SIX members of the Herman Family FIVE nights on DCL's Magic FOUR teenagers THREE countries: Israel-USA-Canada TWO official adults/parents ONE amazing ship and cruise line! Well, I guess I have decided to do a PTR after all! It might seem early, but if I have learned anything here, it's that it's never too early to plan, and never too early to get excited! I have been so enriched by my DIS life, that I think I "need to" write this! I'm not sure what my "style" will be; I guess it will show itself as I write. So let's start! I joined the DIS in August 2009, about 6 months before our first trip to WDW (well, my second, but since the first was in the mid 1970s, I think I can count it as my first trip, too!). We are a family of six (as you now know), not including our feline furbabies, JJ (mine, a.k.a Handsome Boy) and Gloria (DH's, a.k.a Princess). We built our family in bursts, so to speak, triplets (now DD14, DS14 and DD14) and then 2 years later a younger brother (now DS12). End of family expansion project! The kids were all born in NY, where we lived for 6 years. I was born and raised in the NY/NJ area, but DH is Israeli. We moved "back" to Israel when the kids were all in diapers. That was in 1999. We've lived here since, surrounded by lots of wonderful family (DH's) and unfortunately far from lots of other wonderful family (mostly mine). I work full time outside of the house, as does DH. The kids are busy with all their activities and that keeps us running, too. Luckily we are full partners in parenting and somehow it all works out. Our first trip to WDW was in honor of the triplets' 13th birthday (a significant birthday for us). It was simply THE BEST family vacation we have ever had! Are you surprised?? Over the years our entire vacation budget has gone to visiting the family in the States. With a lot of planning, we decided in 2010 that this time we would also have a "real vacation". We flew to NJ to visit my parents, then to Orlando: 5 nights with free Disney Dining Plan, in a family suite at the All Star Music Resort. Did I say... BEST VACATION EVER!!! On the Magical Express bus on the way back to the airport, the kids were watching the sales pitch on the video - and the seed was planted. A DISNEY CRUISE! They immediately figured out that if they'd had WDW for their 13th birthday, in 2 years it would be the younger brother's birthday and we could do DCL for his celebration! Seed planted. Seed germinated. Here we are! Followed the itineraries for 2012 -- no Med or TA (too much $$ anyway, and hey it's only our first cruise), but .... NYC!! A sign from above! And yes, I do believe in such signs, especially when they involve Disney! NYC 8 night to the Bahamas - too hot in August, again too expensive (though that day at WDW is really attractive). NY 2 night - too short. NY-Canada 5 night - JUST RIGHT!! Had to spin it a bit for the kids, "why do we want to go to Canada?", but it made the cut and we booked it. We've got some privacy needs in the family, so I'll explain upfront that we'll be brief on current family pics and other "embarrassing" personal details. But there is so much to tell -- I think I can do this without crossing any of those fuzzy lines. Future installments: Picking the dates for our cruise What kind of cabin? Where? Will it be available? Will our choice matter in the end? Food issues to anticipate Wardrobe issues to anticipate Character interactions, getting ready... Birthdays one, two or three? Port day planning Packing thoughts Thanks for jumping onboard!