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Old 11-01-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
shandrananette
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 222

A Birthday Adventure

I've been voraciously reading trip reports and pre-trip reports for the past several weeks while (not-so-patiently) awaiting our trip on November 16, so I thought I'd try my hand at a pre-trip report.

We are sailing on the November 16 Fantasy Eastern Caribbean. "We" includes me, DH, DS3 (turning 4 on the cruise) and DD-9 months (turning 10-months on the cruise) and my parents - Nana and Papa.

This will be everyone except DD's second cruise - DD was not around for our first in February 2012. We're Disneyland veterans, but had never tried a cruise until DH talked us all into it. Papa was very skeptical, but will do almost anything for DS, so we all signed up for a four-day Dream cruise. We fell in love immediately and booked on board for this cruise. So we've been booked for over a year...when we booked, DD didn't exist (although DH and I suspected we would be changing our booking to a foursome).

We're sailing concierge (we're in 12528 and Nana and Papa are in the one-bedroom next door). While concierge is not necessarily something DH and I would choose to do if it were just us, it was a condition to Papa coming the first time and now we're all a bit spoiled (he was worried about being "trapped on a boat" in a small room). Frankly, skipping the line to board had us sold in the first hour...skipping a line with a 2-year-old is worth a lot of money! I'm a little disappointed about the pressure washer (I didn't know anything about room reports or anything until after we did the OBB), but it will be okay. Besides, DS will probably think it's cool.

DS will turn four on the second day of the cruise (the same day DD turns 10 months) and my birthday is the week before, so we have lots of excuses to celebrate. Nana and Papa are having the room decorated as a surprise and we have lots of little surprises (door decorations, etc.) to make his birthday special. DS has been telling everyone for over a year that he's having his birthday on the "Mickey Ship." My only concern is if he's going to be disappointed his friends aren't at his birthday on the ship, so I'm hoping to connect him with some friends in the Club as early as possible - I know there are a few other three-turning-four-year-olds (one on the same day) in our Disgroup.

One lesson learned: Never tell a toddler 18 months prior to a vacation about a cruise. It's been a daily topic of inquiry. I think his little head may explode when we say we're actually, finally boarding. He's been very patient though, waiting for his sister to be "big enough." Papa was staying with him when DD was born, and when we called and said she was finally here, his first question to Papa was "Can we go on the Mickey Ship now?"

We're doing a private Bernard's Tours on St. Maartin. We don't have any concrete plans for St. Thomas. DH is a red head so we're not sure another beach day is needed, so we're going to play it by ear. We might hop a cab to Magen's Bay if we're up to it, otherwise we'll walk around near the ship and enjoy a slow day. Maybe the Butterfly Farm. CC we're looking forward to some ocean time. Last trip I ran the 5K and while it was fun, with little ones the early part of the day is best for them so I'm skipping it this time to help DH get off the ship and get a good spot. We passed on the cabanas this time, opting to get back on board if we need a rest.

I'm the group "cruise director", if you will, but Papa is a bit resistant to planning, so it's important that I have a loose plan that appears to be spontaneous (hey, what if we went here next? What a crazy, random happenstance that I've secretly had planned for 15 months?). I grew up with it, so I'm used to it.

DS loved the Oceaneer's Club last time (in open houses) and I know he's going to love being able to go play whenever he wants. He's very proud to be completely potty trained in time for the cruise (it was good motivation last December...told you we've been talking about the cruise for awhile). He's also *this* close (very tiny amount) to 42 inches. We'll see how their measuring stick works for the AquaDuck - but I'm not sure he would actually get on even if it was an option so we won't be too disappointed if he can't. I'm excited to take him to some D-Lounge events (we didn't even see it last time) and he's looking forward to seeing Planes and Monster's University.

DD is a pretty mellow baby, so I suspect she'll have a good time in the nursery and wherever. She's an excellent army crawler now, so I'm looking forward to Jack Jack's Diaper Dash. She is not at all a good sleeper, however, so I'm a bit worried how that is going to work. I can see us taking some strolls on deck 4 in the middle of the night or crack of dawn so somebody can get some sleep. Which, frankly, if I have to be awake at 2 am (and apparently, I do...and 3 and 4 and so on) beats walking around her room. I'm trying some sleep training methods before we go, but at 15 days out I suspect I won't have much progress made.

We didn't try Remy or Palo last time, so we do have Palo booked one night and are looking forward to that. DH and I are also very excited to have not only the ship-provided baby sitting but also Nana and Papa (we live 2,000 miles apart) and get some time to work out together and check out the adult events.

I was thrilled that we'll be on the Christmas sailings - DS will love the holiday events and I can't wait to hear about the sailing the week before us. I have the gingerbread building event on my list to sign up for right away.

I think that's everything! At least it's everything I can think of for now. I can't finally we're finally 15 days away. I remember when the calendar said 370 days. I thought it would never get here.
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