9/23/07: Life Stinks! The 2nd Season! -The Final Episode. :(

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Mozart, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    This thread will attempt to capture all the magical moments in our 4 night cruise departing Sept 23, 2007 from nearly the beginning all the way to arriving back home at our doorway. It is inspired by the greatest TR I ever read, originally written by Ashman. I only hope mine is half as good. I’ll update it sparingly, as it warrants. If I don’t stop obsessing over the cruise, that may mean updates every night for the next 5 months.



    It’s strange to try and pinpoint a time when a vacation really starts. Is it the moment that you make a financial commitment to the vacation? Is it the moment you decide you’re going to do something? Is it the moment that really sets in motion the chain of events that lead to the vacation? Do you have to be directly involved in it, or could you just be an extra who later becomes the star of the show? Is it the moment you begin the trip report? Tough to say, isn’t it? In one of those cases, you could point back all the way to 1956, when my parents were married. Or, you could point to the moment, 50 years later, in October 2006 when my brother and I decided that for their 50th wedding anniversary, we would take our parents on a cruise the following February. My discovery of the DIS boards to begin nurturing what would practically become an obsession in less than a month’s time might just be the right thing to point to. But, a lot of people would say that the moment the September 2007 vacation memories begin was that moment on February 24th, 2007 when we told the onboard booking agent to charge another $400 to our credit card. We’re coming back, we said. See ya in September. For a full recap of that first cruise, see this thread:

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1371493

    But this would be a story with twists and turns so devilish that not even Alfred Hitchcock would be able to comprehend it all. You see, an unexpected thing happened when we got back home after our February cruise. My wife and I raved about our cruise to friends and family. We talked about how they needed to join us. We talked about all the great things we experienced. Mostly, we talked about Serenity Bay. We kept telling them how great a cruise was and that they needed to go on one. “We’re taking another one in September” we said. We didn’t really expect any of them to decide to go with us.

    They did.

    My MIL and FIL decided to join us. This just got interesting.

    So, here I sit on the evening of April 17, 2007. I’m realizing just how obsessed I am about DCL right now. I’m writing a freaking trip report for a cruise more than 5 months away. Meanwhile, we’re heading to Orlando to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and eat at Victoria and Albert’s in 9 days. My priorities do seem kind of out of whack, don’t they? I’ve got so many things going on it’s ridiculous. I should be planning for our WDW trip next week. Maybe I should be stressing out over the fact that the real Mozart (my wife’s chihuahua) is at the vet’s office right now recovering from bladder surgery. Or should I be concerned about the fact that I think they’re going to close my office and move it all offshore?

    Nope…it’s cruise planning time. I mean come on, we leave in 158 days! There are things to do, snorkel sets to buy, clothes to match up, spa treatments to book, Amaretto to sneak onboard, hotel rooms to reserve and cancel 500 times between now and then, but most importantly, there’s American Idol.

    Sorry, Sanjaya’s singing right now. That's definitely a distraction.

    In our next installment (I hope): How to start planning for a cruise! (Translated: Why obsessive compulsive disorder can be a good thing!)
     
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  3. Babs417

    Babs417 DIS Veteran

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    I have almost everything ready for my cruise and look how far away my trip is:goodvibes ;) :) :cutie:
     
  4. Sue F UK

    Sue F UK Florida keeps me poor...but happy

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    DH and I went to V&A for our 10 anniversary and had the most magical time, I hope you and your DW enjoy your evening there.

    We'll be home and well into post cruise stress disorder by the time you go so spare us a thought :( won't you?
     
  5. MagicMe

    MagicMe DIS Veteran

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    Interesting thought - a pre-trip report to cover the anticipation, anxieties, etc. Nice beginning. Is it just you and the IL's or did you talk even more people into going.

    We've only done two 4-day cruises so far. One cruise had 20 of us and the last one had 15. Our family loves WDW and DCL. We have a 7-day booked for Sep08 but so far only with 6 of us.
     
  6. Stogrove

    Stogrove Mouseketeer

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    Mozart, you are good, very, very good. Such a novel idea to start a TR before you even leave. I will love tracking this story. At least you only have 5 months to wait until your next voyage. I'm down to 499 days (Sept 2008). How do you try and put something like this out of your mind so you can concentrate on the real world?? Ugghhhh!!
     
  7. Gixer

    Gixer Mouseketeer

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    Loved reading your original trippie - so cant wait to see how this planning one works out! what a novel idea! :thumbsup2

    p.s congrats on your wedding anniversary, we ate at V & A last year and it was truely amazing, DO go for the wine pairings, delicious!
     
  8. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    Please, please, please remember that I got this idea from Ashman. If you haven't had the chance to read his TR, he started writing his months before his cruise as well. The way he discusses the anticipation, the thrill of telling his daughters about it, and their excitement not just at the cruise, but actually being able to take them on their first plane is absolutely wonderful to read.

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1293772

    Stogrove - Is that the Magic Double Dip on 9/1/08 you're going on? Check out my signature. :cool2:

    MagicMe - Only my wife's parents. We wanted her sister to go along and take the 3 year old nephew and 2 year old niece, but it doesn't look like they're going to make out. (Gotta buy a stupid new house with more room instead.) Thought about taking the kids anyway for a reason I'll explain later, but we decided to make this one adults only.

    BTW - Mozart the chihuahua came through surgery fine. He's back on my wife's lap where he practically lives.

    Sanjaya, however, did not make it.
     
  9. rdy2bpampered

    rdy2bpampered Mouseketeer

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    I thought about posting a pre-trip report. I have 4 pages typed already, but I must say I haven't had the guts to do it 5 months in advance! :rolleyes1
    I was afraid everyone would be tired of me by the time the trip actually rolled around!! :cool2: Since you did it tho.....makes me wonder :rolleyes: ...
     
  10. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    When last we left our obsessive cruise veteran (well, I’ve been on 3) he was stressed out and watching Sanjaya. Now, he’s relaxed and listening to Carefree Castaway Cay. What a difference a little mood music makes, huh?

    Once we get back home in February from our last cruise, the first step, of course, is to unpack. Then, I start planning for the next one. Or, maybe do a little of both at the same time. Confession time: How many people have an Excel spreadsheet or Word document with everything you need for your trip in there? As a few examples: My April 06 DW trip – 4 pages. Feb 07 Cruise – 6 pages. Apr 07 WDW – 5 pages. Sept 07 cruise – currently at 3 pages. The Sept 08 double dip already has 2 pages. . By the way, for anyone driving somewhere soon, check out www.thenextexit.com . This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever gotten my hands on. It tells you where all of the interstate exits are, and what is at each one. It’s saved me a few times when I’ve thought about driving past an exit and getting lunch another mile or two down the road, but looked at the sheet showing the exits and realized that if I skipped this one, I’d have to drive another 40 miles for somewhere to stop.

    How sad is my planning? You really cannot fathom it. I haven’t started picking out the individual clothes for the cruise in September, but I already can tell you that I’ll need 3 outfits on Tuesday, 2 on Monday, etc. The only reason I haven’t picked them out yet is because I want to wait until we’re back from our April trip to start packing for September. Next week, though, I’ll start picking. The places we were staying the night before have been modified 10 times already, and I’ve got 3 reservations currently for places to stay the night we get off the ship.

    No…I have no life. And remember! I’ve already had to make a major change in plans. I was working on all this as soon as we got back from our first cruise, and had half of the pieces in place, when the in-laws threw all my plans into the trashbin. Originally, we were going to stay with my brother in Orlando, but that wouldn’t really work with the in-laws around like that since he hasn’t met them since my wedding day 10 years ago. So, we decided to go over to Titusville. I looked into a few of the hotels, but it looks like we’re going to stay a few miles away at a bed and breakfast now.

    And yes, I really am this bad….I’m trying to figure out where we’re going to eat lunch and dinner on the day we drive down. Should we eat breakfast here in town, or drive 100 miles down the road and eat a little later in the morning, like a brunch. I’m only planning lunch somewhere off of I-95 in Georgia 5 months before I go there. I think I need medication.

    And thus the journey begins…I’m at the point right now where I’m just anxious. Remember that I’m going to WDW tomorrow. I’m actually wanting this trip to hurry up and be done so that I can get back and start really getting into the details of the cruise. (?!)

    Thought for the evening...Why do I always post these during American Idol?

    In our next installment: Does a dinner at Victoria and Albert’s make you forget about Palo’s for a few nights, or does it just make the desire to get back on board the ship that much worse? (I don’t know yet…but I will in about 24 hours!)
     
  11. ashman

    ashman DIS Veteran

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    WOW! Thanks for the shout out! Good luck with the PTR (Pre-trip Report as given to me by another) The great thing about the really good TR's is that we stand on the shoulder who come before us! I certianly had many folks who inspired me along the way, I know you will take it to another level! I started about 60 days out. You are taking it to another level!:banana: Who knows, may be you will inspire someone to start the moment the dates come out! :lmao: I Can't wait to read along!
     
  12. Dave Dizney

    Dave Dizney <font color=blue>Super-Duper organized Ultimate Di

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    Wonderful work, Mozart! Even though we’re heading for only our first cruise – I can relate with you so much. It will be fun to meet you in September!

    If you have ever seen the show “Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World” on the Travel Channel or Discovery HD – we’re the family who they followed through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom. I’ve been teased to no end for my perceived “over-planning” which was demonstrated by my little schedules I give the kids while we’re at the parks. Truth be told, pre-planning is my therapy for the months before we actually go on a Disney trip in any of the many locations. Right now, we have our second son getting ready to go off to college, my oldest son is planning on being engaged during our “land” portion of our September trip, both my wife’s’ and my career’s are in crazy places, and all I can think about is the cruise in September!

    At this point, I am a month and two days away from sharing this good news with my wife on our anniversary. I have been reading the DIS boards every day insuring that she hasn’t been looking over my shoulder. I’ve been running to the mailbox everyday so my monthly payments to All Seasons Travel will not be detected. I have to confess I have been deceitful in our early preparations. My plan is to have a nice dinner with my DW on our anniversary – and at the end, pull out my laptop with a PowerPoint presentation of photos of our honeymoon 25 years ago, which was 6 weeks as staff at a youth camp, ending in an apology that introduces a “real” honeymoon this time. I hope in that moment there’s as much excitement for her as there has been for me in the 9 months I’ve been planning this trip!

    So I’m with you Mozart! And I’m ready now!!! I guess I just have to get DW up to speed!
     
  13. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    Dave - I was thinking about asking you this. Feel free to share your story in this thread of planning. Based on what you've said on the cruise meets board, I was wondering if you'd like to share a little.

    And about V&A's - WOW! I'll go more into it later...but WOW!
     
  14. rdy2bpampered

    rdy2bpampered Mouseketeer

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    :thumbsup2 I just want you to know that.

    I too am not travelling until later in the year... October, as a matter of fact. It is our first Disney cruise... our first BIG vacation. Kinda want to do it up right, ya know? :)

    I commend you in posting a pre-trip report. I wanted to but thought everyone would get tired of me before it was all done. :scratchin My mind is going a mile-a-minute over this cruise.:drive: .. I have obsessed so bad.
    I have a whole memory key (2GB) dedicated to the vacation planning... do you think it's enough space? Hmmm, maybe I should get another one... I'm :stir: up a pot af trouble!

    ps.. I have 5 pages written on a pretrip..:moped: It's moving along nicely, chapters and everything! Hey, my first (only) novel to publish!... :lmao: :lmao:
     
  15. TLHB70

    TLHB70 <font color=navy>Let me be known by the Company I

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    Mozart, I see that you are in upstate SC. Where? We are in Union County NC so we are just above the line.

    I am enjoying reading your TR. I will continue to follow along. I, too, am in the excited planning stages for our upcoming cruise. The days are full of reading TR, watching the DCL movies on Youtube and listening to Caribbean music.
     
  16. TLHB70

    TLHB70 <font color=navy>Let me be known by the Company I

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    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a wonderful surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would love to read all about the surprise announcment dinner after you tell her. I would love to read about your trip, too.
     
  17. mruhaak

    mruhaak DIS Veteran

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    Hey Mozart-
    We're taking a 4 day in November! I'll enjoy reading about yours right before ours! Our first Disney cruise was a 3 day too. I'm hoping that extra day makes it seem MUCH longer!!!
     
  18. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    Okay, in my last installment I promised that I would talk a little about my dinner at V&A’s in relation to Palo and which one was better. That was a stupid comparison. I erred in even attempting to put them in the same league. V&A’s is a dining experience that one can only savor to understand. Palo’s is good, better than most of the restaurants I go to on a regular basis, but Vicky’s is just in another league altogether. It’s like comparing the singing of Melinda Doolittle to Sanjaya Malakar. Sanjaya’s really not that bad of a singer in the grand scheme of things…but Melinda’s just in a different league. (Why is it that I keep coming up with these American Idol references?)

    Which brings me to an excruciating experience I am currently having. Why, OH WHY!?!?! did I not stock up on H2O shampoo while I was at the Grand Floridian. They sell the bottles there, and all I can think about whenever I smell that green beauty of a smell is how I’d like to be on a cruise right now. DW and I are on our last bottle from the previous cruise, and we’re stretching it out as long as we possibly can. The pain is cutting deep, that’s for sure. If you haven’t been to their website, go here: www.h2oplus.com. Check out the raspberry guava stuff. It smelled fantastic, but I’m just not a bath gel kinda guy.

    So, we just got our next set of documents from our TA regarding our cruise. I pull out the package! RIP OPEN THE BAG! And ….it turns out to be the same (nearly) travel pack that I got late last year for our other cruise, though there are some subtle differences. It’s good to have something different to read. I mean, you can only read the DIS 5,000 times without getting a little tired of reading much of the same stuff over and over. So, I go to the TA’s packet and read the same stuff I read 500 times back in October of last year. I have to admit that I’m really struggling with using a TA to book your cruise. I just don’t feel like I’m getting alot for it, and what I am getting is them sending all of our travel information to our TA rather than directly to us. I don’t like that. I’m a hands on type of guy. I wanted to start using a TA for other trips, and figured I would let him help me with this cruise to get a kind of feel-good factor going between us. But since I booked it onboard, he really hasn’t had to do anything. What, exactly, does everyone else use their TA for? I’m just wondering if it’s the typical stateroom credit, or do they normally provide some services that I’m just not getting? I’m not upset with the TA, I’m just wondering right now how I really benefit from using one. I’m thinking that on this cruise, I don’t, where a trip to say – California wine country that I know nothing about – the TA would be much more helpful.

    I’m playing the favorites game right now. You know the one. When reviewing the excursions and spa treatments…save to favorites. Then you go to your saved excursions and delete them, only to change your mind a few minutes later and save them again. I find myself doing that on many nights, as well as playing the “see how full the ship is going to be” game. It’s a fun one…pick a category, and plug in every room number to see if it’s booked or not. For example, on my Sept 23 cruise, there are 30 Cat 7 rooms (including the secret verandah rooms, of which I have one.) Only 9 of the 30 are booked at this time. Of the 4 secret verandah rooms, 2 are not booked yet. Looking pretty empty, isn’t it? I kinda hope it is. That would make the trip even more relaxing than I expect it to be.

    Finally, I have an idea I’d like to see if we can get off the ground, but I’m going to need your help first. I saw recently on a cruise meets thread I read for some reason, that they were planning on meeting at 3:00 in the Promenade Lounge before leaving the port. I thought “Wonderful idea!” We should make that a DIS tradition! Just make it a known deal, that DIS’ers meet at 3, after they’ve seen the ship a little, but before the lifeboat drill, in the Promenade Lounge. That way you’re not looking for lime green mouseheads and the hand gesture from Meet the Parents. Instead, you just know you’ll meet them then! Agree? Should we propose that to the main board, or cruise meet thread? Help me out here.

    In our next Oscar nominated edition: How to avoid the Ann Boleyn disease. (In other words: Looking for a way to get a head of the crowd.)

    I live for these puns…
     
  19. Dave Dizney

    Dave Dizney <font color=blue>Super-Duper organized Ultimate Di

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  20. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    I really feel for the mail runs you're having to do. Hope nothing comes on that one day you get stuck in traffic.

    As for V&A: Book now. I booked 5 months ahead of time and got the last table they had available. Dinner, including tip runs about $450. We got the wine package, though. Without the wine package you'd probably be able to get out of there for $325

    And you should be getting to know me and trip reports by now:

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1438267
     
  21. Mozart

    Mozart There's one in every crowd...and it's usually me

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    I admit it. I have a problem. I am obsessed. I cannot think of anything during my spare time to do other than plan for this cruise. I struggle to concentrate on my work because I want to check the DIS for that one snippet of information I don’t already have that will make my cruise better. I need to stop starting every sentence with the word “I” because it is not proper grammar. I am lazy, Sam-I-Am.

    I also just noticed that in every one of my posts so far, I’ve mentioned that I was obsessed. Could it be possible that I’m just obsessed with being obsessed? That is your deep thought for the day…

    What makes me really think I am that way is that we recently had our very first cruise planning session with all 4 of us in attendance. My in-laws are probably now actively encouraging DW to consider alternatives to our marriage. Like having a Disney nut incarcerated for his own good. What they don’t know is that she’s just as big a Disney nut as I am. She just prefers to let me handle all the trip planning. Not that she has a choice in the matter in that area.

    I had been trying to figure out how to actively engage them in planning excursions and the like because they really are the type who prefer to just wing it. We received a few weeks ago, the kit that Disney sends out with out potential excursions, packing lists, etc… and I figured this would be my best chance to get them talking. So, since they always want to meet us for Saturday breakfast, we obliged and said “Why don’t you bring your excursion book and we’ll talk about what we plan on doing?” I was prepared to start with the comment “So, we’re interested in parasailing at CC, what about you?”

    Instead, my FIL started the conversation by saying “What ports are we going to?”

    SUCK-A-DUCK! (That’s the closest this Austrian musician chihuahua gets to cussing on this board.)

    No, they had not looked at the excursions book. They didn’t realize that they could book their excursions, spa treatments, Palo’s etc in a little over a month. THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT PALO’S WAS! I feel like I’m dealing with rank amateurs here. How can a person not spend all of their spare time (and a little they can’t spare) planning this stuff? It just amazes me. I mean, IT’S A VACATION! We have a tight ship to run here! Do they think relaxing just happens? IT MUST BE PLANNED!

    All in all, though, it went well. Except for when they got into the argument about whether or not he would let her ride on the back of a jetski with him. Seems they did that one time before, and it didn’t go too well. Parasailing was even more complicated. They did that in tandem, and she apparently kept covering his eyes because she was too scared to look. :confused3

    They promised to have their information looked over by mid-June. June 25th is the day our reservations open up, so we should be fine, although I admit to cringing over the fact that they don’t know the exact times and events they want to participate in.

    One question I have to ask the peanut gallery reading this: Am I the only one who keeps checking to see if there is an error and the system will let me start booking my excursions and spa treatments now rather than waiting for the 90 day mark? Every week or so, I check out my cruise plans just to see if there’s some type of mistake and it lets me in.

    In response to Erica’s statements on another thread recently about going cheap, I must respond with my way of doing things:

    You know what to me might just be the best thing about going on a cruise? I am an admitted clothes hound. I tend to like to buy brand names, and therefore spend way too much money. Going on a cruise gives me an excuse to buy more clothes that are expensive without feeling guilty about it. “Gotta do it honey, if you want me to look good when we eat at Palo’s.” As Mel Brooks used to say, “It’s good to be the king…”

    To prepare for our next class, please write a 1000 word essay about this subject: Why do I, whose stated goal in life is to be the best uncle who ever lived, feel guilty about going on this cruise?
     

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