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Disney Cruise Line Archives

April 25, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Trams

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Most Disney Trams get you from your car in a hot parking lot to one of Disney's great themeparks. Yet, my favorite Disney Tram is found on a remote private island owned by the Disney Cruise Line in the Caribbean called Castaway Cay. There, the trams take you from the ship to family beaches and, in the case below, the adult beach called Serenity Bay.

Castaway Cay Tram about to make a stop at Serenity Bay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Castaway Cay Tram about to make a stop at Serenity Bay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Disney Tram pic.

October 18, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Table Settings

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Table settings is an art. Managers and/or Imagineers go to great lengths to match a Disney restaurant's theme to the table settings put in front of their guests. On the Disney Cruise Line ships, this is quite evident. I found the table settings in Palo, an adult only restuarant on the Disney Dream cruise ship, blended perfectly with the decor and themeing of the restaurant.

Table settings in the adult only restaurant, Palo, on the Disney Dream cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Table settings in the adult only restaurant, Palo, on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/Nikon 28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 280, EV +0.7, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Disney table setting photo.

October 4, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Cocktails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am not a big drinker but, when I visit Castaway Cay during a Disney Cruise, I make a stop at Serenity Bay's Castaway Air bar for the island's signature cocktail, Konk Kooler. I have it on good authority, you get more to enjoy with the sipper cup, too.

Bartender fills up a Konk Kooler Sipper Cup at the Castaway Air Bar on Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Bartender fills up a Konk Kooler Sipper Cup at the Castaway Air Bar on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D750/Nikon 16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 22mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share one of her favorite Disney cocktails.

August 3, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Beach

Deb's Digest Blog

Since we have been highlighting the Disney Cruise line for the month of July, I had to return to DCL for my Photo of the Week.

Back in December 2003, I was walking around at Castaway Cay and behold, this beautiful sand castle was just sitting on the beach.

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August 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Beach

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to a Disney beach, you would be hard pressed to find a better one than Serenity Bay's Adult Beach on Castaway Cay. It's one of the perks of any Caribbean cruise on the Disney Cruise Line.

A couple of chairs on the Serenity Bay Adult Beach on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
A pair of chairs on the Serenity Bay Adult Beach on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share a beach from a different Castaway Cay location.

July 26, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Summertime

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I think we can all agree that BF (Before Frozen), when someone asked for a photo about summertime, a snowman would be the last thing that would come to mind. After the Walt Disney Studios animated feature, Frozen, was released, it is hard not to think of the cute little snowmand Olaf made by Elsa. Heck, he even showed up on Castaway Cay. Can you hear him singing?

Olaf hanging out on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Olaf hanging out on Castaway Cay where it is always Summertime.
Nikon D750/Nikon 16-35VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo about summertime. I bet you can guess what it will be..wink, wink.

July 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Nassau

Deb's Digest Blog

Just about any cruise I have been on that travels to the Bahamas or the Caribbean makes a stop in Nassau. I have been a few times and prefer to stay on board and enjoy my own version of a "day at sea".

I love watching as the ship pulls into port. I know for sure I am in Nassau when I see "Senor Frogs" bar!

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July 19, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Nassau

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have enjoyed a couple of excursions in and around Nassau, the capitol of the Bahamas. The last one was to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. After the tour, I enjoyed a lunch in one of the resort's restaurants and then explored the resort on my own before having to catch a shuttle back to the ship. Besides pools, water slides and a casino, the resort boasts a large aquarium.

The rope bridge over the Shark Pool was a fun place to see and hear reactions as people, both young and old, would walk, run and even bounce over the Hammerhead Sharks swimming less than ten feet below their feet.

People walking on a rope bridge over the Shark Pool at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island on Nassau, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
People walking on a rope bridge over the Shark Pool at the Atlantis Resort.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo from Nassau.

July 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Castaway Cay

Deb's Digest Blog

There is no doubt the Disney Cruise Line offers one of the very best private islands for their guests. From the first time I saw Castaway Cay, I fell in love.

One of my favorite memories is seeing the Flying Dutchman pirate ship which anchored off shore for a few years. Hence, my pic of the week!

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July 12, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Every Disney Cruise Line Caribbean itinerary has a stop at Castaway Cay. Some even have more than one day there. It is my personal favorite of all the Disney Cruise Line Ports of Call. You don't have to worry about anything. Just be happy!

Mickey Mouse making friends on Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Mickey Mouse making friends on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 250, EV +0.6, 40mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo from the Disney Cruise Line's private island.

July 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Magic

Deb's Digest Blog

I love seeing the Disney Magic in port! It never grows old no matter where in the world I see her. This photo is from 2002.

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July 5, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Magic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I started vacationing on the Disney Cruise Line, it was on the Disney Dream which is much larger than the Disney Magic. When I first walked onto the Magic, the size of the lobby looked small. I will say after a few hours, I didn't notice and enjoyed the Magic for the unique cruise ship that it is.

Lobby of the Disney Magic cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Lobby of the Disney Magic .
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2500, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Macphun Intensify CK.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo of the Disney Magic.

June 29, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Dream

Deb's Digest Blog

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Christening of the Disney Dream at Port Canaveral, January 26, 2011.

It was a beautiful day with so much excitement in the air. The Disney Characters shared the stage with Bob Iger and the ship's Godmother, Jennifer Hudson!

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As the ship rolled in, the band played, Cast Members on the Dream were cheering and waving flags, the fireworks went off, and everyone was cheering!


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June 28, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each ship of the Disney Cruise Line can be identified by the character or characters on their bows sterns. For the Disney Dream, the scene is one taken from the animated classic, Fantasia, with Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice "cleaning" the ship.

Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse cleans the bow of the Disney Dream cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse cleans the bow of the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 105mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with the media event which launched the Disney Dream.

April 26, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Trees

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

What is not to like about Castaway Cay? Disney Cruise Line's private island in the Bahamas is the prefect place to enjoy this week's theme: Trees.

Below is a simple click of palm trees with the tops of colorful umbrellas found near the beach on Castaway Cay. Enjoy!

Palm trees and beach umbrellas on Castaway Cay during a cruise on the Disney Magic ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
alm trees and beach umbrellas on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Deb will show you a different kind of orange tree tomorrow.

March 11, 2016

Disney Magic Cruising

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Upon walking on to the Disney Magic, the first ship of the Disney Cruise Line, I immediately compared it to the Disney Dream which I had been on several times. That comparison makes the Disney Magic feel small and is not fair. I found the Disney Magic different and smaller but just as enjoyable to cruise on.

Lobby of the Disney Magic cruise ship, Port Canaveral, Florida
Lobby of the Disney Magic cruise ship.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2500, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Each Disney Cruise Line ship has a character statue. For the Disney Magic, Helmsman Mickey Mouse is based on the eight foot tall Man at the Wheel statue at the Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Helmsman Mickey statute in the lobby of the Disney Magic cruise ship, Port Canaveral, Florida
Helmsman Mickey statute in the lobby of the Disney Magic cruise ship.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 4500, EV 0, 20mm Focal Length.

Earlier in the day of my cruise, the Disney Cruise Line announced two new ships coming to the fleet. During the Adventure Away party and show, they repeated the announcement with characters, streamers and graphics on the Funnelvision.

Adventure Away party and show on the Disney Magic cruise ship, Port Canaveral, Florida
Adventure Away party and show on the Disney Magic cruise ship.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/160s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Our three night cruise only had one Port of Call which was Disney Cruise Lines' private island of Castaway Cay. The weather for our stop was warm and partly sunny in the morning. Later more clouds rolled in with a cool breeze. The photo of the moored Disney Magic pretty much shows it. Did not stop me from enjoying doing the morning 5K, Serenity Bay adult beach and Cookies II BBQ.

Disney Magic cruise ship moored at Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Disney Magic cruise ship moored at Castaway Cay.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 500, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Like the Disney themeparks, Cast Members are one of the big reasons why my family and others give high marks for entertainment and service on Disney cruise ships. Below are a few which made my cruise memorable.

Disney Magic Cast Members
Disney Magic Cast Members.

Going clockwise from top left: Bartenders work to fill guest drink orders behind the Singles bar, server puts on a napkin hat on a guest in Carioca's restaurant, cast member poses with a guest at Serenity Bay BBQ on Castaway Cay and Deputy Leader cast member for the emergency evacuation drill before leaving port.

Other notable activities I enjoyed was Tangled, the Musical stage show, nightly entertainment in Fathoms with host Matt from England, seeing the 3-D version of Zootopia in the Walt Disney Theatre and relaxing on deck with a book and a drink.

March 4, 2016

Port of Call: Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Dream cruise ship docked at Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Disney Dream cruise ship docked at Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/29, ISO 720, EV -0.3, 45mm focal length.

Scott is on vacation this week cruising on the Disney Cruise Line with a stop at Castaway Cay. We are sure there will be many Konk Koolers consumed in his travels. Scott will be back next week and sharing his adventures from the Caribbean.

October 30, 2015

Halloween at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney loves holidays and Halloween is one of its favorites. At Disneyland, every year the Haunted Mansion gets transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday where Jack Skellington and the rest of the Halloweentown gang take over in a very popular ride transformation.

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland in Anaheim, California
Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 15mm Focal Length.

Even on the high seas, Disney Cruise Line celebrates with the Pumpkin Tree legend. A nice treat for guests with no tricks.

Elaborately carved pumpkins accompany the Pumpkin Tree on the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line
Elaborately carved pumpkins accompany the Pumpkin Tree on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 4000, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Back on dry land, Walt Disney World has Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party allowing people of all ages to enjoy the fun of the holiday.

Sign outside the Magic Kingdom entrance advertising Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sign outside the Magic Kingdom entrance advertising Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

September 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Toy Story

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Walt Disney Studios teamed up with Pixar to bring us the Toy Story movies, the technological innovation changed the industry. Yet, it was the story and the characters in the story which made the movies so well liked. Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye and the rest of the Toy Story gang not only entertained us but made us feel for them. It was quite a feat making computer generated images into movie stars.

Today, you can find Toy Story characters and attractions in every Disney resort worldwide. Even on the cruise ships of the Disney Cruise Line where I photographed Woody and Jessie performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream.

Woody and Jessie from Toy Story performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship
Woody and Jessie from Toy Story performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 800, EV -1.0, 135mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with proof of Toy Story's worldwide appeal.


August 25, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Yellow

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ah, Castaway Cay Port of Call on a Disney Cruise Line cruise in the Caribbean is about as perfect a place on Earth as one can find. What makes it so is the fun of having Disney characters sharing it with you. With this week's subject being Yellow, here is Pluto at Mount Rustmore.

Pluto at Mount Rustmore on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Pluto at Mount Rustmore on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 145mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Yellow photo.


April 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Daisy Duck

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Looking through my Disney photo archive, it turns out I do not have very many photos of Donald's favorite gal, Daisy Duck. I did find one with Minnie and Daisy from the Christening Cruise of the Disney Dream.

Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse on the Christening Cruise for the Disney Dream cruise ship
Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse on the Christening Cruise for the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 400, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length.

Don't they look great together?


April 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Donald

Deb's Digest Blog

Donald, our subject for this week, is such a great character to photograph! He's really fun at a meet and greet!

Here is my Donald Pic of the Week taken in May 2008 on the Disney Panama Canal Cruise (east to west). As we got into the Mexican Riviera, Donald's costume became themed to our ports of call.

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April 10, 2015

Disney Food Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have a question for you...do you photograph the food at Walt Disney World restaurants? You do! Then you are going to like this week's topic. Below is a set of photos from various Disney restaurants and how I took them.

Sometimes you just need spaghetti and meatballs and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios filled the need perfectly. To add to the sense of place, I used a menu and ambiant light. The very shallow depth of field put the background out of focus but one still can recognize the location as a restaurant.

Spaghetti and meatballs entree at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaghetti and meatballs entree at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/13s, f/35, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I used my elbows to steady the camera and slowly exhaled as I pressed the shutter. I let the image stabilized (vibration reduction in Nikon lingo) lens do its magic. I took several images to get a couple of good ones including the one above.

On the Disney Dream, if your cruise offers a day at sea, you can enjoy the Palo Brunch. Come hungry and eat lightly through each course to save room for the dessert bar. In this case, I did not need a menu to document the location. I did have to take the photo quickly before the location got eaten.

A plate full of desserts at the Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream cruise ship
A plate full of desserts at the Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length, bounced flash.

With the bright open Caribbean water as a backdrop, the use of bounced flash balanced the light and brought out the luscious colors of the sweets.

Inside the elegant Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club Resort the lighting is appropriately warm and low. An assistant helped me by holding up the plate above the table which had lots of stuff upon it.

Prime New York Strip Steak entree at the Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prime New York Strip Steak entree at the Yachtsman Steakhouse.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, bounced flash.

To get the true colors of the food, I used bounced flash to illuminate the plate evenly.

When you have even lighting via a window or by eating outside on a patio like at the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, I like to use the Nifty-Fifty on my camera and get eye level with the plate the food rests on.

Scotch Egg appetizer from the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot's United Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scotch Egg appetizer from the Rose & Crown Pub.
Nikon D7100/50mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Shooting with a wide aperture of f/2.8, I selectively focused on the Scotch Egg appetizer throwing the background of napkins and table pieces completely out of focus. I did dodge (make lighter) the egg some to pull out its colors.

At the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, my party was sat at a table with warm afternoon light coming through a window. The low angle of the light brought out the food's texture.

Chicken Tikka Masala at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chicken Tikka Masala at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 2000, EV 0, 12mm Focal Length.

Without the use of flash, a wide open aperture had me select a focus point on the bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala which did cause the front of the plate to be soft focused. I find that is not a problem here. Do you?

I realize most people quickly take photos of their food when served. If you take a little extra time, you can create very nice photos to make your friends and family envious and hungry when looking at your food photos.

March 6, 2015

Photographs from a Cruise on the Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I live in upstate New York near Lake Ontario and it has been a brutal past six weeks from late January to early March. In fact, not only was February of 2015 the coldest one ever, it was the coldest MONTH ever recorded for my area. So, I hope you will forgive me if I share with you a few photos from my last cruise on the Disney Dream to break up the season and remind me of better things to come as the calendar heads towards Spring.

Here we go, mateys. Our first Port of Call was Nassau where my wife and I choose to tour the Atlantis resort on nearby Paradise Island.

The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas
The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, HDR image.

See the span between the two buildings? That is the Bridge Suite (aka the Michael Jackson Suite) which costs $25,000 (US) a night with a four night minimum. Anyone ever stay in the Bridge Suite?

I choose to use a High Dynamic Range (HDR) set of five photos which I merged together using Photomatix software. The reason was the sunlight was coming from behind the buildings which created a lot of dark shadows. Using HDR processing, I was able to pull out the details and colors in those shadows.

My next stop of the tour of Atlantis was the Aquarium which holds a large variety of sea creatures and treasures to see, photograph and learn about. The shark tunnel was fun to hang out in to see the reaction of fellow tourists as they watched sharks and rays swim over their heads.

A tourist photographs a shark swimming overhead at the Atlantis resort aquarium on Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas
A tourist photographs a shark swimming overhead at the Atlantis resort aquarium.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 500, EV 0, 15mm focal length.

I wanted to do two things with this photo: A person doing something and enough depth of field to show the length of the tunnel. To do both, I put on the Tokina 11-16mm wide angle zoom lens (this lens is available for Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts) and set the aperture to f/11 using Aperture priority mode. My camera was set not to go below 1/125th of a second for its shutter speed. This produced an ISO of 500 which was pretty good for this location. All I had to do was wait for someone to come along. If you have family with you, they could be your models.

After having lunch at Atlantis, we went back to the ship to relax and enjoy the evening cruise to Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's private island. We disembarked the next morning and were told Captain Jack Sparrow would soon be joining us. Always wanting to meet the scallywag, we waited.

Captain Jack Sparrow on Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Captain Jack Sparrow on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/13, ISO 200, EV 0, 38mm focal length, fill flash.

Jack and I had a good conversation about where to find rum on the island and something about wenches...but back to the photo. Notice it was a bright sunny day on Castaway Cay and what do I like to use on such days? Anyone? That is correct! I used Fill Flash to open up the shadows on people's or, in this case, pirate's faces. Gave the Captain a nice sparkle in his mischievous eyes, aye?

Assured by the good Captain I would find rum and food at Serenity Bay, the adults only beach on Castaway Cay, my wife and I took the next tram out.

A couple enjoying Serenity Bay on Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay, Bahamas
A couple enjoying Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/18, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 300mm focal length

Does this scene fit the name Serenity Bay or what? Notice I did not put the people in the center of the frame. I followed the Rule of Thirds to create a more natural and pleasing to the eyes scene.

Earlier that day, I had left my cabin before sunrise to photograph around the Disney Dream and watch as we docked at Castaway Cay. With today's camera and lens technology, I was able to photograph in the low light without a tripod.

The Disney Dream early in the morning sailing Caribbean waters near Castaway Cay, Bahamas
The Disney Dream early in the morning sailing Caribbean waters.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

This is when proper hand-holding of your camera comes into play to get sharp photos even in low light conditions.

The last night at sea, we enjoyed the talents of Greta Salóme, an Icelandic singer and violinist, performing in the Atrium of the Disney Dream. She played many Disney classics including a version of "Let It Go" from the animated movie, Frozen, which everyone loved.

Greta Salóme performing in the Atrium of the Disney Dream cruise ship
Greta Salóme performing in the Atrium of the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, ISO 1600, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

I encourage you to look up Greta Salóme's music. As you can see, there is a lot one can do and expereience on a Disney Cruise.

I am warmed up now.

November 25, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have sailed three times on Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream cruise ship. Each time I have enjoyed myself more than the time before. There is always something new to try, do and explore. On this voyage, the stop at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, was vacation photo perfect. Warm weather with a soft breeze giving the Caribbean water the beautiful greens and blues. I stopped at Pop's Props and Boat Repair on the way back to the ship for another Konk Kooler. I saw this young girl sitting and looking out at the docked Disney Dream. Maybe she was daydreaming. I thought, yes, the ship is like a dream.

Disney Dream cruise ship docked at Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Disney Dream cruise ship docked at Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/13, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 85mm focal length.

I have written many articles about the Disney Dream which you can see here: Disney Dream Archives

Deb Wills will be here tomorrow to share her "Disney Dream".

October 17, 2014

Relaxing on Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mickey Mouse relaxing on Disney's Castaway Cay, Bahamas, Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line

Mickey Mouse relaxing on Disney's Castaway Cay.

After last week's happy occasion, Scott decided for a little relaxation and even more relaxation aboard the Disney Dream with a stop at Disney's Castaway Cay Caribbean island paradise. You can follow him on his Twitter feed at Scottwdw where he will be posting photos and other information during his trip.

Remember, photos of t-shirts, signs, beach towels and other design items make excellent title images for vacation slide shows and scrap books. Oh, and for blogs, too!

August 22, 2014

Getting around Disney's Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I will be taking a Disney Cruise in a couple of months and with the Pic of the Week being about Disney's Castaway Cay, I decided to continue with the theme and to further acquaint you with the Caribbean island.

The trams will take you from a stop near the dock to Palm Central Station with further service to Serenity Bay. The trams run about every six minutes with the caveat of them running on Bahamian time.

Welcome to Disney's Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise.
Welcome to Disney's Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

As you walk around the island, you will notice several fun photo opportunities dreamed up by Disney Imagineers.

Photo op location on Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise.
Photo op location on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

The last blog showed Pluto at the Mount Rustmore location. Here is a photo of the nearby sign just in case you are lost.

Mount Rustmore on Castaway Cay on a Disney Dream cruise.
Mount Rustmore on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 48mm focal length.

While visiting the Lookout Tower on the island, I spied this interesting structure.

This outhouse is for the birds on Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise.
This outhouse is for the birds on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 450, EV +0.7, 300mm focal length.

Well, hate to end this with bathroom humor, but time to start planning an island excursion.

August 21, 2014

Pluto at Mount Rustmore

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Pluto with his Mount Rustmore likeness on Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise.
Pluto with his Mount Rustmore likeness on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 145mm focal length.

If you have ever been or will ever go on a Disney Caribbean cruise, a must photo op is at Mount Rustmore (that's rust, nor rush) where the clever Disney Imagineers re-purposed some all sea junk of the famous Disney characters. Above you see Pluto with his Mount Rustmore likeness in the background for a Disney Pic of the Week on Castaway Cay.

August 1, 2014

Photography Services on the Disney Cruise Line

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you have ever taken a cruise on the Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream, you and your party have had a photo taken before boarding the ship. While you might think this is a nice gesture, Disney uses this baseline photo for facial recognition. This means you do not have to hand a card to any Disney photographer while on the cruise. The photos will be sorted using facial recognition technology into a digital portfolio you can view while onboard. The place to do so is called Shutters and is located on Deck 5.

Entrance to Shutters on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.
Entrance to Shutters on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/13s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV -1.0, 16mm focal length.

I took the next photo very late at night so Shutters was not being manned and most people were either sleeping or enjoying themselves down in The District Adult Nightclubs. You can still view and purchase for later pickup your photos using the screens provided (yep, that is my wife and I on the screen).

Viewing photos inside Shutters on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.
Viewing photos inside Shutters on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 2.5s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -1.0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

Here are a few examples starring myself and other members of my family of the photos you will see in your digital Disney Cruise Line portfolio.

Prints from photos taken by Disney Photographers on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.
Prints from photos taken by Disney Photographers on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship.

Yes, you can buy the frames in the shops on the Disney Dream. While I do not have first hand knowledge, this photographic service is available on all the Disney Cruise Line ships. You will have the ability to view and order photographic products of your photos online after the cruise is over, too. Check with Shutters while onboard for all the latest information or, before you cruise, on the Disney Cruise Line's Photography Services webpage.

March 25, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Snacks

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Here is a theme we can sink our teeth into. Snacks at Disney theme parks are legendary, from the smell of popcorn on Main Street USA to the famous Turkey Legs found in most of the parks. Not to be outdone, the Disney Cruise Line features many snacks on board. There is Eye Scream Treats and Frozone Treats found on Deck 11 for ice cream and sweet treats for the entire family. Down in the adults-only nightclubs on Deck 4, you can find late night snacks including these luscious chocolate covered strawberries.

Chocolate dipped strawberries found near The District's night clubs on the Disney Dream cruise ship
Chocolate dipped strawberries found on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/5, ISO 900, EV 0, 65mm focal length.

What is your favorite snack or snacks at a Disney theme park or cruise?

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on Snacks.

February 7, 2014

Walt Disney World Special Bus Services

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have to hand it to Disney. The worst part of a trip to Walt Disney World for me in the past was having to rent a car with all the added expense and frustrations. Then Disney came up with Disney's Magical Express or DME service and made it free for guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort. For me, I have not rented a car since the DME bus service started. While not all Magical Express buses are the classic blue and tan, this one I photographed as it was bringing and/or picking up guests at Disney's Boardwalk resort was.

Disney's Magical Express Bus near Disney's Boardwalk Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Disney's Magical Express Bus pulling up to Disney's Boardwalk Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm focal length.

The other transportation service which I have enjoyed using are the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) Buses. While this service is not free, it is extremely convenient. If you use the service from either a resort or the Orlando airport, you never have to handle your luggage once you check it in from your home airport (check with your airline) or resort. Using special tags provided by the Disney Cruise Line, your bags are picked up and transported to the ships at Port Canaveral and show up in your State Room before dinner the first night at sea. You just get on your bus and go.

Disney Cruise Line Bus waiting to take guests to Port Canaveral from Disney's Boardwalk Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Disney Cruise Line Bus waiting to take guests to Port Canaveral.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 45mm focal length.

You may or may not get the classic DCL bus like I photographed above. Still, they are all clean, well maintained and comfortable and make my Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation a bit more relaxing.

July 19, 2013

Disney Cruise Line: Nassau

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last year on a 4-Night Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Dream, my wife and I took the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery excursion. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Other passengers did their own thing in Nassau. Some wandered around the shopping and restaurant district near the ship docks. The famous Straw Market is within easy walking distance.

Here are some of the sights I saw when my wife and I walked around after our excursion was completed.

This was not the rum I was looking for.

Pirate mannequin advertising Tortuga Rum Cake in Nassau, Bahamas
Argh..want some Tortuga Rum Cake, matey?
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Many of the artisans were working on new carvings.

Wood carving kiosks at the Straw Market in Nassau, Bahamas
Wood carving kiosks at the Straw Market.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

Kalik beer, the official beer of the Bahamas. Anyone know why it is named Kalik?

Advertising sign for Kalik beer, the official beer of the Bahamas, on a shop door in Nassau, Bahamas
Advertising sign for Kalik beer, the official beer of the Bahamas, on a shop door.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/5, ISO 200, EV -0, 28mm focal length.

If you need information about Nassau, stop at the visitor desk inside the Nassau Port Terminal building Festival Place. They can set you up with hair braiding to recommending walking tours of the port city.

Visitor desk in the Nassau Port Terminal building Festival Place
Visitor desk in the Nassau Port Terminal building Festival Place.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Back on the Disney Dream, I photographed these two hard to miss icons of Nassau.

Atlantis resort as seen from the Disney Dream in Nassau, Bahamas
Atlantis resort as seen from the Disney Dream in Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 85mm focal length.

I can not resist something yellow.

Harbor control tower in Nassau, Bahamas
Harbor control tower in Nassau.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 135mm focal length.

Some passengers opted to stay on the ship while docked in Nassau. With so much to do and explore there, I do not think I could do that unless the weather was terrible. But that's just me.

July 12, 2013

Live, Laugh and Relax with Mickey Mouse

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

T-Shirt design seen on Castaway Cay, Bahamas

While Scott is NOT in the Caribbean this week, he is Living, Laughing and Relaxing right along with Mickey Mouse and Goofy. Donald Duck, not so much. Scott will be back next week to share more Disney photographic fun and tips.

March 1, 2013

Dreaming of a Disney Cruise

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

With the release of the 2014 sailings by the Disney Cruise Line, I have been dreaming about my past cruises.

Last year, my wife and I enjoyed a 4-night cruise where we found Disney cruises can be romantic and fun. Remember, the golden hour (the hour before sunset) is a great time to photograph even on a cruise ship at sea.

Late afternoon sky over Deck 11 on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Late afternoon sky over Deck 11 on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 16mm focal length, HDR Image.
Dreams can make you hungry as I remember the dessert selection in Cabana's buffet restaurant on the Disney Dream. One of those wonderful details travel photographers like to capture.
Desserts lined up in Canbana's restaurant on the Disney Dream.
Desserts lined up in Canbana's restaurant on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Any day at Castaway Cay is a great day even if it is a bit overcast. Remember, when in the Bahamas, Left is Right and Right is Wrong. When creating a good travel photograph, get a good foreground and background subject.

A sign on Castaway Cay with the Disney Dream cruise ship in the background.
A sign on Castaway Cay with the Disney Dream cruise ship in the background.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Hmmm...maybe I need to dream about an Alaskan cruise. I will need to rent a 600mm lens for that trip!

January 29, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Even though Snow White was a princess, it was not until 1950 when Disney released the animated feature Cinderella when the true love affair with Disney Princesses began. Cinderella permeates throughout Disney properties from Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom to this beautiful tile mural on the Disney Dream cruise ship. The mural depicts the scene where the glass slipper is placed on Cinderella's foot and is a very popular photo spot.

Cinderella mural on the Disney Dream cruise ship
Cinderella mural on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV +1.0, 28mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week on Cinderella.

December 27, 2012

Three Favorite Photos of 2012

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In reflecting back on my two trips to Walt Disney World and a Disney Dream cruise, I found these three photos illustrated my favorite times from each of the three different Disney adventures.

The first trip was broken up by the cruise in the middle and featured two Star Wars Weekends. If you are even a casual fan of the Star Wars movies or the animated television series, you should consider attending one of these fun filled days. You can visit with many of the popular Star Wars characters, celebrities from the franchise are on hand to sign autographs or take part in special behind the scene presentations and shows and see the amazing Hyperspace Hoopla performed each night. Below is a photo I feel shows the fun of Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Janga Fett signs his autograph during Star Wars Weekend in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Janga Fett signs his autograph during Star Wars Weekend in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/18, ISO 200, EV 0, 116mm focal length, fill flash.

As a couple, my wife and I enjoyed a 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream. We found that even on a cruise ship full of families, an adult couple can find plenty of magical and romantic things to do on a Disney Cruise. Below is the Disney Dream sandwiched between the smaller Disney Magic and another cruise ship at Nassau, Bahamas.

The Disney Dream (middle) and Disney Magic in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Disney Dream (middle) and Disney Magic in Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 170mm focal length.

Later in the year, I returned to Walt Disney World for Epcot's 30th Anniversary and reminisced about the EPCOT Center I first saw back in 1983 compared to the one I visited 29 years later. While things have changed in the photo below of Future World, the mission of Epcot remains the same: to entertain, inform and inspire.

Future World from the monorail over Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Future World from the monorail over Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.6, 16mm focal length, fill flash.

Hope you enjoyed my Disney Pic of the Week of My Favorite Three Photos of 2012.

2012 was a very good Disney year for me and I look forward to 2013 with plans to return to Walt Disney World and to take a trip to Anaheim, California to enjoy and photograph all the new and old wonders of Disneyland and California Adventure. Happy New Year!

December 13, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Siblings

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Cruise Ships, the Magic and Dream, berthed at Nassau, Bahamas
Disney Cruise Ships, the Magic and Dream, berthed at Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

The Disney Cruise Line ships, the Magic (left) and Dream (right), docked at Nassau, Bahamas last May. While enjoying a Four night cruise on the Dream, I was delighted to see her little sister, the Magic, berthed right next to her upon our arrival at Nassau. I thought the siblings made for a fun Disney Pic of the Week about the Disney Cruise Line.

September 7, 2012

Disney Dream Atrium

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When guests board the Disney Dream at the Port Canaveral terminal, they are loudly heralded by a Disney Cruise Cast Member as they walk into the Atrium on Deck 3. The Atrium is three decks high and features the large Swarovski crystal chandelier, statue of Admiral Donald Duck, marble and carpeted flooring, glass elevators and a grand staircase leading up to Deck 4. The Atrium hosts many of the Disney character Meet and Greets including the very popular Princess line up. Each of these Meets and Greets are listed in the ship's daily newsletter called The Navigator.

Disney Dream cruise ship Atrium as seen from Deck 4.
Disney Dream Atrium as seen from Deck 4.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/50s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV -0.7, 16mm focal length.

I have shown you the Disney Dream chandelier before. I told you then it measureed twenty-two feet (seven meters) in diameter and is decorated with Swarovski crystals. It is covered with 24-karat gold plating and cascades thirteen feet (four meters) down from the three deck high Atrium ceiling. Did I mention the Mickeys? They are not hidden as they are part of the design.

Close up of the Disney Dream Chandelier in the Atrium.
Close up of the Disney Dream Chandelier in the Atrium. See Mickey?
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 2200, EV +0.3, 52mm focal length.

Wonder what it might be like to walk down the Grand Staircase? I hope this will give you an idea of what it looks like to do so.

A walk down the Grand Staircase from Deck 4 of the Disney Dream.
A walk down the Grand Staircase from Deck 4 of the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 2s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

At midnight, the ship is very quiet and is a good time to use a tripod so as not to get in anyone's way.

July 20, 2012

Disney Panoramic Views

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in October of 2009, I wrote a post called Pano-Magic about how to best take a set of photos to create a panoramic image. This post will show you some common mistakes made when taking photos for and creating the panoramics in post-processing. Due to the locations, all of the photos were taken hand-held.

If you recall when I reviewed the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery Tour, the one thing I wished I had was more time at Fort Fincastle. The panoramic you see below is the result of being rushed. I took these four photos quickly and, as I was reviewing them, was told we were moving on. I knew they would not create the panoramic image I had in mind. The wide angle shot in the review link is much better. Next time I did a panoramic set of photos, I made sure I had more time.

Panoramic view from the top of Fort Fincastle on Nassau in the Bahamas.
Panoramic view from the top of Fort Fincastle on Nassau in the Bahamas.
CLICK PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.

This panoramic of Castaway Cay was planned. I knew about the Lookout Tower from my first visit to Castaway Cay. I had visions of a beautiful Caribbean blue sky with sunshine gleaming off the Disney Dream on the horizon. That vision was dashed with the weather but I still wanted the panoramic. I did a couple of things wrong here. First, I did not set my camera to full manual so that the exposure would be the same in each of the photos. As you can see, the photo used for the Disney Dream is a bit underexposed in comparison to the other four photos. Second, you can see a duplicate clearing on the left side. The panoramic stitching software I used did not properly line up the edges. I should have fixed that before saving the panoramic. Also, should have read my Pano-Magic post first, eh?

Panoramic view from the top of Lookout Tower on Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.
Panoramic view from the top of Lookout Tower on Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.
CLICK PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.

The last one I want to show you I am very proud of. During the Streets of America photowalk, the group got a backstage tour of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show. The panoramic image of the garage took four photos and I was so very careful to overlap them enough so the panoramic stitching software could do its magic. This time I made sure my camera was in manual mode to keep the exposure the same. I was told by the stunt drivers giving the tour, they can strip down and totally rebuild any of the vehicles used during the shows.

Panoramic view of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show garage in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Panoramic view of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show Garage.
CLICK PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.

Many photo editing programs today can perform the stitching needed to create panoramic images. Check to see if yours does. If not, there are many quality stand alone programs suited to the task. Of course, the better you plan and produce the photos for the panoramic, the better your results will be. Right, Scott?

July 3, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Water Fountains

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Imagineers use water fountains to enhance the beauty of the parks all over the world. Some are very large like the Fountain in Epcot and some are small like the one kids play in at Downtown Disney. So, I was not surprised to see a water fountain on the Disney Dream cruise ship inside the Enchanted Garden restaurant.

Water fountain in the Enchanted Garden restaurant on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Water fountain in the Enchanted Garden restaurant on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 1600, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of Week on Water Fountains.

June 29, 2012

Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery Tour

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I mentioned the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery excursion my wife and I did a couple of weeks ago when I talked about Disney Cruising for Couples. Thought you might be interested in a more in depth report.

The night before, our room steward left us our Port Adventure Tickets. The ticket tells you when and where to meet up for the start of the excursion. Ours said DK4 AFT 687, telling us to go to Deck 4, aft ship, in the 687 Sports lounge. Time to meet was 9:45am. At 687, there were two other groups meeting. We checked in and was told our group would follow the Disney Cruise Line cast member with the Beast sign (think tour group flags you see in Disney parks but with a cardboard image of the Beast).

The crew member lead us off the ship to a waiting local Nassau tour guide who took us to his van which comfortably fit us and the nine other people on the excursion. It was a hot and humid island day and we were all thankful for the van's air conditioning. The guide drove us through the narrow and maze like streets of Nassau to our first destination: Fort Fincastle. There he handed us off to Fort Fincastle's historian.

View from the top of Fort Fincastle on the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery Disney Dream excursion while visiting Nassau in the Bahamas.
View from the top of Fort Fincastle in Nassau, the Bahamas..
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

Fort Fincastle overlooks Nassau from Bennet's Hill and was built by Lord Dunmore around 1793 who named it after his second title, Viscount Fincastle. The Batteries covered Hog Island (now called Paradise Island) and all the town and road eastward though they were never used. The cannons you see in the photo are replicas of the original brass ones which were removed once the threat of attack to the island dissipated.

From Fort Fincastle, we were lead over to the top of Nassau's most visited attraction, the Queen's Staircase. The 65 stairs were carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the late 18th century, between 1793 and 1794. The stairs are also Fort Fincastle's escape route.

People walking down the 65 steps of the Queen's Staircase in Nassau, Bahamas.
People walking down the 65 steps of the Queen's Staircase in Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 900, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tone-mapped.

The 102 foot staircase was named in honor of the 65 years of Queen Victoria's reign. Construction of this monument is still regarded as remarkable. We were all happy the tour had us walk down the staircase! At the bottom we meet up with our tour guide who whisked us off to our next destination, the Junkanoo Discovery.

We were dropped off at the Ivern House which is an interactive museum about the Junkanoo Festival held each year at midnight on Christmas. The couple who run the museum have been participating in the festival since the early 1960"s. The festival features dancing in the streets with large colorful head and body costumes made from paper products. Some can be as tall as ten feet and weigh over seventy pounds.

Ringing the cow bells at the Junkanoo museum inside the Ivern House on the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery Disney Dream excursion while visiting Nassau in the Bahamas.
Ringing the cow bells at the Junkanoo museum inside the Ivern House on Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 5000, EV -0.3, 15mm focal length, cropped.

The highlight of the Junkanoo exhibit was learning how to play the cow bells and drums which is the other part of the festival. The kids in the group were encouraged and took to heart to make as much noise as possible. However, by the time we left, our group sounded really good!

While the Junkanoo fun was well worth the price of the excursion, the last stop would be at Fort Charlotte. Another 18th century stone fort built with slave labor which was never used for the purpose for which it was made.

Fort Charlotte on Nassau, Bahamas.
Fort Charlotte on Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 48mm focal length.

Fort Charlotte is the largest of the three forts found in Nassau. Built in 1789 again by Lord Dunmore and named in honor of the wife of King George III. It includes a water-less moat, draw-bridge, ramparts and dungeons and commands a fine view of Nassau Harbor.

View from Fort Charlotte of the Disney Dream and Disney Magic in the Port of Nassau, Bahamas.
View from Fort Charlotte of the Disney Dream and Disney Magic in the Port of Nassau.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 170mm focal length.

Our tour guide loaded us back in the van to be dropped off at the port. If I had one complaint about the tour, it was the length of time we were given at Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase which were far more interesting photographically than Fort Charlotte. In all, the tour took 3 hours.

Not needing to be back on board the Disney Dream yet. My wife and I walked down to the famous Straw Market of Nassau and shopped the many kiosks for straw products, wood carvings and other trinkets.

The famous Straw Market in Nassau, the Bahamas.
The famous Straw Market in Nassau.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 34mm focal length.

We then walked back to the ship after passing through customs and back to our cool room to enjoy the rest of the day on the Disney Dream.

June 15, 2012

Disney Cruising for Couples

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last time I sailed on the Disney Dream was for her Christening Cruise back in January of 2011. On that cruise there were fewer than 1,000 passengers and most of them were media and travel professionals without their families. As you can imagine, I wondered how a 4-Night Caribbean cruise would be with almost a full complement of passengers, nearly 4,000, and most of them being families would be like traveling as an adult couple. Could an adult couple enjoy a Disney cruise?

Passengers come out for the Sail Away Party show as the Disney Dream leaves Port Canaveral, Florida.
Can Adult Couples really enjoy a Disney Cruise?
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

I guess you can ask the same question to all of us adults who go to any of the Disney parks and resorts. However, on a cruise ship there is limited space and there are a lot of children, preteens and teens on board. I can tell you the Disney Cruise Line knows what it is doing. There are enough activities, locations and events to keep adult couples happy and relaxed. In fact, you have to take the attitude one would take at the parks and resorts. You do what you want and enjoy the experience. If it becomes to much to handle, you can return to your room or head to one of the adult only locations on the ship. One such area can be found on Decks 11 & 12 Forward.

Decks 11 and 12 Forward on the Disney Dream cruise ship are reserved for Adults Only.
Decks 11 and 12 Forward on the Disney Dream cruise ship are reserved for Adults Only.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

The adult pool and four bars are located in this area with lots of space for couples to lounge in the Caribbean sunshine or curl up together in an over-sized chair. Entertainment for this area was a singer/guitar player who sang island and easy listening favorites. A cool tropical drink or other adult beverages are just a few steps away. The area was quiet and calm unlike where the families were frolicking at the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck pools.

Note about the photo above: The extra Disney stacks you see in the background are from the Disney Magic who was berthed along side of the Dream when we visited Nassau, Bahamas.

When I travel to places, I like to seek out historical and cultural locations and events. With that in mind, my wife and I chose the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery excursion at the Port of Call of Nassau. We, along with two other families, were driven by a local tour guide to Fort Fincastle to learn about its history, walked down the Queen's Staircase and visited the Ivern House, which is an interactive museum that taught us about the Bahamian festival of Junkanoo. We, along with our fellow tourists, had a ball playing bells and drums as we learned about the origins and traditions of the colorful and loud festival. Even got to try on Junkanoo hats.

Scott and his wife try on colorful and heavy Junkanoo hats in Nassau, Bahamas.
Scott and his wife try on colorful and heavy Junkanoo hats.

Dining on a Disney cruise ship may be a concern to couples. It was not for us. Our table in each of the restaurants was located with other couples and families with older children. We had a most pleasant experience in part because of our Dining crew, who stayed with us each night for dinner. I remember grumblings from the very first Disney Dream cruises about the service. That is a thing of the past as we experienced excellent service. They were very personable, quick and remembered our preferences after the first night. We were so impressed with them, we called over the Head Waiter and voiced our pleasure to him directly. Then asked them all to pose for a photo to remember them by. A fellow passenger was kind enough to use my camera so even I could be included.

)ur Dining Crew on the Disney Dream taken in the Enchanted Garden restaurant.
Scott and his wife's Dining Crew on the Disney Dream taken at Pirate Night.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV -0.6, 28mm focal length, bounced flash.

Do not forget to try one of the upscale restaurants of Palo or Remy, which cater to adults only. We enjoyed a leisurely meal in Palo as the Disney Dream left the Port of Nassau. Our server for the evening pointed out all the homes to the stars as we went by. The food was great everywhere on the Dream but Palo was just a notch above. Very flavorful and not too filling that we could not enjoy our Chocolate Souffle dessert.

Being a Disney-owned ship, you know you will see Disney's famous characters from animated shorts to full-length movies. Adults were just as happy to see them as the kids. Characters were around the adult-only areas as well as announced locations around the ship and on Castaway Cay. The daily Navigator newsletter kept everyone informed to what was happening and when.

Disney characters on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Disney characters on the Disney Dream cruise ship.

You are probably all familiar with Castaway Cay's adult beach called Serenity Bay. Again, a nice quiet place for adults to enjoy the Caribbean lifestyle. They serve a BBQ Buffet right there so you do not have to go back to Cookies near the family beach to eat your fill. The Castaway Air Bar will keep you hydrated with its famous Konk Kooler drink made up of rum, coconut, pineapple, orange juices and passion fruit. Oh, yea, it's as good as it sounds.

There are many activities you can do on Castaway Cay. Before my wife and I settled at Serenity Bay, we rented bicycles and rode the trails out to the Lookout Tower. As the day was windy with a threat of rain, many others did the same. They have water locations all along the trails to keep people cool in the Caribbean heat and humidity.

A family riding rented bikes on Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise.
A family riding rented bikes on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 48mm focal length.

All in all, my wife and I found lots of places to relax and enjoy ourselves as well as things to do. We took in two of the fabulous live Broadway caliber shows in the Walt Disney Theatre, watched the 3-D adventure movie, The Avengers, in the Buena Vista Theater, took in the fireworks show and dessert buffet on Pirates Night, grabbed an ice cream and a burger from the quick service locations and drank strawberry daiquiris while watching a beautiful sunset from the promenade deck. As you can see, couples can have a relaxing, enjoyable and, yes, romantic cruise on a Disney ship.

Oh, and let me not forget The District. An adult only nightclub and lounge area with places for every kind of adult fun; sports, cocktail lounge, comedy, dancing and games. I even watched a Stanley Cup playoff hockey game in the middle of the Caribbean at the 687 Sports Bar one night.

Scott and his wife sitting on a port hole in the District adult only nightclub area.
Scott and his wife sitting on a port hole in the District adult only nightclub area.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, bounced flash.


Click here for more information about the Disney Cruise Line.

May 18, 2012

Disney Land and Sea

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Land and Sea, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Disney Land and Sea.

Scott is on vacation this week. This time he is doing a Land and Sea trip to Walt Disney World which will include a 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream followed by a stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. He'll be back next week with more Disney photography information and tips.

You can follow Scott on his Disney Twitter feed @Scottwdw or on Google+ at Scott Thomas as he will be posting comments and photos during the trip.

March 20, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: On the Beach

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are lots of places at Walt Disney World to enjoy a beach but you can not go for a swim at any of them. If you go on a Disney Cruise to the Caribbean, you will stop at Castaway Cay where you can swim at one of two beaches. Castaway Beach is for families while Serenity Bay is for adults only.

Serenity Bay beach on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas.
Serenity Bay Beach on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/13, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 150mm Focal Length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share an On the Beach photo for her Disney Pic of Week.

August 30, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Stage Shows

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney took what he knew of making movies into Disneyland including musical entertainment based on those movies. Since then the Walt Disney Company has expanded on that concept by creating Broadway musicals in New York City, mini-musicals in the themeparks and theaters of their cruise ships. When I took a cruise on the Disney Dream earlier this year, I enjoyed a production of The Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theatre. The show included Rapunzel singing When Will My Life Begin from Tangled.

Rapunzel singing from the balcony in The Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Rapunzel singing from the balcony during The Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV -1.0, 300mm Focal Length.

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday to share their Disney Pic of Week on Stage Shows.

August 19, 2011

Characters of the Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney characters are a joy to see at the Disney resorts. Seeing them on the Disney Dream cruise ship last January was even more joyous. The ship, while big, is still small compared to a park. Many meet and greets are scheduled so families can find, meet and be photographed with all their Disney favorites.

Here are a few places you will find them if you take a cruise with Disney. Jessie, Woody and the gang from Toy Story on stage during The Golden Mickey's in the Walt Disney Theatre, Captain Mickey Mouse dancing during the Sail Away party, Crush talks with guests in Animator's Palate restaurant and Princess Cinderella charms during the production of Believe.

Disney characters found on the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line.
Disney characters, Jessie and Woody from Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, Crush from Finding Nemo and Princess Cinderella found on the Disney Dream cruise ship.

Since my cruise was the Christening Cruise, it featured some additional characters onboard including the Cruise Director Rachel on stage before a show, Lou Mongello of WDWRadio.com fittingly in the Oceaneer's Club with the kids, Dave Marx of Passporter.com marveling at the size of the Walt Disney Theater before a show and Sam Champion did the weather from the Pool Deck for ABC's Good Morning America. There were others like Deb Wills and Deb Koma of AllEars.net, Disney CEO Robert Iger, Whoopie Gooldberg, John Stamos and it was rumored Robin Williams was around. Maybe he played the Genie in Believe?

Other characters encountered during the Disney Dream Christening Cruise, Disney Cruise Line.
Other characters, Cruise Directer Rachel, Lou Mongello of WDWradio.com, Dave Marx of Passporter.com and Sam Champion of ABC's Good Morning America encountered during the Disney Dream Christening Cruise.

One of the nuttiest characters could be seen on a hammock at Serenity Bay when the Dream visited Castaway Cay. This was taken before the hammock took him for a spin.

A Castaway Cay character at Serenity Bay, Disney Cruise Line.
A Castaway Cay character you may encounter at Serenity Bay.

You might not have as many characters about as I did, you will never be far from your favorite Disney characters while on the seas with the Disney Cruise Line.

June 28, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Buses

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am a long time user of the Disney Bus system. Even before Disney started Magical Express whisking guests who stay at a Disney World resort from and to the Orlando airport, I rarely drove anywhere on property. I have waited for long periods for a bus to get from a resort to a park but not very often. I would rather relax on a bus on the way to a park and let someone else do the driving after a long day. Then there are the buses which take you on a dream cruise.

Disney Cruise Line bus at the Wilderness Lodge waiting for guests to board for Port Canaveral, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney Cruise Line bus at the Wilderness Lodge waiting for guests to board for Port Canaveral.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 800, EV 0, 28mm focal length

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday with their Disney Pic of Week featuring Buses.

May 27, 2011

Disney Dream Favorites

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As I look forward to next year's AllEars.net Group Cruise on the Disney Cruise Lines next ship, the Fantasy, thought I would share with you a few of my favorite photos from my cruise on the Disney Dream.

Your first view of the inside of the Disney Dream is when your group is announced and you walk into the ship's atrium. High above is the art deco chandelier which was custom designed for the Disney Dream and measures twenty-two feet (seven meters) in diameter. Decorated with Swarovski crystals, it's covered with 24-karat gold plating and cascades thirteen feet (four meters) down from the atrium ceiling.

Disney Dream's art deco chandelier, Disney Cruise Line.
Disney Dream's art deco chandelier in the ship's atrium.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 720, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

In preparation of the Disney Dream's Sail Away party, bartenders at Currents, an outdoor lounge on Deck 13, start to fill thousands of "one-of-a-kind" champagne glasses with the date of the Christening Cruise. I processed this photo to highlight the glasses in the light against the dark background.

One of a kind Disney Dream Christening Cruise champagne glasses, Disney Cruise Line.
One of a kind Disney Dream Christening Cruise champagne glasses.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 42mm focal length.

In The District, an adult-only nightclub area of the Disney Dream, guests enjoy a sports bar called 687. 687 features many big screen HDTVs, a warm and cozy decor, comfortable sitting areas and a selection of beers and spirits. It is a nice place for the sports minded to hang out and enjoy the games while cruising between ports of call.

Sports bar 687 is located in The District of the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line.
Sports bar 687 is located in The District of the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

From what I hear and read about the Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line is going to have another huge hit on its hands. Book now!

March 4, 2011

The Disney Dream to Scale

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is not easy to convey size in a two dimensional photograph. If a person looking at the photo has no idea how big something in the image is, they will not have a reference to gauge from. That is when a photographer should supply a reference.

Everyone has read about how big the Disney Dream, the new ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, is but what does that mean exactly? I can give you the Dream's dimensions: 1,114.8 feet long and 121.5 feet wide. Sure sounds big, doesn't it?

The best way is to show the size or scale of something in a photograph is to include something of known size. Most people have an idea of the average size of a person. Adult or child. They can immediately judge size by seeing other people in a photo. That is how I will show you the size of the Disney Dream starting with Deck 11 and the Funnel Vision screen.

Sam Champion of Good Morning America, crew and guests before going on the air from the Disney Dream.
Sam Champion of Good Morning America, crew and guests before going on the air from the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 400, EV 0, 28mm focal length

In a previous post, I showed you the Funnel Vision, the giant LED screen. I am sure you can appreciate the size of the screen more after seeing the Good Morning America crew and guests standing below it.

I got up on deck early the morning we were to dock at Castaway Cay in the hopes of photographing a Caribbean sunset. While the weather did not cooperate, I did photograph the Sun peaking through clouds while a crew member cleaned the Disney Dream's bell. Do you seem him?

As the Disney Dream nears the island of Castaway Cay, a crew member cleans the ship's bell.
As the Disney Dream nears the island of Castaway Cay, a crew member cleans the ship's bell.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/14, ISO 400, EV 0, 62mm focal length

The bow of the Disney Dream looks deceptively small with a Caribbean Sun and ocean in front of it until a crew member came out to raise the Disney Cruise Line flag and clean the bell before docking at the island of Castaway Cay.

When docked at Castaway Cay, crew and guests disembark from Deck 2 of the Dream. Walking next to the Dream really makes one feel small. I used a wide angle lens to further show the size difference between the ship and the guests walking beside her.

Guests walking past the docked Disney Dream at Castaway Cay.
Guests walking past the docked Disney Dream at Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16, 1/60s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 16mm focal length

For more information about how to show scale in your photography, click on this link: Showing Scale.

February 18, 2011

Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
The Walt Disney Theatre entrance foyer.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 450, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length

The Walt Disney Theatre accommodates 1,340 guests and is located at the forward end of Deck 3 with balcony seating accessible from Deck 4 on the Disney Dream, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. The art deco design brings back memories of the theaters built back in the early 20th century. Making it all the more impressive being located on a cruise ship.

Inside the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Inside the Walt Disney Theatre with seating for 1,340 guests.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm focal length

Once I entered the theater, I forgot I was on a cruise ship. The red velvet seats are very comfortable to sit in. It is hard for people to get past you to get to their seats but it is only a minor inconvenience. Quickly forgotten once the performance starts.

During the Christening Cruise of the Disney Dream, there was only two shows presented. The first was The Golden Mickeys, a delightful show where a bashful stage manager is unwilling thrust into the spotlight of the awards show called, what else, The Golden Mickeys. She gets help by none other than Disney's CEO Robert Iger making a guest appearance via a video.

Disney CEO Robert Iger makes a video appearance at the start of the Golden Mickeys show in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Disney CEO Robert Iger makes a video appearance at the start of the Golden Mickeys show.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV -1.7, 28mm focal length

As the show progressed, the stage manager becomes confident enough to take on the role of the show's Master of Ceremonies. She even sings a lovely tribute to Walt Disney. Though the show does not reference him directly. A montage of photos of Walt's life appear behind her during the song.

Bashful Stage Manager turned Master of Ceremonies sings a tribute to Walt Disney during the Golden Mickeys show in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Bashful Stage Manager turned Master of Ceremonies sings a tribute to Walt Disney during the Golden Mickeys show.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV -1.7, 28mm focal length

The second show is called Believe. Any parent, especially fathers of daughters (like myself), will be enthralled by this show. As the daughter wishes for her very scientific father to believe in magic. That wish takes her father on a journey through some of Disney's most adored animated features, live on stage.

Sophia sings to her Dad, Dr. Greenaway, in the musical Believe in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Sophia sings to her Dad, Dr. Greenaway, in the musical "Believe".
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV -1.3, 300mm focal length

When one wants to begin believing in magic, who do you call? The Genie of the lamp or, in this case, a metal watering can made from a recycled magic lamp. Genie is Mr. Greenaway's guide and one heck of a scene stealer, too.

The scene stealing Genie during the musical Believe in the Walt Disney Theatre.
The scene stealing Genie during the musical Believe.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 5600, EV -1.3, 250mm focal length

Both shows are produced at the level of a Broadway musical. The performers, special effects, sound and dance routines are top notch and all done while the Disney Dream is doing over 20 knots as it cruises to its next port of call.

Photography is allowed for the performances in the Walt Disney Theatre WITHOUT the use of flash. As in photographing any Disney show on land or on sea, you have to remember to use spot metering directly on the lighted performers and adjust your camera's exposure compensation until you get the exposure dialed in. Use a shutter speed of, at least, 1/60th of a second or better and wait for a pause in a performance's scene.

February 4, 2011

A Day at Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Castaway Cay from the deck of the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Castaway Cay from the deck of the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length

The Disney Dream Christening Cruise was for only two nights and included a day at Disney's Bahamas island, Castaway Cay. As this was more of a vacation for me and my wife, we spent most of the day at Serenity Bay adults-only beach. Upon disembarking from deck 2 of the Disney Dream, we made our way over to the Tram Stop to wait for the shuttle to Castaway Beach before catching a second tram to Serenity Bay. The Tram Stop sign says the next tram will be there in 6 minutes...Bahamian time.

Serenity Bay adults only beach on Castaway Cay.
Serenity Bay adults only beach on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Serenity Bay is quiet, relaxing and the epitome of a Caribbean beach. The water was travel brochure blue and the beach invitingly filled with colorful umbrellas, chairs, lounges and hammocks for the Disney Dream adult passengers. Serenity Bay is served by the Castaway Air bar for adult beverages including the island's signature Konk Kooler rum drink and the Serenity Bay BBQ which is a smaller version of the BBQ served at Cookies near the Castaway Beach for families.

A starfish off the beach at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
A starfish off the beach at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 56mm Focal Length

The water was a little chilly so not many went swimming preferring to enjoy the warm Sun with many talking about the cold and snow they left back home. The few who waded into the ocean found this beautiful and large starfish just off shore.

Lying on a hammock at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Lying on a hammock at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 35mm focal length

I look peaceful laying there on the hammock, don't I? Well, after finishing my Konk Kooler rum drink, I found myself spinning out of control. The remnants of my drink went flying through the air and I landed with a thud on the soft sand underneath. Once everyone around me knew I was not hurt, as I had ended up on my backside which is well padded, they all erupted in a fit of laughter. I joined in hoping to keep a little of my dignity. Next time I will sit in one of those beach chairs.

The Castaway Cay Tram gets you around the island quickly and comfortably.
The Castaway Cay Tram gets you around the island quickly and comfortably.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

After my adventure with the spinning hammocks of Serenity Bay, we checked out the family beaches via the tram.

The Pelican Plunge water slide at the Castaway Family Beach on Castaway Cay.
The Pelican Plunge water slide at the Castaway Family Beach.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length

Disney has recently added some new improvements to Castaway Cay including the Pelican Plunge water slide, a 2,400-square-foot floating platform, located within swimming distance of shore.

A tray full of food from Cookies BBQ on Castaway Cay.
A tray full of food from Cookies BBQ on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length

All this relaxing really brings on an appetite. Cookies and Cookies Too host an All-You-Can-Eat lunch buffet serving barbecue ribs, island spiced rotisserie chicken, burgers, grilled fish, corn on the cob, fresh salads and fruits, flat breads, ice cream, complimentary soda and more. A Caribbean steel band entertains during the entire BBQ.

The Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay.
The Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 70mm Focal Length

All to soon it was time to return to the Disney Dream docked nearby. Amazingly to me, they back in the huge vessel for an easy return to the sea later in the day.

January 28, 2011

Disney Dream Christening Cruise

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The giant LED screen on Deck 11 of the Disney Dream cruise ship.
The giant LED screen on Deck 11 of the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.8, ISO 800, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length

I was lucky enough to have a wife who won a trip for two on the Disney Dream Christening Cruise last week. Thought you would like to see the Dream though the lens of a Disney fan and travel photographer.

My first full view of the Disney Dream was as I walked out to the Christening Ceremony stage show. The lighting was not very flattering so I took a hand-held HDR set of photos.

The Disney Dream cruise ship awaiting her christening ceremony at Port Canaveral, Florida
The Disney Dream cruise ship awaiting her christening ceremony at Port Canaveral, Florida.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/14, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 28mm Focal Length, HDR Image

Each of the Disney cruise ships have a different stern featuring animated characters. The Dream has my favorite Mickey from the movie Fantasia, Sorcerer Mickey directing broomsticks in keeping the Dream's stern freshly painted.

Sorcerer Mickey is featured on the stern of the Disney Dream.
Sorcerer Mickey is featured on the stern of the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/14, ISO 400, EV 0, 135mm focal length

I am sure you have heard about the AquaDuck water coaster on the Dream. It actually goes out over the side of the ship where you can look down 150 feet to the water below.

A guest rides the AquaDuck on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
A guest rides the AquaDuck on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 800, EV 0, 82mm Focal Length

Animator's Palate restaurant on the Dream features interactive animated characters from Finding Nemo with Crush, the sea turtle, talking to people in the human tank. Here, Bruce the Shark is telling us fish are not food.

Animator's Palate restaurant featuring interactive characters from Finding Nemo on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Animator's Palate restaurant featuring interactive characters from Finding Nemo.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/8, ISO 800, EV -1.0, 28mm Focal Length, rear-sync flash

Deck 11 on the Dream is the center of activity with the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck family pools. The huge LED screen is used for show enhancements, Disney cartoons and feature movies. You can see the AquaDuck tubes suspended over Deck 12 in the photo below.

Deck 11 of the Disney Dream has the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck pools.
Deck 11 of the Disney Dream has the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck pools.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 16mm Focal Length, HDR Image

The Disney Dream lives up to all the hype Disney is famous for. The two night Christening Cruise was not long enough for me to explore all her secrets. Never fear, Deb Wills will continue to fill in the details over the next two weeks as she sails on the first two voyages of the Disney Dream.

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