Day Eight----Beaches, Bikinis, and Luggage

Bahamas Travel Blog

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Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. This was the family beach. It got crowded, but their is an adult beach as well. It doesn't get too crowded at all

Today would be a day at the beach. More accurately it would be a day on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, which had a lot of beach. I got up and after a shower; I headed up to Deck 9 to get Margo a Pepsi. I was greeted by rain. This had been the first we had encountered. It wasn’t bad, and there was blue sky to be seen, so I was hopeful. We had barely arrived at our final port here in the Bahamas, but we wouldn’t be able to get of the boat until 9:30 AM. I went back to the cabin and reported the weather, but an announcement was made that predicted the rain would blow away and a beautiful day was forecast.

The Flying Dutchmen from "The Pirates of the Caribbean"
I ended up eating breakfast alone today. I did manage to find a spot outside. The rain was mostly stopped by now, but most everyplace outside was wet, and there was still plenty of run off from the roof and table umbrellas. My place was barely under the roof, so it was partly dry. I found a dry chair, and ate while getting an occasional spray as a drop would land in the puddle at one part of the table. Still it was warm outside, and I wasn’t going to eat in, unless I had to.


With breakfast done and the others all showered and dressed, we made our way downstairs to get off the ship. The rain had completely stopped by now and there was mostly blue sky. Once off the ship, you had the option of waiting for a tram that would take you to any number of stops, including the far end of the island, where the adults only area was.

Jolene and Jessi biking in the lagoon. They claim a fish followed them. I suggested that the fish was hoping they would fall in, making for an easy meal.
We opted to walk. It wasn’t far. We stopped a couple of times to take in the view or read something. But, one thing that everyone was stopping for was to see the Flying Dutchman. The Flying Dutchman is Davy Jones' ship and was seen in the last two Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I beleive I heard that this is the actual ship they used for filming. When they were done, they needed a place to put it, and figured what better spot than out in Caribbean itself. So they put it is out in the lagoon, on a sand bar, but you aren't allowed to approach it, even on a jet ski. Very photogenic, though.


We admired it for awhile, also admiring the stunning turquoise waters and the blue sky. All rain was gone, and it was going to be a beautiful day.

Jolene and Jessi on the beach
As we wandered up the road, we passed the Post Office, and Marge’s Barge’s. Here you could sign up to parasail or go fishing. Continuing on was Scuttle Cove, where they had the kids activities. Then you arrived at the Castaway Family Beach area. There were a couple of large covered areas for eating, well up from the beach, and several places to get food or drinks. Margo had orders from her doctor not to get sunburned while out on vacation, and I’m not a beach person. I just can’t lie around and do nothing. Not when I’ve traveled so far from home. I would rather see what can’t bee seen from home, or do what can’t be done.  We did decide to make camp on one of the picnic tables in the shade. That turned out to be very pleasant. It wasn’t too hot, and turned out to be a good place to people watch. The girls thought this was a terrible idea and were not about to sit up with the old people all day (ungrateful brats) so they went off to see what there was to see.
Even Margo made it into the water!!


No long there after, I decided I didn’t want to be with the old people either, and went out to take a look around. Margo was quite content to read her book, and watch the people go by. I first wandered back to the Flying Dutchman to see how close I could get before I encountered a sign, barrier, or person telling me that was it. I never saw a sign or barrier, but a life guard got after me pretty quickly, so I got back across the invisible line, to seek other mischief. I went over to Marge’s Barges to check on parasailing. I figured the last day of vacation was the day to get hurt. But Marge had a crowd, and after 10 minutes I decided to try back later. There were plenty of pretty girls to sneak a looks at. The were also plenty of both sexes who you wondered if they had someone in there lives with enough gumption to tell them to put on more cloths, or to purchase a razor.

Our dinner at Palo. If you're a foodie, this is not to be missed.
There was at least one Sasquatch sighting. Luckily, I do have someone, (Huh, dear) so I caused minimal ocular pollution myself.


More wandering found a place to rent bikes, and a couple of kiosks and stores to buy Disney souvenirs.  I found a sign, pointing me deeper into the island jungle, which told of a whale dig going on. But, I decided that the children could probably handle that without my help. Besides, I was getting thirsty. I went back to base camp to see if Margo wanted something. She had water, but would not turn down a Pepsi if I happened to find one. As the drink station was in visual range (which she knew) the chances of that were pretty good. So ten minutes, nine of which was spent in line, later I was back with a beer and a Pepsi.


More people watching, and soon the smell from Cookie’s BBQ was drifting in. I had read one review of Castaway Cay that recommended going back onboard the ship to eat, as your choices on land were limited. Now, I will give you that the number of places to eat was limited. That would be one. But Cookies is a buffet style place with a lot of variety. Gluttony was very easy to achieve, and that was before I discovered the dessert section or the ice cream station. Maybe this was new. The girls had gotten back by now too. They had explored the same general places I had. They had gone deeper into the beach, and checked into the water craft. They had their pretty little hearts set on getting on one of the water trikes. They were only checking with me, because it was my credit card propping up our Keys to the World card, and they didn’t want to spend my money without permission. If it would have been a cash situation, we would be hearing all about it instead of at least getting to witness their nautical stroll.


But they were hungry too, so we all decided to eat. As mentioned, eliminating hunger was not going to be a problem. There also wasn’t going to be a problem with crowding. More people were using the covered areas. But there was plenty of room. We ate and chatted. Margo would ask “Did you see the guy……” Or “Did you see the swimsuit on that lady?”, and we would take turns, in time honored tradition, questioning some aspect of our fellow cruisers appearance. Hey, It’s tradition, and who were we to break with tradition. With our lunch completed the girls went off to the beach. I stayed to spend time with my wife, less she get lonely. But, she wasn’t. Her book was good, and after getting her a refill I decided to take the camera and take a few pictures.


I saw several of the water trikes out in the water, and I was pretty sure one of them was the girls. But, as they were out past where my eyesight could distinguish for sure, I went back up to the Flying Dutchman to capture that instead. A few more stops and I figured I had killed enough time for the girls to get back. I had, in that I could now tell which one was theirs. Fifteen minutes or so later they were with in range and I got a couple of pictures of them. When then beached their craft they told me that a fish had been following them. I mused that it was probably a shark hoping one of them would fall in, making for an easy meal. After we had gotten the trike up onto the beach, they went off to check out the shops. I decided to go back to base camp and find another beer.


That proved to be a good idea and I sat around with Margo watch people and nursing my beer. Once that was finished it dawned on me that I hadn’t revisited Marge, so back towards the ship I went. I got there and the guy there was talking with a couple who were also interested in parasailing. He told them that the last one was scheduled to leave in tem minutes. I had no hope of getting back to Margo, finding the girls, and then getting back. I chalked it up to missed opportunity and went back to base camp.


It was getting to be around 4 PM by now. We didn’t have to be on until 5, but as Margo pointed out we had a lot of packing to do. While we had been getting ready this morning we had the TV tuned to the ship information channel. Among the tidbits of information was that we had to have all our luggage, they we weren’t planning on carrying ourselves outside our cabin by 11 PM. We had brought 7 large bags, plus several carry ons. We are on the 7th deck. We would have to horse all of that down to wherever we ate, mind it while we ate, and then carry it off ourselves. That was an easy decision, let someone else do it. But, over the course of our last week we had unpacked all of those bags, and added lots of new goodies to put in them. Margo does jigsaw puzzles at home. Tonight she was going to have to use that skill just to get everything in, with the possibility of no damage. I could offer moral support and then move the packed bags. The girls could help by being in another part of the ship. We’ve done this before and it works. Margo is the Luggage Master; we are mere slaves or observers.


So in order to get the equivalent of a small gift shop into our luggage, and maybe eat dinner sometime we decided to go back to the ship. There was fair line of people with the same idea where we had gotten off. That was the aft part of the ship. But 200 yard forward, at the front of the ship, I noticed there was almost know one. Half thinking that it probably wasn’t open, explaining the lack of line, we walked that way anyway. But it was open, and the crew there was wondering why no one was taking advantage of this second point. They had just dispatched someone to yell “Hey, you can down there too!”, and start a stampede. But as we had a considerable head start I was not concerned.


We got on and got back to our cabin. There was going to be a farewell performance in the Walt Disney Theater called “Remember the Magic”. It sounded like fun, and I bounced the idea off the Luggage Master. She mulled it over and thought she should be able to get it done. I reminded her that we still had to distribute our restaurant tips. But we were figuring to go find them before the early seating tonight and take care of it then. So up to the cabin we went. Margo began doing her magic. I went to fetch a Pepsi. The girls gathered up their stuff and laid out what they would need for the next day both to wear and use in their morning beauty ritual. Being a natural beauty myself, I did not have much to contribute there.


Not too long after I got back, we broke for dinner. Tonight we had a 7:00 reservation at Palo, Disney’s upscale restaurant. It features Northern Italian cuisine, and the service is supposed to be perfect. We got ready and arrived a little early hoping to get seated early. We were. This kind of food is generally wasted on us. None of us have a sophisticated palate. Both girls had them make up a Pasta Alfredo type of dish for them, because they really didn’t see anything on the menu they wanted. I had chicken and Margo had the filet mignon. All of it was great. The food everywhere was really well done. But Palo was more so. We kind of hurried through it, which I think disappointed our server, but we were on our time.


We needed to go see Toto and Gavin. We got there, and got someone’s attention to open the door. We found everyone, said our good byes and Jolene cried. She always gets emotional at good bye. The rest of us laughed at her. We had only met them a week ago. It was certainly worthy of sadness, but actual tears, I don’t know.  But it was over, and then we got something to eat.


From there Margo and I left around 8:15 to catch the 8:30 performance. The girls were just not interested, even though we told them how funny John Charles had been. Not interested. OK, they’re on vacation, too. In addition to John Charles, the musician/comedian, Michael Harrison the ventriloquist we had not had the opportunity to see, would be doing a set too.


John Charles did not disappoint. He had different material, toned down a notch as this was the “family” show, as opposed to the “cabaret” show we had seen. Of course a Disney Cabaret show might rate PG-13 if you saw it in the local cinema back home. He did a song called “I’ve got the Cleanest Hands in the World” sung to the tune of “He’s got the Whole World in his Hands”. This was a joke on Disney’s hygienic practice of passing out hand wipes before and after every meal, and then having self-serve stations everywhere. They were out to assassinate any bug that might cause disease on their ship. He also did a Hannah Montana song, which as a 44 year old, with adult daughters, I had never heard. But, at least I knew who she was, and his parting shot of asking the crowd to tell her to sing a “John Charles” song, now that he had been pestered into doing one of her’s, as it was only fair, also made sense.


It was over too quick and then Michael Harrison got up. He did most of his act by turning a 10 year old boy volunteer from the audience into his puppet. He put a special mask on him, that he could manipulate the jaw, so he could speak, and then added other props. The kid’s job was basically just to sit there. But Michael would ask him questions like “Do you like girls” 10 year old boy would be shaking his head “No”, while his mouth was contradicting him. This went on for most of his set, and is much funnier than I can do justice here. After him the show was basically over. A few bad jokes from the cruise director, and a few good bys, a left handed sales pitch, and we were on our way.


We had to get back to the cabin, but we needed to pick up our final pictures. They had taken our picture at Palo and were going to rush them through. We saw Marin nearby and I was able to chat with her for just a minute. She always seemed busy. I found out more about her than I did St. Petersburg (She was transferring to the Queen Mary in NY, after this cruise and would be going to school in NYC), but at least I got ask a question. We got our pictures and went back to the cabin.


From this point it was a rush to the finish. As Margo would finish one bag I would put it out. The first couple came hard, but as there were fewer and fewer things to pack, decisions became easier and bags filled up quicker. Soon she was done, and I had all bags outside. We were tired. Our nightly TV wind down, and off to bed. Tomorrow we would be going home.

CrazyLisa says:
Wow sounds like a good trip. That water looks so clear!
Posted on: Jan 18, 2008
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Castaway Cay, Disneys private isl…
Castaway Cay, Disney's private is…
The Flying Dutchmen from The Pira…
The Flying Dutchmen from "The Pir…
Jolene and Jessi biking in the lag…
Jolene and Jessi biking in the la…
Jolene and Jessi on the beach
Jolene and Jessi on the beach
Even Margo made it into the water!!
Even Margo made it into the water!!
Our dinner at Palo. If youre a fo…
Our dinner at Palo. If you're a f…