Transatlantic Adventures

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Corinna, I am really enjoying your report and pictures. The jewlery that you taught everyone to make is beautiful- it was so nice of you to do that for your Dis friends! You guys seemed to have a great group on this cruise. Looking forward to more. Karyn
Yes, we had a truly wonderful group and I am missing people like mad. I know that I am not the only one in that position either.

Corinna
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Day 10

We had another 7:00 AM start and headed for our stretching class. After the class, Graham decided that he was hungry. Quite often we would get breakfast straight after the class, but on this occasion he had to wait. This was the day for our character breakfast and that would not take place until 9:45. To keep us going, we went to Cove Cafe for some coffee and a slice of Stollen Bread. After our morning coffee, we headed down to deck 4 for Walk A Mile.

Exercise out of the way, we headed down to deck 3 and slowly walked towards Parrot Cay, where the character breakfast would take place. This was only our second character breakfast even though this was our fifth cruise. They only offer this on cruises that are 7 nights or longer and on our 7 night cruise last year this clashed with something else I really wanted to do.



For the character breakfast, you sit at your assigned table for dinner with your usual table mates and your serving team is taking care of you. One of the other couples did not come for this, but everybody else was there. As soon as we were seated, our server took our order and then the characters started arriving. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip, Dale and Pluto all came by. They were wearing their tropical outfits. The one thing that I don't understand is why they do not have any photographers around for this. They would make a fortune on those pictures. Still, everybody had brought their own cameras and the escort that was with each character was only too happy to take photos.















At some stage our server and assistant server made hats out of napkins for everybody. I got Minnie's bow. Graham declined. Our server did however hold some plates next to his head to give a Mickey ears effect. A little later he picked on me again and handed me a bottle of ketchup and a menu to hold. He then made me another hat and suddenly I had turned into the Statue of Liberty. I really enjoyed the character breakfast even though the food was just ordinary.





After breakfast, we headed up to Shutters to go through our photos. On the way, we found the photo of the day, which was a piece of art in the aft stairwell between decks 3 and 4. It took us a while to round up all our photos. There were over a 100 at this stage. When you get the photo CD, you can add any of the photo packages at a 50% discount.

We took our photos to the front counter, which was not in use, and spread them out. We very quickly divided the photos in a "definitely not" and a "maybe" pile. I knew that the photos would be on the CD, but they don't add the borders to them. Still, I found that with the exception of the embarkation photo and the photo with the Captain, the borders really did not add anything. Once we had divided the photos in two piles, I got rid of all the photos that we had definitely decided against. We then went through the remaining photos again and chose the best photos. Once this process was complete, we went to pay for the photos.

We took the photos back to the cabin and then took a stroll around deck 9 and 10. We decided to sit down by the Quiet Cove pool to have a drink. On the Med cruise I had introduced Graham to Virgin Pina Coladas and he has developped quite a taste for them. This time round we had Virgin Pina Colavas, which are Virgin Pina Coladas with raspberry purée. They also met with his approval.





Once we had finished our drinks, it was time to head back to our cabin to pick up the lithograph that we had received on the second night. It had come with a little leaflet stating when Don "Ducky" Williams would be available for signings. Depending on which deck your cabin was on, you had a specific date on which you could have things signed by him.

On this day, it was our turn. Deck 6 was the only deck that had a signing session just on its own. For the other sessions, they had combined two or three decks. I had walked past where the signing was taking place on deck 4 forward and the line had stretched to midship.

So I was utterly delighted when we got there and there were two people in front of us. Soon it was my turn to go up to have my lithograph signed. I still had my camera with me and a member of staff from Treasure Ketch, who was there for "crowd control" offered to take a photo. When Don "Ducky" Williams heard this, he asked me to stand next to him. He is a really nice person. I am glad that he will be on the Panama Canal crossing as well. I will make sure to attend one of his talks then as I missed both of them this time round.

 
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    We sat down for a bit until the ink was dry and then I took the lithograph back to the cabin. When I came back, we headed down to deck 3 for Desperate Shipmates, which was taking place in Rocking Bar D that day. We had been told that we would be able to ask the "suspects" questions and we had the chance to drop off pieces of paper with any questions on our way in. When we sat down, the video that had been found the previous day was playing intermittently. It was a ransom demand for some lost Walt Disney footage which according to rumour was located inside the Bermuda triangle. What kind of got me was that in between showing the video, they played the title music from the Harry Potter movies. At the official starting time, Office Curt escorted the suspects in and some of the questions that had been submitted were asked. It was quite interesting how the questions were either answered or avoided. At the end of the question and answer session, Officer Curt came back and arrested all the suspects.

    After Desperate Shipmates was over, I still had a little bit time until my Martini tasting, but I decided to head up to deck 4 anyway. There were other people waiting there already so I had people to chat with. I had done the Martini tasting on a previous cruise and I loved it. This one was great fun, too. We found out a bit about the history of the Martini first and about the different types of Martini. We then got to try 4 different Martinis: a classic gin Martini, for which we had the option to add olive juice for a Dirty Martini, a Boston Red Apple Martini, an Apple and Melon Martini and a Chocolate Martini. The Martinis were all half sized, but they had set up for a lot more people then had appeared so we shared the spares. In between sampling the Martinis, the bartender who did this tasting asked for volunteers to make other type of Martinis and the volunteer got to drink the full-sized Martini that they made. The last Martini that a volunteer was made was a Wedding Cake Martini, which is a specialty of the bartender that did our tasting and he decided to make a taste of this for everybody. Even though the Martinis were only half size, after 6 of them, I had more than enough. The fact that I had not eaten anything since breakfast did not help either.

    Once the tasting was finished, I headed up to deck 9 to get some food. I had never tried pizza on the ship before and decided to remedy this. I had a slice of Pepperoni Pizza and a slice of Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, which was the special for the day and they were both very yummy. I stayed on deck 9 for a while and just enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air before I headed down to deck 4 to have some more photos taken.



    One thing that annoyed me was that on both formal nights they only had Chip and Dale in their formal wear out at 17:00. This was way too early for those of us on late dinner seating. Even if they did not want to do multiple sets with Chip and Dale on the same evening, they could have had them out before early dinner on one Formal Night and before late dinner on the other. I still decided to have my photo taken with them, even though I was not in my formal dress at that stage. I also had my photo taken with Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy and Belle and the Beast before getting changed.



























    I had arranged to meet Graham back in the cabin at about 18:00 so that he could help me to zip up my evening gown as I did not want to get changed after the makeover. We both got to the cabin early. Graham zipped me up and then headed up to the pool. As I was ready, I decided to head to Mickey’s Mates. As soon as I got there, they asked me if I wanted to have my make over early as I was there anyway. I took them up on their kind offer. Fortunately the member of staff that made the nasty comment the other day was not one of my two Fairy Godmothers in Training. One of the Fairy Godmothers in Training was from Manchester as well. They were both wonderful. I had opted out of the glitter, but they put my hair into a bun, added a tiara and a Mickey hair slide and did my make up. I got to take away the make up pallet and I was also got a pink sash to take away. The whole experience was magical and at $50 good value. I had originally considered having my hair done at the salon for one formal night, but this ended up being cheaper. Once I had finished with my make over, I headed up to the pool to quickly to show Graham the result. He was playing with our beach ball again and I got a rather nice photo of him.





    I decided to have some more photos taken with the characters. I had to wait for a bit as they were in between sets. So I headed up to deck 4 midship where the portraits with the characters in their formals were taken. I used the time to take a few photos of my surroundings.





     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    When Mickey and Minnie came out, I was first in line. The reaction of the photographer was something to behold, he had been around for a while before Mickey and Minnie got there and had seen me sitting there. He did not say anything, which was kind of out of character as a lot of my photos on the cruise were taken by him and there was always banter going backwards and forwards. I was a little surprised that he had not said anything, but figured that he was just busy. When he took my keycard to swipe, he looked at the card, looked at me and admitted rather embarrassed that he had not recognized me. I got some great photos taken with Minnie and Mickey, Donald and Daisy, Goofy and Belle and the Beast.























    With the character photos all taken, I still had some time until I had arranged to meet Graham. They were taking photos in front of the Helmsman Mickey statue as well as against two different backdrops so I decided to have some photos taken by myself. They came out rather nice. Once I had met up with Graham, we had the same photos taken together.



























     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007




























    With all the photo opportunities exhausted, we headed for dinner. Dinner was again at Parrot Cay. Our Head Server was by the entrance to the restaurant. Let’s just say, I turned some heads that evening and he insisted to escort me to the table, which I found quite embarrassing. The menu that night was the Transatlantic Menu. We even got to keep the menus, which was a nice souvenir. Graham had Graham Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Napoleon with Pumpernickel Bread and Caviar, Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Almonds and Baked Lobster Tail Transatlantic with Yukon Gold Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus and Lemon Shrimp Butter. For his dessert, he had chosen White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Mango and Strawberry Salsa. I had Warm Cheddar Cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon Tartlet with Sweet Onion Sauce, Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Almonds and Slow roasted Prime Rib with Green Beans, Twice Baked Potato and Madeira Sauce. For my dessert, I had a Butter Pecan Sundae.

    After dinner, we headed to bed. When I got to the room, I found a Magical Moments Certificate from my Fairy Godmothers in Training behind the fish by our door. This made the whole experience even more special. That evening we had a towel donkey joining us in the cabin.



     

    akluss

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2010
    Great update! Your pictures are truly beautiful. What a great idea to get the makeover, and I love your pink dress, you look like a princess! I wanted to go to the martini tasting on our cruise, but I don't know if I could walk after all those drinks, it does sound like fun though. Take care, Karyn
     
  • PJB71

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2009
    Oh Corrina what fantastic pictures:lovestruc:lovestruc

    Glad you enjoyed your makeover it sounds fun:banana: and you look lovely in your pink dress:thumbsup2
     
  • mark&sue

    <font color=teal>I keep trying to convert everybod
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2004
    really enjoying your trip report. love all the photos. looking forward to more


    susan
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 11

    We got up at 7:00 again and went to our stretching class. After the
    class, we headed to Topsiders to get some breakfast. Duly fed and
    watered, we headed up to deck 4 for Walk A Mile.

    Graham had attended some lectures on both the Med cruise and on this
    cruise. I had always had something different to do and had never made
    it. The lecture that day was about St. Maarten and we both decided to
    go. I had expected that it would be about what to go and see while on
    the island, but it turned out to be a historic lecture about territories
    that were Dutch own over the years ending with the Netherland Antilles
    and St. Maarten. Even though it was not what I had expected and St.
    Maarten took up a comparably small part of the lecture, it was very
    interesting and I really enjoyed it.

    I had seen something else in the Navigator that was of interest. They
    were running a series of Top 10 Disney Innovations on a number of
    topics. That day it was all about the innovations as they related to the
    theme parks. So we decided to go and see this. It was very interesting
    and included some aspects that I take for granted like the hub and spoke
    design and the single entrance to the parks as well as the utilidors and
    animatronics. It was both interesting and entertaining.



    After this presentation, we went to get some lunch at Parrot Cay. I then
    went to Desperate Shipmates. Graham had decided that he had done enough
    for the day and went off somewhere to chill out.

    That day was the last proper installment of Desperate Shipmates. When I
    got up in the morning, I had found a letter under the door advising that
    the cabins of Dr Shadowski and the Creepier twins had been located and
    that we would have the opportunity to have a look at those in the
    afternoon. The meeting point was Diversions. When we got there, they
    divided us into two groups. I was in group 2 and we were asked to stay
    behind in Diversions while group 1 was taken down to deck 2 to inspect
    the cabins. They were showing the TV footage from the previous sessions
    on the big screens. A little while later, a cast member came and got the
    next few people. I was part of that group. They had used two of the
    category 12 cabins for this and there was a long line to get into those
    cabins. Again, I was amazed about the attention to detail that had gone
    into this. There were a number of clues in both cabins, but they also
    filled the wardrobes with stuff and left things in the bathrooms.

    We had been told that the answers for who had one it needed to be handed
    in by 22:00 that evening. They would leave final clues at the shore
    excursion desk at 19:00 and at the same time; a drop box for the answers
    would be set up. There were a few people from our cruise meet thread
    that had inspected the cabins at the same time as I had and a few of us
    went back up to Diversions to discuss the clues and who we thought was
    the guilty party.

    A short while later, I headed up to deck 9. I always have my hair
    braided when I am on a cruise. Because of the make over for formal
    night, I had to wait a bit longer than usual to get this done. I was
    going to make an appointment, but the person doing it was not overly
    busy so offered that I could wait. I was only too happy to do this and
    enjoyed the nice weather.

    Once I had my hair braided, I headed back down to deck 4 for some more
    photos. I managed to get photos with Captain Hook and Mr Smee, Terk and
    Lilo and Stitch. I also got portraits with Daisy and Minnie, Chip and
    Dale and Mickey and Pluto in their tropical outfits.


























    Once I had enough photos taken, I met Graham by the adult pool. We swam
    for a while and then headed for the Rainforest Room for a bit.

    Dinner that night was the Taste of the Caribbean menu. This was a new
    menu for us. I was rather excited about this as the rotational menu for
    Parrot Cay that also has a Caribbean flavour, is one of my favourite
    menus. However, this particular menu did not quite live up to my
    expectations. I cannot actually remember what we had to eat that night, just that I did not like it.

    I was in a bit of a rush to get out of the dining room that night. Timon
    was out for photos at 22:00 that evening and I had missed him earlier in
    the cruise. I did manage to get my photo with him.





    At the far side of the atrium, they had a white backdrop up and one of
    our favourite photographers was taking the photos there. So we decided
    to head over there. He had a number of props and Graham chose a pink
    umbrella. We had a couple of photos taken. The photographer then offered
    that I could hold my hand out and Tinkerbell would magically appear in
    the photo. This is something that I had always wanted to do. Of course,
    Graham was in a mischievous mood and took the umbrella to beat poor
    Tinkerbell up. I love this photo as it captures our personality
    perfectly. Still, I was glad that I also managed to get a photo with
    just Tinkerbell.













    Once the photos were taken, we headed back to our room. Our stateroom
    host had left us a towel swan. We moved the swan somewhere safe and
    headed for bed.

     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 12

    This was the last of the 5 sea days in a row and strictly speaking the last day of the Transatlantic crossing. By the next morning, we would be in the Caribbean.

    Captain Mickey rang us up at 7:00 as per usual and we headed upstairs for our stretching class. This would turn out the last time that we attended the class.

    Some other people from our cruise meet thread were also at the class. One of them was the person that I had drawn as my Secret Mickey. I had made her a set of jewellery for formal night. I had posted a photo of a near identical set that I made for myself on our cruise meet thread and she really liked it. So I made one for her. Of course, this could potentially give the game away as to who her Secret Mickey was. So I told her a little white lie in the note that I had added to the gift and said that her Secret Mickey had commissioned me to make the jewellery. Anyway, she approached me that morning saying that the bracelet did not quite fit and would I be able to fix this for her. I arranged to meet her by the Cove Cafe at 11:00.

    After the class, we headed down to deck 3 with the plan to get some breakfast at Lumieres. We had not realized that they were serving Brunch that day and Lumiere's would not open until later in the morning. So we headed back up to deck 9 to Cove Cafe for some coffee and Stollen Bread. While we were there, we found the photo of the day. In the navigator it had looked like the top of a hat so I had planned to swing by Parrot Cay later in the day to check this out. It actually turned out to be the design on the sofas at Cove Cafe.

    After our morning snack, we headed down to deck 4 for Walk A Mile. After we had our exercise, we went to the lecture about Tortola. This looked into the history of the British Virgin Islands, but also included some stunning photos. We both very much enjoyed it.

    After the lecture, we headed back up to the Cove Cafe. We were a little bit too early, but the seating area outside Cove Cafe is one of my favourite places on the ship so that was not a hardship. Shortly afterwards, my Secret Mickey arrived. When I looked at the bracelet, I noticed that not only was it too short, but one half of the clasp was missing. Fortunately I had made the same set of jewellery for myself so I headed back to our cabin to get my bracelet so that I could take the missing part of the clasp of it and fix the other bracelet. When I got to our cabin, I also found the quote that we had requested a few days earlier for the Panama Canal Cruise. When I got back to deck 9, I asked my Secret Mickey if she wanted me to fix the bracelet for her or if she wanted to have a go at it herself. She had attended one of my jewellery workshops and we had covered the basic technique that was required to make the bracelet. She opted to have a go and I talked her through the steps that were required. She got the hang of this in no time and soon the bracelet had been extended and fixed and it was time to say goodbye.

    By now we were hungry again as we just had a light snack in the morning. So we decided to head to Lumiere's for some brunch. This was delicious again. I had a proper lunch with Curried Lentil Soup, Flank Steak with Chips and Beans and some kind of Mousse. Graham had a Fruit Platter, some Fish and the same dessert as me. The Drink of the Day was Blue Margarita and it would have been rude not to have one. So we had one with our Brunch and it was rather nice.

    After Brunch, we headed upstairs to Shutters to sort through some more photos. When we came out of Shutters, we noticed that for once the Future Cruise Sales desk did not have a huge queue. So we decided to go ahead and book our Panama Canal Cruise. This was a challenging experience. They had a different sales person on this cruise than the one that we had previously dealt with. She seemed very stressed and I had to correct a number of things before we finalized the booking. Still eventually everything was how we wanted it and I was relieved that I had another cruise to look forward to so soon. She did not manage to print out the confirmation for us at that point, but I was not overly bothered about this. It was only after the cruise that we heard from people who booked on board that Disney Cruise Line had no record of their booking. Fortunately this did not happen in our case.

    With the next cruise booked, it was time to head to Rockin Bar D for the last installment of Desperate Shipmates. In this session we find out who the guilty parties were. I had got the answer partially right, but there were aspects that came as a complete surprise to me. Some more of the background, some links between the characters and some of the motives were revealed. I had so much with this and was sad that it was over.

    Graham wanted to get some fresh air and I convinced him that the comfortable loungers on deck 4 would be the perfect place for this. He headed that way and I went back to the cabin to drop off my jewellery making stuff, the photos and to pick up my eReader. I ended up walking half way round deck 4 before I found Graham. He had managed to find himself a lounger, but there were no empty ones anywhere near him. However, I had seen two empty loungers next to each other on my travels. We headed over there and were just about to sit down, when the person on the lounger next to it told us that they were taken. I just said "Funny that, I was under the impression that saving loungers was not allowed on this ship." I was just about to turn round and go, but Graham said that it was not allowed to save loungers and that we would get up when the other two people arrived. This sounded fair enough to me and we sat down. Needless to say, nobody showed up in the 45 minutes or so that we were there. I was too busy enjoying my book and the sunshine to notice, but Graham mentioned afterwards that the other guy kept on looking over and was getting ever more agitated.

    Graham announced after about 45 minutes that he was heading for the gym. I looked at my watch and it was nearly time for my next activity. So we said goodbye and headed off in different directions.

    We had arranged a private Mixology seminar for our group. I had seen this offered on the Med cruise and it had not really appealed to me, but decided to sign up for the group activity. This turned out to be my favourite of all the group activities. We had a whole lot of different glasses, various tools like shakers, muddlers and spoons plus measures with various spirits and liqueurs, cups with juices and sweet and sour mix and buckets of crushed ice. For each drink, we learned a bit about the history, what went into it and how it was made. Then we had a go at making them ourselves. We got to make a Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Caiphirinha (with White Rum instead of Cachaca, which did not really work) and a B52 (a layered shot consisting of Baileys, Grand Marnier and Kahlua). We also got a Pina Colada each.

    The seminar had slightly overrun. I had agreed to meet Graham up at the spa at 15:30 as according to the Navigator, they were offering a Couples Reflexilogy Workshop then. I found Graham in the reception area of the spa and he had seen no evidence of the workshop. I headed off to get a bite to eat and then got my swimsuit and met Graham in the Rainforest Room.

    After we chilled out for a bit, Graham headed out for a Stretch class and I hunted down some more characters. The characters were wearing their Baltic costumes and I managed to get photos with Chip and Dale, Minnie, Goofy, Mickey and Daisy in various Scandinavian costumes. They also had a Beauty and the Beast backdrop up and I had some photos taken against this.































    While I was waiting in the lines and in between character sets, I was able to take some more photos of the ship.









    Graham and I had arranged to meet at the adult pool at 18:00. I was running a little behind as the line for Daisy was longer than I had anticipated. I was expecting to find Graham already in the pool, but he was not there. I was just about to head down to our cabin to see if he was there, when I spotted some people waving at me from near the bar. Graham had met up with two of our table mates and they were sipping Drinks of the Day. They offered me one as well, but I had enough alcohol in one day. We sat together chatting for a while and then they headed for the hot tub and Graham and I headed for the pool to play with our beach ball. When Graham had enough, he headed downstairs to our cabin. I went into the hot tub for a bit.

    We had arranged within our cruise meet thread that we would wear Mickey Mouse Club t shirts and Mickey Mouse ears for dinner that night. Before the cruise, I had a Mickey Mouse Club t shirt printed with my name on the back and a couple from our cruise meet thread let me have some spare Mickey Mouse ears that they had brought. The were my first set of ears and I was wearing them with pride. I managed to get photos with German Mickey and Minnie before dinner and even convinced Graham to have a photo taken with Mickey and me.



    Dinner that night was the Around The World menu. I had really looked forward to this. I have to say, the idea was great, but the execution was somewhat lacking. I had asked our server early in the cruise if there would be a Thai dish on that menu and he said that it would include Pad Thai, but that it was not authentic and he would advise against it. So I took note of the warning and decided to go with the German dish instead. It was supposed to be Pork Tenderloin with Spaetzle. I just got one more proof that Disney Cruise Line can't do pork. It was dry and tough. The"Spaetzle" were a nice home-made pasta, but did not taste anything like authentic Spaetzle. Graham made the mistake to choose the English Bread and Butter Pudding for dessert, which was more like a sponge pudding. Still, the company was great and we had great fun with our serving team.







    After dinner, I wanted to get some more photos with characters. There were two lines: one for Russian Goofy and one for Russian Mickey. I got into the line for Mickey. This turned out to be a mistake as Goofy went while I was still on line for Mickey and Mickey seemed to stay out for a long time.



    Once I had my photo taken, we headed for bed. Our stateroom host had left us a huge crocodile. Graham put it on the floor and put the stingray with it and announced that the floor was now the aquarium. I was not quite sure about the wisdom of this, but did not say anything and went to sleep.

     

    buzz for boys

    <font color=royalblue><marquee>Certified Serious S
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2005
    Fantatsic trippie. You pack sooo muchinto each day and I love the fact that you get so many pictures with the characters.
    Just brilliant x
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 13

    This day marked the end of all the sea days in the row. When we got up in the morning, we had docked in St. Maarten. Suddenly seeing land after 5 wonderful days of being in the middle of the Atlantic would have been a shock to the system at the best of times, but our first glimpse of civilization was of a spectacularly ugly kind.

    First things first though, we had our wake up call set at the usual time and got ready for the day. We had another private excursion booked for our DIS group that day so we needed to be quite organized. We got ready, gathered the stuff that we needed for the day and put it in a bag so that we just had to grab it on the way down to the gangway. Once we were all done, we went up to deck 9 to get some breakfast at Topsiders.

    When we got up to deck 9 I was surprised that they had built an apartment block right at the port and a spectacularly ugly one at that. Port facilities are not usually pretty, but this was the ugliest I had seen. As we walked along the deck, we realized that this was not an apartment block after all, but another ship. It turned out to be the Norwegian Epic.

    We went to Topsiders for some breakfast and then went back to the cabin to pick our stuff. We had a message on our phone reminding us of the meeting point an time for out private tour.

    It was still quite early, but we decided to head out anyway as I was not sure how easy our meeting point would be to find. This gave me time to take some photos of "Beauty and the Beast" and the port area, which was actually very pretty. The Norwegian Epic had their characters out by the gangways. We had come across the dolphin characters when we sailed on the Norwegian Jade last year. I thought Disney had missed a trick there, they should have had Mickey and Minnie out and showed NCL just how pathetic their characters were.

















    We found our meeting point with no problem. Soon afterwards other people started to arrive. The owner of the tour company showed up to see if we were ready. There would be 3 mini buses and everybody had arrived for two of them, but everybody for the third mini bus was missing and our organizers decided we should wait for them. It turned out that they had an old version of the group navigator, which had shown the meeting time as 15 minutes later and they had not got the message.

    With everybody present and accounted for, we headed to the taxi rank. We were introduced to our driver Joe and got into the mini bus. We were just about to leave when the owner of the tour company approached with another family. They were supposed to be on the third mini bus and we never figured out why the last minute change. I felt for the little girl in that family. The allocations had been sorted out that couples and other adult only parties were together and families with kids were together. She ended up with just adults. That could not have been much fun for her.

    Our first stop was an observation point. On the way there, Joe told us a bit about himself and plenty about the island. The view from the observation point was stunning. When we got back to the mini bus, he encouraged us to have a drink. Unlimited rum punch, beer, water and soft drinks were included in the price of the tour. Graham and I decided to try the rum punch, which was very nice.















    The next stop was Maho Beach. The beach is right by the airport. The bigger planes arrive in the afternoon, buy we saw a few smaller planes take off and land. When we got there, I headed straight for the sea. The access from the beach was a bit steep, but the water was gorgeous. It was an amazing experience to be in the sea with a plane very low overhead as it was preparing to land. Graham had got out of the water to take some video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKC3zSfmxEk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5C4Jq5_SEU

    All too soon it was time to get out of the sea and rinse off the sand and salt. We had about an hour at Maho Beach before we had to be back on the mini bus. We had some soft drinks and then headed off towards our next stop, the open market in Marigot, the capital of the French part of the island. On the way there, we passed a number of landmarks and learned a lot more about the island.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Before the cruise a lot of people had said that the open market in Marigot is a must see. We were supposed to stop for 30 minutes, but some people wanted to stay longer. In the end a compromise was reached and we stayed 45 minutes. In my oppinion, 30 minutes was already far too long. The market just sold tourist tat of the worst kind and we were back at the mini bus after about 20 minutes. Other people arrived back at the same time as well. Joe was dishing out the rum punch and we were quite happily sitting in the shade drinking it. One good thing had come out of this stop. We managed to get Graham a pirate shirt for Pirate Night. Obviously other people had the same idea as the ship was full of men wearing the pirate shirts in various colours that night.

    Once everybody was back, we headed off to our final stop. Dawn Beach was back on the Dutch side of the island. This is where we would have about 2.5 hours to have lunch, swim and snorkel. We headed straight for the sea, but this was a different experience from Maho Beach. The sea was very rough and I felt very uncomfortable. After we had battled the waves for a while, we decided to get some lunch. When we got to the restaurant by the entrance to the beach, we noticed that they did not accept credit card and only accepted Dollars. As we came from Barcelona, we did not have a chance to get any Dollars and the few Dollars that we had over from last year had mainly been spent on the shirt. I spotted a hotel with a restaurant on the opposite side of the beach. We decided to head over there to see if they would accept credit cards. They did, but in the end we did not need it. They had a deal with a Cheeseburger with fries and a local beer for $5. This sounded good to us and we even had enough cash for this. We sat on raised deck in the shade and enjoyed the beautiful view while we had our lunch.











    The tide must have turned while we were having lunch. The waves had died away and the water was flat calm. This was a lot more fun to swim in and we swam until it was time to dry off and head back to the mini bus.

    After this stop, we were heading back to the ship. On the way there, Joe offered to drop of people at the main shopping street in Philipsburg. The people who took this option would have to make their own way back to the ship. Graham asked if I wanted to have a look around town, but I politely declined. Despite applying copious amounts of sunscreen throughout the day, I had burned quite badly and I was feeling pretty ropey. I felt a little guilty, but it turned out that Graham had only asked as he thought I might like to do some shopping and he did not really want to go into town.

    I had a quick look around one of the shops at the port as I was hoping that they might sell a rash guard as we had two more beach days and I did not want to burn more. Unfortunately they did not stock anything like this and we headed back to the ship.

    I rested for a while before getting changed into my Pirate's costume. We decided to head for the Promenade Lounge to get something to drink. On the way, I spotted that some of the characters were out in their Pirate costumes so I asked Graham to get me a Virgin Pina Colada and I got in the very short lines for the characters. I managed to get photos taken with Chip and Dale, Mickey and Goofy. I also learned that characters and sunburn do not really mix. Let's just say that it was a pretty uncomfortable experience.







    Soon I decided to give the characters a miss and joined Graham in the Promenade Lounge. The Virgin Pina Colada went down a treat. At different times, various members of Cruise Staff came by and to my complete surprise, Graham seemed to know quite a few of them. It was nice to just chat with them.

    I actually started to shiver so I had to give in and get a warm top from the cabin. I felt much happier with that on. While I had gone, various members from out cruise meet thread had 6appeared. There were some hardcore Pirates of the Caribbean fans in the group and a number of people had brought costumes of characters from the film. They looked fantastic. The costumes were really elaborate and looked pretty authentic. I was actually surprised that Disney would allow this. After all, they would not allow somebody to turn up in a Mickey costume. It did not take long for me to understand that there was a good reason for this. Somebody who had dressed up as Davy Jones, took of his mask in full view of everybody including a number of children and had something to drink. I was furious. I thought it was a wonderful thing that people felt so passionate about this and the length they had gone to. However, to me having such authentic costumes comes with a responsibility. They should have stayed in character while wearing the costumes in public.

    I had not planned to have anymore photos with characters taken as it had been too painful earlier on. However, I had spotted in the Navigator that Stitch would be up near the Walt Disney Theater on deck 4. That was just too good to pass up as I love Stitch. When I got there, I was suprised to find just Stitch and an escort without a photographer. The upside was that there was no line either. I managed to spend some quality time with Stitch who decided to play hide and seek with the lace wrap that I had tied around my waist. His escort took some pretty good photos of us. When some more people appeared, I headed back down to the Promenade Lounge.









    We decided to get another drink. We opted for a Virgin Peach Daiquiri, which was very yummy and refreshing, but did not actually taste of peach. I think the bartender had got mixed up and made us Orange Daiquiris instead.

    While we were finishing our drink, they started to set up for Pirate Trivia. For some reason we are pretty good at this and had won it on our last two cruises. We had decided to go for the hatrick. We managed to get all the questions right, but so did a number of other people. Still, everybody with a perfect score got a medal.

    Once Pirate Trivia was over, it was nearly time for dinner. We went to the bathroom and then waited near the restaurant. Two of our table mates arrived at the same time and we chatted with them for a bit.

    This might have been our 5th cruise, but it was only the second time that we ate in the dining room on Pirate Night. Apart from our very first cruise, we had always ended up at Palo on Pirate Night. I like the menu, but it is extremely noisy in the dining room on that particular night. In future, we will arrange to eat at Palo on Pirate Night again.

    Two of our table mates were not at dinner. They had told us the night before that they would skip dinner and fill up at the buffet at the Pirate Party instead. We each got a bandana, but we got just got a normal menu rather that the souvenir menus that were given out on previous cruises.

    I had Pirates Golden Pot Stickers, Chilled-to-the-Bone Honeydew Melon and Watermelon Soup, Sirloin of Beef and the Sweet Temptations (White Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake and Rum Barbosa). Graham had the Crab Cake and Mahi Mahi and the White Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert.

    Before the cruise, I had every intention to make it to the Pirate Party this time round. I really wanted to see the fireworks and we had never made it to the Pirate Party before. Well, unfortunately this time round was no exception either. We were both tired and I was shivering and generally not feeling to bright. So we decided to head for bed instead. I quickly took a photo of the towel monkey that our stateroom host had left us and headed to bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was asleep.

     

    ForTheLoveOfDCL

    A Dream is a wish your
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2008
    Corinna--love the update... The pictures of you and Graham are cute. Yeah I think I get his personality is kinda ornery and quirky so the beating of tink seems right...haha
    I thought the Norweigen cruise ship was ugly. I know alot of people love the other cruise lines but I think titanic when I think cruise--classic oceanliner which is what DCL is!!

    Love all your pictures with the characters. I can't wait for October. In a few days we can say our MR cruise is "this year"!! Thanks for the update...waiting impatiently for more..haha
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Corinna--love the update... The pictures of you and Graham are cute. Yeah I think I get his personality is kinda ornery and quirky so the beating of tink seems right...haha
    I thought the Norweigen cruise ship was ugly. I know alot of people love the other cruise lines but I think titanic when I think cruise--classic oceanliner which is what DCL is!!

    Love all your pictures with the characters. I can't wait for October. In a few days we can say our MR cruise is "this year"!! Thanks for the update...waiting impatiently for more..haha
    I thought I better get my backside into gear. Graham has threatened that I would not get to go on the Panama Canal Cruise if my trip report was not finished by then. I have a week to go before my vacation officially starts. I just booked a hotel near the airport for next week Tuesday.

    I will post the next installment before I go to bed tonight.

    Corinna
     



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