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NancyDVC
01-07-2006, 04:41 PM
Hi all!
Boy is it cold here today. :eek: We stayed at the Radisson at the Port last night. Nice room, right next to the one we were in before our last cruise.
Right now it is a little after 5:30 and we haven't sailed yet. They announced that there are some late arriving flights and we are waiting for those passengers so we are due to set sail at 7:00. :boat:
We arrived at the terminal about 9:30 (shuttle from Budget). They opened the gates about 10:00 and we went right up and checked in!!!
They now board by groups. No more standing in line to board. We were in group 2. Group one is for concierge and those guests needing assistance (wheelchairs etc.) Great process. :cool1:
We got on board smoothly, got Palo ressies easily and ate a wonderful luch at Parrot Cay. Love those shrimp!!! ::yes::
Have to go. We have massages reserved at the spa. Then second seating/third group for dinner. :cool2: :cool:
TTFN I will try to post again!!

WDWLVR
01-07-2006, 04:59 PM
Thanks for checking in with a live report Nancy. If you see fellow DIS'ers Ohiominnie (Karen) or Ohiomickey (Mike) tell them hi from the May 27th cruisers!

christinou
01-07-2006, 05:14 PM
Have fun, I was wondering why the Magic was still in port.....
Here is another good reason to fly the night before, boy those people are going to be stressed.

disneylover5
01-07-2006, 05:56 PM
Could you please check for me and see if they are pin trading or if they suspended it for cold/flu season?
Thanks
Lisa

ennisb
01-07-2006, 06:57 PM
Have a great trip looking forward to your updates

cristit14
01-07-2006, 07:14 PM
Have a great trip!

NancyDVC
01-07-2006, 09:47 PM
:goodvibes We just finished dinner. We have the second seating group 3. That means that we have dinner at 8:30 PM. They have divided the each seating into 3 groups-early 6:00, 6:15 and 6:30; late 8:00, 8:15 and 8:30. Each time is scheduled for one restaurtant. So tonight we ate in Lumiere's. Tomorrow we eat in Animator's Palate again at 8:30. Our dinner time does not change just the restaurant. According to the letter we received both at home and when we boarded this change because of guest feedback.

disneylover5/Lisa- I haven't heard anything about pin trading yet. The pincart is scheduled to be in the Atrium tomorrow I think. Of course I forgot the pins that I might want to trade. :upsidedow
:sick: As for cold and flu season they are distributing antiseptic hand wipes as we boarded and in front of every restaurant as we entered. ::yes:: They are encouraging the use of the wipes as well as handwashing. So far I haven't noticed anyone refusing the wipes.

I missed the actual sailing because I was enjoying a lovely special travelers stress relieveing massage at the spa. :cloud9: ;)

I'll try to post an update again tomorrow and keep this thread going.
good night. :wave2:

disneylover5
01-07-2006, 10:06 PM
I missed the actual sailing because I was enjoying a lovely special travelers stress relieveing massage at the spa. :cloud9: ;)

I can think of no better reason to miss the sailing...congrats!! Enjoy your trip...we will be there in 3 weeks!!

NancyDVC
01-08-2006, 07:33 AM
Good Morning! :sunny:
Sunny and in the low 60s this morning. Lovely day at sea. Off to the DVC member Celebration this morning. ;)

It was hard to get up this morning because sunrise was at 7:59.

TTFN

jcbohon
01-08-2006, 08:02 AM
I was so excited to get up and see that it was indeed much warmer than yesterday.. we were quite cool at the sailaway party esp when the wind was blowing. And my girls were jonesing to swim.. but we decided that would have to wait.. did let them go wading in the mickey pool tho..
As others have noted we sailed late.. we missed the actual start of that. Do they usually hold the ship like that if others are running late.? That surprised me I didnt know they would do that???
We just checked the girls into the kids clubs-went very smoothly.
Off to brunch at Palo. We did board in group 3 and I had no problem getting Palo brunch, nor in changing my dinner reservation to Wednesday... easy..
more later

Tink!
01-08-2006, 09:45 AM
disneylover5....we just got back on our nye cruise and pin trading was still going on! ::yes::

budwmn
01-08-2006, 10:40 AM
Well, we're just leaving Nassau -- yes, Nassau. After a late start last night, we are now running really late due to a medical emergency. We had to turn around this morning and head 55 miles back to Nassau. Capt. Tom said we'll have to travel at full steam to make it to St. Marteen "more or less on time" Tuesday.

The seas continue to be calm, but it's still a little chilly outside (warmer in the sun). :sunny:

We're in a Cat. 2 and the concierge team is Dania and Arnaldo. Both seem very attentive and helpful. The Cat. 2 is beautiful. The furniture looks brand new. It's great to have the extra space and bathrooms. It's a one time thrill for us (my DH keeps reminding me of this fact). :)

I can't remember both entertainers names on board, but one is Rich Purpura. Both the magician and juggler were wonderful.

Well, I'm off to a wine tasting at Palo! :teeth:

NancyDVC
01-08-2006, 03:53 PM
Here we are steaming full speed ahead to St. Maarten. Sunny but breezy. Rolling a bit from the speed. Lots of fun stuff happening all day. TTFN :cool2:

ElenitaB
01-08-2006, 04:23 PM
Good Morning! :sunny:
Sunny and in the low 60s this morning. Lovely day at sea. Off to the DVC member Celebration this morning. ;)



Thanks for taking time to post. Do you know if there's a DVC Member Celebration on every sailing?

NancyDVC
01-09-2006, 07:20 AM
ElenitaB-Yes there is a DVC Member Celebration on every 7 day and I believe on the 4 day, not sure about the 3 day but probably. It is somewhat like the member updates at WDW, but more relaxed. We got DVC member hats (the red baseball hats that keep showing up on ebay), key chains, SSR pins and lanyards. The idea is for us to wear the lanyards and hats so that potential members can ask questions. But it also helps us identify each other! We had a raffle/questions for prizes too. Met some members who are on the DIS too.

disneylover5-I asked at the pin cart last night and the CM said that yes she can trade pins. So if you wear your pins I'm sure you can find someone to trade with.

Rough ride last night and this morning. Seas 8-13 ft. cloudy and windy. Really rocking overnight and this morning. So far did a bit of laundry, then off to a talk on the MAking of the MAgic, Brunch at Palo's and some relaxation.

TTFN :wave:

disneylover5
01-09-2006, 07:26 AM
Thanks so much for the info on the pins....I just can not wait!!

I hope your seas get calmer.....usually they are not too bad this time of the year. Keep having fun enjoy!!

Lisa

budwmn
01-09-2006, 05:46 PM
It's a really rough ride today. The girl giving my DH a massage this morning got sick (while in the room). Pretty gross. All of the CM's are saying that it's much rougher than normal. Still, we managed to enjoy our brunch at Palo this morning and relaxed most of the day. Twice Charmed is tonight and I'm excited to see a new show.

I also wanted to make a point to say what wonderful service we've had on this cruise. It has been BY FAR the best we have ever experienced. Due to recent reports that service had declined, I was a little nervous about what to expect. Our room attendant is Austin -- very personable, always says hi in the halls and the cabin is immaculate whenever we return. Our servers in the main dining room are Sylvester and Irwin (hope I'm spelling that right). Wow, I've always heard about great servers, yet have never had anyone that special. Both these men really shine -- just incredible. Also, Florencia and PJ went out of our way to make our Palo experience memorable. I understand why they are both so well regarded on these boards. Top notch professional service in every way. The concierge team of Dania and Arnaldo have proven to be excellent as well. In addition, ALL of the crew goes out of their way to say hello in the halls -- always with a big smile. I can't imagine a better experience.

At the Castaway Club this evening, Capt. Tom hinted regarding the new itineraries for 2007. No real news here on the DIS, but it looks like the Med. or Alaska and dates should be released "in three months."

Well, I'm off to get seats for the show! :sunny:

cristit14
01-09-2006, 09:25 PM
Isn't Florencia great! We had her at Palo dinner. I think she was concerned that DH wasn't eating alot. We told her that his stomach wasn't doing well (rough seas). On the last morning on the ship we saw her at Topsiders and she asked DH how he was feeling. He told her terrible. She got a concerned look on her face and DH told her he felt terrible because we had to get off the ship. She offered the use of a linen closet to stow away in :goodvibes . Man I wish we had taken her up on the offer. :(

ddavis860
01-10-2006, 05:23 AM
It's a really rough ride today. The girl giving my DH a massage this morning got sick (while in the room). Pretty gross.


I also wanted to make a point to say what wonderful service we've had on this cruise. It has been BY FAR the best we have ever experienced.


EEWWW :eek: That is not quite as relaxing as I would hope for a massage. Poor DH, and I can't imagine how embarassed the girl must have felt... :blush: :guilty:

Thanks for the trip report. It's good to hear that the servers are treating you well on your cruise. Hope you have smoother seas :boat: , and a great end to your trip!!! :wizard:

disneygatorfan
01-10-2006, 06:41 PM
Is Pikey still on board?

maminnie
01-11-2006, 08:36 AM
Everyone:

Thanks so much for your live reports. Hope you had a good day in St. Maarten and another great day in St. Thomas today.

Could you please let me know how they handled the time change when coming into St. Maarten. My understanding from DCL is that the ship's clocks when in St. Maarten and St. Thomas will reflect island time (these islands are one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.) The ship is scheduled in St. Maarten for an 8:00am ashore time and 7:30pm departure time and DCL indicated this is actual island time. My guess is if the ship's clocks are pushed ahead by one hour in St. Maarten, DCL must just leave the clocks this way until after St. Thomas.

Is all this correct? Your help is greatly appreciated as I am trying to set up excursion pick up times in St. Maarten and St. Thomas and want to make sure we are in sync.

Thanks for your help. Enjoy your cruise.

maminnie

P.S. How was the weather in St. Maarten and St. Thomas? What excursions did everyone do? Thanks again for your reports.

castlegazer
01-11-2006, 09:29 AM
Woa - did he get a discount on that massage???

I hope things are settling down now for you guys. Its wonderful news about what great service you are getting. I am sure that DCL reads the boards and is trying to improve any situations that are coming through in reports here.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

crzy4magic
01-11-2006, 11:55 AM
If I remember correctly from when we did our last Eastern Cruise they turn the clocks for moving from Eastern to Atlantic time the second night. IF anyone has Eastern Navigators posted it would say in there. The Bahamas and almost all of the islands in the Eastern Caribean area are in the Atlantic Time Zone. This is not a big deal if you cruise in the summer because none of those countries use Daylight Savings Time.

natsmom125
01-11-2006, 12:03 PM
Jenny...on our next to last cruise we had Sylvester as our server. His partner at that time was Ivan. On our last cruise, they were not together...but maybe Ivan is your Irvin?????? Ivan did magic tricks and I believe he was from Croatia or Bulgaria...some place like that. Maybe they are back together. We have never had bad servers on any of our cruises..but they were absolutely the best. We saw both of them on our last cruise and Sylvester brought our DD a HUGE banana split....that DH and I wound up eating of course.

And I can never say enough about the wonderful PJ...he's the best.

Hope the rest of your cruise is the best ever.....and if you remember please tell Sylvester that the Glass family...who cruised right after his baby was born...dd even bought the baby a little gift....send him our best.

Wish we were there with you.....

Phyllis :dog2: :dog:

NancyDVC
01-11-2006, 06:07 PM
Hi all,
We have had a lovely day today in St. Thomas. We changed the clocks the first night out and have stayed on Atlantic time all week.
Yesterday in St. Maarten we had a few downpours. Real drenching rain but brief. Last night we had heavy rain and the Pirates party was moved inside. No fireworks because of the rain. But they rescheduled them for this evening at 7:45 and they were great!!!
St. Thomas was lovely but very crowded. There were 3 ships at the Havensight pier-Us, the Costa Magica out of Ft. Lauderdale and the Mariner of the Seas. The MSC Opera which was docked next to us in St. Maarten was anchored in the bay and had to tender in. There were 3 more ships anchored on the other side of Charlotte Amalie! Cruise ship gridlock! :upsidedow
We met folks from the MSC Opera. It is a 19 day cruise out of Italy, formal or semi formal every night. :scared: Ballet and Opera on board and apparently no one speaks English crew or pasengers. The English couple that my friend met said that it was very strange and no too enjoyable because of the language barrier. Apparently they make no effort to see that all their passengers understand what is going on. (I find the Magic crew to be helpful in trying to find someone who can translate whenever necessary.)
There was some confusion and they originally tried to dock but were made to move by port authorities because the Magic, Mariner and Magica all were scheduled to dock today. And apparently their customs clearance did not go smoothly.
Our customs clearance was great. Smooth and efficient as I expected. ::yes::
Service has been wonderful. Every crew member that I meet says hello. They are helpful and very sincere. ::yes::
We had brunch and dinner at Palo and had Florencia both times. She is a doll.
Off to dinner and then a lovely day at sea tomorrow and then CC!!!!! :cool2:

Hygiene99
01-11-2006, 06:34 PM
Hi all,
We have had a lovely day today in St. Thomas. We changed the clocks the first night out and have stayed on Atlantic time all week.
Yesterday in St. Maarten we had a few downpours. Real drenching rain but brief. Last night we had heavy rain and the Pirates party was moved inside. No fireworks because of the rain. But they rescheduled them for this evening at 7:45 and they were great!!!
St. Thomas was lovely but very crowded. There were 3 ships at the Havensight pier-Us, the Costa Magica out of Ft. Lauderdale and the Mariner of the Seas. The MSC Opera which was docked next to us in St. Maarten was anchored in the bay and had to tender in. There were 3 more ships anchored on the other side of Charlotte Amalie! Cruise ship gridlock! :upsidedow
We met folks from the MSC Opera. It is a 19 day cruise out of Italy, formal or semi formal every night. :scared: Ballet and Opera on board and apparently no one speaks English crew or pasengers. The English couple that my friend met said that it was very strange and no too enjoyable because of the language barrier. Apparently they make no effort to see that all their passengers understand what is going on. (I find the Magic crew to be helpful in trying to find someone who can translate whenever necessary.)
There was some confusion and they originally tried to dock but were made to move by port authorities because the Magic, Mariner and Magica all were scheduled to dock today. And apparently their customs clearance did not go smoothly.
Our customs clearance was great. Smooth and efficient as I expected. ::yes::
Service has been wonderful. Every crew member that I meet says hello. They are helpful and very sincere. ::yes::
We had brunch and dinner at Palo and had Florencia both times. She is a doll.
Off to dinner and then a lovely day at sea tomorrow and then CC!!!!! :cool2:
Enjoy the day at sea...Thanks for the report..

lbgraves
01-11-2006, 07:12 PM
I also wanted to make a point to say what wonderful service we've had on this cruise. It has been BY FAR the best we have ever experienced. Due to recent reports that service had declined, I was a little nervous about what to expect. Our room attendant is Austin -- very personable, always says hi in the halls and the cabin is immaculate whenever we return. :

Please tell Austin HELLO from the Graves family in 8004 last month. He was wonderful! He helped me deal with DS when he wasn't behaving himself too. LOL! William was going to help him vacuum. ;)

lbgraves
01-11-2006, 07:14 PM
Thanks so much for the info on the pins....I just can not wait!!

I hope your seas get calmer.....usually they are not too bad this time of the year. Keep having fun enjoy!!

Lisa

Be sure to look for Marina & Yolanda in the gift shops. They are WONDERFUL with kids who are trading pins. Please tell them that William & Kaitlyn say hello!

maminnie
01-11-2006, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the help with the time change.

Everyone on the 1/7/06 Magic, enjoy the rest of your week!! :sunny: :sunny:

maminnie

budwmn
01-12-2006, 12:10 PM
Sorry it's taken me a while to reply -- we've just been having too much fun!

First, I wrote down the names and will pass on your messages to the CMs.

It's just been a fantastic cruise. The seas have calmed down and we have breezy, but sunny skies. No my DH didn't get a discount for his massage, but that's okay -- we felt so sorry for the poor girl for having to work while she was so sick.

For those who haven't seen Twice Charmed, it's wonderful. I have a DS 9 who wasn't too excited about seeing a Cinderella show, but even he loved it. It seems much more polished than the other shows -- more like a true Broadway musical. The cast has been fantastic dealing with a few technical issues and the rough seas.

As far as ports go, St. Maarten was o.k.. We went to Orient Beach on our own. My DH was a little upset (hee hee) that there were no Bo Derek type beauties walking on the beach, instead he got to see 4 or 5 old men (we're talking age 70 plus) with big pot bellies walking around nude :scared1: . LOL! :rotfl: My DS didn't even notice them because he was too happy building sand castles. I thought the beach was nice, but nothing amazing. :confused3 It was a very windy day and we had a few strong storms (lasting about 10 minutes). The bathrooms were pretty nasty and I was kind of happy to get back to the ship. On the other hand, we LOVED St. Thomas. Funny, too, because it was the port I was least interested in visiting. We did some shopping (got a good deal on a watch for DH), and then took the tram to Paradise Point. What a great spot! We caught the 1:30 bird show and then had lunch at the restaurant overlooking the island. I'm a picky eater and the food was very good. We stayed up there for two hours while we ate and drank a couple of beers. I highly recommend it. I spoke to a woman who went to Trunk Bay and loved that as well (she was a very LUCKY person -- upgraded from a window view to a Cat. 3 -- DVC member).

I'm off to catch up with the rest of the family! :sunny:

natsmom125
01-12-2006, 12:33 PM
Jenny..

Thanks for passing on the messages to the CM's. I know they like to be
remembered by their "old" cruisers. My DD still talks about Sylvester to this day......

Have a great rest of the week..............

Phyllis :dog2: :dog:

NancyDVC
01-13-2006, 07:08 AM
Hi all,
We are on our way to CC. A beautiful morning today. Slight breeze. Wondeful sunrise. I am in the Cove Cafe right now. Lots of folks up and around.
Had a lovely day at sea yesterday. Listened to Bob Holland's second talk on Imagineering. Took the galley tour. Lots of great info. Chef Steve was our 'tour guide'. He brought both ships over from Italy. All the food is ordered and inspected in WDW. Then delivered to the ship where it is inspected again. And anything not up to standards is retruned with the vendor having to not only replace it but get it to the next port at their own expense! For the 14 day Panama Canal they sent fresh supplies from WDW to Curacao to replenish. They never take on local food in any port. They follow USDA standards for all food handling. ::yes::
They also do constant training of crew. And they promote from within. He told us about some crew who started as cooks and were now assistant chefs. Nice. Also the preparation staff does the same job for months. Joe in the Lumiere's kitchen does the potatoes. So we all thanked Joe for the lovely potatoes.
Saw some wedding cakes being decorated in the pastry area. I guess there are a few weddings/vow renewals today. :bride: :groom:
Take care. Off to see us dock at CC. I'll soak up some sun for all of you. :sunny: :cool2:

maminnie
01-13-2006, 07:21 AM
Thanks DVC Nancy for the post before your day in CC.

So glad to hear you have great weather for the day. Enjoy!! Hopefully we will have the same in February. :sunny: :sunny:

Have fun.

Thank you again everyone for sharing your cruise with us.

maminnie

P.S. We had Sylvester in '04 on the Magic and he was really 'excellent'.

jcbohon
01-14-2006, 05:31 AM
Time to go home already. I am up early since a boat was right outside our window this am pushing us to port-or at least that was my assumption.
Castaway Cay was absolutely gorgeous yesterday.. sunny with a few clouds, about 75 degrees. Fantastic weather.
DH and I checked the kids into the kids club on the island , then headed to yoga on the beach-over by serenity bay- a great way to start the morning. WE finished it off with a few frozen drinks afterwards to make it even better.
By the time we picked up the kids and headed to the family beach, it was a bit of a struggle to find a good spot to sit-very crowded on that beach compared to serenity bay.. but the kids still had fun. Lots of people swimming- I thought the water was quite cool-but something you could acclimate to.
Overall we all loved this stop and I was thrilled to have such fab weather.
Now we are just docked at Port Canaveral and it is cool and windy on deck..sob..
later

lUVTOGO
01-14-2006, 03:16 PM
Great report! Glad to hear you had a good time!!

triciakh
01-14-2006, 05:14 PM
can you tell me if the had the movie glory road on the ship? it opened here friday and i noticed it was a disney movie. sounds like you had a great trip.

tricia

budwmn
01-14-2006, 06:56 PM
It wasn't on this cruise, but maybe it will be on the next one.

NancyDVC
01-21-2006, 10:20 AM
Here I am back home again, wishing that I was boarding the Magic today. It was a great cruise. We adored Serenity Bay. Quiet, peaceful and warm. The water was cool at first but we got used to it. We saw lots of fish, starfish, sand dollars etc. and that was just walking in the water, no snorkel gear. The water was very clear. Next time we plan to rent floats.
When we got uo on Saturday we were pulling into port. It was cool and windy again just like when we left the week before. We had 8:30 dinner all week so our breakfast was at 8:15.
When we finished we strolled off as I tried not to cry. Flights were delaye dat the airport because of strong cross winds. When we checke dour luggage at the port we were asked if we wanted an earlier flight and we jumped at it. The flight was delayed leaving because of the wind but we still got home earlier thanour original flight. :sunny:
We reboked onboard for a Western next January 13. I may have to change the dates because of work but we are booked! Hurray! :cloud9:

WiscBill
01-21-2006, 12:07 PM
We decided to add our trip report to NancyDVC's thread. We spent several days at WDW after the cruise and just got home a few days ago. I hope she doesn't mind, but then we did buy her a cappucino in the Cove Cafe Sunday. Nancy and her friend are two really nice people and we very much enjoyed meeting them on the trip.


We (DW, DD~4, and me) left on Friday the 6th and flew direct from on Southwest from Islip to Orlando. After much research, we decided to rent from Budget and do a drop off at the port. After getting our car, we drove a short distance to the Embassy Suites at the airport. It was a very nice hotel, but it was too cool and windy to use the outdoor pool. During the manager's happy hour (which is free), we met four other families who were also going on the cruise. Several were DD's age and they all had a great time while the adults sipped our free drinks. I did a quick store run for last minute items like sunscreen and lots of wine and liquor. We did room service for dinner, which was really quite nice.

The next morning we slept in before having breakfast in the hotel (also free). One of the families we met the night before were taking the DCL coaches to the port, but were able to get the hotel shuttle to stop at the liquor store before being dropped at the airport. We did some last minute shopping for pirate garb at the local Target and then left for the port around 11:45. We arrived at around 1230, just when the first people were boarding. We had no trouble dropping the luggage off with a porter. DW and DD then went into the terminal to check in while I dropped off the car.

The drop off at Budget was so easy I couldn't believe it. There is also a gas station between the port and the office, so it was easy to gas up. Once at the office, I waited about five minutes for a return shuttle with another Magic passenger. The driver said it was now starting to slow down a little because the other cruise ship which sails on Saturday was going into drydock that day so there were no return passengers for that ship only the Magic. Earlier in the day though, they had done over 80 trips to the ships and back and the wait for the shuttle had been longer.

Once back at the terminal, I had no trouble getting through security (the no alcohol sign is a little intimidating) and relieved DW in the line. Total time in line was about 45 minutes, but it could have been longer if we had arrived a little later since the busses from WDW arrived shortly after we got there.

We had time for a picture of DD with Minnie Mouse. This was our first experience with how nice our cruise was going to be. She was actually waiting in line for a photo with Goofy, but he had to take a break just when she was about to have her picture taken. She was in tears, but a CM named Adam, who we later learned is a dancer in the shows, played with her till Minnie showed up for pictures a few mintues later.
After that, it was through the ears, having our names announced, and since it was after 1:30, straight to our stateroom to drop off our day bags. We had picked a stateroom midships (first time cruisers) with an outside verandah. It was very nice for the three of us, with plenty of space to store luggage. Never did learn to open the verandah correctly the first time however
After lunch at the buffet, we went back to our room to unpack our luggage which had been delivered while we were eating. After that it was time for the lifeboat drill.

We went to the sailaway party and looked for other DISers on deck 10, portside, but didn't see any green or Love4Disney's special shirts. The party was fun, but definitely uncrowded ( The 59 F weather probably had something to do with that). Our departure was delayed because of some late arriving flights.

We were at the 5:30 seating on the APL rotation. The first night show was very entertating in AP and our serving team, Erasmo from Chile, and Shawna form the USA!! were just perfect. The food was very good and we did not mind that we were kind of placed in a table over in a corner. We had no table mates that night, or for most nights of our cruise. We actually set sail during dinner, so we did not see the ship leaving the harbor.
After dinner, we went to the Oceaneer's Club to check DD in and pick up our beeper. It has been stated on these boards that you can pick up the beepers at a special desk during checkin, but that wasn't the case for us. We had filled out the forms on line before boarding so check in was probably about a 10 minute process. The club is actually not fully operational on Saturday night. The time is reserved for parents to visit with their children to help the kids become use to the counselors and the setting. Our DD has been in day care since six weeks, so she had no trouble acclimating, as did most of the kids. In fact, my daughter had so much fun in the club, we had a hard time getting her out that night and for most of the rest of the trip.

We were all very tired, so after a quick tour of the ship, we skipped the show that night and went to bed. The crossing was very gentle, but I admit I did need to look at the windows a few time to see the horizon and settle myself.

Sunday started out as a very nice day. It was about 75 degrees and the seas were calm We had coffee on the verandah and watched the Bahamas go by in the dark. Our character breakfast was that morning and it was good, but not nearly as nice as the Pooh one at the Crystal Palace in the MK. After that, we took DD to the Oceaneer's club, which she loved. It's hard to predict if the children are going to enjoy being in the club, but if they do, it's wonderful. We then went down to the DVC meet in Diversions where we met our first DISer, NancyDVC, who started this thread. We picked up some lanyards and hats, along with a nice beach bag at the meeting. After that finished, we took DD out of the club for some time at the Mickey Pool, which was nice and warm. In fact, according to the tv, all the pools were heated to about 84 degrees throughout the trip. DW got some laps in the adult pool while I watched us pull into Nassau. As NancyDVC mentioned, we had to turn back to drop off an ill passenger. I did get to see the Atlantis complex in the distance.

We had originally planned to go to the matinee show of the Golden Mickey's, but DD insisted on going back to the club, but not before telling us that we needed to go the adult club. Taking her advice, we went up to the Cove Cafe for a cappucino and irish whiskey. We ran into NancyDVC and her friend there. Jerry, one of the people we had met at the Embassy Suites also stopped by and raved about the massage he had just had at the spa. Turned out his wife had given it to him as a present and he was very happy she did.

Sunday being formal night, we took DD out of the club and changed into our formal clothes. We then went down for the Captain's reception, where they do serve some very nice free drinks. Captain Tom was very gracious and assured us that our detour to Nassau would not delay our arrival in St. Martin. For those of you reading this from our cruise meet thread, you should also know I made one last plea for a whisky tasting to be scheduled with the cruise director and assistant cruise director. Unfortunately, they could not arrange it.

Sunday was also our night to do Palo. We had originally booked a late seating since we did not know our rotation before we boarded and did not want to miss AP. However, it turned out we had the APL rotation, so we were able to switch to an earlier seating. It turns out that the 3-4 year olds were just starting dinner at topsiders at that time, so we were able to take DD to the buffet, check her in there (very easy and nice), then just walk up one flight to Palo.

There has been some discussion on the boards as to whether or not Palo is worth the extra $20. I can definitely say that it is. The seas were starting to get a little rough now and Palo was only about half full for the early seating ( People could definitely have got in that night without reservations). The food was very good (We both had the beef tenderloin) and definitely on a higher level than that served in the dining room. The service was good, but not outstanding and we felt not as good as we received from our service team in the main dining rooms. The Palo manager, PJ, however, was wonderful and we enjoyed talking with him about his growing up in Australia.
The chocolate souffle was good, but we actually preferred the pistachio torte that was offered that night.

After that, we took DD to the Golden Mickeys. We arrived too late to be interviewed, but definitely enjoyed the show. DD just stared with a broad smile on her face throughout and could not stop applauding. She also enjoyed the dancing at the family party in Studio Sea after the show. We closed the evening with Mickey Bars (that made three desserts that night) in our cabin.
:teacher:

WiscBill
01-27-2006, 06:11 AM
Our second day at sea was made very interesting by heavy seas and high winds. According to the tv display, we were in 14-22 seas and gale force winds most of the day. After eating breakfast in Topsiders, we walked out on deck 9 to see most of the pools spraying like the fountains at Disney World. I have a short JPEG movie which I will send to the forum moderator for posting later. It was quite impressive watching the water shoot up about 10-20 feet. The captain had posted a crew member at each pool for the pupose of draining the pools if needed. Fortunately, they only had to drain the family pool, and all the pools except the adult pool were closed (along with port side deck 4 promenade) for the entire day.

The highlight of the day for DD was the Princess signing in the atrium. It is really quite impressive to see all the young girls, many in their princess dresses, (along with a lot of boys) waiting in line for autographs and photos with all the princesses on board. Even though they keep the line moving, each princess talks (staying in character) with each child for awhile, before signing and posing for photos. Since our DD had her Snow White dress on, Snow White spent a little extra time with her.

After dropping DD back at the club (It is really a great cruise if your child loves the clubs), DW and I braved the adult pool with a few other hearty souls. It was true wave pool (think Typhoon Lagoon) with even the hot tubs spraying everywhere. It was fun though and we had Signals bar to ourselves. By late afternoon, the sun had come out even if the wind was still blowing and the ship rocking.

That night we tried to have dinner in Lumiere's. Unfortunately, the seas were starting to get to DD and she was very cranky (and most people judging by how empty we were). Rather than disturb our table mates (who were without their kids that night), I took DD back to the room after ordering dinner. She settled down once we go to the room, so I ordered some room service for her. There was a 45 minute wait, since so many people were dining in because of the seas. I was a little surprised then when a room steward knocked on my door about 5 minutes later and brought in my entire dinner from Lumiere's, including my wine and a selection of all the deserts on the menu. I was so pleased that our server team, Erasmo and Shawna, had been thoughtful enough to do that without asking. We finished the evening watching Twice Charmed, which turned out to be our favorite show, but no Mickey Bars because of the rough seas and my three deserts.

NancyDVC
01-28-2006, 01:31 PM
Hi Bill,
Glad to got home safely. Thanks again for the cappucinos!
We also found our servers to be very thoughful. One of our table mates was having an exacerbation of her asthma several evenings andour servers sent her dinner back with her husband. One evening he decided not to stay and they brought both dinners to the stateroom. very thoughful of them!
I missed some of the wave action at the pools becaue I was too busy at activities! :smooth:
We got the DVC members picture that the photographer took after the members meeting. Al those red hats!
Sorry we missed most of the other DISers on board but we found lots of DVC members!

:wave:

WiscBill
01-30-2006, 08:22 AM
You're welcome Nancy.

Nancy and her friend were with DD and me when we went on the Butterfly Shore Excursion in St. Martin. We had watched the docking from our verandah. The port view was of the working part of the harbor, but starboard looked out at the other ship docked in St. Martin, the Costa Majica (which caused some confusion for people). DW was going scuba diving that day, so DD and I boarded a very nice air conditioned bus for the tour. I found out later there were several DISers on board the bus that day. The butterfly farm was just perfect for DD and all the children seemed to be having a great time. The rum punch offered to the adults for the supposed purpose of attracting butterflies also seemed to please most of the adults. Total time there was about 90 minutes, which was just fine. After leaving the Butterfly Farm, we drove to the French capital, Marigot. I have to agree with the guidebooks that prefer the French side to the Dutch side. Marigot was absolutely charming and a little more upscale than Phillipsburg. The only negative was the thick black smoke pouring out of the desalination plant. I never did find out what was causing that. DD and I did a little shopping for DW and sat at cafe and had some orange juice. On the return to the ship, several people did get off in Phillipsburg for shopping. DD and I stopped at the dock mall and bought some earrings for DW. The weather in ST. Martin that day was very sunny and warm, but bands of rain and wind moved in throughout the day. None lasted very long, but it did interrupt some of the beach excursions.

While walking back to the ship, the wind tunnel effect on the docks between the ship, tore my hat off. DD started running after it and I dropped everything to catch her about two feet on the wrong side of the red line and about two feet from running off the dock. After getting my heart rate back down what seemed a few hundred beats a minute, we collected everything up (including the hat) and went up to the Mickey Pool to wait for DW. DW showed up around 2PM from her scuba trip. She will be writing a report on the two scuba trips separately, but let's just say that when I heard she dove off a boat in eight foot seas to a wreck at 85 feet my heart rate went back up again.

DD wanted to go to back to the club, so we obliged and visited Phillipsburg. As has been stated on this board, the beepers don't work very far from the ship, so it is a bit worrisome, but the counselors assured us they could handle anything that may come up. We took the water taxi over to Crescent Beach and then walked back through town. The rain bands were starting to come more frequently, but they never lasted more than 15 minutes. It gave us an excuse to stop and have a drink (beer is $1 in St. Martin) and do some shopping.

This was supposed to be pirate night, so we struggled tying bandandas during dinner, but eventually gave up. We were delayed leaving St. Martin because of passengers returning late from shore excursions. By that time, it was pouring rain constantly, so pirate night was moved indoors for the show (Never did find out what they did with the buffet). DW and I went down to Sessions, where the bartender Jez, from South Africa, made some wonderful vodka martinis to go with the caviar we had ordered. After taking DD out of the club, we walked back to our room weaving around several buckets that had been set out near the atrium and elevators to catch the rain water pouring down the shaft (It was raining that hard!!!). Mickey Bars before bed soothed any feelings for missing the fireworks and buffet.

The weather in St. Thomas the next time was pefect, 84 and sunny all day. Clearing customs and immigration in the morning is a pain, but DCL does a great job of reducing the inconvenience of getting up at 600 am to a minimum. DD and I did the Coral World excursion while DW did another scuba trip. The Coral World trip is another good trip to do with young kids, but this trip would be 10 times better if they skipped the two out of the way stops at scenic overlooks on the way and just went to Coki Beach where you could have a very nice beach day and go to the aquarium at your lesiure. As it is, you spend about 90 minutes or more going there, stopping twice for some scenic overlooks that you have to walk past several (tacky) tourist shops to get to. As advertized, there is no narration on this tour, so all you do is drive and stop. Coral World is very nice and the 90 minutes you do spend there is about right for the size and number of exhibits. The trip back was quick and this time I kept a death grip on DD as we walked down the dock to board the ship. It was not yet lunch time, so I checked DD into the club for her lunch and went to Topsiders for lunch ( my only time). The weather was very nice and sunny on deck, but I wished I had gone to one of the dining rooms instead as the food was not very good (some fatty ribs, steam table hamburgers, and carved ham). DW joined me and we swam in the adult pool for a bit, before doing some shopping in the Haversham mall. Prices seemed to be higher here than in St. Martin's and a beer was now $3.50. We did pick up four liters of liquor while we there. We were pleasantly surprised when we returned to the ship and found out that DCL does not put the liquor in storage till the end of the trip. You just take it back to your cabin and what you do with it there is your business. When we returned, we spent some more time at the adult pool. Our departure was delayed about half hour to wait for late returning passengers. We had watched the traffic jam from our verandah earlier. I don't think I would do an excursion on my own unless I headed back for the ship no later than 1 PM based on what we saw. The ship next to us is St. Thomas, was one of those huge mega ships with a rock wall. It just seemed way too big and the people on board sure did not seem to be having as much as we were. The weather was so good now that they did the fireworks that evening. It was fun to see, but the crowding on deck 10 was a little scary, especially with people standing on the towel lockers and stacks of deck chairs to see.

Thursday, our last day at sea, was one of the most enjoyable of the cruise. It started with coffee on the verandah only this day we had a nice rainbow to watch as the sun rose.This was our day for the Palo brunch and it exceeded everything we read. Our server, Ann-Marie from Sweden, was perfect. There really is just too much to eat, with all of it perfectly prepared. We splurged and bought a bottle of champagne to go with the free glass you get when arriving. The only off note was the fake caviar, a Spanish product that consisted of herring row darkened with squid ink. Neither of us had room to try any of the entrees, with DW feasting on the crab legs (which do come with garlic butter if you ask) and shrimp, while I oversampled at the desert bar. Afterwards, we spent a lot of time at the Mickey Pool before dropping DD off at the club for her graduation rehearsal.

For those of you who were on our cruise meet thread, you know that Griffin33 and I kept trying to get a whiskey tasting added to the program. I failed unfortunately, so earlier in the week I dropped off a scotch sampler at Griffin33's suite (He was in the Roy Disney Suite with his family). He was kind enough to invite DW and I up to the Suite for drinks before the graduation ceremony, since his children were participating also. Griffin's family is magnificent and he was a very generous host. We had our own private scotch tasting, including a private tour of the Suite (The master bath was about the size of our stateroom). After, we all went to the ceremony together. It truly was amazing to see how many children are on the cruise!!. Of course, like all proud parents, we looked for our DD and were very pleased to see her picture(along with every other one of the 800 or so kids on board).

That night after the semi-formal dinner in Lumiere's we went to see Disney Dreams. Honestly, this was the show we liked the least, although the performers, especially the actor playing Peter Pan were great. There were several reasons for that:
1) The people in back of us had seen the show before and kept up a running commentary on what was going to happen next throughout the show.
2) Another guest was complaining loudly about how disgusting it was that DCL served alcohol during the shows (She was definitely not scotch tasting material)
3) With the new show, Twice Charmed, the show seems a bit repetitious.
4)I'm starting to get a little grinchy when it comes to LONNNGGGGGGGG Lion King medleys.
Mickey Bars solved all problems.

NancyDVC has already reported what a great day we had for Castaway Cay. Absolutely perfect weather. We checked DD into Scuttle's Cove (it really is a nice play area) and went off to our first excursion, the Personal Watercraft Eco-tour(AKA An hour jet ski tour of Castaway Cay). It was an absolute blast. DD and I had never been on jetskis before, but it was easy and really very informative. Taking a jet ski past the Magic really lets you know how large a ship it truly is. After getting back, we did the barbecue lunch, which I did not find as enjoyable as other people have. (it's really steam table hamburgers and such brought from the ship that are shown a grill with bagged potato chips). They also do very nice fresh fruit bowl and a psedo fresly made bagged caesar salad. We then checked DD out of the club and spent most of the afternoon on floaties in the lagoon. DD took a nap for about an hour while DW did the parasail (She loved it).

We were very tired and just did room service for dinner, missing the flag parade.(We had given our tips out the night before knowing that we would probablynot make it). We did a little bit of packing before checking DD back into the club before going back to Sessions for one more round of caviar with vodka martinis. We went back to the room and put the luggage out right before getting DD and going to the Till we meet again show. This really is a great way to end the cruise and we had a wonderful meeting all the characters one last time. One last round of Mickey bars and then we went to bed.

Our last morning was as stress free as our first day. I went down to AP for our going away breakfast while DD and DW slept in. The service was just as good as on our first night (I must have tipped properly). I had heard horror stores about other cruise lines that once the tips had been passed out that no server wanted to see you let alone treat you as well as I was that morning. I stopped off at Topsiders to grab a tray for DD and DW and was pleasantly surprised to see a full buffet with the exception of the omelet station. It was also no problem getting oversized cups of coffee to take back. DD and DW ate a leisurely breakfast in the stateroom. We left the room at 830 as requested and just walked off the ship, no lines. A porter met us as soon as we were in the terminal and collected our luggage. We were through passport control and customs in no time and went right to the Budget rent a car pickup. We had to wait for the second shuttle, but we were at the rental car desk and in our car before 9 am. (As I said earlier, the Magic was the only ship in port that day because the Carnival ship was now in drydock. Typical wait times for rental car shuttles are probably longer).
We were at Saratoga Springs by 10 AM and enjoyed a windy, but sunny day at Downtown Disney.


1

NancyDVC
01-31-2006, 10:35 AM
Yes we enjoyed the Butterfly Farm tour. It was very kid friendly - no discussion of the mating habits of butterflies. We did see one butterfly laying eggs and several emerging from their cocoons. Neat. And we ate lunch in a little cafe on the beach in Phillipsburg. As two of my friends would say lunch was at theme parks prices! We shopped in Phillipsburg and got back to the dock in time for one of the rain squalls.
In St. Maarten the MSC Opera was docked next to us. An Italian ship on a 19 day cruise from Italy, with stops in several Italian ports. Apparently you can use it as transportation we saw folks getting off in St. Maarten with luggage. It had live opera and ballet performances on board (hence the name?) and get this every evening was either formal or semi formal attire! Just think of the number of outfits! :crazy:
Bill, The buffet on Pirates night was on deck 9 near the Goofy pool under cover. We had just come from a great dinner at Palo so we didn't try anything. :cool1:
In St. Thomas the MSC Opera tried to dock but was told by the authorities that they did not have a reservation for docking so they had to anchor in the harbor. We were docked behind the Costa Magica and in front of the Mariner of the Seas. There were 4 other ships in port in St. Thomas that same day thus adding to the crazy traffic. I asked one of the taxi drivers if the traffic was bad because of all the ships and he said that it is always crazy (just think American left hand drive cars driving on the left side of the road as in the UK) just more so on Thursdays which is port day.
We enjoyed our taxi tour of St. Thomas. Lots of great views and a very informative driver. Makes me want to go back.

:dumbo:

WiscBill
01-31-2006, 05:08 PM
NancyDVC,

You are correct. The Costa Majica was the ship that was docked in front of us in St. Thomas not St. Martin. The Opera did have to dock in the harbor in St. Thomas and had to tender in.

They did set up the buffet on Deck 9 for pirate night, but they did not put the food out before we turned in. When I went up at round 10 PM to get coffee, the buffet was being taken down, so I don't know if they ever actually did serve.

By the way, I forgot to mention I also dropped off a whisky tasting for Love4Disney and her daughter. We did not have a chance to meet before the end of the cruise, but I got a great thank you note.

All things considered, I didn't mind the rought weather we had during our first two sea days considering the great weather we had for the rest of the trip. A nice day in Castawy Cay is really the highlight of the cruise. :grouphug: