I was so surprised that noone has started a live thread... so I will barely give you one. 1) because I am not good with computers and am paying by the minute.. and 2) it is great weather and fun!!!! But there are some things I need to report. In particular, I am told that this is the inaugural cruise for a big clamp down on health safety: ALL buffet lines have CM servers at every point. So you are not allowed to pick up plates, get food, drinks, even silverware. Even topsiders. This is our first DCL cruise, but multiple servers tell us this is new, and most have a sad expression (I think they may be a little upset at increased workload, but are trying to come across supportive)... I have asked multiple CM and all have said that nothing has prompted this, such as a recent outbreak (let me be clear: there has NOT been any recent outbreak), but that this just happens to be the voyage picked for initiation. Now I am a physician and I have to say I am impressed. So far the lines at buffets have been minor, and the food worth waiting for!!! Second... yes, I know this has been said a million times on the cruise board: make getting Palo reservations one of your highest priorities.... get up at 2 or 3AM on that first available online reservation day for you, and get those ressies... it is worth the lost sleep! Third: for those who do the pillowcase thing, I can tell you this via a GS person: 1) if you do not bring sharpies, the characters will use their own, no problem, 2) if you don't bring mat, no problem. 3) If you do supply sharpies, characters only use those... (my thought, might be better to not put them in, so you get better variety of colors.????) 4) they WILL deliver to stateroom Friday. The only thing I will add (after all the boards have unbelievable info... thanks to all for the posts of the past 6 months...) is that I have traveled on many cruises, including one "upper class" (see signature below), and this cruise has been spectacular. The food is great, the workers are great, and it is so so attuned to the kids (one of ours is DD5 and seems in heaven). Lastly, thank you Gimpeaux for getting the Disbands; sorry we did not attend the Dis meeting. This is our first DCL and we were just getting oriented... and fact we still are!!! WARNING: this thread says "Barely Live" for a reason... this post in no way obligates the OP to any further posts UNTIL we return. Oh, and one more thing (as beloved Lt Columbo would say), I dedicate this pitiful little thread to who I thought has done the best thread ever in the history of these boards: Tenorator!! Now Tenorator, you must, must book soon so we all get an encore!!!