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Old 09-30-2012, 11:29 AM   #31
Pinkocto
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Both your ADRs and Galveston plans look great
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:38 PM   #32
franandaj

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Originally Posted by dolphingirl47 View Post
A number of firsts

I am always trying to do something for the first time each holiday. One would think that with all the Disney cruises and holidays to Walt Disney World that I have had, I would have a few problems finding things that I will do for the first time, but there is a huge long list:

First time flying with United
First visit to Texas
First meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
First time staying in a veranda stateroom on a Disney ship
First time seeing the Mayan ruins
First time staying in the Epcot resort area
First time attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
First time going resort hopping to see all the Christmas decorations
First time seeing the Candlelight Processional
First time seeing the The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
First time seeing the character trees at Camp Minnie-Mickey
First time doing a behind the scenes tour with Graham
First time staying in a one bedroom villa

I am sure there will be a lot more firsts, but this will keep me going for a while.

Corinna
OK, I finally came over here. Those are a lot of firsts! I can't believe you've never had a verandah stateroom on your cruises and you've been on so many. I've actually never had an inside stateroom. I'm not sure I could handle not being able to go out on the verandah, but we spend a lot more time in the room than you and Graham.

OMG! I just saw you haven't stayed in a one bedroom villa!!!!!!!! We finally gave up studios last year. We bought DVC because of the one bedrooms because of the kitchens, but even more so the jacuzzis. You are going to LOVE the Jacuzzi at OKW. Last year we stayed there one night because BLT didn't have availability and OMG! The accomodations there are insane! If this is the only 1 bedroom you have stayed in, don't get your hopes up because none of the other one bedrooms compare to OKW. These Villas are huge!!!! The tubs are insane and the amount of space you get is mind boggling! I'm looking forward to a trip where we can go there and just relax and hang out maybe have friends over, but so far I don't see it in the cards....

I can't wait to hear about how this trip unfolds and while in Texas you must find somewhere that you two can have a Chicken Fried Steak. It is the State food! I love visiting Texas, they have a passion for eating that outlives any state. Everything is Larger in Texas and they continually tell you so!
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:09 AM   #33
dolphingirl47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
OK, I finally came over here. Those are a lot of firsts! I can't believe you've never had a verandah stateroom on your cruises and you've been on so many. I've actually never had an inside stateroom. I'm not sure I could handle not being able to go out on the verandah, but we spend a lot more time in the room than you and Graham.

OMG! I just saw you haven't stayed in a one bedroom villa!!!!!!!! We finally gave up studios last year. We bought DVC because of the one bedrooms because of the kitchens, but even more so the jacuzzis. You are going to LOVE the Jacuzzi at OKW. Last year we stayed there one night because BLT didn't have availability and OMG! The accomodations there are insane! If this is the only 1 bedroom you have stayed in, don't get your hopes up because none of the other one bedrooms compare to OKW. These Villas are huge!!!! The tubs are insane and the amount of space you get is mind boggling! I'm looking forward to a trip where we can go there and just relax and hang out maybe have friends over, but so far I don't see it in the cards....

I can't wait to hear about how this trip unfolds and while in Texas you must find somewhere that you two can have a Chicken Fried Steak. It is the State food! I love visiting Texas, they have a passion for eating that outlives any state. Everything is Larger in Texas and they continually tell you so!
We have had one ocean view stateroom on our second cruise. This was supposed to be our first cruise and Graham could not imagine not having a view. However, when we booked this, the cruise we had really wanted was sold out. This changed again about 4 months prior to sailing. I decided to book this for us, but all I could afford was an inside cabin as we were already doing another cruise and were also staying at Disney World. We have not looked back since. I realized on our second cruise that I had a big issue with the split bathroom. So we have only done category 11s since. However, on this occasion the veranda stateroom actually worked out cheaper than an inside cabin. I also realized on the Hawaii cruise that I never really used our bathroom. I really only used it to brush my teeth or if I had to go to the bathroom in the middle night. I much prefer the showers in the spa locker room and used them every day.

I think Graham will spend a lot of time just relaxing on the veranda. I will have characters to see, tastings to do and all kinds of other activities to do so for me not much will change. I nearly gave away yesterday. We were having a bit of lunch in town and I said to Graham that I really want to have room service for lunch one day on our cruise, which will be another first for us. I was just about to say that it will be lovely to sit on our veranda having lunch, but just managed to hold back and said that we can sit by the porthole enjoying the view.

When we are at Disney, we don't tend to spend much time in the room either. The only exception to this was when we stayed at Jambo House. It was not planned there either, but I was so captivated by the animals that I had trouble tearing myself away from the balcony. So we always stay in a studio to maximize the points. The only reason why we have a one bedroom for the last night is that at the eleventh hour, I decided to extend the trip for one extra night and there were no studios available. I am really looking forward to trying a one bedroom though.

Corinna
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:21 AM   #34
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Hi,
Your forthcoming trip looks fab! I notice that you have done the Hawaii cruise, was that the Disney one in April? Did you do a trip report? If you did could you post a link as would love to read that too!
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:24 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debs Hill View Post
Hi,
Your forthcoming trip looks fab! I notice that you have done the Hawaii cruise, was that the Disney one in April? Did you do a trip report? If you did could you post a link as would love to read that too!
debsx
Yes, it was the inaugural Hawaii cruise on the Disney Wonder in April, which was absolutely amazing. The trip report is still a work in progress, but all the cruise installments have been posted. You can find it linked in my signature under "Taking Stitch To Hawaii and NOT Leaving Him There".

I am getting so excited about this trip and can't believe that 5 weeks from today, we will be on our way to Houston.

Corinna
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:10 AM   #36
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Sorry about being lazy about updating this, but life has got in the way. Not only is it the end of the quarter, which is normally very busy anyway, but it is also appraisal month which adds to my workload and I have to be super organized as I am going to be away for most of November. Having said that, having this trip to plan is keeping me sane.

Disney Magic

I can't wait to see my favourite ship again although I have to admit that I will really miss the Outlook Cafe. The first cruise out of Galveston came back last Saturday and fortunately somebody posted the Navigators so I could indulge in a little of preliminary planning.

For me, one of the main draws of a Disney cruise is the characters and it looks like I will be thoroughly spoiled in this respect. I have only noticed Stitch listed on Pirate Night, but that is OK. I was spoiled with Stitch last cruise. As long as I get to see him at least once, I am happy. I can always try to find him at Walt Disney World after the cruise. Something that I was very excited to see is that Aurora was out multiple times during the cruise. I am not really into the princesses, but I have photos with a lot of them and I am still missing Aurora for my collection.

This time round, I am hoping to have a peak at the various youth programming areas during Open House on the first day. I have been to the Oceaneers Lab for Adult Flubber on our Transatlantic cruise in 2010 and I had a look at The Edge on the Wonder during open house on the Panama Canal Cruise, but I am really curious about Vibe and also how The Edge on the Magic compares to the one on the Wonder.

Other things that I am really looking forward to are the DVC Member celebration, the Castaway Club reception, a couple of tastings and I got silly excited when I realized that they had Pirate trivia on the cruise. This is one of my favourite activities, but I missed in on our Mexican Riviera cruise last year as my excursion finished very late and they did not offer it on the Hawaii cruise. Of course, I will also spend a fair bit of time in the Rainforest Room.

One highlight of our cruises is Palo. I managed to get a brunch and a dinner reservation. Dinner has not quite worked out how I had hoped. Initially people had been advised that Pirate Night would be on the 5th night, which just happens to be my birthday. So once I had this cruise booked, I booked Palo for this night. Graham hates Pirate Night in the dining rooms so that seemed perfect. I has now turned out that Pirate Night is actually on the Grand Cayman night, which is a day earlier. I am still pondering if I should give up Palo on my birthday and book it for Pirate Night instead or just be selfish and stick with Palo for my birthday and go to the dining room on Pirate Night. In this scenario, Graham can either head to Topsiders or get room service on Pirate Night. Graham has also suggested that I should check on the ship if I can get a second Palo reservation so that we can eat there both nights. This would be the best solution.

Corinna
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:34 PM   #37
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Grand Cayman

Our first port on this cruise will be Grand Cayman. We have been there once before on our Western Caribbean cruise in 2009. Grand Cayman is a tender port and the tendering process was not particularly well organised. We had booked an excursion through Disney and we had to wait forever until they had a tender for us. The tenders that they used in the morning were essentially just floating platforms with seats and railings. Add to this that the sea was a bit choppy as well and this turned out to be quite an adventure. This taught me to fear the tendering process. Coming back in the afternoon the tenders actually resembled boats and this was a far better experience.

Last time round, we visited the turtle farm. This was OK, but the initial tour was too long for my taste especially as it was a hot day and there was little shade. It was nice to be able to hold a turtle. Once we got let loose, we spent a fair while in their aviary, which we loved. It was also nice to swim in their snorkelling lagoon ( I had not mastered snorkelling yet at that stage). We saw a bunch of birds that we had never seen before and at one stage an Iguana was swimming right in front of us. It was quite an enjoyable day, but once was enough. What I really enjoyed was the quick photo stop at Hell. This was fascinating to see.

The excursion that seems to be the most popular on Grand Cayman is a trip to Stingray City. Everybody that I know who has been to Stingray City, loved it. Part of me really wants to do this, but part of me knows that this would freak me out. I have a bit of a stingray phobia. It took me many visits to Discovery Cove to be able to tolerate being surrounded by stingrays and eventually touch them. I still can't feed them. The stingrays at Discovery Cove are the tame, de-barbed kind. The stingrays at Stingray City are very much wild stingrays with their barbs still attached. They are used to human beings, but I am not sure if I could get used to them.

So the most likely course of action will be getting a taxi to one of the beaches and just spend a few happy hours swimming in the sea. Seven Mile Beach is the closest to the port, but I have heard great things about Rum Point. I will have to do some more research on this before we leave.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:08 AM   #38
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Hopefully the Palo situation works out. I'm a firm believer of doing exactly what you want on your birthday so the best solution sounds like trying for a second reservation.

Grand Cayman was a wildcard when I thought I would do a Western in March, had to switch to an Eastern because of dates. I think I had just decided to do a beach day as well. The options didn't seem as fun as some other ports.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:04 AM   #39
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Well, I have decided to stick with Palo for my birthday. If we can get a second Palo dinner for Pirate Night, then wonderful, but if not, it is not a big deal either and we work something out.

Of all the ports I have been to, Grand Cayman is probably my least favourite port, but I loved Cozumel and I can't wait to get to Costa Maya.

Corinna
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #40
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Grand Cayman - Second Thoughts

Well, both Graham and I were at home today and we spend some of the day doing some research. We were trying to figure out which beach would be the best to visit. During our research, we came across something completely different. We found the website for Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park (http://www.botanic-park.ky/). We are both birdwatchers and from what we read, there is some good birdwatching to be had. The park is also supposed to be a good place to see the rare blue iguana. Initially we thought we could do it the DIY way, but the cost for a taxi there and back was just too much. I did however manage to find an excursion to the park that was an absolute bargain and also includes a stop at a small local brewery. I think this day is going to be a lot of fun after all.

Corinna
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:12 PM   #41
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Sounds like you found a winner! Can't wait to see your flower pics.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #42
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That sounds like a really fun day! I would enjoy.that more than sitting on a beach.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:10 PM   #43
dolphingirl47
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Quote:
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Sounds like you found a winner! Can't wait to see your flower pics.
I will make sure that I will take plenty. I have bought an extra memory card so that I don't have to worry about how many photos I take.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
That sounds like a really fun day! I would enjoy.that more than sitting on a beach.
I normally love heading for the beach and swimming in the see, but I am really looking forward to this excursion.

Corinna
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #44
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To Do List Revisited

Four weeks from today we will be on our way to Houston so I thought it was time to review the to do list:

Book airport hotel for the night prior to departure - done
Book transfers in Houston
Add Disney Dining Plan - done
Buy ticket for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - done
Buy Premium Annual Pass - done
Buy one day ticket to Walt Disney World for Graham - no longer needed (see below)
Book Disney's The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour - not operating while we are there
Buy extra memory card - done
Call Big River Grille & Brewing Works for Priority Seating
Get a couple more dresses to wear for dinner on the cruise - done, one back-ordered
Research what to do on Grand Cayman - done
Book excursion in Grand Cayman - done
Get 9" Create Your Own Vinylmation to be signed by characters - done and waiting to arrive
Make door magnets - in progress
Get Sharpies for signing Vinylmation - done
Make Fish Extender gifts
Order new hat for pirate costume - done and waiting to arrive
Update ESTAs - done
Pre-order Photo Pass CD
Buy new noise-cancelling headphones - done
Finalize Fish Extender List
Send out link for Fish Extender List to everybody participating
Print out all confirmations, vouchers, dining spreadsheet, etc.
Put together quick guide to dining plan for Graham

Corinna
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:15 AM   #45
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Your Grand Cayman plans sound like fun, glad you were able to find something

You're well on your way with all the preparations. I hope time flies and you're on vacation before you know it!
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