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Old 03-21-2014, 09:31 AM   #31
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I don't but when you see the shopping map it's the huge below the shopping area.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:40 PM   #32
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Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:33 AM   #33
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Wednesday February 12th - St.Thomas

We woke up at 7am, the kids were so excited they bounced out of bed. We went up to Cabana's for breakfast and then loaded everyone up with sunscreen, it was at this point I had to grab a 3rd can of sunscreen since we were going through it like crazy. I love the coppertone spray on, gets you everywhere. We had to meet our excursion group for the Sea Blaster in D-Lounge, we were the last group to leave since we didn't need to take a bus to get on our boat. A short walk down the pier and we got right on board, you couldn't beat the location.

We got off the ship about 8:15 and were down the pier and on the excursion boat by 8:30, they passed out masks, flippers, gave us "high tech dry bags" for our stuff aka, garbage bags and off we went. Lots of people got wet, so my advice is to wear your mask so you don't get salt water in your eyes, it's not too pleasant, so look funny and wear them. We arrived at Turtle Cove, and while they took a few minutes to explain how to use the gear, we spotted turtles coming up for air. Then it was time to jump in, we saw lots of turtles - took the kids a bit of time to get used to the gear but they had a blast.







After about 45 minutes we got back onto the boat and moved to our 2nd location to snorkel near great st.james island. Another quick, wet ride but this time most people didn't care because we were already wet. This time we got to see coral reef, stingray's, turtles, various fish, eels, sea urchins - lots to look at. We were there for about 45mins again, and then got out of the water, rinsed off with their showers on the back of the boat and then had a few cups of rum punch. The 'problem' was they made enough punch for 130 people and only 84 were on board, so we had to drink up, they had juice for the non-drinkers and kids. We didn't take many photos in the water but Gary got a ton of cool video on his GoPro camera!






We were back to port just after 12pm, which for us was perfect. We took the kids back on the ship, instructing our oldest to feed the kids lunch and take them to the club - and then we headed to the shopping area right beside the port.

The shopping in St Thomas was decent, I didn't want to stray too far from the kiddos so we stuck close to port and shopped for souvenirs. I found a nice ring, cover up, keychains for friends but didn't get to the cigar shop, why? It was closed sign said "be back in 5 island minutes" the lights never went on in the store I saw lots of people walking around with Senor Frog's frozen drinks but didn't get all the way down to the end to partake in the fun. We got back on board about 2pm, headed to grab some burgers and wraps for a late lunch and then grabbed some drinks from the bar. We picked the kids up from the club and took them to swim for a little while as the pools weren't too busy and the aquaduck had a smaller line. Cars was playing on funnel vision and we love this movie, so it was fun to watch it while they were swimming.

It wasn't long before I felt the engines start up so we walked up to deck 13 to watch us sail away before heading down for showers before dinner.









Tonight we ate in Royal Court, Prince and Princess menu which is Lauren's fave because she loves turkey. We had the steak and Kevin the turbot which he said was fantastic - the seabass from earlier this week remained his top fave though.





After dinner we went up onto the pool deck to walk off some of our dinner, we had planned to take all four kiddos to go see Buckets and Boards but the oldest two decided to go swimming with some friends and Dylan wanted to go to the club so it was a date with Lauren only. She was so tired from our big day that she barely stayed awake, so after the show we rounded up the boys, dropped them all off in the room and once the younger two fell asleep we left them with Kevin who was doing some homework. Lauren passed out in no time -



We decided to go up to the tube for a bit to have some beverages, watched the scoring of 80's music challenge and then went up to sit outside of Meridian for a while. It really was one of our fave places on the ship. We got back to our room about the same time Ryan was rolling in from edge karaoke

Up next, Valentine's crafts for everyone...
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:27 PM   #35
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What a nice St. Thomas day!!
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:28 PM   #36
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I love reading about your experiences! We will be taking our third cruise in July 2015, which is identical to this one...too long to wait!! I have a few questions for you. 1. What were the names of the cities you ported in at St. Maarten and in St. Thomas? 2. We will have my husband's 83 year old grandmother with us, is it a long distance to walk from the ports to shopping and/or excursions? Thanks! Can't wait to see more of your trip!
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:26 AM   #37
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I love reading about your experiences! We will be taking our third cruise in July 2015, which is identical to this one...too long to wait!! I have a few questions for you. 1. What were the names of the cities you ported in at St. Maarten and in St. Thomas? 2. We will have my husband's 83 year old grandmother with us, is it a long distance to walk from the ports to shopping and/or excursions? Thanks! Can't wait to see more of your trip!
Thanks!! You will love it

In St Maarten, we were at AC Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facilities - this one is about a 20min walk at least to downtown. There is a small shopping area right near port but the decent area for deals is downtown. You'd want a taxi for sure.

In St Thomas, we were right beside Havensight Mall, this area is very walkable, lots of shopping, we liked it a lot there and was back on board 5 minutes after deciding to head back to the ship.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #38
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Thursday February 13th - Day at Sea

Thursday February 13th - Day at Sea

I was very excited about our last sea day, I love having lazy mornings on the ship with coffee and breakfast but today was going to be different because we were going to Palo brunch! Took the kiddos up to Cabana's for breakfast while I snacked on some fruit. Like most other mornings they wore their bathing suits so once food was done, they got some sunscreen on and headed for the pools and aquaduck.





They only got about 45 mins to swim before I dropped Dylan and Lauren off at the Lab so I could go get ready with a promise we'd return to get them right after Palo. Our reservation was for 10:30am and we loved being in an aft room because it took us all of 2 minutes to get from our room to deck 13. They weren't quite ready for us so we went into meridian to wait for a few minutes until they came to get us. I had requested a window seat but since they were pretty busy that morning and all they had were 6+ table seating by the window, we took a booth seat. I know everyone loves Palo, and the food was fantastic, as was the service but I don't think we would go again. I'm pretty easy to please, so I think a breakfast in one of the regular restaurants would be fine for us. I did take a large plate of chocolate covered strawberries back to the room for us to snack on - that was my special Valentine's day treat.











After brunch, we went to pick up the kiddos for lunch, they had chicken and pizza before heading back into the super crowded pools again. Lauren had requested to go do Valentine's day crafts in La Piazza so we went to do that while the boys hung out and rode the aquaduck. Once crafts were done, we got back into our bathing suits and headed up to deck 12 where we met up with our friends and the boys, who were not letting us down and continuing to eat their body weight in ice cream. We had brought up all our sundae toppings, soooo yummy! I set up camp, just in time for the server to come around with happy hour 2 for 1 drinks - talk about awesome timing. We made a few trips downstairs to grab some food to snack on, we needed something to soak up the liquor







I'm not sure if it was all the fun we were having, but suddenly the sky was very dark, sun had disappeared and before we knew it - the skies opened up. There was a mad rush of people heading down to deck 11 under some form of shelter, we thought of it as a sign to sober up and get ready for dinner.

Tonight would be our "show" night in Animators Palette, I had Fettuccine with Parmesan-Crusted Chicken and Warm Chocolate Lava Cake which I loved on our last cruise. Kevin tried the lobster tail but didn't love it, so he had something else - I was still proud of him trying it. The show was super cute, the kids really loved it and crush spoke to Ryan, who out of all our kids is the quietest and most reserved.















I tried to get the kids to go see the show after dinner, but they wanted to swim of course. So tonight I decided to hit up the aquaduck with them. There was no line up because of course everyone was either at the show, or having dinner still.

After swimming, the bigger boys took off for their club with a promise to return at 10:30 so we could go see the adult version of Buckets & Boards which didn't disappoint. We all had showers, got the two younger ones into bed and they crashed very quickly. Once the boys came back and got started on homework, we took off for some adult time. The show was really funny, we really enjoyed them this cruise. After that, we headed to the Tube for some drinks with our friends - kind of our last chance to have late night fun because Friday night would be packing After quite a few drinks and dancing, we went up to Meridian, it's so beautiful and quiet up there. Once in a while you'd spot lights from an island or another ship but it's so cool to be the only ones out there in a gigantic ocean.

Up next, Castaway Cay and the big surprise!!
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:14 PM   #39
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Your daughter has such beautiful eyes! Love that your older boys were doing homework. You are a tough mom!
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:42 PM   #40
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Your daughter has such beautiful eyes! Love that your older boys were doing homework. You are a tough mom!
Thank you My boys are in grade 9 and 7, here in Ontario Grade 9 is the first year of high school so he had no choice but to keep up
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #41
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What a lovely day in St Thomas

We had beautiful weather that week
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:46 AM   #42
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More please....

I have to live through you until they finallllly release the fall 2015. Come on Disney, you are killing me. At this rate I will only have about 1 year before my cruise date. Probably is my dummy booking is coming....
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:46 PM   #43
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Working on it
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:13 PM   #44
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Friday February 14th - Castaway Cay day!

This is the most anticipated day for us, we love spending time on Castaway Cay! We got up around 8am, got dressed and headed to Cabana's. Once we got the kids settled eating, we took off upstairs for Meridian to see the island and take some photos - it was pretty busy out there already with others wanting a peek of the island.



Just as we started to head downstairs they announced that we could head to the beach - so we hustled to get back to the kids. We were smart this time around and brought an extra beach bag just to carry towels in, much easier than trying to juggle them on the way to the beach. We ended up walking over (much to the kids whining!) to where the slide is and set up shop for the day. Just wanted to point out we're family of six, we grabbed two loungers - that's it! No need to have one each for the amount of time the kids will be in them. We ended up sitting right near our friends and also our 'new' cruise group friends too. The kids instantly took off for the slide, the younger two putting on life jackets to be safe. They can swim but I know sometimes they get disoriented coming off the slide, we had told them before the cruise so they had no issue with safety first. I realized I was starving and started the countdown to 11am when cookies too opened for lunch.



Our bartender came around for his first of many visits - we ordered a konk cooler and a tropical depression to start - both were yummy and we were sure to remind him to come back often especially during happy hour. I went over and rented the kids a floatie, they loved being able to switch between that and the inner tube for playing in the ocean. DH went and grabbed snorkel equipment and was gone the rest of the morning.



Just after 11 I grabbed more beverages, myself, the kids and walked over to Cookies Too for lunch, there was no line up and the selection was great. As you can tell with our report, we're not a picky family - so a burger, ribs and salad was perfect island food for us. By the time we got back to our chairs, DH had finished snorkeling and he was starving so I held down the fort while he brought back lunch. Kevin decided to go try out the snorkeling area, while the 3 smaller ones swam and took turns grabbing drinks and ice cream.



By the time Kevin came back, I was ready to get into the water - so off I went over to snorkel for a bit as well. It took a few minutes of swimming before the water became clear but I saw tons of fish, a small stingray (I just swam near a large group of people pointing) and all the fun 'buried treasure' I wish I had brought an underwater camera, we had tons of video from DH's GoPro but no still photos After swimming, I called the kids over to sunscreen them all up again and to take a walk for ice cream. I miss the food so much! Around 2pm, happy hour started and we were the recipients of many drinks - cheers to Castaway Cay. About 3pm we started our long walk back to the ship, more like the sad walk because we knew this was the last time we'd be getting ON the ship.





DH took the kids to the pool to swim, while I began packing up. I had used the bottom of one closet for dirty laundry so it didn't take too much time to get things organized. What I had to keep in mind, was that we had our bonus day at Disney tomorrow and then flying home to snow on Sunday so I had to pack strategically. By the time they came down at 5pm to get cleaned up, I was packed and had their clothes for the evening all laid out. We waited until the kids were all showered (we LOVED having the two showers, such a time saver) and surprised them with the news we would be spending tomorrow at Magic Kingdom - it was their first visit. The three boys were thrilled, DD burst into happy tears which made *some* of us cry too. I wish I had filmed it, she collapsed to the floor with excitement.

Kiddos last dinner


Our last dinner was at Enchanted Garden, of course bittersweet because we had to say goodbye. I can't remember what we had to eat but Kevin had the red snapper - loved it. After dinner we all got changed into our suits and swam for a good long time. The air tonight was a little bit chillier but we ignored it soaking up the last hours of warmth

We crawled into bed just after midnight, probably the earliest we had all week. Up next - day at Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary Hotel
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