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Old 03-10-2011, 02:17 AM   #136
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Finally the last two updates for WdW portion!!!

His Fault!
Working Hardly on the Railroad

Its time to go CRUISING!!!! But first Dissers and a place NO ONE should stay EVER!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:25 AM   #137
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Cash Only Hell

When I was in college, my friend and I decided on a road trip heading south to TN to see our friends that were in a show for a conference. Before we headed to the conference, we found a cheap motel that had a killer price. It had this price becuase the back half of the place was underconstruction. The pool had a empty pool and that back have was completely gutted but we didn't care. When we got to our room we threw down our bags and began to get ready for our friends' event when we had a knock on the door. It was the front desk lady that told us that if we were interested in taking a shower that we may need one of these. She was holding a pair of vice grips.

My friend and I walked in to the bathroom and sure enough there was no shower handle. We laughed it off and because WE KNEW this place was more or less a cheap dump. (and the fact that my bed was resting on bricks instead of any bed frame and I had the sheets that had holes in them.) That was then in college, this was now with my family. In my opinion, that place is still better than the one I was about to go and rest my head.

**********************

Animal Kingdom was exhausting. The day was enjoyable. Not too hot or too cold. We had been going pretty solid since the morning at 7 something. My wife and son still hadn't eaten and when they don't eat.. something terrible will happen. It was 5:15pm when we finally were out of the park and in the car heading up I-4. We all felt bittersweet about leaving the WDW resort area because although fun, it was just not relaxing. Then there was the whole thought of what did we get ourselves into never being on a cruise before. It had taken almost 3 days for my wife to rid herself of motion sickness.

I had given Jen(nenner1) my cell earlier in the month and told her to text me should Dis plans change or what was going on at the Port. My wife was unsure that she wanted to meet anyone this evening. Mostly, she was just tuckered out and really hungry. After we got on the Bee... err ... BEACH LINE we hit a toll or two when I received a text from Jen to let me know that things had changed a little at the port because of a biker rally of sorts at the Raddision. The plan was to meet at the Country Inn and Suites.

We exchanged a few more texts about us needing to stop at Walmart for Dramamine and they needed to make a last minute run to Publix down the road. As we got closer to Brevard County, I told my son and wife about my childhood and some of the memories of this bridge including when it used to be a toll road. It wasn't long when we were greeted with a Indian River

After debating about meeting everyone, we decided to just go ahead and do it. We arrived at CI&S to be greeted by Jen at the lobby. A short walk and we were at the pool meeting Ron(livingis2me), Judy(tjbaggott), her husband and all the kids from both families. Adam quickly asked if he could go swimming but didn't have swim trunks on. I think he was a little surprised when I said, "go ahead and jump in."

After all the introductions, Jen asked me what I thought about Disney. LOL I felt a little bad because I was excited to tell someone this story. SO I just blah blah blah blah blah it. I think there were two reasons why this happened. 1. We were excited. 2 We were still nervous underneath about the following morning. After about an hour or so of talking and meeting them, we said our goodbyes with our minds set on finding our hotel and dinner.

Wen soon arrived at the International Palms and Resorts. My wife and I went in to check and the first thing I noticed was the front desk clerk said, "you all paid by hotwire... soooo do you want a top floor or bottom?" I told him bottom because I didn't want to haul around a bunch of luggage. (mistake #1). He told us that to get to our room we needed to go around the front and park just past the security gate. Gave us the map and we were on our way. The "security gate" was a old wooden construction sign. The kind that are long and supports with 2 posts on each side at angle. Except this one was broken. We parked and walked to our room and took an overnight bag only. When I walked in the first thing we noticed was a musty room. Kind of like then the air conditioner had been on but no really. I turned it on low and then we set out for dinner at the Olive Garden.

With the air show being in town, a lot of the restaurants and hotels were just packed with people. We had been doing this trip on cash only so we didn't really have options with food and hotels. Mostly, all that was pre-paid. Dinner was a looooooooooooong wait, but eventually we got our food and made our way back to the hotel.

When we got back, I noticed that our room door was open. One thing I forgot to mention was the some of the people that had been staying here were like those that didn't have a home but rent from the hotel. I could have been wrong but that was the feeling at 11 something at night. I pushed the door open to reveal everything still there. Everyone entered and then I pushed the door shut. OR DID I?

I pushed on the door and then let go and it opened ajar again. hmmm. I dead bolted the door. Lock and unlock and the door stayed that way. Shut. That's when we noticed the adjoining room door to ours was open in the back. In the meantime my son jumped into bed. Before we knew it, he was out like a light.

My wife then made her way to the bathroom and we found then the horror of our situation showed itself. LIKE>>>

Missing Carpet on the floor


Dirty tub


Newer Paint on the Floor


The mirror was pretty rough too.


There was more like hair on the fridge and the toilet was.. w/e. None of us had to use the bathroom or the shower and the beds were clean so we decided since the kid was asleep and we were tired we would just tough it out.

There was a booklet on the desk that told you about their crazy upcharges like dial-up internet. It also explained that this motel (not hotel) was a pretty happening spot (yeah right) back in the day (Fred Flinstone's lifetime maybe) and that this place had been directly hit by not 1 but 2 hurricanes. It was also under new ownership. After I finished I noticed the last hazard under the desk.

Rust built up on the housing covering the outlets


And lastly, the nightstand



You can't really make out the desk corner all that well but there is some mold or mildew building from what I would figure was the air conditioning needed to be repaired because it spit humid air in but not cold. When it would blow cold the room was acceptable (considering) but most of the time that didn't happen. Since the kid was asleep, my wife was pretty much sleeping, I turned in as well. THANK GOD the beds were clean and newer. (About the only thing) I would set the alarm but the clock had all the names of the buttons worn off and was more or less useless.

2am
ME: Hey hun
HER: yeah
ME: can we leave I hate this place
HER: try and get some sleep at least a couple more hours.

4am
ME: Hey babe
HER: yeah
ME: Can we leave this hell hole
HER: yeah I think I'm done now.

With that we woke a very unhappy kid and got our stuff in the car and high tailed it out the door. Check out was a joke as the guy was what seemed to be out or a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure Movie. Unapologetic but nice. We didn't care. Now we just had to figure out what to do at 4:30am till about 9.....


Next: When life gives your lemons...
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:11 PM   #138
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So glad to see you are adding to your TR.

The hotel story is making me skeeve...I can totally see how it just ate at you until you left the place. I hope you contact Trip Adviser about it, the just did a compile of the Top 10 Worst Hotels in America- and I swear some of them were like a crime scene.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:42 PM   #139
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Aww..man.....NASTY!

Kudos to you guys for staying as long as you did! that *WAS* hotel hell!!! And after such a long exhausting day! Makes me tired just reading, I know I was tired when we were all out by the pool, and I had just gotten up at 11 something!

Finding the door open like that...fuhgeddabout it, not sure I could sleep after that, bolted or not! And hairs........ick, stray hairs are the worst. Nothing grosses me out more than finding hair in a hotal room.

I have a feeling it will get a lot better, real quick!
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #140
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OMG, hairs that's just gross. I think when I walked up and the door was open that would have done it for me, I would have been out of there. Can't wait to hear what you did for the morning!! At least you were getting on the Mickey Boat, so I know your room will be good and clean there
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:24 AM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCaOC-Mom View Post
So glad to see you are adding to your TR.

The hotel story is making me skeeve...I can totally see how it just ate at you until you left the place. I hope you contact Trip Adviser about it, the just did a compile of the Top 10 Worst Hotels in America- and I swear some of them were like a crime scene.
I did. When you look them up on Trip Advisor, you can see where management is CONSTANTLY apologizing. It just doesn't matter. This place really just needs a complete over hall not just a fresh coat of paint on problems.

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Aww..man.....NASTY!

Kudos to you guys for staying as long as you did! that *WAS* hotel hell!!! And after such a long exhausting day! Makes me tired just reading, I know I was tired when we were all out by the pool, and I had just gotten up at 11 something!

Finding the door open like that...fuhgeddabout it, not sure I could sleep after that, bolted or not! And hairs........ick, stray hairs are the worst. Nothing grosses me out more than finding hair in a hotal room.

I have a feeling it will get a lot better, real quick!
LOL I'm not sure that I was too bright about staying. The sad thing is I could have gotten the CI&S for only $20 more. (not to mention a better night's sleep). As far as getting better.. HEY NO fair! You sorta know what's going to happen. Though it will get bad again on the ship..........

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OMG, hairs that's just gross. I think when I walked up and the door was open that would have done it for me, I would have been out of there. Can't wait to hear what you did for the morning!! At least you were getting on the Mickey Boat, so I know your room will be good and clean there
Honestly, if we weren't so exhausted and little more cash in hand, out the door I would gone. But I may not have gotten the memory I was about to get next.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:47 AM   #142
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When Life Gives You Lemons

My wife and I looked at each other leaving the greatest joke of hotel/motel I had been in with a delimna of trying to figure what in the world we were going to do for about 5 hours. My wife and I tossed a couple ideas of may be driving up to where I grew up about 25 minutes north to Titusville but quickly ruled it out as there would be nothing to see at 4/5am in the morning. We thought about Ron Jon, last minute shopping at a 24 hour Wal-mart but we were starting to get low on the cash that we needed for the trip. Then it occurred to me that may be the Magic hadn't arrived in port yet. So we decided to see if we could watch it roll in.

We were a little disappointed when we drove up to the terminal to find that it was there already. That quickly faded as the closer we got to the ship we found to be very pretty.
(her cell phone pics)



From our camera


We drove around to the main gate and to our surprise it was "open". As we were driving up to it, we ran into the first terminal workers that worked for the port. He chatted with us for a minute and then gave us an idea of where to park and all that when we come back due to the construction. After we decided to "explore" the port to see if we could see anything else.



Once we got to the other side of the port, we found a street that took back by a local style bar with a shared parking lot with the business. As we pulled up the NCL Sun (I belive) was pulling in. More than likely, we missed the RCCL and Magic by prolly 30 to an hour of pulling in.
Her Cell



Our camera (with shaky cam)
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:48 AM   #143
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Lemons cont: Bucket List- CHECK

It was pretty neat to see the NCL pull in and park. It was still dark when we left about an hour or so later. SO we drove to Ron Jon with the thought of going in but instead we headed to the beach. Its a short walk and my son had never seen the beach. This would also would only be the 2nd time for my wife. Not to mention, everyone has that they begin to build of things they want to do in life. I had lived on the coast of Florida for about 11 years and never once watched a sun rise. It wasn't planned so that made it all the better.

When we arrived at the beach, we crossed over the Sand dunes via a sandy boardwalk, to hear a windy morning to greet us. This naturally made the surf a little rough and intimidated my son as well as make my wife nervous about the cruise we were about to embark on. I knew that there was a hurricane 100s of miles out at sea, and it was likely the cause for a little more surf than normal. But it was no danger.

Adam kept asking about crabs. He swore he saw them or stepped on one. After a little while I was able to get him to come down to the beach closer to the water and my wife caught a few pictures of the morning rise with her phone.





After a full rise and watching some people gather and run on the beach it was about 7 something in the morning and we were hungry. IHOP was calling.

She had a steak omelet


I just had the standard fare of pancakes.

Adam didn't really eat anything. To make matters a little bit more dramatic, my son had developed a cough. We grilled him that he wasn't to tell anyone about it. The reason was simple. He isn't sick. Like me, he has allergies and only gets them in late fall early winter. Generally, they can get so bad that he will gag and I don't need to go into it further. We decided to take a precaution and go to Wal-greens. While we were in there we grabbed case of water.

By the time this was all done, it was nearly 8:45am. We saw the ships at night how about early morning. So we drove back to the port to grab all the photos a person would normally grab and then park at our parking lot, change, and then head to the boat when the time was right.


The NCL Sun


The Carnival irrelevant err Dream and the DCL MAGIC


Time flew fast and we quickly realized that we were going to be late. We wanted good boarding numbers for something because that's what some people on the Dis said. Since this is our first time on the boat we were in completely new waters. (pun intended) We left our favorite parking lot lol, and headed to the Disney Terminal only to be stopped by the draw bridge first.



Finally, we were greeted with


Carnival


And our ship


Excitement, nerves, exhuastion were all hitting us quickly. Whether we liked it or not we had arrived, what adventures could we have in store?Moments later, we would begin to find out!


Next: Mass Confusion
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:01 AM   #144
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Mass Confusion

Around 9:50 we pulled into where you drop off your bags. I guess since there was construction around they were allowing people to drop and park already.


You can see the "construction walls" in front of the terminal.


There were very few porters around and what seemed to be more and more cars coming to drop off their bags. A line was forming at the front of the terminal. Within minutes, a ton of bags lined the sidewalk unattended. I had dropped off my wife with our luggage while I parked. When I came back to where she was standing, she said a guy came up to her muttered somethings and then grabbed a bag. Ok, so 1 bag is one the ship?

About that time, nenner1 and tjbaggot had showed up with their families. We said, "hello and hi's" and then they kinda disappeared. I kept asking my wife what did the guy say. She was completely confused as was I. The line in front of the terminal was moving now and that is when I saw nenner1's family. So we flagged a porter, asked him about what gives. He told us some shpeil about the ship and took our bags. I asked him if we would see him again to tip him and he told us it would be unlikely. I gave him $5 and proceeded to the check-in area where we had to show our IDs.

We would line up for security dragging a soft cooler(broken down), a couple small bags, and a pink Nike bag with our day stuff 'till we got our luggage. After a lengthy security line, we finally hit the escalators


The terminal looked empty


We found some seats that hadn't been taken by anyone over where Jen's family (nenner1) was sitting. I asked her if they had checked in and could we leave our bags by her. Which she smiled as said sure. We all went to check in where it took about 20 minutes. There was some new CM's being trained that day. We would be giving the number 5 boarding pass. I would show Jen what we got and she told us they scored a 3. I swear there was about a 10 minute difference between us and them in the line and it had already jumped to 2 boardings. It wasn't 2 minutes when I noticed that another line was forming. When I asked someone what it was, they told me that it was the line for the kid's club. So I jumped in that. MEANWHILE, my wife and son decided to have some fun with pictures.



I met a couple from South Carolina while I was in line. It was their first cruise too, so I felt a little more comfortable about our trip. I made a comment that the line hadnt moved and that is when I found out, "this is the line for the line." OOOOOOOOOOK. I don't remember when the kids club line opened but I know we stood in line for about 45 mins to an hour. My wife and son meantime were hobnobbing with Mickey.


That was also when we discovered I left a bag in the car. So my wife had to go back to the car and get it. It had her dramamine! I got Adam signed up for the kid's club, I have my pager(lol so last year now huh), we went outside for some fresh air and pics. My wife returned to join us and we made Adam take the picture of us on a bench outside.



We weren't outside for more than 10 mins when we they called for the first family to start the boarding. Where was the time going? By now, you really knew that the terminal was just full of people. My mom in about 10 states away kept calling me asking about how everything is going. Sigh, lines is what I thought.

Finally, they started boarding, we were one of the first when they said 5 to start boarding. We made our way to the gangway which I completely forgot about our camera to take a picture. I just wanted to take it all in. My wife looked over the side and said, "what the hell am I doing?" She was really getting nervous. Just ahead of us, we could hear them announce the names, and before we new it, our was being said and in we were like it or not.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:35 AM   #145
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Hi Jonathan, I remember those lines too! Steve dropped me off with the girls and all the luggage and took the rental car back to Hertz. It took him less than 15 minutes and in that time we hadn't moved an inch on those sidewalks in front of the terminal! What a mess with all the construction going on! Our family was right next to Judy's and it was a huge relief when the porter finally came and took our stuff away! We were lucky enough to snag a boarding card 3 and I also waited a long time in the Kids Club line. In hindsight we could have just waited and done it at the Club once we were on the boat. But I didn't know that then! You live and learn, I guess

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Old 03-24-2011, 09:46 AM   #146
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Great updates! WOW! That motel! There are no words!

Question - If you could give other newbies one important tip about your terminal arrival and check in, what would it be? (Aside from getting there early, that is.)
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:36 PM   #147
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Boy oh Boy you have been busy!

GREAT set of updates! Your ealry morning on the beach was just beautiful but I canNOT imagine how tired you all must have been! Seriously!!!

Port Canaveral is great how you can go and look around like that at al the ships. Port Everglades stinks, it is like a prison or something, you can't even get anywhere near the ships, let alone in the complex without going through security. And there are no restaurants or anywhere to watch (well there is a park and a hotel but nothing accessible in the mornign like that.

IHOP looks yummy, it's been way too long since we've had a nice IHOP breakfast (or dinner for that matter, teehee). Breakfast at the hotel was so crazy I think I only had a couple of pastries.

Yep the line out front = a little nutty! It was weird, with shuttles dropping off in the middle, and when the line finally started moving there were many groups who were not, so we were kindof timidly moving forward looking around like, "The line's moving, let's go..we aren't cutting..I swear!" LOL! Each and every DCL cruise we have been on over the last 4 years has been different getting into that terminal.

And speaking of lines, yeah the kids club deal, that is the worst I've ever seen it. In my previous cruises they did not wait so long to open up that line..so it never got so bad. By the time we noticed it, it was already so long I decided we wanted no part of it!

Anyway, awesome update! So looking forward to more, keep the memories alive for us!
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:16 AM   #148
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What a great update!! What an amazing morning...

I can not imagine how tired you must have been by the time you got on the ship!! Can't wait for the next installment.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:42 AM   #149
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Hi Jonathan, I remember those lines too! Steve dropped me off with the girls and all the luggage and took the rental car back to Hertz. It took him less than 15 minutes and in that time we hadn't moved an inch on those sidewalks in front of the terminal! What a mess with all the construction going on! Our family was right next to Judy's and it was a huge relief when the porter finally came and took our stuff away! We were lucky enough to snag a boarding card 3 and I also waited a long time in the Kids Club line. In hindsight we could have just waited and done it at the Club once we were on the boat. But I didn't know that then! You live and learn, I guess

Beth
I never realized you were right there too! AND you got ahead of me!! You know, I don't think we did wrong by waiting in line. Thinking back on it, it was the one line worth the wait. There wasn't really a lot to do in the terminal anyway. I think the crash coarse was the frustrating part really.

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Boy oh Boy you have been busy!

GREAT set of updates! Your ealry morning on the beach was just beautiful but I canNOT imagine how tired you all must have been! Seriously!!!

Port Canaveral is great how you can go and look around like that at al the ships. Port Everglades stinks, it is like a prison or something, you can't even get anywhere near the ships, let alone in the complex without going through security. And there are no restaurants or anywhere to watch (well there is a park and a hotel but nothing accessible in the mornign like that.

IHOP looks yummy, it's been way too long since we've had a nice IHOP breakfast (or dinner for that matter, teehee). Breakfast at the hotel was so crazy I think I only had a couple of pastries.
I'm still behind Jen. I could have sworn you were going to drag yours out a little longer. My goal is to get something out every Thursday morning at least. I hope you don't mind I may need to "steal" a picture or two from you to round out a story.

One thing: IHOP was forgettable.. lol I'll trade you my IHOP for you hotel?! I think if the terminal didn't look so good, I wouldn't bother getting there earlier. That one in Fort Lauderdale is just a Sam's Club warehouse looking bad.

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Yep the line out front = a little nutty! It was weird, with shuttles dropping off in the middle, and when the line finally started moving there were many groups who were not, so we were kindof timidly moving forward looking around like, "The line's moving, let's go..we aren't cutting..I swear!" LOL! Each and every DCL cruise we have been on over the last 4 years has been different getting into that terminal.

And speaking of lines, yeah the kids club deal, that is the worst I've ever seen it. In my previous cruises they did not wait so long to open up that line..so it never got so bad. By the time we noticed it, it was already so long I decided we wanted no part of it!

Anyway, awesome update! So looking forward to more, keep the memories alive for us!
All I know is you and Ron were there one moment and then the next one: GONE! I talked to a porter later when we got off and he had told me that the previous week the ship was held up. Plus I don't know if you remembered but our cruise was the one they switch about 40% of the crew for Dream training so that could have been a cause.

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Great updates! WOW! That motel! There are no words!

Question - If you could give other newbies one important tip about your terminal arrival and check in, what would it be? (Aside from getting there early, that is.)
Initially, I would have said nothing. But then this reminded me about something I forgot to tell in the terminal. I will put it in the next update. One thing though:

It is better to have one larger peice of luggage (with wheels) to drag around than a bunch of small bags. I had on me, a back pak (laptop and stuff), a Nike duffel(day clothes), a soft cooler on wheels, a small red bag(aka the money bag and paperwork), and another small bag with meds and such. I would have rather had just put everything in one large bag and rolled it around with us. By the time you get one the ship, its about noon. You eat for about 45 mins to an hour. 1:30 they open the rooms up so dragging one case vs a bunch of little ones is totally tolerable.

One other thing, have your camera ready when you start to board. There is something about your thoughts on the gangway on the way up that could be captured by a quick picture!

IMO, registering the kids was worth it to me. Not having to wait in line on the ship is awesome. But when you do wait in a line on a ship, things tend to move at the speed of a snail. Not fun.

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What a great update!! What an amazing morning...

I can not imagine how tired you must have been by the time you got on the ship!! Can't wait for the next installment.
We were tired which probably caused a fight or two that probably wouldn't have happened. I think once we got on the ship, all things became good because although I had read about the ship a lot, there was something to learn and see. That part was keeping us up. I don't think we went to bed 'till about 11:30 or so that night iirc.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:47 AM   #150
Fastpaks
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: STL
Posts: 611

Something I Forgot about Checking In

Since we were doing this entire trip in cash, when we went to check-in at the terminal they gave us a sheet with restrictions. Most people put a credit card on their key to the world card. When you do that, after a certain amount, they charge your card. When you pay cash though, you are given a set "credit" amount based on the days of travel. For a 7 day like ours, it was $500. I think 4 day was either $400 or 350 and a 3 day was 300. When you crossed that threshold, your card would be frozen for purchases and you would have to pay the amount. We never hit this amount and I settled my account several times during our trip just so I didn't have to do it the last night.
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