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Old 05-27-2013, 03:22 AM   #1
MomoMama
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1st time Magic -3yr old princess/Food Allergies/Galveston

We got back from our first Disney cruise, Magic, on May 18th. Before the trip I got so much information about DCL from DIS board, I felt like I already knew everything I needed to know when I was on the ship though it was my first time. As I was looking back and trying to document our magical cruise, I thought I should write a mini-report here. Maybe someone will find some information useful, as I did. Besides I just want to brag about it because we had a great time!

I know there are other trip reports on this same 8-day cruise. Mine will not be as all-around, but will be more about what was like for our daughter who just turned 3. Just like any other 3-year-old, she loves Disney movies. She was a little shy with Santa and Easter Bunny, but no longer scared of them, so we felt she was ready for her first Disney vacation. She enjoyed meeting the characters, and there were so many opportunities. And she has multiple food allergies, so I will write about her food choices. Food she needs to avoid are gluten/wheat, eggs, and tree nuts, among others. Her food allergies were one of the reasons we choose Disney vacation, as I heard Disney is "food allergy friendly."
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:40 AM   #2
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Day 1 -Galveston, Texas

Galveston
We live about 2 hrs drives away from Galveston, so naturally we drove ourselves there. I checked the parking options prior to our trip, and selected Galveston Park N Cruise because 1) They have indoor garage 2)They are located right across the street from the terminal, so no need to wait for the shuttle 3) They had $10 off special for the Mother's Day cruise. So we pre-paid $59.54 including tax for 8 nights cruise. DH dropped off DD and me at the terminal, then went to park the car. As he was leaving the parking the rain started to pour. The people at the parking gave him a disposable rain coat, which saved him from being soaking wet!

When we got to the island, we were too early for our check-in time. So we stopped at Target. There is a Target not too far from the port, if you need a last-minute shopping. When you are coming from I-45 to the island, it will be on your left and will not miss it.

The Galveston port is not fancy, but they did decorate well for DCL. They setup a photo opp next to the checking desks, and I saw Captain Mickey was there. But by the time we finished our check-in and went to see him, he was already gone. There was no one to tell us if/when he would come back, so after waiting for about 10 minutes, we left to board the ship.

Dining
Upon boarding we were greeted, and told to go have lunch. I mentioned about DD's food allergies, and was told to go to the desk setup at Rockin' Bar D. I talked to one of the CMs there, and made sure the allergy information I noted with our reservation was there in their system. Then we went to eat at Parrot Cay. I talked to a head server there, and as soon as I mentioned about the multiple food allergies DD has, he knew who she was. That is when we met Mr.Bhoola the head server, one of the wonderful men who took care of her meals during the cruise. With his suggestion, we ordered GF pizza, grilled chicken, and steamed broccoli for DD's lunch. I got her sliced cheese and mini tomatoes from the buffet while she waited for her special meal. The grilled chicken was moist and tasty, we pre-ordered the same chicken for DD's dinner, along with rice and steamed vegetables.


As we were leaving Parrot Cay, I asked one of the waiters if our assigned table for dinner was a 4-people table. We were told the table was for 8, meaning we would be sharing the table with another family. I did request a table just for us, along with the second seating. So I went back to the desk at Rockin' Bar D, and asked for the table assignment change. They were able to change it, so I do not know why they did not do that in the first place.

Since we had the second seatingr, later we had a small sandwich from Goofy's Gallery at deck9 as afternoon snack. DD got fruits and self-serve soft ice cream. I asked a CM at Goofy's Gallery if the soft ice cream was egg-free, and he was willing to check it for me. Luckily, it was egg-free!

Stateroom
After lunch we went to our room. Our luggage was already there, so we unpacked. There is a step to the bathroom, and metal cover's sharp edge was exposed. I learned it by cutting my toe... I asked the Room Host to do something before my DD gets hurt. His temporally fix was to cover it with masking tape. Hope they will take care of the issue during the dry dock fix...

Activities and Characters
We went to the Boat Drill, which was a long wait and boring for many little children. Then it was time for the Sail Away party. By this time it was no longer raining and the weather was getting better. At deck9 DD got a little toy for the party from CM. We went to deck10 for a better view.

The characters did not stay long, but the music and dance continued.

Then we saw Captain Mickey and sailor Pluto at Lobby Atrium. The lines were not too long, probably because main diners were already at the restaurants?


I did registered DD to the kids club online, but I still had to stay in line to get her Mickey band. The line was not too long, but one of the families in front of us was taking more than 30 minutes to register their kids. There were only 2 CMs at the desk, so the wait was long... When it was our turn, they had DD's allergy information and asked us questions like if she will be there during kids' dinning hours, can she participate in activities that involves food, etc. I took her to Oceaneer Lab to try out. I thought she was too young for the Lab, but she said she wanted to stay, so I let her. But within 10 minutes I got a text to my wave phone saying DD wanted to be picked up...
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:51 AM   #3
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Day 2 -Day at Sea

Dining
We got up and went to Lumiere's for breakfast. The night before we were told Lumiere’s is the only place that can prepare special pancakes and waffles for her at breakfast time. We ordered fruits and yogurt w/o granola and GF&Egg-free pancakes for her. She was happy to have pancakes, but did not like them much. Also it took them long to make the pancakes, maybe they were having a busy morning.

We went back to Lumiere's for lunch, as this was the only lunch place that can prepare the special meals. We had stir-fried rice noodle pre-ordered the night before. The head server brought the dish with GF soy sauce on the side.


For the dessert the chef prepared a chocolate cake with berry sauce. DD does not like chocolate, so only ate the berry sauce. I tasted the cake, and thought it was not bad at all, though of course it was not like a "regular" cake. It was very chocolaty, and not too sweet.


For the afternoon snack, DD got an apple at deck9, while we ate chicken tenders...


We had our formal night at Lumiere's. I heard formal night at Lumiere's is the preferred assignment, and we were lucky to be assigned so. I can see how less formal you would feel at Parrot Cay. Lumiere's has the Beauty and the Beast picture on the wall, and roses with the light fixtures.




They had Captain's reception at the Lobby. The captain was busy for the photo opp and all crews were busy talking to the guests. We did not talk to anyone but we were able to get the complementary drinks before going to the dinner.

I think DD had grilled fish that night. And for dessert, they served this "mystery" dessert.

I have seen the picture of this allergy special dessert on DIS board and read the comments that the cake was not eatable. DD did not want the dessert, not even the berries. So I tried the cake a little...and I could not say what it was made of. It was brown but did not taste like chocolate. I would not call horrible or uneatable, but could not say it was good. Still I appreciated the chef's efforts to make a special dessert.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:13 AM   #4
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Day 2 -Day at Sea

Activities and Characters
The 1st Princess Gathering was scheduled at 11:30am. DH went to stay in the line at 11am, and got a spot in the line forming in Promenade lounge. I took my time to dress DD in her dress. The line was crazy long, and moved really slowly. After having DH stay in the line for about 1 hour, I switched the spot with him so he could go walk around with DD. The wait was so long, my young 3-year-old got tired before meeting the princesses...

You form 1 line to see all princesses, one by one. Each princess had a Shutters photographer.

Princess would take your hand...


give you a hug...


sign an autograph...

before having pictures taken.

Good thing about being on a cruise was DD could wear a big princess dress and pose with the princesses. This kind of dresses would be so uncomfortable to wear in WDW and walk around. Plus we were not flying for this trip, so bringing an extra suitcase for her dresses was not really a problem for us.

After the Princess Gathering, we went to deck4 to see if Alice was there. Alice had 15 minutes appearance schedule there and we were late for it, but seems she decided to stick around after her scheduled time.


After lunch we went to deck9 to get drinks, and saw Max at the elevators. I did not know who Max was till I met him there that day. Not knowing who it was, DD had a picture taken with him. Then CM told us he is Goofy's son. WHAT???GOOFY has a son??! I never saw that in the classical animations...


After DD’s long nap, we went to see Minnie in Preludes. I had to stay in the line for a while for this. This was a formal night, so she was dressed in a gorgeous gown.


After Minnie's appearance, Chip and Dale were scheduled so we stayed there. It was worth waiting because those guys were so funny! DD loved the interaction with them and she was completely relaxed with them. And I had fun too!



We saw the show "Twice Charmed" that day. DD has never been to a theater and we were not sure how she would behave, but since one of her favorite princesses was Cinderella, we thought we would give it a try. She liked the show and was able to sit through the show. We got to the theater a little late, and it was already full. CM setup folding chairs for us and we were able to sit. But people still kept coming to the theater after us and they had to sit on the floor.


As we were leaving Lumiere's for dinner, we saw Daisy dressed up in the Lobby. She was about to leave, but we were able to get few pictures.


Then it was Mickey's appearance, dressed in tux! That night we got a nice family photo with Mickey, all of us dressed up!



Deck9 was quiet at night.

I got to see how Mickey pool looked like, without all the kids.


All the pools were a lot smaller than I expected. I almost could not believe they were all the pools they had.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:46 AM   #5
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Beautiful, awesome, gorgeous pictures!

Great trip report! I'm enjoying it!

I hope you post more pictures!!!!

I'm going back to look at them AGAIN
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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Loving this TR as well. Thanks for the pics too. I'm seeing a lot of things I've never seem before!

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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Thanks!

Thanks for reading! I sure will post more pictures!
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Hi! I'm loving reading your trip report so far - your photos are great
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #9
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Day 3 -Day at Sea

Activities and Characters
The second Princess Gathering was scheduled this day. I wish they had spread the 2 gatherings apart during the cruise, but I guess that was not possible. I thought there will be less people at the second gathering, but not really...the line was still very long, maybe slightly shorter than the 1st day. My DH was not the only one staying in the line again for their precious little princesses...

The same princesses, just a different order.

I have read about a character showing up to entertain the kids waiting in the long line for the Princess gatherings. There was no one during the 1st day, but the 2nd day Peter Pan showed up! He showed up late though...and just when it was my DD's turn to see the princesses! Peter Pan got DD's attention, as Cinderella tried to pose for a picture with her...




There were pot holes with cushions for seating in front of Rockin' Bar D.




While My DH took DD to the pool, I went to the gym and spa. After a light workout, I enjoyed the sauna and hot stone chair in the spa. I pre-purchased the day pass for $16, and it was well worth it. Since it was early on the cruise, the rain forest room was not crowded at all.



We had the tickets to Tea with Alice at 4:00pm at Studio Sea. I woke up DD from the late nap and hurried to the event. We were probably the last family to get there; all the front tables were taken. They served apple juice in a tea pot. There were also chocolate chip cookies, which DD could not eat. I brought gummy candies in case she wanted to eat something, but she just enjoyed pouring apple juice from the tea pot.

DH thought the event was boring, but I thought it was a cute event for the little girls. DD was too young to understand and fully enjoy the event.

There was a photo opp with Alice and Mad Hatter at the end.

Mad Hatter was great at making funny faces when posing for the pictures.



As we left Studio Sea, we saw Sailor Goofy at the Lobby!




We sent DD to the kids club. She preferred the Lab over the Club, and stayed there for about 2 hours. I held the wave phone in my hand expecting a call while she was there, but did not get a call! DH and I were able to go to deck9 and relax on the lounger, sipping pina colada and peppermint mocha.


As we left the Oceaneer Lab, we met Belle on deck5. She noticed DD wearing an Alice dress, and said she had the Alice story in her book. Belle took time talking about the book with my DD, and spent 3, maybe 5 minutes with her. DD was a lot more relaxed than she was at the princess gathering, and was not shy talking to Belle.

It was a really magical moment, and I was so glad that I packed that Alice dress for this trip!


Dining
I did not take pictures and cannot remember what DD ate that day. But she had Mickey bar ice cream for dessert at dinner. The night before our waiter said Mickey bar ice cream had eggs and could not serve it. But later we ordered them via room service and checked the package. There was no egg in it! Maybe the ice cream used to have eggs and they were from a different supplier? We do not know. But when we were on the ship, it did not contain eggs. DD skipped the chocolate coating and ate the vanilla ice cream inside. It was too big for a 3-year-old, so I was happy to help her finish it.

I read many comments on DIS board that food on DCL was not good. I even read someone comparing it to Denny's. I was happy to find the food was not as bad as I heard. There were hits and misses... but nothing was "bad." I liked the Grand Marnier soufflé I had that night.

Their desserts were usually not too sweet, and I liked them that way.


Stateroom
That night our towel animal had "Mother's Day" chocolates instead of the usual Sleepy Chocolates. That was the only “Mother's Day” reminder.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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What a wonderful trip report. That photo of your dd & Belle got me all sniffly, it's such a wonderful, magical moment!
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:50 AM   #11
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We were on this cruise with you....enjoying reliving our trip via your TR. We had a fantastic time!
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #12
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Thanks!

Thank you for reading!

Yes, that moment with Bell was truly magical...DD had no idea how special that was to happen to her, but I was overwhelmed
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:44 AM   #13
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Day 4 -Castaway Cay

Dining
We had our breakfast at Topsider Buffet. DD had fruits and yogurt. We were sitting on the deck outside, and could see people were getting off the ship and walking to the beach. We were not in a hurry, and needed to make sure DD had something to eat before we leave.

We had lunch at Cookies BBQ. Our waiter told us the night before DD's special meal only could be sent to Cookies BBQ, and NOT to Cookies Too BBQ. While people were eating burgers, hot dogs, and ribs, DD had grilled chicken, rice, and steamed vegetables.

She was happy to eat the yummy chicken, and even more happy when I let her eat some chips. They had Lays chips at Cookies BBQ.

Dinner was at Animator's Palate. I found this dining room to be colder than other dining rooms. DD's special meal was GF&Egg-free pasta with tomato sauce, with (baked) fries and steamed vegetables on the side.

I was hoping they could make GF Mac N Cheese on the ship, but they did not have GF macaroni. They had spaghetti so they served it with tomato sauce. DD loved it, including the baked fries.


Activities and Characters



We got off the ship and took the short walk to the first family beach.

Before we got to the beach, we saw Daisy, Chip&Dale, Mickey, and Goofy. I was hoping to see Jack Sparrow, but I missed the opportunity.





The front chairs and umbrellas were all taken by the time we got to the beach, but there were still plenty of chairs and umbrellas available. I did not feel the beach was too crowded, but maybe this would be different if we were visiting there in Fantasy or Dream sailing in full???

Family Beach 1


Family Beach 2


The water was so clear, and we could see fish swimming by.


After lunch we convinced DD to take a nap. While she slept on the lounger, I walked around and also stopped by the gift shop. Here's little something I got from Castaway Cay... Turtle key chain and Mickey hair clips for DD, a drink (Tropical Depression) for DH and me.


We brought $1 sand toys from home, but the gift shop had plenty of toys for sale. Small bucket filled with toys was about $10, and cute Nemo bucket was about $7.



Mickey, Goofy and Pluto showed up to dance when we were eating lunch at Cookies BBQ. Also I could hear Crab Race was going on, but I did not go watch it.


The weather was perfect that day. The island was clean and beautiful, and they were playing fun music all day. It was impossible to feel bad while we were there.

We stayed until CM started to close the umbrellas. DD did not want to leave, but it was time to leave the paradise...



When we got back on the ship, I noticed the laundry room was busy. It seems many people wanted to wash their sandy clothes.


While DH decided to sleep in the room, I took DD to the show, "Villains Tonight!" I was not sure if DD would like the show, with all those characters being villains. She watched most of the show, but wanted to leave when about 10 min left to the show. I enjoyed the show and thought it was entertaining, but I do not know the ending of the show...


Queen of Hearts was scheduled to appear at 7pm at the Lobby, but we found her well before 7 on deck4.

I had DD wear Alice dress again for the photo with the Queen, but DD was too scared to get close to her...I tried to convince DD that we were meeting a nice Queen, but she did not believe me. DD screamed, “HE is SCARY!!!” The queen did not like that. Only the pic of her I got is DD crying and holding on to me as the Queen got close to us...

Then we saw Minnie at the Lobby.



We went to Deck10 to see the sunset before dinner. It was so windy out there, I had hard time holding my camera. Someone's KTTW card got blown away, and my DH's quick hand caught it. He did not get "thanks" though.



After dinner we went to see Captain Hook at the Lobby. DD was not scared of the Captain Hook as much. Though she wanted me to hold her, at least she did not cry when she saw him.


Then we saw Jiminy. DD got the hug, and then asked “Who is that!?” She had not watched Pinocchio movie yet... CM said many kids ask the same question.


We saw many characters that day, and the last one was Fantasia Mickey! They had setup a white background for this photo opp.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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Day 5 –Port Canaveral

Activities and Characters

We had 7:45am bus to MK scheduled. It seemed the buses were constantly leaving the port. They did not even check our tickets when getting on the bus.

We entered MK and saw Pluto and Marie. Since we could see Pluto on the ship, we lined up to see Marie.

The line was not long, and we were lucky since DD was the last one Marie saw and then she left for a break!

DD got so excited when she saw the Cinderella’s castle. That was one thing she had been asking to go to. We walked through the castle, and saw the Fairy Godmother, but DD was not interested. Rather, she just wanted to ride the carousel.


Then we went to look for Tinker Bell’s nook. On the way we saw Princess Tiana. Though DD had seen her on the ship, we still stopped by...because a little girl just could not say no to a chance to see a princess. Luckily, there were only 2 families before us.


I had a hard time navigating the map, but we found the Tinker Bell’s Nook. This was a must stop for DD, as she loves Tinker Bell. The wait was about 20 minutes, and did not feel long at all. We met Rosetta first, and she was quite nice. She took time to talk to DD, about how DD looked like her friend Tinker Bell.


The meeting with Tinker Bell was a bit rush. She signed the autograph and posed for a picture, and that was it.

DD was disappointed in the quick meeting, but DD was being shy and could not really talk to Tinker Bell anyway.

As we walked back to the Fantasyland, we saw the evil 3 from the Cinderella story. I heard they are pretty funny, but DD was not interested to meet them.


After enjoying the Little Mermaid and Dumbo rides, we saw Alice and White Rabbit. Though we have seen Alice on the ship, we stopped because White Rabbit was there.

Again we were lucky because Alice and White Rabbit had to leave shortly after seeing our DD.


Then we rode monorail to Epcot. We went there because of the lunch reservation and Flower and Garden show. There were character topiaries everywhere and they were cute, but I was not impressed with the flowers. Dallas Arboretum is a much better place to see flowers.




Our lunch was at Akershus. Though we had many chance to see the princesses on the ship, it was nice to see Ariel there since she is not on Magic.



We enjoyed Nemo ride twice and saw Mickey and Pluto for Disney VISA card holder photo opp. We also let DD take a nap in the stroller. Then we rode the monorail back to MK. We were able to see a parade and the fireworks.



Dining

Since we were leaving early in the morning, we ordered room service for breakfast. DD had fruits, yogurt, and warm milk delivered in a pot. I brought rice cakes for her snack when we left the ship. The port information delivered to the room night before said “No food items may be taken from the ship ashore,” so I went to the guest service to ask about it, and was told the pre-packaged food was okay.

At lunch at Akershus, they had DD’s food allergy information I noted in the reservation. The chef talked to me and said he could prepare the grilled chicken that was on the kids menu. No rice or pasta, but there were potatoes and corn on the side. DD did not like them much...The chicken was hard and the potatoes were burned. She was definitely getting better food on the ship.

After a long day at the parks, we were so tired and we were not really hungry. DH went to buffet after getting back on the ship, but all DD and I wanted was going to sleep...


Stateroom

I think this was the day I noticed our fish went missing.

Later I asked the Room Host what happened to it, but he did not know. I do not know if someone took the fish off the wall, or it dropped from the wall and then someone picked it up. The fish did not swim its way back to our door...
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:44 AM   #15
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Day 6 –Day at Sea

Activities and Characters

I did laundry in the morning. The laundry room was not busy when I was using it, but by the time I took out our clothes, all the machines were full. Early morning is definitely the time to use the laundry room.

We met all the princesses again that morning. First we saw Princess Tiana at the Lobby. There was almost no line.


Then we saw Snow White and Cinderella together on deck4. It was a nice surprise and this was the only time DD got her picture taken with 2 princesses together.


We then saw Dopey the dwarf, and thought he was tall...


We also saw Princess Aurora on deck4, then went to see Belle on her scheduled appearance at the Lobby. Those were much better meetings than the earlier princess gatherings. I do not know if all the kids were all sleeping after a busy WDW day, or they did not want to meet the same characters over and over again, but the lines were very short. Plus DD was much more relaxed when she bumped into the princesses on those unscheduled meetings.

We were able to see Peter Pan in the evening, but again I missed the chance to see Jack Sparrow, because DD was not interested...

They had a backdrop setup for Peter Pan. DD had been asking to see Peter Pan, but when she actually saw him, she got really shy. Peter Pan was really nice though...he tried to talk to her even though she hid behind me. And Peter Pan would jump high to pose for a picture! I don't know if eveyr Peter Pan does that, but this one did.

We thought the Pirates Party was fun. DD loved to dance to the music, while sitting on DH’s shoulders. We brought our own grow sticks, which was a tip I got from DIS board.



Dining

DH went to Topsiders for breakfast that morning, and brought back fruits and yogurt for DD. I did not want to eat because we had Palo brunch reserved that day!

We had GF Pizza special ordered for DD’s lunch, and asked the kids counselor to pick that up from Lumiere’s during the lunch hours. Meanwhile, DH and I enjoyed Palo brunch. The food was definitely better than MDRs.

The veal was good, we thought the oysters had too much eggs.


The chilled strawberry soup was almost like smoothies. Yum.

Those small appetizers can fill you up, so I could not eat as much as I thought I would. We wanted to try their pizza, but we were just too full. We do not like to waste food, so we did not order.


We tried to have all the desserts they had, but we were too full. There were 2 more desserts that are not in the picture and we did not get to try. My personal favorite was Tiramisu.


After the Pirate Party the buffet was open at Topsider, but the line was very long. We were curious to see the offerings, but not hungry enough to stay in the line. We went back to the room and DH went to the buffet later, but by the time he got there the buffet was already closed. He did not get to try their turkey legs.


Stateroom

I was not impressed with the daily towel animals, but I liked this monkey.

I let him keep hanging for the rest of the cruise, minus the chocolates.
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