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Old 02-12-2007, 02:22 PM   #91
kevinsmom
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awesome!!

loving your t/r !! especially the shot of your girls in "shamu" position!!! lookin' forward to some more!!
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:55 PM   #92
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Keep on going! We've waited a long time for this. (like you haven't?)
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:06 PM   #93
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Yey! You are finally back! The anticipation has been killing me!

Keep up the good work! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:07 PM   #94
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Keep on going! We've waited a long time for this. (like you haven't?)
You got the right sister! Now I got no ticker. I suffer from lackoplanning crisesdosis dysfunction!
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:50 PM   #95
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We were one the same cruise as you. I recognized you and your girls as soon as I saw you at the Port from the pictures you had posted. We were also on the same dining rotation as you, so I spotted you quite frequently throughout the trip. Your family looked like they were having a great time!
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:18 PM   #96
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Wow Ashman, I am so proud of you! 3 chapters up already! Keep them coming!
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:01 AM   #97
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We were one the same cruise as you. I recognized you and your girls as soon as I saw you at the Port from the pictures you had posted. We were also on the same dining rotation as you, so I spotted you quite frequently throughout the trip. Your family looked like they were having a great time!
We had a blast! I hope you did too. Wasn't the weather just perfect! You should have introduced yourself! It amazed me how easy it was to talk to folks!

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Wow Ashman, I am so proud of you! 3 chapters up already! Keep them coming!
Thanks! I have to do this quick because 1) It helps me stretch the vacation out a bit 2) I didn't take any notes so I am going on memory 3) I know how fickle the Trip Report readers can be, they can go from adoring readers to angry mob if you keep them waiting

I like to keep folks happy!
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:03 AM   #98
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Chapter 17 Life Boat Drill, Pretty Pictures, Steak and other Muse-ings

Life Boat Drill, Pretty Pictures, Steak and other Muse-ings

Now I must set the stage for this next little bit. Some of the funniest things I have read on the Dis have been centered around the facilities and our interactions with them. The two that come most to mind are Grumpydude’s (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1228254 see page 5 post #72) introduction to the term shub (part shower part tub) and the Super Suck O’Matic (also know as the toilet). (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1228254 see Page 2 Post #24) Another legend in the Pantheon of Bathroom Lore is the infamous Sleepydog Tub Incident in his Trip Report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1246056 see page 12 post #169) This is milk come out the nose funny!

With this in mind and alone with the admonition that I post pictures of me doing something goofy, I present to you my dear readers, this:



The kids had lots of questions about the drill, we compared to a fire drill at school. We also assured them that no unlike grandpa’s boat at the lake, they don’t have to wear the preserver the entire time while at sea!

We make our way to the muster station and everything goes rather quickly. Someone asks what happens if you don’t show up. I mention that the KTTW cards have tracking chips, the first guest to find the offender and drag them to the brig gets free beer for the trip. Alas no frenzied manhunt for us as the drill is over rather quickly. After the obligatory family “hey this is what we look like in florescent blocks of Styrofoam” picture:



We head back to the rooms to get ready for the sailaway party. We decide to bypass the human Tetris puzzle that the forward elevators and stairs had become and make our way to mid-ship. Along the way we pass the shops, THE SHOPS! The girls have been dying to get to the shops and to shop on the ship! Which is further proof to me that this is an inherent genetic condition of most females but being grossly out numbered in my house (even our dog is female, we had a guy hamster but he escaped, too much estrogen I suppose) I usually keep this to myself but now I have posted on the internet for time immortal! I guess what I am trying to say is, my girls were ready to shop and wanted to know why the shops weren’t open. How do you explain the laws regulating the sale of goods on a ship while in port to a 5 and 7 year old? I take the easy way out.

“The ship has to be at sea away from the dock for us to shop, we’ll hit the stores after dinner”

We get back to our room where the whole family gets to meet Wana, the girls present her with a Mickey Mouse Coloring signed by them along with a bag if Lindt Chocolate Truffles. (My wife’s idea she is so great about thinking about stuff like that!) We chit chat and then head up to the deck where the party is already going pretty strong. Deck 9 is a crushing sea of humanity so we make it up to Deck 10 which is only slightly better. We break out our bubbles only to find that they have no blower sticks in them! Oh well that’s the joy of shopping at the Dollar Store, sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you! The kids can’t see to well so they ask for rotating turns on my shoulders:

Mini Me:



Sweet Child:



Sweet Child of course wants me to dance with her up top so I am dancing and jumping with her on top, next song is the “Together” song from the end of High School Musical and of course Sweet child wants to not only do the moves while up on top of me but wants me to join in, so I do as best as I can. We do wind up on the big screen for our efforts so I guess it was worth it!

The party was lot of fun. The girls had really been looking forward to it. We told them that we may leave early but to just trust us. Sweet Child just thought it was too cool for wards that you could dance on top of the pool. We make our way down to the Atrium for a character meeting with…………Daisy and Donald!



See Mini Me I told you, you would get your chance. While we were waiting the length and the exhaustion of the day was making the kids a bit touchy. I was starting to get a bit annoyed with some of their actions when at that moment another family had the joy of having their son go through a DefCon 5 Level Temper tantrum. It was almost like God was saying, “Give the kids a break, they have had a hard day, but they aren’t doing that!” I said a short prayer of thanks for the girls and it really helped me keep perspective. It also seemed that whenever I would lose perspective I would see another demonstration.

If you will indulge me a bit I would like to get on my soapbox a bit. I think a critical key to success on a trip like this is to know your child and help get them in a place they can succeed. A kid that is used to 8+ hours of sleep at night and a nap in the afternoon is not going to do well if he or she is up at the crack of dawn and goes non stop til 10 PM. We really tried to give our kids down time and recharge time. Whenever they got a bit squirrelly we tried to keep that in mind. They were great over the cruise and did a great job.

Okay soapbox over thank you for indulging me.

We head to Animator’s Palate for dinner where we meet our Server Whitt from Thailand and our Assistant Server Laura from Manchester, England. They did great, Whitt did tricks for the kids and Laura always made Ketchup Kreations. On the first night she did a Minnie Mouse. We are all steak lovers so we all had Filet Mignon for dinner. We had prepped the kids that the cruise was going to have all sorts of great food and encouraged them to try something and if they didn’t like it we could get something else. I was very pleased with them that they tried something off the “Big” menu every night! Whitt recognized that the kids were a bit tired and did a great job of getting our food to us fast that night! Mom and Sweet Child had Mickey Bars for dessert, Mini Me had Ice Cream Sundae and I had the Peanut Butter Pie! Yum!

The AP show was cool and the kids liked it, but I think they would have enjoyed it more if they hadn’t been up so early.

After dinner we make our way to the Show and of course THE SHOPS. The kids spent a good deal of time looking in Mickey Mates. The girls both got gift cards for Christmas so they were looking forward to spending there own money. The first night was a reconnaissance trip, get the lay of the land.

We get to the Walt Disney Theatre around 8:20 and the lower level is packed, we get a seat in the middle of the second row on the second level. The show was good. Most of the humor went over the kids heads, Pain and Panic stole the show IMHO.

After the show we make our way back to the stateroom it is time for bed for all of us! The kids are up way past their normal bedtime, had an early start. We had a great first day but were ready for sleep. We get back to see our first towel animal, the lobster:




Tomorrow, Princesses, Dolphins and Slides Oh My!
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:22 PM   #99
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Oh man!!! I can just IMAGINE Sleepydog in that tub!!!

I think you should use the lifeboat drill pic for future Xmas cards!!!
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:23 PM   #100
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So how long did it tak you to get OUT of the tub! Good thing you tried it out, 20 years from now you would never try it!

Were you in 7014? We are going to be in 7016. How was it, quiet, I am guessing or is that hoping?

Can't wait for the next chapter!
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:32 PM   #101
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Oh man!!! I can just IMAGINE Sleepydog in that tub!!!

I think you should use the lifeboat drill pic for future Xmas cards!!!
Yeah he's a tall guy (his statement) I'm a pretty short dude, that he took an actual bath and got out without the assistance of a crow bar is pretty darn impressive

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So how long did it tak you to get OUT of the tub! Good thing you tried it out, 20 years from now you would never try it!

Were you in 7014? We are going to be in 7016. How was it, quiet, I am guessing or is that hoping?

Can't wait for the next chapter!
I actually never sat down. Having gleaned the wisdom of my forebears, I felt it best for me not to acutally rest my bum in that thing. I was propping myself up with my arms. The funny thing is wife was getting ready to take the pictures when the girls called her away. It seemed like it would take forever to get back. I kept saying to myself "Must.... not.... blackout ......Must ....not .... get ..... stuck..... or ... suffer .... same ....fate ... as others!" I'm sure it was like 10 seconds

Room 7014 was great. The only negative was we were forward so we had to rmember to walk down to midship so as not to come up in Quiet Cove (didn't want to set off the CDA ya know ) If it were just me and wife I would take this room again in a heartbeat! Geat room very quiet
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:26 PM   #102
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Chapter 18 Princesses, Dolphins and Slides Oh My!

Chapter 18 Princesses, Dolphins and Slides Oh My!

My kids are early risers, they get up at the crack of dawn without fail. Doesn’t matter how late they go to bed, if it is school time or vacation time. When the sun gets up, they get up. I was never more grateful this than on our first morning on the ship:



There is something truly wonderful about seeing the sun come up on the horizon while at sea! The girls got up and their Minnie and Daisy got up:



I later captured a picture of the breathtakingly beautiful yet extremely elusive DW!



This was one of my favorite shots, although if you don’t get another installment of this trip report you will know that my wife has found out about this picture and has either 1) cut off all my fingers or 2) bludgeoned me to death with a blunt object!

We went to Beach Blanket for breakfast and it was awesome. We then had awesome news for the girls. There was to be a princess gathering in the atrium that morning that coincided with our meeting time for our shore excursion. They bumped up our start time 30 minutes so we were able to get to the princess gathering. We were second in line got to meet all 5 princesses and still got to our excursion time with time to spare!

We did the Nassau Dolphin Excursion. My wife and I did this one three years ago while on a cruise with another line for our 10 anniversary. We were really looking forward to seeing the girls on this one. Here is a shot of us on the way:



and a shot of the beautiful Wonder:



I had read how so many people gush about how pretty this ship is, especially compared to others. We were tied up next to the Carnival Sensation both in PC and at Nassau and she is a very ugly ship, boxy, no real lines to her, a “feckless drinking barge” (as dubbed by Fatherforce) to be sure. I thought it was an exaggeration but when you see it up close it is obvious.

A shot of the girls with the Atlantis in between:



When you get there you go through a brief orientation meeting then they split you up into groups of about 25-30 people. Our dolphin’s name was Shawn and he was great. We got hugged, kissed, asked to the prom and drenched. I wanted to ask one family why they were there, the mom didn’t want to get wet, complained about the water temp etc…. Didn’t seem like they were having a good time. Now the water was a bit brisk, shrinkage inducing even. But the trick is to just get in and get wet. When it was our turn I dipped down up to my neck. Someone asked my why I was doing it but that helps you get used to it quicker! Whenever you weren’t following directions or to be blunt just being plain dense, the trainer would have the dolphin give you a raspberry, spit water at you or both. “Why am I here?” Mom dodged several attempts of Shawn to get her but in the end got a face full while she was trying to take a picture with NONWATERPROOF camera. I mean really? I knew from both the Dis and from our experience before that you bring a waterproof camera (from home they are cheaper). I smile smugly to myself as I turn my gaze of disdain from the hapless fools who either don’t know the Dis or didn’t heed its teachings, a return to my vacation. After the excursion we snack on food pilfered from the breakfast buffet to tide us over so we don’t have to buy the stuff there. Another great Dis tip. Got some great pictures from the Dolphin folks and bought the DVD of our group.

Since any and all dolphin pics are on the Waterproof Camera and we haven’t got them back from the developer yet, I will post those later if we get the chance and if the pics are any good.

On our trip back we decided we wanted to hit up the Del Sol store. Del Sol is very cool you get shirts, hair clips, watches, flip flops, etc. And they change color in the sun. (www.delsol.com) The problem was we had a bunch wet towels. Didn’t want to carry them around, didn’t want to go back to the ship then back into Nassau. I was going to hoof it back and catch up. When our tender got to the dock what was there? A DCL rep collected wet towels! This was very cool. I was very impressed with this. We hit Del Sol get some gifts and the girls bought some stuff for themselves and head back to the ship.

We grabbed a later afternoon snack at Plutos, it was about 3 our breakfast and snacks had worn off but we didn’t want to eat too much cuz dinner was right around the corner. The girls then wanted to go to the Goofy pool cuz High School Musical was on. How cool is that, I get to swim AND watch high school musical. Here is a shot of the girls dancing at the end with Troy and Co.:



It looks like they are standing still but they are dancing.

After Shar Pei decides she likes Crème Brulee, the girls want to go back to the slide. DW goes up to get a shot from Deck 10

Sweet Child:



Mini Me:



DW then wanted a shot at the bottom, she told the girls to get up and do the “TA DA!” when they get to the bottom. Sweet Child being the pleaser she is obliged:



Mini Me forgot to do the “Ta Da” so we asked her to do it again. She eventually gave us what we were looking for:



No she isn’t having any fun at all is she? We wanted to get the girls to have some quiet time because we knew that after the dinner and the show, the pirate party awaited. We were at the slide a bit longer than we anticipated but we did get about 20 minutes of quiet time.

That’s all for now tune in next time for Prancing Princesses, Golden Mickey’s, Pooped Pirates, and Bouncing Buccaneer’s
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:30 PM   #103
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I'm so glad you are back. I couldn't wait to see how everything went after all the build up of anticipation. I am glad you guys had a great time. Great start to your trip report, I can't wait for day #2!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:55 PM   #104
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Keep it coming!!! I need something to get me through all this snow!!!

Oh... and have you booked your next trip yet?????
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MichelleAll it takes is faith, trust and a little bit of PIXIE DUST!!! Dream of Small worlds and large Mice!Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten. This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh Crap, she's up!"
1972 - 1986.... Various times while visiting Gram and Gramps!!! 1986 - Off Site Sheraton 192...With Beverly 1987 - Same but this time with Mom 1994 - Poly with Em 1996 - Disney Institute & Poly & Grand Floridian w/Mom 2000 - Grand Floridian w/M 2005 - AS Music & Grand Floridian w/Mom The GRAND Tour!!! Panama Canal WB Repo Cruise 5/2008
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:18 PM   #105
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I'm so glad you are back. I couldn't wait to see how everything went after all the build up of anticipation. I am glad you guys had a great time. Great start to your trip report, I can't wait for day #2!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks It may be longer in between installments now. The first part of my week was fairly slow but that is changing!

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Keep it coming!!! I need something to get me through all this snow!!!

Oh... and have you booked your next trip yet?????
Part of me is really kicking myself for not re-booking on board but we didn't have the money for the deposit right now and I didn't want to put it on a credit card. If I could I would several rebooked already but then again that is just about everyone else here right!
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