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Our belated disneymoon by land and by sea! **Port excursions booked! Hooray!**

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by hellocactus, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    Hi everyone! I am new around these parts but I am having so much fun reading other people's trip reports that I couldn't help but make one of my own. So here are the facts!

    Me: Michelle, 25, student (elementary education)!
    My husband: Timothy, 28, web developer and business owner!

    We live in (fabulous) Las Vegas, Nevada and we loooove Disney!

    Here we are together!


    That was taken on last year's summer trip- I think we were in Philadelphia at the time.

    PREVIOUS VISITS: As a kid, I visited WDW with my family about every 3 years. My mom enjoys it, but my dad gets aggravated and doesn't want to go anymore. My last trip without my husband was in 2008, when my mom and I went to WDW and stayed at the Boardwalk. it was lots of fun but my mom gets awful motion sickness so she isn't much of a rides person. OH WELL, double fast passes for me! My parents are not as into Disney as I am and have said that they won't be going back until they can bring their grandkids! :o I think that's some sort of blackmail, haha.

    My first trip with Timothy was in 2009 when I convinced him to go for a few days in December. He was difficult to convince because he was really unfamiliar with Disney, thought it was just a big theme park like SIx Flags or something and didn't get why it was so expensive! (And we actually had a pretty good deal at the time, heh.) He had visited the Magic Kingdom once before- for one day, as a 2-year-old! He was pretty clueless about Disney (we had to watch a lot of movies before we left, haha) but I was happy to educate him. ;) It was really fun seeing him explore WDW for the first time- everything was totally new to him and he was in awe. He still says that trip was the most fun he's ever had ever! It was wonderful and we had so much fun.

    In 2011, Timothy heard about a conference being held at the Contemporary that was relevant to his line of work and I JUMPED at the chance to go back. This was in February and we were living in Chicago. We were so excited and ready to go… when a massive blizzard struck and our flight (scheduled for the next day) was cancelled!

    No snow is going to keep me and Disney World apart! I started packing immediately. We shoveled our VW Beetle out of its parking space and we hit the road, driving straight through to Orlando! The highways were actually fine, except for a long stretch in Indiana that was so bad we almost had to turn around… but after that it was smooth sailing! We arrived only a few hours after our plane would have if we'd been able to fly.

    Since we had no flight to worry about and we were on our own schedule… we decided to stay one more day. And then… one more day after that, haha. We ended up staying 5 nights at the Contemporary (it was great having monorail access!) and had tons of fun, but Timothy had lots of conference-y things to do so we didn't get to spend quite as much time in the parks as we would have wanted.

    THIS TRIP: On July 13, 2011, we got married in Las Vegas in the tackiest possible ceremony, complete with Elvis. (We ended up moving to Vegas 3 months later.) With a cross-country move looming on the horizon, we really didn't have the ability to do a proper honeymoon at the time! We spent a couple nights in the Wisconsin Dells on a whim when we got back to Illinois, but we decided that we would celebrate our first anniversary with a super-fun trip the next year.

    So this is that super fun trip!

    We started out planning to stay 6 nights. Then I decided that we needed one more night to feel complete. Then… I got an idea.

    We could add a CRUISE!

    We got a crazy good deal on the Disney Dream on July 22. There was only one problem… we were supposed to check out on July 19. So I added 3 more days. Oops! (This has become a trend for our Disney vacations!)

    I booked the cruise online and immediately logged into the website to add my passport info, etc. Then we had to leave for a fun event at the local natural history museum, so I wasn't able to continue. But I was soooo excited that I went right back on when we got him… and got the most dreaded message…

    "This is not a valid reservation number."


    I freaked out! But Timothy convinced me that it might just be that their system was down or something, it was late at night, and I should go to bed. So I did. I would try again in the morning…

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  3. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    Sooo I will wait to write out the lame-o story of our messed up cruise reservations. Instead, I'll tell you all our dining reservations! I couldn't sleep at all tonight (I'm a horrible insomniac) so I did what any reasonable person (is reasonable the word? :lmao:) would do… stay up and work on my dining reservations!

    I already had most of them made, but I had to update them since we extended our stay! So here's the plan so far- we have the Deluxe Dining Plan this trip and just barely used all the credits! It's gonna be a lot of food. :O Lots of the restaurants are new to us! I put an asterisk by those. :)

    Thursday 7/12
    Lunch: Rose & Crown*
    Dinner: Jiko*

    Friday 7/13 (Our anniversary!)
    Lunch: Coral Reef*
    Dinner: Le Cellier*

    Saturday 7/14
    Lunch: 50s Prime Time Café
    (We ate here on our last trip and had lots of fun! I am a *little* shy, though, so I hope we don't get a server who makes us do anything TOO ridiculous!)
    Dinner: Hoop De Doo Revue*

    Sunday 7/15
    Breakfast: Tusker House*
    Dinner: Artist Point
    (This was our favorite restaurant from our first trip together. I can't wait to go back!)

    Monday 7/16
    Lunch: Tutto Italia*
    Dinner: Flying Fish Café
    (I ate here with my mom 4 years ago and I'm very happy to see that the delicious red snapper with the potato breading is still on the menu… YUM)

    Tuesday: 7/17
    Breakfast: Kona Café*
    (I've heard so much about the Tonga Toast… and their wasabi bloody mary is totally calling my name.)
    Dinner: 'California Grill*
    Dessert: Wishes Dessert Party!*
    (HOORAY! This was literally the only night during our entire 10-day trip that I was able to snag a reservation. I'm very excited! I'm actually not a big dessert eater but my husband loves cake and sweets so I think he'll be happy. We have an early enough dinner reservation that we should have a bit of an appetite by 9:20. This is also good for us because we never manage to catch the fireworks and things on our own… too busy with the rides! This will force us to stop and watch!)

    Wednesday 7/18
    Lunch: Raglan Road
    (Raglan Road is a favorite of mine but my husband doesn't like it for some reason! I think he keeps ordering the wrong thing, so we'll have to try again to be sure. ;))
    Dinner: 'Ohana*

    Thursday 7/19
    Lunch: Hollywood Brown Derby
    (We booked the Fantasmic dining package for this day.)
    Dinner: Yachtsman Steakhouse*

    Friday 7/20
    Lunch: Tokyo Dining
    (Gotta have some sushi!)
    Dinner: Boma
    (MY FAVORITE! I love Boma! I can eat unseemly amounts of bobotie. This is USUALLY the last meal of a WDW trip for me, but I really wanted to end our night in the Magic Kingdom on Saturday and so I picked a more convenient ADR for that.)

    Saturday 7/21
    Breakfast: Crystal Palace*
    (We will say goodbye to WDW with Pooh & friends! Ok, at first I felt a little weird booking character meals for two adults on their honeymoon/anniversary, but I read lots of posts here on DISboards that assured me it would be fine. So we're going! And I love Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore so I can't wait to get my picture taken with them!)
    Dinner: Citricos*

    I really wanted to book Narcoosee's for my husband because he reallyreally wants to go there, but there is no availability during our entire trip! I'm gonna stalk cancellations for the next couple weeks and then I'll move some of our other ADRs around if I'm lucky enough to snag it.

    So there you have it! We are going to have to do a lot of walking to balance out this food extravaganza.
  4. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    So this morning, I called 407-WDW-TOUR for my third try at making a reservation for our Behind the Seeds tour. I LOVE Living With The Land and I am so excited to walk around in the greenhouse and check out all the awesome plants! :hippie: It was my third try because each time I'd attempted before, there was a 30+ minute wait and I got impatient and hung up.

    So, today, I persevered. I waited. And waited. I heard the song from Carousel of Progress like five times.



    So finally, the wait was over! A lady answered the phone and I told her what tour I wanted and when. And then... silence. Dead silence.

    After all of that- my phone died RIGHT AFTER SHE PICKED UP! :eek:


    So I gave up for a while and let my phone charge. I had breakfast, walked the pug, relaxed, etc. Finally I called back after a few hours, had only a brief wait, and booked us! We are all set for Behind the Seeds at Epcot on July 20, right before our tasty lunch at Tokyo Dining! Hooray! :woohoo:

    More news about the cruise later! :cool1:
  5. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    sooo in my extreme indecisiveness, i rearranged all our plans again. :laughing: i looked at some crowd calendars and realized i had picked AWFUL days to visit some of the parks! so i rescheduled some things and left others and i actually think the trip is a little more relaxing and varied this way.

    Thursday 7/12 - Arrival Day & Epcot!
    Lunch: Rose & Crown
    Dinner: Jiko

    Friday 7/13 - Our anniversary! :)
    Lunch: Coral Reef
    Dinner: Le Cellier

    Saturday 7/14 - Magic Kingdom
    Lunch: Grand Floridian Café
    (Timothy saw the lobster burger on the menu and decided we HAD to come here!)
    Dinner: Hoop Dee Doo Revue

    Sunday 7/15 - MGM
    Lunch: 50s Prime Time Café
    Dinner: Artist Point

    Monday 7/16 - Epcot (our drink-around-the-world day)
    Lunch: Tutto Italia
    Dinner: Flying Fish

    Tuesday 7/17 - Animal Kingdom
    Breakfast: Tusker House
    Dinner: Citricos
    Dessert: Wishes Dessert Party!

    Wednesday 7/18 - ???
    Lunch: Raglan Road
    Dinner: 'Ohana

    Thursday 7/19 - ???
    Lunch: Tokyo Dining
    Dinner: Yachtsman Steakhouse

    Friday 7/20 - ???
    Lunch: Hollywood Brown Derby
    Dinner: Boma

    Saturday 7/21 - Our last day! :(
    Breakfast: Crystal Palace
    Dinner: California Grill

    Sunday 7/22
    Breakfast: Kouzzina
    (This is only if we have time before hopping on the bus!)
  6. BearcatsFan

    BearcatsFan <font color=green>we finally had a minute to breat

    :wave2: I'll be following along ...

    Your ADRs look good - glad you got your tour booked!

    Carry on ... popcorn::
  7. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    hooray, my first reader! :wave2: i was glad to have the tour booked, too! but i have to call and change it again since modifying our ADRs... i'm just waiting until i know for sure that this is our schedule and we're going to stick to it.
  8. OrangeJuice

    OrangeJuice New Member

    Hello Cactus,
    I'm joining in :) Your trip is coming up fast isn't it! 2 weeks to go! Your dining plans are great. Don't worry about going to a character meal as an adult. Me and my fiancé love breakfast buffet's so we've been to a few character meals and never felt out of place (except maybe at the Disney Junior one in Hollywood studios haha). Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.
  9. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    hi! :wave2: i'm glad to hear that! i think i would stay away from the disney jr one too, haha, if only because i wouldn't recognize any of the characters. but i am looking forward to crystal palace! winnie the pooh and puffed french toast! YUM.

    it is coming up awfully fast... for a while we weren't sure what we wanted to do! we looked at disneyland (since we live so much closer) but when i priced it out, i realized that we would actually get waaay more for our money at wdw. DL is surprisingly expensive! plus i want to save disneyland for later on- maybe a short visit at the holidays to see the decorations.

    hooray for another reader! :goodvibes
  10. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    So I never updated about the situation with the cruise! Hm. I guess I have to do that now!

    So, as I said in my first post, we had an issue with our cruise reservation # suddenly becoming invalid. I was naturally concerned but had to wait until morning to figure anything out. So, Saturday morning, we called the agency we had booked with and were basically told that they had no idea why things went wrong and would have to wait until Monday to do anything about it.

    This wasn't satisfying me, so first I called my credit card company to make sure everything was fine and dandy with my card. It was, I had plenty of credit left (in fact I had just paid my previous bill, a whopping $70) and there was nothing wrong with my info. They were also able to tell me that DCL had made no attempt to charge my card for the price of the cruise. (When you book through an agency, they send the info to DCL and your payment goes directly to Disney.)

    So now I'm thinking all kinds of conspiracy theories, like the deal was too good and they knew they wouldn't make money on it so they canceled it! Hah.

    So we called Disney! They couldn't tell us anything since we had booked through an agent. Asked the agent to call, they said they couldn't. Uh, ok. They basically kept giving us the run-around and it was very frustrating. I was ready to call it all off and I was getting upset.

    We finally got to talk to someone at Disney who knew what was going on. She couldn't say for sure, but what she came up with sounds pretty likely. Basically, the deal we found was a very short-term, limited offer (she called it a "blue light special," often advertised as a state room with restrictions or GTY rate or whatever). It wasn't there when I first started looking at cruises, and it wasn't available from every site I tried to book through. (Note, the agency never told me this.) So when you get a special like that, payment must be received in full within one hour of making the reservations. I didn't think that would be a problem since I provided my cc info at the time of booking... but guess what. The cruise agency doesn't put it through automatically and they were closed when I booked (it was 4:30pm pacific, but 7:30 eastern! ARGH!).

    So we asked, realistically, best case scenario, if we deal with the cruise agency on Monday, will we ever be able to get this deal back again? She says she can't say for sure that they won't bring the deal back, but she does know that DCL won't honor the original price since thanks to the agency, payment wasn't received on time. This was verrrry frustrating and I thought about just forgetting the whole thing.

    But Timothy said, look, this is our honeymoon and anniversary and we've been waiting for this for a long time! Let's just do it. So we pay a bit extra, get the last actual numbered stateroom (as opposed to another GTY stateroom at a higher rate), and we are going to have an awesome trip and I am going to forget about this cruise rate nonsense!

    OH and one more thing- we were supposed to hear back from the cruise agency on Monday and they never contacted us again or responded to any of my messages. UGH! So shady. From now on, forget the onboard credit deals; I'll book direct and have peace of mind.

    One more edit: Against my better judgement, I checked the DCL site and looked at rates for our cruise- and they are up! Woah! So now I don't feel bad about booking when we did, as it looks like there are very few cabins left and I highly doubt that last minute rate will be coming back. Whew.
  11. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    Timothy and I have booked our port excursions! We actually did this like a week ago when we got the cruise finalized, but now I can list all of the details.

    Day 1 - Port Canaveral
    -Bus arrives around 11am
    -Board the boat at 12:30pm
    -Take a tour of the ship, explore and relax!

    Day 2 - Castaway Cay
    -Extreme Getaway Package! Stingrays, snorkeling, bicycling and tubes/rafts!

    Day 3 - Nassau
    -Atlantis Dolphin Cay Deep Water Swim & Discover Atlantis (10:45am - 3:45pm)

    Day 4 - At sea
    -??? Relax!

    Day 5 - Castaway Cay
    -Brunch at Palo (10am)
    -Watercraft Ski Adventure (2 - 3pm) (Waverunners! Yay!)

    Day 6 - Port Canveral
    -Flight home from MCO at 5:30pm :(

    So that's that! We opted against dinner at Remy because it seemed like a lot of added expense for food that would be good, but maybe not worth paying extra for. I mean, we already are paying for food included in the price of our fare! It just doesn't seem worth it to us. We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to enjoy some really amazing restaurants together over the years and we do appreciate fine cuisine but this seems skippable for now. Maybe next time. ;)
  12. hellocactus

    hellocactus New Member

    HOORAY! We got our cruise documents in the mail yesterday, which makes everything feel all official and stuff. And today I was able to do online check-in for our room. I love the little countdown when I go to manage our reservations online:


    Tomorrow, we'll be in single-digits territory! So exciting!

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