Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vacation Update Part II

Picking up where we left off... our family was gearing up for some fun in Frontierland at WDW. When we took Brooke to WDW when she was three, she was too short to ride Big Thunder Mountain RR and Splash Mountain...but now she is tall enough! We'd found videos of the rides on You-Tube so we got her a little prepared for them. She kept pulling this "I'm scared" crap but we wouldn't listen to it-- we just knew she'd love it once we actually got her on them.

I had the brilliant idea to fastpass them at the same time. Since we were having to do a baby-swap on them worked out so great. Matt, Brooke and I got fastpasses for Splash Mountain for us, and fastpasses for his parents on Big Thunder. Then the six of us went and asked the cast member for rider-swap tickets. (They offer this for families travelling with little ones so the tall folks can take turns riding the rides without having to wait thru two long lines, etc). They sat with Hannah while we rode Splash Mountain on our Fastpass...then when we got off with Brooke they took their turn. Then we did the same thing on Big Thunder. As predicted--- Brooke LOVED both of them. (though she said she didn't want to go on them again, she enjoyed them and was laughing. Apparently it was enough excitement for the moment). She didn't want to get wet on Splash Mountain and fortunately she didn't!
While Gma and Gpa were finishing up on Big Thunder, we took off to tomorrowland to get lunch. They met us after. It was pretty crowded and we had a heck of a time finding a table. This is also where Brooke lost her mouse-ears. She'd had them all of 90 minutes, and set them down, and then about 20 minutes later Matt asked where they were. Long gone is where! Of course, Grandma bought her a new pair even though I said "Well I am NOT buying you another pair!". Geewhiz.
We decided to head back to the hotel for a few hours. Everyone was hot and tired and Hannah needed a nap and to cool off. Baby was hot being in that stroller! We were reminded why we like staying at the Contemporary-- it takes about 5 minutes to get there as opposed to about 25 minutes to the other properties via bus.
To wrap up our day at Magic Kingdom--since we still have a seven-day cruise to talk about-- We went back that evening for a little while, but found it a little too hot around the 5p.m. hour for Hannah. We'd gotten in most of the rides we wanted to, so we just decided to go back to our hotel for dinner and to relax and walk around.
Saturday May 2nd was the big day for us to get on our cruise! The girls were up about 7 a.m. The bell-guy came and got all of our cruise bags (except the carryons we were keeping with us) at 8a.m. We wandered over to a neighboring hotel (The Boardwalk, a DVC property) and ate some yummy stuff from a bakery outside on the Boardwalk. We had until about 1130 till we caught our bus.

The drive to the port was a little over an hour. Hannah finally fell asleep about the last 30 minutes (she is a wiggly fighter when she is on your lap and not wanting to go to sleep!). The EXCITEMENT we felt when the Port came into view and we could see the Disney Magic was wonderful. Ahhh it made us so happy -it'd been a year in the making! Since we had checked in at the hotel, and our bus was not one of the first ones to arrive at the Port, we were able to get right on the ship. It was so exciting to hear them announce "Welcome The Collinsworth family, on their SECOND DISNEY CRUISE!" We were just giddy. Our staterooms were ready so we ditched the carryons and went for some lunch. We had enough time to do a little exploring, tried to let Hannah relax for awhile, worry about where our bags were (two of our suitcases were quite slow in arriving outside our room, one being so late we asked our host to go look for it!).

At 4p.m. we had to report for the safety drill. This is where everyone puts on their lifevest, and reports to an assigned area on deck for roll call. All cruise lines are required to ensure that all persons participate in this drill. Thank God for pacifiers--that's the only thing that kept Hannah from having a big fit as she was wedged into a child-life-preserver and she was HOT!

Afterwards we ditched the lifevests and went up for the sail-away party. It is a jammin fun time where we all partied down, got our groove on, and listened to the only-on-Disney-cruise line horn belt out the tune to "when you wish upon a star..." as we sailed out of Port Canaveral!
We were at dinner at 545. Hannah was so tired, but she did pretty good. My last suitcase-- containing my makeup, had arrived about 30 minutes before we left for dinner- thank goodness! I don't remember what I ordered that night, but it was fabulous. I didn't eat a single thing on the ship that was less than fabulous. We put Hannah to bed shortly after dinner (since they take about an hour to get thru).

At this point, I will wrap up this post by saying, Thank God we had Matt's parents with us who had a connecting room. It would have been hard to get thru bedtimes without having their room to escape to.... we would get Brooke in her jammies and have her go to their room and relax a little bit, then we'd get Hannah tucked into her pack-n-play, pull the curtain between the girls' sleeping area and ours, and sneak into their room. After about 20 minutes, once we were sure hannah was asleep, Matt would take Brooke over and tuck her in. Then he'd chill on the balcony of his parents' room with his dad while Anne and I watched tv, chitchatted about the next day's events, or I went off to explore or do something. If we didn't have their room connecting to us, then Matt and I would have had to quietly just be in our bed too with the lights off!
I actually didn't take any pics of our stateroom this time... but I can describe it a little with this picture as a visual aid. Just past Matt and Hannah here is the door to the balcony. They are sitting on the couch in our room that converted to Brooke's twin bed. You can see in the forefront of the picture the corner of the pack-n-play. It took up a good majority of our 'sitting area' floor space. So the pack-n-play and Brooke's bed were about 2 feet apart at night, which is why we put the girls to bed in shifts. There was a curtain to pull that would separate this area from the queen sized bed. We had split bathrooms which means there was one (teeny tiny) bathroom that was the potty and a sink/mirror, and another that was the shower with a sink/mirror. Disney Cruise lines' staterooms are up to 25% larger than industry standard. I'm not sure we'd survive being in one much smaller than these! And it would have been really tough not having Anne and Gary's room to go next door to!
Coming up-- Fun on the cruise-- I'll try to start condensing the recap a bit more!

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