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View Full Version : *LIVE* from the Magic pre-trip and 1/28-2/4 Cruise


ddavis860
01-30-2006, 04:20 PM
Woohoo, after all this planning, I finally get to write the trip report of our 1/28/06 MAGICal Western/Eastern Disney Cruise. Our Cast: ddavis860 (me), DH, DS17, and DS13. DISCLAIMER: ddavis860 tends to write long reports...just FYI...


Our Trip: Part 1: Auto Train to Florida, a couple of days staying at Saratoga Springs, 2 bedroom vacation villa. A day visit with family living near Tampa. Then over to Radisson at the Port for the night. Part 2: Our MAGICal Western/Eastern Cruise. Ports of call: Key West, Grand Cayman, Nassau, and Castaway Cay.

Day 1 and Day 2: Tuesday January 24, 2006 and Wednesday January 25, 2006
The plan was to leave at 10am to be sure to get to the train by 2pm, the latest a Van/SUV will be loaded on the train. Mapquest said the ride would be about 21/2 hours to the station. DH packed the car, puppies went to the kennel, and we set off on the first leg of out MAGICal vacation!! No problems going to the Auto Train, and the check in was uneventful. A word of caution, bring your own lunch. They have a "Cafe" which sells really bad sandwiches for $7.00 each, chips for $4.50 for a med sized bag, and sodas for $2.00. DH and I joked that we should have gone to Wawa, gotten some subs and sold them to make money for the trip. Can you say captive audience? Rip off? They do have a new item available for rent at the station. It is like a small video player, and has several current movies, some TV shows, some music and a few Amtrack propaganda movies pre-loaded into it. Cost was $25+tax for 1 headset, or $30+tax for 2 headsets. We rented 1, for the trip. Then they had a contest, whoever had the oldest quarter would win a player for free. Things were looking pretty good for us, we had a 1965 Quarter, but so did 4 others, and in the lottery, we lost. DS13 was disappointed, but we had 1, so he was happy about that.

The Auto Train is HUGE! We had 4 reserved coach seats, but the train was so empty, we had 2 seats each, and were able to spread out. Dinner in the coach dining car was OK, not great, but OK. The train rocks something terrible...when it is moving...and I took a Bonine just in case, and I think I was glad I did. We watched a couple of movies on the video thing, and then went to sleep. Trying to get comfortable was a challenge, and you really didn't get sleep, just naps. I also recommend that you bring your own blanket and pillow. The ones that they have on the train are really small. DS's brought pillows, DH and I didn't (we were sorry). I did bring oversized polar throws for everyone, and they worked out great!Now, this train shares the tracks with the freight trains...which apparently break down and cause delays. Well, you can guess, we were delayed, and I mean DELAYED!!! We didn't arrive at 830am as we were supposed to, we arrived in Sanford, FL after 1pm. They also weren't prepared to give us any lunch, and DH is going to complain to the company about that one. According to the train staff, this thing delays more than it runs on time, and they should know what to expect.

We then had to wait for the van. I was SO GLAD to get off that train, and so happy that I didn't book it for the return trip...an hour or 2 delay would be understandable, a 51/2 hr delay was way too much! Even the train workers were stressing, and taking the blankets and pillows from us before we arrived so they could get the train ready for the next riders.

The ride to Saratoga Springs was uneventful. Mapquest directions were perfect. Saratoga Springs, Disney's new Vacation Club property is BEAUTIFUL!!! Our room is water view, across the street from the pool. It was warm enough for us to get in the heated pool, and the water slide was very popular. Yes, I went down the slide, and had a VERY fast ride. Guess the bigger you are the faster you go, cause I was like a rocket, flipped over 1/2 way down, got a mouthfull of pool water, and cause my family to laugh themselves silly...The hot tub was REALLY nice, and we met a couple from Canada who were going on the Wonder in a few days. They were newbie cruisers, so we told them all the tips we have learned, and answered their questions.

Then it was off to Chef Mickey's Dinner Buffet. DS13 didn't come with us, he was fighting a headache. DS17 and I made sure that DH was in the hot seat, and all the characters got him first. The best was when Minnie came up and kissed him SEVERAL times and flirted with him...was so funny, and I caught him flirting with another woman...well mouse...but still, he got teased pretty good...

Anyway, went shopping at the Contemporary for scrapbook stuff, and got a cute Eeyore polar fleece pull over. DH got a sword for his pirate costume, and got me a set of rubber cuffs to wear with mine...I'm thinking he is getting into this pirate thing just a little too much...

More to follow...

ddavis860
01-30-2006, 04:23 PM
Day 3- Thursday, January 26, 2006

After that crazy Auto Train trip, we slept great in our beds. When DS13 woke up in the morning, he asked me if I remembered a medicine. Nope, I forgot...DH called the front desk, and they gave us the name if Turner Pharmacy. Larry at the pharmacy was great. A call to the Dr office at home, and everything was taken care of. Turner Pharmacy delivers the scripts to the resort, and Disney charges your room. The only downside is they don't take your insurance, you have to pay full price.

After we got that all straightened out, we headed over to Artist's Pallet. DH had an omelet, I had a croissant sandwich, and DS17 had the adult breakfast. It was yummy! After breakfast DH and I went over to the spa. I almost wish I had longer to stay, because I think I could really get into the spa here. I was able to schedule a pedicure for early Friday, before we leave.

Today was our Universal Day. We jumped in the van and headed off to Islands of Adventure. Trip was really short, and we got priority parking, so when we left, there wasn't as long to walk. City Walk was interesting, and we planned what we were going to do when we were finished in the park.

Universal was NOT crowded. I think the longest line was 20-30 min on Dueling Dragons, and that was because there was a problem with the ride. DH and DS17 did the big name rides, Hulk, Spiderman, and Dueling Dragons. DS17 did Dr. Doom's Fearfall, and Jurassic Park River Adventure.

DS17 got off Hulk and said he thinks that roller coasters aren't thrilling for him anymore, He is going to have to start bungee jumping or skydiving now...Oh Great! But he did leave it smiling. He thought Dueling Dragons was pretty good. Our favorite islands were The Lost World and Jurassic Park. The other islands were just to campy for us. The park was clean, the bathrooms were alright. The staff was for the most part very nice and helpful, except 1 bad experience at the Bob Marley Store. You can really tell the difference though between the Disney cast members, and the Universal staff. Disney University really trains their people in customer service, Universal was lacking that "extra" effort. That is coming from our personal experience at both parks, and from DH's human resources and customer service background.

After we walked the whole park, we went back through City Walk. DH wanted to go to Margaritaville. Parrot Head that he is, we spent quite a while there, eating dinner and shopping. The decor was great, and island inspired. The music was "fantastic" (DH review), and a was shown on a big screen, and on a sailboat sail. Food was OK, DH and DS17 had crab cakes (not up to Maryland standards, but OK), I had coconut shrimp (quite good), and DS13 had a burger.

DS17 wanted to go to the Bob Marley's Store. The Margaritaville store was fantastic, Bob Marley's was a huge disappointment, but DS17 did find a sweat shirt. Leaving the park wasn't any trouble either. Even though we were leaving with the crowd, we didn't see any traffic, and were able to keep moving.

When we got back to Disney, we went to the Virgin Megastore, and the House of Blues Store. Then it was to the front desk to pick up the script, and home to our beautiful, comfy villa.

More to follow....

ddavis860
01-30-2006, 04:24 PM
Day 4, Friday January 27, 2006

This morning I had a spa pedicure with paraffin at the Saratoga Springs Spa. Ana was the tech, and she was wonderful. The pedicure includes a leg massage, leg mask, paraffin treatment on your feet, then the professional polish application. My legs definatly loved the massage, as Universal yesterday took it's toll...the vibrating chair had me so relaxed, I fell asleep for a few minutes while the leg mask did it's thing...

After I got back to the room, we started packing for out check-out. I didn't want to leave this beautiful place, but DH kept reminding that I get to go to the Mickey Boat tomorrow. After check-out we went to Downtown Disney Marketplace, and I finally got to the WOD store. Then it was to Wolfgang Pucks Express for lunch. There was no line, and we ordered and were served quickly. DH got some salad thing, was OK, not great. DS17 got BBQ Quesedilla which was good, I got a roasted veggie sandwich, yummy, DS13 had cereal...don't ask... After lunch we got on the road and we were off to visit family near Tampa.

Mapquest send us back to Orlando to get to the port for our check-in at the Radisson at the Port. We got to see the Disney Power Pole, and the lights in the sky from Pleasure Island, but that was as close as we got to Disney. The drive to the port was uneventful. We were after rush hour, so even though there was some construction, it didn't effect us.

When we arrived at the Radisson, it was close to 11pm. Check-in didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. When the reservation came up, it turned out that even though I booked a room with 2 king beds, I got a room with 2 double beds...well, I told Robert behind the desk what I had booked. I showed him the booking sheet, and told him how the online booking worked and what I requested. He showed us where the booking really did say that I reserved a room with 2 double beds...But, he saw our distress, 2 teenage boys and me and DH in 2 double beds, and started typing like crazy, talked to another guy behind the desk for a minute, then told us that he would give us connecting rooms with 2 double beds each, and would comp us the 2nd room. I'm sure the late hour had something to do with the availability, but it worked out really well for us. He said he understood that the website didn't explain properly what we were getting. He apologized profusely for the mix-up, and asked if 2 connecting rooms would fix the problem...ummm....YES!!!

He then told us of the complimentary shuttle to the port, and the free secure parking that we could use. We had some extra bags that we don't want to take on the cruise with us, and Robert said that they would store any bags that we needed for us till we returned. He assured us that they have never had a problem, the lot is under surveillance, and there is security on property. Hmmmmm, now he was saving us like $100...I'm thinking Robert is our new best friend...

WOW, what started as a potential disaster, turned out great, and we went off to find the rooms. DH was just thrilled to unload the car yet again. What started out as a great idea of having "cruise bags" and "before cruise bags", hasn't turned out quite as well as I had hoped, and seems like we are just moving "all" bags all the time. I'll have to rethink that one for the next cruise. Our shuttle to the port isn't until 1pm. A little later than I wanted to arrive, but it will give DH and the kids a chance to sleep in a little and the kids want to swim in the heated pool. They have a breakfast buffet that we will hit in the morning too...

More to follow...

anty30
01-30-2006, 09:02 PM
Please keep the reports coming. Love em'.

lUVTOGO
01-31-2006, 05:47 PM
Great Reports! Keep them coming!!!

AnnaS
01-31-2006, 05:52 PM
ddavis860

Hi, glad you are having a great time and wishing we were either in WDW or on the DCL.

Someone on the disboards has reported hearing from their travel agent that the Magic is definitely going to Europe.

Please ask/snoop or better yet, have you heard anything?

Thanks and keep us posted. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

disneylover5
01-31-2006, 09:21 PM
I know why Debbie has not reported anymore. The weather has been awesome and we have had the best cruise. We spent today in Grand Cayman at Rum Point. We made the very last tender back to the ship, we almost get left!!!

We have had smooth sailing and sunny skies.....could not ask for anything more!!

Lisa

ddavis860
02-01-2006, 11:01 PM
So Sorry! I tried to send the reports that I have and the battery died on my lap top!!! Figures, when I was finally ready to send my reports!

Wow, I promise to report tomorrow! Lisa is right, our weather is perfect! We couldn't have asked for better temps...Tomorrow is Nassau.

Till then...

Deb

ddavis860
02-02-2006, 08:19 AM
Day 1, Port Canaveral, Day 5 of the vacation, January 28, 2006

The Radisson at the Port has a pretty good breakfast buffet. DH had an omelet, and DS17 and I had the eggs from the buffet. There was sausage, sausage gravy and biscuits, bacon, pastries, and cereals. After breakfast we got the bags ready to go to the ship. We tagged some luggage for storage at the hotel, and went to the shuttle pick up area. They run the shuttle smoothly, and we were soon on the way to the Magic.

The shuttle driver, Pete, put our luggage on the sidewalk, and we waited there for the porter to come and put them in the carrier. Some folks didn't wait, and left their luggage unattended. Security was there, and they were checking it over. They called in the sniffing dog to check things out, and we got to see the whole thing. Interesting...

We then went through the metal detectors at the door, and as usual, DS17 set it off. They pulled him aside, and it was his belt. The guy behind me set it off because he has new knees, and the wand beeps over his new titanium knees...interesting again....

Up the escalator, and we saw the line...WOW!!! That is what we get for being so late...but we are Castaway Club members, so we walked past everyone, and went to that line, were taken right away, and were in line for pictures in about 10 minutes. At this point DH and DS's are thinking that I'm pretty cool that I knew about that line...

Onboard the ship they announced our name, and we went to our stateroom. We dropped off the bags and checked out the little gifties that I ordered for us. The snack basket that I ordered from Shirley at the was great! The cruise line hats were a hit, and I got the memory box to keep all my papers, and little things in...The room had the decorations for DS13 Bday already up, and the cake was waiting for us...Then it was up to Topsiders for lunch buffet. Yummy! DH and I then went to the spa. I wanted to show him the Spa Villas. Wow, are they pretty, and DH was very happy that I made a reservation.

Then we went to our DIS meet, and met Fawn, Dobelover, Brickchick, Fireplug, and Codyj. We had to break it up for the muster drill, and then our cruise officially began!! The sail away party was a blast. Dobelover brought bubbles, and after our group got theirs, DH and I walked them around the party giving them out to the little kids. Dobelover said she was NOT going home with them, so we made sure she wasn't...

DH had his first massage of the cruise scheduled at the spa, and I was able to get a manicure at the same time. Our dinner rotation is LAPLAPL so we have the 830 seating. We weren't interested in going to the show, so we unpacked and organized our home for the next 7 days. The ship was rocking and rolling, but DH and DS's never get sea sick. I am taking Bonine though...and I feel fine...

Dinner was wonderful, and our servers Karoy and Alonzo are terrific!! I also asked about our DIS Bday Party, and the head server said he would take care of everything. We went shopping, and I got my new scrapbook for the cruise, plus the cruise papers and stickers. The cover on this one is really nice. It says 06 on it, and has a Captain Mickey. It is kind of Art Deco feeling, not cartoony like my last one...

Movies on the ship this week:
Sky High
The Incredibles
Herbie-Fully Loaded
Valiant
Chicken Little
Glory Road
Flight Plan
Finding Nemo
Casanova
The Chronicles of Narnia
Annapolis
Shop Girl
Pirates of the Caribbean at the pool on Pirate's Night

We went to the Rockin' Bar D after shopping, and listened to the band, and then it was off to bed...

More to follow...

ddavis860
02-02-2006, 08:22 AM
Day 2 of our cruise, Key West, day 6 of our vacation, January 29, 2006

Key West is really picturesque. Very quaint looking. We went to deck 10 to watch the Magic dock. Right behind us was the Carnival Glory. Around 0930 there was an announcement that Atlantis in Nassau has added another excursion. Full access to Atlantis with the slides, the Dig, and lunch included. Limited availability. As DH and I were going to the DVC Meet, we saw the line at the Shore Excursion Desk...it was really long. After the Meet, we went to get the information. Atlantis had emailed the ship to inform them of the offer at 0900. There were 40 spots, and it was $120.00 per person. This was new, and not something that Atlantis offers all the time. We already have your Comfort Inn ressies, and did much better going that route for our family of 4.

We didn't have anything planned for Key West, so we just started walking. Wear walking shoes for Key West. I was in sandals, and I was sorry. We went to Pirate Soul, and Margarittaville for lunch. We also got Key Lime Pie, and DH got "Pie on a Stick". Then I wanted to get a charger for my camera, so we took the bus to the mall. I wasn't able to get the part I needed, but the bus took us through streets that we would never have seen. It was interesting to travel the way the locals do, and see where they live.

We were running out of time, and hailed a cab after our trip to the mall. At the dock, DH and DS17 ended up getting picked for the sidewalk show. They were holding a rope, and the juggler was walking on the rope. The horn honked and I panicked and left with DS13 to the gangway. DS17 and DH finally finished the show, and came aboard.

Dinner was at Animator's Pallet. Now I have to say that DH and I never really got this room, it was never our favorite. Maybe it was where we were sitting though, because this time we really liked it. And you can tell who the Disney freaks are, because we could name every song that was played, and every movie they showed.

We went to the shops to see what was new, and I was able to get the cruise line Italian charm for my bracelet. The cast member who helped me said they run out of them every cruise, and it was good that I got mine early. After dinner we went to 60's night to hear the band and then it was off to bed...

More to follow....

ddavis860
02-02-2006, 08:24 AM
Day 3 of the Cruise- Day 7 of the vacation

Today was our Character Breakfast, but we chose not to go. Instead we slept in a little and ate a light breakfast. We are having our DIS Bday party today in Lumiere's 1205 lunch.

At about 1150 our family went to Lumiere's to make sure that they had things ready for us. They were all set, and had a portion of the dining room blocked off. As people started showing up, we started filling the tables. Some folks forgot, (having too much fun on their cruise) but the ones who came had fun. I brought the few left over bubbles that I saved from sail away, and we played and talked. The servers were so funny, and were playing bubbles too, and when it came time to sing and cakes...they were so loud and funny! The whole thing turned out great, and we all left full!

Then it was off to the Spa, DH and I had the Exotic Rasul booked. We do this every cruise, but this time it was a little different. The steam is continuous in the steam room, no button to push. We were also given a big bowl of seaweed mud, instead of the 3 different muds like before. I liked the seaweed better, and there was so much of it, we didn't use it all. I do think that the spa needs to have a few larger robes available for their plus sized guests. The robes were a little to small for us this time.

After the Spa DH went up to the pool. I went to Guest Services.to get the information about the wireless internet. I went over to the lounge, and after 20 minutes, I finally figured it out, and was able to log off.

Tonight was formal night, and we had our Golden Mickeys show at 6:15. What a great show! DH and I loved it! We then went to the shops to see if there was anything different, and then it was off to formal night dinner.

Dinner was at Parrot Cay. They changed this room from the last time we were on board. Gone are the palm trees, and all the greenery. Now it is a clean looking room, with wooden cut-outs around the pillars, and trompe l'oie(sp) windows with tropical scenes. DH was very disappointed in our new decor, but I like it much better! DS17 and DH looked so nice all decked out. Where was DS13 you ask? I was asking the same question...Before dinner started, we sent DS17 off to see if he could locate his brother. Within 10 minutes they were both back, and DS13 was in is formal clothes too. DH17 helped him get ready that fast. Unfortunately, DS13 has lost some ship privileges due to his stunt, and is now under house arrest.

Tomorrow is Grand Cayman...more to follow...

ddavis860
02-02-2006, 08:26 AM
Day 4 of the Cruise, Day 8 of our vacation

Today is Grand Cayman. I was up really early, and could see Grand Cayman lights in the distance. I could also hear a big party going on somewhere. DH came back with coffee and said he was watching the Pirate Party reversal on deck 9. He even got to shake Captain Hook's hand...errr.....hook....

Anyway, we all went to Topsiders for early Breakfast, as we had an excursion planned with Native Way for the "Rays, Reef, and Rum Point". We got our gear ready, grabbed some towels from the pool area, and were off to get a tender ticket. The day was beautiful, and the water was like glass, so no tender problems, and we were off to see the island. We found our Native Way person right as we got off the dock, and were told we would meet at the big Rolex at 9:00. So we wandered around for a little while.

We got on a bus, and went over to the boat. We actually went on the wrong bus, but "No Worries", they dropped us off where we needed to be, and we got to know the crew before the rest of the tour arrived.

Chris the Captain was great. Charles was the Mate, and Dolo was our videographer. The ride out to Stingray Sandbar was beautiful. We got to see Bill Gate's house on the water, and just enjoy the sun and the ride. The sandbar wasn't crowded, and we got a great spot. Charles was in the water setting the anchors, and as soon as they were set, Chris gave us some ground rules about the rays...no jumping up and down, no water shoes, bare feet only, as if the shoes scrape the ray it would get rid of the protective membrane and cause the ray to get sick...and we were told we could , scream all we want...

DH was the first in the water, and we all followed after. The rays come up and brush by your legs and play at your feet. DS17 thought it was great, DS13 was off the boat for a few minutes, and then back on the ladder again. He stepped on a ray, and it freaked him out. Chris and Charles then got 2 rays, and explained the difference between the males and females. We then got to kiss them(7 years good luck), hold them, got a back rub from them, and then Dolo took the video of them holding one for our pictures. They sure are funny looking!!! Chris then took a ray over to DS13 so he could see one up close, and Charles got him a piece of white coral for a suvineer...just little perk for going through a smaller company for our excursion,

Then it was off to the barrier reef. There was an octopus there, DH saw him, DS13 and I were getting used to the snorkel stuff. Dolo got on her scuba gear, and was filming us underwater. Charles found a conch, and since it was in season, he brought it aboard. The reef was beautiful, and fish were so colorful, and DH and DSs didn't want to stop, but it was time for lunch, so we were off to Rum Point.

They took our orders, and called ahead so when we arrived, the food was hot and waiting for us. Water and ice tea were complimentary, the Mudslide that I had wasn't. Prices are steep, but the place was BEAUTIFUL and I got a sting ray Christmas ornament to remember our day.

Then it was a boat ride back to the marina. In the marina they showed how they get the conch out of the shell...very ugly looking thing, and explained the different conch parts. Then a bus ride back to town, a little shopping and we were back on the tender and on the Magic. The cost was $60 US/per person. It was a bargain as far as I was concerned. They are first rate, and I would go again with them in a heartbeat!

What a wonderful day. DSs kept telling me that this was so much better than Key West... We all took naps when we got back...and then it was off to Pirate Night. We all dressed up, and got a few looks. There were several others decked out too, but none looked as good as Fireplug and his wife! They looked great!!! We had a rushed dinner, because we wanted to get to the party.

The party was fun, lots of dancing and singing. Then Captain Hook took over the ship, and we were all going to be his...but NO... Mickey saved the day and the party continues in the sky, and we saw the beautiful fireworks. DH has seen them several times, but they keep getting better. These were really wonderful!!

After the fireworks, the place really cleared out, and we settled in to watch Pirates of the Caribbean Movie on the big pool screen. I didn't make it very far, and had to go to bed, DS13 was already there, and DS17 followed shortly. DH loves that movie, and he stayed and watched the whole thing.

More to follow....

crazypom
02-02-2006, 11:14 AM
thanks for the great report!! Glad to hear about nativeway - we have that same excursion booked for may, it sounds like a lot of fun!! :cool1:

captchris
02-02-2006, 04:55 PM
That sounds like fun! We are planning to do Stingray City on our cruise in September.

Have you heard from any CM's about returning to Cozumel?

lmok
02-02-2006, 06:55 PM
:cool1: Sounds like you are having a great time!!! Did most of the people dress up for pirate night? I can't decide yet what we want to do. I'm thinking I might let the girls. When shopping in Grand Cayman did the locals pressure you much to buy from them? Did they have good buys???
Please continue your reports you do a great job. :banana:

budwmn
02-02-2006, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the detailed updates! Hope the last half of your trip is a s magical as the first!

:thanks: :thanks: :thanks:

UMTerp
02-03-2006, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the great report! I'm glad to hear good things about Native Way! I have the same tour booked for our April cruise! I'm glad to hear that you didn't have any trouble getting a tender in time to make the tour. Can I ask if you were one of the first groups in the tender ticket area? Do we need to get there before they open the doors? Thanks!

Enjoy the rest of your cruise! Here's wishing for great weather for you!

UMTerp

ddavis860
02-03-2006, 09:13 AM
ddavis860

Hi, glad you are having a great time and wishing we were either in WDW or on the DCL.

Someone on the disboards has reported hearing from their travel agent that the Magic is definitely going to Europe.

Please ask/snoop or better yet, have you heard anything?

Thanks and keep us posted. Enjoy the rest of your trip!


I haven't heard anything about Europe, I'll try to ask the servers tonight. We went to the DVC mneeting, and nothing was mentioned...but we didn't go to the other meeting where they discuss what is to come. Sorry I don't have better info.

ddavis860
02-03-2006, 09:17 AM
That sounds like fun! We are planning to do Stingray City on our cruise in September.

Have you heard from any CM's about returning to Cozumel?

We did hear that they were trying to get this cruise to Cozumel, but it still wasn't possible. We spoke with folks from other cruises that tendered there and said it worked fine. There is still alot of damage though, that is what they were saying. Not sure if Disney will change the next few cruises...but it wasn't ready for us.

Tri-circle-D
02-03-2006, 09:33 AM
Debbie- I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed your posts, and I wish you a great day today at Castaway Cay! I would love to know who all you have on your cruise staff, as it seems like a lot of changes have been made recently. I have heard Pike is away, but how about Scott, David, "Key-on," and Jake- any of them around? You can see them all at one place during the skit at Pub Night in Diversions tonight-try not to miss it! Would love to hear a report on that! Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

TCD

captchris
02-03-2006, 10:17 AM
We did hear that they were trying to get this cruise to Cozumel, but it still wasn't possible. We spoke with folks from other cruises that tendered there and said it worked fine. There is still alot of damage though, that is what they were saying. Not sure if Disney will change the next few cruises...but it wasn't ready for us.
Thanks for the reply!

I read somewhere else that it may take up to a year to fix the Punta Langosta pier. That seems like a hard time, but I also heard that the tenders that are used are huge, so moving people to shore wouldn't be too much of a problem.

Enjoy your last day!

monsterchaser
02-03-2006, 11:23 AM
I have been reading these boards for awhile, but signed up today just so I could say thanks so much for the live updates. We are cruising on the 2/25 Magic trip and I have been considering the Native Way tour also. You have helped me to make up my mind and I am booking today!

rjh8115
02-03-2006, 11:41 AM
I have been reading these boards for awhile, but signed up today just so I could say thanks so much for the live updates. We are cruising on the 2/25 Magic trip and I have been considering the Native Way tour also. You have helped me to make up my mind and I am booking today!

Hi Monster,
We're on you cruise! Hop over to the cruise meets (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=11406283#post11406283) to meet the rest of us DISers. Looks like we're around 160 and growing . . .

Rick

sam08223
02-03-2006, 04:35 PM
And it's been a great trip -- Met Deb and DH at a Palo Brunch on Wed AM -- I'm and occasional poster here. Didn't recogize Deb from this site until later. Castaway Key today was Great -- DW and I spent 6hrs just laying back at SB - a little cool - I guess mid 70's - but sure beats NJ. Hello again Deb -- Safe travels to all on this cruise and all DIS friends

ibouncetoo
02-04-2006, 02:58 PM
At about 1150 our family went to Lumiere's to make sure that they had things ready for us. They were all set, and had a portion of the dining room blocked off. As people started showing up, we started filling the tables. Some folks forgot, (having too much fun on their cruise) but the ones who came had fun. I brought the few left over bubbles that I saved from sail away, and we played and talked. The servers were so funny, and were playing bubbles too, and when it came time to sing and cakes...they were so loud and funny! The whole thing turned out great, and we all left full!

What a wonderful idea! We have a mess of birthday/anniversary celebrations on our cruise meets thread, this would be a fun way to all celebrate together. Were you able to arrange this in advance or did you have to set it up with guest services when you got on the ship?

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your cruise!

ddavis860
02-05-2006, 07:59 AM
Day 5 of the Cruise, Day 9 of our Vacation
(OK so now we are pretending to be live...We are actually *LIVE* from the Hampton Inn in Florence, SC. See, the cruise went to fast, and I wasn't able to stay "LIVE". I had every intention to, but it didn't work out that way....)

A day at sea again....

We woke up to beautiful calm seas, and sun. Wow, what great weather we have had for this cruise!

DS13 is no longer under house arrest, but has had his freedom curtailed big time. The boys are going to see Narnia tonight, and eating at the Topsider's Buffet. Today is Palo Brunch, Spa Villas, Twice Charmed, and Animator's Palette for dinner for DH and me. Wow, what a day...really not sure we can handle the stress....


We grabbed a light snack early from Topsiders, and dressed for Palo Brunch. We have never had brunch there before, so we were really looking forward to doing something new. Our server was Anton. Great server, and stayed and talked with us about how happy he is with the crew on the ship right now. He said that is it a totally different feeling from when he started 3 years ago. He also said that Disney is the best company to work for, but also the strictest. They do random drug testing on 50 crew a day, and if you fail, you are off at the next port...ZERO tolerance. That was something we had never heard before. He also said that they changed the crew bar and other crew areas during dry dock, and that it is much better for them....interesting info, and we could have talked to him for a few hours, really nice guy.

The food at Brunch was wonderful, as others have posted. I recommend going if you have the chance. I tried caviar, and a little of the cold salads. DH ordered the tilapia, and I ordered the Chicken Parm, and we shared a pasta dish. Desserts were yummy too, and we each had Key Lime Pie, and a few other things to try.

After Brunch we took a walk on deck, and then it was time to go to the spa villas. Now, you want to call something decadent, the spa villas are that and more. We weren't going to try it because of the cost, but we were so glad we did. DH picked the seaweed wrap, and I picked the hot stones. Add-ons were DH added a 1/2 body hot stones, and I added a full back exfoliation with Devil's Mint Scrub. When you go in they have the Jacuzzi bubbling away, and there are large bowls of sudsy water for your feet. You put your feet in to soak, and they go over your spa sheets. They then rub your feet with milk bath and give you a quick foot massage. Then it is into the Jacuzzi. Talk about a view, watching the ocean on a beautiful day. The two therapists stayed in the room preparing for our treatments, but they did close the curtain. They then told us to shower and take off our bathing suits, and to lay on the tables, me face down, DH face up.

DH's table was covered with a large piece of foil. She covered him with seaweed, and then wrapped him up. They girls were teasing him that he was going to look like Shriek. I told him he looked like a baking potato. I on the other hand was given a massage first with her hands, then the stones in her hands. The stones were hot, but I like the heat, so it was great for me. She worked all the large muscle groups, up my legs, then my back, then my arms. Wow. Then the back scrub, followed by hot towels...I was so relaxed....

Just about this time, DH was told to go shower...Oh Yeah....Right...now he had to move...was really funny listening to him...I was snickering...till she told me to turn over...ARE YOU KIDDING ME, YOU WANT ME TO MOVE?!? OK, so now DH's distress wasn't so funny any more...

She put the little rice bag over my eyes, and I promptly relaxed again. She did my arms, and my upper chest, and DH had his stone treatment. Then we were left alone to get our robes on, and go relax on the lounge on the balcony. They told us about the different teas, and prepared them as we watched the ocean some more. I had rejuvenating tea and DH had relaxing tea. They bring fruit kabobs, and a basket full of the products they used. They then discuss the things in the basket. We had already bought a bottle of the Milk Bath, so I got the Celutox oil she used on me, and they gave us 2 boxes of the Devil's Mint Scrub.

Then they figured out the bills. They split the treatments in half, and we each had a bill. While we enjoyed the view, they readied the room for the next couple, and then left us to get dressed and figure out our bill and the tips. Good thing they leave a calculator, because our brains had not engaged as of yet, and we were still floating...Now we had time to go to the Quiet Cove pool for a swim, and have another Jacuzzi...and discuss our stressful day...

Then we got ready for "Twice Charmed", and dinner to follow. We enjoyed the show. Disney really does great shows on the ship. There was a problem with the mic on the Wicked Stepmother, but they handed her a hand mic and everything was fine after that.

Dinner was really nice, and DH and I enjoyed a great meal. You know they are good when the servers start taking the menus away from you before you order, and tell you they know what you want. And they were right...Karoy started asking me about what wines I like, and brought me a taster to try, then a glass of one that you can't get in the US. Was yummy with my dessert.

Then it was off the Shutters to find some pics, and back to the room. Kids were there and told us all about Narnia...they really liked it.

More to follow...

ddavis860
02-05-2006, 08:00 AM
Day 6 of the Cruise, Day 10 of our vacation

Is it really Thursday? Where did the time go? Today is Nassau, and we are going to Atlantis. I booked a room at the Comfort Suites, so we can play at Atlantis, and use the pools and the beach.

Getting off the ship was easy. We shopped a little, and then hailed a cab to take us to the Comfort Suites. DH actually talked the guy down to $3 per person for the ride, which really supprised me, as I had heard that the price wasn't negotiable. You can really see the damage from the hurricane a few years ago still evident as you travel through the area.

The cab ride was really fast, nothing like the water taxi that we used when we did the excursion with Disney. Check-in was fast, and we got the keys to the room we were never going to see. We walked through the hotel, checked out the pool there, and then it was off to Atlantis, a short walk across the street.

We got the map, and started back to the slides. I first wanted to get some different sunscreen for DH and me, but at $15 or $20 a bottle, we decided to forget it. We walked out and into the world of Atlantis...lush, green, and amazing. We walked by the shark tank, and over the rope bridge, and made our way back to the Mayan Ruin like pool that had the slides that the kids wanted to try.

We found some lounge chairs, and that was almost the last time I saw the kids that day, until they wanted some food. They did all the slides, and even DH did some. I think their favorite was the one that goes through the shark tank. Everyone was enjoying the day. I was enjoying the weather, which was partly sunny, and warm. The kids loved the slides, they were a big hit, and I was glad that I knew about the Comfort Suites from the DIS. DH talked to a woman who did the same thing with a different hotel. She was also on the Magic, but he can't remember the name of the hotel, he thinks it was the Towers.

After we had our fill of the pool, we walked through the Dig. It really is beautiful the way they have that set up. We ended up on the far side of Atlantis, and walked through the hotel and casino to get back to the front desk, and out to the front where they hailed us a cab, and we were on our way back to the Magic. While going over the bridge, we could see more of the damage caused by the hurricane. Some boats are still swamped in the water, and the docks are destroyed. We asked the cab driver, and he said that the dock owners were waiting for the government and the government was waiting for the dock owners. And that after 2 years, it still looks the same.

Nassau shops close up at 5:00 so we got right back on the ship. DH and I went for a Jacuzzi, and the kids went off to do their thing. Dinner was at Parrot Cay, and it was Lobster Night. Even DS13 wanted lobster, and loved it. Just an observation...DH thought that the lobster dinner was the only meal that he could see a difference in the quality. Mine was great, as was DS17. DH thought his was a little mushy, and DS13's was mushier than his brother's.

After dinner it was off to Shutter's for pics, and then bed....and we were beat!

More to follow....

GSCM_DisneyScout
02-05-2006, 06:32 PM
They were holding a rope, and the juggler was walking on the rope. The horn honked and I panicked and left with DS13 to the gangway. DS17 and DH finally finished the show, and came aboard.

Dinner was at Animator's Pallet. Now I have to say that DH and I never really got this room, it was never our favorite. Maybe it was where we were sitting though, because this time we really liked it. And you can tell who the Disney freaks are, because we could name every song that was played, and every movie they showed.

See, now I wish I had gotten Internet access during the cruise. That was MY DD (Miranda) that started out under the rope and MY DH (Tom), that ended up underneath the rope! Of course, Miranda is one that always jumps at the chance to be in the spotlight.

We had dinner at Animator's Pallet, too. I'm guessing you had the late sitting? That's what we had. We were table 26. See, we may have even dined in the same dining room every night and still didn't manage to hook up. :rolleyes: I was another Disney nut knowing all the songs, too. We would wander around the ship and my kids kept trying to stump me on whatever song was playing. I think there was only one I missed the whole time. :rolleyes1

Kim

Kim

ddavis860
02-06-2006, 05:21 AM
Debbie- I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed your posts, and I wish you a great day today at Castaway Cay! I would love to know who all you have on your cruise staff, as it seems like a lot of changes have been made recently. I have heard Pike is away, but how about Scott, David, "Key-on," and Jake- any of them around? You can see them all at one place during the skit at Pub Night in Diversions tonight-try not to miss it! Would love to hear a report on that! Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

TCD

We missed Pub Night. I was really upset about it, as I was telling DH that I wanted to go the whole trip. For some reason, I wasn't feeling too good that last night, and I just wanted to get back to the room. Plus we had all that packing to do. Of all the things we didn't get to do, that is one I am really sorry about.

ddavis860
02-06-2006, 06:31 AM
And it's been a great trip -- Met Deb and DH at a Palo Brunch on Wed AM -- I'm and occasional poster here. Didn't recogize Deb from this site until later. Castaway Key today was Great -- DW and I spent 6hrs just laying back at SB - a little cool - I guess mid 70's - but sure beats NJ. Hello again Deb -- Safe travels to all on this cruise and all DIS friends


Hi Sam :wave2:

We had a great chat in Palo. I'm still working on my Castaway report...

GhostlyHitchhiker
02-06-2006, 07:37 PM
I was another Disney nut knowing all the songs, too. We would wander around the ship and my kids kept trying to stump me on whatever song was playing. I think there was only one I missed the whole time. :rolleyes1

Kim

Kim


My nephew(5) didn't know who Chernabog's picture was in Animator's, so he asked my DBIL. DBIL told him that if he has ANY Disney related questions he should direct them to me. I was proud of being the Family Disney Expert that night. :blush:

ddavis860
02-10-2006, 10:53 AM
Day 7, Castaway Cay

(OK, so now I am *LIVE* from my living room. I never thought I would have such a hard time keeping up with the trip reports. So, let's pretend that we are still on the ship....)

The day started really sunny. After a Topsiders breakfast, we got our things ready and went to Deck 1. We had to do our obligatory "I'm on the ship, I'm off the ship" while jumping on and off the gang way...a family tradition ever since we saw it on the TV on our very first cruise.

This cruise was very different for us because our kids are older, and we are able to do more adult things. Such As, we were going to check out Serenity Bay. We signed for the kids so they could come and go on the ship, and rode the tram over to the family beach. Kids were given an allowance, their float and snorkel tickets, and reminded that they were expected back on board at 4. We then jumped on the tram to the adult beach.

We had never been there, and it is such a beautiful place! It got a little cloudy for part of the morning, but then the sun came out and it was perfect. DH and I went shell hunting, and wading in the water. The water was so clear and calm. The only thing that I would want changed is they need to put hammocks there. Only 1 for the whole beach is ridiculous! There should be 1 for every set if chairs.

We went to the adult beach BBQ, but I missed Cookie's. I wish we had gone back there for lunch. The food was excellent, but I like the selections at Cookie's are better. I had heard that sometimes they have lobster at the adult beach, but it didn't happen on our cruise. DH and I had a cheese burger, and then DH went back for a "steak sandwich" and ended up with a thinly sliced T-bone steak that they serve on a bun. He ate the steak and said it was excellent. The burgers were great too!

DH had a cabana massage at 2. He got a 1/2 body and facial this time...spa junkie....he really liked it, and was really wishing that he didn't have such a long walk back to me after. When he returned, I was ready to leave paradise. There was some shopping I wanted to do, and I was ready to get back.

We peeked at the teen's beach, no kids there, and then walked back to the ship. I kept looking up to see if one of the kids was on the veranda...then we heard someone yell, and there was DS13 on deck 4 with 2 friends. He came down the elevator, and we were able to get right on and go up to the room.

DS17 was there, and had 3 braids in his hair. They didn't do much on the teen beach, but had a great time snorkeling. DS17 tried and tried to find Mickey, but he didn't see him this cruise. We noticed that the ship was stopping and starting after we left Castaway, and we were going in circles...so we were thinking, was someone left behind? Medical emergency? Another day at Castaway for us? None of the above, I found out upon returning that it was a test of the side thrusters. It would have been nice if there was an announcement, but they must not have thought we needed the info.

DH and I went to guest services to get the tip vouchers, and decided to tip over for everyone. We then went back to the cabin and started to pack. Till 6:30 when we decided to take our nightly Jacuzzi...I could really get into this lifestyle. We found that around 6:30 was the best time to go to the adult pool. We generally had the area to ourselves. After that is was pack for a little more, then dress for dinner.

Dinner was great, but I wasn't feeling too well, so I didn't eat the big dessert, and after DS13 and I went to Shutters. We didn't go to Pub Night because I was not up to it, but went back to the cabin and finished packing...sad, sad job for us, as we knew we were going to be off the ship in a matter of hours.

The ocean was rougher, and we were rocking and rolling a little that last night. When I woke up at 4am, and peeked out we still weren't at Port Canaveral, but were quite a ways away. In the past we have been docked at this time, so I was wondering about that. But, eventually we did dock, and my hopes of the ship turning around were dashed.

ddavis860
02-10-2006, 10:55 AM
Last morning, Port Canaveral.

I was up early, and got ready for breakfast. DH went to get us coffee, and we were going to enjoy it one last time on our veranda...yeah right....who ordered this cold weather and all this rain? So much for the last coffee, we had it in the cabin. Kids finally believed that it was time to get up and leave, and we were able to do the final walk through to check for belongings. Then it was down to Lumiere's for breakfast.

We were early, and had to wait outside for a few minutes. As usual, I got teary eyed as I realized it was going to be the last time I would be on the ship for a couple of years. Kids started teasing me, that snaps you out of it quick enough...

When we went into Lumiere's, we were really happy to see that our servers were as attentive, and as friendly as they had been all cruise. Because of this great service, and that they made our meals so enjoyable, DH was compelled to slip them a little extra tip. I was really glad he did because these guys really worked hard, and smiled and joked the whole time.

When I left, it was with a tear, but then we were heading to customs. I always get nervous, but our porter was great, and got us to the "right" guy, who just let us pass, no questions...and we were out at the shuttle to go back to the Radisson in a flash. What a rude way to come back to reality, cold and rainy. We got the same driver back to the Radisson, and were there before we knew it. DH got the van from the parking, and we were back in the lobby to get our checked bags in a few minutes. And guess what we saw there....PEOPLE GETTING READY TO GO BACK ON OUR SHIP!!! So we told some of them that we just got off, and what a great time we had. Really brought it home as to how hard the people on the ship work. These new people will be treated as if they are the first ones, just as we were. Disney has some great employees on the Magic.

ddavis860
02-10-2006, 11:01 AM
Final thoughts...

Things I would do the same:

The large accordion "Mickey Folder" (called this due to the Mickey head I painted on the cover) for all maps, reservations, boarding passes, and Birth Certificates...kept things really running smoothly

The over the door shoe rack for the bathroom...those pockets really came in handy for toothbrushes, hairbrushes, barrettes, etc...

The hanging shoe organizer for the closet.... kept my shoes, evening bags, and accessories under control, and out of the precious drawer space...

The power strip for the only plug on the desk, so we could all power up our toys and my computer over night...at the same time...

The Memory Box that I got from the Disney Gifts. I used it all week to keep the Navigators and other keepsakes. And it packed great for the trip home.

Having the Mini-mag flashlight in the bedside drawer...DH used it a lot so as not to disturb everyone

Keeping the soft-sided cooler outside...was filled with water bottles, and wine for me...

Using the wheeling soft sided cooler for the wet bathing suits and last minute dirty clothes as we were leaving the room...





Things I would do differently:

I would have DH choose which bathroom he was going to use, and have all his things there...this using both to get ready messed me up on many occasions.

I would bring the LARGE sized Oust...the little sprayers didn't do the job...

I would bring 2 pairs of dressy FLAT black sandals. I brought 1 flat pair and heels, but my tootsies were tired every night, and I didn't want to be in the heels.

I will not get the B-day package and cake again. We never ate the cake....



Things I recommend:

Buy postcards when you see them. I didn't and missed getting some good ones because I thought I was going to see them again closer to the ports.

Get the picture package the first night at Shutters. If you don't, you end up at guest services for a copy of your receipt, so you can upgrade to the package...

Buy the pictures when you see them. Waiting causes problems, and I thought I bought some, that I actually didn't, and now am really sad...when will I have another pic of DH and me in our pirate stuff...not for another 2 years....

Bring a soft-sided cooler, great for keeping the drinks cold...that little fridge is a waste...

Take advantage of the 6:30 time at the adult pool and Jacuzzi, we had the place to ourselves...

Enjoy the service while you are on the ship...there is a glaring difference when you are back to reality!

Never say you are going to be doing *Live* trip reports every day...you will end up *Live* from your kitchen before you finish the reports :lmao:

And finally....If you need guides for your cruise, DH and I are available to help you...TAKE US WITH YOU .....PLEASE!!! :woohoo:

maminnie
02-10-2006, 03:51 PM
Debbie:

Thanks so much for your live posts and for your trip report. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I hope we have as good of luck with the weather for our cruise the week after next.

I can't imagine what it will feel like when this trip is all done. We have been planning it for our group since Sept. '04!!!

Take care and start planning the next one!

Thanks again,

maminnie

ddavis860
02-10-2006, 04:41 PM
Debbie:

Thanks so much for your live posts and for your trip report. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I hope we have as good of luck with the weather for our cruise the week after next.

I can't imagine what it will feel like when this trip is all done. We have been planning it for our group since Sept. '04!!!

Take care and start planning the next one!

Thanks again,

maminnie

Sending :tink: for your cruise!!!

maminnie
02-11-2006, 05:40 AM
Debbie:

Thanks and take care.

maminnie

michelle9343
02-13-2006, 02:31 PM
Debbie
It was wonderful reading your trip report. It was filled with such great details and it was so apparent how much funny you had.

MAGICinMYHEART
02-14-2006, 04:42 PM
We had an excursion planned with Native Way for the "Rays, Reef, and Rum Point"...The reef was beautiful, and fish were so colorful, and DH and DSs didn't want to stop, but it was time for lunch, so we were off to Rum Point.
They took our orders, and called ahead so when we arrived, the food was hot and waiting for us. Water and ice tea were complimentary, the Mudslide that I had wasn't. Prices are steep, but the place was BEAUTIFUL and I got a sting ray Christmas ornament to remember our day.
The cost was $60 US/per person. It was a bargain as far as I was concerned. They are first rate, and I would go again with them in a heartbeat!
Debbie
Do you mind if I ask you a question? After reading your report I would love to do this excursion, my only question is about the lunch. On the website it states...Itís led by experienced, lively local guides and includes a generous picnic lunch (for you, plus a special meal for the stingrays!) and plenty of beverages.

The lunch you described sounded like a restaurant? They say picnic :confused3 so if it was a restaurant which one was it? Was the lunch an additional charge?

Thanks for the wonder report
Beckie

ddavis860
02-14-2006, 10:32 PM
Debbie
Do you mind if I ask you a question? After reading your report I would love to do this excursion, my only question is about the lunch. On the website it states...Itís led by experienced, lively local guides and includes a generous picnic lunch (for you, plus a special meal for the stingrays!) and plenty of beverages.

The lunch you described sounded like a restaurant? They say picnic :confused3 so if it was a restaurant which one was it? Was the lunch an additional charge?

Thanks for the wonder report
Beckie

Lunch was served picnic style on the beach at Rum Point. There are picnic tables, and there were several reserved for "Native Way". The menu was from the hotel there(I can't remember which one...sorry) at Rum Point and it was really good. It was included in the excursion price, and so was the ice tea and water. The mudslide was expensive.

The stingrays eat the squid that the guides bring on the boat...the stingrays suck it out of your hands. Feeding is after the kissing and photos. I didn't do it, but DH and DS17 did. And the guides are lively...they were joking around and really seemed to have a good time doing their jobs. They came on the beach and ate at with us too, and were really friendly.

If you are thinking about going with a private company, Native Way was great. Any time I can get a big hug from DS13 and the words "That was so much fun...Thanks Mom"... :love: well, ya know it was good....

MAGICinMYHEART
02-14-2006, 11:05 PM
Debbie

Thank you, after reading so many reports to see which would be best for our group, Native Way sounds like it would be great fun.

Beckie