Caribbean Combo Pack! Engagement TR(2/11) & Disneymoon PTR(9/12) at CBR
Hello and welcome to a honeymoon one and a half years in the making. I am Katerina and my fiancť is Dave. On September 15th 2012 we will be getting married in Maine and on the 16th we will be arriving at Walt Disney World to spend our honeymoon. Here you will find our Engagement TR from February 2011 mixed in with our plans as they come for our Disneymoon in September of 2012. Enjoy!
Introducing the happy couple:
I’m Katerina, 32, the planner and Disney freak of the two of us. I’m a graduate in creative writing student at Goddard College and Innkeeper at the Norumbega Inn in Camden, Maine. (EDIT: 1/15/12 DF and I were laid off but I'm keeping it in the intro since that is where we were when I started this) I have been going to Disney almost every year since I was about 6 I think. I’m an only child and Disney was my family’s happy place as I was growing up. My BFF Kelly ended up coming along and soon enough our families were making Disney our annual spring break vacation together. For about 8 years (I’ll call them the wilderness years) I missed Disney while my parents went annually and attended my BFF’s wedding. Color me jealous. But in December 2008 we planned a trip together, meeting up with my BFF, her husband and son, and her parents. This was to be the last trip to WDW with my father who died of Parkinson’s disease in October of this year. That last trip with him is a memory I will cherish all my life.
This is Dave, 34, His first trip was the one we took together in February 2011. He grew up in Maine. He is the laid back sort who is happy to have me plan all the details. He is the other Innkeeper at Norumbega Inn.
His big loves are video games and Doctor Who. He’s basically a big kid so Disney wasn’t too hard to get him into (something I pride myself on!)
We have been friends for many years and got together formally in August 2010. By November I was planning our first vacation together for February 2011. It turned out to be a very memorable one. After Wishes on our first day he proposed. This is our first picture as an engaged couple thanks to Disney's Photo Pass.
So we really wanted to get married at Disney but it was unrealistic to get family and friends to pay for a Disney trip. So we decided to have a small wedding with close friends and family at Merry Spring Nature Park in the town we live. It was where we had our first date.
We had a lot of fun on our first trip to WDW and though it was only 5 days we crammed a lot into those days. For our honeymoon we are doubling our fun for 10 days! I’ve never stayed at WDW this long so I am very excited to really get into relaxation and enjoy our first days as husband and wife.
Our first ride together: Jungle Cruise
Kat's Favorite Ride: Jungle Cruise
Dave's Favorite Ride: Splash Mountain
Dave's Favorite Character: Goofy
Kat's Favorite Character: Mickey, and Lilo. She's one cool kid.
Kat's Favorite Disney Picture:
So welcome to our planning and our trip report. I hope it’s not too overwhelming to put the two together! Thank you for joining us in the celebration of the beginning of our lives together!
Ok so now you’ve got the intro into us, next post will be:
The Basics of Planning and Our Vacation Style
Engagement TR INDEX
Merry Manor Inn(Portland, Maine)
In Flight(Maine to Florida
Magical Day at the Magic Kingdom
Disneymoon PTR INDEX
The Basics of Planning and Our Vacation Style
Our Home at WDW
Trip Length Update
WDW with a Gluten Intolerance
First Draft Itinerary
Details and Trasportation Issues
Flights and Fancy(Flight info and some other little updates)
Random Decor Update
The Basics of Planning and Our Vacation Style
Welcome back to our Disneymoon planning and trip report. I thought I would start out with our style as far as Disney goes.
On our first trip together I planned everything out pretty detailed but I was missing some tools like Touring Plans, which I hope to put into use this time around. We only had five days so we did a lot of running around. It was also Daveís first trip so I we tried to do as much as possible without getting too worn out.
This is what we learned.
1. We can go non stop for about two days but will likely be dead on our feet by day three. Next time I am planning on a couple full days, but mostly half days.
2. We canít relax for too long. We get bored sitting around the resort for too long. We like a nice break but prefer to get to the parks at some point. So half days in the parks should be sufficient to give us relaxation time.
3. We actually enjoy spending our table service credits on lunch. Dave doesnít really eat breakfast so by lunch time heís starving! Hehe
4. Dave isnít big on the frou frou foods so Iíve decided to cut out signature restaurants in favor of a dinner show.
5. I have a gluten allergy. I met almost every chef at the places we dined and even at counter service! I learned that buffet style meals are not a good idea as itís hard to tell if something has been cross contaminated. Also I learned the hard way to watch out for hidden ingredients in the condiments bar.
6. We love CBR. We thought about trying something else but, weíre hooked.
7. We dislike layovers! So hopefully we can get straight flights this time.
8. You can never take too many pictures. This is something Iíve learned since my father passed too. You can never have too many pictures of the ones you love. So this time we are both taking a camera and I will not be afraid to ask complete strangers to take our picture. And I will be taking pictures of our food and Iím on a personal mission to have my picture taken with every chef I meet.
9. Having limited access to the internet during vacation is liberating. So no trip report till we return
10. There is still so much we havenít experienced, so no need to spend a lot of money on extras; we just want lots of time. So we opted for 10 days vs. special tours.
So that in a nutshell is our Disney vacationing style. Here is what we know right now.
1. We are staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort from September 17th Ė 26th
2. We have the dining plan, but Iím hoping free dining comes out for those dates, I chose these dates because the past three years have had free dining in this time period.
3. We went through Dreams Unlimited with Tracy Hendricks who was also our TA for our engagement trip.
4. We have the Hopper pass with water parks. Iím not a big water parks fan but I told Dave Iíd go to TL for his sake. He can ride the rides; Iíll hang out in the lazy river. Iím not good at holding my breath underwater which makes the end of the slides terrifying to me.
5. We are HUGE fans of pin trading. We only caught on to it the last two days of our stay last time. Our plan this time is to start with some basic packs and trade trade trade.
6. Iíve been keeping an eye on Touring Plans but their numbers keep changing for those dates since they are so far out. But I have a good Excel Spreadsheet started with all the info ready to be filled in.
7. Restaurants we have chosen so far. Sci-Fi dine-in, Rainforest Cafť, Ohana, Spirit of Aloha, Wave(a fave from last time), Chefs de France, Liberty Tree Tavern. We will keep working on this list.
8. Our flights will be early on the day we arrive and late on the day we leave. Still hoping for direct flight but so far no word from Jet Blue on that possibility from Portland Maine.
9. We will probably do the Park and Fly package at the Merry Manor Inn in Portland. You get a one night stay and can leave your car there till you return. You also get breakfast. It was great last time. Middle of winter and they had a heated indoor/outdoor pool. Very cool.
Thatís about it right now. As we get closer and dates firm up Iíll be able to make more permanent plans. So stay tuned!
Hi, I decided to join your PTR. :)
Lots of great information so far. Congrats again on the engagement. :)
My sympathies for your dad passing away. :(
Do you plan on going just to TL? Or do you plan on also visiting BB or Disneyquest? The waterpark option on the package only because of good value if you visit at least two of those. Otherwise, it's cheaper to pay the entry out of pocket.
Thanks for joining. I hope I can make this an interesting read!
We are deffinately planning on DisneyQuest as we havn't tried that yet. But probably not BB. I have issues with snow, even fake snow :laughing: I went there once and it just didn't appeal to me. Much more of a tropical sort of girl. And since I'm planning he seems ok with picking just one of the water parks.
Right now I'm putting together my notes, concentrating on half days. Putting together lists of ADR's, entertainment wants and must do's in each park. I sure do love planning!
Our WDW Home
As a child we stayed with my grandparents in Clearwater and did day trips. This increased to one week at the grandparents and one at an outside resort, Holiday Inn. My BFF was coming with us by this point and we started trying on property resorts. We did Port Orleans(Or whatever it used to be called?). My family found it quietÖa little too quiet. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Then we tried the Contemporary whose dťcor was a little blah for us. But then we tried the Caribbean Beach and weíd found home.
When Dave and I started planning our trip I was really trying to induct him into the family so CBR was the natural choice. I hoped and prayed he would love it there. I am happy to report that he loves it too. We stayed in Jamaica last time which I requested so we could take the bridge to Old Port Royale. I even suggested trying a different resort and he said CBR was home. Glad we are on the same page.
What we love about CBR
1. The colors! So bright and tropical.
2. The tropical theme.
3. The steel drum music. We love the music. We almost had a steel drum band for our wedding!
4. The layout. We love the sprawling layout of CBR. Taking the walk across Caribbean Cay is a beautiful way to start the day.
5. The King sized bed rooms are perfect for us. And I really like the brightness of the rooms too.
6. I love the way the food court is set up and the way it looks like a Caribbean village. When you look up you can see all the windows to upper apartments.
7. The tiki bar next to the pool is also a really cool place to hang out at night. Very chill =D
8. Since most of the resort is outside, my smoker DF has lots of options for places to smoke. He likes to smoke and drink his coffee out beyond the fountain while I eat breakfast.
So thatís our reasons for choosing CBR. We thought about trying out the Poly for part of the trip but instead decided just to spend a couple meals over there and explore the resort as a visitor this time around.
Trip Length Update
So after some conversation we may have added a day to our trip. Our wedding is scheduled for 6pm on September the 15th. I booked our trip for the 17th intending to give us one day off(the 16th) to sleep in, drive to Portland International Airport and stay at the Merry Manor Inn for the evening, and leave on a 6am flight on the 17th.
So Dave started asking me why we were waiting a day to leave, to which I said, I thought we'd need time to recoup from the wedding. To which he said he didn't want to wait that long to get to Disney! So I think we are adding one more night. We will use the Park and Fly package at Merry Manor Inn but stay the night of our return instead, letting us take a late flight home(more time at Disney). And we will leave midday on the 16th, which adds one more night stay, and gives us a full day in the parks on the 17th instead of a half day. I'm very excited to add another day. I've never been there for so long! It will be nice to be able to really relax and not feel like we have to run ourselves ragged to do everything we want to do.
Next I will go over the tentative schedule I have put together including our list of possible ADR's.
We've stayed at Caribbean Beach and we thought it was a beautiful resort! I think POP is more of our home though.
Great idea to add a day!
It's so funny how everybody has their resort, the one that fits them and feels like home. I'd love to try some other resorts, but when you only get to go once in a while it's hard to justify trying something you might not like. I remember when we tried Contemporary, of course we had a good time but going back to the resort at the end of the day wasn't as exciting, nor was having breakfast there.
I emailed Tracey at Dreams and our trip has been extended. We didn't extend the park tickets though since we'll probably get in later in the evening.
Well, as much as POP felt like home, and even though we really don't go often, there are still LOTS of resorts I'd love to try. Pretty much the only places I know for sure I never want to go are : All-Stars Sports, camping and the cabins of Fort Wilderness, and the Wilderness Lodge. Though even that last one I could possibly be convinced... I love the excitement of exploring a new resort.
Joining in :cool1: So happy to find another Mainer on here! And I think we will be in Disney the same time you are. We are going this Feb, but hoping to get a bounceback offer so we can celebrate our 10th anniversary in Sept.
So funny to hear you say you are not a snow girl and are more tropical....ummm, yeah because Camden is on the coast, so its much more tropical ;);) But I totally understand...I thought it was really weird that they would do a snow themed water park too. We are not bothering with the waterpark option for this trip because DH and DS don't do water rides. Plus, I think in Feb it can be a little chilly.
Congrats on your engagement! We will have to take a trip up to Camden to check out your inn this summer. I love that area. We usually do an Acadia trip every summer, so maybe on our way up or back (we live in Southwestern ME, about an hour north of Portland).
I hear you about PWM needing more nonstop to FL flights. We chose to fly out of Manchester this time. Sometimes we go to Boston, but its just too much hassle. Manchester is about the same size as Portland and Southwest has much cheaper flights. Plus bags fly free (2 each). Airtran and Jetblue both had nonstops for our Feb trip, but not sure what happened to them for later in the year. I know MHT is a little far for you....prob around 3 1/2 hours, but if you really want nonstop, maybe you could stay at Merry Manor for the night and travel the rest of the way the morning of your flight. Parking is much cheaper at MHT too :)
Anyhow...looking forward to seeing more of your plans :)
Now, to speak to the tropical girl comment, I have been trying to move to Florida since I was 17. Seriously. I applied to 3 FL colleges and one SC and the SC won out sadly. The I was with a guy who didn't like the heat. Then I was supposed to move South with my parents but my Dad got sick. And now I'm with a guy who isn't quite ready to make the move. I will get down there someday. Even if it's just part of the year. My Mom is still planning on moving at some point. I love Florida. I'm currently interested in the Palm Harbor area North of Tampa.
Anyhow, hehe. Have fun on your February trip. That's usually when I've gone. I've never been so close to summer so this will be a new experience for me! Havn't expreienced Florida summer yet. Yikes. Have you been in September before? Is there lots of sudden thunderstorms like in the summer?
First I'd like to point out that he spelled my name wrong, even though it was spelled out right on the e-mail. it's KatArina. There is an extra A in there! Grrr. This is a pet peeve of mine and unfortunately it happens all of the time. Anyhow, I sent an email to Portland International Airport(two weeks ago) about whether or not there were direct flights to Orlando and this is what I got.
Unfortunately JetBlue is stopping their non-stop service to Orlando. All of our airlines can get you to Orlando with a change of aircraft.
Airport Marketing Manager
Boooooo Hisssssss:mad: Not a fan of layovers.
WDW with a Gluten Intolerance
So after reading another TR I realized that I have a unique perspective on WDW that I didn't even mention. I have a gluten intolerance. What does that mean?
About two years ago I got the flu. When the flu should have been over I was still sick. A friend who has Celiac Disease asked me what I was eating and I said, just crackers. To which she said maybe I was allergic to wheat. So I did an experiment and ate whatever what I wanted to the next day and almost immediately felt better. A week later I felt great. I went further with my experiment by eating a wheat bagel, to see if it effected me. I was out of work sick for two days. Since then I havn't eaten wheat. Now I can't even use the same toaster as DF without getting sick. The more I avoid it the more sensitive I am to it. I haven't yet been tested for Celiac for two reasons. In order to test for Celiac you have to be eating wheat, which would put me out of work for a while and I can't afford that. The other reason is I'm pretty sure it's an allergy not Celiac since it only seems to effect me abdominally.
So last February was my first time doing Disney GF, which is how I'll be refering to it from now on. I was so impresed with how Disney handles food allergies. It took me a little longer to order and get my food, but really wasn't that bad at all. My DF never felt like he was waiting to long for me. Mostly it took longer at CS. At TS though, I met every chef! In fact my goal this trip is to have my picture taken with every chef we meet! I was able to eat all sorts of things I have missed out on the past two years. Burgers on a bun, this was a first in a long time. I was able to have DF's favorite sandwhich(Reubin) with him. I was even able to have fries. These little things get missed for me because most restaurants do not carry GF breads and usually fry all their breaded foods in the same oil they fry their fries. I even got to have Mickey waffles. The funny thing with that was I forced DF to get a Mickey waffle because I wanted to watch him eat it :laughing: This was at the CBR food court. And the chef overheard me talking to DF about it and came out and told me he could make me a GF Waffle! I was so excited. Then he went on to tell me all of the things they could make for me. Any burger or sandwhich!
The other TR I found also mentioned a Disney GF app which I just downloaded. It's pretty simple but will help a lot in the parks as it simply lists what foods I can eat at each TS and CS.
My intention when i get to the TR portion of this is to seperate the Dining Reviews so people can go directly to those. I'm looking forward to taking pictures of my food and having people look at me like I'm nuts and getting weird looks from the chefs who I beg for a picture from. :rotfl:
First Draft Itinerary
September 16th Arrival Day: A midday flight, most likely a layover in NY and arrival around 4pm. That night we will spend the evening enjoying Old Port Royale
The rest of these days don't have a specific dates attached as I will mix them up depending on what numbers I get from Trip Reports the closer we get to September, also I'll be able to take into account EMH and events. We are planning on making it to MNSSHP. So the rest of the stay is full days the 17th - 25th. 9 full days.
Day 1: Rope Drop. Magic Kingdom on a night it closes early due to MNSSHP. Spirit of Aloha that night and Wishes while relaxing on the Poly Beach.
Day 2: Kona for a late breakfast, explore the Poly and maybe Grand Floridian. Or maybe back to the resort for the early afternoon and late entry to MK on the night of our MNSSHP tickets.
Day 3: Rainy day plan. DTD and DisneyQuest. Dinner at House of Blues.
Day 4: Typhoon Lagoon. Early Dinner at Wave and Tomorrowland Terrace Desert Party.
Day 5: Rope Drop. Epcot Futureworld. Lunch at Via Napoli. Not sure on the restaurant choice. Want to see if they have GF pizzas first. Thought it would be a good place so we could take the boat over.
Day 6: Late arrival. Epcot World Showcase. Chefs de France for lunch and Illuminations.
Day 7: Animal Kingdom full day with dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.
Day 8: DHS full day. Sci-Fi Dine-in lunch and stay for Fantasmic.
Day 9: Resort Day. Do laundry. Swim. Imporomptu TS. Maybe a movie.
September 26th Departure Day: I'll let this be our day to do something we want to do again, or may have missed. Use up our last DP meals. Maybe go to Babycakes to stock up on sweets to take home. Our flight will be later in the evening, 5pm or later. And we will stay at Merry Manor that night before driving the 2 hours home.
So the plan is to alternate full days with looser half days. You'll notice we scheduled a lot of MK and Epcot in there since those are our favorites. There's lots of room to change our minds. The only signature is Spirit of Aloha. DH wasn't a big fan of Jiko last time we went, I think the warm towel thing threw him off. He's a simple guy. Anyway I might try and sneak one signature in there. I'm also thinking about scheduling a photo shoot. I have to do some research on that.
Please feel free to make any suggestions!
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