|11-05-2010, 10:11 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: La Crosse, WI
DCL Virgins No More - 3 Day Wonder 10/28/10
I have been reading trip reports for awhile now and I enjoy every single experience I have encountered. Now is my turn to return the favor. I am still reeling from our very first trip on the Disney Wonder and I am patiently counting the days until our next encounter. I have officially enrolled in the DCL anonymous 12 step program for withdrawal!
Well to begin the trip myself (31) DW (31) and DS Alex (5) and DD Lizzie (3) heading down to Orlando from Iowa....you heard that right, we actually have internet up here and we have heard of things outside of corn and tornadoes. BTW neither of us is from IA Well we were hoping to move for a job this fall but that fell through so we decided to finally go on our first ever REAL family vacation. Some of you may know what I am talking about, going home to visit mom and dad for the holidays doesn't really count! So the money for our move went into a quick trip vacation on the Wonder during our son's parent/teacher conferences in October. Alex started kindergarten and we wanted to limit the amount of time he was out of school, and this worked out to only 2 days gone.
So needless to say that was the longest 3 months of my life!!!! I can't believe I was more excited for the trip than for any Christmas I've ever had. I can tell you I spent more time reading Passporters guide and DISboards more than I was working So anyway I decided to try to go on the cheap this time around and see how we, and the kids, took to the cruise. We flew down the day before and came back a day late to save on airfare, DW works at a hotel so we get to stay for next to nothing, and rent a cheap car back and forth to the port. I was very proud of my "thrifty" reservations that most would call penny pinching or cheap
OK first off this trip was a complete surprise to our kids. Anyone with little kids can know there is NO WAY we could tell them early and listen to "when are we going on the boat" "when do we get to see Mickey Mouse" for 3 months straight. besides we though it would be a great surprise to both of them for their first plane and boat rides. So we told them we were going on a trip...and the best thing is they really have no concept of distance or traveling yet...so it makes it much easier to keep it a secret. We traveled to the airport and they were excited to finally go on a plane ride, honestly I think we could've gone on a plane ride and that would've sufficed for their trip.
STRIKE 1 - Our flight got delayed out of Moline because of thunderstorms and tornadoes in Atlanta. This caused problems because our connecting flight into Orlando was only 1 hr later, and we were already delayed 1.5 hours. So after talking with the gate agent, we came to the conclusion of rebooking for ATL-ORL Friday morning and trying to stay the night in ATL, once we get there. Turns out this was one of the best decisions we could've made. So.....we sat, and sat, and sat...slowly watching every other flight take off and ours get delayed further and further. Working for an airport I realize the closer we get to the magic 6 hour mark, the infinitely more possible it cancels...I was worried! We finally boarded the plane 4 hours after delay, only to sit out on the taxiway for 30 minutes and return to the ate for another delay...increase perspiration - 50%. 1 hour later we try again....after 6 hours of delays the plane finally errupts in applause and cheers once we finally lift off the ground. I felt bad the poor kids had such a crappy start to their vacation, 6 hours in an airport holding room. Next was our trip in ATL.
Strike 2 - Moline flight baggage carousel #5, 0 bags. Awesome. Spent the next hour running around ATL baggage looking for someone to help. Best news so far...our bags finally showed up in the lost baggage room...so much for bag tags right? At least DW had finagled the GM of the Hampton Inn to help us stay there that night, the delays and cancellations had caused major issues there, we were lucky. Finally got to the room at 10 and ate dinner at 1045....flight in am leaves at 6...and you know you can't show up at ATL 30 minutes before your flight, time for bed.
Tired and drained we make the flight, albeit delayed and hour (wish we could've gotten that extra hour of sleep!). Glad we rebooked early yesterday...65 standby passengers trying to get to ORL from last night...ouch! Finally ORL and all bags accounted for. Get the rental car from Budget and the porter helps us to our car...spot U-19 an Impala right? not even close.
STRIKE 3 - Spent another 45 minutes trying to talk to the guys at the counter that the car they told me is not the one in the spot. So tired...so drained...just want to get to the boat. Finally find a brand new Dodge Charger and we're on our way down the FL tollway. Amazingly enough after all the delays and crap, we were only 1 hour behind my original schedule lol. We turn the car in, take the shuttle to the port and the kids still have no idea we're going on the boat. You know....not until we actually walk into the terminal and they see Mickey and the model of the Magic do they realize we're going on the Wonder They were so excited I couldn't believe it. Now you know why I couldn't tell them 3 months ago!
All signed in, kktw cards in hand, signed up for Oceaneer’s Club, Group 7 and waiting like kids on Christmas. The boarding process was absolutely amazing and we waited all of 15 minutes between group 1 – group 7!!!! One of the most amazing walks through that gangway!
Well at work tonight, probably should do some work. Tomorrow: This is what a vacation is supposed to be like!!! Hope to have some pictures of our journey as well.
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