Tuesday, March 11, 2014

*St. Maarten and More!

(Tuesday, February 25, 2014 – AM and afternoon)

Tuesday morning Sharon and I were awake at 7 so I leaned over my sleeping Hannah and turned on our port hole to find that we were docking in St. Maarten.  It was neat to see land outside as well as other cruise ships as we moved into the dock.  It was a busy day with 5 other ships in port the same day.

Originally we were scheduled for our Port Adventure in the morning but the previous evening we’d been able to switch our time to the afternoon so that we could visit the island with Tonya and her family.  These are the precious people that we were seated with each night at supper and whom we enjoyed so much! 

It was nice to have a quieter morning and start our day at a slower pace.  On days that the ship is in port there is not as much happening on board the ship such as  no character greetings until later in the day.   As we were eating breakfast in the Enchanted Garden we looked at the window and it was covered with water droplets.  At first we thought it was raining until we noticed that the port holes on either side of it were almost dry.  We quickly found out the Disney washes the entire ship from top to bottom every single time it’s in a port!  Can you imagine??  This ship is  4 football fields long and 14 decks high!  At one point I looked up at the ship and could count 8 different people washing different parts of the ship and – that was only the ones I could see!  Each and every veranda, window and part of the ship is washed even if the ship docks 2 days in a row!IMG_2441

After breakfast we relaxed with a slow walk around Deck 4 which houses shuffle board, a walking and running track plus relaxing lounge chairs.  If you’re lucky you’ll also catch a glimpse of this adorable little girl as she waits patiently for her Mommy and Nana!IMG_2444

Precious moments with NanaIMG_2452

After our leisurely stroll we changed into bathing suits and took advantage of emptier pools and short AquaDuck lines as many passengers were already on shore.  Hannah wanted to swim first so I went for a ride on the AquaDuck myself.  Sharon caught this pic as I floated by.


After seeing that it doesn’t go too quickly Nana decided to give the AquaDuck a try!   Hannah joined her and they had a great time!!  LOL – Hannah said she sang all the way around!  Hehe – that’s our Nana!  She was really glad she tried it and would have gone again if she wanted.  Way to go Nana!

I purchased a waterproof case for my camera last summer and after testing it carefully to ensure it truly was was waterproof I tucked my camera into it and snapped some fun pictures and videos of Hannah enjoying the nearly empty Mickey pool.IMG_2474 - Copy


After our swim we enjoyed an early lunch near the pool deck over looking St. Maarten and then freshened up for the day.  Hannah and our sweet room steward Giesel.  She was so kind and made such a big impact on our cruise!  So thankful for her and not only the great care she took of us but the personal interest she took in, ‘Princess Hannah!’IMG_2456

We met Tonya’s family as well as the rest of our tour families in the Buena Vista Theatre at 12:30.  We were all issued Chip ‘n Dale stickers and made our way off the ship.  This was the first time we had disembarked and I was once again very happy with the security measures.  Hannah was the first of our family to scan her card and the crew member stopped us.  Either Sharon or I needed to scan our card first in order for her to leave the ship.  Just one more reason to love Disney Cruise Line and everything about it!

This was the first time we saw our regal ship in her full beauty and she was breathtaking!!  I love the navy hull with gold trim.   IMG_2483

(If you zoom in and look carefully at the blue area just in front of the lifeboats you’ll see a guy suspended on a platform washing or painting the ship.)

Welcome to St. Maarten!IMG_2500

We took a bus tour around the island that stopped on the French side at a little market and then at a second stop at an ice cream parlour with an old fashioned carousel in it.  Hannah and Jacob (also 4yo) chose to ride together.  IMG_2489

After our bus tour we enjoyed some shopping timeIMG_2499 before boarding our ship again.   I’d say this Port Adventure was the only slightly negative part of our entire trip.  It was okay but the bus was hot and we couldn’t hear the tour guide.  If you’re headed to St. Maarten I’d recommend finding a tour other than the ‘Under Two Flags’ tour.  IMG_2502

I took this pic as we were boarding.  It gives you a better view of the AquaDuck portion that swings out over the ocean.IMG_2513

All aboard!IMG_2514

A bit of quiet time before we got ready for our next adventure – Pirate Night!!IMG_2515


  1. Am enjoying all your cruise posts! Had to laugh when I read you referring to new little friend ,Jacob, as "also 4yo". This celebration cruise is for Hannah's 5 th birthday,right?!

    1. LOL! You're right! Hannah was still 2 days shy of her 5th birthday so this mommy is still referring to her as a 4yo here. Heehee! She's growing up far too quickly!

  2. I am really enjoying all the cruise posts! It makes me want to book another one for this summer. So.much.fun!!!

  3. Oh my goodness! The ship is beautiful! Good job Disney for all the cleaning/washing & it would have put my mind at ease as well to find out that the adults had to scan their cards to get off the ship first! I think the underwater pics of Hannah might be my favorites so far! And that video! Kissing the camera!? Too sweet! How long was the wait to get on/off the ship at the ports?

    1. On this day there was no real wait to get off or on the ship. We lined up, scanned our cards and were good to go. There was only one day when we found there to be a line-up to get back on the ship and this was a day that it rained and almost everyone headed en mass to get back to the ship so that day there was a little wait.

      I was totally impressed that things moved as well as they did, especially since they put all of our belongings through a scanner similar to those used at an airport each time we boarded the ship. At some ports they had 2 doors open to board the ship and other locations just one.

      Just like at the parks, Disney moves large numbers of people more efficiently than any other place I know!!

  4. St. Maarten looks beautiful. the market looked like fun. I love outdoor malls. The next time you go on a Disney Cruise and you happen to be going to Greece you should try the Achilleion Palace. Great experience for kids.
    In Mexico they have a dolphin trainer program where you are actually in the water with the dolphins. Fantastic!

  5. Oh, wow. I so want to take Lucy and Hudson on a Disney Cruise one day. Loving your posts and enjoying following along. Thanks for all the tips and details! You're such a fun mommy :)

  6. Have you ever thought of writing a book?

    1. LOL! Thank you! This is fun and I love writing the blog. My goal is to turn this blog into books for Hannah. I've done one but still have more to do. It's just finding the time but, thank you!

    2. If you wrote a book...something like, "The Unofficial Doing Disney With Your Kids the Right Way" book, I would be first in line to buy it! I would love to have something tangible to flip through, check off, and mull over, complete with checklists, guides and fun pics of your adventures to date! Not that you're busy or anything!!! Blurb.com....nudge, nudge if ever you find a moment or two!!! ;-)

    3. LOL! Paula, you're too cute! When you're ready to plan a Disney trip just email me and I'm happy to help you out in any way I can. I love doing that! Have been helping 2 families today already so happy to add another. You'll get all the hand holding and tips you need, just personalized to your family!

      Now....if I could just figure out a way to make money doing what I love so much! It would help to keep me in the Disney trip we love! :o)

    4. Oh! There's got to be a way! It is a service after all!!! You could put together a personalized travel booklet for families. People pay to have blogs designed, weddings and parties planned etc etc...why not pay to have their trip planned out!!! Especially a trip such as Disney! There are so many ins and outs, from lodgings to rides to attractions, to restaurants and shorts cuts. I'm convinced you could do it. You'd have a ball. Start small and build on it! ;-) I'll tell you, "I told you so ten years from now." Okay - I'll stop now! Loving your posts. What an incredible trip!

    5. LOL! I do this all the time for family and friends. Working with 2 families this weekend. I just do it because I love Disney and want them oh have a great time! If I ever start making money I'll remember you Paula!! Thanks for your encouragement !


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