DAY 2 - CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME & DAY 1 DISNEYLAND
We were up early and after checking out of the hotel we took the hotel shuttle over to the airport. The hotel is located on the airport grounds, but it is not feasible to walk over to the airport flight check-in center. The drive took less then five minutes.
We checked in at the airline ticket counter (no lines) and since we have Global Entry we enjoyed the benefits of TSA Pre Approv and quickly made our way through the security check. We relaxed at the airline lounge.
We heard from our daughter Jennifer after she, our son-in law Gui and grandchildren Andre and Emma made it through security and we met them at the gate. Our son Eric, daughter-in-law Kara and grandson Jackson flew from another airport close to what they live and less then three hours from our home.
We had a first on this flight. We were delayed by thirty minutes because the food catering company messed up on a few meals. As it turned out they couldn't get the precise items so we left without them. The irony as we learned later is it involved the fruit plate associated with our meals and probably one or two others. If someone would have checked with us ahead of time we would have said no worries and push off from the gate. LOL but true. The pilot thought we would make up all of the time but we were slowed by turbulence but the good news is we were only fifteen minutes late. We got our luggage fairly quickly so that was good news.
After we claimed our luggage we were driven from the airport to the Disneyland Hotel where we will spend three nights prior to boarding Crystal Serenity. Keith arranged three different vehicles for the family.
This hotel is very dear to us. We stayed here starting in the late 1980's when we visited Disneyland over a couple of different trips with Jennifer and Eric.
We returned to Disneyland for the first time since the early 1990's last year and stayed at this hotel with with Jennifer and Andre. As expected it was too early for our room to be ready. We prepared for that with backpacks to carry electronic devices, jewelry and important documents and had the hotel hold our luggage so we could make our way directly over to Disneyland.
Eric, Kara and Jackson arrived to Disneyland about thirty minutes before we did and they met us at the Hotel shortly after we arrived. A short while later we all made our way towards the Park. We had lunch at a restaurant in the downtown area and after lunch made our way into the Magic Kingdom. Immediately we saw a parade featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and a few other characters and then got on our first ride.
A short while later we received a telephone call that our room was ready so the two of us went to the room. We have a three bedroom suite with a common area so we can all be together. These are photos of just a couple of the rooms.
Some photos of Disneyland.
We will return to the park shortly after getting settled in the room and have dinner plans at the Carnation Restaurant one of three restaurants that Keith made sixty days prior to our arrival. Tomorrow evening we have a Character Dinner.
We are very excited to have the family together and to be at Disneyland. Disneyland brings out the "kid" in all of us regardless of our actual ages.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
This is only the second time we are visiting a Disney property directly before or after a cruise. The first time was almost twenty-five years ago when our family went on our first ever cruise on- board the Oceanic cruise ship which at the time was part of the Big Red Boat fleet. We sailed on the other coast and the post cruise was a three night stay at Walt Disney World in Florida. It's been a fast twenty-five years.
Anne Marie & Keith
DAY 1 - THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
As our journey begins, we want to thank some people.
Thank you to our wonderful travel specialist Gerri and her team for all of their expert advice, knowledge, thoroughness, ability to cut thru red tape. This began with our booking when Gerri analyzed how to optimize our our reservation taking into account that we booked four rooms for nine of us. This continued until just days ago as Gerri followup up on last minute details for us. Thank you so much.
We also want to thank the land-based Crystal Cruises personnel and those on-board Crystal Serenity for their assistance. We pre-arranged a couple of on-board events and everyone has been wonderful assisting us in their planning. Thank you team Crystal Cruises so very much.
laOur adventure began today, one day before our early morning flight. As we did earlier this year we are spending the night at the hotel adjacent to our regional airport. This will make everything much simpler the morning of our flight.
We were met at our home by a driver of a private SUV and driven approximately one hour to the hotel. We received a call that our driver was running late by thirty minutes. This is an example of why we didn't want to arrange for a pickup at the middle of the night. In addition, at that hour you really have to wonder if the driver might fall asleep while driving us to the airport. As they say, better to play it safe then be sorry.
Once we arrived to the hotel our room was ready. We will enjoy dinner at the hotel and just sit back and read and write and catch up on the days news.
We often say each and every travel experience is different even when they are repeated. For example, we find that each cruise takes on its own characteristics based on many factors including itinerary, weather, chemistry of the guests, percent occupancy and other variables including the stewardess assigned to your room and the wait staff.
In this case having our family on hand,including the three grandchildren, will contribute to our overall experience. Similarly this past January our experience was somewhat influenced while we were traveling with dear friends who were also on their first Crystal Cruise. This allows us to see the cruise through the experience of others.
We mention this because as we Blog we expect some of our observations and thoughts will be shaped from having the family with us.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
We love to travel and are grateful for the opportunity to visit many places around the world. When we married forty years ago, we never thought we would cruise as much as we have, let alone sailing a cruise line as luxurious as Crystal Cruises
Whether you travel a few miles or thousands of miles, there's much to discover. The key is open your eyes, be open-minded, focus on small and large details, make time to smell the roses, don’t pre-judge others, and look closely at all that surrounds you and is literally in front of your own nose.
Anne Marie & Keith
GOLDEN STATE DISCOVERY - WELCOME & OVERVIEW
Welcome to our Golden State Discovery Blog.
We are thrilled to be accompanied on this trip by daughter Jennifer; son-in-law Gui; grandson Andre; granddaughter Emma; son Eric; daughter-in-law Kara, and grandson Jackson.
Our adventure includes a pre-cruise stay of three days in California followed by a seven day cruise on board Crystal Serenity.
Eric, Kara, Jennifer & Gui have all sailed with us on other Crystal Cruises including two times each on Crystal Serenity.
Jennifer, Eric and Gui sailed with us in 2002 on-board Crystal Harmony which was our first experience sailing with Crystal Cruises. The following year we sailed with Jennifer and Eric on-board Crystal Symphony.
This will be the first cruise ever for Andre, Emma and Jackson.
The cruise will mark a few firsts for us which we will blog about during the course of the voyage.
The first of the three photos was taken in January of 2016 and the other two photos are from late 2016/early 2017.
This cruise is appropriately called Golden State Discovery.
California is special to us and our family. We lived in the Bay Area for four years from 1987 to 1991 and we have fond memories of our time there.
The following is the itinerary for our adventure.
DATE LOCATION ARRIVAL DEPARTURE
===== ========= ======= ==========
Apr 30 Disneyland
May 1 Disneyland
May 2 Disneyland
May 3 San San Pedro, CA 6:00 PM
May 4 Santa Barbara, CA 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
May 5 San Francisco, CA 1:00 PM
May 6 San Francisco, CA 3:00 PM
May 7 Catalina Island,CA 12:00 PM 6:00 PM
May 8 San Diego, CA 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
May 9 Ensenada, Mexico 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
May10 San Pedro, CA 8:00 AM
We have made a video trailer for you to view.
Before we close with today's thought for the day we wanted to let you know that we continue to update and expand our Cruising Matters Web Site. We created this site to share our love of travel and cruising. The information is designed for first time cruisers and those who are looking for other experiences such as taking a full World Cruise.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY......
We celebrated twenty-five years of marriage on that first Crystal cruise. This time we celebrate an amazing forty years of marriage bliss. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our happiness then being with our family and also sailing with them on a Crystal Cruise.
Keith & Anne Marie