Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vacation Recap #2: Disney Cruise Line Day 1 at Sea!

On all three cruises I've now been on (One Carnival, Two Disney), I absolutely love the days at sea. Don't get me wrong, I like getting to see different places like Key West, Nassau, Castaway Cay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, but the days at sea, while some consider them boring, I consider them relaxing.

For example, on our first day on the boat, my mom, sister, aunt and I decided to get the 1 Day Rain Forest Pass to the spa for $26, plus tax and tip.With it, we got full access to the rain forest's sauna, steam room, showers, and we got our choice of three scrubs: Lavender, Chocolate Mint, or Ginger. Mom and I opted for Lavender, Kiri and our aunt opted for Chocolate Mint.

You start out in the sauna, a super hot, dry room that opens up your pores to release toxins. The tiled seats were really hot, but once you got used to it, they were very relaxing, and I could feel my muscles, which were still a bit tense from the long drive (Seriously, don't coop yourself up for 26 hours in a car), release and relax. My sister and I actually went into the sauna before breakfast to try it out, and we were the only ones there. *Bliss*

 Following the sauna, we went into the herbal steam room. They actually had two steam rooms, a larger one that was straight up steam, and a smaller one, big enough for two people, that had herbs mixed with the steam for additional therapy. I had a hard time with the steam rooms. They do take some getting used to. I found both a bit hard to breathe, probably because I'm not used to breathing such hot and heavy air. Throughout the day, though, on repeated exposures, I did get used to it.

Herbal Steam Room
After the steam, which helped you sweat out more toxins, you applied the scrubs and stepped into one of the two showers. One was a fog shower and the other was a "Rain" shower (which, I feel like I must have in my dream home). This shower had water coming from EVERYWHERE. It was awesome. Not practical, but awesome.

Post-shower, you got to sit and relax in these heated recliners while you dried off. The towel rolled up on the seat, I used as a lumbar pillow, and it was very comfortable. It was almost hard to get up.

Heated reclining seats
One thing I didn't like about the spa, however, is that it's located right underneath the sports complex, so while we were sitting in the chairs, trying to relax, and we heard lots of thumping from kids playing basketball upstairs. Disney is going to give the Wonder a facelift at the end of 2015. I would recommend either move the basketball court, or replace it with a golf course like they have on the Dream (This! Please!).

Going for a relaxing, possibly romantic setting.
Plus, Swans. Love!
We went back several times throughout the day, including a final time before the spa closed. When we signed up, we opted for the first day, because we had no plans for the day, and it was just nice to start off the trip with getting relaxed. We figured that it wasn't busy for two reasons: 1. Did anyone even KNOW about the Rainforest Pass? 2. Since Disney is typically family-oriented, most parents probably take care of their kids' interests before their own. Not sure if more people took advantage on the second day at sea, but we enjoyed how quiet it really was. It was an awesome experience.

Complimentary Cucumber Water, Orange Water, and Herbal Teas

I found a robe that fit, so I had to get a pic of us being Spa Girls.
The rest of the day was mostly spend exploring, Kiri and I went to an informational meeting for the Disney Vacation Club (which I'm all for getting when I have the money. I would totally take a Disney Vacation every year or every other year), plus more swimming.

We had Breakfast at Triton's, where we had a perfect view of the Disney Princess Meet & Greet. Actually, before it officially started, Rapunzel came over to the window to peek in on us. I wish I'd gotten a picture of THAT!
You can see Tiana on the left, and Rapunzel on the right
After breakfast, Kiri and I went shopping and exploring, which led us to our first souvenir purchase of the trip: EARS! The following day was Pirate Night, so we each got Pirate-y ears (Mine's a headband, since the hats don't actually fit my large cranium)

New Ears!
While exploring, Kiri stumbled upon this image on Route 66. Fun fact: A few years ago, she was in an Art Film in Oklahoma that took place at the Blue Whale of Catoosa, which is a slide that slides into a lake. You can't actually swim there anymore, but in its day, it was probably amazing. 

The Blue Whale of Catoosa
One thing I really wanted to do was get my picture with the Ariel statue outside of Triton's. The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie, and I've been told I sing like Ariel (still one of the nicest compliments I've ever received). I only wish this picture turned out better.

Disney spares no expense when it comes to their art and architecture, and the chandelier was one of the first things we saw when we came on board (The entrance was on Deck 4, which made it eye level). Gorgeous!

The stunning chandelier in the 3 Story Atrium.
The Day at Sea was also the day of a familiar Disney Show: The Golden Mickeys. I don't know if I've spoken of my affinity for this awards show (I even have my own Golden Mickey on my desk at Work, which I got from the Disney Dream!). They rolled out the Red Carpet, and I had to get my strut on.

Again, wish my picture was better.
The show was delightful, with a few changes that I recall from the last show, but it was what I expected of Disney Shows. Love the Golden Mickeys!

It was a beautiful 80-degree day at sea, and I loved looking out and seeing nothing but water. Coming from someone who is petrified of large depths of water, that's saying something. I have complete faith in Disney as a business. Everything is so above level that you just feel safe on a Disney ship.

Beautiful morning at sea!
I never got a chance to play shuffleboard, but it looked fun.
I'll get to how we ate on board later, but the food was great. This is Day at Sea #1, and it was amazing. More to come later!

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