Ever since I read a Panama Canal cruise trip report over on the DISBoards I have had a Panama Canal cruise on my long-term bucket list. I thought that a 14 night cruise with mostly sea days going from one ocean to another through a canal that was a marvelous feet of engineering sounded like an absolute DREAM! I never imagined that this dream would be coming true so soon!
How the DREAM began to unfold…
Last year I began taking full-time college courses after being out of college for almost ten years. In addition to continuing to work, I embarked on a journey through classes that taught me not only the class content, but also taught me how much pressure I can actually handle. Even though I have had many days that ended in tears (mostly ending with a call to my mother who is a professor that knows how to edit English papers) I have been able to keep up with work, school work, and life in general. Because of the support of my family, especially my husband, I have less than a year left until I obtain my degree. I should…hopefully…Lord willing…finish my required courses by mid-March 2017. So, my husband said, “What better way to celebrate than with a Disney Cruise!?!?” And, he added, for such a milestone as this, how about looking into our bucket list dream cruise through the Panama Canal? That was all I needed to hear! (Oh, he said look into? I thought that meant BOOK IT!)
Because we have only sailed 3 or 4 nights on the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral, I read every webpage I could find that described the Disney Wonder’s staterooms. I wrote notes on which room are “secret” veranda rooms and “extended” veranda rooms. I looked at veranda photos, porthole photos, interior cabin photos….any kind of photos I could find of the staterooms on the Wonder. After extensive research and much discussion (ok, so my husband got tired of discussion and finally said “It’s your graduation; book what you want”) I decided that, even though we have been happy with interior or porthole cabins on the 3-4 night Dream sailings, we do spend quite a bit of time on the Deck 4 lounge chairs reading and soaking up the ocean atmosphere. Therefore, I decided on the Roy O. Disney Suite. HAHA, just kidding! (Hey, my husband did say I could book what I want, right?!) Actually, I was reasonable and decided on a category 06A whitewall veranda stateroom. Remember how I said I had poured over the special rooms? I had decided on the exact room # that I would aim for (6th floor, Aft, extended veranda at the regular whitewall veranda price) but I also had several other room #’s as a backup just in case I couldn’t get the exact room I wanted. Now that the stateroom was decided on, it was just a matter of waiting for the itinerary to be released!
Waiting….and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and waiting….
It was all I could do to contain myself when I found out that FINALLY, after months of waiting, the Disney Cruise Line Summer 2017 itineraries were being released. I was ecstatic and could not stop thinking, daydreaming, and researching! Then I started second guessing my stateroom decision! Would we be happy with the whitewall veranda? Or should we spring for the Plexiglas veranda? After much indecisiveness and more discussions with my husband (Ok, yes, I was rambling on – he just listened for about an hour, then when I was done I had talked myself back into the whitewall veranda…actually, I found out he was asleep during that entire conversation with myself.) Sticking with my original stateroom plan, I anxiously awaited April 14th! On April 13th, booking opened for Gold and Platinum cruisers. Since we won’t turn Gold until after our October cruise, all I could do was scour the boards and Facebook groups for any tidbits of information on the Panama Canal cruise. Towards the end of that evening I began to get a clear picture that this cruise was going to be a bit more expensive than I previously thought. (Good thing I didn’t have my heart set on that Roy O. Disney Suite) After actually discussing it with my husband (I made sure he wasn’t sleeping this time!) we decided to book it and if “life” comes up between now and the paid-in-full date, we could cancel and try again for 2018. Right now I am keeping a positive outlook and will continue planning for our WONDERful dream cruise through the Panama Canal in 2017!
To be continued… Booking Day is Finally Here!