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Old 07-27-2009, 11:30 AM   #16
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Still waiting.....
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol G View Post
: You missed a whole day of posting! I was looking forward to reading more and noticed you hadn't posted on Sunday. I was on a roll and couldn't wait to read more.

Great TR so far Narnia_girl
Sorry! I know I missed a whole day...two days. It's these kids...they are out of school and wanting to be on my computer all the time. I'm having to fight for the time I need to post!

Let's move on........
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:46 AM   #18
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Thursday
Our sleep Wednesday night is great (probably because our previous night had been awful!) and we awake in the morning excited to get started. I want to be at the terminal about 10 a.m. so I keep pushing the gang to get moving. We pack our frozen water and single beer into the collapsible cooler.

Breakfast is enjoyed on the patio at the Residence Inn. Right around 10 we leave the hotel in our rental car and head to the port.


Rick drops us and the luggage off with the porters and drives the rental car back to Budget. He later reports that it was quick and easy. I give the bags to a porter, and notice the abundance of security dogs.




The kids and I walk around to the front with our carry-ons and enter the terminal. Security is very quick and all they ask about the cooler is whether it has any ice (no).




Then up the escalator and over to the check-in lines. The terminal is almost empty.



We are about the 8th family in line at this point (10:20 a.m.) and the check in desks say they open at 11:00, but actually they open about 10:30.
The check-in clerk is very friendly and it’s a quick procedure. We then head to the security photo area and have our pictures taken. Afterwards the boys look at the ship’s model while I take Caroline to register for the kids club. Rick returns from the car rental at this point and has his security picture taken.

Now it is wait time. We walk outside and look at the ship, we look at the ship’s model, Mickey comes out and has his picture taken a hundred times, then Minnie switches places with him. My boys aren't interested in having their pix taken and Caroline is too shy, so I just try to get quick shots of the characters between other kids hugging them.



A few times we hear buzzes about the Disney “stars” passing through the terminal and we catch a glimpse of them waiting in a private room. Caroline is getting impatient.
About 11:30 I decide to stand in the short line that has formed. My family follows. At this point we realize all our pictures up to the Minnie one have been deleted.
I had asked my son to see if he could check how many that card would hold and he accidentally deleted them all. It’s a bummer for sure, but we’re just starting our cruise so we try to shake it off. Christian is especially upset as he has taken many posed shots of his Lego character as he is writing a picture story; and of course, we lost all the Downtown Disney shots (not sure when we’ll ever get back there).

From here on, the photos are mine.



view of ship from waiting line.


Just then AbsyBabsy walks up and introduces herself and we chat about the surprise cruise she and Degrapevine sprang on their daughters.

At about 11:50, the Disney stars board, we are introduced to the “family of the day” and then it’s time to board #2 passholders (that’s us!).

It all passes by in a rush and I realize I should have taken a posed shot in front of the Mickey ears earlier, it’s just too quick and too many people to do so now. Our cards are scanned and we are on our way!


Just beyond these gentlemen's heads you can see the photographer's background. They have four of these set up and everyone stops to have their picture taken. It's pretty quick.

Then we are announced and we are on board in the Atrium!!

I had thought we’d go on to Parrot Cay for lunch since I’d read on DIS board about it being open even though they don’t send you there, but when they directed us to Beach Blanket Buffet I obeyed like a lost sheep and headed up top. And it was great, our kids loved being able to be on a ship for the first time, eat in the open air and look out over the harbor. (I think someone said later they actually were turning people away from PC because the Disney stars were in there, but not sure if that's accurate.)

Some of the foods we enjoyed were tilapia (very good), strawberry soup, roasted potatoes, sweet-sour pork (very good), roast beef (so-so), fresh fruit and mac & cheese.


You can see here that for older kids or adults they give you a tray and plate. For little ones, they get a divided tray a la cafeteria style. This works well, I think.


Smile with your mouth full!



On the way to BBB we meet another DIS board friend and she generously gives us all the lanyards we need! We also get to see what will become Caroline's favorite spot on the cruise.






This trip is the first time she's seen the ocean!








After lunch the guys decide to play ping pong while Caroline takes her first dip in the Mickey pool which at this point has 4-5 kids in it.





She also tries the water slide, which she loves.




Later the guys move over to the foosball table and Chip & Dale came strolling by and played with them. None of them had a camera with them, so no pics.



Andrew and I decide to check out our rooms at about 1:20, we head down to deck 6 and find the ropes still up, but while deciding if we should wait or not, they drop the ropes and we are free to settle in.





The kids are in one room while Rick and I are in another. Our cabin steward, Chris, has the beds set up perfectly for each room.




kids room--beds apart. Note how narrow the space inbetween the boys' beds. This will be a very important factor later on.

This sofa transforms into a single bed which Chris had made up each night for Caroline.




our room--beds together.
If you look at the desk, you can see the little clock that is in each room. Can you read the time from that vantage point across the room? (1:30?) Now imagine it's pitch black. That clock does not light up. That's why DISers say to bring your own lighted clock if you want to know the time.


These are sideways cat. 11s and they really do have a good layout.


I unpack a gift bag that I had brought along for the kids. It contains Mickey headbands for the Pirate party, disposable cameras including an underwater one, a Pirates of the Caribbean night light and other little gifts.

After unpacking some (mostly we live out of the suitcases), we head back up to deck 9 to enjoy the view.

This Carnival ship is in port with us and we will see them again.



The kids discover the joys of Pluto’s Dog House and Pinnochio’s Pizza.


Andrew decides those fruity drinks being offered around the pool are too good to resist and accepts one. The CM does ask if he’s 21 and he responds truthfully (no). So he gets the virgin drink.


Thus concludes the first half of first day onboard.
Next up: Thunder/Lightning






What I learned:
*Checking in for our whole family (including absent hubby) was easy.
*Having read numerous trip reports I knew that being in the terminal was the start of vacation and a special part of our day. Our 8-yr. old did not realize this and perceived it to be one big WAIT. I should have prepared her for what to expect because her whining was a not something I expected!

*Take pictures of the Mickey ears before you are walking through them!

*If you walk under the Mickey slide and follow the wall just a bit you'll find a bathroom where you can put on your swimsuit.

*I gave the kids disposable cameras but they did not get these out til day 2. If I had to do things over I would have given everyone a camera and charged them with taking lots of pictures. My one regret of this trip is not enough pictures. No one else in my family seems to think of taking pictures so if I didn't take it, it didn't get taken. I think I finally show up in a picture on Castaway Cay day so you know I really did take a cruise. [/LIST]
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narnia_girl View Post
Thursday
Our sleep Wednesday night is great (probably because our previous night had been awful!) and we awake in the morning excited to get started. I want to be at the terminal about 10 a.m. so I keep pushing the gang to get moving. We pack our frozen water and single beer into the collapsible cooler.

Breakfast is enjoyed on the patio at the Residence Inn. Right around 10 we leave the hotel in our rental car and head to the port.


Rick drops us and the luggage off with the porters and drives the rental car back to Budget. He later reports that it was quick and easy. I give the bags to a porter, and notice the abundance of security dogs.




The kids and I walk around to the front with our carry-ons and enter the terminal. Security is very quick and all they ask about the cooler is whether it has any ice (no).




Then up the escalator and over to the check-in lines. The terminal is almost empty.



We are about the 8th family in line at this point (10:20 a.m.) and the check in desks say they open at 11:00, but actually they open about 10:30.
The check-in clerk is very friendly and itís a quick procedure. We then head to the security photo area and have our pictures taken. Afterwards the boys look at the shipís model while I take Caroline to register for the kids club. Rick returns from the car rental at this point and has his security picture taken.

Now it is wait time. We walk outside and look at the ship, we look at the shipís model, Mickey comes out and has his picture taken a hundred times, then Minnie switches places with him. My boys aren't interested in having their pix taken and Caroline is too shy, so I just try to get quick shots of the characters between other kids hugging them.



A few times we hear buzzes about the Disney ďstarsĒ passing through the terminal and we catch a glimpse of them waiting in a private room. Caroline is getting impatient.
About 11:30 I decide to stand in the short line that has formed. My family follows. At this point we realize all our pictures up to the Minnie one have been deleted.
I had asked my son to see if he could check how many that card would hold and he accidentally deleted them all. Itís a bummer for sure, but weíre just starting our cruise so we try to shake it off. Christian is especially upset as he has taken many posed shots of his Lego character as he is writing a picture story; and of course, we lost all the Downtown Disney shots (not sure when weíll ever get back there).

From here on, the photos are mine.



view of ship from waiting line.


Just then AbsyBabsy walks up and introduces herself and we chat about the surprise cruise she and Degrapevine sprang on their daughters.

At about 11:50, the Disney stars board, we are introduced to the ďfamily of the dayĒ and then itís time to board #2 passholders (thatís us!).

It all passes by in a rush and I realize I should have taken a posed shot in front of the Mickey ears earlier, itís just too quick and too many people to do so now. Our cards are scanned and we are on our way!


Just beyond these gentlemen's heads you can see the photographer's background. They have four of these set up and everyone stops to have their picture taken. It's pretty quick.

Then we are announced and we are on board in the Atrium!!

I had thought weíd go on to Parrot Cay for lunch since Iíd read on DIS board about it being open even though they donít send you there, but when they directed us to Beach Blanket Buffet I obeyed like a lost sheep and headed up top. And it was great, our kids loved being able to be on a ship for the first time, eat in the open air and look out over the harbor. (I think someone said later they actually were turning people away from PC because the Disney stars were in there, but not sure if that's accurate.)

Some of the foods we enjoyed were tilapia (very good), strawberry soup, roasted potatoes, sweet-sour pork (very good), roast beef (so-so), fresh fruit and mac & cheese.


You can see here that for older kids or adults they give you a tray and plate. For little ones, they get a divided tray a la cafeteria style. This works well, I think.


Smile with your mouth full!



On the way to BBB we meet another DIS board friend and she generously gives us all the lanyards we need! We also get to see what will become Caroline's favorite spot on the cruise.






This trip is the first time she's seen the ocean!








After lunch the guys decide to play ping pong while Caroline takes her first dip in the Mickey pool which at this point has 4-5 kids in it.





She also tries the water slide, which she loves.




Later the guys move over to the foosball table and Chip & Dale came strolling by and played with them. None of them had a camera with them, so no pics.



Andrew and I decide to check out our rooms at about 1:20, we head down to deck 6 and find the ropes still up, but while deciding if we should wait or not, they drop the ropes and we are free to settle in.





The kids are in one room while Rick and I are in another. Our cabin steward, Chris, has the beds set up perfectly for each room.




kids room--beds apart. Note how narrow the space inbetween the boys' beds. This will be a very important factor later on.

This sofa transforms into a single bed which Chris had made up each night for Caroline.




our room--beds together.
If you look at the desk, you can see the little clock that is in each room. Can you read the time from that vantage point across the room? (1:30?) Now imagine it's pitch black. That clock does not light up. That's why DISers say to bring your own lighted clock if you want to know the time.


These are sideways cat. 11s and they really do have a good layout.


I unpack a gift bag that I had brought along for the kids. It contains Mickey headbands for the Pirate party, disposable cameras including an underwater one, a Pirates of the Caribbean night light and other little gifts.

After unpacking some (mostly we live out of the suitcases), we head back up to deck 9 to enjoy the view.

This Carnival ship is in port with us and we will see them again.



The kids discover the joys of Plutoís Dog House and Pinnochioís Pizza.


Andrew decides those fruity drinks being offered around the pool are too good to resist and accepts one. The CM does ask if heís 21 and he responds truthfully (no). So he gets the virgin drink.


Thus concludes the first half of first day onboard.
Next up: Thunder/Lightning






What I learned:
*Checking in for our whole family (including absent hubby) was easy.
*Having read numerous trip reports I knew that being in the terminal was the start of vacation and a special part of our day. Our 8-yr. old did not realize this and perceived it to be one big WAIT. I should have prepared her for what to expect because her whining was a not something I expected!

*Take pictures of the Mickey ears before you are walking through them!

*If you walk under the Mickey slide and follow the wall just a bit you'll find a bathroom where you can put on your swimsuit.

*I gave the kids disposable cameras but they did not get these out til day 2. If I had to do things over I would have given everyone a camera and charged them with taking lots of pictures. My one regret of this trip is not enough pictures. No one else in my family seems to think of taking pictures so if I didn't take it, it didn't get taken. I think I finally show up in a picture on Castaway Cay day so you know I really did take a cruise. [/LIST]
On our last trip out of 300+ pictures I was in 5!!
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethA View Post
On our last trip out of 300+ pictures I was in 5!!
Now I don't feel so bad!
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:33 PM   #21
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Glad to read more!

I'm RARELY in any photos. If it weren't for Joseph's Mom, I wouldn't have been in any in my trip
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:52 PM   #22
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I'm only in them b/c I begged people to take pics of us! Advice #1,005: TAKE LOTS OF PICS, and ask others to take pics of you w/ your camera...
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:58 PM   #23
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Oh my gosh I know what you mean! I promise myself I will take pictures of everything I lay eyes on the next time I go and then I get so caught up in the excitement...
Thank God for my DH's ability to be more grounded and capture me some memories
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:22 PM   #24
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Still enjoying the trip report - and glad you're having so much fun. Can't wait to read more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anetnmike View Post
Oh my gosh I know what you mean! I promise myself I will take pictures of everything I lay eyes on the next time I go and then I get so caught up in the excitement...
Thank God for my DH's ability to be more grounded and capture me some memories
Ditto. Same thing here. My husband says he's bringing four cameras this time in hopes I'll be inspired to actually take pictures. I did take some last time, but not many after we left port and I couldn't use my iphone camera - that's just so much handier.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narnia_girl View Post
If you look at the desk, you can see the little clock that is in each room. Can you read the time from that vantage point across the room? (1:30?) Now imagine it's pitch black. That clock does not light up. That's why DISers say to bring your own lighted clock if you want to know the time.
Uh, can I just stress here for all of your readers... pitch midnight black! Black like the blackness of having been swallowed into a Heffalump's gut. Way way way black!

Bring a light up clock!
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:26 PM   #26
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4 cameras
that's a great idea except I am so happy to be in my happy place I'd run off without them!
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:26 AM   #27
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SO glad to see the pics of your sideways Cat. 11! We have 2 sideways Cat. 11's on the 8/16 sailing. Were you on Deck 6 forward? Look forward to hearing more about your trip and how you liked that location.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:48 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalVizier View Post
Uh, can I just stress here for all of your readers... pitch midnight black! Black like the blackness of having been swallowed into a Heffalump's gut. Way way way black!


Bring a light up clock!
I loved your illustration on your TR of the inside of a cabin at night.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barney4liz View Post
SO glad to see the pics of your sideways Cat. 11! We have 2 sideways Cat. 11's on the 8/16 sailing. Were you on Deck 6 forward? Look forward to hearing more about your trip and how you liked that location.
Yes, we were on Deck 6 forward. It seemed to be a great location for quiet and very little traffic. It was a bit of hike to get to our room if we didn't get off at the mid-ship elevators but do-able.
Seems that there is a connecting door on deck 6 aft that was often closed, so if we got on/off the aft elevators we had to hike down the opposite side of deck 6 and then cut over and walk some more.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:30 AM   #29
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At 3:00 p.m. we find our way to the Promenade Lounge for our scheduled DIS board meet. It wass fun to get to meet these families. The kids enjoy creating a craft thanks to AbsyBabsy.

Then grlzmom tells us of her fortunate procurement of the Walt Disney Suite and invites us up for a tour. Well, itís just as nice as you can imagine. Beautiful, soft woodwork throughout. It includes a guest powder room, a master bedroom with large bathroom and whirlpool tub, a library, living room, dining room, second bedroom and another bathroom. And running the length of three rooms is a long verandah. Itís just beautiful. Sorry I didn't take any more pictures of it, but I bet grlzmom did and they are around here somewhere.

Three DIS children enjoying the view from the Walt Disney Suite:





All the while we are doing our DIS meet and tour, our teen boys had decided to go off on their own and do stuff.
They had heard about a presentation in the Buena Vista Theatre so they wanted to see that.
Iím not sure what they were expecting but they found themselves in the shopping presentation
learning all about jewelry and designer handbags.

They said they were easily the youngest attendees and the only males. Later in our trip, however,
Andrew was able to point out the fashion versatility of the ribbon handbag:






We said goodbye to our new DIS friends and met the boys in the cabin for the safety drill.



After getting the lifejackets on we were directed down a back staircase to deck 4 where we waited for everyone to show up. It was easy and didnít take more than 15 minutes, but thatís a long time to be crammed next to sweaty strangers in the Florida heat/humidity.

Here's something I didn't know: your lifejackets have room numbers on them and they try to check you off as you line up. I assumed they called roll, classroom style, but nope, they are more efficient than that!

Finally, thatís done and we are ready to sail! We drop the lifejackets off and head up to Deck 10 so we can get a good view of the Sail-Away party.



Pikey (I know his name for TCD's report) has the party going when we arrive and itís just starting to get in full swing when a couple of drops hit us. We decide to watch from deck 9 in the covered area but before we can move an inch the sky completely opens up and it begins to pour and lightning. (Remember a tourist died the day before in Cape Canaveral from a lightning strike.)

Everyone runs for cover. Once inside we hear that the Sail Away party has been relocated to the Atrium, decks 3,4,5. We find a spot on the railing of Deck 5 and watch the party two stories below. Itís just not the same.



I am impressed with Disney at how quickly they can relocate a live production. The characters were all there, CM dancers were in the audience, the music was perfect and everyone on the mail level really seemed to enjoy the party (well almost everyone).



But for us being up so high, the celebration aspect was diminished quite a bit. We could have moved down a floor but those were crowded by then, too. While watching the party below we spotted this fun fellow.



The whole time the crowd around him was gyrating to the music, he stood exactly like that. He was probably miffed about the missing the horn but his wife was having a good time.

My own party animal husband had abandoned the celebration by then to head back up top. The rain and pretty much stopped. Seems it just rained long enough to ruin the outdoor party.


oh, look! My elbow...proof I was onboard that day.


As the party was in full swing I glanced out the deck 5 port holes and saw that we were moving. At that point we gave up the party all together and ran up top to see as we set sail.

You can see that the decks are all wet, but others like us were more interested in the sailing than the party.



We waved to the fine workers at the terminal. We waved to total strangers on land....


And then we heard those beautiful notes on the ship's horn. And for some reason, I was crying.




Next up: our first show and dinner onboard and Bonine revenge
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:41 AM   #30
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Our sailaway party on our last cruise was held inside too, due to horrible weather in PC that day. Oh well, a rainy day on a cruise ship is better than a dry day at work!

Sooo nice that you got to see that suite. Would love to see it, can only dream of sailing in it.
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