I also WON a Disney Cruise!
Several months back DCL had a sweepstakes for 4 different cruises introducing the new ports they were sailing from. (Maybe some of you remember this.) Well I won the final round cruise prize! :cool1: The prize was a 5-night Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami on the Wonder.
Now when I played the game for the sweepstakes, I didn't play the first round (Mexican Riviera from LA) at all. During the second round (cruise from NYC ), I only played a handful of times. I actually kept forgetting to play. On the third round (cruise from Galveston), I had played several times by the time Eyor44 wrote her Pre-trip report about winning the Bahamian Cruise on the Magic from NYC. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2921528
That got me very excited following it everyday, and I made sure that I would play as much as I could after that. I continued playing into the fourth round only missing a few days and playing on both the computer and on my phone. My son kept saying to me whenever I would play, “Are you still playing that stupid game?! You know you're never going to win!” Joke was on him:rotfl:
About 2 weeks before the game ended, people were posting on the DCL facebook page about how many entries they had. Some of them were saying that they had anywhere between 135-145 entries, while I only had 122 at that point. I figured that I had no chance at winning but that I might as well finish the contest anyway since I played so much already. :worried:
One thing that I always do when I enter a sweepstakes is to read the Official Rules – mainly to see what the “actual” prize is (if there are any restrictions on dates or hidden catches). So because I had done that, I knew that on or around October 5th the winner would be contacted. In Eyor44's thread, she had said that she was contacted by email (which made sense since you had to use that to register for the game), so I did assume that they would contact everyone that way.
I actually forgot that it was to be drawn on October 5th until I saw the email in my inbox. I was on my way home from work and stopped to pick up my kids (DS15 & DD13) from their dad's house. So while I was waiting for them, I decided to check my emails. And there it was “Disney Magical Cruise Promotion Notification” from PrizeLogic, which is the clearing house for the sweepstakes (listed in the Official Rules and in Eyor44's thread). I got a little shaky from my nerves and pure disbelief. I kept saying to myself as I'm reading it, “No way, no way, no way...” I yelled to my kids, “Hurry up! We just won a Disney Cruise!” I then texted my fiance (Psboynh), “I just won a Disney Cruise!” He texted back, “yeah right”. I texted, “we really did!” He immediately called me. He thought that it had to be a hoax email, but I told him about what it says in the Official Rules (which they also attached again with the email). And about Eyor44's thread, and how it was the same email that she received from the same clearing house.
I won't go into all the details of the process in redeeming the prize since it was similar to Eyor44's thread. But I will tell you what we actually won because it was a little different.
The Grand Prize was a 5-night Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami for 4 people with airfare and transportation to and from the port. We were given the choice of four different dates. Two were for the Cozumel/Castaway Cay itinerary and two were for the Grand Cayman/Cozumel itinerary. We chose the GC/Cozumel one. I had taken a 3-night DCL cruise 12 years ago on the Wonder to Nassau and CC. Their island was nice, but my kids aren't beach/water kids and I thought it would be neat to visit new countries. I asked my kids which itinerary they preferred and they agreed that they would like GC/Cozumel better. They also booked us into a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah (cat 5c).
I got a call one day at work from DCL (it was a 407 area code so I knew who it was right away). It was the airfare arrangement department for DCL, and they were having issues scheduling our flights. They booked us out of MHT to MIA with a connecting flight in the AM going down but coming back we had a choice of either a 4hr layover in ATL or they could transport us to FLL but the flight didn't leave until 5pm and after a connection it wouldn't arrive until almost midnight back in MHT. I explained to her that BOS is only a little farther away for us but they sometimes have better flight schedules. (I am actually a “frustrated travel agent” at heart and researched flight schedules as soon as I chose the dates for the trip, so I knew there would be better/direct flights from BOS.) She said that she would look into it and call me back. The next day I got another call from her with the new flights from BOS. It was a direct flight going down and still a connection on the return, but at much better times. About a week later, she called me again and said that they found a direct flight for us on the return also, and she just needed my ok to change it. We thought this was awesome that they were actually trying to give us the best arrangements possible. I'm not sure if this is the norm when you book airfare through DCL or if it was just because we won.
Also included in the “upgrade” prizes were port adventures for 4 at both GC and Cozumel. We had a choice at Cozumel of Tulum Ruins or Dolphin Discovery Cozumel, and Island Tour or Nautilus Submarine in Grand Cayman. We decided to do the Island Tour and the Tulum Ruins.
The other upgrades I won were:
Fire & Ice Manicure and Pedicure
Men's Wash, Cut & Style
Couple's Absolute Spa Ritual
Palo Dinner for 2
Palo Brunch for 2
(the above prizes were all scheduled for us prior to receiving our reservation #)
This is what we also received once we were on the ship:
Tropical Rainforest daily passes for 2
Character Meet & Greet
Classic Wine Package for 7 nights
Bon Voyage Package
Arcade Onboard Credit of $50
Onboard Credit of $250
Onboard Credit of $20 (to replace Coasters we were supposed to receive from the game)
Not So Hidden Mickey Floral Arrangement
Let's Cruise Package
$200 Onboard Credit for photos
Family Fun Pack
Bon Voyage Stateroom Celebration
They also prepaid our standard gratuities, and I also received the Castaway Club backpack since this was my 2nd Disney Cruise.
(Unfortunately we didn't get the $200 in Gift Cards prior to the trip like Eyor44 did :( )
Congratulations!!! I've been trying for years to win a disney vacation. Nice win.
Did you already go or did you just win this?
Congratulations! WOO WOO! :cool1:
WOW!! So glad that a Diser won it!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Aloha, Karen and Ron
I tried to win those cruises too! Always great to hear from someone that actually won it and that they gave you all the prizes! Congrats!!
I am one that doesn't care where it leaves or where it goes...just to be on the ship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What an awesome prize! Congrats.:goodvibes
Wow! That is an amazing giveaway!:thumbsup2 I would have been shaking too if I had received that email. I can't believe how much additional stuff they gave away besides the cruise and airfare! Disney just always knows how to do things right! Congratulations!:goodvibes
Congratulations its very exciting :cheer2:
Day 1 – Monday, January 14, 2013
We had an 8am flight out of Boston. We ended up taking a car service leaving at 5am. (When that 3:30am alarm went off I was definitely groaning, especially since I had a hard time going to sleep the night before from excitement.) We got to the airport earlier than expected so no need to hurry for once. We waited at the gate for about 30min until they started boarding. Everything was going smoothly as we pulled away from the gate, but then we waited on the tarmac way too long. The captain came on and said that there was a maintenance issue and we were heading back to the gate. He said that they think it's just a bad sensor and shouldn't take too long to fix. We sat again at the gate for another 30min and finally were on our way again. So we actually ended up leaving an hour late. We made up time in the air and landed only half an hour later than scheduled (approx noon).
The Miami airport is huge and it took us forever to get to baggage claim. We were one of the farthest gates and one of the last baggage carousels! We passed the DCL stand on the baggage claim level so we knew where to come back to after we grabbed our luggage. But after retrieving our bags and putting our luggage tags on them, there was a DCL rep with a Mickey hand standing right across from our baggage area waiting for us. We checked in with her and we all walked back down to the DCL stand. They took our bags and brought us to the bus. We were the only ones picked up at that terminal and the first on the bus. We made 2 more stops and filled up the rest of the bus. They played the regular DCL movie on the way to the port. It was very quick getting there, I would say less than 30min. The bus pulled up and parked. They unloaded the luggage from underneath and asked that everyone check that all your bags were there before heading into the terminal. We found ours and let them know we were all set.
They asked that everyone have their ID's and cruise documents out when entering the terminal which caused a slight line getting in. We went through security and onto the check-in desk. (It is quite far and seemed forever to get there. It's a big port terminal – definitely seemed bigger than Port Canaveral from what I remembered 12yrs ago.) Since I had cruised once before, I had added my Castaway Club # to my reservation as soon as I was able to pull up the reservation online. We were able to check in the Castaway Club line – no one ahead of us. By this time it was about 1pm. There was no characters left in the terminal for pictures but they had the family shots just before boarding.
We took a few shots and then were onto the ship. Swipe the card and all aboard! You enter (and exit) on deck 4 in Miami. They told us that the staterooms would be ready at 1:30. We were all starving (the bagels/donuts and coffee/tea/cocoa at 7am had most definitely worn off by this time) so we headed down to Parrot Cay for lunch. When we got there, the CM in the lobby said it would be about a 20min wait for a table, so we decided to just go to Beach Blanket Buffet instead. They had a nice selection - especially the desserts. DD loved the mac-n-cheese. There were no seats available inside or under shade outside so we just found a table by the railing. We ate our lunch, looked at the navigator, and kept saying that we can't believe we were there!
It was almost 2pm so we headed for our room. We took the stairs down to deck 6 and soon found our room - #6108. We went inside and they had decorated the room with all our goodies!
We found they had put robes and slippers in our room along with the H2O shampoo, conditioner, and lotion AND also body wash and solar relief gel (these are usually is only in the concierge rooms from what I understand). So excited! :cool1: We next went out on the verandah to look around. We were on the port side of the ship so no real view at that point. We stepped back into the room and started looking at the gifts when we heard a loud grinding noise. My fiance thought it was the engines, but I knew that we weren't leaving anytime soon. We went back outside on the verandah to see what was going on. They were pulling one of the lifeboats out right under us. We decided if we ever heard that noise while out in the ocean, it's time to worry! :lmao:
I had a mani/pedi scheduled the next morning along with a facial in the afternoon, and we wanted to find out if there were any tasting seminars going on to keep my DF occupied. We headed down to Guest Services to check on all of the onboard credits and the tasting schedule for the next day. We found one of our suitcases in the hallway - of course it wasn't the one with my shorts (it was 36deg when we left that morning at 5am but now it was 78deg and I was dying in my jeans). Nor was it the suitcase with our door magnets. :sad2: Heading out into the hall again, we met our stateroom host, Gede (pronounced G'day) from Indonesia. He was very soft spoken and he did a wonderful job for us that week.
When we finally got down to Guest Services, all the credits were on our account and my DF signed up for the Tequila and Margarita Tasting the following afternoon. My DD was tired so she wanted to go back to the room. When we got back, another bag was there (the one with the magnets). DD decorated the door for us.
[Back story on the magnets – we bought the magnetic paper for them about a month before the cruise but our printer died before we were able to try them. I asked my dad if we could borrow his but the week before his color ink was having issues. We called Staples and Kinkos to see if they could print them for us, but they refuse to use the magnetic paper in their printers. The day before we went we were still disappointed about not having the door magnets so I decided we would just have Staples print and laminate them and we would find magnetic tape for the back. It cost us less than $20 for everything and they came out great...just in time!]
We decided to walk around the ship before the muster drill. DS15 went with us, and I wanted him to check out Vibe. We talked to the counselor when we got there about DD13 being able to participate with her brother since she was turning 14 in a month. Also I told them that she is quite shy and introverted when meeting new people, and she would be much more comfortable if she was with her brother. The CM said that was fine and we just have to sign a form allowing her to participate out of the normal age group. It was pretty cool in Vibe. They were having a meet and greet at 10:30pm, and I wanted the kids to try it out (they weren't thrilled with the idea after a poor experience in one of the kids clubs at WDW several years ago). We stopped in at the arcade and got a $50 arcade card for DS (part of the onboard credits) which gave him 5000pts to use.
By this time it was just about time to go to the muster drill. We stopped by the room to get my DD and headed to station N. This is a procedure that you can't be impatient when attending (about half the people there didn't get that message :rolleyes:). When I had cruised 12yrs ago, it was very different – everyone had to wear their lifejackets and I remember being crammed into a small lounge :crowded:. We were done in about half an hour, and went back to the room to check if our last bag had arrived yet. It was finally there! I quickly changed into shorts and we all headed up to the Sail Away Party. My DD and I had fun dancing crazy since we'll never see these people again.
We stayed on deck 10 as we sailed out of port. I tried to look for dolphins, but we never did see them throughout our entire cruise. The kids and I went back to the stateroom to unpack while my DF stayed up above to take more pictures. He joined us shortly. We all hung out in the room until the 6:15 showing of “All Aboard” in the Walt Disney Theatre. The magician in the show , Scott Pepper, was good but we never caught any of his other shows during the week.
We had 2nd dinner seating in Animator's Palate tonight. Our servers, Hans and Xavier, were excellent!
We had received a card to give the server that showed we had a 7-night Classic Wine package prepaid on our account. I had fallen in love with a Moscato wine on my last Disney cruise and I haven't been able to get it anywhere in the U.S. I was so excited to finally have it again! However it only was a choice on the Premium Wine package. We aren't big drinkers anyway so I called our rep assigned to us on the ship (for any problems or concerns with the prizes) and asked her if we could pay the difference to upgrade to the 5-night Premium package instead. She said it shouldn't be a problem and she would make a note for the Head Server. This worked wonderfully! I got my wine and my DF even liked it too. Delicious! (By the way, it was the Giallo Gaierhof Moscato if anyone else is interested.)
For dinner, I had the Butternut Squash soup, the Phyllo-wrapped Salmon Fillet, and Warm Apple Crumble for dessert. My DF had the Ahi Tuna Tartare, Asian Marinated Beef Tenderloin, and the Sweet Temptations for dessert. My DD had the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, Pennette Pasta, and the Warm Apple crumble. My DS also had the Squash soup, Pennette Pasta, and the Sweet Temptations dessert.We all loved our dishes – even my DD who is quite picky!
[Many people say that DCL cruise food tastes like banquet type food. We happened to go to a banquet event a week after returning from the cruise. It was at a Sheraton and the food was less than subpar compared to DCL's MDR food.]
We were so full after dinner so we went back to the room. I forced the kids to go to Vibe at 10:30pm to see what they had going on for the week. DD came back a little after 11pm. She wasn't the activities much, but DS stayed until almost midnight playing games. They didn't go back the rest of the week, however - they enjoyed each other's company instead. I had originally wanted to check out the clubs and adult activities that evening, but it had been a long day. We decided to just pour the champagne we got, sit on the verandah, and look at the stars and the Navigator for the next day. Very relaxing.
If you are interested in seeing the Navigators from our cruise, I had previously posted them in another thread.
Lucky you! It's amazing to win a trip like this! I once won a trip to Ireland for 2. Can't wait to read more about your experience!
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