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Old 08-10-2011, 10:42 PM   #136
firecracker725
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Your pictures of Madeira are gorgeous! I especially enjoyed the shots of the characters on deck.

Can't wait for more!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:23 AM   #137
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It has been so great to see your pics and live your trip. Thank you so much for sharing. Next installment please.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:51 PM   #138
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DAY 10 - May 23rd, 2011 - Day At Sea #7

DAY 10 - May 23rd, 2011 - Day At Sea #7

Beep, beep, beep, beep! The alarm went off at 10:00. We notice that the ship is STILL moving A LOT. Hmmm. We start getting ready, and I read in the “newspaper” delivered that the ash is going away from Europe now. Yay!

At 10:50, we head down to the Walt Disney Theatre for the Don “Ducky” Williams autograph session. (We were assigned a time slot based on what deck our staterooms were located. Our session happened to be today!) There wasn’t a line when we got there and he graciously signed our lithograph (the gift we received at the beginning of the cruise).



I took the lithographs back up to the room and then we proceeded to Parrot Cay for a buffet breakfast. Within 30 minutes, we were done and we made our way to (where else?) Promenade Lounge. We played games and also decided to grab the gratuity form from Guest Services to get that squared away. As we were playing games, the music starting BLARING. It was obnoxiously loud and took a few minutes to stop. I guess they were having technical issues? It happened again to us later in the cruise as well. Weird! The “Drink of the Day” today was the Island Hopper, so we decided to try it.



HOLY. VODKA. Vodka and I aren’t too good of friends, so James and I took a few sips and went back up to the bar to get more juice added to it. It was still too much for me, but I drank about half of it before handing it over to Dad to finish.

At 1:30, James and I went up to Topsider to grab a plate of food to bring back to the lounge.



Before we knew it, it was 3:30. We went up to our rooms to fill out of tip forms and gather our gift cards and then came back down to Guest Services. There, we dropped off the forms and put our gift cards on our account. (Note that, in our minds, our rather large amount of OBC we received for rebooking this cruise onboard was going to go to the large amount of gratuity required for this cruise and the gift cards covered the rest of it.) Afterwards, we dropped of the tickets and our folio printout in our rooms (but not before snapping a picture of the dinner menu!).



Then, we decided to look in the gift shops. Again.



At 5:00, there was going to be a special DVC Member Mixer/Social happening in Diversions. So, at 4:45 we entered Diversions and grabbed a seat. It was a wonderful event. Why, do you ask? FREE alcohol! Did you catch that? Maybe I should mention it again. FREE ALCOHOL! So, I enjoyed 4 Heinekens. James enjoyed a glass of pinot, a Corona, and a glass of Asti Spumanti champagne!

By 6:00 we were making our way out of there. And yes, we were feeling goooood. Tonight’s performance in the Walt Disney Theatre featured Charo. No thank you. We happily skipped that and went back to our rooms to chill and relax until dinner time.

At 8:10, we started making our way do to dinner. Tonight, we would be dining in Animator’s Palate. I snapped a few pictures as we waited to get in:







At 8:30, the doors opened, and off to our table we went. I guess it’s time for food pictures now!

Beef turnovers:


Chicken cordon bleu:


Pork dish:


We also ordered cheese soup, but I didn’t take a picture (since it was similar to the cheese soup earlier in the cruise).

Dessert menu:




Nothing sounded appetizing to me, so I settled for the “Seasonal Fruit Jalousie” (wasn’t too great in my opinion either):


Sundae:


At 9:45 we were exiting the restaurant. The sun still hadn’t fully set yet!





Once in our room, we saw our towel animal, but no excursion tickets for tomorrow. Hmmm...we haven’t done a Disney excursion before, so I didn’t know if we should have them or not. I assumed we did though.



After snapping the towel animal picture, James and I went back down to Guest Services were they “reprinted” the tickets for all 4 of us. I say “reprinted” in quotations because I noticed the following morning that a lot of people had the “reprints.” Looks like the real tickets didn’t get delivered to many people...

Anyway, by 10:15 we were in bed. Our excursion was scheduled for 8:00, so we wanted to make sure to get some sleep! We set our room service order on the door and fell asleep shortly thereafter dreaming of CADIZ, SPAIN! Stay tuned!
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May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:02 AM   #139
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Great addition Kevin! Can't wait to hear what excursion you guys picked! I think we would have skipped that dinner, the Mother is a vegetarian, and there didn't seem to have many options. Have you heard of many people skipping the assigned seating and going to the buffet? I've heard that the waiters will be happy to bring you anything you request, but I don't want them to hate us.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:58 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
Great addition Kevin! Can't wait to hear what excursion you guys picked! I think we would have skipped that dinner, the Mother is a vegetarian, and there didn't seem to have many options. Have you heard of many people skipping the assigned seating and going to the buffet? I've heard that the waiters will be happy to bring you anything you request, but I don't want them to hate us.
Thank you!

Once we hit the second week of the cruise, we were becoming less thrilled with the menus. Some nights it was a REAL stretch to find something to order! Before getting on the ship, we had planned on not eating every single meal in the dining room and doing room service or the buffet for a few nights. Truth be told, we've NEVER had above average servers on a Disney cruise, so we were fine with potentially skipping a few meals. James and I wanted to experience menus we haven't had before, though. Once we met our serving team, however, we knew we would be dining in the dining room every night! It just goes to show how your servers can "make it or break it" for you. Marianne was truly phenomenal. She knew when we didn't like what we selected and she wanted to remedy the problem as soon as possible! It is true...they will go above and beyond to try and accommodate your needs. If there isn't anything you like on the menu, just ask about getting something else!

Hope that helps!
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December 8, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream / July 28, 2012: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean)
September 7, 2012: 5-night Disney Magic (Canada/New England Coast) / December 6, 2012: 3-night Disney Dream
May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:43 AM   #141
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GAH! You had to go and post close-up pictures of Peter, didn't you? He certainly is our least favorite cruise director also. My thoughts are the CD is supposed to be full of energy, and typically is one of the friendliest folks on board the ship. Peter is dry, boring, and the least bit even close to being remotely friendly. Outside of his droning on and on and on and on before shows, I don't think I heard the guy utter two words to anyone. (Off my soapbox now!)

I hear you on Beef Tenderloin Palo! Yumola, and the same here...it's what I always order. Noticed you opted for the gorgonzola too! Nothing beats that!

So sorry about your character breakfast snafu. But you did get that awesome photo of Goofy and Donald entering port. Wow, what a photo of a lifetime!

How cool you were able to get both Alton F. White's and Don "Ducky" Williams autographs. I think that alone would have been worth the cost of the cruise!
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by iloverags2 View Post
GAH! You had to go and post close-up pictures of Peter, didn't you? He certainly is our least favorite cruise director also. My thoughts are the CD is supposed to be full of energy, and typically is one of the friendliest folks on board the ship. Peter is dry, boring, and the least bit even close to being remotely friendly. Outside of his droning on and on and on and on before shows, I don't think I heard the guy utter two words to anyone. (Off my soapbox now!)

I hear you on Beef Tenderloin Palo! Yumola, and the same here...it's what I always order. Noticed you opted for the gorgonzola too! Nothing beats that!

So sorry about your character breakfast snafu. But you did get that awesome photo of Goofy and Donald entering port. Wow, what a photo of a lifetime!

How cool you were able to get both Alton F. White's and Don "Ducky" Williams autographs. I think that alone would have been worth the cost of the cruise!
Thank you for all these comments! I'm happy you've been reading my trip report!

Glad to hear you share the same opinion on Peter. Blech! And yes, that photo was so unexpected! I was just snapping as many pictures as I could hoping for something good and there it was!


I'm working on the next installment now...I forgot how many beautiful pictures I got on our excursion and in Cadiz! You guys won't be disappointed!
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January 21, 2011: 2-night Disney Dream (Benefit Preview Cruise) / February 3, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
May 14, 2011: 14-night Disney Magic (Eastbound Transatlantic) - TRIP REPORT / November 17, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
December 8, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream / July 28, 2012: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean)
September 7, 2012: 5-night Disney Magic (Canada/New England Coast) / December 6, 2012: 3-night Disney Dream
May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:59 PM   #143
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Absolutely helpful as always! Thank you for answering all of our questions, you are fabulous! Crossing my fingers we get some servers who love their jobs and hopefully we never have to encounter this Peter character. Let me ask something on a totally different subject. Do the cruises you take using DVC count towards your Castaway Cay status? I now have a mission to become Platinum, must go on the behind the scenes tours, and hoping that all cruises, no matter how you pay count.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:11 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
Absolutely helpful as always! Thank you for answering all of our questions, you are fabulous! Crossing my fingers we get some servers who love their jobs and hopefully we never have to encounter this Peter character. Let me ask something on a totally different subject. Do the cruises you take using DVC count towards your Castaway Cay status? I now have a mission to become Platinum, must go on the behind the scenes tours, and hoping that all cruises, no matter how you pay count.
You're most welcome!

And yes, cruises where DVC points are used DO count towards your Castaway Club status! Yahoo!
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January 21, 2011: 2-night Disney Dream (Benefit Preview Cruise) / February 3, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
May 14, 2011: 14-night Disney Magic (Eastbound Transatlantic) - TRIP REPORT / November 17, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
December 8, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream / July 28, 2012: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean)
September 7, 2012: 5-night Disney Magic (Canada/New England Coast) / December 6, 2012: 3-night Disney Dream
May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #145
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Would you say the cruise was at capacity? - there doesn't seem to be any real crowds in any of your pictures. I was on the Dream in April and it was crowded...
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:19 PM   #146
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Excellent! Thanks! Now I anxiously await the 2013 itineraries, want to get on the boat to Hawaii if they have another one! Would be just as excited to do a Transatlantic, can't wait to see what they're going to do

Of course looking forward to more of the TR! No pressure of course, I can't imagine how much time it takes to do one. I will try a feeble attempt for ours and find out first hand
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:36 PM   #147
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Would you say the cruise was at capacity? - there doesn't seem to be any real crowds in any of your pictures. I was on the Dream in April and it was crowded...
The cruise was definitely NOT at capacity. All the staterooms may have been filled, but the total number of passengers wasn't at the max. There were numerous empty tables around us at dinner!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
Excellent! Thanks! Now I anxiously await the 2013 itineraries, want to get on the boat to Hawaii if they have another one! Would be just as excited to do a Transatlantic, can't wait to see what they're going to do

Of course looking forward to more of the TR! No pressure of course, I can't imagine how much time it takes to do one. I will try a feeble attempt for ours and find out first hand
We're excited for the 2013 itineraries as well! Writing a TR is definitely time consuming, but lots of fun. I get to relive my trip! Although, I also realize how much I forget! You think you write down enough to jog your memory...in reality, I find I forget many things as I'm writing and have to go back, or just forget things period! Whoops!
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January 21, 2011: 2-night Disney Dream (Benefit Preview Cruise) / February 3, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
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May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:31 PM   #148
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DAY 11 - May 24th, 2011 - Cadiz, Spain (Part 1)

DAY 11 - May 24th, 2011 - Cadiz, Spain (Part 1)

At 6:30, the alarm starts going off. WOW. It is WAY too early for my liking! Around the time we were getting up, a “Bright Star” announcement was made in our stateroom. I’m pretty sure this is a medical related thing, but can’t quite remember. I tell myself to ask Marianne at dinner.

The phone rings at 6:45 and it is room service! Within a minute they are outside our door. Now, we requested a delivery time of 7:00-7:30 so they were definitely early. I’m sure a lot of people requested the same time so they had to spread out the deliveries.



We make our way down to Rockin’ Bar D (the meeting place) for our “White Villages of Andalusia” excursion at 7:45. Cadiz was the only port I didn’t know what to do, so I figured doing a Disney excursion would be best. For Madeira and Gibraltar, I researched and found good taxi tour companies to use. For Barcelona, I knew we would just walk around and do the hop on/hop off bus. Cadiz? Didn’t find any good tour options on our own, but saw good reviews for this Disney excursion so we went with it! I asked my parents NUMEROUS time if this excursion would be okay for them while we were planning. The description said there was a lot of walking with hills, stairs, steep inclines, etc. They assured me they would be okay and would just sit down and rest if they had to. What can I say...I worry about them and their health!

Anyway, we checked in and at 8:00 we were being led to our bus. There were multiple busses for this excursion, so we had to make sure we stayed together and got on the appropriate bus. We were led by Ernesto (who worked in merchandise on the ship) to the deck 1 aft gangway. We got on the bus and were on our way shortly thereafter.



Now, at this point I realized why I was having a hard time finding things to do in Cadiz. This excursion (and a few others) led everyone AWAY from Cadiz. We drove a good 45 minutes to an hour to our first “white village” destination on our tour: Medina Sedonia. Our guide, Reinholt referred to them as “white willages” which made me chuckle a few times. And he said it A LOT. I know, I know...not nice. But, he was a wonderful guide and spoke MANY languages.

Anyway, once we arrived at Medina Sedonia, we were dropped off at one location, and then (with our guide) we would travel through the village and get picked up in another location. As we were exiting the bus, we noticed two children left behind, sleeping. After we were gathered outside the bus, the driver got off and talked to our tour guide. The tour guide asked who the parents were and told them that their children couldn’t stay sleeping on the bus. Are you serious?! Why would they leave their children unattended, in a foreign country, on a bus?! Wow. Some people. These are the same kids that were pushing and cutting in front of an older couple on the way to the bus from the ship just to be the first in line; and the parents were right there with them. Really?! They woke them up and got them off the bus, and then we were on our way to explore the village! PICTURES!


(See the wind generators in the distance? They have MANY of these throughout the countryside to generate energy!)











































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January 21, 2011: 2-night Disney Dream (Benefit Preview Cruise) / February 3, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
May 14, 2011: 14-night Disney Magic (Eastbound Transatlantic) - TRIP REPORT / November 17, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
December 8, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream / July 28, 2012: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean)
September 7, 2012: 5-night Disney Magic (Canada/New England Coast) / December 6, 2012: 3-night Disney Dream
May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
April 5, 2014: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean) / September 1, 2014: 7-night Disney Wonder (Alaska)

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Old 08-16-2011, 06:32 PM   #149
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DAY 11 - May 24th, 2011 - Cadiz, Spain (Part 2)

DAY 11 - May 24th, 2011 - Cadiz, Spain (Part 2)













After traveling through some streets (with lots of uphill and downhill walking), we made it to the village “center” where we were then allowed to explore the area on our own for about 30 minutes:























(DISNEY merchandise! How funny!):














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January 21, 2011: 2-night Disney Dream (Benefit Preview Cruise) / February 3, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
May 14, 2011: 14-night Disney Magic (Eastbound Transatlantic) - TRIP REPORT / November 17, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
December 8, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream / July 28, 2012: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean)
September 7, 2012: 5-night Disney Magic (Canada/New England Coast) / December 6, 2012: 3-night Disney Dream
May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
April 5, 2014: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean) / September 1, 2014: 7-night Disney Wonder (Alaska)

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Old 08-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #150
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DAY 11 - May 24th, 2011 - Cadiz, Spain (Part 3)

DAY 11 - May 24th, 2011 - Cadiz, Spain (Part 3)











Then, we started making our way down a street to get to our bus again:

















Our bus!



And so, we were then on our way two our second destination: Arcos de la Frontera (notice the Greek-ness of the name? More Grecian style architecture and design here).

En route to Arcos de la Frontera:






After about 30-45 minutes, we arrived. This time, the bus dropped us off in a busy traffic circle and was going to meet us in a parking area for busses. We had to be dropped off here because the streets become SO narrow en route to the village “center” area. Also, it is an uphill, half a mile to a mile walk to our destination! Eeeeeks! You can do it Mom and Dad!

Walking up to the village “center”:














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April 5, 2009: 4-night Disney Wonder / April 25, 2010: 4-night Disney Wonder - TRIP REPORT
July 20, 2010: 5-night Disney Wonder (Key West) / December 2, 2010: 3-night Disney Wonder
January 21, 2011: 2-night Disney Dream (Benefit Preview Cruise) / February 3, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
May 14, 2011: 14-night Disney Magic (Eastbound Transatlantic) - TRIP REPORT / November 17, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream - TRIP REPORT
December 8, 2011: 3-night Disney Dream / July 28, 2012: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean)
September 7, 2012: 5-night Disney Magic (Canada/New England Coast) / December 6, 2012: 3-night Disney Dream
May 6, 2013: 14-night Disney Wonder (Westbound Panama Canal) / December 13, 2013: 5-night Disney Magic (Western Caribbean)
April 5, 2014: 7-night Disney Fantasy (Eastern Caribbean) / September 1, 2014: 7-night Disney Wonder (Alaska)

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