From the Sea to the World - Link to new TR posted!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Flossbolna, May 26, 2013.

  1. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

    Joined:
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    Welcome to my newest trip report! This will be a long one since it covers a nearly three weeks long vacation and one of the best ones in my life so far. I hope you will enjoy reading about my adventures!

    It will be a chronological trip report that will cover a few days in Fort Lauderdale, a 5-night cruise on the Disney Wonder from Miami and then will end with a nice long stay at WDW, for the most part at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The trip took place in late April and early May. All in all it was more of a relaxing trip than a trip filled with activities, but I think I have enough to report about anyway!

    I did take lots of notes in this little notebook:

    [​IMG]

    Lets hope that they are detailed enough to keep this TR interesting for everyone!

    So, who travelled, you might ask. That would be me, of course, your host here in this TR, flossbolna on the board and Magdalene in real life. I live in Nuremberg, Germany, but have been a fan of the Disney Parks ever since my first trip to Disneyland in 1992. Since then I have been to WDW, DL and DLP quite a few times.

    My last two trips to the World where with my lovely sister Katharina (nodnol here on the DIS) and you can read about those in my previous trip reports (links are in my signature). This time she did not come along but she told me quite some time before the trip that she expected me to write a trip report about this new trip so that she could read all about it here on the DIS. And I would never disappoint my little sister!!!

    This time I travelled with my friend Michael who lives in Florida and that fact was a huge bonus as it enabled us to get a Florida resident rate for the cruise which saved us a lot of money.

    You wont get to see a lot of pictures of us though, but here is one as an introduction ;)

    [​IMG]

    So lets get started with the trip report!!
     
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  3. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

    Joined:
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    Table of Contents:

    Introduction: see post above

    Day1:

    By Air to the Sea
    Our First "Home"

    Day 2:
    Olives or Grapes?
    Being a typical European Tourist

    Day 3:
    Water in Different Varieties

    Day 4:
    Finally the Wonders begin
    Our Second Home
    Out to the Open Sea
    Dinner Under the Sea

    Day 5:
    Celebrating Membership
    Learning How to Relax
    Tour and Escape
    Meeting my favourite Croatians

    Day 6:
    Fishies!
    Those Margaritas are Tasty!
    Looking Out
    Arrr!!!

    Day 7:
    A Morning Walking Tour Part 1 Part 2
    A Road Trip
    Hoping to Defy Nature
    Dreaming!
    Walking off Some Calories Part 1 Part 2

    Day 8:
    Serenity
    Continuing to Cast Away
    A Trip to Santa Monica Part 1 Part 2
    Till We Meet Again

    Day 9:
    From the Sea to the World
    Arriving at the world!

    Final Thoughts on my first Disney Cruise

    Day 10:
    So many colours!
    Our Fourth (and Final) Home
    Annual Passes in Various Forms

    Day 11:
    The Shortest Year Ever Part 1 Part 2
    May the 4th Be With You!

    Day 12:
    The Ultimate Biergarten Review Part 1 Part 2
    New Attractions!

    Day 13:
    A Typical Alpine Winter Day
    A Barbecue Meal Part 1 Part 2

    Day 14:
    Being even more lazy at WDW! Part 1 Part 2
    Flying Fish Part 1 Part 2

    Day 15:
    Food, Warehouse and Mingle
    How Rob saved the evening

    Day 16:
    Trekking through Wild Africa Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

    Day 17:
    Water, Headache and more Disney Magic

    Day 18:
    Not your typical Disney day

    Day 19:
    The End is Near!!
    Are we going to drown in Bay Lake?

    Day 20:
    A Farewell Lunch

    All the chapter titles should be links that take you directly to the corresponding chapter if you click on the title. Also I try to provide a link at the end of each chapter to the next chapter for the convenience of easy reading for those who want only the story, not the chatter! If you find a link missing or working incorrectly, please let me know! Thanks! And I hope you have fun reading!
     
  4. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Day 1:
    Travel day is not always the most pleasant day. But arriving in Florida was certainly a highlight of the trip!

    Work had been rather horrible the last few months and due to certain work commitments I had to work until the day before I left and had to get back to work immediately after I returned. Normally I would try everything to avoid this, but for this trip I wanted to make the best use of the time I could take off from work.

    So this meant that the days before day 1 were very busy with preparing and packing. But I was able to get everything organized so that I did not get to bed too late the evening before. Which was important as my flight from Nuremberg left at 6:30am.

    Luckily I don't live very far from the airport and the airport is a rather tiny one. So I had set the alarm on 4:25 am. At 4:15am I woke up, saw what the time was and gave Michael a quick call to let him know that I was awake. Since Florida is 6 hours behind, it was only 10:15pm of the previous day for him. If I had not called him by 10:30pm his time, he would have called me in Germany to make sure that I dont miss the flight! While we chatted I realised that out of the three alarms I had set, only one was actually switched on. The other two were set to the correct time, but I had forgotten to actually switch on the alarm. Got a little scare in hindsight, but then everything worked out fine without me even have to rely on one single alarm!

    The day before I had arranged for a cab to come and pick me up at 5am. So a little before that I started to carry down my luggage. I had only one piece of handluggage and then my big suitcase. Which was far heavier than I would have liked, I even had taken out a number of clothes the evening before. I live on the fifth floor in an old building without an elevator, so getting the suitcase down was not easy, but I managed. I already was scared about getting it up there again, but happily forgot all about this during the vacation!

    The taxi driver was quite nice and inquired where I was going. I told him I was travelling to Florida and he immediately asked wether I was going to go on a cruise. I told him that that was part of my plans and he starts telling me that many years ago he went on a cruise and did not like it because of the company. He said he was not that young when he went, I think he said something about mid-40s, but he was by far one of the youngest people on the ship. He had gone with the hope to meet some new people, but the old ladies with many jewels who were playing Bingo all the time were certainly not his type.

    I was at the airport in a little over 10 minutes, got rid of my bag (I had done online check-in), went through security and then found some breakfast at the airport:

    [​IMG]

    My first leg of travel would take me to Paris where I would then get on the plane to Miami. The first plane was a tiny one, so boarding was very uneventful.

    At Paris we arrived at one gate that is in a satellite building far from the actual main airport. I knew this from previous trips from Paris, but never had to connect from there and was a bit worried about how complicated it might be. It turned out to be lengthy as I first had to walk to the other end of the terminal I arrived at, there I got to a tiny area for passport control where there were only two people waiting. Once through that I got to board a bus (the yellow shuttle) which was going on a round trip to different other terminals, I had to get off at the last stop before it would return to 2G where I started. So it took me a while to get where I was supposed to be. And then I had to walk through endless hallways again. I was expecting to get another security check, so finished off my water bottle. However, then it was down one escalator and suddenly I was in the midst of the international terminal with duty free shops left and right selling French fashion, chocolate and all other kind of food and souvenirs.

    All in all it had taken me quite some time (I think about 35 minutes) to get from one plane to the other, but I was very happy that they had eliminated the second security check-point which I experienced in 2008. And I still got to the gate with a lot of time to kill before boarding would start.

    There was a A380 parked which I looked at in a mixture of admiration and fear. This thing does not look like it can fly!

    [​IMG]

    And I took a picture of my plane, a Boeing 747.

    [​IMG]

    I was quite excited that I would be on the upper deck! Air France currently is the only airline in the world that has Economy class on the upper deck with a seat pitch that is 35 inches instead of the standard 32 inches. They charge a supplement of 50 ¬ if you want to reserve one of the seats and I had done this as I thought a little bit more space would be worth the price. It is not as nice as premium economy, but also much cheaper.

    Boarding was uneventful, I ended up sitting next to a French family with three kids, mother and one daughter were next to me, father and the two other kids where on the other side of the aisle. The upper deck is very nice at is a smaller cabin, only about 12 rows or so and only 3 seats on each side of the aisle.

    [​IMG]

    I had a window seat which was especially nice as due to the curve of the wall, my seat was not directly next to the wall. In the space between seat and wall was a kind of shelf which again you could open and there was space underneath in which you could put your handluggage. That was great to keep the million things I want on a flight close to me!

    After take off we were first handed the menu for the flight. You could see the different choices (mainly you could chose between chicken or pasta), what kind of meals they were going to serve as well as what kind of drinks you could get.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First they came around with drinks I think these were meant as aperitifs and they were serving champagne. Air France also prides itself as the only airline that serves champagne in Economy class (on international flights only though), so I had to take advantage of that:

    [​IMG]

    I also got some water and everyone got some breadsticks. Next they served the meal, I chose the pasta as you can see here:

    [​IMG]

    I also got some white wine with it (once I started celebrating being on vacation with the champagne, I thought why not continue). The salad was a bit strange, but not bad. The pasta was tasty. Surprisingly the triangle of camembert cheese which was in the gold wrapper turned out to be quite stinky (which I like) and I thought that this is really only the French who would serve cheese like that on a plane, but I love them for it, their cheeses are truly wonderful (but my second favourite cheese country would be the UK!).

    After that lunch I took a nap. The champagne and white wine were rather helpful for that& Since I had to get up so early I did not have a lot of sleep the previous night and my plan was to try to stay up as late as possible after my arrival in order to get used to the new time zone as soon as possible.

    I also watched a French film on the TV which every seat had. They actually had a very intensive library of films, current ones, some that are from the last year but also classics. They had a wide selection of French films as well and thats where I chose from. The film was called Populaire and it was about a young lady who wants to be a secretary, but is quite bad at it. The only thing she can do very well is typing very fast. Her boss starts coaching her to take part in typing competitions. It is a very sweet film and quite funny.

    With the nap, the film and some reading time went by reasonably well. Still, 8.5 hours is a long time on a plane& At some point we got served small ice cream bars:

    [​IMG]

    Strangely, the route for the flight was directly across the Atlantic. Normally I am used to flights from Europe to the US to take the Northern route (just south of Greenland) and one would fly again south along the coastline of the US East Coast. So I actually did not see very much out of my window.

    As we were approaching Florida we got served a second meal:

    [​IMG]

    This was some chicken on quinoa salad. It was very good! And I also loved the little lemon tarte I got for dessert as I love nearly everything citrus!

    Just north of Miami we finally reached the coastline, turned left and followed it for a bit. I was thinking that we might pass Fort Lauderdale and my hotel. Michael had booked the Fort Lauderdale Hilton Marina on Priceline for a cheap 75$ per night. This hotel is directly at Port Everglades and I had looked at it on Google Maps quite often, so I know what the area would look like from above. And, yes! There it was:

    [​IMG]

    Look at the big bridge in the picture, Port Everglades is to the left no cruise ships there that day, but that would change and the hotel in on the top right edge of the bridge.

    Now it was only a little while until we landed. Somehow I managed to get out of the airplane very quickly. It was great that the stairs leading down to the main deck were just opposite the gangway, so I ended up being one of the first people walking off the plane. Next step was immigration. I had read nightmares about immigration at Miami as it is a very busy international airport, so I was expecting the worst. I got in line, kept reading my book and 50 minutes, one picture and 10 fingerprints later I was admitted to the US.

    At baggage claim none of the bags from our flight were still on the carrousel, instead they were all standing next to it. Mine was of course all the way at the back of the hall. And I realised how much easier it is to spot your suitcase on a band than when it is standing in a row with a million others.

    After a brief stop at customs it was then finally time for a welcome to Florida and seeing Michael who had come to the airport to pick me up!

    Next: Our first Home
     
  5. DannyDisneyFreak

    DannyDisneyFreak Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.

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    Am I first?! Well I am here for the ride very excited to hear about your trip. So how long is the flight from home to Paris for you?
     
  6. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Subscribed in to your TR. Looking forward to it! :cool1:
     
  7. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Subbing and I think I maybe on Page 1
     
  8. DannyDisneyFreak

    DannyDisneyFreak Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.

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    I beat you :p na na na na na!
     
  9. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Wow Dan you beat me !!!!Great start Magdalene !!Those European flights are long, I so well remember taking them !!!
     
  10. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah for a long report about a great trip!


    I've never heard of anyone setting an international wake-up call before, but I can understand the need for it. I'm glad that you didn't have to rely on it.

    When you flew over your hotel you should have just told the pilot that this was your stop. ;)

    Looking forward to more Magdalene! :goodvibes
     
  11. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Can I look for an update ???????:rotfl2:
     
  12. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    Guess I need to come out of lurkdome for this one. :wave2:

    Was not sure if I should do this in English or German, but I decided to "go with the flow". :rotfl2:
    The WONDER was our first love, so I am especially looking forward to that part. :thumbsup2
     
  13. nodnol

    nodnol Mouseketeer

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    Hello!!!

    I accept thank you notes from all other readers ;)

    I am shocked! You - the one who tells everyone about drinking only water on long distance flights!

    Can I be even more shocked????

    No alcohol this time?

    And I'm glad she had this possibility, imagine who else she could ask to call her on such an ungodly hour?
     
  14. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Hello Magdalene! :) Thanks for the link!:thumbsup2 I am all subbed up and looking forward to reading about your vacation!:goodvibes
     
  15. OhMari

    OhMari WDW PreTrip and Trip Moderator Moderator

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    Reallly interesting reading about your plane and awaiting the rest of your adventure. We Americans need to learn from our European neighbors. We are so afraid to take even a week vacation, let alone 3 weeks.
     
  16. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    WOW- AirFrance rocks!:thumbsup2 I have never flown on a plane with an upstairs- very cool!
     
  17. jenniferreich

    jenniferreich Mouseketeer

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    Your trip (and report!) is off to a terrific start! I hope so much you had a great time, and I look forward to reading about it!
     
  18. MeeskaMomma

    MeeskaMomma DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. ::wave::
     
  19. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    My first reader!! Welcome!! The flight from Nuremberg to Paris is rather short, about 50 minutes, so not too bad!

    :welcome:

    Yes, you made it easily on Page 1!! Great to have you here!

    :lmao:

    Yes, they are long. Actually going via Paris as compared to via Frankfurt made the flight about 30 minutes shorter as Paris is further west than Frankfurt! :thumbsup2
     
  20. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    :welcome: I am afraid it will take me some time to work on this report... But at least this time I am not waiting on a slow co-writer to send things back to me, I can just post once the update is finished! :goodvibes

    My father is usually good for early wake up calls as he gets up very early, but that was even to early for him. This was a case where the time difference actually was useful for once - normally I am not a fan of it!!

    I am not sure he would have done an impromptu landing just for me...

    Thanks! Very happy to have you here!

    Herzlich Willkommen Karin!

    I guess we better keep it in English, so the other's don't think we are talking about them! ;)

    Great to see you here - I have lurked on a few of your reports as well, and learned a lot of cruise tips from them! :goodvibes

    I guess it is not too much of a spoiler if I tell you that she was in excellent shape and I did fall in love with her as well! :love:
     
  21. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Hello to you to! And :welcome:

    As long as you refrain from charging them entertainment fees...

    Well, the only water rule still applies. But if an airline wants to throw champagne at you, you have to accept it!

    At least I followed the no caffein rule! :thumbsup2

    Oh, that is nice of you to offer! I will keep that in mind for the next trip!!!
     

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