Day 21a – Disembarkation & quick visit to the World of Disney

We woke up after a really a bad nights sleep (for both of us) just as we were arriving in Port Lauderdale. It was pretty windy and rainy out there. We showered and dressed and finished our packing before heading up to Windjammers for our last breakfast. It was very crowded which is why on all previous cruises we have gone to the dining room the last day for breakfast. But we wanted to be off and on our way to Orlando as quickly as possible.

After breakfast we collected our luggage and we thought our departure number had already been called so we promptly disembarked. Only to then find our luggage wasn’t yet ready for collection. So we sat in the little waiting area and we were amongst the first to retrieve our luggage when it was available. This worked out really well as it wasn’t crowded and our collected our luggage easily and were through customs and out in the uber pick up area before we knew it. Our uber turned up a few mins later and dropped us off at the Dollar Car Rental. By 9am we were on our way to Orlando.

About 11am we decided to stop at a service center, as Kevin needed a little break from driving. The centers here are HUGE !!!! I thought Kevin was buying lunch so I got myself a vegetable fajitas from Chicken Kitchen, only to find he’d just gotten an Iced Coffee on almond milk (the USA doesn’t seem to offer soy milk at some of the tea/coffee places). Not to worry as I’d had mine cut in half so happily shared with Kevin. It was really good too and totally hit the spot as an early lunch.

We had quite mixed weather on the trip, alternating between raining, cloudy and sometimes a few patches of blue sky. Luckily though it was still cloudy in Orlando the rain seemed to have stopped.

About 1pm we drove past the Caribe Royal, where we are staying for the next two nights, on our way to Disney Springs.

Our goal for today was just to visit World of Disney. It was crowded enough and I knew it would be packed tomorrow.

World of Disney at Disney Springs

We probably spent about an hour and half here. Such a stunning store and I love looking around here. Would be great to have one visit just to look at everything (preferably when it’s quiet) and then come back another time to make purchases.

Don’t worry – I didn’t bring home the giant Stitch

We then headed back to the Caribe Royal and got checked in to our room. We stayed for 2 nights on our last trip but had a different room type this time (as it was just the two of us and we didn’t require a kitchen).

It’s such a nice looking resort but sadly, just like last time, we didn’t get the chance to have a look around.

We basically dropped off our luggage, quickly got changed and headed right back out….because it was time to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

… coming up in the next post.

Day 10 – Setting sail

Kevin and I were both awake before the sun arose and went outside to watch it come up over the horizon.

I really missed seeing the sunrise (used to almost daily when I was able to walk my dogs early in the morning).

Kevin went to the front desk and asked for late check out, which we were granted. This meant we could have a more leisurely morning before packing and checking out.

Being a Sunday morning there seemed be a lot of dogs out for walks. These were just 2 that I spotted.

We had mini bagels for breakfast, gradually packed and got ready for the day. Just before 12pm we collected our luggaged, check out of the hotel (which we have loved staying at) and got an uber to the port.

It’s always exciting to get that first view of the ship. Our uber dropped off right beside bag check in. We then had to go through security – which as usual took quite a while – maybe 30mins or so. But then check in was so easy because we had done it all online and using their new app. Less than 5mins later we were done, had our photos taken and were walking on board. Since the cabins aren’t ready until 1pm we went straight up to Windjammers for lunch.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much at all in the way of vegan food and I wasn’t feeling up to asking one of the chefs so I just did the best I could – I had some salad to start and then this plate of carbs.

Just as we finished lunch we got the announcement that the cabins were ready so we made our way to ours. It’s all very much as expected and a nice decent size.

We spent time outside on the balcony and actually got to see a Mummy & Baby manatee swimming past. I was so excited !! Later we saw another one – but he disappeared pretty quickly.

I unpacked the bags we had and at 3pm it was time for Muster. Always fun – not !!! After muster we had a little wander around the ship (it’s an elderly crowd on this cruise so the lifts were busy for quite some time). I didn’t fancy walking from deck 5 to 9 – though we ended up doing that anyway !! And it was a struggle so not again ( 2 -3 flights UP maximum).

We headed back to our cabin sailaway. Luckily since it ended up being delayed by over an hour.

This did mean we were late for our 5.30pm dinner in the dining room as I really wanted to see and record sailaway. We were quite surprised to see the coastguard chase after a boat that had come too close us – and the M60 on the front of it !!!

Finally we left the dock and headed out of the harbour.

and we raced to the dining room. I was really happy to find they now have a vegan menu that I was able to order from. I had soup and a portabello mushroom with edamame. Both were lovely. Kevin, as you can see, ordered soup and steak.

We were seated at a very internationally diverse table with people from Finland, Sweden, Russia and Belgium. The downside being it was bit hard to understand at times.

I was seated next to the lady from Russia who, though lovely, was rather hard to understand I just responded based on her own facial expressions.

Since we were late for dinner we ended up missing tonights Welcome aboard show so we ended up just heading back to our room for an early night.

Day 9 – A relaxing day in Fort Lauderdale

After a pretty good nights sleep I was pleased to find I awoke JUST as the sun was coming up over the horizon.

I enjoyed the sunrise from inside today as I worked on my blog and videos but I went outside every so often to take photos as the sun rose higher.

Our balcony/patio is by far the largest in this complex and we have such a lovely outlook. You can see how small most of them are – barely fitting a table and 2 chairs. So we definitely scored big time.

I had a few ideas of what we might do today but I was happy to just see how we both felt on the day. After such a big travel day/night and being such a lovely day we decided against heading out to explore the city. We did have to visit somewhere to pick up some supplies for the cruise – so we headed to Target. Before shopping we got a drink from Starbucks (with the intention of having a punctual lunch). We did our shopping and headed back to the hotel. We had thought about having lunch at the Sandbar Grill on site but then realized we had exactly the same view from our balcony. So we bought some salads and extras and made our own delicious lunch.

I had an Asian Salad with added sweet potato and Kevin had a cobb salad with add avocado. I do this kind of thing quite often when travelling and Kevin was surprised at how good it was. The secret really is adding something extra !!

After lunch we had planned to relax out on the deck and go for a swim in the pool (which is heated) but Kevin discovered I had failed to pack the swimwear he wears under his boardshorts. Which meant we had to go back to Target. He also wanted a precision screwdriver so he could fix the screen on my camera which was coming loose. We did this and bought a few items I hadn’t seen earlier. Then when we were in line to pay I saw a man ahead of us with 2 Thomas Kincade puzzles that I do not have. So went back to the toy department to find them. Then through check out.

We browsed a few more shops but didn’t buy anything else, then got our 4th Uber of the day back to the hotel. Then went for a lovely swim.

The water was so nice and warm and we enjoyed our time here – though Kevin did get a very small cut on his foot (though we now think it was from the room as I did the same thing the next morning).

After our swim we went back to our room. Kevin had a nap and you know what I did – blogged and vlogged. And there was a bit of dog stalking spotting.

Later in the evening we heated up our Amy’s meals and enjoyed dinner while watching some Vlogmas videos by the only youtuber we both quite enjoy – Charlotte Ruff.