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Old 02-19-2008, 07:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 852

May 3 – 10 Western Caribbean Trip Report

Feb. 3, 2008: Planning

Actually, my obsessive planning began long before today, as we booked our cruise 14 months prior to embarkation date, but I will start with our 90 days out reservations. Maybe folks can benefit from my experiences. The cast of characters are:

Me – 42, a former high school teacher turned stay-at-home mom for the last three years preparing to return to the classroom in the fall.
DH – 44, a newspaper editor and larger than life character who is still an eight-year-old boy at heart but with the patience of…well, someone who’s not a saint.
DS – 5, my drama king preparing to start kindergarten in the fall and the originator of much of our domestic chaos.

This will be our second cruise, our first being a 3 night in January of 2007. After a near disastrous attempt to fly from BWI to MCO to make our cruise, and finding that DS 4 at the time was terrified to fly , we decided to drive this time. The plan is to leave here on 4/30 and drive to a little beachfront resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. We will stay there two nights, and then head down to the Country Inns & Suites on 5/2 for an early boarding time on 5/3.
After receiving a confirmation of final payment on the morning of 2/1 from my TA (Karen Nunn of Small World Travel… LOVE HER!), I was psyched to make ressies on the stroke of midnight 2/3. I figure we’ll have the APL… dining rotation again, so I was looking for dinner at Palo on Sunday night, brunch on Monday, and a manicure/pedicure treatment for me Monday afternoon. That way, DH and I will have a nice grown-up evening after a day of fun on Key West with the little guy. I’m not really excited about the regular rotation menu at Parrott Cay, and we’ll be there again for Pirate Night (perfect!), so that will be a good night for Palo. After a relaxing brunch the next morning, I’ll get to spend a couple of hours in the spa getting pampered and pretty for formal night!
Anyway, when a few minutes before midnight rolled around, I got on our kitchen computer and logged on to the DCL site. I kept refreshing the “My Cruise Plans” link until I no longer got the message that that section was not yet open to me. At that point, I got the dreaded message telling me that either my balance was not paid in full or my birthdates were not entered correctly. Having been warned of this by my friends on the DIS board, I logged out and in repeatedly for five minutes with no luck. Can you say screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair ? Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. After a panicked midnight call to my TA’s voice mail (did I really think she’d be waiting by the phone?), I finally tried another computer and got on immediately. Miraculously, I got all my first choices!!
The only other thing to book was Stingray City with Captain Marvin’s. After much deliberation and finding out that all my pals on my cruise meet thread are going on the 10:00 ½ day trip, I went ahead and booked it to. My TA had suggested that they could drop us off at the Turtle Farm after, but I guess that since it was moved to Boatswain Beach, that is no longer an option. They’ve offered to drop us off at the nearest bus stop and informed us that the busses run every half an hour. I’m kind of paranoid about missing the right bus and not catching the last tender back to the ship. I have no idea how long everything will take. I know my boys will love the Turtle Farm, but they might not enjoy Stingray City as much as I will, so now I’m contemplating ditching Stingray City! DH does not swim (or even FLOAT) and DS can be very nervous/skittish/cautious, and the rays might be too intense for him. I continue to deliberate on this. Any suggestions? We’re scheduled to do the 3 hour Stingray City and snorkel tour from 10 – 1. Will we have plenty of time to get to and from the Turtle Farm before the last tender at 4:30 ?
Cruises To Date:Jan. 25 - 28, 2007: 3 Night Bahamian on the Wonder May 3 - 10, 2008: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Magic June 15 - 22, 2013: 7 Night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy June 13 - 20, 2015: 7 Night Western Caribbean on the Fantasy
Trips to WDW: 1972 - off site, 1974 - off site, July 1999 - Caribbean Beach, April 2010 - Pop Century, June 2012 - Pop Century, Dec. 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, June 2014 - Pop Century
May 3-10 Western Trippie: June 15 - 22 Eastern Trippie

Last edited by bobbi565; 02-24-2008 at 07:28 AM.
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