June 25, 2024


Ep. 436 - Live Bonus Show - Getting Beyond the Pier: A 5N DVC "First Wave" Sailing with Two Stops at Lookout Cay

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 436 - Live Bonus Show - Getting Beyond the Pier: A 5N DVC "First Wave" Sailing with Two Stops at Lookout Cay
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 436 - Live Bonus Show - Getting Beyond the Pier: A 5N DVC "First Wave" Sailing with Two Stops at Lookout Cay

Jun 25 2024 | 01:18:06


Show Notes

We're sharing our experience from the 5-night Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member "First Wave" Disney Cruise Line (DCL) sailing aboard the Disney Magic with a stop at Castaway Cay and two stops at Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. Sam is sharing her first impressions of the island, and Brian is providing updates on what's changed between the preview sailing he took and now. We're moving beyond the pier to cover the cultural aspects of the island, the beaches, the food, the merch, the kids areas and so much more. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Okay, so now let's go to Lynn's question. [00:00:02] Speaker B: This ties into some of my pros and cons between the two. So I look, I'm. Sam can have a different opinion. Everyone out there can have their own opinion. My opinion is not special. I said that before. I prefer lookout to castaway. Welcome back, everybody, to a live edition of the DCl duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding travel, and Sam, where we're going to do a little lookout key discussion tonight. [00:00:35] Speaker A: Yeah, that's right. I got my ears. You got your hat. We're ready. Sorry for being a few minutes late, everyone who's watching live, we just had some technical difficulties in getting started tonight. But we are here, and we are ready to talk all about lookout key. [00:00:51] Speaker B: And those ears are junk. A new ears. [00:00:54] Speaker A: They're junk. [00:00:54] Speaker B: So Sam's ready to junk a new tonight? [00:00:57] Speaker A: I am. I'm ready to do the junk a new rush. I'm ready to dance around the parade like I'm at carnival. [00:01:03] Speaker B: There you go. There you go. All right. Well, tonight we're be talking about our five night first wave Disney vacation club sailing on Disney cruise line aboard the Disney magic. That's a lot of Disney's in there. But, uh, first wave is what. First wave is what Disney Vacation Club has now branded these charter sailings. They've done to distinguish them from the DVC member sailings. So we talked about the five night sailing that we were on, which is a first leg of our actual vacation that we paid for and went on with Disney Cruise line. We will have out later this week a show that we recorded on board before a studio audience in animator's palette, with Disney's permission. And so that was our three night podcast cruise that will be out later this week. Pretty excited to share that one with you. And so that will be out soon. But tonight, five night sailing. This sailing left out of Fort Lauderdale, uh, was my second experience with the terminal in Fort Lauderdale. Sam's first, uh, it went to lookout key, castaway key, lookout key, sea day, and back to Fort Lauderdale. So we did not even have to stop in Nassau on the ceiling. It was pretty fun. Uh, but yes, twice to lookout key, my second and third times Sam's first time. And so I want to let her talk about her experience. Um, let's start with, um, just some kind of. Let's push lookout key a little bit down the line here a bit, Sam. But let's start with your first impressions of the terminal there in Fort Lauderdale. The bespoke Disney terminal at Port Everglades that they built. Your first time experiencing it, what'd you think? [00:02:41] Speaker A: Yeah, I thought it was beautiful. They did a really nice job decorating it out. It's very Disney esque. There was Disney murals, like, on the walls, both inside and outside of the terminal. So sort of when you're walking in, you get some Disney murals on the side. And when you're inside the terminal, it's got all kinds of, you know, know, Disney signage. It's a big open room, is how I would describe it. You go through security, or you feel like you're kind of, like, in a large warehouse room. And so you go through security, and you can see the other side already where the desks are all set up, and then where the waiting area is. And then upstairs, there is another kind of open balcony space, and that's where the concierge waiting area is. The only difference being it is a little bit closer to entering the ship because you have to go up the escalator in order to get over the gangway to the ship. And there's a beverage cooler in there, so. And some more bathrooms. [00:03:36] Speaker B: I gotta give a shout out to cast member Carl, I believe it was. [00:03:40] Speaker A: Yes. [00:03:40] Speaker B: Who brought, like, if. I think Carl with a k. Yeah. He and Andy from the concierge lounge needs to get together because Carl with a k brought the energy. Energy he was bumping away. It was just fabulous. So, uh, loved Carl in the terminal. I thought the new terminal was. Was really nice. Um, I mean, I think it's, you know, as nice or maybe slightly. Slightly nicer than Port Canaveral. Boarding process was fairly smooth and easy. And because they designed the terminal, it all kind of flowed properly. [00:04:12] Speaker A: And you can walk through the ears to get up to the ship. [00:04:16] Speaker B: Yes. Yep. Still. Still walking through those Mickey ears. That's right. Now, if you're in concierge, you get to walk through them early, but, yes, you still get to walk through the Mickey ears. So terminal experience was great for our first time, my second time, I guess Sam's first time in the terminal. So that was great. That was great. We got on the Disney magic, and we're not going to do a blow by blow of the five night cruise, because I want to spend some significant time talking about lookout key to get Sam's impressions here. But I did want to say we tried something new on night one. Isn't that right? [00:04:45] Speaker A: Yes, we tried prima note, which is basically a wine tasting plus food tasting experience in Paulo. It is only offered on night one. It looks like your picture there on your first work. Yeah. [00:05:04] Speaker B: I tried to do pictures, and they're not working. I don't know what's going on. [00:05:07] Speaker A: All right. I believe we had five glasses of wine. It started off with a glass of bubbly, then we had a glass of white, then we had, I believe, two glasses of red, and then a dessert wine. And each time we had a glass other than, I think, the champagne, it was paired with a food course with the champagne was sort of the welcome drinks. There wasn't food paired with it. But then when the white wine came, we got a. A bite of gnocchi, I believe, which was like the pesto gnocchi they have on the menu. Help me remember the other dishes, Brian. [00:05:41] Speaker B: Well, there was the. There was the gnocchi. We had a tuna dish, like a seared tuna, and then we had a. [00:05:49] Speaker A: Oh, it was first, maybe. Yeah, the tuna, then the gnocchi, then we had a steak, and then we had a dessert. A chocolate dessert course. [00:05:57] Speaker B: Yeah. And these are. I should say these are. I was trying to show you the photos, but for some reason, they're not working. I may. I may try to pull up just the photos, uh, here in a second. But, uh, they were. They were bite sized portions, so it was, you know, like. [00:06:08] Speaker A: Yes, maybe two. [00:06:10] Speaker B: Two, maybe three bites. Yeah, it was. It was a tasting. Um, and they had a wine course paired with each. So we had a white wine, a red wine, a sparkling wine, a desert. [00:06:21] Speaker A: Wine, sparkling, sparkling white, red, red dessert. That's what. How that. That was the order. And it was, like I said, tuna gnocchi, steak, chocolate, basically. That was the. Yeah. So four. Five wines, four food courses, small bites. I thought it was lovely. We also. Oh, we also got a palo pin at the very end as, like a. A present at the end of the. The tasting. I would say it lasted about an hour. And I believe there were actually two seatings. We were at the earlier seating of it, which was at 645. So it would. It actually would work with either early dinner or late dinner, which is good, because it wasn't a full meal. It was close to a full meal. We were pretty full before we headed to dinner, but it was. But I think part of that was the amount of wine and less the amount of food. But, yeah, I thought it was really good. The one thing I will tell people, it's a small number of people, I think it's a limit of twelve. And so it's only done on the first night. That's what prima note means in Italian. First night. And so with only two seatings, that means only 24 people are getting it. So I believe that it was mostly filled with concierge sailors and also pearl sailors. So it is something that is difficult to get, but it's also because it's really new. And as time goes on and as more and more people have a chance to experience it, I'm sure it's going to become more available to folks outside of just the concierge and pearl groups. But for now, it seems like that's. It's pretty limited because it is fairly new. [00:07:59] Speaker B: Yeah. And did you mention to folks the special gift we got at the end, Sam? [00:08:02] Speaker A: Yes, I mentioned the pin that we got at the end. That's Apollo specific. I've never seen Apollo pin for sale in the gift shop, so. Or in one of the gift shops. So I think this is something that's unique to the experience. [00:08:16] Speaker B: Yeah. And the other. So I wanted to give a tip because we dined with some friends and four of us, there was a group of six of us on this sailing that were kind of sailing together. Four of us went down to main dining for dinner, which was a mistake. It was a huge hold on. It was a huge miscalculation from my point of view, because the two other folks who were sailing with the, we affectionately call the DCL duo senior Tracy and Michael, who are probably out there watching right now, they were pros. They got the pro tip. So they stayed and they were drinking their wine, and the server came in and said that they, you know, they needed a room for a large group. [00:08:57] Speaker A: And for the second seating of prima note, actually. [00:09:00] Speaker B: Okay. Yes. And so they went to eat at the bar, and so they had a drink at the bar, and the server said, if you want anything, you know, like a flatbread or something, we can make you one. So they ordered a flatbread, a prosciutto. Flatbread. Yeah. Pizza. And they had leftovers. And they extended their. Their pro power move here to the following morning because they had leftover pizza. They got some eggs from cabanas and adds the pizza. Breakfast pizza. But, like, that, to me, was perfect because I was a little full coming out of prima note. I mean, it was not a huge amount of food, but I was a little bit full. [00:09:31] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:09:32] Speaker B: And I think. I think a flatbread and another drink would have been perfect. Instead, we headed downstairs to. I think, what was our night one? Was it rapunzels? On night one? [00:09:40] Speaker A: We headed down to. Yes. Rapunzels. Rapunzels. But we had to let the magic begin. Menu. Not the. Not the main rotational. I think that's true. Um, it was not quite enough food for a full meal, but it was too much food to sit down then for a full meal. So I agree. I think a good way to do it is either go to main dining and just have your entree, skip the appetizers, or stay at Paulo and order a flatbread at the bar. The one actually thing, I don't think you would even need to order more drinks. I think you would just be able to move your drinks with you. You know, I didn't finish all of my drinks because it was just too much. I mean, five glasses. I think I drank, like, three and a half of the five glasses, so I still had a lot. Yeah. And Tracy's giving lots of thumbs ups because she knows that she had the, uh, she had the right thinking on how to deal with post prima note dinner. She is coming to you live also from Walt Disney World right now. So. [00:10:35] Speaker B: That's true. That is true. Um, so prima note, it was a win for us. I would definitely do it again. I don't know that I'd rush out to do it, like, every sailing. Um, I also did do my standard, um, it does not reflect now, but I did my standard shave and facial on board the first night, which was a game changer. Cause I usually don't do spa treatments on the first night, but it was great. Like, while the deck party was happening, I was in the spa, and it's no knock on the deck party. I've just seen it enough times that, like, it's not high on my list of things I need to do. If they changed up the deck party, I would go, but I've seen it enough that it's like, I'd rather just be starting my vacation and relaxing, especially. [00:11:13] Speaker A: And I got my nails done, if you can kind of see I have little Mickey Mouse is on my. My nails. So while Brian was getting his. His face appointment, I had my nail appointment, which was really nice. I do see some comments. Krause mass adventures is saying they tried to get premonote for the next cruise, but it was booked. Like I said, it's really new. And so right now, I think only folks in concierge or Pearl are mostly are the ones able to get it. I do think that will change over time. And CT tinfoil mouse ears is also saying new Dcl goal check. Yes. [00:11:44] Speaker B: So good. It's so good. And the pin is really nice. I wish the photos were working tonight, but they are not. I did. Someone asked. Someone said I should do a PowerPoint, like Josh. I did a PowerPoint. Um, and, uh, it's just not. It's not working. So, uh, that is a. That was just a fail. Um, I did want to also acknowledge, uh, some folks here who are on. So Linda's saying, hello, Dcl duo. So. Hi, Linda. [00:12:05] Speaker A: Yes. Tisa was on the magic, and she was. Yeah. And she was doing. She wasn't. She didn't host match your mate, because I did go see match your mate, but she was hosting some of the other, you know, family activities and whatnot. So she was there. [00:12:19] Speaker B: Shout out again to Krause Mouse. Thank you for joining us. Uh, Christopher saying, welcome back. Can't we, for tonight's show. Well, it is arrived. So we're here again. Hi. To Tracy out there from Disney Springs, even Disney Springs. [00:12:32] Speaker A: Oh, I hope she's watching the drone show tonight. [00:12:34] Speaker B: She's getting ready to watch the drone show, which I got to catch before Sam and Nathan arrived in town. We might want to step back, Sam, and tell the story of how you got to Florida, because it's a cautionary tale for why travel insurance is always the right move. We've got Jeff saying hello. Sean, Holly Franklin. [00:12:55] Speaker A: And Holly was on with us. Yeah. [00:12:57] Speaker B: Yep. The theme park duo podcast. Love another duo out there. So. Yes, yes. So. [00:13:02] Speaker A: Okay, so you want me to tell. So there. [00:13:04] Speaker B: Yeah, we should. [00:13:06] Speaker A: We'll back up a little. There we go. [00:13:07] Speaker B: Yeah, we're gonna. We're gonna back up. We're gonna back up. Pre cruise. [00:13:10] Speaker A: Yeah. So I was leaving on Thursday, early in the morning to get there for a cruise on Friday. So I had a whole day, you know, ahead of the cruise to get there. But on Wednesday, we found out that there were storms in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. There were these very heavy rainstorms and thunderstorms that were essentially drowning the airports of both Fort Lauderdale and Miami. [00:13:37] Speaker B: Yeah. Let me put some numbers behind this. So, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, I think Miami airport alone canceled 360 flights on Wednesday from all over the country, including the flight that Sam was going to be on the next day. So she was flying on Alaska, which is another key factor here for us. Alaska only has one flight there. Actually, they have two flights, two flights to Miami and back during the day. But the early morning flight was impacted by the rain. And so the next morning, we were monitoring very, very closely her flight. And it showed up to the airport. [00:14:14] Speaker A: Yeah, Nathan and I showed up to. [00:14:16] Speaker B: The airport, checked your bags, checked. 07:00 a.m. flight 07:00 a.m. flight. [00:14:21] Speaker A: So we get there about 05:00 a.m. 515 at the kind of the latest. And we sort of head towards our gate. And as we're heading towards our gate, we already see it's delayed by several hours. [00:14:32] Speaker B: It was delayed till eleven and then later in the day it was delayed again till two. I had booked Sam a backup flight to Orlando at 830, but because she'd already checked her bags under the 07:00 a.m. flight and there were no cancellations or delays at that point, we decided to cancel the 830 reservation, which turned out to be a mistake, although it was fixed. And so Sam ended up basically rebooking onto a 03:00 in the afternoon flight from Seattle to Orlando because the Orlando airport was not having any problems. She got in about midnight that night. I met her at her baggage claim. [00:15:11] Speaker A: Let's back up 1 second though, Brian, because I couldn't switch to the earlier Orlando flight. There was an Orlando flight that was only like an hour after when our Miami flight was originally supposed to leave. But I couldn't switch to that one because there wouldn't have been enough time for the airline to transfer our luggage from the flight to. Well, that's what they told me. The Miami flight to the Orlando flight. So that's why I ended up booking on a later one. In the end, we did fly to Orlando. Brian and the Morrell family waited for Nathan and I in Orlando instead of taking the bright line. And this way we were able to drive all together to Orlando the very next morning. So actually we stayed overnight in Orlando at the MC Ohio. [00:15:54] Speaker B: Big shout out to the Morrow family. Our traveling companions, for one, hanging out with me in the airport that night and having dinner, and two, changing their own plans so that Sam could get down to Miami in time for the cruise. [00:16:04] Speaker A: It was a long travel day. Let's go. [00:16:06] Speaker B: It was a long travel day. All right, let's. [00:16:07] Speaker A: Nathan was an awesome travel pro. I have to give a shout out to Nathan. [00:16:11] Speaker B: Yes. Let's fast forward back to our cruise. Okay, so back. Back in. Cruise lands. Let's get to Lighthouse Point. That's what people want to hear about. They've already heard my opinion on Lighthouse Point from the preview cruise episode that I put out. I will chime in throughout with things that I saw that were different from the preview cruise to the sailing that we were on with DVC. But Sam. [00:16:34] Speaker A: Yes. [00:16:34] Speaker B: You pull up to Lighthouse Point, you see the infamous pier, and you decide I'm staying on the ship. Not worth it. [00:16:43] Speaker A: No. No way. I would never do that. That's not my style whatsoever. I will say, when I saw that pier, I thought, but it does look kind of long. Maybe I should put on my sneakers and not my flip flops for the walk. And maybe I should get Nathan to do the same. So that morning, I will say that was the only, like, decision that I made. Oh, and putting on sunscreen before I left the ship when I go to castaway, and I will say even the. The second or third time we went to Lighthouse Point, across the two cruises, I didn't do this, but I normally don't. I normally wait to put on my sunscreen. I'm bad about this until after we're already on the island. That's not recommended in general. You should put it on on the ship before you're going to be out in the sun for however long you're going to be walking. But I actually did. For our first lookout key day, I did put on my sunscreen. I did get our bags and stuff packed early, and I did put on my sneakers. I will say I don't think I needed my sneakers. I did not wear my sneakers back and forth the other three times. Sorry. The other 12345 times I walked that pier. So I walked that pier a total of six times, of course, of, you know, three days, and only one time did I wear sneakers to walk it. It's for those of us who are not mobility challenged, meaning people like us who run on a regular basis or walk on a regular basis or walk the parks at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. That walk is nothing. I mean, it's. It's longer than it is from the ship to the tram at castaway. But it's not really a bad walk. [00:18:18] Speaker B: But it's. It's not. It's not longer. For those of you out there who walk from the ship. [00:18:23] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:18:23] Speaker B: From the ship to the first family beach. [00:18:25] Speaker A: Correct. [00:18:25] Speaker B: It's the same distance. [00:18:27] Speaker A: Correct. [00:18:27] Speaker B: Um, and if you get to the second family beach, you know, way over that distance. [00:18:31] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:18:32] Speaker B: So, yeah, I mean, look, there is a tram closer in castaway, um, but plenty of people walk it. I also did some mapping of my own and have taken some flack for this online, but whatever, I don't care. Um, that it's like if you park in animal kingdom parking and go to flight of passage by walking, it's. It's the same thing. And you're probably traipsing around the park a heck of a lot more that day. Than the half mile to get to a tram ride. So I continue to believe that half mile walk is an inconvenience, a necessary inconvenience for Disney to even build this island because of the environmental protections they committed to with the Bahamians. The alternative would have been tendering, which means you probably would have visited this port even less because it's exposed. It's not a protected cove or bay, and so it would have been more difficult to get the tender boats in. [00:19:22] Speaker A: And folks in wheelchairs, that's always difficult to do in tender boats. They some. Sometimes you can't at all even do it. It just kind of depends on the seas and depends on the tenders and whatnot. So I would say it's. Is it, does it present a challenge for mobility, challenge people? Yes. But Disney has a solution in place. The one issue is that, that I've heard a little bit of feedback is that if you were going to wait for a golf cart to get out to the tram or to get out to the beaches, you were have to wait a little bit because they didn't quite enough golf carts. Really? [00:19:56] Speaker B: Well, it's two things. One is the golf carts are open to anyone who wants one. And so it's that you go to, you know, a location on the ship. I think it was either keys or fathoms, depending on the sailing we were on. And you basically queued up there when a golf cart was available, they take some people down, put them on the cart, run them down the pier, another golf. So it basically had two, maybe three golf carts operating at a time on the pier. It's not very wide, so it's not like they can run a fleet of these things. I think Disney could, one, offer more golf carts, they could two. The other thing is they could prioritize those with mobility challenges until the rest of the family. That's not mobility challenge. Walk down the pier and meet grandma or grandpa at the end of the pier. They're not doing that currently. Or they could let one family member ride and the rest of the family walk, but they are providing them. We saw plenty of people going back and forth, and I need to dispel a myth that is circulating in this community. There is no priority for those carts for concierge or cabana guests. [00:21:02] Speaker A: Correct. [00:21:02] Speaker B: Period. In the morning. In the morning is first come, first serve. We were told that repeatedly by the concierge hosts who managed the cabanas. They were not like shoving concierge people on a golf cart at the expense of the mobility channel. [00:21:15] Speaker A: No, if we. If you wanted one, you had to go queue up like everybody else. Um, the only difference Brian is making, or is, is noting is that in the afternoon it's different, because in the morning, everyone's trying to get out to the, to the island at the same time, whereas in the afternoon, people are coming back at different times. So there's really not the wait for golf carts that they're. [00:21:35] Speaker B: It's also that they have a couple of golf carts that stay on the. Well, all the golf carts stay on the island, but they are dedicated to the cabanas. Once you get over there to move people between the cabanas and, you know, act as an island taxi. And so in the afternoon, those just convert to bringing cabana guests back to the ship. They're not taking away from the golf carts there to help the mobility challenge. So. So it. We got no special treatment in terms of cabanas or concierge. I want to put up this comment because I love this idea. [00:22:04] Speaker A: Yes, I know exactly which one. Yeah. [00:22:06] Speaker B: How about living with the seas, where as you walked along, there was, like, signs talking to you about all the ocean life and how the pier was. Was. Was protecting the environment, protecting coral reef, protecting the ecosystem? [00:22:19] Speaker A: Yeah. This is a great comment from CT about how Disney nature put up signs about how the reef was saved. It would go a long way. Like, for example, your 800 steps saved blank ecosystem. So that's. That's a great suggestion, CT. I think that would be great. One other thing that would be helpful is some shade. There's no shade right now on the pier. So when it's really hot. The first day we were there, it was quite hot. [00:22:43] Speaker B: No, no, no. [00:22:45] Speaker A: The first day when we came back. [00:22:47] Speaker B: You don't know hot on that pier. [00:22:49] Speaker A: I know, I know. The preview cruise was terrible. [00:22:52] Speaker B: Like, I want to say this. On the preview cruise, we walked down that pier, no sun protection, no breeze, and it was awful. This is a place where I want to point out that Disney has already started responding to feedback from guests. And so one, the last, you know, however many times we went back and forth on that pier, there was a breeze. Sometimes it was a little cloudy, which was nice, but it was not as, like, warm and oppressing is on that preview cruise, the thing that Disney has done is they've added water stations mid pier, and so there's water stations available, and at the end of the pier, they have added cooling towels. And so those are two big changes they made in between the preview sailing and the DVC sailings and the three night magic sailing that we were on, which were welcomed by many, many people. So, yeah, but, Sam, let's get from away from the 15 minutes, the 30 minutes round trip guest experience on this pier at the beginning of end of the day and into the meat of the 6 hours of the island that sits at the other end of that pier, which is where most people are spending time. So, Sam, you get on to lookout key, I should say. On day one, we decided to do the regular family beach. We took the tram the other side of the island. We decided if we got a cabana and then we went to the family beach, we didn't like it. We'd be kicking ourselves. So we were like, let's do the family beach first and the cabana on the second trip. So you get to the island, talk through your experience with that. [00:24:18] Speaker A: Yeah. So I thought it was interesting to take the tram ride. So it's about a ten minute walk, as we mentioned, for the pier, you. There's like a little coffee stand, and there's a little gift stand right there. And then you get on the tram. That's the Mabrica Cove tram. To get over to the family beach. There's only one stop on the tram. I did actually clock the amount of time on the tram. It was about an eight and a half minute tram ride. It is not a pretty ride for the most part. You're kind of going through the jungle of the island on a dirt road, and the dirt road goes kind of up and down. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just, you can see there's still active construction going on. There's also very, very, very loud cicadas and dragonflies on both sides of you. At times, Nathan was kind of terrified of the cicadas because, okay, let's move through the tram, but then. Hold on. [00:25:12] Speaker B: This is not. Wait, hold on. I just want to. This is not like the infestation land, like the whole fly situation. [00:25:17] Speaker A: Oh, no, no. It's just normal. This is just normal, like, caribbean jungle y terrain. Right. Like, so this is just the normal, you know, bushes and all that kind of stuff. [00:25:30] Speaker B: But there's natural beauty. [00:25:32] Speaker A: Yeah, a good number of cicadas. But the funny thing is that we saw, a couple of times we saw sand crabs on the way. On the way to the family beach while we're on the tram. I mean, they were sort of on the sides of the road. In fact, there was one that a cast member was trying to, like, kind of shoo away so that it wouldn't get run over by the tram. And of course, we did, I think, later in the day when we rode the tram back, see, there were a couple of dead sand crabs that had gotten run over by the tram. So that was kind of sad. But anyway, the tram ride is, is not that interesting. But you do have a nice narration talking to you about the island. And, of course, Disney created two new characters, Sandy and Lizzie. Sandy is a sand crab. Lizzie is a lizard that sort of welcome you to the island. And their voices are local bahamian children. We don't know their names or anything like that, but they tell you a little bit about the island and the wildlife and whatnot. So it was really. It was, you know, fine as far as the ride went. When you arrive at the family beach area, if you go sort of to the right, you can get to Sebastian's Cove, which is the kids club. You can get to the true, true barbecue. If you go kind of straight, you get to the Goon bay. Or. Well, Disney Ting's, the gift shop is right there. But you also get to the Goon Bay cultural Center. Rush out, gush out, which is a water play area. And then a little bit to the left is true, true to barbecue. And then if you keep going further left, you will eventually hit Serenity Bay. We didn't make our way to Serenity Bay at all, so I can only really speak to the family beach area. But I will say I thought in general, it was great. I don't think things were as spread out as I expected them to be. It was actually. Things were spread out. I mean, more spread out than maybe at castaway. But, um, the beach was huge. The beach was lovely. The splash pad called rush out, gush out is very large with two or maybe three, I think, two water slides. They're not huge water slides, but this is on land, so they sort of end into those shoots. They are for kids or for adults. Um, I thought. Yeah, I thought that was really, really nice. Um, where else did you want me to talk about, Brian? [00:27:50] Speaker B: Well, I sort of paused you here because there were some questions that came up from the preview cruise about the separation between the family beach and the adult beach or. Sorry, not the. It's not an adult beach. It's Serenity bay. It's an 18 over beach. But there's nothing like. It's not like topless beach just for people watching who are familiar with. Yeah, it's. It's adult only, but it's. It's. Yeah. Um, so one thing I wanted to point out a lot of people were like, oh, my gosh. The family beach and the adult beach are, like, connected together, and that's going to be a disaster. Look, what Disney did is when you get off the tram stop, all the kids stuff is to the right and all the adult stuff is to the left. [00:28:27] Speaker A: And the ways to the left. [00:28:29] Speaker B: Yeah, and the speeches is long. It's very long. So they're creating a natural separation. But because all the kids should be down on the right hand side of the beach, that's where rush out, gush out is. That's where the kids club is. That's where true, true barbecue is the first stop of it. And so the cultural center is kind of like, this is at the center. It's the anchor. The stores at the center, also an anchor. Shocking. And then when you go to the left, that's when you start to get into Serenity Bay cabanas, the adult only beach, the Serenity bay barbecue, all that sort of stuff. So I don't see this being some huge problem with kids running up and down the beach. [00:29:05] Speaker A: Not at all. They're far down from each other. [00:29:09] Speaker B: The other question that came up quite a bit was, well, why did they put the Serenity Bay cabanas down there, there, and the family cabanas on the other side of the island? And my best guess, based on seeing how they had to build the cabanas at Serenity Bay, is that the Serenity bay cabanas, much like the ones on Serenity Bay castaway, are set way back from the beach, but they're also set up and over a sand berm, a natural kind of berm. And so you have to actually take a walk through the sand to a bridge to take you over to the berm, down some stairs, and then you're level with the beach and the ocean. You can't see kids in the water from the cabana on the Serenity bay side of things, the way that they've designed it. And some of those berms and things are protected, so, like, they can't just rip them out to put cabanas in. And so I think they, they put the family cabanas on the other side of the island because sitting in the cabana, you can see the water, you can see the kids at play. And so it makes a lot more sense, have the families where kids can go out in the water and play and have a good time while they can still see him. So that is my best guess as to why they had to design it the way they did. But I did not. I don't see, like a huge. I did not hear from anyone on the sailing about kids running through Serenity Bay constantly or anything like that. So I just don't think it's going to be an issue. [00:30:21] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. Anyway, I thought the layout is really. It's really smart. It's done really well. I found that, you know, true, true barbecue seemed to be less crowded than true, true to barbecue. Probably just because of, as you mentioned, of the going to the right or going to the left and people who are going to the kids activities. There's also another pavilion, I don't remember the name of it, where they had some fun activities like Cornhole and connect four and other things like that that you could play during the day. The kids club was great. Nathan actually ended up spending, I think, a couple of hours in Sebastian's Cove on lookout key that first day. [00:31:07] Speaker B: Shocking, shocking, shocking. [00:31:09] Speaker A: Because he doesn't normally. But they did have. But it looked like they had a real, like, splash pad inside the kids club, which is much different than what they have at Scuttles Cove on castaway. Right. They do water play activities at Scuttles Cove on Castaway, but it's like water balloon fights and things like that. This actually has a structure built into the space in Sebastian's Cove. So I thought that was really nice. I would say the highlight from the family beach for Nathan, though, was probably rush out, gush out, which is that splash pad I mentioned. He definitely spent, like, at least an hour or two there. But I was just trying to, like, drag him away from there because I wanted to head to the beach and enjoy the, you know, get into the water and kind of see what that was like and enjoy the beach on, you know, at the family beach, which was lovely as well. It was very large. As you mentioned, there were many more chairs set up and loungers set up than had been there on the preview cruise, which tells us, obviously, they had gotten another shipment of those chairs and lounge chairs all across the island. Over at the cabanas, there was still missing some loungers and chairs in front of some of the cabanas. But everywhere on the family beach, it seemed like there was a great stock of chairs and loungers. You could be right down on the beach or you could be up. There was sort of a stairs and then kind of a boardwalk area. You could be up from the beach if you wanted and be on a lounger, still on sand. So still beach, not waterfront. And then you could do that, especially if you your kids were hanging out at rush out, gush out. That. Rush out, gush at, I should mention, also had a toddler water play area. So it was good for big kids like Nathan and even up to, like, teenagers, but also good for, you know, little ones who could be in sort of a very nice splash pad area. And it was enclosed. There were two entrances, but it was otherwise sort of fenced in, so it would be easy to keep an eye on a little one in that space base. [00:33:14] Speaker B: So I want to comment on something you said, and then we should answer some questions in the chat. I just want to emphasize, like, the beach is stunning on both sides of this island. It is stunning and, like, better than castaway. [00:33:31] Speaker A: Yes. [00:33:32] Speaker B: A thousand percent in my mind, so. [00:33:34] Speaker A: Yes. And less rocky. Yes, very few. Very few rocks. At least in the family beach area, there were really no rocks. Sometimes you would find a piece of coral that had sort of, of look like a rock, but it wasn't. There were these larger chunks. So the sand was like. Was just so soft. It was like powdery sand. And. And as you had mentioned, I think, on the previous show, Brian, if you picked up the sand and looked at it in your hand, you'd see these tiny little pink specks. And they were actually pink shell, but it sort of gave the, the sand a little bit of a pink hue. Not a, like, really significant get pink hue, but a little bit of a pink hue, because there were these little bits of pink shell within the sand. So it was really beautiful. Yeah, the beaches were gorgeous. It was kind of overcast that first day, but it was actually quite lovely. [00:34:24] Speaker B: All right, so crossmaster, we got a. We got to rewind back because there's a few questions here about kind of the whole thing process to get in. So sometimes weather prevents Crossmaster saying sometimes weather prevents docking. A castaway. Any info from Princess about how often eleuthera isn't dockable compared to cast? I don't know. And the other thing is, princess has a different setup. So princess is in a particular, and they tend to. They tender, but they're in a protected cove, which I think is different. Disney is on the tip of the island, so they're fully exposed to the ocean. There's no protected cove for them. And the dock is out there. I will say this about the dock. The wind, every time that we were there, would be pushing the boat into the dock. And the only thing that changed was whether Disney docked on the port or the starboard side. So whether they pulled right around the tip of the island and into the dock, or whether. Whether they kind of went out and pulled a U turn and came back and parked. [00:35:16] Speaker A: But, yeah, we're on different sides. [00:35:18] Speaker B: The wind is pushing the ship into the dock. Where is it cast away. It seems like frequently the wind is fighting the ship into the dock, and that's what causes it not to dock. So I think part of the reason they built the dock the way they did was for that effect, which I'm hoping, fingers crossed, that means Disney will be able to dock more often. Fewer missed stops at lookout. [00:35:38] Speaker A: Um, I do think tendering, though, it makes it easier, although then you're. Somebody's in a rough, rocky boat. Right. So, in general. So I'm not sure Princess would have great comparison. Anyway. [00:35:51] Speaker B: I don't know that tending makes it. Tendering makes it easier because the smaller boats, a lot of times would be like, it's too rough out there for us to tend. I think it would have led to more missed stops at this location. Uh, Steve, Elsa out there. Thank you. It is. It is so far. Uh, it's. It's just we hate the island. Uh, we hope you get some discounts. [00:36:08] Speaker A: So that's the only solution, as he says, the price, so that he can go more. I love that. [00:36:13] Speaker B: Kidding. That's great for anyone out there. Yeah. Sarcasm. Trying to lay it on thick. And then someone else was asking about Sebastian's splash pad, or Craig was mentioning, but heard from a few kinds. It doesn't have a slide. But you know what? It does have a location to feed your kids from. 1212 30, I think it was, which the. You know, the kids club on castaway. [00:36:37] Speaker A: Scuttles Cove does not have. Yes, and scuttles Cove doesn't have a slide, either. So the only difference is that inside Sebastian's versus outside Sebastian's, that look out key. Right. Both have a splash pad, so rush out, gush out, and Sebastian's both have a splash pad. Rush out, gush out. Has the water slide. Sebastian's does not. But it also has secured programming. So if you're an adult and you want to spend some time on the beach without your kids, it's a great solution. I will say it is only for three to ten year olds, so it is just like oceaneers club and lab. It is only for three to ten year olds. So if you have a younger one or an older one, one. They can't go to Sebastian's cove. This will be Nathan's one and only time at Sebastian's Cove, because the next time we sail he will be eleven. [00:37:24] Speaker B: Yeah. Um. All right, I want to talk about two or actually three other areas. So I want to start with, um. You got to experience some of the cultural aspects on the island, Sam. The cultural center, the Goombe cultural center, the Junkanoo. What did you think about those additions? Because castaway has no real analog. None of them. [00:37:42] Speaker A: Yes. [00:37:43] Speaker B: Look at lookout. Has lookout key, has character greetings, just like castaway does. This is new and added. So what did you think of the cultural additions to the island? [00:37:51] Speaker A: I think it's a bonus. I think it's a. Well, it's not just a bonus. It's part of, like, the charm of this location. Part of the charm of lookout Key is the way that they integrate the bahamian culture into the Disney experience. Right. Cast away. I think somebody else said this to us, and I totally agree with the castaway is all about Disney with a little bit of, you know, beach, Bahamas. And this is about the Bahamas with a little bit of Disney. So I thought this was really well done. The cultural center was really great. You could go over there and do some crafts and sort of. They'll teach you how they make the. Like the headdresses for some of the Junkanu outfits. There was also the Junkanoo rush, which was, as I mentioned, kind of a parade there. It felt similar to sort of a carnival vibe. And so this was really nice. There were these beautiful flowered flower, no flower, feathery costumes made of all kinds of different materials, but feathers being the most prominent feature of them. Of course, you had the fab five come out and sort of dance with these Junkanoo artists, and they had a full band behind them. So it was this lovely parade that sort of started near where the tram stop was and then went all the. Went through sort of this, I'll call it the downtown area, but sort of the central area to the Gumbay cultural center where it ended. And the characters were all out in front dancing along. It was just a really lovely experience to witness the Junkanu rush. They do it twice a day on the island, once around noon or 1215, and the second time at, I think, two or 215. They also had a couple of other. [00:39:30] Speaker B: Can I just point out Holly's comment here that I put up with it? She loved the Junkanoo rush. I've heard everyone who sees it seems to like it, and I think it's such a great addition, so. [00:39:41] Speaker A: It is. It is. And even if you're saying it like, even if you're hanging out at a cabana, I highly would recommend taking the tram over to this, you know, the fan, the family beach area for the junk and new rush. And, you know, it's a great time before or after to hit up the shop because I will also say Disney tings. The shop was mobbed in the morning, and then by midday it was fine. And everything just like Brian experienced on the preview, everything had been restocked and the store was nice and neat again. And you could shop without so much more merch. [00:40:12] Speaker B: Yes, so much more. Yeah. [00:40:14] Speaker A: Yeah. So that's the. That was the other thing I was going to say that sort of goes hand in hand with the cultural experience. Well, the shop is one. The other one is. There are a bunch of excursions, I will say we did not experience those excursions, but there are a bunch of, I'll call them ecotourism type excursions, where they tell you more about the island and you visit certain natural wonders of the island. There's also a nature trail. It was only partially open, so we didn't do it. But I know that that's going to be something that's available, what's been fully open at some point in the near future. And so the other thing that I mentioned was the merchandise. As you can see, my ears are junk anew ears. Brian is wearing a lookout key hat. I'm actually getting ready to post this evening on our instagram all of the pictures I took of the merchandise from the Disney ting store. There's a ton of merchandise. I would say, in general, I'd say this merchandise is better than what was what's on castaway. And I like that it's all in one store. There's another kiosk when you first get off, good across the pier and before you get onto the tram. But it's just a tiny little kiosk, and it has, you know, sunscreen, a few hats and some of the pins. But everything that is there at that kiosk was also at the store. So, yeah, tons of great merch dice. Like I said, I'll post pictures of it tonight. [00:41:30] Speaker B: And I want to point out the ears that Sam is wearing. They have some t shirts. Anything junka new designed was done in partnership with local artists in the Bahamas. And so they're very, very excited to be sharing their culture. I got to interview two artists. You might have heard them on the earlier show. They're very excited with the partnership that they have with Disney and the way that they're able to integrate their art into this experience, including the designs of the building, the artwork on the buildings are displayed in the buildings. The cultural center, like all of that stuff. It's not Disney imagineering making that back in Anaheim or in Florida or wherever it is, it's local. It's being made and displayed from local, local artists, which is something I would. [00:42:10] Speaker A: Art store as well. Right. Right across from Disney Ting. So I didn't try. I know there's a question here about do you need cash for anything on Lighthouse Point. You know, I didn't ask at that store whether or not you could buy, purchase, make purchases using your. Your magic band or your card versus if you needed cash. I don't know if you had looked into that, Brian. [00:42:31] Speaker B: I don't believe you need cash anywhere on the island. I really don't. I mean, I didn't try to purchase anything there. So if anyone did or saw in the comments, throw that up and we'll make sure people see that. I do. I do want to. On this point, though, I want to raise this question. Can you react to the reviews that say that the beach is amazing, but the facilities and theming don't feel like Disney, but more like a beach club in Cozumel that licensed Disney characters. Characters. [00:42:54] Speaker A: So, yeah, I disagree. [00:42:55] Speaker B: Yeah, I 100% disagree. So people are taking issue. I've seen it online. The buildings feel cheap. They just slap stickers onto things. That's not what they did here. And again, these local artists are very, very, very proud of the tile work that they got to do. The designs on the roofs of all of these buildings that they were a part of, Disney partnered with them on this island. And I think what people are reacting to to is the different materials that they use to construct the island. Which P's mean real bathrooms. [00:43:28] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:43:29] Speaker B: The bathroom boardwalks. Right? Like the cabana. [00:43:32] Speaker A: The bathrooms are so much nicer than the bathrooms at castaway. Like Brian is saying, they're not like these little shacks. They're real bathrooms. They're actually. So most of the buildings that are. Have bathrooms on one side and a bar on the other side, at least on the family beach. And it's brilliant because it's. There's a lot of. There's a lot more bathrooms and they're really nice bathrooms, and then there's hours built into the sides for, you know, to get the sand off you. I. If this is a. Like a beach club in Cozumel, then it's nicer than any. [00:44:02] Speaker B: Nicer than the beach clubs in Cosmo. [00:44:04] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:44:05] Speaker B: And look, I want to say correct, though. I want to say too, like the cassowary key design aesthetic is about being a castaway, so everything feels more rustic. They used a lot of wood, right? Like it's, it's different now. You're in the Bahamas where buildings are in fact built with concrete to withstand hurricane. So like I think that this island, if people think it looks cheap, then they're not understanding the way that Disney integrated the art and the culture into the island. And I think it's offensive to use that language. To be perfectly blunt, I've seen it used online because if you talk to these artists, they don't feel cheapened. They feel like their culture is now being seen on this island and that the culture is in fact a part of the experience. So I fundamentally disagree with those reviews. I think they're out there as a way to get people, you know, hyped up on a bunch of hate. Yeah. And to get clicks. And I know some of those people and they're very popular and that's great for them. Not my experience across this island. It does not feel cheap to me at all. [00:45:07] Speaker A: Oh. So has helped with helpfully answered that. And you can buy artists in your shipping. So the answer you don't need cash for anything. I will tell folks there is not a post office yet in on the property for you to send your postcards like there is a castaway. So if you want to send a postcard, you're going to need to send it from the ship or from castaway, at least as of now. [00:45:32] Speaker B: Are you listening to our show because you want to make the most out of your next vacation? Great news. The fabulous team over at Mypath unwinding travel can help guide you so you don't miss a thing. Their team of professional travel advisors are caring, knowledgeable and experienced. It's why we use them to book our own travel. Mypath Unwinding Travel is an authorized Disney vacation planner which means they are recognized by Disney for their expertise and service. They have sailed on all the Disney ships including in concierge, visited the theme parks, adventured with Disney, relaxed at Alani and so much more. Whether its a Disney cruise, a theme park vacation or adventures by Disney, or if you are looking to expand beyond the mouse, Mypath unwinding travel will elevate your next vacation planning experience. Even if you have already booked, reach out for a complimentary consultation to make your vacation even more magical. Ready to talk to the experts? Over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email [email protected] so they know we sent you their way. Thanks. My path unwinding for sponsoring today's show. Now back to the episode. Ok, so I want to get back to. Let's talk about food. We need food. We have skipped it. We've gotten the merch, we've gotten to culture. We've talked about the general vibe on the. The island. I want to talk about food. And then I've bookmarked a couple of more questions for us to answer. [00:46:46] Speaker A: But. [00:46:46] Speaker B: But food. My first time eating the food because as I said on the first show, I saw it and didn't get to eat it. Sam's first time even experiencing the food. Um, let's talk about the food first. And the flies. [00:47:00] Speaker A: We have to talk about the flies. Yeah. Okay. [00:47:02] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:47:02] Speaker A: Okay. [00:47:03] Speaker B: So, uh, what do you think of the food, Sam, and the setup? The setup for. It's very different than castaway. [00:47:07] Speaker A: Yes, the setup is very different. And there's a different setup for the food at the family beach versus at the cabanas. I'm going to go ahead and put this out there and say I think the food at the family beach area is the best. It is better than castaway food. It is also better than the food over by the cabanas. So there's a. Between cabanas ten and eleven, I think there's 21 cabanas. But on the family beach, at least, I don't know about Serenity Bay. There is a food stand that is essentially for the cabanas. You can. They don't bring you the food to the cabanas. You go there and you either bring it back or eat at the picnic table there. Um, I don't think the food was as good there as the food was on the family beach. The family beach had more selections. It didn't have the steak that was offered at the cabanas, but I thought that steak was not good quality steak. [00:47:58] Speaker B: So it was advertised as. It was advertised as a ribeye and it was about. [00:48:03] Speaker A: And it was like, super thin and it was soup. I don't like ribeye anyway because it's so fatty. It's just not a cut I like anyway. But, um, yeah, it was just that steak was not very good. And there's less choices by the cabanas. Although you did have shrimp and crab legs if you wanted it. But I would save my shrimp and crab legs for what is on the ship. It's really no different. The. I'd say my favorite item at the. At. True true or true true to. I can't remember which one we went to on the first day. [00:48:33] Speaker B: True, true. Barbecue. [00:48:33] Speaker A: Okay. True, true. My favorite item there was the spicy chicken sandwich. I thought that was excellent. With a honorable mention to the two rice dishes that you got. So we basically shared every. I got some stuff. You got some stuff. And then we kind of swapped halfway through so that we could try more things without stuffing ourselves. But those were the highlights for me. I didn't try the yucca fries. I did have the french fries. They were good. I was happy to have french fries on an island since we can't have them cast away. But to be perfectly honest, they weren't the star of the show. That chicken sandwich and those two rice dishes were great. They have hot dogs and hamburgers and stuff like that. Chicken, you know, we'll talk about what you want to do. I'm going to talk about the fly issue, because there was a fly issue our first day. [00:49:19] Speaker B: Can I give. Yes, can I give my review of the food? It was one thing I wasn't able to provide on the last show we did, so I love the rice dishes. They had, like, a seafood paella, basically dish, and then a more meat based paella. I calling them paella because that's what they look like, but they're the caribbean version. I thought they were both really, really, really good. [00:49:39] Speaker A: Yes. [00:49:40] Speaker B: I love that they have the addition of fish. They had a whole station where you could get fish. [00:49:45] Speaker A: Tuna and snapper. Yeah. And I had the snapper one day that was also very good. Yeah, yeah. [00:49:52] Speaker B: And I can tell that Disney is. Is even still trying new things. So, like, one day at the family beach food location, they had, like, a cowboy macaroni salad that was like a macaroni salad. A little spice added to it, and some hamburger put it to it, and then the next time we went back, that wasn't there, so, like, it was something different. So, yeah, I can kind of tell they're kind of rotating through and trying some other new food items along the way and seeing how those. How those go. Um, I know that our friends on the family beach at the food location there love the, um, the fish that they were making to order the snapper. And one other tuna. [00:50:27] Speaker A: Tuna was the other. It was like a seared, I think a seared tuna. Yeah. [00:50:30] Speaker B: Yeah. Plenty of soft serve ice cream on the family side of the island, on the family cabana side, they had made to order sundaes with scooped ice cream and toppings, which. Which were very, very good. Um, so I like. I think overall, the food is great, and I keep coming back to you like, and we'll talk about this in a second. Cause someone's asking us what we like about each of the two islands, castaway versus lookout. And I have some thoughts there, but I keep coming back to you like, we've all been asking for new food options. New food options have come and a couple of good. [00:51:01] Speaker A: We have to. We have to bring up a couple comments. We got one from our sponsor, Karen Shelton, of my path unwinding travel. Her daughter Leah had the hot dog at the cabana restaurant, and she said it was great and hit the spot. So as I. As I was trying to give you the. The idea of their hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries at all of the different locations. So if that's what you want, you will be happy and you will get what you want. And Rob is asking, is wanting to bring up the issue of the cookies, which are the chocolate chip cookies on castaway. And I don't. I did not see them at the cabanas, but we did see them at. They do have the cookies. And you can make yourself an ice cream sandwich with the soft serve ice cream. [00:51:39] Speaker B: They had them at all locations. [00:51:41] Speaker A: And true, true, too. [00:51:42] Speaker B: They had them everywhere. So, yeah, I'm pretty confident that they were everywhere. All right, look, I want to. I want to set the situation with the flies because I experienced it on the preview cruise. On the preview cruise, it was bad. I mean, it was really bad. And I don't blame people for coming off of that cruise going, they've got a problem. PS, Disney knew that. And, you know, I think a couple of things are going on that we've talked about before. One is that they completely raised the entire end of the island, like, all the foliage, I think, or most of it got ripped out wherever they were. And that just removes. [00:52:13] Speaker A: Just to be clear, you're not saying they knew before the. For preview. [00:52:17] Speaker B: No, they knew at the end of the preview cruise. And I'm trying to give the reason why that this problem is happening. One, there was no foliage for the flies to that preview cruise was the first time Disney set out any amount of food at the food locations. And so if you got to remember, they didn't take a ship offline and do, like, four or five preview sailings with. With guests and. And crew and. And cast members and all that stuff like they would normally do with a new ship, because those ships are sold and they can't just pull them out of service and take them to lookout, uh, to try it out. And they're not going to fly enough people in to try it out. So they probably, you know, tried out the equipment, made sure the steam tables worked, the ovens turned on or whatever it was. But they had never set out that kind of quantity of food. So that together with a lack of habitat. Welcome to flies. If you've been to a backyard barbecue, you know flies are going to show up. They showed up way more quantity than anyone expected on the previous sailing. People still, I heard reports of people enjoying the food and all that sort of stuff. So it wasn't like it was a total impediment. That said, each stop that we made at lookout and we have now been four times. So the three successive stops, the problems seem to get better and better and better. Now, we did hear on our last stop that there was like more problems. The flies over at Serenity Bay. Yeah, I think this is, it's going to be an issue and Disney's working on it. We know that they tried to put out more foliage around the food locations to try and draw the flies away from the food. I know that they tried to put in fans, move the air. I know that they also that we learned they have sprayed pheromones to attract the flies to other areas of the island and away from the food location. So look, on our last stop, we went to the food location at the cabanas as our second time going. And even between the first time we went and the second time we went, it was night and day. So they have covered all of the food now across the island so that even if there are flies around, theyre peeling back the saran wrap serving you your food. They will cover your plate if you want to carry it so that you dont have to deal with flies, although I really didnt have an issue with that. My plate was uncovered and I walked from a food location or cabana. Didnt have any issue. [00:54:32] Speaker A: Our third stop there. Your fourth stop there. I think I saw a total of like two flies the entire time and I didn't feel like I had to. [00:54:40] Speaker B: Some came in, some, some came in and we batted them away and, yeah, they went up, but it's like. [00:54:45] Speaker A: But the first time we were there, I had to eat with my food covered. I want to be totally honest, the first time we were there, I had to eat with my food covered to keep the flies from coming and landing on my food. The second time I did keep my food covered, but I probably didn't need to. There were still some flies, but it wasn't like the first time. And then the third time, like I said, I saw two flies the entire time were there and definitely didn't need to. So it, it got incrementally better and by a significant degree each time. And especially compared to the video you showed me. You had one video, I think, of the food locations on the preview cruise that you showed me, a little snippet of, and it was nothing like that. [00:55:22] Speaker B: So I just want to address this comment. So Disney knew before the preview cruise. Maybe they did. And maybe flies are on the island. Maybe. Maybe that's true. I don't think they knew it was going to be this much of a bad. Have taken the steps that they've taken in advance. They would have covered the food in advance. Now they are. They would have added the pheromones. Now they are. And we would have seen videos from Princess Cay, from all these people saying how disgusting it is to be at Princess Cay. If flies are a problem throughout this island, I think it is a compounding problem. And the amount that is happening right now is about lack of foliage and lack of experience with it. And they're fixing it so people can focus on the pier and the flies. That's great. I'm still going to look out. [00:56:02] Speaker A: Keith, how about we just tell them it's attack of the flies and the pier is 5 miles long, so all of you guys don't go to look out key and save some space for us? [00:56:12] Speaker B: Yeah, I loved it. [00:56:13] Speaker A: Yeah, we'll always go. [00:56:15] Speaker B: And I'm not saying that going. I was disgusted by the food. I love the food. And I didn't have a problem with the flies. And we ate on the family beach at. True, true. We ate on the family cabana side twice. It wasn't a problem. And I think, yes, you can go to a location and find some flies and take a video of it and post it on the preview cruise. Justified. After that cruise, I think it's less justified. So that's, that's my, that's my comment on, on the fly situation on the island. [00:56:40] Speaker A: I will say the inaugural cruise on the fantasy, which was the one in between the preview cruise and our DVC cruise, we did hear that the flies were still more of an issue on that, which makes sense because that was this only the second and third stop. [00:56:54] Speaker B: To the craft and a completely different crew. Yeah, right. And so like, it's a new ship. [00:57:01] Speaker A: A new learning exclude. [00:57:03] Speaker B: Learning. They didn't have. Yeah. They didn't have the experience of the magic coming back and saying, oh, gosh, here's what we need to do with this situation. So. And the fantasy is going to be stopping there, like far less often than the magic and is going to be. So they seem to be on top of it. It is, again, is now week three of this island being open and the ships aren't stopping there like every day. It's got a lot of downtime. As they continue to improve the island between sailings. They, they took a dirt path for the tram and paved it. And so there's still a lot of work going on, on this island. And so I just think we have to know that, that there's going to be, this is a work in progress still. And so it's going to improve over time. Six months from now, I think everyone's going to suddenly be like, oh, why didn't I love lookout keep? Anyway, look, I want to. We're getting close to our time here, Sam. What I want to do is I really want to pull up this comment that someone left us about which do we sort of prefer. [00:58:01] Speaker A: Can we, can we just quickly answer Peggy Gray's question? And I'm going to direct her to our Facebook group because we had a great. So Peggy is asking, did you or anyone you know do the snorkel tour and did they have rental gear available? The answer is yes and yes. And Donna Plymon in our group was on both our face, both our DVC crews as well as the podcast crews with us. And she did one of the snorkel tours that is off property. So it was an excursion, but booked through Disney Cruise line and said it was fabulous. And I'm highly going to recommend that people go to that post because she explained what it includes. And it's like I said, it's in our Facebook group. It's the DCL duo podcast and blog Facebook group. So if you want to read that, that's a great place to get that information. Okay, so now let's go to Lynn's question. [00:58:48] Speaker B: This ties into some of my pros and cons between the two. So I, look, I'm. Sam can have a different opinion. Everyone out there can have their own opinion. My opinion is not special. I said that before. I prefer. I prefer lookouts. Castaway. I've said it there. I prefer it to cast away. I think the beaches are nicer. Uh, I think to the extent that you're going to get a cabana, way nicer. I don't think you need a cabana. First I'm going to say first time, I'm going to like a castaway. I feel like a cabana is actually a really nice thing to have on lookout. I think it's truly just a luxury if you want it. Um, the family beach was like, not like it didn't feel like I was shoulder to shoulder, like five chairs deep with people on the beach. It felt more spread out. Um, you know, I think the whole island is a bit more spread out, which at first I thought was a negative. I now see it as a positive because it provides more space and nothing was so far away that I felt like, oh, gosh, it's such a. So much work to get to the barbecue. It was not. It really wasn't. Um, and, you know, we could be down at the beach while Nathan, the other, you know, his friends were up at the splash play area. So, like, things I love about lookout at the beaches, I think are superior to castaway. Um, the protected cove and the low tides at castaway sometimes mean you have, like, no water in front of some of the areas you get. [01:00:01] Speaker A: Really? [01:00:02] Speaker B: Want to swim? Yeah, I think. I think the merchandise situation is better. I think the food selection is a lot better. I mean, the day that we stopped at castaway, I was like. I feel. I mean, like, now my options are just hot dog and hamburger and maybe a rib. Like, I can get all of that at lookout. Plus, I think the cultural aspects, the entertainment aspects are nicer. I think that there is such a world of possibilities for excursions, and Disney has said that they're already exploring how to expand further. Their excursion offering they're going to offer. It sounds like scuba diving at lookout Key because a snorkel excursion is run by a scuba company that don't offer that at castaway at all. There's a huge potential for on island excursions off of Disney property, but onto the island of illusion, which I think just opens. So I just think food is better, beaches better, um, uh, excursion potential, better entertainment, better. Merch better. That's where the downsides are. Still working on the flies. Fine. You know, I think they've asked to. [01:01:07] Speaker A: Get the birds, though. Yeah. [01:01:09] Speaker B: Cow God, I will. [01:01:11] Speaker A: Really aggressive. [01:01:12] Speaker B: I will take a few flies over those birds and the birds are shelter. [01:01:16] Speaker A: Yeah, the birds are seriously aggressive over at cookies, too. When we were at Castaway, the walk. [01:01:23] Speaker B: Down the pier is what it is. I think Rob was asking, do you think it'll mean they can dock more? I absolutely think they're going to be able to dock more and look out. [01:01:29] Speaker A: That's true. It will be easier to talk. [01:01:32] Speaker B: So, anyway, I think lookout for me, is superior to castaway, and I think Disney knows that, too, because they're already talking about, from what we've heard from cast members who are on the these sailings, ways to bring some of lookout to castaway. Like, what are the things that they can import in to make the castaway experience better? Because castaway, frankly, after going to look out and being castaway, castaway needs a little bit of a refurb. Yeah, kind of does. [01:02:00] Speaker A: So I'm going to. I'm going to agree with you on everything you said. I'm going to give. I'm going to say one thing that I like at castaway or a couple of things I like at Castaway that I wish were on lookout. One is the Snorkel Cove at Castaway has, like, the very things and has more fish. Lookout doesn't have that. So. And it's really because of they're protecting the reef, so you're not well, and. [01:02:23] Speaker B: It'S a protected cove. It's protected cove. It cast away. Yeah. [01:02:25] Speaker A: Right. So you're not going to see some of the fish and the buried treasure things at lookout that you see at castaway. So that's maybe a negative. It just means you have to go off property if you want to get really good snorkeling. So the snorkeling on the property is probably not great, but you're going to. If you take an excursion, you can get to better snorkeling crabs. Eric and Allie are just commented they have little desire to go back to castaway after experiencing both. This was their first time to cast away and their first time to look out, of course. And they, like, look out better despite the fact that there was two. There were two sand crabs in their cabana that they. One in their towel basket and one that was just on the ground. And so they ended up having to have some staff come and help them get the sand crabs out of their cabana. So despite having sand crabs, they still, like, look out better. But I would say the sand are probably a negative. And the other one thing is just a matter of the palm trees. So the palm trees at lookout are all baby young palm trees. Right. They haven't had a chance to grow and bloom and get these beautiful fronds that you have at castaway. So, I mean, I think as the foliage grows in, I will say the new foliage grows in at lookout. You will have this really beautiful, you know, some more shade and this beautiful foliage that you all already have, you know, in mature trees at castaway. So those are some differences and maybe some negatives to look out. But all in all, I would agree with Brian. I think lookout is better than castaway. I still love castaway, don't get me wrong. But I think lookout is probably the better and has the better potential for the future. [01:04:11] Speaker B: Yeah. Wendell Harvey. Yeah. Is asking about. Is there a concern about not, not having, like, a shark net? Excuse my lack of knowledge of what it is called compared to castaway. Like, here's the thing. If Disney thought it was going to be a problem, safety is priority one. So. So I do know on the family cabana side of the beach, they have, you know, guys on jet skis kind of patrolling back and forth. Lifeguards. Some have. Some have supposition that that may be, in part to identify any wildlife coming into the area or paying attention to it, frankly. Didn't see, like, we didn't even see fish. Like, like, there just was not a lot of wildlife. [01:04:50] Speaker A: I saw a couple of fish, but they were those, like, clear, long, skinny, and then the kind of clear minnow, those little minnows that you see it cast away. So I did see a handful of fish and we did actually see a couple of rays on the beach. I think it was our second day at lookout. I saw two rays that came quite close to the beach. They were large. I didn't get anywhere close to them, but I could see their outline from, you know, above the water. When I was standing in the water, I could see them a ways away from me. So there. There is wildlife in the water there, but it's not. Probably not as much as in the. The snorkel. Covid. Castaway. Yeah. [01:05:23] Speaker B: And Rob's. Rob's saying, here's hoping they port the festival of foods from the wish and the treasure to cast away for all. Yeah, I. Yeah, absolutely. [01:05:31] Speaker A: Rob. [01:05:32] Speaker B: Anything. I just want more choices than a hot dog, a hamburger or some ribs. [01:05:35] Speaker A: And Carrie's asking if they. If we think they'll make changes to castaway based on the pos, positive components of lighthouse, like the food and the merchandise. I think we hope they will. I think, you know, they. The. The issue with castaway is it is not a really inhabited island. So there's an ease of supplies to look out from the island of Eleuthera that there isn't to castaway. So there are some things that might be difficult to import into castaway, but the hope is. Yeah. Now that they've got more of a presence, maybe. Maybe the merch situation on castaway will get better, but we'll see? [01:06:09] Speaker B: Yeah. And I specifically heard from cast and crew on board that said they know that they're looking at making changes to castaway. Now, I always give that a grain of salt because the people on the ship know far less than the people back on land until they absolutely need to. But I 100% would suspect we're going to see some changes, and we know that actually, we should say on castaway, we got a cabana on the family beach, and it was clear that they had started to infill more sand into the family beach area by the cabanas. They had huge piles of sand down there, which makes us suspect they're planning to build some more cabanas at the end of the family beach. We don't know how many. We don't know if it's going to be another grand cabana or some more regular cabanas, but it seems like they've gotten the memo, and they may be building some more cabanas down there at the end of that family beach. So I am guessing that improvements will be made. Sam, I want to take us back to the ship. I don't think we have much more to talk about on lookout. We did get a cabana. [01:07:04] Speaker A: I was just going to answer this one question of Ben's. The family cabanas food offering, compared to the main beach and Serenity bay, some of the offerings are the same, but some of them are different, so they're not exactly the same. There are some. There's steak, shrimp, and crab over by the cabanas. That's not over by the main, but there's some better dishes, I think, over by the main family beach areas that are not at the cabana areas. So. But you could take the tram and go have lunch at the family beaches. That's probably what I would do if I had a cabana the next time. [01:07:34] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't know. I like the food offerings of the family. Anyway, let's go back on the ship. I don't think we have much more to report from a lookout key situation than to say the family cabanas were gorgeous. The hype around on the waves, on the beach, on the family cabana side, was a nothing burger for. I mean, everyone was having a great time out in the water. Uh, felt like just being at the ocean. It didn't feel like it was any more or less dangerous for. For kids than castaway. Our son was out there all day with his friends, and no one had a problem. And they've supplied, uh, floaty vests for kids who who need. [01:08:07] Speaker A: Yeah. Life jackets. Yeah. [01:08:08] Speaker B: Yeah. Some people. [01:08:09] Speaker A: Some people, they don't tubes or. Or, uh, flat floaties, because it is really open ocean. So those things will. Will float away like they do at castaway. They kind of just float into a little cove there. They'll just float out into the ocean. So they don't have those floaties. They do have, as Brian mentioned, the life vests. And people were kind of wearing them on their bottoms as floaties. So. [01:08:32] Speaker B: Yeah, I was gonna say some adults hacked the life vest into floaties. So there you go. Um, all right, I want to move us back onto the ship. A couple of other things I just wanted to chat about real briefly. Unique to the DVC sailing first is we did get some, you know, nice stateroom gifts. Nothing as nice as what you're going to experience on a DVC member cruise. But they gave us some lookout key, branded large cork sickle, water bottles and, like, a holder, a sling holder with, like, a pocket that you could, you know, put a phone and some other things. [01:09:00] Speaker A: And a bucket hat. A nice bucket hat. And they gave us one for each of us. So we got three of each of everything. We also got a. A nice towel to. For the. This was from. It was a DVC gift, but it was for the premiere of Inside out, too. So each of us also got, like, a beach towel that was inside out two themed. Which was definitely a nice surprise. Something weren't expecting, which is the other. [01:09:23] Speaker B: Thing I want to talk about. So on this sailing, we got the kind of premiere at sea experience for inside out, too. It was after the movie had come out. So I don't want to say it was a premiere, but experience. And the special guest that we had on board was Kensington Tallman, the voice of Riley. And they did an interview with Kensington and one of the sort of Walt Disney world, Disney magazines interviewed her on stage for about a half an hour before the premiere of the movie at sea. And we have the movie in the Buena Vista, not Buena Vista, in the Walt Disney Theater for everybody. So fantastic movie. I mean, the financial performance should tell you it's a great movie. [01:10:02] Speaker A: We loved it. [01:10:03] Speaker B: Nathan loved it. Yeah. I caught Nathan watching inside out in our stateroom, which he doesn't really like to watch movies all that much. Yeah. After. So. [01:10:11] Speaker A: And he loves inside out. He just doesn't. He doesn't watch a lot of movies in. In the stateroom. He's more. He's usually watching YouTube. So, yeah, I would agree. Do you want to bring up this last question about the kids club. And so Lindsey's asking, yes, hold on, hold on. [01:10:25] Speaker B: I went, I have it queued. I'm getting there. Here it comes. [01:10:29] Speaker A: And there is a distinction between the two cruises that I want to tell folks about. So the question for Nathan, he said the wish is his favorite kids club. What are his thoughts on ocean years and magic now that he has loved the one on the wish? So he's been on the magic a couple of times back a couple of times since he's been on the wish. And he still loves the kids club on the magic. So he still loves the kids club on all of the ships with, as we mentioned, the wish being his favorite. So our, on our first sailing, we were in on the DVC charter. On our second sailing was our podcast cruise. So we had a five night and a three night, spent a ton of time in the kids club on the five night. On the three night. However, he asked me on embarkation day because his friend Ben wanted to go to edge because his parents had actually waived him into edge. Their both ten year olds. But if, as we've mentioned before on the show, if your kid is on the cusp of between the two clubs, they can age up with a waiver. They cannot age down. And so Nathan asked me if I would sign a waiver, and he decided to go to edge. Now, we do have a little Q and A with him on our next show that will be coming out that we've already recorded. We recorded on board. I'm just previewing, previewing for you. He did go to edge on the second cruise. And I want you to wait to hear directly from him about whether or not that was a success, a failure, or what. So you'll have to wait just a couple of days to hear directly from Nathan on how he liked edge. But I will tell you, he still likes the kids club on the magic as well. [01:12:03] Speaker B: Yeah. And so I just want to sort of wind us down here really fast by saying the disembarkation experience through Port Everglades does use the be, you know, new to Disney facial recognition screens that royal and others have been using for a while. They worked flawlessly for us. It was a complete, like, it was off the ship. Get your luggage. Ten, like a 10th of a second face scan, you're done. So, like, that's. It's really, really nice. So for those of you getting ready to take cruises out of Port Canaveral or Port Everglades, I think it is a really, really nice addition to the disembarkation experience. Makes things a lot faster. So, Sam, any. Any final thoughts here as we wind down about lookout Key or the sailing itself? [01:12:52] Speaker A: I would just say we had a fantastic eight nights on the Disney magic with three amazing stops to lookout key, one amazing stop to cast away, and a stop at Nassau that we didn't get off the ship for. So it was a great vacation. Um, you know, the first part of it being true, uh, vacation on the DVC cruise. The second part of it being a wonderful experience of our. For our inaugural DCL duo podcast cruise. We're hoping to have one in the future, maybe 2026 in the summertime. [01:13:23] Speaker B: Wait, you're preempting it? We talked about that on the next show. [01:13:26] Speaker A: I'm just. Sorry. Sorry. Well, anyway, I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to everyone who we met, talked to, spent time with on the DVC cruise, and of course, a sincere thank you for everyone who joined us on the podcast cruise. It was really wonderful experience. Yeah. [01:13:43] Speaker B: And I just. We've got a couple of comments here about folks thanking us for the sort of the candid rundown. Thank you, CT. And also to Peggy. And we've received a lot of feedback on the community that's been appreciative of our kind of approach to, like, trying to be positive and focus on some of the positives will not, you know. [01:14:00] Speaker A: By also being truthful. [01:14:01] Speaker B: Yeah. Not necessarily downplaying some of the opportunities that Disney has with the island. But I will just continue to say the opportunities are just. They're all fixable. I mean, they're just all fixable. So it's not. It doesn't feel like there is a structural, you know, architectural problem with this experience. It feels like there's some things that need to get fixed, and that's going to happen with just about any brand new experience that comes out. So if you're looking for the perfect experience with Disney Cruise line in this current environment, I'm going to tell you, don't go on a maiden voyage. Don't go on a preview, wait six months, and then book the new ship or book the New Island. I know people are criticizing Disney for, like, it's not. It's not ready yet. It's. It's ready enough for people to get on who want that first opportunity to see it, and for the people who want everything firing and all. Send cylinders every short excursion available, all that stuff. You wait six months. That's just the world we're living in with Disney right now. So. Yeah. Yeah. With that, um, I really just want to thank everyone for watching out there. We will be back next Monday at 05:30 p.m. pacific 08:30 p.m. eastern we will be talking to where's Walter from where's Walter travel. I'm excited. I don't know quite what we're going to talk about yet, except that I want Walter to assuage my fears about sailing on virgin voyages and he was just on the margaritaville and I just kind of want to hear his candid feedback about you about the margaritaville. And so plan to tune in for that. And with that, we'll just say thanks for watching and we will see you next time. [01:15:38] Speaker A: We'll see you next Monday. [01:15:44] Speaker B: Well, thanks to everyone out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. 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