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-   -   PTR: 6-5-4-3-2-1 !!! NY-CANADA-NY June 2012/ Organizing the FE gifts! - 7 June (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2824051)

HermanTriplets+1 10-27-2011 04:41 AM

PTR: 6-5-4-3-2-1 !!! NY-CANADA-NY June 2012/ Organizing the FE gifts! - 7 June
 
SIX members of the Herman Family
FIVE nights on DCL's Magic
FOUR teenagers
THREE countries: Israel-USA-Canada
TWO official adults/parents
ONE amazing ship and cruise line!

Well, I guess I have decided to do a PTR after all! It might seem early, but if I have learned anything here, it's that it's never too early to plan, and never too early to get excited! I have been so enriched by my DIS life, that I think I "need to" write this! I'm not sure what my "style" will be; I guess it will show itself as I write. So let's start! I joined the DIS in August 2009, about 6 months before our first trip to WDW (well, my second, but since the first was in the mid 1970s, I think I can count it as my first trip, too!). We are a family of six (as you now know),

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...ilyforPB-1.jpg
not including our feline furbabies, JJ (mine, a.k.a Handsome Boy) and Gloria (DH's, a.k.a Princess).

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...ayonmine-1.jpg

We built our family in bursts, so to speak, triplets (now DD14, DS14 and DD14) and then 2 years later a younger brother (now DS12). End of family expansion project! The kids were all born in NY, where we lived for 6 years. I was born and raised in the NY/NJ area, but DH is Israeli. We moved "back" to Israel when the kids were all in diapers. That was in 1999. We've lived here since, surrounded by lots of wonderful family (DH's) and unfortunately far from lots of other wonderful family (mostly mine). I work full time outside of the house, as does DH. The kids are busy with all their activities and that keeps us running, too. Luckily we are full partners in parenting and somehow it all works out.

Our first trip to WDW was in honor of the triplets' 13th birthday (a significant birthday for us).

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...SAM_0471-1.jpg

It was simply THE BEST family vacation we have ever had! Are you surprised?? Over the years our entire vacation budget has gone to visiting the family in the States. With a lot of planning, we decided in 2010 that this time we would also have a "real vacation". We flew to NJ to visit my parents, then to Orlando: 5 nights with free Disney Dining Plan, in a family suite at the All Star Music Resort. Did I say... BEST VACATION EVER!!! On the Magical Express bus on the way back to the airport, the kids were watching the sales pitch on the video - and the seed was planted. A DISNEY CRUISE! They immediately figured out that if they'd had WDW for their 13th birthday, in 2 years it would be the younger brother's birthday and we could do DCL for his celebration! Seed planted. Seed germinated. Here we are!

Followed the itineraries for 2012 -- no Med or TA (too much $$ anyway, and hey it's only our first cruise), but .... NYC!! A sign from above! And yes, I do believe in such signs, especially when they involve Disney! NYC 8 night to the Bahamas - too hot in August, again too expensive (though that day at WDW is really attractive). NY 2 night - too short. NY-Canada 5 night - JUST RIGHT!! Had to spin it a bit for the kids, "why do we want to go to Canada?", but it made the cut and we booked it.

We've got some privacy needs in the family, so I'll explain upfront that we'll be brief on current family pics and other "embarrassing" personal details. But there is so much to tell -- I think I can do this without crossing any of those fuzzy lines.

Future installments:
Picking the dates for our cruise
What kind of cabin? Where? Will it be available? Will our choice matter in the end?
Food issues to anticipate
Wardrobe issues to anticipate
Character interactions, getting ready...
Birthdays one, two or three?
Port day planning
Packing thoughts

Thanks for jumping onboard!

sullins5 10-27-2011 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HermanTriplets+1 (Post 43071604)
SIX members of the Herman Family
FIVE nights on DCL's Magic
FOUR teenagers
THREE countries: Israel-USA-Canada
TWO official adults/parents
ONE amazing ship and cruise line!

Well, I guess I have decided to do a PTR after all! It might seem early, but if I have learned anything here, it's that it's never too early to plan, and never too early to get excited! I have been so enriched by my DIS life, that I think I "need to" write this! I'm not sure what my "style" will be; I guess it will show itself as I write. So let's start! I joined the DIS in August 2009, about 6 months before our first trip to WDW (well, my second, but since the first was in the mid 1970s, I think I can count it as my first trip, too!). We are a family of six (as you now know),

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...ilyforPB-1.jpg
not including our feline furbabies, JJ (mine, a.k.a Handsome Boy) and Gloria (DH's, a.k.a Princess).

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...ayonmine-1.jpg

We built our family in bursts, so to speak, triplets (now DD14, DS14 and DD14) and then 2 years later a younger brother (now DS12). End of family expansion project! The kids were all born in NY, where we lived for 6 years. I was born and raised in the NY/NJ area, but DH is Israeli. We moved "back" to Israel when the kids were all in diapers. That was in 1999. We've lived here since, surrounded by lots of wonderful family (DH's) and unfortunately far from lots of other wonderful family (mostly mine). I work full time outside of the house, as does DH. The kids are busy with all their activities and that keeps us running, too. Luckily we are full partners in parenting and somehow it all works out.

Our first trip to WDW was in honor of the triplets' 13th birthday (a significant birthday for us).

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...SAM_0471-1.jpg

It was simply THE BEST family vacation we have ever had! Are you surprised?? Over the years our entire vacation budget has gone to visiting the family in the States. With a lot of planning, we decided in 2010 that this time we would also have a "real vacation". We flew to NJ to visit my parents, then to Orlando: 5 nights with free Disney Dining Plan, in a family suite at the All Star Music Resort. Did I say... BEST VACATION EVER!!! On the Magical Express bus on the way back to the airport, the kids were watching the sales pitch on the video - and the seed was planted. A DISNEY CRUISE! They immediately figured out that if they'd had WDW for their 13th birthday, in 2 years it would be the younger brother's birthday and we could do DCL for his celebration! Seed planted. Seed germinated. Here we are!

Followed the itineraries for 2012 -- no Med or TA (too much $$ anyway, and hey it's only our first cruise), but .... NYC!! A sign from above! And yes, I do believe in such signs, especially when they involve Disney! NYC 8 night to the Bahamas - too hot in August, again too expensive (though that day at WDW is really attractive). NY 2 night - too short. NY-Canada 5 night - JUST RIGHT!! Had to spin it a bit for the kids, "why do we want to go to Canada?", but it made the cut and we booked it.

We've got some privacy needs in the family, so I'll explain upfront that we'll be brief on current family pics and other "embarrassing" personal details. But there is so much to tell -- I think I can do this without crossing any of those fuzzy lines.

Future installments:
Picking the dates for our cruise
What kind of cabin? Where? Will it be available? Will our choice matter in the end?
Food issues to anticipate
Wardrobe issues to anticipate
Character interactions, getting ready...
Birthdays – one, two or three?
Port day planning
Packing thoughts

Thanks for jumping onboard!

So glad to have you onboard!:thumbsup2 And I think you'll be amazed at all the 'little' things you think about, remember, find out, anticipate, and plan for!! Celebrate ALL you can on this cruise! If your family enjoyed WDW as well as mine for the first time (and it sounds as if y'all did), you are gonna LOVE this ship!:lovestruc
Can't wait to hear more of your 'planning strategy' and see your excitement...fun months ahead!!!:banana:

and we have 3 :cat:'s too...Mittens, Lucy, and Ella...can't forget those babies either (though they were happy they were home and not on the Magic)!

HermanTriplets+1 10-29-2011 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sullins5 (Post 43076418)
So glad to have you onboard!:thumbsup2 And I think you'll be amazed at all the 'little' things you think about, remember, find out, anticipate, and plan for!! Celebrate ALL you can on this cruise! If your family enjoyed WDW as well as mine for the first time (and it sounds as if y'all did), you are gonna LOVE this ship!:lovestruc
Can't wait to hear more of your 'planning strategy' and see your excitement...fun months ahead!!!:banana:

We loved WDW so much, that's why I just know this is going to be great for us, too. Thanks for the encouragement! The kids saw a clip of DCL on "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" today and asked "Is that our ship?"!:lovestruc

HermanTriplets+1 10-29-2011 10:38 AM

When to Sail? 2012, yes, but...

This is how the thought process went, in a nutshell:

Our kids finish school around the 21st of June, usually. But I have to say that that last week is not exactly a time of great learning (understatement). Here's a picture to keep things interesting! It's the middle/high school that 2 of the kids go to:

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...2fbac621-1.jpg

July is busy with camp/work/dance classes etc. August is usually pretty empty. Then back to school on September 1st in the past, though they are talking about August 26th starting next summer. THEREFORE, we are talking June or August. And the NY-Canada cruise. SO here are my pros and cons :

June trip:
PRO: Less expensive, sooner (!), better season for me to take vacation from work.
CON: Would have to pull kids out of last week of school festivities, and might still be a bit jet-lagged when we board. Weather in Canada has more chance of rain and not as warm as August. And we would have no plans for August.

August trip:
PRO: More relaxed arrival to the States and then to the boat. Better weather in Canada.
CON: More expensive, and a bit rushed afterwards to return home and get ready for school. Also, not as good time for me to take off from work.

Do you know what we decided? If you've followed my postings on some other threads, you might… if not, stay tuned!
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HermanTriplets+1 10-31-2011 03:03 AM

OK OK, 100 views so I just KNOW that you are wondering what month we decided on .... JUNE:cool1:! Actually it was quite a process to decide. I really wanted August and usually I get what I want when it comes to planning vacations:rolleyes:. But we had a family discussion and weighed out the pluses and minuses and everyone else voted for June. SO, June 17, 2012 it is! When we rebooked, the price of the June cruise had gone up and was basically the same as the August. Or maybe it was because there were no category 11 rooms left, so we "had" to upgrade to a 10C, deluxe inside stateroom instead of the standard. So now we have split bathrooms - better when you consider 4 teenagers in a room:eek:!
OOPS I just gave away some of my next post. Oh well. Going with the flow here.
Suddenly I am 2 months closer to our cruise - that means I must be behind in my planning and preparing:rotfl:!
Have a great day, everyone!

annabug 10-31-2011 06:27 AM

Hi!
I was hoping you would pick june! I think its a better fit from what you described


Just joining your report!
You have a beautiful family! Looking foward to hearing about all of your plans!
we are from NY, and will be taking our first cruise in June! we are leaving from port canaveral, a double dip to bahamas!:cloud9:
annabug

HermanTriplets+1 10-31-2011 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by annabug (Post 43108034)
Hi!
I was hoping you would pick june! I think its a better fit from what you described
Just joining your report!
You have a beautiful family! Looking foward to hearing about all of your plans!
we are from NY, and will be taking our first cruise in June! we are leaving from port canaveral, a double dip to bahamas!:cloud9:
annabug

Thanks! I'm busy "bonding" to the June trip and I'm back to being totally excited about it:banana:! Are you thinking of doing FE exchange? We are both sailing in June so we're sort of on the same schedule! We considered going down to Florida to sail from Port Canaveral but decided to jump on in NYC instead.

HermanTriplets+1 11-03-2011 06:34 AM

Choosing a Stateroom
 

Hi Again! So, it was time to ... choose a stateroom!
This required pulling together lots of ideas from years on the DIS:goodvibes! Knowing our budget, the top of the scale was clearly out (well, one can dream, pixiedust: and free upgrades and winning the lottery and such), so I started investigating from the bottom up. Or, from the top, down actually, if you consider the numbers of the room categories. I dreamed of a secret porthole room, or a secret veranda. I dreamed of a Navigator's veranda. Or maybe just an inside room near that secret deck on deck 7, aft. I thought aft would be better than forward (nearer to the drink station:drinking1). I dreamed of an inside stateroom for the kids, with an across the hall veranda room for DH and I. Even better, a deluxe inside stateroom for them, the split bathroom would be nice with 4 teens in a room. Lots of dreams and thoughts. But the bottom line was this: we needed to save money where we could, and it was going to be inside standard staterooms for us! My first booking, when I thought we were going to do the August cruise, netted us two category 11B rooms, standard inside staterooms. Not aft. BUT, sideways rooms! I was happy! Because I'm a good DISser and I know that sideways rooms are good! And it was on Deck 5, and the Edge is on Deck 5 good for DS13! So I was happy. And I figured that we're going to be so excited to be on this cruise, and we are not going to be in the room so much, so the money is better spent elsewhere!

THEN, the dates changed. The Family :grouphug:decided we should go in June, not in August. The Family:grouphug: didn't care so much about the sideways rooms. The Family:grouphug: figured that I would figure out something good for us. Back to DU, and of course now it's 8 months before the June date and the room choice is very limited. But, pixie dust was with us! While there were no 11A or B rooms open, we snagged 2 of the last remaining 10C rooms, for basically the same price as our August 11B rooms! OK OK that's because the June sailing is supposed to be cheaper, but when you make changes, you make compromises. 10C are deluxe inside staterooms, so we got the split bathrooms after all:thumbsup2! And we got "aft" like I'd dreamed of. And they are connecting. So not bad at all. Big sigh of relief on my part, let the planning continue. Oh, and we made sure to list two in one room (1A / 1C) and four in the other (1A / 3C) to get make sure that the rooms would really sleep 4.

Onward with the planning! We have an itinerary, we have a date, and we have a room! Next ... let's think about FOOD:mickeybar!

annabug 11-07-2011 11:59 AM

I think your rooms will be great!
We booked our cruise back in January!! So we had pick of the litter! But being a first cruise with our little ones we spurged on deck 9 4a. I know we will be happy to have a verandah, an extra space for our super busy 3 yo DS!

Its gonna be a long winter waiting for this, but its so exciting to look foward too!

HermanTriplets+1 11-07-2011 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by annabug (Post 43175794)
I think your rooms will be great!
We booked our cruise back in January!! So we had pick of the litter! But being a first cruise with our little ones we spurged on deck 9 4a. I know we will be happy to have a verandah, an extra space for our super busy 3 yo DS!

Its gonna be a long winter waiting for this, but its so exciting to look foward too!

A verandah sounds GREAT:thumbsup2! If it was a grown-ups only cruise, I think I'd splurge on one - without the second room to pay for it would seem more reasonable! And if we had little kids, I also think it would be worth it. Now that we have such big kids, we'll make due with inside! But I'm REALLY glad we got the split bathrooms. Anyway we're going to have some competition for bathroom time! Glad that there is a good shower in the Spa! And it will probably be a whole lot more peaceful there, too:rolleyes:! How old is your DD? Isn't it hard to wait?! But imagine, the winter would be even worse if we didn't have this great bright light at the end of it:cool1:!

HermanTriplets+1 11-07-2011 12:36 PM

Some thoughts about Fish Extenders and FE gifts. I'm totally psyched to participate in this event! I've been combing the threads and thinking about what to do for months. On the one hand, we'll be flying from Israel so anything I make here has to be small enough to travel with. On the other hand, I could just order supplies to meet me in NJ before the cruise. But then I wouldn't have time to prepare things. My options here are pretty limited in terms of craft shops - no Michael's, no JoAnn's! But I have some good ideas - I'm not going to spoil it and tell you:rotfl:! I've also been picking up little things as I see them. Yesterday I found Disney/Mickey and Friends crayons, in round containers. Imagine if these containers
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...n-cartons1.jpg
had 12 crayons and were decorated with Mickey and Friends designs. That's sort of what I found! SCORE:thumbsup2!
Did you know that Israeli books open on the left side, not the right? Thought that might be sort of novel for kids so I also got some small Disney themed blank lined notebooks. Not sure what I'll do with the stuff, just "collecting" so far! It's fun!
Regarding a FE, here's my idea. I'm not big on sewing, though my MIL is great at it. So I thought of asking her help. However, now I have a better idea :idea:! Someone on the FE thread made a duct tape FE. Hmmmm. Then I saw some great Mickey polka dot oil cloth material, black with white dots and also red with white dots. And I copied all the ideas for a no-sew FE. See where I'm going with this? I'll keep you updated...
That's my thoughts for tonight,
Have a great day wherever you are!

HermanTriplets+1 11-09-2011 07:51 AM

DETOUR: The Dead Sea: Hiking Ein Gedi/Arugot trail
 
Well about a week ago we managed to get all of us out on a family daytrip, to go hiking near the Dead Sea. We only left our house around 11 am, due to a morning math lesson and some last minute supermarket shopping for picnic supplies. The drive from our house takes us basically in an Eastern direction, skirting around Jerusalem, past Jericho, and on to the Dead Sea. It took us one hour to get to the Northern tip of the Dead Sea, and another 1/2 hour to get to the Ein Gedi reserve where we wanted to hike. Ein Gedi means "Wild Goat Spring". It is the name of a kibbutz/communal settlement on the edge of the Dead Sea, and of a national park there. There are two main trails, and we decided to do Wadi Arugot. On this schematic map, it's the trail on the left side of the map.
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...nnelloBig1.jpg
Because we didn't get an early start, we knew we'd only get up part of the trail, but that was ok! It starts to get dark at around 4pm in this season at the Dead Sea - there is no light pollution and as soon as the sun dips behind the mountains, it is DARK! Here's another view (from the Internet) to show you where we were. It is as if you were hovering in a helicopter over the Dead Sea and looking at Ein Gedi:
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a.../eingedi21.jpg
It was very, very hazy and dusty that day. This is how it really looked as we set out on our hike
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...theDeadSea.jpgAbout 10 minutes in,
you have the option of a "wet trail" or a "dry trail".
The kids did "wet", of course!
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...WadiArugot.jpg
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...benexttime.jpg
Don't worry, that jumping kid isn't one of mine!
The trail continues onward and upward....
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...andupwards.jpg
We made it about 2/3 of the way to the end of the trail. Made me want to come again and start early enough to do the whole thing! On the way down we saw some local residents:
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...tofEinGedi.jpg
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...derBunnies.jpg
Cute! The bottom one is called a Boulder Bunny in Hebrew, and is a distant relative of the elephant! Maybe someone here knows the name in English?
Afterwards, it was time for refilling our water bottles and ice cream for some. Then a quick dip in the Dead Sea for 4 of us, while the other two chilled out. I finally got to my son's pictures : here is a typical scene of bathers in at the Dead Sea, and the rocks on it's shore.

http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...theDeadSea.jpg
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...theDeadSea.jpg

By 5:30 it was pitch dark. And we headed home. Even though we live here, we really don't get out to do these kind of hikes enough. Like living in NY and not visiting the Empire State Building!
Hope you enjoyed this detour!

sullins5 11-10-2011 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HermanTriplets+1 (Post 43193378)
Well about a week ago we managed to get all of us out on a family daytrip, to go hiking near the Dead Sea. We only left our house around 11 am, due to a morning math lesson and some last minute supermarket shopping for picnic supplies. The drive from our house takes us basically in an Eastern direction, skirting around Jerusalem, past Jericho, and on to the Dead Sea. It took us one hour to get to the Northern tip of the Dead Sea, and another 1/2 hour to get to the Ein Gedi reserve where we wanted to hike. Ein Gedi means "Wild Goat Spring". It is the name of a kibbutz on the edge of the Dead Sea, and of a national park there. There are two main trails, and we decided to do Wadi Arugot. On this schematic map, it's the trail on the left side of the map.
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...nnelloBig1.jpg
Because we didn't get an early start, we knew we'd only get up part of the trail, but that was ok! It starts to get dark at around 4pm in this season at the Dead Sea - there is no light pollution and as soon as the sun dips behind the mountains, it is DARK! Here's another view (from the Internet) to show you where we were. It is as if you were hovering in a helicopter over the Dead Sea and looking at Ein Gedi:
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a.../eingedi21.jpg
It was very, very hazy and dusty that day. This is how it really looked as we set out on our hike
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...theDeadSea.jpgAbout 10 minutes in,
you have the option of a "wet trail" or a "dry trail".
The kids did "wet", of course!
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...WadiArugot.jpg
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...benexttime.jpg
Don't worry, that jumping kid isn't one of mine!
The trail continues onward and upward....
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...andupwards.jpg
We made it about 2/3 of the way to the end of the trail. Made me want to come again and start early enough to do the whole thing! On the way down we saw some local residents:
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...tofEinGedi.jpg
http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/a...derBunnies.jpg
Cute! The bottom one is called a Boulder Bunny in Hebrew, and is a distant relative of the elephant! Maybe someone here knows the name in English?
Afterwards, it was time for refilling our water bottles and ice cream for some. Then a quick dip in the Dead Sea for 4 of us, while the other two chilled out. If I find my son's pictures I'll add the floating pictures here soon. By 5:30 it was pitch dark. And we headed home. Even though we live here, we really don't get out to do these kind of hikes enough. Like living in NY and not visiting the Empire State Building!
Hope you enjoyed this detour!

:thumbsup2 Amazing! I can't wait to show my dh these pictures! Would love to see Israel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem....just all of it! And we haven't been hiking in a while, though we love to geocache, camp,and fish. Looks like y'all had a ton of fun and a great day. Loved the pictures! We love animals, so I'll have to ask dh what he thinks a Boulder Bunny is.:) And here, we think getting to go to the beach is great and you get to go to the Dead Sea! Wow! Thanks for the detour!

HermanTriplets+1 11-10-2011 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sullins5 (Post 43203239)
:thumbsup2 Amazing! I can't wait to show my dh these pictures! Would love to see Israel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem....just all of it! And we haven't been hiking in a while, though we love to geocache, camp,and fish. Looks like y'all had a ton of fun and a great day. Loved the pictures! We love animals, so I'll have to ask dh what he thinks a Boulder Bunny is.:) And here, we think getting to go to the beach is great and you get to go to the Dead Sea! Wow! Thanks for the detour!

Glad you enjoyed it!
We also love the beach. One of the best things about where we live is that we can be at the beach in just under 30 minutes! There's a huge problem with jelly fish during the summer months, though, so we tend to go in the spring and fall.
The Dead Sea is an experience to swim in, though you more float in it, and not everyone likes the feeling of the slimey mineral water! It's pretty cool.
I hope you can visit here one day!:goodvibes

annabug 11-11-2011 06:45 AM

Fascinating! Such a beautiful place. What a great experience for your children! Thanks for that detour!
Your FE gifts sound great. I have decided not to participate this trip. It is our first cruise, and I just "want to get my feet wet"..I am sure we will do it next time!

I do want to make magnets for the door. I am sure my kids will like doing that. My DD will be 7 at time of sailing, she is a great big sissy to my DS who will be 3:hug:

I have to research how to make the magnets:surfweb:
annabug

btw....i looked up my flights for jet blue from ny to mco in june....outrageous!
not sure what im going to do!!


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