Murphy's Visit with us on the Fantasy Eastern!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by lmhall2000, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    Lance and Fil and the lady CM's were what kept my daughter going back, she just loved their enthusiasm!! A great bunch of leaders!! :) That alone keeps us coming back!! :)

    I am sorry gang, I threw away all the Navigators...but if you have any questions about any of them, I have them stuck in my memory! :) I did not see any deals for Shutters, checked daily for those...they only offered 10 pictures or 10 on CD for $149.95 or all for $400 (pictures and CD)...I really really wish they would bring back the credits and let you pick your pictures...I only wanted 5 pictures, but was not about to pay over $100 for them...they want $20 per 8x10 and maybe $16 for 6x8? I just made sure whenever my kids posed with characters that I was there to get the shot! :) Here is a shot of Captain Jack with our girls...he was more spot on than Trevor!! His mannerisms were incredible!!!

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  3. tokyodisneydad

    tokyodisneydad DIS Veteran

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    I feel Ur husbands pain. Having said that I am the romantic type. She gets the flowers and the candles and the love poems on the pillow...the whole nine yards but she still goes Mc Hammer on me.... " Cant Touch This"
    Women.....U just cant do enough....lol.
    Looking forward to Ymore.
     
  4. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    Whoa Nelly!! You're telling me YOU give her all the poems and candles???? Well, no wonder there's a communication disconnect, we have absolutely NONE of that in our marriage, I've screwed up....quick, give me tips...we are just both so dadgum busy all the time neither of us pulls out the romantic stops :) I love me some MC Hammer :) I am practical to a fault, honestly, if he bought me roses, I'd probably tell him we can't be spending money on that! :) He just can't win with me :) So glad to hear romance is alive and well!! :)
     
  5. tokyodisneydad

    tokyodisneydad DIS Veteran

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    I will exchange tips with you if you can tell me what the heck I am doing wrong:rotfl2:
     
  6. perfectmatch300

    perfectmatch300 DIS Veteran

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    We were parked at Park n Cruise for our Dream cruise and we noticed your car! DH & I have a bet about being the first to spot a bride & groom, that's why I noticed your anniversary message on the car! Meant DH was at my mercy, as per our bet! Little did I know that not only did the car belong to someone from the Disboards, but to someone I remember from my own days on the WISH board!
    We will be on the Fantasy next Sept so I'll be checking back for your trip reports. Great reading so far!
     
  7. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    You know it's coming..."It's a SMall World After All!" :) That is soo coool!!! We are really going to shoot for another cruise next September but saving for the last minute GT rates..which sailing are you going on?? We're just going to go with whichever one is cheapest!!! :) And I will be at GOAL with my weight by then so that is really why I'm going to work my tail off to make it happen..would love to be on your cruise, too!! :)
     
  8. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    If I could do that, I think I would have publishers knocking down my door!! :) Let's send pixie dust to each other that we get it in the next 20 years!! :)
     
  9. perfectmatch300

    perfectmatch300 DIS Veteran

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    Tara, hope you get a great price for the Sept 28 Western Caribbean on the Fantasy! This way we won't be ships, or cars, or whatever passing in the night! We booked our next cruise onboard to take advantage of the 19% discount and the $200 onboard credit. We will spend the next year paying the cruise off so as not to have a big bill all at once.
    Sounds like we have a really enthusiastic group already on our cruise meets thread!
    We celebrated our 12 yr anniversary on the cruise we just finished, and will be doing a slightly belated 13 yr celebration on the Fantasy.
     
  10. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    Paul Simon: “50 Ways to Leave your Lover”

    Now the title of the song is not really specific to this day as much as the lyrics are…I kept thinking “Get off the Bus, Gus…and set yourself free” with this day.

    Background: It’s an oversight to not realize that budget is key to this trip….so, my lengthy hours spent scouring TripAdvisor, various cruise reports, travel forums should account for something. I had hard and firm facts from locals/repeat travelers and felt armed with the necessary information to travel throughout St. Maarten. In fact, I had reserved a 5 passenger Jeep but the week before decided to cancel because it would be cheaper to take the buses throughout the island. I was in commando mode and ready to navigate our way to Serafina’s (most talked about French Patisserie-known for chocolate croissants) in Marigot (capital of French side) and to Maho Beach…the notable airplane landing strip on the beach. I had even checked out incoming flights and knew that they were scheduled for 11:15am and 1:20…I was READY!! Bring it on!!

    We let the kids sleep in this day because there really was no rush, we might be on the island 4 hours tops. So, around 10am I ask them to deliver the 36 bags of goodies we were giving to our Fish Extender families. Honestly, I thought I made it clear it was ONE bag per stateroom. You can imagine my surprise when our three industrious offspring arrive back at our stateroom within 20 minutes of having left. I was so surprised they had made it through 10 floors of rooms!! Pleased we could get off the ship that much quicker, I asked them how they managed that kind of time. They said it was easy, but that they only covered 2 floors b/c they ran out of bags…WHOA!!! Ran out??? How is that possible?? I hand packed each and every 150+ zip lock baggie of goodies and knew there was one per stateroom…

    Child #2: “One per stateroom??? We put one in each pocket!!”
    Mom #1: “What?? Okay, let’s regroup, Grumpy you hit the top floor, kids you hit the next one take the extras out and just start putting them in any FE you find.”

    We frantically ran up and down stairs, down corridors..my goodness, some corridors just END, the do not loop around to the other side! That was frustrating, you would have to run all the way back to find an opening to get on the starboard or port side. After 30 minutes of frantic regifting, all fish extenders that we found now had ONE goody bag in it…Honestly, I was already tired before getting off the ship and possibly not in the best frame of mind to deal with what was coming.

    We make it off the ship and take in the incredible day, we have been more than lucky with the weather!! Gorgeous!!

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    I beeline it over to the information desk right at the port for St. Maarten. I politely ask the lady there where do the buses stop at so we can take them into the island. She looked at me matter of factly, “No ma’am, they do not run into the island…there are no buses .”

    Wait a second, I distinctly remember reading at least 10 accounts in the past year of travelers taking buses into Marigot and other beach areas. So, I explain this, “Ma’am, I did quite a bit of research and was told the buses could take us into the island.”

    “No, you can not take buses.” (AH! So there ARE buses) “Buses only run into residential areas and you can not take them, you must take the taxis.” Here she points out the taxis just to my right and says I must take them to leave the port.

    I can tell I am going to get nowhere with this immoveable character…my vacation time is not worth it. So, we head over to the taxis. I ask them if this is where we can find the buses. Again, the same lines. “There are no buses, you must take taxis.” Now, I am just getting annoyed.

    The taxi driver, a weathered Holland native, proceeds to point out the rates for our party. For five, we are looking at $9 pp to go to Marigot, then another $7 pp to go on to Maho and another $9 pp to be brought back…at this rate they are wanting $125 just to tote us around. My jeep rental would have only been $90….but looking at the roads here and seeing the curves to them, I know driving is not an option. I have driven in England twice, Trail Ridge Road in Estes Park, CO and honestly, after this morning my mental state is not ready to tackle St. Maarten drivers. I had really only put aside $50 for transportation on this trip, figuring $2 pp on the buses. I just can not go over my budget. I quickly start the querying of options with this man on a mission. Could we just do XYZ for $$$? “No, all taxis must stick to published fares, it is throughout the island, you can not change these fares.”

    So here we have an impasse. I have a budget, I can not go over the budget…he has a taxi, he will not accept less than published fares. No problem, I tell him that we will simply have to walk the 15 minutes from the port into Phillipsburg. We part ways and my intent is to find a vendor who may be able to be honest about the buses. All the ports in the Mediterranean had public bus options, many times we boarded in Nice/Villefranche and they never took money, they just told you to get in and sit down…that would have been so nice right now.

    We spy a vendor that is American and decide she might be able to help us. She, too, says that we ‘can not’ take buses. But, she says something key! She says..”You can take the taxi into Maho for $20.” I explain that the published fares say $50 one way…her eyes get big as if that is not what she is used to hearing. She then says, “Maybe you should go back and see if someone will take you for $20.” I look around, and remember in my research that sometimes there are 3-4 ships in port. Well, we are the only one..and those taxis are just sitting there. So, I go ahead with my four little ducks in tow (Dh has no desire to get into the fray of bargaining so he is just fine following behind the kids) and head back armed with additional information to try. I see a driver standing beside her van and she solicits us for a ride, I explain that we are on a limited budget and would like to get to Maho (giving up Serafina at this point) and back for $50. She says that she can’t do it but that I should go back to the main terminal and ask the drivers there..someone may take us up on it.

    A short walk back to the main terminal and here we are back with our little Dutch man. He points to the sign of published fares and I simply state, “Yes, I see them…I am only here to tell you that we only have $50 to get five of us to Maho and back.” A couple of the men start asking others and there were about three disinterested drivers who acted like I was asking them to jump into a boiling crevasse. They rolled their eyes and voiced their disdain for my request with arms flailing in the air urging me to go away. Fine, this is just not worth it…at that point..two travelers from Holland overheard me trying to work a deal. They asked if they could be added to our group and it might encourage them to take us all..they, too wanted to go to Maho. So, I went back to the few gentleman that were still considering our offer and told them we now had 7 passengers, we would pay $35 each way for the 7 of us. Again, I get rebuffed and I tell the Dutch couple that money talks, if they want it they will come after us. I take my four little ducks and we start walking to the port exit to go to Phillipsburg. Not what I had planned but I had a strong feeling we would not make it to the gate. Sure enough, we were 20 feet from leaving the port when our little Dutch man came running to us and waving his hands. “Hey, hey, I will take you to Maho!” I wish the Dutch couple had stayed with us….but they were nowhere to be found so we agreed on $50 for round trip and he stated that he owned his own vehicle so he could take any fare he wanted. I thought just 20 minutes ago, that there only published fares were taken. Ah well…another well fought battle for the family budget.

    It was a bit awkward at first getting into his van, but he made several excuses to us about his previous position and then we started into a good conversation. He was a former marine for the Dutch military. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, never taken a smoke or drink nor found a tattoo that could taint his body. He has a brother that is a cardiologist in Boston, family still in Holland and scored a round trip on KLM to Amsterdam for less than $200 one time. So, it all comes to the familiar….he understands our plight with budgeting and goes on to say, “If you do a good turn, it comes back to you.” INDEED!!! This man is starting to grow on me. He shares a good bit of history about the island, the future site of a cancer clinic that will serve the many and the surrounding islands and how they process water from the sea. (their main source of fresh water). It was all interesting! The roads are a bit chaotic, narrow and round-a-bouts that normally do not phase me, but the drivers here seemed to ignore the polite “Give a gap, take a gap” that makes round-a-bouts work. We had several near misses, you know it’s bad when the driver says, “Ooohhhh..that was close..he almost hit me!” Oh and he honked a few times as well. Not how I want to spend my on island time, driving.

    St. Maarten is not very nice. It was interesting that he pointed out how clean and how much the community is dedicated to keeping the island looking nice…but he says this in an area that at best would be seedy and depressed by traditional standards. Casinos peppered throughout the busy streets, adult bars, honestly…the architecture looked dated and worn. The five star hotels he pointed out on our way through the island would have plastic chairs on their balconies…not what you’d expect with five star. I had to look hard to see the ‘gems’ here. There were a few, but more the exception. The million dollar homes that were pointed out to us had serious upkeep issues…this is not what I expected.


    We finally make it to Maho and realize the 11:20 plane just landed at 11:15…Missed it!! Then we read the sign at the restaurant and it will not be in until 2:20..we had agreed to leave at 1:30..so, we’re all a bit down that we’ll miss the landings. C’est la vie…we leave him at the restaurant bar and decide to tour around the area. The beach was mostly wiped out from Hurricane Isaac but is starting to have more sand added to it. Despite the ride in, the beach is beautiful, pristine even..no trash, very nice.
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    We walk over trying to find a few shops to check out. We somehow find ourselves in the middle of a hotel trying to find the main strip. We find a sundries shop and ask how to get to the main road and she says, “All shops are closed, it is the slow season.” Well, another joyful reception..they just don’t end here! We press on and find a strip of shops. Again, worn and tired looking. Most are closed but we find about 5 shops open. Thank goodness, a jewel…a Gelatto store!! We have such fond memories of having gelatto in Sorrento…we HAVE to stop…since we’re missing Serafina’s we can at least have a little bit of Italy! :goodvibes It was divine!! Yummy Yummy!!
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    We eat and leave out thinking we’re pretty much done here in St. Maarten, we’ll head back early. On our way back to the restaurant we see the Dutch couple who had tried to bargain with us for the ride, they laughed and said, “You were right, we saw him running after you.” I felt bad for not taking more time to look or them, they ended up paying full price but were not too daunted…it was just the two of them and they did not feel like going through the pangs of bargaining. Maybe my pride is just way low..it’s easy for me I guess.

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    Almost to the restaurant at Maho, a plane lands right over our heads, very cool..just dropped out of the sky and BAM it was over our heads!! It was a small 10-12 seater but still very cool. We find our driver at the bar and tell him we’re ready to go back early..maybe he can make it back and get a full paying fare if we leave early :wave2:. But he notices a specific jet taxiing for takeoff..he said it’s not the landings that are interesting, it’s the takeoffs. This particular pilot he knows very well. This pilot will position his jets as close to the beach as possible and the locals know it. He told us to keep our eyes on the fence. Sure enough, there are people running up to the fence and hanging on…we’re all looking on in disbelief! That pilot pumps his engines and holds it there…you start to see vast measures of jet streams spiraling towards these fools holding on to the fence!! That was CRAZY!! Our Dutch marine driver said that a few months ago a girl from the US was blown back from the stream and broke her shoulder…really? This is what people do for fun? It was interesting to watch, and made our fight to get to Maho worth it…where else can you see humans testing fate and limb!

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    Here is a video of what type of hijinx we witnessed! Wished we would have videotaped our fools! :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDZ-TVfMULw&feature=related

    They're just nuts..

    We make it back to the port and thank our driver for taking a chance on us. He was a very interesting man and we wished him well. It’s these kinds of moments with the locals that actually mean more to us than the destination..it is a great experience to hear other’s journeys!
    Tonight is Pirate night and the girls are ready to get changed, our dear son can only thinking of getting back to his Vibe crew…sigh. There’s a point in every mother’s life where you know those little birds are taking island hopping flights to test their ability to leave the nest officially…you just hope they have safe landings and no turbulence. The girls, Grumpy and I head to character pictures..they love these, the prize of course is Jack Sparrow..he did not disappoint…oh if you can, GO SEE HIM! His mannerisms and affectations are spot on…
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    Later this evening we went to “Know Your Family” also hosted by Trevor. As he was asking for volunteers we did not realize that he had called on both me and my husband with our two daughters..we both headed up to the stage and realized we were next to each other. This would NOT do!! One set is enough to spill any embarrassing secrets, but two?? My daughter and I bowed out and let my husband take the heat! :thumbsup2 Trevor again was awesome! Better on the subject matter, kept it clean but fun. My only complaint is so minor I hate to mention it, but it rubs me like sand stuck in your shoe. One little kid explained that he would take television away from his Dad for punishment because his Dad watches CNN, CBSNews and Foxnews. Trevor could not contain himself and made a comment that only rubs those politically sensitive raw. “Oh, I see, your father watches them in order of their accuracy of reporting from greatest to least.” I am on a CRUISE!! I am on VACATION from all political opinions. Leave your opinions out of it…if you’re an entertainer, entertain..do not give me a plug for your political leanings…there, I got it out..I would still give him an outstanding and excellent rating but that speck of dust just keeps him from glowing outright. And for the record, I think all three of those are not fair and balanced. CNN is the worst of the three pushing their agenda, Foxnews second and who even watches CBS News? Dan Rather was a joke as a journalist. I would love for Walter Cronkite days to make return. Just give me the facts and let me decide what I should ‘think’ about the issues. But NOT on vacation!! :)

    There was day four…ah, tomorrow looking forward to St. John, we have a group of us from Disboards all going together and trying to catch the 8am ferry….can it happen??

    TIP FOR St. Maarten: Do Bernard's Tours, all his clients were sooo happy!!! If we go again here, I will budget enough to do his tours for sure!!

    MURPHY MOMENT: Pretty much the "No mahn" Jamaican dudes telling me to leave them with my deal...they will only work for posted rates, while their cohorts in information area mislead tourists. Turns out there ARE buses, our dear friends had no problem finding them and took them into town, she did say they were charging them $3 pp and only charged locals $2 pp...I just say St. Maarten is not on the up and up..too many shifty events going on that are exploiting tourists..
     
  11. Joanna71985

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

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    Following along! I'm sailing on the Fantasy Oct 20, and I'm really looking forward to it
     
  12. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    Aww!! You will have a wonderful time! I hope you do a trip report! I've always wanted to see the decorations for Halloween!! Have a great time and enjoy the ship!! :)
     
  13. Joanna71985

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

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    Thank you! I am really looking forward to this cruise. :)

    I hope to do a TR (which would be an adventure, as I've never done one before).
     
  14. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    Willie Nelson: “Momma, Don’t Let your babies grow up to be cowboys”

    This day is going to be a GREAT day!! The one port where I’ve budgeted $250to get us to St. John and back. It will be exciting! Thrilling! But, wait, Grumpy is backing out??? WHAT??

    Grumpy: “I’d rather stay on the ship, you know I tried the snorkel gear and my gag reflex goes wild”

    Yes, I did realize that but hoped the sheer beauty of the island would entice him…sadly, St. Maarten put a bad taste in his mouth and he’d rather spend his day riding the AquaDuck and relaxing..I won’t fight as much on this one, poor thing does have an awful gag reflex and he did endure all my haggling in St. Maarten…so, I’ll let him back out. So, it’s FOUR of us going!! But, wait…dear son is not acting like he wants to go…he has never tried the snorkel gear but he’s not a beachy kind of kid…I go to the shop on deck three and find a cool rash guard that might entice him. He seems willing until…

    6:30am RISE AND SHINE!! The girls pop out of bed, I’ve been up since 6:00am to catch the first sunrise I could of the cruise
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    …everyone is moving and grooving…but dear son. He looks exhausted! Another just ‘til midnight day…I give him a little nudge and ask if he wants to go to St. John. You can imagine nothing seems more luxurious than a bed when you’ve had less than 6 hours of sleep each night. So, being the understanding mom, I let the boys sleep in. Honestly, the budget momma is a bit happy, that means we only need $150 to go to St. John and I can return that $40 rash guard…got better ones online for the girls and me for less than $12!!!

    We have to meet our team at deck one at 7:15….we are the first there, just way eager to get this day started! We are also hoping we can catch the 8:00am ferry to St. John, or we’ll have to wait at the ferry for another hour. Our fearless tour leader (a fellow Disboarder who is very accomplished with snorkeling) has arranged our van…we had 26 planning on going with us this morning..I think several others have been bit by the ‘let’s sleep in’ bug or were a bit disappointed from St. Maarten to give St. John a try, but we end up with 12 eager to make the drive! One savvy mom managed to remember towels and got a load for us all…the others are ready with all their extra fins/snorkels/masks so we all should be SET!

    We get to our cabbie and he is a VERY nice fella! Not like the welcoming we had in St. Maarten. He drives us to the Ferry and our fearless leader goes to buy all our tickets to save time and we make it on the 8am ferry!!! YAHOO!!!! Then after a short 25 minute ferry to St. John we meet our cabbie there and again, such a smiling happy joyful man!! I’m loving this day already!!
    The views are AHMAZING!!
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    Just right out of a postcard..the homes are gorgeous, well-maintained…this island just exudes charm and relaxation. This is what I expected the Caribbean to be about! We’re almost at Trunk Bay, just don’t look down the side of the road…no railings and dropoffs to make your tummy tighten. Trunk Bay is beautiful! I think we were supposed to pay a fee to enter, but we were there so early that no one was there to take money so we saved a bit there. There were two other people on the beach when we got there…wow!! We race to put our gear on….never had tried fins before but realized they were a must..I’m a good swimmer and was making no progress just kicking against the waves….so looked like a fool trying to walk with those things on and finally just plopped myself in the water. Daughters did just as well..one got very frustrated and took them off and swore she would not wear them, but a fellow Dis’er encouraged her to try again (if mom did that I would have received a not so welcome reply) but she did try it again and the pride of a momma seeing her ‘reluctant’ finner out there enjoying the snorkeling was a huge boost to the day!

    I think I stayed in the water over 2 hours..it was just the perfect temperature, saw live coral, amazing fish, clearest water and beautiful skies…HEAVEN!! I could have stayed there for a week! Love love love!
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    We know traffic in St. Thomas can get bad so we headed back around 12:30. Again, cabbies were wonderful,
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    Our great driver!!
    Ferry was nice and such amazing company…we had only known each other from our Facebook group but we all felt like we had known each other for years..such wonderful families.
    [​IMG]This is how we all felt after spending a day in St. John!!!


    I am excited to get back to the ship and share my love for the island with dh and son and see how their day went. Dh was just changing out of his Aquaduck clothes and said there were no lines, glad he got some fun ‘me’ time! Son had been with the Vibers the whole time and was happy as a clam. All are happy and that makes a momma happy, too!

    We have a great time at dinner and then we have an even greater time with Trevor again…he is emceeing the 80’s song trivia in the Tube. We pair up with our newfound Dis friends..a couple also teenagers during the 80’s and we KNOW we have this challenge. We had tried the movie challenge two days before and while we had a respectable score….did not make the last man standing. I am not that good with song artists, but good with titles….they play a snippet of the song and you have to name the artist/title…HINT: Many of the titles I have used are in the challenge!! My husband and my friend and her husband are song gurus as well…this will be fun!! The first 20 songs are pretty easy, then they throw in “Five Hundred Miles” and none of us can think of the artist!! I walk to it everyday on my treadmill…I told my Grumpy to just take the time to review his playlist in his head and see if it comes to him, 10 songs later and he shouts, “The Proclaimers!” YES!!! We are running on a perfect score!! Then they play “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”..but it’s the REMAKE from the 80’s have NO clue..my brain comes up with Bobby McFerrin..and we just agree to go with it. Turns out it’s “Tight Fit”….huh?? Have any of you 80s people ever heard of Tight Fit??? There, go take the challenge and you’ll get that one! We end up winning the challenge with 49 out of 50 correct answers…yep, we win the valued ‘ear phones’ that Disney gives out for these sorts of things.

    Then Trevor says we’re having too much fun with these 80s songs that he is going to change the schedule and have them play for the next hour instead of the scheduled songs. Do you think either of our men are getting up there and grooving to Duran Duran? NO! On our next cruise, that is going to be my must do…I will dance alone if I have to….what is it with men and dancing?? But, we are all kind of tired, I’ve been up a LONG day and ready to crash!
    We get back to the room and it’s about 11:30. We assume all the kids are still out..but after a quick double look we realize the girls are tucked into their beds and SOUND asleep.. a day of snorkeling will do that to you. Our first born is still not in, but, hey, it’s only 11:30 he’s still got his 30 minutes left. I put on a tshirt to sleep in and turn on Men In Black-3…I figure if it doesn’t put me to sleep my weariness will. Grumpy wants to make sure he waits up for son. About 12:15am..I’m kind of half sleeping and have missed most the movie when Grumpy asks me if he should go find him.
    Mom: “Nah, give him 10 more minutes..since he didn’t take his Wave Phone we can’t contact him, I think the Vibe closes at 12:00 so he should be here soon.”

    12:30..still no son. Grumpy is concerned. I tell him to go ahead and start walking the ship. I am WIPED out! I soo need to sleep! Grumpy comes back at 1:30am…ONE THIRTY PEOPLE!!! He is REALLY worried. He said the Vibe workers said they last saw our son at 11:30pm. He had them double/triple check all the areas. He went to the drink station, down to the movie theater, up to the basketball court. Grumpy was now “VERY VERY WORRIED.” I know when he gets to this stage that I need to calm him down and put on the “I’m sure he’s just in an area you missed, you come in and rest, I’ll find him..just text me on the Wave Phone if he comes in.” I think my calm mommy voice was enough to encourage Grumpy. But as I put on my pants and sandals to start my trek of the ship, my inner voice was crumbling in fear.

    We’ve all read those reports of cruise passengers disappearing, reported sightings of going overboard, kidnappings…all those things start going through your mind at 1:30 am when you’ve had no rest and a very long day. I start methodically, I go to the drink station and all the upper deck areas. There is a crew party going long and loud on the 14th floor…I ask some CMs cleaning the decks if there is ANY way my son might have been asked to go to that..he is 6’3 and could easily pass for 25. They assure me that you can only access it with a employee card…somehow I’m wary of that security but accept that maybe he’s not there..surely he would not accept a lure into that! I see two teens playing ping pong at 1:30?? I ask them if they’ve seen my son, the say they’re in the Edge and don’t know the Vibe kids but tell me to check the movie theater..I go to check the movie theater, the ship is DEAD…NO ONE on these decks besides cleaning crews. My breathing is growing more and more hurried…my step quickens, my imagination is trying to be shackled by my sensibilities.

    No ONE is in the movie theater…honestly, folks, it’s almost 2am…no text from Grumpy. I know if I text Grumpy he will just get more concerned…so I keep walking…a cleaning crew asks if he can help b/c he sees the panic on my face no doubt. I’m not thinking clearly at this point. He says for me to go to Guest Services that someone is always there…I had already walked by it earlier and saw no one so assumed no one was there. I go directly to guest services and see a bell. I ring it. Thankfully, a soul comes out with a fresh face and “How may I help you”…guess they do have round the clock service! I try to remain calm…I tell him my husband and I have been looking for our son for almost 2 hours, the Vibe has not seen him since 11:30pm. I am very worried, we have covered most the ship. He says he will put a post out to security to keep alert. I go further, I tell hiim the name of the girl who approached him that first day and who can usually be found with his Viber gang and could he PLEASE contact this girl’s room and see when was the last time she saw my son. All I had to go on was her first name, hoping that she was the only one with that name on the Vibe list. He checks while I’m there and while he can not give me her room number he would call them to see…he took my wave phone number and said they would contact me as soon as they heard anything.

    I decide to head up to the nightclub areas/arcade areas. I really want to cry right now. I mean really really want to cry, Mt. Conjunctiva or Hurricane Lacrimal. As I’m walking up the steps I hear ‘young’ voices!! My heart leaps and I take the steps two at a time because it sounds like it’s a group and they’re about to board the elevators….I get to the top out of breath and there are 4 people with the 18-21 club..one I knew from standing in line at the supervisor’s desk at check in…and had also seen her at St. John with her mom….even though it was not my son, it was like finding something. They kind of laugh seeing me in my pjs and out of breath and say “Is everything all right.”

    Hit the ‘explode’ button on the mock up of the volcano…I could not stop the flow of tears, I could not even get words out of my mouth!! I explain that my son is missing. Just uttering those words brings even more sobs. I physically almost broke down! They were AWESOME!! They hugged me and ask me questions…all had no as an answer..he’s not in the theater, he’s not in vibe, he’s not on top deck, guest services has not contacted me back…they suggest they will take me to the Arcade…more hope, I regain my composure and try to restore my sanity. They are AWESOME!! So encouraging! They tell me they were all once teens and teens will do this. My problem is I was the goody goody child, would never do this and cannot imagine my son would do this...all I can think is that my son is hurting somewhere and his momma cannot find him. WAAAAH!!! This is why I can NOT watch Lassie, Benji or any animal movie, the separation factor cuts deep.
    One of the four was an older lady hanging out with the younger ones and was a bit tipsy…in her tipsy drawl, she say, “Honey, he’s probably making out with some girl…they all do it.” I have to admit it, the way she said it and her expression almost cracked me up…at least I could still laugh on the inside. We make it to the arcade and it’s empty….they tell me to go back to guest services, it has been 40 minutes since I checked in there…after 2:30am now.

    I thank them for their support! I make it to Guest services and the same gentleman comes when I ring. He says they have had no sightings. I am starting to get angry…sightings?? Did they contact the girl I asked them to?? He said “NO” that he could not call a guestroom only security could. I then really get angry. “My son is missing, I came to you 40 minutes ago and you’re telling me the one person who I told you would most likely know where my son was seen last has not been contacted?? I want your supervisor’s name, I want the time you contacted security…” I was now a mom on a mission. If they weren’t taking this seriously, I sure will. I hear him go in the back room and ask security to contact that girls’ room immediately. Why would they wait 40 minutes??

    Within one minute he returned and said that my son and 8 others from Vibe were in this girls room, her father answered and said that he would send them all to their rooms. HALLELUJAH!! My momma’s heart leaped with delight, I lost my hostility towards this guest services man and told him I was heading immediately to our room to ‘receive’ my son. I knew that these ‘8’ had to be coming down stairs or elevator most likely so I hung out at the entrance to the area closest to our stateroom.

    You can imagine the HEAT building up in me. The fear of his safety has fled and now the wrath of a momma whose son has caused this much worry and fret is about to explode. I hear about 5 voices hopping down the steps and laughing…they stopped laughing the second they saw my face and my folded arms.
    Mom: (aka drill sargent) “Son, can you tell me what time it is?”
    Son: “I’m sorry, mom”
    Mom: to the other youths “Can you tell me if you children have a curfew? Because my son sure does and it was 2.5 hours ago.”
    Other youths (very sheepish now): They look at their watch and say “2:30”
    Mom: Honestly I think I uttered a swear word, most likely the sort that holds back floodgates. “Son, you will get your tail in line and you will not leave my side for the next 48 hours.”
    Those are words that I know I cannot hold to, but it just felt good to have some semblance of control.

    I thought I had said my peace and he could go to sleep, Grumpy was elated to see both his wife and son back, but could tell by the smoke coming out of my eyes that there was indeed a story. I start to tell him the story and I get so boiled up that I yell for dear son to get in my room (connecting rooms)..he was very polite and took all that I dished out…and it just kept coming out…along the lines of “What were you thinking??” in about 4 different languages. I just hope the poor neighbors next to us did not have to be awakened by my interval rants. I know one thing for sure, I needed to sleep on this one!!

    I’m already realizing there is no way I want him chained to me for 48 hours…nothing worse than a vacation buzz kill than a moping teen…have to come up with a suitable punishment tomorrow but..
    Oh, and my final words to my dear son (now come on parents you know we’ve got it in us…when we’re this stressed our love and gentle nature eludes us)…”Oh, thanks a lot son…Happy Birthday to ME!”
    Yes folks, it is now almost 3:00am and it’s September the 13th…my 45th birthday….I can see the funny in it now, but living through these melodramadies is worse than Frog and Toad’s Wild Ride.

    Gee, I need to sleep just reliving it!!
     
  15. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    21,541
    Tara, I'm loving your trip report, and I can SO relate to your worry about your son! I'll look forward to what lies ahead!
     
  16. perfectmatch300

    perfectmatch300 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,701
    Wow, Tara, after such an awesome day on St John & such beautiful pictures! I'm so sorry you had to go through that ordeal with your son. Whatever was he thinking?!:confused3 Not having kids of my own, I can't imagine what that must have felt like. It's going to be really interesting to hear how the rest of your cruise unfolds!

    Realized I'd missed your St Martin report. Sorry the island was not as nice as you hoped. I really do want to get to Maho Beach to see the planes some day.
     
  17. DMMarla07860

    DMMarla07860 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    6,179
    well since I don't have kids I don't understand how you felt about your son being missing for that time, but I can kind of understand why my dad use to stalk(know where I was at night). He doesn't anymore since I am 24. I can understand your son wanting to be out with friends though, I've had plenty of late nights, till 4:00am once:goodvibes
     
  18. ImprovGal

    ImprovGal <font color=green>No animals were harmed in the ma

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,424
    I just wanted to say congrats on that win. :)
    We had 48 out of 50 (missed Proclaimers and Tight Fit -- never would have come up with that group; I was thinking of the version by the Nylons but couldn't remember their name).
    That cruise was the first time I've seen the ear buds as prizes, so I'm glad we did end up winning some finally.

    I can only imagine how much anxiety your son gave you that night. I don't have kids, but I remember worrying my parents at least a couple of times when I was home from college.

    I think that was also the night of the Pop! game show? If I'm remembering correctly, by leaving early you missed quite a show in the Tube that night.
     
  19. jjgarv

    jjgarv Gotta get away to where the boat leaves from...

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,675
    Just finished reading your latest report...and proceeded to chew out my 9-yr-old daughter, just to be proactive! (Naturally, she is still too young for a curfew, but I figure it doesn't hurt to begin discussing this issue as soon as possible, including the consequences when/if she pulls this stunt.) Glad that everything was ok in the end! :thumbsup2
     
  20. greedyhenry

    greedyhenry Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    I am really enjoying your report! we leave in 12 days with our 16 year old DD and 11 year old DS. Your report is giving me lots to ponder and will help us be proactive. Can't wait to read more. I would have a really hard time coming up with a suitable consequence too - one that wouldn't end up being a punishment for the parents as well! Thanks for sharing your experiences!
     
  21. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,995
    Were the teenagers in the Royal Suite? I say this as I know they had a teenage girl in the Walt Disney Suite & we were right next to it. They always seemed to be having people over there.
     

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