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mindy327 05-12-2008 03:52 PM

4 day Land 4 day Sea 8 days of bliss! Lots of Pics, Humor & Tips
Well first let me introduce my family...
Im Mindy(28), my DH Brandon(32) and my two children Cecily(6) and Kaden (3). We are from Arizona where the weather is hot but a dry heat! We are all Disney lovers. I had gone many times to Disneyland as a kid but never to Florida's Disney. It was always a wish. DH not so much a Disney fan till he met me. Now I will look over at him and catch teary eyes when it comes to catching the Disney magic. My daughter could already pass as a Disneyland tour guide. She knows where a lot of hidden mickeys are and that is one of her favorite things to do, is find them. Kaden, well he cant stay focused! His little thoughts are on overload when it comes to Disneyland. Especially WDW & DCL. He had a blast. We travel to Disneyland a lot and after the DCL came out we were bound to go. It was a dream vacation to us, but DH at 25yrs old got very sick. Dr. said he would need to have a major surgery (remove entire colon) or he may not survive. Between all of that and the unkown, we booked our first cruise in 2003. DH and I just went, but after that I bacame a DCL addict. To the extremes of getting the logo right on my ankle. Sentimental value to add. He survived his surgery and hey its cool! (pics to follow)

After that we knew we would go and make it a way of life for us. Well 5 years later, (we wanted to wait for Kaden to be 3 so he could go to the clubs) the anticipation and loooong waiting arrived. We had even talked my family in joining us on this trip. My Mom and Dad, Sister and her husband and Maddie their little girl. As well as my other sister and her boyfriend and Aunt and uncles family. For a total of 15 of us!

We booked the package together being Disney has it extreme superior customer service and the simplicity of booking the package was and could not be passed up. We did however add an additional day onto our package to give us more time in the parks. We decided to again stay at POR and that was not a bad choice. Infact we love that resort. The meandering walkways and the landscaping is enough to take your breath away. The majestic manors and bayou themed resort is what I picture to be wonderful.

on with the vacation....
We had a scheduled flight on Continental at 5 am from Phoenix so we woke up at 3 and got the kids up and ready. I could not sleep. The excitment was enough to keep anyone awake all night. I couldnt help but say "We're finally going on our disney cruise!" Cecily doesnt do so well in the mornings. She is the night owl So waking her up was tough but the rest of us were up in a matter of seconds. Loaded up our bags and we were out the door we went at 3:30am. We got checked in at the airport when Cecily began to say her tummy hurt. (early morning bug I guess. Remember, she is our night owl) Stopping for drinks, Kaden and I were full of energy despite it being before sunrise. He knew he was going on an airplane ride (or as he called it BIG JET) Just as we sat down at the terminal to wait with our drinks & banana in hand,
Cecily threw up all over the place. And it began. The thoughts of oh no were going to be quarintined quickly entered into my thoughts. But we did have 4 days to get better. No fever, no signs of sickness, just the flutter bug I guess. She got sick again on the plane and during our layover but after leaving Houston she was fine! She had gotten a little motion sick.
Well 2pm and we made it. We headed down to the transportation floor at MCO and the simplicity of the transfers were flawless. We were down there and in a matter of minutes directed to our line to load the bus to POR. We went out side were our transportation met us. "This is it", I thought, as the cute DCL bus (you know the one, with the round port holes for windows) rolled up my eyes started to get teary eyed while trying very hard to swallow the lump in my very excited throat. We had made it to Florida! And no sickies. Cec was better by then, and excited as ever. As we stood in line she was the highlight of attention as we harrassed her about her "SNAGGLE" tooth in the front that was sooo loose. ( It was so loose, it had started to go sideways) "com'on cec, lets get it out! But no one could touch it. She was waiting for the Blue Fairy on the cruise to come if it fell out on the ship. The tooth fairy was on vacation I guess.:cutie:
Our bags were going to meet us in the room so all we had with us was a stroller and two carryons full of entertainment for the kids. I had even packed a small travel sized pillow, which came in handy many many times during this trip. If you have small kids, I highly recomend one! And we began to walk up the steps of the red portside painted bus that would take us there. We settled into our seats an waited as our journey awaits....

more to follow........

tparbs 05-13-2008 02:34 AM

Loving it so far, but probably no time to catch the rest before we'll be experiencing our own 4 Land/4 Day! To be fair, it'll be 3 Land, 4 Sea, then 1 1/2 Land! ;)

So glad to hear your husband faired well with the surgery! How scary!!!

Hmm...okay, where'd you get the tat? That's tempting to me and this is my 1st cruise, period! But I know I'll become a DCL junkie!!

Thanks for posting! I'll be posting my own TR when we return!

tparbs 05-13-2008 02:35 AM

Oops...forgot to tell you...your kids are adorable!! And it was cool to see the inside of a ME. I hadn't seen one posted before!!

alwayslisad 05-13-2008 05:11 AM

:yay: :yay: :yay: I'm hooked..... :yay: :yay: :yay:


BDDisney 05-13-2008 09:36 AM

Great intro:cool1: Can't wait for more!

Dreamfinder2 05-13-2008 09:56 AM

This one's gonna be good. I feel it in my bones.

mindy327 05-13-2008 03:08 PM

Arriving at Port Orleans Riverside and Downtown Disney
After pulling out of the airport, what seemed to be the most exciting yet long bus ride, as we passed the ever so flat lands of Florida. Kaden, didnt seem to care except he could look out the round shaped porthole windows on the bus. The back of his head became a frequent sight with him. He was always looking at something.

For those of you with small kids I would brace myself for the words that seemed to be rather frequent this trip. "C'mmon, Lets go, This way, Keep walking, Dont stop".

After our seemilingly flawless and speedy check in we were off to our room. We stayed in the Mangolian Bend for those of you familar with this resort. Great room, Not so great location. It was close to the East Bus stop, so that was convienent. But FAR of a walk to the restaurants. Again, it didnt really bother me, the walk was very beautiful. Passing over bridges, Bending around walkways, and that Scent in the Florida air just seemed to add that magic touch.

After freshening up in our room we would call home for the next few days, we ate dinner and took an over due nap. We were now on Florida time which is a 3 hour difference from home.
So we awoke at 8pm (5pm AZ time) and headed to Downtown Disney by the ferryboat transportation from the marina at the hotel.
We had gotten the ever so popular PS for Cinderella's Royal Table Breakfast inside Cinderella's Castle in the morning, and Cecily HAD to have a Princess dress fo complete onsamble. We didnt stay long. Enough time to get to the princess store and check out the Legos

And back to the hotel for an early rise to the Magic Kingdom Park for a breakfast fit for a King and Queen.
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in the next post

mindy327 05-13-2008 03:50 PM

Off to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
Two Parks in one day!!? I know, I dont recommend it. But we go to Disneyland a lot and it is very similar to Magic Kingdom.

Well off to the park with Cec donned in her Princess gear. We had a PS reservation at 9:30 so we took advantage of the Extra Magic hour in the MK park before it opened to get in all of the Fantasyland rides before breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table. There was nobody there. See!

It worked well and we got to do most of the attractions there.
We headed to the castle as planned to check in with the rest of our family. We really only met up for Food. Its hard to keep 15 people together, everyone wants to see something different. We planned it that way. Anyhow, Breakfast there is amazing. I highly recommend attempting to get reservations there if you have small girls. Kaden on the other hand HID under the booth from the ever so frightening Princesses of terror.
He really did not like the people characters, but LOVED Mickey. Go figure.
After breakfast we hopped on some of our favorite Disneyland attractions and headed off to Animal Kingdom at 1ish. It closed at 6 and we wanted to be sure to ride the new Expedition Everest ride!!!
We took the ferryboat (always a relaxing and enjoyable ride) to the busses and transfered to AK.

I personally am not a huge fan of AK, but we had to do the headliners. Brandon and Cecily rode Expedition Everest first, did the baby swap and suprisingly Cec wanted to go again with me. I thought for sure Brandon scared her for life with that one. Nope. She a thrill junkie too. By 6 we were done and wet from riding Kali River Rapids 3Xs in a row!!! And ready for some R&R back at the hotel.
With a bite to eat and a dip in the crystal blue pool, was a sure way to start the first day of our trip off right. The kids loved the pool. Just be prepared for them to ask to swim like EVERYDAY!!! We could have stayed home to do that! But time with the kids is really what we loved.

mindy327 05-14-2008 02:40 PM

Mowing over days 3 and 4 and onto the port for boarding!
I know I know, get to the cruise info already!!! So I will in short go over the last two days at the parks with our package! We hit Epcot which was HOT and way over crowded. Extra Magic Hours was that evening. Unaware of this, I would recommend staying away from the evening ones. Morning was great at MK. You just never know with Disney. Then MGM studios. This is one of the smaller parks. We got there when it opened, and we saw EVERYTHING in the park by 3pm. The Stunt show is a not to be missed show. The Boys loved it, and us girls were thrilled by it. We headed back to the Hotel and Yes, Went swimming! Again, The kids thought swimming was funner than the past two days at the parks. Both dont have a lot of rids and the kids were tired by now.


We slept in on the day to the Port. The bus was to pick us up at 12pm sharp and we were asked to be in the lobby bar by 11:30am. I had time to spare after getting the kids out of bed to stop at the Fulltons store located right inside the lobby as well, to purchase the souvies I had eyed all week in there. We were already checked into DCL via the desk especially for DCL guests at the resorts that cater to the package of Land and Sea, and we knew check in at the port would be easy. So we had some time waiting inside the bar, as the DCL castmemebers came around to verify our family. We sat for about 20 minutes and I looked up to notice EVERYONE (about 20 families) were gone including the Castmembers of DCL!:scared1: I cant tell you how fast we scrambled the kids together and zipped out the door to find the bus being loaded!!! I felt like I was in a Mickey cartoon. Dust following and all. How did they miss us? I dunno, who cares We were loading the ever so familiar red and black Disney Cruise Bus, remincing the ship, with the cute porthole window again! My frustrations quickly left from almost being left behind, and I was grinning ear to ear! With our Castaway Club lanyards on, and key to the world cards inside, we were ready to go!!!

The bus ride was not long at all. We did stop at one other hotel to pick up some other fellow Cruisers and in a flash we were off. The highway to the port seemed to have a bit of construction, but all was well. We came upon the overpass bridge and as we reached the top, apearing like a breath of air to the left, was the Wonder, shimmering in the Port. The surrial moment took my breath away as the bus started to cheer and clap, for the ship was in sight. I felt the tears well up in my eyes once again, as the sappy Disney struck me I felt the goose bumps rise and the hair on the back of my neck stand to attention. It was more beautiful than I had remembered, and pictures dont do it Justice. She is a beauty, and one of my favorite places on earth. Really. We were in pulling in. It was time to board.

Security check in was simple and quick. Once we were though the security we headed up the escalators, and you are welcomed by the grand sea blue lobby of the DCL.
We went to board when we were directed into a LONG line to get the kids checked in for the club. Here? I thought. Hmm. Okay.
So knowing we would be there a while, I decided to take some pictures of the lobby. It took a good half hour (I had Brandon stand in line. What!? I had pictures to take!:)) to get through the line, where we were greeted by the Club staff donned in there yellow shirts. Very friendly, the kids were given wristbands, verifying passwords and our pager.

We were finally ready to walk through the yellow mickey shaped entrance to board the Palatial Ship. We showed our Key to the world cards and on we went.

When you enter the ship you are to walk across, as to what reminds me of a coverd plank. If you glance down while on it heres what you see.

We reached the doorway to the ship that leads into the atrium, where the Staff greets you by asking your name and where you are from! Next you hear over the speaker system, "Ladies and Gentlmen welcome from Arizona the Muir family. Welcome aboard." Always a favorite.
We then stopped for a family photo infront of the Arial statue and we went straight to Parrot Cay for the buffet awaiting.

Next post... Lunch Buffet, Muster Drill and our evening a blur.

CSwan1 05-14-2008 05:40 PM

Hi Mindy! I am loving your trip report! You inspiredme; I started writing my own today! I haven't posted anything yet but soon I hope! You should put on our cruise meet that you are writing a report so the others can see it! Oh and tell Cecily Kailee says HI!

tksbaskets 05-14-2008 06:35 PM

Enjoying coming along for the trip :goodvibes

mindy327 05-14-2008 07:35 PM

The rest of the evening!
(I really hope this is somewhat entertaining to some.)

As we walked through the hall towards Parrot Cay once again, Kaden.
Cec, continued to find those hidden mickeys I had mentioned she loves.
We were placed at table 3 with my sister, her husband and my niece for the buffet, (Which I really was not that impressed with. Not much to eat for children. They did have a small table for kids food, but the choices were very limited. (Corndogs, spaghetti, mac and cheese.) We ate pretty quickly and all decided to go to our rooms for a peek. We stayed in room 6053 and was greeted to see lots of gifts.
An inside cabin, that I actually dont mind at all. I mean, how often were we really going to be in our small but wonderful room anyhow? But next time we plan on a 7 day, and I think well go for the verandah!

We took a family photo and imediatley decorated our door, Fish Extender and all.
The Fish Extender experience was a blast. I think I looked more foward to finding gifts than the kids did. Brandon thought it was silly at first, but then he soon realized when we got the loot it took a turn towards a thumbs up!:thumbsup2
We unpacked and went swimming. We heard all day, Mickey pool. Mickey pool! The kids really wanted to try out the slide.
Back to the room for some rest around 5:30pm and the kids were alseep within minutes. We decided to let them sleep and get a snooze in ourselves, so we ixnayed the Welcome show. We had Early show/Late dinner So we had to be up by 7. Well, we slept in. 8pm we woke up, kids still asleep. So we QUICKLY got dressed and in the Tritons Dinning room within 10 min. All of us 15 were sitting together. This was really the only time we talked. Durring dinner. Our wonderful waiters were the BEST. Oliver, quickly became a favorite of our. He found out Kadens favorite food is marshmallows. Each night he got them.

We, after dinner, decided an Adult fun night would be great. Hmm, Navigator says Match your Mate! Sounds like fun. We had seen this before, and wanted to participate.
We dropped off the kids in the club and we were both a little aprehensive. Kaden is but isnt fully pottytrained. He goes pee, but terrified to go #2 IN the potty. So we left the pullups on (I know, dont flame me) during the trip. We didnt want him to be kicked out of the club. The boards say they'll give you a chance if they have an accident. Well he had 3 and they would just page us and say ITS OKAY! JUST CHANGE HIM AND BRING HIM BACK. They even knew he had pullups on. Go figure.
So we headed to the Game show. (kinda like a newlyweds game) And yes, I did the jigg to get picked. By the way both my parents and sisters and brother in laws joined us to the show!
The host took us and seperated us to ask us each questions.
I was mortified after I came back and got the question....
Okay so your husband is on a ship. He has enough life vest for all but one of your imidiate family. Who does he leave behind? "Ladies and gentlmen, Let me introduce you to my imidiate family!" I jumped on the bandwagon and said what the other ladies said. My mom! He actually really does love her but I got it right! We won 2 castaway packages.! cool!
After that we went and got the kids and went to bed! 11:30pm.

Tomorrow, Nassau and the surprisingly adventurous buggy tour and a visit to the Pirate Museum.

tksbaskets 05-14-2008 07:48 PM

I'm entertained!! :thumbsup2 Keep it coming!

MAJ RN 05-14-2008 09:23 PM

Awesome report!! Can't wait to read more. We are going on a 4 day cruise in October so I can't wait to see how your trip goes!!


mindy327 05-15-2008 03:02 PM

Nassau day, we ate breakfast at the Beach Blanket Buffet, were Kaden discovered they had marshmallows. He ended up mixing them with Cocoa Crisps for his daily breakfast. I know. Sugar overload. With the many choices for breakfast, we ended up really liking going here for breakfast each day.

We the proceeded down to the lower deck to disembark for our self made excursion be foot, to the Pirate Museum. We were not too sure on the location, so when we were approached by the buggy driver we took the offer for a "taxi" ride the the museum. $30 seemed a little steep, but it beat walking in warm muggy weather, and not getting lost on the way.

We were pleasantly surprised by the tour that was given to us on the carriage ride. It took us around the culturalistic town of quaint homes.
Previously, in Nassau we had a somewhat disappointing visit. We had done the Historic City Tour. Not impressed! Our tour guide didnt tell us much. Anyhooo, I was thrilled to see the town this way by carriage, and it was quite extensive as for what we paid.
I really did enjoy this, to see the beautiful and old homes full of culture and history.
Besides, he dropped us off at the museums door step! After gaining our bearings on our location, we geared up with our wristbands and went inside the museum.

I would describe it to be a Pirates ride meets a wax museum walk through. Warning: If you have little ones brace for them to be a bit frightend by the dark and earie hallways. One exhibit even displays how pirates doctored themselves without clean and steril work stations. Yes, its rather graffic.
But well worth the money it was to go.
We headed for a stop by the strawmarket, and food store. The ship doesnt have Monster energy drink, and Brandon thought he had to STOCK up!
We wanted to be back by 1 for Cec to go to the Nestle cookies kids activity, she had been wanting to do this since she found out it was an option. We took some photos,
dropped Kaden off for Do Si Do with Snow White
and had some adult time at the pool. Heres my tatoo! I know Im nuts!

We were really burning time for our visit to the Rasual Bath we had reserved for 3:30. With a check up on the kids, Kaden, again needed to be changed. He had an accident. We took him out of the club for a few, met the captain
(folks meet Kaden!:) See what I mean)
and checked him back in. We were then shocked to see Cecily's "snaggle tooth" missing! It fell out while she ate her cookie. They gave it to us in a baggy and said the fairy would visit her if she put it under her pillow!!!! OKAY?!!!!
Guess I had to stop and get a "disney dollar and gift for that one now!":)

We left for our spa treatment and I will keep this as "G rated as possible"!
For all you couples out there, this is wonderful. Lets just call it a romantic shower with mud!!! And leave it at that. For a better version visit Inkognito's website. We didnt take up the whole 50 minutes, It was REALLY hot in there. I wouldnt let Brandon open the door to the steam room. Too hot. So we were done with squeeky clean skin and refreshed for our Show and Dinner.

Got dressed in our formals, (its dress up night Nassua day) and got our pictures done with the backdrop.
We had time to spare to grab the kids some dinner (we had 8pm dinner) they were hungry by then and brought the hotdogs and hamburgers with us to the Toy Story Musical show.

I must say, this is one of my favorite movies and I was soooo impressed by this show I made Brandon tape most of it.!!! The effects are astronomical and wow Sid becomes the anti hero in this one. "he" got more cheers at the end than Woody and Buzz. A definate must see IMO!

By the end of the show Kaden was ready to fall asleep. So we changed Kaden into pjs and took him to dinner with his "pillow and blankie". He ended up alseep, so I layed him under my chair in Animators Palate. Cec, skipped dinner, she had alreay ate and wanted to play in the club. After dinner it was about 9:30 so we took Kaden to the club and layed him down still asleep on one of the covered mats. Brandon and quickly changed our clothes and headed to the Kareoke club for a few got tired and grabbed the kids, and went to bed!
All in all a fun filled exhausting day. I love the boat!!!

Castaway Cay and Pirate Night in the next post! ARRRR!

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