Our first cruise 12/29/05 1/2/06 Crew: Myself (40); DH (42 on the day we boarded); DD(10) We were celebrating both DHs birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary (1/3) We had spent 7 days pre-cruise at the Beach Club Day 1: 12/29 After a very nice breakfast at Cape May in Beach Club we were picked up by FL Tours at 10:45. They were prompt, the service courteous, and the car clean. We arrived at the port about 1 hour later. Our first view of the ship was so exciting. A porter quickly took our checked baggage which I had already tagged- and we were off. Be careful to keep your carryon separate from other bags he was very fast. We proceeded through the security check quickly and were handed a number 8 boarding card at the escalator. In my opinion, people should not stress out about the boarding group number we boarded less the 20 minutes after the number 2 group. Once in the terminal we proceeded to the Kids Club check-in since we were already checked-in for the cruise at the Beach Club. They had 2 lines working, 1 for pre-registered (moving very fast) and 1 to complete paperwork (moving very slowly). We were done in less than 10 minutes since I had completed everything online. I recommend entering the information on-line if at all possible make sure to remember the password you pick. About this time Goofy came out for autographs and pictures. A few minutes later while we were still in line boarding announcements began. In less than 20 minutes group 8 was called and we proceeded through the Mickey Ears to the ship. My card would not scan It had worked perfectly at the hotel so I was whisked off to a side room for a new card. Before we knew it they were announcing our name and taking our picture. When we reached Parrott Cay we were told they were full and proceed to Beach Blanket. I started stressing out based on what I had read here what a mistake. The buffet was delicious and we enjoyed sitting outside watching the Carnival Fantasy on the next pier. About 1pm we finished and decided to walk around a little bit. We researched the wine package and decided to do that instead of a fancy bottle of champagne on New Years Eve (this turned out to be a very good decision). It was 1:30 before we knew it was and we could access our room. I was surprised that 3 of 4 suitcases were outside the door when we arrived. I spent the next hour or so unpacking and settling in. We met Ferddie, who was our stateroom host. At 2:30 we went to the Disney Theatre for the walking tour of the ship. I would recommend this for any first time cruiser because we really got our bearings and learned about ship activities. We ended at 3:30 just in time to go back to the room for the lifeboat drill. We went to the drill uneventful for us but the family next to us needed significant lifejacket instruction (a 2 year old does not work in an adult vest). After returning to the room, our last suitcase arrived. We went to the sail a way party on deck 9. We had a blast. DH and I enjoyed a sailaway cocktail (1/2 pina colada ½ strawberry with the optional rum). We changed for dinner and decided to do Mickey Mania instead of the show based on DDs inputs. We were even select to be on stage. We came third the team that won must have played before since they answered the questions before they were asked. Dinner that night was at 8:15 in Animators Palette. It was exciting to meet disboarder Suz D and her family at dinner that night. We met our tablemates, who were from Washington DC, and our dining team Plamen and Edgar. I cant say enough about how great the two of them were. Plamen always had excellent suggestions for dinner and wine. They had no problems with DD combining the adult and Kids menu. After dinner DD checkout the club for about 45 minutes while DH and I walked the ship and found shutters for our pictures. Day 2: 12/30 Nassau We watched the ship dock from our veranda. We had breakfast at Beach Blanket sitting inside this time. I had booked the Dolphin Swim directly with the Dolphin Encounter Company. They had emphasized being at their pier no later than 10am so I was worried about getting there. Let me tell you it should have been no worries. We were among the first the first off the ship and quickly found a taxi van. He quoted $4 per person min 5 people. I wanted to go remember I am worried about time so I agreed to pay the $20 plus there is a $1 toll. We arrived at the pier in plenty of time. Checked in and waited. We boarded the dolphin encounter ferry which already had people from the Disney Wonder doing the Dolphin Encounter excursion. I can tell you we have lifetime memories for this activity. We danced, petted, kissed, hugged, rubbed, and fed the dolphins while in the water. Each family became a goal post for the dolphin to jump from the rear. The swim ended with a push across the Lagoon from the dolphin. I purchased the video and a picture of DD being kissed. The ferry going back stopped at both the Paradise Island pier and the cruise ship pier so we did not need a taxi back. We reboarded the ship and had lunch on deck 9 with Pinocchios Pizza. We met the nicest drink waiter Damon from Australia. He talked about his country and answered a lot of our questions. After lunch DD and DH swam in the Goofy pool while I read a book. I did checkout the hot tub in the quite cove area for a few minutes but it was no fun being alone. We showered and dressed for dinner (pirate night due to NYE) and saw the Mike Super (aka Joe Ramano) show. Dinner was in Parrott Cay with the normal rotation menu. The service was once again spectacular. After dinner we went to the Pirate Party where DH was select to be one of the pirates. We had a blast and the fireworks were neat to see. Day 3: 12/31 Castaway Cay We enjoyed breakfast at Tritons and headed to the beach. We rented 1 inner tube, 1 mat float, and snorkel gear for 2. DD and DH had a lot of fun snorkeling all around the lagoon. I floated in the tube and enjoyed reading my book while resting on the beach. We had lunch at Cookies BBQ, cookie dough soft serve for dessert (yum!), and did a little shopping. We relaxed on the beach, ordered drinks from Damon, and DD filled out 2 post cards and we mailed them from the post office. Before we knew it, it was almost 4pm and time to head back to the boat. After showering, DD went to the club for about 45 minutes to participate in the animation cell craft while DH and I enjoyed a drink on deck 9. About this time we were treated to a special surprise we were going back to Castaway Cay the next day. We did not know there was rumor flying about the boat concerning Norwalk Virus (more on this later). We enjoyed the Golden Mickeys, having pictures with Minnie and Mickey in their formalwear, and the special NYE dinner we ate again in Parrott Cay. We had Fairytale Cuvee with dinner to celebrate. The deck party was phenomenal. We danced until 12:15. I did not know you could do so much with toilet paper. Good thing the neighborhood kids dont know about the leaf blower and paint roller trick. At midnight everyone was given a glass of Champagne or Sparkling Cider for free. The Fantasy at Sea fireworks topped the Pirate Night fireworks. Day 4: 1/1 - Double Dip at Castaway Cay We got up about 9:30 and had beach blanket for breakfast. We enjoyed sitting outside on deck looking at the island as we ate. Disney gave us the floats and snorkel gear for free since we rented them yesterday. DH and DD went banana boating. DD and I enjoyed the floats while DH did some more snorkeling. We enjoyed lunch at Cookies BBQ again (different menu the Chicken Satay was the best). DD wanted to participate in the graduation ceremony (to have the hat and tee shirt) so we went back to the boat to showered at about 3pm. I attended the disembarkation talk and the graduation ceremony. We dressed for the show and dinner. We loved Disney Dreams it was the best of the 3 we saw. While waiting for dinner DD complained of a headache. Getting into Tritons was a mess. They were taking formal group pictures in the lobby and crew members were telling us to just walk through. It was the worst example of preplanning on Disneys part I saw the entire trip. We ate at Tritons and DD did not want any dessert. DD and DH went to the party in the atrium for the end of the cruise. It was a total mob scene. After that she went to bed while DH and I enjoyed a last night on the veranda. At about 11:30 DD woke up very sick. They paged the nurse (Anne) for me and sent someone to help with the cleanup. Day 5: 1/ 2 : Home She was sick every 20 30 minutes the rest of the night. At 6am they paged the nurse again. We were seen in the medical center the next morning before leaving the ship. Neither I nor DH ever got sick. We washed hands and used the sanitizer before every meal. FL Tours me us and took us to the airport. I prayed for no problems on the way. The Dr had given DD a shot and said she could travel. Our flight was delayed over 5 hours due to weather. We met another family in the airport who also had a sick child. Despite the rough end we decided to sail in April.