The DaSilva's 1st Cruise! And, yay! It's Disney!! 1/23/10 Western Magic
First, some background...
Our cast of characters:
DW (Me) - Kelli, 44
DH - Bert,44
DD - Alex, 10
DS - Kevin, 7
Okay, for some background on us. The DH is an electrical engineer, I am the residency coordinator in a hospital for resident physicians who are doing their pediatric and internal medicine residencies at the same time. (Basically, I am mommy to 14 docs. Wait, make that 15. Can't forget my boss!) The DD is 9 (she'll turn 10 onboard) in 4th grade and the DS is a 7, in 1st grade and a sports fanatic.2009 was quite the thrilling year! :sad2: The DH got "temporarily furloughed" (yeah, right) in April. Most fortunately, he got another job in about 6 weeks. Unfortunately, it was in Aiken, which is not home. So he leaves for Aiken on Sunday evenings and comes home on Thursday evenings. Well, the day he started his new job, I got a call from my doctor telling me that I had cancer. And not just any cancer, some rare cancer that (naturally!) is even more rare as people my age just don't get it. Whatever, we'll deal... So after a few surgeries, 2 months of radiation treatment, permanent loss of my hair AND managing to fit in a ACGME site visit at work, and bring in 4 new residents, I told the hubster that I needed a vacation! So after going back and forth on what should we do, where should we go, we thought "maybe a cruise". Well, we love Disney, so I really wanted to do a Disney cruise. Checked the prices. Ouch! Looked at some other lines, RCCL, Carnival. Better prices, but not Disney. We finally decided to do the RCCL cruise since we didn't want to spend the amount it was going to cost for Disney when we did not even know if we would LIKE cruising. We'll just do Disney once we know we like being on a cruise, right?
Well, the day I was about to book RCCL, I got an e-mail from DCL. I had signed up to get them when I ordered the DCL cruise planning DVD.
KID'S GO FREE ON 7-DAY CARIBBEAN CRUISES!!!! Woo Hoo!! :cool1: Disney cruise here we come!!!
:thumbsup2 I am so impressed with your "it's life, let's get on with it" attitude!! I know that Disney helped make this last year a little less bitter to take! Can't wait to read the rest of your trip report and what your first Disney cruise experience was like..also any tips you'd give to other first time cruisers!
I hope you're ready to take on 2010 and leave 2009 behind!! :)
Thanks for taking the time to share!!
And we're off...
Okay, fast forward a couple of months....
I have developed a massive addiction to the DISboards, discovered our cruise meet, figured out FE's, cabin door magnets, learned to make my own iron-ons for t-shirts and met some great friends via our meet! Oh, and let us not forget the massive case of stress that we have the DH to thank for. Shows up Thursday night, cheerfully announces, here are the clothes I want to take, but they all need to be washed and I need a haircut! :mad:
So, does the DH make it to the cruise? Or am I on the run from the law for putting him out of my misery? Let's find out...
Nah - I do love him so I let him live to see another day...
FINALLY, the day has come! We leave on Friday to drive down to Port Canaveral, actually leave only about 30 minutes later than the planned departure time. Possibly a new record for us... ;)
We had ressies at the Radisson on the cruise and park plan. Hotel was nice. Pool was great! Bar next to the pool, with live music was even better! ;) Truthfully, the room was so-so. Not dirty or anything, just looked old and in need of refurbishment. The only really bad thing there was the shower. Oh. My. Gosh. The water pressure was SO LOW that it was indeed a fortunate thing that I did not have hair anymore as I would probably STILL be there trying to get the shampoo and conditioner out! :rotfl:
That night we went to Fish Lips for dinner. Here is a picture of Fish Lips from the Magic the next day:
Boy was it good!! There was a ton of great sounding food on the menu, but we ended up getting a bunch of appetisers and the kids (naturally) got kids meals.
Before I post pix of 2 of the apps we had, I have to confess that these are the last 2 food pix I took. I had EVERY intention of taking pix of everything we ate, because I LOVE looking at others pix of food, but...
Best laid plans and all that...
Next time I promise I will photo it ALL!! Cross my heart. Really!
So here is the Hawaiian Ahi Tuna App. Seriously one of the best things I have eaten! Could have downed a vat of this stuff...
And here is the Tomato/Mozarella app we had:
Well, after stuffing ourselves, and making a side trip to the deck outside to see the alligator that is rumored to terrorize young children on a daily basis, we decided to go in search of some Crocs for the hubster. This was an interesting expedition!
We passed by the Tip A Few bar and bistro. Really?! Are you even allowed to call a place with a name like that a bistro?? I swear next year we are so going in to check that out!
Then we passed a fascinating little club called the Cheaters Gentlemen's Club. I kid you not! For real? Can you really even call a cheater a gentleman??!! I think not! :mad: ;) We will NOT be checking THAT place out next year. Except maybe for a picture of the sign...
1st stop, one of those typical tourist shops you see in any town near the beach. Ever been to Myrtle Beach, SC? Then you know exactly the place I am talking about! Unfortunatly, no crocs, real or knockoffs. So we ask a girl who looked like she would be more at home in a goth club where the nearest Wal-Mart was. She gave directions. We go to the car and the DH looks at me and says "do you think she knows what she is talking about?". I said, hey, she lives here, we don't. So.... Did we make it to Wal-Mart? Did goth girl give good directions? Were we wandering the streets of Port Canaveral at all hours of the night?
YES.... WE MADE IT!! :banana: Goth girl gave excellent directions! Found Wal-Mart got what we needed and headed back to the hotel. We did pass the nicest hospital I have EVER seen! Even the parking deck had a water view. I told the DH that if my cancer recurs, I will be coming here to find a specialist! :rotfl:
We make it back to the Radisson, with a side stop at a grocery store for more "just in case" OTC meds I realized I had not packed. Of course, since I did buy it, we never used it. Typical! Get in our sleep comfort beds and wait for tomorrow!
To be continued....
I hope my TR will be fun for everyone to read. I have had the BEST time reading others...
Quick editorial comment: please ignore the date stamps on the pix. Who knew the year would not roll over like the month and day does...
Can't wait for more!!!!!!!:cool1:
Day 1, here at last!!!
Wake up, go to breakfast at the hotel. It was pretty good! Actually, better than I expected. Only thing I did not like was the coffee. It was Starbucks, and while I do love their lattes, the regular coffee is too strong for me...
So we eat, finish packing up pj's and stuff, don our DISmeet t-shirts and head for the front of the hotel. We are to be there at 9:45 according to the front desk clerk for our 10:00 reservation for the shuttle. Apparently, that would be "reservation" only in the loosest sense...
About a zillion people are there already. Okay. So we unload all the luggage and Bert goes to park the car. I let the shuttle check-in guy know we are there. Boy, would I NOT want his job! I ask him about 1 particular piece of luggage we are planning to carry onto the ship. This holds the all important bottles of wine. Can we/should we check it? It is packed to death. Not one bottle is touching the other, no spare room to move around. (and yes, I know, we aren't even supposed to THINK of checking it due to breakage - believe me, no one wants to avoid wine bottle breakage more that we do!). He says probably it would be okay. Do we really want to chance it? After all, we are sharing 210 square feet of space with our 2 kids. That could be our sanity in that rolly-case! :rotfl2: Nope, not taking that chance... We carry it on... Okay, the hubster carries is on. ;)
So finally we get onboard a shuttle, probably only 20 minutes or so after 10:00 and a couple of other shuttles have gone on before us. Unbelieveably, we happen to be onboard with some people from our DISmeet whose DD's have been e-mailing with our DD! Cool! We chat, have a good time and a little while later...
There it is!! The Magic, our home away from home for the next week! :goodvibes:
Yes, I do get teary eyed at the sight... What a dork!
We get dropped off with instructions on where to meet the shuttle when we come back. Come back? Are we coming back? Do we HAVE to? We jump through all the hoops, get checked in, get our Key To The World (KTTW) cards and hit the kid's club check-in line. Yikes, it seems pretty long! Oh, well, at least we did all our paperwork on-line. Strangely, some people were there manually filling out that paperwork. What is up with that? Why not save time and do it at home? Oh well....
We get to the front and it's our turn! The kids get their wrist bands. I knew they had new ones, but I thought they would be a tad smaller than they were. Like a plastic watch with a too-big watchface. The kids would end up complaining about these several times, wanting to take them off. Hopefully, Disney will change at least the size of these things, because once they are on, you don't take them off. They are waterproof and everything.
So we get done with that and by the time we got out of the line, the end of the line was almost down to the ship model!! :scared1: GLAD, GLAD, GLAD we got there when we did!
So we go to the model to look around and see several other people wearing "Cruisin' DISers" meet t-shirts. The first people I meet are TraciM and her family along with Don & Sandy, Traci's mom and dad. SUPER nice people. She & her DH Jesse also happen to have a DD named Jess (well, Jessica, I called her Jess) and a DS named Thomas. We will end up seeing and talking to them a lot.
This is a good thing! :hug:
Here is us at the terminal:
and some pix of the ship model. This was way neat and I did not really spend as much time looking at it as I would have liked. Next year, I will make time to do that. I was still in full stress mode at that time! :eek:
Well, moving on, we got #5 to board. TraciM and her family have #6 so we agree to wait for them in the lobby after we board and go to lunch at Parrot Cay together. Finally we hear our number called!! Oh, my gosh, I can't believe it!!!
We get in line, get our boarding pix made and finally get to hear "Welcome the DaSilva family"! And yes, once again, I get a little verklempt...
To be continued....
Nice start, Kelli! Looking forward to reading the rest. :)
Loving your trip report. We had such a great time! Thanks for sharing!
Loving it so far!!!!:goodvibes Memory lane.
Great start. Can't wait for more!
Kelli, I LOVE reading trip reports about cruises that I was on also, especially from a family perspective. I always wonder what everyone is up to while I'm lounging outside Cove Cafe! :lmao:
Can't wait to hear about your adventures.
Great start!:thumbsup2 Looking forward to more.
Will be continuing the saga tonight!
Obviously, I am only on the boards during my break to post this message and no others!! :lmao:
LOVE the trip report Kelli! On the edge of my seat waiting for more :-) and of course wishing the trip never ended.....
Day 1 continued.....
The DaSilva's onboard! :welcome:
Okay, so now we are on board!
I can relax now, right?
We wait a couple of minutes for TraciM and her DFam to get onboard which doesn't take long at all. I tell Bert to take the kids and go with Traci to Parrot Cay for lunch. I have a couple of things to take care of and then I will join them.
1st stop - Guest Services
Drop off the 2 pillowcases I bought and had embroidered for the kids with 3 boxes of candy and a 12-pack of..........
No, 12 pack of sharpies in various colors! Request NO princess for the DS and ask for Captain Jack. The kids don't know anything about this. When they were asking about characters on the ship, I said yes, they are there and we will take pix, but no autographs. :guilty: Like we don't have enough from WDW? Poor kids to have such a mean mommy! I tell them we are doing Hidden Mickeys instead of autographs this time...
While at guest services I also secure tickets to Tea with the Mad Hatter, wine tasting, tequila tasting and galley tour! Next stop - Rockin' Bar D for spa re-schedule and Palo brunch (I hope) ressies...
I thought I was going to have to wait until 1:00 or 1:30 to try and get Palo ressies but Yay! they are already taking them! I get Palo brunch ressies for our 1st sea day and confirm our dinner reservations for Wednesday... Go to the Vista spa table and re-do my Alone Time reservation as it is currently at 8:00 AM!!! I ONLY booked that time to just have a time. Really, who wants to have to WAKE UP to go to do something relaxing?? Not me that's for sure!
FINALLY done, I head to Parrot Cay to find Bert, the kids and TraciM and family.
NOW I can relax, right....??
Apparently not! As soon as I walk into PC, my phone rings! I told those residents NOT to call me while I was on vacation!!! Someone is going to get it!!! :furious:
Not really! My residents are far too considerate to do that! :love: It's the DH wondering where I am. Right here, honey! :wave: I find our table and Bert gives me the tour of the buffet. Grab some food and sit down..... at last! Kids are all at a table next to the grown folks and conveniently located next to a couple of portholes....
We had a great time talking to Traci, Jesse, Don and Sandy at lunch. I think the kids might have gotten a LITTLE bored waiting on the grown folks. What do you think?
Are we having fun yet?? :rotfl: Okay, okay, we're coming...
We leave Parrot Cay and agree to meet at our DISmeet at 2:30. By this time it's just about time to be able to get to our cabin, 2111 our home away from home! :fish: Don't know why I put the fish there, it was just really cute! No luggage delivered yet, but that's okay, I have ALL the important stuff in my carry on bag!
Door magnets!!! Yay!!! We spend some time unloading wine from the DH's carry-on.
Side note: I had read here that the cooling vessels (aka: mini-fridge) would probably keep already cold stuff cold, but forget putting something room temp in there and hoping it will get cold. Well, I opened that fridge and there was ICE on the back wall! Good sign! I put my white wine (I am a Marlborough County New Zealand Sav Blanc kind of girl) and a bottle of my FAVORITE champagne (Laurent Perrier - good enough to live on!) in there. We'll see if it gets cold. Meanwhile, I fill out the card to have ice delivered am and pm, just in case... Bert is a cab kind of guy so no need to chill those.
The kids, needless to say, were a TINY bit excited... :hyper:
2 adults + 2 hyper kids + 210 square feet = SO not enough room!!!
We look over the Navigator and soon it is time for our DISmeet. We headed out to the Promenade Lounge. We were all wearing the same t-shirts and the front of the shirt had iron-on Cast Member name tags. We got more comments on those tags from other guests as well as CMs! That was really fun! We WILL be doing those on our next cruise! We even had a few people ask if we were cast members. I wish!
Okay, before we move on I should mention that we all had t-shirts with the same REALLY cute picture of a Steamboat Willlie stamp that had our ports-of-call around the picture and, of course, our cruise dates. The DH was somewhat hesitant to wear his t-shirt (read that - just flat out said he really didn't want to wear one) but by this time, my reaction to that was this: :furious: I have slaved over those shirts! Heck, I IRONED!!! You will wear the shirt!!! And he loves me, so he did. Later said it was one of the best things we did to prep for the cruise! TraciM was in charge of t-shirts and she did a fabulous job of finding pix to choose from and organizing a vote. :worship: And I have not even mentioned MaryKLady, who organized our meet and even set up a Cruisin' DISers website! She organized the FE gift exchange and how she did not end up pulling all her hair out with the changes and last minute add-ons AND getting her own family ready to go I will never know!! She did an awesome job and deserves a ton of pixie dust!! pixiedust: We also had Susie (aka OntarioMonkey) organize a magnet exchange. And for anyone in our magnet exchange: who else waited until they were actually in Port Canaveral (or even on the ship) to get their magnets? Besides me that is...? I heard that people would often bring magnets from their hometown, but frankly, while Greenville is a lovely city, and we love living here, it is just not overflowing with excitement. No Superdome, no Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame (ok, that didn't do so much to spice up Cleveland, but still...), no Stone Mountain, no Disneyland.... You get the point. So I just figured, I will get magnets on board. What better to remember our cruise by, right?
I knew you would agree! ::yes::
So back to our story! (Don't you love how this TR just flows? No getting off track, no asides... :lmao:) You know you're loving it!
So we get to our meet and not as many people as we hoped had shown up, but that's okay, we had a good time meeting everyone who was there. After a couple of adult beverages, it was time for the ever popular safety drill. We went back down to get "suited up" and headed out to our drill spot. On the deck and right next to a charming 18 month old who was UN-thrilled to be there! He was CUTE though! Finish that up and head back to the cabin.
Yay!! It's time for Adventure's Away!!! We go up to deck 9 and the party is on! Woo, hoo! Brent is our Cruise Director! Wow! Now I know why everyone likes him so much... Cute AND the accent?? Don't worry Bert, my heart is still yours!
The kids loved it, they were soon right up next to the stage. I decided to go forward and watch us pull out. Soon discovered that the starboard side was a better vantage point to see this:
I stayed there for awhile to watch all the port scenery go by. Wandered aft to watch us pull out into the deep blue sea:
Saw Traci's dad while I was there:
It was so nice back there with the breeze, but soon it was getting time for a show and dinner. One last picture before I go back to collect the family and head to good old 2111:
We had gotten some luggage delivered while at our meet so I sent Bert & the kids out to explore, check out the kids lab, get snacks, whatever, and I unpacked. Let me tell you, I will be packing MUCH lighter next time!! I honestly think one of the things I am looking forward to most on the next cruise is that I will have a clue! About packing and just how things work on the ship. Of course, it will probably take, oh, 20 -30 more trips to get really good! ;)
FINALLY, I know why everyone said to GET THE SHOE ORGANIZER!! I bought one, but was not sure I would really use it. I mean, come on, how hard can it be to find a place for everything that was easily accessible?? :lmao: Oh the naivete of the 1st time cruiser... :sad2:
To be continued tomorrow!!
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