Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum > Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-25-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
nzdisneymom
DIS Veteran
 
nzdisneymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5,791

The 3rd Baltic - July 6 - 18... a trip report group effort

Hi all! We've been off the Magic for a week and I'm finally getting a thread started for our trip report. This will be a group effort as I know several of the other DISers who sailed with us will be chiming in... I love to read reports of the same cruise but from various perspectives! So jump on in - and if you have questions, we'll do our best to answer them.


So, by way of introduction.
NZDisneyMom (me), DH, DSjust-turned-14 and DS12(and 3/4). This was our 5th Disney Cruise. We had sailed the Med in 2007. We booked all of our travel, pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel and transfers and all of our excursions through Disney Cruise Line.

We flew from Atlanta to Gatwick three nights before sailing. We were picked up by our driver who arrived about five minutes after we collected our bags. Our flight was due in at 7 a.m. but we arrived early. DH was a little worried but I told him since we were early, we should just wait in the post-baggage area where the other people were being met and see what happened. Within five minues, our DCL driver was there with his sign. We were his only passengers so we loaded up quickly and were at the hotel within an hour's time.

We stayed at the Renaissance Chancery Court on High Holborn, a two-minute stroll to the Underground and a 10-minute walk from Covent Garden in one direction and the British Museum in another. The hotel was ideally situated for the things we wanted to see and do in our three days in London pre-cruise.

We were able to check-in for the cruise at the hotel, so we did that the day before. Something new for us was that DCL is taking photos, so I couldn't finish check in by myself while DH and the boys were still sleeping upstairs, so we had to stop back by to finish up the check-in process. In the delay, I didn't get our castaway club lanyards, but on sailing morning, I went back and was able to get them when I realized it.

Transfer from the hotel to the port was easy. Because we had done our check-in early on the day before sailing, we were on the second bus from the hotel, leaving about 11:30 on Tuesday morning. We arrived at the port in Dover in just about two hours time. The lovely thing about the whole transfer thing is that we got our bags ready and tagged in the hotel room that morning, let the DCL staff know they were ready and while we were at breakfast, our bags were whisked away and we didn't have to haul them or handle them until they arrived at our stateroom later that day. We packed prudently so we only each had a small backpack/bag with our day-needs in them.

Arriving on the Magic is as special as ever. We were announced and greeted, then directed towards Parrot Cay. As we were walking that way, we saw SharperFin and BabyBear (Shaun and Jill) and while we stopped to chat with them, we told the boys to "go, have fun, see ya later."

Parrot Cay had a wait so we went to the cabin and dropped off our stuff (it was ready earlier than we had been originally told it would be) and while we were in, DS14 came in with his first cup of ice cream

Lunch at Topsiders, and we saw some other DISers (Fivepin and DJPate) who we had met at the hotel, so we caught up with them and their time in Paris and London and Dover. Fivepin's DH was able to give DH an overview tour of the castle we could see from the ship as they had spent the morning there.

After lunch, we walked around the ship, checked out Ocean Quest (which was for 11-13s this sailing, although the Out and About program was for 10-14s). Our 14 y.o. DS had JUST turned 14, so he just pretended to be 13. The last time we sailed, OQ was for 11-14s. Most of what he participated in was on the Out and About schedule, so he met the age criteria that way anyway. DS12 was right at home and loved OQ and O&A. We didn't see much of either boy for most of the onboard time on the cruise.

More to come...
__________________
Cindy D.

Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
nzdisneymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
nzdisneymom
DIS Veteran
 
nzdisneymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5,791

We were in Cabin 6116 which is the cabin we always request... this was our fourth sailing in her. We love the location, just two doors fwd of aft elevators on the port side, deck 6 - just three decks down from the drink station / Topsiders / Pluto's, and three decks up from the Promenade Lounge where we met nightly for chips and salsa and music before dinner. One deck up from the Buena Vista Theater, not directlyy above another cabin so you don't have to worry about the heavy feet of our growing boys. A quick look out the verandah to see what's going on at the Aft exit when docked portside - a great place to watch pilots from the various countries come aboard the ship to help guide her in.

Our stateroom host was Roland. He was excellent, meeting our every need. He brought extra hangers for us, we could always identify our towel animals, our room was always cleaned and ready for us whenever we needed it. He provided lotion, shampoo and conditioner daily (I found on a previous sailing that you do have to ask if you want shampoo, etc., more than every fourth day or so, so I made sure to mention to him how much I love the amenities). Don't ask me how many pounds this added to my checked luggage for the return trip (LOL).

Our servers were Richard from Jamaica (assistant server - we had him when we sailed in 2005 on our first DCL - we adored him then and still do!) and Leo from India as our server - who was a scream and the boys really liked him. If you ever have Leo, ask him about the Baltic sailing about the family where the one boy would eat lemons every night and the other boy only ordered macaroni and cheese and oven-roasted chicken! Yolande was our head server for our section and she was always visible, making sure we had what we needed and engaging in conversation nightly. This was the first time we saw our head server regularly and she was working hard to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Our dining rotation was APL... or as we said Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple The welcome aboard dinner was good - I had the steak and twice baked potato with an apple dessert. It seemed like nearly every night they had a version of an apple dessert, and nearly every night I tried it. Even in the ports, two of our three excursions that had meals / snacks included had apple desserts.

After dinner, we decided to brave the laundry room as we'd been traveling since Friday and it was now Tuesday night. The laundry rooms had been updated since we last sailed. It's a swipe-your-KTTW-card for $2 to wash and $2 for 45-minutes to dry. And $1 for detergent. We used the Purex 3-in-1 sheets and had no problems with them. We also found that if you add time to the dryer before it's done, you get more than 45 more minutes on it, so if you happen to be lucky and get a dryer that had time left on it, you can add 60 minutes for your $2 which works out great when you have a load of jeans. We also found that if you swipe your card and it doesn't successfully process, be sure to check your room statement because it may bill you any way - we had that happen a couple of times - and thanks to Fivepin's alertness, we were aware to check the bill. Guest Services can remove it for you easily - when you check your statement, just tell them how many extra laundry charges you have for each day and they will remove it for you no questions asked. Also, on the first day it's a bit confusing and you'll find people adding time to dryers when they are really trying to wash - because the dryer swipe thing is right above where you add detergent (yet another reason to use the sheets, no worry about tripping yourself up about that). Another thing, be sure to listen to the people in the laundry room ahead of you - they will tell you if a washer isn't working right - one lady had one that didn't wring her clothes out and she reported it and it was "out of order" for a couple of days - but several people started to use it before they got the sign on - but word of mouth stopped them from having her same issue.

We finished our laundry about 9:45 p.m. and the sun had not finished setting - that was a really odd experience for us as we're used to having main seating dining and then being able to watch the sunset and then go in for whatever and it be dark out. But on this cruise the sun rarely went down before 10 or later - and sometimes never got fully dark!

We ordered cookies and milk from room service as became our nearly nightly habit for the first half of the cruise, set the clock up an hour, and finally got to bed about 1 AM. The boys were at OQ for the night and came in before midnight. We didn't set a curfew the first night because I didn't think about it, but after the first night, we would consult the Navigator and do so.
__________________
Cindy D.

Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
nzdisneymom is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 07-25-2010, 10:49 PM   #3
fabumouse
Maybe I should be less intimate with my ice cream scooper!
Has sneeze splat issues
I think maybe I would have *lied* about this
 
fabumouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,375

Let's see how far I get in helping with this group effort.

On my journey there is me, DH, child unit #1 (age 9) and child unit #2 (almost 4).

The big plan was to leave IAH (Houston) at 6:25 pm on Continental. And I was patting myself on the back because surely my girls, who are the biggest non-sleeping kids in North America, surely even they would sleep through a good 1/3 of the journey or more. Right?? Right!

But I didn't account for the delay that caused our plane to actually take off at 11:15pm. The only saving grace in this was that my husband travels almost weekly, so he has a membership in the President's club. 200 squares of cheese (which will return to haunt all of us in a day or so) and 2 Disney movies later, we finally boarded and settled in.

Hooray! They're going to sleep.

Or not.

Kailey (the older unit) discovered the movie system immediately, and after asking me 63 times "but don't we have to swipe our credit card?" [me: probably not] "I think I can't hear b/c we didn't swipe our credit card" [me: you can't hear because your headphones are plugged into small unit's chair, not your own] "but now it is just talking about the flight, I think I need your credit card" [me: that's the captain talking, notice the PA on the top of the screen? it will stop soon] "It's talking in Japanese, I think it's because I didn't swipe a credit card" [me: If you ask for my credit card one more time, I'm going to make you sit next to the guy two rows ahead who is already farting into the aisle].

She quit asking for the credit card, until, of course, the return trip.

27 kicks to the head from Madeleine (small child unit), 18 potty breaks, 400 goldfish crackers and 2 major back spasms later, we arrived in Heathrow.

Got luggage with no problems, car service picked up promptly, and took us directly to the hotel.

The hotel my husband told me to book.

The hotel he is now looking at and slowly shaking his head.

"We're not staying here, driver - this is the wrong hotel".

me: Uh, no it's not. It's the hotel you told me to book.

No, I told you the Park Lane Hilton.

no - you told me the Hyde Park Hilton.

Yes, the Park Lane Hilton is on Hyde Park.

uh, yeah - so is the Hyde Park Hilton.

....... oh.

A normal person would have just checked in for the night and made do. But not DH. So, 90 minutes later, we arrive at the *other* hyde park Hilton, reassure DH that oh, yeah, it's *so* much better , have dinner and try to get some sleep.

Next morning - car arrives promptly, and off to the Mickey ship!!!

__________________
1999 Poly~2004 OffSite~2005 BC~2006 Contemporary~2007 Swan~2008 Hilton~2009 Swan/Magic~2009 Cor. Springs~2009 Car.Beach/Magic~2010 DCL Europe~2010 DL~2011 DCL Alaska~2011 Poly~2012 MV Fantasy~ 2013 DCL Greece

fabumouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 11:28 AM   #4
aurorafan65
Mouseketeer
 
aurorafan65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Philly
Posts: 387

OK - throwing a couple cents in here too

For our trip - it was me, dh, ds (12) & ds (14). This was our 3rd DCL
trip but 5th cruise overall.

We took off for London on the 10pm flt from Philly, which didn't end up leaving till about midnight. This already threw a wrench into dh's
plan of us all sleeping on the flt. The plus for us was entertainment
system wasn't working - so unlike fabumouse the boys & I weren't distracted
by it. We landed around noon London time. In all honesty customs &
immigration wasn't too bad. They have a decent queue system so the
line moved quickly. We were in London for 4 days pre-cruise. I won't
bore you with all the stuff we did, but I have to say it was fun & we
snuck in educational stuff on the boys. One of my favorites was going
to the British museum & seeing the 'oldest' object they have, it's a
stone tool that's over 2 million years old. The boys looked at it &
said 'that's it - it's a rock' It was very funny.

We did our own transportation from London to Dover. We used the
National Express coach. It was pretty painless. There were 2 other
groups on our bus also going to DCL. The one group had 11 people & a
ton of luggage. The bus dropped us at the cruise terminal, which was a
nice bonus. The boarding process was pretty painless, we tried for an
upgrade, but the only rooms that slept 4 were connecting rooms which I
find very noisy so we stayed with our room 2012 - the room of doom!
(think Mayan calendar). On the plus side it is very spacious, it's on
the curve of the ship so there's an extra 3 feet or so between the
window & beds. The down side is NOISE. It's under Session so we could
hear the piano player everynight till 11:59pm. It was so bad I could
sing along the tunes since I could hear them so clearly. We did
complain about it & after 2 days they offered to move us down the hall,
to an ajoining room which we declined. So if anyone reading this is
going to stay in that room - bring earplugs. Other than the noise, it
was a nice room & we had an excellent attendant named Danny. He was
very friendly & accomodating.

We roamed the ship for a bit waiting for the safety drill, you could
tell the ship wasn't very full. Our safety meeting area was in the Walt Disney
theater & there were 22 of us. The crew said normally the entire
section is filled. I heard there were anywhere from 1800 - 2200 people
on-board. I also did laundry at this point since we had been away from
home almost a week. I know someone had asked about the Rainforest room
rates for all 12 days it was around $150 (single). For 7 days it was $99 for a single & $149 for a couple. I ended up getting a 3 day for $84 for a couple -
they didn't offer that at the beginning of the cruise but about 1/2 way
through they advertised the 3 day pass for $49 a single.

We also had the APL rotation for dinning - we did first dinner seating. We had table 50 with Cornwall from St. Vincent & Eric from India. They were SUPER! Very friendly & after the first night remembered everyting we liked or needed. We shared our table with a nice family from NC who also had children 12 & 14. I'm sure DCL does that on purpose. They were first time cruisers but did Adventures by Disney last year to China. We plan on keeping in touch.

Our first Sea day I met up with some DISers for brunch at Palo - it was
fun & it was great to meet so many DISers after talking to them on the
boards. I was impressed with brunch - I'd never been to Palo's before.
A little later in the day we had our DIS meet. Thank you again to
whoever it was that did the bracelets. Again it was wonderful to meet
everyone I'd been talking to. I hope we get to meet again on another
trip.

I love the first sea day - we really didn't do too much but relaxed
after all the walking we did in London. To my suprise both the boys
went to the kids clubs - ds#2 LOVED the OQ, of course he just really
played video games & didn't really do the activites. Again very
surprisingly, ds#1 tried the Stack & wasn't very happy with it. He
said a lot of the kids were jerks. There were a couple that were OK,
but it seemed like a lot of the teens already had traveled together or
knew each other. The most disappointing to him was he stayed up late
(midnight) to do the flubber experiment in the lab & his group's
flubber didn't work because most of the kids were goofing around & not
paying attention to what they were supposed to do. If I would have
realized it earlier I would have had him just do the Out & About which
is 12-14. When I booked the trip the OQ was to 14 so not much else I
can say about that one.
__________________
-------------------------------
aurorafan65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 11:14 PM   #5
nzdisneymom
DIS Veteran
 
nzdisneymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5,791

I really don't like having to have a wake-up call while on vacation, but when you travel that far from home and have such a time-change, it's important to get one or you might just sleep through things you want to do. While we were in London, we had a wake-up call to help us with the time change, and while I really didn't want to wake all of us up early on our first sea day, I had a brunch reservation with the other DISers (as Aurorafan mentioned) at 10:30, so I needed to be up in time to get ready.

Having a sea day for the first day is a really brilliant plan because it does give people a chance to settle in, catch up on some rest, and relax before hitting the ports, especially on a port-intensive itinerary. I left the cabin about 10:15 and my guys were all still asleep!

I had never been to Palo before; DH has no interest, so when LisaTex offered to put together a brunch in the private room, I jumped at the chance to participate. There were 14 of us in this group and another group from our Meet thread had brunch in Palo on a different sea day. It was absolutely beautiful food and the room was beautiful and the company was spectacular! It was great to get names and faces for those I hadn't yet met and everyone was so kind as to let the few of us who hadn't been to Palo before be "up front" for the tour of the brunch buffet! The food was wonderful. I tried a bit of several items and then for my "main" part, I had the margherita pizza (which is cheese and tomatoes). It was so yum. In fact, it was so good that I didn't even attempt to have pizza from Pinocchio's until day 8 or 9 as I knew there was absolutely no comparison!

Brunch ended just in time for the DVC meeting. I might've skipped it as we aren't planning to add on points any time soon, but there was a chance to win a $200 (or was it $300?) on board credit and that is pretty significant on a cruise like this one. Plus our DIS meet was scheduled for 2 p.m. and was going to be in Sessions which was right next to Rocking Bar D where the DVC was. The thing about the DVC was that you had to be present to win so we couldn't bail early to go to the DIS meet, so several of us were late to the DIS Meet.

It was great to meet even more DISers at the DIS Meet. LisaTex had coordinated it and DCL provided drinks and snacks (at least I think they provided them -- if anyone finds out that there were charges involved, please let me know as I'd like to contribute to the cause).

One of the things I wanted to do this trip was get my picture made with characters and also any/everywhere that the Shutters photographers were taking pictures. I had them use my camera when they could as well, but I was hoping to get at least a few good pictures. We had a few done the first day, so I was anxious to see how they turned out and also to start accumulating a pile so I wouldn't have to hunt for them as the week went on.

I also checked out the internet situation and saw several unhappy guests struggling with the internet connection. I had planned to post a blog along the way so this confirmed that I would need to just try to get some free wifi in the various ports and upload via email from my boys' ipod touch rather than paying for negative service. As it turned out, I was able to get internet in Oslo and Copenhagen but not anywhere else (except London), but because I was able to compose the msgs for the blog (and other email) without being online, when I was ready to upload and download mail, my connection time was good and short and I could do it wirelessly from our cabin. I paid the 75-cents per minute and watched my time throughout the week and stayed below what it would've cost for a 100 minute package.

Our first full day onboard was formal night, but we skipped it and instead met Deb. T. and her DH at Topsiders for dinner. But I did get pictures made with Mickey and with Chip and Dale in their formal attire. And Snow White and Aurora were wandering around so I got some pictures with them as well. This trip we seemed to run into a lot of the characters just wandering around the ship as if they belonged there (LOL). In fact one afternoon I saw Peter Pan on Deck 4 or 5... he was leaning over the rail and told me he was looking for something to do

I had planned to go see the comedian later in the evening but was too tired, so I got settled in bed pretty early and watched a movie in the cabin. The boys were out doing OQ and O&A but were finally in by midnight (their curfew that night). Milk and cookies and bed -- Oslo was the next day!
__________________
Cindy D.

Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
nzdisneymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
Señor DonDuck
DIS Veteran
 
Señor DonDuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 574

Group report, how cool! Awesome start, everyone. Can't wait for more.
Señor DonDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
aurorafan65
Mouseketeer
 
aurorafan65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Philly
Posts: 387

couple sea day additions:

we saw the comedian in Rocking Bar D - VERY funny!

Also my dh loved the fact they were showing the World Cup games on the Ariel vision.

Second NZDisney on the characters wandering around. We saw Donald after dinner with no line so I made ds#1 get a picture since Donald is his favorite! One night during the world cup games Mickey & Minnie were out by the Ariel vision - it was really weird because more people were interested in the game then them
__________________
-------------------------------
aurorafan65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
aurorafan65
Mouseketeer
 
aurorafan65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Philly
Posts: 387

On to Oslo -

The boys & I had room service breakfast - we love it! Dh went up to Topsiders since he needs 'real' food!

Oslo - I believe was my favorite city. The weather was a little iffy - DCL must have known since they gave us rain ponchos the night before when the room was turned down. It was about 70ish & misty/drizzly.

We did the Oslo highlights tour which included stops at ski jumps, Vigeland park & a drive-by of the Opera house.

I wish I could remember our guide's name - she was excellent. At the ski jumps (which are going to be used for the world championships next year) we got to ride to the top in a cool diagonal elevator. The view wasn't too exciting since we only saw fog.
Next up was vigeland park which is full of granite sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. I thought it was amazing. Our guide explained how different people interpret the sculptures - it was fascinating.

On the way back to town she explained different buildings & history of the area. We drove by the Opera house which has become a top attraction in the city.

After the tour we got back on the ship & had lunch. The boys did there own thing. Dh & I went back into town. I admit it we were looking for a liquor store we were following another group who was also looking. We gave up after a while & just walked around. I got some pictures I wasn't able to got while we were on the bus for the excursion.

After getting back on-board we sat up on deck 10 for the sail away. It was a little chilly - DCL had blankets available to use so we were toasty.

We didn't do the show that night - we hung out after a lovely dinner in Lumiere's.
__________________
-------------------------------
aurorafan65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 09:29 PM   #9
nzdisneymom
DIS Veteran
 
nzdisneymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5,791

So Thursday was Oslo, and as Aurorofan mentioned, DCL provided ponchos in our cabins on Wednesday night. I had packed three ponchos but as it turned out, two were child sized and my children were no longer child sized so they wouldn't have done us any good. Plus the new ponchos made a nice souvenir from the trip.

As I mentioned, too, we did all our excursions through DCL. They were very organized in getting everyone off the ship that was on an excursion. More so than our previous experiences. They had one person per family / group come up to get the stickers for the bus and you had to bring with you the excursion tickets, everyone's KTTW card, and photo id for the adults (and when in Russia and Stockholm, you had to bring passports). And the CMs checked! We figured out quickly that it was best for DH and the boys to just give me their lanyards and I would go sit near the front while they found another spot to sit - then I could get usually in the first bus group which got us out the door first AND to the places we were going usually first so it wasn't quite so crowded at least in the beginning.

As we left the ship that morning, it was drizzling so the kids and I were glad to have the ponchos. Even though we were on the bus mostly (we did the Norwegian Adventure), we got off enough times that it was nice to be dry.

Our excursion drove us through Oslo and over to the island where the Viking Museum, Maritime Museum, and Kon-Tiki museums were. The first and last were crowded, but the Maritime Museum was spacious enough that it didn't feel so busy. But then at the Maritime Museum, after we watched the film, DS12 and I did the souvenir shopping before the shop got busy and found internet access in the cafe. DS12's legs were really hurting from all the dodgeball and running around and going up and down stairs for two days on the ship, so he was pretty pitiful. I took mercy on him and let him skip looking around the Maritime museum much. My favorite of the three was the KonTiki museum.

The ship would let us exchange currency on board and they had a great program - if you exchanged money with them and kept the ticket they gave you, any of it you didn't spend (paper), you could trade back at the same rate you bought it from them. I had exchanged money ahead of time but thought "what if I get into town and I'm five krone/kroner/krona (depending on which country I was in) short?" so I had picked up some extra in the morning with the idea that I would trade it back at the end of the day.

After lunch onboard, DH and I went out to the shops they had set up at the terminal. We found that the souvenirs we had purchased at the museum were a little bit less than what we would've paid at the terminal, which was what we expected.

Later in the day, I delivered the rest of our Fish Extender gifts (coasters) and then wandered around the ship. The sailaway party was starting and there was no one up on Deck 9, so I got some good pictures and just had fun dancing by myself and watching Mickey and Minnie and the gang. Later on, I walked through Cove Cafe area and saw CarolAnnC and Crissup and DISTeach bundled in their blankets. While I was talking to them, Donald Duck came by, just strolling along, so I got my picture made with him.

I found a phone and called DH to come meet me on Deck 10 in what became our "sailing away from port" spot as we sailed through the fjords. It was really windy that day and we were glad to have our jackets. Even though it had been raining and overcast - in fact the clouds covered the ski runs for much of the day - it was absolutely breathtaking as we left Oslo!
__________________
Cindy D.

Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
nzdisneymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #10
CarolAnnC
Caught Smuggling Jello Shot Syringes From PI
Likes to shoot off her glock in chat
Goin' to the Chapel
 
CarolAnnC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 13,532

Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
Later on, I walked through Cove Cafe area and saw CarolAnnC and Crissup and DISTeach bundled in their blankets. While I was talking to them, Donald Duck came by, just strolling along, so I got my picture made with him.

I found a phone and called DH to come meet me on Deck 10 in what became our "sailing away from port" spot as we sailed through the fjords. It was really windy that day and we were glad to have our jackets. Even though it had been raining and overcast - in fact the clouds covered the ski runs for much of the day - it was absolutely breathtaking as we left Oslo!
I bet they will be putting out those blankets in Alaska sometimes!

I am loving these reports!! Will add some of my own thoughts to it when I have a chance. The memories are sooo wonderful.

Preparing for a trip this weekend to Boston, hence no time yet. DH will be there for the week, and I am going out just for the weekend as I have to be back at work Monday. It is going home for me, so I am excited. So the suitcases remain in the hallway here, lol.
__________________
CarolAnnC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
Deb T.
It's so nice to read for fun again
I love my iPod!
I'm Crazy DIS Tag Lover...now gimme some S'Mores!
 
Deb T.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Beach Club Villas as often as possible!
Posts: 2,973

Jumping in on this report....

Thanks, NZDisneyMom, for starting it.

Our cast of characters were just DH and me. It was our first long cruise without our two adult children, and we spent the whole trip thinking, "DD would have loved that" and "DS would have had fun doing this".

We arrived in London two days prior to embarkation, stayed in the Marriott County Hall (next to the London Eye and with a fantastic view of Big Ben) and had a great time exploring the city.

We hired Silverline Travel to take us from the hotel to the port, and then again from the port to Heathrow on debarkation day. They were prompt and great and I would definitely recommend them to anyone seeking transportation in England. The owner actually did our hotel-to-port trip, and even veered off the interstate for an impromptu tour of the Dover countryside as we neared the port.

Check in was smooth and we met RichC17 and his beautiful family while waiting to board the ship. Boarded the ship and stopped by Guest Relations to pick up Galley Tour tickets then headed up to Topsiders for lunch. Our cabin was ready by the appointed time and by the time I hung our FE and put out our door magnets, all our bags had arrived. We assembled our FE gifts while watching all the port side preparations from our verandah and waiting for the Lifeboat drill to commence. We delivered half our gifts before the 6:15pm Welcome Aboard Let The Magic Begin show. We really enjoyed it even though it was the same show that we’d seen on the first night of our Mediterranean and Mexican Riviera cruises, but with this time there was ventriloquism interjected by Jimmy Tamley and juggling by Ron Pearson, who would be feature entertainers in the coming days of the cruise. Afterward, we popped into the gift shops to see what was new. My goal on this trip was to purchase an authentic set of nested Russian Matryoshka dolls (the more dolls nested inside the better) and I wanted to make sure they hadn’t been made in China. I immediately saw a Captain Mickey Matryoshka doll with a Viking Goofy and then a Russian Donald nested inside! Hand painted AND Disney! Woohoo! But, it was clearly marked, "Made in China" on the bottom . I bought it anyway, though. Just couldn't resist a Mickey version. Oh well. There would still be time in Russia to find the real Russian-made dolls.

Like the previous posters, our rotation was ALP, too, which was the one rotation I hoped we wouldn't get since it put us in the tropical Parrot Cay for formal and semi-formal dinners and the elegant Lumiere’s for Villans and Pirate nights. Oh well, couldn't really complain, though, because dinner would be great regardless. Tonight’s dinner theme was Let The Magic Begin, and dress was cruise casual. We headed for AP’s Table 62 and met our randomly assigned dinner tablemates: a lawyer and pastor (and DIS lurker) from Chicago and two doctors from Philadelphia. Our Head Server was handsome Mario, our Server was Raphael, and our Assistant Server was Hector, who turned out to be our favorite! I'm from "the south" and we love our sweet tea, so Mario and Hector agreed to make me authentic sweet tea every night at dinner! We were disappoiknted to hear that our cruise director was Peter instead of Brent who’d been on the last few sailings. Nothing like Brent's melodic Australian accent to get ya goin' in the mornings. Enjoyed Match Your Mate in Rockin’ Bar D, which never disappoints. We signed on for the 250 minute Internet package for $100 and checked for emails from home. No news was good news. Then it was up to bed and rocked to a really good night’s sleep after moving our clocks forward an hour.
__________________
DVC Members since 1995! OKW, SSR, BLT

62 Disney World Trips so far... next one this winter!
21 Disneyland Trips so far... next one this fall!
1 Disneyland Paris Trip!

DCL PLATINUM!: Magic 1998; Wonder 1999; Wonder 2006; Wonder 2007; Mediterranean Magic 2007; Wonder 2008; Mexican Riviera Magic 2008; Wonder 2009; Wonder 2010; Baltic Sea Magic 2010; B2B Dream 2011/Dream 2011; Dream 2012; Fantasy EC 2013; looking forward to Baltic Magic again in 2015!
Deb T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 01:18 PM   #12
Deb T.
It's so nice to read for fun again
I love my iPod!
I'm Crazy DIS Tag Lover...now gimme some S'Mores!
 
Deb T.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Beach Club Villas as often as possible!
Posts: 2,973

First Sea day...

It was really, really hard to get up this morning, but it was a busy day of meet 'n greets and we needed to fortify ourselves with a nice buffet breakfast at Topsiders. Then off to the Gold and Platinum Castaway Reception at 11am in Rockin’ Bar D, which must have been so boring that I don't even remember what we did there!

The DVC Member Celebration was at 1pm in Rockin’ Bar D. They served complimentary “Blue Hawaiian” drinks (that were actually green in color) to convey a Hawaiian theme. There were also rice krispy treats and cookies. I finally spotted NZDisneyMom and had a nice little reunion with her and her family. The presentation included videos of the Disney Dream cruise ship under construction and DVC’s new “Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’I” (yes, that’s the official name. A mouthful, I know.), also under construction but with point sales that began this week. I was lucky enough to have my name drawn for a black portfolio binder. Yea! (Later in the afternoon, we stopped by the DVC desk to pick up our special Bay Lake Tower DVC pins!)

As mentioned earlier, the DVC drawings ran over time and you had to be present to win, so several of us were a late for the 2pm DIS Meet which had been moved from the Secret Deck 7 aft “veranda” to Sessions in Beat Street. I had a very nice time seeing old friends and meeting new ones while putting faces to DIS names.

Afterward, DH dozed on our veranda while I finished organizing and passing out the rest of our FE gifts.

I’d read that the lines to exchange currency had been long on previous cruises, so I was first in line at 3pm to exchange currency for our ports. Unlike the Mediterranean cruise and our Austrian trip where every country we visited accepted Euros, this trip would require us to manage six different currencies! DH took care of securing £300 ($481.81US) for England before we left home, but now we needed to get the rest of our pastry/Matryoshka/postcard/souvenir/snack money! So, we pooled our cash and exchanged it for 200 Norwegian Kroner for Oslo ($33.08US), 100 Danish Kroner for Copenhagen ($17.54US), 50 euro for Helsinki and Berlin ($69.65US), 8,500 Rubles for Russia ($295.55US), and 300 Swedish Krona for Stockholm ($40.80US). The hardest part was trying to guesstimate how much we would need in each port, knowing that we would prefer not to use our credit cards on the smaller purchases, especially in Russia.

It was the Prince and Princess Formal Night dinner theme in Parrot Cay for us tonight, but we ate with NZDisneyMom and her DH in Topsiders at 6:45pm instead. We then caught Jimmy Tamley’s 7:45 family cabaret show in Rockin’ Bar D, skipped the Twice Charmed stage show at 8:30 (we'd seen it several times before), then caught Ron Pearson’s hilarious adult cabaret show in Rockin’ Bar D at 10:15. After a nice stroll around Deck 10, we were back to our cabin for another great night's sleep.
__________________
DVC Members since 1995! OKW, SSR, BLT

62 Disney World Trips so far... next one this winter!
21 Disneyland Trips so far... next one this fall!
1 Disneyland Paris Trip!

DCL PLATINUM!: Magic 1998; Wonder 1999; Wonder 2006; Wonder 2007; Mediterranean Magic 2007; Wonder 2008; Mexican Riviera Magic 2008; Wonder 2009; Wonder 2010; Baltic Sea Magic 2010; B2B Dream 2011/Dream 2011; Dream 2012; Fantasy EC 2013; looking forward to Baltic Magic again in 2015!
Deb T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 01:43 PM   #13
Deb T.
It's so nice to read for fun again
I love my iPod!
I'm Crazy DIS Tag Lover...now gimme some S'Mores!
 
Deb T.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Beach Club Villas as often as possible!
Posts: 2,973

And with Oslo, we're now caught up in this TR...

DH was up early to video and photograph our entry into Port Akershus Kaia in Oslo. He was eager to see if we would dock within sight of the webcam that he’d glimpsed the ship during the cruise before ours, and we did! Throughout the very early morning, the captain and port pilots had already navigated us through 60 miles of narrow fjords (with 40 islands) on Norway’s southeastern coast, close to the Swedish border, and we were really looking forward to watching the scenic trip back out to sea that afternoon!

The weather was chilly, damp, and drizzly, so we donned waterproof/windproof jackets, ate breakfast at Topsiders, and headed out to explore on our own. On the agenda? Eat Norwegian pastry, look at Norwegian sweaters, and visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park. DH mostly enjoys casually walking through non-touristy areas of towns, so we spent quite a bit of time walking around the city. Then we purchased tickets for the tram for 140 Norwegian Krone ($22.53US) at the Tourist Center. We boarded the tram to the Vigeland Sculpture Park that DH had read about in Rick Steve’s Scandinavian Tour Book.

Afterward, we continued riding the tram around the city while keeping an eye out for a local bakery. I finally spotted one, and we both hopped off the tram just a few feet away. The English-speaking girl inside was nice as we each chose our treat and something to drink. This is where we learned that there is an extra charge in the northern European countries if you are “eating in” instead of “taking away”. We sat at a little bistro table in front of the tiny bakery and enjoyed watching the people and traffic go by. My cinnamon roll tasted wonderful. DH had a pastry that was inside a container with a vanilla and raspberry filling and declared it the best he’d ever eaten!

We rode the tram around for a little while longer, then hopped off when we reached the port. The Akershus Fortress, Castle, and Church were directly across the street from where The Magic was docked, so we decided to hike up to the side entrance and take a look around. The stone fortress was really pretty, so it was easy to see why it is still the principal location for official functions and state occasions.

Back onboard, we ran all over Deck 9 (to Cove Café, Pluto’s Dog House, and drink station), and also ordered the All Hands on Deck Cheese Platter from room service, to better enjoy the 90 minutes of scenic fjiords from our veranda when we cruised back out to sea. We noticed that one very official-looking gray-haired senior officer appeared to be pacing near the gangway ten minutes after we were supposed to have left. Soon, a man came out of the port shops and through the gate carrying a large bag and the officer immediately approached him, talked for a few seconds, and then the officer actually had to go into the shops to pull a woman out! I believe she was completely clueless that she was holding up the whole ship from leaving port! Immediately after she was ushered onboard, the gangway was pulled inside and we slowly pushed away from the dock and began our breathtaking journey through Oslo’s fjords. It was amazing how close our large ship came to all the islands and other watercraft!

At 6:30, we went to Ron Pearson’s comedy show, then Lumiere’s for its French Dinner theme. I needed to get our laundry done, so we skipped Jimmy Tamley’s 10:15 adult ventriloquism cabaret show in Rockin’ Bar D and were able to snag two washers on deck 7. The dryers took two 45-minute turns to dry, so it was really late by the time we were able to retire for the night. Fortunately, we didn't have an early excursion in the morning.
__________________
DVC Members since 1995! OKW, SSR, BLT

62 Disney World Trips so far... next one this winter!
21 Disneyland Trips so far... next one this fall!
1 Disneyland Paris Trip!

DCL PLATINUM!: Magic 1998; Wonder 1999; Wonder 2006; Wonder 2007; Mediterranean Magic 2007; Wonder 2008; Mexican Riviera Magic 2008; Wonder 2009; Wonder 2010; Baltic Sea Magic 2010; B2B Dream 2011/Dream 2011; Dream 2012; Fantasy EC 2013; looking forward to Baltic Magic again in 2015!
Deb T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 08:47 PM   #14
nzdisneymom
DIS Veteran
 
nzdisneymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5,791

... Finishing Oslo day.

We have a family tradition to get chips and salsa in the Promenade Lounge before dinner each evening while listening to whatever music is being performed. This cruise was a group known as The Right Stuff - and they were great. Usually in the lounge, they were a duo or a trio, but there were five or six in the entire group, so you got a different configuration each time. We enjoyed them each evening!

On this particular late afternoon as we were enjoying our pre-dinner snack, DS12 mentioned that he'd just seen Minnie Mouse in the lobby. DS14 had just gone up to get a drink from Deck 9, so through a series of miscommunications, I went to get my picture with Minnie and the boys met us at the entrance to Lumiere's without DS14 getting to finish his snack, plus they were ten minutes early. DH met me as I was finishing my photo with Minnie (she remembered me from the deck party earlier that afternoon - she pointed to the upper deck and did a little dance to ask if that was me!). Anyway, when we got to our table in Lumiere's, Leo asked how we were and we were a bit discombobulated so I told him that we'd had miscommunication and DS14 didn't get to finish his chips and salsa. FWIW, I had told DS14 that I would go get him some and bring into the dining room, but he didn't want me to. Well, Leo disappeared for a few minutes and came back with exactly that! DS14's smile was huge - and he told me later that I should take his allowance for the week ($5) and add it to Leo's gratuity at the end of the cruise. DS12 ordered his "big boy chicken" with his mac and cheese. I had the chicken caesar salad because I knew I was going to ask for creme brulee cheesecake from Parrot Cay for dessert DH had sea bass. And when it was time for dessert, DH ordered the "sampler" that comes with three very small pieces of dessert, but Leo brought me TWO slices of creme brulee cheesecake AND the creme brulee that Lumiere's was also serving. He said if DH could have three desserts then I should too As it turned out, DH didn't care for his desserts so he ate one of the pieces of cheesecake

After dinner, there was no line for Daisy or Goofy so we got our pictures made with them in their Scandinavian costumes. I exchanged back our NOK and then chatted with Aimee the shopping guide to figure out how much cash I thought I'd need for Russia. As it turns out, we pretty much were on the same budget that Deb T. posted. I had gotten most of our cash ahead of time (oh, I think I already wrote about that) but just wanted to be sure to have a little extra "just in case."

It was still chilly from the day so we ended the night getting hot chocolate and snagging our photos from Shutters. The boys were in early and we were all asleep by 11:30 as we had an 8:15 wake up call the next morning for Copenhagen.
__________________
Cindy D.

Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
nzdisneymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 10:59 PM   #15
fabumouse
Maybe I should be less intimate with my ice cream scooper!
Has sneeze splat issues
I think maybe I would have *lied* about this
 
fabumouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,375

I last left you with the photo of the Mickey ship.

So - we board, and unlike our Carribean choice, we did not pack swimsuits or anything for the first few hours. We parked our luggage at Parrot Cay while we ate (and here is a tip for anyone who has not done all this stuff before, and the same tip for people who have husbands like mine: KEEP that navigator they shove in your hands as you are walking onboard, because it tells you were you can eat, and when the daily activities are. You can ask any crew member as well, but they are running around trying to get everyone safely on the ship and are very distracted, so really really - hold onto that paper).

Our room was ready earlier than promised, we (I ) sort of unpacked and then we found our dinner rotation. I wish I had a photo of that night, because it was probably the most organized we ever were, as a group of 10.

The following day was a day at sea. I got up crazy early, the family slept in. But they made up for it at dinner:



Aren't they cute?

Our friends did a ton of photos before dinner - and every time they dressed up - which I would hugely recommend.
__________________
1999 Poly~2004 OffSite~2005 BC~2006 Contemporary~2007 Swan~2008 Hilton~2009 Swan/Magic~2009 Cor. Springs~2009 Car.Beach/Magic~2010 DCL Europe~2010 DL~2011 DCL Alaska~2011 Poly~2012 MV Fantasy~ 2013 DCL Greece

fabumouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: