Feb 12th 7 day Eastern report--an escape from Cleveland! Navigators for Feb. added!

mrbudyhed

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
O.K., am snowed in today, so figured today was a good day to try this report. I am gonna do a quick intro and then see if I can figure out how to post a pic so I don't lose a bunch of text if I mess it up! :scared1:

On this trip are me-39, DH-40, DD-7, DD-4.5 and friends that came also with their 6 year old DD. Here is a picture of me and DDs (I hope!):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbudyhed/5469381229/
 

mrbudyhed

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Well, it didn't work quite right. Does any one have any hints on how to get the image on the screen, not just the link to Flickr?
 

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  • RoyalVizier

    <font color=purple>I'm sorry... I'm a gutless flip
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2006
    Yay, another 2/12 trip report! We were on the same cruise! Can't wait to hear your take on everything... :-)
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    I'm gonna back track. On the airplane, the girl ALWAYS immediately check out the safety/in case you crash pamphlet on the planes. It always cracks us up, because they seem to study it VERY seriously. Safety first! ;)

    I almost cried when they announced our family name as we were led into the lobby, but I held it together. Here is a picture of the Chihuhly (sp?) chandelier. My husband loved this part because he actually watched Chihuhly(sp?) and his staff in his workshop while he was dating some artist chick before he met me. Whatever...:)


    So after lunch, I was determined to get some non-crowded pool time in for the kids, so we rushed to a bathroom and I changed them into their suits that I had in my carrry-on. This was a big hit for the kids. Thank you Disney for the Mickey pool, 'cause it was only like 73 degrees and windy and I didn't have to suit up and freeze and get in with my kids to keep them from drowning. I think the pool is less than 2 feet deep, but the kid's were thouroughly entertained, and perhaps a little off mentally, 'cause they insist they weren't cold.

    We were assigned a handicap-accessible room on GTY booking. At first, I was upset by this because these cabins don't have a bath, only a shower. After posting my gripe on these boards, I quickly (like less than an hour--I'm a fickle sort) decided to be excited about this cabin. I heard they were HUGE. It was stateroom 7638, all the way aft, starboard side (that's the right side when looking towards the front of the ship, right?:confused3) Here's the door to our stateroom:

    The closet could fit my whole family and maybe more. (Yes, we all hung out in there for a minute just to see :thumbsup2) It also has a steamer trunk, you can see to the right in the photo.


    Then we checked out the kid's clubs. As far as I understood, the first day is for registering if you need to, and checking the clubs out as a family, I don't think I could have actually checked them in that night. I don't know why 1st timers would want to check them in the first night, because there is so much to explore on the ship as a family. I registered the kid's online and got their wrist bands at the port while we were waiting to board. There's a whole section and slew of CM there to facilitate this. Anyway, here's DD4 coloring at the Oceaneer's Club on open house night:

     

    Raspberry Bubbles

    I was Cinderella for the day!
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2007
    Great trip report! We're cruising the Eastern in October 2012 with DS who will be 2 years 8 months so I can't wait to read a cruise report with little ones ~ and yours are adorable!
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    1st day continued, cleaning and quality rugrat time still suspended.

    We filmed our entry into our huge cabin, but forgot to take pictures to specifically show the size. Too excited! :cool1: My husband insists this stateroom was bigger than our room at the Wilderness Lodge. Anyway, we didn't tell our girls that their friend was coming on the cruise too.l We just happened to be looking down at the lobby from the 4th floor, when our friends were announced! The girls were excited, but subdued. I think they were processing everything.

    It was our friend's birthday that day, so her significant other had her stateroom decorated. Here are the kid's jumping on the bed:


    I know I keep going on about the size of our stateroom, but I'm not actually a snob--it was a running joke between us and our friends comparing the size of our staterooms. You know, nothing original, just things like, "I guess you don't get a lifeboat," or when my friend was surprised that we had a doorbell on the outside of our door, my husband says, "Well, it's so we can hear visitors if we are sitting ALL the way on the other side of our room." And so forth.:rotfl2:

    Here's a pic of the sail-away party on deck 10":


    We didn't get there right on time, so space at the rail was pretty much taken up. People didn't seem to move out of the way for kids, but I didn't ask either. They had already distributed the streamers. The ship was full, so I guess my advice would be that if you are on a booked cruise and want to be a real part of this, get there early. My family didn't really feel "let down" in anyway. It was still fun. Sometimes those events are a little too long for younger kids anyway. We went back to our veranda to watch us embark:


    The kids on the bunkbed:


    We went to the show at 6:15. It was cute. The ship was really rocking and you really seem to feel it in the theater. I was kinda falling asleep in there because of it.

    Dinnner the 1st night was in Parrot Cay. You really notice the motion in here too. We even noticed this when we were eating lunch there when we docked. My one friend couldn't make it because of sea sickness, which is funny because we all thought I'd be the weak link. I took one Meclizine every 24 hours and I felt no sea sickness. My DH and DD4 didn't make it either because of sheer exhaustion. So at dinner it was me, DD7, friend # 2 and their DD6. Well, me and my girl didn't make it past drinks and left for our stateroom and my friend told me later that they got their meal to go, mostly because of fatigue and service was soooo slow.
     

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  • mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    :rotfl:Day 2. (I folded about 15 clothing items from the laundry basket and decided this was a MUCH better use of my time!:laughing:)

    Here is our 1st breakfast at Topsiders:


    It was good and the line, if there was one was manageable. Breakfast was basically the same thing everyday, with little variations, but there is only so much one can do with eggs from a carton. From meal to meal, day to day, it was difficult to tell the etiquette as far as the drinks go. Sometimes a CM got all your drinks for you and it seemed like you weren't supposed to try it yourself and then others it seemed like it was self serve with or without CM cueing depending on the moment. Only Nescafe at all locations except for Cove Cafe, which my husband frequented about once a day. A man NEEDS his cappucinos!

    Look at how much more blue this water is compared to the port. This pic is off of our veranda:


    We ordered some room service for lunch (or one of our lunches--you do eat a lot on the cruise--I gained 7lbs!:scared1:) If I am grateful to Disboards for one thing, it's the tip that you can order Mickey Bars with room service! :banana:


    Oh, a side note. I REALLY wanted to attend our Dis Cruise meet at 3:00ish. I absolutely ran out of time trying to take everything as a 1st time cruiser. I think I was trying to win free spa services at that time at Vista Spa. (I didn't :sad1:) So I hope you all had fun and I am so sorry I couldn't meet everyone, especially ALL the Canadians!)

    Our veranda:



    View lo
    oking up from our veranda:

    Our aft balcony felt kinda isolated from the rest of the ship, but in a good way.

    Formal night. Notice the 4 year old vamping a little.

    It's good that formal night is in the beginning of the cruise, 'cause I don't know if I would have comfortably fit into that dress towards the end! :rotfl: I think me "seabands" really add to the outfit, don't you?

    Day 2 to be continued...
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    Formal night was at Lumier's. Very nice atmosphere, in all the resaurants, really. At dinner, I noticed that all three were kinda loud, but nothing that I wouldn't expect from a busy ship. Again, not everyone could make it. 1 of 2 friends could not make it to dinner.





    I don't think I would have minded the late dining without children and I really liked that our shows were before dinner so that the kids could enjoy them without being totally exhausted. But, again, the time of dinner wasn't really the issue with the kids, it was the pace-Very slow. They couldn't hang on, and decided to go with the counselors when they came to pick them up for "Dine and Play." When we brought up this option to the kids before dinner they said no, but as soon as the counselors showed up and it was decision time, they had a definite "Yes." Just the walking to the front of the restaurant to meet the counselors seemed to wake them up a bit and take them out of "whiny mode." As has been posted on the Disboards, they don't make an announcement that the counselors are there for "Play and Dine," and your servers (at least ours didn't) don't look out for you to help spot them. (They are pretty busy!) You have to keep looking for the yellow shirts. Before the kids decided on the kids club, we ordered smoothies to bribe them into enjoying dinnner more, which they of course, drank little of.





    Our head server, Leann (sp) was very nice. Our beverage server seemed overwhelmed. When I showed up 5-10 minutes after everyone else due to child toileting issues and ordered a mixed drink, he literally flapped his arms with frustration and said something to the effect of "I just brought your husband a drink and now you want me to go back and get you one?!" So, I said, somewhat taken aback, that I would just have a diet Coke. That's what he brought me and I guess Disney doesn't need to make $ on overpriced drinks. Refills were slow too. After dinner, we got the kids from the club and hung out at the Promenade Lounge and danced to the duo called "Midtown." I just loved them in a "Swingers" (the movie) kinda way.




    I think the kids and I got ready for bed around 11ish and huband wandered the ship a little. He said that standing on deck 10 (observation deck?) was a little disarming because it is totally dark up there at night, no artificial lights nearby.

    We didn't see "Villains Tonight" that day, because my kids can't even handle the scary parts of "Snow White," so I wasn't even chancing it. We didn't see a lot of the shows, and felt ok about it because there is so much else to do.


    Day 3--another Sea Day

    We had breakfast at Topsiders, or my husband went up and got us a bunch of food and brought it to the room. Some of these facts/events blend into eachother!:) We decided to go to the Princess Gathering. Well, we decided not quick enough--the line was all the way from the lobby to the Promenade lounge. Our ship was full, so I expected this sort of thing. Everytime you think about bailing and just leaving, you keep saying to yourself that you had already invested such and such time, what's a little more? Then a few minutes later you consider leaving again, but you stay, cause who doesn't like to meet the Disney characters?:cheer2: When we got towards the front of the line, Peter Pan showed up kinda workin the line. Then a sub-line formed for him! I had a pedicure appt at the spa, so hubby took over Princess-meeting duties so I could make it on time. We let the kids look out the window, while we held our spot.


    4 year old posing hard again:





    I found the family eating some burgers and such by the Goofy Pool. I think this is the day my DD7 was the first to spot a whale in the distance. I have video of it, but it barely discernable, so a little boring. I'll spare everyone. (We also saw dolphins swimming when we were leaving Port Canaveral.)



    The girls enjoyed sitting up here to watch the show on the Goofy stage, until the little girl next to them fell onto the floor HARD. The CMs told us no more dangerous sitting. DH. who was opposed to them being up there in the first place, didn't have to say "Told you so." Sigh.



    We checked the kids into the club in the pm for our beer tasting at 2:00 (I think). This was great for me, because my one friend doesn't really like beer, so I got to "taste" all of hers.:banana:




    The price was $15 a person and you registered at Guest Services to get tickets. It was fun, but a little stiff. Seemed a little too much like school. Plus, they didn't have any munchies! We all found this odd that the bars only had snacks at certain designated times. I think Disney would increase their profit margin if they just had some pretzels or something in the bars. One funny thing--my husband insists that the CM teaching us about beers was mispronouncing nitrogen and was saying Nie-trojan. He kept giggling. I had to remind him that he was now a 40 year old man. I'm just sayin...:love:

    Deck 10(?) and a beer

     

    nikapluto

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2007
    Here's a pic of the sail-away party on deck 10":


    We didn't get there right on time, so space at the rail was pretty much taken up. People didn't seem to move out of the way for kids, but I didn't ask either. They had already distributed the streamers. The ship was full, so I guess my advice would be that if you are on a booked cruise and want to be a real part of this, get there early. My family didn't really feel "let down" in anyway. It was still fun. Sometimes those events are a little too long for younger kids anyway. We went back to our veranda to watch us embark:
    Hey there!
    We were on the same cruise, and if I am not mistaken it looks like we basically stood next to eachother for the sailaway party! We had the same problem with people not moving. In fact there was a boy near us sitting with his legs all the way across so others couldn't stand there. Can't wait to read more!
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    princess:Royalvizier and nikapluto: Thanks for taking the time to read my musings. I spent some arts and crafts time with the kids, tried to shovel a little bit (that's some heavy-fort-makin-snow!), and put a little laundry away. Now it's time to be irresponsible again. :banana:

    Some of my pictures for the rest of the trip report may be off a bit, because the date on the camera doesn't seem right all the time. I think trying to recall all of this is a good way to prevent worsening of my dementia! I think the 3rd or 4th night they showed a first run movie in the theater, "Gnomeo and Juliet." It was cute, but I was fine when my 4 year old wanted to leave 1/2 way through. We hung out in the lobby by the Preludes bar and perused the gift shops. Princess Minnie outside of the theater by Preludes:




    This seemed a good place to see characters and less of a line, but that could have just been my individual experience. At one point, we were walking down a hall and Cinderella was turning the corner, obviously leaving a character meet-n-greet. She must of heard us saying to the girls, "She has to go back to the castle," because all of the sudden, she turned back around and spent time with the girls to talk. :cheer2: That was so nice of her. She didn't have to and I don't know how many people would because we weren't really sounding whiny or really disappointed and we really just saw the back of her as she was walking away--she's just a princess that is good to her subjects.

    Our dinner that night was at Animator's Palatte. (I swear I don't know how to spell anything anymore. I had to call my husband to see if Goofy was spelled with just a "y" or "ey".:eek:) We all made it-barely. Again, service nice from Leann, so-so from our beverage server and the food came out slow. I asked for just plain romaine lettuce and dressing on the side for my 7 year old because she has had some GI issues and sometimes her tummy can't handle all that heavy food. This came out about 2 minutes before they came for "Dine and Play." Also, everytime we aksed for "dressing on the side," it really seemed to cause problems. Our beverage server seemed put out that he assumed all the kids wanted chocolate milk and had put them on the table and none of them did. Mind you, we didn't order this way at the other 2 meals, but whatever. Now, I know it seems like we were irritated, but we weren't. We were rolling with it. I am giving all these details leading up to something that happened later in the trip. We told both servers that we might not go to anymore of the meals at the assigned restaurants. We explained that it was too much for the kids and assured them that we liked the meals just fine. I would also like to point out, that we have already established a history of everyone not consistently attending these meals.



    This is what my husband got, I don't remember what it was but he loved it!



    [I got some sort of beef dish. It was also wonderful. Everytime I ordered some cut of beef, it was always very tender.




    Our room when we returned:



    Oh, yeah, at the kids club that night, we could not get them out of there till after 11pm-ish. I think this was the night they had "gender wars," where all the boys stayed in the club and all the girls went to the lab. Oh my goodness, were my girls in girlie-girl heaven! princess: They had makeup stations, they painted nails, they made jewelry, they got temporary tattoos, they got to color pillow cases with fabric markers etc. Even though it was scratchy because it needed to be washed, my oldest insisted putting that case on her pillow that night.




    I think that is it for Day 3.
     
  • mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    Day 4. St. Maarten! :cheer2:

    Getting off the ship was a breeze. I'm probably gonna only post far away pictures of myself, 'cause the hair situation was not good that day. Those room hair dryers might be awesome because they look like vacuums, but they are not condusive to a good-do.



    The Magic next to the Epic, I think. Man that Epic ship is ugly from the back. And the size! Really, is that necessary? I think Norwegian has some sort of complex that they are compensating for. I'm just sayin...;)




    You can't tell from the photo, but we saw a double rainbow. YES!!! a DOUBLE RAINBOW! What does it meeean?!;)



    We did Bernard's tours. It was somewhat cloudy in the beginning of the day, but still beautiful and just kept getting more beautifuller. After a few scenic stops we had a 2-some hour stop at Orient beach.



    So, yeah, we get off the bus and my husband says, "let's go to the right it's less crowded." So we pay our $5 to the guy walking on the beach and settle in and notice, not only is it less crowded, it has less clothing. :scared1: Yes, we ended up on the clothing optional side. It was no big deal, we just warned the kids. They said later they noticed "a little." They were so excited by the beautiful waves rolling in and the warm sun it didn't phase them a bit. We decided that we were NOT uptight Americans and stayed put. Also, there was no way I was gonna relocate, after I was all set up--I've only got so much energy, ya know?





    After Orient Beach, the tour stopped at Maho Beach. My DH was in heaven, because he is an aerospace engineer and works on the landing gear on most of these planes, so he was excited!:banana: (Total geek, right?)



    This wasn't the impressive shot. My husband and one friend walked further down the beach to wait for another plane. They were so excited when a 747 went over them. Doesn't get bigger than that! Unfortunately, that's all on video, so no pic.
    The waves at the beach were really big, so the kids (non-swimmers--we're working on it) couldn't play safely on the beach close to the water. Plus, there was really no time.

     

    RoyalVizier

    <font color=purple>I'm sorry... I'm a gutless flip
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2006
    The Magic next to the Epic, I think. Man that Epic ship is ugly from the back.
    We thought the same thing! It's such a boxy design and the back is totally flat with that fin down at the water. Mind you, I am not dissing the ship at all, but I am all for the classic design of DCL.

    Glad you had a good day on St. Maarten. While you all were chilling at the beach we were hiking 1400 feet down a mountain!
    :scared1:
     

    RockingTiggers

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2011
    We checked the kids into the club in the pm for our beer tasting at 2:00 (I think). This was great for me, because my one friend doesn't really like beer, so I got to "taste" all of hers.:banana:

    The price was $15 a person and you registered at Guest Services to get tickets.
    How many beers did $15 get you looks like full glasses of each

    Thanks
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    If so can you post copies of them. Thanks

    great review so far

    Thanks! I started to gather pristine copies of the Navigators (mine, I kept folding and unfolding to check 'em), but then I got less diligent with it. At some point, I'll have DH help me scan them in so I can upload them. The recent Navigators online really kinda jived with ours, with obvious exceptions to the 1st run movies and such. While your waiting here is the link to the most recent Navigators:

    http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/cruise-new/cr-stateroom-navigator.htm
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    We thought the same thing! It's such a boxy design and the back is totally flat with that fin down at the water. Mind you, I am not dissing the ship at all, but I am all for the classic design of DCL.

    Glad you had a good day on St. Maarten. While you all were chilling at the beach we were hiking 1400 feet down a mountain!
    :scared1:
    How intense was that hike? Is it something older kids could do, 'cause you know I'm already planning on the Eastern again, but maybe in a few years. Haven't told DH yet.

    I know what your saying about "not dissing the ship." It's not like I built the Magic or anything, but I felt a strangely proud of how pretty she was!
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    How many beers did $15 get you looks like full glasses of each

    Thanks
    You get 5 beers of predetermined types--Stella Artois, Sam Adams of some sort, Guinness, Newcastle Brown Ale and another I can not think of. Those aren't full size glasses but they were filled all the way. As I stated, it is especially helpful when your friend does not actually like beer--I was quite sated. :thumbsup2
     

    lornak

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2000
    Glad you had a good day on St. Maarten. While you all were chilling at the beach we were hiking 1400 feet down a mountain!
    :scared1:
    Not trying to hijack this thread but I have to find out if we were on the same excursion.... Downhill Mt trek? We met at 12:45 in Sessions?? I did the hike with my friend and I have to say that it was the LOW POINT of my entire cruise!!! It is safe to say that I will not be doing that again!!! :rotfl:
     

    mrbudyhed

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2008
    Where was I? I think I left off at returning to the ship. That night was pirate night so all the characters were dressed accordingly:



    We ate at Topsiders that night for dinner. Their dinner hours are 6:00pmish to 8:30ish. You can go whenver you want. It is still a sit down meal, but more laid back and with less choices for the entrees. I loved eating here. The servers were sooo nice, not to pushy, just the right amount of attentive. They gave the kids cute attention, but not too over the top. It felt very comfortable. The food was great! I think this was the night I ordered 2 entrees. I wanted the beef dish, but I wanted to try the Lobster macaroni. I was told that I could not have just a little portion of it, that i would have to order 2 entrees; I did. It was really funny--When they get ready for the entree portion of your meal they bring out new silverware out for you. So I got two sets of silverware at that point. 1 fork to the right of my plate (or whatever side it goes on) and 1 knife on the other. Then our server put 1 fork above my plate and another knife somewhere nearby to it. There is nooo way to hide the fact that you are about to gorge. I loved the beef. The Lobster Macaroni deal was ok. It was rigatoni noodles with alfredo sauce and seafood bits placed on top. I thought it was gonna be stuffed rigatonis with some sort of lobster stuffing type stuff. The option of the salad bar was perfect for my kids. They could get their plain lettuce with ranch dressing on the side and small amounts of baked chicken.

    The kids did a little line dancing at the Promenade Lounge while the parents did some sitting:



    Pirate Chip and Dale showed up to line dance with the kids:



    This is the way character interactions should be--more about interacting with the kids in a group instead of lining up in a queue. Don't get me wrong, I've waited in many a line for many a character, but this seemed a little more "organic."

    DD 7 was having a tummy issue/nausea combo, so only DH and DD4 went to pirate night. This is DD 4 getting her pirate on:




    Even though she looked the part, she could not make it until the fireworks, so she came to our room and was in bed just like her sister. We watched the fireworks right off of our veranda. When we told the girls that they were going off, the exhausted 4 year old informed us that she "has already seen fireworks on the 4th of July." We, the parents, are apparently not as world-weary as the offspring so we enjoyed a perfect view of the 'works. We just had to face ourselves to the left. (When looking towards the back of the ship.)



    The video is more impressive.



    Day 5: St. Thomas

    We decided weeks before even getting on the boat that we were going to "wing" St. Thomas. The idea of tendering was overwhelming me a little, with my history of seasickness and the time management with the extra steps that it entails. So the night before, with my eldest being sick and it being such a long wonderful day at St. Maarten we decided to let the kids sleep in as long as possible and not even get off the boat. The island looked even more beautiful than St. Maarten, but we were so glad we decided the way we did. We'll just have to plan another trip to see it! :yay:
    They were resurfacing the public deck right next to our cabin, which we didn't hear too much of the other days. This day, they probably assumed we'd be off the ship because we heard more hammering and mechanical standing sounds this day, but it didn't bother us.



    Here's DD 7 feeling much better, and that Epic again.



    My husband really got a kick out of watching the Carnival Glory squeeze in between us:



    Here is DD 4 with a pirate hangover:



    The family played a little shuffleboard on deck 4. I'll never make fun of my Florida-based retiree family members again. Those pucks are hard to move! :thumbsup2



    Waving goodbye to the Epic from our veranda:





    We stopped by the professional picture taking spot to get a picture with Goofy and his nephew Max. My eldest asked very sweetly if she could please have a picture WITHOUT her little sister for her autograph book. So, this was my attempt:



    Poor kid. Mom tried.
     




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