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The Origin of This Adventure

The Origin Story of this Adventure

What a saga this one has been! And keep in mind this ISN’T our first COVID/Return to Cruising sailing. So join me in a Marvel-style time jump!

June 5, 2019 - No kidding. This was a Placeholder from our Med cruise.

March 19, 2021 - Very soon before my birthday, I suggested applying the Placeholder to this cruise, as my desire to experience a Marvel Day at Sea had steadily grown. (Yes, I’m a notable member of a strong Marvel fan podcast - to the point they gave me a nickname! Shout-out to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Podcast with Matthew & Jeff!)

May 20, 2021 - Then we were able to move this reservation # (with the Placeholder benefit) to our first booking on the Wish (Sept. 2023) on the first day reservations were made available to our Castaway Club Platinum level. By now, more than a year into COVID, both Kara and I had each experienced numerous personal losses, all the while watching Disney Cruises get cancelled month after month. Originally this cruise was a “back-up”, presuming our Oct. 2021 8 night on the Fantasy got cancelled. But by this point we decided we would keep it no matter what!

Holdup!

It seems I forgot to mention what precisely we’d booked:

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Because of a terrible change in my work, this was the first time in roughly a decade I could cruise in winter, which is our preference to escape the freeze of Indiana! Plus this was to be our first Double Dip. (But whoops the Oct. 2021 ended up changing to a Double Dip!) And it’s on the Magic, my favorite ship!

Not So Fast!

Per a work situation with Kara (that I will NOT detail here), suddenly we couldn’t take this cruise. Thankfully we had already purchased trip insurance that would cover this situation! (Let me know if you’d like me to explain all the reasons trip insurance is important - & not just related to COVID!) Admittedly we’d had such an amazing time in October, we didn’t really “need” this cruise. But by now, I at least kinda had my hopes up to escape winter (& more) and out of spite for having someone else control my vacation, I still wanted to go out of spite! So let this be a public apology to Kara for pushing to reschedule this.

So in roughly 2 days and scavenging through both our calendars to try to find enough days to travel, we landed on:

5 night Western Caribbean Marvel Day at Sea Feb. 5-10Sure we lost the Double Dip and didn’t care it changed from Bahamas to Western. To escalate the cost as little as possible we took a Guaranteed 7A (Navigator Verandah), because these are our favorite on the Classic ships. It’s our first Guaranteed, which isn’t a risk for us, as we know where they are on the ship and really don’t care, again especially because October was so great.

Honestly the dates are better than the original as it better breaks up the long, dark, cold winter!

Jan. 27, 2022 - Hotel Break

This is something that drives Kara crazy: I constantly second-guess the hotel choice (even though it’s always Marriott, as that’s our loyalty brand). Originally, we were booked (via loyalty certificate) at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, as it’s close to the port and I love water views (since we have none in land-locked Indiana). However, I read this was under a ton of construction.

So I moved us to the Element Brickell. In our tiny bit of regional travel during COVID our preference for a kitchen turned into a requirement so we could heat leftovers or order-in to reduce our exposure. And like we’d experienced in Ohio, this hotel was virtually brand new, opening in Dec. 2021.

Yet in this final week of January, I’m reading reviews about how the hotel was not ready to open, both from a facility and staffing standpoint. The reviews were shocking for a new hotel. So as of today (Jan. 27), “third time’s the charm” as we landed on simplicity (read: near the airport) at the Residence Inn Miami Airport West/Doral.

Jan. 27, 2022 - And more cruise changes!

Only during COVID…. Seriously, I’m not kidding. We were easily expecting this as we watched various islands change their protocols and openings, sometimes without notice. So also today (Jan. 27), we were notified of the expected itinerary change:

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So we lost Grand Cayman (expected), sadly picked up Nassau (& like usual we will treat as a Day at Sea), and the Double Dip is back!

PHEW!

Disclaimer: I (Gayle) am a travel agent with Authorized Disney Travel Planner agency - Off to Neverland Travel. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote!

Next up: Our Cruise Plans (on & off the ship)

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