In October of 2012, my mother in law told me she wanted to take us on a Disney Cruise. Of course, I said that would be great! She didn't want to sail during hurricaine season and I didn't really want the girls to miss school if we could help it, so we decided on April 4 WOnder cruise out of Miami. April 4 2013 happened to be my 10 year wedding anniversary as well. So Spring Break for the girls and anniversary for us. PERFECT! I spent countless hours on these boards, learning all of the ins and outs, not-to-be-missed experiences, items to bring, etc. I made my magnets with the help of the DISigners here, started our cruise FE group and have been hanging around here eagerly awaiting our cruise. Since we live in S. California(15 minutes east of Disneyland), we decided to fly in a few days prior to allow time in Miami before we left. This proved to be a wise decision as it put us in vacation mode before our cruise vacation. We arrived in Miami on April 2 at about 4pm EST. We had lunch(I decided to get late dining on board and go by PST the entire trip-so lunch was around 3pm, dinner at 8pm(5pm PST, etc.) along Ocean Drive as our hotel was in South Beach. We stayed at the Marriott South Beach. A nice hotel if you had an ocean view. When we checked in, the person at the front desk said "This is a really nice room." We assumed that meant it had a view. We got into the room and my youngest ran to the balcony and exclaimed "Daddy! We can see the roof down there!" Yep. She was right. Our view was of the roof below us-complete with a water bottle that appeared to have pee in it We'd be out sight seeing and only in the room to change and sleep, so the pee bottle wasn't that big of a deal. My SFIL used points to pay for the rooms. My MILs and SFILs room WAS nice with an ocean view. Had we paid the rack rates for that hotel, I would have complained. We ate dinner at the place in the hotel. Wasn't all that great, but we were tired from travelling and wanted to eat nearby. The following day, we took a LONG walk to Lincoln and did some shopping. Instead of taking a taxi back, we walked along the beach. It was lunchtime, so we took a trek to a Cuban place I'd seen on YELP. My 2 goals were to get pictures in front of the Colony hotel on Ocean(we have a piece of art we've had for YEARS of Ocean Drive, so I always wanted to visit there) and to eat Cuban food. So we found Las Olas Cafe and I ordered up some of what people had said was the best-chicken empanadas, plantain and cafe con leche. The empanadas were simply amazing and the cafe con leche--I didn't think coffee could be THAT good. My DH thought I was nuts ordering coffee at 3pm when it was probably 90* in the place. I had him taste it, and he ordered one as well! We headed back to the hotel to meet with family that lived in FL. While the adults visited, I watched the girls in the pool for several hours. We went out to an Italian place that was very good. Got back to the room and packed up to get on the Wonder the next morning. The next morning we woke up and finished up moving stuff I needed on board into 1 bag so we could tag the rest for the Port. We arrived at the port at around 11:15am. We had our passports and papers checked and were sent inside. Took some pics before security in front of the DCL banner. Went through security and into the main terminal. Stood in line for about 30 seconds and then signed in, got our KTTW cards, etc. We found a seat and I read over the navigator a bit. I then saw Mickey was taking pictures, so we made our way into the line. I forgot the girls' autograph books, so I ran back to our stuff to get them. When I got back, Minnie was there. We got autographs and pics with Minnie and were back with our stuff. As we were getting back, they announced the family of the day and began boarding. We were in group 4. THey announced groups 1-3 and then MAYBE 5 minutes later called our group. We then stood in line for boarding pictures which were fairly fast. Then made our way up to board the ship. I had a paper ready in my pocket and handed it to the guy making the family announcements. He read it and said "You came prepared, didn't you?" "Welcome Princesses Rio and Sydney and their humble servants." At this point, we decided to go up to Beach Blanket and have what to us was breakfast. I loaded up on shrimp and the chicken salad mini sandwiches were really tasty as well. My DH LOVED the pork schnitzel(sp??) I went back and tried that and it was really good. I had a raspberry dessert that was quite tasty as well. After eating, the guys stayed with the girls and my MIL and I went to sign up for mixology and to GS to give them my frame mats to be signed. Wawan was the bartender doing the classes. I was bummed that tequila/margarita wasn't offered as I'd seen it on other 4 day from Miami Navigators. So I signed up for mixology with my husband and my MIL and SFIL signed up for martini. We then went to GS and gave them the frames for signing and I asked them if they could give the stage manager a note. Going back to January, I was in Target and had found a cute navy blue shirt with anchors all over it. I figured it would be a great sail away outfit. As I was looking for a line to get in, I noticed a guy in a nice Jacket with "Disney WOnder" on the back and all of the ports of call for the Wonder. So, of course I got in line behind him. I said "How many cruises have you taken with DCL to get that jacket?" He said "Oh. Well I'm the stage manager on the Wonder." We chatted in line about the shows, theater(my degree is in theater) and he asked the dates I'd be on board. I told him and he said his vacation would be over by then, so he'd see me on board. So, the note I sent just reminded him of the encounter and I asked if there was any magic he could bestow on me in the form of seeing backstage, I'd be much obliged. We went up to the rooms around 1:20 as they were to be available at 1:30. We got into our room about 1:35. We were unpacking and getting settled when the phone rang. I thought it was my MIL, but it was the stage manager who was calling to arrange a private tour of the theater. He offered 2pm on Castaway Cay day. SWEET!