True-Life Adventures: Disney Cruise, Day 5

Wednesday, October 2


Without any means of setting an alarm other than a wake up call, both Mom and I slept in till about 9:30. In her case she was on and off asleep before finally getting up. In my case, 9:30 is early when it’s not a workday.

I am NOT a morning person. If the world worked per my circadian rhythms, the workday would start at 3:30 pm and end at 11:30 pm. And we’d all finally get to bed around 4 am.

In case you were a morning person, the ship had already docked by 7:15 am for glorious downtown Nassau of the Bahamas. In fact, two other ships had docked with us: our arch-nemesis Carnival, plus the first sighting of a Royal Caribbean. It looked rather nice from a distance, and now I’m intrigued about what it might offer.

By the time we left the ship around noon, there were a lot of people returning who’d taken advantage of that 7:15 docking time.

Behold! Here’s why I struggled for two months to renew my passport!


Sister had warned us about places like Nassau, where tourists are beset by aggressive hawkers of all manner of goods and services the moment they cross an invisible safety line dividing ship and local territories. For some reason she had assumed Castaway Cay would be like this. That was not at all the case. Nassau had all that glory. Taxi services, handmade items, conch shells from the ocean, carriage tours, blah-dy blah blah. It was a neverending gauntlet of in-your-face “salesmanship.”

Veteran traveler Sister was unfazed by this and gave a running commentary about the “culture” that locals had adopted in tourist places like this. How they marked their territory and competed with each other, which areas were high versus low-pressure sales, etc. I didn’t care. I don’t even like salespeople in US stores asking if I need any help while I’m browsing, because if I did need help, I would seek them out. So this decidedly more hands-on approach (though nobody actually touched us) was way beyond my tolerance.

The Gauntlet! aka the walkway between the ship and Senor Frog’s


I wanted to leave almost as soon as we’d reached town. I had no interest in buying any of the jewelry or booze that savvy shopping tourists like to stock up on, because I own no jewelry and don’t drink. I don’t purchase them as gifts, either. THAT SAID, I was interested in buying something small as a souvenir, because I’m not against that. My usual fridge magnet that says “Bahamas,” or a T-shirt, or something quick and easy.

Sister led us to a new building that served as a local artists’ market. Of course there were low and high pressure sections of that. {{sigh}} My total purchases in Nassau were a fridge magnet, a wooden turtle for Mom, because she loves turtles, and a wooden hammerhead shark for myself. My total Bahamanian purchases (Castaway Cay included) came to $48. If that sounds impressively low, remember that the cruise as a whole, including airfare, was quite enough to break the bank. I was just doing damage control.

Because I’m me, I took a lot of pictures, both on the way into port and around town. Here they are:

Our archenemy Carnival, plus a view across the bay of Atlantis, which I heard was pretty and had more shopping.

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A little tugboat that didn’t, and a vaguely military-esque ship that, even close up later, I couldn’t tell what it was for.

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The bow of the Royal Caribbean, with Nassau looming behind, plus another view of the RC and Wonder on the way back.

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Comparing our ships!


But I’m not really back yet! The second stop before I fled Nassau for good was Senor Frog’s, which is a franchised party bar. Lucky locals get to serve white tourists there to drink, sing, be loud, wear balloon hats, and dance in conga lines. I wasn’t hungry but had some diet Coke and a few bites of a quesadilla. Meanwhile, an employee went from table to table with a bottle of… red liquid, and shot it into people’s mouths. I asked our server if it was alcohol. “Oh, yeah,” he said, so I begged off. Fortunately the guy respected that and did not shoot booze into my mouth.

Abandon all dignity, ye who enter here. The same may be said of hospitals, now that I think of it.


I like these rules. Ironic because I myself am a picky eater, by virtue of hating onions and peppers, and the herbivore thing probably counts, too.


A view of the many signs on Senor Frog’s ceiling near our table, extolling the virtues of drink and intercourse.

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Our table settings. Helpful for those who might be a bit too affected by strong drink to know what to do with a table. Also: white people in balloon hats! We were not offered any.

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Another part of Senor Frog’s ceiling. A shark’s eye view of the beach, in other words. And there’s a signpost up ahead…

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Remember: no foot tapping!


Me and Friend obliging the giant frog’s request for a High Four.

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And now… the final time I go up the ship’s gangplank!! Because after today it’s two days at sea, then disembarkation in Galveston.


I left Nassau early – around 2:30 or so, and spent quiet time on board: reading, writing, watching a bit of TV, eating the cheese-covered cardboard that they call pizza, and more exploring. Good times!

During my wanderings, I stumbled upon a photo op with Ma Boyeez, Chip and Dale. So… why not? I handed my camera to their handler, who decided to snap away whether I was in the picture or not. Chip walked up and mimed a hand-kiss, and Dale wanted a group hug. I obliged. Also, I badly need a haircut. Also, any character that’s my height is most likely played by a woman. In case that’s of interest to you. These could still be guys inside, though.

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Halloween / Costume Night!

Unlike Pirate Night, Disney did not pull out all the stops, but there was Halloween-themed decor, crew members in costumes, and of course Characters in… er, costumes. Because… the Characters… aren’t already costumes themselves.

As you can imagine, the same families with full pirate gear the night before also had full costumes tonight. They’re like professional Disney fans.

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A funny thing happened on the way to the 7:00 pm dance party, five days into the cruise: I got seasick. Or I think I did. At first I was experiencing symptoms like the onset of the flu: the shivers and nausea. The speed of the symptoms’ appearance also made me think: Flu! As you can imagine, somebody with the flu on a cruise is a Big Deal, and I was terrified that I could be Patient Zero.

Triton was our designated dining chamber for tonight. The servers wore tuxedos that reminded me in color and style of the Haunted Mansion butlers. But like many on board, my servers had never actually visited a Disney park. They just Serve the Mouse for months at a time. Anyway, it was during dinner that my symptoms manifested.

When it was time for the dance party, I went on deck, stood around a bit… and had to leave. I was too woozy, too weak, too nauseated, and couldn’t shake the feeling that I had a temperature. I was feeling so crappy that I even took the elevator down rather than walk to Deck 1 and moved with great purpose to the Health Center. Which was closed, because of course it was. I needed a way to take my temperature, so I called our concierge, who happened to have some disposable thermometers available. But it turned out that I had nothing even close to a temperature.

The chills and nausea continued, but I was determined to do Disney Things tonight, so I dragged myself to tonight’s live show: Toy Story Live! The Musical. Well-produced, technically impressive and performed enthusiastically, but would I purchase an extra ticket to see it outside of the ship, like for Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King? Unlikely!

This isn’t my picture – I copied this from – but here’s an idea of its look and feel.



At 9:45 pm there was allegedly a big Halloween Bash in my old nemesis, the Studio Sea club. It turned out to be a very minor dance party for “families.” This meant parents standing on the tiny dance floor, trying to coax their tiny children into following the Jr. Cruise Directors’ moves. I watched for a bit and decided to make at least one last attempt at A Shipboard Event before bedtime, so I found a spot and tried to follow the moves myself.

Now that was an unwise move. The Jr. CDs were free to spin and strut back and forth in their space onstage, but try to do the same, and you either smash into another adult who’s not following them, or almost step on top of children barely old enough to walk unassisted. It wasn’t long before I gave up on constantly looking left and right to avoid obstacles, and trudged back, defeated, to the stateroom. I didn’t even feel well enough to try one last round of karaoke at 11 pm. So much for “Monster Mash!”

To this day I don’t know if I had motion sickness, a flu that couldn’t, a cold, or what.


Next: Days 6, 7, and 8 (the final day) all mushed together!

2 thoughts on “True-Life Adventures: Disney Cruise, Day 5

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