I have been praying and dreaming about this day for literally months, and when it finally arrived, I was absolutely excited, exhausted, and raring to go.
We left last Wednesday to drive (yes, DRIVE) from Iowa to Florida, making a one night stop in KC, to spend the night at my aunt and uncle’s house. The following morning, we made the grueling journey across Missouri (and through my old stomping grounds, Columbia, MO), and through the old south.
Driving through Florida seemed like the longest drive in the entire world. It’s a never ending turnpike, and when we finally got to Miami (during rush hour traffic, no less!), we were all a little cranky and exhausted.
Then we saw this:
|A happier sight you never did see.|
My sister and grandfather flew in that morning (smart people), and had been waiting all morning for us to join them, so we could go through security, check in, and get our obligatory boarding picture.
Followed by dropping our stuff off in our rooms (2517 and 2519 respectively). But we were starving, so we worked our way to the back of the ship, and to the Beach Blanket Buffet for lunch, and scored some seats outside, with a view of downtown Miami.
There was also a party as we started to leave the port, which I was actually *kind of* present for, but I more or less wandered the decks instead. And swam. There was lots of swimming to be had.
The Quiet Cove Pool was almost heavenly. It was located on Deck 9 Forward, which meant it was exactly seven decks up from where we were staying. No running across the ship to get there for us! It was a lot bigger than the Disney Dream’s adult swimming area, and a lot more quiet. It had pathways for kids to go around, and not actually get in the adult’s way (On the Dream, there was no path, and I remember kids screaming as they ran through. ). The pool was bigger, had two hot tubs next to the pool, Signals Bar, and the Quiet Cove Coffee Bar. The waiters in the adult area were so kind, plus they used your name when they talked to you, which is a nice touch. Sure, they probably got it from the receipt you had to sign, but I still like it.
Also, if you continued forward, you got to the gym and Spa, but more on that tomorrow. I will be totally honest here. I had every intention of continuing with LiveFit while I was on vacation, but it just didn’t work out. They keep you busy on Disney ships. There’s always something to do at some time. It was crazy, but there were Disney movies, and I got to see Frozen a second time in the Buena Vista Theatre on Deck 5. This is another reason Disney rocks. Just saying. My sister and I went to the Disney Vacation Club informational meeting (And if I could figure out how to make the down payment, I would definitely consider it!), but mostly I just relaxed. It was just a great time to decompress.
I’ll have a separate post talking about the different restaurants on the ship, and the food (majority of it was superb!), and on the first day, the opening show was their “Welcome Aboard!” show. I was extremely exhausted, so my mom, dad and I opted not to stick around for the whole thing, but to be honest, I wasn’t as impressed with the shows this time around as I was last time. No idea why, but this first show just wasn’t as magical as it could’ve been. It was a little banal. I can barely remember what it was about, except watching a couple different families get on the ship, and the son of one of the families wanted to be Captain one day. I could be screwing the whole storyline up, but who knows? As much fun as it was to see some of the dance numbers, I just wasn’t crazy about this first show.
Upon returning to our cabin, mom (who was staying with my sis and I, since Grandpa came with, as well, and stayed with dad) said we should order room service and celebrate finally being on vacation. We were watching a Disney movie (though which one now escapes me), and Kiri and I ordered Chocolate Chip Cookies, and mom ordered Oatmeal Raisin, along with milk to wash it down. Walt Disney always said “That’s the trouble with the world, too many people grow up,” and being on a Disney Cruise, posing with characters and watching cartoons, having cookies and milk before bed was another way to honor the late Walt by remembering how to have fun.
It was a fabulous vacation and I am already planning my next one. I'm a Silver Castaway Club member, and I'm three cruises away from becoming Gold. There were kids on the cruise that were Platinum (10+ cruises), and I get the feeling, their parents didn't take them on any vacations besides Disney. Works for me! I was serious about wanting to join the Disney Vacation Club! We'll just see where I stand when I get my debts snowballed and taken care of, Dave Ramsey-Style! Be back with more tomorrow!