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GooniesAndy 02-20-2012 10:58 PM

Browns vs. the Mexican Riviera, March 4-11, 2012 (completed 3/20; added Navigators)
I've been reading trip reports since we booked our cruise back in September of 2011, so I decided that I ought to start one up myself. First, the cast of characters:

Me: Erin, stay-at-home mom, Disney fanatic
Mike: The husband, works in video games
Elliott: Age six
Oliver: Age three (and a half)

This is me and Elliott:



We are also traveling with my sister, Meghan, her husband, Jason, and their three (and a half)-year-old son, Lucas. We all live in San Diego, so we will be driving up to the port. My family will be heading up on Saturday and spending the night at the Crowne Plaza in San Pedro. I decided it would be a lot less stressful to head up the night before, and we got the $65 rate on Priceline, so I feel like it's worth it!

This vacation was actually Elliott's idea. He was obsessively watching the DCL show that's on Netflix's instant streaming, and he begged to go. I told him that I thought it would be too expensive, but suggested to my husband that we use our next tax refund to go on a vacation of some sort; the last year or so has been extremely difficult and I thought we could really use something fun to look forward to. I started looking into cruises on other (cheaper) lines, and on a whim decided to price out Disney. I was surprised to see that it wasn't actually too bad and we were in! We booked ourselves in the cheapest inside room and then convinced my sister that her family should come along.

Before too much time had passed, the KSF was announced, with our sailing as the last date, and we were able to upgrade to a 9C and still save about $1000. I was tempted to go for a verandah, but my kids are wily and I had images of them swan diving off the side of the boat, so I decided to skip it for my peace of mind.

I've spent the last six months researching and planning, learning everything the DIS boards had to teach. I want this vacation to be something the kids will always remember, and so I am doing everything I can to make it special for them. I called ahead to request the dining rotation that will put us in Triton's for formal night, and Parrot Cay for pirate night. We'll be participating in the FE. I'm already stockpiling scrapbooking supplies (though I've never made a scrapbook before, and I am completely intimidated by it all!) so that I can put together an album for us.

I started buying supplies for the FE almost immediately, though I ended up putting it off as real life spiraled out of control. So now I'm scrambling to get everything finished in time! This weekend I was sick, so I took advantage of being stuck in bed to get a big chunk of the work done. I still have maybe 30% of the gifts left to make, and the actual fish extender. The only thing I'm nervous about is the extender, so I'm leaving it for last and will do something simple if my (originally very elaborate) plan doesn't work out!

Links to posts:
Scans of additional papers (movie schedules, tv channels, etc.)
Saturday night in San Pedro
Day 1 (Part 1)
Day 1 (Part 2)
Day 2 (Part 1): Sea Day
Day 2 (Part 2): Sea Day
Day 3 (Part 1): Sea Day, Palo
Day 3 (Part 2): Sea Day, Palo
Day 4 (Part 1): Puerto Vallarta
Day 4 (Part 2): Puerto Vallarta
Day 5 (Part 1): Cabo San Lucas
Day 5 (Part 2): Cabo San Lucas
Day 6 (Part 1): Cabo San Lucas
Day 6 (Part 2): Cabo San Lucas
Day 7 (Part 1): At Sea
Day 7 (Part 2): At Sea

oypoodles 02-20-2012 11:42 PM

Hope everything works out!

Laundress 02-21-2012 03:41 AM

Bless your heart. Life sure does get in the way of having fun.
Looking forward to your TR. :flower3:


GooniesAndy 02-21-2012 03:27 PM

Today my friend let me know that even an expedited birth certificate won't be able to arrive until after we leave for the cruise, so it looks like (as long as he continues in the right direction) Mike will be coming on the cruise with us. The kids will be thrilled, and hopefully it will now more resemble the dream vacation I had originally planned for us all.

Now, to update my packing list and plans to include one more person! I'd planned out a suitcase configuration based on just me and the boys, and now we'll have one extra, bigger person, and he'll be taking up a seat in the car that otherwise would have been loaded with bags! I also need to figure out what he will wear on formal night and pirate night. Today I remembered that I have dressed up as Wendy from Peter Pan before, so I will probably just pack that dress for me. It's a bit of a simple/less recognizable costume, so hopefully I don't look like I'm just wearing a nightgown to dinner!

marciemouse 02-21-2012 04:20 PM

Hey, fellow 3/4 cruiser! I am excited you're doing a TR. I considered it, but I'm not sure if I will or not. We'll see!

I'm sorry for Mike's struggles. I hope that he is able to come along (I already made up his birthday FE gift!) and that the cruise is the family vacation you've dreamed of! :wizard:

Deirdres 02-23-2012 05:16 PM

i am going on the MR cruise two weeks after you, i just wanted to let you know that i have dealt with similar struggles and am passing alot of positive energy your way. Have a wonderful time on your well deserved cruise.

GooniesAndy 02-26-2012 08:57 PM

I am starting to creep closer and closer to being ready to go... this weekend I did a test-run with putting suitcases into the car, so that I can figure out what my limits are, and that actually went pretty well. I think we will be able to fit everything we need in there! I also busted out my packing lists and got most of our clothes packed. Some things just can't be taken out of general use, so I'll have a bit more to do on Saturday, but for the most part I'm done, with clothes at least.

I am SO close to being done with everything for the FE. I ran out of ribbon for one of my projects, so I need to go get another roll, but luckily that will be maybe five minutes of work once I have it in hand. I started making the actual Fish Extender this afternoon, while I had on the Oscars red carpet. I am really nervous about how it will turn out, but at this point I will just be happy if it has pockets! We will see what this week brings... I also have a basket to put together for Elliott's school auction and a class party for him on Friday, so there is a lot going on!

We are all getting so excited, thinking about all that we are going to do, watching videos on YouTube, looking at photos and trip reports. I can't believe it's only a week away!

GooniesAndy 03-01-2012 07:36 PM

I think we are just about done! I have everything packed, other than the things that will get thrown in at the last minute, and I finished all of my FE gifts. I also sat down and made our FE, which I really should have done by machine not hand. Lesson learned for next time!

One more day of school for Elliott and then we are officially on vacation. We are driving up day after tomorrow, and we can't wait!

DisneyDad2boys 03-01-2012 08:44 PM

I really hope this vacation turns out special for your family. I am looking forward to reading your trip report when you return.

marciemouse 03-01-2012 09:42 PM

The FE turned out awesome! Looks like a lot of work. I can't believe you did it by hand. I can't wait to see it in person! :goodvibes

nsiordia 03-01-2012 10:10 PM

I know you are going to have a WONDER-ful time. I know we did. Take advantage of the kids club and have some alone time. That was the best thing we did.

GooniesAndy 03-03-2012 03:29 PM

The bags are in the car and we are about ready to go! Crossing our fingers that nothing goes wrong and at this time tomorrow we are ready to board! :yay:

spiiffy 03-11-2012 09:38 PM

I hope you had amazing trip. I can't wait to hear about it and see some pictures!

GooniesAndy 03-11-2012 10:20 PM

We are home and we had an absolutely amazing time! We took almost 1200 pictures, so I need to go through them a bit and weed out the blurry ones. I will try to post a first update tomorrow after we have finished getting settled back in... Oliver threw up in the car on the way home and has been sick all afternoon. It seems that he probably picked something up in the kids' club. Still, it was worth it!

PaigerPoo 03-12-2012 12:40 AM

hope you had a Magical voyage and your LIL guy is feelin better soon! We head out on the 25th of March and am looking very forward to hearing about your trip!!!:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
If you by any chance saved your Navigators, I'd love a peek!!:3dglasses
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