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Old 02-13-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
jerelle
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Eastern Caribbean Jan 28-Feb 5

Let me begin by saying WOW!

A bit of background: We were myself, DH and DD aged 14. We were sailing in celebration of the FANTASTIC deal they had for Canadians in January and early February cruises. I am a Disney fan from way back and have been to the World 8 times. I've always wanted to go on a cruise but since I stayed home to raise my family and have only returned to work 4 years ago, after going back to college, AND having DS in University, DCL was out of the question. We've sailed on RCL and Carnival the past 3 years but NEITHER compared with this ship. Honestly, from start to finish we had nothing to say but WOW!

We received a 25% discount on EACH fare and got an onboard credit which made our cruise this year, the same price as our Carnival cruise last year. (and for those of you who are wondering, the Carnival and RCL cruises that went to St Maarten and St Thomas were MORE expensive than this cruise!!!!) Has anyone guessed that I am the last of the big time spenders???? Really, I grew up with a father who taught me to be frugal and my motto is "why spend more than you have to?" As a matter of fact, it's become a game for me to see how cheaply we can get what we want.

When I saw the cruise fares I knew I'd have to sell my DH who doesn't quite share my love of the Mouse as much. I noticed on a thread that you can bring as much beer as you like. "oh HONEY..." said I.

We decided our cruise based on the itinerary and it's timing near my DD's 14th birthday. Good choice! The weather couldn't have been better and we sailed through one storm-that's all the rain we had(and it was kinda cool actually)

On with the show: we arrived in Cocoa Beach at 4:30 on Friday evening, a very quick 45 minutes from the Orlando airport in our Budget one way rental and didn't seem to be too affected by the repair on the highway. You just tuck around the accident sight and back on with smooth sailing after that. We stayed at Best Western Oceanfront suites and our room was both lovely and clean. We had a little fridge (good to cool our cruise beer->cold when we arrived in our stateroom!) BONUS! (NB: you cannot pack beer on ice to bring on the ship-you have to add ice afterwards)

We headed out to the ocean for a quick walk and just in time to watch a RCL ship sail away. We waked up to the pier and checked out the very crowded restaurants and deck seating area. We settled on AW Shucks at the very start of the pier and wouldn't ya know it was Happy Hour. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! Being from Ottawa, they've banned happy hours in our city so it's always cool to visit a state that has them.

We had the standard wings, ribs and nachos and listened to the music from the band playing up the pier. We headed to Publix across the street soon after for our beer and drinks. We bought Malibu Rum Punch in little pouches like wine comes in->YUMMY but strong. As well a box of wine. Very good prices.

From there home to bed. We had a big day ahead. Went to sleep easily but was awakened quickly around 2 with my DH saying: I didn't pack my suit! Are you kidding me???

Now, usually I am totally type A packing everyone and everything. The last couple of times, all I've heard on the trip was, "Honey/Mom you didn't pack this/that? I NEEDED IT!!" So last year I decided I was to make lists for suggestions and pack all the paraphernalia that I THOUGHT we would require plus do all the FE's and pack them and the others would do their own. Back to 2 am: I said, "well, you won't be able to dine with us on formal and semi formal nights then." (May I add how proud I was of myself that I neither took responsibility for it, nor did I freak out as per usual!!!)

He decided to go down and check the suit bag and returned with a smile making me even more glad I didn't freak out! YAY! BUT(you know there's always a but...) he didn't pack any pants. <sigh> I told him blankly that we'd need to get him some because there were no shorts in the dining room(which was a rule we were to find that they often bended) and that we'd agreed that we'd be dining in the dining rooms each night. So, we knew that we'd need to head to a mall in the morning. This meant that I wouldn't be able to get the precious early boarding pass that I had secretly coveted for months. I tried to get over myself and quickly fell back asleep.

The next morning we went for a quick and yummy breakfast(deluxe continental was eggs and sausage and bacon-YAY Deluxe!) and headed to find both Target and the mall. After turning up his nose at the pants at Target, we headed to Macy's at the mall. A quick purchase and we were at the Budget waiting for our shuttle to the Port by 10:45.

We had to wait about 25 minutes for a shuttle but Budget does it well and had about 3 running at once. I must say, pulling up to the Disney terminal was so exciting there were a few tears of joy! We headed in and were quickly processed and were on the ship in about 30 minutes, curb to our arrival being announced. BTW: that is so special.

We went straightaway to Rockin' Bar D to get Palo ressies cause were weren't lucky enough to get them online. We got Friday evening, Castaway Cay day, which was great for us. Then we quickly headed to Guest Services to get Tea with Alice tickets for my DD and myself. We got Thurs at 4. Perfect!

Then we had a quick look around the beautiful ship and by then it was time to see if our room was ready for us. We found our Room attendant, Loyd, in our stateroom and he was the sweetest man. We offered him a nice tip to keep our cooler filled with ice and he politely refused, saying that it was HIS job and he'd be happy to do that for us! WOW!

Off we headed to Deck 9 to check out the pools and enjoy the Florida sunshine!!! We opted out of the buffets because we didn't want to be indoors(we were in FLA, people!!!). We ate at both Goofy's (yummy) Galley and the Burger grill. I entered a draw to win services in the spa(but didn't win) and we enjoyed the Sail Away Party and the waving goodbye to all the people ashore. This was going to be a great cruise. I could just feel it!

Last edited by jerelle; 01-17-2014 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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Pics of Day 1 Sailaway

We met a few people from our FE exchange, which was exciting. I had missed the get together because I had to be in the spa for the draw. Since I am an RMT I really wanted to win a free massage!!! It's OK, I had one anyway-I just had to pay!

So, the Sail Away party started and it was so cute. The music was fun and to our surprise-Daisy was the party duck! Tesia, one of the entertainment crew quickly became our favourite. She had the ability to get things started and was HILARIOUS!!! Soon things started to clear and we knew that was a sign that early dining was almost upon us. We had late dining but wanted to see the first of many wonderful shows.

We decided this might be a nice time to introduce DD to the teen club. Parents are only allowed in the first day. Once the 1st night rolls around they actually shoo you out! I'm not kidding-I tried to peek in! I think it's good though and it keeps undesirable adults out as well. Just an added safety precaution, I guess. The club was lovely:it was set up like a college dorm and had two areas a "bar" where they could get soda and smoothies, a dance floor, couches and chairs and a big screen for video games and videos. There was also a back room area with board games and bean bag chairs. There was tons of things to keep them busy. The counselors Casey, James and Alfred are to be commended for their abilities. Honestly, in past cruises, my DD has been too shy to mingle and talk. They set things up so well that the teens couldn't help but mingle. It was great!
They strongly advised her to come back later that night for the session where they vote to choose their itinerary for the week-kind of the coolest thing ever-should be done in high school. She was in with a bunch of like minds and they quickly came up with a week of FUN! My precious, innocent DD was out later than WE were most nights! This is all thanks to the Wave phones. Otherwise, I wouldn't have felt comfortable.

We loved the first show and went to Parrot Cay for our PLAPLAP rotation. It is so pretty and I was sad to return and find I hadn't taken any pictures of the restaurant itself. I loved my meal, my DD loved her meal and my DH liked his. I told him to hang tight because a lot happens on the first night! He tends to be picky, so I was worried. Turns out a few people were also disappointed with their meat entree. DD is a vegetarian and I love vegetarian cuisine and we were thrilled to see that there were several options each night. I also have a tree nut allergy and they (over)dealt with that promptly.

Our dining room head guy Godwin, came over explained everything and told me that the Chef would like me to order my meals for the week right then and there. While I think that it was an incredibly safe and efficient way to deal with it to ensure that nothing would ever be cross contaminated (I was told they even used a separate kitchen) I opted out. Who knows what they want to eat ahead of time??? He advised me not to dine in the buffets at night and to be careful with the Pirate Dessert Buffet, but that I could come and ask at the dining room or at room service for any dessert anytime. I was "flagged" WOW! I never once had a reaction to anything and my meals weren't bland either! I must say that the first night was incredibly rocky and some people were having to leave dinner early to preserve their tummies contents. Fortunately we don't get motion sickness but instead enjoyed the ride!

We were so tired after dinner that we headed out for one drink at Sessions and off to bed. My DD met us and we all headed back for a perfect night's sleep. The bed's were really comfy-even the couch pullout for DD! We loved the swan towel from Loyd and DD ate her Sleepy chocolate every night at turn down!

Last edited by jerelle; 01-16-2014 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
taraandmike
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We were on this cruise and agree with you it was wonderful. I can not wait to hear some more, love to hear about other's experiences on the same cruise!
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taraandmike View Post
We were on this cruise and agree with you it was wonderful. I can not wait to hear some more, love to hear about other's experiences on the same cruise!
Oh FUN! I wonder if our DD's met in the Vibe? Mine is Lauren.

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Old 02-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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I am trying to upload pics but having some technical difficulties. BOO! This is where my age is showing...
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
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Swan towel!!!

Last edited by jerelle; 02-15-2011 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:57 AM   #7
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Bye Bye Cocoa Beach!
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #8
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Our sideways stateroom #6503.
Entry is on the left. This shot is looking from the wall beside the master bed.

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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Marking for later!
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:44 PM   #10
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more please!

What stateroom were you in?
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:41 PM   #11
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Looking forward to the rest of your report. We are doing the Eastern in March and can't wait.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:27 AM   #12
jerelle
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Thanks everyone. Works been busy but I will try and post Day 2 and 3 later today.

BTW: Does anyone know how I can make these pics bigger? I think I am doing everything right but somehow they are coming out thumbnail size.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerelle View Post


Bye Bye Cocoa Beach!
If you edit your post remove the /thumbs from the middle of the img code. I'm looking forward to the rest of your report.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:56 AM   #14
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YOU ROCK peachygreen! I could say "peachy keen" peachy green!!!!

Thanks a big bunch.

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:59 AM   #15
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url=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/disney-magic-cruise-2011/p62630-master-bed-with-pull-across-curtain-for-privacy.html][/url]
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