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Old 05-01-2003, 02:26 PM   #1
Kevin Stringer
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A Very British Pre-Trip Report (Cruise Edition)

It’s nearly here! Just about 2 weeks before our best ever trip to Florida. Don’t get too excited, every trip is the best ever!
Mind you, this prophecy may actually come true as this time we are going on our first Disney cruise. But I get ahead of myself….. a normal occurrence as you will all soon find out.

There should be a few of you out there who know all about my rough and ready troop by now, but for those that don’t, a brief introduction.

Me, Kevin, 45. Some say I look a little like Brad Pitt. Admittedly this is from a distance of half a mile and only if I’m wearing my Brad Pitt mask, but it’s a start.
I feel I have managed to maintain a certain magnetic appeal to women. Mostly a North-North effect where they are repelled in the opposite direction at great speed.
I am partial to the occasional alcoholic beverage, purely in the interests of getting so blotto I can forget about the rest of my horrible family, who are:

Tam, wife, 39. She is more excited about this holiday than I have ever seen her. She always enjoys our WDW trips (especially since we joined the DVC) but the cruise is something she has wanted to do for years. The thought of copious amounts of free food is probably a major factor in this excitement. That and 2 weeks together with her sexy, handsome, virile man. I haven’t had the heart to tell her he’s not coming and she has to put up with me.

India, eldest daughter, 12. Should have left the child at home this time. She’s got too expensive. How come she is an adult in the eyes of the airlines and Disney? Send her up a chimney I say! Let’s get some income out of her.
The next thing you know, child meals won’t be enough for her and she’ll want real food! ‘But burger and fries are so good for you child’.

Georgia, youngest daughter, 9. Now that’s a better age. Cheap and gullible. She must be, I still manage to trick her on April Fool’s Day. India cottoned on years ago.

If you need to know any more about us, pay a visit to http://freespace.virgin.net/kevin.stringer/index.htm
Here you will reports from 4 of our previous trips, an insomniacs dream.

Sometimes I think that it is hard work being a Disney fan. I bet you’ve all experienced it. The glazed looks from your non-Disney friends as you launch into your account of your latest trip to WDW. The pitying expression as you try to explain why you think Beauty and the Beast is one of the finest films ever made.
You’ve been there, I know.

We’ve all walked apprehensively into the newsagents and timidly placed an issue of the Disney Magazine on the counter. The sales assistant treats you to the same icy stare that he usually reserves for those buying this months copy of ‘Big Wobblers’.
I sometimes crack under the pressure and blurt out ‘It’s not mine! I only came in to buy a packet of condoms, honest!’

Still, we downtrodden few battle on and suffer for our love of all things Disney and, in my case, Floridian.
I suppose I better get around to actually telling you about what we are doing on this visit as it is meant to be a pre-trip report.

Well, we leave home on the evening of May 15th to catch a train to Gatwick where we are staying over night at the Gatwick Hilton.

Friday May 16th sees us clambering aboard a Virgin flight to Orlando. This doesn’t seem such a daunting prospect as it used to with very young children. Our 2 are now at an age where they can amuse themselves a lot of the time and the seat back TV’s and hours of entertainment help too!
It used to be a non-stop litany.
‘Are we there yet?’ ‘No’
‘Are we there yet?’ ‘No’
‘Are we there yet?’ ‘No’
‘Are we…’ ‘Look, Daddy if you don’t shut up we won’t bring you again!’
Then I would sulk for the rest of the trip

On arrival in Orlando we have transport arranged to Port Canaveral. When we looked into the alternatives, it seemed a bit silly to hire a car, so we thought about a town car and looked at several different companies.
In the end we decided on Happy Limo as they were the cheapest and I have read a lot of good things about them. Kev then gets to thinking…. ‘Hmmm. Wouldn’t it be nice to arrive in style’. So I checked out the prices for a stretch limo. Not bad!
So we have a stretch limo for all 3 of our journeys in Florida, airport to port, port to WDW and WDW to airport. It may not be classy, but I never have claimed to be sophisticated.
The girls don’t know that we have a limo waiting for them, so Tam and I are looking forward to seeing their faces. It also enables me to relax with a beer in the back while some other poor fool drives.
On the way we get a supermarket stop to pick up the essentials for the cruise. Beer, soda, beer, water and beer.

Next stop is the Raddison at Port Canaveral where we are spending the evening before the cruise.

Bright and early next morning we head off to the cruise terminal for the start of our 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Magic.

There is so much that we are looking forward to on this cruise that it would take me as long to tell you about it as it will take us to do it!
A few of the highlights:

Dressing up! I know that lots of people don’t look forward to the formal evenings on board, but both Tam and I can’t wait. I’ve even hired a tux for the week. They deliver it to your stateroom and you leave it there when you disembark.
I’ve never worn a tux before so I’m looking forward to it. In my minds eye I will look a little like James Bond (Sean Connery version, of course) but even more swarve and soffisticated. Like wot I normally do.

The Surial Bath. This is a room in the spa with showers and steam rooms that you hire for 50 minutes. There is a lock on the inside of the door and you are left to your own devices to enjoy it as you will.
They provide you with various muds and oils which you are supposed to massage into different parts of your bodies.
I have read that lots of couples make FULL use of the facilities to have a VERY good time, if you know what I mean. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!).
I think I’ll take a book in to pass the time.
Mind you, even if we do indulge in the old mud and oil (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!) I will still need a book for the other 45 minutes.

St.Maarten: We have decided to hire a car as there seem to be so many beaches that we would like to visit.
I have read that Orient Bay has a ‘clothes optional’ area. Tam is quite keen on letting the wind waft round places it usually doesn’t waft but Georgia is horrified at the whole prospect. She said ‘I don’t want to see loads of willies and tuppies!’ Not very subtle, but I understand her sentiments.
I must admit the thought of a Pamela Anderson look alike striding through the surf in slow motion holds considerably more appeal than catching a glimpse of a 60 year old overweight car salesman from Detroit letting it all hang out. Still, each to their own.
If you are in Orient Bay on the same day as us and you see a crowd of people running up the beach screaming and covering their eyes, then you will know that Tam has decided to remove her cossie.
I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to go ‘au natural’ either. Let’s face it, I could be responsible for psychologically affecting all men within line of sight. They would need to attend therapy for their inadequacies for the rest of their lives.

St.Thomas: An all together more sedate day is planned here as we are going to take a taxi to Magens Bay Beach, which is supposed to be spectacularly beautiful. On returning to port we are going to ride the Paradise Port Tramway, which is a cable car to the top of a mountain, giving views across St.Thomas.

Castaway Cay: Another relaxing day. Everyone says that this is the best port of all. Just to prove that I really do love my wife (even though I tease her unmercifully) I am treating her to a cabana massage for her birthday. These open fronted structures are located beside the adult beach and Tam is getting a 50 minute body massage while relaxing and listening to the sound of the waves lapping along the shoreline.

Food: More Tam’s department than mine, but I’m looking forward to it too. With so many restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, midnight dessert buffets, special cocktails and wine tastings, I’m not sure we will have time to do anything else but eat and drink!

So much done and we haven’t even reached Walt Disney World yet!

Saturday May 24th we bid adieu to the Disney Magic and ride the limo back to WDW and the Beach Club Villas. I love the Boardwalk, but we thought we would have a change this time, primarily because you can use Storm-a-long Bay if you stay here.

Our week from this point on is fairly loosely planned.
We have booked PS’s for the California Grill on Saturday at 8:00 pm, so hopefully we will see Fantasy in the Sky.

On the evening of Monday 26th we are attending a UK DIS Meet at the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk as half of the UK seems to be in Florida in May.
I am hoping that this will descend into the usual boozy affair that most DIS Meets seem to.

The only other plans are to do a water park (probably Typhoon Lagoon) and spend 2 days in the parks.
One full day will be in Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival, while on the other we may go to another park for short time returning to Epcot to watch Reflections of Earth again. I have got to see this show at least twice on every visit.

So that’s it. Not a bad itinerary, don’t ya think?

Cheers

Kev
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Old 05-01-2003, 02:48 PM   #2
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Thanks, Kev - I've had a tough couple of days at work and this is great therapy! Have you ever thought of writing scripts for sit-coms?

I feel compelled to point out, for those who haven't met her, that Tam is a beautiful, slim, elegant and stylish lady. Those of us who know them also know that Kev worships the ground she walks on. Kev's prose could well lead you to believe that she is a food-obsessed, down-trodden sloven!

Kev, I hope you haven't started a trend. I can't even get around to a post-trip trip report, let alone a pre-trip trip report!
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Old 05-01-2003, 04:11 PM   #3
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Great start......I am so jealous, Can't wait for all of the reports
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Old 05-01-2003, 05:25 PM   #4
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Brilliant Kev!

Can't wait for the post trip trip report!
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:21 AM   #5
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Lookin like a classic, Kev !

Mind, some take the mickey out of me for retellin every mundane bit of me day, but I've never padded out a report with an account of takin a bath

Think I'll go read yer others again, just to get uz in the mood.
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Old 05-04-2003, 03:03 PM   #6
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Brilliant Kev Can't wait for the rest and I have to say I cannot believe you are 45 I honestly thought you were in your 30's.
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Old 05-04-2003, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tartan Tigger
Brilliant Kev Can't wait for the rest and I have to say I cannot believe you are 45 I honestly thought you were in your 30's.
TT, NO! Don't tell him that! It'll go to his head. Believe me, in the cold light of day he looks about 100. All that beer, you see - not good for a man. Tam, on the other hand, looks about 21. Living with him, she should look a lot older.
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Old 05-05-2003, 03:30 AM   #8
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Mmmm Sean Connery, no sweetie - I think you're going to look like a gorgeous (sorry Deb) Kevin Stringer I can't wait to see the pictures of you, Tam and the girls together on formal nights.

I love pre-trip reports I'm sure I did one when I used to be in the swing of things.

You are going to have such a great time Kev and I can't wait to read all about it.

Hugs to the family
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Old 05-05-2003, 04:31 AM   #9
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Love it Kev!!

Sounds like a brilliant holiday is planned with lots of beer to fill in the quiet times!

Awh, can't you sneek out the tux for the 26th so we can all swoon over you and ply you with Martini's, shaken not stirred!

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Old 05-05-2003, 06:09 AM   #10
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. . . think you might need something more substantial than a Martini after one of "those" intimate little steam room sessions, Kev . I'm guessing you wash the mud off first

Sounds like a great trip - loads of planning - and it'll all be worth it

Roll on the 15th May:D
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:52 AM   #11
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So okay...I'm not from the UK but I just had to let you know how much I enjoy reading your trip reports. I hope you have a marvelous holiday and enjoy the Magic as much as I enjoyed my cruises on the Wonder. I can't wait to read the reports when you get back - you always have me in stitches.
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Old 05-19-2003, 03:02 PM   #12
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Top quality as always Kev!

Looking forward to the 'real thing' when you get back....I'm betting you'll be hooked on cruising by then
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Old 05-19-2003, 06:38 PM   #13
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Great report Kevin.

Looking forward to your blow by blow accounts in due course.

BTW Spottydog...you may not have "padded out a report with an account of a bath "....But I distinctly recall a full account of you resting your plates of meat in two waste paper bins a year or so back!!! That mental picture will haunt me for a long time ...LOL

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Old 05-20-2003, 11:47 AM   #14
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This is vintage Stringer ! Great stuff Kevin!

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to read it - you could be indulging in mud and oil this very minute !!
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Old 05-21-2003, 05:11 AM   #15
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Brilliant stuff Kev,
Hope you all have a great time and I look forward to your post trip report.
You did make me chuckle - I guess I've got to get back to work now......
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