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jrose529 07-19-2004 08:20 PM

Highlights of our July 10 - 17 Eastern cruise
DH, DD (15) and I just returned from our “Magical” Eastern cruise. (July 10 – 17) We had an amazing time and can’t wait to return. Unfortunately we can’t rebook just yet, but maybe in another few years… This was our 5th cruise but our 1st on DCL. We decided that we would only sail on DCL from now on. DH was not looking forward to this trip and was pleasantly surprised. He had an awesome time!

We had a category 8 stateroom with a large porthole on deck 5 forward on the starboard side, (5508) and the location was perfect for us. Orlando was our cabin steward and he was great! He called us all by name and made awesome towel animals. The room was always in perfect shape. We spent most of our time on the deck 4 lounge chairs which were wonderful. It was shady and quiet and we fell asleep for a few hours each afternoon. Don’t miss this deck!

Since we spent most of our time in these wonderful lounge chairs, we missed most of the daytime activities. I highlighted everything I wanted to do, but missed everything because I was too relaxed to move. DH and I haven’t been this relaxed in years! It was heavenly.

We went to all the shows at 6:30 since we had late seating and changed for dinner after the show on most nights. We had plenty of time. The shows were terrific. Disney has the most talented cast on the sea! Our evenings were spent in Sessions listening to Daryl Lockhart play the piano and sing. He was fabulous! We enjoyed every minute in Sessions. Kadir from Turkey was a hoot! He loves to play the harmonica.

DD (15) made so many wonderful friends that she plans to keep in touch with. She went to the Stack a few times, but she and her friends mostly hung out and talked. She came back to the stateroom by 2 AM each night (morning!!!) and 3 AM the last night. I was worried at first since this is so unusual for her, but activities at the Stack ended at 2 AM and she was having such a great time that I hated to have her miss out on the fun. I waited up for her each night, which was exhausting for me, but she was thrilled to have the freedom. I made her check in a few times each day and have dinner with us every night, but we didn’t see her most of the time. She did go on excursions with us in St. Maarten and St. Thomas. At Castaway Cay she stayed with her friends. She told us this was the best vacation she ever took and was not ready to leave.

We had the LAPLAPL rotation which was fine. Our servers were Sanjeev & Cornwall, and they were wonderful. We did get the “excellent” speech a number of times, but we were expecting it since I read about it on these boards. The food was much better than we expected, especially the desserts! I booked Palo for the second night at Animator’s Palate and that worked out great. We enjoyed the service, and the food for the most part was fabulous. Our server was Louise and she was terrific. We were a bit disappointed in the filet mignon though. So many people recommended that we order it that we had very high expectations. It was good, but we’ve had better. It wasn’t buttery soft and both were overcooked. The appetizers and desserts were wonderful, especially the chocolate soufflé – it was amazing!!! I didn’t have to wait on line for ressies which was a surprise. I also got my first choice seating time. We boarded about 12:45 and there were no lines for ressies anywhere. I also got my first choice for a cabana massage on Castaway Cay.

On St. Maarten, DH did the 12 Metre Regatta and had an awesome time. He would highly recommend this excursion. DD and I went to Orient Beach with Pam & Alana whom we met on these boards. Alana is 7 and she and Amy played on the beach much of the time. We decided to take a cab to the beach which cost $6 each. The driver arranged to pick us up at 2:15 to bring us shopping and he was right on time! We rented chairs & umbrella’s at Pirates which was also $6 each and included a drink. We had lunch at Pirates and the food was wonderful. Pam & Amy rented all day snorkeling gear for $10 each on the beach and they had a great time. There were quite a few nude people strolling along the beach, most of them elderly. Alana ignored them, but Amy got a chuckle each time one passed by. The beach is beautiful and if you go to the side where the DCL excursion drops off, I think there are fewer nude people. It was very quiet on the side we were on. It rained a few times for about 15 minutes and we ran up to Pirates for shelter under their awning. It wasn’t a problem.

I was not impressed with the shopping in Phillipsburg. We couldn’t walk a few yards without being stopped for hair braiding. It was very annoying. It was also incredibly hot and Amy was losing patience with shopping. I didn’t see many great deals. I ended up getting a better deal on earrings on the ship.

On St. Thomas, DH & DD took the kayak excursion and had a great time. DD snorkeled for a while also. I took the St. John tour which was wonderful. It is a beautiful island and we stopped often to take pictures. DH, DD & I met for lunch at Lumiere’s at 1:00 and then went shopping by the dock. Again, no great deals were found.

Castaway Cay was nice, but HOT! It also rained a few times, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Serenity Bay was not great, except for my cabana massage, which was amazing! DH didn’t like the fact that he had to walk over 100 yards before the water reached his knees. There was also no breeze. It was much nicer at the end of the family beach. There was a breeze and plenty of lounge chairs. We didn’t take any excursions, but DH was sorry he didn’t rent a sailboat. The lunch at Cookies was good, but the lines were long at 12:30 so we waited until 1:30 to eat.

We received many great tips from these boards – thanks to everyone for their help. The best ones were the over the door shoe holder for small items and toiletries; deodorizer for the bathroom is a must; a nightlight for the bathroom is helpful; the power strip for electronics was a great idea, as was the blow dryer. I should have listened to all the veterans about taking fewer clothes – I always over pack! We had a whole suitcase full of clean clothes to take home. The walkie talkies were not necessary for us. There were so many people using them that we had to change stations all the time. After the first day, we put them away.

If anyone has questions, please feel free to pm me.


Tera 07-19-2004 08:43 PM

Great information Judy, thank you. I can't wait to experience the lounges myself, but have a feeling my DH will enjoy more than me:teeth: I can't wait till we go on our first trip, I can hardly stand it.

CruisingCA2005 07-19-2004 09:13 PM

Thanks for the great trip report!

tigger53 07-19-2004 09:19 PM

judy, hi we were on the same cruise. the water at cc on the adult side was unusual. we have been there 6 other times and never seen it like that. we walked out almost to the orange markers and were still only up to our knees. weird. other times it would have been neck deep or more. i think also with the water being that shallow it created that funny smell along the beach. oh well, we still had a great time.

Credit Man 07-20-2004 09:06 AM

Thanks for the great report!

mb2456 07-20-2004 03:01 PM

Hey Judy,
Very cool report!

I too was a little concerned at first on the late nights for the girls but, you know they were on the boat and they could'nt go far!

The last day was so sad for the girls. They all kept coming over and crying and saying how they were going to miss each other. I think they all made long term friends on this cruise.

Loved the meet and greet on the first day. It was great to put a face to a disboard member.

Had a great time and the girls and I will have some great memories to share for a long time......

Talk with you soon.

Mike, Katie and Jennine

jrose529 07-20-2004 05:15 PM

Hi Mike,

PM me with your e-mail address so I can send you some pics. I tried to e-mail you through the boards, but I couldn't add an attachment.

Amy misses everyone so much. She's at music camp for the week and she usually can't wait to go. This year she was so upset about leaving her cruise friends that she didn't want to leave for camp on Sunday! She's already talking about visiting our relatives in the LA area so she can see Katie. She has all these plans to visit everyone in their respective states or countries. She's too funny. She wants to plan a reunion cruise, or at least a reunion somewhere.

The meet and greet was a great idea. It made the girls more comfortable with each other and it was great for us to see our DIS friends around the ship. These boards are wonderful.

We will also have so many wonderful memories.

Judy, Steve & Amy:sunny:

walt4evr 07-20-2004 06:07 PM

Thanks for your report. We have been debating whether to go to Orient Beach or Great Bay and after reading your report, we have decided on Orient Beach. It sounds wonderful. I was a little concerned over the nude bathers but it sounds as if they are in the minority. We are an all adult party, but will definitely be wearing bathing suits, so we wanted to make sure we would not be the only ones with suits on! LOL!

jrose529 07-20-2004 10:31 PM

Hi walt4evr,

You will definately be in the majority with your suits on. It was actually funny to see the people who choose not to wear suits, they are the last people you would expect to see nude! We really got a chuckle over some of them.:hyper: You will have a great time, it's a beautiful beach.:sunny:


Pam Floyd 07-22-2004 04:55 PM

Alana & the nudes
Alana (7) not only ignored them, she said she didn't even SEE them. I guess she was too busy playing in the surf and sand. When I pointed a couple out, she wasn't surprised or interested. They didn't bug me either. To each his own.

Lovely report Judy! Did you get my album link? I've got some sweet shots of Amy and Alana in there.

Miss ya all,

Pam & Alana

jrose529 07-22-2004 05:39 PM

Hi Pam,

How are you? How was your trip home?

I didn't get your album link. I also have some great shots of Alana and Amy. I can send you the pics, but I don't have an online album. I'll attach them to an e-mail. Did you use webshots? I saved pics on webshots, but I need to set it up as a shared album.


Nysie 07-25-2004 06:42 PM

Hi Judy! We are planning to go back in 5 yrs! We figured by then the shows will have changed, and maybe there will be new ports of call!! Sound like a plan????

Denyse :wave:

jrose529 07-26-2004 04:53 PM

Hi Denyse,

I don't know if I can wait 5 years! I'm hoping for 2! We had too much fun to wait. Now we have to start saving our pennies. I'd like to go before Amy gets too old and can still enjoy the other teens. :p I'd also like to try the Western Caribbean. We cruised to Key West & Cozumel about 8 years ago on another line and really didn't enjoy ourselves, so we'd like to try DCL.:teeth:


Nysie 07-26-2004 10:31 PM

Hi Judy! I can't wait to do another DCL cruise!! What cruise line did you go on before? My friend talks so highly of Carnival and says it gets a bad wrap, but I don't think anything can compare to the "disney experience!!:Pinkbounc

EmmasGrammy 07-27-2004 02:07 PM

Thanks for the great trip report!! Sounds like you had a really great time and made some really good friends!! Glad it was a good trip for your DD too!!

How about a trip report from the fellow cruisers/new friends? We'd love to hear your stories too!!!

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