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Old 05-10-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
LJC1861
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Just Back, May 3-10 Western

So, we literally walked in the door from our totally "Magical" Western Cruise. I will start a detailed trip report tomorrow. My partner and I traveled with 4 of our best friends who sneered at us last year when we mentioned that we were taking a Disney Cruise. When we showed them our pictures and heard our stories they all agreed that maybe this "Disney" stuff wasn't too bad after all.

We were in 3 Category 5 staterooms on the starboard side.....7568-7572. I was acting as official "Cruise Director" for our little group and took my job seriously. I planned all the excursions, with their input of course, and basically took the lead in rounding up the group so we would be on time for things. Sometimes it was met with more enthusiasm than others....more on that later.

Embarkation Day:

We stayed at the Residence Inn in a 2 bedroom suite. As both couples are a bit older than us, and with some back troubles...we took the pull out sofa. I do NOT recommend using it, and next time we will book more than one room despite the cost. Lisa and I did not sleep well, but we were too excited to sleep anyway. Breakfast was good and we were off to catch the shuttle. As we had rented our car from Hertz which is located right at the Residence Inn, we were able to utilize their free shuttle to the port. The shuttle driver looked at us incredulously as we proceeded to pile all 15 bags onto the shuttle. We got to the port early, and just decided to wait. As 10:00 approached and more and more people began arriving I began to get a bit anxious ( more on anxiety later....LOL) and decided to walk over to the crosswalk to see if they were letting people in yet. Lo and behold they were and I walked all alone into the security area. A nice woman directed me to the machine and up the escalator I went.....into a TOTALLY EMPTY TERMINAL!!! I was literally the first person there. The rest of our party was still down with the luggage, but I really wanted the coveted number 2 as I had some Palo reservations to change. Not only did I get #2, I had the pleasure of being the only person in the terminal for about 10 minutes. Everyone else arrived shortly thereafter and we settled down to wait. We were all wearing the "Cruisin' with my Peeps" shirts and were greeted by several DIS'ers while waiting in the terminal. It was so much fun!

After boarding....we headed to lunch in Parrot Cay and ate ourselves silly. I had to caution the other about not eating too much as there was so much food coming. We had a wonderful fruity drink at Signals and headed to our staterooms.


More on embarkation day tomorrow....I am exhausted!

Linda
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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Embarkation Day, part 2

After lunch we headed up to Deck 9, after booking a martini tasting at Guest Services and had a fruity drink. I, of course, got my first Konk Kooler. Shortly thereafter we headed down to our staterooms to get settled. The safety drill was next and we all got ready, including my guest on the trip, "Flat Kevin (Stanley). I had made him his own life jacket and he was quite the star at the drill.

Following the drill we headed up to the Sail Away party. As we were a bit late we did not get the best spot and after hearing the horn we went back down to signals. I know I am a mush and got all teary when the horn sounded, but I was surprised to see several of our friends...who are not really Disney folk, get teary eyed as well. We got our drinks and went back up to Deck 10 to watch the ship leave port. I think it was then that Karen realized that being on a cruise meant that the ship actually moved! She was a bit hesitant as we went back down to get changed for dinner.

Dinner was in Lumieres and and was what I think was a new menu....the "Welcome aboard" menu. ** I need to backtrack a bit here. I noticed that the dining rotation was different as soon as I got my KTTW. The rotation this week was LAPLLAP, with pirate night on Tuesday!! I had specifically booked Palo for Wednesday which was supposed to be Pirate night. I had to change it and was able to with no problem.** We had Table 8, a LOVELY table near the window or the edge of every restaurant each night. While this might not appeal to everyone, for us it was perfect. We were able to enjoy the ambience of the restaurant without to much hustle and bustle. Our servers Don and Csaba were a bit shy and reserved that first night....but quickly warmed up to our antics.

We opted not to see the Welcome Aboard variety show and instead had a very early night.

Tomorrow--Key West and the LONG HOT walk to the Southernmost Point.

Linda
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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Wow! I can't believe you started your trip report the day you came home. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your TR!
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:21 AM   #4
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More, More, More!!
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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Day 2--Key West or "Are we there yet???"

As is typical of me I woke up ridiculously early on Sunday. I decided to get some exercise and walked a mile on Deck 4. I stopped a bit to take pictures of the sunrise and kept going. By the time I finished and got some tea for Lisa and I the rest of the gang were ready for breakfast. We all met in the hallway, our usual meeting spot and headed down to Lumiere's for breakfast. Over breakfast we mapped out our day as I yakked excitedly about all there were to explore in Key West. We decided on Kino's for sandals, some t-shirt shopping and then a visit to the Southernmost Point. Everyone decided that I was by far the perkiest person they had ever met, and that theme would carry on throughout the week.

When we docked I noticed that folks were disembarking earlier than expected, so I excitedly got everyone on the phone and said somewhat over-enthusiastically.....let's go! That was met with a mixed response as some were not quite ready......tone it down Miss Perky or it is going to be a LONG week, I cautioned myself. We disembarked and headed right for Kino's. After trying on lots of pairs of sandals, only Lisa purchased some. We did some t-shirt shopping while talking to the shop owner about the best way to get to the Southernmost Point. I was all for the Trolley, or a taxi, or even an electric car, but the rest of the gang decided it would be more economical to walk. The shop owner said it was approximately 14 short blocks....but looking at the map it looked a LOT farther. We decided to walk down Whitehead Street to avoid much of the hustle and bustle of Duvall. On the way we stopped to take pictures of the beginning of Route 1, chickens, banyan trees, and lots of other things. As we walked and walked and walked several members in the group began to ask that age old question...."are we there YET?" Somehow it became my fault that we walked (as the official cruise director I am sure) even though it was I who originally suggested a cab. We finally made it, and took bunches of pictures including several of Flat Kevin. We turned down Duvall and practically jumped a cab as he was letting another party out. We all sank gratefully into the cool air conditioning as we asked him where he would recommend for a snack. He recommended Red Fish, Blue Fish and we all had a snack and a drink. Of course we finished with Key Lime Pie. As we were dining, it began to rain and then to pour. We were so glad that we were inside and not out in it.

After we ate we split up to do some more shopping. Lisa and I hit CVS and then the Blond Giraffe. I purchased some Key Lime Juice so I can make pies at home. After that we hit the Croc store and each purchased a new pair. (This will be important later in the story) and headed back to the ship. We took a quick nap and got ready for dinner in Animator's Palette.

Dinner was fun. Our friends were totally enthralled with the entire experience and our table by the wall gave us a great view of the entire room. Flat Kevin came to dinner and sat at the end of the table propped up by a water glass. Don, our server, was a bit confused even after the explanation but did his best to play along. He asked what Kevin would be having for dinner and did not flinch when I ordered him an entree. Don recommended the chocolate peanut butter pie which was a huge hit with everyone. When he realized how much we were enjoying it he brought us more. Csaba amazingly had our cokes ready....each with the appropriate lemon or lime. He also had a bottle of Pellegino chilling for Nina and Barbara. They had ordered it the first night and he had it ready the second. They were all very impressed. After dinner we headed out to the deck to watch the sunset. It was so amazingly beautiful, and came complete with clouds shaped like Goofy in profile and Mickey. Only on a Disney Cruise would the clouds totally cooperate. Once again we had an early night, which for me included a glass of wine on the verandah.

Tomorrow.....our first day at sea.

Linda
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:38 PM   #6
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I am really enjoying this report. Are you planning on posting some pictures for us to see
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:20 AM   #7
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I too am enjoying your trip and am happy to see a complete adult side to a DCL cruise....keep it coming!!!
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura001 View Post
I too am enjoying your trip and am happy to see a complete adult side to a DCL cruise....keep it coming!!!
Exactly. We're leaving the boys at home this coming January. Haven't done Disney as adults only since the mid 80's.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:05 AM   #9
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Great TR...looking forward to hearing more!!
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:48 PM   #10
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Pictures please
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
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Hi Linda, we were on this cruise too, and we might have been sitting pretty close to you. We were in Lumiere's the first night, early seating. I can't tell if you meant early or late?! We were at table 6, and we had a group of ladies at the next table. Was that you? We were 2 families of 4, two little girls and two little boys. Can't wait to read the rest of your report!
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for the great updates on your trip. My DP and I are booked on the western next year and await to hear all the good things we can expect.

Cheers,

Chuck
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #13
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Poca Jaz--

Yup, that was us! We were at table 8. I hope we weren't TOO rowdy. I thought we did pretty well until the last night when we just got really silly. We had a little Conga Line going out of Parrot Cay into the Promenade Lounge and were just laughing ourselves silly.

Linda
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:50 PM   #14
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Day 3, Monday, Day at Sea or " We HAVE to get to the pool!!

Monday dawned bright and beautiful. As usual I started my day with a brisk walk on Deck 4. When I got back Lisa had ordered a little snack for breakfast as she is diabetic and needs to eat something when she takes her insulin. WE were going to do breakfast with the gang later on at Lumieres.

The appointed hour for breakfast arrived and we made our way down to Lumiere's. Robin asked the hostess at the door if we could have a table a bit away from small children. She loves kids, but the day before we had a screamer at the next table. Marina, the hostess looked at her incredulously and replied " You know you are on a DISNEY cruise, right??" We all laughed. We did get a great table in the far corner which was perfectly quiet and wonderful for the ladies who had not had much coffee yet. Before we sat down Nina asked if we should go up and reserve loungers by the pool. Lisa and I both said " NO!" I explained that it was strictly not allowed. We had a lovely breakfast (the Beast's Secret Tower was fantastic ) and headed up to the pool. I was a little miffed to see almost the entire front row of loungers already reserved with nobody in sight. We made the best of it and grabbed loungers on the end of the row. We spent several lovely hours by the pool. I decided to to to the Castaway Club reception and was able to get a picture of Flat Kevin with Captain Thord. That was cool.

The afternoon brought the first of several several art auctions. It was really fun, especially when the auctioneer asked for an estimate price from the audience on one piece and I was within $1000. There were free martinis offered and I had 1 and I have to admit I was a bit swimmy headed afterward.

After the art auction Karen, Robin and I had a martini tasting booked. The regular one was not to my liking, but the other 3 flavors most definitely were! They were not full sized, but big enough to make us all rather giggly by the time it was done. After the tasting we dressed for formal night. I must admit I did have one of the fruity drinks offered at the Captains reception and was even more swimmy headed....but it was fun. We got our picture taken and it came out great! It was off to Parrot Cay for dinner where once again Don and Csaba were full of charm. Dinner was wonderful with more Chocolate Peanut Butter pie from Animator's Palette. Of course we all had other desserts, but Don made the pie happen and it was really appreciated. After dinner we went to the Golden Mickey's and it was so much fun to see this show through our friends eyes. Karen wasn't feeling particularly well, and left early to head back to her stateroom.

Once again it was an early night as we needed to be ready to catch the earliest tender boat so we would be on time for our excursion on Grand Cayman. Although they were not too happy about having to be ready at 7:00 everyone agreed to meet early.

Tomorrow Grand Cayman, or "What do you MEAN you don't feel well???"

Linda
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:20 AM   #15
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I have to admit, the Chocolate Peanut Butter pie was awesome....tired to behave myself with the desserts....that was a losing battle...lol

looking forward to hearing about your time at Grand Cayman.
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