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Old 10-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #31
kindsoul73
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I'm surprising my kids (5 & 7) this weekend, we leave Sunday. I am not sure how I'll do it, but you bet I'll record their reaction!
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #32
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We are leaving on November 11th aboard the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral. It will be a surprise for our 9 y/o.

We live on the West Coast of Florida, and one set of grandparents live just north of Port Canaveral. So he will think that we are going for a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's and won't suspect a thing b/c we will be driving the exact same route.

We'll tell him just before we get off of the exit, which will be moments before arriving. We expect him to go on complete sensory overload immediately.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:34 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by OurDogCisco View Post
We are surprising our girls ages 11 and 15 for our Disney cruise in November. Our story is that we decided to go on a cruise with Grandma and Grandma only cruises Princess. I even booked the cruise and then, I started reading the reviews and one of my friends came back from a Princess cruise and said that they were not for kids. This is one of the older ships as well. So, I convinced Grandma to go on a Disney cruise. The kids still think we are going on the Princess cruise. Our running joke it is the knitting cruise with high tea every afternoon. No offense to Princess cruise lovers out there (I researched it by looking at their Pitter Patter - daily newspaper). Really this cruise isn't very kid friendly. Anyways, the girls are also shocked that Mommy doesn't want to do anything Disney this year. We always do something Disney whether it is Disneyland, WDW or cruise. I've ordered t-shirts too. Plus, I'm making the FE gifts while they are asleep at night. Also, because I booked late we had to fly in and out of Tampa Bay Airport so, I booked a room at Vero Beach for one night to get our Disney fix. LOL... I haven't decided when to tell them. So, they know to bring their pins for trading at Vero Beach and we'll have to smuggle extras for the cruise because I'm sure they will bring a tiny bag of them. I can't wait. I'll let you know how it goes.
Love this!!!
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:05 PM   #34
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Having surprise my kids before with they cations, I don't think I would do it again. At least not the type for you surprise them and leave that day or the day after. It's wonderful to see the surprise interface but usually only after they wake up. The problem comes with preparation. All packing and organizing has to be done when they're not around. This usually happens after they're in bed. So, for at least a week or 2 before, DW and I are short on sleep. It's just not worth it to be exhausted the first couple of days of the trip. We are surprising are boys with a trip to WDW. Will probably tell them at Christmas the trip won't happen for sometime in the future. Your mileage may vary but that's what works for us
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:04 PM   #35
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I’ve surprised my DD twice. First time was a trip to DL for Halloween. My BFF and I told our girls we were going “shopping” for the weekend when we met up at the airport. Little did they know, the shopping was at Disneyland for 4 days.

The second time was for a Disney cruise. Same BFF and her girls were along, but her girls thought they were visiting family and my DD thought we were going to Baha Mas (we had a 5 day on the Dream to the Bahamas, and being from New Mexico I figured I could get away with a different pronunciation). Well, we all met up at the airport, and my BFF and I played it off like it was a coincidence we were all on the same plane (especially since my DD thought we were driving!). Get to Florida, and by golly, we all got into the same rental car to Cape Canaveral. We still hadn’t told them where we were going and I figured my DD would know was soon as we pulled into the hotel as we had stayed there the year before on our first cruise. Nope, secret still intact. Fast forward to the next morning and breakfast. BFF and I thought we would just continue waiting and tell them when we pulled up to the ship. Not happening. Our very nice waitress at breakfast, let the secret slip by saying “Have a nice cruise.” She knew immediately by the looks on my face and BFF’s face that we hadn’t told the girls, and felt horrible. Secret out, and we had three very excited little girls. It was hard to keep, but the looks on those three faces were priceless. I just wish we could have had the camera out to capture them. Maybe next time. Especially since my surprising my DD with a week at Disneyland for New Year’s this year. What a Christmas present.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #36
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I have surprised my kids with 2 cruises. The first one didn't quite have the reaction I was looking for but I wouldn't change it. I am hoping to book a New Year's cruise in 2014. We will probably fly out Christmas night and I plan on surprising them xmas morning.

Here are the trip reports that talk about how I surprised them.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....ghlight=easter

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=thanksgiving
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:43 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by sweetpee_1993 View Post
I was hoping there'd be some teenager surprises. LOL! We're "gifting" our teen sons with a 1/18 cruise as one of their Christmas gifts. Hubby mentioned waiting until the day of the cruise to tell them but I don't think that would go over with the 16 year old so well. It is sooooo incredibly hard to keep this all a secret!!! We've never surprised them before with a trip! But how to "gift" a cruise to teenagers?! It has to be at the same time because they'll pick up on what's going on if the other is flipping out. I thought about the whole scavenger hunt thing but the hubby is right, the moment we start one of those they'll know what's up. I'm thinking what we'll do is make a message in a bottle then wrap it up in a box like a regular present. I'm not going to put it under the Christmas tree with all the other gifts, tho. Nope. I'm going to wait. I want them to have all their other gifts like other Christmases. Maybe we'll wait a little while, maybe we'll wait a few hours. I want to "discover" a missed gift sorta like Ralphie did in 'A Christmas Story'. It'll be a gift for both boys so they'll open it up and discover their final gift together. Or, I could make a cake for Christmas dessert and write it on top. LOL!
Love this thread!! We are sailing on the Fantasy on Feb 2nd and are surprising our girls (ages 11 and 14) for Christmas. They know that my DH and I are going (to celebrate my 40th birthday on February 3rd) - but they think they are staying with grandma because they have school. We decided to bring them along as well. We are telling the Christmas morning so that we can give them some time to adjust as well as to get assignments from teachers if necessary.

We are working on a plan right now on how to tell them - but needless to say, this is pretty much their big "Santa" gift. We are asking all of the family to give them cruise related stuff - snorkel and fins, luggage, shirts, etc. When I have a final plan, I will make sure to share it with you all!

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #38
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We didn't get to surprise our family a day or even a week or month ahead of time, but it's working out. Last year when we found out DCL would be leaving from Galveston my mom and I decided to take the whole family (10 of us!) on a Disney Cruise. We're going on the NYE cruise right after Christmas so last Christmas when my brother and sis-in-law and my four nieces and nephews (then 12, 10, 4, and 2) were done opening presents at my parents' my mom and I told them to enjoy their presents because they weren't getting any this Christmas (at least not any gift wrapped with a bow lol). Right before the water works started my mom told them, "BECAUSE WE'RE GOING ON A DISNEY CRUISE!" We had just been to WDW that August so they were still on a bit of a Mickey high and everyone was just beside themselves with excitement to go back and see Mickey again! My youngest nephew even learned to swim over the summer so he could swim in Mickey's pool.

Now, they know when we're going, but that's all they know. We've booked all the excursions and kept all the ship's activities a secret, including pirate night! So they still have things to be surprised about.

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Old 10-24-2012, 07:38 PM   #39
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Thanks for all the great stories and input. It was VERY helpful to me! As much as I would like to surprise them the morning we sail, after taking into account my kids personalities, I've decided that I will "surprise" them over Thanksgiving - about 2 weeks before we leave - by wrapping up a present with tickets or a brochure, or something to show them we are going on a cruise. I may do a scavenger hunt like some of you have done, slowly building up the clues. That way they will get a surprise but still have a couple weeks to plan and build the excitement. I could picture my kids, especially the older one, reacting in the same way as some of the stories on here where the surprise didn't go so well!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:10 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorMomInNC
Thanks for all the great stories and input. It was VERY helpful to me! As much as I would like to surprise them the morning we sail, after taking into account my kids personalities, I've decided that I will "surprise" them over Thanksgiving - about 2 weeks before we leave - by wrapping up a present with tickets or a brochure, or something to show them we are going on a cruise. I may do a scavenger hunt like some of you have done, slowly building up the clues. That way they will get a surprise but still have a couple weeks to plan and build the excitement. I could picture my kids, especially the older one, reacting in the same way as some of the stories on here where the surprise didn't go so well!
I'm about to surprise my kiddos on Sunday. I can't believe they haven't figured it out (they are 5 and 8 ). My DH and I even discussed how to pull off the reveal in the car the other day. Then tonight someone told us to have fun on the cruise.

My kids are so clueless (they are just too sweet and innocent to believe anyone would be trying to trick them, I guess). I shouldn't be surprised. I got away with Christmas shopping for them while they tagged along last year. "Oh, you want that? I'll be sure to tell Santa! But this one is for your cousin."

We are going to "visit" the Dream and then "decide" to cruise. I just hope they understand after the fact that that will NEVER happen again! It actually took planning on mommy's part, so don't expect to hop on the ship every time we visit Aunt Crystal in Merritt Island.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #41
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We surprised our kiddos @ xmas 2011, for a Jan 2012 cruise. I made a puzzle they unwrapped and the four of them had to put it together to see the pic of the magic and words "cruising the magic Jan 21 2012" They were pretty excited.

They only had a few weeks notice which was fab, this time they know it's planned for Feb 2014, they get to help in the "saving" for the trip.

After that they each opened a gift bag with shorts/tees/flip flops, they loved it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #42
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I'm about to surprise my kiddos on Sunday. I can't believe they haven't figured it out (they are 5 and 8 ). My DH and I even discussed how to pull off the reveal in the car the other day. Then tonight someone told us to have fun on the cruise.

My kids are so clueless (they are just too sweet and innocent to believe anyone would be trying to trick them, I guess). I shouldn't be surprised. I got away with Christmas shopping for them while they tagged along last year. "Oh, you want that? I'll be sure to tell Santa! But this one is for your cousin."

We are going to "visit" the Dream and then "decide" to cruise. I just hope they understand after the fact that that will NEVER happen again! It actually took planning on mommy's part, so don't expect to hop on the ship every time we visit Aunt Crystal in Merritt Island.
This cracked me up!

My kids are 5 and 8 also (and btw we are originally from Orlando!).

Please post when you come back and let us know how it went!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #43
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Surprise!!!

The wife and I are surprising our children (DD 10 and DS 6) on the 11/3/12 Magic (Galveston departure) Western Caribbean sailing. Currently my cover story is similar to a few that I have read in this thread but I will share anyway. We have family in the Houston area that we visit often so we are going to combine a first night family dinner with a few days vacation in Galveston. I told them that our hotel is "on the water" quite literally as they are soon to learn. My DD is sharp and I believe she suspects something related to the trip because of the dresses my wife has purchased for her. But so far we have her convinced that on a couple of nights during vacation we will be enjoying a "dinner cruise" thus the need for her dresses. In addition, both grandmothers and one grandfather will be coming and the kids have no idea about that part of the trip, they just think we will be seeing them a couple of nights for dinner. I am fully confident that from this trip forward, my DD will never again trust me about vacation destinations.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #44
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We just paid for our first cruise today for the Jan 4th out of Galveston. We will tell them Christmas morning (not sure how yet) IF I can keep my mouth closed
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:43 PM   #45
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We just paid for our first cruise today for the Jan 4th out of Galveston. We will tell them Christmas morning (not sure how yet) IF I can keep my mouth closed
That is the benefit of booking last minute. I only have to keep my mouth shut for a month . I don't think I'll ever do this again though. I have found that the anticipation is just so much of the fun for our family.
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