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Old 05-28-2007, 02:13 PM   #1
AuntyBrat
I am old and I am mean...Which part of this did you not understand?
 
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Magic to The Med Report VERY LONG

Ok, here is my review:
Details: Laura & Jeannine 44 & 39 and holding. Third Disney cruise, second 14 days cruise with DCL. Pin Cruise and Panama Canal East bound are our previous cruises. Booked a Cat 12, free bump to a cat 9, upgraded at port to a cat 5. First cruise without our kids. This cruise only had at 60% capacity and only about 200 kids on board. The lack of people was evident but nice. This was a Trans Atlantic reposition cruise taking the Disney Magic to Barcelona Spain for it's summer season cruising the Med. It was a 14 day cruise, departing May 12, 2007 and returning by air on May 26. 2007. Departed Port Canaveral, with stops at Castaway Cay (DCL's private island), Canary Islands, Cadiz, Gibraltar, and Barcelona.
Wows- *****Having Shutters (ships photographers) go out with all the guided shore excursions. (they may have gone out with the 'on your own' excursions, but I wasn't on those, so could not say) They took great professional photos of anyone who wanted one at all the different stops and places. They actually saved a one excursions from being a total loss. Once they realized that you wanted them to take your picture, they did a good job of finding spots and getting great shots. They also did a fantastic job of trying to group all your shots from that day together, rather than all over the place on the boards. Made it much easier to find. We did not plan on buy many photos but ended up about $200 each on photos because they were so good. This is the first time DCL has done this and they plan on doing it in the future. This service exceeded out expectations. Include more money in your budget for this folks!!
***** Having DCL staff members go along on tours as assistant guides. They were dressed in golden mustard yellow shirts, and were great at helping to keep groups together. In my case, after my group left me, finding that shirt and staying with another group until we found mine was a real godsend! They were helpful and easy to spot. Totally hit the mark with this!
***** Fireworks show in Barcelona. We arrived the night before we were to enter the docks and they did a fireworks show that knocked everyone's socks off. We have been to Disneyland and Disney World and this show put them all to shame! The timing of the fireworks with the music on the ship. It gave us goosebumps. Also Shutters rented helicopters and took photos of the fireworks from the air. It was totally awe inspiring to see it in person and then get the photos of it. Barcelona television was also on hand and broadcast it live on their late night news.
The Good:
This cruise had a 90% repeat guest ration. So you had true DCL lovers on this cruise. There were the usual stupid people that you get anywhere, but, all in all, the folks were great.
Don 'Ducky' Williams was on board and did three adult/family shows and then several with the various kids groups. He was also on our dining rotation. A nicer man you could not want to meet. There was also a Park West auction of several of his personal pieces, and frankly, people went nuts. He offered personalize each piece for anyone who won. Also, on our last day we ran into him in line at guest services, because someone missed their signing with him, and he can down to sign it for them. What a true gentleman.
Signings: In the past signings with artists like Mr. Williams were a kind of free for all. This time, when you got your lithograph you also got an assigned date and time period for your deck. There were also limitation to how many pieces you could get signed. And guess what, they enforced it. We were on the first day of signing and people who tried to get in line early were turned away if they didn't have their card or if their card had another date/time. This made the lines move and didn't overwhelm the artist.
Mystery at Sea: We did the one on the Panama Canal crossing (East Bound) and while we enjoyed it, we were a little under whelmed. This one was a total turn around. It was clever and you had to pay attention. Only 5 people won, but everyone got a prize for playing (DCL Magnifying glass). Really nice job and kept out attention during those long sea days
When Mickey Dreams: This was the new Cirque style show that prem'Eared' on this voyage. Let me start by saying that I am not a big Cirque show type fan, and they were doing this on a ship that was in 20 foot swells and strong winds. That being said, they did a great job. Some small problems, but nothing to detract. No one we talked to hated in, and most people enjoyed it to loved it. Will be interesting to see it again on the West Bound Panama Cruise next year.
Cast Members: We found our previous stateroom hostess and we caught up with her. Also our previous dining room server recognized us on Castaway Cay and we saw them both several times through out our cruise. Alex in Palo's was wonderful and we asked for him each time we dined there. Our dining room server, assistant server and head server were all great, and really tried to help work out the food problems we had.
The Bad:
DCL really planned on good weather for this cruise, and mother nature did NOT cooperate. 6 days at sea with overcast conditions, rain, some thunderstorms, 13-20 foot rough seas and moderate gale force winds all worked at keeping people in their rooms on bonine and naps. I don't think anyone came back with a tan on this cruise. Because of the bad weather, it really took it's toll on planned activities on the deck. DCL could not control the weather, but they could have used better sense.
The Mouse 2.0 party was postponed one day and went ahead with the next. The weather was not that much better, but they held it outside anyway. Now here is a hint for all of you planning a BBQ and wondering if you should bring it in, if the wind is strong enough to blow the food off of your plate (not the plate,but the food it self) you should probably move it in. If it starts raining hard enough that you have to drag the costumed characters in before they become water logged, you should probably move it in. When people are riding boogie boards in the new 'wave pools' you should probably move it in. Same thing with the Pirates in the Caribbean deck party. When the table linens are blowing off and becoming water logged from the pool water sloshing out, you should probably NOT have it outside. They did go ahead with the fireworks and it seemed a little shorted, but that could have been a factor of the wind.
What is a cruise without a discussion about the food. On our two previous cruises, we ate like there was no tomorrow and enjoyed dang near every bite. Wonderful food that we could not get enough of. There was always something that sounded tasty on the menu and we looked forward to 2 nights with lobster, sadly, this was not to be on this cruise. Now, I am willing to admit that food is really an area where subjection comes into the mix. So let me tell you about our table mates. Don & Debbie were on their first Disney cruise, while Alan was on his 9th and Tyler on his 2nd. We were on our third. We also met people on the disboards and in the dining rooms who had all sorts of DCL food experience and without a doubt the rating on the food generally fell into the poor range. Including the deserts. Some nights were good, and I can only think of one that fell into the excellent category. At first we chalked it up to having late dining and getting warmed up, held over food. They we compared comments with early dining folks and nope, it was that bad for them too. Funky food stuffs that I was willing to try because, hey it was free and if I didn't like it, I could always order something else. Not good, to down right nasty tended to be the watch word. In fact, several people likened the appetizers to those that you can buy at Costco/Sam's Club that should have been deep fried but got microwaved to rubber instead. We finally gave up on most of the deserts since apparently they got a deal on dates and figs and we were not really into those. Most nights we just got bowls of mixed berries with whipped cream for desert. To give you an idea of how bad the food was, I lost weight on this cruise, and I went to dinner every night!!! We only got lobster on the last night and it was not great. They did do a much better job on beef for this cruise, however, you can only have a rib eye so many nights. Most of the fish was over cooked and the side dishes were rather bland. They still did killer risotto and on some nights that is all we had for dinner. Our servers and the Head Server really tried to make it work for us. However, they were stymied by the kitchen staff. As usually they got to know our likes and dislikes and tried to steer us to what we would enjoy. However, some nights, they could only recommend one thing, and even then, they knew we probably wouldn't like it. We got the same feedback from fellow cruisers. We tried to be excited about the menus and trying new things, but on more than one occasion we looked at the dinner menu and said, hmmm wonder if we can get into Palo's and we went there instead. On previous cruises it was a belly buster because we wanted to eat at both, sadly not this time.
Soda was another problem on this cruise. Apparently about 2 days out from Castaway Cay they realized they were going to run out the carbonation for the soda machines so they cut back on it dramatically. The results was 6 days of flat soda from all dispenser locations until we got to Cadiz. Your only alternative was to pay for a can at the bar, or do what we did and had a 12 pack delivered to our stateroom as part of a wine/gift package. When the shipboard doctor is recommending regular soda to help calm seasick stomachs and all you can get is flat, people were getting upset. Bad job DCL!!!
The Ugly:
With a returning guest ratio of 90% on this cruise, you would think that DCL would make sure they were running like a well oiled machine. WRONG!!!! Lots and lots of new cast members fresh from DCL's indoctrination camp, where the spam answer is always the right answer. Now, I realize that DCL has rules about LE merchandise and how it is distributed. Generally one per family/stateroom. In the past, we know this and have gone to guest services because we are two families in one stateroom, and after verifying this with guest services, there were not any problems further on. Housekeeping got two items for the room and everyone was happy, not this cruise. It was more like No Guest Services. Let me give you some examples:
On our first night we got one Castaway Club gift we went down to No Guest Services (NGS in future) to explain about being two separate families, both returning cruisers in the same stateroom. The only answer we got was one per stateroom, no matter what. After going around and around, we finally left and thought we will try this again later. Next day, new person and same ole same ole. We are getting really frustrated now. But we decided to head off to Castaway Cay, enjoy the day and deal with it before dinner.
Castaway Cay has a post office so you can send home cards with it's stamp. We arrived on a Sunday and shock of shocks, the post office was closed, with a sign to go to guest services. No problemo, we have bought stamps as guest services before. So we get in line and listen to the following conversation:
Guest "I need to buy stamps for my post cards"
NGS CM: 'The post office is on the island'
Guest 'I know but they are closed and had a sign saying to buy them here'
NGS CM 'You need to buy them on the island'
Guest 'But the post office is closed'
NGS CM 'Perhaps they are open now'
Guest 'They are closed all day Sunday'
NGS CM 'You will have to try the post office sir'
No, I am not kidding. Finally, a gal came out of the back to help us, and yes, she can sell us postage, and they have a system for it. We then tell her about the 3 other conversations going on down the way with the other CM. She walks down and starts straightening them out about the postage. So we take care of our stuff, and when we ask the CM what was going on, she tells us that she is the only experienced one, the other 5 GS CM are all new and this is their FIRST cruise!!! This was the case throughout the cruise. Brand new people on their first cruise, and man did it show. We asked again about our CC gift and she looked up our stateroom and could find nothing about it. She put in another request, but told us that she didn't see why there should be a problem.
Monday, first day at sea and after dinner we come back from dinner to find ONE commemorative book on the Trans Atlantic crossing. We called NGS again and got the parroted one per stateroom phrase and hung up. This was getting rediculous. We ran into our stateroom hostess friend again, and told her the problem. She said to ask for the NGS manager and tell her we were tired of wasting our precious vacation time having to deal with this. In a 48 hour period we had to make 6 trips to guest services about CC gifts, missing luggage, stateroom credit, etc... So we go down and ask for the manager. We got Nicole. And boy did Nicole get us. We went through the whole thing, and asked, how were we supposed to share this stuff? Mail it back and forth or cut it in half? Poor Nicole then said this has never happened before. Told her, yes it had, all the time and specifically on the PC cruises. Her answer was that she needed to research it and get back to us. (We found out she was brand new too...UGH) We eventually got 2 CC gifts and two of everything else after that but it was exhausting to have to spend so much time dealing with NGS.
Housekeeping- Our first cruise stateroom host was a ghost who kept our room spotless and totally organized. Our second cruise hostess was a doll who became our friend, and again, kept our room spotless and cleaned up after two tween girls. This time our hostess was brand new (shock!!) and did a fair to poor job. Did not dust, hung up dirty towels off the floor (how do I know? Because of the face makeup/lipstick left on it, from the toilet bathroom floor and seeing it in the shower bathroom), and since toilets on a cruise ship do not have a lot of water, they need to be cleaned frequently. Ours wasn't and we actually had toilet truffles growing. Same with the shower. Also, I understand that DCL went to larger spa bath products, but if I use the product up, throw the empties in the trash, why should I have to ask you to replace them? Shouldn't you have don't it on your own? Also, if there is only a square or two left on the roll of toilet paper, put a new one, don't make me do it. And we heard the same complaint from friends in concierge. And instead of apologizing for it, the housekeeping managers defended them or made excuses for them. Frankly, we felt like we got motel 6 service for a DCL price. Is DCL trying to lower expectations of their guests for the future? Also, most of the experienced cast members were getting off in Barcelona and starting their 8 weeks off before they would sign a new contract. Most of them did not know if they would be offered a contract because management has been playing fast and loose with them. They also know with their experience they could get jobs on any other cruiseline. Perhaps DCL is trying to get ready of their possibly more expensive experienced cast members to make room for cheaper newer cast members. Who knows, but the whole experience was a shock after our two previous cruises.
At breakfast of our last morning, we were all discussing our surveys and even Alan with 9 Disney cruises under his belt, said this was the first time he did not give excellent marks across the board and actually give many poor marks or wrote in that they needed a level lower than poor. We are currently already booked for the WB Panama Canal cruise for 2008 and rebooked on board, before things got worse and worse. However, we are seriously reconsidering this in the face of this cruise and how bad it was. I am waiting to hear from our friend to see what happened with the contract renewals for herself and other cast members. If they were not renewed, we will probably cancel everything, because the writing is on the wall that DCL is going into the toilet.
Excursions:
We have always booked our excursions through DCL. And we always got what was described in the write up, and even if we didn't like it, we got what we paid for. This cruise was a tad different for many reasons, so consider the following as a word of warning and/or advice:
Out of 3 all day and 1 half day excursion, we only had one full day excursion that was an absolute wreck and in our case it was the tour guides fault. Other people with different guides got the whole package, we didn't. This was in Seville and it was just awful, with that said, let me give you some things to keep in mind:
Age appropriateness: Lots of these excursions are all day (8 hours plus) and very historical in nature. They include longish bus rides, waiting in lines, listening to guides and the ability to be quite so other people can hear the guide. People took very young children on these tours and it ruined it for many of us, because small children tend to find all of the above BORING!!!! Also, the parents who tend to bring them along are oblivious to their little darlings not having indoor voices or jumping up and down on bus seats while it is moving. We brought this up with Heath the DCL excursions manager and told him they need to set some age minimums for some of these excursions.
---as a side note, DCL kids clubs were opened during excursion hours so parents could leave their kids on the ship while they went out. Too bad more people did not do this as everyone would have had a better time.
Activity level: The activity levels listed for the excursions were right on. If it says that you will have to stand and walk 3 miles over uneven surfaces and if you need to use a walker you probably should not go on that excursion. If it says that you can not take a stroller into places, like a cathedral or a palace you need to plan on carrying your child when they get tired! Oh, and double wide strollers for twins are definitely out of the question!!! The buses used required a big step up from the curb to the first step and then about 4-5 more up to get into the bus. Oh, and you have to take those same steps down to get off the bus. If you have physical limitations, believe what they tell you in the activity area, and do not book these excursions. Also, most of these areas are NOT handicap friendly and/or accessible. They are old historic places that will not be modified. The DCL descriptions made this clear,but apparently people did not believe this.
What to bring/wear: Water, snacks and sunscreen. Most of the time the weather at the coast where the ship docked was slightly overcast to down right cool and rainy. However, once you headed into the interior, in cleared up and got sunny and warm. So plan to dress in layers (short sleeve tee over a long sleeve tee was a good choice and an easy quick change in the bathroom) and even if it looks gloomy at the ship, put on the sunscreen before you leave. You will be happy you did later. Also, bring along water. Drinks and snacks were not easy to get since many places did not allow food or drinks inside, they didn't sell any. Coming back to the bus wasn't always an option either. So keep a bottle of water with you. Also pack snacks. Lunch usually wasn't until 2pm or 3pm. Even the adults get grouchy, so pack some snacks to keep the hunger at bay.
Time is Europe is not what it is in the USA or Canada. Most shops do not open until 10am and then they close from 1-3 or 2-4 for siestas. So getting off the boat first thing in the morning to hit the shops was not such a good idea on our one day with an afternoon tour. Book the morning half day and then leave the afternoon to have lunch in town and go treasure shopping.
Postage - We all love to send home postcards, but those stamps are a bit hard to find, and their post offices are only open from 10am to 2pm. Almost all tobacconists shops sell stamps in Spain. It is easy and convenient and the post office boxes are tall round safety yellow items that you find near the shops usually. A post card will run you .78 euros to mail home to the USA. Ask your tour guides or cab drivers if you are in other countries about their postage locations and box descriptions
Converting money- DO IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!!! While DCL offered US dollars to Euro conversion at the same rate we got at the bank, the amount you could get had a per day limit, it was only done during certain hours and the lines were long. Do yourself a favor and get what you need before you go. Also, they do NOT take US dollars in any of the shops we went to. Some people planned on hitting up local ATMs and getting cash that way or using a CC to make purchases. Most of the small shops don't take credit cards or have a minimum purchase limit. Also, the ATMs were not all that easy to find and you will have to deal with ATM and conversion fees.Just save yourself some hassle and do it before you go, you will thank me later. As for what to do with any left over Euro's? We used them to pay the gratuities to the staff. It worked out well. We figured out what we would have paid them in dollars and then converted it to Euros.
Buy stuff when you see it. If you see something you really like and it won't break the bank, go ahead and get it. Chances are if you are on a tour, you won't be back that way, and chances are you won't find it anywhere else. Don't regret not getting the perfect gift when you had a chance. Speaking of shopping, I normally find the discover shopping lectures and such, to kind of not worth my while. It was different for this trip. So watch the info on the TV channel and then go see the gal and get your map and discount cards. It saved us a bundle on the pearls we bought and got free shipping and insurance on the crystal I bought and had shipped home.
Potential rip offs. In the Barcelona port, UPS has a booth set up to ship things home, so you can avoid the over weight fees at the airport. Comparison: Shipping by UPS ran from $200 to $500 for a 6 pound box and 20 pound box. 10 pound overweight bag at airport fee was $25. You do the math.....and NO I am not kidding about the UPS rates. Apparently they required everything to be shipped by 2 day or overnight, which is why it was so expensive.

YMMV...
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #2
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Oh Laura. I feel so sorry about your cruise and it was going to be so special. What on earth is going on?

I do hope everyone who feels the same writes to Disney as these things need to be addressed. This does not help you though.
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:08 PM   #3
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I just have to comment on thing in your report. Parents are encouraged to NOT to leave their kids in the club while they go on an excursion. They want you on the ship in case of an emergency with your children.

That said, I'm all for age limitations on excursions. On our first cruise, my boys were 5, 6 and 8. They did not belong on any excursion that exceeded 3 hours total. The next cruise, they were 8, 9, and 11. The excursion limit was now 4-5 hours. The Tumlin Tour was out, but Costa Maya was awesome.

We are on the WB Repo Cruise in 2008. The excursion limit will be 5-6 hours and age appropriate. DH is diving and myself and boys will be snorkeling. Their ages this time will be 11, 12 and 14.

I also want to Thank You for an awesome trip report. I hope Disney doesn't go down the toliet and takes to heart the surveys. I'm not sure I'm ready to jump ship to another cruise line yet.
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endkaos View Post
I just have to comment on thing in your report. Parents are encouraged to NOT to leave their kids in the club while they go on an excursion. They want you on the ship in case of an emergency with your children.

That said, I'm all for age limitations on excursions. On our first cruise, my boys were 5, 6 and 8. They did not belong on any excursion that exceeded 3 hours total. The next cruise, they were 8, 9, and 11. The excursion limit was now 4-5 hours. The Tumlin Tour was out, but Costa Maya was awesome.

We are on the WB Repo Cruise in 2008. The excursion limit will be 5-6 hours and age appropriate. DH is diving and myself and boys will be snorkeling. Their ages this time will be 11, 12 and 14.

I also want to Thank You for an awesome trip report. I hope Disney doesn't go down the toliet and takes to heart the surveys. I'm not sure I'm ready to jump ship to another cruise line yet.
On this cruise, I heard many parents say that they kids club offered extended hours for the parents to go on excursions. They were supposed to leave all their tour info with the club and I know the DCL CMs on the tours were in touch with the ships because some of the tours did run quite late. Perhaps this was another one of the changes they put in place. I know I spoke with one woman who said she and her son were both happy he could stay in the kids club while she got to go visit cathedrals and the palace because he thought the whole thing would be boring. Since we didn't have any kids in the clubs, I can not say for sure.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:55 PM   #5
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Thank you! I thought about switching our Sept. cruise to yours, and after reading the report, glad we didn't. Will you please post about the crew's contracts as soon as you know? Fingers crossed DCL mgmt will renew... you can get bad service anywhere so why pay the DCL premium for it?
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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Boy do I hope things get better
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:24 PM   #7
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Gosh Laura-I hope they get their act together by our Panama Canal cruise. The bad parts sounded really BAD! I'm really sorry!!!
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for the trip report laura. I hope they work everything out before we board. I'd hate to think our first disney cruise is our last!
Additional conversion question:
Do you know how DCL converted. Did you have to use an ATM card, cash or your CC and if your cc, was it a cash advance?

See ya on the PC Repo next year.

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Old 05-28-2007, 10:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing all of this with us!!
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:42 PM   #10
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Thanks Laura for your very interesting report. We have also in the past gotten great service from DCL. We will be on the return repo from the med this aug. and hope that they will have gotten their act together. I'm so glad that you filled out the comment cards, hopefully DCL reads these and takes them seriously, there is just to much competition out there in the cruise industry to not listen to guests. As far as the food in the dining rooms, was it that you didn't like that kind of dish or was it prepared badly? I know when you said that the desserts used alot of figs and dates thats very mediterranean. I'm just wondering if they switched to a mediterranean type of menu that people just didn't like? The comments about the euros was very helpful as well. Robin
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:44 PM   #11
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Hope everything is better on the 06/06 cruise!
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:47 PM   #12
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Something tells me that DCL will be getting ALOT of letters, emails, etc from disappointed cruisers this time around.

Its too bad that what could have been a really unique cruise turned out to be an experiment in new staffing.

I wonder why so many of the CM's changed out. Probably the contracts... maybe some of them didn't want to do the transatlantic.

It's sad to see the service etc. go down so fast... DCL cannot afford for this to happen. It's like booking the Grand Floridian and ending up at the local Motel outside the main gate.

It will be interesting to see what the 1st Med cruise turns out like.
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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 05-28-2007, 10:48 PM   #13
sarasotamom
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First of all, I find your complaining a bit over the top. If I paid for a category 12 and was given a FREE category 5, I would be appreciative!!!! You should have researched Europe's weather before you left...Everyone who has been to Europe before knows that the weather is not good in May.. It is cold, dreary. and rainy...Ireland, Scotland, and UK are rainy even in June and July. The nights are very cool even then. As for Italy, the weather is cool in May, and by the end of June and July it is hot and humid...This is from a girl from Florida, that is used to the high humidity...The Italians do not bathe as frequently as we do, and shaving and deodorant is an option, so be ready for some nasty body odor reaking from the people.
Also Europe is much more expensive than the US. Last year the Euro was worth 1.31 dollars and the pound was like a 1.75 compared to the dollar. This makes it more expensive just in the conversions. Please people be ready for the sticker shock. If you eat at McDonalds, a Happy Meal is like $10 in Italy and you will pay 25 cents for every pack of ketchup. When my son went there in 2003, we had to keep putting more money on his debit card because of these high prices. Then the Euro was 1.25 US dollars.
As far as new cast members , I find this amazing. You would think that the current cast members would love to stay on for a new iteniary.
We went on a 4-day cruise at the end of March and we had the same experience with our roonm steward. I had to ask for new soap. shampioo, and conditioner. The soap one really had me boogled, as we had our own shampoo. I had to ask him for bath soap. We just thought it was the Wonder and vowed to only go on the Magic from now on. Now I don't know.
Anyway, there is no excuse for the food....Our food was awesome on our last cruise...And as far as the soda machine goes, that was totally there fault!!!

P.S....If you cancel your Eastbound Panama Cruise let me know...we are dying to book one...We are currently booked for the Thanksgiving 2008 double dip...We are dying for a western or east bound Panamal Cruise...
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarasotamom View Post
First of all, I find your complaining a bit over the top. If I paid for a category 12 and was given a FREE category 5, I would be appreciative!!!! You should have researched Europe's weather before you left...Everyone who has been to Europe before knows that the weather is not good in May.. It is cold, dreary. and rainy...Ireland, Scotland, and UK are rainy even in June and July. The nights are very cool even then. As for Italy, the weather is cool in May, and by the end of June and July it is hot and humid...This is from a girl from Florida, that is used to the high humidity...The Italians do not bathe as frequently as we do, and shaving and deodorant is an option, so be ready for some nasty body odor reaking from the people.
Also Europe is much more expensive than the US. Last year the Euro was worth 1.31 dollars and the pound was like a 1.75 compared to the dollar. This makes it more expensive just in the conversions. Please people be ready for the sticker shock. If you eat at McDonalds, a Happy Meal is like $10 in Italy and you will pay 25 cents for every pack of ketchup. When my son went there in 2003, we had to keep putting more money on his debit card because of these high prices. Then the Euro was 1.25 US dollars.
As far as new cast members , I find this amazing. You would think that the current cast members would love to stay on for a new iteniary.
We went on a 4-day cruise at the end of March and we had the same experience with our roonm steward. I had to ask for new soap. shampioo, and conditioner. The soap one really had me boogled, as we had our own shampoo. I had to ask him for bath soap. We just thought it was the Wonder and vowed to only go on the Magic from now on. Now I don't know.
Anyway, there is no excuse for the food....Our food was awesome on our last cruise...And as far as the soda machine goes, that was totally there fault!!!

P.S....If you cancel your Eastbound Panama Cruise let me know...we are dying to book one...We are currently booked for the Thanksgiving 2008 double dip...We are dying for a western or east bound Panamal Cruise...

You were on a 4 day cruise... they were on for 14... stuck in the middle of the Atlantic.

It seems like Disney tried to do this without planning very well and if they are doing contract negotiations and lost alot of their CM's that were reliable and knew their jobs inside and out (which I imagine is what you experienced when you went - very much like alot of other cruisers...) then you didn't get Disney's standard.

I heard that Tom McAlpin is in Barcelona - I'm sure he's hearing alot from the people who cruised - especially since it was mostly repeat cruisers.

Also... one thing to remember... there are ALOT of travel agents on the first Med cruise. If it's not a good experience, DCL is only stabbing themselves in the heart of it's good reputation.

I hope it goes back to the good service they are known for...

BTW.. I think she PAID for the upgrade at the port... everyone else was getting upgraded from their original because of all the vacancies...
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'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, t'will be in the valley of love and delight.

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 05-29-2007, 12:01 AM   #15
LiserAnn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarasotamom View Post
First of all, I find your complaining a bit over the top. If I paid for a category 12 and was given a FREE category 5, I would be appreciative!!!!
Ummm...she said that she was upgraded to a 9 by DCL and upgraded at the port to a 5...when you upgrade at the port, you pay for it...it's not free. And just because you're upgraded for free, doesn't mean you should be happy with miserable food, etc. Also, Laura's going on the Westbound PC cruise, not the EB...
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