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UGAFan0829
01-13-2006, 01:19 PM
Here are my thoughts on our recent 4 night cruise, which was also our 2nd.
Pre-cruise:
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Titusville, FL on Saturday night, so that we would be close to the terminal. The hotel is located right off of I-95, and right next to Cracker Barrel and another number of places to eat. We highly recommend this hotel,. As it seemed to be fairly new, and was very nice and clean, and was also fairly cheap compared to the hotels around the port. The staff was awesome also!!

Embarkation:
We arrived at the port a little after 10:30 and received boarding number 5, which I thought was strange since we were there so early. There were a good many of people already there when we got inside, and there were lines to make sure that all the paperwork was filled out correctly. After we made sure that we had everything in order, we went to check in in the Castaway Club line which was a little shorter than the rest. The gentlemen at check in was great. After we got checked in, we took some pictures, and then found a place to sit until time to board. A very few minutes before 12, they started boarding. We were on the ship within 15 minutes after they started, so I guess the number 5 wasn’t so bad after all. Once we boarded, we were directed to Parrot Cay for lunch, but ended up being directed to Beach Blanket Buffet from there. I was happy since I like BBB. We ate a nice lunch, then headed out to walk around until our room was ready, which wasn’t until almost 1:45.

Our room:
I was excited to get to our room, since I knew that we would have some things waiting for us. We were course Castaway Club members, so we had the beach bag waiting on us. But we also got the REAS package, so I was excited to see all the new stuff that we would be getting with that. But I was a little disappointed. All we had was the old basket from 2005, which was a basket with a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates and the photo album. There was also a certificate for a free 8x10 and the menu for the champagne breakfast, but no robes, so I was a little disappointed. I’ll talk more about that later. As for the rest of the room, it was very nice and clean, just as we thought it would be. Our stateroom host was Edwardo, and he was great. It seemed like we always ended up coming back to the room when he was there cleaning, but he always let us do our thing and came back later. He was great! It did seem a little smaller than the cat. 5 that we had last year, especially the balcony, but we made do. It was fine since it was just the two of us, but I can’t imagine having more people than that in there. The balcony also seemed a little smaller, but again, we made do. As far as the noise, it seemed pretty quiet. We were pretty much at the back of the ship, so there was hardly any foot traffic. We did hear feel the ship a little as we were right over the stabilizers, but it was nothing that bothered us. Overall, we were happy with our room.

Room service:
We ended up ordering room service several time throughout the cruise. This was the first time that we had used room service since we didn’t get to take advantage of it before. The food was great. We ordered the All Hands on Deck a couple of times, and then we ordered a burger or two, and they were good. They always told us 30 to 35 minutes, but it was never that long. One time it was there within 10 minutes. I always gave them a tip, and they seemed appreciative.

Romantic Escape at Sea:
As mentioned before, when we got to our room, all the things that should have been included in the package were not there. According to the DCL rep that I spoke with, the things that we should have gotten were a basket with 2 robes, a certificate for an 8x10 photo, a bottle of wine at Palo, romantic turndown service, and champagne breakfast one morning. Everything was there except for the robes, which I was looking forward to. So I decided to go to guest services and ask. When I asked the lady what all I should have gotten, her answer was, “It depends on what you ordered.” I think she realized that was the wrong answer, and then asked me what I was missing. I told her that I was told that we would be getting robes in our basket, and they were not. She took our room number and told me that she would find out for sure if we were supposed to get them. A little while later, when we got back to the room, there was a letter stating that the company who provided the items for the package was not able to supply the items, so they were giving us the 2005 basket, and would be mailing the robes and a picture frame. So I was happy with the fact that they at least acknowledged it, but I was still a little disappointed.

The shows:
We ended up seeing Disney Dreams on the last day, which was a great show. I loved the way that it was put together, and we were really glad that we decided to see it. We also saw the adult comedy show with Michael Harrison, which was hilarious. He was too funny. He also did a family show, but we didn’t see it, but heard that it was funny as well. We also saw Match Your Mate on the first night, and that was a lot of fun!! We missed Hercules and the Golden Mickey’s, but that was no big deal!

Dinner:
We had a great time at dinner as we had some great table mates. Our servers were good, but they didn’t interact with us that much. The assistant server did most of the talking, but I think it was because the head server spoke very broken English. They were great though, and the only real complaint that we had with them was the speed of the service. There were a couple of times that we had to excuse ourselves from dinner so that we could make a show that we wanted to see. And on the last night, we ended up missing “Till We Meet Again”, which I was a little sad about. The food was just okay. Our rotation was PTTA. I think Parrot Cay and Triton’s were the best. I really couldn’t find anything that I liked in Animator’s Palate, but that was okay because I can be picky some times. We actually had Palo on the 3rd night, which was also Pirate night. I have to say, that I was not impressed with this restaurant. Both the DH and I both agree that we have no desire to go back there again for dinner. The server almost gave us too much attention. Since we had the romance package, we could pick a bottle of wine up to $50. For some reason, neither the DH nor myself can stand the taste of wine or champagne, and when we let the server know that we didn’t care for any, he pretty much insisted on this certain champagne. So to keep him happy, we agreed to try it. Thankfully, he didn’t bring it out until dinner. For appetizer, I had the portabella mushroom which was really good, and the DH had something else. The server ended up brining us 2 more appetizers in addition to what we already had. For our main course, we both had the Filet, which was good, but again be brought us another entrée and made us feel like we had to try it. By this time we were already feeling stuffed, but we thought that we would try the chocolate soufflé that I have heard so much about. He brought us the soufflé and his recommended champagne and we didn’t like either. I didn’t like the soufflé because the chocolate tasted semi-sweet. The champagne was as awful as we thought it would be, but we tried to be positive and tried as much as we could. He also ended up bringing us 2 other desserts, and then asked if we wanted something else. I told him NO!! (Nicely of course) He kept insisting that everything must be excellent, and that very good was not good enough. And I completely understand that, but in trying to make it excellent, it really made it bad for us. He was a great server, but really pushed too hard. After dinner, we went straight back to the room and went to bed, we felt so terrible. I ended up waking up at 2 am feeling very sick. Thankfully, I didn’t get sick, but my stomach never felt great. I think it was a combination of all the foods mixed together. I know I may get flamed for what I just wrote, but that’s just my opinion.

Photos:
I don’t feel that there were as many photo ops as our last cruise, but it could have been that we weren’t in to having our pictures made as much as before. We did have a couple of character photos done, but ended up not buying because they looked terrible. But we did do the Lifestyle portraits and they turned out great!

Discover Atlantis excursion:
We decided to check out Atlantis on our day in Nassau. There was a lot of walking involved. We met in Wavebands, and then walked from the ship over to Nassau to board a bus over to the resort. Our time was for 11, but we didn’t get to the hotel until a little after 12. We did a lot of walking once we got there. It took at least 109 to 15 minutes to even get to where we needed to be inside the resort. We saw a lot of neat fish and things, but it wasn’t what I had expected. I was a nice walk, and it was nice to see everything first hand.

Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure:
We decided to play with the stingrays while we were in Castaway Cay. I was really excited about this excursion, since we were able to actually get in the water with the rays. We had a short orientation on the history of rays for about 10 min. or so before we got in the water. Then we actually got in and were able to feed the rays, which was pretty neat.. That only lasted for about 10 minutes, and then we were free to snorkel with them. The water was pretty chilly, so it was kind of hard to have fun on that part. Overall, it was a very neat experience!

Post cruise:
We drove directly from the port to Downtown Disney just so that I could shop at Pooh Corner. But much to my dismay, it was CLOSED! So we visited the World of Disney store and then had a sundae from Ghiradellis. We also went on a tour of the DVC and got some info on that, and then checked out some of the resorts to get a feel of where we want to stay when we go back. We also drove through Daytona Beach and visited the Speedway and of course drove on the beach, which I think is odd!

Anyway, to sum it up. we really enjoyed this trip, and the 4 night seemed to have lasted for us. Usually things go by so fast when you’re having fun, but we really relaxed and didn’t rush ourselves this time, which made the trip so nice. We had thought of rebooking a 7 night, but the DH and I really want to do the parks, so now we are thinking of doing the land and sea so that we can still do both! The day at sea was really awesome, and we had a great time! Can’t wait to go again!!


If anyone has any questions, please ask...Also, I have a gazillion pictures that I will try and post later!

snowiit
01-13-2006, 04:13 PM
[QUOTE=UGAFan0829]Here are my thoughts on our recent 4 night cruise, which was also our 2nd.
Pre-cruise:
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Titusville, FL on Saturday night, so that we would be close to the terminal. The hotel is located right off of I-95, and right next to Cracker Barrel and another number of places to eat. We highly recommend this hotel,. As it seemed to be fairly new, and was very nice and clean, and was also fairly cheap compared to the hotels around the port. The staff was awesome also!!

Did you drive your own vehicle? Or did you rent a car and leave either one at the port? Thanks!
Nancy

UGAFan0829
01-13-2006, 06:11 PM
We drove our own vehicle. We just live in GA, so it wasn't that far of a drive.

torismom
01-15-2006, 04:05 PM
Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure:
We decided to play with the stingrays while we were in Castaway Cay. I was really excited about this excursion, since we were able to actually get in the water with the rays. We had a short orientation on the history of rays for about 10 min. or so before we got in the water. Then we actually got in and were able to feed the rays, which was pretty neat.. That only lasted for about 10 minutes, and then we were free to snorkel with them. The water was pretty chilly, so it was kind of hard to have fun on that part. Overall, it was a very neat experience!

Can you tell me how much this cost for adult and children and if you felt it was worth the cost?

Thanks,
Jennifer

Mom323
01-28-2006, 06:47 PM
Regarding the Romantic Escape at Sea
Did you try the Tropical Rainforest at any time during your cruise? If you went once would you have gone again each day?

You received a bottle of Champagne in the basket and then another for the breakfast?

What was included the Romance Turndown Service.

Did you ever receive your robes?

Thanks

T_Kirsten
01-29-2006, 10:04 AM
How far from Port is :cheer2: the Hampton Inn and if we are flying in the night before, is that the closest place to stay? Should we take a taxi to port or is there shuttle service?

Thanks for you help!