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Old 08-24-2013, 02:21 PM   #61
bobbi565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWaddictt View Post
The turtle excursion looked like fun!
Too bad your supper was disappointing.
Great update!
Thanks! I can't complain too much; it was the only meal that wasn't great!

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Originally Posted by Ndsmorrison View Post
Question for you....what do you mean pins? What kind? And what kind of officers are you referring to, police officers? Just wondering. That maybe something my DH be interested in.
At the Disney Parks, stores, and online enamel coated metal collector pins of all sorts of Disney characters and images are available to purchase. People collect them and wear them on lanyards around their necks to trade with Cast Members and other guests at Disney properties. It is described in the link below.

http://disney.go.com/eventservices/w...intrading.html

Disney cast members must trade their pins with any guest who requests a trade. The officer's pin trading event I described was with the ship's officers, and it was alot of fun.
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #62
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NDmorrison it's the same pin trading that they do at the parks! We are planning on starting this for our DD this trip as we think she's old enough now. Maybe yours will too along with her Daddy!
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:42 AM   #63
Ndsmorrison
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Thanks!! These are really good ideas!! I didn't know they had anything like this. I think it will be a good thing for my DD and she may enjoy it!!
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Upcoming Cruise's: November 30, 2014: 7 nights on Disney Magic - Western Caribbean Here is our PTR for our upcoming cruise!!!
Cruise to date:
June 22, 2008: 7 nights on RCCL'S Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean; November 20, 2009: 3 nights on RCCL's Monarch of the Seas - Bahama's; August 13, 2011: 7 nights on RCCL's Oasis of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean.November 30, 2013: 7 nights on Disney Fantasy - Eastern Caribbean.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #64
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Day at Sea, Semi-Formal Night, and Monsters University PremEAR

As exciting as it is to explore a new or a favorite port of call, nothing beats a sea day! Just being able to enjoy the amenities and, especially in the case of Disney, VIP treatment onboard is really what a cruise vacation is all about to me. This would be my last visit to the fitness center, and I had purchased a one day Rainforest Room pass, so I planned to use that on this day as well. I’d read on the boards that it tends to get crowded on sea days, but I figured if I went as soon as it opened, I’d be ok.

On my way to the gym I encountered Staley98 who was heading there as well. As always, I was there before opening, so we stretched and chatted in the hallway with a couple of other early birds waiting for the CM’s to open the doors. Once they did, we climbed onto adjacent oceanfront ellipticals and chatted about being educators, parents, runners, and all the other things we had in common. I was so engrossed in conversation that before I knew it, my cardio was finished, and I hadn’t even switched on my NOOK or cranked up my iPod! Another great time getting to know one of the friends I’d made on the DIS boards months earlier.

When I finished working out, it was still a little too early to do the Rainforest Room, so I grabbed my breakfast and returned to the spa. The Rainforest Room was now open, so the CM at the front desk of Senses took my key card and, in exchange, gave me a little rubber bracelet that I would use to open any keyed areas. She sent another CM to give me a tour of the facility and answer any questions, and then I was on my own…literally! There was not another soul in the spa this early. I went to the locker room and changed from my gym gear to my swim suit. This area is co-ed, so one must remain clothed in the saunas and jacuzzis. In the locker rooms, there were sandals and robes available and combination lockers to hold your belongings.

I crossed the hall and went into the Rainforest Room. There were several pitchers of ice water when you entered flavored with various fruits. Big fluffy towels are available right inside the door as well. I tried one of the tropical showers, but I didn’t like it too much. It was supposed to be a warm mist, but it came out cold at first, giving me a bit of a shock to the system, before warming up. Maybe when you’re not the first person of the day to use it, it comes out warm on the first blast, but there are few things I hate more than a cold shower, so that was the end of that. I tried all three sauna rooms with varying degrees of dryness and moisture. They were pretty nice, but you definitely don’t want to get too far from your sandals in those, because the floor gets pretty hot.

Probably my favorite part of the experience was the tile loungers and the jacuzzis. The loungers are heated and curved to support your body in a reclining position. I’d read some reviews from people who claimed the curvature did not fit their bodies comfortably, but it was perfect for me. I’d brought my NOOK with me, so I relaxed on one of those for a while and read. Then I got into one of the jacuzzis which are in a windowed area overhanging the side of the ship. The bottom of the jacuzzi is curved like the tile loungers, so you can recline comfortably in it as well. It was quite relaxing!

After a while, I gathered my stuff from the locker room and headed back to my room. I definitely enjoyed my “me” time relaxing in the Rainforest Room for a $16 one day pass, but I couldn’t see myself buying a weeklong pass. There are too many other ways to spend my time, and I can relax just as easily reading on a sunbed or jacuzzi for no extra charge in the adults areas on the upper decks. On my way back, I encountered this notable tourist.

Back at the room, the boys were still snoozing, so I spent a little more time reading on our verandah. Soon I heard DS stirring within, so I went inside to greet him and ask him how he wanted to start the day. Predictably, he wanted to check out the third case in the Midship Detective Agency game, so we grabbed our gear (LOVE the wave phones, DCL), and headed out to play.

Along the way, DS spotted this interactive artwork on Deck 5 that allows you to steer a digital boat around a lake and decided to give it a try.

I meandered toward the atrium to get some shots of the chandelier and architecture.

Then I looked down and noticed a crowd had gathered. I saw Prince Ali chatting up a couple of young princesses.

Peter Pan was also mingling among the crowd.

People were obviously in anticipation of something, but what? Within moments, the cause for the excitement became clear. We had stumbled upon the Princess Gathering! One floor down Snow White, Belle, Ariel, Tiana, and Cinderella appeared at the top of the grand staircase and greeted the crowd.

They descended, lined up, and gave a spin to properly array their royal gowns.

I was far more excited to witness this pomp and ceremony than was DS, although he came over and gave a peek just to humor me. I kind of miss the starry eyed five year old from our last cruise on the Magic who turned to mush in the presence of these ethereal creatures. BTW, with Jasmine nowhere in sight, I found myself wondering what Aladin was doing hanging out at the princess gathering…

True to form, DH buzzed us on the wave phone just as we were finishing our game, so we met up with him.

At that point, the boys decided it was time for some more Arrrcade, so that left me free for some more “me” time. This was turning out to be an excellent day! We trucked on up to Deck 11, and I told them I’d be in the adult area with my NOOK. I stopped at the drink station for an iced tea, and continued on my way. I found a nice sunbed under some shade, and settled down to some serious relaxation. While I was reading, we encountered a little sun shower. It was no worries for me; my shade protected me from both sun and rain, so I stayed put, and the sprinkles eventually passed us by. This is one of my favorite views on a cruise ship.

After a while, I checked my wave phone and saw that the boys had checked in. I decided to pack it in and ran down to Arrrcade to see what was going on. Apparently, there was an issue with the card machine. It wouldn’t allow people to add credits to their cards. DH and another dad were becoming frustrated trying to add credits to no avail. I called guest services while the guys were struggling with the machine and was told I would need to bring the card down and they would charge it up manually. DH commented that he’s had issues with points earned for prizes being accurately reflected and even double charged during redemption for which he’d already seen guest services. I volunteered to take the card down and wait in line, which I did. It took a pretty long time during which the boys gave up and went back to the room, but eventually the issue was resolved. Word of warning to those who use the Arrrcade!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty mellow. We hung out at the room and discussed our remaining gift card balance on our stateroom account, which was still quite sizeable. I had originally intended to buy a cd from Shutters, but with only a day and a half left we only had nineteen images on our account. I told DH that I thought it would be better to select my favorite poses from the different photo ops and just order the set of 20 prints. We also discussed buying a painting from Vista Gallery. We’d both visited there separately and liked this painting best:

but we both agreed that at $425, the price was a bit steep for our budget. We discussed several others we’d seen at more reasonable prices and had two that seemed to be our favorites.

It was semi-formal night for dinner, and we were finally going to dine at Royal Court. Our first rotation there was our Palo night, so I was looking forward to finally experiencing that restaurant. As usual, Marijan and Allwyn greeted us like old friends and provided us with exceptional service. I ordered the Oysters Rockerfeller, a favorite of mine, for my appetizer, followed by the Wild Forest Mushroom Soup. Neither disappointed. For my main course, I had been looking forward to the Lobster Tail, which Marijan removed from the shell for me at the table. It was a decent size and nicely cooked. For dessert I ordered the Bananas Crème Brulee, another favorite dish. DH and I both enjoyed the meal.


DS stuck with his usual bread and french fries.

It was an enjoyable evening, especially when DH and Allwyn joined forces to tease DS.

We left the restaurant and walked right into Shutters photographers set up for formal portraits. I hadn’t noticed this in the Navigator, and I guess few others did as well, because there were no lines! We stepped right up and got a few more shots taken.


We walked around the ship some more and ended up at the family dance party in the D Lounge. We got our groove thing on for a few songs.


Then the hostess announced some games. DS participated in one where the kids were given pedometers to see who could take the most steps in the specified amount of time. DS did pretty well, except for periodic breaks he decided to take. Even so, he came in second! If he’d kept at it, he would have won easily.

We visited the art gallery and decided to purchase this painting.

They wrapped it for us and told us they’d deliver it to our room later. As we walked out, we saw Captain Mickey posing for pictures. The line was pretty long, but DH offered to wait on it while DS and I did some more wandering about. After a few, we returned and got some nice shots with the big cheese!

We decided to go back to the room to change and let me and DS nap before the big midnight PremEAR of Monsters University. DH would wake us in time to get decent seats. When we arrived, this guy was waiting for us (I think he’s my favorite)!

DH woke us at around 11:15, and we headed straight to the Buena Vista Theatre. It was showing in the Walt Disney Theatre simultaneously in 3D, but because DS’s migraine condition is often triggered by 3D movies, we tend to avoid those. There were plenty of seats at our selected screening at the time we arrived, and DH decided he had more than sufficient time to run up to Deck 11 to get some drinks for us instead of paying to buy them at the concession stand. He did, however, spring for a bag of popcorn! We hadn’t gone to any movies on our two previous Disney Cruises, and we really enjoyed taking advantage of the offerings this time. The theatres are beautiful; check out this lighting fixture.

The seats are comfortable!

And if you’re fortunate enough to catch a PremEAR on board, they really make it a fun event.

A cast member came onstage to introduce the movie, and onscreen we saw a video link to the crowd in the Walt Disney Theatre. The CM really got the crowd psyched, and then the movie began. We enjoyed it so much that we decided we’d try to catch another screening the following afternoon. I impressed myself by staying awake through the entire movie, but once it was over, I knew I needed to hit the hay if we were going to get up and at ‘em for Castaway Cay day in the morning!

Next Up: Castaway Cay, Fun Onboard, and Animator’s Show
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:42 PM   #65
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Great shot of the princesses spinning!
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:22 PM   #66
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Love reading about ur vacation. I can't wait until November when we set sail!!
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Upcoming Cruise's: November 30, 2014: 7 nights on Disney Magic - Western Caribbean Here is our PTR for our upcoming cruise!!!
Cruise to date:
June 22, 2008: 7 nights on RCCL'S Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean; November 20, 2009: 3 nights on RCCL's Monarch of the Seas - Bahama's; August 13, 2011: 7 nights on RCCL's Oasis of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean.November 30, 2013: 7 nights on Disney Fantasy - Eastern Caribbean.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:20 PM   #67
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Great update!

Monsters U...love it!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:05 PM   #68
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Great update! I plan on buying a one-day Rainforest Room pass also. I can't wait to sit and read on the tiled loungers. By the way, I love to read and you seem to, too. I'm a middle school librarian and because of that I tend to read a lot of young adult books. What books were your reading on your cruise? I'm always looking for new books to read.
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Upcoming Trips:
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Disney Fantasy: 7-night Western ~ November 28-December 5, 2015
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* Polynesian ~ August, 2014 *
* Disney Fantasy: 7-night Eastern ~ November/December, 2013 * Disney Magic: 2-night Cruise ~ August, 2012 * Beach Club Villas ~ June, 2012 * Wilderness Lodge ~ November/December, 2010 * POP/CBR ~ May, 2009 * Wilderness Lodge ~ November, 2004 * Dixie Landings ~ April, 1996 * CBR ~ June, 1991 * Fort Wilderness ~ June, 1984 *
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:22 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kel4876 View Post
Great shot of the princesses spinning!
Thanks! I couldn't believe my luck to be at the right place and the right time to catch that shot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndsmorrison View Post
Love reading about ur vacation. I can't wait until November when we set sail!!
Happy sailing! I hope you have a magical voyage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWaddictt View Post
Great update!

Monsters U...love it!!
We saw it twice onboard and once more at home. So cute!

Quote:
Originally Posted by disny_luvr View Post
Great update! I plan on buying a one-day Rainforest Room pass also. I can't wait to sit and read on the tiled loungers. By the way, I love to read and you seem to, too. I'm a middle school librarian and because of that I tend to read a lot of young adult books. What books were your reading on your cruise? I'm always looking for new books to read.
7th & 8th grade language arts teacher here. DS and I have been working our way through the Harry Potter series lately, but in the summer, I always make time for "grown up" books! Onboard, I was reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and The Kingmaker's Daughter by Phillipa Gregory, both fabulous books.
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:02 PM   #70
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Castaway Cay, Fun Onboard, and Animator’s Show

Our last full day onboard, I was up before the sun, as usual, and was rewarded with the best sunrise of the trip.



Not the mosaic of rose, mauve, lavender, and amber I’ve enjoyed in the past on cruises, but definitely pleasing. I got a nice detail shot from Deck 12 that highlights how cool the ship looks when lit up at night.



Another relaxing early morning up top reading my book, my last visit to Cove Café and my friendly barrista, Dawide, to cash in on my free latte, and breakfast at Cabanas were on the agenda this morning. When I was finished, I loaded up a plate with croissants and headed back to the room to await all ashore time and wake the boys. It was a great sight to see the ship docked at Castaway Cay!



High on my agenda was to get my picture taken with Captain Jack Sparrow. Back in 2008 when we were on the Magic, they had one who was a dead ringer for Johnny Depp. When I told DS that I was going to get my picture taken with him, he took one look and begged me, “No, Mama, please don’t go near that man!” He doesn’t care to be reminded of that incident today and certainly can’t or won’t explain his wariness of that character at the time, but the captain was scheduled at the Pelican Point tram stop at 11:00, and this time I planned to be there.

Our plan was to disembark shortly after Clayton called the all ashore. I figured that if I woke the boys when I heard the announcement, we’d be dressed and on our way after the initial rush died down, and that’s pretty much how it turned out. I packed towels from the pool deck (easier for me to get organized than grabbing them on my way off the ship), an insulated bottle of water, plenty of sunscreen, my snorkel gear, my waterproof camera, and our walkie talkies. When the time came, I woke the boys, they dressed, and DS ate a couple of croissants while I threw two in a ziploc bag to take with us. Our timing was impecable. We walked down to the ganway and strolled right off the ship with no wait at security. As we headed toward the beach, we made the requisite stop at the photographers. It was kind of cool to have our picture taken in front of the aft end of the ship where you could see our stateroom verandah!



After a short wait, we hopped on the shuttle and took it to Pelican Point. A day at the beach is a tricky thing for the James Gang. DH is not a big beach fan, but he does concede that Castaway Cay is pretty near to beach perfection. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen him really walk around in the sand and play in the ocean. DS, on the other hand, loves to play in the ocean waves, but getting sand on his skin is a little more than his sensory processing impaired brain can really stand. We tend to be pretty much ok, as long as we can keep running into the water, but when it’s time to get something to eat or head back home, that’s when the obsessive sand cleaning process begins. Ever try to take a kid off the beach without a grain of sand on his feet? It’s pretty much impossible. At any rate, I knew he’d be ok once we got into the ocean to play, so I quickly began the hunt for home base.

As we walked around the beach area near the Pelican Plunge, I heard my name from the crowd. I looked around and quickly spotted Staley98 and crew on a couple of prime umbrella covered loungers just a few rows back from the shore line! “How was the 5k?” I called to her, happy that she was able to score such a good location in reward for her dedication to fitness.
“It was great!” she called back. She added, “I just saw some available loungers under an orange umbrella a few rows back. If you hurry, they might still be there!” Much love to Staley98! We found the two loungers and one beach chair to which she referred.

We set up our stuff, and DS ran out to check out the Pelican Plunge.



I checked my watch, and it was 11:10. I didn’t want to miss my date with Captain Jack, so I grabbed my camera and ran back to the tram stop. Happily, when I arrived, he was still there and there was no line. The CM playing him was not quite the lookalike I remembered from our last visit, but he was well in character and certainly easy on the eyes. I handed one of the CM’s my camera and approached the captain. He took a moment to admire my Pandora bling…



…then assumed an appropriate pose.



I thanked him and ran back off to the boys.

DS was still happy in the water, so I grabbed our DU insulated cups and ran over to Cookie’s to fill them up with some beverages. When I returned, DS came running up to me begging for a restroom visit. We trudged quickly over to the facilities and decided to rent a tube on our way back.

We played with the tube in the water for about a half an hour before I started thinking about food.



DS was not hungry and was still having fun in the water. I knew removing him from his happy place would be courting disaster, so we decided to eat in shifts. I told DH to go first, since he hadn’t had any breakfast, so he ran off to check out the offerings while I continued to play with DS in the water. He was happy to hang out in the tube with me acting as the motor to his boat, clinging to the back of the tube and kicking to propel us around the swimming area. I was thinking about a Konch Kooler, but knowing that I would only indulge in one, I waited to time it just right, maybe after I had my lunch. The only fly in the ointment at this point was the occasional reminder of sea lice. It didn’t seem to be an infestation, but they were definitely there and announced themselves periodically with a mild but unpleasant stinging sensation on our legs. They weren’t persistant enough to drive DS from the water, but definitely present enough to elicit complaints.



After a while, DH returned from lunch, and came out into the ocean to spell me.



I ran over to Cookies and found myself in a very short line. I quickly worked my way through the buffet and helped myself to a little chicken, some ribs, corn on the cob, and a couple of other side dishes, all quite agreeable. I was able to find a seat at the end of one of the long picnic tables which didn’t seem to be too overcrowded, considering it was prime lunch time. I finished up and grabbed a small soft serve cone for the walk back to our spot.

When I returned to our loungers, the boys were there out of the water. DH was admirably completing the meticulous process of wiping each individual grain of sand off of DS’s feet as he informed me, “Joel is ready to go back to the ship.”
“Really?” I asked. I had hoped to do some snorkeling and enjoy the aforementioned frozen drink, but after ten years of vacationing with a special needs child, I’ve learned to be flexible. “Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yeah,” DS replied. “But can we wash my feet first?"
DH rolled his eyes. “Your feet are pretty clean, buddy. I told you, I don’t think washing them is going to help much.” But DS was insistent, so DH decided to make it a learning experience, and off they went to the foot wash. Off course, this also meant trudging back through the sand AFTER the foot wash, so when they returned to me, DS was not too happy.
As he grimaced and swiped at his slightly muddy feet, I said, “Let’s go back to the room, and you can take a shower.”

It wasn’t too long a wait for the tram, and before we knew it, we were back to the Scuttle’s Cove tram stop. As we approached the ship, we saw a welcome sight rising out of the cleanly paved docking area: a foot wash station! I took DS over, and he bathed his sandy feet and flip flops and placed the shoes carefully back on. We then walked comfortably back onto the ship. We had plenty of time to hop in the shower and catch the 3:15 screening of Monsters University.

After the movie, we dropped DS off for one last visit to the OL while DH and I had some alone time. I filled out the tip envelopes and slipped a little extra cash in each for our servers and stateroom host. We’d really received wonderful service all around. Then we picked DS back up and headed out for our last dinner onboard.

I was happy to have our final dinner at Animator’s Palate for the Animation Magic dinner show. DS is a very enthusiastic artist and approached the task of creating a character with gusto. He made a sort of lizard-like monster.



I created a cartoon version of myself, and DH, disregarding the instructions not to include any words on your image, made a character from some hysterical stories he and DS make up with the words “Schmucks Inc.” emblazoned on his shirt.



I warned him that the word is not considered an innocent insult to anyone of Jewish heritage, but he turned it in, and the AP folks declined to animate it. Anyway, DS’s and my characters appeared onscreen several times, dancing and cavorting happily.



Having waited so long to finish these final installments, I’m a bit hazy on some of the details, like what I had for the last dinner. The Navigator says it was the “Sea Ya Real Soon” menu, but the only version of that menu I can find online is from 2012 and doesn’t look like the offerings we had. I do remember that the choices were extremely limited, but our service was stellar, as usual, and I enjoyed presenting Marijan and Allwyn with their tip envelopes with a little extra something for their role in making it a magical time.

The rest of the evening was a blur of packing, strolling the ship, the boys making one last visit to the Arrrcade, and my visiting Shutters to make sure that my images with Captain Jack taken at Castaway Cay that morning were included on our photo disc (a helpful tip: the facial recognition software doesn’t always work very well if you’re wearing a big pair of sunglasses!). Our final towel animal:



Next Up: Disembarkation, LEGOland, and the journey home
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156

Last edited by bobbi565; 01-07-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:02 PM   #71
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I'm still here and reading along...

We actually sailed the Fantasy since you last updated and we thought it was AMAZING. Seriously, it was our best vacation ever. We can't wait to do it again!

I enjoyed your Castaway Cay pictures. It looks like you had a great day weather-wise!

Can't wait to hear about the last few hours.
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, DH ~ , Me ~ , DS (8) ~ , DS (8)

Upcoming Trips:
Beach Club ~ June 27-June 30, 2015/Polynesian Village ~ June 30-July 6, 2015
Disney Fantasy: 7-night Western ~ November 28-December 5, 2015
Past Trips:
* Polynesian ~ August, 2014 *
* Disney Fantasy: 7-night Eastern ~ November/December, 2013 * Disney Magic: 2-night Cruise ~ August, 2012 * Beach Club Villas ~ June, 2012 * Wilderness Lodge ~ November/December, 2010 * POP/CBR ~ May, 2009 * Wilderness Lodge ~ November, 2004 * Dixie Landings ~ April, 1996 * CBR ~ June, 1991 * Fort Wilderness ~ June, 1984 *
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:44 AM   #72
PixieDustandEeyore
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Loving your report
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:59 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disny_luvr View Post
I'm still here and reading along...

We actually sailed the Fantasy since you last updated and we thought it was AMAZING. Seriously, it was our best vacation ever. We can't wait to do it again!

I enjoyed your Castaway Cay pictures. It looks like you had a great day weather-wise!

Can't wait to hear about the last few hours.
Thanks! I'll try to get the last post up soon. It will include a review of LEGOland! I hope you're writing a trippie too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieDustandEeyore View Post
Loving your report
Glad you're still with me!
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:48 AM   #74
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Ok, you guys! Spring break is in two weeks! It's pretty lame that I've got one final installment to go (that happens to be half written), and this trippie still has no ending. I'm making a public promise to post the last part before the end of my spring break, that way it's harder for me to slack. Hold my feet to the fire, friends, if I fail to follow through! You want to hear all about the fabulous LEGOLAND Orlando, don't you?
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:25 AM   #75
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Disembarkation, LEGOland, and the journey home

The time I had been dreading had come at last; it was disembarkation day. Such a feeling of melancholy sweeps over me when a Disney Cruise vacation ends. Even more than leaving WDW, when I’m usually exhausted and almost ready to go home, leaving the luxury and pampering of a DCL vacation sends me into a bit of a funk. Oh well, at least, since we had rebooked onboard, I could start dreaming about our next cruise! I decided to start the morning in my usual solitary way, walking the upper decks, snapping some shots, and waiting for breakfast time. I got a few more nice details of the ship lit up in the dark and saw us pulling into Port Canaveral.






I always go to have breakfast at Cabanas on disembarkation day instead of our assigned MDR since my boys don’t get up to have breakfast, and you are ushered from the MDR directly to disembark without being allowed to return to your stateroom. I learned this the hard way on our first DCL cruise, when I had to squeeze through the ropes blocking off the hall back to the elevators and my stateroom after breakfast. After eating, I packed up one last plate of croissants to bring back for DS’s breakfast and a cup of OJ for DH and headed back for the elevator. Our plan was to disembark and head straight over to Legoland for one last day of fun before heading back to our trusty Jacksonville Best Western.

By around 8:30, the boys were up and dressed. We gave the room one last going over, checking all the drawers (we left some shirts and ties in a drawer on the Magic last time and never got them back ), grabbed our carry ons, and left the room. We walked off the ship quickly and easily and found our luggage in our assigned section right away. There were plenty of porters around, and one approached shortly and asked if we needed assistance. He took our bags, walked us through customs, and then accompanied us to our car in the parking structure. The car was well shaded and comfortable, and we started right up and headed out to Legoland!

We arrived at Legoland right at about opening time. Parking is $14, but for $20 you can get preferred parking, which is right by the gate. Buying tickets in advance can usually get you some good savings. AAA (if you’re a member) and Undercover Tourist usually offer good discounts, and if you’re doing two days (which we were not this trip), a two day pass is a sizeable savings. There is NO discount on adding on the waterpark in advance, so we just play it by ear and purchase those tickets right at the waterpark entrance if we decide to go. With only one day at the park, we chose to forgo the waterpark this day.



Our first stop was The Big Shop, an enormous gift shop right inside the entrance of the park. We followed that up with the Factory Tour which shows how LEGOs are made, then Islands in the Sky, and the Big Carousel.







We were excited to visit Miniland again because the park had been advertising its new Star Wars section. It did not disappoint! Of course, DS is an avid Star Wars hater, so I couldn’t resist snapping this shot of him. I think it’s one of my favorites of the whole trip!



He was much more enthusiastic to meet this guy, Stormer of the Hero Factory team:



We encountered him at the Imagination Zone where one of DS’s favorite attractions can be found, the Hero Factory. It’s just a big room with a counter circling the perimeter covered with Hero Factory parts. Kids can sit and create their own Hero Factory creations. It’s actually nice to take a break in an air condidtioned room for a while. There are a couple of TV monitors on the wall as well showing Hero Factory episodes.





Next we went to the Game Zone for a video game break, then hit the Build & Test center where you “sign out” a set of wheels (to be returned before you exit the center) and use them to build a race car that you can test on a variety of racing ramps around the room. There’s also a shake table station where young engineers can test the structural integrity of their LEGO buildings.








Two of the more popular attractions at Legoland are the Ford Driving School and Boating School. Driving School is particularly fun. Kids watch a training video and are then set loose on a driving course to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Driving School is for kids 6 – 13, but there’s a small track nearby for 3 – 5 yo’s.



The Boating School is just a little lagoon where you steer a boat around a track. It’s cute, and there are some water spraying elements around the track to cool you off.



Another fun aspect of Legoland is minifigure trading. Like pin trading at Disney properties, guests can bring minifigures to the park which they’d like to trade and ask “model citizens” (Legoland’s name for “cast members”) to trade with them. Many MC’s will be displaying minifigs on their name badges, but make sure to ask if they have any more, and they’ll usually pull out a stash from somewhere. Be assertive as some of the MC’s at Legoland are bigger LEGO geeks than my DS and are loathe to part with certain figures. Like with the Disney pins, I found a bulk order of random minifigs on ebay for a very reasonable price that DS used for trading.



As the evening rolled in, we began the first leg of the journey home. We just drove a little over two hours back to the Best Western and made the bulk of the trip back home the next day with our usual lunch stop at South of the Border. And with that, my friends, our Fantasy vacation comes to an end. It was definitely all we’d anticipated, and we personally preferred the bigger ship to the classics, although any cruise on DCL is a great cruise! We’ll be back on the Fantasy next June to do another Western itinerary, and I’m already counting the days!
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Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1726945 June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post48933156
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