"Step right up and come on in! Here is where the fun begins!"

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by stephielela, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Yikes! Poor little guy. Glad all was fine in the end. That's weird that he's never had a bloody nose before AND it happened on the first night. :confused3
     
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  3. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Tip is included at Palo...but many people do add a little extra.

    Palo looks so good. I am starving right now and those pictures sure didn't help me out at all.

    I love your formal dress, where did you get it?
     
  4. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Good to know about Palo! Yes, as I was posting those I was getting kinda hungry myself!

    I got it at David's Bridal for my friends wedding in May. I got it shortened, it was originally a floor length, but since they were already going to have to take off a few feet (since I am so short) I figured a shorter length would make it more wearable for the future. I wore it for formal night on our Carnival cruise too. I wear it whenever possible, especially since I got $70 shoes to match... :rotfl:
     
  5. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    I know!! I had no idea what to think. And these things always happen in the middle of the night, when you are completely unprepared! :confused: I was worried for the next few nights, but everything was fine.
     
  6. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    November 2nd was our first port day. Disney Cruise Line has stopped docking in Mazatlan due to security concerns, so on this itinerary we had one stop in Puerto Vallerta and two days in Cabo San Lucas. Puerto Vallerta was our first stop.
    Last May, my family took a Carnival cruise for my sister’s college graduation celebration. One of the days was spent at Half Moon Cay, the private island that Carnival and Holland America share. On the private islands they have private cabanas you can book and we had an amazing time. Jack really enjoyed the ocean (water creature remember!) so I knew that we needed to spend some time on the beach this trip. I agonized over which beach excursion to do, in which port, or if we would be better off just doing it ourselves at a public beach etc. I booked the Paradise Beach Adventure in Puerto Vallerta and it was PERFECT. It also happened to be the cheapest beach adventure offered…
    Along comes Wednesday, November 2nd. I knew we weren’t getting into port until 9 am or something so Jack and I still got to sleep in a bit before getting up and getting breakfast. I evidently did NOT take pictures of our breakfast this morning. This is slightly shocking to me… but oh well. I do remember we ate at the buffet again because I saw the city.
    After we ate we got all our stuff together and headed to Wave Bands to meet for our excursion. The city tour met in wave bands right before us, I know because our table mates were on that excursion and we saw them as they left.
    Once we got all checked in and got our towels we waited a bit before they led us out. There were a ton of people on this excursion, three buses worth to be exact. The bus ride was about 30 minutes and we passed by the Wal-Mart and the mall on our way out of town.
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    The excursion guide filled us in on some of the history of the city as we went. Soon we were pulling up at the resort! Lunch was being served at 12 so we headed to the beach first. They had these lovely little areas where they had bar service etc. Drinks (alcoholic and non) were included with our excursion. We unpacked our stuff and put on some sunscreen before heading to the water!
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    Jack had been intent on building a sand castle. I had brought some buckets and shovels with us for this very purpose ($1 section at Target) so we decided it was time.
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    The problem was the dry sand was really hot, but on the wet sand, every once in a while a rogue wave would come up and sweep away the sand toys. That and neither of us in actuality really wanted to build a sandcastle. It’s a fun idea in theory, but in reality, sand is messy and uncomfortable…
    So back to the water we went!
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    The resort from the water
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    Jack kept wanting to go farther and farther out. When a wave came, I would have to grab him and lift him up so he didn’t get slammed in the face with it. A couple times a wave turned out to be bigger than expected and he still got a face full of salt water, but nothing kept him from wanting to keep going! Fearless! Crazy!
    After a little while my arms were tired from lifting, and a couple times he head butted me in the face in his excitement so I decided it was time to rinse off. We gathered our items and spent about 10 minutes getting as much sand as possible off us before heading to the lounge chairs by the pool. We set our stuff down and headed to lunch. They set up a special buffet for us, burgers and tacos and salad and then they took our drink orders. I had a Pina Colada and Jack had a pineapple juice.
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  7. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    After lunch it was time to hit the pool!
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    I had debated about bringing Jack’s life vest, and we hadn’t used it in the ocean, but I figured we might as well use it in the pool. Best. Decision. Ever.
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    The pool has two identical water slides that look like crocodiles. In order to get to the slides, you have to get to the island in the middle, go up in the tower you see, then across the bridge. I am not a huge fan of water slides, but I obviously wasn’t going to send my three year old by himself to investigate so off we went. That had to be the fastest slide I have ever been on. It’s made out of cement or concrete or something and has a heavy duty water spray that makes it SUPER SLICK. I was screaming the whole way down. I did it a couple times with Jack on my lap, but it’s so fast and you hit the water with so much force I was practically dragging him under with me so I decided to let him try it on his own. And he proceeded to go about 50 times. Maybe even more. You can swim from where you end up at over to the island and climb out the ladder to get to the tower, so I positioned myself at the bottom of the slide and just watched. He loved every second. The first time I let him go by himself though he went down the other side so that was a heart stopping moment, but once I impressed upon him the importance of going down the slide I was at we were fine. I got to spend a couple hours lounging in the pool and he got to slide a million and one times. I was so glad I had brought the life jacket! Of course he drank so much pool water we had to run to the bathroom six separate times, but that’s to be expected. He really had a great time. I couldn’t get a picture of him going down the slide since I had to be in the water, and it was the one moment I wished I had bought a disposable waterproof camera, but oh well.
    Exhausted from the fun!
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    Just before it was time to go we went to the bathroom again and I changed Jack into clothes and changed into a dry shirt. Then I got Jack a sprite and I got a Corona while we waited to get back on the bus.
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    I took some more pictures as we were leaving, and on the way back to the ship.
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    We saw this a lot, people standing in the back of trucks! I mean, at least sitting is safer!!
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    I’m not sure what it says exactly, I just thought it was funny they were using Homer as an example!
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    There was a little market area set up across from the dock. I wanted to do a little shopping but Jack was cranky and exhausted, and I wasn’t sure about the money situation, if they took American dollars or not, etc. so we got a couple pictures and got back on board.
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    Evidently this day was Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead so alters like this one were set up all over the city.
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  8. marhs

    marhs DIS Veteran

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    Great photos and I love your report. We sail in Feb on the MR and my DS is the same age as yours, so it's great to see what your DS enjoyed so I know for my own! :) Keep the report coming!
     
  9. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Once on board we went back to our room and changed/showered. I went to check my email at which point I found out that even though my phone had died on embarkation day, once it recharged and turned on it had gotten me charged over $25 in roaming fees. I immediately went back to the room and took my phone apart, battery out and everything (I had turned it off when I discovered it had turned back on) just to make sure. This super irritated me because there was no cell signal in our room anyways, I had to go up a few decks to call my parents when we were still docked in LA but whatever.
    I also had emailed my parents to let them know Jack said he was missing them, so maybe they could call. I gave them a couple of time windows, but as it turns out it is like $6.95 a minute for people on land to call, and they were having trouble with it anyways, so they never did call.
    I will say that I used the internet several times, mostly in ports and it was plenty fast each time. I specifically waited till we were in port because I assumed the signal would be stronger than when we were at sea and I managed to get lots accomplished in a small amount of minutes. I was glad I opted for the pay by the minute plan since I ended up using less than 50 minutes the whole time.
    After we were done with emails I went to the desk to ask about changing money. They said that in small amounts, shop owners will take dollars so it wasn’t a big deal.
    We wandered a bit and I got a drink of the day (shocker!) and took some pictures.
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    For informational purposes-
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    Market from the ship
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    Hidden Mickey?
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    I never figured out what this pool is for! I never saw anyone in it…
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    Parasailing!
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    The mall
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    Even in Mexico…
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    We headed back inside and decided to get in line for some character greets. This is where my one and only complaint comes from… in the lobby of the ship they usually staggered the character greets. One would be on the right side and then about 15 minutes later another would be on the left. We got there too late to get in line for Pinocchio, the line was closed, which was no big deal so we went to the other side to get in line for Jiminy Cricket . There was another family in line in front of us. We waited. And waited. And when it was about time for him to come out a CM came and asked us what we were waiting for, and they told us Jiminy would be taking Pinocchio’s place on the other side, that the line had formed over there. The lady in front of me was way more upset than I was, but I was a bit irritated. She said she would see what she could do. We walked over to that side and a manager came over to find out what was going on. We explained we were waiting where we were told to wait, and that we couldn’t even have gotten in line there before because the CM had said the line was closed. She said she’d be right back, and then she came back and said that since Jiminy was a quickly moving line we could go ahead and get in at the end and we’d be fine. Um, what? You want us to wait in line AGAIN? Jiminy hadn’t even officially gotten started yet and the lovely woman in the front of the line had offered to let us go in front of them, since she KNEW we had been waiting, she had seen us across the lobby. They told her no. The other mom was way more hysterical about this than I was and when the manager said she would take care of it and asked for stateroom numbers, she stormed off to guest services. I went ahead and gave the manger my stateroom number and headed into dinner. All they kept saying was he would be available again at another time (which was during the Toy Story show) so we could see him then. I thought it was pretty poorly handled since we were waiting based on information we had been given by a CM. I didn’t even care that much about Jiminy, it was the principle of the thing that I had made my son wait in line when he really didn’t want to and now it was for nothing. I figured if she said she would take care of it, she would, and trusted that by giving her our stateroom number, something would be done, and we went headed off to dinner…
    Tonight was our first Animator’s Palate night! I have heard such awesome things about this restaurant and I was glad we would be eating here tonight as well as our last night!
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    I had been waiting for this meal just for this one appetizer! Risotto!!!
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    Jack had already removed the unwanted veggies before I could take a picture!
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    Walls changing…
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    And then they ran into some technical difficulty! Whatever show type thing they usually do, they couldn’t. The waiters all went in the back and everyone waited and waited… and waited… until they gave up!
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    At dinner we all talked about our days and the other girls told me about the city tour. They had two buses for that one as well and they were each on a different bus. One was not air conditioned! They said everyone was so hot and sweaty and it really detracted from the experience. The other had the bus drop them off in what’s called the “romantic district” at the end to do some shopping. She said it was really great, but I think they made her sign a waiver in case anything happened. Overall, they were not impressed with the tour.

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    The Toy Story show was on tonight. I knew Jack was sleepy, so I let him put on his Buzz Lightyear pj’s and wear them to the show. They had special drinks that night for kids, smoothies with light up Buzz clips on the straws. Jack already had one of these from WDW but as fate would have it, he had broken the clip earlier in the week, so I got him a new one. What I found most interesting is all the drink sellers had these and weren’t asking anyone if they wanted to order an adult beverage. I finally asked a guy and he said he could get me a drink. We had gotten to the show super early to get good seats, so this was our view
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    This show was great! I really am amazed at the quality of their productions, every show was fantastic.
    After the show we headed back to the room. On the way we saw a short line for characters so we got in line and this is what we got...

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    I am so glad I went ahead and got these guys out of the way now because that manager NEVER got back to us about anything. I kept waiting thinking they would do something special and it never happened. I really wouldn’t have even been upset if they had done something, ANYTHING to make it up to us. I mean, why take down the info if you aren’t going to do anything. Don’t say you are going to “make it right” if you aren’t. I wonder whether the other lady who went to guest services got any resolution? I had made my peace with it until the last night we ran into someone from our FE group who told us they got a special invitation to go meet ALL the characters on the last night. After I found that out I was so disappointed that they didn’t feel like our “issue” was important enough to be resolved or even acknowledged. It is the first time I ever felt like Disney’s guest services had let me down. I didn’t let it put a damper on the trip though, and everything else was fantastic, so it hasn’t changed my opinion of Disney or anything, I really think it boils down to that one manager who didn’t follow through.
    Anyways, after our fantastic meet, we went back to our room and there was an envelope (yes, I admit I thought it would be something about our issue) and inside was our confirmation for our future cruises.
    We continued our nightly ritual and watched some Duck Tales before bed. Jack was truly exhausted and passed out halfway through the episode.
     
  10. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Your son, no joke, looks like he needs to be in water at all times. Does he do good for baths? I'm so glad that the excursion worked out well for you! I'm surprised he went down the slides by himself! :thumbsup2

    I know a bit of Spanish, so in order it's:hard hat, vest (Safety vest), and boots. :lmao: It is funny that they used homer, of all people!
     
  11. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: You will love it, as will your son! My goal is to have this finished by Christmas, so don't worry, I will be cranking out the updates! :surfweb:
     
  12. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Wow you're updating so fast!

    Oh my goodness! Okay, so I called AT&T yesterday morning, asking about what options I have in case someone needs to get ahold of me or vice versa. She said it was $2.95 (not sure if that's per minute or total), and .50 per text message sent or received. I also asked about roaming. I made SURE to ask her, is it okay if I leave my phone on in case there's an emergency at home (there's been some break-ins in our neighborhood recently so i'm VERY nervous, especially since we got a new tv and bought all our Christmas presents already) and she said, "It's just like you're at home. If you're not on your phone, you're not using data." BUT you got charged for data?! I have the iPhone so can't take out the battery, so what do you suggest I do? Keep the phone off until I get into ports, then turn it back on??

    You got some great shots of the city. Was this from walking all around the top deck?! Oh forgot to ask on my last post, was the ocean water pretty warm?

    Ugh, I completely feel you on the who character situation. That's too bad that the manager didn't come through for you. However, you got an AWESOME shot of Jack with Jiminy and Pinocchio! :thumbsup2
     
  13. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Yes, he LOVES baths!! I have to constantly remind him to stop splashing as he has flooded the bathroom more than once.

    We have a local pool/mini waterpark and he had been going down those slides all summer. These were much bigger, but he is absolutely fearless when it comes to water. I was just surprised how fast he could make it up the tower, across the bridge and back down! He was a lot younger than the other kids going by themselves, and I worried a little about his ability to wait in line appropriately but I figured the other kids would set him straight :rotfl:

    I figured that's what the sign meant and I thought it was hilarious that Homer was the best example they could find!

    Are you super excited for your trip???
     
  14. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl: I had it prewritten, I just had to break it up due to picture limits

    When I talked to Verizon before my cruise in May, they said there was a way to set your phone so no data stuff is happening like Airplane Mode. Because even if you are not using it, your apps are always updating, like FB and email and stuff. If it was me I would leave it off and ask people to contact you on the ship if there is an emergency. In your packet there is a card you can give people about how to reach you in case of emergency. Then you can also ask people to email you, and check it on the ship, it's way cheaper than using your phone. Of course, all carriers and plans are different, so maybe your plan includes more? My charges would have to have all been data since I didn't call or text anyone after we sailed. I turned off my phone sometime in the evening, probably before bed, so my phone had maybe been on 5 hours and incurred those charges. It's not a risk I would take, lol.

    All those pics were from walking around the deck, it was so easy to get good shots up there! The ocean water was pretty warm, definitely comfortable.

    I was glad we got the pictures with Pinocchio and Jiminy together, and they did turn out pretty well. I was pretty frustrated with the manager, but I didn't catch her name. She was skinny with really curly brown hair and I believe Eastern European (by her accent) so if you see her, kick her in the shins for me! :lmao: I'm totally kidding, I'm over it now, but I wouldn't ask her for any assitance if I was you!
     
  15. kidclassic

    kidclassic Mouseketeer

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    Great report!

    BTW the pool in the front is the crew pool.
     
  16. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Thanks!!

    I thought that might be the case, thanks for confirming!
     
  17. UmmGooD

    UmmGooD DIS Veteran

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    I love your report. I love finding new MR reports since they are not as common. We are sailing on DCL for the first time on the Wonder in 92 days but who's counting???

    I have connecting rooms 2135 and 2137 booked for that cruise (I think they are immediately next to the room you had this cruise) and am wondering what you thought about noise and vibrations? Also could you hear anything above your room? We will have our DD8, DD3, and DS0 with us and don't want the two little ones to be startled at wee hours of the morning.
     
  18. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:
    Lol, my next booked cruise is 678 days away... NOW who's counting :rotfl:

    The noise wasn't too bad. I noticed it, but I don't think it ever woke me up. The only morning we docked early was the Puerto Vallerta morning I think, so I might not have been awake when we docked. The first Cabo morning I KNOW we weren't docked until well after I was awake. The last morning we were up really early anyways since we had to leave, but I don't recall being awakened by the noise. I did hear it when I was awake, but it wasn't bad, I would stay in that location again. Same goes for the vibrations, there were times we could feel it in the restaurants, so it didn't matter where your room was, you were going to feel it!
     
  19. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Sadly, I didn't take pictures of all the menus. HOWEVER I have found a great link where all the menus are!
    Menus
    Now that I have found them, I am going back and adding the "correct" names of all the meals, and will include them from here on out!
     
  20. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Great updates. Looks like Jack is part fish! :lmao: I'm glad he had such a great time.
    that is awful about your phone bill though. I kept mine off the whole time for fear that would happend. I think there is a way to turn off data, but I didn't want to mess with it. I think I hear airplane mode would do it for me too.
     
  21. tokyodisneydad

    tokyodisneydad DIS Veteran

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    Just caught up your whole report. Really enjoyed reading along about your cruise. Glad to hear about the drink deal for when we go. I went back in 2007 with my family and had I known that then I would have had a few more.

    Just to answer a question for you ...that small pool and deck area at the front of the ship is for the crew. they get a chance to use it on any off time, which isn't often.(oops just saw someone already answered that.)
     

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