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Old 08-06-2009, 03:14 PM   #1
captchris
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It's Almost Time for the BASH--Pre Trip Report 10/24/2009 DCL Magic Eastern Cruise

Hello everyone! Let me take this time to introduce myself. I am Christian, and travelling with me is my DW Elaine, DD9, and DS7. We are from Eastern Connecticut. We are getting totally psyched for our upcoming cruise with a great group of people that we have been talking to for exactly a year now.



This is going to be our 3rd cruise overall and our 2nd time with DCL. Both of our previous cruises have been to the Western Caribbean, so we are very excited to be going to the Eastern Caribbean this time around.

Our previous cruises were...

7 Day Western Caribbean from Tampa and RCCL Nordic Empress aka Empress of the Seas. Intinerary was, Tampa, Grand Cayman, Belize, and Cozumel. We never made it to Belize due to a medical evacuation on our sea day between Grand Cayman and Belize. It was a great first cruise and the price was right! 3/20/04-3/27/2004


7 Day Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral on DCL Magic. Itinerary was Port Canaveral, Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay. This cruise was the first with Disney and the first with our extended family. My parents and sister joined us. I became hooked on DCL! 9/9/2006-9/16/2006


We had kicked around the idea about taking another cruise in 2009, but money was a little tight. Last June (2008), my parents and sister gave us an offer we pretty much couldn't refuse. We decided to join them on their upcoming falll 2009 cruise. There had been a few dates kicked around, but nothing was booked, but we were convinced and comitted to doing the cruise. At first we were looking at a September date, I honestly can't remember which one. Then we settled on the 10/10 sailing. My dad checked his calendar further, and realized that the 10/24 sailing would work better, and if I remember right, it was slightly cheaper. Hey that works right!?!?!


Well my sister, who lurks on the board tells me after the decision was made that the cruise meet thread for the 10/24 cruise was among the most active cruise meet threads she had ever seen. I said to her, "should I jump on and say we are going?" She encouraged me and I immediately joined i believe it was Thread #9 and say that we were going. I was immediately welcomed by some of the regulars and added to the first page "cast of characters" list. This was a year ago this week. I was officially a BOBer, a member of the Bash on the Boat!

After a quick week of vacation to the Delmarva, we returned back and booked our cruise through DU, and was able to get a Category 11 on Deck 7 midship. I was satisfied with this location as it is very convenient to all of the excitement on Deck 9, and the lower mid decks.

For the next few months, I spent a lot of time on the DIS getting to know the other BOBers. We talked about the cruise and life in general, it was a great time. Here is an example of me getting to know the fellow BOBers while being...ahem at work!


Before we knew it flights were opening up, and people were sharing their various successes and failures at scoring ideal flight times.

Another thing we were looking to do is Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party. We will be disembarking the Magic on Halloween night so we thought it might be nice to swing over to WDW and get our MK fix in. My parents haven't been to WDW since 1996, so they are excited to ride all of their favorite rides and spend that time with their only grandchildren.

More planning to come...
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Cruise Vacations--3/2004 7 Day Western RCCL Nordic Empress, 9/2006 7 Day Western DCL Magic, 10/24/2009 7 Day Eastern DCL Magic (B.O.B.)
WDW Vacations--1976, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009 MNSSHP

Now Planning--Fall 2012 Fantasy Cruise

Last edited by captchris; 08-07-2009 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:34 PM   #2
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hi chris. as luck would have it, we too will be on that cruise.
looking forward to meeting you guys.
will your wife be wearing that red dress on the cruise?
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyerneeds View Post
hi chris. as luck would have it, we too will be on that cruise.
looking forward to meeting you guys.
will your wife be wearing that red dress on the cruise?
It's funny Mike. Last night she was trying on dresses and I was thinking of you. She isn't too sure on the red dress, but my guess is it will be coming. In fact, she said, "i don't think I will wear the red dress." I said, "Aww, Mike will be disappointed!"

We are looking forward to meeting you as well.
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Cruise Vacations--3/2004 7 Day Western RCCL Nordic Empress, 9/2006 7 Day Western DCL Magic, 10/24/2009 7 Day Eastern DCL Magic (B.O.B.)
WDW Vacations--1976, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009 MNSSHP

Now Planning--Fall 2012 Fantasy Cruise
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyerneeds View Post
hi chris. as luck would have it, we too will be on that cruise.
looking forward to meeting you guys.
will your wife be wearing that red dress on the cruise?
Really....that's funny. We'll be there too!

What a coincidence.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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Great start Chris

This cruise is gonna be awesome!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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I look forward to reading it as it progresses.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:19 PM   #7
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Yet one more BOBer checking in Christian.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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Howdy

Walt and I have checked in too. Can't wait to see you again in October.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:26 AM   #9
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Hey Chris! Great start so far....waiting for the next chapter!
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captchris View Post

My parents haven't been to WDW since 1996, so they are excited to ride all of their favorite rides and spend that time with their only grandchildren.

More planning to come...
HHHMMM, does this mean that you have more to plan out for the trip?

Or could it mean there are more grandchildren that you are planning for your parents
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOS View Post
Really....that's funny. We'll be there too!

What a coincidence.
Me too!
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:42 PM   #12
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Me too!
Arleen too?
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
HHHMMM, does this mean that you have more to plan out for the trip?

Or could it mean there are more grandchildren that you are planning for your parents
LOL no Rose!!!

I am going to discuss air travel planning, room planning, MNSSHP planning and then as we get closer, other specific stuff.

Our baby factory is shuttered...hope that isn't TMI, but don't want the rumors starting!!!
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Cruise Vacations--3/2004 7 Day Western RCCL Nordic Empress, 9/2006 7 Day Western DCL Magic, 10/24/2009 7 Day Eastern DCL Magic (B.O.B.)
WDW Vacations--1976, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009 MNSSHP

Now Planning--Fall 2012 Fantasy Cruise
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:55 AM   #14
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Flight Planning...

Living in New England we have a luxury when it comes to airports. Within 90 miles of our house we have 3 decent airports.

Bradley International (suburban Hartford) 45 minutes away
TF Green Airport (suburban Providence) 45 minutes away
Boston Logan (In Boston) 90 miles--travel time depends on time of day

We are also a reasonable distance from the following...

Westchester County, NY 120 miles
New York LaGuardia 135 miles
New York Kennedy 145 miles or so
Newark Liberty 145 miles or so

When I look for airfare I beome an OCD poster child. I literally check everyday. I look for the deals, I look at flight times and yes, I even look for aircraft types!

For our last cruise we were initally planning on driving to save money, but checking the airfares daily paid off and I was able to get roundtrip non-stop flights from Bradley on Southwest Airlines for $122 per person round trip. This was my first time ever flying Southwest and I thought it was a nice experience. Considering the price of gasoline, it was cheaper to fly than drive our Toyota Sienna Minivan to Florida! This was a steal to say the least!

A couple of pictures...if you like planes

First our ride to Florida.. N418WN


Kids boarding


Flying back home, the sun going down on the horizon. You can see the engine nacelle just barely.


I started doing preliminary checks for airfare shortly after booking our cruise last August. I was using 2008 numbers to get an overall feel for what the market would look like. I was very concerned with the price of oil and what effect that would have on airline tickets. I didn't like what I was seeing early on.

In February, while doing my occasional around the horn airport price checks on expedia, I came across direct flights from Bradley on Delta for $188 each. I was tempted to buy them then and there, but was nervous about possibly having a job transfer in June. My career moves me on average of every 5 years, and I was currently at 4, so it was possible that I could move out of state or even out of the region. I didn't think I would be, but was hesitant to take a chance of $800 of non refundable airfare! A few days later, that same flight was priced at $390/per person. To say that I was kicking myself would be an understatement...oh and by the way, I didn't get transferred!

One evening in March my sister called and told me they had booked their airfare from Portland, Maine. They booked one way on JetBlue to Florida, and then return flights on AirTran back home, both Direct flights for $220 per person.

I started my around the horn searching. I saw that nothing from Hartford was cheaper than $390, direct, connecting, all of it was pricey. From Providence, the price was $235 per person with a connection in Cincinnati, Ohio, but the departure time was 5:30 am!! Boston was showing airfare at $218, for direct flights, but with a 6:50 am deparature. I checked Westchester, NY, and there was very reasonable airfare from there, $160 roundtrip, but due to that catering primarily to corporate aviation, there is virtually no parking. That scared me.

My frustration primarily was flight times. If I flew from either Providence or Boston, I would have to leave at an ungodly hour, sleep in a hotel, or both. That would add significant additional cost. I also had concerns about the return flights to those airports. We are planning to go to MNSSHP on 10/31, so we will be at the MK until midnight or so. I didn't want an early morning flight! The return flights to Boston or Providence were either early morning or late at night. I didn't want to do early morning due to being at the parks so late and as much as I would like a later flight to enjoy another day in the parks, we just couldn't swing it this trip. I came close to purchasing the Providence airfare with its early departures on both ends, but my sister chimed in and said, "Chris, why don't you fly with us?"

As I thought of it, it made a lot of sense.

The flight times are perfect! 1:55PM departure 5:07 arrival--Direct flight!
10:30 departure from MCO, 1:30 arrival at Portland, Maine

That is so much less stress then those earlier flights, and get this, they are cheaper!!!

My parents live 5 minutes from the airport in Portland so we will have free parking at their house, and free lodging the night before we fly out. It will only cost us a tank of gas which is a lot less than a night at an airport hotel and 10 days of parking!

I remember the night like it was last night. Elaine was next door getting her hair highlighted. I ran to our neighbors house and laid it out for her. She was happy with her hair, so I could have asked her to fly to the moon and she probably would have agreed!

I went home and booked the airfare. One less thing to worry about! I always feel like the cruise or vacation is always happening for sure when I buy the airfare. I always buy non refundable so its vacation or bust!

So yes, we are driving north 190 miles, to fly south, but it all works out.

We will be flying direct to Florida on a JetBlue Embraer E-190 and returning home on an AirTran Boeing 717. I have never flown on either airline or aircraft so I am excited. We will sleep in, have a lunch at the house then head to the airport.

The vacation is shaping up like this...

10/22--Pick Kids up at school at 3:15 and drive to Maine. Arrive around 6:00 PM
10/23--Fly to Florida--1:55 Depart PWM 5:07 Arrive MCO
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Cruise Vacations--3/2004 7 Day Western RCCL Nordic Empress, 9/2006 7 Day Western DCL Magic, 10/24/2009 7 Day Eastern DCL Magic (B.O.B.)
WDW Vacations--1976, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009 MNSSHP

Now Planning--Fall 2012 Fantasy Cruise

Last edited by captchris; 08-08-2009 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:08 PM   #15
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Wonderful, Chris. I'm glad you reminded me about the thread. I'd forgotten.
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