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Old 04-03-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
franandaj

Sharing adventures and good times
My heart is forever given to Fran
 
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Long Beach, CA, VWL, BCV, SSR & VGC
Posts: 23,243

We need a little “Magic”, right this very moment! – Completed

We need a little Magic right this very moment!

When Auntie Mame sang the song We need a little Christmas, she had just lost her fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. We didnt lose a fortune, but we actually lost something even more valuable. After our WDW vacation in Jan/Feb our disabled kitty had an incident and spent some time with the vet. That made us realize how fragile her life was and a couple weeks ago she left us. She had a wonderful life and lived longer than most cats with her condition, but its still sad and we miss her.

In addition with taxes coming due, this year we have a hefty bill. While it was nice to cash in on some investments last year, Uncle Sam always wants his share. So with some sadness in our hearts and an absence in our wallets (soon), we need a little Magic! I think a week or so worry free will help to ease the pain!

Its a little less than three weeks away, and Ive finally wrapped up my TR from the Destination D event so that I can start my TR for the cruise!

Let me introduce myself! My name is Alison, and this is me on our trip to WDW earlier this year.



Some of you may have followed me and my partner Fran on our cruise of the Mexican Riviera last year. The good news is that her arthritis drugs have really kicked in, she is feeling much better. So much so that we have even booked excursions, not only is she planning on leaving the ship, but doing so even on the day that we must tender! Here we are on our last trip to WDW, notice how much perkier she looks in these photos from the last cruise!











So our cruise leaves Galveston on April 20. We cruise six nights with stops in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. I couldnt find a map that had only the two stops on it so ignore the stop in Costa Maya.



Now back when we were cruising on the Wonder, they were offering 20% rebooking discounts on ships leaving from Galveston. All the other ports were only 10%, so of course being the bargain hunters that we are, we figured that Galveston wasnt nearly as far to travel from California and what a deal we would get!

Ha! Little did we know what a P I T A it is to actually get to Galveston when you dont live in Texas! Nobody will do one way car rentals from Houston, Disney transportation picks you up at the airport, the morning before your cruise and takes you directly to the ship, thus bypassing any grocery stops for water, and other beverages. Plus flying on our frequent flyer miles, the only non-stop flight that we could get into Houston arrives at 1AM! I did not relish sitting around the airport for 5 hours waiting for a rental company to open, or a shuttle bus.

We ended up sorting the whole thing out, but at sort of a high cost. We will be taking a private Super Shuttle Van (about $200) to a hotel in Galveston which I have booked for Thursday and Friday nights. We will probably arrive at 3AM local time, but for us it will only seem like 1AM. We can sleep in, some how make our way to the Walmart up the street for sodas and water.

Literally as I was writing this I questioned my choice of booking the La Quinta Inn and called them to verify our reservation and cruise shuttle information. I asked if there were any stores nearby (one of the main reasons to come in a day early is to pick up supplies and see the Victorian Mansions). The staff member replied that Galveston has a cab service.

I started to check out reviews on the hotel and most were not good, so I started to look around and found a Hampton Inn and Suites. We get points here! So I checked their website and they had rooms available. We had to leave to go see Beauty and the Beast at the Theatre so I looked up reviews online. The worst review I found said that We had a view of Walmart. Well Halleluiah! I want to be able to get to Walmart on the day before the cruise! If you have a view, obviously youre close! Turns out its right across the street, no cab fee to get there! And they have a shuttle to the cruise terminal for $6pp. I can live with that. We rebooked the hotel to the Hampton Inn and gave up on the La Quinta.

So anyways, well probably crash as soon as we get in the hotel. Hampton Inn has a great complimentary breakfast complete with Make them yourself waffles. They usually have some sort of breakfast meat, toast, pastries, fruit, yogurt, juice, and coffee. Our problem will be waking up in time to get any Friday morning!

Our first stop, post breakfast will be Walmart, and if we dont make it down to breakfast we can always hit up the McDonalds inside the store! Well buy some sodas and water to bring on the ship and take those back to the room, maybe well get a few late night snacks to tide us over in the room. Id like to try and tour the Moody Mansion, the tours are only an hour long and run at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM. After that, I would probably like to have a nice big meal before heading back to the room.

I want to head in early and be sure that we make up for lost sleep from the previous night. We are booked in for the hotel shuttle to the cruise terminal, but I will confirm that when we get there. I hope to get to the terminal before boarding begins so that we can be amongst the first to board.

Some of the things I want to do while on the ship are the cocktail tastings, maybe the Art of the Theme Ship Tour, or an Art of Entertaining Seminar, but those arent announced until you get on the boat, so no way to plan them. Also I plan on requesting room service every morning at 7:30 for coffee, Special K, a bagel and orange juice. If I fill out the breakfast card every day it saves us a whole bunch just having to tip on the delivery, rather than sailing concierge level which we did on our last trip. As Concierge guests, we got to request service daily on our last trip on the first day. I think for half the price, Im OK with putting the card out the door daily. I also hope for at least one full breakfast at Lumieres and Top Siders. It wasnt until after I got my breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet that I realized you could have eggs made to order. Thats a luxury I love!

Here is our Itinerary

Saturday, 20-Apr-2013, GALVESTON, 3:30 PM

After boarding, I hope to get us a second brunch reservation for Palo. Once we are seated for lunch (hopefully in Parrot Cay), Ill run up and book the reservation.

Sunday, 21-Apr-2013. AT SEA

I have booked Bruch at Palo for 11:00AM this morning. I imagine that we will play some Bingo, maybe see a show, or even go to a movie on this day. Its also formal night.

Monday. 22-Apr-2013, AT SEA

I dont have any plans for this day, but I may attend the culinary demo if they have one, theres also Bingo, and I believe this night they are showing Villians Tonight. I would like to see that show.

Tuesday, 23-Apr-2013, GRAND CAYMAN, 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM TENDER

We are booked into a Helmet Dive at Grand Cayman from 12:45- 2:15. That will give us plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and get ready to leave the ship around noon. It will also put us back on the boat in plenty of time before the ship leaves port. Earlier cruises this year were showing Wreck-It-Ralph on this night. I hope that they are showing OZ as the show on this cruise.

Wednesday, 24-Apr-2013 COZUMEL, 10:15 AM - 3:45 PM

Here we have booked the Cozumel Highlights and Mayan Ruins tour. Its from 10:15 2:30PM. Included is a stop at a tequila distillery, so that sounds fun too! The tour includes about 2 miles of walking, so hopefully Fran will be able to do that. I hope it doesnt tire her out too much. This is pirate night, so were booked into Palo for dinner.

Thursday, 25-Apr-2013 AT SEA

Hopefully I can secure another reservation at Palo for Brunch when we get on the ship for this last day. For the rest we will just enjoy, maybe more Bingo. I believe this is Semi Formal Night.

Friday 26-Apr-2013 GALVESTON 8:30 AM

This will be a sad day as the trip will be over. We are booked on Disney Transportation back to the airport. Unfortunately we couldnt find any non-stop flights on this day back home. Instead we will be staying at the Double Tree Inn and Suites by the airport. Hopefully our room will be ready when we get there and we can relax.

There is a Del Friscos Steakhouse in Houston, so Im really hoping that we can cab it over there for dinner. If not, there is a restaurant in the hotel so no worries.

We have an 8AM flight out of Houston back home, so well be back Sunday morning probably before noon.

I plan to provide plenty of pictures and lots of food porn for your enjoyment. I hope you decide to join me on this adventure!

Table of Contents:
At the airport
A new terminal
Our Galveston Hotel
Breakfast in Galveston
Dinner and some new friends
Boarding the Ship

The Cruise Begins!


Day 1

Embarkation Lunch
Getting into the Cabin
Sail Away
Shopping and Dinner

Day 2
Navigator
Palo 1
Palo 2
Palo 3
Martini Tasting
Snacks and Formal Pics
Dinner at Lumiere's

Day 3
Navigators
Art of Entertaining
Lunch at Topsiders
Tequila and Margarita Tasting
Professional Photos
Dinner

Day 4
Navigators and Breakfast
Tendering at Grand Cayman
The Duck Boat on land
The Duck Boat at sea and going back to the ship
Room Service and Dinner at Palo
Dessert at Palo

Day 5
Navigators and Breakfast
Breakfast and some characters
Getting there
Museum
Part 2
Tequila & Tacos
Character Photos
Captain's Gala Dinner

Day 6
Final Palo Brunch
Chocolate Tasting and Mixology
Final Dinner and Disembarkation

__________________
Alison ~~~~ She said it wouldn't be Boring! | Our Disney Dream Home|Sleepy and Grumpy Visit Tatooine |Keep Your Eyes on the Road | I do get to go to WDW this year! | Expo 2013 | ...It's How You Play the Game | We need a little Magic... | TR - Pinch me... | Destination D-75 TR | It'll be a WONDER ... | Cheating on Mickey w/ Harry, PTR | D23 Expo 2011 TR | D23 D40 WDW in Detail | DCA F&W Review | Jan 2010 DR Visits 2015: VGC, VWL, DCL 2014: VGC, CSR, VGF, DCL 2013: VWL, BCV, DCL, AKL, BLT, VGC, 2012: VGC, DCL, 2011: VGC, BLT, OKW 2010: THV, AKV, VGC, 2009: BWV 2008: SSR, 2007: AKL & GF, 2001: AKL, BC & DCL 1997: DXL & WL 1993: GF, DL Too many to count since 1973!


Last edited by franandaj; 06-02-2013 at 01:18 AM.
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