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RoyalVizier 06-04-2006 08:28 AM

Villainous Voyage - May 20th, 2006 7-night Western Caribbean **Completed, No Lie**
Hey y'all, :wave2:

I've been lurking around here for the last several weeks in preperation for our Disney cruise vacation. I've read through what seems like hundreds of tips and numerous trip reports and had such a fun time doing it I thought I would go ahead and do one of my own.

It is EXTREMELY long and I'll try to keep it all to one thread for easy access...

The Background Info:

This was our second cruise, both on Disney Cruise Line. We took a 4-night cruise on the Disney Wonder three years ago, loved it, thought it was the best vacation experience ever, so decided to shoot for a 7-night straightaway. Unfortunately it took three years to get to the point where a 7-night Disney cruise was plausible. Funny how finances, work, school, and pretty much all of life tend to get in the way of the fun stuff sometimes. So here we go…

Cast of Characters:
Ward – that’s me
Cheri – the darling wife
Sadie – the lovely 13 year old daughter

Saturday, May 20th - Day 1 Part 1: The Arrival

Cheri and I woke up at 6am and I must say that I am shocked that we slept that late. I was sure that we wouldn’t be able to sleep a wink and would be up by two or three a.m. We got our showers and got Sadie up to start getting ready. I ran to the bank. I figured we might need a little bit of money to take with us. My dad agreed to drive us over to the Port so that we wouldn’t have to leave a car there for the week so we arranged for him to pick us up at the house at about 9:30. We were all ready by 9am so we just had to sit around and be all excited!! He came right on time and we were off! :yay:

I’ve read numerous Disney cruise trip reports in the last several months leading up to our vacation and almost every single one of them talks about seeing the ship as you come over the bridge approaching Port Canaveral. I’m afraid I’m not going to be unique in any respect. The sight is one of awe and wonder for sure. As if the excitement level in the car could have been any higher, the sight of the ship and knowing that within the next several hours we were going to board that luxurious vessel to have the time of our lives was just amazing. In my eyes, the most beautiful ship on the seas for sure.

So we got there at about 10:30am and my dad dropped us off at numbered stations right in front of the terminal. This is just a bit different from when we went on our 4-night Disney cruise three years ago when he dropped us in the parking lot where they loaded your bags onto a truck and you crossed the street over to the terminal building. This time we got right out of the car, unloaded our bags and a porter was immediately at our side offering assistance (which we gladly accepted). I firmly believe that the Wells family of Orlando has the largest and heaviest luggage on the planet. Must have something to do with the fact that my wife and daughter think there are shoes for the morning, shoes for the evening, and shoes for every hour in between. Mental tip for next time: A suitcase devoted entirely to footwear… theirs numbering in the double digits and my three.

Anyway… as the porter was loading our behemoth bags onto the cart, my wife was giving me that you-have-a-bunch-of-ones-right(?) look. Ah tips! Right… I forgot about that aspect of things. Amidst all of the excitement of the arrival, tipping slipped my mind. :blush: I quickly pulled out my wallet and luckily I had some singles in there which I handed to the nice man (who absolutely looked like he was glad that my wife had that look down pat). It was then that I made another mental note to make Guest Services one of my first stops after boarding to get many many more singles for the rest of the journey. We said so long to my dad and the porter took our bags one way and we went another way heading towards the terminal.

Now, a brief pause for some more background information… May 23rd is our wedding anniversary, so the timing of the cruise worked out perfectly to be able to spend our eighth anniversary at sea on the Disney Magic. I wanted to get my wife something special, so a few weeks prior to the cruise I got her a gold three diamond drop necklace and put it away to surprise her with on the cruise. She had no idea that I bought it or bought anything at all and I had hidden the necklace at home. On this morning as we were packing up to leave, I finally pulled the gift from its hiding spot and not really knowing what to do with it; I put it in my pocket. I didn’t want to put it in the luggage for fear that she would find it. Okay, we now return to the regularly scheduled programming…

Upon entering the terminal we had to go through security. I walked through the metal detector and of course beeped, so I went back through and had to empty my pockets into a dish. I put my wallet in the dish and my keys. I was so worried about the jewelry box in my pocket because I really didn’t even want Cheri to know that it even existed. I wanted it to be a total surprise. So somehow when she wasn’t looking I managed to get it out of my pocket, into the dish and sent the dish on its way through the X-ray machine thingy. So I went back through the metal detector and beeped again! So they made me come off to the side and wave the magic wand all over me while in the meantime the dish comes out the other side of the machine with my wallet and the jewelry box and my wife is over there picking up our other things. Turns out my belt was causing all of the mayhem and I was allowed to go. I got over to the dish right as my wife’s eyes set upon it. I just grabbed it and put it back in my pocket. I know she saw it and now she knew I had it. :sad2: I was really upset but ah well, what are you going to do. I’m not the quickest of thinkers sometimes, so I wasn’t about to think of something to say or some grand story. I didn’t say anything and she didn’t say anything so…

We made it through security and there was a nice lady at the base of the escalators handing out the numbered boarding passes. This is another of those new items since our last cruise. We got boarding number four which we were fine with and headed up the escalator. As the moving steps take you higher and higher the wavy metallic ceiling comes into view, the dull roar of excited guests becomes clearer and clearer and then you reach the top where the enormous terminal opens up before you, brilliantly blinding aquamarine floors and walls, an ocean before leaving land. So beautiful!

We headed over to the check-in and were greeted by a Cast Member there making sure that we had filled out all of our forms. We told her we had done that online using the new online check in process and she told us that we still had to fill out all of the forms in the booklet. So we went to one of the freestanding tables in the middle of the terminal and worked on our forms. We didn’t really understand why we had to do this if we’d already done it, but no big deal. :confused3 Check in was quick and painless. We were assigned stateroom 5646 deck 5 aft with a PLAPLAP (my new favorite word!) late dining rotation. Again, we were absolutely fine with this as we really didn’t have anything to compare it too. We’re pretty easy going people, plus Parrot Cay is my wife’s favorite restaurant so it worked out great!

So there we were all checked in. We went over and grabbed some seats next to the window. By this time it was about 11am and the terminal was fast filling up. At check-in we were given some information and the events of the first day so we read through that and just sat staring out the window. The Carnival Miracle was docked just next door and I wandered the terminal a bit. Checked out the kid’s clubs registration area, went outside to watch them load pallets upon pallets of food onto our ship (Yay!), grabbed an introductory sheet on the events of the Stack for my daughter. Goofy and Mickey came out so we watched them interact with the kids for a while. Pretty much just hung out waiting for boarding to begin! :bounce:

Up Next: Boarding and a Door Issue.

Babs417 06-04-2006 09:23 AM

I loved my first cruise with my family. It takes people to make a Dream a Reality! Thanks for your report.

Dixielady908 06-04-2006 10:28 AM

:thumbsup2 Enjoying the report so far....but hurry I need to read more....


RoyalVizier 06-04-2006 10:58 AM

Cast of Characters:
Ward – that’s me
Cheri – the lovely wife
Sadie – the lovely 13 year old daughter

Saturday, May 20th - Day 1 Part 2: Boarding and a Door Issue

At about 11:50am we noticed a large hoard of people starting to gather around the roped off section near the Mickey-eared entrance to the gangplank so we decided to join the masses. :crowded: We saw the Cast Members tending to the group making ones and twos motions with their hands so we guessed that they were letting people holding those numbers onto the ship. A few moments later they did make the boarding announcement over the loud speaker, but it was very difficult to hear. The time between when they first called for boarding and when they got to boarding pass number four was only about five minutes. When called, we pried our way through the group as best we could without smashing toes or throwing anyone to the ground and moved through the archway. This was a very quick process. By noon we were on our way in!

They scanned our Key To The World (KTTW) cards and we stopped for that very first photo in front of a giant old style Caribbean map. I’ve discovered that there are a couple of reasons for the photo op right there before you board the ship. One: it is a fantastic first milestone to mark the true beginning of your magical Disney voyage. Two: it also serves to spread families out so that a gigantic clump doesn’t form as you actually enter the ship so that the announcement of your family is all the more special. Anyway… we then headed into the ship where we were announced (so magical! :wizard: ) and we soaked in the sight of the marvelous atrium. We couldn’t hang around for long… they sorta keep you moving through the atrium towards Parrot Cay. We knew that we really wanted to dine up on deck 9 at Topsiders so we wanted to find the elevators. As we were walking through the Promenade Lounge, one of the bartenders told us that they staircase we were headed to was closed and that we had to keep moving… me (the pushover gullible one) took him at his word and started to move away, but it turns out he was just joking with us and showed us the way to Topsiders. :blush:

There really weren’t very many people up there. We practically had the whole place to ourselves. They have Cast Members outside of each restaurant handing out wet naps for you to quickly wash your hands. This is fantastic. There’s Disney’s sense of safety for ya! Sadie got her first plate of mac & cheese and Cheri and I had a wide assortment of tasty odds and ends. We ate outside in the gorgeous sun. We were practically alone at first, but it wasn’t long before many others began to trickle in. Bahama Mama’s were offered right away! We hadn’t been sitting there for more than a couple minutes when they started bringing them around. We skipped on this round but it was the sight of the Bahama Mama’s (for some reason) that hit it home that we were sitting there on the Disney Magic on a gorgeous day getting ready to set sail for 8 days to the Caribbean!!

When I was done eating lunch, I excused myself and went down to the Rockin’ Bar D to try and make reservations for Palo. I had tried to do this online prior to the cruise but it just wasn’t working out. I wasn’t too entirely worried about obtaining reservations as I didn’t have any problem last time. There were a few people in line when I got there and got the date that I wanted with no problem: May 23rd at 8:30. Our anniversary! :lovestruc Perfect! I headed back up top to meet up with the girls and passed by Goofy’s Galley on the way where I spotted the blessed ice cream machines. It was SOOOO time for the first cup of ice cream of the voyage. I got chocolate (of course) and went along my way to meet up with the girls. For any of your familiar, the chocolate ice cream tasted almost exactly like a Wendy’s Frostee! YUMMMM!

We wandered around on deck 9 for a bit and went into the Stack to see where Sadie would be living for the next 7 days. This is a super cool place perfect for the teens. We met Shirley, one of the teen counselors who talked to us and showed us around a bit. I wandered off a bit looking around the Stack where I found a bulletin board with biography’s of this cruises three teen counselors. Turns out that Shirley’s favorite car is a Hummer and her favorite actor is Orlando Bloom. Well well well… there it was right there folks. Sadie and Shirley would be getting along famously for sure!

We knew that we could get into our stateroom at 1:30pm so at about 1:15ish we began to head back that way. We went to deck 5 aft but the door to our hallway was shut so we wandered back towards the atrium and watched some families being announced and coming on board, we sat in some comfy chairs and just lounged about for a bit. While lounging, Max appeared out of a doorway somewhere so we took the opportunity to grab him right away and Sadie got her picture with him. He must have been on his way to meet his dad Goofy or greet the guests as they came on board. Then we headed back down to check on our room.

Like Disney magic, right at 1:30pm on the dot, the door to our hallway opened and the few of us that were waiting began the trek down to our room. We were so excited. This was our first trip in a room with a verandah, last year having stayed in an outside stateroom with a large porthole (which was great!). Our room was pretty much all the way at the end on the left, three rooms from the end. The staterooms are so beautiful and it all came rushing back when we entered. The colors, the look, and the feel of it is so Disney that I couldn’t help but smile when I entered the room. :) That privacy curtain that cuts the room in half is a life saver when you’re traveling with children and the pictures in the room would be in my luggage so fast if I could have only gotten them off the wall! Kidding! Don’t call security…

Okay, now for the verandah… (Special note: it’s been a blast writing this trip report so far and sharing all of our wonderful memories with you. I wanted to get that out of the way now because after you read about my stupidity that ensues you’ll realize exactly what a moron I am and may not read any further.) To us, the room was all about the verandah so I headed right for it. The door has a twisty lock on the upper right hand side and a door handle that turns to the left. I undid the lock (I think. The diagram was a bit much for my intellect evidently) and I turned the handle and pushed. Nothing happened. So I turned the lock the other way… still didn’t open. I pushed on the handle, I banged on the lock, I turned the door handle this way and that way and pushed and pushed and pushed. My wife came over and pushed on the door some… my daughter came over and pushed on the door some. I tell ya… the verandah sure did LOOK beautiful over there on the other side of the glass. I even had the thought cross my mind that I would have to call Guest Services and tell them that our verandah door was broken and that we would need to change rooms. To be completely honest, I don’t know which of the three of us it dawned on first, but yeah… I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now… the door SLIDES! Uh… yeah, it’s a sliding door that slides to the left. :rolleyes1 And you know what? If I were to have used a few of my brain cells (hey I was on vacation) I would have possibly realized that there isn’t even enough room out there on the verandah for the door to open outwards. Anyway, once we got the door open and went out there it was great. The verandah had a solid wall and was just a hint smaller than the other verandahs due to the narrowing of the ship. Again, we were almost all the way aft. The only thing about the verandah that I can see the downside of is that solid railing. When I sat down (and I’m 6’4”) I couldn’t see over the railing, which isn’t a huge deal, but ah well…

So after the exhausting run-in with the door it was time for a well deserved nap… NOT! No way… we didn’t want to sit around waiting for the luggage to arrive so we left the room and went back up top to deck 9. This time as we passed by Goofy’s Galley, the chicken wraps looked awfully tasty so we got a few of those and some more ice cream and had a seat next to the Goofy Pool. DJ Hollywood was spinning some tunes and working the crowd. He ended up pulling a grandma and grandpa from Canada up on stage and made the grandma sing O’ Canada while the grandpa danced. It was great! Hey, they got a spa certificate out of the deal! At this point it was about 3pm so we decided to head back down to the room to see if perhaps any of our luggage had arrived yet. There was a bag there when we got down to the room and the other three arrived within the next ten minutes. So we spent some time unpacking and getting situated. While we were making ourselves at home our Stateroom Host Craig stopped by to deliver my tuxedo that I had ordered. He was super friendly and told us to make sure we let him know if we needed anything. I decided it would probably be best if I went ahead and tried on my tux so as not to have any incidents later when I needed it. Amazingly enough, it fit perfectly! I was worried because I’ve never worn a tux before except at my wedding and I have also lost a lot of weight recently so I wasn’t too sure on sizing. I did one of those halfway-try-on deals where I just sorta threw the pants and shirt on but didn’t get all tucked in and stuff. But it fit perfect… all was well!

Up Next: Sailing Away, Blown Away, and “Take This Thing Away” :sail:

tjeagle 06-04-2006 11:16 AM

:thumbsup2 Love your report! You must be in Marketing??!
I've read all of day one on your blog.........LOVE IT! Keep it coming!!

ThePhantomsGirl 06-04-2006 11:21 AM

You're good at this - very entertaining! popcorn::

Now get writing and do the rest of the report - NOW! (I'm not impatient.... :rotfl2: )

RoyalVizier 06-04-2006 11:29 AM

Cast of Characters:
Ward – that’s me
Cheri – the lovely wife
Sadie – the lovely 13 year old daughter

Saturday, May 20th – Day 1 Part 3: Sailing Away, Blown Away, and “Take This Thing Away”

After the joy of discovering my tux fit, it was almost 4:30pm which meant time to head for the mandatory boat safety drill. We took the three life vests from our closet and put them on which was very easy and I must say that you all are right… they are much more comfy and user-friendly than they used to be. Thanks Disney! :thumbsup2 Our safety station was down in Animator’s Palate so we headed down there and sat at a table while the Safety Crew did their thing, checking us in and making their lists. It all took about 10 minutes I think. A very smooth and beneficial process! We saw an infant all wrapped up in a full body life preserver, the poor thing! When they released us, we flew back up to our room, threw out life vests back in the closet and headed up top for the Sail Away party at the Goofy Pool.

This is such a high energy show and a joy to be a part of. We went all the way up to deck 10 so that we could overlook everything. When we were about ready to leave, a lady was pointing over the side of the ship at some dolphins that were playing at the side of the ship. WOW! What a neat thing to see. I considered it a preview for our Dolphin Watch excursion we had scheduled in Key West the next day. Once the ship began to move and we started heading out to open waters, the wind really started to kick up. We really got a kick out of it and were giggling the whole time but man… there is some WIND out there on the water. We made our way along deck 10 to the forward section of the ship (struggling just a bit to walk) to watch us enter the great blue beyond. We could almost lean into the wind it was whipping so fast!

We had some pizza around 6pm and were just a tad worried that we wouldn’t be hungry come dinnertime at 8:15pm, but we got over it. Excellent Hawaiian pizza by the way. We headed back to the room to get showers and dressed for dinner. There was an invitation on the door from the Stack inviting Sadie to the “411”, an informational session that night outlining her programming for the week. We had found out from the Navigator and Shirley that there were teen activities scheduled until about 2am every night. Sadie couldn’t stop talking about how she was going to live in the Stack for the week and be gone until the wee hours of the morning. Such a change from our normal everyday lives of 10pm bedtimes for all of us.

After showering and getting dressed for the evening we had some time to kill before dinner so we decided to hit Mickey Mania in Studio Sea. We went into it not knowing exactly what it was going to be and it turned out entertaining enough. Two members of the cruise entertainment staff, Pikey and Jeremy, acted as hosts and called for family contestants and asked basic Disney trivia for prizes. It was a fun time. :crazy: When the game show was over I realized that I have left our dining tickets in our room so Sadie and I went back down to get them while Cheri waited outside of Parrot Cay. When Sadie and I got back to the room we caught sight of the first of many magnificent sunsets that was going on outside of our window so we stepped out onto the verandah (got the door open just fine this time) for some pictures, then rejoined Cheri at Parrot Cay for dinner.

Now, I was just a little bit worried about how the dining was going to work on this cruise because I knew that there was the possibility of sitting with other people. Three years ago, somehow we were lucky enough to get a table just the three of us and I was sorta hoping for that again. We’re pretty much keep-to-ourselves kinda people and not too good at branching out and meeting new people so we were just a little worried. We were led to table #20 at the back of Parrot Cay and it turned out to be a table for eight and another couple was already there. They were Bonnie and Jim from Orlando and they were super nice people. Our fears diminished right away. The other three chairs went unoccupied for this meal (we later found out that they were at Palo that evening). Our Server was Octavian from Romania and our Assistant Server was Jean Michel from France. They were totally superb wonderful fantastic to us the entire week. Sadie ordered mac & cheese (of course) and Cheri ordered the ribeye steak. I have to say that when the main course came, Cheri’s steak… well… it just didn’t look quite right. :crazy2: Bonnie, one of our tablemates also got that steak and hers looked fantastic, but Cheri’s didn’t really resemble a steak. It was more like raw roast beef or something. The chicken breast that I had was fabulous so Cheri asked Octavian if she could get that instead. She didn’t actually say “Take this thing away” but it made for a good teaser title. Well of course Octavian was all too happy to help out so he took her plate away and immediately brought her the chicken. All was again right with the world. For dessert we had the French Toast Bread Pudding with Coconut Ice Cream and it was DELICIOUS! We said adios to our tablemates and headed back to the room to get out of our dinner clothes.

Sadie left us to attend the 411 at the Stack and we went to Sessions to listen to some live piano tunes. Sessions is a great place! This sorta thing is definitely our speed. The lighting was right, the comfy chairs were right, the music was right…. Right on! We hung out there for a bit and then went to change into our swim suits and went to the hot tub. We lounged in there for a bit then had some more ice cream… yes, more, and then decided to call it a day. We went back to the room and got ready for bed and pretty much collapsed into bed. Sadie came in from the Stack at 12:30pm and typical kid-style said she had fun and offered pretty much no detail. At times thinking back over the week, it seems that she was on an entirely different vacation. Then we hit the hay ending a perfect first day!

Up Next: The First Morning

Tiggery 06-04-2006 01:54 PM

Great report. What a perfect first day :sunny:


Great report--I'm really enjoying it. :thumbsup2

curlybop 06-05-2006 11:03 AM

Great report so far! I love reading them. The photos are wonderful too. :sunny:

disgal1 06-05-2006 01:25 PM

Great report!! Thank you so much for taking the time!
Keep going!!!!!!

RoyalVizier 06-06-2006 12:02 PM

Cast of Characters:
Ward – that’s me
Cheri – the lovely wife
Sadie – the lovely 13 year old daughter

Sunday, May 21st – Day 2 Part 1: The First Morning

I awoke in the night to pitch blackness which I am not at all used to. Between small night lights and hallway lights and street lights there is always some sort of faint light to get around. Not so in the stateroom. At sea there is just blank black empty nothingness out the window. So there I was lying in bed wondering what time it was. I evidently hadn’t read far enough on the DISboards to the posts that recommend taking some sort of digital glowing clock. All we had were our watches. I took my watch and ever so carefully attempted to make my way into the bathroom. Now take the pitch blackness and introduce suddenly the harsh brightest of white bathroom lights that you can imagine searing into a groggy dream induced mind and you have me, standing there blinded, crumpled against the stateroom door as I try to figure out how I’m going to tell my family that I can no longer see for all eternity.

Anyway… it was 3am so I went back to bed (stumbling the whole way.) I kept having visions of me stubbing my toe on the bed and falling through the closed privacy curtain right onto the sofa holding my dozing daughter. Luckily, I just sort flopped unceremoniously back on the bed hoping for the best.

I woke back up at 5:30am and knew that the sleep was over. So I got up, left the girls sleeping, got my shower and got dressed. I went up to deck 9 and decided to try the beverage station out. I pretty much lived on fruit punch for the journey. I took it up to deck 10 (watch those deck steps at 6am in the morning!) to try to find a place to sit. Disney is obviously a 24 hour round the clock operation and things aren’t any different on the ship. I passed many guys in yellow suits hosing and wiping and painting and doing all kinds of things to prep the ship for the day ahead. I ended up down in the sitting area of Topsiders and had a seat just looking. The sky was just beginning to light that soft first light of day and you know what? It is more beautiful when seen from the middle of the ocean. I admit I got a tad bit reflective sitting there all by myself staring out at the vast blue thinking about things. The ocean really is remarkable… an alien planet in a way. There is a whole other world underneath the surface and here we are, on a man-made ship just serenely gliding over the top of everything. Uh, sorry… enough of that… onward! :blush:

I sat there for awhile before I realized that Goofy’s Galley was open for pastries so I got a few to take down to the room for the girls. They were still asleep but I deemed it wake up time so they got up and got ready while I ate cream cheese and cherry Danish to pass the time. Cheri was pretty much bouncing off the walls as she had been for weeks because today was our excursion through Dolphin Watch. :Pinkbounc :bounce: We decided to go to the Key West shopping seminar at 9:30am in the Promenade Lounge with cruise shopping guide Rochelle. As we had never been to Key West before we needed to learn how to shop. It was mildly helpful I guess. To be completely honest, I had absolutely no idea that the Caribbean = Jewelry. Jewelry was the focus of the seminar which was interesting, but there wasn’t any information on where to find a gaudy coconut carved birdhouse which is something more our speed.

After that, Sadie and I went to Animator’s Palate for some drawing lessons. There were only three other people there and Simone showed us how to draw Mickey Mouse. Mine was deformed, of course, but it was fine trying. The experience was just a tad strange because when I went I guess I mistakenly assumed that our leader would be an artist or at least be able to draw but Simone didn’t. I mean, she was great and all… but she was struggling just as much as we were. :artist:

We went up top again to deck 9 to see that we were pulling into Key West so we ran back to our stateroom and got all of our things together and went down to deck 1 aft where we would disembark. By this time we had been pulled in for about 5 minutes or so. The Cast Member down there said that it would be another half hour at least before we could leave and suggested we to up top and have some lunch… so we did! We ate chicken fingers and pizza. The first of many platefuls for the week. We ate next to the railing soaking in the sights and took some pictures when I looked down and saw that they were letting people off. It was time!!

Chickens and cats. That is pretty much the population of Key West. Chickens tried to follow us right through the door of the mall that we visited. They have some really interesting stores (some devoted to cats!) and we pretty much just wandered around until it was time to head to Harbor Street for our excursion. We were scheduled for the excursion at 1pm and arrived there very early because we didn’t really know where we were going. We had to ask for directions twice so wanted to allow plenty of time to get lost. We got to the dock at about 12:20pm or so, so we were very early and it was blazing hot outside. :sunny: The shade didn’t even help any, it was just baking out there so we went in and out of a ice cream shop there at the dock but felt strange just standing in there for their air without buying anything. This is where I first noticed the infamous Key Lime Pie on a Stick. What a concept! Another mental note for later! So there we stood, baking in the sun, waiting to see some dolphins.

Up Next: Seasick with Patty C. and the First Soufflé

anty30 06-06-2006 01:29 PM

I was on the same cruise. Had a ball. I cant wait to read more of your report. :thumbsup2

RoyalVizier 06-06-2006 02:10 PM

Anty, I've read your report also. It inspired me to start working on mine!! :thumbsup2

Next installment coming right up!

RoyalVizier 06-06-2006 02:17 PM

Cast of Characters:
Ward – that’s me
Cheri – the lovely wife
Sadie – the lovely 13 year old daughter

Sunday, May 21st – Day 2 Part 2: Seasick with Patty C. and the First Soufflé

Our guide arrived and helped us to board the boat, the Patty C. :boat: This was a private excursion so it was only the three of us and another couple on the boat. Our guide (I can’t remember his name) took us out about 8 miles to Dolphin Bay where we were hoping to see some dolphins playing. Three dolphins showed up and swan around our boat and played with each other. It was the most amazing sight! They came so close! We were all sitting on the back of the boat with our feet dangling down and they sometimes swan right underneath our feet, under the boat, out again… all over the place. Cheri loved it!! It was about two hours into our four hour excursion at this point. The guide said that this experience could pretty much be anything we wanted it to be. We could stay as long as we wanted and we could move on to the next part, which was snorkeling, whenever we wanted. The guide radioed another of his partnering boats to let them know that we found where some dolphins were so they showed up and we just sat there, watching the dolphins play and relaxing. Amazing!

We told him that we could move on, so he took us to the other side of the island for some snorkeling. Now, up until this point I had been fine. I had been up on deck, moving around, moving from the front of the boat to the back just fine. But for some reason it was this leg of the journey that I began to feel nauseous. :faint: :crazy2: :headache: Not enough to actually get sick, but just kinda dizzy and loopy and pretty much wanting nothing more that to lie down. So I sat there on the back of the boat with my head down for a long time while the guide told my wife everything he knew about dolphins. It turns out that he knows Richard O’Barry, the man who trained Flipper for television. Cheri has become more and more enthralled with the world of dolphins lately and had just gotten done reading O’Barrys book, Behind the Dolphins Smile.

So we arrived safe and sound to the other side of Key West where the water was not quite as clear as it was in Dolphin Bay and it was really very choppy which didn’t help my state any. We dropped anchor just a ways of shore. The guide told us that there were beautiful coral in this location. I was never certain that I was going to snorkel on this excursion. I’m weird with the ocean. I like to be on top of the ocean and I’m pretty okay with being in the ocean as long as I can stand up. Other than that, I’m iffy. There was never any question with Cheri, she was getting it. So the other couple went first then it was Cheri’s turn. Sadie decided to stay with me on the boat. The sea was really rough and the boat was lurching side to side which made it difficult for Cheri to get over the end of the boat onto the small platform and down the ladder. The three of them were out there for maybe 5 minutes when the couple came back in. Cheri stayed for a little longer then began to come in as well. That’s when Sadie decided that she wanted to try, so Cheri stayed out with her but Sadie really didn’t like it so was out there for a total of about 3 minutes. Better than me!

We pulled back into dock at 6pm and we were pretty much exhausted and starving. Sun and water do that to you, right? We shopped our way back to the ship poking our heads into Diamond’s International. We were told by a friend before we left for vacation that we had to go to Keno’s because they have the best sandals in the universe but they were closed. In fact, that whole section of the alleyway was closed off. I was okay with that because quite honestly… it looked a little scary and I was tired.

On our way back to the ship, we ran into the Blonde Giraffe, the key lime pie factory, which we’d heard about during our shopping presentation. That sounded so good right now as we were starving not having had any lunch. This is a really cool place! :thumbsup2 I really wanted a piece of pie with whipped cream but they were out, so one without was fine. Sadie got hers frozen and dipped in chocolate. They were awesome!! Another note for next time: Buy many many many slices to bring back to the ship with you and put them in your cooler. Not that you need any additional sweets on the ship, but hey. By the way, who knew key limes were so small? I didn’t. It was educational as well as scrumptious!

We got back on the ship at about 7pm after a quick stop in a very interesting Mallory Square Market where we got that gaudy coconut souvenir. When we got back to the room, I pretty much collapsed on the bed not wanting to move for the rest of eternity. :faint: The only thing that could entice me from the cool sheets was the thought of a shower and dinner, so we showered and got dressed for dinner. It was Lumiere’s night tonight so we headed that way and we seated at table #20. This time, our tablemates Bonnie and Jim were the ones that were missing and the other three had arrived. They were Hector, Mildred, and daughter Nicole from Orlando. I had rigatoni pasta and Normandy salad but Octavian pretty much brought us everything on the menu to try. For dessert: the Grand Mariner Soufflé. Octavian made a spectacular show out of poking a nice little well in that soft cake and dramatically pouring the chocolate sauce in! I should have been videoing that!! It was eaten in five seconds flat! So good!

After dinner, Sadie ditched us for the Stack and we went back to the room. We were so tired. I admit that I don’t recall much if anything that happened after that because I am told that I literally went into the room, flopped on the bed and was zonked out. Fade to black… :faint:

Up Next: Sadie the Hired Killer and the Death Spray of Doom

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