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Old 05-17-2012, 11:40 PM   #16
kmedina
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Hey! I started to read your WDW TR but you had gone too far along for me to catch up with everything going on in my life. Hopefully now it has slowed down so I can keep up with this one!


Toward the end of that one, I really picked up the pace. I really want to get the Disneyland one up and running shortly after we get back. Hopefully, this one will be done by then. A month should be enough time to wrap this. It's nice to see you here. If you get behind, it's okay. With all you have going on, I understand. That band is really important to you and Fran. I am happy for you. The good thing is once it is written, you can read as much or as little as you like at your own pace.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:33 AM   #17
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Settling Into the Beautiful Ship

As beautiful as this ship is from the outside, it is even more beautiful from the inside. It was all done up for Christmas too, so the views everywhere you look are utterly majestic.







We made our way to the room, 8166 on Deck 8. This is an aft (back) room located near the elevator on the port side (left). It was a deluxe family ocean view room. At 241 square feet, it was quite a bit smaller than the room we just stayed in the previous week. This is a good size for a cruise ship I am told. The bed was raised, and we were able to store quite a bit of our luggage under it. There were four of us and we were eight days into our trip. Obviously, we had a lot of luggage. I asked Crap to get pictures of the room, but he limited the shots to these. Since he never took pictures of the bathroom, I want to say that it was split. One room had the toilet and a sink. There was a separate room with a shower and a sink. Both rooms were small but quite nice. This came in handy more than once on our short trip. It really was a Beautiful room.











Our big double stroller was too big to even fit through the door. Xander did not need a stroller on ship, so we figured it needed to be folded up in our room. Anytime we took it out, Crap would have to carry it out folded. The halls were big enough to navigate with the stroller where the cabins were, but got harder when other people or their luggage were in the hallway. Bags were already being delivered to the rooms at this point. Luckily, our room was near the elevator, so we did not have too many bags to clear with it (this time).

Some of my readers have never cruised before, so I will be explaining things the more experienced cruisers already know. Every day, your steward delivers a personal navigator to your room. A steward is the person who cleans your room and ensures your needs are met. If you need something, you let your steward know. He acts as your on call front desk person, and he comes around often to check on you. When he is not checking up on you, he is cleaning each room twice a day. In typical Disney fashion, our steward was amazing. I feel badly that neither Crap, nor I can remember his name. The personal navigator is handout that informs you of everything (and I do mean everything) going on in the ship that day. It has a map of the ship on the back of it, so you can determine where you need to go to do what. Our personal navigator informed us that the only place that was still open for lunch was Cabanas. Your dinner assignments and pre-booked excursion information is also in your room when you arrive.

We actually needed our steward soon after entering our room. There was a large wet patch in the carpet at the base of the closet, and one of the wave phones was not working. Crap wanted to ensure that the cabin next to us did not have a leaky shower or worse yet toilet. DCL charges $250 for wave phones if they are lost or damaged. Since it was not working when we checked in, Crap wanted to point that out right away too. That would help us avoid the charge and get it replaced quickly. Each room has two. Using them is a free way (cell phone minutes are steep) to stay in touch with others. The nursery and club staff also call your wave phone if they need to get in touch with you. This came in handy more than once when we were away from our room. Anyone on the ship can contact anyone else on the ship using a wave phone. Our steward said he would look into both issues and get back with us. A tip for first time cruisers is turn your cell phone off unless you have international roaming. I never used mine on ship and put it away as soon as we sailed off. Since the phone is always searching for updates, it does it automatically when it's on. Luckily, this mistake cost only cost me around $11, because the agent retroed me into a package. It would have been double that had she not changed it just from searching for updates. The phone must have died less than 24 hours into the cruise, so a longer lasting battery on a longer cruise could cost a lot more. Dropping $11 for nothing still stinks. I wish I knew to turn the phone off. Lesson learned.

Connor had nursed during breakfast that morning, but that was four hours ago. He usually does not go that long in between meals and was ready to eat again. While I nursed him, Crap and Xander relaxed in the room. All of our bags were delivered before we ever left the room. The bags with only souvenirs and dirty clothes from WDW were placed under the bed right away. It was almost 3pm by the time we headed up to Deck 11. We booked this cruise almost 11 months in advance, so we were able to dine in the first seating. The first seating starts at 5:45pm while the second seating starts at 8:15pm. Dinner was less than 3 hours away, so we all decided to eat very lightly. Most food and drink other than alcohol and bottled water (unless purchased at a bar or the movie theater) on the ship is included with the fare price. I will mention anytime something required an extra payment once I reach that point.

There was barely anything left by the time we got up there. Cabanas is buffet style, and everything in there was self-serve. A lot of people dining, so it took us a while to find a table. We actually lucked into a nice table on the outside part of the restaurant. The weather was lovely, so it was a great catch. We had chicken tenders and mac and cheese. For dessert, we had chocolate chip cookies. Those were the only things left. These tasted somewhere in between quick service and table service. They were good, but not great.







Lunch service stopped around 3pm I believe, so I understand why they did not replenish everything else. People who entered the ship earlier had better options of where and what to eat. Enter as early as possible. The drink station is located near Cabanas as well, so Crap and I got our first sodas. Xander only drinks milk and bottled water (by choice). He is that picky with his food too, and he is allergic to so many things. These things were not provided at the drink station. Luckily, he still had a bottle and a half of water from WDW. We did not do the grocery stop, so we were almost out of water. Our plan was to buy water on ship (at an extremely large price the next day). This backfired on me a little (which you will see why on Day 2), and I was also regretting our decision not to take bottles we were offered after the Wishes cruise.

After the late lunch, we headed back to our room. I wanted to unpack everything, since there was not a lot of space to leave bags loose. While unpacking, we got the announcement that it was time to go do the mandatory evacuation drill. This is not exactly fun, but it is good information. Each guest in the room goes down to the zone listed on the key to the world card. Despite multiple announcements, one of the parties in our group came down late. Crew members cannot dismiss people until everyone is accounted for.

They show you where to stand, where to get back up vests if you do not have time to get them from your room, and where to check in. Once everyone was accounted for and they made some jokes, the entire group is dismissed. After seeing the Titanic exhibit and reading about the Concordia mess, I am happy to participate in this boring event. Some of the more experienced cruisers were complaining about the drill, but I really appreciated it. The only thing that was slightly hard was that Connor nursed again (he was probably making up for over four hours with no milk). Since we were not allowed to leave formation, I had to do this standing up. It was actually harder than when I did it on TSMM, because Xander kept attaching himself to me as well. Luckily, he nursed for less than 10 minutes. He was nursing when they came to check him in, but they just had to take my word that he was under there. The cast member acknowledged him with a there he is once he was finished.

We rushed back to our room after the drill. I wanted to finish unpacking before dinner, but we were running out of time. Crap insisted that we head down before I finished, because he did not want to be late for our 5:45pm dinner time. Unless you decide to do a quick service restaurant or book one of the adult only meals, you show up for dinner at your assigned restaurant every night around the same time. You rotate to one of the three main restaurants. Yes, I wrote around. I found out later that we did not need to show up right at 5:45pm. The goal is to have enough time to comfortably dine and get out of there before the 8:15pm diners enter. Our head waiter said we could arrive up until 6:15pm and still be out on time. That means that you have a 30 minute arrival window (with the first seating anyway). I only had less than ten minutes of unpacking left when I returned to the room that night, so I wish I knew that before dinner.

Anyone who is not bored and comes back for the next update can see our first assigned restaurant in the next update. I know this update was not fun, but this was the most boring part of the cruise. It got much better from there, I promise.

Last edited by kmedina; 05-18-2012 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:47 AM   #18
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[This was our very first cruise, so we started with a 3 day cruise. We figured 3 days would not be that hard if we were miserable. When it was over, we were wishing we took a longer one. Next time, I want to do at least 7 days.

[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

Everyone says that. Our first (and only so far) cruise was in 1997 on a 7day Princess Caribbean cruise. I can't imagine a shorter cruise. You barely get settled and figure out where things are and the cruise is over.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:19 AM   #19
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Everyone says that. Our first (and only so far) cruise was in 1997 on a 7day Princess Caribbean cruise. I can't imagine a shorter cruise. You barely get settled and figure out where things are and the cruise is over.
So true. The rooms are small, so you have to unpack to get all of the bags out of the walkway. It took a long time to unpack everything. Less than 72 hours later, we repacked it all. Are you planning another cruise soon? I cannot wait to go back.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:58 AM   #20
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Joining in! Enjoying you report so far. We are cruising for the 1st time next April on the Magic from Texas. Very excited to see how your 1st cruise went.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #21
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Joining in! Enjoying you report so far. We are cruising for the 1st time next April on the Magic from Texas. Very excited to see how your 1st cruise went.


If you are enjoying it after reading the boring update, then you are in for a treat. It gets better and better as the trip moves along. The first few hours with the drill and getting settled in are not as fun. You will love cruising. I cannot wait to cruise again.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:09 PM   #22
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Joining! I enjoyed your TR so I'm coming over to read the cruise report. I've never cruised (neither has my DH) so I know literally nothing about it. But I am interested in learning and possibly doing one in the future! And of course, if we go on a cruise it will be a Disney one.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:59 PM   #23
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Joining! I enjoyed your TR so I'm coming over to read the cruise report. I've never cruised (neither has my DH) so I know literally nothing about it. But I am interested in learning and possibly doing one in the future! And of course, if we go on a cruise it will be a Disney one.


Thank you. Nice to see you here. We were surprised with how quickly we got the hang of cruising. It will take a while before we're experts, but it was pretty easy going. You will love it when the time comes. The other cruise lines may be nice, but I will probably only go Disney too.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:53 PM   #24
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Thank you. Nice to see you here. We were surprised with how quickly we got the hang of cruising. It will take a while before we're experts, but it was pretty easy going. You will love it when the time comes. The other cruise lines may be nice, but I will probably only go Disney too.
Thanks! I'm curious: did you experience motion sickness on the cruise at all (or has anyone you know)? That is honestly my biggest hesitation when it comes to cruising. I have a horrible history of motion sickness (not on most rides, but in vehicles), so I just worry about getting it on the ship and not being able to escape! There's not enough Dramamine in the world to save me when it hits me hard... My parents never have motion sickness problems, yet both of them got terribly ill from turbulent seas on the one cruise they did. Just wanted to hear from your experience!
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:45 PM   #25
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Can't wait to get to the fun stuff!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #26
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I'm here! I so want to go on a Disney Cruise! We're debating between the cruise or going to Aulani. Decisions, decisions.

Can't wait to hear all about the cruise.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:59 AM   #27
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Thanks! I'm curious: did you experience motion sickness on the cruise at all (or has anyone you know)? That is honestly my biggest hesitation when it comes to cruising. I have a horrible history of motion sickness (not on most rides, but in vehicles), so I just worry about getting it on the ship and not being able to escape! There's not enough Dramamine in the world to save me when it hits me hard... My parents never have motion sickness problems, yet both of them got terribly ill from turbulent seas on the one cruise they did. Just wanted to hear from your experience!
I've had problems with dizziness since right around the time I got pregnant with Connor that are still unresolved. Sometimes I get so dizzy that I nearly pass out. It did not really get bad at WDW, but there was one time on the ship where it was pretty bad. That will be in my very next update. My sister and my husband's Aunt are frequent cruisers with motion sickness. They usually dramamine throughout the duration of their cruises.

Both have told me that they are fine as long as they do not miss a dose. Since they both learned that the hard way, I wanted to be prepared. I bought some at Target as a precaution before we ever left Vegas. People say it cost a lot more on the ship, but I am not sure. Even though I was prepared, I do not like to medicate unnecessarily. If I was going to have a reaction though, I wanted to be ready right away. That plan did not work our very well, since I did not read the label until after we entered the ship. I do not want to spoil too much, but you know it turned out well since I keep mentioning how awesome it was.



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Can't wait to get to the fun stuff!!
I should have a lovely albeit poorly shot and very short video that shows just how awesome that night got in the next update. My eyes water up with joy when I watch it.

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I'm here! I so want to go on a Disney Cruise! We're debating between the cruise or going to Aulani. Decisions, decisions.

Can't wait to hear all about the cruise.


It is so nice to see you over here. Although I have never been to Aulani, that is on my wish list of future vacations either. I can tell you that cruising was amazing, but I bet Aulani is too. Shannon had a great idea on another thread. We should all take cruises to Hawaii. That sounds like the way to go.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:29 AM   #28
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That ship is gorgeous! I love the Christmas decorations, so pretty!

Great picture of Xander in the porthole. Did he love sitting there and watching the ships and the water?

That's a great tip about the cell phones. Our last cruise was 9 years ago, so cell phones weren't as big of a deal. We had them, but they weren't mini computers, so we never got them out. I wouldn't have thought about the phone doing an update either.

I can't wait to see your pictures and impressions of the restaurants. They look amazing, and I'm already obsessed with Animator's Palate.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:06 PM   #29
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The photo of Xander standing up against the window gives me the willys. I have a strange fear of heights, and I remember watching my son (at age 2) walk on a 3rd floor walkway with railings (quite safe) and having my stomach drop. It just looks so scary like his back is open to water.
Waiting anxiously for your next update. We are about to book the December Panama Canal Cruise on the Wonder. It took some time to get my boss to agree to the time off, and now I have to pay down the credit card so I can get this cruise on the Disney card so we have no interest for the 6months. So looking forward to your report about your cruise so we have a good view of what is to come. 14 days with mostly sea days.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:04 PM   #30
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I gave up trying to catch up on the TR.


And when I come over here, I'm going to need my dramamine.
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