Our Week in California 10/02/11 – 10/08/11: Tuesday

October 28, 2011

Kirsten woke relatively early considering how late a night it was.  Our plan for the day was to head to The Grove in LA as there is an American Girl store there.  We had visited last year and Kirsten thoroughly enjoyed it even if she was a little shell shocked.  It’s a nearest store so it is worth taking the opportunity to visit.  Last year driving from Dana Point took us just over the hour.  This year it took us closer to 2 so Kirsten was not particularly happy on arrival.  We went to the store and chose a matching outfit for Kirsten and her doll and bought a doll tote too but Kirsten was very weepy.

It was a beautiful day which we really wanted to make the most of as when we went to The Grove last year LA was having record temperatures well into the 100s and it wasn’t the nicest time to spend a day.  On walking out of the parking garage and down to the main shopping area the first person we saw was Mario Lopez filming for “Extra”.  We had a wonderful lunch at “The Farm” but Kirsten didn’t eat at all.  She curled up on my lap and dozed! Trust me, she has never ever done that.

We also had a look in Pottery Barn for Kids where I bought The Very Hungry Caterpillar sheet set.  Last year I made a quilt for Kirsten and now this finishes off the bed set.  She probably won’t use it for much longer but she loved the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  My sister has asked if she can have me make a second quilt for nephew when he turns 2 but I’ve suggested maybe she has this set as it doesn’t look like Kirsten is going to have any siblings and I want the quilt to be loved.

We sat down for a little while just people watching and saw Jenna and Ethan (both previously from Survivor and most recently from The Amazing Race) walk by and wondered what they were doing.  As we drove home we were listening to Radio Disney and then we found out.  Jenna and Ethan were doing a takeover promoting a concert that was happening at The Grove that evening to promote Autism awareness.  The funniest part for us was that we had actually watched The Amazing Race just 2 nights before and watched Ethan and Jenna coming in last and ending their “race”!

We drove back to the apartment at Dana Point and relaxed for a few hours before giving Kirsten a bath and putting her to bed.  I have to admit by this point she had a very slight fever so I gave her a dose of children’s ibuprofen too to help her sleep.

Our Week in California 10/02/11 – 10/08/11: Mickey’s Halloween Party

October 27, 2011

We had decided before ever heading off on this trip that in order to do something new we would also purchase tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.  There was only really one date option for the week, October 3rd, and by purchasing the tickets in advance we saved $10 per person.  Tickets for the Halloween party only allow you into Disneyland park and the party itself ran from 6-11pm, but meant you could get into the party up to 3 hours before the party started and parking was included (bargain)!

As we knew it was going to be a late night we had a very relaxed morning.  Laugh if you want but we went to the local Best Buy.  The apartment that we had rented didn’t have wifi only ethernet and John and I had taken our IPads so that didn’t work.  Although they were both 3G IPads and we had activated the Data (we have Verizon) the apartment was located in an area where we just could not get a signal.  We had survived a week without contact but two…now you’re pushing it.  So we went to Best Buy to see if there was a relatively cheap way we could set up Wifi in the apartment without access to a full computer.  The answer was nope, and yet, if we had been 3 weeks later now, I believe there is that option as Apple came up with it. Typical!  We didn’t stay at Best Buy too long as it was just a flying visit and Kirsten certainly didn’t want to hang around.  As we headed back to the apartment we stopped off at the Laguna Niguel Chick-Fil-A.  Miss Kirsten’s favourite fast food (we’ve had it about 5 times now).  Again, prior to setting off on our trip Groupon had been doing a deal, I think it was buy $8 for $16 for certain locations and the one closest to where we were staying was on the list and we knew whilst on vacation we would be eating out so why not.  We have only purchased 2 Groupons and they were both used on this trip.  One was for

A Little Snack

Ridermakerz ($15 for $30) and the other was for Chick-Fil-A.  The Ridermakerz Groupon was pointed out on a blog that I follow by one of the Walt Disney World Mums and helped with out when I was first trying to find out about Fish Extenders.

Back to our Monday.

John with his souvenir mug

I had purchased 13 postcards whilst on the Disney Wonder so as soon as I got up this morning I quickly wrote them and got Kirsten to sign them too.  I was raised by parents who believed in the children sending postcards wherever they went and it’s a habit I have not lost.  I may no longer be a child but I send them to Grandparents and Great Aunts and Uncles etc especially those who do not have internet and helps us to stay in contact now with at least 6000 miles between us and between a 7 and a 9 hour time difference depending on the time of year (don’t forget here in AZ we don’t change our clocks)!  The postcards also all got mailed off during this mini outing.  We then went back to the apartment and took a nap ready for our long evening.

We cheated.  Originally the plan had been to go in full costume wearing our Pirate costumes from the cruise, but then I thought long and hard about whether or not I really wanted to go round the park in my pirate wench costume and decided no!  If you remember we stayed in Paradise Pier Hotel the night before the cruise.  We took the opportunity that evening when going round Downtown Disney to treat ourselves to official Disney Halloween T-shirts and small illuminated/flashing ghosts to hang around our necks for the evening and that was our costume.  I think we arrived around 4pm in the end and were given our wrist bands as we entered the park.  Thankfully there were no complaints from Kirsten as she’d got used to wearing her Mickey band over the previous week.  Of course, Kirsten’s first remark was “Mummy I’m hungry”.  She’s never hungry at home but whenever we go out automatically she asks for food.  I managed to hold her off for 30-40 minutes but by that point I was going insane so we headed in to get ourselves drinks and cookies.  We’re on holiday so we definitely treated ourselves.  While we ate the parade went past so Kirsten was thrilled she got to see most characters and new who was coming based on the music alone!  Trust me she couldn’t have done that before the cruise.  We don’t have the movies of Aladdin or Cinderella (they need to be re-released from the vault).

So what rides did I get to go on with Kirsten.  We went on Pinnochio; Snow White; Kirsten rode the Carousel twice; the Teacups; Dumbo.  John disappeared off on his own for almost 2 hours so that he could do Star Tours and Space Mountain twice which he was really pleased with.  Kirsten and I carried our bags round 4 of the Trick or Treat trails and by that point I announced that we had more than enough candy.  I liked the fact that Disney included raisins, carrots and apple slices too.  Trust me, Kirsten was as pleased with those as the chocolate whereas when we took the shuttle bus back to our car later there were families complaining and saying that they had ditched their “Healthy” stuff.

We only lined up to do 2 character meets and that was Woody, and Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween outfits.  These were an absolute must.  Woody hammed it up totally for the camera and Kirsten couldn’t stop laughing.  I’m glad we got the Photopass pictures because my camera just couldn’t keep up.  It took us almost an hour to see Mickey and Minnie but definitely worth it and the cast members were wonderful at helping to keep Kirsten amused.  I think Kirsten would have liked to see Phineas and Ferb, but by that point Kirsten was crashing fast.  We watched the fireworks (I had Kirsten on my shoulders) and then headed home, well back to the apartment.  It was straight to bed for all of us.  We didn’t do any souvenir shopping as the plan was that we were going to come back to Disneyland and California Adventure Park later in the week especially as I didn’t really get out of Fantasyland this evening.

The range of costumes and the effort that the large percentage of people put into their outfits was absolutely spectacular.  For the rides the evening was definitely worthwhile as the lines were so much shorter than daily openings as numbers are limited.  If I had the option or were giving a

This is not even a third of the contents

recommendation as to whether or not the evening is worthwhile I would give it a big fat thumbs up!

Fish Extender Gifts Received

October 26, 2011

So yesterday I promised that today I would share with you some of the pictures I took of the Fish Extender gifts we received.  There was a wonderful selection varying from chocolates to magnets; from colouring books to tote bags.  This post is not about the words, but the pictures.  I managed to work out who most of the gifts were from as about 2/3 were labelled, but not all of them.  Enjoy!

Hand Sanitizer with a child is always useful!

This was the complete stash that we received.  I think we would be classed as a mid-sized group in that there were 19 cabins that participated.  I have heard of groups that are up to 50 cabins and others as small as 10 or less.

This was all for starters.  Over the course of the week our door had received more magnets too.  We knew who some of them were from, but not all of them.

What I love is all the different gifts.  No 2 were the same.  We received souvenirs of our trip; souvenirs of the countries of those participating in the FE ie from Australia and toys and chocolates to keep the children quiet too.

I don’t know if you remember from my earlier posts that we had one weddingmoon couple participating and one honeymoon couple participating in the FE.  The Weddingmoon couple shared with us some of their wedding music!  Isn’t that a beautiful memory.

Now remember I don’t have individual pictures of everything, but I am doing my best to share with you what I do have including our door at the end of the week.  You’ll have to go through my previous posts to see how our door started off with decorations.

Seeing all the FE gifts have also given me plenty of ideas for next time.  Nope, we’ve not yet booked another cruise.  We didn’t actually take the opportunity to book a cruise whilst on a cruise.  Our next big trip is back to see our family next year for 3 weeks to have them celebrate my 39th plus 1!  No, I don’t actually have a problem in mentioning in the big 4.0.  They say life begins at 40so if in my first 40 years I have already managed to live in the UK, Norway and the US meet my husband and daughter what is going to

My DD was thrilled with the hair clips

happen next?  Sorry I’m getting off the subject here.  My husband and I are then discussing maybegoing to Disney World for a week next October if he has the vacation time and then our next big family vacation will be in 2013 again knowing that we will be planning on going back to the UK again in 2014!  What it is to be a

Some more goodies?


..and this was what was inside

I can’t say it enough, but apologies to anyone who participated in this FE that I have not taken an individual picture of.  Nothing was meant by it, but I was taking the pictures at the same time as trying to pack ready to put the cases outside the stateroom.

Not sure who these were all from (would love to know)

Tomorrow I will carry on with boring you about our trip

Wonderful Souvenir Tote Bag

and let you know the little that I got to see and do whilst taking in the Halloween Party at Disneyland.

..and look at what it contained!

Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: The cruise comes to an end

October 25, 2011

Well here we are at the end of a wonderful week.  We had come with reasonably high expectations but everything was over and above.

Last night at dinner Sabrina had given us breakfast tickets telling us where we were to attend breakfast on our last morning.  Just to add a little confusion the time on these tickets was different to what was in the note left on our bed.

From during the cruise

People had also been reminded to put their clocks back an hour last night, but I can tell you there were quite a few that didn’t and so turned up for the early sitting of breakfast when they were supposed to be on the late seating.  Our instructions were to meet at the Animators Palate at 7.15am with whatever baggage we were going to walk off the ship with.

I got up first, as usual, and our receipt/bill had been put under our door in the early hours of the morning.  It stated that we had some OBC (On board credit) due back to us so I needed to go to Guest Services.  This confused me a little as they had all my credit card information so I called them.  Apparently I had to go down which was strange as they confirmed that the card they had on record was the one they had to refund too made the refund and handed me back my receipt and that was it.  On the way back to the room I walked through Shutters and collected our Photo CD as they were just opening and that was it, jobs done.  By the time I got back to our room Kirsten and John were up and all I had to do was pack up the last few bits and pieces and then head down for breakfast.

Breakfast done I suggested we went to the Promenade Lounge on Deck 3 and find ourselves somewhere to sit.  This turned out to be a good idea as everyone else had the same idea, but because we got there earlier enough we had seats whereas many others ended up sitting on the floor.  From here we could also watch the screens to see the picture of the luggage tag that was permitted to disembark next.  We were in the sixth group, remember Blue Donald Duck.

Now you also have to remember that to get off the ship you are having to go through Customs and Immigration as you have been on an international cruise.  This is where John, Kirsten and I lucked out.  We had non-US passports and I would say 90% of the ships passengers were US passport holders so instead of having to wait in a long line we had a very short one and ended up getting through the line a lot faster than expected.  When we come back into the US after our trips to see the family in the UK we are always in the long line so this was a lovely treat.

Once through Immigration we opted to use a porter to help with our bags and take us to the edge of the parking lot where I left John and Kirsten while I went and found my car (I drive a Honda Odyssey). Warning trying to go the wrong way round the parking lot to get to the edge for your bags while others are trying to get out was not the easiest thing to do but I managed.

Now to find our way to the apartment.  We had rented ourselves an apartment in Dana Point and we had actually paid for use from the Saturday which meant we could head straight there.  If we had paid from Sunday we wouldn’t have been able to get in until 3pm in the afternoon and we just wanted to get there and settle in.  Around this time I also started to receive text messages from Jennifer to say they were about to leave Cabo and head home to MI via Phoenix.  Back to the apartment.  It was in Dana Point at the Niguel Beach Terrace with views over the ocean.  We stayed in the same complex last year just in a different apartment.  Last year’s apartment was called The Lighthouse and themed appropriately.  En route to the apartment we did stop at a Walgreens just to pick up a few odds and ends.

On arriving at the apartment I unloaded the car as John’s back was playing up a little more and then started on the laundry.  After 2 loads we headed to Gelson’s Market to pick up basic groceries and some food for dinner.  We knew we wouldn’t want too much and would rather buy it on a day to day knowing that tomorrow we would be out afternoon/evening.  We took a brief walk along the front of the apartment to look out over the ocean before baths all round and an early night.

Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: Day 7

October 24, 2011

Our last full day on the boat is also a full day at sea.  The only place we had eaten breakfast all week, if you remember, was the BBB, so we decided our last day it was definitely past time of trying something new so we went to Triton’s for the A La Carte breakfast.  Have to admit I think buffet style breakfast is far more my scene, but it was good for a one-off.

Kirsten asked to go to Oceaneer’s Club so we dropped her off around 9.45 am.  John and I decided that we would attend the DVC presentation (the last one of the week) in Diversions on Deck 3 at 10am just to find out what it was all about.  Being from Europe anything Timeshare is a big no no and we looked at the idea of buying into Marriott timeshare back in 2006 and decided against it.  It was such a high pressure atmosphere and we didn’t like it.  I managed to win a pin at the presentation for correctly answering a question and then, of course, I volunteered to participate in the demonstration of how to use points too, and got another pin.  I let Kirsten use it later for trading so it definitely had a use.  It was certainly interesting and would recommend people just attend.  There is certainly no high pressure sales, but there are good incentives offered whilst on board.

From here John and I decided we would go to Shutters and sort through our pictures and close out our account so to speak although the CDs with the pictures would not be ready to pick up until bright and early on Sunday morning.  Remember if you had ordered the CD the photo packages were 50% off.  Now you may wonder why we would want the pictures if we had the CD package.  Some of the pictures come with nice surrounds on which you don’t get on the CD so we bought one of the packages.  I still need to sort through those, but getting the trip report done was higher on the priority list before I forget anything.

We collected Kirsten from Oceaneer’s Club at 1.30pm.  As usual she was not happy to see me, but I promised she would be going back later.  We all went to the Beach Blanket Buffet for lunch.  Throughout the meal she kept demanding to go back to Oceaneer’s Club but we forced her to spend some time with us to have some downtime.  We went back to the cabin for a little while too to make a start on the packing.  I dropped her back at Oceanner’s club around 4pm ready for the “Friendship Rocks” show.  This was going to be the practise.  For those of you wondering what the “Friendship Rocks” show is it is a little show that the children put on in the Walt Disney Theatre on the last afternoon with all the other children.  All those who participate get up on stage with Mickey and Minnie and receive a free t-shirt so definitely worth doing.

Before heading to the theater to see Kirsten, John and I took the opportunity to go to the shops and take a last look around and pick up some souvenirs for ourselves then it was time to get a seat in the Walt Disney Theatre.  We were extremely lucky in that although we didn’t see Kirsten heading up to the stage she did somehow manage to get the best spot and was centre of the front row right behind Mickey and Minnie.  The children

With Sabrina our Assistant Server

did a few little songs and there was a slide show with pictures taken around the clubs over the course of the week.  Once the show was over everyone headed back to the clubs to collect their children.  I managed to get some lovely pictures of Kirsten with Maddie and Megan (remember children of other participants in the FE).  I then also took the opportunity to take Kirsten’s Mickey band off and return it.  I decided she wouldn’t be going back to Oceaneer’s Club and I wanted to get this done before the lines got too long.

Dinner tonight was Animator’s Palate.  John and I were excited as we’d still not been here as the previous evening was when we’d been at Palo.  Unfortunately Sabrina informed us that they wouldn’t be running the show as it was the last night on board.  Oh well it gives us an excuse to do another cruise.  We handed our tips to the servers.  I had been saving dollar bills for months in the run up to this cruise to use for tipping.  Admittedly they didn’t really fit into the envelopes (they were definitely overstuffed).    We headed back to our room for a little while and continued with the packing.  Donald Duck tags had been left in our room to be put on all luggage that was being taken off the boat on our behalf (ie we weren’t carrying it off).  This had to be left outside your room by 10.30pm so remember make sure you have clothing for the morning and PJs for overnight with you in your carry off baggage.

Then we headed off to the Walt Disney Theater for our last show, “Remember the Magic”.  We weren’t impressed with this one at all and in comparison to the others felt that this one had just been thrown together.  Personally I would recommend that people use this time to pack instead of going along.  Then we took Kirsten into Mickey’s Mates to pick up some pins and say goodbye to Sammi.  Sammi presented Kirsten with a “Magical Moments” certificate!

We were exhausted both emotionally and physically.  There was no way we were going to be able to stay up any longer so we went back to our room to finish the packing.  There were a few minor issues with the plumbing in our room in that the toilet wouldn’t flush but we called it in and it seemed to fix itself without anyone coming out to the room.  The bags were outside our room by around 10pm.

Goodnight one and all.

On a little side note although Jennifer and family are not mentioned in this post they were definitely not forgotten!

Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: Day 6

October 21, 2011

I know many of you are wondering what happened to Andrew, and I promise I will get there.

We started off with breakfast up at the Beach Blanket Buffet.  Today was a second day in Cabo but this time it was for the morning with the last tender back from Cabo to the boat at 1.30pm.  We had nothing planned except for hanging around the ship wondering how Jennifer, Andrew and family were all doing.  After breakfast we took a short walk and then headed to Guest Services as I wanted to find out if there was any news.  When I’d seen Jennifer in her stateroom last night there had been a member of staff with them who had taken my name and stateroom information in case anything was needed and he happened to be at Guest Services.  He promised he would call my wave phone if he had any information, but all he knew at that time was that Andrew was undergoing tests.

We took Kirsten back to our room and changed her into her swimsuit and took her up to Deck 9 to enjoy the Mickey pool.  John and I set ourselves up with chairs alongside the pool in the shade so that she could enjoy herself.  We decided to give her an hour and then that would be it.  We’d put sunscreen on, but she’s allergic to it on her face and I’d not brought up her hat as I knew it would never stay on her head.  I’d already told John that Kirsten could have until 11am and then we would go back down to our room for a bath and hair wash.  While we were at the pool Kirsten spotted Donald Duck so went over to give him a hug and a tickle.  Kirsten has a think about tickling people and as we walked around the ship over the week she would just randomly tickle people as they walked pass.  Kirsten had a great time in the pool, and was not happy when we told her to go back to the room.  We got back to our room to find a message on our voice mail in our room from Jennifer.  It told us that she was back on board and would love to see us.  I called their wavebands, and Sam the oldest son answered.  He told me that they were up at the Mickey pool swimming (yup we just missed them).  Kirsten lucked out she was still in her swimwear so went straight back up to the Mickey pool.  Meg was up at the pool swimming with Madeline (daughter of SDkt also from Disboards FE).  According to Sam, Jennifer was downstairs at Guest Services trying to work out whether or not it was worth just Andrew and Dad (Steve) staying in Cabo, and Jennifer and the other 3 children finishing off the cruise or should they all get off at Cabo.  We also found out from Sam that they weren’t running tests on Andrew, but that he’d had his Appendix removed overnight as I believe he had had Stage 2 Appendicitus (Jennifer, correct me if I am wrong).

Kirsten got another hour of swimming before we headed back to our room again.  I discovered that Jennifer was now back in her room packing.  I left John to give Kirsten a bath and hair wash and I went down the corridor to see if there was anything I could do to help with the packing.  I’m not sure if I was any help but it was a very wet room (plenty of tears).  They were going to hold the ship in port if necessary until Jennifer was ready.  They were opening Shutters especially for her (shops are shut when in port).  Jennifer had also pre-ordered the CD (I may be the one to blame for that).  I helped Jennifer pack and then said my goodbyes.  I also promised to return Meg’s Mickey band to the Kid’s club.  The staff had told Jennifer to leave it in her stateroom but didn’t want to do this just in case it got mislaid in the confusion and they ended up getting charged for it; and another friend HBMomof2 had borrowed a stroller for her shore excursion.  The cruise line had told Jennifer that if it was dropped off at Guest Services they would ship it back to Jennifer.  I told Jennifer I would pass the message on to Alicia (HBMomof2) just in case she didn’t see Alicia before getting off the boat.  I knew Jennifer needed to feed the 3 children with her, and Kirsten also needed feeding, plus I didn’t want to hold Jennifer up.  I got back to our stateroom just in time to find that Kirsten was out of the bath and needed help in sorting out/drying her hair.  All done, and time for lunch at the Beach Blanket Buffet.

It had been an emotional morning for all of us so after lunch we all took our daily nap.  Kirsten always told us she wasn’t sleepy, but normally within 10 minutes she would be asleep on the sofa (the one that turned into her bed at night).  After her nap she asked to go to Oceaneer’s Club so I thought I’d drop her off and then actually sit back and read somewhere and John was going to go and walk round the ship taking pictures etc.  I dropped Kirsten off went back to the room and sat down and then received a message on the waveband saying she wanted picking up so back I went.  Now I had to find activities to do with her.  Of course all Kirsten wanted to do was walk round the “Disney Store” (Mickey’s Mates to you and me).  We went back in and the first thing she wanted to do was find Sammi.  I told her that we needed to look round the store and leave Sammi in peace for a change.  We walked out the store about an hour later with a few more items including a Disney Cruise Line red fleece jacket for Kirsten in a size 10/12.  Yup, but she’s only 6.  I wanted to make sure she’d get some use out of it!  The length doesn’t look silly, and although the sleeves are long I don’t think it looks silly when you push them up, plus Kirsten was thrilled.

This evening was dinner at Triton’s, and the dress code was semi-formal.  All 6 of us were there.  By now Sabrina (our assistant server) knew that Kirsten would want apple juice and I’d learned that before I even bothered looking at the menu for me I placed Kirsten’s order.  This way food would be out for her within 5 minutes of sitting down.  I have to admit I cannot remember what our servers name was.  Possibly, Hans!

The show was Disney Dreams.  Of course we wanted our picture taken with Mickey and Minnie in their top hats and tails prior to going to the show and thought that giving ourselves over an hour would be plenty of time.  We were in the line before Mickey and Minnie ever arrived (around 7.20pm) and we finally got our turn at 8.10pm.  I will point out that we weren’t far down the line when we actually started.  What we found was interesting was on the evening of the Golden Mickeys when we had our picture taken with Mickey we were informed that he was giving no autographs and we could only choose one pose ie no child and then entire family it was an either or situation down to the fact that there were too many people who would want their picture taken.  We had expected that this would be the case tonight, but no, you could have your autographs and as many poses in as many different groups as you wanted.  The tip would be allow yourself plenty of time (and it is a lot more than you think).  The show was spectacular.  John says that his favourite show was “Toy Story, The Musical“, but for me it would be a toss up between the 2.  This one had a little bit from all the main Disney movies.  Kirsten was thrilled as she got to see Ariel too and this is the one and only time during the entire cruise that you get to see Ariel as the mermaid rather than the Princess.

Over the course of the evening, both before and after dinner, we made use of the photographers I think for our last time.  Around the Atrium I think we used the ship with Mickey sunset; the blue background; the white background; Goofy and then Mickey and Minnie.  Hey we needed to make sure we got our money’s worth on the CD!

A tour around the shops and then to bed we went.

On a side note, the rest of the cruise was not the same without Jennifer and family.  It was difficult explaining to Kirsten that they were no longer on the ship and as Jennifer’s cabins had only been 5 down from us and we had to walk past them everytime we went to ours it was noticeable they were gone as the Fish Extender had, of course, gone from outside their cabin, and the magnets, of course, had been removed from their door.

Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: Day 5 (UPDATED)

October 20, 2011

We were due into Cabo around 11am, but our shore excursion wasn’t until 1:45pm.   As per Puerto Vallerta we already had our tickets as these had been in the shore excursion envelope in our room on arrival.

This morning was our character breakfast in Parrot Cay.  How did we know this, it was on our dining rotation tickets that were found in our stateroom on arrival.  We had to be in Parrot Cay for 8am.  There our servers from evening dinner were there ready and waiting.  They warned us that although breakfast would be fun, it would also be chaotic as when a character reaches your table they are not permitted to be there thereby making it easier for you to take pictures as this is up to you.  I think there were 6 characters:  Chip, and Dale (just don’t ask me which one was which); Goofy; Pluto; Mickey; and of course Minnie.  We got a number of photos but in some of them Kirsten looks a little bit grumpy (not showing you those).  A lot of servers made head wear for the guests out of napkins and meal covers.  They were good.

After breakfast, Kirsten asked if she could go to Oceaneer’s Club.  We let her go for an hour to burn some energy.  To tell your the truth I have no idea what I did with that time.  We collected Kirsten and then had an early lunch back at the BBB (got that….Beach Blanket Buffet).  This time we had booked ourselves on the Coastal Highlights.  This was due to start at 1:45pm and we had been told to allow at least 1 hour to get across on the tender.  The tender instructions stated that if you had to leave before 1pm you needed to go to the Buena Vista Theater for tender tickets.  We even verified this with staff so at 12:45 we headed to the Buena Vista Theater and found it empty, tomt (empty in Norwegian)…yup no one was there so we just followed the arrows that had been put up and headed down to Deck 1 where we hopped on the next Tender with no waiting.  It was a little rocky.  Oops just realised I hadn’t explained that there is no actual port in Cabo so the ship anchors out in the bay.  When you look back from Cabo out into the bay it is a fantastic sight.  Of course, we’d been told to allow ourselves an hour for a 1:45pm tour and we were there on the pier at 1pm so we had a little wander just along the harbour side and looked at the pelicans feasting on the off-cuts from the local fisherman.  Kirsten was fascinated watching the fisherman cutting the sword off the swordfish.  John just hoped that wasn’t for dinner tonight.

Our tour guide was Libby.  It turned out she was an American teacher who married a Mexican.  She has now retired and spends Summers in the USA and winters in Mexico.  Highly knowledgeable of the area and would definitely recommend her.  Our driver was Jose.  First stop of the afternoon was a local glass blowing factory.  We had about 30 minutes there and got to see them make a turtle wearing a sombrero.  I was absolutely petrified that Kirsten was going to break something, but I can gladly say that it was not my child, but yes, someone’s did!  Next stop we were taken to a restaurant round the bay.  This time it wasn’t to eat it was purely to see the views of the entire bay of Cabo.  Absolutely fantastic!  Of course everyone got a drink and a potty break too.  Trust me with a 4 year old in tow this is a must!

Next stop was actually the next town.  We went to San Jose and had 45 minutes to look at a few shops.  What I liked was that it was  typical town square and the shops sold local merchandise.  Of course, if you weren’t getting enough free food on the cruise you were given the option of going straight in to the restaurant and ordering some food that you could pick up in your “to go” box to eat on the bus after looking at the shops….really….um yes….I would say 50% of our bus took that option.  Last stop was at a place called Cacti Mundo.  Even though I live in Arizona and there are plenty of Cacti around me it was still worth the 15 minute stop we had there.  We were dropped back in Cabo at 5.15pm and Kirsten had had enough so we hopped onto the next available tender back to the Wonder.  Dinner was due to start at 5.45pm and tonight is Pirate Night!  Even though all 3 of us had bought costumes we decided that we would eat dinner just dressed as we were.

As a quick add in for those of you who were wondering how Jennifer was we hadn’t seen her all day so weren’t really sure.  We headed off to dinner and discovered head scarfs at each place setting so put those on.  At least we weren’t completely out of it.  Dinner tonight was back in Parrot Cay.  We were really getting to know this restaurant, especially table 34!  After dinner we headed to our room to change.  As we were getting changed the phone rang…it was Jennifer.  Over the course of the day Andrew had got no better and she was calling to say that the ship’s Dr wanted him to go to the hospital in Cabo overnight for tests to see if he had appendicitus.  This was a shocker as all week we thought he’d been suffering from constipation (sorry Andrew for sharing).  Jennifer was tearful, who wouldn’t be.  She told me that the option had been that Steve, her husband, would go with Andrew and the rest would remain on board until tomorrow to see what the outcome was, but as Jennifer said, and I’m sure any other mother out there also would, she didn’t want them separated.  DCL was going to hold the ship in port and organise a tender in to town.  An interpreter was set up and a room at a local hotel had been organised.  Jennifer and I just looked at each other and said see you tomorrow.  Tears were in our eyes.  Jennifer is now a friend for life and had become so just through Disboards.  I apologise if I’ve already told you this before.  She is a wonderful person as is her entire family.

We headed up on deck although the Pirate Deck Party was not due to start until 9.45pm we knew there were going to be numerous photo opportunities and we wanted to make the most of them.  I had ordered my Pirate Wench outfit off Etsy.  I had also ordered a full costume and eye patch for Kirsten from Etsy. I had discussed with John what he was willing to wear and he had an embroidered Pirate Mickey T-Shirt; a hat; and an eye patch.

We watched Andrew being carried off by stretcher onto the tender from Deck 4.  Jennifer my heart was extremely heavy at this point!  With a heavy heart we had our pictures taken.  Kirsten kept telling us she wanted to see Meg, but how could we explain that Meg was no longer on board.  We just said that she was busy and hopefully Kirsten would see her tomorrow, Friday.

In order for the fireworks to happen, although we are back in Cabo tomorrow, the ship actually leaves the bay and goes back out to open sea and then tomorrow morning we go back into the bay for our half day back in Cabo.

We bumped into Anne and Hillel (our dining room companions) and went and pottered around Mickey’s Mates for a while.  Kirsten and Hillel both attacked Sammi.  Bless her she kept them occupied in the corner of the store where they imprisoned her for the better part of 45 minutes.  Kirsten and Hillel even imprisoned a couple of strangers in the store!  We then found ourselves a spot to watch the goings on on Deck 10.  Kirsten was getting extremely tired and we made it up until the point that the characters started coming out but she was crashing fast.  I left John up on deck with Anne, her father and son, Hillel and I took Kirsten back down to the cabin.  She screamed all the way, “I want my Daddy”, “I miss my Daddy”, but there was no way she was fit to stay.  We got down to our room and I changed her into her PJs just in time that we watched the fireworks from our verandah.  I got changed and cleaned my teeth by which time she was out like a light!  Daddy got back to the room a few minutes later and told me about what I missed and how people piled their plates high with food from the amazing looking buffet!  I can’t believe how much food the 3 of us missed out on during this trip.  We just couldn’t eat it.  There is way too much.  We still eat like the Europeans we are.

Tonight’s towel animal was a dinosaur for anyone, like my husband and daughter, who weren’t sure.  They wouldn’t believe me so I had to confirm with Neil, our room host.  Anyway, goodnight all.  See you tomorrow!


Jennifer was good enough to remind me what I did this morning whilst Kirsten was at Oceaneer’s Club.  Again in Jennifer’s own words:

I know what you did that morning!!! You sat up with us by the pool while our girls swam and ate. I think you were reading some trashy novel on your Kindle!! LOL

The “us” refers to 3 Mums that I met on Disboards prior to the cruise:  Jennifer_in_MI; sdKT; and HBmomof2.  Jennifer is absolutely right while their 3 daughters were swimming (remember it was Kirsten’s choice to go to Oceaneer’s club not mine) they were sitting chatting.  I don’t think I was being that sociable as I took the lounger on the end, and yes, read my trashy novel on my Kindle (Yes I love my Kindle.  I had a first generation as we were early adopters and then updated to a third generation as soon as they came out.  We have already pre-ordered the “Fire” !