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Old 12-06-2013, 05:01 PM   #16
tow-mater-1
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We had a plan!

Yes! The day had finally arrived! Nate set the alarm for 7 on his I Pad and I woke up to Si Roberston from Duck Dynasty “It’s on like donkey kong, it’s on like donkey kong, it’s on like donkey kong” I didn’t even know that was one of his sayings. So we got dressed and went down for breakfast and Joh and Gary and family were already there. Everyone else trickled in shortly after. We had PAT for 10:30 and the plan was for Gary and Nate to drop us all off at the port with all the luggage and return the rental cars. Nate rented at Budget and Gary at Hertz so they were going to get gas and return Nate's car first and Gary would drive them both to Hertz where they would catch a cab together to the terminal. Simple flawless plan….no chance of being held up. I’ll let you in on the reason for such a plan. The Last cruise we stayed at the Radisson and took the free shuttle which was a disaster! We had booked it for 11:00 and we didn’t get on the shuttle until after 12:00 and the lobby was complete mayhem with angry cruisers all waiting to get their trip started. Meanwhile Joh was having her own issues with getting to the terminal. Joh and family were dropped off by Gary at the terminal and he was going to return the car and catch the free shuttle back. Joh checked in and scored a low boarding number… I can’t recall but maybe a 3 or something. Anyway Gary dropped off the car and for whatever reason the shuttle was backed up and he wasn’t going to be able to get to the port for another 45 minutes or something crazy like that. So he decided to catch a cab but Joh had all the cash with her. He called her several times so she could meet him outside to pay for the cab but Joh’s phone was in her bag and she did not hear it. The whole time she was wondering where Gary was and was getting a little hot under the collar as they were calling the boarding numbers. Anyway he finally arrived and they got on the ship but not as soon as they could have been if they were all together. This is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but to us crazy Disers who over plan and obsess about details it can make us cuckoo. So this plan was conceived months before to avoid such problems. So just weeks before Rob and Jen still had not booked their flights or transfers due to an issue with Rob’s work which meant there was a possibility of them not being able to go and not even knowing until just 2 weeks before. I know right…. Most of us would be losing our minds! (hmmm wait a minute that actually WAS us and we WERE losing our minds!) So I gave them all the info of where we were staying and how we were getting to the port and they decided to rent at Budget as well. So I ran it by Joh and Gary to see if Rob and Jen could get in on the transfer deal too. Joh and Gary were fine with it so now they could split the cab fare 3 ways. I filled Rob in on the plan and we were all good to go. We planned to meet out front at 10:00. Rob and Jen have a toddler so they were running a bit behind and then he had to go potty lol (he’s so darn cute I could kiss his face off!) but we got in our cars around 10:15 and got to the terminal in 5 minutes. The guys dropped us off and we got in the growing line to get into the terminal. While we were in line we saw Wendy and Rich and they walked around to the front of the terminal into a door there and went straight up! I asked her once we were through how she was able to just go in that door and if it was for platinum members….she said no it was open so Rich said lets just try it and it worked! So we got up to the terminal which is not too busy yet and I got in line to check in while Cassie stood in line with Gabe for a Mickey pic. So I checked in and scored a 2!!! Joh got a 2 as well and Wendy who was before us got a 3! I saw that Jen was still checking in and had her hands full with her little one and was looking a little frazzled. I went over and told her I would get in line for Mickey with him and she was so grateful. The time was passing and we were wondering where they guys were. Joh was texting Gary and I was texting Nate but it did not seem to go through… I did notice the days prior that it was a bit slow to sending and receiving… maybe because of our international packages for our phones? Anyway Jen was not able to check in because Rob had forgotten to sign the cruise document. So Jen… being from the US and had no trouble texting let Rob know that he forgot to sign and they couldn’t check in without a signature. Joh said she should have just forged it but I guess that’s kinda hard to do right in front of them . So Rob came up to sign the docs… all by himself. Joh made a bee line for Rob to see where Gary was and she was informed that he wasn’t here yet because he took the shuttle….. huh??? It was 2011 all over again. So Joh was pissed to say the least. So now they are calling boarding numbers and yep ours passes…on to 3…4…. So Rob went and signed the docs and guess what…. He got a 1!!!! I said to Rob… lets just keep that to ourselves .
Not long after Garry arrived on the shuttle and Nate apologized for the miscommunication and Gary said “No problem mate but lets not tell the girls.” Nate and Gary head into the terminal and Joh storms over to the guys and said “I’m right pissed! We had a plan!” So Nate decided to slink into the shadows and find me. By this time it was starting to get crowded and now reunited with Nate we gathered the kids and we got in line to board. While we were being herded like cattle through the picture process I got a text from Joh apologizing for her response to the previous events and said she appreciated that Nate waited for Gary. I responded it was all good and that Nate was just too scared to come up without him.(He had read some of Joh’s previous trip reports lol.)
So here’s what happened… Nates version anyway. They all had to go fill up before returning their cars so they went to the gas station. The pump would not take Nate’s credit card because it was Canadian so he had to go in and prepay. He told the guys to go a head and he would meet them at Budget. He got there and Rob had returned his car already and said “come on…we can catch this next shuttle and it’s leaving now.” Nate asked about Gary, and Rob said that there’s a free shuttle at Hertz too. Nate was a bit confused thinking that they were suggesting they all take the shuttle from Hertz? Anyway once he got the car returned the shuttle guy was rushing Nate along and Nate said what about Gary? Rob told him that he already left for Hertz. So Nate was a little uneasy as he was fully aware of why there was a plan in place. So once they got dropped off at the terminal Nate told Rob that he was going to wait until Gary got there. (I married a smart man) Rob decided to wait too until…. he got the text from Jen saying he forgot to sign the documents. Rob definitely felt the chill in the air when Joh confronted him asking where Gary was. Joh shortly after apologized to Rob and Jen for losing her cool and all was well. I did fill Rob in later about the 2011 incident and the reason for the plan and he was like Eek. Ok… so he didn’t SAY “Eeek” but ya know that face that goes with it… he made that face. He was just thinking why would ya just not take the free shuttle?! Now he knows.

Here are some pics at the terminal










Next up….. Who needs food…. I’m going on the AquaDuck!

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:13 PM   #17
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I'm here. You're putting me to shame since I didn't even start my TR yet.

Can't believe this was only a month or so ago, it feels like so long since we were there.
That's funny that's what I said to Cass about hers... she cruised after us and she's on page 8 or something like that!

I know... it does feel like a lot longer than a month.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #18
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Hi Char
I'm along for your cruise report.

Smiling to myself as I was part of the 2011 rental car return issues with Gary so I know how Joh is when her plans go wrong. She is only like it as she cares so much that everyone has the best time and that is why we all love her so much.

Looking forward to your next update
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:47 AM   #19
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Smiling to myself as I was part of the 2011 rental car return issues with Gary so I know how Joh is when her plans go wrong. She is only like it as she cares so much that everyone has the best time and that is why we all love her so much.
You know me so well. Thanks matey
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #20
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Hi Char
I'm along for your cruise report.

Smiling to myself as I was part of the 2011 rental car return issues with Gary so I know how Joh is when her plans go wrong. She is only like it as she cares so much that everyone has the best time and that is why we all love her so much.

Looking forward to your next update
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You know me so well. Thanks matey
Absolutely Ton! Joh is my go to girl for bouncing planning ideas off of
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:51 PM   #21
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Absolutely Ton! Joh is my go to girl for bouncing planning ideas off of
Ours too Char
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The Buckland Disney Stampede August 2005 TripThe S.V.R. 2006 Trip T&T Do Thanksgiving 2007 Trip T&T & 2 1st Timers May 2008 Trip T&T Do the Triple Aug 2008 Trip T&T's 2nd Thanksgiving Trip 1975 & 2010 A double trip Bad Mothers & Others Oct 2011 Key West to Old Key West Nov 2012

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Old 12-07-2013, 02:39 PM   #22
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I just have to laugh at the whole cruise shuttle thing!

We had a similar situation in 2009 on our last cruise! Rob and Sean (friends we cruised with) dropped us off too and went to return the cars at Avis. I had assumed they would just go together (2 cars) so they could help each other out but nope, Sean took off and well, Rob kinda needs a navigator

Sean came back like an hour later without Rob and I was all worried because I am his navigator and I know what he's like without me

He finally got back about half an hour after Sean and told me he got lost

So this time we rented from Budget (closer than Avis) and I showed him on Google Street View just how to get there. Then he split a cab back to port with another guy who was cruising on the Fantasy and it went so much smoother

Wait until you hear about my experience with waiting in line at the port, I was furious Wendy and Rich had the right idea, I wish I had done what they did!

Still waiting for that stress-free part Hopefully it's coming soon!

Oh and don't you just HATE the whole have to pay in advance with the credit card thing??? We kept having to go in twice just so we could get the correct receipt!
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:37 PM   #23
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So this time we rented from Budget (closer than Avis) and I showed him on Google Street View just how to get there. Then he split a cab back to port with another guy who was cruising on the Fantasy and it went so much smoother

Wait until you hear about my experience with waiting in line at the port, I was furious Wendy and Rich had the right idea, I wish I had done what they did!

Still waiting for that stress-free part Hopefully it's coming soon!
I had printed out maps on google maps from the hotel to the terminal because I just don't trust my GPS. It can be the most beautiful day and at a crucial part it will say "lost satellite" grrr.

For the most part everything was stress free... they were just little blurps that happen everyday including the barf thing. Which happened again at Nates kids Christmas party today! I think it has to do with pop... he should not have it (soda for all the American readers). Oooo except wait until you read about Cozumel...now that was a stressful day!

Our line wasn't too long... it was just sloooow. I know I was thinking I wanted to get out of line and go in the door Wendy and Rich went it but I was afraid I would get turned away and told "no... your only a lowly silver"
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:45 PM   #24
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Who needs food…. I’m going on the AquaDuck!

Finally we are at the point were we are walking onto the ship! It never gets old when they announce your name and clap when you enter. We had met up with Jen and Rob while getting our pics taken so it was cool to be with them for their first experience walking onto the ship with all the fanfare. I had viewed the pictures of the lobby but ya know what they say….it’s never the same in person. I get butterflies reliving that moment of first walking on the Fantasy. As we stood in the lobby taking in all the beauty Donald Duck appeared who my Gabe LOVES! He is all about the characters….Luke not so much, mostly because he hates to wait in lines. Luke refused at first however since Donald just got there and there was practically no line, he obliged his little brother and got a pic with Donald. It’s funny because Gabe finds it so upsetting when he gets a pic with a character and Luke is not with him. Even though Luke refuses to wait in line he still has to wait in the vicinity while we wait for Gabe. Once Gabe gets to the front of the line he will still be calling Luke over and demanding that he get in the picture and Luke refuses because he’s too upset that he had to wait! Gabe gets mad… Luke gets mad…Goodness gracious! Character sightings are QUITE the ordeal!

Here are some pics of the beautiful lobby… like I said. Doesn’t do it justice.





And here’s one of BOTH the boys and they are ACTUALLY happy!



Ok I’m with Luke enough with the characters…. Lead me to the Aqua Duck! Rob and Jen leave at this point to get some lunch. Food smood…. Bye we’ll see ya later at the meet and greet!

We head straight up to deck 12! We score a great spot and got some chairs close to the stairs to the Aqua Duck and everyone started to get ready. We were all wearing our bathing suits so we could just disrobe and go. Well I was a little slower than everyone else and I had to sit back all alone to watch all the stuff. Oh well I was outside in the heat on a beautiful day with the sun on my face on the FANTASY! I’m trying to teach myself patience and it seems to be working… some days better than others. I took out the camera to try and catch everyone as they went by.

Here comes Cass and Luke!






And here comes Dad and Gabe!



They all loved it… even my Gabe who was a little apprehensive as he does NOT like the water and needs a lot of coaxing to get into a pool. So finally….It’s MY TURN!!! YAY! It was fantastic and well worth the months and months of waiting. Once it was over the line became quite long so it was looking like it was time for a drink of the day.

As you can see it didn’t take Gabe long to find the ice cream machine.





Here’s Cass and Luke in the Mickey pool



Everyone knew where to find us



Here’s Jen, Logan and Joh’s daughter Sian watching the dolphins playing.



If you look really closely you can see a dolphin jumping out of the water. It was so COOL!



Up next…. Sweet Meet and Greet!

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Old 12-08-2013, 01:10 PM   #25
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Sweet Meet and Greet!

We decide to grab a little lunch since a drink of the day and ice cream was not a very nutritious meal. Once we were done we decided to go on the walking ship tour! I had never done this on previous cruises and felt this was very informative. If not for this tour I would not have seen the many bars in Europa.
Now it was time to go and check out our rooms. This was the first time we had connecting cabins. On previous cruises we would get a balcony for us and put the kids in an inside across from us. This time the older kids were paying their own way and decided to splurge since we had the discount of the OBB from the last cruise. However early in the year my oldest Corey and his fiancée Julia decided not to come because they were saving for their house and wedding in June 2014. (They bought the house and as of 2 weeks ago I am that much closer to an empty nester) So initially Cassie was looking for someone to share the room with her but it didn’t work out with any of her friends. We talked with Cassie and said we would put the boys in the room with her and it wouldn’t be any extra cost to her and for the first time on a Disney cruise we scored a room to ourselves! We loved the room and the location…right off the aft elevators.

Here’s a few pics of our room.





The view from our room. Hey that red one right there… I think that’s my luggage!



So we are checking out our room and we came across this!



That was SO sweet of them! They said they wanted to do something special for us because of our horrible month prior to the cruise. Well I can tell you it was VERY special and more on that once I get to day 4 of the cruise.

So now it was time to head on down for the “Sweet Meet” in D lounge. For our meet and greet we had a candy exchange, you bring candy from your area to share with everyone. Joh, Wendy and I had done this on our 2011 cruise and it was a hit so we thought we’d carry on because we love chocolate so much….or at least I do. Here are some pics of that.



Here I am with all my cruise buddies



Here’s me, Joh and “OHIO” (inside joke, I’ll fill you in on day 5)



Funny story. So on FB Joh was organizer of all things…. the Sweet Meet, the private mixology and so on. Well during her planning and organizing of the mixology she needed all the names and cabin #’s of everyone that signed up. So she posts on fb one day that she had been trying to get a hold of Hendrik and Darlene ****** but couldn’t find them on fb and was wondering if anyone knew who they were. I replied… “SILLY! That’s my mom and dad!” So she replied… “I guess I did know that but just forgot! I always just call them mum and dad lol.” So Angelique added that their name was a very Dutch sounding name, which I told her that my dad was straight off the boat 55 years before. Angelique is from the Netherlands and the day she joined our fb group my Cassie happened to be in Europe on her tour and Amsterdam was her next stop! So Angelique and I chatted about that for a bit. Anyway when Angelique found out my dad was from the Netherlands she offered to bring him a special treat from his home country. Unfortunately my parents don’t listen to a word I say and totally missed out on the Sweet Meet …but I delivered ONE of the treats that Angelique had brought and I quite enjoyed the other myself.

Here’s a pic of me and Angelique.



Once the Sweet Meet was over it was time to head straight to the life boat drill and then on to get ready for diner at Animators.

Next up….. EVAN! (Think of Dave in Alvin and the Chipmunks)

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Old 12-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #26
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Loved seeing the dolphins from the deck
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:53 PM   #27
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Just joining in. I read your PTR. Oh, my! So glad you got past all the health issues and were able to go on the cruise! Anxiously awaiting the rest of the story!

Jill in CO
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:58 PM   #28
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Just joining in. I read your PTR. Oh, my! So glad you got past all the health issues and were able to go on the cruise! Anxiously awaiting the rest of the story!

Jill in CO
Thanks for reading!

I know right! We were a little nervous since we went against medical advice with Nate. He had one night that he was not feeling the best and just decided to lay low in the cabin but otherwise we were all fine.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #29
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EVAN!

With the fire drill over we headed back to the cabin to see if our luggage had arrived. It had not, so on we go to get a good spot for the sail away party. We kept a look out for our friends but we did not see anyone. The party is always good but I have one little guy who can be quite grumpy and I’m not even sure why he was in such a miserable mood. Gabe doesn’t like change and it usually takes him a few days to warm up to anything new. So while at the sail away party he looked EXTRA miserable and said “why did you plan this vacation mommy!” Why I oughta! Ok… so I just breath deeply, smile like I mean it and remind myself that I really DO love him dearly. Meanwhile a cast member saw his miserableness and thought she could dance with him and get him out of his funk. Nope… not even.



Some more miserableness!

At least he’s making an effort in this one



Good bye Port Canaveral….see ya in a week!



On the way back to our room Cassie asked me if I gave Evan specific instructions about dinner. The last we had seen of Evan was when we left for the ship walking tour. He was heading over to the Vibe to check it out. Of course he didn’t have a wave phone yet. Our first cruise we hardly saw Evan and we would all take our turns doing the walk the ship until we found him for a check in. He showed up for dinner a total of 4 times so the next cruise we laid down the rule that we would at least all be together at dinner. I told Cassie that he knows what’s expected of him which she replied…”come on mom… this IS Evan we are talking about!” Evan is the kind of kid that if you ask him if he has any homework he will say no, but when the teacher calls the next day asking why he hasn’t handed in a project he would reply…”what? You asked about “homework” not projects” So now when we ask him we are VERY specific. Now the fact that Cassie was saying this was quite funny because she was the master of THAT little game when she was in high school and taught her brother well.
No excuse was going to be sufficient since this was his 3rd cruise and he is well aware that all he had to do was look at his room card and it would tell him everything he needed to know about dinner. We get to dinner and no Evan...and I was ticked! It was funny because all of my Carnival friends had not met Evan since he arrived after they had left for their dinner the night before and then he stayed back to watch the boys that night. Rob even asked me if the infamous Evan really did exist . I was annoyed to say the least but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my evening.
We were quite a large group and we had a total of 4 tables! We had 2 large tables and 2 small tables that sat 4. Well Nate and I... the only ones who basically knew everyone sat at the table of 4 alone. When I surveyed the tables I had to laugh because at the two big tables no one knew anyone. Each group of people knew at least 3 other couples and not one sat together. It was fine though as everyone got to know each other. We did switch it up a few nights because with such a large group I know for myself I didn’t get to see everyone as much as I would have liked to on this trip. Here’s a few pics of dinner at Animators.WITHOUT EVAN! (but I wasn't bitter or anything)







First Mickey bar of the trip!



The cure all for grumpiness is Mickey bars!



From dinner off we went to the show. It was OK… it felt more like an advertisement for all the ships amenities. Although I always love the dancing and singing, that was still fantastic…. I guess I just found the story line to be a bit cheesy.

After the show we took the kids up to the kids club to get them registered. With all the commotion in the terminal we skipped the huge line for checking in the kids there and opted to just get on the ship. We were able to walk right up and it was quick since we had preregistered on line and it took no time at all. They did their registration in a different spot than the actual kids club so we had to walk down the long hall to get them in. Once we were there, there was a weird sound and vibration that wasn’t letting up. At this point my more outgoing child Luke says…. "I don’t want to stay." Gabe was annoyed because he had decided he was going to have some fun and his brother was stopping it! lol I figured it was the noise and the vibration that was causing Luke’s sudden change of mind after seeing the look of concern on his face when it started. I asked a cast member if the noise and vibration was temporary and they assured me that it was. She said as the ship was turning and they were right above the….blahblahblah I can’t remember everything She said, it was loud and chaotic. Anyway I tried to put Luke’s mind at ease but he was having no part of it. Gabe was getting increasingly angry because he wanted to stay and they actually started to grapple. So we separated them and told Gabe that he could stay without Luke if he wanted. We were SO surprised when he decided to stay. He doesn’t do a whole lot without the safety of having his older brother close by. This was a huge deal! They are pretty much inseparable…they have bunk beds and they even sleep in the same bed . With Luke not staying we were pretty much out for any adult entertainment that we had planned but that was OK…it had been a very long day with a very tight schedule. We were with Bobbie and Gerald during the whole ordeal as they were dropping off their kids too. While we were heading back to the room Bobbie had mentioned that Jen was a bit bummed because they were going to be confined to their room as well with Logan. He was 2…almost 3 so he was too young for the kids club yet. So I gave Jen a call and once he fell asleep she brought him over to our cabin where we put sleepy Luke and Logan in the kids cabin while Jen and Rob visited with us. Not long after we were joined by Bobbie and Gerald and we had a great reunion! They were telling me that even though they had not met Evan yet that their son Lane had at the club. He said he met this guy Evan from Canada and that he said he was going to go up to the deck to get something to eat since he was starving because he missed supper. Lane then said… “what a minute. Is Char your mom?!” Which freaked Evan out .
Bobbie and Gerald got a text to pick up their youngest and I went along to check on Gabe. He was still good! So back to the cabin we went and the kids cabin was quickly filling up with sleepy kids. This connecting room was way better than we could have imagined. It was nice to get to visit being confined to our room. Gabe stayed until around 11 and I picked him up and tucked him into bed. We all visited and it was just before midnight when everyone left. Nate and I stayed up talking and laughing until at least 1. We were looking forward to sleeping in and enjoying the sea day!

Up next up…. Mixology and formal night…. Maybe not a good idea

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Old 12-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #30
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Now the fact that Cassie was saying this was quite funny because she was the master of THAT little game when she was in high school and taught her brother well.
Whaaa? Who me?
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