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Old 01-15-2011, 03:58 PM   #1
Timon


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Talking Cass and Michelle....DREAMS really do come true Pre-Trippie 1/30/11 4-Night Cruise

Greetings everyone

Well, I really didn't think I would get to do another Trip Report until 2012 but I have been blessed with an amazing last-minute opportunity to cruise on the Disney Dream's second official sailing so here I am to tell you all about it

--------------------------------------------

How it all started

Tuesday night (the 11th) I was lying in bed watching some TV and surfing the DIS on my iPad. It was getting late so I decided to pack it in. Rob (my hubby) was about to brush his teeth and I asked him if he could go plug in the iPad for me. Just as I was about to hand it over, the alert for new email went off so I decided to check to see if it was important or not. I usually get a lot of spam on the ipad at night so I just figured it was junk but I checked anyway. Turned out to be an email from my friend Michelle.

Michelle is a DISer whom I met online through my Trip Report in 2005 and eventually became pretty good friends with. Despite never having met in person, we keep in touch via email and PM's.

Michelle is a Travel Agent with her own business and she had persuaded me to take steps towards becoming a TA as well. I completed the College of Disney Knowledge online and now I am official too

So, I told Rob that I just wanted to read Michelle's email before charging the iPad for the night so he went to brush his teeth.

Long story short...Michelle told me about an opportunity for TA's to attend an AEP (agent education program) on board the Disney Dream at the end of the month. She asked me if I wanted to join her. Of course, I dismissed it immediately.

I definitely couldn't afford the airfare (it's way steeper coming in from Canada than from the USA) and I had Kira (my four-year old princess) to watch.

Although I knew there was no way I could possibly go, I wrote her back asking her for some more info and then went to bed.

And of course, I had Disney "dreams" all night long

The next morning I woke up and checked my mail. Michelle had sent me more details and it sounded too good to be true! Obviously TA's get some special benefits but this was just too good not to follow up on. It was time-sensitive since we would need to register right away so I asked her to give me the day to see what I can do, if anything.

I talked to Rob about it first. He knows that it's been a tough couple of months for me (actually, the whole year has been rough!) and that it would do my soul some good to get away for a bit, especially since it's DISNEY!!! After I went through what I did this past May, I realized that life is short and very precious and when an opportunity like this comes your way, you don't pass it up! I am thankful to have such a wonderful husband who understands and supports me 100%

I first called my brother. I know he has Aeroplan miles that he doesn't really use so I was hoping maybe he would kindly share them with me And being the great brother he is, he offered to get me a free flight. But this is Aeroplan and it's only 2 weeks away so I honestly didn't really think there would be any flights available anyway but it was worth a shot. I went online and to my absolute surprise and utter delight, there were several flights available!! Not great flights, but I didn't care...if it got me to Orlando...then it worked!

Next up was baby sitting. Kira is in preschool right now but only goes for a 6 hours per week so I would need a lot of help! Rob works two jobs and can't really take time off so I called my MIL and SIL and although they are both very busy ladies, their schedules were clear to watch Kira for a few days each.

OK, now I was getting a little excited. The really big hurdles were taken care of and it actually seemed like this trip was a possibility!

I wrote Michelle back and told her it was a go. She registered for the program and then I did too. All that was left was to hear back from Disney to see if we were both accepted.

We waited....and waited....and waited

Free flights were disappearing and flight prices were going up....tick tock...tick tock.


Finally, around noon yesterday, Michelle found out that we were both accepted into the program!!!

I was so happy that I actually started crying!!! I've become such a blubbering emotional fool ever since I gave birth to Kira and I cry at the drop of a dime! But I felt better when Michelle told me that she was so happy that she cried too

By that time, all flights for the Friday were gone (aeroplan miles flights) so we had to book a day early (oh darn! ) since we can get a great deal on a WDW hotel.

So, we are all booked now and we leave in less than two weeks!! I am still in shock...happy shock but still...this is totally foreign to me. I have never booked a trip less than a year out (especially a Disney trip!) so it's a little nerve wracking but I am super duper excited!

Our Plans

Thursday January 27th

I leave really early in the morning...fly to Chicago O'Hare and then fly to Philadelphia before landing in Orlando around 9pm. Michelle gets in a couple of hours later and we will meet up at the hotel. (one of the All-Stars) I am really hoping I make it in time to have some chicken strips at the Food Court

Friday January 28th

We are going to spend the day at the Magic Kingdom!!! We have lunch ressies at Liberty Tree Tavern, a restaurant that neither of us have been to before so I am very excited!

Saturday January 29th

We are going to spend the first part of the day at Downtown Disney. We are both looking forward to eating lunch at Earl of Sandwich and exploring the shops
We have to be back at the hotel by 5pm-ish to meet up with the AEP. We are going to be bussed to Epcot for the AEP Meet & Greet which includes dinner (not sure where yet) and an Illuminations Dessert Party!!!

Sunday January 30th

Early AEP breakfast and then we get bussed to the Port. After checking in, we get to board early and do a ship inspection before the general public I am super excited about this!!!

Monday January 31st

Nassau Day
AEP Disney Seminar

Tuesday February 1st

Castaway Cay

Wednesday February 2nd

At Sea
AEP Disney Seminar
Farewell Reception

Thursday February 3rd
Disembarkation and Flying home

I don't think I will get a chance to post while I am on the ship but I will be taking tons of photos and will be posting a detailed Trip Report when I get home!

I am hoping that Michelle will jump on board both the Pre-Trippie and the Trip Report and share her thoughts and views with you too!

OK, I will post more stuff later but this is getting loooooong so I will end it here

Last edited by Timon; 01-15-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
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Congrats on the last minute trip! I did an AEP onboard the Wonder in May 2008, and it was a blast. If you have Rita and Mario as your AEP trainers, you are in for a real treat! They ROCK!

Have a great time, and I'm looking forward to hearing all about it!
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Absolutely Awesome Cass! When you made your Facebook post, I had thought that you had planned this cruise all along. I didn't realize it was a whirlwind last minute sort of thing! Laura and I are very excited for you. I actually thought about taking this cruise date for a short time. It was not filling up very well and the prices were pretty sweet on it. I know you'll get plenty of pictures so I'll not ask that. I can't wait to hear your impressions!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Wow!
This is so exciting. We are from Calgary too, small world. I can't wait to read all your reviews! Have a blast, you deserve it
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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This is so exciting! I bet you were just on pins and needles while you had to wait to hear back from Disney. What a great treat for you after this past year. You deserve something like this more than anyone else I know.
Have a great trip and I can't wait to hear all about it and see all your pictures.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #6
Timon


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Quote:
Originally Posted by iloverags2 View Post
Congrats on the last minute trip! I did an AEP onboard the Wonder in May 2008, and it was a blast. If you have Rita and Mario as your AEP trainers, you are in for a real treat! They ROCK!

Have a great time, and I'm looking forward to hearing all about it!
Thanks Well, then I sure hope we get Rita and Mario

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsnydaddy View Post
Absolutely Awesome Cass! When you made your Facebook post, I had thought that you had planned this cruise all along. I didn't realize it was a whirlwind last minute sort of thing! Laura and I are very excited for you. I actually thought about taking this cruise date for a short time. It was not filling up very well and the prices were pretty sweet on it. I know you'll get plenty of pictures so I'll not ask that. I can't wait to hear your impressions!

Thanks Steve and Laura Yeah, not planned at all! I am in total trip planning mode now though


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Originally Posted by kimberleeJohnston View Post
Wow!
This is so exciting. We are from Calgary too, small world. I can't wait to read all your reviews! Have a blast, you deserve it
Thanks It sure will be a nice break from this stupid deep freeze we've been in!! Can't wait to wear shorts and sandals again Wooooo!!!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofyfreak View Post
This is so exciting! I bet you were just on pins and needles while you had to wait to hear back from Disney. What a great treat for you after this past year. You deserve something like this more than anyone else I know.
Have a great trip and I can't wait to hear all about it and see all your pictures.
Awwww, thanks Lori, that is so sweet of you to say!!

Yes, we were both going crazy waiting to hear! If it wasn't for Michelle's persistence, we wouldn't have found out until Tuesday and I'm sure all the flights would have been gone by then! Yay Michelle
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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So excited for you, Cass! I would add something, but I feel you already covered everything perfectly. I am super duper excited too!

I do want to add that I did start jumping up and down crying when I found out we were official. Those were some very anxious days of waiting! If we hadn't found out on that day, we would have had to wait over the long holiday weekend until Tuesday and I know Cass' flights would have been slim to none. Oops I see that Cass already said that. Doh!

This is my first AEP, I have always just used my own personal trips and cruises with my family as my experience training so I thought I never needed them. I am very excited to just turn time over to Disney and enjoy something new.
Plus, I am a huge Cass fan!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by goofyfreak View Post
What a great treat for you after this past year. You deserve something like this more than anyone else I know.
I totally agree!
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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All this couldn't happen to a more deserving humble person. I'm so excited for you Cass!!! I can't wait to hear all about it.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:04 AM   #11
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Congrats Cass!! I know what you mean about coordinating a Disney trip in such a short period of time. Makes you wanna look back and make sure you didn't miss anything.

Have a great time!
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
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No one deserves this trip more than you! I was BEYOND excited to read your facebook update. I can't wait to read about all of your adventures. I rarely book last-minute trips, but I can tell you that I did do it once before (to Mexico though) and the sheer novelty of it was fantastic. Here's to an amazing adventure for Cass & Michelle!!!!!
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle2 View Post
This is my first AEP, I have always just used my own personal trips and cruises with my family as my experience training so I thought I never needed them. I am very excited to just turn time over to Disney and enjoy something new.
Plus, I am a huge Cass fan!
Looking forward to the AEP stuff too


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Originally Posted by Michelle2 View Post
I totally agree!



Quote:
Originally Posted by cntkg1 View Post
All this couldn't happen to a more deserving humble person. I'm so excited for you Cass!!! I can't wait to hear all about it.
Thanks Nanc!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tart Annihilator View Post
Congrats Cass!! I know what you mean about coordinating a Disney trip in such a short period of time. Makes you wanna look back and make sure you didn't miss anything.

Have a great time!
Thanks Robin! Yeah, I'm a little worried about forgetting something but oh well, it's good to be spontaneous once in a while, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJK View Post
No one deserves this trip more than you! I was BEYOND excited to read your facebook update. I can't wait to read about all of your adventures. I rarely book last-minute trips, but I can tell you that I did do it once before (to Mexico though) and the sheer novelty of it was fantastic. Here's to an amazing adventure for Cass & Michelle!!!!!
Thanks Christa! I'm nervous but really enjoying the whole last-minute thing, it's exciting!!
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #14
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Underdog all signed up and ready for the adventure.

Dont forget to pack plenty of cherry chapstick.

Perhaps you can track down a certain redhead to help Rob with the babysitting while you're gone.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #15
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I am also doing the AEP trip on this cruise. I am very excited. I can't wait to meet everyone!
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