First Time Cruising! February 2014 PTR

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Pre-Trip Reports' started by veggiemama, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Hello and welcome to my newest PTR! :) I have started and not completed a PTR and TR from our WDW Christmas holiday's in 2011. There is some history of me/us there if you are curious and otherwise let's get on with some new introductions!!

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    This is the family, taken at our Christmas in Disney 2011 trip. Kids are older (and so am I!) and have changed a bit as you will see in newer pictures but this gives you a good idea of us!

    My name is Laura - I'm the mom, the planner, the scheduler and the obsessive Disney Fanatic! :cool1: I love all things Disney and would easily go back again and again. I am a piano teacher. I teach private and group lessons which keeps me very busy.

    Hubby is John - we have been married almost 21 years (wow!). He is and always has been my best friend and biggest confidante. We love to do things together and as our kids get older we are discovering new and fun things to do.

    Daughter: Bethany. Bea is almost 16 (will be 16 in Sept) she is fun and slightly crazy :rotfl2: (in a good way!) she loves music and sings, writes and performs as much as she can.

    Son: John Isaac - 14. Yes, he has the same name as his dad, in fact he is the 5th John in the family line. He just turned 14, is starting highschool, is a gamer, and still loves all things music. He plays piano, clarinet, tenor sax, guitar - and who knows what he will decide to play this year!

    And that's us in a nutshell!

    So, where are we going???
     
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  3. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Where are we going you ask?
    Here's the story.
    From the previous post you will see that I love Disney. I love everything about it and have no issue with going over and over again. Family on the other hand is not as obsessed as me :) They like Disney but they go because I beg and plead. We can't go every year and DH and I figured once every 3 years would be good. So that means 2014! But before that happened hubby and kids decided that they would like to go somewhere else so they asked to go to Hawaii. Sure that's great and all but there's no Mickey there! But I went along and started researching and figuring things out. We were going to book a time share condo that my parents own and long story short, the condo never happened! (Yay for me!) So of course that got me back on the "Let's go to Disney" mantra. :laughing: BUT my kids said they want to go somewhere new and my dd Bea desperately wants to go on a cruise so I start researching that. (notice a pattern yet?!) Check out prices and flights and costs and all that fun stuff. Presented to DH and he says - too expensive. :eek: Oh dear, I figured that was it, no cruise for the family.

    And then.... Quite suddenly, a whole bunch of things changed on the financial side and yesterday we spent the day looking at everything again and planning our year and, would you believe it, we have enough left over to actually go!! :cheer2:

    So last night I pushed the little "book now" button and we are set!
    When: February 3-7
    Where: Bahamas 4-day cruise
    Ship: Magic
    Room: Stateroom with verandah

    So now the questions start, with the biggest one being...... flights!!
     
  4. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :goodvibes
     
  5. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    :wave2: Welcome!
     
  6. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    So I forgot to mention....
    We haven't told the kids yet! :rolleyes1

    Not exactly sure when or how to tell them. Last time for 2011 I went all out:
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    DH took the kids out for lunch and when they arrived home they saw this on the door

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    And this trail on the floor

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    I think it is safe to say we surprised them!

    I also made Mickey Cupcakes and gave them their passporter books and juts generally had fun talking about what was to come.

    So now, how to surprise them this time?
    They knew we were planning a winter holiday but then I let them it know it wasn't going to happen. We talked about cruises but we told them we just couldn't do it this year. So now that they no longer think we are doing a thing...... I need to think of something fun to surprise them with. They are a little old for scavenger hunts, presents and surprises......

     
  7. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Arg! Big long "get to know us post" deleted as I tried to post.....
    And now I have no time to rewrite. Have to do it later.
     
  8. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    I couldn't wait and I did not plan a thing :) BUT we did tell the kids last night. Son was very excited, daughter did the "I was pretty sure that's what we were going to do". Of course, you can't fool a 16 year old :laughing: I managed to find a Disney Cruise DVD that I ordered a year ago so we watched that together, talked about a few things and then the kids were off to do their own stuff again. :)

    Yesterday I was posting a 'get to know us' and it got deleted so here goes try number 2!

    Who are we and what do we look like today?? So far pictures have been from 3 years ago so here is an update on us.

    John: hubby extrodinaire! He works hard, travels a lot, plays guitar, is part of a band. He loves computers and especially 'apple' products so we are an apple family ;) This picture is from a jazz concert that he surprised me with on my Birthday this past June.
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    Laura: mom and the person writing and planning this new trip. I work as a piano teacher and teach private and group lessons. I work 9 months of the year and work around the clock during that time so when June rolls around I crash! and it takes me a couple weeks to unwind. I love all things Disney and would go constantly if I could convince everyone else to come too! I also work for the Symphony in the city - I plan all activities for special kids concerts that they do 5 times a year. I find and plan all activities and find all volunteers, it is busy but I love it! Usually I am planning for 1200 kids. On my birthday this year I was working at the symphony all day. My DH surprised me with ticket to a jazz concert - great way to relax after a crazy day

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    Bethany: Daughter, 16
    Bea as she likes to be called these days is almost 16 (will be 16 in Sept) She loves music and plays flute in band in school. She sings (takes lessons and competes) and writes music as well. She also writes stories, comics and dabbles in drawing. She also dances, in fact she dances 5 hours a week and on top of all that she is a Junior Mentor for our Church youth group and spent the summer working at summer camp as a Youth Counsellor. She is looking into becoming a music therapist once she is done school.
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    John: son, 14
    we usually use his middle name to help keep the "John's" separate :) John is also a musician (shouldn't come as a big surprise!) He plays piano, clarinet, tenor sax and guitar. He plays in school band, jazz band and is looking into playing in a city youth chamber orchestra this year as well. He is also athletic (no idea where he gets that!!) He plays soccer, basketball and volleyball and also loves to skateboard and snowboard.
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    There you go. That's us in a nutshell.
    Now back to planning a cruise! :goodvibes
     
  9. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    My flights are booked!! yay!One more major anxiety thing off the list. Now the fun really starts :)
    We decided to fly in on Saturday instead of Sunday. My son and I don't fly well so having an extra day to rest up will be great. On top of that the flight times were not great so we either had to fly out at 5:30am - which means getting up at 2am or fly out at 4pm and get to Orlando at 11:30pm - which means that it could be really late by the time we got to the hotel.

    Now we will fly in on Saturday. We are doing the 4pm flight (it was the same time Sat or Sun) but since we have all day Sunday and the extra night in the hotel we will be nicely rested already before we sail. :goodvibes I think we will all enjoy a day at the beach and maybe even go to Kennedy space station. One of those places my dd would love to go.

    Now we just need to book the hotel and then we are done!! Yay! Then I get to look at excursions and fun stuff.
     
  10. momabaarjo

    momabaarjo Cupcakes, Cocktails, & Crap Load of Pixie Dust

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    Laura...I am so excited for you and the family what a great trip you are planning and I can't wait to follow along with you. I had wanted to do a cruise Summer 2014 but Ab, Boo and I are going to Europe for a month in July...no budget for a cruise. Hoping to pull one off for Ab's graduation in 2015!
     
  11. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Hi Tammie!
    Europe for a month - that's awesome! It was quite a debate for us, hard to decide if cruise was the right thing but I'm pretty certain it is the right choice now. :)
    2015 is when Bethany is graduating too! hmmm maybe I need to a book a graduation cruise - though she (and I) is planning to go to Italy and Greece on a school trip that year also so don't know if a cruise would work in the budget- but wouldn't that be fun! LOL
     
  12. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    What a busy weekend! Kids go back to school Thursday of this week and I start my teaching year next Monday so the rush is on to get it all done before the crazy school year begins. So glad I have a cruise to look forward to half way through the year. :)

    This weekend we decided to go to North Dakota for some family time. Why ND? well it's only an hour to the border for us and the weekend deals are awesome! We got a nice hotel, swam in the pool, celebrated John I's 14th birthday at red lobster (first time the kids ate lobster) and did a whole bunch of shopping.
    Red lobster was a lot of fun. I even managed to get a decent salad out of the deal. Vegan at a seafood place - I was a little concerned! LOL
    My Handsome Boys!
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    Me and Bea
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    Birthday boy!
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    Not a surprise that my Bea found lots of great clothes for a great price but the shock was my son! All of a sudden he decided he liked clothes and picked out some awesome new pants, dress shirts and a great fedora. Apparently it was time for a new look. This is the boy who would always tell me - that's fine, it fits - even when the clothes were falling off him! :rotfl: I tried to not constantly tell him how good he looked, didn't want to embarrass him but boy he sure looks snazzy! I think all total we spend about $400 on clothes and fun kitchen stuff for me but it would have been way over $1000 any other time! :goodvibes

    So, where are things at with Cruise life?...
    Got the hotels booked! :cool1:
    We decided to fly in Sat for our Monday cruise and then my DH came up with a great plan, why drive in the middle of the night to Port Canaveral - let's stay at the airport for a night! Yes! Love it!
    So we are going to sleep one night in the hotel at the airport and then they will shuttle us to the hotel in Cocoa beach on Sunday. We will get the daylight to see as we drive and time to spend on the beach. I have to say I LOVE this plan and am really looking forward to the extra day of relax before we set sail. AND to top it off, I was looking at the things offered by the hotel and my son can take surfing lessons! :thumbsup2 That was one of those things on his bucket list of 'holiday' things to do. Going to leave that as a surprise for him.

    So that means - flight are booked, hotel is booked, cruise is booked! :cheer2:
    Now I just need to finish paying for the cruise and then I can start booking the excursions and fun stuff like that!

    These next couple months are going to go by so fast! So much going on it is going to be hard to keep track of it all.

    Oh and I just came up with an AWESOME idea! My mom, who is just as big of a Disney lover as me turns 70 next October. I'm going to take her to WDW! My dad is not not interested in going so it will just be my mom and me! (and Bethany if she can convince me that she should get to go too! ;) ) So I think I will just have to start planning a WDW trip soon too! :banana:
     
  13. momabaarjo

    momabaarjo Cupcakes, Cocktails, & Crap Load of Pixie Dust

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    LOL...I sure hope my teenage boy discovers clothes and style soon. Sounds like you had a great shopping trip! Boo is about 6 months younger...happy Birthday John! He sure has grown up these last couple of years!

    I think it would be great for you to plan a trip with your mom to WDW!

    Your trip is coming together, what a great feeling!

    I had forgotten that Ab and Bethany were the same age! So not ready for 2015...sadly it will be here before we both know it!
     
  14. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Let me say - the shock of his discover was one of the highlights of the weekend for me and my DH :lmao:
    I'm still in shock the Bea is in grade 11 this year. She is talking constantly about what she is going to do after school and it changes almost as often as when she was a little and someone would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up! LOL
    It is a little scary to think how quickly grad will come along. I know how fast each year goes. Makes me even happier that we are still able to go away as as a family. :) Not many more holiday's where it will be just the 4 of us.

    I think I am just about as excited to plan a WDW trip for my mom and myself as I am planning the cruise! :goodvibes
     
  15. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Not a whole lot to say about cruise planning today so I'm sharing something else. :)

    DH and I decided it was time to decorate our living space. We moved into our new house in October. When we moved in the basement was unfinished so we spend basically the entire school year last year getting the basement done. Because I teach at home I require a studio space so it was a crazy year of me bringing 7 keyboards up and downstairs so they could work during the day and I could teach at night! :upsidedow Plus trying to teach with all my supplies in boxes - it was nuts!
    So we never managed to actually decorate our living space. We just threw some stuff on shelves and left it at that. This past weekend we started talking about what we wanted to do and this is what happened! ;)

    Have I mentioned we are Disney Fanatics!! LOL
    Hubby loves marvel so he is thrilled that Disney is adding Marvel to their Cruise and of course I love all characters....

    living room mantel, shelves (sorry pics are a little blurry!)
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    This is a overhang that is above our couch, it divides our living room and kitchen
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    Now I am on the hunt for more Disney stuff!! :cool1:
    I also have a number of lithographs from way back in the early 90's. Used to be when you pre ordered Disney movies you would get pictures from scenes in the movie. I probably have about 20 pictures. No, I am not going to put them all up but we are absolutely putting up some! Just need to find frames for them.
     
  16. lawjiejul

    lawjiejul Earning My Ears

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    Weare also going on our first Disney cruise March 2014 and I am still in the planning, as to where to stay night before, transportation etc :cool1: thanks for the posts and inputs :)
     
  17. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    HI :wave2: Glad I can help with some tips. It's always great to be able to get ideas from those who have done this before.
    What ship are you sailing on? We/I are very excited to be going on Magic, especially since it will be updated. I chose it also because it is smaller and my DH does not like crowds so I hope this will be a little quieter for him. Of course, this is also why I chose a verandah room so that he can have his alone time if he needs. :)

    There are a lot of hotels that have shuttles from the Orlando airport, make sure you look online or call them (not all list it on their sites) our shuttle is costing us very little ($70 for all 4 of us) which is a much better price than DME.
    I just have to figure out how to get back to the airport after the cruise. Not sure if we will book through Disney yet or if we will rent something else. I will probably need to talk to an agent and figure out if we will get back to the airport in time.
     
  18. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    I can so tell that the teaching year has begun! It has been completely crazy for the past couple weeks with new students, new classes, and trying to figure out everyone's schedule! There has been no time for Disney, which is just sad! :(

    On a fun side - I finally bought some picture frames and put up a few pictures from almost 15 years ago! During that time the Disney store, which was still in my city at that time (it's closed now - boo!) was giving away lilthographs to movies that were pre ordered. Of course, I had to pre order movies just for that alone but they sat in our closets for years because I couldn't figure out where to put them. Well, now with my hubby on board with a 'disney' themed room - well house really! I found some frames and put up some pictures and I have to say, they look great! I have one picture from Beauty and the Beast, one from Aladdin, one from Lady and the Tramp and one from Lion King. I also have a really cool Cinderella one that does that 'change' thing as you walk by it :) It shows Cinderella going from rags to ball gown - very cool and it will get a place of honour once I find the right frame for it! LOL

    As for cruising stuff - I have been doing research but not really about this cruise! :rotfl2: I keep looking at the cruises to Alaska and keep thinking maybe DH and I need to take a summer cruise next summer! LOL The kids are both going to be gone for at least the month of July and probably most of August as well so we certainly would have time. And I keep thinking about the booking when on the cruise discount, so who knows maybe another one will be in the works right away too!

    Oh, and I decided - mom and I are going to WDW next year! :hyper: We are going to go to celebrate her 70th birthday so of course I'm going to need to plan and figure out some surprises for her. It will be a quick trip over our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday in October (her birthday is in October as well but not on the actual weekend we are going)

    So I'm busy with research, which is almost as much fun as actually going :goodvibes Can't do a whole lot yet our February Cruise since it is not paid in full yet. Bethany did tell me that she wants to go parasailing so once we see the cost of that we will see if we can add that into the day for her.

    Next weekend is Bethany's 16th birthday! Can't believe she is 16!! Unfortunately we will be travelling all day on her birthday :( I feel bad for her though we will have a fun weekend - we are heading to Minneapolis for my sister-in-laws wedding. I still need to think of some fun things to do and surprise her with on the Friday. I know I can't do much but I would like to do something to still make the day special for her.
     
  19. momabaarjo

    momabaarjo Cupcakes, Cocktails, & Crap Load of Pixie Dust

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    I love the decorating!
     
  20. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Thanks Tammie! :) I now have added pictures on the walls of Disney movie lithographs. It turned out pretty good. And I found a great Iron Man figurine for my hubby for Christmas (Iron man being his favourite Marvel character)
     
  21. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    It's been awhile since I have been able to get on the computer to do anything more than work but I have a few minutes and I had to share some exciting news!

    I had a great surprise in my email this morning - you know the one - the one of "Special Deal" type emails! :yay: Got on the phone right away and managed to get 20% off our entire cruise!!!!:dance3::cheer2:Total crazy happy dance! LOL Of course this happened this morning so I couldn't share the news with my DH right away so I called my just as obsessed Disney fanatic - my mom, and got all the excited jumping, shouting and fun that I needed to share. :goodvibes

    I can't book anything for a few weeks yet but I have been checking out excursions and trying to figure out what we want to do and what is feasible to do.
    Both kids really want to go parasailing but I'm not sure it's worth it? Any body do this at Castaway Cay?
    I would like to get snorkelling and would love to do some kayaking.

    So opinions please - Is there enough time to rent equipment and still feel like you have time just to lay on the beach and soak up the sun?
     

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