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Old 02-21-2013, 02:45 PM   #1516
eandesmom
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Caught up again...

Your pirate meal at Animators looked really good.
It was!

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You guys got some great gifts from your F.E. ::yes:
We did! And they didn't end there

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Love the birthday cake towel animal!
It was cute, I think Kendall got 2 towel cakes over the course of the trip but maybe it was more. It is always fun when that works out, Eric got one back in 2011 that was adorable.

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The view of Castaway Key you had from the room is awesome!
I wish I was sitting on that verandah right now with that view!

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Looks like you had another busy day doing nothing!
The best kind of busy there is!
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #1517
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Speaking of Percy though....Sea of Monsters is finally in post production, I am glad the franchise didn't die off movie wise even though we were all disappointed in the Lightening Thief.

Hmmm... Do you mean because 11 year old Percy was a very mature looking 16 year old...? If I hadn't read the books I don't think I would have been quite as disappointed... but a large part of it is a coming of age story... and they kind of just killed it... (It really wouldn't have been a bad movie if I hadn't read the books first... I thought it was good in parts... and I'm actually glad they are making another one...)

Your photos of CC were awesome... lots of details... the E's seemed totally blissed.... I think that one of those shorter 3-4 day cruises might be a great way to check it out... just when is the cruise off season?... (Obviously I'm not any kind of cruise expert...)
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:18 PM   #1518
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Hmmm... Do you mean because 11 year old Percy was a very mature looking 16 year old...? If I hadn't read the books I don't think I would have been quite as disappointed... but a large part of it is a coming of age story... and they kind of just killed it... (It really wouldn't have been a bad movie if I hadn't read the books first... I thought it was good in parts... and I'm actually glad they are making another one...)
At the time the age thing didn't bother me as much, though it did the E's. They were very caught up in Annabeth being a brunette and no Clarisse. Both of which are supposedly addresed in Sea of Monsters. But how 21-26 year old actors are supposed to play 13 year olds is a bit beyond me



Medusa rocked though and I am VERY sad that Pierce isn't doing the next one. Sniff.

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Your photos of CC were awesome... lots of details... the E's seemed totally blissed.... I think that one of those shorter 3-4 day cruises might be a great way to check it out... just when is the cruise off season?... (Obviously I'm not any kind of cruise expert...)
Oh there are more coming and totally blissed is a very very apt description. It's funny though, For kids that got a bit antsy at Vero (and preferred the pool) and avoided the ocean at Nassau they were sure into CC. Not sure if it's the Disney bubble and magic but boy it sure worked on them! It's a darn good thing that the S. Carribean itinerary we are now booked on (Greece was just too much $$ but I am hoping there is a fire sale after the paid in full date lol) doesn't go to CC as I don't think they'd forgive us.

Peak season for cruises matches Disneyworld peak in a lot of ways. Holidays (xmas, thanksgiving, new years) and then summer. The rest is considerably less expensive.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:17 PM   #1519
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CC looks beautiful! Glad all of the kids got to be happy doing their own thing, while the grownups relaxed...sounds like the right way to spend a day!

It's freezing here in NY lately. I could use a sunny, warm beach right about now.

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Old 02-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #1520
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Joined in some time ago and I finally caught up!! I am enjoying reading about your family and your pictures of the cruise are making me want to try one. I am terrible claustrophobic though, so I often worry I would just be sick all the time...

As for your "walking," I need to learn more about this. I was just talking with Poolrat about the possibilities of getting 2 villas at the 7 months out mark for WL or BC, and whether or not they would be available, etc. I am intrigued by your complex planning methods...I think I need a spreadsheet! I am glad to hear you...kind of got it work out I think. Please instruct me in your DVC ways!!

Thanks for the enjoyable TR so far! I look forward to reading more.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:34 PM   #1521
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Lovely pictures!! Seeing your son digging in the sand reminds me of my own sand-loving son!! He still loves digging, at age 15....
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #1522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norybell View Post
CC looks beautiful! Glad all of the kids got to be happy doing their own thing, while the grownups relaxed...sounds like the right way to spend a day!

It's freezing here in NY lately. I could use a sunny, warm beach right about now.

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It's cold, grey, drizzly and dreary here too. I'd give anything to be on that beach right now. It was the perfect way to spend a day.

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Joined in some time ago and I finally caught up!! I am enjoying reading about your family and your pictures of the cruise are making me want to try one. I am terrible claustrophobic though, so I often worry I would just be sick all the time...
First of all and thanks for delurking!

It's funny, I'd been on a couple of other lines before our first Disney cruise and ships really have evolved. I did a carnival cruise with an oceanview (tiniest porthole ever) many many years ago and that really was claustrophobic, big time, couldn't stand it and swore I'd never do a room like that again. I didn't find our stateroom either time to be claustrophobic but I think the verandah does make a huge difference in that. To compare it to a resort, the family ocean view stateroom with verandah is 299 sqaure feet, a room at POP is 260, POR 314. The regular verandah room is 246. Unlike a resort room though, the 2nd bed isn't "out" so that helps a lot and I will say the rooms on the Dream felt bigger just due to better layout and storage options than on the Wonder but they are actually quite similar in size. The standard inside stateroom, at 184 though, that feels really claustrophobic to me, I don't think I could do it.


The vast majority of the public spaces outside the rooms are quite large. But I'd hate to take a risk if it's an issue. Hallways are narrow.

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As for your "walking," I need to learn more about this. I was just talking with Poolrat about the possibilities of getting 2 villas at the 7 months out mark for WL or BC, and whether or not they would be available, etc. I am intrigued by your complex planning methods...I think I need a spreadsheet! I am glad to hear you...kind of got it work out I think. Please instruct me in your DVC ways!!

Thanks for the enjoyable TR so far! I look forward to reading more.
I don't believe walking works all that well at 7 months as owners have the advantage for the 5 months prior. 2 villas is a challenge you'd have to call MS and ask about availability starting early to even get a feel for what might be available. You can check online of course but it won't tell you if availability is 1 or 2. What time of year and size of villa are you trying to book for? That will definitely impact your chances. You can also leverage folks here to check for you if those are their home resorts.

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Lovely pictures!! Seeing your son digging in the sand reminds me of my own sand-loving son!! He still loves digging, at age 15....
I am positive Eric will still love it at 15. I can't see him ever not loving it. He has always been a sand monster and spends hours at the lake here sitting and digging. He doesn't generally build much of consequence so I've always thought that there is something in the digging, and the texture of sand, that does it for him.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #1523
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Castaway Air

The E's having sneaked in one last slide after their adventures with sand had shovels, and Kendall, having worked up a major appetite playing sand soccer (which apparently is hard!) we were all ready to head to lunch. Before heading to the buffet, for some reason I felt compelled to take a picture of pirate Mickey before he washed of, a remnant from the previous evening



I must have been hungry. I didn't actually take any pictures of the buffet area itself!

So instead I've stolen a couple from the public domain. Thank you public domain!!

The BBQ stations



Drink station (which we had been to a LOT already), notice the soft serve!


not terribly helpful really. Sorry! I'm fired.

But look at my lovely plate!



Mahi Mahi and pineapple upside down cake. Nothing says beach bbq like that does it! At least my idea of a beach BBQ. Of course the beans, potato salad and fruit didn't hurt either.

Jeff took a very different approach to the offerings. Yes, why have fish when you can have a burger AND a dog. And cookies! LOL!



Eric was down with the burger idea too



Apparently so were Kendall and Evan! And notice the mug...evidence that we definitely packed "something" for Jeff to drink. I'm still sticking with the rum idea and that he added coke from the drink station as logistically a beer sounds like way too much effort for us to have kept cold.



Apparently I did at least look up during lunch



Lunch was GOOD! It very much exceeded my expectations. Fish, at a buffet can often be dry and both at Cabanas lunch and now, Cookies too, it was very tasty. I can't speak for the others and well to me, a burger (and a dog) is just that but they all ate it happily enough. Evan apparently ate (or took) too much, he decided to bring chips for the road. Probably because he'd grabbed 2 bags of chips to go with his burger (and corn, and cookies and I think I see some pineapple upside down cake on that tray too!). I do recall chastising him for the 2 bags of chips.

I'm sure ice cream was eaten at some point but some but have no record of it. Eric seems annoyed by Evan and his chips, but I can't think of why.



Just kidding!



See a theme here? Sigh. Eric's mugging for the camera. AGAIN.

But he was excited so I guess it was ok. Why?

It was time for this!



After lunch we'd rented one more set so both boys could go. Kendall took off to play volleyball

There they go! Evan finally wearing a rash guard without being nagged. Live and learn little man.





And&we watched them get settled which of course meant, more shots of the ship!



Check it out



Thumbs up mom!



Ok actually that looks like Eric is going thumbs down but since he did that the entire trip, first a down and then an up with a cheesy grin, we knew better. Still it was annoying, he thought it was hysterical but I didn't. Boy who cried wolf and all.

But you know what that means dont you? It's the adult all clear!



Lets go explore where the big kids play!

First, a little walk



And a spy on a teen



Yep, where she said she'd be





Now a funny thing happened here. We planned to take the tram out to Serenity bay but got on the wrong one, rode around in a loop and got back off. DOH. Then we waited. And waited. And said. Forget it, lets walk! We wasted at least 30 minutes on this misadventure.



Not on a bike but still a path

Even better...

An AIRSTRIP!

Donalds plane didn't fare so well (guess thats how they got "Castaway")

Not really. There is a fascinating backstory to the airstrip and well, not very Disney like to be sure. Disney has a more wholesome version.





The box says "path" behind Jeff but as it is in the picture it looks like a box that maybe a bike came in. LOL!




Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 02-23-2013 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #1524
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Castaway Air Continued

Continued from previous

Oh my!



As with everything Disney, the theming is fabulous



Now that's what we call a bar!



And a beach







Yes, it is called Serenity Bay for a reason!

We found some loungers, set our stuff up and waded out. Waded as well, it is quite shallow. For quite a ways. Like all the way. No breaking waves and tons of fish swimming around your feet. We were out there for, honestly, I have no idea how long.









Just fun to walk around float a little, chat and look at fish. Idyllic to be sure. At some point, we decided we wanted to go here for a beverage.



Sorry, we're closed.

WHAT?







It was about 3 pm. All aboard wasn't until 4:30!

Robbed. Robbed I tell you. Completely, utterly robbed. We were NOT happy. We may have begged. It didn't work.

The CM/bartender told us they closed at 3 as they needed the time to get everything back to the ship but that some of the other locations would be open until 4. Hmmph. Party foul.

Guess well have to come back someday!

Conch's and Cocktails

Last edited by eandesmom; 03-16-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #1525
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Ah, you managed to capture pictures of what Heaven must look like.

Jill in CO
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:04 PM   #1526
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SERENITY NOW!

Thank you for posting those pictures. While I am very interested in the idea of a cruise, I have to say that the crowded photos of the pools on board and the family beach at Castaway Cay made me wonder if I'd really like it.

It looks like you had Serenity Bay all to yourselves!!! Although totally agree it is WRONG to close the bar at 3 with 90 min to all aboard. A girl could do some good drinking in those 90 min.

Looks like the kids had a great time with their various activities and the buffet looks pretty good - and this is from a non-buffet lover.

Definitely mulling over the idea of a cruise. Maybe someday. Might be fun for a group/girls trip...
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:13 PM   #1527
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Ah - Castaway Cay!! Not so long anymore until I can explore there, so your update was a very welcome reminder of my upcoming vacation!

The snorkel lagoon looks rather crowded, not sure I will want to try that. I don't know why, but I expected it to be more spacious...

However Serenity Bay seems deserted!! Do you think that this was due to it being later in the day? Or was the ship just more full of families? Our cruise had a "Kids sail free" promotion going on, so I am expecting lots of families, maybe more than would be usual for non-vacation time. If that causes us to have such a wonderful nearly empty adult beach, that would be wonderful!!

And I will make sure to go and hunt for drinks before 3pm!!!
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #1528
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Just got back from Mexico last night- I have lots of catching up to do around here!


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I have not yet converted over to the new photo bucket. I am dragging my feet kicking and screaming. I know I need to do it, but I can't quite stomach it yet.
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Everyone is having issues at the moment as they are mid site upgrade and changing the rules. I'm fairly invested there and until recently have been quite happy with my pro account, which I didn't renew all that long ago. With the changes I no longer have unlimited storage (but am only 50% full so do still have lots of room) and I've uploaded all the pics from the last 2 trips so won't move them. Depending on how it plays out with the site improving, or not, I may try out flickr for Aulani. I just don't like the idea of having stuff in more than one spot.
You guys are scaring me!!!

I finally figured out that they changed the resizing on the old version. I think you have to import at the size you want and I haven't figured out how to make a change once you have added the picture.

I have also avoided switching to the new version. I have a pro account, too, and lots of pictures stored, both mine and the ones for the Yacht & Beach Club FAQ. I could be in big trouble!

I'll worry about that another day- or about 25 days!


************************************************

Now on to happier things...

What a great Castaway Cay day, starting with the view from your verandah! WOW!!!

Great looking beaches. Love the Disney sand shovel!!! My boys (well mostly Ben) still dig digging at the beach. Nate and his friends will still dig if they have big shovels and can make big holes.

I'm so happy to hear the boys loved the snorkeling. One of my favorite things to do.

Lunch looks super! Nothing like sand and sun and sea to make you hungry.

Love that Serenity Bay was so uncrowded. Don't love that the bar was closed!
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #1529
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The food looks good.
I continue to be amazed at the size of the ship!
Glad you found that peaceful beach to just hang out and talk. What a nice memory!
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:47 AM   #1530
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A bar that closes at 3pm? That just seems wrong, but I get the idea of needing to get everything back on board. I will have to remember that last call is 3pm!

Glad you made it over to the adult beach. It really does look so relaxing and I will totally be there next October!

I am also glad to hear that lunch was good! I have only heard good things about it.

Nice pics!
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