Let me begin by saying WOW! A bit of background about us. We were: myself, DH and DD aged 14. We were sailing in celebration of the FANTASTIC deal they had for Canadians in January and early February cruises. I am a Disney fan from way back and have been to the World 8 times. I've always wanted to go on a cruise but since I stayed home to raise my family, have only returned to work 4 years ago after going back to college AND having a DS in University, DCL was out of the question. We've sailed on RCL and Carnival the past 3 years but NEITHER compared with this ship. Honestly, from start to finish we had nothing to say but WOW! We received a 25% discount on EACH fare and got an onboard credit which made our cruise this year, the same price as our Carnival cruise last year. BONUS! (and for those of you who are wondering, the Carnival and RCL cruises that went to St Maarten and St Thomas were MORE expensive than this cruise!!!!) Has anyone guessed that I am the last of the big time spenders???? Really, I grew up with a father who taught me to be frugal and my motto is "why spend more than you have to?" As a matter of fact, it's become a game for me to see how cheaply we can get what we want. When I saw the cruise fares I knew I'd have to sell my DH who doesn't quite share my love of the Mouse as much. I noticed on a thread that you can bring as much beer as you like. "oh HONEY..." said I. We decided our cruise based on the itinerary and it's timing near my DD's 14th birthday. Good choice! The weather couldn't have been better! We sailed through one storm, one time and that's all the rain we had(and it was kinda cool actually) On with the show: We arrived in Cocoa Beach at 4:30 on Friday evening, a very quick 45 minutes from the Orlando airport in our Budget one way rental and didn't seem to be too affected by the repair on the highway. You just tuck around the accident sight and back on with smooth sailing after that. We stayed at Best Western Oceanfront suites and our room was both lovely and clean. We had a little fridge (good to cool our cruise beer->cold when we arrived in our stateroom!) BONUS! ***(NB: you cannot pack beer on ice to bring on the ship-you have to add ice afterwards) We headed out to the ocean for a quick walk and were just in time to watch a RCL ship sail away. We waked up to the pier and checked out the very crowded restaurants and deck seating area. We settled on AW Shucks at the very start of the pier and wouldn't ya know it, it was Happy Hour. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! Being from Ottawa, they've banned happy hours in our city, so it's always cool to visit a state that has them. We had the standard wings, ribs and nachos and listened to the music from the band playing up the pier. We headed to Publix across the street soon after for our beer and drinks. We bought Malibu Rum Punch in cute little pouches like wine comes in->YUMMY but strong. As well, a nice box of wine. Very good prices, I might add. From there, home to bed. We had a big day ahead. We all went to sleep easily, but I was awakened quickly around 2 with my DH saying: I didn't pack my suit! Are you kidding me??? Now, usually I am a total micro-manager, type A person, packing everyone and everything. The last couple of times I've been on holiday with my family, all I've heard throughout the trip was, "Honey/Mom you didn't pack this/that? I NEEDED IT!!" So last year I decided I was to make lists for suggestions to hand to my beloveds and then take care of all the paraphernalia that I THOUGHT we would require, plus do all the FE's/pack them and leave the rest up to them. Now, back to 2 am: I said, "Well, you won't be able to dine with us on formal and semi formal nights then." (May I add how proud I was of myself that I neither took responsibility for it, nor did I freak out as usual!!!) He decided to go down and check the suit bag and returned with a smile, making me even more glad I didn't freak out! YAY! BUT (you know there's always a but...) he didn't pack any pants. <sigh> I told him blankly that we'd need to get him some because there were no shorts in the dining room(which was a rule we were to find that they often bended) and that we'd agreed that we'd be dining in the dining rooms each night. That meant that we'd need to head to a mall in the morning. That also meant that I wouldn't be able to get the precious early boarding pass that I had secretly coveted for months. I tried to get over myself and quickly fell back asleep. The next morning we went for a quick and yummy breakfast (deluxe continental was eggs and sausage and bacon-YAY Deluxe!) and headed to find both Target and the mall. After turning up his nose at the pants at Target, we headed to Macy's at the mall. A quick purchase and we were at the Budget waiting for our shuttle to the Port by 10:45. We had to wait about 25 minutes for a shuttle, but Budget does it well and had about 3 running at once. I must say, pulling up to the Disney terminal was so exciting there were a few tears of joy! We headed in, were quickly processed and were heading under those wee ears and onto the ship in about 30 minutes, curb to (spoil alert)our arrival being announced. BTW: that is so special. We went straightaway to Rockin' Bar D to get Palo ressies, cause were weren't lucky enough to get them online. We got Friday evening, Castaway Cay day, which was great for us. Then we quickly headed to Guest Services to get Tea with Alice tickets for my DD and myself. We got Thurs, Sea Day, at 4. Perfect! We had a quick look around the beautiful ship and then it was time to see if our room was ready for us. We found our Room attendant, Loyd, in our stateroom and he was the sweetest man. We offered him a nice tip to keep our cooler filled with ice and he politely refused, saying that it was HIS job and he'd be happy to do that for us! WOW! Off we headed to Deck 9 to check out the pools and enjoy the Florida sunshine!!! We opted out of the buffets because we didn't want to be indoors (we were in FLA, people!!!) We ate at both Goofy's (yummy) Galley and the Burger grill. I entered a draw to win services in the spa(but didn't win) and we enjoyed the Sail Away Party and the waving goodbye to all the people ashore. This was going to be a great cruise. I could just feel it!