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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Disney Cruise Line--Key West

Key West is the first port of call on the Disney Cruise Line's Western Caribbean 7 night itinerary. The pier is such that the ship can dock at the pier. The port day typically begins in Key West around 12:30 pm and ends around 7:30 pm.

We reserved the Conch Train or Trolley tour for our Port Adventure. We began with gathering all participants in the Port Adventure on the ship and then making our way off the ship together as a group. We walked through the pier area and past the large red building. This red building is one of the first things you can see when pulling up to the pier in Key West, so we were a bit curious as to what is was. Can you guess? It is an art museum and has many sculptures around the outside. Some of those sculptures are "R" rated or more. . . just be prepared.
After walking a bit we landed in the middle of the famous Mallory Square to board our trolley for the tour. You can also see Conch trains like the one in the photo below.

During our tour (about 45 minutes) we learned a lot about the history of Key West and saw some famous or should I say infamous sights. Sloppy Joe's Bar for example, is known as a hangout for Hemmingway.




And Key West is famous for its Key Lime Pie, so we saw Kermit's Key Line Pie Shop with multiple locations on Key West.


There's the southernmost point in the U.S. There was quite a line at the marker of people waiting to take their photo. As we drove by, I thought, we are just 90 miles from Cuba at this spot. While we didn't take a family photo at the marker, we did purchase a hand painted Christmas ornament with a picture of the marker that was signed and dated from a shop on Duval Street. Click here to read more about what we collect.


The Trolley tour included admission to the Aquarium, also located in Mallory Square. They had quite a collection of nurse sharks. The Aquarium is nothing to write home about and we probably would not have stopped if it hadn't been included in the tour.




While in Key West. . . we had to try the famous Conch Fritters. They were tasty and we washed them down with a key limeade.


Also included with the Trolley Tour, was entry to the Shipwreck Historeum which had artifacts from shipwreck salvaging and piratateering. One neat item is the gold bar which you can try to lift. Trust me, it is heavy!
Above is the boy ringing the bell on the tower at the top of the Shipwreck Historeum as shown in the photo below.



Having toured Mallory Square, we headed down Duval Street to do some shopping. In addition to the Christmas Ornament, I purchased some black diamond earrings at a ridiculous price. I asked the jeweler why the low prices and he said that the cruise lines subsidize the items so that the items can be advertised on the ships. I didn't know that.

We walked some more and found the Pirate Soul Museum. Outside was a pirate ready for photos. And, we had to take a photo of Duval Street in the photo below.


Key West is a unique blending of artists, craftspeople, screen stars, and old south wealth. The pioneering spirit is alive and well. Some interesting tidbits is about roof requirements due to fires, city codes about chickens, and how the naval base made and almost broke the city. Just for fun, we checked out real estate prices. A fixer upper was half a million. Tourism is what keeps the city alive today. So, if you find yourself in Key West, enjoy the food, the history, and spirit of fun. And, don't bother the chickens!
Click here to read about our stop in Grand Cayman.
To read about our stop in Cozumel, click here and here.
And, to read about Disney's Castaway Cay, click here, here, and here.

2 comments:

  1. We also went to Key West when we cruised with a different cruise line, and we absolutely loved it! We also fantasized about having a little house there and enjoyed the same tour on the trolley! This summer we have been enjoying Key Lime Pie and our Key West souveniers on the back porch, takes us back!

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