Friday, October 30, 2009

Disney's New Cruise Ship

What could be cooler than a Disney Cruise? A Disney Cruise on a ship with an onboard waterpark. That's essentially what Disney's newest cruise ship Disney Dream is offering. Beginning next month cruise ship lovers and Disney fans (count me in) will be able to experience this latest adventure courtesy of Disney. While I've not been on the ship and may frankly never be able to afford this I had to show thriftymomma's fans this amazing creation, the first time a waterslide has ever been done on a cruise ship. This one is dubbed the AquaDuck and as you can see it wraps right around the deck extends out over the water in some spots and looks like nonstop thrills. Disney Dream is the third Disney cruise ship, even bigger than the first two, and accommodates some 4,000 guests. Wow! The AquaDuck is being called a transparent watercoaster and it's creating quite a buzz already. The tube dips four decks and winds up in a lazy river. There are three other family pools on board and this amazing experience is expected to be ready for booking November 9th. Can you all say bring it on Mickey?
(Photo courtesy of WDIG)

Friday, October 23, 2009

London roundup this weekend

This is a super quick Friday roundup of events in and around London, Ontario this weekend. I don't usually do this but as I tallied up all the things happening here this weekend I began to get really excited and wondered what I will have to forego as a result of a jam packed social schedule. So here it is: a very big craft show starts today at Western Fair and runs all weekend. Also there at the same time in the special events building is the annual London public library Friends of the Library book sale. I have never been but apparently you can buy a bag for $3 and fill it up with as many used books as you want. Happy Reading! (All weekend unless the books sell faster than anticipated.) The Babies, Tots and You show runs at Carling Heights Community Centre only on Sunday from 11 to 4 p.m.. It promises to be exciting and a great chance to see new products and services for parents. A workshop for children aged 8 to 12 is scheduled for the London Regional Children's Museum on Saturday the 24th. The cost is $30 and youth will be able to build their own telescope with an astronomer. The Thames Valley Parent Involvement forum is also being held at the board of education on Dundas Street Saturday only from 8:30 a.m. registration required. Keynote speaker is Peter Jaffe, and the topic is media's influence on children. Last year I attended this event and it was a useful forum for parents seeking involvement with their child's school and was also helpful in ascertaining where priorities are for various schools.
(photo compliments of the LPL on Flickr)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crowne Plaza Toronto DVP

Last month we had the opportunity to visit family in Toronto and not wishing to impose we opted to stay at a family hotel. Toronto's Crowne Plaza Don Valley Parkway has served us well a couple of times now. This year we timed it just right with the weather and both indoor and outdoor pools were of use. The outdoor pool is relatively shallow and easy to reach on the street level of the facility. There is a conference centre, great breakfast buffet on site and service was fantastic. A couple of weddings took place here over the weekend. The best part of this particular spot is its location, almost walking distance to the Ontario Science Centre. While the rooms aren't overly exciting and nearby construction means the view won't be much either the prices are competitive and if looking for a weekend of shopping or visiting the sites this is a worthy family facility.

thriftymommagogo's rating $$$ out of $$$$$.

call 1-416-449-4111

Monday, October 5, 2009

Jamaica with kids - starfish trelawny

Last April we ventured to Ocho Rios for the first time with our children and had a fantastic, affordable, fun, family trip. (Family of four all inclusive with flights $3600.00 )After much discussion, research and preparation, we again planned to travel as cheaply as possible at as calm a travel time as possible. Due to my daughter's sensory processing disorder, which means everything is louder, brighter, faster and tighter in her world, we have found off season April to be most suitable for travelling. A mere four to five hour flight from Toronto's Lester B. Pearson, Jamaica's Starfish Trelawny resort won the day. While we initially tried to book on line, we ended up after much confusion - why would a family resort advertised as such, not permit four people in one room ? - at Sears Travel. Luckily a seasoned travel agent made the call and the room was in fact booked. This trip was chosen by us because of the multitude of activities available on site. At the property there was mini golfing, swimming, whirlpools, pool in the swimming pool, a kid's club which was top notch, rock climbing, circus school, water aerobics, basketball, waterslides, various evening activities and entertainment and basketball. The kid's club offered babysitting, regular activities like scavenger hunts, crafts, egg painting and dance offs. Great canopied lounges surrounded the pools and the food was exceptional. It should be noted though that not all on site restaurants were included with the all inclusive price. If activities and food were great, the rooms were mediocre at best. Our family arrived early and our room was not ready at first, so I complained and nothing happened, then after a couple of hours swimming and with very tired kids in tow I complained this time to the manager and a room was quickly found. Too tired to care that the room was really rough and had a horrid view of nothing we collapsed that first night. But eventually after discovering the phone and the hairdryer didn't work we complained again and this time we were moved to a gorgeous room with balcony overlooking the ocean and the magnificent grounds. As thriftymommagogo rates trips also on how effectively service issues are solved this one gets high marks.
thriftymommagogo ratings.
service $$$$.
accommodations $$$
food $$$ 1/2