On Tuesday morning, we found ourselves on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. We got dressed (bathing suits again!), ate breakfast (and yes, there were Krispy Kreme donuts on the buffet every morning), and dropped the babies off in the nursery so we could fully enjoy the morning with the big kids (the "wave phones" worked on the island as well as on the boat, so it was wonderful to know we could be reached if the nursery needed us for anything!)
We were greeted by Captain Hook and Smee as soon as we stepped foot in the tropical paradise!
And we also had a few shots taken in front of the boat. I loved that the island activities were so easily accessible from the boat. We could walk everywhere (although Disney did provide trams) and didn't have to worry about ferries or boats or buses...it was great!
Check out this view! The picture doesn't come close to doing it justice.
We decided to go snorkeling first. Harris was so excited about this adventure in particular and had such fun kicking around (and later riding on Ben's back) and investigating underwater life.
Hadley enjoyed the experience as well, although I'm not sure I would call what she did "snorkeling." She did look underwater a few times but spent most of the trip riding on someone's back (Granti or me). She thought it was cool when I spotted parts of the "sunken ship" Disney created underwater to attract fish and even looked at some actual fish every once in a while...but she found keeping her head above the water much more fun.
Babe and I finished snorkeling first and decided to relax in a hammock while waiting for everyone else. Not a bad life, huh? Another thing I appreciated about Castaway Cay was the abundance of beach chairs, hammocks, and umbrellas...there were more than enough of all three to go around.
Daddy and Harris are snorkeling away in the center of the pic below:
And here's Granti exploring on her own:
These cute boys wore themselves out with all the swimming they did!
While we waited for Granti to finish, we had fun with island wildlife as well as with the camera:
We decided that our next stop would be the section of the island known as Pelican Point. Pelican Point boasts "Pelican Plunge," a couple of cool water slides and play structure built in the ocean. The water was freezing (and you had to swim just a little to get to the slides) and Babe was scared (I literally had to push her little body down) but we all tried one of the slides. I loved the "fast" one I went down...it was so much fun for me to be on vacation and not be pregnant! I felt like I got to do so many fun things that haven't been an option for me the last two years...it was awesome!
The biggies weren't quite ready to head inside when it was time to pick up the babies, so Granti stayed out with Harry and Babe and let them finish their time in the ocean with the tubes.
Ben and I headed in to get Emmy and Thatcher and went back to the room so Thatch could nurse. We then loaded up Emmy and Thatcher and headed back out to eat lunch as a family on Castaway Cay. Disney had prepared a fantastic buffet on the island (hamburgers, chicken, cajun mahi mahi, pineapple bread, banana ice cream, huge cookies, couscous...the list goes on and on) and we didn't want to miss it!
After lunch, the big kids wanted to play in the Kids' Club (there is a special "kids only" space on the island, just like there is also an "adults only" area), so we dropped them off and then went our separate ways. Granti headed back to the boat to attend an adults-only tour of the ship, Ben took off with Thatcher and walked the 5k trail on the island, and Emmy and I did a little exploring of our own.
Emmy fell asleep pretty quickly, so she and I found a hammock and took a quick afternoon nap together.
Unfortunately, we woke up to a tropical shower...lots and lots of rain (no thunder or lightning) that lasted just long enough to soak everything (about 20 minutes). We jumped up and moved under a pavilion where we ran into Ben and Thatcher (who had still been walking during the downpour!). Ben was soaked but he'd done a great job of keeping Thatchy Buddy dry. :)
Once the rain stopped, we grabbed Babe and Harry from the Kids' Club and headed back to the boat.
Everyone else headed back as well, so there was a little bit of a line to board...and, of course, that's when it started pouring again! We tried our best to remain calm and enjoy it (hello...we were on a Disney island!!!!)
but Harris was NOT a fan. In fact, he looked so pitiful that a crew member came and scooped him out of line, wrapped a towel around him, and escorted him onto the boat to wait for the rest of us!!!!!
Granti watched all the action from our verandah. :)
We jumped in the shower (the kids took a bath) to warm up once we made it back to the room. I love, love, love that all state rooms on the boat have a tub! I also loved that each of our rooms had a separate shower/sink and toilet/sink area. Very convenient.
Tuesday night was pirate night, so once we got cleaned up, Ben, Granti, Harris, and Emmy headed off to participate in some of the pirate games offered on board. I think they ended up playing a pirate-style game show in one of the family lounges. I stayed in the room with Babe and Thatcher. Hadley was WORN OUT and had gotten some sand in her eye at some point during the day, which ended up resulting in a very whiny Babe.
While my oldest boy and oldest girl had fun with their Dad and Granti, this sweet baby and I enjoyed the sounds of the ocean while Hadley slept.
I had to wake her up for dinner. It was not an easy process.
Hadley, Thatch, and I ended up missing most of the live show performed on deck (the pools close to create stages and seating space outside) but were able to catch the last few minutes before it was time to eat.
We met our wait staff in the "Royal Palace" restaurant but were served from the "Pirate Menu" because it was Pirate Night. Everyone was dressed up: crew, characters, and guests. We didn't really get into the whole pirate thing this time (the girls preferred to be princesses) but definitely will on the next trip!
Hadley complained about her eye so much that we ended up getting her some medicated eye drops from guest services. I'm pretty sure what she really needed was sleep...which she ended up doing at the dinner table.
Harris didn't let it ruin his fun: he LOVED the light-up cup filled with Sprite that we purchased as a souvenir!
Even Emmy Doe was wide awake and digging in!
The servers brought us a little cake to celebrate Harris' Kindergarten and Babe's Pre-K graduation, but Had was too out of it to even care. All we could do was laugh (and, of course, eat the cake without her).
Harris participated in "Dine-n-Play" on his own and when the rest of us finished eating we headed back to the room to put Hadley, Emmy, and Thatcher in the bed. We found some very cool creations waiting for us!
Granti was nice enough to stay with the sleepers and let Harris, Ben, and I head out for the rest of the Pirate Night celebration: Club Pirate and the fireworks show.
We watched another short show on the outdoor stage called, "Pirates IN the Caribbean" which culminated with the fireworks and then turned into a family-friendly dance party (complete with DJ) outside.
We didn't stick around for the dancing. I hit up the pirate buffet (think huge turkey legs, a potato bar, a taco bar, a dessert bar, etc.) and took my plate back to the room to enjoy while Ben and Harris decided to check out some of the shops on board.
Unfortunately, the shops were closed so the boys returned the room a lot earlier than expected and caught me in bed with my loot!
I didn't care, though...it was a great way to end a great day!