Link to Trip Report 7/6 - Page 5 - Cruising the Dream & Exploring the Wilderness

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by cstorm65, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Cruising the Dream and Exploring the Wilderness: A June 2014 Pre-Trip Report

    Welcome everyone to the pre-trip report for our 3rd trip to Walt Disney World. As the title says this trip report will include information about planning our first cruise on the Disney Dream as well as a Walt Disney World resort stay. You can read about our previous trips by visiting the following link, and please comment to let me know you are reading. Interacting with people throughout the process makes it much more enjoyable!

    Link to Previous Trip Reports

    When you follow that link you will be able to read trip reports for our trip in 2011, before we had a child, and our trip in 2013, our first one with a child. Those two trips have caused us to become completely addicted to Disney vacations. Don’t get me wrong, we like vacations of any kind and have traveled many places, but Disney vacations are different. The magic of Disney World has captured us both as young adults and now as parents. Here we are during our last trip enjoying one of my most favorite moments. The look on our DS’s face says it all. That is why we go on these trips.

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    We had such a wonderful time on our first two trips, especially our first one with our son last summer, that we decided it was time to take the next logical step in the Disney progression…a cruise. We decided on a 4-night Disney Dream cruise for a number of reasons. First, we knew Braxton would not be old enough for the kids club yet so we didn’t want to do the 7-night length, but we also thought 3-night would be too short. So we decided on the 4-night cruise visiting Nassau and Castaway Cay. For now we are dreaming of the day we get to walk in here…

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    and board this…

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    and get the chance to sit on the beach here…

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    After our cruise we will be spending a week at Walt Disney World. I will get more detailed on these plans as we go, but for now just needed to get this pre-trip report started. I have enjoyed getting to share my love for planning with all of you here and I really hope you will stop by to read and comment! Please comment as it makes the planning process so much more fun.

    Up Next: Introducing the Cast
     
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  3. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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  4. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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  5. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Woo hoo! :cool1: I'm here!
     
  6. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Nice - A cruise and 7 days at WDW! Lucky! We are doing our first cruise in October but we only have 5 Disney days and we are going to try to NOT buy a park ticket so we go to Universal. I wonder how that's going to go! :rotfl:
     
  7. okiedisnut

    okiedisnut Earning My Ears

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    Loved your last trip report-- Haven't started your 2011 TR yet, but am looking forward to it and your PTR!!!

    Karyn:wave2::wave2: in OKC
     
  8. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Awesome!

    We are very lucky! Once again the benefits of being teachers. Are you sure no Universal...but Diagon Alley will be open!!!

    Someone else in Oklahoma!! Thanks for coming along on the ride. Glad you enjoyed reading.
     
  9. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Introducing The Cast

    Sorry, I have not been around for over a week. This past week was a crazy one for me. I am the head track & field coach at our high school and this past Thursday and Saturday were home track meets that we were hosting. It just takes a ton of work and time to put on a track meet and I have been extremely busy doing that. The good news is my boys track team finished in 2nd place out of 22 teams in the meet. The only team we lost to was the best team in the classification above us. So it was a busy, but successful day yesterday.

    I guess it is time to get back to the pre-trip report, so the next thing I should do is introduce you all to the people who will be a part of this trip. So without further ado...

    First, I will introduce you to…myself! I am Jon.

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    Favorite Character: Goofy
    Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest
    Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
    Favorite Movie: The Lion King
    Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

    I am the main person that plans these trips, but my wife is becoming more and more interested in the things we do with every trip we take. I am a high school teacher and coach. I am teaching Physics and AP Environmental Science this year, although I have also taught Chemistry in the past. In addition to teaching I am the defensive coordinator in football and the head boys track & field coach. I honestly think I have the best job in the world. Being able to make a positive impact on kids every day is something I love doing. It certainly has its challenges, but overall I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

    Next, I will introduce you to my beautiful DW, April.

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    Favorite Character: Ariel
    Favorite Ride: Rock 'n Roller Coaster
    Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
    Favorite Movie: Little Mermaid
    Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

    April loves our family vacations as well as almost any time we get to spend together. We have developed a love for Disney and vacationing together and it is something she cherishes. She is a school psychologist by day and an incredible mother and wife by night. She works in the same school district I do and gets to come over to my classroom for lunch every day, which really is nice. She love her job working with kids as well and she is awesome at it.

    Finally, the youngest member of our traveling party, DS2.

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    Favorite Character: Mickey Mouse
    Favorite Ride: Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet
    Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
    Favorite Movie: Any of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Movies
    Favorite Restaurant: Any place that serves hot dogs!

    DS2 is all boy. He loves to run, play, hit things, throw balls, and many other things most little boys love to do. He has a great personality and is a good kid most of the time. We have hit a little spurt of the terrible two’s lately, but that was to be expected. In addition to all these things he loves Mickey Mouse and all his friends. He can name them all. Just for fun I will let you know what he calls them:

    Mickey Mouse = “Mouw”
    Minnie Mouse = “Meee”
    Donald Duck = “Don Duck”
    Goofy = “Joo Joo”
    Pluto = “Puto”

    He would honestly sit and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for hours on end if we let him.

    So here we all are together on our last trip.

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    On our last trip we had both my mom and DW’s mom join us for a few days to help with Braxton and enjoy the parks themselves. This time we are doing it all on our own, just the three of us. It is going to be a little different, but we are looking forward to a great cruise and Disney World stay. I think in a few days I will get into the itinerary of the cruise and Disney World portion of our trip.
     
  10. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    How cute is that! Love it! :good vibes


    Great introductions!
     
  11. MidnightParade

    MidnightParade DIS Veteran

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    Following along! Interested in trying the cruise one day ourselves!
     
  12. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Sorry...I am back I think! I have been hosting track meets and taking my team to track meets over the past two weeks and it has been crazy. I am going to get an installment out today because I am behind on the planning. We are only weeks away from FP+.

    Thanks. Will get an update and more cute pictures of DS today!

    We are very excited about the cruise, especially the relaxing that doesn't always come with a WDW vacation. Thanks for reading!
     
  13. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Trip Itinerary

    Hey all! Hope everyone is having a great spring so far. We are 80 days out from our trip so the dead time between ADR day and the trip is about over. In the next few weeks we will have our cruise online check in day, our Fastpass+ reservation day and our Disney resort online check in. I have been looking at some touring plan options, so hopefully I can get it all worked out prior to the 60 day mark. So in this installment I wanted to go over our broad itinerary for our trip, so here it goes!

    Please comment and give your thoughts on any questions I ask…that is what this PTR is all about!

    Saturday
    This is our departure day from home. We are flying from Oklahoma City to Orlando via Southwest (and AirTran) and arrive at around 1:00 PM. We will rent a car at the airport and head towards Port Canaveral. We are planning on just taking it easy for the afternoon and evening so that we are ready to go on the cruise. Here was Braxton on the plane on our last trip. He did very well on the flights, much thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

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    Sunday
    Embarkation Day! We have been waiting for this for an entire year. Can’t wait to hear our name called and get on the ship.

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    Monday
    This is our Day in Nassau. We are trying to decide if we want to get off of the ship or not. I wouldn’t mind just staying on and enjoying the ship while a lot of people get off, but DW kind of wants to get off for a little while to see the port area. I am not sure it is worth the hassle, so you all feel free to weigh in on your thoughts.

    Tuesday
    Castaway Cay!!!!! DW may run the Castaway Cay 5k this morning so anyone’s thoughts on that would be appreciated. Also, we are trying to decide when to use our nursery hours. Would we enjoy the adult beach more than the family one since Braxton is so young? With that in mind would using a couple of nursery hours on this day to do the adult beach be worth it? I guess we need to really sit down and hash this out!

    Wednesday
    Day at Sea! Not sure what kind of trouble we can get into on this day. We definitely want to try and do the Wake up with Disney Junior character breakfast. I think I have read about this, but there is not much information on it anywhere that I can find. Does anyone know any specifics about this? Does it require a reservation? Other than that we will have to wait and see what the day holds.

    Thursday
    This will be our Dis-Embarkation Day. At least that sad word starts with “Dis”! We will be getting off the ship and heading to Disney World. I’ll talk about where we are staying later.

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    Friday-Wednesday
    We will have a week at Disney World after our cruise. We will have to move fairly slowly with a two year old, but we are definitely looking forward to it. I’ll get into these days more as the trip report goes.

    Thursday
    Today is the sad day where we have to return home. We don’t fly out of Orlando until around 6:00 PM so we are playing with the idea of hitting a park for a couple of hours in the morning, especially since we could sleep in, hit it from 11-1 or so and be assured of fastpasses with the new system. We will see on this as well.

    That about does it for the broad itinerary for this trip. I think I may discuss our Disney World resort in the next update and then start doing day by day itineraries that will be a little more detailed. Please, please, please give you thoughts on things. That is the fun of the pre-trip report, getting other’s ideas that can make your trip more magical. Thanks for reading.​
     
  14. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    We are doing our first cruise in October and I am definitely getting off in Nassau. I know a lot of people don't, but I want to see the town. I am actually hoping to do a food tour while in Nassau (probably not something you want to do with a 2 year old :rotfl:).

    Your plans look wonderful. I think going to Disney World for a week after your trip is going to be perfect. And Yay for 80 days! :cool1:
     
  15. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    April kind of wants to get off the ship like you. I don't mind, I just don't want to get off for an hour and then have to stand in line to go back through security to get back on the ship. I am not sure how well a 2 year old will handle walking around a foreign country. If we get off I want it to be meaningful to us. We are going to have to think about this hard.
     
  16. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 1 – Saturday – Travel Day

    I think I am going to try and go day by day throughout our trip to try and lay some things out. I am especially looking for some input on our cruise day plans as I am unsure how all of the processes work.

    We are flying in the day before our cruise just to be safe and not take any chances if some sort of travel delay happens. We fly out of Oklahoma City around 6:30 in the morning so it will be an early morning, but at least flights were reasonably prices enough out of OKC that we don’t have to drive to Dallas like we have done before. I am sure DS will be even more into watching the planes than he was on our last trip. He stops and points anytime a plane fly’s over our back yard and says “airplane”.

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    We have a brief layover in Atlanta, which is actually a good thing as DS can get down and walk and run around for a little while between flights. After our layover we should make our arrival in Orlando around 1:00, so we will still have a good deal of the day left.

    We are planning on taking it easy this day and just heading to our hotel for the night before and relaxing. I went ahead and just booked us a rental car for about $175 for the five days we will need it which will be easier and actually slightly cheaper than paying for car service to the port and back to Disney World.

    We have booked a hotel in Melbourne, FL, about 15 minutes south of Port Canaveral as the prices were much less and this hotel sits right on the beach. So we can swim, relax, and most importantly eat some seafood for dinner…because we are going to be short on food once we get on that ship!

    So while we are talking about food what is some good seafood around Port Canaveral. I want authentic and fresh seafood. So if you all have any suggestions let me know.

    Also, we are thinking about a pit stop at Wal-Mart on this day to pick up a few things and I need everyone’s opinion. We are taking our jogging stroller as we love to have it in the theme parks, but don’t want to carry it on the ship. But we are thinking we may want a stroller on the ship with a 2 year old, so we thought it would be a good thing to just buy a cheap umbrella stroller at Wal-Mart and take on the ship with us. So any and all thoughts on stroller on the cruise ship would be appreciated.

    That is about all we plan on doing on our travel day…but tomorrow things get more interesting!​
     
  17. Tracy161

    Tracy161 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in! You have a lovely family and I'm excited to follow along on your adventures!!! :goodvibes Your plans sound great so far! :thumbsup2
     
  18. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Thanks for reading along.
     
  19. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 2 – Sunday – Embarkation Day

    I have not been around much everyone…sorry if any of you are actually reading this. Track season is extremely busy for me, but I only have two weeks left though. We have our regional meet this coming Saturday and the state championships the next weekend. I am going to do two days of updates here as well so I can maybe get close to caught back up.

    Sunday is the day we have been looking forward to all year, where we get to step foot on the Disney Dream for the first time. We will be close to the port the night before so we shouldn’t have to get up too early to head to the ship. We just plan on getting to the long term parking lot at around 10:00 AM as I have heard the shuttles from there to the port do not start earlier than that. I was on at the 75-day mark and we were lucky enough to get a port arrival time of 10:45 AM!!!!!! Can’t wait to walk in here:

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    I was pretty excited about the early arrival time as we are first time cruisers and didn’t get any advantage to on-board bookings and stuff like that since we aren’t Castaway Club members yet.

    Our plan is to get on the ship and go get in our rides on the Aqua Duck while there are not that many people on board as I have heard it is crowded during most of the other days of the cruise. We also have the early dinner seating as we thought that would be best for Braxton as that is close to his normal routine. I have booked the nursery for Braxton each night for about 2 hours during the show. We figured that would be a nice time for him to play and get worn out a little bit before bed and we could go enjoy the evening entertainment without having to get up and take him out. It would be nice if he was three years old so he could go to the kids club, but the nursery looks great and price is really not all that bad. So tonight Braxton will be in the nursery from 7:30-9:30 while April and I watch the Golden Mickey’s show. Then it is to bed to get ready for our first full day.

    Day 3 – Monday – Nassau Day

    Our Nassau day is the day we are still not sure what we want to do. I guess my question if any of you have cruised before is how easy is it to get off the ship, take in the port area and then get back on the ship. I know we won’t want to stay off long, but it may be cool to take in the port area. We just don’t want to get off the ship to look around and it then have a big difficult process to get back on the ship.

    I am hoping there will be some good activities on-board also for us to do during the day, as we will spend most of it on the ship. I am not sure if Braxton will be into the detective game yet, but April and I may enjoy it enough and just drag him along! We will figure something out to do during the day. I am not really worried about the activities. I spend enough time planning the days we are at WDW that it is going to be nice to just get up and do whatever we want while on the cruise ship.

    We are planning on doing the same thing tonight as the night before. We have nursery reservations from 7:30-9:30 so we can see the Villain’s Tonight Show. Is it worth seeing? It is the only one I have heard is not as great as the Golden Mickey’s or Believe. We enjoy musical type shows like these, so they all seem to be kind of up our alley so we will probably try it anyways.

    I guess that is about it. The daily plans for the cruise are pretty easy since everything is so laid back and un-planned.

    In an effort to keep some readers around I am going to post some of Braxton’s 2-year-old pictures here. If the PTR is not entertaining enough I will supplement it with “cute kid pictures”. So enjoy! We just had his birthday party a couple of weeks ago so I may sneak in some of those pictures to.

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    I’ll include some more next time!​
     
  20. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 4 – Tuesday – Castaway Cay

    Today when we wake up we will be docking here…

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    We are really looking forward to this stop as Castaway Cay just epitomizes pure relaxation…and after this spring both DW and I really need that. Not that anything went bad this spring; things are just busy for both of us this time of year.

    As far as our plans I am not sure if DW want to run the Castaway Cay 5k. She ran a 10k during the OKC Memorial Marathon this past weekend and she ran really well, but I haven’t heard if she wants to do this yet. If she does I will probably just take DS to the beach while she gets cleaned up after and then we can have some fun on the island.

    Once back on the ship I think the Sea Day means Pirate Night so we will be getting ready for that. I think we will skip the show tonight as well and keep DS with us for the Pirate festivities.

    Day 5 – Wednesday – Day at Sea

    On our sea day I think we want to catch the Wake Up with Disney Junior activity. I can’t find any info on this though so if anyone has anything to say about it that would be great. I am not sure if it is an organized thing or if you just show up for a character meet and greet.

    I also was able to snag a 10:30 am reservation for the Palo Brunch and luckily the nursery had availability at the same time. I can say the brunch actually appealed to us more than the dinner at Palo so we are really looking forward to this.

    Other than that a day of relaxation on the ship is all we have in store. DW would like to take in a cooking class or something like that, but other than that just a day relaxing on deck and doing some of the activities on the ship.

    Well, this is our last full cruise day so the plans will pick up a little bit starting tomorrow as we arrive at Disney World.

    I will leave you with another cute kid picture of DS to keep some readers around.

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  21. MidnightParade

    MidnightParade DIS Veteran

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    That pic is adorable!!! :goodvibes

    Looks like a good plan! As I have never been on a cruise so I can't really comment on anything except, they have cooking classes?! Thats so neat! Will keep that and the Castaway Cay 5K in mind for when we eventually do a cruise!
     

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