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Old 04-10-2014, 04:22 PM   #301
dizneeat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by englishrose47 View Post
Glad Tom is enjoying the SPA!!! Great news about DLP having better fireworks and Parades !!!! I am determined today to catch up on all my threads !!
He really loved his time at the Spa and I loved spending my weekends there.
We love to see the changes at the parks and I cannot wait to experience DLRP in the summer when they are open late.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
Oooh, if DLP gets more "Disney Changes" I might have to think about a trip back to that side of the world again!

Jill in CO
Wait another year or two for them to catch up and get ready with the Remy part. What they have added on is really cute and with parades and fireworks now it starts to become even "more" Disney to us.

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Originally Posted by Wicket's Mom View Post
Great to see the holiday pictures. I know about being busy, I've not been on the boards since Feb.28. I haven't had very much internet access since then.

It's great being able to go to a spa for physical therapy, no insurance coverage like that here!
Great to have you back on the boards, Doris.
We LOVED the holiday feel at DLRP! We caught the tail end of the Christmas season and it was awesome.

Those spa treatments are nothing special here and they seemed to help him a lot. Unfortunately work has not changed, so he is not all that happy at the moment.


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Originally Posted by HowieHowie View Post
Love the christmas decorations and the parade pictures, very festive.
It was so nice to have a little extra Christmas time. Disney knows to get you into the spirit!
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:16 AM   #302
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Time for updates!

I have not had time to post updates and more planning here in quite some time, but my Easter vacation started today, and I have now time to get up to par with everything.

So, what's new?

Next trip coming up - Italy!



There is not much planning to do for this, as we will drive there and I booked the room quite a while back using an online company.



BUT



Last year, when we went to (that same) little aparthotel we had a spur of the moment idea and on the spot there booked a short stay for before our trip to the US and paid a deposit.
It did not take us long to realize that it had been a mistake and I called to cancel it. And here is, where Europe seems to be different. Deposits are not always refundable. So they told us that the deposit would be good for the rest of the year. We never got around to going to Italy in the fall and I never gave the deposit much thought - it was lost.

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from our aparthotel last week. They had gotten our reservation from the online booking site and wanted to ask me if I wanted to book through the hotel itself, as they would STILL honour the deposit.
I will be calling them later today to seal the deal and cancel the online booking site reservation.
With the deposit we can now try to get a larger room (maybe with a view) without any extra cost.


Next trip after Italy - Med cruise and DLRP in July and August!



So, flights for both vacations have long been booked.
Accommodation for both vacations have long been booked.



BUT



our DCL booking window for Palo and shore excursions opened on March 28th. Since I was not compeating for a Cabana (no CC in Europe ) booking was easy and I got all my dining reservations on the days I wanted them and at the times I wanted them.
As far as excursions went - I got everything we had picked out for every port, but I am still researching other options and may drop a few excursions until we leave.

Here comes the unbelieveable part.
March 28th was a Friday, and the booking window opens at midnight EST, which translates into 6am my time.
Now I was sitting at my computer and did all the reservations, but the check in window only opens later that day. I was off to school at 7am and after school I went to visit Tom in Bad Hofgastein as it was his birthday on the 29th.

I FORGOT TO CHECK US IN!!!!!! and only remembered last week.
No problem, as being Platinum gives us an open Port Arrival Time, but it was scary to see that I could just forget about something Disney.



Next trip after Med cruise and DLRP in July and August - Tom's birthday trip to WDW and a Western Caribbean cruise!



The cruise has been booked for quite some time. It is a 7 night Western Caribbean on the Magic, leaving from Port Canaveral and calling at Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Only now it dawned on me , that we will have two (not quite - as one is the arrival day after the cruise and the other the day when we leave for Austria again) days during Flower and Garden. Since they are now offering food booths during F&G as well, we hope to snag a room at either BC, YC or BWI for the one night and spend as much time as we can at Epcot - munching our way around WS and looking at pretty flowers.



BUT



There were still the tickets for the flight to be purchased.
Now a short time ago, Lufthansa started to "sell" seats instead of just assigning them. If you book a very cheap fare, you will need to pay a fee to reserve a special seat. If you book a higher fare, then you can choose your seat for free.
But the real interesting thing is that they now let you choose the seats at the emergency exits as well. They are way more expensive but when I found out I knew this would be perfect for us. We have reached an age where being squeezed into a tiny seat for 11 hours is no longer something to look forward too, so being able to have an emergency row seat would be pretty nice.
I started checking prices as soon as I found out about 6 weeks ago. Lufthansa releases flights 361 days in advance and I was thrilled with the prices they had been offering for February and early March.



BUT



this time we are travelling over Easter. Now when we got to the week we need to travel prices shot UP!!!!!!!!! I usually give myself a generous budget for flights, and this time I nearly reached the limit.
€ 2400 for two economy class seats, including the preferred seating. It was more than I would have liked (as the cruise is pretty darn expensive as well) but it's a milestone birthday for Tom, so I bit the bullet.

We are now booked Lufthansa, have our cruise booked and all I need are two hotels (leaning towards Pop for the first night and as I mentioned before BC, YC or BWI for the one after the cruise). Prices are not up yet at Disney, so this is something that will need to be done still.


Next trip after Tom's birthday trip to WDW and a Western Caribbean cruise - Summer vacation 2015!

One thing was sure when it comes to summer 2015 - we wanted to go back to WDW and we wanted to spend some more time at the parks.
We were looking at the second half of August and the first two weeks of September. I really wanted a cruise (or maybe a back to back) mixed in, but with DCL's prices skyrocketing we were not sure if we could pull it off.
So with dates set we waited for DCL to release its new itineraries.

Every Tuesday (somehow they tend to release on Tuesdays) I would check several times if they had released the new itineraries. Finally on March 25th they did!!!!!!!!
I had my heart set on two cruises at the end of August 2015, a back to back on the Fantasy, so on March 26th, the first booking day for Platinum and Gold CC members I was lucky to only half a half day at school and I was home by noon, sitting at my computer, phone in hand at 12.55pm, ready to call. At 12.58 I started dialing, heard the "you are outside the area where the 800 call is free" and was "redirected". I must have been too early as I heard that they only opened at 8am.
Hit redial again and ....................... after the 800 number announcement heard that my call could not be connected.

To put it in a nutshell, it took me 35 minutes to BE connected and then it took my an hour and 25 minutes on hold (international call - how fun! ) until I was connected to a real person.
Now, that CM was SUPER nice and helpful, looked up the cruises I wanted, transferred my OBB to earlier of the two cruises



AND



booked us a regular booking for the second one (which I hope will not rise too much in price as I want to reshop it for a discount and OBC during our Magic cruise).

So, in summer 2015 we will fly to Orlando,


spend a week at the parks in mid August,



cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy, which Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Falmouth and Castaway Cay as our ports



cruise to the Eastern Caribbean with Sint Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay as our ports and some cruise friends we have been looking forward to sailing with again! (Hi Teresa!)



and another week at the parks





And that concludes my updates. Thank you for reading if you stayed with me through all the updates.

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Old 04-12-2014, 07:41 AM   #303
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Looks like fabulous plans! I'm glad you were able to get the stay in Italy with your deposit still intact! It's good you remembered to check in for your cruise - I bet they would have emailed you I hope you are able to get a better deal on the 2015 cruises. It sure took them a long time to get those itineraries out - wonder if they were trying to figure out how high they could get the price up without chasing everyone away.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:49 AM   #304
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Wow - your plans are just dizzying! But I am so glad you got the cruise you wanted booked! It sounds wonderful as does your upcoming summer cruise.

And yay that you did not lose your deposit after all and were able to plan an Italy trip!

I had to laugh when you said you actually missed a deadline for calling I think it happens to the best of us.

Tom's B-day cake is too cute!
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:51 AM   #305
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Karin you and Tom, you have some wonderful plans made and we are so excited to be a part of the last cruise and WDW time!
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:44 PM   #306
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LOVE all the exciting plans!! I'll be looking forward to the trip reports!
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #307
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I have been debating on planning a cruise this fall. Looking at a five day DD at CC or a 7 night W. Caribbean on the Magic with a stop at Key West. They are similar in price. Just depends on our budget. :/
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:09 AM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGICFOR2 View Post
Looks like fabulous plans! I'm glad you were able to get the stay in Italy with your deposit still intact! It's good you remembered to check in for your cruise - I bet they would have emailed you I hope you are able to get a better deal on the 2015 cruises. It sure took them a long time to get those itineraries out - wonder if they were trying to figure out how high they could get the price up without chasing everyone away.
Thank you!
So funny I forgot to check us in for our cruise. But things went a bit out of hand with Tom being away and me driving there right after work on Friday.
I am very pleased with our summer 2015 choices. And the second one of those cruises is even moderately priced.
But it sure did take them long to get the itineraries out. Maybe they wanted to prepare us for the shock of the priceing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Wow - your plans are just dizzying! But I am so glad you got the cruise you wanted booked! It sounds wonderful as does your upcoming summer cruise.

And yay that you did not lose your deposit after all and were able to plan an Italy trip!

I had to laugh when you said you actually missed a deadline for calling I think it happens to the best of us.

Tom's B-day cake is too cute!
Isn't it a bit sad that the upcoming cruises in March and next summer have me even more excited than our summer cruise this year. I guess with the Med being so close it does not give us that certain wow factor.

We are both so looking forward to our short trip to Italy. It is always such a relaxing break and we bring home a lot of authentic Italian food too.

I could not believe I missed my check-in date. You can book your excursions at midnight the day your booking window opens, online check-in only opens at 3am (or maybe it is 5 or 6am). I have always done it when I got home from work, this time I went straight to Bad Hofgastein (it was Tom's birthday that weekend) and I completely forgot about it.


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Originally Posted by Teri1 View Post
Karin you and Tom, you have some wonderful plans made and we are so excited to be a part of the last cruise and WDW time!
Thanks, Teresa!
We are VERY happy that you will be part of that cruise and that trip report as well.


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Originally Posted by scrpbookr View Post
LOVE all the exciting plans!! I'll be looking forward to the trip reports!
Thank you! I am still working on my last two TRs, but promise to do some for the upcoming trips as well.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:14 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Teri1 View Post
I have been debating on planning a cruise this fall. Looking at a five day DD at CC or a 7 night W. Caribbean on the Magic with a stop at Key West. They are similar in price. Just depends on our budget. :/
Why don't you cruise with us, end of March for Tom's birthday? It is not one of the cheapest cruises, but we would be delighted.

Hm, if the two cruises you are looking at are similar in price I would pick the longer one. Especially since it stops in Key West. Have you ever been there? It is beautiful.
And if you need some hints at what to visit I can help you out.


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wow...I am loving all the trips you have coming up...and I know things will work in your favor!
Thanks, Jen!
I can't wait to get into serious planning for those upcoming trips. It's so nice to have something to look forward to.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:07 AM   #311
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Before I go on with my Paris trip report I thought you might like to see some more pics from Tom's spa weeks.

So I left you with the pics of his first week.

Here's a quick look at his room.







and the dining room (or at least the table where we had our meals)



reading room



and I don't know if I posted these or not?

Inside the church



the village, Bad Hofgastein







loved the "cat ladder" here











I went to visit him again the second weekend, only that I left right after work on Friday instead of going on Saturday.
I got there in the early evening and after dinner we went to watch the celebrations for a sportsman who had won a medal in the Olymics.





The lady looking over at us was one of the therapists









the local school choir, boy, they were good!



And here's the man himself .......

Bernhard Gruber





continued in the next post!
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:20 AM   #312
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The next morning, after breakfast (yip, forgot to take pics! ) we went out to hike up to hotel above Bad Hofgastein.

















an outdoor "sauna" we passed





and finally the hotel itself!















We returned around midday and headed right for lunch.

There was soup (forget which one, but it was good)



Cheese pockets, with parsley potatoes and cranberry sauce



salad from the salad bar



strawberry yogurt cream for dessert



continued in the next post
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:36 AM   #313
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They predicted bad weather for the next day so we decided to do our next excursion right that afternoon instead of the next morning.

We drove to Bad Gastein to go up a mountain in a cable car!









Fun fact: After a while we reached a stop. The doors opened and we got off, but no one else did. So we looked around for an exit when we saw one of the people working there coming towards us. When we told him what we had come for he laughed and sent us right back to our little capsule! We had only reached the half way point!











and finally we reached the top















There was a viewing area and we headed that way





wanna sit on that bench?



signs to identify the mountains









But we had come to see and try something else ......

continued in the next post
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:46 AM   #314
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So we headed back to the cable car





little chapel made from snow







and here is what we came for, a suspension bridge high up in the mountains with an AWESOME view .......





recognize the backpack someone?



and here we go .....





























continued in the next post
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:02 AM   #315
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And it was time to go back down .....
















Once back in Bad Hofgastein we went to a cafe and Tom had a beer, while I had some coffee





And soon it was time for us to head back because it was time for dinner

goulash with sausage and potatoes



bread



dessert (sponge cake with cherries and buttermilk cream - we removed the buttermilk cream as we both didn't like the taste



We spent the rest of the evening in the spa, swimming out to the outdoor pool and enjoying the water spouts

The next morning the weather had changed drastically!



Forgot to take more food pics, but remembered to take one of the muesli



I went to the baker to pick up some rolls to take home



and then we spent the rest of the morning in the spa

















continued in the next post
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WDW: March 28-29, April 5-6, August 15 - 22 and September 5 - 12
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