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

lklgoodman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
I'll have to research that Sea Band type thing. I think it's the fear of the unknown of how my kids will react that is the worst! I'll add some ginger candies or cookies to our packing list though just in case.



Not sure why this didn't quote everything I highlighted, but we are definitely planning to bring wine on! Not sure if we'll fly with it or get a car service that will allow us to stop at Publix or the like. On my last cruise I really enjoyed a glass of wine on the verandah so I'm looking forward to that again!



Oh my goodness, I LOVE your fish extender! My middle son is obsessed with the monorail! (He used to say it was his favorite ride! LOL!)



These are awesome! I love the case too! My boys would love these!

Also, all that delicious food I think I'm going to gain 10 pounds on our cruise!
Your kids will most likely be fine on the cruise, think about how young kids can spin around in circles and feel fine afterwards. My dd was 6 yrs old on our first cruise and I was worried also, but we've done 4 cruise now(all 7nights) and she's never had a problem(she's now 9 yrs old). I've only gotten sick two times and both times it was because we were in really rough seas. On our cruises I always take bonine(start the day before we leave), wear seabands, suck on ginger candy--I carry it with me so I have some anytime I start to feel off, and use an oil called motion eaze--found at walmart, put it behind your ears. If you get ginger candy, make sure it has real ginger in it and isn't just ginger flavored. I got some from Amazon. They also have green apples at the buffets that are suppose to help. As soon as we board I always go one of the restrooms by the adult clubs and get some seasickness bags, these are the only place I've seen them. I always put some in our cabin and carry one with me, thankfully I've haven't had to use one that I carry with me, but I like to be prepared just in case! Even though I take these precautions, I've still gotten sick, however it has only lasted for a few hours, and has only happened during really rough seas, otherwise I don't even feel the motion of the ship. One night on our last cruise I skipped dinner because I wasn't feeling right. The next night at dinner our waiter ask how I was feeling. I told him I felt fine, but was disappointed to miss dinner the night before because I had been looking forward to getting one of the apps that was only served in that restaurant on that night. He asked me what it was, I told him and didn't think anything about it. When he came out with our app order, he brought me what I had ordered for this night, plus the app that I had missed from the previous night! Not only that but he brought us several of the desserts from the previous night's meal, he said he thought I might like them also. The cms are all wonderful on the ships and really will do what they can to make sure that you have the best trip. Although I have gotten seasick before(and wouldn't be surprised if it happens again, I don't do well with any type of extreme movements, can't do any kind of amusement type rides) I still love cruising and already have our 5th cruise booked!
 

Joben

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 14, 2012
For the kids clubs my understanding is they are very strict with ages
We are going on a non-Disney cruise, and I don't think they have asked his age yet...so fingers crossed. It's a moot point if the lil guy doesn't start taking an interest in it.

Figured I would try out the Polygamy Nitro Porter which is from a brewery in Utah
I laughed when I read the name of the beer and that it was from Utah. The wife asked me what was funny, and after telling her she reminded me that I in fact have tried this beer when we were in Utah. I love those silky nitro beers, but I guess it didn't make a great impression on me. That beer swap looked like a really great Idea. I would love to hear more of the logistics about it: how did you decide who chose when? Did you choose your whole six pack at once, or did you cycle through everyone? Did everyone describe their contribution? Really I just want to steal this idea and need to know how it breaks down.
 

SorcererHeidi

Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Finally remembered you were doing the DCL report, and going to do an intermission with the Viking one, so just "binge read", and I'm all caught up now, @TheMaxRebo . Great job, as always, and totally enjoying all the pics of your gorgeous family (also as always!). :)
 

BigRed98

Professional Disney Fan
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
The fish extender gift exchange seems really cool. Also, the beer exchange looks really fun for adults. I know my dad and sister would be in heaven if they participated in a beer exchange. The food at Tritons looked really good and when your stuck between multiple items, why not get them all:thumbsup2
 

TheMaxRebo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Not sure why this didn't quote everything I highlighted, but we are definitely planning to bring wine on! Not sure if we'll fly with it or get a car service that will allow us to stop at Publix or the like. On my last cruise I really enjoyed a glass of wine on the verandah so I'm looking forward to that again!

Oh my goodness, I LOVE your fish extender! My middle son is obsessed with the monorail! (He used to say it was his favorite ride! LOL!)

These are awesome! I love the case too! My boys would love these!

Also, all that delicious food I think I'm going to gain 10 pounds on our cruise!
I flew down with the beer for the beer exchange, but then we did have our car service stop at the Publix and we picked up some wine there. I will say we wound up not drinking as much of the wine as we thought we would just with having the wine package at dinner and then we did more mixed drinks and I had the beer mug for just around the ship and then could bring back stuff to the room. But was nice to have .... bit of a spoiler but later on we put champagne into travel mugs and took that with us to the movie theater one night :thumbsup2

Peter loves the monorail - one trip he and I just did a few laps on that around the 7 seas lagoon

Thanks for the positive thoughts on the fish extender gifts - I thought they were pretty good and things I would like to get, but just nervous, especially with needing "2 gifts" worth of stuff as we had the two rooms

Definitely easy to pack on the pounds on a cruise - at least when at WDW you do a lot of walking but not really the case on the cruise


I laughed when I read the name of the beer and that it was from Utah. The wife asked me what was funny, and after telling her she reminded me that I in fact have tried this beer when we were in Utah. I love those silky nitro beers, but I guess it didn't make a great impression on me. That beer swap looked like a really great Idea. I would love to hear more of the logistics about it: how did you decide who chose when? Did you choose your whole six pack at once, or did you cycle through everyone? Did everyone describe their contribution? Really I just want to steal this idea and need to know how it breaks down.
Haha, that's funny that you have tried it. Yeah, I'd say the beer was pretty good (and it wasn't too heavy which was nice - not always the case with porters) but nothing amazing.

The beer swap was great. The way it works is someone in the facebook group started it and then people would respond if they were interested and how many 6-packs they were bringing (most brought just one but some did have two) and that person arranged the time and location for the actual swap

at the swap we went around and everyone introduced themselves and their beer (where it came from, what it was like, why they brought it, etc.) - some people did bring a bit of a variety pack from the same area vs 6 of the same beer. And then all the beer was put into the center of the circle

Then we drew numbers and the person with number 1 picked 2 beers and then the person with number 2 picked two beers, and so on. And then when everyone went once we cycled through again - so went through 3 cycles until all the beer was taken. If you brought 2 six packs then you got 2 numbers and basically was like you were two separate participants. You could have done 1 beer at a time but we were trying to be a bit more time efficient.

Overall it worked out really well as I think everyone got at least a number of beers they were interested in. I had a rather low number (there were 24 participants and I had like 20) and I was really happy with the first 4 I got, selection for my last 2 was a bit slim

Hope that explains it ok - definitely would do it again!


Finally remembered you were doing the DCL report, and going to do an intermission with the Viking one, so just "binge read", and I'm all caught up now, @TheMaxRebo . Great job, as always, and totally enjoying all the pics of your gorgeous family (also as always!). :)
Thanks for catching up Heidi! Glad you are enjoying the pictures! :thumbsup2


The fish extender gift exchange seems really cool. Also, the beer exchange looks really fun for adults. I know my dad and sister would be in heaven if they participated in a beer exchange. The food at Tritons looked really good and when your stuck between multiple items, why not get them all:thumbsup2
Thanks so much - was a bit nervous if I was doing "enough" with having 2 rooms and thus two gifts to give (and knew we had some veterans of Fish Extenders in our group) so was glad their feedback was positive. The beer exchange was super fun - and just a pretty low key thing to do but something unique.

Definitely good to have the option of not having to decide between to items when at dinner!
 

SorcererHeidi

Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
And - BTW - I KNEW Peter and I could be great friends! One of my fave (and usually first!) things I do @ WDW is at least 2 laps on the monorail - 1 during daylight one @ night. Usually do that on "arrival day", and make dinner ressies somewhere on monorail loop (I favor O'hana). :) And I'll usually also do EWP and fireworks too. I'ts kind of my "arrival day usual thing". So Peter and i would definitely be great travel buddies (if he likes dinner @ O'hana, and watching EWP and fireworks, sandwiched in between his monorail trips). :)
 

lovingeire

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2012
bit of a spoiler but later on we put champagne into travel mugs and took that with us to the movie theater one night
Yes! This sounds like a good idea to me! I was already thinking of that. I didn't do it on my last cruise, but I think it needs to happen when we cruise next!

Definitely easy to pack on the pounds on a cruise - at least when at WDW you do a lot of walking but not really the case on the cruise
Maybe I'll pack my running stuff...but then I wonder if I'd actually use it!
 

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  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    And - BTW - I KNEW Peter and I could be great friends! One of my fave (and usually first!) things I do @ WDW is at least 2 laps on the monorail - 1 during daylight one @ night. Usually do that on "arrival day", and make dinner ressies somewhere on monorail loop (I favor O'hana). :) And I'll usually also do EWP and fireworks too. I'ts kind of my "arrival day usual thing". So Peter and i would definitely be great travel buddies (if he likes dinner @ O'hana, and watching EWP and fireworks, sandwiched in between his monorail trips). :)
    We often do that on arrivaal days as well - generally Ohana or Kona Cafe and then grab a drink at the pool and watch the fireworks from the beach

    We also sometimes do extra monorail rides on the EPCOT line and if you time it right you can watch some of Illuminations while you pass through the park


    Yes! This sounds like a good idea to me! I was already thinking of that. I didn't do it on my last cruise, but I think it needs to happen when we cruise next!

    Maybe I'll pack my running stuff...but then I wonder if I'd actually use it!
    Worked out great to have the drinks in the theater - we also picked up a bunch of chips and candy at Publix during out stop before getting to the park to have for the movie theater since I knew they charged for popcorn and snacks and stuff

    Judi did bring her work out stuff and did go once I think to work out, maybe twice. She also brought it on our Italy trip - but did not use it ;)
     

    lovingeire

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2012
    Judi did bring her work out stuff and did go once I think to work out, maybe twice. She also brought it on our Italy trip - but did not use it ;)
    I have seen a few reports of people running on the track on Deck 4. The views seem like they would be nice, but man, that's a lot of laps on the track for a couple of miles. Maybe you don't notice because of the big blue ocean! LOL! Then again, running clothes fold up pretty small, it's the shoes that take up a lot of space!
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    Part 19) Welcome to St. Maarten

    Wednesday morning dawned with the arrival of our first port of call - St. Maarten! It was also the dawn of a pretty big day for me as on this day I turned 40 years old :scared1:

    Leading up to our trip there was a lot of chatter in our Facebook group if there would be any changes to our itinerary due to the damage from the hurricanes that passed through - but we wound up making all the planned stops (at this point other itineraries that had Tortola as a stop where switching that to St. Maarten).

    @AMusicLifeForMe had mentioned in the past that he likes to go up onto an upper deck to watch the ships come in to port so I attempted to do that as well.


    It was really windy pulling in though so I didn't stay up for too long - I did use some of the extra mugs and tray that I had gotten for our Fish Extender gifts to keep for ourselves to get coffee for the adults and some juice for te kids to bring back to the rooms


    View from our balcony - you can see the Freed of the Seas that we were docked next to. There were 3 ships in dock with the Wonder being the smallest!


    After some breakfast we went to our meeting place for our excursion - which was the main theater. We debated a lot as to what excursions to do - we didn't want to do things that would take up the entire day and/or cost a ton of $ but we did want to take advantage of being at/on the islands and see a bit - so for both St. Maarten and San Juan (our next stop) we just planned basic overview tours. For St. Maarten it was called the "Under Two Flags" tour as we would get to see both parts of the island - the part controlled by the Dutch and the part under French control.

    We walked off the ship onto the dock and then through the port area (which was full of shopping) to get to the bus we would take around the island


    While walking through the shopping area someone was passing out reusable shopping bags full of flyers for the various stores. Olivia was excited that one for a jewelry store promised a free gift just for stopping in - she became very focused on this and during the whole day would just talk about wanting her free gift. Meanwhile I was thinking it would just be a cheap key chain or something - but in the end it turned out to be a halfway decent necklace with charm - so goof for her in being persistent and following through with asking about her free gift.


    We then started the bus portion of the trip with a guide pointing out a lot of the different locations and buildings. It quickly became apparent that there was still a lot of damage from the storms that had not been fixed yet (the guide said at this point only 40% of the hotel rooms on the island were back open). There were a lot of statues in the middle of squares and round-abouts - a lot of art from the island to show off


    After not too long we came to the boarder of the two parts of the island and went over a small bridge - which is apparently the smallest bridge in the world that connects two different nations


    Up next, the rest of our time on St. Maarten
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    Part 20) More St. Maarten

    We then saw more of the country side, no on the French side of the Island. Our driver told us a lot about the difference is how the school systems worked and requirements for military service time under the different flags, so people would often shift around what side they were on depending on stage of their life - to take advantage of better schooling or to avoid military service, etc.

    We saw some more colorful houses, but also quite a few showing damage


    We passed a lot of a certain type of plant that would often have these large iguanas just hanging out in them. Two pictures below - first I put a circle around the iguana in the pictures, the second has at least 8 iguanas in the picture, see if you can spot them all!


    Emma fell asleep at this point (there was a lot of interesting information being shared by our guide but the long stretch on the bus was a bit boring for the kids after a while)


    As we crested a hill we did get a nice view of the ocean


    Shortly after we arrived at our first stop, which was a street market. You may have noticed in some of the above pictures that there was some rain on the windows - it did rain off and on this day and you could tell the vendors were prepared as they had coverings on their tents and basically right as we got there the rain cam down heavy and they had to cover everything and we rand for cover!


    We ran to another section of the market that was in a more permanent structure and was covered - so we perused those stores. Eventually Olivia picked out a necklace she liked and Peter and Emma got maracas!


    We headed back towards the bus after a while when the rain calmed down. We did get one picture by the St. Maarten sign they had there. Peter took the picture so we didn't really know exactly when he was pushing the button so we didn't get all of us looking, but oh well.


    We then got back on the bus to tour a bit more. I took this picture as Allianz is one of my companies largest clients and I thought it was a bit humorous that an insurance company would just have that boarded up window with a spraypainted logo on it


    We then passed the marker that indicated we were moving back onto the Dutch side of the Island


    Up next, our last stop on St. Maarten
     
  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    Part 21) Carousel Gelato!

    Our last stop, and one of the reasons we picked this tour, was at the Carousel Gelato store - this had an actual carousel in it (that was free!) and then a gelato shop (for purchase). The kids really enjoyed the carousel, and I think just being off the bus for a bit



    While not huge, it was a really pretty carousel - and they had some old-timy ice cream carts around as well


    They had quite the selection of gelato - I wound up getting one that had some of the Guavaberry Rum that the Island is known for - so there was actually an alcohol content listed for this flavor (it was pretty low though) and was quite tasty. We asked the kids what flavors they wanted and Emma was adamant she wanted mint - but Judi kept telling her she doesn't like mint and wouldn't like it, but she insisted. So we got her mint ... and she ate the whole thing! :)



    After a while we were back on the bus and heading back to port. On the way we passed some of the really nice areas where celebrities have homes and also the famouse Belair Beach hotel ... and got some nice views of the beach (which was walking distance to the port if you would want to just go there - as you can see in the second shop, the ships were pretty close)



    Once back at the port we passed the train trolley which was my first choice for excursions to do here but it was sold out by the time my booking opened which was a bit of a bummer as I thought Peter would have really liked it.


    We did a bit of shopping - including stopping at the Guavaberry stand for some free samples and to purchase some rum. Sad news though as the bottle I bought broke during the flight home - I thought it would have been ok as it they packed it in a travel box but I guess I didn't do enough to cushion around it. It was quite disappointing we we opened the suitcase (and had to do some cleaning of the clothes in there and the suitcase it self. We had also bought a gift back there for Judi's parents for watching our dogs and fortunately that survived!

    At least we got a nice picture of Judi and I in front of the ship - well, in front of the back of the ship at least





    My review of the tour/port:
    Overall I thought the tour was just ok. It was good to see the island and I am glad the ships are able to stop there as the tourism is needed to help them rebuild and we were glad to spend some money there - but wish there were more stops. Seemed like a lot of time on the bus and the kids got bored after a bit. The Carousel Gelato stop was really nice but not enough. The rain definitely didn't help but I don't think it would have been drastically different without it. I do wish that we were able to get into the train trolley tour as that seemed a bit more unique. Oh well, it worked out find in the end though as we got to see the Island and only took up the morning really - just not an "A+" experience or anything



    Coming up next - Lots of Drinks and food!!!!!

    TTFN!
     
    Last edited:

    AMusicLifeForMe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    I got mentioned! :D

    Nice report of your time in St. Maarten! The tour seemed interesting, but probably not something I would do. I had been to St. Maarten once before, and I wasn't a big fan of it. My Dad and I went to a beach on the French side of the island I believe.

    Regarding the wind going into port. There are some ports that I have experienced sailing in that have been nice. Some have been windy coming in. Then there have been some where I have had to go back to my stateroom to drop my hat off or it would have fell into the ocean. I just usually like to do that, because it's nice to get an overview of the island as you sail in. Plus, it is also nice to actually see "land" depending on how many sea days there have been.

    Looking forward to the rest of your report!
     

    chunkymonkey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    For the younger kids (which we had a number of of) we did travel Lego kits which includes the pieces and instructions for making a small lego cruise ship that I designed and then got all the pieces for. I also made up the cover and instructions using photoshop which was fun. The travel containers are just a plastic case with a lego board glued to the inside - we use these with our kids for road trips and seems to work out well.
    This is a great idea and so creative!

    Then it was time for the Beer Swap I was participating in. It was organized by someone in our Facebook Group and the idea was to bring a 6-pack of beer from a brewery local to where you live and then we would all take turns picking out different beers to make a variety pack from different areas of the country. We had just over 20 people participating and it turned out to be really fun! We wound up doing it in the British Pub on board and one of the Cast Members cam up to us and was super excited and said it was the coolest thing she had ever seen on board, so that was fun.

    I brought a 6-pack of a session IPA from Captain Lawrence which is just down the road from my office and was able to get a good variety of beers including one of the once that was very popular, largely due ot the name: Butterfly Farts. First picture shows the array of beers that were out for the exchange and then the beers I wound up with.
    This looks like a lot of fun! I don't drink beer that much but my husband drinks a bit. I think this a cool way to get together with other cruisers and try craft brews.

    our dinner for this evening which would be in Triton's. This was probably the location I was least excited about but it turned out to be really nice. It isn't as heavily themed as Animator's Palette or Tiana's - but it is probably the "fanciest" of the main dining rooms and the food was really good ... sorry for the bad menu pics though
    Ah I was wondering what the menu at Triton's was like and it's pretty much the same as Lumiere's on the Magic. I really enjoy the food there because I love escargot and the Grand Marnier souffle is soooo yummy!

    My favorite!

    After dinner it was time for the Frozen show - which was something added during the recent dry dock refurbishment of the ship. We were not allowed to take photos or video so I will just include a picture I saw the DIS posted at one point to give you an idea of how it looked. It was a really great show and the staging and how they do the effects and the puppetry was really, really cool - highly recommend you go if you ever find yourself on the Wonder!
    Oh that is cool, I forgot they had the Frozen show now! We saw Tangled on the Magic and it was awesome. We're seeing Frozen on Broadway this summer and I heard it's amazing. I really love the quality of the shows on the Disney ships.
    Wednesday morning dawned with the arrival of our first port of call - St. Maarten! It was also the dawn of a pretty big day for me as on this day I turned 40 years old :scared1:
    Happy birthday! I turned 40 two years ago on the Fantasy. Pretty cool to celebrate while on a Disney cruise!

    While walking through the shopping area someone was passing out reusable shopping bags full of flyers for the various stores. Olivia was excited that one for a jewelry store promised a free gift just for stopping in - she became very focused on this and during the whole day would just talk about wanting her free gift. Meanwhile I was thinking it would just be a cheap key chain or something - but in the end it turned out to be a halfway decent necklace with charm - so goof for her in being persistent and following through with asking about her free gift.
    I did this myself in the Bahamas. I wasn't expecting much but it was a decent necklace!

    We then saw more of the country side, no on the French side of the Island. Our driver told us a lot about the difference is how the school systems worked and requirements for military service time under the different flags, so people would often shift around what side they were on depending on stage of their life - to take advantage of better schooling or to avoid military service, etc.
    This is really interesting!! So I guess a lot of people move back and forth around the island a lot?

    Our last stop, and one of the reasons we picked this tour, was at the Carousel Gelato store - this had an actual carousel in it (that was free!) and then a gelato shop (for purchase). The kids really enjoyed the carousel, and I think just being off the bus for a bit
    This is neat! My nieces and nephew would love this, they love carousels!
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    The carousel gelato place sounds awesome! But I can definitely see why that wouldn't be enough compared to the long haul on the bus with young kids.
     

    BigRed98

    Professional Disney Fan
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2017
    Happy late Birthday Phil! You captured some great photos of St Maarten. To bad it wasn't the best tour but you did get to see different parts of the island which was pretty cool.
     

    Joben

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2012
    Hope that explains it ok - definitely would do it again!
    You filled in all the blanks, thanks! Sounds like a really great idea for a meet up. Just a really good way to show off your hometown, and try and sample some beers it would be hard for you to normally come across. Not sure if I will ever have a chance to utilize this, but I hope I will someday.

    It was also the dawn of a pretty big day for me as on this day I turned 40 years old
    Well Happy 40th!!!! For me 30 was harder than 40. I hope yours went well and hasn't messed with you. I have a Disney shirt that I love that has the quote "The best part of being a grown up, is not having to act like one 24/7 365." Wise words from the mouse!

    Were trying to figure out what kind of shore excursions to do on our cruise coming up in July. Or if it is even worth bothering with it since we will have 3 year old. Seems like yours was okay, but not a do over kind of thing. Are there advantages to just staying on the ship? (other than not spending money)
     

    SorcererHeidi

    Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2007
    Still very much enjoying your report, @TheMaxRebo, even though somehow my "follow and receive notifications" settings keep getting turned off for some reason, and I have to remember to check back for updates! People I used to live with owned a timeshare on St. Maarten/Martin :), and loved it. I was stupid, and never took them up on the opportunity to go/stay with them. I think they preferred to shop on the Dutch side, but eat on the French side, if I have that right. Loved the carousel/gelatto shop, how cool is that? As somebody who used to work in Emergency Management, I shared your insurance industry grin/;humor at the boarded up window/spraypainted sign -brilliant pic! :
     

    FantasiaMagic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2012
    Hi Phil! My name is Alison and I'm really enjoying your cruise TR so far!

    I have never been on a Disney cruise, so I love reading TRs that talk about the different ships and experiences! I plan on going someday!

    I loved hearing about the sit down meals and seeing all of the pictures of the ship as well as the characters! The tickets you got for the various events, did you do this on your arrival day on the ship? Also were the stage shows first come first serve, or did you have tickets for those as well?
    That's great all three of your kids enjoyed the Kid's Club. I love the room that was themed to Andy's room!

    Looking forward to reading more about your cruise!
     

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