As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
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While in the area I wanted to take a look at the spa. I am not a spa type of person either, but I always enjoy touring them. I do think one of these days I am going to schedule a massage though.
It was kind of odd as they had the entrance blocked off so you had to go to a side entrance.
I did not ask for a guided tour as I just like to wander and take a few pictures.
I went into the salon first…as I am a licensed hair stylist, even though I no longer practice in a salon….by choice!
They really like these Statues on Princess. I have seen quite a few around the ship.
I always have intentions of going to the gym. I have yet to make it and work out on a ship yet.
I assume these are for spinning with no seats? Doesn’t look comfy to me at all? LOL!!!!!
The CM insisted I take a picture of her set up so I obliged.
It looked like a nice spa. Is it better than Disney or other lines? I really don’t know. I am not a spa person so I really can’t compare. This seemed to be a bit smaller and that could very well be that this is an older ship and the new Princess ones probably have a lot more to them.
Mom decided to head back to the room to rest. I headed off near Trade winds and decided it was time for a mocktail!
I was really happy I got the drink card as I had several of these over the course of the cruise. Super yummy!
I sat and observed some people. There were a group of about 3 couples that came by. I noticed the one guy had a seed company logo on his hat. FARMER! I can spot them a mile away. He even had mannerisms of my husband. I would guess at least one of his buddies was one as well. I then met a lady who said hello and introduced herself as M (I won’t post names here). She was friendly but promptly told me she hated the ship. LOL! I just totally laughed to myself. She had been on the previous cruise as well. I wondered why in the heck one would keep sailing the same ship? She told me this was around her 8th cruise on this ship alone. I later found out it was because it just wasn’t very accessible for someone in a scooter. And she had been on several Princess ships and this one just wasn’t her favorite. They lived in the area so they did like to cruise a lot and were close to being Elite.
After chatting a bit I decided to explore some more.
This place had pizza and it was very good. It was a thin pizza and I really thought Princess had good pizza especially compared to Disney ships…which are pretty much known for bad pizza.
I had seen a deck out very far towards the front so I decided to go in search of it.
A nice view from the front. I never did make it back here again to take more pictures while out at sea.
Looking to my right.
I could see the gangways to the ship and the terminal.
I believe that is the spa/gym up there.
Just looking out and enjoying the views.
And this was looking to my left.
I then left that area and headed towards the back of the ship.
A little kiddie pool.
Speaking of kids…I did not see many at all on the ship. Yes there were some, but it was rare when I did see them. One thing I failed to do was find the actual kids clubs and go in for a peak. I saw some outdoor play areas, but I never made an effort to find the inside areas. I really wish I had checked them out for Claire.
A look down at the aft of the ship.
The bridge is going up again!
I walked through Horizons then.
They were offering different drink packages all over the ship today. I am glad I did sign up for mine beforehand, but you can do it once onboard as well.
Tables and chairs to eat at out near the pools.
The ice-cream shop!
You can get hard dipped and soft serve here and it’s free. You can also get shakes, but those cost, but were included with my drink package.
I also believe this is where you could get popcorn during the Movies Under the Stars, though I never did look into it.
Even though I really wasn’t hungry and actually still quite full from the drink I had recently had, I got a vanilla hard dip cone. It was delicious!
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More exploring to be done…I made my way to the Princess Theatre to see what that looked like.
And then a walk through the Casino.
Warning, the Casino allows smoking on one side. It can get quite smokey in there and you can even smell it drift out into the Atrium area. There was one night that it was smoke free though.
I wandered out towards the Atrium then.
And took a look down in the Piazza.
I really liked the light….I liked it much better than the new one they put on the Disney Magic.
Though I kept thinking it looked like fly eyes! LOL.
One of the bar areas. (I believe this was Crooners)
And then I walked towards the aft of Deck 7 and found the Explorers Lounge, which I never went in to.
This is outside the Explorers Lounge.
Next was the Wheelhouse Bar.
Another place I never went in to, but I may have peeked in the door a time or 2. It was really hopping in the afternoon one sea day.
This is Sabatini’s which is an Italian restaurant that you pay an upcharge for. I hear it is really good but we never ventured to any of the specialty restaurants.
It was now getting close to the Muster Drill time so I went back to the room to fetch Mom, who had been unpacking her suitcases instead of resting. We went in search of our station and wouldn’t you know, it was in Sabatini’s, right where I had just come from. We asked to be sure we were at the right place and they directed us inside to take a seat and someone would be inside to check us off. NOT! They were actually scanning cards outside, but evidently the CM I had talked to didn’t know that. That’s OK we did eventually get taken care of. We sat and waited and the restaurant really filled up. One thing I need to mention now is the heat. It was really hot outside today again. I don’t mind that so much if I can escape inside to cool off. The ship was not cool at all. Our room was hot and we did set the AC to the lowest it could go, many of the halls and areas were also hot. Cooler than outside, but not refreshing at all. I did worry this may become an issue.
Sabatini’s was hot. Sitting there with a lot of people in there was quite warm and many people were fanning themselves.
As we waited an older 4 some of 2 couples came in. The place was pretty full now. A CM directed them to a table and said 2 can sit here. This guy screams WE NEED A PLACE FOR 4!!!!! We all busted out laughing. First, don’t be late if you want to sit together. 2nd, it’s only for a short time and it won’t kill you to be apart from your friends for a little while. This guy refused to sit there though and they hung out by the door. I think some people actually moved so this 4some could sit together. I wouldn’t have. LOL. Now if it was a family with kids, I would’ve, I’m not completely heartless. It also made me laugh because this would be my dad. He is attached to my mom at the hip and if he had to be separated from her for a few minutes he would’ve had a fit.
This is the table those couples had been directed to and refused. LOL!
They announced that anyone who had not been scanned to raise their hands so we did and no one came. I gave up when my arm got tired and it was actually about 15 minutes later before they came in to scan us. The Muster Drill was painless. One thing to note as well, Princess no longer requires you to bring your life jacket to the Muster Drill. This is a very new change for Princess. Disney has been doing this for a couple of years now (as well as many other lines). They had several announcements before the drill about this and that you could take the jacket with you if you were new to cruising or felt the need to refresh, and they also encouraged you to try on your life jacket when you got back to the room. I am sad to say I never actually did do that.
After the drill we headed outside. It was crowded and hard to get around so we just took a breather.
We went in near the Circle Host Desk and Future Cruise sales area and looked around. Many people were already ready to book a future cruise.
The Crown Grill is also located right in that area. That is another specialty upcharge restaurant.
The Shore Excursions desk is opposite the Crown Grill.