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Old 03-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
cstorm65
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Link to Trip Report 7/6 - Page 5 - Cruising the Dream & Exploring the Wilderness

Cruising the Dream and Exploring the Wilderness: A June 2014 Pre-Trip Report

Welcome everyone to the pre-trip report for our 3rd trip to Walt Disney World. As the title says this trip report will include information about planning our first cruise on the Disney Dream as well as a Walt Disney World resort stay. You can read about our previous trips by visiting the following link, and please comment to let me know you are reading. Interacting with people throughout the process makes it much more enjoyable!

Link to Previous Trip Reports

When you follow that link you will be able to read trip reports for our trip in 2011, before we had a child, and our trip in 2013, our first one with a child. Those two trips have caused us to become completely addicted to Disney vacations. Don’t get me wrong, we like vacations of any kind and have traveled many places, but Disney vacations are different. The magic of Disney World has captured us both as young adults and now as parents. Here we are during our last trip enjoying one of my most favorite moments. The look on our DS’s face says it all. That is why we go on these trips.



We had such a wonderful time on our first two trips, especially our first one with our son last summer, that we decided it was time to take the next logical step in the Disney progression…a cruise. We decided on a 4-night Disney Dream cruise for a number of reasons. First, we knew Braxton would not be old enough for the kids club yet so we didn’t want to do the 7-night length, but we also thought 3-night would be too short. So we decided on the 4-night cruise visiting Nassau and Castaway Cay. For now we are dreaming of the day we get to walk in here…



and board this…



and get the chance to sit on the beach here…



After our cruise we will be spending a week at Walt Disney World. I will get more detailed on these plans as we go, but for now just needed to get this pre-trip report started. I have enjoyed getting to share my love for planning with all of you here and I really hope you will stop by to read and comment! Please comment as it makes the planning process so much more fun.

Up Next: Introducing the Cast

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Old 03-22-2014, 04:28 PM   #2
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Table of Contents
Trip Introduction
Introducing the Cast
Trip Itinerary
Day 1 Plans - Travel Day
Day 2 and 3 Plans - Embarkation Day and Nassau
Day 4 and 5 Plans - Castaway Cay and Day at Sea
Day 6 Plans - Disembarkation Day and WDW Check In
Day 7 Plans
Day 8 Plans
Day 9 Plans
Packing List Update
Day 10 Plans
Itinerary Update and Day 11 Plans
Special Delivery and Mini Report on Galveston Beach Trip
ADR Changes and More Galveston Beach Mini Trip Report Part 2
Day 12 Plans
Final Installment of Galveston Mini Trip Report
Day 13 Plans
Trip Report Link

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Old 03-22-2014, 04:28 PM   #3
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Past Trip Reports
June 2013 Pre-Trip Report - "Thrill Ride Junkies Return with a Toddler in Tow!"
June 2011 Trip Report - "Can Two Thrill Ride Junkies Love Disneyworld?"

Past Trips
July 2008 - Offsite
June 2011 - Caribbean Beach Resort - Trip Report
June 2013 - Pop Century/Universal Royal Pacific/Boardwalk Villas
- Trip Report

Upcoming Trips
June/July 2014 - Disney Dream Cruise/Wilderness Lodge - Pre-Trip Report
December 2014 - Pop Century

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Old 03-22-2014, 04:54 PM   #4
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Woo hoo! I'm here!
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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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Nice - A cruise and 7 days at WDW! Lucky! We are doing our first cruise in October but we only have 5 Disney days and we are going to try to NOT buy a park ticket so we go to Universal. I wonder how that's going to go!
__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:09 AM   #6
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Loved your last trip report-- Haven't started your 2011 TR yet, but am looking forward to it and your PTR!!!

Karyn in OKC

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Old 03-24-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Woo hoo! I'm here!
Awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Nice - A cruise and 7 days at WDW! Lucky! We are doing our first cruise in October but we only have 5 Disney days and we are going to try to NOT buy a park ticket so we go to Universal. I wonder how that's going to go!
We are very lucky! Once again the benefits of being teachers. Are you sure no Universal...but Diagon Alley will be open!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by okiedisnut View Post
Loved your last trip report-- Haven't started your 2011 TR yet, but am looking forward to it and your PTR!!!

Karyn in OKC
Someone else in Oklahoma!! Thanks for coming along on the ride. Glad you enjoyed reading.

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Old 03-30-2014, 08:59 PM   #8
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Introducing The Cast

Sorry, I have not been around for over a week. This past week was a crazy one for me. I am the head track & field coach at our high school and this past Thursday and Saturday were home track meets that we were hosting. It just takes a ton of work and time to put on a track meet and I have been extremely busy doing that. The good news is my boys track team finished in 2nd place out of 22 teams in the meet. The only team we lost to was the best team in the classification above us. So it was a busy, but successful day yesterday.

I guess it is time to get back to the pre-trip report, so the next thing I should do is introduce you all to the people who will be a part of this trip. So without further ado...

First, I will introduce you to…myself! I am Jon.



Favorite Character: Goofy
Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest
Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
Favorite Movie: The Lion King
Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

I am the main person that plans these trips, but my wife is becoming more and more interested in the things we do with every trip we take. I am a high school teacher and coach. I am teaching Physics and AP Environmental Science this year, although I have also taught Chemistry in the past. In addition to teaching I am the defensive coordinator in football and the head boys track & field coach. I honestly think I have the best job in the world. Being able to make a positive impact on kids every day is something I love doing. It certainly has its challenges, but overall I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

Next, I will introduce you to my beautiful DW, April.



Favorite Character: Ariel
Favorite Ride: Rock 'n Roller Coaster
Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
Favorite Movie: Little Mermaid
Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

April loves our family vacations as well as almost any time we get to spend together. We have developed a love for Disney and vacationing together and it is something she cherishes. She is a school psychologist by day and an incredible mother and wife by night. She works in the same school district I do and gets to come over to my classroom for lunch every day, which really is nice. She love her job working with kids as well and she is awesome at it.

Finally, the youngest member of our traveling party, DS2.



Favorite Character: Mickey Mouse
Favorite Ride: Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet
Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Favorite Movie: Any of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Movies
Favorite Restaurant: Any place that serves hot dogs!

DS2 is all boy. He loves to run, play, hit things, throw balls, and many other things most little boys love to do. He has a great personality and is a good kid most of the time. We have hit a little spurt of the terrible two’s lately, but that was to be expected. In addition to all these things he loves Mickey Mouse and all his friends. He can name them all. Just for fun I will let you know what he calls them:

Mickey Mouse = “Mouw”
Minnie Mouse = “Meee”
Donald Duck = “Don Duck”
Goofy = “Joo Joo”
Pluto = “Puto”

He would honestly sit and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for hours on end if we let him.

So here we all are together on our last trip.



On our last trip we had both my mom and DW’s mom join us for a few days to help with Braxton and enjoy the parks themselves. This time we are doing it all on our own, just the three of us. It is going to be a little different, but we are looking forward to a great cruise and Disney World stay. I think in a few days I will get into the itinerary of the cruise and Disney World portion of our trip.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstorm65 View Post
[B]

Mickey Mouse = “Mouw”
Minnie Mouse = “Meee”
Donald Duck = “Don Duck”
Goofy = “Joo Joo”
Pluto = “Puto”

How cute is that! Love it! :good vibes


Great introductions!
__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:03 PM   #10
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Following along! Interested in trying the cruise one day ourselves!
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:40 PM   #11
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Sorry...I am back I think! I have been hosting track meets and taking my team to track meets over the past two weeks and it has been crazy. I am going to get an installment out today because I am behind on the planning. We are only weeks away from FP+.

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How cute is that! Love it! :good vibes

Great introductions!
Thanks. Will get an update and more cute pictures of DS today!

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Following along! Interested in trying the cruise one day ourselves!
We are very excited about the cruise, especially the relaxing that doesn't always come with a WDW vacation. Thanks for reading!
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:36 PM   #12
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Trip Itinerary

Hey all! Hope everyone is having a great spring so far. We are 80 days out from our trip so the dead time between ADR day and the trip is about over. In the next few weeks we will have our cruise online check in day, our Fastpass+ reservation day and our Disney resort online check in. I have been looking at some touring plan options, so hopefully I can get it all worked out prior to the 60 day mark. So in this installment I wanted to go over our broad itinerary for our trip, so here it goes!

Please comment and give your thoughts on any questions I ask…that is what this PTR is all about!

Saturday
This is our departure day from home. We are flying from Oklahoma City to Orlando via Southwest (and AirTran) and arrive at around 1:00 PM. We will rent a car at the airport and head towards Port Canaveral. We are planning on just taking it easy for the afternoon and evening so that we are ready to go on the cruise. Here was Braxton on the plane on our last trip. He did very well on the flights, much thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.



Sunday
Embarkation Day! We have been waiting for this for an entire year. Can’t wait to hear our name called and get on the ship.



Monday
This is our Day in Nassau. We are trying to decide if we want to get off of the ship or not. I wouldn’t mind just staying on and enjoying the ship while a lot of people get off, but DW kind of wants to get off for a little while to see the port area. I am not sure it is worth the hassle, so you all feel free to weigh in on your thoughts.

Tuesday
Castaway Cay!!!!! DW may run the Castaway Cay 5k this morning so anyone’s thoughts on that would be appreciated. Also, we are trying to decide when to use our nursery hours. Would we enjoy the adult beach more than the family one since Braxton is so young? With that in mind would using a couple of nursery hours on this day to do the adult beach be worth it? I guess we need to really sit down and hash this out!

Wednesday
Day at Sea! Not sure what kind of trouble we can get into on this day. We definitely want to try and do the Wake up with Disney Junior character breakfast. I think I have read about this, but there is not much information on it anywhere that I can find. Does anyone know any specifics about this? Does it require a reservation? Other than that we will have to wait and see what the day holds.

Thursday
This will be our Dis-Embarkation Day. At least that sad word starts with “Dis”! We will be getting off the ship and heading to Disney World. I’ll talk about where we are staying later.



Friday-Wednesday
We will have a week at Disney World after our cruise. We will have to move fairly slowly with a two year old, but we are definitely looking forward to it. I’ll get into these days more as the trip report goes.

Thursday
Today is the sad day where we have to return home. We don’t fly out of Orlando until around 6:00 PM so we are playing with the idea of hitting a park for a couple of hours in the morning, especially since we could sleep in, hit it from 11-1 or so and be assured of fastpasses with the new system. We will see on this as well.

That about does it for the broad itinerary for this trip. I think I may discuss our Disney World resort in the next update and then start doing day by day itineraries that will be a little more detailed. Please, please, please give you thoughts on things. That is the fun of the pre-trip report, getting other’s ideas that can make your trip more magical. Thanks for reading.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:32 AM   #13
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We are doing our first cruise in October and I am definitely getting off in Nassau. I know a lot of people don't, but I want to see the town. I am actually hoping to do a food tour while in Nassau (probably not something you want to do with a 2 year old ).

Your plans look wonderful. I think going to Disney World for a week after your trip is going to be perfect. And Yay for 80 days!
__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:59 PM   #14
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We are doing our first cruise in October and I am definitely getting off in Nassau. I know a lot of people don't, but I want to see the town. I am actually hoping to do a food tour while in Nassau (probably not something you want to do with a 2 year old ).

Your plans look wonderful. I think going to Disney World for a week after your trip is going to be perfect. And Yay for 80 days!
April kind of wants to get off the ship like you. I don't mind, I just don't want to get off for an hour and then have to stand in line to go back through security to get back on the ship. I am not sure how well a 2 year old will handle walking around a foreign country. If we get off I want it to be meaningful to us. We are going to have to think about this hard.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:00 PM   #15
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Day 1 – Saturday – Travel Day

I think I am going to try and go day by day throughout our trip to try and lay some things out. I am especially looking for some input on our cruise day plans as I am unsure how all of the processes work.

We are flying in the day before our cruise just to be safe and not take any chances if some sort of travel delay happens. We fly out of Oklahoma City around 6:30 in the morning so it will be an early morning, but at least flights were reasonably prices enough out of OKC that we don’t have to drive to Dallas like we have done before. I am sure DS will be even more into watching the planes than he was on our last trip. He stops and points anytime a plane fly’s over our back yard and says “airplane”.



We have a brief layover in Atlanta, which is actually a good thing as DS can get down and walk and run around for a little while between flights. After our layover we should make our arrival in Orlando around 1:00, so we will still have a good deal of the day left.

We are planning on taking it easy this day and just heading to our hotel for the night before and relaxing. I went ahead and just booked us a rental car for about $175 for the five days we will need it which will be easier and actually slightly cheaper than paying for car service to the port and back to Disney World.

We have booked a hotel in Melbourne, FL, about 15 minutes south of Port Canaveral as the prices were much less and this hotel sits right on the beach. So we can swim, relax, and most importantly eat some seafood for dinner…because we are going to be short on food once we get on that ship!

So while we are talking about food what is some good seafood around Port Canaveral. I want authentic and fresh seafood. So if you all have any suggestions let me know.

Also, we are thinking about a pit stop at Wal-Mart on this day to pick up a few things and I need everyone’s opinion. We are taking our jogging stroller as we love to have it in the theme parks, but don’t want to carry it on the ship. But we are thinking we may want a stroller on the ship with a 2 year old, so we thought it would be a good thing to just buy a cheap umbrella stroller at Wal-Mart and take on the ship with us. So any and all thoughts on stroller on the cruise ship would be appreciated.

That is about all we plan on doing on our travel day…but tomorrow things get more interesting!
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