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A Hop, NO Skip and Many Mishaps to a Disney Dream

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A Hop, NO Skip, and Many Mishaps to a Disney Dream

Hello all! We just got back from a fabulous “Dream” trip on the Disney Dream, along with a stay at Residence Inn, Cape Canaveral, Pop Century at WDW, and Residence Inn near Sea World, with a few park visits to Magic Kingdom, Sea World and Epcot!

The dates of this trip were March 30th to April 6th.

Let’s get started with the introductions of who was SUPPOSED to go on this trip.

Me~ Jennifer~ The mom of 3 LOVELY Children (though they are not always lovely at the same time…or even all the time) I am a very BIG Disney fan and am always trying to think of a way to get there!

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Skip~ My Wonderful husband of almost 9 years. He is a good dad, and he even puts up with my passion for Disney…though usually with a lot of eye rolling.

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Claire~ a 6 year old girl who loves Disney very much and was very excited to take her first Cruise, as well as seeing and dressing like the Princesses.

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My 2 other children are now adults and did not travel with us nor really want to for the most part. They are Michael and Paige.

As the title will tell you, we had a few mishaps, and there was a cast change…more on that in a bit.

Now for a little background info…….history. It is a little long, but I promise, I have a ton of pictures to post after all of this!

This is one of those trips that I thought just never would happen…I know, you’ve heard it all before, but HONESTLY, it really took a LONG time to get to this point.

We have gone to Disney with Claire in March of 2007, 2008 and 2009. I really wanted to go again in 2010. Skip had had a hip replacement in late 2009 and just was not ready to go back in early 2010. But believe me, I tried to convince him all the same. Claire and I then came up with the plan that we should go for her 6th birthday in December. Skip said he would think about it. Through out the year, we got a lot of “some days”, “we’ll sees”, and “maybes”.

In the mean time, Skip was still having troubles with his hip and had been sent to several different Drs…all of them claiming to have no clue what was wrong with him.

In Oct Skip started talking more about a possible Dec. trip. We had dates set, and places we want to go, etc.

Then he threw a wrench in my plans. “How much does a Disney cruise cost?”…. I was shocked! I had tried to convince him to do this in 2009 for my 40th birthday, but when it came down to it, he decided he would rather go to WDW. He had worries about a cruise with a little one with us.

I did some quick pricing, and the price for 3 nights on the Wonder, along with a few nights at WDW were almost the same as 7 nights at WDW. Before making it a done deal, Skip had one more Dr’s appointment he wanted to attend and see what was determined. This was with his hip Dr. who had claimed all year long that nothing was wrong with the hip.

Things totally changed this day. The Dr found that the implant had never adhered to the bone and the replacement was going to need to be replaced. It was scheduled for Dec 6th….2 days before we had planned to leave for our vacation.

Plans then were postponed and we decided we would go in March and still be able to catch the free dining. (I must note that even though we agreed on this, Skip sometimes doesn’t listen to me and just agrees anyways).

Mid January rolls around, Skip seems to be healing well, and I mention that we have to have Disney paid for soon to be able to get the free dining. Skip goes in panic mode and says, he doesn’t care about saving money (yeah right) and he would rather go in May now, but he WOULD NOT commit to any dates. Let’s just say that I wasn’t happy, and for a few days there wasn’t much talking going on at all in our house.

A few days later, Skip mentions he has called a Travel Agent and has looked at possibly going on the Disney Dream or going to Disneyland in CA. My job then, was to spend lots of hours on the computer pricing several scenarios, we chose the 3 night Dream, with a few added park days.

FINALLY a trip is booked!

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A little cruising history~

I have been on two cruises in my life prior to this trip, both on NCL. I really enjoyed it. It is also the only kind of cruise experience I have ever known, so I couldn’t compare it to other lines. Skip also sailed once on NCL with me. We both liked the free style dining. What would I think of Disney?

They are SUPERIOR!

Now for a few mishaps….

On Feb 26th, Skip’s brother broke his leg. They are business partners of our Dairy Farm, and one need to be able to work at all times. Skip was slightly worried, but then figured his brother would be just fine in a months time. After all Skip had his hip replaced and was back to work in 2 weeks.

All seemed to be looking good.

30 days before we set sail…….. March 1. In celebration of being in our travel month, I gave Claire a little gift bag of goodies.

She got Poppy Jr...which she loves. She is obsessed with Chihuahua 2 movie and watches it daily. So this was a perfect gift. She briefly lost him on a mall trip and I thought the world might end if we didn’t find him, but luckily we did!

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And a Mickey head watch that you can wear like a necklace

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She is learning to tell time now, so I thought it would be nice to take on the trip.

And a book with info about each Disney character

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She was very excited and enjoyed these gifts. She also worked on a Countdown calendar daily, adding a new sticker each day till the day of our flight!

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On to March 16, a Wedmesday.

Skip comes into the house from working and says he doubts very much his brother will be able to even walk in the next two weeks. He tells me to ask Paige if she would like to go along in his place. I was upset, of course, but what could we do? I called Paige and she wanted to go REALLY badly. BUT she had just started 2 new jobs about a week or 2 earlier and she was in school as well. After a day of thinking it over she did the responsible thing and said she couldn’t go.

I called my Mom and asked if she would like to come. I wasn’t sure if she could because she had just come home from Vegas the Sat. before.

She cleared her work schedule and OK’d it with her boss and by Friday she was on the reservation to take Skips place.

New Cast member….. Mom!

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But there was a kink still in the plans. Dad wanted to go as well. We gave DCL a call and were told that the ship was at capacity. After some talking and playing around with the airlines and a few more calls, we made a decision. Dad was going to fly down with us and stay with us at the Residence Inn one night. He would then drop us off at the Port and go on to Kennedy Space Center for the day, then head over to his sisters home in the Villages (about 2 hours away) for the next 3 nights. He would then come back and pick us up from the Port and join us for the park days.

Next New cast Member…Dad!

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So the plans are all set. Nothing is allowed to go wrong from here on out!

Of course we do have a few mishaps along the way, but we have fun!

I have to tell you of a mishap right up front though….this one affects the trip report. This was the final mishap of the trip, and I didn’t even know it had happened till the day we got home. I LOST an SD card from my point and shoot camera. I take a LOT of pictures. I took 3 cameras on this trip.I think I have over 2000 even without the lost card, so I have plenty of pictures to show you all. BUT there is a few times where I had used this camera with this card in it for a couple of hours solely, so sadly there will be a few spots with some missing pictures.

I have made several calls to every lost and found number I could find, but no one has been able to locate the card.

On to the fun!!!!

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Looking forward to the rest of your reviews and your pictures!!

 

Thanks for joining!!!

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You have me glued to my computer........waiting for the rest of the story.....:D

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I'm in! Can't wait to read - and see - more. Loved your food review! :)

 

You have me glued to my computer........waiting for the rest of the story.....:D

 

Thanks for joining! :D

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Day 1. Wednesday, March 30th

This is THE day!

I have so much energy when going on vacation. I can’t sleep much. There is so much to do, and I don’t want to miss a single bit of it. The adrenaline had hit me early in on the week and I wasn’t sleeping much days prior to leaving.

This day I woke up at 6 AM. No reason too, but I couldn’t sleep any more. I got up and gathered last minute things, showered, checked the internet a couple of last times and drove myself crazy a bit.

Finally it was time to get Claire up. Claire ran to put the last sticker on the countdown calendar. Minnie Mouse had left a note and bag of goodies for Claire.

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Claire was excited and sat right on the kitchen floor to look in the bag.

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I took that on my camera phone and texted it to family and friends.

Skip was taking us to the airport. Mom and Dad were driving there car and leaving it there. We live very close to Toledo airport.

We left at exactly 10:30, as I had planned. How’s that for timing! I made the comment to Skip that we couldn’t be more on time if we tried. We got to the airport about 10:45, even with a stop at the bank on the way.

Skip dropped us off, helped us get the bags in and we gave him hugs and kisses.

Claire and I got in line for Allegiant Air and called Mom. They were close.

The Allegiant desk hadn’t opened yet for the flight. Since the flight left at 1:05, I assume they would probably open around 11.

Mom made it in, while Dad parked the car and we waited a few minutes to hear an announcement….one of THOSE announcement you HATE to hear.

Mishap number 1 is about to happen…..

Now of course people are talking and the sound system is awful, so we really weren’t clear what they said, but the gist of it was that the flight was delayed at 1 ½ hours due to a maintenance problem. GREAT!

Dad joined us and we got checked in fairly fast. They told us that we could send carry ons through as well, but I declined. If I had known they would take them for free I would’ve packed differently, but I had camera equipment in both bags and I didn’t want to chance anything getting broken.

Next stop, security! We threw our bags on the conveyer and all loose things. They even had me take my belt off. I never had that before. They directed Claire and I to a different spot than Mom and Dad. I realized then that they didn’t have children go through the full body scanners, and since I was her parent I had to stay with her. We breezed through and started gathering our gear and getting dressed.

Dad was carrying one of my carry ons and it got flagged. It was all the camera gear. So I stood and waited while the agent went through it all.

Once it was Ok’d we heading up to our gate.

Of course we were hungry and we had a lot of time to kill now. We got some food at the little food station. A Marcos personal pan pizza for Claire, which was comparable to cardboard, and subway sandwiches for the rest of us.

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I called Skip and told him about the delay. Of course he laughed at us. Nice husband!

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Then I started taking pictures, some on my phone and texted them to family…what else was there to do.

Dad is NOT mad here. It’s one of his silly faces.

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When I sent this picture, my Uncle texted back and wanted to know why mom didn’t have Mickey ears on, so we then took this and sent it to him.

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And then we wandered over to the window to see if we saw anything interesting.

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Nope, nothing we can’t miss.

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We goofed around, went to the bathroom a few times and then mom walked Claire over to the very small kids area. Mom talked to a few people over there and all were also heading to Disney. I walked over snapped a few pictures and talked to some of them as well. Everyone was excited and wanted the plane to get there soon.

 

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Here’s where my pictures end for awhile. All after this point were taken with my point and shoot on the lost SD card.

 

We finally saw the plane arrive and people of course line right up. Why do this? You have to wait for the other passengers to get off and then get called on. Allegiant has many options, all you have to pay for. You can have priority boarding, pick your seats prior, and the closer to the front the more they cost, and of course baggage charges. So if you know where you are going to sit, why do you need to line up 10 minutes prior to boarding? And if you did not pick your seats, it’s not going to matter if you line up now, as you have to wait for the whole plane to board before they let you on to find a free seat.

We found most of the people lined up were those who had NOT paid for seating.

One smart thing they did was load the plane from the back after Priority Boarding. In the past they never did that. But it makes it a little easier for everyone.

Dad was several rows behind us since we had booked his ticket at a different time and he boarded just before us.

We all got seated and settled in. Claire always has the window seat, and I sat next to her. Mom took a VERY nice picture of Claire and I on the plane, but of course it’s lost in Wonderland.

As we taxied out to the runway I snapped a few pictures out the window….again lost.

 

We took off at 2:45. That is 1 hour and 40 minutes late at this point. At least we were on the way. We brought some snacks and ate those, Used the potty once. I did crosswords, while Claire played with different things. I snapped some pictures of the clouds. Soon I could see the Florida Coast outside and pointed it out to mom.

The pilot came on around 4:40 and said we would be at the gate in 20 minutes…..YAY!!!!! I looked out the window and saw Cocoa Beach area. It looked just like the map. Of course I had snapped a picture of that too. Dad told us when we got off that he saw it too and he could see the Kennedy launch pad, clear as day.

It was now 5 and we had not even descended any. I told mom I think we were circling. Soon the pilot came on again and said there were bad storms in the Sanford area and we were flying over them till it cleared, and then going to go in from another angle and it would be bumpy.

And then we circled and circled and circled. The kid across the aisle said “There’s EPCOT!” And I asked the dad if he really could see it and he said yes. Dad also commented when we got off that he could see some Amusement parks, which I assume were Disney.

Finally it was time to land. Our delayed flight was getting even more delayed in air. We had a very bumpy ride then. Mom worried how Dad was doing. He’s not a roller coaster kind of guy and this basically felt like one. To our pilots credit we had the smoothest landing EVER. I mean you could not EVEN tell when we touched down, it was that smooth. Everything was wet, but no rain now at least.

We went to our gate and waited…and waited…and waited. After a bit the pilot got on again and said the jetway had been damaged in the storm, so they were going to tow us to another gate and hope that one worked. Of course we had to put all our carry ons back and secured, and sit down with our seatbelts on.

It was about 6 or so before we ever got off the plane. Our original arriving time was supposed to be 3:25, so we were a few hours late now. But for us it wasn’t a big deal, as we were just going to the Port area for the night.

We made our way to baggage claim and rounded up everything and then headed over to Alamo. I have never rented from Alamo before. Usually I do it with Hertz, since my SIL works for them and can get us a deal, but we booked Alamo through the Allegiant website and it was a real good deal…..Don’t do this. Or at least we won’t again.

The Alamo building is actually quite a walk from the baggage claim area. We plopped our bags down and I went in line to check in. Originally we had just rented a full size car. That would be enough for 3, but now that we had an extra person and extra luggage, we knew it would be very tight.

I asked about upgrading and they gave me numbers like, it will cost 500 and some odd dollars for this, or 700 and some odd dollars for that. I said, “I just want to know how much to upgrade, we have already paid.” Finally he said he would give me a deal (though I didn’t think it was), and for $150 more he would let us have a van. Mom said just go for it, so we did. He printed out paperwork and told me to go out and pick one. I brought it up and we loaded it. I am so glad we got the van. I don’t think we would’ve ever fit everything in a car.

I noticed the paperwork said I was paying $244 though. So when we went through the check out gate I asked about it. Here’s what I did not know. When booking through Allegiant, you are not paying any taxes, so when you actually pick up your car, all the taxes are added on. I wasn’t too happy about that “MISHAP”, but what am I to do at that point.

We are now off to Residence Inn!!!

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Thanx for sharing, especially the bathroom report!

 

LOL! Lets just say the one on the plane wasn't very nice. :D

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My mouth is watering, my eyes are bulging, my hands are clapping, and my feet are dancing!!! THANKS SO MUCH for this review...all time best!!!

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My mouth is watering, my eyes are bulging, my hands are clapping, and my feet are dancing!!! THANKS SO MUCH for this review...all time best!!!

 

Thanks. I am also doing the dining review, so this might be a little slow till I get the other one done completely! I have lots of pictures though.

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Hi, I just finished reading your update in the Disboard food. I was doing my research for our upcoming cruise (NCL the Jewel next Sunday...our first family cruise). Not sure if you recongize my name...you actually recommended me this site with diznet thread.

I'm enjoying your review so far and so glad to find it.

It will be our 6yr old son first cruise. If he enjoys it...I'm planning a Disney cruise next year from NYC (so excited with this).:)

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Hi, I just finished reading your update in the Disboard food. I was doing my research for our upcoming cruise (NCL the Jewel next Sunday...our first family cruise). Not sure if you recongize my name...you actually recommended me this site with diznet thread.

I'm enjoying your review so far and so glad to find it.

It will be our 6yr old son first cruise. If he enjoys it...I'm planning a Disney cruise next year from NYC (so excited with this).:)

 

I sure do recognize your name. I really like NCL when we cruised with them. It has been about 8 years though. And no children with us. I'm sure your son will have fun.

I did like DCL better, but if the only way I could go on another cruise was to do another cruiseline, I could suck it up for the team!!! :D

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Thanks. I am also doing the dining review, so this might be a little slow till I get the other one done completely! I have lots of pictures though.

I am reading everything you post (hope I dont miss anything). My sister and her two children are so excited, we are sailing Nov 27. Cant wait!! Thanks again!!!!

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I am reading everything you post (hope I dont miss anything). My sister and her two children are so excited, we are sailing Nov 27. Cant wait!! Thanks again!!!!

 

Thanks for reading. You are kind of lucky, because you can read up more on this ship. I was scrambling to find reivews of it before we left.

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I forgot to mention that I did call Skip when we landed and told him of all the delays in the air, etc. Of course he laughed again at me. He knows how I get when things don’t go right. I usually get panicky and uptight. But since we didn’t HAVE to be anywhere tonight, (like a park), I was actually doing fine. The only things we had to do was get checked into our hotel and get something to eat. The rest of the night was for relaxation.

Now things get a little stressful when we leave the airport. I think we were on the road somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45. I have printed out various maps/directions for our trip. I hand the paper to Dad as he is riding shotgun. I basically say, “where to” as I am driving. I did the directions from the actual airport address, rather than the Alamo lot. This confuses Dad. He tells me to find a certain road. I tell him we just turned off that rode, what’s the next direction, and he just keeps saying find “this” road. I finally just ripped them out of his hands and handed them back to mom. I tell her I just need the route to get to and I can follow signs. It takes a minute to figure it out and by this time I have turned again, but not sure if it was right, so I go and make a U-turn and wait for Mom’s reply. Dad is having a fit that I am doing this. Mom finds the route and we make another U-turn and are basically back where we were a few minutes ago, but now I KNOW we are heading in the right direction. Again Dad is having a fit that we wasted time. I told him we had no where to be tonight and we’ll be just fine.

I started to worry a bit then. Dad was going to be alone for 3 days and he couldn’t even find his way out of the airport. I sure hoped this wasn’t going to lead to another “mishap”.

We made great time traveling to the port area. We saw the damage left by the storms as we drove. There were trees uprooted everywhere. Though I must add, though it looked bad, you could tell that the roots are not very deep on these trees.

As we approached the Port Area you could see a Carnival Ship docked and all lit up. It was very pretty.

I think we got to Residence Inn in just over an hour. The route is pretty empty, with not many exciting looking exits. It is a toll road, and I had brought a little change bag full of quarters. Dads job was to fish them out to me as we approached a booth. Of course there were a few arguments about which booth to go to at times.

We arrived at Residence Inn around 7:40. I ran in to check us in. Mom was starving and told me to find a place to eat. Check in was a breeze. I noticed that we had just missed the “free” supper they had offered that night. It closed at 7:30. But that was fine. I think it was just burgers.

The desk clerk told me to go to Fish Lips. I had read about this place and the reviews seemed good. He gave me a map, and drew a line for the route.

Looks pretty easy, doesn’t it?

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I ran back out to the van and told everyone which direction our room was, but we decided to eat first. Here is another “mishap” that I am so happy didn’t turn out bad. This van had the gear shift on the dash….really? the dash? This was very weird to me. When I got out, I had never put it in park. The van was STILL in drive when I got in. Thank goodness it didn’t move an inch. My Dad was amazed that it had just sat still the whole time.

I found this gear shifter thing to be a pain the whole trip and this isn’t the only incident I had with it.

I hand the map to Dad and take off without really reading it myself. I ask Dad which road I need to turn on. He can’t see. It’s dark, and we can’t find the light to turn on for him. Mom says she can’t see in the dark either. I could see it, but not drive at the same time. It was kind of comical. I just kept saying, give me a name of the road, and no one could. I was sure I had past it as we got into a very unpopulated area about 2 miles down the road. I pulled over. Looked at the map and sure enough it was the road I thought it was and had passed a ways back. So we turned around and made our way there.

There were several places lined up along the water, but we eventually found it and found a parking space NOT too far away.

We were seated right away.

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Our table was right next to a big window and we could look out and see the water and the big Carnival ship.

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Claire and I walked outside to look at the water. Our table was right next to the door. It was fairly warm out, but very windy.

A server was walking by out there and offered to take our picture. I said sure and switched the settings on my camera and handed over the SLR with a little uneasiness.

I smiled while he tried to put the Carnival ship in the background. I wanted him to just hurry up. I didn’t want him to drop my camera. I knew the ship wouldn’t really show up anyways. A couple of older gentleman walked by and one told the server he would take it because he was a former professional photographer. That made me a feel a little more at ease. He actually held the camera safely.

He asked me what settings I use, and I told him usually manual, but I had set it to auto for the other guy. He set it to P and turned the flash on and tried a couple of shots. The pictures weren’t that great, but it was still nice to get a picture taken with Claire.

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We talked a bit about photography and he gave me some of his opinions. It was a nice chat. Claire and I then went back in and our food still hadn’t come.

I decided to walk out to the van and get my phone that I left out there. On the way in I took this picture of Claire on my phone and texted it to family and friends.

I’m not to good with the camera phone. I can’t figure out how to make the flash work, so this picture is pretty awful.

outsidefishlips.jpg

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Thanks for reading. You are kind of lucky, because you can read up more on this ship. I was scrambling to find reivews of it before we left.

Lucky in one sense but.....I CANT WAIT!!!!

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Thanks for the update, enjoying your review

 

Thanks

 

Lucky in one sense but.....I CANT WAIT!!!!

 

I know thefeeling. I can't wait to go back and I have no clue how long that will be.

 

I'm loving your report! Looking forward to more!

 

Thanks

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