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Old 03-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
DisneyZell
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Mexican Riviera 2/27 - 3/6 - DisneyZell TR new 3/31: FINISHED!!!

Hi everyone! I'm sure that there will be several trip reports done on this cruise...most probably funnier than mine...so try to suffer along with me. I'm hoping that this time I actually finish it...the last time I made it to about day 5 before getting sidetracked by life in general. Please make comments and ask questions as I go...that's what keeps me plugging along. I'll update the title each time I add an update, and try to add a page number if we get beyond 1 to make it easier for you!

First thing's first...our cast of characters:

Our family is from New Hampshire (Live free or die dude!)

DH - ME, or Drew. I know, I know, DW and I should have different names on here to make it easier, and I'm sure she will contribute from time to time. I'm 40 , just turned that in September, I'm still not used to it.

DW - My lovely bride, Deanna, and keeper of the journal. I don't take notes during the cruise so tend to forget things as I go along. Luckily she takes great notes so I can remember what it was that we did. If I get something wrong, certainly blame me, not her.

DS12 - My oldest son, Nick, along for his 4th cruise.

DS8 - My youngest son, Connor, also his 4th cruise.

Our neighbors were also along for the ride and will be talked about as well: DNH -the husband, DNW - the wife, DNS13 and DND11.

Setting the stage: We booked this cruise about 6 months ago when Disney brought out the kids sail free. while we were not planning on cruising in February we are insane people so had to check the prices. This is what I looked like when I saw the price: however my wallet still did this: . But how can you say no when the prices are so low? Luckily out here in the great white north we get a February break (ski week to some, escape to something above 30 degrees to us, especially DW. She isn't a big fan of the fluffy white stuff. In fact, her favorite season is warm. I know warm isn't a season...but trust me on this one, but I digress). So the timing was good...and we booked it. We decided that we would hold the information back from the kids and have it be a surprise. If you have read my previous trip reports you will see that we had done this once before, and it was really fun to see their reactions. We booked plane tickets and waited. And Waited...and waited.

Well, ok, DW didn't wait as she had to get on the boards and start planning. She quickly found our cruise meet thread...and then found the Fish Extender group (by the way, if you see FE as you are reading the boards...that is Fish Extender. No, this is not additional flippers or fins that are added to existing fish as one might think. If you haven't cruised, there are fish that are above the stateroom numbers which stick out. DCL (oh, Disney Cruise Lines...sorry, I'll try not to use too many initials...as half the time I read the boards and have no idea what the heck people are saying. Have to go to DW to translate) uses these to drop off notes, etc. So the fish extenders are either bags or something that you can drop gifts into. There will be a picture of ours later so hopefully you will understand what I mean.).

Whew...oh, by the way, I DO have a tendency to get off track from time to time. While the quickest way from point A to point B might be a straight line...I'm more like that kid from the Family Circus. So I apologize now for that issue.

Anyhooooo, so DW had to set about making FE gifts for the various cabins. Now, DW is not the type of person to just go out and buy something simple and call it a day. Noooooo, she is much more creative than that...and frequently ends up outdoing herself. I don't think I took a picture of the FE gifts (my bad as I'm the photog of the family), but as I recall there was a maraca pen that she hand printed our cruise and Disney Wonder on, a luggage handle which she hand sewed, a key chain thingy with letters that spelled Disney words...among other things. Yes...she is a Wonder (no pun intended...well, ok it was since I had to back up and capitalize it) ladies and gentlemen...that's why I married her.

Keep in mind that our kids don't know that we are taking this cruise. Luckily we are sailing on the Dream in July...so she used this as the reason why she was working on this stuff, but it still was a bit of a pain to try to hide.

At some point in the months leading up to February it dawned on me that we should tell the kids *something* so that they would actually be less suspicious. Since we had tricked them before I didn't know if we would pull it off again...and if we showed up at the airport and we wouldn't tell them where we were going they would put two and two together (well, DS12 probably would. DW8 tends to live in his own little world...Connor World we call it. It's actually a place I think we would all like to live if given the opportunity, but unfortunately it hasn't worked out for me as of yet). DW's parents live in Palm Springs, her sister lives in Glendale and some friends live in Acadia...so we had excuses to go out there and we told them about a week before we were headed out. Yes, we lied to them. How do you tell your kids not to lie...and then turn around and lie to them about stuff like this. Quite the parents dilemma. Well, ok I didn't really have an issue with it to be honest (<----------see, honesty is the best policy). But it is something you should think about. I'm moving on.

DW had arranged a car to take us to the airport, we had booked our rental car...had lodgings (staying with our friends at Acadia), our plan of attack was in place.

That was....until...we woke up...Friday morning...February 25th...the day we were to fly out...to... SNOW duh-duh-duh (that's creep music in case you don't have a sound card turned on). What was supposed to be 2-3 inches was a white blowing mess outside. Our kids were supposed to go to school for a couple of hours and then we were going to pick them up...but school was delayed by two hours. No biggie on that one.

DW started taking a look at the flights out of our local airport. We were supposed to be flying Continental (our now-not-so-favorite-airline-for-a-couple-of-reasons), Through Newark. Our flight still showed on-time (we were supposed to leave at 12:30, note how I keep saying supposed to (as in supposed to be flying and supposed to leave...this is all foreshadowing. Of course since I have now told you it's foreshadowing I have removed all foreshadowing from the equation, basically making this whole thing kind of stupid. so I'm going to stop now ). I was still a bit nervous because the snow was really starting to come down. Then the schools canceled altogether.

so about 8:30 I started calling Continental. This seems like an easy task, right? wrong. 45 minutes later we finally got through. Oh no, we were assured, your flight is just fine. It will be about 10 minutes late because of crew issues but it will be fine. I asked if the crew was already in the air coming to the airport...oh no, it will be fine, your flight will be a little late but your connection won't be problem. We asked about a similar flight at a similar time out of Boston. Oh no, we can't switch you because your flight will be fine, it will be a little late, but your connection won't be a problem. Hmmm...do they have a recording device that just plays back the same answer? Now, if you have been paying attention and understood the foreshadowing discussion I just had with you (but frankly not sure if foreshadowing is even the right word now that I think about it. But I have put too much time and effort in at this point so I will not be changing it. But I digress...), you know that something...is...about....to...go...terribly...wro ng (duh-duh-duh (there it is again, you really should get your speakers checked)).

Our car was scheduled to pick us up at 10:30...and about 10:10 Deanna checks once again and...guess what...our flight has been CANCELLED (duh-duh-duh).

So, you don't know me from adam. and I have no idea who adam is. But from what little you have just read, you have two choices about my feelings at this point:


Or



in case you are a little slow...the second one was me. So now we are without a flight. Luckily (oh how we love Continental), they were very accommodating and booked us on another flight...for SUNDAY.

I have always considered myself to be pretty smart. so help me here...my cruise leaves sometime around 4pm on Sunday. Continental cancels my flight on FRIDAY...and somehow by flying out Sunday I'm going to make it, right? uh...yeah. NOT.

So now we have an issue (duh-duh-duh...yup, I officially just overused that one. I'll try to stop). DW calls and cancels the car. We ponder our options. Frankly I was ready to rent a car and drive down to Newark to catch the second part of our flight. DW maps it out, and does the math (thank god because at this point I'm so pissed I couldn't have done it even using a calculator) and figures out we can't make it. I leave that option on the table, however, because there are multiple flights at least in the direction of the west coast...and the closer we get Friday the better off we are.

I know! I'll call Continental! Let my fingers do the dialing and... "we're sorry, the call volume is so high that we cannot accept your call, please try again later". AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH. try again...same thing...about the 5th try I managed to get into the queue "the average wait time is 45 minutes". You've got to be kidding me.


OK, so clearly we are NOT going to get out of our local airport...we decide to rent a car and drive down to Boston. At least there are more flights out of there...and even if we don't get to LA we could get to Houston which would be a lot closer. So we hang up...and dial in on our cell phone (yup 45 more minutes) and hop in a friend's car to drive to the local airport and do a one way rental. Just before we get to the airport I finally get through. After thanking them so much for ignoring us this morning when we could have easily rebooked and allowing us to have this extra mega-stress I got down to business. I suggested that perhaps they could nicely transfer us over to United since they are owned by the same company now and do a direct flight. Oh no, sir, we can't do that, but let me see what we can do. Hold again.

Finally she came back and DID get us on the direct flight...at 5pm that night. At this point I was ok with that...and really liked the direct flight because I figure they have to get the plane out there...even if it's late, right? right? ok, this isn't foreshadowing because it actually did get us out there.

So we got to the airport at about 1pm...and got to sit around for 4 hours. The only saving grace there is that my company allows me a Red Carpet club membership so we were able to sit in comfort with snacks. That is not a bad way to go

We also discovered that you can watch TV on your Droid X. How cool is that? I tell you, the things they can pack into those tiny devices is amazing to me. But I digress (yet again).

I'm sorry this is so long...but I want to get us at least to cruise day...so bear with me!

Our flight was uneventful...we made it to LA, and to the Avis parking lot. We walked into the building to get our car...gave the guy our name. He says "well, we had upgraded you to a Mustang Convertible (woohoo! hot damn! I never get that...that will be so fun1), but " he eyes our luggage "there is no way your luggage will fit in that". oh man. Talk about a buzz kill. So we got a Mercury Marquis. I think that's what it was. A grandma car (no offense to the grandmothers out there). I could have been stylin' in a sporty ride...wearin' my fancy kicks (not sure what language I'm speaking now), but because of my dang kids I have to drive a grandma car. oh well.

Now, to add insult to serious injury, our original intention was to arrive around 6:30pm, hit In-N-Out burger for our In-N-Out fix which we had not had in a while. If you don't know what In-N-Out is...you are a lost soul. However if you do ever go to one....order this: double-double Animal Style. Trust me. But because we arrived so late...no one (including me believe it or not) was hungry...and I never passed one on our way to our friend's house. so no go on In-N-Out. fitting ending to the day. OH, and while driving by Staples arena we managed to time things perfectly so that the Lakers-Clippers game was getting out, so everyone and their Mouse was getting out right when we were driving by.

The next day we drove down to the San Diego area to visit DW's grandmother (in our grandma car...which DS8 commented on about 10 times while we were there). I won't bore you with details of that trip as, well, you wouldn't care about it . However I will say this...we went to lunch at a restaurant called On the Border (pretty good Mexican food), and we were going to meet DW's sister and her boyfriend for dinner at his house. If you can do that math on that you will see there are no additional meals left for In-N-Out, so like the Taco Bell commercials I did have to add one...so the boys and I all had a single cheeseburger Animal Style (not as good as a double-double Animal Style) to tide us over. needless to say I was a bit full. Fitting for the day before getting on the cruise!

Now, knowing that the cruise doesn't leave until after 4pm...why couldn't we just go to In-N-Out before boarding? Excellent question...which will be answered in Chapter 2: The Port

Until then...let me know if you have any questions or anything. I promise I will have pictures so you won't be too bored with the text of my writing! Thanks for suffering along with me, and hopefully those keyboard marks on your forehead are not permanent.

--Disneyzell

Last edited by DisneyZell; 04-02-2011 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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Glad you were able to make it to California & I can't wait to read more .
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
LovingRN
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Smile

I'm anxious to hear more! Sorry about the stressful start... BTW when did you finally tell the kids about the cruise? Any possibility to see your Navigators?
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:08 PM   #4
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I'm anxious to hear more too! If you had back to back Cabo days I'd love to see some Navigators.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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You have me ROLLING! Love it! I was on your cruise so I can't wait till the part where you met the awesome chick from Indiana at the meet-up!
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
DisneyZell
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Originally Posted by MamaKate View Post
Glad you were able to make it to California & I can't wait to read more .
me too. of course the stress of getting out there we couldn't share with the kids...I'm surprised DS12 never asked "why are we in such a big hurry, we can just go sunday", but that never happened. Sometimes he is blissfully unaware.

Quote:
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I'm anxious to hear more! Sorry about the stressful start... BTW when did you finally tell the kids about the cruise? Any possibility to see your Navigators?
well, on your first question you will have to wait and see. As of the end of my writing we had not yet told them. They thought we were just going to California to see friends and family.

On the second, I *think* DW has the navigators, assuming she does I'll do my best to scan and post them. thanks for the note.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissame View Post
I'm anxious to hear more too! If you had back to back Cabo days I'd love to see some Navigators.
Thanks for the note! again I'll try. The one thing we were never able to figure out for sure is why we didn't just anchor in the harbor of Cabo and just stay there. Maybe someone reading knows. We had thoughts that maybe they would have charged more...or that the mexican authorities would not allow it because they would have had to patrol the harbor...or maybe it wouldn't be safe because we could be boarded? who knows. Pretty funny...at least the second day we got to moore closer to the port!


Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaPrincess View Post
You have me ROLLING! Love it! I was on your cruise so I can't wait till the part where you met the awesome chick from Indiana at the meet-up!
lol...thanks! the cruise meet was pretty cool. For us...the kids were bored of course! What's up with that? Kids...sheesh!

thanks all for your kind words, keep 'em coming, I'll keep writing.

--Disneyzell
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
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You have me ROLLING! Love it! I was on your cruise so I can't wait till the part where you met the awesome chick from Indiana at the meet-up!
Hi I am from NJ and booked same cruise 2/12, Now I am going to worry about snow for the next year LOL onlyhalf kidden.

Last year we were on the Magic and also ran into a bit of trouble on our first 24 hours Our Disney Magic Adventure 2/13/10 to 2/20/10 Operation Disney lines........
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2403413

I am really enjoying your report, can't wait for more.

Thanks for sharing
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trip report 2/13/10 http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2403413
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #8
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I'm in for the read. You made me laugh and even though your first post has no pictures (kind of a requirement for me to read a TR) your sense of humor hooked me.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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I'm in for the read. You made me laugh and even though your first post has no pictures (kind of a requirement for me to read a TR) your sense of humor hooked me.
This is DW now...I will make sure DH puts pictures in tomorrow...I don't know what he was thinking!
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #10
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I'm in for the read. You made me laugh and even though your first post has no pictures (kind of a requirement for me to read a TR) your sense of humor hooked me.
ACK! see, I KNEW at some point she would try to take over my TR. Keep an eye on her.

I promise I'll have pictures tomorrow. in fact there are alot. The first day I think I took around 50. While I cannot post all of them (they put a limit on this thing of like 12. I remember on the last TR it took me about 45 minutes to write my TR and 2 hours to figure out how to cut out the pictures and still tell my story. ), I'll try to post many.

OH, and I can't wait for you guys to see the princess pictures. Keep in mind that I only have boys.

Thanks for the comments everyone, keep 'em comin!
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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Subbing.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:08 PM   #12
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Can't wait to read more....
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:13 AM   #13
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Can't Wait to Read More!

You have me hooked on reading your TR with your sense of humour and creative writing style. I have a son who loves Princess Ariel so I'm anxiously awaiting to hear about your sons' meeting with the Princesses. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences!
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:35 AM   #14
DisneyZell
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You have me hooked on reading your TR with your sense of humour and creative writing style. I have a son who loves Princess Ariel so I'm anxiously awaiting to hear about your sons' meeting with the Princesses. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences!
Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate all of you lying to me about my sense of humor...but fear not! DW keeps me grounded.

Unfortunately my princess story won't quite fit with your son's...but I think it's great that he likes Princess Ariel. One of the things I love about most Disney characters is that they teach important lessons...like going after dreams.

I went after dreams last night but failed *sigh* still on west coast time

and on with the next chapter...
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #15
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I'm enjoying your TR. I would have been soooo stressed out dealing with all the flight cancellations..... Looking forward to more...
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