The Yours, Mine, and Ours HalloWonder Mystery Tour!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Pre-Trip Reports' started by CatDenver, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. CatDenver

    CatDenver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Well, here we are, the day before we fly out and two days before embarkation. :dancer: It felt like we would never reach this point when we started counting down at 250 days and going through the various increments including the 100 day milestone. I’ve learned a few things in this preparation that I’ll share with you all. Take it for what it’s worth.

    But……before I launch into my list, I want to say that when I first joined the Meet group on the DIS I was convinced we would be a small, inactive group. :worried: It was January when I joined and the group was pretty quiet until about April. As we started seeing more activity I setup the Facebook group, move people joined, and from there it exploded. Over the last six months I’ve had the opportunity to know my fellow travelers and my kids have been able to connect to a certain extent with their kids. Our Texan contingency was fortunate enough to have several meet ups. party: I had a couple here in Colorado but we were less in number than our neighbors south of here. Some people have eschewed Facebook and stuck with the DIS. I respect that but would add that there are ways to join a Facebook group without engaging in the whole Facebook experience. Facebook was easier to share ideas, pictures, and just commiserate with each other as we waited for time to march on. I always thought it was odd that people could make friends on a vacation but I now get it and know there will be people from this cruise that I’ll always stay in touch with in the future. What a blessing it has been to get to know these folks and meeting them in person will be, to some extent, like meeting old friends. :grouphug:

    Okay, now on to my list of Lessons Learned for planning. :thumbsup2
    1. It’s never too early to plan and work on FE gifts. I completed my entire stateroom gifts but the kids’ gifts were a bit challenging and so I procrastinated. I’ve got most done but I’ll need to finish on the ship. That’s cool because I can watch a Disney movie and sip wine while I do that.
    2. If you have a tendency to over pack, it’s worthwhile to go through your suitcase and sanity check yourself. Be real. Here’s a great site that includes a PDF of a packing planner. I used that to help ensure I brought what I needed. http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/08/18/trip-planning-102-packing-for-your-disney-cruise-line-vacation/
    3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I had hoped to get a mani/pedi before we leave but it just didn’t happen. That’s okay. Is someone really going to worry about what my toes look like, well, unless of course they’re really disgusting? Which they’re not so I let that go.
    4. Along the same lines of the FE gifts, things that you can do way ahead of time, like printing magnets, do it. As the time grows near I found there were several things that kept getting added to my to do list and our normal day-to-day life was busy. Yesterday we had a school fundraiser that my husband was in charge of and most of our day was shot with that. :eek:
    5. If you work, take a few days if you can before the trip to get stuff done. We fly out on a Friday but I took Tuesday through Thursday off as well so I could get myself in a vacation state of mind and to take care of the packing without feeling rushed.
    6. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of packing, do not take a Halloween cruise. I don’t regret that we’re cruising over Halloween and I think it will be a lot of fun. However, there are clothes we had to pack that we don’t typically pack for a vacation such as pirate costumes pirate: and Halloween costumes. We’ve got ninja swords, Merida’s quiver, bow and arrow, and a few other awkward sized items. The quiver is stuffed with socks and underwear to make the best use of space. :rotfl2:
    7. If you’re a first time cruiser pick the brains of the veterans. It will help in your planning. However…
    8. When taking advice from people remember that everyone has an opinion and they may not match yours or your lifestyle. I often see where people write that you won’t spend much time in your stateroom. What they may not be considering is that some of us are introverts and I can’t do people and crowds all day. I need quiet time away and my husband is the same way. I do expect to spend time in the stateroom, especially the verandah. So take in the data but always keep in mind your own likes and disposition. ;)
    9. Make sure you get travel insurance! We had a few people in our group who had to cancel for medical reasons :sick: and job changes, none of which were expected. I’ve seen people post that they don’t need it because they’re not of an age where health is an issue. Well, the first person to cancel was in her thirties, and the two subsequent people who cancelled were in their forties. You never know.
    10. Plan ahead for the little expenses. Preparing a budget so you know what to expect will help minimize surprises. Factor in excursions, souvenir shopping, drinks, tips, and expenses to get to the ship. Whatever you can pay ahead of time, do because it will help spread the cost. You can prepare a very simple budget spreadsheet where you can create a line item for your expenses. I did this and included things like on board booking and a budget for souvenirs. It’s also good to have extra money budgeted as a buffer for any surprises. As an example, make sure you know the details of baggage charges from your airline. We had a person in our group who was surprised to find her baggage fees exceeded her budget by $140 and she was not ready for that.
    11. Don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, you’re on a Disney cruise and the name of the game is relax!
    12. “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” Walt Disney ::MickeyMo

    Thanks for reading my ramblings! See you all on the Trip Report forum! :wave2:
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Grooovertoo

    Grooovertoo DIS Dad #572

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    2,040
    Found this Pre-Trip Report on the Cruise countdown thread and it has been good reading popcorn::!

    Have a great cruise and enjoy every minute of it, all the best!!!
     
  4. mrp4352

    mrp4352 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,273
    HI Cathrine!!

    It's hard to believe the trip is finally here - isn't it!! I hope you don't mind - but I'm going to add my two cents to your list!

    Please link to your report when it's up!! Now - go get on that airplane!!
     
  5. CatDenver

    CatDenver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Hi Michelle!
    Thank you for chiming in because you're one of the wonderful veterans that helped me with my planning! :worship: And what sound advice you offer!

    Trust me, I'm ready to get on the plane because I keep going in circles looking for more to do and there just isn't much left! :cool1:

    Cheers!
    Catherine
     
  6. CatDenver

    CatDenver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Thank you so much, Grooovertoo! Writing the trip report was another way to help pass the time while I waited! :surfweb: Other pre-trip reports were very helpful as I planned so I'm paying it forward. :hippie:
     
  7. Dsyplanninmomma

    Dsyplanninmomma Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Love your report!!! Can't wait to meet you on Friday/Saturday!!!

    I agree with so many of your points! Even though this is my 3rd Disney Cruise its the first time I've participated in a group and I had to scale back my FEs and realized that wasn't as big of a deal as I thought.

    Our group is huge and glad that we are all cruising together.
     
  8. CatDenver

    CatDenver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Dsyplanninmomma took this picture as she was walking behind us in Key West. It's my stepson Patrick, my daughter Catie, and my son-in-law Kalen as we were walking towards the southernmost point in Key West. It epitomizes what I've said all along about our blended family and how close we are. It was a great trip and I'll be posting a separate thread with the trip report.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. LeahJH

    LeahJH Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    So where is the post trip report?!?!
     
  10. CatDenver

    CatDenver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Sorry, Leah. The holidays hit and I completely neglected coming back and posting. The link to the post trip is in my signature block. I'm behind on that as well but as we move into the very dull months of January and February I hope to finish it up!
     

Share This Page