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Old 10-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #61
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Your son is a cutie pie! Glad he got along to well in the nursery.

Jill in CO
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:20 PM   #62
Earning My Ears
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Day Two cont. Aladdin and Formal Night

After naptime we headed to the theater to see Aladdin. Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney movies, and I was very excited to see this show. About 10 minutes in my son started begging to leave and go back to the room. I think the cave at the beginning scared him. We left and checked the Navigator to see what we could do next.

Pluto was up on the Sports Deck, so we headed there next. There was no line at all. I think many people didn't realize where he was? This was the only character interaction we went to that had no line.

After that we sat by the pool and watched Toy Story 2 on Funnelvision until it was time to get ready for dinner. We snacked on fresh fruit from the quick service counters by the pool. It made a great snack - and I would recommend it if you need a little mid-afternoon bite to tide you over.

Formal Night:
We headed back to our room to get dressed for formal night. My son wore pants and button down shirt, my husband wore dress slacks, a button down shirt and tie and I wore a nice dress. We saw a few people in tuxedos and gowns, but most people were dressed as we were. A few men were in polo shirts, and I did see a few boys in shorts and polo shirts. Most young girls were dressed as princesses.

We went down to the lobby early for the Captain's Reception. My husband and I each received a free drink (rum and pineapple juice - YUM!) and enjoyed mingling a little before dinner. We took one formal picture, then headed to Animator's Palate. Animator's Palate is a very casual restaurant to end up in for formal night, but we didn't really care. I can understand why people request a different rotation for formal night.

For our appetizers we all sampled the risotto, black truffle pasta pursettes and the shrimp cheesecake. We thought all of this was delicious. The shrimp cheesecake was better than we remembered from the Dream. For dinner I had the chicken with sour cream mashed potatoes and my husband had the ginger teriyaki beef with wasabi mashed potatoes. All of it was very good. For dessert I had the sweet temptations dessert, and once again one of the options was disappointing. The crunchy walnut cake and lemon dessert were good.

This was our first night in AP so it was the Crush the Turtle show.

Our servers continued to be fantastic. At the end of the evening they came out and danced with my son. They treated him like he was the captain of the ship. They went above and beyond at every single meal, and I'll never forget their fantastic service. (Of course, we have requested them for our next Fantasy cruise!)

Aladdin, Try #2
After dinner we quickly dropped by the family dance party, then made our way back to the theater to try Aladdin again. We once again enjoyed the family dance party. As soon as we entered the theater my son started begging to leave again, so my husband took him back to the room while I stayed to watch Aladdin. The show was amazing and I really enjoyed it. I wish my son and husband could have stayed for it. After the show I headed back to the room, set the clock back an hour for Grand Cayman time and turned in for the night.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:33 AM   #63
Earning My Ears
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Day 3 - Grand Cayman

When we changed the clocks last night we knew we'd be up earlier than the restaurants would open for breakfast. We placed the room service card out and requested delivery at 6:30 AM. It arrived promptly at 6:30, and we enjoyed coffee and a few nibbles on our Verandah. Our son didn't eat much of what was delivered, so at 7:30 we headed up to Cabanas to find something he would eat. There was a large selection of food at Cabanas.

After breakfast my son wanted to meet a pirate, so we checked the Navigator and saw that Jake would be out at 9 AM.

After that we headed to the Oceaneer's Club for an open house. At first we were the only people there, and my son enjoyed running laps around he magic dance floor and checking out every area. Before long some other families joined us, and the CMs started activities that included Mickey, Minnie and Donald. The kids made hand puppets and danced and sang. It was a lot of fun, and again, I would recommend checking out these open house hours!

Before long we were approaching Grand Cayman, so we went up to Deck 12 to see the island. Soon the tender boats starting coming alongside the ship. One right after another - they seemed to be very efficient. We went back to our room to rest. During our son's nap they announced open tenders. When he woke up we went up to Cabana's for lunch, then headed downstairs to get on a tender. I was worried about moving from this huge cruise ship onto this small boat, but it wasn't a problem at all. The tender boats do move up and down slightly in the waves, but the walkway is very secure between the ship and the boat, and there are CMs and the tender crew ready to help you if needed. There were only 7 of us on the tender, and in no time at all we were at the pier. We had thought about taking the bus to 7 Mile Beach, but it had been raining off and on, so we just walked around a little checking out the shops.

Shopping Tip: The color changing shirts at Del Sol are $20. The color changing shirts at the small shop just down the street (right on the water) are $10. The cheaper shirt has been worn a lot, and it still changes color in the sun.

Tender boat:

After a little shopping we headed back to the pier and walked right onto a tender. There were DCL tents set up and CMs were handing out towels and water. This tender was nearly full, but there was another tender right behind us, so there was no wait for anyone trying to get back to the ship.

Once back on board we changed into our swimsuits and hit the pools. My son loved the little slide in Nemo's Reef, and two very sweet little girls made she he got his turn when other kids tried to cut ahead of him.

My husband and I took turns riding the AquaDuck - it is so much fun! I never rode it on the Dream, so this was new for me. The line was very short - never more than 10-12 people ahead of us, and sometimes not even that many.

After playing for a while we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. We were in Enchanted Garden that night. We were seated near another DIS family, and it was nice to have a chance to talk to them.

Our server arranged for our son to have the Royal Cupcakes for dessert every night, since that seemed to be what he liked most. He also noticed my son loved the chocolate mickey heads that came on the sundaes, so every night those would be incorporated with his cupcakes somehow. I told you our servers were fantastic!

We headed to our room after dinner. The next day we would be at Costa Maya!
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #64
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Day 4 - Costa Maya

We started Day 4 with breakfast at Royal Court. I had the French Toast Pineapple stack which so many people talk about, and it was pretty good! My son had the Mickey breakfast, and I don't think he ate a bite.

Up next was Costa Maya. Those of you who have been to Costa Maya, or have researched it, know that it's a cruise port that is almost in the middle of nowhere. I told my DH it was a port that was built to be a port, not a port in an existing city. When we approached Costa Maya he finally understood what I meant. As the ship approaches you see a brightly colored collection of buildings, surrounded by short trees as far as the eye can see. I've done some research about Costa Maya, and I've learned the area is hit by a major hurricane every 5 years on average, so the trees never have a chance to get very tall. It was hit by a minor hurricane earlier this summer. Aside from the port there is the small fishing village of Majahual just to the south.

There is a tram that will take you from the ship to the port, saving you the walk down the long, concrete pier. We took the tram because it happened to be there when we got off the ship.

There is a large and very nice public swimming pool at the port. There are a few bars and restaurants around the pool, and shops of varying kinds spread around beyond that. There is a dolphin encounter right on the shore. We stopped to watch the dolphins for a minute.

A lot of people book Mayan ruin excursions. From what I heard on the ship the ruins here were a lot better than the ruins near Cozumel. I also heard many people talking about the abundance of bugs and mosquitos, so make sure you have bug spray if you do an excursion here!

We did not book an excursion, and we headed out the gate of the port to wander around. The second you walk out of the port area it's like you are in another place entirely. It looked like a ghost town. There was a road heading off straight ahead of us, and a few deserted buildings. I overheard someone renting a golf cart, and I thought about it for a second and decided we should do this. I didn't see the golf carts at the time, and in my mind I was thinking of the gold carts I had driven here in the States - electric, nice and smooth riding.

We made arrangements to rent a golf cart, and soon a smelly, diesel golf cart arrived for us. The man we rented the golf cart from made a point of writing his cell phone number down, and told us over and over that if we had any trouble we could pay a local $1 to use their phone and call him. It occurred to me later that they probably have a lot of trouble with these golf carts!

Our golf cart had two speeds - you could floor it and putter along, or take your foot off the gas and stop moving altogether.

We drove our golf cart down to Majahual, laughing the whole way about how I jumped at the chance to rent a half-broken-down golf cart in the middle of nowhere Mexico. We stopped at a beach, and that's where things really got funny. I turned the golf cart off and removed the key from the ignition. We walked away to take a picture, and while our back was turned to the golf cart I heard it start back up. I turned to see it start moving forward toward the ocean. Thankfully we could easily run faster than it, so we caught it, stopped it, and decided to just head on back to the port.

Despite these adventures, I never felt unsafe. There were many other cruise ship passengers in other golf carts and car/vehicle rentals. I felt confident that if we did encounter a problem we would have no trouble finding someone to help us. The vendors, shop owners and restaurant owners are more aggressive than we are used to in the States, but they are just trying to make a living. From what I understand the area is quite lovely and relaxing when there isn't a cruise ship in port.

We had planned to stay on the ship, but I'm happy we took a chance and did a litttle exploring. We have happy memories from our little excursion.

Once we got back on the ship we changed into our swimsuits and enjoyed Nemo's Reef and the Aquaduck. We ate lunch from the quick service restaurants by the pool. For dinner that night we were in Royal Court.

After dinner our son had a chance to meet Minnie, which I think was his favorite character of the trip. He was SO excited! He kissed her and then happily shouted at me "I kissed Minty Mouse" (Back then he called her Minty )

We headed to bed soon after dinner. Another fun day on our beautiful ship.

Last edited by SCMouseFans; 10-26-2012 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:16 AM   #65
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Great trip report so far....looks like you all had a blast.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #66
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I have really enjoyed reading your trip report. Your son is a real sweetie. My daughter will be his age when we go on our first cruise next year.
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