I woke up once again very early on what was to be our final day at sea. The first thing that was immediately noticeable when going out onto our verandah was how humid it was outside – a clear sign that we were getting closer to the Bahamas and Florida. We decided to go to Lumiere’s as it would be our last chance to have breakfast there since we would be arriving at Castaway Cay the next day and would only want something quick to eat before disembarking.
After breakfast we headed to the D Lounge early ready for the final Anyone Can Cook as we knew that it would be busy. Today was going to be the “Battle of the Chefs” challenge between Cruise Director Natalie, Hotel Director Alberto and Chef Anthony and Captain John, Assistant Cruise Director Carly and Chef Alphonoso. They had a few minutes to select any ingredients they wanted from a table in front of them before starting to cook. Halfway through the challenge, they were given some Marmite which they had to include in their dish.
Captain John’s team cooked “Surf and Turf” whilst Natalie’s cooked “Lamb, Bam, Thank You Ma’am”. Their dishes were given to a jury of three audience members to judge and Captain John was once again announced the winner. We were also all given some more treats to try including some cheese and a chocolate cake.
After going back to our stateroom, there was another sign that the cruise was nearing the end as the Welcome to Miami debarkation letter was left on the bed.
As it was nearly Midday, we went up to Deck 10 by the Cove Pool to hear the “When You Wish Upon a Star” ship horn for the last time whilst we were at sea. I still could not help but laugh at all the adults sitting with their faces scrunched up with their fingers in their ears waiting for it to sound.
It was very hot outside and the swimming pools were very busy. We had some time to kill so took the time to just stroll around Deck 10 and enjoy the views. The further away from the Cove Pool you went, the quieter it got.
As we were walking around Deck 10, we noticed that “Goofy and Max’s Boat Building Bash” had just started at the Goofy Pool so we stopped to watch for a while. The boats that had been built during the cruise had to be able to float in the pool whilst carrying the weight of a can of Coke. All the boats that we saw in the water were successful.
We did not stay for the judging of Goofy and Max’s Boat Building Bash as we headed down to Fathom’s on Deck 3 for the Q and A with Gavin Lee which was due to start at 1:00pm. I had loved his show in the Walt Disney Theatre the night before so was really looking forward to this. He spoke for quite a while about his career with lots of little anecdotes about different things along the way before answering any questions that anyone had. You could also get his autograph and a photo with him afterwards which was a nice touch.
Afterwards, we got changed and headed up to Deck 9 to get some lunch from Daisy’s De-Lites. I had some prawn wraps as well as a panini and we shared some fries from Pete’s Boiler Bites. We were lucky to find two sunloungers on Deck 10 above the Cove Pool which were thankfully under one of the shaded areas. The only downside was that it was so windy that our towels kept blowing everywhere – not a huge issue though and certainly not the end of the world like I heard some people moaning about it. We could see a storm in the distance but it did not affect us as we did not sail anywhere near it.
The roll on the ship was causing some waves in the Cove Pool which was fun so we spent some time just sitting there and chilling. This also gave me the opportunity to test my camera in the water ready for snorkelling on Castaway Cay the following day. The hot tubs had been packed all afternoon so there was no chance of using them.
On our way back to our room we noticed that the Goofy Pool was closed and drained for cleaning yet again – we saw this quite a few times. We decided to ride Twist and Spout once more as there was no line. This was also the perfect opportunity to get some photos of the AquaLab and the Nephews’ Splash Zone as the area was empty.
From the top of the stairs to the Twist and Spout, you can see the area over the top of Palo and you can see where they launch the fireworks from.
It was another beautiful evening so we took our time getting ready for dinner. The show in the Walt Disney Theatre was the “Crew Talent Show” which we did not attend – again not our thing.
It was the Captain’s Gala night onboard so the dress code for the evening was formal and I think about half of the people on the ship were dressed up. When we arrived in the lobby atrium the “Officer Ballroom Dancing” was taking place – at one point it even looked like they were line dancing. A few officers were dancing with some of the dancers from the Walt Disney Theatre who I recognised as being the ones sitting in the hot tubs out on deck at the Cove Pool all afternoon.
We were first in line and waited a few minutes on Deck 4 to meet Mickey in his formal wear. Something we both noticed though was that Mickey seemed to have shrunk in height overnight. He was a few inches shorter than he had been for the rest of the cruise even though I was wearing the same shoes that I had been on every other night. It made us laugh if nothing else.
There were no character meets on Deck 3 on this night as they were using the space to take formal portraits of people with the Helmsman Mickey statue in the background.
After a quick walk around deck, we headed to Animator’s Palate for dinner for when the restaurant opened. The previous evening, James and Jasmine had recommended to us to get there as early as possible so we would not be rushed as it was the Animation Magic dinner. I had been looking forward to this dinner for a long time since I had seen a video of the show on YouTube.
As soon as you sit down, you can start to draw your own character. You have to keep within the lines on the paper and keep the face looking forward. It also helps to make the drawing and your lines as bold as possible as they animate better – there were some characters that you could barely see on the screens. I also loved that I had a purple pen to draw mine with – my favourite colour. The drawings are collected at a certain time before your food is brought out to you hence why getting there as early as possible is good as you have more time to spend drawing your character.
The menu in Animator’s Palate for the Animation Magic dinner is limited compared to the other restaurants on that night and they take the order for everything including your dessert straight away. There was only one appetiser available which was a sampler platter of meats, fish and seafood. As I do not eat meat or fish, they brought me out a whole plate of shrimp – I definitely was not expecting so many of them. There was one soup on the menu which I did not have as there were two main courses which I wanted to order. I had the Oven Baked Lobster Tail which was heavenly and the Thai Red Pumpkin and Coconut Curry. For dessert I ordered the Decorate Your Own Cupcakes from the childrens menu which I loved.
Towards the end of the meal, Mickey appeared on the screens and as if by magic, all the drawings came to life. Even though I knew what to expect, it was absolutely brilliant. My character was the second to be brought to life and it was so cool to see it there in front of me on the screen. Once again, it was great that our table was next to a screen so we had an unobstructed view.
After the show, you are handed back your character drawing which now has an “Official Disney Animator” seal on it. I was already thinking at this point how was I going to get our drawings home as I did not want to fold them!
We took a slow walk around the ship back to our room as there was nothing else that we wanted to do. Magic Dave had an adults-only show about to start at the Walt Disney Theatre but we could not think of anything worse. I hope he’s onboard the Transatlantic cruise next September as that should mean that he will not be on our cruise on the Dream.
We had a towel swan waiting for us in the room along with our Personal Navigator for the following day and a map of Castaway Cay. As neither of us had ever been to Castaway Cay before, we both took some time to study it so we had a general idea of where everything was. We also started to get our bags ready for the morning with everything that we would need for the following day including sunscreen and our masks and snorkels.
As I’d been saving all of our towel animals since the start of the cruise (sadly I could not save the blanket ones – they fell apart as soon as you moved the blanket as well as the blanket being needed for the bed each day), I took the opportunity to get some photos of our “Towel Zoo” as I knew we would be busy packing on the last night. This photo just makes me smile whenever I see it and I’m so grateful to Claudine our stateroom host for making them all for us.
Looking at the map on the television that night felt strange. After a week crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we were nearly at Castaway Cay and the cruise was almost over. At the time, it had felt like those days had gone by really slowly but looking back now, they went by stupidly quickly. I was also keeping my fingers crossed that neither of us would feel any of the land sickness the following day which we had both suffered from after our last cruise especially as we had been at sea all week.
Before this cruise, I had never spent so much time in one place on holiday, so all day I had started to get itchy feet and I could not wait for dry land the following morning.