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Tri-Circle-D

An Easter Weekend Trip on the Wonder with (most of) the TCD Gang

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4 hours ago, AC in A2......Aaron said:

I could spend a good deal of time back and forth between the hammocks at Serenity Bay and the bar.

Disney needs to repurpose the drones into drink delivery drones.

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5 hours ago, DaveInTN said:

Don't worry.  I may be highly intelligent and extremely good looking, but I'm humble. 

It's funny you say that because being humble is my best trait, I'm actually very very good at it.

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I still have more Castaway Cay photos. The bike ride continues. 

This is the long runway that separates Serenity Bay from the family beach:

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If you look down the runway, you can see that there are still guests out riding bikes. But those folks are heading back to return their bikes, while I'm about to head down the "new" bike path loop:

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Here we are at the observation tower:

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Oh boy- look at all of the nautical flags they have flying here:

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A thoughtful imagineer provided a chart for us:

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There was a nice breeze, so the flags were flapping, and you may not be able to read them all, but you can see enough to confirm that this string says Castaway:

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If you guessed that the flags below Castaway spelled Cay, you are correct. You can see those flags in the first photos I posted of the tower, above.

These flags on the left side of the tower stumped me briefly. I started to read them from top to bottom, like the Castaway Cay flags we just looked at:

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Reading from top to bottom, it spells out o-t-e-m-o-c-l-e-w. Huh?  Wait- read it from bottom to top-  it says Welcome to. That was easy. 

I headed on up the tower. And I saw the Wonder way over yonder:

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While Castaway Cay seems small, there sure is a lot of undeveloped land on the island. It looks like a lot of it is underwater at high tide, though. The ground around the observation tower looks like it floods:

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That thing that looks like an outhouse in that photo is a sculpture that Disney put out here for guests to look at. Why an outhouse though?  There's another piece of outdoor art here on the other side of the tower:

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There's a nice set of binoculars mounted up here- and they actually work. I spent some time enjoying the view:

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With the binoculars, I could see a lot of neighboring islands- but they all looked small:

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Looking through the binoculars, I saw a guy in a junky boat using nets to fish in the inlet over to the left in this photo:

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He's right under the purple arrow:

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I could have stayed up on the tower for a lot longer, but I figured I should get my bike back by 4. I wanted to finish my afternoon at the deserted family beach with my toes in the water sipping a cold one. 

TCD 

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I thought that this next update would get us back on the ship, but it's not. No worries, mon, we're on Bahamas time. 

I emerged from the bike path loop to find that the runway was deserted. The empty tram was still running back and forth to retrieve the last few stragglers from Serenity Bay:

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This photo was taken from the same spot as the one we just looked at, but looking in the opposite direction on the runway. I'm the only guest here:

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The thing is- those photos were taken at 3:43 pm- all aboard is still an hour away. 

Before turning in my bike, I stopped at the Spring A Leak splash area. There are always nautical flags on display here, so we need to see what they say. 

Here we go:

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We need our chart:

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Let's see- That's R-E-F-R-?-S-H. Obviously it's supposed to spell refresh. But that fifth flag sure doesn't look like an E to me. 

Here's some more flags:

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The three flags hanging from the rope are easy- those spell the word "FUN."  But, what about the flags nailed to the wall?  The one straight ahead is an M. Reading left to right, the flags spell M-?-D-E-A. The question mark is for the flag behind the pole. This is kind of like the Wheel of Fortune. If that's an A, then the flags spell Madea. Which is weird, because despite the fact that she's hilarious, she's not owned by Disney. Is this some kind of spoiler?  If Disney buys Madea, and comes out with Madea's Crazy Cruise, you heard it here first. Another possibility is that the flag behind the pole is for the letter R, and the flags were supposed to spell Dream, but the flag installer goofed.   I don't know which of these theories is more plausible. 

Here's a doozy:

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That one stumped me when I was there because I couldn't figure out what letter the first flag was supposed to be. Upon further study, it's clear that the last three flags spell i-n-g. The first flag most closely resembles the flag for the letter S, so my best guess is that they're supposed to spell the word SPLASHING, but the flag that's supposed to be a P doesn't look like a P flag. Maybe the imagineers were making that old joke about there being no P in the splash pad and let's keep it that way?  Maybe that's one of the jokes Madea is going to make in the movie?  If you don't think that's plausible, may I remind you that they named this splash area Spring-A-Leak?

Here's my last photo from Spring A Leak:

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In all the times I've visited here, I never realized that they built this place to look like the roof had been blown off in a storm. They actually put a lot of effort into that. It's a shame that the flag guy is mucking things up. 

After this, I turned in my bike, and headed to the family beach, where the plan was for me to drag a chair down to the water and I would drink my last Corona while enjoying being the last guest on the beach. That all started out well until  an obnoxious loud family showed up and asked the lifeguard what time the beach would close. He told them 4:30, and they announced that they would be the last guests to leave. Sigh. Time for a new plan.  

At 4:15, with just a half hour left before the all-aboard time, I had to come up with a new plan.  The new plan was that rather than taking the tram, I'd take a leisurely stroll back to the ship. A half hour was plenty of time for that.

As I headed down the path, I stopped to snap a photo of the side of this building- the girls and I had noticed it earlier- clearly a sign had been removed:

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When we had seen this earlier, we wondered whose sign had been removed. Our best guess is that it was someone who had fallen out of Disney's good graces. Maybe John Lasseter?  

What do you think?

Fortunately, we don't have to speculate about whose sign was removed, as I found a photo of that same building in my 2016 Disney Dream trip report. Here's how it looked two years ago:

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A closer look:

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Joe Lanzisero.

I commented back then that I had never heard of him  

But, thanks to Google, I soon found out that he was a high ranking Disney Imagineer.  Here's a short clip of him talking at a D23 convention:

After I had seen that, I recognized the guy.  I know that he has been on some of the Travel Channel shows that have featured the Disney Cruise Line.  He also was involved in the planning of the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, which I have heard good things about.  I found some on-line articles discussing his involvement with the planning of the design of the Disney Dream, and he was heavily involved with the planning and story behind the Aqua Duck slide.  

And now his sign is missing.  

Why?

This is where we could use the services of a skilled investigator like DIT.  I've done some brief searching, but came up with nothing suggesting that Joe has fallen out of favor with Disney.  He appears to still be employed as an imagineer.  

While we're looking at the old photo, I can see several other changes on the building. Can you? This is like one of those photo challenges they have in People magazine.  Only this one isn't photoshopped.

You can see how far away I am from the ship in this photo:

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Do you see the ship there between the umbrellas? I had just under 30 minutes to get there.

Time to get hoofing.

 TCD 

 

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Great update!

Castaway Cay is one of those places that just reading about it and looking at pictures brings back a flood of great memories and makes me smile!

Spring-a-leak was one of the first places W and I went to on our first trip, it was totally empty so naturally we did it our last cruise too.  I'll always remember how much fun he has there and how cold that water was!

I think your building comparison pictures are a good example of how DCL still cares about the details.  They actually added more things to this non-important wall over the years.  Sure a sign is missing but I'm sure it wasn't for long.

WBI

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Seems he's a consultant now so maybe they don't want to advertise his business? 

http://joelanzisero.com/2/

"I'm a full-time consultant working for visionary clients all over the world."

"If you're going to drive design at theme parks, you might consider yourself blessed to have had that experience at Disney Imagineering.  I do." [I added underline]

 

Also, I'm worrying just thinking about getting back to that ship in time. I'm one of those "but what if this happens kind of people" -- twist my ankle, realize I don't have my phone, etc.  Although if the penalty is another night on CC, that might not be too bad.

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I'll play I spot 3 differences in the picture besides the sign gone.

Thanks for this report it is 42 and raining here and I love looking at your pictures it all looks so beautiful!

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8 minutes ago, Memphis said:

I think we have ALL been left on Castaway Cay.     

Sorry.

i just got back from Disneyland yesterday. As per usual the last day was a marathon day in the parks followed by a red eye flight home. I don't bounce back from those kinds of trips as well as I used to. 

The good news is another trip report is on the way. 

TCD 

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4 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Sorry.

i just got back from Disneyland yesterday. As per usual the last day was a marathon day in the parks followed by a red eye flight home. I don't bounce back from those kinds of trips as well as I used to. 

The good news is another trip report is on the way. 

TCD 

Yay!  I always love reading your trip reports!

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As I said, sorry for the delay. The TCD gang made another trip to Disneyland last week, and there was no time for updates to this trip report. 

We left off at the beginning of my long walk back to the ship. It was 4:16 pm, and all of the shops in the Pelican Point area were closed up:

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There's a tram stop here, but I decided to take a leisurely walk back to the ship. I was pretty sure it would take me less than 15 minutes, and I had 29. 

This sign was on the side of the Conched Out bar:

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The name on that sign was easy to recognize- Karl Holz is the long- time president of Disney Cruise Line. 

I next walked through the shopping area, and everything was locked down there too. After that, I reached Mount Rustmore:

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You can see the ship in the background on the left edge of that photo. It was now 4:23 pm.  Time to pick up the pace. 

A couple of minutes later, I was here on the walkway, and on pace to make it back with time to spare:

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As I proceeded along the walkway, a tram full of fellow stragglers passed me to my left. But there were no other walkers that I could see:

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There were still some CM's on the boat beach putting the rentals away:

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It was now 4:29, and I was just about to the bridge:

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This sign is cute, but it always makes me sad when I see it. I know that it's not true:

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Here's a look at the ship from the bridge. It was here that I became aware of a CM on a golf cart who was following along behind me, trying to be discreet. I think she was assigned to round up any stragglers who looked like they weren't going to make it back at n time. She never did say anything to me, as I was moving along on pace the be back on time. 

I wish my photos showed how beautiful the water was today, but they don't. Here are some more photos I snapped from the bridge, showing the boat rental CM's finishing up for the day:

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There is usually a line of guests waiting to take photos at this photo opportunity, but I was the only one here at this time of day:

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At 4:36, I had passed through the Bahamian checkpoint, and was walking toward the ship with no other guests anywhere to be seen:

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If you look closely at that last photo, you can see the TCD twins are out on our verandah, looking for me.  Our verandah is the second oval opening from the left on the bottom row of oval openings.  It was at this moment that one of the twins snapped this photo of me walking toward the ship:

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I was greeted by an officer at the gangway who confirmed that I was the last guest on the island.  I hurried across the gangway, and took this photo from inside the ship as they pulled the gangway away at 4:40 pm:

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One of the twins snapped this photo at 4:42 pm showing the gangway being put in its storage position:

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I was back in our cabin, and took these photos at 4:44 showing the CM's preparing to cast off the lines:

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The girls wanted to hang out in the cabin and watch us head out from there.  I like to watch sail aways from the top deck, so I headed up there.  Here's a last look at beautiful Castaway Cay as we prepared to leave:

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I'm going to stop here, and will begin the next update with some sail away photos.  Then we will move on to our busy last night aboard the Wonder.

TCD

 

 

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Great job being the last to board!

I like the part of the golf cart discreetly escorting you off the island.  I wonder if they had your picture pulled up on the ship and she was confirming it was you.  Castaway Cay is very unique in that they don't want to leave you there.

WBI

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21 hours ago, CCIntrigue...aka Gwen said:

Wow, you cut that departure close!  I'm always so afraid of missing the ship that I'm back onboard at least an hour beforehand.

It wasn't as close as it seems. I knew how far I had to walk and how long it would take. I wasn't even a little bit worried about missing the ship. 

21 hours ago, WannaBeImagineer said:

Great job being the last to board!

I like the part of the golf cart discreetly escorting you off the island.  I wonder if they had your picture pulled up on the ship and she was confirming it was you.  Castaway Cay is very unique in that they don't want to leave you there.

WBI

I forgot to mention that when I got back to the cabin, the girls told be that guest services had called about 15 minutes earlier asking if I was on the ship somewhere. They know exactly who is on and off the ship. On occasion, I imagine that someone's card is missed by the scanner, so they follow up with phone calls. We all wondered what would have happened if the girls had said I was back on board. I imagine they would have wanted to track me down to confirm I was really on board. 

TCD 

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13 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

It wasn't as close as it seems. I knew how far I had to walk and how long it would take. I wasn't even a little bit worried about missing the ship. 

I forgot to mention that when I got back to the cabin, the girls told be that guest services had called about 15 minutes earlier asking if I was on the ship somewhere. They know exactly who is on and off the ship. On occasion, I imagine that someone's card is missed by the scanner, so they follow up with phone calls. We all wondered what would have happened if the girls had said I was back on board. I imagine they would have wanted to track me down to confirm I was really on board. 

TCD 

I bet your right, they would have wanted to see you in person somewhere to confirm that.

WBI

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We left off with us about to set sail from Castaway Cay. All aboard time was 4:45, and they were already casting off the lines at 4:55. One of the twins took this photo from our cabin at 4:55:

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Here's an artistic shot taken a few minutes later as the ship pulled away from the island:

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At the same time, I was up top watching us pull away:

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It's pretty amazing how fast the ship moves away from the island when it's time to go. Docking is a slow process that seems to take forever, but when it's time to go, they go. These next three photos were taken one minute apart, beginning at 5:01 pm:

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I watched for a little while, then visited the adult pool for a bit.  I like the layout of the adult pool area much more on the Wonder than the layout on the Dream-class ships.  The hot tubs were empty, so I even enjoyed some hot tub time.

While I was doing that, the girls put the dresses they had worn when we boarded back on and hunted down our favorite chipmunks for this photo:

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They had hoped to get that photo on day one, but the chipmunks weren't in the right outfits until night three.  But, mission accomplished.

Tonight was the new Frozen show, so we had to go to that.  Unfortunately, that show started 15 minutes earlier than the shows started on the other nights of our cruise, which eliminated our chance to pregame in the Crown and Fin.  Boo!

Before the show, our cruise director welcomed us and made some announcements.  She congratulated us for having enjoyed the nicest weather on Castaway Cay so far this year.  That was an interesting comment, and we all agreed that the weather had been close to perfect for us.

On most cruises, I skip at least one of the shows, but we ended up seeing all three on this cruise.  I've been sick of all things Frozen for a long time, but I enjoyed the show.  I think it was because it was a live performance with very talented actors.

Our final dinner was in Animators Palate, which meant I had to wear my John Lassiter Hawaiian shirt, which has not been worn since our last cruise:

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Twin #1 took the requisite selfie with our server:

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Normally, after our last dinner we would have to rush back to the cabin to pack our suitcases and put them out in the hallway to be collected. But, for this cruise we decided to try something new and keep all of our luggage to carry off on the last morning.  That ended up being a big hit- no rushing around and trying to figure out what to pack and what to keep.  The key to this was that we committed to pack much lighter than normal for this cruise- just one carry on sized suitcase each.  

Since we didn't have to rush back to the cabin, we got a good spot for the 'Till We Meet Again show, and the girls took advantage of all the meet and greet opportunities. Twin #1 won the award for most obscure meet and greet with this selfie with Ensign Benson:

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This farewell show is nicer than how the do it on the Dream:

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After the show, we did some final exploring around the ship: 

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We hunted down the entrance to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which is in a very remote part of the ship:

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We wandered around some more, and then headed back to the cabin for our last room service order. 

The next morning, we were woken by the engine noises of us docking at Port Canaveral. We enjoyed a quick final breakfast at Cabanas, and then headed off the ship.  Not having to hunt down our bags in that big luggage room was a plus.  The customs lines moved kind of slow, and for the first time ever, we got pulled from the line to have our bags searched by a customs officer. Luckily, we had nothing to worry about, as we hadn't purchased anything of significance, and didn't have any prohibited items with us. Maybe the Customs Officer read our body language, as she ended up just peeking in our backpacks, and never opened our suitcases.  I was glad that we didn't have to sit there while she searched through all of our bags. 

From there, we headed to the car, loaded up, and next stop was home in time for Easter brunch. 

And that's it. 

Thanks for following along. 

TCD 

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