Sporting her new anchor themed dress, Minnie Mouse Ears, and a swim suit underneath, Sophie is up and ready to go cruisin!
Kids messing around at the hotel the morning we get on the ship. It was a beautiful morning and you could see the ocean in the distance.
“Run Into Town”
Heather had everything ready for today in our suitcases. We had swimsuits underneath our main clothes so we could just board the ship and jump into the pool or onto the AquaDuck. We also moved around our carry-on items. What you can carry-on for an airplane and what you carry-on to the ship are different. For the airplane they want you to pack with safety in mind, you don’t have to worry so much about it when boarding a ship. Our carry-ons consisted of the usual documents and cash and credit cards but also sun screen, shades and some change of clothes for this evening in case our luggage didn’t come in time to eat. We also HAD to make room for alcohol because you can bring alcohol with onto a Disney cruise. The only stipulation is it has to fit on your carry-on. Later, we would pick up a couple of bottles of rum to keep in our carry-ons. We checked our usual medicine-bag-roller-suit-casey-thing and just used the swim bags as our only carry-ons cause they were little and we could just sling them over our shoulders. We didn’t want to have to lug more than we had to while we waited for our rooms to open.
The night before we scoped out where a Target or Wal-Mart might be. We found a Wal-Mart within 5 minutes and so Chris and I had to “run into town” to pick up a few things this morning (This has been a running joke with us. No matter where we are or where we go, Chris always has to get up in the morning and run into town for something). Linda forgot pajamas, Kate forgot her blanket she normally sleeps with and swim goggles, Chris forgot shades, and we all had to pick up some water and snacks.
It was interesting, two men looking for women’s pajamas. Of course we had to linger into the lingerie section for just a bit. We figured there was no winning no matter what kind of pajamas we bought. The problems vexing us were 1)size 2)warmth 3)color/pattern 4)sexiness…. unfortunately for Chris, we quickly ruled out that number 4 was not going to be a priority. It was actually the size that had us the most concerned. Too small, and it wouldn’t fit comfortably, too big and we’d hear “how big do you think I am”.
So we settled on some nice, loose, Mickey Mouse pants and comfortable long sleeve top. We found the other items too except for Kate’s blanket and we forgot the goggles.
On our ride to and from Wal-mart we saw our ship. WOW is it huge! We couldn’t believe we were getting ready to board this monstrous thing.
So we get back and by this time the wives have the children dressed and ready to go. Heather and I take the kids down to eat breakfast while Chris and Linda finish re-packing. The breakfast area was in another building. As we walked over there, a lady on the 4th floor of the building was throwing bread to the birds. Of course there were tons of them and swarming right above our entrance so we had to find another way in.
After we all ate and Leighton spilled all his food and got more, we headed back to the room to load up the 12 passenger. We made one more attempt to find a blanket, swim goggles and some liquor. Goggles and liquor?…check. blanket?…still no luck. Couple of cigars?…..Check. A million questions by my daughters as to why I got the cigars?….quadruple check. They are going to make great wives some day.
On Our Way to the Port!
Finally! We are on our way. The trick when you are renting a car is to drop your party off first, and then go back to drop off the rental. You don’t want to fill up the shuttle with ALL your luggage. Whoever is getting off, make sure they have your passport or birth certificate and that you have your drivers license. After taking what had now become my favorite wrong turn into the southern ports, I detoured back and quickly righted the ship towards the correct location. Here came the big reveal for everyone and it was fun to hear all the squeals
The traffic wasn’t bad and we dropped all our luggage at the curb, dropped the porter $10 and I took off to Budget car rental while everyone else checked in.
Meanwhile, I was fighting with Budget. There were two LOONNNNGGGGG lines. One inside of people waiting to talk to someone behind the desk, a longer one outside of families waiting for the shuttle to take them to their port. There were four ships in that day so it was a wee bit crazy.
While standing in my first line, I had already decided I was going to take a taxi and not bother waiting for the shuttles. While I was standing there I mentioned to the guy behind me whether I had to stay in line if I was just dropping a car off. He said no, there is someone waiting with a bucket outside to check cars in and that this line was all waiting to get cars (like mine). So I found the bucket guy and he checked me in only to tell me I had to go back and talk to someone behind the counter! Grrrr…..so I angrily go back and and everyone inside said “Get to the front of the line! We need your car!” Not sure how many people were waiting for a 12 passenger van but who am I to dissagree? So I jumped up, they checked me out and I was out of there! Well….out of the building.
I sauntered up to a young couple, probably creepily I might add, and asked if they were waiting for a taxi. They said they were and we watched as we saw a few people walk right out to the busy street and hail a cab. We started to slowly walk out to do the same when a paid shuttle stopped at the side of the road…a number of us quickly jumped in. I was the only single rider and the only one going to Disney. Of course the driver had to give me grief about it so I said, “Just slow down when you get close, I’ll tuck and roll.” The cost was $5 which in my mind was well worth it.
Meanwhile, the kids have been patiently waiting. Auger’s got bumped up to boarding number 7, I think we were like in the late teens to 20’s. Auger’s were nice enough to wait for me to get back so we could all board together
Waiting patiently for me
Kaitlyn was getting impatient and Sophie started to cry because she was worried about me
But HAVE NO FEAR……
I made it!
We started to make our way on board.
We got video of boarding, but apparently very little pictures. It is really cool process and it doesn’t take long at all really. They check you in by scanning your Key to the World card, take your family photo at the bend in the ramp with a Disney back drop….the first of what will become many I might add. We slowly made our way up the gangway and right at the entrance of the ship they ask you for your family name. Then, over the speakers your hear…..
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like you to welcome the Werner Family!”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the Auger Family!”
We are on and it doesn’t even feel like you’ve gotten onto a ship. It feels like you walked into an elegant hotel. It’s mesmerizing.
“What do we do now, tour guide?” I’ve been the tour guide up to this point. I typically do so much research before hand that I know how to get to our destination what to do once we get there. I made most of reservations and suggestions of what we are doing and how to best navigate around, especially that first day.
“We need to make Elsa and Anna reservations then head to Deck 11 to get to the pool,” I say.
I thought Elsa and Anna were done at guest services but I guess it is on Deck 5 at the Port Adventure Desk. Apparently while I was dealing with Budget, the people at the check-in had told Heather to get our kids checked into the clubs and get wristbands. The line at Port Adventures was long, it was crowded, and our natives were getting restless to swim. So the Moms waited in line for Elsa and Anna tickets while the Dads went up to Deck 11 with the kids.
We quickly found a spot on deck, got the kids lubed up with sunscreen and they quickly went to the Aquaduck. There wasn’t much of a line and the Moms got the tickets and checked the girls into the clubs.
Chris and I gazed around in amazement that we were on the ship. It was surreal to me. Immediately they are coming around with the Drink of the Day (DOD). I quickly grabbed two for Chris and I, a quick mention of my room number….signature…extra tip…and we were living the life.
This is how our wives found us! Notice the smiles.
Wives were able to quickly join in the fun and relaxation!
See what I mean…drink in hand.
So the 1’s (Kaitlyn and Ally) took the 3’s (Sophie and Kate) to the Aquaduck and the 2’s (Leighton and Ella) rode by themselves. It took them longer than I expected but eventually we saw them.
We found the free self serve ice cream machine.
And we continued to just take it all in. The music was playing.
We watched the video on the FunnelVision
It was awesome!
We picked up the plastic holders for our lanyards and Auger’s picked up a whole lanyards for our Key to the World cards. We went to Cabanas to have some lunch. This was probably the most crowded we saw Cabanas the whole week we were there. We managed to find spots that were relatively close together. Someone had heard or noticed it was 1:30 and that our rooms are open so after we ate, we quickly went to check out our rooms
The big reveal! The one thing the girls kept mentioning the most before we got to Port Canaveral was the split bathrooms and how cool that would be. It was nice actually. The shower is in one room along with a sing and mirror and the toilet is in another room along with another sink and mirror. How cool!?
The Wives were going to be treated to a day at the Rainforest Spa!
Relaxing for a bit. Heather started to unpack at this time while Chris and Linda took in the view and studied the Navigator a bit (I plan to eventually get the Navigators up sometime but it may take me a while). Heather likes to be organized as soon as possible so she worked hard that first night to get everything in order and put away. When we initially got to the room, we had 3 or 4 out of 6 pieces of luggage sitting by our door. Auger’s had about the same as us. We didn’t get our last piece of luggage until nearly 6pm however. We had late seating so it wasn’t a big deal for us that we didn’t have all our luggage yet, plus we were prepared anyway.
Eventually, the notice came over the speakers that it was time to do the muster drill. We went down to Deck 3 to our stations. Stood in cramped lines as a family. Made sure we all had our cards. People said something over the loud speaker that I couldn’t hear. Then finally…….
It was time to party again on Deck 12 with the Sail Away Party.
Mickey and the Gang joined in!
We told people to go to this page and watch us wave as we sailed away.
or you can view it later or when you get back as they archive your departure
Almost out of the port with a little help from our guard….
We were finally out to sea following two other ships.
And we continued to party!
And probably continued to not believe we were on the ship. So Great!
As I said, we signed ourselves up for late seating. I read a mix of things about late seating but the main thing I liked was we were not going to be rushed to get dressed for dinner. Let’s face it, for a 5:15 seating, we would have to start getting ready by 3 to 4 o’clock every day. This way for late seating, we could wait until 5pm (or later if we didn’t want to go to the show). So tonight we got to be on deck a little longer before we headed to our rooms to start getting ready for the first show. Most of us made it there….late. We were those people the whole cruise where we couldn’t drag ourselves away from the pool quick enough to make the show on time. The only exception was we made sure to make it to Aladdin in time. The show tonight was more or less a bit of a variety show to let us know what was to come on the cruise. This night, the specialty act was a ventriloquist. She was entertaining but I would have liked to have seen her show she did for the adults.
We had a little time after the show so we wandered around the shops and got to meet Mickey and Minnie in the Atrium and listen to the Dream Duo sing….they were talented British singers.
Our first night we went to the Enchanted Garden. Our rotation was ERAEERA (Enchanted, Royal, Animators, etc). Enchanted was nice and elegant with a New Orleans feel to it and flowers on the ceiling that would open up and change color. This would also be where to go for breakfast if we wanted to, but we never made it down there.
Each night our main waiter (Budi) and his assistant (Daniel) would have cups with water in them. The kids would have lids on their cups with their names on them. They would greet the kids as Princess Sophie and Sir Leighton. Push our chairs in if they could and take the napkins, sort of place them in our lap and take the dishes. Tonight, we didn’t have Daniel for some reason but we had Jessyca…we would meet her again another night in Palo.
Funny story with Jessyca, Chris and Linda always order Diet Cokes. Chris took a couple of sips out of his, looked a little funny, sniffed his glass, gave a befuddled look and said,”Does this smell like it has Bacardi in it?”
I shot him a befuddled look and took a sniff. My eyes widened, “Yes it does! Holy cow!” I took a little sip, “Yup, that has Bicardi.”
Jessyca comes over and Chris said, “I think there is Bacardi in here.”
“No there isn’t,” Jessyca says.
“Yeah, I think so. Smell it.” Jessyca looks strange like we are crazy. “Go ahead, smell it,” Chris smiles as he tells her.
Jessyca keeps giving a strange look and finally takes a smell and shoots a befuddled look. “Ahhhh, haha, told you. You smell it too, don’t you?”
“I don’t know how this happened.”
Chris was absolutely fine with it. He got a free drink out of it!
We could start to feel the rocking while we were at the show but by dinner time, it was starting to affect a few of us. As you can see, Leighton wasn’t feeling too good. Ally was also having a little problems and Heather promptly popped a couple of motion sickness pills at dinner.
There was always bread waiting for us of some variety. Ally had said midway through the cruise, “I feel naked if the bread basket isn’t in front of me.” Her and Kaitlyn did eat a lot of bread. You could order appetizer, soup, salad, main course, and dessert. The portions were right but you were well fed by the end.
Enjoying our first course.
It helped Leighton a little to eat but he would not make it the whole time. He had to leave before we were all finished eating. It felt a little chaotic this night between Leighton not feeling good, the girls making frequent trips to the bathroom, and just being exhausted from a crazy first day. We were up and down quite a bit and felt like we were rushed and had wondered what our wait staff thought of us.
Budi asked if we were celebrating anything during the cruise so of course my birthday got brought up. Budi made sure to tell us that he wanted to make sure we had Excellent! service throughout our cruise and to tell him if we needed anything.
We left feeling full and satisfied. We wanted the kids to get to the clubs this first night so they would maybe have a chance to get to know some people. I had read that this is important because this is when friendships are first formed. What I messed up on is our kids missed the ice breakers earlier that day that may have helped them get to know people even better. I think the fact they had a friend with actually prohibited them from reaching out to other kids but they seemed to still have a good time there. At any rate, after dinner, they all went to the clubs….even Leighton who came around quickly after lying down for a bit.
Chris was feeling a little wiped out and come to find out later, very low on blood sugar, so he went to the stateroom. Linda, Heather, and I checked out the adult areas. We went to see “Match Your Mate” where there is an older couple, middle aged couple, and newly weds. Of course it was a take off the Newlywed Game. The younger couple got the most right followed by the older couple. It was funny with the older couple because their son was in the audience and learning a lot that night about his parents.
Disney does it where the audience can vote for who should win rather than by points. The younger couple was picked and got some prizes like wine, a message, and I believe a free night at Palo. We looked around the remaining adult areas and Linda went to check on Chris. Heather and I went on deck to look around. It was very windy, as it was most nights, and the ropes leading up the mast where the radars are and they were whipping in the wind. We got a call on our Wavephone from Linda saying Chris was having issues so we needed to pick up the kids at the clubs. Well, it turned out we were authorized to get Kate but for some reason, not Leighton so Linda had to come down anyway. We got everything cleared up and went back to the room for the night. After this night, each adult was now authorized to pick up all four kids.
Our room had been turned down, our towel animals were out, and it was time to call it a night after a very long and fun day. Kaitlyn and Ally showed up shortly after midnight and we wrapped up day one. Beds were feeling very comfy this night!
Click HERE for video of Day 1!
Notes to Future Cruisers
- If you rent a vehicle, drop your party off first. They should have your passport or birth certificate, make sure you have your license. You will need that to get into the building…not to mention to drive your car.
- Don’t be afraid to bring on your own alcohol or even water. Bring snacks too, it is more expensive on the ship.
- If your rental agency is crazy busy, don’t be afraid to hail or call a cab. It was so worth it
- Be ready to swim when you board. It’s one of the best times to use the Aquaduck and the pools aren’t so full, especially right away.
- Get your Elsa/Anna tickets right away and get your Oceaneers Club bracelets as soon as you get on the ship. Also book Palo/Remy if you haven’t already. It would also be the time to reserve virtual sports time, spa time, or Castaway Cay cabanas…if there are any left. Actually, if there is anything you need reservations for, do it now.
- Have your child take part in ice breaker activities in the clubs, especially if you are traveling without any friends. Friendships for kids form early.
- Get the Drink of the Day!
- Eat lunch at Cabanas….you paid for it.
- Tell family/friends to watch you sail away on this camera http://portcanaveralwebcam.com or watch it later when you get back here http://portcanaveralwebcam.com/replay.php
- Relax and Enjoy!
- If you are not traveling with other friends or family, get onto the disboards.com to find out who else is going and sign up for meet-ups on the ship. We didn’t get a chance to do this but it was OK for us.
- Don’t Try to do it all!