A great phenomenon that I noticed throughout the voyage across the Atlantic was that as the days went by and I was interacting with more people on the cruise, my notes became less plentiful. Luckily though, I think this only served to ensure I’d forget trivial details and could focus on the more memorable events of the cruise.
A Salute to Zoran and Noel and my Dinnermates
As I’m coming up on one of our last dinners with the gang I thought now is the right time to express my gratitudes to our waiters, Zoran and Noel, and my dinnermates for making the cruise a memorable experience. About a week ago, I wrote a post on the joys of solo dining in hopes of convincing the blog reading population that it isn’t the worst experience in the world and there’s no reason to feel bad for us solo diners. I definitely stand by my words but I definitely thoroughly enjoy breaking bread with others when I have the opportunity. My dinnermates were a testament to this.
I believe I mentioned earlier on in the Disney posts that one of my fears for the cruise was being stuck with a family whose matriarch would ask me passive-aggressive questions as to why I was traveling alone. Luckily that was not the case and instead I was placed with four fun and non-threatening couples. I had a wonderful time with all of them and I was delighted at how quickly we developed a sense of community. There was the concern that one night I didn’t show up for dinner due to oversleeping and then we all got together for a night of Disney pub quiz. I miss pub quiz back in Amsterdam where I was adopted by the one and only, Cat on a Leash. We never won while I was on the team, but we did win a couple rounds of free drinks, which of course is the better prize! But here on the Disney ship, I felt that being an experienced pub quizzer, I would be able to contribute to the team. Obviously, this was not the case as I think all of the questions were Disney themed. Duh! Still I think I played the role of trying to disparage other teams to the benefit of my own.
Then there was our deep loyalty to our waiters Zoran and Noel. Yes it was their job to ensure we had a pleasant dining experience but still, you do develop a connection with your waiters after spending 14 days with them and for me, more so because I’m naturally emotional when it comes to food. I remember the day I came to dinner after oversleeping and Zoran was missing. I was told he slipped in the kitchen and hurt his back. I remember feeling uncomfortably emotional about all of this, thinking about how something so terrible could happen to such a nice man. I talked myself off the ledge though in time to join in the conversation about Zoran’s birthday that was coming up on the last day of the cruise. We decided that as a table we should do something for Zoran. I think at first our plans were a bit too grandiose – we had ideas of doing a whole show and dance to celebrate and express our gratitudes to our waiter – but in the end we had a nice dessert and sang happy birthday. It was sweet and pleasant. I still like to think that of all the tables Zoran and Noel had, we were the best.
Oh boy, for those of you like me who aren’t down with your Bahamian pronunciation of words, please make sure you pronounce it “key” and not “cay” lest you dare provoke an indignant remark from the hardcore Disney fan base. This was one of the Disney things that got on my nerves but I quickly solved this problem by referring to the conglomerate owned island as the “Double C”. For those of you who do not already know, Double C is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas where all of the Disney cruises dock at some point during the cruise. Being that it was Disney’s private island, I have to confess something. For maybe a couple of days, I really did think that the island was man-made and thus, shaped to look like Mickey from above. I mean, considering how crazy these people are about spreading their brand, I don’t think it was an entirely unreasonable thought. Lo and behold, it was just an ordinarily shaped island with Disney fixtures.
Still feeling my Dutch roots, I decided to start the day off by renting a bike to go on a leisurely journey around the island. This was underwhelming. I think I finished the circuit, all on paved roads, in about 30 minutes which included time to climb up a tower to see views of the entire island. I had in my mind that it would be a little more rustic and hence more challenging. I turned the bike back in and joined Harry, Sandra, Jack and Claire on the adult beach. Again, I was underwhelmed by the beach as it was a little too calm for my liking. I first had to walk, not swim, out about 100 meters before being able to float and even there the water was eerily still. After this, I went back to dry land and decided to be a creeper. The private crew beach for Disney employees only was right next to ours and I thought it be a worthwhile use of my time to test the zoom on my camera and see if there were any hotties playing volleyball or something. Sadly, the closest I’ve been to infiltrating the ranks of the crew was some first degree flirting with an agreeable guy at the bike rental shop. He said, “Oh I saw you earlier on in the cruise and was wondering about you.” I smiled and nodded in that way you do when you’re holding back your inner monologue, which at the moment was saying, “YOU IDIOT!!!”
Later on in the afternoon, I met up with Ben and Jerry and Laura, one of my dinnermates. I felt like we were all kids again as we went racing to get in on the waterslide action. I can’t remember the last time I went to a waterpark and went on the waterslides so for me, this was a dream. I absolutely love waterslides and today’s jaunt re-inspired my goal of writing a travel guide on the Top 10 Waterparks in the World.
I forgot how or why, but after the waterslides and after lunch I found myself wandering the island alone again. I think I wanted to try to send a postcard to one of my nieces but I got stuck at a bar, which I mean in the most innocent of ways. It started to rain and not having my rain gear on me, I sought refuge under the cabana of a bar. After a rather foolish assessment, I decided to wrap myself in the beach towel and run to the ship. Naturally, when I made it to the halfway point, the rain really starting pouring and soon found myself at the entrance of the ship with other drenched passengers wondering how the hell I would get my huge terry cloth towel dry before having to pack it later this evening. Of course, all of the dryers were full so I spent the rest of the afternoon wringing my towel out in the tub. I became slightly depressed when I started thinking that this was a fitting way for nature to tell me that the vacation was over.
The Disney Files
- Day 1 – Introduction & Barcelona
- Day 2 – At Sea
- Day 3 – Gibraltar
- Day 4 – At Sea
- Day 5 – Funchal, Madeira
- Day 6 – At Sea
- Day 7 – At Sea
- Days 8,9,10 – At Sea
- Day 11 – St. Maarten
- Day 12 – Tortola
- Day 15 – The End