12/17 cruise AWESOME!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by mom x4 grandma x4, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. mom x4 grandma x4

    mom x4 grandma x4 DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2005
    This was our 10th DCL cruise.
    It was a fantastic trip.
    We arrived at the terminal about 10:30 and got boarding pass #5. Check in went smoothly and quickly. Then I spent the remaining time looking for fellow dish board people. We gave descriptions of what we would be wearing that first day so we could try and find each other before our assigned meeting time later that day. I did find a few people and it was such fun to finally have faces to put with all the threads we had written over the months.
    We started boarding early, about 11:40 a.m. instead of noon.
    As we entered the atrium it was beautifully decorated with a huge tree and lots of garlands to decorate each handrail on every level. As we proceeded to go to the aft elevators to go up to the buffet for lunch we passed a wonderful gingerbread house, which was about 7 feet tall. It had disney characters peeking out the windows and snowmen sitting on the room. There was Father christmas and some reindeer in front. It was very elaborate and smelled so good. They also had a sign which told of all the ingredients it took to make it.
    After lunch I proceeded to guest services to leave off 2 pillow cases to be signed by the characters. They were waiting in my room on friday evening. They are great, a perfect souvenir which I can actually use instead of just sitting there taking up space in a closet.
    Then it was 1:30 p.m. so we headed to our room to unpack the carry on bag and check out the room. we had a nice verandah. Shortly our luggage arrived so I got some more unpacking done before proceeding to the Promenade Lounge for our 3:00 p.m. dis board meeting. We had a great turn out. Probably 35 or 40 people altogether. Even a couple of people I had met on another board dropped by to say hello. It was so fun running into these people all over the ship for the entire week. It really made you feel at home to have people always stopping and saying hi, and sharing their experinces on board. So many of the kids made great friends. We never saw our teenage grandaughter accept at dinner. She was in the stack hanging with the teens. At least that is how she describes it. She told me she made 15 new friends on the cruise. The 11 year old GS was always gone to the lab or the new ocean quest area. We did see th enew area during an open house. It was pretty impressive and all the kids we talked to loved it. Then we had the safety drill. Thank goodness they finally got some new life jackets that are much easier to put on. After this it was the sail away party. Junction 21 played and we had a good lively crowd this trip, so it was a great party. After we launched my Dh and I went on deck 10 to watch us pull out the channel and wave to the bystanders.
    We had 5:45 dinner, we started in Parrot cay. Our wait staff was good, but we have had much better on other DCL cruises. Our waiter forgot things a couple of times,and would forget to bring a different type of vegetable or potato that was asked for at out table. He would always get it later, but by then you were almost done anyway. Assistant server was very good with the drinks. he always brought more before we actually needed it.
    After dinner we changed our clothes to be more comfortable then we went to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the atrium. It was fun. We sang a few Christmas carols, then the Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto arrived. goofy was dressed as Santa and Pluto had antlers and a red nose on. They picked a family to walk part way up the stairs behind the tree and all together they blew pixie dust over the tree and then it lit up and everyone cheered. Then it started snowing in the atrium which was a great effect which brought lots of cheers and laughter from the crowds.
    Then it was off to the Welcome aboard show which was hilarious. It featured Gary LeLena who is a comedian and Mike Super who is a magician.. Of course there were disney dancers and characters too.
    After the show we browsed the shops and then went to shutters to check out our boarding picture. It turned out good so we bought it. By now it was late and we were tired so we turned in even though there was a lot more happening around the ship that night.

    Key West
    We arrived about noon. It was warm, but cloudy. Our family did the sailing, kayaking, snorkeling excursion and said it was awesome and they would highly recommend it. My DH and I just explored on our own. We took a tram for $8 per person that made lots of stops around the area so you could get on and off as much as you wanted to. We went to the southern most point an dtook some pictures, then on to the ship wreck museum which we enjoyed very much. It has a 65 foot tall wooden staircase on the roof that gives you a spectacular view of the area. It was kind of spooky due to the wind. Then we went in every shop in Mallory Square.
    We didnt get to see the famous Key West sunset as it was cloudy. But they still closed off the streets in town and had a party going on til very late. We had to be on board by 11:00. We went back ealry because we wanted to see the adult cabaret show with Gary DeLena which was great. Then we attended the who wants to be a mousketeer game show in studio sea and then off to 60's dance party, with glow sticks and a skit or two from crew members.
    Each day as we left our room to go places we would go down different hallways to look for door signs. We saw lots of very cleaver signs by fellow dis board members. We had 3 on our door too.
    The only downside to the entire day was in the afternoon we went to our room and they were varnishing our balcony and it smelled so bad we had to leave the room. They said it would be gone in an hour, but 2 hours later it was still terrible. By bedtime it was ok, but we had an entire afternoon and evening we couldnt use our balcony or room. The next day they came back and touched up their work so we had the same problem. We aren't in our room a lot but it was just the idea that we couldnt even sit on our balcony and enjoy the view. But there was too much to do to sit around and complain about it, we just did other things.

    Day 3 sea day
    sunny skies, nice and warm
    They played movies and cartoons on the Dive In movie screen every afternoon and evening accept the first day. they also played short films of the different ports we were going to visit on our cruise. It was a great addition to the ship.
    We saw the matinee of The Golden Mickeys, and it was excellant as usual. Matinees are great because they are not as crowded and it frees up the evening to do other things. I did an adult craft class where we made mosiac picture frames. It was fun and I was surprized to see several men attending too.
    It was formal night so w edressed early so we could get some pictures done before dinner. One tip, if your doing pictures. Be there 5 minutes before they start so you will be at the beginning of the line and you should be able to get through 3 or 4 different backgrounds before your dinner time. The lines get very long for this and they move very slowly, but the pictures are very good!!! We ate at Animators Palate and Mickey made a surprize appearance for a few minutes and of course that brought out a cheer from the crowds.
    Junction 21 was our band this time and there were very high energy and did a good job, but we are spoiled by Charles Marshall band. we then retired since we had an early excursion the next day.

    day 4
    Grand Caymen
    Our family did the swim with the stingrays and absolutely loved it.
    We did the city tour. All the shops are by the dck so it's very convenient for shopping. We had to tender at this port, it only took about 5 minutes. While going through the harbor we saw 2 pirate ships that really looked awesome.
    Our tour was in a mini van. our guide was very good, and spoke very clearly and answered all questions very well. we went to a turtle farm a rum cake factory and gift shop, the governors house, the gingerbread house and of course we went to Hell. For those who dont know Hell is a strange rock formation to see. It was fascinating to see. then back tot he ship in time for lunch. We went out on deck 4 to relax some in thos epadded lounge chairs. we had the entire deck to ourselves. Just as we started to relax I heard someone yell something that sounded like pirate talk,as I raised up I saw one of the pirate ships we saw earlier with a full ship of guests passing us by and then they fired their cannon at us. WOW was it loud!!! It had great special effects as the cannon smoked and turned red on the end. Everyone on their ship cheered and yelled and waved at us. Then they went to the other end of the ship and fired again. Of course I had put the camera away for the afternoon. But it was a great surprize. So since we were awake, we decided after we regained our hearing we should go to the matinee showing of Twice Charmed. It was good, but not our favorite show. Well worth going to see.
    They had some live music by the family pool as we pulled away with lots of little kids dancing around th epool. after dinner we went to the familly cabaret show to see David DiMuzio, who is a world champion juggler. He was excellant and funny too. The next day he had a class for anybody who wanted to learn to juggle. we watched people, but didnt try ourselves. I know my co-ordination, so enough said about that!
    We had 80's dance party tonight which was fun. I thinkit went til around 2 a.m. but we gave up about midnight.

    Day 5

    Costa Maya

    We started early with a 8:30 character breakfast in Parrot cay. Lots of characters came ot the table for photos and sutpgraphs and they did a party thing with everybody. wont describe, because I dont want to spoil all the surprizes they have in store for you future cruisers.
    Seas were a little rough and it sprinkled a little but we did the Chocchoben ruins tour which was about an hour inland where it was very nice. We went on a big comfortable tour bus. Our guide was excellant and she narrated most of the way to the ruins. She had several items she passed around to everyone to see. Things like a couple of small musical instruments, cocoa beans, gum base, peppers etc... when we got to the ruins there were restrooms which lined up quickly but they do wait a few minutes for everyone
    to go!! The gift shop is small but has a few good buys. Soon we were walking towards the jungle area and it was truly awesome to see. Lots of ruins are not uncovered yet, they are waiting until we have a better way to preserve them before finishing to uncover them. Our guide had pictures of what all the buildings looked like when they were built and their purpose. we got to hike up the stairs on one of the temples and hen we got to the top there were many more to see. It was an awesome tour. take all the still photos you want, but if you use a cam corder you will have to pay $4 at the gift shop. excellant weather for us too.
    we returned at the port around 10 to 5 and had to be on board by 5:30. All the shops are right a tth eport so we dashe dinto a couple of stores and then zippe dover to the ship where we found a long line which was not moving. Then we noticed the ship bouncing around pretty good, and ahuge wave went over the gang plank, then another wave and still another wave. By now I'm thinking, Ok I dont swim, and we have to get on board this ship, so now what??? Then I looked and saw a big wave knock the gang plank loose, it went about 2 feet in the air!! Now I'm really starting to wonder about getting back on? Maybe we should just fly to the next stop, it seemed safer than crossing the walkway! Soon a crew member stood at each end of the gangplank to stabilize it, then a crew member came running along the crowd asking for any towels people had from the ship. He got an arm load and went onto the ship. Then a few people went across, then the line stopped again. More crew members came by saying to put away our ID as we wouldnt be needing it this time. Ok this is weird, they are so strick on this policy to get on board. Finally a few people crossed over at a time between waves, it was 5:30 by now. Then it was our turn, we ran for it and made it ok, but upon entering the ship we were walking on a couple of hundred sopping wet towels that were oozing water as we carefully walked on them and a man was running a machine trying to suck up the water as fast as he could. They told us a couple of those big waves came inside and left several inches of water so they couldnt operate their electric scanners to check you in. That was an adventure. Of course we were running late for dinner and it was pirate night. So we quickly got into our costumes and dashed for dinner at Lumiere's. A lot of people were late that night. Dinner was excellant and we all received a pirate scroll with the menu on it as a souvenir and a bandana too.
    after dinner we watched some family karoake then off to the pirate party at 9:45. It was awesome as we had such a lively group of cruisers this trip. Probably those 40 dis board members we met!!! So many neat costumes that night! the wind fianlly died down and the fireworks were fantastic as well as the rest of the party. The buffet afterwards was great, especially the dessert display!!! save your appetite, you'll need it! Then they played the pirates of the caribbean movie on the dive in movie screen by the family pool.
    then off to bed for us.
    Thursday sea day
    This is so long I will shorten it as much as I can, I cant believe how long this report is and I'm only hitting the highlights if each day! So much to do on board.Ok We did the behinds the scenes tour of the theater, very interesting
    ice carving on deck 9- awesome job
    Played the Incredibles on the Dive In movie screen in the afternoon
    did family cabaret show. Great comedy show
    Matinee showing of Narnia
    Disney dreams show fabulous
    70's disco party, not to be missed!!!
    11:00 to midnight a dessert buffet in Lumiere's INDESCRIBLE especially the chocolate fountain!!!
    Earlier in the day we had a bad thing happen. A person was very ill and we had to slow down the ship so a coast guard helicopter could take them to the
    hospital. They announcd that the front part of dexk 10 would be closed until they were done. It was so windy the copter had problems but he stuck with it and finally after several minutes they lowered two crew members to help get the patient off the ship. The copter cirlced the ship for a few minutes then came back when the patient was ready. They then pulled up the gurney witht he patient and then the crew. It was so scary because of the wind. I have seen this on TV before, but being there in person gives you a whole new respect for the jobs the men and women of the coast guard do for people. It was amazing. Later someone said it was a toddler who was having seizures that they picked up. I hope and prey she is ok now. That would of been so terrifying for her family to endure.

    castaway cay
    beautiful sunny, 75 or around there.
    a large Christmas tree decorated the pier along with a family of snowmen who were blowing snow on the people. It made for a great photo. Of course as you walked to the beach there were characters and photgraphers all over the place. Carolers were singing as we strolled towards the beach, which was a very nice touch. The tram had a big red nose on the front with big antlers on top, long garllands ran down both sides and a big tail on the back of the tram. I thought the water was chilly, but everyone was swimming and snorkeling, so I must of been about the only one who felt that way. We sat on the beach for awile, then walked to the far end of the bike trail on the other side of the island, where we discovered they have a new bike trail along the runway and then we looked around at the adult beach, then returned to cookies BBQ for a late lunch, then to the grouper game room with daughter and grandson to play a few games. then for some shopping before returning to the ship for the last time this trip. Very hard to go back that last time.
    Once on board I did most all my packing early so I could hav emy luggage ready to set out at 9 without wasting my entire evening packing. there was still a fare well show, movies, live music and dancing to enjoy.

    must be out of the room by 8 a.m.
    sop a quick early breakfast then we met out family an doff we go.
    Being the mature adult I am it only took 6 crew members to remove me from the ship this time. So As I left i exclaimed those thre famous words they love to hear,
    "I'LL BE BACK!!!!
    and I will too, as we have 2 more cruises booked for the end of next year,
    mom x4, grandma x4
  2. ImMarcik

    ImMarcik <font color=teal>That's what I get for coming up w

    Sep 27, 2004
    What a great report! It sounds like you had a great time. I think I'm going to tell them "I'll be back" too after my next cruise, although I don't thinke we can book one while on board next time since we are buying a new house soon. But once we move, I will go again. Did you really enjoy the cayman island tour? I am thinking of doing the shipwreck snorkeling in the morning and the island tour in the afternoon.
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  4. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie DIS Veteran

    Dec 15, 2005
    Sounds like you had an incredible time! I'm hoping to make it onto a disney cruise this year (2006), but not holding my breath. DH has agreed that we can go in the late summer/early fall IF we're ok with money and there's a good CM discount available. I hope they keep the late night dessert buffet.. that sounds delicious and like a nice addition!
  5. mom x4 grandma x4

    mom x4 grandma x4 DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2005
    Yes I did really enjoy the island tour at Grand Caymen. It does move rather quickly, but I liked seeing the variety of things you got to see. The strange rock formations they call Hell was worth the trip by itself. If you go there is a tiny Post office there and a gift shop. If you buy a post card and fill it out, take it to the post office to mail and they will add a special stamp that says it was sent from Hell. It;s really a funny thing to do if you want to send some postcards. They do have several post cards in the gift shop there that say from Hell too. I didnt have anyones address with me so I couldnt do it, but it seemed like a neat thing to do. Now i wish I had sent one to myself just to get the special post mark as a souvenir.
    mom x,grandma x4
  6. ImMarcik

    ImMarcik <font color=teal>That's what I get for coming up w

    Sep 27, 2004
    Thank you that sounds fun to mail a postcard from there. I will have to bring addresses.
  7. ripvanwinkle

    ripvanwinkle Earning My Ears

    Jan 6, 2006
    great report. :) We definitely need to book a cruise.

    WDWLVR <font color=green>DVC @ The Boardwalk</font><br><f

    Feb 17, 2000
    Thanks for a great report! Sounds like you had quite an adventure trying to get back on the ship in Costa Maya! Glad you made it safely.

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