Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference
Day 8, Part 3: Final Night at Sea
After stopping to allow Dave one last ride on the Aquadunk, we headed to our room to shower, change and finish packing. We decided to place our bags out pretty early because we did not plan on coming back to the room much that night (we had bigger plans!).
First stop was the souvenir shops. We had been really good about not buying too many things along the way during our trip and decided to pick something up as a memento. First, we each picked out a mug. Though we have a lot of different mugs, I have found one of the best ways for me to battle post-Disney depression is to have my morning coffee in a Disney themed mug. My particular favorite is my Wonderground Hipster Mickey one, but I do alternate here and there! I also bought a Mickey watch to wear at work to help get through some of the more hectic and stressful days.
From there it was on to “Remember the Magic.” It was a pretty cute show and I enjoyed how they brought in real footage from the ship into the performance. This wasn’t my favorite of the shows, but again, enjoyable. From there, we went with a couple of our tablemates to O’Gills for 80’s music trivia (and the lovely appetizer buffet, which I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing about).
When we got to O’Gills there was a football game on the screens and a decent amount of people watching it. We could see by looking over at the cruise staff that they anticipated that this would be an issue. They first put out a bit of a feeler giving people a warning that trivia would be starting in a certain amount of time and that everyone was welcome to stay but that the sound for the game would be shut off so that people interested in playing could do so. They also reminded everyone that the game was being shown on funnel vision and also on their in room TVs. Personally, I felt this was more than fair… but some people had a bit of a difference in option and got pretty angry. One woman actually slammed a plate down and said “I hope you all lose” as she stormed out of the lounge. Most other people, however, quietly left or remained and watched their screens without sound.
After trivia, it was time for our final dinner at Animator’s Palate. Unfortunately, it was the only meal of the trip I didn’t really enjoy. To be fair, I think there is way too much pressure on the staff as it is on the final night of a cruise with the standards Disney sets for survey responses, but adding in the show at Animator’s Palate just puts it over the top for them I think.
The meal started off with the expectations from the servers for us to mark “Excellent” on everything related to dining quality. Even the food quality reflects on the server because they had the opportunity to change it out for you. As our servers put it, they asked us every night if we are enjoying our meal, if we weren’t we were encouraged to speak up so that they could remedy it. I still don’t find it fair that the servers are evaluated on this, but they seemed very stressed when we questioned it.
That night I ordered the seafood linguini and in my first bite of clam I ended up with the grittiness of sand in between my teeth. I totally understand that when cooking for such a large number of people things happen and I don’t usually send meals back, but I just couldn’t keep eating this meal. With the show timing, the waiters were even more stressed trying to time their dishes perfectly and ensure that everyone had food before the meal started. Our server was no where to be found, but after a bit of work, we were able to flag down our assistant server who was a little perturbed and stressed when I asked to change my meal. Again, I don’t blame him with all that was going on, but given the speech he gave us before, I felt I was in the right to send this particular dish back. Instead, I ordered a salad with grilled chicken. Everyone else’s meal seemed fine (including the pasta Dave and one of our other tablemates got) but after examination you could even see the sand in the clam shell I took out of my pasta.
Anyway, the rest of the meal went fine though I felt really guilty after seeing how stressed the wait staff was. The animation show (where you draw a character and it ends up on the screen) was pretty amazing, however, and it was easy to forget the mishaps of the meal. The technological advances Disney makes to enhance the guest experience never cease to amaze me.
After dinner, we went with one of the couples at our table to the Fathoms for the adult entertainment for the night which consisted of two different gameshows. The first was called Pop which was kind of a mixture between a memory game, tic tac toe, and Hollywood squares. I’m sure that was confusing, but I’m not quite sure how else to explain it! This one was fun, but not anywhere near as memorable as the second portion.
The second game was called 80’s Flashback. If you have the opportunity to attend any of the adult’s only nightly entertainment, you should definitely try to make it to this one if at all possible whether to participate or just watch. This game took 80’s music trivia to a whole new level. First, the audience was divided into three teams or sections. Then each section was assigned a staff member who was dressed as an icon from 80’s music. Our staff member was the ship’s DJ, DJ Matt. Game play starts similar to 80’s music trivia where one team is played part of a song and must guess the name of the song and title. Once they guess, all teams get an opportunity for extra points by planning some kind of synchronized movement or acting out of the song. People get really into this part and things get silly, creative, and very fun to watch (and more fun to participate if it’s your type of thing). Once you see it, or participate in it you’ll have a better idea of what I mean. The woman in the other couple and I got really into it. The guys started off with us, but decided to take a seat for most of it since it was more of our kind of thing.
From there, it was time for our last night’s sleep on the ship. In the morning we had one last meal in Animator’s Palate with our table mates before debarkation. The entire process was so smooth, stress free, and easy. Before we knew it we were at the airport wondering where our vacation time had escaped too. It was truly an amazing vacation and I think I even made a cruise convert out of Dave! Can’t wait to start planning our next one!
The trip report may be over but the blog continues on! Now that I have finished my Master’s Degree and completed my Child Life Certification I can’t wait to get back to providing more entries on all things Disney from a Child Life perspective. Stay tuned for tips on preparing your child for new experiences, helping with anxiety or nervousness, battling long waits and the heat, and overall having a more magical and stress free vacation! Be sure to follow me on twitter @KidCenteredDis or Follow the Blog for continued updates!
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