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View Full Version : Western Caribbean 1/28/2006 - Comments?


DavidPJ
02-05-2006, 10:55 AM
We just returned from the Western Caribbean cruise (1/28/06 - 2/4/06), which was our first DCL cruise. We really enjoyed it and I was curious what others who were on this cruise thought about it.

Did anyone notice the engines being stopped and started between 5:30PM and 7PM as we were leaving Castaway Cay friday night? Several times Magic came to a stop and drifted.

Evil Queen 2
02-05-2006, 11:55 AM
This was our 3rd cruise and we loved it! :cool1: Really enjoyed the pirate: party and fireworks. Best part we enjoyed was our cell phones not working :rotfl2:

The engine thing leaving Castaway ~ they were doing a scheduled test of the side thruster engines. Making sure that each side would power up correctly and to a certain level. You noticed how we moved in a circle for a bit, then stopped and started moving back in the opposite direction. According to the crew member we talked with they test different things on just about every cruise, some things the cruisers notice, some they don't. Like the elevator testing on ship during the late morning at Castway.

disneylady
02-05-2006, 12:27 PM
We also were on the Magic. When the ship stopped and began drifting, we called Guest Services and they explained the thruster test. Apparently, it has to be done every two months and can only be done when leaving Castaway Cay. I, personally, felt that an announcement should have been made from the Captain throughout the PA system.

This was our second cruise. We weren't impressed with the character photo ops. THey were only out for about 15 minutes and even if you were in line, once that 15 minutes passed, you were out of luck. I would have liked for them to post which characters were going to be out when in the Navigator.

We had airline problems and a kid in our party almost died in Nassau, but overall, I have very few problems w/Disney. Also, Shirley's baskets from The Perfect Gift were a definite rip off and did not include the items that I had requested when speaking w/them over the phone. Definitely, won't recommend them.

DavidPJ
02-05-2006, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the explanation about the thrusters. I agree there should have been an announcement regarding the test, or even a brief note in the Navigator about it.

I also thought the character meetings were too brief and chaotic. What really surprised us was the lack of roaming characters. Unfortunately our dining was mostly in Parrot Cay, which most of the time you would not know you were in a Disney ship in this dining room. We expected characters to be roaming through the dining room and throughout the ship at all times, but this wasn't the case. Of course there were times where we did see unexpected characters, but I guess we just expected it more often.

WldWcnWmn
02-05-2006, 02:03 PM
When we were on our last cruise (2004) they tested the horn while we were on the beach at Castaway Cay. They hit the horn once, then twice and after the CM's on the beach said it was just testing (some families thought it was an emergency call to return to the ship) everytime the horn went off (a total of nine times) everyone on the beach cheered! It was so cute to hear the horn and then hear everyone on the beach cheer (all seven times) The CM's told us later that they can only do this at CC as other ports pose horn testing difficulty. :rotfl2:

mzbiz1
02-05-2006, 02:18 PM
Disneylady-You wrote "Also, Shirley's baskets from The Perfect Gift were a definite rip off and did not include the items that I had requested when speaking w/them over the phone. Definitely, won't recommend them."

I'm surprised to hear this as I've only heard good things about Shirley's baskets. I ordered one for our cruise next week. What did you request and what did you end up getting?

dlf246
02-05-2006, 02:18 PM
This was our second cruise. We weren't impressed with the character photo ops. THey were only out for about 15 minutes and even if you were in line, once that 15 minutes passed, you were out of luck. I would have liked for them to post which characters were going to be out when in the Navigator.
What? I have seen posts recommending checking the navigator for character photo ops. Have they stopped publishing that info?

GhostlyHitchhiker
02-05-2006, 02:33 PM
I also just got off the 1/28 Magic and the character appearances were posted on the front page of the Navigators every day.

My entire party (16 of us) had a MAGICal time. The Pirate Party was a lot of fun. We were sad our Castaway Cay excursion was cancelled, but we ended up having fun getting our Jolly Roger kite stuck in a tree instead. Hmm, wonder if it's still there... pirate:

4Goofys4Dis
02-05-2006, 02:55 PM
We were also on the 1/28 sailing of the Magic and I too was dissapointed that the character appearances were not posted in the Navigator (it was listed when they were but not who they were and how long they would each be there). The only way we could find out was goint to the Atrium lobby and it was posted daily. We were dissapointed that there weren't more characters roaming once in awhile.

But I have to say the weather was PERFECT and the seas were very calm - we couldn't have gotten better weather.

We ordered 2 of Shirley's baskets, they were beautiful! Although I did not get exactly what I ordered, she did seem to substitute it with something just as nice. I was happy with it, but if there is something VERY specific that you'd like, I'd suggest making it VERY clear to her on the phone!

Disneylady - We were RIGHT down the hall from you in cabin 6526 and LOVED your door - everytime we passed I had to smile!!!

lbgraves
02-05-2006, 03:08 PM
The general time frames for character meet & greets are posted in the navigator. At the bottom of the box it says:

For more information dial 7-PALS (7-7257)
Daily updates available on the Atrium monitor.

This is where you are able to get the actual breakdown for each character that will be seen during that time frame along with where they will be located. That includes the characters that "roam" around the ship. That is all planned ahead of time. I call that number every evening after getting the kids into bed to get the next day's schedule.

mousefamily
02-05-2006, 03:22 PM
We were also on the Western Jan. 28 and had a wonderful time. We were blessed with awesome weather and just a great trip overall. Our servers were Cornwall and Ian and they were super. We went ahead and booked again for next year and we weren't the only ones. Everytime we went by the reservation area there were at least 5 people waiting. Did anyone on here rebook?

For anyone wondering whether or not to do a Disney Cruise, I highly recommed it. It is truely magical.

mommasita
02-05-2006, 04:18 PM
Disneylady-You wrote "Also, Shirley's baskets from The Perfect Gift were a definite rip off and did not include the items that I had requested when speaking w/them over the phone. Definitely, won't recommend them."

I'm surprised to hear this as I've only heard good things about Shirley's baskets. I ordered one for our cruise next week. What did you request and what did you end up getting?


I am surprised as well, and would love to hear more..Have ordered with Shirley more than once, and was OVERsatisfied (sp?) As well as many on this board.. :confused3

musicgirl
02-05-2006, 05:14 PM
Mommasita, I have also heard wonderful reviews about Shirley's baskets. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or a mix-up.

Don't they also have an electronic board by guest services that has the times for the characters?

GSCM_DisneyScout
02-05-2006, 05:22 PM
We just got off the cruise also. It was our first cruise and my whole family loved it. I asked my kids which they would preffer a trip to WDW or another cruise. They all said CRUISE!

So, we're booked for the same week next year. Anyone else going the same time? There's already a thread started for it. This time we've also invited the Grandparents!

There was SO much to do, we didn't seem to have time for the characters. However, I took my DD3 to the farewell gathering Friday night and it was really magical. We stood in a short line for Belle princess: , Cinderella had no line princess: , and Aurora also had no line princess: ! Each of them also sat down with my DD3 and hugged her and talked with her for a little while. She was SO excited!

I missed the pirate deck party. pirate: What was the stunt that Mickey did? Has anyone seen the old show and the new show they premiered on our cruise? Is the new show better than the old one.

DD10 was disappointed she didn't meet up with the friends she had made beforehand via e-mail and we never made any of the DISmeets. I forgot the schedule at home and didn't get onboard Internet access. :guilty: We did all wear lime green shirts the first day though. I almost got us a matching set of lime green Castaway Cay shirts, but DH said no. We spent enough money on souveniers and stuff, and we're going back, so I'll be better prepared for next time!

:wave2:
Kim

Indea88
02-05-2006, 05:23 PM
This was our first DCL cruise on the Magic 1/28/06. I saved and waited almost two years! Well I have to tell you about our Guest service/Credit card nightmare..They swiped my Visa x2 within twenty minutes for the same amount of 500.00 then on the next day when my DH went to place 100.00 on the shipboard account with his debit card they exhausted it for 800.00. It wasnt until he tried to use the ATM at Nassau did he know. He spent the port day at guest services literally 5 hours, going through multiple managers before the money was returned which was 48 hours when we were getting off the ship. :teeth: He clearly stated he would never cruise DCL again.( Not in front of the kids of course) DCL had 1800.00 on hold for 2 days!! Our servers were pleasant enough but they were soft spoken and difficult to understand. To complicate matters our toddler has Celiac disease and requires gluten free food, from faxing a medical form to numerous explanations with head server/servers they could never seem to get it to him, we tried to call at least an hour in advance! It was so frustrating. At AKL before our cruise they managed it wonderfully.Our port times were different at Key West and Nassau. Spending 16 hours in Nassau was not my favorite. Grand Cayman would have been a better port to spend these hours.Also we gave our gratuities to Guest services on the last night and were reminded by more than one CM that we should have given it directly to them. My 11 year old loved the ship and activities, and my toddler couldnt have been better cared for ,that is what mattered!!! We enjoyed our delicious meal at Palos and loved the Pirate Party.

disneylady
02-05-2006, 06:18 PM
I, too, was shocked when we arrived and saw our baskets. I ordered them, and even convinced a friend to do the same, because of this chat board and all the raves about them. I ordered separate baskets for my DS and my DD. Each were to come w/ the Mickey and Minnie cups. Neither did. I told the lady to leave the water bottles out and replace with Capri-Suns. One Capri-Sun, 3 bottles of water in each. I was told that I'd have to pay more to include Reeses's PB Cups. THat was fine. No PB Cups. I was told each kid would get 3 tattoos. Each only got 1. I asked that they be given only the bucket and shovel and not all the other sand toys in the picture, due to space and the fact that my kids are 7 and 11, a little old for the other stuff. Well, guess what, they got all the sand stuff in the picture which they said was "baby stuff." We ended up leaving it ALL in Castaway Cay. I asked for sour worms. Didn't get any. I asked for Doritos. Didn't get any. My baskets cost me $50 each. They had less than $5 in stuff I'd requested. Oh, I forgot this one. I asked that my daughter's basket (11yr old) have the Disney coloring book shown on the website. She got the princess one instead. She took one look at it and said, "Who can I give this to?"

I filled out the online form and picked items that I knew each one of my kids would like. I faxed it in and someone called me several hours later. We went over the items for each one by one. She told me what she had in stock and what she didn't. We adjusted the items and price accordingly. To see what we actually got, it's as if I didn't speak to anyone and they just pulled a generic basket off the shelf.

They are number one on my list of people to call first thing tomorrow morning. If they charged me the $50 each, I will loose it. I will also post a warning on here to other possible customers. My friend had the same thing happen to her, which I hate, because she would not have ordered it had I not told her how much the DIS members rave about them.

disneylady
02-05-2006, 06:23 PM
The character ops were posted. However, it does not say "which" characters will be out or how many. Plus, like I said before, once they decide that character is going back in, that's it. For example, at 10:15 Friday night, all the characters were scheduled to be out. One of the CM told me to get there early because once again they would only be out for 15 minutes.

Another example, is the portraits. Thursday night, Sorcerer Mickey was out. He was in front of the white background. The CM would not allow my children to take an individual picture with him. She said that they were in a hurry and it was one photo per family. People were hot.

Too much $ is paid for them to rush photos or expect almost 3,000 to get pictures with characters in a 15 minute time span.

disneylover5
02-05-2006, 07:09 PM
We were 42 travelling together on this cruise. We had and an awesome time. The weather was perfect and the seas were mostly smooth. Clifford was our stateroom guy. He left us blankets folded on our bed instead of towels. I loved Clifford and asked him to marry me!! We called him BLANKET MAN. He was so awesome!!

My family was the only family that had cruised Disney before. So I too was worried that it would not live up to expectations...but it did for us. Just about everyone booked again for Nov 4th Western.

I can not stop raving about what a great time we had. For those of you that are disappointed, I am sorry.

As for the trip away from Castaway Cay, we were in Palo. The head server there said he thought we forgot someone on Castaway Cay...shows you how much he knows!!
Lisa

snelsonbrown
02-06-2006, 03:13 AM
Disneylady,
I first started to send you a PM, but since I felt that would be not be fair to the board, I am writing you a note here. I don't know what happened but I do intent to find out - unfortunalty I had been in and out of the shop and had a help mate and you must have spoken with Rebecca. Just give me a call sometime today. I do try to fill all the request that I am given and noone really knows what lenght I have gone, to find some of the things I am asked I also try to ask everyone I speak to when they are leaving home just in case I run into a problem so that I can call them back and most of the time I ask for a cell number.
I am very sorry that you are so unhappy, but at least give me the chance to see what went wrong. I am a person that does step up to the bat and accepts responsiblity. A name is very important in life (not a business), for that is the legacy that is left to your family once life has left you. Will be waiting for you call and thank you for bringing my attention to the problem.
always
Shirley

anty30
02-06-2006, 06:42 AM
Disneylady,
I first started to send you a PM, but since I felt that would be not be fair to the board, I am writing you a note here. I don't know what happened but I do intent to find out - unfortunalty I had been in and out of the shop and had a help mate and you must have spoken with Rebecca. Just give me a call sometime today. I do try to fill all the request that I am given and noone really knows what lenght I have gone, to find some of the things I am asked I also try to ask everyone I speak to when they are leaving home just in case I run into a problem so that I can call them back and most of the time I ask for a cell number.
I am very sorry that you are so unhappy, but at least give me the chance to see what went wrong. I am a person that does step up to the bat and accepts responsiblity. A name is very important in life (not a business), for that is the legacy that is left to your family once life has left you. Will be waiting for you call and thank you for bringing my attention to the problem.
always
Shirley


Bravo to you Shirley. :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

Verandah Man
02-06-2006, 07:20 AM
I have had the great pleasure to sit in the back of Shirley's shop on many occasions. I know first hand how hard Shirley works to make her baskets perfect. I've even seen Shirley take baskets apart that her employees have put together and do it over herself because it just didn't look perfect to Shirley. I know Shirley as an upstanding business woman and I know she takes pride in her work, and in her shop. Disneylady, I do encourage you to give Shirley a call so she can find out what happened with your baskets.

disneylady
02-06-2006, 07:49 AM
First off, let me say that I was not disappointed in my cruise at all. It was everything that I expected. There were a few negatives, but nothing so huge that I wouldn't cruise again. OUr dining staff, Deneval and Sumi, were awesome, as was our stateroom hostess, Donovan. These guys were phenomenal. A number of the entertainment staff went out of their way all week to take a few moments with my kids. Travis was my daughter's favorite and he posed for pictures with her every day.

We had major problems with flights and luggage, but again, not Disney's fault. Our last suitcase arrived last night. YEAH!

In the defense of Shirley's baskets, I didn't speak w/Shirley last week. Another young lady handled my order. Perhaps, that is where the problem is.

In summary, I would like to end with this. The purpose of this board is to inform others of the opportunities out there and to answer questions. Honesty is key. I, personally, learned an amazing amount of helpful tips by reading this board. It became addictive. I would stay up until the early hours reading the lastest posts so that I would be prepared for everything. Because of this board, I knew alot of cruise "secrets" that very few others traveling with us knew. Thank you, DIS.

At the same time, there were some negatives to our trip. As a DIS member, I felt obligated to share with other readers what those negatives were. I want to read posts that are honest and realistic. I'm sure each of you want the same. So, when someone posts a "negative" experience, I think it's not only inmature, but also unprofessional, to "pounce" on them with your replies. For example, there was a guy last week that couldn't get a cabin because he had an infant traveling w/him. Yes, his response on Disney was a little harsh, but many of you put that guy through the ringer. In my opinion, that was uncalled for.

If you cannot handle reading the "magical", as well as the "not so magical" experiences, then perhaps you need to reconsider whether or not this is the right chat board for you. This is a "discussion" board, not a "dart" board.

natsmom125
02-06-2006, 08:07 AM
Disneylady....

I believe you were the one who started throwing the "darts"


Phyllis :crazy:

disneylady
02-06-2006, 09:27 AM
Another fabulous example of the point I'm trying to make. :rolleyes1

hjensen
02-06-2006, 10:25 AM
Well I'll probably be flamed for this but I agree with you disneylady. Not every experience is MAGICAL!! I am new to the boards also and I can not believe all the helpful info. I have learned! And how nice "most" everyone is!!And I have already made alot of new friends! But if you say the wrong thing or tend not to agree with certain people...they tend to jump down your throat!! :scared: One of my first posts was about Palo and I "accidently" said PALOS. Boy they do not like it when you put that 's on there!! I was flamed so bad I didnt know if I wanted to post anymore! I do not think you were throwing darts!! I think you were just telling your expeience about what happened with Shirley. I do agree that maybe you should have spoken with her first though! I am glad that you had a good trip!

castlegazer
02-06-2006, 10:45 AM
I thought this thread was asking for comments - I just read it through and I didn't think anyone was being nasty or contradictory to anyone. Relax, I thought your points were very, very valid - take it up with Shirley as she has requested. The others who have posted were simply pointing out that she has a good reputation and their experience with her and others were pointing out their experience on the cruise with the characters. No big deal.

I think this thread is helpful because of the differing viewpoints in it. Just relax, it IS a discussion board - many different personalities. Just let everything slide off your back and you will have fun once again.

(by the way, the Palo/s thread was rude and I am sorry you were put through that hjensen)

disneylady
02-06-2006, 11:20 AM
By the way, the basket thing, nor the airline delay, nor the baggage loss, ruined our trip. I bought my first 300 points while on board. Wahooooo!!! Now, would I have spent $20,000+ if I was upset? No way! :banana:

disneylady
02-06-2006, 12:22 PM
YOU ARE THE ONE NOT GETTING THE POINT.....

As I said, you are the one who started throwing the
"darts"....not anyone of us.

Instead of spreading your viciousness about the baskets all over the boards, why didn't you call Shirley first, work something out with her, then tell about your experiences, both negative and positive.

I'm sure Shirley will not miss you as a customer...she has plenty of others to take your place.

Anything else you want to say to me...go ahead.

Why do I feel like I'm working in an office of catty women? :grouphug:

natsmom125
02-06-2006, 12:34 PM
I'd like to ask that the moderators lock this post.

Thank you.

kmc33
02-06-2006, 12:43 PM
We had a magical time. The weather was beautiful, the CMs are fabulous! I think Disney does a great job training their crew. Everyone that we encountered was friendly and seemed to go out of there way to see to it that we enjoyed our trip.

Some of our favorite things were the Sail away deck party, the Pirate night deck party, Palo (Zita was our server and was fantastic :thumbsup2 !!!), the ventriloquist, Atlantis on Nassau, and Castaway Cay (DH and I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours at Serenity Bay for the 1st time). Our dining room service was wonderful too. We had Girish and Viviane. They did a great job!!

A couple of things that we didn't like... 5:30 dinner time (there was 5:30, 5:45, and 6:00). It was just a little too early and believe it or not, I think the 1/2 hour until 6:00 makes a big difference. This was especially true since there were activities on various days that started at 5:15 for the early dining time. So if you had the 5:30, you really only had 15 minutes (like the Captain's Cocktail reception, the Castaway Club party, character photo ops etc.). Yet you had 45 minutes until dinner time for 6:00 pm. And I didn't feel like it alleviated congestion.

The good news is that I give Disney and DCL credit for trying new things and trying to make improvements based on guest comments and feedback. I think the dining times still needs some work.

The other thing that we weren't happy about (and this is somewhat of an isolated event since it doesn't happen every cruise) is that even though our sea days were Monday and Wednesday (usually the second one is Thursday, but we went to Nassau that day which was previously scheduled to replace Cozumel), our semi-formal night and the Captain's Gala dinner menu was still on Thursday. We were scheduled to be in port at Nassau until 10:00 pm. We expressed our disappointment to our head waiter and he said that they had to leave it on Thursday because the dessert buffet was that night :confused3 . That didn't make much sense to us. Well, we had already booked a room so that we could spend the day at Atlantis (which we loved!) so we didn't want to rush back for 5:30 pm dinner. We ended up eating dinner that night up at Topsiders which wasn't bad. They didn't have lobster tail up there, but they did have the chocolate lava cake. :love:
And they did the kid's farewell show on Thursday while we were at Nassau too. Oh well, I know on a cruise there is too much to do everything, but I thought having the semi-formal night on Wednesday would have been nicer since we were at sea.

I have cruised on a number of different cruise lines and I think DCL does do a great job. And dispite a few minor inconveniences, we had a great vacation!!!

kmc33
02-06-2006, 12:54 PM
I guess I should have read through all the posts before I posted. I thought this was a thread to post comments about the 1/28 cruise. I didn't realize it turned controversial. :sad2:

disneylady
02-06-2006, 02:06 PM
kmc33,

We're glad you posted. We needed a ray of sunshine to spread through the thread. :sunny:

You have some excellent comments. You read my mind exactly on the dinner times and the events while at Nassau. One thing I've learned through this board is that you REALLY can't do everything, no matter how bad we want to. I think the Cozumel thing really threw DCL for a loop. We booked this particular cruise only because is WASN't going to Nassau. It's funny how we ended up there anyway.

We had the 8:30 dinner w/3 kids. NOt fun! The kids always got their food relatively fast, but we didn't get ours to after 9:30 every night. We were always eating in a rush to get to a cool activity which always seemed to start at 9:45pm. It seems though that no matter what time your meal time was, it would have conflicted w/one event or another. I think Disney is probably doing the best they can do. I've thought about it and I cannot come up w/a clear decisive way of how to improve it so that no one misses anything. However, if it can be done, Disney will do it and with style! ;)

Thank you again for your post and feel free to stop this way again. :wave2:

castlegazer
02-06-2006, 02:29 PM
You posted correctly - some of us are reading along and don't think anything about this thread should cause it to be closed.

1) it has not exhausted it's purpose
2) no one is being hostile or verbally abusive to another poster

Some of us trip report readers like the different opinions on these reports from people on the same cruise.

DavidPJ
02-06-2006, 02:38 PM
Please don't lock this thread as someone suggested, there's a lot of great information here and I appreciate everyone's comments to my original post.

I would also like to add we had a great time on this trip. I mentioned our slight disappointments with the characters, but that was very minor. Overall our experience was fantastic. We were disappointed with Nassau instead of Cozumel, but from what I've heard about Cozumel, Disney made the right decision not going to Cozumel. I wish we could have spent 2 days at Castaway Cay instead of Nassau. Castaway Cay was our favorite port.

I also want to mention was a superb job Disney did with luggage and transportation logistics. We visited the park for 2 days prior to the cruise. We used Disney transportation everywhere including the return trip to the airport. We flew on Continental, so on departure we checked our bags at the port. This was great! Everything went perfectly and it was well worth the slight added cost over renting a car. Arriving at and leaving Port Canaveral was a breeze!

Regarding restaurants and menu choices, I would have liked to see more Italian selections, which there was hardly any. Maybe that's because they want you to go to Palo's if you want Italian. Unfortunately we missed Palo's because we couldn't get reservations expect for during the Pirate Party, which we didn't want to miss.

yippeeDCL
02-06-2006, 02:57 PM
I posted in the Main Forum...probably should have just posted here!

Why didn't Disney substitute Cozumel with Costa Maya?? We are scheduled for the DblDip in May..looks like that itinerary would have been better than Nassau (of course, minus Cozumel)

Can you provide updates or opinions on the new Ocean Quest program? The dining rotations? and any other new "Magic" updates? What type of activities do they have? PS2 games, computer games, art/craft?? I have a DD that will turn 14 less than a month before we cruise..she is very shy. I'm a little worried about her I have a Ds10..he will be happy WHERE EVER!

Also, the Spa Villas....worth the money? I'm trying to decide, the Villas OR CC massages and a couple other services on different days. What do you think?

lbgraves
02-06-2006, 03:11 PM
Why didn't Disney substitute Cozumel with Costa Maya?? We are scheduled for the DblDip in May..looks like that itinerary would have been better than Nassau (of course, minus Cozumel)
There are only so many openings in each port for ships. Everyone scrambled to reschedule their itineraries. DCL booked what was available to them for that time.

Can you provide updates or opinions on the new Ocean Quest program? The dining rotations? and any other new "Magic" updates? What type of activities do they have? PS2 games, computer games, art/craft?? I have a DD that will turn 14 less than a month before we cruise..she is very shy. I'm a little worried about her I have a Ds10..he will be happy WHERE EVER!
They have all those things in the OQ area and more. Here is the complete thread about it including the schedule & pictures. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=948596&highlight=quest


HTH :)

PizzieDuster
02-06-2006, 03:26 PM
We had airline problems and a kid in our party almost died in Nassau, but overall, I have very few problems w/Disney. Also, Shirley's baskets from The Perfect Gift were a definite rip off and did not include the items that I had requested when speaking w/them over the phone. Definitely, won't recommend them.


OMG! having someone almost die! Gasp! I'm glad it is all okay now. :wizard:

I'm surprised about the comment re: Shirley, The Perfect Gift. We used her twice and were always very pleased. But the crackers and/or chips were stale. But what 4, 10 & 13 yo really notice ;)

With everything that happened, it is wonderful that you still had a great trip. :3dglasses

I would love to travel with 40 or so friends and relatives. That must have been a very fun trip for everyone.

I remember standing in line for portraits and watching families take like 20 pictures at a time. Us, then just the kids, then the kid, then the boys, then the parents.... UGH... while having lil ones waiting for portraits and waiting to go to formal dinner... I was all for the "one picture per family" idea :thumbsup2 But I like when they serve drinks while you are waiting. That will always calm momma down :woohoo:

DavidPJ
02-06-2006, 04:26 PM
I posted in the Main Forum...probably should have just posted here!

yippeeDCL, try starting a new thread with your questions and you'll get more replies. Your questions don't pertain to this thread.

GhostlyHitchhiker
02-06-2006, 06:08 PM
I've already posted on several topics in the main forum regarding our cruise, but wanted to add my experience to this thread as well. We were a group of 16, 8 adults and 8 children. We went with my DH's parents, his 3 brothers, my SIL and all of my nieces and nephew as well as our two DDs. DH & I are the only ones who have ever done a Disney cruise before, but DFIL & DMIL are frequent cruisers.

We all flew out the night before and stayed at the Radisson, which was fantastic. The rooms are spacious if in need of some minor fixups (the shower curtain was slightly torn, the wallpaper in the bathroom was peeling in one spot). I, personally couldn't have cared less about those very minor issues, but I paid special attention because others on here have complained recently. We had pizza from Kelsey's next door which was fabulous and the breakfast buffet in the Radisson for breakfast. We used the WIFI and it was a bit slow, but worked without a problem otherwise. We would definately stay here if we do just a cruise and not WDW time again.

The DCL computers were down for check-in when we first arrived at the port, but they fixed them within a short time and we were only in line for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes? Maybe it feels shorter now because it was so long ago. The buffet at Parrot Cay was great. By the time we were finished eating a very leisurely meal, it was time to just wander the ship a bit before heading to the stateroom. I had sent two boxes to myself via FedEx and both were in my room as soon as we were able to get in. It was all a very nice start to the trip.

My DMIL got ill halfway through our cruise. She had to visit the ship's doctor several times and get medication for migraines (she has several health issues including neurological problems and a crippling migraine on top of all of that can be a very difficult thing). She wasn't able to do much of anything for about 2 days, but the cabin steward (we were in the adjoining room to her and DFIL) and the dining team asked about her every day to make sure she was alright, and to send their best wishes for her to recover. (We LOVED Fernando and Lynette and will request them when we sail again if they are still onboard. They were absolutely amazing and we already miss them terribly. They felt like family by the end of the cruise.) The doctor called to check in on her a few times as well. When she was feeling better a bit for Pirate night, the servers fussed over her to make sure she was comfortable and when the noise from the festivities got to be too much, they didn't skip a beat when she had to leave. The room steward was pleasant and understanding about cleaning the room and would jump in if they walked out for 20 minutes to get some fresh air, so it would be clean on their return. (Thanks Orlando!)

Room service was fantastic. DMIL wanted outmeal in the early afternoon (easy to eat foods while ill) and none of the restaurants were serving breakfast anymore. DFIL asked someone as they were preparing for lunch in Lumiere's and they said it wouldn't be a problem, they would have it sent to their room immediately. DH & the kids and I ordered room service every night when we got back to the stateroom for bed as well as for breakfast two of the mornings. Diane, who answers the room service phone, was incredibly pleasant to deal with and was very understanding if I needed to double check the order with the family to make sure I didn't forget anything. I was a bit disappointed with the Cake of the Day selections though. 3 of the nights I called, the only option was cheesecake. While I LOVE cheesecake, I was hoping for a bit more variety.

Pirate Night was fantastic! My entire group loved it, though it was a bit too windy up on deck 10 to watch the movie afterwards. :)

DH & I had brunch at Palo and fell in love with it. Because we were travelling with extended family, we didn't try to get Palo dinner reservations because we didn't want to not have dinner with them. After having brunch (and loving our server as well), we asked to be put on the dinner waitlist. One DBIL and DSIL got Palo for the night of our brunch and greatly enjoyed it, which just fed our need to try dinner. We had little hope since the waitlist was already two pages long. Nassau afternoon we got the call. 8:30pm Kristian would see us at Palo! We got to enjoy dinner and watch us sail away from Nassau over dessert. It was absolutely fantastic! They even gave us a chocolate soufle to take back to the room since my DD8 wanted desperately to try it. It was slightly soggy by the time we got it back to the room, but she did get to try it! We are now complete Palo addicts.

The weather was great. It rained a bit in Key West as we were walking the 10 blocks or so to Fausto's (thank you Shirley) to buy Diet Pepsi, but it was a warm kind of rain and my DH and DDs and I considered it an adventure. :)

Grand Cayman was gorgeous and all of the ships in the harbor looked like something out of a movie. All ready for battle. Ok, maybe that's just my DH and my oddities there, but still.

It was a bit windy and the water was a bit choppy some nights, but overall it was fine. A Dramamine every couple of days and all was well.

Castaway Cay day was a bit windy/chilly and we were very disappointed that our Bottom Fishing Excursion that DD8 wanted so desperately got cancelled, but DD8 and DH are planning to try again NEXT cruise. We had purchased a kite in Nassau at the Pirate Museum for DD4 and we instead spent the morning getting it stuck in a palm tree where it still might be flying. We tried desperately to get it down, but ended up having to give up after about 45 minutes. If anyone saw the Jolly Roger flying over the island, that was us. It was still flying as we sailed away.

Disembarkation was insanely easy. We were absolutely amazed at how quickly it all happened. We were among the first to get into the luggage area and we grabbed a porter for my DILs and ourselves as we were the only ones who managed to be ready to leave by breakfast (of our group). The customs agent waved us past as soon as we said we were US citizens and never even looked at our birth certificates. We were outside waiting for the Radisson shuttle to take us back by ten to 8 in the morning I believe.

My only real complaint about anything is the elevators. There are rows of 4 elevators in each area (forward, aft and mid-ship), yet all 4 are linked together. It's not too much of a problem for the forward and aft elevators, but those midship elevators being linked is a real problem. At one point we stood there for 10 minutes waiting for an elevator. People would just walk up to the far side elevators and jump in when they got there, (or run when they see the doors open from halfway across the atrium) completely disregarding the people who had been standing there. Just unlink the right and left sides and it relieves some of the problem. If you push the button on the left side, only those two elevators will come to your floor. Not the far right where you'd have to run, knocking people out of your way to get to it before it's either crowded with a million people or the doors close (if you've been standing there waiting patiently)! I know it may seem minor to some people, but it's just a pet peeve that could easily be fixed instead of standing out as a problem.

Anyway, we had a fantastic trip and we are looking forward to going again. We weren't able to rebook onboard, but we are looking at going again this time next year. If things work out, we're even day-dreaming of B2B 7-nighters, with a couple of days at WDW to boot. :woohoo:

captchris
02-06-2006, 06:08 PM
Regardless of what happened, a bad/mediocre(an extreme relative description) week at sea, is better than a great week at work.

ddavis860
02-06-2006, 06:44 PM
My only real complaint about anything is the elevators. There are rows of 4 elevators in each area (forward, aft and mid-ship), yet all 4 are linked together. It's not too much of a problem for the forward and aft elevators, but those midship elevators being linked is a real problem. At one point we stood there for 10 minutes waiting for an elevator. People would just walk up to the far side elevators and jump in when they got there, (or run when they see the doors open from halfway across the atrium) completely disregarding the people who had been standing there. Just unlink the right and left sides and it relieves some of the problem. If you push the button on the left side, only those two elevators will come to your floor. Not the far right where you'd have to run, knocking people out of your way to get to it before it's either crowded with a million people or the doors close (if you've been standing there waiting patiently)! I know it may seem minor to some people, but it's just a pet peeve that could easily be fixed instead of standing out as a problem.



I have to say that I ABSOLUTELY agree with this. I was so frustrated with the elevator thing and how inconsiderate people were. We would wait and wait, and the far elevator would open and be full before we got there...full of people that had just walked up. I agree, it is minor, it might be a small thing, but when you are tired it seems like a biggie...and DH and I just started going to the Aft elevator all the time...forget Midship.

GhostlyHitchhiker
02-06-2006, 06:52 PM
I have to say that I ABSOLUTELY agree with this. I was so frustrated with the elevator thing and how inconsiderate people were. We would wait and wait, and the far elevator would open and be full before we got there...full of people that had just walked up. I agree, it is minor, it might be a small thing, but when you are tired it seems like a biggie...and DH and I just started going to the Aft elevator all the time...forget Midship.

Exactly! There were times that we were in the Atrium for one reason or another and just wanted to go up to deck 9. It seemed like such an annoyance to go all the way to the forward or aft (we preferred forward because our room was RIGHT off the forward elevator on deck 2) when you just want to get to the drink station or the Mickey pool or a snack!

If they just have the left button call the left elevators and the right button call the right elevators, it would make it so much easier.

The other issue with the current set up is, if there are 20 people waiting for the elevator only one will stop. If that elevator is full already or fills up right away, then you have to wait for that elevator to physically leave to push the button again. Other elevators that COULD have stopped at your deck have now passed you by and you have to wait even longer again. Just decoupling the sides will fix both issues.

No idea if it's something that will ever be done, but I just needed to vent about it as it's the only frustrating thing we dealt with all week. Everything else was MAGICal and having such perfection elsewhere makes the minor things all the more aggravating to deal with especially when they could so easily be addressed. Here's hoping. pixiedust:

snelsonbrown
02-06-2006, 06:57 PM
"It rained a bit in Key West as we were walking the 10 blocks or so to Fausto's to buy Diet Pepsi, but it was a warm kind of rain and my DH and DDs and I considered it an adventure." - Its so funny that you walked a place I had been around all my life - I grew up right behind Fausto's in fact where Fausto's stands now once was a chinese laundry and I would be there as a little girl learning the language and being taught their cultures. Accross the street was a funeral home called Lopez funeral home and EVERYONE from the 1800's where buried from there in a horse drawn carriage. On the corner of Duval and Fleming St, my dad ran his cab from there among about 10 other cab drivers. Just that one little block has many memories for me. Glad you were able to make it there and have a chance to do what the locals have done for over a century but of course with much more modern upgrades.
Glad I could help while in my hometown of Key West.
Blessings always
Shirley

A Sunny Day
02-07-2006, 10:55 AM
We were on the 1/28 too and also had the 5:30 dinner and felt that it was rushed some days to get there on time. I would not have wanted the late seating though as I'm afraid the kids and myself might nod off during dinner. We attended the Castaway Club reception and had to leave immediately after the intro's of the staff to get to dinner, not to mention that we didn't get a chance to enjoy the food.

It seems like the main events such as the big theatre shows and movies etc are timed to accomodate both dinner times but the other smaller events are not.

I wanted a family picture and the lines were very long before and after dinner but when we went during dinner, there was no wait. In fact two photographers were just standing around waiting for people when we walked up. So I would recommend going to dinner and placing your order then excuse yourself for a few mins.

As far as the characters being around, I called the number to find out who and where but noone was interested in going. I did see Mickey who was getting on the elevator as I was leaving it one morning, and my kids said they saw one later the same kind of thing. So I think they do roam the ship at times but the ship is huge and you prob could go the whole week without seeing them or see them alot.

While watching the movie Narnia, several characters walked thru during the movie. One of the places where they enter was at the bottom of the theatre so we saw several of them walk up and down the stairs during the movie.

While I didn't attend it I heard that the late Gary Delena (sp?) show was over crowded and they sent people to Diversions to watch it on the screen. I wish they would have also showed it on the tv in the stateroom, so that while the kids slept, I could have seen this. Same with the other late night shows, one of us stayed in the room with the kids, therefore only one parent saw the show. I realize they don't want just anyone to see this show but maybe you could request that channel at GS or something or order it.

I also wished that there were more movie times. It just seemed that we missed the ones we wanted to see by 15-30 mins each time. But it's just a movie that we could see back home so we opted for the other activities.

I like the matinee theatre shows they offered as that freed up alot of time in the evening.

With the freezing weather back home, I'm ready for day on the ship anytime.

disneylover5
02-07-2006, 11:05 AM
[QUOTE=A Sunny Day]

I wanted a family picture and the lines were very long before and after dinner but when we went during dinner, there was no wait. In fact two photographers were just standing around waiting for people when we walked up. So I would recommend going to dinner and placing your order then excuse yourself for a few mins.
QUOTE]

This is an awesome suggestion. I am going to remember this one!!

Indea88
02-07-2006, 11:27 AM
We had the 8:00pm seating which worked great. I planned all our Photogs at the end of the first seatings which was about 6:30 and there were no lines most where in having dinner and the late seating people werent considering pictures until about 7:15 or so this worked well for us. We were able to get great pictures without the long lines and aggravation!!!

thompson princesses
02-09-2006, 09:11 AM
We were also on the Jan 28th cruise. We have cruised with other lines but this was our first Disney Cruise. We started out at Radisson the night before. We had excellent service. Our rooms were clean and the sleep number beds were great. The pool area was beautiful and we ate dinner poolside. A nice start to our vacation. We were on the first shuttle and received boarding pass #2. So much easier than the other lines! We had lunch in Parrot Cay. Brought the swimsuits and the kids were in the pool soon after. (Great tip!) My parents and sister were on the Carnival Glory at the same time (wanted to hook up in Key West and Cozumel...but Cozumel was a bust) so I walked to the front of the ship and we waved to each other...kinda cool! Our stateroom attendant was wonderful and our servers too. Diane from roomservice was so sweet..always called to see if everything was just right. The food in the dining room was just ok. We are not picky eaters but most of the meat selections were bland and dry. We loved the service and presentation so we continued to go. Palo was something entirely different. I think some of the best food we have eaten. Thanks to more tips we were able to get all the princess photos with our dd3 (she changed outfits in line). This leads to really the only problem we encountered on the cruise....the pictures in shutters. There are so many photos taken of the family it is hard to keep track of them. As suggested I "stacked" some of the photos. Each day I would purchase the ones I was sure I had to have and continued to stack the photos I wasn't so sure about. The day we were in Nassau I went to purchase and discard the rest of the photos but they were gone....all of them! I was sick. My family and the staff couldn't find them either. I went to guest services and the mgr there had Zee (shutters mgr) look into it. She said not to worry she would try to find them or reprint them some how. She called me that evening and said she had located them and to pick them up the next day. When I went up there she gave me all my prints for free and said she was sorry for the mix up. I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. Now that is real pixie dust! ANYWAYS, our trip was awesome...my kids met some wonderful friends and we have a precious memory to last a lifetime. ~Barb~ :lovestruc

ThePhantomsGirl
02-09-2006, 10:52 AM
Barb,

This is REALLY :offtopic: but I'm another Joaquin Phoenix fan! I'd love to see him get the Oscar - though I'm pretty sure they'll give it to the Capote actor...

I'll be on this cruise NEXT year - woo-hoo!!

thompson princesses
02-09-2006, 03:00 PM
Hi Holly! :wave: I have to agree with you...Hoffman will probably get it but Joaquin did a great job. I have loved him since I saw him in "inventing the abotts" and now have all his films. I haven't liked someone this much since David Cassidy!! :rotfl2: Now I'm dating myself! ~Barb~

melsmom12
02-09-2006, 09:14 PM
We were also on the Jan 28th cruise and just loved it. Having worked at a resort myself for years, I had certain expectations and certain allowances, and my standards were just blown away by how incredible the whole experience was.

We flew in on Friday the 27th and stayed in Cocoa Beach at the Quality Suites. It was perfect for our family, we each had a suite which consists of a bedroom and sitting room, just perfect! The next morning our shuttle picked us up right on time and off we went to the port.

We waited for maybe 45 minutes in line, not too bad, and before we knew it it was time to board. I think I cried from excitement!

Some of the highlights from our trip were our incredible dinner at Palo, I'm sorry but that chocolate souffle made my eyes roll back in my head! The service there was impeccable and the night was very special.

Another wonderful part of our trip was Flounders Nursery. We hadn't intended to put our 9 month old DD in there too often, but they made us feel so comfortable and at ease that we ended up having her there at least 12 hours during the week. There is a maximum of 10 but if they have space you can arrange to have your child there more often. Our DD had a great time playing and watching the other children, and the staff was just incredible with her.

We loved the shows, loved almost all of the meals, and the kids programs for my 9 year old niece and 5 year old nephew were terrific. Our servers were wonderful, Sameer and Tony, they always had my DD's highchair and some "distractions" ready to go!

Our favorite day by far was Castaway Cay. Even though the day started a little cool and breezy, by the mid-afternoon the sun came out and my whole family just loved it there. We stayed on the family beach all day and were very sad to come back to the ship. We all said we wished we could have spent two days there.

One thing I wasn't completely thrilled with was the 5:30 dinner seating. Like some of the other previous posters, it did make the days feel fairly rushed. We did want the early seating, but I think I would have preferred 6pm. Still, a small price to pay.

Another small disappointment was that I guess I thought there would be a little more of what I like to call "spontaneous entertainment." Just little things here and there to remind you that you are on a Disney Cruise and not just any old other cruise line. Like little pool shows every day or small funny appearances by the characters. I don't know, kind of like you see at the resorts and parks, that's what I mean.

While it was certainly a different experience traveling with an infant, we all really had an amazing time and can't wait to do it again.

CPM
02-10-2006, 12:05 AM
. OUr dining staff, Deneval and Sumi, were awesome, .


We had Sumi the week before. He was switching teams after us. He wasn't happy with teh team he was working with. He had an extra long contract of 7 months so he could have some time off for a festival back home. He said he could never last 7 months with a team he disliked. So, I hope he was happy, he said he had a lot of friends on the new team.
He was an excellent server!