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Old 05-13-2007, 08:26 AM   #16
Angie_Ohio
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Hurry More!!

Your kids are adorable. We have a 7 day Western booked for Nov 08. We were on the 7 day Eastern in 06 and had a great time. Anxious to hear about a Western thought.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:35 AM   #17
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Sunday, March 25, 2007 - Key West

We woke up late, for us, maybe around 7:30. Wanted to get the kids to the clubs by 9am to make our PALO brunch at 10am. DD2 was fine and dandy in the AM. We headed up to Topsiders for quick buffet for the kids and dropped them at the club and lab. Barely got goodbyes out of them! DDs immediately got to know Heather from S. Africa and Meaghan from Canada – those counselors especially always greeted the girls and us with open arms, willing to talk about their time in the club and looked forward to the girls coming back. LOVED them. DS went into the Lab no problem. He met a couple counselors – Jean-Noel and Oliver from Australia, Brad from England, Roxanne from S. Africa and Drew from the United States. He met a few other boys in there and they’d exchange greetings when they saw each other around the ship.

DH, DDad, DMom and I headed to PALO brunch. It was just opening at 10am so we were promptly seated. Our server was Ciao-Romano from the Philippines. He was very gracious and proud to show us around. He made sure we tried anything and everything and insisted we order things even if it was just for a taste. The pizzas were excellent, Eggs Benedict (I’m loyal to this on a menu to a fault) was only ok – I was bummed. We ordered a veal something off the lunch menu and it was delish. My absolute favorites were the Stollen Bread with whipped cream and jam and the prosciutto wrapped asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Had many servings of that. DH loved the smoked salmon and tried the Eggs Julia – said it was ok. It was perfect timing too because we enjoyed watching the Magic pull into Key West all during our brunch at our window-seat table. We so enjoyed Chao-Romano that we told him we were planning to be back Tues night with friends and wanted him to be our server. Done.

We took our time walking to the club to get the kids – we took pictures of the little island near the port dreaming of buying a house on it. The kids of course didn’t want to leave their clubs so we told them they’d be back later and they finally agreed. They’d already eaten in the club so we just had to pack up for the day. Time to venture off the ship for the first time.

We’d never been to Key West and I was drooling for some frozen key lime pie on a stick. We strolled around some souvenir shops – bought sunglasses for the DDs, DS had his collection of baseball hats with him so didn’t want any. We also popped into CVS for replacement snorkel gear since it was in our carry-on bag headed back home. We luckily found a Blonde Giraffe location rather quickly and got our treats.

I wasn’t sure the kids would like it but with all the sour candy they like these days, they were fighting over my frozen one on a stick. Yummers!

Since treats were now over, the kids were whining to go back to the ship. We tried to radio our friends and they were just getting off the ship. We took the “long” way back to the dock and by then, DDad & DMom were ready to go back too. It was pretty hot that day – probably the hottest day of the trip. They offered to take the kids back to the ship and check them into the clubs. They wanted to have some quiet reading time anyway. So DH and I ventured back out into Key West. We walked along Duval St. and stocked up on Crazy Shirts – DH’s favorite. I think he bought 3 or 4, I got a tank top from there too. We tried DF on the radio again, they were taking their kids back already too. We told them to call us when they were ready for a drink. We stumbled upon Sloppy Joe’s which seemed like a great place to park it for drinks. Low and behold, sitting at a corner table were DFW’s parents – they were having a drink after their Walking Tour excursion – which they really enjoyed. So we pulled up a couple chairs and radioed DF to let them know where we were. They quickly joined us and the 6 of us had some drinks, people watched (since our table was in the doorway by the street corner) and laughed !

Saw Key West’s version of Elvis, we think. DH got a picture – never did find out the story about him – anyone know?

Only because we had 6pm dinner did we finally head back about 5pm. After grabbing the kids, who thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the club that afternoon but couldn’t remember what they did, we changed for dinner. It was Animator’s Palate. We were all excited for the color-change show. It was very subtle and didn’t get as vibrant as I would have expected but the kids thought it was cool. Here's our wonderful servers - Gabor & Evandro!

Again, didn’t keep track of what any of us ate – no pictures either. Except for mmmmm, Mickey Bars

But it was nice this night, I remember that. DCL photographers got a great picture of all 13 of us that night at dinner. (need to scan to post) Then we went outside and took Key West Sunset pictures

The DDs wanted to go back to the club and not go to the Gary Delena show which was fine. On the way to the club we stopped for a number of character greeting pictures.

DD1 wanted to see everyone – Wendy, Belle, Fairy Godmother – she even went right up to the Cruise Director, Christiaan, to greet him and get a picture. So cute!

DD2 only likes Belle and Mulan so we luckily got to see Belle.

DS and DFS wanted to go with the Lab to see The Shaggy Dog. DFD decided to go to her Lab group too. Grown-up time! The 8 of us grown-ups went to the Gary Delena show which we all loved and were counting the minutes until his “adult” show later in the week. My DDad & DMom picked up my DDs and met up at the cabin for goodnights around 10pm. DS & DSF wanted to stay for Sports Deck time until after our show. DH and I headed back out to Rockin’ D Bar where we found DF, DFW and her parents already at a table. Jeff Civillico’s adult show was at 10:15 – funny, entertaining. We left as they were rounding people up for Match Your Mate – I wanted to see it but no one else did. After the show, we walked around looking for something to do but it seemed the ship was asleep. We finally got the boys our of the Lab from the Sports Deck around 11:30. We grabbed a late night snack of pizza at Goofy’s eating on Deck 9 at night – that was fun. The boys played a little ping-pong while we hung out. We called it a night since it was a sea day the next day and DH wanted to get up to work out.

Up next - Day at Sea - Whoopee !
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:42 PM   #18
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Now those are some really cute kids! Can't wait to read more. Did the eastern last month, would like to do western next.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:35 AM   #19
meegster
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Thanks everyone - I think they're pretty cute too!

All this reminiscing is making me want to go back - Nov 2008 seems so far away!
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:19 PM   #20
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Monday, March 26, 2007, Part One: Dukin’ it out over deckchairs

Ah, a day at sea. I’ve been looking forward to this since we boarded. Little did I know the craziness of the pools!

The day started with DH working out while I got everyone up and ready for breakfast and the pool. DDad was gone to go read a book. This became a morning ritual. He’s an early riser so he’d roll out of bed, get dressed, grab his book and head up to Deck 9 to get coffee and read. He was never in the same place so we always had to go searching for him. Got old after a couple of days! Once DH returned, we went looking for DDad and headed to Topsiders for a quick breakfast. As we walked around looking for DDad we noticed how many chairs were already “saved” – ALL of them. Lovely.

So we ate and went straight for the Mickey pool – around 9:30. It would be the first time the kiddos could check out the Mickey slide. We couldn’t find a single lounger so we grabbed the first table and chairs we could to park our stuff. DDad just sat there reading guarding our stuff. DMom wandered around and peeked in on the kids. She stays out of the sun if at all possible. DH and I took turns watching the kids in the pool and looking for loungers to open up. No luck. Stuff spread everyone and no bodies for over 1.5 hours!

Along one of the back rows of loungers there was 1 man laying there sunning and 10 loungers saved – 5 or so on each side of him. It had been that way the whole time we’d been up at the pool. So I asked some adults further down from him if anyone was using those chairs and they said they weren’t theirs. These 4 adults were crammed on 2 chairs and rolling their eyes too. Great, had to approach the man. I ask if all the chairs were saved and he said yes.

Me: But I’ve been out here for over an hour and no one has sat in them.
Man: I have a big family coming.
Me: Do you really need ALL of them? Can you spare one?
Man: No, early bird gets the worm.
Me (as I walk away but loud enough for him to hear): Nice, that’s real considerate of you to all the rest of us.

I march back over to the edge of the Mickey pool and report to DH about the man encounter. We grumble about it and decide we need our friend Jack (Jack Daniels, that is). I ran to the room to get some and we pour drinks from the Drink Station. It’s about 11:30 now. We start chatting up a guy from the Midwest who’s on the pool edge too, chairless. His DS is playing with our DDs. Nice conversation. Then the cocktail waitress comes up and says to me, there’s a man back there who said you can use some of his chairs. AH-HA! Guilt won! I walk over and he offers me a few chairs. I thank him profusely, trying to be the bigger person, “you’re my hero” and such. He says I made him feel guilty and he got tired of waiting for his family. We exchange niceties, shake hands and all is well. So I take up one chair. Haven’t seen much of DF and his family – where are they?

30 minutes later, I’m bored. No one to talk to, can’t see my kids, and it’s starting to get shady from the sun moving across the sky. Darn. Now I feel guilty that I should stay in the chair since I kinda pitched a fit over it. I call the kids over to eat so that kills some time. They loved eating at Pluto’s Doghouse – and the food was pretty good to for what it was – chicken strips, burgers, etc. We grabbed wraps and fruit at Goofy's. Nice alternative. But it was getting time to get ready for our spa treatment – DH and I were going to enjoy the infamous “ER” – Exotic Rasul.

Next up - At Sea Part Two
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:44 AM   #21
Angie_Ohio
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When in Nov

We're booked for a 7 day Western at the end of Nov 08. It does seem really far away but I need all that time to save. When is your next one?
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:28 AM   #22
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We're going on the Thanksgiving Double Dip in 2008 - can't wait !!
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:39 AM   #23
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Monday, March 26, 2007, Part Two:

We left off with getting ready for our couples spa treatment – the ER. We help DDad and DMom by getting DDs back to the room to change. My DDad will stay in the room with the DDs so they can get a nap. DS finally meets up with DFS and DF and DFW decide they’ll keep him for a bit and swim in the Goofy pool. My DMom hangs nearby in the shade and talking with DFMil. We run off to the spa.

Check in was quick and we are led to the treatment room. There’s a big shower to the left, a tile bench seat in front with all the products laid out and a sauna/shower room on the right. Won’t go into details here folks but let’s just say we had a very nice time.

We emerge at 3:15 and go looking for everyone. DS was still in the pool with DFS. DMom had taken the girls for a nap so they were sleeping. Yeah! We wandered around deck 9 for a while, retrieved our buddy JD from the cabin and made ourselves a drink. We sat with DF and DFW on deck for about an hour until it was time to clean up for dinner. Tonight was Formal Night – time to get fancy. Everyone was pretty cooperative getting ready. The kids were actually excited to dress up. DD2, my younger twin, doesn’t like dresses but enjoyed looking nice for this formal night since everyone else was dressed up too. We grabbed complimentary cocktails in the lobby as we waited for our portraits with the Mickey statue in front of Lumiere’s. Those turned out really nice. I’ll try to scan my DCL purchased pictures and add those in later. Here's the kids:

Again, sorry I dropped the ball on the food thing. I think most of you cruisers know what’s served. I never took a single food picture – not even at PALO – I got too excited to eat and just enjoy our tablemates and servers! But DDad did attempt to "pass" on dessert this night - not sure why - so this is what he got.

Everyone was excited to see The Golden Mickeys tonight. We started to get to the theater earlier and earlier to be sure we had seats – then just make trips to the bathroom before the show.


It was a great show. I really love the productions. Love the theater in general and was impressed with their productions! Show ended about 9:30 and there wasn’t much on the agenda we wanted to do so we walked around a bit and called it a night early. Enjoyed another surprise towel animal when we got back.

Next up - finally back on land - Grand Cayman
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:50 PM   #24
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Love the TR so far! Your pics are beautiful! You really have a lovely family.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:17 PM   #25
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fantastic report.

my cousin's son just finished his flat stanley report - he sent his to my aunt in England and she didn't disappoint, taking him to the castle, the underground, the gardens. that project is wonderful.

shame on you for not taking pictures of the food - we haven't been on a cruise yet and i LOVE seeing what the serve and how they present it - BUT totally understandable, from what I hear, people just dive into their meals and forget about the camera.

can't wait to hear more.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:28 PM   #26
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Great Report!

[QUOTE=meegster;18546101]Just as a reminder, as you get to know us:
Cast of characters:
Me, meegster, 38
DH, 37
DS, 7
DD1, 4
DD2, 4, yes twins
DMom, 65+
DDad, 65+

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Had a hard time going to sleep the night before because of last minute packing and house cleaning – to bed around midnight, alarm set for 3am. Yikes! We had a 4:15am car/van service pick up at my parents house.

I was up first – 3 hours of sleep but I didn’t care – I was heading to Florida! MAGIC here I come. Quick shower for me and then DH. Got everything packed and then woke the kids. Clothes had already been laid out so DH turned on the video camera and we woke each kid up with – “Are you ready for a Disney Cruise?!” I haven’t seen them be this cooperative that early in the AM, ever. We were out the door at 4am. Quick 10 minute drive to the folks’ house where the van was already waiting for us. Loaded up our 5 pcs of luggage and 1 carryon a piece plus folks and their stuff and we’re on the road.

Got to John Wayne Airport in OC by 5am, if not sooner. Dropped off quick and hopped in Delta line to check bags – already pre-printed boarding passes. Line was short but wait seemed long since they opened late – around 5:20am. DH was a little confused with the kiosk to check bags but we got it sorted out and on through security. Kids thought it was funny to have to remove their shoes. Line was short and we breezed through but because they didn’t mark my boarding pass with a little highlighter mark, I had to go all the way back – with my kids on the other side. Rrrrr. TSA hustled and got it sorted out before shoes were back on so they didn’t get far.  Lines for Starbucks (for DH and DMom) and McD’s (for all the eats) were long and by the time we got our stuff, it was time to board! Scarf down the grub everyone!

The 7 of us were seated 3 in front of 3 with 1 across the aisle – plenty of options for mixing and matching with the kids. This was the first plane ride for my girls – officially. They claim the flight when they were in my tummy counted but we tried to explain this was the one they got to enjoy so this counts!

There were TVs in each seat – bummer I forgot all those headphones we already have around the house. $10 later everyone was set. Those plus some homework for DS (including a Flat Stanley project)

and coloring books for the DDs and the flight to Atlanta was a piece of cake.


My son did flat stanley last year at his school. Friends of ours took him to Italy. They brought back chocolates for the whole class when Jake got up and did a report.

I love your reprt. I'm subscribing. Keep them coming! Your kids are beautiful.

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Old 05-21-2007, 03:20 PM   #27
meegster
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Thanks again everyone for the kind words!

We were so good to take Flat Stanley with us everywhere on the cruise but just forgot to take more pictures! Luckily my son's project was still one of the most involved ones in the class so he was pleased. We'll get to revisit Flat Stanley at Open House in a couple weeks.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:40 PM   #28
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - Grand Cayman

DH was a good boy and got up to work out again around 6am. I slept in for a little bit. But we would be docking in Grand Cayman today and wanted to be off the ship pretty early as we had a self-booked excursion at 9:30. We started getting ready for the day as DH returned. Went on our daily hunt for DDad reading up on Deck 9. Once found, we hit Topsiders for breakfast and checked out port from window seats. Lots of other cruise ships in port that day. We stocked up on cereal boxes for snacks before we left.

Headed to WD Theater to wait for a tender. Very short wait. We boarded with the next group and were ashore by 8:30.

We checked in with Atlantis Adventures right there by the dock and had an hour to kill. We decided to walk around a little to check out shops and such. We looked for a couple souvenirs for the kids – DS got a handmade wooden flute, DD1 got “log” crayons and DD2 got a little sting ray stuffed toy. We walked back to Atlantis and used the facilities one last time before it was time to go and took lots of silly pictures waiting for our boat.


Finally it was time. We boarded the boat that was going to take us out to meet up with the submarine. Maybe a 15 min ride away from the dock and we’re told to keep an eye out for the submarine that should be surfacing. Out of nowhere it appears. Neat. Riders from that trip were unloaded to the bottom of our boat and seated. Then we were allowed to get off and into the submarine. It was very clean and comfortable inside. I expected to get a little claustrophobic but never happened. Once everyone was seated we were on our way. The guide was entertaining and funny – filling us with information and trying to get us to be able to see as much as possible – which wasn’t a whole lot. We dove down 102 ft. We saw lots of fish, a sea turtle, a sting ray and an old tire! We also were taken to the edge of the reef that then drops down 1000 ft. into darkness – spooky. It was over before we knew it and followed the same steps back – offloaded to the bottom of the boat and returned to the dock. Nice for all of us to do together since littles weren’t old enough for a lot of the other excursions.

Now, DDad was on the hunt for turtle soup. We asked at the dock where to go and they sent us a ways over to Hammerheads. DDad was thrilled he would be getting his soup only to find out that they were just making the batch and it would be 30 mins to wait – he could have Conch Chowder now though. He settled. Kids were bored and hungry and we ran out of cereal boxes so the Grands took the kids back to the ship for lunch and more club time.

DH and I decided to get lunch ourselves at Breezes Café overlooking port. Ok food, nice view, ok service. We decided to shop a little since that’s what you’re supposed to do in Grand Cayman. He got a new leather wallet and I got some new pricey perfume. Then he found some shell/leather necklaces for him and DS – it’s a tradition that they get new ones on trips that match. It was getting time to return to the ship leaving at 4:30 so we did and caught up with DF’s in-laws for the tender back.

Once back onboard, checked in with DDad & DMom to try to find the kids. They were in their clubs so we made cocktails via the drink station and made the rounds to pick them up. We wanted to help ready the kids for dinner since we and DF & DFW were bailing on the Grands for PALO dinner ! Once we got them out the door on the way to dinner at 6pm, it was so nice to get ready alone. We enjoyed another cocktail in-room and got dressed. We stepped out our door at 7pm just as DF & DFW opened their door two doors down – perfect timing. He headed on up to PALO and sat at the bar and orders drinks – we were fine waiting. As soon as the drinks arrived, they showed us to our table before our 7:30 reservation. And we got as requested – Ciao-Romano was again our server.


This night I can kind of remember what we had because it was all soo good. We shared some pizzas to start – sausage and maybe the chef selection. We also had the calamari which we really light and yummy. DH and I both had the filet but he really wanted to try the Linguine Carbonara so Ciao brought some for us all to share – that was my FAVORITE dish. So getting that next time! Best ever! We had the Panna Cotta and Chocolate Souffle for dessert and finished with the Limoncello. Wonderful dinner experience. I think we were finished around 9:30. We decided to walk around the ship a little – looking for some fun activity. I don’t have my Navigator from Tues so I can’t recall if we did anything. I think we popped our heads into the Production since our kids were there with the Grands. Otherwise, we just met up with them back at the cabin around 10pm and called it an early night.

Next up - Cozumel and my dream of dolphins !
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:20 PM   #29
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Need to resurrect my trip report !

Not that I had a ton of followers but I can't believe I never finished. I'll need to get this going again. Gets me excited for our next trip!

I had this much already written out so each of the next segments might take a little inbetween but I should finish what I started - major flaw of mine!

Hope someone will stop by and check in out and give me some DIS love.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:31 PM   #30
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - Cozumel

This morning we both woke up and went to the gym. It felt good to be running again with all the eating we’ve been doing. Granted, we did our share of walking and using the stairs but still. Since we had adjoining rooms, DMom just let us open up the connecting door and prop open with the deadbolt when we left so she got the kids up and going for breakfast. DH and I each got a good run in. I couldn’t use the treadmills right out front practically over the water – made me dizzy – so I was fine with the backrow. Then we went down to shower and meet up with everyone and head to Topsiders for breakfast.

We didn’t have to rush as much this morning since we couldn’t go ashore until around 10am. But I was very excited for this day. I was going to swim with dolphins – everyone was expecting I would cry at the sight of it. I get all teary just thinking about it. We were going to Chankanaab Park with our whole traveling party so we met up with DF and all his family and got off the ship. We grabbed a taxi and taxi van and for a quick $10/ taxi we headed to the park. This really was a wonderful day spot. It was well maintained. The dolphin facility was bigger than I expected. Our reservation was for 12 noon so we got there at about 10:30 and decided to park it at the beach for a while – since only 4 of the 13 of us were doing the Dolphin Swim.

DF and family prepped for snorkling, so did DS and DH. We rented vests for the girls and fins for the snorklers - pricing was ok. The currents were pretty rough where we were so the girls didn't swim too long. We brought bread & dinner rolls from the ship to feed the fish - DS & DFS got to see lots of fish with their dads - that was a great idea.


We were all in and out of the water until time for the swim. I'll get to that in my next post.

Do I cry at the sight of dolphins?
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