14-night Eastbound Transatlantic Cruise (May 14-28, 2011) Lots of pics! COMPLETED 9/8

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by KevieKev05, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    DAY 14 - May 27th, 2011 - Barcelona, Spain (Part 5)

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    After about 20 minutes, we began to make our way back to the bus stop.

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    When we reached the bus stop, there was a line. We had to wait for the second bus to arrive, and when we got on, there was only seating on the bottom available. (Don’t worry! I still captured the following pictures!)

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    “Guell Pavilions”:

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    After three stops, we were able to move up top!

    The second largest (I believe) football stadium in Europe:

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    Now, it was about 1:40 and it was time to catch a red line bus again to start making our way back. Naturally, there is quite a line. One bus comes and fills quickly. Then two more come back to back. We wait for the second one so that we can sit up top again. It took about 20 minutes, but by 2:00 we were traveling along the red line route again.

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  3. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    DAY 14 - May 27th, 2011 - Barcelona, Spain (Part 6)

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    Olympic Stadium:

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    At about 2:50, we had made our way back to World Trade Center.

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    Busses we traveled on:
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    Disney bus back to the ship:
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    At 3:00, they started loading the Disney bus and it was full within 5 minutes. By 3:15, we were already back at the ship. Through security we went, and then past some of the shops in the terminal. As soon as we got on the ship, we went straight up top for FOOD! Who did we find up there? Mom and Dad! How convenient! They followed the same bus route we did (switching from the blue line to the red line) and made it back safe and sound (PHEW!). We ate with them and then unfortunately we decide that it’s time to start packing. Seriously?! I feel like we just unpacked! Two weeks really did fly by.

    Surprisingly, it only took about 20 minutes for us to pack. (We were quite organized throughout the two weeks...well, one has to be when you in a small inside stateroom, haha!) So, we then relaxed and eventually fell asleep. At 6:10, we started to get ready for our FINAL evening on the ship. It just can’t be! Wow.

    Within 30 minutes, we were ready and heading down to the Promenade Lounge to meet up with Mom and Dad. I also snapped a picture of tonight’s dinner menu as well.

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    Tonight’s show (“Remember the Magic: A Final Farewell”) started at 7:45 and there was only one performance. At 7:05 we began to make our way over to the Walt Disney Theatre, and the doors opened at 7:15. It was a good show and wrapped up the whole cruise experience quite well.

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  4. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    DAY 14 - May 27th, 2011 - Barcelona, Spain (Part 7)

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  5. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    DAY 14 - May 27th, 2011 - Barcelona, Spain (Part 8)

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    The show ended at 8:25, and we went straight to Parrot Cay for our final dinner. We walk in and Zuzana informs us that Marianne is sick and won’t be serving us! WHAT?! This has to be a joke! We were truly upset! She left us a sweet note though and told us she would be at breakfast to say goodbye to us. Phew. For tonight, we had Greg from Hungary serving us in addition to his tables. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as smoothly as we were used to (understandable, though). Our first course didn’t arrive until after 9:00, so we knew tonight meal was going to be a lengthy affair (boo). The whole meal just had a different feel without Marianne there (he sure lacked the personality Marianne had). It was even more depressing than the fact this was our last dinner! It just reiterated to us how wonderful Marianne was. Anyway, food picture time!

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    Chicken sate:
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    (We got potato soup, but I didn’t take a picture.)

    Steak:
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    Dessert menu:
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    Baked Alaska:
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    Celebration Cake:
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    The chefs then paraded around the restaurant with the flaming Baked Alaska, followed by a parade of the dining service team.

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    Our head server, Ali:
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    Zuzana and Greg:
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    And with that, our final dinner was over. It was with great sadness that we left the dining room. What was even sadder was the fact that it was past 10:00. Marianne would never have let that happen, haha! We went back to our rooms to finish up packing and we had our suitcases out between 10:15 and 10:20. Phew!

    Final turndown:
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    According to our “Welcome Home” letter, our breakfast was to be at 7:45 tomorrow morning. (The first seating was 6:30...eeeks!) I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t easy at all falling asleep tonight. Even though we had a full day of sightseeing, my mind wouldn’t stop long enough to let me fall asleep. I kept reliving the cruise and thinking about all the amazing times we had. Tomorrow was going to be a LONG day of traveling so I eventually made myself fall asleep...

    I plan to have one final installment for this TR: the journey home and final thoughts. Feel free to comment away or ask questions in the meantime!
     
  6. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my! The color of the fruit and veggies is incredible!

    I guess it's safe to say, if I ever go to Barcelona to be prepared for lines! Yikes! So glad your mom and dad made it back to the ship on their own.

    What a bummer about Marianne and your last dinner. Hoping she was able to see you off at breakfast on the final morning.

    Looking forward to your final thoughts!
     
  7. Pinky3

    Pinky3 Mouseketeer

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    Keviekev05: I am sure someone has already asked this but : What type of camera do you have? Your pics are amazing.
     
  8. HermanTriplets+1

    HermanTriplets+1 DIS Veteran

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    THIS looks AMAZING:thumbsup2! I've never seen ice pops look so enticing! Did you try one???
    Thanks for the trip report - I've been lurking for weeks and have to say I'm a bit glum:sick: over the thought of you arriving at the last stop ... looking forward to the final day in Barcelona and a nice long sum-up!:flower3:
     
  9. wonkadeb

    wonkadeb Disney makes me happy

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    I am also sad that your trip report is winding down. Really enjoyed following your travels. I found myself looking each day to see if you had made an installment. Please travel again real soon, so we can enjoy another adventure through you. Thank you so much for your writings and pictures!
     
  10. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Kevin, I can not believe this TR is almost over! :sad1: As usual, magnificent photos! So much to comment on, everything looked so awesome! Can't get enough of those Gaudi buildings! They are so amazing, every time I see them I am awestruck at his imagination. So funny you came across the one three times! Such a good call to get off the bus to see the park, those little 'seats' in the tunnel looked so cute. Was that gargoyle a statue or a street performer? So cool.

    Totally agree with HermanTriplets+1, those popcicles look so yummy, I've never seen anything like that before. I went to a similar open market like that in Italy, but it was mostly cheeses and meats.

    So sad about Marianne, I hope she was able to make an appearance at breakfast. I'm sure the servers get as connected to the customers as you do to them, she must have been feeling really sick to miss the last night.

    I've written this question and deleted it at least three times, I don't want to seem tacky, but I really want to ask, did you feel you missed out at all with having an inside stateroom? I know with the port days it probably didn't matter, but with the days at sea did you miss sitting on the balcony looking at the ocean, or did it even matter?

    Thanks so much for the wonderful installment! Want to hear more, but dread the finale.

    -Pam
     
  11. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    All the food looked so scrumptious! I kind of wish we bought something there!

    Thank you! I have a Nikon D3100 and I used a 18-55mm lens primarily, but also used a 55-200mm lens for the further away shots. :)

    No, unfortunately we didn't try one! Definitely a mistake on our part!

    Thank YOU so much for your compliments! I appreciate hearing that people are enjoying the TR :)

    The gargoyle was totally a street performer! So neat!

    That market was amazing and I really wish we bought something (especially looking back at the pictures, haha)!

    And please! Your question about the stateroom isn't tacky at all...it's a legitimate question!

    So, after we went on our 5-night cruise last summer, we came home and looked at cruises as we just couldn't get enough! We came across the transatlantic and kind of joked around at first about doing it, but then realized that's quite a bit of money and getting time off work would be hard. However, within a couple days we decided what the heck and booked it! Mom and Dad decided to tag along as well at this point.

    We wanted to keep it as cheap as possible, so we booked an inside stateroom as soon as we knew we wanted to go on the cruise (and we didn't want the price to go up on us). We knew we wanted to be on deck 5 or higher (personal preference) so we actually didn't book the cheapest room possible. As time went on, we started to really think about it....14 days in an inside stateroom?! Are we crazy? Dad was the most apprehensive by far. He was actually dreading it. Then, the pay in full date hit and we were locked in. Lucky us, the next day they offered cheaper rooms. So much cheaper that we could've practically had a verandah for the price we paid for our inside! Oh no! We felt punished for booking early! We looked into switching categories, but at this point, the cancellation fee was astronomical and wouldn't be worth it. Bummer!

    Fast forward to the time of the cruise. Dad was still moaning and groaning before we got on the ship. However, once we got settled, it didn't seem too bad at all. At least the room would be dark at night and in the morning, haha! And, we knew we wouldn't be spending a ton of time in the room. If we wanted to see what was going on outside, we would just march our happy butts up to the top deck or to decks 3 and 4 (yay exercise!). As you've read, we found areas around the ship that we inhabited to pass the time with our games. ;) It was a little weird waking up and not knowing what was going on outside, but it didn't really phase us. All in all, we made it work! We kept our rooms organized and made use of the space. Dad didn't complain one bit about it on the cruise, either!

    Wow...that's quite a response! Sorry about that, haha. I hope it answered your question! ;)
     
  12. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Kevin, thank you so much for your generous response. Absolutely helpful! I literally wrote and deleted that question at least three times, maybe more. As soon as those 2013 dates are up I'm booking a two weeker, no matter where it's going :) I guess I just want to prepare myself for any situation :) I almost think an inside would 'force' us out of the room, I can totally see us just sitting on the balcony for hours while we miss the wonderful entertainment that is going on around us. What a total bummer about the prices dropping the next day :( and what a trooper your Dad was! You guys will treasure the memories from this trip forever!
     
  13. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    DAY 15 - May 28th, 2011 - Barcelona, Spain

    At 6:25, I found myself waking up (5 minutes before the alarm was to go off). I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want this experience to end. I did NOT want to get off this ship for good! I wanted the cruise to go on forever. I wanted to continue making such wonderful memories with my family. I wanted to continue on seeing the world via this gorgeous ship!

    It was with great sadness we finally got out of bed and began getting ready. By 7:20, we were on our way to Parrot Cay for our final meal aboard the Disney Magic. At around 7:45, the doors opened and in we went. Is Marianne here? We turn the corner, and....YES! She is here! Thank goodness! We couldn’t imagine getting off the ship without telling her goodbye! Zuzana was currently changing cabins and would be joining us later so we could say goodbye. It was a quiet, depressing meal (and we were tired). As we looked around the restaurant, we saw a great deal of goodbyes, hugs, and fond farewells. It appeared that some of the crew’s contracts were ending, so they were also making the rounds, saying goodbye. Why are goodbye’s always so sad?! I need to always think of what the character farewell tells us. It’s “‘Til We Meet Again!”

    We finished our meal and said our goodbyes and thanked our dining room team profusely. It was an absolute pleasure and joy having them as our servers and we made sure to tell them so (and on the questionnaire as well!). We were leaving the restaurant at 8:25 and then made our way to the lobby to debark. It was a VERY smooth process and we had our luggage and were on the bus by 8:40! I tried not to look back but it was VERY hard. The Disney Magic was our home for the past two weeks and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

    After 10 minutes, the bus departed the port and we were on our way to the airport. I stared out the window trying to take everything in one last time. Before I knew it (and 20 minutes later), we were already at the airport. We were checking in at 9:30 and we made it through security and were at our gate by 10:00. Our flight didn’t leave until 12:35, so we had lots of time to sit around and be depressed.

    Apparently there was a massive football game occurring today as well. The airport was FILLED with people wearing Barcelona jerseys. I couldn’t believe just how many of them there were, all waiting to board planes to take them to the big match! They were quite a loud crowd as well, filled with LOTS of team spirit!

    Meanwhile, we sat around trying to pass time, and I snapped my final pictures of the trip.

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    At about 12:15, the boarding process began and it was MASS CHAOS. Dad had been selected for an extra security screening, so he got separated from us and had to board the plane before us. The other three of us tried to stay together and figure out just what the heck was going on with this boarding process! Our number was finally called at 12:35, and we fought our way through the crowd to board the plane. We found our seats, buckled in, and tried to mentally prepare for this 9 hour flight. The plane started pulling out at 12:55 (20 minutes later than scheduled). Before we knew it, we were in the air flying away from this amazing vacation.

    While on board, we got A LOT of food. I mean, A LOT! We weren’t expecting so much! We got: a beverage, a meal, another beverage, bottled water, a snack, a pizza, and another beverage! Not too shabby! There were also movies playing on the TVs. I was more interested in the world map showing us our journey and where sunlight was located in the world currently. Pretty neat! At about 3:00pm local time, we landed in New York. Now, it was actually 9:00pm in Barcelona...almost bed time for us, haha! But, we still had another flight.

    Once we got off the plane, we made our way to the Customs and Border Protection line. What a line! It took about 20 minutes to get through, but we all “passed”! We got our luggage and then proceeded to the next checkpoint. We passed again and then dropped off our luggage before heading upstairs to go through ANOTHER checkpoint! This time it was the normal airport security line. After 10 minutes, we made it through that line and were on our way to the gate. We dropped off our stuff, then the guys went to get some food from McDonald’s (of course, that was the location of our first American meal, haha).

    I didn’t continue writing anything down past this point, so what happened for the rest of our journey has escaped me. All I know is that our flight kept getting delayed unfortunately. It ended up being delayed almost 2 hours if memory serves me correctly! This day is already long enough as it is! It was almost dark by the time we boarded the plane. James and I practically slept the WHOLE flight. I have NEVER done that before, but we were exhausted. By the time we landed in Orlando, it was past 11:00pm (5:00am Barcelona time). We went down to baggage claim, was greeted by our Tiffany Towncar driver, got our luggage and loaded up the van. We finally made it home after midnight (6:00am Barcelona time). Yep, by the time we went to bed, we had been up for 24 hours! Craziness! It was weird being home. Weird being on land. Weird being back in the real world. Weird sleeping in our own bed. But, the trip had to end sometime and our “normal” lives had to be returned to.

    And with that, my trip report is now over. I can’t believe it! Just as I didn’t want the final day of the cruise to come, I didn’t want this trip report to end either! I guess it’s now time for my final thoughts...
     
  14. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    FINAL THOUGHTS

    Wow! Where to begin?

    PLANNING:
    We planned for months for this cruise. It felt like it was never going to arrive, but it finally did (and the wait was well worth it!). From July to December last year we didn’t do much planning. Once the new year started, I was in contact with tour companies trying to set up our tours for some of the ports of call. Everyone I came in contact with was so very kind and pleasant. The service we received was also wonderful as well. Phew! My research paid off! Also, I submitted a request to have a table for 4 in the dining room in the months prior to the cruise and thankfully it was honored! It was nice spending 14 nights as a family together by ourselves in the dining rooms. Mom handled the transportation to the port and home from the airport. It was going to be too much of a hassle to ask family/friends to drive us and pick us up with ALL our luggage! No one we knew had big enough vehicle to accommodate all of us, so we went with a van from Tiffany Towncar. Definitely a smart choice.

    STATEROOM:
    I was overall pleased with our stateroom selection. I like that area of the ship and when we traveled with Mom and Dad on a previous cruise, we stayed just across the hall in a verandah, so they were familiar with and enjoyed this location as well. Convenient to the aft elevators, convenient to Topsider Buffet, convenient to the drink station...just perfect for us! As I’ve previously stated, we made the small-ish inside staterooms work. I actually just looked at pictures of an oceanview stateroom on Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas, and it was significantly smaller! There was no seating area! So, I’m thankful with what we had. It never felt too cramped either. If we had more than 2 people in the stateroom, then it would’ve been tricky for us. Our attendant was excellent. He always tidied up our room at the perfect time and knew our schedule right away. He was invisible when he needed to be and visible when he needed to be as well! So magical, haha! (And he was super nice!)

    DINING:
    Oh food. I love food. We ate A LOT this cruise. By the second week, the menus in the dining rooms became more and more lackluster to us. I guess there are only so many ways you can prepare a steak, or chicken, or seafood. Maybe we were getting tired of it and just craving McDonald’s? I don’t know, haha. But, the food was general quite delicious. There were a few misses, but that’s to be expected. One thing that was never amiss was our dining room team. I seriously cannot praise them enough. They made the cruise for us! Their warmth and fun personalities made it an absolute joy going into the dining rooms each night. Before we got on the ship, we had decided that we probably weren’t going to eat in the dining room each night. It’s such a process getting ready for dinner, going to the restaurant, sitting through 5 courses, and it’s lengthy. However, once we were introduced to our dining room team, we knew we wouldn’t miss a dinner! We looked forward to seeing them every night!

    The quick service food options and room service were always wonderful. (I mean, you can’t really mess up chicken fingers, burgers, and pizza, haha.) It was always quick and convenient, and everyone was friendly. The buffet was hit or miss. The snacks provided in the lounges were always scrumptious.

    ENTERTAINMENT:
    To me, one of the highlights of a Disney cruise is the entertainment offerings and this cruise did not disappoint! There were PLENTY of opportunities to meet the characters and it was fun to see them in special costumes. I can’t speak for the variety acts, but the mainstage shows were phenomenal as well. Pure Disney magic! We missed out on the Pirate Party because we couldn’t handle the weather, so I can’t comment on that. As I stated in my TR, I didn’t care for the “Party Paradiso” deck party either (mainly because it didn’t pertain to our cruise in the slightest). The Cruise Staff did a great job entertaining us as well. Many times there were games and what not going on while we were in the Promenade Lounge and they all did a great job. Bingo was fun as well and a first for me in all my Disney cruises!

    PORTS OF CALL:
    I truly enjoyed every place we visited on this cruise. Castaway Cay is just breathtaking as always. It’s pretty much my “happy place”! Sailing into Madeira is one of the highlights of the cruise for me. That view was astounding! So beautiful. It was a great port as well with lots of different sights to see! We went from the ocean all the way into mountains and the clouds! Pretty neat! The excursion we did in Cadiz was perfect for us. We were able to see a couple quaint white villages of Andalusia. Then we were able to walk through Cadiz and experience the culture and architecture. Next was Gibraltar which happened to be Mom and Dad’s favorite port. So much history and such beautiful sights to see! Who knew there was so much to that famous “Rock”! Finally, Barcelona. Though it ended up being my least favorite port, I still enjoyed it VERY much. I guess I just prefer the smaller, quieter ports of call. Barcelona is huge and there’s A LOT to see, but doing the hop on, hop off bus was the absolute BEST way to take it all in!

    Well, I guess that’s pretty much it! PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask questions or leave me a comment. I enjoy reading and answering everything! If there’s something I didn’t cover, let me know!

    I truly thank each and every one of you for following along and reliving the trip with me. I hope it was entertaining, informative, and fun for everyone! You all have been a GREAT audience! I enjoyed writing it and I can’t believe it’s already over! This is a trip my family and I will remember and talk about for the rest of our lives! Best. Vacation. EVER! :)
     
  15. jessrose18

    jessrose18 ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!

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    thank you! great trip report, if there is ever another med crossing, it will be on my list... great pictures and insight! hope you have great time on the dream this december... we are sailing the magic for the first time in march! so excited!

    i could go back and look later but all the photo's are blocked on my work computer right now....maybe you know off the top of your head: did the golden mickeys have the updated show with the tangled song in it, like the new show on the dream? thanks! ooops, just realized there is no more golden mickeys on the magic, villians show replaced it.. thanks anyway!
     
  16. christannj

    christannj Earning My Ears

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    Great report Kevin. We leave today for Barcelona so it was great to be able to read your final installment. Loved the pictures, the diary feel of your trip. The only thing missing were pictures of you guys and your parents!!!!!
     
  17. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Oh Kevin. This marvelous journey is over. How can this be. :sad1: Ok, melancholy over, looking forward to hearing about your December trip, will you be doing a small TR? No pressure. :) I'll be going down to WDW the same weekend you'll be cruising, so I'm looking forward to the same time as you :)

    Truly a magnificent TR, thank you so so much!
     
  18. Haimia

    Haimia Earning My Ears

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    I so enjoyed reading your trip report. I relived our cruise in 2010 on the Disney Magic TA. We visited the same ports as you did. It was truly a great trip and something neither my DH or I ever dreamed of doing. But we did! We had only 3+ months to plan, as we booked in January of 2010. We also had an inside cabin and never regretted it. We were only there to sleep, which we did during the daytime several times! The time changes really caught up with us.

    Thanks, again, for your TR. It was great to go on the TA again, even if it was vicariously through you! :thumbsup2
     
  19. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much for sharing your cruise with us...your report was outstanding! And your pictures...absolutely beautiful! How awesome you ended up with a great dining team - that really can make or break your vacation, so oftentimes. You guys struck gold!

    As for Monarch...you should see her inside staterooms. At 119 sq. ft., they are claustrophobic. Imagine 4 adults sharing one - with one of those said adults being 6'7". :scared1: ;) But, if you are considering Monarch for a 3 or 4 night getaway, I highly recommend her. While she is nowhere near being a Disney ship, the staff is outstanding, and we always manage to have a great time!

    Again, thanks for sharing your trip with us...it has me rethinking my TA on the Queen Mary!
     
  20. caroleRWO

    caroleRWO Mouseketeer

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    Thank-you so much Kevin for completing your trip report before we WBTAérs sail on Saturday. I have so enjoyed reading about your travels and it has made the waiting for our trip just that much more bearable.

    Just one more day of work to go and the wait will be over....

    Carole
     
  21. KevieKev05

    KevieKev05 DIS Veteran

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    You're welcome! We would do this cruise again in a heartbeat (that is, if time and money were no object, haha).

    Thank you! Enjoy your trip!

    Yes, I definitely plan on doing a TR for the December cruise! :)

    So happy to hear that! We never dreamed of doing it either, so it's pretty spectacular how it all came together for us and we made it work!

    We actually sailed on the Monarch MANY years ago for a 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan. I don't remember much of it, but I sure wonder how we survived in those small staterooms, haha.

    Thank you for your kind words! I hope you have a phenomenal time on the WBTA!


    Thanks again to everyone for reading and for their responses! I love hearing what people have to say! :)
     

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