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Old 11-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #1
Donathius
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I just can't stand it anymore! Pre-MR TR (Jan 15, 2012)

Okay...I just can't take it anymore. My wife just rolls her eyes whenever I bring up the cruise now, but I can't help it! I'm excited. We haven't been able to do anything like this since we got married and I'm looking forward to it.

Here's a little backstory first:
We got married a month after I graduated from college in 2008. I think I just about died of exhaustion/stress that April as I was getting ready to get married and finishing up my senior project.

I graduated in April, and we were married at the end of May. Due to my parents donating a TON of hotel points and frequent flier miles we were able to do a week in Disney World for about $600 for the 2 of us.

After our honeymoon it was back to reality. Two days after we got back my wife was laid off from her full time job as the company was being sold. I still had not yet secured full-time employment as the economy was in the early stages of tanking. I was still working part-time at the campus IT Helpdesk, but I could only keep that job for 3 more months as it was a student position.

As luck would have it a full-time technician position opened up elsewhere on campus just as I was running out of employment time. I applied and got the job with 2 weeks of employment left. We weren't going to get rich (in fact we were still pretty danged poor) but I made enough to get by and we had good health insurance.

Well things changed a lot in that job over the next 3 years and I started looking for other employment. Thankfully another major university was nearby (literally on the same street just a few miles away) and they had IT personnel positions open up. I applied and got basically the same job, with fewer people to support, two assistants, and a 30% raise.

With this raise we decided to do something fun. We started looking at cruises (as neither of us have ever gone). We didn't want to do Carnival, but we really needed to stay on the west coast due to the cost of getting to Florida for a Caribbean cruise. I checked out Disney and lo and behold it was actually the cheapest option for us, plus the timing worked out perfectly for one of the grandparents to babysit our DS1. So we contacted a travel agent, paid the deposit, and...waited.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:28 PM   #2
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I subscribed..

wonderful to read/hear your prospective, since I have been cruising DCL since day 1 of the Magic.. and of course WE ARE ON THE SAME CRUISE.

anyway, great way to get ready for a trip of a lifetime on the Wonder!!
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:16 PM   #3
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I feel exactly like you do! We are on the cruise the week after you and I feel like I am going to go crazy waiting!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:50 AM   #4
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I'm subscribing to your TR. We'll be on the same cruise so I can't wait to follow along.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:55 AM   #5
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subscribing can't wait to hear all the details--we are taking the same cruise in march. have a great time!
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:14 AM   #6
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Wow - people are actually interested in what I have to say. Who knew? I just needed a place to get these thoughts out of my head since I'm driving my wife nuts.

Anyway...I'm going to freely admit to being a serious overplanner. However, it's also why I'm good at my job, I obsess over details. I had done a fair amount of research ahead of time about good stateroom locations, prices, etc. We determined that we couldn't afford a verandah (or even a window) but we're fine doing an inside stateroom. I called up the travel agent and basically said "We're going on a Disney cruise, I'd like you to handle it, here's the date and the stateroom I want." He said "Ok" and took my money.

We were originally booked in room 7067 which is a Cat11a. A few days after we arranged the cruise we were having dinner with a couple friend of ours and told them about the cruise. They started asking questions and we invited them to come over to our place where we could talk more about it and I could show them the vacation planning DVD.

A few days later they're at our house and I'm standing there showing them the various parts of the DVD, standing in the front of the living room like an aggressive time share salesman. We had them convinced to go, and they were even going to get a stateroom 2 doors down from us. Well about 2 days later they call us and say that they can't go - they found out the day after my sales pitch that they were pregnant and she's going to be too far along to cruise. Oh well.

So we just kinda sat on things for a while. Started making some slow arrangements, I asked all sorts of questions on the dis trying to figure out the best times for flights, whether or not to come in a day early, stuff like that. Then something caught my eye - I saw a few comments about "sideways" staterooms and did a little investing and I liked what I saw. As it turns out there was a sideways room one deck below ours, and one category lower that would be perfect - and it has a steamer trunk! So I called our TA to make the change and I just happened to do it during the week of the big cruise sale that the whole industry does. So instead of the price dropping $80 due to the category change it dropped $400! So we're going to go swimming with dolphins
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donathius View Post
We were originally booked in room 7067 which is a Cat11a. A few days after we arranged the cruise we were having dinner with a couple friend of ours and told them about the cruise. They started asking questions and we invited them to come over to our place where we could talk more about it and I could show them the vacation planning DVD.


So we just kinda sat on things for a while. Started making some slow arrangements, I asked all sorts of questions on the dis trying to figure out the best times for flights, whether or not to come in a day early, stuff like that. Then something caught my eye - I saw a few comments about "sideways" staterooms and did a little investing and I liked what I saw. As it turns out there was a sideways room one deck below ours, and one category lower that would be perfect - and it has a steamer trunk! So I called our TA to make the change and I just happened to do it during the week of the big cruise sale that the whole industry does. So instead of the price dropping $80 due to the category change it dropped $400! So we're going to go swimming with dolphins

your our neighbor, I think...we are deck 6 sideways as well.. no not neighbors, but close... we are port side and you are starboard.

gonna be a GREAT trip..
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Last edited by geffric; 12-01-2011 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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So I left off with our change of room selection, right? So we were looking at a few different options for getting out to California for our cruise. We live in Utah, so driving isn't out of the running, but I really didn't want to go on this nice relaxing cruise and then drive 12 hours home. So we decided to fly.

To that end we started putting a lot of everyday purchases on our Delta skymiles AmEx (and paying it off of course) to the point where we had enough miles for one free round-trip. Well my wife's step-mother works for Accenture and travels a TON so we asked them about maybe "borrowing" some FF miles. Turns out they just decided to gift us the flights for the trip. As a bonus we're booked on Southwest instead of Delta which becomes advantageous for several reasons (that I will explain later).

So now we've got the cruise set up (and paid for) and the flight arrangements taken care of? What else is there to do...oh yeah we need a hotel to stay in. I started doing some research about places to stay and I was really wanting to do either the DoubleTree or Crowne Plaza in San Pedro. The problem was that they're both more expensive than we'd want to spend on a one night stay for me and my DW. Well I did a little digging and it turns out that the Crowne Plaza is the ONLY hotel in San Pedro that does Priceline bids - so there's no risk of getting a crappy room. So I start experimenting on Priceline a bit and we got the room for $65+tax where it's normally $165+tax.

Okay - cruise? Check. Flight? Check. Hotel? Check. I still feel like I'm forgetting something. Something REALLY important. Like something really bad could happen if I forgot about it...oh yeah! Now I remember! We're not taking our DS1 with us and he's a little young to stay home by himself. We have a really smart dog, but I don't think he'd be capable of feeding, changing, and all that. The playing part would be fine, but the kiddo's only got 6 teeth and I don't think he likes dog food very much.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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So of all things to have issues with the biggest problem turned out to be the babysitting. Yeah, I guess we could take DS1 with us, but half the point of this cruise is for DW and myself to get some time alone.

Originally the plan was for my mom to watch him, but that kind of broke down for several odd reasons that I won't get into. She was going to come up from California to our house to watch DS, but that's not going to work out now. Well my mother-in-law is an elementary school teacher in southern Utah AND the week we're going to be gone includes Martin Luther King day so she has a free day off. Combine that with some other things she has going on that week and she'll be watching him no problem.

So that's taken care of, and it turns out that change in plans is one of the reasons why flying on Southwest turned out to be so nice. Our original flight plan was to fly round trip from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, but we now have to take our DS to grandma's house 4 hours away and then bring him home. We're currently looking at two possibilities. One is for grandma and grandpa to come up to our house the day before we fly out and the take him to their house, the other is for us to drive down there and fly out of Las Vegas - with either option we're most likely going to return to Vegas anyway. The great thing about Southwest with this? No change fee, we just have to pay the difference in the fare (not to mention the free 2 checked bags per person).

We're still negotiating this one with grandma, trying to figure out what's going to work best for everyone.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Now comes some of the fun. I seem to have finally gotten my wife on board with the excess anticipation. She's finally gotten the bug that I've been carrying for 6 months. We ended up over at Hobby Lobby the other night and she's making a cruise blanket for us to take. We got several yards of red fabric with Mickey heads all over it as well as some nice warm fleece for the backing. We also got a yard of straight black to make two Mickey heads (technically one Mickey and one Minnie) for the top of the blanket and some red/white polka dot fabric to make a bow for the Minnie bow (I'll post a picture once it's done).

This is just making the anticipation worse. Before it was just me being crazy, now my wife is on board ("This once proud vessel has become a floating psycho ward" - name the movie!). She's gone from tolerating me bringing it up all the time to asking me about it, which is really funny as all I've had to go on is the info I've gotten from the disboards and a few other online resources.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:05 PM   #11
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OK, I'm on board, especially since we are on the same cruise
Love the blanket idea. You have to post a pic when it's done.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:16 PM   #12
suzanneaz
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How fun for you and your wife!!! I understand there is a pirate night....have you gotten your pirate costumes ready?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donathius View Post
So I left off with our change of room selection, right? So we were looking at a few different options for getting out to California for our cruise. We live in Utah, so driving isn't out of the running, but I really didn't want to go on this nice relaxing cruise and then drive 12 hours home. So we decided to fly.

To that end we started putting a lot of everyday purchases on our Delta skymiles AmEx (and paying it off of course) to the point where we had enough miles for one free round-trip. Well my wife's step-mother works for Accenture and travels a TON so we asked them about maybe "borrowing" some FF miles. Turns out they just decided to gift us the flights for the trip. As a bonus we're booked on Southwest instead of Delta which becomes advantageous for several reasons (that I will explain later).

So now we've got the cruise set up (and paid for) and the flight arrangements taken care of? What else is there to do...oh yeah we need a hotel to stay in. I started doing some research about places to stay and I was really wanting to do either the DoubleTree or Crowne Plaza in San Pedro. The problem was that they're both more expensive than we'd want to spend on a one night stay for me and my DW. Well I did a little digging and it turns out that the Crowne Plaza is the ONLY hotel in San Pedro that does Priceline bids - so there's no risk of getting a crappy room. So I start experimenting on Priceline a bit and we got the room for $65+tax where it's normally $165+tax.

Okay - cruise? Check. Flight? Check. Hotel? Check. I still feel like I'm forgetting something. Something REALLY important. Like something really bad could happen if I forgot about it...oh yeah! Now I remember! We're not taking our DS1 with us and he's a little young to stay home by himself. We have a really smart dog, but I don't think he'd be capable of feeding, changing, and all that. The playing part would be fine, but the kiddo's only got 6 teeth and I don't think he likes dog food very much.
We are on the same trip. Thanks for the priceline info I just got a room for the same price. I hope we can leave our car for free still. But if not it is still a great price for the location.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:58 PM   #14
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I love your pre trip report!! I can imagine how squirrely you're going with your cruise now only a month away!! Ours is not until Sept 2012 so I can only hope that by the time it is actually here my family isn't sick of it already--with me talking about it all the time!!

Can't wait to see pics of your cruise blanket! Are you guys doing fish extenders?

will look forward to more and a trip report!!
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
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Subbing!

I cant wait for this cruise! I'm going insane at home too, you're not the only one
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