A Young Family Cruises Through The Panama Canal 8/17/08 With Pictures!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by sejejoemmiev, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. sejejoemmiev

    sejejoemmiev Mouseketeer

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    A Trip of a Lifetime!! This is how we justified the enourmous expense 15 days on the Magic would bring to our young family. We told ourselves whatever it would take to convince us it was worth it. It did not matter. I wanted on that boat!! This started back in January 2007. We were getting ready to take a Big trip for our family. We were going to set sail for 7 Nights on the Magic to the Western Caribean in Feb 2007! We were also going to spend a week at WDW!! Of course with all the preperations for this trip, devoting time to the DIS-Boards was Mandatory! The Big news in January 2007 was the upcoming date to secure a spot on the Disney Magic as it repositioned itself, through the Panama Canal! After reading a Trip Report from the 2005 Panama Canal Cruise and seeing their pictures, I knew I had to be on that boat. The only problem was, convincing the hubby, that making a deposit for the 6 of us to be on this cruise, two weeks before leaving on Vacation, was a good idea!! :scared1: I obviously won!! This will be our second attempt writing a trip report. Our first trip report has a link in my signature for those interested. It was mainly written by my husband, but I filled in while he slacked off! This time we will co author, due to the lengh of this cruise!!

    The cast:
    DH age 30
    DW age 30
    DS1 age 10
    DD1 age 8
    DS2 age 5
    DD2 age 2 (Turned 3 on this cruise) :bday:

    We also thought the timing of this cruise was perfect! We wanted DD2's birthday to be magical! She had a rough start to life, and has endured alot.
    This cruise would put her one year post open heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart and we wanted to celebrate her Birthday BIG!!! And Celebrate we did!!

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  3. granmaz

    granmaz Dis Veteran and Old Geezer

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    I'm looking forward to this. Such great news about your daughter and well worth celebrating.
     
  4. sejejoemmiev

    sejejoemmiev Mouseketeer

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    Our Trip of a Lifetime started way too early in the morning, on 8/14. I started packing for this trip weeks in advance but obviously that was not good enough. DH and I were up most of the night getting the final bags together, and with the lack of sleep and stress we were not too happy with each other either! We went to bed around 3am and had to be up at 5 am to get ready for our flight. DH's father, drove all six of us in our PACKED minivan with 11 suitcases and 1 backpack to the airport.


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    Our flight out of Boston on American Airlines was uneventful, but we had a short layover at Dallas Fort Worth Texas. We boarded another American Airlines plane and then sat for a good while before being informed that there was a maintneance issue with the plane and we were waiting for the mechanic crew to come fix it. That is always a good feeling! It turned out that there was something wrong with the landing gear that needed attention and it took a good hour for them to even get there to fix it! Once the crew arrived, it was a quick fix, and then we were off! As you can imagine, sitting on that plane, in the Texas heat, with 4 young kids, was not pretty.
    Our plane landed in Burbank Ca, after being warned by the crew that due to the runway size in Burbank, it is always a rough landing so brace yourself!!:scared1: After the mainteance issue with the landing gear, this is the last thing I wanted to hear! We did as we were told and Braced Ourselves for a rough landing and Boy was it Rough! We didn't have to go to Disneyland afterall! We had our first thrilling ride already! Burbank airport is very small and under construction. We got off the plane outside the airport (this was new for us) and headed inside to retrieve our many suitcases. We were lucky to have booked our flight before American Airlines announced it would charge for the first piece of luggage. We were grandfathered in and by making the most of carry on luggage we did not have to pay anything extra!!:thumbsup2 We went to the airport entrance and found the shuttle waiting area. We had booked a ride to our hotel with Super Shuttle before leaving, and we quickly found a super shuttle rep who was organizing trips. He said our shuttle would arrive in a few minutes so we organized the suitcases while waiting. We boarded a dingy super shuttle van that quite frankly, I did not want my skin to touch the seat.
    We had two other passangers along for the ride as well. A mom and daughter from San Fransisco who were traveling to LA for the day only, for the daughters audition in a music video. The supper shuttle dropped them off on Santa Monica Blvd. and then headed for the traffic filled LA Freeway. Now I don't know if our driver headed in the opposite direction to drop off the other passangers, but our total time spent in that dirty van to get to our hotel was just over 2 HOURS!!! DS2 and DD1 had complete meltdowns in the shuttle which only made matters worse. This led to DD2 screaming to get out of her carseat and Mom was screaming inside!!! This was a long, miserable, start to our vacation, that at this point, I was ready for to end. We finally headed towards the Disneyland area, only to be bombarded but TONS of Traffic due to the Disneyland Hotel employees on Strike!! Could this day get any better??
    We slowly made our way to the Doubletree in Anaheim to check In. This was a beautiful, New Hotel, and I am happy we settled on this choice after many evening debates on where to stay pre-cruise. We got a great price for our suite (cheaper than a low economy motel on Disneyland's Resort web-site) and dealt with the fact that it was not across the street from Disneyland. We checked in, headed up to our suite, and enjoyed our complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies they provide you at check in. We crashed on the sofa admist a million suitcases and discussed what to do.


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    We decided to walk to dinner and settled on Red Robin which looked like a 10 minute walk on the area map. Well, 10 minutes was really about 20 with a toddler in tow, but it was a nice cool night and after all the sitting we had done on the plane and shuttle we were enjoying the walk. We enjoyed a yummy dinner and walk back to the hotel, but decided we would purchase fare on the ART the next day for our upcoming days at Disneyland! While lying in bed this night we had the perfect view of the fireworks over Disneyland out our window. We all slept well on this Night!


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  5. meegster

    meegster Mouseketeer

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    Wow, I remember you previous trip report as I was studying reports for my 3/07 cruise. Looking forward to this report and pictures!!
     
  6. sejejoemmiev

    sejejoemmiev Mouseketeer

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    We planned on waking up early and getting to Disneyland at 8 am, when the gates opened. Plans failed because we were all exhausted, and instead we were at the Hotel lobby around 8 am. We bought our ART passes ($1/day for each kid and $12 for a 2 day pass for each adult, and headed out in front of the hotel to wait for our shuttle. We waited our longest wait for the ART this morning (about 15-20 minutes), and the older two kids were whining "we could be there already if we just walked." I knew with a toddler it would be a 30 minute walk. We didn't bring a stroller, and I wasn't going to carry her! She started a phase shortly before we left on vacation that she refuses to sit in strollers, shopping carts etc. I bought a Toddler leash (I know! Bad mommy!) to use in (disneyland/airports) right before we left so we wouldn't lose her in crowded areas. It looks like a puppy dog backpack and she loved it. She would beg us to put it on her. I have to admit the looks from other people got to me and she found away to drive me crazy with it, by spinning around in circles to get wrapped in the "tail" leash. We only used it when it was necessary because she has the wandering gene and I was afraid of losing her in the crowds.


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    We headed over to Disneyland, and right to the Mainstreet Bakery for Breakfast. After breakfast, we headed straight to the new Nemo ride. The wait was 60 minutes and it was Hot and Sunny! The ride was O.K. It was cute but could have been done better/more realistic. I really enjoyed Disneyland. I like the smaller layout and I find many of the rides better. This was our first visit to Disneyland. I think WDW is better with shade and air conditioning in waiting areas/lines and even rides. I found many areas in Disneyland were not Air Conditioned with only fans being used! This made for some uncomfortable times because it was a Hot and Humid day. (I always heard CA has dry heat)
    I thought Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear Rides were all done better here (among others). We had dinner at a Buffet style restauraunt that reminded us of the Crystal Palace at WDW (No characters were present though) and caught the Fireworks before leaving. In my opinion, WDW does the fireworks better. It was extremely crowded at Disneyland and very difficult to find a good spot to watch them. I think the music/show that goes along with the fireworks in WDW is better, although we enjoyed this Firework show as well!
    We caught the ART back to our Hotel and dropped into bed. I forgot how exhausting a day in the Parks is when you are trying to do it all! We did almost everything we wanted except Mickey's Toon Town. Highlight's of the day were, DD2 meeting Ariel (Her Favorite), experiencing the Matterhorn for the first time, and having a Dole Whip (My Favorite Treat!)


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  7. wheelerkidz3

    wheelerkidz3 <font color=darkcoral>Come on over and join us!!<b

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    looking forward to reading the rest!
     
  8. BibbidyBobbidyBoo

    BibbidyBobbidyBoo <font color=red><br>AKA BIP - Bibbidy is a Pirate DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Enjoying your trip of a lifetime trip report so far!
    your daughters are adorable.. and nevermind those people giving you looks about the puppy backpack leash! Nothing wrong with it and those people would be the SAME ONES going "tut tut" and shaking their heads at you if you lost your child because she wandered away! You can't win with some people. LOL
     
  9. nikkistevej

    nikkistevej DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the report!! I love all of the pictures.Can't wait to read more!
     
  10. anc22

    anc22 DIS Veteran

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    Great pics!
     
  11. lwilliam

    lwilliam <font color=deeppink>Goofylover<br><font color=tea

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    Where did you go? These pictures are GREAT - very beautiful children....
    the meltdowns, oh, I remember those days (ah, we have a 16 yr. old and 22 yr. old now and I'll take those meltdowns any day!:rolleyes1 :rolleyes1 )

    Please continue,,,,,can't wait.
     
  12. sejejoemmiev

    sejejoemmiev Mouseketeer

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    This morning we walked across the street from our hotel to Denny's for breakfast. After an enjoyable breakfast, we set off back across the street to wait for the ART. We had a slightly shorter wait this morning and the bus arrived in about 10 minutes. Our plan for the day was to spend the majority of our day at California Adventures. We wanted to start off our day at Disneyland though, to make sure DD2 went to Mickey's Toon Town, and of course a visit to Mickey's House! All the kids enjoyed our visit here, even the BIG kids. DH got a kick out of the Roger Rabbit ride, because that movie was a childhood favorite of his. Of course the highlight of this morning was DD2 meeting Mickey Mouse. Besides Ariel, Mickey Mouse is her favorite. After leaving Toon Town, we headed off to California Adventures. We started off the day with Playhouse Disney Live on Stage which DD2 LOVED! DS2 really enjoyed himself here as well. We of course, tried to fit in every Must Do ride and attraction here as well. We had every intention of taking a mid day break to swim back at the hotel, but we kept on saying, "after we do this one ride"...etc. It never ended up happening. There just wasn't enough time. Our new plan was to rest at a sit down dinner and then head over to Disneyland when California Adventures closed, to close out Disneyland as well. That didn't happen either. We kept doing, "just one more ride", and before you knew it the park was closing and we hadn't had dinner yet. We managed to do most of the Must Do's on our list. We saw both of the different parades today as well. The kids really enjoyed them. The Highlight's of this day were Aladdin the Musical (Fantastic!! The Genie was the star!!) and the new Toy Story mania ride. AWESOME!!!! I wish we had time to ride it more than once. As California Adventures closed, we decided to skip Disneyland, and just go back to the hotel for room service and sleep because we were all exhausted. We headed back to the hotel on the ART, and then the kids picked out what they wanted from the room service menu. As we waited for room service to arrive we all fell asleep! We woke up, ate quickly and then fell back asleep with room service trays all around us! :rolleyes: Even though we were leaving on our long anticipated Disney Cruise in the morning, we all slept like Babies!!

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  13. MaryAz

    MaryAz DIS Veteran

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    Yay, you added more pics. The one of ur DD on the carosel(I know I am spelling that wrong) was beautiful!! We used a monkey leash with our 20 month old on the Magic back in May. She is a runner :) Can't wait to read more.
     
  14. RLccweems

    RLccweems DIS Veteran

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    I can't wait to read the rest of your TR....also I love all the pics!!! popcorn::
     
  15. jlima

    jlima Beep Beep!

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    You flew into Burbank and took SuperShuttle to Anaheim?

    WITH FOUR KIDS? :faint:

    You are brave . . . not in a million years would I try that, no matter how cheap the airfare.
     
  16. BibbidyBobbidyBoo

    BibbidyBobbidyBoo <font color=red><br>AKA BIP - Bibbidy is a Pirate DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Great pictures! Love them! I especially love the matching shirts... I want those for my kids! LOL
    Loving your trip report so far!
     
  17. lUVTOGO

    lUVTOGO Born To Run

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    Love the TR so far!! Can't wait for the cruise report! Keep them coming!
     
  18. jns

    jns <font color=cc3366>Tries hard to get the jelly off

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    Great start :thumbsup2

    Can't wait to hear more
     
  19. ashleylovesthebeach

    ashleylovesthebeach Mouseketeer

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    This is great! Can't wait to hear more!popcorn::
     
  20. kimiza

    kimiza Single Mom Even more of a disney kid than my daugh

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    Sounds like fun, can't wait to read more
     
  21. sejejoemmiev

    sejejoemmiev Mouseketeer

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    I woke up before the alarm was set with excitement. I jumped into the shower, ready for this day to start! Everyone else was still sleeping. I was hoping the noise of the shower would start waking the kids, but I guess three long days of too much fun had wiped them out. I was waiting for this day, to finally feel like I was really on vacation. Although I love the parks, this is the real vacation for me! :love: I awoke this morning unable to accept that this day was really here. I felt like I was in a dream. Once I was out of the shower, I tried waking the kids but they would not wake up. I tried DH and lovingly suggested he get up and help me right away! I suggested he walk next door to the convenience store to buy a box of doughnuts and drinks for the kids. I started going through the suitcases to find the kids clothes and bathing suits for the day, and packing up the odds and ends that were piling up around the room. DH quickly came back with a box of chocolate doughnuts and chocolate milk. If that didn't get those kids moving....!!! I tried the kids again, this time shouting, It's time to go on our Disney Cruise! That got them out of bed:rotfl: :rotfl: The kids had a couple mini doughnuts and milk and then took turns hopping into the shower. DH took his turn, and I finished up the packing and getting the suitcases together. When DH went next door to the convenience store he bought a case of water, but couldn't buy beer yet because it was too early. Our plan was to make our way down to the lobby with our suitcases a little early, and he would run next door again before our shuttle arrived. We got together our 11 suitcases and 1 backpack and headed down to the lobby. We made our way out front and guess what was pulling in 15 minutes early!! Our Super Shuttle arrived for us nice and early at 8:45 a.m. We loaded DD2's carseat, the 4 kids and all our luggage and then made our way to the port! We asked our driver if he would mind making a quick stop to pick up a case of beer and he nicely granted our request. We would be the only passengers this morning. It still felt like a dream that this day was finally here! This Super Shuttle van was Clean and well maintained and the driver was AWESOME!! He had a portable DVD player set up with MIckey cartoons for the kids and played trivia games with them. He even had a prize bucket with candy for correct answers (as long as it was okay with Mom and Dad) The kids were happy and well entertained. Lets just say there were not any meltdowns this time around!!
    The ride to the port of LA was quick and the roads were clear from many cars. We were so caught up looking at the large, industrial port outside our window, that the Disney Magic took us by surprise when it crept up on us! We unloaded outside the Magic's port entrance around 9:30 a.m. and waited quite awhile for an available porter to help with luggage. The port was already PACKED with cruisers ready to go. I couldn't believe it! We finally found a porter and he was unsure about us checking a case of beer unpacked. He didn't have a problem with the case of water though. We told him no Big deal, if they give you a problem then just keep it or throw it out, we didn't have any room in our luggage to pack it. We headed inside and the Castaway Club line was endless. Check-In was going to take awhile! I sat with the kids for awhile while DH stood in line, then noticed there was a waiting area down further with activities set up for the kids etc. I walked down with the kids to check it out. I was stopped by an older cast member who asked me for my KTTW card. I told her my husband was in line to check in. She then told me I would have to wait because I could not enter this area without being checked in. I gave her a confused look and then walked off to the side to wait. The kids started whining, "why can't we wait over there??" Another Disney Cruise cast member walked by and saw me waiting around. She stopped to let me know about the waiting area, and let me know I would be so much more comfortable if I bring the kids over there to wait where there are things to do.
    I informed her I was not checked in yet, so the Cast member told me I would have to wait until my husband finishes and I have my KTTW card. She gave me a confused look, told me I could wait for my husband to finish over there and went to speak to the older cast member. I brought the kids over to the waiting area which was already Packed! I decided to get in the Kids Club Check in line which was just forming. The Kids Club Check In desk wasn't even opened yet, but it gave a way to pass the time. We stood waiting for quite awhile when my husband walked over. He asked, Did you get a Boarding Card #? (The Older lady guarding the waiting area was handing them out if and when you had a KTTW card to show her) I informed him, no I do not have one, you need your KTTW card to get one. He said, well the lady would not give me one until I came to make sure you had not gotten one already. This annoyed me, because now she is contradicting her own rules, but whatever. DH went back to get a # and came back with Boarding #9. I told him he should get in the line forming for booking Excursions while I wait in the Kids Club Check In line for our pager and wrist bands. I really wanted to book parasailing for DD1 and myself but it was sold out on the website. After about another 30 minutes waiting, the lines opened up and we were able to get the kids checked in, pick up our pager and get Parasailing booked! Yeah! We found some seats to continue waiting when I heard that Mickey Mouse was now out for pictures. I got the kids and went to wait in line. We got our pictures done and then we went outside for a little while to look at the boat and get some fresh air. It was getting really Packed and Loud inside. We went back inside and a Band was setting up for music. We noticed Goofy was now out for pictures and went to wait in line with the Band starting to play music. After our Goofy pictures, we went to sit and wait. In what seemed like eternity they started calling out boarding numbers and we started getting excited to get back on the Magic, finally, and for 15 days!!

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