Club, they have their own splash park and plenty of sand and beach toys. They have tons of cruise staff to keep the kids entertained (and fed). And, of course, there's plenty of characters walking around for photo ops.
Marino had a good time building sandcastles with Gramma. 

The water was a bit cold, but Marino didn't mind. 

Marino spent a couple hours in the Kid's Club but was sleepy and ready for a nap by mid-afternoon. 
We went back to the room and took a nap to get ready for a special pirate dinner and party!

Friday, March 15, 2013

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5.  Out of nowhere, he asked me this week "Why are the rooms on the Disney ship so safe, sound and cozy?"

4.  We were supposed to have some giant snowstorm last week, which, in reality, was 1/4 inch of mushy snow. Marino was still so excited. "Can we go make a snowman?" he asked. "Does this mean Christmas is coming again?"

3.  On the way to school this week he asked me, "Mommy, would you be happy if I became an alien and saved the world?"
"I don't know. This sounds dangerous."
"Mommy. Its not dangerous. If a bad guy comes, I will turn into fire faster than the Flash's feet and no one will hurt me."

4.  My Aunt Kerry bought Marino this hooded Batman blanket and he loves it. He likes to talk to me like this:
5. Evan said something about him (Evan) being fat the other day. "Daddy, that's not nice to say. You're not fat, you're just jiggly." Marino told him.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Disney Vacation - Day 3

Day 2 of our cruise, we docked in Nassau around 9AM. After breakfast (which we arranged for the evening before with our servers, so we would have allergen-free food ready for us), we headed out to the Pirate Museum of Nassau. Evan had found a review of this place and we decided it would be a fun, inexpensive thing for the 3 of us to do (it was $30 for the 3 of us). We had lots of fun - Captain Blah Blah welcomed us to the museum and Marino thought he was the funniest guy in the world.

Lots of fun photo ops there!

After the Pirate Museum, we walked around and did some shopping before heading back to the boat.

After lunch and a nap (I slept so great on the ship - our room was so comfy and the rocking of the ship was soothing), Marino begged to go to the Kid's Club. The Kid's Club on the Dream is so amazing. Not only is the decor amazing (Monster's Inc "Lab", giant replica of Andy's Room from Toy Story), but there are counselors in each section engaging the kids and making sure everyone is having fun. They have a light up dance floor, the characters come visit the kids - its just non-stop fun. We let Marino stay through dinner this day and when we went to pick him up, he didn't want to leave the Kid's Club!

While Marino was there, I went for a little run on Deck 4, which is dedicated to running/walking - it was very serene. 

We had dinner in the Enchanted Garden with Mom and Ray, sans Marino (our servers missed him).
Fun towel animal waiting for us in our room.
Evan and I at the Enchanted Garden
We had breakfast there, as well. How cute are my boys? 
After dinner, we lured Marino from the Kid's Club and went to see the play "The Golden Mickeys." It was very cute - we all enjoyed it and Marino keeps asking if we can watch it on tv! 

Day 4 (Castaway Cay) up next!