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Old 10-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #16
Conorama
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Glad you are following along! I am not convinced we will get past the character fear, although she talks a good game now

Just let me know if you want me to look anything up as your booking date nears to see if it is available. It is so much easier going in with an idea of what is available!
Ah... 4 year old talk is cheap, as they say. We seem to be getting over our fear of dogs, so, hey, characters might be next?

Will likely take you up on your offer to check on the booking possibilities. I just can't handle being disappointed at midnight.... which is why I will be getting my DH to do it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:32 AM   #17
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This is my first post... I read your PTR and I too am an excessive and obsessed planner. We are planning a world and cruise combo in 2014. I have made dining reservations for the world before and had to phone in ridiculously early, I didn't realize you could log in and make your cruise reservations at a specific time. This will be or 2nd cruise, so we are silver castaway manners as well, but is your pre booking time extended further because you are concierge? Can you give me a little more info on where, how and when you are logging in for reservations. I was hoping for BBB and a cabana as well.
Thanks for taking the time to share your plan! Very helpful
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:10 PM   #18
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This is my first post... I read your PTR and I too am an excessive and obsessed planner. We are planning a world and cruise combo in 2014. I have made dining reservations for the world before and had to phone in ridiculously early, I didn't realize you could log in and make your cruise reservations at a specific time. This will be or 2nd cruise, so we are silver castaway manners as well, but is your pre booking time extended further because you are concierge? Can you give me a little more info on where, how and when you are logging in for reservations. I was hoping for BBB and a cabana as well.
Thanks for taking the time to share your plan! Very helpful
to the Dis! You can book your cruise excursion/Palo/Remy/BBB/etc. online. Platinum CC members and concierge can book at 120 days, gold at 105 days, silver at 90 days, and first-timers at 75 days. The online booking starts at 12am ET...the DCL web site will tell you which day you can begin booking. Just remember that if you are not in ET, the date may be off (I live in Central timezone, so I booked at 11pm CT on the day before the date shown on the web site). You must wait until that time to loving, as if youare logged in early, the site wont recognize that the clock has switched over to the next day.

My "prioritization" was the cabana and then BBB because the cabanas appear to be a "hot" item. Also, if you don't get what you want, keep checking because people do cancel. I hope you enjoy your WDW/DCL trip! If you have any questions, just let me know!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:07 PM   #19
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OK, last piece of planning info for today – we park at the airport when we fly, and because of the points for work travel, our parking will be a grand total of $0 (yay!!!). So, even though work travel is a pain in my booty most times, all-in, it is saving our family $846 on flights, $199 on hotel, and $135 on parking, for a grand total of………..$1,180. Jeremy will attest that when asked how much I spent, I strongly prefer to showcase how much I saved!

Whew! I think that is enough for today!
I am so jealous and excited for you! That is a huge savings! We just put down a deposit for a Feb cruise and I am working on the logistics now for night before and cars. Did you put any thought into adding a WDW day before you head out on the cruise? Have you cruised on a concierge level before? Sounds fabulous!
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #20
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I am so jealous and excited for you! That is a huge savings! We just put down a deposit for a Feb cruise and I am working on the logistics now for night before and cars. Did you put any thought into adding a WDW day before you head out on the cruise? Have you cruised on a concierge level before? Sounds fabulous!
Hello and thanks for reading! It is very exciting to save that much, but it did take lots of trips away from family to get those points. So, when I travel for work, I keep telling myself..."this will make our vacation cheaper...this will make our vacation cheaper!"

We did consider doing a night at WDW, but we are planning a bigger WDW trip at the end of next year, so we decided we would wait until then.

I have cruised concierge before on the Magic.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:20 PM   #21
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great post!

i am in room 12020 (one bedroom concierge) on the same cruise! i booked this special trip for myself, my daughter (who will be turning 3 on the 27th) & my amazing mother in may.

i'm currently staring at excursions & still figuring out what i want to do.

looking forward to what you chose for your family!
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #22
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great post!

i am in room 12020 (one bedroom concierge) on the same cruise! i booked this special trip for myself, my daughter (who will be turning 3 on the 27th) & my amazing mother in may.

i'm currently staring at excursions & still figuring out what i want to do.

looking forward to what you chose for your family!
Welcome emmebear and thanks for reading along! Our rooms will be pretty close, so I hope we get the chance to say hi! Our family is so looking forward to this trip, but how neat that you are going with your mom and DD! Sounds like a wonderful girls trip!

The only excursion I am debating is the one in San Juan....and more on why soon!
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:53 PM   #23
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Potential Changes (Already?!?), Packing, and FE

I left you all after booking excursions and rejoicing in the fact that I am not the only one logging in to Disney's web site in the middle of the night desperately trying to make my vacation magical. So, things are all set...right? Well, maybe. My parents have been talking about taking a vacation in San Juan since we booked our cruise (in October 2011). No concrete plans have been discussed, just a lot of, "wouldn't it be neat if we were there when you were" kind of conversation. We tried to convince them to just join us on the cruise, but my Dad and the word cruise are not to be included in the same sentence. Last week, my Mom breaks out the, "so, we have been thinking about the trip to San Juan, what week are you going to be stopping there?" Still no concrete plans, but it was obvious that she was going to be doing some research. Knowing the way they like to travel, they will decide a couple weeks before and book it with very little notice. That's ok, I can be flexible. Sure, I like to plan, but who wouldn't want to meet their parents (grandparents for DD) in San Juan for a beach day? I think I have up to three days before the cruise to cancel my current excursion if needed, so they can take (almost) all of the time they need. Seriously, folks, they have been known to book WAY last minute...not last day or week...last minute! (I didn't get my planning gene from them - that is for sure!!!)

The Midwest is officially headed for cooler weather, which is a great opportunity for me to start the packing. I did this last cruise, and it was incredibly helpful when I had to put things in suitcases! I start by listing out each day with itinerary info in Excel (where we are eating, special events, excursions, shows, etc.). I basically include anything that could influence what I or DH/DD would want to wear. Then, I list what we might wear for each day. I tally up how many of each item are needed and then cut it. For example, I might have a swimming suit marked for every day, but I'm not taking 7 of them, more like 3. This list just helps me to ensure I'm not forgetting anything and helps me create a list that I can cross things off of as I put them in the suitcase. This process is less about my planning addiction (yes, I can admit it, that's the first step) and more about my inability to remember anything. Also, as I am removing summer clothes and shoes from the closets, I put the items I think we might take in a laundry basket in our spare bedroom. I also put things that I know we won't use before then, like sunblock, her airplane seat belt, etc. in the basket. With these two things, packing for our last trip was a breeze; I didn't feel like I had forgotten anything and all of the remembering was already done. May be a bit much for some, but works great for me and keeps me sane.

Finally, what to do about the fish extender...we have a fish extender, and we had fun participating in our last cruise FE, but DH and I are both having a hard time agreeing to do it. Creating the gifts last cruise was a lot of fun and gave me something to do to keep busy while counting down the days; however, towards the end, we had a bunch of new cabins sign up and that made things kind of stressful. I think we ended up with 28 cabins - that is a lot of cabins IMO! So, with this cruise, we are foregoing the FE...kind of. We decided we are going to buy a few small items to include for DD in our FE; one of our cruise mates even offered to help put items in there. I will also get a few surprises for DH and me, and I will do my best to act surprised. I feel kind of bad for not participating with my fellow cruisers, but at the end of the day, our lives are much different than they were two years ago and I need a stress-free pre-vacation.

Next up...we are having our TA look into the room-only rates that Disney just announced. I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to stay at WDW because we are going later next year, but with a 35% discount...I mean, come on, I at least need to check the cost, right?!?
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #24
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All - I'm having trouble with the DIS adding "&" signs and removing punctuation from my posts, so sorry if my posts look a little garbled.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:29 PM   #25
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So, with this cruise, we are foregoing the FE...kind of. We decided we are going to buy a few small items to include for DD in our FE; one of our cruise mates even offered to help put items in there.
Count on us to drop things off for Jayden! We'd be delighted. (I know you weren't asking...) Seeing as the boy is totally a lady's man these days, he'll be all over that.

I am NOT making things, though, unless they're really minor. I know what we'll put together and it will be stuff that is easy to replicate or obtain if there are last minute additions. Fortunately, I'm not working Christmas this year, so I'll have a bit of time to assemble (not make!) things. I also have Mr. Not Into Crafts as a kid, so I would be doing them up myself, and I'm missing the crafty gene.

I totally get the not stressing before the trip. My job (which I love) is complex enough, and I have to spend a fair bit of energy making sure I leave things in reasonable order so I don't come back to a mess. (I refuse to do work on our winter vacations- I know how to turn off work email and all. I'm even good at turning it off.)

I had to laugh (in a nice way) at your packing strategy. My husband and I have opposite packing philosophies. I do put summer things aside in an old suitcase as it gets cold, but I don't stress about it. About 2 weeks before the trip, I take them all out, see what fits the boy, and make The List. The List must be hand-written, so that I can Cross Things Off as they are packed. This is part of the ritual, and the capital letters are important. Colour coding might also be required. I've tried spreadsheets but it's not the same. I can't do it any earlier though - I have to do most of it one weekend (it's a bit of a Zen thing), then finish up in the days before the trip.

My husband is packed now - heck, he was packed a few weeks ago. He doesn't make lists. He makes fun of my list. (Sorry - that's my List, with a capital L.) This results in things like "X... have you seen my swim shirts?" when we get to Turks and Caicos. ARGH.

Final packing ritual? I have to have all suitcases out the night before - open. I then ensure that there are outfits (at least 2) for everyone in all suitcases, including shoes or sandals. This, of course, is as a result of having *my* suitcase go missing on more than one trip for a few days, and I've got nothing to wear. Been there, done that, not doing it again! There is also the complication of packing the "pre-flight hotel bag", the "what we have to move to checked bags" smaller bag so that's ready to go the morning of our flight, and various other complications.

Last year, we were an hour into our drive to the airport when we realized we had forgotten Dude's suitcase - the one with all the on-flight distractions, and his carefully chosen toys. Dude and I got dropped off at a local mall in small town Ontario, while my husband made the 2 hour round trip to get the bag. Our main excuse is that we have to hide his suitcase or he repacks it. This is bad. This year - I will have a List of Suitcases, which will be handwritten, and things Will Be Crossed Off as they go in the car, and NO ONE will be allowed to make fun of me.

Now, for business trips with just me? Like right now? I packed this morning. Who knows what I forgot??? This will become clear by tomorrow morning, I'm sure.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #26
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Count on us to drop things off for Jayden! We'd be delighted. (I know you weren't asking...) Seeing as the boy is totally a lady's man these days, he'll be all over that.

I am NOT making things, though, unless they're really minor. I know what we'll put together and it will be stuff that is easy to replicate or obtain if there are last minute additions. Fortunately, I'm not working Christmas this year, so I'll have a bit of time to assemble (not make!) things. I also have Mr. Not Into Crafts as a kid, so I would be doing them up myself, and I'm missing the crafty gene.

I totally get the not stressing before the trip. My job (which I love) is complex enough, and I have to spend a fair bit of energy making sure I leave things in reasonable order so I don't come back to a mess. (I refuse to do work on our winter vacations- I know how to turn off work email and all. I'm even good at turning it off.)

I had to laugh (in a nice way) at your packing strategy. My husband and I have opposite packing philosophies. I do put summer things aside in an old suitcase as it gets cold, but I don't stress about it. About 2 weeks before the trip, I take them all out, see what fits the boy, and make The List. The List must be hand-written, so that I can Cross Things Off as they are packed. This is part of the ritual, and the capital letters are important. Colour coding might also be required. I've tried spreadsheets but it's not the same. I can't do it any earlier though - I have to do most of it one weekend (it's a bit of a Zen thing), then finish up in the days before the trip.

My husband is packed now - heck, he was packed a few weeks ago. He doesn't make lists. He makes fun of my list. (Sorry - that's my List, with a capital L.) This results in things like "X... have you seen my swim shirts?" when we get to Turks and Caicos. ARGH.

Final packing ritual? I have to have all suitcases out the night before - open. I then ensure that there are outfits (at least 2) for everyone in all suitcases, including shoes or sandals. This, of course, is as a result of having *my* suitcase go missing on more than one trip for a few days, and I've got nothing to wear. Been there, done that, not doing it again! There is also the complication of packing the "pre-flight hotel bag", the "what we have to move to checked bags" smaller bag so that's ready to go the morning of our flight, and various other complications.

Last year, we were an hour into our drive to the airport when we realized we had forgotten Dude's suitcase - the one with all the on-flight distractions, and his carefully chosen toys. Dude and I got dropped off at a local mall in small town Ontario, while my husband made the 2 hour round trip to get the bag. Our main excuse is that we have to hide his suitcase or he repacks it. This is bad. This year - I will have a List of Suitcases, which will be handwritten, and things Will Be Crossed Off as they go in the car, and NO ONE will be allowed to make fun of me.

Now, for business trips with just me? Like right now? I packed this morning. Who knows what I forgot??? This will become clear by tomorrow morning, I'm sure.
Awww! Thank you for offering...we may take some of you up on this depending on how sneaky we can be

My problem last cruise that I did make something that took quite a bit of time. It was a homemade scrapbook with 10 pages in it...I ended up finishing them on a plane from LAX to STL! I did learn the requirements for taking scissors on a plane in the process though

I love your List of items and your List of suitcases! I only do this kind of packing for vacations. For business trips, I usually spend about 7-8 minutes packing because I have that down to a science...not so easy when you are packing for 3! If I left packing up to Jeremy, I would hear, "Cassie...where is all my stuff???" when we get anywhere...seriously, anywhere!

Pretty awesome of your DH to turn around and go get dude's bag!

Thanks again for reading along!
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:17 PM   #27
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It looks like this January 26, 2013 Fantasy sailing is filling up. I wanted to change my room from a CAT 4A to a 00V (concierge) and they are ALL GONE! Likewise, most of the Verandahs are gone and there are slim pickings in the lower categories. At first, I thought it was just the 26th, but it appears that the Jan. 19th sailing (Western) is filing up too.

It should be a great time regardless. We have connecting CAT 4A rooms on deck 10 (I think they are 10574 and 10576). There are 4 of us, all adults, and it's our pre-superbowl trip; we head to New Orleans immediately upon disembarking.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:35 PM   #28
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It looks like this January 26, 2013 Fantasy sailing is filling up. I wanted to change my room from a CAT 4A to a 00V (concierge) and they are ALL GONE! Likewise, most of the Verandahs are gone and there are slim pickings in the lower categories. At first, I thought it was just the 26th, but it appears that the Jan. 19th sailing (Western) is filing up too.

It should be a great time regardless. We have connecting CAT 4A rooms on deck 10 (I think they are 10574 and 10576). There are 4 of us, all adults, and it's our pre-superbowl trip; we head to New Orleans immediately upon disembarking.
Hi, Geekboy! I recognize you from our meets thread - welcome and thanks for reading along! This cruise is filling up big time! The concierge rooms were all gone a couple months ago, or at least, it seemed that way when I looked online.

This trip should be amazing! I know you said you and your friends work the superbowl...that sounds like a lot of fun! What do you do? I married DH on February 5, so I tend to celebrate my anniversary every year at a superbowl party
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:45 PM   #29
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We volunteer to work each year for a charity. This will be my 5th Superbowl in a row as a volunteer. We are not paid, and the trip can be very expensive since we don't receive any discounts on hotel rooms! We typically end up 30-60 miles from the stadium (at a minimum) and still end up paying $300/night per room for 3 nights... at a low end hotel!

So, my Superbowl teammates have no (non-adult) children and I brought them on the Disney Dream last January (January 29, 2012) and they enjoyed it so much, we rebooked! I had been on the Dream previously and the Magic as well, so I knew what to expect. We had a 00V concierge room and a CAT 5A room and we hardly interacted with any children. We spent time in the concierge lounge, the Cove, and the District mostly. We did the Jet Ski Adventure at Castaway Cay, bike riding and hanging out at Serenity Bay. In fact, one of my Teammate's DD (who is 21 while on board!), is going to work the Superbowl with us and cruise with us.

I was trying to prove that you could actually go on a Disney Cruise without children. On my prior two Disney cruises, on the Magic and Dream, I was with my friend and her children (DD-10, DS-7) and words can't describe how much fun we all had. Couldn't get them out from Oceaneer's Lab and the DD seemed to memorize the entire character greeting schedule. I feel guilty going without them, but I gotta do what I gotta do!
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #30
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Awww! Thank you for offering...we may take some of you up on this depending on how sneaky we can be

My problem last cruise that I did make something that took quite a bit of time. It was a homemade scrapbook with 10 pages in it...I ended up finishing them on a plane from LAX to STL! I did learn the requirements for taking scissors on a plane in the process though

I love your List of items and your List of suitcases! I only do this kind of packing for vacations. For business trips, I usually spend about 7-8 minutes packing because I have that down to a science...not so easy when you are packing for 3! If I left packing up to Jeremy, I would hear, "Cassie...where is all my stuff???" when we get anywhere...seriously, anywhere!

Pretty awesome of your DH to turn around and go get dude's bag!

Thanks again for reading along!
Scrapbooks? That's die-hard. I am SO not crafty - I'd be doing bad things with the scissors (why I shouldn't bring them on planes!). I'm tossing all our spare change in a bucket, and that will fund our gifts. We're getting rid of the penny here in Canada, so that's as good a use for our stash as any, I figure.

Someone absolutely had to go back to get the back - the bag had the CARES harness, and 100% of the "how to keep the boy amused on the flight" stuff, including his special friends Bunny and Sockie. I believe you understand how critical these last items were (what do I mean - they still are!) so it was non-negotiable. I will tell you, though, that spending 2 hours in a really crummy little mall in the middle of nowhere with a 3 year old wasn't any picnic either... I had to cave and buy myself black and silver sparkly leopard print (crappy) shoes at a store at his insistence - yes, they are as hideous as you think they are. I was then expected to wear them to dinner since they were "pretty". The only saving grace is that they were about $10. I do not feel a career in fashion is in his future...
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