(Saturday, March 1, 2014)
We were up bright and early Saturday morning preparing to disembark early. As with everything else during our cruise, Disney has disembarkation down to a find ‘T’!
Each family dines at the restaurant that they did the last night of their cruise, at their normal table. Our family was at Enchanted Garden which was neat as this was the restaurant we’d started our cruise at 1 week earlier. We’d had early seating for dinner so we needed to leave our stateroom for the final time and be in our dining room at 6:45am. As each family entered the dining room they walked between 2 lines of servers who applauded. A simple but special touch on a difficult, emotional morning! (Who ever wants a great vacation to end??)
There was a set menu for us to select from and we were in and out in only 45 minutes but without feeling rushed. It was great to see our tablemates one last time (for now ) as well as our servers Tina and Ari.
We left the restaurant around 7:40 so that they could seat the next group at 8am. (Can you believe the entire process of disembarking all guests, cleaning all staterooms and restocking the ship would take mere hours? The next group of guests would begin boarding at 10:30am!! A fun fact that we learned during our galley tour is that they load every single bit of food that will be eaten during a cruise each Saturday when they ship is in Port Canaveral. For example, each week they load 100,000 eggs!!! I cannot begin to imagine the storage area this ship must have!)
We were totally impressed with how quickly and efficiently we disembarked the ship. We lined up around 7:45 and waited a brief time to scan our Key to the World cards one final time. From there we went down an escalator where we requested a porter at the suggestion of Tonya and her family. Wow – what a great suggestion that was!! He asked us where our luggage was and we said, ‘Tinkerbell Green’. He took us there, we quickly found our luggage and he loaded up his cart and took us to the customs line. We fairly flew through customs and were quickly outside awaiting our shuttle to the car rental place. It arrived within minutes and we made our way there. Sharon and I were shocked when we realized that at 9:15 we were already in our rental car with luggage loaded and headed back to Orlando!! Not bad for a ship that was disembarking 4000 passengers!!
(Can you tell that i took A LOT of clean clothes home for Hannah? Once she had her Rapunzel dress it was near impossible to talk her into wearing anything else. So I didn’t. This phase will pass soon enough so for now she wears it and her other princesses dresses wherever she wants to!)
Our flight wasn’t leaving until after 6pm so about a month before our cruise I cancelled our Disney transportation to the airport (couldn’t fathom sitting in the airport for 8 hours with our luggage!) and instead we headed here. Heh…no surprise to anyone I’m sure!
We made our way to Downtown Disney and shared some wonderful final moments there. SO much better than sitting in an airport!! We visited the Disney store where Hannah stood in front of a Magic Mirror that tried a number of different princess dresses on her. So cool!
We spent the night in Buffalo and then headed home to Papa first thing the next morning. (At this time Grandma and Grandpa were still on their Hawaiian cruise so it would be a few more days before we saw them.)
What an amazing, wonderful, awesome, great, spectacular cruise we shared together! We can’t wait to go back!!!
Thank you for sharing this time with us Nana! We love you and the trip was extra special because you were there!!!