Boo to the Halloween on the Highs Seas Crew Oct. 2016, Fantasy Trip Report
I am Jen! Welcome to my latest trip report. I do trip reports in story form....NOT ship reviews.
For those who don’t know me, welcome! I like to write trip reports and relive my vacations.
I tend to write slowly, so bear with me if I don’t update every day. Work and life get in the way and take priority for me. I do have this whole report written up on my computer so I just need to find the time to get here and post.
I am a mom of 3 and a grandmother of 1.
My husband is Skip, and he did not go on this trip withus this time. My older 2 children are intheir 20’s and do not normally travel with us anymore. My youngest, Claireusually goes with me when possible and she was on this magnificent trip.
Claire is now 12, but 11 on this trip.
This trip took place Oct. 19-30, 2016.
This trip started at Disney World with a few pre-cruise days. We did not do the parks though,with the exception of the Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party. We thenboarded the Disney Fantasy for a week long cruise, ending with a night’s stayat Universal Orlando.
We had a big group this cruise.
Claire and I, My mom and sister Amanda, My Sister Gail and her family, (Rob, Alexis and Abby), My Aunt Mary and Uncle Geoff, My Aunt Laura and Uncle Jan, My cousin Katie and her family, (Thad, Jude, Luke, &Violet) and Katie’s Mom Vicki.
For those who have read my previous reports…you may realize someone else missing…my Dad. That’s always a story unto itself.
001by Jenseib, on Flickr
This cruise has been 4 years in the making….Let me fill you in the long story before we get to the fun.
We cruised with a lot of these members back in 2012 on the Disney Dream for 4 nights and had a fantastic time. Everyone wanted to do a repeat, only this time longer. We talked about it here and there and something always stopped us from being able to get us all together again. Finally about a year or so ago we decided that 2016 would be the year!
We had to work around different schedules and school functions and finally decided on the Oct. 22 sailing of the Fantasy.
Even though it was decided, we still had some iffy members. Katie, Vicki and I booked in early spring to be sure the prices would not rise anymore. It wasn’t till May before everyone else finally fully committed and put deposits down.
We told my dad the dates and his immediate reply was NO! Now if you have read some of my other reports, my dad ALWAYS says no immediately without ever thinking it through. For some reason he thinks if he says he is not going then my mom will stay home. It has NEVER happened and I don’t know why he does this. We have had a couple of trips where dad has said he is not going right up to the very last minute and then decides he wants to come. Which means we have to rearrange rooms, reservations, etc. It’s a HUGE pain and he has no clue what it involves because he does no planning at all and just joins thinking everything is fine.
We told my dad from day 1 that a cruise is different than a hotel room and you just can’t decide to come along at the last minute. With cruising they can only add you to a room if they are not at capacity and if the lifeboat station in that room’s area has room as well. Just because a room can hold 4 does not mean you can always have 4 in that room.
He was adamant he could not come as he would be busy with work in Oct (he has a lawn care business) and there was no way he could getaway.
Skip also said he could not come because of his farm duties at the time.
Ok, so we are all set right?
Mom said she would room with Claire and I since Dad wasn’t coming along. And since she was going to be added to our room, she said she would pay the extra to get a bigger room. So I made that change.
Gail’s family was all set. Aunt Mary and Geoff got a connecting room to Gail. Katie had 2 of her kids in her room with a connecting room to Vicki, with her son Luke rooming with his Grandma.
My sister Amanda knew we were going, but she didn’t have enough vacation time to take off, so she said right away she would not come.Also, on the last cruise, she and my Aunt Laura basically made fun of us all doing a Disney cruise. I think after we got home, Amanda had kind of wished she had gone back then. Amanda also has found out over the past few years she has a lot of food allergies and was worried they could not accommodate her even though I told her they could.
Fast forward to mid-June.
I get a call from Aunt Laura that says she would like to come on the cruise and she would like to take Amanda as her guest. I talk back and forth between the 2 of them and we finally find a room that works for them and we book them.
Ok ,that worked out fine and it would be nice to have Amanda joining us so she could have fun with the nieces.
Planning goes on for all of us and we make our excursions and all that fun stuff.
Flights! Holy cow.I have never seen them so high. I finally book Claire, Mom and I to arrive on Oct. 20. I keep watching the return flights but they are just so high. I now think that we may need to spend a night after the cruise because Sunday flights are much cheaper than Sat. flights for us. I would rather pay for a hotel room and stay longer than put that money into air. I’ll keep watching.
Now we are at mid-August. Aunt Laura sends me a text while I am grocery shopping. She says to call her as her husband Jan now wants to come and we will need to switch rooms around. Holy cow! I text her back that I will call her when I get home and do so.
Now we need to move Amanda and Aunt Laura says we can put my Mom in the room with her so that there is 2 in that room, and also give Claire and I a little more space. Because we were past the paid in full mark it took quite some time moving everyone to where they needed to be and getting names switched, etc.Then the excursions all couldn’t be carried over so I had to go back in and fix as much as I could and make notes where we had to check for openings once on the ship. Let’s just say that was one LONG day!
OK… NO more changes allowed!
Flights! I have now found out that Claire does not have school on the 19 and only a half day on the 20th. Let’s go a day early! I rebook the flight and get a $40 credit for each of us to use for our return.
I keep watching and watching for our return flight to go down and it doesn’t. Finally one day I catch the Sunday flight at the lowest I have seen it. I jumped right on it and I am so glad. It went up higher and higher after that.
Our vacation is now Oct. 19- Oct. 30. The rest of the family is coming down on the 21 and returning on the 29th.
We are all staying at Coronado Springs resort for the pre-cruise portion and then Claire, Mom and I will stay in a Cabana Bay Suite at Universal our last night before flying home. We have now also decided to add the Blue Man Group show that evening as well.
Now we are into late Sept. Abby’s birthday party was the last weekend of the month. We are having a nice time celebrating her 7th birthday and we are all talking about the cruise as well since we are just a few weeks away now. Dad now says he wants to come. We have told him over and over that after the paid in full date there was no adding him. We had to make a deadline and we had to follow through with it.
We tell him we don’t know if it can be done. He would not be flying down with us as that would make him away from work too long, so we look at the flights the rest of the family has. It was close to $700 now for him to fly. He will not fly on his own, so any other options that might possibly be cheaper could not even be looked at.
I called to see how much it would be to add him to Mom and Amanda’s room and it was over 1200. On top of that we would have to add him to excursions and pre-night stays.
It was going to easily be over $2000 to add him. On top of that, Amanda did not want him to stay in the room with her. I don’t blame her either. He snores for one, which makes it hard to sleep. And he takes over the room. He is king of the remote,…..you get the picture. I’ve been there a few times now and he has been added to my room when I was rooming with mom and I had said from day 1 of this planning that never again would that happen.
We looked at getting Amanda yet another room and the cost was just going to be too much.
Mom asked him if he had any money saved to put towards adding him and he said no and she told him it just wasn’t going to work. She was not about to dish out $2000 plus just a few weeks before we left. She said had he wanted to go in the first place then she could have budgeted for him to join us, but at this point in time she didn’t have him in the budget now and she knows him. He brings $100 on vacation and thinks that will cover every expense needed. LOL!
That’s it! No changes will be made now. Everyone must make peace with the choices they have made!
Let the final countdown begin!
Oh wait…What is this email from school? We are sorry to say that we WILL be having school on Oct. 19th due to a scheduling error. We will take off Oct.26th instead.
Yeah…that email came to me on Oct.15. You have got to be kidding me? We planned leaving the 19th because Claire didn’t have school that day! Well in the end she was still missing the same amount of days, but it was pretty annoying that they couldn’t get that figured out till just a few days before the actual date.
Well now it’s time to leave…..Did we get all the kinks out before arriving? Let’s hope so!
Join me in this fabulous vacation as I relive the ups and downs with my Boo to You Halloween Crew!