Davidson Family Travels

Friday, June 1, 2007

To Sum It Up

I've tried to be useful, and get M&M to give me our good and bad ideas that we had/did for this trip. They were uninterested in helping mankind, so I will try to do the best that I can.

Good Ideas:

1. Taking our scrapbook crap with us. Mind you, we are not professionals. Basically we took a binder, cardstock, page protectors, stick glue, scissors, and a bunch of stickers. We forced ourselves to do that day's memories each night before we slept (or in between naps). While some nights nobody wanted to do it, somebody had to. As a result, we got home with a nearly complete scrappy, except for our last travel days. We would NEVER have been able to do a scrapbook with 14 days of memories and doo dads after we had returned home. If this is too much, then I would suggest taking a big manila envelope and put each day's doo dads in a separate envelope, and write something about each day.

2. Taking our photo printer. It took up about the space of a shoebox. We thought our ink cartridge was going to run out, but taking it out and shaking it did the trick. It was nice to have pics for our scrappy, and to put on the door (with magnets).

3. Taking a adhesive-backed sheet magnet - $1 at the dollar store. We were able to cut it into little bits, adhere them to the back of our pictures, and stick them on the door.

4. Taking Disney excursions - after 7 cruises, this was a first. It saved me the hassle of trying to book something on my own in a foreign language. I'm sure there were cheaper deals out there, but with my middle child dumb luck and lack of navigational skills, I wasn't about to take a chance.

5. Getting Euros before leaving the USA. I think it saved time in line. We used a ATM in Gibraltar with no problems, and used Master Card with no problems. We didn't call our companies before leaving the USA. The merchants usually just wanted to see our passports when we used the MC. Gibraltar has their own pounds, and some crazy exchange rate for Euros, so the ATM was easier there.

6. Fly British Airways. It was a very pleasant experience, thank you. It cost more, but considering we got upgraded, it was a good deal. If nothing else, for the lack of long lines in Barcelona.

7. Spent the bucks on a Category 3. It was worth it for 14 days. So what if I never get new shoes again in my lifetime - I got snacks every afternoon!!

Ideas we should have done or shouldn't have done:

1. Eat dinner at 6:00 in our assigned place AND Palo a few hours later. WHAT WERE WE THINKING? But it was good!

2. I've read this suggestion about a thousand times, but I still didn't do it - bring a power strip. With the laptop, photo printer, curling iron, blow dryer, and camera battery charger, we were constantly plugging and unplugging.

3. Not take an excursion in Gibraltar - I thought we would do it on our own, but we shopped and didn't go up the rock. I think the excursions made us lazybones go places.

4. Lose 50 pounds before we boarded the boat. Then maybe two dinners a night would have made sense.

5. Brought quarters for the laundry. I meant to, but forgot, which meant a trip to guest services when the change machines were out.

6. Overpacked. I should have made a packing list and stuck to it. Molly tried to make us do it, but when you pack the night before you leave for two weeks, you get kind of sloppy.

5. Learned Spanish before we boarded the boat. I know zero words, MB knows 3 words, and Molly knows every fifth word. Luckily we were very good with the universal look of "Duh" so the natives knew to speak the English to us.

That's all I can think of for now. And now, for my final essay,

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation"

I went on a two-week cruise across the Atlantic on the Disney Magic. I went with my two 20-something daughters. We had a great time. Here's why:

Disney Cruise Line designs itself for families, and invites you to join the DCL family. It doesn't matter if your family is large or small, if you have little children or grown ones, if you have a litter of kids or none at all, or if you're traveling with a group or just by yourself. DCL says, "Welcome to your home on the seas."

With DCL, it doesn't matter your ethnicity or nationality, it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, it doesn't matter if you're Happy or Grumpy, it doesn't matter if you're married or single, and it doesn't matter if you're a Type A Personality or a Lazy Butt. DCL says "We're glad you've decided to join us."

DCL plans activities to interest every personality, if you choose to participate. It also provides comfy beds should you choose to do nothing. You can learn to cook new dishes, tour the ship, listen to speakers, swim in the pool, surf the internet, laze in the sun, play ping pong, basketball, or shuffleboard, jog or work out, or let someone else massage your tension away. DCL wants you to have the vacation YOU want.

On our cruise, there were those that did everything. They had a great time. There were those that did some things. They had a great time. Some liked the food, some didn't. Some thought the shows were great, others didn't. Some idjits (like us) stayed up to watch a movie at midnight, while the smart ones went to bed. There were as many vacations going on during this cruise as there were families. Each vacation was unique for that family.

So we cruised with Disney. We saw some of the shows, ate a lot of food, participated in a few activities, and took a lot of naps. It was perfect, because we got to spend time with each other. And in the end, that's why we cruise with Disney - it's all about spending time with family, doing those things that are important to your family.

For those of you waiting to cruise, have a magical vacation. For those of you wishing you were going - live vicariously through trip reports and blogs. But most of all, have fun and enjoy your family, whatever and wherever it may be. Bon Voyage!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day 15 - Thrown off the boat!

Waiting to mail postcards in Barcelona airport.

I'm not in coach anymore!!

Those would NOT be tomatoes on your pizza!

And they tuck us in, too!

Cruise. Over. Sadness.

It's been several days, and we still can't believe that we are not in 8078 anymore!! Call it jet lag, denial, or bitterness, we just ain't there no more!! But, we have finally recovered enough to tell you about our last day. Or days.

It started early on Saturday. We knew that we would have to go to the dining room to get our "thrown off the boat" stickers. But we also could have breakfast brought to us. So, we did the best of both - had breakfast delivered and sent Molly to get the stickers, which were Blue Ariel, by the way. So, we ate, stickered up, and reluctantly left our home.

We hung around the lobby, waiting for the "Blue Ariel" announcement to sound so we could start our weeping and wailing (hopefully getting sympathy from Captain Tom to let us stay). After waiting a bit, I went down and asked the CMs if we had to wait to be called. Those stinky petes said we could leave whenever. So, we walked out. For the last time.

We walked out of the terminal, got a new sticker, and boarded a bus that was headed for the airport. As we pulled out, I saw my PCanal friends Bob and Eileen, who had all their luggage - a backpack and a carry-on rolling bag. Those two know how to pack!!

Anyhow, eventually we arrived at the airport. We got off at one terminal, only to find out that we had to walk down to another terminal. On the way, we passed some losers with Disney stickers who were obviously going to take our place on the boat. I thought about tackling them and stealing their tickets, but decided sleeping on an airplane would be better than in a Barcelonian jail.

So, we entered the airport pulling our two-ton suitcases (again, feeling admiration for Bob and Eileen). MB found the way to British Airways, which had no lines. Point #1 for BA!! Especially after passing Iberia, with lines out the wazoo. We had time to spare, so we waited for the airport post office to open so we could mail our postcards that we had collected. That mission was accomplished, so we decided to find our gate. Now it got interesting. We found the line to go through security, which was LONG!! We did the usual Disney thing, and stood in line, inching forward. However, as we were almost at the actual security roped off lines, things started getting ugly. Apparently, some people in Barcelona have NOT been to Disney, and do not understand about staying in line. They started going around the line to get in front, and the crowd began voicing their opinions. Very loudly. Security started hovering around. Just as we were to turn into the actual security que, a lady said to MB, "You weren't there all the time." To which point we assured her that she was, keeping to ourselves the idea that this lady obviously was new to her line position. We made it through security, found our gate, and awaited our plane to London.

The flight was fairly uneventful. Our snack was an egg/cheese sandwich, was is a far departure if you're used to peanuts and crackers. Some of our fellow cruisers were on the plane, including the family of the day who got to board first at Port Canaveral. However, since we were all very sad, we had little to say to each other. The only exciting part was the toddler who didn't want to sit down while landing, and whose parents were not interested in him sitting down, instead asking the flight attendant to make him sit down. I saw a castle while we were landing, which I found exciting.

We landed at Heathrow, and I was not too thrilled. First you have to go away from your gate, get in another line to go through security again. Luckily we were able to check two bags each, because here you can carry on only one bag. Another wait, albeit much nicer than Barcelona, but still a long wait to get through security. Then you walk aways to get on a bus to go to the next terminal for your next flight.

By this time, it was eating time, so we wandered around until we found a place to serve us. MB had pizza, but didn't eat her little tomatoes on her pizza, which I decided to eat, which I popped in my mouth, only to discover that they were not tomatoes but peppers. Sadness and pain!! We finally got our waiter to bring us the bill, which we brought along with a personal charge card machine, so we got to do part of his job. Fed, we went in search of our gate.

Upon arrival at our gate, I noticed that it was a big ole plane. Having never flown across the ocean, I was not comforted by the largeness of my transport. Added to the fact that the call letters on the tail were LU. Was this an omen? Good or Bad? We waited around a little longer, because our flight was delayed. Was LU experiencing engine trouble? Finally, they said we could board. Another concern was that there didn't seem to be a lot of passengers - especially since it looked to me like LU could easily transport a few thousand people.

Nevertheless, I got in line to check in. MB and MO got in one line, and I got in the other. They were delayed a bit, but got ahead of me. When I got to the check in person, she asked if I were travelling with two others, and I said yes, and she said that our seats had been re-assigned. I knew that MB and MO had said that we couldn't get seats together, but I figured they had arranged that with BA. Sucks for them - this lady apparently had gotten us all seats together!!

Well, we are all herded out the door, and told to go down the steps. Now, I haven't flown a lot, but I did think it odd that I was going downstairs to board LU, who seemed to be at least 90 stories high. Apparently the people ahead of me thought so too, because they were trying to go back UP the stairs. But no, we were told to go out the door. And get on the bus. This was just really getting interesting. Busing to America.

But no, we were just bussed to a runway somewhere to get on ANOTHER BA plane, a regular sized one. I get on the plane, realizing that I have a mighty low row number, 10, not Row 34 or 42. The lady at the door says my seat is just down on the left. Lordy mercy - we got upgraded to business or world or something. All I know is I see MO and MB with a glass of champagne and HUGE grins on their faces!! So, I sit down in my Lazy Boy seat, complete with blankie and pillow and sound-proof headphones. Not a bad way to end a concierge cruise!!

The pilot says we are going to be late, because something having to do with radar over the Atlantic, so we're going to have to fly over Iceland or the North Pole or something. Being late to leave already, makes our connection in Chicago look precarious, but oh well - guess I'll just have to look at the wine list!!

So, to put the flight in a paragraph, let's just say that there were scads of attendants in our section, either bring food or drink, or asking if we needed something; movies on the little fold-out TVs, a lazy boy seat the would lay out flat, and just about anything else you needed. It was great. The flight was smooth, so I managed to take my first trans-Atlantic flight with causing an international incident!

Upon our arrival in Chicago, we knew it was going to be tight. Unfortunately, lots of international flights arrived late as we did, so customs was took forever, as did getting our bags. By the time we had taken the shuttle to the correct terminal, we had missed our flight to Nashville - even though technically we could have made it, with our checked luggage, we weren't allowed to. Luckily, the guy at the United counter changed our reservations for the first flight out Sunday, and didn't charge us the $100 per person change fee. Welcome back to America!!

We spent the night in the airport Hilton, pretty much falling into bed as soon as we got in the room. We got our flight out Sunday, and flew with about 10 other passengers who had missed the flight the night before. And one dog in a carrier who came with his family from Germany. He was not thrilled with flying, as was Molly, who got to sit with a lady who kept leaning over Molly to look out the window - Molly's all about personal space.

So, we finally got back to Nashville Sunday morning, and have been recovering ever since. We have unpacked, finished our scrapbook, and shared lots of memories. We're glad you took the journey with us. Thanks for reading!!

P.S. Maybe one more entry tomorrow - a kind of "Sum It Up". Also, to Three Circles - we have something to send you if we can get an address!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day 14 - Barcelona!

The steps leading up to the church.

Walking to get on the bus.

Front of the church

Molly got hungry

Looking down (there is a sky lift that we didn't ride)

Enjoying the views

Who said we weren't having fun!

Well, today was certainly a day of mixed emotions!! But we'll start with one - TIRED!! Since we stayed up until almost 3 on Thursday night watching POC3, we knew the day was going to start on a sleep deficit. And it did. We were due in Rockin Bar D at 9:15 for our excursion to Monserrat. We made it! We booked the half day, so there was the hope of sleeping in the afternoon.

First was a 50 minute bus ride seeing a few Barcelona sights out the window. You see the mountain in the distance, then get closer and closer, until you start actually going up the mountain. We stopped and got on the zip train to take us up. Once there, our tour guide showed us around, told us about seeing and touching the hand of the black Madonna, and that the boys choir would sing at 1 pm, not to be missed. After that we were on our own. We walked around, seeing the beautiful views below and the lovely church and surroundings. We shopped in the shops, then sat on the steps and watched the people, and basked in the lovely atmosphere. At 1:00 we went inside the church to hear the boys sing - it was beautiful. It was only marred by the disrespectful (or illiterate) people who would not follow the signs saying DO NOT TAKE PICTURES. There were flashes going off all around - certainly not respectful of being inside a church. But the music was heavenly, and you could see the people passing the Madonna at the front of the church.

After the concert, it was time to head for the bus, which met us at the top. Then it was a lovely ride DOWN the mountain - particularly lovely if you were on the side of the bus that you could peer over the edge. We learned a little more about Barcelona, including the bull signs along the highway. It was also siesta time (a tradition we fully support), so by the time we returned to the boat, it was time to eat and respect the local tradition. Very quickly it was time for our daily Kumi/Connie/Hilda visit, followed by our last dinner at Parrot Cay. We said our goodbyes to Octavian and Ranzil, and then returned to the room, intending to step out in Barcelona. Unfortunately, we realized that we had two hours to pack our stuff and get it outside, so we did not get out as planned. Instead, we sat outside and enjoyed our last few hours on the boat. There just wasn't enough time to do Barcelona, so guess we'll just have to come back!!

Tomorrow - our last day - can it be here already?!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 13 - Molly's 21st!

Merry Christmas!!

A Flower for Molly!


The Best Door Ever!

Happy Birthday!

Birthday at Palo!

Molly at the trough!

M & M & M!

Donald dances for Molly!

Since we returned to our room at almost 3 am, this is not being posted until later this morning!

Tonight we are writing at 11 pm, as we are waiting for POC3 to start. In an hour. Yes, we are in BARCELONA!!

Today started with Molly waking up to her 21st birthday!! We all got dressed, and were at Palo for our 11:00 reservation. On our way to our table, we stopped at the champagne station, where Miss 21 got her first LEGAL drink. We were seated in our very favorite place, at one of Sylvester’s tables. Upon our arrival, greeting Molly, was a very special plate wishing her a very personal Happy Birthday!! Sylvester greeted us warmly, wished Molly a happy birthday, and then escorted us around the tables filled with yummy-licious food!!. We ate, and ate, and ate. And ate. In between bites, Molly was wished greetings from Bob and Eileen, and many of the other diners. Of course, it helped that she had a happy birthday button on!! Molly opened special birthday cards signed by Mickey and The Disney Princesses (thanks to Kumi and Connie!). Sylvester made a special birthday card for Molly, out of a Palo dining receipt. Finally, when we could eat no more, we had to call it a morning. We took a final picture with Sylvester, wished him well, and left Palo for the last time. For this trip, anyway!

We went back to the room, and changed into sweat pants, except for Molly, who changed into birthday dress #2, thanks to Gibraltar shopping. MB and Molly went for a stroll while Ida cleaned, and while they were gone, Concierge brought by a special treat and card for Molly - you guessed it - A Dozen Chocolate Covered Strawberries!!
Our next event was Rum Tasting. Keep in mind that none of us drink alcohol on a regular basis. Namely, only at Palo brunch. So, we went with an open mind to Diversions, where we found seats and tables that had a paper with rum facts on it. We sat down, and the rum seminar started. Basically, we learned that we do not belong at rum seminars, and the lady behind us will drink anyone’s leftover drink. Nobody really liked any of the rum, except Lu, who drank the last one. Whatever it was.

After rum tasting, it was time for rest and concierge snacks, which today were little sandwiches which nobody really liked either. We took a nap, until our Connie/Kumi/Hilda visit. They came bearing Transatlantic certificates signed by Captain Tom, a group character photo birthday card for Molly signed by the characters, and a magical memories certificate for having the best door decorations!! We in turn, gave them each a scratch off ticket, which miraculously they all were winners!! Each one won a bag of Goo Goos. They were excited, but they get excited by the new pictures on our door!!

They left, and soon it was time for dinner, in Animator’s Palate. Tonight was the Captain’s Gala. In AP, the theme was something about being a family, and towards the end of dinner, Mickey, Minnie, and friends came in and danced around the room. Of course, the dinner ended with Molly’s birthday cake, and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday from Octavian (who also made a superb paper origami flower), Ranzil, and their pals.

After dinner, we shopped in Mickey Mates. Lu had planned to see Disney Dreams, but instead wanted to watch our entry into Barcelona. So, we watched from our verandah until 10:15 pm, when it was time to go up to Deck 10 to watch the fireworks for our welcome to Barcelona. To put it mildly, it was the equivalent of the fireworks from Disneyworld. IT WAS FANTABULOUSTASTIC!! They were shot off the starboard side, and off the port side was a helicopter obviously watching. The fireworks were set off in the port, and you could see the flashes coming from the cameras from the other cruise ship in port.

Well, once the fireworks were over, we headed to the Walt Disney theater to wait for entry into the theater at 11:00, to wait for the start of POC3 at 12:01. The bad news is that it is 2 hours and 48 minutes long, and we have an excursion leaving at 9:15 in the morning. You do the math. But here we sit, ready to watch.

It’s been a great day - tomorrow we will see a bit of Barcelona, then it’s our last night. Depending on how many minutes we have left, we may not post until Saturday. But we will post, so keep checking in!!

High: How awesome I looked all day
Low: Staying up for POC3
High: Connie/Kumi/Hilda visit
Low: Being in front of the ship’s horn when it went off
High: Fireworks!
Low: Rum tasting

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

12 down, 2 to go


MB and her funny money:

Lu and baby sis and their many escorts:

Lu went a little crazy:

Going "home":

I don't know:

It’s day twelve. Only two more full days left in this cruise. Today’s plans had us off the boat at ten. We didn’t sign up for any excursions, so we were on our own. After getting off the boat, we were greeted by a group of red coats. We felt very fortunate that they time traveled to greet us. We then bought some stamps and mailed our postcards from the past few days. After exiting the port area, we were greeted by cabbies offering tours of Gibraltar. We decided to go on one. After waiting for ten minutes to get in the taxi, supposedly waiting on another trio to join us, we realized the cabbie had no intention of taking us anywhere anytime soon. We took off towards the town.
Ten minutes later we reached the main touristy shopping area. We went in several stores. Molly bought a birthday outfit. Lu bought some earrings. MB bought some monkey coin purses for our Concierge comrades. Our stop in town included a stop at a little restaurant called Burger King. After two hours moseying around town, we decided to head back to the ship. On the journey back, we attempted to telephone Steve, but the phone was uncooperative.
Our afternoon onboard was surprisingly nap free for everyone. Molly ventured down to deck five to screen the Prestige, MB watched the Office in the room, and Lu had a date with Lucas for a deep tissue massage, which left her feeling like she has been beaten up.
Our afternoon snack, which included chocolate covered strawberries, were delivered and quickly devoured. We were then visited by Connie, Kumi, and Hilda. They presented us with a page of facts about the ship and Kumi showed us a picture with one of the moneys at the top of the rock. The visit ended in a group hug.
We ran off to dinner. The menu was Around the World. Everyone enjoyed their food. No one overate, for we’re saving room for the Palo brunch. We once again went our separate ways post dinner. MB went to see Invincible, Lu went to the Mickey Dreams show, and Molly went to read and make new friends on deck five.
The evening ended with a new friend, our next door neighbor Michelle (a fellow disser). There was dessert buffet that we did not attend, but we did devote a lot of thought to it. Tomorrow’s day is an all day blowout for Molly’s 21st.
High: New clothes
Low: Not getting to talk to Steve
High: Not taking a nap
Low: Waking up
High: Mickey Dreams show
Low: Not going on a rock tour

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Napping on Bus:

Town center of Village One:

Village One:

Phoning Daddy:

Cadiz Statue and the Magic:

View from Village One:

We hit land again today. The boat was docking as we were waking up. We had to meet at 8:15 for our excursion. We chose to go on the White Villages of Andalucía excursion. No children under the age of ten were allowed, which MB happily approved of. Joining on this excursion with us were our pals from the first day, Luann and her husband.
We got on the number ten bus and headed out on our hour long journey to the white villages. In transit, we saw several ladies walking that were wearing flamenco dresses. Our tour guide told us something about a pilgrimage and they were walking to some village that 150 kilometers away. We have yet to fact check her story, so she may be full of crap.
The first village we went to was built on a bunch of hills. It was really old. We saw a church, a snail, and a bunch of stray dogs. There was some history the guide told us, but none of it was retained in our small little minds.
The second village was half an hour away from the first. This village looked more lively than the first. We walked up a steep hill. The road was very narrow. We had to dodge cars and mopeds. We passed several shops on the way up the, but did not stop at any because we were trying to keep up with the guide. At the top of the hill there was a church. There was also a view of the countryside. Everyone took pictures. We then stopped in a hotel for a drink and snack. Lu drank white wine, Molly had coke, and MB had nothing, for she has properly hydrated before the excursion. The snacks were chips, olives, and bread that had chucks of something baked into it, that we decided were eggs. We then got thirty minutes of free time to roam around. MB and Lu ventured out to buy postcards and trinkets, while Molly stayed behind and made friends with an older gentleman. We trekked down to the bus and were happy to be headed home. MB took a nap on the bus while Molly talked to her seat mate about CoolPeopleCare, which was printed on her sweatshirt. Lu attempted to nap, but did not poses the mad napping skills that MB had.
We arrived back at the ship at two, which is about the time all the shops closed for a siesta. We took a cue from the Spaniards and had our own onboard.
Some of the cabin napped until dinner. MB and Lu wanted to venture out into the city, for they believe there is no such thing as too many trinkets. It was decided that they would eat a brief dinner and wander the city. The menu was A Taste of the Mediterranean. The food was quickly inhaled and MB and Lu went on their merry way. Molly went back to the room to take her first and only siesta of the day.
MB and Lu ran into Luann and hubby again while they were exiting the boat. They advised us that the map that we were given was useless and that we should just head west, and we would eventually hit some shops. Their advice held true, and MB and Lu were window shopping in no time. There were not many touristy shops in the area. They almost came back empty handed, except for a present for Steve, who bank rolled this vaycay. Speaking of the financier, MB finally was able to understand enough Spanish to use a telephone to contact him and catch up with the health and well being of all pets left at home.
It was now nearing eight o’clock, and MB and Lu felt it was time to head back to the ship. On the way back, Lu passed a young girl with her parents. She had a yellow Mickey poncho and was looking at the boat. Lu felt compelled to give the little girl one of her Disney Vacation Club pins. The little girl was delighted. This was a happy ending to a happy day.
High: Dinner with Octavian
Low: Weather, chilly and overcast
High: Walking around Cadiz
Low: Listening to the tour guide when trying to nap
High: Giving little girl Disney pin
Low: Napping on bus
Side note, there will a complete room tour loaded into the blog upon our return. Look for a peak inside a coveted category three.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day 10, another day at sea

The Cove Wave Pool:

Our new favorite waiter, Sylvester:

After our pigfest:

Another day at sea. Another day of nothing accomplished. Naps were taken. Food was eaten. Here’s a summary of our day at sea.
The morning started early for some. Maribeth woke up around four and watched some 90210 for a few hours. She then fell back asleep, or took her first nap of the day (depending on how you look at it), around seven. The others woke up around nine-ish.
Molly had a hot stone massage at 9:30. Molly has poor descriptive skills, so I cannot give a good description of this massage. She does say that “she loved getting stoned and recommends everyone trying it at some point.” After her appointment, she spent some time in the Rainforest Room.
Luanne and Maribeth had a couples massage at 10:30. Lu had a man named Lucas and MB had a tiny Australian lady. We were led to a room that was clearly too small for two people to be in at once. Lu had a therapeutic massage and MB had a Swedish massage with an emphasis on deep tissue. It was a very pleasant hour. At the end, Lu booked her second date/appointment with Lucas. She has a deep tissue massage scheduled for Wednesday.
After everyone’s massages we joined for a group lunch. MB wanted something simple, like topsiders or a hot dog, but the other two were being their high maintenance selves and wanted to eat in a restaurant. The restaurant chosen was Parrot Cay. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea. After a brief wait, we were seated. Today we had seat mates. Luckily none of them were small children. They were: Matt and Adam - two guys from Orlando, Adam works at Disney, organizing cast members who want to do volunteer work in the community and helps with the Make-a-wish Foundation; Guy from BYU - he’s here with his mother, sister and nephew, he’s studying Spanish; we never got his name; two ladies from Puerto Rico - BYU tried to talk to them in the little Spanish he knew, I know nothing about them. Lunch was good. I felt compelled to break a small child’s leg. Apparently her parents thought it would be an awesome idea to let a two year old run around in a busy restaurant, on a constantly moving ship, during a buffet which meant not only cast members had to dodge her but passengers, not used to small children, had to dodge her.
We all went our separate ways after lunch. Molly went back to the Rainforest room. Lu went to the Quiet Cove Wave pool. MB took another nap. The R\room made Molly drift into slumber, so she returned to the room. Instead of taking a proper nap, she decided to attend the afternoon showing of Casino Royal. Lu called MB from the pool area, stirring her from her siesta. Lu request MB come to the wave pool to get photographic evidence of the rough waters in the pool. MB reluctantly agreed. Upon looking for footwear, MB discovered that her sandals had been stolen. After finding another set of footwear, MB headed off to the photo shoot. The pictures were taken and MB’s sandals were reclaimed.
Everyone reconvened back at the room. We had a concierge jamboree at 5:15. This was the start of our night of gluttony. Lu started off with coconut shrimp, egg rolls and a Bahama Mama. Molly and MB had fruit punch. Donald Duck stopped by for a brief visit, but Lu had forgotten her camera, so there is a question as to if it ever happened.
Dinner Part One was held in Animators Palate. The menu was Master Chef. Lu and Molly ordered appetizers and MB had her first steak of the evening. Molly and MB each had a dessert. The trio retreated back to the room until it was time for Dinner Two. They passed their time watching 90210, the Christmas episode. Many lessons were learned about sharing and thoughtfulness. The sister bickering was put on hold.
Dinner Two began at 8:30. Our waiter was Sylvester. He was full of personality. He likes country music. The food was divine. Everyone was stuffed and left in a happy mood. Palo has redeemed itself, and we are looking forward to our brunch on Thursday.
High: Getting “stoned”
Low: Eating two dinners
High: Having the hiccups three times in three hours
Low: Being forced to take pool portraits
High: Sylvester/pool
Low: Too many food choices

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Day 9- In Luanne's Words

waiting to get on the excursion bus

mb and mom with their flowers

Of course MB and Molly hated Planet Fun- they hate fun

Humboldt Overlook, or whatever it's called

Molly and her chocolate covered strawberries.

Saying goodbye to Tenerife

And now from Luanne:

A lovely site greeted us this morning - LAND! Maribeth was awake early, watching as we docked. While any land would probably looked wonderful, Tenerife was absolutely beautiful. The mountains with the clouds, the houses, and port were lovely. We all got ready, had a bite for breakfast, then gathered with our shipmates in Diversions for our excursion.

We booked the Puerto De La Cruse and Ortava Valley tour, Bus #8, to be exact. As we exited the ship, we were greeted by a local folk dancing group and their guitarist. The ladies were given a flower and the men were given a cap. We all boarded Bus #8 with Anna, our tour guide, and were off.

We rode higher and higher into the mountains, and stopped at our first stop, The Orchid Gardens. Here we toured the gardens, admired the fish and the birds, ate a snack, and got back on the bus.

Our second stop was at Puerto de la Cruz, the oceanside resort area. We stopped at McDonald’s, and were given an hour to tour the area. We looked at the black sandy beaches, the strong waves with powerful undercurrent, and the shopped in the typical tourist shops (where Molly was shopping for the best nekkid postcard - but there were just too many to choose from). We boarded the bus, ready for our final stop … until our Disney rep realized we were not all there (although technically, that involved a few other excursion mates, or as Molly observed, “There ought to be an IQ test for going on an excursion.”). So, we waited another ten minutes for the stragglers to arrive.

Our bus driver took us higher up the mountains, in a big bus on a tiny, very curvy road, with no guard rails, until we reached Humbolt Overlook (there’s a reason for the name, but I forgot it - this is a blog, not a history lesson). There we were in competition with a group of Japanese tourists jockeying for the best photograph positions. We won. After several thousand photos were snapped, we ALL boarded the bus for the trip back to the ship. We got off the bus, back on the ship, headed straight for Goofy’s Gallery for some quick eats. With all this activity, of course it was time for - you guessed it - NAPS!!

It wasn’t too long until our afternoon concierge treat arrived - the absolute best ever for one of us, the treat being (drum roll, please) - you guessed it - a two-tiered tray of CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES!!! At least, that’s what I thought was - it disappeared in two minutes.

Molly and I started watching “The Holiday” on the Disney movie channel. It was great, until it stopped halfway through the movie, and the movie schedule started showing. We were confused. Are we supposed to make up our own ending for the movie? We hope to watch it again. And hope we get to see all of it this time.

Soon it was time for dinner, which Molly passed on, because she had perused the menus at Lumiere’s, and decided it was not to be for her, except for a dessert or two. Maribeth and I went to dinner, and explained Molly’s absence to Octavian and Ranzil, whose sadness was only lifted by the fabulous Tenerife pens we got for them at the super-fabulous souvenir shop we visited (where the clerk rang up our many purchases while running a rapid-fire conversation with a couple either looking for directions, trying to buy a car, or asking why Mickey Mouse was in town - since I don’t speak Spanish, I really couldn’t figure it out). But I digress. Maribeth and I had a great dinner, and took two desserts to Molly.

Molly told us that Kumi, Connie, and Hilda had been by, and she had given them the hankies we had also picked up at the Blabbermouth Souvenir Shoppe. She reenacted their reactions - it was quite gratifying.

We all went to find our latest attempts at photos in Shutters. We found one that was horrible, and decided to get it. Of course, I had to have mine with Donald, as it seemed to be fate that it reappeared. We then went out on Deck Four to watch our departure from Tenerife, or land (tomorrow is another sea day), and Molly ran into her Rainforest Room/Disboard friends. I got to meet them, and we all discussed our land day.

Tonight’s show is “Boys II Men.” Curiously, no one in Stateroom 8078 is interested in going. One of us is too old, and the other two are too young. Instead we are going to make up endings for “The Holiday” and reminisce about what the chocolate strawberries must have looked like, had they been around long enough for anyone but Molly to see.

Well, I guess that’s all for today. Two of our plans for this trip were (1) to bring our scrapbook stuff and do a page a day instead of hauling it all home and trying to recreate fourteen days, and (2) do our blog. Each task had it’s chairwoman, Scrappy Maribeth and Bloggy Molly. Tonight both flaked out on their jobs, so I have had to do both. Needless to say, I think they will both be back on point tomorrow, once they see my efforts. I enjoyed my time with you - Have A Disney Day!!

High: solid ground
Low: The Holiday cutting off

High: Naked postcards
Low: some of the people on excursion

High: views of Tenerife
Low: forgotten souveniers

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The sleeping beauties...

Today was our last consecutive sea day. I have never been happier to see dry land than I will be tomorrow. These sea days have been very laid back, but you can’t help but feel a tad claustrophobic after six days on a boat.

Unfortunately, today’s weather was cloudy and windy. We meant to take a video of the pools splashing around, but didn’t have the chance. Hardly anyone was on the top deck this morning, and of course no one was in the pools. It was still nice to sit in the Promenade Lounge and watch the waves from the oversized portholes. No matter how many days you spend at sea, you’re still amazed at how blue the water is every time you see it.

We were all awake by 9am today for a change. I haven’t napped all day shockingly. Sadly, I cannot say the same thing for my sister and mother. They both napped on Deck 10 while our room was being cleaned this morning. Later, they cuddled on the couch together while trying to watch the second Pirates of the Caribbean and slept. I think they also napped before dinner as well. Mom actually had her fourth nap after dinner before she was planning to go to the show.

We didn’t really eat that much either. (Apparently today was rather odd for us) We all had breakfast on our own, fruit and such at Topsiders. Maribeth had a hot dog for lunch and Mom ate something or other at Topsiders. Today from concierge we had assorted miniature cakes and a few mini muffins. The muffins were good, but the cakes weren’t very impressive. Connie and Kumi also brought by Mickey rice krispie treats.

Dinner tonight was the Prince and Princess themed menu. Looking at it, the food didn’t sound very good. However, we were all pleasantly surprised by the food we ordered. Apparently our waiters have to work all day tomorrow and they don’t even get to touch the land, so we are hoping that some shops in Tenerife might be open (even though it’s Sunday) so we can get them a present.

After dinner, I wandered around and read some of the things I’m supposed to be reading for my summer classes. Maribeth went to see Casino Royale. Her review is: “Good. High action.” Hope that helps you decide to see it or not. Mom tried to go and see Twice Charmed- the nightly show- but there were no seats to be had. She was terribly sad. She sat around on deck 5 to waste time while Ida cleaned.

Tomorrow we are unleashed on the Canary Islands. We will most certainly have many pictures and stories to share from our adventure. Thanks for reading!

High: Dinner
Low: Cloudy and windy weather

High: knowing we get to see land tomorrow
Low: having to answer Mom’s questions about Grey’s Anatomy

High: Finishing POC1 and POC2
Low: not getting a seat to the show

Friday, May 18, 2007

Day Seven - Luanne's Interpretation

This is how you get married in Romania.... we think

Clearly Molly did not like the snack of the day.

We hate Minnie. She has runied all our pictures.

Some people have fun on pirate night...

...and some do not.

Today was a quiet day on the sea. Sort of like the last 4 days! The winds and seas had died down a bit, but the winds started up again, making it interesting on deck. I started out with a walk again today, the most challenging part being getting the door opened to Deck 4. After a night at Palo, the walking was a bit uninspired today. So, after a bit of breakfast from Topsiders, I returned to the room to see if M & M had opened their eyes yet. Shocker - they hadn’t, so I suggested they get their Disney butts out of bed so Ida could get busy with the room. Unwilling to wait for that to happen, I took my reading materials to Deck 9 where I found a lovely chaise with comfy cushion in the Quiet Cove, and took advantage of the beautiful blue water view, somewhat sheltered from the wind. Soon Molly found me and sat with me, waiting for the BBQ to commence. Soon the Mouse20 party started, which included a lovely synchronized swimming routine. Soon the BBQ was ready, which included steak, pork, and chicken cooked on the grills on Deck 9, and lots of other good things to eat. The smell alone was yummy enough to eat! Anyhow Molly saved my prime seat while I got food, then abandoned me for her new love, the Rainforest Room. Maribeth managed to pry herself out of bed long enough to join me.

After lunch, and tiring of the wind, we retreated back to the room. Our afternoon was punctuated by the treats brought by concierge, and Pirates Connie and Kumi stopping by with a bag of popcorn for tonight’s movie.

We stopped by Shutters to look at our pictures from yesterday, which were just as dumb as we thought they would be. An interesting side note was that the Donald Duck pictures we had tossed in the discard box mysteriously reappeared in the display. I guess we are just too pretty to be discarded!

Tonight was Pirate Night - if you are planning to ever cruise Disney, be sure to make space in your packing for something pirate-y (unless you have 2 twenty-something daughters who think you look dorky in your attempts to look pirate-y)! We went to dinner in Animator’s Palate, where Octavian helped us finish our outfits. Except Molly who hates fun. The highlight of the meal was tonight’s Sister Bicker #7 between M&M about whether Maribeth likes coconut or not. To prove the point, Maribeth stuffed her entire half banana coated in coconut in her mouth. Still wondering why we were seated at a table by ourselves?

There was another meeting for the mystery thing. The bad news is that we still don’t understand. The good news is that it is over tomorrow. I don’t think we will understand it then either.

Maribeth saw the movie that was tonight’s major entertainment - “Meet the Robinsons.” When I asked her for a review, her response was “You wouldn’t like it.” Hope that helps those of you who are reading.

I played Bingo for the first time this cruise. Instead of a pack of cards, now you have only one card for all the games. No matter - I won nothing.

The Pirate Party was held tonight. The wind being what it is, I don’t think Captain Hook has any chance of taking over the ship.

The only other thing to report is our attempt at a decent picture with the characters - at least we are consistent. Tonight Minnie decided to lay on the floor. Maybe I should have instead.

High: Rainforest Room
Low: Anything after 5:30 pm, AKA Pirate Night

High: Stuffing a banana in my mouth
Low: Having to do the scrappy tonight instead of going to sleep

High: Seeing Kumi and Connie at the door in their pirate decorations
Low: The inability to get a decent photograph with Mickey