Going Home

3/8/24 

We had to wake up early today because our breakfast for departure was at 6:45 in Royal Palace. We were so busy yesterday we didn’t have time to pack so we have to carry all our luggage through the ship. Lucas was exhausted and we had to wake him up. If we were not leaving today we probably could have all slept in!  

I enjoyed watching the ship get into the port at Fort Lauderdale. There was another cruise ship behind us coming in also. The sunrise was beautiful. I will say our cabin smelled like gas fumes a lot while we were getting into port. I wonder if that is because we are at the back of the ship? 

After breakfast we finished the puppy detective thing. Then we really didn’t know what to do and didn’t know how long it would take to get off the ship so we got in line to leave. 

Disembarking the ship took no time. We got a cab to the airport and we were so early we couldn’t check our bags yet! A man told us we could take our bags outside to the American Airlines desk and get them checked there so we did that. Lucas was good in the airport, despite the long wait. It’s really hard to tell what is better, flying out the day your cruise gets back to port or staying another night. Last time we stayed an extra night. I think if we do it this way again we would plan better to not have so much time at the airport. We had lunch in the airport and then we took off for home. Lucas slept the entire 3 hour flight! Our cab ride home was crazy long because it was a Friday around 5 pm and it was raining….It is also nice to have your own car from the airport but Lucas did great and we did save money by taking a cab. We can’t wait to go on our next adventure! 

Disney Castaway Cay

Today Lucas was up at 6:30. We watched the boat back into Castaway Cay from our balcony. Then we went to the breakfast buffet. After breakfast we were able to get off the ship a bit earlier than expected, so we left around  9:30. When we got off the ship we took a few photos because we bought the photo package and we have to make the most of it! 

Having the stroller to hold our bags was key, I highly recommend it. We arrived at Scuttles Cove and found a spot in the first row of seats. We saved enough seats for Amy, Kelly. and Dean. The first thing we did was go snorkel. We all went out. Lucas got nervous and didn’t go out far but he did see a few fish and he did so much better than last time. Don went out to see how far out you had to go to see stuff and it was pretty far. You had to go out past the lifeguard stands in the water, but he saw some fish. Then I went out. I saw lots of fish, a starfish, and 2 sting rays. It was pretty cool and felt great to be snorkeling again. That is something we haven’t done since having Lucas. Disney had dropped statues and things to look at under the water. It was really cool and all the structures attracted sea life and fish. I swam really far out. When I got back Lucas was playing in the sand and he was covered.  

Finally close to 11 our friends arrived, they are definitely not early risers. Lucas and Dean played for a bit then we asked if they wanted to go to the kids club. They were a bit hesitant but they did end up going for a little over an hour.  We talked and  had some beers then Amy and Don did some snorkeling. Kelly and I went and got food and brought it back to our beach spot. Then we picked up the boys.  

After lunch the boys got in the water and played in the sand. We stayed until about 3:45. I was worried Lucas was getting sunburnt and he wouldn’t let me put sunscreen on him. The boys had a blast and it was fun having another couple with us. When we got back we immediately showered. We set off the smoke alarm in our room because of the steam from our shower. We tried to pack some and we put our wet clothes in the dryer. Our room is really close to the laundry room so that is convenient. The cruise app lets you know when your clothes are done.  

Then we went to buy Lucas a spiderman that he wanted. Then it was time for dinner. Dinner was at Royal Palace. It was ok. We got escargot, salads, and the filet. Lucas got cheese pizza, which he did not like very much. It was very small and didn’t look good. He asked if he could have some mac and cheese also. Of course he could because this is a cruise and you can eat whatever! 

After dinner we saw Belle and took some pictures. Then we met up with our new friends and took some group pictures. Then the boys played on the deck outside. Lucas was a good guy and Dean was a bad guy and they were battling. It was pretty funny. We had to say our goodbyes, which was kind of sad. Then we went to the show Believe. Lucas fell asleep about 15 minutes in. The show was pretty good but I was very tired also. Lucas slept the whole show and Don carried him back to the room. I think this is the first time that has ever happened. He usually wakes up when we start to carry him. He is definitely exhausted and so are we. We missed our chance for our luggage to be checked for departure tomorrow because we had no time to pack, so we will be lugging our luggage around on our own. 

Day at Sea

We woke up around 6:15. Lucas was able to play with his avengers and we hung out on the balcony. We decided to try breakfast at Royal Palace. I liked the relaxation of sitting down and ordering as opposed to the craziness of the buffet. I had Eggs Benedict and they were so good. Don had an omelet and Lucas had chocolate chip pancakes. Then we worked on a detective picture and then we went up to deck 13 and played Goofy’s golf. It was fun and really nice because it wasn’t crowded at all. 

After that we got in line for Dr Strange but Lucas got scared when he saw him and didn’t want to take a picture with him. So I took a picture of him and we walked around more. We all got together and took pictures with Minnie Mouse. We wanted to get pictures as a family because we all wore our Ninja Turtles shirts today. After pictures we went back to play golf before lunch. Lucas had a breakdown about golf  being too hard and it was bad. It took awhile for him to turn it around. 

We had lunch at the cabanas buffet. Then we got in line for Captain America Sam Wilson. Lucas kept going in the store to look at things. Then some kid pressed the fire door button and the fire door kept closing. It was pretty annoying and the parents did nothing! Sam Wilson was awesome Lucas probably talked to him the most out of any character. On the way back to the room we went to the character dance party. We danced with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto and Goofy. Then we came back to our room for a rest. 

After nap we met up with Dean and his mom’s at oceaneer club. Lucas said he wanted to go in there with Dean but when the time came he got scared and didn’t want to go in. He even told Dean “we have to protect each other” finally after some talk from Don and a worker asking him if he wanted to meet Crush from Finding Nemo he went in. They stayed for 2 hours! We went for drinks with Amy and Kelly in the adult lounge on the top deck. Somehow we got talked into buying a cooler with 6 Peronis. Then Kelly was jealous so they got 6 blue moons and a cooler. This will be great for beach day tomorrow. 

We went to pick the boys up around 5. They had fun. Lucas said he did avenger training with Sam Wilson and Black Widow. He met Minnie. They did science experiments. It was so cool hearing him talk about his own experience he had in the kids club. 

We went to dinner again at Enchanted Garden. Lucas had mac and cheese. I had tomato soup and tuna ahi.  Don had asparagus soup and a lobster ravioli that neither of us liked. For dinner Don tried the scallops and lamb. I had a sirloin steak. I think so far this has been my favorite dinner. We didn’t get any dessert tonight because we were all stuffed. Our servers were Wayan and Tricia on this cruise and they were excellent. Wayan always joked with Lucas that he wanted one of his avenger toys. After dinner we ran into Amy, Kelly and Dean. We decided it would be an awesome idea to rent a stroller for beach day tomorrow. So we did! After that we walked around and did some more of the detective pictures. Then we saw the show Beauty and the Beast. It was very good but Lucas was scared sometimes. He also was falling asleep and waking up. After the show Lucas went right to bed.  

Dolphin Encounter–Grand Cayman Island

We got up at 6:30 and had breakfast at the buffet again. During breakfast we were getting a view of Grand Cayman, along with a few other cruise ships pulling up.  

After breakfast we went to our meeting point for our Dolphin Encounter excursion. When you arrive at Grand Cayman by a cruise ship you have to take a small boat from your ship to the port because the port is not made for ships so large. Once we arrived at the port we got to our van that took us to the excursion. The van ride was about 20-30 minutes. It was nice to see the island.  

The dolphin experience was pretty cool. We got life jackets on and stook on a platform in about 3 feet of water. An animal handler showed us tricks the dolphins could do then we each got a chance to do 4 tricks with a dolphin. Professional photos were taken for everyone. It was a cool experience; Lucas enjoyed it. It was fun when the dolphin swam in front of us and we could pet it. The pictures were a bit expensive and it was very hard to look and pick out your photos so we just bought the whole package. I think it was about $150. Lucas was having a meltdown about wanting to change into dry clothes, even though I put a dry shirt on him and his trunks were almost dry. We were trying to go to a beach on the way back from the excursion so I didn’t want to get us all changed.  

After the excursion our guide said we could take the van back to the port, try to get a taxi, or take a public bus. One man said the taxis will not come right now because they were too busy so the guide showed us how to take a bus. The public bus was really a big van. It was kind of cool. They drive on the left hand side in Cayman Island so things were a bit confusing. We took the bus to Seven Mile Beach which is one of the most popular beaches on the island.  

I think we were all tired, hot, and hungry and kind of unsure if we wanted to do this or just go back to the ship.  I thought it wouldn’t be right to come all the way here and not experience something local so we went and we were glad we did. The water was cool but you quickly got used to it and it was so refreshing. I think it was what we all needed to relax and reset. Lucas enjoyed playing in the sand and the waves. He is definitely more brave in the ocean than last time on the cruise. Don got him a hot dog and he got us Jamaican Beef Pattys. This was a good snack. Clouds were rolling in and it was some relief from the sun. We left the beach around 1:30 and found the bus to take us back to the port. 

Near the port we went into a couple of shops. We wanted to get a gift for our new neighbor Rachel for checking on our mail for us. Lucas really wanted a stuffed dolphin but we told him no because he had such a meltdown earlier about changing his clothes. This resulted in another meltdown. He was getting really tired. We took the small boat back to the ship. 

Once we got back to our room we were all happy to get showered. We hung out in the room for a bit but we were super hungry. Don went to get some snack sandwiches while Lucas and I went to see Mickey. It was pirate night so all the characters were dressed like pirates, as well as many of the passengers. Mickey’s line was so short that we were also able to see Daisy also. Lucas says, “Daisy gives the best hugs”. It was really cute to see them hug. Lucas was not happy about seeing Captain Hook while we were seeing Daisy. He was so nervous about him and asked “if Captain Hook is so bad why did they even let him on the ship?”.  

I could smell popcorn and I was so hungry so we got some. Lucas was worried about Captain Hook because we did see him outside on the deck while getting popcorn. We went back to the room and Don was getting dressed for pirate night. I had a shirt but I really didn’t like it. I was singing, “a pirate’s lifes for me” and Lucas heard it as “the pirate’s life is for me!” So we went back and forth saying “no the pirate life is for me!” It was funny.  

It was soon time for dinner so we went to our new dinner place, The Enchanted Garden. It was very pretty.  I had a vegetable samosa, quinoa salad, and jerk chicken. Again, I wasn’t impressed with this meal. The samosa was good. Lucas was going to get pasta but our server mentioned mac and cheese to him so he immediately changed his mind. I like that the servers are involved and know what you like but if you know kids, getting them to try new things is a challenge so mentioning their favorite does not help. It kind of annoyed me. Don also had the jerk chicken. We tried a few desserts: fruit cake, flan, and pineapple ice cream. They were ok.  

After dinner Lucas wanted to start a new story for the detective thing so we did. We chose the stolen puppies story line. Then we went to the Mickey Pirate Celebration. It was the same show as on the Disney Wish. It was cool to see how much more Lucas participated in the songs and understood compared to just 8 months ago. Once Captain Hook came out he grabbed my hand and didn’t let go until after the show. He had a lot of questions about Captain Hook. Eventually I think telling him that Captain Hook was in the ship’s jail and the police were going to come pick him up in the middle of the night helped. So hopefully we don’t see him again on this cruise! 

After the show we did one mystery photo and then we went back to the room. Lucas was asleep quickly and it was before 9 pm. Don and I went to the balcony and were able to see a lot of stars.

Marvel Day at Sea

We woke up around 6:30 and we had breakfast at the buffet. It was ok, but no egg benedicts! Immediately after breakfast we  went to get in line for Ms. Marvel. A woman in line said the Black Panther line was short so Lucas and I went to check it out while Don held the spot for Ms. Marvel. The line for Black Panther was so long, but once Lucas saw him he didn’t want to get out of line. When he finally got up to meet Black Panther he was a bit scared of him. But we did it, our first hero! 

Afterwards we went back to see Ms. Marvel. Don had held our spot and even had to let other families go ahead of him. After meeting her we went back to the room and got his Spidey costume on. Don went and got in line for our Heroes Headquarters experience.  

Meeting Spiderman and Ironman at the Heroes Headquarters was pretty cool. It didn’t seem as magical as the first time Lucas met Spidey on the Disney Wish but he loved it. Ironman was super cool looking. After Hero Headquarters we went to a store Lucas had saw during his time in line for Black Panther. He had already picked out what he wanted while in line haha. After looking around a bit in the store Lucas decided that the box of 8 superheroes was really what he wanted. I got a Disney Wish Christmas ornament and Don got a shirt.  

Next we went to get in line for Captain America. The line had not started yet but I knew it was going to be super long so we waited around and eventually we were 3rd in line. We met some cool people in line, Dean (4 years old) and his moms Amy and Kelly. Lucas offered to let Dean play with some of his heroes and Dean showed him the dinosaurs he had. We instantly connected and decided to trade app contact info so we could possibly meet up later.  

After Captain America we went to lunch on the top deck. Lucas had pizza and Don and I had sandwiches and salads. Afterwards we went back to the room to nap. We really had to get a nap in today because the big Heroes Unite show isn’t until 10:15 pm!! 

Lucas still keeps asking about the man that hurt his back, because last night in the golden mickey show the hunchback of Notre Dame did a song. We stayed in our room until about 4:15. We got Lucas dressed back into his Spiderman costume and decided to check out a costume party. It was more like a costume contest that already had the winners decided. The winners would get up on stage. I thought it was going to be more of maybe a costume dance party. So we didn’t stay for the whole thing we decided to work on the mystery portrait thing.  

At 5:30 we went up to the top deck so Lucas could check out an Avengers Training session. Lucas went up on the stage by himself (along with other kids) to participate in the training. The kids on his side got a shield and Captain America Sam Wilson was there to teach the kids how to use their shield. At first I thought Lucas was really enjoying it but then a bad guy came up on the screen and he looked like he was starting to cry so I set up next to the stage and told him to come close to me. He continued to participate but the bad guy scared him so he came down. If he would have stayed for just 2 more minutes he would have thrown his shield and helped defeat the bad guy. But it was ok, we were proud he went up there.  

Next we went to the elevators to go to dinner at Animator’s Palate. On our way there we saw the avengers that just helped in the training. Lucas got to fist bump Sam Wilson! 

At dinner Lucas got spaghetti with meatballs. I got penne pasta and Don got pork. I liked this dinner better than last night’s. We tried 3 desserts. After dinner we went to the top deck to see the Mickey Hero Show. It was pretty cool. We were able to meet up with Amy, Kelly, and Dean. Dean and Lucas were running around like crazy. Then they went to dinner and we went to work on our picture mystery. 

On the way to looking for pictures we found a ton of superheroes in the atrium! Lucas got to see Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, and Spiderman. We saw the Guardians of the Galaxy. They were a few floors above us waving down. Lucas was not a fan of Groot. I explained to him that he’s a good guy and he’s a tree. On the floor above us there was Thor and his brother Loki. I have no idea how Lucas knows Loki is bad but he was scared. We decided to go work on our mystery photos and while we were doing one Thor and Loki came walking by to go into the theater. Lucas got so scared and hid behind me.  

We actually were able to finish this photo mystery! Dr. Facilier, (villain from Princess and the Frog) was the one who stole the pictures in our story. One thing we discovered though was even though people were working on the same story line Disney made all the results randomized so if you saw someone doing your story there wouldn’t be any spoilers! 

Then around 9 we went back up to the top deck to get a spot for the big Heroes Unite show. We sat for about 1.5 hours. Lucas did so well; we talked, people watched, and sometimes watched things on the big screen while we waited. We were hoping to take up room to hold a spot for Dean and his moms. Luckily they got there right in time as things were getting crowded. Seeing Lucas and Dean together was so funny. They just love each other! The show was really awesome. Characters would come from the very top of the ship and zipline down. It really looked like Spiderman was swinging from webs. There were even fireworks. It was definitely by far my favorite show I’ve seen so far. We got back to the room super late and didn’t get to bed until 11.  

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