the cast: Me (34) DH (35) DS Josh (12) DD Kaylee (8) I plan on adding lots of pictures, so get ready! First let me say, that I have been dreaming of a Disney Cruise ever since Josh was 2 years old and I sat down to watch a Disney movie with him and saw the commerical for Disney Cruise line. DH always thought it was too expensive. Finally 2 years ago, in April 2006, I decided I would just do it! I researched the internet and found the DIS boards and well, the rest is history! I waited and waited for the 2008 dates to open and finally, on November 1, 2006, I booked this cruise!! I was beyond excited that day but it still seemed so long away! Posting on the cruise meets thread helped build up the excitement and I got to meet some great people!! It really hits you when you get this in the mail: I danced around the house screaming and thinking "OMG WE ARE GOING ON A DISNEY CRUISE". Lots of packing and buying things had to be done and DH complained along but who cares right? After all, we are going on a Disney cruise!!! The day we left, April 25th, was also my 34th birthday, but I planned on celebrating on the Disney Magic! Like any true Disney fan, I was "too excited to sleep" the night before the cruise. I rented a 10 passenger stretch limo as a surprise for the kids to take us to the airport. Our flight didn't leave until 8:35am, but I had the limo pick us up at 5am. We flew out of LAX, and you never know with traffic around here, so better safe than sorry. I woke everyone up at 4am. The limo driver showed up way early, at 4:20am. I called the kids down and told them to go out the front door. They looked at me like I completely lost my mind but knew to not argue with me. They opened to the door and there it was... all lit up and beautiful! They got in to check it out, in their pajamas and all. I finally told them that they had to get dressed. I told the limo driver we were going to be a while. I had to do some last minute stuff, and we weren't expecting him until 5am after all. He was totally fine with that, and started loading our bags up. All 6 of them. (and there were 7 on the way home, since I stacked one inside another on the way there so we'd have an extra for all the souveniers we were going to buy for sure!). Finally we were ready to go!! The ride to the airport was smooth, no traffic whatsoever, but I know if I had scheduled a later pick up time there would have been lots, that's just the way it works around here. We got there way early, curbside checked our bags and went through security. It was all a breeze, hardly any wait time. Got the kids some Burger King for breakfast as we sat in the waiting area waiting to board the plane. And we waited, and waited and waited. Finally time to board. The flight from Los Angeles to Orlando went smooth, but it was long and exhausting. Even knowing you'll be on the Disney magic the NEXT DAY, you get tired of hearing "are we there yet?" and "how much longer mom" after 5,000,000 times. At least there wasn't too much fighting going on on the plane. Ok, let me just say this, but how do you people in the Southern parts of the USA stand the humidity? It was only April and the humidity in Orlando hit me like a ton of bricks!! We are from Southern California and used to the heat, but the humidity!? Forget it!! My sister in law and her family lives in Orlando, and we spent the night with them, so I called her as we landed and right away complained about the humidity. We picked up our bags which took FOREVER! Then we headed over to Budget to pick up our rental car. Saw DCL busses parked outside and got excited!! I rented a full size car, which was too small for us and our 10,000 bags. Ended up with 2 bags on the backseat and of course the kids complained that they had NO ROOM. I told them to be quiet and deal with it because we are going on a Disney cruise. I don't think they cared at that point. My SIL lives pretty close to the airport and I was on the phone with her the entire time as she gave us directions. It was nice to see everyone again and I felt bad we couldn't stay longer. There was a carnival at my nephews school and we all went to that. I finally had something to eat there, after realizing that I hadn't eaten barely anything in about 24 hours (apparently, I was not only too excited to sleep. I was also too excited to eat!). Then my niece had a softball game so we went to that. Got the kids some dinner there. By that time, I was so exhausted. We dropped off everyone at home and my SIL and I headed out again to the liquor store. DH and I wanted to carry on a bottle of Jim Beam on board, so I bought that and my SIL bought some margarita mixings. We went back to her house, and the kids stayed up playing and goofing around until about 1:30. My kids were still on West coast time, no doubt, but I was surprised they made it so long, we were all pretty exhausted. Alan fell asleep at some point and my SIL and I stayed up drinking Margaritas until 2:30am. Hey, I was on vacation!! I finally went to bed, thinking that I wouldn't be able to sleep, but I fell asleep right away. I guess it all caught up with me finally, no sleep the night before and traveling. Well, and maybe the margaritas too! Tomorrow... IT'S HERE!!! Hand me the tissues, I can see the MAGIC!!