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Old 10-18-2011, 08:57 PM   #11
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 138

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
The sharp-eyed among you will notice I changed the title to this section. Confession: titles are not my forte. Many would say neither is my trip reporting. lol Anyway, I changed my title because I can and wanted to and, besides, the title should reflect my commitment to providing the full slate of events implied and promised at the start of this report: “Our NewsTeam 25 provides only the best on-scene coverage with outstanding details. For the latest—if not always the timeliest—in-depth reporting, tune to channel 25, The Dog. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.”
I wonder who would say that??

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
Our day dawned as the others had, sunny, warm, and with a nice cooling breeze for running. . .which is exactly what we did. Only this time, luv joined me on Deck 4 to give the out-of-doors a try. For the life of me, I don’t understand someone’s preference for a rolling tube of plastic, rubber, and metal that forces you to keep up with its pace. Such a tyrannical beast is a treadmill, demanding your attention, daring you to stray off its artificial tarmac. It is your master—you are the peon. (Ed. note: Don’t even get me started on elliptical trainers as they are even worse than treadmills—think the Go’a’uld compared to Klingons—because it not only forces you to remain unbelievably upright and coordinated, it makes you look uproaringly silly, sort of a perpetual Electric Slide or an odd Dance with the Stars couple doing the rocking samba.)

Running outdoors (and running on a treadmill that sits outside does not count) provides a person some say in how he proceeds—democracy in motion instead of treadmill totalitarianism. If you wish to slow your pace, you can do so instantaneously without resorting to fumbling with some panel button that takes repeated stabbing to decrease your speed. With a treadmill, your brains is engaged with trying to slow the machine while your legs are crying out to your feet, “Keep up!” as you experience some dangerous version of an out-of-body sensation. I now understand how a bug’s legs keep moving after its head is chopped off. Running on an unaided-by-mechanics surface enables me to alter my stride (mid-stride if I want), to actually turn my head without fear, to sip water, or juggle (okay, I can’t actually do that last one, but I could if I knew how to juggle).

What is another thing you can’t do on a treadmill you can while running outside? Pace yourself, or in my case, try to run slightly faster than anyone else who happens to be running near me. I’m not competitive, merely, umm, self-motivated to run as fast as the next person when possible. Seriously, I do enjoy other runners out and about as they push me to keep a steadier pace and to suck in my gut. With treadmills, all you get is an annoying noise as the gears whine increasingly louder so you have to crank up the volume on your iPod until your ears ring (see related link in Wikipedia, “Treadmill Link to Deafness in Outer Mongolian Yak Herders”). If you attempt to keep pace with someone on a treadmill, you don’t actually keep up so much as you look goofy as you sneak peeks at her panel, trying to find the mph she is going until you desperately realize that the 87-year old grandmother is kicking your butt. Nope, gotta run outside.
Is this a trip report or a rage against the treadmill??? Honestly, everything he HATES about a treadmill is everything I LOVE about one. Although. I don’t actually LOVE my treadmill. I merely tolerate it. Unfortunately I am no longer 20 and can no longer eat anything and everything I want whenever I want. Without the treadmill, or “dreadmill” as I call it. It is not my friend, it is not my enemy. It is just a constant.


Honestly, if I have to have a constant why couldn’t it be the $5,000 or so per week per life one would collect by winning the Mega Millions, huh?? Why can’t I have that???

But. To get back to the dreadmill, errr, treadmill. I do prefer it to running outdoors because I struggle with pacing myself. I get too tired too fast when I’m outdoors. On a dreadmill, errr, treadmill, I don’t have to worry about it. It does the pacing for me. I don’t need to juggle whilst I run, lolol!

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
So. Luv and I set out to run around the deck. As much as I enjoyed it, she was less than thrilled, “But, I’m going to sweat!” What I find unique about running around on deck is the starboard side is cool with a nice breeze in your face while the port side can be blazingly hot since the wind is at your back. Some people might complain that the port side is too hot, the starboard side to windy, and both the aft and forward sections too “hilly”. . .though I know of no one like that personally. . .
Uh, I don’t think I said that. After all, I DO sweat when I run…
Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
After the run, (which LOMF admitted was kinda cool—when it was over),
Uh, don’t think I said that. Nuh uh. No way, no how.
Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
we headed to our local caffeine hangout, the Cove Café, purchased our lattes (one was free!), then sauntered to Cabanas for breakfast.

As usual, the food was hot, varied, and tasty (save for that blasted Disney bacon sliced as thin as tissue paper and with about as much taste), and we quickly snagged a window table. . .for about three minutes. That’s how long it took for us to become irritated by a couple seated at the table next to us who were regaling their tablemates with stories of how awful was the pastor of their church. No, he hadn’t attempted murder or stolen money from church funds. His downfall apparently had something to do with some committee personnel with whom they, obviously, were in vehement disagreement. In hindsight, should we have mentioned to them they weren’t setting a very nice picture of their church, their pastor, or their personal faith? It’s a tough call, and I’ve many faults of my own, so in the end, we said nothing and moved three tables over.
I have no criticisms of others voicing their opinions. Everyone is entitled to them, after all. However, I really don’t need to be regaled by them, particularly from virtual strangers, while I’m in the middle of the big blue ocean, on the ship of my dreams, with the man of my dreams and enjoying me some Eggs Bennie. Just sayin’…

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
After freshening up in our cabin following breakfast, we went into super-dupery secret agent mode and played the Mid-ship Detective Agency game. It’s an interactive game that requires little skill other than being able to find the picture frames on each designated level, no small feat, actually. lol You take a card along with you that the selected artwork reads when you stand in front of it. With said card, you can do things such as brush away dust, clean a mirror, or unfasten screws to a panel. It’s quite enjoyable and mindless, but it does burn some calories as you hop from one level to the next (you don’t actually have to hop—walking and taking elevators is allowed). However, given this was the at-sea day, there were quite a few others who had the same idea. We got about halfway through the game (the funniest moment came when we were skulking down a hallway in full agent mode, me humming the theme from “Mission: Impossible,” when a room hostess popped and saw us—“Don’t worry. I won’t blow your cover,” said she), when we realized that we needed to get to the Meridian Lounge for our wine tasting class. Alcohol MUST take preference over battling crime!
This game is super fun, even for adults but especially for kids, I would think. It was really cool because it actually did read your card to provide your clues since there were 2 different mysteries to choose from. To solve, that is.

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
The wine tasting was full, over 20 people were filling the seats and booths in the lounge. We chose to sit at the bar as that gave us a better vantage point to look out of the windows. We had the same person leading the class as the champagne tasting, and we tasted our way through six different wines—three white and three red—before ending with a taste of champagne. Though still enjoyable, this event was my least favorite of the three tastings we had. The wines we tasted largely consisted of my least favorite varietals (not that I truly dislike any grape, lol) including a Rhone, a Sangiovese (Old World style), and a Riesling among others. The information presented was good, but nothing we didn’t already know (which may say something about how much wine we drink!), so overall it was a slightly lackluster experience for us; however, I do believe that had more to do with our level of knowledge and tastes than the actual event itself. It didn’t help that as we got started, a group of people consisting of six adults and about that many kids came through the lounge in order to get to the outside seating area so that the adults could smoke. The smoke was no issue, but the loud talking and the kids boisterous playing did get quite distracting halfway through the tasting. Finally, at that point, one of the assistants stepped outside and politely asked them to either speak a little more quietly or suggested there might be a better area for them to congregate. Whichever the case, the group moved on and the rest of the class was uneventful.
I did enjoy the tasting, but as SD said, being somewhat educated in the ways of vine, we were pretty familiar with the info provided. I was surprised they let that party out on the deck to begin with – I guess I thought you had to be a patron of Meridian to access it. I was extra-specially surprised they allowed kids there. And mystified as to why the adults let the kids get sooooo out of control and disruptive. Being good Disney employees, no one wanted to address the issue initially, but after a short time it was apparent the adults in the party weren’t going to…

The aforementioned deck pre-rowd, I mean crowd.

A Meridian light fixture

Isn’t the wake pretty?

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
We had some time before the matinee showing of “Villains Tonight,” so we finished the detective game (we guessed who it was before the reveal), and headed to Shutters to peruse our pics. It was here that gave birth to perhaps our biggest criticism of our cruise—the inability to select the pictures you want and put them in the photo book how you wish. That cruisers can view their pictures online at a stand-alone kiosk then place them in a photo album template is a superb idea. However, that novel notion is undercut by some irregularities. First, there seemed to be fewer CM photographers this cruise than I remember from my last one, so that means finding the “official” picture-taking opportunities is a bit more difficult and slightly more crowded. Second, though Disney boasts of having of having the CMs going around and taking ad hoc photos which they wind up displaying on the open racks in Shutters, we rarely saw them. I think we had one shot of luv that was taken on CC day. Third, having fewer opportunities translates to having fewer choices to put in a purchased photo album for which we had budgeted. Fourth, and most annoying, certain CM-taken pictures could only be used in specific sections in the album. For example, there was a picture of us standing in the atrium in front of the staircase that we wanted to use in the middle of the album to show us in fine attire for dinner. Yet, the album would only allow that particular picture to be placed in the beginning of the album. If you wanted an embarkation picture any place other than the introductory pages, forget it. In other words, the album is set up chronologically so that only certain shots can go on select pages. Moreover, some of the pictures they take—such as Captain Jack on CC, aren’t 8 x 11 and can’t be resized for the album. All of that might work for a majority of people, but it doesn’t allow for any creativity at all. Further, as in our case, if you are lacking shots as we were (see the fewer official moments and CM photographer comments above), then you don’t actually have enough photos to fill an album since the sections are limited to a certain number of photos. We didn’t have many initial shots taken of us the day we embarked, so we attempted to use later dining photos and couldn’t. In the end, we opted not to purchase the photo book since we would have to use stock shots of the ship, CC, and characters for nearly half the allowable spaces. Instead, we wound up buying four photos, a photo album, and extra pages in one of the gift shops to make our own album, and in the process, saved ourselves about $50. At one point, we spoke to a Shutters CM who said that not only did he receive many complaints just like ours, but that he had made suggestions to DCL about how to improve the photo album option; in fact, he asked us to sign some official form in order to record our comments. Perhaps future cruisers will have an updated photo book option that allows more flexibility than we had.
I think the show was “Believe”, babe, lolol. I have read a lot of people didn’t care for it, but I enjoyed it. I’m a true Disney afficianado and a perpertual optimist. I do believe in fairies, I do!!!!!

I HATED the whole photo thing. I had my heart set on a photo book but it just not going to let us do what we wanted. I do think they’ve set themselves up to lose huge opportunities with it being so confining. But in retrospect, I do think I’ll enjoy our homemade book much, much more. Pretty sure our actual savings was more like $100, tho.

We also wandered around the ship and took some random pictures

Oh, and here’s one from Believe

Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
Next up:[B] The Curtain Begins to Close
Oh, I don’t like the curtain beginning to close!!!!

Last edited by luvvwl; 10-19-2011 at 07:17 AM.
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