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Old 12-16-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
suorkaterina
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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 fiancé 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.

Fun facts
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
Introduction
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)

Wedding Report
Wedding Plans

Random Decor Update

The Future
Big News!!!

Last edited by suorkaterina; 04-23-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:33 PM   #2
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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 Dave’s 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 can’t 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 doesn’t really eat breakfast so by lunch time he’s starving! Hehe
4. Dave isn’t big on the frou frou foods so I’ve 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 it’s 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, we’re 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 I’ve 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 I’m 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 haven’t 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 – 26th
2. We have the dining plan, but I’m 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. I’m not a big water parks fan but I told Dave I’d go to TL for his sake. He can ride the rides; I’ll hang out in the lazy river. I’m 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. I’ve 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 Café, 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.


That’s about it right now. As we get closer and dates firm up I’ll be able to make more permanent plans. So stay tuned!

Last edited by suorkaterina; 12-16-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:21 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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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 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!
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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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 quiet…a little too quiet. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Then we tried the Contemporary whose décor was a little blah for us. But then we tried the Caribbean Beach and we’d 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 that’s 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.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:51 PM   #7
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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!

Last edited by suorkaterina; 03-28-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:02 PM   #8
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Joyeux Noel to the both of you!!
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:57 AM   #9
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Joyeux Noel to the both of you!!
Hope you guys had a great Christmas!
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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Made out like bandits amassing Disney gift cards for our Honeymoon. We got 150$ bucks to add to what I got for my birthday and for my Graduation in June. So 425$ so far! Still waiting for Disney to fix their wedding registry then our guests we'll be able to add to growing pile of gift cards! I'm so looking forward to working on the registry list. I've been wanting to do it for months. Disney just needs to get their butts in gear and launch the new registry site!!!!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. DF and I had a great first Christmas living together. It was a hard one as it was the first without my dad who passed in October. But we were surrounded by family most of the day and had a nice time in the morning opening our presents. I got DF tickets to a gamer convention he's been wanting to go to and he got me jewelry for the wedding.

Now it's back to real life. In a week in a half I go to my first residency for Grad school at Goddard College for my Masters in Creative Writing. Very excited but not really looking forward to driving 5 hours away in the winter. Praying for clear weather those days I have to drive!

It's gonna be an incredibly busy 2012! Happy New Year to all of you reading!

Last edited by suorkaterina; 01-02-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:40 AM   #11
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Wow, so many things all wrapped into one thread! Congrats on your upcoming wedding. DH and I just got married last June and went to Disney for our honeymoon as well. It was the perfect choice for us! I love your cake topper! I wish we could have found something unique like that but we could never agree on one so we went without, haha. I understand about having a wedding on a budget. It's hard to have a nice wedding these with the prices that everywhere is charging for various wedding stuff such as venues and cakes and dresses! Blarg! Anyways good luck with your planning and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by archdandy View Post
Wow, so many things all wrapped into one thread! Congrats on your upcoming wedding. DH and I just got married last June and went to Disney for our honeymoon as well. It was the perfect choice for us! I love your cake topper! I wish we could have found something unique like that but we could never agree on one so we went without, haha. I understand about having a wedding on a budget. It's hard to have a nice wedding these with the prices that everywhere is charging for various wedding stuff such as venues and cakes and dresses! Blarg! Anyways good luck with your planning and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
Thanks for joining in! Congratulations on your recent wedding and Disneymoon! Isn't that cake topper adorable. I found it on amazon when we were considering a Mickey/Minnie themed wedding. It's the only thing that has stuck from that plan. =D
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #13
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That is ao AWESOME that you will get to move to Florida!!! DH and I talk about it sometimes. For him it might be possible, as he often works with people from a sister company in Tampa, so he could look into transfering there. For me it wouldn't be as easy though. I've heard it's really hard for teachers in Florida. But anyway, the big things that keeps us here are his daughter, and our family. It's definitely in our plans to retire there though. And obviously we'd be okay with living there part time should we win the lottery. I hope you guys find a great home, and a good job down there.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:01 PM   #14
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Come out, come out wherever you are! LOL I was reading your TR, and it ended on your 1st day in the park. Just a great photo of the 2 of you in front of the castle.

Only 4 more months. I know you are getting excited!
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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Come out, come out wherever you are! LOL I was reading your TR, and it ended on your 1st day in the park. Just a great photo of the 2 of you in front of the castle.

Only 4 more months. I know you are getting excited!
We are excited! We were actually just now talking about how we were looking forward to spending some quality time together on our honeymoon. It's been a tough winter and will be a busy summer working hard and saving money for wedding stuff. But the rewards will be great!

I have a treat for you then...I just finished loading the Day two pics onto photobucket. I'll have a new TR post up soon!
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