Thursday, May 18, 2017

GRADUATION CRUISE 2017 || A Royal Affair {Day 6}

Hello All,

Happy Travel Thursday! I'm going to continue on with my Disney Cruise recap. If you've missed any of the posts for days 1 - 5 you can find the links on the master post. But other then that let's get going.

So, day 6 was our day on Grand Cayman. We didn't find any port adventures that we were interested inn doing - maybe in the future, so we were going with the flow. Our original plan was to get off, get lunch and explore a little but we didn't actually get off. More on that later. 

So, we got up somewhat early because I had a Princess Meet and Greet ticket for 9:30AM. 95% of Disney Cruise Meet and Greets you don't need tickets for but for their more popular characters they do a fast pass type thing where you don't have to wait as long. If you're interested in booking one of these experiences for your cruise click here and go to the Princess Gathering link.

Now if you read the post about my Frozen Meet and Greet you'll know I had a great experience. But this time it wasn't the case. We were rushed through the line and barely got to talk to any of them with the expection of Belle who was very interactive. One thing I mentioned to Mama Judy was that I had way better experiences with the characters I didn't have to sign up for.

Me and Tiana (my favorite)
Also why do I look like i'm 12 in this picture

Me and Ariel

Me and Belle

Me and Cinderella
After the meet and greet we went up to Cabanas to get breakfast. While we were sitting at breakfast they made an announcement that we would be docking in Grand Cayman much later then expected. We later learned that other ships docking in Grand Cayman didn't even attempt to dock and cancelled their Grand Cayman day. Since Mama Judy had a spa appointment we were worried we wouldn't be able to get out, get lunch and get back to the ship in time and decided to say on board.

The view from the back of the boat
After breakfast Mama Judy went to hang out at the Rainforest section of the spa. I decided that I wanted to watch movies on funnel vision, which is the movie theater size screen on the pool deck. I watched Hercules, Frozen and the first 20-ish minutes of Lilo and Stitch. While sitting out by the pool I got sunburned for the only time in trip. Luckily it was that bad. Just uneven so a little more ugly then the average sunburn.
Hercules on Funnel Vision

A piece of the Aqua Duck
The reason I didn't watch all of Lilo and Stitch was because Mama Judy and I had plans to go watch Moana at the Buena Vista Theater. Which is the movie theater on the boat where they play Disney's most recently movies. If you're looking for something relaxing to do and to take a break I highly recommended. And let me tell you the theater was packed! I had already seen Moana but it was Mama Judy's first viewing. She found it confusing. 

After the movie I went back to take a nap. And then it was time for dinner which if I remember correctly that was another night at Animator's Palate. But I'm not sure because I don't have any pictures from the night. Also if I remember correctly Mama Judy and I went to see one of the shows in the Walt Disney Theater. The only picture I have left is one of our towel friends that our state room host made for us. Tell me in the comments what animal you think it is because I have no clue.

Sorry this post wasn't that exciting and unfortunately the next day post won't be that exciting either. But I have new goals and plans to make travel post more detailed in the future!


*This post was not sponsored by any of the linked sites. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own 
and I was in no way compensated for mentioning them ***

Thursday, May 11, 2017

GRADUATION CRUISE 2017 || CROSSING SOMETHING OFF MY BUCKET LIST! {Day 5}

Hello All,

So, this post is one I've been excited to write because I got to cross something off my bucket list! If you interest in what's on my bucket list you can click the tab above or you can click here. Also if you want to read the first four days of the trip you can by checking out the master post

On this morning we had to get up super early! Why? Because it was our first port of call which was in Cozumel, Mexico. This port of call was the one that I had been looking forward to the most. Which shouldn't be surprising to some. If you guys read my blog on the reg (and by reg I mean; when I randomly write and create posts lol) you probably know 3 things about me. 1. I love Disney 2. I love to travel and 3. I have a pretty lengthy bucket list. And I was about to cross something off my list!

So, let's get started. Like I said above we had to get up pretty early. We had to get to our meeting location by 7:45. And before we went to our location Mama Judy ran up to Cabanas (The buffet on the pool deck) to get us breakfast and we quickly ate in the room. And then headed down to the Walt Disney Theatre which was our meeting spot. While we were waiting to leave two of our table mates came down because they were doing the same excursions.

Soon it was time to get off the boat and enter Mexico! They basically walked us from the Disney Fantasy to a catamaran boat. It was about a 50 yard walk if that so we got there pretty easily.
The first view right when we got off the boat. We talked about stopping at the Starbucks but spoiler alert we didn't have time

A view of the Fantasy while we waited to board the catamaran
The water from Cozumel to the main land was super bumpy. They even handed out puke bags. Luckily neither Mama Judy nor I got sick! But Mama Judy felt a little gross. When we got to the main land we attempt to get off the boat and soon learned that our tour needed to be the first off. We were confused though because when boarding they didn't tell us. We and few of the other people on our tour agreed that if we had known we would have sat towards the front so we didn't have to shove through people. But we pushed our way through and got off boat to meet our tour guides.

When we met our tour guides they lead us on about a two mile walk to our bus. They tried to rush us towards the bus but it's hard to rush like 50 people through a street. So, I had some time to snap some pictures.



When we got to the bus they handed out our lunch that came with the excursion which consisted of a sandwich with meat that looked like a mixture of bologna and lunchable meat, Mexican Lays (potato chips), a muffin and mango juice. I only ate the chips because nothing else appealed to me.

Once one board they started out by giving us some background information about the Chichen Itza Ruins which were the ones we would be visiting.  Then they told us to settle in because we  had a two and half our bus ride! Since I had my phone (on airplane mode so I wouldn't have to pay for the expensive international data) and I had some headphones I decided to play some music and took a nap. Mama Judy played on her phone.

45-minutes away from the ruins they woke everyone up. Why? Because they wanted to give us a sale pitch for two souvenirs that you could only get there and that were personalized. One was a Mayan Calendar and the other one had something to do with birth and symbols. I don't really remember. The pitch lasted about 10 minutes and then we all sat there. It was hard to justify going back to sleep because we weren't sure when they started talking again.

FINALLY! We got to the ruins and got off the bus. The walk from the parking lot to ruins themselves was about 5 minutes. We were told that we had an hour to look around but we're highly encourage to stick with the group. I'll be honest that was hard for me because there were two ruins we never even got close to. But the ruins were amazing and mind blowing. I was happy because I was able to officially cross something off my bucket list! Now enjoy the pictures.









One of the ruins we never really got close to...thank God for the zoom button


The other ruin we didn't really get close to













Look our excited and proud I am to be crossing something off my bucket list
After a very quick tour of the Chichen Itza Ruins we headed back to the bus for another two and half hour ride back to the boat. On the ride back Mama Judy and I played on our phones and I taught Mama Judy how to play Candy Crush. She is now addicted and low key mad at me for teaching her.

By the time we got back to the boat we were starving. We headed up to the 10th floor and got some food at the quick service walk up places. While we ate we sat in the adult section and hung out. Eventually Mama Judy headed back to the room to nap while I headed into the spa to get a Fire&Ice Mani/Pedi.The mani/pedi was great but my manicurist was very quiet. Maybe it was because of the language barrier but maybe she was just kind of quiet. (Fun Fact: If you are a Disney Vacation Club member you get 10% off of spa services on port days)

After my spa appointment I headed back to the room to get ready for pirate night! Like a dumb dumb I forgot to take my sign/outfit picture so I'm not 100% sure where we ate. I'm like 90% sure that we ate at The Royal Court which is the Cinderella themed restaurant. I was super excited about our meals at Royal Court because we were sitting in the Princess and the Frog room...aka my favorite princess.

After dinner we headed out to do some meet and greets with characters in their pirate attire. If you remember in my last Disney Cruise post (which you can read here) I met Donald on formal night and told him how snazzy he look. Well during our conversation Donald kept miming fixing his head feather. At first I was confused but then I realized he was asking me if he looked snazzy again on that night. I was so excited that he remembered that I felt like I was five years old all over again.

During our very fun conversation

Traditional Donald and me check kiss picture
Outfit deets: Skirt ~ Kohls, Shirt: Old Navy & Headband: Disney Cruise {Free on Pirate Night}
After meeting Donald I hoped in line to meet Chip and Dale. While we were waiting Mama Judy snapped a picture of Minnie's Pirate outfit because we agree it was adorable.




After our meet and greet with Chip and Dale we went upstairs because Pirate Mickey was doing a meet and greet. While we were waiting upstairs we looked down to see Chip, Dale and Minnie playing tag. It was so cute and funny. Especially to see their attendants trying to keep them under control.

When I went to meet Mickey at first he seemed to be a let's take a picture and move on mood. But when I told him about the tag game down below he became for interactive.

Telling Mikey about the tag game

Now we're talking about something else

And of course a more formally picture
After meeting the characters we decided to head back to our room because we were both somewhat tired. On Pirate Night they do have fireworks at sea but I'm scared of fireworks and chose to avoid them on this particular night. But when we got back to our room we saw are room host (Michael - who was amazing by the way) left us a sloth/monkey friend.
Do you think it's a sloth or monkey?
And that was Day 5 of ours cruise! So, much fun. I'm going to give you a quick review of our excursion (which you can book through Disney by clicking here) but if you want more detail I will link my video review below. So, the one things we really disliked about this excursion was the length, we spend way more time in a bus then at the ruins. But our tour guides were super informative and gave us some really good facts. They also were very social, there was a little girl who taking notes for a school project to make up for being on vacation when she was supposed to be at school and they answer all her questions very patiently.  Like I said I'll link the review where I go more in depth.

*This post was not sponsored by any of the linked sites. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own 
and I was in no way compensated for mentioning them ***

Monday, May 8, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Anna and the French Kiss

Hello All,

I am chugging along in my goal of reading 12 books this year. I don't think I'll exceed it but I do believe that I will at least meet it by reading fifteen books. If you've missed out on the pass reviews you can read them: As Old As Time, Since You've Been Gone, Just One Day and When It Happens which I never got around to reviewing. So, without further ado here's my book review for Anna and the French Kiss.


Anna and the French Kiss follows the main character Anna during her senior year of high school while she studies at the American Academy in France. When she first arrives she is miserable because she didn't want to leave her high school in Atlanta, her best friend Bridget and the boy who maybe might be her boyfriend, Toph. But after a few weeks Anna isn't thinking about Atlanta as much because she's made a new friends and meet a new boy named Etienne St. Clair. Soon her heart is conflicted between the boy back home and the cute boy with an English accent. 

This book became part of my To-be read list because many book-tubers compared it to my favorite contemporary novel To All The Boys I Loved Before (Find it on Good Reads). Within the first few pages I knew that I didn't have the same feeling and magic that I felt when I read To All the Boys I Loved Before. That doesn't mean this it wasn't good, it was just too obvious to me. 

When it came to the romance of the novel it was good. From the summary you know exactly who Anna is going to end up with. And you see the good of him and the bad. He feels like someone that you could potential fall in love with if that is the personality you're into. But Anna is an annoying cliche of young adult character who seems to know exactly who she is into but is to stubborn to admit it to herself. Because of that the romance felt to drawn out,  especially during the last few chapters. 

There were a few side characters. And although I don't believe that side characters need to be looked at too in depth I do appreciate when they are. The author looked into one of the character's past and who she is. But every time I became invested in the character she would move on with the story and almost forget her. 

My final complaint of the book is that there were too many love triangles. Everyone was interested in either Anna or St. Clair which felt somewhat unrealistic to me. Like is there really no other appealing people at their high school? 

I know I've done a lot of complaining but don't get me wrong there were pieces I loved. I love reading a book that took place in France and the description of different areas that people who live there would go rather then touristy places. There were also references to old movies which I loved as well because I love movies.

I know I just crapped on the romance a few paragraphs ago but there were certain parts of their relationships I loved. The build up to their first kiss gave me butterflies. There were other small moments that made giddy but I don't want to give to much away. I think for a first love story that the characters are experiencing it's a great story and brings you back to that high school puppy love feels.

On my ranking scales of 1 to 5 stars with 1 being horrible and 5 being amazing I ranked Anna and the French Kiss a 3.85. I really enjoyed the love story but some of the other technical parts of the book that I didn't really enjoy.

Source
Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments down below.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

GRADUATION CRUISE 2017 || Frozen Day at Sea {Day 4}

Hello All,

I've been super motivated to write so here I am writing another post that might not go up for a while but at least I'm writing it. So, let's jump back into Graduation Cruise recap {If you haven't read the first three day find the links on my master post}. 

So, our second day aboard the Disney Fantasy started with Mama Judy and I went to get breakfast at Cabanas, which is the buffet on the ship. After breakfast we went and spent some in the Rainforest. The rainforest is a part of the spa, which has cool rainforest inspired showers, saunas, heated lounges and jet tubs. Mama Judy loved the rainforest and highly reccomends it to everyone. Me on the other hand found it to be almost too quiet and never really stay long. 

We went and got lunch again at Cabanas and then I went to take a nap while Mama Judy went to sit by the pool. After my nap I had booked a Frozen Meet and Greet. Which is something new that Disney has been doing. Now they allow you to sign up to meet their more popular characters so you wait less time. I will say that my Frozen meet and greet was great, Anna and Elsa were super interactive. I was wearing my Harvard sweatshirt and we talked about what Disney Princess would want to go there. We agreed that Belle or Rapunzel would like it. Let me know what Princesses you think would like Harvard in the comments.

The view while I was waiting in line. Can you see how rough the water was?
LtoR: Anna, me and Elsa



Like I said the meet and greet was awesome but I wish the lighting was better for the pictures. After the meet and greet I think I went back to the room and took another nap because I was still so tired! I have a theory that I was beyond tired on this cruise because of how rough the seas were. 

That evening was formal night so we got into our formal-ish attire (NOTE: Disney doesn't look at formal night as mandatory but I enjoy getting dressed up so I participate) . We then headed down to the Walt Disney Theatre because they were showing the Disney Cruise Line version of Aladdin.  I had heard amazing reviews of it and just had to see it. I especially wanted to see since Disney California Adventure closed their version of the show and since I'll never be able to see there I wanted to take advantage of it on the ship.

After the show we walked around the ship a little bit and took some pictures and of course we need to meet Captain Mickey on formal night.
One of my most popular Instagram pictures ever {Insta: @judy_judy94} 
Captain Mickey and I


Once all of that was done it was time for dinner. On that night we were eating at Enchanted Garden. This restaurant often features seafood type meals and it often very good!  

The second night of the cruise I remembered to take my restaurant sign/outfit picture.
Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless (from 2+ years ago) - Not that you can even see it
After dinner we hit up some of the meet and greets because the characters all looked snazzy that night. When I met Donald I made sure to tell him how snazzy her looked (This will come up again later). 
me and Donald

me and Minnie
After that we decided to go back to our room watch a little bit of a movie and good to bed early because we had an early morning the next day!

Also if you guys don't know I do have a YouTube channel. I did a video on my channel featuring things that were new to me on the cruise with one of them being the Frozen Meet and Greet. I'm going to link the video down below because I go into more detail on the whole experience.


*This post was not sponsored by any of the linked sites. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own 
and I was in no way compensated for mentioning them ***