June 09, 2024


Ep. 432 - In Defense of the New: Lookout Cay Preview First Impressions

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 432 - In Defense of the New: Lookout Cay Preview First Impressions
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 432 - In Defense of the New: Lookout Cay Preview First Impressions

Jun 09 2024 | 01:01:08


Show Notes

Brian shares his first impressions of Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point after his three-night preview sailing aboard the Disney Magic from Fort Lauderdale. Brian was an invited guest of Disney Cruise Line on this sailing, but remained committed to giving his balanced and thoughtful feedback on the island. Participating in the preview cruise afforded Brian access to Disney PR reps for interviews which he has included portions of in this episode. We'll give a fuller review, as well as Sam and Nathan's full review, after we have a chance to return to Lookout Cay later this week, three times in fact. But, for now, here are some first impressions of DCL's newest private island destination in the Bahamas.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: My first experience is not typical of most guests. That's not because of any special treatment. It's because I was literally walking all day from 10:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m. from place to place, capturing footage, talking to people, and learning about the experience. Welcome back everybody, to a special episode of the DC L duo podcast brought to you by my path unwinding travel. And this week, well, you've just got me folks, because I got an invite to go on a very special cruise thanks to our fabulous show sponsor, my path unwinding travel that was the lookout key at Lighthouse Point preview cruise, a three night cruise on the magic out of Fort Lauderdale. They had some invited guests on board and we were one and we were able to experience Lighthouse point for the first time. I want to start off by saying that in this episode I'm doing something I typically don't, which is I've decided to script an opening because it was important for me to not only collect my thoughts about Lighthouse Point, but also to make sure I was expressing them in the right way. I hope youll bear with me as I sit to record my first impressions of Disney Cruise lines newest private destination, Lookout K, at Lighthouse Point, im for some reason reminded of a quote from the ultimate Disney critic, Anton Ego from Disneys Ratatouille. He said, in many ways the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it. So ultimately, Sam and I are fans and critics. We fancy ourselves media because we like to be balanced, but were not. Journalists were trained, skilled, and practiced influencers, and not in the social media sense. We are literally paid to influence others in our professional careers. As ego suggests, it costs us nothing to criticize Disney from the outside, but this trip reminded me both of my love for DCL and introduced me to the immensely thoughtful people who work behind the scenes to make that magic happen every day. Do I still think the treasure is overpriced in relation to DCL's competitors? Yes, but I appreciate the value of the offering Disney is providing a bit better and the work it takes to make that magic happen. So perhaps the equation is not as lopsided as I had come to believe. I also want to say that every experience Disney creates is perfect. We've highlighted guest experiences that have not been up to what we see as Disney standards, not out of a desire to pan the company. Indeed, when many took potshots at the star cruiser, we defended it as one of the best experiences we've ever had. We stand by that review, but we do think it important for our listeners to understand when things don't go well and the reasons they didn't go well, so they can set their own expectations and potentially understand how Disney reacts in those moments. For evidence of that, our episode about our spring break sailing from 2021 when Sam got Covid. When things are going well with an experience, almost any business will shine. It's in the hard moments that we find the true nature and character of the corporate culture. I fully expect in the coming days, weeks and months. There are many in the Disney community who will criticize lookout key. Several are already doing so without ever having set foot on the island. I'll confess my first impression after spending several hours traipsing around the island on a very warm bahamian day, even as Disney Cruise Line's guest was not positive, I could easily focus on the things people were already panning online, the long walk from the ship, the seeming lack of shade, or how spread out things seemed to be. It would have been easier still to say, you, lookout key are certainly no castaway. But when I set aside my discomfort, took a breath and reflected on my thoughts, three things happened. First, I realized I was doing exactly what I had told our listeners not to do when experiencing the Disney wish. Keep an open mind, set your expectations and know going in. This isnt like any of Disneys other ships. We were big defenders of the wish and took a lot of flack for that position. Over time, however, it became apparent the wish is a really great addition to the Disney line fleet, and many, many families enjoy her every week to rave reviews of her unique and family friendly offerings. Second, I talked to some of the local Bahamians who poured their heart and soul into lookout Key and heard how much it meant to them and their communities. To say that Disney has elevated bahamian culture to the center of the lookout key experience would be an understatement. Lookout Key isn't just a celebration of those quintessential bahamian resources of sand, surf and sun. It's a true celebration of the art and culture of the Bahamas. That's, frankly, something castaway Key simply cannot match. Third, I realized that much of what was frustrating me stemmed from comparing the experience to castaway Key. But this isnt castaway. As Disney has said many times during this trip, its meant to complement castaway, not replace it. Its also interesting to see how far Disney went in trying to address guests feedback from castaway into this experience. How long have we been asking for new food or less crowded beaches, for example? With that in mind, here are my quick first impressions of lookout key with two caveats. First, I was a guest of Disney Cruise line so did not pay for this experience myself. If it has colored my views, it's only because of the amount of information that I've gotten about the island to help frame my thinking. I've said it before, but I don't need Disney to pay for my trips and already had three stops at lookout Key booked before we were fortunate to receive an invite on this cruise. I won't be negative just to get clicks or likes. I'd rather be balanced and upbeat at the risk of having fewer listeners because it builds the kind of discourse I want so badly from this community. Second, my first experience is not typical of most guests. That's not because of any special treatment. It's because I was literally walking all day from 10:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m. from place to place, capturing footage, talking to people and learning about the experience. I had 315 minutes breaks during the day to hydrate and get some shade. I didn't even get a chance to eat, although I did look at the food and hope to finally experience it firsthand. Next week, most will come to the island, head for a spot near an area they like, and stay there with maybe an outing to the shops to get some food, to grab a drink or experience some entertainment. That was not my experience. This time. I will be heading back to lookout key three times in the next two weeks on my own dime. I won't be shy about calling out some of the opportunities I saw at lookout key if they persist. But I also think we all need to recognize this is the first week of operation for lookout key, and much like the wish, the experience for many or even most can be exceptional, even if Disney will continue to make adjustments. I also think the critical data point will be guest feedback, not influencer feedback. My opinions may or may not be interesting, but nothing about them is special. We'll be recording a live show on our upcoming podcast cruise, and I fully intend to solicit feedback from those joining us about the experience. I also want to hear from you, our listeners. If you have a great experience, tell us. I want to highlight that if you have challenges, I want to hear that as well. All I ask is that you keep an open mind and temper the most vocal and negative reviews with the knowledge that I heard from several kids and parents on the island that they had a magical day at Lookout Key. And ultimately, that's what it's about. Kids and families making memories. It's not about me, a 40 something man alone on the island, or any of the myriad of other creators or critics. No matter how experienced they may be. The opinion of those children and their families counts infinitely more than anything we can say. With that, I'm embracing the rest of Antonigos quote there are times when a critic truly risks something and that is the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent and new creations. The new needs friends. The DCL duo are friends of lookout key. She has some challenges, sure, but her promise, even today, shines through. That's what will keep us returning to lookout key in the future. I'm sure the usual suspects will tell me how wrong I am with my take and that's fine, but don't let them you from keeping an open mind to the possibility that lookout key, like the wish, will for many, become an amazing place to make memories. With that, let's dive in to my now unscripted comments. So I want to start with the good of lookout key. It is a real celebration of the bahamian culture and art that is evident from the moment you set foot on the island. Lookout Key is decorated very differently. It blends naturally into the environment and that way it is like castaway Key. More importantly, the people who staff the island, the locals who staff the island are some of the friendliest and most excited people I've met at any Disney experience, any Disney cruise line experience. They are excited to share their culture with you. They are excited to share their art with you. They are excited to share their island with you. They were some of the most friendly people I've seen. So I just think that Disney did an exceptional job of bringing along the local culture and building it in as a central focal point for the islet. That's also evident through the Junkanoo Rushout celebration they do and the cultural center that they've built on the island. I want to note that that cultural center is very, very unique to this island and offers a lot of opportunity to learn more about the bahamian culture. They do some what they call edutainment opportunities to teach kids about Junkanu and let them make and design Junkanu costumes and things like that. So when the Junkano rush out happens. They can participate. I got to experience the Junkanoo rush out. And it was fun. It was a celebration of the culture. It was fun music for Disney folks out there. I would say it was almost streetmosphere for the island. You could hear it all over the place the two times that it happened. And it's staffed with local Junkanoo artists. So this is not Disney cast members dressing up in costume. I also thought it was fun that they weaved the Fab five into the Junkanoo. So Mickey, Minnie, Donald. I guess it's not all five of them, I don't think, but maybe all five were there. I'd have to go back and check the video. But they weave into the end of the Junkanoo celebration. It starts off at the cultural center, parades out to in front of of Disney Ting's, the gift shop there where they end the celebration in a big circle playing music. And so it was really fun to see. I'd encourage you to check it out at least once while you're on the island. And I think it pairs perfectly with see it and then go get lunch. Or get lunch and then go, go see it. Speaking of some of the cultural and. [00:09:30] Speaker B: Artistic aspects of lookout Key, one of the cool things I got to do on this trip was speak to some of the Disney cruise line pr reps who were available, and you're going to hear from some of them throughout the show. I'd like to introduce you to three of them right now. So I got to talk to Joey, who is the regional pr director for Lookout Key, as well as two of the artists, dorman Stubbs and Keshawn Monroe. Keshawn's actually a professor at the College of the Bahamas, I believe it is. And both of them got to have their work displayed on lookout Key and also worked and partnered with Joey and other artists to integrate artwork, both sight, sound, in so many ways into lookout Key. And so I wanted you to hear from them. And so let's head first over to Joey. [00:10:15] Speaker A: All right, well, we're here with Joey, who is a spokesperson for Disney, to talk about some of the bahamian culture and the way it's been integrated into lookout key. And, Joey, talk to me about what it was like to bring that culture into the island and through Disney's lens. Yeah. [00:10:30] Speaker C: So first of all, I want to say that it's a really proud moment for the bahamian cast in particular, but also all the artists who've worked on this. And we use artists as a catch all because it's not just kind of your fine artists, your painters, your sculptors, but also musicians, as well as these drunken news who have built their own costumes specifically for this parade. And so I think the best way to talk about this is to start from the very beginning, right, where, you know, this project is being conceptualized, but it's being conceptualized in partnership with some key bahamian artists like Antonius Roberts and Kevin Cooper, right? And these are kind of the senior men of the bahamian art world, folks who've been in the game for quite some time and have built a kind of iconic reputation of in bohemian art. Thankfully, they also brought other artists to the fold as well. In total, we have eight bahamian artists who have helped engage on the design of this space, right? And so everything from the mural, the colorful murals you see along the walls here, to the tiles, handmade tiles you see on the walls here as well, including the straw works that have been done here, all of that by bohemian artists, right. I think what is really important to note is that Walt DisNey imagineering engaged with these artists with a particular kind of care, right, to give these bohemian artists space to develop what it is that they thought this place could be. But as well as that, pushed the art forms in particular ways so that these artists felt inclined to go above and beyond what they had done in the past. And that was one of the most amazing things in my conversation with artists, that they said that WDI pushed us to really think about new ways to engage with our own art form for this site. And so our guests are really surrounded by bohemian art. I talked a little bit about what you see right around us, but when you go under the dining pavilions and you look up, that is artwork by Keshad Monroe, who's sitting right there. But he is the chair of the visual arts department at the University of the Bahamas and a well known young bahamian artist, particularly with an element of climate concern. And so we're bringing these artists in. It's not just a visual. It is also what you're hearing around you as well, right? So we previewed an original new song, everything cool, right? Written by a bohemian songwriter, Renee Caesar, performed by legendary bahamian artist Fred Ferguson, and a very young vocalist from right here on the island of elusive Jeremiah, Sweden, right? So again, it's like just crafting Bahamians into this. So our guests senses, you know, their hearing, their sight, are really engaged with this. But then it's not just the design or the background music. It's also that our guests have an opportunity to participate in one of the quintessential or premier bahamian art forms. Jonkanu. Right. And in a lot of places you go, people experience Jonkanu and they think it's amazing. But it's the show of Jonkanu. Right. It's the after product. It is the costume already done. The music already done. They get to see the parade. What I think is really lovely about the way that Disney entertainment has included bahamian cultures. Having Bahamians come and teach our guests about what Junkano is, its history, why it's important to us. And then to actually engage our guests in hasting a small thing but a headdress. Right. In the traditional way that Junkuneus would do it so that they're not only seeing the parade, they've literally been kind of immersed in the art form itself. [00:14:05] Speaker A: Right. [00:14:05] Speaker C: That is a unique experience that you cannot get anywhere else in the Bahamas right now. And I think that that is really special that is brought to you by Disney but also by Bahamians from the community here. So it's all around. [00:14:18] Speaker A: It's arguing and for context, we're sitting in the Goomba center, the Goomba learning center. [00:14:24] Speaker C: I think it's a big cultural center. [00:14:26] Speaker B: Cultural center. [00:14:26] Speaker A: So if you come here, you'll see lots of this art that Joey's been. [00:14:29] Speaker D: Talking to us about. [00:14:30] Speaker A: And it is absolutely gorgeous. This is also where the junka news starts, I believe. Yeah. [00:14:35] Speaker C: So actually the jungkook parades in from around here. So what it does is it draws people in from different parts of the island. And then you get the central show right here underneath the Junknu inspired archway. This Gombe cultural center is really the heartbeat of the property. Right. It's the heartbeat of the destination. Aromira is an opportunity for, again, our guests to engage with all the cultural elements that we're talking about. And we have the. The sights and sounds of Junkanyu experience. But you know, as we move forward, there will be other kinds of cultural experiences for our guests to engage in as well that reflect the various elements of bahamian culture you're seeing all around us. [00:15:17] Speaker A: What is the one thing you hope a guest takes home with them from kind of the bahamian? The integration of that bahamian experience into the island. Yeah. [00:15:24] Speaker C: So this is like the third time I've gotten this question, which is amazing because I think it's a good question to ask as a Bahamian, you know, you grow up with tourism and you're kind of told that bahamian tourism is sun, sand and sea. When you come to Disney lookout here, Lighthouse point, you will realize that the beaches are absolutely beautiful. Right. The water is amazing. The sand is actually pink. Right. And you got plenty of sun, as you probably realized as well. But I think the other part of it and the thing that I hope will take away from it is the bombs are not just sun. Fantastic. We're a real place with real people, and that means that we have vibrant, amazing culture that our guests should be able to enjoy. They don't always get that opportunity, but I think Disney has facilitated that opportunity in a way where folks will leave with a taste in the Bahamas that's beyond the sun, sand and sea, and hopefully they'll keep on returning. [00:16:19] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:16:20] Speaker A: Well, you guys did a beautiful job. The artwork around here is beautiful. The integration of culture is just amazing. [00:16:26] Speaker B: So, Joey, just want to thank you. [00:16:27] Speaker A: For taking some time to talk to it about with our audience. [00:16:30] Speaker C: Yeah. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Thank you for the great questions, and I hope you guys continue to enjoy the day. [00:16:35] Speaker B: Okay, now you're going to hear from Dorman Stubbs and Keshawn Monroe, both of whom have their work featured throughout lookout key. And they're just two fabulous artists. I talked to them for quite a. [00:16:47] Speaker A: While and have excerpted just a small. [00:16:49] Speaker B: Amount of that conversation here. But they are both great artists and we really enjoyed talking to them. [00:16:54] Speaker A: All right, so now we're talking with Dorman Stubbs and Keishan Monroe. [00:16:58] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:16:59] Speaker A: Who are two local artists who did some of the work here on Lookout, Keith. And let me start by asking Dorman, what was it like partnering with Disney and working on this project? [00:17:09] Speaker E: Oh, it was awesome. [00:17:11] Speaker A: Experience. [00:17:14] Speaker E: Their liberalism, allowing us to express ourselves on the level that we are and not creating bondage or tight framework for us. So I found it very, very engaging, very edifying and allowed for my creative level to grow, to expand. So when I started to imagine what was the script, I started think be creative in my imagination, allowing myself to be free to feel what they are saying and understand and come with something that we have today, you know, the manifestation of what we are all now experiencing. [00:17:58] Speaker A: How is it working with Disney on this project? [00:18:01] Speaker E: It was a significant, very unique experience. Being a professional artist, being an artist when studying at university. [00:18:10] Speaker C: No necessarily. [00:18:15] Speaker E: Opportunity as an important project for me to work on in the professional world. Right. Found myself captivated by the opportunity to be a part of the stand, so to speak. And so as artists, we tackle issues from our unique perspective. So it gave me an opportunity to Bahamian, a member of a community that's very, very small. And so that made my perspective into quality. So me being able to think as a creative in communication with a company that needed my insight, that needed. I needed perspective, being able to tell them, to direct them what is important in our culture, not only tell them about it, but visualize it for them. So it gave me an opportunity to sketch a picture of the person providing for just people, the rest of the world. I wanted to educate the history of the Bahamas, even speaking about the patterns that I created for the city. Right. It has its prepare their dwelling. The creation of the visuals and the times that I meet are kind of branded to bring people closer to see what it is and then coming closer to see what it is. Maybe they want to learn more about. [00:19:51] Speaker C: What they actually are. [00:19:52] Speaker E: And I want them to walk away feeling as though even though I live in a different part of the world. [00:19:59] Speaker A: I still feel compelled to protect themselves. [00:20:02] Speaker E: Serve this experience and this area, this resource. [00:20:07] Speaker B: I hope you got a sense of the passion that both Dorman and Kishan brought to this project and how proud they are and Joey is of the way that Disney was able to blend and integrate the bahamian culture into the island. I really do think, as I said before, lookout key is a celebration of bahamian culture. [00:20:26] Speaker A: And they've done so much to try. [00:20:27] Speaker B: And bring that culture into the island and educate people about the culture so that they leave the island with some better understanding of haemian culture than they may get from other destinations. So I just think that they're both very passionate about it. [00:20:40] Speaker A: I want to thank both of them. [00:20:41] Speaker B: For taking the time to spend some time with me, to share their artwork with me, to share their passion with me, and to share their art and passion with all the guests who will travel to lookout Cay with that, I. [00:20:52] Speaker A: Think that lookout Cay also offers a huge opportunity for some new and local shore excursions. We did not get to do any shore excursions. I barely had time to get all over the island and see everything. And so I would say if you're going to look out key and you're interested in doing something different than a beach day, be sure to check out the offerings Disney cruise line will have from a shore excursion standpoint. I was at a panel earlier today where they were highlighting that they do plan to contract with a number of local vendors to bring some unique shore excursion experiences to the island. And I think that that's going to be a great opportunity and a big differentiator from Castaway Cay that really only offers limited types of shore excursions like, you know, fishing and parasailing and those sorts of things. You're not going to get to experience the culture of Castaway Cay because no one lives there. And that's another big difference about lookout Cay. It's on the island of Eleuthera, so it's in a shared and inhabited space. Princess Cay is just up from Lookout Cay. You may even be able to see some princess ships if the weather and the visibility is good. When you dock. As you head further away from the island, you do get into developed and tourist territory. There's an airport on the island, there are hotels on the island. There are residents on the island. And so you'll have the opportunity eventually to take shore excursions that go beyond Disney property and see some of those areas. So I do think it will be good for guests to check out some of those shore excursion offerings because I think it will be a key differentiator, especially if you're on one of the sailings that's going to both Lighthouse Point and Castaway Cay. I think you could have your beach day at Castaway and then do something really interesting and learn more about bahamian culture. I also wanted to compliment Disney on the way that they wove lookout key and its structures into the natural environment. When you first get there, you might be a little sort of put off. They have all of these elevated walkways to move you from place to place. But that was an intentional design in order to minimize the human footprint on the natural environment. So you're walking on those walkways instead of walking on the beach and trampling the natural flora and fauna. So a lot of what Disney has done here is elevated structures keeping things off the natural environment as much as they can, so that they're minimizing kind of the human impact to that environment over time. At the panel today, they also mention that there are areas of yawn that they have closed off because they just want to preserve the natural beauty. And they're doing things like tagging birds to understand migration patterns and how they can better address those things. So it is really, really well done how much they've blended the island into the natural environment in that way. It's not too far from the efforts that they made at Castaway Key. I think the main attraction of this island, beyond the ability to learn about the bahamian culture, which is how they've elevated the center, is that the beaches are absolutely stunning. You'll hear a lot about pink sand. I just want to set expectations. I think I said this on an instagram post. This is not Barbie colored sand by any means. It's sand that has flecks of crushed up shell in it that is naturally pink from the environment. We've been told by imagineers that at the golden hour, especially, the sand really kind of starts to shine out that pinkish hue and makes for some great photos. Now, to be fair, I don't know how many guests will get to experience the golden hour on lookout key simply because of the ships docking and departure times. But the sand does have kind of a natural pinkish hue. It's just very kind of understated. So don't think you're going to be walking out on a bright pink beach. But it's beautiful. And the water is a just a beautiful turquoise shade of blue. I saw the ocean. I didn't, wasn't able to get in it, but I heard from several people that it is just crystal clear that you can, you can look straight down to the bottom and if you go underwater, you can see out a long distance. I will say we've heard there's not a ton of wildlife in the area. They do do snorkeling on the island. I just don't know how much fun that's going to be currently. It didn't sound like there were a lot of fish or natural sort of fish in and around the water. That will probably change over time. They were talking on the panel today about how they're doing some things with growing coral reefs and relocating coral reefs to protect them. So hopefully that will come. But I'd also say, you know, at Castaway key, it's not like there's just a ton of natural, you know, fish in the protected cove there. So I've been snorkeling there several times and, you know, they have the snorkeling park, but you're not seeing just a ton, ton of fish beyond some small things here and there. So I am not surprised. So look out. Lookout key doesn't sound any different in that regard. But the, the beach is gorgeous. It is just absolutely gorgeous. Now, on the near side of the island where the ship docks, that is where the family cabanas are. And I will say when we docked that beach, it was getting a lot of wind and breeze, and there were some pretty hefty waves sort of crashing on the beach. Now, at the end of the day, the wind had calm and that beach was fantastic. It looked great. Much calmer on the far side of the island that was protected. The beach was calm just all day and kids and families out there playing, having a great time. So the beach is the star of the show here for sure. And so if you want a just fabulous beach vacation, you're going to get that on lookout key. I have to pause for a second and say that the cabanas, for those of you interested, are, I think, a real upgrade to the ones that they offer at Castaway Cay. They just feel solidly built. They have some features like iPad or a touchscreen in them that enable you to order snacks and drinks and things like that. We initially thought they were going to allow you to order food to the cabana. We have senselor and that's not the case. You still have to go pick up your food, but they will bring extra snacks and drinks. And we understand the snack menu is expanded currently. Hopefully that stays. But also the food menu on the family cabana side at least is also expanded. So they had some like tuna steak options and some other things that were kind of a higher end, higher quality of food than what you might see at like a Serenity bay barbecue or really a cookies barbecue or things like that, or what they would be serving over at true true barbecue or true true two. So the cabanas are really nice. They have sliding glass doors on them. They have beautiful seating areas. They have tables in them for eating, which is a nice upgrade, I think, from castaway Cay. One thing, they don't have no hammocks. I didn't see any hammocks on the island at all. I could have missed one on the family beach, but no hammocks at the cabanas for sure. They're also currently struggling with lounge furniture outside the cabanas. But we understand that that is coming. They just didn't have enough come in in time. And so some of the cabanas on the family beach side, we're missing kind of the loungers down by the water. The other thing I'll say is that the cabanas on both family beach and Serenity Bay, so family beach, they're elevated up off the beach. So you do have to take some stairs down to the water. There are some ada accessible cabanas toward the pier. So those do exist. But the further you go, a little bit hillier, you get on the hill of the beach there and you have to walk down some stairs to get in the water. There are outdoor showers. I should also note that cabanas also come with kind of the standard complement of quote unquote toys that you have. They didn't have them all sitting next to the cabanas. I think you can order them through the touch screen, which, frankly, I think is a good idea, because not everyone uses the floats and all that sort of stuff all the time. Also, they had lifeguards out on the water, on the family beach side, on jet skis, kind of monitoring the ocean. So you do have lifeguards on that side of the island as well, on the Serenity bay side of things. Cabanas are at the very far end of the family beach, and I know some people have already sort of questioned why they put them at the end of the family beach. Like, why aren't the family cabanas down there? I don't know the answer to that question, but they are down at the end of the family beach. They are also lovely cabanas, just like castaway. I think the Serenity bay cabanas looked maybe slightly smaller than the family beach cabanas. Typically, they're not going to have as many people in them. The one major difference between Serenity Bay and Family beach cabanas is that the Serenity Bay cabanas are not only up from the beach, but set back from the beach. So you have to kind of walk across, like, there's some lounge chairs outside the cabana that are in some sand. You have to walk over to kind of a bridge that there's several of along the way that you then walk across to go down some stairs to then walk across the beach and get in the water. So I think the reason they put the adult cabanas there is for exactly that reason. It would be very difficult to supervise children. If you were in the cabana and they were in the water, you really couldn't see them. So at least from the family cabanas, you can see the water right there, and you're just a set of stairs to get down to the beach, into the water. So that is my suspicion over why they are placed where they are. I think both are lovely. Both have their own food facilities, both have their own drink facilities, both have their own restaurants, restroom facilities. Did not get a chance to check out the Serenity Bay barbecue, but from what we heard, it was very similar to what was being served at the other restaurant locations on that side of the island. So I don't know if I got the upgraded food offerings or not, but we will check out cabanas in more depth and more detail and the food and all of that stuff. We're there at the end of next week when we return to the island three times on our five night DVC cruise and our three night podcast cruise. All right, I got to talk about food and drink offerings, but I didn't get a chance to experience them. As I said in the opening of the show, I was running all over the place, had a chance to get lunch, really. So we did look at the food. And what I want to compliment Disney on is I think we've been asking for new food items at Castaway Key forever. And they have new food items on lookout key. They have fish that they're making. They have a paella dish. It looks like the way that it's set up is not kind of that buffet style at Castaway Cay. It's more like a food court where all the openings are on the outside or all the vendors are on the outside. But you go up to a window and you can either order burger and hot dogs and company mints there. You can order paella, you can order other things. There's four different windows along the way. Several people have posted the menu from lookout key online. I'm not going to rehash it, but I'm really excited for some of the new food offerings and I can't wait to try them out. There's also some new drink offerings. Disney did give us coupons to get these new drinks that are on the island. Unfortunately, they were out of one by the time we got to the bar that would serve it. And that was the butterfly switcher, which is a lemonade mixed with butterfly pea jasmine, green tea and a sparkle blue edible glitter. So didn't get a chance to try that one out. The one that I wanted to try was the Bahama cold brew. That's cold brew blended with hawaiian island syrup, finished with coconut flavored soft whip. I really wanted to try this, but I was reserving it until we got back because it's served in a stand that is right at the end of the pier when you get off the ship, but it is not on the other side of the island. So when we made it over the other side of the island, we wanted to cover everything there and then get back to the coffee stand and try the cold brew. Unfortunately, the coffee stand was closed by the time we got back at 430, so could not try the cold brew. Other two, I think really good pros for lookout key. The kids areas are amazing. So I had a chance to check out Sebastian's during an open house. It looks really, really nice. A big water play space. Lots of counselors were around. There were very few kids in Sebastian's at this point, I think because it was past kind of the closed hours in an open house and all that sort of stuff. The island also cleared out like fairly early in the day. This magic was not totally full when she sailed. I don't think there was a small crowd on the island. Lots of dynamics happening here, but was not full. But it looked like it could handle a lot of kids and a lot of traffic. Also, interestingly enough, there was a. Looked like to be a food like location inside of Sebastian's. Now, I don't know if that's so that parents can come in and eat with their kids in that location or if they intend to serve food to kids in Sebastian. So we'll have to wait to see how that plays out. But that was kind of an interesting thing that we noticed. Further down the beach from Sebastian's is a play place, kind of center that had lots of family games, I think had cornhole and some hula hoops and things of that nature. It looks like just kind of a covered indoor play space. Basically no structures, but just things you could play with. And then just back up the beach towards Sebastian's was the rush out, gush out splash play area. And this is where they had water slides, splash pads, just all kinds of stuff. We have a video of this up on Instagram, probably on our Facebook group. It is a real upgrade, in my opinion, over pelican plunge. And I can't remember the name of the other thing that they have on castaway with the rings and stuff out in the ocean. If for no other reason, then I believe this was fresh water. So I don't know that for sure. It may have been ocean water, but regardless, you're not like being dunked right into the ocean with all the salt in your eyes. So lots of kids there, lots of families having fun there. It looked like a spectacular place and I think probably a real upgrade to castaway Key and the space that they have there. The last thing we didn't get to try but that exists on the island is a nature trail that has a scavenger hunt. So if you go through the nature trail, there's some barcodes, you scan the barcodes, you learn about some of the natural surroundings on the island. Then the nature trail reminds me a lot of the walk that you can do around Castaway key out to the lookout tower and that sort of thing. If you finish scavenger hunt. They hinted there might be some kind of prize, although they said the prize was a fabulous day at lookout Key. So anyway, that trail exists. It was closed at several points for us, and so several of the folks on the cruise didn't do it because we thought it was closed. It turned out it may have been open, may try to check that out on a future cruise, because it's always fun to do kind of a scavenger hunt kind of thing, but that also exists on the island as an activity. And so that's really great to see. I want to move over to what I'm going to call opportunities and expectations on the island because I can't gloss over some of the things that people have mentioned online. Line first, got to set your expectations. The walk down the pier is long. It is a half mile or thereabouts from the ship to the tram stop at the end of the island. It is a long walk on a concrete pier that is not covered, and in the sun it is warm. I'm not going to lie about that. That said, if you're mobility challenged or you really need it, they have golf carts that you can arrange and will shuttle people from the ship to the end of the pier at the tram stop. The walk takes about, you know, twelve to 15 minutes, depending on how fast you're walking. Maybe a little longer if you're slower. I think if you have small kids, you should seriously consider, you know, whether you can get on one of the golf carts or if you can use a stroller. I would say if you're interested in the golf carts, you should always talk to guest services first because, you know, I think that they are ferrying guests who need it. They're not just sort of on demand. So anyway, I don't want to gloss over, it's a long walk, but it's twelve to 15 minutes. So if you've ever walked from the ship on castaway to the first family beach, it's not much different. And so, you know, that is what it is. Nothing that Disney can do about it at this point. Maybe operationally they'll put some more golf carts in service. Know, look beyond it. Being warm was not terrible. And if I didn't have to get to the end of the pier and then do a bunch of touring and then go over to the other side of the island and do a bunch of touring and never set foot in the water, it would have been fine. By the time I got to the other side of the island for the beach, I would have just dumped in the beach and been cooled off and fine. But that walk is there, plan for it, know it's coming. When you get to the end of the pier, just to walk you through this on the left hand side, will be the equivalent of Marges barges, I forget what the they call it on lookout key, but that's where you'll check in for your shore excursions, the boat based shore excursions, and I think most of the rest of them as well. There's a small coffee stand or drink stand there. That's where you can get that cold brew that I mentioned earlier. There's a small kiosk called the last chance or first chance, last chance kind of gift shop. And there they've got a very, very small selection of some of the items that are available in the main gift shop on the island. And then if you take a right, you'll be heading down a path toward the cabana. Check in for the family cabanas over there. Straight ahead of you when you get to the end of the pier will be the tram stop. Now, next thing I gotta tell you about is you have to take the tram over to the other side of the island. There is no option to walk off. The end of the pier to the other side of the island is about a mile. Not allowing people to walk it currently. I don't know if they will in the future. Even if they did, the island is not flat. Totally flat. Like castaway key. Uh, the island actually crowns kind of in the middle, so you'd be kind of walking a little bit uphill and downhill and, you know, it's, it's, it's not flat. So the walk also didn't look fun. You're basically walking along a road that's still, you know, got some active, like, you know, construction going on and things like that. Uh, and so you have to take the tram. The trams come very frequently. Uh, they load two trams at a time. Uh, they had a lot of seats. I only had to wait for one tram to go and then guy got. [00:36:54] Speaker B: On the next tram. [00:36:55] Speaker A: Be sure that you're not standing between the two tram shelters. The trams kind of pull up, and if you're kind of in the middle of the two of them, then you kind of got to take whatever's left on both trams. So I would go either go to one end or the other to make sure that you're getting on an actual tram as opposed to being stuck kind of in the middle. As I said, it's a mile over, so the tram ride takes about ten minutes. The trams are going like maybe five, 7 miles an hour. What's interesting, though, is on these trams, they have some fun edutainment. Again, they have some kids characters they develop. One is Lizzy the Lizard, the other one's a crab whose name I've been constantly forgetting. They kind of, as you're driving, talk to you about some of the things you'll see and experience on the island and local culture and history and all that sort of stuff. And so its a good way to get the kids kind of engaged in the cultural aspect before they get to the other side of the island. You start at the end of the pier at Mabreka Cove. You take the tram over to Goombe, the Gombe tram stop, and thats where all the rest of stuff is. When you get off the tram at Gombe, youll be kind of immediately in front of the Disney tings merchandise store, which is where all the merch is. Theyve got some really fabulous merchandise in there. And I have to say, as much of a mess as it was when we first got there, store was like totally picked over by the time I got there. They were constantly restocking the store. And we'll have an interview here in a second with the Disney PR rep for merchandise. And she indicated they have a warehouse on the island, so they're able to keep things in stock, hopefully a little bit better than they have been on Castaway Cay. So the store is great. They got some great items. And in fact, why don't we pause here and I'm going to let her talk to you a bit about the merchandising strategy on the island. All right, so one of the cool opportunities we have on this cruise is too talk with some of the PR folks who are responsible for various areas of the island. We've got Marlo here who does merchandising for the island. We're outside of Disney. No, look out that lookout key. Lookout key. But tings. It's Disney ting. [00:38:54] Speaker F: Disney ting. [00:38:55] Speaker B: Disney tings. [00:38:55] Speaker A: Yeah. Talk to me about the merchandising strategy for this. [00:38:58] Speaker F: Oh, my gosh. You know, we curated such a unique product. This run is specifically for the launch of Hook down key. And so we really hope that you can find something for everybody. You know, we're really focused on the guests getting something like a tangible memory of their experience. So we're really what? I'm really excited about the rich storytelling of the Bahamas and how we infuse that into graphics within merchandise. So, for example, the dunkin new collection here, which I'm sure you've seen the backdrop with Mickey, this was actually an imagineering backdrop drop that originally started and we love the idea of mixing Junkanoo with a not to Disney character, again, tying it back to that bohemian culture of celebrating Junkanoo. And so, as you can see, we've done quite a bit, infused a lot of our different characters within Junkanoo. And then, I don't know if you're familiar, have you seen the Mickey and Minnie characters that walk around? Okay, so Theo Elliot, that is another. He is a bohemian award winning celebrity fashion designer. He created those costumes for Mickey and Minnie, and we actually took those costumes, partnered with entertainment and have them available in plush. [00:40:13] Speaker A: Oh, wow. [00:40:14] Speaker B: Yes. [00:40:14] Speaker A: We picked up a couple of the plushies. Yes. My wife was super excited to get that. [00:40:17] Speaker E: Yes. [00:40:17] Speaker F: Oh, good, good. I'm so excited. You love it. But what I'm really excited about Thea, because she's such an amazing partner to work with. We actually asked him if he would curate an assortment, an apparel, a collection for us, if you will. And so what you can see, I'm wearing one of his palazzo pants. And Theo, again, it's all about that bohemian stylized junkyard sun within the pattern, some florals, and then subtle wave logo within the prints and patterns, again, bright. And so that collaboration with Theo has been just amazing. It is something that we continue to look at in terms of how do we continue to partner with our bohemian local artisans to bring in within our merchandise assortment. And then lastly, don't forget our, you know, character assortment, which is for the family. Right. So I don't know if you've seen the Mickey and Minnie assortment in the shop, but we have a robust assortment that really has the logo, again, a nod to the nature. You'll see the curltail lizard within some of the graphics. So we've really taken a lot of the elements, the graphics that we. That imagineering has, has shared with us, and quite a generic. So that's kind of the inspiration starts there. [00:41:31] Speaker B: Well, I know one question our listeners are going to have when we're coming. [00:41:33] Speaker A: Here in the next few days and a few stops is feeling good about keeping everything in stock over the next few days. [00:41:38] Speaker F: You know, we, again, we're never 100%, you know, 100%, but we are definitely focused on being in stocking, making sure the guests have a. Have a great experience. Yes, we have. Our planning team has bought for and prepared for the launch of the island. [00:41:58] Speaker A: I can attest it has been a busy day in this store, and we have come back a couple times and. [00:42:01] Speaker B: They have restocked, and we found just. [00:42:03] Speaker A: About everything we wanted. [00:42:04] Speaker F: So that's great. That's great, all their sizing. And I know that, you know, some of the guests too, that we're continuing to restock. We've got a warehouse here filled with inventory, and we'll just continue to bring it in throughout the day and blow it in. [00:42:18] Speaker A: Marlon, thank you so much for taking some time to talk to our listeners. [00:42:21] Speaker F: You're welcome. It's so nice to meet you. [00:42:24] Speaker D: We know that people trust Disney for their vacations, and it can sometimes be a little nerve wracking to think about trying something new. Right, Sam? [00:42:30] Speaker G: Yeah. Whether you're considering branching out to a new cruise line, an all inclusive resort, or exploring Europe, the team at mypath unwinding travel has the expertise and connections across the globe to plan almost any vacation. They can even help with the universal parks. They've helped us plan our vacations beyond Disney, including Royal Caribbean princess cruise line and virgin voyages. [00:42:48] Speaker D: Their team of travel professionals all understand the needs of a Disney traveler, can help you decide if another option is right for you, and then guide you through every step of your new vacation experience. Whether you are dreaming of a fun getaway to an all inclusive resort, a river cruise in Europe, or an adventure in Costa Rica, the folks at Mypath unwinding are ready to help. Even if you have already booked, reach out for a complimentary consultation to make your next vacation even more amazing. [00:43:10] Speaker G: If you want to learn more and take advantage of the amazing team at mypath unwinding travel, then head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email dclduoypathunwinding.com to let them know we sent you their way. Thanks my pathunwinding for sponsoring today's show. Now back, back to the episode. [00:43:30] Speaker A: So after you see the store, you're kind of presented with a lot of walkways. Behind the store is a local bahamian shop and so they've got local fare back there, kind of like the stands that they have on castaway, but it's a lot more art focused. From there you can head continue straight back and you'll be at the Bahamian Cultural center, the Gombe Cultural center, which is where you can see the junkanoo, where you can do some bahamian activities. You can see bahamian and art. The art is kind of scattered, are also all around the island and in the design of the island, if you make a left, you will start heading toward a bar and true true barbecue two or true true two, I think it's called. That is the second food destination on the island or the second food place on the island. If you keep going that direction, you will hit the food. You will eventually start to see cabanas. That's where Serenity Bay is. And if you keep going out further, you'll hit the Serenity bay. Food and bathrooms and all that sort of stuff. Go down from the cultural center, you'll be straight down to the beach. From the cultural center, you'll be on the family beach. There are lounge chairs down there. Despite some photos and videos online, there are lounge chairs down there. There are not as many lounge chairs on the beach as at castaway. I think in part because beach is much more expansive. I'm like, okay, they have much more beach to deal with. And so they don't have the chairs packed 4568 rows deep. They have them packed about like maybe two to three to four rows deep. And they're all up against kind of the back, like cliff, I'll call it, of the beach. Plenty of umbrellas, plenty of chairs. We didn't see anyone, like, hunting around for chairs from the cultural center. If you instead head right, that's when you'll start to head down toward true, true barbecue, the first food, you know, place on the island like castaway. No difference in the food being served at Truchru barbecue or Chuchu, too. If you keep going, you'll hit Sebastian's, which is the Oceaneers age Kids club I mentioned earlier. Earlier. Down that direction is also the rush out, gush out that I mentioned earlier. And the play pavilion down there that I mentioned earlier. There are bars scattered all throughout the island. There are drink stations at both of the barbecue places. There are water stations scattered throughout. Tons of bathrooms, tons of showers at the bathrooms to rinse off the sand and that sort of stuff. So it is, you know, everything you need is there. Things are more spread out. And so I wanted to talk about that for a second. Had set expectations. Things are just more spread out than they are on castaway key, at least in my opinion. Think though, that is potentially a plus. Even though you have to walk a little further, it means you've got more space. You're not crowded in shoulder to shoulder with people on the beach. Uh, you got a little bit more space to deal with. Yes, you have to walk further, but you get a little bit. Just a little bit more privacy and a little bit more space. So I think that that is actually a great addition. I think it's. Frankly, people, uh, have been asking for something. People have been asking for on castaway key is a little, just less correct. [00:46:17] Speaker C: Crowded. [00:46:17] Speaker A: So you have to walk further. Want to set that expectation. It is going to take you just to wrap up here. It is going to take you in ten, about 15 minutes to get down the pier. It is about a, you know, ten to 15 minutes ride on the tram. Maybe add five minutes for the wait, you know, now you're pushing, you know, about half an hour, 40 minutes. So, you know, just plan for that. I would say the strategy on lookout key is either get off the ship early or if, if you're getting off at a time when there's a crowd build up, then maybe just wait like 30 minutes. I did not see anyone needing space to sit on the beach at lookout key. If you don't get off early, you may end up waiting a couple tram cycles for a tram to come. Whereas if you maybe just, you know, have breakfast and then get off, you might be more likely to get a tram right away. So I think the strategy is probably get off early and if you don't, then just wait a little bit and then get off. Find a spot. I think you'll. I think you'll have no problems finding a spot at this point, but we will find out as the weeks progress here with other ships visiting the island. I already mentioned the family cabanas, you know, are placed in a way that maybe I wouldn't have done it or, you know, that people are sort of saying they're on the wrong side of the island. They should be at the end of the family beach. I've discussed the reason for that. It is what it is. If you're in a cabana on the family beach, you will have to take the tram over to the other side of the island. If you want to do some gift shopping or you want to go to the splash pad or for whatever reason, you want to experience the food at one of the food locations over there. You want to see the bahamian art or engage in some of the cultural activities, you know, I would say just plan around it at this point. So if you've got a family cabana, spend some time there and then maybe, you know, take a group over, check out the junk anew, you know, do your merchandise shopping and then head back to the cabana for the rest of the day and get your food over on the family cabana side of the island. I don't think there's anything beyond kind of the shopping and cultural activities on the other side of the island that necessarily require you to be over there. Now, if your kids are big into splash pads and not into the beach, cabana may not be the right thing for you because you'll be spending all of your time on the other side of the island. But, you know, know thyself, know thy children, and, you know, make. Make your plans. All right. The last thing I I have to address dress, because it's already sort of coming out from different locations. People have been posting some photos of food with what I'll call island pests, aka flies, on it at the buffets. I would like to tell you that I didn't see that. I did see that. I didn't have lunch. As I said up front, does it give me pause? I'll be honest a little bit. But I know also that Disney is aware of the issue. People have raised the issue. I am sure that operations will figure out to fix that issue. Plenty of people that we saw and met, we asked about the food. They really enjoyed the food, that the food was good, but it exists. It's there, can't be hidden. And so before you see a bunch of videos about it, I want to let you know it happened. But again, from what we've heard, Disney is aware of the issue, and I'm sure that they are already thinking through how to fix that operationally, and hopefully they will get some things in place here in the very near future. To be fair, for, you know, those of you in Serendipe and the family beach cabanas not see the food location. So, uh, for those two directly, I only saw true true barbecue. Uh, two or true true two, I guess it's called. I keep messing that up. Um, so I actually, fundamentally, I can't speak to what was going on down at the other end at, uh, true true barbecued. I can't talk about it at Serenity Bay, and I can't talk about it at the family beach cabanas. But, you know, did see it at true true two. And Disney's aware of it and they're working to fix it. But just, you know, just want to let you know that going into it. All right with that, I guess just want to say from an opportunities and expectations side of things, as I was sort of saying there at the end, I mean, the good news is most of the stuff that I've identified as fixable, like, people have also complained, I should say this about a lack of shade on the island. It's also, you know, just a little dusty. The sand is fine, and the wind is kicking it up. Part of that has been because it's like brand new construction. They replanted foliage. They just put in new trees. You'll see that as you're going around the island, as that grows in, more shade will come, more ground cover will come. Things will calm down for now, from a shade standpoint, you can eat undercover. Bars are covered. There are lots of covered spaces you could go to if you need a break from the sun. Plenty of beach umbrellas to keep you out of the sun. And I also know there's plenty of people who just want sun, like all the time. Right? And so it's there. It exists. But the good news is, with time, that should get fixed. Most of the other challenges, too that I've identified, I really think are operational and things that Disney will probably look into and fix. There's some nitpicky things that people have identified and already reported to Disney. Some of the cabanas don't have hooks on the walls, for instance, to hang things on. I'm guessing Disney just ordered a bunch of hooks to install on the cabanas. The lack of lounge chairs out in front of cabana, well, they're coming. The one other thing that was not available when we were there were bikes. They were not available to rent. It did look like the bikes were there. I don't know if all of them were there. So we'll wait to hear from other sailings if people were able to ride the bikes or not, or if they make them available for rent. And then when we're there next week, three times, we'll kind of maybe check out if the bikes are up and running. So they do have snorkel rentals, I should say, as well. I didn't get a chance to experience that, but they do have snorkeling rentals. So anyway, lots of stuff to do on lookout k lots and lots of stuff to do. Lots of great things. I don't want to overshadow those as some of the sort of the expectation, setting and opportunities here at the end. Those beaches are gorgeous. I can't say that enough. They're absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to experience them in a more relaxing way than I did this time around. [00:51:50] Speaker B: Before we sign off, I did get a chance to talk to one of the imagineers on this project, and it was a short conversation, but I wanted to bring it to you. I think it's interesting to hear the imagineering perspective on this project, to understand kind of the framing that they were going for or Disney was going for and what they were hoping to accomplish with the island, because I think it helps inform a lot of the decisions that Disney then made. And some of those decisions, I think, are ones that people are criticizing today. I think some of them are decisions that we all may end up celebrating about lookout key. But regardless, just wanted you to hear her perspective on the island. And so let me throw it over to that recording, that interview that we did with the imagineer. [00:52:30] Speaker A: Continue our theme. Here we have Melanie from Disney Imagineering. Melanie, can you introduce yourself for our listeners? Of course. [00:52:35] Speaker H: Hi, my name is Melanie Parham. I'm an assistant project manager with Walt Disney Imagineering. [00:52:39] Speaker A: And how long have you been with imagineering? [00:52:41] Speaker H: I've been with imagineering for going on seven years now, I believe started right out of college. And this is actually my first project, first long project that I am now getting to see the opening for. So I'm very excited about that. [00:52:53] Speaker A: What was the goal for imagineering? This, you know, this new island destination. [00:52:57] Speaker B: Not a new island, but a new. [00:52:58] Speaker A: Destination on an existing island, of course. [00:53:00] Speaker H: So we wanted to create a complimentary experience to castaway key with our new ships that we're releasing. We wanted to highlight the bahamian culture, which is what we've really done here, while keeping conservation at the forefront of the design. [00:53:12] Speaker A: What are some of your favorite aspects of the project? [00:53:15] Speaker H: I think that everywhere you turn, you'll see bahamian artwork that is being highlighted, which I think is incredible. Being on the project for so long, I've really gotten to get very close to the community and the artists, and it's been really cool to see their work just come to life. In addition, I think it's very important to us that we were minimizing our footprint, maintaining the beauties of the natural landscape. So you'll see that in how we have elevated boardwalks and our open trench up here design. We just wanted to maintain that natural beauty. And the Luther is the most beautiful island. [00:53:47] Speaker A: What do you think are some of the experiences guests shouldn't miss when they're visiting the island? [00:53:51] Speaker H: My personal favorite is the rushout gush out family water play. It's water slides, interactive water features. An area for the family to just come together and enjoy. Cool off. There's plenty of buildings and bars around and a very central location. [00:54:05] Speaker A: Yeah. And if you were going to come back personally, Melanie, and we asked this, what would be your spot? Where would you head? [00:54:10] Speaker H: I would definitely check out one of our cabanas. They are an amazing way to access the beach. You have front access, a very secluded, remote. Just a calm day at the beach. [00:54:20] Speaker E: Thanks. [00:54:21] Speaker A: Thank you, Melanie, for taking some time. We really appreciate it. [00:54:23] Speaker H: Thank you so much. [00:54:25] Speaker B: All right, well, that was the imagineer interview. I hope you enjoyed those snippets and the other snippets from the PR folks throughout this episode. It's one of the benefits of these types of trips is that you get access to some of Disney's PR people. To hear Disney's point of view on things like this and lookout key in particular here. Hopefully we'll get to continue that going forward. [00:54:43] Speaker A: I don't know. [00:54:44] Speaker B: It was certainly an interesting aspect to covering lookoutkey this time around for us. I want to say, since I recorded the main episode, I am splicing in here some things, some updates, some things that I forgot to mention in the main show or that I wanted to clarify from the main show after kind of listening to the edit without having to go back and re record the whole thing. So one thing I wanted to clarify at Sebastian's, we have discovered, I did not realize on Disney's website, they have said that they will be eventually serving food in the kids club. So that space that we saw that looked like a restaurant, uh, is in fact a food service venue for kids, uh, who are at Sebastian. So they'll be able to get lunch while they're in the club on the island. Uh, I think that is fantastic. I'm glad to see Disney doing that. It was not open while we were there. I don't know when it will be available, but the facility is there to do that. So I think that is a great move by Disney going forward. Second, I wanted to clarify, I didn't know if the water at the play area was freshwater or salt water. We have since clarified it is fresh water at the play area. Again, I think that's fantastic. Uh, I know I hate getting the salt water in my eyes. I think Nathan always has to wear goggles, uh, when he's in, in the ocean. So I think it'd be great to have a play area, a water play area that's like fresh water and not salt water. So wanted to make sure to bring that to you. [00:55:55] Speaker A: Um, I did want to bring up. [00:55:56] Speaker B: One other issue that we had around food, uh, which was, um, the seating areas for the food were fairly oversubscribed at all times that we went. Now we, again, were only able to go to true true two. And both times that we went by there, the seating was pretty full when we walked by. True true barbecues. The first, uh, true true barbecue, um, it was empty. It was dead over there. [00:56:21] Speaker A: So I don't know if a lot. [00:56:21] Speaker B: Of people just kind of went left on the island towards Serenity bay. I have no idea how many kids were on the cruise, and that may have been the case that only a handful of families or something went to the right and down toward the kids areas. And so true true barbecue was less subscribed, but I can say that the seating areas at true true two were full all the time. So just be mindful of that when you're looking for a place to go to lunch. If true true two is oversubscribed, you might want to head keep going down at Churchill Barbecue, the first eating facility. So I just wanted to bring that to you as well. I also want to highlight, we did learn that the water and soda stations on the island throughout the day started to malfunction and many of them were not working at the end of the day. I will say the one station I used toward the end of the day was working just fine, but they did have some difficulties, some technical difficulties with the water and soda stations. I'm sure that's something that will be addressed and fixed, so I doubt that it will be a persistent issue. But just wanted to let folks know you do, you should absolutely stay hydrated on the island to bring lots of water with you. I think this is a time when having that water package on the ship and bringing it off with you might be a good idea. But there are water refill stations, so bring a bottle. And as long as they're working, lots of opportunities to fill up your bottle with water and soda stations. Um, last thing I want to clarify was on the bikes. Uh, we did learn that Disney's about 60 days out from getting all of the bikes they need to open up the bike rentals. They only have some of the bikes there right now. So if you're on a sailing in the next 60 days ish, unlike that, you'll be able to rent bikes on the island at this point in time. And so just wanted to bring that update to you as well. All right. [00:58:00] Speaker A: Can't wait to bring you Sam's review. Sam, you know, has her opinion, although I'm going to hold her to that. We're friends of this new island. It is a new island destination. I think any new island destination for Disney cruise line is a win for Disney Cruise line enthusiasts, and it can only get better over time. And so with that, we'll give some more detailed reviews and pictures of the experience that look okay when we visit next week. For now, we've been posting some videos of the experience across our different social media accounts. We've got a trip plan to look out K. You know, just, just plan accordingly. I think you're gonna have a great time. Lots of families coming back saying that they had a great time and so you should as well. With that, we'll wrap up the first impressions of Lookout K here. Hope you enjoyed the episode. Appreciate you listening and I'll see you next time. [00:58:52] Speaker D: Well, thanks to everyone out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can keep getting great content from us every week. In fact, twice a week we publish shows, so be sure to hit the subscribe button to get all of those great episodes. And if you want to watch us live, we have a live show now every week, Monday nights, 05:30 p.m. pacific 08:30 p.m. eastern over on YouTube.com dclduo. So be sure to head over and check that out. If you want to help support the show, be sure to hit those five stars on Apple podcasts. And if you leave us a written review, a five star written review, we will read it at the top of one of our main episodes. So please head over there and hit those five stars. Of course, you can also help support the show by supporting our fabulous show sponsor, mypath unwinding travel. Want to book your next Disney vacation? Head over to mypathunwinding.com dot or email [email protected] so they know we sent you their way. If you've got questions or you'd like to connect with us, the best way to do that is to head over to dclduo.com dot. It's got links to all of our things. Full catalog of the podcast episodes, including a searchable catalog for the podcast links off to our vlog, a link to our Etsy store where we sell some fun, fan inspired magnets. Link to our Patreon if you'd like to help directly support the show each and every month, just head over to the website or patreon.com dclduo also, as a way for you to sign up for our substack newsletter that we're hoping to start really pumping out monthly here, at least on a few blog articles that we've written. So Dclduo.com is the best way to connect with us. You can also, of course, email [email protected] or reach out to us on our voicemail line at 402-413-5590 that's 4024-1354 the DCL Duo podcast is not affiliated with Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Company, or the Disney family of theme parks. The views expressed on the show are solely those of the individuals on the podcast and in no way reflect the views of the Disney Company or Disney Cruise line. If you have questions about a Disney Cruise or Disney vacation, please contact the great folks over at MyPath unwinding travel or Disney directly or your own travel agent. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time for another fabulous adventure. [01:00:52] Speaker B: With the DCL duo. [01:00:54] Speaker E: Good night.

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