On this morning I woke up after an amazing sleep and feeling incredibly grateful for that extra hour in bed due to the first of many time changes of the cruise. Thankfully and much to my relief, I was still okay after feeling unwell the previous day. As our Character Breakfast wasn’t due to start until 9:00am, it felt great just to be able to take it easy and chill in the room until we needed to get ready.
After getting ready, we headed down to Animator’s Palate. As it wasn’t quite time for breakfast at this point, we did our usual and walked a couple of laps of Deck 4. It always amazed me how quiet Deck 4 could be at times but I really enjoyed walking out there – I did intend on going to the gym a few times whilst on the cruise (I even packed my gym kit) but never used it as I preferred the fresh air whilst walking outside so much more. If you want to enjoy all the food that you can whilst cruising then walking is fantastic and doesn’t require a whole lot of energy – plus just looking out at the sea made you feel happy. Another great thing to do is to use the stairs as much as possible and avoid the elevators – the amount of people I saw using the elevators to go down one floor whilst holding a giant plate of food was incredible. We both managed to enjoy eleven days of amazing food and not put any weight on which proves it can be done without much effort and without resorting to the gym.
At 9:00am we headed back to Animator’s Palate for our character breakfast. I didn’t realise it until we sat down, but we were seated at a table for six with another couple. Despite my fears of sitting with other people, I shrugged it off as it was only one breakfast – we were sat one end of the table and they were sat at the other end. I ordered some tea and was just about ready to make some conversation with them when another man who will henceforth be known as “Random Man” sat down between us and did not say a single word. This pretty much killed any form of conversation dead as not only did he not say anything at all, I didn’t want to be rude and talk past him even after he tried to steal my tea when it arrived. It was also incredibly difficult to talk to my boyfriend about anything as Random Man was just sat there listening to everything.
During our breakfast we were visited by Minnie, Mickey, Pluto and Goofy – not as many characters as on our previous Character Breakfast on the Disney Wonder and it felt even more rushed than normal. Unfortunately Random Man just sat there and didn’t get out of the way for any of my photos (I made a conscious effort to stand up and move out of the way for his though) so he ended up in every single picture of mine and it has been impossible to crop him out of them so I have ended up deleting all my photos from the character breakfast which makes me sad and a little bit annoyed. Thankfully as it was such a long cruise, there were so many other opportunities to get photos but I would have been upset if the character breakfast had been our only chance. I also would not bother to do another character breakfast after this one. It amazed me how packed the restaurant was and how rushed the whole thing was especially as we had another six sea days still to go – why limit it to just one morning?
Our first task after breakfast was to do our first load of laundry as we were running out of clean clothes since leaving home five days beforehand. Thankfully there was a laundry room just down the corridor from us on Deck 7 so we didn’t need to go far. I also used this time to telephone maintenance as we had a really noisy annoying squeak coming from behind the wall between our bed and the bathroom in our stateroom. The Deck Manager arrived shortly after to inspect and got one of the maintenance men to hammer a few little wooden wedges between the walls and the ceiling. As is typical though, the squeak wasn’t as noisy as what it had been when they arrived – it was a lot more noticeable when the ship was travelling fast.
Next on our agenda was Anyone Can Cook. I was really looking forward to this as they were going to be making Lobster Ravioli – even typing those words makes my mouth water. It was a lot busier in the D Lounge than it had been the day before but we managed to get a table near the back. Chef Charles showed us how to make it before we got to taste it and it was heavenly – I could have eaten a whole plate. We were also given a glass of wine but unfortunately it wasn’t good as it was a Chardonnay – not a fan at all. What I did love about Anyone Can Cook was that they handed out a recipe card for everything they made – I can’t wait to make some ravioli!
Once Anyone Can Cook was over, we headed back up to our room to collect our pool stuff and head up to Decks 9 and 10 for the afternoon. There were no chairs or sun loungers by the Cove Pool (there rarely was) but plenty of space by the Goofy Pool. I grabbed my camera and headed back to the Cove Pool as I wanted to record the ship horn which they play at Midday on every sea day. After the horn sounded, Captain John made his daily announcement to keep us up to date with our progress as well as letting us know that our following day in Funchal had been extended – we would now be leaving at 4:45pm instead of the original 1:45pm that had been scheduled. This was great news as even though we didn’t have too much planned in Funchal, it now meant we could take our time a little more and not rush as much as we originally planned.
As it was such a beautiful day, I took a little walk around the front of Decks 9 and 10 to get some photos. There was no one else in the area and the peace and quiet was amazing. After heading back to my chair by the Goofy Pool, they were setting up for something called “Fun in the Sun” on the stage. I checked the Personal Navigator but there wasn’t much mentioned about it but it was not included in the “Character” section. Not long after the Cruise Host started shouting into the microphone – that signal meant it was time to move. Thankfully I noticed that two sun loungers in the covered area by the Cove Pool were now free so we grabbed those for the rest of the afternoon. “Fun in the Sun” turned out to be a character dance party – oh well but we really didn’t miss anything though as they used the same music for each of the three dance parties whilst on the cruise.
At this point there was only one thing for us both to do – and that was to ride the Aquadunk. We had walked past it so many times since boarding that we knew we had to do it. Thankfully there was never a line for it throughout our whole cruise – I could imagine it being busier though depending on the itinerary and how many children there are onboard.
To say that I was mildly terrified when it was my turn would be an understatement. I love waterslides but it was that first drop that was making me nervous. Years ago I had been on a waterslide in Portugal where they kept teasing you for ages as to when they were going to press the button to let you go which I had hated so that’s all I could think about. Thankfully as soon as the door closes and you’re looking out on the most beautiful view of the sea around you, the countdown starts straight away. The floor disappears as soon as Huey, Dewie and Louie shout 3,2,1 and before you know it you’re safely back on Deck 10. It feels like you don’t even touch the slide for the first few seconds as you’re just falling and you can’t see outside of the slide so you have no idea that you’re over the side of the ship but it’s great fun and highly recommended. The second time was definitely less scary as you knew what to expect so you could definitely enjoy it more. As an added bonus whilst I was on the Aquadunk the music playing on the deck was “When Will I See you Again” from the Paint the Night parade which made me smile.
After going on the Aquadunk I grabbed my camera to get some photos as on the way up I had noticed so many little details like Huey, Dewie and Louie’s original blueprints for the slide which were hysterically funny as well as the duck footprints leading up the stairs. But the view from the top of the stack of the Disney Magic in the sunlight was incredible and definitely worth going up there to see even if you don’t want to go on the slide itself.
Now it was definitely time for a chilled afternoon. After getting a few slices of pizza to share, we headed back to our sunloungers with our food and some cold drinks. Thankfully our sunloungers were mostly in the shade – only our legs were in the sun. Even though it was only our second full day onboard, the amount of sunburn on display was already pretty bad. Some people were sitting in the sun all day from early in the morning until dinner time without a break and their sunburn looked painful. My favourite sight though was a man sunbathing whilst still wearing his Castaway Club lanyard – he somehow felt the need that he had to show off that Platinum status as much as he could. I hate to think of the weird suntan mark on his chest that it left. Seriously put your lanyard away, no one cares what status you have – it’s just showing off, nothing more.
I saw on the Personal Navigator that there was an ice carving demonstration taking place on the pool stage so went to check it out. It was pretty impressive how quickly he carved the eagle but it seriously was a race against time before the ice melted as it was so hot that day.
We spent the rest of the afternoon on those sunloungers and after several dips in the pool and some time spent reading as well as writing the first two days of this blog, we headed back to our room to chill with a cup of tea before dinner. The show that night in the Walt Disney Theatre was the Beatlemaniacs which neither of us wanted to see – I sense a pattern forming here – so we were able just to sit on the balcony for ages and enjoy the view outside.
After getting ready we headed down to the lobby atrium as Chip and Dale were out for photos. I don’t think I will ever tire of watching Chip and Dale as they are the characters that can cause the most mischief when out and about. Their dance moves in particular to the music in the background were amazing. Not long after we got our photos, they opened the doors to Lumiere’s so we could go and sit down ready for dinner.
The menu in Lumiere’s was the standard rotational French Dinner with several of the items the same as on the Disney Wonder Triton’s menu. I ordered an Imperial Illusion cocktail followed by the Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp and the Breaded and Deep Fried Brie which was one of my favourite menu items on the whole cruise. Resisting the temptation to order another Brie, I had the Conchiglie Pasta for my main course followed by the Raspberry Mousse Slice for dessert.
After our desserts had been served, Belle and the Beast arrived for what seemed a blink and you’ll miss it appearance. A lot of people had already eaten and left the restaurant at this point – they didn’t miss much.
After dinner, I finally got to meet First Mate Minnie. I never got to meet her in her sailor costume when we went to Alaska as she didn’t make any appearances in that costume apart from ‘Til We Meet Again on the last night so in theory, I had waited two years for this one photo. I got some amazing pictures and shortly after Captain Mickey arrived to take over. We saw that Goofy was due out shortly on Deck 4 so we waited to meet him and I’m so glad we did as it was obvious that one of Goofy’s friends that we had chatted to a couple of times recognised us. The few minutes with Goofy were hysterically funny and the photos turned out pretty high on the scale of epicness. Once again the character meet and greets late at night were great for being able to get good photos and definitely less crowded than earlier in the evening.
There was nothing we wanted to watch on Funnelvision that night so as we had an early start ahead of us, we decided to head back to our room and get ready for our day in Funchal. That night we had a seal made from the blanket greeting us along with the next day’s Personal Navigator.
After getting everything ready for the next day including digging our passports and wallets back out of the safe as well as making sure all of our camera batteries were charged, we grabbed a cup of tea from Deck 9 before enjoying the most wonderful view from our balcony of lots of stars across a beautiful sky over the sea – sadly no photo would ever do that justice.
I was really looking forward to arriving in Funchal the next morning as it was somewhere I had never visited before and was also looking forward to our one day back on land before our six straight days at sea.