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Old 03-09-2014, 10:27 PM   #61
jenseib
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We did the Ardastra Gardens our last cruise too. We did it through the cruise line though. We had fun too. All the kids were freaking out with the birds landing on them. And the flamingo show was so funny. I laughed at how some seemed to be yelling at each other.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:11 AM   #62
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I am glad you had a better experience at Ardastra Gardens then us. We did it through Disney on our last cruise and we were not impressed. Disney took us off the boat and left us with someone from the gardens who then left us all on the street to go get a van to transport us with out telling us what he was doing. It was very confusing and tense.

The gardens were pretty but the flamingo show was horrible that day.

I am glad to hear it was better for you!
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:36 AM   #63
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Great review!
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:51 PM   #64
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Following for more of your great trip report! Taking our 17 yo DD next February 2015.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:25 PM   #65
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Following along! Loving your trip report so far!
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:37 PM   #66
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Thank you for all the tips we just got back from our 1st cruise with our 17(18now) and 14 year old sons. The weather wasn't perfect but we had a great time and I thought of you and your title, kept asking myself where are the kids. They were at VIBE until 2am every night.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:42 AM   #67
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so glad you had fun!
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:43 AM   #68
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Love this trip report!!!
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:33 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
We did the Ardastra Gardens our last cruise too. We did it through the cruise line though. We had fun too. All the kids were freaking out with the birds landing on them. And the flamingo show was so funny. I laughed at how some seemed to be yelling at each other.
The only one who would have freaked about the birds would have been DH - so he stayed outside the cage Just the first time they landed on us did it take us by surprise, after that it was just fun. The flamingos were funny - I agree! No flamingo seemed to be yelling but there was one renegade flamingo who kept trying to go the opposite way and wouldn't march when all the other did. The trainer was funny as he tried to corral that one!
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I am glad you had a better experience at Ardastra Gardens then us. We did it through Disney on our last cruise and we were not impressed. Disney took us off the boat and left us with someone from the gardens who then left us all on the street to go get a van to transport us with out telling us what he was doing. It was very confusing and tense.
Yuck! that does not sound like fun at all! Admittedly we did have some issues trying to figure out the cabs but it wasn't too bad in the end.
The gardens were pretty but the flamingo show was horrible that day.
I'm surprised that the show was bad - I would have figured they train them regularly so that there would not be bad experiences?
I am glad to hear it was better for you!
So sorry your experience was not as enjoyable - not a great thing and certainly does not make you want to do something like that again and spend hard earned money on it!
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Great review!
Thanks!
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Originally Posted by MouseHouseof3 View Post
Following for more of your great trip report! Taking our 17 yo DD next February 2015.
Thank you DD will have loads of fun with VIBE
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Following along! Loving your trip report so far!Thank you, glad you are enjoying so far
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Originally Posted by renesmom View Post
Thank you for all the tips we just got back from our 1st cruise with our 17(18now) and 14 year old sons. The weather wasn't perfect but we had a great time and I thought of you and your title, kept asking myself where are the kids. They were at VIBE until 2am every night.
see, now you know what I am talking about! Sorry the weather was not great, it sure has been a crazy winter everywhere! but glad you had a good time. Are you doing a trip report??
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so glad you had fun!
We really did have so much fun!
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Love this trip report!!!
Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:12 PM   #70
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Day 4 - Feb 4, Nassau, continued

We got back to the ship around 3:30. Everyone was hot, tired and hungry. The kids left right away to go find food and then to see who was in Vibe. John and I stopped at the room to drop off our bags and then went for food. We were too late for Cabana's but we did find some yummy wraps and fruit at Daisy Delights - they had some greek wraps and vegetable panini's. They did have some dairy in them but I had some anyways. DH had a couple and then he went to get a burger from Boiler bites. Though we were a little disappointed to not be able to go to Cabana's, it sure was nice to still be able to find food.

I had discovered on the Navigator that we would not be leaving Nassau till 1am, which had me very happy as I was unsure how dinner would go if we are out at sea again. I decided to take a nap and DH took his iPad and went to read in the adult only area. So thankful I was able to sleep for a couple hours, especially since I knew it would probably be a late night.

Once I was up, I realized it was already to late to go to the show that night. So DH and I wandered around for awhile and relaxed on the verandah. Must have been a nice time, and we must have just been enjoying the moment because I have no photos! LOL

We didn't see the kids at all during this time but they knew to meet us for dinner.
We freshened up, and headed off to our dinner for the night.


Bethany met us there just before 8 and just before we got seated but son John had not shown up yet. Bethany even got a little dressed up for the occasion.


Once we were seated, we started discussing if we should go and find John. Bethany had said he was up in Vibe and she was about to go run to find him when he strolled in to join us. Apparently he and a new friend got the Wii set up and were playing rock band, and having so much fun he was having a hard time leaving


Because we were actually at the table for this night (and no one felt ill!) we were able to interact more with our serving staff. We had a great time with them. Best for the kids were the puzzles that they kept laying out on the table.

All these great kind of things is what made our meals even that much more special. Though we were sitting at a table just for the 4 of us, the table right next to us had some teens as well and they all knew each other from Vibe. So whenever we got a new puzzle to solve, or they did, the kids would be jumping over to the tables to see if they could figure it out. Very funny, and it really did make the meal go quickly!

We were very happy with our food choices that night - and I got spoiled

My Appetizer

Not even sure exactly what it all is - but it was good!

My main dish - broiled tofu, yummy rice pilaff and they even had vegan cheese!


Bethany went for a lighter meal. She is often not too hungry at dinner. She was very happy with her choice. It was funny though, our serving staff were really surprised at how little she ate and kept trying to get her to order larger/different dishes. Tonight she had the salmon


I did not end up taking photos of everyones food. I tried to take some of my sons food but he ate it so fast I couldn't get pictures!

Dessert:
Both kids had this and it was their favourite one from all the dinners



And I ended up with very yummy poached pears and coconut ice cream. Yum!


As soon as we were done eating DS disappeared to go to Vibe again. Bethany stuck around for a bit, and ended up seeing the limbo dancing/singing at the end of dinner. Then she headed off as well to got to Vibe.

John and I didn't stick around for too long either. We went and wandered around for a bit and then headed over to After hours to check out what was happening over there. Not sure what it is called - one of the lounges - must have had some karaoke going on and someone was singing, very badly! So we decided to not go in there! lol
I knew I wanted to check out Keys and so we headed over there. The performer that night, Clara, was playing and I was in luck -she was playing Broadway show tunes. As a piano teacher/musician myself, I always enjoy hearing others perform so this was a highlight for me.
We found some seats - unfortunately they were not very comfortable It was a couch, but the cushions were weird so it was really hard to sit properly. We ordered some drinks (and no that is NOT why we could sit properly! LOL)
I had a champange and coconut drink - I think it was a martini but not sure. But it was good!

DH had a martini as well but he did not like his as much. He said it was too sweet for his liking.
And then we settled in and listened to Clara play and sing


I was really enjoying myself and DH was too but I think I can sit there for hours and hours and that is not really his thing. So he wandered off after awhile, no idea when since I was not watching a clock After he left and others came and went. Clara took a bit of a break and then after that she started taking requests. Apparently we were all in a Broadway mood that night and so she kept playing. It was a lot of fun. After she played for a bit and everyone relaxed (and drank!) we started singing along and it turned into this fabulous sing along for at least an hour. So much fun! and I have to say - Clara did this tribute to Julie Andrews and sang some from Sound of Music and some others the Julie Andrews had done and oh my! does she ever sound like Julie Andrews - she even had the accent down - so funny and so awesome!

I hung out for quite awhile and enjoyed the evening. Eventually I left to find DH -who just happened to be walking by at the moment. So we decided to head on back to our stateroom. Again, no idea of the time but I would guess it was around 11:30 or 12 by this time. Still no sign of the kids
We opened up a bottle of wine and sat outside on the verandah and relaxed. Since we were still docked at this point we could see a lot of Nassau and I was surprised at just how many people were still coming and going from the ship - I guess there is some sort of nightlife that is appealing?

Finally we decided it was time to go bed. Still no kids

I never heard them come in that night - according to them they came in around 1:30am. During the night the ship headed out and over to Castaway Cay - I was surprised but oh so happy when I woke the next day and realized that I never even felt the ship move during the night!

Up next - Our day in Castaway Cay.....
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:37 PM   #71
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Dinner looks great! 2 weeks from today I'll be on that ship.
It's so nice you got some alone time. My daughter is 9 and told me she won't be going to the clubs and I told her she had to go at least once. I'll probably send her the first night.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:07 PM   #72
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Dinner looks great! 2 weeks from today I'll be on that ship.
It's so nice you got some alone time. My daughter is 9 and told me she won't be going to the clubs and I told her she had to go at least once. I'll probably send her the first night.
If you can only get her to go once, defienetly go on night one. If they work things like on our cruise they will have an icebreakers activity and if she is going to make some friends that is probably the time it will happen and since everyone will be a little shy and getting to know one another, maybe it will help?

Can't believe your cruise is coming up so soon! I'm having cruise envy
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:54 PM   #73
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Day 5, Feb 5: Castaway Cay

[COLOR="royal blue"]Before I get to our Castaway Cay day I found one photo I forgot to share. Our towel animal that we discovered when we went to the room in the evening.



This kids did not find him till the next day as they were not in the room at the same time as us but I put him on the shelf so they could see it in the morning.

OK on to Castaway Cay.....

I woke up before everyone else this morning. I could feel the ship moving so I knew we were not in dock yet so I decided to let everyone keep sleeping and made my way up to the top deck on my own.

It was after 7:30 so I was able to go to Cabana's for some breakfast. I was much happier with my choices here. I was able to find oatmeal, nuts, seeds dried fruit and fresh fruit. Yum!

Then I headed outside and watched as they turned the entire ship around. It was pretty windy at this time and I heard them announce later on that it took them a little longer to get into dock because of the wind and it took a lot of manuvering for them to get it in. Pretty impressive I have to say.






Once we were in dock I headed back to the room to see if everyone else was up yet.

DH and kids were up so they all headed up to get breakfast once they were dressed. Don't think they went together but I do know everyone did manage to have breakfast.
I took a few photos from our verandah while I waited.



After Breakfast Bethany let me know that we needed to sign up her and John for the Wild side excursion for teens. I had booked this ahead of time but then cancelled it because I thought what if they did not find any friends that they wanted to hand out with for the day - didn't want to waste money on it but thankfully it was easy enough to sign them up the day we docked.
So Bethany, John and I headed to Vibe to go sign them up. It was pretty easy to do and we signed for them to be able to go on and off the ship without us as well. Both kids stayed up in Vibe as they would be heading out soon.
We never made a plan to meet for the day - which DH and I kind of thought about later - oops!

So with the kids taken care of DH and I got ourselves ready and headed out. Having never been to Castaway Cay before we were very impressed with, well, everything! It sure has the squeaky clean feeling that we have grown to love about Disney.

We decided to walk so we could take in the sites.





And even managed to see this fun guy walking by


We made our way over to the beach and managed to find the place where they give out the floats. We stopped to talk to the CM there and then headed to get our snorkelling gear. I had pre purchased the Castaway Cay getaway package so I knew we had the snorkelling gear, floats and bikes for the our day.

We decided to find some chairs and try out snorkelling first.

We debated for a bit about heading to the adults only beach but it really wasn't that busy at the family beach so we figured we just stay there.

Neither John or I have been snorkelling before so we were not too sure what to expect. DH does not float - at all - but once he inflated his life vest he was good. We did not go out too deep as we were trying to get the hang of things and figure out how to swim and not put our heads under to far. We managed to see a few fish, not too many but enjoyed our time out and got better as the morning went on. We ended up staying out for probably a couple hours, but again this was our holiday so no watches for us!

We went to find some food and water at this point since the salt water - even though we didn't swallow a lot still left us pretty parched.
The serving staff had let me know the night before that the veggie burgers would be fine for me to eat (they had offered to have something made for me but I had let them know that I would be ok - but how sweet that they offered!) We found lots of good food and found a spot to eat without any problem.

After we ate we decided to go for a bike ride. Now I have not been on bike in 12 years. 12 years ago I took a nasty fall down a flight of stairs and got a hairline fracture on the base of my spine. Took a long time to recover and sitting on a bike was just not possible anymore. So I was a little nervous and excited about the thought of being able to ride again.

Continued in next post....
[/COLOR]
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:23 PM   #74
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We found the bikes and I was very happy to see what looked like comfortable seats

And off we went - and yes I was able to ride! It was awesome to be able to ride a bike again. We found the bike trail and off we went...




Not exactly sure when we took these photos but obviously this was after swimming - love my hair!



We were not sure just how long the trail went but we did end up finding the lookout tower


We headed back down the road and noticed that there was another road, so being the curious types we decided to follow it to see where it would take us.

And we discovered a beautiful end of the island





Then we headed over the Serenity bay to see what it looked like




You know, it always surprises me when I hear people complaining at these types of places. There was this one older woman who was walking with a CM and just complaining about everything. I felt bad for the CM having to deal with this.
We headed back to the main beach and put our bikes back. grabbed some water and then headed back to our chairs. We were pretty warm by now so we thought it would be great to go snorkelling again.

We headed out again and this time we went pretty far out. We were feeling a lot more comfortable so going out farther was fun.
We saw A LOT more fish this time and some buried treasure and really enjoyed swimming around and looking at everything - so impressive just how far you can see in the water. Once we decided to head back in, as we turned around, I pointed to my DH about this fish swimming right under him. Let me tell you, this was BIG fish. I think probably one of the largest one I saw all day. My DH saw it out of the corner of his eye and let out quite the scream LOL I think the fish being so close was kind of freaky! We swam away from there pretty quick
On our way back we ended up seeing a Stingray playing in the sand yet too. I thought it was pretty cool, though a little freaky as we had no idea what a stingray could/would do?

We headed back in and as we were getting out of the water we overhead another family talking to the CM at the waters edge about this stingray they saw in the water. According to the CM, this could have been a stingray that escaped from its area and if that was case it was no worries since they stingers are removed but there was a possibility that this was a wild stingray as well, but usually they do not bother people, as long as we are careful. So glad we didn't know this before we headed out or I'm not sure we would have gone!

We started to go back to our chars when who should we happen to see walking along the beach, our son John! He was pretty exhausted though he said he had a great time. They had gone biking, kayaking and snorkelling but he was pretty tired so he was heading back to the ship. He said he just needed some time along which I understand. He gets pretty warm outdoors and I'm sure he needed some time to cool off. I asked him later and he said he hung out in the room and just read for awhile.

John and I decided to go find some hammocks to lay in for awhile and we found the perfect spot.




It was perfect! I could have stayed there all day!
As we were relaxing there who else should come by - our DD Bethany! She found a chair, went and got something to drink and then sat down to relax with us. Apparently she had a great time on the Wild side excursion. Kayaking was a lot of fun, apparently they rode their bikes out to where they go kayaking and then went out for awhile in pairs. Then they biked to the lookout tower and then over to go snorkelling. Bethany said she went out with a bunch of friends pretty far and even managed to find the buried Mickey She said John did not go out as far so he did not see as much but he says that he had a good time. They all had lunch together and then they were on their own. They all hung out for quite awhile still at that point so by the time we saw John heading to the ship was when they finally all started splitting up. Bethany said she had been trying to find us for awhile before we finally found each other - really should have set up a time and place to meet!

We stayed there for about as long as we could but once we saw the umbrellas coming down we knew we had to head back.



We finally packed up and started walking back to the ship



Time to go get ready for dinner and pirate night.....
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:18 PM   #75
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If you can only get her to go once, defienetly go on night one. If they work things like on our cruise they will have an icebreakers activity and if she is going to make some friends that is probably the time it will happen and since everyone will be a little shy and getting to know one another, maybe it will help?

Can't believe your cruise is coming up so soon! I'm having cruise envy
She has gone 1 time on each of our other cruises...the first time she seemed to have a good time, but she was mad I actually did stuff without her. the 2nd time she went with her cousin but her cousin said it wasn't fun, so then neither would go back. She tends to be shy at first, but I hope she goes and has a good time.


Love the update. I love CC...can't wait to get there again!
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