How many of you have said, "I'd love to go there!" and you have pushed that thought in the back of your mind as real life gets in the way?
2017, a new year calls for a new beginning! Start making those dreams into reality. I know it's a hard decision to make, but sometimes you need to take a leap of faith.
1. You work very hard day in and day out. This goes for all professionals (including stay at home parents). From business meetings, to carpool, to housework, and the mountains of paperwork, there is always something to be done and your mind is going in all directions. Travel gives you an opportunity to expand your mind and learn something new or to experience something that makes you smile.
2. Separate yourself from technology. I know you are thinking, yeah, right! Ask yourself, how many times do you look at your phone in a given hour or how long are you on your laptop after business hours? I am guilty of both of these things. Travel will immerse you into new experiences that will distract you from reaching for your technology devices. Those experiences will create memories that will help you get through those rough days when you return to reality.
3. Provides education. Traveling does not have to always be to a tropical or exotic destination. Learning how to go white water rafting, snow skiing, or how to dance the flamenco are all things you can learn while traveling. Many times we want to try new things in our hometowns, but we never seem to make the time to do so. Traveling provides you that time to try new things. Learning new things helps to keep your mind sharp. Set a goal to become a lifelong learner through traveling.
4. Gives you some "ME" time. I know that I always crave this! As a full-time teacher with a travel business, a mother, a wife, and the keeper of the household workings, there is never a minute when I'm not thinking of what needs to be done next. While on vacation you give yourself permission more often to read a book, take a trip to the spa, take a quiet walk on the beach, or sit at an outside cafe to people watch. It's a time for you to destress and relax your mind.
5. Gives you the tools to become a storyteller. My husband is not a conversationalist like me. (Yes, I could strike up a conversation with a brick wall.) But when you ask him about his vacation, it's like a switch is turned on and he can't tell you enough. He adds expressions into his details and will visually take you into our experience. It amazes me to see him get excited all over again about an experience we had on a vacation. This validates some of our choices that we made during our trips-should we or shouldn't we. Now, I'm glad we did!
6. Enjoying the outdoors and nature. As a society we do not get outside like we should. We are a work driven people that sometimes loses sight of what is around us. Traveling provides you with different opportunities to immerse you in nature. It could be walking the trails of the Grand Canyon, climbing a tree at a park, swimming with dolphins, or walking along a narrow cobblestone street, adventure awaits you!
7. Your senses are awaken. Sight-taking pictures as you travel is important to look back and relive that specific moment. Smell-as you walk through the garden shop and smell the tulips remind you of your trip Holland. Sound-the sound of rushing water transports you back to Niagara Falls and all it's power. Touch-holding the Christmas ornament you bought at the Christmas market in Germany and remembering the entire adventure. Taste-(my daughter's favorite) When I try to replicate a recipe from one of the meals on our vacation and she says, "It tastes just like the restaurant!"
Traveling and the memories it gives you can never be taken away. Thinking back to a specific trip can sometimes bring a smile to your face. (Or even have you laughing with tears streaming down your face remembering how wet the family got after riding a water rapids ride and were soaked for hours after.) Take the time to make memories as these are all your friends and family will have once you are gone. Material things break or disappear, but traveling and the images in your mind will forever be a part of you!
Make 2017 a year to make memories to last a lifetime!
One year ago this week I met with the manager of a travel agency, after my own travel agent told me that I should be planning Disney trips for others. I didn't know if I could really fit it into my already busy schedule, but I have loved Disney for as long as I can remember and loved helping others plan their trips. When I showed up for my interview, I had all of my first hand experiences with Disney listed and ready to show her. After about 15 minutes into the interview, I went to hand her my information, she looked at me and said, "You think this is an interview? The job opportunity is yours if you want it." I was shocked, excited, and nervous all at once.
Researching how to start your own business, coming up with a name, let alone a logo to brand myself, how was I going to do this? I'm a teacher, not a travel agent. Well, my passion for Disney kept me focused. I reached out to a dear friend who went to school for advertising and was a former copy writer for Disney. I told her my intentions and I knew that she could lead me in the right direction. She asked great questions about the characters I liked and we both started brainstorming ideas. Within about 2 hours we had a name: Spotted Bow Travel Company. Now for a logo! That was out of my field of expertise, so I let her create it. She sent me a picture of a sketch she just threw together. It was exactly what I had envisioned.
I talked to an attorney about what I needed to do. He was so helpful and told me everything to apply for. I applied for my LLC and Spotted Bow was officially a business. I had a talented graphic designer friend design my business cards and I was ready!
Telling people about my new endeavor was the easy part for me as I can talk about Disney forever, so many happy memories there. I booked my first trip within 2 weeks of starting my new endeavor. I researched hotel options, planned Fast Passes, and dining for a family of 6. I was so excited to make someone else's trip successful and to include special personal suggestions. Fast forward from January 2016 to November 2016 and I am blown away at how my business has grown. I have 6 clients all traveling to Disney World between December 1st and December 12th. Four of those trips include first time Disney visitors!
I love traveling, and sharing that passion with others has been amazing! I have been given the opportunity to expand my travel bookings beyond Disney Destinations. Again, I took another leap of faith! I am looking forward to booking all types of destinations as I take classes on river cruises, tours, cruise lines, all inclusive resorts, and the travel industry itself. Taking Walt's words, "All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." I want to help turn people's travel dreams into magical memories!
This journey would not have been possible if it wasn't for these wonderful people to help me navigate the business and travel world and to give me words of encouragement along the way: Becca Shuler, Shelley Shuler, Brad Love, Melissa Macpherson, Beth Simms, Candace Pengra, and of course, my family and friends. I can't wait to see what the future holds! Make sure to take time to travel and make memories to hold onto forever!
A Disney Cruise is hard to beat, but during the Halloween on the High Seas themed cruises, it was even more special. This was my first Halloween on the High Seas cruise and I will say, it won't be my last. From the decorations to themed parties, trick-or-treating, story telling, and so much more. My sister and I took my mom for her birthday, so we had something else to celebrate as well. We received a little Pixie Dust by being assigned our stateroom (usually you pick your own stateroom, but I wanted a specific category so I purchased a guarantee category when I booked). The verandah was HUGE! If you haven't seen the video, you need to watch it! I got another huge surprise, my server from my June 2014 cruise was on the ship. Shelly Ann was there and I was so happy to see her. (Thank heavens I posted that huge verandah video as she saw it and told me she was onboard.)
One of the special things about Disney Cruising is that each cruise has it's own Facebook page so you can talk, ask questions, and share information with others prior to cruising. It is started by someone that is cruising on that date. Our group was started by Laura from England who was taking her first Disney cruise (and I am so glad so started the page). I became a co-administrator with her. While this may be strange to some, it's one of my favorite things to do while getting ready to cruise. I have met people from all over and making connections before the cruise just adds a little more. I had scheduled a Meet N Greet in the ship's Atrium so we could put a real face and voice with a name and picture. The turnout was great! See our picture on the stairs in the Atrium, and that's not everyone!
On a 3 night cruise there is a lot to pack in during a short amount of time. I recommend taking a 4 night if your schedule allows it so that you can really enjoy the ship and various activities scheduled.
Another part of our cruise group page was arranging a Fish Extender Exchange (it's like Secret Santa, but you know who the gifts are coming from, you just don't know when), an Ornament Exchange, and Mixology classes. The gift and ornament exchanges are for anyone to participate in but you must sign up prior to cruising with the FE coordinator for your group. Every time you come back to your cabin you look to see if a gift has been left, it's like Christmas! The Mixology classes are only for those 21 and older. You can take a class with a bartender and learn how to make 5 drinks. Yes, you get to actually make some of the drinks to share with your friends. It takes about an hour and only costs $20 plus a tip. and it's A LOT of fun! I prearranged 2 private classes just for our cruising group. I actually had people in my class that I have met on other Disney cruises and we realized it on the Facebook group- Mary, Don, and Roy it was great seeing you again! And I met some new friends, Amber, who is a teacher, too, and her husband Kevin.
On to the Halloween party and then Pirate night, all in the same day on a 3 night. While many did dress up for both, we opted to just be pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow made an appearance for a photo opportunity! We then went to dinner and received a little more Pixie Dust, we were seated in one of the coveted Enchanted Garden booths! This was another first for me. Boy, my daughter was jealous when she saw the pictures. After dinner, we went to the pirate party on deck 11 and saw fireworks at sea. Disney is the only cruise line that shoots off fireworks.
The next day was Castaway Cay day, Disney's private island. It is the only private island in which you do not have to be tendered. This is so convenient if you want to go back and forth to the ship. We started off at Serenity Bay, the adult only beach on the island, can you say QUIET! Then we were invited to join some new friends, that I had met on the Facebook group, in their cabana. Anita and Marc, thank you for this opportunity. It was something I've never experienced and thoroughly enjoyed! And now I have new friends that are teachers and love Disney, a match made all because of a cruise group!
There were so many more fun experiences throughout the cruise-BINGO, the Rainforest Room, Palo Brunch, ordering room service, having wine on our verandah as we pulled away from the dock at Castaway Cay...
My mom, sister, and I had a great time and were ready to stay onboard for the next cruise, but it was back to reality! A great escape even for a few days. There is nothing like the sea air to rejuvenate the mind and body!
So, if you're wanting to cruise on Disney, join me June 10, 2017 on the Fantasy. Some of my friends from this cruise and past cruises will be there! Amber, Kevin, Don, Mary, and Michelle, I can't wait to see what's in store for us on the 7 night!
October is National Plan a Cruise Month! If you are looking for a stress free vacation that takes you to different places without having to unpack and repack to move, cruising is the way to go!
There are many cruise lines to choose from with a variety of different itineraries and lengths. Never cruised before but want to try it? A 3 or 4 night cruise is the way to go to "get your feet wet." Most veteran cruisers tell you the minimum for them is a 7 night, myself being included! But that doesn't mean I won't go on a 3 or 4 night, I just prefer a 7 night. (Actually going on a 3 night in 2 1/2 weeks!)
Why do a cruise?
Planning a cruise vacation is a very easy process. You decide when and where you would like to cruise. The ship plans the activities and possible excursions for you to choose from. How's that for service?
For many people, it's for the relaxation. You can do as many activities as you feel like entertaining yourself with or just sitting in a lounge chair reading a book. They offer a variety of activities for all types and ages of people-family activities, spa times, specialty dining, games, themed specific cruises.
Another reason is to be able to experience different places without having to fly from one place to another. The ship takes you there! That's a big plus for those people that do not like to fly (my husband included as he will NOT get on an airplane). He's taken cruises to see Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Johns, Puerto Rico, and Castaway Cay(Disney's private island). We drive to Port Canaveral to have a larger choice of cruise lines to pick from.
What are the benefits of a cruise over another vacation?
The list is endless, but for those of you that like to try new food items, this is the place to do it. While in the main dining rooms, order 2 appetizers, or entrees to share with others or for yourself. I went on a cruise with my best friend and we both ordered the prime rib, but really wanted to try the duck, our server brought us the duck to split. So glad he did! My husband has a major sweet tooth! Whenever we cruise it is usually very difficult for him to choose one dessert. I told our server that on our first night because Gary couldn't decide. He finally did and the server brought the one he ordered and another to try. This did not only happen on the first night, but every night there after and we never asked for it.
As I mentioned before, there are many activities for all ages to do on a cruise at various times throughout the day. BINGO, movies, games, karaoke, towel folding lessons, and the list continues. One of our family cruises I asked my daughter to go play BINGO with me. She looked at me as if I had 6 heads and said, "BINGO is for old people!" When I told her that she could play and if she won I'd have to claim the prize money because I was over 18, but I'd give it to her, she came with me. Now it is a family activity that is a MUST do on our cruise!
A cruise can be a social event for making new lifelong friends. Now, I'm sure you are wondering how would you do that. On some cruise lines you sit with people other than your family at dinner. While this may seem nerve wrecking, it may surprise you at how you much you have in common with your table mates. Some cruise lines have Facebook pages for specific cruise dates that you can connect with prior to sailing and discuss your experiences or post questions that you may have. I am currently an administrator for 2 different cruise groups and I've made friends from all over our country and the world. My first experience with a Facebook cruising group happened for my June 2014 cruise. I joined the group and saw that the Administrator for the page was from the same town I lived in. I sent her a message and we found out we lived 5 miles from each other. Instant friends that have now been on 3 cruises together with our families.
Caribbean cruises are what many people like to do, but there are so many more to choose from-Mediterranean, Alaska, Asia, the Middle East, Panama Canal, and River Cruises.
So if you are looking for an enjoyable, less stress vacation for everyone in your family to enjoy, try a cruise! I'd love to help you plan one. Spotted Bow Travel Company not only specializes in Disney Cruises, but can book all cruise lines now! Winter getaway, Spring Break, graduation, hooray to Summer Vacation, or just to treat yourself to some relaxation- all good reasons for a cruise! Contact me today to help you book this amazing vacation!
As I sit here on this beautiful Labor Day weekend relaxing after cleaning house, picking up after Tropical Storm Hermine, and cleaning out stuff, I have done a lot of thinking about my childhood. Children today experience their childhood so much differently than I did growing up. We made our own games and had fun outside, we didn't have to be entertained by a "thing".
What do I mean? Well, most of my childhood memories revolve around going places with my family or playing outside with my friends. I remember having a few toys that I loved, (I will NEVER forgive my sister for tearing off the top part of my Baby Tender Love's head, sorry Jen), but, it's the experiences that have stayed with me. These experiences include traveling to visit my Grandparents each year in Florida during the winter, going to Holland, Michigan, visiting Niagara Falls, camping at Fair Haven/Indian Falls, and visiting Gettysburg and Hershey, Pennsylvania just to name a few. So, why is it that I remember these? I had the opportunity to be fully immersed in each location. My parents tried to do everything at each place all in one trip, but sometimes, we had to go back to continue our adventure. Those were some exciting vacations.
As I look back, I know I had birthday parties and great Christmases, especially the one my mom worked at Johnny Jo Toy Store, but I don't remember what I was given. I can guarantee at least once in my life I told my mother "I'll just die if I don't get...", but now I couldn't tell you what I threw that temper tantrum for.. However, I do remember asking my parents to travel to Spain one summer as an exchange student. I knew how expensive it was, but I volunteered to help raise the money. It was not a trip that my parents could just write a check and I was off to Europe, they had to work extra to send me. My parents could have said, "No, we don't have the money right now. Let's wait until we do." But, they knew that this trip would open up so many opportunities for me and they made sacrifices. Sometimes if we wait until the "right" time, that time never comes again.
I am guilty of buying the latest fashions or tech gizmo for my daughter, because she "HAS TO HAVE IT!" I remind her that the "it" thing right now will gone in a few months, if it takes that long. She's not going to remember when she got an iPhone, but she will remember the Mother/Daughter trips we have taken. We've made great memories and she continually asks, "When are we going to do that again?" See teenagers do like to hang out with their parents! I have learned that life is too short and we have to take advantage of the time we have together. We are not promised tomorrow! Too many people close to me have lost a loved one for one reason or another, I bet they wished to have one last trip or vacation with that person. I decided this year instead of getting my Mom presents for her 70th birthday and Christmas, I was taking her on a trip. Why? She really doesn't need one more thing to dust, and it's about spending quality time together, making those memories. Will she be sad not to open a present, maybe, but she will have those memories to cherish. That's a present that keeps on giving each and every day.
So, if you're thinking of buying something material for your child, ask yourself this, "I know he/she really wants it, but will this be a lasting memory?" Give a trip for a gift, not only will your child be excited to open it, but the excitement will continue to build as the trip approaches. And as for the material items, there are some things from your childhood that you will remember, but many you won't. Jen, don't worry, I found a Baby Tender Love on eBay right before V was born, so she got to play with her, even if it wasn't mine.
"Why do I need a Disney planner to plan my trip when everything is on the website?" There are many reasons to trust a Disney Vacation Planner when it comes to planning a Disney Destination vacation! First of all, it's FREE! Yes, you read correctly, FREE! My services are free of charge-from quoting, to booking, to making Advanced Dining Reservations, to helping coordinate Fast Passes, to helping you navigate through My Disney Experience, and planning your itinerary (if you so desire). I can see your wheels turning in your head, "Then WHY do you do this?" My answer is my love for all things Disney. Planning other people's vacations that include Disney makes me happy. It doesn't matter if it's a first or fiftieth trip, every trip is treated as if it was my own vacation!
Having a Disney Vacation Planner is very helpful from the beginning of your planning all the way to the actual vacation. I can listen to what you would like from your vacation and try to base my suggestions on those wants. I try to give as many options as possible based on those wants/needs of each family. This is ultimately your vacation and I want to make it the best vacation it can be!
Everyone has their favorite resorts, parks, staterooms on the cruise, and they do not hesitate to tell you their opinions, often confusing you. After visiting Disney World 49 times, taking 8 Disney Cruises (with number 9 coming up in October and number 10 next June) and staying in all types of resorts, I can help my clients make a smart educated decision with my firsthand experiences. After you have chosen your dates and length of stay, resort type/stateroom category, tickets, and dining, your trip is booked! YAY! But that's not it for me! I will keep an eye out for promotions that are released from Disney for discounts on your reservation. If your reservation applies, I will apply the discount saving you money! But my pixie dust doesn't stop there! I will figure out what days you can make Advanced Dining Reservations and Fast Pass+ selections, and even help you secure them. I can plan out personalized itineraries to help maximize your time in the parks and suggest activities on the cruise.
Every Disney Destination is different and can be customized to you and your family, but sometimes you don't know where to start! That's where I come in! I love what I do and would love to plan your next Disney Destination Vacation! All you need is faith, trust, and a little of my pixie dust to have your travel dreams turned into magical memories.
Summertime in Disney World, your first thoughts-hot, humid, and down right miserable. Well, there are ways to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth during the summer. I know what you're thinking, "There's NO WAY I'm heading there in that heat!" With a little planning, a Disney trip in the summer can be enjoyable!
This is actually the first summer in 5 years that I haven't been to Disney World. As everyone knows, Central Florida is hot in the summer and being on the black asphalt makes it feel even hotter. So, how can it be enjoyable? Planning to get up early and take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hours is a definite must during the summer. You can hit those popular attractions during this time, as long as you are staying on Disney property. (Extra Magic Hours are different than Early Morning Magic, which is a ticketed special for Magic Kingdom. Extra Magic Hours are included in the price of your Magic Your Way Package.) Go to as many attractions as you can until lunch. You can plan on eating in the park or go back to your resort and enjoy a restaurant there. This break is a MUST if you want to maintain sanity during the summer months.
During the break you can enjoy the resort's pool(s), relax, or take a nap (maybe do all 3). You want to have your children do this as well. This helps to avoid meltdowns during the heat of the day! Plan on going back to the park around 6:00 pm. Some people are going back to their resorts to get ready for supper, so this gives you another opportunity to hit some attractions or catch supper in the park. Later on for example, if you have seen the Electrical Light Parade at Magic Kingdom, go on rides or see characters during the first parade and plan on watching it the second showing if you haven't.
You may also want to stay late for the Extra Magic Hours in the evening that is included in the Magic Your Way Package. The park may stay open up to 3 hours after it closes to the general public. Please see the park hour schedule available in your resort's lobby for a list of Extra Magic Hours for morning and evening.
If you are lucky enough to have a few days in Disney World, there is another way to beat the heat. This is a plan that my family has done in summers past and plan on doing next year. We plan on staying 4 nights. The first day/night we enjoy the resort and maybe Disney Springs. The second day we go to the parks in the morning, go to the resort at lunch, and then back to the parks about 6:00 pm. The third day we hit a waterpark and enjoy the resort. The fourth day we go back in the parks as stated on the first day. Putting a day between our 2 park days has been beneficial for my family. It provides an opportunity to slow down and not be exhausted from the heat and the rushing around.
A plan is essential during the summer. If you book a last minute trip, fast passes will already be spoken for most times, so you need to take advantage of given opportunities. This is why you book your Disney World vacation through a Disney travel planner like me. I will make those travel dreams into magical memories!
Victoria and I went on our first ever Mother/Daughter cruise on the Disney Dream 2 weeks ago. While we have done family cruises together, we have never done one just the two of us. We had a great time!
We had to set one rule that we must have dinner together in the main dining rooms, but other than that, we had no plans. When we got into the Disney Cruise terminal we searched the Navigator for Bingo, because that was something we wanted to do, but didn't know when we would be do it. Well, Bingo was happening the first night before dinner. We decided that we would definitely go. Once we boarded the ship we went to Cabanas for lunch, and then found a place on deck 12 that we had all to ourselves. We sat by the wading pool until our stateroom was ready at 1:30. We unpacked, put magnets on our door, hung up our Fish Extender, and went back to the pool until it was time for our Facebook page meet up. I met new friends from the Facebook page that we had been chatting with before the cruise. It was great putting a face with a name. I met Gail, Darrin, Vicky, Amy, Perry, Matt, and Amy. Then off to the Muster Drill (lifeboat drill) at 4:00. After that, the Disney Dream left for our 4 night adventure.
Waving goodbye to everyone at Fish Lips on the webcam, we noticed the rough surf and dark clouds rolling in. The captain came on the announcement system and told us it may be rocky because of the tropical storm coming across Florida, but it would not be long lasting. We could feel the ship move a little, but it was not uncomfortable. Off to Bingo we went after we dressed for dinner. We were 2 numbers away from blackout on our Bingo card so we couldn't leave until the game was over. We didn't win, but we had fun. We went to dinner at Royal Palace, where we met our servers Pong and Marko and our head dining room waiter, Kendall. Our meal was excellent and at the end they celebrated Victoria's birthday by singing to her along with other servers. She was surprised! After dinner, Victoria went to Edge, the club for tweens, and I went to Evolutions to watch some adult entertainment (magic show, audience participation games, etc.). After getting back to the stateroom from our activities, we looked at the Navigator to see if there were any activities we wanted to do together the next day (we did this nightly).
The next day was our stop at Nassau. I knew that I was going to visit the Rainforest Room at the spa (only for 18 years and older) and then we were going into Nassau for Victoria to shop. We did both of these and upon boarding the ship decided, we needed pool time because it was so hot. Again, we had the wading pool to ourselves. Victoria had made plans with some people that she had met at Edge and I had a Mixology class to attend. We would meet up later to go to dinner together. This time we ate at Animator's Palate. Again, Victoria had nightly plans and so did I. I went back to Evolutions for the adult game show "Match Your Mate." I got back to our stateroom about midnight and Victoria came strolling in at 1:00 am.
We went to Castaway Cay the next day. Victoria and I went to the far side of the the family beach to relax. During that time, a friend of hers walked by and joined us. I ate lunch on the island and headed back to the ship, while she hung out at the beach, snorkeled, and rode the paddleboat. I met up with her later that afternoon. We decided to try our hand at Bingo again, but no winning cards for us. Tonight was Pirate Night and fireworks shot off from the ship. It was fun seeing everyone dressed in pirate gear, it's not required but a lot of people do it. We did not dress up as pirates, but celebrated.
Our day at sea started with me going to the Rainforest Room again. I met Victoria back in the room so that we could go to the Gold/Platinum Members' Reception. We met Captain Thord and had a private meet and greet with Captain Mickey Mouse. This was the first time we had attend one of the receptions, and we will definitely go again on our future cruises. Victoria went off to find her friends while I went to Palo Brunch. This is an adult only restaurant that offers brunch only on sea days. I went by myself and enjoyed the buffet and atmosphere. I saw Victoria in line at the towel folding class while I was on my way to the second Mixology class offered in Skyline. Jennifer, the bartender, was such fun during the first class that I decided to take a second one. Victoria and I met up to go see The Jungle Book movie before dinner. We really enjoyed it. We ate at Enchanted Garden tonight and had a window table. We said goodbye to Pong, Marko, and Kendall. We were given the "Magical Moments Award" for being the most "magical and memorable family in the dining room." We each had plans with new friends on our last night of our vacation and we were dreading disembarkation in the morning. "A 4 night cruise is too short," Victoria said. She was already planning when we could do this again. It was a great trip since we had mother/daughter time and alone time (with or without new friends). Unfortunately for Victoria, the next cruise for me is in October with my mom and sister (another first for me). We have already started looking at things to do on our family cruise next summer. Gary chimed in and asked, "We're playing Bingo, right?"
This year has had many firsts- Mother/daughter Disney World trip, Couples only no kids Disney Cruise, and now a Mother/daughter Disney Cruise. I never would have imagined taking a cruise with only my daughter, but when I asked her if she'd like to go, she yelled, "YES!" There is so much for her to do on the ship that when we go as a family, we don't see her much. I knew I needed to set one rule and that was she had to have supper with me every night. After that, she could do whatever she wanted and that meant I could do whatever I wanted.
When we started talking about different things to do onboard and she asked if I was going to play BINGO this time, I told her I was. Now, I know what you're thinking, BINGO is for old ladies and is boring! Well, not on a Disney Cruise. I even got my husband, sister, and brother-in-law hooked on it on our cruise in March. Now that she knew I was playing BINGO, she wanted in on that activity.
Planning for this vacation has been very easy. I know what I want to do-Rainforest Room, Palo Brunch, Mixology class (all for adults). Victoria will have things she'll want to do with her friends that she meets and I'll have things to do with the friends I have met on our cruise's Facebook page. The Facebook groups are a great way to meet new people before getting on the ship. I had posted on the page that it was only the 2 of us sailing and a very nice lady, Gail, invited us to eat with them at dinner. It was so thoughtful and kind of her to think of us. Unfortunately, we had different seating times, but we are going to meet up for lunch one day! The Facebook page can also bring up things to think about. This morning's post was about being worried about the tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. While we will probably have some weather from it, I'll be on a Disney Cruise. A day on a cruise with bad weather is better than a day at home with sun.
We are packing up the car in a few minutes to leave for Cape Canaveral. I'll be glad to get to the hotel! There are 3-4 other families from our cruise group staying at the same hotel, so we may run into them by the pool. Then one more sleep and onto the Disney Dream for 4 nights of fun and relaxation! I'll let you know how it goes with my daughter and I! And if we win BINGO, we're booking another cruise, this time I'll take my husband, too!
For most of us, a Disney vacation, whether it be a trip to the parks or on a cruise, is a large investment that needs a payment schedule. How can you get excited about a trip so far in the future? Well, if you're me, just the thought of a booked trip is excitement enough! But, there are a few things you can do to make your wait fun. I love the Disney Cruise Line app as it has a cruise countdown built into it, even down to the seconds. I also have found other countdown apps that you can put your own pictures in along with the date. This is great if you have already been to a Disney Destination and have a photo that you love! I love to be able to see them on my phone. For those of you with children, a visual countdown like chains that you can rip off each day or something similar to an advent calendar is fun, too. Even if it's changing the number on a chalkboard or whiteboard each day your children will practice the skills of counting backwards (yes, that's the teacher in me).
Countdowns are great, but planning with your family is fun, too! (This will not work if you are surprising your family with a trip.) Pull up the website for the Disney Destination in which you are traveling and look at the many options. You could get very overwhelmed at the amount of information, so plan on looking at a few things each time. Set aside a specific time during your busy schedules to look at things together. Disney offers free planning DVDs that you can request through their websites.
Thinking about a Disney Destination vacation? I can help plan your trip from start to finish! You just need a date for your trip so you can start counting down the days to making magical memories! Yes, this is my countdown!! I surprised my mom and sister for my Mom's 70th birthday by booking a cruise. They know now so they can help plan it!