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Old 02-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #1
cbmeadors
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February Trip including 4-day Wonder 2/8 - 2/12

This is my first trip report. I will start this with hopes of finishing within a few days.

Pre-trip background:

We are a family of four from the Cincinnati area. We cruised once before, in January 2006.

My wife is a huge Disney fan and had to talk me into going to Disney World my first time in 2002. Of course after the trip I was hooked. With the cruise in 2006, again my wife had to talk me into it before I would go. Now we are a Disney family having been to Disney World many times (annual passholders at one point), Disneyland, and two Disney cruises.

We have always driven on our family trips with the one exception being our trip to Disneyland in California when I was lucky enough to book our airfare on the airline that is no longer Skybus. We booked roundtrip from Columbus to San Diego for $358 total. That was total for all four of us, not for each.

We have found that leaving at night with me driving while everyone sleeps works best. We left our house about 6pm on Friday the 6th, we drove to Lexington, KY to drop off our dog and have dinner with my in-laws. After dinner and goodbyes we were on the road about 8:15 pm.

Day One:

Having made minimal stops, we arrived in Port Canaveral just before 8:30 am. We went to the Radisson where we had a reservation for the Kennedy Space Center package. We were only looking to pick up our tickets to KSC and a locker room to change but were pleasantly surprised when the desk clerk informed me that our room was ready and we could check in already. Everyone showered and changed and I was able to sneak in a quick nap before we were off to KSC.





We were very excited to visit KSC since a shuttle was on the launch pad and was originally scheduled to launch 2/12 at 7:30am when we would be on the Wonder in port. We learned a few days before our trip that the shuttle launch had been postponed but we were still looking forward to KSC.

First we did the shuttle launch experience and went inside the replica shuttle. After we ate lunch at the Cafe. Lunch was expensive and not very good. I would recommend eating before or after visiting KSC.

After lunch we took the NASA up-close tour. First we went to the NASA causeway over the Banana River where when we looked south we could see the Disney Magic. I hope to one day watch a launch from here.



And when we looked north we could see the shuttle on the launch pad.



Afterward we went to a viewing area between launch pads 39A and 39B. On 39B they were constructing lightning towers to protect the rockets they are going to be testing for the new Constellation program which will follow the shuttle program which only has 9 more launches.

On 39A the shuttle was sitting on the pad and were able to take some great pictures.





After this we stopped at the Vehicle Assembly Building and the shuttle landing strip before being dropped off at the Saturn V Center.



I would highly recommend this tour, especially if there is a shuttle/rocket on one of the launch pads. In addition to the NASA sights we were able to see a lot of wildlife including a pair of bald eagles nesting.



After the tour we returned to the visitor center and hoped to see the IMAX movies and other site but most of the shows were over for the day. The good news was that our tickets were good for two days so we could go back after the cruise. We looked around the space shop and took a few pictures with an astronaut before leaving.







We then went to Fishlips for dinner. We sat on the patio and watched the Carnival Glory and the Disney Magic leave while we ate.







After dinner we went back to the Radisson and swam for awhile before turning in for the night.

Last edited by cbmeadors; 02-16-2009 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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Great report so far I can't wait to read more. Your family is sooo cute.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Can't to read more, love all of the pics!!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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Great so far and looking forward to the rest!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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subscribing!
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Luvin' your trip report! Keep up the good work!
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:02 AM   #7
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We were on this cruise as well........
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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Great job so far Brett. Laurie and I loved meeting you and Deavon and truly enjoyed your company!
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Day Two:

After seeing a very large crowd waiting for the Radisson shuttle the day before I decided to take my wife and kids along with most of the luggage over to the cruise terminal by car and then ride the shuttle to the cruise terminal alone.

After waking up and getting ready we went to the parking lot to make sure that we had everything packed and the bags tagged for the trip and then headed across the street for some McD's breakfast. The kids played in the indoor playground for a short time and then we headed to the cruise terminal about 9:30. After dropping off the wife and kids I headed back and was pleasantly surprised to not see as large a crowd waiting for the shuttle as the day before.

On the shuttle I met a nice couple from South Carolina that we would continue to bump into many time throughout the cruise. Dropping off my wife was a great choice. While waiting to enter the terminal she was joined by a fellow DIS member (ljm23) that we had talked with for a short time the night before by the pool. She was the first person to check in and we were in boarding group 2. The family was checked in had their photos taken before I was back with the shuttle. After I had my photo taken we were waiting around talking to fellow cruisers not realizing at the time that one of them was another DIS member (jedijill).

While my wife and kids were checking in and getting a pager for the kids club when the couple from South Carolina (Robbie and Amanda) sat down next to me and we started talking some more. I found out they had originally booked a cat 12 and were bumped to a cat 9. They asked if there were any upgrades available and were able to upgrade to a room with a verandah for just over $200. At this point I realized I forgot to tell my wife to ask about an upgrade during check-in. I ran to the desk to see if there were any upgrades left and of course there were not.

I returned without any good news and my wife, Robbie, Amanda and I continued to talk until it was time to board. They were in boarding group 4 so we parted ways not knowing we would see them again so many times.

In line for boarding we met up with Laura (ljm22) and Mike (mem22) again. After pictures and boarding we met Jill (jedijill) and all decided to have lunch together in Parrot Cay. We had a great lunch, the conversation and the food was wonderful. Jill recommend the strawberry soup which is fantastic. I cannot believe that the only picture I took was my daughter with Minnie. It would have been great to have a picture with the whole group.



After lunch we went our separate ways to explore the ship. Since it was almost 1:00 at this point my family headed to Wavebands to change Palo reservations. The only time available for Palo online was boarding day at 6:00. We wanted to move to another day so we wouldn't miss the sail away party and we wanted to try and add brunch. After successfully getting both things we wanted at Palo, and meeting another DIS member (2gr8brits) in line, we headed to our room to change.

We were in cabin 5518, it is a cat 8 room next to one of the secret porthole rooms. We loved this location and will try and stay here again on future cruises. It is close the the elevators but always seemed quiet as it is down a dead end hallway. We met our stateroom host Dalton who was wonderful the entire trip. We found our Castaway club gift a note that we had a $100 on board credit which was a nice surprise. We are still not sure what that was from, our thought was our Disney Visa but thought that credit would have only been $50.



The only complaint that we had about the room was that the window was dirty. Ironically, when we returned to port final day I awoke to someone cleaned the window. I wish I would have taken before and after photos but here is a before with our view of the terminal.



After changing into bathing suits we headed upstairs for a swim, an adult beverage, and our DIS board meet by the Goofy pool.







In addition to others already mentioned we met Mike and Annette (anetnmike), Tracy (elmo2200), Ken and Donna (not sure DIS name). I know my wife talked to other but I never got their names.

After the meet we went back to our room to get life jackets and go to the ever fun safety drill. Then a rush back to our room to drop off jackets, pick up the camera and head up for the sail away party.



After the sail away party all of our luggage had finally arrived and we let the kids go to the clubs while we finished unpacking and relaxed for awhile until dinner. After getting ready for we hung out in the promenade lounge for a bit before dinner where my daughter was happy to dance.



Dinner the first night was in Parrot Cay. We met our dinning companions, a nice family from Canada who had been at WDW for a few days prior to the cruise. We also met our wait staff, Server Salomie, Assistant Server Tita and head server Tektas. Tita seemed to be new and a little overwhelmed at times. But Salomie was wonderful and Tektas was a pleasure to talk to.

After ordering my son decided he was too tired to stay up and wanted to go to bed. My wife took him back to the room. When the appetizers arrived Salomie asked about my wife and son and I explained, adding I would gladly eat DW's appetizer but not to bother bringing the main course. When Salomie arrive with the main course she informed me that she had sent my wife and son their meals to the room. The food was was good but I really enjoyed was the smores cake dessert.

After dinner I dropped my daughter off at the Lab and then went back to the room to check on my wife and son. My wife informed me that Salomie herself had walked their meals up to the room. My wife was feeling a little sea sick so I left her to go to sleep and headed Wavebands to watch match your mate where I saw Robbie and Amanda again. I watched match your mate which was hilarious then picked up my daughter and was off to bed before too late since we had a early date with a dolphin in the morning.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:47 PM   #10
cbmeadors
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mem22 View Post
Great job so far Brett. Laurie and I loved meeting you and Deavon and truly enjoyed your company!
Thank Mike, Deaven and I enjoyed meeting you and Laurie as well. I wish I had gotten a picture of us all at lunch.

I also wish we had gotten to talk some more and buy you a beer. It seemed every time I saw you after the Goofy pool we were in a hurry to get somewhere.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:05 AM   #11
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Can't wait to read/see more! Subscribing....
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:06 AM   #12
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Hey Brett!
Great TR so far! We had fun hanging out with you guys too! Can't wait to hear the rest. Your pictures are excellent!
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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Gret TR so far. We want to hear more!
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:40 AM   #14
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Great TR. Keep writing. Just wondering what that drink was. The fruity one with the orange and cherry. Looks yummy.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:03 PM   #15
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Fellow Diser

Hi Brett and Deavon. I was on the cruise with you. I couldn't meet everyone by the goofy pool because we had a 2 year old with us and we used the mickey pool. When they closed that due to cleaning, we had to go get ready for dinner. We had the early seating.

We did ride the Radisson bus back with you when the cruise was done. We were the very loud party with all the kids in the back of the bus. I hope we didn't bother you too much. We were just trying to have a good time because we were so sad it was over. I would have said hello, but I didn't recognize you and your wife because she and your daughter had haircuts since your last POTD you posted. They are really cool cuts and are very flattering. I tried to get in style cut your wife had but my hair is too curly and it looked terrible.

Anyway, I love the trip report. It is great to hear all the little things Disney does for you (like bringing the food back to the room). Our trip was pretty flawless, so not everyone gets to experience that. One thing I loved about our server was that he always cut the kids food for us. What a treat that was!

Can't wait to hear more! Love to see how everyone's experiences are similar and/or different. Love the pics too!
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