06-22-2008, 04:24 PM
I'll post in the Trip report section, but this is a summary of our experience from the 4-night cruise. Because, we are DVC members, I created our own land-and-sea package, with brief DVC stays, before and after the cruise. We did not use the cruise bus, because it cost as much as a limo service, and we used Happy Limo, and had a very good experience. In fact, I called from the terminal and requested the same driver for our pick-up. I had already booked an excursion, registered my kids for the children's programs, and checked us in online, which saved a lot of time. We were allowed on-board at noon. We had a fantastic time. A big highlight for us was the Dolphin Encounter excursion in Nassau. My six-year-old can't stop talking about it. The dolphins were highly trained (ours had been in a movie), and it was like a personal Sea World show, for the small groups. We had more contact time than I expected, and it was really a blast. On our last full day, one of my kids got sick late in the day. It was not of a gastrointestinal nature, but she was not up to going to dinner, and the room service menu did not appeal. My husband and other child went to our scheduled seating, and he called and recited the menu, and we picked out some food. They sent a waiter down to our stateroom with the tray from the restaurant (during a busy dinner!). My husband upped the tips for the wait staff, because they were so kind and had gone to extra trouble. My daughter was feverish all night, and I strongly suspected a strep infection, because she has had them before, and her throat looked awful. At 7AM, at the same time they were trying to get us off the ship, we called the Health Center, and they immediately opened the office for us. The staff was lovely and professional, and, within 45 minutes, my daughter had been examined by a physician, had a strep culture (negative, but the doctor still thought it was a bacterial infection), and were provided with a full course of antibiotics. The charge, with the medication, was about $120, but we can request reimbursement from our insurance company, and it was very much worth it, not to have to try to get to an Urgent Care Center and a pharmacy once we returned to Orlando, and a relief to get her on the medication quickly. That's the level of customer service we experienced throughout the cruise. The only recommendation I made to the Cruise Director was that they provide booster seats for the smaller kids, for the shows, just as they do at Broadway theaters. We sometimes had to juggle ourselves around, so that my daughters could see over the heads of the people sitting in front of us. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.