2011 Holiday Trip, With A Cruise In The Middle

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2011 Holiday Trip, With A Cruise In The Middle

Hello Friends!

I'm a day away from leaving for another trip to WDW, but this time, it has something special. We fly out tomorrow to Orlando and will spend a couple of days there before driving to Port Canaveral for our 5-day, 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream. We're very much looking forward to it. After the cruise, we will spend another 5 days at WDW, including a MVMCP.

As before, I will post reports whenever I can on here. I don't think I will be able to do that while I'm on the ship, but as soon as I'm off it, I'll post something when I have the chance. As always, if you wish to follow me "live", I'll try to update my activity on my blog regularly (except, again, when I'm on the ship), including Donald's trip report!

Cheers!

Zz.

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MrHub's picture
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Have fun Zz!

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Have a great trip Zz, looking forward to reading all about it,

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What a fabulous tome you're going to have! I can't wait to hear more about your trip!

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Looking forward to seeing your pics of the ship! Especially the atrium. It's looks just lovely.

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I just got home from work and drat! I still haven't started packing!

I've staged some of the stuff I will be bringing, but man, this whole week at work has been hellish! Maybe it was because everyone was envious that I'm going off to some warm weather! Smile

In any case, I have to bring my notebook with me because I may have to do some work tomorrow evening, even from the Most Magical Place on Earth. Yuck! I am so glad that I will be out of any kind of contact while on the boat. They can't get me there easily!! laugh

Welp, off to packing!

Zz.

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have a great time

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Sounds like a 'Dream' trip. Can't wait to read all about it.

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Tony wrote:
Sounds like a 'Dream' trip. Can't wait to read all about it.

I can't either! laugh

Anyway, I'm dressed, packed, and ready to go. We have a cab picking us up at 4:30 am, drive up to our friend's place and pick them up, and then off to O'Hare. Yuck! I normally fly Southwest out of Midway, but one of us is using mileage points to fly free on United. So have to suck it up and fly out of O'Hare on United this time.

Strangely enough, my luggage seems to be lighter than usual! I don't know how that happened. I am purposely bringing less clothes that I normally would for a 10-day trip, mainly because we will be staying at a 1-bedroom villa in SSR. So with the laundry facility in the unit, we don't have to bring that much clothes. Still, I'm packing dress shoes and dress pants for the formal dinner during the cruise, etc...etc... things I normally won't bring.

In any case, I'm all set and ready to go. So my next transmission will be from the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Zz.

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Have a great time. Can't wait to see your pictures.

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I cannot wait to hear all about it!! I am sure you guys are going to have a blast!!! This sounds like an amazing trip!

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Greetings from the Most Magical Place on Earth.

We arrived at SSR late morning and got our room. SSR is well-decorated for the season.

After a quick change of clothes (long pants to shorts), we went to Downtown Disney for lunch at Fultons.

I had the Fulton's seafood cob salad. It was as good as I remember it.

We then walked through World of Disney, and I immediately knew what I will be buying after we get back here from the cruise - this Mickey ears hat! The gingerbread ears hat is so cute!

We walked around Downtown Disney a bit to look at the decor. Lots to see.

We then went to our favorite Winn Dixie to buy some stuff, and then went back to our room to take a nap. We plan on going to Epcot tonight for the evening.

Zz.

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Zz your right the gingerbread Mickey hat is so cute the we bought one on our trip in Nov.

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I am so jealous! And I was there just three weeks ago! Seriously, I don't think you can get too much Disney World.

Have an amazing trip!

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Great pics! Keep 'em coming!

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We had a wonderful end to our first day here. Spent the evening at Epcot. It was a bit chilly towards the end, since the wind picked up a bit, but it wasn't anything to complain about.

This is the obligatory shot of the the "golf ball", as one kid put it.

Lots of Christmas decorations, such as this one. We still miss the Lights of Winter. I definitely think they should bring that back.

Epcot Christmas tree sits proudly at the entrance to World Showcase.

We had a quick lunch at the Cantina at Mexico. I'm so glad they have this menu rather than the old place that used to be here with food worse than at Taco Bell. This new place is way so much better.

We then got a nice viewing area at Germany for Illuminations. I'll post photos of that tomorrow. For now, I need to catch quite a bit of sleep, since I've been up since 3 am this morning. So good night, and see you tomorrow!

Zz.

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Good morning!

Had some sleep, and so, I'll post with the report from last night, continuing with Illuminations. We could not sit at our usual location since it was blocked off for those attending Candlelight Procession. So we sent to Germany instead.

Here are some pictures I took during Illuminations:

And this is the holiday tag at the end of Illuminations.

It was wonderful, just as I remember it from previous years.

Today, we plan on doing a tour of Epcot and MK resorts to look at Holiday decorations. We will end the day with an early visit to the Osborne lights before turning in early for the evening. We plan to leave and drive to Port Canaveral early tomorrow morning.

Zz.

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Oh I love that picture outside of Fulltons! Beautiful shot mickey

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Zz the "Lights of Winter" as far as I know are still on Disney property and are "mothballed" to be able to be used later. For the life of me I can't figure out why they don't use them any more.

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We just got back from a short evening at Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at DHS. Weather was just perfect. We're now repacking our stuff to prepare for leaving SSR early tomorrow for our drive to Port Canaveral.

Had a great day doing resort hopping to look at all the holiday decorations. I'll download the photos from my camera tonight, but not sure if I'll have the chance to post them on here.

BTW, I hate it when they lie about the waiting time. We went in the standby line for Star Tours because it said "10 minutes". A big lie! It was wrong by a lot - 35 minutes waiting in total! This happens a lot, and I don't quite know why. I can understand that this can't be that accurate, but to get it wrong by more than 3 times the estimate makes publishing any time estimate to be utterly useless.

OK, enough ranting for one day. I'm tired.

Zz.

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We spent most of yesterday doing Resort jumping to look at the Holiday decorations. We parked our car at DHS and spent some time looking at the lovely tree at the entrance.

We started our Resort hopping at the Swan. They have some sort of a holiday display of Santa in his living room.

We then walked over to the Swan and saw their huge "poinsettia tree" in the lobby.

A quick walk got us to the Yacht Club. They have a nice, small tree, but we were disappointed that the miniature holiday village was not "running". The train and the cable cars were not moving.

Next door at the Beach Club, the gingerbread carousel was definitely the highlight of the lobby.

We then walked over to the Boardwalk. As always, they have a nicely decorated tree in their "backyard".

The gingerbread house in the lobby of the Boardwalk was quite hilarious.

But as interestingly they have this large "bakery" right in the lobby as well which Stitch has obviously put his stamp of approval on.

cont....

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... cont.

After the Boardwalk, we hopped onto a bus to go to MK just so we can walk over to the Contemporary. At the Contemporary, the major highlight is the gingerbread tree.

A quick hop onto the monorail took us to the Poly. While there are plenty of small holiday decorations at the Poly, we didn't see any big, central attention-getter at that resort.

We next went to the Grand Floridian. This resort, of course, has the gingerbread house and the huge tree in the lobby.

From Grand Floridian, we took a bus back to DHS for the evening and see the Osborne lights. I think the light show over the canopy near the Streets of San Francisco (wasn't that a TV show back in the 70's?) was just spectacular.

We left DHS early to go back and pack, since we plan on leaving for Port Canaveral early this morning. We are almost all packed and about ready to go. I will probably not post any more update until after the cruise is over and we go back to SSR.

So see all of you after the cruise!

Zz.

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Just got off the Disney Dream and heading back to wdw. It was an amazing cruise. Will post report later.

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So now I know why these cruises are also called "Adult Day Care". You're pampered and catered to almost all the time, not to mention, all that food! Oh my god! I don't think I was ever hungry during the cruise!

We got there quite early and waited for them to let us into the terminal. Still, all of us can see the Disney Dream from the front of the line. It was unbelievably huge.

Here we are in the terminal.

Walk through the Mickey head entrance to get to the ship.

We got to see more of the ship as we walked through the gangway.

The first place walked into is the atrium. It has been nicely decorated for the holidays.

The chandelier was certainly impressive.

cont....

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... cont.

Admiral Donald greeted us in the Atrium.

They had a very nice gingerbread house at one end of the Atrium.

After we were done gawking all over the atrium, we went to Deck 11 for lunch at the Cabana. The view from up there was quite spectacular.

These pictures are the first two plate of meals that I had on The Disney Dream. It was the start of a lot of food and a lot of eating during the 5-day cruise.

And that was just the first 3 hours even before we pull away from the port!

Zz.

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Wow! I can't wait to hear more!

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After we got out stateroom and freshened up a bit, we were all on Deck 13 to wait for the departure. Of course, we checked out the infamous AquaDuck!

As the departure time got closer, we went up to Deck 13 in the front of the ship. The view from up there was incredible.

It was duskwhen we finally left Port Canaveral and made our way out to sea.

Zz.

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LOVE this!!!! I cannot wait to hear all about the cruise! It sounds like you guys had a blast!

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Around the Disney Dream in a few pictures.

The atriumduring princesses meet-and-greet.

A place that I ended up visiting many, many times during the cruise - a self-serve soft-served ice-cream stand that's open from 11:00 am onwards, daily!

The entrance to the Walt Disney theater, and inside of the theater. We saw "Villains" and "Believe" shows.

The "jogging" track and shuffleboard area on Deck 4. I used this a few times to walk my 1-mile lap to work off some of the food that I consumed during the cruise.

The main pool area for families on Deck 11.

The virtual porthole in our stateroom. Periodically, you'll see Disney characters on this porthole. I'll show some that I managed to capture using my still camera.

Zz.

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OMG now I wanna go on a Disney cruise! This ship looks so cool!

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Zz I think the reason why the times on the rides jump so fast depends on how often the CM's use the timing device. A few times we would jump on a ride that said it had a 15 minute wait and we would actually wait closer to 30 minutes. We would get off and check and it would say 45... So if a time says 10 minute wait and a bunch of people notice that in let's say a 20 minute span and the CM doesn't give someone the timing device when they get in line during that 20 minutes the wait times can be highly skewed. Does that make sense? We were given the timing device a few times when we were there, once we got to jump most of the line because it was just the 2 of us in a sea of families so it made our wait time less. We still handed the CM the device and I'm not sure how they calculated that.