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Old 09-08-2006, 07:14 PM   #1
zweihund
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Geeks on a boat! Disney Wonder Sept 3-7, adventures in alcohol....

This is my first trip report, which will be long and sarcastic and photo-filled. If any of the following things offend you.....

alcohol consumed in mass quantities
shameless self-depricating statements
serious confessions of a type-A trying to unwind
people-watching observations
minor complaints regarding occasional sub-par experiences

....then turn back now! For I am telling you up front that I have an ignore button and I am not afraid to use it.

Here it is: chapter one!

The Cast:

Me: Erica, 31
DH: Lionel, 35
DF1: April, 31
DF2: Steve, 27

We booked this cruise 7 months ago, finally having convinced another couple to join us on a DISNEY BOAT *gasp* - but what about all of the kids? Fuggedaboutit! Trust us! So they did. Mind you, about 3 other couples also agreed and then bailed out on us….bygones.

After a long wait, our weekend was finally here. Steve and April arrived on Saturday and we had a lovely dinner and some warm-up drinks at Carrabbas (the Italian Wedding Cake martini comes from Heaven, so I hear). I made a point to inform everyone several times that we would be leaving EARLY for the port in the morning. Last year we got there at 2, and just barely made it to the buffet in time after a deliriously long check-in (during which one of the helpers dragged Lionel out of the line having convinced him that no, his anal-retentive over-prepared wife had most assuredly NOT filled out the documents properly, when indeed I had and informed him repeatedly of this upon my return from the bathroom…..there was plenty of time to explain why what he had done was a bad thing, because we then got moved directly to the BACK OF THE LINE which was now almost twice as long – but I’m not bitter or anything).

I was not about to let that happen again.

I intended to get up at 7, but instead I woke up at 5 with Christmas-morning syndrome. I tossed and turned and finally got up and finished the last of the to-do list. The dogs knew we were leaving and clung to my side as I loaded the dishwasher and puppy-proofed the living room and put the last of the items aside for packing.

Steve, April and Lionel did a spectacular job of getting ready on schedule and thus avoided my pre-vacation wrath. They obviously know what is good for them. We left the house at 9:15 and arrived at the port an hour later. We got the last #3 card for boarding, which nearly sent me into a panic because we would not be the first ones on the boat. I managed to relax and we made it through check-in. One of the helpers tried to look at my travel documents and I curtly informed him that everything was in order. Lionel said “easy girl….” and I chose that moment NOT to inform him that I was holding enormous pressure in my bladder because I was not about to let them drag us out of the line again. I don’t CARE that there are only a handful of people in the terminal, we are CHECKING IN NOW. Don’t mess with me until I get a drink in my hand.



We were checked in by 10:45, and by 11 I had emptied my bladder and was sitting in a chair backwards and bouncing uncontrollably, looking for DISers and obsessively adjusting my Castaway Club lanyard. Can you tell I needed a vacation? I watched as the kids lined up for pictures with sailor Mickey and Minnie, and I spotted a young girl with a frame in her hand……FLAT TIM!



Flat Tim was a DIS cruise meet inside joke that probably is not funny to any other human beings other than us, but it made me smile to see that he had made it safe and sound. I strolled around a little and met Suzanne, Vicky, Taeja, Kerry and Lisa and their respective families. It was great to put names and voices to faces. I was a little too twitchy to fully enjoy the moment, being concerned that I would miss our boarding number.

I did manage to catch a great photo of a kid dressed as Mickey, obviously by his parents. He had that Ralphie-in-the-pink-bunny-suit look about him. Later as we boarded, he threw himself flat onto the floor in front of us as if to say “please take this costume far, far away and burn it until it is no more” – I would have helped him out, but they were calling our number and I was in need of a frosty beverage. Sorry kiddo.



I started rushing towards the gangway, and remembered that this was the first time for Steve and April. So Lionel and I stepped aside to let them experience the whole announcement and applause thing first. And then it was our turn.

And now, dear reader, I have a confession to make. Erica, the queen of all things logical and concrete, the one who never cries in movies unless it involves an animal, the problem solver in all heavily emotional situations STARTED TO TEAR UP as our names were announced. I couldn’t control it. I don’t know if it was the excitement, or the fact that we needed a vacation, or just the memories of how magical last year’s cruise was, but it was completely overwhelming and I had to let it go. I turned to Lionel and demanded to know when I became such a sap. He smiled at me and told me it was some time around when I fell in love with Disney. Yeah, yeah. Just don’t tell anyone.



We headed to Parrot Cay for lunch, explored the boat a little bit and then went to our now-ready rooms to change into our swimwear. Steve and April were already becoming addicts and we had not even introduced them to the Outlook Bar. I could tell it was going to be a great cruise. How could it not be? We ordered some Bahama Mamas and had a sit in the Quiet Cove pool. Vacation was officially underway. Sweet.

Chapter two coming soon. Stay tuned.

Last edited by zweihund; 09-08-2006 at 10:28 PM. Reason: pictures added
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:38 PM   #2
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Great post! Can't wait for Chapter Two...........
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:46 PM   #3
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Chapter Two – Electric Boogaloo.

So we’re on the boat, we’re at the pool, it’s 2:00 pm, yada yada yada.
By 2:20, we have moved from the edge of the pool to the hot tub.
By 2:30, we realize that we are ghostly pale and would never pass for true Floridians and are apparently just tipsy enough to make the decision to “lay out”.

I have never been a sunbather. As a child, my family would take me to the beach and leave me to fend for myself in the scary waters that held all sorts of child-eating creatures while they slathered themselves with BABY OIL (hey, it was the 80’s) and parked themselves in a lounger for hours. I would occasionally get company down in the water when they wanted to cool off. But otherwise? I sat on my tookas in the shallows where I knew Jaws would have to beach himself in order to get to me. I figured I could see him coming ankle-high water which would allow plenty of time to get myself out of the way.

I tried laying out with my cousins a few times, but inevitable I would get bored. I’m not a sit-still kind of girl. After about 20 minutes, I am ready to move on to the next new and exciting thing.
Amazingly, I lasted 30 minutes in the sun. I guess the alcohol relaxed me.

By the time I am good and sweaty (and tipsy!), the rooms are ready and we opt to go shower and change. I wasn’t expecting to see our luggage sitting outside so early, but lo and behold there it was! We also had our week’s navigator, and I was armed with highlighters and faced with the decision of my life: organize the luggage contents, or plan our week? Gah!

I ended up bouncing back and forth between the two. I got so lost in the moment (I love to organize and plan…..my dream job would be working at the Container Store) that I ended up with 15 minutes to shower and change before the lifeboat drill…..which lasted all of 15 minutes itself. My kind of crew. “Here’s how to put on your vest, now get back to the drinking already!”
If I had a beer, I would have held it up and shouted WOOOOOOO! It was just that kind of moment.

Up on the deck, the party was hopping! I grab a sailaway drink and we head for the DIS meeting point. I can’t see any DISers, can’t tell if I am in the right place, can’t really move anywhere because EVERYONE is up here. We are parked with two other vessels, and as Carnival starts to pull out I notice their decks are full of people looking longingly over at our boat. I look over to the RCI on the left, and notice the same thing (I also notice a large rock climbing wall and for a moment I am picturing myself reaching for that last hold, and looking down to see an entire ocean around me and having a panic attack and having to be rescued, and I breathe a sigh of relief that I am not on that boat).



The horn sounds, and I get teary again. Sap alert. I sniff into my drink and pretend there is an eyelash in my eye, but my husband knows me too well for me to be able to pull that off. Steve and April are unaware, however, and I keep it that way. I hold my drink up and yell WOOOOOOO instead.

An aside regarding the sail away there is something truly odd about watching a little Asian guy covering an Outkast song on a Disney vessel, jumping around and belting out “don’t want to meet your daddy, just want you in my caddy” – or is it just me?



Out on the water, we are following the Carnival boat and being followed by the RCI. We pass the most horrible little casino boat that is in serious need of some rust-oleum, and I inform Lionel that I will never play poker on that tiny little rust trap. He informs me that it only goes a few miles offshore. I say sharks live there and I don’t see any lifeboats. He shrugs at me. I decide it’s time for more booze.

Who needs frou frou drinks when you can get 5 little martinis for $15 and watch out the porthole as we totally smoke past the Carnival boat. It looks so small and boring. I bet THEY don’t have a martini flight, I am thinking to myself.



April also opts for the martini flight, and they all barely fit on the table. We try very hard to get the classic martini down, but gin is very tough on my palate, especially when I have been drinking frosty girly drinks up until this point. I give April my olives and move on to the next one. Apple black – this is more my style. Apple and currant flavored vodka, otherwise known as a liquid jolly rancher made entirely of booze. What’s not to like? Next was a raspberry jolly rancher – err, I mean martini. I’m enjoying these a little too much. Good thing I don’t have to walk anywhere for awhile. Next up was the pineapple…..something. I was losing track by that point, but it was gooooooood. It reminded me of the Italian Wedding Cake from the night before, only smaller. Lastly was a coffee-flavored martini which was a nice finish.



It’s 6:30, and I am officially drunk. I’m one of THOSE PEOPLE. I’m going to see posts about me on the boards next week, I am thinking, as I weave my way towards what I discovered to be the coolest freaking bathrooms on the entire ship. I have never been much of a bathroom connoisseur, but the ones on “route 66” are going to come with my recommendation to any of you who use this vessel for travel in the future. When cowboys and bathrooms collide…..well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Now, when you’re all good and toasted and have a few hours of free time until dinner, what would you think would be about the worst thing you could let your wife do with another wife?
That’s right: go shopping.

I’m sure I spent a fair amount of time in the store, I just don’t remember much about it. I do, however, have plenty to show for it: several pins, a t-shirt, a hoodie, two watches, a pearl necklace, a Stitch print, two frames and a really long receipt that Lionel never needs to see. EVER.

We lug the booty back to the room, and head to dinner at Parrot Cay. I was really looking forward to this night, as we missed it on our last cruise for Palo’s. I have to say, dinner was very mediocre there. Steve and Lionel both felt that the steak lacked flavor, a surprise for an Island-themed restaurant. April enjoyed her chicken. My veggie strudel was ok, but a little on the boring side. Nothing was BAD; it just wasn’t what I was expecting at all from Disney. The thing that saved the entire meal was the dessert selection. Amazing chocolate cake, a fantastic crème brulee cheesecake and – well poo, I can’t even remember what I had. I just know it was awesome.

Our servers were very impressive as well, Sean on beverages and Dinesh on food. They were both funny and energetic and shared our sarcastic humor. Lionel and Sean went back and forth several times, causing us all to snort food and beverage through our nostrils more than once. It made up for the very noticeable rocking of the boat. Apparently we were hauling butt to the Bahamas through some pretty feisty waters.

We had initially planned to have a quick nap after dinner, but suddenly it was 10:45 (did we really have THAT much to drink?) and Invincible was about to start. I’m all about Mark Wahlberg, and Lionel was interested in the story, so off we went. Steve joined us, but April was feeling the after-effects of a rocking boat during a hearty meal post alcoholic indulgence and opted instead to get some rest.
The movie was great. I’m not a good late-movie person; I almost always get sleepy and space out during the important scenes if a film starts past 10 pm. But I was attentive throughout, so that is the equivalent of a few thumbs-up.



After a long first day of vacation, we stumble off to bed only to find a towel swan in our way. I had forgotten about the towel origami and was instantly elated at the sight, and simultaneously disappointed that we didn’t get a monkey hanging in the closet. Life is tough sometimes, you know.

You would think by 1 am (when you’ve been up since 5 and stressed out and drinking and full-tummied and all cozy post movie) that you would have no trouble at all falling asleep in such a comfortable bed with soft pillows and a warm cuddly husband, but this was not the case and we were both instantly awake as soon as our heads touched the pillows. How could we still be too excited to sleep? We were already there!

Let this be a lesson, children: do not get the highlighters out right before bedtime. The Navigator will still be there in the morning.

Coming soon: chapter three - if it rains in Nassau but you're not there to see it, does it make a sound?
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:04 AM   #4
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I love your TR!!! I want more!!! Already added a note in my Cruise Notebook: Don't drink too much on the first night!!
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:21 AM   #5
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Awesome report! I loved Dinesh...he was my waiter on my May cruise!

Jill in KC
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:20 AM   #6
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Erica,

Too funny! Good start! Loved the cruise too.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #7
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More coming soon, I just have to have my wake-up tea.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBlair
I love your TR!!! I want more!!! Already added a note in my Cruise Notebook: Don't drink too much on the first night!!
Yes, I think that is wise.....there was so much to try that we all just got carried away. We did a bit better on the other nights, thankfully. I told Lionel that I got drinking out of my system for a very VERY long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijill
Awesome report! I loved Dinesh...he was my waiter on my May cruise!

Jill in KC
Dinesh and Sean totally made up for our server team last year. Last year they were not bad - they were efficient and friendly. But we would look around at all of the other tables and people were laughing, and kids were getting napkin origami, and they just all seemed to be having more fun. I don't even remember the names of our team from last year. We will try to request Dinesh next time we go, but Sean is on his last contract before he starts teaching.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zweihund
I’m one of THOSE PEOPLE. I’m going to see posts about me on the boards next week, I am thinking, as I weave my way towards what I discovered to be the coolest freaking bathrooms on the entire ship. I have never been much of a bathroom connoisseur, but the ones on “route 66” are going to come with my recommendation to any of you who use this vessel for travel in the future.
Awesome report!

I thought the exact same thing about the restrooms near the bars. In my opinion, the best on the ship!
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:00 AM   #10
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I love your writing style. Fun! Looking forward to the rest of the report .
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:01 AM   #11
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awesome erica!
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:07 AM   #12
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You made my day! I haven't enjoyed reading anything this much since the last installment of Harry Potter!

I'm sitting here laughing out loud and getting sappy at your sappiness all at the same time! Thank you, Thank you for putting into words how we all feel anticipating and getting on our cruise! You're a fabulous writer!

I'm new to the DCL thing (just took our first one last year, and we leave again 1/6/07), so fill me in on where to get the 5 martinis. I think by then I will need them!
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:29 PM   #13
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Christmas Story Look-Alike!

Oh yes! Thank you so much for posting the picture of the kid dressed up like Mickey Mouse. He looks EXACTLY like that kid in Christmas Story with the pink bunny suit. That was hysterical to see that picture. That poor kid. Wasn't it too hot to be wearing something like that??
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:21 PM   #14
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More about the kid in the stuffed Mickey costume: were the parents trying to give him heat stroke??? August/September in Florida and they slap a hooded mickey comforter on him?? Oy!

LOVE YOUR REPORT! Let me know if you need another sarcastic adult to cruise with you in the future - although I would be the 3rd wheel as I am perpetually single.

Took my 1st Disney Cruise in April on the 7 night Western. And let me tell you that Disney horn is a tear jerker! I was happily swaying to the party music, sun sparkling off my pale body, drink in hand and BAMM!!! The horn blows (I had noooooo idea that it played wish upon a star!) and I lost it!!! Not a tear, not a misting but full-blown sobbing!!!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:11 PM   #15
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More More More! Oh and you really do need to let us know where you got those awsome looking martini's.
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