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PrincessForLife 06-19-2013 12:15 PM

Starting Our Happily Ever After...Disney Style!! **Updated 8/24**
Hi Everyone!

This is my first time posting a pre-trip report as well as a trip report after we return from our epic adventure. I'll start with the cast: Me (Jackie) and my soon to be husband Kevin. :cool1: We are both big Disney fans and we have been to Disney World a combined total of probably in the ball park of 50-60 visits. We met in college at Lewis University where we became best friends. I had a crush on him for 3 years before he left for the Disney College Program. As we talked on the phone for 3 hours a night that summer, we became closer and during my second trip that summer to visit him, he asked me out at the security check point in Epcot. We then later shared our first kiss in front of Cinderella's Castle.

And sorry about the pictures not showing up.....I had to make room for the trip report pics on photobucket....

This is us the day we got engaged in August 2012.

Kevin proposed to me in Disney World in August 2012 on our 1 year anniversary while we were on the 8-night Bahamian DCL cruise out of New York. We are not getting married in Disney because we have a lot family up here in Chicago that wouldn't be able to make it and family is very important to us. But how could we not go to Disney for our honeymoon?!?!

My future In-Laws and Brother-in-law were also on the trip as well. :drive:

Our very epic and amazing honeymoon is going to start with 6 nights in Walt Disney World. We are going to stay at the Grand Floridan in a club-level king room in the main building which is considered the honeymoon suite. I'm crossing my fingers on getting the Magic Kingdom view. There are 2 different rooms in this category and we want the smaller one with a balcony facing the Magic Kingdom. The other room is a turret room that's 200 square feet bigger but has panoramic views of the lagoon and the Polynesian.

Our second leg of the honeymoon is going to be on a 7-night Eastern Caribbean Disney Cruise. We are not doing a club-level room for this part but we are doing a balcony as well as some fun port adventures and dinners.

This is just a very breif overview of our ultimate Disney honeymoon and I'll be starting with our itinerary in my next post when I have more time at work. :sad2:

wiigirl 06-19-2013 12:18 PM

In for PTR! :goodvibes

PrincessForLife 06-19-2013 01:11 PM

Thanks for joining!! :D

PrincessForLife 06-19-2013 07:51 PM

I'm going to start with our 6 nights in Walt Disney World. I booked the stay at WDW last September and got a large amount of Disney points on my Disney Visa. Double to be precise since we are Premiere Members. If you travel a lot to Disney or on the cruises I highly suggest paying the $49 annual fee for the Premiere card because it's totally worth it! Originally Kevin and I were planning to leave for Florida the Monday after we get married at 6:00am but we recently decided to change our plans to leave the morning after we get married. Since I booked in September of last year for this August, we didn't a discount. I called Disney recently to add on the extra night and with that extra night, the 30% Deluxe Resort offer applied to the trip and we got a HUGE discount. We also got a $9 discount off our flight because we changed it to a mid-day Sunday flight. I couldn't believe that we actually got paid to go an extra day to Disney!
(Clearly a demo card...)

Like I said before, we are staying in the Grand Floridian in a club-level king room in the main building. It's always been my dream to stay in the Grand Floridian but my mom always booked the Polynesian growing up. My wonderful fiance wanted to make my dreams come true and make this trip a once in a lifetime ultimate vacation. We wanted to completely indulge in the concierge experience and I always find that everyone says it's completely worth it. So far my experience with them has been pretty good. I did use the Itinerary Planning Office to book our dining.....but my Disney planning OCD kicked in and I changed some on my own when Kevin and I changed our minds. I found it easier to just go to the Disney website than email them every single time which took at least 2 days. At a certain point I like to be in complete control of my vacation.... (Everyone says I should become a Disney travel agent)

We also made a couple room requests such as the Magic Kingdom view rather than the larger room that has the panoramic views of the lagoon. We'll see how that plays out when we get there. We are really looking forward to the continental breakfast in the morning as well as the snacks throughout the day. Usually we do Pop Century of a Moderate resort on our trips. We are also planning on relaxing some nights on our balcony watching Wishes since it's our favorite fireworks show.

Since we are getting there about 6pm on the Sunday after we get married, we decided to add another base ticket for that night if the weather is nice. (We've had every experience under the sun with Florida weather, so nothing surprises us.) Our plan so far is to Magical Express it to the Grand Floridian and then go straight to Kona Island at the Polynesian for sushi before we go over to the Magic Kingdom for the night. I found out that it's open till 1:00am with EMH the night we get there!! Kevin and I are going to be back by 11:00ish though since the next day we are going to Animal Kingdom for EMH at 8:00am. We tend to be the walking wounded by the end of our WDW trips so we are trying to avoid that this time...
(My expression when we finish the first leg of the honeymoon in one piece!) :rotfl:

Since Animal Kingdom is our least favorite park, we are going to spend our first full day there. We aren't extremely big zoo people and we really only go for certain rides and that's it. My favorite ride at Animal Kingdom is hands down Dinosaur. I remember going on it back when it was called Countdown to Extinction and was 10 times scarier than now. ::yes::
(That's us in the first row clearly with knowledge of the camera!)

We also do the major rides like the safari and Expedition Everest. The one ride I haven't been on in years that I plan on going on is Kali River Rapids. Kevin doesn't like walking around wet so we are going to do this one last and go straight back to the room to change. We are then going to go to Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner followed by watching Wishes from our balcony or the Polynesian beach.

PrincessForLife 06-20-2013 10:56 AM

Moving to WDW Pre-Trip Reports
Hi Everyone!

I'm moving my pre-trip report to start in the WDW forum board. Since my honeymoon is half and half, I'll report on the first half in the WDW board where is should be and them I'll continue on here when I get to the cruise section of the trip!!

Thanks for following!! :thumbsup2


Here's the link for the first half in the WDW forum:

PrincessForLife 06-22-2013 11:37 PM

Moved to WDW PTR
Hey Everyone!

Just a reminder that I moved the first half of the PTR to the WDW PTR page! If you are following check it out! I'll post the cruise section here when I get to it!

Thanks for following!!

Here's the link:


Cheryl726 06-29-2013 08:28 PM

Congratulations and enjoying your PTR!

PrincessForLife 06-29-2013 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by Cheryl726 (Post 48816451)
Congratulations and enjoying your PTR!

Thank you and thanks for following! I'll be updating the cruise section in the next couple of days!! :)

PrincessForLife 07-02-2013 12:07 AM

Come Sail Away With Me!!!
Hi Everyone!!

Now that my Bridal Shower is over I'm going to continue my pre-trip report for the SECOND HALF of my honeymoon!!! ::yes:: If you want to read the first half about our week in WDW, here's the link:

I'm going to start out by saying that this is going to be my second DCL cruise and Kevin's 6th. My first one was during my engagement last August. We have known for quite some time that we wanted to do a land and sea honeymoon since Kevin loves to cruise and it's starting to hold a special place in my heart. The day after Kevin proposed in WDW in front of Cinderella's castle, there was a day at sea.
After Kevin Proposed!! :love:

The first thing Kevin and I did was go to the cruise planning desk to make the deposit on our place holder. I thought we were going to end up doing 4 days in WDW and a 4-night cruise but in the end, we figured that this would be an ultimate once-in-a-lifetime trip so we decided to go all out with 6 nights in WDW and a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy. Since we booked on our NYC cruise, we got 10% off the cruise and $200 on-board credit. I highly suggest doing this! It's so easy to switch the cruise to the one of your choice. You also have 11 months to change your cruise from your place holder. (We ended up changing it the week we got back when we decided on the WDW part of the trip.) :banana:

We leave on the Saturday after our 6 nights at the Grand Floridian and we decided to book the 11:00 slot for getting on the ship. The reason we did this is because I want to do the art of the theme ship tour and a couple of tastings including the mixology class which I heard books up quite fast, so we will book it to the booking locations! I also want the maximum time to explore the ship before we sail away. I do however, want to pose a question to all of you reading. Since we have the 11:00am slot for boarding the ship, what time do the buses generally pick you up from the hotels?? :confused3

I've also never been to the Port Canaveral terminal for a debarkation. I've passed through there briefly on and off the ship when we were in WDW for a day on our NYC cruise but I really want to savor the terminal and take it all in. (I also want to take a picture with Captain Mickey in front of the Magic like I see everyone doing....)
This is the only picture we have with Mickey from the NYC cruise...:worried:

I started this post during work and now finishing it at home. I only mention this because in my original draft I put that I was hoping to get our cruising book with our luggage tags and now I am happy to report that on my arrival home, I was greeted with a kiss from Kevin and the cruise booklet!!! EEEEEEKKK!

Also, I'm happy to report that while I was looking through the booklet, we decided that I should have a day pass to the Rainforest Room. It's going to be $16 for the one day pass and I'm going to be faxing out the prepay form tomorrow! Yay! I didn't do the Rainforest Room on the Magic because Kevin and I decided to do the couple's Exotic Rasul which was amazing!! I wish they had one on the Fantasy. If anyone wants info on it let me know because I know many people don't do it but really want to because it's so intriguing!
Inside the Exotic Rasul. :) ...... :offtopic:

Anyways, back to the Fantasy...... So when we get on board we are planning on getting our bearings and maybe even go swimming. Instead of doing lunch at Cabanas we are going to do The Enchanted Garden because I know it'll be a little less crowded and we might have a chance at a cupcake booth!! For dinner we requested to have our own table. I know that the chances of that are slim but I know of a few people from DIS that have gotten their own table with only 2 people. We also requested that our rotation start at the Royal Palace. (I'm just a little bit of a princess...)

Me being a princess...
...And obsessing over Cinderella, my idol! :hyper: :worship:

Kevin and I will then go to the spa raffle. I might just win something!!! And it's fun to tour the spa. Sail Away Party to follow as usual and then back to our room to unpack a little and head down to the show.
Sail Away Party from NYC

I will be doing detailed reporting on the show because Kevin and I are theatre majors (that's how we met) and we love live theatre, especially live DISNEY theatre!

I was stalking Prince Charming outside the Twice Charmed show...

.....and Franco. Both had BEAUTIFUL voices and talent! :dance3:

We are then going to try to continue our tradition of finding the live piano and a bar for the before dinner drinks. (I still doubt that we will hear anyone better than Tim Moss!) We also love the special acts for both adults and families so I will also be doing detailed reports on that.

Our before dinner drinks routine!

And with the amazing Tim Moss!! :worship:

PrincessForLife 07-03-2013 04:19 PM

Days at Sea
Our first day on board we plan on trying to relax a little since we just finished 6 intense WDW days. Usually we are the walking wounded by the end so the cruise is technically our vacation from the vacation. There was one time when we saw Illuminations and then literally ran to the bus to go to Hollywood Studios to catch the last performance of Fantasmic, but sadly, when we got in line, they announced they were cancelling due to technical difficulties. I was so mad at Kevin for making me run all the way there for nothing... (We are, however, going to try and take it a little slower in WDW so we can prevent this from happening!)
Running to catch Fantasmic a couple of years ago! :faint:

I know they usually do a Art of the Theme ship tour during the morning and maybe we will go to that. I'm also playing with the idea of going to the Rainforest Room this morning....or on the last day at sea, depending on how I feel. I want to take my time with it and enjoy myself either before and the craziness of the cruise or after...

If there is a afternoon performance of Aladdin, which many have reported, we will most likely go to this one. If we really, REALLY like it like Twice Charmed, we will go again during our normal showtime before dinner. If not, I'm thinking about heading to the pool and maybe even the AquaDuck. (I'm sooooo excited for this!!!)

Somewhere in the midst of all the other things to do, Kevin wants to see Planes & Monsters University. Planes will probably be playing later in the week since it comes out the Friday before the cruise and we know that Monsters University will be playing the entire time. I rather see Planes over Monsters because it looks really cool!! I also figure that we are probably going to only get one of them in with all the performances and other things we want to do on the ship.
So excited for this!! :cool1:

The second day at sea we have Palo Brunch. We did Palo for dinner the night after we got engaged on the NYC cruise and we thought it was OK and wasn't worth the $20 per person. We have heard really good things about the brunch and everyone says that it's worth the money instead of dinner. All the trips reports have amazing photos of all the wonderful food! I can't wait to do a whole report on that.
Palo from last year!! :goodvibes

Wishes will also be playing that day and once again, if there is a afternoon show, we will go to it unless something else interferes. On all the Navigators that I have seen, either mixology class, martini tasting, or something else interferes. We really want to do the mixology and martini ones so it might just be a night show this time. Not sure if we are going to do the Anyone Can Cook classes. We didn't go to most on the Magic except for the last one which was battle of the chefs. Kevin's brother actually was chosen to help the chef who cooks for the crew and cast members! They also won the competition!!
Jimmy and Chef :wave2:

The one thing we that we are going to do on this day is go to the port&shopping talk. We love getting the free stuff and the coupons for the ports. We usually don't use them but they're fun to have just in case. The expert on our last cruise just didn't like us for some reason. She was really snobbish and every time Kevin and I asked her a question, she would barely give an answer and then turn away. RUDE. I heard the one on the Fantasy was really nice!

I love Caribbean shopping!!! :love::banana:

Cheryl726 07-04-2013 11:50 AM

You're going to love the Port Canaveral terminal, it starts your vacation off right!

PrincessForLife 07-22-2013 03:54 PM

St. Maarten!!
Sorry I haven't posted in here in a while! Between wedding planning, attempting all the DIY's for the wedding, work, and a family emergency, things have a been a little crazy. :confused3 I promise I will finish the pre-trip report before the wedding next Saturday! :cool1:

I am soooo excited that we are going to St. Maarten as one of our ports of call. It's been on my bucket list FOREVER. :rotfl: Kevin and I scanned the port adventures for St. Maarten months ago and there isn't really anything that caught our eyes, so instead we are planning on going off on our own! Kevin isn't too thrilled about it but I am super excited! We are planning on taking a taxi to the other side of the island to the airport beach and watching one of the planes land. (Last time when we were in Nassau, we took a ferry to Paraside Island which was a little shady but not too bad.)

Very packed but fun ferry to Paradise Island!

View from pier on Paradise Island waiting for the ferry :thumbsup2

We are hoping to look online at their schedule and plan it so we aren't sitting there for an hour waiting for the next plane to land. Then we are going to go to the casino for a little while and probably play the slots and blackjack. At Atlantis Kevin was the big winner on blackjack and I lost everything on the slots. I also really want to find a bar or small restaurant why there and get a drink or some local food. Has anyone been there and know of any places?? :confused: Kevin isn't too keen on it but we'll see how he's feeling about when we get there. It's so funny that I can explore all these different places and talk to locals but I'm nervous about starting pin trading in the parks with cast members. lol :scared1:

Kevin and my Father-in-Law and their winnings at Atlantis :lmao:

....and my Mother-in-Law and I....and our...nothing. :sad2:

We then are going to go back around the marina by the ship for some more shopping/exploring. I've heard it's really touristy but I don't really care. I'm excited to go to the gauvaberry rum shop! And like in Nassau, I plan on browsing the jewelry shops with all our DCL coupons and get as much free stuff as possible! :cloud9:

I love bargaining with the locals!! The Straw Market in Nassau was awesome! :banana:

One of my favorite stores! :woohoo:

We also hope to get back to the ship at a reasonable time. I'm thinking about using the rainforest pass on this afternoon since most people will be out on the island. I'm very self-conscious and I would perfer to do something like this either alone or with very few people. :scared: We might even go see a movie this night too.... Next up, St. Thomas!!

jsbgeo 07-22-2013 09:35 PM

We are hoping to look online at their schedule and plan it so we aren't sitting there for an hour waiting for the next plane to land. Then we are going to go to the casino for a little while and probably play the slots and blackjack. At Atlantis Kevin was the big winner on blackjack and I lost everything on the slots. I also really want to find a bar or small restaurant why there and get a drink or some local food. Has anyone been there and know of any places?? :confused: Kevin isn't too keen on it but we'll see how he's feeling about when we get there. It's so funny that I can explore all these different places and talk to locals but I'm nervous about starting pin trading in the parks with cast members. lol :scared1:

We stayed at Atlantis last year. There are lots of good places in the Marina there at the resort. I think we had dinner once at Bimini Road - that was a fun lively place with lots of good local conch.

PrincessForLife 07-24-2013 08:02 PM

St. Thomas and Castaway Cay
Well, I am finally nearing the end of the pre-trip report. For me it's really bittersweet because talking about our plans makes me so excited but it'll be nice to know that I accomplish it and will be moving onto the trip report when we get back.... :woohoo:

The second port of call is St. Thomas. We decided to go all out with this one and do an all day excursion. We have booked the full day snorkel and trip to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island. (Get it, Honeymoon beach? lol :rotfl:) I love to snorkel and Kevin does as well. It starts out on either a catamaran or another small boat and takes the group to Turtle Bay for about 30-60 mins of snorkeling. I'm really excited to see some turtles! I was the lucky one who saw the turtle in Hawaii when I went with my mom a couple years ago. They are so graceful and beautiful!!

I was the lucky person to see and get a picture of the turtle in Hawaii!! :cool1:

Kevin and I's sexy snorkel gear on Castaway Cay! :goodvibes

After the snorkeling, then it's about a 30 min sail to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island where we have a couple hours to swim, snorkel, and enjoy a Caribbean BBQ lunch. From there it's another 30 min or so back to the pier. We thought about going out on our own to St. John but with something like snorkeling I rather be with a guided tour. It was only $105 a person which for the full day. I'd say is a good price. :) This night we also have our Remy dinner! I'm not sure if we'll regret having such a long day but oh well! We might even catch a movie this night if we aren't too tired! :rolleyes:

Honeymoon Beach....I can't wait to be lounging here!! :beach:

Since I covered all the days at sea a couple posts ago, I'm going to skip to our last day, Castaway Cay. Again, since this our Honeymoon and ultimate Disney trip, why not go out with a bang?? So.......WE WERE ABLE TO BOOK THE LAST CABANA AT SERENITY BAY! I am so excited about this! We couldn't believe that there was one still available to a Gold Castaway Club member! Kevin who is usually a little more money conscious than me told me to book it right away! We plan on running off the ship at all ashore and using it the ENTIRE day! They might just need to drag us back onto the ship kicking and screaming.... :crazy2:

So excited for this!! :hyper:

I have been looking for trip reports that have pictures and descriptions but have failed to find any. I plan on making a full detailed account of the cabana so others know the awesomeness they are in for! It looks like as soon as we get there we are going to go for the complimentary bike ride and then swim after that. We also plan on using everything in the cabana and getting our money's worth. Personally, I am most excited about the hammock. Beach hammocks are the most relaxing thing in the world and a perfect way for me to finish off the vacation!

The perfect place to relax!! ::yes::

That night we will then finish off with the ritual of packing and getting ready to leave the Fantasy we have been in for the past 2 weeks. Ugh, that's the part I'm not looking forward to at all!! :guilty:

Well, thank you for joining me in this PTR. I promise to have the time of my life on this trip and will report EVERYTHING when we get back. Only 10 more days until the wedding and 11 days until the honeymoon! I'm so happy that I'm marrying my best friend and I can't wait to start our new life together! I'll post in here when we get back and I start the trip report to let you guys know which report is mine! :cool1:

See ya real soon!! party:

Love, Jackie

PrincessForLife 08-24-2013 07:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

We are back from our ultimate honeymoon and I have FINALLY started my trip report!! :dance3: :cheer2: :rotfl: :wave2:

Come check it out:

Thanks for following everyone!!

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