The Seas are full of WONDER and waves! Our first Disney Cruise - 7-night Eastern Caribbean; Feb 2018

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by TheMaxRebo, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Glad it was a nice dinner! The PP pics came out really nice :)

    Awesome that you could still see the fireworks from your room! A private viewing!
     
  2. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Tiana's place looks awesome! I have this bad habit of getting sucked into New Orleans style menus and thinking it all sounds delicious, but it's never the same as eating the same foods in New Orleans. However, I could get behind pretty much every one of those desserts! I LOVE Doberge cake!! But those beignets definitely need A LOT more powdered sugar!!

    Poor Emma. I definitely appreciate you sharing how she did with the whole experience since Delilah will be about that age when we go on our cruise. I'm sure it is a lot for the little ones! She's already not a great napper, but I was already thinking I'd have to force naps at least a few times throughout the week.

    I'm so looking forward to fireworks on our cruise!! Sucks you didn't get to see them with the rest of the family, but pretty awesome that you could see them from your room at least.
     
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  4. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Dinner was really good - I love the concept of it and would love for them to bring something like this to WDW (maybe at Port Orleans?)

    Definitely the week was catching up to Emma - I am very glad I got to see the fireworks from the veranda though so I got a unique experience out of it


    Thank you! Definitely enjoyed that dinner and Tiana's in general

    haha, yeah, I'll take a private fireworks viewing any day! Actually I could see out over the railing and at least a few other staterooms had people out watching as well


    We've only been to New Orleans once and I am not going to say this is as good as real New Orleans food but it was generally along the lines of being fairly authentic and pretty solid overall. The look and feel of the place was a great though (maybe a bit cleaner than the real Bourbon Street ;) )

    Yeah, it's tough, as Emma wanted to keep up with the older two the beginning of the week and the shows keep them out late, etc. I probably overdid it with the planning of character meets and stuff the beginning of the cruise. It's hard though to just "take it easy" as you want to get your money's worth and get in all the things they offer! I think forcing a few naps would be good and trying to get them to bed on the early side - at least some nights - will help. Easier said than done when you are in the moment!

    Fireworks on a cruise ship is just amazing being in the middle of the ocean and everything! I am so glad I was able to see them from the veranda!
     
  5. lovingeire

    lovingeire DIS Veteran

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    Oh wow! I had fallen very behind in reading your report, but I am finally all caught up! (Kind of got wrapped up in a quick weekend getaway to see NPH for the CP and celebrate my birthday...and convinced my hubby to accompany me so Had to book some last minute ADRs!) But I digress! Pirate night looks amazing! I did it once before, but didn't have my kiddos with me so I can't wait to experience it with them. I think I will look for costumes after Halloween this year as I've seen that recommended a few times. I mentioned matching shirts with costume elements, which my parents liked, but my husband and middle son are more committed to being in full pirate regalia!

    The Viking cruise looks amazing! My in-laws have been talking about one and I may have to send them to read your report. (Although they likely won't do Italy as they are spending two weeks there in October.) . But they are interested in Viking. I know there was a large contingient of Disers, but was the crowd quite a bit older. I feel like the commercials always show "older" couples and not "mid-lifers" (did I even just use that term for myself even though I haven't hit that marker yet?????/) so what did you think of the make up of guests on the ship?

    Beignets are always a good idea. I'd be hard pressed to turn down White Chocolate Bread Pudding as it's one of my favorites, but that sundae sounds good too!

    Well, if that didn't work out perfectly....
     
  6. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for catching up! And early Happy Birthday and congrats on getting the NPH CP! I heard a number of people were having technical issues trying to book the CP so glad you got it!

    We saw some people that were in like professional pirate outfits - really impressive. Definitely a wide range of levels of dressing up for it - though it did feel like most people did *something* beyond just the bandanas they provide to you. Definitely a fun time and something a bit unique to Disney Cruiseline

    So the Viking Cruise definitely did skew older - someone said that our trip was the youngest collection of guests they have ever had - and the average age was still 67. We did get a few comments from people about "all these young people!" but overall it was fine and there were definitely some other younger people on it besides those with our group. The age thing is one reason why I don't think I would want to do another if it was just Judi and I - I would want to do it with at least a few other couples that we knew.

    A lot of the dessert menus looked really good - and definitely a plus to cruising that you can order all the desserts!

    Definitely worked out quite well - I fee very fortunate that we had a room with a veranda and that it was on the correct side to see the fireworks!
     
  7. lovingeire

    lovingeire DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! It was so bizarre because about half of us on the thread didn't seem to have any problem booking and the other half had one hard time! I did book a little earlier than most as I saw a post here that they were available online so maybe it helped that I beat the rush by 10-20 minutes?

    Good to know! That would definitely suite them then I'd think. And I understand wanting to have a group in that case!

    Out of curiosity, were you on the port or starboard side?
     
  8. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Part 37) Running 5K while on Vacation

    Day 7 dawned with the ship pulling into port - our last stop and our last full day of the cruise! This was a stop I was excited for but also curious about as it was Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. I was curious about "how great can it really be?" considering people do back-to-cruises and now "double dips" just to get to the island more often

    But before we could get to that, this morning we had to convene in one of the lounges as Judi and I would be participating in the Castaway Cay 5K!. I am definitely not a runner (I wish I was, but I just hate it and every other form of working out I have ever tried) but it seemed like one of those things of when else would I get this chance - and the opportunity to participate in a free* RunDisney event!

    * obviously not really free as included in the (not cheap) cost of the cruise

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    Apparently there were over 200 runners participating, plus family members that were gathered, so it was a good sized crowd!

    Below is a super awkward selfie showing off my race bib (and Connecting with Walt t-shirt I was wearing)
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    Typically when you are running in the race you get off the ship earlier than everyone else - but I think we were a bit delayed in docking so by the time we did and we were allowed to get off it was basically at the time everyone else could get off, so not much of a benefit - but wasn't an issue in the end. In the first picture below you can see Judi with Peter and Emma (Olivia was with me). We were going to drop them at the kids club that is on the Island and then my mom would be joining us later. The second picture you can sort of see how the ship docks at one end and then the beach areas are a bit around. You can walk or they have a tram over.
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    Our first stop was Scuttle's Cove, which is the Kid's Club on the Island. the set up is similar to the one on board in that they scan their magic bands to check in ... however today they were doing a "business continuity" test to see how well they would handle a power outage or something that prevented the magic bands from working so we had to manual check them in with a paper and pen (how primitive!).

    I did notice this sign out front:
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    I then went ahead and found a few beach chairs in the area we told my mom we would be that was under a palm tree (cause, you know, Caribbean Island stereotypes and all) and put our stuff down there. We had gotten a KYSS bag so I used that and attached it around two chairs. Then met up with Judi near the starting line. Before too long, we were off! You run down one path and then make your way onto a landing strip that cuts along the island
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    You then cut up off of this and do a loop around a bike path there. About half way around you get to a look out tower. I used this as a marking point and took a selfie (notice how I still appear a bit fresh at this point)
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    They have a bunch of random set pieces around the trial - I took a bunc hof pictures, including one by a Donal plane ... apparently the story is that using this plane Donald was the first one to discover Castaway Cay
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    After completing the loop you then have a bit further to go down the landing strip - at the end of which is the 1/2 way point and also where the Adults Only beach is
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    It is then back the way you came. I must say that up to this point I was doing pretty good but that stretch back down the landing strip, with not a lot of shade cover was a bit bruttle on me. We were then back through the loop and here is me selfie at the watch tower - not looking quite as fresh this time!
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    And then to the finish line. I wanted to do sub-45 mins so I'll take it! As I said I am not a runner and there were also a lot of other non-runners out there - many of whom walked the entire thing, and they had CMs out for a while waiting to hand your your medal no matter how long you took - which I thought was nice
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    And here is Judi and I with our medals (she finished quite a bit faster than me) and you can also see her DISPop shirt (RIP DISPop)
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    We then went to find our stuff and find my mom - who was nowhere to be found. So we were scouring the beach looking for her and she was way off from where we said we would be. Plus, once I found her she (as she was wandering around looking for us) she couldn't remember where she left her stuff ... so it took a bit longer than expected to get settled, but we eventually did.

    Coming up - some (attempts) at character meets with Emma!
     
  9. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Part 38) Attempting Character Meets

    After resting for a bit it was getting close to lunch time so I decided I would go check on the kids in the Kids Club and see if they wanted to eat with us. Well, Peter and Olivia did not - they were having far too much fun. I did remind them that there was a whole beach and ocean, etc. but they weren't interested. Emma however was ready to come out so I took her out and left the other two. I was looking at the schedule and a number of characters were doing meets so I asked if she wanted to meet any characters and she said yes. I asked which ones (after listing the options) and she wanted to meet Jack Sparrow - so off we went to his meeting spot, which was back near the boat ...

    ..... and I guess I didn't quite remember how long of a walk that was, and by the time we got there his meet was over. We saw near there Donald was meeting but by the time we got there his line was closed too. So that was a bummer. While there I did talk Emma into taking some Photopass pictures by the ship.
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    We then headed back (this time we took the tram though!). And saw Minnie was meeting - but her line got closed before we got there. We did get lucky and were able to sneak into the Goody line (we were the last ones to meet him)
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    So, wasn't quite as productive as I was expecting. Because Emma was being cooperative with hanging out with me and willing to do the meets the prior day and today, I did treat her to a slushy in a sippy mug - she picked Sven:
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    I also had noticed that the big dance party was coming up and Emma seemed interested so I brought her to that. One song that got played a lot was that Shakira song Waka Waka - so that was playing when I took the video for this gif
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    Unfortunately Emma was starting to feel worn out so after like one song I carried her back to our chairs and she pretty quickly fell asleep
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    I rested for a bit and took some video of just where we were sitting and taking it all in while Judi went to check out the water. It really is a beautiful place - basically the most pristine Caribbean island you can think of - with added Disney touches.
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    Once Judi got back to our chairs (you can see her coming back in the above gif) I decided to check out the slides
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    I only did one side and it was pretty fun - though I will say they end a bit off of the water level so you drop a bit and I took a face full of saltwater. Definitely think they are not for little kids!

    Then rested for a bit with a drink
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    We had also gotten the cooler bag filled with ice and water bottles they were selling. It is a rather nice bag and the whole thing was only like $20 so thought it was a good deal!
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    Oh, also wanted to mention that the evening before we had gotten one of our Fishe Extender gifts and it was filled with things that were useful for the day at Castaway Cay including cupholders that you stick into the sand and then these towel holders that were like giant scrunchies - super effective!
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    Coming up next - lunch, and then back on the ship

    TTFN!
     
  10. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    We were on the Port side - so the left side if facing the front of the ship (had to double check that ;))
     
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  11. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    DH wants to do the run just for the medal, but I'll leave that to him. I'm not a runner either, nor do I have any interest in pretending to be one!! lol

    What a bummer you missed out on all the meets with Emma, but she did seem to take it like a champ.

    The bags with ice & water were sold on the island? That's a great idea! The towel holders is pretty creative too. I would never have thought of something like that. Very thoughtful FE gift.
     
  12. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Congrats on the Castaway Cay 5K! I really want to do that someday.

    Castaway Cay just looks like an awesome place. I really need to do a Disney cruise soon.
     
  13. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Glad you could participate in the 5k! You both look great showing off our medals!

    Sorry you didn't have good timing with the character meets! Nice pics with Goofy though! And Emma looks rather content with her Sven drink :)
     
  14. annie170

    annie170 DIS Veteran

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    Good for you two doing the 5k! Your time wasn't terrible. I agree with you regarding running. I have a daughter who does marathons and triathalons and has tried for years to get me into running. No thank you. I do enjoy walking, which I do 2.5 miles every morning for exercise.

    What kind of activities were they doing with the kids while on the island?

    As a parent of three, isn't it nice to spend a little one on one time with just one? Super cute photos with Emma and Goofy!

    I love Emma's Sven Sipper. Good choice!

    That cooler bag looked like a good deal, especially if you had to pay for water while on Castaway Cay.
     
  15. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Phil! :wave2: I sure know how to time it right so I can read about the whole cruise (and the bonus cruise) all at once! Love reading about your experience - brings back fond memories of our DCL cruises and makes me want to take another (well, we do have another scheduled - Alaska in Aug 2019, but now I want to go sooner, haha!) I will say that the main thing Izzy tells me about why she's looking forward to Alaska is that she gets to go to the Wonder's Kids Clubs again. :laughing: Those Kids Clubs are a hit! Oh, was going to mention - our Mixology class involved a lot more hands-on making of the drinks, from what I remember (granted, my memory is foggy since I haven't done a TR yet). Sorry you had some rough seas to start, but glad it improved and you were able to enjoy the cruise. Oh, and we loved our dinner at Palo too! Only a month until we're both in Disney - you at WDW and us at DLR, though. :cool1:
     
  16. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    I'm finally caught up! Your dinner at Tiana's looked like lots of fun, and I'm glad you were able to see the fireworks even if you couldn't be up on deck. Good for you for doing the 5K! I'm glad you enjoyed CC. :cloud9:

    PS-I have to ask... did you play the MK game while on the ship? Asking since I'll be on a cruise soon and haven't decided what to do about it.
     
  17. BigRed98

    BigRed98 Professional Disney Fan

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    I fell a bit behind but now I’ve caught up lol.

    Castaway Cay looks awesome and also congratulations on completing the 5k! It looked like you and your family had a great time on Castaway Cay!
     
  18. Joben

    Joben Mouseketeer

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    Hey! Just got back from our Royal Caribbean cruise and caught up on your TR. We enjoyed it, but having a 3 year old presented some challenges. Not knowing what we were doing we tried to pack for every contingency....except where to put everything in our tiny little room. We did enjoy it enough that we are know looking into doing a Disney cruise!!!!

    I had already heard great things about Tiana's, Glad to hear you think it stands up to it's reputation. Now I will eat any and all proteins, but one thing I love is when chicken is done right it really is excellent. Your chicken got me drooling.

    What a bummer about all the meet and greets. Emma was quiet a trooper!!! Our cruise departed out of Orlando and through a series of plan changes and realizing since we had AP's and Gus was a month shy of 3 we got to spend a day at MK for Gus's first trip to WDW. We tried to just go with the flow and see what he wanted to do. After a cautious character breakfast at Crystal Palace, Gus decided he liked meet and greets. (thanks Tigger) Had a really fun day with a few rides and more character meets. I'm not used to WDW in July, that heat was intense.

    Castaway Cay looks pretty awesome! Did it live up to the hype? I did not realize the 5K was free (erh included) as rundisney junkies this is good news. You did good on your time. Running in that heat and humidity is tough to do. I prefer it to be about 35 degrees F and a light rain isn't bad.

    That cooler bag is quiet a find for $20! Did it work well?
     
  19. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Good luck to your DH in going for the medal. Definitely people of all skill levels in the race - some walked the entire thing

    It was a bit of a bummer at the time, but I was glad to spend some time with Emma. She got tired during some of the walk and I had to carry her, but she did hold up quite well!

    Yes, they sold the bags with ice and water on the island! They have servers coming by the area with the beach chairs selling drinks but also these packs as well


    Thanks! Glad to say I did some sort of RunDisney event!

    Castaway Cay really is nice and definitely one of those "you don't realize how nice until you are there" places



    Thank you! Definitely glad it worked out to be able to run the 5K - something different and I am glad to have done it

    She was very happy to have her drink and it was nice to have some 1:1 time with Emma



    Thank you! There were people who walked the entire 5K - they are definitely open to anyone who wants to do it and no time checks or anything, which was nice

    So the kids did a lot of playing in the sand and there was like a dino-bone dig area and games and all sorts of things - they were not bored! (but the club did not have any water access so they wound up not getting any beach time)

    I thought the bag was a good deal - you could get water and drinks, like fountain drinks at least at the lunch locations, but it was nice having the multiple bottles of cold water right at our seat
     
  20. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Those kids clubs really are a hit! I'd love to do Alaska some day but can't imagine even broaching the idea of vacationing somewhere colder with Judi ... maybe some day though.

    I had read a bunch of reviews of the mixology classes and some definitely made it seem more hands on (though some seemed even less than what we had) - it was definitely still fun other way!

    One of these days we will travel to the same Disney at the same time! ;)


    I was glad how it worked out with the Fireworks .. not how I envisioned things going into the cruise but it worked out ok. Definitely enjoyed CC and thank you!

    So I did play the MK game a bit while on the cruise, but mostly had it off line. Did connect once or twice but lost out on some aspects by not being online regularly


    CC really is a wonderful place - glad we got to visit it and thank you! We did have a great time


    Definitely would be interested in your take on your Royal Caribbean cruise - we enjoyed cruising in general but with the Disney ones being so expensive thinking about other lines some day

    Tiana's definitely lived up the hype and just neat to have such a unique and high quality dining experience. The chicken really was that good ... side note, I just watched a video where members of the DIS Unplugged team were on a Disney cruise and on Pirate night a few of them ordered that chicken and they all raved about how good it was - so you don't have to just take my word for it! ;)

    Glad that Gus liked the character meets - definitely hard to know going in how any individual child will react to them. Definitely have found that doing the Disney parks has changed after having kids - more down time and watching parades and shows and stuff and less going from ride-to-ride

    I definitely think Castaway Cay lives up to the hype - really is what most of us picture as that perfect tropical island - and then to have good food and the Characters meeting and dancing and stuff, hard to top! The fact there was no extra charge for the Castaway Cay 5K was a big motivating challenge - obviously baked into the price of the cruise, but still, with how much regular RunDisney events are, I will take it!

    The cooler bag worked really well - even when we were leaving the water left was basically ice cold
     
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  21. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Part 39) Lunch on Castaway Cay

    With Emma asleep we decided to take turns staying with her vs eating lunch. So first my mom and Judi went and had lunch while I relaxed a bit. They ate at Cookies which is the main eating location on the island and also closer to the kids club area (they did stop to ask Pter and Olivia if they wanted to eat lunch with the rest of us but the opted to eat at the kids club). When they returned I went to eat and opted to eat at Cookies Too which is the alternative location and closer to where our seats in the sand where - so these photos are from Cookies Too

    Like for the main buffet on the ship they had wash up sinks for people to use
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    To eat there were pork ribs and chicken and burgers and hot dogs and corn and other sides - all in the "bbq cookout" family, but a pretty good variety, and you could see all of it being made fresh behind the serving areas
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    And then they had some dessert baked goods as well
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    I got my food and found a place to sit ... my food (from the top clockwise: coleslaw, ribs, cheesy flatbread, sweet cornbread, fried chicken sandwich) and my view:
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    Not sure if I was just hunger but to food tasted excellent to me - I was really impressed with how good it was.

    I then stopped at a bar on the way back - I had heard good things about the Konk Kooler (which I got in the bamboo looking sipper) so knew I wanted to get that and also got a Pelican Mule for Judi as she usually likes drinks with ginger beer:
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    The Konk Cooler was absolutely wonderful - probably my favorite of the unique drinks they had on the cruise. The Pelican Mule was less successful - not bad, just not great.

    Before too long we decided to head back to the ship - we had gotten an early start with running the race and wanted a bit of time to rest and relax before dinner, especially with Emma being a bit off. So I went to pick the kids up from the kids club who, of course, complained about not getting time at the beach (despite the multiple times we had gone to get them and them telling us they didn't want to leave the club) and headed back to the ship. They had stations to shower off a bit to get the bulk of the sand off (I mean, no way anyone is getting rid of 100% of the sand that easily).
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    Back in our room I relaxed with another one of the beers I got from the beer exchange. This is one I was very looking forward to as Terripin is a brewery I like and it sound good - and it did not disappoint. Definitely refreshing and flavorful - and reminded me a bit of being at Wat Disney World and the POG juice they have at some of the breakfast locations
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    The kids relaxed by watching Lady and the Tramp on the TV - definitely a bonus of being on a Disney Cruise ship is all the Disney movies available in your stateroom!
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    One thing I wanted to do before dinner was to settle our account as I figured it would be crazy at the counter int he morning and also see about how it worked to pick up the USB with our photopass pictures as we had pre-bought the digital package. So I was off to run those errands. For anyone wondering about the later, just on the morning of departure they would have the USB ready to go at the counter in an envelope with our name on it - so was pretty easy.

    By the photography desk they had a lot of artwork on the wall - some in styles I really liked. I did like this one in particular and it reminded me of one of my good DIS friends @SorcererHeidi
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    A view of the lobby as I was walking by (it would NOT be that empty in the morning) ... and then I stopped by the Cove Cafe to get some fancy coffees for Judi and I
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    Coming up next - our final dinner on the ship! :(
     

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