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Old 08-11-2012, 05:09 AM   #76
tigger442
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Thank you for for sharing all the info on your trip. How many formal nights were there.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:33 AM   #77
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Thank you for for sharing all the info on your trip. How many formal nights were there.
Thanks for joining in! There are two. One formal night and one semi-formal.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:47 PM   #78
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Thank you We leave in 2 weeks. Can wait.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:41 PM   #79
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Jumping in a little late here! How fun that you were on the same cruise as Brook, I love the green lei idea, that's fabulous!

I'm jealous of your 8 day. We looked at it and I couldn't convince my DH as (in his opinion)it was too many at sea days to look at "what, the east coast?" , NYC would be too expensive, yada yada yada. LOL. However, after doing the 4 night I think we ALL wished it had been longer even by just one more day, especially in comparison to the 7 nights on the Wonder in Alaska. I love the Captains picture with all of you, I don't recall that on either of our cruises, though in the case of the Wonder, we were late to the reception (a recurring theme with us as you'll see as my TR progresses) but I don't seem to recall a Shutters photographer on the Dream when we saw the captain either, though we did get pictures with him on our phone. My DH would have loved a formal one with all the details of the ship. I'll have to keep it in mind for the next cruise. Whenever that is, I'm with you, sad about the change in policy, we'd have booked 2 dummies as well.

Good to hear about your Atlantis experience, we ultimately decided it was too rich for our blood and I was terrified at losing our youngest with that river, he's prone to wondering as it is. Even though he is almost 12. Personally we all thought it would be great to just drop Nassau entirely as a port and hit CC twice.

A girl can dream, right?
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:54 AM   #80
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Thank you We leave in 2 weeks. Can wait.
Have a great cruise!

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Jumping in a little late here! How fun that you were on the same cruise as Brook, I love the green lei idea, that's fabulous!

It was great meeting Brook after reading so many of her trip reports. We had a great group on this cruise and it was so nice seeing each other around the ship.

I'm jealous of your 8 day. We looked at it and I couldn't convince my DH as (in his opinion)it was too many at sea days to look at "what, the east coast?" , NYC would be too expensive, yada yada yada. LOL. However, after doing the 4 night I think we ALL wished it had been longer even by just one more day, especially in comparison to the 7 nights on the Wonder in Alaska. I love the Captains picture with all of you, I don't recall that on either of our cruises, though in the case of the Wonder, we were late to the reception (a recurring theme with us as you'll see as my TR progresses) but I don't seem to recall a Shutters photographer on the Dream when we saw the captain either, though we did get pictures with him on our phone. My DH would have loved a formal one with all the details of the ship. I'll have to keep it in mind for the next cruise. Whenever that is, I'm with you, sad about the change in policy, we'd have booked 2 dummies as well.

I loved having the 4 at-sea days.

Good to hear about your Atlantis experience, we ultimately decided it was too rich for our blood and I was terrified at losing our youngest with that river, he's prone to wondering as it is. Even though he is almost 12. Personally we all thought it would be great to just drop Nassau entirely as a port and hit CC twice.

A girl can dream, right?
I agree - they should just drop Nassau and do two days at CC.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #81
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Once we were dropped off at Atlantis we were given a tour of the resort. This seemed to last forever and we were all getting hot. I wish we had just taken off on our own. We finally were released and we set off to find a locker.
The walking tour was painful. There was nothing worthwhile except it gave me a shot at finding my way back to the bus. This place is huge.

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The line to rent a locker was huge but I had brought our camera and I was not going to just leave it on a chair so Shawn and I waited in line while Matt and Steve went off to do the Leap of Faith slide.
The Leap of Faith was cool. The lines weren't too bad at this point. Within an hour the wait went up dramatically.

I wasn't too sure if Matt would chicken out or not but I have to give the dude credit. After riding everything at Cedar Point there is very little that he won't try. He didn't even blink, wanted to go first and was all smiles at the end.

The slide itself is fast and provides a lovely chlorine enema. However, you're going so fast and there is so much splash that you can't really see the sharks. I was looking, I think I saw a shadow but the sharks aren't really the point.

I noticed there is quite a crowd watching the end of the slide. I think it's because of the occasional wardrobe malfunction that occurs on your way down.

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The lines were not too long on the slides at this point and they actually made it back to us before we had gotten a locker. After the long wait we headed off for the lazy river. Let me tell you that this is no lazy river. It has some major rapids and Shawn was actually thrown from his tube. Thankfully Steve was right there to grab him.
Yow! The lazy river thing is way scarier than the Leap of Faith.

I was with Shawn trying to keep one hand on his tube when we got to the big wave section.

A big wave came along and he went over. I reached to grab for him and I went over head first. When I first stood up he was still under so I went back down and picked him up off the bottom.

He's a decent swimmer but these waves were intense right at that part of the river and it was tough to get your bearings after getting dumped.

He was fine, I was a little rattled and many of the other people around us were concerned but no one from Atlantis even saw it happen as far as I know, or if they did they weren't concerned. There is definitely a huge difference in safety between here and home.

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The resort is beautiful but it was very crowded.
I heard people saying that it was a lot better the day before but with four cruise ships in port it was a complete zoo.

I'd be more willing to return if I somehow knew it would be quieter. With these crowds it just wasn't worth it.

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As we approached the ship the castmembers were passing out cold wash cloths for everyone. Very refreshing.
Oh yeah, those cold damp wash cloths were the highlight of the day. These alone were worth the extra price between Disney and those other lines.

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After we got back to the room we all showered and I think we ordered some room service. We hung out on the deck and watched the late people running back to the ship across from us.
Ok, I take it back. Watching the runners from our veranda was the highlight of the day. On previous cruises I didn't have time or didn't think of it. Watching runners, and the fact that there WERE runners to watch made my day.

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There as also a black out for a few minutes. I don't remember what they said caused it but it kept us in port for a little longer. The boys had went down to their clubs but Matt ended up coming back because they had closed the Edge.
I was out strolling the ship getting a beer for me and a DOTD for Sparky (today was the Sunken Treasure)

The emergency door between the Club and the Lab on deck 5 closed and there was an alarm going off. There were a bunch of cast members in the area but nobody was talking. They all had their jobs and it was all business at this point. They never did tell us what happened.

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After the show Steve and I went to meet with the DVC lady again and this time we sealed the deal. 120 points at Animal Kingdom Villas. I'm not sure why it took us so long to do this.
Finally, after thinking about it for far too long we took the plunge. Welcome Home... and all that.

We've rented points in the past but I can't wait to stay at WDW on our own points. Our own little piece of the magic.

We were late for dinner by the time we were done signing stuff. Grabbed the dudes quick from their clubs and headed to Animators to see Laura.

I went with all her recommendations and she did not lead me astray. Pot Stickers, Conch Soup, Shrimp/Scallop Pasta. It was all excellent and the boys were much entertained that I took Laura's suggestions again.

Ok, wait, I forgot... THIS was the highlight of the day.....

After the main course Sant came by to scrape the crumbs and prepare for dessert. Matt said that the scraper thing was really cool and that he wanted one. Without hesitation Sant gave it to him.

So we now own one slightly used DCL crumb scraper. I'm not sure what he's going to do with it but It totally made Matt's night and is a unique souvenir.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #82
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Sorry for the delay in the update. My boys went back to school last week so it has been hectic.

I woke up on our Castaway Cay day just as we were approaching the island and watched the docking procedure out on the verandah.






We had a parasailing excursion booked for 3:30 and would be on the island the whole day so we decided that we were not going to rush right off the ship .

After everyone was up and ready we went to Topsiders for breakfast and then headed off to the Pelican Plunge area.

We found an umbrella right in front the of the slides.



This area was pretty crowded but it was a good location since the boys wanted to to do the slides and there was a bar close for those wonderful Konk Koolers .





After a bit of swimming we decided to go on a bike ride before it got any hotter.





On our last cruise we had brought our GPS to find a geocache that is located on the island. We were searching for it when it started to pour. We gave up so we decided to look for it again. This time we had success with Shawn finding the cache.



It was getting pretty hot by now and I so wanted to stop off at the adult beach for a drink - but we had the boys in tow so we headed back to our spot by the slides. The boys did some more swimming - lots of little fish in the water with them. I enjoyed my first Konk Kooler of the day.

Next we all went on the Pelican Plunge slides. I love these. The covered one is really fast!

After some sliding we headed over to Cookies Too for some lunch and then packed up our stuff and went over to the other family beach area. The boys wanted to play on the play structure that is out in the water. We found that this area was much less crowded than the Pelican Plunge area.







We relaxed in this area for a couple of hours - had a few more Konk Koolers - until it was time to head back to go parasailing.



We had skipped the picture in front of the ship this morning because the line was huge. By the time we got back - there were no photographers. Someone passing by offered to take our picture.



We walked over to Marge's Barges for our excursion. This was the last time slot for the day and there were a couple groups of people. They took us all out on 2 boats and we had a boat for just our family.





Steve and Matt went up first.









Then Shawn and I went up.





It was so cool! Neat to see the ship and island from the sky. I thought I would be scared but it was very relaxing. The time goes by so fast though.

After we were back in the boat and heading back to the dock I started to feel a little queasy. I think it was a combination of the boat rocking and the long day in the sun.

We were back at the dock in no time and headed back on to the ship.

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Old 08-27-2012, 10:38 AM   #83
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Ok the Atlantis "lazy" river sounds a bit scary, feeling even better about not doing it now.

What a perfect sounding day! We had a similar experience with lack of photographers, kind of made me wish I'd forced the group in the morning but I know they'd have balked.

The parasailing looks like a lot of fun! It was cancelled on our day, due to wind, but it would be something I'd consider in the future.

Congrats on DVC by the way, we just purchased last Jan and went "home" for the first time this July/Aug. A GREAT purchase! It is fun having that magnet on your door.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:43 AM   #84
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After a bit of swimming we decided to go on a bike ride before it got any hotter.
Really enjoyed watching the 5k runners finish. As an old, fat guy I'm not sure I could ever do it myself but I'd really like to try. Maybe I'll have to look into the Couch Potato to 5K thing before we return to Castaway Cay and make this my one and only 5K just to prove that I can.

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This area was pretty crowded but it was a good location since the boys wanted to to do the slides and there was a bar close for those wonderful Konk Koolers .
We ended up right next to Jason Surrell from Walt Disney Imagineering. Very nice to meet him and talk about Stephen King (and other things) with him. Nice guy, nice family and a nice bonus for our Castaway Cay day.

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Next we all went on the Pelican Plunge slides. I love these. The covered one is really fast!
Ok, I don't mean to ruffle anyone here but this was our one "New Yorker" moment.

Before the cruise there was some speculation on one of the DIS threads about whether or not the NYC cruises would have a different vibe since they would be full of New Yorkers.

Of course, this was not the case 90% of the time. Pelican Plunge was the one exception.

While waiting in line there was one guy with a thick NYC accent Yelling "Come on! Send him! Hurry up! What's the hold up! Let's go!" It was so stereotypical New Yorker. This guy was a living, breathing caricature.

Then we get to the top and the little girl in front of us was having second thoughts. We were next in line with NYC-guy behind us. The muttering from behind us got louder and louder as every second ticked by. This was definitely not helping this poor little girl get brave enough to go and she eventually backed out and walked back down the stairs.

So, one NYC jerk out of 2,500 passengers. I'll take those odds.

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We relaxed in this area for a couple of hours - had a few more Konk Koolers - until it was time to head back to go parasailing.
We weren't going to have another round but the server told us that it was twofer time! So we went from no thank you to a tray with 4 drinks on it in short order. None of it was wasted.

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It was so cool! Neat to see the ship and island from the sky. I thought I would be scared but it was very relaxing. The time goes by so fast though.
This was very cool. We were way up there looking down on the Magic and across the entire island. Awesome and highly recommended.

As for "time goes by so fast." I'm not sure we actually got our "5-7 minutes" as advertised. Reviewing the video after the fact shows it was less than 5. That may be a side effect of being the last run of the day.

But still... excellent excursion and a great way to cap off another awesome day at Castaway Cay.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:27 PM   #85
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Ok the Atlantis "lazy" river sounds a bit scary, feeling even better about not doing it now.

It was pretty scary.

What a perfect sounding day! We had a similar experience with lack of photographers, kind of made me wish I'd forced the group in the morning but I know they'd have balked.

It was a great day. I had tried to get a cabana because we had one on our last cruise and we loved it. I was bummed when I didn't get one, but we had as great of a day without the big price tag.

The parasailing looks like a lot of fun! It was cancelled on our day, due to wind, but it would be something I'd consider in the future.

I was afraid that ours would get cancelled because it looked stormy most of the day - but we got it in.

Congrats on DVC by the way, we just purchased last Jan and went "home" for the first time this July/Aug. A GREAT purchase! It is fun having that magnet on your door.
Thanks! I just wish we had done it in 2008!
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:38 PM   #86
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Looks like you had an awesome day at castaway cay. Loved that island. Definitely understand why people are crazy for the double dip!!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #87
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Congrats on the DVC plunge. Welcome Home. AKV is our home as well!
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:35 PM   #88
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I'm really enjoying your review.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #89
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Looks like you had an awesome day at castaway cay. Loved that island. Definitely understand why people are crazy for the double dip!!!
I would love to do a double dip someday.

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Congrats on the DVC plunge. Welcome Home. AKV is our home as well!
Thanks - we can't wait to stay there.

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I'm really enjoying your review.
Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:19 PM   #90
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After our wonderful day on Castaway Cay we headed back to the room to clean up. We ordered some room service and just chilled in the room for a bit. A full day in the sun knocks me out.

Steve and I had a appointment with the DVC people to sign our paperwork so we headed there while the boys went to their clubs for a bit.

We all met back at the room to change for dinner and then we were off to the show. The show this evening was a new one - Walt Disney The Dream Goes On. I really liked the premise of the show and all of the Walt footage but there were a few singing/dancing numbers that I could have skipped.

After the show we all went to the Promenade Lounge for Bingo. We didn't win anything but it filled the time before dinner. Bingo ran a little over and we were a little late getting to Parrot Cay for dinner.

Dinner was good but we were all tired from the long day. We were going to have another big day tomorrow so we all headed back to the room and were in bed by 10:30.

Next up: Our day at WDW!
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