Disney Cruise Report: Aquaduck, Villians, and Enchanted Garden

Three Disney Cruises

The following is an excerpt from the eBook Three Disney Cruises:

We had taken care of all of our hunger problems, so next it was time to take care of the heat. And the best way to do that was with water. So we went to our rooms and got changed for some swimming time.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Back at our room for a quick look out at Nassau before getting changed for some swimming time.[/caption]

First up was the Aquaduck. We had been eyeing it ever since we boarded the ship. And really, it is pretty hard to miss it since it goes all around the upper deck, and it even has a turn that goes out over the water. So we decided to all take an Aquaduck trip.

I should mention here that the Aquaduck is a “water coaster” around the upper deck of the ship. What is a water coaster? I guess it is actually just a water slide, except that it doesn’t have as great of an elevation change as what you might expect for a water slide. But it is a big tube with water flowing through it, and you sit in an inflatable tube raft to ride through it. It starts in one funnel, has a few dips, turns through the other funnel, and then ends up back at the first funnel a level below where you started. And I’m sure I don’t have to explain the joke, but its name comes from “aquaduct” and the signage features Donald Duck. Which gives the Aquaduck.

The sign at the end of the line said that the wait was around 20 minutes, and that sounded good to everyone. In looking at the line, I hadn’t realized how far up into the funnel the line went. I was thinking that you got on a tube as soon as you entered the funnel, but looking at where the tubes come out of the funnel in relation to where the line goes into the funnel should have given me an indication. Still, the line moved rather quickly, and soon it was our turn.

The Riedels went first, and then it was our turn. The rafts hold one or two people. Jaylin was tall enough that he could ride by himself, but he chose to ride with Laura instead, which left me to ride by myself. I was fine with that. No problem either way. Before Laura and Jaylin left, the cast member told them to stay seated and hold on, and if they stopped for whatever reason, to stay where they are and someone would come get them. I think that worried Laura just a bit, but I didn’t figure there was any way that we would stop. Unless the water stopped flowing. Which it didn’t. I was up next, and I twisted and turned my way through the tubes before reaching the end. And hey, I got wet. And the water was cold, too! But that’s okay. I was still hot from the morning of walking.

So how was it? Pretty good, I thought. Yes, it doesn’t last all that long. But then you could tell that just by looking at it, I would think. But it was fun. And while it did to by quickly, it wasn’t the kind of quick where you say, “That was it? I waited all that time for that?” No, it was quick, but it was a fun kind of quick. There weren’t as many hills and dips as I thought there might be, but that was okay. And Laura was concerned about feeling closed in from being inside the tube, but I think the fact that you were moving eliminated that claustrophobic feeling. So we all though it was fun, and we all wanted to come back and ride it again sometime. But not immediately, because there was still a line.

After all that fun, we went to the pool. And that would probably be one of the few complaints I have about the Disney ships: the pools seem rather small. Especially the family pool, where it seems that most people go to swim. Because it is a family cruise, after all. In the past, Laura and I have enjoyed the Quiet Cove adults pool, because it is uncrowded. And quiet, as the name would imply. Except when they organize a game or something. We really don’t mind the noise at the pool anyway. But having room to actually get into the pool is different.

The family pool on the Disney ships looks large, until you realize that much of the area is a deck that is covered in about three inches of water, making the actual pool size (which is around six feet deep, by the way) much smaller. I am sure there is a reason that the pool is made the way that it is. Perhaps it is for structural reasons, or because of whatever is on the deck below the pool. Either way, it would be nice if the pool were a little larger.

But we didn’t want to just dump Jaylin there and run off to the adult pool, although the thought did cross my mind a time or two. So we made the most of it, getting in the water with everyone else that was there, or just sitting on the ledge with our feet in the shallow part. A movie was playing on the large “Funnel Vision” screen, which as you may guess is a large movie screen attached to the funnel nearest the family pool. Those movies are always a nice diversion, and they help to take your mind off the fact that you can’t get too many people in the pool.

After we had been there for a while, Karen and Zach went off to play mini-golf for a while. Pretty nice that there is a mini-golf course on the ship, because the older Disney ships don’t have that. The rest of us stayed around the family pool until Karen and Zach came back. Then, we decided it was time for another Aquaduck trip. The line was around 30 minutes by that time, but once again, it went by quickly, and we were soon zooming down the tube again. This time, Jaylin decided that he wanted to ride with Katie, so Laura and I got to ride together. And I think that you go faster when there are two of you on a raft than when you are by yourself. It was even more fun! And of course, Laura is my favorite person to do anything with, anyway, even if I hadn’t expected to get to ride with her any time on this trip.

Time was marching on, and it soon came time for us to get changed for the evening show in the Walt Disney Theatre, so our second Aquaduck ride ended up being the end of our water fun for the day. But that was okay, because we knew we would have more time for swimming the next day.

We went to our room to get changed, deciding that we should just go ahead and get dressed for dinner, so that we wouldn’t have to come back and change clothes again after the show. While we were getting ready, I walked out onto the verandah to look out at everything for a while. It wasn’t quite 6:00 yet, but everyone must have been on board the ship, because they were already taking the gangway away and getting ready to cast off the lines. Soon, we would be leaving Nassau and sailing back out on the open waters again.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] They always say no photography during the shows, but that doesn’t apply when there isn’t a show going on, does it?[/caption]

The second evening’s show was Villains Tonight, a show celebrating the Disney villains, obviously. The plot of the show was that Hades was trying to gather all the villains together for something, and he was having trouble getting them together. Probably due to the fact that he sent Pain and Panic out to do the work for him. The show was filled with humor, because the main two ways to present a villain show are either humor or horror, and obviously the second way would drive everyone away on a family cruise. On our first cruise, Laura and I had seen the show Hercules the Muse-ical, and Hades was the big hit character of that show with his snappy dialog and modern-day references, so I was glad to see Hades was back in a very similar way in this show. Perhaps one of the best moments was when Jafar and Iago sang “The Wind Beneath My Wings” as they soared above the stage. Hilariously funny, if you ask me.

So if you are keeping score at home, I enjoyed Villains Tonight much more than The Golden Mickeys. I think it was mainly because I am a humorous kind of guy, and Villains Tonight tried for all the humor they could get while The Golden Mickeys more or less played it straight. I guess I am just not a sappy, emotional kind of guy. So if you are like me, give Villains Tonight a chance. Because the villains need some appreciation after all, too.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Karen and Laura (with Brant in the background) in their evening attire.[/caption]

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] One of the areas of the ship as we were waiting to meet Mickey Mouse.[/caption]

We had some time before dinner, so we did what everyone on the cruise does – we got our photo made with Mickey Mouse himself. That is the real reason to go on a Disney cruise, isn’t it? Because you won’t find Mickey Mouse on any other cruises. And besides, the character lines on the cruises are usually much shorter than the character lines in the parks, so you might as well take advantage of it, right?

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Jaylin got Mickey’s autograph.[/caption]

Mickey was wearing his captain’s outfit. It makes me wonder what might happen if Mickey in his captain’s outfit were to run into Captain Guus. After all, a ship only has one captain, right? So who is really in charge here? I didn’t bother to ask, and apparently no one else was bothered by the whole affair either. Anyway, Mickey was nice enough to also give his autograph to Jaylin. How many other megastars will take the time for that?

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] The Burns Family with Mickey Mouse.[/caption]

We then proceeded on to our dinner at Enchanted Garden on Deck 2.The idea behind this restaurant is that you are in an outdoor garden that transforms from day to night. Maybe not quite as impressive as a talking turtle, but the décor was still very nice. I especially liked the Mickey Mouse fountain in the center of the room.

Once again, we were greeted by Olena and Dogan, who took our orders and brought our drinks and food. Brant once again asked Dogan if he had Dr. Pepper, saying, “I thought you might have gone out and gotten some today.” Always good to have a server with a sense of humor, because we never seem to take things too seriously ourselves.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] A Mickey Mouse fountain inside the Enchanted Garden.[/caption]

For my appetizer, I chose the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli, which was absolutely delicious and gone way too soon. I could have had another plate or two of that stuff. I had the Romaine Wedge salad, which was good, but pretty much an ordinary salad. And then my main course was Pan Seared Sea Bass. I could go on and on about that if I knew all the fancy words to write about food, because it was fantastic. I am not always that big of a fish fan, preferring instead to get shrimp when we go to seafood restaurants. But this sea bass had a really good flavor to it, and the spices used on it made it even better. I would definitely get it again if it were offered. That delicious meal was followed by a “Sacher” Chocolate Torte. I don’t really know what “Sacher” means, and I am still not quite certain what a torte is, but it was good, too. Overall, I enjoyed this meal much better than the one before.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] One of the Walt Disney Theatre lobbies. Not that it has anything to do with the story here, but I thought it looked neat.[/caption]

After our delicious dinner, we took another stroll on the Deck 4 Promenade. Except this time around we went in the same direction as the joggers were going. In hindsight, I don’t know that going the same direction as the joggers was an improvement. When we were going in opposite directions, we could at least see the joggers coming and move out of their way. This time around, they were coming up behind us. Fortunately, there weren’t as many on this night as there were the previous night.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Out for a night stroll on the Deck 4 Promenade.[/caption]

Once we had walked for a bit, the kids and Brant (the big kid) decided to play shuffleboard. While they were playing, I made a trip inside to visit the facilities. Not that you really needed to know that, except to explain why I was inside while everyone else was outside. While I was making my way back outside, just finishing up a character photo session were Chip and Dale. Which Disney prefers for you to write as Chip ‘n’ Dale, by the way, but good grammar rules prevent me from abbreviating “and” with just an “n.” But then, I have thrown out other grammar rules all throughout this writing, so why worry about that one? You gotta draw the line somewhere, I guess. Anyway, as the two oversized chipmunks were making their way down the hall that I was crossing, they suddenly both dropped to the ground and started rolling down the hallway. I am sure it was some inside joke between them and their character handler. But no matter the reason, I thought it was hilarious. I have always thought that the characters have the best times, and the best senses of humor, of any of the Disney cast members, such as the time that we saw Donald and Goofy suddenly trying to get everyone to dance the Macarena in the American Adventure rotunda on a rainy day at Epcot. Back when then Macarena was still popular, by the way. Anyway, Chip and Dale eventually got up and walked out onto the Promenade to get to their backstage door. I guess they were afraid they might roll right off the ship if they kept on rolling out there. I was almost rolling with laughter at the whole scene.

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Chip and Dale rolling along.[/caption]

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Shuffleboard on the Promenade.[/caption]

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] I wonder who won?[/caption]

Once the kids big and small had finished their epic shuffleboard match, we went upstairs for one more drink from the soft drink machine before turning in for the evening. When we reached our room, we found that Oksana had left us what was apparently a towel elephant. Maybe. Whatever it was, it was wearing my cap. You never know what might happen to things that you leave sitting around in your room.

Soon, we were off to bed with pleasant dreams of the day at Castaway Cay that was ahead of us.

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.