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Old 10-10-2008, 08:14 PM   #16
crissichef
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Jen,

Awesome picture of the kids! It was great meeting you and your family!

Crissi
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #17
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Sarah got it the other day and now I have it too. Ugh. Nasty. So glad I didn't get it on the boat.

Why thank you, and welcome aboard. The blankie is such a huge hit, I can't tell you!!! It goes everywhere!!

Jen



Oh no. I'm so sorry you guys are cruddy. I hope it passes quickly.


Good!!! I'm so glad she loves it. I hope she loves it for a long time (let me know if you need another one so that you can wash that one .... LOL!! My niece had to request a couple because her dd won't let hers go.)
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:28 PM   #18
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I'm in! LOVE that intro- and your kids are adorable!!! Can't wait to hear more....

Ellen
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:22 PM   #19
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I read your two previous reports in one day! I'm looking forward to this one as well!
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:08 PM   #20
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I hope you and Sarah feel better soon!

Can't wait to read more!!!
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:18 PM   #21
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Wonderful start, looking forward to reading about your cruise. I read both your other reports and enjoyed them. I am very interested to hear about this cruise as we will be doing our first cruise a double dip in 15 days! I also wanted to say your kids are beautiful and what a perfect picture of the three of them! I will be looking forward to your update!
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crissichef View Post
Jen,

Awesome picture of the kids! It was great meeting you and your family!

Crissi
Thank you! It was great meeting you too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ntheory View Post
Oh no. I'm so sorry you guys are cruddy. I hope it passes quickly.


Good!!! I'm so glad she loves it. I hope she loves it for a long time (let me know if you need another one so that you can wash that one .... LOL!! My niece had to request a couple because her dd won't let hers go.)
Yep, I'll be washing it when she's sleeping!

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
I'm in! LOVE that intro- and your kids are adorable!!! Can't wait to hear more....

Ellen
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy!!

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Originally Posted by robnkris View Post
I read your two previous reports in one day! I'm looking forward to this one as well!
Glad to have you back. It will take a bit longer this time. I wish I could write it all in one day!!!

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Originally Posted by TheDisneyGirl02 View Post
I hope you and Sarah feel better soon!

Can't wait to read more!!!
Coming soon! Sarah sounds a lot better today. Me, not so much. A good nights sleep wil lprobably do me wonders! And tonight I'll get one!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by taraandmike View Post
Wonderful start, looking forward to reading about your cruise. I read both your other reports and enjoyed them. I am very interested to hear about this cruise as we will be doing our first cruise a double dip in 15 days! I also wanted to say your kids are beautiful and what a perfect picture of the three of them! I will be looking forward to your update!
Welcome back also! I don't know how far I will get into the report before you leave. I'm jealous, you will have a great time!!!!

Second installment is almost finished, hopefully up today or tomorrow.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:31 PM   #23
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I'm in too! I loved your other reports so I have to read this one. I am also following Erica's adventures too. Your 3 day trip (Mom's Booty TR) was one of the first tr's I read to learn about the DCL before our first cruise so it is fun to read some more from your family.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:33 PM   #24
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Great Start
looking forward to hearing more soon
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by CruisinEars View Post
I'm in too! I loved your other reports so I have to read this one. I am also following Erica's adventures too. Your 3 day trip (Mom's Booty TR) was one of the first tr's I read to learn about the DCL before our first cruise so it is fun to read some more from your family.
How awesome! Welcome back! Erica and I ran into each other a lot, so some of our experiences may be similar. I'm loving reading all the TR's from our cruise and comparing all of our adventures!

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Great Start
looking forward to hearing more soon
Thanks for hopping onboard!!!

Okay, I'm still typing, guys. Next installment is long on words short on pics.
And I did a lot of work scanning and uploading all of my Navigators. I am going to post them in here as I go, but if you want to look at them all together (and, like....now ) then hop on over to my thread on the main board here.
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:42 AM   #26
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I'm in.
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:26 AM   #27
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I'm in.
Welcome. Thanks for reading!!
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:46 AM   #28
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"Bring Back the Magic"

The morning of Saturday, September 27 dawned clear and warm. I arose well before sunrise in anticipation of leaving for the port around 7 AM. Preparations were primarily complete. All of the luggage to be checked was packed and in the van. I still had to wrestle with a couple of carryon bags. Mainly I had to gather all my magnets that I had finished printing out the night before and find a place to squeeze them and also our fish extender (FE). It didn’t take too long to get everyone up, dressed, and ready to go. We pulled out of the driveway at about 7:15-7:20. A little later than planned, but we always had left around 7:00 before and as such, had always arrived at the terminal a little after 9:30. So I was sure we had plenty of time.

Traffic downtown was a bit congested for a Saturday morning, and we arrived at Cracker Barrel in Brandon at around 7:40. It is pretty much our tradition to stop there for breakfast. It always surprises me how busy it is. Don’t people out there know the “rule”? People are not allowed to eat at Cracker Barrel unless they are on vacation. I think it is a law. If it isn’t it should be!! We had a delicious breakfast of pecan and blueberry pancakes. Yum. As good as they were I purposely did not finish them so I would be especially hungry for the embarkation buffet.

Here are the kids playing checkers:



We left there at about 8:25 and right away realized we weren’t going to be arriving at the port early. The drive across I-4 was clear, but we missed the shortcut via 528 at the Disney exits, so we had to drive on into Orlando proper to take the exit at 417. It would have saved a bit of time, but oh well. I wrote it down on our direction sheet so we wouldn’t do that again next time. Not too long after that we neared the port, and there she was!!





We got closer…and closer….



And before you know it we were there! We got off on the correct exit this time, and were immediately shocked at the volume of people that were everywhere! It was about 10:15 and it was packed!! The joint was hoppin’. We got into the turn lane to check in and drop off our bags. As we waited I saw Drea and family chit chatting with some folks (oh, for the sake of those reading who don’t know all of “us”…. when I mention random people by name, I will, in most cases be referring to my Dis buddies from our meet thread.) I was waving frantically at her, but of course she didn’t see me. Besides, even if she did, she would have been thinking “Who the heck is that weirdo in the van trying to get my attention?”

I saw numerous other folks in our logo T-shirt but did not recognize the faces. We spent our short time in that line trying to figure out who “so & so” or “that guy” were in real life. It took about 10 minutes to go through the line and check in. After doing that, we drove around to the side of the terminal to drop off our luggage. This area was crazy also. We had to wait for a few minutes for a spot to park here. Ron & I both unloaded our massive amounts of bags (I believe that day we had seventeen. Yes, seventeen! Ten checked bags, seven carryons, a stroller and a car seat base. And yes, we did use pretty much all of that stuff).

Once the luggage was dropped, I took Brendan and Savannah to go check in while Ron (and Sarah) parked the car. Right away before we had even walked five feet someone said “Jen?” I looked up to see a familiar face! It was Tiffany, who we sailed with last year. We engaged in brief small talk, but she had the same deer-in-the-headlights look on her face at this crazy amount of people around us. We aren’t used to this….after having been on the Wonder, which is way more laid back. We made our way inside to the vestibule and got in a huge snaking security line, which wasn’t as huge as I thought (there are two lines). It actually only took about 5 minutes to go through the line and we were upstairs. The kids ran off to see if there were coloring pages around, while I joined literally everybody else in the Castaway Club line. I chatted a bit with the folks behind me, who I quickly determined were not Disers. About halfway through the line, I heard them discussing their boarding pass, so I turned around to ask where they got it. They sad a CM was handing them out at the beginning of the line. Seriously? I must have walked right by them. Pet peeve # 1, DCL…be consistent. Sometimes, they hand out BP’s at the check in desk, sometimes in the line, sometimes by the escalators. Ugh. I wish they would just always do it one way and that’s it. So my neighbors held my place in line while I backtracked to get it. It was a number 5. Number 5??????!?!?!?! We have never had over #3 BP. Now I was really angry at myself for not bringing along my #2 BP from last year, as they looked exactly the same. (Cheating? Maybe. It’s a victimless crime, you know. They can put me in DCL jail anytime!) Oh well. As I meandered through the line at a snail’s pace, I finally had the opportunity to look around and see how many people I knew that I could spot. I saw FatCat and family, Tiffany again, and lots of logo shirts on people that didn’t look familiar.

As I approached the counters, still no Ron & Sarah. I also had no clue where Brendan and Savannah were. When it was my turn I went ahead and started checking us in. I had to ask for a supervisor, because we had a huge problem. I’ll have to backtrack a bit here. About 4 or 5 days prior to our departure, Ron had been asking me about online check in and he mentioned room 6018. I said “What do you mean 6018? We have 6022 and 6019!” He said no….it said 6018. So right away I think Woooo-hooo! We’ve been upgraded!!!!! Uh, nope. 6018 is two doors down (or forward) from 6022. It is still a Cat.8. And, checking the deck plans in my Passporter and online, I discovered that 6018’s door is waaay down the hall from 6019, the other room we had for the kids. It was actually across from room 6015. Now, we were ticked. We had worked so hard when changing our reservation to get two rooms right across from each other for DCL to just bump one of the rooms down. And since we figured it was to make room for other people, well that just made us even madder. So we called DCL right away, and they refused to tell us anything (b/c we have a TA) so we called and emailed her. When we heard back from our TA, she said that DCL told her that 6022 was out of service due to maintenance issues and that the ship was full. A manager of inventory was supposed to look things over and see what they could do to get us rooms closer together or even….one Cat 4. (We would have liked that, even though it meant losing all the extra square footage and bathroom). So the next day we heard back again, and our TA said the ship is 100% full and there is nothing they can do now, but to check back at the port.

So, back at the counter, checking in we are told to see a supervisor when we are done, we have to go to the desk at the far end. Fine. Ron finally appears with Sarah, flustered. He is even more agitated when I can’t tell him where Savannah and Brendan are. (There is no screaming, yelling, bleeding, and nothing is burning in the terminal, so I surmise they are doing just fine, wherever they are). Then the agent hands us our KTTW cards. And our dining rotation isn’t right! All I notice at that point is that it starts with Lumiere’s, and we had requested to start in Parrot Cay. Yay for us, now we get to go join all of our meet thread mates in the “line party” at Rockin’ Bar D to change our rotation. This is the first time requesting a rotation in advance hasn’t worked for us. Meanwhile while we are waiting to finish up, I notice Erica and Lionel (zweihund) at the counter next to us, so we say hello. Then hi ho, hi, ho it’s off to the supervisor we go. She knew the situation right away when we told her who we were. She said we were her top priority, but unfortunately the ship is completely full and there is nothing they can do, unless someone (or two, actually) does not make it to the ship. She said to check back at Guest Services around 3PM. So with that problem totally unsolved, we trekked out into the madness of the general terminal. I saw an empty table and started to head that way before I noticed the ropes blocking my path. Seems they have blocked off a whole section of the terminal for concierge. Either this is new, or they don’t do it on the Wonder. Not that I don’t think they paid enough to deserve a private waiting area, they most certainly did….but they had all the dang tables . Not that there was a lot of time to sit anyway. We headed over to the kids club line that was just as lengthy, tedious, and boring as ever. Never really figured out how it takes so long…”Who are you? Here are the wristbands. What’s your password? Have a beeper. Bye.” Know what I mean? After that, we went over to meet Erik and Jason and get our sweet lanyards. They are even nicer than I expected:







We had wandered over by the mouse ears and right as we did, Mickey came out. He greeted Savannah and patted her head before going out to pose for pictures in front of the model ship. It was utter insanity. We didn’t even get near the line; we ended up pretty much trapped between the wall and the kids’ club line which now stretched halfway back across the terminal. It must have been already almost time to start boarding, though, as the hoards and throngs approached the mouse ears. By the ropes we found more friends, Amy & Dave, Melodie...and Tiffany were right behind us. It seemed like it took forever…first 1&2’s….then 3’s & 4’s, finally 5! We scooted through the crowd and up to the podium where we got officially swiped onboard. A quick stop for the embarkation photo, and we would be on our way. We did not end up buying the photo, as none of us really looked that great, plus it was just a plain picture. No nice dated border with the ports of call on it. We bounded across the gangway to the atrium door, and here was our greeting (movie, click to play)



Up Next: “Door Number Three”
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Last edited by nenner1; 10-12-2008 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:44 AM   #29
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Wow, I can't believe you had so much going on at check-in! You looked so calm when we said hello - you must be great under pressure

And I LOVE that Sarah had a lanyard.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:19 AM   #30
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Wow, I can't believe you had so much going on at check-in! You looked so calm when we said hello - you must be great under pressure

And I LOVE that Sarah had a lanyard.
Ask Ron how I am under pressure, he may disagree!

She wouldn't really wear it well so we put it on her stroller after that. It's still there!
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