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Old 12-04-2013, 01:28 AM   #1
tow-mater-1
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Ready or not we went... and survived! Fantasy Oct 26-Nov 1

Getting there!

We’ve been home just over 4 weeks now so I thought I better get going on my trip report. It’s been a little hard getting back into regular routine especially while going through the post cruise blues and having to dealing with this!

I lost my dh in that snow last weekend!




Here’s a link to my pre trip report for a little back ground on our crew.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3112282

Wednesday finally arrived and we were not at all ready. With all the crazy events of the previous few weeks it was not decided that we would even be going until just the week before with all our unexpected health issues which is described in detail in my pre-trip report. We were NOT prepared and packing was very haphazard. First of all I got called to work the night before and decided to go in since I figured I would need a paycheck when I got back and we weren’t leaving until late afternoon anyway. Thankfully it was an uneventful night shift and all my patients slept. I was able to do some last minute packing before I left for work so I wouldn’t have to worry about too much and would be able to sleep. I got home from work and got the kids off to school before heading to bed. Surprisingly I was able to sleep. The plan was to eat an early supper and get on the road to head to our Buffalo hotel. My ds Evan had his bags packed and was supposed to head right to my sisters after school for their 24 hour drive to the Port due to his recent lung collapsing and not able to fly. We were a little behind with some last minute packing and we got on the road around 6:30. … only 1 ½ hours later than we planned. On our way I texted my sister to see if she had left… she’s chronically late for EVERYTHING! She had intended to leave around 4:30 but had not left as of 7:00. The first hotel booked for them was in Kentucky so she had about a 7 hour drive there. We got to Buffalo around 9 ish and the hotel was AWESOME! I’m so glad we splurged here. We had booked a deluxe suite and they only had a connecting which was perfect! We had originally booked a much cheaper hotel but cancelled it after reading the terrible reviews on Trip Advisor with pics of bugs!!! Now if they go through the trouble of posting pics you know it’s gotta be bad! We tucked the kiddos in and we were able to stay awake and watch some tv before heading to bed. We got up early and we went down for our free breakfast which was pretty good I have to say. We grabbed our bags and headed down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle. Nate asked me if the shuttle ran continuously which I replied that all the other hotels that I had ever booked always had continuous shuttles. He went to the desk to inquire when the next shuttle would be arriving and they asked for what time did we book our shuttle for. Whoops so now we are panicking… Nate informed them we didn’t book a shuttle and she quickly called to see how fast they could come. Thankfully they said they would be able to come in the next 15 minutes. It was more like ½ hour but we felt like we had lots of time. Once at the airport we walked right up to the airport counter and checked our luggage. It was only 7:30 so no wonder it wasn’t busy however the security line was LONG! By the time we got to our gate it was time to board… a little too close for comfort for me! It was our first time flying Jet Blue and I have to say it is our new favorite airline. The kids LOVED the tv’s and it was the most uneventful flight with the kids thanks to those tvs! We land in Orlando right on time at 11 am and went straight to baggage claim. Unbelievably our luggage came out right away! So we head over to the Budget car rental line which was MILES long! Luke and I chose to find a place to sit with the luggage while we waited for Dad and Gabe. I would look over longingly at the non-existent line over at Hertz wishing we had rented there.

Here’s a pic of Luke and waiting and waiting and waiting!!!



After about 45 minutes we finally got situated and headed over to get our Dodge Grand Caravan. Once we got all our bags packed in the van I took out my file folder with all our reservations and maps. First map was for our hotel Mystic Dunes. I looked at the address and I had printed off the wrong one! Whenever I would do a search for the hotel one of the Mystic Dunes would show up with a Celebration address (the one we booked) and one would show up with a Kissimmee address. I was staring at a map for Kissimmee. We brought our GPS just in case we needed it…. like now. So I put in the address listed on my confirmation and it doesn’t show up but it did take the other... of course. So we decided to head to the Mystic Dunes that we had directions for figuring they would at least be able to give us directions to where we needed to be. We took a wrong turn right away and needed to rely on the GPS to get us there. Once we arrived at the Kissimmee Mystic Dunes we found out that it was one and the same. Well we were there at least. We check in and the place is OK… we got if for $45 on Hotwire, $55 with tax so for the money we certainly couldn’t complain….too much. It was a condo so it was nice and roomy but it was a little dated. The patio doors went out to the golf course but the door was old and the locks did not seem very secure. Due to that fact we decided that we would sleep on the pull out couch (which was horrible!)and the kids could have the king size bed. That way if anyone broke into the place they would have to get through us first.

Here are some pics of Mystic Dunes.








Once we got settled in we called our friends Kristin and Jeff who we had arranged to get together with. Kristin and Jeff are vegan so we had decided that it would be easier if we just cooked instead of going out for supper. They were also moving that weekend so I felt pretty special that they would take time out of their busy weekend to spend some time with us. They had some shopping to do before they drove over which is about an hour away. So we decided to do some shopping ourselves. We head over to the closest Publix to pick up some groceries for a late lunch and breakfast for the morning. Once back at the condo we ate and got the boys going on some of their homework, which they were so pleased about. Kristin and Jeff arrive around 5:30 and with lots of food mostly prepared. It was really great to see them again. We cruised with Kristin in 2010 on our first Carnival cruise and hit it off instantly. In 2011 we met up with her and met Jeff when we were in town for our Disney/DCL cruise. Last year we cruised Carnival again with Kristin and Jeff and had a fantastic time… sometimes it’s all about the company. So on to the cooking. I had told Kristin that we had a full kitchen (which is what our reservation had listed) but apparently it wasn’t and we didn’t look all that closely when we got there. It had a full size fridge and a cook top so I didn’t realize that it didn’t have an oven. It did have a microwave, which is what we had to use. The food turned out great and my very picky boys LOVED it! Luke even said “Mom you should make this for supper every night!” Which of course just made Kristin’s day.

Here’s a pic of that wonderful creation.



So we tuck to boys in to bed and we visit with our friends. Now Rob and Jen, friends of ours who we also met on the Carnival cruise last year were joining us for this cruise with their little DS. They were flying in that night and staying at Mystic Dunes as well. They arrived around 9:00 and joined us for a few drinks and a reunion.

Here’s a few pics of that








It was a great start to what was going to be a fantastic vacation.

Up next Cocoa Beach and meeting up with the rest of the gang!

Last edited by tow-mater-1; 02-03-2014 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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OH YAY!!!

What is the creation . . . stuffed portabella?
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dizney-cruiser View Post
OH YAY!!!

What is the creation . . . stuffed portabella?
Yes it was Janice and it was delish!!!!

Are you surviving the post cruise blues?
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:00 AM   #4
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Cocoa Beach

We woke up the next day and made a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. That’s what I love about having a condo! Check out was at 10am so by the time we ate, cleaned up and packed up again we were right at 10:00. We decided to do some shopping because unfortunately since Nate’s illness we BOTH put on a few pounds and our summer clothes that fit us were limited! Kristin and Jeff along with Jen and Rob decided to join us for our shopping expedition and we headed over to JC Penney…. we don’t have one in Canada so we were looking forward to it. It was OK but their summer clothes were limited…. now they had some other cool things but we only had so much packing room to bring things back. Kristin and Jen said that we should head over to Ross (never heard of it) which was next door. Well I LOVED it! I could have stayed there all day and I am NOT a shopper! We were in the door 2 minutes and Jen had me loaded down with tons of maxi dresses to try on. Well I left there with 3 maxi dresses and a belt for around $50! We need to get one of these in Canada! Although I fell in love with Target during our 2008 Disney trip but now that we just got them in Canada I’m like meh… I haven’t even been in one in Canada yet! We finished up around noon and everyone was getting hungry. We had packed a lunch while back at the condo and we were anxious to get to the Port. Everyone else stayed back to find a restaurant. We got to the Port and checked in to the Country Inn and Suites. We loved our room and the location! We were on the 3rd floor right across from the elevators. So we brought up all our luggage because we were going to repack so our carry ons would be empty for all the booze! While we tackled that job we set up the boys with some of their homework. Once we were done we decided to head to the beach. With 4 cruises out of Port Canaveral we had never been to the beach there! We also wanted to check out Ron Jon’s Surf shop. Well… as much as I LOVED Ross I was GOOGLY eyed over Ron Jon’s! The place was HUGE and I loved everything in it although the prices... not so much. I made a few purchases there and so did Nate. We then headed over to the beach and the kids had a blast!

Here’s some of our room at CIS. We had a family suite with the separate kids area with the twin bed and bunk beds.







Here we are at Ron Jon’s





Our first time at Cocoa Beach!






Next up… the rest of the gang rolls in.

Last edited by tow-mater-1; 02-03-2014 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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Subbing in -- though I'm leaving in about a week so not sure how much I'll be able to read pre-cruise!
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #6
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Subbing in -- though I'm leaving in about a week so not sure how much I'll be able to read pre-cruise!
Thanks for following Beth . Wow a week... I'm sooo jealous! Well I better get my butt in gear and put out a few more posts before you leave .
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for following Beth . Wow a week... I'm sooo jealous! Well I better get my butt in gear and put out a few more posts before you leave .
Lol... Would love that! But no pressure!!
It just makes me even more excited!
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
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Yay, you started

I am sooo in

Geez, sounds like a stressful start, hopefully it gets more relaxing for you!

Next time, sign up for Budget Fastbreak You get to skip those huge lines and head directly to the garage where there is usually no one around

Looking forward to the rest
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:16 PM   #9
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The gangs all here!

We headed back to CIS since our friends were starting to roll in and Luke was anxious to go swimming at the pool. Shortly after we arrived back at the hotel Rob and Jen arrived and got situated and our friends Bobbie and Gerald and their 3 kids arrived. Gerald’s sister and brother-in-law were also joining us. I had never “met” them but we all became friends on facebook and would chat about our plans. It was funny because as I was heading down the main stairs with Bobby I recognized Megan and told Bobbie that her sister in law had arrived. It was funny because talking with Megan she said that she recognized me first before Bobbie! So I met Megan and Dustin as well as Dustin’s Mom and friend. I was talking with Megan and it was so funny because I can’t even remember what we were talking about and I said “about” which we always get lots of ribbing about as well as “eh”. Megan said she was just waiting to hear “it.” I honestly don’t hear the difference but it always gets a reaction. I totally get the “eh”… I do say that a lot.

Here are some pics of that reunioun







So while we were out at the pool visiting with our friends my DD Cassie and my parents arrived! They got there around quarter after 6 and I helped them load up their luggage and take it up to their room. We went back to the pool where Nate was with the boys and our friends. We had reservations at Fish Lips for 7:00 but we were still missing some people. Joh had texted me saying that they were running late because customs was a nightmare and asked me to change the reservations to 7:30. It was perfect since my remaining child had not arrived yet with my sister and apparently she doesn’t like checking her phone for important texts (or have my niece check...no texting and driving )! My sister arrived shortly after Cassie and my parents and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a bigger hug from my 16 year old Evan! I was sooo relieved to see him! So now we were just waiting for Joh, Gary and family. We were sitting by the pool enjoying a cold beer so I decided to text Joh saying we were sitting pool side enjoying a drink. She replied “I know… I can see you from our room!” So I ran in to see Joh and Gary for the first time in 2 years! It was so great to see them in person and it had felt like hardly any time had passed since we had seen them…. Possibly due to Skype . We were all so rushed because we had to head out right away for dinner for our reservation but that was ok... we could catch up there. We were also meeting up with Wendy and Rich who I had also not seen since our 2011 Magic cruise. They were not staying at CIS but at the Radisson instead. The reservation was for 18 people. With my sister and her 3 kiddos along with my parents, my family alone made 12! At Fishlips they had a haunted mansion thing going on and they seated us upstairs. They had a live band who I thought was really good however it was dark and loud and had the feeling of a concert… not conducive to talking and visiting. It was fun though… they brought up the kids and gave them little instruments to play with the band. I’m afraid our pics from that night did not turn out so well. It was so cute... as we were chatting with Wendy my 6 year old niece Reesey came and plopped herself on Wendy’s lap and took Wendy’s phone from her to show me every picture that Wendy had of her 30 cats! Wendy was a SAINT and let Evan and my sister and family stay at her house the night before which helped with the added cost of getting him down to the Port. I can’t leave Rich out, he’s a saint too…. While Wendy and I were Skyping just a few weeks before she offered to let Evan and Dodi stay with them overnight. I told her that she was taking 3 of her kids for a total of 5 though. So she yelled for Rich and said “there’s 5 of them is that still OK” and he didn’t even think twice and yelled back “Ya that’s fine” lol This was a huge treat for the kids including Evan because I am allergic to cats and so is my 17 year old niece Lex so they got their fill at Wendy’s. Lex just hung out in the one room where the cats were not allowed and had some Benadryl on hand. So Reesey and Wendy bonded over cats.
Dinner over all was just OK and service was meh… although we did have a few servers at our table due to the size of our group and others were good, just not ours. My DS Gabe is the pickiest of picky eaters and barely eats anything that's not chocolate or a donut. Well he LOVED his pizza which was rather large and I'm afraid I was a little distracted with visiting that I did not pay attention to his consumption of dinner. Well he ate the WHOLE pizza in record time! Shortly after this Nate tapped me and said he was heading to the bathroom with Gabe. Gabe was running through the restaurant with his hand covering his mouth ready to spew! This would not be the first time this has happened... Gabe is my barfer! He made it to the bathroom without making a huge disgusting scene. Whew! He's like his dad that way... can barf and just carry on Ok so that's enough grossness for one post.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel and Nate dropped us off and took my dad and Cass to go shopping for beverages to fill our carry ons! The little boys were pretty tired by this time and Evan was just wanting to chill after being on the road for 3 days. He offered to watch the boys while we went back down to the pool to visit with our friends. Joh and Gary were troopers since it was more like 2am their time and came by the pool and met the Carnival gang. We had all been conversing on a private fb thread for planning and Joh Wendy and I would fill in the newbies on Diser language such as FE’s and the importance of magnets! Wendy is a whiz with clip art and did some nice work for the rest of the gang AND she made my avatar. So we visited for quite a while and actually got kicked out of the pool area since it was closed and there was apparently some noise complaints so we moved it inside. Slowly we all started heading up to our rooms. I think it was around 1 before I went to bed. This was one of my favourite days of our vacation I think... just for the fact that it was so great to see everyone after so long, including my own family and just the anticipation of the cruise. It gives me warm fuzzies reliving this day.

Next up…. We had a plan!

Last edited by tow-mater-1; 02-05-2014 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post
Yay, you started

I am sooo in

Geez, sounds like a stressful start, hopefully it gets more relaxing for you!

Next time, sign up for Budget Fastbreak You get to skip those huge lines and head directly to the garage where there is usually no one around

Looking forward to the rest
Yay Cass!

Ya, I read that in your report and was going to ask you if you had to do anything special to use that cool little stand thingy in the garage. I will know for next time....although Hertz is also right outside CIS. But I guess I'd have to give up the free car rental if I went with Hertz since we used Airmiles and I LOVE free
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tow-mater-1 View Post
Yes it was Janice and it was delish!!!!
Are you surviving the post cruise blues?
I'm hanging in there. . . but every day is a struggle!! Plus, I don't get to cruise next year [it is Linda's turn to pick and she wants to be on a beach the entire week]

We have used Portabellas as the "crust" in personal pizzas. Perhaps if you let your boys decorate their own, they will enjoy that as well!
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #12
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I'm hanging in there. . . but every day is a struggle!! Plus, I don't get to cruise next year [it is Linda's turn to pick and she wants to be on a beach the entire week]

We have used Portabellas as the "crust" in personal pizzas. Perhaps if you let your boys decorate their own, they will enjoy that as well!
A beach for a week sounds nice too! We usually cruise Carnival just the 2 of us every other year mostly because of guilt and people judging me... how could you go on a DISNEY cruise without your precious children! But I think I could get over that I can always use the excuse now that Disney has changed their policy about OBB. We always cruise DCL 2 years apart but that is no longer an option.

Portabellas as pizza crust! What a fabulous idea! Even if the kids don't like it I know I would. Right now I make a wheat free crust but it's time consuming.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:23 PM   #14
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I'm here. You're putting me to shame since I didn't even start my TR yet.

Can't believe this was only a month or so ago, it feels like so long since we were there.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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