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pjstevens 09-19-2011 07:40 PM

Our Disney 'Dream Weavers' September 1, 2011 (update 12/30)
Introductions first:

me - Patricia
dh - Dale
dd - Aubre (23)
ds - Tyler (20)

DH and I took a Disney cruise September 2008 for our 25th anniversary and had a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding (Vow Renewal); and NO kids! So now we wanted to take our kids on a cruise.

A little back history on our furbabies. Abbey is a pug, she's 10 and diabetic and had eye surgery 3 years ago. She gets two insulin shots a day and eight eye medications a day. Furbaby #2 is Jade, our bulldog. She's easy going and only special needs is her diet.

The best place to start this TR is actually the night before. We were packed for the most part and knew that dd's bf was taking us to the airport and then staying at our house to take care of our furbabies.

Due to some confusion, there was a point after midnight that we weren't sure if df would be able to take us to the airport or care for our furbabies. So, I was going to get up at 5am and call my sister if need be and drive them to her house (30+ minutes in the opposite direction). She was our original dog sitter, but thought life would be easier with bf staying here.

Thankfully, I did't have to do that.

So, morning arrives, bf is here and we are getting ready. We go over things again with him and I stressed to not get worked up over Abbey’s EIGHT eye meds, just make sure she eats on time and gets her insulin.

Aubre is now upset, not feeling well, feeling like she is going to be sick (I honestly think she was ‘upset’ leaving bf for the week). Once we got on the road at 9am, she was fine and not feeling sick any longer.

We get to the airport and breeze through security. First stop was Dunkin Donuts which was in the next terminal, so we took the long walk over, everyone got their coffee and headed to our assigned gate in our terminal. The kids stopped to get magazines before we got to our gate (and we sat while Dale ate his breakfast sandwich, his second breakfast for this day). They each walked out with three magazines.

I was a ‘little’ surprised that Aubre picked up a Bride magazine. I know she and Danny have been together for some time and ‘thought’ they might be ‘getting serious’ but not quite sure since she doesn’t ‘share’ much of her life.

We get to our gate and realize it’s going to be lunch time while we are in the air, so the kids each got something to eat and Dale gets MORE food. I swear, I don’t know how he doesn’t weigh a ton more, he can eat constantly.

We each had a separate reservation (long story) so when I checked us in the previous day, I had IE; Firefox; Chrome and my phone Southwest app all open to ‘check us in’ at the 24 hour mark. Dale and I got upper A’s, Aubre and Ty lower B’s.

We were able to secure the emergency exit row again. This is now our favorite place to sit if available as the extra leg room is wonderful. So we all get boarded and are soon on our way to Orlando!

Up next, arriving at MCO and meeting the Purple Van!!!

pjstevens 09-19-2011 09:47 PM

After an uneventful flight we arrived in MCO a little ahead of schedule. We were due in at 1:50 pm and I don’t even think it was 1:20. We made our way toward baggage claim. We were to meet John from Owners Locker at the bottom of the escalator. We got down there and looked but didn’t see anyone. We figured Dale could go get the car paperwork done and we would head down to the baggage claim as soon as we got our Owners Locker. We were getting ready to get one of those carts since there is no way to carry the OL, I’m digging in my bag for my wallet so I can use my card for the machine and Dale spots our OL!!! John was so sweet, he had our locker and had a cart for us (saved us $4!). It was great to finally meet him as we’ve used our locker for numerous trips already. We said a quick hi and bye and then were off.

Dale went to car counter and the kids and I headed to the luggage carousel. We got a great deal on a car on Hotwire. For less than $200 we had a car for the eight days (granted we were on the cruise 3½ of those), but transfers for us to and from the ship would have been $300.

In no time our luggage was on the cart and we headed down to the car rental counter and Dale was already done. We made our way to the garage. Oh, our great car deal was through Hertz! We’ve never had such nice treatment. We got to the Hertz section in the garage and the gentleman working there took our info and went and got our car. They had cold water (in little Hertz bottles) for each of us and had the car a/c running and brought the car to us. He helped load our entire luggage too. It was really nice.

We were on our way to Port Canaveral before 1:45, I don’t know how, But, woohoo!!!.

Ty reading a magazine along the way (I get whatever photos we can of him since he’s not always with us)

We arrived at the Country Inn and Suites and checked in. It wasn’t even 2:30 when we checked into the hotel. We pretty much had our pick of rooms, they asked if we wanted first floor, second?, near lobby, near pool? It was really nice. We got a room nearby the lobby so we didn’t have far to take our stuff. We brought all our stuff in to get organized. The reason I got our OL before the cruise was so we could take all the ‘essential’ stuff that we didn’t have to pack (all bath stuff; power strip; first aid kit; etc). If we had a cart to ‘tote’ the OL we could have taken it on the ship, we had plenty of room in our cabin.

We got settled in while Aubre was playing with her camera or checking online (she had a class that was to start the next day and had been waiting for the instructor to load the information) and Tyler checked out the bed.

We then drove down to Cocoa Beach and checked out the Ron Jon Surf Shop. It amazes me that this place is open around the clock. It’s huge. We really took our time and checked out the surf boards and other items (didn’t take the time to do this last time).

We walked on down to Cocoa Beach so the kids could take a look. It was really gloomy looking out, but still so nice and relaxing.

It was getting close to dinner time and we had checked out all the fast food things we drove by and decided, no, we are going to sit down and eat. So off to Zachary’s which I read about on the Disboards. It’s right next to the Radison (which also offers cruise parking). It’s a Greek restaurant (who’d have thought with a name like Zachary’s). No food porn, I really sucked at that this trip. This meal was delicious and filling. Our waitress asked ‘Where in Pennsylvania are you from?’ We were shocked that she had us so close to where we live. We are two miles if that from the PA line. Turned out our waitress was from Philadelphia. She’s been down there for some time now, but obviously we still had that ‘philly sound’. Before leaving, we asked where was Manatee Park? I’d read about it on Shirley’s thread of tons of info and wanted to make sure we checked it out if it was close by. It was so close we could of almost ‘spit’ on it!! It was down the road right beside the restaurant.
We took a short ride down the road to this cute little park. We didn’t get to see any manatees, but we did see an alligator (I think)

Then a couple photos of the manatee and us

We were getting attacked by mosquitos and wanted to hit the Publix and liquor store before heading back to the hotel. We picked up some snacks for the evening and a few things to take on the cruise. We then headed back to the hotel and relaxed and soon were getting ready for bed.

Tomorrow the DREAM!!!!

HermanTriplets+1 09-20-2011 01:52 AM

Great start! Looking forward to reading more:goodvibes!

dstevens 09-20-2011 10:10 AM

We actually did see two Manatee's. When we first got to the park two were swimming from our left to our right. Opposite of the gator. We would have liked to stay longer at the park but the mosquitoes were feasting on us.

pjstevens 09-20-2011 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by dstevens (Post 42693931)
We actually did see two Manatee's. When we first got to the park two were swimming from our left to our right. Opposite of the gator. We would have liked to stay longer at the park but the mosquitoes were feasting on us.

Guess I was so busy looking 'through' the camera, that I didn't really 'see' them :confused3 I think they are real active early in the morning. Maybe 'next time' we'll get to check them out again.

jenifred 09-20-2011 11:44 AM

I'm in! popcorn:: (And jealous, because I have not even finished uploading my photos yet, let alone started my TR. :headache:) Can't wait to see more!

pjstevens 09-20-2011 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by jenifred (Post 42695004)
I'm in! popcorn:: (And jealous, because I have not even finished uploading my photos yet, let alone started my TR. :headache:) Can't wait to see more!

Get a move on it Jeni! I didn't 'edit' anything, just loaded them to photobucket to get started, lol. When i finally get around to scrapping this trip, I'll do a little cropping and adjusting though.

pjstevens 09-20-2011 04:26 PM

This is a very special day. We woke knowing that our grandson was going to be born today. We were hoping that he would make his appearance BEFORE we left port so we could get the update and photos.

So, we all got up and got our things packed up. One reason we chose this hotel for our pre cruise stay was the elaborate breakfast spread that was free to each of us. The Radisson only had a package that included breakfast for two and it was another $10 per person after that. This breakfast spread was great. There were all sorts of goodies, eggs, toast, waffles, fruit, yogurt, juices, coffee and I'm sure other things. I am the odd one, I don't typically 'eat' first thing in the am, I drink a protein drink ever single morning. Since I had brought my protein along, I got some milk and ice and used my handy dandy magic bullet that is in our OL and made my yummy shake (oh also with some peanut butter Aubre brought along). We had signed up for the 10:30 shuttle (the first one) and had a port 'arrival time' of 10:30 to 11:00 am. We were down in the lobby and ready a little after 10am. There were lots of returning cruisers getting dropped off at the hotel. Soon it was time to get on the shuttle.

If you have not stayed at the Country Inn and Suites, you'd be surprised at how close it was to the port. It's truly the closest one. In no time we were heading to the port and what do we see but . . .

Our shuttle was directed to the curb to drop us off. There was already a line of people at the terminal so we were directed to the parking garage (right across the street) and then lined up to enter the terminal when it was time.

There were probably a 10-20 parties in front of us, not really that many people. I saw people sitting on the ground filling out something that came with their cruise docs. I started to panic that I had forgotten to do something and went digging in my bag. Well, no, I didn't forget anything; these people were doing their stuff last minute!

Someone came along and reminded people that everyone needed their photo id and their cabin number. Soon we were getting ready to enter the terminal. They confirmed each of us on the reservation and we then headed across the walkway to the terminal. We stopped for a photo with the Dream behind us.

Next up, the terminal!

debsters41 09-20-2011 05:51 PM

I love this trip report and the pictures are wonderful! Such a lovely family. Looking forward to hearing more!!

pjstevens 09-20-2011 09:48 PM


Originally Posted by debsters41 (Post 42699390)
I love this trip report and the pictures are wonderful! Such a lovely family. Looking forward to hearing more!!

Hi Deb, how are you doing? Everyone all settled and 'back to normal' there? It was so nice to get to meet you. Wish I'd taken photos of so much more and so many of the wonderful people we met.

dstevens 09-21-2011 11:11 AM

Please note that in the picture at the terminal Patty did not read her memo about wearing a black shirt. :confused3

pjstevens 09-21-2011 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by dstevens (Post 42706175)
Please note that in the picture at the terminal Patty did not read her memo about wearing a black shirt. :confused3

Next time tell me :) I had a black shirt packed :(

2_Eagle_Mom 09-21-2011 03:56 PM

I'm loving the pictures already and looking forward to hearing about your trip. We're sailing on the Fantasy next year so I'm trying to gather as many tips about the larger ship.

Can't wait for your next installment.


pjstevens 09-21-2011 09:16 PM

We continued our way across the walkway and ‘caught up’ to the line. Someone came along and said we could take the elevator downstairs as there was no line down there. We weren’t too far from the door, so we stayed put (probably should have gone downstairs). There was only one security line and scanner for those coming from the parking garage. It wasn’t too slow, thankfully.

In no time we were in the terminal, be welcomed. We went right for the medical form and went to get in line for Castaway Cay members, woohoo!!! There was NO ONE in line (there were people at the counters) and as soon as we got through the twisted line, we were sent right up to a cast member who checked us in. They took a photo of our ‘group’ which was used for our Key to the World card. Each time they scanned our card, our photo would pop up. We were then given boarding number three!!!

All that took a matter of minutes. We were checked in with our Keys to the World a few minutes after 11am. There really weren’t that many people there yet.

We then walked around a bit, looked at the model of the Magic and then got in line to see Mickey (the first of MANY photos, I would require of my kids, lol).

While waiting in line to see Mickey (he left and Minnie came out), we saw a family from our Dis-group and said ‘hi’! Then I saw my friend Lisa arriving with her family (those tie-dyed Mickey shirts helped them stand out!!!!) They were awesome.

After our photo, we just hung out for a few and they called the first boarding group. We gathered our ‘stuff’ and got a little closer to the entrance, anticipating our number being called. I watched this lady, pushing her stroller and talking (in another language) to people in her party, trying to speed them up and get to the entrance. I laughed when they turned her away!!! She was ‘butting in line’!

Very quickly the second group was called and then it was our turn. We walked through the Mickey ears and got inline for our welcome aboard photo!

Up next, actually entering the ship!!!!

pjstevens 09-21-2011 09:36 PM

In no time we were walking the ‘gangway’ into the ship atrium and were asked our name. We don’t come up with anything special or different, it was us, the Stevens family and we were Welcomed Aboard. Everyone is there clapping for you. It is such an awesome experience.

It was breath-taking. I truly really got teary eyed, I was so happy to finally be here. We had planned this trip for so long and it was finally here.
The ship was still empty!

A cast member took us aside to explain where we could get lunch (it was about 11:45 at that point). Instead of going down to Enchanted Garden we went upstairs to Cabanas, slowly taking in the ship as we went.

Arriving at Cabanas was amazing, so much food to choose from! It was just noon and they had just opened. The selection was awesome. I kept it light with my salad, but Tyler went to town with his shrimp and crab legs (he was so proud of himself he took a photo to send to his gf). We sat there for a while, just taking it all in.

Up next . . . checking out the ship and the Aqua Duck!

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