S: Hooper Family Vacation 2011
FC: Hooper Family Vacation 2011 | SEA WORLD | DISNEY CRUISE
1: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 | Travel & Downtown Disney Sea World with the Browns Sea World Sea World Discovery Cove Cocoa Beach Disney Cruise Nassau Castaway Cay Travel Rest
3: DOWNTOWN DISNEY | May 6th. 2011: We got up at 4:00 AM and hit the road for a 9 1/2 hour journey to Orlando. We checked into our hotel and grabbed a late lunch at TGI Fridays. After a refreshing dip in the hotel pool we headed out for Downtown Disney. We window shopped a little and bought candy from Goofy's Candy Cauldron.
5: After a lengthy wait we finally got to sit down to eat at 9:15 PM at Planet Hollywood. We were so exhausted from the day's activities.
6: Sea World
7: We met our friends from Athens Vince & Starr Brown with their children Ashton, Anna, Charles, and Andrew. Day two of our vacation was the last day for the Browns. Our day at Sea World with them was one of our favorite days.
8: We arrived early enough to see the manatees getting a little spinach for breakfast. | Everywhere you turned there were vibrant flowers blooming.
9: Before we met up with the Browns, we explored Sea World on our own. | Chad, Jordan and Carly took a ride on the wild side first thing on the Kraken roller coaster.
11: Blue Horizons | The dolphin show at Sea World was so good. There were divers jumping off 30 foot platforms doing acrobats and trainers shooting up out of the water on dolphins. We are all ready to be dolphin trainers.
12: There was so much to see and do. We had to divide the kids to pack it all into one day. Vince took the older girls to ride the Kraken and the Manta seven times each and Journey to Atlantis.
13: Chad, Starr and I took Mckinley, Charles and Andrew to Shamus Happy Harbor.
15: Mckinley loved playing in the water in the kids play area.
18: Alure Call of the Ocean
19: We enjoyed the colorful show Alure Call of the Ocean. It was nice to sit down in the air condition and rest a bit after a busy day with the Browns.
20: One Ocean
21: We loved the killer whale show One Ocean. After the show we had dinner with the Browns at Cracker Barrel and headed back to the room for the night. Day two was over.
22: J O R D A N
24: Day 3 We returned to Sea World for some more fun in the sun. This was the best Mother's Day ever.
27: Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island
28: Our second viewing of the killer whale show One Ocean was just as good as the first one. It is unbelievable to see these massive creatures in action. Sea World has just enough mix of thrill rides and shows to keep your day busy.
30: We had fun racing each other around the lagoon. It didn't take long to decide it was too hot for paddling.
31: Enjoying the day from our pink flamingo paddle boats. | Chad, Carly and Mckinley saw a snake from their boat. Luckily, Chad was able to paddle away
32: We stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Orlando beside Sea World. We were able to ride the shuttle over to the park every day. | As the day wore on we became progressively more fatigued. We decided a trip up the Sky Tower would do us all some good.
34: WILD ARCTIC | We did the walk through version of the Wild Arctic tour. We saw polar bears, beluga whales and walruses.
36: Blue Horizons
37: Another great performance at the Blue Horizons show. We enjoyed it so much the first time we decided to see it again.
40: THE HOOPER GIRLS
41: We loved splashing in our hotel pool. It was refreshing after a long day at Sea World to come back and take a dip.
42: Mckinley was brave enough to pet the stingrays. | Mckinley's real flower hair decor.
43: Hanging out at Sea World Day 4 | We had so much fun on the Journey to Atlantis ride. Apparently it was a lot scarier in the front seat than the back seat.
44: Our last day at Sea World wouldn't be complete without one more killer whale show.
46: We splurged on our last day at Sea World with a 90 minute Behind the Scenes tour. We saw how the animal experts care for rescued manatees, dolphins and sea turtles. We also explored a hidden polar bear den and touched a real polar bear skin.
47: While on our tour we learned fascinating facts about Sea World and their commitment to wildlife. The girls were brave enough to reach into a tank and pet a real shark.
48: PENGUIN ENCOUNTER | We learned that polar bears live at the North Pole and Penguins live at the South Pole. It's not everyday that you get to pet a penguin from Antarctica.
51: Day four ended with a quick trip through Pacific Point Preserve. The sea lions were proud to pose for the camera.
52: Discovery Cove
54: On day five we went to Discovery Cove. It was so much fun. This day was definitely one of my favorite days. We were a little hesitant about the wet suits but once we felt how cold the water was we were glad we had them.
55: Carly and Mckinley loved snorkeling, Jordan - not so much. | Getting a taste of salt water.
57: One of the highlights of the trip was swimming with the dolphins and relaxing in the lazy river at Discovery Cove.
59: at first sight | Love
67: It doesn't get any better than this for Mckinley. She was a pro at dolphin training.
69: The birds were beautiful in the bird sanctuary and one sat on Chad's head. It was a crazy bird.
73: Soaking up the sun at Discovery Cove.
75: Cocoa | Beach | We decided to take the girls to Cocoa Beach on day six. We had lunch at Coconuts on the Beach. We planned to eat out on the deck but couldn't because of the love bugs. We rented a beach umbrella and chair for the day.
76: So Much Fun
79: C A R L Y
81: Beach Days
83: May 12, 2011 we left for our first cruise aboard the Disney Dream with 4000 passengers and a mouse.
84: Getting on the boat
85: Our room was 8012 located in category C in the front of the boat. We had a room for 5 with a large porthole window. | F
86: Last night at 10:30 PM we discovered Chad's passport had not been packed. We spent over an hour trying to figure out what to do. Thankfully, Travis and Jason were willing to meet Chad halfway in Georgia. Chad left Orlando at midnight met the guys and was back to Orlando by 9:00 AM to pick us up. We were able to make our board time with a few minutes to spare. Beth posted a recap of the memorable moment and her phone conversations with Chad's first experience with Rock Star energy drinks.
87: We had so much fun exploring our boat. It boasts 14 decks and 1250 staterooms.
90: The girls loved going to the clubs on the boat. There were tons of activities for them to do. I must admit I wanted to go a few times myself. | The Oceaneer's Club and The Oceaneer's Lab
94: Bon Voyage Leaving out of Port Canaveral
95: The Dream Length: 1,115 ft Width: 125 ft 130,000 tons
97: Our first dinner was on deck three at The Royal Palace. We enjoyed continental French cuisine and visiting with Princess Tiana. After dinner Chad went to bed, Mckinley and Carly went to their clubs and Jordan and I watched a show titled The Golden Mickeys.
98: Our first port of call was Nassau. We decided to stay on the boat and check out the pools. If you got tired of swimming and laying in the sun you could watch movies on the 24'x14' LED jumbo screen. | The Aqua Duck is a 765' water coaster on deck 12 that goes up, down and around 4 decks, over the side of the ship and through the forward funnel.
101: The Aqua Duck
103: Dinner tonight was contemporary Pacific Rim cuisine with an American flare on deck three at Animator's Palate. This restaurant was inspired by the magic of Disney animation. During the course of the meal Crush from Finding Nemo made an interactive appearance.
104: After dinner, Carly and Mckinley went to the kid's club and had a pajama party. Mckinley decorated a pillow case for a keepsake. Chad, Jordan and I went to a full scale musical dedicated to the Disney Villains titled Villains Tonight.
107: Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party
108: Our last day of the cruise was at Disney's private island Castaway Cay. There was a water playground at the beach that the kids had fun on. Unfortunately, I couldn't see it because I accidentally dilated my eyes that morning when I changed Carly's motion sickness patch and didn't wash my hands. My eyes stayed dilated for the next 36 hours. I did manage to squeak a peek at Jack Sparrow though.
109: Castaway Cay
110: Our last dinner on the boat was at The Enchanted Garden. We enjoyed market-inspired Continental cuisine. In the center of the restaurant was a 7' tall cascading fountain. The ceiling changed from brilliant blue daytime color into golden red of a setting sun and finally into a captivating nighttime constellation of twinkling stars. Our servers for the trip were Charlie from the United Kingdom and Victoria from the Ukraine. They were so wonderful. Charlie kept the girls entertained with his crayon puzzles and Victoria was super sweet.
111: We skipped the show our last night because the girls wanted to go back to the Oceaneer's Club. They did karaoke, baked cupcakes, played detective games and lots more. Chad and I had a couple of hours to just hang out on deck and enjoy the Caribbean.
112: Chad | & | Brook
113: What a great vacation. We are so blessed to be able to take this trip and create memories that will last us a lifetime.