Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: The Castaway Cay Day That Wasn’t

This is the last installment of our cruise recap, sad times! Unfortunately, this cruise did not end on a high note for us. Read on.

We woke up to gloomy skys, but I didn’t care. We were soon going to dock at my FAVORITE place on earth, Castaway Cay. A little gloom was not going to stop my happiness (oh really now.) We got dressed, ate breakfast, and headed to the tube to get our bibs for the 5k and wait for instructions. Keep in mind there are no windows down here so we couldn’t see what was going on with docking.

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We waited…and we waited…and I knew we should have docked by now. Finally, someone got on the microphone and said that the wind was too high for us to dock, and was blowing us away from the dock. The captain was going to try again in 1.5 hours, and they were waiting to get the word on what to do about the 5k. We waited around about 20-30 minutes before we got the verdict.

We were not postponing the 5k until we (hopefully) docked later, but we were going to run around the ship….really. IMG_1527

Seven and a half laps to be exact. The boat is HUGE, so yup, that’s what it took to run a 5k. Now, this is where I got annoyed. I realize I am risking backlash by writing this, but honestly it got me so fired up that I am ok with people not agreeing with me. I know medals for people not finishing and runDisney races are a hot topic, but in this case, the people in question didn’t even attempt to START the race, so here goes…They told everyone that if they didn’t want to run around the ship, that they could “promise to run a 5k at home in the next few days” and come get their medals now and leave.

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Huh? If you are already dressed to run a 5k, and were planning to run said 5k…why not just go ahead and run it RIGHT NOW? There were around 400 people in the room, and only about 60 stayed to run. EVERYONE ELSE GOT UP, AND COLLECTED THEIR MEDALS AND LEFT! Not only that, the race is for those 10 and up, but they were handing medals out to everyone! Little boys and girls, anyone who wanted one. (The kids were there because the adults were going to drop them at the kids club before the race). Here is a picture of everyone jumping up to get their medals. I just couldn’t believe it.

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Now, I would like to believe these people went home and ran a 5k, really I do….(and props to you if you did follow through, you are my hero), but I’m also not dumb, and know that for the majority this probably did not happen. A lot of the other people that stayed to run were very annoyed as well. They are getting a medal for a race they didn’t even START? I was so worked up, that Bobby and I actually ran really fast for our 5k.

They send us out in two groups so we wouldn’t be all bunched up, and then off we went, 7.5 laps, around, and around, and around. It. was. so. boring. There were a few sweet families that stayed on the side and cheered for us as we went by, and Disney even put out a “water stop” for us on the deck which was nice of them. It was difficult to run because if you have ever run on a Disney boat you know this, but there are some tight spaces at certain points. Now imagine 60 runners PLUS people playing shuffleboard/just walking around the deck for enjoyment. There was lots of stopping and going, weaving and “excuse me, on your left” going on. After we finished, we met in the pub for water and to get our earned medals, and then back to the tube to collect our belongings.

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In the elevator we had the chance to chat with some people who also ran and were frustrated that people who didn’t even attempt to start the run got medals, so it made me feel better we weren’t the only ones. I was very proud of myself for sticking out a boring frustrating run and that medal means more to me now.

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(note how windy it was).

So even though I didn’t sail on the cruise to complete the castaway challenge and get the special extra medal, I DID still technically complete the challenge!

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Later that day I saw people walking around wearing their medals that I distinctly remember getting up and getting the medal without running. Really? sigh. About that time, we tried to dock again, and could not do so, the winds had not changed. The captain tried a third and final time an hour later. It was SO disheartening to be looking over our balcony, just a few hundred yards from the island, seeing all the workers standing out there waiting to receive us, and have us get close, only to slowly drift and pull away again. I’m not going to lie. I cried. I cried because I was frustrated about the morning race, sad it was our last day, and mad I was not getting to go to my favorite place, the highlight of my cruise. It may sound pathetic, but in that moment, Heather was not having a good day and I’m owning it.

The rest of the day was pretty boring. We ate lunch, took a nap, watched TV in the room, etc. There was a noticeable change in the mood of everyone on the ship. We had already had 3 sea days, so we honestly were just a little bored. It was rainy and windy so there was no laying out by the pool which I would have been perfectly fine with doing.

It was finally dinner time, and we were at Enchanted Garden.

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Here we are with our new friends and tablemates. We all decided to get mickey bars that night. Cheers!

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Back in our room this guy was waiting. We sadly put our luggage in the hall, and I honestly can’t remember what else we did that night!

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The next morning we had breakfast at the buffet before getting off the ship and taking the bus to the airport. I am so glad we had the opportunity to go on this trip, but between me being sick/losing my voice, lots of rain and not going to Castaway Cay, it wasn’t our best cruise. That just means we have to go again to make up for it, right?

Thanks so much for following along with this trip report. It was fun to relive the good times from the cruise with you all.

QOTD: ever run a 5k on a ship? Do you like Mickey bars?

Never Say Never…to runDisney

Well, when I woke up yesterday morning I did NOT have plans of sitting in a virtual que in a panic trying to register for the runDisney marathon weekend! I found out yesterday morning that they are offering the castaway challenge after the race, which I ssoooo badly want to do. I have talked to and begged runDisney to partner with DCL for years, so it’s only fitting I do the challenge, right?

Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge 5K Event on Disney Cruise Line Private Island

Bobby and I signed up for the half marathon with hopes of doing the Castaway challenge and cruising on the Disney Dream after the race, but we are realistic and also realize we may have to defer if things don’t work out in our favor. I am so so glad runDisney started to allow you to defer your race registration, it makes it a lot easier to pull the trigger and sign up!

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After missing marathon weekend this year, it will be fun to go back without the stress of waking up four mornings in a row for Dopey! We probably won’t arrive until Friday, will hit up the expo, run Saturday, then relax Sunday before getting on the boat Monday. I’m trying not to get too excited in case we have to defer, but I am going to try to make sure it happens!

Who has done the Castaway Challenge? Any tips? What to do what to skip, any pointers? I need all the info I can get!

So, now I get to hopefully see a bunch of you during marathon weekend, and maybe even some of you on the cruise?

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QOTD: Who is running and what are you running, and who is cruising with me?

P.S. I would love to book your cruise for the castaway challenge! Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Castaway Cay Challenge

Have you heard the news? There is a NEW Castaway Cay 5k challenge coming to the Disney Dream when you sail on the January 12th sailing right after marathon weekend 2015!

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Check out the press release below for details:

Runners taking part in the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend can add the ultimate finish to their experience – the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a joint venture by runDisney and Disney Cruise Line.

After competing in the 5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon during the Disney Marathon Weekend (January 7-11), runners can compete Jan. 14 in the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a special 5K race on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private Bahamas island. Every runner who finishes this new runDisney Challenge event will earn two medals – an inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge medal and a Castaway Cay 5K medallion, plus any medals earned for running any Disney Marathon Weekend events (5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon).

The Castaway Cay Challenge takes place during the 4-night Disney Dream cruise itinerary that sets sail Jan. 12, 2015 from Port Canaveral, Florida and includes a stop in Nassau in addition to Castaway Cay. The cruise will feature exclusive activities designed for Castaway Cay Challenge participants, plus special menu items and merchandise.

To sign up for the Castaway Cay Challenge, runners must book the Jan. 12, 2015 Disney Dream cruise at www.disneycruise.com and then register for the Castaway Cay Challenge at www.runDisney.com. Race registration opens May 23.

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My thoughts: WAY awesome, as I have wanted runDisney to get involved with Disney Cruise Line for years, and I already love the Castaway Cay 5k. However, I do wish they would have announced sooner, because now the only thing you can sign up for during marathon weekend if you now decide to do this is Goofy’s Challenge.

A cruise is a GREAT way to relax and unwind after marathon weekend if you can swing the time off work and the cost. The Disney Cruise Line has quickly become my favorite way to vacation, and Castaway Cay is my favorite place on earth!

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You can see some of my Castaway Cay 5k posts below:

Castaway Cay 5k

Castaway Cay 5k take 2

My original post from before they made all the changes is HERE.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on this challenge? Is it something you would be interested in doing?

Disney Cruise Recap 12/13

Hello! I am officially back home. I made it back late morning yesterday, and I have been playing catch up with work since then. I cannot believe Christmas eve is in a week, I feel so unprepared (my Christmas tree has NO GIFTS under it. I am so behind y’all). Anyway, we had a fabulous time on the cruise, and I plan to recap the Castaway Cay 5k (again) because I took some video this time. But for today, I wanted to share what we did the OTHER days of our cruise.

We did what is called a “back to back” which means we did a four night ailing followed by a three night sailing on the same ship. There is a certain procedure that you follow in order to do this which I will also be sharing about. So we were on the Disney Dream for a total of seven nights. We went to Nassau twice and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, twice.

We drove to Disney on Saturday and stayed with Jen and Jeff at Port Orleans Riverside in a royal room.

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We took the boat to Downtown Disney for dinner at Earl of Sandwich.

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The next day we drove to Port Canaveral and boarded the Dream. The ship looked gorgeous all dressed up for Christmas.

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We had lunch then went to check our our verandah stateroom. (Category 5C is anyone is curious)

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We then did some walking around and lounged at the pool until time for early dinner.

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A Mickey Bar was my dessert of choice most nights.

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After dinner Bobby and I went to one of the adult only areas to watch the Saints play on Sunday night football. (There was a HUGE screen to the right of this photo and we sat in recliners right in front of it. Aaahhh, bliss).

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The next day was a sea day and we went to the gym then had Palo Brunch reservations which was amazing as always. My favorite part: dessert.

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Bobby and I attended a special reception for gold and platinum castaway club members that afternoon. Free champagne? Of course I’m there! We got to hear from the captain which was neat.

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At dinner we may have all been craving cheese sticks…

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The next day in Nassau, the Disney Magic parked next to us. It was neat to see the ships side by side again and get some photos. A couple years ago I was on the MAGIC when we were next to the Dream. This time it was reversed!

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We didn’t get off in Nassau. it rained, so we just read books up on deck and took a nap.

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I love these guys

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The next day we were at Castaway Cay, and we ran the 5k.

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We had a great day on the island relaxing and also playing volleyball.

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We had Palo dinner that night which was amazing, even though poor Bobby had a migraine. Luckily, with a special concoction from the Palo Maître d’, he started feeling better. Even though said concoction was disgusting.

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The next day we had to get off the ship and say goodbye to our friends. Then, we got back on board shorty after.

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Our new room was a deluxe family verandah stateroom, a category 4B.

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We went to the hot tub, and honestly I don’t remember what else! We had late dining this time, so we got to see the sun set before dinner.

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Our cute dinner table

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The next day was Nassau day again, so we hung out at the pool, rode the AquaDuck waterslide, and took a 2.5 hour nap! We had dinner at Palo again that night, and I had the most amazing Crème Brule martini. Seriously. Order it. (The the way we had the same server for both Palo dinners and the brunch and he was amazing. his name is Matt he is from Poland. be sure to request him!)

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These two goofballs were eating at Palo that night as well and came and found us.293

Katherine, Amanda, and me.

The next day we were back at my beloved Castaway Cay for another day of fun in the sun. We had beautiful weather, high of maybe 80, crystal clear water, perfection.

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The next day it was a 10 hour drive to Louisiana to pick up the dogs then back to reality yesterday. We had a wonderful time, it was a great idea to give the cruise as a gift to each other, and I can’t wait to go back some day!

QOTD: Have you been on a cruise? Favorite thing about them? Favorite cruise line?

*WINNERS of the Runner’s Christmas gift guide giveaways are posted on the Rafflecopter widget. See if you won!

**If you would like me to help you plan your magical cruise on most any cruise line (at no extra cost!) email heather@travelwiththemagic.com I would love to help you!

 

Disney Fantasy April 2013: Castaway Cay Day

Happy Birthday America! I am so proud and blessed to live in a free country, and grateful to those who have fought to keep it that way!

We left off with our last sea day, the day before Castaway Cay which is my favorite day!

In a way I have already covered part of the day because I did my recap of the Castaway Cay 5k already, so I will just skip over the actual race which was first thing in the morning.

We were smart and brought our bags with us so we didn’t have to go back to the ship. We changed into our swimsuits and headed straight for Serenity Bay, the adults only beach at the end of the island. My favorite place on earth!

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Since we ran the 5k we were a little late getting to the party, but were still able to find chairs and an umbrella. Some dark storm clouds were looming overhead, and I really hoped they would go away so we could enjoy our last day of the cruise.

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The tide was way out and the sandbar was above the water, so we decided to go out to it and bring Bobby’s underwater camera and have some fun.

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Looking back at the beach

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Chillin on the sandbar

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yes, my arm is double jointed. Wwwweeeee!

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It got quite dark while we were out there.

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Oh you know, just hanging out in the middle of the ocean on a sandbar while a huge storm rolls in!

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Bobby decided t take a nap.

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After awhile, I decided to go back in while Bobby did some snorkeling. We got SO LUCKY and the storm went right over us, no rain, and beautiful blue skies came out for the rest of the day!

I went to our chairs and started reading a book, when I saw this guy walking across the beach. Of course, I had to get a picture. Ssshhh don’t tell Bobby. He was still snorkeling!

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I then proceeded to do my favorite thing. Ever. I ordered a Konk cooler (my favorite drink, ONLY made on Castaway Cay) and pulled my chair up to the water and just relaxed. Pure heaven. (You can see Bobby with his snorkel gear in the background!)

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I sat like this for a long while, relaxing, reading books, and just being so thankful to be in a beautiful place…and then my stomach started growling. Lunch time! Bobby came in and we headed towards the smell of BBQ to the adults only outdoor restaurant for some grub, followed by ice cream of course. We headed back to our spots, more konk coolers were consumed, and we enjoyed an afternoon of bliss.

Mid afternoon we decided to take the tram to the family beach so Bobby could go on the snorkeling path with his underwater camera. We packed up and then set up a spot at the back of the family beach. We only had a couple hours left until all aboard, so it wasn’t completely full of people by this point. While Bobby snorkeled, I went to take some pictures and walk around.

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A near empty beach before heading back to the ship

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Bobby is out there snorkeling somewhere!

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Sadly it was soon time to go. We like to stay on the island as long as possible, and the lifeguards gave the 15 minute call so we decided to go.

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The island from our verandah. Bye bye!

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That night was sadly our last night at dinner, and it was at Animators again.

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The drawing show is super cute, and was one of my favorite parts of our dining experience! However, I think I should keep my day job. Drawing is NOT my gift.

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We went to the adult’s club one more time for a fun game of battle of the sexes before heading off to bed for our last time about the Disney Fantasy. We truly had an AMAZING cruise, and spent a lot of time just relaxing and enjoying the boat. It was very laid back with no set schedule which I loved, and hope to do it again soon!

*Remember, I can book your cruise for you at no extra cost to you, on most cruise lines! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote!

QOTD: Do you like to get in the water or lay out on the beach?

Disney’s Castaway Cay 5k April 2013 + Tips

I have written two other Castaway Cay 5k posts, you can check them out below:

Castway Cay 5k and  here.

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Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island that most of their cruises sail to at the end of the voyage. The Castaway Cay 5k is an unofficial runDisney run. It is a free fun run, it’s untimed, and is a 5k distance that has a race clock so you can see your time at the end. Let me back up and start from the beginning.

The night before our day at Castaway Cay, there was information in our navigator (papers that highlight the next day’s activities) about the 5k. It told us to meet in the Tube at 9:00 ready to run, and bring our ship card and ID with us. It was for anyone 12 and older if I remember correctly. Bobby and I knew that the start of the 5k is a pretty good ways into the island and didn’t want to waste time going back to the ship after the race, so we each brought backpacks with us so we could go straight to serenity bay afterwards.

We went to the Tube about 9:10 and checked in. We were given a bib and safety pins, and they wrote down our bib and stateroom number next to our bib number and told us to be sure to check in with them after so they didn’t leave anyone out on the course.

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People checking in at the table for the race.

We took a seat, pinned on our bibs, and waited. At about 9:25, a cast member got up on stage with a microphone and explained what was going to happen. We were going to walk off the ship together and to the starting point by the bike rentals where there would be a big box to drop personal belongings. We would start the race (water provided on the course) and they went over the route with us on a map up on the big screen. They reminded us to check in after so we could get our finishers medal.

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At 9:30 when we were cleared to go ashore onto Castaway Cay. wWe walked together off the gangway and onto the island. Bobby and I grabbed some towels to put into our backpacks and we followed the group for the 8-10 minute walk to the starting line. We put our bags in the box, and got behind the start line where they went over the map/course one more time.

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It was very dark and had started to drizzle a little bit.

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I carried Bobby’s phone with me so I could snap some photos. This proved to be difficult because I was so sweaty, but I managed to get a few! I didn’t have high expectations for this race after eating myself into a  food coma every day for seven days, but it’s still fun to run with Disney! Soon we were off, and I fell into a steady rhythm.

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It rained on us for about two minutes and then stopped. I made it to the first turn and followed the red and white 5k signs.

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We ran a bit on the airstrip before making our first turn onto the bike loop. One of the cast members had gone out ahead and set up a water station for us. I didn’t grab water this time, but knew I would when I came through the second time.

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Into the loop I went, and this loop for some reason feels like it goes on forever. I’m not sure if it’s because there are so many trees you can’t really see anything or because you run it twice, but it’s not my favorite.

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It was weird running, I felt like I was rocking back and forth on the boat and had to really concentrate to keep my balance. I made it out and took a right onto the airstrip. It was nice to be out in the open but man was it hot! No shade, and running on asphalt. I picked off a couple runners, and headed towards Serenity Bay.

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Bobby passed me going the other way and we waved. I made it to the Serenity bay turn around, and you are supposed to loop around the cul-de-sac. I got a little frustrated that a couple girls in front of me cut it way short, but then reminded myself this was a fun run. I headed back down the airstrip as people were heading towards the beach to relax and I wished it was me! I grabbed some water at the entrance to the bike loop and headed in again. At about mile 2.3 I had to stop and walk for a minute because the heat was getting to me. I wished at that point I had worn a hat or visor. I chugged along reminding myself I was almost done then I could relax on the beach all day. I finally made it out of the bike loop and headed back towards the finish. I followed the signs and made one last turn and then saw the finish line ahead of me with people clapping! I crossed at 29:00, definitely slower for me but I was proud anyway. I checked in and got my medal before Bobby and I took some pictures.

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We chugged some water that was at the finish line, grabbed our bags and headed to the tram stop which happens to be right by the finish line. We made it to Serenity Bay, changed clothes and hit the beach for an amazing and relaxing day on Castaway Cay!

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Here are a few tips I have learned after doing the Castaway Cay 5k 3-4 times that may be useful:

1.) Bring your beach clothes and things with you in a bag or backpack so you don’t have to go back to the ship. You will waste a good 30-45 minutes walking back, showering, and coming back out when you can change and shower at the beach.

2.) Get towels when you get off the ship. I am so glad we did because they did NOT have towels at Serenity Bay and we would have had to go back and get some.

3.) Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat. It’s HOT and there isn’t a lot of shade on the course.

4.) Hydrate! They set up a water stop at the bike loop, but you can also take advantage of the water stops in the bike loop and at the Serenity Bay tram stop

5.) SOMETIMES they have a Disney character waiting at the finish line (didn’t this time, but did last time) so bring a camera or phone to capture the moment!

6.) If you want to see the island but don’t want to run, there is an “island power walk” that leaves just a few minutes after the 5k that you can join in with, or you can always rent bikes.

7.) be sure to look at your finishing time as you cross, it’s on your left up high in a brown box

8.) At the souvenir shop right by the finish they sell 5k finishers shirts. I wouldn’t wait until late in the day to get one in case they run out of your size. I snagged mine right after I finished the race and they had plenty.

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(This photo is taken from the start. When you are coming in to the finish, the clock is facing the other way so you can see your time.)

*Note, there are now NEW MEDALS for the race!

QOTD: Would you want to run the Castaway Cay 5k race? Have you ever run in the Caribbean or Bahamas?

Disney Fantasy Part 1

Back in April, Bobby and I boarded the Disney Fantasy for a much needed week of relaxing, just the two of us. We had an amazing time, and I wanted to share some of our trip with you! I won’t be doing a detailed report but will be sharing tidbits and photos! Remember, if you would like me to book your cruise at no extra coast to you I can help! heather@travelwiththemagic.com

We had a car from Southern Elegance Limousine bring us to the port. The car was beautiful, they were on time, and were so easy to work with. Highly recommended! We checked in and waited to get onboard the beautiful Disney Fantasy. We booked a category 4C, and once we got onboard and ate lunch, our room was ready.

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We spent some time walking around and exploring the deck while we waited to sail away

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Check out the beautiful couples villa at the spa!

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We had a good time relaxing and hanging out but then it was time for dinner

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Dinner was at Enchanted Garden and I absolutely love the theming!

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We were lucky to get a table to ourselves, and we met our servers for the week, who we really enjoyed! After dinner, we went to the adult area for some fun game shows. I LOVE match you mate. Hilarious every time. If you cruise with Disney, don’t miss this! We turned in around 11:30, ready for Palo brunch reservations the next day!

QOTD: DO you like game shows? I like to watch and laugh at other peoples expense. Smile

Mickey Boat Time

Fun news, Bobby and I are going on a CRUISE in two weeks! Yup, two weeks from today we will be setting sail on the Disney Fantasy for seven amazing nights in the Western Caribbean. We NEVER do anything last minute like this, but due to a few circumstances in our lives decided we needed to get away just the two of us. This week was the only one that worked for us, so yup, two weeks away, ah! I have been on the fantasy for a quick 3 night preview cruise, but Bobby has never been.

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We will be staying in a Deluxe family oceanview stateroom with verandah.

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We will be visiting Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

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Grand Cayman

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Costa Maya

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Cozumel

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We have no big plans, no excursions, just a week of relaxing and hanging out, getting away from some crazy things going on.

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Our awesome neighbors will be watching the house and the dogs, so all is taken care of. Don’t worry, I will have lots of great posts scheduled while I am gone so Through Heather’s Looking Glass will still be up and running!

Remember if you need help planning YOUR cruise on most cruise lines, contact me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for information and a free quote!

QOTD: Do you plan out vacations well in advance or with short notice?

Cruise on the Magic Part 5: Castaway Cay

Happy 4th of July! I am so blessed and honored to live in America, and am thankful for those past and present who have fought to protect our freedoms!

Check out my earlier installments of the cruise before reading this one!

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We woke up very excited about this day, we were going to Castaway Cay! For those of you who don’t know about my husband and I’s obsession with Castaway Cay, here are a few posts you may want to read:

Castaway Cay 5k Take Two

Castaway Cay 5k

Disney Dream part 2

Disney Dream part 5

1st stop castaway cay

More of Castaway Cay day 1

Castaway Cay take 3

Get the idea? Anyway, because of our deep love the the island, we decided NOT to run the Castaway Cay 5k again. here’s why. I literally had just ran the race 5 weeks prior, and was totally cool not doing it again. Bobby didn’t care, he just wanted to be on the island. Also, it was very hot and I struggled 5 weeks prior due to my motion sickness patch, which I had on again and didn’t want to get dizzy like last time. We like to have as much time as possible and we love being the first ones out to the adult beach to get the best chairs and one of the coveted hammocks.

We watched us pull in from our verandah, it was really cool to see how everyone scurried around getting the boat tied off, and getting supplies on the island etc. before they let the passengers off.

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As soon as we got the all clear to disembark, we headed to the gangway and were back in our favorite place on earth.

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We hopped on the tram excited for a full day of relaxing fun in the sun. We switched trams to go to the adults only beach, serenity bay. I tell you no lie when I say we were LITERALLY the first people of the cruise to step foot on our beloved Serenity Bay, and it was fabulous. We have been the first one other time before and I just love those early morning few quiet minutes before it gets full of people.

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This is the life

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After awhile Bobby put on his goggles and headed out into the water, and I stole his hammock.

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Bobby made a friend (don’t worry he put him back in the water!)

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The sun was quite bright, so I found it necessary for my awesome hat to make a reappearance.

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After lunch and more relaxing, we decided to head to the family beach so bobby could do some looking around underwater at some of the statues and things. We have never been to the family beach, and since it was about 2:30ish, it was already starting to empty out. We found some chairs/umbrellas in a quiet area and Bobby took off towards the water.

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I may or may not have instantly fallen asleep for about 45 minutes. Bobby came back in from the water and we sat for a bit before decided to head back. Always the saddest part of the trip for me, walking back to the ship at the end of Castaway Cay day.

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Pulling away from the island

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bye bye. Sad smile

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The best part of the cruise is over, but the trip was NOT over. We still have more of our vacation to go so I have plenty more to share with you!

QOTD: What is your favorite beach activity? Reading? sitting in the sun? playing in the water?

Castaway Cay 5k Take Two

 

My post on the Castaway Cay 5k is to this day one of my most visited posts, and also one of my top search terms. even though I wrote it almost two years ago, it is still relevant to people going on Disney cruises…until now. When I went on the Disney Fantasy for the earmarked conference a couple weeks ago, I convinced three of the other agents in the agency I work for to do the race with me. We had a blast, and I am so glad they all participated! However, there were some new (pretty big!) changes since I last ran the 5k ten months ago (this would be my third time running.) So, I thought a new post and recap was in order. Let me just say I LOVE most of the changes, all but one, which you will see below!

Since it was a special preview cruise, I wasn’t sure if the 5k was going to happen or not. When I saw it listed in my Navigator the night before we went to Castaway Cay, I was so excited and knew I had to run, along with some of the other agents I was with! The navigator said to meet in one of the adult area’s (The Irish pub) at 8:45. (Change number one: Normally we meet right outside the ship at 9:00, or whenever we are finally able to get off the ship.) We all headed down in our running clothes, excited for what was in store. When we got to the pub, there were a lot of people already inside. We headed to a table with two cast members, and were told to write down our name and stateroom numbers on a chart, and then we were given a bib and safety pins. (change number two: we have never had bib’s in the past!) We chatted with some other runners, I ran into Lorraine who was also running. Loraine and I were both part of the Princess blogger group back in February!

At 9:00, we headed off the ship following a cast member.

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Corby, Robyn, me, and Amy. Notice, my bib is ALWAYS crooked!

We followed the cast members off the ship… and we walked…and we walked. This is the one change I did NOT like. We had a fifteen minute walk just to get to the start line. (Change number three: We always used to start right off the ship, ran a 3 mile loop that ended back at the ship). We started over by the bike rentals and volleyball nets. Those familiar with the island know it’s a good hike to get there! I was already hot and sweaty  by time we got out there. Oh well!

They had an official sign for the 5k start!

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Everyone gathered around to listen to the cast members, and then Daisy showed up!

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We gathered around the map as the course was explained to use. We were to run out to the airstrip towards the adult beach. head into the loop where the observation tower is. Run the loop, head to Serenity bay, head back, do the loop again, and then head to the finish line, which was also the start line. (change  number four: well, the whole course! before we just did the loop once but ran all the way back to the ship.) Oh, they also had a box where you could leave personal items that you didn’t want to run with.

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We were told we could get photos with Daisy at the finish, and to line up by the start clock. Heck yes, there was a time clock! I know it’s hard to see with the sun on it, and the fact that I took this hours after so it’s not actually on anymore.

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We were told there would be water on course, and there was water at the finish. (You can see it behind the time clock.) One of the cast members got on a bike, and when we started he said to follow him out to the loop. he was going to stay outside the loop to make sure everyone made it in, back out, then back in again. He did a great job of cheering us on the whole time!

The race started, and we were off! We made it out to the loop, and in we went, into the thick trees!IMG_5079
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I made it around the loop and back out, and started heading down the airstrip towards serenity bay (the adult beach) There were no trees and it was quite sunny. I started getting a little woozy and thought it was just the heat and kept going.

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photo thanks to one of my travel agent friends. I am somewhere in that group!

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See the red plate on the barrel? It says 5k, and was where we turned around to head back.

I headed back the other way and waved at my friends as we passed each other. I stopped for water before heading back into the loop. They had set up a little station for us right before heading back into it.

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I started getting REALLY dizzy about this point, and felt like I was spinning. Then it hit me…my sea sickness patch behind my ear!!! I had heard stories of people who had issues wearing them once they got back on land, but I hadn’t thought about it until then. Last year and the year before when I did the 5k I didn’t have the patch. I decided for safety I should start doing some run walk intervals so I didn’t make myself sick or more dizzy. I made it around to the observation tower and knew I was about halfway around the loop.

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Luckily, there was also some water (nice and cold!) so I was able to rehydrate (side effect of the patch is AWFUL dry mouth. I felt like I couldn’t breathe or get enough water!) There was another water stop before I made it out of the loop, and I gladly stopped to take a drink.

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I made it out of the loop and decided to run in to the finish. I made it the rest of the way down the airstrip and followed the sign. (change number 5: signs directing us!)

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I kept running, and came to a fork in the road and wasn’t sure which way to go. I could here cheering at the finish, so I took a chance and went left and kept running. I ran into a family walking, they cheered me on and I yelled that I didn’t think I was going the right way. They told me “you are almost there the finish line is just around the corner! Go go go!” So I picked up the pace, ran around the corner and saw the finish line, and Daisy duck! She was standing with one of the cast members, and she was holding medals! (change number six: medals!) After I crossed Daisy handed me my medal and I thanked her. I finished right at 30 minutes, not bad considering my pathetic “land sickness” issues!

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Here are the cast members cheering in one of my friends in the travel agency!

After I drank about four cups of water, I made the long walk back to the ship wearing my medal, and got lots of strange looks, as everyone else was heading in the opposite direction towards the beaches! I had to laugh because all the medals said “winner” on them (by the way they are plastic!)

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Overall, the changes were good. The directional signs were greatly appreciated, and the bibs, medals, and time clock were a nice “official” touch to the race. Having plentiful cold water was nice in the warm tropical climate, and the guest appearance by Daisy was so cute! I was very pleased! I also love how the bibs say “runDinsey” on them!

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*UPDATE: ON our March cruise the 5k said “open to adult runners” but on our May cruise it said “ages 12 and up”
QOTD: Have you ever run a race in a tropical climate?

A huge thank you to Amy for letting me use some of her photos!

***It has been reported from several people that DCL is no longer giving out medals to participants, but instead you get a certificate for completing the race in your room afterwards.

*Meghann from Meals and Miles mentioned the race and my post in her post this morning! Go say hi to her!

***The winner of the Zero Water giveaway is Ricole Runs! Email me at  runningwithsass@gmail.com so I can get you your prize! ***

Thank you to all who entered! You can all sign up for zero water coupons here.