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Old 06-28-2011, 02:59 PM   #151
disneypoor
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Thank you all for the kind words about my TR! I enjoyed writing it and reflecting on our vacation. Alaska was probably one of the most memorable trips we've taken, and we saw things that just can't be described with words. I appreciate all of the nice comments about my writing and hope that somebody actually got something they could use out of my TR.

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:03 PM   #152
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Your trip report has been great. Congrats on joining DVC. Your family will love it and since you already plan far ahead there will be no adjustment period getting used to that . We have been members since 1999 and primarily don't use our points for WDW. Our Alaska cruise in August will be our 6th Disney Cruise and they were all booked on points. The value may not be as good as the DVC resorts but we love to cruise and we love Disney so we don't mind using the points, and we love telling our friends and relatives we are cruising for $95 out of pocket. We have been to Mackinaw Island, MI three times (No longer offered in the concierge collection), London, Disneyland Paris twice, DL, WDW many times, plus the 6 cruises. We are now working on bringing extended families to WDW and staying in Grand Villas. The one recommendation I can give you is to find a good excel sheet or some other point tracking program to keep close track of everything. It will only get more complicated when you get addonitis, we have had it three times and now with 4 contracts, I am totally reliant on my excel point tracker.
Oh how I love to read replies from other DVCer's with nothing but good things to say about DVC! Like you, I also foresee us cruising with points in the future. As long as we are using our points, I'll feel like I'm getting my moneys worth from my DVC. I do have a question for you though--since you have four contracts, how does it work when you go to book a cruise? Do you have to only use points from one contract, or do you get to combine points at the 7 month mark? I'm still a bit baffled about the system, and lots of people have tried to explain it to me, and although I understand it better, there are still some "unknowns" and the whole cruising part is confusing for me. How do you do that? TIA!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:03 PM   #153
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For cruises you can combine points from all of your contracts and book up to 24 months in advance if DCL is booking that far off. We usually try to book as soon as new booking windows open as there are a limited number of cabins available for DVC members to book with points. Also something you may not know as we didn't even find this out until recently. Because DVC members cannot take advantage of onboard booking prices and incentives. You can call DVC up to three days after you disembark from a cruise to book your next cruise with points and get a small discount on the number of points required. It is not a big discount and there is no point chart to show the discount or a nice round number of points off. When I called for information they just told me it varies 2-4% off maybe, I can't really remember for sure. I am not sure we will ever take advantage of it unless a new booking window just happens to open while we are on a cruise. Feel free to bounce any other questions off of any of us DVC members, we will be happy to share information.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:13 PM   #154
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For cruises you can combine points from all of your contracts and book up to 24 months in advance if DCL is booking that far off. We usually try to book as soon as new booking windows open as there are a limited number of cabins available for DVC members to book with points. Also something you may not know as we didn't even find this out until recently. Because DVC members cannot take advantage of onboard booking prices and incentives. You can call DVC up to three days after you disembark from a cruise to book your next cruise with points and get a small discount on the number of points required. It is not a big discount and there is no point chart to show the discount or a nice round number of points off. When I called for information they just told me it varies 2-4% off maybe, I can't really remember for sure. I am not sure we will ever take advantage of it unless a new booking window just happens to open while we are on a cruise. Feel free to bounce any other questions off of any of us DVC members, we will be happy to share information.
Thank you so much for this information! So does that mean you can borrow up to 2 years worth of points? What if you bank points? For example, I received 220 points when we bought, I'll get 220 more Dec. 1st, and I'm wondering if I'd be able to use those and then borrow from the next UY in 2013? I'm not really planning to do this, but I just wondered how it would work. Thanks again! I've found the people on the DVC part of this site to be wonderful about answering questions!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:28 PM   #155
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Hi Susan! Loved your report!!! We were supposed to be on your cruise... We had it booked and just before our desposit was due...the Chicago blizzard of 2011 arrived!! We had 3 snow days at school which pushed finals to June 8th for DD15.. I was DEVASTATED!!! So no cruise for us! (Don't feel too bad for us though, we just spent 8 days at WDW!! Had a blast!) Anyway your pictures and descriptions were awesome. I really wish we could have gone !! Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:52 PM   #156
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Hi Susan! Loved your report!!! We were supposed to be on your cruise... We had it booked and just before our desposit was due...the Chicago blizzard of 2011 arrived!! We had 3 snow days at school which pushed finals to June 8th for DD15.. I was DEVASTATED!!! So no cruise for us! (Don't feel too bad for us though, we just spent 8 days at WDW!! Had a blast!) Anyway your pictures and descriptions were awesome. I really wish we could have gone !! Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you, Andrea! I'm so sorry you didn't get to do the Alaska cruise, but I'm so glad you got to spend some time at WDW! I always figure that as long as I'm doing something that involves the mouse, life is good!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:23 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by disneypoor View Post
Thank you so much for this information! So does that mean you can borrow up to 2 years worth of points? What if you bank points? For example, I received 220 points when we bought, I'll get 220 more Dec. 1st, and I'm wondering if I'd be able to use those and then borrow from the next UY in 2013? I'm not really planning to do this, but I just wondered how it would work. Thanks again! I've found the people on the DVC part of this site to be wonderful about answering questions!

Susan
It is possible to have 3 years worth of points available at one time through banking and borrowing. I have never booked that far out, but here is a hypothetical example. Let say you want to cruise in June of 2013, and you need 500 points to do it. That is a 2012 use year trip for you since your use year starts in December. You would have to bank some or all of 2011's points to 2012, use all of 2012's points and borrow some or all of 2013's points to 2012, whatever combination you need to get to 500 points. If DCL was booking that far out, you could do that today even though you haven't actually even received the 2011 points yet. I think the way they look at it is, unless you default on the mortgage or the dues, you will 100% definitely receive the points that will be used so they allow you to bank and borrow based on the years that are before and after the use year for the trip. With this example you could book a cruise that needs up to 660 points if you banked all of 2011's points to 2012 and borrowed all of 2013's points to 2012. And don't forget you only need to use points for one person that is sailing, you can pay cash for the rest if you want. You won't get the best deal, as DVC's cash prices are set a year or two in advance and could be higher than the prevailing price DCL might offer. Hope this helps.

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Old 06-29-2011, 06:33 PM   #158
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The cruise cash prices for DVC are cheaper for 2012 than they are on the DCL website, due to the enormous increases the ships have had. You can also just book 1 person on points and pay cash for the additional. The only drawback with that is that you can't make payments like you can directly to DCL you have to pay in full at the time of booking.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:57 PM   #159
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Thanks to everyone for the replies on DVC and cruising! I'm trying to make sense of all of this, but I think I'm finally seeing the light. Although I've read that it isn't cost effective to book the cruises with your DVC points, I figure that as long as I'm traveling on points and we're happy with our vacations, then my DVC was worth it. I really appreciate the help in understanding how DVC and cruises works though because I'm sure eventually we'll want to cruise again whether it's with points or good old cash!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:23 PM   #160
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Hi Susan!

I really enjoyed reading about your Alaskan adventure and I can't wait til August when I finally get to do mine!

I have two questions for you.

First is about your hike to Nugget falls in Juneau. Did you embark on the hike from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center or was it from someplace else? I was really interested in doing this hike but not everyone in my party wants to do ziplining. So we were going to do the Blue Bus up to the visitor's center and hopefully hike from there.

Also, on the Suspension Bridge part of your Railway adventure in Skagway, do you have to go across the bridge? My mom is not into heights but the rest of us thought that looked awesome!

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #161
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Hi Susan!

I really enjoyed reading about your Alaskan adventure and I can't wait til August when I finally get to do mine!

I have two questions for you.

First is about your hike to Nugget falls in Juneau. Did you embark on the hike from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center or was it from someplace else? I was really interested in doing this hike but not everyone in my party wants to do ziplining. So we were going to do the Blue Bus up to the visitor's center and hopefully hike from there.

Also, on the Suspension Bridge part of your Railway adventure in Skagway, do you have to go across the bridge? My mom is not into heights but the rest of us thought that looked awesome!

Thanks so much!
Hi, Sarah! I think you're going to like my answers for your questions! First, we got dropped off right at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor's Center, so you most definitely could do the hike to Nugget Falls without doing the ziplining, and I suspect that if you just do the glacier tour, you will have a lot more time than we did, and you won't have to leave anyone behind.

Secondly, you do not have to go across the bridge at all. There is a visitors lodge at the site of the bridge, and as you walk thru, they give you a sample (atleast they did for us) of something (we got these yummy cookies and even bought some to take back to the ship with us), and you can look around, go to the concession area, or just walk around outside without crossing the bridge. You can still check out the beautiful scenery without crossing the bridge at all.

Let me know if you have any more questions. I'm guessing August is going to be a fabulous time to be visiting Alaska!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:56 PM   #162
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Hi Susan,
My office buddy and I just read your whole report - on our lunch hour of course - and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your Alaskan Adventure. I'm trying to talk her into that being our next DCL adventure. Our families have made it to the Bahamas and MR together so far.

Did I miss where you mentioned who your head waiter was? Just wondering because we too gave our head waiter Witt on the Wonder a bigger tip too - we loved him.

Welcome to DVC! I bet my husband embarassed me just as much as yours did. Let me just say he was VERY skeptical. Thank goodness he finally caved about 7 years ago. I'm glad he's the one with a sense of responsibility or I would have gone way overboard. We have 200 points, and haven't (yet) added on. But I can see how easy it is to do, especially on a cruise...
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #163
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Hi Susan,
My office buddy and I just read your whole report - on our lunch hour of course - and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your Alaskan Adventure. I'm trying to talk her into that being our next DCL adventure. Our families have made it to the Bahamas and MR together so far.

Did I miss where you mentioned who your head waiter was? Just wondering because we too gave our head waiter Witt on the Wonder a bigger tip too - we loved him.

Welcome to DVC! I bet my husband embarassed me just as much as yours did. Let me just say he was VERY skeptical. Thank goodness he finally caved about 7 years ago. I'm glad he's the one with a sense of responsibility or I would have gone way overboard. We have 200 points, and haven't (yet) added on. But I can see how easy it is to do, especially on a cruise...
Hi! Thanks for reading! I'm so glad you were able to get thru it all during your lunch hour. I know I can be a bit windy! I'm a teacher, and don't tell on me, but sometimes I have to check the DIS while I'm at work. I know, probably bad, but a happy teacher equals happy kids. Besides, I teach technology, and they need to know what forums are and how they work anyway.

This is so terrible, but I cannot remember our head server's name. Too much time has passed, and my memory is getting worse every year. He was truly wonderful though, and it was the first time we tipped extra for that position and felt really good doing so!

Glad to hear you are DVC also. How have you felt about your membership? I know what you mean about going overboard with the points. I was ready to start right out with at least 320 points so we could do two contracts of 160, but my DH had to remind me that although we were traveling like rock stars, back at home we were simply just farmers and teachers, so no can do. I don't know if we'll ever add on, but it sure does sound enticing! I'm anxious to begin using it to see if we're as happy with it as the other DISers appear to be.

Good luck talking your co-worker into the Alaska trip! It's truly a wonderful experience, and the beauty of that place cannot be described in words!

Take care!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder,
03/12 One Week in Maui, 07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay,
03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western,
07/13 Villas at Grand California, 03/14 5 Night DCL Miami,
05/14 Bay Lake Tower, 08/15 1st trip to Aulani

Upcoming Trips: 03/15 Disney Wonder out of Miami, 07/15 Maui
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:52 PM   #164
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Nnn
Now you have me nervous! Is BLT that bad or just a resort you aren't interested in? Do you mind me asking why you wouldn't be interested in that one? Too late for me, but I'd love to know what I got in to. Thanks!
Susan
I just found your report and I was sad when it was over. It is nice to see others with OCDD (Obsessive Complusive Disney Disorder)

We are also DVC Bay Lake and Animal Kingdom. We love Bay Lake but we love all of the DVC resorts. The only regret I have is that we did not do it when our kids were younger. Both kids are gone. One married and one getting married in Oct. The good thing is we can take DGD if I can figure out how to get her with out her parents going.

We are on the Aug 22 cruise and your excursions sound great! We are not doing any excursions because of that darn wedding in Oct. I would love to have the name and number of the limo driver in Vancover. I tried to tell DD we could pick flowers from the back yard for the wedding but she would not agree.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #165
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Thanks to everyone for the replies on DVC and cruising! I'm trying to make sense of all of this, but I think I'm finally seeing the light. Although I've read that it isn't cost effective to book the cruises with your DVC points, I figure that as long as I'm traveling on points and we're happy with our vacations, then my DVC was worth it. I really appreciate the help in understanding how DVC and cruises works though because I'm sure eventually we'll want to cruise again whether it's with points or good old cash!

Susan
We have done both booking cruises with point and paying cash. We have added points to have enough to cruise if we want too. The accountant in me says it is not cost effective but the rest says if that is what you wnat to do with the point then go for it. We actually booked the Alaska cruise using points because of the airfare and other additional expenses. My husband was not a DVC plan until we bought our first contract and no I can not let him go to a presentation because he will talk me into it. We are so weak. Our son had the nerve to ask how many points he got to use a year. After we stopped laughing hysterically we told him 0. They are mine all mine and DH too.
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