Disney Magic November 10th, 2019 Very MerryTime Cruise

pixiehallow

Tinker Fairy
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Happy Monday everyone! I hope where ever you are that you are dry and safe. As for this Texas family, we are both. I now the weather out there has been a bit crazy, and I have had a few friends seeking shelter and 2 friends of friends (you know how social media works) that have lost everything as their houses were tossed and tumbled. If you are anywhere that the weather is just misbehaving, I'll be praying for your safety this week.
There is some good news though we only have 22 Mondays until our vacation starts!!! Which means it is time for our Monday and a Forget Me not.
We are also are getting really close to the online check in and activity / excursion booking day. To get you prepped for your opening day, today's Forget Me Not is about planning your excursions.
A few weeks back, I gave you dates to remember (it looked something like this) -
Platinum/Concierge- 120 days before sailing (Saturday - July 13)
Gold- 105 days before sailing (Sunday - July 28)
Silver- 90 days before sailing (Monday - August 12)
New cruisers-75 days before sailing (Tuesday -August 27)
When your slot rolls around, not only do you get to do your online check-in, you also get to reserve you on board activities, and your EXCURSIONS. With that 1st time slot coming up next month (and each one after that opening up at 15 day intervals), it's time for you to start planning out what it is that you want to do.
Knowing it's time to start planning is only half of what you need to know to check this off your list. It would help if you knew where you needed to go. Well, in order to know where to go, you need to decide what kind of excursion you want to take.

~ Do you want to do something on your own? If yes, than you need to start researching St. John's, Antigua, San Juan, Puerto Rico and possibly even New York if your trip includes pre-trip time in the Big Apple.
Disney does offer a limited set of excursions to Broadway, but to really get to know New York, you'll want to look for cultural, historical, and artistic experience, or something that is meaning full or just plain fun like FAO Schwartz you are going to need to plan this pre-cruise excursion on your own.
St. John's, Antigua is our only true excursion day, so you need to make it count. So you don't want to doddle. At most ports, rental cars or mopeds are available. Keep in mind, with a rental, there is typically a requirement for a local driving permit which is a fee that ranges anywhere from $5 to $25 dollars collected at the rental agency. You can also get a taxi (or an Uber in some areas now). Just make sure you agree on a price before you get in the vehicle. Also something to consider, is the location that you are going to a place that has a great deal of traffic. The reason I mention that is because there was an animal and butterfly sanctuary that we went to once that happened to have a mile long drive way. The driver had no problem driving down the driveway to drop us off and leave, but even when requested no driver was willing to come down and pick us up. We had to walk the mile to the road and then a bit further to flag down a taxi. A solution to that would have been if we had a larger group than 2, we would have been a larger fare. So try to organize or go as part of a group.
Please keep your safety in mind. Another tool that I keep in my excursion tool kit is Tours By Locals. I love the idea of being able to see an area I am visiting from a locals point of view instead of a tourist point of view. You can only see so many Senior Frog shirts and be asked to have your hair braided so many times. On one of these tours, if you are interested in food, they will take you to all the places that they go with their family, or if you are interested in architecture, they will take you to old city hall that is going through a partial rebuild by the archeologist that just uncovered a new back wall. They will take you to things that they know about that the general tourist population doesn't. A little Tink Moment off track, My favorite Local experience was when I was in Nassau and I got to go to a Primary School to pick up my guides son. We had lunch with the kids and it all fell into place with my boys lessons for that day. Being there with my boys and sharing that 'school' experience was surreal. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun and exciting day. As a matter of fact my boy remember it as the day we went to the house in the middle of the neighborhood to get Conch and hamburgers. They want to know if we can go there again every time we visit. We have also found gems visiting on our own.
However remember you are in a foreign country where the fact that you are a tourist does come with the possibility of you (and your family members) being a target for wrong doing. I am not telling you this to scare you.

***Where ever you travel, you should always check for travel advisories both for travel, and medical advisories. Even if you are planning to do excursions through Disney, it is wise to do your checking.
***Also, if you go off the boat in St. John's, Antigua and you are not taking a tour / excursion through Disney, you are responsible for returning to the boat on time. If you do not get back to the boat by 4:15 PM (best to be safe by 4:00 PM) the boat may leave you behind, and you will be responsible for finding your own transportation back. If you don't believe me, google 'dock runners'. Please, Please, set your clock / watch to boat time, and set an alarm at least a half an hour to an hour early so you do not miss the boat.
Or
~Do you want to do something through Disney?
I am sure that you have received your email like this from Disney:
View attachment 265374

Further down the page you will find a link that looks like this:

View attachment 265366The planning center is where you will go to schedule you activities. You may not have access to this area yet because you may not have made your final payment, and/ or you have not reached your opening date (listed above).
To get started on your Disney excursion research, you are going to need to go to Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures (https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/port-adventures/overview/) and select either Bahama Port Adventures View attachment 265367 Click on the description

Or

View attachment 265371 Click on the description
Then, you will need to choose how you want to look at the excursions (either one port at a time or both at the same time) on the next page, you can select the ports from this drop down:
View attachment 265373

If you are going to book with Disney, I would recommend reserving your pick as soon as you can. Some of the more popular excursions fill up and will not be offered once on board.
I recommend the same for non-Disney excursion providers as well, because if they do not get enough people reserving an excursion, they may cancel it. And yes, if they cancel it, they will let you know. When you book, it would be a good idea to make sure you know their cancellation policies.
Happy planning! Only 22 Mondays to go! We are getting close, and I am getting so excited!!!

~Tink~
 

pixiehallow

Tinker Fairy
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Happy Monday to you all. We officially have only 21 Mondays until our cruise.

Today's Forget Me not is clothes pins. I know this sounds silly (when I received them in my first FE, I was puzzled as to why someone would gift clothes pins), but they have several good uses. The top of my list is to hold curtains closed. If you have an ocean view, or a verandah, you will discover on the first morning, that no matter how hard you work at over lapping the curtains, they will still sway apart in the ocean waves, and let piercing light in at 5 AM. Another helpful use is holding wet swim suits (or any other article of clothing that needs to be rinsed out) to the laundry line in the bath room. The inventor of the retractable bathroom clothes line had a good idea, but because you can not lock the length to the exact amount of line that you need to reach the other side, the cord continues to gain length with the weight of each item added to the line. As a result, the wet clothes tend to all slide to the middle and pile up on each other, preventing them from drying (as I am writing this, I am imagining the bird on the wire short at the beginning of some of Pixar's movies). When you attach a clothes pin to each item on the line, they stay put (side note, I happened to see - in one of the full time RV YouTube videos my hubby watches as part of our full time adventure - someone being able to lock the line in place. If this is true, Awesome! But I have not had a chance to check it out yet. It won't lessen the need for the clothes pins, but is still interesting all the same). You can also use the clothes pins to organize loose items, hold something to an FE that otherwise would end up on the floor (he he, then they get a clothes pin as an FE also! ). Put magnets on the back, and put them on the cabin door to organize and have a dedicated place to you lanyards and key to the world cards. And you can even use them to hold blankets to bunk beds, or passies to a blanky. Plus a new one that I just learned of today (can you guess which?). I am sure the list goes on, but you get the idea.
View attachment 407751
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View attachment 407746

Have a great week.

~Tink~
 
  • pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Father's Day to all you Disney loving dads out there. You know, without dads, there would be no princesses, and there would be no sons brave enough to marry the princesses.
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone! We only have 20 Mondays to go (OMG almost to the teens)!


    This weeks Monday Forget Me Not is easy, because everyone has already down loaded the Disney Navigator app, and they are bringing their phones and tablets on the cruise with them. So, today I want to make sure that you are digitally and electronically ready to set sail.


    Our first area of preparedness is charging.


    Charging can be a challenge with several devices being used, and limited electrical outlets in your room. There are hidden outlets in the cabin behind the television. If you pull the TV out and swivel it so that you can see the wall behind it you will be able to access the elusive outlets with out having Elasti Girl powers. If you have one of those devices that you can plug several USB device into at once, I would recommend bringing that along. This will give you the charging space needed for over night fill-ups! I would not recommend leaving this or any other device plugged in while out of your room (This is a security and safety measure). It is very likely that you will return to your cabin to find that your device has been unplugged. This goes for any electronics and lights. It is like living at home when your mom would ask if you were paying the light bill this month.

    Electricity is a serious matter for the mouse. He insists that you are not allowed to use (bring) your own extension cords, or surge protectors. However, if you absolutely need a surge protector or extension cord for extra plug space, you can borrow one at the Guest Service Desk. Thinking of extension cords and the multi USB chargers, it is my opinion that in the chance that your cabin steward may interpret your charger stand as one of the forbidden items, solve the problem before there is one. Instead of using it when your in the room, and hiding it when your out of the room, you can ask your steward if your charger is allowed. You will typically be told yes. In the off chance you are not, you will be sent to have it checked out to make sure that it is electronically sound. If they do not feel that it is safe, they will lend you an extension cord. Here comes part of the Forget Me Not. Even if you are bringing the USB tower go ahead and pack enough standard wall plugs that will give you enough USB slots to make up for what you would loose if you are not able to use the tower.
    It is better to be safe than sorry.

    409644

    The second area of preparedness is keeping the water out.

    Every inch of my luggage real estate is assigned and accounted for, so I don't have room for a zip lock bag full of rice. It would be my guess that you don't either. I'm sure one of the cast members would be happy to help with getting me a cup of rice, but I am not sure I would get it in the form I need it though.

    Instead, I am planning to get everyone in our family water proof cell phone/ tablet cases as a hundred mile gift (Tink Moment - 100 mile gifts are given during our drive to our destination...topic for another post). I'm sure everyone will be excited that they will be able to stay connected and know what is going on when and where with the Navigator app, and they will be able to capture their entire trip on the camera on their device. I'm excited that their devices will stay dry so that we can all pull up pics of our vacation and have a Disney moment at any time.

    409645

    And speaking from experience, I would recommend that you test each one before use. We were pretty sure that a water proof case rated for 10 foot water depth would work for snorkeling. Unfortunately not. Luckily, however, we were where we could run and get rice!

    ***A side note Reminder (We'll call this one number 3)**** If you do bring (which if you have read this far you will be bringing) your device, make sure you put it on airplane mode as soon as you board. If you forget, you could come home to a HUGE cell phone bill. I have talked with someone who forgot to switch over to airplane mode until about day 3, and since his phone was in roaming for all that time, he racked up a $700 bill.

    Have a great week.

    ~Tink~
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone! We are down to 19 Mondays! We have broken into the Teens!!!

    Today's Forget Me Not may seem silly, but much like those labels you find telling you not to do something that in a million years you would never try (such as don't blow dry your hair while taking a bath). Those labels are there because someone has actually tried it. This tip finds its way into the list, because yes, Ms. OCVPD (Obsesive Compulsive Vacation Planning Disorder), actually did this. I don't beat myself up to much about it, because I have since learned that this is actually a common occurrence.

    So just what am I beating around the bush about? Today's Monday Forget Me Not...

    Don't forget to pack undies (chonies, tighty whiteys, or what ever you may call them)!
    If this can happen to me, it can happen to you. I have a couple lists that I check everything off on as I am getting organized to pack, and then I have a list of everything I am taking that I check off as I pack. And I still happened to make it on board without packing any undies.
    - I have a conspiracy theory to this day about that trip, that either the cat (who purposely gets severely injured when he sees bags packed for vacation) or our youngest son (who was not getting to go on this trip) pulled some items out of my bag (the pillow I packed also went missing). -
    But putting that aside, let me explain why this particular forget me not is worth mentioning. With all of the on board shops, and the plethora of shops on shore available to you, amazingly, this is not an item you can easily find (Disney does now carry them - a 3 pack for $25- after I suggested it on an end of cruise survey, and listed it as one of the top 13 must packs and do not forget in a video about - Cruise Packing: Bare Necessities). Ok on the cruise I will admit, we did find souvenir boxers, but that was it. And even though I received several suggestions on how to cope, I still was self conscious about it.

    Some of the suggestions I received were:
    - Just turn the pair you were wearing inside out every other day or so ~ Ewe
    - Wear your swim suit bottoms as undies ~ if it is suggested that you rinse off before getting in the pool when they expect you have just changed into a swim suit, what would be the suggestion if you basically are getting in wearing your underwear?
    - And use your panty hose / tights as undies ~ which is a tad bit warm for the day time

    When we are in port, we have tourist district shops available to search outside of our excursion time. Normal tourist are not looking for chonies at tropical ports of call. Thus, vendors are not selling something that the buyers are not looking to spend money on. This left us, and any one that does not heed my warning, searching throughout each port, never lucky enough to find any.

    I ended up wearing the ones I had had on during embarkation day, and then washing them out and hanging them up to dry in the evening when I was wearing the panty hose/ tights to dinner.

    As usual, I hope my mistakes make for a good tip for your packing.
    411202

    ~Tink~
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone! We have 18 Mondays until we sail away on our Caribbean vacation!! :boat:

    This week's Monday Forget Me Not is $$ Cash $$. Everyone one probably knows that once on board, your Key to the World card is your door key, your identification, and your credit card. But it doesn't take care of your tips. Just to be clear, I am not referring to the gratuities that are either prepaid or added to your on board account.

    (side note .....Tink Moment. ....If you want to give your gratuities in cash, envelopes are available, and you can request to have them taken off your on board account. Personally, we like to hand out the gratuities to all of the cast members who have taken such good care of us. ...)​

    The tips I am referring to are the small cash thank you's you share with the porters that help with your luggage as you arrive at the port, the room service attendant that brings your late night snack of milk and cookies, your excursion guide, and the shuttle bus driver that returns you to your car at the conclusion of your trip. And because change is not the easiest thing to come by, plan ahead to have $1's and $5's.

    Oh, and I almost forgot your port shopping. Small bills and another small wallet works best in port. You don't want to be haggling the price on that must have t-shirt only to open your regular wallet with all of your spending cash in it only to find you need to ask for change for a $20 or worse yet a $100! (Tip one on port safety, don't give the would be bad guy, out to ruin your vacation, a reason to target you - use small bills, and leave your fancy watch, camera, and I-Phone X on the boat in the safe....okay, this could become its own post...another topic for another day!). As soon as you ask for change for the $10 shirt, they will either not have change, the price will go up, or they will have something you don't need or want that will go perfect with the shirt (which is only worth a dollar or so) that they will throw in to make it an even $20. If you are carrying only $1's and $5's you may be able to haggle that $10 shirt down to $8, and be able to experience half the fun of shopping in port, 'The battle for the best price'.
    The small wallet that I suggested for port is what my husband taught my boys to carry when they were old enough to start buying or haggling for their own souvenirs. He had them call it a throwaway wallet. As they grew, they carried their throwaway wallet anywhere that they were going to, that would either be in very crowded environments, and pick pockets may be a problem or, some place such as some ports of call that the government has issued travel advisories due to a history of tourist attacks. The benefit of a throwaway wallet is that it has only a small amount of money in it at any given time (if you are planning on making more purchases, you can have a secure travelers wallet that is hidden into a belt or a bra and is accessed while in a bathroom to refill the throwaway wallet). To help it appear real, you can add a few fake credit cards that you get in your junk mail. You don't keep your ID or boat room key in the throwaway wallet. For that I would suggest that one person carry an under clothing pouch similar to a passport carrier for those. The idea is, if you are victim of a mugging or similar attack, you would have the throwaway wallet to give them. The person attacking you thinks that they have gotten your wallet and because they do not want to hang around waiting for the police, they take off before they realize they haven't gotten much.

    The first line of defense when you are a tourist is to always be alert to your surroundings and to not do anything to draw attention to yourself, but it never hurts to be safe and prepared.

    Sorry I got a little side tracked. Let's reeling it back in and get back on track....

    Saturday night, before you go to bed, make sure you have enough cash for your pre boarding tips, including your porters. Make sure you have between $2 - $5 per bag that you're going to check in with them. From here you have two options.
    One, that would be all you figured for, and depend on guest services on board for the rest of your cash needs (which may put a bit of a strain on them though). Once on board you could go to Guest Services and ask for how much you need in the denominations you need it in, and have that added to you on board account. However, think that if everyone that was sailing with us happened to read this, and they all thought that my last suggestion was a good one (because for some reason they missed my Elephant Packing 101 video and did not have enough room to pack the cash), and they all visited guest services and asked for enough $5's and $1's to cover their bar tips, room service tips, Walt Disney Theater service tips, and so on. It would be like the Black Tuesday's Stock Market Crash. Luckily, not everyone is on my wave link, but, as we get closer to the end of the cruise, the line at guest services will grow exponentially longer. Some will be there to take the tips off of their on board account so that they can pay them personally, some to settle their bill, and some to get change. With our one port of call being so close to the end of the cruise, the line may be an issue. So if you are going to need cash for our port day, plan ahead, either bring what you need or visit guest services early in our sailing to get the smaller bills.
    The second option is, like I just said, to make a plan ahead. Here is a chart that you can use to help you plan ahead and know what is best for your family. Oh, and keep a few dollars for your porters and drivers in San Juan.

    If you would like a copy of this program please let me know.

    413200

    Have a great week.
    ~ Tink ~
     
  • pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone, we have only 17 Mondays until we set sail.
    And I have a short but helpful Monday Forget Me Not for your this week.

    This is a Disney cruise, so a great number of us are traveling with kiddos, and we need to remember that adjusting to a new environment may be a little difficult especially at night when it is dark. And adding in a little bit of light, which can be easily forgotten, could help bedtime go a smig smoother. No, I'm not talking about a night light, we're not supposed to use those, plus your precious outlet space will probably be completely filled up over night charging you tech gear (phones, tablets, etc ). Instead, you can bring a flame-less (battery operated) candle, better known as a tea light or glow sticks. Small tea lights and glow sticks, are a cheap, safe way to bring a small amount of light to an otherwise very dark cabin. You can place a tea light on the desk or hang a glow stick from the cabinet handle, and then place one in the bathroom to help everyone find there way when the lights are out. One extra benefits of having the lights is emergency preparedness. I know no one likes to think about the what ifs, but it is a good idea to be ready for them.

    Oh, and one last thing, you don't have to travel with kiddos to have a cabin mate that is afraid of the dark. That is a fear that can come in adult size as well. FYI we always have to leave a light on in hotel rooms when we travel.

    Have a great week.

    ~Tink ~
    glow sticks.jpgtink tea light.jpg
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone.
    We are 16 Mondays away from our cruise and it is time for this week's Monday Forget Me Not's.

    Okay, this one is for the lady's....I always wondered what that phrase could ever be used for!

    When you're packing for a Disney Cruise, you have a choice to make - Pack your whole bathroom, or take advantage of Disney's complementary bathroom essentials.

    Disney does a great job at covering your bathroom needs. They have soap (bar form for face and hands), shampoo, conditioner, lotion (body butter) and even an ion hair dryer. These toiletries are top of the line H2O products.

    So, why am I adding this to the Forget Me Not's then, you ask. Well, for those of us who have sensitive skin, or those that have a product they swear by because the results are amazing, we need to plan ahead to take those items even if Disney has already stocked the bathroom up for you.

    Being a sailor w/ sensitive skin, and very long hair, I am one who has to consider what to and what not to bring.

    Below, I am going to go over each of the amenities 1 by 1 (or 2 by 2).

    Hand soap and face soap bars - On prior Disney cruises we have used the bar hand soap and been very
    pleased. However, on our last cruise, some one gave us a foaming hand soap
    from Bath and Body as a gift during the cruise. We put it in the bathroom, and
    found that the pump style soap was easier to use and made less of a mess. We
    decided that we would be bringing our own Bath and Body hand soap from that point on.

    As for the face bar (which is basically the soap you are expected to use in the
    shower), it has never been open in our cabin. This is because of a personal
    preference. We prefer to use a body wash w/ a puff.
    Now, there is word of a change that is coming (which I will talk about in a bit, but I am not sure of its arrival as of yet) Disney is adding refillable H20 body wash to all of its showers, industry wide. I am planning for the not yet, just in case.

    Shampoo and conditioner - My husband and the boys love Disney's H2O shampoo and conditioner. The products smell wonderful, and do an awesome job. I on the other hand, because of sensitive skin, have found that the H2O hair products and I don't get along. I will be packing these items for myself. For those of you who expect certain results from your products, I would suggest packing your own as well. That way, you
    can give the H2O products a try, and if they don't work for you, you will have your own there as a back up.

    Lotion (body butter) - When I smelt H20's Body Butter I was ready to be disappointed that I would not be able to use something that smelt so good, and I was sure that I would need to bring my own lotion as well. However, I do not. My skin agrees with it and it is outstanding. It does a great job moisturizing skin that is all dried out from wind and sun. And it had a long lasting result of soothing the itching irritated skin that my aloe vera only gave instant relief to.
    Tink Moment: This is a must buy for us before the end of the cruise because this is my favorite hand cream. It is also nice to have a smell that takes you back to your happy place!

    Hair Drier - This item is one that you will find debated on many cruise threads. "Is the dryer a good enough
    quality, and does it have enough power to dry my hair?" I would answer yes to both of these
    questions. As a matter of fact, I bought my ion hair drier after using one on the Disney cruise.
    My hair is extremely long, and tends to take quite a bit of time to dry. However, with the ion
    drier, I can dry my hair in about 5 minutes (that is straight out of the shower, without any air dry time). I do not know how well the drier will work for thick hair, as mine in very
    fine, but I would assume it would work just as well.
    Another thing to keep in mind. Any time we were in our cabin, and I am sure this is true for most sailors, we would put our digital devices on to charge. If you have brought your own hair dryer, you will need to use one of the precious few outlets to plug in your dryer. The one provided for you in the cabin has its own dedicated plug that only that dryer can plug in there. So, if you use the one provided, no device has to sacrifice its charging time.

    A little tidbit of Disney news that should not change what you decide to pack (except for the little bit of body wash I mentioned above if the switch over has made its way round to the Magic) -
    Last summer Disney announced an initiative to reduce the use of plastics in their parks, resorts, and on their cruise ships. Shortly after that announcement refillable toiletries including shampoo, conditioner and body wash started to be introduced in Disney World resort hotel rooms. Now, refillable toiletries are being introduced on Disney Cruise Line's Dream and Fantasy Ships.​
    The H2O products on the cruise ships are no longer in the “save and stow” packaging, but in individual, refillable dispensers. Each dispenser is supposed to have a tamper-proof seal when you enter your state room for the first time.​
    As we said above, these types of dispensers have been spotted on both the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy so far. We haven’t heard anything about their use on the Disney Magic or Disney Wonder as yet.​
    Originally Posted by Sarah Sands​
    on April 9, 2019​


    Hopefully, this helps you narrow down what is a must pack from your bathroom, and what can be left at home. Oh, and always remember to pack any liquids (like your bathroom items that are going in checked luggage...no drinks :drinking: those must be in carry on) in a zip lock bag (to be extra safe unscrew the lid, put a piece of plastic over the opening, than put the lid back on). One of our favorite pass times on boarding day is to watch them load the luggage on to the boat, and see if we can spot ours. And I promise you, there is no "Handle with Care" taking place on the dock. Our luggage is thrown, and dropped, and squished. It would be a horrible way to start you cruise if your soap or lotion ended up all over your clothes.
    disney-cruise-line-shower-toiletries-19-02.jpgdisney-cruise-line-shower-toiletries-19-01.jpg
    Have a great week
    ~Tink~
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone!!!!
    We are down to 15 Mondays until our cruise!!!!

    I was planning a special forget me not this week, and I was going to have a video to go with it. Unfortunately, the lens on my camera is cracked, and I have to wait for the replacement to arrive so that I can get the video ready. While fretting over my camera, I started to look back at previous cruises for an inspiration for today. I found one that I think is just as relevant today as it was back in January (as there are still travel advisories pertaining to this matter). Keep a look out for a 'Special Edition' Forget Me Not sometime this week. As for now....

    This weeks Monday Forget Me Not is inspired by an email I got, just prior to our last cruise from Disney Cruise Line warning us about the Zika Virus.
    (I have attached the email to the end of this Forget Me Not.)

    Anytime you travel to areas that are prone to mosquitoes it is a good idea to have a defense plan. In central and south Texas, this is a battle we prepare for in early Spring every year. If you are not used to fighting off this sucky pest, I have a few tips.

    You will read in the email from Disney that a bug repellent with DEET is recommended. However, several people are severely allergic to DEET. There are good repellents out there that are DEET free. Bull Frog sells what we call bug screen. It is a sunscreen that has a bug repellent in it. Also, we use Sun X towelette sun screen (I mention this because the same company also makes a bug repellent towelette - there are actually quite a few companies that make an easy to use towelette applicator including Avon {Skin So Soft}).
    If you want to stay away from the liquid / lotion type all together, there are bug bands available (little stretch bracelets, or live strong type of bracelets). There are a few different types out there (if you would like a picture of one, I can post the type that we got last season from groupon. Their's advertises that 1 band lasts for 100 hours...we find that about 3 days is the limit). As I just mentioned, you can find them on groupon. If you are in an area that does not have a mosquito problem, you may need to search some place like San Antonio or Houston's groupon page to find them. I have also seen a similar product in the camping section of our local Walmart. However, they are starting to run out of them this time of year, and they will usually not restock until early spring.
    Finally, a solution that works for a good number of people ( I am not sure if the difference between working or not is due to blood type, or body chemistry), is peppermint oil (it is one of the essential oils). I know you can find the actual oil at health food stores, but we have found that anything with peppermint oil in it works. Mine and my youngest son's favorite is a hand sanitizer spray that has the peppermint oil in it. EO peppermint hand sanitizer is the one we get from Lucky vitamin (online). With the spray, you are getting the sanitizer, which comes in handy on the boat (we like to have more than just the sanitizer wipes they give you before entering the dining areas), and the peppermint all in one. Bath and Body sells a Twisted Peppermint lotion, soap, and I think hand sanitizer during the Christmas season, as another option (if your bringing the liquid hand soap that I recommend last week, Twisted Peppermint would be a good choice).

    I would suggest putting what ever type of bug repellent you plan to use on your shopping list soon. The farther away from summer we get, the harder it will be to find.

    Another topic hand sanitizing brings up is protecting ourselves from a global outbreak that has put all international travelers in danger. Measles has now spread to many countries and outbreaks of the disease are occurring around the world. It has been recommended that before you travel internationally (actually my doctor recommend that before I travel to New York), regardless of where your destination may be, make sure you are protected fully against measles. If you are not sure, see your healthcare provider at least one month before your scheduled departure.
    The recommendation from the CDC for all travelers visiting Antigua are:

    Measles
    • Infants (6 through 11 months old): 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as the first dose in the routine childhood vaccination series.
    • People 12 months old or older, with no evidence of immunity or no written documentation of any doses: 2 doses of MMR vaccine before travel. The 2 doses must be given 28 days apart.
    • People 12 months old or older who have written documentation of 1 dose and no other evidence of immunity: 1 additional dose before travel, at least 28 days after the previous dose.

    We need to prepare before we go. Visit our doctors and make sure we are current on our vaccines. Go shopping for the best mosquito repellent for our family. Finally, prepare everyone for a more than regular hand washing routine. For our newbies, you will quickly learn to greet your cast members with open hands each time you arrive at one of your dining experiences. That is so that they can place a wet wipe in your hands in so that all the germs are left at the door. I am still waiting to see Mary Poppins at the entrance checking both sides of my hands to make sure I didn't miss any dirt. That is not enough to keep the germs of the more than 100 kiddos at bay. So, if we start now and have them wash each time they are by the sink, hopefully the only thing that will stick is the good habit of hand washing.
    For more information on travel advisories (including health advisories), I will add a few links in the next post.

    Here is the email I received from Disney just prior to our cruise last January:

    Important Information About Your Cruise​
    Reservation #:​
    Dear...,​
    We appreciate you booking a Disney Cruise Line vacation.​
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert for countries and territories in Latin American, the Caribbean and Bahamas where Zika virus, a mosquito related illness, has been found. They have also issued specific guidance for people living in or traveling to a specific areas in Florida.​
    The precautions recommended by the CDC are similar to those to prevent other mosquito borne illnesses and include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using EPA-registered insect repellents containing an active ingredient such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to the label.​
    While the most common symptoms are usually mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, pregnant women should pay special attention to the travel alert and take necessary precaution to avoid mosquito bites.​
    Additional information can be found under the Travelers Health and Zika virus update sections of the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and​
    Should you have any questions related to your sailing, please feel free to call us at 800-939-2784 or 407-566-7000.​
    Sincerely,​
    The Cast and Crew​
    Disney Cruise Line
    Have a great week,
    Tink
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Here are links to help you prepare for the cruise. They cover both tourist safety and CDC health warnings.




    If you decide to visit Barbuda keep in mind that the government has issued a level 1 travel advisory.
    While Antigua received little damage during the 2017 hurricane season, Barbuda was seriously damaged.
    Infrastructure on Barbuda is still being rebuilt and there is power to fewer than half of the residences on the island.



    Antiqua Measles warning- https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/cruise_ship/antigua-and-barbuda?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001


    Puerto Rico Medical warning - https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/puerto-rico

    Additional information can be found under the Travelers Health and Zika virus update sections of the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and

    .
     
  • pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone. We have 14 Mondays until we set sail.
    This weeks Forget Me Not is for the Kid in all of us, it's our autograph collection.
    Now you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I can bet you did not choose to come on a Disney cruise because it was the cheapest or the best value for your dollar. And I know that I didn't come on this Disney cruise just because of the great kids programs that they have to offer (side note: this is an empty nester's cruise this year). Chances are, we are all here because at least one person, if not more, in our cabins is a Disney fan. And in most cases, a HUGE Disney, or fill in your favorite character, fan. To the point that, "An adult member of your traveling party, over the age of 18", will stay up late, "Until midnight Eastern Standard Time (or as the Gold Castaway members who where online as part of the group this past weekend trying to help keep each other awake learned 11:30 PM If Disney feels like it - which actually is a lot) the night before there booking window opens. For the following ritual that takes place for every one of Disney's cruises.
    The date for your online check-in is approaching quickly, so you 1) Make sure you final payment for the cruise is made. We did have a minor scare attack about that this past weekend, but everything is okay, he still had 15 more days. 2) You find out from your Super Fan which ticketed event is most important (and if this Super Fan is a child, do they want an appointment a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or the Pirate's League to be perfectly ready for the event. 3) Stay up really late when our booking window opens to make sure we get a ticket for our super fan to meet their character and get autographs.
    If your favorite character doesn't naturally have a beautiful singing voice that draws animal near and far to be her best friend, then you are with at least 50% of the boat, and we get to use our navigator to track our characters down and hope that there is not a line when we get there.
    Let me jump in here really quick and dispel any rumors that you may have heard about the easy route at guest services. That, unfortunately, is a thing of the past. There was a day in the past that we used to be able to bring what ever we wanted signed to guest services and they would take and pass it around to all of our favorite characters and return it to our cabin, magically, signed. However, The characters finally put their foot, wing, light saber, glass slipper, and so on down and said, " You have us out all day doing what we love, being around our adoring fans, but by the end of a day of signing, our hands are hurting. We need to rest. Everyone else gets time off we want some too!" Well, the rest is history. The Captains listened and ended the guest service turn in and sign. Now, it is up to each of us to track down our favorites and ask nicely for their John Hancock. When you think about it though, It isn't all that bad. We have just as many characters as Magic Kingdom (I was careful how I worded that, we are not on a Star Wars day at Sea or a Marvel day at Sea, so we don't have any of the studio characters). We have fewer people waiting to see each character at the same time, so you are able to see more characters.
    So, we have covered the why and the how. Now let's cover the what.
    Things have come a long way since the old autograph book. Don't get me wrong, there are still autograph books out there, but know they are more for scrap booking with pictures and other pieces of memories from the day. The problem with an autograph book is you close the book and put it on a shelf or a table and the memories get lost. So, how can autographs bring back the smiles of joy, the eyes that lit up from amazement, or the laughs from your dinner teams evening antics. Have them out where you can see them , hold them, use them, and interact with them.
    Before I share my ideas, I want to share another character you may not of thought of that is on the top of my list, and will make since as I continue on. Probably without thinking about it, if you have been to the parks or on a Disney cruise, you have called those that are taking care of us Cast Members. That is because they are part of the show. When I am on board, I feel they are the stars of my show, and I want to remember them as much as I do the experience that I have with Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.
    And before I am done, I will have included them as well.
    My first suggestion is probably fairly common, as it is a suggestion all over Etsy and Pinterest, a picture frame. I am not referring to the metal kind you get at the Dollar store. I thinking more like the one that has a cardboard matting inside, like a frame that has spots for 4 different pictures in the same frame ( a square, a circle, an oval and rectangle). You would not have to bring the whole frame, you would just bring the matting, and get your autographs on that. You can also go to Michael's, and purchase the matting there for a specific size of frame. Along the same line is a scrap booking page that is trimmed down to fit into a frame or used as a poster for a kid's room. One final thought on ways to see them, you can bring a sturdy card stock (large enough for all of the autographs, yet small enough to fit into your luggage without being bent) to get all of your autographs on. When you get home, you can digitally scan them to use as your home screen or cover photo for any of your online pages.
    A fun way to get autographs is on a stuffed animal. The kids love this, because then they get to sleep with them. You can now find the Fab 5 made for autographing. If a stuffed Mickey isn't big enough to hold all of the autographs you are going to be getting, you can also bring a pillow case. For Items that will be getting washed, make sure you bring fabric or clothes markers and take it up to the laundry on board and iron it before packing it to make sure to set the color in. Speaking of fabric markers, my boys used to love getting Stitch and Tigger to sign their shirts (make sure the shirts aren't on when they are asking to get them signed).
    In the first 2, I also tossed in some ways to use the items that are singed, but I have a few more. One of my favorite autograph collectors is one that has out lasted all the rest. It was from a year we where heading to the parks in the spring so we were expecting some rain showers. I made a special character umbrella for each of us out of those small pocket umbrellas. The characters where only out when it wasn't raining, thus our umbrellas were dry and ready to be signed. Another useful item that you will continue to use and carry your vacation memories with you long after you get home is a backpack.
    And finally on to interacting with them. The autographs I have collected thus far have been from all of our favorite Disney movie and cartoon characters, and they have been in written form. The next set of characters I want to remember are the cast members that I will be meeting , and the ship itself. During your cruise, you will have a few friendly faces that will be around every day, and they will each have a 'catch phrase' or something that you will remember them for. For example we had a steward that was always smiling and always the same thing, "Good morning Miss Tink, how are you doing this morning?" Of course afternoon or evening would be substituted when appropriate. And we had one Head Server on our dinning rotation that would holler a greeting to my son Clark every time that he saw him around the boat, "There's my Superman". These kinds of things stick and remind you of the fun, they even can take you back a cruise or two when you happen to be sailing with your favorite cast member again. How can you keep them with you though? Before the cruise is over, use the voice record on your phone and ask them to say the phrase that makes you think of them. Once you save it to your phone you can use it as a ring tone or an alarm. Oh, alarm, that reminds me, my favorite autograph of all is also the most illusive. The horn on the Magic, and on all of the Disney ships, is it's autograph. The captain will give us warning during the cruise before he shows off the horns capabilities, but you have to be quick to be able to record it. This will be my 10th Disney cruise, and I still don't have my ring tone.
    So, if you happen to be a quicker draw than I am, can you do me a favor and share the audio recording of the Magics ship horn!

    Have a great week
    Tink
    autograph frame disney cruise.jpgdisney-cruise-line-autographed-vinylmation.jpg
     

    jkids

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2008
    Hi, we just booked - looking forward to sailing out of NYC! This will be our third Disney Cruise. Hopefully there will be some more activity on this board soon :)
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Hi, we just booked - looking forward to sailing out of NYC! This will be our third Disney Cruise. Hopefully there will be some more activity on this board soon :)
    Welcome to the group jkids!
    :welcome::welcome::welcome:

    I agree. I keep posting so that the thread stays up where it can be found, hoping new families will find us. Usually when the cruise reaches the point of online check in, the board will get really busy. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed.
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    Happy Monday everyone. We are now down to 13 Mondays until we set sail.
    And we are now into the double digits in our count down. So let's celebrate with a bit of Mickey Magic!
    I wanted to use today's Forget Me Not to remind you to bring your Ears! I know you all already have a set attached to your head, and those are not the ones I am referring to. I am talking about your favorite Mickey / Disney Ears. I don't know about you, but I would not make a trip to any of the Disney parks without my ears. Well, the cruise is no different. Characters and cast members alike love to see guests immersing themselves in the magic. And one way to do that is to show off your favorite pair of Mickey Ears.
    minnie and my ears.JPG
    If you are planning on get pictures with characters, Mickey Ears always make a nice addition to your wardrobe, plus, it is fun to see the characters reaction to your choice.
    You will see me sporting my Minnie Ears on my Disney Cruise sailor hat on day 1. Beyond that, who knows when the Mouse spirit will strike.
    If this is your first time sailing with Disney, but you have visited the parks before, plan to show your excitement the same as you would at the parks. After all, we are actually going to be on a floating Disney park!
    sailor minnie.JPG
    And if you find you don't have enough luggage space for your ears, just wear them when your boarding!
    One extra bonus of having your ears with you, is they work great to decorate your cabin with. We like to liven up our cabin with not only our ears, but my Tink wings as well.
    Don't be afraid to let the kid in you out.
    If you need to find a pair before we sail, Claire's usually has pretty good sales, but their selection has not been all that good lately. You can also find good prices on plain ears if you look on line at Walmart and Target. If you are looking for something with a little more personality, check out Etsy. There are several different creative minds creating awesome ears at good prices. Or, there is always the option for those crafty endowed among us, that can make there own. If, you fall into the last group, message me. I would be interested in your creative style. I have someone who has a head that needs a pair of special ears.
    That is it for today. Have a great Week
    ~Tink~
     

    pixiehallow

    Tinker Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2010
    We are booked for this cruise! 2 separate families. Weve never done a fish exchange. What do we do?
    Well, first let me start with a proper welcome.
    Welcome to the group Cocolynn Family!!!
    :welcome: :welcome: :welcome:

    There is a sign up for the Fish Extender (if that was what you were meaning), and I will get the person in charge of that to reach out to you about that shortly.
    Now on the chance that your question was more about the participation aspects, let me give you the best condensed version I can (so you don't have to read a novel)!

    Taking part in a Fish Extender is similar to a Secret Santa. You are in a group of cabins that will all be participating with the same cabins. Let's say there are 5 cabins, you would make gifts (or bring) for the other 4 cabins, and they would bring gifts for 4 cabins (yours is included on their list). At some point during the cruise, you would deliver the gifts to the cabins. Now keep in mind the Secret Santa part. You don't knock on the door to deliver the gifts. There will be a Fish Extender (this is where the gift exchange got its name) hanging from the fish beside your door (If you would like the history of the Fish Exchange, I have a YouTube video all about the long version of it that I can get you the link for). The other cabins will be doing this as well, so you would need to have a Fish Extender outside of your door hanging from your fish. As for gifts, There are no limits. You can make a gift or buy a gift. You can get a gift for each person in the cabin, or you can get one gift for the entire cabin. You can get a gift for the kids in the cabin and a gift for the adults in the cabin. You can do just one gift and deliver just one time or you can do multiple gifts and deliver several times throughout the cruise. What my advise to everyone always is, is to look at your budget (your financial budget, your time budget {both before the cruise and during} and your luggage budget {by that I mean space}. Before you start deciding what you are going to do know what you are going to be able to do. To help with your time budget, a group of 5 on the Magic will take about 10 minutes to deliver to. A group of 10 will take about 15 minutes. If you want some ideas for gifts, you can google FE gifts this will also help you get an idea of what a Fish Extender looks like. I also have some pictures of FE's I have given and received, plus there are some pictures in the video I was referring to.
    I hope that covered it all.
     

    Cocolynn

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2019
    No, she hasnt. I was waiting to see if id see something from her here. Is there a way for me to message her directly? Im new to this.
     

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