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Sunday, March 2, 2014

And then we took a Disney cruise.

 
It was cold and grey here, so we took off.  To the Caribbean.  With our besties, Mandy and C and their boys.

 
First, we got stuck in San Fran (where they have a YOGA room) for about 6.5 hours due to a broken plane (probably the reason they came up with a yoga room).  That was the bad part.  Along with the part where Girlie got a fever on the plane, our kids cried as we landed because the pressure made it feel like their 'brains were exploding', our hotel was overbooked and so they put us in a hole in the wall place next door where J and I were in separate buildings (not just rooms, buildings) and the boys had to all share a double bed. Those parts were bad too.

 
My happy traveler.

 
Our first glimpse of the Disney Wonder, our home for the next 5 nights.
 

 
Soooo happy to be boarding the ship.
 

 
 
Our staterooms only accommodated 4 people, so we booked two adjoining cabins.  Kind of bummed to have to pay for two staterooms, but it was pretty darn nice to stick all the kids in one room and not have to tiptoe around in the dark waiting for the kids to fall asleep.  They were cute and well designed.  The bathroom was split into a toilet/sink room and a sink/tub-shower room.  Super convenient.  And the most delicious toiletries ever.  I looked at ordering more after the cruise but J wanted to know what in the world I was thinking because, good heavens, we don't spend that kind of money on shampoo.

 
Swimming, every day.  There were three pools and a waterslide.


 
They had the most fabulous shows every night. (The Golden Mickeys--their version of the Golden Globes, Toy Story: The Musical, an illusionist, and Dreams, which was my favorite).  The big kids felt very grown up sitting away from us at the show.  All the way across the aisle. ;)
 

 
Our first excursion, Grand Cayman.

 
It was low 80s.  It felt so good!

 

 
 
We went to the Grand Cayman branch. It was small and friendly.  The chapel was full, so we sat in the overflow--the Relief Society-font room-kitchen room.  Yes, the boys are wearing their swim suits.  We were those people.
 

 
Iguana, all over the place.  This was a big guy.  We saw tons of baby(?) lizards(?) running around in the grass.  A little unnerving, but still 'awe-some!!'.

 
The Sea Turtle Farm.  It was pretty amazing.  Here the kids are checking out a whole bunch of giant sea turtles.

 
The kids got to swim with the baby ones.  I even picked one up and I have the video to prove it.





 
Mandy and I, lovin' life.
I. Adore. This. Girl.
 
 
 
We ate ice cream on Deck 9.  Every day.  At first I was all, "Guys, this is not healthy!  We cannot just eat [delicious, self-serve] ice cream multiple times a day!" and then I was like "Well, if you can't beat 'em..." 


 

We spent the rest of the day at Seven Mile Beach.  It was gorgeous.  The water was amazing.


 
The cutest little sandy bum.  Followed by the cutest, sunburned little bum.






 
Our super fun kiddos!

 
 
We ate at a different restaurant every night.  There was the island-themed 'Parrot Cay', the fancy French 'Triton's', and one called Animator's Palate that was all black and white at the beginning, and ended up in color (even the wait staff changed their vests to color ones).

 
There was new 'towelagami' and chocolates to enjoy every night when we came 'home'.  This one, we term 'sexy bunny', was one of our personal favorites. 


 
Cozumel, Mexico welcomed us with a mariachi band.

 
We went to the San Gervasio Mayan ruins.  For some reason, Buddy was bummed out.  Probably because no one was home. ;)





 
Sammy got to try out his espanol, which was really awesome to hear. People didn't expect that.  They did, however, expect me to speak fluent Spanish.  Ha, ha, fooled them.


 
They boys picked out shark tooth necklaces.  Buddy kept trying to make us 'touch it, really hard.'

 
We went to a private resort, Buccanos, for the rest of the day.  Um, yeah.  I couldn't help but feel that maybe I was meant for island life.

 
 
We went snorkeling in the turquoise water.  J and Girlie headed out, and Sammy and I stuck together.  I swam out with my gear on and then put my face in the water.  I was shocked to realize that I was in the middle of a giant school of grey and yellow striped fish!!  I tried hard not to freak out and just enjoy my National Geographic moment.  These fish were everywhere, and several times during our snorkeling, the schools would turn and head straight in my direction.  I tried to barely move my legs so that they didn't touch me.  Pretty sure I would have lost it.  I'm not great about touching things with more or fewer legs than I have.  It was amazing, though.  Sammy shouted, "Mommy, I CANNOT believe I am seeing this!!!"
 




 
During our last day at sea, J and I checked the kiddos into the ever popular Oceaneer's Lab and Oceaneer's Club and had a romantic lunch at Triton's, played a little shuffleboard, and enjoyed the sunshine.  You know, practicing for when we're 60.  Whatever.

 
Character dance party (there were a lot of character dance parties), with Mickey and Minnie, Pluto, Chip and Dale, Goofy, etc.

 
Of course we saw the princesses.  We got to meet Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Tiana.  It was so magical.  Sweetie kept wringing her hands and twirling her hair she was so nervous/excited.  Of course we both loved it, I cried, it was magical.

 
Mandy and I went to the towelagami class.  So if you ever come to stay at our house, you'll find a monkey or a puppy hanging out on your bed.  And maybe a chocolate if you're lucky.

 
Captain Mickey

 
Seriously, I'm going to cry just looking at this pic.
As the princesses twirled their way down the stairs, the royal trumpets declared their arrival and the royal messenger gave a little 'hear ye, hear ye..' speech.  I ate it up.

 
Pirate night was just FUN!!! A lot of people brought pirate clothes to wear.  They gave everyone a bandana to wear and had a deck party.  Captain Hook and Smee joined the fun, with a band of pirates, a great DJ, and dancing.  They capped the night off with a fireworks show in the middle of the Caribbean.  Disney does it right!
 

 

 
We both had black and white pirate skirts on. FYI.  With the skirts we look more like pirates and less like gangstas.
 

 
Our waiters were Vishal and Phapakorn (he had us call him Popcorn, which delighted the kids).  They were FANTASTIC!!  They would get the kids food quickly, and as soon as the kids were done, we'd check them into the kid center and we'd finish dinner and dessert.
 
It really was a dream vacation.  Seriously worth every dime.  It was the magic of Disney, in the Caribbean, so many fun things for the kids, all the adult time you wanted, delicious food, tons of fun, all with our amazing friends.  It was awesome that all our kids are old enough to enjoy these adventures.  We feel so lucky to have these memories!
 
 


8 love notes:

Soilsqueezer said...

Sounds like a real Dream Vacation. I think I want to go on one!

zetasalexandra erb said...

I think I had a smile from ear to ear just reading this. You deserved such a magical time. Love all the pictures!!!

Gina said...

Wonderful photos and awesome story telling. So glad to hear all about it!

ashtrost said...

Such a great job blogging about this trip! You're making me want go book another trip on disney cruise! It really is the best family vacation and worth the money.

Staci said...

It all sounded amazing, and then you mentioned checking the kids into a kid center when they were done eating so you could finish dinner in peace, and my mind exploded. Every restaurant should have a kid center! Love it!

knechtd said...

So so much fun!!! I am surprised there weren't more food pictures... we know that is what cruises are all about! haha:) But the ice-cream every day x 10 is the best! Love when it's so hot you have to eat it fast :) And the beaches look amazing!!!

Sarah Ringer said...

Love, love, love it! So glad your cute family got to do this and it all turned out so fun and wonderful in the end. (The rough beginning just adds spice to the experience right?) I am SO convinced that we need to take our kids on one of these one day!

Jessica B said...

Wow...looks like a wonderful vacation. We have considered a Disney cruise in the future and I think this has convinced me that it would be a great idea. Just need to wait for the little one to get a little older. Glad you had such an amazing time!