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Old 03-25-2014, 07:31 PM   #61
LoveMyTwoPrincesses
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Originally Posted by oopsiDAISY View Post
Such a great report! Our family is taking our first cruise in October with this same itenarary. Your girls are dolls!!!
Thank you! That is so exciting that you are planning your first cruise. I am sure that you will love it!

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What great formal night photos!!

And, I totally hear you on taking a few days to really relax and get into vacation mode...that switch can be so hard! But so sweet too!

And I love that Sofia was greeting --- DD loves her, and will be so excited!
It was nice to have so many chances to have pictures of all four of us together. It just happens so rarely in every day life!

For whatever reason it was really hard to flip the switch on this trip, but when it finally did I was all in!

I was really happy with the variety of characters that were onboard. Ava is sitting with me right now and she said that she really liked that Sofia had on her amulet.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:07 AM   #62
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Really enjoying your TR
You all look like you are having a wonderful time, especially the girls
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:36 PM   #63
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Really enjoying your TR
You all look like you are having a wonderful time, especially the girls
Thank you! The girls were definitely having a great time. It also isn't fair because they never seem to take a bad picture!
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:12 PM   #64
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More Sea Day Fun

The girls had really been looking forward to the Midship Detective Agency, so we decided now would be a good time to try it out. We decided that it would be a good idea to separate. That way each of the girls would have their own control without getting any "help" from each other. DD7 and I headed to the kiosk and she decided that she wanted to do the mission with the "puppies."





We really had a lot of fun doing this, but it sure is a workout! You do end up going all over the ship, but you also end up seeing a lot of things that you might not otherwise. Along the way we came across Pepe's door from the Muppets mission. I really feel bad for the people that are staying in this area. It sure was a popular spot!



We didn't finish before it was time for lunch, but it is not a problem. You can pick back up at any time. We met DH and DD10 at Royal Court today for lunch. It is a much more relaxing option for lunch than Cabanas. It is not buffet, you have a menu to order from. Lily from Canada was our server for lunch and she was great. She remembered the girls the whole rest of the week and would greet them whenever she saw them. I really enjoyed the food we had. DH and I shared the veggie quesadillas and seafood sampler for the appetizer, which were both very good. We both had burgers and I will tell you-they are huge! For dessert I had the hot chocolate fudge pudding at Lily's suggestion and it was so good.

After lunch we made our way to the character dance party in the atrium. There were a lot of people that participated, but the kids had a great time dancing with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto. They did a conga line and the kids had the chance to get up close to the characters to dance. I have to say, we had a pretty great day with the characters!





DD7 was a little timid approaching the characters to dance, but DD10 wasn't shy!











Up next: Ducky Williams


Last edited by LoveMyTwoPrincesses; 04-28-2014 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:29 PM   #65
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Enjoying your report. Your girls are beautiful!!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:30 PM   #66
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Awesome pictures!! Thanks again for sharing. Only 268 days until I can experience this first hand! Not like I am counting down or anything!
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:46 PM   #67
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Enjoying your report. Your girls are beautiful!!!
I am glad you are enjoying it! I am having a great time writing it. Thank you for the kind comment about the girls.

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Awesome pictures!! Thanks again for sharing. Only 268 days until I can experience this first hand! Not like I am counting down or anything!
You are welcome! .

I hope those 268 days will fly by! I was exactly the same way when it came to counting down the days!

Last edited by LoveMyTwoPrincesses; 03-28-2014 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:00 AM   #68
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Hi from Oz!!

Am enjoying your trip report immensely and am hugely happy that I found it because we will be doing the Eastern Caribbean Cruise at exactly the same time of year (7 February) next year 2015 and so I wanted to ask you, what was the weather like out on the islands and while you were cruising. I'm a little worried that it might be cold (coming from Perth, Australia where our summers have days frequently up to 110F (40C) and our winter weather is normally around 65F (18C) at the lowest (colder days are rare). I don't really like the hot summer weather we get here in Perth (February is actually one of our hottest months so we are excited to be escaping it next year) however I would like to know if it might be too cold for someone like me to consider swimming/beach activities etc. If you could provide any insight I would be very grateful. Any advice you have would be appreciate, this is our first cruise and I am a 'planner' type person and like to have everything dialed before heading off to any holiday location.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:39 AM   #69
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Hi from Oz!!

Am enjoying your trip report immensely and am hugely happy that I found it because we will be doing the Eastern Caribbean Cruise at exactly the same time of year (7 February) next year 2015 and so I wanted to ask you, what was the weather like out on the islands and while you were cruising. I'm a little worried that it might be cold (coming from Perth, Australia where our summers have days frequently up to 110F (40C) and our winter weather is normally around 65F (18C) at the lowest (colder days are rare). I don't really like the hot summer weather we get here in Perth (February is actually one of our hottest months so we are excited to be escaping it next year) however I would like to know if it might be too cold for someone like me to consider swimming/beach activities etc. If you could provide any insight I would be very grateful. Any advice you have would be appreciate, this is our first cruise and I am a 'planner' type person and like to have everything dialed before heading off to any holiday location.
Welcome!

I have read that the weather can be hit or miss in February, but for us it was most definitely a hit! The only day we thought that it was cold was the day that we boarded. On our sea days and at the islands I would say it was right around 80F. We went to the beach at St. Maarten and snorkeling at St. Thomas and the water was chilly at first, but then we felt that it was comfortable. At Castaway Cay I thought the water was cool, but it didn't stop us from going in. You also have to consider that when we left home it was -11F, so we thought the temperatures were fantastic!

As far as being a first time cruiser I would recommend joining the meet group here on the DIS. I would also suggest joining the groups Facebook page if there is one. On our sailing there were many previous cruisers, so they were very helpful answering questions that I had. It was also fun to be surrounded by others that share in your excitement.

I also found it helpful to look at Navigators that previous cruisers have posted. The Navigator lists all activities and events going on during the cruise. They change a little bit from cruise to cruise, but it will give you a good idea of what activities will be available during your sailing.

If you have any other questions, let me know and I would be happy to answer them!
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:22 PM   #70
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Ducky Williams

After the dance party we worked on the Midship Detective Agency for a little while before I headed to the Buena Vista Theatre for a special presentation. Ducky Williams was a special guest on our sailing. Ducky works for Disney and is an animator for marketing. Some of his work includes the artwork for Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and the artwork you see when you drive into Disney World.

Upon arrival at the theater I received a raffle ticket and had a seat. Ducky was onstage working on drawings of different Disney characters. When everybody was settled in he started his talk while he continued to draw. He said the more drawings he had done the more drawings he had to give away. The raffle ticket we received would be for one of Ducky’s drawings!

Ducky started by telling us that when he was 10 years old he wrote a letter to Walt Disney asking for a job. Walt Disney actually sent him a letter back! He told Ducky that he was sorry but he did not have any jobs for a 10 year old.

After high school Ducky joined the Navy and he said he never saw a ship, but now he had been on a ship many times while cruising on Disney ships. After he got out of the service he went to work at a bank. Ducky said that he drew the whole time he was working at the bank and he would hang up his work at the bank. He said that one of the bank patrons was a Disney fan and asked him where he got all of the drawings. Ducky stated that he had drawn them and this interested the patron who happened to work at a local news station. He ended up doing a story on Ducky that played several times on the local news. A gentleman that did work as a security guard at the bank ended up sending a copy of the story to Disney in California. They responded that there weren't any openings, but that he should he should contact Ralph Kent, an artist at WDW. Ducky sent a letter and tape to Ralph Kent, but after not hearing anything back Ducky decided to call Ralph Kent. He ended up speaking to Ralph Kent’s secretary, who said the tape was sitting on Kent's desk and hadn't been watched. Ducky told her he was going to be in Florida and she actually set up an appointment for him to meet with Ralph Kent! He made his way to Florida with several pieces of his work. Ralph Kent and two other artists met with Ducky and he said they really scrutinized his work. They actually ended up giving him Disney model sheets of characters to practice drawing the characters and asked him to be in continued contact with one of the men that had looked over his work. He continued to work at the bank and he would send 100 drawings a week to Florida for critique! This continued for TWO years before he decided that he needed to quit his job at the bank and relocate to Florida.

Once he relocated to Florida Ducky tried to get any job he could at Disney World for three months, but ended up taking a job as a host at a restaurant just outside of Disney World. He said that Disney workers got a discount at the restaurant he was working at when they showed their ID badges. After two weeks he said he couldn’t stand seeing these badges and not having one, so he left the restaurant. He ended up getting a job at Disney World doing portraits, but the job only lasted six weeks before the job was cut. He ended up with a job as a clerk before a temporary position came open in the art department. They told him the position was for 30 days. Ducky said on the 30th day he was waiting for them to say something, but they never did so he just kept coming back and has been there ever since! If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, you must! It was such a great story of perseverance and following your dreams.

When Ducky was done they did a drawing for the pieces that he had created during his talk and I was fortunate enough to win! I am now the proud owner of this drawing of Pluto.



Up next:Animator's Palate


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Old 03-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #71
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What a wonderful souvenir!
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:50 AM   #72
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What a wonderful souvenir!
I was so very excited! I hand carried it with me on our travels home because I didn't want it to get damaged. Stu said he was so worried that it would be ruined on the short drive from the airport to our house when we returned because I had taken such good care of it on our flights!
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:21 PM   #74
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Oh wow, lucky you winning that wonderful drawing
Very cool
I felt so fortunate to win the drawing! I think he had about 16 drawings that they ended up giving away. It was such a variety of characters that he drew, but I was really excited to win Pluto. He has always been a favorite at our house.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:41 PM   #75
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Animator's Palate

After seeing Ducky I was getting messages from DH that they were at the Walt Disney Theatre for the afternoon showing of Wishes. I was bummed because the ladies from our Facebook group were getting together for drinks at the same time, so I ended up missing the meet with them. The ladies that I met at Mixology were really nice, so I am sure that it was a fun time.

After the show we made our way back to the room to get ready for dinner at Animator's Palate. We ordered another cheese plate from room service and had it with some of the wine that we brought on-board with us. I sure like that Disney allows you to bring beverages in you carry-on. We are not big drinkers, but it saved us a lot of money over the course of the week.

We arrived at Animator's Palate and we were really taken by all of the details. Your table number was on a container holding paint brushes and pencils.



The place settings were so cute. DD7's favorite was the paint brush butter knife. I think I might need to order her one as a stocking stuffer this year.





I think my favorite detail was the Mickey Mouse backed chairs.



Our table allowed us a nice view of the screens where Crush appeared during the show in dining room this particular evening. If we looked to left we saw this-



and to the right was this screen-



The columns were so cute-they were shaped as pencils and paint brushes.



Overall DD10 was pleased with Animator's Palate.



For dinner this evening there wasn't a main entree that really appealed to me, so I asked if I could have all four of the appetizers instead of having a main meal. Of course they told me that was not a problem. I really enjoyed this because Wek spread them out so I had one as an appetizer, one as a salad, and the last two when everybody had their main course. I ended up having the smoked salmon tartar, sliced serrano ham, black truffle purseittes, and the the tomato tarte. It was perfect and exactly what I wanted. DD10 continued her nightly intake of beef, while DD7 continued on the pasta route.

When we finished dinner we told our server that we wanted to pass on dessert again tonight. We were so full and there was an activity that the girls wanted to get to at the lab. I don't know if they get in trouble if people refuse food or what the deal was because he insisted on us having dessert. We said no again and the next thing you know he shows up with two desserts and the dessert sampler for the night and puts them on the table. I was kind of frustrated because we didn't want it and now it was going to waste.

The important activity that the girls wanted to get to was Anyone Can Cook: Cupcakes. They fancy themselves to be cake decorators, so this was right up their alley. While they enjoyed decorating cupcakes, Stu and I had some alone time at Skyline for a martini. We had fun just relaxing together knowing that the girls were having a good time doing their own thing.

After we picked up the girls we headed up to watch the movie on deck 11. I think tonight was High School Musical 2. The weather was noticeably warmer tonight while watching the show. After the movie DH had a cognac tasting that he went to while the girls and I headed back to the room so we would be well rested for our day at St. Maarten.

Up Next: Bernards Tours St. Maarten


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