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Origin Story - From Hawaii to Scandinavia



FTC Disclosure: Through business relationships with our suppliers, some may provide complimentary or discounted access to their locations and products to provide hands-on experiences to better assist my clients.


2023 was to be (& is being) a milestone year for me (Gayle). It would mark a “big birthday” along with hopeful plans to change employers and relocate. Kara and I had been to Hawaii twice together and had pledged to visit every five years. Our last visit was 2007….


So a split-stay on Kauai and Oahu was booked for May 2023 - a vacation rental on Kauai and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa (of course) on Oahu. Then things took a turn and we ended up canceling. Why?

  1. The one major activity I wanted to repeat on Kauai was already sold out nearly nine months in advance due to a company retreat.

  2. We were struggling to form a list of experiences and/or get excited about them.


So on January 27, 2023, seeing an offer, we booked a 7 night Disney Cruise Line Northern Europe cruise on the Disney Dream. A couple of things to know. First, this had long been my “bucket list” cruise. As a child I recall my grandparents visiting these countries and bringing me coins from each destination, a collection I still have.



a collection of Scandinavian and European currency
Gayle's collection of currency from around the world


Second, this was to be the inaugural season of the Disney Dream sailing in Europe. Then, after we booked, we also learned this would also be part of the Silver Anniversary at Sea sailings celebrating the 25th year of Disney Cruise Line.


Third, just before the 2022 holidays I received my Ancestry report. Not too surprisingly it seems as though I have heritage from all the countries we will be visiting & I’ve not yet visited any of them!


Per the offer, we were booked for a Guaranteed Veranda (VGT) stateroom. As we’ve said before, we’ve been blessed with enough sailings we don’t really care where our stateroom is. As of this writing, we are three weeks from sailing and haven’t yet been assigned our stateroom!


As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney | Ship Registry: The Bahamas | CST# 2090317-40 / Fla. Seller of Travel Ref. No. ST37203


Next up… Logistics!


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