Cruising Day 2.
We woke up to our phone ringing in what seemed like the middle of the night. Why? Because we had our character breakfast at 8:30am and we set a wake up call so we didn’t miss it. In our stupor of sleeping in a dark room after a long and exciting first day, it was hard to believe it was already 7:30am! Oh well, time to get up. We got dressed, stumbled into some clothes and headed back to Animators Palate, where we had just had dinner a few hours previously. We were even seated at our same table. We were also given table mates for our Character breakfast. They were a fun group to talk with, and we almost wished we had been seated with them as table mates for the entire cruise. It came in handy to have someone sitting at the table, because there wasn’t anyone with the characters who could take our pictures. So we traded taking each others photos. The breakfast menu was a pretty standard American breakfast. Eggs, Potatoes, Pancakes, Waffles, Toast, Fruit etc. It was good, but really we were just there for the characters. We started off with Goofy coming to our table, taking a quick photo and off he went. Next was Pluto, then Minnie, and finally Mickey Mouse. They were all dressed in their sailor outfits. We were glad of that because now we didn’t have to try to get pictures with them in those outfits during the rest of our cruise. The visits from each character were really quick. I guess they have a lot of tables to get through.
We’ve done lots of character meals at Disney Parks, and we usually have great interactions with the characters, even as adults. This meal felt more like a quick photo opp. and move on. But hey we got to sit at a table, eat, and get photos without having to wait in a line. Couldn’t really complain to much….The entire breakfast took just about an hour.
After breakfast we took a stroll around the outside of the ship on Deck 4. During our entire Alaskan cruise we spent a lot of time walking here, and we had it almost to ourselves most of the cruise. Occasionally we would see a jogger or two, but that was it. No deck chair loungers, no shuffle board players. It was a dead zone. I guess it was because it was cool outside. But with a sweatshirt on it was enjoyable to walk around out there and look at the views. And if we got a little cold, we just popped inside the ship for a warm up.
We walked to the front of the ship, where the walking path goes “inside” and got a view of the inner workings of the ship.
They store some large items in this area, including this little gem.
We stopped by our room, and it was time for the Art of Entertaining: The Appetizer. It sounded interesting to the foodie so one of us headed there. The other stayed in the room. The Appetizer demonstration was held in Studio Sea (now D Studio) on deck 4. You sat at a small pub style table, and watched a Chef prepare the food. They also used a camera and projected close-ups of the cooking on a large screen. You were handed a recipe card as you entered, and during the demonstration you were given a sample of the dish, as well as the option of a complimentary wine sample for those over 21. You were encouraged to ask questions during the demonstration, but hardly anyone did. It lasted about 20 minutes, and was like a live cooking show. Free samples are the highlight for sure. And being able to take home the recipe card, which we will probably never make….
Next on the schedule was some time at the fitness center for one of use, and time in the Rainforest Room for the other. We had our pre-purchased Rainforest room day pass. We wanted to use it early on in the cruise, so if we loved it, we could purchase another day of use while on board.
There wasn’t any signs saying no photos, but since there were other people relaxing in the room, it seemed a little weird to be snapping pictures. You enter the Spa on Forward Deck 9. This is also how to get to the gym, which feels like you shouldn’t be allowed to go past the desk without an appointment, but you can just saunter on by to head to the fitness center. To get to the work out area you veer left as you enter, and head down a long narrow hallway. On the left side is a treatment area, further down is the men’s locker rooms. On the right is the Rainforest Room entrance, and then the women’s locker room. Locker rooms can also be accessed by anyone. They are nice, and include changing areas, toilets, larger showers, and a sauna. Also included are some basic beauty products like shampoo and soap. If you are headed to the Rainforest Room your first stop is to check in at the main desk. They will give you a “key” to the Rainforest Room (RR) and send you on your way. You can head into the locker rooms to get a spa robe to use. The robes didn’t impress us. They did the job, but were worn out, ripped, and generally not very plush or comfortable. Think the old cotton towels you use to mop up spills…. You can also pick up spa flip flops to use. You can also use your own. Yes please. The lockers are small gym lockers for storing your valuables. There are simple directions as to how to lock your stuff up, and take the key with you. It took 4 tries and a trip to the front desk to get one to work. Most of them were in use, and apparently the rest were broken. The RR is co-ed so most people wear swim suits. Nude is not accepted. Onward the RR entrance. Outside the main door is a spa water station a.k.a fruit-in-water. It was refreshing to have easy access to during the RR. You use your magnetic “key” to open up the RR. Once you go through the doors you are in a large inclosed tiled room. Think Roman bath. No windows. In the middle is a fountain and to your left against one wall are tiled heated loungers. These were comfortable and a great place to read. There are only a few of these, and they were very popular, but we were always able to get at least one. On the opposite wall from the entrance and the loungers are several showers. These are partially enclosed single person showers. They are set to different temperatures and pressures to simulate different experiences i.e. a rain forest. These are not private, and a swim suit is best worn inside them. On the two remaining walls are doors that lead to different type of steam rooms/ saunas. They range in temperature and steam levels. Some are even scented. If you enjoy saunas, stream rooms, or even just a quite place with heated tiled chairs, its a great place to spent time.
The RR and fitness center filled the rest of the morning for us.
When we finally left the relaxation of the Rainforest Room, it was time to find some lunch. We decided to check out the buffet option. While the food choices were ok, we found it to be crowded, loud, and almost impossible to find a place to sit. We had to head outside, and it was cold and windy! We finally found a place near the pool that was behind the glass window walls that offered some form of protection. It appears this won’t be where we head for lunch to often.
It was back to our room again for a bit, and then we headed out to play some Disney style Game Show: The Feud. It’s Family Feud with Disney questions. The Disney staff break you up into groups and you play. It was a lot of fun. It wasn’t a huge group that attended, maybe 15 total. It’s open to all ages, but was mostly adults and tweens with their families. We had to head out right as it ended to to get to our Frozen Meet and Greet. We headed over to Studio Sea again, which had been transformed into a Frozen Meet and Greet complete with backdrop. We were let into the large room with several other families. We waited for a few minutes and then it was our turn. We headed up as a group to meet Anna, Else and Olaf all together. We had several minutes in relative peace and quiet with a modicum of privacy. It was great. We had never bothered to meet the Frozen gang in the Parks due to the lines. This was only a few minutes wait. We were able to take individual and group pictures. We spent about 3-4 minutes with them all. We were completely done with the Meet and Greet within 18 minutes from when we started.
We were done in enough time to then head to Promenade Lounge for Disney Tunes Trivia. It was well attended, and we did well, but there we several perfect scores. They had to do double bonus questions to find a winner. Then we headed back outside to Deck 4 to walk and check out the views.
The ship was moving pretty fast, and it was very windy, but it was still great to be out walking around.
We headed back inside to warm up, and walked around the inside of the ship for a bit.
A close up of the chandelier in the main atrium. It has been replaced with the last Wonder refurb.
We headed back to our room. Again. We split up for some more ship exploring and Rainforest Room enjoyment. The RR would be closed by the time we finished dinner and the show, so we wanted to get as much use as we could out of our day pass. When you go back for a second time in the same day to the RR you still have to check in. They give you a “key” and off you go. It seems this step could be easily taken out by just setting access to the RR door on your Key to the World card and having it expire and no longer work at the end of the day.
Some ship exploration. It’s a so well designed ship it’s fun to just walk around and look at the details.
We had to peel away from the tiled chairs, and go get ready for dinner. It was Formal night dress code. We are not formal wear people. But we figured we’d better put on something other than jeans for dinner. We were not the best dressed, we saw tuxedos and ball gowns, but we also were not the least dress, we saw t-shirts and shorts. Disney doesn’t enforce the formal dress code at dinner, it’s just a suggestion. Dinner was great, and then we headed back to our room to change. Back into normal clothes. We headed out to do some pictures with the characters, and oops, they were in their formal clothes. We have a great picture of us with Minnie all dressed up, and we’re in jeans.
So we headed back to our room. Again. to change back into our formal clothes and get a fancy picture of us with Formal dressed Mickey. After meeting Mickey, we headed back to our room, again, to change back into jeans and to head to see tonights show. Between our photo with Mickey and coming back to the room our stateroom host had been in and turned down our bed and left us this.
We headed to see the Broadway style show Disney Dreams, An Enchanted Classic. The show was great, and because we liked the seats near the sign language interpreters last night, we sat there again.
After the show we headed out to walk Deck 4 again. It was 9:40pm and the sun was just setting.
We made it back to the room after 10:00pm. One of the things we had heard is the highlight of the cruise is the Match Your Mate game. It was scheduled to start at 11:00pm. That’s on the later side for us. We had also met some people in line to meet Minnie earlier that evening to were going to the show and so we had plans to meet up with them. By the time it was 10:45pm only one of us was awake enough to head to the show. The news must have gotten out about this show, because it was crowded, but we were able to find seats. Boy was it worth staying up for. Picture the Newly Wed game, with three couples. One just married, one married for a long time, and one married somewhere in-between. People were clamoring to be picked to go up on stage. Well the host is energetic and little cheeky, and they ask all kinds of questions with a Disney twist. And some of them got a bit personal, and these people answered them! We found out way more about these couples then they probably wanted a ship full off people to know. It’s adults only, and while a little “adults only fun” it’s still Disney style and doesn’t go over the top into just embarrassing. The winning couple also got a great prize, no Mickey pen here. They do Match Your Mate one more time during the cruise. It’s going to be on our must-do list. It’s almost 1:00am when the lights finally went out in our cabin. But hey we are supposed to set our clocks back an hour tonight, so it’s really only 12:0oam.
Two things we’ve learned already today.
One. We love having our room “in” the main action. At a theme park going back to your room, even if your staying on resort can be work. Here we just pop in and out all the time. Need a jacket, run back. Want to sit on the sofa for a few minutes, head back to the stateroom. Your room is never that far away from where your at.
Two. There is way more to do then we can possibly do. We had to choose things to do, because activities would be scheduled at the same time as other things we wanted to do.
Here is a list of activities that looked fun, but we didn’t have time to do today.
Wildlife of Alaska Nature presentation. Crafts- Origami Creations. Zootopia movie showing. Meet Chip and Dale. Virtual Tours on the Funnel Vision. So You Think You Know Your Family? game show. Who wants to be a Mouseketeer? game show. Youth Actives Open House.
We weren’t sure if we would be entertained enough on Sea Days. Seems like that worry has been put to rest. It’s 1:00am and we had things to do non-stop since 8:30am!
Tomorrow we have our first Port Adventure, and we don’t even go into a port.
Follow along from the beginning: Disney Cruise Alaska Part 1.