Thursday, July 5, 2018

Embarking on our Cruise (post 2 in our cruise series)

The day of embarking (aka getting on the ship) we were picked up by Disney transportation via the Magical Express at our resort. This is an extra fee, but sine it was our first cruise and we were already staying on Disney property we felt it would be the best choice for us. I'm all about keeping the Disney magic going as much as possible AND I'm all about easy.
The pick up process was soooo easy. That morning bell services took our luggage. We kept our carry on bags (same as you would if you were flying - important items like medications, identification and cruise documents, and possibly a swimsuit)
We were given a pickup time with our transportation papers and were to wait for the bus at the lobby waiting area. Our pickup time was 11:00am. When we arrived at the lobby we were greeted by a cast member specifically there to escort us (and the other cruisers) onto our bus to the cruise port.

 The ride to the port seemed quick because of the on board entertainment. It is so exciting to see the ships docked at port in the distance.

There's no mistaking the Disney cruise ships.

When you arrive at the terminal it was a quick walk through security, similar to that at the airport. Disney times their transportation port arrivals so that it doesn't get too crowded.
We presented our cruise documents and proof of citizenship, they gave us our key to the world cards and a navigator for the afternoon/evening activities. Then we made a quick stop at the kids club reservation counter (we pre-registered our daughters online) it was just a check in and they received their magic bands for on board tracking.
At Port Canaveral you walk through the Mickey tunnel and on to the ship.
I read as much as I could find ahead of time for what to expect when we first board the ship and still it was so magical, majestic and a little overwhelming.
Our first task was to get lunch at Cabanas. Because we didn't board until after 1:00 pm, we wanted to make sure we got lunch before they stopped serving it. We really weren't cutting it close, but we didn't know that. Everything does shut down at 4:00 pm for the muster drill.
Finding Dory themed walls at the entrance to Cabanas
So many delicious choices

 After lunch we wandered about the ship until it was time to go to our designated station for the mandatory muster drill (the location is printed right on your key to the world card)

After the drill we headed to the upper decks for the Adventures Away celebration.

Such a fun, exciting send off! 

click here to read my first post in the cruise series

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My First Disney Cruise, post one

My family recently went on our first Disney cruise. It was actually our first cruise of any type/brand. I'll be sharing all the details with you in several, hopefully organized, posts.
I will be happy to answer any questions about our trips and the planning process, just post it in the comments.

Post one - decisions and planning
I'm not a novice to Disney trip planning, but I've never planned  for a cruise. Haven't even considered it, really, it was kinda a dream. I didn't think my husband would ever want to take a cruise - it's just not his kind of vacation (or so he thought). I also thought my kids would be bored with it - stuck on a ship, no rides, no multi-park visits (I was wrong).  Everything I had read about a Disney cruise said it was pure magic, with a price tag to match. So yeah, I thought "just a dream" not an option for us.

Admittedly, the cruise was first my husbands idea, sort of. Yeah I dropped hints that someday I think I'd like to take a cruise. I mentioned how so many of our friends and family had taken Disney cruises and LOVED them. But I never said to him "I think we should take a cruise" or "what do you think about a Disney cruise vacation?". So I guess my husband listens to me more than I give him credit, because he heard those hints. Out of the blue he texted me one day - look at these deal on a Disney cruise, want to go? Um yeah! Are you kidding me?!
This was late November and that "deal of a price" was for a cruise in late January/ early February! What?! How am I supposed to plan for that? I live in the world of 180 days dining reservations and 60 days fastpass+ planning.
Not the case for a cruise (although I have read that the earlier you book, the better the price, not so sure that's always true, it's probably a seasonal rule) We did base our date choice by the availability of  'main dining'. We knew we wanted to eat at the earlier seating vs. late at night.
Other than that choice, there really wasn't any other decisions I needed to make! We didn't have a stateroom preference, we were going with least expensive for our first cruise which meant inside stateroom. We weren't going to take any excursions, they are an additional cost. There were still  some available to book, had we wanted to though.
Because Disney cruises have 'rotational dining' (I'll explain that later, probably in another post on the dining) there's no dining reservations to be made.
 All the on board activities can't be booked until you're actually on the ship. We did sign the girls up for the kids clubs ahead of time, which isn't necessary, but can be done any time before you embark to speed up the registration process.
We didn't have passports! I admittedly panicked (a lot) about this. My husband checked into it and because we were taking a cruise that left the U.S. and returned to the U.S. only stopping in the Bahamas, we were ok with just photo ID and our birth certificates. Yep, I still was panicking that it wasn't going to be OK. My research said those two proofs of citizenship were enough for a Bahamian cruise. Because we were sailing just 60 some odd days from the time of booking I didn't think we had time to get passports. So until the time of check in at the port I prayed all I read was correct and we would be allowed to board.
Obviously it was, or I wouldn't have a trip to tell you about. But always check with the current laws and regulations.

So the short version - we found the dates and itinerary we wanted on the Disney cruise website, my husband called and spoke to a Disney agent (we could have booked straight from the website, but he had a couple questions for them) booked our cruise and paid for it in full (that close to departure required full payment, if you book earlier you just need to place a deposit).
I took care of the rest online later - Set up your Disney account (which we already have) sign in with your registration confirmation number and then you can do the online check in, decide if you want Disney transportation to the port, register your kids for the kids clubs and book excursions...

Next post Embarking (aka getting on the ship)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Changing Things Up

If you are/ have been a follower of my crafty blog, I have decided to condense it all on my other blog Your Memories Here.
This blog is now going to be devoted to my all encompassing love of Disney. This will include trip planning tips, the fabulous food of the Disney parks and resorts and how I incorporate little (and sometimes BIG) touches of Disney in my everyday life.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sharing a Good "review"

In this modern day of internet it's very easy to share our opinions and reviews of customer service and products both good and bad (more commonly bad as it seems every one wants to warn others of a bad experience)
I want to share with you today a good experience I had this week.
This isn't your typical "customer service" or "product" review actually there is no product involved.
This is about prayer and how God does listen to our prayers.
On Tuesday my youngest daughter, Lilee had to go have surgery to get tubes in her ears and her adenoids removed. This is a pretty common procedure and you probably know at least one kid, if not your own, who has had this done. But that doesn't change the fact that it was my little girl and I was scared for her. Not so much the surgery itself, but putting her under anesthesia and all that goes with it.
So last Sunday I shared in church my concerns and asked for prayers for Lilee and myself in dealing with the events to come on Tuesday.
Her procedure was to take place Tuesday morning and I was a huge ball of nerves. We didn't really tell Lilee ahead of time since she probably wouldn't understand what surgery is and no need worrying her so she had no idea what was going to be happening, just that she was going to see her doctor to "get her ears fixed".

After we arrived and I completed the admissions paperwork they gave Lilee a coloring book to keep her busy while we waited to be called back. So we took the coloring book and sat down at a small coffee table so she could color. There on the table was a bible. A little unusual to see in a non-religion based medical office. But I kinda felt comforted to see it sitting there and even considered reading a little to help calm my nerves. However I didn't because I was more concerned with entertaining Lilee.

So she gets called back to a room so she can change into a hospital gown and get prepped for surgery. The anesthetist comes in and explains to us how she will take Lilee back and sedated her yadda, yadda, yadda. The nurses came in to take all her vitals, ask us a barrage of health questions and answer any of our questions. Then they wheeled our little girl away and Kevin and I were sent to the waiting room again.
There were a few other people in the waiting room, all minding their own business. Kevin and I sat, each reading our smart phones and waiting on the time to pass until we would hear how everything went.  When I had checked all my emails, surfed through facebook posts and briefly watched a little TV, I kept thinking wonder what's going on back in the operating room. So I closed my eyes and began to pray - Lord, I know this is a common routine procedure, but it isn't common for me to have my daughter going through this. Please Lord let everything go as easily as it is supposed to and help me stay calm so that I can be there for Lil.
I took a deep breath and opened my eyes. Therein the waiting room was another family, also waiting on someone who was back have surgery. They had just been called back to go see their family member who was now in recovery. One of the women was wearing a t shirt that said in big bold letters "God is good - all the time" and on the back as she walked away I noticed it said "All the time - God is good". I almost cried, I am certain God was speaking to me, letting me know He got this, everything was going to be just fine.
It was only a minute later that we were called back to go see Lilee in recovery, surgery went well and she was just fine!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Homemade Shelf

I've had this project in mind for a while and with the help of my husband, Kevin my idea came to life.
I wanted it to be rustic looking, but still match the colors of my decor.Thank goodness Kevin is handy with woodworking and willing to build whatever is in my head :)
He used cedar siding, that still has a rough sawn texture and we left it unfinished so it would continue to age.
I got the hangers/hooks at Hobby Lobby. Kevin cut out the rectangles for my letters from 1" thick MDF and I painted them a chocolate brown. Then using my Cricut and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge I cut each letter in shadow then regular using the patterned cardstock. I also inked the edged of all my papers with Vintage Photo distress ink to give it a further aged look. I adhered the letters to the blocks of MDF with mod podge. I applied 3 coats total (letting it dry completely between each coat). Then I inked the edges of the blocks with Staz-on saddle brown (because that won't smear off of the slick mod podged surface)
The shelf/rack has already become very useful. The girls hang their coats and back packs on it when they come home and I always know where my purse is now :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Still Here, I'm Just Not All There

I'm not saying I've lost my mind ;) just that I've been so busy I may have forgot where I placed it!
Me and my family just got back from another vacation at Disney World last week (and I can definitely say that is my most favorite place on Earth)  If you're a friend of mine on facebook you have already seen many of the pictures.
Here's a couple of my favorites:
 My Cheshire Cat ear hat!

Marlee just loves to pose for the camera!

 Relaxing at the pool
 The really awesome kiddie pool at our resort...really awesome in so many ways. The girls loved it, it had 2 fun water slides just right size for them. The water wasn't deep at all, only like 6" max so they could play all they wanted and mom and dad could play too or just sit back and watch  :)
 Kevin isn't crazy about having his picture taken (hence no smile) But as you can see, I don't care I'm taking his picture dang it!
 Amazing dessert from Tutto Italia in the Italy area of Epcot. I have mentioned that I love food before, right?
 Kevin and the girls right after riding Star Tours...twice (it's a really fun ride)

 Mickey ice cream bars...the perfect snack to cool off with.
We joined Mickey and Minnie for some Halloween fun at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, a special event held select nights in the Magic Kingdom. It was so much fun, I recommend if you get the chance to do it, GO! A really magical experience - but I think everything Disney is magical :)
I'm not going to make any promises - because I don't like to break a promise, but I'll try to be back soon with some crafty goodness to share or at the very least, some craft related news!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Blessings

Whoa, here I am posting a project, I know it's been a while. I really have been making things the truth is I just hate uploading photos from my camera to my computer, then editing and then adding to the blog...
For this post I was able to cheat a little and use my webcam to take the pictures (of my project in progress) and they are automatically uploaded to my photo file so it's a lot less hassle. I know you're thinking "how lazy can she be?" I really am THAT lazy!
Now on to my layout...
(clicking on the photos will make them larger/easier to view)
I used Prima's August build-a-page sketch for my starting point (if you go check out the sketch on Prima's blog you'll see I didn't follow it very closely) The back ground paper is from the Prima Pastche collection and this sheet here is "heart strings". The other papers that my photo is placed upon are also Prima, from the 6x6 inch Backstage paper pad. I chose relatively plain/monochromatic pages from that pad so that I could stamp on them with a couple of my large background stamps (one is a script, the other is from Prima called Hexagon - but I call it chicken wire :) ) I used Saddle Brown Staz-on ink  so that I could use my glimmer mist and glimmer glams over top of the designs and they won't run or smear.
For my page title I used a Prima chipboard font and I painted the letters I needed with "Hayride" Glimmer Glam. I find it easier to paint them while still on the sheet - they stay put and I don't lose any letters before I get them stuck down (don't you hate it when you are trying  to position your letters and one comes up missing, usually one that you didn't have an extra one to begin with?)
So I placed my title on the page using Helmar 450 quick dry. Yes, those alphas are self adhesive, but I don't want them falling off later on down the road. With Helmar backing up the adhesion I know those suckers are there for good!
Next I added the bling. A dress form shape cut out of chipboard with the "body" of it covered in linen fabric that I colored using Santa Baby Glimmer Mist. I dressed it up with some Prima Pearls and Crystals swirls and a little piece of Prima lace trim that I colored with the Hayride Glam. I also glued all that down with the Helmar 450 quick dry - it really is the all-in-one glue. I also added a couple of Prima flowers to the bottom of my daughters' photo.
Lastly, I finished it up with a couple more Prima flowers, a beautiful Prima vine and a couple of Pastiche pebbles that I tucked in beside the flowers on the upper left corner of the photo. All adhered down with - you guessed it Helmar 450.
I also wanted to mention that all the crystal and pearl swirls on this layout came from one package, I just cut them apart to make them go a little further ;)
I get nearly all of my supplies at because I really like the owner :)
I hope you'll take the time to count some of your blessings today.