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Old 05-25-2007, 09:57 PM   #1
GuardMusic
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Land/Sea - The Dr.s' Disney Escape - Complete w/ Pics!

Prologue
After having been entertained by so many great trip reports (props to SleepyDog & GrumpyDude), I fully planned to write a trip report of my first DCL. So here I am. Did I mention the cruise was taken in Jan. 2006? My plan was to finish the scrapbook and write the TR from it. I finished the scrapbook 2 months ago - oops. Alas, not much has changed on DCL from then til now, so I figure why not?!

Background
SIDEBAR: My first trip was to WDW in 1977 at age 4. We took a few family trips while growing up – nothing major. In 1998, 6 months after the sudden death of my father, I decided my mom needed an escape. I took her on a surprise trip to WDW; I didn’t tell her until we were at baggage claim at MCO. It was the trip that brought back my carefree childhood & my mom felt the same. Since then we’re returned about once a year every year. Thus, a Disney addict was born.

In 1995 my college graduation gift was a trip with my best friend, Kara; my choice was WDW or a cruise. Wanting to be a “grown-up” I chose the cruise. However, it was a Carnival cruise. We’d never cruised & did no research. We don’t really drink or gamble. Before we left I was already sick. Then we both got seasick. Mine was so bad I had to get 2 double shots from the on-board medical center! Honestly I wanted to fly home from Nassau. At that point I SWORE I’d never cruise again. Fast forward 10 years….

Preparation
It began in the spring of 2005? Yikes. I finished my doctorate and had taken my celebratory trip (WDW). Now it was my best friend’s (Kara) turn. She was finishing her doctorate and deciding on her trip. Suddenly she utters something such as “What do you think about DCL?” Huh? My mind froze back to the Carnival cruise. However, I thought if I’m EVER going to try cruising again, I’d only consider DCL. Then, within an hour, we were researching adding WDW to DCL. Doesn’t everyone? Plus, neither of us is married or has kids , so what else do university administrators do with extra income?! Soon my fingers were flying over the keyboard trying to get this trip locked in before she changed her mind!

Kara chose the Land/Sea package for a couple of reasons: 1) We didn’t want to handle our luggage (read: shopping) anymore than necessary and 2) This was Kara’s first stay on property, so I thought it would be good to showcase those perks!

I’m the OCD, obsessive trip planner, and luckily I already knew all about the DIS Boards. I headed over to the Cruise Board and haven’t looked back. So a day-by-day detailed PLAN (know as “THE PLAN”) was formed.

So here’s your Cast:
Me – Dr. Gayle, 32 (then)
Kara – Dr. Kara, DBF (Disney Best Friend & stalker of Pluto), 31

Next up:Day 1 - We actually left & what happened to Disney “service”?
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009

Last edited by GuardMusic; 05-28-2007 at 04:30 PM. Reason: update
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:06 PM   #2
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Subscribing this is gona be good!
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~ 1998 Disneyland ~ 2002 Disneyland(Embassy Suites Anaheim South) ~ 2007 Disneyworld(Animal Kingdom Lodge) ~ 2009 Disneyland(Comfort Inn & Suites) ~
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:07 PM   #3
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
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Day 1 - We actually left & what happened to Disney “service”?

Day 1 - We actually left & what happened to Disney “service”?

JANUARY 19, 2006

On a frozen, winter morning, Kara and I loaded our overly packed bags and set off for the Indy (IND) airport. This was to be my 17th trip to WDW! After a quick gate change and turning our bags & selves inside-out for security we were off on our NWA direct flight to MCO. Usually when flying with Kara, something with our flight goes wrong. However, this time we escaped the “Kara Kurse”!

Arriving at MCO, I let Kara get us checked-in with the FREE Magical Express to transport us to Port Orleans – Riverside (POR).

(It’s fun watching my genius best friend who is not nearly at my level of Disney, trying to navigate the airport & WDW looking quite lost! ) It was wonderful to not have to find and haul our luggage all over the place! Soon our bus was off and we were entertained with a cute video!

Welcome! Welcome? To my dismay the staff of POR had greatly changed – for the worse – since my last stay there. (Or perhaps it was that I had become used to the Beach Club staff?!) We checked-in at the resort with a “new” cast member. Then we split up. Kara went to the cruise desk and I to the concierge (to add no-expiration to the tix). Soon I was in the midst of a Disney nightmare! The cruise desk couldn’t answer some of our questions and the concierge wanted to charge us $100 each for the ticket upgrade. (At that time it was only $65.) I had to have another cast member intervene and requested they show me documentation of the price. Having won my argument, we exited. I immediately gauged Kara’s mood and feared that interaction with the cast had (in 10 minutes) turned her off to ever staying on property again! (She said she’d reserve judgment until after the trip.) Next stop – room!

I made Kara try to find our room (8101), which was a laugh! Changed into shorts and headed for a snack. I taught Kara that a snack at WDW meant ordering the child’s meal! Thus, we inhaled our chicken nuggets & applesause!

Next we instituted THE PLAN. Today was a non-park day. As we had already been on a plane, bus, van, & airport monorail, it was time for…a boat! The only Disney boat Kara had ever been on was the Magic Kingdom Ferry; this was a new experience!

We were off to Downtown Disney to purchase pins and lanyards!

Having done some financial damage at World of Disney,

Disney Tails (pet store), the “Christmas” store, and Magical Memories (scrapbooking), we bussed to the Contemporary.

Although neither of us like lots of noise or crowds, Kara insisted a celebratory dinner at Chef Mickey’s. Yes, of course, we had reservations! Even on a Thursday night it was crazy! To celebrate her graduation, we both got Mickey cupcakes after our meals.

Being stuffed, the staff put the cupcakes into take-home beverage cups with lids! What a great idea!

After a long day of travel both to and around WDW, we headed back to POR.

Our cupcakes were safely stored in the fridge – yum, breakfast! We needed a good night’s sleep, as tomorrow we’d start bright & early at the Magic Kingdom (MK)!

Next up: Day 2 – Would we ever find Pluto? And, a new favorite meal!
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:42 PM   #4
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Why did you stop?
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:41 AM   #5
GuardMusic
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Day 2 – Would we ever find Pluto? And, a new favorite meal!

Day 2 – Would we ever find Pluto? And, a new favorite meal!

WDW Land Day 2 - JANUARY 20, 2006

Our wake-up call from Mickey was soon interrupted by Stitch! With leftover cupcakes (YUMMY!) and some packed Mt. Dew (vroom vroom!) we were off to the Magic Kingdom (MK)!

In no time we were out front singing Good Morning, Good Morning!

Now, I have a prescribed and regular path to get through the MK (aka, fight the little kids to get to Dumbo first!); however, this was Kara’s trip. Biting my tongue, Kara headed for the railroad station, something she’d never ridden! All Aboard!

We jumped off at Adventureland for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMR). This was only my second trip on this ride, as I’m not a roller coaster person. (Remember this, it will resurface again in this report.) With zero line, we hopped right on board. WEEEEEEEE!

I was laughing so hard! Soon it was time to leave, but as there was no line, the cast member we could stay on board for another ride. OKAY! And away we went!

Giggling all the way, she then led us to Pirates of the Caribbean. Upon entering the queue, Kara realized she’d lost her Key to the World (KTTW) card from her new lanyard. Ok, do NOT panic. Do not make a scene. Do not ruin this trip for her. IT’S ONLY OUR ROOM KEY, CHARGE CARD, PARK TICKET, & STATEROOM KEY! But do NOT panic! I assured her even if it was lost Disney could cancel than one & reissue her a new one….

We did an about face to BTMR and asked the cast member about lost & found. He directed us back up the exit of the ride to talk to the ride staff. After a couple of uncertain moments, a grinning cast member flashed her card holder & KTTW card. PHEW!

With time lost, Kara decided to forego Pirates. From the “ticket trauma”, we reboarded the choo-choo and headed for the back of Toontown.

It had not opened yet, so we took a short break. I soon realized this could be a great option, as we were closer to Mickey’s House and the Character Photos. Yet, I was still concerned, as it was approaching 10am and I hadn’t seen even an inch of Fantasyland!

Soon we saw Goofy headed for the front to open Toontown. We’d never been at the back, so we figured it was a non-event. We were soon VERY surprised.

Oh. My. Gosh. We couldn’t believe our luck! Mickey personally opened Toontown for us! This is one of my favorite photos!


After the Mickey shock, we scurried over the to the Character Tent for Kara to meet her beloved Pluto! Alas, Pluto was not there – oh no! I assured her we WOULD find him later. So we took advantage of the time & headed for the Judge’s Tent. Soon we were in a room alone with Mickey and smiles were all around.

Kara’s on the left, I’m on the right.

Next, we headed for one of my favorites – the Teacups! This is always an uncertain choice, as Kara gets vertigo and has Rx medicine for it. Climbing onboard Kara decided to “turn”, which is usually my job. An odd thing happened. Kara was having the time of her life, while I wondered what was happening.

TIP: We soon learned, you don’t get dizzy if you turn because you’re usually staring at the wheel instead of watching the world whirl around! Afterward, Kara was excited & ready to go, while I needed a moment to reacquaint myself with the still world!


After leaving Alice, we were FINALLY off to the core of Fantasyland! For one of the first times, I had to stand in line for Dumbo. Next was one of my favorites: Mickey’s PhilharMagic! (I did figure our how to video record PhilharMagic on a previous trip. Let me know if you’d like to know the secret!) Of course we also got to small world, Peter Pan, & Snow White. Soon we were headed for the MK exit (!)

Before leaving MK, we browsed in the Emporium. As luck would have it, I spotted Pluto on a photo shoot! I grabbed Kara & she went RUNNING! Luckily no children were harmed!


A couple of photos later we were headed for the Monorail. Per Kara’s request, we got to ride in the front of the Monorail! Por favor mantangense alejado de las puertas! Driver, we’re all clear!


A quick trip across the platform and we were on our way to EPCOT! January is a great time, as there are no crowds, so much so, there was no one else in our Monorail compartment! A great Disney “moment”!

Thus, we danced around & got some great shots!


How many times will I take the same photo of the ball? (I mean geodesic sphere!)

It wasn’t yet noon, but we were already on our 2nd park and headed for lunch, per Advanced Reservations. By now our cupcakes had worn off; yet we had a bit of time prior to the lunch reservations. So we headed for a dose of “Character”… at the Character Connections. Snap, snap & we’re headed for World Showcase.

Lunch was to be a new experience for us. Having studied virtually every menu on AllEars, we took others’ advice and scheduled Le Cellier in Canada. I’m the picky food-eater, but I feel safe at Disney. I can always dash off for a hot dog, if lunch doesn’t work. The dark cavern-like setting was a great escape from the sun & heat outside. We were most excited about the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup & ordered one cup to try between the two of us. That lasted for one “slurp”! Soon I was waving down our server to order my own soup. That was by far the BEST soup I’d ever had and the breadsticks for dipping were the perfect addition. Next, we split the BBQ Chicken sandwich and anticipated dessert. We ordered the Chef’s Sampler Dessert plate:

It included Raspberry Sorbet, Whiskey Cake, & Maple Crème Brulee. I don’t like raspberry, so Kara had the sorbet. Kara hates crème brulee, so I had that all to myself. We split the Whiskey Cake. In moments, we were left with this:

Le Cellier was definitely our new favorite restaurant!

After lunch we headed for Soarin’. Unfortunately, the line was horribly long and we had to endure the brattiest 11 year old & his parents in line right in front of us! We got a FastPass, but the time would have been too late for us.

We then headed to the special Visa Cardmember Photo opportunity. Kara was very happy to again see her Pluto!


Soon we were headed back to MK. With time to spare we rode Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA), as a nice break from running around. I thought I’d finally overcome my fear of Space Mountain, but alas no. We couldn’t ride anything else, for fear of not getting good seats for “Wishes”.

We headed for our favorite Wishes seats (Top Secret location) and grabbed a traditional Disney meal: Diet Coke & popcorn for Kara, chicken nuggets & fries for me!


I have a super video of Wishes, so we’ve given up trying to get great photos of it. You too, eh?


Quite tired, we headed back to POR. Our plan for the next day was all set… or so we thought.

Next up: WDW Land Day 3 – We’re going to TRY to do what?!
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
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Old 05-26-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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WDW Land Day 3 – 4 parks in 1 day?!!!

WDW Land Day 3 – 4 parks in 1 day?!!!

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2006

Our day began as planned with Extra Magic Hour (EMH) at MGM. Although it was only Day 3 of the trip, it was our last full day at WDW. It was the day prior to cruise departure and after having been SO seasick on my only cruise 10 years prior, my breakfast consisted of water and ½ a Bonine!

Having taken the traditional photo under the Sorcerer’s Hat,

Kara headed for Rock N Roller Coaster (RRC). This is definitely something I had and would never do. Right? Hmmm. I was in full vacation mode, heard it was a smooth ride, knew it had a full restraint system & already had some Bonine in my belly… so – why not?! (This could be some of the most irrational thinking of my life!)

At 8:06am & no line in sight, we got FastPasses for 8:25am! (Mine would be used by Kara.) Yet again with no line, I suddenly found myself face to face with The Limo. I cautiously crawled in, wrapped my backpack around my ankle about 10 times, pulled the restraint down as hard as I could and gripped the handles as if my life depended on it. In a moment I realized how true that statement was. As the lights were counting down to green all I thought was Oh dear Lord (with all true respect & seriousness) please do not let me die. I always said if I had to die, I’d prefer it be at WDW, but NOT NOW! Plus, I paid for that cruise! I need to live to experience it!

Hands in a death grip & eyes sealed tight, I soon felt myself being swung, tilted, & turned upside down. I can only imagine this was the human equivalent to a blender! Finally, we came to a sudden stop. I opened my eyes to the last sight I had previously seen, as I didn’t even sneak a peek during the ride! Kara hopped out and I couldn’t find my legs. With a bit of help I stumbled out & I rediscovered my lungs on the platform. I was grateful to still be alive and had sudden faith in my Bonine! Wow – I did it. “Again?” Kara asked. ARE YOU CRAZY?! I think I’ll call home while you go again!
With a couple of other quick stops including Star Tours, we were off to Animal Kingdom (AK) by 9:30am!


SIDE NOTE: I have no interest in AK. I’d been before, did the Safari, saw the Lion King show, endured Primeval Whirl, etc. Beside my cats, I’m not a lover of exotic animals & don’t really care for the traditional zoo. We originally had a breakfast scheduled here, but canceled it. This was Kara’s trip & she wanted AK, so off to AK we went.

Kara led the way strangely surpassing Camp Minnie Mickey & the photo ops. Having paused for photos in front of the Tree of Life, I found myself face-to-face with Primeval Whirl again!

Oh, the thought of ups & downs, & spinning… However, I’d had Bonine! I had a rush of adrenaline from RRC! This would be nothing! Yet again I found myself gripping, laughing, & screaming at myself my making another crazy decision!

For reasons unknown , Kara decided to skip the Safari and led me to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which neither of us had every experienced. After waiting for quite some time for the train & taking the long ride out, we discovered it was nothing more than a disguised petting zoo! Ugh.

However, while waiting for the train, a new idea overtook us.

BACKSTORY: Dec. 31, 1996 Kara was living in FL & I flew down for us to do New Year’s Eve at WDW (MK & EPCOT) with “hard tickets” for the Pleasure Island event. We were there from 8am til 2am the next day. The parks were so full they closed. After that marathon, we decided we would/could never again do such a crazy day….

In thinking about what else we had planned & needed to do on this last full day, Kara (!) developed the infamous “4 parks/1 day” PLAN. Yes, folks that’s right – all 4 parks (& more) in a single day! Also keep in mind, we define a “park day” as having to ride at least one ride in the park in order to certify it as a “park day”.


So, we’ve already done MGM with RRC & AK with Primeval Whirl, so we were halfway there. Simple, right? Let’s see…

After detailing & agreeing to the “4 parks/1 day” PLAN, we quickly headed for the exit. It was time for some lunch!

MORE DIGRESSION: My absolute favorite place to stay, shop, & eat is the Beach Club Villas (BCV), which is where I stay about 75% of the time. However, with Land/Sea we were locked into a moderate per our Cat. 9 selection. Anyway, I MUST eat at Beaches & Cream at least once (usually more) each trip.

So after waiting way too long, we caught our bus for Y&BC. Lunch was my usual – a Cheeseburger, Onion Rings, & a Frozen Sunshine! YUMMY! Rolling out, I headed to stock-up on my BC merchandise. Having just been to WDW in Dec. with my mother, I expected to only pick up and item or two. Well, apparently, the new year brought ALL NEW merchandise!

I slipped into a zombie-like state, having tunnel vision on all of the new items I HAD to have! “Kara, take my Frozen Sunshine & backpack! I cannot be weighed down with anything that will impede my progress!” I was a woman possessed! This was also a time of “gift with purchase” (With each $50 spent, you could get a WDW canvas bag for only $10. Bonus!) Before I knew it I’d piled t-shirts, sweatshirts, magnets, pins, picture frames, the bonus bags, & more on the counter. I’d set a new personal best: $300.33!!! Don’t I look happy?!

Wait. Should $300 fit in only those two bags?!

Exhilarated & me now SKIPPING into EPCOT, we headed in for more Visa Cardholder photos! Next we headed to the Kodak Photo store. We learned that for only $99 we could get ALL of our PhotoPass pictures on CD! As we had 58 photos taken, this was a bargain! As we had to wait on the latest Visa photos, the CD had to be made, & we needed to “certify” our 3rd park, we hopped on Spaceship Earth. (I’m so glad they are updating this attraction!)

With CD in hand, we decided we had time to hop back to POR for a dip in the pool!!! Can you even believe it?!

A short while later we were headed back to MK (4th park) to see Wishes again. (I don’t remember why Kara didn’t want to see Fantasmic.) Needing to “certify” our 4th park, we rode the TTA again. Another traditional vacation meal was had: I grabbed a banana & cinnamon roll from the Main Street Bakery!

The day FINALLY ended by packing up our bags in preparation for tomorrow’s cruise!

NEXT UP: Cruise Day 1 – Entering the unknown
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
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Old 05-26-2007, 06:49 PM   #7
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Cruise Day 1 – Embarkation – Boarding the unknown

Cruise Day 1 – Embarkation – Boarding the unknown

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2006

We excitedly prepped our bags for their 8am pickup. Then because we (I – remember that BC spending spree?) purchased so much, we needed to ship items home since our bags were already overflowing! Yet again we had a nightmare encounter with the POR concierge and prayed our box would make it home. Finally, we sat down for a great breakfast at Boatwrights. I had the fattest French Toast I’d ever seen!

NOTE: Remember how Kara was stalking Pluto? Well she purchased a stuffed Pluto at WDW and you will soon see how it took on a life of its own!

Pluto’s ready to roll!

It was finally time to go! Our day bags were packed and our tummies were now full of Bonine!


A cast member met us in the lobby, checked our documentation and we were told to wait for the bus. There were more land/sea guests than I expected! Around noon we filled onto the cruise line bus with a Disney video where I… Zzzz. (I was in marching band in high school & college, so I spent a lot of time on charter busses. For whatever reason the combination of the motion & diesel fuel put me right to sleep!)

Here’s my favorite poem sticker in the scrapbook:
I needed a vacation, away from it all
Away from the phones, so no one could call
I needed a little time, to let out a sigh
And enjoy a place, where I could buy
Postcards and gifts, souvenirs that won’t end
But better than that, a trip with a friend.


After months of anticipation, I was awoken to the sight of a WONDERful ship – The Disney Wonder!


Unbeknownst to me, Kara and I were both “wondering” the same things: Would we have fun? Would I be sick? What about being trapped with all those kids?!

A little after 1pm? we cleared security, made a beeline through the terminal, and passed through those magical ears.


Soon Kara heard that awesome announcement: “Welcome Aboard, Dr. Monroe!” (Wow, I wish I could upload our videos of the trip!) As always, we instituted a plan! Kara was to get a Palo Brunch reservation (check) and I was to schedule the Bridge Tour (check). Kara is also the “directionally impaired” one, so the million desk maps onboard were invaluable.

We then headed directly for our stateroom. Digression: Just two weeks prior to the trip, we discovered we’d been awarded a free upgrade. Instead of a Cat. 9/Deck 2, we were now Cat. 6/Deck 6. We were getting a verandah!!!

We were in 6152, the next to last stateroom aft port.

Someone on these boards told us we’d love it and we’d been next to the “Bowling Alley” verandah. Huh? As it turns out, the last stateroom is handicap accessible and has a HUGE verandah, which yes, looks just like a bowling alley:


I walked in the stateroom quite scared and having flashbacks of how bad my previous cruise experience had been. I was nervous about the space, but it was much larger than I expected. I’m sure the verandah helped! I was sure Disney had suckered me again – gave us a free upgrade so we’d only want one again in the future! In the distance we could see the NASA VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building)!

Also, like the nerd I am, the first thing I did was read the Guest Services book! Although the bathrooms were small, we loved having two!

After settling into our stateroom, we strolled the Atrium prior to heading to lunch. Like most of the other guests, we went to the Beach Blanket Buffet. Our first DCL food was not disappointing! It was just like WDW!

From the 4 parks/1 day craziness of yesterday and nervousness of today, we were already feeling quite tired. However, it was soon time for the Boat Drill. Thanks for the demo Pluto!


Time to Sail Away! We chose to be up on Deck 10 & out of the crowd down on 9. The first 5 minutes of the Sail Away Party were better than our entire Carnival Cruise! I was about to cry (seriously) because I knew this would be an unforgettably fantastic experience! The word “perfect” was already swirling in my head. Why did I ever doubt Disney?


Port Canaveral was a busy place! We were docked next to Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas, which was huge, and a Carnival ship. While we were partying, guests from other ships were staring at us – obviously intrigued and jealous! Soon the horn sounded and we set sail. We were VERY glad NOT to be on the Carnival ship, ESPECIALLY since it was billowing BLACK SMOKE:


Exhilarated, we headed back to the stateroom. A sense of calm washed over me as we left the mainland:


AND all cellular service! (It says “No Service”!)


Soon we were headed to the first character photo op, which happened to feature Captain Mickey and First Mate Pluto! Kara was SO excited! She didn’t even care that we were first in line – in front of a bunch of 5 year olds!


We decided to skip Hercules and hit the shops as soon as they opened! This was a GREAT idea, because they were completely empty! We immediately spent all of our on-board credit, plus some!

We were assigned our dining rotation of choice, PTTA (Parrot Cay, Triton’s, & Animator’s Palate). Tonight we were off to Parrot Cay where live steel drum music was provided, albeit loud! We also met our tablemates, a couple from Chicago with 2 boys, one of which we never saw. Our servers were happy & amazingly efficient! For dinner I had Roasted Chicken Breast and an ice cream sundae. I was playing it safe per our first night aboard the ship. During dinner we were crossing the Gulf Stream and the ship was really rocking! I took some more Bonine and was fine!

Exhausted, we took a nap & Kara got us up at 11pm to go to Wavebands for 80’s night. VERY tired, we were soon back in the stateroom and off to sleep!

Next up: Cruise Day 2 (Nassau) – Bonding with the Wonder
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Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
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8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
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Old 05-26-2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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Awesome
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Old 05-26-2007, 09:28 PM   #9
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Great report and pics thanks Your making my day with it
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:00 AM   #10
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More More More More! This is a great TR - can I ask questions or is that a no no?

I love your pixs and I want that STATEROOM! OMG !
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:34 AM   #11
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I LOVE your TR!!! Your pictures are awesome!! One question though: How much would it cost me to find out that secret location of yours to watch Wishes? I'm glad you had such a wonderful time! It's always great for a Disney "veteran" to take someone "new" and see the whole experience through their eyes!!
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:44 AM   #12
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great report so far... keep going!
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:06 AM   #13
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This report is so fun to read and is really fun. I feel like I'm there! Can't wait to read more!
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Boo! To You!
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:38 AM   #14
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Can't believe I'm at the end??? More, please
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:09 PM   #15
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Ok...you got me hooked!
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