Somehow, this trip we took back in March of 2001 isn't getting posted until now. We got really busy. Better late then never, I hope you enjoy my trip report, and can still get a little use out of it.
I already posted this page in rec.arts.disney.parks, but this web page will give me an excuse to post some of our pictures.
OK, this is a little odd. I am starting the trip report even before we left this time. But, I wanted to do a little introduction. We had an eclectic band traveling together on this trip, and I wanted to let you know how it came about.
We started talking about this trip on May 25, 2000, and didn't make the trip until March 16, 2001. We were at an RMNAAFA function, and the subject of a taking a cruise together came up.
Without getting into a huge amount of detail, RMNAAFA is a chapter of NAAFA, which is a size acceptance organization. You can tell more from their web page.
In any event, some of the folks at the chapter were talking about wanting to take a cruise. My wife, Debbie, mentioned that she had been wanting to take a cruise for a long while, but couldn't talk me into it. I responded that I weren't sure what one would do on a cruise, except to lay on deck and get a sunburn. I tend to be very optimistic and easy going like that.
Somehow, this cruise idea gradually evolved into a Disney Cruise combined
with a WDW vacation. I'm not sure how that happened. It's not like I manipulated
the situation or anything.
|So, that leads to the introductions. I'm Joe, the Disney fanatic. I
and Debbie, my wife, were both in our early forties when this trip occurred.
Our son, Nick, was nine years old. Debbie, Nick, and I have been to WDW
several times, but this was our first time cruising. I should also mention
that I'm an engineer, because that helps to explain why I often seem to
be in a starry eyed gaze when I come across some great technology.
Patti and Jan were the two friends from RMNAAFA who ended up accompanying us. Patti has been to WDW several times, most often with her sister, who is something of a fanatic. Jan was a WDW virgin. She had been to DisneyLand before her kids were grown up, but never to WDW. Neither of them had been on a cruise before either. Patti is also in her early forties, Jan is a bit older.
As you can guess, this trip report will have a little bit of the first
timer's perspective, and a little bit of the veteran's perspective. A little
bit of a kid's perspective, and a little bit of an older adult's perspective.
Since NAAFA is a size acceptance organization, there will be some perspective
on those with size issues. In addition, Patti was recovering from physical
therapy on her knees. She ended up renting ECVs at each of the parks. So,
we will also have some perspective on what WDW and the cruise are like
for those with mobility issues.
We picked March because that was the time of Nick's spring break. We have taken him out of school for WDW trips before, but some years we choose not to. The trip was originally going to be a three day land and four day sea journey. But, because we wanted Nick to avoid missing school, we ended picking a four day WDW and a three night cruise, because the sailing times fit better.
I almost always do my own travel arrangements. Because this was a cruise, I decided to go to our AAA travel agent, because I felt inexperienced. Huge mistake. Enormous. Stupid move. I should have just called the Disney Cruise line directly, and booked a package. All through the trip, we suffered with stupid moves the AAA agent had made. Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful time. But, from now on, I deal directly with Disney.
Anyway, the original package was to start on Sunday, and run to the following Sunday. But, we planned to come in Saturday during the day, so that we didn't waste a day of theme park tickets riding on an airplane. Because of problems getting a good airfare (which I booked myself, AAA would have made it worse), we ended up coming in on Friday. Which begs the question, what do you do at WDW for almost two days (Friday night and Saturday), when you don't have tickets to the parks or water parks. I'll let you know.
I am a fanatical planner, and had scheduled activities for each day of our stay at WDW. But, one of the reasons for having a detailed plan is that you can switch things out at any time, and understand what you may be giving up (are we going to have a chance to do the canceled thing later?). So, we followed the plan somewhat, and played it by ear sometimes.
During that entire time from May until March, I was making plans, and sending what got to be daily e-mails to Patti, Jan, and Debbie (at work). By the time we were ready to go, we were at a fever pitch of excitement.
So, tomorrow, I'll post day 1.