|07-19-2004, 07:20 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Highlights of our July 10 - 17 Eastern cruise
DH, DD (15) and I just returned from our “Magical” Eastern cruise. (July 10 – 17) We had an amazing time and can’t wait to return. Unfortunately we can’t rebook just yet, but maybe in another few years… This was our 5th cruise but our 1st on DCL. We decided that we would only sail on DCL from now on. DH was not looking forward to this trip and was pleasantly surprised. He had an awesome time!
We had a category 8 stateroom with a large porthole on deck 5 forward on the starboard side, (5508) and the location was perfect for us. Orlando was our cabin steward and he was great! He called us all by name and made awesome towel animals. The room was always in perfect shape. We spent most of our time on the deck 4 lounge chairs which were wonderful. It was shady and quiet and we fell asleep for a few hours each afternoon. Don’t miss this deck!
Since we spent most of our time in these wonderful lounge chairs, we missed most of the daytime activities. I highlighted everything I wanted to do, but missed everything because I was too relaxed to move. DH and I haven’t been this relaxed in years! It was heavenly.
We went to all the shows at 6:30 since we had late seating and changed for dinner after the show on most nights. We had plenty of time. The shows were terrific. Disney has the most talented cast on the sea! Our evenings were spent in Sessions listening to Daryl Lockhart play the piano and sing. He was fabulous! We enjoyed every minute in Sessions. Kadir from Turkey was a hoot! He loves to play the harmonica.
DD (15) made so many wonderful friends that she plans to keep in touch with. She went to the Stack a few times, but she and her friends mostly hung out and talked. She came back to the stateroom by 2 AM each night (morning!!!) and 3 AM the last night. I was worried at first since this is so unusual for her, but activities at the Stack ended at 2 AM and she was having such a great time that I hated to have her miss out on the fun. I waited up for her each night, which was exhausting for me, but she was thrilled to have the freedom. I made her check in a few times each day and have dinner with us every night, but we didn’t see her most of the time. She did go on excursions with us in St. Maarten and St. Thomas. At Castaway Cay she stayed with her friends. She told us this was the best vacation she ever took and was not ready to leave.
We had the LAPLAPL rotation which was fine. Our servers were Sanjeev & Cornwall, and they were wonderful. We did get the “excellent” speech a number of times, but we were expecting it since I read about it on these boards. The food was much better than we expected, especially the desserts! I booked Palo for the second night at Animator’s Palate and that worked out great. We enjoyed the service, and the food for the most part was fabulous. Our server was Louise and she was terrific. We were a bit disappointed in the filet mignon though. So many people recommended that we order it that we had very high expectations. It was good, but we’ve had better. It wasn’t buttery soft and both were overcooked. The appetizers and desserts were wonderful, especially the chocolate soufflé – it was amazing!!! I didn’t have to wait on line for ressies which was a surprise. I also got my first choice seating time. We boarded about 12:45 and there were no lines for ressies anywhere. I also got my first choice for a cabana massage on Castaway Cay.
On St. Maarten, DH did the 12 Metre Regatta and had an awesome time. He would highly recommend this excursion. DD and I went to Orient Beach with Pam & Alana whom we met on these boards. Alana is 7 and she and Amy played on the beach much of the time. We decided to take a cab to the beach which cost $6 each. The driver arranged to pick us up at 2:15 to bring us shopping and he was right on time! We rented chairs & umbrella’s at Pirates which was also $6 each and included a drink. We had lunch at Pirates and the food was wonderful. Pam & Amy rented all day snorkeling gear for $10 each on the beach and they had a great time. There were quite a few nude people strolling along the beach, most of them elderly. Alana ignored them, but Amy got a chuckle each time one passed by. The beach is beautiful and if you go to the side where the DCL excursion drops off, I think there are fewer nude people. It was very quiet on the side we were on. It rained a few times for about 15 minutes and we ran up to Pirates for shelter under their awning. It wasn’t a problem.
I was not impressed with the shopping in Phillipsburg. We couldn’t walk a few yards without being stopped for hair braiding. It was very annoying. It was also incredibly hot and Amy was losing patience with shopping. I didn’t see many great deals. I ended up getting a better deal on earrings on the ship.
On St. Thomas, DH & DD took the kayak excursion and had a great time. DD snorkeled for a while also. I took the St. John tour which was wonderful. It is a beautiful island and we stopped often to take pictures. DH, DD & I met for lunch at Lumiere’s at 1:00 and then went shopping by the dock. Again, no great deals were found.
Castaway Cay was nice, but HOT! It also rained a few times, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Serenity Bay was not great, except for my cabana massage, which was amazing! DH didn’t like the fact that he had to walk over 100 yards before the water reached his knees. There was also no breeze. It was much nicer at the end of the family beach. There was a breeze and plenty of lounge chairs. We didn’t take any excursions, but DH was sorry he didn’t rent a sailboat. The lunch at Cookies was good, but the lines were long at 12:30 so we waited until 1:30 to eat.
We received many great tips from these boards – thanks to everyone for their help. The best ones were the over the door shoe holder for small items and toiletries; deodorizer for the bathroom is a must; a nightlight for the bathroom is helpful; the power strip for electronics was a great idea, as was the blow dryer. I should have listened to all the veterans about taking fewer clothes – I always over pack! We had a whole suitcase full of clean clothes to take home. The walkie talkies were not necessary for us. There were so many people using them that we had to change stations all the time. After the first day, we put them away.
If anyone has questions, please feel free to pm me.
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