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View Full Version : March 4-11 Eastern Magic trip report (part 2 of 2)


LisaSp
03-15-2006, 08:37 AM
Tuesday (St. Maarten):

My parents set off to shop. We took the kids to the Mickey pool which we basically had to ourselves—that was cool. Later that morning we took the kids to the club and we went into St Maarten for about an hour to shop. We were constantly solicited by people (I think they were pushing time shares) which was a huge turnoff. Got back on board and decided to leave the kids in the club while we sunbathed for a bit. That night was Pirate Night in Parrot Cay. We all wore our bandanas. DS and my dad both had eye patches. Everyone had fun being a pirate and whooping it up at dinner. The kids wanted to go back to the club after dinner, so we planned to pick them up there in time for the deck party. The pirate party was awesome—we all had a blast, the music was great, and the fireworks were really cool. It was a late night again for the kids but I am so glad they didn’t miss this deck party.

Wednesday (St Thomas):

Early immigration call (7:15 am) meant waking the kids and schlepping them down in their PJs. It was not a big deal though. We decided to do breakfast in Parrot Cay for a change of pace. Then we all set off for shopping in St Thomas (you will notice we did no shore excursions—for us, the destination was the ship, not really the ports). My parents are avid cruisers and have a particular jewelry shop in St Thomas they always frequent. So of course my DD got 2 new pairs of earrings courtesy of her grandfather. Went back to the ship, kids went off to the club and we sunbathed on deck 10 (by now we had a “spot” we headed to each day). We got the kids and watched the sailaway from my parents’ verandah.

Then dinner that night was in Lumiere’s (DS was so tired he fell asleep for a few minutes!). Went to see Michael Harrison’s show with my parents and DD (DH took DS to the room in hopes that he’d get to bed early—no dice!). DD absolutely LOVED Michael Harrison. I thought he was OK but she still is talking about him and his tennis ball. Later that evening was “Wonderland in the Atrium” which, if you like the Alice in Wonderland characters, is not to be missed. We had fun with the Queen of Hearts (I love her character and the CM assigned to her was surprised that she actually had a “fan”). Due to an unanticipated medical emergency, the ship had to dock in San Juan. The captain said he’d update us the next day on how this stop would affect our CC day on Friday.

Thursday (at sea):

I woke up really early and had a chance to work out and then take photos all over the ship (I wanted shots of all the restaurants, etc with no one in them). We had our character breakfast in Parrot Cay. The food was nothing great but we had a great time with the characters. DD had her hair braided onboard. We tried sunbathing/swimming but it was quite windy and not so sunny. The captain told us we would arrive at CC around noon instead of 9:30. Bummer, but better than nothing.

Took the kids to the club after lunch and DH and I headed to the spa for our “Exotic Rasul” treatment. Now I had read a lot about this treatment on this board. I have to say, we had fun, but I don’t know how you people had x-rated fun. The steam room was waayy too hot and the outside room bench was waayy too narrow. We were expecting a few bowls of muds/lotions/potions but instead it was one bowl of mud, and then a basket of half-empty bottles of their skincare line (most of which were not conducive to slathering on and then sitting in the steam room). We did have a good time, but it was not quite what I expected.

Later we headed to the theatre to watch our kids “Celebrate the Journey” with the D-Sea-U graduation. This was totally adorable and I would advise that you don’t miss it. Plus the kids get cute t-shirts and Mickey graduation caps.

Sea was very rough today—we heard many were sick. We had been taking ginger capsules and were fine. The kids took nothing and were fine. DH and I decided we were having so much fun that we needed to rebook the 4 of us to do it again. We want to cruise again in 2 yrs so we rebooked for next February and will switch it to 2008 when we can. Woo hoo!!

Dinner was again in Animator’s Palate. We had my most favorite dessert of the week—the chocolate lava cake. Yum. A word about the food—we had relatively low expectations for the food, but we were pleasantly surprised. Most of the food was really very good. And the service was outstanding throughout. My parents cruise most often on Princess (this was their first Disney cruise too) and said the food and service was as good if not better than Princess.

Disney Dreams was tonight. What a great show!

Friday (Castaway Cay):

We all slept in since we knew we were getting in late to CC. But the captain made up time so I think we arrived about 10:15 am. There was a huge bottleneck getting off the ship—this was a little stressful. We got on shore somewhere around 11:30. Kids went for a dip in the ocean and then we all had lunch on the early side at Cookies BBQ. This food was not good, but I think part of the reason was that they had to prep it onboard and bring it onto the island due to our late arrival. The kids spent some time in the club on CC and enjoyed it while we enjoyed some quiet time. Once we retrieved the kids, I wanted to get some professional family shots of us on the beach but by that time (3:30 or so) there were no photographers around. I was not happy about that. We got back on the ship around 4 pm. When I looked out our cabin window a bit later, there were photographers by the post office and ship. I was upset that we missed these photo opps, but oh well, better luck next time. We did get a couple of shots by Mt. Rustmore in the a.m. and then we had some other family take a shot of us on our way back to the ship.

Dinner was at Parrot Cay and we had to say goodbye to our amazing servers Noemi and Ana. We were really sad!! Then we sent the kids with my parents to the talent show while we did some packing. We all went to the farewell show together. I am such a sap but the “faith, trust, and pixie dust” thing just got me misty eyed again. It was a great show (except I was unimpressed with Gary Delana). Later that evening DD and I went down to the lobby for the “last kiss goodbye” with the characters. This was a great chance to have some time with LOTS of characters. DD was so tired though that we didn’t stay for the final photo opp of them on the steps. I again was sad that our great trip was coming to an end…

Saturday (disembarkation day):

Got up and had breakfast around 8 am in Topsider’s. We got off the ship (again, I cried) and very quickly were reunited with our luggage. It was a very very smooth process for us. Our driver met us at the curb and we headed to the airport. And that was it!

We did not meet any one from the DIS board--I did mention it to people I happened to meet, but none of them were from the group here. Oh well!!

The trip was absolutely amazing and exceeded all of our expectations (and I had learned a LOT from being addicted to the DIS boards). I will be happy to answer any questions!

Sue316
03-15-2006, 10:26 AM
<Took the kids to the club after lunch and DH and I headed to the spa for our “Exotic Rasul” treatment. Now I had read a lot about this treatment on this board. I have to say, we had fun, but I don’t know how you people had x-rated fun. The steam room was waayy too hot and the outside room bench was waayy too narrow. We were expecting a few bowls of muds/lotions/potions but instead it was one bowl of mud, and then a basket of half-empty bottles of their skincare line (most of which were not conducive to slathering on and then sitting in the steam room). We did have a good time, but it was not quite what I expected. >


Thank you for an outstanding review! I would like to 2nd the above. We also did the exotic rasul on the Wonder and it was to say the very least a nightmare. We had done something simular at one of the top 10 Spas in the country and the Cruise ship does not even come close to it. I got burned by the steam, my husband got whacked by the hot glass door, the place flooded and the plastic bottles are just plain tacky.The most anoying thing was the shower, we had to push the water bottom every 10 sec! We spend maybe 25 min there after that we gave up. We did complain to them and they reimbursed us the next day. According to them no one has ever complained.Reading your review I now doubt this very much!

jillane88
03-15-2006, 10:40 AM
Thank you for a great trip report. We are going on our first Disney cruise in May and my kids are the same age as yours (and normally are in bed by 7:30 too). It was great to hear how your kids did and that they had a great time too.

Heather :thumbsup2

LisaSp
03-15-2006, 10:52 AM
Thank you for a great trip report. We are going on our first Disney cruise in May and my kids are the same age as yours (and normally are in bed by 7:30 too). It was great to hear how your kids did and that they had a great time too.


They really did well as the earliest they went to bed was around 9:30 one night---most of the other nights it was between 10:30 and midnight. And we TRIED to get them to nap but of course they didn't. I think what helped (as they were still up pretty early each day) was having some quiet, veg out time in the cabin in the late afternoon before getting bathed and ready for dinner.

drise
03-15-2006, 12:38 PM
My family was on this cruise with you, and we had 5:45 seating too! I guess dis'ers should have worn green labels or something. It was our 2nd cruise and I definitely enjoyed it more the 2nd time around. I'm going to try and do a trip report today.

mnemsmommy
03-15-2006, 01:18 PM
I was wondering if you would let us know which store it is that your parent's reccomend? We are going on the 6/10 cruise for by 40th birthday and dh has promised me jewelry- so I would love to go somewhere that others have been satisfied with. Thank in advance.

jillane88
03-15-2006, 01:30 PM
They really did well as the earliest they went to bed was around 9:30 one night---most of the other nights it was between 10:30 and midnight. And we TRIED to get them to nap but of course they didn't. I think what helped (as they were still up pretty early each day) was having some quiet, veg out time in the cabin in the late afternoon before getting bathed and ready for dinner.

Veg out time in the cabin is a GREAT idea. I'm a little concerend cause we are on the West coast and the time change may be brutal. Did you guys have to deal with that too? I'm trying to wean my twin 5 yr olds from naps so they won't have to have one while we are there.

LisaSp
03-16-2006, 12:17 PM
The time change didn't really affect us--I know we lost an hour's sleep the Sat night we arrived, and gained 1 hr Thurs evening...it didn't really affect us too much. What is the time change scenario on the Western itinerary? We are taking that next time (in 2 yrs!).

MeRiVan
03-16-2006, 01:12 PM
About the little ones, we were on that cruise also and we fortunately had a 5:30pm dinner time. We checked out the shows everyday at 2pm. My kids never made it to the 8:30 show. They never napped, but it didn't spoil our trip. We saw many characters but not all. We did many activities, but not everything. I found that as long as I kept in mind that we don't NEED to do everything, I could slow us down on occasion and just enjoy what our vacation was: A family vacation with a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old boy. I know it's corny, but we had a MAGICAL time. My boys proved themselves to be terrific travelers and we wouldn't change a thing.

MeRiVan
03-16-2006, 01:32 PM
There's another thing that I think is worth mentioning. On the rough sea day something happened during the 2pm show and the show had to stop for a little bit. It wasn't long but after a moment all these cast members charged into the theater. Apparently they were there to entertain us while the problem backstage was being worked on. The situation was treated like an entertainment emergency. It was fine and we loved the fact that we were being SO spoiled. Heaven forbid we not be amused for 2 and 1/2 minutes!

repeatcruiser
03-16-2006, 01:51 PM
LisaP - Western time change is 1 hour for 1 day - you "gain" an hour when going to Costa Maya/Cozumel (central time zone), and "loose" it again when you head back to CC (eastern time zone).

sandraB
03-16-2006, 03:02 PM
I don't know if I would wean them off naps just a couple of weeks before....

My boys are way beyond naps, and we needed a few down times in the room in the afternoons.....it made them much more rested for dinner....

Just enjoy....we missed a ton of stuff, and it was still the best vacation ever!! We even missed the pirate party!! My boys were just too tired, and they begged to go to bed!! (they are 8 and 11)

I figure we had a great time, and dont' regret the down time at all!

LisaSp
03-16-2006, 05:06 PM
I was wondering if you would let us know which store it is that your parent's reccomend? We are going on the 6/10 cruise for by 40th birthday and dh has promised me jewelry- so I would love to go somewhere that others have been satisfied with. Thank in advance.

Sorry--just noticed this question--it was Bobby's Jewelers. Tell them the Daniels' daughter Lisa sent you. The other one to recommend (owned by a friend's friend) is Classic Jewelers.

jillane88
03-16-2006, 05:25 PM
I don't know if I would wean them off naps just a couple of weeks before....


Well they were ready to give them up about a month ago but I wasn't ready. Then I decided it was a good time since our cruise is in about 7 weeks. They have been completely nap free for a week now and have done great I'm just afraid the 3 hour time difference from west coast to east coast will do them in. We'll flow with it though, Grandpa and Grandma are coming along too, I'm sure they won't mind an afternoon nap with the boys. :thumbsup2

mnemsmommy
03-16-2006, 09:48 PM
Thanks so much. I am not looking forward to my 4oth birthday, but I am to my new jewelry!!!

dlf246
03-16-2006, 09:55 PM
Once we retrieved the kids, I wanted to get some professional family shots of us on the beach but by that time (3:30 or so) there were no photographers around. I was not happy about that. We got back on the ship around 4 pm. When I looked out our cabin window a bit later, there were photographers by the post office and ship. I was upset that we missed these photo opps, but oh well, better luck next time.
My DW is a fanatic about family beach pictures... something that has eluded despite many trips to Florida. So, are there normally roving DCL photographers at Castaway Cay?

repeatcruiser
03-17-2006, 10:57 AM
Yes - they took several cute pictures of our kids this past trip. I saw several families getting pictures too - all you have to do is ask when you see a photographer romming the beach.

LisaSp
03-17-2006, 01:11 PM
Yes, but I think they must mainly be out in the earlier part of the day. After 3 pm I didn't see them at all except by the ship.

Qball
03-17-2006, 04:28 PM
Well, we're back and how depressing. And it snowed alot here when we were gone and it's cold. I instantly turned back into a lizard. It took 3 days of nice FL weather to get rid of my Canadian winter skin.

We absolutely LOVED our cruise. So much we rebooked onboard! FOr the same cruise and same time. Because our inutero child we be 5.5 month old then, we thought it would be easier, if we feel we are ready to go at that time with a little one. We looked at the western, but we liked the spacing of the port days and sea days. It was just right. I think the western has too many port stops. There is only so much shopping for jewels you can do.

We saw every major show that DCL put on and found they surpassed any of the very very very short shows we saw at WDW. They were phenomenal. I got teary eyed at the last one and it was very sad to leave...even getting up at 5:30am to "boot" us canadians off the boat.

Because these boards helped ALOT about the ins and outs of cruising with DCL, I was expecting alot in terms of the food. In a way, I was expecting Palo quality on the everyday food. So I would say, for our taste buds, it was ok . But Palo was absolutely awesome. We had lunch and supper there. Unfortunately our lunch reservation was on the bad sea day and DH had a hard time enjoying the food.

We wanted the early dining but got the late dining but it worked out great for us. However, we booked for early dining for our next cruise. Even with the time difference it didn't matter. There's so much to do and see and eat, elsewhere, it really didn't make a difference to us, in fact, I think the early dining would have been a problem. Even though DD4 does not nap anymore, she did nap occassionally on some afternoons.

Sorry this is a bit choppy, but just typing whatever comes to mind.

When we arrived in Orlando, with our hell, flight, unfortunately DD got sick, on top of her cold she already had, and was out of commission with a fever for teh first 1.5 ddays but recovered and had a great time after that.

We went up to deck 9 when we embarked, but did not recognize anyone. However it was nice to meet you, Shelley and family. Maybe we should have colored coded ourselves but I guess anonymity is ok too???!!!

As for the kids club, our DD really wasn't there much. There was too much stuff to do elsewhere on the boat. We went with her the second day after she was better and stayed with her for an hour and she got bored and wanted to leave. When DH and I were at Palo for lunch (uncle was pooped by then and needed a nap...THursday), we left DD there then for "how to be a mouseketeer" and she had a great time then but never asked to go back. I popped my head in the kids club a few times when I was wandering the ship by myself and noticed the same poor little girl crying the whole time. I found that there weren't enough counsellors for the number of kids too, but then, I would classify myself as one of those overprotective parents.

I could not believe the cleanliness of the boat...public and private spaces. Hats off to DCL.

Too bad we didn't meet you Sandi. We went to WDW for a couple days after as well and hated it too. I don't think we'll ever go back there. Too hot, too many lines ups that were too long a wait for something at the end that was either 30 seconds or less long (ie. character meetings) or rides/shows that were only 2 minutes. Not worth the money. I did our "damage control tally" yesterday and we spend about 800 USD for the two days at WDW (food, entrance fees, souvenirs) and WAS NOT worth the money.

It took us about half a day to realize what was an extra cost on the boat. We didn't the drink costs were any more expensive than at a regular place, but the DCL pictures were a rip off (even though we purchased them). I did go for a facial and loved it and she did a good job. But a bit pricey but then I knew that going in as well...The specials that they had at the spa were very reasonably priced though compared to what I'm used to paying at home.

I was quite impressed that DCL drained the swimming pools when someone puked. Never seen that before.

Ok I think I blabbed enough. It was fantastic and we would highly recommend to all.