You’ll never get me on a cruise. Unless it’s to ALASKA! Recap and New PTR Link! 2/1

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by eandesmom, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    We wouldn't have known either , were it not for our tablemates. I think they were going to be gold after this cruise.

    Nope, I didn't say :rotfl:

    Well I think we are looking at July, maybe around the 4th. It is NOT remotely the time of year I want to go but am hoping it's better than late August for lightening as that was a bummer. I can deal with the heat, and the rain, but closed pools makes us crabby! With the ages of the kids that will be going, and differing break schedules, our options are limited.

    They were tennis shorts (not a diaper) but he had them all rolled up so it really did look like a diaper! I didn't know the tutu guy but our tablemates did and were dying over him.

    What's kind of cool to me is the surprise of seeing them now. I haven't noticed that in other updates but this day for some reason he looks all little boy and I'm loving it.

    Yeah, Jeff can be a little warped at times. :rotfl:

    It was!

    Late August will be cheaper, that's why we picked it! July and August are warmer than June. I'd do a deposit as soon as you can on the most likely date if it were me. I'm dying that I can't do that for the Med!


    I hear you, I had a momentary dream of SWW next May over memorial day until I realized that several of the kids on the trip will have End of Course tests which are HS requirements right when we would have gotten back. Missing school and coming back to a grad req test didn't sound like a good idea. Sad though.
     
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  3. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    I have no idea on the show, definitely on the Wonder for the 7 night trips but I need to look into it for the shorter ones. It's funny, I know the family shows but didn't even think of recurring "adult" ones. It was hysterical and a very fun end to the night and week.
     
  4. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    Wow! What a trip!!! :sail: I bet you guys will remember these adventures forever!!

    Love that your kids are old enough and that the ship is a safe enough environment that they could go off on their own sometimes! I don't think you went overboard on those sunset pictures at all! What a perfect last evening.

    I am more and more intrigued by the cruise experience. It really looks like an amazing vacation!! :thumbsup2
     
  5. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    Your cruise just looks great! I think we will be spending more time in Feb checking out the adult club shows bc we have seen the Dream entertainment twice now. The main stage farewell show was not like the one in the adult club needless to say :laughing: love it. Also really like how you got the cheese plates!!! And actually got photos!!! :rotfl: we just ate them too quickly, ha!!! Looks like everyone had a wonderful time. Sunset, hot tub, kids exploring on their own all good stuff, and our final dinner was like yours, a great end to a great trip. So glad to see all the fun, and look forward to your next trip!!!!
     
  6. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    We will, it was a great trip!

    That was definitely a highlight for them! Thankfully they didn't abuse it, but I was very happy that there were wave phones. It sounds cheesy but there really is something for everyone on a Disney cruise.

    We need to remember about the cheese plates, I could do that every night! Looking forward to your next trip as well! I probably have one more update and then a new PTR :goodvibes
     
  7. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Booked all our hotels this weekend. We went for the Monaco, Glorietta Bay Inn and Blue Horizons in Vancouver.
     
  8. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    I love your TR Bye Byes. Very bittersweet.

    What a great cruise!

    Looking forward to reading your wrapup.
     
  9. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    I nearly missed your till we meet again post!
     
  10. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Oh I hope you like them! I'm not familiar with Blue Horizons. If you haven't already, definitely sign up to be a Kimpton One Touch member, their frequent travelers club. It will get you some nice little extras for free. The Monaco is a little bit of a further walk to some things but is just lovely, I was actually just there on Friday!

    Thanks Dee! Hard to believe I'm at last morning and wrap up.

    :goodvibes
     
  11. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    The last day! It’s hard to believe, a mere 5 months after the fact, I’ve reached the last day of our WONDERful cruise. Hey, that's a fast TR for me! :rotfl:

    We woke up and…went for our walk! Of course. Not exactly the same walking around the deck when you see folks staring fight back at you. And…got a coffee from Cove Café. Of course. The nice thing about second seating at dinner is a later disembarking time. While that might not be everyone’s preference, it certainly was ours! We made it back to the stateroom, finished packing up all of our last items and gathered it all up to head to breakfast. We had swimsuits and such still on our verandah and it was a bit odd to be grabbing our stuff off of it and seeing folks at the terminal watching me! Bags in hand, more than we wished we were carrying (not nearly as organized with the previous nights packing as one might have hoped...especially given all the time I spent on laundry :confused3) we made our way to the atrium.

    I had a stop to make on the way, I needed to chat with guest services. I’d had shellacking added to my manicure on day 1 of the cruise. It was supposed to be chip and break free for 2 weeks. At the “if I were not upon the sea” show, I noted one chip and one tear! I was not happy. Normally I’d let it go, I mean a normal manicure I expect to last a couple of days at best but I’d paid quite a bit extra for this and it had been less than a week. We’d tried to go by the spa after getting our coffee but as you can imagine, they were closed. I was at the desk FOREVER. First the CM there couldn’t do anything. Then he couldn’t find a person that could, I needed (understandably) to talk to a spa person. Then the spa person looked up what my excursions had been and mentioned I’d be ziplining. Uh, ok but it’s not like 1) there was a “activity” disclaimer on the claim to last 2 weeks and 2) the chip and tear remotely coincided with the ziplining…it had been 5 days later! The person I spoke to from the spa was, sadly, not remotely friendly at all…almost to the point of calling me a liar. Saying how they would want to inspect and fix it. Well gee, if it happens after you are closed at night and you aren’t open now..what am I supposed to do? Begrudgingly, she offered a prorated credit that I’d supposedly see later. Honestly, had I known the giant headache it would cause, I might have just eaten it. But it was $25 and I only did it based on the claim of 2 weeks. Interestingly enough after this I didn’t get another single chip or tear and the color lasted forever, it just grew out with my nails. I’ve had one other shellacking since and it didn’t last 2 weeks either…maybe a week. So…live and learn I guess. Pro is it does last WAY longer than normal for me, Con is that it costs quite a bit more and it very hard to get off on your own.

    That detail taken care of I went to pick up the rest of our shutters pictures and that, as well, took forever. By now my family was seated and had ordered, I had to catch up. It didn’t seem to matter as the food honestly took forever and was kind of the typical breakfast we’d had so far …pretty meh. Still, it was nice to have one last visit with our servers and our table mates. My mom would be picking us up but given the drive time, we hadn’t wanted her to have to leave too early. We’d been told we could check our bags at the hotel if needed and that was our plan. Disembarking was painless and quick (and sad!) but we managed to get our bags and wend our way to the bag check. We only wanted to check for about an hour and they did want to charge what seemed a bit high but if memory serves, I negotiated a slightly lower rate. Bags checked we headed outside, hit Starbucks and wandered around just looking at the Wonder getting ready for it’s next group, seaplanes landing and all the other boat traffic. My mom found us quickly enough and we headed to lunch. We felt we’d kind of robbed her of a decent lunch on the way up with our huge rush at Granville Island Brewing and decided something a little nicer was in order. Jeff had a special place in mind, Caldero’s in Coal Harbor. I’d never been there. While waiting for her, we’d gotten a map from the hotel and it wasn’t more than a 5 minute drive.

    A stolen pic

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    I’d been a little worried when I looked at the menu online that it was a little fancy for lunch but it was just fine, our kind of place…upscale brewpub! With really really great flatbreads and beer. YUM! The boys gave my mom a couple of pins they’d picked up for her (she’d given them money to do so) and talked and talked and TALKED about the trip. Luckily she is a pretty experienced cruiser so she enjoyed hearing about it (though she has never been on a DCL cruise). It was a lovely lovely way to end the trip.

    Bellies full, we headed home. My poor mom had to listen to the E’s the entire ride home…Evan talked so much he finally just fell asleep! The border, and the entire drive was uneventful. I spent part of it cleaning up my work email inbox from my phone, talk about a reality check! But given that I'd be going in, first thing in the morning, I knew it would make that part that much easier.

    Up next. A full trip recap and summary including souvies, what we’d do again, what we’d do differently and some photo moment highlights!
     
  12. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Aw...the boys obviously had a great time if they talked and talked and talked, telling your mom all about it. That's what it's all about.

    Sorry that you kind of took a shellacking on your shellacking. ;) Did you eventually see the pro-rated credit?
     
  13. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    I did although it took a while.
     
  14. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Bummer on the nails and what a headache. :headache:

    Sorry to see your fabulous cruise come to an end. How great that you were able to take your mom out to lunch again and that you found a more suitable place than on the way up.

    :rotfl: on Evan talking your ears off. At least you know he had a really good time! So cute!

    Looking forward to the recap/final thoughts!
     
  15. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    Sorry the nails didn't work out better. I have a gel overlay on my nails, otherwise, I'd have no nails! :lmao: I do have friends who've had good luck with the shellac, though. Someday, they'll get the whole nail thing right and this won't be an issue anymore. Very frustrating, though.

    Your last day sounds nice, apart from that. Looking forward to your always useful trip summary. :goodvibes
     
  16. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Way to go Cynthia stand up for your rights!!!!Great ending or almost ending !!Looking forward to the final thoughts !!
    By the way I started my PTR for my 2012 Trips !!! It's on the PTR board:rotfl2:That is a Rosie Link!!!!!!:lmao:
     
  17. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Of course you do have to remember that's their MO regardless.

    talking, talking talking

    :rotfl:

    Both will talk and talk, regardless, (I can't IMAGINE where they get that from) but they did have a great time! Lunch was really really lovely! Recap coming up very soon.

    I used to have gels and then my nails were destroyed for a year after stopping them. But I did love them! good luck is relative, they DO last longer than a regular mani, for sure. Just not 2 weeks. Cost wise and time wise, probably equal to doing gels, just a little easier on the nails. I'd do it again. Summary coming up very soon.

    I will come by and check it out, I'm behind!!!!!!!!!!

    Almost ending, recap very soon.
     
  18. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Looking forward to your re-cap.
     
  19. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Coming soon!
     
  20. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    After we got of the ship, we checked our bags and walked up to startbucks. With our drinks in hand we headed around to see the Wonder again. As we walked, we asked the E’s what they thought of the trip.

    The best vacation ever.

    Ever?

    Really?

    I mean, we take them on some pretty nice trips!

    Ever.

    They were pretty darn emphatic about it. And, truth be told, haven’t really stopped talking about it, hinting at it wondering and hoping when and if we could do it again. Although recently Evan has also informed me that one year off was enough from WDW and he is ready to go back. At any rate, with that mindset it’s recap time! In summary I would just like to say…I am SO glad we did this cruise! I was worried that I might feel we’d spent too much for this experience, even though we picked a later sail date to bring costs down, we did pick a pricey room category and excursions. A lot of peple will complain about the price tag. And it’s not cheap. I would say though, if you compare it to a WDW trip and consider deluxe rooms, dining plan, park hoppers and flights…really not all that different. Well at least not that different if you were paying rack rate on rooms at WDW…a PIN or free dining does change that a bit, as would flight prices. But you get the idea. I think most people don’t compare them that way and to me, it included everything I’d get with a hopper and a dining plan so that’s the basis I use! Fuzzy Disney math to be sure!

    It certainly can be done cheaper, both in terms of room categories and excursions and still have a very magical time. I can unequivocally say…it was worth every penny! Truly a once in a lifetime trip and one I know we will all remember. I am glad we sucked it up and did the verandah and that we splurged on the excursion. I am glad we didn’t, for a moment, even consider a different cruise line despite knowing we could do it for less elsewhere. As a Seattle resident, I am thrilled we were able to do this out of Vancouver, the fact that we didn’t have to buy tickets did make a big difference in our ability to consider doing this. I hope the change to Seattle makes it easier for folks to due this cruise but doesn’t cut into the port times too much. I am also including the couple Seattle tips posts I’ve made in my table of contents if anyone needs those links in the future and am happy to answer any Seattle questions I can for anyone considering this cruise. Planning a cruise is quite a bit different than a WDW trip and so I wasn’t sure how we’d do and as a result…didn’t make too many plans that had us tied into things. I did have a few though so let’s see how we did!

    My BFP going into the trip (Big Fat Plan) is first, followed by what we’d do again, what we’d do differently and a daily photo recap!

    Tuesday 8/23.


    BFP: Embarkation! Drive from Seattle to VAN. My mom (bless her heart!) will be driving us. Lunch in VAN before we get on the boat, boarding on the later side with the hope of being able to carry those carryons (i.e. beer, wine, rum lol) straight to the room. Spa mani and pedi booked starting at 5:30.

    What we’d do again: Later arrival worked wonderfully for us in terms of ease to embark, drop stuff off in room. Bringing beer, wine and rum on board with us…major thumbs up as well as the Via. Late arrival really allowed for those things to be painless to carry. Literally. Spa on day one…what a great way to start a trip!! Great first day activity. The boys LOVED the pool and funnel vision and Eric loved the sail away party! Sailing under Lionsgate was a once in a lifetime experience. Hearing the Wonder play “When you wish upon a star”, as we did so, for the first time…priceless.

    What we’d do differently: Leave Seattle earlier! Ok, knowing us that wouldn’t happen, we are late to everything but lunch was rushed and stressful. We also had a little less time prior to sail away to get familiar with things and another hour would have been ideal. I also would have bought the coffee refillable mug night one when we had our late night drinks on deck, along with the coffee punch card. We definitely could have used those mugs earlier. I’d probably also consider packing 2 plastic wine glasses for the stateroom. We ended up snagging them from the dinner table and then keeping them there with notes to keep them from being removed and really, it was kind of a pita. Somehow though, drinking wine out of the in room water glasses just isn’t the same. Though they loved the pool, we did probably blow it by not checking out Edge right away. By the time they tried it out it was in the middle of a nighttime activity and they never clicked with the club or anyone there.

    Our day in pictures:

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    Wednesday 8/24

    BFP: At Sea, no plans

    What we’d do again: Everything! It was a great lazy day, gorgeous scenery as we went through the inside passage, our first walk around the promenade, lots of pool time for the E’s, beer, ice cream and reading on deck, a fun movie, a nice workout (not necessarily in that order) and formal night. It was also our first show, the Golden Mickeys!

    What we’d do differently: I wish Jeff and I had started hitting the adult pool and hot tub earlier in the trip than we did. Same thing on the cheese plate while getting ready with a glass of wine! I also wish I’d taken the time to try to get some formal pictures (which would have meant getting kids out of the pool earlier and all of us getting ready for formal night before the Golden Mickeys lol!) and that Jeff and I started checking the adult entertainment earlier in the cruise.

    Our day in pictures:

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    Thursday 8/25

    BFP: Tracy Arm Day. Palo booked for brunch at 10:30.

    What we’d do again: Everything! The naturalist presentation was just wonderful and the day was amazing starting with a lovely couples walk, Palo and then Tracy Arm. Seals, mountain goats and blue ice. AMAZING!

    What we’d do differently: We were a little sad to leave the naturalist early in the morning to make it to Palo but oh was it worth it! This is the day I really wish we’d purchased those coffee mugs when we were on our morning walk, it was silly not to and a hot coffee drink especially later in the day would have been lovely. We finally bought them on our way IN at the very end of the afternoon, which was silly. Other than that I can’t think of a thing I’d change! Well except I really do wish they’d taken a picture of Jeff and I at Palo, that kind of bummed me out that

    Our day in pictures:

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    Continued in next post
     
  21. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Friday 8/26.

    BFP: Skagway. Ziplining excursion. Palo booked for dinner that night.

    What we’d do again:
    Broken record…everything! I couldn’t have been happier with our choice of excursion, of snack spot after the excursion and then our amazing dinner at Palo.

    What we’d do differe
    ntly: Again…honestly, not a darn thing!

    Our day in pictures:

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    Saturday 8/27

    BFP: Juneau. Our BIG excursion, the Enchanted Taku Glacier Lodge Flight and Feast. I’d also hope to have time to ride the Tramway.
    What we’d do again: All of it.

    What we’d do differently: IF the weather had warranted, we would have done the tram. There was also a very cool airplane/seplane themed brewpub we’d have liked to check out, if there had been time and we’d have planned it accordingly.

    Our day in pictures:

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    Continued in next post
     

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