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Old 08-12-2006, 08:25 PM   #1
MrsJobba1
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Talking My Trip Report - an alien’s perspective (29:7:06 to 5: 8:06 Western)photos included!

Oh well if it time to write my trip report it must mean I’m back home and my holiday is over (boo hoo)!

There was just the two of us, Dh (Dave) and myself, and we travelled from a little old place called England – (you might have heard of it recently in the news, well that’s another story)

Pre cruise

We left home on Wednesday (26th July) afternoon to travel the 4 or so hours to the airport. We stopped overnight as we had to check in @7am. Everything went to plan we arrived @ the hotel to find it was really nice ( surprising us, as it was cheap) and we were booked on the 6:45 shuttle to the terminal.

Now this was not our first trip across the pond, more like our 7th (We are proud DVCmembers) and in the seven years we have never had this happen – we took off on time and landed an Hour EARLY !!!
I knew it was going to be a brilliant holiday there and then!
(Thanks Tif – I think it must have been the Pixie Dust)

We had booked a towncar (FLtours) to pick us up and take us to SSR. When we walked out of the airport sure enough they were there waiting for us. (We had really good service from them again this year).

I was buzzing with excitement as I sat on the plush leather seats.

We arrived @ SSR and Osman showed us the itinerary he had for us. I was quick to realise that instead of our pickup time of 9am that I had booked, he said he was going to pick us up @ 11am. Oh no, I corrected him and he said I would have to confirm any changes with the office and gave the number. (HMmmmm Dh said that he thought Osman wanted a lie in on Sat). As soon as I had checked in SSR I phoned FLtours and stated that I had requested to be picked up @ 9am as I was meeting friends at the terminal @ 10am (Well I was kind of They said not to worry and that a car would be there for us @ 9am.

We spent the rest of Thursday & Friday just chilling out by the pool and walking to DTD after our long Journey ( aside - It does make me laugh when I read the boards and the threads regarding the transatlantic flights for the med cruises and when people debate how they will be! As I said before this is our 7th visit across the water and it certainly won’t be our last. But I must admit I’m looking forward to the magic coming to me next year!)
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:32 PM   #2
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Talking Embarkation day !!!

Saturday 29th July – Embarkation Day

It was finally here – after 8 months of planning the day had arrived. I was awake really early – ok I admit it, I hardly slept. Dh had a coffee but I couldn’t eat a thing I was so excited. Just picture the Cheshire Cat from Alice yep that was me!

We hadn’t unpacked our cases so it was easy to gather our things together and head out to the front to see if FLtours had sent the car –
Phew 8:50 am the car was there and we were away. You know when you go over a bump in the road quickly and you get that butterfly feeling in your tummy – well I had that all the way to the port. The roads were quite clear – Phew and in know time at all I saw her …


By this time I was uncontrollable and into my giggling phase.
We pulled up at the port curb side around 9:50am and walked straight into the terminal. I was shaking as I went up the escalator and Dave really thought I’d lost it when the guy at the top gave me a piece of card and I jumped up and down. This was what the guy had given me….

Boarding card number 2 !!!!!

All the counters were empty as we were so early (yes!) A couple of CM’s came out and said the desks would be opening @ 10:30 and they checked over our paperwork. I decided to get Dave to take a photo of me being the 1st alien in the cue and it was at that time Tif came over and asked if I was me (MrsJobba) – It was great seeing her.



It didn’t take long for the desks to open and I was the first alien to check in!
Dave then wanted another coffee and as we were going to the counter we met Flo. We also met Carla and her girls in the terminal. About 11:20 cast members came out from ‘the ears’ and I was right up close to the line. Concierge was let in then guess who was the first of the rest …. Yes you’ve guessed ME!

Now Dh and I don’t like getting our photos taken very much so as the concierge was in line to get there embarkation photos taken dh and I excused ourselves passed them onto the ship!!!

After hearing our names and being welcomed onto the ship (I had tears at this point) they tried to direct us to PC for lunch. However I sent DH to Guest services to get the tickets for the galley tour (Thursday) whilst I went up to the spa and booked the frangini (sp?) scalp massage & Blow dry for Monday afternoon. ( I already had a ped& Manicure booked on line). I was the first in the Spa to make reservations.
This is the empty adult pool !

I had arranged to meet up with Dave outside topsiders so that we could go there for our lunch. On past cruises we have always used DCL Transfers and by the time we got to the ship around 1:30pm lunch was always really busy. Well again we were first in topsiders.

(Most guests must have followed the advice given on boarding and went to PC). When we walked in, we were able to go up and down the buffet line to see exactly what we wanted (a number of times) as we were the only ones there. We also had the pick of the seating. This was a dream come true start!
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:34 PM   #3
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Talking Embarkation day continued ...

After lunch we met Tif and Family by the pool and chatted a while, we then went down to our stateroom as it was 1:30 and I knew they would be ready and I wanted to see if Dave’s Gift Basket was there!

Sure enough when we walked in to the room we had a number of different gifts. We had booked the REAs package so we had that basket but Shirley had a done a special one for Dave. The card read “ Dear Dave, I survived the Disney amnesty xx”


I unpacked the carryon bags and got the things ready for the dismeet. We headed down to the promenade lounge around 2:45. Flo was already there with her sign. It was so nice meeting everyone. I really cannot stress how much the fellow ‘dis’ers made our holiday so special. The gifts were lovely and really appreciated.


It was sad to break up the party but we needed to get our life jackets for the drill. That happened really quickly and the new life jackets are so much better than the old ones.

When we got back to our room after the drill our cases had arrived – so I spent time unpacking. I also put all of DH shirts( Except 1), a couple of pairs of trousers ( I couldn’t bear to write pants because to me there knickers lol) and a blouse in the laundry bag to be pressed and also Dh suit to be dry cleaned. And left it on the bed for Nick (stateroom host) to sort out later.

We than headed up to deck 10 for the sail away – Thanks for posting our picture Andy!

We had linked reservations with 2 other fellow disers and we had 8:15 rotation. Conrad and Sudhir were our servers. There was 10 of us on the table and it was so special sharing our meals with Carla, Valerie and there families. We had table number 56 and it seemed to be right in the middle of all the dining rooms and we had a great view of everything around us!

I lasted till about 11pm before I finally passed out with exhaustion. My adrenalin had finally run out. We had a towel elephant and I my head was on the pillow for only a short time before I was sound asleep!!



To be continued .....
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:44 PM   #4
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Great job so far Helen! Can't wait to read more about how your trip went. Wish we all had more time to get to know each other.

Aloha,
Jen
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time to share your memories. The pictures are wonderful.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:55 PM   #6
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Come on now Helen dont leave us hanging....looking forward to reading more.

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Old 08-13-2006, 09:23 AM   #7
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Hi!

Love your trip report so far

Is that a white monkey on top of the yellow bag you ordered from Shirley for your DH ? It's cute !! I'm trying to come up with some ideas for Shirley for my DH and family.

Waiting for more
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Helen.....great start.....love the pics.....but we need more and fast.....as I leave this Thursday for our August 19th Double Dip Cruise!!!!!
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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Helen, great trip report. It was great meeeting everyone and putting faces with the screen names.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:25 AM   #10
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Talking Key West - & Running Scared!

Sunday 30th July – Key West

One of the benefits of having a cat 10 inside room is that it gets very dark; as a result I woke up and had absolutely no idea of the time. Fortunately I had my watch on the bedside and used the light to see that it was actually around 8:30! I also had placed my highlighter on the bedside table and proceeded to high light my navigator. (I must say at this point I really don’t like the new navigator and said so on my feedback sheet at the end of the cruise).

After getting dressed Dh and myself wandered to topsiders for breakfast. I really enjoyed the fresh fruit but I did allow myself one treat 2 Mickey waffles with the sugar free syrup. Yum! (I did try to be good well at least until Monday was out of the way and I could get into my dress for formal night). I had been looking forward to the Mickey waffles though – something we don’t have in the UK. (Our waffles are made from potato and are savoury). Whilst I am on about differences in food – I must say the sausages have improved since our last cruise. I don’t mean to sound funny, but they were more like our sausages back home, quite big a meaty – not the ones the size of my little finger!

Anyway after breakfast I wanted to attend the Disney art of entertainment for adults in Studio Sea. I thought it had started @ 10am so about five minutes before hand I went down to find no one there?? Ok I admit I had read the navigator wrong – it started @ 10:15. It looked like the demonstration was going to feature a red pepper, as that was set up ready. Now I am not keen on red peppers so I decided not to wait around and instead I wandered to the DVC Member Celebration (Which did start @ 10am!!!)
I walked in and the place was really full. I must admit I am quite shy – (must be the alien in me) and so I found a seat @ the back and I sat by myself.

On the way in we were asked to fill in our names, where we were from and our room numbers. I thought it must have been for a raffle or something like that so I filled it in. Well the member celebration turned out to be a trivia quiz. And to my horror they were pulling names out and then asking them questions!! The people who were near me complained they couldn’t hear what was going on and promptly got up and moved so I was right by myself. I spent the next 40 mins or so praying that my name wouldn’t be pulled from the hat!!! I was lucky and it didn’t.

If the navigator had said DVC member quiz I wouldn’t have gone, especially by myself. (At least I got a set of 4 DVC member caps, which might shortly be appearing on eBay wink wink )

After that I headed back to the room to meet up with DH (who had been to the fitness room) and then we went up to Deck 10 to chill out, read and watch our arrival into Key West.

As I have back problems we did not book any excursions as we did not know how I would be on the day.

Now back in the 80’s one of our favourite films was ‘Running Scared’! In this film Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal are cops who leave Chicago and go to Key West – they watch the sunset from Mallory Square etc... Dh & myself have consequently always wanted to go there (sad I know). We were a little disappointed when we found out that we had to be back on the ship at 7:30 – so we decided before we left home, that in the pm we would just have a wander around Key West (find Mallory Square) and then miss our dinner (8:15) and instead eat @ topsiders so we could see the sunset. We had told our servers and dinner guests the day before not to expect us.

We had a lovely afternoon wandering around – I did however forget my map and tried to remember the one on the passporter page. However no matter where we looked we could not find Mallory Square. We did see lots of other great things, had a couple of drinks, visited Hard Rock (and bought the t Shirt). Dh found a really good diving shop. Although after about 3 hours we were tired and I reluctantly agreed to return to the ship. We decided to take a short cut next to the ship and guess what we found … Mallory Square. I couldn’t believe it; it was right next to the ship!!!

After a lie down we got ready and headed up around 7pm to topsiders for our meal. We got a great table with a lovely view of the sunset. The food was really good too. We started taking some photos and the sun was going down, it was just how we had imagined it.

Then the ship started to pull away and turn round ARGHHHH. We skipped desert so we could see the end of the sunset!!



Later in the evening we went to Rockin Bar D and saw Freddy Fusion. – This was really good. We headed to bed around 11:20 ish. As we were walking down the corridor we saw Nick our stateroom host. He looked at us was shocked and said I’m really sorry. We were puzzled and asked why? He said he just realised he’d done another elephant in our room. We said not to worry and good night!
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:11 PM   #11
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great pictures....really enjoying your report..

so more please!!!!!


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Old 08-13-2006, 12:39 PM   #12
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MrsJobba1

Love to read your report and what a lovely picture of key west and sun well.

Bet that you cannot wait for next year as we are looking forward to Medi. well.

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Old 08-14-2006, 08:28 AM   #13
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Great report and great pics! Can't wait for more! Angel
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:14 AM   #14
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Talking Monday 31st July – Our first real day @ sea

Monday 31st July – Our first real day @ sea

Having only done the shorter 3 & 4 night cruises before, I was really starting to appreciate the length of this cruise. I was also looking forward to Palo brunch. As I mentioned before Dave and I decided to add the REAS package to this trip. As a result we were able to make our reservations online @105 days out.

Anyway – We woke up again around 8ish and I was feeling rather stiff. Now I have back problems anyway and I have to be very careful. I also thought that the bed was quite soft and that wasn’t helping. I decided that the hot whirlpool might help so I went up to the adult pool. It was empty and I chose a sun lounger near to the whirlpool. Dave went to get some coffees (We had our Palo brunch booked for 11:30 so we were not eating any breakfast). I had 15 mins in the whirlpool and it was heaven. I then spent the next hour and a bit alternating between my sun lounger & whirlpool.

(When Dave arrived he informed me that he had seen Nick our stateroom host who had asked if everything was ok. Dave had mentioned to him how I thought the bed was too soft for me, and Nick had said he had something he could put under my side to make it harder!)

The adult pool did fill up around 9:30, but it was not overcrowded. One thing that amazed me was the amount of characters that hung out there. I had goofy on a sunlounger next to me, chip & Dale came to say hello along with others. I was annoyed I had not brought my camera!

We left the pool around 10:30 to get ready for our brunch. We arrived @ Palo @ 11:15 (we were really hungry by then) and were promptly shown to our table. Corina was our server and she was excellent. After our tour of all the food, we were in awe I guess and she helped us with our choices. I had read on the disboards that the scallops wrapped in bacon were fab – and I must say they were! I honestly can’t remember all the food that I ate – but all was superb. (One thing I did note was they did not have the chocolate covered strawberries, but there were lots of other chocolate deserts)

After leaving Palo – Dave went to the ‘Making of the Disney Magic’ @ Rocking bar D and I went up to Deck 10 to read my book. Dave really enjoyed the talk. At 3pm I had my Spa appointment – The frangipani scalp massage then a blow dry. Jersey was my stylist and the massage was lovely. (I am not allowed to have body massages because of my back, but this was a relaxing compromise)

After leaving the Spa headed back to my room to chill for a bit then get ready for the Golden Mickey’s. The golden Mickey’s were in fact the only show we made it too. We thought it was very good, although the seats in the theatre were very uncomfortable for my back.

When we were heading for the show I had noticed some of the formal photographers setting up on deck 4 – Upon leaving the show we headed straight to those for our formal night photos as there was hardly any cue. (We were prompt out of the theatre) The photographers on deck 3 had long cues. Now we don’t like having our photo taken and the only real reason I got these done, was I had a coupon for a free 8X10 in the Reas package and the photo fame to put it in.

Once the trauma of having our photo was over we wandered around the Captains welcome reception, enjoying the odd free drink on the way! We then headed to dinner.
This photo is kindly provided by Carla



Dinner was great as usual and after dinner we headed down to the adult clubs (again) and had a really good night. When we were ready for bed, we were delighted with our room. It was our romantic turndown and it looked so special.


(PS I forgot to mention, that on Saturday a letter was left in our room listing what we would be getting for the Reas package and when things would be happening, i.e. our romantic turn down & Palo meal. There was also a card for us to fill in saying when and what we would like for our champagne breakfast.


To be continued ...
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:39 PM   #15
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subscribing

looking forward to the rest of your trip report
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