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Old 12-24-2010, 06:09 PM   #1
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Our "Wonder"ful maiden voyage - 12/19 Updated 12/29

Prelude - You cannot go wrong with Disney

Have you ever wanted to do something but never really got to it for no apparent reason ? “cruising” was that for us. We have been toying with this since 2001, 8 years and 2 kids later we finally got down to it. All I can say is the wait was worth it.

In October, on a whim I went down to talk to our TA about a vacation. Half an hour into our conversation, we had shortlisted our cruise lines to 3 Disney, RCL and Carnival. I was toying with the idea of doing oasis of the seas but what the TA said about Disney stuck a chord, “Narsi, you cannot go wrong with Disney, after your vacation if you are not satisfied, let me know and I will refund your cost” that clinched the deal.

Then it was a matter of dates, my vacation structured meant I had to do it this year around Christmas and luckily he was able to find a category 5 room for us on the 19th sailing. Our late booking meant we didn't have a whole lot of choice to pick from, which was just fine with me. So began my planning for our vacation in December. For the next two months, every waking minute of mine was spent on planning and more planning. I would have to say, all that planning was very useful.

more to follow.....

Last edited by narsibvl; 12-29-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:25 PM   #2
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I'm in - can't wait to hear all about your trip!
Lori DH DS CJ (9) DD Kitty (7)

Our 1st Trip - June 11-15 '07 POFQ
Aug 2011: 4 days POFQ & 4 days on the Dream

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Old 12-25-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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Stateroom 7136 - Ctg 5 Deck 7 Aft HA

"Yes it needs a special mention"

So it had become a habit for me to check the stateroom assignment every day in the morning. Finally when it happened it was room 7136 Deck 7 aft handicap accessible room. Technically speaking it was not a upgrade but truly it was one.

There no stateroom reports of this room for wonder so had to wait to find out on our own. There were pics of this room equivalent on the magic. I had warned my wife about the sizes of stateroom cabins beforehand and her first comment on entering the room was " you had me worried unnecessarily ...". This room was huge ..I mean really huge... Comparable to the Hampton inn room we stayed in. It had a single streamer.

The balcony though white walled was long. It ran long the curve of the ship, which meant you had a much wider view from your balcony. Took a peak at the adjacent handicap room 7138 it too was big, wider but not as long ad ours. There were many a questions about the need for a balcony and I guess I will give my 2 cents now. We didn't use the balcony as much ad we would have wanted to and I believe the reasons were multi-fold, the weather was not exactly warm, it being December and all and ad this was only a 4 day cruise we were busy with activities off and on the ship. A different month and a longer iternary would have made the balcony more useful. That being said the next time I would again book a balcony without a doubt. Wish I had taken a picture that shows the length of the balcony..have to settle for this for the time being.

7136 slept 4 with the sleeper sofa and the bunk bed. The kids called the bunk bed their "special place".

One downside to this room was the lack of tub. Would have been very useful for our two year old. Water from the bath was all over the sink area the first day but by second day we had figured out how to minimize the damage so no worries there.

The room was close to the aft overlook on deck 7 and the hidden stairs behind beach blanket. Need to thank the disboard for these info. We always used the hidden stairs to access deck 9 and used the aft elevator for going down. There was a intermittent clanging at night time but nothing that kept us awake unnecessarily. There was some stagnant water in the balcony the first day, not sure whether it came from the cleaning of beach blanket above or the rains.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:11 AM   #4
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Great pics! Your children are adorable. Can't wait to read more!
Lead me to Daisy!
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TDluvsDaisy View Post
Great pics! Your children are adorable. Can't wait to read more!
Thanks. Been trying to get some time to continue this thread..hopefully soon.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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Embarkation day.

We had flown down to Orlando a couple of days before and stayed in the Hampton inn airport area. We had rented a car from the airport. The idea was to spend a day in Kennedy space center and a day in sea world. I had sent emails to our congressmen here asking for the KSC tickets but was told that they didn’t have any. Furthermore the tour was cut short to one stop as they were doing testing on the booster rockets on the STS 133. From then on the weather deteriorated. It was cold, it was raining on the sea world day. . In spite of the rains we managed to have quite a good time. The best part of it was meeting my cousins family after like a decade. The new manta and the Atlantis rides in sea world were awesome. After lunch my wife and my cousin tried the “Krakkon” and they felt it was way better then the others. For my part, lets just say I didn’t really feel up to it after lunch.

We woke up on the 19th to more drizzle and clouds. Right away I knew there was no point in being early to the ship. We took our time with breakfast; drove down to the airport dropped the car at terminal A, a big mistake. A word of caution for people who plan to to drive down your rental car to the airport to pick up the magical express, the drop off is available on both terminals, A and B. By dropping the car at terminal B, you save a lot of walk to the magical express counter; otherwise it is a long walk to the main terminal and over the bridge to the “B”l. Lesson learnt I guess.

We finally reached the magical express counter at around 11:00 and were greeted with a long line. We dropped off our luggage and stood in the line to get our magical express pass. Five minutes into it one of the representatives walked up to us and enquired whether we were US citizens. My kids were and we were not. So we were asked to move to a different line, a much shorter one. You would have thought we were lucky,nope…the party at the counter took a full one hour to clear up their formalities. Seriously, people need to get their ducts in row before they get to the counter. When our turn came it took all of 5 minutes. We were allotted the chipmunks group and were soon boarding.

Didn’t realize it was an hour long drive from the airport to the port. Next time I might drive directly to the port. The introductory video meant the kids were kept busy the entire trip. By the time we reached the port it was 1:00 in the afternoon. There were no captain mickey and my son was a bit dissapointed. The late hour meant we couldn’t spend a whole lot of time looking around the terminal. Something we have to do the next time.. The check in at the port was a breeze and there was no waiting to board. Past the embarkation photos we headed into the ship. Our son couldn’t believe he was inside the ship, I had to escort him back out to the plank to prove it. Once inside we gave our names as Aditya and Megha(our kids) family and the welcome rang out through the ship. A was very excited to hear it  . We took the elevators to deck 9 and pitched camp at the covered area right in front of the goofy galley. It was cold, breezy and there was not more then a couple of kids in the mickey pool and nobody in the goofy’s. It was time for me to show the family all that I had learned about the ship from the disboards and I daresay all that research and knowledge from you guys were very useful through the trip. After our lunch we took the staircase behind beach blanket buffet to our room which on deck 7 aft.

In the Magical express shuttle.

Our first lunch.

The room itself was big, and the balcony even bigger. We took our time getting used to the life jackets and yet I made the mistake of giving my daughter the adult size jacket. She was cute trying to walk around with that huge thing strapped on her. Ours was the “T” muster station and we ended up in the animator palate for the drill. Once the drill was over, we headed back up to our room, and got ready for the sail away party. I was expecting the bags to be available by now but wasn’t. Checked with our neighbors and they hadn’t gotten their bags either.

We were a bit under dressed for the conditions, was worried that the kids might catch something with the cold. We headed up to deck 9 by the aft staircase and I was too excited that our son and I lost sight of my wife with our daughter(Lets see how many of you keep track of the number of times I loose my family in this trip, a surprised quiz..maybe). The party started and the streamers were flowing. I was desperately trying to find my wife and what do I daughter right in front of the deck waving to the cruise director .

My son then joined her and they were oblivious to us from then on. The kids absolutely loved the party, and the first sighting of the Mickey. I felt the vessel stir, and before you know it, we were leaving the port behind in a hurry.

Sail away party..our sailing mapped.

Our cruise director.( Can somebody tell me his name..his name eludes my memory now.)

The Mickeys ..the first sighting.

KSC in the yonder.

Once the party got over, we headed up to see the ship charge ahead at quite a speed. I wanted to walk up to the front of the ship, but the cold wind and the fact that the kids were not properly dressed meant we had to go back to the room.

Freedom of the seas, looks on...

to be continued...
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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What a great start. Congratulations on the room.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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Sounds wonderful already! Your kids are so adorable. Love the pic of your daughter jumping up and down during the Sail Away Party!

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