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Old 03-03-2012, 07:30 PM   #46
OrcaPotter
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Just a quick note to let anyone know that I hope to write the next part soon. My 3rd niece was born yesterday so things have been a bit hectic! Things should settle down by mid-week so I hope to continue then! Thanks so much for reading and being patient
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #47
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Hooray for Who!
I've been reading your TR because we are FINALLY taking a Dream cruise in April...and I noticed you're also a Winter Springian! Double hooray!

Perhaps I'll bump into you at Publix some day. In the meantime, really enjoying your TR
I live in Casselberry as well, and with 3 kids I feel like I'm always at that Publix!!!!

Loving this TR by the way!!!!!!!! Just a little over 2 months before we get on the Dream for the first time and your TR has me super excited!!!!!!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post
Just a quick note to let anyone know that I hope to write the next part soon. My 3rd niece was born yesterday so things have been a bit hectic! Things should settle down by mid-week so I hope to continue then! Thanks so much for reading and being patient
Congrats for that!
Your trip reports are one of my favourite parts of the forum!
I think you're hilarious!

Just a quick note, you linked to your Dream album on Photobucket in one of the Atlantis posts, but the album is password protected, and you didn't mention the password, so we can't view the album. Just FYI.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #49
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Day 3, Part 2: Polar Bear Swim

Thanks for your patience and comments, everybody! Time to get this report moving again ...

I left off at the point when my mother and I had returned from our expedition back to the ship to retrieve my forgotten underwater camera. I had retrieved my snorkel gear (which I reserved online) and was a little annoyed with the requirement that snorkelers must wear an inflated vest at all times. When I snorkeled at NCL's private island, we didn't wear a vest and I enjoyed diving down for closer looks at the fish. You don't need a vest to just swim, so, I'm not quite sure why you needed it to snorkel. The water is clear enough to see to the bottom, so using it as a method of keeping an eye on snorkelers is also confusing.

That said, it was time to get wet! I got suited up, and walked over to the snorkel lagoon. My mom followed me to watch and wade. We passed crowds of people splashing about in the water. Because it was mildly warm outside, I expected the water to be cold at first.

Well.

It was literally freezing.

I put one toe in, and it was like jumping into the Arctic Circle. People were casually going in and out as if it were the height of summer, and there I was clutching my flippers and arms to my chest and looking back at my mother as if I had fallen overboard the Titanic and landed on the iceberg!


I don't care where you live, you can't tell me the water wasn't 50 degrees. That's the temperature of the orca pool at Sea World, folks. But, dangit, I was going to snorkel, gosh diddily darn it. No freezing water or borderline Bronchitis was going to hold me back! By sheer force of will and determination, I forced myself inch by agonizing inch deeper into the lagoon--all the while looking stricken back at my mother who watched bemusedly from the water's edge. People may have been diving in casually around me, but I stood there, hugging in my warmth, judging how quickly I'd die of hypothermia after just plunging in and seeing what I could before solidifying into a popsicle.


It took me close to 20 minutes, but I finally just bit the bullet and dove in--well, as much as I could with the inflated vest. I swam like a torpedo, clutching the vest so it wouldn't choke me and also just to preserve my body heat to my vital organs. The water was beautiful and with so much sunshine you could easily see the bottom. ... I swam, and swam, and swam before I began to see any sign of life. It also got marginally warmer the further out I went, so I would hover in the warm spots for as long as I could. Artificial reefs were scattered throughout, and I began clicking away with my camera. The fish weren't extremely colorful, but in the furthest areas they were plentiful.

I got the underwater shots developed, but they're not scanned. To make up for it, here is a recreation of what I saw:


I spent a good hour swimming around. There was a sunken boat and some other "wreckage" but I never found the underwater Mickey statue or anything--and I felt like I had covered the entire area. Here's a warning, though. I spotted 2 or 3 small jellyfish. Scared the BANANAS out of me. After the first one, I swam hyper alert because not only was it small, but it was almost transparent. They must have a problem with jellyfish, because by one of the buildings for equipment they had a giant trough filled with ... I forget what it is you use for jellyfish stings--vinegar? Ammonia? You could literally get in it like a bathtub.

Fortunately, I survived my brush with potential bodily harm (hah, well...) and headed back to shore when I realized that I needed to get out of the freezing water. I was disappointed I never found those underwater statues. Anyone know where they are, approximately? It was time for lunch, so we packed our gear and headed to Cookies BBQ.




My parents loved everything about this buffet, and Mom especially loved the cookies. I thought everything was pretty good, if not standard. They had my favorite soft serve, so I was all over that. By the time we finished, we decided to head toward the adult beach. So we tried to go search for the tram stop, thinking it was nearby.

Well, we just kept walking and walking, and we never found it. The map doesn't seem entirely accurate ... I mean, I'm pretty good at reading maps, but either excitement or something else was preventing me from finding the Serenity Bay tram. My dad needed to break, so we wandered onto the second family beach closest to the cabanas and found plenty of chairs. We ended up sitting in the shade of the lifeguard and promptly fell into post-eating nap mode.






It was frustrating, because the water was so beautiful ... but there was no way I could handle forcing myself back in. Instead, I marveled at the crowds acting as if it were no big deal, and I would hear comments like, "It's cold when you first get in, but after that it's great." Y'all must have internal furnaces or the latest in skinny-body blubber, 'cause I don't know how anyone got used to it. I think my body lost feeling after so long.

We never made it to Serenity Bay. I grappled with my desire to try Pelican Plunge and my deep desire to stay out of the cold water. At one point, I decided it was time for a "grown up drink" and went to the bar, where I told the bartenders exactly that. They laughed, and I had a Konk Kooler--and I think they went a little heavy on the "grown up." It was good, though. I was a little bummed they didn't have it in a souvenir cup, though. They sell souvenir drinks all over the ship at all hours, except at the times I wanted one.

Around 3:00, we decided it was time to head back on board. We stopped at the bar for a photo of the ship and us with it. A nice family offered to take our photo in exchange that we'd take one of them. However, my camera has become quite temperamental, because it didn't come out well:






I was sad to leave CC, and was bummed that I didn't get to try everything it had to offer. Again, it's amazing how quickly the hours fly by while you're there. I can't wait to be back, and preferably when the water is warmer!

We decided to get a snack up on deck 11, and then since I was in my swim suit, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to brave the Aquaduck for the first time! My mother actually had an interest in trying it, but only after I "tested" it first. For her to even consider it was astounding! We managed to grab 2 chairs within view of the Aquaduck for them to sit and watch; so many chairs had stuff on them, and I know there were many times I would have liked to have sat around there just to watch movies ... but people are inconsiderate--not to mention the Dream just has poorly designed pool areas for the number of guests on board.

It was a 30 minute wait, but I figured it was now or never because no doubt it'd be worse tomorrow on our day at sea. Standing up there in the wind made it quite a chilly experience ... and then you're also realizing just how high up you are. I'm not afraid of heights, per se, but they do make me nervous. I can do almost any thrill ride (I was a scaredy cat as a child, and then broke out when I was 17); I've done all the Orlando and Tampa roller coasters. But I was definitely nervous. I liked the idea that I was trying this when the ship was stopped and close to land. The idea of doing it in the middle of the ocean while it was moving was giving me pause!

The wait didn't feel too long, and before I knew it, I was on a raft and launched! Immediately, whatever fear I had disappeared. You definitely can't focus much on how high you are or that you're over the ocean. It becomes another ride at a water park, and after the initial jet blasts of water and you turn into the first funnel ... it becomes a pleasant, gentle slide. Definitely "lukewarm" as far as thrilling when compared to the Crush n' Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon. It's also over very quickly. I told Mom she had nothing to worry about, and she promised to do it the next day.


A shot of me on line from my parents' observation spot


There I am!

We left to go get showered (me) and changed for Pirate Night! We were excited! And I shall leave you here ... hopefully updates will come more frequently now.

(P.S. It was pointed out that my Photobucket album is password protected. I don't remember doing it, but the password to all my albums is "kimberly")

(P.S.S. Yay for local Casselberry/Winter Springa-ans! We should have a mini-con at Publix for sure!)
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:42 PM   #50
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I've just finished catching up and I'm subscribing! I'm booked for a 4 night on the Dream in January 2013 and I can't wait! It looks like you were having a great time with your family. Patiently awaiting the next installment. And congratulations on that new baby in the family!
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:03 AM   #51
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I've just finished catching up and I'm subscribing! I'm booked for a 4 night on the Dream in January 2013 and I can't wait! It looks like you were having a great time with your family. Patiently awaiting the next installment. And congratulations on that new baby in the family!
You'll love it! Thanks for reading and for the congrats

P.S. to everyone, looks like I exceeded my bandwidth for this month. It will be restored on the 15th. I'm going to see if there is a cheaper option to get a pro account again; otherwise, I will write up installments without pictures until my bandwidth is reset.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #52
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Next time you are at the snorkel lagoon, look for the buoys. Follow them down for a Mickey statue, and a few other cool things!

Great installment! I'm currently waiting for my cruise buddy to call so we can co-book our excursions and kids' nursery times, so this was a great way to pass the time and get all excited about the upcoming vacation! Looking forward to the rest
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:34 PM   #53
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Day 3, Part 3: Yo Ho Yo Ho A Pirate's Night for Me

I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how enthused my parents would be about pirate night. I think I already mentioned, though, how my mother surprised me by doing research on her own and finding out about it--and thinking it was really cool. In fact, she was the one who decided we needed pirate attire to wear! One would think, considering how popular PoTC has been, finding at least a t-shirt wouldn't be too hard. Well, it seems pirates are out and vampires are in, because we found nothing. We even went to the party store to see what they had leftover from Halloween. They had some stuff, but most of it was stupidly expensive. Mom ended up buying a couple items--which I ended up wearing exclusively with the exception of a pirate bandana "hat" we put on Dad. Even scouring the internet came up dry for pirate shirts; the Disney Store had nothing for adults except for creepy skeleton designs. Anyone else annoyed about how the Disney Store is turning in to "limited Disney Theme Park Souvenirs Store"?

Tangent: Want to see the cool thing the Disney Store used to sell?

I've had this beach wrap for years and have hardly worn it for some reason. I love it so much and was so happy to wear it on this cruise.

Anyway, it was sad to be leaving CC. As we heard the horn and began moving, I watched it slide away and wondered if/when I'd see it again. I'm pretty convinced I definitely will. We could hear many of our neighbors getting ready--the "zoo" next door certainly was, and I could hear other parents on verandahs elsewhere "ooo-ing" and "ahh-ing" over their children's outfits and taking photos already. How fun is that? It was too cute.

I had brought my pirate Pluto on board to be my "parrot" (again, another thing I've had for years) but my mother vetoed my decision with the logical argument that it was just one more thing to hold and lose. So, I took a photo in the room and left him to guard our booty.


Dinner was in Animator's Palate, and I was most looking forward to this dining room. While I still think I like the design of the classic ships in this MDR better, it was still an awesome place and I liked all the pirate-related concept art on the screens. They even had the under-appreciated Treasure Planet represented! Again, I tried to take photos.


















Simon was our head waiter (?) ... I guess his job is to oversee all the main waiters and assistant waiters. We didn't see him do anything other than interact with guests, and he was a hoot. This was really the first time we had seen him, and he was all dressed to the nines and snuck up behind Dad to drop his giant hat on him. Then our waiter popped in and much amusement was had.

The menu was unique, and I actually took a few food photos as result. I think I had the short ribs, and while they were good, the meal would later prove to be very heavy on my system that was already in the process of becoming further compromised. A little foreshadowing for you there.




Banana crepe ... it was good, but still disappointing because the crepe was paper dry.




The short ribs were really good

Now, I'm not 100% sure, but I think this was the night of the butternut squash soup that would send my mother into heavenly orbit. She loved this soup so much, she has since endeavored to try every butternut squash variation available off-ship. She has found a local health food eatery that is very, very close. But of everything we had to eat during the cruise, that's what tops her list.


Pirate Goofy had a surprisingly brief wait after dinner, so we grabbed a photo with him. He was hilarious, playing around with everyone. A group of grandmothers had a ball with him! He noticed my pin and through miming, I gathered he was asking how old I was. When I laughed, he lifted his ear for me to whisper it to him. I told him it was my "first" 29th and he acted shocked, LOL. Aw, bless yer heart, Goofy.

After dinner, we wandered a bit before heading over to the WD Theatre to see Villains Tonight! Now, folks on the DIS seem pretty agreed that this show is the least favorite. I didn't warn my parents and wanted to go regardless because, A) I wanted to judge for myself and B) this was my first Disney cruise and I wanted to see everything. I'm always surprised to come across fans of Disney who don't know a lot of characters or even which film they're from. Izma and Krunk, from The Emperor's New Groove are some of my favorite characters; the movie is definitely a cult favorite but if you like Disney, how can you not know them?

Even as we were waiting for the show to start, I had a second encounter with obnoxious guests behind me (they only seemed to come out for the shows I guess). This family, which appeared to be made up of mostly older adults, were loudly complaining behind me about various things and using non-Disney friendly language. When Pain and Panic came out to crowd mingle just before the show, the one woman was loudly bewildered as to who the heck they were and then complained about how she didn't know enough about Disney. I couldn't help myself, I turned around and told her they were from Hercules; she thanked me and stated, "Well there ya go, another movie I don't know."


My informed opinion of the show is yes, I can see why people don't like it. Everything about it seemed awkward to me, from the script to the acting--which was strange because all the other shows are so well done by both cast and writers. The audience participation seemed less, despite efforts made by the cast to get people to "boo" or cheer, and even just laugh. My parents enjoyed it, though; they like special effects and the music and are not discerning Disney fans at all. And I'm sorry, the Iago scene made me want to laugh and cringe at the same time. Laugh at the concept, but cringe at the execution. There was some sort of malfunction with the puppet, too, which just added to the awkwardness.

Considering the high repeat cruiser numbers and the limited venues (only 4 ships), you'd think Disney would start considering changing this show. Perhaps now that the Fantasy is (nearly) launched, they can shift focus to doing things that can easily be changed (such as stage shows) on the classic ships to keep bookings up (not that it seems they need any help).

After the show, we headed up to deck 11 for the first pirate deck show. We had a pretty good view atop the Mickey pool platform, though of course the crowd up front made it difficult to see a lot of the things on stage. I was expecting something a bit more broad as far as target audience, but this particular show is definitely aimed at the little kids. I had seen online that Mickey rides a zipline between the smokestacks ... but this did not happen, and I was confused because our weather was very calm. I later found out that due to the Dream's size, Mickey does not do this anymore. It was cute to see the kids having a lot of fun, though, and I was tempted by the expensive shiny drinks but refrained. I loved how a lot of the crew were dressed in some pretty awesome pirate costumes, too.




I think we got a snack (ice cream) after the show and wandered the upper decks a while before it was time to claim our spot to see the fireworks. Because our stateroom was starboard, we had had a card in our room when we got back from CC stating we had to keep our verandah door closed and all flammable material removed. I wonder if they have some special type of fireworks that don't dump material in the water? Or at least material that dissolves quickly in water? On my next cruise I shall ask somebody.

Obviously, you're pretty limited to how elaborate a fireworks show you can do at sea ... especially being Disney is the only one allowed to do it. We had quite a few groupies out at sea around us trying to get a free show. But Dad and I also noticed that we were very close to an island. We found out later it was Freeport, and we had to be close to drop off a medical emergency. Those seem to happen a lot on cruises! I loved the intro to the show, and all the special effects and music. It was shorter than I expected, but hey, it was still neat to see. The show continued on the deck stage, with Jack Sparrow dropping from the smokestack--which was impressive. He was doing meet/greets in the D Lounge but we never made it in time to see him. Yet another example of how frustrating being on a short cruise is.


The dance party followed to wrap up the night. I was surprised at some of the tracks they included, because some of the lyrics pushed the Disney limits IMHO. Granted, I don't mind, but to many parents these days, I'm sure someone had a problem. If I had had some of my friends with me, we probably would've hung around to dance. I liked the dancers on stage initially with the techno music--I would've liked more entertainment like that with broader appeal. My parents wanted to wander, and so we wandered all the way forward again to have that part of the ship almost completely to ourselves. We loved the circle bench under the radar (where "Satellite Falls" is on the Fantasy). This is the part we love most about cruising--the sheer relaxation. Nothing but you on this giant ship in the middle of the ocean.




The bathrooms on deck 12 forward--we loved all the bathrooms!




Did I mention Mom got me a soda in a fairy cup with a light-up Tinkerbell? She surprised me with it ... I have no shame in admitting I was thrilled and momentarily felt like I was legitimately 5 again when my parents would buy me the light-up toys at the parks or neat little surprises like that without my knowledge.

It was surprisingly (and depressingly) late by the time we decided to turn in for the night, but not before remembering that there was a pirate party buffet. ... Which we ended up being too late for. They were packing everything up by the time we made it back to Cabanas and Mom was only able to grab the last plate of fruit. Man! It was like time was on overdrive on this cruise ... we didn't even have that much planned and we still didn't have enough time to appreciate everything. We're not used to this--we're 7-night cruise people. The Fantasy needs to drop into our price range now *dramatic fist*

We turned in for the evening and found this dino-fella with some pirate doubloons waiting for us:


Unfortunately overnight, my health would begin to spiral downward. Dinner never really settled completely with me at all, and with my intensifying cough (thanks, frigid water), I was up half the night with unpleasant issues. I should've requested more pillows. Thinking back, it strikes me at how much it sucked being sick on this very much longed for and anticipated cruise. It was like a cost I paid for finally having the chance to go. It's testimony to how far willpower will get you, but I know that--especially on our last day--being undoubtedly sick again really held me back from enjoying everything to the fullest.

So how did my last day go? I shall divulge in my next installment. I apologize for the infrequent and far-between updates. I recently got through a family emergency; this post has been sitting on my desktop for the past week as result. I hope to have the next part up this week!
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #55
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Thanks to everyone who are still reading along! I hope to finish this thing very soon. Thanks for sticking with me!
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:04 PM   #56
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Great TR!!!!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:21 AM   #57
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Day 4, Part 1: Will Power at Sea

When I woke up on our last day, my stomach still was not quite settled enough from my rough overnight ordeal. While my parents enjoyed the serene ocean on the verandah with their room service selections, I tried to assess just how bad I was and pointedly avoided orange juice. To assure anyone, I never had the usual alarming symptoms that would have confined me to my room. No, it was more like the previous night's dinner was just sitting in my stomach and my cough had returned with a vengeance. I took special care to cough into my elbow and frequently wash my hands.

The ship seemed to alternate between a slow, leisurely pace and a dead stop. After all, it's not that far from CC back to Port Canaveral. We got dressed and finally had breakfast down in Enchanted Garden. We never saw our servers, and found out later that due to pirate night they weren't working in there that morning. We encountered the only line for a meal for the entire cruise. We waited about 15 minutes, while CMs commented how everyone must've slept late from "all that partying" and that the restaurant closed promptly at 10:30 (I think) so it didn't matter if anyone was still waiting in line. I took the opportunity to take some photos and chuckle at the kids.


Greetings, from our stateroom!


Obligatory porthole photo on the way to breakfast. A member of the bridge crew, amongst a group of them walking by, stopped without us asking and told us to "Line up, I'll take your picture!" We were blown away by how nice everyone was, especially the crew.








A perfect, calm day at sea!

What was strange was there were plenty of tables available by the time we were being seated. A waiter took our drink orders, and we headed over to the buffet. There didn't seem to be as much available as there was in Cabana's ... but between my simple palate and my health at the moment, it was just fine. They at least had Mickey waffles! I wore my "Doctor Pooh" shirt, hoping to get a chuckle out of some of the crew. I was a bit bummed that only one seemed to notice, and he didn't even know the show, thus, didn't get the joke. Oh well!

While eating, one of the restaurant managers came by to socialize. Seriously, he stood chatting with us for at least 30 minutes. I forget which country he was from (sad, I know), but he told us about his fascinating experience serving on cruise ships in Europe and his reasons for joining DCL. My dad, who was a career flight engineer in the Air Force, always wears his rank pins on his hats (Chief Master Sargent). We were especially proud of the passengers and some of the crew who took a moment to thank him for his service. The manager and Dad had a very nice conversation about serving for royal families and the like.

After breakfast, I decided I wanted to do the Mid Ship Detective Agency first (along with the rest of the ship, unsurprisingly). I had to wait behind 3 or 4 families to choose which game and get the supplies. This took about 20 minutes, since you watch a little video and practice and get instructions. I noticed a few of the magic portraits (like the ship you can "steer" using the wheel next to the game desk) weren't working. By the time I finished getting my supplies, we decided to check out Shutters and look at our photos. My mom wanted to wait in case we had photos that evening, but I told her that we'd have a miserable time trying to buy them with the crowd at the last minute before disembarking. Plus, what more photos would we want?


Getting our photos on this ship was A LOT easier than other lines that use the traditional method of walls and walls of photos that you have to search through. There were several shots in our folder, all of them that we had posed for. I noticed that most of the character photos were just as bad as the ones on my own camera. There were at least 4 of the shots we took by the Admiral Donald statue. The shots we had on the staircase, which my mother had most looked forward to, came out terrible. Unless you're supermodel thin, don't do it. Photos taken pointed up at you will NOT bring out your best features! I got into an argument with Mom over which statue photo to choose; we ended up compromising on which shots we liked best. We ended up with 5 prints, one being the best character shot of us with Pluto at CC. My dad, as his souvenir of choice, also always gets a professional photo of our ship. So we added a shot of the Dream.

This was our only encounter with sub-par service. I'm not sure if the personnel who work Shutters are considered cast members, or if we just managed to get the girl with zero personality and slow on the uptake. Not that she was bad, per se, but compared to everyone else we had encountered, it was a surprise. We put our selections down and ask for a photo of the ship. OK. She tried to upsell us to get a leather folder that included a photo of the ship and all the characters. When she first offered it, she made it sound like it came with the photo of the ship, which we wanted. We tell her OK. She looks confused. We find out that no, the folder is extra on top of the photo of the ship. We tell her no. She rings up just our portraits. We ask her about the ship photo. She looks confused. "So, you want just the photo of the ship?" In addition to our portraits, we tell her.

So that took several minutes more than it probably should have, and we walked away with over $100 in photos that was still cheaper than a package.

Note to self: Budget in photos to next cruise.

Mom determined that that was the only customer service she didn't like.

We then parked Dad outside on deck 4 in the "Titanic chairs" to relax while Mom and I did some of the portraits.


We also took the opportunity to check out the kids' clubs. My mom is now eager to take her youngest granddaughters on DCL (and even my teenage nephew is begging to go when we go next time, LOL). We felt a little odd trolling around the kid areas without having a kid, and some of the counselors looked at us curiously and asked if we were looking for someone. Mom wanted to look around the clubs, but we didn't realize that there were several open houses throughout the cruise. There would be one later in the day, but we never made it back.


The theatre, which we never used ... boo.




My favorite art on the ship, LOL






What was nice about the Mid Ship game was how you don't have to go in any specific order. So, your barcode is connected to your progress, no doubt stored on some sort of server on the ship, and so when you use a portrait ... your clue/task is different from the other people playing ahead/behind you. This was good, because there was always at least one group ahead of me already playing. It'd take away the fun of the game if you were spoiled ahead of time. I chose the missing paintings mission, BTW. By the time I had done a few portraits, my energy was pretty spent. A good bit of my energy was being spent on the denial necessary for overcoming being sick. On the way to retrieve Dad, we noticed the Jack-Jack Baby Race was starting down in the atrium:


This was hilarious to watch! Unfortunately, by the time we thought to get Dad so he could see, it was over. Even if you don't have a baby/kids ... check it out for the LOLs. One parent was baiting their child by putting their smartphone in front of him, and getting him to follow it. Sign of the times!

I think at this point, I decided it was time to get into the bathing suit and check out the Quiet Cove hot tub. Please note that it was after noon at this point, and our stateroom still hadn't been cleaned. This was the only time this happened, and we ultimately had to put our "please service room" tag out on the door when it still wasn't clean by 3 PM.

Mom and I got into our suits, and we grabbed 3 lounges directly in front of the hot tub. There were several people in it, and a handful of people in the pool. I decided that it was the right time to get Mom on the Aquaduck! With a lot of trepidation, she agreed--knowing she had promised--and we made our way over, leaving Dad to guard our spot. Thus, sadly, no photos of the hilarity that ensued.

The pools were no more crowded than they had been, and the wait for the Aquaduck was actually less than what it was at CC. Don't get me wrong, the pools were ALWAYS overflowing with bodies. Nevertheless, I found this very strange. There were certainly more sunbathers, though. It was around a 20 minute wait for our turn, and Mom was definitely nervous. To be honest, I was shocked silly she was going through with it. You can't get this woman on any ride more thrilling than Spaceship Earth. Perhaps it was all the "pixie dust" in the air? I'm telling you, they pump it through the air vents. Mom was very gung ho about basically everything, and that's not entirely normal. Usually she'll do things for my sake, but usually only after some convincing. Disney definitely knows how to bring out your youth!

Well, Mom screamed for the entire ride. Laughed and screamed, I should say. For the first half, it was, "OH GOD I'M DYING, OH GOD, OH GOD I'M DYING, I'M GOING TO DIE!" while I laughed and she interrupted each oath to God with laughter. The second half, she admitted how cool it was, and screamed during the very slight, gentle decline to the end of the ride. By the time she recovered once we were back in Quiet Cove with Dad, she admitted to how fun it was. My mother!

From there, we hopped into the hot tub with 3 other people. It was a mom, dad, and adult daughter (omg, it's a small world after all). They were very nice, and we chatted about the cruise. We could see a Carnival ship out in the distance, and they jutted their chin toward it and remarked about how the difference in quality is staggering. Yes, you pay for the quality on Disney, but we all agreed that it's worth it. I'm sure that if I can just get my brother on Disney, he'll see what he's missing.

The water wasn't terribly hot, but the hot water and the sun shining heated us up pretty quick. The glass bottom was cool, and the infinity edge was neat, too. But we got out, relaxed on the lounges for a bit (I went to get more ice cream, shock) ... and then we headed up to deck 13 forward to our favorite circle bench for a nap. There was next to NO ONE up there! We loved this area.




All to ourselves


A look at the pool crowds mid-afternoon

After our nap, we decided it was time to think about heading back to the room to ... alas ... get ready for dinner. I can see why many prefer late seating so they get more out of their day. Honestly, eating so late wouldn't work for us, but it would be nicer if dinner was a little later than 5:45.

While getting ready, the spiel about disembarking procedures was turned on in our room. We took the opportunity to just go ahead and pack. We laughed at all the jokes, and like pros, we had all the non-essentials packed and the luggage ready to go in no time. So, the jibe at making sure to leave out PJ's and toiletries for overnight and not packing it?

....



Yeah, I packed everything. Pajamas and all. All I had out were my clothes to go home in. Ugh. That wasn't fun.

But then the subject of rebooking came up. Now, I didn't expect my parents to even entertain the idea, as this was a special trip and we were only able to pull it off due to the discount. So, imagine my surprise when my parents became very open to the idea of rebooking onboard for a discount and the idea it could be cancelled with a full refund up to 75 days. My mom decided to discuss it over dinner. I decided not to believe it until I was on a Disney ship for a second time.

So, did we rebook? How was the Animator's Palate show? Did we cry during "Believe"? You'll have to find out next time, because it's bed time right now for me!
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:45 PM   #58
MandyMommytoReaghan
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This has been one of the best TR's I have ever read!! Love all your pictures!! Can't wait for remainder of it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:15 PM   #59
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I just went through and read all of your TR so far and love it! Great job! The Dream looks beautiful and I love all your pictures.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:21 PM   #60
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Smile Great Trip Report

I am enjoying your trip report! It is giving me a clue as to what we will hopefully experience on the Fantasy this July! I can' wait to hear the rest of yout trip report! Thanks for writing it!
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