View Full Version : Dznyjenn's Trip Report 4/22 Western LONG
05-01-2006, 11:16 AM
Hello there! Our family of 10..3 cabins are back from our Western 4/22 cruise! I'll be posting blow-by-blow day-by-day reports and I'll just keep tacking them on to the end of this thread, rather than start 7 new threads. Okay with everyone?
Friends: Eeyoregon and her two DS's 13 and 10.
It's LONG-Fair warning! Also, I can't seem to get my photobucket uploads to resize down..so they're huge. I'll tack them on at the bottom of thread rather than imbed them in the text as I was planning.
Day 1-Saturday Port Canaveral
The limo arrived promptly at 9:30am. Dennis of Lorden Transportation was great, and a good sport about all of our luggage! The limo was a surprise for my kids, and I told them “The taxi’s here!” and stood outside with the video camera as they came out. The look on their face was priceless!
We left about 9:45, and as we got on the 528, my mother mentioned something about having all her ID, birth certificate, etc. I startled, and remembered that I had left my wallet in the car when I ran an errand that morning. Dennis had to pull off the next exit and circle around to my house. UGH! What a way to get started! Retrieved the wallet and got back on the road!
Arrived at the terminal about 10:45-receieved boarding group 6. We checked in, and got dining rotation APLAPLA- 8pm seating. From what I’ve read on the boards, this is the coveted rotation that puts you in all the right restaurants on the right nights…and we lucked out! Yay!
Casadie ran to take pictures with Minnie Mouse and Captain Hook, and very shortly they called our group! We started aboard. Gina got weepy, which made my Mom weepy, which made ME weepy. Us girls blubbered our way across the gangplank. We headed straight to Rockin’ Bar D to set up Palo Brunch. DH and I got Sunday at 10:30 (which we would later change to Thursday because Sunday interfered with our character breakfast) Gina and my Mom got Monday at 11am.
We lunched at Topsiders, and wandered around Deck 9 for a bit. The older kids headed off to explore and then we all headed to our cabins. 7032 for Grandma , DS 14 and DD 11, 2078 for myself, DH and DD’s 2 and 14 weeks, and 2082 for Gina and DS’s 13 and 10.
Time to get ready for the lifeboat drill: Had seen a child on an earlier cruise SCREAMING as family strapped him into his vest..so I was worried about our two year old, currently prone to tantrums. I did a VERY good job of talking her into a “fun orange coat party!!! Everyone’s going to wear their orange coats!!” Got her and baby sister strapped in, and we headed up, full of smiles. I smirked a little bit….thinking “THAT was easy…!!” Little did I know what lay in store for me….Had a successful “Orange Coat Party”, complete with pictures….and then…..that’s when I realized I had upsold the lifeboat drill a little TOO much..because my tired and cranky 2 year old did not want to take the jackets OFF. THAT was a 45 minute tantrum, causing my cabin to miss the sailaway party. I had promised to meet the rest of my group (including meeting Dis’ers) on Deck 10, so I got out for a few minutes and joined them. Queen2 looked great in her crown!
Everyone else had already left to go do stuff, so I found Gina, and our two teenage boys, and we went for hot dogs and ice cream. Then we all headed back down to unpack.
I stopped by Guest Services to get Tea with Alice later in the week, and to get new room keys since I had officially changed rooms to be staying with DH and younger DD’s rather than with Grandma and teenagers. I also stopped by Shutters and made the first photo purchases of our embarkation photo and pictures of DD 2 with Minnie Mouse. Swung by Ocean Quest to check on Beth and to get her signed into Oceaneer’s Lab. She would end up not visiting the Lab programs hardly at all, preferring to wander at will (much more freedom on board than she has at home..)
Dinner was at Animator’s Palate…Sameer from India and Ivelina (Bulgaria??) were our serving team. The first night was questionable service, although Sameer was friendly….the assistant server had no personality, and was very slow in bringing our drinks, and they were mostly wrong. I was very concerned, because we have some picky eaters in the group, and was hoping for a great connection with our serving team…but I didn’t say anything yet. Wanted to see if the relationship grew.
DD2 was starting to get antsy, even with the neat pictures coming to life around her. She wanted to go to the bathroom, and so DH took her, and they missed almost the entire SHOW! Came back just as Sorcerer Mickey was finishing up. She was still antsy, and DH was getting testy because he was missing dinner, so I took over and we went for a walk. We saw the Queen of Hearts in the atrium, and got a nice photo. We went into the Oceaneer’s Club where DD LOVED the super-tall slide! Getting her back to the room involved some tears and carrying her like a potato sack, but the tantrum was short-lived.
We finally all tumbled into bed at 11. I learned later that my DS 14 and his friend went to the 411 at the stack, and did the survivor-like challenge. DS had to chug a diet coke..(didn’t win) and his friend had to eat 8 crackers and whistle a tune (he did win!) My mother (grandma) said that at some point, DS burst into the room demanding a piece of women’s clothing and dashed back out with her tank top.
That’s it for Day 1- will try and get Day 2 up today as well, but I have to get ready for work soon, so it may be day-by-day….sorry it’s so long!!!
Oh! Captain was Tom…Cruise Director was Brent Davies (I LOVE Australian Accents..so hearing his voice every day was quite nice!) Head Server was Fitz
05-01-2006, 12:09 PM
Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip report. We leave in 4 more days for ours! :thumbsup2
05-01-2006, 11:36 PM
They can never be to long :thumbsup2 :goodvibes :worship:
05-01-2006, 11:55 PM
Great report so far. So when you arrived at the terminal at 10:45, what time did the let you board?
05-02-2006, 01:11 AM
Nursechell...I'm so sorry..I got so excited when they called our number that I forgot to check! :) It wasn't long at all though, and I think we were sitting down to lunch by 12 noon. Maybe Eeyoregon can confirm that for us once she gets home and gets online.
I'll try to add Day two in the morning. Just got home from work and am too exhausted to write it up quite yet. The motion of the ocean is still getting to me! :rolleyes2
05-02-2006, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the great trip report and pictures. Keep it coming as you have time between work, kids and cruise withdrawal.
05-02-2006, 12:50 PM
Day two –Key West
Woke up at 8am. Had our character breakfast at Parrot Cay. Chip and Dale, Minnie and Mickey, Pluto and Goofy were in attendance. Felt more rushed than a comparable character breakfast in the parks, but overall, the kids had a good time.
Took the little girls back to Grandma’s room so that DH and I could attend the DVC Member reception. We showed up a little late, got our hats and luggage tags and sat in the back. We ended up winning a member pin in a game based on “Deal or No Deal”, and then I answered a trivia question correctly (Donald’s middle name: Fauntleroy) and got a neat DVC bag. Was really hoping for one of the DVC Towels with the characters beach chairs..but none left! :guilty:
We went back to our cabin to relax and read a bit before picking up the little girls. Once we headed back, we got ready to go into Key West. Had to wait near the ship when I realized I’d forgotten my ID AGAIN (see day one..oy!) and the port people wouldn’t accept any of my other photo ID’s to get back later on.
We went on a self-guided walking tour..ended up in a little two story gift-shop mall and bought a Christmas ornament and some tropical slushies. Got directions to the Southernmost Point Marker and headed out. The sales lady sent us down Duval street…and we quickly realized that this portion of Key West wasn’t our scene. There were dozens of loud motorcycles, the air was filled with gasoline fumes, and we passed shop after shop after shop with t-shirts plastered with lewd and downright obscene sayings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude, but I was looking forward to a more beachy, laid-back atmosphere…not something similar to Daytona during Bike Week. It was unbearably hot for my Mother..and between the heat and the disappointment with the atmosphere, we decided to turn back. We crossed over two blocks, and found a much nicer street to take back..shady, quaint street past adorable houses, etc. We stopped back by that little mall again and got Key Lime Pie for my 11 DD who was dying to try it. We saw some chickens roaming around and got back on the ship.
DH tried to take a nap with the littlest baby..and I took DD 2 to the pool for a while. It was so nice to spend that time with her..no tantrums..just a look of pure joy on her face for a solid two hours. It felt very much like I had my little girl back. (it’s been a few months of “who is this child????) I got her out of the pool for hot dogs and fries, and of course the requisite ice cream! Saw grandma and my DD11 from a distance, and headed back the room for a movie and nap.
We went up to Grandma’s cabin with a veranda for the sunset at 7:20. Took some beautiful shots. There were pirate-style ships out in the water, and a bi-plane flew over. DS 13 was waiting to see if he could see a sun phenomenon of a green flash…said the conditions had to be just perfect…alas..no green flash for him.
Parrot Cay for dinner- Service was much better from Sameer..(and he was great at breakfast this morning too) but the assistant server was still very very slow, incorrect much of the time, and still had no personality. I finally spoke to Sameer about it, just saying that we were concerned that we had offended her in some way…and that the kids were getting antsy because their drinks were always wrong. Sameer apologized profusely, and said he’d speak to the head server, Fitz. Eventually Fitz spoke to me, apologized, and the service improved dramatically after that. We still never connected with her, and I watched her interact with other tables with similar results. I just think she’s not much of a people person..I could be wrong. Maybe it was just us.
We celebrated my DH and DS’s birthdays on this cruise, and they brought out the cakes. Everyone sang, and it was quite fun!
The two teenage boys left to go change for basketball, the two pre-teens left to go to Ocean Quest. Grandma, Eeyoregon, DH, I and the two babies went to the atrium to visit with the Alice in Wonderland characters and Belle. DD2 waited patiently in every line, and enjoyed using the flamingo croquet mallets to hit the ball through the cards. All the character handlers, the characters themselves, and really...most of the passengers and crew kept cooing over the baby...I'm sure the really young ones are fairly few and far between..Delanie just cleared the minimum age to cruise.
We went back to the room and put DD in the bath. We received a surprise delivery of chocolate covered strawberries as an apology for an earlier room service delay. We were very confused, as we had not perceived any delay, but the card was addressed to us…and they insisted they had failed us in some way, and would not dream of taking the strawberries back. It was a very nice surprise, but definitely an unnecessary apology.
Overall a good day. My disappointment in missing the Southernmost Point marker was somewhat diminished by the idea that I live here in Florida, and could honestly drive to see it if I really wanted to. Might make a nice weekend trip sometime if I really investigate Key West first to find out what we'd like to do there.
More tomorrow! Will try to include photos tomorrow from Day 2 and 3.
05-02-2006, 02:07 PM
We had the same servers on our 4/15 cruise and were not happy, I didn't mention there names but I'm glad you did. I thought they would get better as time went on. Sameer was eager to please but only got service no interaction, this was our 5th cruise and every cruise we got great servers. We are going on a B2B in 9/30 & 10/07 and I called DCL today and requested the server from our Mexican Riviers cruise, she was very very good. In fact she came over and helped us with our bandanas as Sameer or Ivelina made no attempt to help anyone.
05-02-2006, 02:50 PM
I'm really enjoying reading your report. Keep them coming!! We have a multi-generational group going next spring so it's helpful to hear how things go.
05-02-2006, 09:39 PM
Look forward to hearing more.
05-03-2006, 09:14 AM
Thanks for such a great trip report so far. I love reading them!
05-03-2006, 01:26 PM
Here are some photos from Day two. Really tried hard to resize in Photobuckets before posting..someone PLEASE tell me how to make it work!?!
With Minnie at the Character breakfast-Parrot Cay
DS14 and DD11 with Mickey
DD2 wouldn't wear the Minnie Bow that Sameer made for her, but she gleefully wore the "foofy" hat he made!
Our Deck 7 view at Key West
Keeping DD2 entertained with quiet table toys at dinner!
05-03-2006, 01:34 PM
Day 3- Day at Sea-Formal Night Golden Mickeys
Slept in a little…until 8:30 I think
DH, myself and the two little girls headed up to Topsiders for breakfast. Our dinner server was up there, and he helped get us to the table, drinks, etc. This is really where our relationship with him improved dramatically. DD2 was always in awe of him when he talked to her.
Went back to the room for a bit and DD2 had a tantrum..can’t remember why..just wrote “tantrum” on my paper…waited that out, and then took her to go see the characters. We then stopped by Oceaneers Club so she could play, and they were winding down for a rest period and movie. We watched part of it there (Lion King 1 and a ½) and then went back to our room for a room service lunch and Lilo and Stitch on TV. She finally went down for a nap.
DH got out of the cabin for a while and joined the big kids and grandma for Chronicles of Narnia and lunch. It’s such a long movie..this ended eating up a lot of our day. I stayed in the room with the babies, and read Wicked (The life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West) and caught up my trip report notes.
Then it was time to dress for the Golden Mickeys! Our big kids dressed in their cabin and came down for final touches like hair and tie..etc.
The whole group of 10 went for the show, and LOVED it. DD2 was enthralled, and clapped enthusiastically for each new scene/song that came on.
Photos: Did atrium photos, one overlooking the balcony and the beautiful chandelier, one on the ship at night background. Older kids went and stood for a Captain Tom picture. DD2 was getting antsy, so we took her back to the cabin to mellow out before dinner.
Lumiere’s: formal night was beautiful. Most people I saw were dressed up..but then again, I wasn’t looking that hard. During dinners I was spending a great deal of time entertaining DD2 so that she would not disrupt other people’s dinners. Grandma had brought a magical bag of tricks (new little table-appropriate toys) that she would pull out during that lull between coloring the children’s menu, and actual food being served. We didn’t like for Sameer to bring her meal out early, because that only caused her to get bored and antsy when OUR food was there…and so we generally just tried to entertain her until everyone’s food came together.
My big kids tried escargot….I have a priceless shot of my once-ultra picky DD11 popping one in her mouth. She LOVED it, said it tasted like mushrooms, and all the big kids ended up special-ordering more later in the week. I was shocked and amazed, but not brave enough to try it with them.
After dinner, the little girls went to grandma’s cabin for babysitting, while DH, myself and the big kids “ran errands” to Shutters, Flounders to check on next day ressies and Guest services to check lost and found.
Then, we met up with Eeyoregon and her two boys, and went for family karaoke at Studio Sea. Can anyone explain to me why I can sing very well (and I am being serious) in the car, and when I’m alone..and like absolute garbage when it counts?? I can hit notes all day long when I’m alone, but at karaoke I could barely talk the words to Colors of the Wind. Oy. DD11 did a fairly good job of “He’s a Tramp” and DS14 did a bang-up, crowd-pleasing job of “Yo-Ho A a pirates life for me” (this is a very very very long song when done in karaoke. Fair warning!)
Back to collect the girls from Grandmas, and solidfy plans for Grand Cayman the next day. Agreed where and when to meet for tendering..and fell into bed!
Meeting Cinderella after the Golden Mickeys!
05-03-2006, 03:50 PM
:lovestruc :lovestruc :lovestruc Love the photos! I'm getting more excited about our trip now! :lovestruc :lovestruc :lovestruc
05-04-2006, 01:29 AM
Hello all. Going to hi-jack at little as Dznyjenn is the writer in our group, so I won't even try to compete :goodvibes
We are back in Oregon :sad2: and my head is still spinning from our cruise and I am having trouble remembering everything that happened but thought I would include some of my thoughts.
1.) AWESOME!! It was truly everything I had imagined and more!! Purely magical in every way.
2.) AMAZING!! This is by far the best vacation a single Mom can take. I got a nap every single day while the boys were off exploring the ship and having the time of their lives.
3.) Food: I was 100% impressed with the food including room service to formal night. I appreciated how prompt room service and how they would follow-up to make sure you received everything to your liking.
4.) Loved our stateroom #2082. Close to laundry and Oceanquest. The midship location was great for easy shore excursion debarkation. Having cruised RCL, in a cabin with 1 closet and 2 drawers, I was shocked at the amount of space and storage in our stateroom. The steamer trunk rocked! And soooo many drawers! We had storage coming out our ears!
5.) Negatives: As Dzynjenn stated, our dining servers (primarily assistant server) were a let down. To my knowledge, our first names were never used. Drink preferences certainly weren't acknowledged. Guess I'm gonna have to cruise again to get that magical dining experience everyone raves about!
Stateroom attendent: out of 7 nights, we only got 2 towel animals. I kept waiting...waiting...living vicariously through the other 2 cabins who seemed to have towel art experts!! And she never spoke to us. I said hello to her several times and she would respond but that was the extent of it. :confused3
6.) Shore excursions: wish we had a triple dip to Castaway Cay!! LOVED the sting ray snorkle experience as it was great for everyone, even those who can't master snorkling (that would be me!) and I was even super brave and touched them :rotfl2:
7.) Entertainment rocked! The shows were amazing. Pirate night was a blast (danced so hard that I broke my shoe!!)
8.) Unexpected Excitement (I will share because I think Dznyjenn slept through it): Shortly after midnight on Pirate night, I limped my broken shoe back to my stateroom and flopped on my bed. Quickly realized that the ship had stopped. Peeked out my port hole to find spot lights sweeping the dark, rough ocean. Then I notice a sail boat being tossed around in the sea with no lights on it or sign of power. Ran up to deck 10 to check it out. I could see at least 3 adults and 2 large dogs on the sailboat. Soon after, Disney's security team launched a life boat and quickly pulled along side the sail boat and gave them gasoline, water, food and navigational coordinates to reach Cancun, Mexico. Long story short, 4 men has set sail, ran low on fuel, tried to dock in Cuba and were denied entrance, had been floating at sea for 2 1/2 days without water or fuel with a broken mast as several ships passed by and did nothing to aid them. DISNEY TO THE RESCUE!!! :cheer2: I can only imagine what went through their minds when they realized our huge ship was stopping to help them! The firework show was just an added bonus :rotfl:
Oop's, my hi-jacking was longer than expected!
05-04-2006, 06:05 AM
DzynJenn, I was just looking at your pictures and recognized your daughter. She did Kareoke didn't she? My daughter Amanda did it a few times.
05-04-2006, 10:51 AM
Hi Eeyoregon- I've been waiting to hear how your trip went! I'm so glad that you had a great time. At least it's nice and sunny in Oregon for your return. Did you get to any of the shows, etc?
What an awesome story about the at sea rescue. Those people were very lucky.
05-04-2006, 12:27 PM
mharring...yes, Beth did karaoke on at least two nights that I know of. That girl has no fear!
Will be posting Day 4 tomorrow...I'm exhausted! Got in from work at 1:30am, and with dealing with 2 year old wake ups and 3 month old feedings, I didn't get to sleep until 4am. Going to try and get a nap in before I have to be in a 4pm tonight.
Here are some pictures to enjoy until I can post! :thumbsup2
A hidden Mickey in my cereal! DH pointed it out!
05-04-2006, 12:32 PM
garrrrrggghhh!!! What is the POINT of re-sizing photos in photobucket down to 25% of their original size if they're still going to show up HUGE here???? My sincerest apologies for the size of the photos. I SWEAR I am doing what I'm supposed to do! :confused3 :badpc:
05-04-2006, 05:19 PM
Can't wait to hear more!
05-04-2006, 06:55 PM
Hello all. Going to hi-jack at little as Dznyjenn is the writer in our group,
Stateroom attendent: out of 7 nights, we only got 2 towel animals. I kept waiting...waiting...living vicariously through the other 2 cabins who seemed to have towel art experts!! And she never spoke to us. I said hello to her several times and she would respond but that was the extent of it.
Hijacker eeyoregon(!): I hope you said something to guest services or made it clear in your evaluation about stateroom host... that is pretty sad.
05-04-2006, 07:48 PM
Great reports! I look forward to hearing more!
05-04-2006, 08:39 PM
Dznyjenn is doing a GREAt job telling about our trip. I'm in bed with a Mega head cold, & it hard to think.
eeyoregon we watched the sail boat for about an hour. It sure was spooky. Pirate night rought seas& see a sail boat in distress. the sail boat was rocking back&forth, I thought is was going to tip over many times. We had a balcony so we watched most of it. It was awesome to see the life boat go down.
the second picture is the sail boat, in rough seas. The red streak is the light before it went out. It acually got really close to us.
05-05-2006, 12:42 PM
Day 4- Tuesday –Grand Cayman
Had a room service breakfast because we were going up to the Buena Vista Theater to prepare for tendering early. As we ate, we watched the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas pull up alongside of us. Kind of freaked us out to see a big old dent on the side, but everything else seemed normal.
We dropped off DD-3 months at Flounders. Grandma was staying aboard, and would be picking her up around 1pm. We got boarding card 4 for our tender. We waited in the theater for a while, and they called rows to head down to deck 1. Not sure why they do it this way, no one checked our tender cards, and the group moved so quickly from deck 5 to deck 1 that I’m sure we lost people along the way. Eeyoregon stopped to help a Dad maneuver his stroller down the stairs since the elevators were full and slow.
This was our first tender experience, a little nerve-wracking to be out on an open boat…but it went quickly and we pulled up to the dock. Vendors and transportation providers here were VERY aggressive, shoving placards for 7 mile beach in our faces, one right after the other. I hung onto DD-3 and my bag very tightly.
We asked a van/taxi (there were 8 of us) how much to get to the Turtle Farm. They quoted us $12 per person just for the transportation. We said “No thanks”. Eeyoregon had information on how to use the city bus system, and we moved over to the side to start figuring out how to get to the bus stop. The taxi drivers started taunting us, asking how much we were willing to pay. As the city bus prices were $1.50-$2.00pp, I said “We’d pay you $20.00 for the whole group” They got hostile then, and started yelling that we weren’t in Mexico, and that was ridiculous, and how $20 was two gallons of gas for them. It was really awful. We started walking, and they were laughing at us about how we were going to walk to the turtle farm. We ignored and walked the 3-4 blocks to the bus station, where we happily caught a bus for $2.50 per person! SCORE!
Got to the turtle farm, which is in a period of rebuilding. They were originally right along the beach, and were apparently destroyed in one of the hurricanes. Now, they are set back across the road, and the main building (snack bar, gift shop) is done. Looks very nice, much like a science museum or zoo building here in the states. You head outside to the tanks, and are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of TURTLES!! The first tank holds the giant ones…thousands of them. Pretty amazing. We wandered over to the smaller tanks, where you could pick up turtles that were the approximate sizes of turkey platters. Eeyoregon’s DS-10 became quite the turtle-handling expert, and was reaching in to take them out to hand to less-brave people. All the kids and the parents got the chance to hold as many turtles as they wanted.
We eventually got a few snacks, spent too much money in the gift shop and caught the bus back to town. The whole right-hand drive thing is freaky..and I sat in the front seat where the steering wheel would normally be, and took video of us driving on the “wrong” side of the road.
Got back to the ship. Did lunch on Deck 9- So happy to discover that Goofy’s Galley also serves pasta! I love plain noodles with butter, and Sameer was bringing this to me every night, but I found that if I was sick of hotdogs, Goofy’s Galley could provide the same thing. DH went to play basketball for a while, the teenagers didn’t end up joining him, but he found a nice family to play with.
I took DD-3 back to the cabin for a nap, along with her new beloved plastic turtle. When DH arrived, I called the spa to see if they had any last-minute openings. “If you can get here in 5 minutes, we’ve got a 50 minute massage opening.” HOT DOG!!!! I’ve never moved so fast!
Absolute heaven…..I think I actually fell asleep at one point, because it seemed over too quickly. I took my time getting dressed and used the shower with the giant rainfall-type showerhead…..so nice! I’m not a big rainforest room-type gal…so I skipped that…but maybe on my next child-less cruise I’ll try it out.
Back to cabin to get DD3- Oceaneer’s Club was willing to evaluate her ability to stay with them unaccompanied, and wanted me to bring her to Snow White’s Do-si-do. Apparently, they like to see how they do in a program that has lots of instruction/direction. Perfect..except guess what? Little tantrum queen is REFUSING to put on regular underwear. 100% potty-trained at school…100% NO LONGER potty trained for us. NICE. Big sigh, and I just took her up there and stayed with her through the program. It was nice, but there was very little interaction with Snow White. They tell the Snow White story, teach them the little dance, and then Snow White comes out, does the dance in the middle of the circle, and then tells them a little more of the story. I thought that the characters should spend a little more time with the kids if they’re going to go in there, but then again, they probably have their logistical reasons why they can’t. It just seems to be that on a cruise, there is lots of opportunity for more intimate character experiences. They could set up 1:1 meetings with kids from a list of characters, and give that child uninterrupted 15 minute blocks in a meeting room. Would be heaven for some kids…not to be rushed, or wait in line. Appointments set up throughout the week…kind of like the Tea Party…but just one family at a time. Just my little idea of the day.
Although dinner was in Animator’s Palate, and we really wanted to go, in order to do Snow White, we had to miss our showing of Twice Charmed. We wanted to see this show too, so we skipped the dining room altogether, saw Twice Charmed while the rest of our group had dinner, and then went up on deck and ate at Pinocchios.
I thought Twice Charmed was good, but I’m still a devoted Hercules fan from my Wonder trip in September. Better music, funnier lines…although I thought the Fairy Godfather was good, and could have been used more. That slick used-car salesman schtick could have been leveraged better.
The 80’s dance party was this evening, and I had told my DD-11 that I’d like to go. My mother called and said “She’s crying because the dance party started and you’re not there.” OY. It took me a while to find her, but find her I did, along with eeyoregon’s DS10..and we danced. Alone. Yep…the 80’s dance party was not very well attended. There was a small group of teenage girls who kept to themselves and danced in one corner of the floor, but they left eventually.
Made plans for tomorrow’s trip to Cozumel with all parties. Had Flounder’s ressies for DD-3 months and DD-3 from 10-4. Decided to swing by to see if I could extend it by 2 hours…and not have to rush back. Was stunned and a little annoyed to find out that their hours had been altered since I made the reservations, and they were closing at 3pm. So now, not only was I not going to get to extend my day on Cozumel, I was actually going to have to come back even earlier! Since I’d told everyone we could tender out at 10am,…it was going to result in less than 4 hours at the beach for us, or at least me. UGH! I got a little snarky to the gal sitting there, and asked why I hadn’t been told. She informed me that it was on the board outside. Nice. I know it wasn’t her fault, but here’s my other thought of the day….Why can’t Flounders have steady hours…it doesn’t have to be as late as Oceaneer’s Club..but why can’t they staff enough “substitutes” to cover lunches? That’s why the gal told me they close for two hours..so the Cast Members can have lunch. Well, on a shore excursion day..it really affects how parents are able to make plans.
Ok..stepping off soapbox now. Apologized for snarkiness, and explained it was really just frustrating to me as now it was too late to make plans to meet earlier. Everyone was in bed.
Went back to the cabin and got stuff ready for tomorrow’s trip to Cozumel without the two smallest children. Really looking forward to concentrating energies and time on bigger kids.
Does anyone sense a little foreshadowing here????
My view of the tender and a Carnival ship in the background
DD-11 with the wind in her face
On our $2.50pp bus trip...Yay!!!
The whole group (minus me) at the Turtle Farm
DS-14 and DD-11 with their Turkey-Platter Turtle!
DH and DD3 on the return Tender.
NOT following directions at Snow White's Do-si-Do. :rolleyes:
"are you under that hat somewhere??"
05-05-2006, 01:45 PM
I see Casadie has had a birthday somewhere. :banana: :cheer2: :banana: :cheer2:
05-05-2006, 02:56 PM
:teeth: Oops! Yes...She'll BE 3 this month....guess I'm just ahead of myself a little bit! :wave2: :p
Don't tell her that I can't figure out how old she is! :rolleyes1
05-05-2006, 10:46 PM
Yes dear, and your DS 13 is really DS 14 now. :lmao: You are otherwise perfect so I have to pick on you some time :goodvibes
05-05-2006, 11:20 PM
Thanks Diznyjen and Eyeoregone for the trip reports. Keep them coming. I am enjoying the pictures.
05-06-2006, 12:00 PM
Does anyone sense a little foreshadowing here????
Dznyjenn: My, you are a master of suspense!!
05-06-2006, 01:15 PM
I'm really enjoying your report.
I can't wait for the next installment!
05-06-2006, 01:42 PM
Day 5 Cozumel-Pirate Night-Parrot Cay
Cozumel appeared out of our window, a bright beautiful day. We couldn’t see much of it, as the ship was positioned more starboard, but still we were excited. We took the little girls upstairs to Topsiders for breakfast around 9am. Back to the cabin to grab our things, and on up to Flounders. Today we were going to leave both of the young ones. Casadie threw her biggest tantrum yet on this day. We still can’t quite figure out why. She’s been going to daycare since she was 6 weeks old, and doesn’t usually display any separation anxiety problems. They took Delanie and then Casadie started screaming. Once they took her inside (no parents please…it upsets the other children) she just kept screaming and trying to escape. We stood outside where she couldn’t see us and listened, our hearts breaking, and our tempers flaring at the same time. DH couldn’t stand it, and went for a walk.
I went back in, and tried to hold her for a bit to calm her down. She clung to me like a koala bear. I told her how much fun she was going to have, etc..and we tried again. The screaming started right back up.
By now, I was getting emotional. DH decided we’d just take her with us, and went to go get her bathing suit, etc. This really bothered me, because as I mentioned in yesterday’s report, this was my day to spend exclusive 1:1 time with my older two kids..doing what THEY wanted to do, like snorkeling and kayaking, etc. I was on the verge of tears, just outside Flounders (next to the tendering theater) and a CM was helping with the tender process. She normally works in Oceaneer’s Club and she recognized me from the times I’d brought Casadie in to play. She asked what was going on. I explained that we didn’t want to take her to Cozumel with us, but she was throwing a tantrum, etc. She asked if Casadie wanted to play in the Club instead. I said I’m sure she’d love that, but she’s not fully potty-trained this trip, and is refusing to wear underwear instead of pull-ups. The sweet wonderful CM then said she was off her tendering post in a little while, so she could bail early, and she’d go get Casadie and play with her 1:1 in the club until she calmed down. I couldn’t believe she’d offer to do that, and I started crying in gratitude. It made Eeyoregon cry, and then the CM said “Oh geez, now I’M crying!” I hugged her, and off she went to make magic for my little girl. I went to the restroom to dry my eyes. I came back and eeyoregon said “Um..Jenn….they tried to take her to the club, but she threw up from crying so much.” WHAT??? OH GOD.
I went in and got her, and she calmed down immediately. The only real solution at this point was to either go back to the cabin and lose the entire day, or take her to cozumel, assuming that the vomiting was from the tantrum. Since she perked up immediately with a big old smile on her face, we figured we were good in the health department. Flounders club was gracious enough to say “No worries” at my multiple apologies, and said they wouldn’t charge her for today.
Little stinker won the battle. She would get to see Mexico. *sigh*
Caught our tender. Sailing past the docks was a sobering experience. They were utterly destroyed. There were dozens and dozens of construction workers swarming over the docks, and that was encouraging to see. All along the pier though, you could see some buildings were fine, others were smashed to smithereens. So sad.
We caught a Yaxkin Taxi for $35 one way for our group of 8. Casadie was not charged as she was so young. Our driver was great, answering all my questions about the hurricane and surrounding areas. We asked him about the difference in Paradise Beach and Mr. Sanchos, as we had read about both. He recommended Paradise Beach and took us there.
There, we paid $8.00 per person for the wristbands, entitling us to beach chairs with umbrellas and all the recreation (kayaks, snorkel gear, the water trampolines, etc.)
We got to our chairs, and eeyoregon’s DS-10 realized he didn’t have his lanyard on him with his room key anymore. A quick search ensued, and then panic and worry set in, with “how’s he getting back on the boat?” We figured this has happened before, and there was a process, but we worried it would involve an adult tendering back to the ship for documentation and then tendering back, taking a long time.
DH chased after Casadie (known as stinkerbutt the entire day) I went out snorkeling with DD-11 and eeyoregon’s DS-10. DD-11 couldn’t get up on the water trampoline, and decided to go back in.
As we were swimming toward our chairs, (very near the swimming dock), DD and I began to realize there were huge, rough rocks all through the area. From our perspective in the ocean, I could not find a clear path, so we just drifted over them. It was awful. The tide was banging us against them, and DD was panicking. I’m a very strong swimmer, so I was comfortable letting the water do the work, and going butt first backwards. DD could not do that and kept screaming every time she was knocked against a rock. We finally got over them, banged-up and bloody. Some jerks along the shore were snickering at us. Apparently, from the beach, the rocks are pretty visible, we just hadn’t paid attention before going in.
Later, the owner of the joint would walk around telling everyone near the swimming pier not to enter/exit the water right there because of the rocks. He suggested a spot several dozen yards down the beach were there was probably 20 feet wide section where it was just sand. I wasn’t real happy with my Paradise experience thus far. Found nothing to do worth $8 per person. I guess the bigger kids enjoyed the kayaks, but that was it.
I was sitting on my chair, all alone guarding our stuff, when I see our taxi driver walking along the beach. I waved at him, and he looked so excited! He walked over to me, and presented me with eeyoregon’s son’s lanyard! YAY! I dug through my bag and gave him the last $10 in cash that I had, and thanked him profusely. He saved the day!
Speaking of the kayaks…DD-10 decided to go out one more time before we left (early!) and of course began panicking when the tide started taking her out to sea….DS-14 had to swim out and save her. OY.
We packed up to head out, truly disappointed with this day. We figure the beach used to be wonderful, but the hurricane stripped volumes of sand from the beach, exposing the rocks. No vegetation was left on the trees, so essentially you’re on a blank, ugly beach, unable to swim or wade in front of your chairs. Even the original buildings are gone from what our waiter told us. Just one open-air bar left.
Our taxi driver waited for us, and took us back to the dock. He got a big fat tip for being awesome, and posed for a picture with Eeyoregon’s son. He truly was the best part of this day.
We had an extremely long wait on the tender..we were first on, and ended up being the last off because of the way the tender had to unload from the top deck. The diesel fumes were unrelenting, and I think we all just had had enough.
All of us went straight to deck 9 for lunch. While sitting with Casadie, Goofy and Max came out a side door and posed with her. Later, they came over and posed for a Father/Son picture with DH and DS.
Took Casadie back to cabin for a nap. She fell asleep rather quickly due to her exhausting day. Went to shutters to spend lots of money on photos..also talked with them about a private session on Castaway Cay. It was $85 for an hour with a photographer. I signed up immediately for 9:30-10:30 Friday morning.
Back to cabin after picking up Delanie from Grandma’s. Grandma teased that she had had a WONDERFUL day of fruity drinks and an empty ship…blah blah blah!!!!!!
Got ready for pirate night. Yep..we went all out! We got lots of great comments, especially about the baby, who wore a red tropical dress, and a pirate Mickey hat.
Dinner was at Parrot Cay, but Casadie was all keyed up, and would not settle down, even with the little surprises Grandma was bringing out. I was hot, sunburned and tired, and couldn’t deal with it, so I just took her back to our cabin, missing the rest of Pirate night activities. Our head server brought my dinner to our cabin, which was very nice, although he didn’t seem happy about it..? Just brought it in, plopped it down and left. I would have tipped him (I was surprised, so not ready with cash) but he left before I could even walk over by our safe. No condiments, no salt/pepper, or ketchup for Casadie’s chicken strips/fries..so it was very bland and not really worth his effort. We ended up ordering room service.
DH came down with Delanie, and said many of our group had left the table early. Cozumel just knocked the wind out of us. Apparently, our sunscreen was not very good quality, and all of us just got baked and were not feeling exceptionally well. DH went back up to the party and I got the girls ready for bed. I was up late..but never did see the sailboat that eeyoregon mentioned. I WISH someone would have CALLED ME….HINT HINT!
Later this evening, I will wrap up with Day 6-Day at Sea, Day 7-Castaway Cay and Day-8 Debarkation day!
05-06-2006, 04:04 PM
Apparently, our sunscreen was not very good quality, and all of us just got baked and were not feeling exceptionally well.
Sorry you had such a rotten day at cozumel :sad: Loving your reports though, cant wait for more.
Your families pirate attire was wonderful though..My DD-8 absolutely loved it :love:
What kind of sunscreen did you have? I'm a fair complected red head, and worry about getting blistered on our trip.
05-06-2006, 05:02 PM
Dznyjenn, I saw your pirate picture looking for mine. I wrote on another thread I thought I had seen it. The baby was the first clue. Great picture.
The pictures they took in the dinning rooom of our family got deleted some how. I was so upset. :sad: Oh well life goes on.
05-06-2006, 10:02 PM
I am LOVING your report- so many wonderful details! I can't wait to hear the rest! Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup2
05-06-2006, 10:22 PM
Thanks for the report and pics - I know its lots of work. LOVED the "orange coat party"
05-07-2006, 07:45 AM
Looking forward to reading the rest of your TR, keep up the good work, enjoying your pics as well!!! :thumbsup2
05-07-2006, 11:50 AM
Cruise Day Six- Day at Sea/Lumiere’s
I regret that for this day, and Castaway Cay, I didn’t take as thorough notes as I normally do. I will just go down through the activities of the day, and try to recall some stories to share. I really enjoy days at Sea, and with our questionable experiences in Key West and Cozumel this year, I would do well to remember that in the future.
We slept in, as there were no real activities scheduled until 9:30am. Our Palo brunch was at 10:30am (or maybe 11am) and we took the girls up to Grandma’s cabin. We went to Palo which was beautiful. The food was presented well, the views were stunning, but I did notice a stellar lack of service compared to other people’s trip reports of Palo’s. Honestly, the server had more personality and life than our assistant server at night, and the service wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t out of this world as I had heard from others. We got the grand tour of the brunch items, and returned to our seats. It took quite a while for the drinks to arrive, and I discovered my straw (for my soda..I don’t drink champagne) had a hole in it. I asked her for a new straw, and she immediately left to get me one, and never returned. She took the plate of a gentleman behind us, with his silverware still on it, and he had to wait a very long time to get replacement silverware. My husband had to get up and hunt someone down to get coffee and ketchup for his omelette. I’m not much of a fancy food eater, and I was disappointed that the breakfast portion of this brunch was limited to omelettes and danishes. I would have loved some additional breakfast offerings, involving bacon and hashbrowns made fresh, rather than the patties downstairs.
I did have the pizza, and have to say it rocks! It’s the closest thing I’ve found to a little out of the way place in Salem Oregon that I love, called Walery’s. The sauce was a little exotic (seemed more like a bean paste than a tomato sauce) but other than that, I could have eaten that alllllll day! Wish I had found it earlier in the week, and I would have asked if I could have ordered it some other time. Palo take out! :rotfl2:
After brunch, DH and I just walked, enjoying the time alone. We went to the Internet Café, where I had to move to three separate computers just to get on AOL. Unfortunately, I found that one of my ebay buyers was disputing the auction, because her item had arrived damaged in shipping. She didn’t buy insurance for a $90 item..and had the nerve to accuse me of misrepresenting the description. 100% positive feedback, thank you very much! That soured my morning a bit, but I resolved to forget about it for now, and deal with it when I got home. Went to Guest Services to have the 3 attempts at internet connection taken off my bill except for the one where I actually got on. While I was there, picked up a copy of the bill for our two staterooms. There were some mix-ups due to the fact that my name was originally on my Mom’s stateroom, but I moved the first day. Well, the account followed me, so all of my mother’s purchases, and the things she let the kids get were on my account, but linked to her credit card. THAT was fun!
Picked up the little girls, and took them back to the cabin. I was planning on meeting DD-11 at the Towel Folding presentation, and DH didn’t think he should try taking the little ones out by himself. (The channel that plays continuous Disney Movies was a lifesaver on this cruise!)
I showed up to Studio Sea a bit late. DD-11, DS-14, Grandma and Eeyoregon and her DS-10 were there. We each got a stack of towels, and a hand-out with three towel animals on it. The presenter was great, and made like 10 different things and lined them up on the table. Then, she worked with the crowd to make a dog. All the kids were down on the floor, and most of my group made presentable dogs. That was all she showed though, and it was over in a quick 30 minutes. For this presentation, my only suggestions would be to make it longer, with more hands-on projects, and a few more handouts.
DD-11 (a very sensitive girl) went back to the cabin. She probably was the one in our group that got the biggest kick out of the towel animals, so she was really excited about knowing this. She tried to replicate the dog, but couldn’t..and it wasn’t in the directions that were handed out. It really upset her. Later, during a stop to Guest Services to check lost and found, I asked Andrew about the towel animal handouts. I asked if someone, somewhere might have a more comprehensive list, perhaps in a training manual, that I might be able to get my hands on. He wasn’t sure, and said he would talk to Housekeeping later. (Hours later, an additional pack of 5-6 more instruction sheets wound up in DD-11’s room. Andrew is my hero!)
At 4pm, it was time for Tea with Alice. As usual, we were running behind a bit, and showed up after things had gotten started. We were seated in the back and DD-2 couldn’t quite see, so I don’t think she realized real characters were there. She could only see the monitors. Alice and Mad Hatter instructed the kids on how to pour tea, use napkins, use manners, etc. Casadie really got into it when it was “Clean Cup..Move down!!!” and ran around the table like a banshee. A cute event.
Today was the day I wanted to do lifestyle portraits on the white background. We had planned to meet at 5pm in the lobby…but we quickly realized Beth wasn’t around. My mother said eeyoregon’s DS-10 had talked her into being in the Celebrate the Journey show, even though the two of them had only barely stepped into the Lab on the first day, and never since then. AAAARRRGGHHH!! Ok..now I have to go see a show that my daughter is in, and act supportive…even though she didn’t listen to me about having pictures done tonight. Everyone else is all dressed up….not her.
Ok..ok..get over it Mom….go be happy..Beth’s enjoying this. There she is…waaaaaay in the back. Not in any of the photographs, because she didn’t go to any programs. Casadie enjoyed Mickey coming out in his graduation outfit, but then wait…he runs RIGHT PAST her up the aisle, and she bursts into a wail because he didn’t stop to say hello. Oh GEEZ.
We take her to visit a few characters, making up for the Mickey snub…..while waiting for Beth to change and meet us for family photos. We had the boys dressed in blue shirts and denim, and the girls in white shirts and denim, with the exception of Delanie, who was in a little denim dress. Casadie mostly cooperated, but we did have to act fast.
After that, it was time to get ready for Disney Dreams. I was a little tired, and wasn’t particularly enthralled with this one when I saw it on the Wonder. I opted out, but DH still wanted to take Casadie. I stayed in the cabin, and sure enough, before long, DH arrived, with a sleeping Casadie in his arms. She conked out early on in the show.
Grandma called and said she didn’t feel like doing semi-formal night, and offered to come watch the little ones so Bill and I could have one uninterrupted dinner experience. THANKS MOM! We dressed a little (ok..it’s day 6..we’re exhausted and sunburnt..but I still put on nylons..I get points for that) and went to Lumiere’s.
Eating without Casadie and Delanie was like coming out of a fog. I was able to actually carry on conversations with our group, and observe other families and serving teams. As I’ve said, Sameer improved greatly by the second day, but as eeyoregon mentioned, he still wasn’t on the same level as other servers. Ivelina still was lifeless. I can’t tell you how many times we had to tell her “No…BOTH boys have a Roy Rogers please…” She would bring one for one boy, and not the other…then she’d switch them around….never bringing out the other. (This was after she told us they didn’t HAVE Roy Rogers..only because she didn’t know what they were. We explained to Sameer what they were, and of course were able to get them.)
Never did make it to any adult programs or shows. Kind of wanted to do Match Your Mate or Who’s the Boss..but that’s the downside to cruising with toddlers/pre-schoolers who are refusing to go to Flounders or wear underpants for inclusion at Oceaneer’s Club. OY.
Stopped by Shutters on the way back to our cabin to pick up any stray photos. Spoke with the manager about our private photo session the next day. I said with a smile “Since I’m paying for it, you’re giving me the best photographer, right? Someone who can work with an unruly toddler?” He laughed, and told me I was getting Ovi, the guy from the lab. What?? Apparently, Ovi was not even taking any photos on the ship this time, and was the lab rat who processes all of the pictures. Nice. Oh well…we’ll see what we get.
Went to bed, dreaming of Castaway Cay the next day.
AAAAAHHH!!! SISTERS!!!!!!! :scared1:
05-07-2006, 12:38 PM
Love your reports. Mine will be dull compared to yours :stir:
I had the ten year old taking tanturms. Never again I'm I taking her on vacation again :rolleyes:
05-07-2006, 08:27 PM
OK somebody clue me in- what is a Roy Rogers?
05-07-2006, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the great reports and pictures :cool1: :thumbsup2 :goodvibes :cool1: :thumbsup2 :goodvibes
05-07-2006, 11:45 PM
Nursechell: I'm not sure of the brand-name of the sunscreen, it was Eeyoregon's. Maybe if she's watching this thread, she'll remember. To be fair, I don't think any of us reapplied after swimming..and we forgot my poor DH altogether. :rolleyes1
mom2dil: A roy rogers is a boy's version of a shirley temple, I think. Again, eeyoregon would be the expert. I'm a happy camper with diet coke, and would never order anything more exotic than that. But she suggested a shirley temple (I think) for my DD-11 and the boys tried it. She told them a boy's Shirley Temple was a Roy Rogers. It had something to do with soda and cherries...I just wish Ivelina would have said "I don't know what that is, but I'll check" instead of saying "We don't have that." Eeyoregon knew right away that was ridiculous, and spoke to either Sameer or Fitz about it.
Thanks for the nice comments about my trip reports. I've always enjoyed telling stories through writing or speaking, and my scrapbooking instincts have just kicked in with these reports. I promise I'll get the Castaway Cay and debarkation reports up soon!
05-08-2006, 01:19 AM
Great report and pictures!
05-09-2006, 08:13 AM
I wanna hear more!
05-09-2006, 11:27 AM
Jeast..LOL..I promise I'll get the last two days up soon! I didn't get home until 2am last night, had to relocate a 2 year old out of my bed, and feed a 3 month old....slept for 4 hours and then the 2 year old got up. I've been napping on/off while Sleeping Beauty plays...and then it's time to head back to work and do it all over again, although tonight I get off at midnight instead of 1am!
To whet your appetite though...the morning dawned bright and clear, with our hired photographer standing on the pier just outside the gangplank..ready to photograph our lovely children for one hour before the beaches became busy and footprinty..
I'm quite thinking of never getting off the ship again, except for Castaway Cay. Friday at CC made up for all of the disappointments of Paradise Beach in Cozumel, and the aggressive, hostile taxi drivers in Grand Cayman, and even the tantrums and poor behavior of the 2 year old.
Can't wait to tell you about it!! :goodvibes
05-09-2006, 12:13 PM
I love, love, love your trip reports....
I just wanted to ask(ok I am sure you will fill us in, but now I am curious) about the private photo session. Did the fee include any characters(I WISH) and any free prints? Or was it just the photographer for a hour? We are traveling with a group of 12 and am leaning toward looking into this.
05-09-2006, 03:29 PM
I am dying to hear more! I have checked your page twice today in anticipation of hearing the castaway cay report! You have a great way in telling a story- lots of detail and humor! Cant wait but will be heart broken when it comes to an end!
05-09-2006, 04:02 PM
I love your trip report. Can't wait for more! :sunny:
05-10-2006, 12:03 AM
I have really enjoyed your TR, :sunny: You are a great story teller :thumbsup2 Thanks for your time and detail. :flower3:
05-10-2006, 01:42 PM
Thank you all for your kind words about my trip reports, and I apologize for them not being as timely as I'd hoped. My new job is kicking my butt schedule-wise...and it's hard to find the time to upload photos and sit down for long writing sessions!
As I said, The morning of Castaway Cay dawn bright and beautiful! I peered out our porthole and saw two photographers standing by a tram. Wondered if I was being given a bonus, but realized later that a wedding was happening. The family all dressed back up in the coordinating clothing we had worn yesterday (jeans and blue button-shirts for the guys, white shirts and jeans for the girls, denim dress for Delanie) I know, I know...have already gotten comments at work that we were at the BEACH..and the clothing choice may have been odd...but the clothes were picked BEFORE I knew we could do the beach. So there!
We met the photographer, Ovi, just off the ship. He was very nice, and jumped in immediately to help me get the stroller on/off the tram, as DH was focused on Casadie. We chatted with him, and I told him what I was hoping for..just nice family portraits, not necessarily with "Disney" in them...he said we'd go to the boat beach, as it was pretty empty at 9:30am. To answer some earlier questions...the fee only covered the photographer's "sitting fee" as it were, and I believe it was $85.00. There were no characters, and no complimentary shots. I suppose we could have waited in line at one of the many characters we passed, but I was really striving for classy family photos, not Disney-fied photos. I think to "hire" characters, you're looking at well over $500-$800 for a 1/2 hour set. We had Mickey and Minnie at our wedding reception in 2000, and I think it was almost $1000.
He was patient, and kind...and creative. He had some great shot ideas, and overall, the photos turned out pretty nice. We had a problem with sun...and my DS kept making goofy faces as he was squinting into the sun. About half of the shots eventually were ruined because of this. If I had a ton of money, I would have bought them all, and photoshopped a better face onto him. :rotfl2:
Grandma showed up during the shoot and asked for a Grandma/Grandkids shot. Of course Ovi obliged, and got a very nice shot of all of them. Casadie wasn't exactly cooperative, but we got some true-life shots of all of us focused on her.
We said goodbye to Ovi, and asked him to print all the photos in 6x8 for us to review. He said he'd keep them behind the counter and not put them out on display.
Grandma rescued Delanie from the hot sun, and took her back to the ship. We had time reserved in Flounders, but Grandma decided to keep her and called to cancel.
The rest of us went to the restrooms to change, and took turns chasing Casadie down while we all got ready. DD-11 accidentally walked into the men's room while looking for Casadie (Sorry to anyone in there when she screamed! :lmao: )
We slathered ourselves with sunscreen and headed for the already crowded family beach.
Shockingly, we found two beach chairs with umbrella, back near the foliage occupied by only a wet, discarded towel. I heard the echoes of the chair-saving thread in my head, and staked out our territory. No one ever approached us to say that was their chair! Yay!!
We told the big kids to go splash and cool down for a while, but to stay close because we had Castaway Ray's Stingray adventure coming up at noon. DH played in the sand with Casadie, and before long, I collected the big kids and headed to the teen beach.
Eeyoregon and her boys were already there, so we got our snorkel gear and headed in for a learning portion. We learned about different types of rays, size, sex, feeding habits, etc. Before long, it was time to head to the water. They had several feeding stations set up in shallow, knee-deep water. The rays are trained to aim for Mickey-shaped targets, and they glide over them and your hand, and suck the little fish right out of your fingers. VERY COOL! I don't have any of my water camera pictures developed yet, so hopefully I can add more photos to this thread later..but here's a Shutters photo of me and my ray.
After feeding them, we were able to snorkel at leisure. This was fun, and relaxing, but I didn't see anything particularly cool. A few rays..(once feeding was done, they retreated and dug into the sand for the most part) and a school of white/translucent fish.
We headed back to the family beach. DS-14 went to snorkel in the lagoon while DD-11 went into swim. I tried for quite a while to find DH and DD, and finally found them getting ready to eat (or just returning from eating?? I'm confused) DH said that the BBQ was closing soon ..I hadn't paid very good attention to other things in the navigator, focused only on my photo session and Castaway Rays.
We went to grab a tray for me, and DH went to look for DS and DD so they could eat. He found DD, but not DS. We loaded up a tray for him, and I went out again to look for him. I would like to apologize to anyone who was horrified at the sight of a plus size woman jogging down the family beach. :rolleyes1 :wave2:
Successfully found him, and sat and ate a ton while we watched them "board up" Cookie's BBQ.
DH and DS then headed out to their Eco-Tour Jet Ski excursion and me and the two DD headed back to swim. Again, I wish I had more photos to share with you, but once I get my water camera developed, I'll come back to post some more.
The boys had a great time on the jet ski. DS was not quite old enough to pilot one by himself, so he rode double with Dad. DH said it tended to lean right and he was constantly readjusting for this annoyance, but overall it was great. Grandma happened to be on deck on the Magic, and caught this great shot of my handsome guys!
We rounded up everyone and headed back. DD-11 worried that if we didn't get back to the boat by 5pm exactly, they would leave without us. I pointed out the hundreds of people walking around us, and said they wouldn't leave us all, but if they DID..we could catch the Wonder back tomorrow! :thumbsup2
Waited in a HUGE line to board the ship, and DD-2 caught sight of Donald and Daisy. Super cute!
We got ready as much as our poor tired, sunburned bodies would allow, and visited the Farewell show. Freddy Fusion was awesome..never saw him before, but I think the highlight for all of us was Lynn Trefzger, the ventriloquist. Our entire group was rolling with laughter at the "I like Orange" mom, the "I'm a studmuffin" young man, and the "I do nothing" father bit...So hilarious. It's become a new family "thing" to tap each other on the shoulder and speak for people..mostly "I like orange...IlikeblueIlikeredIlikegreen..I LOVE Orange.." Too funny!
Back to the cabin..realize exactly how LITTLE time we have left, and begin to frantically THROW crap (I mean stuff...) into our suitcases. Give up, get ready for dinner.
Animator's Palate the last night was very nice. Even Ivelina was on her game this night I think..or at least I didn't notice anything off. Did not have all my tip envelopes ready (there was a mistake with our prepaid vouchers, since I had moved cabins...My mother's cabin steward had no vouchers..) I told the serving team that I would be bringing them the next morning.
Eeyoregon got "nothing for dessert.." We wondered if we would ever see this! It was fun! When Sameer brought me my standard plate of plain noodles, Eeyoregon took a picture of us.
After dinner..it was back to frantic packing to have everything in the hall by 11pm. The ship started rocking really really bad...I heard lots of comments about the Captain must have a hot date to get back for...GEEZ! It was the first time the whole trip that I had to take my Bonine.
Went up to shutters to look at our family photos. Before they brought them out, several Shutters Cast Members mentioned how good they turned out. That was nice. No counter space available, so had to sit on the floor to go through them. The wedding couple did the same thing a few feet away from us. My one suggestion here...maybe on the last night, they could put tables out in the hallway for people to spread out and make decisions..I can't tell you how many times I was stepped on. I felt bad being in the way, but we had more than 50 shots to review..it was tough.
We spent way more money than we had planned on photos..and then headed to the gift shop to blow the rest of our cash on souvenirs. Oy. Carried the considerably heavy bags back to our room, and finished up the packing. All the souvenirs and pictures went into the one large bag that we were going to keep with us. All others successfully got put outside. The motion of the ocean had gotten so bad that I felt like I had to go to bed to get past it. Sure enough, it felt better to lay down.
The next morning, we finished up the tip envelopes, got dressed in record time, and headed up to Animator's Palate for our last breakfast. As usual, we were the last ones there. (Thank goodness it was all our family!) We said our goodbyes to Sameer (He is leaving the magic..had only two weeks left and going back to India).
Cried of course, as we left the boat, got crazy overwhelmed downstairs while finding our luggage and getting past customs and started laughing when our limo driver said "There you are..I'd recognize THAT pile of luggage anywhere! You promised you wouldn't go shopping!"
Cried a little more as the Magic disappered from view. Starting plotting (silently of course) how to make it happen again next year!
Got home and unloaded the bags..had to hurry and start loads of laundry because I had to go to work the next day. Took Eeyoregon and her boys to Saratoga Springs and got them checked in.
All in all, even with tantrums, it was a magical time! Can't wait to do it again!
05-10-2006, 03:57 PM
Great report and great writing! I really felt like I was with you. Sorry that it's over!
05-10-2006, 04:17 PM
Enjoyed reading what I missed on this trip. You did far more then we did, &you had a baby. I had a ten year old baby. :rolleyes:
Great pictures of your family.
05-10-2006, 04:56 PM
:thumbsup2 Enjoyed your report a lot - felt just like I was there with you.
05-10-2006, 06:31 PM
Loved your trip report - thank you for taking the time to write it out. I keep meaning to do ours from December... loved the pictures, too. How great for Grandma to be there to keep the little ones ... I know she loved having baby-time! Grandmas are like that, eh?!
05-12-2006, 03:24 PM
Thank you for writing the trip report! Makes the time go by faster until it is our turn again!
05-13-2006, 05:38 PM
OMG.... it is a small world after all.
I was happily reading through your trip report when I looked at your pictures and ....moved closer to the screen....I know her....I know him....OMG.
Its Sam. HI we shared your table on the wonder last year. Sounds like you had a great time and ive finally got to see your family (including the one you were keeping warm last year).
Say hi to your DH from me.
in case you cant remember which one was me. I have ginger hair and my DH was ill and didnt make it to AP on the last night.
05-21-2006, 12:45 PM
Hi there Tiggery! :wave2: You're right, what a small world! So nice to hear from you!
I recently received an email from Melissa who was also at our table...I guess everyone's been itching for their next cruise and feeling nostalgic for the Wonder! :love:
I'll be waiting to read YOUR trip report! :thumbsup2
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