Dznyjenn's Trip Report 4/22 Western LONG

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Dznyjenn, May 1, 2006.

  1. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    Hello there! Our family of 10..3 cabins are back from our Western 4/22 cruise! I'll be posting blow-by-blow day-by-day reports and I'll just keep tacking them on to the end of this thread, rather than start 7 new threads. Okay with everyone?

    Cruisers are:
    Me-Jennifer
    DH-Bill
    DS 14-Alex
    DD 11-Beth
    DD 2-Casadie
    DD-14 weeks-Delanie
    DGM-Grandma

    Friends: Eeyoregon and her two DS's 13 and 10.

    It's LONG-Fair warning! Also, I can't seem to get my photobucket uploads to resize down..so they're huge. I'll tack them on at the bottom of thread rather than imbed them in the text as I was planning.

    Day 1-Saturday Port Canaveral

    The limo arrived promptly at 9:30am. Dennis of Lorden Transportation was great, and a good sport about all of our luggage! The limo was a surprise for my kids, and I told them “The taxi’s here!” and stood outside with the video camera as they came out. The look on their face was priceless!
    We left about 9:45, and as we got on the 528, my mother mentioned something about having all her ID, birth certificate, etc. I startled, and remembered that I had left my wallet in the car when I ran an errand that morning. Dennis had to pull off the next exit and circle around to my house. UGH! What a way to get started! Retrieved the wallet and got back on the road!

    Arrived at the terminal about 10:45-receieved boarding group 6. We checked in, and got dining rotation APLAPLA- 8pm seating. From what I’ve read on the boards, this is the coveted rotation that puts you in all the right restaurants on the right nights…and we lucked out! Yay!

    Casadie ran to take pictures with Minnie Mouse and Captain Hook, and very shortly they called our group! We started aboard. Gina got weepy, which made my Mom weepy, which made ME weepy. Us girls blubbered our way across the gangplank. We headed straight to Rockin’ Bar D to set up Palo Brunch. DH and I got Sunday at 10:30 (which we would later change to Thursday because Sunday interfered with our character breakfast) Gina and my Mom got Monday at 11am.

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    We lunched at Topsiders, and wandered around Deck 9 for a bit. The older kids headed off to explore and then we all headed to our cabins. 7032 for Grandma , DS 14 and DD 11, 2078 for myself, DH and DD’s 2 and 14 weeks, and 2082 for Gina and DS’s 13 and 10.

    Time to get ready for the lifeboat drill: Had seen a child on an earlier cruise SCREAMING as family strapped him into his vest..so I was worried about our two year old, currently prone to tantrums. I did a VERY good job of talking her into a “fun orange coat party!!! Everyone’s going to wear their orange coats!!” Got her and baby sister strapped in, and we headed up, full of smiles. I smirked a little bit….thinking “THAT was easy…!!” Little did I know what lay in store for me….Had a successful “Orange Coat Party”, complete with pictures….and then…..that’s when I realized I had upsold the lifeboat drill a little TOO much..because my tired and cranky 2 year old did not want to take the jackets OFF. THAT was a 45 minute tantrum, causing my cabin to miss the sailaway party. I had promised to meet the rest of my group (including meeting Dis’ers) on Deck 10, so I got out for a few minutes and joined them. Queen2 looked great in her crown!

    Everyone else had already left to go do stuff, so I found Gina, and our two teenage boys, and we went for hot dogs and ice cream. Then we all headed back down to unpack.

    I stopped by Guest Services to get Tea with Alice later in the week, and to get new room keys since I had officially changed rooms to be staying with DH and younger DD’s rather than with Grandma and teenagers. I also stopped by Shutters and made the first photo purchases of our embarkation photo and pictures of DD 2 with Minnie Mouse. Swung by Ocean Quest to check on Beth and to get her signed into Oceaneer’s Lab. She would end up not visiting the Lab programs hardly at all, preferring to wander at will (much more freedom on board than she has at home..)

    Dinner was at Animator’s Palate…Sameer from India and Ivelina (Bulgaria??) were our serving team. The first night was questionable service, although Sameer was friendly….the assistant server had no personality, and was very slow in bringing our drinks, and they were mostly wrong. I was very concerned, because we have some picky eaters in the group, and was hoping for a great connection with our serving team…but I didn’t say anything yet. Wanted to see if the relationship grew.

    DD2 was starting to get antsy, even with the neat pictures coming to life around her. She wanted to go to the bathroom, and so DH took her, and they missed almost the entire SHOW! Came back just as Sorcerer Mickey was finishing up. She was still antsy, and DH was getting testy because he was missing dinner, so I took over and we went for a walk. We saw the Queen of Hearts in the atrium, and got a nice photo. We went into the Oceaneer’s Club where DD LOVED the super-tall slide! Getting her back to the room involved some tears and carrying her like a potato sack, but the tantrum was short-lived.

    We finally all tumbled into bed at 11. I learned later that my DS 14 and his friend went to the 411 at the stack, and did the survivor-like challenge. DS had to chug a diet coke..(didn’t win) and his friend had to eat 8 crackers and whistle a tune (he did win!) My mother (grandma) said that at some point, DS burst into the room demanding a piece of women’s clothing and dashed back out with her tank top. 

    That’s it for Day 1- will try and get Day 2 up today as well, but I have to get ready for work soon, so it may be day-by-day….sorry it’s so long!!!
    Oh! Captain was Tom…Cruise Director was Brent Davies (I LOVE Australian Accents..so hearing his voice every day was quite nice!) Head Server was Fitz

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  3. jillane88

    jillane88 Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip report. We leave in 4 more days for ours! :thumbsup2
     
  4. Babs417

    Babs417 DIS Veteran

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    They can never be to long :thumbsup2 :goodvibes :worship:
     
  5. NurseChell

    NurseChell Mouseketeer

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    Great report so far. So when you arrived at the terminal at 10:45, what time did the let you board?
     
  6. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    Nursechell...I'm so sorry..I got so excited when they called our number that I forgot to check! :) It wasn't long at all though, and I think we were sitting down to lunch by 12 noon. Maybe Eeyoregon can confirm that for us once she gets home and gets online.

    I'll try to add Day two in the morning. Just got home from work and am too exhausted to write it up quite yet. The motion of the ocean is still getting to me! :rolleyes2
     
  7. LuvEeyore

    LuvEeyore DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the great trip report and pictures. Keep it coming as you have time between work, kids and cruise withdrawal.
     
  8. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    Day two –Key West

    Woke up at 8am. Had our character breakfast at Parrot Cay. Chip and Dale, Minnie and Mickey, Pluto and Goofy were in attendance. Felt more rushed than a comparable character breakfast in the parks, but overall, the kids had a good time.

    Took the little girls back to Grandma’s room so that DH and I could attend the DVC Member reception. We showed up a little late, got our hats and luggage tags and sat in the back. We ended up winning a member pin in a game based on “Deal or No Deal”, and then I answered a trivia question correctly (Donald’s middle name: Fauntleroy) and got a neat DVC bag. Was really hoping for one of the DVC Towels with the characters beach chairs..but none left! :guilty:

    We went back to our cabin to relax and read a bit before picking up the little girls. Once we headed back, we got ready to go into Key West. Had to wait near the ship when I realized I’d forgotten my ID AGAIN (see day one..oy!) and the port people wouldn’t accept any of my other photo ID’s to get back later on.

    We went on a self-guided walking tour..ended up in a little two story gift-shop mall and bought a Christmas ornament and some tropical slushies. Got directions to the Southernmost Point Marker and headed out. The sales lady sent us down Duval street…and we quickly realized that this portion of Key West wasn’t our scene. There were dozens of loud motorcycles, the air was filled with gasoline fumes, and we passed shop after shop after shop with t-shirts plastered with lewd and downright obscene sayings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude, but I was looking forward to a more beachy, laid-back atmosphere…not something similar to Daytona during Bike Week. It was unbearably hot for my Mother..and between the heat and the disappointment with the atmosphere, we decided to turn back. We crossed over two blocks, and found a much nicer street to take back..shady, quaint street past adorable houses, etc. We stopped back by that little mall again and got Key Lime Pie for my 11 DD who was dying to try it. We saw some chickens roaming around and got back on the ship.

    DH tried to take a nap with the littlest baby..and I took DD 2 to the pool for a while. It was so nice to spend that time with her..no tantrums..just a look of pure joy on her face for a solid two hours. It felt very much like I had my little girl back. (it’s been a few months of “who is this child????) I got her out of the pool for hot dogs and fries, and of course the requisite ice cream! Saw grandma and my DD11 from a distance, and headed back the room for a movie and nap.

    We went up to Grandma’s cabin with a veranda for the sunset at 7:20. Took some beautiful shots. There were pirate-style ships out in the water, and a bi-plane flew over. DS 13 was waiting to see if he could see a sun phenomenon of a green flash…said the conditions had to be just perfect…alas..no green flash for him.

    Parrot Cay for dinner- Service was much better from Sameer..(and he was great at breakfast this morning too) but the assistant server was still very very slow, incorrect much of the time, and still had no personality. I finally spoke to Sameer about it, just saying that we were concerned that we had offended her in some way…and that the kids were getting antsy because their drinks were always wrong. Sameer apologized profusely, and said he’d speak to the head server, Fitz. Eventually Fitz spoke to me, apologized, and the service improved dramatically after that. We still never connected with her, and I watched her interact with other tables with similar results. I just think she’s not much of a people person..I could be wrong. Maybe it was just us.
    We celebrated my DH and DS’s birthdays on this cruise, and they brought out the cakes. Everyone sang, and it was quite fun!

    The two teenage boys left to go change for basketball, the two pre-teens left to go to Ocean Quest. Grandma, Eeyoregon, DH, I and the two babies went to the atrium to visit with the Alice in Wonderland characters and Belle. DD2 waited patiently in every line, and enjoyed using the flamingo croquet mallets to hit the ball through the cards. All the character handlers, the characters themselves, and really...most of the passengers and crew kept cooing over the baby...I'm sure the really young ones are fairly few and far between..Delanie just cleared the minimum age to cruise.

    We went back to the room and put DD in the bath. We received a surprise delivery of chocolate covered strawberries as an apology for an earlier room service delay. We were very confused, as we had not perceived any delay, but the card was addressed to us…and they insisted they had failed us in some way, and would not dream of taking the strawberries back. It was a very nice surprise, but definitely an unnecessary apology.

    Overall a good day. My disappointment in missing the Southernmost Point marker was somewhat diminished by the idea that I live here in Florida, and could honestly drive to see it if I really wanted to. Might make a nice weekend trip sometime if I really investigate Key West first to find out what we'd like to do there.

    More tomorrow! Will try to include photos tomorrow from Day 2 and 3.
     
  9. joksten2000

    joksten2000 Cruiser For Life

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    We had the same servers on our 4/15 cruise and were not happy, I didn't mention there names but I'm glad you did. I thought they would get better as time went on. Sameer was eager to please but only got service no interaction, this was our 5th cruise and every cruise we got great servers. We are going on a B2B in 9/30 & 10/07 and I called DCL today and requested the server from our Mexican Riviers cruise, she was very very good. In fact she came over and helped us with our bandanas as Sameer or Ivelina made no attempt to help anyone.
     
  10. jenbrem1

    jenbrem1 Mouseketeer

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    I'm really enjoying reading your report. Keep them coming!! We have a multi-generational group going next spring so it's helpful to hear how things go.
     
  11. LuvEeyore

    LuvEeyore DIS Veteran

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    Look forward to hearing more.
     
  12. curlybop

    curlybop DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for such a great trip report so far. I love reading them!
     
  13. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    Here are some photos from Day two. Really tried hard to resize in Photobuckets before posting..someone PLEASE tell me how to make it work!?!

    With Minnie at the Character breakfast-Parrot Cay
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    DS14 and DD11 with Mickey
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    DD2 wouldn't wear the Minnie Bow that Sameer made for her, but she gleefully wore the "foofy" hat he made!
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    Our Deck 7 view at Key West
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    Keeping DD2 entertained with quiet table toys at dinner!
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  14. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    Day 3- Day at Sea-Formal Night Golden Mickeys

    Slept in a little…until 8:30 I think

    DH, myself and the two little girls headed up to Topsiders for breakfast. Our dinner server was up there, and he helped get us to the table, drinks, etc. This is really where our relationship with him improved dramatically. DD2 was always in awe of him when he talked to her.
    Went back to the room for a bit and DD2 had a tantrum..can’t remember why..just wrote “tantrum” on my paper…waited that out, and then took her to go see the characters. We then stopped by Oceaneers Club so she could play, and they were winding down for a rest period and movie. We watched part of it there (Lion King 1 and a ½) and then went back to our room for a room service lunch and Lilo and Stitch on TV. She finally went down for a nap.
    DH got out of the cabin for a while and joined the big kids and grandma for Chronicles of Narnia and lunch. It’s such a long movie..this ended eating up a lot of our day. I stayed in the room with the babies, and read Wicked (The life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West) and caught up my trip report notes.

    Then it was time to dress for the Golden Mickeys! Our big kids dressed in their cabin and came down for final touches like hair and tie..etc.

    The whole group of 10 went for the show, and LOVED it. DD2 was enthralled, and clapped enthusiastically for each new scene/song that came on.

    Photos: Did atrium photos, one overlooking the balcony and the beautiful chandelier, one on the ship at night background. Older kids went and stood for a Captain Tom picture. DD2 was getting antsy, so we took her back to the cabin to mellow out before dinner.

    Lumiere’s: formal night was beautiful. Most people I saw were dressed up..but then again, I wasn’t looking that hard. During dinners I was spending a great deal of time entertaining DD2 so that she would not disrupt other people’s dinners. Grandma had brought a magical bag of tricks (new little table-appropriate toys) that she would pull out during that lull between coloring the children’s menu, and actual food being served. We didn’t like for Sameer to bring her meal out early, because that only caused her to get bored and antsy when OUR food was there…and so we generally just tried to entertain her until everyone’s food came together.

    My big kids tried escargot….I have a priceless shot of my once-ultra picky DD11 popping one in her mouth. She LOVED it, said it tasted like mushrooms, and all the big kids ended up special-ordering more later in the week. I was shocked and amazed, but not brave enough to try it with them. 

    After dinner, the little girls went to grandma’s cabin for babysitting, while DH, myself and the big kids “ran errands” to Shutters, Flounders to check on next day ressies and Guest services to check lost and found.
    Then, we met up with Eeyoregon and her two boys, and went for family karaoke at Studio Sea. Can anyone explain to me why I can sing very well (and I am being serious) in the car, and when I’m alone..and like absolute garbage when it counts?? I can hit notes all day long when I’m alone, but at karaoke I could barely talk the words to Colors of the Wind. Oy. DD11 did a fairly good job of “He’s a Tramp” and DS14 did a bang-up, crowd-pleasing job of “Yo-Ho A a pirates life for me” (this is a very very very long song when done in karaoke. Fair warning!)

    Back to collect the girls from Grandmas, and solidfy plans for Grand Cayman the next day. Agreed where and when to meet for tendering..and fell into bed!

    Meeting Cinderella after the Golden Mickeys!
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  15. NurseChell

    NurseChell Mouseketeer

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    :lovestruc :lovestruc :lovestruc Love the photos! I'm getting more excited about our trip now! :lovestruc :lovestruc :lovestruc
     
  16. eeyoregon

    eeyoregon I have DDD: Disney Destination DISorder

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    Hello all. Going to hi-jack at little as Dznyjenn is the writer in our group, so I won't even try to compete :goodvibes

    We are back in Oregon :sad2: and my head is still spinning from our cruise and I am having trouble remembering everything that happened but thought I would include some of my thoughts.

    1.) AWESOME!! It was truly everything I had imagined and more!! Purely magical in every way.

    2.) AMAZING!! This is by far the best vacation a single Mom can take. I got a nap every single day while the boys were off exploring the ship and having the time of their lives.

    3.) Food: I was 100% impressed with the food including room service to formal night. I appreciated how prompt room service and how they would follow-up to make sure you received everything to your liking.

    4.) Loved our stateroom #2082. Close to laundry and Oceanquest. The midship location was great for easy shore excursion debarkation. Having cruised RCL, in a cabin with 1 closet and 2 drawers, I was shocked at the amount of space and storage in our stateroom. The steamer trunk rocked! And soooo many drawers! We had storage coming out our ears!

    5.) Negatives: As Dzynjenn stated, our dining servers (primarily assistant server) were a let down. To my knowledge, our first names were never used. Drink preferences certainly weren't acknowledged. Guess I'm gonna have to cruise again to get that magical dining experience everyone raves about!
    Stateroom attendent: out of 7 nights, we only got 2 towel animals. I kept waiting...waiting...living vicariously through the other 2 cabins who seemed to have towel art experts!! And she never spoke to us. I said hello to her several times and she would respond but that was the extent of it. :confused3

    6.) Shore excursions: wish we had a triple dip to Castaway Cay!! LOVED the sting ray snorkle experience as it was great for everyone, even those who can't master snorkling (that would be me!) and I was even super brave and touched them :rotfl2:

    7.) Entertainment rocked! The shows were amazing. Pirate night was a blast (danced so hard that I broke my shoe!!)

    8.) Unexpected Excitement (I will share because I think Dznyjenn slept through it): Shortly after midnight on Pirate night, I limped my broken shoe back to my stateroom and flopped on my bed. Quickly realized that the ship had stopped. Peeked out my port hole to find spot lights sweeping the dark, rough ocean. Then I notice a sail boat being tossed around in the sea with no lights on it or sign of power. Ran up to deck 10 to check it out. I could see at least 3 adults and 2 large dogs on the sailboat. Soon after, Disney's security team launched a life boat and quickly pulled along side the sail boat and gave them gasoline, water, food and navigational coordinates to reach Cancun, Mexico. Long story short, 4 men has set sail, ran low on fuel, tried to dock in Cuba and were denied entrance, had been floating at sea for 2 1/2 days without water or fuel with a broken mast as several ships passed by and did nothing to aid them. DISNEY TO THE RESCUE!!! :cheer2: I can only imagine what went through their minds when they realized our huge ship was stopping to help them! The firework show was just an added bonus :rotfl:

    Oop's, my hi-jacking was longer than expected!
     
  17. Mharring33

    Mharring33 Mouseketeer

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    DzynJenn, I was just looking at your pictures and recognized your daughter. She did Kareoke didn't she? My daughter Amanda did it a few times.
     
  18. Surroundedbyboys

    Surroundedbyboys Mouseketeer

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    Hi Eeyoregon- I've been waiting to hear how your trip went! I'm so glad that you had a great time. At least it's nice and sunny in Oregon for your return. Did you get to any of the shows, etc?
    What an awesome story about the at sea rescue. Those people were very lucky.
     
  19. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    mharring...yes, Beth did karaoke on at least two nights that I know of. That girl has no fear!

    Will be posting Day 4 tomorrow...I'm exhausted! Got in from work at 1:30am, and with dealing with 2 year old wake ups and 3 month old feedings, I didn't get to sleep until 4am. Going to try and get a nap in before I have to be in a 4pm tonight.

    Here are some pictures to enjoy until I can post! :thumbsup2

    A hidden Mickey in my cereal! DH pointed it out!
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  20. Dznyjenn

    Dznyjenn Mouseketeer

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    garrrrrggghhh!!! What is the POINT of re-sizing photos in photobucket down to 25% of their original size if they're still going to show up HUGE here???? My sincerest apologies for the size of the photos. I SWEAR I am doing what I'm supposed to do! :confused3 :badpc:
     
  21. MrShiny

    MrShiny DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to hear more!
     

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