Monday, September 28, 2009

10 Things I Learned While On My Disney Cruise

10: Not all cruises are created alike. Disney Cruise ships are clean, bright, and fun. From the looks on the faces of people I saw coming off of those massive Carnival cruise ships (and from others on the Disney cruise with me who had done Carnival cruises before), those Carnival ships are like "Motel 6 on the ocean". Guess we picked well!

9: The waiters at dinner on our ship apparently had some sort of eerie "spidey sense". For instance, one night one of our dessert selections was a very tasty warm chocolate "lava" cake. "You had me at 'lava cake'" was the immediate response by everyone at the table but one after seeing it on the dessert menu. I remarked that what it needed to top it off was a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was while not one Disney server, assistant server, or maitre'd was anywhere near us. When the lava cake appeared at our table, our server followed immediately behind it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for each. It's magic, I tell you! And it was good.

8: While visiting the ruins of an ancient Mayan settlement on the island of Cozumel, Mexico, our tour guide told us about the Mayan calendar - a complicated series of symbols on two interlocking wheels. The next time the calendar will run its course so that the last symbol of each wheel meets, and the cycle restarts, is December 21, 2012 - A date predicted by many cultures to be of Armageddon-like proportions. There's a new movie in the works that ties to this legend, and more about the idea can be found here.

7: Car dealership finance managers are not all evil. Jamie and I met Todd, who had been a finance manager at auto dealerships for quite some time, and his lovely wife Jenn at our dinner table on the first night, and hung out with them quite a bit over the course of the cruise. They were both warm, friendly, and just a wee bit crazy, so I liked them both a great deal.

6: I discovered I like French onion soup -- and I'm not such a huge fan of Tiramisu or Panna Cotta - but I tried them all.

5: The best Spaghetti Bolognese I ever had was at an Italian restaurant overlooking the sea in, of all places, Grand Cayman Island. Who knew?

4: Did you know that there is a form of tequila called "Patron XO Cafe" that when mixed with an equal amount of cream, makes what I would best describe as an "adult coffee smoothie"? It's quite nice. Thanks to Todd for that bit of info, and the shots!

3: Being a Disney employee is NOT all sunshine and butterflies. These people work HARD, work long hours, get fairly low pay, in an extremely high-pressure, highly political working environment. If you want to get ahead working for The Mouse, be prepared to do NOTHING else. (Thanks to our new friend Jenn for some "inside" information on life in the house of the Mouse).

2: Loafers, white socks pulled up to the shins, ragged polo shirt, and the SAME GREY SWEAT SHORTS EVERY DAY (that look like underwear, by the way) is apparently acceptable cruise wear for every occasion for some cruise passengers. This particular one was middle aged, 6' 5" or so, and British. For "Pirate Night" - where some folks went all-out in full pirate regalia, what did this fellow show up in? The same thing...with the addition of a leather belt with a small plastic sword shoved into it. Argh!

1: Disney puts on the most technically proficient, talent-filled, bombastic, cheesy, romantic, silly Disney-themed stage shows on their ships. Absolutely top notch performance and execution. And cheesy. And silly. ...and I am an absolute sucker for them. I swear every time I heard "Tale as old as as old as rhyme....Beauty and The Beast..." I almost got misty. But you didn't hear that from me.