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Old 04-10-2014, 03:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 5,960

"Once Upon A Time in Carribean" - On the Wonder Feb 16-21, 2014 (WRAPUP! 7/09)

Hey everyone, and welcome to the TR our first-ever DINSEY CRUISE. For those friends that have been following me for a while, you can skip this first paragraph below.

For those that haven’t followed along before, I am a 44-year old husband and dad to a 10-year old daughter. I used to go to Disney World each summer as a child back in the seventies, and my wife and I have become the typical DIS Disney addicts. DW is probably a bigger trip addict than me, but I am the primary planner and the DIS social director (as in making friends on the DIS), which is the opposite of real life where I don’t really like other people all that much. (Har har! That’s a joke.)

We have TEN trips to WDW under our belts (eight with DD), two trips to DL (one on an ABD adventure with the DIS back in June of 2013). This is the THIRD trip of a 9 month self-titled “Disney Trifecta”. In addition, we are in the process of buying into DVC and using some “freebie” points we are getting to plan a getaway weekend this fall. But that’s for another report!

So, you MAY be thinking that my TR title has something to do with Disney Magic, or the TV show “Once Upon a Time” which I have never seen. But no, it is a reference to the great Sergio Leone – director of many a Spaghetti Western in the sixties and seventies. Since my previous two trips were titled. “A Fistful of Fastpasses” and “For a Few Fastpasses More”, and I summarized each day in those TRs with “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”. That left me with his Leone’s Magnum Opus - “Once Upon a Time in the West” and that’s where the title of this TR comes from! Well, that and we have never been to the actual Carribean before!

A little more background regarding the motivation for this trip. This was really DDs trip. I think she was getting a little bit tired of WDW trips (how is that possible?), and we watched a special on the Disney Cruise Line and she wanted so much to try it out. Now, neither DW nor I are really “cruisers” as neither of us had ever done one before. In fact, I sort of hated the idea, as I do not really like the water, but in particular I have a phobia of being ON the water (not IN the water, which I am OK with), or more specifically falling into the water. While I have it mostly under control – by not going on the water – I will admit I was a little trepidatious at the idea of this trip. But, we all agreed it was worth a try. Heck, it’s Disney!

So, I researched available dates that we didn’t have to take DD out of school. The first thing I discovered – Disney cruises are FREAKIN’ expensive! I couldn’t believe how much some of them cost. It looked like our main choices were narrowed down to
A) 5-night cruise out of Miami President’s Week
B) 7-night cruise out of Port Canaveral President’s Week
C) 7-night cruise out of Port Canaveral end of August

Well, I rapidly nixed the August one. I didn’t want our first ever cruise to possibly be in a hurricane. Feburary seemed good, but as I priced it out, I noticed that the 7-day cruise was TWICE the cost of the 5-day. An extra $2000 for two more days? I don’t think so! Plus, the shorter cruise sort of appealed to me. If I was really hating it, it wouldn’t last so long. Then we could spend a couple days afterwards at the beach relaxing. This, alas, was not to be.

As I was trying to get airfare, I discovered something – flying from Buffalo to Florida for President’s Week does not provide for favorable airfares. While I was lucky (mostly thanks to a DISer on the cruise) to get a flight down on Saturday the day before the cruise, we were never able to get a reasonable fare rate other than on the day we returned to port. So the vacation ended up being a Saturday to Friday trip, with the cruise being Sunday to Friday.

The final addition was a whole ‘nother family. Last summer we were having dinner with some friends and were talking vacations and they mentioned they were thinking of taking a Disney cruise, so we said we had already booked on such-and-such a date. Well, they asked if they could join along, and after a little discussion we said SURE! So, our special guests in this trip report are – and though I have permission to post their pictures, these are not they’re real names – Tom, Duchess and the triplets: Berloiz, Toulouse, and Marie. Duchess and DW are long-time friends from college, and we are currently neighbors in the same town/school system.

1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR

Last edited by skier_pete; 07-09-2014 at 10:14 AM.
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