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Old 11-25-2008, 10:15 AM   #166
podsnel
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I'm right there with ya on Figment and the world of Imagination- I love that pavillion, but I think that ride needs some work. And don't worry about the fp mix-up and holding up the line- we forgive you.

Of course, we weren't in line behind you.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:15 PM   #167
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Brief recap: Weíre at the Food and Wine Festival in EPCOT. Itís just after 11 AM on Friday, November 7th. While waiting for my brother (locals apparently canít get up early for this type of stuff) we start hitting the food booths.

We started the food going to the left, but only got to hit the first couple of booths before my brother called to say they were waiting in Canada.

But the first one we hit featured a shrimp with cilantro salsa. And we reach our first dogbiscuit of the trip. Incredible! There was a good mix of spices, but it wasnít too hot. The shrimp were good sized, but not too large. Just an overall excellent dish. And this comes from a guy whoís not really all that into shrimp. I donít like shrimp cocktail at all. But this stuff was wonderful.


We turned around after that one and started heading to the right. About the third booth you come across when doing that is Canada. In Canada they serve a cheddar cheese soup that has quite the reputation. Iíve heard about it here on the DIS boards for quite some time now. My brother and his partner informed me that it has become a tradition that they start every Food and Wine Festival day with a bowl of soup from Canada. We expected nothing less than perfection. It also felt like it was 95 degrees outside so the thought of eating a bowl of hot steaming soup really didnít appeal to me at that time. But I did so anyway. I now know what all the fuss is about. The fuss is good. A dogbiscuit for the cheddar cheese soup.


The final of the three dishes earning biscuits was the Seared Beef Medallions with Polenta. I believe it was San Francisco that this was from. The steak was juicy and tender but the polentaÖ.oh my gosh the polenta! It was the perfect amount of creamy to make it just melt as it went down your throat. Unbelievable.


Now for the frowny face:
Seared Tuna Loin with Roasted Red Peppers. I almost threw up on this one. I hated it so much that I deleted the picture off of my camera so I could forget about it. The first bite was okay, but thatís because I got the cooked part. On the second bite, I got the raw fish. I donít do well with raw fish. Yeah, yeah, I know. Why did I order it? Cuz Iím stupid. Happy now?

Our final feature attraction was taking our first trip on Spaceship Earth since the renovation. Getting my wife on this ride is always a pain. She gets Spaceship Earth and Mission Space confused. If I say ďthe ride in the big silver ballĒ she knows which one Iím talking about, but if I just say Spaceship Earth her motion sickness begins to kick in right then as she thinks Iím talking about Mission
Space. So, after I coax her onto the ride, we spend the 10 minutes or so treking all through it and we get to the end. Now, for those of you who have not ridden the ride, Iím going to give out a spoiler right now. Skip to the next paragraph if you donít want to read itÖÖ.At the end, when it shows the happy couple living together in the kind of world weíd like to see, the picture that it took of my wife looked drugged and she had her eyes closed. It was priceless. She didnít seem to appreciate it as much as I did.

Oh, I almost forgot. We did the Samantha Brown thing. My wife went for the Grand Marnier Orange Slush and I went for the Grey Goose Lemonade Citron Slush from France. These are in a booth that is there the whole year round but is $9/drink for a drink thatís not very big. Hallelujah they were good, though! The lemonade tasted like just thatÖlemonade. There wasnít the slightest tinge of alcohol taste to it.

On second thought, maybe we got robbedÖ.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: One day, I will go to EPCOT and not do anything except ride Soarin' all day long.

TIP FOR THE DAY: No matter what, if you're at the Food and Wine Festival, get the cheddar cheese soup. If you're not going to the Food and Wine Festival, change your plans so that you can go and get the cheddar cheese soup.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:58 AM   #168
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Sounds yummy. I would love to go some day.
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:15 PM   #169
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hey you went to the food and wine on my bday! Sounds like ya done me proud too!

It all looks yummy! Wish would have done it
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:08 PM   #170
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Food and Wine Fest is the BEST!!!!! We had the shrimp you had pictured and we had the soup. Both were excellent!!! But my girls kept laughing at me because I kept saying lets go have Wisconsin Cheese Soup instead of the Canadian Cheese Soup. Duh. But we are closer to Wisconsin then Canada being from Iowa and all. Oh, well, we get a laugh out of it! Guess I had too much wine!!!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:08 PM   #171
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Almost There!

Saturday, November 8th: Embarkation Day

ZIP-A-DEE-DO-DAH! ZIP-A-DEE-A! DISNEY CRUISE LINE, I AM ON MY WAY! CARIBBEAN ISLANDS FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS! ZIP-A-DEE-DO-DAH! ZIP-A-DEE-A!

Yes, after 13 months of waiting, watching boards, planning, crying over how long itís taking and virtually pulling my hair out to get everything just right, I found myself driving along that toll road headed directly for the Disney Magic. As excited as I was, what was my gentle spouse doing? Sleeping. Yes thatís right, weíre less than an hour from the culmination of over a yearís worth of excitement and while Iíve been up ready to go since 6 AM, my wife is happily snoozing away as we drive over the bridge and get our first view of Mickeyís boat. How sad.

We arrived at the port around 10:30 and are promptly directed to the porters. We learned something very important on our last cruise. TIP FOR ARRIVAL AT THE PORT: Have a plan for how to tip the porters. On our last cruise one of the porters conned us and we didnít figure it out until after we were onboard the ship. Basically, I tipped the guy for taking our luggage. When I was on the other side of the car and out of earshot, he asked my wife for a tip by implying that we were going to stiff him. So my wife tipped him as well, thinking that I must have forgotten. When I found out not only was I upset that he had even asked for a tip in the first place (Iím of the opinion it should be an option and not an automatic thing) but the fact that he had basically conned us really ticked me off. Unfortunately we didnít find out until we had already boarded. So this time I handled the money, and my wife said that if someone asked her for a tip, she was simply going to refer them to me. Make sure you know whoís going to tip beforehand. Thatís all Iím saying.

Itís time to head upstairs and we get a #6 boarding pass. I was unhappy. #6? We had always done better than that on the shorter cruises. I noticed that the lines did seem longer for this cruise. There was actually a wait at the Castaway Club check-in line. There was however, no wait for the first time guests. So we played dumb and went through that line. 5 minutes saved. Mission accomplished.

ThenÖ.IT happened. It was like I was living in a slow motion world and as it came out of the ladyís mouth it seemed to linger forever. ďThere has been a slight change in itinerary due to Hurrican Paloma. Instead of St. Maarten and St. Thomas youíll be going to Costa Maya and Cozumel.Ē

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13 MONTHS! 13 MONTHS OF DETAILED, DOWN TO THE SECOND PLANNING! 13 MONTHS OF SALIVATING OVER WATCHING THE PLANES AT THE LANDING STRIP IN ST. MAARTEN! Goodbye to the wonderful shopping Iíd heard about in St. Thomas. Goodbye to the little bistro waiting for us by the street in Marigot.

GOODBYE TO THE 12 METRE REGATTA EXCURSION!

Have you ever seen a grown man cry? In a cruise terminal? On Mickey Mouseís shoulder?

Okay, I didnít do that but came pretty darn close. Thank goodness I had my passporter with me. I spent the next hour in the cruise terminal reading up on excursions in Cozumel. The book had nothing on Costa Maya.

I needed something to remind me that this wasn't the end of the world. This was a Disney cruise after all.

COMING SOON: RUN, KIDS, RUN!
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:09 AM   #172
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But no matter where you go... the beer and Palo are still there...
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:40 AM   #173
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awww man you poor thing. I could only imagine how you felt. I would have done the same probably. To bad you didnt have any of us Double Dippers numbers we all could have named a few excursions from Costa Maya since our cruise was SUPPOSED to go there and it got canked 75days out.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:28 PM   #174
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I was thinking about you when we heard about the changes. All that planning......Glad you brought the Passporter!
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:09 AM   #175
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While we were waiting in the terminal, we got our first glimpse of it. The crazed father who decides to drive his his family to the edge of vacation insanity. As we were sitting over by the bathrooms in the terminal, we hear someone yelling ďCíMON CíMON RUN RUN RUN! GET OVER HERE! NOW!Ē We look to our left and there is a father urging his family to hurry to him. You see, Mickey Mouse has entered the terminal for pictures and his 10 year old children have to be the first in line.



I never noticed that the floor of the terminal is one big map.


From a distance, watching the chaos that would next unfold must have been something like the New Jersey Wal-Mart incident over Thanksgiving weekend. People were pushing, fighting for spots, stepping in front of other people and just generally ill-behaved. Nice start to the cruise people. If this is the way you are for a picture that can be repeated many times over the course of the next week, I canít imagine how youíll fight over the hammocks at Castaway Cay.

So, that's where the stabilizer is!


In my mind at this time, there was an ethical decision being made. On our last cruise, we had ended up with an extra boarding pass. As we entered the terminal this time, we had been given a #6 boarding pass. I knew fully well that in my backpack lied a #2 boarding pass left over from our last cruise. What to do, what to do. On the one hand, we did have the extra boarding pass that we didnít use last time and it was only fair that we got to use it after all. On the other hand, we were a lot later than normal getting here, and we basically would be cutting in line. In the end, honesty won out. I was very disappointed in myself for that. Like I said previously, cheating is the best way to take advantage of other people.

Finally, after waiting for the #6 group to be called, we then skipped ahead of everyone else and someone accused us of cheating. We decided that we didnít want to bother having our picture taken as we boarded and walked right through the line. Some guy looked at us as we did and said ďHey! No cutting!Ē I turned around to say something really sarcastic but thought better of it. No point in making enemies on this trip before we even get on board. Besides, knowing my luck he would turn out to be a tablemate of ours.

This is the part where we cry!


And finally we get to a point that Iíve seen repeatedly come up. The gangway. The walk across it. The approaching of the ship for the first time. The crying that so many people seem to do at this point in time. I could understand it. It just felt like a great weight had been lifted off my shoulder. I had spent so much time planning, reviewing, researching that as I boarded I understood for the first time why one would start to cry.

Did I cry? No. Iíve said it before. I am a manís man. Thereís no crying on cruises. (At least, not yet.)

UP NEXT: YOU SEEM NICE, BUT YOUíRE JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR US.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:40 AM   #176
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Hey Mozart, I saw you guys at the terminal, i should have said Hi and taken you guys with us since we got boarding pass #2 . Like you, we were also a bit disappointed about the changed of itinerary but what can we do right?! We've been to Cancun ( which is pretty much the same as Cozumel and Costa Maya), plus 2 Mexican Riviera cruises ( DCL and Carnival) so right now we're Mexico'd out....Dh said whatever vacation i'm planning for next year make sure it's not Mexico . I also have my passporter with me but you're right it didn't have much about Costa Maya.

I've actually seen you quite a few times, we were also on the same dining rotation, you guys were in a table of 8 or 10 right? We're lucky to have a 4 top table for the 3 of us, we're not anti-social, its just that sometimes its nice to have your own table.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:48 PM   #177
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Love the pushing in line for a pic with a mouse.. he's gonna be on ship all week people. And glad you took #6.. Karma would have have come back to ya somehow!
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #178
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Mozart...I hope everything is ok...It's been a while since you posted...Hope you enjoyed the holidays and are just getting back on track!

Hope to read more of your TR soon
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:53 PM   #179
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Mozart, looks like you ate well on my birthday!!! The shrimp look good.

Can't wait to see more of your installments.

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Old 01-15-2009, 03:39 PM   #180
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