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View Full Version : August 11th Magic - Teen POV!


tiggeress
08-22-2001, 10:12 AM
Before starting this abridged trip report (full one coming up on a webpage!) I just have to say that all our family (first time cruisers) had a FANTASTIC time. There is barely a doubt about whether we're going to go again. & we're vacation club members (since 1995, home away from home - Old Key West)

We stayed the night before in the Sheraton World resort. Not bad as hotels go, but doesn't compare to any of the Disney resorts. We took the Cruise Line Bus to Port Canaveral. It was fun watching the video, and made the time on the bus fly by. The first view of the Magic is amazing (i was the first on the bus to spot it and practically flew out of my seat). It really is incredible. Embarcation is easy. :( But no announcing of our names. Maybe they took that part out When on board, we went to our cabin. Be forewarned. They are SMALL. I'm not saying that this made our vacation any worse but it sure made unpacking a whole lot more difficult that we thought. We had practically brought our whole summer wardrobes with us. Not a good plan :) Oh, and bring hangers if there's stuff that you want to put in the closet. There were hardly any in ours. We ended up putting our suitcases under the bed and it all worked out fine. The room was cosy, but we couldn't see how all four of us were going to fit. We realized afterwards that the fourth bed pulls out from the above the sofa bed. Ingenious. I (15) went straight to common grounds with my DS(ister) (13). Parents went to book excursions. There weren't many people there, so we signed our names up in the common grounds book and grabbed a Teen Navigator. We did some exploring of the ship. First restaurant was Lumieres. We had Luke (Australia) and John (Canada) as our servers. Let's just say that we thought John was great :) Luke's the type of person that you either like or you don't, and he didn't respond well to my Dad's Australian jokes.

We came on this cruise with another family. They have 2 kids (F-7, M-10). It was great on the cruise with them. DS & I went to the 411 and then the Dance. Ok, but way too much like school. Very Cliquey from the first moment. The counsellors were nice, but I spent most of my time away from Common Grounds, with my family or with my new-found friends. There were dances every night, but they all lasted till 1 or 2 am. I went to most of them, but you get very exhausted after a while. Especially with sports and other stuff to keep you going. Me and the 10 yr old entered the shuffleboard tournament (and won!)

Everyone was super impressed with the food. The buffets at Topsiders were great! We ate there for breakfast and lunch and loved every meal we had there. In fact, all the food in all the restaurants was good. I had one bad meal, but John changed that for something that he thought i'd like (and I did!) We almost always went for the server recommendations and we were never disappointed. Parrot Cay is easily the best decorated restaurant - we loved the casual atmosphere. Animators Palate was a tad overrated. Not for the food, but the show wasn't as great as we somehow expected. But I think by then we were so impressed with the rest of the ship that we had our expectations up in the clouds for Animators Palate.

We were severly disappointed with St. Maartens. Unless you like jewelry shopping, you're in trouble. Even for jewelry, you get ripped off. My dad compared prices for diamonds he bought in Canada for my Mum with some of the same quality in (?) Amsterdam Diamond Gallery (?) and they were extremely overpriced in St. Maartens. I got my hair braided there. We paid $15 for half a head (not full head). We heard one person paid $60 for half a head, so watch out. We probably should have gone to Orient Bay instead. We went on a snorkeling excursion in the afternoon (Sunken Ship Snorkelling) and we weren't too impressed. The water wasn't as clear as we'd hoped and the 10 yr old in our party stepped on a sea urchin (we were warned about them AFTER he stepped on one!) He was very brave. My mask leaked, so I went back, but my sister had the time of her life photographing fish. I suggest you bring an underwater camera! DS and I had signed up for the Disco Cruise, but it was cancelled because of stormy weather on the other side of the island :(

St. Thomas, however, we LOVED. We got the first taxi off the ship to Magen's Bay (which I'd heard about from these message boards and told my family that we should go!). We were soo impressed. A white, sandy beach with palm trees, hammocks and crystal clear water. All that a beach in the caribeean should be. We rented snorkel equipment and floating mats and it was great! When we were ready to leave, it started raining, but it didn't matter because we had had perfect weather for the whole day.

On our next day at sea we went up to the bridge. Pretty boring tour, but that's just me. Most of the common grounds activities were poorly organized so I hung around with my friends at Buena Vista theatre or around the pools. I spent a lot of time with my family too. The dance at ESPN was bad because they couldn't get any music. One activity everyone in our party enjoyed was Family Karaoke. You got some really amazing singers (As well as some not so good ones!) and it was a lot of fun. Get there early to get a spot though.

CastAway Cay was fun. But the beach was definately not as good as Magen's Bay. We rented snorkel equipment. Get into the snorkel area ASAP before the sand is kicked up and the fish decide to hide. I saw TONS of interesting and colourful fish, but my sister (on the Wild Side tour) saw hardly any. I didn't go on the Wild Side, but my sis thought it was tons of fun. We found a chair and hammock easily. Maybe our ship wasn't at full capacity because WE thought that there'd be a struggle, but there were lots of empty chairs. The Teen beach activities were poorly run - the family beach was nicer anyway!

All in all, we had a great trip. We had great weather. If there was one thing we'd say Disney would have to change, it would be the shows. Hercules was bad, as well as C'est Magique. Disney Dreams was the only good one, except for that one singers horrible squeaky voice - like someone drawing their nails over a blackboard. The Variety shows were great. We loved the ventriolquist (sp?).

Couple of tips -

*on formal night, get to the atrium early if you want to have your picture taken
*pictures are expensive! They rack up the bills quickly. Be choosy
*Teens: play Gotcha. It's a lot of fun. Don't worry if Common Grounds isn't all it's supposed to be. It's really small and cramped in there. Find friends and go somewhere else.
*See the Disney movies that play at Buena Vista Theatre. The first time we saw Emperor's New Groove, we didn't like it. BUt the second time we saw it (aboard Disney Magic) we loved it. We were surrounded by Disney lovers and they made the movie all the more magical.
*If you're a vacation club member, go to some of the reunions. You can get some really cool freebies. :)


That's all. If you have any questions (from a teen point of view, or anything else...) post here (i'll be checking!) or e-mail me @ tagwen@hotmail.com

Toodles!

Amy

JanMa
08-23-2001, 05:49 PM
Hi Amy!
Did you or your sister happen to meet a boy
named Matt (13) ? Our family was on the 8/11
cruise and we didn't see much of Matt all week.
I hope he behaved himself!
Thanks for posting the great report. I like to
hear that teens have a good time cruising.
Congratulations on the shuffleboard win!
Let us know when the full report is on your
website, and also the address.
:wave: Jan

Poohbush
08-25-2001, 08:36 PM
Tiggeress,

What a great report! Sounds like you & your family had fun! Thanks for posting an enjoyable report.
Tina http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/girl.gif

ignat62
08-29-2001, 08:19 PM
Tiggress
What a wonderfully articulate 15 year old you are. You and your parents should be very proud.

We are sailing on Oct. 6. I have a 12 year DS and a 10 year old DD. My son looks like he is 16. He towers over kids his age, and feels a little out of place some of the time. Did you see any 12 year old kids hanging out in Common Ground? Are they strict about enforcing the age thing?

Thanks for the great report!

leanne2255
09-07-2001, 09:32 PM
Tiggeress,

Loved the part about you jumping out of your seat when you saw the ship for the first time. I did the EXACT same thing, and my husband still kids me about it!

Glad to see a trip report from a teen's point of view. We will be taking our 2 daughters next year (ages 16 & 13) and hope they will have a great time.

Thanks for the enjoyable trip report!