Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Nassau

For some reason, I always wake up before the wake up call when I’m cruising.  Doesn’t matter that I only went to sleep a few hours ago, I am waiting to hear Mickey tell me it’s time to get up.

We’re not in a huge hurry to get off the ship in Nassau.  We didn’t book any excursions, just planning to walk around town and explore on our own for awhile.  Instead of rushing, Jon & Meg go for a run, then while she gets ready the rest of us go for breakfast at Triton’s.  

Only dinner is assigned, at breakfast you just walk up and are seated.  You’ll have different servers but that can be fun.  We had a great breakfast; Jon ordered his “cruise breakfast” bagel with lox & cream cheese & eggs benedict.  This is what he had everyday of our honeymoon cruise and he couldn’t wait to do it again (18 years later).  I couldn’t decide between the eggs benedict and the “Atlantis Secret Tower” stacked french toast with grilled pineapple and strawberry coulis.  Our wonderful server told me I should try both!  Gotta love that!  Jason ordered the “Little Mermaids Morning” which is 2 belgian waffles stuffed with Dulche de Leche and rolled in cinnamon sugar.  Jon loved his breakfast, I thought mine were both very good but I liked the eggs benedict better.  Jason didn’t really care for his….the Duche de Leche wasn’t quite what he expected.  No problem, they quickly got him a new breakfast: Mickey’s special combo platter.  Mickey Waffle, scrambled eggs and a pancake tower.  That was perfect! 

When we got back to the room, Meg was upset because she didn’t know which restaurant we had gone to for breakfast and she was now hungry.  No problem, that is what room service is for!   I quickly called and ordered the Chicken Fajita wrap.  I was told it would take 30-40 minutes and 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door.  Can I just say that I love free room service!  She was happy, loved her wrap and we were ready to go explore Nassau.

Just a little information here; to leave the ship you need your KTTW card and photo ID.  Kids need their KTTW card and a parent or permission slip to go with an excursion.  This way they know who got off the ship, when they got off and when they get back on. 

When we got off the ship we headed out and walked down to the Straw Markets.   There were some deals to be had, but not like in the “old” days.  It was hot and muggy and no one really felt like shopping so we moved on.  Took pictures by the Pirate Museum, toured a beautiful church, stopped in a couple of other shops and in the end we got a yummy chocolate rum cake at the Bacarrdi store.  We had wandered for a couple of hours and saw what we wanted to see and now we just wanted to go back to the ship and enjoy that.

First things first, it was time to eat again 🙂 For the 3rd meal in a row, we had lunch at Triton’s.  To be honest, I can’t remember anyones meal except for Jason’s.  He was hot, tired and getting a little grumpy and wasn’t sure he was even hungry.  He ended up asking our server if he could get a Mickey bar for an appetizer.  Of course the server said “yes” then looked at us.  I decided I just didn’t care.  If he got hungry later, he’d get pizza or burgers or something on deck 9, so what the heck have the Mickey bar as an “appetizer”.  They brought it out with our food, but all I see is a Mickey Bar sitting in a bowl with mini marshmallows and lots of sprinkles.  He ate every last bite and then ordered kids mac & cheese  for his entree.  Jon laughed and commented when they brought the entrees that “if he eats his entire meal, we’re giving him ice cream before every meal”  He not only ate it, he devoured it and when we ordered dessert he asked if he could order more mac & cheese.  He ate most of that as well.  As they say, life is short eat dessert first!

While we were eating lunch we wanted to plan the rest of our day.  I left the restaurant for a few minutes to get a new Navigator (we’d misplaced ours).  While I was at Guest Services I had another question for them.  When I made the cruise reservation I had told them we were celebrating our 18th anniversary and they told me they would do something the 1st night of the cruise.   No, I didn’t forget to write about and you didn’t skim over it; nothing had happened the 1st night.  They were very apologetic after looking it up and seeing it on the reservation, and they promised it would be taken care of tonight.   Secret planning done, I went back to lunch and we planned our afternoon.  Meg was tired and ready to lay out in the sun & read a book.  Jason had several activities at the lab that he wanted to check out, the only complication was he wanted to do the “make a kite” family activity but that was at 3pm, right in the middle of afternoon.  He decided we could make a kite another time and took off to do his things.  Meg took off and we went to Guest Services to see if we could book some spa time.  There was a great in port special that included: head, neck, shoulder massage, facial, Rainforest Room, chocolate covered strawberries and glass of champagne.  Perfect!  Even better, we were able to get both of us in at the same time!!!

We went and changed into our bathing suits and headed to the Cove pool.  Beautiful weather, a drink of the day and an hour till our spa appointment; I really can’t imagine it being any better than this!  We relaxed, swam a little and then it was time to go to the spa.  We checked in a few minutes early and were taken to the locker rooms.  We both changed into our robes & slippers and were then led to a couples cabin.  While our package that we booked wasn’t technically a “couples massage”, since we are a couple and they could do it at the same time, they did.  The room is beautiful, calm and quiet.  On the verandah is a hot tub for the “real” couples packages.  In the cabin the colors are soft, music is soothing.  The ladies that will be giving us our massages tell us what to expect and they leave the room for us to disrobe and get on the massage tables.  When they come back, they position us so we’re comfortable and then they start the massage.  All I hear is the soft music, the occasional “ahh”  escape from myself or Jon and that is it.  The ladies are stealthy, and perfectly in rythem.  There is a wonderful soothing scent in the air and I don’t want this to ever stop.  Gently and quietly they ask us to roll over and then they begin the facial.  While the facial “sets”  they move down and do a leg massage.  Ooohs and Aahhhs are the only sounds in the room beside the music.  Our faces are wiped off and before we “come to” my hand is placed in Jon’s hand.  I can’t believe it’s over!  They step out for us to dress and came back with water and suggestions on what to buy and do to feel better on a daily basis.  I was very pleased with this.  They told us what they used, asked if we’d like them to make a package up for us and when we said no, they moved on.  No pressure at all, and I really appreciated that.  Then they led us to the Rainforest Room, gave us our chocolate covered strawberries & champagne and reminded us to drink plenty of water.    We spent the next hour enjoying the scented steam rooms, sauna, mosaic chairs and showers.  It was beyond wonderful!  It was a bit of a splurge but worth every penny!  To top it off, I now have a husband that wants to include spa visits on our vacations!!!

Before we knew it, our wonderful relaxing quiet couples time was over and it was time to get ready for dinner and tonight show: Toy Story the Musical!   The show starts at 6pm, everyone was instructed to be at the room and ready by 5:45.  Megan was in the room and ready, Jon & I were changed and ready to go and Jason was……MIA.   I would’ve have been upset, but not as much if it were a different show; but Toy Story was the ONE show that he wanted to see.  At 5:45pm we left the room.  Our cabin attendant was in the hallway, we told her that if Jason came back to please let him know to meet us at the show (I also left a note in the room).  Jon & Meg went to the show, I’ve seen it,they haven’t.  I went and checked at the pool, pizza place & sport courts.  No Jason.  I went down to the theater and found Jon & Megan, great.  No Jason.  I went outside the theater to watch for him, had a lovely chat with a CM, tried calling the room (no answer) and played hide & seek with the Green Army guys.  5:59pm and here comes Jason; dressed for dinner & the show.  He had lost track of time playing soccer against a bunch of Brazillians (story to be told at dinner), went to the cabin where Willie (our cabin attendant) told him to meet us at the show.  We were seated before the show started, but just barely.  I LOVE this show!  I loved it last time and loved it again this time!  I won’t spoil it, but Sid is my favorite part of the show, don’t miss it!

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Most families are going to plan for months, even a year before they set sail.  Thanks to a special travel agent perk, my family is going on their (the kids) first cruise in less than 2 weeks.  Although with a Disney Cruise, once you’ve picked which cruise you want to go on, there isn’t much else to do. 

Where to start?  With a good  travel agent of course, lol!   We’ll talk about how to find the right cruise for you in another post.   Today I’m going to focus on getting ready for your cruise.

First things first, for U.S. citizens, right now you are not required to have a passport for travel that starts & ends in a U.S. port but it is highly recommended!  If you don’t have a passport you will need the following documents:  certified birth certificate (not a copy!!!), government issue photo ID (drivers license), marriage license (ladies, if you name has changed since you were born bring the marriage license).  Same documents are needed for children; 15 & under do not need photo ID.  You will need all of your documents when you check in at the cruise terminal, so DO NOT PACK your passport & ID!  Carry your documents with you in your day bag.  I also recommend making color copies of all your ID; pack a copy and leave a copy at home.

Next, go online to disneycruise.com and do all of your online registrations.  Register for the kids clubs, enter your credit card info for your Key To The World Card, online check in, flight info.  All of the paperwork that you need to have when you check in you can print & fill out ahead of time and some only needs to be done online (kids club registration).   Now look at the excursions & spa treatments.  Think about what you want to do while in Nassau, if you see the “perfect” excursion for your family, book it now so you won’t miss out.  You can also book your Castaway Cay excursions, spa treatments and make Palo reservations online.  If you’re not sure, you can wait to book these things once you’re on the ship.  Keep in mind, some of these will “sell out”  or the time you want may not be available. 

What do you need for the cruise?  Not a whole lot really.  If we were going on a 7 night cruise there would be a few more things that we would need but for a 3 night cruise here’s what I suggest:

  • Comfortable “cruise casual” clothes.  Shorts and tee-shirts are perfect for most of the day(s)
  • No shorts in the dining rooms for dinner, but it’s not super fancy.  Collared (golf) shirt and khakis for guys, and skirt, skort or sundress for ladies.  One night of the cruise is the “dress up” night, but it’s not overly formal and it’s optional.  Guys, bring a sports jacket and you’ll be set.  If you think you might want to eat at Palo, you have to have that sports jacket & ladies will be more dressed up.
  • Bathing suits!  Bring several so you always have a dry one to put on.  A cover up is nice to have, but not required.
  • Pool shoes with traction.  If the bottom of your flip flops are worn smooth, get a new pair.  The deck can be slippery and you don’t want to fall on vacation.
  • Light weight sweater or jacket.  The theaters & restaurants can get a little chilly.
  • Camera.  You have the camera, do you have your charger, batteries, film???  If you forget batteries or film you can buy those on the ship, but it’ll be cheaper to bring them from home.
  • Dramamine.  Not sure if you suffer from motion/sea sickness?  Pick up a package of dramamine from your local drugstore for a couple of dollars, just in case.
  • While you’re at the drug store, make sure you stock up on sun screen!
  • Gym or tennis shoes.  If you think there’s the slightly possibility that you might want to work out or participate in the 5k run on Castaway Cay, you’ll need your gym shoes.
  • Cash for:  room service tips (more info on tips below), the Bahamas.

I really struggled to come up with more, but you don’t need more.  

Our “planning/packing” so far has been to run out and get a 2nd bathing suit for my son, new flip flops for my husband and a sundress for my daughter.  I’ve gathered the passports & birth certificates and have them in a pile.  Jon’s sport coat is on it’s way to the dry cleaner and I’ll start working on the laundry.   I’ve done all of our paperwork and my son is registered for the Oceaneers Lab.  We’ve decided to skip the excursions in Nasasu and to just take the kids into town and explore on our own for awhile.  We’re going to check out the Pirate Museum and of course the Straw Market and then we’ll play it by ear.  After looking at the options for Castaway Cay, we know that we want to sign up for the “Extreme Getaway Package” (only available for booking onboard at any day before arrival in Castaway Cay).

I mentioned tipping earlier, and now I’ll go into more detail.  Tipping/Gratuities are of course optional, but they are pretty standard.  One of the options that Disney Cruise Line offers is the ability to pre-pay your gratuities.  Don’t worry, your servers & cabin attendant won’t know ahead of time so you don’t need to worry about that.  You’ll just have the convenience of having done it ahead of time, not worrying about having cash or envelopes made up.  When you choose to pre-pay your gratuieties, on the last night of your cruise you will receive “tickets” and envelopes made out for all of your servers/attendants.  Then you hand them out the last night.  Ta da, you’re done!  

Other tips/gratuities would be for:

  •  Bar items, there will be an automatic gratuity added to your bill.  You’re of course free to tip more, but be aware that a tip is already added on! 
  • Room service is free, so you won’t receive a check to sign.  You’ll want to have cash for tipping room service.
  • Porters.  If you use the porters for your luggage when you drive to the port or when disembarking the ship, you’ll want cash for tips.  Generally a couple of dollars per bag is the suggested amount.

What else needs to be done before leaving the house?  Well I’m starting on laundry, dry cleaning and cleaning the house- I hate coming home to a dirty house!  I’ll go to the bank to make sure I have cash for the trip, drugstore for sunscreen & dramamine (just in case) and the library for some poolside reading materials.  Since we’re also spending 5 nights at Disney World before our cruise, I need to make sure to pack for both parts of the trip.  

I’ll post with more tips & suggestions throughout the week.


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