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Old 12-10-2013, 01:30 PM   #76
NJ911Emerg
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I am enjoying your thread so much! I am going August 23, 2014. This will be my 2nd DCL cruise! Sadly plans fell through and I will not be taking my 15 year old nephew but my 22 year old nephew has volunteered to take his place, lol. I can't wait. My only concern is the food... I gave a gluten intolerance and I am a diabetic... I just hope they have as many delicious looking meals as to what you have posted (I did not have these issues in 2006).
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #77
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Loving your report!!! I had to do a double take because I was scrolling thru and realized that I know the girl in the purple shirt in your mixology class

Small world
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Michelle View Post
Wow, we were practically neighbors! Did you feel the ship moving as much as we did? Craziness at times! It was definitely an amazing trip though, we probably won't go again for a couple of years but we're already looking forward to the next one! We're contemplating trying for Alaska in 2016 if they are still sailing there at that time. Vivek really was such a sweetheart! We were always running into him in the halls and he would ask us how our day had been or tell us to enjoy dinner, etc. Thanks so much for the sweet picture comment, I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ20. I haven't had it that long and am still learning how to use all the settings. A nice man I met when I was trying to take some pictures of a pretty non-existent sunset actually gave me a quick tutorial in some of the manual settings! People can be so nice! I hope you enjoy the rest of my report. I took a break from it today to spend some time with my husband on his day off, but I'll be back at it tomorrow!
.

I love the Panasonic Lumix DMC line of cameras!!!! I was big into photography when a incident at work made it difficult for me to continue to use my 35mm cameras and my large digital camera (can't take the weight of the camera, the injury was to my thumb). But Panasonic Lumix small digital cameras are awesome! The features and the zoom and the quality are amazing for such a compact camera! (I swear I am not a Panasonic dealer... Lol) I have used them since the line was in single digits, lol. Princess Michelle, even if you don't use all the features you will enjoy the camera.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:17 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by NJ911Emerg View Post
I am enjoying your thread so much! I am going August 23, 2014. This will be my 2nd DCL cruise! Sadly plans fell through and I will not be taking my 15 year old nephew but my 22 year old nephew has volunteered to take his place, lol. I can't wait. My only concern is the food... I gave a gluten intolerance and I am a diabetic... I just hope they have as many delicious looking meals as to what you have posted (I did not have these issues in 2006).
From what I understand if you let DCL know ahead of time about your dietary needs they will make sure they have things for you that are gluten free/diabetic friendly.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #80
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Loving your report!!! I had to do a double take because I was scrolling thru and realized that I know the girl in the purple shirt in your mixology class

Small world
Wow, how funny is that!
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:21 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by NJ911Emerg View Post
.

I love the Panasonic Lumix DMC line of cameras!!!! I was big into photography when a incident at work made it difficult for me to continue to use my 35mm cameras and my large digital camera (can't take the weight of the camera, the injury was to my thumb). But Panasonic Lumix small digital cameras are awesome! The features and the zoom and the quality are amazing for such a compact camera! (I swear I am not a Panasonic dealer... Lol) I have used them since the line was in single digits, lol. Princess Michelle, even if you don't use all the features you will enjoy the camera.
It really is a great camera and I got it for a steal. Glad to hear your glowing reviews, I'm very happy with it so far.
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #82
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Day 4/Part 1

I woke up a little before 7 this morning and St. Maarten was coming into view. I went out to the verandah as had become my morning ritual but this morning it was a bit unpleasant. Sometime during the night a small bird had flown into our verandah and died. Brian let Vivek know and he came to dispose of it. He said it happens every now and then and one time someone had left their door open and a bird actually got into their cabin! I found that one humorous as long as the bird didn't get hurt.

Once my little bird friend was laid to rest I commenced enjoying the view. We don't have mountains in FL and I've only seen mountains a handful of times, so they are always magnificent to me. I think I took about 100 pictures before we even left to get breakfast!


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Once Brian was able to pull me away from the beautiful view we decided to have breakfast at Enchanted Garden. It's a buffet for breakfast and has many of the same selections you'll find in Cabanas. We got to sit in one of the teacup booths which I really liked, they were very comfortable.


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My yummy sausages were back on the menu this morning!


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Sausage Gravy & Biscuits had made an appearance this morning as well.


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I really loved the look of Enchanted Garden. The way the ceiling is really did make it feel like you were in an outside garden under an ivy covered canopy.


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Can you spot Tinkerbell in the garden?


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After breakfast it was time to put our feet on some solid ground!


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We wanted to go to Marigot and visit Fort Louis so we went to the Taxi stand to get a ride over to that side of the island. It is very fast paced and a bit chaotic at the taxi stands with so many people rushing around, but just walk up to one of the workers in the bright colored shirts, tell them where you want to go and they will take care of everything else for you, including getting a group of people together to help you save a little money. We paid $7 each for our ride to Marigot sharing a taxi van with several other people who were also going there.


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And now a word of advice. If you plan to visit Fort Louis, ask your taxi driver to take you directly there, your legs will thank you. It's not a very far walk from town to get to the fort, but you have to walk up a VERY steep street to get to it. I honestly would not recommend it if you aren't in decent shape. I really had to push myself to finish climbing up the street and then facing the steps to the fort itself. I'm glad I did it because I proved to myself if I really set my mind to something I can accomplish it, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't difficult. Get that ride to the steps and it might not be so bad if you are okay with stairs, I don't happen to get along with them so well, but the view from the top helped me forget about how bad my body was aching.


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View from about half way up the stairs


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There were small placards around the fort to explain different details and history.


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Up next, more Fort Louis, Sarafina's Bakery and the beautiful city of Marigot.


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Old 12-12-2013, 01:21 PM   #83
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Day 4/Part 2

We continued to explore Fort Louis, there isn't a lot to see up there but the views are gorgeous and it's an interesting spot to visit.

Looking out the front gate of the fort, you'll notice Brian having a rest over to the side...


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Once we were finished exploring the Fort we walked back down to the city and made our way to Sarafina's Bakery. We had heard many wonderful things about the treats Sarafina's offers, and it did not disappoint.


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There are all kinds of sandwiches, sweets, pizza and breads to choose from.


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We had a hard time deciding so we ended up with a Ham & Cheese Croissant (absolutely delicious), Quiche (was good but nothing special), Strawberry Eclaire (Fantastic) and a Pistachio Macaron (so good). I think the total for everything we got was around $14 euro, or roughly $19 US. They accept both forms of payment but we had gotten a few euros just to make it easier.


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After we finished our snack we walked along the waterfront for a little bit, taking in the sites.


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The same Marina we had been looking at from the fort earlier.


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You'll notice Fort Louis up there on top of the hill.


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Up next, Maho Beach!
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:40 PM   #84
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You guys are tough cookies! It was so very hot that day! I nearly melted the minute we got back from our Lord Sheffield's Tall Ship Pirate Day Excursion so we went straight back to our beautiful ship! Vivek said it is ALWAYS hot in St. Maarten.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:45 PM   #85
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I guess I should add that St. Maarten is extremely beautiful! (I'm a wuss when it comes to heat.) My pictures are pretty but not nearly as lovely as the picture engrained in my head.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:59 PM   #86
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It was extremely hot, but it honestly was very similar to Florida's weather in the Summer. I hate the heat, absolutely hate it, but I love Florida so I've learned to deal. I think I drank about 6 bottles of water while we were on the island. It really is a gorgeous place, we really loved it.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #87
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Day 4/Part 3

It was very easy to get another taxi to Maho Beach. There are many in the waterfront area of Marigot. We didn't share this time so it was $20 for the two of us, still not a bad price. The ride over to Maho was easy and had some really beautiful scenery. Most people probably know, but Maho Beach is where the planes fly over when landing at Princess Juliana airport. They come very very low and barely clear the fence. It's amazing!

Our Taxi driver had a lovely collection of air fresheners...if I recall my COPS correctly that usually means he has a fondness for herbal refreshments... LOL


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We looked at each other and said, HOME! LOL This area reminded us a lot of golf courses in Florida.


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When we arrived at the Sunset Bar & Grill the big KLM plane had already landed, there was a Jet Blue coming in shortly and plenty of small puddle jumper planes coming in from nearby islands. It was super crowded but we managed to find a couple of stools to hang out on while we waited.


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This surfboard is where they list all the flights and the times they are coming in.


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Here comes Jet Blue!


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Since we weren't in the direct path of the planes the pictures aren't as impressive, but it was still really something to see in person.


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Smaller planes coming in


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Random picture while waiting for more planes...


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The big daddy KLM plane was getting ready to take off. That was really something incredible to see. The most entertaining was watching the idiots that stood behind it get blasted.


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I had kind of hoped this guy would stay up there, because a picture of him flying past the sign would have been pretty epic, but he got down before it took off.


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One more small plane and then we decided to go. There wasn't another big one coming for an hour and it was just too hot to sit out there that long and we wanted a little bit of time to look around Philipsburg too.


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This was probably my favorite. It was another small private plane but our taxi happened to be stopped right in it's path as it was landing so I was able to get a great shot of it as it went over our van.


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Our driver we had on the way back to Philipsburg was the best driver, I was able to get some nice pictures.


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There were these nice memorials in all of the roundabouts. This one was for a man who used to direct traffic.


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I don't know what this one was for, and even though the background is blurry I still kind of like how it turned out.


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This one honors the salt industry that used to be a major part of the island.


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Old 12-12-2013, 08:20 PM   #88
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Day 4/Part 4

Once back in Philipsburg we just walked around and looked through a few shops. We went into the Yoda Guy shop but didn't pay to go into the museum.


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After shopping a bit we headed back to the ship. We saw the water taxi stand that would take you back to the cruise ship area but didn't think it looked like that far of a walk, so we skipped it and went on our way. I really wish we had taken the water taxi! My feet/ankles/legs were so swollen from the heat and our hike that morning, and the walk was so much further than it looked.


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It looks like the ship is about to hit an iceberg!


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We really enjoyed our time in St. Maarten. Our taxi fares plus tips came out to roughly $65 total and we got to do exactly what we wanted to for less than the cost of a tour that included a bunch of stuff we didn't care about. The taxis were plentiful everywhere we went, they were all air conditioned and comfortable, I'd highly recommend seeing the island this way if a tour just doesn't suit you.

Once we were back on the ship Brian went up to the sport deck to play on the golf simulator and I went back to the room to take a nap and prop my feet up. When he got back we got ready for dinner and headed to the theater for the show. It was Shawn Farquhar the magician tonight. The show started out a little slow with him using another person as a puppet of sorts to do a trick, but it got better after that and we actually ended up really enjoying him. Especially his last card trick.

We had a little time before dinner so we went to Skyline to get a drink. I had the Paris 75 (Grey Goose Citron Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao and Pineapple Juice) it was delicious! We had a nice time talking to Jerry the Bartender. He let me try something he's working on, a Cilantro infused vodka. It was actually really refreshing. He's trying to come up with a ceviche inspired cocktail to use it in.


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After our drinks we just walked around a little bit before heading to dinner. It was Pirate night and we actually had brought pirate costumes to wear, but my feet/ankles were so swollen I just didn't feel like showing them off in my short pirate dress. So we decided not to dress up, it would have been so much fun though, a lot of people on our cruise were dressed for the occasion.

We had dinner in Animator's Palate this evening. They were offering these cute pirate glow cups with virgin Bahama Mamas in them.


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Tonight's bread service was Johnny Cakes (cornbread), rolls and Pigeon Pea Relish (which was really tasty).


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We both had the Potstickers for our first appetizer, excellent!


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I had the Jerk Chicken Salad for my second course, it was delicious. Brian had a Conch Chowder that I didn't get a picture of.


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I had the BBQ Beef Short Ribs for my entree, they were melt in your mouth tender.


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Brian had the Dijon Crusted Sirloin of Beef.


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The screens were displaying various artwork/scenes from Disney's pirate movies like Peter Pan, Treasure Planet and Pirates of the Caribbean.


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I had another one of the no sugar added options for dessert this night, Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and whipped cream, and a hidden Mickey for added fun.


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Brian had the Rum Soaked Chocolate cake, he said it was good, but not as Rummy as the one he had at Royal Court.


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Old 12-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #89
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It's been a stressful week and our October cruise on the Fantasy seems so far away I thought I'd read a couple trip reports and live vicariously through some other cruisers This has been a great trip report so far! Your photos are lovely. And wow, your formal dress is amazing and you look stunning! Can't wait to read more next time
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:24 AM   #90
Princess Michelle
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Thanks so much, Andrea! It's been busy leading up to Christmas but I hope to be able to finish my report soon. We waited almost 2 years for our cruise so I definitely know how you feel!
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