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Oh the Places We Go, The People We See ...Dream Trip Report


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MEANWHILE! …………

My family was preparing to head to the airport. My Mom had arranged for a bus to take 10 of them to the airport in Detroit. That left Katie, Thad and their boys to go up there on their own.

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Mom said they came across a bad accident on the way up and quickly called Katie to tell her to avoid it.

They arrived at the airport and settled in till it was time to board the plane. They were flying Delta.

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Abby is always happy if she has a good snack.

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Mom said they boarded on time, but Katie and family were practically running to the plane. I guess they had run into the accident after all and were running extremely late. I do think the flight time actually might’ve been changed to a bit later of a time. I had made the arrangements for everyone and I had it all written down in my planner so I knew when to get to the airport to meet them, but they ended up landing about 10 minutes later than I had written down. Mom said it was all “on time” and she wasn’t sure if the time changed or not. LOL

So Claire and I had just finished a nice brunch.

We headed outside a bit. I think we checked out the hot tub and took a look at the Flamingoes again.

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We then decided to go over and look at the Savanna, so back through the resort we went.

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A few peeks out the windows.

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A picture of my little sweetheart.

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We went and admired the animals. There were a ton of giraffes out today.

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As usual I am enjoying your review. I'm so happy there's more than one at the same time! Double your pleasure..double your fun.

 

Claire is so cute. I love that dress she has on in the last couple of posts.

 

I went to Disney for Halloween, 2011 and loved the Halloween party. Sometimes that Boo to You song just pops in my head. They really do it up nice for the kids. My daughter got a ton of candy!

 

I can't wait for you to board the ship so I can see your pictures.

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As usual I am enjoying your review. I'm so happy there's more than one at the same time! Double your pleasure..double your fun.

 

Claire is so cute. I love that dress she has on in the last couple of posts.

 

I went to Disney for Halloween, 2011 and loved the Halloween party. Sometimes that Boo to You song just pops in my head. They really do it up nice for the kids. My daughter got a ton of candy!

 

I can't wait for you to board the ship so I can see your pictures.

 

Thanks. I can't wait to write a out the cruise so I can relive it. We had a really good time

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Claire wasn’t as into the animals today as I was. She wanted to swim. She did however find a hidden Mickey.

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I made her stay a little longer though. I just really enjoyed looking at the animals out there. She did too, but she had enough and was worried about how much time she would have for swimming before we had to leave.

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Finally I relented and we headed back towards the pool area.

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A door we passed. I loved the theming here.

 

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Down the elevator.

 

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And we went over to the pool area bathroom to change.

 

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We usually used this shower stall for changing. It was bigger than the other 2. It also had a stool in there to set our bags on. I noticed the other 2 didn’t and I don’t think they had hooks either, if I remember right. I thought that was dumb, as the floor was wet and there wasn’t a way to keep your things dry if you showered. The shower had a changing area then stall with curtain, but you really needed a stool to keep things dry. The bigger one also seemed to be dryer since it was bigger.

 

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Claire enjoyed the hot tub for a while.

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We then headed over to the pool again and I sat in the same spot as the day before and Claire swam and swam and swam. I put the camera away for a bit and tried to facebook with my kindle and phone. I say try, because facebook kept telling me my posts couldn’t be made. I have this issue off and on. It’s so annoying.

Also the wifi was spotty and every so often I had to relog back in.

Tim (Dis That’s Nice) was over at the Coronado and he was posting how he still hadn’t made it to a park yet and he was going nuts. His daughter was swimming too. We chatted a bit via facebook, along with a few others, some who were going to be coming to WDW in the next few days as well. I was half tempted to gather up Claire and go over and visit Tim. But I knew the ride over would be long and Claire wouldn’t like getting pulled out of the pool. And Tim and I had planned to meet up later in the trip.

I had a family sitting in the loungers in front of me and they were so fun to listen to. After talking to them a bit, I found out that some of the members lived not too far from me. Small World!

After a while we heard a plane and saw some sky writing. It actually took quite a while to get the whole message up and the first word was pretty much faded before the next one even started. In fact for the last one, the plane left and came back.

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God Loves You. A nice message, but seriously, why do would you have a sky writer do this? The family in front of me was laughing that someone would pay that much money to have that written. And it was kind of funny because the plane left and came back before writing “U”. Like he had to refuel and come back just for that letter. LOL

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Meanwhile, Claire was having a ball swimming and watching others.

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The pool games had started and she sat right up there and watched, but she wouldn’t join in. I think if she had a friend with her, she would have. I think she was just too shy. She told me she did do a few things, but I don’t think she was officially playing.

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The games were a huge highlight for her though. She would ask me every so often if people ever just come to Disney to just stay at the hotel and swim. I told her that I am sure a few do, but most people who come this far do want to go the parks too. I think she really liked this relaxed resort day approach we had taken.

While she swam I took a few pictures of the area from my chair.

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That sky writer is there all the time, I have seen him several times. I was thinking that he must be the owner of the plane, on a mission.

 

I think you are right too, as I have seen him there over the years as well and he always has a religious message.

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This one came out bad. I was supposed to be focusing on the light. Not sure why I got the background instead.

 

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Before too long it was time to get out and get dressed. She wasn’t too thrilled about this, but I reminded her we had a bus to catch and we had several more days of fun ahead of us.

We walked around and took a few more pictures.

 

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And then back towards the bathroom to change. I noticed these lockers. That’s a pretty good deal ($1).

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Claire was pretty hungry after all that swimming so we stopped off and got a light late lunch. It was around 4 now and I knew we wouldn’t be eating again till much later after meeting up with the family.

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I think we also called Skip once again while we were there and updated him and said our hellos.

Claire didn’t finish it all so I asked for a container to carry the rest. It was kind of a pain and I think we ended up throwing most of what was left (the crustable sandwich) away later on.

We walked around a little bit more.

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We talked of walking down to Kidani and checking it out, but Claire said it would be too far. Not like she really had a clue.

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We ended up going in the gift shop and Claire bought some sunglasses. We forgot to bring her a pair (really she doesn’t wear them all that often) and just looked around for a while. Sadly the glasses got lost at some point. She wanted them for the cruise, but she left them in the rental van and they were forgotten till we needed them on the ship. We saw them once when we got back and never again. I have no clue where they went, except that maybe they were left in the van somewhere.

Around 4:30 we went to retrieve our luggage and get a voucher for the Magical Express. First they sent us outside and then inside, then back outside. The girl at the outside desk knew what to do, but I thought it was strange that the guys handling the luggage didn’t know I could get a voucher there.

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It wasn’t too long and our bus arrived and Claire and I were the first on again, and we took our favorite first row seat.

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I took a shot of the seatbelts that are now on the new buses.

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Just joining in, I am planning on traveling on the dream on August so this review will come in handy. Any idea when you will get the cruise part of your adventure?

 

Thanks for sharing :)

 

You will have so much fun. I hope to get to that in the next week or 2. It depends on how life goes and when I can find time to update. I am about the finish this day up and the next day is our cruise day!

 

I did sail the Dream in 2011 as well and I have a report on here. You can probably search my name and find it.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed your report so far. We are big time Disney nuts and planning / dreaming of cruising on the Dream in January. Looking forward to reading the rest of your report.:)

 

Thanks so much. I really love the Dream. She's my first Disney ship and she wil lalways have that specialness to mee.

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Good Bye Animal Kingdom Lodge! We really enjoyed you! So much so that I think I took over 300 pictures there! Probably close to 350.

 

On our way to MCO! Claire kept saying how it wasn’t said being on the bus like it was for others because we still had a long trip ahead of us, and she was right. It wasn’t the Magical Depress this time around.

 

If course we had to make a few stops along the way to pick up more guests. I think our first stop was CBR, but I didn’t take pictures if it was.

Next up was Art of Animation.

 

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And then Pop Century.

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And off to MCO. I actually was starting to think we may be a little late, but we weren’t.

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And this is where the whole trip was really supposed to start. Originally this was just going to be a 4 day cruise for the whole family, with flying in 1 day prior to sailing. Cousin Vicki was the one who wanted to sail as a group. Mom, Claire and I had sailed the Dream on March 31, 2011, shortly after she was inaugurated, and Mom had raved about the trip. Vicki thought it would be fun to do a family trip. When Mom first told me about it, I really never thought it would come to anything. Too many people to coordinate and settle on dates, etc. Also I didn’t think some members would actually ever cruise.

We met for a lunch one day in Sept. 2011 and it all started to come together and in Oct we had settled on dates that everyone agreed on and it was booked. I immediately began thinking that Claire and I would stay 3 days after and do the Christmas party and Hollywood Studios one day to see the Osborne lights. That eventually became almost 7 days. And of course we then added a day on to the beginning as well.

Then of course the family started thinking that if they were down there, they might as well hit some parks too, so this short vacation became a weeklong event for everyone.

We soon arrived at the Delta drop off and we collected our bags.

This is probably the one and only picture of Claire with her new sunglasses.

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I got one of those rental carts. There was no way I was lugging that entire luggage around by hand. I took note of the price, and of course now I don’t remember. I want to say it was $7. WELL worth the price, whatever it was. I do think it might’ve had a refund of like 50 cents or something like that when you returned it.

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After we loaded the cart, I texted a few family members to see if they had landed. At first there was no response. Then Geoff responded and said they had just landed and he and Aunt Mary were to be some of the first off as they had upgraded to bigger seats towards the front.

Claire and I just hung outside for a bit. And then moved our way inside and took turns using the restroom. We then realized we needed to go up a floor to be near the luggage claim, so we headed towards and elevator and then waited …and waited…and waited.

Geoff let us know the number to be at, so we waited some more. But then we noticed that actually it was the one next to it that was for their flight, so we planted ourselves near that one.

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It really did seem to take a long time for them to arrive. I had to keep reminding myself that they probably all made a bathroom stop and then had to take the fake monorail over.

I texted back and forth a few times with Geoff and then suddenly I saw some family!

There is Rob! ….. with Alexis behind him. I also see Mom, Dad and Geoff!

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Everyone made it and they were in good spirits. The big worry was how the little ones would do on the plane. Katie’s boys were just fine …and I have to admit, they are both angels at all times. She is so lucky. Even wild 3 year old Abby did well. They said they just gave her snacks and kept movies playing for her and she was perfectly happy.

The luggage soon started and they started pulling off all the bags. Someone flagged a porter down and he had this huge cart and he just kept piling and piling the bags on.

I am not sure what everyone is looking at in this shot.

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We took a few turns going to the bathroom and then made sure we had our bags loaded. Count your bags! Make sure you didn’t leave any ……dum dum dum …….make sure you read the name tags as well …..dum dum dum…….

Abby and Gail waiting for everyone to be ready.

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Off to the Dollar Rental counters. The porter led the way. This guy was excellent. Very friendly and we kind of felt bad monopolizing his time, but then again, we are probably not the only people who use a porter and need to stop off at the rental counter.

We left my cart, and a few people, and kids, and porter off to the side and we got in line for the cars. Our car was in Moms name, but she wanted me to drive, so I was going to have to put it in my name and on my credit card. She said she would pay me later, which was fine (and she did).

Now let me tell you about our experience with Dollar. I will tell you, I would rent again, because they often have great deals …BUT you have to read EVERYTHING you sign or check agree too. And the counter staff was AWFUL!

We all lined up at the counter, each with a different dollar representative. We could hear what was going on with the others at the counter as well. They REALLY pushed insurance. I let them no in no terms did we want any. He kept insisting that I needed it and I kept insisting that I didn’t. I told him my SIL works for a car rental company and she has told me how it works, and I know my own insurance covers the car. He tried to tell me that I was wrong and my SIL probably didn’t know what she was talking about. I let him know she was higher up in the company and knew EXACTLY what she was talking about. I could hear this pressure going on for each family member down the line and I heard each and every one of them tell the clerk no. I will refer to my guy as Mr. Sauvo, because that is the best way to describe him …with his slicked back hair and Latin looks. Also this was pretty much how each and every guy looked right down the counter line. Listen buddy, you can smooth talk me and smile your charming smile, but I am NOT getting insurance.

So it came time to hit the agree screen. They have a long list of pages and he told me to hit agree to everything. I repeated it back to him and he said, well you should probably read it so you don’t agree do anything you don’t want. So I did, as he continued to talk to me. Yeah, that makes it hard to read when you have someone still talking. BUT I caught it! There was something about adding so much a day for some kind of security. I hit I do NOT agree.

When the print out came out, it had higher charges on it. I questioned this with 2 different people. I pointed out the amount I was to pay and asked what the others was. I was assured I was paying the right amount. I do know often rental companies have these strange charges on the list, but don’t charge you unless you agree to them, and normally I wouldn’t worry, but with Mr. Sauvo, anything could happen.

I will now skip ahead several days later. When Aunt Mary got home she found that they were indeed charged insurance. And it appeared my sister Gail had been too, but hers was a lesser charge for some odd reason. Everyone else has checked their CC statements and we all were charged the right amount. My guess is that some of us caught that part in the “I agree” list and checked no, while some just hit I agree to everything like the guys said to do. I need to check with Aunt Mary, but she was disputing it. She wrote a ton of letters and even found out that Dollar has a class action suit against them in a few states for adding this hidden insurance fee.

Back to our story……

We left Mr. Sauvo and all his Sauvo co-workers and out to the parking garage.

We were directed to the vans. Of course most of us had shoved the paperwork in a bag and had to retrieve it once again to show the attendants out there.

Our Porter pretty much knew the area and led the way again.

We picked out a few vans (we had 4 total). The vans had 3 rows and we folded down the 3rd row in each van and started loading. It was a bit chaotic, I will admit. The porter just started throwing bags in our van and helped with mine, which were still on my trusty cart as well. But then the family wanted their own bags in their own car and the porter said it really didn’t matter since we were all going to the same destination. But it did matter for most, so we tried to sort some of them out. In the end, Katie came over to our van and asked if we had any extras, and sure enough we had 2 of her bags.

I needed to return our cart, but the Porter said he would take it. Great. I was happy not to have to walk back. he was tipped a decent sum too. I think the family gave him somewhere around $50 -$60. Not bad for an hours work.

I had made folders for everyone with lots of info. Most everyone was a newbie to DCL and a few were WDW newbies as well.

I had directions to our hotel, but Rob led the way and asked at the counter and they gave him a slightly better way to get to the highway.

Off we went! It took about an hour to get to Cape Canaveral. The plan was to check in and go eat at Fish Lips. As we drove, it was dark and we pretty much kept losing sight of each other. At one point we were cursing Rob out for going so darn fast. I could barely keep up. OOOPS! It wasn’t Rob. And the next toll both Gail had called us and they mentioned being not too far behind us in the next row. LOL. Poor Rob was getting blamed for nothing.

Gail did inform us that Abby needed food soon. We wondered what was happening in their car. Abby can be a fireball when not happy.

We also had our issues in our car. I don’t remember the details, I probably blocked them out, but my Dad can be cranky at times. He has to be right about things, even if he has no clue what he is talking about and is super stubborn. (it’s so scary how much Skip is like him…..EEEK!) I just remember having a headache and being glad to be at the hotel and able to get out. I think some of the problem was food. He wanted to eat at Fish Lips and Mom said we were going to just probably hit Burger King. I think his shoes were hurting his feet as well and he was grumbling quite a bit about that. Mom assured him he had new tennis shoes in one of the suitcases and he could wear those tomorrow …….dum dum dum…….

Finally we arrived and I was happy to get away for a few minutes.

We started checking in and we took this shot of the kids.

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By the time it was our turn to check in, part of our plan was not right. I had called this hotel, the Residence Inn, twice in the past 2 years to ask about the port shuttle. I was told their cost, or you could reserve a room with the park and cruise option and it included 2 tickets to the shuttle. It was an additional $6 per person. I was also told that you could not schedule the shuttle till you arrived. I had asked about getting the first one of the morning and again, was told that when we check in we could schedule what was available. OK then. I gave this info to the whole family. The plan was that the men would drive us and our bags to the port in the morning and then come back with the cars, park them and then take the shuttle over.

We were informed at check in that there is ONLY 1 shuttle per cruise line. It left at 11 (I believe), so that wouldn’t work out for us at all as that was the same time the port opened. At first this really irked me. I hated being wrong for one and telling everyone this wrong bit of info. I questioned it and the girl and guy there seemed to have been with that hotel since it had opened and said that was always their policy and not sure who had given me the info. My guess is that I probably had some housekeeper or something answer the phone and just made it up. LOL. Anyways, they apologized, we got our shuttle tickets and purchased the ones we needed and I let go of it. It was a long day and we were tired and stressed, and there was no reason for me to be so irked. I kind of felt bad for the desk people as we are sometimes a bit chaotic and we probably had them flustered.

At this point in time we didn’t even unload our bags. Abby was hungry and so were many of us. We drove over to Burger King which is right next door. Actually only Claire and I, Mom and Dad, and Gail’s family went there. This was a HUGE mistake. They had 3 people working (on a Sat. night) and they were SLOW! I swear they were cooking each thing as it was ordered. And every so often the cook and the counter girl would scream back and forth at each other. Mostly about working on a night off, or something like that.

The poor drive thru girl was running around too, and couldn’t take time to help the other 2. She looked like she had it together, but was so busy, she just kept shoving food out the window.

We made our orders and waited and waited and waited. Oh and it was filthy in there. Gail took out some baby wipes and went to town wiping off tables.

The food came out one by one and it wasn’t even that good. I think they ran out of happy meal toys and it just was a big mess. By the end of the night, we were loudly making comments about how poor the service and food was, as we just didn’t care anymore and it was like living a big joke.

In the meantime, Geoff called and said Katie needed her bags. I think he drove over to get them. If I remember right we had an issue with getting the back door open, but eventually we got it.

Alexis had been asking me about going swimming since pretty much the first moment we saw her at the airport and Claire had bragged about all the swimming she had done.

I told her several times that I wasn’t sure if the pool would still be open and whether or not I had the energy to take them. She never let up on it either. Not did Claire for that matter.

We headed back to the hotel and met up with family once again and most of them were now heading out to Fish Lips.

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We got settled in our room (Claire and I were sharing with Mom and Dad), and I went to move the van to the parking lot.

When I got back, Mom was off taking the girls swimming. Those buggers had talked her into it.

But they had a great time.

Every kid has to master the handstand.

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I sat with them a bit and took a few pictures.

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When it was pool closing time, mom took the girls back. She gave Claire a shower, which she desperately needed and I went off and walked around a bit to have some quiet time.

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At one point I ran into Rob who was just sitting down at the pool bar. I decided a beer sounded really good and ordered one. I believe it was $5.75 for a bud light. HOLY COW!!!!!

We chatted a bit and talked to the bar tender, asking about Hurricane Sandy that had gone through only a week or so prior and about busy seasons, etc. Rob asked me some cruise questions. He has cruised before, but not on Disney and he wanted to know some of the differences, etc.

We both headed back to our rooms and got ready for bed. Claire was on a super high from all the excitement. We finally got her settled down. I think my Dad stayed out in the living room and fell asleep on the couch for several hours and then came to bed.

I laid my head down on the 3rd pillow of the trip. Oh the places we go!

I met a few more great Disers today. Oh the People we meet!

Sadly, this was not a restful night. If you have read my other reports, you know that I don’t always sleep well on vacation. I have anxieties that I am missing something or just too excited, or whatever the reason, and tonight ended up being one of those kind of nights.

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