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View Full Version : Yes, we made it to Castaway Cay.... read this report for a "wild" story!!


Beth11
06-04-2001, 05:01 PM
Hi Friends....

After missing CC in December, we decided that we had to cruise again to experience that island. Well, it was all well worth the wait!!

She is just absolutely gorgeous!! I could have stayed there forever!!

For any of you who don't know this story... I am the individual who originally posted about Shirley at The Perfect Gift to share her great services to the DIS fans. She and I have stayed in contact over the last 5 months and we made plans to meet for breakfast on the morning of our cruise. So, I was especially excited to be going down to the Port!

We left our home in Savannah around 4 and arrived in Coco Beach at the Holiday Inn Express. Checked in and went to Ron Jon for about an hour. That shop is so much fun!! We had an inground pool installed this past fall, so it was so easy to want everything in sight!!

We returned to the hotel around 11 and settled in. At 4:10 AM we got our wake up call and it wasn't the one you ask for when you WISH to be woken up. The desk clerk confirmed my name and told me to come down to the lobby right away, the police were there! Our Ford F-350 truck had been vandalized. Some poor soul or souls decided to knock out three of the four windows with a shovel!! They even left the shovel sticking out of one of the windows. It was not a robbery attempt because everything was still in place. The TV/Combo, radar decector, two suitcases, CD case etc. were all still there. No one can begin to imagine all the glass!! It was EVERYWHERE!! We were very grateful that nothing was stolen but what a mishap!! Tony contacted our insurance company and arranged to have the windows fixed that morning.

I kept thinking... what in the world are we going to do??? I have a ship to catch and I want to be at the terminal when it opens at 11:00AM!! What does one do when they are in a strange town, not having an connections or know anyone and need assistance? Well, all my fears were put to an end when I decided to call Shirley and tell her that we couldn't meet her for breakfast. I placed the call at her home around 7:30AM. Within 15 minutes she was at our hotel with her husband and two vehicles. Folks... she made this terrible situation into such a breeze for my husband and children and I. She had a full page ad that she tore out of her yellow pages, told us who to contact to fix our windows, talked to the manager of the Holiday Inn to comp us for our room and offered to secure the items (TV/VCR, brief case etc.) that we weren't taking on the cruise with us in her condo. What a lifesaver she was! Tony followed her to their shop (just a half of a mile) and left the truck there to be repaired later in the day. Then they drove Tony back to the hotel where we loaded our luggage (into Shirley's car) and went to breakfast. After we ate, we went to her Shop and visited. Around 10:30... she took us to the DCL Terminal. She dropped us off right on the curb to give our luggage to the porter!! Awesome!

When I went to check in, our birth certificates were missing. In all the confusion, the envelope with the certificates in it was placed in a box to go to Shirley's. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I immediately called her on her car phone and she was on her way back when the kind CM told me that it was okay. We had to sign a paper instead. What a relief!! She did tell us that if an emergency occured and we had to leave the Bahama's by plane... we wouldn't be allowed off the island without a birth certificate. Thank goodness that we didn't need to leave!!!

After all that craziness, we ended up being the very first family in line at the terminal. "Art" the CM introduced us to everyone and my children participated in the countdown for the doors to open. That was very exciting!!!

Finally, we were on the ship!!!! Not having to make all those reservations and run around crazy was so nice. We opted not to return to Palo's or visit the spa this trip. After lunch, we went to our stateroom to relax. We unpacked and waited for the other family that was cruising with us to arrive. Low and Behold.... we spotted them at the drop off curb and began waving frantically!! We went to the 3rd floor to greet them. When they went to eat, we went to Scoops! I love being on the ship!!

Shirley called us on our cell phone around 4:30 to tell us that the windows were finished! What a relief!! Shirley was going to bring the truck to her condo and then to work each day so that, "We can keep an eye on it." We opted to get the body damage fixed when we get back home. With the windows finished we would be able to get home with no problem.

The sailaway party was awesome and we spotted some dolphins when we first began moving! The new bubble machine was great!! It's so hard to leave the party to go get ready for early seating dinner but we had to. Our rotation was TAP which was exactly what we had in December. Our servers were Sunil and Ganesh. Our stateroom host was Alton. All were great and so much fun! The problem with the 3 day cruise is that there is just not enough time to really get to know them. Overall, they were super! Ganesh had only been on the ship for 4 months and had left home (at 25) for the very first time!!

We all went to different shows and events but overall, we settled in pretty early after the crazy start to our day!! I was just so happy to be back on the boat!

More tomorrow....

Beth
Disney Wonder
May 31, 2002
Return to experience Castaway Cay!
Tons of memories to hold dear in my heart!!!

Casey's mom
06-04-2001, 07:33 PM
Sorry we missed you on the ship. We had a wonderful time as well! We were not far behind you on the line to get on the ship so I saw them introduce your children to the crowd. What a thrill for them! Were you wearing a flowered print shirt with a lot of red in it? I am so glad that your mishap was taken care of. Sounds like Shirley is a saint! It would have been so stressful to leave without knowing that your car and belongings were in safe hands. Can't wait to read more about your trip. I hope to post a report as well and it will be interesting to read about your experiences on the same cruise. We probably did completely different things and had a great time! :D

TigH
06-05-2001, 08:42 AM
Shirley is an angel! It's wonderful to know there are such kind people in the world to help make up for the rotten window smashing people.

Glad you had such a great trip and that you didn't let the vandelism ruin things for you.

MickeyCanada
06-05-2001, 07:52 PM
So sorry to hear about your mishap, you really must have been frantic. It's nice to hear that there are still people like Shirley who really do care.

GB
06-05-2001, 08:40 PM
Wow! Shirley was truley a lifesaver. What a terrific person she is to help you out of such an awful situation.

What time did you get to port to be the first in line? It sounded like that was very exciting from your other post. Was there any chairs to sit in or did you have to stand for hours? I leave in 10 days and I too would like to be the first to port.

Gina

Beth11
06-05-2001, 09:51 PM
when we arrived at the port just a little after 11, the terminal was buzzing with people, but NO ONE was in line at the roped off area to go through the doors. It's the area that is orange and has the Mickey ears on top! You can't miss it. It's on the left side of the terminal. I couldn't believe it. I was panicing about not having our birth certificates, but still so happy that no one was in line!!

So, after I got in line to check us in, I sent my husband and children to get in line. We put all of our stuff down on the floor and got comfortable. Tony held our spot while Elizabeth and I went to the restrooms and had our picture made with Minnie. We waited about one hour, but we were sitting down. The kids listened to their CD's. The time passed by very quickley. There is so much to see and people watching is the BEST!!!

In December, we were about the 10th family in line to get on board. The line was quite long by the time 12:15 rolled around!!! I was disappointed that they didn't do the announcing of families this time. Does anyone know why they only do it for certain cruises? It's such a great touch and seems so easy to do... you just need a microphone and a CM to do the announcing!!!

Hope this helps you out, Gina!

Beth

:pinkbounc :pinkbounc :pinkbounc :pinkbounc

GB
06-06-2001, 02:55 AM
Wow! That is Amazing! I can't believe at 11am there were no people in the actual line. Do you think they just didn't know where to go? Or maybe they would just rather wonder around and didn't want to be stuck in one spot waiting. I guessed you got there around 9:00 to be the first in line. Good, hopefully that will work for me also. Maybe I'll plan on being there around 10:00 - what do you think. What time were you did you get there in December?

So are you saying that you get in one line to check in and then get into another line to actually board (where the ropes are)?

Gina

dahess
06-06-2001, 07:05 AM
Wow. What a crazy trip. I'm glad it all worked out for you and your family.

Just one quick question. I would like to use The Perfect Gift for our cruise in November. Can you request Shirley's assistant? She sounds like a great gal.

Thanks!

DAHESS:earsgirl:

Beth11
06-06-2001, 08:01 AM
To GB: I'm really not sure why NO ONE was in line when we arrived. Maybe they don't read these boards!! :)

There is so much to do in the terminal. There is a model of the ship where one side of it is cross sectioned to show the inside layout of the ship. It's very interesting to look at. Also, the characters come out for pictures. You can get an up close look at the ship at the windows at the front of the terminal or go outside on the deck to see it as well. There is also a cafe type restaurant to purchase drinks and snacks. Maybe people don't really care about getting on the ship right away. My idea is to get as much time as possible on board!!!

The terminal doesn't open until 11:00AM, but if you want to arrive at 10, you can probably pull up to the curb at the left side of the terminal where the porters take your lugguage.

In December, we got to the terminal at 11:15, checked in and was the 10th family in line. And yes, I did send family members to get in the line while I checked us in.

Yes, there are two different areas. The check in area looks so much like an airport check in counter. There are several to choose from. They are on the left side and the "get in line, roped off area", is just beyond the check in lines.

TO DAHESS: You can find Shirley at: 1-800-950-4559
Her website is: www.theperfectgift.cc
(the cc stands for Cape Canaveral)

Tell her I said, "HELLO!"

I'll be happy to answer any more questions!

Beth
:smooth:

GB
06-06-2001, 09:20 AM
Thanks so much for answering my questions. Now it makes a lot more sense. Maybe I'll go at 10:40. That would still give up plenty of time. Thanks again,

Gina

tweetsie
06-08-2001, 08:42 AM
Beth I am so sorry to hear about your family's mishap but happy that you had a great vacation afterall.
My family and I are planning to go the day before we cruise. We also have reservations at the Holiday Inn Express (1 mile from port). We will also be driving. It really makes me nervous since I have read what happened to you. Was yours an isolated incident or were others' vehichles vandalized. Please let me know.

Thanks




Originally posted by Beth11
Hi Friends....

After missing CC in December, we decided that we had to cruise again to experience that island. Well, it was all well worth the wait!!

She is just absolutely gorgeous!! I could have stayed there forever!!

For any of you who don't know this story... I am the individual who originally posted about Shirley at The Perfect Gift to share her great services to the DIS fans. She and I have stayed in contact over the last 5 months and we made plans to meet for breakfast on the morning of our cruise. So, I was especially excited to be going down to the Port!

We left our home in Savannah around 4 and arrived in Coco Beach at the Holiday Inn Express. Checked in and went to Ron Jon for about an hour. That shop is so much fun!! We had an inground pool installed this past fall, so it was so easy to want everything in sight!!

We returned to the hotel around 11 and settled in. At 4:10 AM we got our wake up call and it wasn't the one you ask for when you WISH to be woken up. The desk clerk confirmed my name and told me to come down to the lobby right away, the police were there! Our Ford F-350 truck had been vandalized. Some poor soul or souls decided to knock out three of the four windows with a shovel!! They even left the shovel sticking out of one of the windows. It was not a robbery attempt because everything was still in place. The TV/Combo, radar decector, two suitcases, CD case etc. were all still there. No one can begin to imagine all the glass!! It was EVERYWHERE!! We were very grateful that nothing was stolen but what a mishap!! Tony contacted our insurance company and arranged to have the windows fixed that morning.

I kept thinking... what in the world are we going to do??? I have a ship to catch and I want to be at the terminal when it opens at 11:00AM!! What does one do when they are in a strange town, not having an connections or know anyone and need assistance? Well, all my fears were put to an end when I decided to call Shirley and tell her that we couldn't meet her for breakfast. I placed the call at her home around 7:30AM. Within 15 minutes she was at our hotel with her husband and two vehicles. Folks... she made this terrible situation into such a breeze for my husband and children and I. She had a full page ad that she tore out of her yellow pages, told us who to contact to fix our windows, talked to the manager of the Holiday Inn to comp us for our room and offered to secure the items (TV/VCR, brief case etc.) that we weren't taking on the cruise with us in her condo. What a lifesaver she was! Tony followed her to their shop (just a half of a mile) and left the truck there to be repaired later in the day. Then they drove Tony back to the hotel where we loaded our luggage (into Shirley's car) and went to breakfast. After we ate, we went to her Shop and visited. Around 10:30... she took us to the DCL Terminal. She dropped us off right on the curb to give our luggage to the porter!! Awesome!

When I went to check in, our birth certificates were missing. In all the confusion, the envelope with the certificates in it was placed in a box to go to Shirley's. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I immediately called her on her car phone and she was on her way back when the kind CM told me that it was okay. We had to sign a paper instead. What a relief!! She did tell us that if an emergency occured and we had to leave the Bahama's by plane... we wouldn't be allowed off the island without a birth certificate. Thank goodness that we didn't need to leave!!!

After all that craziness, we ended up being the very first family in line at the terminal. "Art" the CM introduced us to everyone and my children participated in the countdown for the doors to open. That was very exciting!!!

Finally, we were on the ship!!!! Not having to make all those reservations and run around crazy was so nice. We opted not to return to Palo's or visit the spa this trip. After lunch, we went to our stateroom to relax. We unpacked and waited for the other family that was cruising with us to arrive. Low and Behold.... we spotted them at the drop off curb and began waving frantically!! We went to the 3rd floor to greet them. When they went to eat, we went to Scoops! I love being on the ship!!

Shirley called us on our cell phone around 4:30 to tell us that the windows were finished! What a relief!! Shirley was going to bring the truck to her condo and then to work each day so that, "We can keep an eye on it." We opted to get the body damage fixed when we get back home. With the windows finished we would be able to get home with no problem.

The sailaway party was awesome and we spotted some dolphins when we first began moving! The new bubble machine was great!! It's so hard to leave the party to go get ready for early seating dinner but we had to. Our rotation was TAP which was exactly what we had in December. Our servers were Sunil and Ganesh. Our stateroom host was Alton. All were great and so much fun! The problem with the 3 day cruise is that there is just not enough time to really get to know them. Overall, they were super! Ganesh had only been on the ship for 4 months and had left home (at 25) for the very first time!!

We all went to different shows and events but overall, we settled in pretty early after the crazy start to our day!! I was just so happy to be back on the boat!

More tomorrow....

Beth
Disney Wonder
May 31, 2002
Return to experience Castaway Cay!
Tons of memories to hold dear in my heart!!! :confused:

Beth11
06-08-2001, 10:02 AM
Yes, our truck was the only vehicle in the parking lot that was vandalized. Thank goodness. We purposely parked under a parking lot light and were we could see our truck, which by the way, was facing the main road and not in a back area.

The hotel personnel was exceptionally nice and we didn't get charged for our night (if you can call 4 hours a "Night") stay. They all agreed that in the few months that the hotel had been opened that there had never been any problems like this. I was disappointed that the parking lot did not have any security. My husband and I will think twice when we travel again about staying somewhere where there is no security, i.e. cameras.

All in all, it worked out well. The windows were fixed before we even left port and the insurance adjustor did an estimate yesterday on all the other damage to the truck. We are STILL finding glass particles everywhere. There is damage(small cuts) to the leather interior as well as the door arm rests. The did a great job damaging the grill and roof of the truck as well as many other dings, dents and scrapes were they kept missing as they tried to break the glass.

What a shame that individuals have to behave in this manner. In my opinion, it was a random act of violence and you will be just fine at the HIE. Nothing like this has ever happened to my husband and I. It's a strange feeling to be violated against. But we are comfortable knowing that "what comes around goes around." Those individuals will somehow "pay" someday.

Have a Disney Weekend Everyone!

Beth

millerglass
06-08-2001, 11:57 AM
Wow, great stories.
Since I will be a first time cruiser, you threw an awful lot out there and some of it went over my head. Correct me where I am wrong.
1. You can arrive anytime after 10:00 and can start checking in at 11:00 while the rest of the family stands in line to get on the ship at 12:00. If this is true, doesn't my wife have to be present to sign any kind of paperwork before boarding?

2. I take it that Shirley is a woman that owns a business that sells things that (?). Are her gifts something that will be in the stateroom when you arrive?

Thanks Eric

Beth11
06-09-2001, 07:11 PM
I really don't know what the earliest time is that you can arrive at the port and actually enter the terminal. We got there at 11:00 and 11:15, both times that we cruised.

One person can get in the check in line and do all the paperwork, while another family member can get in the line that is roped off that allows you to enter into the ship. I got this idea before my first cruise from Inkognito.

Yes, Shirley is a business owner who owns and operates, The Perfect Gift. It is a Florist and Gift Shop in Cape Canaveral. Her business creates top of the line, first class gift baskets. You have to order and purchase the baskets a head of time and they will be waiting for you when you arrive in your stateroom the day of your cruise. She will custom order any type of basket for any occasion for any age person. She is a joy to work with and her company offers excellent customer service skills!

She can be contacted at 1-800-950-4559.
www.theperfectgift.cc
(the cc stands for Cape Canaveral)

Let me know if you have any other questions or if I didn't explain this in the manner that helps you.

Beth


:) :) :) :)

millerglass
06-10-2001, 08:09 AM
Beth11
No more questions for now. You answered everything that I wanted to know for now. Thanks a lot.
Eric

Beth11
06-17-2001, 10:03 AM
I have been "in and out of town" since our cruise and I promise that I am going to report on Day 3 of our cruise, which was in fact, the BEST day of all.... CASTAWAY CAY!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous summer!

Beth11
:D :D :D