We are starting the cruise with two sea days and Rocky and I couldn’t be happier. They are featuring a Star Wars movie each day of the cruise. We are headed out to the pool this morning and going to catch Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back this afternoon. A little more ship exploring is on tap as well. Tonight is formal night and we visit Animator’s Palate for dinner.
We slept in this morning and missed breakfast. Hey, we are on vacation. We put on our swimsuits, lots of sunscreen, and coverups and headed up to deck 11 for the buffet and pools. It was unbelievably full. You could not see any water in the pool or hot tubs, just children’s heads bobbing up and down. I am not sure any of the children had the space to swim. The Funnel Vision, the large outdoor movie screen, was showing Disney movies and most of the eyes were glued to it. The adults-only pool, with chairs mostly in shaded areas, was equally crowded. We decided to try some of the inside games on the ship.
On this Disney cruise, people really went for the group games, whether for children or adults only. Rocky checked out the Movie Quotes Trivia and was on the second place team, losing by only one point. He said it was a little frustrating because they picked really obscure quotes. Also popular with the adults, were the wine and alcohol tastings (there is a fee for these). All of our table mates were participating in at least one tasting.
The speciality restaurants, for which there is also a fee, only operate in the evenings. This afternoon the doors were open, so I popped over to see the menus and what the rooms looked like. We tried Palo, an Italian restaurant which is also on the Wonder, on our last Disney cruise. It is very good. We considered the other option, Remy, a French restaurant. The menu at Remy is fixed and not all the items interested us so we decided to skip booking a speciality restaurant. One of the couples from our table are going to Remy tonight to celebrate her birthday, so we will get the lowdown from Erika and Nick. Both speciality restaurants are small so you might want to book before you go. However, we like to find out what our dining rotation is and what night is formal night before we book, so we waited to check it out on the ship.
With the pool crowded, we decided to see a Star Wars movie in the afternoon. Next it was back to get dressed for formal night and the first of three big stage shows in the Walt Disney Theater. The Musical Aladdin was presented. It was very well done. Next Rocky and I had to work in our pictures in Formal Attire.
Tonight’s dining is in Animator’s Palate. Gone were the wonderful screens from the Wonder where the picture slowly gains more color. We had a show by Crush from Finding Nemo. Both Laura and I were of the opinion that we like the Wonder’s version of this restaurant better. They did have great chairs though. However, the highlight of the evening was Crush’s direct interaction with our table. He is on screen, but spoke directly to us and replied with facial expressions appropriate to his comments much like the characters do at the Monster’s Inc. presentation in the Magic Kingdom. They use cameras and actors with facial monitors.
Laura and Kyle were on their honeymoon and Laura’s dad had booked their cruise through the Disney Vacation Club. Dad had let them know about the occasion and apparently it had been passed on to Crush who insisted that Kyle stand and sing to Laura in “whale”. Kyle was a good sport and it was hysterical.
After dinner, we went down to the Europa area of the ship reserved for adults after 9 pm. There are a series of uniquely themed bars. At last night’s introductory show we saw a comedian juggler who is doing an adults-only show tonight. He was performing in The Tube, named for the London underground system (in the USA we call them subways). The theme was well carried out in the signage to the Union Jack in colored lights on the ceiling. This venue is also the dance club. We enjoyed Michael Holly’s tightrope walking and juggling. At the end they kicked us out because so many people wanted to come in and play the next game. You did have the option to keep your seat if you wanted to participate. Having missed the pool today, that is definitely on the agenda for tomorrow. I want to tackle that AquaDuck.
So we slept in again. Vacation and we lost an hour on the time change. No breakfast, but we got an early lunch before heading to see Dr. Strange in 3D in the Buena Vista Theater. After the movie we went straight to the Duck. It was overcast and threatening rain so the crowds were a little thinner on the pool deck. I have to say I was a little nervous. There are high winds today so you are required to ride in pairs. That is ok with me; I prefer to ride with Rocky. The wait was shorter today. Lots of parents riding with their children. At least no one filmed me rolling into the tube.
I did it and it was great fun. Rocky and I toweled off and made a potty stop. I told you I was nervous. They were doing a Moana Sing Along in the Walt Disney Theater and lots of the children were otherwise occupied. It was raining by now, the line had gotten really short, and so we just looked at each other and knew it was time to ride again. Awesome. Natasha’s tip for day: Ride the AquaDuck while it is raining and enjoy the short lines. Then ride it again, and again, and again.
With a great sense of accomplishment we headed inside to check out the characters in the Atrium and get showers in preparation for tonight’s second big show, Wishes. The theme of Wishes is moving on with your life while still embracing the things that bring you joy. It centers around three high school seniors who met at Disneyland as children on the occasion of their last trip to the park before high school graduation. They learn lots of lessons along the way from Disney Characters preforming popular songs from Disney Movies. I would rate this show as not to be missed.
Afterwards was dinner in The Enchanted Garden, the last of the three main dining rooms. The theme is carried out through the illusion of a glass conservatory where day turns to night as the colors change and the “light bulbs” open as a flower would. I like this restaurant very much. Occasionally, buffets are also served here. We got the Remy report from Erika and Nick, who enjoyed it very much. Full, Erika made the mistake of ordering nothing for dessert.
Tomorrow we have an early excursion (7:30) and we have overslept each morning. That means we should go to bed early. Instead we went to the 10:30 pm showing of Episode 6: Return of the Jedi and set an alarm for the next morning. Embrace the opportunity!