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Old 08-19-2008, 06:43 PM   #46
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Great TR so far...can't wait for the next installment!!
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:08 AM   #47
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OP and hubby: You guys are hysterical! LOVE your report and am tuned in. I too am living vicariously through you...had the EB repo booked but had to cancel .

We are supposed to be flying to Orlando on Friday but "Fay" may have other plans for us !

OK, I'm ready for more....
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:34 PM   #48
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I'm subscribing too! I have family on your cruise (lurkers, not official DISers). So if you see a tall couple with a spunky red haired almost 8 year old boy... that's my family!

Loving the true confessions on-line!
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:14 PM   #49
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Duluth

Nana Banana and I are in Duluth. Had a nice drive (6.5 hrs) no Traffic and good weather.
We have internet in our room so will be checking every now and then.

It's 5:30pm so we are going downtown and check the lakefront and find a restaurant.

Going on a train ride tomorrow for about 15 miles, getting off to walk 2 blocks, attending an outdoor wedding on the bank of Lake Superior, walking back to the train and returning to downtown Duluth for the reception and dinner.

Wish I were there with you.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:49 AM   #50
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I'm back!

We are in Acapulco and I finally have a chance to do some updates! By the way, it is pouring rain, the first bad weather we have had this entire trip!

Thanks for tuning in everyone, Hi Nana, Papa, Grandma and Gunka!
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:50 AM   #51
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Last night we ate at Naples in Downtown Disney. It was really fun. The food was quite good, I loved the Caprese, but my spaghetti was a little cold and on the small side!!! The best part of the meal was the balloon makers they have there. We sat outside and there were 2 balloon makers. They wandered and visited the tables and made really fun balloons art. Andrew got 2 swords and a sword carrying backpack. Casey got a monkey climbing a banana tree with a bunch of bananas hanging from the tree. Sarah got a princess crown, Emily got angel wings with a halo and I got a funny hat with mini balloons hanging off of it. We had a blast running around Disneyland with everyone asking about our balloons!

We then went to Disneyland Park for the rest of the night, but we were kind of burdened with the balloons, so I didn’t even go on any rides. But I wandered with the kids and enjoyed myself!

We got back to the room at about 9:00 and Emily and I watched the fireworks from the Concierge lounge again. It is so nice to be able to do that.

We saw some airplanes coming in to LAX and watched them approach landing. We wondered if any of those planes were dad and Jessica’s.

They called us at about 10:00 and said they had landed and were waiting for the shuttle. They used the Disneyland Express and it was very easy. They had to wait about 20 minutes after they got their luggage and then when it was time for the shuttle to leave, it brought them right to the hotel.

Jessica was excited to see everyone and loved the balloons animals. Oh, I almost forgot, I had the balloon lady make a Pluto balloon animal for Jessica, so she got to see that and had a nice evening.

On to today, we got up early and went to Disneyland Park. All 7 of us together finally!

We were actually there at the gate opening and headed directly to the new Finding Nemo Submarine ride. We were on the ride within 30 minutes of leaving our hotel and we really enjoyed it! It was pretty darn cute! We then stayed at the park for several more hours. We took Jessica on all the kids’ rides several times. It really pays to get there as early as possible. We then went back to the hotel and swam and rested. We went to California Adventure Park for the rest of the evening. Again, we were surprised at how short the lines were and we went on almost everything with less than 5 minutes wait.

Then Jay and I went on a dinner date! Casey’s tooth was still bothering him a little bit so he had left the park and went back to the room to chill. Sarah was with him. Andrew and Emily took Jessica to the Bug’s life children’s ride area while we ate at the Vineyard Room. The kids had a great time and we really enjoyed dinner. At the beginning of the meal, our server asked if this was our first time eating there. It was and he said, “Oh, you are lucky then, we are closing down on Sept. 1. We asked for more info and he said that it was permanent as far as he knew. So I was glad that I made it there, but sad for all the employees etc. On the bright side, the chef kept sending out free food!!!! It was amazing! We got an appetizer “compliments of the chef” and then another appetizer AND we ordered one dessert and got 3! We could totally envision the chef and staff being like “forget you Disney, we’ll show you!” All in all, it was a very pleasant dinner and I am glad we got to eat there before it closed.

After dinner, we watched the Electrical Light Parade and called it a night. It was great to have the whole family together again!
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:50 AM   #52
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Saturday, August 16

Today was another Disneyland day. Before we went to the park, we had a surprise for Jessica. We had a character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch planned. We did this last time we were in Disneyland and she really enjoyed it. So Emily, Jay, Jessica and I went over to Paradise Pier Hotel. We were seated quickly and enjoyed our meal. Jessica was so excited to see them again. She asked if Stitch was going to mess up her hair again. (He did that last time we were here when she was about 20 months old. I can’t believe she remembered that! Stitch did come over and mess up her hair (after he was secretly reminded by me…) and she enjoyed the dancing and games they played during the meal. Then we were off to the park.

We met up a college friend of ours (John) and his 2 year old daughter. Jessica was excited to have a playmate for the day and Emily had 2 little buddies holding her hand. It was very precious! While we waited for them, Emily and I did Space Mountain! I love that ride!!!! We sat in the front row and really enjoyed it, it is a much better ride here than in Disney World.

Once we met up with them, we took them on the kid rides in Fantasyland and did most of them again quite quickly. But it was obvious that it was a weekend as it was much more crowded!

We finally heard from the older kids (they slept in), and decided to meet up with them. So we got on the train in Toon Town and got off by the monorail station and met up with them. We got back on the train and did the full lap back to Toon Town where we left our strollers.

We hung out there for awhile and had lunch. (They had a nice selection of fresh sandwiches in addition to regular theme park food. Jay and I had a nice turkey club sandwich…much better than hot dogs!) We did Roger Rabbit’s cartoon spin and then decided to break up into two groups. I took the older kids and Jay and John stayed with the little ones who were drooping a bit.

The kids and I got to do a bunch of the bigger rides and the group with the smaller kids watched the parade. John and Natalie left and we met up with Jay and Jessica. The big kids and Jay left the park to go see Batman in Digital whatever and Emily, Jessica and I saw Pooh and Eeyore and went on the Pooh ride. When we came out of the ride, Jessica was pretty tired and someone had “accidentally” taken our stroller. This was the only bad part of the day! Jessica was so tired and so sad. She had a juice box in it and I had just bought some water and that was gone too, so she had a little melt down. But recovered quickly and we made a plan to get back to the hotel and get some sweatshirts (we were chilly last night) and grab some food and come back and watch Fantasmic as we have never seen that here in California.

On the way to the monorail, we met up with some of our cruise group friends and chatted with them for about 30 minutes. That was fun. They were saving spots for Fantasmic for our group. That was very nice of them!

We then headed back to the hotel and made it back to Fantasmic just on time. We couldn’t have planned it any better. It was a great show, very different from WDW and Emily and I were so happy to have seen it. The Fireworks were right after than so we didn’t even have to move and we had a great view from where we were. It was very nice. After the Fireworks show, we quickly headed back to the monorail station and made it before the crowds. And, even better, we got to ride the brand new red monorail. It had only been in service for a month or 2 and she is beautiful! She is a Mark VII and looks really awesome. It was a nice ending to a very nice day. We got back to the room in good time and the others had just got back from the movie. Great timing again and we made it back on time to see Michael Phelps get his 8th gold medal. AWESOME!
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:51 AM   #53
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Sunday, August 17th, Embarkation day!

Today is the big day! We are headed to the ship! We have a shuttle booked at 10:30am and I have to pack up the room. So, I woke everyone up early and sent them to the park for Early Entry hours and I got everything ready to get to the ship. Transition days are always the hardest and now we have 13 suitcases and 7 carry ons. I did a pretty good job of getting stuff ready and actually had one almost empty suitcase, so I was happy with that. I was all packed up by 9am and had the bellman come and store the luggage and I headed off to the park. I was surprises that the shops in Downtown Disney were mostly closed as I wanted to buy a few pins etc. I headed into the park and wondered around Main Street for awhile. Then I headed over to a shop and found all the pins I wanted! Meanwhile the kids had done a bunch of rides! Casey and Sarah went on Splash Mountain 2 times in a row without getting off as no one was in line. That was awesome for them!

We then rode the monorail back and headed to Concierge to say good bye and to grab our carry ons. We got outside exactly at 10:30 and our shuttle was waiting for us. Yippee! We loaded all our bags in and off we went! It was about a 45 minute ride and we could finally see our ship! FINALLY! We pulled up and our bags were taken away and we headed into the terminal. It was a nice place to wait, it seemed much bigger than the Port Canaveral one and it was bustling with super excited people. Keep in mind, most of the people on this cruise book on Feb. 1, 2007. That is a long wait for such a cool trip!

We got boarding number 18 and they were on #11, so we signed the kids up for the youth clubs and got our pager. We took pictures with Mickey and Goofy chatted with fellow cruisers. One our number was called, we got in line and went through security and took our boarding pictures and finally made it on the ship!!!! It was about 1:00.

We headed up to deck 9 and got some lunch and waited for the rooms to be opened. They said the rooms would be ready by 1:45, so we were doing just fine! The kids were thrilled to have their 2 favorite things, Pizza and Ice Cream. They also love to play Ping Pong…so they were already happy as can be. Mom, of course, can’t be happy until all the bags are unpacked and everything settled in, so I wanted to start working on that. We went to our room at about 2:00 and had some lovely surprises! We had a beautiful fruit and cheese platter from my In-laws and a Bon Voyage souvenir box and Excursion kit from our Travel Agent. How awesome! We also had a surprise for Emily…Grandma and Grandpa gave her a $30 ship credit for her birthday! How awesome!!!

At 3:30 we started the safety drill and donned our lovely orange vests. We are in station “O” and the drill went very quickly and smooth. Everyone was there too! A miracle!!!!

After the drill, we headed up to deck for the sail away party. It was really hot and sunny, but it was a nice party. The girls love to dance and play and we all got red streamers to wave around. It was nice. We then went back to the room to watch us maneuver down the channel out to the ocean. The port here isn’t very pretty as it is really a shipping port. But it was neat seeing all the big cranes etc. There are several restaurants down the canal and it was really fun having all the people sitting outside waving and yelling to us. It was a perfect sail off! I love it when the horn goes…so do the people watching! 

I read through all the info in our room about how to order our pins and other important information. Then our bags started arriving. I kicked everyone out of the room so I could start unpacking, but pretty soon it was time for the Welcome Aboard show. I am glad we went as it was a nice show and parts of it were really funny! We found out that there are over 2000 repeat guests on this cruise. An all time record! That is amazing!!!!

We were then off to dinner…we have APL rotation, so dinner is 8:15 at Animators tonight. We didn’t have all our stuff unpacked for dinner yet but we tried our best to be dressed correctly. I had requested our favorite server (Andrew from the Philippines) and I was anxious to see if he would be there. We were seated and met our server and it was Toto, not Andrew. That was a little bit of a bummer, but we knew pretty quickly that Toto was going to take great care of us. The beverage server was also awesome, so we are totally fine with our new servers! Whew…can you imagine having bad servers for 15 nights? Oh, the dinner tonight was the Welcome Aboard menu.

We had a nice meal and I headed back to the room with Jessica and Emily. We really tried to encourage the kids to go to the teen club, and they did for a little, but then came back and said they were tired. So, we called it a day. What an exciting day!

PS, the ship seems to be moving fairly slow and the seas are calm and the weather has been perfect so far! 
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #54
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Monday, August 18th A day at Sea!

First of all, you should know that I love sea days! Especially on the first day…we can get settled in and chill.

There are so many activities to choose from and unpacking etc to finish, I am sure today will be busy. We didn’t get our last 2 suitcases until pretty late last night, so I saved most of the unpacking for today. So on and off all day, I worked on that. It is too hard to do when the others are in the room, so I just did it as best I could when I could. All in all, it was a very nice day. Jessica got to meet some of the characters and I was even able to relax a little. Jessica and I did “Dancing to Playhouse Disney” and made paper airplanes in the morning. Then we decided to give the kids club a try. Well, she loved it! We picked out a 2 hour slot that had some good activities planned and she really enjoyed it. “REAL SNOW WHITE” came and everything! Whew, I hope she continues to enjoy the club, it will make this a real vacation if she can enjoy it an hour or 2 daily. It was formal night, so all that unpacking came in handy as we needed to dress everyone up. I purchased tuxes for the boys on Ebay and Jay rented one on the ship. The girls had new formal gowns and so did I. Everyone looked fantastic and we got some great pictures and had a nice meal! Tonight’s dinner was the Captains Gala and the show was the Golden Mickeys. After dinner, I went back to the room and the teens played Glow in the Dark Dodge ball and seemed to have a fun night too! What a great start to the trip!
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:30 AM   #55
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Sounds like an awesome vacation so far! Nearing the end of your first week. I know you don't want the trip to end but I'm anxious to see the Magic return to PC!!! A short 5-day cruise, dry-dock, and even shorter 3-day cruise and then I get to board her!!!!!!
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:46 AM   #56
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sounds like you are having a great time!! hope the weather clears up for you for the rest of the cruise. looking forward to more updates as time goes on.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:39 PM   #57
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Wow, what a wonderful TR. I wish I was onboard! I have read many TR on the Panama crossing and someday I am going to do it! Probably when I retire because getting 3 wks off from work at the same time is impossible! Maybe I will play the lottery this weekend and WIN then I won't have to worry about time off from work! I will just sail and sail and sail. LOL

Have a great time...can't wait to read more...
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:52 PM   #58
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Toto's great. He was our asst. server way back on our 2nd cruise - a 4-day in 1999 - and he's still one of our very favorites. We check in with him every cruise and make sure to have lunch "with" him at least once or twice. He's been onboard since day one - got his 10-year pin earlier this year. Spent a lot of time with him on the WB Repo. He's watched DD (Kelly) grow up!

He's a great guy - loves to talk about his little boy, Matt-Matt.

DH, DD, and I just love him.

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Old 08-23-2008, 09:35 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicMe View Post
Sounds like an awesome vacation so far! Nearing the end of your first week. I know you don't want the trip to end but I'm anxious to see the Magic return to PC!!! A short 5-day cruise, dry-dock, and even shorter 3-day cruise and then I get to board her!!!!!!
I AGREE LOL

Cant wait to hear more. Loving it. and you and your DH and the rest of your family are too cute chiming in to the trip report!
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:54 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicMe View Post
Sounds like an awesome vacation so far! Nearing the end of your first week. I know you don't want the trip to end but I'm anxious to see the Magic return to PC!!! A short 5-day cruise, dry-dock, and even shorter 3-day cruise and then I get to board her!!!!!!
I agree with, that even though I'm not on the cruise your on. I'm going in Febuary on a back-to-back cruise but your cruise is closer to my cruise
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