Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum > Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-17-2013, 08:07 AM   #76
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus77 View Post
A little late signing on, but I am enjoying reading about your trip report! We did our first cruise last year with a 4 yr old!
Thanks - I was almost going to take back what I said about enjoying 4 year olds ... the version yesterday was almost returned to the store, but we lost the receipt. Excessive whining ... hoping for a better day today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwpirates View Post
Awesome trip report!!! Probably one of the best I have ever read...sneaky pee and all!!
Thanks so much! I can put in more sneaky pee and other related discussions... I'm just afraid of getting in trouble - we had an entire discussion about boy/girl genitalia yesterday before 7:30 a.m. - I hadn't even had my coffee yet. Not fair!
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #77
mjruane
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 48

Wonderful trip report!!!

Could you please explain what the Dad crazy-glue FE gift was? I'm very intrigued since you described it as "genius".

Thanks!!!
mjruane is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 02-17-2013, 02:28 PM   #78
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjruane View Post
Wonderful trip report!!!

Could you please explain what the Dad crazy-glue FE gift was? I'm very intrigued since you described it as "genius".

Thanks!!!
Thx!

It was a tiny tube of crazy glue- that's it! Perfect for us, anyway, in that one of DH's main roles is to fix stuff, it was totally packable and terribly useful. I thought it was great simply because usually when you need crazy glue, you don't have it on hand... so now we do, for when one of Conor's precious items breaks at an inconvenient time (which is anytime anything breaks, actually).
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #79
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Reflections on Day 3

This was another good day for us in that it was also unscheduled, plus we had our breakthrough of being able to leave Conor at the kid's club. This wasn't just for parental sanity, but we know that he's a happier guy if some of his day, at least, is spent interacting with his peers. Being an only kid, he is very comfortable and (we think anyway) he enjoys spending time with us ancients, but there is nothing quite like having a buddy. Between the Mickey pool and the clubs, he chatted away at many boys and girls his age.

However, by the end of the day, we were getting a bit antsy to get off the ship - the nature of this itinerary was front-end loaded with at sea/on ship days. We were also definitely starting to miss our usual beach-time ... (we are fans of the all-inclusive experience, I will admit).

No one was grumpy, though, (even after the internet fiasco), and we certainly weren't bored.

On to... Day 4- the half-way mark and ... Port Adventures!
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 03:48 PM   #80
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Day 4 - St. Thomas - part 1 - Getting off the ship


This was our early excursion day - so I might have actually set an alarm (horror of horrors) in case I slept in, which I didn't. I made my usual trek to my buddy Robert (we discussed winters in Canada vs. Transylvania- very similar - the idea that bright and sunny days can mean horribly cold confused the poor woman from somewhere in the Southern half of the US who was also there).

Since we had to meet at 8:15, we had put the insta-breakfast card out the night before for about 7:00 a.m. - Dude does NOT do well with rushing in the morning, so we get up early. Breakfast on the balcony was "AWESOME MOM!" since we were actively sailing into port. This, despite the fact he was frustrated because there is really no good seating arrangement out there for 4 year olds to eat their cereal - you either stand, or you bend over double to get your cereal ... it was a testament to the cool factor that he didn't meltdown over this.

Anyhow - we were are dressed, showered, sunscreened, hatted, and victualed by 7:45 or so, so we meandered down to the D-Lounge on Deck 4 where we were to meet.

Our first Port Adventure - Coral World and "Submarine-boat" - getting there

Now, our friend who got us to book DCL did warn me about the whole excursion bit - the impossibly perky people at early hours of the morning might have put DH off the whole thing, so I ensured he was appropriately caffeinated.

The D-lounge is obnoxious in its lighting style - I (seriously) almost got a headache just walking in. It's awful - sorry if you love the joint - I was appalled. I am prone to headaches - usually triggered by scents and bright lights, and this joint was full of them. Fortunately, I found a dark and unscented corner and was OK. I figured no one wanted me with headache induced nausea on the trip...

We produced all relevant paperwork, and got our stickers with some Disney character we didn't know and I can't remember. Fortunately, although the CM in charge was way too high on the perky scale, the guy who carried the (are they serious?) "Paddle of Power" with said random Disney character seemed to be low caffeine, so DH was not overly bothered by the process of getting off the ship.

We then had flashbacks to boarding - hello, sheep, baaaaa -- over here! We stood in line, got wrist-bands. Stood in line. Were allowed to walk over to the vans - yes, the usual vans you find in the Caribbean - always fun. I won't get into the carseat debate here, except to say we have our own each and everytime we travel. We had researched and this was a short trek, so we didn't bring anything. Conor is also not reliably over 40 lbs, so if we're talking carseat, we're talking full-blown 5-pt harness, which we use 99% of the time in our lives, minus the 1% "taking a taxi in Toronto when I'm there for a conference" and we use a booster seat. I did manage to get him in a seat that had a seat belt, which helped me feel better. If you wanted to use a carseat or booster, you could have easily enough.

Coral World

Our driver (George) was cautious, and we arrived at Coral World safe and sound. We were greeted by a lovely woman and her daughter -they divided the group into 2, and happily we ended up in the group that was starting on the submarine boat, which was what Conor wanted. After yet another "I don't need to pee! My p**** is EMPTY!" discussion, I got him to pee with me, based on the woman's description of a bucket as being the sum total of the "facilities" on the boat.

We had been on one of these 1 year before, and Conor was keen - we were the first ones on. (If you've never done this - you sit in the hull of the ship, so you're underwater, and you can see cool stuff- kinda like snorkeling without getting wet.) These guys went one step further than last year's trip - they have a diver on board, who finds cool stuff to see, and then feeds the fish some healthy food, so you are guaranteed to see mucho cool stuff. Photos below... the lighting is funky since you're down in the water - Conor was amazed that my pink tank top was fully purple down there - he still talks about it!

Cool diver guy with baby starfish



Excited about cool diver guy



Cool diver guy feeding the very odd-looking shark sucker fish (a.k.a. Remora, for Sherman's Lagoon fans)



When we got off, they gave all the kids a pirate coin - Thrilling! We got off last (side effect of getting on first), and the diver chatted with us on the way back to Coral World - he was super-nice.

Afterwards, you have the run of Coral World, which we enjoyed. We read on Disboards that it was key to read when the feeding sessions were scheduled, and we did to some extent, but being anti-schedule people, but we also enjoyed just wandering about. It's not a big place, but it was just about perfect for us- stuff that interested Conor, without being exhausting going everywhere. We saw some cool sting-rays, and we did catch the Sea Lion show (recommended by the diver after the boat ride) - Omar, the Sea Lion, is quite fun- and I was impressed that the employees (not sure of their title) were quite concerned for Omar's welfare - they asked people to leave if they were noisy as it would upset Omar, and this included crying kids. Otherwise, we saw a bunch of aquariums, Conor was Mr. Brave an touched a starfish in the hands-on tank, and we had a snack. Thrills abounded.

We met this guy - not technically part of Coral World -he's a native.



Overall, I'd recommend Coral World for kids under about 7 or 8. If you're looking for "WOW", you won't get it at Coral World. If you want a nice place to take little kids, it's perfect.

The van ride home was complicated by our van-mates, who decided they wanted to be dropped off "downtown" so we had to move to another van to accommodate them. Otherwise, drop off was smooth, and we were back on the ship by about noon.

Next up - St. Thomas, part two.
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 04:49 PM   #81
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Day 4 - St. Thomas - part 2 - Getting back off the ship

After a quick lunch at Cabanas, we headed back off the ship. DH had big plans to buy a new camera, but we didn't have any ambition to shop 'til we dropped. We had done the main shopping strip in St. Thomas 5 years before, and the idea of doing that with a 4.5 year old convinced us to suck up some higher prices and shop at port - still duty free, which was the main deal. I amused Conor at tacky souvenir stores (great for the 4.5 year old set), while DH found his camera, in the space of about 20 minutes.

Here we have cool tourist boy - that is a real Tilley hat - a gift from my sister's in-laws - that thing rocks.



Butterfly farm

Back in the P-K days (pre-kid) DH and I had been to a butterfly farm in St. Martin and so I paid attention when I saw the signs for one "5 minute walk" from port. It was a 5 minute walk for normal humans, but not for a 4.5 year old who has to explore everything, however, we were not on a schedule ( a theme?) so we just meandered.

We arrived just as they were putting on a bird show just outside the shop- cool birds doing cool tricks - since one is supposed to pay to watch this extravaganza (included in the admission), we were good little tourists and went in to do so. I can't remember how much we paid, but it wasn't completely ridiculous - somewhere between $20 and $30 for the 3 of us? (Pales in comparison to the price of Port Adventures)

The farm itself is much smaller than the one at St. Martin, but, again, not a problem for the JK set. There were enough butterflies to keep him interested, and because it was small, we were able to make a quick exit when he decided he'd had enough. We refrained from buying anything in the shop.

My overall review? It's reasonably cheap, and the bird show was cool (birds walking on tight-ropes, etc.) and close to the ship - perfect for killing an hour with little kids - probably would bore older kids to tears, though.

And.... the Aquaduck!

Somewhat to our surprise, Mr. "I go down the Mickey slide slower than anyone else" really wanted to go on the Aquaduck. There was no way we were going to attempt the 20-30 minute line-ups on at-sea days, but a slightly rainy, definitely overcast at-port day was perfect.

Conor is 42 inches tall ... exactly - we know this since they had him take off his swim shoes and his swim hat to measure him - he just made it. I stayed on dry(ish) land to take photos. It was only about 10 minutes when I saw them come out the one side, so I was ready to capture this:



Yes, that is a photo of a boy holding on for dear life, while DH waved happily behind. Conor's declaration after getting off... "I do NOT want to do that again!!!" Too much speed, too many dips. Nope - roller coasters are not in our immediate future. Love my adventurous boy.

We dried the poor bedraggled soul off, got him changed, cuddled him, fed him ice cream, and by then, in typical resilient kid fashion, he was ready for a couple of hours at the club.

I believe DH and I headed to deck 4 to lounge in anticipation of ... PIRATE NIGHT - a HUGE night for us. You can keep your princess extravaganzas and character bonanzas.... we will take pirate night 1,000 times over... coming up next.
__________________

Last edited by Conorama; 02-24-2013 at 01:32 PM.
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #82
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Pirate Night - or Pirate Evening, to be more precise

Pirate are a big part of our lives, and have been since Conor was under 2. I blame the Backyardigans, but I think it was more than that. Suffice it to say, this was not a passing fad, and it was a big part of what convinced us to try DCL.

Now, this is not to say we wanted anything to do with the Boutique - my boy wouldn't even let me put make-up on his for Halloween, and we barely get through haircuts. Plus, I'll be honest, that place represents much of what we really don't like/understand about Disney. If you like it, then grand, but fear not, you don't need to compete with us to get an appointment.


Pirate Grub


As noted previously, we decided to go all out for pirate night (or at least, as all out as we consider reasonable!) so DH and I had ordered pirate shirts. They must be seen to be believed, and the photos are coming. Suffice it to say that when I posted the photo of DH and Conor on Facebook, we apparently caused many of our friends to spit their drinks on their screens...

Anyhow - we spent way more time getting ready for pirate night than we did for formal night - not sure what that says about us... I actually ended up bailing on a few planned items - bandanas and crazy curly hair are just not friends. Plus, I was the one who had to wear the bright purple shirt, so that seemed to be just plenty, thanks.

So, here we have Conor - minus his hat, as he knows he needs to take hats off in restaurants.



(The rest of his outfit will show up later.)

Here we have my very brave husband, in full pirate regalia. Keep in mind he's 6'6'' - so this is an impressive look. (It's not a great photo - well, none of mine are great - but it captures the essence.)



My photo will show up shortly.

Supper was, if you can't tell, at Animator's Palate. Oriel brought Conor the light-up pirate glass, which was a huge hit. (I believe we had to pay for it.) Of note, we forgot it at the table, and Oriel made sure we got it back the next night.

DH and I both had crab cakes; I had shrimp and scallops on pasta; DH had Mahi Mahi. (He's from Newfoundland, and swears that there is no good seafood in Ontario, anywhere, so when we go on vacation, he becomes a piscatarian almost.) It was all quite good.

Pirate evening for kids

I gather they didn't used to have this kid-friendly event, and boy am I glad they introduced it. Conor was 100% into it, so long as his actual noise earmuffs were firmly in place - don't all pirates wear them? It did mean he couldn't wear his hat. The first part of the party is pirate games, and he jumped right in to the fishing one:



And here - success! And, a view of my purple shirt.


Mostly, then, he just liked running around, so we let him. We found a decent half-way back place to sit for the show. I'm quite sure we weren't told not to take photos for this show - sorry if we missed it. Anyhow- here is Conor, fully engaged in Yo Ho Ho-ing:



He was a bit scared when Captain Hook and the bad pirates arrived, but he was impressed at the pirate who rappelled down the stack. So long as he sat on my lap, he was OK. Plus, in case you were worried, Captain Mickey wins the Captain's challenge (sorry- spoiler, I suppose ... NOT).

Here are the 2 Captains:



After the very exciting show (it was nice and short - maybe 20 minutes?) Conor was feeling the moment, so here he is busting a pirate move:



We finally extricated him from the festivities, and went back to our room for the usual bathroom/bath/books/bed. He was 100% thrilled at the whole night - so much, that the FE gifts of the day paled in comparison - although they were all very piratey. (Why does spell-check keep objecting to that word?)

Next up: Reflections on Day 4.
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 06:07 PM   #83
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Reflections on Day 4

This was a good day for us- we got off the ship (which we enjoyed - we're never going to be the "stay on the ship in port" people), for an age-appropriate, not too long, not too scheduled, excursion.

The rest of the day was unscheduled, and the port shops where we were at St. Thomas was super-accessible, which was nice. I was really surprised at the fact we were completely unaware of the 20,000 + tourists in town - perhaps because we took the early excursion.

We had no regrets at the fact we booked through DCL, even though it probably could have been done on our own easily enough in the end - the 6 ships in port was not something we wanted to mess about with ... we could see ourselves sitting around trying to find transportation and getting more and more stressed, which we do not need on vacation. Wimps? Yep, that's us - we pay for comfort and convenience on vacation, and have no qualms doing it, especially with a 4.5 year old.

It was nice spending some time on the ship when it wasn't as crowded, but honestly, we didn't notice a huge difference in most areas, except, of course, the Aquaduck.

Pirate night (kidlet version), though, was truly awesome for us. Disney got that one right, from our perspective. You'll note we didn't even try to stay up for the fireworks - not surprisingly, our noise-averse kid hates them, and even if he liked them, they're at 10:30 at night... he's not been awake past 9:30 p.m. more than a dozen times since he dropped his 11:00 p.m. feed at the age of 4 months. We feel no need to experiment with this on vacation - that's just crazy-making talk.

However, we were still missing our beach. We could have done a beach trip on St. Thomas, or we could have hopped over to the beach near Coral World, but again, the hordes of tourists had us spooked. Happily, a beach with our name on it was waiting in San Juan... more on that soon!

Good-night, St. Thomas:

__________________

Last edited by Conorama; 02-17-2013 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Forgot photo!
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 07:45 PM   #84
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Day 5 - San Juan - Isla Verde Beach Escape

We were really looking forward to San Juan day - in part due to what we'd read about the place, but mostly, I will admit, due to our longing for a beach.

The main excitement in my morning routine was when I brought back 2 lattés - mine was iced - and my husband greeted me at the door - nice, right? WRONG. I gave him the plate of pastries and my iced latté, while I reached down to get his latté that I had carefully placed on the floor (I was now a master at this juggling act), and HE DROPPED MY LATTÉ.

Seriously - I contemplated divorce.

Fortunately for the sake of our marriage, he right away offered to go and get me another (you bet your you-know-what you're getting me another one), and the carpets in the rooms are designed to conceal spills, I think. We plunked a bunch of towels down to mop up the worst of the spill - (Conor amused himself by jumping on them repeatedly to "help" - he was most intrigued) and we left a note for Rosa, apologizing.

In other news

Out on the balcony, we saw this - AMAZING! (I didn't shrink the photo so it can be truly admired.)




Isla Verde Beach Escape

We now felt expert at the whole port adventures thing. Fortunately, our next meeting place was not at the D-lounge so I didn't need to hide in a corner. It was in a bar somewhere. Anyhow, we grabbed our towels (way more than you think we'd need) and waited to be led off by the fabled Paddle of Whatever - again, a distinct lack of perkiness was present (and this absence was appreciated).

Baa-ing, we did our sheep thing, eventually ending up in line outside of the ship. A nice lady gave us all bracelets to complement our sticker of another character we didn't know (though we did know it was from the Lion King). We marched along to a fancy bus - a big step up from the vans of the day before.

(Note - this excursion was ridiculous in price, but we decided to, ahem, absorb the cost, because it was the only thing that met our needs, and, well, we're wimps. $109 for adults; $75 for the 3 to 9 crowd. So, we were quite relieved that at least we got a nice bus.)

The nice lady on the bus made sure that each kid knew that if they got lost, they could just point to the phone number on the bracelet, and that would reach her. I wasn't looking to misplace my kid, but it was good to know!

After the advertized 20 minute bus ride, we arrived at the Courtyard Marriott - a keen-o Disboarder had figured that out, so we knew in advance. Thanks cblack!

We hit the beach, to find a nice array of beach chairs and umbrellas set up for our group. Awesome. I plunked myself down, and looked down to see this:



Fish do not like water as much as Conor loves sand.

We got him changed into his industrial-strength swimsuit, hoping to keep the sand at bay. I nabbed 3 of the free fruit punch cups. He headed out to sea:



Then, my husband started training for the "throw your kid in the ocean" Olympic event:



At this point, I was engaging in watching another spectacle - umbrellas blowing away. Yes, it was very, very windy - despite this proclamation on the DCL website: "Isla Verde beach has tranquil water and small waves, making this an ideal place to learn a variety of water sports."

It really was super-windy. I don't hold DCL responsible, of course, but there was really no way to continue on the beach. The beach was, as well, on the coarse side, which amused Conor to no end, as he kept digging up small pebbles and shells.

After about 20 minutes of blowing in the wind, we decided to join the very sensible cblack over to the pool area, which was sheltered.

Why you shouldn't have kids if you can't handle embarrassing conversations

By now, you've figured out that Conor is a) comfortable talking about his boy bits, b) obsessed with sand. Yes, these 2 things are related.

I looked up, just as we were getting ready to leave the beach, to see my lovely, bright, engaging kid literally wallowing in the sand like a pig in sh**. At this point, cblack came by, and she agreed with me that all previous suggestions about baby powder and the like to help get sand off a child were simply laughable when confronted by sand-boy. It would be like spitting in the ocean, so to speak.

I brought him over to the outdoor shower and got most of the outside sand off. Not being new at this mom-business, I did not trust this process alone, so I took my boy off to a quiet private corner to change him into swimsuit #2. At this point, he is totally wired and giggly. The only downside to the one-piece swimsuit is that it's almost impossible to change him discretely - the whole thing needs to come off.

So... he looks down at himself, and proclaims loudly:

"Hey - MOM! Look! I've got sand on my p****!!! That's SO FUNNY!"

Yeah, bud, it's hilarious- now SHUT UP!

Anyhow- I got most of it off (with lots of giggles) and got him into swimsuit #2 - like I said, I'm super-mom when it comes to beaches - always prepared.

The Pool

Well, we had signed up for beach and pool, but we were mostly getting pool. Being from Canada, we know better than to blame anyone for the weather, so we just enjoyed.

DH reports the pool was great - warm, kid-friendly, and fun. (I didn't go in.)

This is what Conor thought:



This is the big problem with the Fantasy pools - you just can do this most of the time.

We were told to show up for lunch (just around the corner) for 12-ish, so we extricated our fish offspring, dried him off as best we could, and hit the feedbag. It was a reasonable spread- not DCL quality, but we didn't expect it - salads, some hot dishes (can't remember what right now), rice, veggies, chicken fingers and fries for kids, lots of drinks, and desserts.

We ate with cblack and the most awesome Jayden (and Jayden's dad), and that was definitely fun. We are reasonably anti-social on trips, but we can interact, and even enjoy it on occasion!

There was more pool time after that (about 1 hour) then we headed back (baaaaa) to the bus, and back to the ship for about 2:00 p.m.

I had spotted a Starbucks (yes, I am that pathetic) on the ride back, so in part inspired by this, and in part inspired by wanting to actually see a bit of San Juan, we decided to have DH, a.k.a. "The Sherpa" bring our crap back to the ship, while Conor and I watched the street vendors, while he ate a snack or 5. (Swimming builds up an appetite.) Thus passed 20 pleasant minutes of people watching.

And, over and out for tonight, folks. Paperwork awaits!
__________________

Last edited by Conorama; 03-13-2013 at 08:55 PM.
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 08:28 PM   #85
Ensusieasm
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 69

Smile Enjoying Your Trip Report So Much!

I loved hearing about your Beach Excursion. My friend and I are cruising on the Fantasy in just 20 days, minus our sea sickness prone husbands. I think we are just going to get a taxi to Isla Verde and go to the beach and just walk or rent a chair from a vendor. Our plan is to go early, spend two hours at the most, and go back to the ship for lunch. I love big waves and windy beach walks, so it sounds like it might be just the place for us to go. Do you think this would be a feasible plan for two women? Does it look safe? How long was your bus ride?
Sorry for so many questions. I have been reading every word of your report and you are doing a fantastic job! Coner (with one n) is a wonderful boy. You are so lucky!
Thanks
Ensusieasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 08:36 PM   #86
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensusieasm View Post
I loved hearing about your Beach Excursion. My friend and I are cruising on the Fantasy in just 20 days, minus our sea sickness prone husbands. I think we are just going to get a taxi to Isla Verde and go to the beach and just walk or rent a chair from a vendor. Our plan is to go early, spend two hours at the most, and go back to the ship for lunch. I love big waves and windy beach walks, so it sounds like it might be just the place for us to go. Do you think this would be a feasible plan for two women? Does it look safe? How long was your bus ride?
Sorry for so many questions. I have been reading every word of your report and you are doing a fantastic job! Conor (with one n) is a wonderful boy. You are so lucky!
Thanks
Thanks! No worries - happy to answer questions. 20 days will go by very quickly.

First - absolutely best to leave the sea-sick prone husbands. They can't be Sherpas if they're seasick, and they might be even more prone to dropping important drinks - can't have that!

Second...
It was just about exactly 20 minutes, and both the roads and the beach seemed very safe. (Well, the downtown roads were tiny and windy, so a bit interesting on a huge bus, but I wasn't worried ... much easier in a taxi.) There are a whole bunch of hotels, but it's a public beach - so as long as you settled in near a hotel, you'd be grand. The Courtyard Marriott even had an espresso bar in the lobby, so I'm sure you could just pop in to get a drink if you wanted. (Heck - they probably had other drinks, but that's the place I noticed, though I showed restraint and didn't buy anything.)

To be honest, that might be the easiest thing for you- just ask the taxi to take you to the Courtyard Marriott out there -then you can walk around from there, and have a place for the taxi to come back and get you. I wasn't paying attention to the other hotels to see what they were, unfortunately.

We've actually talked about going back to San Juan sometime - we loved it. Despite the wind that day, it was completely lovely.

Enjoy, and thanks again for reading!

ETA - Yep, we're pretty happy with Conor - and we try to remember that on the days he turns into a monster, like yesterday. There is a reason why I got so much reporting done- mucho time in the time-out zone was required on his end! However, it's all worth it in the end.
__________________

Last edited by Conorama; 02-17-2013 at 08:45 PM.
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 09:12 PM   #87
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

(Yeah, yeah, yeah - I got my papers organized and went through a bunch of stuff... now, I'm giving up and going back to this.)

Day 5 - San Juan - just 'splorin, as Conor calls it

I forgot to mention a key event at the Courtyard Marriott. Just as we were packing up and getting anxious about missing the bus (unreasonably, but one cannot control one's anxieties), we hear:

"MOM! I REALLY need to PEE!"

Good grief - how could we have forgotten to nag him about peeing? He always drinks half the pool when he swims. Madly, we dash to the washroom, hoping there is an open stall, and, oh happy day, there is. Victory! We have narrowly escaped a horrifying experience... using the facilities on a bus with a scent-sensitive child. PHEW.


Back to our regularly scheduled San Juan meander, and an aside about packing life jackets for kids

When last typing, I mentioned we sent DH back to the ship to drop off all our beach crap. This included Conor's life jacket. Those with small kids and anxious tendencies might be wondering whether it's worth it to pack one. Last year, we packed his Puddle Jumper, but DH pointed out, correctly (annoying when he's right) that the life jacket didn't actually take more space, really, and it's probably safer. We were thinking he would be swimming in the ocean more than he did, and we didn't want to chance life jackets that we didn't know. So, we packed it, and we got a lot of use out of it at the pool at the Marriott... but it wasn't essential.

How's that for a non-answer? I guess I'm saying if you'd feel better packing it, then go ahead. You can always use it - you just might not decide to.

So, DH reappeared, much lighter, and when we convinced Conor that exploring San Juan was at least as exciting as doing a mystery, he came along. We had no real route in mind- we just wandered about. It's really lovely. We spent about 1 hour checking things out, and we were back at the ship in plenty of time to board ... and, of course, do another mystery. (We missed doing one the day before, and someone was keeping track of these things...)

Oh, and lest I lose my passport again - let me report that at this point, it was HOT. Yes, probably approaching 27 C or above. It wasn't humid, but it was causing Conor to wilt (we live through this in Ontario too - he doesn't do well over about 25), which was part of why we were keeping our walkabout short. There was very little breeze in Old San Juan, vs. the gales of wind out at Isla Verde, which made a big difference.

OK Disney keeners - you can tell me who the character is on Conor's shirt below - I see now that I got my stickers mixed up - Lion King must have been the day before... this looks very "under the sea" like. (I mean it when I say we failed the Disney trivia game badly...) (BTW - he did this to his hat himself - he's a stylin' Dude.)



Boy in front of fort



Pontificating about something or other in front of the ship. He very rarely stops talking, unless he's eating or sleeping.



And now, I need to head to bed, or my husband will go first, and then I'll never sleep. I'll type at you tomorrow!
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #88
Karen87
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 30

Enjoying your trip report!

The sticker on Conor's shirt is Sebastian from "The Little Mermaid." He's a crab.

Thank you for the trip report. I'm really enjoying it!
__________________
Karen87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 06:42 AM   #89
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen87 View Post
The sticker on Conor's shirt is Sebastian from "The Little Mermaid." He's a crab.

Thank you for the trip report. I'm really enjoying it!
Brilliant - thanks for the info and for reading my report!
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 07:30 AM   #90
Conorama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 218

Day 5 - San Juan wrap-up

After reaching the ship, we cooled off in our room for a bit, and ... you guessed it, we did another mystery, planned so that we ended up at supper at Enchanted Gardens. (Caesar salad, triangoli, soufflé for me; polenta/blue cheese thing, Caesar, steak, lemon cheesecake for DH.)

Roque, again, was stellar. First, we watched him do his Baby Whisperer act with a little 6 month old one table over who was definitely not enjoying supper. Having had a 6 month old once, we did not mind the fussing baby (or at least, we know better than to say anything!), but it was amazing to watch Roque in action.

Then, he did this (sorry for photo quality again):



Yep - those forks are balancing on a toothpick. It took him about 60 seconds to do this - amazing.

I haven't been reading the boards lately, but I did for some reason last night (it's called PROCRASTINATION) and I read a poll from someone who was on our cruise asking if their assistant servers worked harder than their main servers - most said, yes, but you'd get a resounding 'no' from us. Oriel was fine, and seemed to be working hard, but all he ever did is make ketchup Mickeys for Conor. Roque was far more involved and personable.

Of course, monkey see, monkey do:



We had reservations at Palo the next night, so we did the courteous thing and let our servers know - they tried to figure out if we could still bring Conor (nope - reservation was at 6:00, as that was the earliest one), and then they were very gracious about it. They told us what to expect on the last night, too, and made sure we knew we were in Animator's Palate then.

Briefly boozing

We dropped Conor at the kid's club, and I decided I might as well see at least one bar at night (big drinker am I). I don't count the weird maze where you have to walk through that one place that seems to be in a hallway, past the super-fancy bathrooms with the rounded doors, which were favourites of Conor- they even come back in this story on the last night. For the non-Disney-ites out there - this part of the ship is a bit weird, at least in my opinion.

Anyhow - DH knew the bars from his tastings, so we went to Skyline. I tried the Ooh La La, based on Disboards recommendations and how it was described, and it was yummy. I am sure, though, that the Ooh La La had something to do with the FE delivery fiasco the next morning - I have the tolerance of your average gnat.

Skyline was pleasant enough - but I'm really the wrong person to ask - I am just not into bars - funnily enough as a virtual non-drinker!

Bed

Then, back to the room for bathroom/bath/books/bed. Within about 5 minutes (no exaggeration), we had this:




In my case, I started the FE frenzy as we were due to deliver our booty the next day, and I wanted it done in the morning so that I didn't have to schedule it in later in the day (and so that I wouldn't be caught delivering our meager offerings!) - here's the link if you missed it before.

To FE or not to FE

Laundry adventures

Now, I travel with sand-boy, so we had to choose between packing enough for 2 weeks for him, or to plan to do laundry.

Unfortunately - we made a tactical error - on Tuesday night, I noticed that the laundry wasn't busy, but I was probably too piratey to figure out that I should seize this opportunity. I vaguely thought "oh, I can do it tomorrow morning", but then I also didn't get things organized (we need to use our own detergent due to skin issues) so that fell through. Wednesday afternoon and night - people were lined up to do laundry- no thanks!

By Wednesday night, we were really cutting it close as to whether we would have enough clean clothes for Conor to get home. We could have done some handwash in the room, but, again, his stuff is not "gently soiled" usually - it's filthy.

Thus, my advice to you is to do laundry earlier in the trip - really- Tuesday was the half-way point for us, and it would have been fine. We had just packed about 2 loads' worth of powdered detergent in a baggie (not one I re-used for FEs!) which took up no room in our luggage, and we had our unscented fabric softener sheets (2) in another baggie - really- what's the big deal? Also, of course, you should make sure you have a KTTW that is set up for charging when you get to the laundry room ... just a hint.

(And, before you ask - no, we didn't really consider sending laundry out - we have done so on previous cruises, but Conor's skin was a mess just before this trip, so we didn't want to risk new detergents. However, it was the next step if we got desperate -hand wash of underwear - ah, the glamour, and send a few key items out for washing.)


And, with that incredibly exciting advice, I shall bring day 5 to an end.
__________________
Conorama is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:44 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: