To: Randi and Amber...my apologies for thwarting your efforts to beat each other at commenting. I got a serious case of A.D.D. today and couldn't finish my post. But by all means, don't stop the competition. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. haha.
Secondly, I want to publicly thank any and all of you who have honestly read through my entire posts. I'm thoroughly impressed, and personally flattered, that you would take the time to read the lengthy-ness. Sometimes when I see someone's long post, I get A.D.D. (I'm not joking...I think I need medication for it) and can't read the entire thing, but I still go back to it and read. Mostly cuz I love hearing about what they've written, but also cuz I know they would be stoked that I did. I know I always am appreciative of it.
I know who my real friends are. hehe.
This day started about 4:45 a.m. I awoke to a "sound." I wasn't sure what the "sound" was, I just knew I had been awakened by one. It was loud, scary and very startling. I had already had a hard time going to sleep, and a rough night staying asleep. It was because of a mixture of a few nerves (courtesy of Xanthe who was already skiddish to be on a ship...she had just written an in-depth report in 5th Grade on The Titanic), the extra rocking motion (courtesy of a few extra large-ish waves goin on outside), and the noises of the hydraulics that were right beneath us (we were on the 1st floor) we hadn't gotten used to yet.
The minute I awoke I could tell something was wrong. It was quiet. Too quiet. I started to freak out...in my brain of course. No lights would turn on. I couldn't hear the hum of the engine any longer. The only thing I heard were footsteps running down our corridor.
All that kept running through my mind was, "Of course! Ships never go down, except when we're on one! That dang Xanthe cursed us!" My brain also started thinking of things like, "I have no idea where any shoes are. We're all in our pajamas."
I propped the door open since it seemed like the emergency generators were on and the hallway lights were working. I started frantically searching for my shoes, and packing necessities for a quick escape. I kind of was losing it. hahaha. If most of you know me, I'm usually a pretty cool character...mostly...except when it deals with deep waters. I had a really bad experience when I was younger being sucked down into an undertow...so oceans and I don't blend well.
At this time, the girls had woken up and of course Xanthe was getting especially freaked out, asking all sorts of questions, which didn't help my nerves at all. I was trying with all my might to keep it together though. But in my mind I was completely freaking out.
I went into the other room and woke Brian out of his dead sleep. "Brian, something is wrong! I think we lost power and I need you to be awake. I definitely can't handle this one on my own." He fumbled around, but eventually got up and was awake for all that was going on.
While dressed in my running shoes (sans socks), long sweat pants and my zip-up jacket, I stood at the door watching a few more crew members running passed me. A few guests had opened their doors and were looking pretty wide-eyed and a little freaked out. I asked them a few questions, but they weren't making things much easier as they were more freaked out than I was.
Suddenly, down the hall came running my knight in shining armor...Jim, one of the captains, dressed in a white, wrinkled t-shirt and off-white cargo shorts (because he got "dressed in the dark."). I don't even actually know if he was one of the captains, cuz he wasn't in uniform, but I didn't care. He sounded like it, so I was just going to believe he was.
He was so great, stopped to answer all our questions and quelled the mine and the girls' fears. He even giggled a little when Xanthe told him she was scared because of her Titanic Report. He said, very gently, of course, "First, there are no icebergs in the Mediterranean. Second, the ships are built much differently 90 years later and Third, we haven't hit anything. One of the sensors on the electrical board gave a funny warning, so the engines were shut down one by one so we could figure out what it was. If you listen right now, they're being started up one by one again. We start them a little at a time so we can make sure everything is working before starting them all up. First, we'll turn the electrical back on, then the air conditioning for the guests so you can be comfortable, and then the engines to get back on course. And the reason we're rocking so much is because we've turned the ship sideways, against the current so that we don't veer too far of course."
Glory hallelujah, Jim! You are my favorite person in the world. Everything made sense, and sure enough right then, all the engines came back on. The main captain also came over the loud speaker to explain the situation so that no one would be afraid and that everything was fine. He assured everyone that this was not a normal occurrence, and has never happened in the 15 years of the ship's existence. (Again, my thoughts were "Of course it happens when WE'RE on the ship.")
I have to say...Disney handled it so well. Very professional and they were very up front with everyone. This was the first night of our cruise, and from there on, there were no problems again. I only tell this story not to say bad things about Disney, but just to journal what happened. It's a story I want to remember for a long time, and in a way think it's kind of funny.
The first day we spent at sea, sailing to our first port. Despite my fears of deep, dark waters, I actually LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being on a traveling boat. As a teenager, we went with our church group to "The River" and I loved sitting on the front of it as we sped and bounced down the water. There is just something so exhilarating about it.
On the cruise, I had lots of time just to myself so I would go to Deck 4, one of my favorite spots on the boat. It had this brown and navy blue color scheme going on, very Restoration Hardware-ish. The deck, the railings and the layout chairs were a beautiful brown color, donning plush, navy cushions. It was where guests played shuffleboard, and it was the deck that was the running track.
So, I actually loved the days we had at sea, even though some other guests complained about it. This actual cruise's itinerary was different from the other ones we could have taken. It had a Day at Sea right in the middle of the cruise. I loved it, not only because we got to rest from all the ports, but because I was able to go to my favorite spot on Deck 4, read a book, watch the water pass by, or close my eyes and be lulled to sleep by the sound of the water.
On this day, Brian took Spencer in the Mickey Pool while I laid out on Deck 4. Actually, he ALWAYS took Spencer swimming. I one time put on my bathing suit, but really didn't have the inclination to ever go in. To me, it was never hot enough, and like my cousin, Jacque says, "For us, swimming is a commitment. Getting into your bathing suit, shaving everywhere, and sunscreen all over the body, then afterward it's the changing and showering, etc., etc., etc. Add into that a toddler with almost all the same things, and it'll make you not want to go swimming." Couldn't have said it better myself.
Did I mention Spencer LOVES the water?
The girls also loved the water, but I'll post about them and what they were doing on the ship during tomorrow's post (this one already got long enough).
MAD HATTER'S TEA PARTY
We reserved tickets (free, of course) to join the Mad Hatter, Alice, the March Hare, and the dormouse for tea. Please know that at this time, my heart was melting and I almost couldn't handle the whole thing. They had apple juice for tea, and chocolate chip cookies to eat.
Alice came in and taught the Queen's "proper" way of having tea, while the Mad Hatter thwarted all her efforts by pouring the tea from standing on a chair, and eating his cookie while running around the table. It was quite the show, and I was thoroughly entertained by these characters who were perfect replicas of the cartoon characters...as you can tell the myriad of pictures I took. This is the first year, in all my years of Disney, that I have seen characters imitate their cartoon's mannerisms, voices, and characteristics.
At this point of the party, the Mad Hatter made them all stand up and run around their table, twirling their napkins in the air after he shouted, "Clean Cup Dance!" They had to do this two or three times when he randomly yelled "Clean Cup Dance!"
(Please click on the next picture to see it larger so you can get a close-up look of the Mad Hatter's face. I still laugh out loud when I look at it.)
I had to take a picture of Xoe in her tea party outfit and tell the story that goes along with it.
For most of the cruise, I hardly ever saw the girls. They would just check in with me every once in awhile and we would make our plan for the day after looking at the "Daily Navigator" (more on this later). They both knew what time to be back for the Tea Party, but when it came time to go, Xoe was not there.
I left a note for her reminding her of the Tea Party and knew the 3 or 4 places she could be. I wasn't worried. However, I started to become concerned when she wasn't there at "tea time." Mostly because I knew that she would be bummed if she missed it.
About 5 minutes after it had begun, I left to go look for her. As I got to the first set of stairs, I saw her quickly running up while whispering something to herself. She saw me and apologized profusely saying that she didn't realize what time it was and had hurried as fast as she could to get back. Mind you... most kids would have just ran down in whatever clothes they were wearing. But not Xoe and Xanthe. They had to "dress for tea." So, even though she was going to be late, Xoe still pulled an outfit together for a tea party. And when I asked what she was whispering as she was running up the stairs, she told me, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" A girl after my own heart.
If ever I couldn't find the girls, there were a couple of places I could find them. One of those places was running around the ship taking pictures and getting autographs of the dozens of Disney characters walking throughout the ship. This was serious business to them. They carried their autograph papers and camera around with them everywhere, and actually scheduled into their day when they knew a character was going to be appearing. They would inhale their dinner, or leave a show early, or beg to come back from a port adventure early, just so they wouldn't miss "Captain Jack Sparrow" or "Lilo & Stitch." Would you be surprised if I told you that some of the characters, and even the professional cruise photographers, knew the girls by name?
So, I'm not going to post them all at once here. I've separated them out by which day they were taken on. So, each day I'll grace you with which character they had their picture taken with. :) I may not even explain. You'll just understand why I'm posting the pictures. To me, it's a sort of "comic relief."
(I just loved the next picture cuz it was kind of candid and you can see Xanthe dressed up for Formal Night.)
What would a Disney Entertainment Adventure be without amazing theater shows. Almost every night they had a show with amazing costumes, songs, dances, etc. This first night they had a show called "Twice Charmed," which was sort of like a "Cinderella 2" type story. Just look at the costumes and you can see how amazing it was.
Most of you who have cruised before know that they usually have a formal night. Everyone dresses up in black-and-white-tie-affair-type clothes for dinner. At first, the two of us couples were a little put-off by it because of our airplane weight limit getting there. But once we were all dressed up, we realized how fun it is to do so, and how UNoften (is that a word?) we get to dress up with our husbands. It really was fun to have a fancy night.
Bummer that all the people were in this picture. I'll have to crop it later on if we ever want to use it.
Lindsey and Hans.............
This is our waiter, Branislav. I told you about him (and his assistant Non). He is from Croatia, and completely made our nights so enjoyable. We constantly commented on how well his personality clicked with ours. He was sarcastic, he understood our own jokes, and really made us feel like his friend. It was different than him just trying to get our business because of the tips we were going to be giving him. You could tell he just loved life. I we ever saw him on other parts of the ship doing something else, he was either singing, or sort of dancing to himself, just making the most out of his job. He was seriously a genuine person and we loved having him on the cruise.
There's Day 2! I must not have gotten a picture of our towel animal this night. Oh well. Til tomorrow. Malta, baby!