So far, I'm not getting anything more than I already had folks. The idea was someone who has done this process comment, instead I'm getting people second guessing my understanding of the situation. Please only bother to reply if you have something useful to input.
That being said, I know I will have to backup the db before this upgrade, and that I can do this several different ways. Also, I know it all works once completed, as I have a devserver which runs mariadb using an older version of my production db. So ya, enough of that info guys... give me the goods, is it really as simple as backup, upgrade, import ?!