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Old 04-16-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
LissaW16
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Spring Break on the Dream! April 10-15 2012

Friday, April 6th Good Friday – Travel from Duluth to Orlando

The cast of characters – Me (Melissa), working wife and mother. I work for a big healthcare organization writing software for inpatient nurses and doctors (I was a nurse once upon a time).

The husband (Tim) – engineering manager for a local aircraft manufacturer (aka rocket scientist), and pilot (hobby, not professionally).

The daughter (Trinity) – age 5, kindergarten student.

Recent Disney history – we did 3 days in Orlando (Sea World, AK, MK) and a 5-night cruise on the Disney Dream in June 2011, as a party of 11 (grandparents & friends with us). Prior to that we did a week-long stay in Orlando in 2007 (Trinity was 6 months old), with the in-laws (both times staying at the Marriott timeshare property). Tim and I did a week-long stay (All-Star Movies) as a kid-less couple in 2003.

Now on with the trip report:
I woke up at 5am from a dream – in the dream I had boarded our flight, and they closed the door behind me, but Tim and Trinity had not boarded the plane. Luckily I was able to fall back to sleep. I woke up at 6:15 and briefly contemplated getting up. Trinity’s “sun” (her timer nightlight) was still set to school time, meaning she would be up at 6:30. Amazingly I fell asleep again, until 7am. Trinity emerged a few minutes later. I got her dressed in one of her favorite Toy Story tee shirts, affectionately called “butts” in our house



Wherein she asked me “do we have to wear Disney stuff every day?” Of course not (because momma isn’t made of money), and she seemed content knowing it wasn’t going to be EVERY day.

We got the adults showered, the car loaded, and headed to McDonald’s for breakfast. While we were waiting for our food, I realized that I had never combed Trinity’s hair that morning! Luckily we had loads of time, and we were only 3 miles from home.



Trinity ate a few bites of her hotcakes and sausage. Tim had his usual, bacon-egg-cheese bagel. I had an egg McMuffin and a caramel frappe.

My timeline needed us on the road by 9:30am. Even with the detour back home for a hair do, we were on the road at 8:55am. The drive to Minneapolis was long, boring and uneventful. We gassed up my Civic near the airport (so as to be ready to go upon our return), and parked at the Park ‘N’ Fly lot. I had found a coupon code online (retailmenot.com) and made reservations MONTHS ago (like in December). Our parking was pre-paid at $8.25 per day (plus tax, the total was $88.50). Normal airport parking is $12-$15 day. The Park ‘N’ Fly shuttle is always right at your car as you unload your luggage, and we were whisked off to the Humphrey terminal.

There wasn’t a soul inside at the Sun Country counter. We checked our 3 bags (pre-paid, $20 each), and were offered a First Class upgrade for the bargain price of $89 each (and $20 bag fee refunded). I had to decline. We walked straight through security, and arrived at our gate just before noon. Unfortunately our flight wasn’t scheduled to depart until 2:50pm. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m chronically early, and that gets to be a theme on this trip.



Trinity and I took a walk in the terminal, and played for a bit in the kid’s area. I think one of the canned announcements (“passengers must control their carry-on baggage…”) made her kind of nervous, and she wanted to go right back to where daddy was sitting.

Around 1pm we sat down at the only restaurant (we were in the smaller Humphrey terminal), called Fletcher’s Wharf, and had lunch. Tim and I split a walleye sandwich, and Trinity nibbled on a grilled cheese sandwich. She polished off a big glass of milk at least. It always irritates me that restaurants can charge $2.99 each for a fountain Diet Coke. Note to self – drink more water!

After lunch and a trip to the restroom, it was finally time to board. Surprisingly, there were a ton of empty seats on the flight. We departed on time. During the flight, Trinity played with her Tinkerbell magnet dolls, then I had her do her homework (just 3 quick worksheets). Next she watched about 20 minutes of Finding Nemo on daddy’s iPad, then back to her magnets. Luckily, it was nearly time to land.



We rode the tram to baggage claim, and our suitcases were some of the first ones to come out. We took the elevator to the rental car area, walked to the Thrifty blue chip area, loaded in the car and were on the highway by 7:05pm. Unfortunately traffic was bumper to bumper, and we didn’t arrive at the Westgate Town Center until almost 7:45pm. (side note – we own a timeshare in Las Vegas, so we were able to trade our week to get this place free).

The Westgate Town Center is HUGE. Like needs it’s own zip code huge. We have stayed at the Marriott timeshare place the last two times we were in Orlando, and if I had a choice, I’d go back there. Nothing is WRONG with the Westgate, it’s just massive, crowded, traffic, noisy by the pools, etc. We got checked in, and got to our 1-bedroom (with full kitchen and laundry) suite at 8:30pm.

Of course we still haven’t had any supper, so we dropped off our luggage and navigated our way back out to find some. We thought about going to Ponderosa, but there was a line out the door (at 8:30pm!) and the same at the nearby Sizzler. We ended up at IHOP, which was crowded, but we were able to be seated right away. Tim had a philly cheese steak and fries, Trinity had mac & cheese, and I had a BLT and fruit. The food came quickly – but I was really annoyed that mine and Tim’s came several minutes before Trinity’s.

After supper we all made a quick stop at the local Publix for basics (milk, cereal, soda) and to the adjacent liquor store for mixin’s for Mango Mai Tai’s for on board the cruise (did you know that Disney is the only cruise line that allows you to carry on your own liquor?) – Mango rum (2 shots), Triple sec (1 shot), Grenadine (1/2 shot), pour over ice, top with Orange Pineapple juice, and enjoy.

We made it back to the hotel at 10pm, did a very quick unpacking, and everyone went straight to bed.

Last edited by LissaW16; 04-18-2012 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Saturday, April 7th – Epcot

Even 4 stories up, the pool right outside our bedroom window was kind of annoying. I’m not sure how late the noise went on, because I did something to the clock and it said “11:34” all night. At least my cell phone was within arm’s reach of the bed, so I could check the REAL time, which was a little after 5am. I went back to sleep until 6:20am. I finally got up and showered at 6:45am. Tim was awake and reading when I finished my shower, so we were both up and dressed by the time the “sun” came on at 7:30am (http://www.goodnitelite.com/, don’t leave home without one!).

We had cereal and liver sausage for breakfast (it’s an in-laws thing, don’t ask), and got Trinity dressed, with lots of time to spare. She watched a little of Toy Story on the iPad. I finally insisted we leave, as I wanted some coffee. The first convenience store we went to didn’t even have coffee! So we found a 7-11 (on the wrong side of the street, of course, but at least there was a traffic light there) and I got coffee plus a couple of bottles of water. Of course I forgot my zippy bag full of crystal light back at the hotel! (Crystal light is a must with the florida tap water, which pretty much tastes like a swamp).

Anyway, all said and done, we pulled into the Epcot parking lot right at 9am (which is what time they opened). We parked so close (row 10!) that the trams weren’t even running yet!



We walked in, grabbed a 3 day stroller rental, and got started.

Home Depot “Sonic Boom” paint sample, a home laminator, and a bit of elastic cord from Michaels – you can find my stroller in a second in the sea of stroller parking!



We started by skipping Spaceship Earth (as everyone who reads DIS boards suggests) and went straight for Fast Passes for Test Track. From there we went straight in (no line) to Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Ellen’s (which is kind of fun) finished exactly in time for our Fast Passes. Test Track rules, and Trinity was having a blast, screaming her fool head off as we raced around outside. Priceless.



This made me laugh, for some reason (in line for Test Track):




This was tough to capture at 60+ miles per hour, but totally worth it:


We opted to skip Mission Space. Trinity didn’t know she was missing anything, and honestly, Tim and I both felt a little ill after riding it last time (2007). Instead we headed into Innoventions East & West. It was so loud in East, I couldn’t even explain to Trinity what the exhibits were about. And she wasn’t exactly interested. We did the “make your own video game” – which just showed me that we don’t let her play nearly enough Wii (she totally needs practice with the basic video game concept!) and then the Piggy Bank activity. We didn’t save up enough for our “dream vacation” in the piggy bank game – again, need more video game practice!



From there we entered The Land, looking for lunch at Sunshine Seasons food court. I had no idea it was such “unusual” food, but we all found something good. Tim had a Chicken Caesar Salad, I had a noodle dish with Ahi tuna, and Trinity had a chicken leg and mashed potatoes. We grabbed Fast Passes for the boat ride at The Land before we went in to lunch – not that the wait was very long, but at least we knew for sure we could walk on when we were done with lunch.



I’ll say this again I’m sure, but I love how Disney does kid’s meals. They are all-inclusive, meaning the sides and beverage (always white milk for my kid) come with, and the side choices are outstanding. More to come on this as we eat our way through the World.

Trinity didn’t eat her mashed potatoes (but she did eat the chicken and her applesauce) – and her mashed potatoes were awesome – totally homemade (not instant) – her daddy and I made sure they didn’t go to waste. Tim and I each got a diet Coke with our lunch, but as we were eating the table attendant told us there were free refills. I wish I would have known that going in, we would have shared a soda (it was $5.58 for two regular sodas). I wasn’t THAT thirsty, but I went in and refilled them, just for the sake of getting the free refills. Of course we had to finish them before boarding the boat ride, but still… Anyway, my final verdict: food was expensive but good.

We did the Living With The Land boat ride (took way too many pics) and then walked on to The Sea with Nemo and Friends. After the ride, Trinity took a faceplant at the top of the escalator in the aquarium, not sure why. She usually manages just fine on escalators. She was not hurt at least.

We skipped Soarin, basically because we have no idea what it is so we don’t know what we’re missing. FP’s were for late afternoon, so it must be pretty good. After wandering around the aquarium, we had our obligatory (and daily, it turns out) Mickey bars.



I was still kind of full from lunch, but Trinity was ready for a treat (and who am I to say no?).

Next we did Journey Into Imagination, with Figment. He’s one of my favorite characters, I remember him from my first trip to Epcot (late 80’s, I was about 16 years old). After Figment we saw Captain EO. I don’t remember this at all, I don’t think we saw it when we were at Epcot back in ’07. Trinity was pretty frightened, the villainess in the movie is pretty scary. Tim and I enjoyed it, what’s not to like about Michael Jackson singing and dancing?

After Captain EO, we headed back into Innoventions West for the Disney Visa Cardholder Private Character Meet. There was a short line, and we got autographs and pictures with Pluto and Mickey. This was TOTALLY worth doing. We also got a free 5x7 picture (we collected it on our way out of the park) out of the deal. Side note – total shameless plug for the Disney Visa card to follow. We got one when we decided to book our June 2011 cruise (19 months beforehand) – and we earned enough to pay for our park tickets (3 adults and 1 kid for 2 days) plus some left over for spending money for the 2011 trip. And again, between June 2011 and April 2012 we managed to collect $591 in Disney Dollars (basically it’s all on a gift card) for spending on this trip. Parking, meals, souvenirs, all come out of this “free” money… and whatever’s left goes toward our shipboard charges on the cruise. So yes, back at home we use our credit card for EVERYTHING – gas, groceries, you name it, and pay it off each month of course, knowing each time we pull out the red Disney Visa, that’s just more money toward our next vacation!


At about 3pm we headed toward World Showcase. I knew going into this that my 5 year old was not going to be a big fan, but she was content to ride in the stroller while Tim and I at least got a glimpse of each country. First things first, FP’s for Malestrom in Norway. As we walked, I saw something I had never seen before – the bridge was up. It appeared that the boats (or whatever you call them) for the evening fireworks display were coming out of some back lagoon into the main lagoon. Interesting.

Along the way, we took pictures of all the topiaries that were everywhere at Epcot. It was “Flower & Garden Festival”, and the landscaping was gorgeous. Here’s a sampling – there’s more on the Flickr site (link in my signature, it’s the “2012 WDW & Dream Cruise Pics”)


As we passed through the United States, the fife & drum corps were playing. We stopped to watch, and at one point they invited the children to come join them to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I was amazed when my shy girl actually ran out there and joined in! Hooray for kindergarten, and all the social skills she is learning! (hat & sunglasses, far right)



We headed back to Norway, rode the Malestrom, and even sat through the movie at the end. Then, it was time for our reservation at Germany’s Biergarten. We checked in, they gave us a pager, which went off only about 3 minutes later to say our table was ready. The food here is awesome, but expensive. This is one of our special splurges on this trip – dinner for 3, a beer each for the adults, plus tax and tip, the total was $133! But then again, where else can you get such awesome authentic German food?



Red cabbage, kraut, spaetzel, potato dumplings, pretzel roll (particularly yummy), all kinds of brats & sausages, and warm potato salad. Dessert – Bavarian cheesecake (very tasty), apple strudel with vanilla cream sauce (good, even though it was full of golden raisins).

The polka band was playing when we arrived, which is always fun. We were surprised at how empty the place was – I remember being here in 2007 and it was literally packed, every table full. There were a TON of empty tables. Granted, we were early (our reservation was for 5pm), but for a holiday weekend, I expected more crowds. The service was Disney caliber (outstanding), and the food was excellent (except for the chicken schnitzel which was a little tough).

We waddled out of there just in time to catch Chubby Checker performing at the bandshell outside of USA.



After he ended his set with “The Twist”, we went in and watched The American Adventure. Again, another show totally over Trinity’s head, but she is amazingly patient with us doing grown-up stuff.

Finally, we headed back for Spaceship Earth. Trinity kind of came unglued along the way, saying she didn’t want to go on it (despite having no idea what kind of ride it was). We managed to get her calmed down, and we walked straight in – again, no line! After spaceship earth, we stopped in the photo center to collect the aforementioned free 5x7 character pic.

We turned in our stroller and headed to the car around 7:30pm. Back at Westgate, I gave Trinity a bath (have to wash off that sunscreen) while Tim ran some errands for the Easter Bunny. Trinity and I read the Chipmunks book, then she was out cold by 8:30pm, well before Tim came home from the store.

Tomorrow – Hollywood studios!

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #3
LissaW16
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Sunday, April 8th Easter Sunday – Hollywood Studios

Sunday, April 8th Easter Sunday – Hollywood Studios

I was awake at 6:15am, and finally got in the shower at 6:50am. Trinity was still asleep at 7:30am. Finally we made enough noise moving around that she woke up to find her two Easter baskets. The Easter Bunny pretty much “hid” them out in the open, being a strange place and all I know he didn’t want anything to be lost. Trinity got a sand pail, new hair ponies & headbands, Toy Story hair ribbons, a puzzle, a jumprope, bunny socks, and some candy.



We had cereal, liver sausage, and strawberries for breakfast. Trinity got dressed in her new bunny socks and Toy Story hair bows. We left at 8:30, stopped at the 7-11 for coffee, and were at Hollywood Studios at 8:55am (they opened at 9am).

We went straight for the Aerosmith Rock N Roller Coaster. Trinity is still about 3” too short to ride. Tim and I got FP’s for 9:55am.



We all rode Tower of Terror next – no line! Trinity was frightened (she doesn’t like thunder & dark, and there’s plenty of that in the “pre-ride” show), but eventually said she liked the ride.



We got back to the Rock N Roller Coaster, I rode first, and was done in 15 minutes. I took Trinity to get FP’s for Toy Story (at 10:10am we got FP’s for 2pm!) while Tim rode RNRC. The Ariel show was seating for like 45minutes later, so when Tim was done we did the Art of Animation show. The artist talked about Mushu from Mulan. After the show, we got autographs and pictures with Pooh.



We finished just in time to line up for the 11:10am show of Disney Jr. While we were in (the very short) line, Jake (from the Neverland Pirates) walked by. I wish he was on the cruise! We really liked the Disney Jr. show – it was like a live-action version of Mickey’s Clubhouse.



After the show, we headed across the park to have lunch at Pizza Planet. The adult’s individual pizzas were pretty big – bigger than a personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut (for reference), and come with a Caesar salad (which was mediocre). The pizzas were good. Trinity’s kids meal was a cheese pizza (of which she at ¾ of), applesauce, milk, and a cookie. She didn’t eat the cookie (until a few days later).



After lunch we saw Muppets 3D. I liked it, it was like an episode of the classic Muppet show.



Next we headed to Honey I Shrunk The Kids – which is just a giant kid’s climbing and play area. Trinity had fun (despite not ever seeing Honey I Shrunk The Kids) climbing the rope area and sliding down the various things. The area made me a bit nervous – when she would go into a tunnel or up a set of stairs, I had not idea where she was going to come out. She never got lost, thankfully, but it was still kind of weird.



Next we watched the 1:30 showing of Lights, Motors, Action! There were only 2 shows all day, which I found very odd for a weekend. Thank goodness for the (new) Lightening McQueen bit in the middle of the show, or we would have lost Trinity’s interest completely. She was very much not a fan of the gunfire in the show, but otherwise tolerated the rest of it pretty well.



We got out of the show just in time for our FP’s to Toy Story. Oh my gosh what a GREAT ride – fun fun fun! Like Buzz Lightyear (at MK), only better! I wish we had known what a great ride this was, we would have grabbed a second FP for it (a second FP is available 2 hours after the first, or after the first one’s time is up, so we could have gotten them anytime after 12:10pm). Now we know for next time.



We totally got “photo-bombed” by a Disney Cast Member on the Toy Story ride!



After Toy Story, we had our afternoon treats. Trinity had the cookies & cream ice cream sandwich, while Tim and I had classic Mickey bars. While we were sitting in the shade enjoying our snack, along came a Green Army Man! Of course we got pics and an autograph!




After our snack, we gave Trinity the option to wait in line for the Ariel show or to find a place to watch the parade. She choose the parade, finding an opportunity to hula hoop along the way!



We found a spot between “the hat” and the “Idol” building. There wasn’t any shade, but the sun was at our back. It turned out to be a great spot. We saw some of our favorite characters in the parade, and Tim took a bajillion pictures.


Link to Parade Pics

After the parade, we headed back to the hotel and took a swim (from 4-5pm). At one point a DUCK flew in and swam around in the pool! It was pretty busy, but we had fun.

We got cleaned up, then went to the Beach Club resort for dinner (and dessert!) at Beaches & Cream. Trinity hula hooped her way into the restaurant, where, amazingly we were seated immediately with no wait! Again, awesome Disney kid’s meal – Trinity had a hot dog, carrots (with ranch), grapes, milk, and a Mickey sundae. Tim & I had cheeseburgers and split the “No Way Jose”, a chocolate & peanut butter sundae.



These posts have a limit of 25 pictures...

Link to Beaches & Cream food pics

After dinner we headed to Downtown Disney. Of all the things Disney does, this has to be one of the WORST. Parking is a nightmare – this place SO needs a parking structure, or off-site parking with trams or shuttles or SOMETHING! We drove around for what seemed like FOREVER before we finally found a parking spot – way over by the movie theatres. We made the long walk from there to Marketplace, where Tim and I both got new watches, plus I found some earrings for myself, an ornament for our Disney Christmas tree, and a Jessie hat for Trinity to wear for Halloween. At the kitchen store we got a Pixar placemat.

Funny side story, as we were walking past the giant dinosaur-themed restaurant, T-Rex, we overheard a man call it “trex” (pronounced “trecks”). Really? Did you not notice the giant dinosaur? Some people!

Anyway, we finished up our shopping, and got Trinity into bed by 9:30pm.

Additional note – the fatter you are, the dumber you look in an ear hat. Keep that in mind next time you think you need an ear hat.



Tomorrow – Magic Kingdom!

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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Monday, April 9th – Magic Kingdom

As usual for vacation, I was awake early, 6:15am. I got in the shower at 6:30am. Tim came in at 6:45am to use the bathroom and grumbled at me for being awake so early. Hello! Magic Kingdom opens at 8am, we’re running LATE if you ask me (which no one did, of course).

I woke Trinity up just a few minutes before the sun (at 7:20). We finished off the cereal & strawberries, and got out the door at a decent hour, relatively.

After a stop at the 7-11 for my coffee, we got to Magic Kingdom at 8:30. We took the parking tram from “Simba 17” (parked in the #1 spot, furthest from the tram!), then took the monorail to the park. I collected a stroller, then got directions to the nearest mailbox (right there on Main Street) and mailed my postcards.

We headed straight for Tomorrowland to our favorite ride, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We walked on, no line, TWICE! Trinity, still in need of video game practice, scored 800 the first time and 900 the second time.



Next, Tim grabbed FP’s for the big kids for Space Mountain for 9:30am. We all took a ride on the people mover, then Tim took Trinity to the Speedway while I rode Space Mountain. We switched places, Tim rode Space Mountain while Trinity and I browsed through two gift shops and went to the bathroom.



By 10am we were headed for Fantasyland. We rode the teacups.



Then off to the newly renovated Dumbo ride, for about a 20 minute wait. The CM shoved all 3 of us into the same elephant. Weird, we didn’t exactly fit. At least someone volunteered to take our picture! Next it was a 10 minute wait for Goofy’s Barnstormer. Finally, an obligatory carousel ride (I have no idea why my kid loves the carousel so much), which took all of 5 minutes.



We intentionally avoided Small World, and headed to Liberty Square. We dragged a very hesitant Trinity onto Haunted Mansion (15 min wait), then to our usual lunch spot, Columbia Harbor House. We got a table right away, amazing since it was peak lunch time (11:45am). Tim and I finally got smart and split a lunch (fish & chips), while Trinity had chicken nuggets, applesauce, grapes and milk. The food was good, but our Diet Coke, which cost us $2.89, was 97% ice and 3% Diet Coke. Totally irritating.



After lunch, Tim got us FP’s for Splash Mountain for 1:45pm. We rode Pirates of the Caribbean (25 minutes) followed by the Enchanted Tiki Room (6 minute wait to showtime). After that, we did the “circle tour” on the train (4 minute wait for the train, 20 minutes round trip). Finally it was time for Splash Mountain (after a trip to the restroom). This area, below Splash Mountain, near the Frontierland train station, where there isn’t another restroom for miles, was crazy congested full of people.



We rode Splash Mountain – even the FP line was kind of slow, and then we ended up in a log jam after the ride, waiting forever (ok, like 5 minutes) to get off.



Next, we headed back toward Main Street. I wanted to walk through the bakery, after reading some of the food blog sites. But nothing in there seemed better than a Mickey bar. Tim ran to Buzz to get some FP’s (for a third ride), and Trinity and I parked ourselves in front of the castle at 2:40pm to enjoy our snack and wait for the parade. It was super hot, for the first time on the trip I was uncomfortable.



I can’t believe how many people came and sat down in front of me on the curb, between my kid and the garbage can (in a space which was wide enough for exactly one butt). I was standing about a foot off the curb, Trinity’s stroller was parked at the curb – while waiting for the parade to start. Seriously people! I did say “um, excuse me” to two different people, both of whom gave me a look but moved on. I said to another couple (standing behind the aforementioned garbage can) – “I am not standing here in the blistering sun 20 minutes before the parade because I am working on my tan… Hello!”

While standing here I watched a little kid intentionally pour grape juice all over himself, and his toys (a fan and a light saber). We also saw a kid in a yamaka (ok I know I spelled that wrong, you know, the little Jewish hat) with a Lakers logo. Unique.

The parade was fine, not as good as the one at Hollywood Studios, but still fun. The full set of pics is available in the link in my signature below, 2010 WDW & Dream Cruise pics. After the parade we headed back to Tomorrowland, to the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. The wait was long (about 35 minutes), but blissfully air conditioned, so no one seemed to mind.



Before the show started, Tim was up on the big screen as “feels like getting up and dancing”. He played along, which was fun. We enjoyed the show. “That guy” in our show was wearing a “Vans” tee shirt. The monster joked that the logo looked like a square root symbol. Later in the show they showed “That guy’s” kid, also in a “Vans” tee shirt, and called him “mini-van”. I’m not sure how much of the show Trinity even understands, but she seemed to enjoy it.



Finally, it was 4pm, time for our final ride on Buzz Lightyear. All 3 of us rode together. Trinity ran the trigger (for a while) while I aimed. Our score: 27,300. Tim’s score: 134,300.

After that, we were done. We returned the stroller, and caught the monorail back to the parking lot. We were in the car at 5pm.

We went to L’Italiano’s for supper. We had purchased a $25 gift certificate on Restaurant dot com for $4 a few months back. Trinity had plain noodles with parmesan, Tim had lasagna, and I had shrimp alfredo and caprese salad. The food was good, and we got our money’s worth from the gift certificate.




We got back to Westgate around 6:30pm, got Trinity into the tub, and our laundry into the washer. We put one load in, in our unit, and a second load in another washer out in the elevator lobby. It was nice to do two loads at once. Last year, at the Marriott, I remember the dryer taking FOREVER, and having to wait for one load to be dry before starting the second, and doing laundry late into the night.

Trinity was tucked into bed before 7:30pm, and was out cold moments later. Even the dryer didn’t keep her awake! The laundry was done at a decent hour, and Tim and I got everything packed up and ready to go.

Tomorrow morning – to the DREAM!

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
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Tuesday, April 10th – Boarding the Disney Dream

Tuesday, April 10th – Boarding the Disney Dream

We were up and out the door at 8:15am. We stopped at Waffle House for breakfast, then Walgreens for Cetaphil (my kid has sensitive skin, and our bottle got dumped accidentally into the tub the night before). We were on the road to Port Canaveral by 9:15am

We got to Thrifty at 10:20 (after a quick fuel stop), got on a bus that left straight away for the port. There was a family on the bus from Connecticut, and a British-speaking family from Dubai!

At the port, we waited in a short line outside (document verification), then a short line at security, then NO LINE inside the terminal! We were checked in by 11am, and given boarding number 4!

Tim got Trinity registered for kid’s club, and then we sat down for about eleven seconds before boarding began.



We were on board, standing outside Enchanted Garden, at 11:40am. Which, in our case, was actually TOO early. Lunch didn’t start at EG until 12:15pm. The food is the same at Cabanas, but I like the quieter pace of the sit down places. Oh well, what else is there to do when you’re hauling a backpack full of rum, triple sec, grenadine, and orange pineapple juice, but to sit down and eat? Tim’s backpack wasn’t much better, packed full of 16 oz plastic bottles of Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi.

So off to Cabanas we went.

The one thing Cabanas has that I don’t think EG has is the hand-dipped ice cream. It’s not really obvious, but there’s a CM standing near the “back” (ok, near the back of the ship – Cabana’s is “U” shaped) serving the good stuff. I had a scoop of coconut ice cream after lunch – yum!

We were done eating by 12:15pm. We couldn’t get into our room, so we were stuck with the backpacks from hell. We went to Open House at Oceaneer’s Club. Trinity still loves Andy’s room the best, but she’s starting to get more interested in computer games too.



We played there until a little after 1pm, then parked ourselves on the floor outside of EG, waiting for our room.

They took down the ropes a little after 1:30, and we nearly sprinted to 2558 to be rid of our backpacks. We headed up to the spa to get our Rainforest passes (I had pre-purchased 4 day passes, $16 each). From there we took a walk through Goofy’s sports deck (deck 13). Tim entered a “long drive” contest at the golf simulator. He drove the ball 262 yards, but didn’t win.



At 3pm we headed inside to Vista Café for the DIS meet. We met Cher, name tag captain, and then spent most of our time chatting with another 5 year old, Becca, and her family (from New York).

After the meet, we got Trinity into her swimsuit and then it was time for safety drill – our muster station (“L”) was right outside of Vista Café. It was hot outside, but we were able to stand mostly in the shade. It was short and sweet. Tim and Trinity headed for the pool while I went back to the room to finish unpacking. Tim said Trinity was the second kid into the pool after muster drill! I got up to the pool deck just in time for sail away.

you have to click this link. trust me, awesome video.

Trinity had a blast, bouncing between the Mickey pool and the Mickey slide.



We got dressed for dinner (Trinity as Belle), our first dinner was at Royal Palace. I find it disturbingly weird that we got the EXACT same dining rotation this time as we had in June 2011 (RAEER). Not bad, just, “what are the chances…” weird.



Our dining room staff was Head Waiter Subhash, Waiter Vijay from India, and Assistant Waiter Alexandre from Denmark. We were very pleased with our service. The head waiter stopped by every night to make sure everything was meeting our expectations, which it was.

We were seated with a party of 5, an Asian family from Toronto. It was Grandparents, Parents, and 5-year-old Matthew. The kids didn’t really talk much (both were pretty shy), but it was nice to sit with some people who had a kid the same age. Clearly someone who makes the table arrangements was making an effort there. The family often spoke in their native language, but did also engage in some conversation with us. The mom was pretty chatty, and the grandmother always said how beautiful Trinity was.

For dinner, I had the escargot (mmm! Garlic much?), an avocado-citrus salad (not pictured) – it was okay, and both the beef and the salmon. Both entrees were very good.

Tim had the chilled lobster & shrimp, french onion soup (not pictured) and the beef .

Trinity had the melon boat appetizer (not pictured), wherein she at the strawberry garnish, and the spaghetti & meatballs. Tim took Trinity to Oceaneer’s club right before our entrée’s came. She was done eating and eager to get to the FUN part of the cruise!

For dessert, I had the crème brulee, and Tim had the strawberry shortcake (not pictured). Vijay felt bad that Trinity left without dessert, so he brought her some cupcakes to take back to the room. They never did get eaten.

Dinner food pics

After supper, Tim and I took our photo mat to Guest Services, then hit the shops. I was in search of a particular ship-shaped ornament that sold out last time. I got my ornament, plus a pin for my mom, and a postcard to mail from Castaway Cay.

We picked up Trinity from club and saw the Golden Mickeys show. It’s not my favorite show, but it’s sparkly and there are characters dancing… Trinity was fading fast. She watched the show from Tim’s lap.

After the show, we had Trinity in bed by 9:45pm, and she was snoring minutes later.

Tomorrow: Castaway Cay!

(a jillion more pics, see the link in my signature)

Day 1 – Port Canaveral
Links to 5 night Dream Navigators:
Day 1 page 1
Day 1 page 2
Day 1 page 3
Day 1 page 4

Welcome Aboard:
Welcome Aboard page 1 of 2
Welcome Aboard page 2 of 2

Ship Map:
Map page 1 of 2
Map page 2 of 2

Family & Adult Entertainment:
Entertainment page 1 of 2
Entertainment page 2 of 2

Spa Schedule

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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Wednesday, April 11th

Aaaah! The alarm in our room was on and set for 6:30am! I managed to figure out quickly how to turn it off, and managed to doze until 7-ish. Trinity started stirring around 7:15am, so I went into “her room” and opened the curtains so we could watch the Dream backing into Castaway Cay.

We got our swimsuits & cover-ups on and went to Cabanas for breakfast around 7:45am. It was very crowded, but there were plenty of tables available. Trinity ate a bowl of Rice Krispies, and a banana. I had some mango yogurt, eggs, hash browns, and half a bagel with lox & cream cheese.

Tim headed to meet the 5K group, and Trinity and I went ashore to find Scuttle’s Cove. It was just 9am when we got there, and they weren’t quite ready for check-ins. So, Trinity and I kept walking along the path,



We eventually found the hair braiding ladies (note to self, past Cookies, but not quite to Pelican Point). We each got 3 braids. Mine were a bargain $1.50 each, hers $2. I gave a generous tip (rounded it to $14 total), and back to Scuttles we went.

After I got Trinity checked in at Scuttles, I walked back to Pelican Point to the 5K finish line. I saw Lisa, one of the DIS’ers, finish, then finally Tim made it across the finish line. He even got a Mickey shaped finisher’s medal!

[img]http://*****************************/6968422270_d6b577e53f_z.jpg[/img]

Tim changed into his swim trunks, and we parked ourselves on the beach under an umbrella, and watched people (a favorite past time). Around 11am I hopped on the tram at Pelican Point and went back to the post office to mail my postcard to my mom. The post office hours are 9:30am-1:30pm. Not open yet when we went by, and would be closed by the time we headed back. As of yet, I don’t think the postcard has arrived in Ohio. Must be on a very slow boat.

From there, I took the tram back to Scuttles and waited in line to collect Trinity. She wanted to have lunch with us, and apparently that was the plan for everyone else there. Once I was allowed inside, I waited for her to finish running an obstacle course relay. I hated to take her out, she seemed to be having a blast!



We walked to our beach spot, collected Tim, and had lunch at Cookie’s Too. Just an interesting tid-bit: after 2 cruises and 4 days on Castaway Cay, I have now eaten at Serenity Bay twice and Cookie’s Too twice, but never at Cookie’s. Maybe next time! Not that I think the original and “Too” are any different; I guess it’s just that we always end up parked closer to Pelican Point than Scuttle’s Cove. Here’s a link to food pics: Food pics link - Cookies Too and Animators Palate

For lunch, Trinity and Tim had hot dogs. I had rotisserie chicken, and one rib. The food is fine, nothing to rave about, but nothing is gross.

Now, it was time to introduce our 5-year-old to snorkeling. We have been trying to practice in the bathtub at home, but as you can imagine, it’s not the same.

She did great, swam nearly out to the snorkeling reef, when she ended up with a mouthful of saltwater and kind of fell apart. She did way better than we expected, but really never got to see anything. I went back out later and found Mickey, and got some great pictures (underwater camera – big fun). Trinity loves to look at the pictures, but it’s hard to tell her how close she was to all the good stuff. Maybe next time?




Back on the beach, Trinity invented a game called “buried treasure”. At one point I thought her pirate duck and rubber fish were going to become permanent residents of Castaway Cay, but with enough excavating, we finally found them. Note to self, come up with a new game!

We spent some time at Spring-A-Leak (also a great place to rinse off the sand and sea water), Tim and I had Konk Koolers (check that one off the bucket list), and overall had a perfect day. The water was cold for about 3 seconds, and then it was fine. The sun was beautiful, and there wasn’t much wind.





We hopped on a tram around 3:30 and headed back to get ready for supper at Animator’s Palate. Trinity was Cinderella. Before supper, Trinity and I went around and delivered our FE gifts, luggage handle wraps.





For supper, Trinity had chicken noodle soup with Mickey-shaped noodles, mac & cheese, and vanilla ice cream with Mickey sprinkles for dessert. Tim and I both had the shrimp cheesecake appetizer (unusual, but yummy), he had baked potato soup, I had butternut squash soup (yum), and we shared our two entrees. One was a pasta dish with cheesy white sauce, and the other was the “trio of veal”, which is a veal steak on top of a veal tortellini on top of a pile of shredded barbecue veal. Awesome, both of them. For dessert we both ordered the cookies & cream sundae. It’s a chopped up chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream. I had decaf coffee with my dessert (again). It’s amazing how much better the coffee in the dining rooms is compared to the sludge served at Cabanas.

The show tonight is a magician, we decided to skip it. Trinity finished watching Cars (started before supper) – did I mention that the ship has free on-demand Disney movies and Disney Jr. shows like Jake and the Neverland Pirates? Way cool. Anyway, she was asleep by 8:30pm. I think we’re wearing her out!

Tim spent the next hour or so surfing future cruises on his iPad. You have to pay for internet, but you can get the Disney Cruise Line website for free.

We’ve got a full day planned tomorrow: Princess gathering, Captain Jack autographs, a Pirate party, and Fireworks! Oh yeah, the ship will be docking in Nassau, as if we cared.

As always, more pics in the link in the signature…


Day 2 – Castaway Cay
Links to 5 night Dream navigators
Day 2 page 1
Day 2 page 2
Day 2 page 3
Day 2 page 4
Castaway Cay-vents
Castaway Cay Map

CC 5K Finisher

Dinner: Animator’s Palate

Animator’s Palate Kid’s Menu

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
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Thursday, April 12th

Day 3 – Nassau

Trinity slept until 7:30am, then we opened the curtains to look for Nassau. We went to Enchanted Garden at 8am for their breakfast buffet. We all had Mickey waffles. I also had oatmeal, and yogurt with fruit.

After breakfast (8:45am), Tim got in line in the atrium while I got Trinity into her Belle dress.



We waited for the Princess Gathering, and got autographs and pictures with Snow White, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle, Tiana, Ariel, and Cinderella. Tim also had his picture taken with Princess Minnie upstairs while Trinity and I were in line downstairs.











(if you’ve read this far, you know where to find the full set of pics!)

After the princess gathering (and a costume change), we dropped Trinity off at Oceaneer’s club. I went to the fitness center and put in 30 minutes on the elliptical while Tim spent some time in the Rainforest. After my workout, I changed into my swimsuit and headed for the Rainforest. The floors were hot and slippery, and Tim totally wiped out in one of the steam rooms. Note – wear the complimentary sandals provided in the locker room! Afterward, we each showered in our respective locker rooms – the showers are WAY bigger than the ones in the staterooms, and open to anyone (they’re part of the fitness center as well as the spa).

We picked up Trinity just before noon – she had her face painted like the clown Dumbo! Clearly she was enjoying her time in the club. We grabbed a quick pic with Minnie & Mickey in the atrium, then had lunch at Cabanas.



After lunch, we headed for the pool. I rode the Aquaduck alone, and then with Trinity. The line was about 20 minutes each time. At the top of the Aquaduck it looks like they’re setting up so that you can scan your room key, then get your picture taken while on the Aquaduck (and then have them show up at Shutters). Bummer it wasn’t quite ready yet. I tried to take my waterproof camera with, but they’re pretty strict about “no loose implements” – no sandals, no sunglasses, no cameras. Which makes me wonder, are they going to allow people to ride down with their room keys in hand (for the abovementioned pictures)?


Trinity played in the Mickey pool, on the Mickey slide, and in Nemo’s Reef, the splash area. Trinity and I grabbed an afternoon snack – ice cream cones, and I promptly dropped my strawberry cone onto my waterproof camera. At least it was washable! We headed back to the room for a rest. Tim got Trinity showered while I took another trip through the rainforest, and another shower in the big locker room showers.

We got dressed up in our pirate gear and headed up to get pics with Captain Jack in the D Lounge before supper.




Supper was at Enchanted Garden, with the Pirate menu. Tim and I both had the cocktail of the day, the Rusty Anchor. I had both the pineapple and the potstickers appetizers, followed by the chilled watermelon soup. Tim had potstickers and conch chowder. For entrees, Tim had the ribs, I had the chicken, and we shared the shrimp & scallops pasta. Trinity had chicken strips and mashed potatoes. For dessert, Trinity had vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, I had fruit cobbler with vanilla ice cream, and Tim had a Mickey bar! No, they’re not on the menu, but you can always order them anyway!



Day 3 food pics link

After supper was the Pirate Party – definitely a “don’t miss” event.



Trinity was way more engaged this time than last year.

AWESOME video of pirate party - click here

After the party we gave her the option, and she chose Oceaneer’s club while Tim and I went to the theatre to see Muppets (Tim and Trinity had already seen the movie, back in November). We collected Trinity from club, and found a spot to stand on deck 12 – on the opposite side of the ship as the fireworks, near the stairs to the Aquaduck. You can see fine (assuming you are between the two big stacks) looking across the ship to the fireworks. The sound still makes Trinity a bit nervous, but she loved the fireworks. It makes for a late night of course, we got her tucked into bed at 10:45pm.






Tomorrow – pics & autographs with Jessie & Woody!


Day 3 – Nassau
Day 3 page 1
Day 3 page 2
Day 3 page 3
Day 3 page 4
Pirate Night Details

Revised Movie Schedule:

Revised Movie Schedule

Dinner: Enchanted Garden (Pirate Night)

Pirate Night Kid’s Menu

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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Friday, April 13th

Day 4 – At Sea

We had breakfast at Cabanas – the usual buffet fare. After breakfast we went to the D-Lounge for “Wake up with Disney Junior”. It turned out it was a dance party, with all the songs from the Disney Junior shows (Mickey’s clubhouse, Jake, Little Einsteins) plus classics like the hokey pokey and the chicken dance. For a while it was just the 3 of us plus two members of the cruise director’s staff – our own private party! Pluto showed up and danced with us for a while.

Dance Party Video link



Tim went to the Captain’s Q&A (which he says was very interesting) and Trinity and I went to the pool. It was kind of overcast and not super warm, but that doesn’t stop Trinity. Again she ran from the Mickey pool to the Mickey slide, and also played again with her friend from New York, Becca.









It started to rain, so we eventually moved into Nemo’s reef (which is covered). Tim caught up with us, and he and Trinity went down the Aquaduck twice in 20 minutes! I guess the rain makes for a very short line! It stopped raining, so we moved back out to the Mickey pool deck. It was my turn with Trinity on the Aquaduck, still with very short lines.

Around 11:15am, we dried off, and Trinity and I had lunch at Flo’s V8 Café. Trinity had a hot dog and grapes, I had a ham, mozzarella and tomato panini with fresh pineapple on the side.

We had some cones to go, and headed to the atrium to meet Jessie and Woody. We caught the very end of the character dance party (Lilo was leading the Cupid Shuffle), and then got in line to wait for Jessie. Tim met up with us (after his trip through the Rainforest).






After Jessie, I headed to the fitness center, and Tim & Trinity waited for Woody (and then Tim took her to Oceaneer’s club).



After my workout, Rainforest & locker room shower, I headed to Cove Café to check off one more thing on my “to do” list. I ordered a Coffee Toledo (espresso, Kahlua, Bailey’s, and Hershey’s syrup) and chatted with Lisa (from the DIS boards, who also ran the 5K with Tim). Back at the room, I added about half a carton of milk (“borrowed” from Cabanas earlier that morning) to my cocktail – it was a bit stronger than I expected!

Tim and I headed out to “run errands”. I went to Guest Services to apply all my gift cards to my shipboard account (various gifts from the last few months) and to charge gratuities to my account, and to verify the credit card on file was up to date (we had issues last time). Next we went to Shutters to purchase our photo CD, and to add the 5K picture to our account (and one picture of Trinity and Pluto that somehow got missed). From there we went to the future cruise desk. I was pleasantly surprised that they let us book 2 staterooms for next time, one with Trinity and my mom (who was not with us on this trip), and the second room with Tim and I. We picked a random date (7 night Western Caribbean) in June 2013, knowing we are planning to go in June 2014. Tim and I are booked in a cat 9 (window) GTY room, Trinity and my mom are booked in a verandah room! That’s all that was available. We’ll fix all of that and aim for adjoining cat 9 rooms when we change the dates when the 2014 dates are released (should be this fall).

I was very hesitant about our room this time on deck 2 (it was booked as GTY, we didn’t get to pick it), but honestly I LOVED the location. SO close to all the dining rooms and the atrium, short walk up the stairs to the shows or to Oceaneer’s club.

Finally, some quick shopping (an Aquaduck beach towel for me, and a hat for Tim), then we collected Trinity from club and got dressed for supper. Trinity had to be talked into wearing her Tink dress for some reason, but she finally agreed. Before supper, we had two sets of portraits taken (white backdrop and sunset backdrop), got an autograph and picture with Donald in his fancy dinner jacket, and then a picture of all of us with Captain Mickey.
















Dinner was at Enchanted Garden. Trinity had the tomato soup (she was not a fan), mac & cheese with chicken strips, followed by a Mickey bar. The waiter brought out a plateful of square dessert things, the orange ones reminded me of candied orange peels (it’s a family thing) and the chocolate ones were yummy. Trinity had no interest in any of them, the Mickey bar was totally sufficient for her. I had the Ahi tuna with avocado (yum!), cream of asparagus soup, and the seared tuna salad (this one is a favorite of mine). Tim and I also shared the scallops and the sea bass. The waiter brought the sea bass even though we didn’t order it (error in the kitchen?) and I’m glad he did, it was outstanding. Tim had lobster ravioli (not pictured), romaine salad, and prime rib (plus some of the scallops and the sea bass). For dessert I had the bananas foster sundae (not pictured), and Tim had strawberry cheesecake.



link to food pics

After supper, Trinity changed out of her Tink dress and headed off to Oceaneer’s Club. Tim and I got back into our swimsuits and went back to Rainforest. We had our own private hot tub, which in itself is worth the $16/day (per person) that I paid for the Rainforest passes.

After a soak and a steam, we grabbed sweatshirts from our room and went up to deck 13 to watch Captain Gus dock at Castaway Cay in the dark. After the Fantasy pulled out for the day, Captain Gus decided to give it a try and dock, even though it was dark, because of the forecasted high winds. It was very windy, but very cool to watch. Tim is a pilot, and there are a lot of similarities in the navigational aids between ships and planes.





We picked up Trinity at 10pm, she was on the magic play floor making electronic pizza, and having a blast. Back in the room, she brushed her teeth and was snoring in less than 10 minutes. As I wrote in my journal at 10:30pm, I noted that the vibration and engines seem to have stopped, so we must be docked at Castaway Cay.




Day 4 – At Sea
Day 4 page 1
Day 4 page 2
Day 4 page 3
Day 4 page 4

Dinner: Enchanted Garden

Enchanted Garden Kid’s Menu

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #9
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Saturday, April 14th

Despite what I thought happened at 10:30pm the previous night, we did NOT dock at Castaway Cay! Apparently the captain tried, and then tried again at 5:30am, and didn’t make it due to the high winds. When I woke up at 7:30am, we were backing into CC. The captain finally made an announcement around 8:45am explaining the two missed attempts, but a shift in the current allowed for a third and final attempt at 7:30am. He also said this was one of the most challenging attempts he has ever made, and he really didn’t think we were going to make it into CC that day.

Amazingly, Trinity slept until 8:30am. This of course wasn’t a problem at all, since we were late docking at CC, no one was able to disembark yet. The captain had said that customs wasn’t expected to clear us until at least 9:15am. We got dressed in our swimsuits, had pics with Chip and Dale (who were moved to the balcony level of the atrium instead of the Post Office on shore, due to the change in plans), then had breakfast at Cabanas one last time.



We finally disembarked around 9:45am. We walked to Scuttles, dropped off Trinity, then Tim and I walked to the Pelican Point tram stop and caught the tram to Serenity Bay. While we were waiting for the tram, we saw Captain Jack off in the distance.



Once at Serenity bay, we sat under an umbrella and did nothing, and it was wonderful.


There weren’t many people there, and it was very quiet.





I took a walk to the end of the beach and back, just for fun. I thought this sign was so polite!



The tide was very low while we were there.



And then along came Captain Jack. His “handler” was carrying a coconut for him. I totally found this hysterical, but no one else seems to find it funny at all.



We had lunch at Serenity Bay. Mostly the food is the same, but they always have these thin, tender steaks. They make good sandwiches.

Links to food pics - Lunch at CC - Dinner at Royal Palace See Ya Real Soon Menu


After lunch, we took the tram back and collected Trinity, who had elected to eat at Scuttle’s. She said she had a hot dog, a chocolate chip cookie, and fruit punch.



We tried to go tubing for a while, but the wind was just crazy and kept blowing us into the snorkeling lagoon. It was quite the upper body workout getting ourselves back to the beach!





After tubing, Trinity and I played in the sand while Tim went snorkeling. He said the visibility was terrible due to the wind stirring up the water. He did see a stingray though, with a fish friend who seemed to follow him everywhere!



After snorkeling, we went to Spring a Leak to wash off the sand and salt water. We decided to call it a day and hurry back to catch the 4pm matinee of Believe (after first stopping at Cookie’s for ice cream, and at Rustmore for a pic, and then a few pics of the ship on the path back)




Here are pics of the navigation aids the captain was using to line the ship up with the dock – at night they are lit up pretty bright:


Back on board, we tag-teamed through the shower and made it to the matinee of Believe. This is a wonderful show, and although it seems like my kid is barely interested, she’s already quoted lines from the song while back here at home. “Daddy, what makes the garden grow? Love!”

After the show, we came back to the room and Trinity enjoyed some more complimentary on-demand Jake and the Neverland Pirates while I worked on finishing off the bottle of mango rum that I had brought on board.

We had dinner at Royal Palace, the See Ya Real Soon menu. I had the Chicken Satay appetizer, which I was expecting to be peanut-butter flavored, but instead it was a yellow curry with a really good cucumber dip. Next I had the lobster bisque, which I did not care for. Tim had a cold seafood appetizer (not pictured), and then ordered both the lobster bisque and the potato leek soup. The potato leek soup was good, so I ate most of that. For entrees, I had the lamb (good) with au gratin potatoes (better). Tim had the beef with mashed potatoes sculped to look like a pear. How did I not get a picture of this?!?! Trinity had the pineapple and grapes appetizer (she ate the grapes), and the kid’s beef entrée with mashed potatoes and green beans. She ate 2 bites of beef (which Alexandre cut for her; this apparently is a special thing the waitstaff does on Disney cruises), and she ate some potatoes and 3 green beans before declaring herself done. Tim delivered her to Oceaneer’s club before our entrée’s even arrived.

For dessert, Tim had the Celebration cake, and we both had Baked Alaska (super yum).

I was surprised that the waitstaff did not do a song and dance number for the last night.

After supper, Tim and I packed up all of our stuff. We thought about walking through Shutters to see how our portraits from the previous day turned out, but it was a freakin’ zoo in there, you could hardly walk. We grabbed our book and decided the portraits were awesome, then got the heck out of there.

We walked around deck 12 – not as windy as last night, and we could see the lights of Freeport in the distance.

We collected Trinity from club –

(signing out for the last time)


She had a pillowcase from Pluto’s Pajama Party to keep, and we got her tucked in by about 9:30pm.

She made this earlier, a Squirt helmet, while interacting with Crush on the big screen at club. I knew it wouldn’t survive the trip home, so I had to take a picture.




Our luggage was placed in the hallway, and hopefully we won’t see it again until Minneapolis. We specifically booked a return flight on Delta so we could take advantage of the “check through to your destination” luggage feature.

Tomorrow, a sad day. Breakfast at Royal Palace at 6:45am, then we have to get off this beautiful ship!



Day 5 – Castaway Cay
Day 5 page 1
Day 5 page 2
Day 5 page 3
Day 5 page 4

Castaway Cay-vents 2

Dinner: Royal Palace (See Ya Real Soon)

See Ya Real Soon Kid’s Menu

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Sunday, April 15th Leaving the Dream, Travel from Orlando to Duluth

The alarm went off at 6:15am. Ugh! Tim and I got dressed, then it took a bit to wake up Trinity. Looking out the window, I could see luggage already being off-loaded. I hoped our suitcases would end up where they belonged!

We went upstairs to breakfast at Royal palace. It was kind of nice, one last meal with our waitstaff. Even after just 5 meals, they are part of your vacation.

Trinity had a HUGE bowl of rice krispies, some banana, and a bite of toast. Vijay even poured her milk into her cereal for her.

Tim had the “Route 66”, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, and a hash brown patty, plus a toasted bagel, and a chocolate chip muffin. Cruising is evil on the waistline! I had a ham & cheese omelet with a hash brown patty, rye toast, and a tiny cinnamon roll.

I realized here at breakfast how hard these guys (our waitstaff) work. Serving us at 6:45am (meaning they were at it by 6:30 or earlier), then lunch, then dinner – both main and late dining… I sure hope they are paid well!

After we ordered (but before we ate), Tim ran up to Shutters to collect our photo CD. He said there was no one there at that time.

Breakfast:


Sally in the bread basket:


Sally in the milk:


Tim’s breakfast: Meat with a side of meat


Mine: Ham & cheese with hash brown patty


After breakfast, we made one last pit stop, then walked off the ship, about 7:55am. We walked straight to customs, waited about eleven seconds for an available agent, had nothing to declare but a beach towel and a hat. He glanced at our form and waved us through.

We walked outside and straight onto a waiting Disney Cruise Line bus.

Our chariot awaits:


The Disney bus wasn’t the cheapest way to get to the airport ($35 per person times 3), but for the convenience of not hauling luggage through the port terminal and again to the airport terminal, it was worth it.

While on the bus, Tim noticed that he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. He was relatively certain he left it on the dresser in our stateroom.

We arrived at the Orlando airport at 9am.

Also – We saw on our onboard charges that Disney charged us $25 per person luggage fees, which should have been waived because we purchased our Delta airline tickets with our Delta AMEX card (first bag is free for everyone in your traveling party). Tim spoke to a Delta agent at the airport, and was told we have to contact Disney.

Goofy at the Orlando airport:


Sally at the Orlando airport:


So we had a lot of time to kill, arriving at the airport a good four hours before our flight. But we managed to entertain ourselves for a while, then have lunch at Burger King before our flight back to Minneapolis.

Our luggage was the first off the belt when we got to baggage claim in Minneapolis. Sucks that we had to pay $75 for it, but it all arrived safe and sound.

We caught the Park ‘N’ Fly shuttle right away, and got back to our car around 4:30pm. Trinity was asleep about 5 minutes after we got in the car.

We stopped in Cloquet, MN for supper at the world-famous (it’s been on Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives) Gordy’s Hi-Hat for supper, then finally made it home before 8pm.

Back in Minnesota, supper at Gordy’s:


Once we got home, I called Disney the next day (which was Monday, April 16th). I was given two different phone numbers, one for lost & found, the second for the bag fees issue. I called and left a voicemail for lost & found about Tim’s ring. I called the number about the bag fees, and was given yet another number. I called that one and got someone who seemed to know what I was talking about, and said someone would contact me within 1-2 weeks. As of yet, I haven’t heard anything (today is May 1st). I guess I’m going to have to call back.

We did get a call back from lost & found. Nothing found. Tim went out last Saturday and ordered a new wedding ring. His lost ring wasn’t at all expensive, but after eleven years of marriage, it’s a little sentimental that it’s now gone.

Stay tuned for my “final thoughts” – the “to do” list for next time, and other stuff.

Onboard airline check-in info:
Onboard airline check-in 1
Onboard airline check-in 2
Onboard airline 3
Onboard airline 4

Welcome Home
Welcome Home 2

Last edited by LissaW16; 05-01-2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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I'm in...can't wait to hear about it!

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Old 04-16-2012, 11:14 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting all of the navigators! Can't wait to read all about your trip. We are going on our first cruise in June!
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:07 AM   #13
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Woo Hoo! I'm definitely in!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:15 AM   #14
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I am in too!!!!! . And you are so organized!!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:39 AM   #15
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Can't help it~there is something about Ed...kinda like the Gary Sinise thing...
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More please!
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