Friday, March 27, 2015

Disney Cruise Part two

In this post I wanted to focus more on what our days at sea looked like and glimpses of inside the ship.    If you missed part one, see my previous post.  Here ya go!

The characters!!  Let me tell you…we saw and hugged more characters on this trip than we ever got to meet when we went to actual Disney World several years ago.  This is the way to do it folks!!
Parker was VERY into meeting the characters.  He is at the perfect age, totally thought they were real.
Minnie kissed him and he seriously turned red, the cutest!!
The whole gang!
Sydney did NOT like the characters, they scared her.  She cried.  She's about to bawl in this pic, the paci was about to shoot out and tears came flowing! ;)  Glad we snapped the pic when we did!
This kid on the other hand wanted to hug each and every one of them.
This was "It's a Small World Nursery".
It was adorable and Sydney mostly enjoyed her time here. ;)
There was a whole other room with cribs where they took naps.
The pool deck with the Aqua Duck slide going around the whole ship.  This was a highlight for sure!!  It even lights up at night.
There were beautiful mosaics all over the boat.  All of them were made in Italy and displayed throughout the ship!
These are different scenes from inside the kid's club.

Even the bathrooms were all out Mickey!
Woody's room!
The older kids could also stay in this kid's club while docked and parents were off.  Each kid had a wrist band with a micro- chip inside…they were locked in this place.  
Our kids would even eat dinner and come up here before the adults ever ordered…they never had to sit still at dinner. They ate and ran up here to play unil we were finished!
They could climb and play all over this stuff.
Now you see why Parker made sure he was getting back on this boat!
Putt putt was a lot of fun.
This was a giant splash area.
A lot of shuffle board competitions went down on this cruise.
Luke, Parker, Faith, James and Adelynn competed on this particular day!
There was one area for littles in swim diapers.  It was outside on the pool deck but under cover.
Sydney rode this slide over and over and over again.
This is the big screen that showed Disney movies at the pool.
There was even an arcade room!  A big hit with the guys!

The details inside the ship were amazing.
Let's talk ice cream for a minute.
That is a Mickey Mouse bar in my hand.  I may or may not have had one of those every night for dessert! :)
I drew the face on there.
This girl can dominate an ice cream cone.

This restaurant is called Animator's Palate and the walls came to life with animated characters that talked to you.  One night Crush, the turtle from Nemo, talked to Parker and Blake, like had a conversation.  Best meal ever!
Sydney got into the animation and eating crayons.
There were plenty of nights of watching Disney movies before bed.
This is us waiting for a taxi back to the airport after getting off the ship.
Sad day, very sad day.
We know how to tackle a lay over in the airport!
Games everywhere!
This pic is right before I realized my cell phone fell out of my back pack on the taxi.  "Find My Phone" is a really cool app if you don't have it yet! ;)
The trip ended and I have my phone.
The end.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Disney Cruise 2015

Last week during Spring break, we went on a Disney Cruise with James's mom and dad and his brother's family.  To say that it was awesome, fun, and amazing is a huge understatement!  Disney knows what they are doing and it really was one of the best vacations I've ever been on (with kids)!

Listen, when we first started planning this trip, the sound of being on a cruise boat packed with kids, kids and more kids sounded like a sentence to me.  I more braced myself for what was to come instead of shake with shear excitement like I should have.  I was so wrong!

The boat was huge and it's amazing how everyone just spread out.  There was a water slide up top that went out over the water, putt putt golf, water splash pads, two pools, numerous movie theaters, kids clubs, nursery, the list goes ON.  I mean the kids were so highly entertained on the boat that when we finally docked in St. Maarten, they didn't want to leave.  Parker kept asking…"are we getting back on the boat??"  He was so worried he wasn't going to be able to go back to the "Oceaneer Lab" aka: kid's club.
Our three stops were St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.  St. Maarten was my favorite simply because I got to watch Parker swim in the ocean for the very first time.  He literally ran through the sand and into the waves squealing the entire way…priceless!  Sydney stayed behind on the boat that day because we didn't think she could handle taxis, the beach and shopping without a nap that whole day.  Yes, Disney will take care of your child 3 and under and entertain them, feed them and even make them nap.  Truly amazing.  Whether Sydney enjoyed being in the nursery is a whole other post. ;)

In San Juan, we zip-lined through the rainforest which was such a thrill, loved every minute of it!  The kids had to be 8 and older so most of them stayed in kid's club that day.  We went back to get them for lunch and walked the streets of Old San Juan.  We stopped for some authentic island food, ate ice cream made from passion fruit and coconut and toured the fort that protected the island hundreds of years ago.  Parker loved seeing the cannons!  Bouns: that night was pirate night at dinner concluded by a pirate show with Captain Hook and the whole gang!  Disney provided pirate gear so everyone could show up to dinner dressed as a pirate. 

Castaway Cay is an island in the Bahamas owned by Disney.  When you get off the boat you step onto a Disney paradise.  Beaches galore, water craft, a giant tower in the ocean with slides coming out of it for the kids…a full beach day for sure!  Sydney got to go to the beach for the first time on this day and she loved it!  Loved the water, the sand and all the sea shells she could find!

I could go on and on.  Don't even get me started on how good the food was or the fact that there were character appearances multiple times a day or how they showed Disney movies on a big screen at the swimming pool or how there were Disney movies on every channel inside your stateroom.  A truly MAGICAL vacation is how I will sum this up!!
That being said…if there is anyone out there who still reads this blog and wants more info on this cruise, please feel free to email me.  I'll answer any questions you have!

Now for picture overload…I am splitting the pics into two different posts!

Part one:
We were one very excited crew leaving Amarillo!
Riding the tram at DFW airport never gets old for these two!
We arrived in Orlando, threw our stuff into our hotel rooms and then headed off to conquer Downtown Disney!
Two boys and Buzz!
We found a Ghiradelli ice cream store and you better believe we stopped for chocolate ice cream!!!
Up bright and early on our van to go to the boat!!!  
The excitement level was through the roof!
Quite a sight to drive up to!
Here we go!!!
Made it!
It was a lot to take in and just beautiful inside!
The first thing we did was explore.  This was up top on the putt putt course.
We took Sydney by the nursery so she could get acquainted.
Our first dinner.
We had the same waiters the entire cruise.  They followed us around to all the different restaurants every night which was fun!
Sydney scored…a big bowl full of mac and cheese!  What toddler wouldn't love that?
Here we are at our first port in St. Maarten.  The sun was intense, I mean it was so hot and you know what?  It felt awesome!!!  We bought all the kids hats so they wouldn't fry in five minutes. :)
We walked around Marigot, the French side, and saw some great sights.
(One side of the island is owned by the French, the other is Dutch)
We stopped at this French bakery called Serafina's for some French chocolate eclairs.
 Oh my goodness…to die for!
Hanging out at Serfina's before heading to the beach.
My favorite picture!  
This is right after he ran full speed ahead into the water!  He was SO happy!
The water was gorgeous!
This was called Mullet Beach.
After a whole day at the beach, we shopped a bit and of course found an ice cream shop!
This is Parker posing for GQ.
Two VERY tired little boys.
They were begging to go back to the boat to rest…that sun will zap you!
Goodbye St. Maarten!
We picked Sydney up from the nursery and went straight to the ice cream bar on the boat. (you could literally get ice cream day or night…dangerous!!!)
That night was formal night at dinner at the Royal Court.
(you can even put your little one in the nursery during dinner if you want a "calm" dining experience…they have a fun toddler dinner in the nursery for them, we only did this on formal nights)
Formal night came complete with crayons and coloring pages! ;)

Rise and shine!
Parker thought it was the best getting to sleep on a bunk bed that came out of the ceiling every  night.
The day we docked in San Juan, we went zip-lining!  
This was awesome!
There were rope bridges everywhere as we hiked from tree to tree.
My cool in-laws…notice Ann's camera hanging from her chin strap! ;)
After our adventure we grabbed the kids and walked the streets of Old San Juan.
Here we are getting fresh sorbet!
I think we all ate our weight in ice cream on this trip, ha! 
Old San Juan is just filled with character and charm.
These boys loved the cool fort!
Cannon balls!

Katherine and Parker looking out over the city!
I love this…saying goodbye to Puerto Rico from our balcony!
We had some really fun neighbors too!
We sailed right passed El Morro, the big fort on the peninsula.
Off into the sunset.
That night at dinner was pirate night, arrgh!
Followed by a big show on the pool deck by Mickey and the gang.  Captain Hook made an appearance as well!
Our next stop was Castaway Cay in the Bahamas and this time Sydney got to go to the beach for the very first time!
She was busy the entire time!
To the right you can kind of see the water slides and off in the background is our boat.
Cousin talk out in the water.
This kid loves the ocean!
Our boat pulled into port backwards so when we walked up to it we could see the back!
Goodbye Bahamas!
Not sure what got Parker's attention!?
The water…just a reminder of how awesome our Creator is!!
This was our last night on the boat.

That ends part one!  I will post the rest of the pics soon, there are just so many!!