Escape to Concierge

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Magical_Suitcase, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    Many, many years ago, my dear friend Ellen wrote a trip report entitled “DisMoms” or something of the sort. Reading her report hooked me on disboards and trip reports. A decade or so later I am attempting to write my first report. Wish me luck Ellen! My gift of gab is not but I will try…

    Escape!

    We did it. We actually managed to steal away for an extended weekend jaunt; just the two of us, Kate and Rob. It was AWESOME! This trip was rescheduled so many times that we were surprised it actually happened. It is difficult for us to travel, to find sitters for puppies and Grandma. We planned to travel spring break 2018 (I am a professor), life got in the way. We planned to travel early summer, life got in the way. Do you see a pattern… My mom, age 92, lives with us and needs 24 hour care. We made arrangements for her to fly to my sister’s farm out west, late spring for six, count them, six wonderful weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother but she came to stay for just a few months when our daughter was a baby and that was twenty years ago… One week before she was to fly away, up pops a heart blockage and a pacemaker installation and no trip out west. Oh my, woe is me. After my pity party that went on for days, I pulled up my big girl panties and started rearranging schedules, with the help of my sisters. Since Mom could not fly per doctors’ orders until August, one sister flew out to help with her care for a couple of weeks and the other rearranged her life to have Mom come visit her for a couple of weeks once she could fly. We rescheduled our cruise and crossed our fingers. Finally the stars were in alignment and holding our breath we left our humble adobe. We just moved here a year ago and are ecstatic at finally owning a farm, small farm, only five acres but hey, it came with a red barn.

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    Josie is 92. Josie.jpg

    She grew up in rural Florida (NOT Disney World). At age 15 she left home to work in a “peanut” factory. She worked full time from age 15 to age 62. She married young and after nineteen years decided life would be better for her and her children if she were not married. She was correct and we became a family of only females. One good parent is better than one good and one not so good. Once divorced she supported herself and her daughters until they left home and then continued working until age 62 when she had a heart attack and applied for SS. Thirty years after her heart attack she is still with us, a bit more wobbly but her mind fairly intact.

    Four legged children left behind:
    Pippin and Paisley (and Dad, who we did not leave behind...) Paisley and Pippin are brats, they bark at anything that moves, people, snow, leaves... They are rescues; they were “uh-ohs”. They are supposed to be mixed but both look and act like purebred dachshunds. Brats!
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    And Piper. Piper was also a rescue. (We seem to be a family of rescues...) Piper was noise-shy and was bred to be a hunting dog but .... We are not hunters so she fit perfectly with our family.


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    We lost Piper this summer. She also was part of the reason we kept rescheduling our trip. We found out last October that she had a mass growing in her chest and we would not have her much longer. She stayed with us until July. Miss my little walking buddy more than I can say.

    We also left behind Squirrel, our daughter Sarah.


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    Normally we travel as a family but Squirrel is now in college and is more interested in spending a couple of weeks during the summer in Colorado participating in an archeological dig, sleeping on the ground, eating camp food, bathing under a sun shower, using a Porta Potty and basically doing anything other than traveling with the “old folks”, well, one of us is old. The other not… So we left her behind. Obviously this is an old, old photo.

    The rescheduled sail date was approaching. Mom was flying south to stay with sister #2 (she is only #2 because that is her birth order, I am #3) and a friend of Squirrel’s was staying with the puppies. We were set… or were we?
     
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  2. buteraa

    buteraa DIS Veteran

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    Hi, following along. I'm really glad this trip was finally able to happen for you!
     
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  4. MamaPie

    MamaPie Earning My Ears

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    Following too! We are traveling concierge in a few weeks and reading your experience gets me excited! Can’t wait to hear more!!
     
  5. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    Welcome aboard buteraa and MamaPie! It was a much needed trip although I feel like we spent most of our time eating and drinking and eating some more. Concierge was a blast but no more fun than when we stay in a regular room. The best part of the concierge level (to me) was not having to be up at midnight trying to book activities. Check back a bit later today. I plan to post another "installment". :music:

    Kate
     
  6. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    1 day copy.jpg

    We were off! This time we were traveling in style, well in style once we get to the ship, our plane ride was, as usual, uncomfortable with my knees pushing into the seat in front of me, (so sorry for the folks in front of me).

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    I am tall, 5’10” with 36” inseam, Rob is 6’, not as long of an inseam but still too tall to fit comfortably in Delta’s economy seats. Since we were using a Delta companion ticket to decrease costs and me being too cheap to pay the $63 per person each flight to upgrade to Comfort-plus we sucked it up and dealt with it. Being the nice wife I am, I let Rob have the aisle seat and I took the center. In return he bought me a glass of wine to decrease my discomfort of being in the middle seat. Return flight, we both had aisle seats across from one another. :love:

    We flew into MCO, rented a car and

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    ...and and drove to Port Canaveral.

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    where we stayed at a Homewood Suites using points. https://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/...cape-canaveral-cocoa-beach-MLBCBHW/index.html

    Our room was very comfortable and well worth the cost, err, points. Yes, I am cheap; I use points wherever I can.

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    More in a bit. Need to refuel (eat lunch).
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  7. tinkerbellmagic

    tinkerbellmagic DIS Veteran

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    Following along too! :)
     
  8. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    :wave2: tinkerbellmagic!
     
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  9. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    You are not cheap, you are frugal.
     
  10. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    After checking into and checking out our hotel we headed out again for lunch and a bit of sight seeing. We grabbed lunch/dinner at Thai Thai Sushi Bar. Good enough but not as good as the reviews indicated. We tend to share meals, so this is what we shared. https://www.yelp.com/biz/thai-thai-restaurant-and-sushi-cape-canaveral

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    Tea was good.
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    Sushi was ok, the seaweed could have been a little more tender, it seemed a bit thick/tough.
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    The spring rolls were great!
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    The fried tofu was meh.
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    The combo plate was good.

    ---------

    Afterward lunch we drove around Manatee Park but we did not see any Manatees, except for this one.

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    But we did see manatees at Cape Canaveral National Seashore along with other interesting birds, trails, etc. https://www.nps.gov/cana/index.htm

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    Manatee!!!! Loads of manatees! The water was very murky so it was hard to get good shots of them but just seeing their backs was awesome.



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    We also did a bit of hiking. And then back to the room to rest up for tomorrow. THE BIG DAY! Dinner was the same as lunch. We ate leftovers from Thai Thai.

    ScrubRidgeTrail.jpg
     
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  11. TestingH2O

    TestingH2O DIS Veteran

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    Enjoying your report so far. I totally understand about dogs who bark at leaves and snow. Some days we just make them stay out of the front room to get a break.
     
  12. cheermom2four

    cheermom2four DIS Veteran

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    Joining in and enjoying the TR so far!
     
  13. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    We are almost onboard. Hang with me!

    You are my new best friend. Yea, that's right, I am frugal (actually I am). My family used to laugh because I washed zip-lock bags but now that they are all on the recycling mindset, they no longer complain/laugh at my "frugalness". :) After putting my ex through eight years of school and myself through ten, I learned to squeeze a nickel until it turned into a dollar. I love "points" and we almost always stay in hotels on points.

    Hopefully the TR will continue to be enjoyable. We have another trip planned soon. If this report succeeds maybe I will write another. We are not in Concierge next time though. We have enjoyed all our cruises regardless of stateroom so we plan to bounce about and just keep enjoying wherever we land.

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  14. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    Oh my, it is so bloody cold here today, -6 when I awoke, it is now up to 13. I am watching out the window at a small rabbit bouncing between the barn and the garlic shed. Seriously, does not it realize it is "frost bite" weather. Forty more days and we will once again be in warm, sunny Florida. That is going to be my mantra for the next five and a half weeks. "Warm, sunny, Florida". "Warm, sunny, Florida".

    Up early the next morning, by habit since we have to be up early for our jobs, …we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast with Mickey waffles and headed out to drop off the rental car at Alamo. Side note, I could not find regular syrup at the breakfast, just no-sugar syrup packets and since I refuse to ingest chemicals from artificial sweeteners I went on a search for real syrup (well, semi-real syrup, not maple syrup or even cane syrup but corn syrup with favorings). Finally, an employee found it sitting at a table with about ten kids who apparently thought it was ok to take the one and only bottle of syrup from the counter and put it on their table. Not the kids’ fault but where the heck were the adults of the group??? Vent over…

    I did not get a good photo of the ship but at least I got one…

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    We drove by the ship to drop off our luggage and then on to Alamo. Alamo furnished a shuttle to the ship, easy, peasy. Since this was about 10:30 a.m. there were not a lot of folks to deal with and everything went smoothly. This was our fifth cruise, the cruise that would take us to GOLD. And because of that we wanted to cruise Concierge. I hope to do the same for the cruise that takes us to Platinum.

    After being dropped off by the Alamo free shuttle (we tipped our driver, most did not????), we joined the long line to enter the cruise port. Actually, it was not too bad and in about 10-15 minutes we were inside where we were directed to the Concierge desk.

    We did a quick stop for the photo and then we were in. We did not buy the boarding photo since I am cheap but I did take a picture of the photo. Actually, we had planned to go back later and buy the photo but then forgot…too much wine, uh, fun going on.

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    I was so excited as this was our first time cruising out of Port Canaveral even though there is no special Concierge treatment until you are inside the port. First though, a few photos were necessary since this was our first time sailing out of Port Canaveral. (photos) We have yet to have our photo taken with any characters. For some reason I never see them. Oh well, maybe someday. I wanted to grab a photo or two of the model they have in the port.

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    I want this in my front parlor - but I doubt it would fit....

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    One of these days I need to see if I can figure out which room was our room.

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    After taking photos of the model, we moved on to the Concierge check-in area.

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    Checked in, grabbed our paperwork and moved over to the small lounge they had reserved for "special folks". :rotfl2: Like we are really special. Although I do think we are lucky, good karma you know...

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    I was so excited to have time to sit and read all the wonderful paperwork. For some reason we did not have a paper navigator "yet" but that was ok since we were able to open the app on our devices and read it there. Meanwhile:

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    After a brief seating in the holding area… we were escorted through the doors and announced to the world, “Welcome the B&R family”, yes, although we have been married for forever, well twenty plus years, we have different last names. When we married I could not convinced Rob to take my “cool, French” last name and I refused to take his “cool, Welsh” last name…

    Question now, where to eat?

    Stay tuned for the next installment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  15. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    Hi there! Glad you have you reading. I have read several of your reports and have always enjoyed reading about your trips.

    Kate
     
  16. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Looks like I just came back to do my replies in time to see the link to your trip report! I am here and excited to read about your cruise! I had no idea that Ellen brought you to the DIS - I loved her DISmoms trip report! I remember that!

    And it is great to finally see a face! Even if the stolen picture is so tiny. ;)

    I love that the concierge experience starts out so calm and out of the usual chaos of the terminal. I had to laugh at your boarding card though. Stateroom # 1, boarding group 11006?:rotfl:
     
  17. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    Question now, where to eat? Should we go straight to the Concierge lounge, check in and grab some snacks, should we head up to Cabanas or join the masses lining up at Animator’s Palate for a sit down lunch. Oh wait, we have one more option. The Royal Place. Recently DCL began offering a concierge lunch with alcohol drinks (oh my) so we opted out of my favorite first day dining in Cabanas. I love Cabanas lunch due to the awesome peel and eat shrimp. Oh well, another day maybe (did not happen).

    Rooms were not open yet, not even for Concierge, but we were able to drop off our carry on luggage with awesome CMs welcoming us to lunch and they took our luggage up to our room.

    Meanwhile we were immediately lead to our table for two and asked what we would like to drink. Merlot for me, Cabernet Sauvignon for Rob.

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    Later in the meal I asked our server if I could snap a shot of the bottle. Yes, they did offer refills on the drinks. :rolleyes1

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    Bread service. The bread was quite tasty and I love the bread dish. I wish they sold it in the gift stores... MMMM, I wonder if I could find it on eBay. Oh wait, then that would mean it was by sticky fingers. Oh welllll.

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    Our menu.

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    I started out the beef empanada. I could have made a meal out of these. They were quite tasty.

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    Rob started with smoked salmon and then moved to gumbo. He said both were great. I tasted his gumbo. Meh, Rob makes a much better gumbo.

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    I tried the leek & potato soup. It could have used some Tony's (a staple for Louisiana tables).

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    On to entrees, both were awesome!

    Rob's beef tenderloin:

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    My lobster salad entree.

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    And since I am at my ten photo limit I will have to post our deserts in the next posting.
     
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  18. Magical_Suitcase

    Magical_Suitcase aka: kid-at-heart

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    Time for dessert. Both were YUM!

    I went for the Molten Pot.

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    And Rob chose the Welcome Aboard Sundae.

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    After eating way more food than we should have eaten, we rolled ourselves out and walked up the stairs to the Concierge lounge.
     
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  19. CarolynK

    CarolynK DIS Veteran

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    Joining in, great report!
     
  20. iivye

    iivye DIS Veteran

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    Following along. Your farm is picturesque and I hope I look as good as your mom if I make it to 92! It's so nice that your siblings jumped in so you could still make your trip. You hear so many stories about siblings who refuse to help care for aging parents that it's always nice to hear when families work together.

    It looks like your first day on the ship is going well and I'm looking forward to hearing more.
     
  21. buzzrelly

    buzzrelly DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!

    You can't be that cheap if you're cruising Concierge :goodvibes I believe you just make some good choices on how to spend your money :-)

    Can't wait to read more!
     
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