As the 2017 Disney Cruise trip report concludes, now it’s time to say goodbye…
Sunday, June 11, 2017
And so it was that we awoke on the final morning of our Disney Cruise. Not that there was much cruising to do at that point. We were up around our usual time again, because there was not that much time to waste. A quick check out the window showed that we had already docked back at the Disney Cruise Line terminal at Port Canaveral. In fact, our view was exactly the same as it was before we left, except that this time around the skies were clearing instead of cloudy and rainy. And the crew members were taking luggage off of the ship instead of putting it on the ship. And we were leaving for home instead of leaving for the Bahamas. But otherwise, it was the same.
We packed up everything that we had left with us, which was not all that much since we had put our luggage out in the hall the night before. Fortunately, we had planned well enough that we had everything that we needed for the morning, which is always a good thing. We checked with my parents and the Bramletts, and they were up and getting ready to go as well.
As is normal with the Disney Cruises, our breakfast restaurant was to be the same restaurant as our dinner the night before, which was Enchanted Garden. And because we had the early dinner seating time, we also had the early breakfast time. Also, we figured that we would not see the Jamersons on this day because they had a different eating time due to their transfer back to Walt Disney World for their stay there. Not all of us were going home on this day, after all.
We made our way to breakfast with all of our stuff, which seemed like more than what we might have needed in some ways, but we could justify needing all of it. Besides, it was not unmanageable, so we made it just fine.
As we were making our way to breakfast, I noticed that they were playing some interesting song selections on the ship. For starters, they were playing a suite from the score to the movie The Princess Diaries, which you do not hear all that often, although apparently I have heard it often enough to know what it was. Nothing too significant there, except that I was pretty surprised to hear that one.
Soon after, I heard the song Enjoy It from the old Disney movie In Search of the Castaways. It starts off with the line, “Don’t cry about bad weather, enjoy it!” That was quite fitting considering the rain that we had experienced during our cruise. But we did enjoy it, even with the rain, although it was nice of Maurice Chevalier to remind us of that. And that was followed up with There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow from the Disney-created Carousel of Progress at the 1964 New York World’s Fair (and later at Disneyland and Walt Disney World). Maybe that was supposed to be a subtle reminder to all of us not to be too downhearted because our cruise was ending, because there were still beautiful things ahead. Or maybe it was all just a coincidence. Either way, it is always fun for me to stop and notice what music they are playing at different times on the ship.
Once we reached the Enchanted Garden, we found that the rest of our group was already there, and Andrea and Mariya were starting to serve drinks, so we were right on time. We found a place to put all of our stuff and took our seats at the table. We got our menus and started trying to make our choices for our last on-ship meal. As we were looking through the menu, Jaylin leaned over to me and said, “Do they serve dessert this morning?” No, they do not, just in case you are wondering.
I am not a big breakfast eater like some people are, so I was content with a donut, some fresh fruit, and orange juice. Just what I needed to start the morning off right. Our meal was good as always, and then it was time for us to leave. We said one last goodbye to Andrea and Mariya, thanking them once again for their excellent service during our cruise.
After that, we made our way up to the main lobby to leave the ship. The crew members were lined up waving to us as we left, although they seemed to be a little happier about it than we did. But of course we were not all that sad, because maybe one of these days in the not too distant future we will be back again for another cruise. Who knows?
We found our luggage rather quickly, which is always nice. Nothing like having to search for that one missing bag that is tucked away somewhere. And we even went through customs more quickly than we ever have before. Instead of talking to a customs agent who was seated inside of one of the cubicles, at several locations an agent was standing outside each cubicle, and that was where we were sent. After a quick look at our passports, we were back in the United States. It felt a little unofficial because our passports were not scanned or anything, but I did not mind since we did not have to wait long at all. Maybe going to the early breakfast seating has its advantages after all, because we apparently left before much of the crowd did.
After the quick time finding our luggage and the quick trip through customs, we got everything put in our car quickly, too. Laura and I were starting to wonder if we left something, or maybe someone, behind. But Jaylin was right there with us, and we seemed to have all of our bags. So maybe it is just that we are getting good at this cruise thing. Maybe someone would pay us to do it professionally or something. Or maybe not.
Once all of us had all of our cars packed up, we left and drove to a nearby park to have our family church service, since it was Sunday morning after all. The park that we found had some beautiful views of the Banana River, and it was nice to see the sun reflecting off the water. After we were finished with church, we took a few minutes to walk along a dock at the water’s edge, enjoying the scenery. And we also enjoyed watching a few people put their boats and jet skis into the water. That can sometimes be good entertainment, if you never have watched it before.
But then it was time to start for home. We said our goodbyes to everyone, although we knew that we would see my parents the next day after we all got home. However, we did not know when we would see the Bramletts again in the near future. We had decided to all drive on our own and not keep up with each other, so we were on our way after that. Except for us three water-drinking Burnses who stopped at the gas station across the street from the park for a bottle of water before we set out for home.
We drove to Gainesville to stop at the University of Florida, since we had not had much luck with that on our way down. And as it turns out, the bookstore was not open yet, because it does not open until noon on Sunday. So we went to have lunch at Moe’s, enjoying a nice burrito as our first meal back in the United States. Then we went back to the bookstore to look around. One of the workers there was talking to Jaylin and giving him a card for a discount, and she gave us each one as well since we were his parents. It was at that time that I realized that they were having a new student orientation weekend, and they thought that Jaylin was one of the new students. Instead of telling them that he had only just finished the 8th grade, we signed up and got our discount. Who could pass that up? Just one more time on this trip that Jaylin was mistaken for someone older. I guess he is growing up.
The rest of the trip home was uneventful, except for some rain in some places and more traffic in Alabama. Dinner was at Dairy Queen in Alabaster, Alabama. I wonder if they abbreviate the town Ala-Ala? Probably not. We were also happy to find that gas was several cents cheaper than it had been in Florida, which is always nice, even if we only have to stop a few times in our car that gets excellent gas mileage. And then it was on toward home, where we arrived around 11:45 PM.
It had been a good trip, and it was also good to be home.
So now Disney Cruise number 5 (number 3 for Jaylin) is in the books. Or on the web, I guess. If you have read all of the parts of the trip report now, I hope you get the idea that this was a good cruise. No wait, it was a great cruise. Even though the weather may not have been what we might have wished for, it was still a great time. Looking back on all of them, each Disney Cruise has been outstanding, and this one was right up there with the best of them. Of course, they were all the best, because I don’t think we could pick a favorite one from all of them.
Here are a few points to share from things that might have been a little different from our previous cruises, just in case you were wondering.
Two stops at Castaway Cay: This was our first cruise that included two Castaway Cay stops instead of one stop there and one day at sea. If you did not know, Castaway Cay is one of our favorite places in the world, because everything there always seems so perfect (if your idea of perfection is a fun tropical island, which is true for us). It was great to have more time at Castaway Cay, especially since the rain chased us off if the island both days that we were there. However, a part of me missed the day at sea. Those sea days are nice and lazy, unless you don’t want them to be lazy. But we have more time to sit on the deck in the sun, or sit on our verandah and watch the water go by, or watch a movie, or explore the ship, or eat some ice cream, or take a trip or two down the AquaDuck. On this cruise, Laura and I never made it to the AquaDuck, although Jaylin did go while we were at Junkanoo Beach in Nassau. But then we were at the beach, so that was a pretty fair trade. If I were given the choice of two Castaway Cay days or a day at sea, that would be a tough one. This time around we did not have a choice, instead just taking what was offered when we could go. And that was fine with us. If we were to go again, and I hope we do, we would be fine with either option. Because either one is fun.
More of our people: We have sailed with friends before, and it seemed a little strange not to have the Riedels with us on this cruise, since they had been with us on the previous two. But we ended up having a larger group with my parents, my sister’s family, and the Jamersons. While we did not do everything together all of the time, we still did lots of things with everyone, sometimes with one group, sometimes with another group, and once or twice with the whole group together. Having several different people to do things with was really nice, and we kept running into each other throughout the day, or we would text and let others know where we were and what we were doing, just in case anyone else wanted to join in. We talked about how much fun it would be to have an even larger group, such as a big group from our church. It is fun to dream.
Weather: Of course the Disney Cruise Line, or anyone else for that matter, cannot control the weather, so we have to take what we can get. And this time around that meant taking some rain. Yes, it did not rain every minute of every day, so that was nice. And we did not have to worry too much about getting a sunburn most of the time, so that was nice, too, although I still put on sunscreen just about every time we went outside, just to be safe. But we know well enough not to get too upset when it rains, but rather just to find something else to do that keeps us dry. It was all good, even if we were a little wet sometimes.
No Complaints: If I were looking hard enough, I could probably find a few things to complain about. But really, those would be small, insignificant things, and I would just be complaining for the sake of complaining, which does not accomplish anything at all. So instead, I will let those minor things fade from memory and remember all the good things from this trip, of which there were many, as you have probably picked up on if you have read this whole trip report. Which has now totaled over 24,000 words! Thanks for sticking with us to the end.
So to sum it all up, it was another fantastic Disney Cruise, and we are all excited about going again sometime, whenever that may be.
Thank you for reading along at the 2017 Disney Cruise trip report! Be sure to go back and check for parts you may have missed, and watch for more individual photos, too.