We went on a Disney Cruise just before Christmas in December 2018 with our friends the Riedels. See more about it at the 2018 Christmas Disney Cruise page. Last time around, we had enjoyed a fun morning in Nassau and were headed back to the ship…
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 (Continued)
Back on board, we made a quick trip back to our rooms to drop off our things, and then we headed up to Flo’s on Deck 10 for lunch. I always have a difficult time deciding between pizza and a hamburger from there, so this time around I chose a hamburger. It was good as always, and I didn’t feel like I had missed out by not getting pizza. Although the pizza would have been good, too.
Next, Laura and Karen had decided to go to a craft time to make some sort of Christmas craft, so off they went to that. The kids wanted a dessert, so we went into Cabanas so that they could get one. They made their selections, and we went to the outside seating area to enjoy the view while they ate. It was still warm out, but it was almost cool in the shade. No complaints at all about that kind of weather.
The kids then decided that they wanted to play basketball, so we went upstairs to the sports deck. I stayed around for a few minutes, but then I left Brant and the kids to go walk around the upper levels of the ship for a few minutes on a photo tour.
My walk took me all the way around the top decks, including to the Satellite Falls adults-only area. Similar to the Serenity Bay beach on Castaway Cay, this area is always amazingly quiet, and this day was no exception. I think many people that I walked past were either asleep or really close to it. Nothing wrong with that. If you can relax on vacation, I say go for it. And these people were. I checked out the view from the front of the ship, because that is there in the adults area, too. As I walked around, I also had several good views of the ships next to us. It is always interesting to see how the other ships compare to the one that we are on, and it is always interesting to see how many people are looking at me as I am looking at them.
After I had finished my rounds, I went back to the basketball area, where Brant and the kids were still shooting hoops. I took a few shots myself, just to join in with the group for a while. But they were wearing down from that, so we went to catch up with Laura and Karen.
Once we found them, they were in our rooms, and then we met up in the Walt Disney Theatre lobby to have our photo taken with Santa Claus. While we were waiting, they showed us what all they had been up to. Their craft was to make small paper figures of Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa Claus. They had three-dimensional bodies that would just fit on the end of your finger. So while they might not have been intended as finger puppets, they made them that way. They then went around and took pictures of their Mickeys all over the ship, and a crew member even got in the act of helping them find fun locations. It sounded like they had a great time.
Meanwhile, the crew member in charge of the line came to tell us that the photographer was not there yet, but they were going to go ahead and let everyone talk to Santa, since they were already behind schedule. They would even take your picture for you with your camera or phone, which was actually true for all of the character greetings. That crew member urged us to stand in line close to the wall to keep the hallway clear, and he said that was practice for meeting Captain Jack Sparrow later on. Hmm, how might he be involved in that one, I wonder?
As we were getting close, the same crew member was having everyone sign the Naughty or Nice list, hoping that everyone’s name would be on the Nice list. When we got close, he saw Jaylin’s shirt, which had Ant-Man resting on a popsicle stick. He told us that some of the first cruises of his contract included the Marvel Day at Sea, and he was listing all of the characters that were involved in that. Laura said, “You mean like the actors who play them in the movies?” The guy said, “What do you think this is, a Carnival Cruise? No, the real, live characters! Those aren’t actors! I’m putting you on the Naughty List for that! What is your name?” Karen replied, “She is Laura. L-A-U-R-A.” And he wrote her name down, as we were all getting a good laugh out of that. After that fun, Santa Claus was almost a let-down, but not really. He was quite jolly and jovial, as you would expect Santa to be. We chatted with him briefly and then got our photo taken with him before moving on so that the next people could have their turn.
We then went to our rooms to shower and change for the nighttime festivities. As is usual for the third night of the cruise, this night was Pirate Night. Karen had gotten us all special Pirate Mickey Christmas shirts to wear. Actually, the girls’ shirts were Pirate Minnie, not Mickey. But we all matched once we had changed, and we used our pirate bandanas that had been left in our rooms, too. I tied mine around my head, while Katie tied Laura’s in a bow to go on Laura’s Mickey Santa hat.
The show that night was actually a movie, and we all decided not to see it. So that left us some time to go do other things. Even though we had just had our photo taken with Mickey Mouse the night before, we went to see him again, because this time he was in his pirate costume. It is always fun to see his different costumes.
We then headed to the lounge to have our photo taken with Captain Jack Sparrow. He usually just has a short 15 minute window instead of the typical 30 minute time, so we got there a little early just to be sure we were in the line. We actually got there as they were finishing up something else in the lounge, so we had to wait out in the hall for just a few minutes, but we were not the only ones. Soon, Captain Jack arrived, and as always he was quite friendly with the crowd. When it was the Riedels’ turn, he kept swapping them around for their photo pose until Brant and Zach were on the ends, and then he had them move to the sides, leaving him with just Karen and Katie. But he did eventually let the guys come back for a photo. When it was our turn, he looked at Laura and said, “I think this is the real captain of this crew!” But no mention of the Naughty List. As we always do, we got a photo with the whole group, as well as our individual families.
We went outside to watch as the ship left the port. I was hoping to get a good photo of the lighthouse in the evening because we have not ever left in the early evening before. It was a little more tricky than I had thought, but overall I was happy with what I got. It was also cool to see the lights of the city of Nassau as we left, even if we could not see the Christmas lights that we had seen earlier.
It was then time for another craft, and this one was to be a pirate craft. So I decided to go along with Laura and Karen this time, as did Katie. The craft was making a paper parrot. We were given a piece of construction paper with the parrot on it, and then we could get foam shapes, markers, and construction paper to decorate our parrot however we wanted. I used some foam shapes to make feathers for my parrot’s chest, and then I decided to cut out a captain’s hat for him from the leftover paper. Laura had tried to make a Santa hat for her parrot but was not having much luck, so I cut out a Santa hat for her to use. We had lots of fun making our parrots unique, and they were a nice addition to our pirate garb and ended up in several of our later photos, too.
We took some family photos in front of the Christmas tree in the Lobby Atrium, because we had on our matching Pirate Mickey Christmas shirts. We had to wait our turn to use the tree as a backdrop, because some others apparently had the same idea as us, although they did not have cool matching shirts like we had.
There was still a little time left before our dinner, so we went out on the Deck 4 Promenade again to pass the time. Shuffleboard was played, and Laura and I even played a game, which we usually do not do. You can’t let the kids have all the fun, after all.
Dinner was once again in Royal Palace, the same as the night before, except that this time around there was a different menu for Pirate Night. This was the first time in many years that we had not been in Animator’s Palate for Pirate Night, but the menu is the same at all of the restaurants on that night, so it does not really matter. And it is always fun to see the servers in their pirate attire.
Actually, the Pirate Night menu is always my least favorite of the dinner menus. Not that any of it is bad or anything. I just never find things that I like on that menu as much as the other nights. However, I really enjoyed the crab cake appetizer, so that moved the Pirate Night menu up a little bit, and the cornbread was as good as always. I got a salad and veggie stir fry, just for something different. Dessert was fruit cobbler, which was also quite good. Maybe next time I will try the jerk chicken like several others in our group had, because they all said it was good.
We ran back to our rooms for just a minute so that I could get my tripod for my camera. There we found an, um, island guy made from the bed blanket. I guess that is what he was. He looked pretty cool, especially with Jaylin’s sunglasses on. Really creative, and different from the monkey hanging from the ceiling that we often get.
We then went up to Deck 11 for the Pirate Night show and fireworks. A crowd was already building when we got up there, but I found a place from where I thought we could see the fireworks pretty well. We couldn’t see the stage much, but we knew from previous experience that the show is not our favorite part of the evening.
This time around, the show was different from what we had seen before. Instead of pirates having a magic gauntlet and Captain Jack having to get it from them, the pirates sang songs using suggestions from the audience. When Captain Jack did come out, he did not slide down the zipline like usual. He just walked out and joined the pirates. The exchanged some lines, and then Captain Jack said, “Let’s end this night with a bang,” which was the cue for the fireworks to start. While the old show as not our favorite, it was at least a little more exciting. But we were there more for the fireworks than the show anyway.
As usual, the fireworks were excellent. There is nothing quite like fireworks at sea, in my opinion. And as usual, I took as many photos as I could. Several of them look like the photos from our previous cruise, so maybe it is time to find a new fireworks viewing area. Especially since we know we don’t care all that much for the show.
During the Pirate Night meal, the dinner servers always push the buffet after the fireworks. But after our meal, we are always so full that we do not have any room at all for the buffet. So once again, we skipped it as we always do. Instead, we enjoyed our nightly walk before heading back to our rooms.
It had been another fun day. Not too busy, but just the right kind of busy for a fun vacation. We once again slept well, looking forward to our upcoming day at sea.
Up next is a day at sea!. Check back soon for the next part of the 2018 Christmas Disney Cruise trip report!