We put the DYS in Functional, Completing our ABC’s

jenseib

Mommy to Claire
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Feb. 3, 2019, Sunday, Disembarking the Wonder


This is always a sad day! They kick us off the ship!


I got up way too early….because I had to! This is the one day I could probably sleep in.


I ran up top and saw we were back in Puerto Rico. I messaged back and forth with PT and J. J and MK were walking off early with their luggage as they had a really early flight. Scary early in my opinion….something like 10:30 AM…but they were heading for Florida for a couple of days of fun there before going home.

PT’s family was flying out today too, but not till later. Claire and I had one more day in Puerto Rico till we flew home. Flights were much cheaper to fly on Monday and that gave us time to relax and see a little more of San Juan too.


J said they were just about to leave, so I went down the hall from the atrium and soon saw her and MK wheeling their bags. I gave them quick hugs and good byes! While on this cruise, J booked the Fantasy for Spring Break and she wanted me to book that cruise too. I told her I would check it out.


Since I was in the area of the art, I looked at it a bit and took some pictures.


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I would love to have these pictures.


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It looked like it was going to be a nice day.


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Back to the room where we said good byes to M! It was so sad. She had been a wonderful extra daughter this week! I am so thankful she could fill in for Skip so last minute and she was so happy and thankful to come.

She headed off to go meet up with T and D as they had similar flight times and were going to all taxi together.


I got some breakfast and found PT and family and sat at the table next to them. We said our good byes, but I ended up seeing them several more times.


Finally, Claire and I grabbed our bags to wait to disembark. Now I always hear people talk about how they wait till their luggage tag is called before getting off the ship. I have NEVER heard this being done on any of the cruises I have been on…till now! And it went slow.


Claire and I went over by Azure and just camped out there in a window seat as we waited. I then tried to work with the Uber app to get refunded the overcharge I had from a week ago and they kept responding in Spanish. PT, F and Z then came walking around the corner and set up camp near us and F told me what he did, which was different, so I went that route through the app….and had my money refunded in 15 minutes!


We chatted and waited. None of us were in a hurry. I think our tags were the last ones called and finally it was time to get off the ship.


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Claire and I always like to use a Porter and we got one and he helped us with our bags and we got through customs and he took us to the taxi area, where we were promptly loaded and on our way.


We were staying at the Courtyard Miramar. It wasn’t too far away and soon we arrived and unloaded our bags and paid our driver. Again, all Taxi’s have set fees to areas, so it was a pretty easy process. I do think we could have done Uber cheaper, but we just wanted to get our bags dropped off and be done with it.


I checked us in, they took our bags and told us they would let us know when the room was ready. We mentioned we were going to go to Old San Juan and she told Claire she should probably leave her sweater in her bag because it was already warm today and it tends to feel extra warm walking around there. Nope! Claire is stubborn and wearing her sweater! Crazy kid!


We texted a bit back and forth with PT and family, who were already in Old San Juan. There is a restaurant there that will hold bags and they had dropped off their bags and started touring around. We decided to put that address in as our destination and got an Uber and were on our way!


We got dropped off and look, we found out where the pina Colada was invented….or as Claire now likes to call them…The Pee Nus Coladas.


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Now I am going to admit, I didn’t do a lot of research on Old San Juan. I read through a trip report from one of my favorite posters on Cruise Critic who has been to San Juan a few times. I remembered places she had gone to there, but never really knew the layout out. So we just started walking.


I saw something in the distance and I knew this was one place I wanted to visit.


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This is the Umbrella Sky Project.


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It’s a new art installation, intended to bring color back into the lives of the people after the hurricane. I have seen since we left that they changed them to all pink for breast cancer awareness.

It really is a neat sight!


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At the end of the street is the Governor’s Mansion.


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The mansion has housed every Puerto Rican governor since Juan Ponce de Leon.


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We moved on, just looking around.


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We wandered a bit. It was very different than I expected it to be.


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Look! Pigeons!


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That would be because we were at the entrance of Pigeon Park. (Parque de las Palomas)


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They did sell food right outside the entrance, but we didn’t get any. I just wanted pictures.


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It’s definitely a neat place to visit.


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jenseib

Mommy to Claire
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Some bad video at Pigeon Park…as I flipped the camera after I started filming.




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We moved on then, just walking around with no real direction.


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There were some steep up and down areas here.


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So do you remember that Claire was missing 6 days of school for this trip? Well the weather ended up being horrible at home, which was the reason Skip had cancelled in the first place. School ended up being cancelled 4 of the 6 days she was missing. So she totally lucked out and only missed 2 days and was actually ahead when she went back since she did make up work before we even left.

One of the days while we were gone, the school posted a challenge. They wanted the kids to build a fort and read, then post the picture to their social media! Claire just thought this was hilarious and who in their right mind would do so? The dean of the school even sent me an email and said Claire could still participate. Claire said no way!


So now that we were near Fort walls, I told her to pretend to read and I would take a picture.


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She had the Fort and the reading covered! Sadly she wouldn’t allow me to send it in to be posted…because that would be embarrassing!


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We did some shopping then and we each bought a shirt and I got some magnets too.


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We came upon this display.


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We were being totally immature and just kept laughing. Someone has wishful thinking!


We moved on and I kind of had to use the restroom….but I never could find a public one anywhere in the area we were. I am not sure if there just isn’t any, or if we never found one.


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Some areas did smell like pee, so I think some people just went where they felt like it.


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We walked through the tented area and looked to see what was for sale.


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We found this little park which was really cute.


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lklgoodman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
I have never seen a brownish-red pigeon before, it's so pretty, I thought they were only grey. We have the same brownish-red color squirrels where I grew up in Oklahoma. I had never seen a grey squirrel until I moved to Michigan. Did you try a mojito while you were there? I LOVE them. The only time we had to wait to be called to get off the ship is when we did our Alaskan cruise. All our other ones have been out of PC. I always just assumed that if you cruise from anywhere besides PC, then you have to wait to be called, but I don't know. I just thought maybe they do it that way at other places because they are at that terminals aren't exclusively used by DCL, but I really don't know.
 
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  • chamberlain

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2014
    So great to see your pictures from Old San Juan. We really enjoyed walking those streets before our cruise. We got on the Wonder the day you got off and it did seem like a lot of people sailed back to back cruises. As far as the pee smell in Old San Juan we noticed it too in certain areas but also were amazed by the amount of cats around and just blamed the smell on them. Not sure if they were the culprits or not.
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I have never seen a brownish-red pigeon before, it's so pretty, I thought they were only grey. We have the same brownish-red color squirrels where I grew up in Oklahoma. I had never seen a grey squirrel until I moved to Michigan.
    I have seen them before but can't remember where or when.
    I always thought squirrel's were just pretty much red too but I have seen some blackish ones and gray ones over the last 10 years...and kind of local. The first time I saw one that wasn't red I was shocked.

    Did you try a mojito while you were there? I LOVE them.
    No, I have never had one and probably wouldn't like it. I am not big on drinks unless they are super fruity.

    The only time we had to wait to be called to get off the ship is when we did our Alaskan cruise. All our other ones have been out of PC. I always just assumed that if you cruise from anywhere besides PC, then you have to wait to be called, but I don't know. I just thought maybe they do it that way at other places because they are at that terminals aren't exclusively used by DCL, but I really don't know.
    I did the Magic out of Galveston and they didn't call them off there either. So I am not sure how it works.

    So great to see your pictures from Old San Juan. We really enjoyed walking those streets before our cruise. We got on the Wonder the day you got off and it did seem like a lot of people sailed back to back cruises. As far as the pee smell in Old San Juan we noticed it too in certain areas but also were amazed by the amount of cats around and just blamed the smell on them. Not sure if they were the culprits or not.
    I have heard there is a lot of cats around so that could be part of it too.

    I heard that a lot of people who sailed back to back were not impressed with that sailing back to Florida. They said there were so many terrible "entitled" people on that sailing. I was surprised. I know sometimes shorter cruises get more riff raff/party people, but that cruise needed a passport, so everyone had to make that extra step (if they didn't have one already) to get a passport. I guess it was just a totally different vibe that cruise.
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    We walked around the little trail in the flowers, but it came to an end and they were doing some construction.


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    And we moved on.


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    Claire was getting hungry and I needed to go the bathroom, so we decided to find a place to eat. Remember she is very picky! Pizza Hut was something she had noticed we passed earlier, so I put it in my phone and it gave us directions back to it…up hill of course!


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    We made our order and chatted and I talked with PT a bit too as they were looking for food now too. I think they went to Burger King and she said it was crazy and slow.


    Our pizza came out and it was really good.


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    After we were done, we headed out again to explore.


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    So many neat buildings in the area.


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    It was really feeling hot.


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    We found a spot in the shade and sat down for a bit.


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    I believe this was San Crystobal plaza.


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    We walked around and then realized there was a full on Fort right here!


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    This is Castillo de San Cristobal, built between 1765 and 1785 to protect the city from a land invasion. Everyone pretty much seems to know about El Morro, which is out by the water….the one we sailed by as we left port last week. This one is a little lesser known. Though I did know there was 2 forts in San Juan. I had actually kind of wanted to go to El Morro, but it was a lot further on foot than I had realized and it was hot!


    We decided we would take a look here…and give Claire a little history lesson too.


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    Of course we had to go up..up…up to get to the entrance.


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    lklgoodman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2016
    I didn't know they had 2 forts, I took pics of the one by the water. If we ever go back there I hope we can go inside it and to Old San Juan. Our excursion just took us to a beach and then back to the ship, so we didn't get to really see much of San Juan. Enjoying all of your pics and info about it.
     

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  • jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I didn't know they had 2 forts, I took pics of the one by the water. If we ever go back there I hope we can go inside it and to Old San Juan. Our excursion just took us to a beach and then back to the ship, so we didn't get to really see much of San Juan. Enjoying all of your pics and info about it.
    I knew there were 2 from a few reports I had read. Most visit El Morro I think. But I was surprised how far it really is from the area. I would have had to take an Uber to get there. hahaha.
    I would love to sail out of San Juan again. I will be watching rates for next Jan for sure.
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    We paid our entrance fee, which also would include El Morro if we wanted to go there, but as much as I would have liked to, I think it would have been too much for the day to do both.


    They do have restrooms here and they were pretty decent.


    We headed off to explore.


    This picture doesn’t show it…but another steep uphill climb.


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    Great views up here.


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    El Morro in the distance.


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    A peek at the cruise port.



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    We did go in and out of little rooms to see. Most were empty or set up with cannons or other things.


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    Can you imagine sleeping on beds like that? I have issues with many different mattresses…I can’t imagine sleeping on a board.


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    Up we go again!


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    But look at the view!


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    Some video I took while we were there.




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    Looking out over the ocean was just amazing and beautiful!


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    Even going down was tricky and steep!


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    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Continuing our tour around the Fort.


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    Every time we thought we had been through most of the fort, we would see other areas.


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    Another steep area. I can’t imagine pushing a cannon up that!


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    It was neat down this hallway with only a light here and there and mostly dark.


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    The dungeon does not look too fancy.


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    It’s really a big place!


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    Hello my Pretty!


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    We walked quite a ways out!


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    We made our way back and made our way to the exit. We were getting tired and decided it was time to head back to the hotel. We stopped in the gift shop and got some drinks, used the restroom and headed out near the taxi stand, which is by the San Crytobal plaza. We then walked across the street and got an Uber to take us back. He came soon and off we went.

    He was playing AC/DC on his radio and I mentioned I liked his music. We got to talking and he was a super nice guy.


    The ride was really cheap too. Something like $3-4 plus tip.

     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    Wow, you ladies covered a lot of ground that day!!!! Those photos from the fort are fantastic, some amazing views you were able to capture!

    I have to laugh at the Pizza Hut lunch, because I bet my kids would have chosen that, too. It bugs me when people say "well your kids should try the local food because it's part of travel." Well you know what else is part of travel? Keeping kids from whining they are hungry, so if that means eating Pizza Hut in Puerto Rico or ordering mac and cheese every night on the ship, then so be it! :cool2: A fed kid is a happy kid (and an even happier mom :laughing:)
     
  • Timon

    Registered
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    It's always a sad day when they kick you off the ship :sad::sad::sad:

    I'm glad you had an extra day after the cruise though, its always nice when you don't have to fly home on disembarkation day! :thumbsup2

    I didn't realize there were two forts either! It looks so neat, great photos! :goodvibes

    I totally get the Pizza Hut thing too! If we were there, I could picture Kira saying "We better not be eating at a Puerto Rican restaurant!" :rotfl2:
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Wow, you ladies covered a lot of ground that day!!!! Those photos from the fort are fantastic, some amazing views you were able to capture!
    We did, it was a busy day, but I don't know if I'll ever visit there again, so might as well see some sights!
    The views were great...climbing to get to those views....not so much.

    I have to laugh at the Pizza Hut lunch, because I bet my kids would have chosen that, too. It bugs me when people say "well your kids should try the local food because it's part of travel." Well you know what else is part of travel? Keeping kids from whining they are hungry, so if that means eating Pizza Hut in Puerto Rico or ordering mac and cheese every night on the ship, then so be it! :cool2: A fed kid is a happy kid (and an even happier mom :laughing:)
    Yep! I figure better safe than sorry. As she gets older I swear she gets more picky. Skip worries she will starve to death. I know she has to be eating something to survive.
    I am not as picky as her, but I still don't get super adventurous, so pizza worked for me too.

    It's always a sad day when they kick you off the ship :sad::sad::sad:
    it sure is!

    I'm glad you had an extra day after the cruise though, its always nice when you don't have to fly home on disembarkation day! :thumbsup2
    It was nice to have that extra day. I think J had like a 10:30 AM flight and that gives me anxiety just thinking about it. But she made it in plenty of time.

    I didn't realize there were two forts either! It looks so neat, great photos! :goodvibes
    Forts look more pretty from the outside really. hahaha. But it was something to do and the views were great.

    I totally get the Pizza Hut thing too! If we were there, I could picture Kira saying "We better not be eating at a Puerto Rican restaurant!" :rotfl2:
    I honestly am not sure I wanted Puerto Rican food either! hahaha.
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    We checked back in at the hotel to get our bags and room key and headed off to our room.


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    The view out the window.


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    I set to the task of repacking our suitcases so the weight was distributed better and pulled out what we would need for tomorrow.


    After that, we took showers and then headed out to find some food. There wasn’t a lot of options nearby but I went with Subway and Claire got a pizza from Papa Johns, which seemed to take forever! We walked back to our room and ate our meals and watched TV.


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    I went to bed then, but I think Claire stayed up for a while. I kept telling her she better get some sleep as we had to be up really early to head home!
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Feb. 4, 2019, Monday, Heading home


    The alarm went off way too early, but we got up and ready. Claire was a little slow, but finally got moving.

    We took our bags down and I looked for an Uber on my phone. I knew it might not work since it was basically the middle of the night and sure enough, it told me none were available in my area at that time. So we got a taxi, which was actually sitting right there waiting.


    Off to the airport we went!


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    We walked in and weren’t sure where to go. I noticed people putting their bags through a scanner. I wasn’t sure if everyone was supposed to do that or just those going to another country. I found a help desk to ask where to find the gates and she pointed me the right way and told me to be sure my bags were scanned. Ok, we walked back and did that.

    It’s right at the entrance, and I believe it is for USDA, to be sure no food or plants, etc are being brought back to the US. EVERY bag goes through, even a backpack or purse. It’s funny as I never knew about this and had friends and family travel to Puerto Rico many times. No one mentioned it to me. And there weren’t any signs or anyone directing everyone to do this. Now I know!


    We headed off to our gate and settled in and found some food and then waited for our flight. We got through fast, so we did have a little wait.


    We then boarded the plane and set my bag between us. I knew the plane wasn’t full and we were hoping for that extra empty seat….and it worked!


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    We were so sad to be heading back to freezing Ohio.


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    Good Bye San Juan!


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    Claire’s plan was to watch Mama Mia 2 while flying back. Then they announced the wifi and movies were not working, so no luck there. UGH! She was not happy! Nor was I as I had planned to pay for internet myself and go online to catch up on emails.


    Luckily we both were able to doze off a bit and did some games on our devices to pass the 4 hours.


    We landed in BWI and made our way off.


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    We had a little time before our next flight so we got some lunch.


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    We called Skip to let him know we were one flight away (plus a drive) and we were tired, but good.


    On to the plane we went and again, we had the seat between us open!


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    The flight was fast and soon we were back in Ohio with the cruddy weather!


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    Actually, it had gotten a little better than what it had been so the roads weren’t too bad.


    We took the shuttle to our car and loaded up and called Skip once again and then made off for home!


    As sad as we were that this vacation was over, it was good to be home!


    Claire had school the next day and was happy that she was actually ahead in work for the most part.


    We then started working on what our “make-up” vacation with Skip would be.


    In true form, he was now reluctant. He first tried to say he never really meant it…it was just something he said to make us feel better. I didn’t allow that. He had promised over and over and I told him he can try and break it to Claire and see how that goes.

    I really wanted to cruise and we looked at Disney options and the prices were just way too high, even with a placeholder discount.

    The week we wanted to go was over Claire’s spring break in March and of course many ships were already sold out or close to it. We looked at several lines and Skip just couldn’t/wouldn’t commit.


    Then he put a budget in place…a VERY unrealistic budget. And he said he would not be gone for 7 days. It was really crazy working with him on this. He has unrealistic expectations and wants.

    Disney World was out because he refused to wait in line. He wasn’t happy with the cruise options that were left and then decided he wanted Universal and a short cruise. Disney preferably, but he still didn’t like the pricing.

    It was starting to really take a toll on me as he would say yes…let’s do this…and the next day change his mind. Oh…and remember he has anxiety really badly, which is only getting worse, so once he would say yes to something his anxiety would soar!


    Finally in late Feb. he mentioned maybe doing Disneyland. I jumped at it, priced it out and made him commit. I even talked him into an extra day right before I booked and he agreed (but then forgot he agreed later….of course). I talked with my friend Cass and asked her some suggestions and I booked that baby before he could change his mind…which he later did…but too late now!

    And that is the next Adventure for our family!...(Be sure to read that Trip Report, which I am currently writing as well)
     

    oopsiDAISY

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 2, 2010
    So, I am a lurker, coming out of hiding. Would you mind sharing the link to your Disneyland TR?
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Thoughts about our cruise


    We had a wonderful time! It ended up not going as planned, but in the end, we were happy to have M join us and she was probably the most perfect replacement in Claire’s eyes. They get along so well and M is such a nice person to Claire, who is much younger than her really. Luckily, Claire is pretty mature for her age in many respects.


    Many people ask me what my favorite ship is now that I have been on all 4. Honestly, whatever ship I am on at the time is my favorite. I like them all. Each has its own charm and there are some things I like on one ship better than another, but I just can’t pick a favorite.


    I am so happy I can travel with Claire and she gets to see all these new places and learn new things. At school, her homeroom/Social Studies teacher told me that they were talking about passports in Social Studies one day and wondered if any of the kids had one (She has a VERY small class) and then she asked Claire…assuming she had one and yep! She’s the only one that does.

    Another time the teacher asked for US areas that are not a state….Claire knew! Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, both of which she has visited!

    Claire just told me the other day they were reading about Bonaire and the one girl was pronouncing it wrong. The teacher had her say the correct pronunciation and tell a little bit about her visit. Claire is shy but these kind of things she will usually be happy to talk about.


    Her teacher loves to follow us on facebook when we travel too. She is a nun and she actually loves to travel too. She is always asking where our next adventure will be and I reply…whatever has a good discount! Hahaha.


    I loved our visits to the new ports this trip and I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat! I was unsure at first about going out of Puerto Rico, but we ended up loving it. I would just like to find a cheaper hotel. That is my only real complaint. Most are very pricey. I did get a decent price for the post cruise stay, but the pre-stay had very little options for me to choose from and they were all so high in price.


    Antigua was my favorite port this time around. It was the beauty that got me. I would love to visit there again.


    I am now at 9 cruises with DCL and after my next one I will be platinum. Claire is pushing for me to get another cruise planned as she wants me to be platinum sooner than later. She really liked the early boarding perk with platinum that we got with M with us. And of course, she wants that cruise to be with J and family again….and hopefully we can make that work. Our last 3 cruises have been with J and it will be weird not to be with her again.


    Thanks for reading!
     

    tammy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    Thank you for another wonderful report. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into those. The pictures and stories all are wonderful.
     


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