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Old 04-03-2007, 12:21 PM   #1
nenner1
I must've been distracted by the Cafe Press Logo Thong talk!
 
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3/18 Wonder: The Very Merry Unbirthday "Lovely Cruise" **PICS!**

Part 1 : Sea Cruise

“So be my guest, you’ve got nothing to lose…won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise?”

First, an introduction. I’m sure many a Disney Cruise Line adventure begins, as ours did…with the Travel Channel. It was a hot, lazy holiday…Labor Day in fact. On TV was one of the “ten best” shows, the ten best water parks in the US or something like that. It was on in the background -on our back patio set- as we lounged in the pool . At the top of the hour a feature on the Disney Cruise Line came on. First my husband noticed it and made his way from the grill to check it out. Then the kids swam up to the side where they could see. Before I knew it I was up off the float and under the lanai. None of us had ever been on a cruise before, or had even really thought about taking one. But the show was only a few minutes in before we knew what our next vacation would be.

Being from central Florida, Disney is part of growing up around here. Both my husband, Ron (32), the kids (son Brendan, 7; daughter Savannah, 6) and I have been lucky enough to be frequently spoiled by the magic of the Disney Parks since we were little.
(Me in my mouseketeer days, and in the pic on the right that’s me (far right) at about 2 years old pondering whether or not I really wanted to go up to that huge mouse!)

Some of my most vivid childhood (and adult!) memories are of my frequent visits to the Magic Kingdom. We go every year, usually in March for my birthday if for no other reason than it’s a good time of the year to go (weather-wise, not crowd-wise). Here are the kids, Brendan & Savannah in our March 2006 trip:


In 2005, we decided to make our annual trip a mini-vacation. Instead of going for one day, we stayed for several – at the UnContemporary. (we have a long running joke between us about the 70’s architecture at WDW- in particular the Contemporary and “Yesterdayland” which is what we called the pre-renovation Tomorrowland.)
From the 2005 trip:




Anyway, we had a fantastic time at the resort and realized it couldn’t be too long before we did a Disney vacation again. So fast forward to Labor Day ‘06, we are out on the patio with the laptop checking stateroom availability. (I think that was before the show even ended). We actually didn’t end up booking until a week or two later. We had selected March to sail, again usually a good weather gamble. Also, having two kids who hate to miss school we decided it would have to be during spring break. And it didn’t coincide with a possible Jimmy Buffett concert in our area, and those always take precedence and have to be scheduled around. (Though it came close to this one in February at Florida State University in Tallahassee)



You can see we are serious about our Parrothead pre-show parties:



Okay, back on topic. So now it was time for research. The rates during March (which is, of course “season”) were very high, so a 7–day was soon out of the question. We were admittedly pretty obsessed with the restaurants and the rotational dining concept. We didn’t want to miss a single thing, especially not a restaurant. We absolutely HAD to do Palo, and besides those 3 night cruises just seem too darn short! A 4-night it was. And so that left only one departure date, March 18, 2007. Only 3 days after my 33rd birthday – PERFECT! It was to be a “very merry unbirthday” for me!

On to the logistics. Admittedly I am an obsessive pre-planner. I want to know absolutely everything about everything. I want to have everything I might possibly need. Some might call me a control freak. I call it prepared (in fact the motto of my Brownie Troop 454 was “Be Prepared”).

But please do not confuse prepared with organized. There IS a difference. I began my research by trolling first DCL websites, then the DISboards. I became addicted to trip reports and bought both Birnbaum’s Guide to DCL and also the Passporter. I was sure I knew everything there pretty much was to know about DCL.

The selection of our stateroom was where I first planned to implement my new found knowledge. Money was an issue, as even the cheapest staterooms were pricey (spring break- ugh). We weighed the whole verandah/porthole vs place to crash issue and decided since we are would be out and about the ship or in port most of the time that we didn’t need a more luxurious stateroom. Since there didn’t seem to be too much difference in square footage among the higher categories (i.e. our price range) we decided to choose a higher category. I would have taken a Cat. 12, but they were all on deck 2 and I had read deck 2 was noisy. I chose a centrally located (deck 7 midship) Cat. 11, and decided to forgo any hope of an upgrade by selecting a specific cabin. 7539 would be our home away from home. Only much smaller. Much, much smaller. Just how much smaller would not be evident for six months yet.

I worried that come 75 days prior to sail, (when us first timers get to make our excursion, Palo, and spa selections and reservations) everything we wanted would be booked up. I made sure to go on the website after midnight on day 75, but it was still telling me it was not time yet. Now I know they let you do it sometime around 3am. But thankfully getting up in the middle of the night was not necessary. In the morning around 10 am, I got right on and was able to make our Nassau Dolphin Discovery Excursion booking, our Palo dinner reservation, and our Banana Boat ride reservation. We even changed Palo the next evening and had no problem getting what we wanted. I did check back a couple of weeks prior to departure and discovered all of the excursions in Nassau were booked, as were all Palo slots! I was pretty surprised at that seeing as we what we wanted so easily. I was hoping to book a Palo brunch but discovered if we wanted that, we would have to do the ressie scramble on the boat.

Another of my cruise obsessions was our dinner rotation and all that entails. Knowing a night at Palo was a must, we knew we would be missing a regular rotation restaurant menu. (On the 4 night cruise, you repeat one restaurant but the repeated night is Pirate Night, which has its own special menu). We tried as hard as we could to plan which night would be the best to miss for Palo, but it was really hard finding out which night was the repeat. The guides and literature I had indicated the repeated restaurant was the last night of the cruise, but I had read on DIS some cruises repeated the 2nd night, some the 3rd. Calling Disney didn’t clarify that, as again they could not confirm which night would be Pirate night as cruise itineraries are subject to change (aaaarrrgh). So we made an educated guess that Pirate Night would likely be the 3rd night and we didn’t want to miss that. We selected Monday (2nd night- Nassau) for our Palo ressies and hoped for the best. Compound all that with the claim that “they don’t do the show in Animators the 2nd night” and we were really way too stressed out about this dinner issue. A few weeks out I was able to find copies of some recent Navigators online and was happy to see that Pirate Night was in fact night 3. Whew. So we called Disney to see if they could tell us what our rotation was, to make sure we didn’t have Animator’s Palate on night 2, since we didn’t want to miss the “show”. And of course…..we did. So we put in a request to have our rotation changed. They said they would put in the “request” but could make no promises. We would find out for sure when we checked in, and could try to reassign on the boat.

Before we knew it fall had arrived , Halloween passed….then Thanksgiving…Christmas…Valentines Day….Buffett Show (YES, those ARE Holidays!),

March was here. Sail date was approaching…time to shop! Because as you may or may not know, if you are going on a cruise you have to buy things for said cruise. Like clothes. Shoes. And jewelry. More luggage to hold all the other crap you are buying. Stuff like that. I am pretty sure we spent more money actually buying things we needed for the cruise than we spent on the cruise itself. Then all that stuff has to find its’ way into the luggage..?!? I’m up to a challenge though. Two weeks to go and our cruise documents arrive. Departure day is creeping up on us quick. Then a week to go, still a few things to buy and a dining room full of stuff to cram in less than 8 suitcases.

Panic began to set in on Tuesday the 13th, only a few days to get all this done. Oh the stress! Somehow I managed to get a decent amount of prep done Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday, my birthday, was going to be spent ironing. You see, I never saw ironing discussed on the boards or in any of the books. I This bothered me because you aeren’t supposed to bring travel irons on board or use them in your room. Ironing boards would be provided in the laundry rooms on the ship. I knew two things for sure. I did not want to do any laundry on that ship nor did I want to stand in a line in my drawers in the laundry room ironing dress clothes when I could be up on Deck 9 with a Bahama Mama. So I spent literally ALL DAY Thursday ironing every stitch of clothing that was going with us on that ship. Ron came in from work shaking his head at the futility of it all, though I swore it would make a difference later. (I WAS RIGHT, btw). But just in case I was going to smuggle on the travel iron. The worst they could do was confiscate it, right? And that is IF they could find it in the mountains of toiletries and styling tools crammed in that gigantic duffel.
Friday was spent doing last minute shopping, and packing. Emergency trips to Wal Mart for wire coat hangers, silly me not realizing the fat plastic ones won’t fit in the garment bag! Oh and did I mention the packing? Yeah. We ended up with what I thought was five full size suitcases, a duffel bag, and a garment bag…which should add up to seven. Inside one of the suitcases was an empty duffel bag to fill with souvenirs and such, which means we would come back with eight bags (note: foreshadowing). The rest of Friday and Saturday went smooth, and before I knew it, it was after midnight on Saturday and I could not sleep. But of course I couldn’t! The day we had been awaiting for six long months had arrived! It was departure day!!!!
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:52 PM   #2
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Oh my gosh... this is great!

Please... keep going!
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May 20th, 2006 - 7 Night Western Cruise Aboard the Disney Magic - Trip Report
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:30 PM   #3
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ARGHHHH........A Disney life for me!!!
 
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UGH!!! I hate having to wait!!!

This has been GREAT so far, especially since I grew up near the world myself and am still blessed enough to visit often.

and I guess I can ignore the FSU references..........
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Disney Christmas 2005 December 19 - January 3 Moonie Cruise, October 27,2007 Eastern 7 day!! VISIT MY TRIP REPORT FOR ALL THE "SCARY" DETAILS
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1598124 DOUBLE DIPPING ON OCTOBER 25,2008!!!


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Old 04-03-2007, 07:47 PM   #4
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:50 PM   #5
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Oh wow! Your pics from your childhood made me tear right up!




Your kids are beautiful!


Great trippie!


I've got my popcorn and my tea.


Ready for more!
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:33 AM   #6
nenner1
I must've been distracted by the Cafe Press Logo Thong talk!
 
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LOL I'm actually a Gator fan!!!!
(That's just where the show was!!!! And I go where Bubba goes, Babs knows what I mean!!!)

Working on part 2.......
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:00 AM   #7
nenner1
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Part 2: Five 'O Clock Somewhere

“Tomorrow mornin', I know there'll be hell to pay,
Hey, but that's all right
I ain't had a day off now in over a year.
Our (Bahamanain) vacation's gonna start right here.
If the phones for me,
You can tell 'em I just sailed away.”


The alarm was set for 5 AM, and I was anticipating its’ glorious bells as I had been tossing & turning all night. It is not unusual for me to be awake at 5 AM, but I am usually going TO bed at that time, not getting UP (I work nights). But this particular morning was different- it was Sunday March 18th….CRUISE DAY! I tried really hard to get some sleep, knowing that adjusting to a normal “day person’s” schedule would be difficult under normal circumstances, let alone with all the excitement that awaited us onboard the Wonder! It was well after 1 AM when I shut the TV off- any other night it would put me right to sleep. No matter. I hit the clock the split second it began to ring, and luckily I remembered to unplug it and squeeze it in the last available spot in my jam packed seven (eight? Hmmm….) bags of luggage. (Tip: You will want to bring a digital alarm clock with you. The clock provided in the stateroom – although shaped like a really neat propeller- is not visible at night). I was the first one up, which is a good thing since I am the most high maintenance in our family and I usually require about 20 minutes more time than I budget myself when I have to be anywhere at any particular time. I am out of the shower by 5:30 and so far the morning is running on schedule. According to the Yahoo map, we only needed 2 hours driving time to reach Port Canaveral from our home in north Tampa. I planned to arrive at the terminal between 9:30 and 10:00, so adding about an hour for breakfast, we needed to be out of the house by 7. One by one Ron & the kids get up and we are bouncing off the walls! Of course, the next thing I know, the car is loaded and everybody is ready…except me. Oh well. Nobody is going to give me a hard time TODAY, right? Shortly before 7 am, we are out the door into the dark (yes still dark! Thank you Daylight Savings Time for coming early this year and adding lovely daytime hours to my cruise! Wooo Hoo!) and we walk right into problem # 1….our newspaper. Ron had called them to hold delivery, but, SURPRISE! So the fussing begins already. You see, Ron & I have been together literally forever…..
Senior Prom, 1992

well we were high school sweethearts and started dating at 16, so you can imagine after like 17 years together we can and do have our moments . One of them started right then. He did not understand why I was so worked up over silly newspapers being delivered (and left out…in front of our empty house…..for FOUR DAYS) After all, we live in a nice virtually crime free community, with good neighbors that would neatly stack our papers inconspicuously on our porch if need be, so why get worked up over it? But that wasn’t the point of course. I insisted he call them which we tried to do but customer service didn’t open until 7. Grrrr. A few miles down I-275 we got through and they assured us there would not be a bunch of copies of the St. Pete Times in our driveway when we returned. Crisis averted. On to the next thing to fight about- breakfast. We had pretty much decided to stop at Cracker Barrel, since that is like a tradition for us when we are on vacation (keep in mind this is our first cruise…most of our other vacations have been road trips!) There were two on the way, I had planned to stop at the first one, in Seffner. Of course, he wanted to wait until 40 miles down the road in Lakeland. My logic is that the earlier we stop the faster it would go…wait until later and you have to worry about prime breakfast hours and pre-church crowds. Plus, I was mildly concerned about traffic. It’s not often I lose an argument, and this was no exception. Like the wonderful intelligent hubby he is, he grudgingly agreed to stop at the closer Seffner restaurant. I had already pulled directions for both and knew the exit number, and as we approached we noticed the tall Cracker Barrel sign on the left of I-4. As we pulled off onto the exit, something about this seemed familiar. In fact it was, we had been in the area in October for one of Savannah’s cheerleading competitions. So we should have been accustomed to the area, but we immediately had trouble finding the Cracker Barrel. Unbelievable. How hard is it to find a Cracker Barrel on a highway exit….when you could see the place from the road…and had been there before???? Oh leave it to us. We went up & down that road (301?) and through the Flying J Travel Plaza, back over by I-4…where in the world could they be hiding the Cracker Barrel? FINALLY Ron spots a teensy, tiny sign in the median pointing us into the Lazy Days RV Center. Sure enough, they hid the Cracker Barrel in the middle of Lazy Days. Go figure. Once in the parking lot, we step out of the car, and immediately…FREEZE OUR BUTTS OFF. We look at each other with that “Oh crap” look, cause here we all are in our shorts and short sleeve shirts, no jackets and it is literally 49 degrees outside. This was quite distressing, as I had been umm, mildly obsessed with how the weather would be for this trip. When selecting our sail date, we knew March should be pretty warm, high 70’s days high 60’s lows at night. I was so concerned it would be too cold or rainy. A cold front did push through on Friday the 16th bringing cooler (yeah, pretty cold) temps, gusty winds, and a tad bit of rain. I wasn’t concerned though, as I thought the worst of the front would have moved through by Sun. And here it was, still cold. It was, in fact, still only a little after 7 am, it should warm up to be a beautiful day, we reasoned. And ran our butts right inside to get some coffee and warm up!!!! We found the CB service quick and efficient as always (certainly not Disney caliber, but quite capable) I had fantastic pecan pancakes with the little bottles of pure maple syrup (and asked for a few extra to pocket) and sausage and biscuits. And I ate the whole darn thing. What was I thinking? I guess it was something along the lines of “This is the only meal I am paying for this whole trip and I am dang sure getting my money’s worth” or something like that! Ha! And the kids ate virtually nothing. I told them in no uncertain terms that they had better eat up because we weren’t getting lunch until we were on the boat, and I did NOT want to hear “Mommy, I’m HUNGRY” the second we walk in the terminal. My threats had little effect, and so we headed off into the sunrise in search of paradise. Or at least in search of the way out. (They do NOT want you to leave that exit until you have bought an RV, it was like that labyrinth in The Shining, only it was made out of motor homes instead of snow covered bushes!) Finally back on the road, I was watching closely for our next exit off of I-4.. See, I knew the “toll road” would take us right to the Port, I was just hoping that the particular one that did so was also the one referenced in my Yahoo map, cause I did not want to get lost and miss out on a decent boarding number. Everyone had given me advice to take the “Beeline” which some said was called the “Beachline”, or the “Greenway”, I saw no references to any of the above roads anywhere. We got even more fidgety when approaching WDW, the sign said Port Canaveral Exit (one of the Disney exits). Ron looked at me. I shrugged. My map had us getting on the toll road at the International Blvd Exit , which is well past the throng of WDW exits. I decided we should follow the map, and he gave me the “you know we are going to miss the boat because of this” look. Thankfully, the Int. Blvd exit takes you to the same road as the WDW exits…WHEW! But aaaugh! Everyone had also told me my Sunpass (toll transponder) would work on this road, and it is asking for some “E pass” thing! So we had to stop and ask if the SunPass would work, and nice toll booth lady looked at us like we were nuts- DUH- OF COURSE it works. Well a big 'ol Steve Martin excuuuuuuuuse me, lady. It’s not like they are called the same thing. With that drama over, we can now chill and relax our long way down this expensive road. (It actually didn’t turn out too bad but the toll booths were pretty frequent in the beginning). We stopped at 7-11 for more coffee, and anxiously awaited the big dramatic emotional moment when we would go over this hill or around the corner and see the boats! And of course, leave it to us…it was pretty anti-climactic. Our own fault, you see, because we spotted the boat when it was so far away, and so tiny we could hardly tell what it was…And as it came closer into view it became obvious that yep….the boat…..cool. Not that we weren’t stoked…we were there, afterall ! I might add that any emotional variances I might be encountering were entirely unpreventable. There really isn’t a good way to put this, but ladies…don’t try to tinker with your medication thinking you can play mother nature and get Aunt Flo to visit you a week later than she thinks she’s coming cause it just might not work. And it didn’t. So that’s where I was at. But more important was where I WAS AT, RIGHT NOW which is Port Canaveral!!!! YIPPEEE!
It was about 9:35 AM…perfect! We followed the clearly marked signs in, and spotted the terminal on the left. We saw all the sad sacks disembarking the 3 night lugging out to the parking lot, and sympathized that all good things must come to an end. Of course like Semisonic once said “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” And since this was our beginning, all was right with the world. There wasn’t much traffic, and we didn’t see a line, or clearly where we should go. We pulled up to the Disney Cruise Line Entrance Gate on the left, where Grumpy the terminal gate guard sat. Okay, she wasn’t really GRUMPY per se, but she had a strange attitude about her when we asked where to go. She replied with a Disney smile and annoyed attitude “Well, you are too early. You can not enter the Port at this time. You have about 20 minutes”. And smiles. O-kay. (As IF we are the first ones EVER to arrive EARLY, yeah, right) It was strange, almost as if we were acting suspicious or something. Were we? So we asked just where should we go, then, since she made it crystal clear we aren’t going in there yet. She replied we should go “over there” by “that SUV” and to do so “VERY CAREFULLY” cause they just had an accident (two cars bumped by the luggage area). When she is done directing us with her forced tone and pinched smile, Ron looks at me, “You got that, right?”…WHO ME? Ummm..no? Okay wrong answer. We spotted the other offending early arrivals in the burgundy SUV and followed them into the long term parking lot where I suppose we were supposed to form a line, which neither of us did. Thoroughly confused, Ron got out and walked across the street to get a better idea of how this worked. While I sat in the car, and while the parking lot security guy grove his golf cart up and parked right in front of our car like we did something seriously wrong and we are not getting out of here alive. Then I spotted it! The LINE! To get in! It was forming in the turn lane and we weren’t in it!!! And I didn’t have the keys and there is a golf cart in front of me and so help me I am going to get a boarding pass no higher than 6 if it’s the LAST thing I do!!!!! So Ron comes running- no barreling- up cause he saw the line starting, and we scurried off to get in it. Somehow Burgundy SUV saw it too, and slid out in front of us. (They didn’t have golf cart guy to maneuver around). We got concerned at the street, cause all of the people in “the line” formed in the turn lane were now turning in, blocking us off from driving straight across into the gate. Oh no you di’int. Burgundy SUV guy was savvy and he just slid right in front of them, and we followed right behind. YEAH! Grumpy guard lady was no longer cranky (Since it was officially 10 now, I suppose), she checked our ID’s and ushered us in to an old guy waiting under an umbrella. Umbrella Guy checked our ID’s again and searched his manifest for us. Yep there we are…..Zip A Dee Dooh Da! In lightning speed we are dropping off the luggage, and it suddenly all seemed real. We had arrived!
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 9/2011- NEW! TRIP REPORT! - Disney Magic 7 Night Western 10/2010: Trip Report - Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 1/2010: Trip Report and Videos - Disney Magic 7 Night Western Double Dip 09/08: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 3 Night Bahamas 10/07: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas 03/07: Trip Report

Last edited by nenner1; 04-04-2007 at 06:26 AM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:24 AM   #8
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I am enjoying your trip report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Keep on writing!
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:47 PM   #10
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Subscribing!
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:26 PM   #11
nenner1
I must've been distracted by the Cafe Press Logo Thong talk!
 
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Part 3: Gypsies in the Palace

“We're gypsies in the palace, they’ve left us here alone
The order of the Sleepless Knights will now assume
the throne
We ain't got no money, we ain't got no right
But we're gypsies in the palace, we’ve got it all tonight”


So we had arrived at the terminal and were escorted through the gate right at 10 AM. There did not seem to be many people around yet as we were unloading our seven (right? ) pieces of luggage. We were still right behind the family from the burgundy SUV, we found ourselves right behind them many times throughout the cruise for whatever reason. Strange how that happens. Though the line in the turn lane to get in was growing, there still was not a lot of foot (or vehicle) traffic in our immediate vicinity. Isolated people were entering the terminal here and there but there was no mass exodus towards the doors yet, so I figured we could park and all walk across together. We parked next to and walked across the street behind burgundy SUV guys. After crossing the street, there is a little podium where another CM checks your ID’s and the manifest again. As we approached, a MASSIVE, GIGANTIC throng of folks amassed near the luggage drop off area to the right, and it appeared they were charging the podium area, encroaching on our empty space like some sort of dark cloud of humanity! Oh they were NOT going to slide in from the right and get in front of us, no way!!! Where did all these people come from?? Just 10 seconds ago the place was calm and quiet. Luckily we sidestepped and they had no choice but to fall in behind us. Once greeted and meticulously checked over by podium guy, who was mildly concerned that my drivers license had my maiden name on it, which was not included on the manifest. I convinced him that I really was me, and I was not a terrorist threat (as long as I can get in that terminal and get my boarding pass QUICKLY anyway), and with a big smile he said “Enjoy your trip!” And we scurried off into the terminal door, leaving podium guy and the huge mass of fervent cruisers eager to begin their trips behind. I can’t express how ecstatic we were at that moment, I think I was literally jumping up & down (yeah, I did have to use the restroom really bad too). Right as you walk in, you encounter security and it is pretty much just like airline security (though no shoe removing thank goodness!). We plopped our bags on the x-ray conveyor and stepped through the metal detector. Of course Ron set it off, but that was fine, it gave me a minute to get ahead of him and get up that escalator and plan my attack. At the top of the elevator I quickly scanned the upper level of the terminal looking for a conspicuous CM handing out boarding passes. Hmm. Nope. No one. The only CM I spotted was behind the first round table assisting some folks filling out their paperwork. I had read that they hand out the boarding passes upon your arrival in the terminal, I hoped I hadn’t overlooked them. I stopped at the table and asked the CM where they were handing out boarding passes. Smiling she replied, “Over there” and gestured behind towards the check in counters. Interesting. Was it too early to be handing them out en masse yet? I wasn’t gonna hang there by the escalator and find out! I scooted over into the check in line, which was only about 4 families long, it hadn’t snaked into the queue yet. Of course, I ended up right behind our parking lot buddies from the burgundy SUV. Ron and the kids had caught up and he asked me why we were not in “that line over there”, which was shorter. I pointed out to him that it was the Castaway Club line, and said “Next time…” As we waited in the line I staked out the terminal. It was still pretty empty, I’d say only 30 to 40 people were scattered about in other areas (concentrated down at the boarding end by the snack bar). But more and more folks were arriving by the second and CM’s darted over to direct the line into the queue. The line moved very quickly as each window was fully staffed with CM’s. We probably only waited about five minutes before it was our turn. I was worried about the boarding pass, paranoid that they would start handing them out by the escalator and somehow we would get skipped over. As soon as we approached the CM, I asked her if this is where we got our boarding passes. She smiled and figured she’d better placate me quick, before the terrorist threat went up to orange! And she handed me the most glorious thing (or at least I thought it was at the time):



(And you thought I was just going to show you pictures from my family photo album!)

Now, I had pretty much assumed that BP #’s 1 & 2 were reserved strictly for concierge guests. So getting a 3 was about as good as one could do (I have since read of non-concierge early arrivers snagging a 1 and 2 BP’s, so they CAN be obtained). I was happier than a pig in poop! She checked us in swiftly and handed over the next best thing to the #3 BP:




Our KTTW! And we were super happy to see that our request for dining rotation had been filled: we had the 8:15 seating APPT! That could not have worked out better! Animator’s Palate the first night, and the repeated restaurants on nights 2 & 3 just like we had hoped & planned. (Tip: DO NOT HESITATE to call up Disney and make a request prior to sailing! They just might fill it!) Our friendly & knowledgeable CM whose name I don’t recall then pointed us to the snack bar area to sign the kids up for the Oceaneer’s Club. She did forget to give us a Navigator but Ron quickly went over to another CM and snagged one. In all the excitement I had forgotten how bad I had to use the restroom, and we moved over that way to get in that, much longer OC line. This one was snaked in the queue, and I’d say had about 15 families in it. It was about this point I heard what I had feared all morning was coming…”Mommy! I’m HUUUUNGRY!” We are but an hour and a half away from all the free glorious wonderful food we could eat and find ourselves facing a dilemma – give in(the weak spineless parents that we are) and buy some overpriced fritos at the snack bar, or listen to “mommyimhungrymommyimhungrymommyimhungry”
for the next 90 minutes. So Ron jumped out into the snack bar line. (You pick your battles). With the little monsters sated we advanced in the OC line, though not a quickly as the check-in line It wasn’t too bad, maybe 10-15 minutes and it was our turn. Since we had registered online (TIP: Fill out everything you can online. It really streamlines things) it only took a minute or two to get the wristbands on, (not the huge clunky things, just little white plastic ones) get our pager, and set our password (Ron did not pay any attention to any part of that conversation, which will come into play later) and we were done! They released us into terminal, and into the throngs of cruisers that had since gathered! Wow! It got packed quick! We got a spot on one of the couches. We went to the restrooms. The kids checked out the model of the ship. And then I heard the next worst thing to ‘mommyi’mhungry’…..”MOMMY i’m BORED”



You have GOT to be kidding me.
So I dragged out our new camera to busy them with picture taking activities. It was brand spanking new right out of the box. We had just bought it Friday. And we didn’t know how to use it. Probably not the best idea. (TIP: If you buy a new camera or camcorder for the cruise, be sure you read the instruction manual BEFORE you leave on the trip!). We had previously had a Sony Cybershot, which is a point & shoot, but we had upgraded to a Canon Powershot 300si (or something like that), which is like one step below the Canon Rebel, and it has a million and a half features we totally could not figure out. We did figure out which button to push to actually take the pics, though and that was all we needed to know for the time being. So we got some pictures by the embarkation ears…




And out by the boat…..



And right then Goofy bounded out! The kids got to meet Goofy, and get some pics (including our first of many Shutters photo ops!)




You know one thing the terminal could use is those CM’s that walk around asking you if you need a drink. Cause I certainly did at that point! “….Hey Snake, we need more wine”

And not long after that, I heard “Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys……” And BOLTED up off the couch! It was almost noon, and I knew what was coming! “….Boarding passes one and two please approach the embarkation area. Once again boarding passes ONE and TWO….” Oh I was up! We gathered our stuff as quick as we could. Even though I have my reputation as an over-packer, we had light carry ons, just a small tote for me and the laptop bag for Ron to carry (some families it seemed, had whole sets of luggage!) (TIP: only take what you absolutely need in your carry on. You can’t put it in your stateroom ‘til 1:30, and you will have to navigate the boat -including the decks and the buffets- with it). But we couldn’t gather our stuff quick enough. It was literally no more than one minute later that we heard “Boarding passes THREE and FOUR please approach the embarkation area, THREE AND FOUR”.. Yikes! Look out! Outtamyway! That’s us!!!!!!!! I blasted my way through the gathering crowds of folks waiting to board, the family trailing behind trying to not lose me. The CM at the ropes checked my pass and nodded us in! We are finally getting on that boat!!
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 9/2011- NEW! TRIP REPORT! - Disney Magic 7 Night Western 10/2010: Trip Report - Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 1/2010: Trip Report and Videos - Disney Magic 7 Night Western Double Dip 09/08: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 3 Night Bahamas 10/07: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas 03/07: Trip Report

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Old 04-04-2007, 04:17 PM   #12
oceangirl
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Love your trip report! I have a couple of questions. We haven't cruised yet, but I've been reading the boards trying to figure it all out. Are you not allowed to bring travel irons onboard? I hadn't seen anything about that......did they confiscate yours or was it okay? Also, I had read that they hand out the boarding passes before you go up the escalator. Does this change? How do you know where to get your boarding pass? Thanks. Looking forward to your next installment....!
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:18 PM   #13
parrotheadmom
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Hi! I feel like were friends already. I'm a fellow parrothead from Utah! I have pictures of my parakeets with the same mask on at a Buffett show in Vegas. My family travels to Vegas and San Diego just to see Bubba! I'm a little bit of an obsessed fan, my daughters names are Delaney and Marley! Wish you were cruising in October for the Halloween cruise with us. Love the trip report so far, I can't wait to read the rest. Lynette

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Old 04-04-2007, 04:35 PM   #14
nenner1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangirl View Post
Love your trip report! I have a couple of questions. We haven't cruised yet, but I've been reading the boards trying to figure it all out. Are you not allowed to bring travel irons onboard? I hadn't seen anything about that......did they confiscate yours or was it okay? Also, I had read that they hand out the boarding passes before you go up the escalator. Does this change? How do you know where to get your boarding pass? Thanks. Looking forward to your next installment....!
Hi Oceangirl, happy to answer your Q's... About the iron, I read in the books (Birnbaum's and the Passporter) that ironing was not permitted in the staterooms due to fire regulations. We actually called Disney and asked them if we could bring a travel iron and they said absolutley not. But I smuggled it on anyway, well hidden in my checked luggage with my hairdryer and curling irons. They did not confiscate it, even though I left it in plain view of my stateroom host a couple of times. My advice would be go for it and bring one on but you never know if they might catch it. I can't confirm but I have a feeling they don't x-ray, scan or inspect checked luggage in any way. As far as the boarding passes, your guess is as good as mine. I had also heard that they have handed them out at the top of the escalator, the bottom of the escalator, and now I know at least on one occasion they handed them out at check in. I can only guess that where they decide to hand them out depends on how full the cruise is (or maybe how many CM's called in sick that day). All I can say is they always seem to be changing things, just keep reading TR's and when you arrive keep your eyes and ears open and ask the first CM you see!!

Glad you are enjoying the TR!
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by parrotheadmom View Post
Hi! I feel like were friends already. I'm a fellow parrothead from Utah! I have pictures of my parakeets with the same mask on at a Buffett show in Vegas. My family travels to Vegas and San Diego just to see Bubba! I'm a little bit of an obsessed fan, my daughters names are Delaney and Marley! Wish you were cruising in October for the Halloween cruise with us. Love the trip report so far, I can't wait to read the rest. Lynette

Happy to meet you Lynette!!! Always love to meet new PH friends

We are probably about as obsessed as you. I practically grew up in the keys, we vacationed down there four weeks a year, so I was born & raised a PH. Both mine & hubby's parents were lucky enough to have gone to the Eagles/JB tour in the late 70's.
We started going to concerts for the Fruitcakes tour in 1995 (well, I started at OTSTL tour in 89)...have been to at least 40 of them since, traveling to West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tallahassee, Atlanta several times, Raleigh, Manassas Va, and Boston several times. My son Brendan went to his first concert at 5 mos old, and my daughter's scheduled labor induction was postponed so we could attend a concert!! LOL, my doc was not happy about that. And luckily she held off, I went into labor the next night! Her name is, of course, Savannah!! Have you ever noticed how many PH's you find on the DIS? It's great!
We can't sail in October with you unfortunately, but it's not too late for you to join us on the Alt. Western Double Dip sailing Sept. 27, 2008! We could check out Margaritaville Cozumel together!

I'm sure you will enjoy this TR!
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