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Old 09-26-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
verygfy
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Park Commando's Sailing The Rocky Seas, Our 1st Cruise 9/19, with pics UPDATED 11/06

Hello All, we had an amazing time on our first cruise and I wanted to share our wonderful experience with everyone.

Let me introduce the cast to you. My name is Angela . I’m 32 and am a Disney nut. My husband Mitch is 32 and is into things like golf, football, and relaxing. He is not as big of a Disney freak as me but he does enjoy everything Disney. Then there is our son Scott 12, he is my handful, especially right now. He knows everything; mom knows nothing. He loves to read, play video games and his new obsession is Facebook. And last but not least is our daughter Haley 4; she is my bashful child (I don’t know where she gets it from) and loves the Fab 5, Cinderella, Tinkerbell and pretty much anything Disney.



So how did we book this cruise, you ask. OK you didn’t ask, but I am going to tell you anyways . DH and I have been visiting the Parks since I was 18 years old. We lived in South Florida until about 7 years ago when we moved to Georgia and used to head to the parks about 4 times a year at a minimum. We loved the parks, loved staying on property. After moving to Georgia we cut down on our trips to about twice a year that drive just was too much to do. DH and I had talked about a land/sea trip for quite some time but it never seemed to work out between money and time off from work, so it always ended up being a land only vacation. Plus every time I would look up a cruise that initial price gave me sticker shock. I was so used to breaking up the cost of our trips by booking a hotel room for 4 days, and then a month later I bought the park tickets, and so on. So when I looked up a cruise and for four days it said $1800+ Well this year when DH and I started talking about our family trips, DH nixed the multiple trips to Disney Parks saying he did not want to do the 16 hour drive there and back multiple times this year and doing the parks commando style. He was interested in doing a relaxing vacation this year. Then DS pretty much put his foot down on not doing the parks this year . What was I going to do, I needed my Disney fill and DD loves all things Disney. With that I looked into the cruise, hmm we get all things Disney, this beautiful ship, entertainment, and dining. DS gets to swim; play at the beach, DD gets to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald and the gang, and DH gets his relaxation. This seemed to be a fair trade off. So I booked us on the 4 night Wonder for Sept. 19-23rd to Bahamas in a cat 11 gty about 6 months out.

After I paid the deposit and looked at the brochures and picked up the Passporter (I tried to wait for the 2010 version, but it seemed that thing was never coming out so I purchased the 2009 version) I was kind of lost, now what . No planning dinner arrangements, no planning which parks to attend what day, no downloading touring plans. Planning is part of the fun for me. What do you mean no planning!!! Then I lived on the DIS cruise forum . I started reading trip reports and asking loads of questions. Joined our cruise meet, and oh yeah started planning our trip .

One of the exciting things we did for the cruise was purchase our passports. DH and I really debated this topic pretty heavily. I knew that we could cruise to the Bahamas with just our birth certificates and drivers license, but with DD’s asthma (sorry reactive airways according the doctors) we decided it was best to get the Passports just in case something happened and one of us had to fly home (Murphy’s law and all, we seem to get hit with that a lot).

After our great passport debate it was time to start making magnets, join the cruise meet, and start looking at the ports and any excursions. DH and I intensely looked over the excursions, since DH’s only experience on a boat was a fishing trip with a bunch of guys from work and he got terribly sea sick and neither of the kids had been on boats we decided that we would not book any excursions this trip and just test out the waters!! Not to mention the last year has been crazy hectic for both DH and I at work. It has not been unusual for the both of us to put in 80+ hours a week and we both were looking forward to some relaxation and not a crazy commando vacation .

Our plans for the trip were as follows:

Leave Saturday morning around 8:00am and drive down to the port. Have dinner and relax by the pool.

Nassau was going to be a slow day, play it by ear kind of day.

Castaway Cay was going to be a relaxing beach day; this was the day I was most looking forward to.

And do you remember how I said no parks this year , well… I was able to convince DH to extend the trip a day and attend MNSSHP for Thursday we got off the ship.

The final countdown began, we were 6 weeks out and final payment was due around July 4th. We paid the final payment and we were in countdown mode. Then it happened, DD broke her arm. Her and I were sitting on the couch watching tv, she was in a goofy mood that afternoon and I had taken this picture of her with a birthday hat on and sunglasses.



I then got up to check on dinner and DD started to jump on the couch, as I came around the corner to sit back down I saw her take a nice little flip over the side of the couch and onto the floor . Oh the screaming, it was terrifying. DH immediately rushed her over to the Urgent Care Center where they promptly took pics and sure enough she broke it in two places just above her wrist. The next day we took her to the Ortho and they said 6 weeks in a cast, 6 weeks, we were only 4 weeks out from the cruise. Luckily the doctor said she would be in a full arm cast for 4 weeks and then the Thursday or Friday before we left for the cruise they would swap out her full arm cast to a short arm waterproof cast that she would have to wear for about two weeks . Crisis averted.



Then it happened again, it was the weekend before we were leaving and I was out running last minute errands and DH was out helping his sister with some remodeling project for her house when he called and said his battery was dead . The bright side was that it happened the weekend before that we could just handle it and not next weekend when we were stuck at a rest stop off of 75 waiting for tow truck. So a hundred dollars later and we were set to drive down to Florida.

I hope you are still with me I know this was an extremely long introduction.


Up next: Meltdowns and potty breaks, oh my…

Last edited by verygfy; 11-06-2010 at 02:20 PM. Reason: UPDATING TITLE
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:21 PM   #2
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I'm in and ready to see what happened!
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydfamily4 View Post
I'm in and ready to see what happened!
Thank you so much for reading along!!
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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Day 1-Traveling to Port Canaveral

The plan today was to wake up around 7am and be on the road at 8am driving straight through to PC, have dinner and relax to make it an early night, tomorrow is the big day.

Why is it every time you want to leave early is the only time your kids sleep in?? DH and I packed up the truck around 7:30 and finally woke the kids about 8:00. We finally got on the road around 8:30 and started heading south. Our first stop Chick Fil A for some yummy chicken minis. If you have never had the pleasure of tasting chicken minis, let me tell you are missing a little piece of heaven.

Back on the road with your tummy’s full we began to start making some good timing and then it hit!! The constant potty breaks. It amazes me how every time you get 10 miles down the road someone else has to go potty and the conversation goes a little something like

Adult: “didn’t we just stop?”

Child: “yes”

Adult: “didn’t I tell you to go to the bathroom?”

Child: “yes”

Adult: “so how do you have to go now?”

Child: “well I didn’t have to go before”

Ugh!! DH says next time we are flying. With our gazillion potty breaks out of the way we were still able to make it to PC around 6:00pm.







I had booked a room at the Radisson at the port for $79 on Priceline. I figured this was a pretty good deal since parking at the hotel was free and the shuttle was free. Parking at the port was going to be $60 so in my fuzzy math; this was a great hotel for $19!!

Check in was a breeze, we had a standard room which was very nice:









After unpacking the car we decided to head to dinner. On one side of the hotel you had Zachary’s a Greek diner and on the other side you have Kelsey’s Italian both within easy walking distance. We opted to try Kelsey’s since DS wanted pizza. The restaurant was nice, service was a little slow. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics because DS decided to have one of his meltdowns where everything was bothering him. I think he was tired from being up late the night before and all the traveling that day. DS had the pizza and said it was alright, I had the veal parm which was ok. DH had the calzone and enjoyed it and DD has the spaghetti and meatballs that she really seemed to enjoy. All in all it was a decent meal and our total was about $45.

Unfortunately because of DS’s breakdown we called it a night and I got the kids bathed and sent them off to bed. DH and I took turns going down to the pool area. The pool was crawling with people, mostly cruisers sailing either Royal or Carnival in the morning. The pool area was amazing. The pictures on the Radisson’s website are pretty accurate; actually I think it looked a tad bit better in person. There are 3 waterfalls, a koi pond. I was disappointed the kids didn’t get a chance to enjoy it.

Up Next: Finally on the Mickey Boat & Some Rocky Seas, did we get sea sick??
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:49 PM   #5
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I'm along for the ride! Can't wait to read more... Oh, my gosh! I LOVE that picture of your DS in post #1! I have seen that EXACT same look on my DD's face before. She knows it all too...

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Old 09-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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Love your report....we are in the planning/dreaming stage and your family sounds a lot like mine, so it seems like a 'true blue' report! Hope you had a great time.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verygfy View Post

I had booked a room at the Radisson at the port for $79 on Priceline. I figured this was a pretty good deal since parking at the hotel was free and the shuttle was free. Parking at the port was going to be $60 so in my fuzzy math; this was a great hotel for $19!!
That's an awesome deal, I'm looking for the same kind of deal for our Feb cruise. Can you tell me what you put in to win that bid? Also did you have to call the hotel after you won to get the free parking and shuttle to port?
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jey12 View Post
Great trip report! We were on the cruise with you and it will be great to see what your experience was! I started our own trip report this afternoon while DD was taking a nap. Since the cruise she's been telling me I'm tired and then will put herself to bed. LOL. I think we saw you guys at the hotel and then again at the terminal. You cute little DD's cast was easy to spot. There was just so much to do and see it was hard to really get to talk to anyone.
There was way to much to do and see!! We had such an amazing time and can't wait to go back. DD hopefully will get her cast off on Monday, her cast made it easy to find her in the clubs

I will definitely find your report, I can't wait to read everyone's experiences. I am sure we all saw and did so many different things, even though we were in the same place.

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Originally Posted by TheThomsLuvDisney View Post
Great TR, subbing in and can't wait to read more! The hotel looked great! So you do not need to pay to store your care during the cruise just by paying for one night as well as free shuttle? That is a screamin' deal!
The parking and shuttle at the hotel is completely free . You do have to make a reservation for the shuttle and spots fill up fast so as soon as you win your bid on priceline call the hotel and book your shuttle. But there is no charge for either parking or the shuttle. It is an AMAZING deal . The hotel was very nice, the pool area is a must for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixie View Post
That's an awesome deal, I'm looking for the same kind of deal for our Feb cruise. Can you tell me what you put in to win that bid? Also did you have to call the hotel after you won to get the free parking and shuttle to port?
I put in 2.5 star Cape Canaveral, FL. The Radisson is supposedly a 3 star and that was an upgrade. I have heard of people getting CI&S for $49 I tried that a few times and could never win the bid , so I bid $79 and won the Radisson. After you win the bid call the hotel to reserve your shuttle time, the 10am fills up fast
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:53 AM   #9
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Nassau finished..

Getting back on the boat was again very easy. Disney seems to do this right since the Carnival ship that was next to us had a line going outside the ships doors and we just walked right back on the boat . Not sure what the hang up with Carnival was, but either way I was happy I was getting back on Disney.

DH & I dropped DD off at her club and went by the Buena Vista Theater to see what movies were playing. Since nothing was playing at the time DS went to his clubs also. This allowed DH and I to have some quiet time together. I can’t remember the last vacation the two of us were able to spend time together without one of the kids glued to our hips. So we took this time to just spend some quality time together. After a little bit of alone time, DH decided to take a nap and I went over to Quiet Cove Pool for some relaxation. The pool area was pretty packed, but I was able to snag one of those cushioned chairs. Those chairs were fantastic!!

Everyone that I had spoken to that day was talking how sea sick they were the night before. One lady had told me that Palo’s had 50 cancellations

After my quiet time at the pool I went and got DS from the clubs for some mommy/ daughter time. We stopped off at the Lobby and played Mr. Toads wild race. While she had fun with the game I don’t think I would recommend this for anyone under 7. As we were heading up to the pool after checking on DH we saw these guys



After some quick pics with the Goofster and Max I got DD undressed to play in the Mickey pool while I got lunch from Pluto’s. This line was insane it wrapped around the side. I stood in line and DD had just got in the pool and started to play when all of sudden they called everyone out due to unidentified floating objects , GROSS!! I felt so bad for DD since she really wanted to get in the Mickey pool, but she was a champ about it and came to wait in line with me at Pluto’s. We sat and had lunch and DD decided she wanted to play in the splash zone. She was one of the biggest kids in the splash zone but she so enjoyed it.



I am not sure where DS ate lunch, but every time he checked in with us he never complained about being hungry and since he has the worst eating habits in the world (can we say junk food junkie) I didn’t ask. I knew at least once a day he would have something nutritious. It’s his vacation to, right!!

After something to eat and splashing in the splash zone, DD and I headed to scrap booking at wavebands. It was an obvious pitch for rebooking on board, but Disney style, not a lot of pressure. DD enjoyed it though. They had old navigators and the DCL brochure magazine to cut from. Once we finished up our pic. We went back to the room to check on DH and DD could show off her scrapbook page (DD was very proud of her picture and really had a good time with the event). DH was finally awake from his nap and we all decided to go see if the Mickey Pool had reopened. As we walked out we ran into this guy



Unfortunately the Mickey Pool wasn’t open yet, they were having trouble getting water pressure for the pressure washing they must do. We looked at the Navigator and realized story time with Belle was happening soon so we went back to the room for a quick change and dropped DD off at her club. She really liked her club and kept asking to go visit it.

DH & DS headed over to the arcade and bought a $30 card for DS. DH said that was the best deal since the games were pretty high.

DH & I again found ourselves without any kids, we didn’t know what to do with all this kid free time. This time we just hung out on deck 10 and enjoyed the breeze. DS came and sat with us for awhile and I went and grabbed us some goodies from Outlook Café. DS was so jealous he couldn’t go in, yeah like he needs another place to get more junk food. We all watched the Carnival pull away and we all commented on how beat up the boat looked. Doesn’t look like we will be sailing Carnival anytime soon.

Tonight was Animator Palate and Formal night; wow did the lobby get crazy tonight. People were everywhere taking pics with Mickey and Minnie in their formal wear, taking Lifestyle photos and having pictures taken with the ship at night backdrop. I did my best to avoid deck 3, but constantly found myself tangled up in the mess of people. We managed to get away by walking around outside on deck 4. DH & DS played shuffleboard for awhile before dinner.





I must admit that prior to the cruise I never understood everyone’s hype about the show at Animator’s Palate, but after attending dinner there, I get it!! We had so much fun watching the room change colors and the music changing. The kids had such a great time they didn’t even do Dine and Play tonight they didn’t want to miss anything.

I ordered the tomato salad which I really enjoyed, DH ordered the baked potato and cheddar soup and licked the bowl clean. DD had the pork chops tonight (I managed to convince her to get away from the Macaroni and Cheese). DH had the beef tenderloin (I think I see a pattern forming), it had a bit of a bbq flavor to it, he did quite enjoy it. I had the veal chop and while it was a little bit fattier than I would like (I don’t like fatty meat) it was still good.

After dinner we headed over to Shutters, but we had to stop and chat with this lady







After browsing through the photos the crowd in Shutters started to frustrate me, so we headed out. As we walked out we ran into our other favorite





Both of these ladies were fabulous with DD, they both allowed her to tell them all about how they were her favorite. I was so impressed with how they treated her especially since she just ran into them in the hallway. DD tells everyone how she talked with Cinderella and Tiana.
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