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Old 05-09-2007, 08:42 PM   #1
DeloreanGirl
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Talking “Worth Every Penny” – A Young Couple’s take on the Eastern Magic!

Pre-Planing Stage!

Hi everybody!

After 10 looooong months of officially being addicted to this very website, I am excited to write my very first Trip Report! I’ve decided to write this report the same way I am remembering it in my head. I’ve also decided to add a little tidbit here and there called the “IMHO” tidbit. This, of course, means “in my humble opinion”. This tidbit will explain how I felt about a particular thing whether it was positive or negative. Oh, and I have Eastern Navigators if anyone needs them. Just send me a P.M.

On with the show!

A very small cast:
Me (Emily) = 25 years old
DH (Mike) = 33 years old

Yep, that’s it. Sans children. Mike and I are that weird couple that everyone has in their lifetime that answers the “when are you guys having kids?” question with the face. Yep, that’s us. It’s not that we don’t LIKE children. We just prefer to put that idea on the backburner forever. Okay, maybe not forever. I have a small clan that has put down money that I will change my mind “when I’m 30”. But enough of that! Let’s turn the pages back to the days when this trip was budding (because I know y’all want to know…)

Okay, everyone in the room, raise your hands if you became aware or interested in Disney Cruise Line because of the Travel Channel shows that aired in the past?
…….See? I knew it wasn’t just us!
Just as our 2006 cruise to Alaska was formed, we found ourselves watching the Disney Cruise Line episode on the Travel Channel endlessly (that channel sure does it's job!). I don’t quite know how it happened, but somehow we took the dream seriously and thought that maybe "in a few years” we would actually make it happen. When our 1-year anniversary rolled around, we did the Alaska cruise. Honestly, I was already eyeing the DCL information before we even sailed north, but I figured that we were lucky enough to see such a beautiful state that I should just shut my trap. While gathering my luggage tags and boarding passes from my travel agent [IMHO: Travel Agents are great, and yes I would use one if you’re new to cruising], I quickly blurted out while walking to my car, “So…. you do Disney Cruises too right?” She said yes, and that was the beginning of it all. Literally, the month after we got back from Alaska I started poking around the internet trying to learn about the Disney Cruise Line. I fumbled through Amazon.com and stumbled across some largely popular, incredibly high rated leather book called the “PassPorter”.

Oh yes, you know where I’m going with this one. Wait for it……wait for it!

Anyway, I decided to order it to see what the hubbub was about. On a hot, miserable, California summer Saturday, we had new carpeting installed in our house (and you know how fun sitting out in your backyard for 7 hours is….) I went to the mailbox and there it was! The Amazon.com box with the much-raved-about PassPorter guide inside! I spent the rest of the day thumbing through the endless pages of infinite Disney Cruise Line knowledge. I couldn’t fathom that there were people out there just like me who were obsessive-compulsive when it came to vacation planning. Honest folks, you know you are! But isn’t it nice to know that there are hundreds out there just like you?!

So to make my already-long story short, the PassPorter did its job. It successfully turned me into a zombie over the next few months as I studied every word, diagram, floorplan and menu. In the website section, it listed the DISboards, and from there, it was all downhill. In June of 2006 I logged onto the DIS to find people just like myself who were asking the same redundant silly questions that I was about to ask. I became addicted. Badly! I first read VerandahMan's report, then FatherForce, then Zweihund (my personal fav) as well as SleepyDog and Ashman. These great folks showed me what a great and crazy time you can have on a boat!

Ten months have gone by since then and I’ve been completely in awe of how informative these boards are. The trip reports are always so fun and it’s a blast to look at other people’s photos (c’mon, admit it.) That’s why I promise you all that I am going to include a bunch of photos in this report, because I know how badly I wanted to see them in others!


So without further ado, here is our FABULOUS Disney Cruise adventure on the Eastern Caribbean through the eyes of a young couple….
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*My Trip Report! "Worth Every Penny - A young couple's take on the Eastern Magic!"
*Photos of our Disney Cruise vacation!
~Worked at Universal but has a passion for Disney!~
Disney Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean 4/28/07
Royal Caribbean - Alaska 5/19/06
Star Princess - Mexican Riviera 1/18/03




Last edited by DeloreanGirl; 05-09-2007 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:51 PM   #2
mormadsmom
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oooohhh! This is going to be good!

I remember seeing quite a few couples without children. I know it's got to be a little irritating for someone to always ask the "when are you having kids thing". Kind of like our "so when are you having a boy" after having 2 girls thing. 2 is enough. WE ARE DONE!

Can't wait for the photos! I know I will say, oh I've seen them before!
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
grumpymakesmehappy
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Yep, DH and I are just like ya'll. We dated all thru high school and college and were finally married 2 years ago in June and nope we're not planning on kids anytime soon. So I know where you're coming from... can't wait to read your report!!!!
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:06 PM   #4
DeloreanGirl
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2,520 Miles Between Reality and Tranquility!

CHAPTER 2: More pre-planning. Will this vacation ever start?

When we last left off, I was a zombie reading through my PassPorter. As the months went by, I became more antsy and demanded that there must be more DCL information out there (as if the PassPorter wasn’t enough? Sheesh!). I bought the Birnbaum’s Guide to DCL, both 2006 and 2007 versions (because you know a whopping 5-page difference means a lot to a DIS addict!) I also recorded the Travel Channel’s 3-year old DCL show and watched it like a kid glued to an Elmo-a-thon. The free DCL DVD also helped, in small amounts, and I also later recorded the updated 2007 Travel Channel DCL show.

The date had to be in April, because May was the beginning of the Disney Channel Games which Mike would be pulling all-nighters with (he works for the Disney Channel, which helped in my cruise-selling speech). I knew that we did not want the Western Caribbean because we had previously sailed the Mexican Riviera on Princess. We had been to Nassau for our honeymoon and really liked that type of feel, so we opted for the Eastern Caribbean. We decided on April 28th and my eyes lit up with glee as the paperwork started coming in with our names in print! It was finally happening! Disney does a great job of sending you your information in those cute little brown vintage booklets. Very nice, I must say.

I lurked quite a bit on the DIS through winter and into spring, but literally the questions that I would have asked…had been asked already! I felt more prepared than ever and sure that this would be the best cruise yet. I know how hard it is to build your ticker and say to yourself, “Oh my gosh, it is sooooo far awaaaaaay….” I know how you feel. I almost felt bad that I tried to rush through the holidays just so the year 2007 would finally be here. But rest assured ye’ who shall sail soon, your time will come! And as many DIS’ers have said – it is true, planning really is half the fun!

I should also add that I decorated both of my corkboards at work with various color photos of the ship. I even downloaded the DCL screensaver and had it on for a good 7 months or so. I made everyone in the office aware that I was sailing with Mickey! It helped that my boss went on the 4-night Wonder in 2004 and came back with beyond-fantastic reviews. Also residing on my desk was my vacation countdown clock. I remember when it said “346 days”. Now it was in the teens! As the days went by, everyone wished me well. When the two-week mark hit, I started to get cold feet. I told Mike, “Here I am, planning this giant vacation for the past half-year….and now I actually have to GO on it…”. Luckily, the cold feet subsided. I should also add that I hate flying. So, as my subject line says, there was 2,520 miles between smoggy Van Nuys, California and beautiful Orlando, Florida.

Before I knew it, the days ticked away and our vacation was about to really happen. I left work at 4pm to drop our dog off at the boarding facility and drove home in a blur. Luckily, we had packed the night before [I’ll get to my packing tips later] and waited for Mike to get home so that we could drive off into the sunset. Or….east, which would be away from the sunset. Hmph. We drove to my parents house that night to spend the night since they live next to the airport that we were departing from. [IMHO: We reeeeeally try to avoid LAX. It’s a nightmare and very stressful to depart from, especially for me since I hate the whole flying procedure. So we flew out of Ontario, CA which has a beautiful, bright, empty airport which is a dream to fly out of.]

Part II: Not too excited to sleep?

As we unloaded our stuff at my parents and ate a meal that only Mom can make, it was time to head off to bed. I was wondering if I would be “too excited to sleep”! But, sadly, I was excited…..yet also very sleepy. So I konked out pretty hard that night in my old bedroom.

The next day was the big journey! We ate breakfast and drove to the airport. LAX’s parking is $32 a day, and Ontario’s was only $6. Boy do I love ONT. Anyhoo, I was strangely calm and not nervous which was great. Since I feared taking a direct flight from CA to FL and being miserably bored for 5 hours on a plane, I decided to literally cut the flight in half by adding a stop in Dallas/Fort Worth when I booked the tickets. We flew on American for a few reasons. One, because it was the only flight that stopped in DFW, and second, because I buy a toy airplane model from every airline that I successfully make a flight on – and I didn’t have an American Airlines plane to add to my fleet! [IMHO: I used a really cool website to get amazing airfare, which I'd like to write about, but the DIS guidlines say that there is no advertising. So I'll just say that it starts with a "K", and resembles a plastic pointy flotation device down the rapids.]

Our plane was an S80 which is smaller than the large jets that usually fly longer distances. What I loved about American is that you could pick your seats, and the way it was layed out was two seats on one side and three on the other. This meant that Mike and I could sit together without being squished next to a stranger. Plus, the headrests bent inward so that I didn’t have to bring my funny-looking neck pillow. We had a layover at DFW that was 3 hours which was perfect. I could eat and rest and buy a magnet for my magnet collection (similar to the planes, but with states, ya know?). I ate at a place called Au Bon Pan which was “alright” but made me queasy later. I ended up calling it “Au Bon Pain”. The second leg of the trip was great because all I wanted to do was to get to Orlando! I had never been to Florida before. Everyone says it’s “muggy”. We touched down at 11pm and I was excited as ever to be in a new state. We headed downstairs to get our baggage and take the shuttle to our hotel. As we walked out into the night air – I learned at that very moment why people said Florida was muggy. HOLY COW was it ever! It was everywhere! My face, arms, hands, places that it couldn’t touch! How is this possible? How do you all live in it?! Aaaaahh!

Anyhoo…..

We waited for quite some time for our shuttle. You see, we booked a room at the Hilton Gardens Inn, a mile from the airport. [IMHO: This hotel was fantastic. I found it online by doing a search on hotels 1 mile from MCO that were under $100. It was beautiful, clean, had very large rooms and a great hot buffet breakfast. We were amazed! I would highly recommend this hotel!]

Apparently the shuttle didn’t just “hang out” at MCO at midnight (and I guess I don’t blame them), so I ended up calling them on my cell and they were there within 15 minutes. As I stated above, the hotel was beautiful and I was in shock that it was only about $90 or so. It was located away from the airport in a nice little complex of other nice hotels which included tennis courts, grassy yards and our personal favorite, a Denny’s, at the end of the road. We ditched our bags, hit the restroom, and decided that the only way to feed our starving selves was to high tail it down the road to the Denny’s.

See, I’m from California, and out here you don’t just take a leisurely stroll at midnight in a strange city on a dark street. But hey! We were on vacation! And nobody gets mugged in Mickey’s city! It was a peaceful and quiet walk about a quarter mile down the road. Our body clocks were only at 8:30pm, so dinner was on our minds. We both had club sandwiches, and the waitress was the nicest ever! We took showers later on and went to sleep. And as much as I hate to say it again - I was excited, don’t get me wrong, but not too excited to sleep. We were out cold!

Next up: The day of our cruise. No really, I mean it!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*My Trip Report! "Worth Every Penny - A young couple's take on the Eastern Magic!"
*Photos of our Disney Cruise vacation!
~Worked at Universal but has a passion for Disney!~
Disney Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean 4/28/07
Royal Caribbean - Alaska 5/19/06
Star Princess - Mexican Riviera 1/18/03



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Old 05-09-2007, 10:37 PM   #5
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What a great report keep it comming, your doing a great job
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:05 PM   #6
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can't wait to read more! We will fly out of LAX since none of the other airports offer direct flight and that's what we want! I dread it, but it's a redeye flight, so hopefully the airport won't be TOO bad!
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:55 PM   #7
DeloreanGirl
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Originally Posted by dreamcometrue View Post
can't wait to read more! We will fly out of LAX since none of the other airports offer direct flight and that's what we want! I dread it, but it's a redeye flight, so hopefully the airport won't be TOO bad!
Hi Dreamcometrue,

If I could do it over again, I would book a redeye nonstop! It seems like the most comfortable way to get there ASAP! Good choice
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*My Trip Report! "Worth Every Penny - A young couple's take on the Eastern Magic!"
*Photos of our Disney Cruise vacation!
~Worked at Universal but has a passion for Disney!~
Disney Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean 4/28/07
Royal Caribbean - Alaska 5/19/06
Star Princess - Mexican Riviera 1/18/03



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Old 05-10-2007, 07:07 AM   #8
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Now, how did you make the direct link to your TR? I want to do that.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:35 AM   #9
DeloreanGirl
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Originally Posted by mormadsmom View Post
Now, how did you make the direct link to your TR? I want to do that.
I highlighted and copied the http address at the top of my browser screen.
It will ususally look like this: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=18595337
In the User CP section of the DIS boards where you do your signature, I wrote "my trip report....." then highlighted the "trip report" part of the sentence and clicked on the link icon (the world with the chain logo) and pasted my URL address there. It's a neat feature!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*My Trip Report! "Worth Every Penny - A young couple's take on the Eastern Magic!"
*Photos of our Disney Cruise vacation!
~Worked at Universal but has a passion for Disney!~
Disney Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean 4/28/07
Royal Caribbean - Alaska 5/19/06
Star Princess - Mexican Riviera 1/18/03



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Old 05-10-2007, 10:25 AM   #10
mormadsmom
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My Trip Reporthttp://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1444963

Let's see if it works!
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:02 PM   #11
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What a great start. I can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:08 PM   #12
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Great trip report! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Looking forward to your next installment.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:41 PM   #13
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can't wait for more!

Your trip report is great. I am really looking forward to hearing more.
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Yep, that’s it. Sans children. Mike and I are that weird couple that everyone has in their lifetime that answers the “when are you guys having kids?” question with the face. Yep, that’s us. It’s not that we don’t LIKE children. We just prefer to put that idea on the backburner forever. Okay, maybe not forever. I have a small clan that has put down money that I will change my mind “when I’m 30”. But enough of that! Let’s turn the pages back to the days when this trip was budding (because I know y’all want to know…)
I'm you only 9 years older The question only gets worse the longer you are married. I have been married for almost 13 years and love Disney (will be in Disneyland in 2 weeks). When I tell people I'm going on a Disney cruise, they think I am crazy. Personally, I think kids would just spoil it for us, we are so used to doing whatever we want, whenever we want...I don't know what I will do if we ever have kids.

Great start, can't wait to read more.
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:57 PM   #15
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I love your trip report so far
but I can't wait for your impressions of the MAGIC!!!

Don't make us wait too long.....please....
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