The Twelve Days of Swinter: From Castaway 'Key' to a Partridge in a Palm Tree!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by RinkyTinkyTinky, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    The ship is pretty magical! Not quite as much so as WDW to me, but still magical indeed!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family too! :santa:

    Those water rides really do need a new exit system for shorties. I'm just glad to know that it wasn't just me!

    I've got some nighttime swimming pics coming up soon and you will see that the difference is HUGE! That's definitely the way to go. There are other things that you can do in the afternoons and save the pools for another time. That's going to be our plan next time anyway. If you ever go on the Dream of Fantasy, the AD is also empty at night. :thumbsup2
     
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  3. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Hi Rinky! How are things in your neck of the woods? I'm sure your dd is getting really excited for Christmas! Are you ready for the big day?
     
  4. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    Hey Wigd! Things are going great here, and yes I'm ready for Christmas. All the gifts are purchased and wrapped and all the food has been bought. Thankfully, I got all of it finished last week b/c I have been sick this weekend with a nasty sinus/ear infection. I don't know if I get wimpier the older I get or what, but this thing has kicked my hiney. I feel more like I've had the flu. :sick:

    I hope all is well in Kansas and that you guys have a fantastic Christmas! You have so much to be thankful for with all those beautiful kids of yours!
     
  5. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    After a fun time at the pools, we headed for the room to get cleaned up and changed for the afternoon activities. As soon as we entered our stateroom, we noticed a really foul smell. It seemed to be coming from the bathroom, so we checked it out. Sure enough, when we opened the bathroom door, the horrible stench of raw sewage hit us like a ton of bricks. :snooty: We inspected the shower, toilet, and sink and everything seemed to be working fine and was extremely clean. We couldn’t figure out what was causing the smell, and we just didn’t have time to deal with it right then. We had to be at the lifeboat drill in just a few minutes.

    Our stateroom hostess told us earlier in the day that we needed to report to the Walt Disney Theater for our drill, so that’s where we went, but no one was there. We saw two CMs standing around so we showed them our key cards and asked if we were in the right place. They told us in very broken English that we needed to report to section ‘N’ on the outside deck.

    Ok. :confused3

    So we trekked along passing, ‘K’, then ‘L’, and ‘M’. We were completely at the opposite end of the ship before we saw ‘N’, but we made it just in time. There was already a large group of people waiting there and one of the CMs told us where to stand. Then DH pulls out our key cards and says, “I wonder why they sent us here when we have a ‘D’ on our cards?” Well, I have no clue! I’d never done this before! :confused: He showed our cards to the CM in charge of the ‘N’s and she says, “You’re in the wrong place. You should be in the Walt Disney Theater.

    Serioulsy?!?! :sad2:

    So we commenced to walking alllllllllllllllll the way back down to the other end of the ship, back into the theater, and still, there is no one there. I could feel the vein in my neck throbbing at that point, and I wanted to scream. :headache: We were now late for the drill and still had no clue where we were supposed to be. That’s when it hit me that the theater has two levels and maybe they were meeting in the balcony. We hauled hiney up the stairs, and that turned out to be exactly what was going on! :rolleyes:

    Amazingly, we were not the only ones who were late and others kept coming in after us. It seemed to take forever, but we all finally got checked in. Then we listened to the whole inaudible spiel on how to put on a life jacket, and where to go if the ship starts to sink. Great! Just what I want to think about right before we set sail! :rolleyes1

    As soon as the drill ended, we went up to stake out a spot for the Sail Away party.

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    And guess what… all 874,362 of the other guests had the same idea! :eek:

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    It was just a tiny bit crowded, huh?

    We managed to find a small bit of space directly to the side of the stage though.

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    The CM in this picture to the far right was wearing a skirt so short that we could actually see her underwear during some of the dance moves. It was way shorter than what the other ladies were wearing. I thought that was VERY unDisney like!

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    Poor Donald! Daisy got a little carried away with the credit card on her cruise and Donald was left holding the bags!

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    The show was almost over, but we threw in the towel early. It was soooooo hot up on that top deck with the sun beaming down! We had sweat pouring from everywhere. It was time to find some shade and cool off.

    When the show ended, there was a countdown and then the horn blew. It made my heart flutter to hear it! :love:

    Click on the picture to hear the horn. (8 seconds)
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    Now that's no ordinary ship horn!

    Lots of tassle waiving was going on. It was so exciting!

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    We walked over to the shady side of the ship and waved goodbye to everyone on the ground. There were lots of people watching the ship sail out.

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    Our last sightings of land for the day

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    Cocoa Beach is down this way.

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    Continued in next post
     
  6. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    As much as we wanted to stay and watch the shoreline fade away, we had to get to dinner. Tonight we would be dining at Animator’s Palate.

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    Such great detail in this restaurant

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    We had requested private dining for the cruise and we received it! :woohoo: We just were not really comfortable eating with strangers. Looking back, I am so glad we did this. We stayed so busy each day on the cruise, that mealtime was really the only opportunity we had to talk to each other about all the things we had done that day. If we would’ve been seated with others, I know we wouldn’t have talked with each other the way we did.

    Our table

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    I want these chairs at my table!

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    Cool plates and utensils

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    Mickey head bread basket

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    Menu

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    We sat across from this guy who talked to us all night.

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    He kept DD entertained. It is very similar to Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot.

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    We met our servers shortly. Our main server was Roque (pronounced Rocky) from India and our assistant server was Kristina from Australia. They were both wonderful throughout the entire cruise! :thumbsup2

    Kristina came by to take our drink orders and while she was talking to us, I started to feel the movement of the ship for the first time. I was really hoping to be like others who said they never felt the ship moving, but I wasn’t so lucky. It wasn’t just me either. DH and DD felt it too. DH and I both thought it was disorienting. It didn’t make either of us feel nauseous as I had expected, but we definitely felt weird, like we couldn’t quite get our bearings.

    I asked Kristina for a ginger ale hoping that would stave off any seasickness that might be brewing. This ended up being my drink of choice at every meal for the rest of the cruise. I’m a real party animal aren’t I? :upsidedow

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    Roque came by next and made his recommendations, which turned out to be spot on every night! I ordered everything he suggested and enjoyed it all! I had the black truffle pasta, baked potato soup, and lemon-thyme chicken. Sorry for the lack of pictures. I’m really bad about taking food pics.

    My chicken dish

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    DH had the wild mushroom risotto, beef tenderloin, and cookies and cream sundae. I only have a pic of his dessert.

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    In this picture, he looks like he found something funky in his food, but he was actually marveling at the Mickey Mouse painted on a piece of chocolate that was on top of his sundae! :laughing:

    DD had a salad every single night of the cruise! The girl loves her salads! She was quite impressed that Roque brought her dressing out in a fancy silver boat and ladled it onto her plate!

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    And what’s better for dessert than a Mickey bar? :mickeybar

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    We loved this meal! It turned out to be some of the best food of the entire cruise!

    Continued in next post
     
  7. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    We had the first dinner seating, which is at 5:45, so we had some time to walk around and explore the ship a little before the 8:30 show. We liked walking this long hallway full of portholes where you could watch the ocean go by.

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    Art in the atrium

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    The gorgeous chandelier from directly underneath

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    Feeling like Cinderella :cutie:

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    This was waiting for us on the bed when we got back to our stateroom.

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    We didn’t notice the sewage smell in the bathroom this time so we hoped it was just a fluke thing. Unfortunately, it found its way back later on. The problem though was that every time we smelled it, we were on our way out and just didn’t have the time to deal with it. I feel certain that DCL would have made it right though if we had reported it, but the three night cruise goes by so fast and before we knew it, it was over. I have since read from other Dissers that they have experienced the same problem in some of their staterooms. :confused3

    The first thing we noticed upon entering our room was that our stateroom hostess had pulled the bunk bed down for DD, and she was really excited about getting to sleep up there! She had never slept on a bunk bed before so this was one of those little things that was big fun for a kid!

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    The ceiling above the bed looks like a skylight with constellations shaped like Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell. The kids also have their own personal little nightlight up there.

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    We took a minute to hang our fish extender out in the hall. This is one of my sewing projects that I didn’t get around to showing on my PTR because we were down to the wire making it. DD had the BEST time checking this throughout the cruise to see what goodies had been left for us.

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    We still had just a few minutes before the show started so I took DD’s pillowcase and tote bag to guest services to be signed by the characters. My mom and I made these over the summer.

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    While I was at the guest services desk, I noticed a sign on the counter that said no room upgrades were available because our cruise was completely booked. :eek: That pretty much explained the packed pools from earlier in the afternoon. I would have to say though that I was pleasantly surprised for the most part that the ship didn’t really seem crowded even though it was booked up. The only times that I felt like it was noticeable was at the pools in the afternoon and at the deck parties.

    DH had been asking to find the bow of the ship ever since we boarded, so we headed out in search of it before the show. It took some sleuthing, but we finally found it beyond the adult pool area. There were several other cruise ships that we could see all lit up off in the distance.

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    There wasn’t a soul around, so we let loose and did what any bunch of geeks would do standing on the bow of the most awesome ship on the ocean.

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    We were the kings of the world! :rotfl:

    I’m not sure how fast the ship was going, but we felt like we were flying! That is one of my favorite memories from the cruise! :lovestruc Boy, I’d love to be standing there tonight!

    Up next: The second day of Swinter: Finally, the finale!
     
  8. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    I'm with you Rinky, I'd love to take a Christmas cruise and be out there tonight too!
    We have snow predicted this week.
    Luckily for us we have never have that sewer smell in our cabin. I'll keep my fingers crossed that we don't on the next cruise either.
     
  9. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Great pics Rinky!
    You weren't kidding about that crowded deck party! When we sailed on the Dream, we missed most of it roaming around the ship or something, so the crowd was dispersing a bit by the time we got there.

    The Christmas time cruise on the Wonder was just so great - very beautifully decorated of course. I'd love to go again on the Fantasy and do the 7 day eastern...add that to my "someday" list.

    I think the decor at Animator's is so cute!
     
  10. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    Rinky - OMG Again you made my day, I laughed reading about your run around trying to find the lifeboat drill. Glad you eventually found it.:thumbsup2
    All I can say is WOW about the pics of all the people on deck for the sail away party............loved the horn, I did not expect it to be disney themed. :love:

    DH and I were discussing cruising the other day and I told him how you said you could request private dining, I am glad you were able to get it. It is something I think I would want, I love kids but sometimes when they are not your own especially when you want like you said to talk about your day or anything for that matter, kids being kids can just seem noisy, then again maybe they sit couples with couples? :confused3

    Great time to feel the ship moving for the first time (right before eating). I use to always order ginger ale if not drinking but now with my diabetes no place ever has diet gingerale so I have to have diet coke.

    Oh those pics of the ship are beautiful, I am so wanting to go on a cruise more and more. Love the bunk bead and that skylight above is just too wonderful.:lovestruc

    That is so cool that you went to the bow and did the King of the World, it looks like the breeze was really blowing. Great memory.:cloud9:

    Wonder about the smell in your cabin, when we stayed at the Luxor in Vegas , our DS & Ddil room next door had a funky smell when they first entered, they imediately complained and were moved, but I guess if the cruise was sold out it was a good thing the smell came and went or you would have been out of luck.

    Can not wait to read and see more!:)
     
  11. MeMom

    MeMom DIS Veteran

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    Great pictures! I loved hearing the horn.

    Looks like there are many, many details on the ship that could keep me very busy taking pictures. I am not a pool person, so I think what I would love most on a cruise would be the shows.

    And the food. :goodvibes
     
  12. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    I know the ships are gorgeous at Christmas! I think it would be a great time to cruise.

    Lucky you getting snow at Christmas! I'd love to have a white Christmas, just once!

    Yeah, I discovered that the deck parties really were not for me. I just don't do well with crowds, so next time we will do something else during that time.

    That's the same cruise that I want to take. It is really expensive though. We need to start saving our pennies! Maybe you guys can go on that cruise next year???

    replies in blue

    The horn was so cool! It had other tunes as well. I bet the captain blew it 10 times or more!

    There's lots of other stuff to do besides the water stuff. They have mini golf, a detective game, the kid's clubs, tons of spa stuff, lots of entertainers like comedians and other shows, plus all the excursions. You would not be bored and you would have a field day with the camera. I wish I had more time to just walk around and snap away.

    I'm just like you... my favorite things on the ship were the shows... and the food! ;) It was soooo nice knowing that you could order whatever you wanted and not have to pay for it. :thumbsup2
     
  13. Momof2Disneyboys

    Momof2Disneyboys DIS Veteran

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    Hey Rinky! :goodvibes Sorry I haven't been around lately. Things are crazy here as you know! :faint:

    Anyway -- great updates!! :cool1: I really enjoy your story telling! I always know just how you feel. :rotfl: That whole lifeboat drill fiasco would have put me over the edge. :sad2: And then the huge crowds at the Sail Away party. :scared1: Things like that are the little things that make me think I should just stick to what I know best -- WDW!! :laughing:

    But I have to say that that slide and those restaurants look awesome!! :goodvibes Looks like a fabulous time and I can't wait to hear more.

    Great pics! :thumbsup2
     
  14. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    replies in blue
     
  15. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    No Shelly - DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND!!!! The cruise is great - you will find good and bad things about it, but the bad things are usually not horrible! I agree - the more you go the more you know - we already know what we can skip out on next time and what we would do more of...

    I have some of the horns as ringtones on my phone! I think when DH calls it does the horn from the Wonder - When you wish upon a star!

    We will be saving our pennies for that 7 day eastern, but we have so many trips we want to do over the next few years - I really need that money tree to start producing!!! 2012 is all booked, we're considering a few options for 2013 already too.
     
  16. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    See Shelly, you can't back out now! You already have a cheering squad rooting for you!
    :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

    I want a horn ringtone! I will be checking into that! When we sailed on the Dream though the Captain played 3 different tunes I believe. I distinctly remember "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "When You Wish Upon a Star" and I think one more. I thought they only played the "Dream" one though? And I thought it only blew once, but he blew it over and over again. :confused3

    I'm sorry Sheree... I got ahead of myself. Things are so busy right now that I am in a time warp. When I said maybe you can sail next year, I meant 2013. I guess I've already put 2011 to bed in my mind. :rolleyes: I knew you weren't planning to sail in 2012 with your Europe trip and Disney in October. I have a really bad sinus infection right now and my head feels like it's full of cotton. I guess it's blocking my brain cells from working too. :rolleyes1
     
  17. Lovemy3babes

    Lovemy3babes Is always in need to get herself and her children

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    I also love the horn Rinky. :goodvibes What pretty pictures you took! The ship looks gorgeous!!

    I think it's adorable your daughter was so excited to sleep on a bunk bed. And what a neat view she had!

    We too would be the people, doing the "Titantic". No judgment here! :rotfl:
     
  18. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    The horn is so cool that it plays a bunch of songs! You can find ringtones to download for free pretty easily. I will try to find the site that I used for you. It's phonezoo - worked pretty well for me.

    I just typed in Disney ringtones and got a whole bunch - Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Fantasmic, the cruise horns, Soarin' music, the monorail thing (Please stand clear of the doors, por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas).

    Rinky - yeah, I guessed you probably meant 2013 since you know of my big 2012 plans! Hopefully I'll have some $$ to do something in 2013!! We're debating an Alaskan cruise, Hawaii (maybe 2014 for that) and the Caribbean. Who knows?
     
  19. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Love all the updates. I did not know they had gingerale on the ship. I heard they only had coke products, so I guess I never thought about if they had some sort of gingerale too. I don't think they have it at the drink stations though.
    I loved private dining too. I am not one who wants to share my day with strangers. I don't have a problem talking to others, I just don't want to do it while I'm eating.
    Too bad about the funky smell. I have heard that issue on some other cruisline ships, but hadn't on the Dream yet. I hope they get that fixed.
    Seeing your sail away party makes me so jealous...as you remember ours was in the Atrium due to rain. I pray that next year we have a nice sunny day...and all our days are sunny and warm.

    I want a ship horn ringtone too. I don't know if I can get them on my phone though. It's not as advanced as some of the other smartphones and has limitd things.
     
  20. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    More GREAT updates...love reading along! :) Well except for that smell part...ew! :eek:

    My countdown is now less than a year and while I can't wait for it to get here it seems time is flying by too quickly already with the kids so it needs to slow down too! :rotfl:

    Being able to book the private table was pretty nice. I have a feeling it won't be an issue for us since there will be seven of us eating together already...I think we'll just be stuck with each other each night for meals! :rotfl:
     
  21. RinkyTinkyTinky

    RinkyTinkyTinky DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! The ship is way prettier than what my pictures show though.

    Sometimes it's the little things that make kids the happiest. We could've saved a ton of money and just bought her a bunk bed instead of going on a cruise. :rotfl:

    Doing the Titanic... that sounds like a new dance move! :laughing:

    Thanks for the info. I haven't had time to look for the ringtone yet, but it's on my to do list! My phone isn't the latest or greatest though so I might not be able to do it.

    Alaska or Hawaii... hmmm... I'll take both please! I'd love to do both of those. It is just so expensive to get there! I think Shelly said the ticket prices were about what you paid to fly to Europe! :sad2:

    I was really happy that we got the private dining. They originally had us sitting with others b/c they called our stateroom and told us that our table number had been changed to accommodate our request. I know that was a hassle for them, but I'm so glad they were willing to do that for us.

    We had the absolute best weather imaginable for this cruise. We were VERY fortunate. It rained twice, but both times were during the night and we never felt a drop. I remember all the bad weather you had to fly through just to get there. That would have scared me to death!

    Thanks! I'm glad your enjoying the adventure! pirate:

    I know what you mean about time. Our trip was the same way. It seemed like forever away at first, but then in the blink of an eye, it was here! Then it was over. :sad1:

    Well, if you decide that you want to request private dining just to make sure, all you have to do is call DCL and add it to your ressie. I don't think you can do it online. I know I did see parties seated together that were much larger than 7, but they may have been all one group. :confused3
     

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