Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by bobbi565, Feb 19, 2008.
Loving your report. My favorite kind with lots of pictures!
Log in or Sign up to hide this advert.
Upon boarding, we hightailed it up to Deck 9 and grabbed a couple of drinks of the day (Bay Breeze) en route to a totally empty Mickey Pool. We were dragging with us my overweight day bag, a laptop, a portable DVD player, a camera bag containing camera and camcorder with necessary accessories, a rolling soft-sided cooler full of beer, and DS’s two blankies, two stuffed animals, and one green spikey rubber ball acquired in Myrtle Beach that was to cause me much grief throughout the trip (When we were getting in the car to leave Myrtle Beach, I realized we’d left the ball at the pool and sent DH in to find it, which luckily he did). The whole way to the pool, DH kept complaining, “This early boarding is the pits! You have to drag all your stuff around with you! Next time, I say we board after the room is ready.” After setting down our stuff, I ran DS to the restroom and changed him into his swim trunks. By the time we came out, there were a couple of kids in the pool, and DS was excited to get in. After making sure DH was happy with his beverage, I left him supervising the little guy while I ran errands.
First, I was off to Vista Spa to make a hair appointment. We had Palo brunch scheduled for Monday, formal night, and I had scheduled a manicure and pedicure for later in the afternoon and had hoped to make an appointment to have my hair styled before or after. The receptionist there told me that both spots were open, so I opted for 1:15, an hour before my 2:15 manicure.
Next it was up to guest services to load my DDRDs onto our account and check that all our stateroom credits had been properly applied. The CM at guest services was pretty funny and joked that none of my credits had been applied. When printing out my receipt, he reached under the counter and pulled out a cute stuffed pirate Mickey and started playing with it. “Hey!” I cried out, “We have that same pirate Mickey!” to which he replied, “Are you sure? Or have you lost it?” I said, “No, it’s up in the front pocket of my beach bag!” He repeated, “Are you sure? Because we just found this one.” So I got on the walkie-talkie and buzzed DH who gave me a negative on the pirate Mickey. Crisis miraculously averted! I returned to the Mickey Pool, and life was good. I got a tray from Topsiders and relaxed while DH established his daily routine of a cheeseburger from Pluto’s. Munching on his burger and sipping his second bay breeze, DH smiled and declared, “Early boarding is definitely the way to go!”
At 1:30, I ran down to the room to drop off some of our stuff and put up our door magnets to surprise the boys.
An important note, DH is a journalist for USA Today and came up with the idea of writing a piece for their new supplement, “Open Air”, about how to enjoy your cruise and not gain weight. He had contacted DCL PR prior to the cruise to get some information for the story, and they were very helpful. Well, when I opened our stateroom door, the room was filled with stuff from PR wishing us a great cruise and telling us to keep on running. We had a large tray of fruit, an equally enormous cheese platter, and a bottle of champagne on ice with two glasses! After finishing up there, I headed back up to Deck 9 where DH was stressing a bit about keeping track of DS’s aqua soaker and his green ball. I gave DS the countdown, gathered up his toys, got him out of the pool and got him a slice from Pinocchio’s. I was told that while I was gone, Pluto had visited Deck 9, and DH got a shot of DS with the pup!
We went back to the room a little after 2:00, and the bags started arriving. Just before 3:00, as we were trying to leave for the DIS Maytees Meet at the Promenade Lounge (that’s the name of my meet thread), the GoodyPak arrived---DS was thrilled! GoodyPak ROCKS!! I promise to patronize Shirley on our next cruise, but DS LOVED the GoodyPak! I left the boys sorting the loot and made my way to the Promenade Lounge with my nametags and bag of green bracelets from Oriental Traders (yes, I’m a compulsive planner)! We had a pretty good turnout, and the kids had fun running around on the dance floor. My boys joined us in about 10 minutes, and jdabi and family arrived shortly after.
DH and jdabi
Emiel and Yvet, LCJ1861, and imheather
misslissa and DH
Before long, it was time for the safety drill, which went smoothly and quickly. Then we went back up to the room to stash life vests and headed up for the sail away party. We found a great spot on the rail of Deck 10, directly across from the Ariel View Screen. After the characters and CMs finished their acts, the horn sounded those seven famous notes, and we moved to the rail to watch the shore recede and listen to some music. With DH holding DS and discussing how much fun and excitement we were going to have, the unbelievably blue sky and sea, the barely perceptible motion of the ship, and finally an instrumental version of “When You Wish Upon a Star” (the first dance song at our wedding!) playing in the background, it all became a bit much for me---I welled up with tears of joy!
Next it was back to the room to finish unpacking. Thanks to tips on the DIS, we had our power strip, pop-up hamper, and over-the-door shoe organizer which were all indispensible items! As 6:00 approached, we put on our matching Disney outfits and headed over to Animator’s Palate. Our rotation was APLAAPL, which made me happy because it meant we’d be in Lumiere’s on formal night! When we got to dinner, jdabi and family were already there. We met our servers, Roberto from the Phillipines and Vally from India, and immediately hit it off. Roberto latched right onto DH’s warped sense of humor, and matched him quip for quip. Dinner was great! The chilled melon and mint soup was so refreshing and my main course was an unbelievably delicious seafood curry. DS and I took a walk out to Shutters before dessert and found our embarkation photos, which you’ve already seen. For dessert, I ordered a sinful Kona coffee crème brulee, but was confused that there was no show there the first night, and the next time we returned would be Pirate Night, so when would they do the show?
After dinner Joel couldn’t wait to get into the OC, and jdabi had yet to check in his DS, so we took them over there, and he was off and running. I went over to Shutters , bought photo combo package B knowing full well I’d have to upgrade eventually, and picked up our 3 8x10s. We went back to the stateroom, finished unpacking, picked up DS from the OC, found our first towel animal, a stingray, much to DS's delight, and hit the hay, happy but exhausted!
Next up, The James Gang in the Conch Republic…
Thanks for the encouragement! I just posted more...enjoy.
Okay ... loving it more and more.
Awesome report and it looks like it was a great trip. I can be a compulsive planner too so I can relate on that level. I enjoy the planning as much as the trip which is good considering the trip goes by so fast.
I am loving your report, keep it up!!!
Quick question about the t'shirts you were all wearing your first day, did you make them??? I am thinking that I "might" be able to talk DH into matching shirts if they are nice like those.
We got those tee shirts from DisneyShopping.com last year. They have logo shirts in various colors in adult and kids sizes every year, so check online!
Love it! Great report!!! Keep up the good work! You have some wonderful pictures.
Great report and pictures I can't wait to read more. See lots more people posted. Lots of people read but not many post. I think until you are doing a report you don't realize how important it is to post for the person writing the report.
Love the pics and the report! Kept checking back to see if you had continued-never lost interest!!
11 days until our first dcl cruise!!
Thanks, all! purplepeg, I just discovered your pretrip! Now I'm reading two of yours! I'm about halfway through with my next entry, so I hope to get it online sometime tomorrow.
At 3:00 AM my eyes flew open. I couldnt remember grabbing the green rubber ball from under the lounge chair when we left the Mickey Pool yesterday. I jumped out of bed and rifled through the beach bag
no ball. I searched the closet and under the bed
no ball. This was not good news! I pulled on some clothes and ran to guest services to check the lost and found
no ball. I resolved to check back every day until it showed up! Of course, now that I was up, there would be no getting back to sleep, so I headed up to Deck 9 and got a cup of coffee. I strolled around a little bit, then headed back to the stateroom and read a bit of my book and wrote in my travel journal. I had scheduled a wakeup call from Mickey for 6:00, so I could run on a treadmill at the fitness center before our character breakfast. Im supposed to be co-writing the story for Open Air with DH, so I had to keep up with my workouts to stave off the extra calories. I grabbed the phone on the first ring, then hopped out of bed and started stretching. I ran up to the fitness center which was scheduled to open at 6:30 AM a bit early. When I got there, there was another woman in workout clothes waiting in a chair outside the door, so I wasnt the only crazy person! I was pleased when they opened the doors at about 6:20. They had really nice LifeFitness treadmills, and I hopped on one in front of the floor to ceiling windows and ran three miles into the ocean.
After returning to the room, showering, and waking the boys, it was time to head over to Parrott Cay.
Id read many complaints on the board about the change in format. In Mickeys Island Jam the characters come out three times and present three different shows during which they invite the kids to come up and join them. The whole thing concludes with the obligatory conga line which snakes its way around the dining room.
We saw Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Lilo & Stitch, and Chip & Dale.
This format was perfect for DS who doesnt really care to sit still at a table and eat or wait his turn to do something fun (like have a character come to your table for pictures and autographs). While they wont sign or pose at this breakfast, the characters are more than generous with the attention they lavish upon the children and will hug, hi-5, and tousle hair to your hearts content.
After breakfast, we headed over to the OC at DSs request for a bit, and DH and I took a walk around Deck 4, stopped in at Shutters to grabbed the Minnie picture from the terminal, then headed to Mickeys Mates. While considering the purchase of a 6X8 DCL picture frame, my pager went off. Joel would like to be picked up, it warned me. I ran to check on the boy while DH stayed behind to buy the frame. When I arrived at the OC, I was informed, Joels a little upset. Upon seeing me, his sad little face collapsed into tears. Turns out, I had told him they would be making puppets in the evening to psych him up about going during our Palo dinner. Apparently, he figured the sooner he got there, the sooner he could make his puppet. The CM and I explained the concept of a schedule to him and then she told him that they were going to be making flubber and described what that was. DS decided that sounded ok. I met DH back to the room and put the picture of DS and Minnie in the frame. We picked up DS and his flubber when it was time to disembark at Key West. I had secured a stroller at guest services the night before, and we wheeled that down to the gangway at Deck 1. The plan was for me and DH to burn some calories by sightseeing on foot while DS sat back and enjoyed the ride.
We wanted to see the Aquarium, the Butterfly Conservatory, and the Southernmost Point, and Id read it was about 2 miles from the north to the south of the island, so that would be about four miles of walking. The aquarium was a fantastic place. Being members of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, wed grown accustomed to quickly breezing past large aquatic displays behind Plexiglas as DS hurried through to get to the escalators and ultimately the gift shop. In contrast, the Key West Aquarium is a fraction of the size, but DS found all the open tanks and ponds much more compelling. Upon entering, visitors encounter a large touch tank filled with starfish, sponge, conch, and other innocuous forms of sea life. DS loved holding a starfish and placing a tentative finger on anything else I presented to him.
It probably took us around 45 minutes to explore the entire aquarium, but DS was engaged the entire time. Upon leaving, I grabbed a small order of conch fritters from a stand right outside, we admired some roosters strolling in the plaza, and tried our luck at chatting up a grizzled old seaman who wouldnt give us the time of day before heading south on Duval Street.
We progressed south at a rapid pace, finally arriving at the Butterfly Conservatory. After paying admission and being briefed on the procedure, we ventured into the butterfly room. DS was enthralled! He kept pointing out specimens that I should photograph and finally requested my camera in order to take some shots himself.
After the obligatory stop at the gift shop, we strolled the couple of blocks to the Southernmost Point and waited in line to have our picture taken. We encountered Linda and her peeps just finishing getting their picture taken, and after discussing the most efficient rout to the Blonde Giraffe and other forms of decadence, they headed off.
After our photo, we too returned north on Duval and made a pit stop in the very nicely air conditioned Blonde Giraffe store (the 90 degree temps had made DS, our rickshaw passenger, majorly wilt!) for some ice cream for DH and the much anticipated chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick for me. Unbelievable! Everything tastes better on a stick, doesnt it? As we headed back to the pier, it started to drizzle and eventually turned to a steady shower. When we finally returned to our stateroom, the view from our porthole revealed quite a heavy downpour. The rain didnt last long, and DS and I put on our swimsuits and paid a brief visit to the Mickey Pool while DH took a nap.
When we returned to the room, I found a little plate of beautiful canapés on the little dresser next to the closet
no card, no explanation. DH was just coming to, and when I asked him about it, he had a vague recollection of someone knocking at the door. We figured it had to be more goodies from DCL PR! We got DS into dry clothes and dropped him off at the OC. DH and I went over to the spa for our couples massage. Our technicians were Andrew and Alexia, and they were very good. I dont think DH enjoyed the experience quite as much as I did. After returning to the stateroom and dressing for dinner, we went to Palo. Sylvester from India was our server, and we liked him very much.
We ordered three appetizers, the Tuna Carpaccio for me, Pizza Margherita for DH, and the Grilled Shrimp Salad to share. It was all delicious! Sylvester had also brought out the Antipasto Freddo for us to nibble on. For a main course, I ordered the Lobster and Mascarpone Ravioli, which was fantastic, and DH got the Tenderloin, which he liked very much, and Sylvester brought us out the Wild Mushroom and Hazelnut Risotto---very rich and flavorful! For dessert, we each got a Chocolate Souffle, mmmmmmm! After finishing dinner, we went back to the OC to pick up DS. There were some characters and photographers about, and we saw Dopey on Deck 4 right below us. We ran down to get a shot with him, but DS got nervous. I got in line anyway, and when it was almost my turn, DH tried to convince him to pose with us, but he got teary, so he sat this one out while we got a great shot of DH and me in our Palo finery with Dopey!
Next installment, Palo Brunch, a Day at the Spa, and Formal Night
Your trip report is great & your photos are Magnificent.
Thanks for sharing
Another great day ... oh I can't wait for my trip!
OMG! I hope you have at least HALF as much fun as we did! There wasn't a bad day in the bunch, as you will soon find out.
Thanks ... I want to have TWICE as much fun ... would that be euphoria LOL.
That would be INSANITY!!! But if you think you can stand it, then I wish you TWICE as much fun.
Forgot to end my last entry with the towel animal, so here it it
I think its a dog!
Once again, I had too much adrenaline rushing through my system to sleep for more than a few hours, so I was up to watch the sunrise. I made another visit to Guest Services to ask about the green rubber ball (I think Id also checked in at some point the evening before), and the CM there suggested I fill out a lost article report, which I did. DS had not noticed yet that it was missing, but it was only a matter of time, and I didnt look forward to his reaction. I went back to the room, stretched and headed over to the fitness center early again for a good workout. This time, my normal gym routine---20 minutes of the recumbent bike and 15 on the elliptical followed by some resistance training on machines. This was good, because we were set for brunch at Palo on this morning! I headed back to the stateroom to shower and change. We had a busy day planned---after brunch, a Body Composition Analysis and Personal Training Session for DH and hair , manicure and pedicure for me. DS was to remain happily ensconced in the OC until it was time to get into our formal wear and go get our picture taken---that was the plan, anyway.
I got DS up and headed up to Topsiders to get him some breakfast while DH said he was going to head to the fitness center for a run. Dont forget, I reminded him, you have your personal training session later. Yeah, he replied, but I need to run! Ok, Im married to an iron man, I guess. DS and I went through the line at Topsiders, and he picked out a pancake, a donut, some oj, and some chocolate mile. We carried our tray over to the Goofy Pool, establishing our morning routine of eating breakfast in front of the Ariel Screen. Our Palo brunch was at 11:30, so after Handy Manny was over DS and I stopped by Mickeys Mates for some souvies and headed back to the stateroom to hang out while DH got showered and dressed after his six mile run. We dropped DS at the OC, were instructed to bring him across the hall to the lab, and had to deal with some clinginess and reluctance as we tried to leave. Finally, we extracted ourselves and headed over to Palo. We passed jdabi and DW as we were lead to our booth and were instructed to help ourselves to a flute of champagne as we passed a tray full. Just as we got settled in, my pager went off. Once again, it advised, Joel would like to be picked up. Oh great! I thought, and told DH that I would go and deal with it. I ran over to the lab and saw DS talking to one of the counselors. She was telling him, We called your mom; she should be here soon! I walked over to him and tried to find out what was the matter. They were actually making chocolate chip cookies, and I couldnt believe he wasnt totally into that. By the time I got there, the kids were receiving and eating their cookies, but DS wanted me to stay there with him for a while and help him draw something. I knew I could get him settled in and get back to Palo, but I didnt have my walkie talkie and neither did DH (important lesson learned!) and it didnt occur to me to ask someone at the lab to call Palo and tell DH to sit tight. Of course when I finally got back to Palo (10 minutes or so later), DH was gone! jdabi told me, He just left! The maitre d claimed hed gone to the restroom, and Sylvester, who was once again our server, informed me, He said he was going to check on you and hell be right back. He encouraged me to help myself to some buffet while I waited, adding, Your husband has also started eating while you were gone.
The seafood buffet...
Some mediterranean offerings...
So I helped myself and ate alone for about 10 minutes. Not exactly the romantic brunch Id envisioned! Finally, DH returned looking surly. We really need to keep these walkie talkies with us, he growled handing me my handset and sliding into the booth. I finally got him to get up and look at the hot food offerings, we each ordered and eggs Julia, and the dessert buffet, which hed missed the first time around.
We had about 20 minutes or so before the pager went off again. Ill get it, DH stated, grabbing his handset and sliding out of the booth. You finish up. I agreed Id meet him in the room. As I was signing the check, my walkie talkie sounded. Apparently, DS was claiming he hadnt asked for us to be paged, and DH was confused, so once again, Mama to the rescue. I flew down to the lab where DS was happily munching on the potato chips from his lunch (and just as happily ignoring the cheese sandwich) and was very anxious to dismiss me. I chalked it off as a misunderstanding, as DS can be difficult to interpret at times, and asked the counselor to try to encourage him to stay engaged for a few more hours as both DH and I had several appointments at the spa. She said shed make note of it, and we didnt hear another peep out of him.
After getting someone to snap our picture at the sailor Mickey statue on Deck 3, we took a little rest in the room before I headed off to the salon, to be followed shortly by DH who had his Metabolism Test with Body Composition Analysis followed by a personal training session. I walked in and was greeted by Alex from Turkey. It took him 45 minutes, a round brush, blow drier, curling iron, and a little styling cream and hairspray to transform my wild mass of curls into a heedful of smooth, fat, glossy ringlets. I thought it was a pretty nice look for formal attire and one Id never be able to achieve on my own. Next I saw Tracy from Jamaica who treated me with an Elemis Exotic Hand Ritual with Manicure and an Elemis Sole Delight Foot Treatment with Pedicure. Its always fun chatting with the Cast Members and learning things about their countries and backgrounds, and few activities are more conducive to this than a salon treatment, so that was pretty cool. When I was done, I paged DH who was happy with his numbers from his analysis and exhausted from his training. He said that his trainer, Matthew from South Africa, would be the same one who does my workup on Thursday and was looking forward to meeting me. (Actually, DHs exact words were, Boy, he cant wait to get his hands on you!) DH was back at the room and getting ready for a nap before dinner, so I picked up DS and headed back down with him. We took a little rest then started dressing for dinner. As I was getting our formalwear out of the closet and opening the safe to get out my jewelery, I looked up and what was on top of the safe, behind DH's tuxedo? THE GREEN BALL!!!
DS was very excited about his tuxedo (actually a very nice black boys suit combined with a tux shirt, vest, and bow tie I picked up for a song on ebay), being a bit of a 5 yo clothes horse. The plan was for DH to head up for pictures while I dressed DS and then page us on the walkie talkies when he was close to the front of the line. So I woke him up a little before 5:00 and helped him out with the accessories on his monkey suit. As he turned around to let me fasten his cummerbund, he started to sway a little and began to moan that he was dizzy and not feeling well. It seemed to me that after a six mile run and a one hour personal torture
I mean training session with drill sergeant Matthew from South Africa, that he was probably dehydrated! I tried to get him to drink some water, but he just wanted to lie down. So I finished dressing, got DS dressed and headed up to Deck 3 to get on line. I told DH Id page him when we got close to see if he was feeling any better and begged him to drink water.
DS actually did pretty well waiting on line, and after about 15 minutes, we had just a few families in front of us. I paged DH and was happy to hear him respond with more of the old lilt in his voice. Soon he was at our side looking very handsome in his formalwear.
After we got our pictures taken, we turned around and strolled right into Lumieres.
After a while, jdabi and DS showed up sans DW and DD. Apparently, DD objected to her evening attire and descended into a tantrum which, we were to learn later, lasted for two hours, so it was boys night out that night.
Dinner was delicious and the boys (the big ones) entertained themselves by making up fantastic stories of all the things jdabis DW missed at dinner that night. (All the characters came in and visited each table as a group! Johnny Depp was onboard and came in full Jack Sparrow regalia and danced with all the ladies!)
Roberto started the ongoing magic show by making a crayon dissappear...
Although Roberto got the ball rolling, Vally was the one that really took the ball and ran with it, performing magic tricks for the boys every remaining night...
My dessert---a chocolate covered nougat concoction, yummy...
After dinner, we hit the lobby of Preludes for formal pictures with Goofy. DS was very excited.
The wait wasnt too long, and then we hit the family dance party at Studio Sea. DS took his dancing seriously, and got his groove thing on with both DH and me while maintaining an expression of intense concentration.
After a while, we noticed a pretty blond girl of about 10 years old watching DS. DH, determined to teach him how to charm the ladies, walked him over and helped him ask her to dance. She politely, if a bit reluctantly, accepted (after all, cute as he is---hes half her age!).
DS puts on his best Clark Gable face...
After a moment, a woman approached me and asked, Excuse me, are you from the DIS board? Yes! I replied enthusiastically. Im Leias Mom, she volunteered, and Leah was noticing the pin on your sons lapel. We had received som fish extender gifts that day, and DSs favorite by far was a small Nemo pin with flashing lights. Hed worn it on his tee shirt all day and insisted on affixing it to his lapel when I put on his suit that night. Yeah, I shouted over the music, it was from you! He LOVES it---thank you so much. Before too long, we rscued Leia from her tiny Romeo and went back to our stateroom where we were greeted by that nights towel animal---the lobster. Its my personal favorite, and DS like it so much, he insisted I move it to the foot of his bed so he could sleep with it at night!
Good report so far. I saw you alot around the ship. We were just a couple tables over from you at dinner. Wasn't that a great dinner rotation? I keep looking for us in your crowd pics. I tried keeping a trip journal but only got to Key West day.
Welcome home, CruisinEars! I didn't notice you close by in the dining room. Did you have different servers? We absolutely loved Roberto and Vally!! I will look closely at my pics, and if I see you in any of them, I will post them or pm you with them. I didn't get much farther than Key West in my trip journal onboard, but I've continued it at home. If I sit down with my journal, the daily agendas I made, and my Navigators, I can get everything down so when I get on the computer, I can just type it up! Did you rebook yet?
Love your report!!! Your little guy in his formal wear is just too cute.
It is so much fun hearing about everyone's trip in their reports. Even though we were all on the same cruise we all had such different trips.
Keep the pictures coming!
Separate names with a comma.