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Old 02-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #16
keryia
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Enjoyed all the photos and description glad you had a great time
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:32 AM   #17
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Day 2, Part 1: "Where are we?"

Awesome DCL Service Note: I forgot to mention that while we were perusing the shops before the show on night 1, my dad ended up chatting with one of the bridge officers. They talked for quite some time, until Mom and I grabbed Dad so we could make it to the show. The officer (and I wish we remembered his name) was so thoughtful; Dad had asked him a question about the engines (he was a flight engineer in the Air Force) and the officer did not know the answer. He asked Dad for our stateroom number and told him he would get the information written down and sent to our room ASAP. Sure enough, a photocopy of one of the ship's schematics was waiting for us on our seahorse clip when we turned in! Everybody we encountered on the Dream was super friendly, amiable, and seemed genuinely interested in saying hello and asking about how our experience was. We were blown away!

I promised to touch upon my stateroom as far as sleeping goes in the last post. Our stateroom had a Murphy bed in addition to the sofa bed and ceiling bunk. When we retired for the first night, both the sofa bed and Murphy were turned down. I'm assuming since our steward noted we had 3 adults, he made up 3 beds. Our towel animal for that evening was a frog! Here was where we had one of our very few snafus with service: It took me 30 minutes to speak to room service. I was on hold that long! On our previous cruises, a hang card was always provided with a breakfast menu for room service you could put out in advance. Our room did not have one, so I was calling to see if we could schedule coffee and fruit to be delivered in the morning. It's my mother's most favorite cruise activity: drinking coffee on the verandah after waking up. I wasn't sure if maybe DCL did not have this service. When I finally got through, the person was very nice and apologized for our missing hang card. The immediately sent someone up with enough hang cards for the rest of the cruise.

I took the sofa bed the first night; I won't be able to tell you about the main bed because my parents took that for the whole cruise. They loved it. Unfortunately, the sofa bed is not designed for adults. It was very hard and uncomfortable--the pillow was nice, but it became clear I needed more than one. I slept fairly terrible, between the uncomfortable sofa and my persistent cough.

As for our room steward, I can't tell you what his name was. I only met him briefly twice toward the end of the cruise in the hallway. My parents met him on night 2 when they went back to the room to relax while I did something else. He asked about our sleeping arrangements, and my mom told him about the sofa bed and my wish for an extra pillow. He (allegedly) assured her he would just make up the Murphy and to let him know if that's still uncomfortable and promised to put out an extra pillow. He was true to his word, and while the Murphy was a little better, I'm sure my health did not help matters. Otherwise? He didn't go out of his way to impress and on the last day, the room was still un-made well past lunch. Not sure what happened there.




So! On to day 1! NASSAU!

Room service arrived promptly at 7:30. And here's a comment about the stateroom phones: While I never had a problem operating it, the wake-up call was a challenge. The phone would ring, and because my mother sleeps through hurricanes (even without Dramamine), she wouldn't pick it up right away and so by the time I would grab it, it would stop. Then a few minutes later, it rang again. Only, upon picking up, nothing was on the other line. Then room service arrived. Then the phone rang again; I didn't say anything at first, and then realized that it sounded like someone was on the line, so I said "hello". It was room service checking to see if everything was to our satisfaction! Mom was already happily sipping her coffee on the verandah (thank GOD she liked the coffee!) so I thanked them and assured them it was all good. But then a few minutes later, the phone rang AGAIN with no one on the line. This happened for the rest of the trip, so I'm not sure about the wake-up calls. Room service was a lot more reliable!


We had never been to Nassau; on our last cruise (a Western), a medical emergency required our ship to detour and stop just outside the dock to drop the person off. We had been told that Nassau was nothing special and actually a place you could go without seeing. However, everyone agreed that Atlantis had to be seen at least once. The DIS confirmed all of these opinions. Personally, on one hand, I would have rather stayed on the ship to explore more ... but considering how more than half of the ship does that, too, staying on-ship in Nassau does not give you too much of an advantage over crowds. So, we booked the "Explore Atlantis" excursion, which included transportation and a guided tour through the aquarium. It was not due to leave until 11:15, so we were not rushed.

We took our time in our room and watched us arrive and dock. It always amazed us how the ship could turn around and maneuver without us feeling a thing in such a tiny space! This was when our attention was brought to our lovely neighbors on the right. They had at least 4 children in the room and they were on the same schedule as we were in the mornings. Shortly after waking up, we could hear the kids pounding races up and down their stateroom and on the verandah while screaming and chattering loudly. They kept their verandah door open, and the mother (or grandmother, she looked older) would yell at them from inside and out. Scraping chairs was another (minor) problem in the mornings; that got really loud at times.

So we're watching us turn into the dock, when the mom/grandma leans over to us around our verandah wall and asks, "Where are we?" We blinked at her and told her "Nassau", then she promptly exclaimed: "I thought that was tomorrow! I better get dressed!" XD




As the Dream continued to maneuver into place and we were making final preparations for the day, we noticed a swarm of seagulls making a ruckus outside of our verandah. Then we heard the screaming of our neighbors: "OH MY GOSH! TAKE A PICTURE! QUICK, STAND CLOSER TO THEM! AHAHA! LOOK AT THAT! HOLD OUR YOUR HAND, HE CAN'T GET THE FOOD!"

Yup. Our neighbor was feeding the seagulls from their verandah.


After getting dressed, we decided to just get breakfast in Cabana's. It was decidedly less hectic than lunch the previous day. I was disappointed that there were no Mickey waffles, though! Not even the pancakes were Mickey-shaped (Goofy's Kitchen at Disneyland had those!) but they did have tasty chocolate pancakes. I was delighted, though, that the ship had chocolate croissants!! They're smaller than their theme park brethren and maybe not as flaky fresh, but still pretty darn good.

We explored the upper decks after eating, taking photos with Atlantis in the background and looking *cough*smugly*cough cough* at the two other ships in port. The Dream is just so classy compared to other ships! This was really the only time we explored the far aft side of the Dream. We took photos of the mini golf area, and as cute as it was, I'm sorry, but the Mariner's set-up was a lot better. Despite this, I hoped to get a chance to play but never did. Then it was time to get to the D Lounge for our excursion.












Even the bathrooms amazed us! Not only did they each have their own theme, but they were immaculately clean. Frequently, we'd see a crew member hanging out to direct traffic into stalls and clean. I've never been in a cleaner Disney bathroom, and it was fun to see them all for their themes. In fact, they're so on top of cleaning, I didn't realize I didn't lock my door all the way when one of the cleaning crew accidentally popped in on me! She was so mortified! Oops, lol.






I wish we had found time to hang out in this lounge more. It sure had a lot of comfy chairs! Unfortunately, this was our only time in there. In true Disney fashion, everything was organized. We turned in our paperwork, got our tour stickers (green Sebastian), and our wristbands. Around 11:30, we headed together as a group down to deck 2 to disembark. (It's so nice to just tap your card on the reader without even needing to remove it from your lanyard).


Deck 3 mid-ship stairway artwork ... I loved looking at all the art




Bahamian coast guard


Now, take note: walking in to Nassau requires quite a bit of walking to get there. Our group was kept at a brisk pace to get over to the taxi area, which was just the start of an intense walking day. I'm sure disabled/handicapped folks can request some sort of shuttle service, but it was hard on my father who has a lot of health issues on top of just being out of shape. Upon leaving the D Lounge, it took about 5-10 minutes to walk to the awaiting buses. Once past the barrage of hair braiders, we were immediately led to several buses. Thank God I had the foresight to cut my hair short; on my first cruise, I lost count after 50 separate offers to braid my long hair while walking in St. Maartin. The driver then gave us an audio tour of downtown Nassau on the way to Atlantis. It was definitely interesting, especially when we saw a giant billboard with giant letters proclaiming: WATCH YER TINGS! ALWAYS WEAR YER RUBBAH WITH YER LADY! My mom lost her mind laughing! Best not let your kids sit on the left side of the bus ... or ask questions!


I shall end on a cliffhanger here ... would we make it to Atlantis without seeing phallic carvings for sale on the roadside? Make sure to read Day 2, Part 2: "And we're WALKING!" coming soon!
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:23 AM   #18
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OMG!! This is one of the MOST entertaining TRs I have EVER read and let me tell you.. I have read a lot of TRs!

Bravo!

PLEASE keep going. We leave for our Dream Cruise (also parents (who also happen to live in Florida) plus adult child(ren)) on Friday.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:54 AM   #19
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Ummm... No pic of the ”Watch yer tings” billboard? Where's the love!?! Thanks, i needed a laugh tonight
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:17 AM   #20
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Oh good, I've been waiting for another update from your trip haha...great job!
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post
It was definitely interesting, especially when we saw a giant billboard with giant letters proclaiming: WATCH YER TINGS! ALWAYS WEAR YER RUBBAH WITH YER LADY! My mom lost her mind laughing! Best not let your kids sit on the left side of the bus ... or ask questions!


I shall end on a cliffhanger here ... would we make it to Atlantis without seeing phallic carvings for sale on the roadside? Make sure to read Day 2, Part 2: "And we're WALKING!" coming soon!
I love that sign and the picture was my FB photo for quite awhile.

Jill in CO
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:17 PM   #22
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LOVE this report!!!...Cant wait to hear all about the Atlantis tour..we plan on doing this ourselves!
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #23
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OMG! I LOVED your TR! Pls tell your mom that I wish she was mine I am a coffee addict as well as a SHOPPING addict! I will say that I also love purses so I will be buying one on the fantasy in Sept.. Hopefully on sale..lol

Oh and by the way.. the sweatshirt you wore on your first day.. Get this as I sat and read this I realized IM WEARING THE SAME ONE!

I cant wait to read more, loving the pics and your humor! You Go Girl!
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:44 PM   #24
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I love reading your trip report! SOunds like soo much fun!
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #25
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I love this tr! It's been so interesting to read and digest! Thankyou so much for sharing this with everyone, and I can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #26
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Day 2, Part 2: "And we are WALKING!"

Just want to take a moment to thank all of you for reading and for your comments. I'm glad you're enjoying my TR! I apologize for the big span of time between updates. I'm a little busy and also trying to complete a ton of DISign requests at the same time, so I've been trying to spread my priorities out. Thank you for sticking with me! Also, to reply for the request of a photo of the billboard ... sorry, by the time I saw it, we had passed it and I was on the wrong side of the bus, too. Unfortunately, we did not pass it again.

Before I continue, I don't think I have conveyed enough how shockingly cold it was on this trip. Ironic, considering how most of this winter has--even by Floridian standards--been abnormally warm. It would figure that the biggest cold snap up to that point happened to be during our cruise. One would think it would be warmer in Nassau, right? Oh God, no! The day was pretty overcast and very windy. You could see the ocean outside of the harbor was really choppy and I was afraid if the weather continued like that, we'd miss Castaway Cay. I had read a lot of complaining threads about how often the ships can't dock there unless the conditions are just right. There in Nassau, the wind was really biting up on deck. On the island, it was cool in the shade and borderline warm in the sun.

Anyway, we arrived at Atlantis and were unloaded at one of the outbuildings of the hotel that looked like it was the oldest part. However, we were gathered into the mall corridor, where we were lined up and introduced to our tour guide. The tour guides have microphones and speakers attached to them; however, you better hope you're wearing your jogging shoes if you want to stay close enough to hear her. If memory serves, "Discover Atlantis" is billed as a 4 hour excursion. Maybe 1 1/2 of those hours is guided, including the bus ride. Outside of that, you're on your own to do whatever--and Atlantis hopes that includes you spending money on upgrading your access ticket, buying gifts, or betting money in the casino.


Before our marathon sprint began, I snapped this in the hallway.

If you've never been to Atlantis, the resort is huge. No doubt as large as a theme park. You could also easily get lost, so keeping up with the tour guide in this excursion is essential. It helps, though, that if you do get left behind, you can spot others wearing your sticker. Just to save myself hours of typing, I'm not going to go into every single detail of the tour. The guide kept us at a very brisk pace, stopping at certain notable points to explain the attraction. We began around the casino area, and then were led through the casino and outside to one of the first aquariums. We zipped through there, went back into the casino to look at the sculptures, then were led out again to another sculpture and outside again to the rest of the aquariums. My dad was struggling to keep up, and toward the end, we were trailing pretty far back. The guide was very informative, and explained everything about all the theming as if the place really was Atlantis. My parents and I agreed that we would not have been able to appreciate all the sights as much without the informative tour. However, we did not anticipate the frantic pace.












The roof of one of the aquariums. The details at this resort were gorgeous.










I took a ton of photos, which are all uploaded on my Photobucket gallery. For some reason, Photobucket insists on keeping all my photos out of order no matter what settings I put it on. Still, check them out here.

The tour guide was committed to making sure she wrapped things up exactly after one hour. With all there is to see, no wonder we were sped through everything with the assurance we could go back through on our own, later. Toward the end, the subject of tips came up more and more frequently. One of the downsides of cruising is that even after the hefty ticket prices, folks still want tips. Our guide was easy to understand and knowledgeable, however, we didn't feel compelled to tip her. *shrug* $170 to be rushed through a basic, but pretty, aquarium with a made-up history is enough already. If she had noticed my father struggling with her pace and acted upon it, maybe we would've been more inclined.

Basically, it felt like trying to keep up with Batman holding a bomb:
"AND ON YOUR LEFT IS A FISH, AND HERE IS THE LIFE STORY OF THE FISH, BUT FIRST WE'RE RUNNING, WE'RE RUNNING!"

After we were let loose, we were in need of a snack and a rest. I had learned on the DIS that the eateries at Atlantis are ridiculously priced (and boy, were they). I had intended on packing up something from the ship for us to eat, but completely forgot. Make sure you do this! You'll save a lot of coin! We collapsed at the nearest poolside eatery and ended up spending $10 on a small coffee and fries. And according to my mother, the coffee was awful. We also had an amusing, yet annoying time with the sea gulls. The employees' method for bird control is just to run at them whenever they attacked. And attack they did! Our fries weren't on the table longer than a few seconds before one swooped in and snatched one right off the tray. Children left alone for a few seconds with food were instantly swamped with an entire flock. The screams!! OMG it was hilarious. No one was hurt, but it was just so darn funny. Adults would come running from every direction to shoo them away! It was like this:



Why they have not installed some sort of anti-bird system in this area is shocking, especially considering how constant and bad a problem it was. This is what you get for feeding birds, folks. Alfred Hitchcock.

Once finished, we took a few more photos before deciding that really, we just wanted to head back to the ship. We were too tired to go wandering around again. Honestly, the place is beautiful, but the aquarium is pretty basic once you get past the theme park motifs. I was disappointed that the dolphins are in an entirely different area, and while I probably would've been willing to go search them out, I see them all the time here at home. My mother was disappointed overall. When you're used to Sea World, it's hard for things to measure up. I had warned her it was just an aquarium, but she still expected "more". If you love sharks, rays, and giant fish ... you'll love the place. I'm glad we did it ... but I don't mind passing it in the future.




Not even the shopping interested my mother, as most of the shops were super high-end brands and the only 2 basic gift shops we found were still overpriced. I still walked out with a $7 jellyfish keychain that currently hangs from my rearview mirror. We waited a few minutes for a return bus to the port. My mother was surprisingly eager to walk around the local shops ... but not me. Not only was I tired, but I had no desire to be badgered by folks trying to sell me junk. Plus, Nassau is just really worn down and after shopping in the Caribbean, all islands sell the same stuff. If this was a longer cruise, then maybe I would've been more enthusiastic. But our time on the Dream was short, and I wanted to soak up as much as I could. We walked through the little flea market right there at the dock, which was half-closed and unremarkable. After being checked by security, we took a few photos of the Dream in her fully glory ... then headed up to deck 11 for some snacks.






We had a little while until dinner. My parents decided to hang in the room for a bit while I went exploring and in search of ... ice cream. OMG. People. I had read some people complaining about how terrible the soft serve is on the ship. Well, to me, it was the most delicious soft serve ever. There's something about that certain consistency that is just so good to me. I remember on our last cruise, the Mariner had soft serve like that. I could not get enough of it! The Dream's was no exception. To describe it, I guess it's a bit thicker than standard soft serve ... and maybe a little ... icier? I tried all the flavors, but my favorite is the standard twist. With an extra big cone, I hung out by the family pool a bit and watched some Hercules before a combo of the wind and the treat made me too cold. I wish there was more space for people to just sit and watch the screen without having to be on top of the pools or tucked away under deck 12 where you can't see. Here are some shots from my little exploring before I headed back to the room with more ice cream for my dad:










When I got back to our room and handed off Dad's ice cream, Mom wanted to go exploring with me again. This is when the topic of dinner attire came up. Prior to the cruise, I had asked my cruise meet thread when the optional dress-up night was and was told it was on our sea day. None of our cruise documents stated anything, which was unusual compared to our previous cruises when we had paperwork outlining each night's attire. When we wandered into the lobby, we began to see people dressed up. Uh oh. I quickly asked someone at guest services, and was told yup, tonight was dress-up night. Holy nachos! Quick, Batman, back to the stateroom for a legendary costume change within one hour!

My parents are notorious for being late to everything, and taking forever to get dressed. I was impressed that all of us managed to change and get out the door right on time. Granted, I had not had a chance to shower ... but considering there was no swimming and definitely no sweating, it worked out fine. Dinner was in Royal Palace tonight, and I was very surprised to see that 99% of the ship had decided to dress up. So, thank God we had asked for clarification on the attire and dressed accordingly!

This dining room was very pretty, but pretty similar to other cruise lines. The princess art and details were what set it apart. Mom fell in love with the carriage bread basket, like everyone else, and immediately wanted to go to the shops to buy it (like everyone else). Why they don't sell it is a mystery, but Mom made sure to mention it on the comment card.


Again, our dining rotation was perfect for the themes. I can't imagine having pirate night in the RP. It's meant for dress-up. Our table was near the windows, again, but unfortunately we were squeezed between two tables at this large round 4-top that kept us pretty separated from each other. The menu was my favorite out of all the menus. I had the lobster medallions, French onion soup, the tri-tipped steak, and the creme brule. Everything was wonderful. Mom had the Grand Mariner souffle and loved it! Most of my photos in this restaurant (well, almost all of them) came out horrible.

Another note: On my past cruises, every night our waiters would bring bread to us with several varieties to choose from. If there was one food I didn't like on DCL, it was the bread. All but one roll was either tasteless, tasted funny, or just too dry. The spreads were equally bizarre. Such a shame, since the baskets were so cute!

After dinner, we decided to get some photos done on the staircase and by the Donald statue. Now, unless you're a beanpole, don't take a photo on the stairs. As pretty as it is, we looked horrible once we saw the prints. It's just not meant for fluffier people. We liked our Donald photo a lot better, and would later get into a confrontation with each other over which smile was better.

I've run out of photo room, so I shall continue in the next post ....

Last edited by OrcaPotter; 02-14-2012 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #27
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Here's the sign from Nassau.



Jill in CO
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #28
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Day 2, Part 3: Rock n' Roll

Continued ...






The cast member supervising the meet n' greet at this spot was either a horrible photographer or purposefully stunk to encourage you to buy the professional shot that honestly wasn't all that much better.

The show tonight was the ventriloquist. Unfortunately, Dad was wiped from our crazy day, so Mom took him back to the room (where they met our steward and reported my sleeping issues) and I ran up quickly to have my photo with Captain Mickey! I was the only adult in the line, but I didn't care ...



His line was very brief, surprisingly. Depending on what else is going on determines how long the character lines are. By the time I got back to the spot in front of the WD Theatre where I was meeting back up with Mom to see the show, it was getting close to showtime. Mom got back and we sat down just in time; there were still plenty of seats.

Now, I was dubious of this show, because ... c'mon, a family-friendly ventriloquist? We had missed his adult show the previous night. But man, was this guy funny! The crowd just added to the humor, too. His shows are not to be missed!

Meanwhile, the ship has left Nassau ... and it's like Master and Commander out there. My mom was groaning through part of the show, because we could definitely feel the ship rocking. By the time the show ended, everyone was all over the place. People were holding on to each other for support to get out of the theatre, and out in the hallway you could see the crowd swaying from one side to the other. Thank God I don't get sea sick, and as long as these periods are brief, it's almost fun. Judging by how bad the weather was in Nassau, it was no surprise that the ocean was rough. Mom needed air, so we headed out to deck 4. It was like a wind tunnel out there, and you could see the water roiling. The Dream was definitely booking it--no doubt the captain was trying to speed us through the rough patch. I was now really worried for Castaway Cay.


Holy hot cross buns, it was cold.


We decided to wander the ship some more. We spent more money in the shops, ran into Minnie Mouse wearing her evening best, and found ourselves back in The District. We managed to catch most of the Match Your Mate game ... which honestly folks, you cannot miss it. It was hilarious! Seating is a bit of a problem in Evolution, though. We managed to find two empty chairs, but it wasn't easy and it was cramped. Once it was over, we headed back to our room. We decided to get a late-night snack, and I did the #1 recommended thing on the DIS: ordered a Mickey bar! Room service was incredibly friendly ("Just one cookie? Are you sure? I'll bring you more.") By now, the ship had not only stopped rocking ... it had stopped moving completely! The water was now still as glass, and we had come to an almost dead stop. A check of our position on the TV put us about 30 or so miles outside of CC. We had our snacks ... I reverted to 5 years old with my Mickey ice cream and classic cartoons, before turning on Rodger Rabbit and eventually falling asleep. The Murphy was a little better than the sofa.










... but my cough had other plans! With that, I leave you until the next update.

(Thanks, jedijill, for the photo of the billboard!)
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejasmine View Post
OMG! I LOVED your TR! Pls tell your mom that I wish she was mine I am a coffee addict as well as a SHOPPING addict! I will say that I also love purses so I will be buying one on the fantasy in Sept.. Hopefully on sale..lol

Oh and by the way.. the sweatshirt you wore on your first day.. Get this as I sat and read this I realized IM WEARING THE SAME ONE!

I cant wait to read more, loving the pics and your humor! You Go Girl!
Yay! Sweatshirt twins! Thanks for reading!
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:30 PM   #30
NAB
That first page just got too heavy
Maybe I am the gloved one and have an inside scoop
 
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ontario , Canada
Posts: 10,866

Loving all the pictures and your trip report! Love the little pictures you add , very funny.

I believe that is the Royal Palace you were in and you wrote Enchanted Palace above the picture. But I know you know this because you have RP below it....Definitely the right restrurant to be in for dress up night.

We were on the five day and it seemed short can't imagine how short three days feels.
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