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Old 10-02-2012, 12:25 PM   #31
Sunseeker17
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Sounds like fun! Love the t-shirts!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:45 PM   #32
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Hooray I love your TRs! We fell in LOVE with the Fantasy on the MV, I hope you guys did too!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:47 PM   #33
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Can't wait to hear more and see all 9999 photos and the pre pre cruise stay. If you would do me a small favor, finish your trip report before Dec 15, 2012 so I am all ready to sail on an Eastern!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #34
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Hey Jen! Can't wait for more!!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:42 PM   #35
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Ooooo, how could I forget about you and Your trip reports?????? Glad I found the start of this one I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE REST OF IT! Oh, and those Cape Caribe Resort Pics
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #36
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Loved your trip report from your Allure cruise. Can't wait to read this one!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:09 PM   #37
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Joining in. You are so fast. I was on a Disney cruise the same week, though it was the Magic out of Galveston. Can't wait to hear how your trip went.
I am hoping to start mine tonight or tomorrow. I'll post the link in my signature.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #38
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To Conch Flats: And Beyond!

The day we had been waiting for has finally arrived! 20 Months after we booked our Disney Fantasy cruise- after all of the planning, anticipation, research...it was here! We could hardly believe it!


We had booked this cruise as a dummy date onboard the Magic in 2010. When we were finally alerted that people had been able to pre-book Fantasy cruises through their TA’s in February of 2011 we were delighted to be able to assign our empty cruise block a date: September 22, 2012! This was very exciting to us- only about 6 months after the Fantasy’s Maiden Voyage so she would still be brand spanking new but hopefully we had given her enough time to work out the kinks.


So we spent the next nearly 2 years planning, reading, researching…watching her being built from a bare steel frame up to a beautiful vessel on the Meyer-Werft webcam. We shared the anticipation with a wonderful group here on the Dis. Together we watched her built, christened, then finally sail out on her Maiden Voyage.

And then just 26 short weeks later it was our turn!


Wednesday September 19, 2012 started as just a normal day, off to school for the kids and work for Ron. I spent the morning finalizing laundry and packing and printing- or attempting to print- my magnets. You see, I used to print my magnets on magnet paper but the last few cruises I had been just printing them on cardstock and using adhesive magnet strips. But…here we are a mere hour from leaving I am ready to print and WHERE IS MY CARDSTOCK?!?! After a harried search through an armoire finally I found a box of printable cards and envelopes. A cursory examination and the “cards” looked like regular plain old 8.5 x 11 cardstock. Sweet! I hurriedly printed up all of my magnet designs and then- we were done! Ready to get this party started!


Ron left work early and picked up the two older kids at school and I picked up Sarah from her school. We met at home packed the bags and we were off to Walt Disney World! We live in Tampa FL, so the trip is only about an hour or so East across I-4.

Who’s excited??? Or...not?






Just an hour later…look!



Look out Mickey, here we come!



We have arrived!



Due to the generosity of a wonderful friend from whom I rented some DVC points we would be staying for the first time at a DVC resort- Old Key West. We were very excited about this, as normally in situations where we only need a place to lay our heads at night for a few short hours we would opt for a cheaper hotel room offsite via Priceline or Hotwire or one of those travel sites. But this really helped put us in the right mindset for a luxury DISNEY vacation!


As we drove through the familiar WDW property we realized we didn’t bother to map out exactly where OKW was. Hmm. I think it’s by Downtown Disney I say. Ron grumbles. I scramble on my phone to map it. It’s Disney after all- we are here every 2 months or so we know this place like the back of our hands. Right?


Well we headed in the direction of Downtown Disney and turns out I was right. We spotted this DVC gazebo thing and I knew OKW was right behind it.



Yep yep!



So we pulled in and parked and Ron Savannah and I headed in to check in.






It was very quiet in the lobby at this time of day. Everyone was super friendly and check in only took about 5 minutes.

A quick view of the lobby. I thought I took more pics but I guess I didn't.



We had booked (via our awesome friend) a room near the “Hospitality House”- which means near the lobby restaurants and main pool area. Since OKW is so large and sprawling instead of just making a location request at other resorts, here you actually select this location specifically when you book your reservation. It doesn’t cost any extra to stay in rooms/villas near the Hospitality House but I did love the way this was done. That way it isn’t just a “request”- if there is availability when you book and you specify this location that is where you will be. I really liked that.

The lobby was beautiful and the resort did indeed have an authentic Key West feel. Besides that for sure they have the best soundtrack on property. Jimmy Buffett…hello!





And so we were checked in and headed to our room. It was located directly across the parking lot from the Hospitality House. Perfect!



Our building:






To get to our room we followed the path through these buildings:





And up the stairs:




We were in Room #1220 a second floor studio overlooking the golf course:





Welcome Home!




The room was definitely clean, a good size, and well appointed. It was homey and comfortable.










It had two queen beds a dinette, a kitchenette and a large bathroom. More than enough space for us for one night!
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:30 PM   #39
nenner1
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To Conch Flats: And Beyond! (Part 2)








Kitchenette:











Bathroom: decent sized but older. I swear that my grandma has the same peachy/pink colored shower in her house (which was built in 1959 in FL, so yeah...)







The hallway from the bathroom looking back into the main room area:



Towel animal (a flower):



Ceiling fan (always nice to have in FL especially when we found the room never really cooled to our liking - which is very cold):





It also had this small but quaint balcony.









Ron noticed that the other balconies had something ours didn’t though- a small table.

A quick examination of the grounds below and we found our table. Hmmm.




The kids liked it!







In any event we brought up our luggage got settled, changed into our swimsuits and got ready to head for the pool!











Next: If it looks like Margaritaville and sounds like Margaritaville, it must be... Old Key West?
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:59 PM   #40
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Off to a great start! Love OKW...cheap in points and the rooms are really big!

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:27 AM   #41
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Smile ......ANd....

.......love those H2O products 2!!





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Old 10-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #42
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Can't wait to read the rest of your review! We got off the Fantasy the day you got on.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:39 AM   #43
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sub'd
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2014 - Jan: 7 day RCCL Allure of the Seas Western Caribbean
2013 - Spring:3 days at Art of Animation in Disney World followed by 7 days Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean and Fall: 5 days at Port Orleans in WDW
2012 - 6 days at All Star Music in Disney World followed by 4 days Disney Dream Bahamas
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #44
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WOW. Ya know I have seen you post pictures of the kids on FB, but they have really grown up. I guess I didn't realize how much time has gone by! I know my thought won't exactly be as popular but now seeing OKW, it being SO small would drive me a little crazy. I do love the theming. LOL I will probably opt for locale #2 when you get there..... and yet there is something about being on the property of Disney. OPTIONS!!!!!!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #45
nenner1
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Originally Posted by Fastpaks View Post
1ST! I have always wanted in first... too bad I have to wait for another 2 years. so I will live through you all!
Woohoo! So is that the cruise you are on Deck 10, in 2014? What is your date?

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Originally Posted by livingis2me View Post
Trip Report time already? Awesome!!! By the way you know I love DCL, I just like variety. So does this ship beat out the Allure of the Seas for me? Hmm... I guess we'll see... Or should I just spill the beans now...
Ron
Nah, don’t spill it now. Make ‘em wait. They won’t believe it anyway.

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Originally Posted by pinkxray View Post
I can't wait to hear about your trip on the Fantasy. I loved your previous reports and can't wait to hear how the Fantasy compares to the Allure. We were on the Oasis Sept. 22-29 due to DH's request to try RCL and it was great. I really want to try the Fantasy but it's going to be tough to get DH and DD on board after the Oasis which they both loved. I know it's silly but I missed the Disney touches around the ship.

Hi there! Thanks for joining in!
I absolutely know what you mean about the little Disney touches, especially now that we have just experienced them again. We loved Allure. REALLY loved Allure. But (and I don’t want to say too much) we LOVED the Fantasy too. I do think it can be perceived that after a ship like Oasis/Allure it could be hard to “go back” to another ship but I absolutely hope you can convince them because the Fantasy is just THAT GOOD. It really is. And if my husband who is (or…was?) all Allure all the time can come back after a Disney cruise proclaiming his love for DCL again, believe me- that says a lot!

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Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
I can't wait to read all about this! Can you finish the cruise part by the time I leave on Friday for my own Fantasy Eastern cruise?
Jill in CO
LOL Jill- sorry! Just getting my picture situation straightened out might take until Friday. If you have any specific questions though let me know- or if there is any general advice to give I’m happy to give it. My biggest and best tip that I can think of off the top of my head is- Do the EARLY (4:30 PM) Till We meet again celebration on Friday in the Atrium- there was NOBODY at ours. And I passed through the later one too and it was a mob scene as usual. So there’s a tip if you enjoy going to those!

Have a FANTASTIC cruise!!

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Originally Posted by JKSWonder View Post
Yay Jen! So happy to see another report from you. We just did the Eastern Fantasy August 25, 2012, so it will be really interesting for me to read your impressions.
Yay Jane- I hope you all had as AMAZING of a time as we did! It really did bring the Magic back to us. Pun intended.

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Originally Posted by KristiMc View Post
I'm in - I love reading your trip reports.
Thanks so much! I’m so glad to have you onboard!

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Originally Posted by jamelynn24 View Post
Ohhh can't wait!!! Just booked our FIRST DCL today...Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy! This will totally help me know what to expect next year!!!
Awesome! You will LOVE the Fantasy I think. It’s so hard to start off at the top but I think by far this is the absolute best ship that DCL has to offer. And it really holds it’s own against some other amazing ships out there like the Freedom and Oasis class on RCCL. I hope it helps you plan your cruise! I’ll try to make sure I include plenty of pics for you. Haha!

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Originally Posted by cleophus12 View Post
We are taking this trip in May, so I am especially anxious to hear about your shore excursions.
Awesome! We did all of our excursions on our own this time but we have done them through the boat before. In St. Maarten we did a charter on the sailboat Random Wind and had an amazing time. I totally recommend this trip. It isn’t hardcore snorkeling (in fact I wouldn’t really advise taking it for the snorkeling at all) but is a nice leisurely boat trip to beautiful waters and beach(es) – it was a lot of fun. In St. Thomas we took a taxi out to Magen’s Bay beach. Beautiful. It is not my absolute favorite beach in the USVI but it is a GREAT option for a nice family beach with amenities, food, and watersports available. In Castaway Cay we didn’t do any excursions but I’m happy to help if you have any questions.

Excursions on the Eastern we have done in the past include Trunk Bay beach in St. John and Turtle Cove Sail and Snorkel on the Doubloon in St. Thomas and Captain Alan’s Charter in St. Maarten. I give all of those two thumbs up. If you have any questions about any of those I’m happy to answer them!

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Originally Posted by ohboyx3 View Post
Can't wait to read more!!
Fantastic! Thanks so much for reading!

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Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
Love your trio reports! Can't wait to see all 9,999 photos!
LOL I am so disappointed I am coming in a bit below that right now at almost 8,000 but I have two full days of pictures missing. Yes missing. I am hoping I just missed a memory card somehow. In any event it’s still a WHOLE lotta pictures.

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Originally Posted by Cheryl726 View Post
Great intro! Looking forward to reading about your trip!
Thanks so much! Glad to have you onboard!

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Originally Posted by podsnel;463
12232
You don't waste any time at all, do you?! Yippeeee! Can't wait to hear all about it!
Yay! El! Oh my gosh so many times during this cruise I thought of you. I don't think I'll be able to swing NYE 2013 but I NEED to cruise with you on this boat someday! I was at the Pirate Party and missed you so!

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I'm subbing! Love your title!
Haha! Thanks! We really were aft, so…

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Originally Posted by tinkerbelltwins View Post

I'm in too! Thanks for guiding me over here from Facebook! Can't wait to read all about your Fantasyastic trip!

Beth
Woohoo! Hi Beth! I hope to have it all done by the time you sail for Turkey day! One thing I know for sure is Hope and Skye will have a BLAST on this ship! I know you’ve been on the Dream so you know a litte of what to expect but with Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique/Pirate’s League and the Muppets Midship Detective and the Aqua Lab, they are going to have SO much fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessrose18 View Post
spill the beans!!! a silent follower of your tr's along for the ride..........
Yay! So glad to know you are reading along! Hope you enjoy it!! I think I've already hinted at Mr. RCCL's opinion on the Fantasy..hehe

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Originally Posted by taraandmike View Post
Can't wait to her about your adventures on the Fantasy, we were going to go on this cruise and glad to her you had a great time, we leave in a just about five weeks to cruise on the Fantasy.
Oh my gosh you will have an AMAZING time! Can’t say enough good things about this ship- it is really fantastic. I will try to have the TR done by the time you leave! If anything else I should have a good bit of it done by then. Hope it helps you finalize your plans!

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Originally Posted by Floridagram View Post
Oh yeah, I am so glad you are back! I can hardly wait to hear your perspective of the Fantasy!
Thanks! I guess I’ve pretty much given away that we LOVED the Fantasy. Of course there are some small things that weren’t 100% perfect about our cruise but pretty much everything else was. LOL!

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Originally Posted by uncw89 View Post
subbing!! Like the title!!
Awesome, thanks!! Glad to have you onboard!

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Originally Posted by anewmac View Post
You are on it.. you will probably finish this one before my measly short 3day in Dland LMAO. Can’t wait to read all about it!
Bwahaha! See now you know what a lame-o I am, I didn’t even realize you had one going for your DL trip. (I see it in your siggy now, duh!) I did you proud this time around..that’s all I’m gonna say about that right now…

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Originally Posted by knewton64 View Post
.....me thinks readin' this here Trip report 'tis gonna be quite fun!!
(& I am a subbin 2) -

T.T.F.N.
Woohoo! Hey there Kris! How’s is going? It is definitely going to be a fun ride for sure! Glad to have you along for it!

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Originally Posted by miztressuz View Post
can't wait to hear about the Fantasy. we might be pushing off our Fantasy sailing (it's in 2013 already!) so i'm dying to know what we will be missing... maybe it'll sway us back to keeping it as-is
I will do my best to keep you on track! LOL! Our next time on the Fantasy will be in 2014…seems so far away. To think my son will be 15 then just about gives me a heart attack! So I know what you mean about having to push it back. But you never know….. Hope you find it helpful in planning your future cruise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjgarv View Post
We're flying out on Friday, too!!! Jen...any chance you have Navigators that you could post? As the designated cruise director for our group, I'd love to see when certain activities are taking place on board.
Oh man…I didn’t realize you left so soon. I will try to get them up today. I am pretty sure I have a full set, although at the end of the cruise we were getting the front cover without the times guide inside a couple of times.
Here’s what I can tell you: if you look at and compare the previous Eastern Navigators that have been posted (I believe one set was April and one was July) those were almost identical to our cruise. I had planned out and done a spreadsheet based on those Navigators and almost everything was exactly right. Two things off the top of my head I know were different: our cruise did not have any Matinee showings for Aladdin or Believe. I can’t remember if Wishes had one and we just couldn’t go because that’s when our tasting was or if there wasn’t one then either. I think they schedule those Matinee shows based on how full the cruise is, and at only 3200 guests, ours was definitely not full. So no Matinee showings for us.

Also I recall the Oceaneer’s Club- Pluto’s Pajama Party was on Day 3- not day 5 like previous Navigator’s had said. That was a little bit of a bummer. I think that might change around a bit though depending on Pluto’s schedule. So if that is a must-do for your little one, be prepared to be flexible on what evening that takes place.
Those are the only two things I can think of being notably different. I’ll try to get the Navigator’s up today, I was going to do them this weekend but I’ll see what I can do to scan them before you leave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucas View Post
Hi Jen!

Seems like I am always following you! You probably don't remember me, but dh and I cruised on the Oasis last Thanksgiving (and had the absolute worst sailaway - hours after we were supposed to leave!). I followed your Allure report closely. Your report really helped me a lot on the Oasis. I was always telling my dh, well nenner1 says this and nenner1 says that! You know, like close personal friends!
Of course, I absolutely remember! We were watching you (not) leaving. LOL! Guess what? I think we are going to change our dates for Allure next year and change it to Thanksgiving week. ..on Oasis. LOL. I was indeed thinking of you guys when we discussed that plan!

PS I have to quote Lou Mongello on this one "We are friends, whether we've met yet or not!"

Quote:
This year for Thanksgiving we are sailing on the Fantasy, so I can't wait to read more and see all your pics. We've sailed twice on the Dream so at least I have an idea of what to expect. Our cruise goes to St. Thomas (we booked the Kon Tiki - did you hear anything about it?) and San Juan.
Now, you MUST, MUST have this report finished by Thanksgiving, ok?!
I will absolutely try my best! That Allure one I think I just tried to cover too much stuff. Plus there was a lot of explaining to do and many questions so that TR seemed to drag on forever. I am definitely going to try to keep this one moving along!

About the Kon-Tiki, we had tried to book it at one point but it was unavailable for our cruise. We were never able to find out why…speculation was that either it was taken out of service for a refurb, or that it just doesn’t run during slow season. So no, we haven’t heard anything about it. Looks like it would be fun though! We definitely wanted to give it a try.

San Juan- we went there in 2010 on Independence of the Seas- LOVED it . Beautiful port. We were only there for a half day so we walked into town and ate breakfast at La Bombonera Café and then walked over to the Fort Castillo san Felipe Del Morro (aka El Morro)- it was really neat. I am positive that is the fort that Pirates of the Caribbean was modeled after, and Disney did a fantastic job because I recognized the structural similarities immediately. No chess playing skeletons in the original though. LOL!

Quote:
Your DIS group looks and sounds like a good time was had by all! Do you have a report over on CC?
P.S. Your kids have grown SO much since last year! Wow!
We had another amazing group- friendly and fun and we had some TERRIFIC group events, including a super fun Stateroom Crawl and a private Mixology session where they made us our own drink named after our cruise!

No CC this time, just here. It's all I can keep up with!

Yep, the kids sure have grown, especially Sarah. We had a really hard time with people believing Brendan was 12 and not…like 15. Funny story about that in St. Thomas….

So glad to “see” you around again! I hope this TR will help you as much as the Allure one did. And I know this trip will be amazing for you!!!

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Originally Posted by jenpink View Post
Looking forward to reading your report
Thanks so much for reading, I am excited to share it with you!

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Originally Posted by linco711 View Post
can't wait to hear more
Thanks so much, glad to have you onboard!

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Originally Posted by marciemouse View Post
Can't wait for more!
Yay! I will do my best to keep it coming at a furious pace!

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Originally Posted by Jillpie View Post
I'm in!!
Awesome! So glad to have you reading along and joining in the fun!

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Originally Posted by dizney-cruiser View Post
YAY!!!! I have been waiting for this one!!!
Hi Janice! It was surely an amazing trip! I miss all my old Halloween cruisers, although there were a few of the old gang there with us! I’ve got some great stories to share and get you excited for your upcoming B2B!

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Originally Posted by Sunseeker17 View Post
Sounds like fun! Love the t-shirts!
Thanks so much! I am pretty sure those shirts are responsible for all of the excitement and special happenings to come! Stay tuned, it’s a great story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
Hooray I love your TRs! We fell in LOVE with the Fantasy on the MV, I hope you guys did too!
Absolutely! So glad to see all of my ”old TR friends” turning out! LOL! This is going to be a good one I promise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvEeyore View Post
Can't wait to hear more and see all 9999 photos and the pre pre cruise stay. If you would do me a small favor, finish your trip report before Dec 15, 2012 so I am all ready to sail on an Eastern!!
Woohoo! I am definitely shooting to be done by then! The Eastern is awesome- I think I do prefer it to the Western for sure. I LOVE the islands!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki'sMommy View Post
Hey Jen! Can't wait for more!!!
Hi Lisa! I love it when folks we cruised with follow along on the TR- it’s so much fun! I think you’ll enjoy seeing what we did! (Well, the parts of it you haven’t already seen!) LOL! I am still really struggling to adapt to the real world (going back to nights was brutal!) so this will help me relive the magic for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustTJ View Post
Ooooo, how could I forget about you and Your trip reports?????? Glad I found the start of this one I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE REST OF IT! Oh, and those Cape Caribe Resort Pics
Yay Judy! Awesome! I was going to send you over here when I saw your message but I see you beat me to it! LOL! I have TONS of RJ pics, maybe too many, but it will definitely show you all that the resort has to offer. We LOVED it and I don’t know why it isn’t already the top choice for cruising families in the Port Canaveral Area. Maybe just because there isn’t a lot of info out there on it …but there will be soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectmatch300 View Post
Loved your trip report from your Allure cruise. Can't wait to read this one!
Thanks so much! We had a fantastic time – dare I say even better? I don’t know but for sure we were not so gently reminded of the “Disney Difference”- there really was one. It will be a good one I promise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
Joining in. You are so fast. I was on a Disney cruise the same week, though it was the Magic out of Galveston. Can't wait to hear how your trip went.

I am hoping to start mine tonight or tomorrow. I'll post the link in my signature.
Yay- can’t wait to hear how the Magic was out of Galveston. We were talking about it a lot how that day was the first one! Yes, I was fast to start but a little bit slower to get rolling since I had to go back to the real world on Monday- ouch.

I’m excited to see your pics too with your shirts- they were awesome. As you can see with mine some of them came out better than others. Hehe. But they worked some MAGIC for sure. I’m so excited to share our Magical Moment….but first I have to finish up Wednesday, which is not without its own…er…excitement? Not sure that is the best word. …
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 9/2011- NEW! TRIP REPORT! - Disney Magic 7 Night Western 10/2010: Trip Report - Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 1/2010: Trip Report and Videos - Disney Magic 7 Night Western Double Dip 09/08: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 3 Night Bahamas 10/07: Trip Report - Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas 03/07: Trip Report
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