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Old 10-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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If you surprised your kids, how did it go?

I'm interested in hearing from people who surprised their kids with a DCL cruise. I've seen posts where people talk about doing this, but I'm curious how it turned out. I have just booked a week on the Fantasy in December for myself, my mom, and my 2 boys. My current plan is to just tell them we are going to drive by the Fantasy and then surprise them by going on board. But I have a couple concerns, including that my 2 boys (ages 5 and 8) have always enjoyed the build up to a cruise, and I wonder if I am going to regret the chance to do all the planning and discussion of the cruise with them. So if you surprised your kids, let me know if you regret it or if it turned out well, and what if anything you would different. Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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I really want to know as well. When we were on the Fantasy I heard someone that had surprised their kids and I told my DSs. My DS 11 really liked that and asked me why they never got a surprise like that. We are going on the Magic in the Med in June and we are just going to tell the boys that we are doing a holiday in Barcelona.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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I'll try to come back and remember to tell you. We're surprising my girls (both 6) next Saturday! They think we're going in January (after Christmas) but we wound up getting transferred, so we moved the date up to Halloween week! They have no idea! We're a 6 hour drive away from Galveston, so we're going to tell them that Daddy has to go to work in Houston for a weekend, and we're going to tag along and stay in a hotel (they love hotels!). Then when we wake up, after breakfast just go and drive on over to the port. I assume that once we see the ship, they'll start asking if that's what we'll go on in January- and that's when we'll drop the bomb that we're going on it right now!

I'm so incredibly excited about doing this and I hope that I don't have it all hyped up in my head and it turn out horribly
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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I surprised my DS 12 for our Christmas 2011 cruise.
I waited to tell him for a couple of reasons, first because we booked it so far in advance that it was difficult even for me to wait the whole year and have the days drift slowly by, plus, I wanted to tell him in a special way.
Our cruise left on Dec. 24 so we told him 30 days before on Thanksgiving Day 2011. To prepare for the "telling" I made a count down sheet from 30 to 1, I made family t-shirts, personalized water bottle, and other little things. These I put in a box. I then made a scavenger hunt that took him around the house, to the neighbor's, a phone call to the grandparent's, each spot had a clue plus the next location. The clues had something to do about the cruise.
Once he had all the clues he tried to figure it out. I then handed him the last clue and he found the box. On the top of the box was a card I made explaining where he was going to spend his Christmas this year. He then open the box.
The surprise went over perfectly. He was so excited.
I asked him later if he would have preferred we told him all along and he said no because it would have been too long to wait.

For our next cruise, Mar 9, 2013, we will tell him at Christmas, a little over two months before.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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Great thread and great question! My wife and I decided to surprise our kids (8,10) last April and it was a DISASTER!!! Well at first anyway. We got to the airport for our flight down to Orlando, or course the kids are thinking (and yes, we told them) we're going to Florida for vacation. So we're waiting in the TSA line when one of the TSA agents picks us out of the crowd and starts asking questions...where are you going, what's the purpose of your trip, that sort of thing. We start out being kind of vague, so of course he wants to inspect our boarding passes, ID, etc more carefully...Oh, he says, you're going on a Disney cruise! That's awesome, we did that last year and had a great time! Well the kids are mortified, no Florida?! Disney cruise, what's that? A boat? Won't it be scary, what if the boat sinks? We were both speechless. Somehow got them on the plane, and once they saw the Magic, everything was good. We had the most awesome time and now they can't wait to go back! I guess it never occurred to us that they might not like the idea at first. First time cruisers beware.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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Surprise TWICE

We surprised our children (3 & 5)twice in one year. The first was our cruise in May 2011, which was horribly hard for me because I was making door ears and preparing FE gifts, putting things in a tub and buying summer clothes since my children are young each season brings new clothes. Then came the packing late at night just hoping they won't figure out we were going somewhere. FINALLY, we have a three hour drive to the airport and once we arrived at the airport parking we couldn't hide it any longer. On the way to the airport we told our children we were going on a Disney Cruise...they were in shock, I am not sure they believed us. It was great and they were so excited for EVERYTHING that followed. Plus I didn't have to answer questions about when we were going for 6 months bc I was so excited my self not sure I could have handled the excitement of the two kids also.

We also surprised them with a WDW trip later in 2011, that one was great bc we had them so fooled. We were driving (22 hours) to get there and we kept printing and mapping out different ways to get there. My daughter found one of the maps and was playing around, I was thinking we are BUSTED, but instead she kept telling me we were going for a drive and this was the map. We just made a game out of it. So at 10 PM told the kids we had to go get gas and it couldn't wait. Mommy didn't want to go by herself so Daddy had to come meaning you two in your pjs (sleepheads) had to be put in the car. I drove all night and they slept, not realizing we were driving through 4 states! When they finally woke up we told our daughter that we "were just following her map" she wanted us to follow it after all. As we got closer we started asking her where she was sending us and she probably should have figured that out first before just giving us a map. The finally started seeing signs and my daughter was so proud of herself for giving us a map to Mickey. She still talks about it and tells everyone it was her map that got us there. VERY CUTE.

I wouldn't change either time, I honestly am wishing we would have planned the next cruise this May as a surprise but we didn't and the kids know this time around.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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My DSs were 6 and 9 when we booked a last minute cruise, 1 week in advance. My oldest is a big planner and always likes being involved in the plans, but I thought this would be fun to wake up in the morning and tell them we were going to Florida to go on a cruise. Nope! He said he wasn't going. He had soccer camp that day and had to go because his group was playing his friends group that day. We drove (24 hours) and he wasn't right for the drive down or the beginning of the cruise. While its a funny story now, this really threw him for a loop....and I learned never to surprise him again.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
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Well I love surprising them. We have done it twice and doing it again this year.
First in 2011 we surprised them with WDW. We along with 2 of our friends families told our kids we were going to Daytona. Not sure why they believed that since Mommy never goes to FL without WDW... So when we got to baggage claim, I handed them each a poem that told them we were getting on the Magical Express instead. They were so excited!!

Then Xmas 2011 , Had Milliepie make me a graphic, of which I cut into puzzle pieces. I put an envelope with a piece in each gift. After unwrapping them all they put it together and it said your going to LA and on a Disney cruise!! They were so excited. I would love to just fly to FL to visit "Aunt Bev" and then just pull up to port. It is hard not telling them ahead of time since DD 12 is in 7th grade so she has to get homework ahead of time and she likes getting it done before going.

This year our friends(DD's BFF's) and us are gonna have card night Dec 22nd and then make them do a scavenger hunt for their desert...LOL we do goofy stuff like that. But it will be a big box at the end with shirts in it that says (on the front)"All I want for Christmas is" (on the back) "a Disney cruise" with a graphic of the Magic. They will flip out!!!!! Feb can't come soon enough. I don't care how many we have done, each cruise is sooooooo exciting for them and us!
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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I had to ask my daughter if she could go on the cruise before I booked it because it involves her missing school for 2 days (she's in high school) but I'm keeping some of the things we are doing as surprises. She doesn't know about the dolphin swim, or the pillow cases I had embroidered with our names and the dates of the cruise, but she'll absolutely love them.

I do think much of the fun is the anticipation, and it is a surprise if they find out on the way to the cruise or months before.

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Old 10-21-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Here's another surprise-that- didn't -go -so -well scenario. Kids were 6 and 9. Pick them up from school. Both grandmas are in the backseat of the minivan- and the kids thought that was fun/funny. Then I have these cards that I flip through as my husband is driving out of the school the say WE ...ARE...GOING...ON A DISNEY CRUISE! and the grandmothers throw Mickey confetti all over the car. And the oldest says WHEN? and I say -NOW. And she bursts into tears which then causes the younger one to cry too. The grandmothers are looking horrified- and my husband just keeps on driving. It was awful- funny now- but I then spent 45 minutes to the airport- making this amazing thing amazing. And- my kids truly aren't spoiled awful kids- the older one just very much likes to "know the plan" in all aspects of her life- and in my excitement about doing this great surprise- I forgot that. Now- it's sort of a running joke- whenever they don't exactly know where we are going to say- Are we going on a Disney Cruise?
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
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We are going the week after Thanksgiving for our first Disney cruise. We will tell our dd7 2 weeks before we go. We will do a scavenger hunt. This way she will have some time to plan and talk about it, but not months to drive me crazy.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #13
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My husband wanted to surprise our daughter who is 4 1/2 but she is a cautious child and likes to know what situations she will be getting herself info. So I decided to tell. We had the mickey phone call tell her and then we explained and we showed her YouTube videos of the ship and now she's super psyched for it!!! I'm glad we told her she's telling everyone how much she can't wait to go on the Disney cruise in December!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:58 PM   #14
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we surprised them about two weeks prior- we had planned to wait till the day prior- mainly out of anticipation- they are DD7 and DS3 (days from being 4 at the time) We broke because I got caught in so many lies- so we told them.

My plan had been for Mickey to call, watch the planning video then head up to pack and leave the next AM... we did the same- just a 2 week time period between telling and leaving.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:57 PM   #15
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We are waiting to tell our DDs. My DH felt strongly to tell them in advance so they'd have the fun of anticipating the cruise. We have compromised at telling them a week ahead. I am going to do the phone call and have their new disney tees somewhere and have them find them. We already know what we are planning for the port adventures, so they can't help with that, but they can learn about the onboard stuff and where we are going.

We are traveling with good friends that live several states away and whom we see once a year. We are not going to tell our girls that they are going with us - we will let them be surprised in Orlando airport! Now that will be fun!! 5 weeks to go!!

Good luck with your surprise! Hope it goes well!!
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