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Mom24Princesses
04-13-2006, 05:50 AM
I will refer to my DDs as DD1, DD2, DD3, and DD4 (14, 12, 8, & 6)

Day 4 St. Maarten April 4, 2006

We awoke at 7:30. After seeing nothing but water since Saturday afternoon it was very eerie when I turned on the bridge channel and saw these steep mountains in front of the ship. (Cat 10s/no view) We dressed in swimwear and cover ups and went to breakfast on at Topsiders to take in the view. We were up a little ahead of others so as we entered TS there were not many people there. BUT as we were finishing it was getting more crowded. We went back to the cabins and sunscreened up and got our things together and left a little after 9:00. The temperature was very comfortable. We took the water taxi to Great Bay Beach for $5 for everyone 12 and older. They gave us a wristband that was good all day. The ride over took 5 minutes. The first stop was more for shoppers we were dropped off 2 minutes away a little farther down on the beach. We were immediately approached by locals offering various things from trips, taxis, to chairs, hair braiding, and shirts/bags/etc. to buy. A firm no was needed. (4 DDs with long hair drew comments all day Tuesday and Wednesday on both islands.)

We walked down the beach and every 10 to 20 yards a different local offered chairs. I am not sure how to find the very best deal. I’d heard on report before that said they got “free” drinks and a restroom included. It seemed nicer down a ways so we walked on. When we stopped we paid $5 per chair and an umbrella came with every 2. (We paid for 4, but did not use all 4 at the same time.) Locals came by all morning but were not too aggressive. I actually bought a cheap tropical shirt for DH to wear at Pirate Night since I’d left is at home. The water was nice. There were small waves and there was a little drop off. (from ankle deep to thigh deep very quickly. All around us were people off the Magic. There were water trampolines for the children $5 for all day. We did not do this. I’d brought some snacks and water. We ate these near noon and headed back to the ship by 1:00. We ate lunch on deck 9 and the younger girls swam in the Mickey pool that was not crowded at all. Older DDs and then myself showered and “threw something on”. We put DDs 3&4 in the kid programs and we went back to do a little shopping. We are not gold/jewel people and we had to walk past a lot of these store to find other suvies. I bought 3 shirts for $20. A Polo for DH and 2 that changed color in sunlight.

We headed back to get ready for Pirate Night. We were able to get pix with “Pirate Mickey” yeah. Dinner was fun and festive. We ordered a lot more food. I got the crab cake and it was super, salad, tenderloin AND tried the seafood pasta. Dessert – the cheesecake. The “show” was great, better than at AP the night before.

We tried to get DD4 to rest and she seemed to be getting overly tired from so much activity. We went to the Pirate Party on deck 9 a little early and got a good spot. It was a lot of fun and the cast members on stage were great. It was going very well when DD4 crashed and I took her back to the cabin and she and I got ready for bed. SO, after 14 months of anticipation, I really missed most of it. (I so wanted to see the fireworks.) The rest of the family returned later.

lindaso
04-13-2006, 11:24 AM
SO, after 14 months of anticipation, I really missed most of it. (I so wanted to see the fireworks.) The rest of the family returned later.

This is the story of our WDW vacations which is why we keep going back. So now you have the perfect excuse to plan another cruise!! I am enjoying your reports, thanks for taking the time.

Lisa D
04-13-2006, 11:57 AM
Hi Melanie,

I am loving your trip reports. Our first Eastern cruise is in 16 days!

Our kids missed Pirate Night on our 4 day Wonder cruise. They were not little - they were 9 and 12 at the time. We had spent about 6 hours on Castaway Cay that day, and they were exhausted! I have to admit DH and I were as well. We went to bed right after the fireworks. Because of this, my sons only want to do a 1/2 day on the beach at St. Martin so they can relax during the afternoon.

Lisa

CNB1124
04-13-2006, 04:54 PM
Melanie,
Thanks so much for you reports. They are really helping me plan. We are also doing the Eastern with 2 cat 10's. I have read that you need to bring bungee cords to keep the connecting doors open - is that true?
Cindy

Mom24Princesses
04-13-2006, 07:13 PM
Melanie,
Thanks so much for you reports. They are really helping me plan. We are also doing the Eastern with 2 cat 10's. I have read that you need to bring bungee cords to keep the connecting doors open - is that true?
Cindy


OF EVERYTHING WE TOOK. THE BUNGEE CORDS WERE MOST IMPORTANT. I will probably post a message about it on the regular board. People mentioned needing them BUT that does not come close!!!

I looked and looked for little "cute" ones instead of the ones I was finding. I ended up buying a 2 pack at Walmart's auto section. The were prretty big/heavy (at least 12 inches of stretch and 2 in hooks on each end.) I thought they we too much. BOY was I wrong. The connecting doors open from each room. You have a dead bolt. You can turn it when the door is open to keep it from locking. (The "bolt" sticking out) All the doors are on tight springs and slam. When I went to the cabins alone I locked myself in a out several times. I had extra key cards at the time BUT boy did I feel stupid. THEN when we got the bungee cords unpacked, (PUT THEM IN YOUR DAY BAG!!!) it took until the next morning to figure out how best to hook them. The cabinet behind the door has a little metal trim (like a little fence) along the top. Hook both hooks to this"fence" and stretch the middle of the cord over the door handle. We left the girls door bungeed at night but shut ours with the deadbolt out so the door did not lock. The girls could push it open to enter our cabin but the spring kept it closed. (Unless the seas are rough amd it will bang!)

Hope that this helps many people. I really don't know what you would do without the bungee cords.
Can't believe we've been home almost a week!! When I look at pictures made last Friday at Castaway Cay it seems years ago!!!

We always called it our once in a lifetime trip. We are now talking about going again in 09!!

CNB1124
04-13-2006, 10:33 PM
Melanie,
Thanks for all the great info. I will DEFINTELY remember the bungee cords. Actually, I'll give this as a to-do for my husband.
That's funny that you mentioned thinking of this as a trip of a lifetime because that is what I think also.
Cindy

Mom24Princesses
04-14-2006, 04:57 PM
Melanie,
Thanks for all the great info. I will DEFINTELY remember the bungee cords. Actually, I'll give this as a to-do for my husband.
That's funny that you mentioned thinking of this as a trip of a lifetime because that is what I think also.
Cindy

We'd been planning to go since DD4 was born (3/2000). It is a lot of $$ for us needing 2 cabins so we waited until she was old enough to remember it. We started a special savings account in July of 04 and cut out most of our eating out/take out meals. We did not take a vacation in 05. We did well. In fact, DH and I will celebrate our 20th Ann. this summer and in reading up about the ports I decided there was a lot to do in St. T/St. J so we had enough left over to book 7 nights there at a resort near the St. J end of the island for 6/3-10/06 just for us. BUT the cruise was a lot of $$$. On the next to the last night at dinner DD#2 and I ran back to the cabin for something and I told her that we'd go to WDW in 07 as planned and if they all agreed we'd skip a vacation in 08 and do another 7-night Disney Cruise in 09. She quickly agreed. This was not something I thought about for a second. It just came to me. When we got back to the table and told the rest of the family they immediately agreed. Later I mentioned trying a 4 night in 08 and the 2 older DDs said NO!!! They’d rather wait for 09. Mind you our spring break is always the first week in April and in 09 it will be Easter week and that will drive up the cost!!! But there is little chance of getting it together for 08.

SO what I called our Dream of a Lifetime vacation was sooo good we are going to have to do it again. We could not bare to think that we’d never be back. AND I have to admit, I did not want to settle for the 4 night either. I know that a lot of people do 4&3 nights. I can not imagine how fast that would go. 7 was perfact. I thought about what 10+ would be like. Maybe someday we'll get to find out.

Thank you for your posts.