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Old 01-05-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
TandT
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Transplant girl and hubby visit WDW Christmastime AND we go cruisin in the BAHAMAS

Introduction
We’re BAAAACCCCCCKKKKK! Just when you thought it was safe to return to the “disboards”, we decided it was time to return to our “happy” place….Wonderful Walt Disney World!!!

Who are we? TandT, aka “Poor Little Transplant Girl”. I am 32 and just celebrated my 8th anniversary of the gift of life through a heart transplant. T, 44, my husband and an accountant. We live in Central Ohio (OH-IO) and took our first trip to WDW in September, 2007 which is documented here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1592971


Our passport photos as follows…..and yes…we took them ourselves…and NO..they are NOT mugshots.... (your not allowed to smile in a passport photo)

Me... (I look horrible )


Tim...




After months and months of planning, the itinerary includes:

December 6 : Arrive at WDW for a 1 night stay at Boardwalk Villas

December 7-11: 4 night cruise on the Disney Wonder

December 11-18 : Return to WDW for a 7 night stay at our home resort, Saratoga Springs.

We rented a car through Advantage and opted for the Disney Dining Plan when staying at Saratoga Springs.

Our trip report will be a LONG ONE…so bear with us. We promise to have lots of pictures (including plenty of food porn) and lots of insights and tips.

Stay tuned…

PS...next time you see us, we will have our happy faces on
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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Day 0 Last minute packing and final prep before we leave….


T got home from work around 6 and after our final workout at the gym we took Bailey to the pet sitter. Couldn’t believe we were going to leave him for two weeks. This the longest period of time that we are going to be without him!! However, we did know that he’d be well taken care of.



We opted to have dinner at Cracker Barrel. Actually, we both had
breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I think we both chose breakfast since we knew we were going to be getting up REALLY EARLY in the morning. Plus, we both were too excited to really care about what we ate for dinner.
T finished some last minute paperwork for work and then finished packing and finally went to bed about 1 a.m. UGH….it’s going to be a coyote morning but hey, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!

Gosh, it seemed like a minute later our alarm went off!!! Time to shower, get dressed, and head to the airport!!!

This is what the alarm looked like when it went off.......





UP NEXT.......

We arrive at the THE BOARDWALK INN for 1 night before our Disney Cruise....but WAIT A MINUTE....WHY is our bed soooo LOW???? What's up with that??

STAY TUNED for more......we are JUST getting started!!
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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Day 1 Arrival in WDW and why is our bed so low?

3:00 a.m.—The blackberry alarm went off and we thought it was a joke. Who gets two hours of sleep in a night? I guess we do, when we’re going on vacation for almost two weeks!



We quickly get ready, get the car loaded, and are off for the airport by 4:15. We park the car and arrive at the airport with no delays. Well, one minor issue. We have four pieces of checked baggage. That will be $50 please, which credit card would you like to use? I guess I wasn’t really that surprised that there would be a charge for the 2nd checked bag per person, but it just doesn’t seem right to me. I’m the type of person who would prefer to check everything possible so I don’t have to carry it through the airport. Oh well…

Flight leaves right on time at 6:05 a.m. and we’re headed to Houston. Wait a minute…did you say Houston? Well, yes…you see, in order to take advantage of some frequent flier miles, T decided to book our tickets where we fly from Columbus to Houston, and then from Houston to Orlando. What??? What was he thinking? (remember, he’s an accountant) We’re leaving at 6 in the morning, and about to spend 6 hours in an airplane and airports just so he can use his frequent flier miles??? This is gonna cost him. BIG TIME!

We FINALLY arrive at MCO, grab our bags (2 suitcases, 2 garment bags, one computer bag, a carry-on tote and a purse) and head for the rental car shuttle. So far, so good. We arrive at the Advantage offsite lot with no issues…yet. I proceed to the rental counter while T helps take the bags off the bus.
And then…problems with the rental car…5 cars reserved? They want us to pay a penalty for holding too many cars? Excuse me? No thank you, we’ll simply take your bus back to the airport and rent from Enterprise. She soon changed her tune but it left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Moral of this story is to rent from a company that has a desk at the airport. They seem more reputable. During our planning process, we would watch the various websites and would make a new reservation when we encountered a lower price. The week before our trip, I called Advantage to confirm our reservation, and they confirmed that we had 1 car reserved. Needless to say, we were a bit surprised when the clerk told us that there would be a penalty since we reserved 5 cars. What a way to start our vacation. It got resolved quickly enough, and she even was kind enough to give us a free “upgrade” since this was our honeymoon. Let’s see, an intermediate car and we ended up with a Hyundai Sonata…that’s an upgrade??? While we weren’t pleased with the customer service of Advantage, we definitely couldn’t complain about the price…$235 total for 12 days including all taxes and fees, but with no additional insurance coverage. Soon enough, we were pulling out of the lot and onto I-4.

Boardwalk Villas was nice, but it didn’t seem to “do it” for us. Can’t put my finger on it, but it was just “OK” for us. Perhaps it was because we were only there for one night, but it never seemed to be a “home away from home”. Front desk clerk seemed cold and impersonal. The room was in a great location, with a wonderful view of the boardwalk, but the room was handicapped accessible. It seems like it may have been laid out a bit differently as a result of this. The bed seemed to be practically on the floor. The bathroom seemed to take up a big portion of the room, with a big “roll in” shower. I also forgot to mention that the room location was very noisy, being right on the Boardwalk. But we did request that location b/c we wanted to experience it so I guess we can't complain too much since it was our own fault..lol..


The weather was cool and rainy. Having gotten so little sleep the night before, we opted for a nap. We slept for about 3 hours, and then woke up and went to get some dinner. We learned a very valuable lesson…NEVER go to WDW without a reservation for dinner. We thought since we were just there for a night, we could sneak in someplace…WRONG. We ended up waiting about 75 minutes for a table at Big River Grill and Brewery. Dinner was good. We started with a spinach and queso dip. T had a blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich and I had chicken marinara. We walked around the boardwalk before stopping at the Boardwalk Bakery for some chocolate éclairs to take back to the room for dessert….YUMMY!!! We ended up crashing around 11 as we knew that the moment of truth was upon us...... Tomorrow is CRUISE DAY!

Here is The Boardwalk...



These were taken from our balcony







The Boardwalk at night...






The lovely Boardwalk Inn Christmas Tree


ADORABLE Gingerbread House inside the Lobby of The Boardwalk Inn




A "model" of a mini coaster in the lobby


NOW...here is some food porn for ya....

Dinner at the Big River Grille and Brewing Works

Appetizer: Jalepeno Spinach Cheese Dip w/ tortilla chips

This dip was soooooooooo yummy!!



Here is my entree.. Chicken Marinara

I have to say for just plain O'le Chicken Marinara, it was PRETTY tasty!!!!




Hubby's Entree... Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich

He LOVED it!!!!



And now let's get some DESSERT!!!!



MMMMM.....ECLAIRS!!!



MMMMM..ECLAIRS and HOT CHOCOLATE!!!



Those Eclairs were just simply DIVINE!!!

Stay Tuned Everyone!! We arrive at Port Canaveral and just the sight of the DISNEY WONDER takes our breath away!!!!
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Day 1 Embarkation and our first view of something WONDERful……..
We wake up around 8 or so, and were anxious to get on the road to Port Canaveral. We left the Boardwalk around 9:30 and the drive to the port took about an hour and was a very easy drive but lots of tolls on 528 (at least 3 toll booths, I think). Fork out the change honey!!


We crossed the bridge going over the Indian River and “OMG, there She is”. The ship looked beautiful from the road, and we got more and more excited as we continued to approach. I WAS SOOO GIDDY!! I have never seen a cruise ship up close like that!!! I know…I’m sheltered.
The entire embarkation process was very easy. Port Canaveral is well laid out and very organized…and very well decorated for Xmas!! Before entering the dock area, they check your documents and identification and then you drop off your luggage, before heading across the street to park—4 night cruise is $60.

Check in was very smooth. We arrived about 10:30 and the entire process took about 15 minutes. We used Disney’s “on line” check in before we left home so they had everything already in system. They checked our passports, scanned a credit card, and we were done. We received boarding pass group number 6. We thought we were there early so wasn’t sure why we got 6…when did groups 1-5 arrive?

Boarding began about 11:45. THE SHIP IS BEAUTIFUL!!! Due to some damage that occurred to the main gangway the week before during a strong storm, we boarded using an alternate gangway rather than entering through the main lobby. Some people complained about this, but since this was our first cruise, we didn’t even seem to notice.


Upon boarding, you are directed to one of two places for a lunch buffet; either Parrot Cay or Beach Blanket Buffet. Parrot Cay was full so they directed us to BBB. No biggie!! We overheard one guy throwing a FIT because he wanted to eat at Parrot Cay!! Dude, the food is the same at both places. The food was good, and the service was great! However, we were too excited to really enjoy the meal!!


After lunch, we wandered around the ship until 1:30, when our room was ready. When we finally got to the room we immediately fell in love with it. This was our first cruise, and while the room was a bit small, it was laid out very well.

Upon entering, you have two “split bathrooms” on the left with a big closet on the right. The split bathroom is pretty cool with one room housing a sink and commode and the other housing a sink and tub/shower. After the bathrooms and closet, you enter the bedroom part which is a full bed with two nightstands. Beyond that is the sitting area with a loveseat, table, storage unit with a 9” tv, a mini fridge and a dressing table with big mirror, bright lights and a stool(very nice for the ladies!).
The end of the room is a wall of windows with a sliding glass door leading out to a good-sized verandah with a table and two chairs. The verandah was sooo worth it!! We got the most beautiful views!! All in all, we were very impressed.

Two or our bags were in the hallway waiting for us, and the other two arrived within 15 minutes. We spent some time unpacking and getting organized in our room.

TIP: You can easily slide a few luggage bags underneath the bed for extra storage.

At 4:00 pm there was a mandatory lifeboat drill “muster drill” which was quick and very organized. After the lifeboat drill, there was the Sail Away party on the top two decks. This was fun, but was definitely geared towards children, complete with lots of silly dancing and visits from everyone’s favorites (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale). I had this streamer waving it around going crazy with it as we were “sailing away”…..I think this guy next to me was going to strangle me, I kept hitting him with the darn thing….on accident….OOPS!!

Afterwards, we went back to room to dress for the nightly show and dinner. The shows were all very good and tonight’s was “The Golden Mickey’s”. It was a lot of fun.
TIP: Get there early and try to sit more towards the front of the theater….it is just so much more neater when you can see everything up close!!


Upon check in you receive your dinner rotation. Ours was APPT, which equates to Animator’s Palate, Parrot Cay, Parrott Cay, Tritons. Your serving staff rotates with you throughout the restaurants so you get the same team each evening. We asked for and received the second seating, which was for 8:15. We also requested a table by ourselves, and were thrilled when we received our request!! Actually, we were quite relieved. We are not the most social couple. Besides, we wanted an “intimate” dinner. The dress code at dinner is quite casual. There is one night that they deem to be “dress up night”, but not everybody follows this guideline. We ended up dressing up each night, and loved it!


Prior to our cruise, we were both a bit worried about getting seasick. While we did feel the movement on a few occasions, we NEVER once got sick or anything close to it. In fact, we loved the feeling of the ship moving as we were drifting off to sleep.
Tonight’s dinner (as were all dinners) was great! Animator’s Palate (AP) is a cute restaurant. The restaurant is all black and white with cartoon character’s adorning the walls. Throughout the meal, the room becomes “colorful” as the walls start changing color and the servers change into colored vests.

Now, you know I would LOVE to post what we had for dinner here….BUT regretfully we did not take any pics of our appetizers or main meals. I don’t know what we were thinking!! Maybe we were REALLY hungry that night and just forgot???? We DID take pictures of our dessert though!! I had the chocolate cake and hubby had the chocolate peanut butter pie. Both were very good…but the PB pie was better!!
We finished dinner around 9:30 and wobbled around the ship a bit before retiring to our cabin. FYI: You never go hungry on a Disney Cruise!!!

Next up…Nassau!! Honey, I REALLY want one of those Oprah watches!!!!




Approaching Port Canaveral....



Almost there.....





I think I see something!!!!




WOW....THERE SHE IS!!!!!!!





Inside Port Canaveral






We EXPLORE the WONDER.......












Here we are waiting for our cabin to open up





Lunch at the Beach Blanket Buffet

My salad....... my husband thinks I am gross because I put beets on my salad..lol



Here is his plain O'LE salad...



The buffet food....

My plate



hubby's plate



Our Bahama Mamas...

hubby's...


My "virgin" version... I know...NO FUN huh??




It was a good lunch!!


Our Stateroom.... 7568 We were on the 7th deck.





Verandah



Sink/Shower






DAY 1 on THE WONDER pictures CONTINUED ON NEXT POST........
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:52 PM   #5
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Day 1 Continued from previous post....

Getting ready for the muster drill





The SAIL AWAY PARTY














Animator's Pallette

The Menu









Handsome hubby at dinner



Hubby and Me in my black and white attire ....I wanted to match the restaurant decor



Here are our yummy desserts....sorry no main course pics...

My chocolate cake



hubby's Peanut Butter Pie



That's it for Day 1 folks!!!

Stay Tuned for Day 2 in Nassau ......Will hubby buy me my Oprah watch? PLEASE HONEY....
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:26 AM   #6
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OHHH LOVE The pictures. And congratulations on the transplant as well. Looks like you had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to seeing more.

Not too long ago I saw a program about Disney Cruiselines and that restaurant where everything changes color with each course.

Thank you so very much for sharing!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:38 AM   #7
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Great report

I'm enjoying your report. I especially love all the pics. We're going on our first Disney cruise on the Magic at the end of the month. It's great getting a feel of what it will be like.
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyfan71 View Post
OHHH LOVE The pictures. And congratulations on the transplant as well. Looks like you had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to seeing more.

Not too long ago I saw a program about Disney Cruiselines and that restaurant where everything changes color with each course.

Thank you so very much for sharing!!
Thank you for being my FIRST poster!!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurOhana View Post
I'm enjoying your report. I especially love all the pics. We're going on our first Disney cruise on the Magic at the end of the month. It's great getting a feel of what it will be like.
You are REALLY going to LOVE the Disney Cruise!! This was our first cruise so we didn't know really what to expect...we were BLOWN away!!! Top notch all the way around!! By far the best "Disney" experience that I have ever had!!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:13 PM   #10
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Subscribing!
Am loving your TR and all the great pics! we leave for our first 3 night cruise on the wonder on 1/29 and reliving your experience is making the wait a little bit more tolerable!
And congratulations on the 8 yr anniverasary!!!!!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #11
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Love the trip report. I am going in October and can't wait. Your pictures are awesome!!! What a wonderful way to celebrate your 8 years!!! Here's to long health
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hm21999 View Post
Subscribing!
Am loving your TR and all the great pics! we leave for our first 3 night cruise on the wonder on 1/29 and reliving your experience is making the wait a little bit more tolerable!
And congratulations on the 8 yr anniverasary!!!!!!

Thank you!! You are going to LOVE your cruise on the Wonder!!! Next time we are doing the 7 day! We just fell in love with it
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydiva16 View Post
Love the trip report. I am going in October and can't wait. Your pictures are awesome!!! What a wonderful way to celebrate your 8 years!!! Here's to long health
Glad your enjoying the report!!! It was truly a special way to celebrate the eight years of my transplant!!! I feel sooo blessed
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:58 PM   #14
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I'm so glad to have found your TR. We are going on the 4 Day Wonder Cruise next Dec. 6th - 10th, so I am extremely excited to read your report so I know what to expect. Great start, I'm really enjoying it!!!
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:04 PM   #15
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your title caught my eye...I'm a double lung almost 6 years out... I had mine at UPMC how about you?....congrats on your good health....

Last edited by homedad; 01-12-2009 at 11:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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