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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Saturday, April 2nd
We have sailed 739 NM( 849 statutory miles) since leaving St Thomas. At about 7:45 am we dropped anchor off the east point end of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas and prepared to tender onto the area known as Princess Cay.
The tender ports open, and the tenders having returned from ferrying staff and supplies to the island, we were able to start meandering ashore about 8:30. When you were ready to go ashore, you went down to the Capri dining room and given a tender ‘number’. At first, I thought these numbers were in batches and would have to wait for a whole bunch of boats… but they were sequential, and within 5 minutes (about the time to escort one boat) my group was called . We meandered down to deck four and were rapidly escorted onto the tenders, and within 15 minutes of having my number called, I was getting off the tender on the island.
Ship from the beach
They have 30 acres of beach, and best of all, 3,000 lounge chairs (no fighting chair hogs like on board)
Beach from ship
They had two BBQ locations for later lunch, three swimming areas and three snorkeling area. For the thirsty, there were three bars (your ‘coke’ card was not good on the island, as the only cokes were in cans, and the coke card covered fountain drinks). Two good sized stores sold ‘island’ only merchandise (as well as sun screen, and aloe for the BURNED among us—the ran out of the aloe after the first sea day onboard the ship) and several carts with locals selling Bahamian souvenirs for cash. Plenty else to do, beach games, a nice kids play area with a ‘pirate ship’, organized games, wind tunnel sky diving (pre-paid at the excursion desk), snorkel and glass bottom boats (of course, not free : ) and two lookouts where you could climb up at get a view.
There was fresh fruit every were (as well as water fountains for those who did not want to add more to their shipboard account) as soon as we got there, and then at 11:30 the BBQ’s opened with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, salads, cookies and condiments. I tried the cookies, coleslaw and a hamburger, which were normal beach BBQ food, and some ribs-which were tender, but needed some seasoning or BBQ sauce)
After lunch (and a couple hours of beach sun) I made my way back to the tender dock. We had to wait while a tender took one couple (one in a wheelchair and and escort) to the ship. After offloading, that tender took a while to get back in service.(there were 3 others working). I am guessing that the one in the wheelchair had gotten the flu-like virus that can appear on ships and other group locations, and was being quarantined and the tender being wiped down before being put back in service) AT 3:15 the last boat was enroute to the ship and we prepared to get underway.
About ½ hour later the Captain made an announcement that one of the access doors for tendering would not close, and we could not get underway until it was fixed (he sounded a little unhappy-somehow someone pinched the hydraulic hose powering the door, and they had to manufacture then install a new one. Finally after another ½ hour the Captain announced it was fixed and we were raising anchor and leaving on our last leg home. (His voice sounded much happier). In the meantime there was a holiday sale in the Piazza (the same non-tshirt merchandise as in the two other sales.
I went to my room, showered off the sweat and salt from the beach, and then started packing. They told us to have our non carry-on luggage outside our door before dinner, so I had mine ready when I went to dinner.
Dinner was Pepper pot soup, grilled vegetables and hearts of romaine salad, and Turkey with all the thanksgiving trimmings. For dessert I had mud pie (chocolate heaven ) and passed on the baked Alaska (looked funny with LED lights instead of flamer in the parade).
Said farewell to my table mates and dropped by my room after buying the shipboard video (done by onboard videographers, so it was not stock footage.) Luggage was not picked up during dinner, in fact it was picked up long after I went to sleep.
I would love to tell you what MUTS was…. But the entry in Princess Patter was the same as the day before. So the sea day post is incorrect or we had movies tonight that I don’t have a written record to correct. In the alternate theater they had “The Next Three days). I went to the lounge and listened to a Salute to Dixieland followed by more doo wap from SPANK.
Sunday, April 3rd
All good things must come to an end
The ship pulled into port about sunrise. Got up and went to the buffet for breakfast (after a stop to get my morning mocha to drink with it. Unsure of what lay ahead with a 1:45 flight, I ate eggs, sausage, and a double portion of fresh fruit.
With late flight, I was assigned an 8:50 meet in the Wheelhouse bar for getting off the ship. Carryon dragging behind, I made my way down there. They had juice and coffee and Danish available, and by 9:10 our ‘color’- Cream one- was called and we put our room keys in the scanner one last time and departed the ship
It took less than a minute to find my luggage, clear customs and immigration, and exit the port for our buses. The ship returned to a different pier (21) than we departed (2) (another Princess ship was offloading at the same time at the old pier), but for those who had cars parked at the old location, free shuttle buses to take them to the garage. Since I had Princess transfers, it was simply drop our luggage at the bus, indicating which terminal so the driver could organize them, and get on board. Our tiny little lady driver (about 5’2” and 120 lbs soaking wet), loaded all our bags. That tiny little frame had good sized arm muscles from driving and heaving luggage!
Time to stop and review the Princess experience:
From meeting me at the airport, transfer to hotel, hotel, transfer to ship, boarding, onboard, food, entertainment, and transfer to the airport, it was a WONDERFUL , seamless, experience. It was all my friend with 25+ cruises said it would be. I felt pampered Good room steward, good variety of entertainment—from classical to Dixie to motown-and doowoop, really nice waiter and assistand Malinda and Oskana, perfect tablemates, enjoyably excursions. The best part….after a 10 day cruise I only gained ½ lb… not because I did not eat, but I ate healthily, limiting dessert to dinner and exercised.
Now for the partially unpleasant ending.
It was less that 10 minutes and I was off the bus and luggage in hand at terminal 3. I should have been suspicious when the skycaps were not taking luggage and issuing boarding passes.
I went inside to the American Airlines desk on the F side of Terminal 3. It had 4 terminals for ‘regular’ customers and one for first class, but only two were manned. I was directed outside to a long line in the sun. It took us 45 minutes to get inside and another ½ hour to get to the desk. In addition to only two positions being open, I noticed three additional reasons for the delay. 1. The self service kiosks that could have sped up the process were roped off with line ‘webs’, (someone tried to use them and they were also out of paper), people were arriving with carts (not small luggage carts, but big ones) with tons of bags on them. When I got to the front to the left hand position, the family at the right position was checking 10 -49 lb. bags (all carefully weighed to make sure they weren’t overweight)!! And they were among many. The third observation was that the luggage belts in Terminal 3 kept breaking down.
Finally with boarding pass in hand, and carryon dragging behind, I made my way to security. Much to my surprise, the line for TSA was out on the sidewalk, then wound its way through the terminal. At the end of the line, there were only 2 TSA portals in use for 10 gates. Total time getting through TSA 45 minutes. To end my lovely departure from Ft Lauderdale Hollywood airport, I needed some food to hold me until I got to Dallas. There was one hot food location/bar and it was CROWDED. There were two food carts. One only had turkey sandwiches, chips, cookies and sodas, and the other the same items except only ham sandwiched. I got a peppered turkey sandwich, cookie and diet pepsi at the first cart. When I sat down to eat, the sandwich and cookie were fine, but the pepsi had not been cooled, and they did not have ice . WARM SODA
An aside at this point… I filed a gripe with AA on the AAdvantage website about the slow check-in (they can’t control TSA). There response was I should have tried the self service kiosk (it took them a week to respond). I responded to their email to tell them how they were blocked off, but haven’t gotten another reply yet…if I do…..
Once we got on the plane and out of FLL everything went smooth, got to DFW on time, got a snack to hold me until Sacramento, took my insulin shot, and off to SMF, on time. I did sleep enough on the planes, that I did feel safe driving home after the long day. At 9PM I pulled in my driveway and made amends to my cat.
What a great day on the island! Sorry to see your trip come to an end..... The airport situation sounds horrid; but it sounds like it was a wonderful trip all around! Is your next trip already in the making?
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So sad to see your trip come to an end! But I loved hearing all of the details. Especially the entertainment. And good job on your half-pound gain - that's pretty amazing considering all of the food available on the ship!
Saturday, October 9, 2014 - Kaitlyn and I before the Happy Haunted 5K at ESPN Wide World of Sports