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View Full Version : 2/25 to 3/4 Western Report


jkrohn2703
03-05-2006, 11:31 AM
Okay, this was our 1st DISNEY cruise and it exceeded some of our expectations and just meet outhers. We went to Disney for 2 days before our cruise and stayed at the WL. The resort was nice, but love the POLY!! Magicial Express was wonderful! Did Expedition Everest many times and this was a great way to kick off our Disney Cruise. We left the WL at 10:00 am by way of Happy Limo!! (Happy Limo, NEVER AGAIN!!!)

We arrived at the Port on 2/25 at around 11:30 a.m. and were on the boat by noon eating at Topsiders. We had a cat 3 suite so we were given boarding pass #15, but didn't need it. We went right to the concierge line and off we went. Only, our room was not going to be ready until 1:30. No big deal, we all had our swimsuits in our carry-ons. I was even allowed to have our friend who had a Cat 10 room check in with us. So this way we all stayed together. We were given a 5:30 seating time with the APL rotation. Yes, we requested early seating--Never again!! We thought with the ages of our children this would be great. Ages of kids 10,9,6,6 and 2. Well, we ended up no going to dinner 2 nights, and barely made it there every night. Our servers were Leo from India and David from Australia?? And by the way, we met our head server one night, can't remember which night, and never saw him again!! Our Asst. server, not very good at all. He could not remember what the kids liked to drink and got very upset with us cancelling our wine package and not having many cocktails for dinner. We drank at the pool everyday and at night in the clubs. We just did not want drinks at dinner. The one night we had them was for the Captains Gala, and he was over joyed!! Especially when I took home Disney's special champagne. Our room 8548, AWESOME!!! Our concierge team and our stateroom attendent were all GREAT!! Our stateroom host was from Thailand and kept our room exceptionally clean. We over compensated him for his great service.
Now, since I had a 2 year old, I had to use Flounder's Reef nursery. What can I say about those people in there---AWESOME!!! Emily from the UK, I cannot say enough about her. Monica, Ophelia and Janet the nursery manager are all GREAT!! They were the shining stars of this trip. I was so sad when they told me they could not accept a cash tip. If they got one, it would be pooled with all the kids clubs. To me, not acceptable. I did finally ask, what can I do for all of you without having to have your tip pooled. They finally said, phone cards. Well, this was Wed night, and I had no way of getting them phone cards. They did give me their address, and I am heading to get each of them a phone card and something special. Without them, my trip would have been much more difficult for my 2 year old. I had my DD in there for every stop on the island, (I highly recommend that) hard to push a stroller, and gave my husband and I a chance to enjoy things with the other 2 (DD 9, DS 6) I did take my 2 year old off at Castaway Cay, but not until 1:00 p.m. I did not want her to be out in the sun all day with her fair skin. But, I cannot say enough about Flounders, my daughter got so excited everytime she saw the sign. When I would go to check her in, she would immediately head to the door to be let in. I did use more than 10 hours. I was never turned away for time. I only had 5 hours scheduled befor I left. I think at the end of the cruise, i spent about $120 at Flounders. WELL WORTH IT!!! You know, its very hard to leave your child ( I am a stay at home mom) with strangers, but these people put me at ease within 5 minutes at the Open House on the first night. Okay, enough about Flounders.

Key West - Today, we had our character breakfast in Parrot Cay. Then, DD 9 had her hair braided on deck 9. It was $30, and it still looks great today. This was just okay. Ohana and Chef Mickey's, much better. this was a good stop. As soon as we got off the boat, the skies opened up, and we head to the first store with ponchos. I heard if we would have been on the boat when it started raining, we would have been given ponchos from the ship. We did some shopping and stopped at Sloppy Joes. We had fun sight seeing Key West.

Day at Sea - this was a nice relaxing day. The one thing I must pass along is, get up to deck 9 early to claim your chair. We went to Bruch at Palo today. Florencia was our server and she was awesome!! Request her, she is sooo nice and will make your dining experience at Palo---PERFECT!!! (Ours was)By the time we got there(deck 9) @ 1:00 p.m. there was nothing left. I know the chairs on top say to not save, but all were draped with towels. But, we still had a nice day despite the winds!! Tonight was formal night, and it was very nice. Our dinner was in Luminere's. Very nice dining experience.

Grand Cayman - This was a tender port. This was a nice port. We just did some shopping and returned to the boat to go to the pool. THese are nice days to hang out at the pools, not a lot of people. Tonight, we skipped dinner. Had too much fun relaxing. Went to the Rocking D Bar for the ventriloquist and 80's night. Entertainment was awesome and we had soo much fun.

Costa Maya - This port was just okay. We had more fun in the Buena Vista Theater listening to Travis(South Africa) and his partner talk then we did on the island. Those two guys are such great entertainers. They both did all the shows. Travis has so much energy and is just so enthusiastic! We literally were only off the boat for a half hour. One CM told me that Disney had people aboard our cruise just to check out this port because of all the complaints. The shopping was weak and I did not like the forwardness of the store people. My daughter on the other hand went with my girlfriend on the Dolphin excursion and both could not stop raving about how beautiful this island was. Guess you had to go on an excursion to see all of the beauty. This was also Pirate night. We had dinner in Parrot Cay and participated in all the fun. Dinner was okay, but the Pirate Party on Deck 9 is something not to be missed. My children and myself, had a BLAST!!! This party was definatley one the many highlights of this trip. And the fireworks, were outstanding!! Buffet after was good too.

Day at Sea - today I started the day off with a massage at Vista Spa. I was signed up for the Aroma Stone Therapy. Peter my massage person was nice, I did not feel this massage was worth the money at all. Cost was $175 for 75 minutes. Never again. Then we headed up to deck 9 for breakfast and more sun. Yes, the chairs were full again. Only this time one of us ran up to the deck to save chairs like everybody else. Dinner tonight was the Chef's Gala and this was probably my favorite dinner of the week. We were in Luminere's. We had a great dinner rotation just too early. We also went to see the matinee today of Disney Dreams. Not as many people do the matinee so you do not have to arrive early. The best show of the week, Twice Charmed. We only saw 3 shows the whole week. We just stayed too busy. There is so much to do it is impossible to do everyting. (Golden Mickey's, Twice Charmed, Disney Dreams.) Next time I will make a point to see the shows. I thought they were all great! Then we headed off to Rockin Bar D for 70's night. This was even better than 80's night.

Castaway Cay - THIS IS AWESOME!!! Highlight of the trip. We had so much fun hanging on the family beach, going in to the water floating on a raft, we just relaxed and had a Conch Cooler and a Mudslide. The food at Cookies BBQ was also really good. The BBQ chicken breast was really good. I cannot wait to see what they are adding here. We are planning on returning in 2008 for the Eastern cruise. I will say my DD10 went to her club for only about an hour. She really wanted to play on the beach. Our last night, we dined at Palo. This was definately a great way to end our wonderful week. We chose Palo for the last night because we were not crazy with the dinner menu for this night. But, we all said we will end our final night again with Palo. The food there is not to be missed. Our servers name was Alexansder from Croatia. He was very good, but we loved FLorencia. And for my final highlight of the trip, Emily (Flounder's Nursery) delivered an envelope full of projects she did with my DD2 in there. They are so precious and brought a tear to my eye. THose women in the nursery were nothing short of FANTASTIC!!!

Departure from Port Canaveral - this was so easy. We got up and were down in the Atrium on Deck 3 by 7:15 am and off by the car port by 7:30 am. It was a very smooth transition. Very easy to find your luggage and get through customs. But, here is how our trip ended. I reserved Happy Limo to pick us up at 8:00 a.m. Well, at 8:10 am a man from Happy imo walked by us with another family's name on his card. So I stopped him to tell him Happy Limo was supposed to pick us up at 8:00 a.m. He said he would contact someone and get back to me, never did. Well, I called the office, of course, that was closed until 9:00 a.m. At this point I am ready to get on a Disney Cruise bus to the airport. Well, at 8:30 someonse shows up from a company called Bates Limo with our name on it. Okay fine. Only, the woman was in her 70's and could not lift our bags at all. And, she would not pick us up where the porter dropped our luggage up at because she wouldn't. So my husband had to literally move our luggage about a block and then load it in to her car. This was just ridiculous. For the $200 I paid for this part of the trip, I was mad. Now, we get in to the Cady stretch we supposedly rented which states is had a 15 inch flat screen tv and air conditioning. Well, not this one. This one had lights falling off the ceiling, no tv or working AC. As soon as I got to the airport, I called Happy Limo right away. They offered me a 20% discount for this part of the trip, well I ended up getting 50% off. Needless to say, I would not recommend Happy Limo. We had a return flight scheduled for 11:45 a.m. that's why I wanted to be picked up at 8:00 am to ensure plenty of time to get through security and get to our airline. Happy Limo, never again. And needless to say, I booked this car 3 months in advance.

Dixielady908
03-05-2006, 11:54 AM
Going on our first cruise in November, my question is regarding Happy Limo,
we are a party of 9 and was looking into Happy limo for our transporation. What was the problem with them? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Denise

lak
03-05-2006, 07:13 PM
We haven't been on a cruise yet, but I recommend Tiffany Town Cars. Friends recommended them to us. And we used them on 2 other trips to Magic Kingdom. They are wonderful. We have them booked for our first cruise to take us from the airport down to port canaveral. They are on the web. tiffanytowncars. Be sure to put the "s' on the end. Otherwise, you'll pull up a different company.

PhotoLisa
03-05-2006, 08:16 PM
We used Happy Limo in 2/2004 and they were awful! Rude and inconsiderate driver on the way back to the airport.

On our 2/25/06 cruise, we used FL tours and it was MUCH MUCH BETTER!!!! There is a link from the DU website for them.

princessdaisy
03-05-2006, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the great trip report! :thumbsup2

We used Happy Limo on our first cruise and will never use them again. Trip to was okay but we waited an hour for them to pick us up...finally got through to them on cell phone and they say that the guy got a flat tire and they can't send out another car untill two hours! ended up having to take a Taxi with a 2yr old w/no car seat!! UGGGGHH...they did pay for the taxi but what an inconvenience. :rolleyes2

Aruba
03-06-2006, 06:34 AM
we too were on the 2/25 cruise and I orginally booked Happy limo- but when I got the confirmation from them they added on ALL kind of extra's- port fees taxes etc. I tried contacting them and they did not pick up the phone, so I decided to cancel and go with tiffany which we have used before... the rate was the rate. and they were great. It took me over a month to get confirmation on the cancellation with Happy limo... they just would not answer me... I am glad we did not go with them... just my opinion.

CRSNDSNY
03-06-2006, 09:22 AM
jkrohn2703 - I'm so relieved to hear of your positive experience with Flounder's. I'm a nervous wreck about leaving our daughter for sitting at Flounder's next year, but your positive report sets my mind at ease. Thank you!

I am so sorry to hear about your experience with Happy Limo. We used them a few years ago and didn't have any trouble, but they seem to have gone downhill since then. I think we'll stick to a rental car which is an overall better experience for us.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A couple of questions...
Do you think if you had a later dinner seating that you'd have enjoyed going to dinner more? Did your 2yo join you for your dining rotation?

Do you think you were not turned away from Flounder's for the 10 plus hours because you were a concierge guest?

Being concierge, did you arrange your Palo, spa and Flounder's online or via phone with concierge prior to port arrival?

suziemva
03-06-2006, 09:56 AM
So sorry that you had such an experience. We have not had any problems with Happy Limo in the 4 times we've recently used them. They've even suprised us with great upgrades at no cost! Tiffany Towncar on the other hand, I would never use again. We went in September (very hot) and the car had no air conditioning, stunk to high heavens, and no door handles on the doors. Not the type of car I would make anyone pay for! HL cars are very clean, courteous drivers (even brought a DVD for my daughter to watch!), and respectfully attended all our luggage needs. We were warned not to go with ANYONE that didn't have a Happy Limo sign, though. They emailed us about imposters. Not sure what that's all about!

Have to agree with your Castaway Cay report! That is the best! I wish they would stay a few days there! AAAAAhhhh, now that would be perfect!

This trip will be our first for Palo's so I'm really happy to hear about your fabulous time there! I can't wait! But we have to do the first dining rotation or my daughter would be asleep before dinner! We normally eat dinner around 5:30 at home and she's off to bed around 8:00-8:30 so late seating is not for us. We had a wonderful service crew on our last cruise and really loved our head server Nurchen! She was great and we saw her every night at dinner.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v227/suziemva/DSCN0380.jpg

The funny thing we found out is that you keep yourself so busy trying to do everything on the cruise, that you forget you're supposed to be relaxing! It's hard to see everything but pick and choose the top things you want to see and if you get to anything else, well, that's icing on the cake!!

jkrohn2703
03-06-2006, 08:56 PM
Here are some answers to your questions--

My daughter would start taking a nap around 4:00 p.m. and would not wake up in time for dinner. Yes, I did make Palo and Flounder's Ressies before I left. Only with Flounder's, I only had 4 hours booked online. I do not believe I got extra hours at Flounder's because I was concierge. I did all the extra booking on my own. I asked janet the nursery manager if I only got the hours because I was concierge and she said "NO." The nursery is operated on a first come first serve--especially after your 10 hours is up. I never had a problem. I also met another woman who was in a Cat 4 room that also used more than 10 hours for her 7 month old. And for the final answer, my 2 year old went to dinner every time she was up. She did fine. Our server always had a drink ready for her along with bringing her dinner before mine was ready.

Next cruise we take, I am booked in a Cat 4. The Cat 3 room was nice, but we were never in there and for the extra money, I would rather spend it on pictures and souvieners. Hope this helps you and you have as FANTASTIC trip as we did.

arica480
03-06-2006, 08:57 PM
jk- it seems like you had a great trip. Who were your dining servers? Who did Bingo? And who was the band? CMB? And who was the assistant cruise director?
Sorry to bombard you with so many questions!
*Arica*

CRSNDSNY
03-07-2006, 07:41 AM
Here are some answers to your questions--

My daughter would start taking a nap around 4:00 p.m. and would not wake up in time for dinner. Yes, I did make Palo and Flounder's Ressies before I left. Only with Flounder's, I only had 4 hours booked online. I do not believe I got extra hours at Flounder's because I was concierge. I did all the extra booking on my own. I asked janet the nursery manager if I only got the hours because I was concierge and she said "NO." The nursery is operated on a first come first serve--especially after your 10 hours is up. I never had a problem. I also met another woman who was in a Cat 4 room that also used more than 10 hours for her 7 month old. And for the final answer, my 2 year old went to dinner every time she was up. She did fine. Our server always had a drink ready for her along with bringing her dinner before mine was ready.

Next cruise we take, I am booked in a Cat 4. The Cat 3 room was nice, but we were never in there and for the extra money, I would rather spend it on pictures and souvieners. Hope this helps you and you have as FANTASTIC trip as we did.
Thank you SO much for addressing my questions.
Next cruise (May 07) will be our daughter's 1st Disney Cruise and we're not staying concierge. She'll have just turned 2 and was wondering how she may do with dinner and with Flounders -- especially since she is not in daycare to be used to an environment like that. Next October we're cruising in a CAT 3. I am a mixture of nervous and excited for our first cruise with her.

jkrohn2703
03-07-2006, 01:47 PM
Our dining servers were Leo from India, he was really nice and tried with the kids. The Asst. Server was David and I think he was from Australia. He was nice also, but seemed very nervous and very confused about whos kids were whos every dinner. Even by the end, he still couldn't get it. He also was very upset with us when we cancelled our wine package and did not order drinks at dinner. We did order drinks the night of the Captains Gala and a bottle of champagne to take home, and he was the nicest he was all week. The person that ran Bingo--I have no idea because my husband did not remember his name. I know we saw him a lot dancing at night in the 70's & 80's show alomg with Travis from South Africa. The band on our trip was HIgh Frequency. They were pretty good. And, I have no idea who the asst. cruise director was. Way too much stuff going on all the time. Hope this helps you.

Jillykp
03-07-2006, 01:53 PM
We had such a great cruise. I have 4 kids ages 5, 4, 3, and 21 mos, and I was a little worried about how they would "do". The older boys were great, loved the kids program. Even my DD (3) wanted to stay alot. We only had DS in Flounders the one night we ate a Palo's and the counselors were wonderful. Stitch came in right before us and I think he scared alot of the babies... note to Disney- maybe send in a princess or Peter Pan- not Stitch! Our DS was sad (it was also WAY past his bedtime).
As for the dinner seatings, my younger 2 had a hard time napping and I thought the 5:45 seating was perfect. We sat at a table of 14 with my nephews (ages 3 and 6) and the kids did very well with the time. It seems like the 6 kids were exhausted by the time dinner was over, and we would then just put them in bed. For me the hardest thing was having such young children, my DH and I never went out together to see a show- he was w/ my brother or I was w/ someone else in our party, because we wanted someone in the room. But the vacation was amazing!!!
Jill

Jillykp
03-07-2006, 01:57 PM
Dazzler was our bingo guy. I played almost everyday and know the woman who won the jackpot!