• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Trip Report THE ONE WITH THE CREW AT CHRISTMAS; December 21-28, 2018 **COMPLETE**

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6/Dec 26 cont

A little background. My nephew, A, had lost his backpack this morning. He had it at the AKL bus stop and left it behind when we boarded the bus to HWS. He was upset and they called AKL right away. Someone went to look for it but it was gone. Now remember, this kid had already lost his hat in splash mountain only to be told he will never see it again. There was nothing valuable in the backpack, his Grandma sweatshirt and a phone charger. Both could be replaced. He had just started grad school and the backpacks were given out at orientation, it was irreplaceable. He filed a report/claim whatever and also one for his hat from 3 days earlier. (Thanks for that tip CM who answered the phone at AKL)

My SIL works with a lady like us( a Disney lover)and she suggested a fireworks cruise. We booked and agreed to keep it a secret. As we are walking towards the marina A is freaking out about his backpack and my kids are pestering me to know what we are doing. “Where are we going?” I am stressing because A is threatening to go back to AKL to check if they found his backpack. Then Dre said, “we are taking a fireworks cruise. We know. They (gestures toward his cousins) told us.” Me: ”how do they know?” “Aunt K told them.” Me: ”K, YOU TOLD THEM?!?!?!” K: “you wrote it on the schedule”. All I wrote was “fireworks”.

So you can see where I am mentally at this point. Thank goodness there will be champagne!!!

As per the directions on the website and the directions from the DVC guest services representative who I booked with, we needed to arrive 90 minutes before scheduled FW time. That sounds about right for a party I thought.

Let me explain what I booked.
348550
There is more. From the DVC website:
•Lavish delicacies and fun foods- like champagne and chocolate covered strawberries-before boarding the boat
•please arrive 1.5 hours before the start of Happily Ever After to enjoy light bites before the cruise; the boat will depart 60 minutes prior to fireworks

Sounds like a party!

I wanted to book a regular charter but they only seat a max of 10 people on the 25 foot pontoon boat and we were 11 so I was not allowed. There is also this:

348551
This was $99 per person less DVC10% discount. ($89.10) The one I booked was a DVC member only event only held on Wednesday nights and it was $85.

They looked the same so I went with DVC. When I booked the CM went through the whole schpiel: be there 90 minutes early, this is not a private cruise there can be up to 30 guests, call 2 weeks prior to confirm fireworks time (they called me- and again 2 days before), dress warm, bring your DVC card etc. They confirmed the number of adults. My standard answer was/is, “in Disney speak we have 11 adults.” Then they asked how many were 21 or over for the alcohol. “5”

We walked down to the marina. My SIL and I were looking around for a big boat but all we saw were pontoon boats. Ok, maybe it’s out. We went to check in and were told to come back in 45 minutes. Ummm, ok. Maybe FW are delayed? What to do for 45 minutes??
348552348553

We looked around the shops.
348554
348555


And contemplated life???
348556

X’s pick for me❤
348557

And his pick for Dre. 😡348558
That is Dre hiding in the background.

This was just sad:
348559
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day6/Dec 26 cont

Finally I was allowed to check in. Checker inner person: “How many children 12 and under?” Me: “none.” CM: “all participants 12 and under need to wear a life vest. How many life vests do you need?” Me: “none, the youngest is 13.” CM: “It says here 5 adults and 6 kids”. Me: “five over 21. No one is under 12.”
She is muttering and clearly upset and asks me to wait a minute. She leaves her boothy thing and my SIL comes over to see what’s up. The CM, who was also our driver/pilot/skipper said it was booked with 6 kids. I think I might have been a tad snippy because I did not book any kids and I was tired of repeating myself. (Where is that damn champagne? And the desserts? What the hell is going on???)
She was trying to tell me something , trying to be gentle but I had no idea what was going on. Finally she told me that we were all booked on one boat. I thought that was ok, perhaps no other DVC members were partaking tonight. She just kept staring at me, willing me to catch up so she wouldn't have to say it. I asked about the party and she told me, “there is no party. There has never been a party. DVC booked you on something that doesn't exist.” I think I just stood there blinking. I was like a deer in the headlights. How could DVC? No DVC wouldn't. They couldn't!
They did.

I was too upset to have a tantrum! I am a crier, even now, reliving this I am getting misty eyed, but I couldnt even cry.

Then my SIL notices this:

348569
SIL gestures her head toward the sign and I follow her gaze. Our driver stands there waiting for it to finally sink in. I looked at her and she kind of shrugged. As if in sympathy. It wasnt her doing and I wasn't mad at her but boy was I mad!
They were putting us on a 25 foot pontoon boat. The same 25 foot pontoon bost I tried to book but was told I could not because we were 11 people and the pontoon bost only seats 10.
A premium FW cruise is $349. Minus 10% DVC discount. I paid $995!!! For something that doesn't even exist!!’
DVC screwed me! Can I say screwed? I felt as if all the life had left my body. How could they?
There was nothing I could do right there and then. DVC and Disney proper do not mingle- I already learned that when I had some issues with our AP’s before we left on the trip. I tried to put on a happy face but I felt as if DVC had just- if I finish that sentence I will no doubt be banned from this site forever. Lets just say I felt like the guest star of law and order svu- not in a good way.

Fireworks wait for no one so lets get on with it. We finally boarded at 9:08 (pix timestamp)

348575

Ahoy Mickey!

348583

We all got comfy. Driver (I know her name but dont want to use it. I will explain later) asked the 21 and over crowd to all sit in the back. My niece had to weasle in and my husband had to sit in the front with the kids. $995 and I cant sit with my hubby. Then, she breaks out her fake ID. Seriously??? Ummm, parents??
348577

348578

348579

348580

348581

348582

This was our “party”. Plus, ONE bottle of champagne between 5, now 6 drinkers.
348584
And there were 10 (10!) chocolate covered strawberries for 11 people-boat for 10..... I did not get one.

Also, my FIL spilled his entire flute of champagne 10 seconds after it was poured.

I switched seats with A so I could be closer to driver. She has worked at WDW for 35 years and was a virtual plethora of information!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6/Dec 26 cont


2 seconds before spilling it all.
348592

At least my FIL got a flute. Poor A got a toy story cup, and a cool buzz. (Lightyear, not a buzz from his 2.66 oz of champagne).
348593

BLT looked so pretty! Lots of families had decorated their windows. This is our home resort for 11 years and we have never stayed there! (Spoiler-going for my bday in March!)

348594

We got into position with only a minute or two to spare.
348595348596348597348598348599348600

Then we sailed through the canal that goes over the roadway. You know the one.
348601
 

krause

Well-Known Member
Lets just say I felt like the guest star of law and order svu- not in a good way.
This made me literally lol :hilarious: Sorry for all your misfortunes, but your trip report is great I’m loving it. You are a great storyteller.

We did the fireworks cruise a few years back. It must have not been premium because we weren’t provided with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. We WERE, however, provided with the directions to go to the store in the contemporary to buy as much alcohol as we wanted to bring along! You could have spent those 45 minutes doing that if you had known what was coming!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This made me literally lol :hilarious: Sorry for all your misfortunes, but your trip report is great I’m loving it. You are a great storyteller.

We did the fireworks cruise a few years back. It must have not been premium because we weren’t provided with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. We WERE, however, provided with the directions to go to the store in the contemporary to buy as much alcohol as we wanted to bring along! You could have spent those 45 minutes doing that if you had known what was coming!
I would have gladly spent 45 minutes buying alcohol! And I would have stuffed a rice krispy treat in everyones pocket too!!!
Thank you for your kind words.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6/Dec 26 cont

The fireworks were breath taking from this vantage point! The sound system was a little shaky though.

More canal that goes over that road.
348674

There she is. In all her blurry regalness. Yes I am now making up words.
348675

348676

348677

Can you see all the other boats out here? There were a lot. Driver told me they all have assigned parking/viewing spaces/areas. She pulled into the spot that is designated for the Grand Floridian yacht as she was off to our side. (Port? Starboard?) It seems as though the GF yacht gets dibs on the best spot and since driver parked us there she was really trying to make up for DVC’s....I dont know what to call it at this point because it is not a mistake, they are intentionally ripping people off. Driver also told me the GF yacht costs $650 (could have been $750- if someone knows, please correct me) plus another $100 if you want a butler. Heck ya I want a butler!! For anyone slow with the math, the GF yacht would have been cheaper than the S.S. Minow we were on.

348680

348681

348682348683348684348685
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6/ Dec 26 cont

Driver was telling me all about her chilhood, growing up close by. She would rush over to WDW (at that time just MK) after school and go swimming from the Poly beach or from one of the little islands in seven seas lagoon. She was telling me some of her best jobs she had and some of the crazy things she had seen in her 35 years. I might have fallen for her a liitle bit!😍
I had told everyone to dress warm. Insisted my kids bring a sweatshirt and wear/bring a long sleeve shirt. My SIL, of all people knew to dress warm as well.
Driver did a GF drive by to show me the new dvc (starting now, I will no longer capitalize dvc. They dont deserve it and I will not waste the time and energy to hit the “capitalize” button) building. SIL gives me a little kick to get my attention then gives me the slash across the throat gesture. “Stop talking! I’m cold!”

348697

I pretended I couldn't hear her. I was in my glory! There was no way I was cutting this short. Have another blanket. Btw, the blankets were so cozy and smelled like the sea itself.

We did eventually pull back into the (non) contemporary marina.
348698

Driver, still feeling bad for us told me, “I am going to talk to my manager. I want you all to come back tomorrow. We will get the kids out in the sea racers and I will take your husband out fishing (Ant loves fishing and they had been talking about it earlier) all no charge to try to make up for this.” Wow! So generous.
I explained we had plans for Animal Kingdom the next day and probably would not be able to make it back.
Then I told her, “I have a dilemma. Do I tip you on what it cost or what it should have cost?”
We chuckled. I gave her her tip and she started stuffing bags of potato chips and goldfish in the kids hands. She told me she sent her manager to go get me a bottle of champagne. I politely declined. I didnt want to take it just to take it.

We made our way up to the monorail. Why? Fireworks just ended. They will be packed. Lets walk like we did on the way here. I said nothing, I had no more fight. Dvc had broken me.

We were put into a “special” line at the (non) contemporary monorail station because of the ecv and knee scooter. The CM’s would have to, first, find room in a car, then, put a ramp down to get the ecv on.

348699

This would not be our monorail.
Nor the next.
(Why arent we walking???)
I was at the end of the pack. As their leader I felt like I had let them down and took my rightful spot at the rear. Although, to be honest, my FIL and the kids were (mostly) oblivious (my poker face stinks) to the situation and enjoyed themselves.
After the second monorail came and went, without us, the CM told us all to get out our magic bands. He was going to give us some bonus fastpasses. So not necessary! We are the dummies trying to get on a monorail that has just left MK after fireworks.
Nothing.
Whatever.
The next monorail comes, he squeezes my FIL and his ecv in. The rest of us scatter to try to find a spot. I was alone, alone with tons of strangers pressed up against me, but alone nonetheless. After the TTC I really was alone.

348700

We got to MK, regrouped on the platform and started to make our way down the ramp. A CM chased us down and asked if we had just come from the Contemporary. The Contemporaries FP machine was down so that CM had called ahead to this CM and asked him to give us FP’s. Turns out the MK machine was also down so he gave us 22 paper fastpasses for MK. But we are going to AK tomorrow. Its ok, just go to guest services and they will hook you up.
Wow! Awesome!

On our bus ride back to AKL I told everyone they could sleep in a lille bit. We were going to rope drop Navi but we now had two extra fastpasses each. I explained I was still going to rope drop because I can sleep on the plane, anyone who wanted to join me could.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Did you talk to someone about this afterwards? It seems like they owe you quite a refund!
I have. The problem with dvc is there is no one on site to speak to about something like this. Speaking to the marina manager seems like the obvious solution but their hands are tied because the $ went through dvc. The marina tried to make up for it as best they could. I will touch on this a little bit more. I need to let my blood pressure settle first😎
 

krisri18

Well-Known Member
Day 6/Dec 26 cont

View attachment 348687View attachment 348688View attachment 348689View attachment 348690

Then it was time to go. Driver took her time and went the long way.

View attachment 348691

More Electrical water pagent
View attachment 348692

View attachment 348694View attachment 348693


The ferry boats had started running again. It looks so pretty-the calm before the storm for the ferry captain as MK had to be emptying out.
View attachment 348696
At least the SS Minnow would have come with Gilligan's hijinks.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The cruise wrap up

I feel like I may be getting a little katiebug so I will keep this brief. Just the facts.

When I got home I called my dvc vacation advisor, Lily. She is nice but I knew there was nothing she could do. I explained the situation she interjected with appropriate sympathetic responses. I asked for her supervisor and she gave me to Terrence. I started to explain and he interrupted me. After the third interruption I got very mad and yelled “stop interrupting” then I said, “you cant help me. Give me your supervisor.”

Policy is a supervisor calls back in 24-48 hours. Krista called me the next day. I explained the situation. One of the things that really bothered (bothers) me is the way they describe it like a dessert party and charge as if it were a dessert party. “Oh no,” she informed me, “the dessert party is priced much higher.” This was $85pp and can only be booked by dvc members. The ferrytale dessert party is $99. With dvc discount it is $89.10pp. A difference of $4.10pp. Is that “much higher”? Does anyone think $4.10 is much higher? Show of hands.

348788
(@amjt660 please tell Shane I am sorry. I could not resist!)

I told her I did not expect a full refund but I should be refunded the difference between what I paid for and what I received. She said flatly, “you are not getting a refund.” I lost my cool a bit at this point. I ranted about how dvc ripped me off and how even the CM’s at the marina knew it. This statement got her riled up. She started lecturing me on how CM’s are all suppose to support each other and shouldn't say anything negative about other departments. If you remember Driver never actually said a negative word against dvc, she let me figure it out. The negative words were all mine. Driver provided the sympathetic face. I did not want driver to get in trouble and I tried to explain how it went but Krista just kept lecturing me. Finally I said, “stop! I do not care about your policies! That is not my problem!!” I asked to speak to her supervisor since she clearly was not going to help me.

Sweetly, she said she was trying to help me and would “look into it” and call me back in a day or two. I pointed out that the following day was New Year’s Day and she told me she was off. Duh

I knew what the offer would be before she made it. She called back, “i see you will be at Saratoga Springs in February with a party of 9. I will put a credit on your account that will allow you to do the fireworks cruise again. The basic one, not the good one. “

I booked it last week. The “credit”? Ha! I had to pay upfront on my credit card. I asked the vacation advisor helping me (not my usual one because I did not want to get her involved) to ask Krista about that. The answer, once you check in the money will be credited back to you. Once there is a credit card linked to the account. “So I can do online check in now and it will be credited back to my card?” “Yes.”

No

Today I called back. Once I physically check in the refund will go on my room portfolio.
I am stupid aren't I? I gave them my money again.
I booked the $350 cruise from the (non) contemporary. I want to see if the two experiences differ, at all. I will take @krause suggestion and BYOB. And I will report back.

(Note: I also emailed but as of yet have not gotten a response)
 

NessNewt

Well-Known Member
The cruise wrap up

I feel like I may be getting a little katiebug so I will keep this brief. Just the facts.

When I got home I called my dvc vacation advisor, Lily. She is nice but I knew there was nothing she could do. I explained the situation she interjected with appropriate sympathetic responses. I asked for her supervisor and she gave me to Terrence. I started to explain and he interrupted me. After the third interruption I got very mad and yelled “stop interrupting” then I said, “you cant help me. Give me your supervisor.”

Policy is a supervisor calls back in 24-48 hours. Krista called me the next day. I explained the situation. One of the things that really bothered (bothers) me is the way they describe it like a dessert party and charge as if it were a dessert party. “Oh no,” she informed me, “the dessert party is priced much higher.” This was $85pp and can only be booked by dvc members. The ferrytale dessert party is $99. With dvc discount it is $89.10pp. A difference of $4.10pp. Is that “much higher”? Does anyone think $4.10 is much higher? Show of hands.

View attachment 348788
(@amjt660 please tell Shane I am sorry. I could not resist!)

I told her I did not expect a full refund but I should be refunded the difference between what I paid for and what I received. She said flatly, “you are not getting a refund.” I lost my cool a bit at this point. I ranted about how dvc ripped me off and how even the CM’s at the marina knew it. This statement got her riled up. She started lecturing me on how CM’s are all suppose to support each other and shouldn't say anything negative about other departments. If you remember Driver never actually said a negative word against dvc, she let me figure it out. The negative words were all mine. Driver provided the sympathetic face. I did not want driver to get in trouble and I tried to explain how it went but Krista just kept lecturing me. Finally I said, “stop! I do not care about your policies! That is not my problem!!” I asked to speak to her supervisor since she clearly was not going to help me.

Sweetly, she said she was trying to help me and would “look into it” and call me back in a day or two. I pointed out that the following day was New Year’s Day and she told me she was off. Duh

I knew what the offer would be before she made it. She called back, “i see you will be at Saratoga Springs in February with a party of 9. I will put a credit on your account that will allow you to do the fireworks cruise again. The basic one, not the good one. “

I booked it last week. The “credit”? Ha! I had to pay upfront on my credit card. I asked the vacation advisor helping me (not my usual one because I did not want to get her involved) to ask Krista about that. The answer, once you check in the money will be credited back to you. Once there is a credit card linked to the account. “So I can do online check in now and it will be credited back to my card?” “Yes.”

No

Today I called back. Once I physically check in the refund will go on my room portfolio.
I am stupid aren't I? I gave them my money again.
I booked the $350 cruise from the (non) contemporary. I want to see if the two experiences differ, at all. I will take @krause suggestion and BYOB. And I will report back.

(Note: I also emailed but as of yet have not gotten a response)
That is infuriating. I think my blood pressure is going up on your behalf!
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
I am so insanely impressed with you and your family!
In your photos, despite the craziness of your evening, your family looks so good natured about it all.
I can pinky promise if that had been our family, my hot tempered (grumpy type on a good day) husband would have been in a Lake Buena Vista jail!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That is infuriating. I think my blood pressure is going up on your behalf!
Thank you for the support. Talking/writing about it to people who understand has really helped me. I am ready for our next adventure!


Kills me every time 😂
😎

I am so insanely impressed with you and your family!
In your photos, despite the craziness of your evening, your family looks so good natured about it all.
I can pinky promise if that had been our family, my hot tempered (grumpy type on a good day) husband would have been in a Lake Buena Vista jail!
Like I said I tried not to let them know what was going on. I think because it was a surprise for them there was no build up or anticipation. And, it is a nice experience just not for the price tag (and it was not as marketed-but the fam didn't know that).
 
Top Bottom