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Old 11-21-2006, 11:10 AM   #61
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Great installments! Keep on going.
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:49 PM   #62
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awesome TR so far! Can't wait to read your next installment~
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:51 PM   #63
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Great trip report so far. Really enjoying it.

Thanks for posting and sharing..

Denise
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:53 AM   #64
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Love reading your report!!! We just had Adrian as our server last week (apl 5:30) and he and the assist. serv. were both excellent -- can't say enough good things about them...
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:20 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandamom
Love reading your report!!! We just had Adrian as our server last week (apl 5:30) and he and the assist. serv. were both excellent -- can't say enough good things about them...
who was your assistant? I wondered if they keep them together or not. Ours was Alonso...I agree with you, I can't say enough, he became a part of the family by the end of the cruise...I have even sent him the link to this TR...hopefully he will read it and appreciate how much people love his service!!!
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:01 PM   #66
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Aditya (spelling?) from India was our assistant and really did an outstanding job. dd6 and dd8 were talking today how they missed them and wanted me to do a magic trick at lunch (ha!) like Adrian. dd8's favorite part of the cruise was swimming with the dolphins but dd6 says it was getting "nothing" for dessert (a plate with "nothing" written in chocolate sauce). Truly magical service.
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Old 11-24-2006, 05:37 PM   #67
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Hey DZ.........great report so far.
Thanks for giving me another trippie to read to pass the SLOW days until I leave.
back to page 4 with me.
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:17 PM   #68
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great tr i did not know you can bring your own beer you just saved ma a TON of money
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:19 PM   #69
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having exactly ZERO to do with this TR (except that I used it as an excuse as to why I hadn't posted in a while ), thought you guys might appreciate some pics of my Christmas lights as the theme fits quite well here...


This is the front of my house to give you an idea...I ran 4 strands of lights off the roof to trees, and just today added two more that run to the middle. I had to buy a metal pole to run those to because the tree that is there is dwarf and just won't grow. But the strands give it that magical feel...


We have two wreaths up on the house that are designed to be somewhat like the wreaths at Disney. Next year one of the will become Minnie with the addition of a red bow.



Donald has long been a favorite of DS4, although he has fallen out of favor, replaced by Stitch as the #1 favorite. Maybe next year Stitch will make an appearance on the house...if I can find a picture of him being sneaky...


Naturally we have to have Minnie...


And Goofy...


Last but certainly not least, Santa.

Hope you enjoyed...I'll add another chapter to my TR sometime this week.

Happy Holidays!!!
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Old 11-26-2006, 06:55 PM   #70
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Great Disney decorations. You did a good job . Now, please get back to work & post another installment before I leave.
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Old 11-26-2006, 09:29 PM   #71
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Great decorations!! I am so glad you did such a wonderful job as we all wait here some what patiently for more of your TR!
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:20 AM   #72
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Nice Decorations

What the..., is this the Martha Stewart Holiday Decorating Boards???

I love the Mickey Wreath. Where did you get the other things? Look like they are home made. I did the same thing today. It was sunny and 65 here in NJ and the Steelers played like crap so I did not even watch the game so I put up the decorations. Beats doing it when it is 40 and raining.

Now how about working some more on your report??
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:32 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyZell
The rest of the week was spent on last minute preparations, door signs, packing, last minute trips to Wal-Mart for that thing in the bathroom that keeps the place from stinking (literally last minute, as in we picked up DS4 from his school, stopped by Wal-Mart, picked up DS7, and then went to the airport), boarding the dog, etc., etc.
Can't wait for you to keep adding to your tr! Read Father Force with his DW adding on; Read Grumpydudes and rolled; now it's your turn to finish up!

The pictures of your kids are adorable! Sappy mom in me appreciating all the effort you, DW, DNW, and DNH went to for them!

Can you tell me what EXACTLY to buy at Walmart to stop our room from stinking like sewage? That was my biggest complaint on our first cruise!
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Last edited by tinkerbellmom1; 11-27-2006 at 09:57 PM. Reason: compliment the original tr writer
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:27 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miztigg
great tr i did not know you can bring your own beer you just saved ma a TON of money
Always glad to offer money saving tips. Here is a big one. Don't visit Shutters. Ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneygrl36
Great Disney decorations. You did a good job . Now, please get back to work & post another installment before I leave.
Working on it Melanie!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madisonznana
Great decorations!! I am so glad you did such a wonderful job as we all wait here some what patiently for more of your TR!
Uh...thanks? Hint taken...I get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpydude
What the..., is this the Martha Stewart Holiday Decorating Boards???

I love the Mickey Wreath. Where did you get the other things? Look like they are home made. I did the same thing today. It was sunny and 65 here in NJ and the Steelers played like crap so I did not even watch the game so I put up the decorations. Beats doing it when it is 40 and raining.

Now how about working some more on your report??
Couple things:
1. stop being funnier than me in my own TR.
2. now I really get it (and sorry to agree with you...your Steelers did not play well this weekend. However I had the Ravens Defense in my fantasy league and they scored big points because your Steelers decided not to put any on the board...thanks for that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbellmom1
Can't wait for you to keep adding to your tr! Read Father Force with his DW adding on; Read Grumpydudes and rolled; now it's your turn to finish up!

The pictures of your kids are adorable! Sappy mom in me appreciating all the effort you, DW, DNW, and DNH went to for them!

Can you tell me what EXACTLY to buy at Walmart to stop our room from stinking like sewage? That was my biggest complaint on our first cruise!
Wow, you are a glutton for punishment..and that shall be rewarded momentarily.

don't exactly know what you call them, but those scent things that are kind of shaped like a cone. you pull it up higher exposing more scent depending on how stinky it is in the bathroom. We chose Vanilla....it smelled good. Note that I've seen other folks on here say that if you call and complain they can fix the smell if it gets really bad (not sure how they do it, but I'm sure it has something to do with Rasul...)

and now, on with the story...
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:47 AM   #75
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Chapter 8: Key West, Key Lime Pie on a stick!!!

So, when I left you we had all collapsed into bed after a fun filled first day eating, dancing, eating, swimming, eating, looking stupid in orange life vests, eating, oh, did I mention eating? I didn't?

I'm going to throw out a warning. I'm going to talk about a show that I'm just not sure happened on this day. This juggling team missed the ship to begin with, maybe they were supposed to be in the welcome aboard show? not sure, but I think they belonged on this day. According to DW's journal they do not...and she is probably right, but in looking at the pictures it fits better if I tell it this way...so guess what? yeah, gonna do it my way.

DW woke up early pretty much every day and went out on the balcony to write in her journal and read while waiting for the kids to wake up. For me this is the #1 reason to get a balcony (if you have kids). I can strole out there in my pajamas (ahem...well I don't wear pajamas...so I would throw on a t-shirt), without caring what I looked like. Hair all messed up, and most likley grumpy (no offense grumpydude). To be able to hang out while the ship is moving, in your own space was very cool. It really tells me that I need a balcony of some sort when I cruise...as I think I would miss this tremendously (note: look back to the beginning of this TR when DNH and I were teased into thinking that we were not going to get a balcony!

So I woke up around 6:30 and DW was missing. I headed out to the Balcony to join her...and got rewarded shortly thereafter with this:


The Sunrise!

Now, I'm a sleeper. Lover of sleep. Generally. Then again, it's 2:46am and I'm awake writing a TR (DS4 was coughing, woke me up, couldn't go back to sleep, thought I'd subject all of you to more storytelling). So it's pretty exciting for me to see the sunrise. There is also something very cool about being outside on a ship as the sun comes up. Read above about the balcony. Same deal here.

So while gazing into the horizon and thinking deep thoughts like:

"I wonder when Mickey will call and wake up the kids"
"I hope Key West is fun. I hope the Blonde Giraffe hasn't run out of Key Lime Pie"
"Huh, my toe itches"

I noticed another ship. Very exciting. Imagine that, in the vast amount of Ocean there is another ship headed in the same general direction as us. It took 20 tries....but here is the best picture of that ship I could come up with:

Yes! ship!

I know, I know...can you believe it? me either! How exciting. Note that this excitement wore off after about 10 minutes. I did enjoy a couple times (like other's who have noted in their TR's) passing by the floating Booze Cruise (Carnival). But I digress.

Finally the phone rings and Mickey, very happily, wakes us up. Time to get going. I wonder if the CM who plays Mickey ever gets tired of making those phone calls. Oh well...not my place to worry about stuff like that. We have a character breakfast to attend! woohoo! Love the Characters. Can never get enough of them...Most of the time. So we thrown on some clothes, grab the neighbors and head down to Parrot Cay for Breakfast. Note we are just getting to know our servers, and getting to like them more each time we are with them.

So the Character breakfast was underwhelming. The sit down breakfast just isn't that great. And as we discovered Topsiders for breakfast the rest of the time on the cruise (other than our final breakfast...but you don't get to hear about that yet), it is the only sit down one we do. The characters flitter by, but only stay just long enough to snap a picture or two...

As you have read several times ad naseaum (I'm pretty sure that's not how you spell that. who came up with that word? and why am I using it???), this is cruise #2 for us. Last time we sat right by the windows so that the pictures really just didn't want to come out because it was too bright.

This time we sat right by the windows so that the pictures really just didn't want to come out because it was too bright. But don't worry, faithful reader! This one was ok....

Nick and Pluto

After all that excitement we decided it was time to dump....er....drop the kids off in the clubs. Nick and Chris were taken to The Stack (which is normally the teen area). They hated this area, and refused to go back any other time. Apparently there isn't alot to do there, so they were bored.

****ALERT****DIGRESSION COMING****ALERT****** (yeah, that just never gets old)

So, the funny thing is that these two can play for hours on end with nothing but each other when they are at home. Put them in a club with tons of games, activities, video games, and TV to watch and they spend the entire time bored. It amazed me how much whining there was about going into the club where there are more things to entertain them than at home. Very strange. But I digress (don't say I didn't warn you).

Connor went to the Club...and Kathryn to the Lab. I think that was the last time Connor and Kathryn split up (Kathryn is older than Connor) because Kathryn liked hanging out with Connor. But in order to do that they had to switch her wristband to say 3-4. This bothered her greatly, which was sort of funny. She had a hard time understanding that just because her wrist band said 3-4 does NOT mean she is actually 3-4. But I digress (shoot, no warning that time. hope you are ok).

The adults went back to the rooms to do what any logical adult would do when they have a period of time with no kids, an empty room...and a comfy bed....

NOT THAT...get your mind out of the gutter.

We changed, and went to work out. (this icon says yay, but to me it looks like a circle guy doing jumping jacks. work with me). Really, we did. Note that I never work out. I hate it. Working out is painful for me (although I have joined a club now that I'm back on land, and have grand plans of getting in shape). Did I mention I don't like working out? it's boring. Waste of time.

But anyhooooo, we did go work out. The Magic has a fabulous work out area. Naturally you have to be a spy to figure out where it is. I knew it was on Deck 10. I knew it was up front. But the Spa is up front. So we DNH and I wandered around a bit trying to find it. There was a door marked RASUL, we went in and saw.....

just kidding. I don't think they label the doors, but wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

Finally we realized it was through the spa, asked directions and headed down the hallway. There was a pretty big room filled with all kinds of equipment...and TV's, wonderful TV's. Now this I can do. Work out and watch TV. What I didn't know is that they would give me earphones to work otu with. Live and learn.

So this was the area they took over when the took away the Bridge tours. They did a nice job with it...not much better than working out looking out over the ocean while cruising (except for being able to do that AND watch TV). Now I'm a big College Football fan (Go Trojans!!!), so I got to watch ESPN closed caption to learn about what I had missed the day before. USC wasn't playing so I wasn't watching as much as I would have liked. DW went to UCLA and her gutty Bruins lost a close one to Notre Dame. Bummer.

Anyway, I did my 1/2 hour on the Eliptical. Wonderful machine. you work out your upper body as well as your lower at the same time. Digression: I mentioned that we joined a club here at home...their equipment is not nearly as nice as that on the Magic. Makes me depressed. Anyhooooooo

Everyone else was still working out...I wandered a bit. I wanted to find the shower rooms everyone was talking about and finally did...along with some nice looking Chaise Lounges (no idea if that's spelled right either. Did I mention I have spelling issues???) and sat for a bit. That was nice actually, except I kept expecting the spa people to bust in and tell me that I didn't pay to sit on that. Had I know at the time what Rasul was (ok, I still don't know for sure, but the images I have of FF and Sleepdog from their stories is enough), I might not have sat down at all.

About that time the pager went off. DS7 was bored and wanted out. That's not what the pager said...but I got the picture. I wonder if the CM's in the kids clubs ever play with the wording of the pages to try to better get our attention. Maybe they get more creative after one or two page attempts:

"your son is a pain in the A**. Please come and get him"
"Your child is missing....just kidding. Can you come get him?"
"The captain has requested that you either come and get your child or he is going to turn this boat around right now mister!"

So I went and got the two older kids...and Connor. Kathryn seemed to be doing ok, so she stayed. The rest of us went up and played some basketball. My biggest issue with the sports deck is that there were not enough balls. Maybe they had the balls hidden and I just didn't know where to look. but there were several other kids there and only two balls. This put a damper on what would have been a fun activity for us to do regularly. We know they have more than two...but didn't know that until later!

We made out way down to the room, showered in the shub, changed and went to lunch at topsiders. Now, if you don't have a balcony, here is the second best thing you can do. Eat at topsiders while the ship is coming in to dock. That was so cool to see. I think that the food at topsiders probably sucked...but the view was incredible...and that makes you forget all about it (actually I think the food at Topsiders was pretty good, but it doesn't make the story as fun to write). We watched them dock the ship...always incredible when you think about the size, etc.

I think I've said before that DW is a planner and we were ready to go well before the Neighbors. They are smart, they take their time doing things...while we rush, get heartburn and end up waiting. Live and learn. But we did snap this pic (thought you were done with pictures, didn't you!!!):

Yes, a good looking guy with two good looking kids. Ah, genes. oh wait...thankfully they didn't get mine.

So then we were off to Key West. I had done my due diligence. I knew there was key lime pie to be had here...it was famous for it. As luck would have it, a couple days before we left there was a show on Food Network (no idea which one, but they are the son's of one of the famous people that cooks and no, not Emiril). They were going to Key West...and The Blonde Giraffe! Since I had read that this was the place to go for key lime pie I perked up and watched with interest as they went in and they showed how they did it. Limey, chocolaty goodness all on a stick. I'm not 100% sure, but it can't get much better than that.

So we got off the ship, had our map, and eventually figured out how to get there. We walked by a couple of bars (clearly getting drunk is the main activity on Key West).

UH oh...digression.

Why is it Key West and not Cay West. Can someone explain that to me? is it because the assumption is that us American's just can't figure out that Cay is pronounced Key? I am pretty sure that is an insult to our intelligence...but as I'm not smart enough to figure out if it is...I guess that doesn't matter. Back to the regularly scheduled program.

******TIP COMING****TIP COMING*****

if you have kids...stay away from the bars on Sunday if there is football on. There were a bunch of rowdy fans (which I'm all for, being a football fan), using the worst language. And as drunk fans are known to do, they do it loudly. Luckily all our kids were blissfully unaware...so they didn't pick up on the colorful language. but if you have young ones...you might want to walk accross the street. just a tip.

We go down the street and there it is. The kids taste the frozen key lime pie dipped in chocolaty goodness and decide it's not for them. They get ice cream. no worries, more for me!

What can I say here...wow...wow..and wow. Loved it. In fact, I even got a second frozen key lime pie dipped in chocolaty goodness. Everyone made fun of me...but I did it anyway. I can't really describe it...it is sweet...very sweet and tart as well. Sweet Tart. huh, someone should make a candy like that.

Naturally at some point DS4 managed to drop his cookies and cream (what trip to eat ice cream would be the same without that) so had to buy him another. Luckily that coincided with me needing my second helping so it all worked out in the end.

After that it was off to find some Flip Flops for DNH. He had forgotten his. so we hit Ron Jon. Cool shop. A bit overpriced, but the kids had fun poking around. DNH found his flip flops, and they came with an added bonus...a bottle opener built right into the bottom. This was the craziest thing we had ever seen...but let's say we put it to use once or twice .

We had already decided that we would buy some water...some more beer (lord knows why we thought we needed more), and some tootsie rolls for the nice folks who held onto our shipped ahead boxes, and then we were going to go to the southernmost point. We could have gone to CVS, but we had a coupon for several dollars off at Walgreens.

Let me just say, for the record, that it was hot. and humid...really humid. we were sweating like pigs. On the Map Walgreens just didn't seem that far. uh...it was. Go to CVS. It's not worth the couple of dollars off. Plus Walgreens is smart. They know that once you walk that far, lose 10 pounds, sweat like a pig, have your kids whining about not wanting to walk anymore, you will forget to use the coupon. Both families forgot. How sad is that. The main reason we went there....but I digress. We get the essentials, and some ear drops for DS7 who has been complaining all day about an earache. He is one of those kids that loves to complain...and whom you have no idea if he really has an issue or not...but a few dollars for ear drops (which might have been free had we remembered the coupon (ok, if I had remembered the coupon since I paid) was worth the money).

Walking back we figured out where to buy beer (they don't exactly have big liquor stores on Key West) and did so. At this point, going to the Southernmost point was out of the question. Back to the ship we headed. When we got there...we snapped this picture:

DNS9 and DS7 dressed up to go out

And this one:

The DisneyZell's by the Mickey boat

And it was onto the ship we went...

I'd go on....but it's 3:30, time to attempt to go to bed...

Next up:

Chapter 9: You all thought we were insane to bring out own Blender???
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