Experiment-627: A Caribbean Double with a Wilderness Chaser

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Experiment-627




    [​IMG]



    A Caribbean Double with a Wilderness Chaser
    (Summer 2011)


    Sometimes you just need to try something new… take a chance… flirt with failure and/or disaster. Sometimes you just need to experiment with a different way of dealing with even those things you know and love. Some of these experiments will work… some will not, but try them we must. Even the image I’m using to welcome you into this adventure was the result of an experiment (which both worked and failed… spectacularly). This “testing of new experiences” will be a theme that runs through the pages that are to follow. Within these posts, my family will be heading back to Disney, a place we know and love, but we’ll be seeing it in a rather different light and on a completely different pace then trips of the past. I think that the slight little smile you see on my boy’s face (even when he thought no one was watching him) is a good representation of our experience this grand and wonderful summer. As for the trip report that I’ve started on here… I’ll be making this journey through the literary badlands one way or another, but you’re invited to travel along if you’d like.

    Hay… what’s the worst that could happen?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Table of Contents:


    Chapter 1: The Players
    - Part 1: Who Are You?

    - Part 2: Signorinas and Fräuleins
    - Part 3: Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…

    Chapter 2: The Set-Up
    - Part 1: Getting To Know You

    - Part 2: What’s a “fish” and why does it need “extending”?
    - Part 3: Details… Details…

    Chapter 3: The Hook
    - Part 1: The Journey Commences

    - Part 2: Interstate Blues
    - Part 3: Castillo de San Marcos
    - Part 4: The Ramparts of Fort Marion
    - Part 5: Welcome to the Rad

    Chapter 4: The Tale
    ...(Day 1 - Sunday)
    - Part 1: Shuttle Launch

    - Part 2: Terminal Velocity
    - Part 3: “Experiment 627”
    - Part 4: A Room With a View
    - Part 5: Navi-s & Mag-s (Day-1)
    - Part 6: T minus 5… 4… 3…
    - Part 7: “Please come back… I’ll give you five bucks!”
    - Part 8: I ate What?
    - Part 9: Turned Down

    Chapter 5: more of “The Tale”
    ...(Day 2 - Monday)
    - Part 1: Navi-s & Mag-s (Day-2)

    - Part 2: Land Ho…
    - Part 3: All Ashore (but not that way)
    - Part 4: Beached
    - Part 5: You must be hungry…
    - Part 6: Mirror, Mirror…
    - Part 7: Sea Turtles?... Aye, Sea Turtles…

    Chapter 6: In the midst of: “The Tale”
    ...(Day 3 - Tuesday)
    - Part 1: Navi-s & Mag-s (Day-3)

    - Part 2: Swinging for the Green
    - Part 3: Sizing Up the Competition
    - Part 4: Caught in the Act
    - Part 5: Inner Sanctum
    - Part 6: Ad Victor Spolia

    Chapter 7: The tail of: “The Tale”
    ...(Day 4 - Wednesday)
    - Part 1: Navi-s & Mag-s (Day-4)

    - Part 2: Taking time to smell the flowers
    - Part 3: Where Forth Art Thou
    - Part 4: The Calm Before the Storm
    - Part 5: A Little Night Music
    - Part 6: Highfalutin
    - Part 7: Are you noticing a pattern here?

    Chapter 8: The Wire
    ...(Day 5 - Thursday)
    - Part 1: Navi-s & Mag-s (Day-5)

    - Part 2: Alone
    - Part 3: Dizzying Heights
    - Part 4: Unknown Knowns
    - Part 5: The Journey to Come
    - Part 6: Trials, Triumphs and Bittersweet Rewards
    - Part 7: Crossroads

    Chapter 9: The Shutout
    ...(Day 6 - Friday)
    - Part 1: See Ya’ Real Soon

    - Part 2: Charting a New Course
    - Part 3: A Room With a View… Sort’a
    - Part 4: The Lay of the Land
    - Part 5: Decisions, Decisions…
    - Part 6: Rapid Oxidation

    Chapter 10: The Sting
    ...(Day 7 - Saturday)
    - Part 1: Are You Awake Yet?

    - Part 2: Sometimes you win…
    - Part 3: And…. They’re off!
    - Part 4: A Shot in the Dark


    Chapter 11: Denouement
    ...(Day 8 - Sunday)
    - Part 1: All Good Things…




    The Chapter 11 stuff is new and the Final Entry!!

    I hope y'all had fun...
    I sure did
     
  4. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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  5. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Or…
    You could just completely skip this one and follow along with the new and improved 2013 TR…


    The Goofy Identity

    (Just whose side are you on anyway?)


    A June 2013 week on World and off…
    Part Graduation Gala

    Part summer festivities

    And possibly our last hurrah
    (and may that not actually be the case)​
     
  6. petals

    petals Irish Princess because Cinderella said so!

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    joining in first!!!.. I rock! :cheer2:
     
  7. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Yes you do! Congrats and…

    :welcome:

    I guess the first update will just have to be in you’re honor.
    Sooooo…. Here goes.
     
  8. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 1: The Players

    Part 1: Who Are You?​


    [​IMG]
    "Who am I? Why am I here?" - James B. Stockdale
    (Vice Admiral USN retired)

    Earlier this year I took one of those chances I was talking about. I started writing up my first TR (something most of y’all are already experts at). Even thought I consider myself to be a Disney veteran, I’d never thought that my opinions (or worse yet my experiences) were worth bothering anyone else with. For that matter I’d never considered that I might even for a moment, have the ability to put more then two words together in the form of a decent readable sentence. Certainly my various English teachers were convinced of this apparent fact.

    [​IMG]

    I finally broke through that oppressive wall by writing about my family’s adventures during our 2010 Christmas time travels around WDW. Quite the risk for me, I tell you. Low and behold… the world didn’t come to an end. In fact some folks actually chose to follow along. A few of these misguided soles went so far as to offer up encouragement and even a smattering of praise for my meager efforts. That may have been a mistake on their part as I’ve now decided to keep at it. If you’d like to see an example of the kind of foolishness that you will be forced to edure on this ride, then here’s a link back to my first Trip Report (enter at your own risk):


    You’re writing a TR? Really? (Christmas at POR, 2010)


    If you can survive that one, then just maybe you’ll be able to tolerate this one. At least you’ve been fairly warned. If you do decide to read this nonsense, please feel free to chime in with any thoughts, questions or comments (I’ve also found that sarcasm can be quite useful). You can lurk if you’d like (as if I could actually prevent that), but I’d appreciate knowing who’s reading along to at least offer up a little bit of thanks (or pity as the case my be). Besides, if you follow along and then change your mind, you can always just close out your browser or hit the “back button”.

    [​IMG]

    Heck… I’ll never know about it if ya’ do, so who could possibly get hurt ehhh?




    So anyway… I suppose it’s about time I got this freight train out of the yard and on down the rails. The question has been asked: “Who are you?” Well… come on over and meet part of my Ohana:

    Me: Rob (Code Name: GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes)

    [​IMG]

    Current owner of near a half century of memories (both good and bad… but mostly good) and unabashed Disney freak. I’ve seen “mouse world” many times since my first trip in 1974, and have been graced with the luck to be able to visit just about annually for the last decade.


    DW: Tamara (Code Name: Southern Giselle)
    …and I’ll tell you about the other bloke in the picture in a minute

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    A true Southern Belle if ever I’ve met one. She is the person who holds our house together and makes it possible for me to just survive the next day. Sixteen years a mother… twenty years my wife… the driving force behind most of my good memories… and for the rest of eternity, my best friend…


    DS: Max (Code Name: Goofus Maximus)

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    Tamara’s baby boy… my young man… all around good kid (and obviously the other bloke in the last picture). He’s very similar to other young people in some ways, and very much unlike the expected stereotype in many other ways.




    The three of us will be taking you along on a trip that includes a fair amount of driving…

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    …a very old fortress…

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    …a fine new ship…

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    …a stunning resort…

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    …and a number of new experiences. In terms of people, we’ll encounter folks from all over the US, and have considerable dealings with individuals form such exotic locals as Iceland, Slovakia, and Wales. We’ll see things familiar all scrambled up with things entirely new, and experience things that we’ve long known of, but never gotten around to taking part in. We’ll return once again to the “happiest place on earth”, and yet we won’t set foot on even one of the attractions. As it turned out, it’s the trip itself that was the attraction
    (and I can’t wait to be able to do it again).



    Well that’s the basics.
    Now all that remains is the actual telling of the story.

    [​IMG]

     
  9. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    We're going to play a wonderful game called... "Who is my daddy and what does he do?"
    [​IMG]

    I've fallen behind on your other TR (what with vacation and all that), but I'm ready for this one! We sail on the Dream at the end of October and we can't wait!​
     
  10. IamTrike

    IamTrike DIS Veteran

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    I'm looking forward to following along too.

    I notice there is no one in the teen club in your picture. During our trip we never saw anyone in there. I wonder if your son visited it?
     
  11. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Ha! You thought you could escape from me, but I'm here, too! BWAHAHAHahahahaha...

    Oh, wait, you're not my nemesis. Well, um, I'm looking forward to the TR.

    And hey, is that Castillo de San Marcos? I was just there in May! :thumbsup2
     
  12. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Gotta say, you took me by surprise here. You being the music enthusiast, I thoroughly expected to see a picture of Pete Townshend somewhere after you titled the update "Who are you?" :lmao::rotfl2:

    :thumbsup2 Well worth reading.

    I've got to admit, I can't wait to read about the resort... especially since I'll be calling it home for a week in a few months.;)
     
  13. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    :welcome:
    To our resident TR Jedi Master (not planning on being “the party pooper” are we)

    I’m glad to have you along and I anticipate that a healthy dose of “de-constrictive criticism” will now be heading my way. I surmized there had to be a reason that I took so little grief from the gallery on my first TR. I figured that y’all were just being nice to the noob, but now I suspect that I’ll be fair game for every conceivable pot shot. Bring it on (I probable deserve the beating that will follow).

    :welcome:
    And thanks for joining in. As a fellow Dream veteran, I’d love to see you add a bit of your perspective into this little effort (I’m pretty sure the other readers wouldn’t mind hearing an opinion other then mine as well).

    In that image, we were just getting under way form the dock and the teen club wasn’t really operating at capacity. Now that being said, I can’t supply a lot of incite into how well the concept works, because Max just wasn’t interested in the teen club.


    That question gives me a chance to toss out a disclaimer about the TR to follow:

    There just aren’t any salesman type personalities in my family, and we don’t play social games very well. Max has very close friends, but doesn’t make them quickly or easily (something he inherited honestly from both sides of the family). As such he just was not attracted to the clubs on this trip or any of our prior cruises with DCL. For this reason, those of you who follow along looking for info on the clubs will not find much (at least not in this thread). The various kids clubs on the ships are a wonderful plus for the majority of young’ens that are the more “normal” social butterflies, but the more shy folks generally stick with their families. Of course, Disney is designed from the get go as a family entertainment destination, so that method of travel works just as well. That being the case, I will be talking about the things we got into as a family unit, but not so much about the stuff that is set aside specifically for kids (or specifically for adults for that matter).

    Welcome aboard Mark.
    :welcome:
    I’m glad to have you along for the ride.
    As of yet, I haven’t acquired a proper nemesis. I guess that makes me fair game for every one (unless someone wants’ to apply for the position outright)

    And as for the question:
    Yes… Yes that is the Castillo de San Marcos. I figured the best way to deal with a long day of driving, was to get in a little time at an amazing historical edifice. Heck, it was on the way so why not. Feel free to chime in when I get around to that part of the adventure.


    Ohhhhhh... I thought about it, but you never want to be too predictable.
    By the way… :welcome: Now then… where was I… Oh yah…
    I also figured that the more obscure reference might send at least a couple of folks on over to Google to figure out what I was on about. As I also like to study history (and am more then old enough to remember that moment very vividly), it seemed like a “teachable moment” to me.


    But since you brought it up… Here ya’ go.

    [​IMG]

    Now that’s Rock n Roll!

    Thanks much (not sure I deserve that bit o praise, but I’ll take it).
    And love it you will I’m sure. I’ll make an effort to keep up with this report so that I can get the Wilderness parts well before you set off on your adventure (so that gives me about f months to finish this up).

    Did I just paint my self into a corner there?
     
  14. petals

    petals Irish Princess because Cinderella said so!

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    First post in honor of me?! I double rock :cheer2::cheer2::rotfl: Can't wait to read more :)
     
  15. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    And more is on the way ;)
     
  16. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Bonus Feature 1:

    Retreat




    I’m not really sure that this should be considered a bonus feature. My real intention here is just to ensure that the next section of the TR shows up at the top of the next page. It aint necessary that I do so… I just like the aesthetics of the idea. So if I’m bound and determined to waste everyone’s time with a completely nonsequitur post, then the question becomes: just what should it be? Well I like this idea:



    During one of our trips to The World, we just happened to be arriving at the MK right around dinner time on Memorial Day. As we walked into the square in front of the train depot, we encountered the Flag Retreat ceremony just getting under way. Now the folks at Disney do this every day (it’s just part of the magic), but it seemed particularly special on this time around. They look for a veteran among the guests that day and invite them to assist with the ceremony. The Main Street Band plays along with a full quire and once the flag has been properly lowered and folded, it is given to the guest of honor to be carried out of the square. I believe that the CMs will then take some pictures and present the guest with a certificate signifying the event. If you ask me… not only in that a very patriotic (and really cool) gesture, it’s also perfectly Disney (and it’s stuff like that that makes us all love the place).

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]



    Well OK… I guess you can consider this to be a “Bonus Feature”. It’s certainly off topic. So be warned that this is the first of many such tangents that I’ll be flying off on during this voyage.
     
  17. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 1: The Players

    Part 2: Signorinas and Fräuleins​


    I consider myself to be a very lucky man on a number of fronts, but the one that pertains most to this endeavor is that I’ve managed to find a way to sail on all of Disney’s extraordinary cruise ships. Of course with another one under construction, I now have a new goal to shoot for, but I digress. The folks at Disney have long been operating state of the art facilities, entertaining guests in high style and providing imaginative and memorable accommodations for some time now. As such, the move into cruising was actually a natural fit. They dipped their tows in the water (so to speak) back in the 1980s by partnering with another cruise line.

    [​IMG]
    Oceanic at Nassau, Bahamas in July, 1986. Photo © Robert Halstead

    And believe it or not… that particular ship is still sailing (quite the story actually), but the same can not be said for the rest of the vessels that made up what was then the “Premier Line”

    After realizing that the idea was viable, they established their own cruise line and ordered the first vessels in the late 1990s. The result was a pair of unique ships built in Italy by Fincantieri. These two Signorinas were very different in look and feel from nearly all the cruise liners built before, during or even after that time frame. First of all they didn’t have casinos (and DCL is still the only major cruise line for which this is true). Instead, the Disney folks used all that space to create spaces specifically designed for kids and separated by age groups. Then they went about creating spaces that were designed just for adults as well as areas geared toward combined family enjoyment. Their entry into the business actually changed the cruising industry (even though they only had two ships at first).



    Our first DCL experience was aboard the younger of the sisters: Disney Wonder.

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    We did a Land-Sea adventure in 2007 splitting the trip between POFQ and the Wonder. A few things didn’t go as planed (which is normal for all vacations), but the end results exceeded our expectations in almost innumerable ways. The one unanimous verdict among the members of my family was the time aboard the Wonder was nowhere near long enough to suit us.



    Our second encounter with the folks at DCL was a full blown seven day Western Caribbean itinerary in 2009 aboard the elder Signorina: Disney Magic.

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    Verdict: longer is better. We had the time of our lives. We even topped it off by heading over to WDW to spend a couple more days at CRB and hitting the parks with a few passes leftover from a prior trip.



    At just about the time that we were sailing on the Wonder, DCL announced that they were planning to start building new ships. Just before we sailed on the Magic, they actually began cutting steel for the first of these new sea fairing sisters. The keel of Disney Dream was laid on 26 August 2009 at the Meyer Werft shipyards in Papenburg, Germany.

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    The heavy construction on hull number S.687 was completed on June 1, 2010 when the final piece of the ship, the bow, was put into place.

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    The “Float-Out” of the first of Disney’s new Fräuleins took place on October 30, 2010 (the same day the band my son is a member of was winning their second consecutive state title, but that’s a very different trip report that will have to be reserved for another arena).

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    DCL took possession of the ship in December of 2010 and the christening was done at Port Canaveral with the official maiden voyage taking place on January 26, 2011

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    Like all Disney fans, we knew that this ship was being built, but once we’d disembarked from the Magic in 2009, we really didn’t have a plan to get aboard her any time in the near future. The Dream was destined to take over the shorter three/four day itineraries currently being undertaken by the Wonder, and we’d decided that a longer cruise would suit us better. Once the Fantasy is completed, she will be taking over the longer cruises currently provided by the Magic and although we certainly wanted to sail on one of the new Disney ships, we figured we’d be waiting at least until 2012 or later to be able to pull it off. But things change. That’s a general rule of life, and an almost mandatory occurrence in relationship to travel and vacations.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Nicely done for a filler post! :thumbsup2 :lmao:

    Biggest cruise ship I've ever been on has been a riverboat dinner cruise in Nashville, TN. :lmao::rotfl2:

    True, but at least this was a good change.
     
  19. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Thanks. If I’m going to waste your time, the least I can do is waste it effectively.

    Yah, but I’m so nutty about getting aboard any and every possible ship, that I’m jealous of y’all because I haven’t been on that river boat. How was the dinner and what else did you get to see and do during that trip? Enquiring minds want to know.


    ::yes::
     
  20. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    I think I've included random thoughts for far more random reasons than that. And it was a cool story! :thumbsup2


    I really, really appreciate Disney for maintaining Walt's focus on creating places the entire family can enjoy. I think that's truly what's missing from all of their competitors. They're worried about demographics.

    Interesting. We did one cruise on the Wonder, and felt like it was just enough time. We felt like we'd seen everything on the ship at that point and were ready for something different. Maybe if we'd had more stops...

    ...like Castaway Cay... :thumbsup2

    Can't wait to see the Dream!
     
  21. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Yah! History lessons in a Trip Report. (I know it's hard to tell based on the text, but there was no sarcasm there at all. I'm a history nerd)

    Where are the plaques that you have the pictures of? Are they on the ships?

    And I noticed that the Dream's float out was Oct 30, 2010. Exactly a year before we get on! :woohoo:
     

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