Thursday, June 4, 2015

Picture of the Week - 6/4/2015

This time last week we were enjoying a day at sea on our way from St. Thomas to Castaway Cay.  How is it possible that it's only been a week, but feels like it's been months?  I miss vacation.  I especially miss this particular vacation filled with delicious food and fun activities and many, many laughs.

So here's a recap of our Disney Cruise on the Fantasy.  (It's a wordy one...)

Friday 5/22
We started the day dropping off the dogs and heading to the 5th grade graduation ceremony celebrating Quinn's completion of elementary school.  Hard to believe he's heading off to middle school next year!

After that was over we packed everyone van and headed south.  We had a nice, uneventful drive and arrived in Ocala in time for dinner.  After dinner we hit the pool and the boys all swam like little fish until well past dark.  Zane and Beckett both decided that this was the week they were going to learn to put their faces underwater.  I think this means we are going to have LOTS of fun at the pool this year!

Beck is ready for some swimming and the boys having fun.  Someday Spencer will regret the goofy faces he made this whole trip

Saturday 5/23
We drove the remaining couple of hours to the port, got parked, and headed to the Fantasy in the little shuttle van.  The boys were almost as excited as I was!

Did I mention we brought Berber and Pappy?

We only waited a short time (during which Beck was a crazy man and kinda made us want to leave him behind) before boarding the ship.  We headed to lunch and had a nice introduction to Cabanas.

After lunch we headed to the kids club to look around and get the boys all registered for the week.  They had a blast exploring the different rooms in the club.  The Disney touch was everywhere!!!  You aren't allowed into the kids areas unless it's an open house.  It was fun to check out the space while we were in there!  The Oceaneers areas for kids ages 3-12 were SOOOO cool!!!

How adorable is this bathroom?  I love the Mickey mirrors

Quinn supervising Beck in the submarine
Beck playing in the Toy Story room - that structure in the front is a giant slinky dog the kids can climb through!

I love this picture - partly because I happen to know I had exactly a tenth of a second to take it before he took off running again

After leaving the Oceaneers areas we went to check out the Edge.  This is an area just for kids ages 11-14.  It would soon be known as Quinn's home away from home.  I don't have any pictures of the Edge, but it was a really nice area up high on the ship with a great view of the pools.  Think Techno-cool and you probably have a good idea of this area.  

Around this time we were able to get into our rooms.  I'm kicking myself for not taking any pictures of the rooms because they were pretty cool.  We had 2 connecting Deluxe Family Oceanview rooms with verandas.  They were bigger than other rooms I'd been in - by a noticeable difference - and with the door opened between the rooms, it was a really nice retreat from the busy ship.  We were also able to open the partition between the 2 verandas, making a VERY nice place to hang out in the early morning, afternoons, evenings, etc.  We loved our veranda!

Sunrise from the veranda - nice!

After checking out the rooms we quickly changed the little boys into bathing suits and they hit the Mickey pool.  It was CRAZY busy, but they had a blast!

 After the swimming break we had to go to the mandatory safety drill.  This was mostly just boring...  they always are.  But it did give me a chance to grab a picture that I NEEDED to recreate on this trip.  Check this out!

This is Spencer and Quinn in 2007
And then Zane and Beckett in 2015 :)

Here are some more pictures from the safety drill.

Beckett was very sleepy and ended up napping on Bob.  Yep, Spence wore those aviators all the time

Me and my big boys - yes, Spencer is that much taller than me now

Zane making a funny face


After the safety drill we spent some time unpacking and relaxing before we headed to our first dinner.  The first dinner was at the Enchanted Garden.  The food on this cruise was SO good.  It was markedly better than other cruises we've been on.  There were, of course, favorites throughout the week and meals that weren't as awesome, but overall Disney wins the food comparison.

Phew!  Saturday was a big day!!!

Sunday 5/24
This was a Sea Day for us.  We had awesome weather!!  And the whole day to hang out and play.  We started the day with some breakfast at Cabanas and then my mom and I took the little boys to the kids club for an open house activity.  It was nearly deserted!  They ran around and played a bit and then got to solve some puzzles with Donald, Minnie and Mickey.  It was literally just my 2 kids and 1 other little girl.  Pretty cool!!  (Even if the boys got super shy - especially with Mickey.  I could NOT convince them to get a picture with Mickey.  Goofy kids!)

After some lunch, the big boys and I went to a vegetable race.  LOL  Only on a cruise would I spend free time carving up a potato and carrot to make a car.  We had lots of fun - and came in 3rd.  :)

Spencer and Quinn relaxing after our big race in the Tube

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pools and slides enjoying the beautiful weather.  Being on vacation is AWESOME!

Beautiful Zane

We got to celebrate our anniversary during the trip.  What a great way to celebrate 18 crazy years together!!

Monday 5/25
Monday was another at Sea day.  

Not a bad place to have some breakfast!

We played some mini golf

Beckett was in a MOOD and wouldn't pose for pictures.  Being off his schedule and not getting enough sleep really got to him from time to time.  He slept through one dinner and was pretty difficult to handle through several of them.  3 and a half is a tough age.  It's good he's cute (which you can't even see because he wouldn't take a picture...  sigh...)

Hey - there's my cute parents again!

Tuesday 5/26
Tuesday was our first port day.  We arrived at St. Maarten with a rainbow in the background.  Gorgeous!  We had already decided that we weren't going to get off the boat at this port.  We, instead, enjoyed a VERY quiet boat for the day.  Heaven!  


The boys rode the Mickey slide and swam in the Mickey pool all day.  They had a blast.  

As you can probably tell, they were the only ones riding for a long time.  Beckett wore himself OUT on this slide.  They probably rode it a hundred times!

Cool guy

For dinner this day, the adults indulged in an adults-only dinner at Palo.  Delish!  It was really fun to get to "go out" knowing that my kids were having a good time.  Spencer ate dinner by himself with our wait team in Enchanted Garden.  He said his favorite thing about the cruise was the food.  

We started our meal with fancy drinks.  The yellow one is maybe my all time favorite drink!  It was just like I remembered it from our last Disney Cruise in 2008.

Berber and Pappy

Kara and Bob

Tuesday night was also pirate night.  The little guys had fun dressing up and got to do some fun pirate activities at the kids club.  You can tell that Beck didn't have any fun at all.

Wednesday 5/27
On Wednesday we got off the boat at St. Thomas and went to Magen's Bay.  If you ever get a chance to go to Magen's Bay, do it!  Gorgeous!!!  We chose it because I had read that it was very calm waters and was a big bay.  Both were accurate.  When I asked the boys what was their favorite part of the trip, Beckett says it was playing at the beach.  It's hard to argue with him!
Another sunrise from our veranda.  Sitting out there with coffee (room service rocks) before the boys woke up was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

This is Magen's Bay.  So peaceful - and we had the place practically to ourselves for the first couple of hours.


The water was so clear you could see all the way to the bottom!

Playing in the sun and sand and sea all day is exhausting!

After returning back to the boat and relaxing some, we decided to head out to explore the ship a bit before dinner.  There was a very pretty view out the port holes along deck 4 and we had a blast just chilling out in this quiet spot on ship.  I also took advantage of a relatively cooperative group of kids and took a bunch of pictures.

This is the view from the top of the ship at St. Thomas

This picture pretty much cracks me up

For dinner this day we decided we were just going to go to Cabanas for a more relaxing meal.  We aren't used to eating 4 course meals every day and we needed a break!  Also, no one wanted to force the little boys to go sit through another long dinner.  So Bob volunteered for some Bucky time and ate from the counter service places - which are actually quite good themselves.  

Mom and Quinn at a really chill dinner at Cabanas

Thursday 5/28
This was another sea day for us.  It appears that I didn't take a single picture all day long.  How does that happen???  I guess we were too busy relaxing and enjoying ourselves!  

That evening was our dinner show at Animator's Palette.  This was SO cool!  At the beginning of the meal we all had to color in these stick-figure guys.  We could do whatever we wanted to this little men, then we turned them in.  During dinner there were all kinds of cartoons on the big screens to keep the kids entertained.  And then at the end of dinner they had turned all the stick guys into a cartoon.  It was SO cool!  Hard to explain, but VERY fun!  

Fun at dinner in Animator's Palate

Beckett in mom's sweater after a brief nap.  He was just as ornery as he looks!

And this ???

Friday 5/29
The last day of our cruise was our Castaway Cay day.  Castaway Cay is the Disney private island.  It's so pretty there.  It's nice because since it's a Disney island, there aren't any other people around.  Everyone there is either part of the cruise or there to serve the guests.  Like I said, Disney does a really good job taking care of the guests.

This is the view of Castaway Cay from our veranda

We had a nice day at the beach, but it's wasn't nearly as relaxing as the day at Magen's Bay.  We floated a bit, played in the sand a bit, drank some frozen beach drinks, had a really good BBQ lunch, and then headed back to the ship.  

As we were leaving, the clouds rolled in which was a fitting end to a wonderful week.

Saturday 5/30
We got up, had breakfast, left the ship, found our luggage, caught the shuttle back to the cars, and were on the road by 9:00.  Not too shabby.  We were all exhausted and a bit grouchy on the way home.  It may have also been a little bit of depression.  It's hard to be at the end of a great vacation that you've been looking forward to for a long time.

Sigh...  I guess we'll just have to plan another one!!!

Sleeping on the way home

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