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Old 01-14-2013, 08:46 PM   #1246
Misskitty3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
I think that is a good idea, she will be really frustrated otherwise and that's no fun for anyone



Honestly, I wish we didn't get a full week. It's annoying. The only benefit is that it means our spring break is later and thus not at peak times but since we don't typically go anywhere for either it just means 2 weeks of frustrated and bored kids. It also means we get out late but then again most of the state does. When do you get out? I think we are June 23 this year assuming no snow days.



I think they'd be bored unless we really planned a lot of activity and the pool had a slide and/or lazy river. They are obsessed with going, primarily b/c they have a lot of friends that go on a regular basis and we have family there. I do think we could find plenty to do but it would be a very active trip with hikes etc to keep the boredom away. Hotel only they'd probalby start crawling up the wall in a day or 2. It will be interesting to see if Aulani has enough to keep them entertained. Right now I am thinking I may let them pick between Aulani and DLR for 2015 midwinter or spring break. I wouldn't try DLR for midwinter (Pres weekend) but it's great for points at Aulani. It will be interesting to see what they pick.

There was a lot more to keep the kids entertained on the ship, all ages of them!


My kids get out on June 19th so not much earlier than yours. We are heading to DL on June 23rd, no matter if there are snow days or not!

I see what you mean about halving a whole week off for mid-winter break equalling bored kids. A week off is a long time considering winter vacation just ended 6 weeks earlier. Plus, in Feb, unless you ski, the kids really are stuck inside most of the time.

Our mid-winter break is Feb 14 & 15 and then we have Monday off for President's Day. I did get tickets to Cirque du Soliel on the 14th and just DS and I are going. It will be his 1st time and I am really excited. Those Cirque athletes are very inspiring to me!!

As for Hawaii, we always stay at a hotel with water slides etc. Unfortunately, the pools aren't heated so the kids can only be in the pool for so long ....we usually hang out at a lagoon which is more protected than the regular beach and warmer than the hotel pools! I really want to go next January (during conference time) so we will see ....
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:01 AM   #1247
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It did look like a lovely spot, just a pity you weren't able to make the most of it, but you seem to have the right attitude, no point staying and all being unhappy about it, might as well head back to the ship and enjoy it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:40 PM   #1248
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Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
My kids get out on June 19th so not much earlier than yours. We are heading to DL on June 23rd, no matter if there are snow days or not!
I would love to head there this summer. Not going to happen but we all really want to go that's for sure!

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Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
I see what you mean about halving a whole week off for mid-winter break equalling bored kids. A week off is a long time considering winter vacation just ended 6 weeks earlier. Plus, in Feb, unless you ski, the kids really are stuck inside most of the time.

Our mid-winter break is Feb 14 & 15 and then we have Monday off for President's Day. I did get tickets to Cirque du Soliel on the 14th and just DS and I are going. It will be his 1st time and I am really excited. Those Cirque athletes are very inspiring to me!!
I'd prefer a long weekend like that. K's school has that schedule, either with Thursday or the Tuesday off (not sure which this year) and that would be better. Financially it's hard to do a trip that close to Xmas for us. We've done it as a ski trip before but that's pricey. One year I'd love to do Aulani at that time as the points are good but am not sure when that will play out as next year it'd be too close to the NYE trip, maybe the following year though (2015).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
As for Hawaii, we always stay at a hotel with water slides etc. Unfortunately, the pools aren't heated so the kids can only be in the pool for so long ....we usually hang out at a lagoon which is more protected than the regular beach and warmer than the hotel pools! I really want to go next January (during conference time) so we will see ....
I forgot about pools not being heated, I don't think I've ever been there when it's been an issue but then again I'm not in a pool for hours like kids are.

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It did look like a lovely spot, just a pity you weren't able to make the most of it, but you seem to have the right attitude, no point staying and all being unhappy about it, might as well head back to the ship and enjoy it.
It really was lovely!

I wouldn't say anyone was unhappy, just bored and sure there was more excitement elsewhere. We did leave at a good time to avoid the rain so that's something!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:13 PM   #1249
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Ta Da!

It had been a lovely and relaxing day, apparently a bit too much so for the kids taste. We dashed through the pouring rain and back onto the ship, taking advantage of the towels DCL was kind enough to have out for us. Food was first and foremost on our mind. Unfortunately our timing was bit poor. Cabanas was closed, making the switch from lunch to dinner, as was Royal Palace which would have been the sit down lunch option. This left us with 2 choices. Counter service or room service. Clearly the first one would be faster so it was a no brainer. For those who've not been on one of the ships, you do have a few options for counter service meals. Basically one area for food (Flo's) that’s broken into 3 sections and then 2 for ice cream and smoothies.

Flo's Café: Guests looking for a quick bite to eat on the Dream or Fantasy can visit Flo's V8 Café, located near Donald's Pool on Deck 11.

A few options to choose from!

Luigi’s Pizza
Guido’s Mozzarella Cheese pizza
Flo’s Chicken and BBQ pizza
Lizzie’s Pepperoni pizza
Sally Carrera’s Vegetarian Special of the Day
Ramone’s Daily Specialty

Tow Mater’s Grill

Lightning McQueen’s Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers
Mac’s Seasoned to perfection Grilled Chicken
The Sheriff’s Off the grill hotdogs and Bratwurst sausages
Mater’s Favorite Crispy & Crunchy Chicken Tenders
(French Fries always available)

Fillmore’s Favorites
Sarge’s Choices: Filled rolls, Wraps and sandwiches
Stanley’s Selection: Freshly prepared to order Paninis
Radiator Springs Salad: Make your own Salad with your favorite ingredients from our salad bar, freshly hand tossed with your Choice of Dressings
Fillmore’s Sliced and Diced fresh fruits

This is great in concept, it really is. It is cute and close to the pool to eat, just like on the Wonder. But the whole world was coming back in from port and either in the pool or getting food. Other than disembarking, definitely the most crowded scenario we dealt with the entire cruise and it took us a bit to get seating. Because we all ordered our own thing, our food wasn't ready at the same time either. It hit the spot, definitely, but wasn't at all what I'd call relaxing. Now it doesn't say but I’m almost positive you can also get a garden burger. I know I had a Panini and fries but really can’t say what the others had. If I had to guess it would be the same for Jeff, maybe a wrap for K and the boy...probably a cheeseburger and fries but possibly chicken tenders. I am fairly sure we all got some fruit as well.

I think the kids wanted something from here after we finished our lunch.

Eye Scream, Frozone Treats: Frozen sweet treats are available from two quick-service venues located near Donald's Pool on Deck 11. Frozone Treats – named after the ice-creating superhero in the "The Incredibles" – mixes fruit smoothies. Eye Scream – inspired by Mike Wazowski from "Monsters, Inc." – offers softserve ice cream with plenty of favorite sundae toppings.

The reality of this means that EyeScream is softserve, that is free and unlimited and Frozone is anything but. Here is the menu from Frozone.
Incredible Smoothies — $3.95-$5.25
  • Berrilicious Mirage: Raspberry yogurt blended with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • Gazerbeam: Fresh Pineapple and Mango, vanilla yohgurt, lychee, ginger and fresh lemon grass
  • Synergizer: Coconut milk Lychee Syrup, Fres Mango, Lychee and Fresh lemon grass
  • Peachy Dash: Peach flavored yogurt, vanilla soy milk, fresh peach and blueberries
  • Mode Chai: Vanilla soy milk and yogurt, mango, lychee, fresh ginger and essence of chai
  • Jack-Jack favorites: Raspberry, Banana, Passion Fruit

The kids really wanted one. We preferred that they stick with the free options! At this point I think we all split up. I am guessing it was around 4pm by now but honestly have no idea. If memory serves (and my bill backs this up) , we armed the kids with an Arr-cade card, K took off to the teen club and Jeff and I did??? I honestly have no idea! My guess is we did a peruse in the shops, sans kids and then headed to the room to shower and chill out. We did order room service though for some entirely lame reason I didn’t take a picture. It is a very safe bet that it was the fruit and cheese plate, which we love to have as we are getting ready with a glass of wine. So there you go, at some point either before the show, or after (and I’m guessing most were before as Jeff needed to iron) we all showered and changed. It is probable we went to the show casual and then came back to change for dinner as that's been our habit.

Tonight was "Optional Dress Up" night. On cruises shorter than 7 nights, there is no official formal night. Though it was optional, we were going to dress up a bit. Tonight we would be dining at Royal Palace, which I was very excited about and had requested our rotation so that the dress up night would hit on the night we were scheduled there. I am fairly sure that all 5 of us made it to the show, but not in our "dressy" clothes yet and watched it together, though I am not 100% about Kendall. It is possible she was still out and we went back and met her at the stateroom to dress and head to dinner. I tell you it is a good thing I save receipts and navigators as I took a good 6 hour photo break and I'd have no clue what we did! I can tell you that I didn't take a single picture of the show. Possibly because I brought a smaller bag? Or that I just wanted to sit back and enjoy as it was entirely new to us. So since I bombed on the photos, here is what I can tell you about the show!

The Story Villains Tonight! tells the tale of Hades as he attempts to hold onto the title of "Lord of the Underworld." After The Fates warn him that he may lose his position as supreme ruler because the Underworld is too happy a place, Hades gathers the most powerful Disney villains in an attempt to make his underground kingdom a bit more wicked. Accompanied by some of Disney's most beloved scoundrels, Hades sets off on a exciting quest brimming with lively musical numbers and wacky antics.

The Villains Villains Tonight! features both classic and new Disney villains including:
  • Ursula from The Little Mermaid
  • Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians
  • The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Captain Hook from Peter Pan
  • Scar from The Lion King
  • Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog
The Songs Villains Tonight! features new takes on 8 classic Disney Villain tunes, including a 1970s disco–inspired rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid and a dance-club version of “Cruella De Vil” from 101 Dalmatians. Additionally, the show includes 2 original songs created especially for the production: “Welcome to the Underworld” and “Villains Tonight.”.

The Sets Villains Tonight! is a song-and-dance spectacular featuring dazzling special effects and pyrotechnical effects. The set design invites audience members to spend time in several famous villainous worlds, including the deck of Captain Hook's ship and Ursula‘s undersea lounge.

Behind the Scenes Boasting an all-star creative team, the show was written by Tony-nominated Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, directed by Allison Narver, choreographed by Karma Camp and musically directed by Ben Cohn.

What did we think? We liked it. I can’t say we loved all of it. Some of it was great and some of it, for us, fell a little flat. Part of it may have been that I've not seen Princess and the Frog so was lost during that part. The Hades story-line itself, didn't do much for us either (there was this whole "evil" meter that would go up and down and it just didn't add a darn thing). However, the Poor Unfortunate Souls number and the Cruella number were a ton of fun. So, a mixed bag. After the show we went back to get dressed. Jeff needed to iron, that much I know and there was drama about that as well as a group vote on which tie he should wear (I lost). As usual, Kendall and Jeff were the last to be ready, K as she couldn't decide between 2 outfits and Jeff due to the ironing. I do think he ironed the boys shirts as well but am not positive. We just stayed out of the way!

We had read that the Captain would be out and about, on the Wonder it was a bit more formal (with actual free drinks at the reception if memory serves) and this was a much more casual event. A fun fact, Captain Gus was the same Captain we’d had on the Wonder! Jeff really wanted to meet him so once we were all dressed up and ready to go, we did! The lighting is TOUGH in the atrium if you ask me, and sadly there wasn't a ships photographer taking pictures (which seemed silly to me). He and Jeff chatted quite a bit, about the differences between the Wonder and the Dream, sailing in Alaska versus the Bahamas and I know it was a highlight of the trip for Jeff.











Our adult meet and greet complete, it was time to be seated, it is a lovely restaurant!



I started off with the French Onion Soup



Belle's French Onion Soup with gruyere cheese crouton

In no particular order, here are our entrees and my best guess as to what they are:



Royal Palace Aged Angus Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Medallions - sauteed snow peas and marquis potatoes with a cognac reduction. I think the boys both got this. I’m not 100% on that though.



This may have been a baked salmon, which was available upon request. It definitely doesn’t match the menus I’ve found! I’m guessing this was K’s.



Roasted Wild Boar Tenderloin - sweet carrot and onion potato cake with a red currant reduction. I think both Jeff and got this?

For dessert



Crème Brulee! (Definitely mine!)


Strawberry Shortcake Sundae


A mystery dessert, doesn’t really match the menus either but could be this
Chocolate Ganache served with Breton Sable and mango coulis. They say it’s a no sugar added dessert though so a little hard to imagine that’s what Eric chose.

Our server decided to provide some tableside entertainment



Yes, balancing forks



Ta Da!



Of course, Evan wanted to learn how to do it



Ta Da!



Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 01-15-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:27 PM   #1250
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Continued from previous

During dinner, on dressy/formal and pirate night they come by and take pictures with the ships photographer that you can buy later if you like. I had pre-purchased a photo package. I had done this for a couple of reasons, one I like to prepay as much as possible, it lessens the pain later and two, there was a package you could pre-buy that wasn't available on the ship (smaller). Based on what we'd bought on the Wonder and the length of the cruise this seemed like a good option for us. Photos on the ship are VERY different than how photopass works. I really wish it was the same. On the ship the print 8x10’s of almost everything and you can choose to buy them or not. You can look at them digitally and choose some additional options, which may include adding borders, or removing, but I’m not positive. Generally speaking they always print them with the border for whatever the event is. A few come in 5x7’s but I think those are all character pics, not sure. They are not cheap. Then again, neither is photopass if you just bought a few 8x10's either. The pacakages save a little and you can buy a CD but that's flat out outrageous if you ask me.

At any rate, on the Wonder, our best group shot happened this way, at the dinner table. This time, they really rushed us and didn't even offer to take a family shot which bummed me out. they only took the kids and ignored the adults. Imagine my surprise when 2 of them turned out so well.





I am not sure why I bought them with the border instead of ordering a pre-print without it (generally my preference) but there was some photo drama at the end and I’m guessing this played into it. I have framed these though the border is covered up.

Everyone really enjoyed their dinner here; it was just a lovely night all around, great moods, great food, and great company. Our tablemates had done Atlantis so we got to hear about it which was very fun.

After dinner I made everyone get a group shot. They will set up portrait areas in the atrium for you to do this, with different backgrounds. I had warned everyone more than once that we would be doing this, it was nonnegotiable and I had Jeff’s buy in, which always helps! On the last cruise I’d let the boys pick the background (a cheesy fake shot of the ship and moon behind us) and the photos were so horrendous I didn't buy any. This time, I wanted to go simple. We have so little in the way of family pictures, and the line was nonexistent. In fact, they were starting to get ready to close up shop so it was now or never. The photographer was great, offering to do group, couple and solo shots.

First up, the group. Clearly this was not a color coordinated effort!



Yeah, we all look a little shiny and orange. I tried to edit the shine (after scanning the picture) and had zero success. Same thing with the colors. I've got a lovely stray lock as well that again, had no luck photoshopping out very well. Oh well. Not Eric’s best shot but he’s at that age of horrendous pictures, looking away or ultra cheese (which is why we didn't buy his shot from dinner either).

The two of us, equally as rare as a photo of all of us, especially dressed up. I wasn't happy with how close the tops of our heads are to the edge of the picture but oh well. Other than shiny, orange and a stray lock, it was livable.

LOL!



A pretty girl



And...

That was it. Both boys were DYING to go to the bathroom after dinner and only held it together for the group shot, running away immediately when it was over. Oh well!

With that, the group split up for the evening. Jeff and I wanted to see the movie People Like Us which was playing, K wanted to hit the teen club and hang with her new friends the boys...well honestly I’m not sure what they did. Isn't that horrible? We had given them a time to be back and they met that. I know their first order of business was to really look through the shops and narrow down their wish list and I think do some pin trading, after that I am fairly sure they swam, or more accurately stood in the pool/sat in the hot tub and watched movies till they got so pruney they went back to the room and watched more TV. They may have done another round of mini golf. They had no interest in the tween club that much I know. Jeff and I really enjoyed the movie and the boys were where they were supposed to be when we got in (aka in bed, though the TV may have been on). K, as expected was still out but if memory serves had updated us and checked in maybe via wave phone. At any rate all were eventually accounted for and a very restful night with no whistling doors, ensued.

Tomorrow was our at sea day, what would we do?

Bikes and Bubbles


Last edited by eandesmom; 01-22-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:03 PM   #1251
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Lovely update again! You guessed very well with all the food! I have been through that menu a few times now. The baked salmon is actually very nice!

And you met Captain GUS! He is so much fun ....... loves his Mickey Whistles and we ran into him a few times coming from the CC reception. He always had a comment. I think he is Dutch, isn't he?

Villains is our least favourite show - somehow it doesn't scream Disney.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #1252
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Great pictures! I like group shots better if there isn't any colour coordinating going on and I think you all fit together with a cruise theme very well! Makes it seem much more natural that way.

I can see what you said about the heads. It nearly appears as if these pictures are edited automatically and is set so that it cuts of directly above the head. I can't imagine that the photographer framed it like that for every single picture.

Sounds like a wonderful evening! So that was your dress up night? I am still trying to figure out what I will be wearing for that night... I guess I might end up buying something because it would be a nice excuse to buy a pretty dress! Most of my things are rather dark colours and I would love something bright and colourful!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:01 PM   #1253
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You all looked GREAT!
And so did the food!

I like that you had a colorful dress on too - so much of my stuff is black. I've got to start thinking about pictures and the right clothes before our next cruise.

How fun to meet and chat with the captain!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:07 PM   #1254
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the dinners looked really good but small portions, i would have ordered two different ones. even thought they are prob the size of meals you should eat.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:43 PM   #1255
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It is nice that Jeff got to hook up with Captain Gus. It's always nice when the guys can find things they like that have a Disney connection. It helps to sell them on Disney in general.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #1256
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Great update!

I love your dress and shoes. So cute! I figured I would take a sundress for each night of the cruise, but I guess I can do a little dressier for one night.

My friends have decided that they want to go, so we are meeting with them on Friday night to discuss details and decide what category they are going to book and all that. I am going to book them through my TA so we end up on the dining rotation.

So when I checked cabin availability I found out that we are on the C rotation which means our first day is the "sea" day. I swear it was NOT like that when I booked the cruise, but I'm OK with it because it will make me want to get off the boat more when we get to Nassau. Still trying to decide what excursion to do. It is a lot cheaper to book at room at the Comfort Suites and go to Atlantis. I am sooooooooo undecided.

Anyway - so glad you got to meet the captain. Did you bring that wine from your room? I read some thread where people where flaming that. ugh!

I did find out that my friends are driving down, which actually works out good because they are going to Disney after the cruise. That means Denny and I can drive back with them. Yeah! Still haven't decided how we are going to get to the port.

OK - I am writing too much about me again. You know - its ALL about me!

I also love Kendall's dress, Jeff looks super happy, and the boys are so cute. It's great that you all got to go your separate ways after dinner.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:10 PM   #1257
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I just found your TR a few days ago and am all caught up! I love finding TRs after they've been on here awhile....it's like finding a book series where you can sit and gobble up all the new stuff without having to wait!

You did way more in Nassau than we did, the one and only time we were there! We had gotten incinerated at Castaway Cay the day before so just hung around the ship being hot. That was the first time I tried the family pool...very odd. Like a big, hot, box. At least you got to enjoy a nap! Can't wait to hear more (now that I'm all caught up, darn it!).
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:13 PM   #1258
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I am loving this !!! I had already perused the menus and Belles onion soup and the filet and lobster medallions were on the short list and for sure creme brulee !!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #1259
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Looks like a fun evening with everyone getting to do a little of what they wanted to do. You all clean up good (love your dress and shoes, and Kendra looks so grown up).
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 AM   #1260
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Ok, I just saw that I only read half of your post - my browser jumped directly to the second part of your upate. Stupid me! But then I got a bonus update to read today, so that was nice, too!

Sounds like a lovely meal! I think the restaurants on the new ships look very nice!
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