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Old 05-07-2007, 12:31 PM   #1
meegster
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 113

3/24/07 MAGICal Western Trip Report - Finally updated 3/26/08

Love, love, love reading all the trip reports here so figured I should make my contribution to the library and hopefully pass on some good info.

Pre-trip
I want to first thank the DIS boards for all the info I’ve picked up. I’m a huge lurker and really found lots of great tips from the board – things to watch for, ask for, do, etc. It really made our trip special and we took advantage of as much as we could.

Cast of characters:
Me, meegster, 38
DH, 37
DS, 7
DD1, 4
DD2, 4, yes twins
DMom, 65+
DDad, 65+

The seven of us shared 2 adjoining category 5 rooms on deck 7. We also traveled with friends, a family of 4 in an inside room across the hall from us on deck 7 as well as their inlaws, mysteriously in some un-named room on deck 6 or 7 – they would never tell!

We booked this trip a year in advance so there was LOTS of time to plan – I think I over-planned, brought too much stuff, but knew a few insider tips that made me seem like a pro – thanks DIS!

I did send a box ahead to the ship via UPS – it was there waiting for us when we boarded – no problem. I had sent LOTS of coloring/activity books for during dinner and the trip home, over the door shoe holder, pop-up hamper, pirate night toys and accessories (Target), underwater disposable cameras, clothespins, pillowcases, sharpies and a magnetic dry erase board. I shouldn’t have sent all that activity stuff – the kids needed no entertainment during dinner, outside of what was provided with crayons & kids menus and our great servers. And they had TVs at each seat on the plane so they were very entertained!

We booked through my DMom's travel agent, full Disney package, flights on Delta, stay at Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney transfers.

Next up: Travel Day !!
__________________


Lots of DL trips – lived in SoCal 1969 to present !
08/90 - WDW for brother’s grad trip
AP holder ‘02-‘05
03/07 – 7-day Western My First Trip Report
11/08 – 7-day Special Western Double Dip

Last edited by meegster; 03-26-2008 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:23 PM   #2
meegster
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Travel Day !

Just as a reminder, as you get to know us:
Cast of characters:
Me, meegster, 38
DH, 37
DS, 7
DD1, 4
DD2, 4, yes twins
DMom, 65+
DDad, 65+

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Had a hard time going to sleep the night before because of last minute packing and house cleaning – to bed around midnight, alarm set for 3am. Yikes! We had a 4:15am car/van service pick up at my parents house.

I was up first – 3 hours of sleep but I didn’t care – I was heading to Florida! MAGIC here I come. Quick shower for me and then DH. Got everything packed and then woke the kids. Clothes had already been laid out so DH turned on the video camera and we woke each kid up with – “Are you ready for a Disney Cruise?!” I haven’t seen them be this cooperative that early in the AM, ever. We were out the door at 4am. Quick 10 minute drive to the folks’ house where the van was already waiting for us. Loaded up our 5 pcs of luggage and 1 carryon a piece plus folks and their stuff and we’re on the road.

Got to John Wayne Airport in OC by 5am, if not sooner. Dropped off quick and hopped in Delta line to check bags – already pre-printed boarding passes. Line was short but wait seemed long since they opened late – around 5:20am. DH was a little confused with the kiosk to check bags but we got it sorted out and on through security. Kids thought it was funny to have to remove their shoes. Line was short and we breezed through but because they didn’t mark my boarding pass with a little highlighter mark, I had to go all the way back – with my kids on the other side. Rrrrr. TSA hustled and got it sorted out before shoes were back on so they didn’t get far.  Lines for Starbucks (for DH and DMom) and McD’s (for all the eats) were long and by the time we got our stuff, it was time to board! Scarf down the grub everyone!

The 7 of us were seated 3 in front of 3 with 1 across the aisle – plenty of options for mixing and matching with the kids. This was the first plane ride for my girls – officially. They claim the flight when they were in my tummy counted but we tried to explain this was the one they got to enjoy so this counts!

There were TVs in each seat – bummer I forgot all those headphones we already have around the house. $10 later everyone was set. Those plus some homework for DS (including a Flat Stanley project)

and coloring books for the DDs and the flight to Atlanta was a piece of cake. Napping even took place. Yeah! Changed planes in Atlanta and then off to Orlando. Talk about short flight – they barely got drinks served through the whole cabin.

We got off in Orlando and were so excited ! Loved not having to worry about grabbing our bags thanks to Disney transfers. We immediately went down to baggage claim to find the Disney Express for our ride to the Caribbean Beach Resort. We sat up front on the bus to be the first off – not sure why but it sounded good. We got to the resort after a short drive and went in to check in. Line was relatively short but everyone was whining and complaining at each CM station so it just wasn’t moving. Lovely. We were glad we were only staying there to kill time before the cruise. We didn’t really care where our room was because we were more interested in our cabin onboard the Magic! We were next in line when a crew of high school ball players showed up to check-in. Whew, in line just in time. Check-in did take a while because for some reason our TA put us in one room in one area of the resort and my parents in a completely different section a bus ride away! Why?! So they worked to get us rooms next to each other and all was well. Cruise desk was closed so we’d have to check in tomorrow. No biggie.

Hopped on another bus to get to our section of the resort. It was walking off the bus that I noticed my DH didn’t have his carry-on rolling bag. So I asked, did he leave it on the bus? Nope, we left it on the plane in Atlanta ! Ahhhhhhhhh ! DH was fuming. I was bummed too but really glad it was him and not me that lost it, ya know? Anyway, couldn’t remember what was even in it – trying to remember – his golf shoes, snorkel gear for me, DH and DS, walkie-talkies & charger, DH & DS’s baseball gloves, underwater cameras (disposable), and maybe a couple other random things. It was mostly an extra bag for stuff to bring home. Not good. So straight to the room and we start calling Delta and file a lost bag claim. It hasn’t been reported found so unlikely they’ll find it and be able to get it to us before we sail. Darn!

We called our friends from Chicago who flew in the day before and they were in the same section, ironically. Cool. They were at the pool so we walked over to meet them. Hugs and cheers all around as we were finally here and going on the Magic! We share our lost bag story and instantly feel better when we hear their sleeping in the airport story – bad weather traveling from Chicago – they almost didn’t get to Florida! Ok, our missing stuff wasn’t so bad! We decided to head back to the rooms to get cleaned up and go to Downtown Disney to grab some food and walk around.

Again another fairly short bus ride to Downtown Disney and its packed! We got there around 7 or 7:30pm. Waits at the restaurants were over 2 hours so we hit Earl of Sandwich for some pretty great sandwiches. It was casual and easy – and it let the kids get acquainted with each other. DFS (friend’s son) is the same age as our DS

DFD is 10, but loved “babysitting” our DDs. My parents got to meet everyone for the first time too.


After a long travel day, we decided to call it a day. DH and DF (his Chicago friend) had an early tee time for golf at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. The rest of my family was going to hit the pool for the day while their family was going to visit a Grandma that lived in the area, since they were there.

Bags were in the room when we got back – this time, DH’s bag isn’t there. Another bag down. He has no golf attire for his early tee time. Lovely. After a call to Guest Services, and since it was Disney being fully responsible for our bags once in Orlando, they gave DH $100 credit at the golf shop at the course for appropriate golf wear for in the AM if still no bag.

We pitch DD2 next door with the Grands and DS & DD1 share the other bed. Still too excited to sleep but I try.
__________________


Lots of DL trips – lived in SoCal 1969 to present !
08/90 - WDW for brother’s grad trip
AP holder ‘02-‘05
03/07 – 7-day Western My First Trip Report
11/08 – 7-day Special Western Double Dip

Last edited by meegster; 05-10-2007 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:28 PM   #3
meegster
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 113

Having trouble posting pics - will update once I get the hang of this.

Testing:



Aha! Its the Costco site - uploading from Ofoto worked here. I'll get busy moving pics!

Scratch that - still having issues. I'll try to work on that and add photos later.
__________________


Lots of DL trips – lived in SoCal 1969 to present !
08/90 - WDW for brother’s grad trip
AP holder ‘02-‘05
03/07 – 7-day Western My First Trip Report
11/08 – 7-day Special Western Double Dip

Last edited by meegster; 05-07-2007 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
rick1138
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Meegster, sorry to hear your party had so much trouble with baggage.
We'll be taking the Western in Sept and I look forward to hearing about how it all turned out.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:30 AM   #5
LITTLEKID58
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Tfs
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
eph94
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We were on this cruise too. I should get off my behind and work on a TR too before the details get a bit hazy. We ended up going on an Eastern a month later, but we liked this Western one better!
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:28 PM   #7
ILUVEVERYTHINGDISNEY
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Great Report!

[QUOTE=meegster;18546101]Just as a reminder, as you get to know us:
Cast of characters:
Me, meegster, 38
DH, 37
DS, 7
DD1, 4
DD2, 4, yes twins
DMom, 65+
DDad, 65+

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Had a hard time going to sleep the night before because of last minute packing and house cleaning – to bed around midnight, alarm set for 3am. Yikes! We had a 4:15am car/van service pick up at my parents house.

I was up first – 3 hours of sleep but I didn’t care – I was heading to Florida! MAGIC here I come. Quick shower for me and then DH. Got everything packed and then woke the kids. Clothes had already been laid out so DH turned on the video camera and we woke each kid up with – “Are you ready for a Disney Cruise?!” I haven’t seen them be this cooperative that early in the AM, ever. We were out the door at 4am. Quick 10 minute drive to the folks’ house where the van was already waiting for us. Loaded up our 5 pcs of luggage and 1 carryon a piece plus folks and their stuff and we’re on the road.

Got to John Wayne Airport in OC by 5am, if not sooner. Dropped off quick and hopped in Delta line to check bags – already pre-printed boarding passes. Line was short but wait seemed long since they opened late – around 5:20am. DH was a little confused with the kiosk to check bags but we got it sorted out and on through security. Kids thought it was funny to have to remove their shoes. Line was short and we breezed through but because they didn’t mark my boarding pass with a little highlighter mark, I had to go all the way back – with my kids on the other side. Rrrrr. TSA hustled and got it sorted out before shoes were back on so they didn’t get far.  Lines for Starbucks (for DH and DMom) and McD’s (for all the eats) were long and by the time we got our stuff, it was time to board! Scarf down the grub everyone!

The 7 of us were seated 3 in front of 3 with 1 across the aisle – plenty of options for mixing and matching with the kids. This was the first plane ride for my girls – officially. They claim the flight when they were in my tummy counted but we tried to explain this was the one they got to enjoy so this counts!

There were TVs in each seat – bummer I forgot all those headphones we already have around the house. $10 later everyone was set. Those plus some homework for DS (including a Flat Stanley project)

and coloring books for the DDs and the flight to Atlanta was a piece of cake.


My son did flat stanley last year at his school. Friends of ours took him to Italy. They brought back chocolates for the whole class when Jake got up and did a report.

I love your reprt. I'm subscribing. Keep them coming! Your kids are beautiful.

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06- Disney World - All Star Music
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07 - Disney Wonder Aug 9th
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:20 PM   #8
meegster
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Thanks again everyone for the kind words!

We were so good to take Flat Stanley with us everywhere on the cruise but just forgot to take more pictures! Luckily my son's project was still one of the most involved ones in the class so he was pleased. We'll get to revisit Flat Stanley at Open House in a couple weeks.
__________________


Lots of DL trips – lived in SoCal 1969 to present !
08/90 - WDW for brother’s grad trip
AP holder ‘02-‘05
03/07 – 7-day Western My First Trip Report
11/08 – 7-day Special Western Double Dip
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:40 PM   #9
meegster
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - Grand Cayman

DH was a good boy and got up to work out again around 6am. I slept in for a little bit. But we would be docking in Grand Cayman today and wanted to be off the ship pretty early as we had a self-booked excursion at 9:30. We started getting ready for the day as DH returned. Went on our daily hunt for DDad reading up on Deck 9. Once found, we hit Topsiders for breakfast and checked out port from window seats. Lots of other cruise ships in port that day. We stocked up on cereal boxes for snacks before we left.

Headed to WD Theater to wait for a tender. Very short wait. We boarded with the next group and were ashore by 8:30.

We checked in with Atlantis Adventures right there by the dock and had an hour to kill. We decided to walk around a little to check out shops and such. We looked for a couple souvenirs for the kids – DS got a handmade wooden flute, DD1 got “log” crayons and DD2 got a little sting ray stuffed toy. We walked back to Atlantis and used the facilities one last time before it was time to go and took lots of silly pictures waiting for our boat.


Finally it was time. We boarded the boat that was going to take us out to meet up with the submarine. Maybe a 15 min ride away from the dock and we’re told to keep an eye out for the submarine that should be surfacing. Out of nowhere it appears. Neat. Riders from that trip were unloaded to the bottom of our boat and seated. Then we were allowed to get off and into the submarine. It was very clean and comfortable inside. I expected to get a little claustrophobic but never happened. Once everyone was seated we were on our way. The guide was entertaining and funny – filling us with information and trying to get us to be able to see as much as possible – which wasn’t a whole lot. We dove down 102 ft. We saw lots of fish, a sea turtle, a sting ray and an old tire! We also were taken to the edge of the reef that then drops down 1000 ft. into darkness – spooky. It was over before we knew it and followed the same steps back – offloaded to the bottom of the boat and returned to the dock. Nice for all of us to do together since littles weren’t old enough for a lot of the other excursions.

Now, DDad was on the hunt for turtle soup. We asked at the dock where to go and they sent us a ways over to Hammerheads. DDad was thrilled he would be getting his soup only to find out that they were just making the batch and it would be 30 mins to wait – he could have Conch Chowder now though. He settled. Kids were bored and hungry and we ran out of cereal boxes so the Grands took the kids back to the ship for lunch and more club time.

DH and I decided to get lunch ourselves at Breezes Café overlooking port. Ok food, nice view, ok service. We decided to shop a little since that’s what you’re supposed to do in Grand Cayman. He got a new leather wallet and I got some new pricey perfume. Then he found some shell/leather necklaces for him and DS – it’s a tradition that they get new ones on trips that match. It was getting time to return to the ship leaving at 4:30 so we did and caught up with DF’s in-laws for the tender back.

Once back onboard, checked in with DDad & DMom to try to find the kids. They were in their clubs so we made cocktails via the drink station and made the rounds to pick them up. We wanted to help ready the kids for dinner since we and DF & DFW were bailing on the Grands for PALO dinner ! Once we got them out the door on the way to dinner at 6pm, it was so nice to get ready alone. We enjoyed another cocktail in-room and got dressed. We stepped out our door at 7pm just as DF & DFW opened their door two doors down – perfect timing. He headed on up to PALO and sat at the bar and orders drinks – we were fine waiting. As soon as the drinks arrived, they showed us to our table before our 7:30 reservation. And we got as requested – Ciao-Romano was again our server.


This night I can kind of remember what we had because it was all soo good. We shared some pizzas to start – sausage and maybe the chef selection. We also had the calamari which we really light and yummy. DH and I both had the filet but he really wanted to try the Linguine Carbonara so Ciao brought some for us all to share – that was my FAVORITE dish. So getting that next time! Best ever! We had the Panna Cotta and Chocolate Souffle for dessert and finished with the Limoncello. Wonderful dinner experience. I think we were finished around 9:30. We decided to walk around the ship a little – looking for some fun activity. I don’t have my Navigator from Tues so I can’t recall if we did anything. I think we popped our heads into the Production since our kids were there with the Grands. Otherwise, we just met up with them back at the cabin around 10pm and called it an early night.

Next up - Cozumel and my dream of dolphins !
__________________


Lots of DL trips – lived in SoCal 1969 to present !
08/90 - WDW for brother’s grad trip
AP holder ‘02-‘05
03/07 – 7-day Western My First Trip Report
11/08 – 7-day Special Western Double Dip
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:20 PM   #10
meegster
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 113

Need to resurrect my trip report !

Not that I had a ton of followers but I can't believe I never finished. I'll need to get this going again. Gets me excited for our next trip!

I had this much already written out so each of the next segments might take a little inbetween but I should finish what I started - major flaw of mine!

Hope someone will stop by and check in out and give me some DIS love.
__________________


Lots of DL trips – lived in SoCal 1969 to present !
08/90 - WDW for brother’s grad trip
AP holder ‘02-‘05
03/07 – 7-day Western My First Trip Report
11/08 – 7-day Special Western Double Dip
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