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View Full Version : Magic Mar 25th-April 1st (Western) First time cruisers


Surroundedbyboys
04-03-2006, 07:22 PM
This is my first time posting, although I spent a lot of time reading other's trip reports before leaving for our cruise. We've been to Disney World many times (starting 16 years ago on our honeymoon) and have talked about doing a Disney Cruise for years. Ours sons are 14 (turned 14 on the cruise!) and 10. Husband and I are both 35. Thanks to everyone for many good tips- the best ones for us were the over the door shoe holder (great for organizing shoes and odds & ends) and the highlighter for marking things on the navigator.
We flew in on the 23rd, (Frontier Airline- first time- they were great! Stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter and spent Thursday and Friday at MGM & EPCOT. We made good use of the fast passes, it was so packed, though, we were glad we weren't spending the week there. We usually go in October when it isn't so busy.

Saturday, 25th, we used the Disney transportation bus to Port Canaveral. Had to have our bags out at 8am but it was so nice to not have to worry about luggage. Got to the Magic around 1:30pm, I was impressed with how smooth check in went- my husband was in line for maybe 10 minutes. Walking onto the ship was exciting. They had wipes stationed at walk in as they did everytime you entered the ship and everytime you went in/out of a restaurant. It was nice to see that they are taking cleanliness very seriously. We all were using the behind the ear patch, (all being prone to motion sickness). The problem with these is after about 12 hours we were all very dizzy and having problems with our eyes. We took them off after the first day and none of us had problems with seasickness the entire time. Lunch at Topsiders was hectic! Lots of people and hardly anywhere to sit. Every item at the buffet had to be handled by the staff. (Great for hygiene, but ended up with way too much food, I like dishing my own food up!) I thought the food was very good. I read many not so great reviews of the food and went in with low expectations. We were very pleasantly surprised. We loved the food at all of the restaurants- and really enjoyed Parrot Cay which generally gets the lowest reviews. The lobster was delicious, steak cooked just right, wonderful variety and awesome desserts. The only negative regarding food would be how overcooked the chocolate chip cookies always were.... Our servers were Jessie and Malwyn. Great guys! They were kind of shy, very polite and treated our sons like adults which is important when you're 14 & almost 11! :)

The ports: Key West was so windy and cold that it was hard to enjoy. We took a Sail, Snorkel, Kayak excursion (thru Disney) that was not worth the money. It was freezing sailing to the mangroves, the kayaking was ok, but pretty tough in the wind, and only about 2? people snorkeled. The guys on the boat were great, very informative, friendly, but I would not recommend this excursion.

Grand Cayman was warmer, but still very windy and a bit chilly. Some excursions there were canceled due to the wind. My husband/sons went on a shipwreck and reef snorkel and enjoyed it but were a bit cold. Both sons were stung by some sea creature....very painful. (Not enough to cause a big deal though. I went on The Cayman Island Tour. Definitely don't recommend this. We waited 40 minutes past our time- after a family was loaded at the last minute. There were actually seats that pulled down in the middle of the van so that people couldn't move in the aisles. This was unsafe in my opinion. We were packed in like sardines. The guide was a nice man but we couldn't understand a word he said. There were some fun people on board, fortunately, so we had a good time laughing...(making lemonade)...but the tour was definitely not worth the price.

Costa Maya- We LOVED this port. We didn't book an excursion, but walked into the port, got a bus to Majahaul and settled in for the day. We bartered for some pretty neat things from the villagers. We bought a beautiful carved Mayan mask. The man started out asking $120 USD for it but we ended up with it for $40. (We got lots of experience bartering last year when we were in Egypt). We all ended up happy. We set up shop in some beach chairs and all had a great time snorkeling, swimming and lounging. We took a Taxi back to the port for $2 per person. We didn't speak each other's language, but laughed at everything we all said all the way back. (Very friendly people) By the way, barter for everything there! They originally wanted $3 for a can of coke and we ended up with three for $5.00. They think you're nuts if you just pay what they ask. Oh, it was very hot here, still windy though. Everywhere we went it was windy!

Castaway Cay was gorgeous. We thought Cookies BBQ was wonderful and enjoyed the beach, swimming, snorkeling and walking to the game pavilion. My husband and I walked over to the adult's beach. It was so quiet and peaceful!

On board- we loved playing ping pong, shuffleboard, walking deck 4 every morning. The shows were great. We especially loved comedian Gary Delana and "magician" Rich Purpura. They were hilarious. One strange thing was Phillip Huber and the Huber Marionettes....they call it a lost art and I think we found out why. The man was talented but we found it to be a bit disturbing.

We won at BINGO and my kids loved that. Travis, the caller, was very funny and kept it fun even if you didn't win.

The movies on board were: Sky High, Narnia, Herbie, Shaggy Dog (premiered on Wed. we all loved it), Eight Below, Glory Road, Chicken Little, Annapolis, Stay Alive.

My sons weren't interested at all in the kids' clubs- our lives at home are crazy enough with sports, etc, so this was purely family time and we enjoyed every minute together. All of the people we talked to said that their kids all enjoyed the clubs, though. Oh, we did enjoy room service every morning for breakfast. They were so friendly and very fast! We had our food within 20 minutes every time. I loved the All Hands on Deck platter- which is just a small plate with cheese, crackers, grapes. My 14 year old loved the meat lasagna (I know, for BREAKFAST!) and my 11 year old and husband loved the turkey, ham and cheese sandwich on Ciabatta.

Disembarkation was pretty easy- the only hang up was all of the people who just jumped into the line in front of us instead of getting in line like all of the orderly people... :) We took the Disney transportation back to the All Star Sport Resort (which we don't recommend- it's very cool looking on the outside but the rooms are tiny and service not good!)

Sorry for how long this is, tried to touch on everything.....any questions, feel free to ask! It's nice to be home (which is in Oregon), but I really wanted to pick up the phone and order room service this morning... :surfweb: Happy Sailing!

Surroundedbyboys
04-03-2006, 07:36 PM
Forgot to mention that we were Category 5, Deck 7, 7532. It was perfect for our family of 4 and I especially appreciated the split bathroom. Being the only female privacy can be hard to come by. They were small, yes, but very convenient. The pull down bed had a very rattly railing but was fixed by stuffing a towel in between it and the mattress. Speaking of towels, the towel animals were really fun. We looked forward each night to seeing what would be there. (The monkey was our favorite, the alligator next) Our room host wasn't very friendly, but did a great job and that was fine.

MOMTOCUTESTDOGEVER
04-03-2006, 07:37 PM
Thanks for the trip report. DH and I leave in 5 weeks for our first cruise and I can hardly stand the wait!

mommykeg
04-03-2006, 09:21 PM
I see that you're from the West Coast...so are we! I've been debating which dinner seating (early or late) would be best for our family...worried about the time change. Which seating did you have? And what were the pros and cons in your opinion? Thanks!

geffric
04-03-2006, 09:25 PM
hi we were on the same cruise.. glad you had a great time... thanks for the trip report

Surroundedbyboys
04-03-2006, 10:59 PM
Mommykeg- we originally asked for the late seating since that's what most people recommended. We ended up with the 5:45, which worked out great. I think if we'd had the later seating we would have eaten a lot more- (having snacks before dinner). Plus we were really tired each night and it was nice to not be up to 10:30+ eating! Have a great trip!

mommykeg
04-03-2006, 11:21 PM
Thanks! That's kinda what I was thinking...that it would only be a day or so before our body clocks were adjusted, and we are used to eating at 5:00, so early seating would probably be best for us. I think my kids would end up eating at 4 and again at 8 if we had late seating, or being too grumpy and tired to want to join us! Or not wanting to miss the kids clubs activities for dinner! I wish we could fly in a few days earlier, but it just doesn't work with our schedules. We'll be flying in Friday (hopefully nonstop!) and will probably arrive in Orlando around 4 pm. Staying at the MCO Hyatt. So I think our body clocks will still be a little off on Saturday...but we'll adjust! Thanks for the advice!

spencersmom
04-04-2006, 06:09 AM
Thanks!!!! I love reading these and really appreciate it when people take the time to share! Glad you had a great time! :cool1:

disgal1
04-04-2006, 06:54 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post! Lots of good info.
Glad you had a good time, hope you'll be going again and get a little warmer weather!

We will be going soon, and can't wait!

Did you do the rainforest or hit the Cove cafe coffee shop?

Surroundedbyboys
04-04-2006, 09:57 AM
Disgal1- I used the Cove Cafe to email. There was usually only one other person in there- the email place downstairs was always full. My husband and I did the Rasul, it was a lot of fun, but that steam room gets HOT! We loved the mud and just kept the door open between the two rooms which created a nice balance.

Mommykeg- we find that after a day of travel from Oregon that we're always exhausted when we get in to Florida and never have much trouble adjusting to the time change. (Of course coming home it's tough! Especially this time with daylight savings thrown in!) :)

I'm excited to hear about everyone's trips! Hope they're all warm and not windy. Is that normal for Western Caribbean this time of year? I just didn't expect the wind....

disgal1
04-04-2006, 10:25 AM
Disgal1- I used the Cove Cafe to email. There was usually only one other person in there- the email place downstairs was always full. My husband and I did the Rasul, it was a lot of fun, but that steam room gets HOT! We loved the mud and just kept the door open between the two rooms which created a nice balance.

Mommykeg- we find that after a day of travel from Oregon that we're always exhausted when we get in to Florida and never have much trouble adjusting to the time change. (Of course coming home it's tough! Especially this time with daylight savings thrown in!) :)

I'm excited to hear about everyone's trips! Hope they're all warm and not windy. Is that normal for Western Caribbean this time of year? I just didn't expect the wind....

I have been on 3 western cruises in May,June and July. Always windy on the ship, but never on shore. Just hot hot hot!

thanks for the cove cafe info. I guess you just used the email, didn't have the coffee?

dlf246
04-04-2006, 12:20 PM
Did you do the rainforest?
We were on the same cruise, so will add:
I got the week long pass (75$, versus 15$ daily rate) as a surprise for DW.

Good news: she loved, loved it.
Bad news: she only had time to go twice... next time we'll do per diem rate.

One thing she would want you to know, was that she was uneasy knowing that men could use it too (none never were there when she was, but it made her skittish)

Surroundedbyboys
04-04-2006, 07:31 PM
Disgal1- No, we're not coffee drinkers, so only used the email. I didn't see many people in there at all. There was one guy running an alcohol tab in there-and was in there every time I went, and one who used the email a lot. One night several of the ship's officers were in there having a drink. That's about it.

LuvEeyore
04-04-2006, 07:42 PM
Thanks for all the great information. What kinds of family activities did you participate in on board? What would you not miss if you went again today?

Surroundedbyboys
04-04-2006, 11:35 PM
LuvEeyore- We enjoyed all of the shows, but the best in our opinion were the two comedians, Gary Delena and Rich Purpura. My boys laughed harder during those perfomances than I've seen. (My husband and I enjoyed them too! We went back later in the night to the adult only version.). We also enjoyed BINGO together, which surprised me- we've never done that before. Travis made it fun. Who Wants to Be a Mouseketeer was fun the first time, too. We went to the toad races, which my sons thought was ok, (but thought there would be real toads. :)

eeyoregon
04-05-2006, 12:30 AM
:wave2: Hello to Salem from Salem!! I too am 35 and have 2 DS ages 10 and 13, minus the husband :rotfl: . We are taking our 1st Disney Cruise April 22-29 and I can not wait!! :cool1:

I enjoyed reading your post. Rumor has it that we will be returning to Cozumel on our cruie - I'm a little dissapointed as I was looking forward to kicking back on the beach in Costa Maya, like you did.

What stateroom did you have?

Any tips for a single Mom with 2 boys?

Surroundedbyboys
04-05-2006, 09:58 AM
Hi Eeyoregon! What area are you in? My sons go to Liberty/Judson (out South). That's awesome that you're going on the cruise. We were in stateroom 7532, and loved it. I think the best tip for you is to take advantage of the kids programs-if your kids are interested- and enjoy some time to yourself mixed in with the family time. My sons just stayed in the room and watched movies/played video games if my husband and I wanted to go to the adult stuff. They loved that. Highlight the things that you're interested in and try to get to them. Sometimes we had to make ourselves go to some things but once there we were so glad that we went. Take advantage of room service, too! If there's something you want that's not on the menu, just ask. They brought us anything we asked for. Can't wait to hear about your trip. We're going on an Alaskan cruise in June with my mom, hope it doesn't pale in comparison to the Disney Cruise! :wizard: Have a great time.

eeyoregon
04-05-2006, 02:24 PM
Surroundedbyboys:

My boys go to Auburn and Houck. We live in NE Salem.

I'm sure you will have a GREAT time on your Alaskan Cruise! That's my next goal as it would really save money being able to drive to Seattle and cruise from there :thumbsup2

Would love to hear your report when you get back!

Were you able to visit the parks at all during your recent trip? We are only going to get 2 days at the parks after we return from the cruise and I'm so afraid I will have withdrawl :rotfl2:

Surroundedbyboys
04-05-2006, 05:08 PM
Eeyoregon- We went to the parks when we got in Thursday, went to MGM and EPCOT. We ate at the Hollywood & Vine- my boys love that buffet and went on a a couple rides. Then Friday we went and did the Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. It was pretty cool. They were just handing out the fast passes to it as they were so busy- if they do this for you, make sure you get another fast pass for something else as well. (since when they hand them out it doesn't "tie up" your ticket) It was so busy at the parks that we were glad to get out of there on the cruise. They were packed with teenagers on their spring break. What grade is your Houck son? My 8th grader played Houck in b-ball this year.... We actually went back to MGM when we got back from the cruise. My husband made it up on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, so it was a nice ending. Make sure you post your trip when you get back. I'm happy for you!!!

tinkerbellmagic
04-06-2006, 09:05 PM
Hello and welcome back. :)

Thanks for sharing a super trip report. We had this March 25 cruise booked but had to cancel. We were also booked for the same two nights as you at POFQ. I worried too about it being crowded, so you confirmed that. Did you have to wait long to ride EE? How did you like POFQ?

I'm glad so many of you March 25 cruisers have taken the time to do trip reports. Even though we didn't get to go, I still enjoyed torturing myself by cruising vicariously through you guys. :teeth:

I agree about Parrot Cay. It's my favorite restaurant on ship. I love the tropical theme. And you can count me in as one who has tried those chocolate chip cookies on four DCL cruises, each time hoping they'd be different and taste good, but no, they still taste like old cafeteria cookies. If I'm ever lucky enough to cruise DCL again, I will not give those cookies one more chance to redeem themselves. Who needs to eat the wrong calories? ;)

Thanks for the info on the excursions. I found your information very helpful. And you gotta love that deck 4 :).

One strange thing was Phillip Huber and the Huber Marionettes....they call it a lost art and I think we found out why. The man was talented but we found it to be a bit disturbing.

Ok, now I'm curious. :scratchin I think I have read similar comments about this act. So what is it about this marionette show that is a bit disturbing. I hope this isn't coming out the wrong way. I guess I find it a bit amusing... this guy and his marionettes ... I am picturing that Twilight Zone episode with the ventriloquist and his dummy, Willie. I think what I'm getting at here is this .. is this show a yawner that belongs on my "Must Miss" list, or is it disturbing enough to be interesting in a creepy way? Boy, this just isn't coming out the way I had hoped. ;)

Oh, we did enjoy room service every morning for breakfast. They were so friendly and very fast! We had our food within 20 minutes every time. I loved the All Hands on Deck platter- which is just a small plate with cheese, crackers, grapes. My 14 year old loved the meat lasagna (I know, for BREAKFAST!) and my 11 year old and husband loved the turkey, ham and cheese sandwich on Ciabatta.

Room service breakfast is the best! I can't believe we have never tried the All Hands On Deck. I've heard it's yummy. Did you get a chance to eat breakfast on your verandah?

Sorry for how long this is, tried to touch on everything.....any questions, feel free to ask! It's nice to be home (which is in Oregon), but I really wanted to pick up the phone and order room service this morning... :surfweb: Happy Sailing!

I like the long reports. They're chock full of information, so thanks for taking the time to write one. I'm glad you had such a nice time!

Tink

Surroundedbyboys
04-07-2006, 12:08 AM
Hi Tinkerbellmagic! So sorry you had to miss the cruise. Hope you can book one soon.

POFQ was great. Decent sized rooms, double sinks and the pool area is great. The food court was very good too. We got fast passes for EE & had to wait about 2 hours to use them. We also stood in line for 40 minutes during that time so we were able to do it twice.

Hmmmm....now about the marionettes. I feel kind of bad for any negative comments about this man's work. He was very talented. First let me say, that we thought we were going to the magician and didn't realize what was coming. (Our fault, mix up on the names). It was just odd. I think maybe you should see it and judge for yourself. The most disturbing was how loving he seemed to the puppets.... ;) Brent kept selling it as a lost art, a "must see" etc. A lot of people laughed and seemed to enjoy it. Oh man, I'm really feeling a new respect for polititicians. You may have said it correctly with the "creepy in an interesting way". (I shouldn't share this but can't help it- my 14 year old said, "Mom, I hope he doesn't do an adult version of this like the other entertainers do".) :rotfl2:

I've had withdrawals for the All Hands on Deck platter. It's nothing elaborate but just the right size for a good snack. Colby jack on ritz just isn't a good substitute. We ate our breakfast every morning on our verandah.

Hope you're able to cruise soon!!! :)

tinkerbellmagic
04-07-2006, 11:37 AM
(I shouldn't share this but can't help it- my 14 year old said, "Mom, I hope he doesn't do an adult version of this like the other entertainers do".) :rotfl2:

:rotfl2: :rotfl: :lmao: :rotfl2: :rotfl: :lmao: :rotfl2: :rotfl: :lmao:

Oh, that comment is priceless! I haven't laughed this hard since I read Emma's Grammy's May Falls wardrobe malfunction story. I'm so glad you shared it with us. :teeth: You know, if the marionette act is still going on next time we cruise, I'm afraid I'll have to see it now after that comment. Too funny! :rotfl2:

Hmmm... 40 mins is pretty good for EE, I think. Can't wait to ride it. I know we waited almost 2 hours for Soarin' last Nov. They ran out of Fast Passes, but we chanced it. The next day, we waited about 30 mins with a FP. Gotta love those FP's. :)

We ate our breakfast every morning on our verandah.

:cloud9: I can just picture it now. :)

Oh, another question ... if you were to cruise again during busy season with two pre-cruise nights added on, do you think you would once again stay at WDW or would you stay near the port? I guess I'm trying to get an idea just how bad the crowds were at the parks. When we had booked POFQ, I was hesitant about being in WDW during spring break. We usually go during value season to beat the crowds. Just wondering if it's worth it or did the crowds make you think the next time you will avoid WDW? Thanks!

We hope to cruise again. Not sure when. Home Improvement won the battle for our wallets this year. But my heart will always be on the Magic.

Tink

Surroundedbyboys
04-07-2006, 12:31 PM
Tink- I think we would still do 2 days at WDW- even with the crowds. I think going in with the pre-knowledge that it's going to be packed is the only way to do it. We make sure we have park hoppers so if we get frustrated we can just hop over somewhere else. At EPCOT the boys got on Mission Space in 10 minutes and at MGM we walked right in to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire; wait time at Rockin Roller Coaster was about 30 minutes. To be honest, we love eating at EPCOT- we're trying to eat our way around all the countries, so that's a big part of it. Hope this helps. :)

tinkerbellmagic
04-08-2006, 07:51 PM
Tink- I think we would still do 2 days at WDW- even with the crowds. I think going in with the pre-knowledge that it's going to be packed is the only way to do it. We make sure we have park hoppers so if we get frustrated we can just hop over somewhere else. :)

Thanks for the reply. I remember when we stayed two nights pre-cruise at Ron Jon for our March 2005 cruise and I told DD that I missed the action at WDW. How to spend those pre cruise days can be a toss up... ocean or WDW... ocean or WDW.. :) I'm happy to know you thought WDW was a good choice. :)

Tink

watergirl
04-08-2006, 09:31 PM
I have to say that the comment your son made about the adult version of the show was the first time I have laughed out loud while reading these boards :rotfl2:

tinkerbellmagic
04-08-2006, 10:20 PM
I have to say that the comment your son made about the adult version of the show was the first time I have laughed out loud while reading these boards :rotfl2:

:rotfl2: I know what you mean. I still laugh every time I think of it. To the OP, perhaps your 14 year old should be on stage... think of the free cruises you might get. :teeth: Now I must go relay this story to my 17 yo. :lmao:

Tink

Surroundedbyboys
04-08-2006, 11:23 PM
I really debated sharing that line, so I'm glad that you got a laugh about it. I love reading everyone's trip reports and hope that the poor people :sad2: who had to leave the Magic today will share soon. :sunny:

jtaylor123
04-24-2006, 05:55 PM
We will be staying in Stateroom 7532 on the November 4th western cruise. Did you like the location? It's funny that you mentioned the squeeky bed rail. I've read the same complaint in a room review. Based on the ship's floor plan there are no stateroom's across the hall from this room..what is across the hall?

You didn't mention in your trip report if you dressed up for Formal night. What percentage of men were in tuxes, suits or other?

Surroundedbyboys
04-24-2006, 07:05 PM
JTaylor- Hi Canada! Our room was in a great location. Easy access to the stairs/elevators. (We used the stairs for everything- not worth the time waiting for the elevators) There was just a wall when we walked out of our room.The walls of the rooms are pretty thin and when the people next to us were up we definitely heard it. Take earplugs if you're a light sleeper!
We did dress up for Formal night. My husband wore a dark suit. I didn't see very many men in tuxes. Maybe 10% or less? Suits, maybe 30%, a lot of dress shirts with tie and contrary to what I've read, I didn't see anyone in jeans & t-shirts either the formal or semi-formal night. Most of the women I saw had on long gowns, and lots of dresses, some pant suits & skirts. I thought everyone looked good- but I don't care what others wear. Formal night was a lot of fun.
oh, the squeaky rail- we only really noticed it when the ocean got rough but it was loud that night!
Have a great trip