Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cruise Ends - Disney World Begins

So our cruise officially came to an end on the 5th day.  It was a vacation that we hoped would never come to an end, but inevitably it had to.  The 5th day we just woke up, ate breakfast, packed our bags, and departed back into reality.  We took the same shuttle van that we had taken to the cruise back to Orlando where we stayed in a hotel for the night.  The Embassy Suites we were in had a happy hour where they provided free all we wanted snacks and slushies for the kids.  Then in the morning we got to have omelet's for free.  It was very nice! 

The next day we woke up and went to Disney World.  We couldn't end this trip without experiencing another Disney destination.  We have been to Disneyland several times but this was our first experience going to Disney World.  I didn't realize how HUGE the park is.  We took a shuttle from the hotel and then had to take a ferry boat over to the Magic Kingdom aka Disneyland in California.  Because most kids were back in school and it was a little cloudy of a day the park did not have many people there in the morning.  We got to go on some classic rides like, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted House, Thunder Mountain railroad (which Logan got completely freaked out on), Buzz Lightyear, and Space Mountain.  Space Mountain was the last ride of the day which ended up being good because Brayden got a little freaked out on it.  I think the favorite ride of the day was the Cars.  Our kids went on it 3 times!

We were able to witness a parade with all the main characters which was a blast, Brayden and Logan were in a live pirate training class with Captain Jack Sparrow himself, and they got to play on Tom Sawyer's island which we have never done before. 

Overall this trip has been AMAZING!!  Thank you so much Mom and Dad for making it happen.  We loved spending the time with our family in such a fun location.  Since coming home our kids have continued to ask when we are going back on a Disney Cruise.  They also continue to want to do magic shows and have dance parties each night just like on the cruise.  This is a memory that will last with them for a LONG TIME!!




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Disney Cruise - DAY 4

Day 4 began with us waking up parked at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island between the Bahamas and Florida.  We were so excited about this day because we would have the opportunity to enjoy sitting on the beach most of the day. Here is the view we saw from the boat.

This was such a fun island.  As we were walking in we saw Goofy and couldn't help but get a picture.  I didn't even realize it at the time but it seemed that the 3 of us color coordinated pretty well :)  Logan was there as well but was all pictured out from the previous 3 days.  

Ryan and Granddad got down to the beach early so that we could have a great spot with 3 umbrellas and several beach chairs to enjoy.  The water was crystal clear and there were millions of beautiful seashells all up and down the beach.  As you can see Logan enjoyed collecting a ton of them.  By the time we left this beach I believe we had about 3-4 cups full.  Here are some other pictures of our surroundings.  One of the coolest things was the playground that they had out in the water that kids could go and play on.  

 The water was so clear that we could see fish swimming right by our feet just a couple feet out in the water.  We were able to rent a few snorkels and Camille got to go out with Marci for a few hours.  They had a blast looking at all the fish and Camille actually was able to dive down and get 2 really cool conch shells.  We were so excited to have them until we were going back on the boat and they told us we couldn't keep them.  But they let us keep all the other shells and they are being displayed in our front room of our house currently.  The boys played in the water most of the day and loved every minute of it.  There was also a big playground that went on with a huge slide leading to the ocean.  There was fresh fruit out all the time that we could enjoy, free sodas, and of coarse FREE ICE CREAM!  Our kids personal favorite :)

While we were on the island they had international crab races.  They had boxed up several crabs from around the world and they would take the box off and let the crabs go to race to the finish line.  It was hilarious!!  Our kids enjoyed that.

But our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE experience at Castaway Cay was the Swimming with the Sting Rays excursion that we signed up for.  At first they had set up these feeding areas in the water where the Sting Rays would swim through and we could feed them.  So how we did this was taking a shrimp or other fish, putting it between our fingers, and then waiting until the sting rays would come over the top of our hand and suck up the food.  At first it was pretty freaky because it felt like they were sucking up our fingers into their mouths but after a while we got the hang of it and LOVED feeding them and petting them as they swam by.  After we fed them they let us put on snorkel gear and swim with them.  They had a designated area fenced in where there were probably 200 sting rays swimming around and we got to snorkel all around where they were swimming.  It was AWESOME!! 


On our way back to the boat we took we took a picture by Mount Disney Rustmore!  Here are a few more pictures of this cool island.

When we got back on the boat we went to another amazing performance called Disney Dream.

After the show we went to another amazing dinner and said our final goodbye's to our AMAZING waiters.  We had the same 2 waiters the entire time and they did an amazing job.  RaShawn was from Jamaica and Roberto from Paris. As you can see Roberto is cutting Brayden's stake because I was slacking on my parental duties. 

The other fun thing Brayden got to do this night was a detective scavenger hunt.  He got his detective badge and this screen below told him what his mission was.  Apparently a Disney villain had stolen some paintings and Brayden had to go locate them.  So after getting his mission he explored the entire boat to find clues to these paintings.  After he would find a painting he would hold his card up to it and it would come alive and tell him the next clue.  He LOVED this!

Since Ryan and Marci are from Wisconsin we had to watch the Packers playoff game on the top deck.  And who said you can't eat pizza, french fries and fry sauce as a late night snack :) 

After eating so much we had to work it off somehow.  So we headed up to the basketball court for a little 2 on 2 action.  We had a lot of fun trying to make baskets with the wind blowing the ball all around.  It was pretty awesome that we could play basketball while sailing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

Another AWESOME day and again we were EXHAUSTED!!