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Old 03-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #61
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Now...bring me that horizon.






(and yes I literally said that while taking the picture) (quietly) (and then I laughed at how weird I am)
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #62
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Loving your review - especially since we are doing the same 3 day Dream cruise next week!


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What a great photo!! You look fantastic!

And yes, Mexico instead of the cruise. Not my "Dream Trip" but still will be fun, and a nice change from Disneyland where I will be overthinking every dollar we spend. We will be staying in an all-inclusive, so I don't have to give any thought to paying for food!

Thank you for the tips on POR. I'm looking forward to trying it!
I'm curious - we're planning a week in the Mayan Riviera for NYE for my nephew's wedding. The flights are crazy!! About $800 - $1200 per person! I looked at other times of the year and all I see is about $400-$500 pp. Is that normal?

My nephew hasn't chosen his resort yet, but I'm hoping it's not too $$ and I can get a decent deal for it. Otherwise this is going to be crazy expensive.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #63
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I'm curious - we're planning a week in the Mayan Riviera for NYE for my nephew's wedding. The flights are crazy!! About $800 - $1200 per person! I looked at other times of the year and all I see is about $400-$500 pp. Is that normal?

My nephew hasn't chosen his resort yet, but I'm hoping it's not too $$ and I can get a decent deal for it. Otherwise this is going to be crazy expensive.
I'm looking at packages on Expedia, and the prices are way better than pricing it out separately. You might try that and see if it helps. However, NYE is the busiest time for warm climates, so I'm guessing the prices will be sky high (pun intended) regardless.

Molly, your photos and descriptions make me want to go on a cruise! But I think I might not like feeling rushed off Castaway Cay! That's one of the things I've disliked about the idea of the cruise, always feeling like you're on a schedule. But then again, you get to see so many places, do so many things... maybe a little discipline isn't so bad? Hmmmm...
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:34 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by elaine amj View Post
Loving your review - especially since we are doing the same 3 day Dream cruise next week!
Yay! If you do a trip report, link back to it in here, please?


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Molly, your photos and descriptions make me want to go on a cruise! But I think I might not like feeling rushed off Castaway Cay! That's one of the things I've disliked about the idea of the cruise, always feeling like you're on a schedule. But then again, you get to see so many places, do so many things... maybe a little discipline isn't so bad? Hmmmm...
Discipline is a good way to look at it.

And thinking along those lines...it's possible your family dynamic is different, but I know in ours, if we let ourselves just do something all day, like watch TV or play a videogame, by the end of it we're almost hating whatever we were doing. In the specific instance of watching/playing something on a screen, our eyes hurt, we have headaches, we haven't eaten properly, etc. Doing something with no limit doesn't end up feeling great. For us. But if i say (and it's always me) at the beginning of the day "OK we're going to play Lego Harry Potter for an hour, go for a walk, play for another hour, have lunch and figure out what else we'll do", we have a GREAT time playing the videogame and we have a nice lunch and a nice walk. And our eyeballs feel good.

I guess in a way having a nice set schedule like on a cruise is like that; there are good things to do but a limited amount of time to do them, so the hope is that you enjoy the heck out of those things.

Looking at the schedule right here, on the 9th there were things to do literally from watching Peter Pan on the Funnel Vision starting at 8:30am all the way to having "movie time" in the Oceaneer Club until after midnight. There are SO many things to do. Meet Donald on the Gangway at 8:45, get in line to meet Jack Sparrow a few minutes walk away 45 minutes later, get to the beach, get snorkeling gear and do that for an hour, rent a bike and take an hour to do that, laze on the beach for 2 hours while the kids play in Scuttles Cove (the kid's club on the island), get the kids, have lunch, etc etc. I mean that's a LOT of potential enjoyment for a day!

Or bring another adult along to trade duties with and just laze.

I like looking at it as discipline. Choose your activities, do them, have fun. Leave wanting more.


ND, I'll tell you a secret. There's a cruise November 13, 2014 that is a "double dip". It's a 4 nighter on the Dream, and it has two days, in a row, on Castaway Cay (still 4pm all aboard, but two days). That might be right up your alley. I'm just sayin'. There's also a nice LONG time between now and then to make sure the money is 100% available as well as enough time to make sure you have thoroughly justified it to yourself. (and I think the latter was more of an issue for you than the former...for me it would be both)
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:11 PM   #65
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I hope our CC day is like yours! Question...do the island stores carry diff merchandise that you can't get on the ship? I need to know if I need to allow time for shopping
I didn't see you in there! Was reading my post to my guys and showing E the pictures, and there you were.

There ARE things there that they don't seem to sell on the ship, so I would take an hour (at the beginning of the day!) to visit the stores on the island. There are CC Tervis tumblers, so if you're into that sort of thing you want to look for them. There are scrapbooking supplies, so if you like highly themed (to CC) scrapbooks or picture frames, look for those. Now I only went to Buy the Seashore and it was later in the day, so I didn't see much I wanted, but I didn't know the wonder of the Tervis cup quite yet and my scrapbooks are not usually highly themed.

Speaking of shopping, on the ship? If you see it and want it? BUY IT. Buy it right then and there, even the first moments you're on the ship. Because especially with a 3 day, there's very very little time the shops are open. They are NOT open when you're in port, so on a day like Nassau, they aren't open until something like 7pm. So buy it if you want it; if, at the end of the cruise, you do not want it, run in and return it. Or sell it on ebay.

They had a cute duffel-type bag that was a "with purchase" thing, and I regret not buying it, but I just wasn't in the shopping mode. Kicking myself, that's for sure!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #66
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I have come to the conclusion that E is a frustrated actor. He has a dramatic flare.


I love Capt Jack. I think that he stays in character wonderfully.



Loved the pictures. They made me feel cozy. I wish I was there. I am getting a cold and I feel like crud!!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:04 AM   #67
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Speaking of shopping, on the ship? If you see it and want it? BUY IT. Buy it right then and there, even the first moments you're on !
We did learn this on our first 7 nt MR cruise. I kept waiting and then they were sold out of everything I had first wanted, especially frames and scrapbook items. Our next cruise I bought it all the first day! I just need to be prepared for the CC items
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:42 AM   #68
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I have come to the conclusion that E is a frustrated actor. He has a dramatic flare.


I love Capt Jack. I think that he stays in character wonderfully.



Loved the pictures. They made me feel cozy. I wish I was there. I am getting a cold and I feel like crud!!
I think he is an actor. I bet that after this YMCA recital is over (early June) he'll want to add on Musical Theater (and tap) to ballet (if he does ballet again).

I'm so sorry you're getting the stupid cold. I hope it goes quick and non-miserably for you!


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We did learn this on our first 7 nt MR cruise. I kept waiting and then they were sold out of everything I had first wanted, especially frames and scrapbook items. Our next cruise I bought it all the first day! I just need to be prepared for the CC items
The problem with hitting Reply is that you lose the person's signature, and you answer in silly ways like I did. Of course you know that rule.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:44 AM   #69
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Thank you. I think everything is catching up with me. We still have no clue what is wrong with Scotty. He had a CT scan this evening. I really hope they figure this out.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #70
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Loved, loved, loved your CC write up

Sounds like you had the most wonderful day and one that you won't quickly forget - just lovely
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #71
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Thank you. I think everything is catching up with me. We still have no clue what is wrong with Scotty. He had a CT scan this evening. I really hope they figure this out.



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Loved, loved, loved your CC write up

Sounds like you had the most wonderful day and one that you won't quickly forget - just lovely
Thanks!

I was so worried about weather that day, and if we would be able to dock (I read that Feb is the biggest month for not being able to dock there), and all that, and after all the worry it was just incredible to have such a nice day.

I forgot to mention that as the pirate party came to a close the night before, it started to rain. Which was just a weird experience, to have rain in the middle of the ocean. I mean, obviously it happens, but I hadn't experienced it, and it just felt surreal. That rain made me nervous that it was going to get worse, so when I realized that we were actually coming into the dock I was happy.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:37 PM   #72
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I have some random pictures here for you.

From what I read, the Dream and Fantasy have a different concierge situation than the Magic and Wonder. With the M&W it's simply a level of service and different services, but not a *place*. There's no lounge, so if you want something you call to ask for it, and they bring it to you. With the D&F of course there's a lounge. I'm not sure if it's on the Fantasy, but an extra level of weirdness on the Dream is that you're behind gates.





I'm sure there are people out there who like this, but it just made me feel strange. It made me embarrassed, almost. One night my aunt came up for something, and I had to wait there for her, to let her in.


But this helps make up for it. Tasty tasty.





This is totally out of order, as it happened on the second day. While we were running around trying to figure out what to do after E wanted to leave the kid's club and then we did detective thing and the DVC presentation, we ran by the lounge and were directed to go upstairs quickly! I stayed downstairs to do...something (maybe I was getting ready for the evening? maybe that's when I tried The Best EggSalad Sandwich in the World? no one knows) and they went up to the sun deck to meet....










Back to the 9th...we went on through the lounge and snagged a plate or three of those goodies I showed above, and then we wanted to just go SIT on the sun deck for a few minutes. But it was too pretty to just sit. My camera came out.





I'm not sure how these are still white when you think of all the sunscreened, bathing-suited bottoms sitting on them

















Eamon's never met something he won't bonk his head on, and those light fixtures you can see against the walls in at least one of the pictures were no exception. Lynda in the lounge was happy to get him an ice pack. Oh Eamon.... And all he was doing was trying to put his lounge chair down a bit.

We had done some packing the evening before and we did some more packing now. I dislike packing on a cruise. There's no time, there are other things you want to be doing, and it means the cruise is almost over.


While I packed, Eamon went to the kid's club, and Robert stayed with me. The Club was having some sort of "camp rock" style activity and it just sounded really good to Eamon, who hadn't spent anywhere near as much time there as he had wanted. So he got all ready and then one of us took him there. They didn't want to go to the show tonight, and that was fine.



We were also having some confusion with the wine I had brought for my aunt. The one in our extended group who has gone through customs 1000 times knew it wasn't a problem. The one who had asked some questions of experts ahead of time knew it wasn't a problem since I had brought it on board. Others in the group, however, were concerned that if they carried it off that they would be charged duties. Even though it's not a wine that is sold anywhere in the Bahamas, or, in fact, anywhere out of Oregon and Washington. So instead of getting rid of the wine at that point, I had to pack it back up in its wine diapers and find some place to stash it in my stuff. I even had the receipts for it, you know? We were covered, customs-wise. I wasn't at all concerned about it...I just hadn't anticipated still having it after the cruise.



Well, it was time to prepare for dinner at the Royal Palace. Tonight my cousin and her hubby had Palo reservations, and we had talked about having the rest of us share a table. The problem was that their table was the bigger one, but I didn't want to leave our servers. We did not figure out a solution to this ahead of time, so we said we would meet up outside the restaurant to work it out. One or both of us picked up the kidlet from the Club (it was this evening I wished that we had let him sign himself out). We got to the RP and my aunt wasn't there. The head waiters said that she was already seated. Now, I knew she wanted to run in and give their servers their tips, but would she have actually gotten seated? That seemed odd.

We were talking to our head people to explain what we wanted, and honestly I thought this had already been taken care of by the concierge lady, but no one seemed to really get it and I'm not sure why. As they said they would try to make it work, if we would just give them some time, my aunt and the kids came up from OUTSIDE the restaurant.

OK a bit of my confusion and befuddlement had been caused by them saying she was already seated, but here she was. They had been wrong.

Ultimately, the adults decided that we needed to leave it as the status quo. Alas the children did NOT take kindly to this, and we nearly needed to drag the kiddies off to the respective tables by their ungrateful little ears. I mean their sweet little cute wonderful ...totally understandable because they just wanted to spend more time with their cousins...ears.

It turned out well for us; Eamon had a great dinner. For the cousins, not so much; they didn't eat anything. When my aunt's dinner was about to be served, the kids actually seemed pretty sick, and so they packed it up to go and let my aunt take it to the room. So she spent the night packing like a fiend while dealing with kids that were, apparently, a bit sick.



I'm not totally sure what Robert was taking pictures of here, but you can see my dress color at the very least.







This evening was the "optional dress-up" night, and although my dress was simple and cheap (from Old Navy clearance, just the simplest a-line thing ever), I felt really nice.


Too bad I didn't get the chance to dry my hair 100% before heading to dinner, but with the curls it doesn't take kindly to a hair dryer and I didn't want to destroy it.

Oh and you can see the view (that I did not have) of the dining room. I faced the front and atrium of the ship. The guys had their backs to that, and faced the lovely room here.














I'll be back.

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Old 03-09-2013, 11:44 PM   #73
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Eamon went old-school tonight and asked for a huge mound of mac&cheese. He got it. And fries. And peas.





And mustard.




This evening "my" chef had made me a version of aloo palak (spinach and potatoes) and a garbanzo-based curry thing, along with rice. Robert got a salad, I think, and for dinner just asked for what I was having.

It was SO good. Here's another awful picture of it, but just know that it was probably the most delicious aloo palak I've ever had (and that is THE go-to dish for me, I love it completely) and it was incredibly filling, even with small amounts of rice.




Since I hadn't had wine with my aunt and didn't anticipate having time because of the packing, I actually ordered a glass of wine tonight. I let Ludovic help me choose it, and he picked a PERFECT one. All I know is that it's from Chile and was just delicious. And nowhere near as expensive as I thought it was going to be.

So with the wine and a piece of bread and the food and water, by the end of the meal I was just incredibly full. I looked over the dessert menu and nothing really stuck out to me; I'm a chocolate person and there wasn't really anything interesting, so I said no thanks.

Ludovic rebelled! He refused to accept this answer, and insisted that I MUST have the grand marnier souffle, and there was no question of this, he was going to get it for me. Well, OK then. He said it would be an "experience".

There was nothing E wanted from the kid's menu, but we found out he could order from the grownup's menu, so he got a creme brulee. He didn't know what to expect other than he's seen people on the Cooking channel use their blowtorches to finish them off.





That's his "oh gracious I can't handle how good this thing is" face. He was HAPPY. The weird rectangle thing, however, was like plastic.


Here's my souffle. Ludovic brought it out, put a hole in the souffle with a spoon, and poured the sauce into it. I took a bite. Aha, I think I found some room in my tummy for this!





It was, indeed, very good. I was glad he knew me better than I knew myself at that point. Robert quickly ordered one.


Tonight was tip-night, and we had prepared the envelopes while getting ready. Even though I'm not usually the tip person b/c I don't like doing it, for L&L I was the one that gave them the envelopes. It was also easiest for me to stand up, and I wanted to stand and shake their hands while thanking them. Leslie brought out the chef that had made me my Indian dishes, and I thanked him immensely. We ended up having to tip the head waiter the next morning, because he never stopped by when we were ready for him, but that still worked OK. (we had left the tip for the stateroom person in our room before dinner)



On our honeymoon cruise on RCCL, all I remember of our dinners was that it was All Eggplant All The Time, and our main server was terrible but the assistant was great. But even then we put no energy into remembering their names or anything like that. Lesley had worked for RCCL for quite a few years, he told me, and I"m sure he was good there, too. Both of them were memorable. It's been a month since that evening (exactly) and I still remember what they look like, conversations we had, etc. I liked those guys.


As all the evenings on board did, this one ended. Yep, too soon.


Eamon actually went back to the kid's club that evening, and we continued our packing. We had to have the checked-type bags out in the hallway by 10:30pm at the latest, so we were sure to do that. They give you very simple luggage tags to put on those bags, and the color and character relate to where your stateroom is and tell you where to find your bags once off the ship.

My aunt let me know that the Cruise Director had a thing on the TV all about disembarkation, so we turned that on and watched it over and over again. He's hilarious and it was good info.


Just at the last minute we went up to get the boy-o, they cut off his wristband, and we went on back. Everyone was pretty sad. And by everyone I mean me and him.

Got him situated, got the grownups ready for bed as well, and we called it a night.

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:02 AM   #74
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The cruise just seems so short to me. Argh.


Your dinner looks wonderful! Eamon's mac and cheese even looked good to me. But dessert? Oh my goodness!!!
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:36 AM   #75
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Such a fun trip report..you need to take another cruise for us (and yes..LOVE that Grand Marnier souffle..am already thinking of it when we cruise in April)
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