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Old 10-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #1
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cwnhokie's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Charles Town WV
Posts: 1,363

Surprising the kids with our first DCL cruise on the Dream!

This is my first attempt at a DCL trip report. Actually any trip report. I love reading others so I figured it's time I give back. I had excellent intentions of taking notes, but of course once we got there all those thoughts left my mind.

We are Mom, Dad and three boys. Christopher 12, William 10 and Matthew 6. DH and I have been on several Carnival cruises on the the smaller older ships. We took the boys on a RCI Dreamworks cruise last year. We have always talked about going on a Disney cruise but just couldn't justify the cost. Then DH started talking about a quick trip to Disney to go to Night of Joy and wondered if we could add on a cruise, a DISNEY CRUISE! I did some research and the dates worked out! I showed the boys tons of videos on youtube trying to decide where we wanted to stay and showed lots of videos of DCL trying to decide if we would go. Finally we told them it was too expensive and maybe we would do another RCI cruise sometime soon. Then for almost 5 months I had to just talk about our Disney trip and keep the cruise a secret! It was so hard!

I was a wreck leading up to the trip. I had gotten very sick the last couple weeks of the summer and lost a lot of valuable time for making FE gifts (I told the boys that we were handing them out at our resort) Then school started and my youngest started Kindergarten ( I was super nervous about that, but he did great) Then one week later we picked them up early from school and headed for the airport. All the while going over and over in my head how we were going to unveil the surprise and how they would take it.

Before the Boat:
The cruise didn't leave until Sunday but we decided to head down on Friday. The original plan was to use old non expiring tickets that we had one day to the parks and tons of plus options left on. We were going to spend all day at the parks on Saturday and then take it easy after the cruise playing mini golf, going to the water park etc before Night of Joy. Then free dining came out and we couldn't pass it up. We were still keeping the original plan and just eating our meals outside the parks except in MK during Night of Joy. Then Magic Bands and Fast Pass + were released for testing at our resort. It got complicated and I changed our whole plan one week before we left including dining reservations. Thank goodness it was September and not busy at all. I was even able to change our Le Cellier reservation. So new plan called for Legoland on Saturday. We stayed off site at Caribe Royale. Once we landed and got our rental car and dinner we were exhausted. There was milk and cookies waiting for us in the room since I had liked the hotel on Facebook. That was a nice touch and the boys really enjoyed it.

Saturday we spent the day and Legoland and went to Chef Mickeys in the evening.

Sunday morning we went to an early breakfast at Ohana and then sat down to plan what we could do for the week before Night of Joy. I was a mess all through breakfast trying to figure out when and where we would tell them. I had t-shirts made that said "Our parents just surprised us with a Disney Cruise!" I thought about asking Mickey to give them to them but wasn't sure how to arrange that so I waited. After breakfast we found a quiet spot at the Poly and video camera in hand asked them what they would like to do this trip that they had never done before. One wanted to do Expedition Everest, one wanted to go to the water park, one couldn't think of anything he hadn't done before. So then we gave them the shirts! They said "What? What? Cool" Very anti-climatic. We said are you good with that? I think they were in shock. Except the little one who was upset that we hadn't done anything in Disney yet. There happened to be a model of the Disney ship right next to where we were sitting so one of his brothers took him over to show him all the great stuff he could do on the ship, then he was happy. The oldest said he was excited but didn't want to go crazy in public

Mom to 3 crazy boys 12, 10 and 5.

Last edited by cwnhokie; 04-05-2014 at 01:01 PM.
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