I Love the Little Fishies. Don't You?

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Loving all of the character photos, so cute! :thumbsup2

Your jewelry is very pretty, fun and festive!
There are many more to come both in terms of jewellery and character photos. We had some very special photo opportunities on this cruise and I had some amazing character interactions.

Corinna, I absolutely adore your pink dress, it is gorgeous.

You have no idea how unbelievably excited I am to be taking this cruise next year but, until then, I will be living vicariously through your trip report. It sounds as though the Port of Miami is a little disorganised and I am sure it probably doesn't make for the magical start to a cruise vacation that Port Canaveral does, however I still got excited when I read about you boarding and could picture you in all the places you were describing.

I know you mentioned that you board on Deck 4 - does that mean they don't announce you onto the ship? I must be the only person who actually doesn't like that bit, as I hate the thought of people looking at me as we're walking on and always think I will trip over or something.

I can't wait for your next update.
I have that dress in three different colours and love it. I got it in red for our December cruise last year and liked it so much that I got it in two different colours as well.

I actually quite like the Port of Miami. We have sailed out of Port Canaveral, Galveston, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Miami and Miami is my second favourite after Port Canaveral. It was a different experience in December, but with there being so many Platinum members on this cruise who did not need a port arrival time, it got a little congested. You are in for a real treat with that cruise.

Yes, you enter on deck 4 midship, but they still announce you.

Enjoying your report. Did you make the door spotter yourself? We won't be doing the FE on the EBTA next year (to save more space for clothes) but I don't want my hook to be bare - something like that would be perfect.

I mistakenly thought you'd booked the EBTA - hopefully you'll be able to pick up a deal nearer the time :)
No, I got the door spotter from Gradysmommy on Etsy as a custom order.

I really hoped that I would have booked the EBTA by now. At opening day pricing, it was well within our budget and I wanted to email our travel agent to book this for us. Unfortunately we decided to wait until we were on the Wonder and by then the price had doubled. I am not giving up on this yet though. We been in this kind of situation before and plan A always came through in the end.

Corinna
 

PrincessInOz

Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Lovely dress and jewellery. You look great in it.


Nice first day on board. Shame that the decorations didn't stick; but you got to enjoy them on the inside. Looks like you're racking up the character pictures. :thumbsup2
 

tiggrbaby

<font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
I like:

  • your boarding shirts
  • your magnets (even if they didn't stick!)
  • your dress
  • your jewelry
Looks like a great first day!
 
  • jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    What a fabulous first day on the ship. I think I would be too excited to take a nap...that being said many many years ago I sailed on NCL with a boyfriend. We flew that morning and it was such a long day that after we set sail we took a nap...and woke long after the dining room had closed. :rotfl2:

    I am glad you found your shirt. I always worry about things selling out too.

    Now I am in the mood for cruising again...of course..when am I not? LOL
     

    Tink2312

    <font color=magenta>I didn't ask to be a princess
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2007
    No, I got the door spotter from Gradysmommy on Etsy as a custom order. I really hoped that I would have booked the EBTA by now. At opening day pricing, it was well within our budget and I wanted to email our travel agent to book this for us. Unfortunately we decided to wait until we were on the Wonder and by then the price had doubled. I am not giving up on this yet though. We been in this kind of situation before and plan A always came through in the end. Corinna
    Thanks, I'm going to pop over and have a look at those.

    As for the EBTA, hopefully some pixie dust will come through for you ;)
     

    DH of dolphingirl47

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2008
    I know you mentioned that you board on Deck 4 - does that mean they don't announce you onto the ship? I must be the only person who actually doesn't like that bit, as I hate the thought of people looking at me as we're walking on and always think I will trip over or something.

    .
    No, there are at least 2 of us who would rather climb a mooring rope to get on the ship or sneak in with the luggage than go through the whole announcing thing.

    I also think the safety drill is more for show than useful, If I am standing on deck 9 and something (god forbid) did go wrong there aint no way I am going back to my cabin to get a life jacket (7 decks below) and then going to the theatre on deck 4(only two exits) to wait for orders.

    No funnels of course but I thought the view from the hotel window quite pleasant. Fortunately it was not a Grackle roost.

     
  • wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    No, there are at least 2 of us who would rather climb a mooring rope to get on the ship or sneak in with the luggage than go through the whole announcing thing.

    I also think the safety drill is more for show than useful, If I am standing on deck 9 and something (god forbid) did go wrong there aint no way I am going back to my cabin to get a life jacket (7 decks below) and then going to the theatre on deck 4(only two exits) to wait for orders.
    Graham, I am glad I'm not alone. And, for what it's worth, I agree with you on the safety drill.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Lovely dress and jewellery. You look great in it.


    Nice first day on board. Shame that the decorations didn't stick; but you got to enjoy them on the inside. Looks like you're racking up the character pictures. :thumbsup2
    Thanks. I was a little fed up that the magnets did not stick, but in the grander scheme of things, it really did not matter. This cruise was a major character fest. I ended up with over 400 photos on my photo CD. Not all of them were character photos, but a lot were.

    I like:

    • your boarding shirts
    • your magnets (even if they didn't stick!)
    • your dress
    • your jewelry
    Looks like a great first day!
    I love those boarding t-shirts and I actually wore mine to work on Friday. Lexa, if you you are reading along, thank you so much again. We had a ton of people asking us were we got the shirts from.

    What a fabulous first day on the ship. I think I would be too excited to take a nap...that being said many many years ago I sailed on NCL with a boyfriend. We flew that morning and it was such a long day that after we set sail we took a nap...and woke long after the dining room had closed. :rotfl2:

    I am glad you found your shirt. I always worry about things selling out too.

    Now I am in the mood for cruising again...of course..when am I not? LOL
    This was the first ever time I had a nap on embarkation day, but we just hit a wall. I also knew that I would have more than enough time to enjoy the ship during this cruise.

    I am definitely in the mood for cruising, too. Still, at the moment we have no concrete plans on when the next one will be.

    Thanks, I'm going to pop over and have a look at those.

    As for the EBTA, hopefully some pixie dust will come through for you ;)
    I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed for some major Pixie Dust. People at work have been teasing me about this as we had three cruises now that I really had my heart set on and it looked like they were not going to happen and then all fell into place. Let's hope it will work again with the EBTA.

    Glad your journey turned out ok in the end. :goodvibes
    Fab character pics :)
    Welcome on board. There are some really amazing character photos to come.

    Corinna
     

    PJB71

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2009
    No, there are at least 2 of us who would rather climb a mooring rope to get on the ship or sneak in with the luggage than go through the whole announcing thing.

    I also think the safety drill is more for show than useful, If I am standing on deck 9 and something (god forbid) did go wrong there aint no way I am going back to my cabin to get a life jacket (7 decks below) and then going to the theatre on deck 4(only two exits) to wait for orders.

    No funnels of course but I thought the view from the hotel window quite pleasant. Fortunately it was not a Grackle roost.

    Haha I had to do a double take Graham when I noticed your post, thought Corinna had got her name wrong :rotfl2:

    I'm another that hates the announcement onboard and cringe with embarrassment :scared1:

    Look forward to your posts :thumbsup2
     

    PJB71

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2009
    Some fantastic character pictures Corinna :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I loooove your jewellery :love::love: I bet you get so much use out of it as it looks as though it will go with so many things :thumbsup2

    Really looking forward to the next update :surfweb:
     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Haha I had to do a double take Graham when I noticed your post, thought Corinna had got her name wrong :rotfl2:

    I'm another that hates the announcement onboard and cringe with embarrassment :scared1:

    Look forward to your posts :thumbsup2
    I was very surprised when I realised that I have a sidekick this time round. It is great having Graham chime in though.

    Some fantastic character pictures Corinna :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I loooove your jewellery :love::love: I bet you get so much use out of it as it looks as though it will go with so many things :thumbsup2

    Really looking forward to the next update :surfweb:
    I do love all the jewellery and have worn it plenty since coming back home.

    Next update coming up.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 3

    I was awake at about 4:00AM, but managed to go back to sleep after a little while. We both woke up just before 6:00AM. We got up and got ready. I packed our bag with the stuff that we needed for our excursion. We then decided to go up to deck 9 to get something to drink and to pick up some towels. It was raining, which did not fill me with joy. Still, for the most part we would be in the water anyway so it did not matter too much if it was wet. Of course this threw the first part of the plan in doubt. As we were heading to the drink station, I noticed that Goofy’s Galley was open and serving breakfast. We decided that we may as well have a bite to eat as they were still tying up the ship anyway. Graham had a Cinnamon and Raisin Swirl, a Pineapple Pinwheel and a Banana. I had a slice of Cheese Lattice and a slice of Cherry Lattice. I was delighted when I spotted some Mango Mountain Hike Smoothies that are normally only available at Triton’s. So I had one of those, too. It was a bit thicker than at Triton’s, but that made it even more delicious.

    After breakfast, we took the towels back to the cabin and I put them in our bag. We grabbed our cameras and decided to check if there was indication yet where the gangway would be. There was no sign on our deck so we walked up to deck 3. It turned out that they only had the aft gangway on deck 1 open. We made our way there and fortunately even though we had not had the announcement that the ship had been cleared, they let people off. We touched our Key to the World cards against the reader and we were on our way. Fortunately it had stopped raining by then. Pretty much as soon as we were off the ship, we saw a kiosk for Fury Water Adventures. We had booked our excursion through this company. When we were having breakfast, we saw a catamaran in their colours moored right across the ship. In the instructions, it had mentioned that they are based in the marina for the Westin resort. However, I could not see any evidence of this resort. So we decided to ask at the kiosk if we were in the right place before heading out. We were and she offered to give us our tickets there and then, but I had left our bag with the voucher back in the cabin, as I did not want to carry this around Key West. She asked us to be back at 9:15 and we were on our way.

    We had booked a morning excursion. Originally we had planned to go back to the ship for lunch after the excursion and then walk to the Southernmost Point after lunch. Graham suggested that as we would be awake at the crack of dawn anyway, we should do our walk before the excursion. This sounded like a good idea especially when I heard that later in the day, there would be wall-to-wall people there. So we set off. I had printed off a map and directions, but my chief navigator headed off. This turned out to be a more scenic walk than the one Google Maps had in mind. We ended up cutting through the Little White House complex. We ended up on Duval Street, which runs parallel to the street we were meant to be one. However, it looked like we could just cut across at the end of the road. The map did not quite match what we were seeing, but we figured out how to get to the right place soon enough. We were the only people at the Southernmost Point and we could take photos at our leisure. It was then time to head back and this time round we followed the instructions in reverse. For the most part this was quite straightforward and we make good progress even though we stopped every now and again to take some photos. It only came apart when we arrived where the instructions ended and there was no ship in sight. Instead we seem to have ended up at some sports marina. As it was by then getting close to the time we were supposed to check in and we had to get our stuff from the cabin, Graham decided to go for a run back to the ship. He left me his stuff and advised that I am to keep looking right until I saw the ship. Well, I ran out of road before I saw the ship. I did however spot a fountain that I had taken a photo of earlier, which was part of the Little White House complex. I spotted some other landmarks that I recognized as well and made my way back to the ship. I was nearly back at the port when I finally saw the Wonder.















































    I did get back to the Fury Water Adventures kiosk with about 5 minutes or so to spare before we were supposed to check in. I was a little worried if Graham had made it to the ship in time, as it was not that obvious where he needed to go. I did not have to worry as he arrived shortly afterwards. We went up to the kiosk to ask if we could check in and were directed to a shop that was nearby. We were quickly checked in and given our tickets and were then directed to a meeting point where we were asked to wait. When I checked for excursions in Key West shortly after we booked, there was nothing that took our fancy. That is why we booked directly with the company. So I was very surprised when there was an excursion group from the ship heading towards the catamaran. There were a number of people waiting at the meeting point, but nobody seemed to come for us so we followed the group from the Wonder. We were in the right place. They took our tickets and told us to pick up our equipment. We had our own snorkel equipment so we just picked up a life vest and then went to find a seat. Once everybody was on board, we set sail. Our captain got into a bit of bother with the Coast Guard. There was some kind of paddle boarding competition going on and he maneuvered us straight through the middle of this. I am not quite sure where else he could have gone. We were offered soft drinks and then we got a briefing on what to expect and some rules. We were advised that the water conditions and visibility at the dive site looked good. Oh, if only this had been the case.

    As we were approaching the dive site, we were told to get geared up. We were given two options to get into the water: to jump off the side or to go down the staircase on our backsides. The only way back up was on our backsides via the staircase. Graham did not need any encouragement to jump in. I took a bit longer to get the courage. I was definitely not going to jump off the side. The last time I had jumped off the side of a boat in Hawaii, I ended up swallowing a lot of water and that was only from the side of a Zodiac, which is much closer to the water. There was no way I would jump off the side of the catamaran. The staircase looked none too tempting either, but I had looked forward to this so much and eventually I got my courage to make my way down the staircase. The sea was very rough. I am not a quick swimmer, but I am a fairly strong one and usually can hold my own against a significant current and some biggish waves. So turning into a toy for the ocean was quite a disconcerting experience especially as the sea had not looked or felt that rough from the boat. When a member of the crew noticed that I was thrown about a fair bit, he came to my rescue and told me to hang onto a rope that was spanned across the stern of the boat. The water was a lovely temperature and up to a point, it was great fun bobbing around in the waves while hanging on to the rope. The waves became a little too big for my liking. Graham noticed that I was struggling and signaled one of the crew to help me. We made the way back to the staircase and on the second attempt; I managed to sit down on the furthest step that I could reach. I managed to shuffle up two steps and then a massive wave swept me right off the staircase. It was a minor miracle that I did not swallow any water. I surfaced and the crewmember checked that I was OK. I joked that I normally bounce pretty well. After taking a deep breath, I had another go and this time I managed to get back on boat with no further problems. I was a little shaken up, but settled down soon enough.

    Graham came back on the boat not long after this and soon afterwards everybody was back on board. They have a novel way of making sure that they have everybody. We were asked to stand up and hold on to one of the railings of the boat while two crewmembers did a head count. Obviously their figures did not agree, as they had to do it again. Eventually we were on the way back. We were offered beer and wine as well as soft drinks. I had some wine and Graham had a beer. They were then asking for volunteers to help putting the sail up. Graham was very quick to volunteer. He got another beer for his efforts. We sailed back to port. Time flew and soon we were back. We said goodbye to the crew and then walked the few steps back to the ship.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    When we got back to the ship, we dropped off our stuff in the cabin and got changed. We then checked what our options for lunch were. We had the choice between Triton’s and Beach Blanket Buffet and decided on Triton’s. Graham had Carrot and Ginger Soup followed by a Bacon and Cheddar Chuck Burger with Fries and Coleslaw. I had Vegetable Quesadillas with Sour Cream, Guacamole and Pico de Gallo as my starter and Glazed Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Carrots for my main course. Lunch was very pleasant. I had to laugh though. They were actually brave enough to serve Key Lime Pie for dessert while we were docked in Key West. We passed on dessert as we had plans to have dessert in port.

    Apart from our excursion, there were two things that I wanted to do in Key West: take photos of the Southernmost Point and have some Key Lime Pie. We were in Key West once before in 2009 and had some great Key Lime Pie in a shop called the Blonde Giraffe. When I looked for the address and directions before this trip, I found out that they no longer operate out of Key West, but have moved to Tennessee. People I know recommended Kermit’s Key Lime Pie. I had printed off directions to their closest location from the port. When we checked in for our excursion in the morning, I had spotted that there was a shop right opposite the ship that sold Kermit’s Key Lime Pie. So we decided to head just over there. I think that if we had to walk much further, we would not have got our Key Lime Pie that day as we were both pretty exhausted. I am most certainly glad that we decided to walk to the Southernmost Point first thing in the morning. We would not have walked there in the afternoon. Graham had a slice of the normal Key Lime Pie and I had a slice of chocolate-covered Key Lime Pie on a stick. We both agreed that it was quite nice, but not by a long stretch the best we had and not worth the inflated tourist prices. Still, we were glad that we tried it. Once we finished our Key Lime Pies, we took a few photos and headed back to the ship.







    At that stage I felt quite sore and sorry for myself. We were both pretty tired and decided to have a nap. We set the Mickey in time for us leaving port. Then we settled down and went to sleep. I woke up just before Mickey called and we got up. Graham decided to do Walk a Mile, but I still felt quite sore and decided to sit this out. I just chilled out in the cabin and at one stage headed up to deck 9 to get some Coke and water. I then went to the atrium for the first character set. I could not believe just how quiet the character lines were. I managed to see Minnie and Pluto in quick succession. I even had time to have some portraits done with the white backdrop and the sunset backdrop. Then it was time to see Donald and Goofy. I had very little waiting time and I had a really magical interaction with both of them.































     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Once I was finished with Donald and Goofy, I went back to the cabin to get ready for dinner. I decided that I fancied a shower up in the spa. So I headed up there. It was nice to have more room to move around in the shower and the waterfall showerhead was a nice treat, too. I then headed back to the cabin to finish getting ready. Graham had arrived back in the cabin and we arranged to meet in the atrium later. I still had a bit of time so I checked out my photos. The photos from the previous day had been added to the kiosk, but had not made their way to the folder yet. I then headed back toward the atrium to see Chip and Dale. They took a bit of a shine to me and communicated that they wanted to take me out to dinner. Their escort asked them where they were going to take me and went through all the different options. In the end he established that they wanted to take me to Palo. Unfortunately I had a prior engagement and had to take a rain check. I then went downstairs and went to see Donald and had a lot of fun with him, too. Graham had arrived by then and I spent a bit of time chatting with him before heading back to meet Daisy.













    Close ups of that night’s jewellery (photos courtesy of www.wyrrdingstudios.com):





    The lines for the portraits were not very long so we decided to get this done before dinner. This meant that I missed Captain Mickey, but I already had plenty of photos with him. Once we had our photos taken, we headed towards Parrot Cay. The line was again quite long so we sat down in the Promenade Lounge and watched the world go down for a while. Once the crowds started to go down, we headed towards the restaurant.

















    We had a bit of a surprise. We had two different people at the table. They were a mother and daughter from Southern California. We knew that there were two people missing the previous night and I thought that it was them, but they advised that they had been directed to a different table the previous day. The two couples we had sat with the day before where now at the table they should have been at all along. Dinner that night was a little awkward. For the most part, our tablemates spoke to each other and Graham and I spoke to each other. I felt oddly lost.

    Dinner was still nice though. The menu that night was Taste of the Caribbean. Graham ended up with Conch Fritters, Seafood Soup and Delmonico Steak with Broccoli and Sweet Potato. I had Jerk Pulled Pork and Mango Chutney Flatbread; Chilled Pineapple and Aged Rum Soup with a Coconut Crouton and Fried Veal Parcel filled with Ham, Provolone and Pineapple, Asparagus, Roast Potatoes with Roasted Onions. We both enjoyed dinner, but Graham realized that he does not really like Sweet Potato. We passed on dessert and left after the main course.

    We headed back to our cabin and I took a quick photo of our towel animal. I then left Graham to it as Mickey and Pluto were out together and I wanted to catch them. I was lucky and Minnie was still out when I got back to the atrium so I had another photo with her and then got straight back in line for Mickey and Pluto. They came out shortly afterwards and I was near the front of the line so I did not have long to wait. It was great seeing them together. Once I had said goodnight to them, I headed back to the cabin and got ready for bed.










     

    tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    Sorry your snorkel trip was so rough! We went to Kermit's last time as well sine the Blond Giraffe had closed. I like my MIL's pie recipe the best, but enjoy the frozen one there. Love the formal pic outfits!:thumbsup2
     

    rentayenta

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2007
    I'm am really enjoying your character photos. :thumbsup2 That is something we did not do on our first cruise. I need to remedy that on the next.

    Your purple dress is lovely and I love the couple's pics. Graham's vest is fab too.
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    I'm glad you got to your excursion meeting place in time, that would have stressed me out! Also glad you did your walk early rather than later.

    Sorry the seas were a bit rough, were you able to snorkel at all or just enjoy the ocean?

    How bizarre about your tablemates. I'm now wondering if you went with your plan of BBB later in the trip.
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    First of all: Hi Graham! I had no idea that you were a DISer, too! It's great to get your additional perspective!

    Then: What a great update!! Wow! :thumbsup2 When you were going to the Southermost Point we were still fast asleep. I remember heading up on deck that morning and everything was very wet. I thought it must have been rain, so thanks for confirming this!

    I am so angry with myself that I never tried that Mango morning smoothie until the last sea day when I had breakfast at Tritons. Now I know to search it out. It is soooo good!

    I remember meeting you later that day and you told us that you had trouble on the excursion with the water. What a shame! We snorkeled last year in Cozumel and this year in Cabo and I have to say that I really love those snorkeling excursions! And I enjoy jumping into the water from the side of the catameran. But then when I was a kid I trained for some time with the diving department of our local swim club (never got far as we moved away). :goodvibes

    I know what you mean about how easy it was to get pictures! Especially in the first days Michael and I ended up getting so many pictures (he got tired of it after a few days...) because it was really no effort at all!

    Sorry about your table mates confusion! And how sad that your new table mates did not make any effort to conversation. I hope that that improved over the course of the cruise!
     

    DH of dolphingirl47

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2008
    First of all: Hi Graham! I had no idea that you were a DISer, too! It's great to get your additional perspective!
    Very occasional visitor but might well chip into this from time to time and I shall go and find your trip report soonish.

    Bird of the day has to be the chickens



    The yellow throated warbler was good, (not my picture)



    and every sea bird you can possibly imagine including I think both species of Pelican



    Species count for the day 16 taking the overal total for the trip so far to 18. I am not going to count the little yellow warblers that were around the ship, could not figure out what they were.

    It was nice to get a swim in the sea even if snorkelling was dificult, I did manage it but trying to use the camera as well too tricky. Would certainly try the excursion again given the chance.

    I reckon the wave that got Corinna was between 5 and 7 feet, I can swim over a wave of 5 feet if I see it coming, this one I did see coming but still had to swim through it. Good Fun
     



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