Today was our last day and what a better way to spend it than on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay (key!). We were not supposed to get there until 11:30am and we had to leave by 4:30pm. The captain felt bad about this, so he booked it and ended up getting us there by 10am and said we didn’t have to get back onboard until 5pm. What a guy! So we got up and had some breakfast. After breakfast we headed off the ship. My dad went to get us seats at the adult only beach, Serenity Bay, while my mom & I shopped. All the good merchandise & sizes are gone by the afternoon so we always shop first. After our little shopping time we met up with my dad at the Serenity Bay. He got us great loungers & we laid out & swam for the morning. It was time to eat. Now we could have stayed right there at Serenity Bay for lunch, but our favorite meal on a disney cruise is the BBQ buffet over by the family beach. Plus we were planning to meet up with Renaldo. So we got on the shuttle to the family beach. While on the shuttle I spotted Renaldo walking towards the adult only beach. I thought he looked at me so I waved but the guy didn’t wave back. My mom saw him too but said it wasn’t Renaldo. Oops. So we get to the buffet and don’t see Renaldo. We get our food and have a relaxed lunch. Daniel was working our area and came over to talk for a while. He also brought us those beloved mickey ice cream bars. After sitting for a while we decided to walk around the other seating areas to find Renaldo. We couldn’t find him. We ran into literally every waiter we’ve talked to on this entire 2 week cruise, but not our favorite, Renaldo. Everyone we talked to said he was probably “in the back of the house”. So after our hunt for Renaldo we gave up and decided to head back on the ship and have some pool time since it would be empty. There were actually a pretty surprising number of people already back on the ship, but the pool was close to empty. My mom & I headed in while my dad napped (i’m guessing) somewhere on the ship. After some pool time we headed back to the room to change for dinner. Once we were ready for dinner we headed to our last show in the theater, Remember the Magic: A Final Farewell. This was a mixed bag of a show with some other special stuff like a compilation video of our cruise, comedians, officers, etc. It was nice, but sad! John Charles performed & was amazing as usual. Next it was time for our last dinner. How sad! We stayed for a while talking to all our waiters who we had made friends with. We took some pictures. It was sad. Next we headed to our room. Our luggage had to be out in the hallway by, I think, 10:30pm. So we changed, packed & put our luggage out. Then we headed to see John Charles in his extra performance. It was great. I just love him! After John Charles the cruise staff did Pub Night & that is not to be missed!!! Every cruise on the last night the cruise director staff do a special “pub night” that includes a skit called “If I were not upon the sea.”. Oh my God! It was great! It’s never the same. You can see it on youtube but be careful if you do, ‘cause you’ll end up waiting like 2 hours trying to figure out which it the funniest. By far ours was the funniest. Our cruse director made a special appearance. I don’t want to wreck it, but he was dressed as a female ballerina. Priceless. After that it was time to call it a night on our last night of the cruise. We headed back to our rooms & what a sight. To walk into a room you’ve called home for the last two weeks and see it empty. That was sad. This cruise really felt like home. I’ve never experienced anything like it in all the cruises I’ve been on, both Disney & other lines. I think it was because most days we had the same routine, we were totally unpacked & moved in- everything had a place & because the cruise staff were really like family. Every night we were headed to dinner with Renaldo & Z and the rest of the waitstaff family. This really was a vacation of a life time.
Our final morning I woke up pretty early. We had to be off the ship by 10am. We headed to breakfast for our final meal with our family. We exchanged info and Renaldo gave me his info for Facebook. Z was in a hurry because he was heading to the airport too, as his contract ended today so he was excited to get home. Z brought us our breakfast and then said goodbye and left us in the capable hands of Renaldo. Renaldo sat with us at our table for quite a while talking to us. He had never done this before, always just squatted next to our table, but I think because it was the last morning & the ship was headed to dry-dock things were much more relaxed. So we sat with Renaldo and talked. Then it was finally time to say goodbye. My dad had a flight to catch & my mom & I were headed to Ocala, Fl to visit family. We said goodbye to Renaldo & as we were walking out he began to tear up. It was adorable. He told us that he loved serving us because when he was with us he felt like a weigh was lifted and he was with family. We loved Renaldo! I guess he could feel that. After our last goodbye we walked off our home-away-from-home and headed to pick up our rental car. We had a great porter who was originally from NY, surprising I know. He was hysterical so I was happy about that. It kept our mind off the fact that we were officially back to reality. We got on the shuttle to Alamo & had the world’s worst bus driver! The guy didn’t know how to get to Alamo. It’s literally 2 minutes down the one road in Cape Canaveral but apparently that was too difficult for him. We had to give him the address so he could put it in his gps!! This was the rental car shuttle bus! For the life of me I can’t figure out what his deal was. I think he was on drugs or something. So we finally get to Alamo 20 minutes after leaving th port. Yeah, it took us 20 minutes when it should of taken 2!!! It was the ride from hell! So we get inside & their computers are down. After another 20 minutes we finally head for the airport. We get to the airport, I head to the rental car area to pick up my mom & I’s car for the week and my mom & dad head to check in my dad for his flight. THANK GOD my mom went with my dad. They couldn’t find his reservation!!! He ended up having to buy a ticket at the counter! We still don’t know what happened??? So now after all this he’s late. He’s freaking out so the Jetblue lady walks him thru the security line. At security the stop him and make him unwrap all of our souvenirs! He finally makes it onto the plane. He was the last one to board. Talk about a way fly right back into reality- pun intended.
So that was our once in a lifetime trip! It was amazing. I can't say that enough. I hope you enjoyed reading along. It was a joy to write about it each day.
Stay tuned. A lot has gone on since getting off the ship that I will be sharing in my next post. One of the most exciting things... I'm sitting on my balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge & will be starting a live trip report today, so stay tuned!!