February 09, 2024


Ep. 391 - Fantasy Awaits: Tabitha Shares Her First Time Sailing Disney Cruise Line

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 391 - Fantasy Awaits: Tabitha Shares Her First Time Sailing Disney Cruise Line
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 391 - Fantasy Awaits: Tabitha Shares Her First Time Sailing Disney Cruise Line

Feb 09 2024 | 01:20:27


Show Notes

Tabitha joins us this week to share her family's experience sailing Disney Cruise Line for the first time aboard the Disney Fantasy. What did Tabitha think of DCL and all it had to offer? We're chatting booking, check-in, stateroom, onboard experience, activities, port stops, shore excursions, entertainment, food and so much more. We love getting the first-timer's perspective on DCL, so if you've been thinking about booking your first Disney Cruise Line adventure - this is the show for you.


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Episode Transcript

00:01.50 dclduo Sorry, the review screwed up hold on one second it keeps changing size on me all right. Welcome back. Everybody to this week's episode of the dcl duo podcast brought to you by my path unwinding travel and sam. What time is it wait it serve you time. 00:21.12 Sam It's review time. It's good because I I'm feeling like I need another cup of coffee right now and but you know what I feel like maybe the review will give me the like little bump that I need the little bit of adrenaline or like. Natural caffeine that I need today. Ah. 00:36.15 dclduo Sure? Why not? Yes, you're good enough. You're smart enough and goshrn to people like you. Okay, so this 5 star review comes from Brian Harlow who writes best Disney Cruise Info Brian and Sam provide outstanding information on what to expect on your Disney Cruise getting ready to do our second cruise this year on the disney wish we just sailed on the disney dream. Dcl du r is a deep um dcl duo is our go to information resource. Well thank you Brian you also spell your name correctly. I'm sorry for all the brians out there with a y ah but the I spelling is the appropriate and preferred spelling in my opinion. So but thank you for that review. 01:00.29 Sam Um, it. 01:10.60 Sam You know it's funny you know it's funny I was going to ask you how does Brian spell his his name it with an eye or a way so that's good that you volunteered it. 01:18.43 dclduo Don't worry I I wouldn't I wouldn't read a 5 star review from a from a b r y and that's just not going to happen I'm sorry no I'm kidding if you if you are Brian out there as spells it with a y we still love you. Please keep listening to the show. We will read your reviews on the air if you leave them so but anyway with that sam you want to intro our guest and topic for the day. 01:34.20 Sam Yes, I am so excited to talk to a first time Disney cruiser. So not first time cruiser. But first time Disney Cruiser and first time guest to our show. Tabitha welcome to the show. 01:47.62 Tabitha Thank you so much I appreciate this opportunity I'm super excited. 01:53.86 Sam Oh yay. Well, we're excited to have you on because you went on one of our favorite itineraries of course. Um, but before we dive into talking about your cruise and planning for your crews. We need to know your cruise and Disney Credentials as I mentioned this is a first time Disney Cruise but I understand you actually have some experience on other cruise lines. 02:16.90 Tabitha Yeah, okay so I've got to go back to childhood right? Um, my dad we lived in Wyoming I'm not sure right landlocked not a lot around not a lot to do ah no, not even close. No. 02:26.13 Sam I Not a lot of cruises nearby either. Not even River cruises. But. 02:34.11 Tabitha No yeah, no none of that exists there. Um, so my dad my aunt was fortunate enough. She moved out. She's about 20 minutes away from Anaheim and so when I was little that was what brought me the love of Disney my dad would take me out there. Um, on trips when I was little I love looking back at the pictures right and seeing especially the evolution of Disney right? And how things have changed and so fast forward to adulthood. Um, we had our daughter and decided you know what it's time we get back to the Disney. All the Disney things and so we took her when she was two and a half and it just hasn't stopped right? So now exploring all of the things Disney world and then we had the opportunity to go to Disney Land Paris last Christmas and then after that we decided you know what a cruise we've done a cruise before. We've done a princess cruise my husband and I did a back to back eastern and western on princess. Um, right after we were married and enjoyed the cruising but never really gave it another thought until we had her daughter. 03:38.99 Sam And this sounds like a very familiar story. Yeah, except celebrity for us and princess for you. Yeah right? after we got married. Yeah. 03:48.58 Tabitha Yeah, and just didn't really think about like oh maybe we should do it again right? Careers things and like that nature were starting and then had our daughter and she is she's close to Nathan's age so she's eleven and it was one of those things where I want to make sure she can. Experience cruising as a younger child. Not super young, but young enough to fit in that in-between kids club stage before she gets too old to experience that and so Disney Cruise here we go and listening to podcasts right? like. 04:11.50 Sam And he. 04:23.34 Sam Ah, but. 04:23.72 Tabitha That was the evolution of the podcasting right? Disneyland Podcast Disney World Podcast hey let's dabble in some Disney Cruise podcasts so there you go. 04:29.68 dclduo With. 04:32.46 Sam Love it. Awesome now. What made you choose the disney fantasy a seven night Eastern caribbean itinerary as your first cruise was there anything particular about the length. Ah the time of year. And of course the the ports that attracted you for that particular itinerary and. 04:53.49 Tabitha Oh absolutely. So um, like I said we had done a back to back prince Princess Cruise and it was seven days each so it ended up being fourteen days and from what I had heard from everyone right listening to podcasts and things is and knowing my experience at seven days was perfect seven days was just enough versus listening to some others on your show and other shows that you know that three night for night it's too quick. We don't have all the time to do the things and I want to do all the things or as many as possible and so that was the reason for the seven day 05:19.11 Sam So yeah. 05:27.68 Sam Oh. 05:29.81 Tabitha Um, timing- wise I am in the teaching industry and so summer's where it's at yep, it's cool breaks and then as far as the itinerary um on the backto- back Princess Cruise my husband and I had gone to st martin st thomas. 05:33.24 Sam School Yeah school breaks. Yeah. 05:46.78 Tabitha Jamaica things like that so we wanted so at least one stop that was different and Puerto Rico was it I work with a gal who is from Puerto Rico and just listening to her talk and all of that I was like yep, that's it. We've got to go to Puerto Rico 05:49.40 Sam Me here. 06:01.95 Sam Awesome! You know that's the one port in the Eastern Southern caribbean itineraries on Disney that I still have not gone to. We were supposed to on our Southern Caribbean Cruise in 19 but there were protests going on so they ended up swapping out. Um. San Juan for St Thomas and we love st thomas great port of course but I still really want to get to San Juan um because I have just never been there ever in my life brian has been there. Um, when he was I think a kid or a teenager. So anyway, I am very jealous that you got to go to to San Juan let's let's talk a little bit about the planning process. Um, you mentioned you know you listened to podcasts including ours. Um, but what did your like individual planning process entail. Let's talk about even before you're sort of actually booking on you know onboard activities like what. What kinds of things were you like researching from the get go. 07:02.35 Tabitha Um, we knew that this well actually I'm going to go back because what really sparked this was the twenty fifth anniversary sailing right? that that was really honestly I forgot about that. That's actually what really drew us in because when we went to Paris it was their thirtieth. 07:09.83 Sam Ah. 07:17.87 Tabitha We had made it to Disney world on their fiftieth and we're like hey why not throw another anniversary sailing in there and so that was what really drew us into that idea and so as soon as I knew it was going to be that I started following people on Instagram. Um, looking up things on Pinterest watching Youtube videos as far as what were they experiencing? What did their experience look like on a traditional sailing versus this anniversary sailing. What did I have to look for to what were some of the sna foods um on some of those sailings and. 07:33.63 Sam And. 07:50.57 Sam So sure. 07:53.10 Tabitha Basically what were people saying and so that's really where I started the research I love pinterest I'm a diehard Pinterest fan right? Great yeah created my boards have my boards ready to go with all the things and so looking at and even basic Disney cruises. What did I need to know. 07:57.48 Sam Are you? You're bors. 08:02.23 dclduo Um, yeah. 08:09.46 Sam Easy. 08:11.98 Tabitha About packing transportation. What does embarkation look like um, you know and Pinterest does such a great job of really narrowing these those things down specifically so that I can look for just the things that I am focused on at that point. 08:20.51 Sam Is he. 08:29.67 Tabitha And really using the podcast to guide my direction right? listening searching for those podcasts that say things to do things not to do and really taking note of that and just keeping that at the forefront of my mind as I'm getting ready to plan. 08:30.70 Sam E. 08:36.41 Sam Right. 08:45.95 Tabitha And really start committing to things that was the biggest thing now commitment right? I know the things now I got to commit to ah. 08:49.66 Sam Yeah, yeah, right I've got to actually book things and decide. You know to put money towards them. Absolutely let's talk about um your your daughter what if anything did you do to sort of prepare her for the cruise this be this being her first actual cruise. 08:55.16 Tabitha Exactly. 09:07.54 Sam At all, right? Um, so what? what kinds of things did did did she watch Youtubes did you just talk about it. Did you get the unofficial guides I mean what were the kinds of things that you used to prepare her. 09:20.10 Tabitha Um I think really just letting her watch some of the videos like hey come here, come watch this but really treading that fine line of keeping something So as a surprise um my husband before we got started. He's like do you have to watch a video on everything. 09:29.48 Sam This is. 09:37.59 Tabitha You have to listen to all the things you're going to ruin the surprise and my response was always like you don't have to do it but I want to make sure that we maximize our time you know we get 7 7 day 7 nights to maximize every opportunity and. 09:38.66 Sam E. 09:46.19 Sam Sure. 09:52.83 Sam Right. 09:57.50 Tabitha I don't want to forget anything or at least if if we forget it or aren't able to do it I at least know that I have it to go back to and so with my daughter I would show her things but the 1 thing we kept secret was animator's palette she is she is an artist through and through. 10:03.00 Sam Sure. 10:09.32 Sam Oh yeah, oh I Love that. 10:10.71 dclduo Um. 10:15.73 Tabitha And that was the 1 thing I made sure to keep secret. Um I showed her videos of the kids clubs so that she kind of knew what to expect there and gave her the description so that she could say oh yeah, this one seems like a better fit for me. Um. 10:19.91 Sam Is it. 10:28.16 Sam Yeah. 10:31.14 Tabitha She was able to ask questions and I could research them and find out like oh this person said this and this person said that and so that she was informed about her decisions. 10:41.76 Sam Awesome! Yeah I think that's great I think you do want to leave you know some let's call it mystery right? Um I don't think I think looking at videos of like ship tours and um, you know pictures of different spaces I think those are a great way to prep kids. Without maybe showing them the show right? like I'm not going to show I'm I'm not going to watch the stage show from someone's you know random you know phone video um or even or even watch the entire you know deck party for example, right? like. But ah, you know watching a video that has maybe a snippet of the deck party and pictures of what the deck looks like or video of what the deck looks like I think those are great ways to sort of familiarize yourself and your children with what they're going to be. You know, seeing and experiencing without ruining the magic of. You know, showing them literally literally every every detail um, which you can do frankly, there's enough videos out there on Youtube that if you want to see every inch of the disney fantasy you probably can um and probably every stage show and and some of the variety acts as well. 11:53.22 Sam Um, because people tape everything nowadays. Yeah so what? about? um, ah the booking process like you know you are well now you're a castaway club member but prior to this you are a first time cruisers you have of course the last possible booking window for. 11:54.15 Tabitha All the things. 12:13.50 Sam A seven night Cruise which is you know I'm sure there were plenty of pearl platinum gold and silver club members on board you're sailing particularly during the summer it's probably a full capacity sailing. Um, but what were the things you were looking or hoping to book. Um, when your window opened and were you able to actually book those things we'll talk about before getting on board. Okay. 12:36.49 Tabitha Yeah, so it was really interesting timing I just happened to be home in Wyoming for a family emergency and so our window came down to get ready to book and I knew a couple things I wanted to focus on was the royalty. My my kiddo's not really into that per se but I knew it was 1 thing we could do together before she ages out again going back to that age. She's getting ready to age out of some of those things and so I wanted to make sure I got that um Paulo Brunch 13:00.58 Sam Um, yeah, right. 13:14.82 Tabitha Like it was in there but not a must do. Um again back to my husband's rationale like already. We're already paying for the cruise. Why do I need to pay for more food for extras. Um, that wasn't super important and then I heard like the Royal court gathering that was another hot ticket item. 13:15.80 Sam Mr. 13:25.20 Sam Ah, for extras. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 13:32.31 Sam Sure. 13:34.77 Tabitha So those were a couple of the things that I wanted to make sure to get and then port excursions I think this is something that went into my planning to think about too backing up a little bit is that when we first did our cruise our back-to-back 1 you know that was pre-pinterest I don't know how I heard it maybe googling it or whatnot an article of some sorts but a lot of people had suggested hey you know try looking at booking outside the cruise ship um, try not booking through them. Sometimes you can get more intimate experiences. 14:02.19 Sam Sure. 14:10.72 Tabitha Um, they offer different things. Um easy to navigate and so ah. 14:11.95 Sam Sure better. Yeah, better price of course is I think the big one when you book directly with a third party instead of through not just Disney but really any Cruise line because they because they're taking a cut that's really the difference is if you're paying the vendor directly. The cruise line is not taking a cut if you're paying the cruise line directly then they're splitting that money. 14:33.54 Tabitha Right? So then it was one of those things where I was like okay if we don't get it on here if all the the hot ticket ones are gone or we see something that we liked and it's gone I knew in the back of my head that I can plan for something else like it's not a loss. 14:49.13 Sam So sure. 14:52.10 Tabitha It's not a complete loss and so um, when booking officially opened right? It's gone like hotcakes I'm in a different time zone I'm a little distractcted I'm trying to consult with them and say hey this is available. Do you want to do it. Do you not want to do it like no. 14:59.51 Sam I. Yeah, you're right right? You're not with your husband and your daughter in the same room of course. So. 15:11.80 Tabitha No, so it was a lot of back and forth like do you want me to do it. Okay I'll do it or no don't do that so it became kind of this mad dash rush to do the things. Um, but we ended up booking one directly through Disney For St Martin and then outside of Disney for Puerto Rico 15:29.76 Sam That Yeah, that's a that's a smart I think um, way to do it and you know be. 15:31.67 dclduo It it is It is as long just make sure for our listeners out there if you're new to cruising and you're going to explore doing an excursion on your own I Just always remind folks read the fine print like make sure you understand because the key difference between. 15:43.80 Sam Yeah. 15:48.76 dclduo Booking your excursion with the cruise line and booking your excursion not with the cruise line is that Disney will make sure that you are reunited with the ship if one of your excursions is late. In fact, most often they just hold the ship because it's a busload of people that they need to get back on the ship if it's a private tour operator. You've booked on your own. 16:02.10 Sam Right. 16:06.65 dclduo And they encounter a difficulty and you're running behind ah then you need to understand if that tour operator is going to do anything to help you reunite with the ship. We just talked to and I think the episode will be out ahead of this one with Mikayle and Dan and they were mentioning that you know they like to support from sometimes sailing and they like to support local. Tour providers and local businesses. Great thing to do um and they also mention a lot of times if they're working with the cruise lines they they understand that like they can't they can't make mistakes that make people miss their ship or else. They won't they won't continue to have business but I still advocate just read the fine print read the fine print know the provider. 16:36.33 Sam Yeah, yeah, and some of those and some of those providers do provide that same guarantee that they will reunite you with the ship if you you know if you have a delay or something some of them not all of them. Um. 16:45.40 dclduo Some of them. Yeah, yeah. 16:51.72 Sam But nobody wants to be reunited with the ship at the next port you want to get on the ship at that you know at your all aboard or before you're all aboard time. So just put that out there. But I think in a place like San Juan you're pretty safe. It's part of the us obviously it's a little bit. Um. Easier to book things and communicate and all of that. So yeah I think that's ah, that's a good strategy now for your planning side of things I'm curious as to whether you felt like this process was similar to or different from. Ah, you're planning for for ah your princess back to back cruises that you had done years before now. Of course this is a different time. So ah, as you mentioned Pinterest wasn't a thing yet. So obviously whatever resources you had were different but do do you recall the booking the ease of the booking process or. You know was it difficult to get you know excursions or or other things that you wanted. 17:52.39 Tabitha If I recall I don't think it was difficult at all for the simple fact that I think we just if I'm not mistaken I think we booked it on our own right? No travel agent. No nothing like that booked it on our own. Um, and then if I look. Back and I think we did ah almost all but I think 1 excursion outside of princess and so maybe that maybe I had it in my mind that like this is the way I'm going to do it versus sitting there and trying to find something. Um. 18:21.89 Sam So sure. 18:28.50 Tabitha We had heard recommendations do one of the excursions in Jamaica and book it through the cruise line for that. Simple fact of travel and the ease of getting around and getting to do the things kind of for that guarantee right? They're not going to leave without us if we're with the cruise line. So. 18:32.46 Sam With it. 18:43.73 Sam Yeah, yeah. 18:46.79 Tabitha Easy I think easy planning and again it was just a different mindset like it was a woohoo like we'll just roll with it right? We'll just roll. 18:53.80 Sam Right? Of course. Of course now you mentioned something that I want to point out to people listening about the royal court tea. Um, so for those who don't know what this is this is an add on experience. Meaning you have to pay for this experience for both adults and children. Um the child's cost is actually quite expensive. It's over $200 I want to say it's maybe like around 270 or two hundred and eighty dollars for the child and then it's like seventy or eighty dollars per adult and I'm not getting the prices exact so that's why I'm giving you the approximate. Um, you can only do this experience if there is a child in your party between the ages of 3 and 12 so you can't do it with an infant and you can't do it with the. Teenage child and you can't do it if you're adults only so you have to have a child that is attending in your party and it is essentially a princess tea. That's the best way to describe it. It's ah it's an opportunity to take pictures with the princesses. And the reason that the child's price is so much more than the adult's price is that they leave with a bunch of gifts and it's like a t set and ah they have changed the gifts recently used to be ah, a princess doll I believe like a cinderella doll and then they recently changed the gifts so they're um. 20:19.80 Sam A little bit more gender inclusive. Let's say ah versus before they had a specific girl gift and a specific boy gift. Um, but anyway people tend to really enjoy it I've heard I've heard from folks who've done it more than once I've also heard from folks who say it's a one and done. Um, there is a lot of food. Ah tea sandwiches and desserts and things like that that are served at this and it's usually just one afternoon on us. Ah and on your sailing. It is not on the wish the wish has the olaf's royal picnic as the essentially it's a very similar experience but frozen. And olaf themed specifically so and you mentioned the royal gathering which is another experience I just want to differentiate the royal gathering does not have age limitations the royal gathering is a free but ticketed event so you have to book it at the. Ah. Your booking window which will be usually thirty days for new cruiser for that experience and that is just essentially an opportunity to take pictures and maybe get autographs with usually 3 or 4 princesses and it's often held in the atrium or grand hall of your ship. Um. And as I mentioned it's free and not limited by age but everyone in your party who's going to attend has to reserve it for that time all right moving on. Ah let's ah, let's talk about your um, let's talk about your ports well actually should we start Brian with the. 21:55.45 Sam Ah, sorry I'm like losing my my train of thought here Brian should we start with like embarkation should we start with jump right into the ports like where do you want to go. 22:08.60 dclduo Um, I mean okay I be it's up to you like you haven't done it. You haven't you you have to rewind now because you were talking about ports and now you'll go back to embarkation and then are you going to talk about ports again. Okay all right. 22:13.80 Sam All right? Let's start. We'll start with Emric I know? Yeah yeah, well we just talked about that. We're not booking. No we were talking about booking. So yeah, okay so let's let's transition to talking about the actual cruise. 22:25.42 dclduo Yeah, okay, all right. 22:32.94 Sam What you had planned and how that worked out in actual you know practice and what your sort of experience was with of course all things like even just embarkation right? So you all travel to Florida ah did you stay overnight at the parks or did you stay overnight near. 22:42.26 Tabitha Oh yes. 22:52.72 Sam Pork Canaveral I Imagine you you were just a planner so you knew not to come in the day of the cruise. 22:58.54 Tabitha Very much so so from the pacific northwest just like you all so that idea of like I cannot come in the day of that is way to that I am not a risk taker and that is not a risk I am willing to take is to um. Be without right? or that time crunch that makes me really nervous and anxious and so we did we flow we flew in on July twenty fifth. The first embarkation was July Twenty ninth and so we stayed again the planner and me was like hey we're going there. We might as well hit up some parks. 23:28.85 Sam Oh nice. 23:31.35 Tabitha Ah, we did ah three days at um, universal so we stayed at cabana bay right? I know I know I know I know shame on me. 23:37.79 Sam Oh my goodness heavens. Ah that cannot be. You cannot have stayed at a non disney hotel in a non Disney park my goodness. Ah. 23:39.70 dclduo Ah. 23:50.94 Tabitha Um, but oh a hundred percent all things it is just the best and we wanted to see well I don't want to spend too much time on it. But then new minyans land had opened so we love to be it there at an opening thing and that just happened to be it and I do want to. 23:51.28 Sam Ah, did you do all things Harry Potter that's really the important question all right. 24:04.88 Sam Um, oh yeah. 24:10.62 Tabitha Say 1 thing for planning right? when you're thinking about planning. Um I've learned my lesson right? So flying out we fly on the red eyee. We always take a red eye. It gives us a chance to like get in our pajamas really wind down sleep if you can if you can't that's okay, but 1 thing I have learned. 24:16.78 Sam Here. 24:24.16 Sam Me. 24:29.27 Tabitha Is I was like because we've done it many times where we fly in you get there the next day right? like 8 am the next day so on the 26 and then if you don't have your hotel booked right? You can't check in until three o'clock well if we got no rest. Um. 24:40.20 Sam He Oh yeah. 24:47.80 Tabitha If we got no rest or if we're traveling at a high peak season like a Christmas time the odds of you checking in early are really slimed and un. 24:50.56 Sam Sure yeah, you might not get in at like a Disney hotel. You might not get in until after five p M I mean like they say four PM but sometimes it's like eight zero p m yeah 25:01.63 dclduo Yeah, what. 25:02.42 Tabitha Exactly So what we did is we said we are going to pay for an extra hotel day so that we can go right to our room and sleep and rest before we start our date I mean it's that's in our world as a small price to pay. 25:10.32 Sam Um, yep. 25:21.40 Tabitha So that we have a room to lay our head down if we didn't get any sleep or to relax and just unwind before we get ready to start the big day. 25:30.18 Sam That's very smart so your check in day is essentially you're the day you you're leaving home. Um, because you're going to arrive in the morning but that's actually I think that's a very smart call if your plan is to rest right? Like if your plans to just. go go? go um then you know, maybe you don't need the room but I think that's how does how does your daughter do with the redeye I'm curious because so we're about to as we're talking. We're a couple days. We're headed across. The pond over to Europe we have 2 Redeyes we have one red eyee to the East Coast and then we have a red eyee over to Europe basically back to back days. Um Nathan we've never taken him on a redeye I don't think um yeah, then we fly to the East Coast from the pacific northwest. All. Quite often? Um, but yeah, how does your daughter do with the red eye does she actually sleep. 26:21.87 Tabitha Yes, um, she gets ro comfy cozy so we plan it out right? Got to love some melatonin so we man it out a little bit before write a half hour about hot half hour before we take off and give her that melatonin and then she just makes herself comfy, cozy, sprawled out across us. 26:23.99 Sam Yeah, yeah. Is. 26:37.70 Sam Yeah, but yeah. 26:39.79 Tabitha A across says you know she's getting to the point where she is 11 um twelve. So I'm like this is going to need to change. But for now she does really? well. She's probably the only one that actually sleeps right? like my husband and I are constantly you know? Yeah, oh yeah, she's sleeping like sleep. 26:52.98 Sam Yeah, you're like zombies and she's getting a nice night of sleep. But I love it all right? Well that gives me a little bit of hope so we'll we'll see how Nathan does in ah in a few just a few days. 26:57.18 dclduo Um, well. 26:59.71 Tabitha But like a little baby. 27:08.74 Sam Um, all right? So you get to your get to Orlando you spend some time at universal how do you get from your your universal hotel down to port canaveral. 27:20.50 Tabitha So again doing some research right and planning on that and looking at different ways. Um, there were some shuttle type options some you know bus type options and for us it was simply like this looks like because when you priced it out right? per person per this. 27:24.96 Sam Here. 27:37.00 Tabitha And then you're on a shuttle your time to them like you are stuck to when they're ready to leave and doing some research on that. Um you know, reading reviews like oh they showed up late or they showed up or we had to make 7 stops before we finally left. We decided that an uber was the best. 27:39.44 dclduo Who. 27:39.54 Sam Yeah, yep. 27:50.15 Sam Yeah, yeah. 27:55.90 Tabitha You know the best option for us. Simple easy. We know what to expect? they know where to pick us up. They know where to go It has you in the app choose the port where they leave out of super super easy and way cheaper way cheaper. 28:03.19 Sam Is it. Wow yeah, and you didn't have to pre-book I mean I know with uber and lyft you can you can like book the night before right? You can't book like far in advance but you can book shortly in advance. Um, but did you even do that or to just. Order when you were ready to go or 10 minutes before you're ready to go. 28:25.45 Tabitha We tried to do that I tried to do that. The app was not working Well I was becoming very frustrated because it was so interesting and I almost think and I could be completely wrong. So if you're an uber expert out there. Please correct me but what I feel like was happening was. 28:29.54 Sam E. 28:43.48 Tabitha I was selecting the day in time and I don't know if drivers put in around the area where they're going to be if they're working that day ahead of time or not but what I feel like was happening I'm not kidding you I think I booked and canceled 17 different uber rides because it would fast forward the day. 28:48.70 Sam Here. 28:57.77 Sam Yeah, oh so like say I'm going to pick you up in 5 minutes or something you're like no no I'm trying to yeah so some kind of glitch. Yeah. 28:59.23 dclduo Um, if. 29:03.44 Tabitha So it would say yes and yes it would say like yes it was glitching and I'm like okay, what's their cancellation policy am I okay. Because I kept trying I'm like it's got to be a glitch I'll restart the Apple restart my phone. It just was not book working to pre-book because that's what I was going to do because I don't want to be late I want to make sure there's an uber around um our port arrival time I believe was like one fifteen so we got a decent port arrival time. Um. 29:18.43 Sam Yeah. Sure. 29:31.85 Sam Yeah. 29:35.36 Tabitha So was one fifteen and it just refused it said No thank you. 29:37.96 Sam Yeah, yeah, well you know that's a bummer to hear you couldn't pre-book. But honestly you don't really need to if you're anywhere I mean Orlando has enough ubers that you'll be fine getting one the day of you might have to wait you know ten or fifteen minutes for one but as long as you've. 29:44.72 Tabitha Now. 29:57.72 Sam Built in. You know that cushion time and frankly with the ship. The ship's not leaving until you know after 4 something I think all a board is probably like three 30 or something for embarkation day. But yeah, so you've got plenty of time and you know so if you're running 10 minutes late it's you're not really, you're not actually running late. 30:09.35 Tabitha 1 30:17.48 Sam So let's talk about ah and your you're you know going through the check-in process when you get to the port. Um, one was it what you expected it to be and 2 did it go smoothly or did you have bumps in the road because we always you know there's such variation generally Port Canaveral is pretty straightforward but you never know. 30:40.64 Tabitha I'm so glad we're talking about this? Okay so all the planning right? I'm looking it up. Don't you know that do not arrive before got it, check done will not arrive before like I'm also a rule follower right? like okay, do not arrive before. 30:43.00 Sam Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you know how many people break that rule nowadays Tabitha so that the rule was strictly enforced during the covid protocols they have loosened up quite quite. 30:56.99 Tabitha Done. 31:05.36 Sam Quite a bit. Um, in fact I don't think they monitor it except for getting into the terminal but they don't monitor it getting into the garage at all. So anyway. 31:08.37 Tabitha Um. 31:12.51 Tabitha So me taking that like okay I will not show up I Promise cross my heart I won't be there early and so oh again, did so much research, right? trying to figure out what line do I go in where did they drop me off all of that Oh goodness gracious. 31:17.70 Sam Yeah. 31:24.78 Sam Leave. 31:28.75 dclduo There. 31:31.49 Tabitha I Think there were a lot of people not falling that do not arrive early like you said and so the lines were absolute bananas I had we had no clue where to go The port was easy like dropping off our luggage that part was very easy. They were standing right? there. 31:33.11 Sam Oh sure. Yeah. 31:45.60 Sam Yep. 31:49.60 Tabitha And kind of guided us towards the line. But I honestly don't even like it had our sign posted for like the time to get in but everybody was in that line and then somewhere on the side and somewhere on this side I'm like oh I'm so confused and then it switched to the mindset. We're all gonna get on I'm just gonna go stand in a line. 31:56.56 Sam Sure. 32:06.78 Sam Yep. 32:08.91 Tabitha It may be the right line. It may not be the right line but I'm just going to go stand in line. 32:14.10 Sam Yeah, no, that's that's a good way to kind of roll with it. There are definitely days where it's more confusing ah or less confusing and around that you know around. That arrival time you've got a lot of people showing up. Um and a lot of people who are first time cruisers showing up because the the most seasons cruis seasoned cruisers are showing up like at ten thirty or eleven and getting on before noon generally speaking not always but generally speaking. So at that point you also are going to have. More confusion in general. So ah, did the check in process. Go okay, you had all your documents and your passports ready to go. 32:55.60 Tabitha Yep, that was very smooth again. It did not I will say going back to original check-in and loading documents etc. Um, again computers right? Got 11 them got to love technology. Everybody's on online that was a mess it shut down. 33:06.81 Sam Yep. 33:12.10 Tabitha Um, join the Facebook page. Another tip right? join that Facebook group page. Um super helpful with again planning like questions were asked and answered that was super helpful but um, got on the Facebook page and they're like ah the internet you know, do it from your phone so that was a little bit tricky. 33:13.10 Sam Yeah. 33:30.32 Tabitha But I was still ready to go I had my photos uploaded saved into my phone and you know you hear of people getting questioned like sometimes they have to go back or resubmit etc and thank goodness none of that happened so that was easy. 33:30.74 Sam If he. 33:39.85 Sam Sure that's good. Yeah, that's yeah I mean I would say generally so Brian always does our check in process and Brian you always you tend to do it from your phone right? You have more success that way. Yeah. 33:52.49 dclduo Yeah, yeah, well, it's usually faster and easier I'm usually sitting in bed watching Tv to it. Ah yeah, and I also have I basically just have like ah an I photos album with all of our travel. Docs are you know. Head shots that they need for security. All that sort of stuff and so I can just sit there and upload them that way. But yeah I've I've I've had good success with the app over the phone. Yeah. 34:17.87 Sam Yeah, all right? So you get through your check-in your your checking at the port you get onto the gangway and you're welcomed into the atrium of the beautiful Disney fantasy. Was it what you expected it to be. 34:35.47 Tabitha It was. It's It's a little embarrassing too right? because you look at it like they announce your name and you're like oh this is going to be so cool and then you get there and you're like ha This is so like ah attention. Even yeah, what am I doing even though it really is you know, just those few people surrounded there. 34:45.23 Sam What am I doing? yeah. 34:53.31 Tabitha Um, that was 1 thing we did share with my daughter and I shared that with my husband too because again I need to document all the things I failed to mention like I am obsessed with pictures etc taking pictures having all the pictures. So I'm recording. 35:02.29 dclduo Yeah. 35:02.52 Sam Yes. 35:08.15 Tabitha I'm asking him. Okay, you're gonna take pictures I'm gonna record yes, so we divided and conquered but like I just played that video yesterday as I was preparing for this and it's just magical. You just you just can't say anything else. Besides it's magical. 35:12.20 Sam Ah, you got the video the picture. Ah. 35:23.23 Sam Yeah, ah. 35:27.21 Tabitha Whether there's 7 people paying attention or 70 paying attention. It's just magical. 35:30.61 Sam Oh I love that So you mentioned pictures I got to know did you book the unlimited picture package and did you do so in advance. 35:42.30 Tabitha Ah, hundred percent again you know a lot pricier right? That was one of those things a lot pricier than like in in the parks package etc. But I know my love of pictures right? thinking ahead? Okay I've got to have pictures for Christmas cards for holiday cards. Um. 35:46.84 Sam Me right. 35:57.29 Tabitha I'm a huge scrapbooker that's something else I want to throw in I plan our autograph books I make our autograph books for every trip that we take and so I know those pictures will be used so that was a no brainer for me. It was worth the cost because by especially on a seven night let me give that caveat right? because. 36:04.17 Sam Ah. 36:09.83 Sam Yeah, yeah, yeah. 36:17.19 Tabitha There's a lot of um, again in my research, there's this idea of like oh it's three days. Oh I Only want a picture or a few pictures I don't need them all and gosh we don't really take a lot of pictures versus me. Oh we're doing all the pictures all the time everywhere. So I knew it would pay. 36:29.74 Sam Yeah. 36:36.30 Tabitha For itself by the time we were done and again booking ahead of time. Best choice ever. 36:40.45 Sam Yeah, it definitely. It saves you a little bit of money if you book it upfront instead of booking it on board. You can still book it on board or you can buy I'll call them picture packages like 10 pictures 20 pictures ah or the unlimited I mean those are really the options. Plus if you want to buy like printed pictures. You can too but generally speaking. We only buy the the digital we can print them at home or if you want to make a you know a picture book on Shutterfly or something like that. That's certainly available to do on your own rather than going having the cruise line. Do it for you at a higher cost. Um, and we're not. Real picture people but we still find um, we end up, you know, taking it at least 20 pictures or wanting to buy at least 20 pictures and at that point you might as well have booked the unlimited package because the unlimited package at the pre-cruise price. Is either the same or less than the onboard 20 picture package so or or really really close. So yeah, so it's one of those things where if you if you're somebody who who avoids pictures you're not going to take any pictures. Don't don't pay for it because you're not going to use it obviously. 37:34.40 Tabitha Oh wow. 37:47.81 Sam Um, but if you're somebody who wants to take some family photos on board and thinks you're going to take character photos or backdrop photos. Yeah definitely I think a worthwhile um add on. Yeah so let's talk about some of the the highlights from the Cruise. Um. What were the things that were whether expected or unexpected what were the things that you all really enjoyed doing on board. The ship. 38:14.90 Tabitha Oh okay, so going back to that research right? The rainforest room know that it's going to be a little bit longer Cruise I love some relaxation I love to read a book I love to just chill and so that was 1 thing that we made sure to go up and do right away. Right? Go up to the rainforest tour the rainforest room decide is this worth it. So my husband and I both ended up with a package so that was kind of 1 of our highlights. Um the hot tubs like they said when I was doing when I was investigating the rainforest room itself. Um, the hot tubs were interesting. They are shaped very oddly. 38:51.76 Sam Yeah. 38:53.90 Tabitha Um, didn't spend a lot of time in those but the beds the the heated beds. Ah so nice and the showers the different showers that was fantastic. Um I also love to work out and so I was able to chat with. 38:58.46 Sam Yes, the heated beds are so nice. Ah. 39:11.25 Tabitha Um, another couple on their Youtube channel. Um, they were so great to answer my questions about the gym and what they had a lot of times the tours are really quick through there and you don't get to see all the things. 39:16.78 Sam Yes. 39:24.14 Tabitha Um, sometimes I like to bring my own equipment for things that I know I'm going to do or that's easy to do while I'm traveling and so they were quick to do that That was lovely I enjoyed working out and then my daughter loved midship detective Oh my goodness that was her highlight. 39:26.86 Sam With this. 39:37.63 Sam Oh yes, well and you are you got did you do all 3 39:44.20 Tabitha She she again. She's in that great age where you know we let her choose. What do you want to do for the day. Do you want to go to the kids club. We use a little whiteboard to tell her where we're at she doesn't have a device. 39:52.52 dclduo O. 39:52.92 Sam Oh nice. 39:59.36 Tabitha Um, big mistake though I will say that like big mistake because well let me back up lovemanship to protective. She did them all 3 on her own. She wanted to be independent. She wanted to go out and do it on her own so through the various days at sea she was able to do all 3 adventures on the midship detective. Loved it. 40:06.31 Sam Wow! awesome. Yeah I Love that Well I got to hear about the whiteboard I I you know I hadn't even thought of that we sometimes have a whiteboard on our door just for Fun. We don't actually use it for like messaging each other because we all all 3 of us have devices but I actually. Think that that could be a great solution for a kid who doesn't have a device um or and for parents and kids to communicate to one another. But yeah, how did that work for you and you know tell us what. What you all did to be able to know where each other were yeah ok well so is a good idea. 40:51.61 dclduo With. 40:52.39 Tabitha Well, it didn't work out so well and it didn't work out. It was a great idea. Um, it worked while we would leave her messages. So For example, when she was doing midchip detective before we left we would say hey we're going to the rainforest room we'll be here. Check the Whiteboard. We're probably going to come back and Change. We may be somewhere else. We'll leave you a note on the board and so we did that you know let her know to check there. Um, come back if you're if you're done. 41:13.40 Sam It is. 41:25.67 Tabitha And we also didn't understand how long it would take her to do this midship detective like it takes a long time to do one. 41:30.51 Sam You write? yeah hours, especially the Muppets story. The Muppet storyline takes longer because you have in addition to the the magic pictures I'll just call them that um, you've got a couple of you've got a special door and you've got a special. Um. 41:31.26 dclduo Who. 41:48.95 Sam I'll call it a showcase cabinet thing in a jig. Um, yeah, so there's there's more stuff to do. But yeah, they take hours even with even if you're just doing the mickey one or the dalme the Dalmatians one. Yeah. 42:02.20 Tabitha So She got so involved in that and again we didn't understand how long it would take so there came a point where um, we were my husband and I were doing something we may have been at Trivia or something or came got done with an activity And. We checked the room and she still wasn't there and we're like what is happening where is she oh my goodness we might as well have done midship detective with her because I was like okay you take these floors I take these floors and literally sweeping back and forth up and down so I got to know the ship very well. 42:18.86 dclduo Oh. 42:18.98 Sam E. 42:31.62 Sam Zigzag. Yeah, yeah, that's actually the best way to get to know the ship is doing the midship detective agency if you and if you need to get steps in. So if you anyone who is. 42:36.20 Tabitha Um, and and I'm just. 42:46.90 Sam Who just needs to get steps in and you don't want to do it on a treadmill or on the promenade do the midship detective agency. You will get 10000 steps in in in a day. Yeah, and if you're trying to find your kid. You're in a panic. Yeah to find your kid. Yeah. 42:54.88 Tabitha Oh and add a rush to it if you're trying to find a kid that you haven't heard from you're you're gonna burn a lot of stuff and I knew she would be fine. Let me just say that right? like there was no point in time where we thought that she would not be safe. 42:58.90 dclduo Um, with. 43:05.36 Sam Sure. Okay. 43:12.32 Tabitha It was for us that fear of if she's if she did go back to the room and we missed her and we crossed Pat we crossed paths and didn't realize it that was the only thing was knowing that her anxiety could escalate to the point of gosh where are they? um, but so the board. 43:18.24 Sam So right. 43:24.32 Sam Sure. 43:32.40 Tabitha Although well intended and also she needed a watch right? because we would write the time down. So my husband at 1 point gave her his watch so that she could watch the time when we added that layer in that helped that helped much better. 43:35.58 Sam Is. 43:42.81 dclduo Okay. 43:43.41 Sam Okay, yeah, that makes sense. 43:46.94 Tabitha Right? So that we could say we left at 10 Ah 7 here's where we're going be back in an hour she then can look at the watch and say yep I know exactly what time and where they are. 43:56.74 Sam Yeah, yeah, I guess the 1 thing with the board in addition to that is you've got to go back to your room a lot because if you decide okay I'm going to the rainforest room and then you think you're going to head back to the room. Ah, and you're. But you decide I want to go I want to go check out a musician who's playing at you know the quiet cove or at satellite falls um, and but you got to go then write that on the board so you got yeah, it's a lot of zigzagging on the ship. But again if you get your you know, getting your steps in. Um. So would you would you do it differently the next time and if so what? what would you do. 44:33.68 Tabitha Yeah, so absolutely we would do it differently. We just have decided that we'll just give her 1 of our old phones load the app so that she can have that messenger feature in there. We don't foresee her getting a cell phone anytime soon. We're kind of. Lucky maybe lucky unlucky she really has no interest in this cell phone. Um, so I think we would definitely give and or either give her 1 of our phones like take 1 of our phones to use that messaging feature just for that ease because she didn't spend a ton of time in the kids' room. Um, she really wanted to explore the ship on her own and do that midship detective and or she was with us and so she was kind of on and off in the kids room in the kids club. 45:18.52 dclduo That I want to rewind for a second you mentioned that you and your husband got rainforest room passes did you so you got length of Cruise. So 2 questions one did you use them enough to make it feel worth it and I what what was your. 45:24.87 Tabitha Her. 45:36.30 dclduo What was your overall impression of the rainforest room. 45:40.58 Tabitha Um, we got length of cruise for each of us I believe we used it 3 times total each. So I do think we did but looking back and my husband loved the showers like the showers were his highlight. He still talks about I'm like hey remember that one shower that did this this and this right. 45:43.35 dclduo Okay. 45:50.90 dclduo Um. 45:58.30 Tabitha Um, that was his highlight but in talking about we've already discussed like future cruises like maybe just me and or none of us right? it was It was lovely to experience again. I wanted to do all the things so that going forward with any next cruises I can say yeah that was worth it or no it wasn't I'm not gonna. Say it wasn't worth it. Um, but I don't know if I would do it every cruise does that make sense. 46:23.96 dclduo Yeah, no, it does it does your experience with the rainforest room. So I always ask people this because you know pre pandemic um I will say the rainforest room felt oversubscribed crowded at times had this nice heated loungers and if you wanted to get 1 if you weren't there in the morning. Like people were just camping out on him like all day in lieu of being at the pool deck and ah you know wet towels on the floor like it was kind of a mess and so I'm just curious if your experience was any better with the rainforest rumor if it looked about the same. 46:59.69 Tabitha Um, I would say better I didn't see it felt you know I go into the locker room. It seemed clean. It seemed picked up. Um it would dependent on the time of day we like to hit it around like 1 1 seemed to be our key time. Um. Wasn't we'd look at the activities and decide are we going to do this or are we going to go to the rainforest room and so that one o'clock time seemed okay, most people were kind of getting their lunch cetera so we were able to find those loungers I was able to there was one time we went in though and there was only 1 so my husband hit up the showers instead and did the rooms the saunas and stuff before while I sat and read a book but I feel like most people were pretty aware of how much time they had taken in them. Um, so yeah. Answer your question. It was. It's like from what compared to what you're describing better better. 47:55.43 dclduo Okay, all right? Well what else did you get up to on board. What were some of the activities that you did as a as a family or as a couple that you know adult activities anything like that that you got up to on board. 48:09.44 Tabitha Well going back to research etc. We knew that they had right? They'd leave us folded towel animals which was a highlight. We knew that they would do things at dinner and so we made sure to do the towel folding. That was ah that was a highlight for our family at night in the evening. My daughter would usually find 1 thing in the kids club that she would like to do and so she would go do that and we would do trivia those were 2 things that my husband and I enjoyed was the trivia. We did a movie trivia. And then eighty s ninety s and two thousand s music trivia didn't win. That's okay, I've realized I need to make friends with people around me so it could be on a bigger team right? I need to increase my odds of winning. Um, we did that. Um, oh the aqueduct that was their favorite I tried it I I didn't like it wasn't a must do for me but tried it enjoyed it but they took two days to do that um we didn't spend any time at the pool. We're not real hang out at a pool. That was very overwhelming to us to look at the crowds right? and all the people in the pools and the lack of space that was not for us and so um, the biggest thing that we did was the characters I am all like I look back I was mapping out my day and it was like characters characters characters. 49:32.41 Sam I Love it. 49:35.45 dclduo Yeah. 49:38.42 Tabitha And I knew they were all in their different outfits right? That was a highlight for me like I need to make sure I have them in all their different outfits for all of our pictures so that was 1 thing that ate up a lot of our time was the character meet and greets. 49:49.38 Sam Yeah, and that's a good point um to make ah, you're going to have the characters pretty much every day us particularly the fab 5 will be out pretty much every day and then chippendale and Daisy also are out most days if not every day. Um, but they do wear different outfits each day typically sometimes there might be like 1 or 2 repeats. But um and they might wear a different outfit even at nighttime. So if you want lots of different family pictures. It's a great opportunity. Um to get you in different outfits and. With the characters in different outfits and for this sailing you mentioned it was a twenty fifth anniversary so you got them in their shimmering seas outfits as well as probably their traditional sailor outfits as well as their formal outfits as well as their pirate outfits. So those are. Sort of the the typical ones that you expect to see them in um and of course ah other characters you may have you know some Marvel characters and ah some other you know, sort of non non fab 5 characters like stitch or you know a few others. So yeah, fantastic. Um. You know one thing I I want to talk just a little bit about where we won't do a deep dive on the ports. Um, since ah, we've been sort of focusing this show on. You know the planning side of things and then how that planning worked out. So ah I'd love to know from your perspective with. 51:19.96 Sam You know you booked ah san juan on your own excursion and then you booked in was it st thomas a excursion through Disney is that right? Sorry St Martin yeah 51:28.70 Tabitha St martin. Yeah yeah, st martin through Disney. Yeah. 51:34.19 Sam Were the excursions what you expected them to be let's put it. Let's frame it that way and. 51:41.70 Tabitha Well, ah, okay, let's start with St Martin because that was our first port stop? Um I don't know if I expected more but I also I don't know how to put it so we did it was. Um, an excursion that took us around this around both sides of the island right? The dutch and the french side it stopped in I think is it Margo Margo maybe we stopped in the side of the town. Um. 52:06.61 Sam I Couldn't tell you the name something like that. 52:13.78 Tabitha Got off. They had a little market they had it was on the french side of the island so we wanted to make sure we got some pastries. Um, we stopped there and again it's goes so quick. So 20 minutes they are 20 minutes at the little beach right by where the planes take off my husband did do that he lived his best life he works for Boeing. 52:17.86 Sam Um, sure. 52:28.66 Sam Oh cool. Ah, nice. 52:32.72 Tabitha So So he was living his best life with the you know with the planes taken off and everything flying everywhere. Um, he did that and then it took us to a distillery and um and then back it was I Really wish we would have done something different I Wish we would have booked. Outside of that My daughter loves the beach I really should have just focused on either booking independently for a beach day to really enjoy the beach. It was I can't explain to you How hot it was I am not ah. 52:50.78 Sam These. 53:02.33 Sam Oh yeah, you're in this. This was a summertime cruise in the in the eastern car caribbean this is it's you know you think Orlandos the the face of the sun. The caribbean is the the face of the sun. So yeah. Definitely city tours are not your friend for the summer um you a beach is ah I mean even the beach is really hot if you you know you want to get some an umbrella some shade and whatnot. But yeah, it's it's really hot at least if you've got a beach excursion. You've got the water to help cool you off. So. 53:32.78 dclduo Yeah. 53:33.53 Tabitha Yeah, we had none of that so it was so hot I lucked out though. So my husband sat with my daughter on top right? They had to be on top of the bus I lucked out and took the only spot that was covered at the back of the but so I was living my best. 53:35.93 Sam That makes sense. 53:41.87 Sam Yeah. 53:50.68 Sam Yeah, they were're Smoldtering? Yeah yeah, especially with their northwest sensibilities I mean we can't we're not used to that level of of heat and humidity really? um. 53:51.11 Tabitha Semi kind of cool life. They were in the boiling they were sweltering they were sweltering so that. 54:02.38 Tabitha No. 54:05.13 Sam What about what about San Juan how did that one go that when you booked. Um you with the third party. Um, you know what? what did you book and and was that what you expected it to be. 54:09.64 Tabitha Um, yep, oh they were so cool so they are called I gotta get the name because I say it wrong every single time. Um, oh they were called Chili Boats and so they are just like a. 54:22.76 Sam Oh. 54:27.48 Tabitha I call them chili bikes because they're essentially like a bike on pontoons. But they're really called Chili Boats um I really dug a little bit deep into a where it was located how far away did I have to go was it within walking distance and it was so we just walked from the terminal over um to the water. 54:29.15 Sam Oh yeah. 54:35.56 Sam With this. 54:46.76 Tabitha So it was right in the old town outskirts of the old town of Puerto rico and so we book that it took us I think it was an hour tour and it took you around from the outside perspective around the water around old town for Puerto Rico we knew. 54:46.92 Sam Awesome! um. 55:04.42 Tabitha And we wanted to do something in the water and we knew that we wanted to kind of see um the old parts like what it would look like if you were a ship pulling into Puerto Rico you know in the eighteen hundreds and to see kind of that that rock the huge 4 Yeah and all those features and it was. 55:06.58 Sam I Can he. 55:16.22 Sam And the huge fort and the rock. Yeah. 55:22.87 Tabitha Fantastic, easy to get to read the reviews on it. Great reviews. The gentleman that took us around was a great. It was kind of hard to get a tour guide perspective unless you stayed right next to him I'm kind of a lounger and of course I'm taking pictures so I was at the back of back of the the tour group I think there were probably only. 7 of us. So again, a very intimate experience. Not crowded. Um and everyone that was with us. Not one of them was from the cruise ship they were all in Puerto Rico on their own vacations. So that part was lovely and then we decided we want to go see the umbrellas right? The famous umbrellas on the walkway. So I put it in my I put it in Google right? Best part about Puerto Rico right Us territory so you can use your phones all of that we were connected to life again. Um and could use Google Maps and all of that so we kept walking and we're like where are they and sure enough. There were some bells that had been replaced. They had replaced him with these bells and so we were there multiple times in the same spot looking for the umbrellas but the umbrellas were gone so it was these bells and I didn't get to read on it closely enough because. 56:22.57 Sam Oh oh interesting. 56:34.15 Tabitha It wasn't until we had left that area that somebody had said Yeah, the umbrellas were replaced with the bells so we didn't We didn't know what we didn't know we didn't know that that was had happened and so we did that and then there's a park there and my daughter was living her very best life. She loves birds. 56:37.81 Sam Is it. 56:50.92 Sam Oh nice. 56:52.92 Tabitha And it was a pigeon park and they are pigeons everywhere and you can pay to feed them and they are on top of you flying around you nestling into your head I had 1 on my head. It was very uncomfortable for me. 57:05.62 Sam Ah, yeah. 57:07.52 Tabitha It is on top of my head I'm like it is going to get stuck and or it's going to do its business in my hair get it off but they enjoy that and then I mean we're talking like picture home alone too right? New Central park. 57:14.30 Sam Ah. 57:20.67 Sam Oh my God Yeah yeah. 57:23.69 Tabitha Right? That is exactly what it was like there were pigeons everywhere and then we decided I really wanted to enjoy the traditional foods Mufugo I really wanted to have some of fungal but it was so hot and it's a hot dish I was like yeah, any of that did not sound good I was. 57:31.15 Sam Oh yeah, oh and it's a hot day. Yeah or fried plantains like yeah, delicious, but hot. 57:43.61 Tabitha I was dripping sweat the entire time and I was like I cannot eat super hot food so we just found a little pizza a pizza joint and had some pizza even though it was hot. It was still like a refreshing like not heavy in your stomach and then we found a great little I Love to ring back Coffee. And so we found a great little coffee cafe there and then it was back on the ship right? Yeah, How could you not. 58:02.27 Sam Um, oh awesome. Love that We love coffee obviously. But yeah. 58:10.70 dclduo Nice. Well I feel like there's 2 things we have to talk about. We'll just again won't be dive into them. But since this is your first Disney Cruise experience um wanted to hear your impressions of Castaway Key. ah and yeah just what you thought about castaway and what you would you got up to on Castaway because you said you're not really like lounging by the pool people. So I'm curious to know if you were lounging by the beach people or if you did a bunch of stuff on on castaway. 58:35.14 Tabitha Ah, love this? Okay so again, a pot I This must have been something where I kind of missed and my research was like get up, get there, get your spot if you don't get there. You're going to have no umbrella and it is swaltering hot another very hot day I don't. Know what we were doing that morning. We clearly were taking our time and got breakfast and got out there. My husband and daughter booked the boats the bike boats that are out there. So ah, yeah, mm. 59:04.94 dclduo Oh yeah, yeah, that yeah yeah, yeah. 59:11.25 Tabitha Yep, didn't read reviews on that 1 miss that one should have read a little bit better. Um I again I want to the experience. We're only there for one day so I want all the pictures. Um I would love to do characters and I was actually vetoed for characters on the way into castaway. 59:28.31 Sam And Brian would be with Brian but it would be with your family vetoing the pictures I will take a couple like if there's not a line but Castaway is one of those places where yeah, yeah, it's cool pictures different outfits like they have their. 59:29.73 Tabitha My husband said Nope Nope. Nope yeah. 59:45.10 Sam Special summertime Castaway you know type outfits. But oh my god there's usually no shade at the picture spots and I feel I feel terrible for the characters and the character handlers. Yeah too hot. 59:56.88 Tabitha Oh yeah, so thank goodness for pictures there on in the lines in the regular picture spots. There was not really anybody there. Oh I knew I needed to do my postcard right? I didn't and I knew that they were only open. Um. 01:00:02.27 Sam Is he is. 01:00:11.34 Tabitha For so long that they can close intermittently whenever they want. Um I did not read to bring my yeah yeah yeah, so I did not read I thought I could just put my own stamps on there I didn't realize you had to buy their stamp. Um. 01:00:16.51 Sam They're on Bahamian time there. But. 01:00:23.97 dclduo Yeah. 01:00:26.39 Sam Yep. 01:00:28.80 Tabitha And I pre-did my postcards the night before knowing that we were gonna stop there and there was a gel in there. She was so kind she paid for my stamps because I was like oh I'll go back. She's like no no to't go back I'll pay for your stamps I was like you were the kindest human ever because I had done postcards for everyone right for ourselves. 01:00:42.74 Sam Oh yeah, yeah. 01:00:46.43 Tabitha Um, for my in-laws for my mom for my dad and for my brother so I was like oh I need to I was like it's a lot of stamps. Do you mind? are you sure it's a lot of stamps and she was very kind. She's like absolutely I don't mind so we did that and by the time we got So we walked we read the thing. 01:00:53.80 dclduo You. 01:00:54.68 Sam Ah, ah, ah. 01:01:05.70 Tabitha To to walk right? to really enjoy the sights versus taking the tram because it can take a little bit longer so we walked and we're walking and we're walking and we're walking and all the umbrella spots were taken and we're walking and we're walking and they're still all taken so we ended up. 01:01:17.76 Sam If. 01:01:24.43 Tabitha Getting as close as humanly possible to the people next to us to get the shade of their umbrella semi hangs over at different parts of the day. Um, we got real comfy cozy. They never said anything but I was like do you mind if we sit here and then I just kept scooting my chair over and over. 01:01:31.40 Sam Ah, their umbrella. 01:01:43.11 Sam Closer and closer. Ah, that's funny. Um. 01:01:44.34 Tabitha Closer closer. Um, so lesson learn right? That is 1 thing that I would plan much better is to make sure that I'm out there and to really get a get a spot with an umbrella. It was very very hot and again I don't do heat well like heat is not my jam like. 01:02:01.48 Sam Yeah. 01:02:03.39 Tabitha It is. It's very uncomfortable for me like I would rather be freezing and add layers. So we did some snorkeling we did bring our own gear that was 1 thing that we had learned from our previous crewise that we didn't do is bring your own snorkel gear. 01:02:06.17 dclduo Now. Yeah. 01:02:06.33 Sam Yeah. 01:02:18.20 Tabitha And so knowing that we kind of took that lesson. Oh we'll bring our own snorkel garrets things that we can use forever and ever so we brought our own snorkel gear and did some snorkling. Um that was really fun. They are. They're the full face masks which are super cool. 01:02:31.24 Sam Sure yeah. 01:02:34.79 Tabitha However, I didn't realize like you're so used to traditional goggles and snorkels that you're just like slamming it on your face to try and get it to suction. Well these have really great suction by themselves. So when I was pushing my mask on my head started to hurt because it was so tight. 01:02:41.61 Sam Ah. 01:02:45.11 Sam Oh. 01:02:50.47 Sam We get it too tight. Oh funny. 01:02:53.68 Tabitha It too tight. So I was like I'm out you two go have fun. So then I went back up and sat on the beach and did some reading and then they went to do the bikes right before lunch and they came back I don't know if I got a picture of them I should have because. They just look defeated after being on those chili boats in Puerto rico and the ease and how lovely and smooth they were to watch them come back from those bikes. My husband was out of breath. He was you know. 01:03:20.22 Sam Is. 01:03:26.54 Tabitha Just a loss of energy like the life had been sucked out of both him and her and so they said they would never do those like and. 01:03:35.00 Sam Yeah, yeah, well you know it's helpful. Maybe their lesson can help somebody else. We we have heard our friends the morals they did those ah those water bike things on our last our last cruise that went to castaway with them and. 01:03:37.79 Tabitha Um, yeah. 01:03:51.45 Sam They said it was exhausting. They said it was really exhausting so they didn't say it was bad. It was just takes a lot of energy out of you. It's It's a lot to to pedal those things. So yeah and if it's and and they weren't going in the height of the summertime. So that's so yeah. 01:03:59.42 Tabitha A lot. Yes, yes. 01:04:08.44 Tabitha That was a different story right? So I found a hammock Um, that was in surrounded by shaded trees. So I was able to read a book while they went and did that and then after lunch. 01:04:10.83 Sam Yes, makes it even even more difficult. Well. 01:04:17.30 Sam Here. 01:04:23.91 Tabitha We decided we'll just go do she want to do the slides and the obstacle course and the ropes and things like that so we did that and that by far was my favorite part of the day because a lot of people had started going back right? I had heard that that they will start to go back to the ship like yep, that's it. 01:04:31.21 Sam Awesome. 01:04:40.72 Tabitha They had slowly started trickling back. We wanted to stay there from start to finish right? when we got there until we had to absolutely board the ship again and so we stayed there and eventually it started clearing out. So then I got my shaded spot right? I I kind of so I might have stalked people and was like oh. 01:04:43.21 Sam Yeah. 01:04:52.46 Sam Yeah, you got your Umbrella watched who was leaving. Yeah. 01:04:59.55 Tabitha They love the yeah they look like they're packing up might we have those spots and so we did get some shade and finish out the day. She loved it. She loves the beach. She could have stayed there for another three or four hours 01:05:11.57 Sam Oh love it. So I will say if you're on the magic or the wonder there's less of an issue with finding a spot a shady spot to sit because obviously those ships are smaller than the fantasy the dream and the wish they you know have ah. Like 1500 less passengers and that does make a big difference. Um, but it is a good tip if you are somebody who really needs the shade of an umbrella and if you are sailing in particular in the summertime getting off to cast getting off for castaway early. Um to secure a so. A spot that has an umbrella. You'll be able to find a chair so just to be clear. It's not an issue of finding a chair. There are plenty of chairs and loungers. It's and there's plenty frankly with umbrellas too. But they will on a full ship those will get taken first. Um, and so. You know a full ship like the fantasy dream and wish that that can you know that can be an issue as as Tabitha mentioned. So. 01:06:10.60 Tabitha I Feel like if I had walked further down though and kept going right? I knew not to take the first spots but I feel like if I kept walking down to almost the end of where the chair stop I may have had better luck. But at that point I was just defeated. 01:06:23.69 Sam Yeah, so that's the it's the give and take of whether or not to take the tram not take the tram you still have to even if you take the tram you're going to want to walk further because that's where the open spots are going to be most people even if they take the tram they're going to like. The first spot they see right? and so the beginning of family beach one in the beginning of family beach 2 are always going to be the most crowded the further you go to each of those beaches the more chance you will find some you know some open space. 01:06:44.61 Tabitha Um, governor. 01:06:56.69 dclduo I I have 1 more question before we go to rapid fire which is just now that you've experienced Disney Cruise line and you had some prior experience with other cruise lines. How do the 2 compare just quickly in your mind. 01:07:11.59 Tabitha Oh goodness. Um so different in so many ways, right? It really depends on what you want and what you're looking for on the previous cruise line. We were by far the youngest people on that ship. Um. The dining right? The dining work completely different. It was random and it was you know? Yeah, we made we met some nice some great people but it was not like hey we're going here today. Can you you know hey we'll meet up. Let's hang out. You know because by back then it was just the 2 of us so we could have easily made some friends but it just wasn't the crowd for us. Um, and then the Disney yep it is. You know you get what you pay for right? if you take advantage of all the things that they have to offer you really are getting. 01:07:58.87 Tabitha Ah, an experience like no other right? an experience like no other and it just it just it was for us it. It really was for us. Yes, yeah, yeah, like I listen to all the other podcasts and like. 01:07:59.50 Sam Yeah, yeah. 01:08:07.50 dclduo Race. 01:08:09.40 Sam All right Disney Cruise line converts that we have him. Ah. 01:08:15.80 Tabitha I'm always telling my husband Well if we do right? because now it's to the convincing point. Well if we do this, They don't have this this and this and they said this this and this right so still doing my research on the things and. 01:08:22.51 Sam Yeah, ah. 01:08:27.72 Tabitha Thank goodness for your podcast because that's where I could say well on this podcast I heard X Y and Z about this cruise line right? when you do have those that share about their other cruising experience. 01:08:33.39 Sam Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely and you know which ships have what amenities and things like that as well. So. 01:08:44.70 Tabitha Um, absolutely. 01:08:45.98 dclduo Yeah here just waiting for you to finish. 01:08:47.77 Sam Um, Brian ah I will I'm waiting for you to throw me rapid fire. Oh yes, sorry let me wait, let me ask another question so Tabitha is there anything we haven't talked about before we subject you to my torture. 01:08:51.63 Tabitha Oh can I share 2 things before. Okay, no yeah. 01:09:04.24 Sam Um, that you want to mention I want to mention at the let me say that again. So tab with that before we subject you to my torture is there anything we haven't covered so. 01:09:13.91 Tabitha Yes, okay, so this was the first sailing that the magic band plus or what what are they calling it on Dis on the ship Disney band plus this was the first time that it was offered right? Our careers was the first one that they were offering it on the other ships other than write the wish. Yes. 01:09:22.27 dclduo Disney Band plus 01:09:31.96 Sam I Yeah, that's right because you the it was the wish first and then the fantasy second and. 01:09:33.15 Tabitha Am I correct with that. Yeah, and then the fantasy and the fantasy that just happened to be our ship so there was a lot of conversation in the Facebook posts about. Do we get them. Do you not get em. What should we do? Um, we did end up purchasing them because we just have the old school magic bands from. You know our Disney world experience. So we said yep, why? not? because now you can use them everywhere so we were able to purchase those um, that was really fun during the shows they would light up and you know that was really cool and then the ease of access of getting in and out of your door your stateroom that was very helpful. We ended up. 01:10:08.70 Sam You yes and your kiddo's ease of getting I find it's easier to have Nathan wearing the bands than making sure he's remembering it to wear a lanyard around his neck just a personal you know preference I don't think it's I don't think the magic bands are necessary. Um. 01:10:12.20 Tabitha Yes. 01:10:17.52 Tabitha Absent. 01:10:23.58 Tabitha No, they yeah exactly they're not necessary but then my long-term thought of planning is okay, we're going to epcot when we're done with this I can use it there. 01:10:26.41 Sam But I think they are a nice convenience. 01:10:37.63 Tabitha And then Disneyland all the rest of the parks right? They're slowly starting to implement those and it's becoming a thing now. So I'm like it's an investment but it's a long-term investment. We'll be able to use it and why not be the first to try these out on on the ship when they're offering it I feel like they worked well, you just had to remember to charge it. 01:10:56.90 Sam Yep. 01:10:56.93 Tabitha Um, during all the shows as far as the stage shows and then the didn't dining even the dining and pirates night they would light up so that was really fun. Second thing is they um the premiere for Hanna Mansion was on our ship and I had been anticipating that. 01:11:11.43 Sam Oh cool. 01:11:15.95 Tabitha And was doing some research and waiting until waiting and waiting I was like it's going to be on there so we came prepared with all of our hauntnnaed mansion- themed shirts for the day knowing that it was going to be on there so that was super fun I forgot to say I'm a matchy matchie shirt kind of person we had Oliver's shirts 01:11:22.20 Sam I Oh love it I. 01:11:33.66 Sam Ah, so all the pictures in all the matching shirts. Love it. 01:11:37.55 Tabitha A hundred percent and different themes and Donald and we had all the themes those were all pre-purchased again and that ah actually the benefit of that too is it really help helped separate when my pictures get mixed like oh these all go together because we're all in this outfit. 01:11:50.26 Sam Um, right? Ah, you really are a pinterest mom Tabitha. Ah. 01:11:53.76 Tabitha So that was that part and then I I really am I really am and there's no like I will fully admit I use it to every advantage that I can any anytime I can pintro something I will find something um and then. The third thing is right? So 1 thing that I was really disappointed on and I think I've heard others say it too not just on this podcast but you know upon my reviews was again I really researched the day one things that I needed to do in order to make sure I got all the things done and 1 of them was. If you want merch make sure right because they have the laws right? They can only start selling after they're so far away from the port and in those international waters. So I lined up. Um I knew about what time to line up. 01:12:33.10 Sam Yeah, yeah. 01:12:40.19 Sam Yep. 01:12:46.27 Tabitha So got in line for that thinking like yes I'm going to get the twenty fifth sailing merch and I think you can anticipate where this is going is so disappointed like heartbroken because I kept peeking in the window like maybe they just haven't put it out yet. Maybe maybe they're going to put up the special table that has all. 01:12:49.64 Sam Oh yeah. 01:13:06.17 Tabitha Um, the merch and needless to say there was none left. So I mean that's not a cruise line fault right? A lot of people were really upset like it's not their fault. Um, they're only given what they're given. But I'm like Disney missed opportunity like I buy all the merch like all the things. 01:13:08.64 Sam No. 01:13:19.38 Sam Yeah. 01:13:25.72 Tabitha But luckily enough Disney Online Shop Disney put the ears on Disney yes, so I was able to snag those. The main reason is not so much that it's the twenty fifth but those are my favorite colors like absolute favorite colors I even special ordered some stickers. 01:13:28.30 Sam Yes, the ears came yeah. 01:13:39.50 Sam Ah. 01:13:44.77 Tabitha For our autograph book that are in the shimmering colors and stuff like that. So that was the main reason like I just want the ears and the lounge fly but I got the ears right? one out of two fifty percent that's not bad. 01:13:46.00 Sam Yeah. 01:13:57.69 Sam Yeah, and there that was across ah the fleet there were issues with the the stocking of the the merchant. 01:13:59.82 Tabitha As the. 01:14:05.43 Sam Some ships had different ships had different things and different ships had different quantities of things and so it was It was a bit of a mess. Absolutely. 01:14:12.33 dclduo Well Sam I think we have reached that point in the show where I need to have you subject tabit that is some arbitrary questions some arbitrary rules and dash of judgment are the round. We know as a rapid fire. So take it away. 01:14:26.35 Sam All right? Tabitha we know the disney fantasy is your favorite Disney Cruise line ship and that the aqua duck is your favorite water slide. So I am not going to go there. But I am going to ask you some of your Disney favorites and Disney Cruise line favorites. So we're going to start with your favorite character who is your favorite Disney character. 01:14:44.30 Tabitha Oh I think Disney I'm gonna go mini but right now I am really on an elemental kick. So ember I really love ember. 01:14:51.69 Sam Oh I love it. Awesome! All right favorite Disney movie. 01:14:57.45 Tabitha Okay I don't know this could be where I like ah maybe a no-no but I'm going to say 2 princess and the frog and like I said elemental like it's my now movie princess and the frog is my like go to movie. But my now movie is elemental. 01:15:07.10 Sam Oh I love that. Awesome favorite Disney song. 01:15:17.90 Tabitha Ah, still sticking with the theme of elemental steal the show. It's a fantastic song. 01:15:21.66 Sam Awesome I love all these you know new nods these are great. All right now we got to go on to Disney Cruise line you've only been on the Disney fantasy. But what was your favorite Disney Cruise line stage show from the Disney fantasy. 01:15:35.58 Tabitha But that's a tough 1 between either Aladdin or believe but Aladdin is so Aladdin is so fantastic and I know the story. So I'm going to choose believe for that very sense of it's unique. It's special and. Again, it might have brought a tear to my eye or 2. 01:15:55.25 Sam Yeah, awesome. All right? Um I know you probably didn't get up to too many of these spaces since you did a lot of family time but did you have a favorite bar space on board. The fantasy. 01:16:05.42 Tabitha Yeah, we like the tube they held a couple of that activities and trivia in there and some of the family events and even my daughter liked the tube. 01:16:12.44 Sam Yeah, it's cool theming I Love it all right? Favorite onboard activity. 01:16:21.14 Tabitha Ah, again, my my daughter wanted to share her things and she's like I want to be on the podcast too I'm like you can't um, but our favorite I think my favorite personal is characters. 01:16:27.60 Sam Ah, but. 01:16:33.71 Tabitha But if I you know meeting all the characters and the opportunities for that and the interaction. But I think if she were to say it. It would be midship detective. 01:16:39.90 Sam Awesome favorite rotational dining. 01:16:45.15 Tabitha Animator's palette. We had a fantastic seat. We were right by the screens literally and it was just us it was it was the highlight. She still talks about the last day 01:16:55.60 Sam Awesome! All right? We've got to talk food a favorite sweet item and then a favorite savory item. So sweet first. 01:17:02.78 Tabitha Oh sweet. Always first. Thank you for that because I literally they knew me our our serving team was fantastic. They knew that I was going to literally order all the desserts I could care less about the main dining I want one of all of the desserts. 01:17:15.69 Sam No, ah. 01:17:20.28 Tabitha Um, but I think this sticky date pudding that was so delicious. So good. 01:17:23.60 Sam Oh so good. So good. It's funny that you said sweets first because I always ask it in this order because I save the best for last and for me the best is savory. So ah. 01:17:32.10 Tabitha Oh no, I'm already failing. 01:17:35.91 Sam Yeah, so what was your favorite savory item on board. 01:17:41.25 Tabitha Um, nothing stands out a ton except for like I like the bread service right? The different bread services were a highlight for our family. 01:17:47.15 Sam Yeah, yeah, awesome. All right? So the last question of rapid fire is where we have left or where where is where we're going next which is. What is your bucket list cruise anywhere in the world. You could go on a Disney Cruise ship where are you going. 01:18:08.89 Tabitha Um, think I'm going to stick with some of your listeners in the past that have said right? A cruise that will hit up all the parks anything close to all the parks with like an adventures by Disney Excursion attached to it or something like that and or Antarctica I think that would be so phenomenal. 01:18:13.73 Sam Yeah. 01:18:22.20 Sam Yeah, absolutely definitely 2 bucket list opportunities. So I'm going to jump in to where Brian usually asks this question but I'm going to ask you? What's next Tabitha did you. 01:18:26.50 Tabitha Like a once in-a-lifetime thing. 01:18:39.12 Sam Book the placeholder and if so do you have something already booked. 01:18:41.51 Tabitha We have the placeholder for sure again research said do it, you don't get that opportunity again right? make that choice. It's very flexible and we do have the placeholder but now it's just deciding where and when and if I had my choice I would go next week I've been looking up cruises. Like short ones that are close et cetera. But so far nothing but the biggest one that I think we have talked about is there is a cruise next year I believe in the summer that goes to castaway and lookout and it's just those 2 and I believe it's five days 01:19:14.30 Sam Yeah, yeah, there's a couple of them in June yep. 01:19:18.74 Tabitha Um, yeah, so we've been looking at that one as a potential for the simple fact of if we do that then we can spend some time in the parks too right? like hit up do the beach things and then spend some time in the parks but nothing on the books just yet. 01:19:35.60 Sam Are yeah well, there's always the Dc L Two O Podcast Cruise just just say in it goes to lighthouse point. It doesn't go to castaway. Also it just goes to lighthouse and um Nasa but um. 01:19:37.24 Tabitha And it's driving me bananas. It's driving me bananas. 01:19:45.51 Tabitha Um, oh yes. 01:19:53.93 Tabitha Oh I will keep that in mind for sure. 01:19:54.57 Sam There's there's room on it. So. 01:19:55.00 dclduo Not just not just room not just room. But for people out there listing there's room and the the sailing we're on is almost sold out and the rooms that we have are still at opening day price. So you're getting you're getting a major discount over anything that is currently available directly through Disney. So if you want to come sail with the dcl do well we got a few rooms left and you can experience lighthouse point for one of the first times but Tabitha we just really appreciate you taking time to come on the show and share your. Experiences planning for and going on your first Disney Cruise so thank you so much for sharing that with all of our listeners out there. We really really appreciate it 01:20:30.97 Tabitha Thank you so much for having me this is a bucket list. Check off dream come true. Thank you, thank you anytime I can talk about Disney right? I think but I think my people that I work with are so sick of me talking about Disney. Ah. 01:20:39.16 Sam Ah, hi. 01:20:47.86 dclduo Ah.

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