Chapter One: A Dream is Born The seed for this trip report was germinated several years ago. It was 2004, my precious bride and I were on Celebritys Millennium celebrating our 10th anniversary. My wife made the off hand comment, We need to take the kids on one of these sometime Which was of course, one of the most dangerous things she could have told me. To understand why, you need to understand the characters of this happy tale. Larry Burkett once said that in a marriage if both of you are them same, one of you is unnecessary! His meaning was in a marriage we are often drawn to people who are opposite to us in many ways. This presents some of the most beautiful and challenging aspects of marriage. My beautiful wife and I exemplify this wonderfully. My wife is a very practical rational minded person. She approaches life with methodical precision that would make a brain surgeon jealous. I on the other hand, am not! I am the dreamer, Im the type of person who would start a cross country road trip and buy a map somewhere around Kansas! I am also a huge kid at heart. I have been itching to take the kids to Disney World for a while. My wife didnt really relish the thought of going to Disney World with two toddlers and a husband in Clark Griswold mode, We are paying $400 a day to be here! We WILL see everything, stop crying and start having fun! NOW. So I got to thinking (at this point dear gentle reader you should know that you must now be afraid, very afraid!). Cruise, Disney World, Cruise, Disney World. Hey! You got your cruise ship in my amusement park. You got your amusement park in my cruise ship! Two great vacations that would be great together (no copyright violations here! ). Disney Cruise Line! What could be more perfect. Convinced that my wife would be blown away and awestruck at my veritable stroke of genius, I pitched her my idea. Which she thought was not a good one at the time. Seeing that crushed look in my eyes she softened the blow by saying, Wait till both kids were in school then we would talk. Being a cruise planning freak (I had it before I even found the DIS) I started looking that summer, two years ago! So I started coming to the internet for as much info about DCL and the various options. I began lurking on another cruise discussion board to read reviews and comments of what others had to say when I saw the magic words that forever changed the way I planned vacations: If you want some input from people who are hard core about all things Disney, you need to go to www.disboards.com. Our Cast of Characters: Ashman- That would be me, your humble writer. Name is really Ashley, Ashman is the Avatar to avoid gender confusion about the name, yes I still have scars about that from childhood why do you ask? MammaNurse- my dear wife, no she doesnt have an account here, just made that name up for her, I hope she doesnt mind, she is the love of my life and high school sweetheart. Sweet Child- oldest daughter, 7 in first grade has the sweetest temperament. MiniMe- younger daughter, 5 in preschool, wired very much like her father in both good and bad ways! Lucky for her she is sweeter and better looking! Thus your humble author was introduced to this august group of fellow cruise planning nuts. Im sure that some of you are thinking, GEESH, this guy is starting a trip report for a cruise that wont even be here for two months and its only a 3 day at that! Remember dear friends getting is half the fun, and as many of you know planning is part of getting there. So I have some fun twists and turns to share with you along the way. I look forward to showing you how we got to this point, the surprises that lie in store between here and February 8, and the fun to be had on the boat itself! So until our next chapter, farewell and happy memories!