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View Full Version : Just Back! Highlights, lowlights, and mini reviews.


Sawyer
05-28-2001, 04:10 PM
First let me say that there are so many variables with a WDW vacation (i.e. weather, personal preferences, the individual CMs you make contact w/, if the chef is having an on or off day) that our experiences cannot be counted on to provide an accurate prediction of the experience that others may have.

THE TRIP: 7 day land/sea package w/ 1 add-on night.

5 nights at the Poly, 3 nights on the Wonder. (See the WDW Trip Report board for the Land report.)

DATES: May 19, 2001 - May 27th 2001.

OUR GANG: Me, DH, DD(12), DS(3), DS(Turned 1 first night of the cruise!)

HIGHLIGHTS:

1. The sheer beauty of the ship, the restaurants, the rooms. WOW!

2. Celebrating DS's 1st birthday at the Animator's Palate the first night of the cruise!:)

3. The clubs. The kids loved them. Gave me and DH some wonderful time alone together in the evenings.

4. The Castaway Party. Was very festive. As first time cruisers, it was very exciting!

LOWLIGHTS:

1. I felt a bit seasick a couple of hours after getting on board. I took a couple of Bonine and got right over it. Didn't bother me again and never bothered the rest of the family.

2. Lifeboat drill. I appreciate the importance, but it was miserable in the hot crowds in those uncomfortable lifejackets holding a struggling, angry baby and trying to keep our crying 3 year old from taking his off.

3. THE SPA:mad:. What should have been a relaxing treatment was ruined due to the pushy sales pitch that went on relentlessly the entire time. When I very politely said "no, thank you" to the $800:earseek: product package that the attendant was trying to push on me, she huffed out of the room, and then came back and was sulky and cold the rest of the time. I don't intend to spend $120 again to be treated in that manner.

MINI REVIEWS (Grade Scale: A = Excellent; B = Good; C = Fair; D = Poor; F = Failure.)

Stateroom = A-. Was Cat 4 room 8528. Loved the verandah. Was noisy hearing loud music from somewhere late at night one night, which is why the -.

CMs = A+. Excellent service.

Servers = A+. Again, excellent service. Louis and Balaze were our waiters.

SPA = D due to poor service. It's a shame. It has A potential in my mind.

Flounder's = A. Took DS(1) each evenings. The workers were great.

Oceaneer's Club and Lab = A+. Outstanding environment and programs. Kids loved it.

Guest Services = C. They forgot to inform the waiters that it was DSs birthday. I had to tell them myself after the meal and desert was over and it was time to leave, so we got the cake really late. They also forgot to give me my wake up call the last day, so we missed breakfast and were dashing around like mad finishing our packing and getting ready to leave.

Pools = C. Cute design, but small and too crowded during the days. Would recommend swimming at night.'

Castaway Cay = A. Would have been perfect if the rain hadn't ended all the fun early! Absolute paradise!!!

Nassau Day = B+. We took a cab to Comfort Suites where we got a room and spent the day at Atlantis. Would have been an A except the hotel check in/out was a hassle and getting a cab over was a hassle. Next time I'll pay the extra $ and get the room at Atlantis for the day. The return trip was fine.

Shows = A. Just went to Disney Dreams. A bit corney, but very entertaining. DS(3) and DD loved it. They premiered Pearl Harbor on the ship, but we didn't get to make it due to Palos ressies.

Disney's system and efficiency = A. Extremely well organized.

Crowd manageability = B. No real complaints about crowds. Wait for an elevator was long at times.

Weather = B. Very smooth sailing, but overcast and rainy on the Nassau and Castaway Cay days. Lovely evenings.

Restaurants:

Parrot's Cay: Embarkation buffet = A. Excellent food for lunch that day. Breakfast = D. Not even the baby would eat the breakfast food. The eggs were disgusting. Didn't have dinner there.

Animators Palate = A for dinner. Had a great time. Beautiful restaurant.

Tritons = A for dinner. Excellent food. Kids got a little restless.

Pinnochio's Pizza = C-. Pretty bad pizza.

Beach Blanket Buffet = C- for breakfast. Pretty bad food.

Palos = A. Beautiful, delicious, great service.

Cookie's BBQ = A. LOVED it!

Clubs = A. We loved the Cadillac Lounge. Most of the clubs had great horderves.

OVERALL CRUISE EXPERIENCE = A.

OVERALL WDW LAND EXPERIENCE = A.

Next year it's Hawaii for me and DH, then a Mediterranian cruise in 2003, then back to WDW for the same trip in 2004! Would seriously consider a 7 day cruise, but want to wait until youngest DS is old enough for the Oceneer's club. Would probably go for the Cat 3 with a 7 day cruise.

Counting the days till we return!!:)

Mabelette
05-28-2001, 07:04 PM
I enjoyed your trip report and like how you explained everything. Seems like a fair assessment!! I was wondering if you remember about what time Palo's started taking ressies? I heard they give you a number, do you recall around what time that starts? Also, once your number is called, if the day you want is filled, do you have to start over again?? THANKS, glad you had a great time!! M

M&M2
05-28-2001, 07:30 PM
Sawyer, thanks for the trip report. My DD is 12, too. Did yours feel too old for the club activities? I have heard that there are usually more boys than girls in the 11-12 age group in the clubs. Did you find that to be true?

lookingforward
05-28-2001, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the trip report, it was very detailed and I really liked how you rated everything. Did you have an easy time getting Flounders reservations?

Sawyer
05-28-2001, 09:16 PM
All good questions. They started taking the Palos ressies at 1:30 sharp. I was the 2nd one in line (well, there was no line at the time), so obviously I got my pick. We went on Nassau night at 8:00 pm. I talked to another woman the second day of the cruise and she said they were all booked up by the time she got there. Strange thing is, there were alot of empty tables during our meal there. Hmm. Anyway, I would just suggest getting there first thing to avoid a wait and to get what you want.

My DD loved the Oceaneers Lab. They played computer games, made "flubber", watched movies, and met on the top deck for ghost stories. They also had a dance which Mickey and the gang showed up for and got to meet the ship's capitain! She made several friends and really enjoyed it. My observation was that there was about an even number of boys and girls. She even bought an "Oceaneer's Lab" pin for a souvineer.

I went to Flounders right after making the Palos ressies and made a reservation for him for each evening. (They also started taking ressies at 1:30pm). The times were wide open. There was no line to make reservations and I was in and out in just a couple of minutes.

Hope this helps! ;)

npall
05-29-2001, 05:32 AM
I am cruising in Aug. with my 15 month old and had a few questions
How late was he at flounders?
How did he handle all the sun ?
Being at Atlantis?
When did you do naptime?
Did he stay on his regular schedule? ( bedtime)


Any advice you can give me !

This is my 1st time travelling with him and I am a little scared. Thanks in advance for all your help!

Naomi

Olaf
05-29-2001, 06:21 AM
We've done a three day cruise once, but we just stayed on the boat at Nassau. This time we're planning on going to Atlantis. Can you go into detail about the hassle with the Comfort Suites? Also, I have a six year old boy who really likes water slides, will he be able to use the ones at Atlantis. A little worried about height restrictions.

My son loved the club also--he never wanted to leave. He was 4 at the time. He's excited about getting to go into the next group for this cruise.

Thanks so much.

happylady
05-29-2001, 07:14 AM
Love the report. Thanks!

pcounts
05-29-2001, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the great report. My cruise is soon, July 1st and I am trying to get organized. I especially appreciate the report on the Spa. I was wondering about the sales pitch that goes on. Thanks for the heads up!!!

Glad to hear over all you have an A experience.

Sawyer
05-29-2001, 10:39 AM
Hi! Here are some answers to questions:

Atlantis:

Getting the room at Comfort Suites added about 45 minutes to the trip to the ultimate destination, which was the water slides and the pools at Atlantis. Believe me, when you have an impatient 3 year old and 12 year old that extra time feels like an eternity. The walk was also a bit of a trek. Then we had to wander around at Atlantis trying to find the stand where we were to get our wristbands while the kids were impatient to get to the slides. Then, when we left, we caught a cab at Atlantis and had to have them swing us back by the Comfort Suites to check out. (You MUST go to the desk to check out, even if you've left a credit card.) There was a long line to check out. Next time I'll spend the extra $ and just get the room at Atlantis and avoid the extra hassle.

They height requirements on the big slides is 48 inches. They didn't check anyone w/ rulers, though.

Flounders & the baby:

We left the baby in Flounders till 11:30pm. I believe they are open until 12:30.

He loved the beach and the huge baby pools at Atlantis. We took lots of "little swimmer" trunks and just laid him down in his stroller for a nap when he got tired.

We had naptime in the room every afternoon from about 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Kids that age can sleep anywhere, though, and he took frequent naps laying in his stroller while we were out and about during the day.

The trip through him off schedule a little cause we had a 2 hour time change. He was usually ready for bed shortly after we took him to Flounders. We took him in his PJs and they just laid him in a crib and he went right out. He slept in our arms all the way back to the room after we picked him up at night.

Hope this helps!!:jester:

LAWalz23
06-02-2001, 09:08 PM
I enjoyed this one as much as the one on the trip reports board. Glad you had a great time overall. Was the room at Comfort Suites just to change bathing suits and such?

Sawyer
06-02-2001, 09:37 PM
Hi! We never even saw the room at Comfort Suites. You either have to be registered in a room there or at Atlantis to be able to use the pools and the water slides at Atlantis. We checked into the room at Comfort Suites because it was about $30 cheaper than Atlantis. Next time I'll just check into Atlantis and maybe stay longer in the day and use the room for naps and freshening up. :D

LAWalz23
06-04-2001, 10:21 PM
Thanks that is something good to know!