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Old 10-09-2008, 08:05 PM   #1
nenner1
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Back to the Island-Double Dip Delight!Western COMPLETE~Cruising with a baby w/PICS!

Ahoy, there! Welcome aboard! This is my third trip report, for our third cruise on DCL, the first 7-night cruise after dry-dock: an “alternate” Western of sorts, dubbed the “Double Dip Delight”. If you have read along with my adventures before, welcome back. If you are new, you can expect a play-by-play of all the action onboard we took part in (and sometimes some we didn’t), lots and lots of pictures, and as much detail as I can possibly remember! I hope you find reading our memories as enjoyable as it was for us to make them.

Here are direct links to individual installments:

Introduction
Bring Back the Magic
Door Number Three
They Don't Dance Like Carmen No More
Gypsies in the Palace
Back to the Island
Perrier Blues
I Wish Lunch Could Last Forever
Christmas in the Caribbean
Quietly Making Noise
Carnival World
Fins!
Margaritaville
A Pirate Looks At 40 (Thousand)
Mexico
Mexico, continued
Take Another Road (Part 1)
Take Another Road (Part 2)
Take Another Road (Part 3)
The Coconut(s) Telegraph (Part 1)
The Coconut(s) Telegraph (Part 2)
The Great Filling Station Holdup
Where's The Party?
License to Chill
Bank of Bad Habits
Back to the Island
Back to the Island (Part 2)
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Meet your Cast of Characters:
My name is Jen. I’m 34 and I have been a Disney fan for quite a long time. Other than that I am unremarkable. My husband Ron is also 34 and his interests include all the usual guy stuff. He loves to travel, which works real well with this cruising thing. My son Brendan is 8 (almost 9). He plays football and baseball and is the Hidden Mickey guru of the family. I have two daughters, Savannah, the oldest is 7 and Sarah is our baby, who just turned 4 months old. Savannah is a competitive dancer and cheerleader whose newest main interest is Hannah Montana. And Sarah…well she likes to drool and chew things, but who doesn’t?

I can’t have a trip report installment without at least one photo, so here is my favorite one of the kids taken this trip onboard the Magic:




We booked this cruise pretty much as a result of post-trip restlessness after our first cruise, a 4-night on the Wonder in 2007. We did not rebook on board for some silly reason I have never managed to figure out. However, not even two weeks after stepping foot off of the boat, we were lazily browsing the DCL website and saw this special itinerary cruise which intrigued us. It was an “alternate” Western, with stops in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico and two stops at Castaway Cay. The pricing for it was surprisingly less than the other Westerns so within about 2 hours, we had made our decision and booked the cruise. At that point we had previously only sailed in a Cat 11, which was fine for our needs at the time (as far as it being an inside room), but we did think we would prefer to have the split bath so we chose a Cat. 10. It was at that time 18 months from sailing.

We took another cruise on the Wonder, a 3-night in the interim, which turned out to be our last cruise as a family of four. This time we had spoiled ourselves. We had gotten a fab Florida Residents rate on a Cat.5 for the 3-night, so now we felt we could not take the step backwards to an inside room for the next one. So onboard our second trip on the Wonder, we re-booked to get the 10% discount and $200 and also upgraded to a Cat.8. This -as well as most categories at that time- was already in guarantee status, so we could not pick a room, but all of the Cat.8 rooms are forward on 5, 6, & 7 so we had a pretty good idea of where we would end up. And hey, we could always hope for an upgrade!

After finding out we were expecting Sarah, we had some real strategics to figure out. Our preference at that point would have been to just move to a Cat.4 room, but the prices on those were more than double what we had already paid, so that was out. A friend of ours also going on the cruise ended up booking Sarah in their room (though Sarah would stay with us in our room), but she ended up having to cancel so we found ourselves scrambling once again. Our travel agent managed to get us a Cat.11 room to go with our Cat. 8 (right across the hall from each other) for only $800 more than we had already paid, so we figured that would be the way to go. We were no longer in GTY status, we now had rooms, 6022 (Cat.8) and 6019 (the Cat.11). We had never stayed on Deck 6 before, plus 6019 was a “sideways” 11 so we were interested to check these rooms out. The doors for both rooms were directly opposing in the hallway so it would be easy to run between the rooms, to check on Brendan and Savannah, who would be in 6019 by themselves. We figured (correctly) that we would only be in the rooms to sleep, and whenever they would be in their room, we would be in ours so there would be no shenanigans over there unbeknownst to us! (We packed Sarah’s baby monitor to listen in on them, just in case…)

Are you following all this? There will be a short quiz at the end.
(OK, I’m kidding, but I promise this is pertinent information)

The countdown begins…

This particular cruise, originally to be the first sailing of the Magic out of dry dock, was packed full of Castaway Club members and Disers. In fact 473 folks onboard were either Disers or their immediate family and friends…that’s 158 staterooms. Our meets thread “Double Dip Delight” was a blast and it was not uncommon to go through 20 or more pages in a day. Our great group initiated so many fun plans that made the time waiting for the cruise go by swift in anticipation. We would have a DIS meet, of course…and also do fish extenders. Some of us would participate in a ‘Secret Mickey’ exchange that is akin to Secret Santa, and we would also have cool lanyards with name tags to identify ourselves (thanks lanyard team!) Group photos, and a group Palo brunch, dinner, and tea are just a couple more examples of all the neat events we had planned out.


And when I say plan, I ain’t joking around folks. This group is made up of some serious planners (me included). Most of us were repeat cruisers on DCL and knew the deal. We wanted to plan out every little detail, from the dinner rotations, to the shows, right on down to the drinks of the day. In fact I worked very hard to create a spreadsheet with all this information on it to have at hand to help out with the planning. I used prior Navigators to gather the information and called DCL to confirm that the rotations, etc. I had figured out were right. They confirmed that yes, indeed I was correct. They also told a few of my co-cruisers the same thing so we were all pretty secure in that the info we had was accurate. (Yes, this is all foreshadowing). Anyway, what do you think? A handy little tool, eh?



(Don't bother copying all this stuff down. It's wrong)

The first thing to change was the ports. (You knew changes were coming, now didn’t ya?)
Costa Maya was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Dean in 2007, and Disney decided, that although the port repair work was on schedule to be complete by the time we arrived in late Sept., that it would not be up to DCL’s standards, so it was scrapped in favor of Grand Cayman. Although we were looking forward to Costa Maya, we had never been to GC before so it worked for us. However, to accommodate THAT change, they also changed the departure time on our first Castaway Cay day to 2:30 PM. None of us were very happy about that, and didn’t really buy DCL’s excuse that they needed the extra time to account for the longer sailing distance (I mean, how much further is CC from Key West, really?) This change would affect some of our other plans later on, but we’ll get to that later. Then they decided that the Magic would get done with dry dock sooner than expected, so they snuck in a special 3-night sailing before our cruise. This, folks…turned out to be a good thing. Trust me.

Before we knew it 90 days out had arrived. I got on the computer at the stroke of midnight (okay actually 11:59) and snagged Palo dinner, Palo brunch (one of only three reservations left!) and our Flounder’s Reef allotment. I could have gotten the one Palo High Tea spot still there also, but we weren’t too interested in doing the tea. We did not take any excursions through DCL, since we consider ourselves cruise veterans now and felt comfortable we could arrange excursions on our own for cheaper.

Our plans were at Castaway Cay, the first day to spend as a family beach day and the second day we would rent bikes and explore the island and maybe (just maybe) get a little time at Serenity Bay since Sarah would be in Flounder’s. In Grand Cayman we would do a Stingray City and snorkeling trip booked through Captain Marvin’s. And in Cozumel – this is where we really stepped out on a limb- we would rent a car and explore the island ourselves (a little ambitious for us slightly green world travelers, I know).

The last few months before the cruise flew (of course I had just had a baby), and before you know it we were in the home stretch. The last couple of weeks were frantic. I work graveyard, and that’s hard enough in & of itself, but add in a newborn, cruise planning, packing, FE gift assembly, magnet designing & printing. Needless to say I was going out of my mind (what little I had left!)

And then, the accident. Just eight days before the trip I was involved in a hit & run accident that totaled my car. Ironically I did the hitting, but I didn’t do the running. Go on & figure *that one* out! Nobody was injured (well, at least I wasn’t- who knows about the “mystery vehicle” or invisible brick wall as the police said I must have hit) so we decided to let the insurance company clean up the mess, because it’s time to cruise!!!!

Next up: All Aboard!

(If you’re still with me, that is. It was a real long intro, wasn’t it?)
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 9/2011- NEW! TRIP REPORT! - Disney Magic 7 Night Western 10/2010: Trip Report - Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 1/2010: Trip Report and Videos - Disney Magic 7 Night Western Double Dip 09/08: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 3 Night Bahamas 10/07: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas 03/07: Trip Report

Last edited by nenner1; 09-20-2009 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:55 PM   #2
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Absolutely wonderful, as I knew it would be!!! And Jen...those children...absolutely beautiful!! That is a fantastic picture!!! Thanks so much for writing another TR!! You are my hero !
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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Awesome picture of the kids!!
great t/r so far!!
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:20 PM   #4
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I love your kids! I miss seeing their smiling faces at dinner!

Your TR is wonderful! I can't wait to read more!!!!!
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:24 PM   #5
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love the 1st installment. If only i could get up the gusto to write LOL. maybe once I get over this CRUD.

BTW I knew this pic would be perfect when we were behind you the kids all did great, and no it didnt take long at all. Sarah was in prime form. Girl will be a natural in front of the camera LOL.

Cant wait to read more.

Oh and you dont know how many times I refered to the spread sheet. E even did to... It wasnt that far off really LOL Totally helped me plan my palo and character breakfast once we got our KTTW lol
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenner1 View Post
(Don't bother copying all this stuff down. It's wrong)
Amen, sister! But it was a rockin' spreadsheet anyway!

Love the TR so far - that photo of your kids is darling! What sweeties.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:33 PM   #7
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The pic is stunning! And those baby cheeks-just want to aqueeze em !! I love all the details and more pics please!!
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #8
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Great job and beautiful kids!!!!
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:23 PM   #9
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:57 PM   #10
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The kids look so cute! I love that they got sarah to smile
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:39 AM   #11
nenner1
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Thanks for all the love, everyone!
Working on the next part...maybe today, maybe tomorrow. We'll see.
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 9/2011- NEW! TRIP REPORT! - Disney Magic 7 Night Western 10/2010: Trip Report - Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 1/2010: Trip Report and Videos - Disney Magic 7 Night Western Double Dip 09/08: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 3 Night Bahamas 10/07: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas 03/07: Trip Report
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:23 PM   #12
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I've really enjoyed your reports in the past and looking forward to all the new pics of you new baby in this one!! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:26 PM   #13
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Great start Jen!
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:28 PM   #14
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Awesome pic!!!!! I love your trip report...hope there is mention of your GREAT secret Mickey
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:46 PM   #15
nenner1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyluv View Post
Absolutely wonderful, as I knew it would be!!! And Jen...those children...absolutely beautiful!! That is a fantastic picture!!! Thanks so much for writing another TR!! You are my hero !
Aww thanks! A hero? Not quite!! But I do love my adoring fans I promise this one is going to put the old reports to shame...we had quite an adventure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic3forme View Post
Awesome picture of the kids!!
great t/r so far!!
Thanks!!!! I have lots of great pics from M-ville! I think your kiddos may be in a few of them! It was fun hanging with you guys there and up on deck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDisneyGirl02 View Post
I love your kids! I miss seeing their smiling faces at dinner!

Your TR is wonderful! I can't wait to read more!!!!!
You are just too sweet! I really miss you guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anewmac View Post
love the 1st installment. If only i could get up the gusto to write LOL. maybe once I get over this CRUD.

BTW I knew this pic would be perfect when we were behind you the kids all did great, and no it didnt take long at all. Sarah was in prime form. Girl will be a natural in front of the camera LOL.

Cant wait to read more.

Oh and you dont know how many times I refered to the spread sheet. E even did to... It wasnt that far off really LOL Totally helped me plan my palo and character breakfast once we got our KTTW lol
I'm glad it was somewhat helpful. I admit I still referenced mine too. I have a funny story about it (if I didn't already post it in the meets thread!) I wanted to crawl under a rock in RBarD when all of us were in the line party and people were pulling it out and showing the CM's... Like "WE have the spreadsheet. YOU are wrong, DCL!"

WE HAVE THE CRUD NOW TOO!

Sarah got it the other day and now I have it too. Ugh. Nasty. So glad I didn't get it on the boat. She was too funny while we were doing the pictures, but not as funny as I was dancing around and squealing like a lil piggy. That must have been amusing to watch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AQW View Post
Amen, sister! But it was a rockin' spreadsheet anyway!

Love the TR so far - that photo of your kids is darling! What sweeties.
Thank you, thank you! Sorry we didn't get to meet!! And at least you didn't have to listen to us above you, I had to scream at Savannah for stomping a few times!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryAz View Post
The pic is stunning! And those baby cheeks-just want to aqueeze em !! I love all the details and more pics please!!
I'll squeeze em for ya right now! Thanks for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ntheory View Post
Great job and beautiful kids!!!!
Why thank you, and welcome aboard. The blankie is such a huge hit, I can't tell you!!! It goes everywhere!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alleluia5 View Post
Hi! Thanks for reading!!! I love comparing our adventures!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anc22 View Post
The kids look so cute! I love that they got sarah to smile
Whew! It was work! I'm telling you, ask Drea! Glad you swung by!

Quote:
Originally Posted by meegster View Post
I've really enjoyed your reports in the past and looking forward to all the new pics of you new baby in this one!! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for reading! This is gonna be a good one compared to the old ones, I promise! Buckle in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zweihund View Post
Great start Jen!
The TR queen approves!!!! You get some shout outs in here, too!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkandmjsmommy View Post
Awesome pic!!!!! I love your trip report...hope there is mention of your GREAT secret Mickey
Are you kidding me? I think it may be a whole installment. I was just going through my pics and realized we didn't actually get any of them before we opened them. What can I say, we were excited. And you didn't dissapoint!!!!!

Everyone, I have to apologize about the quality of the scan on that picture. I promise we did not have lint all over our clothes when we got it taken. My scanner must have been dirty and it stinks to begin with. I will re-scan and replace it when I have time, probably over the weekend.

I will be writing on breaks and lunch tonight. We're going straight to the good stuff!

Jen
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 9/2011- NEW! TRIP REPORT! - Disney Magic 7 Night Western 10/2010: Trip Report - Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 1/2010: Trip Report and Videos - Disney Magic 7 Night Western Double Dip 09/08: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 3 Night Bahamas 10/07: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas 03/07: Trip Report
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