Welcome! So I decided to go ahead and write a full-length trip report on our recent cruise. One thing you should know though... I'm ridiculously detail oriented. (Insert DIS'ers singing the Hallelujah Chorus here! ) I loved reading in-depth TR's before our cruise, and I intend to pay that forward here! First up, introductions! Me: devoted Disney fan, obsessive planner and organizer, loves Disney music & the parks DH: not raised on Disney but likes it now (particularly enjoys seeing me and our daughters get all giddy about it), Goofy fan, likes watching movies and generally relaxing Both of us love us some ocean! DD7: our oldest but our newest child (adopted 10 months ago), likes Tink and Princesses, especially Rapunzel DD4: LOVES characters (pretty much all of them) in zealous way, terribly adorable in general, friendliest child ever, obsessed with horses Here's a couple pictures of us, taken on formal night. Note: we don't usually look quite so put-together! How this trip came about... Flashback to October 2011... We were trying to decide if we wanted to renew our Disneyland annual passes or apply that money elsewhere. Since we now have kids in school, it's harder to make quick trips over to CA as often. (We live in Phoenix, by the way, so it's about a 6 hour drive.) While we truly enjoy DL, those trips are not exactly relaxing, especially with kids along. We've skipped "real" vacations for the last several years in order to fund and complete our adoptions. (Both of our daughters were adopted from Ukraine.) Sun, surf and sand were calling out to us in a bad way! DCL had been on our minds for a couple years, so when Disney rolled out the Kids Sail Free offer, and we decided to go for it! DH insisted on an oceanview room. This being our first cruise, he wanted to "do it right." I love that man! We decided on a 9A. We ended up booking through AAA, since we're members. Our member perk was a photo package worth $100. I think I'd prefer an OBC in the future, but the photo thing ended up working out well for us. Anyways... We originally booked 6514 but moved our reservation to 7514 when it opened up. Good move! We reserved main dining, too, knowing that late dining would never fly with our kids. We also requested PTTAPTA for our dining rotation, and also to be seated alone with just us 4. You'll have to stay tuned to see if those requests were honored! We joined the FE exchange for our cruise and got a custom FE made as a family Christmas gift. The girls thought that was pretty exciting! At the 75 day mark, I checked in online, which was fairly easy. I secured both brunch and dinner reservations at Palo, and we received an 11:00 port arrival time. Perfect! We didn't book any excursions, choosing instead to think of the ship herself as our destination, since this was our first cruise. We did, however, research and plan to go to the beach in Cabo one day. We prayed in earnest for good weather and smooth seas. No one wants to have a lousy time on their first cruise! The five months between booking and our sail date went by pretty quickly, and before we knew it, it was vacation time! Next up: pre-cruise stay at DL and embarkation!