View Full Version : Just back from 2/25 Western!!

03-05-2006, 08:11 AM
I miss the sun!!!!!

What a great weather cruise we had. Rachel, the cruise director said it was the best weather they had seen in three months!! This was our second Disney cruise and this time we went with a large group, 11 kids ages 4-11 and 9 adults. Our family is me35, DH42, DS9, DS8 and DS5. The boys had an absolute blast in the Club/Lab once again. Our serving team was Vlado and Okim and they were AWESOME!!

We stayed at the Radisson at the Port on Thursday and Friday in the 2 King Suite room. We took their 10am shuttle to the port and arrived there about 10:15. We got boarding card #2!! We walzed right in and got in the Castaway Club line which was much shorter but moved much slllooowwweeerrr...Once we checked in, we went over and got the kid's pagers and moved a few kids in our group up levels. No problems there, the four year old was moved to the 5-7s no problem and he is 6 months from his fifth bday!! The doors opened and we were onboard by 11:45.

We went straight to Rockin D bar to get our Palo ressied linked. We had all booked for the same time for dinner and brunch but could not indicate on-line that we wanted one big table. They fixed it for us and we headed to lunch at Parrot Cay then up to the Sport Deck for some basketball. At 1:30, we went to check out our rooms. We had two Cat.11s on deck 7. It works fine for us since we are never in our rooms except for sleeping and we like the dark because the boys sleep in! Luggage slowly started arriving. The last bag didn't come until after the sail away party. Last year when we cruised, the weather forced the sailaway party indoors. What a differeence having it on deck 9. My kids were dancing all around and loving it!! The bummer was we had been asigned APL rotation with early seating which now means 5:30. In my opinion that half hour makes a big difference. It was a rush to get there for 5:30 and on a lot of nights, all 20 of us could not make it until 5:45 or so. The other let down of this night was the new format in the kids clubs. My boys knew before hand that they had done away with the Welcome Aboard party in the clubs but they still were let down. It was crazy chaos in there packed full of parents that looked as if they wanted to be anywhere but there on their first night!! Me too!! We only let them stay a few minutes and headed to bed on the early side to rest up for the rest of the week. Tomorrow....Key West

03-05-2006, 09:12 AM
Sounds like you had a great time. I cannot wait to hear the rest. We are going on the Western May 20. I am interested to hear what you did at each port.

03-05-2006, 12:00 PM
Kellimom....where was Vlado from? We had a server named Vlado a few cruises back..that we adored...he was from Croatia, he left the Magic...but they do return.

Just wondering if this was the same person.

Phyllis :firefight

03-05-2006, 12:58 PM
Yes, it was Vlado from Croatia!!


03-05-2006, 01:18 PM
So glad he is back.....my DD and well, me too.....lol were so IN LOVE with him.....

Phyllis :firefight

03-06-2006, 07:16 AM
Sunday...Key West

I love sleeping on the ship. It seems like it just rocks you to sleep. All of the kids in our party went to the clubs this morning and the adults hit the adult pool. Once the ship docked we decided to get off and shop a bit. Unfortunately as soon as we got off, it started raining. The husbands went to a bar to watch the UConn basketball game and we shopped for a couple hours. The dinner tonight was in Parrot Cay and only some of the kids joined us, the rest ate with the clubs. Tomorrow....a nice, relaxing sea day....

Monday...Day at Sea
Woke up to another beautiful day!!! We had a Villa treatment scheduled today. I think it was called Romance at Sea. We loved it. Last year we had done a couple's massage but this was much nicer. We had our own veranda villa. It started with a foot soak and massage, then a 25 minute soak in the hot tub with essential oils. The massage was next. It was great. Then back out on the veranda to relax on the chaise lounge and have tea and fruit for another 20 minutes or so. This was expensive but we loved it and will do it again.Tonight was formal night and we all were dressed and in the atrium by 5:00 for our photos. We got some greart photos of all 20 of us together. I had a really good experience with the Shutters staff and bought lots of pictures!! After dinner, the kids went back in the clubs and we hung out. Tomorrow....Grand Cayman

:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

03-06-2006, 11:50 AM
with such a large group, did you make any special arrangements with Shutters ahead of time for group photos?
We are a group of 12 cruising together, and are curious if they can fit us all in for a few pictures together.


03-06-2006, 12:37 PM
Beth....it was easy for them to accomadate us. In fact, we saw groups much larger than ours being photographed. Just be sure to get there early.

Tuesday...Grand Cayman

We are a beach loving group so before we left we researched the beaches of Grand Cayman and decided to try Sea Grape beach. We all got cabs there no problem and definately made the right choice. The beach was perfect and so was the weather. We had lounge chairs right up by the water. The kids all had a blast playing in the waves. There were bathrooms, showers, water sport rentals, a bar and a resteraunt right there. We got lunch and drinks right on the beach and headed back about 2:30 to the ship. The tendering was smooth as well. Tonight we had Palo reservations at 8:30 and Sasha was our server. We had requested him because we had him last year and loved him. Once again, he did not dissappoint! After gourging ourselves, we picked up the kids from the clubs and headed off to bed. Tomorrow...Costa Maya


03-06-2006, 01:06 PM
Tonight we had Palo reservations at 8:30 and Sasha was our server. We had requested him because we had him last year and loved him. Once again, he did not dissappoint!
Kelli: When you request a server in Palo, how do you handle tipping... do you tip him separately?

03-06-2006, 01:16 PM
I'll answer for you Kelli...........you always tip your Palo servers separately from your regular dining room servers. We tip just like we would in a 5-star restaurant and usually add more. We have our favorites and they have become like a part of our family.

Kelli.....please say hello to Vlado for us. He may not remember us...but his assistant server then was Mark from the UK. DD left her game boy in PC and they brought it up to the cabin to her instead of taking it to Lost and Found..he might remember that. Also, we gave them cards with like $5.00 in it and said it was their tip.....the look on both their faces was priceless. Then we gave them their real tips and said the $5.00 was for them to buy crayons for their tables...so he might remember that. They had about 4 tables on that cruise, one never showed up and there were few people at the
others..and just the three of us. So, he might just remember us.

Jim, Phyllis and Natalie from Hilton Head.

Thanks and have a great time the rest of the cruise.

Phyllis :firefight

03-07-2006, 07:05 AM
Unfortunately, we are not still on board. We got off on Saturday 3/4.

Wednesday....Costa Maya

We were pleasantly surprized by this port. It was actually DH's favorite! From what we had read on these boards we walked right throught he port and down the road to get taxis to Mahjuhal. We walked through the town a bit and settled beachfront in a spot with some lounge chairs. The locals are very pushy and if you give them any encouragement they never stop. The beach was beautiful and the kids had a blast. Also, walking along the beach were Mayan Indians in full garb, guitar players and people carrying iguanas for you to hold (for a tip of course). We stayed until afternoon then headed back for a quick bite and some relaxation by the adult pool. Tonight was pirate night and we had a blast. Our servers, Vlado and Okim were the best and got the kids so involved! DS8 & DS9 wanted to watch the fire works with the lab at their Glow Jam under the stars party on the Sports Deck so we checked them in and took DS5 onto deck 10 to watch the party from above. The fireworks were great. Much better than I expected. We had missed them last year because the kids were too tired so we were psyched to see them this year. We got to bed by midnight. Tomorrow...Day at Sea

:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

03-07-2006, 07:46 AM
Thursday....Day at Sea

We started the day with a relaxing Palo brunch at 10:30. That food is amazing!! We had Sasha as our server again. I had a massage at 2:00 that was really nice. Some time at the adult pool today to enjoy another beautiful day was key!! Tonight was semi-formal night but before that it was the Celebrate the Journey show done by the Clubs, so cute. My two older DSs were all over the video. Probably because they spent so much time there!!
Tomorrow...Castawy Cay!

Friday...Castaway Cay

We were nervous because last year on our cruise the ship was not able to dock at Castawy Cay but there were no problems this morning!! We headed to the Family beach and got a bunch of chairs in the first row no problem. After lunch we checked the kids in at Scuttles Cove and headed over to Serentity Bay. That beach is great!!!! We got back on board after taking some great photos around 3:15. Nice last dinner with our servers. I had made handmade thank you cards for them and for some of the counselers in the clubs so we passed those out today. Everyone seemed to really appreciate it. So sad, we don't want to leave. We rebooked while on board so now we have another trip to look forward to!! I'll post some final thoughts later....

:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

03-07-2006, 10:09 AM
Saturday....Port Canaveral (time to go home)

So Sad!! I must say though Disney had the best debarkation in the business. We were off the ship by 7:45 and to the airport by 9am for our 12:00 Delta Song flight home.

Final thoughts

The kid's clubs are amazing. They are what makes the cruise so great for our whole family. My DH & I get time to ourselves and the boys have the time of their lives. They met so many friends and were sad to say goodbye. Griff misses you Matt if your reading this!! The counselers really enjoyed the homemade thank you cards with Wallmart gift cards inside. I will do that again for sure!

The serving team we had this time far exceeded the team last year. They really engaged the kids. The assistant server Okim did magic tricks for the kids whenever they got ansy. We tipped both of these positions well above the recommended amount and I could tell they appreciated it because at the Saturday breakfast they both made a point to thank us for the card and tip. Okim even exchanged emails with the boys so he can email pictures of his Indonesian villa!

Palo is not to be missed. The dinner and bruch were unreal. I am sure all the servers are excellent but we will request Sasha again if he is there.

We will definaltey do a couple's villa spa treatment again. Those villas are so beautiful and the treatment so realxing and luxurious!

The Western beahces are gorgeous. We had fabulous beach days in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Castaway Cay.

A couple negatives....

Hate the new format in the kid's clubs on the first night. It is packed with parents and repeat cruisers really lose out here. The boys were excited to start making friend and missed the Welcome Aboard format of the past.

5:30 seating is too early. It was hard to get everyone there on time every night. I wish it was 6:00, 6:15 & 6;30 or even 5:45 would have been easier!

Our stateroom host this time stunk. He never even introduced himself. He cleaned the room okay but was totally lacking in personality!

I noted all these negatives on the comment cards as well as mentioning the staff that made our trip more magical!!

Feel free to ask any questions. I know I didn't get as specific as I could have this time around. Lokking forward to next year's cruise.....

:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

03-07-2006, 11:39 AM
We are cruising this Saturday and my husband is trying to get on shore ASAP for a diving trip. Do you know when you can get off?

03-07-2006, 02:20 PM
Our stateroom host this time stunk. He never even introduced himself. He cleaned the room okay but was totally lacking in personality!

As we are on deck 7 later this month, do you mind saying who was your stateroom host?

03-07-2006, 03:32 PM
Who was the assistant cruise director?

03-07-2006, 04:01 PM
Hi Kelli,
Matt really misses Griff as well. It was so nice that they got to know each other before the cruise through email. Matt really enjoyed the time they spent together in the lab and on the sports deck. I taped the Celebrate the Journey show, so I'll try to get stills from the pictures. I wish there was a way to get copies (hey DCL are you listening, possible money maker for Shutters here . . . .).

Once the boys get caught up with homework and their Pinewood Derby cars, I'll get them to email Griff and Jay . . .

03-07-2006, 05:52 PM
Our stateroom host was Spartakas. Hopefully you won't get him!

Rick...Griffin got the pictures back from his disposable camera and there were some cute ones of him and Matt. He brought them into school and told his class about his new friend. I think it's great that they hit it off so well.

:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

03-08-2006, 02:19 PM
HOW STUPID OF ME.......................

Guess I shouldn't fuss at DD for not reading things thoroughly........

I swear to _ _ _ I thought you were doing live reports........


Notice my "smiley face"(crazy lady)...lol

Phyllis :crazy: :firefight

03-08-2006, 02:42 PM
OHHH I love cruise reports. Sounds like you had a marvelous time! Can't wait to read the rest of your report.

03-10-2006, 06:03 AM
Kelly, When you went to Grape Beach did you have to pay a resort for the beach chairs, or are they first come first served when you get there. We are planning on hitting that beach as well, but I'm not sure if it's public or if we'll have to go through a resort to get there. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


03-10-2006, 07:08 AM
It is not a resort beach. You do have to pay $10 for a chair rental and it includes a drink. There were plenty of chairs available.
:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate: