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?

planner!

..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!

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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 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!

UPDATE:

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” !


Disney Cruise Line Mexican Riviera 09/25/11 – 10/02/11: Day 3

October 18, 2011

The clocks went forward an hour overnight so there was an hour less to sleep!  I don’t think that really affected people too much.  We took Kirsten up for Breakfast to the Beach Blanket Buffet on Deck 9 this time remembering that we had a Brunch booking at 11am in Palo.  John and I both had a little fruit and toast, but this time just enough to carry us over.  We detoured via Shutters on our way back to our room just to check the pictures.  I think we made a detour every time because there were always pictures to see.  Then back to our room to change into smart.  Remember Palo is no shorts, must wear trousers (pants) and a shirt.  We took Kirsten to the Oceaneer’s Club en route and let them know that we were going to Palo.  By doing this they make a note of it so even if Kirsten wanted to leave the club they know not to interrupt us unless it is an absolute emergency.

Special Merchandise Available

The view from Palo whilst we were eating our Brunch turned out to be Cabo.  Our server, Tony, was extremely knowledgeable, not only about the food but on his geography and things to do if you didn’t have shore excursions booked in either Cabo or Puerto Vallerta.  We had booked for both of these.  The choice of food for brunch was amazing.  To a certain extent it was overwhelming so we indulged, but I don’t think, or didn’t quite feel that we overindulged.  Before we left Tony asked if we would like a plate of pastries to take back to our room with us.  Who are we to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Of course we said yes with the excuse that Kirsten would love to sample some of them.  We left the choice up to Tony!  For those of you who haven’t booked Palo I can highly recommend it.  Yes it will cost you $20 per person, but trust me, that is well spent.  If you want to see if you can get a reservation for either Brunch or Dinner I believe you can go to Wavebands as soon as you get on board.

After brunch it was back to our room for a change then collected Kirsten.  She had just finished learning the “Do Si Do with

The New Mr and Mrs McKenna

Snow White” so timing was perfect. I’d noticed that there were a number of characters who were going to be up in the gazebo on Deck 9 so thought I’d take her up to meet with Lilo and Stitch.  The only thing with the characters up on Deck 9 is that there is no official photographer.  It is up to you to get the pictures and I had already found out that although my camera was fast to start up it wasn’t fast enough between shots and I was missing out on so much of the fun stuff when Kirsten was meeting and greeting with the characters.  The only pictures I was getting was the poses….not that I’m complaining…they are great!  We then picked up a plate of food from the Beach Blanket Buffet and took it back to our stateroom.  I wanted us all to have a quiet time for a couple of hours as we had been invited to a wedding at 4pm on the Deck 7 Aft Overlook.  Kammy and Kevin were getting married.  They were participating in the FE, and had extended an open invite to all of those on the Disboards forum for our Cruise meet.  They had needed numbers prior so those of us that had RSVPd then received an official invite to our stateroom.  A number of other families from Disboards also attended including:  Yukongirl123 and sdKT with their families.  It was surprising how warm/hot it was in the sun, but the setting was beautiful and it was wonderful to be able to take part in such an occasion.  Kirsten and her friend, Madeline, both got to throw wedding petals over the Bride and Groom when they came back out after signing the relevant paperwork.  That was certainly a highlight for Kirsten.  Thank you Kammy and Kevin for sharing such a special moment with us.  Wedding cake was served.

Time to head back to the cabin and change and then we went and spent a couple of hours in the Atrium getting pictures with characters and making the most of the photographers before heading up to Deck 9 for some funnelvision (Monsters Inc) and hot dogs and burgers for dinner.  We decided that what with Brunch at Palo and Wedding cake we really didn’t need the full sit down meal.

Kirsten asked if she could go back to Oceaneer’s Club.  Who were we to argue for a little alone time.  We also bumped into Cinderella on her way out so Kirsten got a little one-on-one time.  Then a few more characters before heading to bed.

Goodnight, sleep tight!  Don’t forget tomorrow we are in Puerto Vallerta!


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!


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!