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Old 11-18-2009, 10:28 AM   #16
Fastpaks
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I grew up in Titusville! Titusville is about 20-30 mins from Port Canaveral. Dixie is on the Nside of the Town. Fair warning: if you go to Dixie at night it can be up to a 2hour wait at times.

Also, I LOL'd at the OP of the "not so nice" part of town as I knew where you were talking about. Its not as bad as one might think but still I get ya!
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:35 AM   #17
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I grew up in Titusville! Titusville is about 20-30 mins from Port Canaveral. Dixie is on the Nside of the Town. Fair warning: if you go to Dixie at night it can be up to a 2hour wait at times.

Wow! Two hours? Must be pretty good then. Thanks for the info, Fastpaks.

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Old 11-18-2009, 04:22 PM   #18
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I grew up in Titusville! Titusville is about 20-30 mins from Port Canaveral. Dixie is on the Nside of the Town. Fair warning: if you go to Dixie at night it can be up to a 2hour wait at times.
Also, I LOL'd at the OP of the "not so nice" part of town as I knew where you were talking about. Its not as bad as one might think but still I get ya!
It really wasn't that bad. It just seemed like a really round about way to get there. If you're headed down I95 then I think it's a straight shot. We were headed east on 520 and got off on Rt1 (I think?) and went up from there.

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Thank you for your excellent report! Do you happen to remember about how long it took to get from Dixie Crossroads to the Port?
Like Fastpaks said, it took us about 35 min to get from there to the Residence Inn. Glad you're enjoying the report....
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #19
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Great update! Can't wait to read about your Key West day!
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:11 AM   #20
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Isn’t Key West supposed to be WARM?!?

After having slept soundly, I was up well before the sunrise (I usually am). I stepped out on the balcony and could see the cloud coverage in the dark sky. I knew the forecast for Key West was cloudy with a chill – high 60’s. I snuck out of the room without waking Dave about 6:45 and went up to the drink station on deck 9 for some diet coke. I took a stroll while everything was still relatively quiet and the sun was just starting to come up. This is absolutely the best time of the day for me. I love how quiet and fresh everything is. I made my way over to Quiet Cove for my first cup. QC is a new addition since our ’02 cruise and I must say I think it was one of the best decisions DCL made! I love this place! The comfy chairs inside are echoed outside the Café as well. Each AM I was up there at opening (or before) for my java fix and some quiet reflection. The travel mug I purchased there has become my favorite souvenir.


After awhile I grabbed some Diet Coke for David and some pastries from Goofy’s and headed down to the room. Dave was still snoozing so I sat out on the balcony and read for awhile. He finally popped his head out to say good AM and thanks for the DC then hit the shower.

Since I had initially been unable to secure David and I a spot on the Electric Car/GPS excursion, our original plan was to tour KW on foot and wait for the kids to finish their kayak adventure. However, I had checked the DCL site about 3 wks prior to departure and lo and behold, the excursion had opened up. I was so happy because this was the only excursion that David expressed a strong interest in (for some reason he’s obsessed with driving golf carts). The phone rang and it was Ash telling us that they had some “fish mail” the night before informing them that their kayak adventure had been canceled. Not sure why, but we assumed it was due to weather and/or rough water?? Anyway they were happy to hear that the ticket for ours was good for up to 4 people (that’s the # that fit in the car). We were happy that they would be joining us and made plans to head down to Lumiere’s for breakfast/brunch.

No pics from this meal but I do remember that they had several b’fast selections as well as some lunch ones. We all got the standard eggs, bacon, sausage, toast but Ash also tried the tortilla soup (same one that is on the room service menu). Our waiter was definitely not Orlan and didn’t have a lot of personality so we didn’t linger after we were finished. Instead, we headed down to the 10AM DVC Members Celebration in Diversions. As we entered the room, we were handed a bag that had 4 DVC hats and two more lanyards like the two we got with our gift the night before. Since we had two rooms, Ash and Chris got a bag as well so we ended up with 8 hats and 8 lanyards.


The meet was fun with raffle prizes and games. David and I left early so we could get ready for the excursion but Chris and Ash stayed. Later she told us that they were about to leave shortly after we did when her # got called to answer a trivia question - “What is Mickey Mouse’s name in French?” She said she started racking her brain for the French word for mouse when she some kind lady behind her whispered “It’s Mickey Mouse.” Duh… Ash blurted it out and won a DVC throw blanket (thank-you smart lady standing behind my daughter).

Chris and Ash enjoying Deck 4

By now we were docked in Key West and it was time to met in the Promenade Lounge for our excursion. We got there early and waited for everyone to get checked in and sign some release papers.




We followed our guide down the stairs and off the ship, past the shops to some waiting vans that drove us over to the rental place. It was overcast and cool – about 67. The driver told us that it had been 94 the day before and all the locals were glad for the “cold” temps. We had to sign some more papers when we got there and then select a driver (Dave) and a Navigator (Ash). We got brief instructions on how to use the hand held GPS and then picked a car. They were so cute!


After we were belted in, we were off. The GPS was pre-programmed for a specific route and gave us lots of info on the places we were seeing as well as general Key West info. It was really a lot of fun and we had a great time. At one point we were instructed to turn down a specific road but found that it was closed for construction. At that point we decided to turn it off and just wing it. We used the map they gave us and went all over the island. We keep seeing other members of our group and they too were just playing it by ear. Much more fun than following the pre-programmed route.
We stopped at several places we were interested in and took pictures.







At one point we were rounding the corner and this funny little man in a green chefs hat and holding a pie, pretended like he was going to smash it in Chris’s face. Very funny and then it hit me – that was Kermit, the key lime place!! I had planned on trying to find the Blonde Giraffe but gave up when we starting going rouge. Kermits was the other place I’d read about so David turned around and we found a place to park across the street. When we were walking in, the Kermit dude smashed the pie on Chris’s shirt. We all gasped and then realized it was fake.

You can see Ash in the upper left and her look of horror when Chris got hit with the fake pie

The shop was really cute on the inside and had Key Lime everything! I had one mission – frozen key lime pie on a stick. Yummm. I had been dreaming of trying one. I got mine and Chris got one as well. Ash opted for just a piece of the traditional pie and David just sampled ours. They had a really nice courtyard out back so we relaxed and enjoyed our goodies. The pie was just as good as I imagined but very rich.

All that was left






We finished up and made a few more purchases to take with us – Key Lime taffy and Key Lime cookies in a cute tin. Great souvenirs to take back to friends at home.

We continued on from Kermits stopping at various points places along the way. It was still chilly and since I was in shorts , I was really feeling it.



One of the many chickens roaming around

After driving all over the island for a few hours, we decided to head back to the rental place and turn the car in. We were ready for some food! A driver from A&M drove us back to the dock and pointed us in the direction of Margaritaville. We started walking and window shopping along the way. Somehow we lost sight of the restaurant and ended up on Duval St. Since David had discovered that he left his prescription sunglasses in the car, we were on a mission to find him some cheap clip-ons. I think we stopped in every drugstore and tourist shop around the dock and finally found some. Chris and Ash were going to do some more exploring but Dave and I were ready to head back to the ship so we parted ways.


We got back to the ship and realized it was too late for lunch at Lumiere’s or Topsiders so we opted for room service instead. A burger for Dave and a BLT for me –Yum! I think I ended up ordering the BLT several more times before the cruise was over. It was so good. Since we had early seating and it was already 3:30 I didn’t want too much it the sandwich was perfect. Ash and Chris called to let us know they were back on board and we made plans to meet before dinner. I took a quick shower while Dave roamed the ship (not really sure what he was doing) and we all headed down to Lumiere’s for dinner.

Orlan met us at the door and once again escorted us to our table.
Cindy was there to take drink orders – Cosmo L’Orange for me, The Royal for Ash and Chris and…..Diet Coke for David! Cindy just rolled her eyes and laughed….Orlan once again described each dish on the menu making them all sound wonderful and then gave his recommendations. David and I chose the Tomato Basil soup and Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Chris had the shrimp and Sea Bass and Ash ordered the tomato soup and Lamb Shank. Orlan kept trying to get her to order the escargot and teasing her that he was bringing her some to try (he didn’t). We all enjoyed our selections and chatting with Orlan and Cindy. Dessert was the sampler for me, chocolate mousse for Dave, Grand Marnier Souffle for Chris and Crème Brulee for Ash along with coffee for all. Once again we were stuffed! We got our nightly joke from Orlan and were off to do some shopping before the show.

We spent some time in Treasure Ketch looking at everything and I found they had beads that look like they would fit my Pandora bracelet. The CM told me they were actually the Chamilia brand but that they also fit the Pandora bracelets. I chose a silver one with set a clear crystal Mickey head. I wanted the blue but they didn’t have it on board. They also had some nice glass beads with Mickey, but again no blue or green. The prices were very reasonable – about $35 for the silver ones and about the same for the glass. Much cheaper than the Pandora. The CM had a brochure of all the Disney ones available and said if they weren’t on the ship you could get them at WDW (I found out later you can also order them online from the Chamilia website).


I think we purchased a couple of other things and then David and I took a walk on Deck 4 and watched as we set sail from Key West. We both really enjoyed our day and decided we would come back for a few days in the spring.

Tonight’s show was Alfred & Seymour who had previewed their act at the Welcome Aboard show. They were hilarious and very entertaining. They had an adults show scheduled for later in the cruise so we made a mental note not to miss it.

After the show, Chris and Ash headed down to Rockin D to catch the Don Charles show. David and I decided to call it a night and headed up to the room. We first took a stroll up on Deck 9 and caught some of the game that was playing on the big screen.


It was still a little chilly so not many people out. I think we also got some ice cream (great choice for a cold evening, huh?) before making our way back to the room. We found this guy waiting for us. Chris and Ash had the same one (at least I think it was the same). We also had a note reminding us to turn our clocks back 1 hour.


We enjoyed the balcony for a little while and then called it a night. Once again, the gentle rocking put me to sleep immediately. David said later that he hadn’t gotten used to the creaking yet so it took him a while to fall asleep.

Up next – Palo’s Brunch and a lazy day at sea…..
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:34 PM   #21
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Really enjoying your trip report - I love your photos and all of the detail in your descriptions. Wish I was back on the Magic as you bring it all to life so well
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #22
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Ooooohhh!!!! I LOVE your bracelet!! I know what I need.... Already went to the Chamilia website to have a look! Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:31 PM   #23
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Really enjoying your trip report - I love your photos and all of the detail in your descriptions. Wish I was back on the Magic as you bring it all to life so well
Thanks! That's really nice since your trip report was one of the ones that help me pass the time before we sailed

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Ooooohhh!!!! I LOVE your bracelet!! I know what I need.... Already went to the Chamilia website to have a look! Thanks!
I checked them out when I got back home and they seemed to have a much larger selection than the Pandora ones.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:46 AM   #24
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really enjoying your trip report. mVant wait to hear about the castaway island cruise.

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Old 11-23-2009, 07:58 AM   #25
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I love your trip report!! The car sounds like a perfect idea for Key West....

did u like the verandah? my husband and I took a look at a room before we got off the ship the last day. A lot of people tell me you dont use it that often, it is not worth the extra $$, etc... i would think i would use it just as much as i do when we go stay at the ocean with an ocean front room with a balcony. I use it in the AM and then again at night, and perhaps during the afternoon to take a break... What is your opinion?
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:03 PM   #26
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I love your trip report!! The car sounds like a perfect idea for Key West....

did u like the verandah? my husband and I took a look at a room before we got off the ship the last day. A lot of people tell me you dont use it that often, it is not worth the extra $$, etc... i would think i would use it just as much as i do when we go stay at the ocean with an ocean front room with a balcony. I use it in the AM and then again at night, and perhaps during the afternoon to take a break... What is your opinion?
We had a blast with the electric car and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again! As far as the verandah room goes - I do think it's all a matter of how/why you cruise. For us it's definitely the way to go. We enjoy relaxing on vacation and that includes lots of time to read and catch up with each other and not always go, go, go. We spent a lot of time out there - morning, noon and night - as well as attended activities on the ship that really interested us. We are also ocean people. We have a house on the NC outer banks and you hit the nail on the head when you compared it to a balcony room at the beach. Again, it all depends on what you enjoy and for us the verandah is the way to go.

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really enjoying your trip report. mVant wait to hear about the castaway island cruise.
Dawn
Unfortunately we never got to experience it. We had a letter (fish mail) the first night that explained that "due to special circumstances" the cruise had been cancelled I think I figured out why when we reach CC (gonna save that for the trip report) It was all good though because it meant there was more time to enjoy the beach!
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:29 PM   #27
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That electric car excursion sounds fun! If we make it back to Key West, we'll have to try it. Sounds like you had a lovely evening as well!
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:27 PM   #28
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Sea Day #1 and Palo's Brunch!


Spa Special: Full body massage, Hydrating facial, Frangipani scalp massage and a foot & ankle massage. Plus, a day pass to the Rain Forest Room. For only $149.

Sea Day!! I love me some sea days! Again I woke up before the sun and sat out on the balcony for awhile. I realized what I thought was a line on clouds on the horizon was actually land – must be Cuba!

Sunrise


Chris was up early and took some pics from their verandah

After watching the sunrise, I headed up to grab some diet coke (for Dave) and coffee for me. I lingered for little while outside Cove Café and enjoyed the quiet of early AM. I think I could be happy spending the whole cruise in that one spot. I headed back down to the room and found David just getting up. No visit to Goofy’s today – we had brunch reservations!! But first Ash wanted to attend the shopping seminar in the Walt Disney Theater. I very reluctantly agreed to go with her (big sigh). All I can say is that’s one hour of my life I’ll never get back. I had thought about attending the Making Memories Scrapbooking Party but since it was at the same time as the shopping show and Ash really wanted me to go with her, I skipped it. The shopping show was scheduled from 9:30 to 10:30 and our brunch reservations were for 10:30 so we asked the guys to meet us up there.

Now, this is just my opinion but…..I feel the whole shopping show is a waste. First, if you’re really interested, you can watch it on the stateroom TV (over and over and over again). Second, I don’t see the benefit. The marketing company that Disney contracts with is being paid by the retailers in the ports to promote them. I get that. But because they are getting paid by the stores they are promoting it’s just a big infomercial. You’re not really getting any expert advice that’s worthwhile. All the info can be found in the catalogs and brochures that you can get for free at the shopping desk. Plus, the shopping guy (Marty?) was a little sleazy (however not as sleazy as Gordon the “art” guy). I think Ash wanted to attend in hopes of winning the diamond raffle. OK – hopping down off my soapbox….

So we made our way down to the BV Theater and found our seats. Marty appeared on stage and started pumping everyone up by tossing out prizes (small rum cakes and a couple of Del Sol t-shirts). He had a table of handbags and other stuff but we never saw him give those away. He launched into his spiel and started going through all the shops to see in Grand Cayman. He was also pushing the purchase of a $25 coupon book for added value. At one point he brought out his friend Gordon – the art auction guy. This guy made my skin crawl so bad I was ready to leave then. I stuck it out because Ash really hoping to win the diamond something that was being raffled. We listed and watched for an hour. I kept looking at my watch and by 10:30 he was still on Grand Cayman shopping and hadn’t even started on Cozumel. Ash and I were not going to miss brunch so we had to get up and leave. Being the good Disney citizens we had obeyed the instructions and moved to the center of the aisle when we first sat down (thinking it would be over at the scheduled time when we had to leave). Since Marty was still going strong, we had to climb and step our way over folks to get out. I felt so bad and kept apologizing to them.

We made it up to Palo’s a few minutes past our appointed 10:30 and found the guys already seated and sipping mimosas. How cute! I had really been looking forward to the brunch. We didn’t try it on our ’02 cruise and now I regret it. Our server (sorry, didn’t get his name) took us on “the tour” and showed us all we had to choose from. Yummm. After the tour we all got our first plate full. I made sure to try the Stolen Bread with fresh whipped cream and berries as recommended on this board. It was heavenly. I would have been satisfied with just that. But no, there’s more – wonderful cheeses, fruits and the best assortment of pastries I’ve seen.

I’m not a seafood lover but Chris and Ash are and they really enjoyed the offerings. I really could have stopped with just the buffet but we had also ordered some hot dishes – one of the flatbreads (can’t remember which one) to share, some kind of pancakes for Chris that looked yummy, frittata for me and Chicken Parmesan for David and Ash. We were all too busy stuffing our faces to carry on much of a conversation but we did share with each other. Ash proclaimed the chicken parm the best she ever had and the bite I tried was wonderful. Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite – time for dessert! Now this is where things went south for me. After making my selections from the dessert table, I was in the process of returning to my seat when somehow David’s mimosa over turned and ended up all over me – I mean all over! Unfortunately I had on a white top and that ended up a pastel shade of orange. My skirt was soaked as well. Everyone helped to clean up but I decided to call it a day and headed back to the room to change and rinse my clothes out. Really lousy way to end a wonderful meal.

I didn't get any pics but Ash got a couple of the dessert table


A little while later, Dave returned to the room with a plate of almost every dessert that was on the buffet. He had asked our server to put a couple of selections on a plate and he ended up with a sampling of everything. He’s such a sweetie!

All changed, I decided to take my book and head up to Cove Café. Dave was off to explore the ship. Not sure what Chris and Ash did but I think they hung out at the pool. I considered the spa special and now I wish I had booked it. It was a great price. Instead I just enjoyed a good cup of coffee and read for awhile. Later, David and I met and went to see the Disney Nature movie Earth which we really enjoyed. Afterwards we spent some time on Deck 4 and then hit Pinocchio’s for some pizza. All in all a delightful afternoon.

Tonight was formal night so we all got dressed and headed down to Animators for dinner. We passed on the Captain’s reception. Once again Orlan and Cindy were there to greet us and ask about our day. We had briefly considered not getting dressed up and going to Topsiders instead but realized that we really looked forward to see them each evening. Cindy took our drink order which was an Avant Premiere for Chris, Shining Star for David and Ash and a glass of cabernet for me. We gave Chris a hard time because he kept ordering drinks that ended up looking very girly..


Appetizers included Prosciutto and Honeydew for me plus the salad of mixed baby greens with pears pistachios and apple cider vinaigrette (which was wonderful!) and the Parmesan Souffle for everyone else. Some enjoyed it more than others….For an entrée I chose the potato gnocchi (mainly because I didn’t want beef again) and it was rather bland. Chris got the swordfish and David and Ash both ordered the chicken. Everything was good, but not great (this is by far our least favorite menu). Dessert was another matter… Ash had the strawberry sundae and loved it (she loves anything strawberry) David and Chris each go the Golden Mickey dessert and I had the Sweet Temptations. Dave and I finished it off with coffee. More goodnight jokes from Orlan along with tips for touring Grand Cayman and we said our goodnights.

Tonight’s Golden Mickey show was a new one for us. They didn’t have it back on our last cruise so we were excited to see it. David and I took a stroll out on deck 4 then met Chris and Ash in the shops before the show. The show was good, but it’s not my favorite. Ash felt the same way and we decided that it was because the music they picked. It was still fun and we enjoyed it.

After the show, Chris and Ash headed down the bars and planned to catch the 10:30 Alfred & Seymour show. Dave and I really wanted to make it, but after another stroll on deck 9 we headed back to our room.

I didn't get a pic of our towel animal this night but Ash got one of theirs.

We were both a little hungry so we ordered room service. Dave tried the Ham & Turkey sandwich while I had the BLT (really miss that sandwich!). We sat on the verandah and enjoyed our food and then called it a night. Tomorrow – Grand Cayman!

Gotta run check on my pies. Hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day!
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:56 PM   #29
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I really enjoyed reading about your Palo brunch. That was the highlight of the cruise for us! That was so nice of your server to send dessert back for you.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:50 AM   #30
Angelia'sthree
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SC
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I am sooo enjoying your report. You are doing so many of the same things we have planned for our January cruise, so this is a HUGE help~!!
Thank you for taking the time to share your vacation with us~!
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