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sleepydog25 09-08-2011 07:00 AM

The Prologue

"Scotty! I need. . .more. . .power. . .nowScottynow!"

"I'm sorry, Cap'n, I kenna give ya no more--we're bein' sooked in by the vortex and it won't let go-o-o!"

And so it was that we were similarly drawn into the sirens' tentacles that belong to DCL. I was on a DCL cruise several years ago, and was well aware of the attraction these trips have, but my DSO (or DDP or fill in your own designation) has NEVER been on a cruise, and given she's a Disneymania. . .umm, a huge fan of all things Disney (yeah, that's the ticket), it was inevitable that a cruise would be an option for us. In fact, one night nearly a year ago, as we sat in our living room, shivering in the cold brought on by an early frost here in the mountains of Virginia, she casually mentioned, "We're going on a cruise." :rolleyes1

At first, I was a little reluctant given that I'm not a huge planner, preferring to sneak up on vacation times and then scurry like a squirrel gathering nuts for the upcoming winter. Not so my lovely partner. Oh, n-o-o-o-o-o. . .She is a logistician, with a mind like the very best event planner and the heart of the happiest place on the planet. However, the more we talked, the more we--okay, I--thought it would be a fun getaway. Honestly, my only reluctance was that we already had decided to do a Thanksmas trip to VWL for 2011, so we'd have to figure out a way to come up with the extra moolah needed for a cruise. . .and we all know they ain't cheap.

With the ingenuity of an IMF crew, we set up a planned savings so that by the time the Dream left port, we'd have scrimped enough to mostly pay off the entire cost up to that point. . .and still make it to VWL for Thanksmas. After that, the planning became extremely easy--I just left it in her extremely capable hands. :cool2:

Coming: The Architect

luvvwl 09-08-2011 09:13 AM

Hmpf!!! I see how this is going to go!!!

WHO was it, I might ask, that actually WENT to the DCL website, researched AND booked this cruise????



Are you packed yet???????

luvvwl 09-08-2011 10:13 AM


Originally Posted by sleepydog25 (Post 42553592)
The Prologue

my DSO (or DDP or fill in your own designation)


for future reference, let's just refer to me as the love of your life, shall we??



I sooo did remember my password, Mr. Smartie Pants, so there!!!

PrincessTrisha 09-08-2011 12:55 PM

You guys are pretty cute in your banter.

Hope you have a fantastic voyage and smooth seas :boat:

sleepydog25 09-09-2011 01:12 AM

The Architect
Right up front let me say it was my DS. . .umm, "love of my life" who was the main engine pushing this train. When I said that I thought it would be fun getaway, what I meant to say was she was convinced we should go from the beginning, and that I finally agreed that it would, indeed, be fun to give it a whirl. I figured if I was robbing banks to finance the cruise, what was one more? It's not as if most banks I know actually would miss the money. . .but, wait, I digress.

Nope, she was the driving force (behind the trip, not the bank jobs), and I give her full credit. She did the research while I provided my best support.
"Babe, do you have to pay in full to start?"
"I dunno."
"Do you think Palo and Remy will be hard to get?"
"Will we need to pack one of those shoe storage thingies?"
"Ummmmm. . ."
Yeah. I was great help. It's part of my charm. pirate: Then again, I can pretty much figure out what I want to eat the first, maybe second time I see a menu. I needn't revisit said dining rotation eleventy times, just sayin'. But. That's part of her charm. ;)

Fast forward to this week. She's packed. I'm not. . .well, I wasn't until tonight. . .we leave tomorrow in order to spend a day at the World. I mean, you can't drive that far, be that close to Disney, and NOT go, right? But, that created a whole other manner of thinking. . .not only do you have to pack clothes to dine on board the Dream (including Palo and Remy), but also keep something in a separate bag to wear to eat at AP Saturday. And more stuff to wear in the park, but can't be packed in the main suitcase since they're being hermetically sealed and sent via Brinks Armored. So, I have to come up with something like kazillion pieces of my ensemble. . .who am I kidding? I don't even have ensembles. I tossed together some coats, ties, slacks, shirts, and shoes in a pile, threw them up in the air, and whatever pieces landed next to each other, those are my threads for a given night (be looking for the tall guy in a plaid shirt, striped pants, a jacket with leather patches on his elbows, oh, and orange socks). Yep, that's part of my charm. What's that? Oh. DSloveofmylifepartner says it's actually part of my anti-charm. :angel:

Where was I? Oh, yes. Her packing. Done. Last month. It was thought out before all the snow melted this past winter. She is nothing if not thorough. Organized. Determined. And did I mention she was packed last month? And charming. Very, very charming. (Yup, that could be a code word.) :love: We are done. Ready to roll. Ready to drive the most scenic highway in the U.S., the I-95 corridor. Watch out, Smokey, we know where your speed traps are, and we'll slip right through like milk spilling from Austin Power's teeth. Florida, here we come. . .

The Tempest
You don't have to be a Shakespeare fan to know that as I type, Tropical Storm Maria is bearing down on the Bahamas. Now, two days ago, she looked as though she might swerve north like Katia. Today? Not so much. I'm addicted to the National Hurricane Center website--with one click I can be all giddy or as has been the case today, gnash my teeth and curse the great Triton. Just call me a NH Centerian--"What's that, babe? No, I'm not a centenarian. . .you can stop laughing now. No, really, catch your breath before you hyperventilate." Anyhoo. The brain trust at the center (funny, no one ever says the brain trust in Congress--wonder why?) now says Maria will be whomping the Bahamas by Tuesday evening. There's only one thing to do: panic!!

Okay, we won't. We decided some time ago (I think it was maybe noon today) that even if the Dream runs like a little girl trying to escape the clutches of her pesky smaller, spoiled brother, we'll have fun. We can drink. We can eat. We do both very well. And, we'll have our ensembles. What more can one ask? Rain, schmain, and a possible hurricane? Look out, here we come.

The Friday Before the Saturday before the Cruise (and Saturday, too)
Okay, this is really weird, because I'm typing the day before the day I'm speaking of. So, it's sort of sci-fi, future-geek stuff. . .time travel 'cause I'm forecasting what will happen before it actually occurs. Cool, huh? This much I know. The drive will be long, but split into two days since we won't leave before tomorrow afternoon, and we'll stop about 11 p.m. only a few hours from Orlando. Saturday (wow! see how quickly we fast-forwarded?) we'll get to VWL, check-in as much as possible, then hit MK all day, eat at AP, then DHS (yes, it IS called DHS, babe) until they run us off (which could be sooner rather than later).

Then Comes Sunday
Some Mickey waffles, Starbucks, a short drive, and then we board our dream. Yeah, I know it's called THE Dream, but this time around it will be our dream. Something we've wanted for quite some time. Thanks to her charms. We'll write more then, details even. Til then, Bon Voyagee! as Bugs would say. . .pirate:

luvvwl 09-09-2011 11:10 AM

My packing was NOT done a month ago and you know it, lol! It was done a week ago, I'll grant you that.

Unlike some people I know. :rolleyes1


I WAS planning outfits over the winter, but hey, a girl's gotta plan what she's going to wear so she can get cute new outfits, right??

Curtis (our car affectionately, ok maybe lustfully named after that hot chef, Curtis Stone - all you girls know EXACTLY who that is, I'm sure!) has had his spa day. All shiny new again and looking F-I-N-E. Like his namesake. :teeth: Check.

Bags are packed. Check, check.

Goodbyes are said - to our kitties, MaxieIamJustaDoginaCatSuit and IHaveTooManyNamestoAnswertoAnyofThemBesidesWhichIa maCatNotaDoginaCatSuit and the two frogs, affectionately known as Sam 'N Ella. Check, check, check.

Oh, and I'm still waffling between packing an umbrella and a bikini, lolol. But. At least it'll be a warm rain, right??

We'll be checking into our Home Away From Homes, VWL and having dinner at our most favorite restaurant ever, Artist Point.

Check for us here wwwdotportcanaveralwebcamdotcom around 5pm on Sunday and maybe you'll see us waving goodbye!!!

sleepydog25 09-15-2011 11:24 PM

We walked off the Dream at 7:40 this morning and are now chilling (literally) back in the mountains of Virginia--it's 55F! It was a superb cruise, and we'll begin filling you in on each day soon. Til then, if you have any specific questions (it was a 4-night cruise that included both Palo AND Remy), feel free to ask! :thumbsup2

genmasjoy 09-16-2011 05:36 AM

Looking forward to hearing more. I couldn't talk DH into trying Remy for our last cruise but maybe the next time.

sleepydog25 09-16-2011 06:36 AM


Originally Posted by genmasjoy (Post 42650643)
Looking forward to hearing more. I couldn't talk DH into trying Remy for our last cruise but maybe the next time.

You should walk up to your hubby and thwack him in the back of the head a la Gibbs to Tony in NCIS. . .;)

sleepydog25 09-16-2011 10:49 PM

A Little Schmain but No Hurricane
Before I go any further, let me catch you up on one minor detail. First, there was no Maria, either hurricane or tropical storm. Magically (dare I say pixie-dustishly?), she began projecting a northward turn and did just that, bless her pea-pickin' little heart. We found out this little nugget watching the Weather Channel Friday night in a Brunswick, GA, La Quinta Inn. We drove about 7 hours to get into Brunswick after I got off work Friday afternoon of the 9th--that way we were prepositioned for our triumphant entry into the Kingdom by mid-morning on Saturday. And as visions of sugar plums danced in our heads. . .wait, wrong holiday. . .and as visions of MK and VWL pranced in our noggins, we saw the sought after news saga that Maria had opted to take a sharp right turn. Ecstatic is a word that comes to mind upon seeing that report, and we have video to prove it!

For those who might traverse that oh-so-lovely stretch of I-95 from SC, through GA, into FL, let me say that there are worse places to stay than the La Quinta in Brunswick. They have a nearby IHOP, Cracker Barrel, Waffle House if that's what your budget needs, and best of all, a Starbucks. Oh, yes, we've mapped out all the Starbucks between the mountains of VA and Jacksonville. Priorities! By 7:40 on Saturday morning, we were up, the car loaded, and a hot triple tall latte' with one raw sugar was gracing my hand and tickling my tummy.

We rolled through the archway at the Wilderness Lodge at 10:30, strains of "Quigley Down Under," "Silverado," and various Aaron Copland compositions floating through our sound system. We pulled up to the main lobby to drop off our bags since we knew the room wouldn't be ready.

Let me say right now that the CMs we encountered during our entire, albeit brief, stay and play at the World were as friendly, helpful, and genuine as I've seen in years. There seemed to be a new air about most of the CMs--they made us feel quite special and welcomed, reminiscent of years gone by. Perhaps we caught them on a good two-day cycle, or we were predisposed to like them what with a cruise on deck (get it? on deck?). Regardless, the customer service was memorable.

Our room, as suspected wasn't ready, but they did say we had our request--a 2BR suite with a courtyard view. We strolled the lobby and grounds for a time, took a few pics, and soaked in our "home." We even took the time to attend a Love Bug Wrestling Referee Camp as they were numerous. . .the bugs not the referees.

The Pre-Cruise
As previously mentioned, one of the two of us couldn't just go on a cruise, but rather had to enjoy a day at Disney first before taking in her first sailing. I thought such a move would drive me crazier than the hunchback's bells, but it wound up being a special touch. We felt relaxed, took time to relish the relative quiet and low crowds (as low as I've ever seen), and hit our faves at both MK and DHS (which had evening EMH): Space Mtn, BTMR, Haunted Mansion, Tea Cups, POTC, Buzz, RnR, TOT, and Star Tours.

In between the two parks, we made it into our room (spotless) then dined at AP, one of the truly meaningful places for us both. Our last two dinners at AP, while still good, had been marred by less than inspiring service--one night we had a server who just wouldn't shut up and the second time we had one who almost saw us as an afterthought. However, this night, this lovely, romantic night, reinforced why we love AP. The smoky portobello soup remained sublime, and both the buffalo and the halibut were expertly done, while the service was back to being exceptional. Our faith was restored.

All that was left to do entailed one thing: sleep! We're such partiers. We did yet another brief check of Maria (she was gonna head north almost certainly), lingered hand-in-hand along the wooden boardwalk between the main lodge and the villas, and thanked our lucky stars for the good fortune that we not only were on a much-needed vacation but with each other. The trip was off to a momentous start. . .:thumbsup2


luvvwl 09-17-2011 01:43 PM


luvvwl 09-17-2011 01:43 PM


luvvwl 09-17-2011 01:44 PM


luvvwl 09-17-2011 01:45 PM

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luvvwl 09-17-2011 01:45 PM

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