Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: Day 2

October 17, 2011

Monday's Navigator

Welcome back! I obviously haven’t bored you yet.

I woke around 6am on Monday morning.  Trust me, there is nothing unusual in that as I am normally up by 5.30am.  My daughter is an early riser although due to her late night last night she did not wake till almost 7am.  She and I went and delivered our FE gifts to Decks 5 (only 2); Deck 7 (3 participants); and Deck 8 (4 participants).  When we got back to

Monday Navigator page 3

our Stateroom my husband

Monday Navigator Page 4

was just about ready for us to go up to the Beach Blanket Buffet (Deck 9) for breakfast.  We ran into Jennifer, Meg and Steve (for those of you on Disboards Jennifer_in_MI has a lot of useful info).  Kirsten was thrilled to get to eat breakfast with her friend (remember we only met through Disboards).  Meg was telling Kirsten about the fact that she slept on a bunk bed and as we were in a cabin that only slept 3 she wanted to see what this was about so after breakfast went back with Jennifer and Meg to their room for some “play time”.  Jennifer’s stateroom was only 5 down the corridor from ours so it wasn’t as if I needed to worry or anything.

Kirsten's Autographed Pillowcase

It was about this point John and I realised we were supposed to have had brunch at Palo, but having had a full breakfast we weren’t going to want that now.  We decided a trip to Guest Services was in order.  I needed to go there anyway as I had an embroidered pillowcase to drop off for autographs.  I had purchased this on Etsy and had Ariel (Kirsten’s favourite Princess) embroidered on it.  I left it with a couple of fabric pens and when asked who I wanted autographs from I said anyone.  We found the pillowcase back in our state room on the last night.  Kirsten was thrilled.  With regards to our brunch at Palo we left a message and they, in return, left a message on the phone in our room saying our reservation had been pushed back a day and would now be at the same time on Tuesday instead.  Thank goodness we hadn’t messed that up completely!

Art of Entertaining - Appetiser

John had decided he was going to do the walking tour at 9.30am so I dropped Kirsten off at Oceaneers Club and then went for a wander round the ship. I finished up at Shutters where I signed up for the CD of our pictures for the week.  I make photo books for everything we do and with all our family back in England (not sure if you’ve picked up on the fact that we’re Expats or not) I already knew that I would want the CD.  For the week of pictures this is $279.  If you then find you want any hard copy photos the cost is 50% off.  If you can’t decide what you are going to do hold off until you’ve made that decision as you won’t get a refund on any photos you buy prior to signing up for that CD.  Also if you sign up for a CD and may want to buy some of the hard copies make sure you go to Shutters every day, pull out your pictures and take them to a member of staff to put in

Heading down for Meet and Greet

the drawer for you to sort through later on.  Last, but not least, if you choose a CD make sure you make the most of every photo opportunity that there is.  I bumped into Jennifer as I was finishing off at Shutters, and we went to the “Art of Entertaining – The Appetizer” at Studio Sea (Deck 4 next door to Shutters).  The “Art of Entertaining” was a series being run through the week, but this was the only one I got to go to.  Once finished Jennifer and I went and delivered our FE gifts to Deck 2 (4 participants).

Bottom of Water Slide

Jennifer carried on delivering the remainder of her FE gifts whilst I went back to the cabin for a little while before the Princess Gathering in the Atrium at 12.15.  Jennifer had warned me that we would want to be in line by 11.30am.  Normally I would have said oh no, but having

Meeting the Captain

Jennifer and her daughter there alongside us made it so much easier to keep Kirsten entertained.  Princess gathering was from 12.15 to 12.30, but everyone who is in line at 12.30 will get to see the Princesses (or other characters) no matter if it takes another hour after the scheduled appearance time closes.  You just need to make sure you are in line.  Kirsten dressed in her Cinderella outfit and Meg (Jennifer’s daughter) went in her Belle dress!  All’s well that ends well and the girls are happy.  Now I’m starved how about you?

We had lunch up on Deck 9

All Dressed Up With Mickey

outside.  Some of us had pizza and others had burger and hot dogs.  Hey, if we had really wanted we could have had everything.  Meg had come prepared in her swimsuit so after lunch she went in the Mickey pool.  I hadn’t thought ahead so took Kirsten back down to our room to get her changed into swimwear before taking her back up.  The 2 of them spent about 30 minutes in the Mickey pool and Meg convinced Kirsten to have a go on the water slide (this was Kirsten’s one and only go in the whole week).  Jennifer went off to the Vista Spa to listen to the talk on “Detox for Health, Weight Loss”.  Steve, Jennifer’s husband, took Meg back down to their room to get her changed and John and I took Kirsten down to get her changed.  John and Steve then took Kirsten and Meg to Oceaneers Club and I ran back up to to the Vista Spa to get the rest of the presentation that Jennifer was attending.

Children's Menu

This evening was the Captain’s Gala.  Again, John and I had decided prior to the cruise that we were going to make the most of the fact that we could dress up.  We rarely go out so it was an excuse to buy some new outfits.  I had great fun at the sales plus we had some wonderful opportunities for pictures.  Again, thanks to the advice of Jennifer, we went to the “Captain’s Welcome Reception” in the lobby atrium prior to dinner.  We were really lucky with our dining rotation too as dinner tonight was in “Tritons”.  The theme of tonight’s menu was “Golden Mickeys” as it was also the first big show of the cruise tonight “The Golden Mickeys”.  We decided we didn’t want to go in our evening wear so we went back to our room to change between dinner and the show.  We enjoyed the show although, was not the best of the week.  After the show we had a brief stop over in the stores ie Mickeys Mates (this became one of the many habits of the week).  We made friends with a member of staff called Sammi (also a Brit) who was wonderful with Kirsten every time we went in there.  By the end of the week Kirsten only wanted to go into Mickeys Mates so that she could see Sammi.

En route back to our room we stopped at Shutters to see if any pictures of us were on display and handed them to the staff to put in the drawer for us.  With our towel sculpture tonight, and tomorrow’s Navigator was also a note reminding us that the clocks were going forward an hour overnight.  That’s one hour’s less sleep folks!

We were exhausted.  Goodnight!

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Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: Day 1

October 14, 2011

Drink of the Day

Decorated Stateroom Door

So we’ve boarded.  We were automatically directed in for lunch knowing that our stateroom wouldn’t be ready until 2pm although as we boarded we were then told 1.30pm.  We had the option of eating at Parrot Cay on the 3rd deck or going up to 9th for Beach Blanket Buffet which we were informed would be less busy as it meant going up 6 floors.  We used the lift (elevator) for the one and only time of our cruise to do this.  At this point we each had a carry on and 1 small case too.  I Front page of our first Navigatorwasn’t going to carry those up 6 flights.  On arrival at the 9th deck we were greeted outside with hand wipes to help with the prevention of germs.  This happened before every meal and I thought it was a great idea.  Not everyone washes their hands nearly enough and although this wasn’t going to prevent an outbreak of anything it certainly can aid and maybe drop a few hints along the way.

We were welcomed then with trays/flatware etc and walked along the buffet helping ourselves to large quantities of delights.  Of course you get to the end and there is always someone there to help you carry your child’s tray to an empty table.  There were crew members offering you the opportunity to buy the “Drink of the Day” in a souvenir glass which John did as a one-off.  There were also other staff members trying to get you to sign up for the wine package.  John took a quote, but with him being the only one drinking it was going to be more cost effective for him just to buy a drink if and when he wanted one.  We had also brought on board with us a small bottle of Jack Daniels and 2 small bottles of wine (this is all permitted by Disney).

We were about halfway through our lunch and Jennifer and family appeared up on deck.  During the whole meal Kirsten had been asking when she would see Meg so I have to admit I was thankful when they appeared although we only said hello as I was aware of the fact that they also needed to eat so we headed down to find our stateroom.  Number 6632 is a stateroom with a verandah aft on Deck 6.  Compact but certainly everything you needed was their, and Neil was our stateroom host. I was able to go ahead and put a few magnets on our stateroom door that I had made at home and brought on in my carry on.  Unfortunately the Fish Extender itself was in one of our cases.

Jennifer and Son No. 1 at The Sail Away Pary

There wasn’t too much we could do as only 1 case had arrived thus far and we had been provided with our navigator (daily itinerary) prior to boarding so that we could see what would be going on.  Participating in the FE (well organising it really) we had arranged a “meet up” for anyone that had been on the Disboards thread for our cruise at 3.05pm in the Promenade Lounge on Deck 3.  Why 3.05pm I hear you ask?  I had been informed by people in the know that the

Sail Away Party on Funnelvision

Spa usually did a draw for amazing prizes at 3pm and you had to be present to win, so in order for those that wanted to attend the draw to be present at the meet-up we pushed in back to 3.05pm.  I believe about three quarters of the families were there.  Up until now we mainly knew each other by user name so I made every person introduce themselves by username, name and then their family and ages.  It gave the children in particular an opportunity to automatically made new friends.  Trust me it worked.  They were climbing the walls with each other….literally…sorry Disney!

Leaving the meet-up John, Kirsten and I headed back to our stateroom in the hope that some baggage would have arrived.  Kirsten complained she was thirsty so on arrival in our room we got her a glass of water.  Unfortunately she bit on it and broke the glass in her mouth leaving John and I with a screaming 4 year old, lots of blood and minor panic (we’ve only been on board a couple of hours and haven’t even set sail).  Of course we tried

Downloading to Facebook

getting hold of someone but no one was really at their post.  I called Guest Services though and they put us through to the Medical Center (located down on Deck 1) who told us to bring Kirsten straight down which we did.  At least we learned right off the bat where it was.  It’s OK Kirsten was more shook up than anything else.  She had a small cut on the outside of her cheek and a cut right on the corner of her mouth, but there was more blood than damage.  More than anything it was shock!  When we got back the Stateroom Host was already doing an extra vacuum to make sure he picked up any shards of glass that I hadn’t found.  Unfortunately Kirsten is currently biting everything, but I’ve spoken to a number of other parents who said their children are all doing similar things.

Sunday's Dinner Menu

What’s next?  Mandatory

Drinks and Appetisers

lifeboat drill was 4pm and I mean it was mandatory.  After this a swing by our room and then up to Deck 9/10 for the Sail Away Party.  We found Jennifer and family again.  Kirsten, unfortunately, wasn’t in the best spirits.  She was tired, cranky and still in shock from the glass incident so kept clinging on and complaining that everyone’s

Entrees

screaming/shouting/partying made her ears hurt.  Then once we had left

Kirsten's Menu

and the ship’s horn played “When You Wish” that really opened the floodgates!  We went back to our room for some downtime and some unpacking.  Before we went to dinner, Kirsten and I delivered FE gifts to those on Deck 6 (our deck).  Six of the 19 families were on this floor and luckily for me all on the same side of the ship too.  I wasn’t the first to deliver we had already received our first gift from “Wideeyedwonder” and a couple more arrived over the course of the afternoon.

Fish Extender in Place

“Wideeyedwonder” also left

First FE gift of the cruise

a little message on the magnetic white board I attached to our door too.

Dinner was at Parrot Cay that night.  We were on a small table although there should have been another 3.  Just as we were finishing an elderly gentleman arrived but I have to admit all we did was say hello.  We had a

Sunday Night's Towel Animal - It's a Swan

relatively early night.  It had been a long exciting day and the day before had been even longer.  We did manage to find Minnie in the Atrium so took the opportunity for some pictures there before heading to bed.

This was our first on board character shot


Vacation Almost Here

September 15, 2011

Many of you are aware that we are counting down to our vacation.  We are going on a Disney Cruise!!!  Some of you may remember that I mentioned this back in a post in June called “What to Write”  The last couple of weeks seem to have been really busy, and to look at my lists there has been plenty crossed off, but even more has been added on a daily basis.  I’m not sure what I’ve really achieved, but my Fish Extender gifts are getting there!  I’m afraid I can’t share any pictures with you as I have “Friended” a couple of the other women participating in the exchange on facebook and I don’t want the surprises to be spoiled.  There is going to be quite a gap between this post and the next, but I promise all will be revealed next time.  My gifts are a mixture of made by myself; purchased off Etsy (and some are still to arrive); and purchased from favourite stores such as Target (remember this is French pronounciation with the soft “g”).  I’m upper class don’t you know!

We held off telling Miss K about the cruise and the whole vacation as I didn’t want a repeat performance of our countdown to our trip back to England last Christmas.  Seven weeks of countdown chart was just too much for me.  Anyway we broke the news to her last Saturday as I’ve got to the point I really need to consider pulling out suitcases and starting to pack.  Our friend, the house sitter, is coming round on Sunday to introduce her dog to our three and remind herself of the sanity, or not, that is our household.  On Saturday morning I am really excited as we are going to hopefully meet up with another of the FE participants.  Although they live in Grosse Point, MI it seems that In-laws live here in town and they have spent this week travelling/sightseeing from LA to Vegas to Grand Canyon with next stop Phoenix.  We’re going to introduce the 2 girls to each other as we have discovered our cabins are only 3 apart.  What wonderful news for me.  I’m looking forward to some quality time with my husband!

If I get the chance next week I will give a very quick update on how the “meet” went so to speak.  They (or rather the Mums) have already exchanged photos and gift packets so the children are aware of each other.  Another mother in Orange County who is also participating in the FE is also in on this separate “gift exchange” between the girls too.  Hopefully they’ve enjoyed receiving their little packets in the mail as much as I enjoyed pulling them together.

This post is a little mixed up.  Apologies as I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

Talk to you all soon!