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CoachMinnie
05-24-2004, 06:22 PM
Hello-

We are so lucky to be hosting a foreign exchange student beginning in August. We are going on the January 22, Eastern Cruise. Her birthday is in September and I would like to suprise her with the news of our cruise. I want to give her plenty of time so that we can get all necessary papers in order. She is from Germany.

Does anyone have any ideas on how we might suprise her? We sailed with Disney a couple years ago, so we have some video of the cruise available that we could use. I also have the DVD of the Disney Magic.

We are so excited to be able to share this with her!!

Thanks for all your ideas!!

CoachMinnie::MinnieMo

WooWoo
05-24-2004, 06:43 PM
I work with a woman who went to WDW with one of her young neices. A few months before the cruise she mailed several small packagers with a note from various characters with a little item from the Disney store. Maybe you could do the same? I think it would be fun watching the student trying to figure out the "puzzle".

tink5
05-24-2004, 06:54 PM
Can I be an exchange student at your house?:teeth:

mickey minder
05-24-2004, 07:09 PM
See you on the Jan 22. cruise meet thread. :bounce:

Red71
05-24-2004, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by CoachMinnie
Hello-

We are so lucky to be hosting a foreign exchange student beginning in August. We are going on the January 22, Eastern Cruise. Her birthday is in September and I would like to suprise her with the news of our cruise. I want to give her plenty of time so that we can get all necessary papers in order. She is from Germany.

Does anyone have any ideas on how we might suprise her? We sailed with Disney a couple years ago, so we have some video of the cruise available that we could use. I also have the DVD of the Disney Magic.

We are so excited to be able to share this with her!!

Thanks for all your ideas!!

CoachMinnie::MinnieMo


I have 3 ideas

1) Get some cruise essentials ( sun glasses, flip flops--- could be dollar store or top line) and pack it in a gift bag. when she opens it say I hope you enjoy it, you're going to need that stuff for Jan.
She'll have a bit of confusion, ask about the weather, then tell her about the cruise.

2) Get some type of Disney/Mickey/DCL card or post card and sign it "Love Mickey Mouse P.S. I can't wait to meet youon my boat in Janurary "

3) Do the gift bag hide the "Love Mickey card" in the bottom of the bag under tissue paper when she takes out the items and and wonders what the summer items are about and who it's from tell her to look in bag for a card.

You're so great to do this, she'll love it!!

disboo
05-24-2004, 08:43 PM
Is this your first exchange student? We have hosted two (and sent two of our kids away for a year each). Our second student went with us on our cruise - he was thrilled to talk to the workers from Hungary (his home country). We didn't make it a surprise - wish I'd thought of it but I would have had a hard time keeping the secret!

I hope you love your experience! Our two students were as different as night and day, and we really grew a lot from the experiences. I can't say we loved every minute - but I get aggravated at my own kids, too! I can say that I consider the boys (men, now) to be "my Swedish son" and "my Hungarian son."

Pklease feel free to PM if you want to talk about your experiences!

CoachMinnie
05-25-2004, 07:44 AM
Thank you for the great ideas. DISBOO- did you have any problems with the paperwork for him? She will of course have her passport and visa, but I need to be reassured that we won't miss something essential. I have several people checking on this, but since you actually went through it I thought that you might know!!

I found a couple of postcards that I purchased while we were on the ship that I can you for the suprise, too!! I like the idea of putting together a gift bag as a present and putting the postcard at the bottom for her to find!!

We are so excited!! I hope that I (and my three girls) can keep it under wraps till her birthday!!

Thanks again,
CoachMinnie::MinnieMo

Greysword
05-25-2004, 11:20 AM
First of all, welcome to the Jan 22nd cruise! As was mentioned, there is a thread in the Meet section titled Jan 22.... Look forward to seeing you in there!

I wanted to add a thought: Make sure your exchange student is not terrified of the water! :scared1:

Growning up, I was petrified of any major bodies of water. I was scared to go over bridges, and would have probably had a heart attack if I was forced onto a cruise ship. Seriously. I got over mine by joining the Navy (lived in Florida my whole life and finally learned to sort of swim at age 20!).

Just something to think about, so you don't make gradios plans and then get a negative reaction for one reason or another.:firefight

Hygiene99
05-25-2004, 03:52 PM
Here is my Thought...

I Love to Surprise others..
And We have been successful at surprising
the 5 Nieces and Nephews Each with a Surprise trip to Disney..

Was thinking u could Go to This Thread and Have VerandahMan / Andy help u out ..
Could Get him to make a Special Post card or Card
For the Student.. I Know Several people Who Speak German
On this Forum I would be happy to have them Get in touch with Verandahman /Andy To help with the content in German...

The person I know Actually lives in Germany Has the Screen Name VIKING on this forum and would love to help , He is Just that kind of Guy !!!! After we get the Verbage All worked out In German !! We could then have the Card mailed to your Home.
and when it arrives in the Mail ,You Can then watch the videos YOU spoke of and have a Special meal and then present the card this could be done as close to the Cruise as u like
Allowing u enough time to make sure all paper work is in Order.

If u are intrested just let Me know I will contact Andy / Verandahman and Viking and the fun can begin!!!


So if u may be intrested here is the thread to get postcards
just so u can check it out.. Everyone loves Andys work and some of the card He has sent us Big Kids Before our Trips have Been Priceless !!!!!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?threadid=460127
Peter

Viking
05-25-2004, 04:14 PM
Hi there,
I'm the German my friend Peter/Hygiene99 is referring to. I'd love to be of help. So if you need anything translated or if I shall check anything out here in Germany for you to prepare your surprise, please feel free to contact me. Please use the link to our Cruisetoberfest-mailbox provided in my signature to contact me.

Gotta catch some Zs now, it's well past 11pm over here and I have to get up early tomorrow.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Eric aka Viking

2kidsmom
05-25-2004, 04:50 PM
When we surprised my parents with a trip to Hawaii, we sent them on a scavenger hunt. We bought things like, sunscreen, flip flops, sea shells, etc. When they found each item, there was a clue as to where to find the next one. We ended it with an underwater disposable camera, a lei and their tickets. They had the best look on their faces! Of course I was capturing the whole thing on film. It was great. Priceless!

Julie

Hygiene99
05-25-2004, 04:53 PM
Love it Julie... Can picture the whole thing

Peter

CoachMinnie
05-25-2004, 07:18 PM
You are are absolutely awesome and have given me some great ideas!! We have been exchanging e-mails and letter with our student for a couple of months now and she speaks really good english, thank heavens!!

I really like the post card idea. How long does it usually take? Her birthday is in September and we would like to suprise her then so that we can make sure all necessary papers are in order.

I am positive that we won't have a problem with her liking the water. Michigan was the only state that she chose to come to because she is interested in the Great Lakes!!

Thanks again,
CoachMinnie

::MinnieMo

disboo
05-25-2004, 07:57 PM
We didn't have any problems with our student on the cruise. We did have a letter from his dad giving us permission to travel with him, and written permission from his sponsoring organization (Youth for Understanding). We just checked with DCL several times because post 9/11 things were changing sometimes. He did have to go to the early morning immigation meeting, but other than that, no problems.

The one place we did have a problem traveling (a different trip, of course) was going to Niagara Falls, Canada - needed a visa which we didn't have. We actually got to Niagara Falls and tried to cross into Canada, which we couldn't do. Our hotel was in Canada - lost the deposit, drove to the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland instead! Haha! Not quite Niagara Falls, but we had fun! My mistake, no one else's!

Have fun!

Hygiene99
05-25-2004, 09:20 PM
Coachminnie I sent u a personal message

Peter

debm
05-25-2004, 10:15 PM
Hi, Coach. What a neat surprise. We have hosted 5 students over the past 5 years and I am a (just retired) Regional Advisor with ISE in southern IL. We took out student from Switzerland on a 7 night May 1st. Having never took one of our students out of the country I was very nervous about it. The only problem is there is certain documention that you MUST be sure they have. I called DCL twice about it prioir to us going and was told it would be fine with the VISA and passport. On a whim, I told a friend in DCL that I was still a wee bit nervous and she "took it to the top" and asked. Good thing she did. I was NOT given the correct info from the people that take reservaions with DCL. We had to have the paper in the documents signed that allows us to travel with him because he is not legally our child. Even though I had the agency paperwork that gave us permission for medical treatment and to be his guardian that wasn't enough (although we had to bring that too) Since you don't get your documents until just before you sail there was not enough time to get them back to Europe, signed, notarized and back to us. I was SO nervous. They allowed us to get a writtten signed letter from his parents just stating that he was allowed to sail with us. It would be better to get it in the mail but because of time ours was faxed. The agency documention just helped to provide signature validation. Then their VISA must have multiple entry on it. I was told that was an easy change if it didn't but something worth checking into. Most kids have it but not always. Depends on the agency that you are working with here in the US. Also make sure they allow you to travel with your student. (They should.) There is also another form that they must have with their visa, which should be a J-1 Visa if they are here for a high-school exchange program. The DCL gal called it the "student form". She said it was a colored piece of paper although our sons was white. It has a bar code in the right corner so you will know you have the right paper. They are supposed to have that wiith their VISA but of course our son wasn't told that. Luckily he found it amongst the mess in his room! :)

So the moral of this is make sure you get everything in order a month before you go. Even though I thought I did, I'm glad I asked one last time. I was so nervous and I guess for a reason. Also he had to go to a different place to go through immigration because he was not from the US. He went by himself though because we had to go to the US meeting place.

Otherwise everything went smoothly. I think it was a great experience for him. You can email me personally if you have any other questions. Have fun!!!! Debi

CoachMinnie
05-26-2004, 07:52 AM
Debm-

I sent you a pm.

CoachMinnie::MinnieMo