All posts filed under: Travel

Our First Disney Vacation — Day One

I find that the times right after a vacation are the times when life gets the busiest. Which is the main reason why it always takes me so long to write a blog about our adventures. Our Disney vacation was, in one word, MAGICAL. Months of planing really paid off, guaranteeing that our experience was wonderful in every way. I will recount day by day what we did and what it cost us.  So let us jump in! Day 1: We live in Florida, so we only had a 3 hour drive to get to Disney World, nonetheless we woke up early and were loaded up and on the road by 9 am. I had several little presents wrapped for our daughter which doubled as birthday presents and kept her entertained on the drive. Every half hour or so I gave her a “Tinkerbell Present” such as a Disney themed golden book, or a play set from the Disney store, or the wooden magnetic princess dress up. Since I planned in advance I was able to …

Finding the Value in a Disney Resort — Guest Post

By Jennifer Cavagnaro I wasn’t raised with a ton of money. My mom was single and she saved for years in order to bring my brother and I to Disney World at the age of 10. I remember every single minute. We stayed at the All-Star Sports Resort (a well-known value resort on the Walt Disney World property) and we only went to the Magic Kingdom. It was extremely hot out and after only a few hours of rides, my brother and I begged to go back to the hotel and play in the pool. Fast forward 22 years… I’m a mom of 4 children and a true Disney lover! You might be thinking: “Four children? At Disney World? This woman is nuts!” Truthfully, I can’t argue with you there! I think my first trip to Disney as a mom was in 2009, when Brianna was 1. We stayed at the All Star Sports hotel, as it was the only one that I knew about and it brought back so many memories. Since then, I …

Planning a Vacation to Disney World — Where To Stay

*Please note that originally I was going to do a post for all five categories, but Accommodations got toooo long making it a monster of it’s own, so I had to break the original Basic’s post into two. First we discussed My Disney Experience, ADRs, FastPass+, and Magic Bands in Planning a Vacation to Disney World — The Basics. Now we will go over Accommodations (Disney resort categories. Staying on property v. off, etc.). Deciding Where To Stay The first question that you may have is: “Where do I stay?” To answer that, we need to look into what Disney has to offer. They have three main categories of resorts which are based on price point. Value Resorts –  Cost: The cheapest of the three categories at an average of $150 per night. Price varies depending on season and room type, can fluctuate from as low as $93 to $200. They do have suites at a higher price. Accommodations: The rooms tend to be the smallest at about 260 sf. for the average room. Double beds or a King bed. …

Planning a Vacation to Disney World — The Basics

The first step in this series is to discuss the “basics.” This is your starting point. While there is a lot of information, there is no need to feel overwhelmed; if you learn the following you will be able to navigate the planning process for your next Disney vacation like a pro… or more like a well-informed consumer. Disney has implemented several changes in the last couple of years in an effort to make your stay as magical and painless as possible. There are different tools and systems that have been put in place to make the booking and planing experience extremely easy and user friendly. We will discuss My Disney Experience app and website, ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations), FastPass+, Magic Bands, and how to choose the right hotel for you. So, lets get down to business… to defeat the Huns… *Please note that originally I was going to do this post for five categories, but accommodations got toooo long making it a monster of it’s own, so I had to break the original Basic’s post into two. …

We Are Going To Disney World

Photo Credit: Disney World Resort We have been meaning to go on a Disney World vacation since last year when our daughter turned 2. However at that time work got extremely busy, we also had to move our office, and to be honest I was not too excited to go to Disney in the first place since my Disney World experiences have always been stressful, tiring, and expensive. In the past, as a Florida resident, my family and I have gone to Disney World several times. My parents took us many times as children, and while I enjoyed it, it was never a magical experience for me. I never forget the last time I went with my brand new husband and my extended family. We were a big group (about 15 people, 2 of which were toddlers) and NO PLANING whatsoever went into this vacation. The powers that be (the people that were paying) decided to go on an impromptu Disney trip a weekend during the summer vacation. They booked a hotel in Kissimee that had a last …

Five Cruise Boarding Tips

Recently we had the opportunity to go on our second cruise. This time it was in a Royal Caribbean ship, (our first time it was aboard the Carnival Fantasy), The Empress of the Seas. Once again this is one of the smaller ships of the float, which makes for a more relaxed experience. At some point I will do a comparison between the smaller Carnival ship v. the smaller Royal ship. Today I want to give you some tips on boarding your cruise. If you do a quick google search you will find that this topic has been discussed ad nauseam. But after spending several hours reading through many travel blogs these are the tips that most everyone seems to agree on. As far as my own experience I can confirm that these are great guides to follow. Some extremely obvious (don’t leave your passport) others not so much (bring a bottle of wine/champagne), here I give you 5 tips that will make your life better on embarkation day. 1- Be early – There seems to …

A Day In Nassau

Earlier this year I had the opportunity of going on my first cruise to Nassau, Bahamas. We went on the Carnival Fantasy. The ship is one of the smallest in their fleet, but it was actually a pretty nice, relaxed cruise. I write about our food experience aboard the ship in the following post: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Now this post is our candid opinion about our time in Nassau. My husband and I were not very impressed with Nassau. This was our first cruise together and our first time in Nassau. We were expecting an adventure Anthony Bourdain would have been proud of… instead we found a very touristy town. Previous to the trip we tried to be adventurous explorers and did many hours of research trying to find authentic food restaurants, to find historical sites, and meaningful adventures. We came up with what we thought was a promising plan, rented a scooter and headed away from all the tourist hangouts (Senor Frogs?) and went inland to explore. When we went inland we were …