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Old 06-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
gotomu212
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From Galveston to Rome: Magic Transatlantic/Med Trip

This is the first time I've done a trip report, and I'm a little overwhelmed by what I've taken on (why did I pick the 21 night cruise as my first one to cover??). Here goes.

This trip included myself (Deann), my husband (Carlos), and our five year old son (Carlitos). Our friends (met when we were randomly assigned as tablemates on the Panama Canal cruise in 2011) planned the original Transatlantic portion over a year before. I casually mentioned "hey why not add on the first Med trip since you're already be over there". They thought it was a good idea, booked it, and we wished them well.

A year later when other vacation plans fell through for my family, we said "hey why don't we join the Dxs? I'm sure they'd love to see us."

Easy peasy our plans were made, cruises booked, and we had 4 months left to plan.

Last edited by gotomu212; 06-16-2013 at 03:38 PM. Reason: .
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
gotomu212
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Day 1

Day 1: Friday May 17th
This was it! Well almost it. The cruise left Galveston on Saturday morning, but we were flying down to Texas tonight. It was an incredibly busy time with our son’s last day of school, tying up work projects, throwing a graduation party for a family friend, and OH YEAH packing for a three week trip. We had left the packing until Thursday night so suffice to say Friday morning found none of us talking to each other and seriously sleep deprived.

No worries, my husband and I had to go to work so that should improve everyone’s mood. We worked until 4:00, and then flew around the house grabbing all 12 suitcases and carry -on bags. That’s right, 12. In my entire life I have never packed 12 bags before and that includes going off to college. We had clearly lost our minds around 1 am Thursday night and started to pack household appliances (you’re thinking). Nope all stuff for the trip.

We loaded up the car (everyone had a bag under their feet and on their lap) and drove to the Kansas City airport in a family friend’s car. For those not familiar with KC- the city planners built the airport in the complete wrong part of town thinking the city would expand north when it actually expanded south. We had an hour drive, through rush hour, with bags on our laps…and no air conditioning grumbling yeaaaa vacation. We ended up early for our Southwest flight though even after hauling 12 bags around (thank you Southwest for your liberal baggage fee policy. We didn't pay a penny for all those bags.) We grabbed some dinner and eventually boarded the plane.

I’d like to stop here, and apologize to everyone within a 3 row radius of our seats on the flight. I have NO idea why my son started asking so many questions about planes crashing, our plane specifically crashing, lightning hitting our plane, a fire aboard the plane, and what would happen if our plan fell apart. He flies several times a year and NEVER, EVER has he become Curious Curt of the Air Disaster League. I was going to jump up and offer to buy everyone a drink but then worried that alcohol and high levels of anxiety would not be the best combination at the moment. I did my best trying to misdirect, verbally threaten, and finally offering M&Ms if he would immediately stop talking.

Other than that little snafu, it was a fast flight down to Houston (did the pilot speed up in an effort to get us off his plane??) and we landed around 9:45. After being gawked at in baggage claim (No, we are not moving here but thanks for asking while you block and bump our dangerously stacked luggage cart), we caught the Marriott South shuttle to the hotel. Houston Hobby isn't the greatest part of town and I wouldn't go sightseeing after dark there (look kids a rat, and there’s a closed gas station); it’s fine for a quick night’s sleep. The hotel was nice and FREE since I used our travel points. We got a room with a view of the runways (thanks? I guess) and never did figure out in which bag we packed my son’s pjs (You're fine; just sleep in your clothes like this is an Adventure!) Tomorrow we forgot all our worries, forget all our cares and go DOWN TO the Disney ship.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotomu212 View Post
Day 1: Friday May 17th
I’d like to stop here, and apologize to everyone within a 3 row radius of our seats on the flight. I have NO idea why my son started asking so many questions about planes crashing, our plane specifically crashing, lightning hitting our plane, a fire aboard the plane, and what would happen if our plan fell apart. He flies several times a year and NEVER, EVER has he become Curious Curt of the Air Disaster League. I was going to jump up and offer to buy everyone a drink but then worried that alcohol and high levels of anxiety would not be the best combination at the moment. I did my best trying to misdirect, verbally threaten, and finally offering M&Ms if he would immediately stop talking.
Great start ! Can't wait to read your report. This paragraph had me laughing at loud - even had to read it to DH. Lord knows whenever I fly those are the sort of questions that are always going through my head, as much as I try not to. I must remember to take M&Ms with me next time

<giggle>...curious curt....
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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Do you have the personal navigator? We are thinking of this one for next year!
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
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Can't wait to hear your report. We are doing the same two cruises next year

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Do you have the personal navigator? We are thinking of this one for next year!
This trip report has the EBTA navigators http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3125924
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #6
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“I saw that big white hand in the air, and it made me happy”

Day 2: Saturday May 18th
IT’S HERE-SAIL DAY! Are those the salt breezes I smell? (No, Deann that’s the exhaust from the airport.) I woke up at 4:30 and could not go back to sleep. I laid there thinking about the trip, I checked email, I played with the ipad, and finally decided I was going to get up and start getting ready around 8. The shower was really loud (finally, the family is going to wake up and talk to me-NOPE), well I’ll bang around opening suitcases (nothing?), the blow dryer will get them up surely (me standing over the bed with the hotel blow dryer still nothing), maybe sounds of traffic and AIRPLANES taking off? (nope and now bugs are flying into the room through the open balcony door). Why rush it, we’re in no hurry, I might as well sit down enjoy some peace and quiet. OH, the sound of my reading and page turning suddenly wakes everyone up. You gotta be kidding me.

Everyone’s finally up and getting ready at 10:00. We ran down to the lobby to grab a box of cereal (just cereal you’ll eat on the ship!) and grab a luggage cart. Hey, do you know what happens when you snag a luggage cart on a sprinkler head? The answer- nothing but everyone freezes like you’ve just pulled the pin on a grenade. Potential for soaking wet luggage averted, we rolled on down to the lobby and got on the hotel shuttle back to the airport.

The shuttle driver took us straight to arrivals and we found/stole/requisitioned an airport luggage cart and started across four lanes of traffic. Suddenly over the chaos we see a big white hand in the air. I made eye contact with that big white hand and nodded, and he started doing a little dance, and I was so happy. My husband, who is not a big Disney fan and has no real affection for Mickey Mouse saw that hand and said “oh God, finally, someone to take over.” That about sums it up.

The big white hand led us inside to a desk staffed with ground transportation folks. They checked us in, and led us back outside to the bus. We have never used ground transportation before, but given how far the Houston airport is from the port and how expensive alternatives were, we opted to give it a try and we’re really happy we did. They loaded us up and we sat in the cool bus for about 30 minutes and then pulled out and pointed south.

The traffic in Houston, even on a Saturday morning, is just horrible. Lots of stops and starts, speeding up, hitting the breaks…I had been looking at my phone and said to my husband “I need to stop reading this is making me sick.” As if on cue, someone got sick 2 rows ahead of us. This is where I love Disney. Most Disney passengers understand kids, understand that things happen with kids, and are some of the most over prepared people in the world (myself withstanding). Out of nowhere people found plastic bags, wet wipes, and paper towels. The poor father kept apologizing over and over but hey I could be the next to get carsick so no judgment here.

We didn’t skip a beat and kept rolling, rolling, rolling down the road. We finally start to see water, then we see the yucky underbelly of Galveston, then some overpasses, railroad tracks, is that the ship?, oh no factory smokestack, and TA DA there’s the ship! They had us off the bus and into the terminal at 1:00. We checked in and there was no waiting, straight onto the ship. Introducing the S family (yea, clap, clap and it feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.). Our room was already ready and we went to drop off the carry-on bags and head up to lunch. This arriving early at the port is a fool’s game.

We had lunch in Parrot Cay and happened to be seated with Stacia Martin, the Disney animator and lecturer aboard for our trip. She was so delightful and we enjoyed talking with her and her partner (he animated the Goofy home entertainment cartoon!!) for over an hour. We shut that buffet down.

Back to the room, and we have luggage. We started unpacking only to find that my hairspray had imploded at some point and drenched some of my clothes. The worst part was my favorite white shirt was now covered with huge purple splotches (why is my clear hairspray purple?). I thought I’d give Disney laundry a shot and included a note that I knew it was stained and was just hoping for the best. Nothing else looked too bad so we started finding ways to cram three weeks of stuff into our room.

Then it was time for the Muster Drill. We headed on down to Deck 4 which only triggered another set of “what if we crash” questions only substituting the ship for the plane. Sorry again everyone. We packed into our line (Did somebody touch my butt? It felt like somebody touched my butt.) and listened to the slacker roll call. That ending, Carlitos and I headed up to Deck 10 for the “Going Off” Party (our friend’s couldn’t remember the name of the Sail Away Party and kept calling it the Going Off party). Carlos was supposed to run down to the room to grab something and then meet us on deck. He never showed after “claiming” that he looked “all over” for us. I cannot prove it but I’m pretty sure he ditched us and took a quick nap. We found our friends and had that awkward “we haven’t seen you for a year but here we are on vacation together” hug and watched us float away from the port. I’m not a big fan of the Going Off party so we didn’t stick around after going off.

We went back to the room and got ready for the show and dinner. The cruise wasn’t very crowded. I believe the cabins were mostly sold out, but the capacity per cabin was way down, and there were only 400 children under 17 aboard. (Let that sink in DCL veterans, only 400 kids!). The benefit of all of that was that the shows were never really crowded; we were in the fourth or fifth row center every night. We watched the typical Let the Magic Begin show. I don’t love this show, but it really got us in the mood for Mickey and we got a preview of Max Winfrey’s juggling and Scott Pepper’s (who I kept calling Pickle) magic. We also met the cruise director Darrin. He’s great; we really missed him when he left after the Transatlantic.

After the show, we went to the Mickey Mania game show. We had never made it to these family shows before, and we really enjoyed the quick 30 minute game that took us right into dinner. I’m not sure why we never did that before?? I ordered a glass of champagne during the game show (maybe that’s why I thought the show was so cute).

Onward to dinner; we had late seating which I’m a big fan of, even with a 5 year old. (Why?) First, dine and play (enough said??). They come and get the kids around 9:15-9:30 and whisk them away. It got to where I was excited every time I saw someone in a yellow shirt walk into a dining room. Second, with the time change eating was actually earlier and earlier each night. Third, do you have to let it linger? At late dining the answer is yes. No one rushes you, you can enjoy your after dinner coffee, third dessert, whatever and talk over the table. That’s my plug for late dining.

Tonight was Lumieres. I apologize now, but we do not take pictures of our food so no shots for you. I can tell you what I ate and what I thought of it though. So, two appetizers tonight (no judging). I got the calamari (just okay, the sauce wasn’t good) and the Salmon Carpaccio (great, although by the end of the trip I would be completely sick of salmon which seemed to be in every meal). I skipped the salad, and got the seafood risotto for my main. The risotto was great, but I didn’t eat any of the meat so there’s a waste of a good lobster or whatever that was in the rice. Dessert was the raspberry cake from the sugar free section and it was great. Our server, Limbert, also brought both couples the Sweet Temptations (oh we love you Limbert. Thanks for just assuming we’d want extra dessert and save us the embarrassment of order one from column A and all from column B.)

Full from dinner, we called it a night and went back to our room to find a Ducky Williams lithograph on the bed. We still had not met our stateroom host but assume he exists and is not a little bed making elf.
(This report was a little long, but there was so much going on. I promise they won't all be this mundane)
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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Hi there!

Following along. You mentioned a different cruise director? How interesting!

I was on the June 1 Med and I thought cruise director Peter was a little stiff and lackluster. Sort of wish we had someone else. Did you feel the same?
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
gotomu212
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Somewhere in the Gulf

Day 3: Sunday May 19th
We woke at 7:45 (take note of that time and how it quickly starts to slip as the trip goes on), and headed to Lumiere’s for breakfast. I got the Eggs Benedict which was awesome as always. We were seated with another family and had a fun time talking to them about Saudi Arabia.

Bellies full we sent Carlitos off to make Flubber in the Lab, and we went make to the room to enjoy our veranda. We were in room 6030 which was a connecting room (but we had no one to connect to so we put a ton of luggage in front of the door to make sure Carlitos didn’t try to wander over). The room is right off the forward elevators and when the door is open, everyone in the elevator lobby gets a straight shot into the room. We had many conversations that started “WTH, close the door, I’m not dressed yet!!” Apologize to anyone innocently waiting for an elevator who may have gotten a glimpse. The room had a veranda, and I was really glad we had it for this portion of the trip since we had a lot of down time.

We sat out on the veranda reading and watching the waves go by. The sound of the water hitting the side of the ship really does sound like the beach to us (we’re from the Midwest though so take that with a grain of salt water). After an hour, I took a trip down to the shops to survey the merchandise. I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. They didn’t have any transatlantic branded gear (no shirts, jackets, or even magnets). They already had the Med stuff out and I wasn’t a big fan of the design there so my shipboard account got off very easy this trip.

I headed down to Rockin’ Bar for the guest lecture- the formation of the Gulf and Caribbean by Charles Richards. I really enjoy science, geology, and weather discussions, but this was a little dull; (probably just too basic for someone who watches science disaster movies.) I ordered a strawberry margarita so all was not lost (Also how cool would college have been if there was desk side bar service??). Afterwards, filled with tequila and new knowledge about how fast the tectonic plates move, I made my way to Deck 9 to watch Carlos and Carlitos in the pools.

When they had enough of that, we went to the theater to watch Wreck It Ralph. The theater was really crowded, and I stepped out to buy popcorn right as the movie started. When I came back someone had taken the aisle seat next to my husband. To that person I say- 3D glasses do not make me invisible, and thank you so much for letting me past after I stood right in front of you saying excuse me for 10 seconds. Also I’m sorry I dropped that popcorn on you.

Tonight was formal night, and we got dressed up (does anyone else think the little boys look like white collar criminals in their suits and kids club bracelets?) Down to the show to see Twice Charmed; which is really cute and one of my favorites. This was followed by the family show in Rockin’ Bar D. The Bucket Boys basically use drumsticks to beat on buckets, trash cans, and road signs (doesn’t that sound like a nice relaxing evening?). The kids love them though and it was cool to see.

Dinner tonight is Animator’s Palate. I got two appetizers again; the blue cheese polenta cake (ehhh) and the Salmon Crochets (good). Skipped salad course and ordered the portabella mushroom ravioli in butternut squash sauce (mmmmm this was good, very very good). For dessert I got the Aurora Sundae which was suppose to be a Rocky Road sundae but something was very very wrong with the marshmallows. I think they were stale and the combination of stale marshmallows and ice cream was weird. No worries we had the Sweet Temptations as a back-up plan.

After dinner we saw the adult Max Winfrey show. It was funny, but we’d pretty much seen it before and honestly the adult shows are so tame. (Not that we’re expecting hanging from the chandeliers, every other word is bleep able, but the adult shows are always so tame they come across a little lame.) Whatever, he juggled big swords, so a good time was had by all. We also stayed for Match Your Mate which is similar to the Newlywed Game and has a couple married a very short time, one married a very long time, and one somewhere in the middle. We think the one couple cheated-how lame is that. It looked like they were using hand signals to telegraph their answers, and their stories sounded really made up.

We decided that one fixed game show was enough (just kidding), and picked Carlitos up from the club. Off to bed we go, heigh ho, heigh ho.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
gotomu212
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Hi there!

Following along. You mentioned a different cruise director? How interesting!

I was on the June 1 Med and I thought cruise director Peter was a little stiff and lackluster. Sort of wish we had someone else. Did you feel the same?
Hi there! Thank you and thank everyone who is following along- it's so crazy to think of people reading my stuff!

We thought the same thing about Peter. We didn't realize that Darrin was leaving after the Transatlantic, and when I heard Peter over the loudspeaker I said "hey Darrin's doing a frog voice" and my husband gave me the dumb look and said "that's a new cruise director dork".

Peter seemed to talk ALOT without really saying anything.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:16 PM   #10
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THE Palo Brunch Day

Day 4: Monday May 20th
Today was our Palo Brunch Day. We’d been training for this day and felt ready for any brunch combination they might throw our way. The night before we got a surprise invitation for the Castaway Club Reception. This was our first cruise as “gold” members so we weren’t sure what to expect but it was 30 minutes before Palo so I guess we’ll swing by. I felt totally over dressed for the reception since we were in our Palo duds and really want to tell our fellow cruises that no, we did not get dressed up for the reception, we aren’t dorks. Instead of making that formal announcement I just spoke really loudly about our brunch for several people to overhear.

What happens at the Castaway Club Reception you ask? Is there a secret handshake? Do you get to drive the boat? Does Minnie come out and give you the secrets to handling an egotistical boyfriend? Sad face, the answer is no to all of those. Our reception was in Rockin’ Bar D and there were a fair number of people there. Mickey and Minnie were taking pictures in one corner (but honestly the line for them was longer than the normal character line for M&M so we skipped). They did pass around glasses of champagne, mimosas and after asking twice orange juice for Carlitos. They also had trays of cookies, fruits, and cold apps that came around while different officers mingled by your table. We didn’t want to spoil our brunch so skipped all the trays of food but did take a glass of champagne (like champagne ever hurt anyone’s appetite). We talked to a few officers and then snuck out 5 minutes before our Palo reservation. The line for M&M was also gone by now so we popped over for a quick picture on the way out.

Ahhhh Palo. Has anyone seen the show Survivor when the people are voted out and they take them back to the Loser Lodge for the first meal they’ve had in weeks? We put those people to shame. It’s all a blur but at one point I was dipping the pretzel bread pastry into the salmon mousse and sprinkling caviar on asparagus. I’m not proud of that, but at this point I need to just move on. In addition to the brunch spread I ordered the Oyster’s Rockefeller, Eggs Benedict, and Carlos got the Chicken Parmesan, and Sausage Pizza. Everything was amazing and I went back to that bread table too many times. We brunched for over 2 hours and at the end I feared we would never eat again.

Carlitos wanted to be picked up from the Club (why oh why?), so we grabbed him and then headed back to the room for a nap. There was no option, after that brunch we needed to sleep. Carlitos watched Finding Nemo, Cinderella, and the end of Swiss Family Robinsons during our nap. That’s right we napped for three hours (in medical terms we may have slipped into a coma).

At 4:00 I rallied. Today was the mega-character day and there was a different character every 15 minutes in either the lobby or Preludes. Before the trip I bought a Disney Classic Storybook and we wanted to get as many characters to sign by their picture as possible. We bounced between the lobby and Preludes for 2 hours and got Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Hook, and the Queen of Hearts (no joke the Queen of Hearts was there). It was a little chaotic and near the end I was done with queues but the lines were super short and we were always moving.

After the Queen of Hearts we jumped into the WD Theater for Max Winfrey’s family show. Carlitos laughed nonstop. Something about juggling was hilarious to him. We followed that up with Who Wants to Be a Mousketeer. This was a quick 30 minute game show modeled after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It was fun, but it is very clear that I know almost no Disney trivia. I was praying we wouldn’t get picked because I would clearly make a fool of myself and be sent off to a Carnival Cruise.

Dinner-oh God food?- was in Parrot Cay and was a Caribbean menu. I sampled conch fritters (ok), a green salad (FINALLY some lettuce and spinach), a veal packet (honestly I have no idea what this was but it was the only thing on the menu that looked even passable), and the Spice Island Chocolate Cake (yuck). I think we even skipped our Sweet Temptations since the brunch was still all consuming and we could no longer be tempted.

Carlos went off to see the Avengers. I took Carlitos back to the room to play Uno for the millionth time and finally he fell asleep. We docked in Freeport Bahamas to take on “supplies” and gas but no one was allowed to leave the ship. I was awake until 3:30 am reading and I stepped outside a few times to see what was going on. At one point a local police boat was observing and when I came outside he moved the boat back to where I was. I assume he was going to make sure I wasn’t out there to smoke but since I was in my pjs and didn’t want to talk to the Royal Order of Bahamian Police Boats I slipped back inside.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #11
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I'm in!

I hear you on the KC airport. I lived as far SE of the airport as you can get and still live in KC...45 minutes and all the &$#@ stoplights on 71 through the 'hood. Ugh! I do love the short security lines though!

I'm so jealous of a 21 day trip! Someday!

Oh, and Go Tigers! M-I-Z-Z-O-U! (I'm assuming I'm reading your username right..this might be embarrassing if you are a dirty bird....)

Jill in CO
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:14 PM   #12
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Your TR is a hoot. I will never go to muster again without thinking "slackers roll call." Ditto for the "Going Off" party.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:39 PM   #13
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I'm in!

Oh, and Go Tigers! M-I-Z-Z-O-U! (I'm assuming I'm reading your username right..this might be embarrassing if you are a dirty bird....)

Jill in CO
Z-O-U- black and gold forever!
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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All Ashore That’s Coming Ashore- Castaway Cay Day

Day 5: Tuesday May 21st
Mickey Island Time! We were up at 7:30 not wanting to waste time since All Aboard was at 3:30. The captain explained that it was a long haul across the ocean and we couldn’t dilly dally at Castaway Cay. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I think we would have been okay getting to Madeira an hour late or kicking up the speed a notch if it meant we could dilly or dally for another hour. Apparently the captain was not interested in seeking my opinion though so we were up at the crack of dawn.

Carlos ran up to Topsiders to bring us breakfast. Does anyone else do this? Carlos complains that he is the only schmuck on board carrying a tray of hot food from Topsiders to our room, but I have to think tons of people are doing this too. I pointed that out to him when he didn’t bring any juice back. I got a look and was told that I could negotiate deck 9 and the elevators with a tray of food next time (he doesn’t take constructive criticism well).

8:45 we were off the ship and on the tram. We went to the second family stop, bought sand castle stuff for $25 that we would only use a day and would not be taking home since it was huge; but whatever a little German girl would later steal two buckets so it worked itself out. We found the perfect spot right next to Cookies Too. It had the 3 Bs I need- next to the Bar, Buffet, and Banos (bathrooms to the rest of you). I pulled our chairs to the water’s edge and Carlitos got busy making sandcastles. I read with my toes in the water while the boys swam around chasing fish, playing Godzilla in Attack of the Sandcastle, and trying to get me to agree to be buried (they never succeeded with that one).

During this time the Dream came by. They made several passes, closer and closer, kind of like a shark until they were right up on the island. Then there was a horn war. I don’t have to say it, the Magic lost, of course they lost. We have one loud tune and the Dream was playing an entire collection over there (although it doesn’t sound as loud or strong but whatever they won). Or did they? They were going home tomorrow and we had weeks (WEEKS) of time ahead of us. Suckers.

It was lunchtime so over to Cookies Too. I’m not a huge fan of the food, but at least it’s right there. The mahi mahi was pretty good and um the bag of chips was good…I’m reaching here. While walking to our seat some lady FINALLY saw the Dream sailing away (was she under a rock for the last 45 minutes while the ship circling us and BLEW THEIR HORN over and OVER??). When she saw the Dream she screamed “Oh my God the ship is leaving us”. I try not to make fun of people (who are not my family) but where did she think the 500 or so people sitting there came from? Did she think the ship left 25% of the passengers and just sailed away? Also, I can think of worse places to be marooned.

After lunch, Carlos wanted to go snorkeling. The clouds were looking gross but so far the rain was holding off. Carlitos and I finished lunch (well we finished the big cookie) and then we got ice cream since it was right there, and moved down the beach to the hammocks. I have never used the hammocks before at Castaway Cay and Carlitos was fascinated with them. The people near us totally laughed when I sat down and flipped both Carlitos and I on the ground. (It’s okay strangers, you didn’t have to try to hide your laughs. It’s funny when someone flips their child and themselves out of a hammock. I would have judged you if you hadn’t laughed). We got that all sorted and enjoyed rocking there watching the sky turn black.

Suddenly there was the loudest clap of thunder. It rattled buildings. I got up to grab Carlos’ stuff assuming he’d be done snorkeling now that a typhoon was blowing in and waited and waited and waited while he slowwwwwwly came to shore. That thunder was it, nothing else after that, isn’t that weird? Everyone stayed in the water but I talked Carlos into coming to sit in hammocks with us (we went to another spot where no one knew of our failed first attempt. I shouldn’t have bothered as I fell out again in front of a new group of people).

At 2:00 we returned to the ship, hot, tired, a little cranky. I just wanted a shower but while Carlitos hosed off I feel asleep and then watched cartoons. It was the perfect beach day leading up to Villains Tonight. I know a lot of people don’t love this show, but we think it’s great. Carlitos talked about the underworld for the rest of the trip and would threaten to send us there on occasion. He also was concerned that St. Michael’s Cave in Gibraltar used to be or moonlighted as the underworld. It was really unclear. Either way we enjoyed the show.

To kill time before dinner we did a drive by Shutters to see our pictures. We had resolved not to buy pictures this trip since we have so many. Instead we just collected them all and hid them behind our embarkation picture, you know just in case. We took a quick stroll around Deck 4, I managed to grab a future cruise’s brochure, and we were in Lumiere’s for Villains’ Menu. I got the scallops and sun dried tomato risotto (good), broccoli/blue cheese soup (I can’t remember if this unremarkable or so bad I blocked it out of my mind), and a steak (I ordered medium rare since they seem to always overcook steak; and instead I got a rare almost raw steak. There was a lot of blood). The crème brulee with honey raspberries was incredible though. I almost didn’t need the sweet temptations...almost.

We did the adult Magic Quest game which is a scavenger hunt using what you have with you in the bar. We were in a group of 6 strangers, and we were all clearly novices. Other groups had a complete treasure trove of potential weird items like nail clippers, business cards, and gum. We had nothing. We were fine with our loss and spent most time people watching. Every once in awhile we’d get a competitive streak and send someone up with a random high heel or red hair. That seemed like a good way to end the day.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:54 PM   #15
gotomu212
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 385

We Leave Land Behind and Sail into Hell

Day 6: Wednesday May 22nd
Okay the title might be a little strong. We did not sail into hell, we were still on the Disney ship, but it did feel prophetic to be leaving our last stop behind while we sailed into the wonder blue yonder to cross to a new continent. It was actually a quiet day. We woke up at 10 and went to Parrot Cay for brunch around 11. “Brunch” at Parrot Cay means they will put both pasta and pancakes on the buffet. It was all very exciting. We thenwent back to the room to work on our FE deliveries.

This was our second time doing the FE exchange. I will freely admit we totally screwed up the first time and gave really lame gifts. We didn’t know what we were doing, thought we had a cute idea, and after seeing what everyone else did I felt bad. This was REDEMPTION time. We had gift bags for all the kids with little Disney stuff (pez, rubix cube, key chains, hair clips, and little viewfinders) and a stateroom gift- a personalized canvas grocery/beach bag that had a picture of Steamboat Willie and our cruise dates. I thought it was really cute and hope people enjoyed it. I had addressed all the bags before we left but now had to put them into some kind of order and match them with the kids’ goodie bags. Carlitos wanted to help so that was…unproductive. We ended up delivering to four floors so significant progress was made. It was a lot of fun for Carlitos to act all covert (I’m sure anyone in the rooms could hear him-SHHHH mom. Is it this one? Oh, oops dropped all the bags. It’s okay, I got it, I SAID I GOT IT. Be quiet, we’re sneaky).

Then we headed to Deck 10 for the Goofy Regatta. This is a boat building contest that ends when you race your creation across the Goofy pool. We thought that this activity meant we’d spend the time building the boat and they’d be some sort of activity, but no you’re just picking up a bottle of glue, safety scissors, and a rule sheet. I’m not really sure this should be billed as an “activity” in the navigator. It seemed more like a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby. Without that to occupy Carlitos we took him to the Club where he played “Big Bad Wolf” (it involved a lot of screaming I was later told).

Carlos and I relaxed on the veranda for several hours until Carlitos wanted to be picked up. We ran into Aurora in the lobby. Carlitos was crushing hard for this princess. He still gets a little smile when we mention her. While it was just he and I standing there I noticed there wasn’t a line for the Future Cruise Desk. I had my eye on next year’s Venice to Barcelona cruise and went ahead and booked it on the sly with very very explicit instructions not to tell daddy what we did (the rat gave me up on the last day of the cruise but at least he tried to keep it on the DL). Honestly I booked the cruise because I was in the middle of cruise euphoria and it went to several Greek islands that I want to visit. In retro-“cruise sober”-spect, the cruise is WAY overpriced and after 21 days at sea we are probably ready for a DCL break. I will most likely cancel this cruise but it was really nice to have it in my back pocket the whole time.

Our secret safe (for now at least) Carlitos and I went back to the room and dressed for dinner. Tonight’s show is John Charles. I have a confession- I don’t see what the fuss is about. Everyone LOVES John Charles, the guy had a pack of groupies around the ship. He even gave a little coffee talk chat near the end of the cruise where you could go and ask him your burning questions. They say he’s booked on “public demand” (I think they mean to say popular demand or maybe they don’t and it’s just public). I just am not a fan, but whatever. Carlitos raised his hand to pick a song and asked for the Beatles….Yellow Submarine. They did this in his school musical this year and the dang song is always stuck in my head…well here it was again. Carlitos is probably the only one in the room who knows all the words. That toenail extraction, I mean good time, over we left to get in line for Jiminy Cricket!

YEA Jiminy! When was the last time you saw him walking around? Apparently everyone shared that feeling since the line was really long. Everyone on that ship wanted to see the cricket. We were lined up in Preludes (outside the shops) and round around by the bar. The handler was there and was starting to get nervous as the line got longer and Jiminy got later. He ran over to the bar and used the phone to call who I don’t know (Gepato? the Blue Fairy? character central?). I eavesdropped and his side of the conversation went like this-
“Um is Jiminy on the way?”…pause…“Oh, when is he coming?”…pause…”What is taking so long?”…”I’m going to need back up here.”....”just hurry”
I really appreciate his attempts to get the show on the road, but glancing around I wasn’t really sure about the need for back up. I saw a bunch of bored people standing in line while their kids whined and/or lay on the floor. Maybe we were seconds away from someone turning over the clearance island wear rack outside Treasure Ketch and my inexperienced eyes just didn’t see it. Either way, crisis was averted as Jiminy came hopping on out.

Thanks to the cricket delay we were a little late into dinner but I covered with “sorry traffic was a mess” (always gets a laugh on a ship at sea). We were in Animator’s tonight for the Show Dinner (picture jazz hands). I got the ahi tuna (good but really HOT), the butternut squash soup (also good but too rich to finish the bowl) and risotto. The risotto was supposed to come with some meat of some sort but both I and the other mom asked them to skip the meat and just bring us the risotto. Dessert was the apple crumble and mine was just enhhh. I think the problem was that mine had too much crumble so I inhaled a spoon of dry crushed crust and nothing else. Carlos suggested that normal people get some apple sauce and ice cream and don’t just eat powdered crust, but it was too late for me. The Sweet Temptation was good as always.

Carlos went off to see Iron Man 3. Carlitos and I went back to the room for 2 hours of Uno and War. Tonight we moved the clocks forward an hour and so started the slow march of doom on the clock (I think I missed another clock change earlier in the cruise but that one didn’t bother us at all).
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