Distant Shores: A Midwestern Family Vacation to Florida & the Bahamas This is my second Disney Trip Report. I have learned a lot about Disney trip planning from reading other reports and discovered that writing one after our cruises makes a nice family keepsakea sort of digital scrapbook. This post includes introductions and background story. The second post includes an index. ***************************************************** This cruise includes my husband, Rick, and our kids Andrew (Sunshine) and Christian and Caroline. In 2009 we sailed on the Disney Wonder to celebrate Sunshine's high school graduation. This year Christian graduated, so we are sailing on the Dream, a 4-nighter out of Port Canaveral. We will visit with friends (and Disney fans) before we sail and spend one day with other friends after our cruise. I gave Christian the cruise on Christmas night (2013) but I actually booked in June, 2013, more than a year before we sailed. And that is a funny story by itself. (cue the "I remember it like it was yesterday" flashback sequence .) In 2009 we took our first (and only) cruise--a 3-day DCL to celebrate our son's high school graduation and our 20th anniversary. It was a wonderful, magical vacation for the most part. The exception being a series of unfortunate events on Castaway Cay day. ￼ That evening I found the documents for booking another cruise in the trash can of our stateroom.It seems my husband had visited the Onboard Booking desk and was planning to rebook; before he got a chance to we got into an argument. It was a stressful afternoon and combined with the other events of the day (one kid sick, one kid lost) caused him to dump the materials and forget the idea. Here we are all happy! Well, it was actually a wonderful trip and we still talk about it all these years later. So naturally, my thoughts have turned to another cruise. Now my husband loved our last one, and he'd love to take another one, but he has a hard time spending that much money. I knew if we did another cruise, I'd have to plan it and then tell him. I discussed the idea with my two sisters and invited them to cruise too. I was convinced they would absolutely love a Disney cruise. We had a pow-wow and for about five minutes considered Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. But in the end we had to go with DCL.￼ We settled on a July, 2014 date. It occurred to me that my husband would be more enchanted by the idea of another cruise if he read the report from our last one (except that part about the argument￼). Well I went to reread my trip report and found I had never finished it! So I fished out my old notebook and added the final touches to the TR. Plus I added a post script indicating that the only way to top the last cruise was to do another one. 2009 Trip report On June 20, 2013 I was scheduled for shoulder surgery. He had a long wait at the hospital, so I strategically packed my laptop and had the browser opened up my old trip report. Just before I was put to sleep I told him to read it all. I think I was more nervous about him reading my scheme than having my arm cut open. But I was unconscious and I knew I'd have the sympathy edge when I woke up!￼ This is how I ended the 2009 trip report: So almost four years later, this is the end of my cruise report. It was the most magical vacation we could have imagined and a perfect way to celebrate our sons graduation and our 20th anniversary. The only thing better would be . Oh Yes! Booking another Disney Cruise to celebrate Christians graduation and our 25th anniversary--and this time sharing it with extended family. July 2014 here we come!￼￼￼￼￼￼ So I waited a few days after surgery, and I was too sick to discuss much anyway. When I did pull Rick aside to ask his thoughts I realized that he didnt take my July 2014 here we come! as fact, but more as a wish. He actually said, have you already booked a cruise? Well, yes I had. So he shrugged his shoulders and said, okay I guess were going on another cruise. Unfortunately, in the fall we realized that other family members would not be able to go with us this time. I was sad for this and since we spend Christmas day with all of them I decided to not tell our kids about the cruise until Christmas night after all the festivities were winding down. This is the gift I gave Christian on Christmas night to let him know we were celebrating his graduation with a Disney Cruise: (end the flashback portion of this trip report) _________________________________________________ So we are going on another cruise, and this is the place I'll document all the fun, food and distant shores. Like my last trip report, this time I'll add Something I Learned It can be tough to plan a trip like this with other families, just the scheduling alone is a big obstacle. Edited to add something else I learned--the whole year I thought I had been secretive with the kids and not telling them about the cruise.... well Caroline had decided to read our old trip report over the summer--the one where I end by announcing a new cruise. So she knew the secret all those months and didn't say a word. She even let me surprise them on Christmas! Next Up: Flying from a regional airport Our visit with some of the biggest Disney fans we know.