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06-06-2007, 12:06 PM
Jennifer Baldovinos – April/May 2007 - The Disney Cruise Line (Disney Magic) and Walt Disney World

Time of Year: Spring – April/May 2007
Travel Method: Plane and Rental Car
Resort: Orlando Airport Marriott and All-Star Sports
Accommodations: Standard Room
Ages Represented in Group: Adult
WDW Experience Represented in Group: Veteran

Cruise – April 28th – May 5th
WDW – May 5th – May 7th

The Cast:
· Jennifer – 26 years old
· Jose (My Husband) – 27 years old

Introduction: Jose and I went on our first cruise in December 2006 on the Disney Wonder. It was a 4-night cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay. That trip got us addicted to cruising! We contemplated going on another cruise line for this next trip to save money, but in the end we decided that we just had to go on Disney again. Four nights just wasn’t enough time to experience everything on the ship, so we chose a 7-night to make sure we could get everything in that we wanted to do.

The Plan: Fly to Orlando on Friday, April 27th. Go on the 7-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise, returning on May 5th. Drive back to Orlando and go to the parks for two days before returning home on Monday evening, May 7th.

As is our goal with every Disney trip, we wanted to do as many new things as possible. We made reservations at Kona Café at the Polynesian Resort and at Rose and Crown at Epcot, two restaurants that we have never been to. We will also be in search of new characters to take our pictures with.

Planning: We booked our plane tickets on Frontier Airlines, for $258.30 each. We used Costco to book the rental car through Budget. I have read that they are the best company to rent through when getting one-way rentals. We rented a car (full-size) from 4/27-4/28 for $21.17, and then again from 5/5-5/7 for $142.72. Budget has a free shuttle that drops you off and picks you up at the cruise terminal. The rental agency is only about 5 minutes away from the port.

We have been on the Disney Cruise Boards (DisBoards) for the past few months, and there are around 100 of us that will be on the cruise together. Most of us will be meeting at 5:00pm on Deck 10 for the Sail Away Party. Everyone will be wearing lime green leis or bracelets. Jose and I will also be wearing lime green shirts, just so we really stand out! I am looking forward to meeting all of the people that we have been chatting with online for the past few months.

We still have many friends that live in the Orlando area (we used to live there), so we will be meeting up with many of them during the trip.

Day One – Friday, April 27, 2007:
The Plan: Work until 2:30pm, then drive to the airport. Pick up the rental car and check into the Orlando Airport Marriott.

I woke up at 4:00am and got ready for work and finished the last of the packing. Jose had to be at work by 5:30am, so we were going to carpool that day since both of our work locations are close to my dad’s house. My dad has become our “chauffer” to the airport whenever we go on vacation. We loaded the suitcases into the car, and Jose dropped me off at my dad’s house. I went back to sleep on my dad’s couch since I didn’t have to be to work until 8:00am. I had gone to bed at 11:30pm the night before, so I was exhausted! I woke up at 7:15am, grabbed some breakfast, and then went to work.

Work was uneventful, as I just spent my day getting everything wrapped up before I left. At 2:30pm Jose, my stepmom, and my dad picked me up from work and we drove to the airport. Check-in went smoothly since we had already checked in online the night before. I am hoping that we land a little early so that we can go to Downtown Disney before they close. We are supposed to land at 10:40pm, so we probably won’t make it, but I can dream, can’t I? We decided to grab some dinner when we got to our terminal. Jose got Panda Express and I got a sandwich from Quiznos. We walked to our gate and waited for the plane to arrive.

The flight was very smooth, and we landed on time at 10:40pm. We went downstairs to the baggage claim and all of our luggage came out quickly. We walked over to the Budget counter, and the line was incredibly long! Well, that blew my chance to go to Downtown Disney. We waited in line for about 20 minutes, and finally made it to the front. We were given a Pontiac Vibe. It was pretty nice, but the trunk was a little small. I was glad that we only had it for one night and there was only two of us. I did notice one thing that I liked from Budget. Since they told us specifically which car to take, we didn’t have to check out with anyone when we left the airport. We just took the car and drove off. We usually rent with Alamo, and they let you get to pick out your vehicle, then check out with a gate attendant.

We stopped by McDonalds on our way to the hotel, since we needed a snack. Then we checked into the Orlando Airport Marriott. There were two other couples there checking in that were on the same flight as us. We were given room 972. Our room was at the very end of the hallway, so it was a long walk from the elevators. I rearranged some of the items in our suitcases before we went to bed around 1:30am.

Thoughts for the day: I only have one thought for today since most of it was spent traveling. If you are renting from Budget, send someone over to pick up the car instead of having everyone wait for the luggage. This would have saved us a lot of time, and we could have left the airport a lot sooner.

Tomorrow, Downtown Disney and the Cruise!

Day Two – Saturday, April 28, 2007:
The Plan: Breakfast with Ellen at Earl of Sandwich, shopping at Downtown Disney, and check into the cruise ship.

We woke up at 6:00am and got ready. We checked out of the hotel and drove to Downtown Disney around 8:30am. My friend Ellen was already there waiting for us when we got to Earl of Sandwich. She and I looked at scrapbooks from our last Disney Cruises (she went in October and we went in December), and just visited. We went into Earl of Sandwich and ordered some breakfast sandwiches. I must say that I wasn’t that impressed. They were $4.95 and we not very big at all. They also messed up Jose’s sandwich and it took almost 10 minutes for them to make him a new one. Needless to say, I don’t think I will eat there for breakfast again. I will just stick to their delicious lunch and dinner options.

After breakfast we went to Aribas Brothers to look for some champagne flutes for a wedding that my sister will be in this June. They didn’t have any without a character etched on it, so we were out of luck. Next we of course had to stop by Ghiradelli to get a free chocolate sample.

We walked over to World of Disney and saw a huge display of Disney Crocs. I was very annoyed at myself for not waiting until we got here to see if they were sold at the parks. Being from Colorado (where Crocs were invented), I always saw everyone else wearing them, and I never had a desire to own a pair. Well, on our December cruise, I saw some people wearing Disney Crocs. They said they had bought them online. If you put Mickey on something, I will almost always buy it! I looked at the parks, and I didn’t see any sold there. Well for this trip I decided that I wanted to buy a pair. I spent almost $20 in shipping to make sure they got to my house in time before we left on vacation. If I would have just waited, I could have saved myself the shipping cost! Oh well, lesson learned…

We left World of Disney and made one last stop at Once Upon a Toy. We saw that there was a new miniature figurine set out, so we had to buy that one. We have all of the figurines from the first three sets (except I am still missing Haunted Mansion Mickey), so we decided to buy the next set. We got pretty lucky and only need 6 more of the 18.

It was getting late, and we still had to make a stop before going to Port Canaveral, so we said our goodbyes to Ellen. We drove to Target and picked up a case of water and an over-the-door organizer. I fell asleep on the drive to Port Canaveral and we arrived in just 45 minutes. We topped off the car’s gas tank, and drove to the Budget Car Return. The process took only a few minutes, and a driver loaded our luggage into a van and we were on our way. There was another couple in the shuttle with us who were going on the Carnival Elation. The Carnival Glory was also docked in the port when we got there.

We were dropped off outside the terminal and made our way through security. As I was filling out our Bahamas forms, Mickey came out in his sailor outfit. Since the line for the Castaway Club check-in was relatively short, we stopped and took our picture with Mickey. I was so glad that we had a different line to check into, since the regular line was pretty long! The castmember gave us both a lanyard and pin set for being Castaway Club members. I was glad to see that our Key to the World card had a different character on it from the last trip (the first cruise it was Donald, this time it was Goofy).

Since it was already after 1:30pm, there were no groups left to be called to board. We walked straight to the line in front of the Mickey ears. When we got on the ship, there were only about three Castmembers in the lobby to cheer for us as we were welcomed aboard. I was kind of sad about this, since I loved the warm welcome back in December. I think from now on we will always get to the terminal early so that we can enjoy the atmosphere there rather than getting right onto the ship.

Since we booked the cruise so late, there weren’t any Palo reservations left when I tried to reserve them online. Before doing anything else, we went straight to Rockin’ Bar D to see if we could still get a reservation. We were able to book dinner for 8:30pm on Wednesday night, but the brunches were already booked. He put us on a waiting list for brunch, so we kept our fingers crossed that we could get in.

They also had a spa desk set up in Rockin’ Bar D. We checked to see if we could change our Exotic Rasul reservation for a sea day, rather than a port day. They did have an opening the next day, so we were able to change it. I also made a reservation at the salon to get my hair done the next night for formal night.

With all of the reservations in place, we headed to our room to drop off our bags before going to lunch. We were assigned to stateroom 7131. This was an upgrade for us. We had originally booked a category 12, and this stateroom was a category 11 and an accessible room. The room was huge! There was plenty of room to walk around. The only downside was that there wasn’t a couch since there was a Murphy bed in the ceiling. The room did have a small chair instead. The biggest plus was that it was very close to the “secret” verandah on Deck 7 aft.

I had ordered the Bon Voyage welcome gift, which consisted of sparkling cider, chocolate covered strawberries, and petit fours. The total was about $30 with tax. It was well worth it! The snacks were wonderful. We also had our Castaway Club gifts in the stateroom. That consisted of a tote bag, 2 cups with lids and straws, 2 flags, 2 plastic bracelets, 2 mesh bags, a notepad, pen, magnet, and a container to carry antibacterial wipes.

We then went up to eat lunch at Topsiders. There wasn’t much there that either of us wanted to eat, so we just went with a corndog and macaroni and cheese. After we were done eating, we left the table and walked towards the pool area. This is when I realized that I left my camera at the table! We went back to get it, and of course the table had already been cleared off. The people sitting around us told us that a castmember had taken it to Guest Services. I went back to the room and Jose went down to get the camera. After a while, I wondered what was taking Jose so long, and he finally came back and said that he got lost J. We got ready for the Lifeboat Drill, and went downstairs to Animator’s Palate. This was the same drill location that we had on the last cruise.

After the drill, we went up to Deck 10 for the Sail Away Party. There were many of us in green leis, and we were able to meet a few people from the Dis Boards. There was a boat show going on in front of us, so the ship was blaring its horn frequently to alert the boats in the way. Rachel Quinn from England was the Cruise Director. She gave the normal spiel about things to do on the ship, programs, etc. After we headed out to sea, we went back down to our room and all three bags had arrived. We unpacked and decided to take a catnap before going to dinner. We weren’t interested in the show that was going on that evening, so that gave us a little more time to relax in our room. After the nap, we went to Shutters to see our Embarkation Photo, and then took our picture in the lobby with the white background.

Our first dinner was in Lumiere’s. Our rotation was LAPLAPL. We were at a table 50, which seated 10 people. Our tablemates were Linda and Donny from Maryland, Kim and Elyssa from North Carolina, Kim and Sabrina from Ohio, and Isabelle and Jean-Francois from France. Elyssa and Sabrina are 11 and 9, and they were very well behaved the entire trip J. Our server was Dobi from Bulgaria, and our assistant server was Joseph from the Philippines. Our head Server was Ali from the United States.

For dinner that night, it was the same menu that we had eaten at Tritons on the Wonder, so we ended up ordering the same things that we had eaten then. For our appetizers, I got the Leek and Goats Cheese Quiche and a Mixed Garden Salad, and Jose had the Shrimp Medley and the Normandy Salad. For the main course I had the Rigatoni Pasta Provencal, and Jose had the Dijon Mustard-Roasted Beef Tenderloin. Then for dessert I had Crème Brulee and the Grand Mariner Soufflé, and Jose also got the Soufflé and Chocolate Cheesecake. I liked the Quiche better on the Wonder, and Jose liked the Shrimp Medley better on the Wonder. The Rigatoni was definitely better on the Magic. It was nice that even though they were the same menu items, they were prepared differently, so there was a change there.

After dinner, Jose and I went into the lobby followed by Kim and Elyssa. We took turns taking pictures of each other on the staircase and in front of the Mickey Statue. We said good night, and headed off to bed.

Thoughts for the day: I wish we would have gotten to the cruise terminal earlier than we did. I was kind of sad that we weren’t able to spend any time in the terminal since I think that it’s actually fun to wait there. It was also disappointing only having 2 or 3 castmembers welcoming us aboard instead of the 10 that we got on the last cruise since we had gotten there earlier in the day.

Tomorrow, a day at sea and the spa!

Day Three – Sunday, April 29, 2007:
The Plan: Day at Sea.

We were woken up that morning to the sound of the phone ringing. It was Palo, saying that we could come to brunch this morning if we wanted to. That was fine with us, so we got up and showered, and then headed up to Palo. Our server there was Alexsandar from Croatia. He did a wonderful job, and we requested to have him again when we came to dinner there later in the week.

The food there was amazing, as usual, and we definitely got our fill. We started with a tomato basil flatbread, and then ate from the selection at the buffet. I decided to be brave and try caviar for the first time. The only thing that I will eat from the ocean is seaweed, so anything other than that is a stretch for me. Jose got the camcorder ready, and proceeded to tape me eating the caviar. Lets just say, that I will continue to not eat anything from the ocean from now on!

For our meal, Jose got Chicken Parmesan and I got pasta with an Alfredo Sauce on it. I loved this dish on the Wonder, but it didn’t taste the same here. I ended up trading Jose and eating his chicken! For dessert we ordered the sweet pizza flatbread. It wasn’t very good, so we ended up just eating from the buffet.

After brunch, we went back to the room to relax for a while before our Exotic Rasul spa appointment. At 1:15pm, we headed over to the spa to check in for our 1:30pm appointment. When we got there, we waited in line, and there were 3 people at the desk. Two were helping guests, and the third was on the computer. Finally a gentleman walked by and checked us in. He showed us to the locker room and told us that our therapist would be in shortly to take us to the treatment room.

I put my things in the locker and laid down on the chaise lounge. After a while, a woman came in and got me, then she knocked on the men’s locker room door and got Jose. We walked down a long hallway and went into a room that had a bench in front, with a shower to the left, and a steam room to the right. She explained to us the order in which to put everything on, and then told us that she would knock on the door when we had 10 minutes left. That’s all I plan on writing about that ;).

After the Exotic Rasul, we went up to the Mickey Pool and watched the end of Cars. We decided to get a snack while we were up there, so I got some veggie pizza and Jose got chicken strips and fries. When the movie was over, we went back to the room to shower and I blow-dried my hair for the spa appointment.

I walked back to the spa and checked in. Allie was the stylist that did my hair. She did an amazing job on it! I had recently had my hair chemically straightened, so I wasn’t sure what all she could do with it. She took a flat iron and was able to curl all of my hair. I didn’t know that a flat iron could do that! She pinned it half way back, and that was it. It looked very elegant. The best part of the salon was the view. The chairs face large picture windows so I was able to look outside while she was styling my hair.

I went back to the room, and Jose and I got dressed for dinner. Jose didn’t want to wear a tux, so he just wore a dark suit. We went to the Walt Disney Theatre and saw Golden Mickey’s. This is my favorite show out of all of the live stage shows. I think I love it because they incorporate more than one Disney movie in it. I also like how they incorporate Roy Disney into it.

Donald Duck was outside of Preludes in his tux, so we stopped and took our picture with him. He held my hands and was trying to push Jose out of the picture with his tail. It was cute J. We went down into the lobby and also took our picture taken with Captain Thord, and the Mickey Statue.

It was time for dinner, so we walked over to Animator’s Palate. For our appetizers, I had the Baked Stuffed Tomato and a Caesar Salad, and Jose had the Wild Garlic Mushrooms and a salad. For our main course, Jose and I both got the Filet Mignon wrapped in Bacon. It came with shrimp, so I asked them to substitute mashed potatoes instead, and that was fine. For dessert, Jose and I both had an Ice Cream Sundae and then we split the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie. I was disappointed in the pie because on the Wonder it was served on a painter’s palate, but on the Magic they had just put it on a plate. It still tasted delicious, though!

During the dinner show, Sorcerer Mickey came out. He didn’t do this on the Wonder, so this was a nice new treat. I love the show that they put on in the restaurant! We ended up rushing through dessert because we wanted to get our picture taken with Minnie in her ball gown before her time was over in front of Preludes. We hurried over to Preludes, and saw Minnie there. Unfortunately the character greeter said that the line had already been cut off since Minnie needed to get to Studio Sea. I told her that we had rushed from dinner, but that we would go see her at Studio Sea.

When we got to Studio Sea, Goofy was already there dancing onstage, but it wasn’t a character greeting opportunity. We decided to just leave, and saw Minnie as we were walking out. The character greeter remembered us, and asked Minnie if she would stop and take one picture with us. That was so nice of the castmember! We were glad that we were able to get the picture taken.

After the pictures, we went back to the room to change out of our formal clothes and into something more comfortable. We sat on Deck 4 for a little while, enjoying the breeze. We went inside to Rockin’ Bar D to watch Rich Papura (Magician/Comedian). By the time we made it to Rockin’ Bar D, it was standing room only, so we went over to Diversions where they were doing a live feed on the screen. He was absolutely hilarious! After the show we went back to our room to go to bed.

Thoughts for the day: I was very glad that I spent the money to get my hair done for formal night. It was nice to treat myself to a little pampering, and the view at the salon was amazing!

Tomorrow, another day at sea!

Day Four – Monday, April 30, 2007:
The Plan: Day at Sea.

We woke up and got ready for our Character Breakfast at Parrot Cay. The menu was a la carte, similar to the breakfast that you can order at the final breakfast before you leave the ship. I had pancakes and bacon, and Jose got eggs, bacon, and hash browns.

The characters there were Chip, Dale, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto. It was definitely a different experience from the character breakfasts at the parks. The characters stopped for literally a few seconds before moving on to the next table. There was no time to socialize! Mickey was the only character that had a photographer that went with him. About halfway through breakfast, Chip and Dale did a show in the middle of the restaurant. They led the crowd in a rendition of “Breakfast Hand Jive.” Dobi had made a napkin hat for the men at our table to wear that looked like Peter Pan’s hat. For Elyssa and Sabrina, they wore Minnie Bows from their napkins.

After breakfast we went to Rockin’ Bar D for the Castaway Club Reception. We saw Kim and Sabrina there, so we sat at a table with them. They had drinks set up (non-alcoholic), and Mickey Shaped Rice Crispie Treats. Since we had just finished breakfast, we weren’t in the mood for the snack.

We watched some clips of the 2 ships, and Captain Thord and Rachel, the Cruise Director, said a few words. The Captain told us that there were about 900 repeat Disney Cruisers on the ship. There was a raffle, but of course none of us won anything. On the way out we decided to get a Rice Crispie treat. It was very bland!

After the reception, we went over to Diversions to watch the Disney Vacation Club presentation. We set up an appointment to meet with Ken, one of the Sales Reps, and then went back to the room to change into swimsuits. We went out to the Goofy pool for a while, and grabbed a snack. Jose decided that he wanted to take a nap, and I wanted to get some more sun. So we went back down to deck 7, with Jose going to our stateroom, and me going out to the secret verandah. I laid out there for about 30 minutes, and then went in to shower. I love this verandah a lot in that there is almost always no one there. The only downside is that people that are eating at Topsiders can see you lounging, which is a little weird.

It was almost time for the show, so we made our way towards the front of the ship. While we were passing the lobby atrium, we saw the Princess Minnie was out. We stopped and took our picture with her and then made our way over to the theater. We saw Linda and Donny and sat in the row behind them. The show tonight was Twice Charmed. It was a great show! It was funny and had great songs.

After the show we hurried down to Diversions to play the Adult Disney Trivia game. We walked in just as they were getting started, so Jose and I joined another couple that had the buzzer for Team 2. Now, being the Disney Veteran that I am, I thought that our team would beat the other teams by a landslide. Boy, was I wrong! The format of the game was set up like Jeopardy. They asked us some tough questions!

Well, by the end of the first round, our team was in last place: by a lot! Well, we seemed to have saved it all up for round 2, because we started winning. For the final question, we made sure that we only wagered enough points that we would still beat the other teams if we got it wrong. It paid off! Everyone there got the question wrong, and we ended up winning! They gave us medals that said Disney Cruise Line on one side, and I’m a Winner on the other side. We took a picture with the other couple that we won with along with our Team 2 Buzzer. Everywhere we went that night, castmembers kept asking us what we won. That made us feel special that they were all taking the time to notice. We have recently found out that the couple that we played with was another couple from the DisBoards that I had been chatting with online before the cruise. What a small world!

We left Diversions and went back to the lobby and got our picture taken with Pocahontas and Mulan. After the pictures, it was time for dinner. Tonight’s dinner was at Parrot Cay. For appetizers, I had the Cream of Sweet Onion Soup and the Mixed Island Greens, and Jose had Spice Island Chicken Wings and the Mixed Island Greens. Our main courses were a sirloin for me, and the Mixed Grill for Jose. For dessert we shared the Crème Brulee Cheesecake. Tonight was Isabelle’s birthday, so they brought her a cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to her. The cake was so delicious! It was a yellow cake with vanilla frosting that said “Happy Birthday Isabelle” on it.

After dinner, Jose and I went over to Rockin’ Bar D to watch Match Your Mate. Linda and Donny were already there at a table, so we joined them, and Kim came soon after. The gameshow was hilarious! There was a couple married 47+ years, one married 9 years, and one married for about a week. They competed for a spa gift certificate and a bottle of champagne. The middle couple ended up winning. Next up was Steve Hewlett, a ventriloquist/comedian. He was pretty funny. He had a skunk that kept saying Stinky Winky. After the show we headed off to bed.

Thoughts for the day: I like character breakfasts at Disney World much better. On the ship they are pretty much only there to take their picture with you and move on. At least at Disney World they will stay for a few minutes and interact with the kids at the table. I love that castmembers noticed that we had won something. It was a nice touch they they made us feel like we were special.

Tomorrow – St. Maarten!

Day Five – Tuesday, May 1, 2007:
The Plan: St. Maarten – Casinos and Shopping

I was woken up that morning by the vibrations of the ship pulling into port. I must say that being at the back of the ship, it was much louder when pulling into port that I care for. It made the whole room vibrate. I grabbed my camera and walked out to the secret verandah and snapped a few pictures of St. Maarten. What a great view! It was a little overcast, but it wasn’t too bad. I woke Jose up, and we got ready and went up to Topsiders for breakfast. While we were eating, we noticed that it had started raining. We decided to go back to the room for a little while to wait out the rain.

About half an hour later, the rain had stopped, and we went down to Deck One to get off the ship. We took some pictures of the ship and a few pictures of the St. Maarten signs. The Water Taxi station was a short walk to the left of the ship, and we purchased an all day pass for $5 per person.

Carnival was going on that day, so many of the shops were closing down by 1:00pm for the parade. We decided to stay on the Dutch side of the island so that we didn’t get stuck on the French side by not being able to get a taxi back to the ship.

The water taxi made a stop at the first drop off point, and then took Jose and I to the second drop off point. There was a small beach right as you got off the taxi, and I wished we would have brought our swimming things with us. We went into a small casino, and played a few games there. We made our way over to another casino, which we liked a lot. We were doing fairly well, and there was a large variety of games there.

On our way out, Jose wanted to stop and play one last machine. I took 2 pictures of him pulling the lever, when 3 huge security guards came running over to me. They started yelling that it was illegal to take pictures in casinos in international waters. I was freaking out, because I had no idea about that! I had pictures from Atlantis in Nassau, and we take pictures at the casinos in Black Hawk (gambling town in Colorado) all the time. One guard was being nice about it, he just watched me erase them. It was another guard that was being a complete jerk about it. He said, “I think you know about that law,” to me. I told him that obviously I didn’t, otherwise I wouldn’t have whipped my camera out in front of him. I was shaking so bad at that point. Who wants to be yelled at by three huge men for doing something they thought was innocent in another country? Needless to say, we left right after that, and I don’t plan on ever going there again if we ever go back to St. Maarten.

We stopped by a few stores to get the free things that were in the Savvy Traveler book that I had bought on our first cruise. Only one store that we wanted to go to was closed, so it worked out well. We stopped at 3 more casinos and then made our way back to the ship.

One store that we did stop at was the Guavaberry Emporium. I wanted to buy some jelly or preserves, but they mostly sold alcohol and spices. We did and up buying a bottle of barbeque sauce, and now having eaten it at home, it is one of the best barbeque sauces that I have ever had! I would definitely recommend that you buy some if you are ever in St. Maarten.

After we were back on the ship, we dropped everything off in our stateroom, and went to Topsiders for lunch. We did another afternoon of watching movies at the Goofy pool, and then Jose taking a nap while I went to Deck 7’s verandah.

On the way to dinner that night, we ran into the Disney Tattoo Guy. We had seen him on the ship previously in the week and this was the first time that we had gotten a chance to talk to him. We had actually heard of him a few years ago when we were working at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. He has over 1000 Disney tattoos on his body. We chatted with him for a few minutes and took our picture with him before going into Lumiere’s for dinner.

Tonight was Pirates in the Caribbean night. On the last cruise Jose and I had dressed up like Pirates, but this time we opted not to. For appetizers, Jose and I both got the Pirate’s Golden Pasta Envelopes, and I got the Hideaway Bay Salad, while Jose tried the Jerk Chicken Salad. For the main course, I got Castaway Cay’s Chicken Breast Rubbed with Pirate Island Spice. They let me substitute the okra for mashed potatoes. Jose got the Black Pearl’s Oven-Roasted Beef Tenderloin and the Treasure-of-the-Seas Grilled Shrimp and Seared Scallops. For dessert I got the Lost Banana Treasure and Jose got Cheesecake. After dinner we went upstairs to Deck 10 to watch the fireworks. The show was great as usual, and I loved the fireworks.

We went down to deck 9 and saw Kim, Elyssa, Kim, Sabrina, and Linda. They were all dancing on the Goofy pool. After the dancing stopped, the crew set up deck chairs because there was going to be a showing of Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl on the Ariel Screen. Before the movie started, we were treated to a preview of Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End. It was a longer trailer than ones I had seen previously, so that was exciting to me.

We stayed and watched the first half hour or so of the movie, and then decided to call it a night. We said goodnight to everyone, and then waked back to our room.

Thoughts for the day: St. Maarten is beautiful, but the angry security guards ruined the whole experience for me. The water taxis are a great price and the drivers were friendly. I think everyone should buy a bottle of the barbeque sauce from the Guavaberry Emporium if you are ever in St. Maarten.

Tomorrow, St. Thomas!

Day Six – Wednesday, May 2, 2007:
The Plan: St. Thomas – Paradise Point Sky Ride and Shopping.

We woke up early that morning to go to the Walt Disney Theater to check in with Immigration. The whole process took only a few minutes, and we went back to our room to get ready for the day. We had breakfast in Parrot Cay, and then left the ship to go to Paradise Point.

We booked this skyride through Disney for $15 per person. When we left the ship, there was another cruise ship docked in front of us called the MSC Lirica. It was one of the largest ships that I have ever seen! We cut through the Havensight Mall and stopped to use a restroom on the way to Paradise Point. This is going to sound terrible, but I did not want to leave this restroom! It was a very hot day, and they had the air conditioning on full blast in there. It also had one of the nicest smelling air fresheners that I have ever smelled J…

On the way to the sky ride, we got asked if we wanted a cab ride a few times. There were a lot of cab drivers asking, but they left you alone after you told them no, which was nice. I was afraid of dealing with overly persistent locals like we did in Nassau.

After about a 15-minute walk, we made it to Paradise Point. We gave them our tickets from the cruise ship and they exchanged them for their tickets. We boarded the gondola with one other couple and their baby. The gondolas were not air-conditioned and you could not sit in them. It took less than 10 minutes to reach the top of the mountain. I was very surprised that I wasn’t scared during the trip up. It was a very smooth ride, and it went slow enough that you wouldn’t really tell that it was that far up. The only downside was how hot and stuffy they were, and the lack of seating.

Once we reached the top, we decided to take a walk on the Nature Trail. The trail was muddy and steep at some points, so we turned around and walked back. The view from here was so beautiful. There were a few shops, and a small restaurant, but nothing that spectacular. Jose tried to get a soda at the restaurant, and were told that they didn’t have any, only alcohol and smoothie type drinks. It was too hot up there to wait for the bird show, so we just decided to ride back down the mountain. I think that the view was worth it this one time since we had never been there, but I don’t think that I will ever pay the money to do it again.

When we got off of the skyride, there was a cab driver waiting, so we asked him to drive us downtown so that we could go shopping. It was $4 per person one way. This was a government-established fare for all taxi drivers. The drive took less than 5 minutes, and we got off near a small park. We started browsing the shops and then stopped to watch a steel drum band play. Kim and Sabrina were on an excursion today, so Jose and I took her Savvy Traveler book around with mine and got all of the free items.

We had done all that we wanted to do, so we ended up catching a taxi back to the ship. I didn’t notice until we were driving back, that they drove on the left side of the road. I just thought it was strange since the driver’s side in the vehicles were still on the left side. Very interesting.

When we got back on the ship, we decided to have lunch at Lumiere’s since we had been eating at Topsiders all week. Lunch was very good and served a la carte. I had a Mesquite Grilled Chicken Salad and Fettuccini with Sun Dried Tomatoes. Jose ordered the Lumiere’s Burger. For dessert I had the Lady Finger Strawberry Bread Pudding, and Jose had Marbled Cheesecake. My dessert was so good! I practically wanted to lick the plate clean J.

After lunch we went to see Meet the Robinsons in the Buena Vista Theater. It was a great movie! I will definitely be buying it when it comes out on DVD. When the movie got out, it was just about time to leave St. Thomas, so we went out to Deck 7 to watch the ship pulling out. When we got there, the ship was already moving, so we went up to Deck 10 to get a better view. Just as we were stepping out onto the deck, the ship’s whistle sounded the “When You Wish Upon a Star.” I never get tired of hearing that! The ship’s band, High Frequency was playing out by the Goofy pool, and there were many people dancing around. We walked towards the front of the ship, but it was starting to rain, so we went back inside.

Jiminy Cricket was taking pictures in the lobby, so we stopped for a picture and then went back to the room to shower and get ready for our dinner at Palo. On the way to dinner, we took our picture with Sailor Goofy, Pocahontas, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, Wendy Darling, Alice and the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Cinderella! I don’t think we have ever been able to get our pictures with that many characters in that short of time! We also stopped and took pictures with the white background and in front of the Mickey Statue in the lobby since we were dressed up for Palo.

We walked up to Palo and were seated right away. Alexsandar remembered us, which was nice, and we started our large meal right away! Alexsandar had told us at brunch previously not to eat anything after 3 or 4pm that day since our reservation was at 8:30pm. We listened to his advice, and I am so glad we did. We ate like kings, and I can’t imagine going there if you don’t have an empty stomach.

We started off with bread and three different dipping sauces. Then Jose and I split a Chicken Alfredo flatbread. Next was a bowl of minestrone soup for me, and a salad for Jose. Alexsandar then brought us out a drink to cleanse our palettes. Next for our entrées, Jose and I both had Filet Mignon and split a bowl of the Linguini Carbonara. Finally for dessert, Jose and I split a Pistachio Torte and ice cream, and then we both got a Chocolate Soufflé. After dinner we were given another drink made of champagne, grapefruit sorbet, and vodka. It was delicious! When the dinner was over, I seriously felt like I needed to be rolled out of there. It was a lot of food, and without a doubt one of the best meals that I have ever eaten!

We stopped by Shutters on the way down from dinner to see if any of our pictures had been developed yet, and then went back to our room to go to bed.

Thoughts for the day: St. Thomas was an amazing island with friendly locals. I wouldn’t pay to do the Paradise Point Skyride again, but I would recommend it for first time visitors. Palo is the best experience on the ship. I wish that I wouldn’t have eaten anything before 12:00pm that day so that I would have had more room to eat!

Tomorrow, another day at sea!

Day Seven – Thursday, May 3, 2007:
The Plan: Day at Sea.

We woke up pretty early that day and I started to get some of our things organized so that I wouldn’t be stuck packing on the last day. Jose brought us down some breakfast from Topsiders, and I then I worked on my Trip Report notes for a while. I wanted to do a load of laundry since it was our last day at sea. All of the machines were full on Deck 7, so we went down to Deck 6 to see if there were any open machines there. We ended up running into Kim since her room was on the 6th deck. When we got to the laundry room, Linda was there doing her laundry as well.

The weather had been gloomy and overcast most of the morning, but by lunchtime, it had started to clear up. At 2:15pm we grabbed some chairs at the Goofy pool to watch High School Musical. I have to say, that I never get tired of this movie J. After the movie we went back to our stateroom to shower. They were doing an additional showing of Disney Dreams at 4:00pm, so we decided to go to that one in case the other one was too crowded. When we got to the theater, it was pretty crowded, but we were able to find seats right away. Kim, Elyssa, Linda, and Donny all ended up sitting with us for the show.

After the show we went back to the room to do some more packing. Dinner was at Parrot Cay tonight for the Captain’s Gala Dinner. For appetizers, I had the Fresh Fruit Cocktail and a Garden Fresh Salad. Jose had Garlic and Herb Sautéed Shrimp. For our main course, Jose and I both had a chicken and pasta dish. I think Jose and I were the only ones in the restaurant that didn’t order the lobster! Dobi kept bringing out more lobster for everyone at the table. We also split a Blue Cheese and Asparagus Risotto. It was delicious! For dessert he and I both had the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake.

After dinner we went to Diversions to watch the live feed of Gary Delena in Rockin’ Bar D. He was a Rock and Roll musician/comedian. Kim joined us a few minutes later. After his show we went over to Rockin’ Bar D to see if any tables had opened up. We grabbed a table to watch the 70’s Disco Party with everyone, and then left after a few songs. On our way back to our stateroom, we saw that the Dessert Buffet was going on inside Lumiere’s. They had many of the same desserts that we had been having all week, with a few additions. They also had a chocolate fountain and a white chocolate fountain, complete with delicious goodies to dip into it!

Thoughts for the day: I love to watch High School Musical, even if it is a kid’s movie J. Doing laundry on the last day at sea is a bad idea since that’s what everyone else is doing. I’m glad that we went to the early showing of Disney Dreams so that I had more time before dinner to get everything packed.

Tomorrow: Castaway Cay!

Day Eight – Friday, May 4, 2007:
The Plan: Castaway Cay and Stingray Excursion.

We got a late start this morning, and didn’t get up until 8:15am. Jose brought breakfast down from Topsiders, and then we started the walk over to the Stingray Excursion. I had forgotten how big Castaway Cay is, and we were literally running to the excursion since it was all the way at the end of the family beach.

When we got there, we had missed a few minutes of the info session, but we still heard a lot of the interesting facts about the stingrays. Linda and Donny were already there, so we chatted with them on the way down to the water. We had another guide in the water with us, holding the bucket of food for us to feed to the stingrays.

On the last trip, Jose and I just used an underwater camera for the water activities. We didn’t care for the quality of the pictures, so we bought a waterproof bag to put our regular camera in. This turned out to be a great investment, because we were able to shoot video of us in the water with the stingrays. This excursion was amazing! I just wish that we could have snorkeled with the rays longer. There were also a few fish and starfish in the lagoon. It was very educational, and a great price. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

After the excursion, the four of us went to the beach just on the other side of the stingray lagoon. We grabbed some chairs and a hammock, and began our relaxation time. Jose walked back to the ship since the video recording had pretty much drained our camera battery. Donnie took a nap on the hammock and Linda and I went into the water and just chatted all morning.

Jose came back a while later, having first stopped to take a picture with Goofy and Pluto. We decided to walk over to Cookie’s BBQ for lunch. The food here was much better this time! On the first cruise, everything was so salty to me, that I couldn’t eat anything there, and I ended up eating lunch once we got back on the ship. This time the food tasted amazing. Jose and I pretty much ate the same thing. We had cheeseburgers, potato salad, chips, fruit salad, and a chocolate chip cookie. After lunch we went back to our spot on the beach and got back in the water. Linda had a parasailing excursion at 1:15pm, so she left while the three of us stayed behind.

Linda came back after her excursion, and then we saw Kim and Elyssa doing the Stingray Excursion next to us. After they were done, they came over and the 6 of us walked over to the Family Beach to go snorkeling. Donny decided to take a bike ride instead, so the rest of us went into the water in search of the Mickey statue in the water. It was a long trek in the water over to the statue, and when we finally found it, we weren’t that impressed. It was cool to see, but it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I was also disappointed in the fish. We only saw about 5 the whole time and they were all the same kind – Blue and Yellow ones. I didn’t have flippers on, so I held on to Linda while she pulled us back to shore J.

It was almost 4:00pm, so we all decided to call it a day and head back to the ship. We got back to the room, and showered and got ready for the show. Tonight’s show was Remember the Magic. It was a very cute show, and definitely made me tear upa little bit. I have loved every show that we have seen on the ship. Disney has done a great job with entertainment.

After the show we went back to our room to finish packing. We put the bags outside of our stateroom and then went down to dinner for the last time in Lumiere’s. Tonight’s dinner was ‘Till We Meet Again. For appetizers, I had the Artichoke, Spinach, and Jalapeno Cheese Dip and a Romaine Salad with Artichoke Chips. Jose had Honey-Mustard Chicken Tenderloins lightly Coated with Crackers and a Bib Lettuce Salad. I did not care for the cheese dip at all, so I took a bite of Jose’s chicken tenderloins. They were honestly the best chicken strips that I have ever tasted! I asked if I could have those instead, so Dobi brought me out a plate. A few others at the table ordered some as well. For our main course, Jose and I both had the Grilled Beef Tenderloin. It came with a potato that I mistook for a pear at first because of its shape. For dessert, the whole table had a slice of Baked Alaska and then Jose and I split the Banana Crème Brulee Napoleon. Linda had also requested that the whole table get crème brulee from Lumiere’s that we had on the first night, so Ali, the Head Server, made a special order for our table.

I have to tell this story of what I saw in the restroom… During dinner, I went to the ladies room, and there were two girls in there waiting to use the restroom. When a stall opened up, they sat and argued back and forth about which one of them should go in (“You go,” “No, you go,” etc.). Finally one girl went in, and the other one stood outside waiting. Well all of a sudden she started peeing her pants all over the floor! I couldn’t believe that she told her friend to go in ahead of her when she obviously needed to go that bad! Later on when I came out of my stall, I saw that she was underneath the hand blow drier, shaking her butt around while dancing and singing a song while she was drying off. I went into the hall and found a castmember and told them what happened so that they could clean the floor. Sigh J…

After dinner we went to Diversions for Pub Night. The cruise staff was putting on a skit, so we wanted to see them. It was hilarious! They each dressed up as a different person, and did a song that played off of each person’s character. After the show we said goodnight to Linda and Kim, and then went back to our room to go to bed. I tried to set a wake-up call, but for some reason the line kept ringing busy. I assume it was because there were so many people setting wake up calls. Jose and I decided to just turn on our cell phones and set the alarms on them.

Thoughts for the day: The Stingray Excursion at Castaway Cay is amazing! It is a great price and very educational. Snorkeling isn’t that exciting at Castaway Cay, so if you have the opportunity to snorkel on one of the islands, I would recommend doing it there.

Tomorrow, check into All-Star Sports and the parks!

Day Nine – Saturday, May 5, 2007:
The Plan: Check into All Star Sports, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Kona Café for dinner.

Around 4:00am that morning, we got woken up to our cell phones beeping. We must have just come into a coverage area, because the phones kept beeping with all of our text messages and voicemails that we got earlier in the week J.
We fell back asleep and finally got out of bed at 6:30am and got dressed. We packed up our last few items and left our stateroom. We took one last picture in the lobby on the way out, and made our way through the terminal around 7:40am. Our bags were in the Mickey section, and we were able to find them quickly.

We went out to the Budget pick-up area, and there was already a van waiting. We got dropped off at the office and picked up our new rental car. We ended up getting a red Chevy Cobalt. The trunk was very small, but it was fine for the two of us. I called Ellen once we were on the road to let her know we were on our way. We decided to meet in the lobby of All-Star Sports to check in.

The drive was uneventful, and we found Ellen right away when we got to the hotel. Her boyfriend, Leben, was with her. This was our first time meeting him, and we liked him a lot right away. None of us had eaten breakfast, so we went to the food court to grab a bite to eat. While we were eating, a friend of ours walked by. We used to work with her when we worked at Disney, so we hadn’t seen her in a few years. We spent a few minutes catching up, and then left to go to outside to take pictures with some of the icons at the football building.

We left the hotel and drove over to Animal Kingdom. The first thing we did was get fastpasses for Everest. With time on our hands, we walked over to the safari. On the way over there, Ellen and I both got Orange Soda floats from one of the carts. It was very good! It also came with a cute straw/spoon with Pluto hanging onto it.

Since our Fastpass for Everest wasn’t for a few hours, we were able to get a new fastpass for the safari, since the return time was for less than an hour later. We decided to take the train over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch while we were waiting for the safari.

The train ride was nice and relaxing as always over to the Conservation Station. We walked around the petting zoo, and got in line to take our picture with Rafiki. It was almost time for our Fastpasses, so we rode the train back to the safari. I had heard that there was going to be a new spiel, but we were on a jeep that was still using the old one. While we were on the safari, we saw a smaller jeep off in the distance loaded with guests. We asked the driver what that was and she told us it was a private tour. If you are on it, they stop so you can take pictures and ask questions. It sounds like a great idea if you’ve got the extra money.

After the safari, we headed back over to Asia to ride Everest. Leben had never ridden it before, so Ellen and I were excited to see his reaction. He loved it, of course! We decided to get a light lunch at Pizzafari since dinner wasn’t until 6:20pm and we didn’t want to spoil our appetites. We all got Caesar Salads and breadsticks. They hit the spot!

We left the park and on the way out, took our picture with Baloo. We drove back to the hotel while I called the number to see if the room was ready. It was, and we were assigned room 4134 in the Tennis Building. This room was close to the parking lot, but unfortunately, it was all the way at the end of the hallway.

We spent the afternoon resting and watching the Kentucky Derby. I showed Ellen all of the scrapbooking items and souvenirs that I had bought on the ship. At 5:45pm we left the hotel and drove to the Polynesian to meet Crystal and Alvin for dinner.

Alvin and Crystal hadn’t arrived yet, so we walked around the hotel a bit and checked in for our ADR. They arrived soon after, and we introduced everyone. Dinner was delicious, but we had the world’s slowest server! I ordered the Beef Teriyaki and Jose got the Coconut Almond Chicken. The beef was amazing, and the chicken was just all right. It was good, but not something I would ever eat again. For dessert, we all ordered the Kilauea Torte. When the server asked if we wanted to make it a la mode, Alvin jokingly asked him if he could have cotton candy instead. Well, the server ended up bringing all of us cotton candy on our plates. We were all so excited! It definitely made up for the slow service.

We said our goodbyes to Crystal and Alvin, and then the four of us caught the monorail to Magic Kingdom. We asked to ride in the front, which they had no problem with. I love riding in the front of the monorail. It gives the ride a whole new perspective. SpectroMagic was just about to start, so I ran into City Hall to buy some Disney Dollars. The new ones have each of the Pirate ships on it from the movies, so I was only able to buy the first two. Since the third movie hadn’t been released yet, the dollar wasn’t available. Ellen is going to pick it up for me when she comes out to Colorado in June.

We watched the parade, and then decided to skip Wishes and go on a ride instead knowing that the lines would be shorter. We walked over to Space Mountain and got on within about 15 minutes. On the way out Wishes was starting, so we were able to get to the monorail quickly before the crowds came. We drove back to the hotel and discussed when and where to meet tomorrow. We said goodnight to Ellen and Leben, and then went back to our room. Jose and I were in bed around 11:30pm.

Thoughts for the day: I was glad that we skipped breakfast on the ship that morning since we wanted to get to the parks. It was so convenient to just get off the ship and leave before the crowds got there. The Beef Teriyaki is amazing at Kona Café, and going on ride during the fireworks is the way to go J.

Tomorrow: Studios, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom.

Day Ten – Sunday, May 6, 2007:
The Plan: Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Rose and Crown for dinner.

We met Ellen and Leben in front of Studios at 10:00am that morning. This was going to be a long day! We went to Starring Rolls for breakfast while the boys went to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to get Fastpasses. I had a bagel and chocolate milk and Jose had a croissant. I love this bakery! They always have such yummy food.

After breakfast, we saw that the High School Musical Pep Rally was starting, so we watched a few minutes of that in front of the Icon Hat. After a few minutes, we started making our way back towards Muppets, since that is one of our favorite attractions. We stopped and took our picture with Mike and Sulley, as there was no one in line. We were shocked at that since there is usually always a long line to see them.

We went into the Muppets show and watched the pre-show. I took a picture of the “Net Full of Jello” hanging from the ceiling. I actually heard about it on Mouse Planet. It is a tribute to Annette Funicello. She is one of my heroes, so I had to take a picture of it.

Next we walked over to One Man’s Dream and looked at all of the memorabilia. We opted to skip the movie at the end since we wanted to see a few more things before we left. We walked into the Animation building and stopped to take our picture with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. We asked the greeter if Frozone would be coming out, and he told us that Frozone hadn’t been out in over a month. I hope that they didn’t get rid of the character permanently! Next was a picture with Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons. Wilbur and Louis were going to be out later in the day, so we decided to come back later to see them.

On our way out, we saw Clarice with Chip and Dale. We were excited to see her since none of us had a picture with her. Leben needed to get going to drive back to Tallahassee (where he lives), so we said goodbye to him and Ellen. Ellen was going to drop him off at his car and get a few things done at home and then meet us back at Epcot.

After they left, Jose and I went back to the Animation Building to get our picture taken with Louis and Wilbur. They came out right away, and then we decided to leave for Epcot. We drove to the TTC and took the monorail to Epcot. We decided to take the monorail since we would be going to Magic Kingdom that night for Extra Magic Hours.

When we walked into the park, we took our picture with the pirate ship topiary. It was so cute. They really did a great job on it. There was a topiary of Stitch in a rowboat being “tugged” behind the pirate ship. We walked over to take our picture with it. While we were there, there was a little boy in front of us crying to his parents. He was upset that he couldn’t go on the ride with Stitch. We were trying so hard not to laugh that he thought the topiary was a ride. How cute!

After the pictures, we rode Spaceship Earth. This is one of my favorite attractions, and I knew that it would be closed for remodeling when we came back in October. Ellen called me just as we were going up the hill in the ride, so I told her that we would meet her at the exit. After we found Ellen we went to Guest Relations to make sure that Magic Kingdom was having EMH tonight. We weren’t able to find any signage or anything about the monorails running late, so we wanted to double check.

Next the three of us walked over to Character Corner to take our picture with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Chip and Dale. They have moved this to a new location, and I think I like the old one better. It felt more crowded in this location. After the pictures, we walked over to Soarin’ to get a Fastpass for that night. Then we went over to Figment and got our picture taken with him since Ellen had never seen him as a character.

I wanted a quick snack, so we bought a pretzel to munch on while we were walking around. We walked over to the Festival Center to take our picture with the Travelocity Knome. We started walking around World Showcase, and got in line in Mexico to take our picture with the Three Caballeros. Unfortunately, it started to sprinkle, so they told us that they would not be coming out after all.

We were all still a little hungry, so we decided to walk to China and get some potstickers and eggrolls. These taste like the potstickers that they sell during Food and Wine. We were so glad that they put them on the menu now! As soon as the three of us sat down at a table, it started to pour! I was so glad that we had made it under cover before we got wet. Jose found an outlet next to our table, so he charged our camera while we waited. The seating area had recently been refurbished, and I loved the new décor. The walls were covered in orange tile, which gave the room great atmosphere.

After about 30 minutes, the rain finally let up. Ellen needed to get going by then, so we walked with her to Mexico. We said our goodbyes to Ellen, happy knowing that we would see each other in less than two months when she and Leben come to visit us in Colorado. Jose and I wanted to ride the new Gran Fiesta Tour, so we went into the Mexico Pavilion and walked onto the ride. We loved what they did to the ride, but I will say that I do miss the old music.

As we were leaving, we saw that the Three Caballeros were inside posing for pictures! I called Ellen and told her that they were still here and that she shouldn’t have left L. Oh well, she will have to get them next time. We took our picture with them and then made our way over to China.

We took pictures of all of the Chinese Zodiac figures that they had set up. I don’t want to call them topiaries since they were made of things like popcorn seeds and grains. They were very nice to look at. After that, we just decided to walk around World Showcase and take pictures of the different topiaries. We took pictures with the Lion King topiaries just past the African Outpost. Then we took pictures of three dwarf topiaries in Germany. Nelson was performing that night so we stopped and listened to their set for a few minutes. Since we didn’t recognize any of the songs they were singing, we decided to leave.

As we were leaving there were two women there who were doing a scavenger hunt and needed to take a picture with a couple. So they asked if we would be in a picture with them. We said no problem, and posed for the picture. Next we walked down to the UK pavilion and took pictures with the Winnie the Pooh topiaries. Jose and I took a picture with the Winnie the Pooh topiary when we first started dating, so we took another one with us posed in the same way to put in a frame next to the original. We continued on to Canada to take pictures with the Bambi topiaries, and then made one last stop at the entrance to World Showcase to take pictures with the Mickey and Minnie topiaries. Once we had taken all of our pictures, we headed back to the UK to meet Frank and Michelle for dinner.

They hadn’t arrived yet, so Jose checked in at the hostess stand at Rose and Crown to get the pager. A few minutes later Frank and Michelle arrived, and it was hugs all around. We were seated after about 10 minutes, and were handed our menus. The server pointed out that they had recently changed their menu about 2 weeks prior. I wish that I would have known this, seeing as I didn’t see anything on the new menu that I wanted to eat. The reason that I had chosen this restaurant was because there were a few dishes on the old menu that I wanted to try.

I ended up getting a bowl of Potato and Leek Soup and the Chicken Curry Satay appetizer as my main dish. Neither one tasted that great. Jose got Fish and Chips, and he said that his was bland. I was highly disappointed with the whole experience. We were really looking forward to this meal since Rose and Crown was where Jose proposed to me during Illuminations. Needless to say, we will not be eating there again unless the menu is changed once more. The service was great though, it just wasn’t the place for us in terms of food selection.

We said our goodbyes to Frank and Michelle and went over to Tinkerbell’s Fairytale Garden. It was closing in less than five minutes, so we just took a few pictures and left. We went over to use our Fastpasses for Soarin’ and then rode Nemo, which was at a walk on. We decided to skip Illuminations and just head over to Magic Kingdom to beat the crowd. We stopped at the Art of Disney on the way out, and bought a matted picture of 5 buckets on a boardwalk, with each park and the cruise line painted on it.

We rode the monorail back to the TTC and then switched monorails to the Magic Kingdom side. We stood in line at the entrance to get in, and then got in another line to get our wristbands. Our first destination was Fantasyland to ride Winnie the Pooh. The wait was surprisingly long, and we ended up waiting about 25 minutes to get on. Next was Philharmagic, followed by It’s a Small World. When we were on IASW, they sat the two of us in the front row. The whole ride was excruciating! There was no leg room whatsoever for us, and I spent more time focusing on finding a comfortable spot, rather than enjoying the ride. So a word to the wise, do not sit in the front row!

Next up was Haunted Mansion and then Thunder Mountain. We wanted to see the new Monster’s Inc. show, so we walked back to Tomorrowland. The show was cute, but I think it would have been better if there had been more people there. There weren’t that many people in the audience since it was almost midnight, so it made it harder for the monsters to get audience participation.

We left the park around 1:00am, for a total of 14 hours in the parks! Whew! We were exhausted! My pedometer said that we had walked a grand total of 13.12 miles. I think that’s the longest time we have ever spent in the parks in one day. When we got back to the hotel, there was a message from Linda saying that her and Donny were still in Orlando because their flight had gotten cancelled and they decided to stay until Wednesday. We went to bed a little after 2:00am, and fell asleep right away.

Thoughts for the day: 14 hours is way to long to be in the parks, no matter how much you want to see!

Day Eleven – Monday, May 7, 2007:
The Plan: Miniature Golf, Shopping and fly home.

We woke up around 8:00am, and I finished up the packing. I gave Linda and Donny a call and we decided to pick them up from their hotel at 11:30am. They had flown their daughter down for the few days that they were there, and were staying at Saratoga Springs since they are DVC members. We loaded up the car, stopped by the concierge desk to print out our boarding passes, and then stopped by McDonalds for a quick snack. Unfortunately, the front desk agent had never been to Frontier Airline’s website, so it took her almost 10 minutes to get us our passes. Luckily I have flown many times on Frontier, so I was able to walk her through it from memory since I couldn’t see her computer screen.

We drove to Saratoga Springs, and met them outside the lobby. We walked back over to their room, and visited with them for a while. We also needed to leave one of our suitcases in their room since it was in the backseat of the car, and the trunk was full. It was nice to see their room (a one bedroom) since Jose and I are thinking about joining DVC. We left about an hour later and went to Fantasia Gardens to play mini golf. There were three holes under rehab, so we ended up only playing 15 holes.

We went back to the hotel to pick up the suitcase, and then dropped the three of them off at Epcot. We dove up 417 to go to the airport. We stopped at a Hess station to fill up the gas tank, and then were on our way. We returned the rental car and then stopped by Burger King for lunch. The flight arrived on time, and it was an uneventful ride home.

Random Thoughts

Other than the security guard incident in St. Maarten, it was a beautiful island. The locals didn’t pester the tourists too much, and May was a great time of year to travel there weather wise.

Lumiere’s always seemed to have a funny odor, no matter what time of day we went there to eat. It would even have an odor when they were closed and we would just be walking by. I think it may have been seafood…

I also forgot to mention that every night, around 11:00pm or so, they have a little “mini buffet” set up all around the ship. There were always small finger sandwiches, and two to three hot items. The stations were manned by two castmembers, and they usually served you the food, rather that you serving yourself. The food was always a nice midnight snack each night J.

Accessible rooms are wonderful for the extra space! If you have 3 or 4 people, I would request an accessible room if you can. The noise was a little loud when pulling into port, but I think that is the same with any room at the very back of the ship. All of the accessible rooms on the ship are Category 11’s.

Get to the ship early in the morning to enjoy the anticipation of waiting to board the ship, and to have a larger crowd welcome you onboard.

Jose and I will be returning to Disney World in October to go to Food and Wine and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I am looking forward to that since Jose has never been to the party.

Thank you for taking the time to read my report!

arnoldvb
06-07-2007, 06:56 AM
Jennifer,

I enjoyed reading your trip report and especially about your experiences on St. Thomas. I was born and have lived my entire life there (actually "here") and know the goods and bads of life on the island. Paradise Point does have a beautiful view and if you ever have a chance in the future, you'd definitely want to catch a sunset from up there. It is a shame that they don't have better eating options at the top of the hill. It's basically just drinks and light snacks. You can get to the top of the hill by car, as there's a concrete road that winds its way to the top.

As for the taxis, while they're certainly necessary with the thousands of tourists who visit the island every day, they do create horrific traffic jams for those of us who live here and are trying to run errands in town and the Havensight (cruise ship dock) area.

Hopefully you'll have a chance to visit the island again sometime in the future for a longer stay so that you can see the countryside and the beautiful beaches.

Arnold

TinaMouse
06-08-2007, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the lovely trip report! It makes me want to go on a DCL so much!

Our next trip is in Oct, and Kona is on our list. I wanted to try the teriyaki beef, so I'm glad you liked it so much! Score!

jmb910
06-11-2007, 06:44 AM
Jennifer,

I enjoyed reading your trip report and especially about your experiences on St. Thomas. I was born and have lived my entire life there (actually "here") and know the goods and bads of life on the island. Paradise Point does have a beautiful view and if you ever have a chance in the future, you'd definitely want to catch a sunset from up there. It is a shame that they don't have better eating options at the top of the hill. It's basically just drinks and light snacks. You can get to the top of the hill by car, as there's a concrete road that winds its way to the top.

As for the taxis, while they're certainly necessary with the thousands of tourists who visit the island every day, they do create horrific traffic jams for those of us who live here and are trying to run errands in town and the Havensight (cruise ship dock) area.

Hopefully you'll have a chance to visit the island again sometime in the future for a longer stay so that you can see the countryside and the beautiful beaches.

Arnold

Thank you so much for your kind words. I would definitely love to make it back to St. Thomas some day. It was a beautiful island! I am very sad that I also never got a chance to go on the Dabloon excursion. That is one thing that I will definitely do the next time I am there!

jmb910
06-11-2007, 06:45 AM
Thanks for the lovely trip report! It makes me want to go on a DCL so much!

Our next trip is in Oct, and Kona is on our list. I wanted to try the teriyaki beef, so I'm glad you liked it so much! Score!

I'm glad that you enjoyed the report! If you ever do go on a Disney Cruise, you will be addicted! You will definitely love Kona, it is a great restaurant. Have a great time on your October trip!

EJ4Disney
06-13-2007, 01:02 PM
Wonderful trip report. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Ellen

jmb910
06-27-2007, 05:08 PM
Here is a link from the DisBoards to see some pictures. I tried to post the pictures here, but it only showed up as links instead of the pictures.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=19433500&posted=1#post19433500

TinaMouse
06-28-2007, 11:31 AM
The pics are great! You guys look so happy and like you're having an absolute BLAST!

anniedg
09-14-2007, 03:25 PM
Jennifer, I finally got to your cruise report -- thanks for the link! Sounds like it was a lot of fun and it's interesting to hear about how Disney does the cruises. I'll get on one someday I will!!
Thanks also for posting the pics, they're a lot of fun -- you guys look so happy :D

We also usually fly Frontier -- we couldn't believe they only have the one gate at MCO that's only open the parts of the day when they have a flight compared to how big they are in Denver!

jmb910
09-17-2007, 06:31 AM
Jennifer, I finally got to your cruise report -- thanks for the link! Sounds like it was a lot of fun and it's interesting to hear about how Disney does the cruises. I'll get on one someday I will!!
Thanks also for posting the pics, they're a lot of fun -- you guys look so happy :D

We also usually fly Frontier -- we couldn't believe they only have the one gate at MCO that's only open the parts of the day when they have a flight compared to how big they are in Denver!

Thank you for the wonderful comments :)

I know, it's hard to see only one gate for Frontier at other airports! We always fly them whenever possible, but unfortunately for our trip next month, we had to fly on United because it was significantly cheaper.

SJF510
09-17-2007, 09:38 AM
You got a picture with Figment as a character? I didn't know he was a real live (sort of) character? Was he at the Imagination pavillion? I'll now have a new quest for our trip in November!

jmb910
09-17-2007, 10:15 AM
You got a picture with Figment as a character? I didn't know he was a real live (sort of) character? Was he at the Imagination pavillion? I'll now have a new quest for our trip in November!

I know we were shocked when we found out he was an actual character!!! He is right next to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience on the left hand side when you are facing the building. There is a little sign outside above the door that says Figment's Place or something to that effect. Good luck on your quest!!!

jmb910
09-17-2007, 10:41 AM
Here is a link to a picture of Figment. The picture is a little blurry, and I have no idea why my husband is making that face ;), but this will give you an idea of what Figment looks like :)

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x247/jord5074/Figment.jpg

SJF510
09-17-2007, 01:43 PM
Thanks so much for the picture. Great trip report too. I was really really jealous of the cruise portion in particular until I reminded myself that we are doing the Mexican cruise next year. :) I thought I was looking forward to my trip in November, but now that I know I can get a picture with Figment, my anticipation has gone up by 100%. Thanks fore the great information.