for kelby's 7th birthday, we surprised her by going on a disney cruise. don't worry, we did a special weekend trip for kevyn's birthday too. not that she would care, but for my peace of mind.
we only clued the kids in a few weeks prior. that was for several reasons. we had so much going on we honestly didn't even know if we would be able to go. it was really fun to surprise them and say we were leaving in just a few days.
unlike our last cruise, we left out of galveston this time. it was really awesome to drive to galveston that morning (instead of flying to florida the day prior) and hop on the boat. for those of you who haven't cruised, cruising is the ultimate "no-brainer" vacation. no figuring out how to get to your destination or where to eat. it's all planned out for you. i LOVE that.
granny sent a special present for kelby to open the morning of her birthday. inside were decorations for our stateroom and canned birthday cake THAT SHE MADE. who does that?!?
at dinner that evening kelby was serenaded by the waitstaff and presented a special cake.
our first port of call was key west. after doing a trolley tour around town we went to the aquarium. the key west aquarium was hands down the coolest aquarium i've ever been too. it was old, small, no frills, and appeared not to be up to code. that was the cool part. we were literally inches away from sharks and other sea creatures. talk about up close and personal! kelby and i spent several minutes trying to get the perfect picture of her leaning over the tank while a shark swam by. kevyn was not so brave.
one thing that we loved about this cruise versus the last disney cruise was that because we were on a smaller ship, we had a lot more character time. on several occasions we would just "bump" into a character. after dinner one evening we ran into belle. kevyn immediately went in for a hug and belle asked her where she was headed. when kevyn replied that we were headed for the show, belle asked if she could walk her there. for a five year old that is infatuated with princesses, this was magical. i wish i could have gotten a better shot.
castaway key was the second port of call. and like last time, it did not disappoint. and again, because we were on a smaller ship, there was no rush off the boat for prime seating. we were able to casually get off the boat after a late breakfast and find chairs and umbrellas no problem.
so funny story... a few days before we left kelby was acting really
guess who we ran into. her classmate. i mean seriously?!? she has 18 kids in her class. what are the odds?!? that smile is pure "i told you so."
a big thing on a disney cruise is getting all the character's autographs. we used these autograph books this time and i loved them. (i would also recommend following her blog here.)
pirate night! typically pirate night ends with a firework show that is viewed from the deck. but due to bad weather it had to be postponed. sooo... the girls headed to the kids club where i was called shortly after i dropped them off because kevyn had become sea sick. good times.
i had the shirts made from here and my mom made their skirts.
the following morning we had our character breakfast. and since the princesses would be in the atrium shortly after breakfast, the girls put on their gowns too.
again, after seeing the princesses, we ran into peter pan. another little boy spotted peter first and was having a very deep discussion with him so kevyn patiently waited back. after a few minutes, kevyn decided to go on. while waiting at the nearby elevators, peter yelled at her "hey girl! i was looking for you!" he then came over and had a nice long conversation with her. how sweet of peter!
one evening the show for the night was the premier of thor. since it was rated pg-13, we of coursed skipped out. we instead went to the kids club where they had a ratatouille cooking class.
our last port of call was nassau and since it would have been the fifth time we had been there, we opted to stay on the boat. the pools were practically empty. it was awesome.
we also watched finding nemo in 3D. looking really cool in the 3D glasses was an added bonus. ;)
as usual, we ended our trip dreaming of our next adventure. i think california is calling us ;)