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Old 12-10-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
DisneyMommaSteph
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 97

Not new to cruising, but new to DCL-Western Nov. 28-Dec. 5, 2009-- Edit 12/14 PICS!

I've decided to post a wee little trip report...after basically writing one while sending my friend the low down on our recent vacation. I have not decided if I'll add pictures or not....but IF I do...I'll edit them in afterward...
**EDIT 12/14--Adding some pictures gradually...

Starring:


Me! Stephanie...stay at home
Hubby Matt--senior accountant
...and the 3 littles...
Oldest daughter 6 years
Middle man 3 years
Wee one 14 months

Traveling with...

My sis, and her hubster...and their 3 littles...
Oldest daughter 10 years
Middle man 7 years
Littlest one 5 years

Yep. You added correctly. That is FOUR adults traveling with SIX kids ages 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 10. Whoa. We're outnumbered.


After counting down the days....
Is it really time for our DISNEY CRUISE?!?!?!
11/27.2009


Left Friday afternoon for our 5:30 flight, arrived at 8:30...and we hired a van to drive us from the airport to the Radisson by the Port. We stopped at the grocery store to get water, and bagels and cream cheese for bfast. We also stopped at the liquor store for Tequila and beer.... Oh, and the fun detail from the flight. Cohen barfed. Kinda in a bag....mostly on Matt....Ew! Forgot to give him Dramamine. Never forgot that again....

We didn't get checked in until about 10pm at the hotel. My sis had a 2 room suite with a whirlpool tub, and we had a reg. room around the hall. The pools there looked amazing...like a lagoon with waterfalls...but we were too tired to sponser that event with the kids. Plus it was only about 50 out (even tho it was heated....still a no go)....The boys ran across the street to McD's and we ate dinner around 10:30. We hung out for a bit...and then headed to our room for some sleep....Also...we had to juggle luggage to make all our booze fit into a large wheely carry-on. Also in that suitcase was a little "disney present" from Mickey for the kids each day. It was hard trying to keep that covered.

Did I say sleep? I didn't get much of that..... I was uber excited....Like a kid before Christmas basically. Everyone passed out one by one with Bre being the last on at 1am. I kinda slept/tossed and turned....and was up and in the shower by 7am (we had a 10am shuttle to the pier)....

After showering and getting everyone ready....Me and the kids headed to Jen's room for some bagels, and yogurt. The kids went into the whirlpool...and we cleaned out our room...and brought our stuff to Jen's....


9:30 came and we headed to the lobby for the shuttle...

We got to the port a little after 10....and we basically RAN into the terminal (well as much as you can run with a suitcase with 7 bottles of wine, one bottle of tequila, 2 bottles of sourmix, and 36 beers...). We got a boarding number 3, and checked in....then went to get pics for a Key To the World Card. After that we went to finish up registering the kids for the Clubs, and get the pager. Then it was time to wait. We chased Bre around...and looked at the ships model. Then the characters came out (Mickey, and Goofy) all decked out for Christmas--the terminal was decked for Christmas too....The waiting was killing us...cause everyone was soooo excited.







OH...and we posted on our "meet-up" board at the DISboards....so we knew some families on the same cruise. We bumped into about 4 of those families while in the terminal...so it was fun to have "friends" to chat with...

Before long they were announcing boarding...and withing about 5-10 minutes they announced number 3!!! We swam through the crowds with zillions of bags and children in tow. As we entered through the Mickey shaped ears onto the gangplank...I felt like we were FINALLY on vacation!!!!! This was the moment we'd been waiting for.

We stepped onto the ship...and heard the famous..."Welcome XXXXX Family"....YAY!!!!!
__________________
~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
DisneyMommaSteph
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 97

This is IT! We're really on a DISNEY CRUISE!

Once on board we went straight to the Rockin’ Bar D to make our Palo Brunch ressies (a $15 dollar charge for a “high end dining experience that we’d heard was amazing…so we had to try and get a ressie)…We got a 10:30 on our first sea day—PERFECT.

After that we headed to the buffet to grab some lunch….then we explored the ship….and counted down the minutes until 1:30 when our room was suppose to be ready. We arrived right outside our hallway (we had room 8568) 1:30 to the second….lol…and waited like kids outside a candy shop for out attendant to open the little barricade….hehe…We sprinted to our rooms and rushed in to explore our new home for the next 7 days!!!!



It was awesome. Bigger than I anticipated…..With a split bath—one room with toilet/sink other with sink/shower with tub. Sweet! It had a king sized bed, couch, lounge chair…and balcony!!!!! Ahhhh…I cracked open the Tequila and sour mix…and sipped as we unpacked. NOW we were on vacation… We explored the ship, went to our Dis meet up, **edit, and the Muster Drill--how could I forget that fun...er not...and took the kids to peek at their clubs (open house type thing)…and then headed to the little “show”—Sail Away Party…with drink in hand. The show started with the “When you wish upon a star” horn sounding….*chills*…and we started to pull out of port!!!!!







Wide open ocean...here we come...




Side note:
Dinner is rotational through 3 different restaurants. Your servers follow along with you, and you can get different “rotations”…We got the best one (in our opinion)…First seating at 5:45…with dinner at Animator’s Palate ( a black and while themed restaurant with dis movies pick on the wall that change color as the night progresses), then Parott Cay—a fun lil restaurant with bold colors—our table was right by a big port hole window!, and Lumiere’s—an upscale french themed dining room—so for the cruise we had a A P L L A P L assignment. We got Lumiere's 3 times!!! And for formal night!!!! Sweet!!!!!

After we finished at the Sail Away Party…..we went back to our room to get ready for the first dinner at Animators-- we brought all the children with us...In retrospect this would be one of only two dinners that we had all 6…. Cohen fell asleep (Dramamine—never forgot to give him that again, remember…) right before the started the little show. Sorcerer Mickey came out and did his little show…and then the waiters had colored vests on, and everything was colored in the room. It was really cute…and Bre was uber excited to see Mickey. From….a….far….

I can’t remember if we made it to the show that night, or not…but I do remember we went to bed early (like most nights—around 9-10)….We had an early Character breakfast at 8am….YAY!

Next day….

Character bfast/Key west!
__________________
~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
DisneyMommaSteph
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 97

Our first full day on board: Character breakfast and Key West!

Sunday….
We woke up and dragged our buns to the 8am Character bfast (they assign you one ch. Bfast based on dining rotation)….It was in Parrot Cay…and the kids were really cute with the characters. They basically ran through…and stopped at each table for pics…just like at Disney. Aubrey only liked to looooook at them.









The servers made us cute little hats out of napkins….hehe….








After that we brought the big kids to the clubs….and we spent some time with Bre. We pulled into Key West around 12:30…and I was mesmorized by the purdy blue waters. We had nursery reservations for Aubrey from 1:30-4:40 as we planned to explore the island with just the adults….BUT…we got a page from Cohen just after eating lunch at the buffet….juuuust after dropping Bre off at the club. Go figure. SO….we decided we’d just bring him along…..







We had three main goals for Key West: Walk around and explore, chocolate covered frozen Key Lime pie on a stick, and get a Key lime Margarita. We set out first to scope out where we’d accomplish goals 2 and 3…and in the process we accomplished goal number one….

It was bbbbeeautiful weather (Key West gets uber hot)…mid 70’s, hot ….but not miserable. Perfect day for walking around…We stopped at the Blonde Giraffe for out keylimecicles—YUUUUM-O…and then wandered around trying to find the Marg. We’d read about one in a trip report…but we forgot where. After many fruitless (or shall I say Margless) inquiries from local merchants…we stumbled upon an information desk with a very helpful dude. He pointed us in the direction to a place called Ken’s—said they have the best Margs on the island.

After wandering a bit rethinking his directions—we spotted Ken’s…hidden by some tall trees. We were soooo delighted to see the sign saying “the best Key Lime Margs”…and only 4 buck….uh….during happy hour…at 4…and hour away. Booyah. We were not going to let this get us down…and we saw that the menu said they were made with a high end 100% agave tequila…and we started to salivate on the spot…hehe…Our trance was broken by the rude bar biotch…ahem tender….”There is NO table service”…and we were at a table about a foot from her. MMMMk. Dan and I walked up to the bar to order 4 Margs. Jen wanted extra salt…but before I could get that out…she went to the other side of the bar and mixed the drinks, into pint glasses. Saltless pint glasses. She came back over and I asked if she could transfer Jen’s so a salted glass…and she did that with a smile. Er not….lol…








The drinks were pretty good. EXCEPT…she put cheap tequila in them. When I asked her…she said…”Oh that menu is old…we don’t have that tequila anymore”….mmmmk. It was still yumaliciaous…just would have been better if she used good tequila. Ah well…

By the time we sucked down the delectable delights…it was time to head back and get little miss Bre.




We picked the kids up from the clubs as well…and took them swimming in the Mickey Pool. It was an awesome little pool only a few feet deep…so I was able to sip a (gross) Drink of the Day Key Lime Marg (bought it for the nifty souvie glass)…while watching the kids from the sidelines. Dan joined us with Jen’s kids…..and we let them swim until it was time for dinner (or to drop them off to eat at the club…while we went to dinner….Mwaaaaaaaah)….I made myself a nice big Margarita….and then off to dinner we went....with Bre in tow…

After dinner, around 7:30/8ish we picked the kids up for the 8:30 show. After the show we headed to bed—Jen dropped her kids back at the club (open till midnight)…the lame XXXXX's went to bed. After all…the XXXXX kids like to wake at the crack of dawn regardless….

Coming up…
SEA DAY filled with yum-o Palo Brunch, Tequila/Marg tasting at 4pm, and Formal night at Lumiere’s for din, din!!!!
__________________
~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:25 PM   #4
nancynsparky
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Metro Detroit, Mi
Posts: 3

Great cruise review so far! I'm very interested, we are on the Magic in 2 weeks with a 2 year old!
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
DisneyMommaSteph
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 97

Day 3--a day at Sea...Palo and tequila for me!! hehe

After a fun day in Key West…it was time to hit the wide open ocean. I was a little nervous because, since I’m still nursing….it’s advised to avoid Bonine, and Dramamine type products. Dramamine is preferred over Bonine…but either can dry your milk. I decided I’d wear those hip, cool wrist bands…and hope for the best. Luckily the seas were as calm as can be. Seriously so calm, that I couldn’t even feel the boat moving. We still gave C-man the Dramamine though…. Juuuust in case. We enjoyed the balcony during the sea time too—so nice to just go out there and gaze. It was getting soooo hot and humid though—YAY!

We slept in (as much as the kids would allow—which was until about 7:30)…and we had ordered room service b-fast (muffins, fruit, bagels, donuts….etc.) for a light snack since we had the ressies at Palo for brunch. We fed the kids some more stuff before dropping them off in the kids clubs. We brought Bre to the nursery for her 10:30-12-30 stay…and headed to Palo.

Let me preface this by saying that Palo is highly acclaimed for it’s wonderful service and yummy food but I was very skeptical. I love good food as much as the next person (and it shows…hehe)…but I just couldn’t wrap my head around PAYING for food when you can eat yourself silly throughout the ship. It was only 15 bucks a head…so we thought we’d give it a whirl.





When we arrived we were seated and offered a complimentary glass of champagne. They had a specialty drink that was a purdy aqua—it was kinda like fruity champagne…I opted for that. Mmmm…it was tasty. Next the server came over and told us all about things. This meal was part buffet, part menu ordered selections.





He took us on a tour of the offerings. The first table was appetizer type foods. I can’t remember all the yummy stuff….but some of my favorites were the Alaskin King crab legs, jumbo shrimp cocktail, scallops salad, and the smoked tilapia (?), and bacon wrapped asparagus…..There were plenty of non seafood things that I tried…I guess they weren’t that memorable though. Everything was delish though.

Next table was full of cheese/cracker/bread type thingies. They had this one spread that was sooo very good….as well as your fancy stinky cheeses—I liked the Brie—and some other treats like this bread with almonds and seasoning….sounds gross…but it was good… Then he took us to the next station that had warm cinnamon buns, REAL croissants, even choco filled croi’s…Mmmmm. There was this really yummy stolen bread that you put this glaze, then the whipped cream (that was like whipped cream meets cool whip…MMMMM) then fresh fruit with jumbo raspberries. Ahhhh…I’m salivating reliving it. Of course there were more offerings…but I don’t remember…

Last…but not most important….was the dessert table.. Lots of little cutely presented treats….

THEN (can you see why they allow 2 hours to enjoy this adult only restaurant)….our server showed us the “menu” items. They had the actual dishes on display to show you. There were these fancy mini pizzas one with grapes and blue cheese (I didn’t try this, but I hear it was great!), Eggs benedict/flourentine…and about 2 other ways…??, then some chilled soups/pasta dishes….then the main courses: A tenderloin, tilapia, chicken parm,….something else. We never made it that far…so I don’t really remember everything….

We went up and took our first “pass” at the buffet and got appy kinds of stuff….then our second pass….then we ordered. We all got eggs of some type. The boys got the benedict…the girls the florentine. It was so.so.good. After the dish (nearing total stuffness…hehe) we went back for more food. Jen and I thought it wise to hit the desserts before we were too full…. Then we she ordered some chilled soup, and Matt and I got some pizzas. I made it though 3/4ths of mine…and I couldn’t stuff another ounce. So sad…

Me with my silly excited face over the plate of warm cin. buns and stollen bread...Mmmmmm


We rolled out of there, picked up Bre…then hung out—can’t remember exactly what we did. I think we left the kids in the clubs because we had a 4pm Tequila/marg tasting.

Before we knew it, it was time to drop Bre back off at the nursery (4-6:30 ressie, that I tried to extend through formal dinner, but they had no openings)…and head to the tasting. When we arrived at the Bar we saw some of out “Dis meet” friends, and we sat with them. FUN!

At each table was a placemat with a spot for each item we’d be tasting….Whoa. There was room for three shots, and two mini Margarita’s. When the first FULL size shot arrived we all looked at each other with the “uh oh” look. We had nothing in out stomachs and I didn’t feel too hot. After the guys spiel we took the plunge and took the first shot. It was a Don Julio Blanco. We sprinkled salt on our hand and grabbed our lime—ready, set, GO! Shot one was down the hatch. My feet started to feel warm…and my stomach was suddenly settled….LOL….

As the next two shots arrived we were a little worried we’d have alcohol poisoning by the end of the hour…lol….but we followed along like good little tasters gunning the next two shots when advised…hehe….I can’t remember what the others were…WAIT….one was an Anejo…and the other was 1800, I think. The little Margs were ok…one strawberry one regular…made with good tequila.

At the end he asked some volunteers up to do this shot in a beer contest thing. Ummm no. I was feeling really happy, cool, and I didn’t want to go messin’ that up…hehe…

By the time the tasting was over, it was time to get ready for fomal night. We went back to the room and made jumbo Margarita’s in our souvie glasses to have while getting ready…..and then another to take to dinner. It’s just now that I’m realizing why we have no pictures from formal night…;( We were too drunk to remember to take pictures…

We picked Bre up from the nursery, and went to dinner. After dinner we got the kids and went to the show…then bed. Surprisingly I woke the next day with NO hangover. 100% agave tequila is WORTH it!!!!!!!! Also…I should note that since Jen couldn’t save her milk for the babies…she gave me some pumped milk to give Bre in her sippy…
Next day….
Grand Cayman Island
__________________
~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:28 PM   #6
DisneyMommaSteph
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 97

Day 4--Grand Cayman. I think I'm in love with Seven Mile Beach *deep sigh*...

I was a little skeptical about Cayman Islands because I’ve never had to tender before, and I thought it would be a big pain in the butuckus…but it wasn’t too bad.

We woke up bright and early to our new daily delivery of blue berry muffins (long story short…belle likes blueberry and we couldn’t find them, so we asked the head server…and he arranged for delivery each morning) at 7:30. After the kids nibbled a bit we headed to the buffet for breakfast…then it was back to the room to lube up with sunscreen and get ready for a beach day! It was upper 80’s and beautiful sunshine..YAY!!! We packed our bags with a change of clothes, got dressed in our suits and cover-ups and headed for the gangway .We had to sit in the theater, and get a ticket to be called to the boat…but it went really fast. We were off the boat by 9-10ish.

We had planned on “taking a cab to seven mile beach” as advised by some Disers. They did offer an excursion to the beach…but it would be about 200 bucks to basically do just what we could do on our own….so we braved it up and set out on our own. Dan and Asher woke early for one of the first boats to shore, to head to the skate park (2nd largest in the world)…and Jen planned on taking the girls with us to the beach. They aren’t the early waking, moving type…and Jen had to pump (we needed to get out of our room cause my kids just scream in there)…so she wasn’t going to be able to leave with us…I felt bad…but she said maybe she’d brave it alone. I told her to take a cab to 7 mile beach at the Marriot (which we later learned the cab drivers just don’t want to take you there)…and we’d wait there for her.

Once off the boat and on land we were a little nervous…but still determined to get the cab to the beach. When we entered the main pier area there were zillions of people peddling excursions and we just snubbed them as we walked feverishly looking for the area “full of cabs” that we’d heard about. We finally found that area and decided to ask a women with a sign about 7-mile how much to get to the Marriot. She said 5 bucks a person, and we looked at her kinda cross-eyed…lol…and then she said 15 bucks total….since Matt was holding Bre and Cohen is a wee little lad. Cool beans. Done deal. Oh,....we were sure to ask how much for the cab back too…never can be too careful.

We were lead to a cab that was already holding two older women. We crammed into the back row of seats and asked the ladies if they were going to the Marriot. They said “no”…just 7 mile beach. Then a family with two boys pilled in, and we asked them the same. They said “wherever” on 7-mile. The driver hopped in, and asked us where we wanted to go. When we said the Marriot he said “it’s closed”…Hmmm…(it’s not)….we said take us wherever. After about a 10-15 minute drive we arrived at a beach with bathrooms and umbrella rental, and food service. He assured us that if we didn’t like it we could walk down and find a place, as it was all free.

We walked out to the beach and it was beautiful. Clear blue calm waters. We rented an umbrella for 4 bucks, with a 4 dollar deposit…and the dude set it up for us right next to the water. Ahhhhhhhh.....







We dipped our toes in the temped waters, and then the kids just dove in… Cohen wore the life jacket while he toodled around…and Belle stuck with Daddy for a bit. Bre played in the sand for a bit…and then I decided to take her in.





She whimpered at first…but then once I gradually dunked her…she was all smiles. We stayed in the water just floating around…looking for shells for a good while. Matt decided to go off snorkeling…and I hung with the kids. After a few hours we decided we’d make our way back to the boat for lunch.



We rinsed off and changed the kids with the outdoor showers, and used the bathroom…and then headed over to catch a cab. It was a little annoying because our only option was to get into this van…which we had to wait until it filled up. Still…it was only 15 bucks…and we waited impatiently and hungrily…hehe…and before long we were on our way back.

A quick shot through security, and a little lemonade offered by DCL…and we were on the tender back to the ship. We had a smooth lineup with the little gangway…and we were back on the ship. We headed to the room to drop our stuff…and then straight to the buffet…it was after 1:30ish at this point….



We showered once we returned to the room…and got all dressed for the day. I’m not exactly sure what we did after that….but I think the kids prolly went to the clubs (where they would stay through dinner…or maybe we brought just Belle?)…and we relaxed with Bre. I’m sure we made some drinks…and then got ready to drop Bre at the nursery at 5:30…and head to dinner with wine in hand.

That night was like the usual…eat, pick kids up from clubs…go to show (sometimes Matt had to leave with Bre…well most of the time…….and once I left with her)…then hit the hay….

Bye bye beautiful Grand Cayman (one of my all time favorite beaches!),…Hello Mexico….
__________________
~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
DisneyMommaSteph
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 97

Day 5--Cozumel. Darn you waves for ruining my fun...in more ways than one!

Since we had such a wonderful, fabulous, surreal beach day at Grand Cayman…and we actually lived through the cab ride…hehe….I was really excited to beach it up again in Cozumel, Mexico. I have been to Cancun and I remember the beaches/snorkeling being amazing…so that amped me up even more. Sadly because of old Mother Nature….Cozumel didn’t get to live up to my beachy dreams.

Like usual….we woke to our room service muffins at 7:30…and we peeked out the window to see if we could spot the island. Are we there yet? Nope…not just yet….That was ok…as we still had to eat some breakfast, and get lubed and ready for the day. I was excited that we wouldn’t have to tender!

With full bellies, and lots of sunscreen we made our way off the ship in search of a cab to Playa Mia beach. Again, we thought we’d save some money by going on our own instead of buying the excursion $$$ package. As you’ll read in a few seconds we didn’t end up chosing Playa Mia because it was 16 buckers a head, the cab driver steered us to the information booth to discuss our free beach options.

Once off the ship we had to walk down a long pier to a corner, and then along another long stretch to get to a little “terminal” like building that you had to walk all the way through, around to get to the street where the cabs were waiting. It was so windy on the pier that Matt lost his hat. Ruh Roh! It didn’t even cross my mind that the beach would be wavey because of the blustery day.

Once we worked our way all the way through the shopping area (man, tendering in GC wasn’t looking so bad after this lil walk…) and to the cabs, we decided (with help from the aforementioned information dude) to just try our luck at Paradise Beach. The cab driver showed us a book of set prices, and we settled on the 15 dollar ride…and made sure to quote the price for the ride home. Again….just in case…

The cab ride was long, and kinda scary for a mom who has the kids in the safest carseats around regularly… but we made it to the beach without incident. When we made our way to the beach we were greeted and told about how we could purchase a day pass for the floaty toys for 12 bucks…and we could use the umbrella’s/chairs for a 10 dollar food/drink purchase (we knew this because the information guy already clued us in…). We stood kinda dumbfoundedly….staring at the cloudy/wavey waters. Uh…not what we were expecting….

*Deep breath*…Ok. So it’s a beautiful day (sunshine and 80’s)….but the waters aren’t like the beautiful waters of the Grand Cayman islands. We were going to have to enjoy ourselves anyway, right?

We decided that Paradise Beach wasn’t that appealing to us, as we didn’t plan to go on the water toys…so we set off down the beach to look for our second choice: Mr. Sancho’s (which we saw on the map that info dude gave us)…We never found Mr. Sancho’s. I think we walked the wrong way.
As we walked down the beach it was area after area of umbrella’s and venders. Once we came to a “private” area we turned around and looked at each other. Now hot and sweaty…and me with only one remaining shoe (oops, the waves took my flip flop and I didn’t even know it….;()….we had to make a decision as to where to plant our buns down.

We happened upon an area that had a sign for $3 Corona’s and we figured this was as good a place as any.…The server wandered over and told us to make ourselves comfortable under the umbrella, on the chairs. We put our stuff down…and stared at the rough waters. We ordered a few Corona’s and the server explained the $10 purchase requirement…which we were expecting…..so that was fine. We took turns taking the kids in for a bit…but it was really hard because of the rough waters…but we made do. The baby just played in the shade under the umbrella.

I ordered Guac….and it was the most amazing, fresh guac ever! It was served with fresh homemade chips…and chunky homemade salsa. There was a little bowl of hot sauce on the side. Yummmmm! Even the kids chowed it down. We hung out for probably only an hour of so before deciding it just wasn’t going to be a beachy loungy day with the kids. We were happy to have experienced some authentic Mexican food…and we at least got to have a dip in the water. It wasn’t until be headed over to catch a cab that we saw the awesome pool they had right there by the water. We were already packed up…so we decided to just head back.

It was easy catching a cab back…and before long we made our way down the trek to the pier, and onto the boat for lunch and some showers.

We decided we wanted to explore the shopping areas, and grab a Margarita…so the kids went off to the clubs…and Matt strapped Bre into the Ergo…and off we went again to explore. This time…the walk didn’t seem as long. Maybe it was because we didn’t have a 3 year old, and 6 year old in tow?

We ended up at Senior Frogs. Whoa. That is a party scene if I’ve ever seen one…hehe…They only have one size huge (and gross) Margarita…and they have people doing shots of each other…and some really intoxicated peeps walking around….We ran into some of our Disboard friends…and we pulled up a chair at their table. The music was really loud…so it was hard to talk. They served us some popcorn in a dog bowl, and we finished our drinks…and headed off to the shops where our friends had seen some really inexpensive Don Julio tequila.

At all the shops that sell tequila you can have a taste of any kind you want. We tried a few, and found some new favorites…but we didn’t end up getting any as you can only take 2 liters back home…and Matt already planned on getting VSOP for himself, and my dad from the boat. I would have loved some cheap tequila though.

We parted ways with our Dis friends…and continued shopping a bit. Matt bought some cigars, and we got some small stuff for the kids. It was really hot, and Bre was fussy so we headed back around 3-4ish.

Once back on the boat we got ready for dinner…PIRATE night! We all got decked out in our awesome pirate costumes (well almost all of us…Matt didn’t have a costume—party pooper) I was ready for the party I’d heard so much about with fireworks…I was hoping I could stay up that late as it didn’t start until 9:45.









Welllllllllllllllllll…..as it turns out…I didn’t make it to the Pirate Party. Belle went with Jen and her family…Cohen and Aubrey fell asleep…and I……threw up!

Yep. All that wind…and those waves….uhhhh…once we left the port while in the windowless Animators Palate…it got really rocky….and as soon as I got back to the room I started feeling really icky. I sat out on the balcony and admired the moons reflection….but I couldn’t stop the inevitable. I reaaaaaally didn’t want to take the Dramamine but after tossing my cookies…I flew the white flag of surrender.

I dozed a bit while listening to the fireworks (so sad that we’d missed them)….and I waited for Belle to get back…and I started to feel much better once the D kicked in. With a nice night of relaxation…I woke feeling MUCH better.

Coming up:
A little scared for the Sea Day….but the seas calmed down a lot…*phew* No more sickies!
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~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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Day 6: One last Sea Day

After a great night sleep (thanks Dramamine…)…I was feeling back to myself and was psyched for our second full sea day! I woke up starving (wonder why? lol) and had a bit of muffin to tide me over until we made it to the buffet. The seas were really calm again, so I figured I’d just do the wait and see with the meds. We didn’t have any real plans aside from the gingerbread house decorating at 1:30…so we figured we’d just go with the flow.

We had a slow morning with the usual stop at the buffet and then we checked the navigator to see if the kids wanted to do any club activities. They did…so we dropped them off…and went to hang with Bre.

Around 11 I went to pick up Belle, and Jen’s youngest (she was in the Spa with hubby for a few hours…*jealous*) to go wait in line to see the Princesses. I contemplated getting Cohen too…but when I peeked into his club he was happily engaged, so I just let him stay. I was excited for Bre to meet the Princesses….but she fell asleep while we were in line….*doh*….







It was after 12 by the time we finished visiting with Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, and the new princess from The Princess And The Frog….so we picked up Cohen from the club and hit the buffet for lunch. We went back to the room to kill time until the gingerbread house decorating. Jen and Dan got out of the Spa a little before 1:30…and they didn’t know that I just kept their lil one, so Dan went to pick her up. This caused a wee bit of confusion as we headed to the gingerbread house decorating without their families ticket…or Dan. The dude at the door wouldn’t give us the gingerbread house for them until we had the ticket, they started…I was miffed and had to cop an attitude with the dude…and then Dan arrived, just in the nick of time. All was well…and our gingerbread houses looked fan-dan-tastic. Tasted good too…(I had to dip into it shortly after we got back to the room…hehe)…





I think…after that Matt took the kids to the Mickey Pool while Aubrey and I caught a nap (or more like Bre napped, and I just about fell asleep….and…then…they came back). They didn’t last long….as they returned with Cohen freaking out. I think the kids went back to the clubs…and Matt took Bre for a walk around the boat while I actually fell asleep.

The kids had a little performance--Friendship Rocks…that they didn’t really make clear that the parents were supposed to go to and watch. Jen peeked in and got pictures…and the kids got t-shirts they love.



There was fun stuff planned at the clubs so we decided to leave them through dinner, as we had a ressie for Bre for dinner in the nursery….Could it be?? A KIDFREE dinner?? Ahhh, sounds good to me.

I got up from my nap and showered and got ready for formal night dinner. I wore my sea bands, just in case… Once we got to dinner I decided I better just take some Dramamine….I wasn’t feeling too sick, but I was just scared…hehe….All was fine after that…

Here are some pics all done up for formal night. I would have loved to get family pics done...but the lines were CRAZY! In fact, we never got pics done because of the lines. I've never had to stand in line (or much of one) on RCCL...and I think they do a better job of setting up photo areas throughout the ship instead of juuuuuuuuuust around the crowded dinner areas...




We picked the kids up from the club…went to the show (where Matt had to take Bre back to the room, and Cohen fell asleep)….and then it was off to Zzzzzz land. I was getting sad because they gave us papers about tips/disembarkation….;( It was down to one last full day…*sniff, sniff*….BUT…I was really excited because it was Castaway Cay—YAY one last beach day….
__________________
~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
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Day 7: It's the last full day--but at least it's Castaway Cay! YAY!

It was bittersweet waking up on Friday. We knew the cruise was nearing an end, yet we were filled with excitement because we had a FULL beach day ahead of us. No time for sulking...let's get out there into the sun!

I think the kids were getting pretty worn out by this point as they didn’t even wake us in time for our 7:30 muffin delivery….*doh*…We woke a little after 8am…and called the room service to apologize for missing our delivery (the phone was unplugged because lil miss Bre had been playing with it the night before…*double doh*)…

We did the usual morning routine the day of a “beachy” port of getting ourselves fed, and then lubed with sunscreen and ready for a day in the sun! By the time we got back form the buffet we could see that we had arrived at Castaway Cay!!!! We had the perfect view of the shipwreck, and the beaches from the balcony…and it was warm and sunny. We were antsy to get off the ship.










Jen and family were getting ready a little behind us, and we wanted an umbrella close to the water so we decided to leave a little ahead of them…and just meet on the beach.

It was plenty warm out…with some passing clouds. It wasn’t as hot as the previous ports…but after walking all the way to the beach we were ready to jump in the water. We had to walk about 2/3 down the beach to find some chairs/umbrella’s near the water. We picked a spot in front of the little water playground thingie out in the water. The beach was getting more crowded by the second…and we hoped Jen and family would be able to find us.

It was only a few minutes until we all jumped into the water. It was chilly at first…but nice once you hop in. Belle was whining because there were lots of jellyfish (the moon kind that don’t sting)…and I was a little sad that the water wasn’t as clear/and yickless as Grand Cayman (I’m telling you CG spoiled us…) She did actually start to enjoy them...She was even catching them with her cousins...




It was still amazingly, awesomely kidfriendly and fun. I put the little lounge chairs in the water and relaxed while watching the kids. Jen and family showed up within the next hour, and we rented a tube to play around in. Matt tried to snorkel, but got skeeved by the inches thick jellyfish once he got out far enough to snorkel. He decided he’s try later on the other side.









Around 11:30 I could smell the yummy food at Cookies BBQ, and it made me hungry…. Belle and I decided we’d venture over there and eat…and then Matt and Cohen/Bre could do their rounds. By the time we got back Cohen was asleep on the beach chair, and Matt wanted to snorkel.





He decided to get a quick bite first, and returned to the chairs with his tray with a little snack in case Cohen woke—which he did very shortly after. Matt went out to the “ship wreck” snorkel area, and once he got past the jellyfish he saw lots of great fish!

The kids played with their cousins in the water, and then I took Cohen to eat some lunch/get some ice cream. Matt decided he’s take Bre back to the boat a little after 1ish…and me and the kids played in the water lots more. Around 2:30-3 Cohen started to melt down saying something stung on his leg. I felt a bit of irritation on my inner thigh too, so we decided it was time to head back. *sniff, sniff*…The day had FLOWN by…

We decided to avoid the trek back to the boat by taking the tram—I hosed the kids off…and ran to catch it as it pulled up. Once we left….I realized we were on the wrong one! Opps. This tram only went to the adult beach. That sounds fun—but not going to happen this time…

We stayed on for the loop back to the tram station (hey, at least Cohen stopped crying and we got to see the island a bit)…where we got off…and walked a little ways to the correct tram station. We hopped on…and back to the boat we went.



After walking another little strip…we arrived back at the boat. They were offering egg nog, hot chocolate and sugar cookies in the Holiday Spirit. Ummm, I was confused at first, then I got a cookie…hehe…

They had showers and wash clothes to wipe up with but I was bogged down with all the beach gear and kids…so we passed and just went on the ship to shower….


Once we got back on the ship we showered and ordered room service Mickey Bars (we’d done this lots of times before…) got ready for dinner. Our final dinner…how could it already be our final dinner???….*sniff, sniff*….The kids went to the clubs for dinner, and we grabbed our tip envelopes and took Bre along with us….

Bye Bye Castaway Cay....;(...Hello open ocean...


After dinner I don’t remember what we did? Oh…we must have packed everything up to get it ready to go outside the room by 11pm. So sad. …We got the kids and went to the show and then back to the room We knew we had to be up early for our 6:30 breakfast….Annabelle went with Jen and Fam to the late “Till We Meet Again” thingie…and we gave them a room key to let her back in.

I couldn’t really sleep while I wait for Annabelle to get back…but I do think I dosed here and there. She fell asleep within minutes of returning…and morning came all too quick.

Stay tuned for the last day....;( Up early, getting kicked to the curb...and a quick jolt back to reality....Canceled flight! Joy!
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~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05

Last edited by DisneyMommaSteph; 12-14-2009 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:46 PM   #10
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What a lot of fun you had. Thanks for the entertaining report.

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:07 PM   #11
SEA-BRE
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We were on the same cruise! We have been to DW 8 times in 6yrs, but this year we decided to go on the cruise. My DD8 and I want to go again next year, but my DH wants to go back to DW. He say that he misses Epcot maybe we can make it a Land and Sea package.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:50 PM   #12
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I'm anxiously awaiting your final take on DCL v. other cruise lines! Great report, thanks so much for detailing it especially at such a busy time of the year!!

Tara
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:24 AM   #13
love2driveinct
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Great job, Steph!
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:18 PM   #14
DisneyMommaSteph
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Thanks guys!

I've added some pictures--I tried not to bore ya with too many... There are lots of "ship" things I wish I would have gotten pics of....BUT between my sis and I we took about 1300 pictures (some of the posted one's Jen took! She took more than me, like 900)....Yowsers...

I'm going to add the last little bit with my final thoughts soon!

Thanks for reading!
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~ Disney lovin', cruise lovin' Stephanie (31)~
DH Matt (33), DD6, DS3, DD1
FIRST time Disney Cruisin' November 28-December 5th!!!!


Disney:
Poly '84, Dixie Landings '94, Fort Wilderness Cabin '99, All-Stars Movie '08

Upcoming!!!! Animal Kingdom Lodge January 2010!!!!!

Cruise:
Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '97, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda (Honeymoon) '02, Royal Caribbean to Bermuda '05
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:16 PM   #15
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Loved reading this!

Thanks Stephanie for writing it all up! Having been there that week and enjoyed many of the same experiences, I felt like it was a recap of our vacation - and the photos are great. Sure sad that it is over. We are going to do it again - currently booked next Dec 11th week but likely pushing it to end of March 2011 due to daughter's soccer schedule. Seems so far away - kids begging to go back.

Stay warm-

Debbie
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