May 9, 2012 Magic – Babies, Birthdays, and Bahamas

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Mom2Finn, May 23, 2012.

  1. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

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    Since my vacation is over and I so enjoyed reading other people’s trip reports I thought I would try my hand at one.

    My family just got back from our first Disney cruise a few weeks ago. Only my husband had ever cruised before – he took a Princess cruise to Alaska with his family while in college.

    I did a lot of planning before via the internet and especially Disboards. Overall we had a great time, enough so that we rebooked while on board. I will warn you that cruising with a baby is not quite the action packed expierence you might expect and that this TR will be somewhat lacking in excursions and photos. With two little kids I have my hands full and don’t take nearly enough pictures.

    A quick introduction to our cast of characters:

    Me – Austin, 33, stay at home mom, former kindergarten teacher, lover of Disney

    DH – Kevin, 33, salesman, great father, happy to let me plan our trips

    DS – Finn, 3 ½, loves Disney, still talking about the ice cream and water slides

    DD – Rowen, 6 months, got to go on her first cruise 32 ½ years before I got to go on mine

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    And now let's begin...
     
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  3. HermanTriplets+1

    HermanTriplets+1 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for writing:thumbsup2! Looking forward to more on your MAGICal trip!:flower3:
     
  4. cheryllarsen

    cheryllarsen Mouseketeer

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    Glad you all had a blast. I think I will write a trip report for my next cruise.
     
  5. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    So glad you are going to write a report! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our cruise.
     
  6. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    Following along. Your kids are so cute!!
     
  7. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

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    It's such a fun way to relive it all!

    Thanks! You definitely made it so much more fun!

    Thank you so much!!!
     
  8. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

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    Getting there

    We are lucky enough to live in Atlanta which makes Port Canaveral only about eight and a half hours away. Completely do-able in a day’s drive, unless you are traveling with a baby who finds her carseat torturous after about fifteen minutes. So we decided to do the drive in two days and left on Monday for our Wednesday cruise.

    We left in the late morning after Rowen’s morning nap. We were going to a Hilton Garden Inn in Valdosta about four hours away. We discovered we could only go about an hour at a time until the baby became inconsolable and we had to take a break. But eventually we got there and were happy with our choice. It’s a nice hotel and it works well for us as a midway point to Orlando/Port Canaveral.

    Finn was thrilled to find the pool and he and Kevin swam as Rowen and I took a nap. They we went for an early dinner at Red Lobster. Yes, we knew we would soon be having a ton of seafood but we love Red Lobster and it was the perfect beginning of our vacation.

    The next morning we were up early and headed to the Hilton Cocoa Beach. Another (seemingly) long drive with many stops and we got there around noon. It was a lovely hotel. We are already talking about spending a few more days there when we take our next cruise. It has its own private beach which was a lot of fun. It was Rowen’s first trip to the beach:

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    They also upgraded us to a ocean view room which really had a spectacular view:

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    The only downside was that I let Finn get sunburned for the first time in his life. I felt like such a horrible mother! I am usually so careful, but he was out for so long and in the water so much that I just don’t think I did enough reapplying. I still feel guilty.

    That night we ate at Fish Lips which had gotten great reviews. The food was great and we were able to sit right by the water which was nice.

    The only thing left to do was get some sleep because our cruise was tomorrow!!!
     
  9. Sereina

    Sereina Mouseketeer

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    I'll be following along! Can't wait to hear about your trip. :goodvibes
     
  10. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

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    Oh! I meant to do a things I would/wouldn’t do again at the end of every day. In terms of the trip down, I really think it went as well as it could. I liked where we stopped and I loved Red Lobster. I will happily make that part of our driving to Orlando tradition.

    Next time I will NOT let Finn get sunburned or let Kevin keep Finn up super late before cruise departure day.
     
  11. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

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    Port Canaveral Day

    We woke up Wednesday and it was CRUISE DAY!! I had been planning this since December and I couldn’t believe it was already here.

    Breakfast at the hotel, some repacking, and Finn and Kevin did some swimming while the baby and I lay down for her morning nap. They we packed up the car and headed out.

    The getting there was semi-complicated. The hotel was supposed to have a shuttle, but weren’t comfortable with the kids riding in it with no car seats so Kevin dropped us at the terminal, took the car back to the hotel, and then took the shuttle himself.

    Checking in went well all in all although I had a semi-cranky baby and a tired three year old. We got there and our luggage was whisked away. We went through security and up the elevators. I got into the very long line I saw immediately. Luckily I asked the person in front of me if this was the check in line. No, the line was to have your picture taken with Mickey. Way longer than the check in and kids club check in lines combined.

    I got us all checked in and got Finn his wristband and then we waited for Kevin to come back. Eventually he did but it turned out that the hotel “shuttle” was just a taxi and it had cost $30 instead of the $5.50 we were told it would be. Oh well, we had our boarding numbers and we waiting for them to call number 11.

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    Finally it was our turn! We went down the gangway and were announced. I immediately went to get tickets to Alice’s Tea Party and check that we had our own table for dinner. With that done we headed to Parrot Cay.

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    I had read all the tips about going to Parrot Cay instead of eating at Topsiders but I am not sure I would do it again. It was super crowded and the service was awful. We didn’t get our drinks until we were almost about to leave and it just felt like we were packed like sardines. Maybe because the kids were starting to get fussy.

    When we finished eating our room was ready. I thought the room was great and didn’t feel cramped even with four (or three and a half) of us. I put the baby down for a nap and Finn and Kevin went and checked out the kid’s club until it was time for the muster drill.

    We came, we saw, we mustered, and then we headed up to the sail away party. This was not our best cruise moment. Two fussy kids and the hot sun and both Kevin and I had a moment of “was this a horrible mistake?!” Plus I was feeling rushed already about getting everyone ready for dinner. This all passed, eventually.

    Anyway, back to the room and we got ready for dinner at Animator’s Palate. Overall, our waitstaff was just okay. They often seemed rushed and behind. We would see other tables on their main course when we were still waiting for our appetizers. This would end up being a bad combination with two young kids. I thought the food was great. Kevin, unfortunately was feeling seasick and ended up leaving dinner to try and find some medicine. Finn ate quickly and then wanted to go to the kid’s club. Rowen got progressively louder and fussier and we finally ended up taking our desserts to go and heading back to our room. I think they had a birthday cake for me but it would have to wait (spoiler alert…the birthday cake never appears because we never make it through a full dinner).

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    Back to the cabin it was bedtime for everyone. Our first day was over!

    Things we would do again: Disney really makes boarding such an easy process and it all went really quickly.

    Things we would do differently: I think next time we will just eat at the pool level buffet and let Finn hit the pools earlier. Also we will just park at the terminal.
     
  12. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Oh dear...what hotel were you at again? I believe it was the Hilton? I have not heard about a shuttle from there...sorry you were given information otherwise. We have done a shuttle once (from Country Inn & Suites) and have decided finding a lower rate combined with port parking costs is a better situation.

    As for Parrot Cay for lunch, we felt the same way this trip (have always eaten lunch there without issues). Our drinks came quickly, but the overall atmosphere was quite chaotic.

    Hopefully after the first evening things began to settle down for all of you!
     
  13. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

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    It actually was really fun, even the first day. I think that's just how it goes with little kids.
     

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