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Old 01-27-2010, 12:30 AM   #1
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2nd Anniversary + 2nd Chances = Our 2nd Cruise! 7/20 NEWS!!

Hello fellow Disers

I'm sure you're probably wondering what the heck that title really boils down to huh? Welp, we will get there .....

But since I'm new to the cruise boards I better introduce myself first - don't want to be rude ya know

Ok, welp if you run into me on the big 'ol boat i won't even come close to looking like that - just picture that with no make-up, a t-shirt and a messy ponytail

My name is Shannon and I am an (almost) 28 year old full time worker, part time student and enormously lucky wife. Originally from Kansas, but moved out to New Mexico 7 years ago - told everyone it was for school; truth be told it was because I couldn't stand the thought of breaking up with my boyfriend and he was moving back home My interests are Disney - as my 5 year old Goddaughter says DUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHH, swimming - that's a bonus when you're going on a cruise huh , swing dancing, watching movies, listening to music and taking pictures. Trust me, neither the pre-TR or actual TR will be lacking in the picture department

Ok - enough limelight for me - let's meet the Hubby shall we ....

Now that is EXACTLY what he will look like if you run into him

He's the reason I moved away - aren't you glad we worked out His name is Candido but everyone calls him Candi (pronounced like Candy) - I call him Lovey Bear but I won't make you do that He just turned 28 and has decided that his life is now coming to an end because it's too close to 30 He is a General Manager for a local company and the most amazing Husband anybody could ever wish for! His interests include the Chicago Bulls, Kansas City Chiefs, New Mexico Lobos and the Atlanta Braves - yep a lot of sports on the TV in our house. He also loves to swing dance and is a musician; won't actually admit to loving Disney but it's always his idea to start planning the next trip - just don't let him know I told you his secret

This was the first picture we ever took together almost a decade ago

Fast forward (almost) ten years and (slightly over) ten pounds later and you get

Now that's more like it!

With formalities out of the way let's get down to the good stuff ......

Who - Just us
What - 6 day / 5 night cruise
Where - Double dip at Castway Cay with Nassau thrown in for good measure
When - May/June 2010


Last edited by ariel1025; 07-20-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:58 AM   #2
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Precious start to your trip report!! Can't wait to hear about your journeys as you share this wonderful time in your marriage!! These memories will carry you through the years and they'll all come rolling back each time you return!

Keep it coming!!

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Old 01-27-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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loving it so far, can't wait to hear more! I wish it was my hubbies idea to start planning our disney trips
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lmhall2000 View Post
Precious start to your trip report!! Can't wait to hear about your journeys as you share this wonderful time in your marriage!! These memories will carry you through the years and they'll all come rolling back each time you return!

Keep it coming!!
Thank you so much I am a firm believer in always keeping your memories close to you - part of the reason I always take so many pictures of everything

Originally Posted by my3sonstx View Post
loving it so far, can't wait to hear more! I wish it was my hubbies idea to start planning our disney trips
Thank you! I guess I'm pretty lucky in the trip planning department Thanks for joining in!!
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:44 AM   #5
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If it ain't broke don't fix it - so, if it is broken do you try to fix it?

I know I left ya'll in suspense there .... can't help it I'm a dramatic sort of gal

So, let's get down to the real deal here ....

Why the heck are we referring to this as being about second chances? Well, we actually took a Disney cruise for our honeymoon in 2008. We were so excited about it, couldn't stop talking about it and planning for it and dreaming about it .... you get the idea right? After booking the cruise we decided we should add one night at WDW so that we didn't risk missing the port due to a delayed flight or something like that. Well, then I started talking about how much I loved WDW when I went with my family back in 1998. Candi had never been and decided we should add on 3 days before the cruise just "to get a taste." Then we talked about how there were 4 parks but we were only planning 3 days; so 3 days turned into 4 days. You would think it would stop there right? WRONG! We soon started talking about how it wasn't even 4 full days because almost a whole day would be spent in travel time. In the end our honeymoon turned into 6 days at WDW staying at the Wilderness Lodge followed by a 4 day cruise with two stops at Castaway Cay with a window stateroom. Sounds like heaven doesn't it? Yeah, that's what we thought too. Well, our wedding went off without a hitch and lasted until the wee hours of the morning; this resulted in us arriving to Disney on a wedding high and 0 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours - yep, that would be no sleep in TWO DAYS! To make what is already a long story short - we spent our entire time at WDW trying to shove everything possible into our days which left us exhausted by the time we got to the cruise portion of our honeymoon. Not only were we exhausted but money situations were slim at that point due to some drama with my paycheck that couldn't be solved until we got back home. So ..... no sleep + little money + drama = a lack of appreciation for the cruise I wish I could say we loved it and were itchin' to book another one, but sadly that would not be the case. We can truly say that we loved WDW and have been back since. In fact, we are booked to go back for our Anniversary.


Yep, currently we are booked for one week at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas to celebrate our anniversary. Did I mention in the midst of all the craziness we became DVC owners?

So, how did we start at not enjoying our last cruise and end with being booked at Animal Kingdom Lodge but being on the boards talking about a cruise?

Easy! - in the last couple of days we have discussed nothing but how much we would like to give the cruise one last chance.

Don't worry - we will be booking the cruise very quickly - just have to wait for that little thing called a tax return

Whew - now that all of that's out of the way let's discuss why we are even planning this trip ....

This trip is being planned for several reasons; with the most important being our two year anniversary. However, we are also trying to start a family and figure that this will be our last "adults only hoorah" before we are changing diapers and losing sleep at night A little less important but this time of year is our escape from reality - our jobs are both highly stressful and May gives us lots of reasons to run away from the real world for a while. The month of May has always been a massive month - it's my birthday, our wedding anniversary, the month I moved away from home, the month we met for the first time ..... and hopefully soon, celebrating Mother's day in our household And really - does one need any more excuses than that to go on a Disney cruise

Ok, ok, now that all questions have been answered let's back up a little bit here ...

I know I just said that we didn't enjoy the cruise but there were some portions that stand out in our minds that slightly resembled us having a good time. That's the entire reason we have decided to give it one more try - if there were some moments than we figure that going with a fresh frame of mind and lots of rest some moments will turn into many moments.

Since I promised a lot of pictures and this post has been nothing but a lot of words, let's take a look at the moments we did enjoy shall we?

That would be my Husband not so discretely staring in amazement that Juwan Howard was on the cruise with us. Who's Juwan Howard you ask? Don't worry I did too Well, apparently he is an amazing basketball star who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. I did mention that next to me, sports are Candi's life right - well this would be like a magic moment in time for him. I won't tell you about how he froze when Juwan talked to him in the elevator that same day

Ahhhh, now that's a good memory - this is our navigator's verandah in our room. Wait a second - didn't I say we booked a window room? Yep, you guessed it we were upgraded for free for our honeymoon!!!

That's, well actually, I (sadly) don't remember his name. Candi and I call him Carlton because he would go around the cruise ship doing the Carlton dance from "Fresh Prince." He was our cruise director and was absolutely one of the friendliest and funniest people we have ever encountered!

Now would be a good time to mention I have a bit of an addiction problem - TO BINGO

I don't think any words are really needed here - proof of heaven on earth!

Two words: Pirate Night OR Goof Balls - whichever is more fitting

That was our serving team - they were incredible!

I know, I know - with all of that how can we say we didn't have a great time? Well, unfortunately, those were pretty much some of the only moments when we were awake. We slept for a large portion of the cruise and even when we weren't sleeping we wanted to be. That combined with a bad excursion experience in Nassau and all the previously mentioned leaves us with mixed feelings about cruising.

Now, I want to apologize if it seems like I appear to be a great big whiner, or ungrateful or a brat - but I included all this so that you could get an understanding of our feelings going into this.

There's one memory that doesn't have a single moment that was less than spectacular!

Coming up next - I Promise .....
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:34 PM   #6
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I hereby do solemnly swear....

I hope I haven't lost any of my readers by appearing to be an ungrateful brat

Let's get to the upbeat and happy stuff

After much discussion, Candi and I have decided that a major reason the cruise didn't meet our expectations is because we didn't really give it a chance. We spent a majority of the trip sleeping and when we weren't sleeping we didn't really put ourselves out there very much. With the exception of the nightly shows and dinners here are the only things we participated in:

* Dinner at Palo <-- Loved it! Easily the best meal of the cruise!
* A movie in the big theater <-- "Step Up 2" and I must admit we both liked it
* Match Your Mate <-- Even chosen to participate and got free drinks and 2nd place
* Pirate night <-- Sorta!? We missed the show before the fireworks started and had no clue that there was a big 'ol buffet afterwards
* Parasailing at Castaway Cay <-- The highlight of the cruise for us
* Snorkeling at Castaway Cay <-- Loved it!
* Historical Tour at Nassau <-- HATED IT! Not at all what we expected it to be and felt as though more time was spent being forced to try and buy things from the markets than there was showing us the history

And that pretty much sums it up. I must also admit that we really didn't read the daily navigator which I realize now was a HUGE mistake.

After going back through our pictures and discussing these things we realized that in order to get the full feeling of the cruise we need to be more laid back about things this time around.

With that being said I give you

Our Pinky Promise, Sealed with a kiss, Cross our hearts pact .....

1. We will rest BEFORE the cruise begins so that we will have energy to put our full efforts into enjoying the cruise
2. We will OVER SAVE for this trip to ensure that no money drama will leave us with (almost) empty wallets
3. We will read the daily navigator and highlight those things which sound fun to us for that day
4. We will try at least one new thing every day

and last, but most definitely not least

5. We will go into the cruise understanding that it is not possible to do everything and that we will have more fun if we relax and go with the flow

And there you have it .... the beginnings of a plan for the trip.

Since this post is seriously lacking in pictures and many other planning posts will as well I have decided to post a favorite memory picture at the end of each update.

During our trip to WDW last September - it was our final full day and we were strolling through Epcot without any master plan - it was a go with the flow, take it as it come kind of day. It was quite honestly the second best day of the trip and we talk about it all the time.

Coming Up Next: The Beginnings of a Real Plan ......
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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More! More!
First Disney Cruise- 30th July 2010!
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by caslass View Post
More! More!

Your wish is my command

Thanks for joining in!
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:57 PM   #9
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A Temporary Stop in "The World"

I believe it is a requirement that I start this post by saying ...


Can I get a "woot, woot"

Ok, we now return to our regularly scheduled program.....

I promised ya'll some plans and plans are what you're going to get!

Let's start in the most obvious of places which would be day one .....

Day one will actually be the day before the cruise begins - ahem, I must intercept here to say this will not turn into adding on multiple days like with the honeymoon - but we will be adding on one day at WDW before we leave. The reason being, every flight out of our local airport puts us at MCO at 3:00 or later so it only works to already be in Florida the day of the cruise.

I'm guessing our arrival day will start with us like this:

going up

and down

and all around until we find

Both times we have ever flown into MCO we have gotten EXTREMELY lost trying to find the Magical Express check-in. We did better last year than the first year, but I'm guessing we will still get lost this year

It will be the first time that we won't be getting into this line because ...

OH WAIT - I'm getting ahead of myself here

After finding the correct line we will board the happy bus and jump around in anticipation until we finally see

Then we will scream out with delight that we are here!! As a sidenote, I am determined to get a front row seat on the bus this year so that I can get a picture of the entire sign - we shall see how well that works out?!?

I'm not sure how many stops we will have before ours because for the first time we will be staying at

The Beach Club!!! We are super, super excited about this - we roamed around there for a while last year when we went to eat at Beaches & Cream, and completely fell in love with the resort.

Once we arrive at the Beach Club and make our way into the beautiful lobby

We will be checking into a regular room. Even though we are DVC owners we will not be staying in the Villas for this part of the trip. The amount of points it took to do the cruise didn't leave us with enough points to stay here. I also want to point out that I understand there are a lot of people that say using DVC points for a cruise is a waste. But, the way we see it is if we are doing something that we want to do than it is a perfect use of our points So, anyway we will be instead paying in cash for our one night stay which still works out alright because Disney is running a 35% off special for this room ... WAHOO!

Upon checking in we are hoping our room looks similar to this

I'm not sure if all the rooms are renovated, but I hope so because we LOVE the look of these rooms!!

We are still deciding between booking a Water View room or a Garden View Club Level Room

Hmmmmmmmmm, pretty tempting

Either way we will most definitely set aside some time for the super awesome pool

I have a feeling we will spend at least a few hours out here just relaxing and having a good time!

Overall, we don't have any major plans for this night - the whole point is to be up and ready for the cruise feeling refreshed and ready to have a good time! However, we will, of course, be eating some dinner

That will be taking place at

We ate here for the first time last year and absolutely loved it! My Husband is a HUGE fan of crab legs, and even though I don't like seafood, this is where I had the best filet mignon EVER! Clearly, we are both stoked about this meal. We already have a reservation here too, as this was already the plan when we were going to staying at AKL for a week.

After dinner we might make two or three stops in Downtown Disney; one at the Christmas Shop for our traditional ornament, one at the Sports Store so I can finally buy my hat and Candi can buy his Grumpy bobblehead and possibly one more stop at Goofy's Candy Co for these little beauties:

Yummy, heaven in my mouth!

However, we may forgo the Goofys stop and the Christmas Store. I am wondering if they sell Christmas ornaments on the cruise that are more themed to the cruise - anybody that can help me out on that one And we might not go to Goofys because we are also wanting to go to

Beaches & Cream!! We loved it here last year - everything from the theming, to the service to the food and I am dying for another one of these babies

There are no words for this delicousness <-- that is most definitely a real word

The rest of the night will be spent lounging around the room, possibly another dip in the pool or watching a movie and of course, talking about the next 5 days at sea!

Coming Up Next: More Plans!
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:59 PM   #10
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That's awesome that you're staying at the Beach Club! That's where I stayed on my first trip to WDW, haven't stayed there since, it wasn't available when we've gone. As for the cruise, our family loves it. You definitely need to relax, read the navigator, and enjoy!

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Old 01-31-2010, 05:30 AM   #11
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WOW ... what a fantastic start. Your plans sound really exciting .... and love the photos!
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cheryl726 View Post
That's awesome that you're staying at the Beach Club! That's where I stayed on my first trip to WDW, haven't stayed there since, it wasn't available when we've gone. As for the cruise, our family loves it. You definitely need to relax, read the navigator, and enjoy!

Thanks so much for joining in

Originally Posted by TotallyAngelic View Post
WOW ... what a fantastic start. Your plans sound really exciting .... and love the photos!
Thank you!! I am getting ready to start your trip report now - it sounds like it was a ton of fun!!!
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:47 PM   #13
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All Aboard!

After a much needed, relaxing night at the Beach Club to clear our minds we will wake-up and start the day off right ..... with breakfast!

If we stay Club Level we will grab food from here

Mmmmm .... still looks pretty tempting

If we don't stay Club Level then we will either eat here

The Beach Club Marketplace ... nice and simple - will be our go to stop if the cruise bus picks us up too early.

If not then we will eat here

Cape May Cafe! What better way to kick off our cruise day than a character breakfast where they are all in their beach wear

At some point in the morning/early afternoon we will be picked up by the Disney Cruise Line bus and transported to the Mickey Boat!!!

***As a sidenote - does anybody know what time the bus does the pick-up?

Once we arrive at Port Canaveral we will be able to check-in in the super special Castaway Club members line. Yep, it's the little things in life that get me excited And then we will spend some time exploring the port. This is something we didn't do last time; we just plopped or rumps down and waited for our boarding pass to be called. I'm not really worried about our boarding number - they can't leave without us right Instead I am hoping to get a picture with Captain Mickey as well as go out onto the little balcony area I keep reading about on here to get close-up pictures of the boat.

After our boarding number is called we will make our way onto the ship; stopping for the first picture that hopefully turns out great as I have plans of purchasing a photo package this time! We will then be called into the boat and let the Magic begin ..... well, actually it's the Wonder but ya know what I mean

I'm sure we will be hungry so we will get our chow down - either at Parrot Cay or the Buffet depending on how early we got to board. Am I correct that they actually serve the same thing? Either way is fine by me. Part of me hopes we have to eat at the buffet because I want to enjoy my first meal outside, but Candi is hoping to be able to get into Parrot Cay since we didn't last time. Guess fate will be deciding who gets their way huh

Oh, before we eat (or after, don't know how it works) we may also stop by to see about changing our dining rotation. We have plans to eat at Palo and I want to make sure we still get to enjoy all of the other restaurants. Plus, I might be a little OCD and hoping to have our dinner rotation match up with the theme night rotation. You know - Tritons on formal night, Parrot Cay on pirate night Ok, ok, back to going with the flow....

At some point after being able to check out our room we will have to do the safety drill

Last time we were lucky and got to do it inside Animators Palate - wonder if we will be that lucky again?!? If not and we are outside, no biggy, going with the flow remember!!!

As soon as the safety drill is over we will go find a spot for the Sail Away party

I'm pretty sure a Drink of the Day will be in order here. We might not stay for the whole party as we definitely want to be able to watch the world drift away as we sail out of the port!

Throughout the remainder of our afternoon we are thinking of doing some of the following:

* Photo opportunities with any characters that are out
* Vista Spa Tour - want a chance at the raffle
* Just plain roam the ship!
* Take a hop in the pool

After an afternoon of whatever we feel like we will head back to our room to get ready for that evening. We are hoping to have late dinner seating so we will have the show first.

Tonight - possibly The Golden Mickeys???

This time we want to make sure to get there a little bit early so we can get a decent seat. Last time we were always late and often had to sit on the stairs - that doesn't make for the most enjoyable experience

After the show will be dinner time - possibly at

Mmmmmm - it was so good here last time! If not that night, then definitely another night!

After dinner we are thinking of doing some of the following:

* Checking out a movie in the theater
* Match Your Mate <-- if it's going on that night?
* Bingo!!!
* Checking out what's going on in the Cadillac Lounge
* Romantic stroll on deck after dark
* Hitting the hot tub

Once we are approaching the point of sleepy we will return to our room - maybe order a midnight snack - and get some shut eye!

Coming Up Next: Turning A Bad Experience Into A Good One.....
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:22 PM   #14
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Too much time before the trip, but too much to do in that time...

Warning: Some of ya'll might find this post slightly boring, but it's a good place to store my thoughts - and maybe, just maybe you guys will hold me to my word

We officially have less than 4 months before we leave <-- man, that's so fun to say So, I decided I better start getting together my lists of "To Do's." Ok, fine, go ahead and laugh, but ya'll know you're victim of the same thing

So, without further ado ....

Mickey Boat To Do List:

1. Book the Cruise <-- yeah, yeah, I know, but we went over this 'member?
2. Book our night at Beach Club
3. Decide if we are going to go Club Level or not
4. Make breakfast reservation at Cape May if needed
5. Find out what time the Cruise bus will pick us up
6. Make our budget
7. Put the rest of the money in savings
8. Book flight to Orlando
9. Book flight home
10. Book one night at AKL value studio with DVC points for night after cruise
11. Buy Passporters Disney Cruise book
12. Make packing list <-- yep, I am so sick that I put "make a list" on my "to do list"
13. Get swimsuit ready AKA lose weight (Candi goal: 30 pounds; Shanz goal: 15 pounds)
14. Start back up on Weight Watchers!!
15. Candi - get time off request approved <-- minor detail right
16. Cancel previous trip
17. Cancel previous meal reservations
18. Give A Day, Get A Day volunteer opportunity <-- park ticket for day AFTER cruise
19. Get answers to all my cruise questions <-- that's where ya'll can help me out
20. Change name on passport (haven't done it since we got married )
21. SHOPPING - after we meet goal weight, or come as close as possible
22. Buy Disney gift cards in the amount of our excursions <-- foolproof way that we will definitely have that money - no chance of money drama this time!!
23. Book excursions
24. Book Palo reservations <-- hoping for dinner and brunch

Ummmmm ..... that's all I can think of for now .... I'm sure plenty more will follow

And now I leave you with ....

Magical Memory Of The Day

Remember that "go with the flow" Epcot day I told ya about - this was from that day and this was hands down the BEST character encounter we had the whole trip!!!!!!
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:11 PM   #15
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I am also guilty of writing "make a packing list" on my "to do list" Today I went through our cruise clothing in the suitcase to check what we have already .... and we still have 8 months to go

Love the photo with Aladdin and Jasmine
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