I think it took her all of ten seconds to reply, "YES!" I quickly replied to Myrna and told her to book a cabin. To be quite honest, at that time I didn't know if I would be able to come up with the down payment, let alone afford the cruise. But I did it on blind faith knowing that I would do everything humanly (and legally) possible to go on that cruise. Jen and I discussed my options and came up with a plan - we would ask her mom if she could put my deposit on her credit card and I would make weekly payments to her until I paid it off. Not only did she say yes, she decided she wanted to go on the cruise, too!
I started making my weekly payments to Jen's mom and once my deposit was paid off (5 weeks) I started socking away a little here, a little there, all year long. When the cruise was about 9 months away, I downloaded a free app to count down the days. Every week, I would check the app and share the days left with Jen. Sometimes that count down was the only thing that kept me sane!
The day finally arrived: May 15, 2015 We could not be more excited! (About two weeks earlier, I did a Google search on the parking situation around the cruise terminal and found out that you need to park at one of several parking lots/structures and take a shuttle to the ship.) I met Jen at her house and we started discussing our parking options. I called a couple of companies and was told that parking reservations should have been made at least 2 to 3 weeks before the cruise! Mind you, NOWHERE on their websites did it say that and I could prove it because I had printed out the parking information from my Google searches! (So heed this - reserve parking if you ever cruise out of San Diego!)
We decided we were not going to stress about it and jumped into Jen's car and off we went. It was raining steadily but that did not spoil our enthusiasm. The drive down to San Diego where the Disney Wonder was docked was going smoothly and I used that time to call a few other parking companies but they either didn't answer the phone at all or if they did, I was told that there were no spots available. Jen came up with Plan B - Go to the airport and use the long-term parking lot, then find a taxi to take us to the cruise terminal. We parked our cars (Jen's parents were following us in their own vehicle.) and when the shuttle came we talked to the driver and he offered to take us to the cruise terminal. AWESOME!
After lunch we started exploring the ship and you'll see all we discovered in Part 2!