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View Full Version : 4 Day Wonder Cruise Report, from an 8 year old


DisneyDarwin
06-20-2001, 01:54 PM
OK, this trip report is a bit different. Itís from the viewpoint of my 8-year-old daughter, Bethany. This was our 2nd DCL cruise, and I quizzed her every night about the dayís events and took notes. Dad is doing all the writing and paraphrasing, but the responses are all hers. (OK, a few dad comments are in parentheses). Sometimes I had to ask leading questions to get her to remember and talk about what she did. (Otherwise this report would be Ė Day1 swim, Day2 swim, etc.) We went to Busch Gardens before the cruise, and the Hard Rock Hotel and Universal Studios afterward. But, what follows are Bethanyís comments regarding the cruise.

Day 1
We were the first ones on the ship! I had fun playing UNO while we were in line and we didnít have to wait too long. We went to Parrotís Cay to eat lunch. I love the ceiling lights, they have parrots on them, and there are Sebastian (from Little Mermaid) lights on all the walls. This was my least favorite meal; there wasnít much for me to eat. (I agree, there was a lot of adult food, but not much kid food and sheís not that picky). I had some ham and fruit. The deserts were yummy; I had a cookie and some chocolate (mousse) cake.

Next, we went to the Oceaneer's lab and got signed up for later. I wanted to stay and play, but they werenít really open for playing until later. I got a wristband, a nametag, and a list of stuff they would be doing later. (Dad got a beeper, so he could be summoned.)

Next, we went to our room. 6080. It had a balcony, which was way cool. We changed into our swimsuits and headed for the pools. On the way, I ran into Alice (from Wonderland) and dad took our picture. I was going to take off my Nikes (water sandals), but the ground was very hot, so I left them on. The water was pretty warm, so we only swam for a little while.

I got some ice cream from Scoops; itís the best restaurant on board (itís actually a walk-up counter where you get ice cream). I got a cone with vanilla and chocolate mixed with sprinkles on top. And, itís free! I got ice cream every day on the cruise. (Dad said it was OK because we were on vacation).

After swimming, we went back to the hotel and took a cold shower to cool down. We unpacked and watched TV. They have really good TV. Channel 40 always has a Disney movie on and there are other good movie and cartoon channels too. Thereís also a channel that shows the front of the boat. I liked watching TV when we were changing clothes, and late at night.

Next, we went back up to the pool area for a party (the bon voyage deck party). A band was playing fun songs and I danced with a bunch of other girls and some counselors. Mickie, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Chip and Dale came out and danced on stage and then with us kids. I got my picture taken with Minnie. After the party we went to the back of the boat (deck 7 aft, coolest spot on the boat) and watched as we left (the port). There was another big ship behind us, and we could see a big storm with lightning. (It caught us later that night, but blew out by morning. After midnight, I was sitting on the verandah watching a great lightning storm at sea. Very Pretty).

Then it was time for Dinner. We ate in Parrotís Cay. Our servers were Witt (from Thailand) and Stephen (from Scotland). I like eating in the restaurants because I get to put on a pretty dress each night and do my hair. And they wait on you just like slaves! (Her words, not mine. I explained a bit more about slavery and that Witt and Stephen were nice servers, but not slaves and probably wouldnít like to be called such). We ate at a table with another family Ė a grandfather and grandmother, 2 boys and a girl. Dakota (girl) was 10 and I sat next to her every night. I had chicken noodle soup, cheese pizza and Mickey Ice Cream bar (dad kept notes to remind her of what she ate).

Next we saw the Hercules show in the really big theater. I liked it a lot; it was very funny, especially Hades. He didnít look that much like Hades, but he talked like him and made me laugh a lot. After that I wanted to go to the Oceaneer's Lab. There were a lot of kids there. We played a name game to learn each otherís names and then I played on the computers. They have a thousand computer games. My favorite was Hercules. I started getting sleepy, so I had a counselor beep dad and he came and got me. We went back to the room and went to bed.

Day 2. Nassau.
We had room service for breakfast! Dad said we could get room service whenever we wanted. So, we filled out these cards the night before and left them on the door and they brought breakfast (promptly at 8am, as requested). I had cereal, a banana, donuts and choco-milk.

The ship was pulling into Nassau so we stood on the balcony and watched as we got closer (it was neat to watch the ship pull in and turn around). We went to the other side of the ship and watched as we docked. We also played some shuffleboard while we waited. Finally, they said we could get off the boat. We got off and started looking for Rufus (dad had made arrangements with Rufus for tickets and transport to Atlantis). We found him and he drove us to Atlantis. I found a neat slide right away. You climbed some steps and slid down to a pool, that connected to another slide and another pool. And the water was cool! I did that about 100 times (six) and dad said we should go check out the other slides. We walked a long way, but got to this pyramid thing that had a bunch of slides. We did a tube ride where you climbed the pyramid and went down a fast dark tube. Then you come out in a tunnel that is surrounded by sharks! We did this ride a bunch of times. And, they have this one slide (Leap of Faith) that is really high and goes straight down and is really fast and you come off the slide! I also liked the Challenger slide where I raced dad and beat him (I gave her a head start). There was a pool with lots of waterfalls and caves that we played in. I also like the sunflower pool (big mosaic on the bottom of a very big pool).

I had chicken strips for lunch and we went to The Dig. The Dig is a bunch of tunnels with old diving stuff in it and windows into an aquarium. We saw a bunch of neat fish, including a huge stingray. The best part was when I got to hold a starfish and a sea cucumber.

Next, we went down to the beach and I got my hair braided. The lady told me it would take a long time to braid my (long) hair, so I got a headband instead (this is where they braid cornrows on the top of the head and leave the back hair lose to make a headband bead effect --- very pretty). I got pink and white beads and everyone told me how pretty I looked. (After that we swam the afternoon away, until time to return).

We got a taxi back to the ship and I showered and got dressed for dinner. I wore my best dress because we were eating at Tritons. I got some fried cheese, my favorite, but it was yucky (it wasnít mozzarella like she thought). For dinner, I had ravioli, which was good, and for desert I had chocolate ice cream. I got my picture taken at the table and dad bought it later. We also took some pictures at the front of the restaurant, with me sitting on the Ariel statue.

After dinner, we went to see a show where a man juggled things. He was very funny and very good --- he could juggle anything, even a knife and ax! He got this man to juggle 4 things at once (it really was a hoot). After that I went to the Oceaneer's club which was up on the sports deck. We had a team basketball-shooting contest and played dodgeball. Then we went back to the lab and played board games and sang songs. I got tired and checked myself out and went back to the room, watched the rest of Pocahontas, and went to bed.

Dadís note: I originally set her up so that I had to sign her in and out of the lab. After the first night, she wanted to sign herself in and out, since she saw other kids doing this. I was surprised, but there were other 8/9 year olds signing themselves in and out. I changed it so she could sign herself in and out, with the provision that she have me paged when she left the club, and that she go straight to the room. Iíd get paged and either go to the room or call her and make sure she was there. Sheíd watch TV until time for bed. This worked out very well, particularly that 2nd night. I was watching Pearl Harbor and still had an hour to go. She paged me, I stepped out and called her on a house phone, then finished the movie. She was very proud of being able to sign herself in and out. This also made drop-off a lot easier, as they would let her come in and sign herself right away. I wouldnít risk something like this anywhere other than on DCL, but it worked out very well.

Day 3. Castaway Cay.
We ate breakfast at the Beach Blanket buffet and it was great! All my favorites. Eggs and hash browns and fruit and bacon and apple juice and Mickey Mouse waffles. (she got some of everything and ate a little of each, it was like Christmas). We got off the ship and got towels and headed for the beach. We stopped to get our picture taken a few times and then got on the tram. We played in the water for a while and then put on our snorkel gear (brought from home; we both have prescription masks). We went snorkeling for a really long time. We saw fish, and stingrays, and parts of a sunken ship, and a Mickey Mouse statue. I took a bunch of water pictures (which turned out OK). When we got done snorkeling it was time for lunch and we were really really thirsty. We drank a gallon of water.

For lunch I had a hot dog, some chicken strips, punch and a chocolate chip cookie. The punch was icky, so I got some water. They had some potato chips, but they only had BBQ and I donít like BBQ. After lunch, we went back for more swimming. I met two new friends Michelle and Amanda and played with them for the rest of the afternoon. They were both eating in Animators Palate that night and I got their table numbers so I could play with them some more.

Dadís note: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. We had the best day they say theyíve had in CC in weeks. We lubed up repeatedly and still came away with a mild sunburn. We were in the water most of the time and I think that washes it off, regardless of what the manufacturers say. I did remember to put some on Bís now braided head and we avoided sunburn there.

We left Castaway Cay and as soon as I got back to the room, I called Michelle to see if she could play. We got our dads to take us to the Goofy pool where we played until dinner time. I put on my pretty Hawaiian dress, and dad gave me a French braid, and we went to a party.

We went to the Captainís party (for returning cruisers). We didnít meet the captain, but we did talk with a guy who told us all kind of interesting things about the ship. (The hotel director, in charge of food and cabins). They had really neat foods laid out and I got a Bahama Mama (kidís version, non-alcoholic). They had chicken and fruit and some yummy chocolate squares. I also got to talk to Rachel, the cruise director. We met her the night before, but I got to talk to her for a long time. She was so nice, and very pretty. She liked my hair braids and asked me all about Atlantis. After just a little while at the party, we went to AP for dinner.

Dadís note: Rachel was everywhere Ė shows, deck parties, CC. Always impeccably dressed. Always being hit with one question or request after another, always handling them with grace and charm. She was very good about talking to kids and making them feel great. A classic Disney gem.

AP is my favorite restaurant. I just love watching all the great pictures light up. If you listen to the music, itíll tell you which picture is going to light up next. I also like it when the waiters come out in colored uniforms at the end. (It turns out that) Michelleís and Amandaís tables were right next to ours. Amanda had a birthday and we got some of her cake. For dinner I had chicken soup, a hot dog and chocolate cake for desert. Dad also had them bring me some mozzarella sticks, which are my favorite. I shared them with Dakota (girl sharing our table). Stephen (assistant) poured my ketchup for me each night, and made it in the shape of a Mickey Mouse. He also brought me a diet coke as soon as we sat down each night, and he put my napkin in my lap, and called me maíam.

After dinner we went to see a piano show (dueling pianos in Barrel of Laughs Ė it was packed and excellent). I got up on stage with other kids twice to sing songs and we sang a lot at our table too. Michelle and her family were with us (they were now inseparable and I had gotten to know her parents).

Next, we went to see (Voyage of the Ghost Ship). It was good; I really liked the princess and the dragon. I sat with Michelle and her family at the show (inseparable). Then we went to the Oceaneerís Lab together and made Flubber. They had this really weird scientist who messed up the counselorís experiment and made Flubber. After Flubber, we played computer games, until I checked myself out and went back to the room. I watched the rest of 101 Dalmatians and went to bed. They leave you a mint every night, and make little animals out of towels and put your stuffed animals in funny positions.

Day 4. Sea Day.
Dad woke me up and we had breakfast on the verandah. (I went up to Beach Blanket and made trays for both of us and brought them to the room. DIY room service). We watched some of Pinocchio, and then I called Michelle on the phone and we agreed to meet in the Oceaneerís Lab. We got checked in and played some games in the lab, then we went to Studio Sea for karaoke. Michelle and I sang Brittney Spearís ďOops I did it againĒ. We were great. We sang most of the songs with the other boys and girls too.

Next, our parents picked us up and we all went to eat at Beach Blanket buffet for lunch. I had a corndog, french fries, fruit and apple juice. Dad ate kidís food too, he said he wanted a corndog. After that we split up (from Michelleís family) and dad and me went to see Spy Kids. Right before the movie we were looking at pictures in Shutters, and I saw Dakota (girl sharing our dinner table). She asked her grandmother, and got to go to the movie with us, so we sat together.

After the movie, dad took me back to Oceaneerís Lab because I wanted to be in the Disney Magic kids show. You get a t-shirt, and make a parade into the big theater, where you go up on stage with all the other kids. We did hand motions and sang the Mickey Mouse song with Mickey. There were thousands (hundreds) of parents taking pictures and stuff.

After the show, I called Michelle and we met at the Goofy pool. We went swimming for the rest of the afternoon. We also had some more ice cream from Scoops!

We ate dinner at Animatorís Palate again that evening. I had a hamburger and french fries, with soup, and pudding for desert.

Afterwards, we went with Michelleís family to see the piano guys again. They did different songs and were really fun. We got to get on stage and sing again. Then we went to the big theater for Disney Dreams. This is my favorite show because they have so many characters and songs. I want to be the girl who learns to fly! After that Michelle and I went to the Oceaneerís Lab. I donít remember what we did that night, but we had fun. Finally, her mom came and checked us both out and we went to our rooms to bed. I had a mint on my bed again, and watched a couple of cartoons before going to sleep.

Day 5. Disembark.
We woke up, got dressed, and I called Michelle. We met her parents at Beach Blanket for our last breakfast. We said goodbye and walked off the boat. Rachel was in the lobby and I said goodbye to her too. We got in the car and headed to Universal. I fell asleep and when I woke up we were at the Hard Rock Hotel!

Dadís note: Disembarking was the easiest Iíve every experienced. We ate late and finished about 8:30am. Tons of people had already left the boat. We got off the boat, went to the baggage claim area, and got a porter. We told him our room number and he went right to our bags, gathered them up, and walked us through customs. We were loading the bags in the car within 5 minutes of leaving the ship.

Thatís it. Thatís Bethanyís (and dadís) trip report. I hope some little ones out there read it (or have their parents read it) and get excited about the cruise. We had a great time and look forward to our next cruise.

natsmom125
06-20-2001, 03:18 PM
Great report. I loved the comment about Scoops...being "FREE". As I was walking up
to my 8 yo dd and her Dad one afternoon, sitting on Deck 9...she kept saying...."Mom
Mom Mom go get some pizza...go get some pizza...go get some pizza....It's FREE.....It's
FREE." The people around us who heard her say this...were screaming and ROFL....I told
them "she has no idea how much that pizza cost" and told her it was the most expensive
pizza she had ever had..to date. So, I can just imagine the comments and thoughts
people were having if anyone heard Bethany make that comment.

How did you go about making the decision to let her sign herself in and out of the
lab? As I said, my dd was 8..she turned 8 on the cruise...and next year we will
be going when she turns 9. One night we were in the Promade Lounge and she
wanted to go back to the cabin to get her little stuffed dog. She insisted she could
find the cabin, etc. So, dh followed her and she wound up on deck 4 or somewhere.
So, what did you do to assure yourself that she could do this and not get lost??
Did you have the two way radios by chance????

You can email me directly at Natsmom125@aol.com. I am at work and my system
won't let me privately email.

Thanks and I am going to print the report out and let my dd read it. I think I got
her to write in her journal (of the cruise..for school) like 2 days maybe.

Thanks for the great report.
Phyllis

:earseek:

ksmom
06-22-2001, 08:05 PM
Thanks for your report. I got our report posted also but an 8 year old's perspective is priceless. We were on the same cruise close by, room 6048. I think we saw Spy Kids at the same time you did. We got some great pictures of that storm on June 10 (two water spouts).
Miss the ship alot and I look at our pictures daily.

trishy
06-23-2001, 01:11 AM
Thank you for that trip report! Very cute and informative. My daughter, Courtney (also 8) has a few questions for Bethany:

1. Was it fun in the oceaneer program?
2. Was it crowded there?
3. Did you get to be in the program with your friend Michelle? (in the same group)
4. Are the pools like super crowded?
5. Are the counselors super super nice?
6. Did you do the activities or games at Castaway Cay with the oceaneer program? (if so, how was it?)
7. What characters were on the ship, were they in the program, which ones did you see?
8. Did you get all the trading cards on the ship? if so how did you know where to collect them?
If you have any information on the cruise to help me with my trip on july 7 tell me (please). I cant wait to go! Thanks.
Courtney :bounce:

http://members.delphi.com/larry10452/courtney.jpg

millerglass
06-23-2001, 12:32 PM
Gret report. I have a 9 year old daughter. It's great to hear from their point of view. I just printed it out and will read it again before we sail in November. Thanks.

Eric

VondaP
06-23-2001, 04:01 PM
great report! We travel in October with our dd's. They will be 8 and 9. I would love a little more info. on your visit to Atlantis! My girls and dh would love to do the slides!

Vonda
vponder@elp.rr.com

DisneyDarwin
06-25-2001, 09:18 AM
Answers for Courtney from Bethany:

1) Yes, Oceaneer's was always fun. They do lots of different things.
2) It was real crowded the first night, and right before the Mickey Mouse show. Most of the kids check-in to be in the show. But most of the time it was just fine.
3) Michelle is 9 so she was already in the 8-9 group. I met her at CC and we just started going everywhere together. (Dad note: older kids and be in a younger group if desired, but not vice versa. I think 8-9s are a group, and 10-12s are a group).
4) The Mickey Pool gets really crowded alot, especially the first day and the sea day. But, I like the Goofy pool because it's deeper and it's not as croweded. (From Dad -- still pretty crowded the first day, but not intolerable).
5) I liked all my counselors, they were always coming up with fun games. A couple of them were cute too.
6) I didn't do any Oceaneer's at CC. I did last year and had fun making sand castles and digging for bones. (Dad again - she was going to go do water games, but about that time she made several friends in the water and spent the rest of the day with them. I asked if she wanted to go, she preferred to stay and play).
7) Alice, Goofy, Pluto, Mickey, Snow White, Dopey, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Cinderella, Minnie. Mickey was in the lab and I got my picture with him there. The others were out and about on the ship.
8) I did not get all the trading cards, only about 16, but I got almost all of them last year, so I didn't try as hard. Ask everybody you see, particularly Rachel (cruise director) because they don't always hand them out.

Hope you have fun on your cruise.

trishy
06-25-2001, 08:23 PM
Bethany, thank you for writing back with all the information. I am very excited to go on the boat!I cant sign out :( my mom wont let me. :mad: I know it will be fun still. I am glad you got alot of cards. I hope I can too. Thank you.
From,
Courtney


http://members.delphi.com/larry10452/courtney.jpg

jdm
07-01-2001, 01:50 AM
Thank you so much for the report! I printed the whole thing and my 8 year old daughter Meagan really enjoyed reading it. We are going on our first Wonder cruise in Feb. and we are also hoping to go to Atlantis. It was great that she could learn more from a fellow 8 year old. Thanks again for taking the time to post the report!
Jenn

DisneyDarwin
07-11-2002, 03:43 PM
as requested, bump

Celebrategoldens
07-12-2002, 04:46 PM
Sure sounds like Bethany has a pretty neat Dad! I LOVED the part about you braiding her hair. My husband couldn't do that in a thousand years! LOL It was nice to hear her side of the trip, even though my daughters are somewhat older, 12 & 15. It was nice to hear what an 8 year old thought!
THANKS

Mjasp
07-12-2002, 06:36 PM
Great trip report Bethany!!! It is nice when you hear it from a childs perspective. My 10 yr old DD also did a trip report, its great to hear what really makes them very happy.