ALL Aboard a WONDERful TR! FEB 2010 - 3/29 Final Ramblings & a PTR!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Happydog, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    All Aboard! Are you ready?

    SO this truly IS a first for me, everybody! A TR I am writing, but, can you believe it?! This is a CRUISE TR! :goodvibes Foreign territory for me! :laughing:
    I decided to start it over on the DIS Cruise Board because, well, I figured this is where it really belongs! :p

    Before I begin this cruise extravaganza, however, I want to give you a quick shot of our one day stop at Hilton Head -- where we spent the night on our way home... I will tell you all about HH when I get to that point in the TR, but there is something I want you to see…:magnify:

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    This is a mileage sign post. It lists all the Disney resorts and the mileage to get to them from the Hilton Head Resort! Only 307 to the Beach Club Villas, WigD and Christine!! :beach: I thought it was very charming… Here is another view of it…. and of course you can see the HH inlet.

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    Here is another … a little closer …

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    And a little closer...

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    There. Now that is nice and clear. SO I am sure you can see it is 2,459 miles from Hilton Head to the Grand Californian in Disneyland. Isn’t that interesting? :scratchin I don’t know that I would have thought it was very interesting a month ago. But, things change, don’t they? :rolleyes: Well, they change, when plans get made… and some plans have been made …


    "Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange? Come with us and you will see, this our town of Halloween..."

    And if you don’t want to see something "strange" you can wait until my PTR for our...

    Halloween Trip to Disneyland

    Coming this October 2010.
    :teeth:


    NOW back to your regularly scheduled CRUISE TRIP REPORT.

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    My DH and I sailed the Disney Wonder February 25th - 27th, 2010. We had a great time together, and I can't wait to share it with you! :goodvibes

    Hope you will sail along! :sail:
     
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  3. Señor DonDuck

    Señor DonDuck DIS Veteran

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    Signing up!

    That sign post is such a great little touch.
     
  4. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    I am ready. So excited i haven't even read yet. Just securing my place on page 1. :) Be back in a minute...

    --------

    I am back. Don't know where to start!

    Halloween in Disneyland?!?! Tell me more!!

    Love the sign with the distance to BCV... if only I were there now!

    Can't wait to hear all about your cruise. My DVR just captured the Travel Channel cruise special for the umpteenth time and this time I am determined to watch!

    More, More , More! :)
     
  5. Charleston Princess

    Charleston Princess DIS Veteran

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  6. Charleston Princess

    Charleston Princess DIS Veteran

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    Now that I have read, I think it is super cool that you are headed to Disneyland for Halloween! How fun will that be??? Hilton Head looks great, and I am already excited about the cruise report just from the picture of the stacks!
     
  7. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Here! Love the way you started!
    So cool that you are going to Disneyland for Halloween! That's going to be an awesome adventure!
    Can't wait to get started on this cruise, I'll be taking notes!
     
  8. wsushocker

    wsushocker DIS Veteran

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    It's me!
     
  9. goldielocksraj

    goldielocksraj Anxiously awaiting deluxe birthday trip!

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    Yyyyyeeeeaaa, the cruise TR-finally!!!! :cool1:

    Then, once you're done with this, you can start your PTR!!!!

    Then, your TR!

    Then, another PTR!!

    I love your TR, in case you can't tell :rotfl:.

    I don't know if you're helping me count down the days to my delux birthday trip, or if you're inciting me to do one-day non-park trips (mostly to see different resorts, shop, and EAT :drinking1.
     
  10. rgrutland

    rgrutland Mouseketeer

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    I'm subbing!! Followed you over from your other TR's, I love them all! :thumbsup2

    I have actually used your story to try to entice my husband to drive to Disney (we are also from MD) "HappyDog drives to Disney all the time!" My hope is to get him to give in sometime this Summer...we'll see. :rolleyes1

    Lookin' forward to reading along...
     
  11. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    Well, Hi! Welcome! I am looking forward to writing all about my cruise!

    Thank you Christine!!! YES, Halloween in Disneyland! Well I am going to keep that fun for the end of this TR, and I will add it to my new PTR for the summer!!! I can't say I have too much Disney fun planned, but it is making my head spin!!!! We have a plan for a split stay at Disney and in San Diego -- to go to Lego Land the zoo, and visit some family friends. We have a week with two days off the first week of Nov. So it worked! More will come on this!

    YOU should so watch it!! That dang special had been a catalyst for us!!! We had so much fun on this short excursion -- even though we had been on a Disney Cruise before. It was when we were 27 or so, I think, ten years ago basically!

    The sign post is really charming, as is all of HH!

    I know! Total fun! I am really jazzed. We are only in Disneyland for a few days, we are adding this or splitting this with a week in San Diego. We have a resort stay in San Diego so we can go to Lego Land and a few other places, and visit friends! It was easy to convince DH once I reminded him about the Jack Skellington overlay at the HM!!! A Disneyland special!

    HH is really pretty! I will give a good report of it as well. I am going to start the real TR probably tomorrow, though, we'll see if I can get at least one entry tonight! BUT that photo was one of my favorites :goodvibes

    It was fun! I had to think of something to tell everyone but I had to keep it in order! And finally I was just bursting at the seams with trips I couldn't tell you about, so I just said "Ah Fooey" and put the tickers up! :laughing: I hope to give you great tips for the cruise you and Marc and Baylor are on this summer!

    I'll share all about Disneyland soon, I promise! ;)

    What, the WINNER :) Shocker, who could it be if it wasn't you??!!

    (Some guy named Marc.... :rotfl:)

    So glad you are here!
     
  12. IluvXU

    IluvXU DIS Veteran

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    In in in! I so want to know all about the cruise, HH and will be along for the trip to CA!
     
  13. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    You know, when you put it that way... :lmao: Good grief. I am going to run out of room for links!!!! :laughing: NEVER fear. That is what size "1" font is for!!! :laughing:

    Oh, there are more than enough activities and resorts to explore and restaurants to sample, that you can TOTALLY make a non-park day! I'd go for it!!!!

    Oh gee! I am so glad you are enjoying the read so thank you! Well, we just tried that driving out this year, and I have to say it has worked to our advantage -- especially at Christmas and then over February. We got some great rates for air fare in Feb but since we had already committed to HH for a night, it made sense to just stick with our plan. I have to say my DH has often driven the bulk of the time... BUT I say you gotta at least try it once! It isn't awful, so long as you have things to do in the car for kids, and can drive mostly at night.

    Thanks for coming over again!

    I was thinking that you would like to hear about HH -- as did I! And there is plenty to share (but first we both need to get our BC/VB combo summer stay sorted out! :thumbsup2
     
  14. stace208

    stace208 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Loved your start and can't wait to read more.:goodvibes
     
  15. nettii

    nettii DIS Veteran

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    Im subbing in cant wait to hear about your cruise and DL @ Haloween! We went to Dis last Halloweenn and LOVED it! And know after reading your lead up to your new ptr Ive got that song stuck in my head! :lmao:I swear we all sang it untill Christmas!:rotfl: You know the one This is haloween, this is haloween every one Screem!
     
  16. Dream426

    Dream426 Love Disney!!

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    Subscribing. Can't wait to read more.
     
  17. kschafer

    kschafer DIS Veteran

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    DARN! Missed page 1 by 3 minutes :headache:

    Can't wait to read all about it!!
     
  18. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    So WELCOME to the first ever, "Happy Dog" Disney Cruise TR! :yay:

    I know that many of you have hopped on this "boat" from my previous Disney trip reports, so you know a little about the crazy Happy Dog family, but allow me a minute to share who we are!

    We are a family of 4, DH, myself, and two boys, 4 and 7. We are a couple approaching 40 :eek: GOOD gosh, when did that happen??!!! I can cling onto that for another year and a half, right?!! And by virtue of my DH's great ability to sniff out deals, and a pair of APs to WDW, we have had the good fortune to visit Mickey and his friends in Orlando many times this past year... Though we had been to WDW prior to this historic trip-taking year, I have to say the time we have spent there recently has sealed the deal for us being great fans of Disney. So that being said, we have many more Disney vacations in our future I know, but they will likely take new twists along the way -- thus our fall trip to Disney Land and some new cruises. Here is a photo of me and my crew on our Christmas trip ...

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    And here are the boys on our recent snow escape to the Animal Kingdom, just two weeks before our Cruise! :p

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    But the real participants on this trip are my DH and ME. Here is a photo of the photo they took of us at Palo's, onboard the Disney Wonder. It isn't as sharp as the original, but it is the only picture of the two of us :laughing:

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    SO. Taking a cruise was the most remote idea in our minds the evening we even decided to book one. My husband and I, faced with some personal leave burning a hole in our pocket, wanted to take advantage of a quick getaway for the two of us at the end of February. As the story goes, I kept suggesting a Disney Cruise, as the going rate was really reasonable!! And finally after determining that we would not get a better deal for the $ and the dates we could go, DH agreed. We were considering a trip to NYC for some theater, but that would have been twice as much when all was said and done, So in early January we booked a Three Night Cruise on the Disney Wonder. Now the only other cruise we had ever been on was a Disney Cruise. A 7 day western Caribbean cruise, about a decade earlier. We had been on that cruise with my DBIL and his partner, avid Disney cruisers, and we had had a blast! We really enjoyed it then, and we figured we would enjoy this one, too.

    We arrived in the Port Canaveral area in the wee hours of the morning that day of our departure. We had left work, met at home with kids to rendezvous with Grandma, and thrown our already packed bags into the car. We raced out of town in order to beat the evening traffic getting to 95. We had a few books on tape to keep us alert, and we stopped for dinner right outside Richmond, VA. Nothing like a riveting thriller genre book! I confess that DH did and does most of the driving, but regardless it is a manageable drive. Diet coke, coffee, pretzels, and every flavor of smoke house almonds gets us through :rotfl: We had booked a room at a hotel across from the port. It was called the Comfort Suites, I think, I will confirm the name. It was a great deal, because you got the room, breakfast, parking and free shuttle over to the port. We arrived around 5am, and checked in, and went to sleep!

    Now I am not saying that we liked driving down and traveling with these conditions, ironically air fare specials were to be had for $84.00 RT to Orlando at that point, but my DH said we would have then had to pay $100.00+ for each of us to get the Disney transfer from airport to ship, and suddenly the convenience vs. the cost didn't make it sound all that great in terms of a "deal" -- and I would much rather spend that $ on the boat... and well, that is what we did! HA!

    Anyhow, we woke up about an hour before the shuttle was due to take us, and went down to eat something, get our luggage out and meet the shuttle outside the room. Of course we didn't use the hotel for the full day/night, but the cost was worth it for the bed, breakfast, parking, shuttle, etc. that we would have had to pay if we had driven to the terminal. I know it was very reasonable, I think $80.00ish I will have to confirm with DH. So with some rest we headed over to the terminal at 10:30am. It was very exciting to see the boat in the distance!! :yay: You will see from the Mickey clock on the terminal tower that I took these on our departure. Which is true, but I wanted you to see what I saw first! I was too excited to get inside to stop on our way in!!! :rolleyes:

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    When we cleared the security lines, it seemed very empty, and we walked straight to a CM to get checked in with no wait. There are two lines you need to go through to get your check in complete. One is to get your on board room key/charge card -- which is the room key/charge card, just like the KTTW at WDW. (in fact, I think those who do the land/sea combos use the same card all the way through! Here is a photo of my DH's I took after we got home, but so you can see...

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    Because we had been on a cruise before, we were inducted into the "Castaway Club"... more on this later ... hence the silver lanyard and card.

    Anyhow, once you get your documents processed, you get your photo taken and that is added to the data on your card. They swipe this at ports of call, etc., to keep track of everyone. Once we were done with this, it was time to wait. They would not begin boarding before 11:30 am, or so...

    While we waited, I took photos of the terminal, etc. Mickey and Chip and Dale were out to visit, and keep people occupied while they waited... Central to the whole terminal is this very cool model of The Magic. I have the photos below.

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    They started boarding people by 11:45am. We were embarkation group 4. Clearly people were lined up to get into the terminal when it first opened, because there were groups 1 - 3... ahead of us. I am assuming they bring people onto the ship by who checks in first, but it is possible those with higher room categories, or those who are "gold" or "platinum" Castaway Club members, etc., may get earlier boarding groups. I am sure there is a science to it, but there were crowds of people still checking in and in lines when we were called to board, around noon I think.

    Now, as with any first experience, I have several observations and tips to share. But I will wait until the end of the TR to list them. Generally speaking we were excited to get on the ship, but I think we could have done things a little differently, and I will explain that at the end.

    REGARDLESS, we walked through the "Magic" Mickey Ear portal!!!! I would have loved a photo in front of this but alas I didn't think to get one, and when we actually walked through we were walking with a line, so it wouldn't have been possible, but here is a picture that I swiped online, because as it is with me, I am always taking pics with my eyes and forget to get the real thing!!!

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    It is a fun way to board. Once you enter, they check your key card, you take a photo, and then you actually set foot on the ship!!! A CM was there to "welcome" you by announcing your name. It is very cute, and lots of CMs are on hand waving their, "Mickey" hands... I did manage to get a few pics at this point, but more will come to give you a good view...

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    I will post the rest of our afternoon and evening in my next update...

    Bon Voyage!!!!
     
  19. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    Great! WELCOME I am so glad you are coming along for this "Sail" too!!! :goodvibes

    Oh DON'T I know it!!! I have to hide the DVD!!! :rotfl: So glad you are coming aboard the Disney Wonder with me ;)


    Hey! Looks like you are Cruise Bound this summer!! Enjoy! We sure did!! :thumbsup2 I hope I can give you some tips along the way!

    Ah, Page 1, Page 2, Page 10! Just glad you didn't miss the boat :lmao:
     
  20. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    Great start!! I'm excited to learn more about Disney cruises. Congrats on the October Disneyland trip!! :banana:
     
  21. Native NYer

    Native NYer DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!

    Now back to read :surfweb:
     

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