The Bunny Has Nothing On Us: OKW, The Magic & The Kaucher Family's Easter Vacation

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Pre-Trip Reports' started by PrincessForLife, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    For anyone going to the Orlando area for Easter break and flying in, I suggest booking flights now! We actually booked our flights about a month ago on Southwest, but I looked at the flights still available today to see if they had any deals, and most were either sold out for the "Wanna get away" flights!! :scared1: The cheapest to get home on Easter is $425 from Orlando to Midway-Chicago!! Yikes.... Let me share my experience with booking flights for this trip...

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    We like flying Southwest. They have great fares, no baggage fees for the first 2 bags, great customer service, and we like Midway-Chicago MUCH better than O'Hare. We could have booked flights out of O'Hare when we decided to take the vacation back in August but we convinced my In-Laws to try Southwest because of cheaper flights. :scratchin (Even though the In-Laws are much closer to O'Hare.) Well, at least we got them a little cheaper... If we booked United or American out of O'Hare back in August, we could have gotten the same price as our Southwest flights (that includes the baggage fees). Instead I sat at the computer on Oct 14th (When Southwest released the flights for our dates) and fought a bloody battle for our flights. I found our times and filled out all the personal info and CC info, but by the time I hit "Process," the prices went up! :scared: I quickly redid the info and hit "Process." It went through this time, but we ended up having to pay $200 more than the first price and went over our $2,000 budget for 5 people by about $70. Not a big deal but a little bit of a bummer. I went back 5 minutes later and the price jumped another $57 per ticket!! :faint:

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    Needless to say, if you want deals on airfare for Easter break, there are none. lol I'm just happy that it's out of the way! So what did I book? Our flight going to Orlando is on Southwest at 6:10am and gets in at around 9:20am. Early, but gives us the WHOLE DAY at Typhoon Lagoon! Our flight back to Chicago on Easter Sunday is on a Southwest flight operated by Air-Tran and is at 12:25pm arriving at 2:45pm. This gives us a nice breakfast before the flight and then the rest of the evening at home on Easter before the work week! :cool1:

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  3. JKSWonder

    JKSWonder Twelve plus trips and counting

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    I'm still stuck in the zone of not wanting to pay more than $1,000.00 for 4 people!

    Sadly, I think those days are over. This past summer, the only reason I was able to keep our cost at $1,000.00 for four of us for airfaire was because I had enough Jetblue points to pay for two one way tickets, purchasing the rest of the tickets for the family with cash.

    We love flying Jetblue. TV's in the seats for the kids are a plus and it easy to and from JFK for us. Southwest out of Islip is actually easy for us too, but DH hates them. He hates the whole no assigned seats thing. I don't know why it bothers him so much. We've always managed to get B boarding and have never been split up on a flight.
     
  4. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    I wish we could have used our points! My points are right under the one way flight price, so I couldn't use them. :worried:

    Southwest is also one of those airlines that you love or hate. Chicago is expensive to fly out of and that's always our lowest price option. They're also in our good favor because they upgraded us on our Air-Tran flight for our honeymoon for free. They bumped us up to the business class seats in the front of the plane! (It might also be because they they were trying to squeeze 2 more people on the plane and they knew we would appreciate it more being newlyweds...) lol :rotfl:
     
  5. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I LOVE SW! Just flew them home today. :)

    Jill in CO
     
  6. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Hello everyone and Happy Holidays!

    I had to go on a little bit of a break due to the holidays, but who hasn't? I'm ready to start up again with the pre-trip report and I have a lot to report. My biggest news is that we booked our activities last night! My DH and his family are Gold Castaway Cay so we were able to book all of our various activities at 11:00pm (12:00am EST).

    The main thing that we wanted to book was our cabana on Serenity Bay. I sat on the computer refreshing the feed every minute in preparation to grab a cabana as quick as possible. As soon as the portal opened, I went to the Castaway Cay day and found that cabanas 19 and 20 were both still available!! My MIL doesn't like to walk very far so we chose Cabana 19 because it was right at one of the beach entrances. We stayed in Cabana 20 on our honeymoon and even though it's right next to Cabana 19, you still have a little longer of a walk to the beach because you have to pass both buildings. We also chose it because the furniture cushions in 19 are green, and the color green is an obsession of my MIL. lol :rotfl2: This is the second time that my DH and I have had a cabana and the first time for my MIL, FIL, and BIL. My MIL was a little hesitant about it because of the price, but when we described all the amenities, she gave in a little. My FIL is pretty excited about it. He's a very quiet man but we know he's excited because he said that we should try it because it's something they've never done before. And finally, my BIL is indifferent...but I think he'll like it! :rolleyes:

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    This one is gonna be ours!! :cool2:
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    The next thing I hurried to book was our Palo Brunch. There is only one of these on our sailing because they only do them on the days at sea. I'm guessing that it's very popular on our sailing because there were very limited times. I was able to snatch up the 11:00am time for the 5 of us! This is also something my In-Laws have never done and we easily convinced my BIL and FIL to try it. My BIL has a culinary degree and is a big foodie so he is very eager. My FIL also loves seafood so he was down. The hard part was convincing my MIL to do it. She HATES seafood and she thinks that there's nothing but seafood everywhere on the buffet. Not true! Even though I've showed her the pictures of the buffet tables filled with EVERYTHING, she's still a little wary....oh well. :rolleyes:

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    I'm soooo excited for this! :woohoo:
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    Even though we are going to be in Nassau on my 24th birthday, we opt'd to not book any port adventures. I was looking into some of the Greycliff Hotel chocolate making courses or the wine pairing luncheon but we decided to just hail a cab to Atlantis and gamble. We aren't huge on gambling but it's fun to go with the family. Last time we went in 2012 the boys all went to blackjack and my MIL and I sat on the penny slots. It was really fun!

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    The Atlantis casino is beautiful! A true site to see! :thumbsup2
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    Last time we lost while......
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    The boys won....but that'll change!! :rotfl:
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    My favorite picture of Nassau! :goodvibes

    Instead, my DH and I decided to book the Couples Exotic Rasul as my birthday present. This is the spa treatment where you and your significant other are locked away for 50 min your own private spa area to exfoliate each other with scrubs and mud. It also has a private steam room and shower. We did this on the Magic back in 2012 ans had a blast!! We decided to leave it for the morning of the day at sea so we can be all relaxed and exfoliated before we stuff ourselves at Palo Brunch. lol :rotfl:

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    I plan on getting some good pictures of the Exotic Rasul during our tour of the spa on the first day!! :)

    Up Next: Starting Our MagicBand Journey :moped:
     
  7. Shazzie B

    Shazzie B DIS Veteran

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    Following along:)

    Have you stayed at OKW before, we stayed there for the 1st time this year & loved it, 1 bedroom villa was so spacious. Relaxing at TL will be a great start to you vacation, especially after such an early start, you'll love Crush N Gusher great fun.

    We are doing our 1st cruise in Sept; it'll be good to hear what your MIL thinks of Palo, I'm not sure whether to book or not, we don't do Seafood either.

    Happy planning:goodvibes
     
  8. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    I've never stayed at OKW but my In-Laws have their DVC membership there, so that's like their second home. I'm really excited to be there because out of all the times I've been to WDW, I've never stayed in anything but a basic hotel room on property. It's also been years since I've been to TL so it'll be like going for the first time.....again! :rotfl:

    I think my MIL will like Palo overall. There is only one seafood table and very few seafood plated dishes that they offer. In my TR from my honeymoon, I have all the pictures from Palo Brunch and I plan on getting better ones from this next trip. Take a look! They have everything from breakfast/dinner plated dishes to fresh fruit, sticky buns, and mini eggplant parmesan! There is truly something there for everyone! I see you'r doing the transatlantic. :thumbsup2 I would try both Palo brunch and dinner. You wont be disappointed in either!! :cool1:
     
  9. JKSWonder

    JKSWonder Twelve plus trips and counting

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    We've done this twice! :thumbsup2 It's not offered on the Fantasy (which we sailed on August 2012 and is the ship for our upcoming August 2014 cruise) which disappointed DH a great deal.

    I think last time we left the Rasul and went straight to a martini tasting. Definitely made for a relaxing day!
     
  10. Shazzie B

    Shazzie B DIS Veteran

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    I've just finished reading your honeymoon trip report - really enjoyed it thank you. Belated congratulations. I nearly bought that beach towel too, but ended up getting a 'Mine, Mine, Mine' T Shirt instead.

    Definitely buying Rainforest passes after your review, going to try Rasoul also:thumbsup2 You've persuaded me on Palo too; DH will love the desserts if nothing else:rotfl2:
     
  11. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    We LOVE the Rasul! :love: That's the one thing that we were praying they kept on the Magic and they did! :rotfl:

    Thank you! I'm glad it was some help to you! :cool1: The Finding Nemo seagulls are somewhat of an obsession of mine. :worship: lol I'm glad that you'll be trying everything! You certainly have plenty of at sea days to do so! I've only done the Rainforest room on the Fantasy so I'm excited to report my experience on the Magic. :hyper: One thing your DH might like at Palo brunch is the selection of Italian plates such as chicken parmesan or the pizzas. I've noticed that those have been favorites for the not so adventurous eater. :goodvibes
     
  12. scrpbookr

    scrpbookr Mouseketeer

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    It is so exciting that you have a few things booked on your cruise! Can't wait to read and see all about it in the trip report!!
     
  13. kelly1275

    kelly1275 Earning My Ears

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    Joining in! Just got done reading your honeymoon report and it was amazing! Belated Congrats! I try to do the same thing you do about taking pics that are rare ones that you usually don't see and you definitely delivered on that :thumbsup2 I agree about the FE thing. April 2015 will be our 3rd cruise and I've been intrigued each time but it makes my head hurt trying to figure it all out lol. There were so many last cruise they had to split it up into two groups(I didn't join). We all met up when we got on board but that was for the whole facebook page & not just the FE people. The pic you have of the Pridmore FE was on our Fantasy cruise last June! They were from the UK. I can't wait to hear how your trip goes with the new Magic! We were going on there this year but had to re-book and we did for the Fantasy again! I really wanted to visit San Juan! My son who's 9 is so disappointed we're not going on the Magic now cuz he really wanted to do the Marvel Academy so if you could take some pics of that for me that would be awesome & appreciated! We are cruising about every two years and he will be either 12 or almost 12 when we go in 2017 so we're cutting it close for the kids area lol.
     
  14. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Thank you! :goodvibes We have a fairly small group for the FE so far so I don't think it'll be a huge issue. I have had a lot of support from everyone on Disboards so it was very encouraging to try it! :cool1: I'm only doing the FE as well because we like our family time and we want to spend those first few hours exploring the ship so I'm hoping for no cabin changes! :sad2:

    The kids area is definitely one place I want to explore on the first day. I've been saying that the past 2 cruises and it hasn't happened so I'm going to make sure we get there this time! :thumbsup2 From what I've seen so far the Marvel Academy looks awesome! :woohoo:
     
  15. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    A few weeks ago my In-Laws received our packages to set up our MagicBands for our trip. Since our trip is booked under 2 different reservation numbers because of the one night before the cruise and 2 nights after, we received packages for 2 separate MagicBands. It's ok though. We are going to make all the bands for the 1 night before the cruise yellow and the bands for after the cruise are going to be our custom colors to take into the parks. The packages arrived wrapped in plastic and decked out in the Incredibles. I had my speculations about the MagicBands but now that I've received the packages and customized them, I'm very intrigued and excited to try them. :cool1:

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    When you open the package, all you see is the MyMagic+ logo in green foil on a black box. My first thought was, "Oh wow, it's like an 'Incredible' secret mission file!" lol :lmao: Upon opening the box, there is a card explaining that you are selected to test the MagicBands and the contents of the package include a booklet explaining the process as well as a flash drive to further explain your "mission." pixiedust:

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    I read through the booklet first. It was pretty much the same as the pamphlets and booklets you received when booking a WDW vacation packages a couple years ago. It gave great tips about your resort, all the parks, and extra experiences you can add on to your vacation. It also had a section on the MagicBands that we would receive and what they were used for. At the back of the booklet was a nifty magnet for the refrigerator that included the dates for booking FastPass+, online check-in, and the date of the vacation. It was really cute! ::yes::

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    The final part of the box was a really cool flash drive that included a 2 part link that explained the MyMagic+ system and the journey you will partake on with the MagicBands. When you plug it it it lights up green like it does in the Parks! It was explained by Edna from The Incredibles and it was a really fun way to learn about how to customize your bands as well as book the FastPass+. After I went through the process, I was able to easily rip the files off of the flash drive and use it as a regular flash drive for home use! It has about 4GB of space! :thumbsup2

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    We are fortunate to be trying the MagicBands before the cruise when we go in March. My DH and I are going to drive down to WDW for a couple nights in early March as a quick getaway. We were also "chosen" for the MagicBands for that trip so I've been able to try out the system already and book FastPass+. I think this will make the cruise trip a lot easier with more people and possible sudden changes in our plans. I'm also going to experiment with decorating my band for the March trip to see how if holds up for the April trip! I can't wait to report on that! :hyper:
     
  16. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Every vacation I challenge myself to spending less and less on toiletries for the trip. I hate taking my full-size good shampoo and conditioner because they are too heavy and bulky. I rather not put some in little containers. I feel like I waste so much by using different containers because there is ALWAYS some left over in the little bottles that I throw away. Over the years I've done things like buy the little toiletries to throw out or buy my normal toiletries that come with a free body wash or small deodorant attached. I've also been a fan of buying the 89 cent bottles of the large products and throw out whatever I don't use at the end of the vacation, even if it's half the bottle. Case and point, I always spend money on the toiletries. This year, however, I'm spending $0 on toiletries. That's right. ZERO! :banana:

    Now, before I go into my process of obtaining all the items I needed and sharing my beauty routine with the world, I have to say that this only works for very low maintenance adults and teens. It's too difficult for families and forget about kids. How did I do this? Two words. Free. Samples. :thumbsup2

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    This is my collection of toiletries for April 13-April 20. Each one of the items in this picture was 100% free with no add-ons or free with purchase taglines. Some say it's not possible but I just say that I have way too much time on my hands at work and a knack for finding the freebies. I'm really proud of my collection! It just makes me smile!! :goodvibes

    I'll start with the item I collect the most: feminine products. On the right side of the photo is a gallon-sized bag filled to the brim with pads, tampons, and things of that nature. These are really easy to get for free. Any of the large name companies offer a sample on their websites. I just fill in the info and in about 2 months I get about 5-6 sample items of feminine products. I do this regardless of a vacation or not! It's a good way to try new things and get a couple extra products to stuff in your purse. :p

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    Shampoos and conditioners are the next easiest products to acquire. I use a website that puts together all the free sample sites into one convenient location and I have all the latest sample promos at my fingertips. There are always top brands that offer samples of the newest shampoos and conditioners. Sometimes I like a product so much that I buy the full size at a later time! :) Facial cleansers and moisturizers are also fairly easy to get a hold of. Every time I order from a beauty product online shops, they usually send sample and usually of the expensive facial cleansers! I'm not one to get over-joyed about brands and use them right away. Instead, I stash them away for vacations and special days when I want to pamper myself. ::yes::

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    Now for the more difficult products.... Body wash is one of the more difficult items to get a hold of. The Herbal Essence ones were a promo online but the Bath & Body Works one was a promo that you had to print and get the free travel size upon entering the store. The full size deodorant was a stroke of luck. Dove was running a promotion to be a deodorant "ambassador" and I didn't know that they would be sending a full one!! The razor was also one of the supermarket promotions for samples and are actually quite difficult to get a hold of! lol :rotfl: The dental products were also a stroke of luck. I'm fortunate that my dentist gives out awesome sample for a good check up! :thumbsup2

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    Finally for the makeup. I'm not big into wearing a lot of makeup but I do like a little mascara and liner on a daily basis. I have a friend who gets samples from larger makeup companies when they are in overstock. That got me the mascara and liner. The shadow and foundation are going to be for our night at Victorian & Albert's before the cruise. They are only one time use samples which are perfect for the only day I'll be all done up! :cool1:

    I also have to share my secret to getting trading pins for the park/cruise pin trading. I like to trade for the fun of interacting with cast members. Because of that, it can be an expensive Disney hobby. I, however, found a way around that! The secret is to be a Disney Movie Club VIP Member. In order to be a VIP, you have to buy the amount of movies you agree to in the couple year agreement and them some. That's only like 3 movies in 2 years. I usually buy at least 5-10 a year because we are building up our Blue-Ray collection. lol :rolleyes2 Because I have that status, with every movie purchase I make from the DMC site, I get a free trading pin. I don't really collect, I only get what looks cool or pretty. That leads to this may pins since our Honeymoon in August:

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    And because I get all those movies, that also equals points for Disney Movie Rewards!!! :hyper: Sometimes the rewards program will offer sets of pins. Last year in "The Year of The Little Mermaid" Disney offered a pin set in the rewards and I was able to get them! I also got a Lion King set that I've gotten before all in the anticipation of trading all these 'commemorative' pins for pretty, unique, and fun cast pins. lol You can tell I'm a very serious pin collector.... lmao :rolleyes2

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    Like I said, I'm very proud of my freebies and I love to share the secrets to free products. :goodvibes Who else is up to this challenge for their vacation??
     
  17. kelly1275

    kelly1275 Earning My Ears

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    I'm definitely trying it! Thanks for sharing! What's the website that you said they have all the freebie sites listed or something like that? I do pad studies almost every month so I save the leftover underwear they give and take it with me.
     
  18. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    I use freeflys.com
    If you connect it to your Facebook, then they will post the newest things as soon as they become available. Happy hunting! :thumbsup2
     
  19. scrpbookr

    scrpbookr Mouseketeer

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    Completely impressed with your freebies!

    You may have just talked me into the movie club, too. I've been thinking about it. I always enter our points but I haven't signed up for thier "so many movies, in so many years" part. I've kept a couple of promo codes at my desk for this though. I like the idea of the pin promos along with the movie club.

    Thanks for sharing all your tricks!
     
  20. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Your very welcome! :thumbsup2The Disney Movie Club is one of the best subscriptions I have! The contract I think was only 3-4 movies in 2 years. Of course if you are building up that blue-ray collection or 'Diamond Edition' collection it's totally worth it and it builds you up to VIP status very quick! They literally have every Disney movie that made it to DVD/video. They even offer all the 'oldies' like Polly, Tonka, and Big Red....and obscure things like Heavyweights (which I just got half off with the purchase of another movie). 99% of the time the club offers BOGO 50% or 60% which is a great deal!:cool1:
     
  21. kelly1275

    kelly1275 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks! I've been registering for tons of free stuff since I saw your pic lol
     

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