Completed Land & Sea, Hey Gilligan, The boat, the boat, the boat. Jan 2019 AOA & Disney Dream

cheapster316

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 24, 2014
This report will have no pictures. I enjoy looking at people’s pictures and reading trip reports. I do not put much information out about myself and do not even really know how to use Facebook. So, there will be no pictures.

We tend to go every 2 years and do part WDW, part Cruise and part Resort trip. We like January, we like having something to look forward to after Christmas and to get away from the cold. We have found what works best for us is 1 day at MK, cruise and resort days. The first time we did land and sea, we did a park every day and it is was just too much. Now we do just MK, when Star Wars opens, I may consider adding a HS day. We are not hot weather beach people so this works perfectly for us. The kids have finally figured out we typically go every other January and instead of telling them the surprise on Christmas Eve this year we told them in July. This was a huge relief as I could get their input and no longer second guess ADRS/ FP etc.

Locations: 2 nights pre-cruise Lion King Suites at AOA, 4 nights Disney Dream and 2 nights Finding Nemo Suites at AOA. Lion King was the last section at AOA we needed to try. We have previously done Pop and POFQ as well. We decided last time that we like AOA and even though we don’t need it, we enjoy the space of a suite. I am worried the price will go up considerably once the gondolas are running. We had the Dining Plan for both parts. I am a huge fan of budgeting and having things paid for ahead of time. I try and maximize my credits and make my family crazy. My parents did not have the dining plan. For the Dream we had a verandah 6082 (mid ship just past the elevators) and my parents had the giant porthole room 6010. We had almost the exact room different deck last time and had almost the same porthole room, different deck before as well. I had booked on opening day and had a 10% discount from putting the deposit down prior to leaving the cruise.

Cost: Lion King 2 nights holiday weekend with DDP $1316.42. This was with stay, play dine promo and then DH got a pin in the mail and I think we saved another $62. This included 1-way shuttles to the Port through Disney for 3 adults, 1 kid, which was $35 each and has since gone up to $39 pp.

4 nights Disney Dream $3,176.76 room 6082. This is opening day price plus 10 % off for rebooking while on the ship plus $100 ship board credit.

Finding Nemo- No discount available, this was $1371.78 with DDP

Happy Limo- $283 for transportation for 6 in a black stretch limo back to AOA from Port Canaveral (20 % gratuity suggested, I gave him $60)

Cast of Characters: Me, DH, DD (12) and DS (9 but turns 10 after the cruise). Also joining us are GM (Grandma) and GF (Grandpa). They would meet up with us at MK. They were doing a week on Norwegian Bliss the week before with my brother and his family and would rent a car and drive up to Orlando after their cruise on Saturday. They planned to stay at Comfort Suites by Old Town. My dad loves Old Town. This would be their first Disney Cruise, but not first time at the parks and their first time staying on Property post cruise.
 

cheapster316

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 24, 2014
A huge storm was moving across the country. We watched the news all week and it seemed it would hit NY Saturday Afternoon. The cruise was scheduled for Monday, so even though I was worried about getting out Saturday, we still had a cushion to get there on time.


Saturday morning, we got up and left the house at 4:37 am. We got to the park n fly at the airport at 4:55 am. This was our first time using it and was so easy and convenient. It was $5.60 a day. They loaded our bags and we were dropped off at the airport in 5 minutes. We checked in with Southwest and were in line for security at 5:12. By 5:22 we were done with security and both DS and my backpacks were searched. Once through security we started to relax a little, with the government shutdown we were unsure how long TSA would take and allotted ourselves lots of extra time. We used the Southwest credit card points for free tickets, just paid the taxes and fees and $15 a ticket for Early bird (before it went up). Both times I checked in exactly at 24 hours and got in the A 29-30’s.

We stopped to eat at Chik Fil A. We have none by us, closest one is almost 2 hours away. You must go through security to eat here so it’s a big deal to finally get to eat. By 5:34 we had our food, 3 orders of mini nugget sandwiches and 1 bacon egg and cheese biscuit, some hash browns and lemonades. I was not able to use my gift card I had as they had a big sign that they did not take them. With everyone’s bellies full we waited to board. A huge snowstorm was coming and everyone was anxious to get out. They announced they were overbooked and looking for 2 people to give up their seats for $400. No one took it, they announce again later $700 and finally they announce $1,000, plus the cost of your tickets and they would get you on a flight to Ft Myers later that day. Finally, they had a taker. It was not us, but boy I was tempted.

By 6:46, we were seated on the plane and by 7:03 we were taxiing down the runway. They served drinks, plane cinnamon cookies and pretzels. By 9:49 we were welcomed to Orlando and we made our way to the Magical Express, after stopping to change in to shorts, shop at Ear port, and Universal store. By 10:42 we were waiting in line 6 for the Art of Animation and we drove away at 10:56 (First stop, they were continuing onto POP) and were at AOA in line at the check in by 11:29. I had done online check in with the request room available early. She said they could find me a room but it would not be lakeview. I had requested lakeview, 4th floor but room early my priority. She said it was 4th floor (It was 2nd) and I should get an email/ text which I got a few minutes later.

We stopped at the food court and got our refillable mugs and a pretzel with cheese to share as a snack. We had the dining plan so for the next 2 nights we would have 8 qs, 8 ts and 16 snacks with the refillable mugs.

We walked over to Lion King building 6, room 6633 second floor. The entrance was right by the log with Timon and Pumba and our room overlooked the hyenas. Room was clean with little wear and tear. The carpet appeared fine. I had read some reviews that the carpets were showing their age. I do have to tell you it was slightly noisy at times in our suite from the hallway and the internet was horrible, beyond horrible, like I could not even check the weather. It was so bad. The tv in the room would give high and low temps but not current temperature.



We had brought swim stuff in carryon’s and we changed and headed to the food court for a quick lunch.

The kids split an adult (qs does not count kid’s vs adult’s credits) create your own pasta with bow ties and butter with a breadstick and a bottle of water for later in the room as we had our mugs and DH and I split a bacon burger, Coors light bottle (for later in the room) with fries and chips. Lots of food and no one went hungry. We are not big food sharers but found at Disney most portions are huge and they would easily give you extra plates.

Next, we headed over to the Finding Nemo pool. Boy was that water cold, I did not get in past my ankles. I asked the lifeguard if any of the other pools were heated and she said they all are (Cars- Cozy Cone, Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo) but she heard Little Mermaid is the warmest because of the way the sun hits it.

Off to Little mermaid where it was warmer. Finding Nemo is the fun pool with all the activities, zero entry and with a splash pad next door. Little mermaid was just a basic pool which met our needs. The kids were happy to swim and we were happy to be away from the snow. The worst part was getting out to dry off as it was windy.

We hopped onto a bus to Disney Springs and were there by 4:39. We walked over to Chicken Guy. There was some confusion as to what is on the meal plan. It is a 3 pc tender, fries and drink. DH and DS said they needed more chicken. So I used to 2 qs credits for that and paid for 2 5 pieces orders of chicken tenders out of out of pocket and a fire roasted corn salad for a total of $26.50 out of pocket.

It was chaotic, loud, long lines and not so helpful staff but OMG the food was to die for. Everyone loved it. The different sauces were amazing and the prices were good. Did we need that much chicken, No! We wrapped some tenders to go but never ate them.

We went to Coca Cola store. The third floor has a great view of Disney Springs. On the second floor we used our camera and got the kids with the Coca Cola bear, they did photopass too I believe. The magnet I was going to buy on the first floor was buy 1 get 1 free on the second floor, um ok, Ill take 2, same exact magnet. We headed to Vera Bradley where I got the exclusive mickey castle triple hipster and kept my eye on a small bag and blanket. Its only the first day so I tried to be good. Hit up World of Sisney got some Mickey bar ears and micky ears pins for DD and Coco figurine set, deck of cars and 2019 Spinner pin for DS. He did some pin trading and by 6:59 we were at the very very long walk to stop 29, the last stop and back at the resort by 7:13 where we eventually called it a night and went to bed.
 

cheapster316

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 24, 2014
Sunday 1/20/19 Magic Kingdom Day

We were up early. It was still dark. We had some granola bars and we got to the bus stop at 6:46 am. We were headed to Magic Kingdom. We found that if we went in and out of building 10 in the Lion king and traveled along the parking lot the walk seemed shorter and less crowded. It was 62 degrees and by 6:48 we were travelling to MK. We arrived at 7:03 and went over to guest services. We were the first in line but no one was there. I saw a CM and asked what time they opened and was told between 7:30-7:45. Umm ok, that’s precise. Someone else asked again later what time they open and were told they had jobs that needed to get done before they could open, sometime between 7:30-7:45. We chatted with the people behind us who were from Canada. I texted my parents with updates as we had a PPO for 6 people for BOG at 8:05 am they were joining us for. They were staying at Comfort Suites by Old Town and had a rental car. This was the first time dealing with magic bands and they were skeptical. Even though their Disney Resort did not start yet, the magic bands should still work. (I get my info from these boards of course) Just in case I gave my mom paper copies of everything. They got pixied dusted at parking, the CM told them to have a magical day and did not charge them for parking. Eventually guest services opened up and they helped us with our 2 paper tickets. We met my parents inside the park and headed off to BOG and some pictures along the way.

I planned on buying the the 1-day memory maker for $69. Supposedly I could purchase it through the app once a photo pass picture was taken however I could only get the full price option of almost $200. We stopped and did a few pictures along the way and headed up to BOG. This is where pre- ordering and the DDP do not actually mix well. I wanted to preorder because 2 years ago we ate, got our food quickly and rode mine train 3-4 times prior to park opening. I heard there is no more pre- park opening ride but you could still line up to be walked over to mine train after you ate (again Thanks Disboards). Last time no one really liked the food except DH. DD wanted the gray stuff as did I so that was 2 snack credits, DH got the Croque Madame Open-faced Ham Sandwich topped with a Fried Egg, Gruyere Cheese, and Béchamel served with Fresh Fruit and DS got the Feast A La Gaston. Scrambled Eggs, Herb-Roasted Potatoes, Apple Smoked Bacon, and Sausage served with Fresh Fruit. They both loved it. GF had free breakfast at the hotel and GM does not eat breakfast. I reluctantly let DD get the gray stuff but she had to eat a granola bar too and she did. We got cups of cold waters and used the 2 drinks that came with the meals for coffee. They also give you a small platter of basic pastries. We had more than enough food and were good to go.


It is qs but they bring you your food. You must get your own drinks and silverware. There was no ice, they were out of cream and it is usually chaotic. The pastries are ok, nothing you can’t get from Entemans at the grocery store but for free not bad. We made a restroom break and headed over to line up for Mine train at 8:43 and the line was already quite long. It was orderly and we walked over to Mine train and got to ride. The kids had a FP later that day to go again.


Fast passes (FP)- I could make the kids at 60 days out, GF and GM were staying off property so 30 days and DH had 2 tickets for us that could not be made ahead of time. Kids got Mine train, Buzz and Dumbo, GM and GF got the same Buzz time, Barnstormer and Alice. The day of there was almost nothing, I got Dumbo that was the same time, meet and greet at Princesses and Barnstormer. Nothing good was left and throughout the day it was slim Pickens.


By 9:13 we were in line for Pooh. 9:39 we headed off to Dumbo and were in the sky at 9:45. Everyone mocked me for Dumbo, what a waste, uggh. Well guess what when we got to Dumbo it was a 45-minute wait, so not such a waste now. To be fair they were only running 1 side of it so that is probably why the line was so long. We ran over to Big Top Circus, no lines and they had just switched out Minnie for Pluto a few days before, oops they don’t open until 10. So, we did Barnstormer than the circus meets and greets. Then we went shopping at the Big Top. I got Purple Minnie ears, DD got blue flowered ones and GM got Up ones. The kids did some cool pin trading they had stuffed popcorn buckets full of pins, instead of pin boards. We used 2 snack credits and bought our first bag of Sour cherry balls and DS got a lime slushy. The sour balls were so yummy. We have never had them before and think we ended up buying 6 more bags.


We headed over too Little Mermaid, the sign said 35 minutes and we heard someone say they just changed it to 55 minutes. It looked like it might rain so we figured we would stay put. The que was interactive and interesting. After Little Mermaid we started to make our way to Buzz. We stopped at the place over by Pooh and DS got a Peter Pan slushy which was a lime soft serve with sprite and a chocolate red feather which he loved. They had some ice cream cookie concoction that looked yummy. We then stopped by the Cheshire Café for DD’s snack which was a Cheshire Cat tail. It was a long warm chocolate chip croissant with pink and purple Cheshire cat frosting. It was yummy. They all headed off to buzz but we only had 4 FP. I decided to scope out lunch/snack options. I saw Alice was meeting. I love Alice and had GF wait with me for pictures. She was amazing with the kids and family in front of us. I then felt awkward when she stayed in character with us but she did a great job. Her handler was very good at keeping rude clueless glued to their phone people from walking through where we were waiting and people were getting their picture taken. GF who can be a complainer was blown away by how nicely, yet firm the CM managed the guest. I told my dad, this is Disney they do it with a smile. He could not wait to tell my mom about it.


I checked out the menu for the launch bay. I figured we could again split some lunch items as we had a 4:45 Trails End Buffet and it was around noon time. I walked into the launch bay and holy cow was it chaotic and crowded. Then I remembered something else from the DiS podcast. Mobile ordering. So, I pulled out my phone, Ordered a bacon double cheeseburger meal with fries and Iced T, Chicken nugget meal with fries and Iced tea. I did not get a confirmation email so I had no clue if it went through. I checked my credits and it appeared to have subtracted 2 QS. I went up to the disorganized counter and asked if they could check if my order went through. They asked my name and said they had the order it was not ready yet and they would call my name. We waited and waited as they would call the same name over and over. Ashley, Ashley, Ashley, Ashley no Ashley. Someone finally said I’ll be Ashley kidding around. Our food came out and we went outside where we had plenty to share. We also discussed what other snacks we would get later.


The kids rode Mine Train again and I tried to make some fast passes. Not much available there was a 2 something Monsters Laugh Floor which is a must do with my family. The kids were hoping GF would be picked to be that guy. DH was 2 trips ago and the kids loved it. No luck this time but it was fun. We then headed over for Dole Whips. DH kept saying I do not care what we do as long as I get my dole whip. I wanted to watch the parade and it was windy. DS had runny nose/allergies that were getting worse. We ended up getting a dole whip float, a pineapple upside down cake with dole whip and a twist in a cup of pineapple and vanilla. The pineapple upside down cake was by far the best and each was 1 snack credit. GM was on the hunt for hot coffee and we headed over to watch the parade by the Country Bears. DH headed to go try and find some cold meds/allergy relief for DS and I suggested the emporium. We watched the end of the parade and I called and texted DH. He told me he was the first aid center and to meet him there. We stopped and off course the kids needed to pin trade while were there. I stocked up on Claritin, Mucinex and cough drops as well as tissues for $30 something which was not much higher than at home. I pushed our ADR back to 5:45, stopped for a funnel cake (just powdered sugar on top equals 1 snack credit) DH and GM got their coffee and then we headed over to the people mover as that is the kids favorite. I tempted them with shopping at the emporium while I went to guest services to purchase memory maker. I had stopped at the mobile guest services by Stitch and they said I had to go up front to guest services, I also asked at a gift shop but can’t remember which one. I reminded DH to stop at the fire house so DS can get Sorcerer cards. He does not play just likes cards. When they exited the emporium, there was a surprise character hanging out without a photo pass photographer and that was Chicken Little. I also got to see the flag ceremony while waiting in the long line at Guest Services and it was beautiful. It was nice to see so many people stop and watch respectfully. We then headed out to the boats to go over to Trails End.
 
  • phins_jazy

    Halloween on the High Seas
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2000
    i am enjoying your trip report! We will have a land and sea vacation in October so thanks for getting me excited for our stay! :)
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    We were off to Trail’s End, a new resort and ADR for us. DH gets sick of the same Disney food, so I have been trying to find different places. I thought the boat ride would be fun and who does not love a buffet? When we left the hotel this morning it was 64 degrees, we had shorts and sweatshirts on. It started to get cold and by the time we were waiting on the boat dock we were freezing, DS’ nose was runny, his eyes were swollen and he looked awful.


    We were walking to the dock and the boat horn started blowing, we thought it meant last call, so we took off running. We got up there as it pulled away and the CM said, don’t you know 3 horns means you are too late, the boat is leaving. He chit chatted a little with us. We waited and waited and waited no boats and the wind was cold. Everyone was cold and hungry. My dad tried to get the cm’s attention, “excuse me”, “excuse me sir”, “admiral,” “captain”, “Hey Gilligan.” We looked at each other like OMG no he did not. But believe it or not Gilligan is what got his attention. He assured my dad that a boat would be coming soon and that there were no such things as a dining reservation but merely suggested times. This would give us the Beginning of our title Hey Gilligan and the first Boat in the Boat, the Boat, The Boat. The Boat, the Boat, The Boat was from some commercial maybe Geico where the grandparents complain about the family and the Boat, the Boat, The Boat, we don’t understand about the boat. The other 2 boats would be the ship The Disney Dream and the boat we took to Port Orleans French Quarter. The boat finally arrived and we were lucky enough to get a seat. Suddenly, that guy from Monsters Inc gets onboard. The kids were like it’s that Guy. We were like Hey It’s that guy and he smiled and waved while his family told him he was famous.

    We got to Trails End around 6 and did not get seated until 6:20. There is no inside place to wait and everyone was cold. I wanted to run over to the camp store and look for sweat pants for the kids. I asked if we would have time before we were seated and the cm said we should wait until after dinner.

    We finally get seated and there were many open tables and DH goes to use the restroom and it’s not in the building. You must go back out into the cold to use the restrooms.

    We were not off to a good start. However, the food was good, Fried Chicken, salmon crusted with corn bread, mashed potatoes, gravy, Mac and Cheese, salads, fruit and yummy rolls and butter plus much more. Desserts were good too. Make your own sundaes, strawberry something was particularly good and quite a few options.

    The buffet itself was not so easy to navigate. If you wanted 1 thing like butter it was hard to just go up and get without a death look from the long line that did not seem to move. I wanted more of something but I could not easily navigate the line so I just had dessert. We were on the DDP so we each got a moonshine (1 lemonade, 1 blackberry) with dinner. We headed out to the boat dock. The wind was even colder now. No boat yet, so we ran into the store and bought 2 beach towels for the kids to wrap around. They were $22 each when you bought 2 and I grabbed 2 Fort Wilderness pins. It was $77 but at least the kids would be warm. My phone kept going off, hurry up the boat is here so we ran to the dock and got on the boat. By sheer luck we could watch the fireworks from MK while we took our boat ride back. It was perfect. We saw the fireworks without the crowds and made it to the monorail before the crowd got out. I broke it to the kids we would not be finishing out the night at Magic Kingdom.

    My parents had a car rental so we jumped in with them and they took us to CVS in Kissimmee so I could get more allergy/cold meds for DS. I told them it had to be CVS and keep driving because I knew Crispy Cream was right next door and guess what the hot light was on. We got a dozen original and off we went back to the hotel. We also stopped at Orange World where I ran into and bought a half gallon of OJ. CVS was the only place I used my credit card besides check in at the resort and the cruise. On Friday when I got off the cruise my card had been used on Southwest and 2 restaurants at LAX. I last used it on the 20th and the charges happened on the 23rd while we were at sea so who knows. My parents brought us back to AOA, the guard asked to see DH’s license and we were off to sleep not long after.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Monday January 21, 2019 Ohana


    We were up at 6:00 am, the suitcases needed to be ready to go by 8 am for pickup by AOA to go to the cruise line. Unlike our magic express luggage tags (they gave us 4 for 4 of us), we had 8 tags for 5 pieces of luggage. We packed everything except our back packs and left for Ohana. It was chilly and I had sweatpants under my dress. I cannot find in my notes what time our ADR was for but we were running late, I think it was 8:30. I was stressing because the past 2 times we went to the cruise ship, pick up time at the resort was 12:30, this time it was 11:30 and I did not find that out until last night when we got back to the room. We were at the bus stop at 7:53, by 8:07 the bus was on its way to Magic Kingdom and we arrived by 8:21. We made our way through security and by 8:29 we were headed to the line for the monorail at 8:33. At 8:38 the monorail was on the way to the Poly and at 8:51 we checked in for Ohana. They seated us at 9:02. My anxiety was at an all-time high. With security and multiple modes of transportation I was worried about making it back to the hotel and just wanted to do an Uber or Minnie Van. Dh was like we will take the bus it is free. The waitress comes over, welcomed us explained that food would be family style and she could put reorders in for more food, the characters would come around and it would take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. I was like I don’t want to be rude but we need to be on the bus for the cruise by 11:30 so can we have the check now and we will be out of here before that. She was extremely accommodating, brought the check with food and took our reorder of sausage, eggs and POG juice. This was 1 TS credit each plus Tip. I left $30 a DH was like how much was breakfast?

    Everyone loved the food. It was a huge platter of scrambled eggs, sausage, ham with pineapple, Pineapple bread with amazing butter. biscuits and POG juice. POG juice was pineapple, orange and Guava juice, yum yum. DH also got coffee. DD had picked this breakfast to meet Lilo and Stitch. DS was dressed in his Stitch shirt and DD had a Lilo dress just like Lilo’s (Hot Topic) with Stitch socks and I had a Stitch print dress (Torrid) with stitch ears headband. We ate while the other kids did a parade. I asked DD if it was ok if we just went up to Lilo and skipped the other characters, I think Mickey was there too and Pluto was outside the restaurant. She said yes and the boys went to use the restroom.

    We found Lilo and waited while she finished the table she was with and explained we could not wait but asked if we could get a quick picture. She was very gracious and went nuts when she saw DD dressed just like her. Her handler told me in a not so nice voice that she would come to our table. I tried explaining that we had to leave and she mimed to him that it was ok and look at DD’s outfit. He is glaring in the background of the 3 pictures I took of DD. We thanked her and headed back. We left at 9:37 and was on the bus to go back to AOA at 9:57. The bus left at 10:05 and by 10:19 we were back at the resort. We went back to the room, got our backpacks and headed to the gift shop for more pin trading. We used up our remaining snack credits on Sour Cherry Balls, shortbread cookies and Nemo Cotton Candy. We checked in for the Cruise transportation at 11:04, at 11:30 were loaded onto the bus and 11:34 we were on our way to the port. There were 3 busses leaving from AOA and we did not pick up any other resorts. We had the best Bus Driver ever, Ruben. He kept everyone entertained with jokes, trivia and pointing things out along the way. He was great. He told us it would be 1 hour and 15 minutes and we were there at 12:49 . Next up, The Disney Dream.
     
  • cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Boat #2 The Disney Dream.

    This will be our third time on the Dream but much like Cinderella’s Castle I tear up when I see it. We got off the bus and went through security (kind of like the airport). They had a huge trash can of food and drinks that had been confiscated. We made our way upstairs and were in line for castaway club members by 1:10 (after you have completed 1 Disney cruise you become part of the Castaway Club which gives you different perks- one of them being a shorter line to check into when boarding.) By 1:20 all our paperwork was completed, they gave us our lanyards (Castaway Club) and we were officially checked in. We tried to enroll the kids at the kid’s club but they no longer do that at the pier, you must go to the kid’s club. We did our Welcome Aboard photos (I bought the photo package ahead of time for $196 it included all digital copies of any pictures taken onboard the ship- I know they tried to upsell me on the ship to include prints for another $80 but really who wants all those 8x10’s. If you buy the package ahead of time it is cheaper).

    We walked onto the ship and I don’t know why but I love it when the cm’s announce your name over the microphone and they clap for you as you board. It’s one of my favorite parts of vacation, it’s almost like it is official, now we are on vacation. I did not tell my parents they did that, they thought it was nice but were not as excited as I am.

    Decisions, Decisions where to go, what to do. Usually lunch is served buffet style at Cabanas and usually buffet style in 1 of the sit-down restaurants. They do not open the staterooms until 1:30 so if we went right to lunch we would have to bring our carryon bags, it was almost 1:30 and by the time we got to our stateroom, it was open. We ditched our carryon bags, our luggage had not yet arrived, texted my mom and headed up to Cabanas for lunch. I usually dread going to Cabanas for lunch first thing. It is always crowded, never has any seats together and is just hectic. Well this time it was different. My parents had a table waiting, we fixed our food plates and my dad went to get drinks. We had POG juice- just like at breakfast. The buffet was better than usual and everyone was happy. DH even said they stepped up their game food wise. My only complaint was the drink servers were very pushy trying to get us to buy drinks. Typically, that does not happen on DCL, but they just kept coming back every few minutes.


    I went to go buy rainforest passes for DH and me, GM accompanied me as I had bought her 2 day passes ahead of time. They were around $18 each with gratuity and they were delivered to her room with a note saying they were from the kids. I purchased these through Disney’s gift section on the website. I bought a length of cruise pass for couples (DH and me) it was $99 for a single or $144 for a couple. A couple can mean 2 people, I could have shared with my mom even though she was in a different room. The length of stay pass came with scrubs, there was no price listed if you did not want the scrubs. I think my mom paid $8 for a scrub one day. You cannot buy the length of cruise passes ahead of time. We got a nice tour of the rainforest rooms, hot tubs, heated chairs and changing room. They have dispensers of water over fruit and we had a cup of that. They then brought us into the spa raffle. It’s basically a huge sales pitch but people win real prizes of spa treatments. We left after a few minutes and met up with everyone by eye scream. Eye Scream is the soft serve free ice cream place that features 2 different stations of flavors and twist. This is on the same deck as Cabanas and the pools, deck 10, I believe. Usually they had chocolate and vanilla or chocolate and vanilla twist and on the other machine they might have strawberry, banana or strawberry banana twist. They have cones and dishes. DS would go get a cup of soda from the self-serve machines outside of cabanas and make a float.

    We went and checked out the grandparent’s room, 6010 which was an oversized porthole room. It was in the front of the ship and had a fold out murphy bed. My parents were very happy with the size of the room and enjoyed the porthole view. The porthole is big enough for the kids to sit in and has a pillow like bench for them in it. We parted ways for the Muster drill and everyone agreed to come back to our room for a sail away from the port.


    We were in room 6082, midship, right by the elevators. We had this location last time on deck 7, I think. I liked this location because it was midship and easy to navigate. I wanted deck 6 so it would be close to the kid’s club. Our luggage arrived and in DH’s was a note “Dear Guest, It’s great to have you onboard the Disney Dream! Please be advised that your electrical equipment has been removed from your luggage to be tested by the Electrical Department to ensure your safety and security onboard.

    Once approved the item will be delivered to your stateroom. For further information please call Guest Services by dialing “0” from your stateroom phone or by visiting Guest Services, Deck 3 Midship. Have a Magical Day! Guest Services Team Disney Dream.


    DH always brings a small fan on vacation to help him sleep. He was not happy that his fan was gone and did not say when it would be back. I know (Disboards) that at the resorts you can sometimes get a box fan at the resorts so I figured I would call to see if that was an option. I called and they very nicely told me they would consider it. We came back from the Muster Drill and the fan was hanging off our door in a plastic bag. DH was happy. GM had an extension cord that they took and she could have gotten it back the morning of debarkation but she did not try. Had she asked me I would have told her not to bother bringing one. We did have a 4-port charger that they did not take and that worked well with the electronics.


    After the Muster drill, we had room service deliver 2 all hands-on deck platters. This consisted of 2 plates of the free room service cheese, crackers and fruit platter. We ordered some cookies, a grilled cheese and a BLT. Room service is free, but I usually carry 50 $1 bills with me and usually tip $1 item, but it is your discretion. You do have to pay for drinks or some snacks they sell like snickers. It is not on the menu but you can also get things like Uncrustable sandwiches and Mickey Ice Cream Bars for free with room service. DH and DD took our refillable mugs from our AOA stay and got us drinks up by the pool.


    We watched the ship leave Port Canaveral from the balcony and made our own sail away party. The ship has one up by the pool with all the characters and we choose to skip this for our own private party.


    We went down to register the kids for the kid’s club. They put a magic band type bracelet on them with GPS. They charge you $12.95 a person but you can turn them in before you depart and get the deposit back. They try to encourage you to keep it as a souvenir. Really there is no reason to but some people might. I set the kids up for self-checkout for the first time ever (DD 12, DS will be 10 the day after the cruise). Once they are 8 you can choose to have them sign themselves out themselves or designate who picks them up complete with a secret word they need at checkout, The GPS band allows for the cm to see where the child is in the club so pick up is easy. You must have your keys to the world card, which they scan and check your picture before they let you take the kids out. The club is for 3-12 years old and the kids must be potty trained. You fill out paperwork regarding food allergies and the kids can eat at the club but they will not force them to eat. There are 2 sides to the clubs, Oceaneers and the lab. Sometimes one side is open house and the other is secured programming. Open house means anyone can come and use the facilities, including adults. Even if you have no kids it is still fun to fly the Millennium Falcon. The kids cannot hang out at Open House if you are not with them.

    DD was old enough for Vibe 11-13-year old’s as well as Oceaneers. She was reluctant to do Vibe without her brother. We went to Open House at Vibe, He loved it and wanted to stay. I asked if he could do Vibe with her and they said no, only open house hours. The open house hours were not often and scattered about. I can’t find them right now but it was 1 hour a day and usually at an odd time like 9 am or 3 pm. He was disappointed and she was reluctant. We told her to go for 30 minutes and check it out. We brought DS to Oceaners and told her we would meet her at the elevators a deck down from Vibe. I believe Vibe was on Deck 12 and they do have a dedicated elevator that goes only to Vibe if I understand it correctly and her key to the world card was set up to work the elevator. We told her we would wait just outside the door to Vibe at the prearranged time. She was nervous but this seemed to work well until she was comfortable just going back to the room after she would text us. She was not used to this new freedom and it took her a few days to get used to it. She did get to the point where she would go to vibe and then oceanears and pick up her brother and meet us up in the room. We had lots of rules, go directly to the room, No hanging out in anyone’s cabin, no exploring on your own. Text us when you are leaving.


    We did sign up to use the free texting app. Initially it was hard to use and did not always work. It was nice that we would get a text and the wave phones would too (we did not use the wave phones after the first day- they are difficult to work and heavier that your cell phone.). When using the App, we had to give DD Chat permission and they gave us a code to set it up on her phone. The app was nice also for activities schedules (like the navigator but digitally on your phone) and easy access to menus.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    I had bought the picture package for $196, this included all digital pictures. DCL chooses what sizes to print your pictures on, the majority are 8x10. I did not want all these pictures and are very happy with just the digital. My goal was to do a $1 a picture. I did not make it but we did 167 pictures so I was happy. Unfortunately for my family every time we saw a photographer, we stopped and did multiple picture. They also allow you to look at your pictures online at Shutters at the kiosks, so everyday we would check out the previous days pictures. On the morning of debarkation, there is a table set up with the flash drive and releases so you can print the pictures at home.


    My parents loved having pictures with the grandkids and even enjoyed some with DH and me. First, we did Captain Mickey. While waiting in line, GF found the free food at the stand by the balcony, I can’t think of the name, but you can get specialty coffees. My father kept asking you are sure the food is free and I was like, yes. He came back with some Italian cold cuts (prosciutto) cheese and breadsticks.


    We skipped the Golden Mickeys show, we have seen it in the past and it was ok. We loved Villains Tonight but they did away with that show and were excited to see Beauty and the Beast. My parents went to Golden Mickeys, DH and I headed up to the rainforest room and the kids went to the kid’s club where we stopped and got them before dinner. My parents really enjoyed Golden Mickeys.


    DS had worked with GF to make many magnets for our stateroom door on her cricut machine. He decorated our door and we were sure to take a picture. We still had not seen our room cleaned, but I left a note asking for extra pillows and we got them. I do not think we met the steward until Day 3, but she did a fabulous job. That night we had a towel animal that was a crab complete with some Ghirardelli chocolate and tomorrow’s navigator. She also prepared the drop-down bunk for DD.


    We headed down to dinner. Our first night was at the Enchanted Garden, which is my least favorite restaurant. It is my favorite menu. We had requested through our TA for a private table. We had our request granted and had a table for 6. Our server was Jermain from Jamaica and asst server was Jonathan. We loved Jonathan, he cut up DS meat for me every night, had puzzles for the kids to figure out while we waited for dinner and was very funny. Ali was the head server. Usually you see the head server on tip night and that is about it. He came around every night and knew DS by name. He knew we would be celebrating DS birthday and asked what night I wanted, (Thursday). He did a great job and overall, we were very happy with our serving team.


    Disney has rotational dining where you travel to each dining room, your serving team goes with you so they know what you like and often have the drinks waiting for you. DD tried roasted chicken and Salmon. She ordered 2 different entrees on 1 plate to see if she liked them. She loved the salmon and got it most days. DS tried the prime rib and did not like it, so they brought him chicken tenders and he was happy. I got the prime rib with twice baked potato and DH got the regular steak which the waiter tried to talk him out of getting and explained it was very plain with no seasoning. I think that was the night of my 2 favorite desserts, crème Brule and soufflé. The boys all got sundaes, DD got crème Brule and GF got nothing.


    After that we headed to bed where everyone fell quickly asleep. Next up Bahamas, Tuesday January 22.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Tuesday January 22,2019 Bahamas

    We have been to the Bahamas before several years ago, it is not for us. We decided when we chose the Dream we would treat the Bahamas as an extra sea day and do not get off the ship. We woke up that day and called my parents. We decided to eat breakfast at the enchanted garden. It was breakfast buffet and we enjoyed it. We headed off (the girls) to our ticketed event of Anna and Elsa and then the Princesses meet and greet. Last time we did this 2 years ago we had actual paper tickets delivered to our room. This time it was showing up in my app but no tickets. I called guest services and they said to just show up, paper tickets are no longer given.

    We decided to do a couple’s massage. I got the paperwork of the services offered and prices listed when we did our spa tour. I called and made an appointment for 2:00. The brochure said $239 but they tried to quote me $129 each. I told them that is not what the brochure states and they said to let them know when we got there.

    DS headed to the kid’s club and DD headed to the Edge. We decided to meet back up for lunch.

    We headed up to the adult pool and hot tubs, I have never used that section before and it was very enjoyable. It was a little windy but the hot tubs were hot and the pool was beautiful once you got in. Plenty of room in both and there was only 1 other group of 3 in the pool. There were many empty pool loungers and plenty of towels. My dad got us free, yes Dad they are free, rice krispies treat from Cove Café.

    We had a sit-down lunch at the Royal Palace and then we took the kids on the aqua duck and they went swimming. DS used the Mickey slide a few times. They had no wait at all for the aqua duck but it was windy so they decided to only go once before using the pool. The kids went back to the club and we headed over to the spa.

    We checked in, I again confirmed the correct price and we were given a brief tour and a robe. I changed and left my glasses in the locker and then I felt lost without them and could not figure out how to get out of the locker room. By then I could not find DH but he was waiting in a special waiting room for spa treatments. I told him ahead of time that they would try to upsell us and we were not buying anything. On a cruise several years ago, he bought some product that we still have sitting at home in the medicine cabinet that no one used. We each had our own masseuse. They tried getting us to do a hot stone massage. I told them no we wanted a deep tissue massage. They asked how deep we wanted the pressure. We then had a very nice relaxing massage, when it was done they put our hands together to hold hands. It was a nice touch.

    After we got dressed, the hard sell began. I kept telling them no. They tried to sell us over $600 in products. $600 that is insane, they even wrote it all down on a card in case we changed our mind. We went to pay and again they tried to charge us $129 each so I had to explain again. It was not so much that it was more money, it was that they gave us a brochure with the price list the day before. They told us I must have booked it online to get that price. They finally agreed to charge us the correct price after they went and got the handout from the front desk that I was given. I still tipped extra because the massage was so nice but I was annoyed.

    We then went into use the rainforest room, where I enjoyed the hot tub. The hot tubs overlook a gorgeous view of the ship. We then used the heated loungers (probably my other favorite part of the cruise) where I read my Kindle and relaxed. There were plenty of loungers. I showed DH the showers, and we tried some out. They are half opened so you need to wear your bathing suit in the showers. After wards I took a shower in the locker room of the Spa. It was so nice and they had full sizes of all the spa products, hair dryers, razors etc. that you could use to get ready.

    We went back to the room, got ready for dress up night. The girls had matching Lula roe dresses and the boys wore polos and shorts.

    We did another sail away party from the deck with another all hands-on deck platter. We went to see Believe. Believe is a show we have seen on every cruise. Its ok, I probably would skip it next time. We posed for lots of pictures and had dinner at Royal Palace. We went to Shutters to view pictures. We headed up to Ice Scream for a bed time snack and went to bed.

    Next up Castaway Cay.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Wednesday, January 23,2019 Castaway Cay



    We woke up today, very excited. I love Castaway Cay. Last time we got waitlisted and got a cabana. I really wanted one and checked the app often without luck. DH suggested that we do the couples massage instead and did not try the waitlist. For some reason we were late docking, that is all I have in my notes so not sure how late. We ate breakfast at the Royal Palace before heading out to the Island. I love that you do not have to tender off the ship. You also get towels from the staff as you get off the ship. You do not need to bring them from your room. They were selling bottle water and cooler bags at several spots as you got It was very, very windy. I had a straw brimmed hat that blew off my head several times. We did some ship pictures from dcl in front of the boat. It was too windy so we only did 1 location of photos (I like to do multiple) before walking over to the Tram. We stopped at the second stop and looked for some chairs. I wanted to get as close as possible to Pelican Plunge so I could watch the kids. We got halfway down the beach with several umbrellas and lounge chairs easy enough.



    We got situated and the kids built sandcastles, played in the water and wanted to do Pelican Plunge. We followed them over and DD quickly decided it was too cold for her. DS wanted to try the slides, so he swam out. He loved it but only did it once. The lines were long and he did not want to wait.

    We went back to the lounge chair, dropped our stuff and went in the water. Boy was it cold, I mean it was freezing. DS begged me to stay in and after a few minutes I could not feel my legs and had to get out. The kids continued to play, I meant to order a drink and never did. We also got some candid shots from the dcl photographer in the water.



    We then headed over to cookies for lunch. Where of course my Dad asked again, are you sure the ice cream is free? Yes! They had several stations of serve yourself buffet. All station serves the same items but boy does the line move slow. They had Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Hotdogs, BBQ chicken, spicy chicken sandwiches, ribs and I think some type of fish. They had coleslaw, fruit, corn on the cob, beans and lots more sides I can’t remember. They had bags of Lays potato chips, plain and BBQ. They had banana bread, cookies and pineapple cake or bread (I can’t remember but it was yummy). They have a self-serve drink station and even an ice cream station.



    After lunch, we picked our stuff up and made some group very happy to get our lounge chairs all together and headed back to the tram. We forgot to shop, I forgot to get my drink. We were tired, sandy and wanted to go back and clean up. We went back took showers, cleaned up and the kids went to Edge and the Kids club. We set a time to meet up at the room and then I brought the kids to the theatre where they watched Wreck it Ralph without us. This was a first for us. There were rules. If 1 had to go to the bathroom they went together, (I brought them before the movie), no switching seats, you must stay together. I got them popcorn, drinks and told them to come back to the room when it was over. I was a little nervous but they seemed to be doing well with the new freedom we had allowed them.



    We headed up to the Rainforest room. We met my mom, and used the hot tubs, heated chairs and showers. Today we had tangerine or lavender as a choice for the scrubs. I had told my mom to bring her stuff to shower and get ready for tonight after we were done with the relaxation part of the spa. We enjoyed the facilities and headed back to the room to meet the kids. All went well, the only thing we did not think of was after I left the kids started thinking if the whistle blows for the muster drill where do we go. They knew what section the boats were (G) but we never thought to tell them to go directly there.



    The kids got into their pirates Costumes and we headed out to the Magic Show for the night’s entertainment. We had fun working on our costumes as part of the planning. Another reason I was glad we told the kids instead of surprising them at Christmas. After Halloween we hit up the 75% and 90 % off sales at Target and Walmart. We got a bunch of cool stuff for the kids and grandparents. DD had awesome boots she got at a yard sale for $1. I told her she could get them for the cruise but they were not coming back home as we would need the room for souvenirs. Almost no Pirate stuff came home with us (except for DD’s costume which should still fit, some of my accessories and DH’s.) I saw no reason to carry it home and store it if it was not going to fit next time or if it was easily replacable. I did tell the room Steward that I was throwing it away and knew it was in the trash as last time the steward kept taking stuff out of the garbage that I did not want to carry home. I finally figured out to throw it away in the laundry room. Our current Stewart thanked me for telling her and said otherwise they would not have been allowed to throw it away.



    I had made the Pirates League appointments via app once I was able to pre-cruise. I had no clue the Magic show would be at the same time and of course the kids wanted to see it. I called Pirates league early that day (I think they said no one would be there until 3 but they did get back to me) and I could not get an earlier appointment only later which would run into the pirate show so we kept what we had scheduled.



    We headed to do some character pictures, Captain Jack had the longest line that we experienced the whole cruise. We headed into the Magic show, sat as far away from the stage and as close to the door as possible so we could leave early and head up to Pirates. We also enjoyed another popcorn refill. The show was funny and cool and would much have rather left Believe early.



    My 12-year-old was on the fence about getting a makeover, until she did it. It was so cool. They transform the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique in to a Pirates League. The pirates were rude, told the kids they smelled like Pirates and how gross they were and never broke character. We did the cheapest package $45.99 Empress and Emperor. The kids already had their costumes on which is what I would recommend. They are handed a card with pictures so they can pick the one they want. They do all kinds of activities with them. They roll dice to get their pirate name. They do their makeup, DD got a face jewel applied and her nails painted. They give me them a cool key necklace, bandana and pouch and eye makeup remover wipes. (I learned last time to bring a big package). When it was all done I went to get change to tip them. I was told they are not allowed to accept tips, if I wanted to do something for them, note their names on the comment card at the end of the cruise (which I did). There was no upsell on anything, just a phenomenal experience. I even heard one person come in that asked if they had a Spanish speaking person to do the makeover and they did. I highly recommend the Pirates league.



    After Pirate’s league we did some more pictures and headed up to the deck for the first family friendly Mickey Pirates Show. It was cute and very windy. DS wanted to know why Mickey and his friends were calling Hook a cod fish over and over, to him it was a form of bullying and he did not think Mickey should do that.



    We headed down to dinner at Royal Palace. Pirate Night is my least favorite menu but it was ok that night. After dinner we headed up to the pool deck and took a seat on the ground where they covered the pool and watched the second Pirate show. This show did not have anyone swinging down on a zip line like we saw before, maybe it was too windy. My parents were blown away by the fireworks. I told them there would be fireworks but they had no clue how elaborate and awesome they would be. After the fireworks they started a dance party on deck. The kids did a few cupid shuffle type dances and we all headed off to the pirate’s buffet. I was still full of dinner but the kids, DH and GF all ate. The buffet is only for a short time as they were packing it up while we ate. It was then off to bed.
     
  • cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Thursday January 24,2019 Sea Day



    We woke up today knowing this would be our last full day on the cruise. We headed to Cabanas for the breakfast buffet. Then we headed to one of the lounges for Disney Trivia. OMG was it hard, I mean impossibly hard. I think we may have gotten 11 out of 25. I can’t remember the questions but they were about things like how many elephants would weigh the same as the anchor or something crazy. There were a few easy ones but most were impossible. You also grade your own answers so I always think People cheat but we knew we were not winning. We then met the grandparents for a cooking demo called so you think you can cook Apple Strudel. They had one of the chef’s demonstrating an elaborate recipe. He had no personality and seemed annoyed by the CM trying to ask questions to engage him and the audience members who asked questions. The pastry was yummy. I ended up going to sit back in the big comfy chair and hit my head hard on the wall. I was fine but had to go back and get some Advil and boy did it hurt. The kids chose not to go swimming as they wanted to do the midship detective Agency instead. This is an interactive game that you can play over and over as each time it is different. You get a card that you scan and it sets up a mystery you must solve. You go around deck to deck and scan the card at the spots located on a map. The paintings on the wall come to life and give you a clue. They have pencils and a handout for you to make notes and cross off suspects. It is a good way to see the layout of the ship and you do not have to do it in any order. We have found that it is easier if you do all the aft ones together and just go up 2 flights each time instead of walking to the front and back of the ship. It can be time consuming but you do not have to do it all at once as it keeps track of where you left off. They even sell a trading pin you can buy that I paid way too much for on eBay after the cruise since the kids loved it so much.



    We ate lunch at the Royal Palace and it was very good. We headed out to see the Jack Jack race which is one of the kid’s favorite activities. They basically put down a mat that looks like lanes for a race. 1 parent stays with the toddler and the other parents stands at the end at the finish line and tries to get their kid to get to the end first. It’s a lot of fun and hysterical to watch. We decided to watch from the deck above (It is in the atrium) that way we could wait in line, watch the races and get our pictures taken with some characters. We did Peter Pan; the line went quick and then we waited to get back in line for Smee and Hook. No one was waiting for Peter but they would not let us get back in line for Smee and Hook for a while. Finally, they said we could get in line. DD left for Bingo at Edge. I asked if I could just do my picture with Smee. It was so fun! Hook looked so hurt but Smee is my favorite.



    We dropped DS at the kid’s club and headed off to the rainforest room. Where once again we enjoyed the scrubs, hot tubs, chairs and showers. It was a little more crowded but we all got chairs no problem. GM and I again used the showers in the Spa to get ready for dinner.

    We went back to the room and let the kids finish the midship detective agency without us. Another first. They went back to the kid’s club and we went back to the room to pack. We picked them up for Beauty and the Beast. The show was at 6 and we got there early and it filled in. I did not see any empty seats at all. We bought a popcorn refill, candy, drinks and I ran out and refilled again before the show started.



    The show was phenomenal. It blew away any expectations I had. I have seen 3 Broadway shows since October and this was defiantly of that caliber. The fact that they could do it on a cruise ship blows my mind. Everyone loved it. We were sad they did away with Villains tonight before we saw this show. You cannot compare them at all.



    After the show we headed to Pin Trading with the officers. It was a zoo. Kids were everywhere. The officers were so kind and patient and had some nice pins. The kids loved it and bought more pins which they conveniently sell right there. You must use your key to the world for payment as DS had a gift card but they could not take it there. We browsed in the shops and did a few more pictures.



    We headed to the Enchanted Garden for our final dinner. They sang Happy Birthday to my son and I think he had a Mickey Bar, a chocolate slice of cake and whatever desert he ordered that night.

    We finished up packing, got everything in the suitcases and put them out to the hall about 10:35. They needed to be out by 10:30. No luggage was in the hall. I called Guest Services and they said no worries, I could either leave it and they would be back around 2:30 am or we could carry it off the next morning. We put it out reluctantly and headed upstairs for drinks. Our Stewart was in the Hall and said she would take them no problem. We did one final drink and ice cream, came back and went to bed.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Friday January 25,2019 Disembarkation Day/AOA


    We woke up before the alarm. DH and I went out to the balcony to get back to the real world. We could see Port Canaveral and immediately started checking email, texts and phone messages. I have text alerts set on my phone for my Disney Visa. I last used it Sunday night at CVS, I used it to hold my account on the ship but paid off the balance in gift cards, Visa rewards and a small charge for the difference. Imagine my surprise when the text alerts started pouring in from Tuesday for LAX, Southwest and things I did not charge. I told DH and I called Chase. They were good about telling me what had been charged and that they would take them off my bill right away. They shut down the credit card and said they would mail a new one right out. The only thing I did not think to do was see if I had any reward dollars that I could still use. Later, we found the email that we had earned I think $15 more dollars and when I tried to load them to my card I could not because of the fraud alert. I called back in 2 days like they told me and they still could not do it. I also tried at the Chase Disney Card location at Disney Springs but they said they could not do anything. It was no big deal, but it will just sit in my account now for a while.




    We got everyone dressed, packed up the carryon’s, and called my parents to meet us at our last meal at Enchanted Garden. On the way we picked up our USB drive with all our photos from Shutters. They set up a table with them, easy, peasy along with the release to get the pictures printed. We had our last meal with our fabulous serving team and dropped off our comment cards. I had mentioned our wait staff and the Pirates league by name so they can get some staff recognition. I told them that I did it with their names and they were very appreciative.


    We headed off the ship, I texted the limo driver we were going through Customs and arranged where to meet. We found a porter who brought all our bags to the limo for us. I tipped him $40, it was his first day and he was very helpful. By 8:49 we were in line at Customs, stopped to use the restrooms and in the limo by 9:10. By 9:20 we were on the highway. Everyone loved the black stretch limo. We had plenty of room for the 6 of us plus luggage.


    I had booked a limo for transportation back to the resort. I used Happy Limo which was $283 for 1 way to Art of Animation. I tipped 20 %, I arranged for a 15-minute grocery stop. I had used them last time and was very happy with the service. It really was not much more than the Disney bus. When I booked it, the bus was $35 pp each way and the price has gone up but I’m not sure as to how much. For 6 of us it would have been $210, so for $100 more we went in a limo. Which not only the kids loved, my Dad loved as well. They had bottled drinks and ice and it was so nice to not have to sit on the bus and wait for it to fill up to go back to the resort. The first time we did the bus, I was having a fit, we had a park day scheduled and we waited a long time for the bus to fill up. I now would do a car service or limo to avoid the wait.


    We arrived at Art of Animation at 10:28. The limo dropped us off right in front and I went with my mom to check in. I had already been texted our room number and our room was ready. I went to update my credit card, I explained what happened and thought it was resolved with giving a new credit card. I did not find out until maybe a month after I was home when I got a bill in the mail for the balance on my room. I called, they could see where he entered the new card but never put it in to charge to the account. They billed the new card and we were all set. We were in Nemo 9816. My parents room was ready but they requested 2 double beds and they wanted to give them a king. They said they would text when 1 became available. We stopped at the food court and shared some food. I got 2 burger meals, (double cheeseburger with bacon) 1 with fries and chips, 1 with fries and a side salad. They were also still serving breakfast. DS got a kid’s breakfast sandwich, which came with a drink and a side for $6.06 with tax. I asked what it came with and it was the same price whether you had a drink and side so the CM recommended I get both because it was the same price. I used 2 qs for the meals and paid oop for the kid’s meal. We got new refillable mugs and our other mugs still worked from pre- cruise and I gave my parents 2 of the cups and the other 2 I left on the ship.


    We dropped the luggage in our room and walked over to POP. We took pictures with the different icons and my parents really liked POP. I had tried to get them to book there but they wanted to stay where we did. In hindsight they should have went to POP as they were in a little mermaid room as far away as they possibly could be. They were in the Ariel building and I tried to tell my mom when they got the assignment to let me ask for Ursula but she thought she would be fine, she was not. My mom has Rheumatoid Arthritis and it was just too much walking for her. We did not do any parks, just Disney Springs and she was beat and did not leave the room the last day except to check out. We had stayed in a LM room 6 years ago and for us it was fine. If you have a health condition it is a far walk. AOA is often the last bus stop most places so it is a far walk to the bus stop and then a far walk to the room.


    At POP we checked out the gift shop, the kids did pin training. My parents got their room number and I called Bell services to bring their luggage for our room to their room. I of course tipped. I told them we would meet up again at the lobby. The kids did more pin trading, they bought more starter sets at POP. We got the bus to Disney Springs at 4:16 and by 4:26 we arrived.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Saturday January 26, DS birthday, resort hopping and Disney Springs


    We left the grandparents at the resort and went out shopping and resort hopping. We woke up and went to Disney Springs for breakfast. We were at Disney Springs at 9:28 and there were no crowds. We stopped at the Pin Store. They were having an exclusive Alice in Wonderland Pop released that day, that DD bought. We went to check out Rainforest gift shop, where I was told I could use my Landry reward in the gift shop. I signed up before we left paid the $25 and got the Landry select card. You get 1 $25 reward for signing up and 1 every year on your birthday month. So, I had 2 and they could not be combined. I did not want to waste them so I asked if I could use it in the gift shop and I could so Yeah!

    We went to Earl of Sandwich and got 1 omelet with side of potatoes,1 fountain drink, 1 Caprese sandwich with grapes and coffee for 2 qs credits. I then paid oop for 2 breakfast sandwiches and used 1 snack credit for a yogurt parfait.

    We shopped again at the pin store, world of Disney and Once upon a toy. By 12:05 we were at bustop 9 headed to the Polynesian for you guessed it, Dole Whip. We have been to the Polynesian for Ohana but never the resort. I was checking the Disboards for info on where to find the Dole whips. The bus left at 12:10 and by 12:31 we were walking into the Poly. We shopped at the store first and DH bought me these incredible chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Yum! We then headed out to get our Dole whips, 2 floats, 1 twist and 1 with rum. I used 3 credits and paid oop for the rum one. It was good but basically a shot of rum poured over the dole. I thought it would be a float, I asked if I could add some juice and they laughed and said sure. The kids did more pin trading and were fascinated by the cool pin boards the cm’s brought out.

    By 1:23 we were on the monorail to the Contemporary. We stopped at the gift shop by Chef Mickeys where the kids spent a lot of time looking at pins and decided they wanted the big pin trading books. The night before they bought the portable almost like a purse book. We spent over $100 there and headed off to eat. We had a snack/lunch at the Contempo Café. We were all kind of full of the dole whips and had a birthday celebration at Rainforest that night so we decided to split things. The whole reason DD wanted to go there was because she had been following the Disney Food Blog and wanted to try the Cheshire cat cupcake (one of her favorite characters) and she thought DH would die for the peanut butter pie (way too rich for everyone, most got tossed away). The boys split a sourdough grilled cheese, tomato soup, fries and OJ combo. We used 2 snack credits and 1 qs. The Cheshire cupcake looked gorgeous but really was just lots of pink purple frosting on a dry cupcake. It made DD happy so all was good.

    At 2:34 we were on the line for monorail from the contemporary. At 2:39 we were leaving the station and arrived at MK . By 3:08 we were on the bus back to AOA and arrived at 3:26 pm. Everyone was tired but excited to Celebrate DS’ birthday.

    We went back to the room, changed had a cold drink and headed back out. We were off to Disney Springs for DS birthday dinner at Rainforest Café. I told him he could pick anywhere he wanted for his birthday at Disney and that is what he picked. He also wanted to go to the pin store as well.



    We were at the bus stop at 4:07 and got to Disney Springs around 4:30. We checked out the Coca Cola store, took some pictures. We headed back to Vera Bradley where I got a blanket and mini purse and headed over to Rainforest Café. We had the Landry card and an ADR and were seated right away 5:04 pm.


    We had a very loud, pushy waitress who was training someone and basically kept yelling at us. She knocked my father’s hat off and then told him, you dropped your hat on the floor. She then told us all about her favorite item, which was everything on the seasonal specials. It was almost funny but annoying. I told her I was doing DDP on 1 bill and my rewards on another bill. We ordered Ribs, steak and shrimp combo, a steak and shrimp combo and a taste of the islands combo. We got 2 Angry Orchards and a Pina Colada. DS got the kids Jurassic chicken (dinosaur shaped nuggets) and an Icee that was coke flavor. He wanted the volcano and I thought we would have to pull all our dessert credits but nope it was only 2 credits so DS got a lava mud which I think was some worms in the dirt type thing and we ordered tribal cheesecake. Everyone was very full. That came to $176.98 or 3 adult TS credits and I kid TS credit. I left $30 tip and was very happy because I had budgeted $30.


    For our other order, DD and GM decided to split the Beastly Burger. It is a humongous burger that DD got 2 years ago after having a stomach bug after the cruise. It was the first real food she ate and was starving so she ordered it, so we knew it would be plenty to share. We got a salad for a side and seasonal fruit for the other side (it was a banana). They both got iced water. There total was $23.23 she did not charge me for the banana. I left $5 tip and used my $25 reward. (It took $23.23 off in case anyone is wondering if you go below the total if it will work-it does). We then used my other reward at the gift shop, where ds got a sloth shirt and 2 bags of sloth poop (Chocolate covered raisins).We then went back to the Pin store and Once upon a toy.


    We decided to take the boat from Disney Springs to POFQ. The dock is a short walk from Rainforest and this would avoid GM from having to walk back through Disney Springs and the long walk to the bus stop.

    We were in line at 7:30 and floated away at 7:36. We had a young kid driving the boat with an older gentleman supervising. At one point the wheel was jerked very hard, the older man said a very unDisney phrase, Oh S**t! As the young guy almost drove into the bridge. He had trouble docking the boat and everyone clapped as we finally got off the boat. This would be the third boat in the boat, the boat the boat.


    We stopped in the gift shop, used 3 snack credits on Goofy Sour Cherry Balls (2 bags) and shortbread cookies to bring home as a souvenir. We went to the food court and got Mickey Beignets to go since we were all full from dinner. It was hot, chaotic and not well organized. The food court had not changed in the respect since we stayed there 2 years ago. At 8:22 we were waiting at the bus stop. At 8:33 the internal POR bus came. We did not know they shared a bus so we got on it. By 8:55 after stopping at every POR stop and going back to POFQ we finally headed to Disney Springs. By 9:06 we arrived, we made the short walk to AOA stop and at 9:06. At 9:20 the bus arrived and by 9:37 we were back at AOA. My parents then had to walk all the way back to LM. They did not look happy.


    The kids were exhausted and went to bed right away. DH and I stayed up packing as we had to be at the Magic Express at 9:30 am in the morning to get our flight home.
     

    cheapster316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2014
    Sunday January 27- Time to go home


    We were up early. It was raining so we called to see if we could have the luggage transported to airline check in. We did not know if they had covered cart. We called at 7:12 am and by 7:16 they arrived to take our luggage. I tipped and thanked them. They had a wrapped cart so our luggage was protected. We stopped at Airline check in and were at the food court eating by 8:00 am. We were using up the rest of our credits. We got 3 Omelets and 1 Pancake platter along with 3 Nestle quick milks and an OJ. We used up our snack credits on 1 hot pretzel and cheese for GF and in the store on 2 packs of goofy sour balls. I bought 4 Rice Krispies Treat shaped like hearts for Valentine’s day for people at work($19.98).

    We went into the Arcade and they had massage chairs, $2 for 5 minutes so we did those. DS made some more pressed pennies. They had 6 Wreck it Ralph. By 9:16 we were at the ME bus stop waiting. 9:25 the ME pulled up, we loaded at 9:30 and by 9:38 we headed for the airport with no additional hotel stops on a bus that was not full.


    10:08 we got to the airport and by 10:24 we were at TSA with a posted wait time of 21-25 minutes. This was after a stop at the airport universal and Disney store. We were on the fake o rail at 11:05 and 11:09 we were at the food court. GM and DD had Chipotle, GF had Villa and DS, DH and I had Jersey Mikes. By 11:56 am we were lined up for South West and by 12:15 we were in our seats waiting for takeoff. The plane was delayed taking off and it was 1:03 before we actually took off. No food or drinks were served and it was hot and we were thirsty. DS drank my whole bottle of water. I was not happy. We landed at 3:13 and were on the shuttle back to our car at 3:51 and by 4:04 we were on our way home. It was 37 degrees and we came home to lots of snow. I was ready to be home.



    Final Thoughts


    I love going in January. This year we had a major storm that really could have impacted our travels. I always build in at least 1 day before the cruise and buy Travel Insurance. I can be cheap when planning our trips and budgeting. DD’s friend was on vacation several states away and was in a horse riding accident which she still has a Traumatic Brain Injury from. At the time, they could not get their insurance to pay transportation home. This was after several weeks at the hospital, the family staying at Ronald McDonald House and trying to set up the care she would need. I forget the totals, it would have been thousands of dollars to transport her via ambulance. The hospital was amazing and the emts charged them $1 (they had to be paid for insurance reasons) and the Dr rode along for free. The mom told me then, if we had trip insurance the ambulance ride would have been covered. I always get Trip insurance now.


    I try and plan everything, I enjoy it. You must be able to improvise when needed like buying beach towels to keep warm. Sometimes you must suck it up and pay Disney Prices to make things easier on everyone. (We should have gotten a Minnie Van from Fort Wilderness.) I spend so much time on the DIS and love reading trip reports. I still should have done more research. I should have considered how to get back from Trails End if not by boat. I should have read more threads on resort hopping and I should have tried to read more about how the walking would have affected my parents, especially my mom with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I know how the walking effects the four of us- but I felt bad how it affected her.


    Whenever someone posts are the little mermaid too far of a walk, someone, maybe me, needs to pipe in yes if you have trouble walking, it is a far walk. I also know that I must advocate for my parents like I do my kids. I should not have listened to her and requested a closer building when they put her in Ariel. I should have used the services for them offered at the hotel like having the luggage people come and get your luggage. I also need to stop at the front desk and maybe talk to them for suggestions.


    My kids love pin trading, if that’s what they want to spend their money on it, then so what that is what they enjoy. I like Minnie ears and DH pretty much wants nothing. Whatever you budget for souvenirs, add $50 to it, just in case.


    I was glad I opted out of housekeeping, it was only $10 but I should have done it for the pre- stay as well.



    I love the dining plan, I love maximizing the plan and now have no problems sharing meals as it is a lot of food. I also love letting the kids try whatever snack they want without gasping how much for the cupcake?


    We love AOA, it meets our needs. I fear what will happen to the price once the skyliner opens.

    I also am scared as my kids get older they will want to do Universal. I hate leaving the Disney bubble.

    I am glad we had this trip, I look forward to our next one which will probably be in January 2021. I also fear what the cruise prices will be but at least I got my discount and shipboard credit for the next one. Thanks for reading my report.
     

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