[COMPLETED] 9/17-9/21 Halloween on the High Seas - 6 adults, 1 child cruising for the first time

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Riss, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    Hello and welcome to my very first trip report ever! This'll be split into 2 different trip reports since we spent time both on this cruise and then headed to Disney World afterwards. I'm not a very avid picture taker, but I do have some pictures taken from the trip and I'll include them. If I don't have a suitable picture, I'll probably look for one on the Internet.

    As far as the introduction goes of those that went on this trip, I've done a Pre-Trip Report for the Disney World part of our trip, and you can read the intros of everyone there.

    The links to the Pre-Trip Report and the Disney World Trip Report are below and I'll also add a Table of Contents to make it easier to find things. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

    Disney World Pre-Trip Report
    Disney World Trip Report (from 9/21/18 - 9/25/18)

    Table of Contents
    Disney Dream
    Day 1 Part 1 (Monday, September 17, 2018): Embarkation (we'll make it, right?)
    Day 1 Part 2 (Monday, September 17, 2018): Our First Experience on the Dream
    Day 2 Part 1 (Tuesday, September, 18, 2018): Spending Some Time in Nassau
    Day 2 Part 2 (Tuesday, September, 18, 2018): Happy Halloween!
    Day 3 Part 1 (Wednesday, September 19, 2018): Castaway Cay!
    Day 3 Part 2 (Wednesday, September 19, 2018): Pirate's Night!
    Day 4 Part 1 (Thursday, September 20, 2018): Morning at Sea
    Day 4 Part 2 (Thursday, September 20, 2018): Last Day!
    Day 5 (Friday, September 21, 2018): Disembarkation to Disney World!


    Disney World
    Day 5 Part 1 (Friday, September 21, 2018): Finally to Disney World for Part 2, Checking In and Epcot!
    Day 5 Part 2 (Friday, September 21, 2018): World Showcase
    Day 5 Part 3 (Friday, Spetember 21, 2018): Spirit of Aloha, Back to Epcot, First Impression of the Art of Animation
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 7:22 PM
  2. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    Day 1 Part 1 (Monday, September 17, 2018): Embarkation (we'll make it, right?)

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    My family has a plan, we always have a plan, but the better question is, will we adhere to it?

    The simple answer: Nope, never. Things never work that way, right?

    But maybe I should start at the beginning. When we first booked this cruise back in February 2018, our original flight time was around 8:30am going out of Philadelphia. We figured that that would be enough time for us to at least make the boat at a reasonable time and also for everyone to get a somewhat adequate amount of sleep.

    Well...come months later and I get an e-mail from our travel agent that American Airlines moved the flight times. Okay, no biggie on the 8:30am being moved up to 8:10am. But yes, biggie since our flight home was pushed from around 2pm to 10am. Nope, no way was that happening. Thankfully we were able to at least get that moved to a later time, for a flight that departs at around 4:30pm, the time we originally wanted but didn't get because the cost between doing that and the 2pm time was like around $200 more per person and with 6 people, technically 7 since the baby needs a seat himself, that's quite the jump.

    Anyway, come to check the flight times closer to our departure date and find out that the times changed again! Granted, it wasn't a very large jump, but our 8:30am flight suddenly became an 8am flight. My mom was already sure that we were going to be starting off our vacation on the wrong foot since my family isn't really all for the mornings and we always end up leaving later than we planned.

    Point taken the morning of the trip.

    The original plan was to leave the house for Philly at 5am. We would get to the airport at around 6 giving us a good amount of time to catch our now 8am flight. The only downside...we didn't end up leaving until a little after 5:30...and we didn't get to the airport to check in to our flight until almost 6:45. Okay, so my family does drive to a parking place to park our car and then take the bus to the airport, so there was that time already added in. Regardless of that, though, the fact that we left late threw off the entire morning and all of us were certain that we were probably going to be late. Our flight was supposed to start boarding at 7:30am and we still had security to get to.

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    A blurry photo taken for Snapchat from the morning.

    It was as if by some miracle, though, that we, 6 adults and 1 child with 7 suitcases, 1 stroller, and like 5 carry-on bags, were able to get through security with no problem. We were ushered relatively quickly through it and were miraculously able to reach our boarding gate before the time to board. We made it to the gate before the 7:30am time slot. None of us could actually believe that we made it on time, especially not after the morning that we experienced. My mom said that next time we would be flying in the day beforehand so as not to have that kind of thing happen again, a thought I agreed with and thought we should've done in the beginning.

    We were well on our way by 8am, up in the air for the posted 2hr 30min flight to Orlando, but knowing that it would only take 2hrs. I don't know why they added the extra 30mins, maybe to add in the time it would take someone to actually leave the plane? But we always landed within 2 hours.

    Before the flight, and during the days leading up to it, we were slightly worried about the baby. Now, the baby isn't actually a baby, he's 2 years old, going to be 3 in October, but my family always calls him the baby so I'll probably end up writing it a lot throughout this entire trip report.

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    Isn't he just adorable?

    I guess it's time to do some very short intros, the slightly longer ones are in the Pre-Trip Report.

    But I'm the one in the orange shirt. I'm the oldest of the four children at 24. The second oldest, at 23, is sitting next to me, on my right (your left), in purple. The third oldest child is my brother, he just turned 22 around 2 weeks before this trip took place. Finally, the youngest child is sitting on my left (your right) and wearing sweatpants. She's going to be turning 20 in 2 months. Finally, I think the baby is pretty obvious. He actually isn't related to my family at all. We babysit him. Crazy, right? His mom allowed us to take him for an 8 night/9 day vacation on the Disney Dream and to Disney World without her. Yup, she didn't come, only my parents who aren't pictured here but will be later.

    Getting back on track, we were worried about how he would react to being on a plane, about whether his ears would hurt. He's typically a very good child. He rarely ever acts out or throws tantrums. Whenever any of us would tell our coworkers about us going, they were always surprised that we said we were going to take a 2 year old. My mom always says that she could take him anywhere. We don't use a child leash or anything on him. He loves his stroller, though because as soon as he sees it he wants to sit in it. He also never whines if he doesn't get something and never puts up a difficult fight to go to sleep. Most times he'll willingly give in to sleeping. Also, he's almost potty trained. We did bring pull-ups along for just in case. He does sleep in them but most of the time at home he wears underwear. However, we weren't sure with lines and our ability to find a bathroom in time before an accident, so he always wore one during the park days, on the ship not as much, but he never had an accident anywhere. He tells us when he has to go but he pretty much has the capability to go himself needing just a little assistance on the getting dressed part.

    Thankfully his ears only hurt once in the plane and that was when we were landing in Orlando. He only expressed to us in discomfort that his ears were hurting but it didn't last too long.

    But we were finally in Orlando! And after finding Disney's Magical Express, my family bought the transfers, we were on our way to Port Canaveral for the Disney Dream!

    It was at around 12pm that we saw this sight before us!

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    That's not the best picture, but we were all in disbelief about the pure size of the ship. Of course being the primary planner of this trip, I had seen plenty of videos and pictures and my mom has even seen some of the pictures, but we all didn't think that it was truly that big as the ship that was before our eyes.

    Once we entered, security wasn't too bad and neither was checking in. I had done the online check-in to get some of the papers done beforehand which made the process fairly painless. I'm not sure if it would have been more painful, though, since this was the first time we were really on a cruise. Okay, that's not really true. My parents went on a cruise with my grandparents 2 years ago, but it wasn't Disney. I, on the other hand, have gone on a Disney cruise with my grandparents...20 years ago. But, despite that, I still got a Castaway Cay silver lanyard since I was a repeat cruiser, even though I was 4 on my first cruise and haven't gone on one since. I even got one of those messenger bags in my room as well.

    After finishing up the check-in process, though, my mom wanted to get in line to meet Mickey, or Minnie, since I told her that they sometimes change whenever the other needs a break. Needless to say, we got in the line right as they were changing to Minnie.

    An entire fear leading up to this trip was the baby's reaction to characters. He had been afraid of Santa and the Easter Bunny and we hoped that he would come to like the characters that we've been exposing him to for months. We were half worried that he wouldn't like them but we knew that he'd at least pose for a picture with us holding him, we just wouldn't be able to send him up there alone.

    Much to our relief, he wasn't afraid at all! Throughout the entire trip he willingly stood with the characters, whether in costume or not, and willingly gave them hugs and kisses!

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    We had gotten boarding number 27 to board, but by the time we arrived, which was around noon, they were already on open boarding so it didn't matter. It was around 12:30pm when we got on the Disney Dream!

    Coming up next: heading to lunch at Cabanas for the first time, our 2 staterooms, our first dinner located at Animator's Palate, and first show, the Golden Mickey's!
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  4. lilsonicfan

    lilsonicfan <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b

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    following your trip report - looks like a lot of fun to travel with all of your siblings (and baby!) :)
     
  5. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    It was a lot of fun and the baby did bring like an extra breath of life into this normally adult traveling group lol
     
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  6. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    Day 1 Part 2 (Monday, September 17, 2018): Our First Experience on the Dream

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    I had previously read reports about how lunch the very first day is the most crowded time, since that's what everyone decides to go do. For us, it was no different and a little overwhelming. It didn't really help that we were a big party of 7 people trying to find a table, but we managed. I don't remember exactly what I had gotten from the buffet and I don't have a picture of it either, but I do remember that it was good and I highly enjoyed it. Turns out that would be only 1 of 2 times that we ate lunch at the buffet on the ship.

    We ended up saying there until after 1:30pm, when the staterooms were available. We did see people start to leave Cabanas, presumably going to drop off their luggage and carry-on bags to their staterooms.

    As we were heading to deck 2, though, walking down the stairs, we noticed that Cinderella was having an impromptu meet and greet. She was by the elevators on deck 5 midship I'm pretty sure and didn't even have a photography person with her, which I wasn't sure if that was normal or not. The baby wanted to meet her and he did so happily. The picture below is cute with him blinking his eyes in happiness. (We do have other ones with him not blinking but I just thought it was too cute)

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    Our staterooms, we had connecting ones, were located on deck 2, rooms 2024 and 2026, Oceanview Family Staterooms, or something like that. I wasn't sure if the way we were split up into the rooms was going to stay that way, but there was always the option for people to switch between them since the doors in the middle were going to stay open the entire time, for the most part.

    I actually enjoyed being on deck 2. At one point we could walk out and be right at Enchanted Garden to eat or for dinner and there was a staircase right up to the middle of the atrium near the Royal Palace. It felt very convenient to be there. Of course sometimes getting up to deck 11 proved to be a struggle, but we always took the stairs down, since that was easier than going up, and never had a problem.

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    Everyone always loved looking out the window, we loved watching the water as we were on the move and it was a favorite spot for everyone to sit.

    Since we were so tired, or at least most of the family was tired from waking up that early, they wanted to rest. I, however, was itching to explore some of the ship and didn't want to spend my time in the room. So one of my sister's, the eldest of the two younger ones, and the baby went out to explore the decks for a little. The farthest we got was only to deck 4 and we went around the jogging route, even seeing where our muster station was, which was G.

    The baby loved looking out over the side of the deck, even though we didn't even start moving yet, and we even managed to see our luggage being loaded on during our adventures.

    Soon, though, it was time to return back to the room to get ready to go to the safety drill. I guess it's a recurring theme, but I always thought that things would be more complicated than what they would end up being. I thought that the safety drill was definitely going to be longer, but it actually wasn't that bad. It is true that we were outside and that it was hot out there, but it wasn't too bad and afterwards, we headed up to deck 12 for the Sail Away Party.

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    The baby had fallen asleep during the safety drill and was awoken to the sounds of the Sail Away Party and since we were standing by a speaker, it was too loud for him. I was mostly there just to hear the horn go off, though, and to see us moving away from Port Canaveral for the first time, which was super exciting. Like I mentioned before, this was the first time that we were on a cruise as a family. I had gone on one with my grandparents when I was 4 and my parents and grandparents went on one together 2 years ago, but for all the rest of my siblings and the baby, this was their very first time.

    The Sail Away Party was pretty fun and the one guy that was running it, who would end up running quite a number of things, was hilarious to watch. I don't really remember his name, maybe it was Tony or something? I think I heard someone mention that name before.

    But anyway, we had a little time after the party to get ready for our 5:45pm dinner seating and not really wanting to be late, we headed down to begin the process of getting ready. It may seem like we have a lot of time, but with 6 adults trying to get ready and 1 baby, it can be pretty time consuming.

    Our dining rotation for the cruise was AEER, Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Palace. So we were headed to the back of the ship that night for Animator's Palate. Now before this, ever since the ship started moving, my brother had a little issue with the motion but he was stubborn in not getting any medicine so we figured that it just had to be something he dealt with since he wasn't willing to go find and take medicine for it. But since we were eating in the back of the ship, that meant that the boat was definitely rocking more than it would have been anywhere else.

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    Even when I was just researching about the restaurants on the ship, I fell in love with this restaurant. Needless to say, the baby had a great time with Crush and was highly entertained throughout the entire meal. It was this night that we met our server Leo and his assistant Merrick, I think that that's how his name was spelled. Leo is from the Philippines and Merrick from Jamaica. They were great and we loved having them every night. Leo definitely did his best to make sure everyone was satisfied the entire trip.

    While I'm not sure what everyone had every night of the ship, I definitely know what I had since I took pictures of everything at dinner. I did have to consult the internet for the names of the dishes, though. But this night I had:

    Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

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    Herb Crusted Pork Chop

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    Lemon Icebox Pie

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    Everything was excellent and I absolutely loved it. I would definitely recommend everything that I had. I do know that some of my family had some of the lighter offerings and the tenderloin as some of their main dishes and my youngest sister had the sundae as her dessert.

    Since we didn't know the exact timing from dinner to the show, we headed up to the theater early just to see when the doors open, they open 30 minutes before the show, which would put it at 8pm. So we were early, but we saw the snack stand that they have there and my mom spied the Halloween popcorn bucket. Now, let me just say something, my mom loves collecting those things and the mugs, too. We have a whole bunch at our house and actually, when we later went to Disney World and we saw that they had a specific Toy Story one, she just had to get that one as well. So that night was no different and my mom bought the Halloween popcorn bucket, but that wasn't all. They also had the Halloween mug available, so she bought one of those, too. We also took a little look around the shops since the only time they're open is when we're out in sea and not in port.

    This is a random picture I got from the internet, but those are the exact designs she got. My mom even went later, 2 days later on Wednesday, and got another popcorn bucket but couldn't get another mug since they were sold out.

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    But the Golden Mickey's was great. We absolutely loved the show. There was at least one point during the show that the baby got a little afraid and restless, but once the number featuring Woody and Jessie came on, he was loving it all over again. We probably had overexposed him to Toy Story before this trip so that he was his ultimate favorite movie by the time we went. We were blown away by everything and I remember telling my sister that if it was like that for one of their older shows, then we couldn't wait to see what Beauty and the Beast would be like.

    I was a little apprehensive going into the cruise, though, that the Golden Mickey's wouldn't be shown. I had seen reports about the Golden Mickey's being replaced for a second showing of Beauty and the Beast. After seeing the line and crowd for Beauty and the Beast, I can surely see why it was like that, but I'm happy that I got to experience the Golden Mickey's and think that it's a great show as well and can see how it's a crowd favorite. I was so happy when we first got our Personal Navigator's when we were checking in and saw that the Golden Mickey's was that night's show.

    After the show was over we went up to deck 11 to get some ice cream and late night snacks before calling it a night. It had been a very long first day for all of us and we knew that we would have an early start the following day as we went to our first port, Nassau, Bahamas!
     
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  7. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

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    Reading along! Seems like a great trip so far. That is really nice of your family to bring along a friends baby so they can experience the Disney cruise.
     
  8. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    It would be no overstatement to say that our entire trip and experience on a Disney Cruise to Disney World was because of that little guy! Everything that we had planned was with his interests in mind haha!
     
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  9. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    Day 2 Part 1 (Tuesday, September, 18, 2018): Spending Some Time in Nassau

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    We were allowed off of the boat at around 9:30am that morning. Does that mean that we were off then? Nope. As if you haven't already picked it up from my previous post, my family is almost never on time. For anything.

    So I don't really remember what time we woke up that morning but I do know that we went up to breakfast together at Cabanas.

    We were docked in Nassau, Bahamas and this would be all of the kids first time there. My parents have been there before, I believe on their previous cruise, though. We didn't really have anything planned, as in like any excursions or anything. I figured that we would probably shop around a little bit close to port and then head back to the ship in the afternoon. The reason? It was Halloween on the ship! They were going to be holding the Halloween party at two separate times, one at around 3:30pm and the second at around 4:45-5pm, I believe. We weren't sure which one we were going to go to, but knew that we wanted let the baby experience it.

    Also, we were docked next to a Royal Caribbean ship, that I don't have an actual picture of, but I know that it was huge and it was the one that had that bouncy thing on it, like where you bounce in the ball. I recently saw a commercial about it, actually.

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    We did shop a little, at little shops to get a Bahamas shirt and at the Harley Davidson shop and my sisters shopped at Pandora a little.

    But we didn't really know what to do after that. We were done shopping by around 12pm and didn't know what else we should do. Well, if anyone has ever been there before, then you know how there are those individuals standing around vans asking people if they want to take a tour and well, my parents decided that we should take a tour with them. So we did.

    I was a little apprehensive about taking a tour with them, I wasn't sure we'd be able to get back in time to experience one of the Halloween parties, but he assured my parents that he'd be able to do the tour in 2 hours so my parents decided to take him up on the offer.

    I don't really have much to say about the tour. It was alright, he took us around to a whole ton of places, like forts or whatnot and it was interesting, but just wasn't my cup of tea.

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    But my brother and I headed back to the ship with the baby first after the tour was over, he dropped us off right near the entrance to make our way back. My parents and two sisters, meanwhile, went back to some of the same shops we visited earlier because they were still debating about whether to buy some of the items that they saw earlier.

    Even though we were in different staterooms with the baby, my brother and I, we had filled out the form earlier allowing us to take him back on and off the ship without someone of the same stateroom being present. We weren't sure if we had done the correct paperwork but my mom said to call her if we weren't allowed and someone would come over to help us take him on. Thankfully we had no problems.

    We had headed back to the ship at around 2:15pm with the baby and the first Halloween party was starting soon, I think around 3:30pm, but I'm not entirely positive on the times. We weren't sure when my parents and sisters were going to be getting back on the ship and we knew that the baby was hungry but said that we would wait for them.

    Well, it turns out that my family didn't come back for an hour so we ended up waiting in the room for around an hour before they had come back to the ship. We actually saw them from outside of our window coming up on the gangway, one of the baby's favorite things to do the 2 days that we were docked. By the time they reached the room, it was a question of what we wanted to do, if we wanted to go to the first Halloween party or go up to deck 11 to let the baby experience the pools and the splash area.

    Since we weren't sure when the next time we'd be able to actually go to the pool was, and since we didn't want the baby to go to dinner wet, we opted to go to the pools first, so everyone started to get changed. I wasn't going to go in that day but was definitely going to go in on the sea day, our last day and the only other day we were planning on hitting that area.

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    First, before we actually went in to the pools, though, we had to get some lunch for the baby, lunch at like 3pm crazy, yes, but we ate a kind of late breakfast. So it was up to deck 11 for some of the poolside options first!

    Up next: Mickey's Mouse-querade Party, dinner at Enchanted Garden, and the second night's show, Believe!
     
  10. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

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    Day 2 Part 2 (Tuesday, September 18, 2018): Happy Halloween!

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    The baby was always very excited to be out on deck 11. He loved looking out the windows and watching the waves below, only, at that point, we weren't actually moving. Still, he was always really interested in the windows and looking outside.

    After we ate some of the quick poolside options, we headed over to Nemo's Reef so the baby could play a little. Now, he is potty trained, for the most part. The only difficulty he has is that he can't actually go by himself to the bathroom because he has difficulty getting re-dressed sometimes. Other than that, though, he doesn't have accidents and hasn't had one since he began this process probably around 6 months now, if not more. Our family, and his parents, have almost completely done away with him wearing pull-ups and he always wears his underwear, even to bed.

    So we knew that he'd be able to go in the actual pools, but we thought we'd just try out the splash pad to see and boy did he love it!

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    I got that picture off of the internet, but that was where the slide was, one of his favorite parts. He also enjoyed how the water came up from the ground and how some of the characters also sprayed water. On the other side, the splash area stretches all the way around to both sides of the deck and drink stations, there are more areas where the water comes down from the ceiling or like a tree and the puffer fish. He ran around in it like there was no tomorrow!

    Once my brother was done, eating, though, it was time for him to go in to the actual pool. There are two on the Dream and he opted to go in to the smaller Mickey pool first. Well that had to have been the better choice because the baby could comfortably stand in there, I believe he's around 38" and the water came up to his chest area. I, at 5'6" could sit down cross-legged in the pool and have it come up to around my chest as well. He loved that aspect of it. He's been in the pool at our house before but someone always had to hold him because he's obviously too small to be able to stand or do anything by himself. Him having the freedom to actually go around the pool as he felt without anyone holding on to him was probably liberating haha.

    They did have to close it for a little for cleaning so my brother tried to go in the deeper pool with him, but the baby wasn't having any of it. I think he wanted to stand on his own and didn't want my brother to hold him, which wasn't possible. Thankfully, though, the cleaning didn't last long and they were able to go back in to the Mickey pool.

    Once it was getting near time for the party, though, we got him out of the pool, changed his shirt, and began to make our way down to deck 3 for the festivities.

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    There were stations on deck 4, 3, and 2 and possibly on 5, too? But I forget if there actually were or not. There were a couple on each deck. The picture above was taken from the only station that was located on deck 2, in front of the Enchanted Garden. All of the stations had that sign in front of them so that they were easily identifiable. They also had some games going on on deck 3 as well, near the Guest Services, in those larger areas.

    Some of the stations had premade bags of candy while others just handed out handfuls. They really gave out a ton of candy, though. His bag was practically filled by the time we were done and I think we even missed one or two stations just because we were going to watch the dance party for a little bit and then it was going to be time for dinner. You do get that bag provided in your stateroom that day, though, for trick-or-treating. There are people who bring their own. Also, there are a ton of people who are dressed up in actual costumes. We debated with that idea for the baby but since we were going to be away for a week, we were still going to Disney World after the cruise, we just thought that it'd be too much to pack so we just got him a Halloween themed shirt instead.

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    That definitely wasn't all of the candy he had gotten, since he spread some of it out, but you can see some of the selection that was given out.

    We returned back to the room afterwards, though, to drop off the candy and I was interested in watching the ship pull out of port since the all aboard time wasn't until close to 5pm. My brother said he would stay back to watch the baby so my mom, dad, and 2 sisters went up to see the highest deck we could get on to watch. We ended up going to deck 13 aft, which is where the mini golf is located. We said that we had to go up there again to check it out but we actually never did. There were other people watching us pull out as well as other people on the ship that was docked next to us, a Royal Caribbean ship.

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    But we met my brother and the baby back in the room, as we were wondering whether or not they headed to dinner yet since Enchanted Garden is right on deck 2 where our stateroom was. He said that they were just about to leave when we got there. So we headed out to go to dinner together.

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    My dinner for that night happened to be:

    Cream of Green Asparagus

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    Slow Roasted Prime Rib

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    Southern Style Pecan Tart

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    Once again, everything was excellent. The soup, in my opinion, did taste a little bit like canned asparagus, but that was fine by me since I love that taste. The crab meat addition also gave it a unique mixed flavor. I did learn from this that twice baked potatoes are not my thing. It wasn't bad, I'm just not a baked potato fan to begin with haha. And the pecan tart was absolutely delicious. I'm a fan of things with nuts in it and such and the combination of the nice crust with the pecans and caramel made for a lovely dessert.

    Once dinner was over, and we learned that the doors didn't open until around 8pm for the 8:30pm show, we took our time, stopping by Guest Services to sign everyone up for the 5k the following day. We weren't exactly sure who was doing it or not, my brother and I were in question, my dad definitely wasn't going to do it, so we just signed ourselves up to decide later. After that, we started heading up to the theater and that was when we noticed a line forming. We looked on the Cruise Line app and saw that Mickey Mouse was supposed to start meeting soon, and took the opportunity to wait in a line that didn't seem that long. It wasn't. He was decked out in his Halloween attire, since it was Halloween day, and we figured that since his outfit was similar to his outfit that was on the baby's shirt, we just had to get a picture.

    The line moved pretty swiftly. It didn't seem like we waited too long and even though he had gone off to "check the ship" he came back not even 2 minutes later and resumed meeting families. The baby loved meeting him and by 8pm we were probably on our way to the theater to see Believe.

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    The baby was definitely tuckered out, he was even falling asleep as we were standing in line and didn't even make it to the beginning of Believe before he was soundly asleep. The show was definitely good. We didn't know what to expect based on the description of it and in the beginning it wasn't my brother's taste, but he was thankful that he stayed since he ended up enjoying himself. The genie was just awesome and hilarious, as almost every genie is ever and the musical numbers were once again awesome. I have absolutely no bad things to say about any of their theater productions.

    That night the magician, who would be the following day, was having his adult show in one of the lounges. My sister and I aren't fans of magic, we don't really care for it, so we said that we would stay back with the baby while my parents, youngest sister, and brother went to the show. My sister and I opted to watch The Parent Trap on the On Demand services in the room to kill time. Once they returned, they all said that the show was great and that they had gone back up to deck 11 to explore and even went to the adult area on deck 13 forward, I believe. They said that the cast member who was the host in the lounge was great as well, we saw him multiple times throughout the cruise and while I don't remember his name, I do remember him being funny each and every time we saw him.

    But it was late by that point so we called it a night. Some of them were going to be waking up in the morning to run the 5k. I ultimately decided not to. Instead, I would help my dad watch over the baby, getting him dressed and taking him to breakfast, while they did that. But we would have to go to sleep as quickly as possible because we would be having a busy day the next day on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  11. Rai's Mommy

    Rai's Mommy Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to reading more about your trip! I'm considering bringing my 2 year old nephew without his parents so this report is really helpful for me.
     
  12. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

    Joined:
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    Day 3 Part 1 (Wednesday, September 19, 2018): Castaway Cay!

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    First off, let me apologize for not writing for such a long time! Life has been a little hectic lately, but here we are, on our Castaway Cay day!

    So the previous night on the ship my family decided that they were going to do the 5K. We did get a ticket for me since I was unsure at the time whether I was going to do it or not, basically whether I felt like doing it. Well, come the morning and I didn't feel like it. So my two sisters, brother, and Mom woke up and got ready to go for their 8am meeting time. Turns out that they didn't even start doing it until almost 9:30am, I believe. They said that the time it took them to start at 8am to walking to the location, took quite some time.

    My dad and I, meanwhile, were in our rooms with the baby. Our plan was to wake him up at around 9am, get him ready, and go get some breakfast. We weren't sure of the timeline that the others were going to do, we only knew that they were going to come back after running, and so we thought that 9am would be sufficient time, or should have been.

    After getting the baby ready, we made our way to Cabanas. It was crowded there, for being 9am and on a Castaway Cay day, but the 3 of us managed to find a table and tag-teamed the baby. I went and got his food, since my dad doesn't really know what he eats, while my dad watched him and then we switched. Thankfully, but not really surprising, the baby was well behaved for us. He never acts up for my family, we never have a problem with him. That's one of the reasons why my mom was fine with taking him on this trip in the first place.

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    Since we hadn't heard anything from them regarding the 5K, my dad and I figured we should go back down to the room to just wait for them and to get our things ready. In the elevator, we had let the baby press for deck 2, but I guess we hit 3 as well so the elevator doors opened on that floor and I noticed, across the atrium, that Jessie was having a meet and greet. Since everyone was probably getting ready, or already off the boat, the line was extremely short. I asked the baby if he wanted to meet her and he said yes, so we decided to go get in line. Even by the time we reached the line there was only around 1 family in front of us, so it didn't take long. I also think her meet and greet was supposed to be over by then, but because the line was short, they probably kept it going for a little bit longer.

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    And of course my dad and I were called the parents of the baby, but we didn't correct them. It honestly happens all of the time, though. It happened once when we took our dog to the vet, I tend to go along with my dad to help him remember the things the vet says. I was also called the baby's mom later on Castaway Cay as people walked by my brother and I, who had the baby. It's all good to me, though, I understand why they could think that.

    But there was really nothing else we could do in the meantime but wait. I believe the rest of them came back to the boat some time after 10am, and it wasn't until almost 11 that we actually left the ship to go to Castaway Cay, which yes, is late, but my family isn't the type to spend a long time on the beach anyway. Once they were finished getting all of their things and changing, it was on to the beach!

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    I was honestly thoroughly impressed with the beach. The water was really calm and clear. But before that, though, we decided to get some lunch. I forget which one we went to, but it was just opening as we made our way on the island. My dad and I weren't really hungry since we had breakfast, but everyone else was because they had run the 5K. I don't have a picture of what I ate, but I'm pretty sure it was like the spicy chicken sandwich and some of the ribs. My family really enjoyed the food that was offered on the beach. There was also ice cream, too. Throughout our entire cruise we had chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana flavors. My family even said that the previous night, when they went to see the magician, the host was telling them that if they were to book another Disney cruise, it'd be because of the chocolate chip cookies, which were excellent. He also taught them a way to construct a sundae of sorts, by putting some cookie down and then ice cream and just continuing to layer them.

    But it was after we were finished eating that we found a spot on the beach and went to play in the water. It was really hot there, obviously, but sitting in the water helped you stay cool. There were people who brought some of the smaller chairs inside of the water and sat there to watch other members of their party. The baby really enjoyed being in the water because he could stand by himself. Since there were no waves, there was almost no worry about him getting knocked down.

    We spent quite a while on the beach. My brother left to go get some more food before they closed at 2pm, and we kept taking the baby a little bit deeper, holding him, and then bring him back. His favorite part was trying to build a sand castle with a cup that my brother found. It was a clear cup so it made it all the better for him to be able to see it. It was floating in the water and we think it might have been from someone who had gotten a drink.

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    We really had a great time on the beach, though, and the baby didn't want to leave. Whenever we even mentioned anything about leaving he would get so upset and say that he wanted to stay. We did stay on the beach until around 3:30pm because we wanted to give ourselves enough time to look around the shops since I believe we had to get on the ship by 4:45. We did take our time to look around the shop to see if there was anything we wanted and I did end up getting a Castaway Cay shirt. It's white with the cruise line logo on it and also a pastel floral pattern on the shoulders and it kind of has like the athletic shirt feel.

    There were still some people around the beach still, making their way back to the ship. We hadn't really checked out any of the other parts of the island, only sticking to the first part of the family beach. I'm not sure what the other places looked like in terms of crowds, but it didn't feel crowded at all where we were, which was the very first family beach section. There were plenty of chairs available and plenty of space for everyone to do as they wish. Even lunch didn't feel too terribly crowded. I'm not sure if it was because of the time we were going, since it was mid-September, then maybe the crowds would be slightly different, but the entire trip, even our part in Disney World, just didn't feel as crowded as what we were used to. Granted we did use to go in like November or December with the high school band, so that could attribute to it.

    We made our way back after doing some shopping and decided to take the tram. We had walked over to the beach initially getting off the ship but as we were beginning the walk back, we saw that it was there getting ready to leave and hopped on. Once we got closer to the ship, we rinsed the sand off of ourselves, they have convenient stations set up in order to do that since they don't want you bringing sand on the boat, and made our way into our stateroom for Pirate's Night!

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    We had to get ready for dinner first, though, which would once again be in Enchanted Garden, but there were going to be fireworks that night and the magician, which my sister and I would end up not going to, so there was still a whole bunch of things that we still had to look forward to after our fun day on the beach!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  13. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Leading up to the trip we were a little apprehensive about the baby but were confident that he'd be able to do well without his mother for the extended period of time. Our main concern was the paperwork that we would need since we were flying as well, but thankfully we were able to get everything sorted out. His mother did get a passport for him to go on the trip, though, even though it's not necessarily a requirement. We were just worried because he technically isn't related to us at all and we were taking him on a plane as well as a cruise ship.
     
  14. BeckyEsq

    BeckyEsq Mouseketeer.

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    614
    Enjoying your report can't wait to see more!
     
  15. lilsonicfan

    lilsonicfan <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Looks like everything went really well so far. I also loved CC! So nice to be sitting on the beach doing not very much :)
     
  16. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
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    Yes it is! I'm typically not really a beach person but I just loved it there, it's just so beautiful and peaceful
     
  17. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,869
    Enjoying your trip report! What a fun family experience and so great you included the baby with your family adventure :) So glad he enjoyed the Disney characters!

    I thought it was ironic that there was a Royal Caribbean ship (probably the Mariner) docked next to you in the Bahamas. We are taking our first family cruise in April 2020 aboard the Mariner mostly because of their recent refurbishment to include the Skypad (the bouncy thing you saw).

    Castaway Cay looks so calm and relaxing! Such amazing blue water - I could float in that for hours!
     
  18. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

    Joined:
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    That probably was the ship! We all thought that it looked pretty cool so who knows, we might try it out in the future. This Disney cruise was probably the first of a long line of future cruises lol
     
  19. phins_jazy

    phins_jazy Halloween on the High Seas

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,894
    i am enjoying your trip report! We are taking a halloween cruise too. it's nice to see trip reports about them.
     
  20. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
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    Day 3 Part 2 (Wednesday, September 19, 2018): Pirate's Night!

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    So first off, I apologize for not writing in such a while! Things have been totally hectic and to top it off, my youngest sister finding out she was pregnant when we had come back from the trip, it's been quite an exciting time in my family. But here I am to continue writing this trip report that should've honestly been completed sooner, so I apologize for that!

    To continue on where I left off, though, we had just gotten back onto the ship after spending a wonderful day on Castaway Cay and were getting ready to go to dinner, which was in Enchanted Garden for the second night. This time, though, was Pirate's Night, so we had the Pirate Night specific menu.

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    My meal was wonderful, as always, and went as follows:

    Davy Jones' Locker Rock Crab Cake

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    Jack's Treasure of the Seas

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    Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake Tart

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    After dinner that night, the evening show was actually a magician that neither my sister nor I were keen on seeing, we're not really magic people. I kind of get bored during a magic show, it's just not really my thing. Therefore we opted to sit out of it while everyone else went to see him. My parents, brother, and youngest sister actually saw him the previous day during his show in one of the adult clubs. We didn't go to that either.

    They took the baby with them to the show, though, so it was only my sister and I alone for the couple of hours. We told them that we'd take the popcorn bucket and ask about refills and also take a leisure look around the shops for a little. We didn't particularly buy anything that night but I did see a couple of things that I was interested in buying but wasn't completely sure on. I knew that I wanted to get some sort of cruise related item, but just didn't know what.

    Before making our way back down to the room, we stopped by the concession stand where the man working it informed us that a popcorn refill was $1.50. We got one to take with us back to our room.

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    I believe we made our way back to the room at around 9pm, perhaps a little after. I know that they weren't back from the show yet and we just laid on the bed and talked about what we were enjoying about the trip thus far. We also turned on a Phineas and Ferb movie from the On Demand service.

    Honestly, that On Demand service is a little intimidating. It's kind of like Netflix in a way, if you get what I mean. There's just so many good movies on there to watch that you just don't know what to pick because of the selection. My brother watched Mary Poppins one night, I know, because he never saw it before. Plus we would always put on like Toy Story or Moana for the baby, he was a fan of those at the time we went on the trip.

    Once the show was over and the rest of my family came back, we began discussing what we should do since the baby was sleeping. All of us were interested in going to the fireworks on deck 11, we weren't that interested in the show itself, but we weren't sure what to do with him. My brother didn't think that we should take him with us since he was sleeping and didn't want him to be disturbed. In the end, he lost and we took him with us to deck 11.

    We ended up choosing a spot that was kind of behind the stage on deck 11, on the right hand side, if you're standing on that deck and facing out towards the stage. If you're looking at the stage, then it's the left. We weren't sure what side the fireworks come out of, they were coming out of the left, so when we saw that, we made our way over to that side. It actually wasn't too crowded up there and we could move around.

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    My mom and brother did end up getting some food from the pool places and brought it up to the deck to eat. It's not to say that the food was bad on the cruise, but it's definitely not the kind of food that my family frequently eats. We're kind of like straight-laced kind of food people. My mom doesn't know why people would try to make food fancy by adding things that she doesn't believe are needed and as someone who loves desserts, she rarely ordered any during the trip. That particular night she expressed her thoughts to our waiter, who was absolutely excellent throughout the entire cruise, that she wanted just something that was kind of like a plain chocolate cake, and he went and got her one.

    But anyway, the fireworks were okay to us. I guess we were just so spoiled by going to Disney World and seeing those fireworks that maybe we thought they'd be a little bit better than what we actually saw. They weren't bad, but they were definitely no fireworks when compared to the ones from the parks. I just we just didn't know what to expect with it.

    One thing, though, is that I remembered reading either here on the boards or somewhere on the internet in general that there is a buffet offered after the fireworks. Well, I forgot about that and we didn't look at the Navigator to see that there actually was one, so we didn't go to it. My sister and dad found out that there was one when they went back down to the poolside options to get some food. The three of us walked through the buffet after we were told and there really was a large spread. It was kind of crowded in the place, but there was a ton of food like a taco bar and a baked potato bar. I did end up going down to the room to tell the rest of them about it but it was already too late as they had already gotten the baby settled in bed. My dad and sister did end up bringing some food down for them, though.

    I didn't actually have a picture of any of the watermelon sculpture things, they're all on my dad's phone, so I just had to settle for something from the internet haha.

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    My brother and I, meanwhile, were on our way to the theater to catch The Incredibles 2. That was one of the three, or maybe four, movies on our cruise. The others were Christopher Robin, Ant Man and the Wasp, and maybe a Star Wars movie. We had wanted to see Christopher Robin but there was just simply no good time for us to go. I did want to see The Incredibles and my brother offered to go with me so we went to the theater. I was surprised at how mildly crowded it was for being an 11pm showing. I figured it was because the following day was a sea day therefore no one really had to get up that early to do anything. The movie was great, I loved every minute of it, and I was just fascinated with the fact that we could watch a movie that was still currently in theaters while on the cruise.

    Again, I didn't have a picture of the Buena Vista Theater, only the Walt Disney Theater. Also, the seats shocked me in the theater because as soon as you sat down, you ended up leaning back and that caught me off guard the first time I sat down in them.

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    After the movie, we returned back to the room at around 1am and by that point everyone was already sleeping. So my brother and I bid goodnight to each other and also got ourselves ready for bed. We didn't really have a plan for the next day, our sea day, but we knew we wanted to check out some more of the things on the ship that we weren't able to do. After all, it was our last official day on the cruise!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  21. Riss

    Riss Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
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    Day 4 Part 1 (Thursday, September 20, 2018): Morning At Sea

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    And the day had arrived! Our last official full day on the ship! While it was sad to have to say goodbye to cruising, we did the second half of our trip in Disney World itself to look forward to. However, all of us, minus my brother, had come to love cruising so we were definitely thinking about doing another one sometime in the near future. My brother jokingly said he could skip the next one cause he wasn't really a fan. Honestly, even before we went on the trip he wasn't sold on the idea of going on a cruise and then he did get a little seasick on the cruise, or at least didn't feel very well, but he did nothing to help himself, like going and getting medicine, so that's his fault I guess haha.

    But after the late night my brother and I had, after watching The Incredibles 2, we started the morning sometime between 8-8:30am, or at least I did. My brother decided to sleep in and catch up with everyone later, we would communicate while on the app about where we were.

    After seeing a lot of the cool things that were on the ship, we kind of made a little plan about what we wanted to do on our sea day and one was definitely to let the baby visit the pools and splash area. So we decided to put our bathing suits on underneath of our clothes so we wouldn't have to go back to the room to get changed.

    Once we made it outside, the family split up for a little while. My sister and dad went to ride the AquaDuck and my mom went to the upper level of the deck so she could try to tan. She ended up saying that it was super hot and wasn't able to be there for long, but she did stay there for a couple of hours. My youngest sister and I, meanwhile, were with the baby.

    We took him into the splash area for a little while and after a while switched over to the actual pools. I knew before going into the trip that there was a rule against using swim diapers, but the baby was already out of pull-ups and diapers for about five or six months before the trip and hadn't ever had an accident and he didn't even sleep in any of the sleep pull-ups, he slept in underwear, accident free the next morning. Therefore we were confident about taking him into the pools and him not having any sort of accident. However, I guess some sort of accident happened and they had to close the pool for a little bit in order to sanitize it, so it was back to the splash area for a little.

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    Another thing that I saw on the Navigator that I was interested to take the baby to was a character dance party happening at around 12pm. We left the splash area, found my mom on the upper deck, and made brief plans about what we would do for the rest of the afternoon. I would take the baby back to the room to get changed, go to the dance party, and come back up for lunch. My sister was going to stay with my mom to tan, my youngest sister was going to bingo, and we didn't know where my dad disappeared off to.

    The baby and I went to down to our room but discovered that the connecting doors between the rooms was closed and I didn't have his room key, therefore I didn't have a way to get his clothes to change into. Also, once we went into the room, the baby didn't want to leave. So we spent a couple of minutes there before I managed to get him to leave with me by asking him if he wanted to find my brother since he wasn't in the room.

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    Finally, the two of us went up to the dance party that was underway and it was really fun. It didn't seem like it was too crowded and all of the characters were in their Halloween outfits. And it was actually up there that we found my brother who said he read the chat that said we would be up there, he had messaged the group chat earlier asking what everyone's plans were. But they played a lot of music and the characters came out into the crowd to dance with the kids and there was a lot of confetti that dropped from the ceiling, too.

    Once the dance party was over, the three of us went to deck 12 to where everyone was tanning and to see what the plan was about lunch. My mom wanted a couple of more minutes in the sun and asked if we could eat lunch at 1, but saying we could take the baby if we wanted to. Since 1pm was only like 5 minutes more, we decided to stay on deck 11 in the shade and watch some of what was on TV. But it just so happened that while I was going up and down the stairs by the stage to talk to my mom, they were starting to play a game and who would be the ones playing? My brother and the baby. My brother later said that they were just standing there waiting for me, the baby was sitting on the round part of the end of the railing when they started playing and the woman asked if they wanted to join.

    Not the best picture but one that my mom took of them on the screen while she was on the top deck. My brother's in the red shirt that you can kinda make out on the screen with the baby right in front of him.

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    What the game was was like a bingo game. They showed clips of Disney movies on the giant screen and if you had that on your giant bingo board, you placed a magnetic chip there. Obviously the baby didn't know the movies so my brother and I were pretty much playing until one or two other kids came up and started joining in. I don't remember what side won but it wasn't like that was important because they made it fair. The prize was picking what movie to play next and one side picked the category while the other side picked the actual movie.

    Once the game was done the five of us went to eat lunch at Cabanas. We still didn't know where my dad was and we later found out that he was in the room since he didn't know what we were doing. My mom told him he should check the message app more often because then he would've figured it out or he could've messaged in it asking what we were doing, since we did check it pretty often.

    But we began discussing what we wanted to do for the rest of the afternoon while we were at lunch and my youngest sister was telling us about the bingo mishap. Apparently the electronic devices were malfunctioning during the earlier session so they ended up giving everyone who attended a refund and a Disney Cruise Line hat. She still wanted to play, though, and said that she was going to go back during the afternoon session. Before that, though, there was a towel folding class at 2pm that my other sister wanted to go to and my mom was going to accompany her, my brother was going to take the baby back to the room, and my sister and I were going to go shopping for a little bit.

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    We were browsing around and just walking around the shopping district of the ship by the time my mom and sister found us. They said that their towel folding was awesome and they were taught how to fold a ton of things, even a dinosaur! They then joined us in the shopping adventure and we made our purchases as it would probably be the last opportunity we'd have to shop. I ended up buying a standard Disney Cruise Line t-shirt in maroon for myself and one in blue for my best friend, her and I get each other things whenever we go on vacation. I also bought a Cruise Line keychain.

    We ended up buying a lot of things. My youngest sister bought the baby a Captain Mickey pillow pet type thing and also got him a Disney Cruise shirt. My mom got a gray sweatshirt with a Captain Mickey on the back with some keychains and my other sister got a blue cruise tumbler.

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    It just so happened that while we were in the gift shops that the Sing and Scream was just ending cause we saw a lot of people lined up in the hallway for the Jack and Sally meet and greet that would happen afterwards. We did see them come out of the theater as well. But since no one in my family is really a big fan of that show, we didn't have any interest in watching it. My did later find, during our show that night, some Jack Skellington confetti on the floor, though, and collected it to bring back home.

    But once we were done shopping, my one sister and I decided to head to Disney music trivia in one of the lounges. We didn't win but we didn't do too horribly I thought. We haven't really ever seen many of the classic movies so we weren't familiar with a lot of the songs from there but these girls that we were sitting next to were very good and got practically every question, we switched papers to mark each other's. The general premise was that the man playing the piano would play the instrumental for the song you were supposed to guess the title of the song and from then there would be a bonus question provided by the cast member hosting the show, whether it be something about the name of something in or something that happened in that particular movie.

    While we were participating in this trivia, we did see my mom, brother, and youngest sister go by to head to check out trivia and decided to join them after ours was done. She didn't win but it was a really fun experience and the host was definitely full of energy and really made the atmosphere.

    By the time bingo ended, it was already time for us to go get ready for our very last dinner on the cruise located in the Royal Palace for semi-formal night and then watching Beauty and the Beast!

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