Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘cruise

Christmas Magic allowed it to snow in the atrium of the Carnival Dream

Christmas Magic allowed it to snow in the atrium of the Carnival Dream

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…those may be Julie Andrews favorite things but not mine.  If you know me at all, it’s pretty obvious what my favorite things are.  I love to travel and I love the holidays (did my 6 themed Christmas trees give it away?).  What’s even better is when you put them together because the memories are something that will last soooo much longer than whatever the current fad toy is, or the clothes that are outgrown before being worn.

There are a few ways to combine my favorite things; you can go away for the holidays or you can surprise everyone with the trip wrapped up under the tree.  Both have their advantages & disadvantages.

Travel over the holidays:  There is something really special about being at Disney World or on a cruise over Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Years.  The decorations, the special events, and all the extra holiday cheer. Getting away from crazy Uncle Fred is another bonus.  I’m about to go on my 2nd Christmas cruise, and I have to say there is nothing like having it “snow” in the atrium on Christmas Eve or spending the day on a Caribbean Island for Christmas day.  It also makes Christmas shopping a lot easier; “Honey, kids; you’re getting a cruise for Christmas”.  Over course the downside is that we will miss a few traditions and the actual travel part of the trip isn’t always warm & fuzzy.  Price doesn’t have to be a downside, especially if you plan in advance.  Book that cruise in June and you’ll be smiling in all your holiday pictures 🙂

Not sure you want to travel during one of the busiest times of the year?  That’s completely understandable!  The best thing to do in that case is plan & book your trip and wrap clues as gifts under the tree.  There are special offers that will let you save money & travel in  Jan/Feb, or book the summer vacation way ahead to save on that and draw out the anticipation.  Taking the family to Disney World?  Maybe your spouse gets a map of Orlando, and little Johnnie & Suzie get post cards from the Main Mouse himself.   Planning a cruise? Sunglasses, sunscreen, map of the Caribbean would be great clues.  There are all sorts of ways to announce the surprise, and it will be a gift that they’ll never forget.

My kids are 20 & 16.  I don’t remember every gift I’ve given them and I know they don’t!  What I do remember is my daughter being named Princess of the Day and opening the doors to the Princess breakfast at Epcot;  the look on my son’s face when he climbed up to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and the whole family still laughs at the time Dad lost the waterproof camera while cave tubing in Belize.  Who needs remote controlled cars & ugly sweaters?  I may not have pictures to hold in my hand but the memories of cave tubing will never fade.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  May your holidays be filled with love, family & great memories!

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I don’t know about you, but seeing Sailor Mickey in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade really made me want to take a cruise!  I really want to take the 7 night cruise, just can’t decide between the Eastern & Western itineraries…..

If you didn’t see the parade, here’s a little more about it and some video of the making of the Sailor Mickey balloon.

As I’ve been getting started, promoting my new business a lot of people have looked at me like I was crazy.   People don’t use travel agents anymore and they are certainly not travelling during these economic times, right?   Actually this is the perfect time to use a travel agent and there are some wonderful deals out there for families to take advantage of.

Why should you use a travel agent?   My question is why wouldn’t you?  There is no additional cost to you, and it may save you some extra money.   The internet has made it easy for people to check out prices, however; those prices change all the time.  Do you want to spend your time making sure that you have the best price, every day?  Why not let your professional travel agent do that.  I price monitor for my clients and rebook packages at lower prices if/when they become available.  

If you’re planning a Disney trip a good reason to use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner is to protect yourself from unscrupolous businesses.  I recently posted a story about the 7 people arrested for selling fake/used Disney Magic Your Way tickets.    I will tell you now, there are very very very few discounts on Disney park tickets.  If someone is offering a “great deal” on tickets, they’re probably not legit; or they’re going to expect you to sit through several hours of high pressure time share sales presentations.   An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner has also spent a good deal of time training on Disney products and has extensive knowledge of Disney travel.  I have graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge and am an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.   What does that mean to you? It means you get an agent that specializes in Disney, an agent that is going to make sure that you are booking the best resort  for you; the best ticket for you; the right dining plan for you.  Not all Disney trips are alike, nor should they be.    There are 24 Disney owned resorts to choose from, because of my experience and training, I’ll be able to find the right one for you.  Make sure you work with someone that will plan your magical Disney trip, not theirs.

Travelling during uncertain economic times may sound like a crazy idea, but there are some incredible deals to be found right now.   How would you like to go to Disney World and eat for free. Yes, I said eat for FREE. Book a Disney vacation package (hotel & Theme Park tickets) and get the Disney Dining Plan FREE*!  

Maybe you’ve been thinking about going on a cruise.  There is one special that has me really excited right now;  Disney Cruise Lines has a special offer for kids to sail FREE on select Mediterranean Cruises in Spring 2010.  Talk about a wonderful experience for the whole family!  Explore different ports in Europe while cruising with the Disney difference.   Not sure about cruising?  I was worried if the kids would like it so I took my family for their 1st cruise this summer and the kids were trying to book the next cruise before we got off the ship.  A 3 night cruise is good for trying cruising the 1st time, but I’ll warn you that if you like it; the cruise will be over way to fast!  The best news is, kids now sail FREE on 3 & 4 night cruises to the Bahamas Winter/Spring 2010!  Now you can try a short cruise for a fantastic price! 

Thinking of going to California?  Disneyland has some amazing offers right now.  Save $400 on 4 day/4 night trips, that as low at $87 per person per day!   There are also offers at the Good Neighbors hotels with a 3rd or 4th night free.  Great way to experience the special Halloween  & Holiday specials events! 

The use of a travel agent allows you to relax and leave the work to the expert; all at no cost to you.  I may be a little biased, but I think it’s crazy not to use a travel agent.  Disney can be a great value vacation, but it’s not cheap.  Don’t throw away your money by not planning properly.    Who can pass up FREE dining or FREE extra nights?   That’s how a family can travel during these times, by using a travel agent that finds them the best deals and the right vacation for them!

*Offer available for stays most nights 9/26/09 – 11/24/09 & 11/29/09 – 13/17/09.   Must be booked by 9/26/09.

A man found floating in the ocean off the coast of Florida was rescued by the Disney Wonder.  The man apparently jumped from a Carnival Cruiseline ship.   Guess he should have booked with Disney Cruise Line in the 1st place, would have been easier, lol.

Disney Wonder Rescues Man at Sea

For all of us Disney cruise addicts, today was an exciting day;  the laying of the keel of the new Disney Dream!

Sorry to have fallen off the World.  We have had a great time here at Disney and have just been too busy to sit down and tell y’all what we did each day.  Here’s a quick recap and I’ll write the details after our cruise (which starts today!!!!!)

Sunday we spent the day at Stormalong Bay for the most part, missed our 3pm ADR at Planet Hollywood.  Spent the evening at MK (extra magic hours).  Great time, crowds weren’t bad, saw the new Hall of Presidents–AWESOME!  Very late night, but lot’s of fun.

Monday was a little crazy, we went to DHS for Toy Story Midway Mania fast passes, went to MK from there (long story with a few lessons….) Jason got his purple mohawk (come back later to find out where;)  and we had a walk up, no ADR lunch at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant–a 1st for me.  Spent some rest time at the resort before our dinner ADR at Hollywood Brown Derby at DHS. 

Tuesday was a long day with a late(ish) start.  We got to Epcot around 11:15, got a walk up lunch ressie at Chefs de France (I’ll tell ya about Remy later!)  Great day of shows & drinks around the world and some Kim Possible missions.  As the crowds built the kids left and then we met them at Magic Kingdom for another late night.

Wednesday,  the plan was relax in the morning and AK evening EMH.  You’ll just have to wait to see what really happened.

This morning we’re all packed up (almost, need to shut the computer down).  We’ll be loading the truck up shortly and then off to Port Canaveral where the kids will go on the 1st cruise ever!  We’re all very excited!

I’ll try to Tweet this afternoon until we pull out of Port.  Then I’ll be out of touch until we pull back in on Sunday.

What have I been doing this week?  Getting ready for our Disney trip & cruise is the short answer.  The answer that helps you is “preparing”.

I started preparing this week by making a general list of what we needed –bathings suits, flip flops, dramamine….  I’ve organized my list by store and take it with me every time I leave the house.

Next was making sure that my truck was ready for the road trip.  Took it in for an oil change and new air filter, they also did a complimentary inspection and found everything else to be in good order.  Today I’ll wash and vacuum it and have it looking good; at least for the trip down.  Tonight we’ll load it up and have everything ready to go.

In order to load up the truck, I’m going to have to pack this afternoon.   The only thing I like about packing is that it means we’re going on vacation!   My tips for packing are simple:   Pretend you’re Santa Claus; make your list, check it twice and then cross things off when they go into the suitcase.  Just remember to keep important documents (passports, tickets, etc) somewhere you won’t forget them but not in packed luggage!

Other last day/minute things to do:  run to the bank (cash for tips, etc), don’t forget the sunscreen, fill the car up with gas, stop the newspaper delivery, mow the lawn & clean the house.  I also like to leave our travel details with a neighbor/friend along with a request to pull the trash down.

Time to get packing! 🙂


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