After we finished breakfast, we went back and woke up the rest of the gang. They got ready, and we went and sat with them while they ate breakfast.
As they were eating, our friend and his son and daughter came up. He told us that their youngest daughter had been sick off and on all night long. I hated to hear that. I felt terrible for her and for them. But his wife and the little one had planned on staying on the ship all day anyway, so they would be able to get some rest. His son, and the Young Prince and a couple of other of their friends also on the trip had planned to stay on the ship as well.
The girls got a kick out of looking at the workers name tags. The captain told us that first night that there were 1,500 workers from about 60 different countries. So it was interesting to read the workers's name tags and the country that they were from. While we were doing round two of breakfast, there was a huge guy cleaning tables. I don't remember what country he was from, but he was a big guy. Anyway, his name was Garfield. The girls thought that that was funny, because his name did not fit him AT ALL.
When everyone finished breakfast, we went to our designated meeting spot. We were the first ones there. Except the men selling water and little water coolers of course. They were good too. They convinced us we needed both. Not just for today, but for tomorrow when we would be at Disney's private beach. So we bought the cooler and the water. Our friend had brought water on board, so he just bought a cooler and quickly went back to his room to get his water. He returns with the water, only to realize that while getting the water, he laid their tickets down in their room, and had to run about eight flights of stairs back up to their room to get their tickets. It was a good thing we were early! Everything worked out, and he got back with the tickets in time.
The guy giving us information about what to do and where to go was from Mexico. His name was Diego, and it fit him perfectly. He did a great job of letting us know what we needed to know and checking to make sure that we had everything we needed in order. When everyone had checked in, we followed a different worker off of the ship. Under some tents, our tickets were taken, and we were given wrist bands to show that we were doing the dolphin experience and to give us access to the aquariums at Atlantis. Then we followed a very friendly lady to the bus that would take us to Atlantis. I laughed at our friend, who is a state trooper, marveling at the driving abilities (or lack thereof) of our bus driver. I was cool, calm and collected. It was a walk in the park after riding a bus in the Dominican Republic. These people stayed in their lanes (even if it is the opposite side from which we are used to), and I don't remember hearing any horns or seeing any moto-taxis zipping in between cars and busses. It was a nice ride. Although our friend may not agree.
When we got to Atlantis, they told us exactly where to go. We were able to stand on the beach and watch some of the dolphins and trainers interact. There were platforms just under the surface of the water and the trainers would walk across them and the dolphins would swim up and come up out of the water, and the trainers would touch their fins like they were giving them high fives. It was cute.
The bus ride from the ship to Atlantis
The entrance to Dolphin Cay - all of us who actually did the shallow water dolphin adventure
The Youngest Princess loved the dolphins hanging from the ceiling of the check-in center
Watching the dolphins and trainers while waiting for our turn
My Prince waiting to take pictures for us
Waiting for our orientation meeting to begin
The Youngest Princess about to kiss the dolphin
The Oldest Princess kissing the dolphin
The Adopted Princess kissing the dolphin
The men did not have a really good spot from which to take pictures, so we ended up going in together at the end to buy the jump drive with the rights to all of the pictures. Our friends have it for now, but when we get it, hopefully I can share some better pictures.
We watched the first groups come out and do their session. So we kind of knew what to expect. And soon they were calling us back to get our wetsuits and do our orientation. We learned a few things about the dolphins and were instructed on how and where to touch the dolphins correctly. Then finally, it was time to get into groups and head out to meet the dolphins. Our group consisted of a family from Chili (A grandma, a husband and wife, and their two very young children), a lady from Miami, FL, and then the Adopted Princess, the Oldest Princess, the Youngest Princess, a family friend a year older than the Youngest Princess and me. Our first dolphin was a dolphin named Icharo. He was 17 years old. And he had a little trouble minding his trainer. She had us line up and had him swim down the line so we could touch him. He would cut off at the end of the line, and the people at that end would not get to touch him. So she would make him do it again. Which worked out great for us, because we were on the starting end of the line, and it gave us more chances to touch him.
We took pictures with the dolphin. They had us "kiss" the dolphin for pictures. The Adopted Princess joked that it was her first kiss. Come to think of it, it was a first kiss for all three of the princesses. And each one was caught on camera! Too funny!
After our pictures were taken, a new trainer and a new dolphin came and switched. Now our dolphin was named Echo. He was 30 years old, but seemed to have a better personality than the first dolphin, and he minded much better than the first. He did several tricks for us, and danced as we sang "I like to move it, move it!" His trainer was crazy and she made us laugh. She told us that this particular dolphin weighed more than 600 pounds, and that he had 9 children. So she called him Big Daddy. Way before I was ready, they called all of the groups together and had us line up shoulder to shoulder. Our first trainer told the second one that she was just getting ready to let Icharo sing "Congratulations to You" to the Oldest Princess and the Adopted Princess for graduating from high school. So they did that first. It was really cool. Then they had several of the dolphins do jumps together right there in front of us. It is amazing how high they can jump even though they weigh hundreds of pounds. It was an awesome experience. They had the dolphins splash us with their tails, and then they had us point our fingers and tell the dolphins to "go to your room!", and with that it was over. I loved every second of it, and I think that the girls did too. Grammy asked the Youngest Princess last night what was her favorite part of the cruise, and she said, "Um, I think the dolphins!" She has loved dolphins ever since seeing the movie "Dolphin Tale". So touching a dolphin was a dream come true for her. I was very glad that we were able to do it.
After it was over, and we waited for about 15 minutes for grandpa speedo from a different country to get out of our way so we could get into our locker under the top locker he was trying to figure out, we changed out of our wetsuits and headed back to the bus stop to catch a bus back to the ship.
We had to walk for what seemed like forever, because let me tell you, Atlantis is a HUGE place! Every time we would turn a corner and I would think we were almost there, we would still have farther to go. When we got to the bus stop, we were just in time to catch the bus that was leaving. So we did not have to wait 30 minutes for another one. Which was really good, because we were starving. The second bus driver was more talkative than the first. He invited us (the whole bus full of people) all to come back and stay with him the next time. He told us it would be cheaper, and that he could put his two children in one room and we could stay in the other one. He would feed us some local dish and con con, and then we would drink until we passed out. Um, no thank you, sir! Then he got into a conversation with a lady sitting near him about some kind of beer. Then when we got closer to town he gave us kind of a running commentary about the buildings we were passing and taught us a little about the Bougainvillea growing on a wall near where we stopped. It was very interesting. Although I was a little more nervous about his knowledge of alcoholic beverages seeing as how he was driving us around. But we made it safely back to the drop off point.
There we had to walk through part of the market to get back to the boat. We did our best to stay on the edges and get back as easily as possible. While waiting in line, we took a few pictures of us in Nassau. We made it through the check points and back onto the boat with no trouble at all.
The Adopted Princess and the Oldest Princess in Nassau
Me, the Youngest Princess and My Prince in Nassau
Once on the boat, we were ready to get something to eat. Unfortunately, the buffet had closed already - and I was so looking forward to some more shrimp cocktail! I think our friend was pretty disappointed as well. So, I found a place serving pizza, and the girls and I got a few pieces of that.
After I ate, my friends were ready to play Dutch Blitz. So we played for about an hour. The table was a crackled blue color, and made it hard to concentrate on the colors. And the ship was docked, but it still moved a little, so that was a little disconcerting as well. Not to mention that one of the decks was missing a few cards. It was a comedy of errors, but we played anyway, and had a good time.
While we were playing, My Prince rode the Aqua-Duck with the Youngest Princess.
When we decided to call it quits and go and get ready for dinner, one of my friends and I went up one more deck to let the kids know we were going back to the cabin. As we were leaving, my friend said, "Ok, well, I'll see you tomorrow." And I said, "Okay, sounds good." And then my brain kicked into gear, and I thought, no, actually I'll see you in a few minutes at dinner! Both of us were so tired that we had that conversation without even catching it's errors. That's being pretty tired folks!
That night was Pirate Night. When we got back to our cabins, they had special Disney printed handkerchiefs for each one of us in honor of Pirate night. We had made simple Pirate costumes, but I did not want to wear mine to dinner - we were eating in the Royal Palace that night - and so I laid my stuff out and planned to come back after dinner and put it on.
At dinner, we made sure that the Youngest Princess knew what to order before we ordered our food. Our friend's youngest little girl who was sick all night the night before looked like she was not feeling well again. She crawled up in her mom's lap and looked like she was going to fall asleep. But then, she got sick. They did a fabulous job of taking care of it, and they of course made a quick exit to get her back to the room. We were left to explain what had happened. The staff took the chair away, and our friend's husband came back after a while and was able to finish his meal. They ended up taking her to the ship's doctor, and they took her temp and said that since she was not running a fever, it was probably sea sickness, and that she could go back to her room. They said she was pretty much fine after that. I gave her some of the chewable motion sickness medicine I had hoping that would help.
Dinner was fun. The kids menus were in the shape of pirate hats. I stuck with more traditional food this time, and was not quite as adventurous as the first night. I picked out what I wanted from the appetizer all the way through, and my friend sitting next to me ordered the exact same things that I had planned on ordering. The server told her that the chicken she ordered was really bland, so he suggested a sauce from another dish to go with it. She ordered some of that for the side. I told him I wanted exactly the same thing, down to the sauce on the side. The appetizer was lobster and shrimp, and it was delicious. The onion soup not so much, and he was right, the chicken was completely bland, but the sauce he brought for it was great. I had some kind of sundae for dessert, and it was very good as well. The kids again had a great time with their server. He played games with crayons with them and did tricks that made them think he could read their minds. He actually blew some of their minds! We were some of the last people to leave, because the kids were having so much fun!
The Oldest Princess and one of her friends showing off the kid's menus. Sorry about the quality of this one, but it is one of the only pictures I took at dinner that night.
The server made a "free wi-fi" hat and put it on one of the Young Prince's friend's head.
After dinner, was the pirate party. There was a show on the deck while the sun went down. We alternated between watching the show and the sunset.
The Youngest Princess and her friend waiting to go to the Pirate Party
Selfies in the the beautiful sunset
Another sunset selfie
The Youngest Princess and her friend still waiting on the Pirate Party
And it begins!
A panorama of the sunset
Minnie waiting for her moment onstage. She waved at me right before I took this picture.
The Adopted Princess watching the sunset
And another of the Adopted Princess and the sunset
Isn't it beautiful! And the pictures don't really do it justice!
The Oldest Princess watching the sunset
The Oldest Princess and the Adopted Princess and the sunset. So peaceful!
The Youngest Princess and her friend
And in the background of all those beautiful sunset pictures - a Disney Pirate show - not so peaceful
My three pirates
My friend and I
While we were watching the Pirate Party and the sunset, there were people in various degrees of pirate attire all around us. Kids were running everywhere. At one point our friends were standing a few feet apart looking at the sunset. A little girl, probably 8 to 10 years old or so came running up to the rail between them. Before we knew it, she had climbed up on a light (see the photo of the adopted princess above) and then climbed up on the wooden railing. She had both feet on the wooden railing, and was about to stand up! Both of our friends about had a heart attack. Your first gut instinct is to grab the child and pull her down. But in the world we live in today...well, my friend's husband had to fight the natural urge to reach out and grab her and pull her to safety for virtue's sake. Instead my friend told her that she really needed to get down. Thankfully, the child jumped down and went to the opposite rail where her mother (we think) was watching the show on the next deck down. It scared us to death. That little girl was inches and seconds away from being in the ocean. It took us all a few minutes for our heart rates to calm down.
After the Pirate party, we went to the evening's show. It was a villain show. Of the three shows we saw, it was my least favorite. It was well done, and the acting and singing were top notch, but I am just not about glorifying villains and evil - even the Disney kind of evil. So it did not sit well with my spirit, and ended up being my least favorite of the shows we saw.
After the show, we went back on deck for the fireworks and the Pirate Dance Party. We stayed on the upper deck and mostly stood around and talked and watched the kids do their signature "dance" moves. We had a blast. On the last two dances, The Cupid Shuffle and The Cha-Cha Slide, the moms joined in a little. I don't know if you could call what we were doing dancing. I am sure it was quite comical. Maybe we were "moving rhythmically" as My Prince likes to say. One mom took pictures and videos. Hopefully those will never see the light of day! I am sure they are only fit for America's Funniest Home Videos. But here are a few pictures that I took.
Me and one of my favorite pirates (before the villain show)
Our gang of big kids
I think this was the Cha-Cha Slide?
After the Pirate Dance party was over, the big girls wanted to get their hair braided by the ladies doing hair braiding on the deck. So the Oldest Princess and the Adopted Princess did just that. I could tell by the look on the Adopted Princess's face when she looked in the mirror, that she did not like what she saw. Later she confessed that with her hoops in, when she looked at herself she felt like she looked like a "Latino loosie from the hood". And whenever they got ready for things for the rest of the cruise, they did what they could to "tone down" the look she described.
While the Oldest Princess was getting hers braided - and she confessed after seeing the Adopted Princeess's braids that she wasn't so sure that she wanted hers done - but did it anyway to support her friend, the lady asked where we were all from. Then before we could answer she said, "I bet you are from _______ (and named our state)." We all said yes, and were amazed that she guessed correctly. I looked around to see if any of us had anything with our state's name on it to give her a clue. But no. None of us did. She said, "Do you know how I know?" We all said no. She said, "It's the manners! The yes, ma'am and the no, ma'am. Whenever I get one that has manners, I always guess (and she named our state again)." Then she told them to keep it up, because it was refreshing.
After that we all went and got some pizza, then snagged some deck chairs and watched the on deck movie. I did not make it very far at all. I promptly fell asleep. My Prince finally woke me up and told me we could go back to the room if I wanted to. Let's see...fall asleep in public out on the deck, or go back to our comfortable cabin? Given a choice, I will most likely choose cabin every time. So cabin it was, where we were greeted by towel/blanket animals and gold coin chocolates.
Our blanket sunburst
The girl's towel monkey
And that my friends is the end of day two of the Disney Cruise.
Until I can blog again...