DAY 9 - FRIDAY 23RD MAY 2003

Tam and I rise around 7:30 am. The girls are still asleep so we sneak up to Topsiders for breakfast.

This is the first REAL day of our holiday because we are going to Castaway Cay.

The ship doesn’t dock until 9:00 am which is later than usual, but nobody tells us why. Also the ocean is much calmer today.

The girls rise and we queue up to get off the ship. We wait for 30 minutes or so and then rush off to try and get a hammock. We pass a few empty ones at the start of the family beach, but I tell the family to press on. Towards the far end of the beach things are not looking so good. There are fewer hammocks and those that we do find are taken. I am receiving a few dirty looks from Tam and know I have to come up with something quick. I spot a little shaded area to the back of the beach with an empty hammock. Perfect. Surrounded by palm trees and separated from the thronged main part of the beach. See you should trust me. I’m a doctor.

By the time we are settled it is nearly time for Tam’s cabana massage.

The view from the cabana hut window

She and I ride the tram over to Serenity Bay, the adults only beach. Tam goes off for her massage and I have a look around. Now this place is beautiful. So quiet, with water that you can wade out 50 yards and still be only up to your waist.
I return to the girls and chastise them for being children and preventing me from enjoying the adult beach all day. They offer to weight themselves down and jump into deep water, but I decline. The paperwork must be horrendous.

So here I am gently rocking in my hammock. The scorching sun is filtering through the palm fronds and a cooling breeze is wafting past. Tam is having her massage, the girls have rented floats and are having fun in the water.
I’m contemplating lunch shortly accompanied by a Konk Cooler, but first …… I’ll just ……. have …… ZZZZZZZ
(mumble, mumble …. Ok Liz wear THAT dress, but don’t tell Hugh…mumble)
Who .. what … oh sorry, must have dropped off for a minute there.

Tam returns and says it was wonderful. Quite a firm massage, with just the sound of the surf and the fan gently rotating.

Lunch is next. Another huge spread including hamburgers, chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, salad etc.
Back on the hammock for me and Tam as India and Georgia return to the water.
It’s a lovely beach, but packed.

Tam and I take the tram across to Serenity Bay for a last look at the adult beach. This place really lives up to its name. It’s beautifully quiet as many of the passengers have already returned to the ship. Tam and I have a swim in the crystal clear waters. I thought the beaches of St Maarten and St Thomas were wonderful, but this tops the lot.

I try not to let the vigours of modern life worry me.
The massage cabanas are in the background.

We clamber back on board the Magic at 4:30 to sail at 5:00 pm. The day in Castaway Cay has really gone fast. I know that everyone says it, but it’s true, they really should spend 2 days here. Can you imagine the fun you could have at an evening beach party?

We go to deck 10 to bid farewell to the island and hear the ships horn play ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ one last time.
The next part is incredibly boring as the girls clear off to the farewell show while Tam and I are left to pack.

Before dinner we watch the ‘Walk The Plank’ game show in Studio Sea. This is primarily for kids and things keep going wrong with the equipment, but this just adds to the fun.
I go to get a round of drinks at the bar. Tam wants Asti Spumante, but they have run out so someone disappears to get some more from another deck. About 5 minutes later the drinks are ready. I go to pay, but the bartender says ‘You don’t have to pay sir, we kept you waiting too long’. Now that’s service.

Our final dinner of the cruise is in Animators Palate. I try the sushi with caviar to start along with the pork tenderloin. India has steak again and Georgia surprises everyone by going for the lamb. The food is good, but not the best of the holiday.
They run the light show again and all the servers parade around the room. Liam gives us a lovely little speech about how much he has enjoyed serving us and how he hopes to see us all again. We certainly have no complaints on the service front, both he and John have been excellent.

We swap e-mail and snail mail addresses with Fred and Natalyn. They have been great company at meal times. The sight of Fred gyrating around as John Travolta will be burnt into my mind forever. In fact I may have nightmares about it! Sorry Fred.

We walk through Shutters afterwards to look at the photos we had taken on formal night. They are not cheap at $19.95 for an 8” x 10” but are very good quality.
We decide to buy one and the guy behind the counter talks us into buying a book type frame with a picture of the Magic on the opposite side. $40 total please. Good job Mr Salesman. Still, we have to spend our $175 winnings from ‘Mousketeer’ somehow.
We also buy the propeller clock that they have in the staterooms. I wonder how many cruisers have one of these on their mantelpiece at home?

The girls then go to the arcade to blow $10 while Tam and I head for Rockin’ Bar D where they have a couples game show. It’s the same format as Mr & Mrs for those in the UK that remember it.
One question is ‘What film title describes your current love life?’ One of the lady contestants plumps for Gone in 60 Seconds!

At midnight we decide to go back to the room as we have another 6:00 am start for immigration tomorrow.