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Old 05-05-2009, 11:44 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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It's a wonderful day to go on a cruise....

We just returned from the Disney Magic 7-Day Eastern Caribbean with their first visit to Tortola! And what a wonderful vacation we had! I started planning this trip February of last year so the fact that our vacation finally came....and went, is still not quite a reality to me. All the extensive planning and a little over-planning and we finally were able to enjoy a vacation we had been dreaming about for 14 months!

Let me start with a brief introduction of the cast:
There's me, Diana (31) fan of anything Disney, frequent visitor to "The Happiest Place on Earth!"
DH, Casey (33) - Almost as big of a fan of Disney as me....thank goodness otherwise I don't think he would understand my obsession!
DS, Caleb (2 years 9 months) - Been to Disneyland over 10 times (I stopped counting) and watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse EVERY SINGLE day!
DA, Theresa (52 but turned 53 the day we returned from our cruise) - Another huge Disney fan and partially responsible for my obsession
DM, Kay (55) - Probably just now understanding why all of the above are so into Disney. Previously afraid to go on a cruise due to severe motion sickness but sailed through the cruise with no problem, thank you to whoever invented "Less Drowsy" Dramamine.
Mother-in-law, Kathy (58) - Not Sure?! (will explain later.....)

I never imagined I would begin planning a vacation over a year before actually going on vacation, it actually kind of felt like I was planning a wedding all over again. You have to make some big decisions up front, Magic vs. Wonder, 3, 4 or 7 day, Western or Eastern, you put down a deposit and then once all that is done you just wait....and wait some all know what I am talking about. Typically I don't plan vacations more than a month or so in advance, it is almost like I prefer to plan it closer to when it is actually going to happen because I cannot handle all the anticipation! I drive my husband crazy because we will DVR Survivor and I have to skip to the end to see who gets voted off before I can watch it, it's like I am less stressed watching the show knowing who goes home....not only can I not handle the anticipation but I have serious issues, I really should seek counseling.

Anyway, back to the task at hand, so we are at the point where we have decided to do the 7-day Eastern Caribbean on the Magic, now to contact my DA's TA. Our TA was able to book us a Category 5 Stateroom with Verandah, I didn't mention this before but at first it was only going to be myself, DH, DS and DA on the cruise, it wasn't until a few months into the planning that DM and Mother-in-law were on pun intended. We knew from the beginning we wanted to stay at the Hyatt at the Orlando airport and use DCL transfers to the ship, our TA was able to book those no problem as well. We made our required deposits and were now ready to play the waiting game.

A few months go by and that is when my DM showed interest in the cruise. After discussing with my husband we decided we would also invite his mother, we told them we would pay for their cruise if they could pay for their airfare, hotel, spending money, etc. At this time we let them know that it would help us out and give us an opportunity to enjoy our vacation too because they could take turns babysitting our DS and giving my DH and I some much needed time together. I once again contacted our TA and she was able to book them in a Category 5 Stateroom only 4 doors down from ours, how perfect! Now we can get back to waiting....11 months to go!

I think I am going to call it a night, still trying to get back on West Coast time. More to come tomorrow....

- Me - DH DS (7)

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Old 05-07-2009, 12:42 AM   #2
Earning My Ears
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Let me fast forward....

Finally, April 2009 is here, we are extremely excited because our vacation is so close we can barely stand it! Over the last several months I bought clothes and other items we needed for our vacation so now I can actually pull out the suitcases and start packing. From reading the boards the general consensus seems to be that you always pack way too much for your first cruise. A few people have suggested you pack what you think you need and then cut it in half and you will still be fine, this was a great tip! I felt like I was doing pretty good and wasn't over packing but we still ended up with 4 suitcases and 1 garment bag.

If I only knew my son would live in his swim trunks and refuse to wear button up shirts and pants I could have cut out one full suitcase of just his clothes! One of the smaller suitcases was basically full of pull ups and swim diapers so I knew I would have room for souvenirs on the trip home.

All in all we didn't really end up packing too many clothes and with all the drawers in the stateroom and half of the closet, everything fit just fine. Three of our suitcases fit within each other when empty so we were able to store those in the closet with my DA's suitcases and the other bags fit under the bed with no problem.

The life saver for keeping us organized were the over-the-door shoe organizers, another tip I picked up off of the boards. My DA brought 2 shoe organizers, one we hung on the door going into the shower and the other we hung in the closet in front of where we were storing our luggage. One held all of our shoes and the other had all kinds of miscellaneous items in it.


- Me - DH DS (7)

Last edited by dianachaney77; 05-17-2009 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:01 AM   #3
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Great start!! I love a TR with pics Can't wait to read more.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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I've been planning for a Thanksgiving cruise 2010 since December of 2008. That's almost TWO years before the cruise!!! Of course, most of the planning will be paying for it, but I've got some other things up my sleeve. (Even though I normally wear short sleeves.)

DVC Members since June 2009 - Bay Lake Towers

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Old 05-09-2009, 04:55 PM   #5
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We are going on our first cruise 3/6/2010 and we booked it back in November 2008...lots of planning time for us too.

Will be back to read the rest of your TR, love how it has started!!
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:52 PM   #6
Earning My Ears
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DH, DS, my MIL and myself flew out of San Diego on Friday, April 24th at the crack of dawn. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6 am so we left our house right around 4 am. This would give us plenty of time to park in the $10/day lot, take the shuttle to the airport and get through security. We were flying First Class so checking in and getting through security was a breeze. We were through security by 4:50 am, McDonald's didn't open until 5 so we took a seat and waited so we could grab a bite to eat before we got on the plane.

We boarded the plane with ease and were taxiing about 2 minutes before 6 am. In San Diego planes are not allowed to take off prior to 6 am so we would have to wait a whole 2 minutes No big deal for us, we were on time and in first class, now all we had to do is sit back and enjoy the ride! We had a connection in Houston and were there for just under 2 hours. I thought those 2 hours would drag but by the time we deplaned, used the restroom and got lunch it was already time to board again. Now is when we can really start celebrating, in 2 hours we will be landing in Orlando, bring on the free drinks!!!!

We landed in Orlando just after 4:30 pm. It had been an extremely long day of traveling but that didn't seem to affect any of us, we were too excited to actually be in Florida! We were staying at the Hyatt in the airport so I thought it would be a good idea to send DH and MIL to get our luggage while I took DS and what seemed like 20 carry-on bags to the check-in desk to get us all checked in. My DM and DA were flying in from Oregon and would be landing just after 5 pm, I thought it would be nice to have all our luggage up in the rooms so we could come down and help them out. I follow the signs to the Hyatt and I get into this big open area with a beautiful fountain and I look up....there it is, the hotel is right there in front of me! So cool!

I grab an elevator up one floor to the check in desk. I told the gentleman who was checking me in that we had two rooms booked and asked him if there was any way we could get connecting rooms. To my delight there were connecting rooms available and he was able to check us into both rooms. Before I even had a chance to tell him we were going on a Disney cruise he presented me with a print out of directions which tell you what to do with your luggage the next morning and what time to be in the lobby to check in for the cruise. I was quite impressed!

Just as I finished checking in here comes DH and MIL with all our luggage, the porter was right there and was able to grab it along with all of our carry ons and load it on the luggage cart....perfect timing! We then headed up to the rooms to check them out real quick and drop off the bags. The rooms were very nice! I was extremely impressed with how nice this hotel was and I would absolutely stay there again! By the way, not only was it nice but it was extremely convenient too.

We weren't in the room for more than 5 minutes when my phone rings. My DA and DM have landed and are taxiing to their gate! Woohoo!!!! After they arrived we took their luggage upstairs and headed back down to find something for dinner. We all decided that Macaroni Grill sounded fabulous! All of us had been watching what we eat and trying to lose weight before the cruise so you can imagine how happy we were that we were finally on vacation and could eat pasta!

Caleb enjoying his meal!

I knew I wanted to go into the Disney stores but when we were leaving the restaurant I spotted a Crocs store. I have never seen an actual Crocs store before so I was so excited to go in their and see if I could find any more shoes for my DS. My DS is a big fan of Crocs and it is nearly impossible to get him to wear any other shoes. I think he likes them so much because they are so easy for him to put on himself. We ended up finding a pair of Crocs that have that strap that goes in between your toes (like a pair of thongs) but it also has a strap that goes on the back of the ankle...these are now his favorite Crocs and he wore them almost the ENTIRE cruise. I decide not to go too crazy in the Disney stores because I want to save my money for souvenirs on the ship! It is now after 8 pm and we are all wearing down. Time to head back to the room and *try* and get some sleep before our long awaited cruise, but first a photo op with Goofy!

Me & Goofy

- Me - DH DS (7)

Last edited by dianachaney77; 05-18-2009 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #7
Earning My Ears
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I posted my pictures from Photo Bucket and I cannot figure out how to size them so they don't come up so big on my TR. Is there anyone that can shed some light for me?

Thank you!

- Me - DH DS (7)

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Old 05-10-2009, 12:13 AM   #8
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We're on the June Tortola cruise & can't wait to read more about your trip--especially Tortola. Thanks for including photos.

Please tell us more.....
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:40 AM   #9
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Great start to the TR! I'm sailing on the May 23rd Tortola cruise and can't wait!
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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Yay!!! A new TR!!!

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Follow me as I train for these races!

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Old 05-10-2009, 12:49 PM   #11
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Great trip report. Sounds like a wonderful start to your vacation. Can't wait to hear more.

Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

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Old 05-10-2009, 02:43 PM   #12
Earning My Ears
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I think we all thought we would have a hard time sleeping because of all the excitement, but to our surprise we all slept great! The alarm went off at 6:30 am, any other day we would have hit snooze 3 or 4 times but this morning we were going to be boarding The time for snoozing today!!! By 8 am we were all ready to go, we put our luggage by the door (inside the room) to be picked up sometime after 8:30 and headed down for breakfast.

Our Luggage

DH, DS and myself in our matching Disney shirts!

We were told to be in the lobby to check in for the Disney bus at 9 am. We had plenty of time to eat breakfast before we had to be back to the lobby. Half of our group ate McDonald's, the other half had Krispy Kreme donuts. We finished up and it was only 8:40, we still had 20 minutes to wait but we decided we would head to the lobby and wait there. Come to find out they had already started checking people in for the bus, we jumped right in line. A Disney cruise representative told us only one person from our party needed to stand in line with everyone's documents so everyone else went to sit down while I stood in line. As I get closer to the front of the line I realize we will be in the "Captain Mickey" group, this is so exciting this is the FIRST bus leaving!!! They checked my group in and told me we needed to meet by the elevators by 9:05 to be taken down to the bus. At first she was going to tell us to meet at the elevators at 9:15 then another Disney rep walked over and told her that was incorrect, we needed to be there by 9:05 to be taken down at 9:15...either way we weren't going very far and there was NO WAY we were missing that first bus!

DA by the check-in sign in the lobby

It was finally time to head down to the bus! I was so excited I forgot to get my camera out to take a picture of the group waiting to get on the elevators but I did manage to get it out so I could get a picture of the bus!

As we were walking out to the bus we spotted our luggage, it was a nice reassurance to see it there. My MIL was a little concerned they weren't going to pick it up and I reassured her they would and that they do this ALL the time! Thank goodness for that because otherwise I would have never heard the end of it!!!

DA and MIL (2nd row), DH and DS (3rd row)

DM and I

The ride was about 45 minutes (I think) I kind of lost track of time with all the excitement and plus they play a video on the way over so my attention was on that. Next thing you know I look out the window and see water, oh my gosh we are getting close, I can feel myself getting more and more excited! Next thing you know we can see the ship, it is still kind of far away but we CAN SEE THE SHIP! In my version of the story when I saw the ship I let out a little scream of excitement, in DH's version of the story I screamed so loud I almost deafened him...either way I can now see the ship and I am one happy camper!!!! I even got butterflies in my stomach, I am such a kid at heart!

Isn't she the prettiest thing you've ever seen?!?!

- Me - DH DS (7)

Last edited by dianachaney77; 05-18-2009 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:58 PM   #13
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Great trip report thus far! Reminds me of our very first DCL trip, and the anticipation that led up to boarding. Keep up the good work!
Disney Wonder - June 2005 (4 night) Disney Magic - June 2006 (7 night Western) HAL Zuiderdam - August 2006 (7 night Alaska Interior Passage) Disney Wonder - June 2007 (4 night) Disney Wonder - June 2008 (4 night) Disney Magic - June 2009 (7 night Eastern w/Tortola) Disney Wonder - June 2010 (5 night Double Dip AND 4 night back-to-back) Disney Wonder - June 2011 (7 night Alaska) Disney Dream - September 2011 (B2B) Disney Fantasy - July 2012 (7 night Eastern) Disney Fantasy - December 2012 (7 night Western) Disney Fantasy - December 2014 (7 night Eastern) Disney Wonder - July 2015 (7 night Alaska)

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Old 05-10-2009, 05:25 PM   #14
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Great trip report and I love all the pics....I can't wait to hear more. I'm on the June 20th Tortola cruise.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:50 PM   #15
Earning My Ears
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Originally Posted by makewifehappy View Post
I've been planning for a Thanksgiving cruise 2010 since December of 2008. That's almost TWO years before the cruise!!! Of course, most of the planning will be paying for it, but I've got some other things up my sleeve. (Even though I normally wear short sleeves.)
Two years...WOW! That is quite a long wait but it will be well worth it! Hope you will share the "other things" you have up your short sleeves...

- Me - DH DS (7)

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