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Old 03-26-2009, 05:38 PM   #1
disneyfaninaz
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Our Magical "Celebration" Western Caribbean Cruise, March 7-14, 2009 ~ Completed 5/18

Well, I guess it's about time for me to start writing my trip report. We've been home a couple of weeks now, but between mountains of laundry , sinus infections, upper respitory infections and bronchitis , it was hard to sit down and write.

So here goes! Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Cast:

Me 40 something, Disneyholic, Breast Cancer Survivor and Obsessive Trip Planner
DH 40 something, reluctant Disney convert and wonderful husband and father who totally gets my obsession.
DD 8, Disney veteran and our little ďHannah MontanaĒ. Shares Momís obsession with Disney
DNeighbors, DNH, DNW, DNDD1(16) DNDD2 (13)

Background

Last spring break we had the incredible opportunity to go sailing on the Disney Magic on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise with our neighbors. We planned for nearly a year. In December of 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (see previous trip report) and our cruise was in question. Fortunately, we were able to cruise in between my chemo treatments and had a wonderfully magical time on our cruise.

Because of my illness and not knowing until about a month or so before the cruise if we were even going to be able to go after all, my DH probably didnít do as much thinking about the cruise as he would of liked. Letís just say he had other things on his mind. Anyway, while we went on the cruise and had fun, he wasnít all that gung ho about rebooking another cruise anytime soon. Our DNeighbors, on the other hand, booked their Spring Break 2009 cruise while onboard. While I was sad, I also understood and knew that we would again sail on DCL someday.

Our life goes on, I successfully finish my chemo treatments and then do 33 days of radiation treatments. One Friday afternoon in August, the week before my radiation treatments are scheduled to be completed, my DH calls me from work and tells me that he has just spent the last half hour reading my trip report (see signature). He is remembering how fun the cruise was and how he wishes he had done more things. He says heís rethinking booking and asks if I wanted to go on DCL next spring break, 2009, with our neighbors again. Well, I guess I was too shocked to be very excited and started making excuses why we couldnít go next spring. That lasted maybe 5 minutes as I checked on-line and found out that the stateroom we had last spring was still available. It is a sign, we are meant to go. I check into airline flights, released just the day before, and find SWA has a nonstop to Orlando on March 6th for $218 per person. Just about the same fare we booked last year, another sign.

Well, we tend not to be too spontaneous, so we decided to sleep on it and decide on Saturday whether to book. Well, the next afternoon, August 23rd, 2008, I booked our Category 7, Obstructed Verandah stateroom, 7120, for the 7 night Western Caribbean for March 7-14, 2009. Castaway Cay, here we come!!!

Last year, we flew in 2 nights early and attended the Pirate & Princess Party and spent a day at the Animal Kingdom. We decided to keep it more low key this year and fly in the night before, stay at POFQ and visit Downtown Disney the night before our cruise. We loved using Magical Express and DCL transportation so much that we decided to take advantage of that again as well.

Next: What's with the airfare?

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 05-18-2009 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Update!
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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Great start! can't wait for more!
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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Wendy

I hope that you are all feeling better.

This past Saturday we were all had that same "I had too much fun tired look"

Looking forward to hearing all about your trip.

Lisa
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #4
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What's with the airfare?

As previously stated, we had booked our flights to Orlando as soon as we booked the cruise in August. I thought the fare was reasonable considering the price of fuel at the time. In November 2008, flights on SWA open up for our return date. I am shocked at the prices. We ended up booking a late afternoon non-stop flight for $268 per person. Yikes!! I wasnít thrilled but was hopeful I could get a better price later on.

For the next 2 months I religiously checked prices on SWA, airfares werenít going down, they were going up. Well, I guess it was understandable considering the price of crude oil and gas at the time. I resigned myself to the fact that we would pay through the nose for airfare to Orlando this year.

Finally in January 2009, there I was sitting at my desk, pouring over the DIS board when the phone rang. It was my neighbor informing me that SWA had dropped their fare to Orlando and that they had gotten $139 per person. Are you kidding me? I had all but given up hope of lower fares as the fares just kept getting higher. Well I immediately looked on SWA, but the price had already gone back up to $174 per person. I then checked my return flight and it had dropped to $219. Well, it was better than my original price so I changed my reservations and took my credits. For some reason, I went to check later that day and it the outgoing flight had dropped again to $159 per person. Again, I took the credit, only to check back later and now the fare was $139. I again took the new fare and ran. My return flight also went down again to $199. I now had well over $400 in credit to deal with, but thatís another story. Suffices to say, we are traveling over fall break in order to use all of my credits before they expire. Gotta love Southwest Airlines! We finally ended up with $139 per person going and $174 per person coming home on nonstop flights. Not too bad!

Next: Oh no, not again!
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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Looks like we both started our trip report at the same time. I put up my first post and saw that you were right down there. I can't wait to read the rest. Definitely an awesome group of DISers. It was so great getting to meet you and putting the DISmeet together. Happy writing.
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Past Cruises: Disney Wonder, Bahamas June'06; Disney Wonder, Bahamas December '06; NCL Pride of Hawaii, Hawaii June '07; Disney Wonder, Bahamas September '07; RCI Navigator of the Seas, W. Caribbean December '07;Disney Magic, Mexican Riviera June '08;RCI Navigator of the Seas, W. Caribbean November'08;Disney Magic, W. Caribbean March '09;Celebrity Infinity, Alaska July '09;Disney Wonder, Bahamas August 13th '09;Disney Magic, E. Caribbean November 14th '09;Disney Wonder, Bahamas January 14th '10;Disney Magic, W. Caribbean March 6th '10;Disney Magic, Meditteranean May 5th '10; Disney Wonder, Bahamas October 3rd '10; Disney Wonder, E. Caribbean December 30th '10; Disney Wonder, Bahamas December 19th '10; Disney Magic, E. Caribbean December 30th '11; Disney Fantasy, W. Caribbean May 12th '12; Disney Dream, Bahamas, December 19th '12; Disney Dream, Bahamas February 28th '13;Disney Fantasy, W. Caribbean October 12th '13; Disney Magic, Bahamas February 28th '14

Planned Cruises: Disney Magic, S. Caribbean September 27th '14
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allears View Post
Great start! can't wait for more!
I hope I don't disappoint! Thanks for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmommy View Post
Wendy

I hope that you are all feeling better.

This past Saturday we were all had that same "I had too much fun tired look"

Looking forward to hearing all about your trip.

Lisa
We're getting there. DD is still on antibiotics but feeling a lot better. I am still coughing, but allergies are bad right now too, which doesn't help.

Hope you all had a wonderful cruise and the weather cooperated. It was great to see you guys before your cruise, sorry we weren't more exciting. We were exhausted. Are you going to write a trip report again this year? I can't wait to read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SplashMountainManiac View Post
Looks like we both started our trip report at the same time. I put up my first post and saw that you were right down there. I can't wait to read the rest. Definitely an awesome group of DISers. It was so great getting to meet you and putting the DISmeet together. Happy writing.
Yeah! Somebody else from our cruise is writing a report. I can't wait to read your perspective. I'm going to go check it out now!
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:23 PM   #7
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I decided to do a Blog, I will post it as a trip report when I get finished, but here are the first 2 days.

http://magictrip0314.blogspot.com/

Lisa
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmommy View Post
I decided to do a Blog, I will post it as a trip report when I get finished, but here are the first 2 days.

http://magictrip0314.blogspot.com/

Lisa
Thanks for the link. Sounds like you girls had a great time. How ironic that your tablemates would be from Arizona. It sounds like your dining experience was better this year.

Can't wait to read more.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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Wendy, I just discovered the link to your TR through your response to Mike's! I'm so excited to read the rest. We had a wonderful time on the cruise, and enjoyed meeting you and the other DISers.

Jan
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:46 PM   #10
disneyfaninaz
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Oh no, not again!

After we booked the cruise, I spent the rest of my time getting my stamina back from cancer treatment, volunteering at my DD’s school, leading my DD’s Brownie troop and just plain catching up with life. At the end of November, I had another health scare. During my regular check—up, my doctor felt a goiter in my thyroid. She ordered an ultrasound where a nodule was spotted. She then ordered a nuclear test and some blood work. Well, after just spending 8 months going through chemo and radiation treatment, you can just imagine what was going through my mind. Oh no, not again!!

Well, fortunately, all of my thyroid tests were normal and there is nothing to be concerned about, they are just going to watch it. So it is now official, I am officially cleared by all of my doctors that I can go cruising! Yay!!!!! The shopping for new clothes can now commence.

On December 6, 2008, I had an epiphany. As we were dining with our neighbors, it dawned on me that I could get online that night at 10:00 PM MST to make excursion and Palo reservations as my 90 day mark was December 7, 2008. Boy, I’m glad I remembered that or I would have been 24 hours behind the 8 ball. We had already decided to book directly with Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab for the new Swim Adventure encounter so all I needed to book was Palo and Grand Cayman. I had no problems neither logging on to the DCL site nor reserving brunch on Monday and the Boatswain Adventure Park in Grand Cayman.

I also got into making door magnets and matching t-shirts to commemorate our cruise this year. The DISigners on the Creative Board are tremendously talented and I thank each and everyone for their designs, personalization’s and ideas. The DISers on the Magnet and Door Design threads were wonderful as well.

The guys and the oldest teenager refused to wear my T-Shirt, so I made them for me, my DD, DNW and DNDD2.

The front, each one of us had a different character.


The back.


Next: It's cruise time!

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 03-29-2009 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:22 PM   #11
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I'm subscribing!
Congratulations on your Health! The greatest blessing of all. I can't wait to read your report. We will be sailing on May 30th, our first 7 day on the Magic.

I would love to know who designed your "Cruisin' the Magic with a bunch of Characters." It would be fun to have something similar.

I hope you have a bunch of pictures of your trip!
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BoysMom View Post
I'm subscribing!
Congratulations on your Health! The greatest blessing of all. I can't wait to read your report. We will be sailing on May 30th, our first 7 day on the Magic.

I would love to know who designed your "Cruisin' the Magic with a bunch of Characters." It would be fun to have something similar.

I hope you have a bunch of pictures of your trip!
Thank you. I consider myself very lucky and blessed!

I actually designed the shirt myself. I took a picture of the Magic we took on our last cruise and added the lettering. I used the Print Shop program. I borrowed the porthole characters from one of the DISigner's Photobucket account. If you haven't checked out the Creative DISign board, you should do so. There are so many wonderfully talented people over there that can design a shirt for your cruise or help you with a design.

http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=105

Stay tuned, I will have a lot of pictures of the entire trip.
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:55 PM   #13
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Dateline: Friday, March 6, 2009

Oh my gosh! The time has finally arrived, but what a week! I had to make it through a Girl Scout Cookie Booth for 4 hours on Sunday, Girl Scout Leader Meeting, a Brownie Meeting and a trip to the zoo with the Kindergarten class I volunteer for and packing before we could leave for our cruise. What was I thinking?

Finally, Friday arrives. The day I was at the zoo, I asked my DH if he could get our boarding passes from SWA. My DH ended up getting us B boarding passes for Southwest Airlines. To be honest, he just normally doesn't deal with our plane reservations and just doesn’t get it about the timing with SWA and boarding passes. We ended up not sitting together as a family because of it, but hey, we all ended up in Orlando at the same time, right? The flight was uneventful and we ended up at the gate at 4:00 PM Orlando time. We then proceeded to Side B, ground level of the airport and checked in with the Disney Magical Express desk. Check in was very easy and we were directed to the red carpet to board our bus. We waited about 10 minutes in line for our bus to arrive. This is my 2nd time using Magical Express and I have yet to ride a Magical Express bus. This time we were on a DCL Cruise Bus. I know it doesn’t matter, that the busses are the same, but still, it would have been nice to ride one of the blue busses. We were the first ones on the bus and then waited another 10-15 minutes to leave the airport. While on the way to WDW, we actually got to watch the pre-cruise video instead of the pre-WDW video. We made stops at Old Key West and Saratoga Springs before arriving at POFQ at 5:45 PM. I had to wait a bit to check in and we were off to see our room. We were in building 6 on the first floor. We were greeted with our first towel art of the trip.

Mickey Ears


A penguin


We dumped off our carry-ons, checked with bell services about picking up our luggage in the morning and were off to the pier to catch our ferry to Downtown Disney.





We had 7:00 PM reservations at T-Rex. The trip to Downtown Disney was nice. It was just getting dark and the wind was picking up a bit, I’m glad I had my jacket. We sailed alongside the new Treehouse Villas that were being built at Saratoga Springs. They looked very nice.

Treehouse Villa


After reaching Downtown Disney we got off the ferry and walked around a bit. I just love the Lego dragon.

Lego Dragon


We ended up at T-Rex a little early, but we were hungry so we checked in. It was a good thing we had reservations, the stand-by line was quite long and the place was absolutely packed.

T-Rex Restaurant


Inside the reception area


We were seated in the Ice Age room. The room changed colors from blue



to pink.



There would even be a time when all the dinosaurs would start moving and making noise and the lights would change colors, as if the world were coming to an end. It was very cool! The place was very loud and did not promote quiet dinner conversation but the food was surprisingly good, DH and I both had the lasagna (figured we wouldn’t get much of that on the ship). It came with homemade focacia bread which was quite good.

Wooly Mammoths


After dinner we went to the World of Disney store. We found some good buys as Disney was actually having sales on merchandise. My DH bought a watch for 25% off and I got a real nice canvas WDW tote (which came in handy for taking all of our souvenirs home on the plane) for $10.

Peg legged, talking parrot, "Yo, Ho, Yo Ho, a Parrot's life for me!"


Around 9:00 PM we called it a night and took the ferry back to the POFQ.



Our DD wanted to go swimming and we wanted to catch the rocket launch from Cape Canaveral between 10:30 PM and 11:00 PM. The pool was a little cool, but we went in for a few minutes. Afterwards we went to change clothes and go to the Sassagoula Float Factory to get beignets for dessert. We then headed out to the river (across the river was East towards Cape Canaveral) to see the rocket launch. We were joined by another family from New Jersey. All of the sudden we see a glow on the horizon. Could that be it? Very slowly the light ascended into the night sky until it disappeared. (Sorry, didn’t get any pictures as I am nighttime photo challenged). It was not what we expected, but the launch was cool to watch as we don’t get to see them everyday here at home. Afterwards, we went to bed as we had to get up early and pack in the morning.

Next: All aboard!

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 03-30-2009 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:21 PM   #14
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I'm in! I need to read all the Western trip reports I can get my hands on from now until July!! I'm loving yours already, thanks for adding all the pictures!!! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:07 AM   #15
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loving it...cannot wait for more!
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