Saturday, March 28, 2009
Was out of memory for the camera so we have no more photos.
The alarm went off at 7:00 and it was a chore to get the girls up, but you need to be out of the room by 8:00. We made it with a few minutes to spare. I was hoping to head up to Topsiders for breakfast but the girls were sad about leaving and just wanted to go.
We headed off and went through the dreaded “See you real soon sign” .
The plan today was to rent a car and spend the day in Cape Canaveral, we had the car by 8:45 and were on the road. We went and played mini golf, by the time we were finished the girls had that “I have had too much fun and I can’t do anything more look” so I decided to head to Orlando.
I had won some Hyatt Choice Certificates so we were staying at the Airport tonight. Lauren fell asleep immediately and had quite the nap. We stopped for lunch and to also pick up some snacks for the flight home.
The girls did not believe me when I said we were staying at the airport and kept asking me where we were going, and were quite amazed when we got to our room over looking the airport security lines.
The Hyatt is a nice hotel but you sure to do notice that it is not the same level as Disney, and after a week of being treated like royalty you notice the difference. The pool area was a disaster with towels and garbage everywhere, but we had a nice swim.
We headed to Chili’s for dinner and then it was tv and bed. The girls were asleep by 8:30.
Our Flight was at 9:30 so we had to be out by 7:30 or so. Looking out the window you could see that security was busy. It sure is nice staying right at the airport and it made things so easy.
Flights home were on time. The Flight from Atlanta-Buffalo was oversold and I kick myself for not volunteering to be bumped, as they were offering $400 per person plus hotel, breakfast lunch and dinner, but they could not guarantee that we could get our luggage and I did not want to be stuck in Atlanta with no bathing suits.
We landed in Buffalo, got our luggage and headed home. The border was a zoo and it took over an hour, so we did not make it home till 8:15.
It was an amazing trip and such a treat to be able to spend time with the girls without having a million other things to do, but have fun.
We wake up to another beautiful day and the ship is backing into Castaway Cay.
We head up to Top Siders for Breakfast this morning, and then we head down to spend the day on the beach. We are joined by Donald who walks off the ship with the girls.
We decided to rent bikes this morning and explore the bike trails. S is a little rusty but no way does she want a bike with training wheels and after 15 minutes is riding like a pro again.
We head to the tower and are able to see the island.
By now it is getting hot so we headed to the beach. The play structure is closed I guess due to low tide and the water is cold so we do not spend long in the water. The girls play in the sand and then decide they are hungry.
We have lunch and head back to the beach. Someone had taken the second lounge chair that we had our stuff on, and both girls want to sleep so we decided to head back to the ship for a nap.
I do some of the dreaded packing and the girls rest and watch tv.
Being our last day we took a tour to the favorite spots, Beat Street and Shuffle Board for one last visit. While in Beat Street Mickey comes out of the Lounge and the girls have a visit with Mickey as he walks by.
Our last dinner was in Lumiers and it is just us again, for another nice peaceful dinner. We quickly said good bye to our servers as we headed to the lounge for the talent show.
At this point L had a breakdown, I think she realized that the trip was coming to an end and she only had 1 chance to be alone with me. S was a good sport and went to the kids club and L and I had a couple of hours alone. L did a great job in the talent show and was so pleased with herself when she got a certificate for participating.
Anytime we had questions we ended up at the Guest Service desk and a young man from Bulgaria always seemed to help, and L was most disappointed when he was not there to show her certificate to, but several of the cruise staff stopped to congratulate her so she was pleased.
We quickly picked up S from the clubs and headed to Remember the Magic show. In the show was a ventriloquist. I thought I had seen the girls giggle a lot already, but it was nothing compared to tonight, wow did the girls enjoy that show.
The girls exhausted once again we headed back to the room to finish the packing. I was able to pack all the luggage and get it out in time for the 11:00 PM deadline. I packed much lighter this time, but we still had too much stuff.
How can it possible be Thursday already, we have done so little it seems.
Room service is on time again, I really should not have ordered the night before as the girls would have slept for hour in our dark room if the phone had not woken them.
Today L headed to the clubs for Detective School and S and I headed for the Lobby for the princess gathering. S is in heaven with all the princess and is giggling when Snow White tells her a secret. S could have spent all cruise looking for characters and she would have been beside herself.
We were able to convince L to leave the club and we headed to Lumier’s for lunch. Lunch is so much more peaceful and relaxing than dinner, and I always think it would be best to have lunch in the dinning rooms and skip dinner altogether, but the girls always want to go to dinner for some reason.
We headed to the family kite making, but they were out of kites so L headed back to the kids club for the Raotuille cooking school and S and I headed to Beat Street.
L had decided before we left than she wanted to go in the talent show, so she brought some piano music and the rehearsal was at 3:00 .
I was able to convince the girls to skip dinner so we could make the last showing of Bolt. I saw the movie in December when I was on the Wonder and I knew L would love it, and they both did what a great movie, a lot of giggling and S even cried.
Dreams was the show tonight and it was about Peter Pan helping a girl learn to fly with the help of some, faith trust and pixie dust. I think this was the girls favorite, the singers and performers are just amazing and when Marie flies through the sky of stars the girls were on the edge of their seats.
Afterwards L wanted to head to the kids club once more for the newest Kim Possible show. Well I guess the show is interrupted for you Kim Possible fans by Wayne, dracon is trying to capture the ship and Kim needs help to save the Ship and Castaway Cay, so the kids are on a mission. I would say this was the highlight of the trip for L, and when I arrived to pick L up I have never seen such a room full of excited kids. The ship is saved and we are free to head to Castaway Cay so all is right aboard the Disney Magic.
Room service again but I had not booked an early morning excursion so we did not have to rush today. We pretty much had the ship to ourselves. We headed up to the pool and enjoyed the view and the girls swam .
St Thomas looks like a lush tropical island and it reminds me of Hawaii.
We met at 11:40 for our island tour and visit to Coral World. Everything in St Thomas is on the side of a mountain and the views are amazing.
We headed to the Mountain top in an open air van where you can see to Puerto Rico and all the island . I don’t think I would want to be driving on all the switch back roads, but it was something to see, and I wish more of my pictures had turned out.
We got to Coral World at 1:30 where we had an hour and an half to tour the small aquarium. A sea lion show was just about to start so we headed there. They brought out 2 of them and put on quite a show, including some singing and painting.
We just missed they sting ray feeding and I can see that a Sting Ray adventure is not in the future for S, she did not even want to get close to them.
There is a section where you can go in and see tropical birds. S did not want anything to do with that either but luckily it was small and I was able to see L the whole time so she was able to go in by herself. There was 1 other family in there that had some nectar to attract the birds and asked L to help them so she was thrilled to have the birds land on her.
We took a quick tour through some of the under water areas and then it was time to head back.
We got back to the dock about 3:30 and the ship was leaving at 4:00 so there was no time to do anymore exploring. St Thomas looks like an island that would be wonderful to visit for an extended vacation, and I hear employee discounts at Fisherman’s Reef are always available.
Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palete and the restaurant was in changing colours mode, but I still have not figured out what is supposed to be so impressive about this and how they could justify the $4 million cost of this restaurant. We skipped desert tonight and headed to the theater to catch High School Musical 3, this trip we had a hard time fitting in the movies, and only caught the last half of the movie tonight.
Mike Super was the magician performing tonight and his show was a hit with the girls. I think L has dreams on being a magician one day and she sat in awe for the whole show.
Tonight in the Kids Club it was the High School Musical Talent show and L headed there as S and I went on a hunt for more pictures and characters.
Another late night, but the girls are having so much fun.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Room Service was scheduled for 9:00 and if they had not called prior to delivering breakfast the girls would have slept for hours, but we had to meet at 10:00 for our excursion. Today we were heading out on the SeaWorld Explorer.
St Martin is a not a lush tropical island but the ocean is a beautiful turquoise colour. It was about a 20 minute drive to the French side of the island where we were to board the semi submarine. We had a bit of o wait so L headed to the beach and played in the ocean and luckily she did not get all wet. The beach we were at was small but lovely sand and the water was warm. It would have been nice to go for a swim but no time.
The semi submarine is not what I expected. We boarded what I though was a tender boat, but once we got out a fair distance they opened a hatch and sent us down to this narrow hatch that had windows on both sides and seats that fold down with a person on each side. Up on deck they send down a diver with food to attract the fish. The girls were amazed at what it looks like under the ocean. We got to see an amazing variety of fish, sharks, turtles and coral. We were down for 45 minutes and then it was time to head back up to the surface.
After the bus ride back to the port we went back on board for lunch.
I was hoping to head back into town after lunch but L wanted to go to the club for Lava Flow, and S wanted to go to the empty pool so that is what we did. It was a beautiful afternoon on top of the ship and we even got to catch Stitch up on Deck 10 all by himself getting into mischief teasing the passengers on the RCCL Liberty of the Seas docked beside us.
Dinner tonight was in Lumiers and our table mates and the table beside us did not show up so we had a nice, quiet and quick dinner.
Tonight was pirate night, but both girls were too tired to stay up late so we had an early night and the girls were asleep by 9:00.
Another sea day and the start of room service breakfast. The girls were not moving too fast and with breakfast the Disney channel it was a challenge to get the girls out the door. I had made appointments for the girls to get their hair braided at 11:30 so we made it out just before that.
That took about 45 minutes and the plan was to make it to the theater on deck 5 to watch Bolt but by the time we got there the theater was full, so we headed to Beat Street to sit in the port hole windows and read our books., and do some dancing.
At 2:00 headed to the Promenade Lounge for the Mickey 200. We ran into some technical difficulties and our potato/carrot car ended up racing with 3 wheels so suffice to say that we did not make it past the first heat. Boy there are some creative people and the cars were pretty impressive.
The moment of truth came would S go to the kids club. S has no desire to go to the clubs, but L wanted some alone time with me. The plan was for her to go for the Aloha Laua party, and I was concerned that she would not go, I asked if she wanted us to stay for awhile when we got there but she took off so fast that I did not get an answer. I guess Lilo and Stich came to the party and it was a hit.
L and I headed up to the arcade, it is a pretty pathetic arcade so we did not spend too long there, but L was happy as she got to do something that S was not doing. We then went and played some shuffle board.
We went to pick up S from the club and L decided that she wanted to go to the dinner with the Kids club so we dropped her off and S and I headed for dinner at Parrot Cay. After we tried to pick up L to go to see Twiced Charmed, but she wanted to stay in the clubs.
S and I headed to the show. Twiced Charm, the story of what if the slipper does not fit Cinderella. Another great show, and we also saw a few old friends.
We picked up L from the kids club and she was not happy to see us, as they were about to start the campfire party but it was late and they were tired.
We headed up to Topsiders for breakfast and it was a beautiful day outside.
L was dropped off at the Kids lab for the Wonderful World of Magic which was reported as not being that great and S and I headed to Animators Palate for Family Animation. I have zero drawing skills but even S was impressed with the Mickey face I drew.
We had lunch up on deck 9 and the girls did some swimming. It was pretty windy up on deck so it was a short swim.
The girls had some Disney Dollars they wanted to spend so we headed to the gift shop and the girls decided on another Webkinz, a turtle for L and an Owl for S.
L headed to the club to make Flubber and S and I went looking for our previous days pictures and characters. On the way out on the Shutters picture area we ran into Wendy and S had a most animated conversation with Wendy, Did you know there are no Webkinz in Neverland and that Wendy was most excited to go tell Peter Pan about them as they are so cute and cuddly.
S and I then went and had a nap.
Dinner tonight was in Animators Palete and the rocking was really noticeable. I have never heard so many broken dishes before. Dinner was a little faster but almost 2 hours for dinner is too long for kids. The servers were really good about bringing the kids their meal as I understand they have a different cooking station for kids meals, but they would be done and my meal was not ready. I ended up taking L up to the Kids club while I waited for my dinner.
Tonight’s show was the Golden Mickey’s so we picked up L from the clubs and headed to the show. This show is like an Academy Awards show and they have a red carpet and Rona Rivers interviews all the guests as they arrive and then the awards start, with numbers from all the great Disney Classics. L got interviewed last year, but she did not want to stand in the line so we went in and watch the interviews on the screen. Both girls really enjoyed the show, especially the number from the Lion King and also Cinderella.
After the show in the Kids Lab it was Girls Chill Out Party with lots of nail polish and air tattoos. L did not want to leave but she was exhausted by this time and it was late.
Did not do a good job on the picture front today, only 1.
Breakfast was the only disappointing meal of the trip, luckily kids 6 and under are free and under 12 half price so it was not that big of a loss. Next time, we will walk across the parking lot to McDonalds.
We found out friends and had a short visit, sounds like they had a great trip also.
The girls were eager to get in the pool so we had another quick swim. The pool is beautiful and it was warm already.
At 11:15 we headed to the lobby to get on the shuttle to the port. What a zoo, there were people and luggage everyone. I must give the staff credit as they do a great job of getting luggage and people on the busses. I think they have 3 large van/trailers going to the port. They were just filling a van for the Magic so we were able to get on quickly and we were off to the port.
We quickly got our luggage checked in and we were off to the terminal. It was busy already and we got a boarding card 17. When I went alone in December I had arrived about the same time and got a boarding card 6, but it was not that long of a wait and we got to meet the first characters of the
By11:45 they were boarding. About 30 minutes later our number was called and we were heading through the Mickey Ears to board.
The girls were most excited to cross the gang plank and then to be announced. S. could have stayed in the lobby for hours watching all the families board and be announced. We were able to get her away for the arriving parade of families and headed to Parrot Cay for lunch. Unfortunately it was full so we headed up to Topsiders. We were able to find a table quickly and had lunch.
The next stop was to check out the port hole windows in Beat Street, but now before running into Goofy and Max. The character this year seemed to be so much more accessible and when you ran into they in the hallways they always seemed to have time to stop and talk.
Beat Steets once again was the favorite hang out on the ship and we spent what seems like hours down then doing cartwheels, reading and just watching the world pass by. The gentleman who cleans down there got to know us.
By now it was 1:30 and we were able to head to the room to drop off the carry on bags. We were upgraded to a CAT 10 on deck 2, it was a nice room it had the large steamer trunk and also a bench between the closet and desk which was nice to sit on and read, but it was noisy. Some nights I would lay in bed thinking this ship is about to break in half with all the creaking, but we were so tired most nights that it was not a big deal. We had a room with the bunk bed this time which was a hit with the girls and I was able to sleep in the queen bed which was so comfortable.
Our cabin room host did an amazing job of keeping the room clean and once he heard
the squeals of delight over his towel creations he started leaving us them twice a day.
The sign up line for the kids club in the terminal was huge, so we headed up to the lab to sign up the girls. There was no one there so that was quickly down and the girls took a quick look around. The stacking game was a favorite and L was playing it several times that I went to pick her up.
L was now getting anxious as it was time for the life boat drill. We were lucky to have it in Animators Pallet so we did not have to stand in the hot sun.
The plan was to head up to deck 10 for the sail away party, but by the time we got there it was crazy busy and the girls wanted to play more shuffle board so that is what we did.
We had the 5:30 dinner rotation and we were eating in Lumier’s this evening. This cruise the ship was really rocking and in the dinning rooms you could really notice it. Our friends who had just got off the ship had told us that there were problems with the stabilizers and they were to be repaired today, but I don’t think they had been. The seas never looked that rough and there were nights when the pools on deck 9 looked like wave pools.
Who should we run into but our server from last year. Leo remembered us and he was happy to escort the girls to our table. We were at a table with a family with 3 boys from Arizona, and the girls enjoyed their company. The dining rooms seemed really disorganized and dinner was slow. Our servers Claudia and Meg were very nice and always got the orders right, but they had a large table of 12 that I think was very demanding and that slowed things down. On the nights the other table was not there dinner was much quicker.
After dinner L. wanted to head to the kids so we dropped her off and S. and I went to the evening show. We really enjoyed the shows, and tonight there was the comedian team of Rootberry. I am not sure if it was a combination of being so tired, the deserts and the shows, but I have never heard the kids giggle so much as they did on this trip, S. in fact would giggle in her sleep, they must have been good dreams
We went to pick up L from the clubs and she had been transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
The first of many creations