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Old 02-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #1
bumbershoot
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"That wasn't as annoying as I thought it would be", Dream/Bahamas/2.7.13

Hello Hello.... My pre-trip report is here. I'm Molly, and along with Robert (DH) and Eamon (DS) we went on a short cruise at the same time as my extended family! That's enough info, right?

I need to go pull my first TR-type post from the end of my PTR now.


Oh wait...the title. If you looked at my PTR, you might notice the enthusiasm from my heart and head wasn't really over the top. There were many reasons for this, and a lot of it stems from being a slightly odd Disney fan. I like Disney, I just don't particularly like the song and dance and character aspect (apart from Jack Sparrow b/c he's been so fun with my son)...and I was worried I couldn't get away from the parts I don't overly-like. So my title reflects that, in my understated way of saying things, it was better than I expected.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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I'm noticing that with each day that passes I remember more AND less...less of the difficult stuff and more of the good stuff. So that's nice. But I also find that along with remembering less difficulty, that means I don't know what on earth was taking us so long to do things, and why it seemed time just zoomed forward.



Oh well, we left on the 5th of Feb from Seattle. Our first flight started with difficulty, since just as we thought we were about to take off (we had backed away from the gate!), they realized that the airplane's door (this plane had a door between first class and coach) wouldn't lock. We were just about at the front of the Coach section and got to watch all of this unfold. It involved the doors on *both* sides being opened, maintenance guys boarding the plane, having to *drive* the plane back to the gate (not far at all, but the tow trucks had already gone so we actually turned on the engines and taxied for those feet), and then the maintenance guys worked for a solid half hour. The whole experience put us late by an hour, which didn't make me totally happy. I used the time to look up other United flights that evening from our connecting airport, and what flights left the following morning both from Seatac and DC. (my time on the Transportation forum was of good use!) Doing that felt like action to me, and action made me feel less nervous, so it was good.

Ultimately, though, they got the doors fixed and closed, we took off, and ended up making up half an hour in the air. Not only that, but a Flight Attendant noticed my nerves (caused by the pilot letting us know that our entire flight would be full of turbulence so the seatbelt light would probably be on for most of it) and ended up having an in-depth discussion with me about turbulence, what it is, what it does, etc. Said that although air and water aren't the same thing, they ACT in basically the same ways, and somehow his explanation really worked for me. I was about to go on a cruise, after all, and I wasn't overly scared about that...


Anyway, ultimately we did get all the way to MCO. As we discussed getting a luggage cart or two (one would consider that we overpacked, except I truly do not know what we could have left behind...we used all of it!) a porter appeared. Since we had never used Disney's Magical Express before, this was nice, because he took the bags and led the way! We got right on to a bus, waited about 5 minutes, and we were on our way. We were the second of 3 stops (the people going to the Grand Floridian were last, poor things). They got a Bell Services person from somewhere, and he rather noisily escorted us and our bags on his golf cart to our room at POR.

Our Royal Room, river view, was perfectly nice. It was a corner room on the second floor, nearly as far away from anything as we could get, and it was complicated getting to our rooms, but it was nice and quiet as well. I loved the look of the "mansions" and adored the resort, and would totally stay there again, though I wouldn't need the "royal" room in the future, and neither would DH or DS.

The 6th passed quickly; Robert spent most of it in the room, sleeping or resting, because his achilles injury had become a knee problem had become a hip problem. He was relying heavily on a cane and absolutely refused to rent a scooter. He just could not see past his embarrassment of "big guy on a scooter", as he put it, issues, and didn't get that he would have enjoyed his time more if he'd gotten wheels.

Oh well, like I said, the 6th passed quickly. Part of it was spent by me and Eamon picking up our Annual Passes and spending a bit of time in Epcot.

The following morning found us packing and repacking, leaving some things with Bell Services for the time of the cruise and having other things picked up by the cruise people. When you have DCL transportation booked from a Disney resort, they come by between 8 and 10am and pick up your checked luggage, even if you aren't in the room. Pretty neat. Robert was there, and ended up feeling pressured by the guy for a tip, which was really too bad. Like I said, they would have picked up bags even if the room had been empty, so that REALLY isn't a position that should expect a tip. And I'd told Robert NOT to tip (but left him money for the Bell guy to pick up the bags we were leaving), but he started taking ibuprofen that day, and wasn't remembering things. Neither of us takes that sort of thing very often, so when we do it's VERY powerful for us.

After bags were picked up (and after Eamon and I got back from whatever it was we were doing when Robert was alone having the bags picked up), we vacated the room, took our carryons with us, and went to get some food. Some say to not eat, to wait for the ship...that won't work with us. So we had "create your own" omelets and shared a mickey waffle, had some coffee, etc. At last it was time to make our way slowly to the spot to meet up for our bus.

I did some last minute shopping, realizing I truly did need the Heys rolling carryon bag in a disney cartoon theme, because I was sick and tired of carrying things on my shoulder. I had resisted the siren call of that bag for literally years, but was finally talked into it.

Our bus was picking us up at 11:30, if I recall correctly.





This picture makes his backpack look a LOT bigger than it was, LOL.




From the inside, the "wrap" is yellow.




The ride felt pretty quick, and soon enough I was seeing this.






As the bus approaches, it almost seems to drive nearly all around the ship. Obviously you can't drive ALL around it, but you do get many views on your way to the depot parking spots!




The building appears to have grown smokestacks and an aquaduck.










At long last we were parked and off the bus. Gathered our carryons and managed to be last in the line of people from our bus to get into the building. Went through a form of security then up the escalator. All this while I had been texting back and forth with my cousin; they had driven in from Daytona, and were onboard as soon as they were allowed to be.

This ultimately felt like an advantage (in getting settled) that we never really recovered from. Like I said, it FELT like that...the reality was that we all got our rooms-ready notice at the exact same time (just as we got on board, basically), but they had had an hour or more to wander around the ship that we just never made up for. I probably would not take the resort-to-port bus in the future, and would likely just start from the airport, no matter how that had to happen, because the resort buses leave much earlier. Either that or I would rent a car or book a limo-type service. Especially if we used Concierge again (you can board whenever you want) or got a great boarding number.

I know that I was overwhelmed by the terminal! And I felt like we were rushing, so I had a hard time really taking it all in. I tried to get us to stop at the restrooms (right near the escalators) but the others wanted to get to checkin; for Concierge passengers it's allll the way actually past the spot where you enter the ship. So we get up there, show them our boarding documents etc, took pictures for our keycards, E got his wristband for the kid's club... Then we realized that we did really want the bathroom before going on board the ship. Just felt better to do that. But that meant going all the way back, when the concierge boarding staff wanted to escort us to the next stop.

They were polite about it and I was glad to have insisted on the break.


Made our way back, found a boarding person, and they let us in the side door to the picture area.




This meant we did not get to walk in to that giant Mickey head entrance. Boo to that. Got our initial pictures taken, moved along towards the ship.

As we were introduced I spied my family, and they let out a big cheer for us, which was kinda neat.

We all hugged, admired how everyone looked (they have changed their diets as well so we all looked much more fabulous than we did last year!), then realized our rooms were ready and split back up. This was HARD on the kids, and I wish someone had taken a moment to think of a better idea. But what's done was done.


From what I recall, we were shown to "our" area and sort of walked in to the Concierge lounge. Then they disappeared and we had to figure out what to do next. Pretty quickly, however, the staff noticed us and sat us down to go over everything. Robert procured us cappuccinos (and E some water), which was nice.

E took a picture of this chair in the lounge.






***************


And now I must take a break, to continue with the kidlet's schooling! If I find photos on my phone or on Robert's camera later I'll add them in and make a post about it.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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The turbulence would scare me spitless. I would love to take a cruise and actually was planning one but Scotty gets such bad vertigo that I realize that it is a no go. Sigh. So I shall live vicariously by reading my friends trip reports.


I love Eamon's picture of the chair. I love seeing the different upholstery that Disney uses.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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Love your writing as usual so happily following along!
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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The turbulence would scare me spitless. I would love to take a cruise and actually was planning one but Scotty gets such bad vertigo that I realize that it is a no go. Sigh. So I shall live vicariously by reading my friends trip reports.


I love Eamon's picture of the chair. I love seeing the different upholstery that Disney uses.
Weird weird weird thing. My aunt gets vertigo really bad, but it went away 100% while on the cruise. She also uses a cane because of horrid knees (and she can't have one of them fixed because she has a big strawberry-type birthmark all around that knee that's basically one big mass of blood vessels), but didn't need it for one second of the cruise.

We've told her that she might have found a place for a new profession, since she felt so great while out on the water!

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Love your writing as usual so happily following along!
Yay!

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Old 02-26-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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[B]When I stopped yesterday, we were in the concierge lounge, chatting with one of the CMs there. Perfectly lovely lady from England, made us feel quite at home. Which is saying something; DH has noticed that I have a pretty high amount of anxiety when doing fancy things. So for me to feel comfy in there was pretty nice.

They personally give you a folder with all sorts of info in it. You get a Welcome Aboard letter and schedule, telling you when the lounge is open, what sorts of snacks to expect at what times, what sort of gatherings they have, when you can use the concierge sundeck, and various amenities. This is all lovely to have written down. We went on to our stateroom after a bit of refreshment and getting our packet.






This made me ridiculously happy.




The reason is that Robert's the DVC owner and has a different last name than I do. And I'd made the booking, with my name as lead guest. Nor did we book with points. And still, they figured it out.


Room number alone.





I'm still not sure if this was from Concierge or my TA!




Apparently I didn't go through and take pictures of everything in order. Or even of everything. Which is a huge bummer right now. But you know how that hallway picture was all glossy? That's what the wood is like inside the cabin, too. Just a bunch of glossy wood. Which was really swanky-feeling to me.








Looking towards the verandah...




Michelle, here's a closeup just for you. How did I know you would want to see the textiles? Oh and the couch is VERY different from the fabric on the couch in my cousins' room.




This is what the dropdown bed looks like when it's not dropped down.


[/B]

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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My son is avoiding his learning-work by....washing the hand-wash dishes. I think I'll let him be for now.

As a bit of backstory, this trip was originally supposed to be with my MIL. She would have her own room (and we had booked her JUST before they raised the single supplement fee) and I was hoping she would have a nice, relaxing time. I booked a verandah room for us, and an oceanview with a big porthole for her. And then the strokes started. Approximately 6 over 2 months time, resulting in hospitalizations. After the last hospitalization, her doctors said "nope" to the cruise.

Since we wouldn't be paying for her room any longer, I started playing around on the website. And one day I found IT. The concierge room. The same basic type of room that we already had booked (family oceanview verandah), but concierge. Oooooh. I waffled on it, but ultimately it was barely $300 more than what we were already spending, so I asked my TA to get it. There was a bit of weirdness to get it (it showed up as bookable to me, to her, and to the Disney rep she had on the phone, but then the rep had to do something special to get it for me) but it was done. OH yeahhhhhh.

And that's why we had that room. And that has become a problem, since although we can imagine cruising another *line*, when thinking about DCL, we can't quite imagine cruising on the Wonder, Magic, or Fantasy, and we really can't imagine cruising on the Dream in any level but concierge.

Ruh roh.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:02 PM   #8
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I said I would post extra pictures in the correct post, but I'll just put these here for now. These are from the iphone. My Canon is jealous of the iphone. Sigh.








Wait a minute, what is Freedom doing there?

















D'oh, Freedom again.





I still haven't done anything with Robert's camera...what will I do if I find pre&early-cruise photos on that?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:38 PM   #9
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Great TR so far! We leave for our first ever cruise in 18 days and will be on the Dream in 19 days! We are doing the 4 night Bahama cruise then three nights at Shades of Green and in WDW (then our military tx are blacked out for spring break). Interested to hear all you have to tell in comparison to other cruise lines.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:13 PM   #10
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:12 PM   #11
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I do love the textiles! Thank you.


How is your MIL? I have been meaning to ask for a while.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:07 AM   #12
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Great TR so far! We leave for our first ever cruise in 18 days and will be on the Dream in 19 days! We are doing the 4 night Bahama cruise then three nights at Shades of Green and in WDW (then our military tx are blacked out for spring break). Interested to hear all you have to tell in comparison to other cruise lines.
If only I had more than one RCCL cruise to compare it to. I'm so jealous of your FOUR day...so much more time than just the 3!

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I do love the textiles! Thank you.


How is your MIL? I have been meaning to ask for a while.
Oh gracious Michele...

Almost the instant we were gone, she guilted the heck out of her oldest son and ended up with her car again. Now...has she had a stroke since October? No. But...did they ever figure out WHY she had all those strokes? No. Can anyone say that whatever caused the strokes has stopped? Oh heck no. Does she have a vastly higher chance of having another stroke at ANY time than other people? OH yes indeedy. Does she care? NO.

We've pieced it together, and it was pretty much the INSTANT we were in the plane when she called Paul to continue her campaign, knowing that we weren't available for him to call or text.

We have gone from being so scared and worried for her, to "if she wants to be so independent that she manipulates everyone and everything to get exactly what she wants, she can, but she's an adult and our pocketbooks are CLOSED to her now". She wants to drive? OK, she can call the insurance company and get it off suspension. I'll be changing her insurance paperwork so that it goes to her now if she's that independent. She can make her own appointments (and she is). She can get her own robo-calls for her appointments (that will be changing soon). She can do everything we/I have been doing for her, if she is SO independent that she is going to do just about the MOST responsible thing an adult can do, which is drive a vehicle.

We are just so angry. But sad angry. No one's happy to be angry with her. Honestly, we are all starting the mourning process. For her as well as anyone she might take out with her, if she has another stroke while driving. And the worst thing is there is NOTHING on earth we can do. Not one little tiny thing to keep her off the road.

No doctor will say "don't drive", although they were doing their best to say that. But a doctor says "we don't know the medical reasons for this, so there's no solid reason preventing you from driving, but I do think it's a great idea to NOT drive", and she hears "no reason preventing you from driving". And the instant we were (or really, me, because she KNOWS perfectly well that it was me who kept that car from her all this time, being the backbone for Robert and his brother (who had custody of it)) gone she got on that phone.

Not a thing we can do. If only there were. She's having some sort of issue right now, some medical thing involving embarrassing sorts of doctors, and I know this ONLY because I'm getting the appointment calls, but she hasn't put me down as someone who they can talk to and she's not talking to us. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out she had another TIA/mini stroke and forgot even more that I am the one to trust, I am the one that will tell the doctors all about everything AND understand what they are saying, that above any one of her children or their partners, I'm the one she could lean on most.

And with her memory problems (short AND long term at the same time, which I know because I know her and can read her), I know perfectly well that she would NOT pass the driving test right now. So all I can hope is that her license is up for renewal soon and that they spring the written or driving test on her. Every doctor suggested that she retake those tests, but she never heard that...

Eamon was around when we found out about her driving, and he heard me on the phone with her doctors trying to figure who said what to her (IF they said it)...and he is BEYOND sad about it all. He said that he wishes he didn't have a grandma now, because he's so afraid of her having a stroke while driving and killing some other innocent person. It's just awful.

She has had everyone do everything for her since the moment she moved to the US (and even before, her mother raised my BIL until they moved here), and now that she's in a position where she NEEDS to have someone chauffeur her around, she's refusing to let it happen. I cannot comprehend it at all.

Driving will be the first thing I drop if anything like this ever happens to me. Especially if I don't ever figure out why it's happening. And if it all goes quiet, IF my care team says it's OK, then I'll do OT to relearn how to drive, make sure I CAN drive, I'll retake driving tests until I know 100% that I'm OK. And then maybe I'll do it. She's done none of that. I don't even know if she took her insurance off suspension.



Ain't ya glad you asked? Before the car thing, the answer would have been "all is quiet, but I wouldn't be surprised if she has had a few tiny strokes without telling anyone from how she acts, and I'm having a heck of a time getting her GP and neurologist to speak with each other to try to get her off of coumadin and onto plavix!"
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:15 AM   #13
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And I know you know this, Michele, but you know that I know that you worked your tushy off to get yourself back to 100% after your problems and stroke. You put in the time, the blood sweat and tears. Nothing that I say about MIL has anything to do with your situation at all. I know you know, but I have to say it anyway.

All she's doing is biding her time, taking pills, and being petulant and, sadly, manipulative. She's done none of the work, would refuse the expense of the OT course (almost $500), would refuse the expense of driving classes (the same or more than the OT program), and would make some excuse about taking the tests. She wants to drive, so she expects that she can drive. She's 75 (with this history, at least 3 heart attacks, heart disease and heart damage, and fairly UNcontrolled diabetes) and seems to think she's 45. I didn't know her at 45, but I hear that at 45 she acted like she was 95. She's doing this all out of order.

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:02 PM   #14
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Sorry to have blasted you guys with all of that.

********************************************

And so the 3 of us were checking our our glossy room, looking at the packets and figuring out what to do. We spent a bit more time than intended in the concierge lounge (they were handing out booze so I had some champagne), then in our room peering into corners. I believe *someone* insisted that a bit of unpacking be done. That someone is so annoying. And her name starts with M.

We went on down to my family's stateroom soon after, though, to check it out. Not as glossy, but otherwise just about the same. A bit more crowded, with one extra child and one more adult, but we didn't think about putting my aunt in with us until it was too late.

From there we went to the "mandatory lifeboat drill" aka finding our muster station. Both our rooms were starboard and forward, so we ended up in the same area for muster, and went on down to our station together. That was nice. Also nice = not having to bring our life jackets. We filed into our family columns and paid attention, and it was totally pleasant and somewhat exciting, and then over before we knew it.

When we went on our honeymoon cruise, I am hard-pressed to remember the Sailaway party. I remember being out in the brisk and windy sun leaving Vancouver, I remember the big bridge we went under. I have a picture of me holding a fruity beverage and smiling and looking pretty dang good (astonishingly, just about 10 lbs heavier than I am now, can I just tell you how amazing that feels to write, say, know, and BE?). Other than that, not much of a memory. It's possible our honeymoon-brains were off somewhere else.

So I figured we would go for the party on this ship; after all, we would have family there and they LOVE stuff like this, and my guys would like it. Well, it was pretty decent for me, too. Sometimes, even if I'm not totally into the whole celebrate thing, it's fun to be around others who are. Even if I'm looking at them thinking inwardly that someone's an alien species, and it's either me or them, since it's just really hard for me to get like that. Especially about something like sailing away from a dock. Maybe it's my time rowing Crew? Leaving a dock means hard work, slogging away at oars, and going into exercise-induced asthma attacks? Not sure. But everyone was having fun, and I was having fun watching everyone.

It was also a touch warmer leaving PC than it was leaving Vancouver. Added to the enjoyment.


I have a very brief video for you here. Shows the Aquaduck in motion. This is during the party. In retrospect, I wish I had been up on that slide, because we never actually got to do it. We simply could not figure out the time.





Sidenote: and Robert laughed at the idea of coming up with an hour by hour schedule...should we ever do a short cruise again, there will be no interference with that level of planning, I tell you, none! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa.....



And here is a very very brief video of *someone's* child dancing.




I have still never figured out how to rotate a video on the Mac or in Photobucket, so please forgive the angles of my videos. Eamon was so funny when he was dancing. He danced until he was exhausted. The shorts he has on are convertible pants; he was dancing really hard and got hot, and astonished his cousins (who will not be appearing here in pictures because they're not my kids!) by suddenly unzipping at the knees. His shirt makes me giggle, too, because it's a Lord of the Rings Lego videogame shirt. Can't remember if you can see the front, but the big grey chain design on the back continues around and then you see a big gold ring, just like how Frodo wears the ring.


Leaving PC, there's a submarine in the ground.



OK I'm sure there's a story there, or it's a memorial or something. I bet I could look it up. But I only had one cup of coffee today. Honestly, arguing with photobucket is as much as I can do right now.











Ah, gotta stop. The kidlet has a nasty nasty cold (again) and he has woken from his wee nap to come over and cuddle with me. Argh, bad time for me to submit the post when it wasn't finished, because all that arm movement (when he was snuggled up) annoyed him. He's comfy now, though, never fear.

Robert's in town from work, he's picking up tasty soup special for the sick one, and E is back to napping.

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #15
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Molly, it is so rough for you guys. I thought my mom is a pain but she is only half as bad. I got lucky with the driving thing. She had lent my nephew her car and he tore it up and she just didn't want it anymore. So I drive her everywhere.

She never goes to the Dr like she is supposed to, she is supposed to get her blood levels checked at least twice a year. She always has an excuse why she can't. But, at least she doesn't drive.lately she has been hinting that she wants to drive my van. There is no way, no how that I will allow that. She can't hear, she won't wear her glasses. No.


I know that you realize how hard I worked towards my recovery. My sister never did any rehab following her knee surgeries so I really understand about that. I don't understand why though. Why not do everything you can to be the best you can be?
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