Mickey Boat Here We Come

Good morning! We are heading out on the road again. Today we get on the Mickey boat! Or…the Disney Magic. Bobby and I were on the magic back in November of 2010 for a week long trip. I know the two newer ships are huge and pretty and have great technological advances, but I have a soft spot fot the “classic” smaller ships. I am excited to be back on one of them!

Yesterday, Bobby and I did some last minute packing and getting ready for the trip. I also did some house cleaning (I hate coming home to a messy house after vacation) and we were off! An hour later than I would have liked, but we were off about 12:30. We drove and drove until we hit Lake city, FL and we hit up Cracker Barrel for Dinner.

For some reason we always gravitate to Cracker Barrel when traveling to and from vacation spots. After dinner, we checked into out hotel to get a good night’s sleep before more driving this morning!

I will be unplugging from the online world until Wednesday, and then I will be back with lots of photos! I think all has been taken care of. Pups are in good hands, house is in good hands, we are ready for vacation! Mickey Boat here we come!

Our schedule:

Saturday, Key West. Sunday, day at sea. Monday, Nassau. Tuesday, Castaway Cay (our favorite!) Have a great few days everyone and I will see ya real soon!

QOTD: Do you have a specific place you always eat on vacation?

 

 

Disney Fantasy Part 4

 

It’s been awhile since I posted more photos from my cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy, so I thought I would change things up today and show you a tropical paradise! Previous fantasy posts can be found below:

Part 1 Disney Fantasy

Part 2 Disney Fantasy

Part 3 Disney Fantasy

Onboard the Disney Fantasy, you will find something special the other ships don’t have…Bibbibi Bobbidi Boutique! I got to go inside and take a look…oh how it made me want a little girl so badly to dress up!

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I die. How cute is this special Belle dress?!?

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In the afternoon on Pirate night, the boutique is turned into a place for pirates to get ready for their big night, aaarrggghhh!

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Too. cute. Speaking of Pirate night, here are some photos from the firworks at sea. The Dream was along side us (at a distance) and was having pirate night too. We got to see their fireworks right before ours. How cool is that?!

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The Dream wwwaayyyy off in the distance shooting off fireworks

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Then there was a pirate buffet.

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Turkey legs. My husband’s favorite.

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AARRGGHHH! Ok I think that’s enough for today. Do these pictures have you wanting to take a Disney cruise yet? Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free, no obligation quote. Also, I have a discounted room block available at WDW for marathon weekend. Contact me about booking your room!

QOTD: Favorite place to eat that is a buffet. Go.

Disney Fantasy Part 3

 

Thank you to everyone for their kind words on my race recap from yesterday. I am definitely ready for a break from distance running, I literally have been in training mode since last July, (except for when I had my stress fracture) so it will be nice to not have a big race on the schedule for awhile.

Today taking a break from running related talk to share a few more photos with you from the Disney Fantasy. If you missed part one and two, check them out first.

Today I just am going to share some random photos from around the ship, no particular theme today. Enjoy! First up is the sail away party. Since it was a special cruise, they had free champagne and glasses for everyone. it was a nice touch!

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Plenty of character opportunities. Minnie only had one person in line!

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The theater

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sunset

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Nightly turndown

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Buzz had maybe three people in line

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Food up on the pool deck

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Ok that’s enough for one post, more next week!

Remember, I can book your Disney cruise for your family, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra to use me! e-mail me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for more info.

QOTD: Favorite cruise activity? We like the eating and going to different beaches.

The Disney Fantasy Part 2

 *Don’t forget registration for the WDW marathon weekend opens today (at 12:00 eastern) contact me for more info, I am working on a special discounted room block for the event! We may even have a special dessert party!

If you missed it, yesterday I did TWO posts. The second post was very important to me…it was my application for the Hood to Coast relay team with Nuun! I would LOVE your support on the post by comments, or writing on Nuun’s Facebook page saying they need me, Running With Sass on their team. I would SO appreciate your support!

Hood to coast application

As promised, here is my once a week post about the Disney Fantasy. My first update can be found on Disney Fantasy Part 1, and it contains photos of boarding the ship and my stateroom.

We got to tour the kids clubs the day we got on board the ship. I of course don’t have children yet…but is it bad that I wanted to stay and play in the kids clubs?!?

Small World Nursery, ages 3 months – 3 years

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The nursery has food provided for your children, and you can “book” hours online or when you get to the port and check in for your cruise (or while onboard.)

Oceaneers club ages 3-12

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I wasn’t having fun or anything…

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The cafeteria connects the Oceaneer’s club to the Oceaneer’s Lab. Oceaneer’s Lab is also 3-12, but was geared more towards the older kids in that age range.

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This was way cool…you can “drive” the ship on your screen!

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You can use the wave phones in your stateroom (like cell phones) and that is how the clubs get in touch with you should your child need you for any reason. The kids also wear special bracelets at all times.

Then we headed up to the older teen’s hangout. Vibe. Vibe is for older teens, Edge is for younger teens. I didn’t make it to Edge but here are some photos of vibe. Can I hang out?

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They even have their own outside sun deck area

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So, if you had any reservations at all about your kids not liking the kids club, or there not being enough for them to do…worry no more! These clubs are awesome! I wish there were things around like this when I was a kid. We were given a box and told to make a fort with it…and we loved it, am I right? Haha!

One thing I really liked was the number of counselors in each club. There were PLENTY of workers all over to keep an eye on things, not like 1-2 per club. I imagine this would make me feel better about leaving my (hypothetical) child there!

Remember, if I book your Disney cruise for you, it does not cost you anything extra to book with me, and I can get you onboard credit. I have been on four DCL cruises and am about to go on my fifth, so I consider myself knowledgeable on all the ships (I have been on them all now.) Please e mail me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a quote.

QOTD: What was your favorite thing to do for fun as a kid? I loved playing basketball outside and I loved playing with Barbies.

*Only a couple of days left to vote for me for the fitness magazine best running blog. You can only vote for me once, so I would LOVE it if you took a second and voted for me! 

 

The Disney Fantasy Part 1

 

I have had several people ask me more about the cruise I went on in March, specifically about the ship itself, so I am going to do a 2-3 part series on the ship and with some more photos of Castaway Cay. I will only do one of these a week as to not overwhelm my running blog with Disney. I will also be writing more specific and detailed posts about different aspects of the ship for the blog my travel agency operates, and I will be sure to give you the links when they are up.

We got to the port on Friday morning, and there were several decorations announcing the Fantasy.

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We walked right onto the ship, and stood in the beautiful lobby just taking it all in. I had been on the Disney Dream last summer, and while it’s lobby is all dark wood, the Fantasy had a more light, airy feel to it.

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I could still smell the fresh paint! it was awesome. We headed up to Cabanas (which is the same on the Dream) and got lunch. I love this buffet, great food but also, it’s easy to navigate and you don’t have to stand in one long line which is nice.

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After we ate, it was time to go to our rooms. I was in 7606, which is a Deluxe family stateroom with verandah.

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The difference in this room and the regular staterooms with verandah’s is the murphy bed, extra chair, and space. In the regular rooms, right past the couch, is the wall and verandah. In these rooms, there is the extra space (see the brown murphy bed up against the wall, no pulled down?) Having the extra room was nice with three adults, oh, and the desk area is longer.

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Another difference is in the bathroom. The tub was nice and big and rounded, lots of space!

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the wall is rounded to accommodate the shower

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other side of the split bath

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lots of storage, TV with extendable arm, and refrigerator below

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couch converts into a bed, murphy bed pulls down from the wall

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Two chairs and a table on the verandah

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something running related…yesterday I ran 4 miles in 39 minutes! I felt good and like I could have kept going at that pace. I really needed a good run, I haven’t had one in awhile. Especially after my hot and humid miserable 10 miler on Sunday. Tomorrow I will take yoga and lift. I also lifted tonight with Bobby. Getting back on track!

Also, only a few days left to vote for me in the Fitness Blogger awards! You can only vote for me one time, I would really appreciate it!

*Don’t forget I am a Disney travel planner, it costs you nothing to have me book and plan your trip for you! Summer discounts for WDW are now available! e mail me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for more details!

QOTD: If you could cruise, what line would you cruise on and where would you cruise too? I would love to do a Mediterranean cruise!

Castaway Cay 5k Take Two

 

My post on the Castaway Cay 5k is to this day one of my most visited posts, and also one of my top search terms. even though I wrote it almost two years ago, it is still relevant to people going on Disney cruises…until now. When I went on the Disney Fantasy for the earmarked conference a couple weeks ago, I convinced three of the other agents in the agency I work for to do the race with me. We had a blast, and I am so glad they all participated! However, there were some new (pretty big!) changes since I last ran the 5k ten months ago (this would be my third time running.) So, I thought a new post and recap was in order. Let me just say I LOVE most of the changes, all but one, which you will see below!

Since it was a special preview cruise, I wasn’t sure if the 5k was going to happen or not. When I saw it listed in my Navigator the night before we went to Castaway Cay, I was so excited and knew I had to run, along with some of the other agents I was with! The navigator said to meet in one of the adult area’s (The Irish pub) at 8:45. (Change number one: Normally we meet right outside the ship at 9:00, or whenever we are finally able to get off the ship.) We all headed down in our running clothes, excited for what was in store. When we got to the pub, there were a lot of people already inside. We headed to a table with two cast members, and were told to write down our name and stateroom numbers on a chart, and then we were given a bib and safety pins. (change number two: we have never had bib’s in the past!) We chatted with some other runners, I ran into Lorraine who was also running. Loraine and I were both part of the Princess blogger group back in February!

At 9:00, we headed off the ship following a cast member.

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Corby, Robyn, me, and Amy. Notice, my bib is ALWAYS crooked!

We followed the cast members off the ship… and we walked…and we walked. This is the one change I did NOT like. We had a fifteen minute walk just to get to the start line. (Change number three: We always used to start right off the ship, ran a 3 mile loop that ended back at the ship). We started over by the bike rentals and volleyball nets. Those familiar with the island know it’s a good hike to get there! I was already hot and sweaty  by time we got out there. Oh well!

They had an official sign for the 5k start!

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Everyone gathered around to listen to the cast members, and then Daisy showed up!

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We gathered around the map as the course was explained to use. We were to run out to the airstrip towards the adult beach. head into the loop where the observation tower is. Run the loop, head to Serenity bay, head back, do the loop again, and then head to the finish line, which was also the start line. (change  number four: well, the whole course! before we just did the loop once but ran all the way back to the ship.) Oh, they also had a box where you could leave personal items that you didn’t want to run with.

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We were told we could get photos with Daisy at the finish, and to line up by the start clock. Heck yes, there was a time clock! I know it’s hard to see with the sun on it, and the fact that I took this hours after so it’s not actually on anymore.

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We were told there would be water on course, and there was water at the finish. (You can see it behind the time clock.) One of the cast members got on a bike, and when we started he said to follow him out to the loop. he was going to stay outside the loop to make sure everyone made it in, back out, then back in again. He did a great job of cheering us on the whole time!

The race started, and we were off! We made it out to the loop, and in we went, into the thick trees!IMG_5079
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I made it around the loop and back out, and started heading down the airstrip towards serenity bay (the adult beach) There were no trees and it was quite sunny. I started getting a little woozy and thought it was just the heat and kept going.

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See the red plate on the barrel? It says 5k, and was where we turned around to head back.

I headed back the other way and waved at my friends as we passed each other. I stopped for water before heading back into the loop. They had set up a little station for us right before heading back into it.

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I started getting REALLY dizzy about this point, and felt like I was spinning. Then it hit me…my sea sickness patch behind my ear!!! I had heard stories of people who had issues wearing them once they got back on land, but I hadn’t thought about it until then. Last year and the year before when I did the 5k I didn’t have the patch. I decided for safety I should start doing some run walk intervals so I didn’t make myself sick or more dizzy. I made it around to the observation tower and knew I was about halfway around the loop.

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Luckily, there was also some water (nice and cold!) so I was able to rehydrate (side effect of the patch is AWFUL dry mouth. I felt like I couldn’t breathe or get enough water!) There was another water stop before I made it out of the loop, and I gladly stopped to take a drink.

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I made it out of the loop and decided to run in to the finish. I made it the rest of the way down the airstrip and followed the sign. (change number 5: signs directing us!)

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I kept running, and came to a fork in the road and wasn’t sure which way to go. I could here cheering at the finish, so I took a chance and went left and kept running. I ran into a family walking, they cheered me on and I yelled that I didn’t think I was going the right way. They told me “you are almost there the finish line is just around the corner! Go go go!” So I picked up the pace, ran around the corner and saw the finish line, and Daisy duck! She was standing with one of the cast members, and she was holding medals! (change number six: medals!) After I crossed Daisy handed me my medal and I thanked her. I finished right at 30 minutes, not bad considering my pathetic “land sickness” issues!

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Here are the cast members cheering in one of my friends!

After I drank about four cups of water, I made the long walk back to the ship wearing my medal, and got lots of strange looks, as everyone else was heading in the opposite direction towards the beaches! I had to laugh because all the medals said “winner” on them (by the way they are plastic!)

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Overall, the changes were good. The directional signs were greatly appreciated, and the bibs, medals, and time clock were a nice “official” touch to the race. Having plentiful cold water was nice in the warm tropical climate, and the guest appearance by Daisy was so cute! I was very pleased! I also love how the bibs say “runDinsey” on them!

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*UPDATE: ON our March cruise the 5k said “open to adult runners” but on our May cruise it said “ages 12 and up”
QOTD: Have you ever run a race in a tropical climate?

A huge thank you to Amy for letting me use some of her photos!

***It has been reported from several people that DCL is no longer giving out medals to participants, but instead you get a certificate for completing the race in your room afterwards.

*Meghann from Meals and Miles mentioned the race and my post in her post this morning! Go say hi to her!

***The winner of the Zero Water giveaway is Ricole Runs! Email me at  runningwithsass@gmail.com so I can get you your prize! ***

Thank you to all who entered! You can all sign up for zero water coupons here.

Back and Burned

 

Hola! I am back from the beautiful Disney Fantasy cruise ship! I had a fabulous time in WDW at the Yacht club and on the boat getting to know fellow agents and such. I hate it had to end so quickly, but it does feel good to be home. I have so much to catch up on, and things will be getting back to normal now (as normal as they get here on RWS!) I can’t wait to share stories and pictures, but I must do some organizing and sorting etc. and I still have a bit to recap from my princess trip! I hope you enjoyed the guest posts while I was away. a HUGE thank you again to my lovely volunteers, you wrote some great stuff! So, did you miss me?!?!  Here are a few teaser pictures:

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Now I must go re-apply some aloe….I may or may not have gotten a sunburn on Castaway Cay. I put on sunscreen and reapplied and still managed to burn. Ouch!

QOTD: What Caribbean Island would you visit given the chance?

On a Boat

 

Wow the weekend sure did fly by. I am, however, loving this extra hour of daylight. It officially feels like spring around here now. I hope you had a good weekend, be sure to catch up on the posts you missed!

Disney Princess Blogger Meet Up Recap

RWS Features #15

Weekly Recap: March week 3

Also, don’t forget to vote for me for best running blog! Courtesy of Fitness magazine. I would so very much appreciate it. I am only one blog away from being on page one!

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Disney Dream Part 5 and Final Thoughts

A new week is before us! What fun things do you have planned? Me? Not a lot so far, but I am working on it!

In case you have been MIA this weekend…

Disney Dream part 4

Ice Cream Party and TNT

Ok ok, so those of you loathing the Disney posts can now rejoice, this is my last recap day of the trip. We woke up on the morning of our last full day back in Castaway Cay (well, pulling in, close enough.) We ate breakfast at the buffet (I think) and made our way out to the island.

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my dad pretending to steal the golf cart. We didn’t want to wait for the tram!

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Hello Serenity Bay, so we meet again!

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lots of relaxing ensued

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we read books, Bobby swam out to the sandbar, we walked on the beach, and once again, Bobby and I met at Pelican Point for some beach volleyball. We had a great time playing two on two with two other guys who were pretty good. Before we knew it, it was getting deserted, and we realized we needed to be on the boat in the next 15 minutes. whoops! I am always sad on Castaway Cay afternoon. When everything is shutting down and you are walking the empty paths. Means vacation is almost over. BOO!

So we get back on the ship and my mom is freaking out because we weren’t back yet and she thought the ship was going to leave us. I told her to think about how ridiculous it sounds for Disney to leave a guest on their own private island. ha!

We took some shots of the island with my stalker- I mean mega zoom lens.

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we went to the show, then came back and had a friend waiting for us.

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We decided to get dressed and go out on the deck and take some pictures.

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the wind was blowing like crazy!

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We were back in Animator’s Palate for our last dinner.

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Dessert was so yummy, baked Alaska and the celebration cake.

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We went to bed after we put our luggage in the hall. We had to get up at 5:30 for breakfast. When we woke up we were back in port. So sad! We ate breakfast in Animator’s, said goodbye to our servers and our room host, and got in line to get off the ship. There were so many people trying to get off, it took forever! We made it out and to the car, and back home safe and sound, and exhausted! Just like that, the trip we planned a year ago….was over. SO DEPRESSING!

FINAL THOUGHTS.

Ok, so having been on the magic for a 7 nighter, the wonder for a 5 night double dip and now the Dream for a 5 night double dip, I have a few thoughts on the new ship, the Dream.

Pros:

The ship is gorgeous! The lobby is amazing, the technology SO COOL. I love how now the in room movie system is a lot better (on demand instead of looped) and everything smelled so clean! This was on first time in a verandah room and we loved it. The restaurants were beautiful enchanted garden was so nice, the food was good, and plentiful, it was very ascetically pleasing. We loved how they revamped Cabanas, the buffet. It was much roomier and easier to get food. Instead waiting in a line you pop in and out to get what you want. All the crew members were very kind and pleasant enough. We got to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4 in 3D, so that was fun. The aquaduck was also way cool. I like how they separated the fireworks from the pirate show so we could go up just to see the fireworks. I loved looking at all of the intricate details of the ship So many things to see!

Cons:

Too many people for this gal. If you have never been on another Disney ship you may not notice, but the pool deck and restaurants felt VERY cramped. The adult pool was TINY, and because of where it was positioned on the ship, families with kids were always walking though, which kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me. The tables in the restaurants were SO close together, the servers couldn’t even get by to get us our food. Our serving team was SO SWEET, we loved them, but our head girl, it was her first cruise ever to be head server. She forgot a lot of our food, dropped food, service was slow, drink glasses stayed empty, all things we have never experienced before on a Disney cruise. me thinks maybe she wasn’t quite ready for the promotion. We had to wait in a line to get off the ship, never have we had to do that before. Serenity Bay was of course a lot more crowded because of all the extra people, and I could feel it. It wasn’t quite as “serene” with so many people. The fitness room was right over my parents room and they heard weights being dropped and treadmills being run on all hours of the day. Granted, none of these things are deal breakers, and we still had a great time, so if you are booked on the Dream please don’t freak out! You will still have an amazing time! These are just a few HONEST observations I had on my 3rd Disney cruise. I wish they would make a smaller boat with all the new technological advances. I think for adults with no kids, they will start going back on the magic and wonder. The kids clubs are awesome, but apparently super awesome on the Dream so I don’t see any of this being a deal breaker to people with kids. I was definitely amazed at the technology and beauty of the Dream, but just got a little anxious with all the people, but I know that doesn’t even bother some people, so take it with a grain of salt, mmk?

Would I go on the Dream again? of COURSE!! Thanks for reading all about my vacation!

 

QOTD: Do big crowds bother you? Have you sailed with Disney?

 

Disney Dream part 4

 

FFFFRRRIIIDDDAAYY! I am excited for today. The girls in my Sunday school class are coming over tonight for an ice cream party! Then tomorrow I am running 5 miles with my TNT group along the beach. Excited to train with them!

I know I said this before, but for those of you crazy kids loathing the Disney posts, they are almost over, and I will be back to regular running and healthy living posts!

In case you missed the first three…

Disney Dream part 1

Disney Dream part 2

Disney Dream part 3

Ok so the day after Nassau was our sea day. We knew the pools would be ridiculously crowded, so we avoided them. We had Palo brunch at 10:00, so we sat on the couches by the adult pool eating bananas to hold us over until then. Bobby and I did brunch on the Magic and were excited for my parents to experience it, and we of course has never done Palo brunch on the Dream.

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It was so nice and fancy! We were seated by the window, and introduced to our server.

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We were brought to the food, and the server showed us around to the different tables, then told us about the items we could order off the menu.

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We made our first go around and dug in!

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we ate….and ate…..and ate!

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then we had dessert!

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In case you didn’t know, Dessert is always my favorite.

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the bathroom was really, really pretty. I know I am a dork.

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elevators/lobby going into Palo and Remy

After we ate ourselves into a food coma, we all went into our room and watched Little Fockers. It was ok, not near as funny as the first one. They never really are, sadly.

We wandered around the ship to walk our food off that afternoon.

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and then sat on our verandahs and read books. So peaceful!

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I really can’t remember what we did the rest of the day. I am betting I took a nap HA! I think we may have gone to the show that night in the theatre. it was semi formal night, so we got semi-dressed-up (haha) for dinner.

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I borrowed this dress and it was a bit too big on me. whoops.

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Dinner was in the Royal Palace. Look how cute the bread basket is!

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ffffooooooddddd

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we had a friend hanging out in the room after dinner.

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yesterday I did a 3 mile speed workout on the treadmill while Bobby was getting a massage. poor thing can’t even sit in a car straight up without being in excruciating pain. He has been knocked out on and off all day!

Today I am doing cross training and maybe some weights or abs before my TNT run tomorrow. Now I am off to clean for the party tonight!

QOTD: what is your favorite ice cream topping?