"Dreamy" 15th Anniversary adult trip (Or...by ourselves?? What will we talk about?)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by MinnieDiva, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Thank you!!!
     
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  3. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    I find it interesting how the ability to sleep in late declines with age. Now that my daughter is old enough to not require our services first thing in the morning I am incapable, it seems, of sleeping much past 7am. Well, until the day of the race, that is! :thumbsup2 After staying out as late as we could at the MNSSHP, we slept until...get this....11:15!!! :cloud9: Holy cow! Our intent that morning had been to go the the breakfast buffet (or ala cart, who knows) at the Swan's Garden Grove. Yeah, totally slept thru that! And we were worried that we'd be up early as we were able to hear a baby thru the wall at 1am. Now, the baby was cooing and making happy noises, but still, noise is noise. But no...the baby slept in too, I guess.

    We even slept thru our phones buzzing as Mindy was texting me. I must have put it on some clothing to decrease the noise. Mindy and Jim had arrived the night before and got to their hotel around midnight, I think. They got a decent rate at All Star Music, I think, which was a host hotel, important for the fact that Mindy had purchased tickets so they could come cheer us on that evening!! Mindy will chime in to give you her details if she see fit, but they ended up at Downtown Disney for some shopping and lunch, then went to Wide World of Sports to pick up their tickets and some Disney swag. There's a race in their future..........:thumbsup2

    Sean and I needed food. We'd had dinner at Pecos Bills, and while Sean had a massive burger and fries, I, she who has tummy running issues, was trying to stick to "normal" consumption and had a chicken wrap. Incidentally, this was pretty good. I'd expected the wrap to be drenched in creamy dressing of some sort, but it wasn't! Just chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes. I used the toppings bar and added pepperoccinis, grilled onions, and mushrooms! Yum! So in wandering around, we realized that we were a bit limited on the Boardwalk, and ended up at the ESPN club. Which, surprisingly, was quite good! Not greasy in any way! I had a chicken sandwich on foccicia and Sean had a roast beef sandwich of some sort. Ok, hungry beast quelled, we needed to head over to International Gateway to pick up our wine. However, we didn't want to waste a park admission going in there.....so we asked one of the gate attendants how they could help us.....and let's just say she lacked the Disney standard. We caught the attention of one of the store employees that was dealing with the stroller rentals, and she more than helpfully got our package! So, wine returned to the room, we decided that as we'd had no shopping opportunity the evening before, we headed over to the MK so as to wander in and out of the shops on Main Street! This was definitely an adult activity! How nice to take your time, not being pulled to one thing or another! It didn't matter that we were primarily shopping for our daughter anyway, it was just nice to take our time and enjoy the details!

    Before we left, I asked Ashleigh what she'd like for our trip. Without much hesitation, she wanted something with Stitch or Jack Skellington. Ok. We found a cute black and purple Jack t-shirt easily since all the Nightmare stuff was out for Halloween. Stitch, however, was another matter. All I could find were plushes. That child has more plushes that she has space to put them. No WAY I was going to buy one, especially as it wasn't one of the small ones.....it was at least 16" long! Sigh. So we held off hoping to find something later on in our trip. We were kind of wanting some ice cream, but the line was out the door and down Main Street a ways, so we left the park and headed back to the room to rest our feet.

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    Ahhhhhh......Air conditioning and football! But after a while, we knew that we'd need to fuel up a bit. We decided to try out the Fountain at the Dolphin.....and while we split a salad, both of us were still really craving ice cream, and as I knew I wouldn't really eat after the race (I know, I should to help with muscle recovery, but I have a really hard time doing so...), I figured that a wee bit of ice cream would be good, right?? Here's the pic I texted Mindy:

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    Sean had rocky road, I had a caramel coffee something or other. Very tasty! And, as it had been really hot, we did take the time to guzzle water to pre-hydrate, as we'd been doing for the last few days.

    Race instructions asked us to be on a bus by 8 in order to be in a corral by 9:15. Uh, ok. That seems excessive, but not having done a Disney race, we figured we'd follow their advice. So the plan was to leave the room about 7:30 and walk over tot he Boardwalk to catch a bus. Knowing that we'd be out very late again, we got out our running gear and clothing for the next day, and packed up the luggage in preparation for heading to the Port. Wine in carryon, along with swimsuit and coverup; all the toiletries would be thrown in there as well. We left the big case open, knowing that our nasty, sweaty running stuff would need to be in a plastic bag and crammed in later that night.

    I have to say that while their estimation of when we "needed" to be on a bus was waaaaaayyyyyy too early, the transportation to the race was efficient. We walked on a bus and were whisked off the barely 1 mile to the parking lot somewhere at Hollywood Studios. Um, ok, I suppose had I not been saving my feet that this would have been a very easy walk...if fact, they overshot the bag drop off spot by about 1/4 mile and we had to backtrack. Sean and I used 1 of the bags they gave us and had prepared dry clothing for later on. That dropped off, it was still just before 8pm. The race didn't start until 10! They had a stage set up with a DJ(dressed in a ToT uniform!) hosting a dance party a ways away from the corrals. Not wanting to be on our feet, we headed to the corral and found a seat.

    I believe that the official # of registered runners was about 10,000. The corrals were broken into groups of 2500. So while we were there early and could get an easy seat along a fenceline away from the general crowd, imagine how that was for those that got there late! Here's Sean while we were waiting:

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    There were lots of portalets IN our corral (corral A)...the only corral to have them! Not sure why that was, though. There were a lot more outside our corral, but it seems like poor planning on Disney's part. I'd be interested to hear the opinion of someone in one of the other 3 corrals.

    So, if you're not a runner, I can imagine you asking "what the heck is a corral?". When you register for a race, you can submit a time from a timed race so as to get you in a faster corral, or, you can submit an estimated time that you think you might finish the race in. I had an official 1/2 marathon time I submitted, and put down that I figured I'd finish in 1:45:00. I figured there would be things to see and characters to stop for and that this would be a generous estimation. Sean insisted that he'd run with me, though he is, by far, a faster runner than I. Having been dead last in a 10k a few years ago, I'm simply glad to be middle of the pack. I once thought I'd never run again, so I'm happy just to be ABLE to run. Sean is a born competitor. Hates having people pass him. Remember this.

    So right was I was thinking I might zip over to the portalet one more time (getting a bit nervous), they get us up and Moooooooooooove us (get it..like a cow? herding us?) to the starting line. This, my friends, was quite a long walk. But, we were pretty close to the starting area:

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    Mindy was texting me at this point wondering where we were and at some point she did find the 2 of us, but it was so loud I couldn't hear her yelling at us!! So she got to see us start off! Each corral got a fireworks start, but not knowing this, I didn't get any pics :(. They were pretty, though!

    So here I need to mention the weather. It was 80 degrees. At 10 pm. :scared1: And really, really humid. We live closer to Canada than we do to Seattle, and it rarely gets to 80, let alone be 80 and that stinkin' humid. I was sweating before we started the race! The other thing that's important here is that in spite of being what I consider to be fairly fit and athletic, I have an abnormally high heart rate. Resting is usually high 80's. Ok, what ever, not an issue. I keep hydrated by running with a hydration pack (love this thing!). eUntil I hit the 180 range, which is where I start to feel symptomatically short of breath and generally like crap. It took me 33 minutes to achieve a rate of 185, at which time I announced to Sean that I needed to walk to slow it down. Sean, not ever having experienced this sensation or heart rate, was annoyed. I will spare you the finer details, but we've agreed never to run together in a race ever again. Kept telling him to go ahead. Wouldn't listen. I ended up walking 6 times, with the ONLY picture stop to be this:

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    We were running thru the WWoS baseball field and caught ourselves on the jumbotron! Very cool! I heard that there was intermittently a green screen there that would somehow show the runners coming out of the ToT, but did not witness this myself. In addition, another really cool thing there was that one of the Casey's Corner cast members was there wearing his baseball duds. Pretty neat!

    Mindy and Jim had made their way to HS, and Mindy said she saw us run by, but Jim had turned his head and missed the photo op :(. We ran thru a LOT of HS. Must have been at least a mile....I never knew how much park you could actually cover there! But, at least it was interesting to look at and kept the fatigue at bay for a bit. The course overall was a bit sparse on entertainment, IMO. My (our) finish time was 1:49:15. Yikes. Over shot my "generous" estimation a bit, eh? But, we finished:

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    And our medals (the elevator moves up and down...):

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    As you cross the finish lie, you get your medals, then continue walking, get water or powerade (or both), a banana, a snack box, keep walking, hit the bathroom, keep walking, walk some more...get the idea? I get why...it really kept the bottle neck to a minimum, and I can imagine that it might get very crowded later as the other corrals and walkers that were grouped together came across the finish line. But the bag pick up was off in no-man's land (Sean finally went and got it), as I waited with Mindy and Jim. They had tents for us to change in, but those things were bloody saunas! It was hard enough to peel off the sweaty clothes, but then you had to pull dry ones over your sweaty self. Phew!

    There was a ton of stuff open, but after doing a few attractions, we were shot. The feet were sore, and neither of us brought another pair to change into. I was walking around in my running shoes with the laces wide open! So off to the busses and back to the room for a well-deserved shower! Again, the bus transportation was very efficient. Got off at the Boardwalk again and walked over to the Swan. A security guy asked us what we were doing, as apparently the Boardwalk area was closed and usually no one could/should be there. He didn't give us any trouble though, when we explained what we were doing. In fact, I'm surprised he asked at all. A) we looked like runners and B), the swan and dolphin were sold out that night so there was no way we were the first to come by here....

    Anyway, we set an alarm for 8 as our plans were to be at ASM to pick Jim and Mindy up at 9. Ug. That was early....
     
  4. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    We even slept thru our phones buzzing as Mindy was texting me. I must have put it on some clothing to decrease the noise. Mindy and Jim had arrived the night before and got to their hotel around midnight, I think. They got a decent rate at All Star Music, I think, which was a host hotel, important for the fact that Mindy had purchased tickets so they could come cheer us on that evening!! Mindy will chime in to give you her details if she see fit, but they ended up at Downtown Disney for some shopping and lunch, then went to Wide World of Sports to pick up their tickets and some Disney swag. There's a race in their future..........:thumbsup2

    I will chime in with my details a little later...need to download the pictures first. One correction. We picked up our tickets at Disney marketplace and got our swag at HS while waiting for you. I've never been to the Wide World of Sports


    Mindy was texting me at this point wondering where we were and at some point she did find the 2 of us, but it was so loud I couldn't hear her yelling at us!! So she got to see us start off! Each corral got a fireworks start, but not knowing this, I didn't get any pics :(. They were pretty, though! ][

    I found you 2 minutes before the race started and one very un-Disney like lady would not let me to the ropes to call to you. I have pictures of the fireworks


    Mindy and Jim had made their way to HS, and Mindy said she saw us run by, but Jim had turned his head and missed the photo op :(.

    I was so angry with him. He was poised and ready and he missed it. I was by the ropes and couldn't get it because my camera wouldn't adjust to the light.
     
  5. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much for your great description of race day. I had so many questions as I plan to do this run next year and I think you answered them all in your post! I'm just a beginning runner (currently on a little shin splints break due to trying to run too fast on hills near my home) so it was very informative to hear how this whole thing works from the transportation to the corrals, hearing about your hydration pack etc. Very cool medal and it's awesome that you had Mindy and Jim to cheer you on! :cheer2: Do you have some sort of gadget that measures your heart rate while running? (like I said, I'm a beginner so I don't have any cool stuff yet!) I did a 5K this past weekend and after a little bit I felt like my heart was doing flip flops so it freaked me out a little. It would have been so embarrassing to die after only two miles.

    I can't wait to hear about your cruise!
     
  6. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Glad to hear it was helpful. Shin splints are very painful, so good luck with that! I use a pack from Ultimate Direction. They are not a well-known company, it seems, but I got it after actually seeing it...an acquaintance of mine knew a woman who had one....a distance hard-core runner. This pack is sized for smaller women. I'm very short waisted, and most packs are far too long on my to be comfortable. This one is great, and unlike the Camelback packs, it has 2 chest straps....one above and one below the ladies....you know...:rolleyes1! Keeps the pack from bouncing around. I did have to replace the bladder...it was a bit flimsy and sprung a leak. I replaced it with a Platypus 2L bag. Here's a link to the bag:

    http://www.ultimatedirection.com/p-594-wink.aspx?category=hydration-packs

    And yes, I do have a heart rate monitor. I use a very old (3-4 years? ancient in electronic terms) Garmin. It's a Forerunner 50 that is no longer even made. However, it has a chest strap and a foot pod that feed data into my watch. There's no GPS in this model, but the newer ones have it so that it takes into account elevation changes. I primarily use it to track distance and watch my heart rate. I can tell how well I'm training/feeling by looking at my average run speed and distance and what my HR did during the run.

    I've had to work the last few days and have been working on another project, but the next installment, you know, the cruise part, should be up this weekend! :goodvibes
     
  7. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Errands run, housework...well, never done but at least tackled, time to write!

    8am rolls around awfully early when you didn't fall asleep until after 3am. I don't fall asleep easily, sadly. Sean? Out like a light! But, put the phone waaaaayyyy across the really big room and was forced to get out of bed and silence it. Up, into the shower, and packed...out the door in 45 minutes. Hit the hotel coffee cafe and got our caffeine fix (oh...the swan has starbucks coffee in the rooms, BTW....) and a parfait. Remember when I criticized the Boardwalk Bakery's parfait? This one was far better. Real fruit, no syrup, yum. I was getting texts from Mindy asking if we were on our way, and ultimately, after saying we'd be there at 9, we got there at 9:07. Not bad. And...they were out waiting for us! This is when we saw their (Jim's) pile of luggage. I so should have taken a picture of it.

    So we were off to the port. I completely forgot to bring a car phone charger, but the car ended up having a USB port. Good, because the new map on Apple's new iOS sucks the battery down fast. We made good time, were quickly parked and put on a shuttle at Park 'N Cruise, and off to the port:

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    Couldn't get a great picture. We wanted to get there early enough to see about upgrading. Sean and I had never done concierge before, and figured it might be cost effective this time around. Well, as early as were were there, they were down to on regular room and one suite. And to go from a 5A to a regular room was $540. Meh. We passed. The suite would have been $980 (I think). Not worth the extra cost, IMO. And as we had such a great location, I really didn't want to switch. We were in cabin 9560, a starboard midship verandah room. Jim and Mindy were next door. We were in group 6....9?? It didn't take very long for us to get on the ship. And the entry didn't disappoint! I do love the new chandelier:

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    We'd wanted to got to the sit down restaurant (Enchanted Garden, I think), but it wasn't going to open for about 45 minutes, and as we were all hungry, Cabanas it was! Their buffet was surprisingly good! Unlike Topsiders/BeachBlanket, this restaurant has a nicer feel to it. Seems cleaner and more finished, at least to me. After we ate, we decided to kill time until our stateroom opened by going on a tour of the ship. Well, after being there for a few minutes, we realized this was cruising for those who'd never been before, and wandered off to look around on our own. We headed to our staterooms about 1:30 and unpacked what we had, then headed to the spa. On the Magic/Wonder, the spa tours were well advertised. Not so much here, IMO. They had the raffle, but we had to ask for a tour. Which they gladly gave, mind you, but just surprising that we had to ask. We loved the look of the rainforest room and we each got length-of cruise couple's passes. Best. Purchase. Ever. Went back to the too to find luggage there. I got laundry together (smelly wet sweaty stuff) and headed to the 8th floor (didn't see the one on the map that was right down the hall and didn't do my research before :scared1:) and then met Sean at the mandatory drill.

    More later....
     
  8. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    I forgot to post these earlier:

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    one of 2 photos with a character. I also forgot to add these from when we boarded. Sorry for B&W, but I'd been tinkering with camera setting the previous day and forgot to reset them, ending up with very yellow photos.

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    See what happens when you're sleep deprived?

    I also failed to mention that there were 2 stateroom gifts awaiting us: one as a Castaway Club Member and the other from our TA:

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    So after the drill, Sean went back to the room. He was tired. And cranky. So he went to take a nap. I went to go deal with the laundry and try to make it to the Dis-meet. Sadly, I couldn't find any dis'ers :confused3, but I did get a few pictures of the departure.

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    It was fun to watch them waving us good-by! I sent some last texts for Ashleigh for her to get when she got home from school. :sad1:

    So back to fold laundry and to the room. Sean was awake, as it had been too noisy for him to sleep. We decided to skip the Golden Mickeys in favor of the rainforest room. It was a hard decision, as we really enjoy the show, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up! So some time in the spa, some dozing in the heated tiled recliners, some of the showers then the sauna, and back to the room. With wineglasses!

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    Our sunset:

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    Yeah. That was rough. :rolleyes1 So our dinner that night was in Animator's Palate. We were really looking forward to see how technology had changed this restaurant from the classic ships. We weren't disappointed.

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    The screens came to life, and Crush came on and interacted with the guests. It was very cool!

    Got a great pic of Mindy and Jim:

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    Dinner was good, and our servers were very nice. Our assistant server was Jorge from Peru, and our server was James from St. Vincent. I did notice that the menu was in no way unique to the ship. I'd had some of the dishes last year on the Alaskan cruise. I find that a bit disappointing.

    So, we were waaayyyyy too tired to stay up for the adult entertainment in the district. So, it ended up being an early night. I was looking forward to a really good night's sleep! I love towel animals!!

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  9. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    So, since I was actually invited to tell my story and it is integrally entwined with Kim's I guess I will:) Here I go again...hijacking one of Kim's trip reports. :rolleyes1 Now let me just set expectations to the proper level. I am in no way as detailed or as good a writer as Kim is. Part of it stems from the drastic age difference and the fact that I can't even remember what I did yesterday, but I'll do my best to try:thumbsup2

    Let me start at what was the beginning for me. I knew Kim had booked her run at Disney and the 4 day anniversary cruise. I also knew that she had been able to rebook it and got a great deal on a room. None of this really phased me because I was going on a NY-Bahamas cruise on the Magic at the end of August (which I had booked since it was announced.) As far as I was concerned, with my DH's propensity for spending money on the cruises and knowing I was booked for Europe next June, I was pretty much done with booking vacations for a while. Until that is, until the Merrill clan descended upon NJ for their much anticipated visit.

    While sitting around the table after a barbeque with some other cruise friends, the topic of Kim's anniversary cruise came up and Kim happened to mention how she could get the discount she got on more rooms and everyone jokingly was saying...they should go...I actually became interested...

    Now let me back up here and give you an insight into me and my personality. I am totally not spontaneous and very tight with my money. I am married to a spender and it drives me nuts. I hate spending money...I want to make sure we always have money to pay out bills (I'm an accountant for gosh sakes.) Don't get me wrong, I have no problem spending money on other people, I just don't spend it on myself.

    So anyway, I digress, the seed had been planted. A few days later we took the Merrills for an overnight in NYC and we seriously started discussing the possibility of us going on the cruise with them. Jim and I had not ever been on vacation alone since our 11 year old twins were born and we needed the alone time. But how? Who would watch the kids? While we contemplated Kim contacted her TA and had them hold a room for us at the same price (1/2 off the regular cost) Cat 5A and low it behold, it was right next door to hers. We then called Jim's parents in AZ and asked if they would come watch the kids if we flew them out? What a deal for them? Uninterrupted time with their grandkids and they don't have to pay for it...it's all how you present it, isn't it?:confused3 We chose his parents first because his dad has no problem driving around in our area. Well, I want you to know, we waited until the next day for them to call us back and say no...At that point, we tried my parents. The kids would be happier with them, but they wouldn't drive. Within an hour, my mom called back and said she would come. At this point we were on our way home from NYC in the back seat of the car and Kim and I managed to book and pay for the cruise, my airfare ($200 RT from NJ to MCO), my mom's airfare and my room at Allstar Movie Resort for the two nights prior....I now realized OMG...I'm actually doing this...going away again, a month after I get home....it's all paid for and I haven't even asked for the time off from work....The PANIC of what I had just done was starting to set in.
     
  10. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    So we went on our cruise from NYC to the Bahamas and had a great time. Met a whole bunch of really great people. We came home, got the kids set up and started school and before we knew it, it was almost time to go again. The week before I realized I needed a less formal dress than the one I had and I needed one for a Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of one of our cruise friends (which is next week) anyway, so I went out and bought a dress. The week before we left flew. There was so much going on, I just couldn't keep up. My mom came into town Thursday night and we left Friday night. I didn't get to spend much time with her before we left, but we had a little on Friday afternoon. I had typed up a schedule of every day of events and where everyone had to be and when. Left her take out menus of places that delivered and a credit card. I was most worried about how my ADHD son was going to act. I knew my kids were mad that we were going without them, but I never expected the behaviour they exhibited while I was gone (but I'm jumping ahead.)

    So Friday at about 5 pm, Jim and I left for Newark airport with one bag for me and two for him (you saw Kim already mentioned his luggage.) I'm not sure what was in all those bags but he did have two of them. We parked at a new place called the Parking Spot, apparently they are popping up in airports all over the country. It was very convenient and after we parked there we found a coupon for 20% off in the airplane magazine. We got to the airport a little later than expected because Jim was behind schedule.:lmao: We barely had time for him to get us $24 salads to take on the plane with us for dinner since we hadn't eaten and didn't arrive in Orlando until 11 pm. .....
     
  11. perfectmatch300

    perfectmatch300 DIS Veteran

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    This is fun! I get to read 2 TR's in one! :cool1:
     
  12. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    Thanks...we like to keep you interested :)
     
  13. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    So...we arrived in Orlando at 10:30 pm (on United) and we were 1/2 hour early!!! :cheer2: I texted Kim who was at MNSCHP and then went to pick up our luggage. We had to pick it up since they only collect your luggage for the Magical Express up until 10 pm. We easily made our way to the Magical Express where we had a wonderfully entertaining bus driver. We arrived at the All Star Movies Resort at about 12:30 a.m. We were happy to find out it was a race hotel and that we would be able to get transportation to see Kim and Sean race and to attend the Villians Bash at HS. That week Kim told me how to get tickets for the party and since we knew them and they were racing, we were able to go...YEA US!!!:cheer2:

    We were in the 101 Dalmations section.
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    We got to our room at about 1 am and Jim was hungry, but there was absolutely no where to get food, so we just went to bed. ...ooops gotta go for now...more tomorrow.
     
  14. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    We aim to please! :thumbsup2
     
  15. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Ah....Nassau.....

    Ok, lets get back to reality. I did do some research before the cruise to see if there was anything that would interest me (us) prior to sailing. I got a Fodor's book on the Bahamas from the library, in hopes that I could find something, anything, that I could find interesting to do. You see, I don't gamble....I work too hard for my $$. Waterpark? Nah. Dolphins? Meh. Lying on a beach? Gonna do that the following day at Castaway Cay. So what did I learn? Not much. It was a british colony and there were pirates. I already knew that.

    So, with the promise of free wi-fi, we got up at our leisure, took in a spell in the Rainforest Room after doing a light workout on the ellipticals, showered, and had a lovely breakfast at Enchanted Garden (?). I know that wherever we were, it took forever to get an egg white omelet made for Min & Jim. The crew was getting ready for their drill, so it must have been fairly close to 10am. We probably go there about 0930. Food was good, and off the boat we went. We wandered into their port building:

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    And turned on the phones and connected to wi-fi. I started texting our DD as Mindy got the horrible news that her children were not being perfect angels (I'll let her dish on that). DD was soooo excited to hear from us and as she was heading to school asked me to call later :(. So sad. Jim had to run a few errands: he was getting our room host something or other from the grocery store, and we took the opportunity to get bottled water for our room. Cheap. Next up was the rum cake store:

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    Those are tasty little cakes, I do have to say! I'm not much into hard liquor, as wine is my adult beverage of choice, but I do enjoy rum. Num!!! We went to Starbucks, one, to get Jim a cup of iced coffee, and tow to use more wifi. Except.....in spite of the fact we were making a purchase, they charged $3/hour for access. They don't take Starbucks cards, either, according to Jim. I ran across the street to the Hard Rock Cafe to get a pin for an aunt who collects them. This is what the streets looked like:

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    Nassau was quite a dichotomy. In spite of the very high end stores (like Cartier and Rolex), the area was dirty and the people looked like they were not happy we were there to spend our money. We were done, and decided to head back to the ship, for two reasons:

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    See those clouds? Guess who got caught in a downpour? Yup. Us. We ran from cover to cover and were pretty drenched upon return to the ship. Please note that there were cruise ships on both sides of our much more attractive cruise ship?? Note this for future use....

    So back to the room to dry off a bit, and then to Royal Palace for a spot of lunch. ;) After a misstep with my tuna nissoise (sp?) salad (they put the dressing on when I'd ordered it off, but fixed it) we had a lovely lunch out of the rain! I don't remember what Mindy and Jim's plans were (mixology?), but Sean and I had a date at the spa!! :thumbsup2:banana: I had booked a couple's choice!! Once we got there, it became readily apparent once they led us in the villa that Sean had paid absolutely NO attention when I described what we'd be doing when I'd booked this so long ago! We initially had a lovely view of.....a Carnival cruise ship. But, as we were finishing up our pre-relaxation foot cleansing and hot tub time, the cruise ship was beginning to depart. Now, Mindy has done this spa experience a few times, and what I'm about to recount, she says she never got the option: We got to order wine/sparkling wine from Cove Cafe to have with our chocolate-dipped strawberries after our massages! Yum! Both Sean and I opted for a hot stone massage. We both had one of these for the first time in the Med and it was so memorable that it's become our repeat "treat" on vacations. The ladies did a fabulous job, and Sean fell asleep (no snoring), and I was so almost there, until they hit a sore muscle I didn't know I had! remember...we'd just run a race...! So after the massages, we enjoyed our wine, berries, and chocolate chip cookies on a stick. What? Jim ran in to one of our masseuses in Cove cafe and when they said what stateroom to bill it to, he told them to add the cookies (he knows I love cookies, and isn't all food better on a stick? maybe not, but you get the idea). Sean was probably the most relaxed I'd seen him in YEARS. He loved the time in the spa, and it's lavishness was a total surprise, so I guess his lack of listening skills was a bonus in this case! Our view after the massages:

    [​IMG]

    We hurried to the shower and were able to make it to see Villains Tonight! We'd seen it last summer, and we like it. I know some don't, but I'm easily amused, I guess :).

    Dinner that night was in Enchanted Garden. For such a new ship, we were a little surprised to note that the fountain was not running, nor were the lighting fixtures opening and closing (think petals of a flower). Also, our table was at the very back of the room right up against the area that serves as the buffet in the morning. Not a great location. But, the food was decent. Had I had the forethought, I would have take a picture of the menu....but obviously I didn't. I do remember that there was a tuna appetizer on guacamole we were brought accidentally. I took it, and added some Sambal ( a hot sauce Jim had the staff scare up) on it...HOLY COW IT WAS GOOD!

    Not having overly exerted ourselves that day, we had the energy to stay up for Match Your Mate. Sean and I managed to get into the mix of couples that you choose from who have been married "somewhere in the middle", but apparently weren't creative enough to make it to be selected. As always, very fun and entertaining! But, bedtime beckoned, and there was a Castaway Cay 5k to be run the next day!
     
  16. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,137
    Geez. I'm trying to catch up but alas I'm still behind. Perhaps tonight. No kid events scheduled. Yea!
     
  17. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,058
    I LOVE the tag team trip report you two!! How fun and very entertaining! Mindy, I'm interested in your ChEar experience. I can't believe I did this but I just signed up for the Princess 1/2 Marathon in Feb and I think my fiance will come along to CheAr. :thumbsup2 Nevermind that I'm not doing my first 10K until November and I'm battling shin splints!:rotfl2:

    But great report and I love the details. My DD and I did just about as much as you did in Nassau. We got off of the ship for a while, shopped and we were back on the Dream lickety split as none of the port excursions interested us. And in the short time we got pickpocketed but thank goodness I didn't bring much money with us to shore. I did a solo massage and loved it!! Even though DD wasn't technically a "teen" at the time they still let her into the teen spa (they didn't ask and I didn't say anything) so I booked a pedicure for her too. I loved it!

    Can't wait for more!
     
  18. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,137
    So...It's Saturday morning, we got in late, so we figured we'd sleep in ....but oh no...I'm wide awake at 7:30 a.m... We had already decided that since we were going to the Villian's Bash that night at HS, that we wouldn't do a park during the day since we knew it would be a late night. So we lounged in the room and took our time getting dressed. At about noon, we got on a bus to Disney Marketplace. We figured we'd spend the shopping and walking around.

    We went to Wolfgang Puck's for lunch.
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    I had this awesome salad
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    and Jim had sushi ($50's worth).
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    We walked around to the stores. Bought Haylee a Lego kit that she had wanted and had it shipped home (holiday present) and we got it 10% off. We got Sam some vinylmations for his collections. We then headed back to Disney store and Ghiradelli's....you see I'm an ice cream freak and would give up all food on the planet and just eat ice cream. Since my DH and I have been dieting for about 2 years, I don't get ice cream that often and DH (who is fanatical about what we both eat) was allowing me to have ice cream...YEA ME:cheer2:

    On the way over, we stopped at this cart that was selling these metal suncatching type ornamental pieces. He had one that was a fire hydrant (made us think of our favorite fire chief) and we got one that had Mickey on it. We then walked around the Disney store for a while, bought some gifts for back home. I had my ice cream, while Jim had his iced coffee and then it was about 5:30. We had reservations at Artist's Point at 7:30 - so we headed over that way. Believe it or not I had never been inside the Wilderness Lodge and I wanted to check it out. I've seen it quite a few times from the water side but never via land.

    The Wilderness Lodge is gorgeous. We sat in the lobby a bit and I listened to the commotion from Whispering Canyon. It was quite funny.
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    It was about 6:45 and we asked if they could take us early for dinner and they did. We had a quite entertaining waiter. He had been with Disney for 17 years and he made the dinner quite fun.
    [​IMG]

    I quite honestly don't remember everything I had but I know it was wonderful. Would go back there again in a heartbeat. Since I had ice cream earlier, I skipped the dessert althought it looked terrific. It was about 8:30 and I had been texting Kim and knew they were at the race start and we wanted to get over there to see the start.

    I'm going to have to finish this tomorrow, since it is now quite late and I am tired...Just thinking about how much we did that day is making me tired..:wave2:
     
  19. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Sigh. DD broke her collarbone yesterday. Be a few days before I can add the next installment :(
     
  20. bigbootee

    bigbootee Rabid Disnoid

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    350
    Sorry, Kim. We all hope Ash feels better!

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  21. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,058
    I hope Ashleigh is feeling better! Poor thing!
     

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