Stowaways onboard the 2016 EBPC - TR update 11/4, p.24

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Pinkocto, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Welcome everyone to my newest TR. This will be a TR of the 14 night East Bound Panama Canal Cruise on the Disney Wonder, dates August 26-September 9, 2016 The players are my mom, Jeanette, and myself, Pam.



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    I haven’t done a TR in over a year, lots of changes in my life, but the most significant was the loss of my 14 ½ year old Siberian Husky, Conner. I have no human children, but he was my boy. I have since adopted two American Bulldogs, a father and son duo that were abandoned together and I had to keep them together, it just felt terribly wrong not to. Their names are Gucci and Rambo and are the most loving and calm dogs I have ever met.



    Gucci is 8



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    And Rambo is 3



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    Other life changes include getting a new job and moving to Florida in May of this year. I had this vacation booked since the day the itineraries were released last year and we were both looking forward to it very much. It was even more special because I was able to spend some much needed quality time with mom.



    The cruise was leaving out of San Diego but the flights there were outrageous, in my opinion at least. So I booked us to fly into Orange County, John Wayne Airport. Renting a car and driving down saved us several hundred dollars versus flying into San Diego. I am a DVC member and had put a waitlist in for the Grand Californian Villas at 5 months when I booked the flights. It wasn’t looking good the closer it got to the trip, but I held out. I figured there were tons of hotels in the area and I could just book something last minute. Well, 9 days before the trip my waitlist came through! I couldn’t believe it, and was super pleased I’d be able to show mom the resort. I had stayed there twice previously and knew she’d fall in love with it.



    Once I knew we would be staying in the area I quickly asked Alison if she and Fran could have lunch or dinner the one day we’d be there, and thankfully they were able to. I’d hate to be in the area and miss seeing friends.



    We didn’t plan on going into the parks, because our flight had us getting in at 11:30am, then get the car, then drive to the resort, check in, get settled, ect. I figured we could just enjoy the resort and DTD.



    For the cruise portion, it would be the longest cruise we’d done so far, and we’d be staying in an inside stateroom. We had stayed in an inside before, but on a 4 night cruise. We’re outside the room more than in, and have found that on cruises when we’ve had balconies we wanted to stay in the room and enjoy the balcony rather than be out and enjoy the ship. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve enjoyed each and every single room we’ve had, but the cost of the inside stateroom swayed my decision considerably. Also, we were able to try a sideways stateroom for the first time, and we were both excited about that.



    The itinerary was as follows:



    Day 1: Fly to California, stay at VGC

    Day 2: Drive to San Diego, start the cruise!

    Day 3: At Sea

    Day 4: Cabo San Lucas, stay on the ship

    Day 5: Puerto Vallerta, stay on the ship

    Day 6: At Sea

    Day 7: At Sea

    Day 8: At Sea, Character Breakfast

    Day 9: At Sea, Palo Brunch

    Day 10: Panama Canal

    Day 11: Cartagena, do a private tour with friends

    Day 12: At Sea

    Day 13: At Sea

    Day 14: Cozumel, we would decide what to do on the ship

    Day 15: At Sea

    Day 16: Cruise ends, fly home



    We had no firm plans to get off the 14 night cruise except for Cartagena day, and maybe get off on Cozumel day. We love our sea days people, and had 8 of them this cruise, as well as going through the Panama Canal. That day was full so didn’t quite count as a sea day even though we weren’t stopping anywhere. We had not pre-booked a Palo dinner because I wanted to skip one of the regular rotational menus and we would check on the first day to see when we could do that.



    We also had some stowaways that loved having their pictures taken.



    Stay tuned, I will start the main portion shortly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  2. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    I have so many other TRs that I am behind on! So here I am marking my spot. Will be back to read as I catch up slowly.
     
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  4. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  5. o&smom

    o&smom DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to this! Our family is doing WBPC in April - cannot wait!
     
  6. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, I am here, I am here! LOVE the photo!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Shazzie B

    Shazzie B DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to following, this time next year we'll be on the cruise.
     
  8. RedSox68

    RedSox68 Just working to pay for cruising

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    Waiting to read more. Your dogs are adorable!
     
  9. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! :) Very exciting! I'd much rather gain hours than lose them like we did. It's not something I even thought about before the cruise.
     
  10. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Yeah! Welcome! :) We love our Captain Mickey!!!
     
  11. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! :) Very exciting! I hope one day I can do this cruise again, it was fantastic!!!
     
  12. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Thank you so much :)
     
  13. Paula Sedley-Burke

    Paula Sedley-Burke Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...

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    I am here! It was so sad about Conner. But now you have the gift that is the boys Gucci and Rambo and they are beautiful!

    Congrats on moving to the sunshine state. It was nice seeing you when we were there.

    It was great to get that waitlist!
    Good things come to special ladies!

    I love the itinery. So many glorious nights with Mom.

    Looking forward to reading more.
     
  14. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! :)

    Thank you so much :hug: It took me over a year to change my avatar, I finally felt it was ok. Still felt a little wrong though.

    It was wonderful to see you :goodvibes

    I couldn't believe it!

    The itinerary was amazing!!!

    I think I'll be pretty slow with this one, but looking forward to reliving the trip.
     
    Paula Sedley-Burke likes this.
  15. rentayenta

    rentayenta DIS Veteran

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    :woohoo: I'm here.
     
  16. Rabb it

    Rabb it DIS Veteran

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    Wow 4 straight days at sea! Sounds so amazing, I'm jealous!
     
  17. Miggee

    Miggee Mouseketeer

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    So sorry about Conner, it's so hard to loose a dog! Gucci and Rambo are super adorable so kind of you to keep them together! Cant wait to read rest of your TR!
     
  18. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Travel day had finally arrived! Well, flight day had finally arrived. I had driven up from Florida two days before so I could see family before we left. The boys would be staying with my brother and sister in law while we were gone. Since they are rescues I do not feel comfortable putting them in a kennel. Rambo was quite traumatized by his ordeal at the shelter and Melanie, my SIL, is happy to watch them for me. Our Southwest flight was at 7:15am, and thankfully the airport is only 10 minutes away. Mom and I were up at 5am and Melanie was kind enough to drive us to the airport.



    We had a layover in Dallas where I got some lunch at Moe’s which was fantastic. Mom said she wasn’t hungry.



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    It was not until we landed did we remember to get a picture of one of our stowaways. After his picture he jumped to the floor and hid under mom’s seat. That caused a bit of stress trying to rescue him in those tight conditions!



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    The first leg of the trip we had a seat between us, but the second we were squeezed in like sardines! We had never flown into John Wayne Airport before and I was impressed. I will fly there any time in the future, it was very convenient.



    We quickly retrieved our bags, and then went to the rental car counters to get our car. I was firm and stood my ground about no extra insurance. I had originally booked the car for $60 for the day, but shortly before the trip the price dropped to $31 for the day. Can’t beat that! While I was getting the paperwork filled out mom was taking some pictures.



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    Our friends were already having fun.



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    Then to collect the car, we had a little Nissan Versa. It did the job, no complaints. We had landed at 11:37, and were parked at the VGC at 1:06. Things were going like clockwork. Pretty much the whole trip was very smooth. We parked in the self parking lot and rolled over two little suitcases. I had learned from several people on here to pack just what was needed for a one night stay in a small suitcase and leave the big ones in the car. That was so much easier than taking all the bags with us.



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    We checked in and of course our room wasn’t ready yet, but they said they would text us. Mom was given a birthday button. This was unofficially her 60th birthday celebration even though her birthday was back in March.



    We took some pictures of the lobby but they don’t do it justice. This resort is absolutely stunning.



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    We then headed over to Whitewater Snacks for some sustenance



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    Mom had a cheese pizza which she said was excellent



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    And I had some cheese fries that were as good as I remembered



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    Then we changed into our bathing suits and lounged on the most luxurious pool loungers I have ever encountered! We chatted with the people next to us, who happened to also be DVC members and had gone to Aulani last year. Mom and I are going in May 2017 and we were excited to talk about it.



    The sun was glorious and the loungers magnificent, but mom wanted to see the room. She asked me to check on it when 4pm had come and gone and there had been no text. ‘Well yes indeed, your room is ready’, said the very kind CM. I was a little perturbed I had not received a text but no matter, we had a room to see!



    We had a lovely Deluxe Studio on the first floor.



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    *tinker*bell* likes this.
  19. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Awesome! :)
     
  20. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    It was so cool, and we could have had many more! there's so much to do and even on a long cruise too little time.
     
  21. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much. Losing Conner really threw me for a loop. These boys rescued me as much as I did them.
     

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