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Old 09-26-2007, 10:27 PM   #76
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Kelli and Maddy are back!! I checked every day. I'm so glad to read your first day, ok, loving all the details. Don't leave one single thing out, k? It is just awesome. And it looks like the CC backpack you got, is the old one they used to give out! We had two staterooms, so I ended up with 2 of those. LOVED it for our excursions, it was just perfect. I'm bringing it with us on our DW trip this coming year for the pool. Anyway! Can't wait for more!!!
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:38 PM   #77
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Maddie sure has grown....she's so cute. I'm loving your trip report!


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Old 09-27-2007, 08:03 AM   #78
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Great to hear more about your trip! Thanks so much for sharing everything with us. I love reading all about it! Keep it coming!
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:27 AM   #79
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FUn TR and great pictures! I'm really enjoying every last word!
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:08 AM   #80
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kelly, just wanted to say i just finally finished reading your 1st tr (thanks for linking it in your sig!)

you write great reports, and i really appreciate all your details about everything in both reports. it helps me think 'this is where my kids might become impatient, i better plan for that', etc. or ''this is something they'd love!"

looking forward to more!
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:42 AM   #81
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Please Read my Trip Report (it is my first one)
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1506272
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:09 PM   #82
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Hi Kelly,

I loved your TR last year, and this one is WONDERful so far too! Mother-daughter trips are to be treasured. My mom and I have been going on them since I was Maddie's age (I'm in college now) and we still look forward to them. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:49 PM   #83
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Thanks so much for this wonderful report! I can't wait to show my girls your pictures when they wake up tomorrow. They'll be 5 and 7 when we go on our first cruise in May. They'll love hearing about Maddie's adventures.
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:38 PM   #84
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Yea!!!! I've been looking for another TR!! Maddie does look so grown up this year. My DS fell and lost his front teeth too--he didn't have any for almost 4years!! He looks way too grown up with them now . So glad your cruise was magical!!
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:36 AM   #85
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Kelli-
Enjoying the trip report and all the photos! Keep 'em coming!
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:14 PM   #86
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Bump it back up! Hoping to hear and see more of your trip report!
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:08 PM   #87
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Kelli, hope all is well... Can't wait to hear more TR details!
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:57 PM   #88
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Still here....still writing....here we go....BACK TO THE TR!

Give it to me now....the title of "Longest Time to complete TR Ever!" I am SO SO sorry!! I promise you I have tried and tried to get to it. I really enjoy writing it....it is like reliving it for me. The problem is I have been so slammed. I work in advertising for real estate. As everyone knows - real estate is NOT the place to work in any regard right now. Well, with that in mind, I took on a second job for another publication...doubling my responsibilities and time. I am also on the PTO and tutor 2nd graders, which started in the past few weeks. Add all of this to me getting sick - yes again - and I have literally been chasing my tail 24 hours a day! I am sitting here now with two loads of laundry waiting on me, work for both publications, and a ton of work for home and school, yet I have not even showered as I made the TR top on my list today!!

Know that I will not leave the TR unfinished and I SO appreciate all of the kind words. You are all so fantastic! Thank you for being patient. Sometimes life really does get in the way doesn't it! So, here I go....un-showered, hungry and in pony tails sitting down to write as much as possible before I begin to obsess and stress over the work that is awaiting me today.

Here we go....back to the Wonder.....ahhhh.....wish I were there right now!


__________________________________________________ _______________
DAY TWO - Sunday, August 5th - Continued and COMPLETE

Almost as quickly as Roberto left the phone in our stateroom began to ring. It was our head server, who was the same as last year although for the life of me I cannot now remember his name although he does an outstanding job. He immediately apologized and told us that there had been a change to our dining schedule. I was worried we were about to be switched to late seating - or the earliest of the early when he said not worry that it was only our table that was changing. Apparently there was an emergency with our tablemates and they had to leave the ship (never did find out what happened) so our table was moved. I was crossing my fingers and saying silent prayers while silently praying that this was a good sign as our tablemates last year were a source of laughter for us throughout the cruise and after....but it would be nice to have tablemates that we really enjoyed being with. So, I said a thank you, made a note of the table change and off we went with the knowledge that all is great because WE ARE ON THE WONDER!!!

Leaving our stateroom we decided we wanted to just walk about the ship a bit more. It was still blazing hot outside and we had some time before the life vests had to be put on so off we went. We stopped by the lab for Maddie as she was SO excited to go in their this year as a change from the club. We walked in and it was completely empty with the exception of one other family which was looking about also. maddie immediately veered over to the Wii, then made her way to the simulator but was quickly distracted and off to explore something else before heading over to the wall and climbing though the portholes. Yea, I think she is relaxed and enjoying herself. Mission accomplished and still in affect! Leaving the club we decided to grab a bit of soda and then head back down to the stateroom to don our beautiful life jackets in all of their glory.

You know good and well that we were praying all the way to the stateroom.....PLEASE let the luggage be there....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!! We hit deck 6 and ran down the hall like two 10 year olds and ....POOF we were there....but our luggage was not. Ok, some of it was. Maddie would now be able to read and occupy her time with her carry on bag from the plane....not clothes though. Yea right....because we all know she will be coloring and reading on the SHIP right! Alright....no worries right...just like our first server (Egi) on our first cruise used to say every day at every meal...."Relax....you're on vacation." Although when he said it....it sounded so beautiful with his accent....but we still take the words to heart. Maddie still remembers him and talks about him even at home. She compares all servers in all restaurants to him...so to her none are ever good enough.

We bounced into the room and opened the closet (oh yea, I'm a seasoned pro - knowing where all things are and when to proceed where right - WRONG!) to grab one child and one adult neon orange vest. Hello!!! I grab all 4 vest that were hidden in our closet, then check under the bed and everywhere anyone could have possibly hidden a child's life vest. Nope - nowhere. So out into the hall we go to find Roberto. You know, life should always work this way. Something doesn't go right, you just pop your head out of he room you are standing in to find the person walking by that is there to fix it all and make your life stress and worry free. We see Roberto down the hall and when he spots us he comes to the room. We let him know of the problem with the missing vest when he tells us that he will look for another one for us, and for Maddie to just wear the adult size for the drill. This was said after he came in and looked in the closet seeming to try to prove that I was not only incompetent but blind as well. I admit it, I smiled when he didn't find it either. So with Roberto off to find a child's vest we proceed to get the other adult vest from the closet for Maddie.

At this point Maddie was completely engrossed in TV.....It seems The Little Mermaid was on and this is the ONE place on earth we always watch Ariel in all her aquatic glory. You just HAVE to while at sea on DCL....it's the rule!! So after freeing Maddie from the grips of the TV, I explain to her that she will have to wear the large adult vest just for the drill as there was a mix-up. She held it up to her body, then looked at me as thought I had 6 heads on my shoulder. We both started laughing uncontrollably as the vest swallowed her. She was on the ground on her knees just inside the cabin and all I could think is that if I pushed her backward, she would never get back up on her own....she looked like a huge standing orange turtle. We literally could not stop laughing. The tie itself wrapped around her body three times.

We made it up and headed to the comfy chair deck with is out station for the drill....just as last year. In the shade (ahhhhh!!!!) and with great CM's. The drill was not as smooth as last year, as there were quite a few people MIA who did not attend until they finally came running onto the deck about 10 minutes late. COME ON PEOPLE - SAIL AWAY PARTY TO GET TO!!! There were also quite a few who didn't seem to grasp the concept that indeed, they DID have to actually WEAR the life vest and not just hold onto them as a purse dangling from their wrist. Maddie was a bit frustrated as she wanted our of the oversized orange thing ASAP and was frustrated that it was taking so long....ok....so was everyone else including the CM's at this point. There was one CM who was SO very cute. He walked over to Maddie (gotta love those special CM's) and was teasing her about her vest being an adult size and saying she is very grown up...doing a better job than the grown-ups. Maddie just smiled from ear to ear and within seconds he was calling her princess and she was once again in Heaven and forgot about the orange floating device strapped to her chest. Five minutes later and we were released! Whooo hooo!!! We are officially ON VACATION NOW!! No more "have to's" for us.....DCL is now our home and life is GREAT!!!

Heading back down to our stateroom, we noticed another bag outside of the room. Yahoo!!! We quickly threw off the Orange beast, and ran back out the door with camera in hand for the Sail Away Party on deck 9. HERE WE COME MICKEY, MINNIE, DALE, CHIP, PLUTO, and GOOFY!!!! HERE WE COME!!!!

Of course last year was so memorable at the party as that is where we mat so many amazing CM's, Maddie fell in love at first sight (CM Michael Otten - aka hottie boy to Maddie), and we were front and center for all the action....me never able to forget the look in Maddie's eye's and on her face during the party. One of pure elation and bliss. THAT is what I was so excited about....that special feeling that you can visable see on somebody's face because the thrill and excitement are all over it! Well, here we are - exactly one year later (how that could be I still can't grasp) and we were front and center once again. We did recognize a few of the CM's - actually only two and it was already known that Michael was not onboard....but Maddie was fine with it and ready to meet new one's. When the party started we immediately saw Ian - YEAH!!!! We loved him. So sweet, funny and more full of energy than a 2 year old with an addiction to chocolate! He was fantastic as always. The new part of the party this year for us was the Jumbotron as it was just prior to dry dock for the Wonder when we sailed last year. We loved it and Maddie especially loved it and spotted us quickly several times on the huge screen above her head.

The feeling is one that can't be described....the music, the dancing, the CM's, the energy and excitement....it's surreal actually and only is complete when you hear....5...4...3...2...1 - the HORN!!! Oh yea.. you knew it was coming right. I mean I had gone all of 3 hours probably without one drop. I began to cry like a big baby. Hello! I was afraid that the excitement wouldn't be there on our 3rd cruise as we had "been there done that" and last year was simply pure magic at every turn. I realized right then that....it's ALWAYS magic and a lot of it we found out this year comes from your attitude and how you perceive things. We were in our personal Heaven and loving every moment of it. I grabbed Maddie, who this year is in full knowledge that, yup, mom is going to cry any minute, and just hug her. Her smile and happiness is something that cannot compare to anything on earth to me. THIS is what our magic is - being together and enjoying ourselves without a worry in the world on our home the Wonder. Of course, when Mickey, Minnie and the gang came down I was in tears again and Maddie was jumping up and down like a jumping bean.

After sailing away I wanted to head quickly down to Guest Services before it became packed after dinner. I wanted to turn in Maddie's T-shirt for siggies. I had already typed up a note asking for the siggies and giving our names, stateroom number, etc. Just like both year's before. The only difference was that this year Maddie was with me at GS. She knew that we were doing the T-shirt as it was her idea this year. When speaking to the CM, I handed her the Ziploc baggie with the note, T-shirt, and fabric markers all inside. She then took out a slip of paper and ask if I wanted the Princesses to sign it, or Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Pluto and Goofy. Huh?? That was all there was going through my mind. HUH?! What do you mean either or is what I wanted to shout. I then explained to her (just as was written in the note inside the baggie) that Tink was Maddie's favorite of all and that if she was onboard we would love to have her siggie, we also wanted the Princesses as well as Mickey and the gang. She proceeded to write on the slip she would place with our T-shirt..."Mickey and gang." I have to admit I was a bit taken back and surprised. I ask her when this started and if there was any chance of getting the siggies we hoped for. her only response was, "This is the way it is done. You cannot have all of them sign it. The T-shirt will be in your room on the last night." Alrighty! A little taken back and a bit shocked was how I felt. I just never encountered a CM that was so cold, direct and reminding me of somebody who would work at the Holiday Inn rather than DCL. The policy would have been differently received to myself and Maddie has she been a bit more "Disney" I believe.

Oh well. We left GS, walked through the beautiful atrium and up to our room to shower and change for dinner. We REFUSED to let anything or anyone dampen our spirits. We started wondering about our tablemates and speculating what they would be like. We were excited to meet them. We turned down the hall toward 6092 when we saw it....the rest of our luggage!!! Yahooo!!! Perfect timing. Just late enough for us to be beyond thrilled and excited at the mere sight of it and just as we were in dire need of it for showers and dinner attire.

We pulled all the luggage in and unpacked in record time. A bonus to receiving it one piece at a time is you are not overwhelmed with unpacking or storing the suitcases. See....bright side to everything right! Ok, so there was obvious evidence that our luggage didn't like the trip into the cages we saw earlier. It was a bit scratched up with ALL of our luggage (our personal - not DCL) tags MIA. That and one piece had a huge dent in the side of it. The bright side to this you ask? We didn't care. When you are afraid your luggage is lost, and you indeed have been through having five pieces of luggage missing and presumed lost for good....you DO NOT care about the condition of the luggage - ONLY that it is in your hands and full with what it left with.

Into the shower we went. I guess this is another tradition we have....running very late and giving ourselves minimal time to get ready for dinner on the first night. We had 25 minutes to both shower, dry our hair and get dressed. WHEW! Thank God for the split bathrooms!! We both got ready at the same time with Maddie in the first with the DCL hairdryer that she loves and me in the shower bathroom with all of mine. I have to say - Maddie ROCKS! She hurried getting ready like a champ - no draggin her feet, no arguing....I am so proud of her. I tried not to, but I did notice something while in the shower.

Remember, I mentioned that the Wonder went into dry dock last year only weeks after we sailed in the same room we were in this year? With nothing short of DCL standards in the room last year, of course we knew that would be the case this year. Sadly I can only say this was not the case. The bathroom with the shower in it was a bit shocking to us both. Maddie made notice of how it wasn't very clean. What was wrong exactly? Well, nothing that dampened our enjoyment or interfered with our cruise, but it just was not DCL which was a little disheartening. There were dark brown stains on the tile in the bathroom with the shower. All of the hooks on the shower rod were rusted and corroded. The "thing" (I have no idea what this is) that is in the center of the ceiling in the shower/bath was literally falling down from the ceiling hanging on by a thread. We actually made jokes that there was somebody up there watching to see our reaction at the difference. The walls of the bath/shower had black mildew/mold in the caulking and the drain in the floor was also rusted. As I said, it was not DCL standards and disappointing to me. I've raised a neat and clean freak in Maddie so she noticed it every bit as much as I did and actually noticed some of it first. However this IS DCL and we were NOT going to let this affect our attitude or enjoyment. We refused! We weren't there for the bathroom or the decor anyway right?! Who cares right now....on to the cruise!!

We did it! We got ready in 20 minutes flat. Yea us!! Our dinner was at Parrot Cay that night. This is my favorite place to dine the first night because that was our rotation on our first cruise....brings back memories plus it is the most tropical and puts me in the "sail away" mood. Maddie loves this restaurant because of the congo line and dacing with the servers, so she was very happy also.

We were immediately seated and our head server (still cannot remember his name) apologized again for the change and told us that the others at our new table were also moved as well. We were seated and immediately happy at the location of our table. We were in the center of the room where we can see everything and everyone, and not against a porthole which is never good for me while eating....especially on the first night. We were the first in our party to arrive and we could see it was going to be a large party as there were still 7 empty seats. Slowly the others in our party began to filter in and it was immediately clear that THIS was going to be a great experience. No stuffy sticks this year that was for sure!!

The first to arrive were a mother and two girls, both were Maddie's age, Then another mother with her son, followed by one more mother and son. Can this be real? We went from the strangest dining experience last year to the best ever tablemates. It was actually a table full of single mom's with their kid's. Bring on the drinks and let's be happy!!!!

Maddie was immediately thrilled with the girls. I saw her eyes light up as soon as they were seated...sort of like...."Heck yea! Somebody my age!!!" The girls were 9 and 11 and were cousins with the youngest belonging to the mother. The mother, Heidi, was recently (6 months) widowed which was so sad...they were all great and we were so happy to have them at our table. We ended up spending time with them outside of dinner as well as we did Linda and Josh also. Heidi and the girls were from Connecticut and none of them had ever cruised before.

Next was Cris, mother to Gabriel. They were from Catalina Island, CA and she was taking him on a cruise as a reward for straight A's. Also, very glad to be dining with them. They were the quietest of the bunch but still great to be around and as nice and they could be.

Last to arrive was Linda and Josh. It turned out that Linda was not Josh's mother but instead his aunt. HELLO!!! Can I be her niece! So his aunt took him on DCL for what we found out was there 5th cruise. WOW! Josh had the most beautiful smile I have seen. He was so well mannered and kind you just wanted to hug him. They were from Orlando - yes - LUCKY PEOPLE!!!

How did we get SO fortunate with our tablemates this year?? Maybe a CM read my TR last year about the stuffy sticks and thought we needed a break. Who knows. I just know we were very blessed and very thankful. Now we just needed to meet our servers to get drinks started over here at table 79.


~~~More to follow I promise, and photos to follow this update as well. I've got to go for now and get back to the nasty business of life on land in SC.

~~~Kelly
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:13 PM   #89
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Photos for latest update!

Maddie exploring the club



Maddie and Mommy in our Orange Beasts!



Maddie as the big ORANGE turtle!



Ian on stage at Sail Away Party



BIG smile from Maddie at the Sail Away Party



Minnie at Sail Away Party



Mickey at Sail Away Party



Christian on stage with the gang at Sail Away Party - COUNT DOWN BEGINS!



Us on the Jumbotron and right up front to see it.



Happy girl Maddie at the Sail Away Party
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First ever Mommy Maddie Cruise - Trip Report
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August 2006 - Mother/Daughter cruise on the Wonder!
August 2007 - 2nd Mother/Daughter cruise on the Wonder!
September 2008 - First Mother/Daughter trip to WDW!
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:04 PM   #90
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LOVE your reports! I'm back in year 1 right now, catching up while we wait for the rest of year 2.

We stayed in 6094 on the Wonder before our second kid was born and loved it. That's next door to your cabin, right? Great location, and it totally spoiled us for a balcony forever.
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