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Old 09-04-2013, 05:43 PM   #31
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Sounds like a good trip. Some ways of savings, forget souvenirs for the most part they end up in drawers. Pressed pennies are good. Photos with family, characters or funny ones are great. Sit down dinners are expensive. If you can stick to casual dinning but maybe places like Columbia House that are a little more upscale. Like others said drink tap water (bring crystal light), snacks from home and sometimes even buying something at the resort store is cheaper than buying it at the park. Lots of good advice on other things in this thread.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #32
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Thank you. You guys just made me feel so much more relaxed about the money. I was racking my brain with numbers. The Plaza is an excellent table service meal idea. I originally planned planet hollywood for the ts because you get the $15 coupon. I was going to get the salad. My kids are simple they don't need much to be happy. My aunt is giving me $50 to buy the kids a gift. I'm going to walgreens to get them each a $25 gift card to spend on any souvenir of their choice. They're 6 and 8 years old. I'm trying to keep my mind off what he did to me but my leg where he kicked me hurts like heck . I'm going to tell the detective I'm going to be out of the country for a few days because I won't have any cellphone service on the ship so the 8th through the 12th I won't be reachable.

I'm going to try my best to just keep my mind off him and his betrayal. Its so easy to get sucked into a depression . I just feel so betrayed . He's already taken so much from me . I don't want to let him take away the joy of this trip. I want to be excited and joyful.

We have a tradition of eating in the airport the day we leave but I just told my kids i'd be making breakfast sandwiches for their breakfast to eat on the plane and packing hotdogs for lunch to eat at the resort...and surprisingly..they didn't care ...they're still excited . I told them i'd get them a cheeseburger kids meal for dinner with a burger ,fries and grapes...they said YAY GRAPES! They're so cute...just seeing them be so excited and not wanting or caring about extras just made me feel better. I just got them excited about the free things on the ship...the aquaduck..the beach at castaway cay ..the waterpark at castaway cay. They're super excited.

We'll be staying at CocoKey water park resort after we leave the Dream. I chose cocokey because my kids love waterparks and they have queen size beds.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:57 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by hlg22 View Post
I echo what others have said, and am chiming in only to encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), if you haven't already - they can help you figure out what to do to ensure your and your children's safety while your ex is still on the loose, possible direct you to no-cost temporary emergency housing in your area, and assist you with next steps in moving forward from here.
This-call the hotline-get temporary housing and go on vacation. Take a jar of peanut butter and apples in your luggage. Take some koolaid too and you can make drinks in the room if you get tired of water. Drink water at all meals you're paying for. No one orders drinks!
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:12 PM   #34
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Here's a spot for a cheap meal and they are good. It's in downtown Disney.

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Old 09-04-2013, 06:43 PM   #35
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When we were at universal they had an all you can eat all day meal plan. The price for kids was pretty cheap-I would call and ask about it! Last time we went we had breakfast in the room (granola bars fruit and cereal) and snacks in the park- candy from rite aid, granola bars and fruit and drank the free water. I think we did one CDs meal per day. You can do fine on $400. Especially after eating a ton on the cruise. I am so cheap that I would probably bring some big zip lock bags on the cruise and save some cookies and treats for the non cruise part of the trip!!! Please get some help for your family.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #36
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You do not have to tip the porters. There are signs posted they are paid appropriately. I would also bring breakfast for the hotels.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #37
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I'm sorry this has happened to you. Here are my thoughts on getting through this tough time:

You say you're not excited. Right now you're just caught up in all that's happened. Once you pull out of your driveway and start your trip, I bet the vacation attitude'll kick in, and you'll have a blast. I don't think you'll have to fake it for the kids. This is a great time for you to get away from town. Hopefully the police'll have caught him by the time you return.

Yes, $400 is enough for one adult and two young kids to eat for three days. You should watch for value so that you can hopefully bring some money home, but it's totally do-able. When we travel, we usually eat one sit-down meal and one fast-food meal . . . and round it out with snacks. This isn't deprivation; it just feels right for us at a theme park. The cheapest meal you can have at any Florida hotel is pizza delivery. I suggest that you bring plenty of snacks from home for the kids -- when my kids were little, I'd allow them to have snacks on vacation that were usually off-limits (Lunchables, Baby Bottle Pops, etc.), and they were so excited that they failed to realize it was a money-saver.

Also tell your kids that you're going to watch your pennies on land, but your "food splurges" will be on the cruise ship -- they can have ice cream, nachos, whatever by the pool for snacks, great dinners every night . . . and it won't cost you a penny extra. They're old enough to understand this.

Aside from your tips, everything you NEED is included in your cruise ticket price. Be sure you get your kids' ship ID cards "punched" at check-in so they can't charge anything. You don't need to discover on the last day that they ran up a $600 charge in the arcade. Also turn OFF your cell phones so that you don't risk running up a bill that'll have to be paid once you're back home.

On the ship, food that will cost extra will be milkshakes for the kids and alcoholic beverages for you. These aren't much of anything to give up in the name of saving a dollar.

I suggest you tell the kids NO souvieners. We quit doing them years ago, and our kids genuinely don't care. As a result, they've learned to value experiences over trinkets. Be aware that the theme parks have this buy-junk-from-us thing down to a science: When you exit a ride, you are forced to walk through a shop. To combat this, as soon as you get off the ride, ask your kids, "What's up next? Who has the map?" and distract them.

Do you have the option of switching to a different post-cruise hotel that doesn't have a resort fee?

Do you have the option of downgrading to a lesser cabin on the ship? They won't give you a refund for what you've paid, but they might give you OBC (on board credit), which could then be used to pay your tips. Then you'd be bringing home more of your small cash-stash.

I suggest you do not turn your cash into gift cards. You've said you don't have any emergency money, and if you buy gift cards, you've given up flexibility and forced yourself to spend that money in the parks.

Definitely pack plenty of sunscreen, asprin, etc. from home. These things are very expensive on the ship and at the parks, and it's really frustrating to pay $10 for a 10-pack of Tylenol when you KNOW you have a giant bottle sitting at home.

Absolutely DO NOT bring ziplocks full of cookies and fruit off the cruise ship. The customs folks can fine you ASTRONOMICALLY HUGE AMOUNTS for bringing food into the US. My husband travels frequently for work, and he's observed people caught and fined for such small offenses such as bringing half a cup of coffee through customs, or having an apple in their handbags. This is NOT something to mess around with. You are VERY likely to be caught if you attempt this.

You're doing the cruise first? So you're going to need to bring snacks on the cruise and then have them at the park? I hadn't considered this with Customs. You are allowed to bring factory-packaged foods (granola bars, bags of peanuts, microwave popcorn, individual packs of oreos) through Customs.

For the future:

Does he have a key to your house? Change the locks.

If he should come back and threaten you, do consider staying at a shelter.

Next time consider a cruise line other than Disney. Yes, really. I've sailed Disney, and it's great . . . but you can have a full week in a nicer cabin on Royal Caribbean or Princess for the cost of a Disney cruise . . . and it's really just as wonderful. These less expensive lines will allow you to cruise without stretching your budget to excess.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:25 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by hlg22 View Post
I echo what others have said, and am chiming in only to encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), if you haven't already - they can help you figure out what to do to ensure your and your children's safety while your ex is still on the loose, possible direct you to no-cost temporary emergency housing in your area, and assist you with next steps in moving forward from here.

Totally agree.

I'm more concerned about her safety and the safety of her kids than I am about her vacation.

You need to change every single lock on the doors to your home. You need to reinforce the windows so they cannot be pried open. YOU NEED TO GO TO COURT AND GET AN ORDER OF PROTECTION.

I suffered domestic violence with a maniac for YEARS. He wouldn't leave me alone. I still have scars from what he did to me. When I tried to leave him, he stalked me. In those days (the 1980s), they didn't have "stalker" laws or anything like that. The cops always took the word of the man over the woman. It wasn't until the Joel Steinberg/Hedda Nussbaum case and also "The Burning Bed" movie with Farrah Fawcett that some lawmakers opened their eyes and the laws started to change.

In NYC, Mayor Ed Koch made a law that the cops HAD to do something if there was a domestic violence incident. That was great but the cops STILL wouldn't do anything.

My ex broke into my apartment and destroyed everything. He burned all my clothing. He called my job when he knew I was off and told them that he was my brother and there was a family emergency and I had to quit. He stalked me and found me in a bar where my friend worked and caused a huge scene, calling me filthy names, and spitting on me in front of everyone. All these incidents? The cops NEVER did anything.

I had absolutely NO ONE to help me.... no family (both parents died when I was a teen) and friends were afraid to get involved. The cops refused to help. I was a young woman, early 20s with NO ONE to help me with this. There were NO "domestic violence" helplines.. The term "domestic violence" didn't even exist back then.

I could go on and on and on, but you get it. "orders of protection" weren't available in those days. Today, it's different. CALL THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE NOW and find out where you can get help. If this piece of sh!t did this to you over HIS cheating, he will absolutely do it again and may even kill you or your childrent.

Last edited by NYCDiane; 09-04-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #39
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #40
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$400 should be enough. Just stay away from the over-priced character meals in the parks. There are some great counter service places so you won't go hungry.

I wish you all the best.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:04 PM   #41
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i don't believe this one bit

this has the makings of a scam, call me skeptical but it does...................
first of all, were the details down to the phone in bathroom confronting the mistress necessary on DISBoards?
Secondly, the man had to have prior tendencies to be violent prior to this, this would not of been the first time and what mother puts her children in jeopardy, handle this when the children are not around or better yet, not in the house...........
I smell a scam...period. too many details for DISboards................
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:05 PM   #42
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Sending many, many hugs to you

I am so sorry you are going through this. You deserve to be in a relationship that is filled with trust and love and respect. I know it's hard not to be upset and feel depressed when you have invested time into someone who turns out to be horrible. I know it's easier said than done, but try repeating to yourself that you are lucky this has ended now and that you can move on to find someone who will respect you. Cover all your bases safety wise. People here have given great advice for that.

i know you aren't excited now, but I assure you that once you are there, you will be. You will be able to escape reality and have a blast.

$400 is definitely enough. Check out the menus and find the cheapest places to eat, and you can order a kids meal for yourself to save money, too. You definitely have enough with $400.

I hope you manage to have a great trip

Disney World videos I made!

http://vimeo.com/7316001 (MGM & Animal Kingdom)

http://vimeo.com/7315073 (Epcot)

http://vimeo.com/7316111 (Magic Kingdom)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjHXWMp1uhI (Christmas and Fun outside the parks)
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by wilkeliza View Post
Just and idea for a great souvenir that is cheap pressed coins! I have a collection of them and at 51 cents for pennies and 1.25 for quarters it is a cheap take home that your kids can either keep in a book or there are websites that show you how to turn them into bracelets and jewelry. I collected these coins as a child and now as an adult still collect them and make jewelry out of them. It is even a cheap souvenir when you go other places not just Disney.
I'd like to second this suggestion. My kids love their pressed penny collections, and DD12 got rings and clasps to make bracelets from them when we got home. For just a few dollars she and younger DD both have lovely Disney bracelets.

Another tip - if you're checking luggage, hit the dollar store for some glow sticks and light-up toys. You (unfortunately) can't pack them in carry-ons, so this may or may not help you, but if you do plan on checking a bag it is a great surprise for nighttime parades/waiting for the fireworks to head off the 'I wants' when the lighted toy vendor comes by.

OP, you don't mention your kids ages, but I've done Disney on <$100/day for food more than once. My girls are 12 & 5 now, and we could still do it. So many Disney meals and treats are huge, more than enough to share. There are times when we order just one adult meal for all three of us! Plus the kids will have a chance to trick-or-treat at MNSSHP, so there's a little treat that's included in what you've already paid.

We usually pack some travel-friendly snack food like jerky, granola bars, and fruit leather, because we hate wasting the cooler, lower-crowd first hours of the day waiting in line to buy breakfast, and that's a nice little money saver. Since you'll be at POR your first night, it might also be worth throwing a bag of marshmallows in the luggage - they have an evening campfire and sell s'mores kits, but there's no requirement to buy from them.
~~**Colleen & Crew**~~
POR 10/05 ~ BC 08/07 ~ WL 01/08 ~ CBR 12/09 ~ POP 03/11 TR/ DR
POP 1/12 TR ~ ASSp 5/12 ~ CSR 3/13 ~ POP 4/13 ~ ASMu 12/13

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:45 PM   #44
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I'm going to be Debbie Downer here. OP, do you have ANY other money? Is that $600 ALL you have left in the world? Did your boyfriend live with you and share expenses? Do you have names together on things like bills or leases?

The first thing you need to do is change the locks in your house EVERY lock and put locks/sensors something on the windows. YOU NEED TO DO THIS FOR YOUR SAFETY. Is it going to be expensive? Yes. If you rent, you need to talk to the landlord ASAP and explain what has happened.

Are you going to work while you are in the hotel? Are you going to be paid for the days off now and what about the vacation days are they paid off days?

I'm sorry but there are so many problems going on but I wouldn't be taking the vacation. I would be calling and trying to rebook even if it is 6 months away and has a reschedule charge. I was a kid that had a mom get the crap smacked out her. I didn't need a vacation, I needed to know I was safe, she was safe and that it would stop.

Safety for you and your children need to come before any vacation. I apologize for coming off ugly and "flaming" you but I want you to not end up a statistic who takes back someone because you feel you have no other choices. Please take an honest look at your finances and quality of life and can you afford life after the vacation.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:53 PM   #45
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I agree with some of the most recent posts. This is a terrible thing to have happened, but I'm wondering why your vacation seems to be your biggest worry. If this guy really beat you as badly as you say, you have much, much bigger worries. I hope you are getting appropriate help.

I also agree that there must have been warning signs of his violent tendencies before this (if this is a true story; sorry, but there's a lot of lying online).

And why in the world would you call the "other woman"? What did you think that was going to accomplish?
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