Disney Magic Trip Report Day 6, Part 1: Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB, to the aft.

Trip Report

Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference

Day 6, Part 1: Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB to the aft.


The next morning I woke up really early because I was seasick. It made sense because my medicine was wearing off and the boat was rocking so much that the doors to the closet and even other things in our room were shifting a bit and making noises. It was actually a bit of a struggle to get to the bathroom for a drink of water and to take some Bonine.

I went back to bed and tried to go back to sleep until I heard “Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB to the aft. Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB to the aft” over the intercom in the room. Now, the announcements almost NEVER come into the rooms on Disney Cruise ships so I knew something was up. Also, working in hospitals, I knew that any announcements repeated and dealing with “Mr.” are usually an emergency situation.

Seeing as I was half asleep, I don’t remember whether the boat turning around happened before or after the announcement, but I do remember trying to get up at one point during the turning. I still had no idea what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t good.

A little while later (30-45 minutes or so?) another announcement came through into the rooms. This time, from the captain, who explained what had happened as apparently many people had been watching the rescue from the decks. He explained that the ship’s crew pulled a man from the water who had not been a passenger of our ship. He explained that the man was alive and alert and was receiving medical care in the ship’s infirmary.

I felt this was very professional of the crew and captain to give a briefing to dispel some of the concerns of people watching or hearing things later in the day. It did not, however, deter the rumor mill from starting of course, since it  was all that people were talking about on the ship that morning!

We went to breakfast at Lumiere’s that morning because we wanted to get a good breakfast before heading out on our excursion that started at 11. We were seated with a couple that had seen the rescue and so we heard first hand about how quick and efficient the crew was which made us feel very safe. We were also joined by another older couple who began speculating that the person was “definitely” trying to commit suicide. It irked me that this woman was so definitive on a topic she really knew nothing about. However, since my first impression of her was her saying to me “Oh, you don’t speak English, do you?” because I did not immediately start a conversation with her when she sat down…. I took what she said with a grain of salt.

I’m not saying this was the only speculation we heard that day nor would I say that talking about the situation was a bad thing. It’s natural for humans to pose possibilities to make sense of  and cope with an intense situation they just witnessed. No one ever imagines they will be on a boat that has to pull someone from the water. When that possibility becomes a reality, it is understandable that you may not know how to mentally or emotionally deal with it. However, the fact that this women had the audacity to nonchalantly but definitively claim this person was trying to end his life and brush it off as if it was not a big deal bothered me especially as a mental health advocate. Anyway, end of my rant.

At breakfast there will also announcements about certain excursions dealing with water were being cancelled due to high winds as waves. Since our excursion was completely inland (and not booked through Disney) we decided to go to the meeting place as planned figuring ours would still be on. After breakfast, we headed up on deck to watch the ship pull in and get ready to disembark.

Next Up: A Bit of Disappointment in Cozumel.

Enjoying this trip report? Looking to plan your own trip on the Disney Cruise Line or to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Aulani? Contact me at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com to let me help you plan your next magical and memorable vacation. I can help take the hassle out of reservations, give you information and recommendations, and book everything including dining so that you don’t have to wake up early or spend time on hold! All at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Contact me today for a FREE no obligation quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com!

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Disney Magic Trip Report Day 5, Part 2: Back to an Empty Boat!

Trip Report

Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference

Day 5, Part 2: Back to an Empty Boat!


Well, even though we didn’t have the best experience in Grand Cayman (definitely will plan that out differently if we go back), we did get back on the boat at 2:00 pm and enjoyed the empty pool deck!

We headed to the adults only area of the pool and were the only ones in the hot tub and there weren’t many people in the pool. The family pool was also pretty empty and Dave was able to go on the AquaDunk multiple times with no line (though once was still enough for me!). After the pool, we grabbed some pineapple and vanilla twist ice cream and headed down to get changed before heading to Into the Woods.

Now I haven’t seen the musical, but I think I hyped myself up too much for this one. It was good, just not as good as what I had laid out in my mind. I thought the actors, special effects, costuming, music etc. were awesome. I just wasn’t so hooked into the story line as I wished I was. It was probably my least favorite of the movies I saw on the ship. We also broke down and bought popcorn for the show… it’s just too hard for me to resist when I smell it popping all the time (since our room was just down from the movie theater- we passed the popcorn machine A LOT!).

While we waited for Twice Charmed we went out on Deck 4 and played around with the camera on my iPhone 6 as the sunset. We took some “trick panoramic” shots and a time lapse video as the sun dipped below the horizon. Here are some of them:

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After that, we met up with two of our table mates to see Twice Charmed. This was a very cute show and had the most cohesive story line of them all I felt. Definitely worth seeing, even the boys liked it!

After that we all went to Who Wants to be a Mousketeer together. This was also very fun and cute. Our female table mate and I were hoping to get picked and the guys were very happy to give us their numbers if they did. You are probably starting to see that we got along really well with this couple! We didn’t end up getting picked but it was fun guessing the trivia and trying to help out the contestants during the “ask the audience”. It was also really fun how the hosts tried to steer the person in the right direction if they seemed unsure. Very fun family oriented gameshow (many of the contestants were kids). Everyone wins something, but they made sure the kids won the full prize.

From there, it was time for dinner back at Carioca’s for the Prince and Princess dinner. I had the Duck Quesadilla (it was good, but nothing to write home about… wasn’t really in quesadilla form either), the lamb medallions with polenta (amazing) and Princess Jasmine’s Banana Bread Pudding (also amazing, very reminiscent of ‘Ohana).

Dave had the polenta cakes (very good), the saffron muscle soup (he said it was so delicious he would have licked the bowl clean), the portobello mushroom triangoli pasta (very good) and the sweet temptations which that night came with bite sized lemon cheesecake, tiramisu, and fluorless chocolate cake (which he said was the best of the three).

It is worth to note that two of the three desserts of the sweet temptations were always sugar free. Which is good for those limiting sugar, but also of note for people like me who are sensitive to artificial sweeteners. Though I would have liked to try a sweet temptations plate (since you got to try 3 desserts instead of 1) it wasn’t worth it for me. Dave loved it though, and I was happy with my dessert each night anyway!

From dinner, we went to Fathoms for the adult entertainment for the night. First there was an Elton John impersonator. Though I like Elton John, this guy didn’t do it for me. He was too over the top even for Elton John (which says something!).

After that it was the Match Your Mate Game Show where they pick three couples: the one who has been together the longest (which was somewhere over 50 years for our show), the one who has been together the shortest (which was 22 DAYS for our show not just how long they’ve dated, but how long they knew each other… but really, how do you know someone for less than 3 weeks and plan a cruise with them) and then a couple somewhere in the middle chosen by doing the craziest thing you can (this couple had been together a couple of years). I’m not going to spoil this for people, but it was very funny and worth checking out!

Then it was time for bed, we had an exciting day planned for the next day!

Next Up: Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB, Mr. MOB to the Aft (really this time)

Enjoying this trip report? Looking to plan your own trip on the Disney Cruise Line or to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Aulani? Contact me at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com to let me help you plan your next magical and memorable vacation. I can help take the hassle out of reservations, give you information and recommendations, and book everything including dining so that you don’t have to wake up early or spend time on hold! All at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Contact me today for a FREE no obligation quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com!

Disney Magic Trip Report Day 5, Part 1: I Enjoy Long Walks on the Beach

Trip Report

Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference

Day 5, Part 1: I Enjoy Long Walks on the Beach


So, if you read my last post and looked at the “Next Up” I’m sorry for jumping the gun on that one, we still have one more day to go through until I get to that post! This morning is our morning in Grand Cayman!

When we woke up, we decided to start off with breakfast at Lumiere’s. The boat had already docked at 7:30 am but since we didn’t have an excursion planned, we decided to take our time and have a nice breakfast first. For breakfast I had the french toast and pineapple stack which I really liked and Dave had the Eggs Benedict which he preferred over the Eggs Julia he had at Palo.

After breakfast, it was time to tender. This was the only port we had to tender at, the ship was able to dock at all other ports. For tendering, you go to the Buena Vista Theater (movie theater) and obtain a ticket. They then seat you in rows to determine groups for the next available boat. When the next boat arrives, they escort the group down to the debarkation and collect tickets as you board the boat.

Now, we went later than most people and also did not have an excursion to get to, but I felt this process was pretty smooth. We did wait a bit in the theater, but didn’t mind much. They do check to be sure you are not carrying any fruit or meat products off the ship, if you try to, you could get hit with a hefty fine!

The tender boats can be quite rocky so my advice here is 1.) If you have been taking seasickness medication, or get at all seasick on boats, take your meds before leaving for Grand Cayman 2.) if you are on the taller side DUCK when getting on and off the boat. As the boat rises up and down against the ship it can make it awfully close to having you hit your head if not actually do so.

When we got on the island, we first walked into downtown to get some free wifi from Margarittaville. We then looked for a way of getting to the beach and found the taxi/vans that other people had mentioned in forums and trip reports. We knew it wouldn’t be the nicest way of going, but we attempted it anyway.

I can tell you right now, people do not exaggerate about these. They pack them to the brim with people (think sardines) and wait until every single seat is filled in order to leave. When we got on, the van was relatively full but still waiting. After a few minutes, a large family got so fed up that they left. Then it was a longer wait until their seats, and the ones we were waiting to fill, were filled.

When we finally got going, the driver told us there were two options for tourists going to Seven Mile Beach. You could go to Calico Jack’s (formerly Sea Grape) and pay just the taxi ride ($5 per person). Or you could go to Royal Palms, pay the taxi ride ($4 per person), the entrance fee ($2 I think) and chair rentals. The driver convinced us all we wanted to go to Calico Jack’s because there is no entrance fee, there is a restaurant and facilities, and it is much less crowded than Royal Palms. She also wouldn’t really take no for an answer, which made us believe they had some sort of deal with Calico Jack’s.

When we first got there, it wasn’t terrible. Yes, there is a small bar/food place, and facilities. The water is clean. However, when we started walking down the beach looking for a spot to put down our towels, we were told we had to keep walking farther away from the chair rentals. The beach was very narrow without much room for people to spread out.2015-01-07 10.24.50

By the time we got to an area where the staff were “ok” with us sitting, the surroundings went from “ok” to definitely sub par. The beach was dirty, including bags of beer cans and behind us was this lovely construction site you can see in back of the above picture. The beach also got very crowded, very quickly. I realize for some a beach is a beach and that’s fine if that’s how you feel. However, we felt there were nicer public beaches (albeit with more seaweed and less blue water) along the Connecticut shore line (despite the Long Island Sound) or the Rhode Island Shore than we experienced at Calico Jack’s.

We decided it wasn’t for us and wanted to leave. But we did NOT want to get back on that taxi again. Besides, we could see the boat, so we figured it would take about as long to walk back as it would to wait for the next taxi, wait for it to fill up, etc. So we opted for adventure.

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Our walk along the water was beautiful. Of course, we were walking along many private beaches, but no one bothered us as long as we kept walking. Mind you, I would not have tried to swim or sunbathe on any of these beaches as many of them had a no trespassing sign for their beach part. The way the signs were worded, though, the water and water line seemed fair game. It was nice to walk where the waves were breaking and enjoy the sun. We even saw some aquatic life swimming around. Most of the beaches were empty, except one more that was packed which we assumed was Royal Palms.

There did come a time, however, where we could no longer walk on the beach and needed to make a move. Our only option was to walk through a swanky resort toward the road. We decided confidence was our best bet, so we walked straight through the lobby and the resort and ended up at the road. From there, though we thought we were close, it was another at least 45 minute walk. There were also no nice shops or anything to look at, we walked on narrow (or no) sidewalks, and some parts were a bit shady. In total it took us 2 hours to walk from Calico Jack’s to get back to the dock. Definitely not a walk I would do with kids, but the walking along the beach made the rest of the walk worth it for us. Then again, we live in New York City and are used to walking a lot to get anywhere!

If I went back to Grand Cayman Again, I would either book an excursion or stay on the boat. Seven Mile Beach wasn’t any nicer than sitting by the pool on the ship where we could get cheaper drinks and free food all day.

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Next Up: Back to an Empty Boat!

Enjoying this trip report? Looking to plan your own trip on the Disney Cruise Line or to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Aulani? Contact me at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com to let me help you plan your next magical and memorable vacation. I can help take the hassle out of reservations, give you information and recommendations, and book everything including dining so that you don’t have to wake up early or spend time on hold! All at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Contact me today for a FREE no obligation quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com!

Disney Magic Trip Report Day 4, Part 3: The Animator’s Palate Lonely Hearts Club Dinner!

Trip Report

Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference

Day 4, Part 3: The Animator’s Palate Lonely Hearts Club Dinner!


Sorry it’s been a while since my last post, things have gotten a little hectic around here! Since my last post I accepted a job as a Child Life Specialist in Connecticut, bought a car, having been trying to power through my thesis and exam studying, and have started getting ready to move! What a whirlwind few days!

After trivia we went back to the room to get ready for formal night early (because we had big plans for the evening!). Then we headed to the first Captain’s Reception for the first dining wave. We wanting to get our obligatory picture with the captain and also get a few free adult beverages!

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At the captain’s reception, servers are walking around with trays of complimentary drinks you can choose from. There is a red wine, a white wine, a cosmopolitan, a yellow bird, or a nonalcoholic juice cocktail for the kids. They aren’t very strong, but you can basically take as many as you want during the time period. Keep in mind, there are two captain’s receptions (one for each dining wave) and it’s perfectly okay to stop by either or both if you’d like.

From the reception, we went on to the theater to see Villain’s Tonight. I liked this show, it was cute and funny, but it wasn’t my favorite of them all. There were definitely a good amount of modern jokes slipped in to keep the adults interested and it was overall enjoyable.

Then we headed back to O’Gills for Villains Trivia (and the appetizer buffet… one of my guilty pleasures on the cruise). For this trivia, the cruise staff member read a quote and you had to name the movie and the villain who said it. Not my proudest Disney trivia moment (and Dave wasn’t any help on this one) we got 17/34 points. HOWEVER, we were one of only two groups to get this one: You know, I’ve always wanted a child. And now I think I’ll have one… on toast! Can you guess it correctly? Look down below the “Next Up” for the answer.

After trivia we swung through the second wave’s captain’s reception to grab a drink on our way to Animator’s Palate for dinner. Coincidentally, all three of the other couples we were sitting with had Palo that night so we were all alone. Obviously it was nice to have a dinner to ourselves, but a little weird to sit an an 8 top table with just two people. We did get A LOT of extra attention tonight from Okim and Jay and even the head server tonight.

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This night I also took some pictures of the decor and some of the food we had that night.

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The famous paintbrush butter knifes. I seriously almost bought one of these at the giftshop!

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Close up of the centerpieces with our table number.

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For an appetizer I had the black truffle pasta purseittes. They were amazing, I seriously could have just ordered multiple portions of these for my meal and been happy as a clam. The sauce is creamy but not overbearing and there’s just the right amount of truffle that it is not overpowering. Dave got the serrano ham which I did not grab a picture of.

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For his entree, Dave got the above ginger teriyaki beef tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes. I was kind of surprised by this because he does not tend to order beef when we go out (don’t ask me why as he happily eats it at home) but he really enjoyed it.

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I got the Lemon Thyme Marinated chicken with sour cream mashed potatoes and roasted root veggies which was really good.

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For dessert, I got the cookies and cream sundae. Now, this sundae looks perfect but most times when other people got ice cream it was half melted when it arrived. It’s understandable when you’re serving in such high volume, but just an fyi so people aren’t expecting this perfectly formed ice cream ball on the top of their sundae.

We got through our meal relatively quickly, but obviously wanted to stay and watch the “show.” At Animator’s Palate on the Magic there are two shows, the one where the color slowly fills the pictures and the restaurant (with a surprise guest at the end) and the animation magic one (which I will talk about on our last night). Our servers wanted us to stay for the show as well, and they felt bad we were sitting there without food so they took turns keeping us entertained with puzzles.

Here are some pictures of the way the restaurant lights up:

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After dinner, we grabbed sodas from the deck and went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in the theater. I had seen the movie already, but Dave hadn’t and wanted to see it. I must admit, the day filled with food and adult drinks (not to mention the seasickness) got the best of me and I fell asleep on Dave’s shoulder. I did however, wake up in time to see the ending again (which was my favorite part anyway!).

Next Up: Mr. MOB to the aft, Mr. MOB to the aft.

Answer to the Trivia Question: Winifred “Winnie” Sanderson from Hocus Pocus.

Enjoying this trip report? Looking to plan your own trip on the Disney Cruise Line or to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Aulani? Contact me at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com to let me help you plan your next magical and memorable vacation. I can help take the hassle out of reservations, give you information and recommendations, and book everything including dining so that you don’t have to wake up early or spend time on hold! All at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Contact me today for a FREE no obligation quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com!