crazycatperson does the Big Meet-Up

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We didn't stay at Trader Sam's long, and while lingering in the Poly lobby our group expanded.

Next stop was the Grand Floridian. Unfortunately the main bar was closed, so we crowded into the bar at one of the restaurants - help me out, folks, was it Citricos? Anyway. Here is a photo of most of the group we had at this point. First photo includes DisneyDee, JMed, and the Colonel; second one is Mrs. Colonel, luvalldisney, and JoAnn C. (Mr. JMed was probably off procuring a drink or finding a chair we could borrow.)

Edited to add: almost forgot the photo of hubby and me.

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With time our group continued to grow. First photo, Mr. JMed returns and Mr. and Mrs. Ohio arrive; second photo, same bunch.

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Final photo from the Grand Floridian, Robynprincess arrives.

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By this time we had claimed a nearby table when it was vacated so we could spread out a bit. Unfortunately for Robyn, we it was getting rather late and the Wave was waiting for us, so she didn't even get to order a drink. As it was, we were just a touch late for our ADR, but no matter, they had a humongous table set aside for us. I only have photos of the food hubby and I ordered, which was excellent. I think someone else got photos of all of us at the table, so I expect one will show up on another trip report soon enough.

Of course I don't remember exactly what we ordered. I think I got the crabcake appetizer, at least that's what it looks like. Hubby got mussels first. For our main dishes hubby got some kind of fish, no I don't recall what kind, and I got cornish game hen, which was way too much food. And we were much too stuffed for dessert.

The Wave is one of WDW's hidden gems, try it sometime.

After dinner we went over to Top of the World Lounge and watched HalloWishes, then dispersed for the night. Some of us had to get to a cruise ship the next morning!

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Monday, October 17 - time to go on a cruise for many of us.

I only have three photos from this day - two from the Boardwalk lobby and one of a Carnival ship docked near the Disney Dream. Other people, I am sure, took other photos, so check their trip reports.

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Our day began early because cruise staff had to pick up our luggage to transport it to the ship. Unfortunately for us, we weren't scheduled to depart for the cruise terminal until after noon, so we had time to kill while we waited. We got some food from the Boardwalk Bakery and lounged in one of the Boardwalk's bars, which doubles as a coffee and pastry stop in the morning. And finally we were on our way! The trip to Port Canaveral was completely uneventful (or as I've said before, at least I don't recall any events). As many of you who have taken Disney's Caribbean/Bahamas cruises know, you can see the ship from a distance as you approach the port, which was rather exciting. Then we negotiated the cruise terminal obstacle course (scan bags, show passports and documents, etc.) and then we got to board. In case any of our group happened to be in the ship's atrium, I had us announced as the "crazycatperson party," but none of our bunch heard it. We quickly found our stateroom (Deck 6 starboard slightly forward of midship and not far from Robynprincess and her family), checked it out, dumped our carry-on bags, and hoofed it to the buffet because those pastries had worn of a while ago. And we found some of the Meet-Up crowd at the buffet - but no photos to remind me who it was, bummer. I saw the cruise bunch so often during the week that I am having a hard time remembering specifics. Anyway, the food was tasty, but those crab claws sure were hard to crack, even with a cracker. I skipped them during future buffet lunches.

Time for the mandatory safety drill approached. Hubby didn't want to arrive early, since last time it involved a whole lot of standing around while stragglers wandered in, but this time it actually wouldn't have been so bad since our muster location was inside the Walt Disney Theater. The drill went pretty much as usual - this is where you meet, stop talking please, this is how you put on your life vest, no I mean it, please pay attention, yadda yadda yadda. Hubby said something to me during part of the Spanish-language announcements, but I shushed him fearing the head honcho in charge would have a cross word for us.

Then it was time for the sail away party. A bunch of us were already using the Disney Cruise app to text one another, so bit by bit we found one another up on Deck 12 starboard, where we could be seen by the Port Canaveral webcam.

If I recall correctly, first night's entertainment was the Golden Mickeys, which hubby and I missed on our first Disney cruise due to a Palo dinner reservation. The bunch of us all found each other on the right of the theater near the front of the back section of seats and mostly ended up there for the rest of the cruise's shows. The show was cute and worth seeing, but now that we have I don't know that I would bother on future cruises. We all had late seating for dinner, and our first night was at Enchanted Garden, which was, well, a dining room without a whole lot to make it memorable. Our extra-long table was backed up against a wall, making getting in and out difficult for those of us in the back and also making service a problem, but it was just for this one night; the rest of the cruise our tables were out in the open. Our service team, and no I do not remember their names, was good for the most part. The head server and server were veterans and obviously knew their job, but the consensus was that the assistant was new and made a few mistakes - and we noticed the server correcting him and giving instructions occasionally, which reinforced the assumption that he might have been earning his ears. Veteran cruiser DisneyDee had fun explaining to Prince Simon that on a cruise you can totally mix things up, ask for extras, switch out side dishes, whatever. He definitely liked it. (So did I.)

I do not recall what, if anything, we did after dinner. If any of my fellow cruisers can fill in details for cruise departure day, please do.

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Who was on the cruise?

Hubby and I, of course; luvalldisney; DisneyDee; JoAnn C; the Colonel and Mrs. Colonel; Mr. and Mrs. Ohio; and Robynprincess, her prince, and I guess that would make her parents the King and Queen.

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I'm dying over that Joy and Bing Bong costume! That is so cute! And I love that you got announced as crazycatperson!

Loving seeing all the pictures of you guys all together! Looks like it was a blast!

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Damn, we should have been introduced as The Colonel and Mrs. The Colonel. Great idea. Oh well, next time.

The servers were Stacy and Aziz. I don't remember the supervisor's name. We barely had contact with her.

On night one after dinner, I know Noreen and I just went to bed. We were wiped out. And if I recall, that was the roughest seas of the cruise. The ship rocked us to sleep.

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Amazing trip report so far. Looking forward to hearing more from you and everyone elses points of view awesome

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Tuesday, October 18 was Nassau day.

I'm going to take a moment to compare the Dream with our first Disney ship, the Wonder. Obviously, the Dream is larger and newer. We cruised on the Wonder before the current renovation and got the ship as it was originally designed, so if your first Wonder cruise is in the future you will see a different ship than we did. However, I think I liked the Wonder's buffet better than the Dream's. The Wonder has (had) two long buffet tables, one on each side of the ship, with four lines total since passengers can walk down either side of each table. On the Dream they have numerous buffet stations, which they tout as an advantage but I found to be more of a pain since numerous people had to crowd around the more popular stations (Mickey waffles for example) whereas on the Wonder we would each pass by in order as we progressed down the line. Yes, stations mean you don't get hung up next to stuff you don't want waiting for others to move along, but I still found it easier and more orderly. More on the differences between the ships in future posts.

For hubby and me, this was our first voyage to the Bahamas, but we had heard from sooooo many veteran cruisers that Nassau was nothing special. Still, we wanted to do something while in port. On our non-Disney Bermuda cruise last spring we took a glass-bottom boat tour, which was not as spectacular as I'd imagined since, according to the tour guides, Bermuda's coral isn't as colorful as tropical coral because Bermuda is too far north. Okay! So now we're in the Bahamas, let's do another glass-bottom boat tour! Unfortunately, this tour was no more colorful than the one in Bermuda. And on top of that, the boat didn't have enough room below for everyone to view the sea floor at once, so for half the tour we were just sitting above looking around. Next Nassau day I think we'll just stay on the ship.

Here is a photo of the sea floor taken on the glass-bottom boat.

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Our glass-bottom boat picked us up a short walk from the ship, but let us off much farther away as required by law (no doubt to make sure we had to walk past the numerous people selling conch shells and other trinkets on the sidewalks along the way). This did enable us to get a glimpse of the tiny bit of Nassau visible along the docks, but if you've seen one tourist trap area you already know what this part of Nassau looks like. I stopped along the way to get a couple of photos of docked ships - along with the Dream, a Royal Caribbean ship that looked exactly like the Grandeur of the Seas, which we cruised to Bermuda in May, and is in the same ship class.

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Our glass-bottom boat tour started in the morning, so back on the ship we headed for the buffet for lunch. Often at the buffet we would find, and sit with, members of the WDWFG meet-up, but I don't recall exactly when it happened, so can't be specific.

That afternoon hubby and I had booked a couples massage at the spa. Oh, yeah! The couples massage is a Swedish massage, but we love hot stone massages so we upgraded. We had a couple of lovely young women and a massage room with windows overlooking the front of the ship (and really hoping the teenagers lounging down on the teen area's private pool deck at the front of the ship couldn't see through those windows because I was buck nekkid). Oh, boy, those massages are so relaxing. It's become something we do on every cruise we take.

After the massage I took advantage of the roomy showers in the locker room to clean up and wash my hair. They provide shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and even razors and hair dryers if you need them, so anytime I have a spa appointment I use their showers instead of the cramped shower in our stateroom.

Quick aside - I am writing this while watching Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and between thinking of cruise food and watching the show boy, I am drooling. And if I were on a Disney cruise right now I could just walk up to the pool deck and get something to eat. Why am I not on a Disney ship right now?

The show this evening was Villains Tonight, which we had never seen before and is absolutely my favorite Disney cruise show. I mean, who doesn't love a good villain? It was also Halloween on the High Seas night and our first of two evenings dining in Royal Palace, which is, yes, just another dining room. Nice but nothing special, and I have no food photos so I can't even tell you what we ordered each evening. It was all good, though. Some of our party were dressed for Halloween at dinner, and you should've seen Robynprincess's family's outfits. Mom and Dad were Olaf and Sven from Frozen, while Robyn and Simon were two tropical birds from the Tiki Room. Wonderful costumes, and I'm sure photos will be posted in other folks' trip reports. Hubby and I don't go all out on costumes - hubby wore his giraffe print T-shirt and giraffe Mickey Mouse ears; I wore black leggings, a long black shirt, black cat ears, a teal "cat" collar (actually a real dog collar, and trying them on at PetSmart was fun), and paste-on cat whiskers and nose. Meow.

After dinner a bunch of us headed to one of the bars (I think it was called Evolution) for the adult Halloween party and costume contest. At the beginning of the party, everyone in costume went down to the stage and danced while crew members handed out nominations for the costume contest. There were different categories so anyone who put any effort into a costume had a shot at winning something. At this point Mr. and Mrs. Colonel had changed into costume, and Mrs. Colonel wore an amazing witch costume. And here I was, a black cat! So of course we hung together; what witch doesn't need a black cat? Mrs. Colonel got a nomination for "most spooky," so when that category came up I went along with her and catted it up as much as I could; since my costume was nothing special I knew I had to sell the cat. The photo below is Robynprincess's, and yes, that is me down on all fours being a kitty. I even meowed and hissed and guess what? We won! There was only one trophy for the both of us, and since Mrs. Colonel had an awesome costume and I was just going on meows, I thought she should have it. But they did give us each a little trinket - think they were luggage tags but LOL since I still haven't unpacked the summer clothes and stuff from the suitcase I cannot be sure.

Robyn and Simon very nearly won a different category in the costume contest with their superb Tiki Bird outfits, but another guy did a good Two-Face (the Batman villain). He actually grew half a beard to pull it off. Well, his costume wasn't any better than Robyn's and Simon's were, but his crowd was sitting close to the stage where ours was at the back of the room, so we think he won because the crew members running the show could hear his people better.

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I am just now realizing how few photos I took on this trip, probably at least in part because we were so busy with the meet-up group. Fortunately with so many of us on the same trip, others will post photos of things I missed.

Here are a couple of photos I took from our verandah as the ship sailed away from Nassau. It's the huge Atlantis resort.

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As I was writing up the Halloween party, I recalled that a few of us visited the same bar the previous evening. Hubby, DisneyDee, and I participated in a contest, I forget the name of it, but the idea was that you answered questions as a team and whichever team agreed with the majority most often won. So the three of us competed as a team. Questions ran along the line of naming something men hide in the garage (the answers being things like beer and porn). And yay, we won! Of course the prize was nothing special; the bag contained four each of some little trinkets, which we split half for hubby and me and half for Dee so her wife could have some stuff too. On our first cruise we skipped the adults-only games in the bar, but now that I've done some I will definitely do them again.

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Wednesday, October 19 was Castaway Cay Day, Pirate Night, and our second night dining at Royal Palace. And I have NO photos at all from this day! So I really hope my fellow cruisers have a bunch to share in their trip reports.

We were in Castaway Cay by the time I woke up Wednesday morning. Our fellow cruisers who did the 5k were probably done and lounging on the beach by then. Our room on the starboard side of the ship had a wonderful view of the beaches and everything - wish I had a picture to show you. (Kicking self right now.) Although everyone raves about Castaway Cay, I was in no real hurry to get there, preferring to take advantage of the empty ship to get some midweek laundry done. There was a laundry room forward on our deck (right around the corner from your staterooms, Robyn), so I gathered up our dirty stuff and headed on over. And could not figure out how to make the machines work. Finally had to flag down a nearby stateroom attendant to show me how. And as always, it took like three times in the dryer to get everything dry. I spent part of the wait sitting on the pool deck watching a movie.

After starting the dryer the second time, it was time to get my butt onto the island to meet some of my fellow cruisers for a barbecue lunch. I found some of them just getting ready to leave the adult beach and head over to the adults-only barbecue. The lunch options included hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, ribs, salads, and chips - this is not a complete list, just what I remember. I got a burger AND a hot dog along with cole slaw and chips. I was underwhelmed. I mean, it wasn't bad, just wasn't awesome either. Maybe the ribs and chicken were better, but I was just in the mood for burgers and dogs.

After lunch we hopped on a tram and stopped at the family beach to check out the shopping. Most of what I saw was touristy Disney merchandise, but I did find a Castaway Cay pin for hubby's collection of pins from Disney places we've visited - I do Disney cats, he does resorts and now cruises, ships, and islands. And then it was time to head back to the ship for me.

So, Castaway Cay. It was okay. A nice beach for sure, but nothing that really drew me. I'm not really a sit-on-the-beach kind of person - honestly, my favorite thing to do at a beach resort is sit on my balcony with a good book overlooking the surf, and I could do that from our balcony on the ship. I was interested in renting a kayak, but doing laundry was more important. Maybe next time we stop at Castaway Cay I will discover its many attractions and wish I'd done more this time around.

Hubby never even made it off the ship. In addition to our couples massage, I had booked him a shave at the spa for his birthday that would've included the hot towel thing, a face and head massage, and I think a facial, don't recall. Pretty indulgent, at any rate. But when we were at the spa the previous day, somebody talked him into acupuncture and he asked if he could do that for his birthday instead. He canceled the shave and booked a package of three acupuncture treatments instead; the first was immediately after our massage and the second was first thing Wednesday morning. He went off to that before I got up and then after breakfast came back to the room and napped while I did laundry and stuff. By the time he woke up I was already on my way back to the ship, so he got his lunch on board instead - by then they were packing up the barbecue places on the island, but I assured him that a burger and hot dog on board would be just as good as the ones I had on the island.

And what did we do with our afternoon? No, seriously, I'm asking. I know we sat on the veranda and watched as the ship pulled away. I know I showered and got dressed for pirate night. But beyond that, I'm clueless as to what I might have done between my return to the ship and heading to the theater for the evening's entertainment, which was...was it the ventriloquist act? I really need to take a few notes next trip.

Not a lot of our party made it to the evening's show, probably because it wasn't one of the Disney stage extravaganzas. I do have to say that the ventriloquist was a real hoot even though I'm not sure whether she did this show or not. (I do know that she did adults-only shows back in the bar in the late evening.)

For dinner we had a smaller party than normal because some of the meet-up group had Palo reservations that evening. Many of the rest of us came our in our pirate gear. Dee really went all piratey and I hope someone got a photo. Hubby and I did pirates the same way we did Halloween, a few accessories but not a lot of effort. I wore a Mickey and Minnie scarf as a head wrap, one hoop earring from the pair of clip-ons I purchased at a Halloween store, my striped T-shirt, and a hook hand; hubby had a black head scarf, a striped shirt that we bought on the ship, the other hoop earring, and a parrot on his shoulder (that kept falling off). Of course my hook hand had to come off to eat, but I tried to keep it on most of the time.

Later on several of us met up on deck 12 starboard for the pirate party. We managed to find a spot close enough to a railing to see the pirate festivities on the big screen if not on stage and also had a great position to see the fireworks. Here in the Bahamas there was something we didn't have in the Pacific on the Wonder last year - another cruise ship on the horizon to poach our fireworks! I wonder if it was the Royal Caribbean ship we saw in Nassau? And it's not like the other ship's passengers could see all that much. For me, the best part of the pirate party was getting to share it with our WDWFG friends.

And that's about everything I remember from Castaway Cay Day/Pirate Night.

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Thursday, October 20 - sea day.

Several of our group already had Palo brunch reservations this morning and all of us wanted to be able to do it together except Mr. and Mrs. Ohio, who had Remy brunch instead. On boarding day Robyn and Simon went wherever you go to make reservations onboard, cancelled everyone's existing reservations, and made one for all of us at 10:00 am. So a little before 10:00 hubby and I made our way to where we thought Palo was and discovered the entrance is not in the same place as it is on the Wonder. Oops. Meanwhile everyone else was waiting for us in a lounge off the restaurant's entrance. Sorry, folks.

Since it was so early Palo wasn't at all crowded yet. Our excellent server showed us to our seats and then took us on a tour of the sumptuous buffet options. I have a photo of the dessert table only because everything else was in a darker area, but I know others did get some photos. Check out the other trip reports, folks, that brunch buffet is amazing. They had an unbelievable variety of items and everything was delicious. And there was also a menu of hot items to order, and we could have as much as we wanted! I had a flatbread pizza and stuff from the buffet, nothing else, but several of our group tried two or three different things off the menu. Also, a glass of champagne or a mimosa was included with the meal, but you had to pay extra for more. Robyn ordered a mimosa but didn't want it, and she kindly offered it to me, so I shared with hubby. I cannot recall all the different things on the menu, but I'm sure there will be other wonderful descriptions in other trip reports. Hubby and I had dinner at Palo on our Hawai'i cruise last year, but from now on we'll do Palo for brunch. As good as their dinner is, their brunch is so much better.

Photos - our brunch group, birthday wishes from the Palo staff, and the dessert table. Our group, from left to right, are Robynprincess and her hubby, DisneyDee, Robyn's parents, JoAnn C, our waiter, Mrs. Colonel and the Colonel, luvalldisney, me, and hubby.

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Hubby and I have become total suckers for hot stone massages, and we had another booked this afternoon, in the same treatment room and with the same masseuses. And enjoyed this one as much as the first. Once again, I utilized the spa showers to clean up for the rest of the day. I spent part of the afternoon back on the pool deck watching another movie, but the area was fairly crowded and it was hard to hear the movie, so after a bit I gave up. I also blew a fair chunk of time packing up to leave the next morning, boo!

The show this evening was Believe, basically the story of a kid trying to convince her dad to believe in Disney magic who gets a little help from several Disney characters. Fun, but not as good as Villains Tonight.

Dinner this evening was finally in Animator's Palate. Having experienced the original version of this dining room on the Disney Wonder, I looked forward to seeing the updated version, but was a little disappointed. I loved interactive talking animated Crush, but I'd also loved how the Wonder's version of the restaurant started out in black and white and gradually changed to living color. I wish they could've found a way to incorporate that along with the animated video screens.

Shipmate DisneyDee had been frequenting the ship's bingo games all week, and on this final full day of the cruise she won a jackpot! Go Dee! So at dinner she shared her good fortune with all of us by purchasing champagne for the table. Thank you, Dee!

After dinner a few of us headed back to the nightclub district for some more of those adults-only games. The room was divided in half, each half was a team, and we were competing for absolutely nothing more than bragging rights. Still, it was fun. This was one of those slightly risque games that had men pretending to be Tom Cruise in his tighty whiteys from Risky Business, and yes, the dudes stripped down to their undies but all got demerits for not actually having tighty whiteys. Robyn very nearly got picked to represent our team for 80s Big Hair, but another woman managed to get hers ponytailed up almost perfectly. After the contest, the ventriloquist I mentioned earlier did another adults-only show, but I had seen it already so I left after a bit. Thought my evening was over, but hubby texted me from a bar up above the pool deck near one of the smoking areas. They had Galliano, a favorite liqueur of ours, so he asked me to come up and have one. Well, what the heck - it was getting late and we had to be up early to catch a bus back to Disney World, but I could always nap on the bus. Hubby told me the bar was aft, so I went up to deck 13 aft and found a miniature golf course. Turns out hubby thought aft meant the front of the ship. Eventually I found him, with a little help from him, and I had that Galliano (it's an herbal liqueur, very nice). Then I headed back to bed while hubby had another drink or two with his buddies at the smoking lounge.

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crazycatperson wrote:
We didn't stay at Trader Sam's long, and while lingering in the Poly lobby our group expanded.

Next stop was the Grand Floridian. Unfortunately the main bar was closed, so we crowded into the bar at one of the restaurants - help me out, folks, was it Citricos? Anyway. Here is a photo of most of the group we had at this point. First photo includes DisneyDee, JMed, and the Colonel; second one is Mrs. Colonel, luvalldisney, and JoAnn C. (Mr. JMed was probably off procuring a drink or finding a chair we could borrow.)

Edited to add: almost forgot the photo of hubby and me.

Mr JMed was in that 2nd picture sitting at the bar answering work emails laugh

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Sounds wonderful so far! I really wish we could have made the cruise!

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Aha! I didn't recognize his back. But of course you did. We all wished you (and several other folks) had come along on the cruise also.

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The cruise sounds wonderful! I really need to get on a Disney ship sometime in the near future!

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Friday, October 21 - time to get off the ship, booooo! But we still had a weekend at WDW, yay!

Because we had the second seating for dinner, we were scheduled to have breakfast back at Animator's Palate at 8:00 am, but because we were taking a Disney bus back to the Boardwalk we had to be off the ship and on a bus no later than 9:00 am so we had no time for our table-service breakfast. Our marvelous Disney travel agent Alicemouse recommended that we pick up some pastries or whatever the day before to eat in our stateroom before leaving the ship, but guess what? The buffet was open just for folks like us. Only one side was open and the selection wasn't as varied as usual, but it was still a good breakfast. Hubby and I found a few of our group at breakfast again; eventually most of us found each other on our way off the ship and posed for a photo. Everyone but Mr. and Mrs. Ohio was there, but the photo was taken with somebody else's camera so you'll have to wait till they post it.

Some of our group had traveled to the port via car, so we split up at this point with plans to meet again over the course of the weekend. The Colonel and Mrs. Colonel bused to the Beach Club and luvalldisney was heading for the Boardwalk, so the five of us took the same bus.

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We got the the Boardwalk fairly early so of course our rooms weren't ready yet. Hubby and I checked all our bags with bell services, but luvalldisney wanted to do some laundry. She couldn't get into the laundry room on the inn side of the resort because she needed - I think she needed to use her magic band to get in, but since she wasn't checked in yet it wouldn't work. On the Villas side, however, the laundry room doesn't require key access, perhaps because the larger villas have their own washers and dryers so there's less demand for the laundry room on that side of the resort. Unfortunately the machine that dispenses detergent malfunctioned and her detergent got stuck in the machine, but a CM came down to help.

Hubby and I decided it was time to hit the Food and Wine Festival again and headed over. We headed around counterclockwise again; hubby started with the incredible pork belly and black beans again, but I wanted to try new things and passed on that. He's eating his pork belly in the first photo below. I think he also got a kefta pocket at Morocco along the way. My first stop was Japan, this time trying the garlic shrimp pictured below; after that we both hit Hops and Barley for a lobster roll.

At this point my phone really needed a charge, so we hit the Chase lounge. There was a line to get in, but the wait wasn't bad and soon we were inside the air conditioned comfort and sipping complimentary beverages while my phone charged. Of course it was fairly crowded; we ended up finding seats at a table on the far side of the lounge, but I wasn't horribly happy there because the air conditioning didn't quite seem to make it that far. Still, it was cooler than outdoors. This was our first visit to the Chase lounge; it's a convenient place to take a break if you happen to have a Chase credit card, but if you don't, you aren't missing a whole lot. The Chase lounge is not a particularly picturesque space. And aside from the charging stations, you could just as easily take a break in the quick-service restaurant in the American Adventure pavilion, or for that matter inside the pavilion itself while waiting for the next show. I have no photos; trust me, it wasn't really worth it.

Once we were rested and my phone was in better shape we decided to visit the DVC lounge in the Imagination pavilion to see about getting new DVC cards. Now, THIS is a lounge worth having access to. It's in the upper level of the pavilion where there used to be exhibits and attractions (that we have never seen but that I understand are still back there somewhere). The seating area seems a bit thrown together, but the huge glass roof makes it beautiful. To get into the lounge, you check in down on the ground level and are escorted up, then you check in again with CMs at a desk upstairs. This is also where we arranged to get new DVC cards. Then we got another beverage and found some comfortable seats to kick back and relax some more. I could easily spend a whole lot of time in this lounge.

While in the DVC lounge I got a text letting me know our room back at the Boardwalk was ready, so we decided to head back. In order to leave the DVC lounge, you have to check out at the desk where you check in, I guess so they know how many people are there at any given time.

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As on the previous weekend, we were in a studio villa, although this time the room was not accessible, so instead of a roll-in shower on the right of the bathroom sink, we had a regular tub/shower in the same room as the toilet. Each layout had its advantages for those of us who don't need an accessible room. Otherwise there were only minor differences between the two rooms.

In describing our first night at the Boardwalk a week earlier, I think I mentioned that I found the bed to be horribly uncomfortable, as in no way I will ever get a decent night's sleep in that bed uncomfortable. It was just too darned soft for me. So Sunday night the previous weekend I let hubby had the bed to himself and I pulled down the bed hiding in the table. Don't know if I can call that thing a Murphy bed, but it's like that. It's obviously intended for a child, but I am not very tall so it fit me just fine. It had a mattress maybe 4 to 6 inches thick on top of a hard wooden board so boy was that bed firm! Just the way I like it. I slept just fine the remaining three nights we stayed in the studio rooms.

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The previous weekend we had a pool view; this time around we had a boardwalk view! Very nice. But sometimes the boardwalk gets a little loud. Our room was directly over the burger joint, forget what it's called, and at least once we had a few possibly inebriated restaurant patrons enjoying themselves outside our room. It wasn't too loud for us, but some folks might find it annoying.

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Hubby and I were lounging around the room and I was thinking maybe I would do a load of laundry just to get it done when I suddenly remembered we had Fastpasses over at Hollywood Studios! And we were LATE! So we rushed out and hoofed it over, no way we could get there in time on the boat. Hubby's first was Tower of Terror and he had plenty of time, but my first was the Little Mermaid show, which meant I had a set time to get in. Of course I was late; I ended up seeing the next show instead, but it wasn't really a problem. Then the real reason we were there - Toy Story Mania. This was our first time riding since they opened the third track, and since we had Fastpasses that's where we rode. The ride is exactly the same, but while the Fastpass entrance is where I remember it, the line takes you into a neighboring building and to a whole new ride loading/unloading platform. See photos below. No kitties this time for either of us.

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We only had the two Fastpasses; since we'd just bought our annual passes six days earlier the pickings were slim when I tried to make eleventh hour FPs. I was just thrilled we got any time at all on TSM and figured we could do other favorites on our next trip. Since DHS has been gutted, there wasn't anything else we really wanted to do there, so we headed back out. Hubby walked back to the Boardwalk, but I decided to take the boat just to see who would get back faster. Of course it was not me. I could see hubby well along the walkway to the Boardwalk while I was still waiting for a boat to show up. And he texted me that he was in our room as we were just pulling up the the Swan and Dolphin boat dock. No matter, this was shaping up to be a day with a lot of walking and I was happy to rest my feet on the boat.

By the time I reached our room, hubby was already napping. At this point I should've eaten something, but wasn't sure what to eat or whether hubby would wake up and want to get something in a bit, so I didn't. Instead I headed over to Jellyrolls, where a bunch of the meet-up group had planned to gather. There was some texting and Facebook posts going back and forth figuring out when to meet; luvalldisney and I texted since we were at the same resort, and I met them outside Jellyrolls, which was just a short ways down the boardwalk.

This was my first time at the dueling piano bar, so I was displeased but not surprised that there was a cover charge. We paid up, got our hands stamped, and in we went. Our group was along a back wall near the bar on the left, and several folks had already congregated; although the place is dimly lit I had no trouble recognizing fellow Pennsylvanian Alicemouse and her hubby, who we occasionally see back home. I told them the cruise was wonderful, then turned to the next person over, who I assumed was a fellow cruiser, and asked, "Wasn't it wonderful?" or something to that effect. But it wasn't a cruiser, it was jhugo! Whom I had not seen since...I think it was one of our trips in 2014. So very pleased to see her again! And she mentioned that I was the first WDWFG member she had ever met, so that was cool.

I have no photos and do not recall exactly who all made it to Jellyrolls - a lot of folks did, but some wimped out on us after a very long day. (Understandable, I was a bit tired also.) So I will not attempt to name everyone, but it was more than enough people to have a good time. The next time our waiter swung by I ordered a Tom Collins, and he asked if I wanted it with gin or vodka. OMG do people really ruin Tom Collinses with vodka? At least give it a different name. I replied that I wanted gin, the real deal, and he asked if I wanted to start a tab. LOL I wish, but not on an empty stomach. The Tom Collins was passable, I've had better. But the piano bar was fun. Our group talked some, sang along some, and generally had a good time. By the end of that drink, though, I knew I needed to get some food, so I bid my companions adieu and stumbled down the Boardwalk in search of something to eat. (Only half joking there, I really was feeling a little woozy.) I considered the little walk-up burger and hot dog shack on the boardwalk but instead went to the pizza window. Advice: do not bother with the pizza window. It was edible but just that, I wouldn't go so far as to call it good.

After that I headed back to our room and called it a night. I did get a few nighttime boardwalk photos before I pulled down my kiddie bed and hit the hay.

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Saturday, October 22 was a sunny day so here are some more cheerful photos of the Boardwalk/Yacht Club/Beach Club area. Two taken in the morning, the third in the late afternoon.

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It's been over a week since my last entry and without notes I'm even foggier as to the details of the day. The goal of the day was to return to the Food and Wine Festival to hit a few more booths that we'd missed. We headed clockwise from the World Showcase entrance again, which was a rather huge mistake on this particular day; the crowds were ridiculously huge and of course since most folks entered the World Showcase via Future World, that is where the biggest lines were. It was quite horrid. But we didn't want to miss out so onward we went.

Hubby and I separated for a time; don't recall exactly when, but I ended up at Craft Beer twice, once on my own and again because I told him he had to try the piggy wings. They were quite tasty. Based on the times I took my photos, this is the order in which I ate stuff:

Pescado con Coco from Islands of the Caribbean - this was pretty good.
Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp from Australia - totally disappointing, not nearly as good as past Australian shrimp offerings.
Piggy Wings from Craft Beers - yum!
Steamed Green Lip Mussels from New Zealand - had these before and knew I loved them.

Hubby also loved the Farm Fresh loaded mac and cheese and also the charcuterie from Craft Beer, while I also got the lamington cake from Australia, but no photos of any of these items. And then there's that last photo. I have no clue what it is, it was hubby's.