Day 10 ~ Sunday Sept.28th
I dunno why but whenever the engine note of the ship changes as it slows down to enter port it always wakes me up and to-day was no exception as we were approaching Castaway Cay at around 7.15 am or so. I went onto the verandah to have a peek and noticed that the ship was docking “pointy end” first…aren`t those nautical terms great?
This was the first time that I had seen the “Magic” or the “Wonder” enter this port by this method and it made me wonder if Captain Thord was not as good a driver as Captain Tom who led us on our other cruises who could reverse into Castaway Cay with ease! [Note the use of more nautical terms there? :p015:]
It really is interesting watching the crew manoeuvre such a large vessel into dock with such precision as the ship inched it`s way to the mooring location with the “Flying Dutchman” in the harbour ahead.
Today I reverted back to my unhealthy fry up breakfast which was taken in Parrot Cay where they do a great buffet catering for all tastes, even smoked salmon and minute steaks were part of what was on offer. Needless to say that my DW settled for something less greasy!
After breakfast we left the ship at around 8.45 am en-route to Serenity Bay Beach which is the adults only section of this fantastic island. After pausing to have our “This is us with the ship in the background” photo taken by one of the ship`s photographers, we ignored catching the first tram [which takes you to the other beaches and shops etc…the “heart" of Castaway Cay] and decided to walk to the next tram stop. This is a very pleasant 10 minute stroll with the crystal blue ocean to the left, the pathway on both sides being lined with the lush indigenous tropical vegetation and flowers.
Avoiding the temptation to shop at this stage, we walked past the main shop “She Sells Sea Shells…and Everything Else”, arriving at “Palm Central Station” in order to board the second tram that goes directly to the adults only beach area that arrived after a couple of minutes or so. The journey from here to the beach is a bit longer than the first tram ride and it travels along the island`s runway, at the end of which is the final destination where a bar, a bbq area, wc`s and a float rental outlet are all located.
There are loads of loungers and umbrellas along the beach although some folks must have arrived much earlier than us because we had to walk quite a distance along the beach to reach the first vacant one so that we could set up “base camp!”
This area truly is like Paradise. The crystal clear water is very shallow and I noticed loads of people walking a good 150 feet from the shore yet the water only came up to their chests…and I swear that they weren`t all on stilts! ;)
I settled down to read my book which qualified as an easy going holiday read [Ronnie Wood`s [the Rolling Stones] autobiography] shaded by an umbrella, and my DW did the same although in her case it was some sort of sloppy love story tome which she read sitting on a plastic chair partially submerged at the ocean`s edge! :rolleyes008:
Relaxing here was sheer bliss and all the time CM`s were walking up and down the beach taking orders for drinks.
Sadly we had to leave early for lunch as the ship was due to set sail earlier than we had experienced before and everyone had to be on board by 3.00 pm.
Lunch was taken at the bbq area. Everything from hot dogs to steak were offered and the spare ribs were to die for. My DW was also well catered for as chicken and a salad bar were also available together with free sodas and ice cream.
We caught the tram back to Palm Central Station and browsed through the shop, buying a polo shirt for moi and a pair of sunglasses for my DW [any further purchases could wait until our second stop at Castaway Cay on Friday],and we walked the rest of the way back to the ship, boarding at around 1.45 pm.
Once back on board we made our way up to the Vista Spa on deck 9 to enable my DW to book a treatment for later during the cruise, after which she continued with her tanning process on deck 10 while I took a few photos of the ship at various locations. I noticed a familiar face behind the Signals bar which seemed like a good excuse to call in for a beer! :p015: The "face" was a CM named Pio [from India] who we had met on our last two cruises when he was located at Sessions. He had previously given me some details of hotels in the Goa region, where he came from, suggesting that we stay there should we ever decide to visit India on vacation. I was pleased that he instantly recognised me and even more surprised that he also remembered our names since he asked me where Sue was! [DCL apparently expect their CM`s to call folks by their surnames unless the guests themselves decide to be less formal, so he wasn`t breaking any rules since we had given him our Christian names on the other cruises when he was at Sessions].
“A beer” turned into 2 or 3 as Pio and I chatted away for ages catching up on what had been happening since we last met.
After this, I made my way up to deck 10, securing a good spot in front of the front funnel of the ship waiting for the warning given out before the ship`s horn is sounded so that I could hear it again at max. DB`s! [I just love the sound of the horn as we leave port, despite the potential damage..albeit slight.. to my hearing! :p015:]
As it began to rain, we took refuge on deck 4 which has some very comfy loungers where we stayed for a while before popping in to Shutters to collect the photograph that had been taken earlier as we went ashore.
On arriving back at our stateroom we saw an envelope on the bed and inside was in invitation to a Castaway Club “get together” in Rockin Bar “D” set for tomorrow which is always a bit of fun.
We didn`t feel like rushing to see the show at the Walt Disney Theatre this evening which was a comedy and musical show that we had seen before and they never seem the same the second time around especially if the jokes are the same!
After our usual pre dinner cocktail and chat with Rudolpho in Sessions, we made our way to Lumiere`s which was our dinner venue for this evening.
We knew that tonight, Tom and Carol had opted to dine at Palos and we waited for Mr & Mrs M. [our other dining partners] to arrive, but as they hadn`t shown up show up by 9.00pm [our dining time was 8.30pm] we ate alone on our table #43 which was set for 6 people. [We found out later that Mr & Mrs M had actually advised the CM`s that tonight they would be dining at Topsiders, leaving instructions to inform our servers of this fact, but that information had not trickled down to our servers who also were wondering where they were! ]
Following dinner we took a stroll around the ship before being met by another towel animal left on our bed by Javier, falling fast asleep in the blink of an eye. It`s amazing how tiring doing absolutely nothing strenuous all day can be!
Tomorrow is to be a full day at sea.