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meegster 05-07-2007 01:31 PM

3/24/07 MAGICal Western Trip Report - Finally updated 3/26/08
Love, love, love reading all the trip reports here so figured I should make my contribution to the library and hopefully pass on some good info.

I want to first thank the DIS boards for all the info I’ve picked up. I’m a huge lurker and really found lots of great tips from the board – things to watch for, ask for, do, etc. It really made our trip special and we took advantage of as much as we could.

Cast of characters:
Me, meegster, 38
DH, 37
DS, 7
DD1, 4
DD2, 4, yes twins
DMom, 65+
DDad, 65+

The seven of us shared 2 adjoining category 5 rooms on deck 7. We also traveled with friends, a family of 4 in an inside room across the hall from us on deck 7 as well as their inlaws, mysteriously in some un-named room on deck 6 or 7 – they would never tell! :confused3

We booked this trip a year in advance so there was LOTS of time to plan – I think I over-planned, brought too much stuff, but knew a few insider tips that made me seem like a pro – thanks DIS!

I did send a box ahead to the ship via UPS – it was there waiting for us when we boarded – no problem. I had sent LOTS of coloring/activity books for during dinner and the trip home, over the door shoe holder, pop-up hamper, pirate night toys and accessories (Target), underwater disposable cameras, clothespins, pillowcases, sharpies and a magnetic dry erase board. I shouldn’t have sent all that activity stuff – the kids needed no entertainment during dinner, outside of what was provided with crayons & kids menus and our great servers. And they had TVs at each seat on the plane so they were very entertained!

We booked through my DMom's travel agent, full Disney package, flights on Delta, stay at Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney transfers.

Next up: Travel Day !!

meegster 05-07-2007 02:23 PM

Travel Day !
Just as a reminder, as you get to know us:
Cast of characters:
Me, meegster, 38
DH, 37
DS, 7
DD1, 4
DD2, 4, yes twins
DMom, 65+
DDad, 65+

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Had a hard time going to sleep the night before because of last minute packing and house cleaning – to bed around midnight, alarm set for 3am. Yikes! We had a 4:15am car/van service pick up at my parents house.

I was up first – 3 hours of sleep but I didn’t care – I was heading to Florida! MAGIC here I come. Quick shower for me and then DH. Got everything packed and then woke the kids. Clothes had already been laid out so DH turned on the video camera and we woke each kid up with – “Are you ready for a Disney Cruise?!” I haven’t seen them be this cooperative that early in the AM, ever. We were out the door at 4am. Quick 10 minute drive to the folks’ house where the van was already waiting for us. Loaded up our 5 pcs of luggage and 1 carryon a piece plus folks and their stuff and we’re on the road.

Got to John Wayne Airport in OC by 5am, if not sooner. Dropped off quick and hopped in Delta line to check bags – already pre-printed boarding passes. Line was short but wait seemed long since they opened late – around 5:20am. DH was a little confused with the kiosk to check bags but we got it sorted out and on through security. Kids thought it was funny to have to remove their shoes. Line was short and we breezed through but because they didn’t mark my boarding pass with a little highlighter mark, I had to go all the way back – with my kids on the other side. Rrrrr. TSA hustled and got it sorted out before shoes were back on so they didn’t get far.  Lines for Starbucks (for DH and DMom) and McD’s (for all the eats) were long and by the time we got our stuff, it was time to board! Scarf down the grub everyone!

The 7 of us were seated 3 in front of 3 with 1 across the aisle – plenty of options for mixing and matching with the kids. This was the first plane ride for my girls – officially. They claim the flight when they were in my tummy counted but we tried to explain this was the one they got to enjoy so this counts!
There were TVs in each seat – bummer I forgot all those headphones we already have around the house. $10 later everyone was set. Those plus some homework for DS (including a Flat Stanley project)
and coloring books for the DDs and the flight to Atlanta was a piece of cake. Napping even took place. Yeah! Changed planes in Atlanta and then off to Orlando. Talk about short flight – they barely got drinks served through the whole cabin.

We got off in Orlando and were so excited ! Loved not having to worry about grabbing our bags thanks to Disney transfers. We immediately went down to baggage claim to find the Disney Express for our ride to the Caribbean Beach Resort. We sat up front on the bus to be the first off – not sure why but it sounded good. We got to the resort after a short drive and went in to check in. Line was relatively short but everyone was whining and complaining at each CM station so it just wasn’t moving. Lovely. We were glad we were only staying there to kill time before the cruise. We didn’t really care where our room was because we were more interested in our cabin onboard the Magic! We were next in line when a crew of high school ball players showed up to check-in. Whew, in line just in time. Check-in did take a while because for some reason our TA put us in one room in one area of the resort and my parents in a completely different section a bus ride away! Why?! So they worked to get us rooms next to each other and all was well. Cruise desk was closed so we’d have to check in tomorrow. No biggie.

Hopped on another bus to get to our section of the resort. It was walking off the bus that I noticed my DH didn’t have his carry-on rolling bag. So I asked, did he leave it on the bus? Nope, we left it on the plane in Atlanta ! Ahhhhhhhhh ! DH was fuming. I was bummed too but really glad it was him and not me that lost it, ya know? Anyway, couldn’t remember what was even in it – trying to remember – his golf shoes, snorkel gear for me, DH and DS, walkie-talkies & charger, DH & DS’s baseball gloves, underwater cameras (disposable), and maybe a couple other random things. It was mostly an extra bag for stuff to bring home. Not good. So straight to the room and we start calling Delta and file a lost bag claim. It hasn’t been reported found so unlikely they’ll find it and be able to get it to us before we sail. Darn!

We called our friends from Chicago who flew in the day before and they were in the same section, ironically. Cool. They were at the pool so we walked over to meet them. Hugs and cheers all around as we were finally here and going on the Magic! We share our lost bag story and instantly feel better when we hear their sleeping in the airport story – bad weather traveling from Chicago – they almost didn’t get to Florida! Ok, our missing stuff wasn’t so bad! We decided to head back to the rooms to get cleaned up and go to Downtown Disney to grab some food and walk around.

Again another fairly short bus ride to Downtown Disney and its packed! We got there around 7 or 7:30pm. Waits at the restaurants were over 2 hours so we hit Earl of Sandwich for some pretty great sandwiches. It was casual and easy – and it let the kids get acquainted with each other. DFS (friend’s son) is the same age as our DS
DFD is 10, but loved “babysitting” our DDs. My parents got to meet everyone for the first time too.
After a long travel day, we decided to call it a day. DH and DF (his Chicago friend) had an early tee time for golf at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. The rest of my family was going to hit the pool for the day while their family was going to visit a Grandma that lived in the area, since they were there.

Bags were in the room when we got back – this time, DH’s bag isn’t there. Another bag down. He has no golf attire for his early tee time. Lovely. After a call to Guest Services, and since it was Disney being fully responsible for our bags once in Orlando, they gave DH $100 credit at the golf shop at the course for appropriate golf wear for in the AM if still no bag.

We pitch DD2 next door with the Grands and DS & DD1 share the other bed. Still too excited to sleep but I try.

meegster 05-07-2007 02:28 PM

Having trouble posting pics - will update once I get the hang of this.


Aha! Its the Costco site - uploading from Ofoto worked here. I'll get busy moving pics!

Scratch that - still having issues. I'll try to work on that and add photos later.

rick1138 05-08-2007 12:09 PM

Meegster, sorry to hear your party had so much trouble with baggage.
We'll be taking the Western in Sept and I look forward to hearing about how it all turned out.:)

LITTLEKID58 05-09-2007 06:30 AM


eph94 05-09-2007 01:45 PM

We were on this cruise too. I should get off my behind and work on a TR too before the details get a bit hazy. We ended up going on an Eastern a month later, but we liked this Western one better!

meegster 05-09-2007 02:08 PM

Chillin' at CBR & Hoop-Dee-Doo
Friday, March 23, 2007

Early wake up call for the DH to get out for golf. Still no bag for him – can’t even shave and no clean underwear. Sorry honey! He takes his backpack as I sleepily agreed I shouldn’t need anything from it. We slept in a little more and then a knock on the door – 8:30am – DH’s bag is here. Whew. We get up and decide to get some breakfast at Old Port Royale food court at the resort. On the way over, we stop at the cruise desk in the lobby to check in. Oh, I need passports? Those are in DH’s backpack! Darn. My parents go ahead and check in – we’ll have to wait until the cruise terminal tomorrow since DH won’t be back from golf until 2pm – desk closes at noon. DARN! And, the bus to port leaves CBR at 12:15. 12:15?! I wanted to BE there by then. :sad2: Not going as planned.

Got to the food court, Mickey waffles for all the kids, of course. I got a ham & cheese omelette – can’t remember what the folks got. Decent enough, though pricey. But I’m over it now, we’re on vacation and those KTTW cards help me forget about cash. We walk back to change into swimsuits and get our pool gear. The main pool at the resort is great with a shallow kiddie section, castle and slide!
And I love the lifevests for the littles. My DDs can swim but wouldn’t have done the slide into the big pool without having the vests on so they popped right up. Couldn’t keep them off the slide then! DDad even got in there with the kids. :yay:
We lounged all day. No one wanted to get out for lunch and since we ate breakfast late, we just snacked on fruit, crackers, nuts & Uncrustables from the little store inside the food court. DH & DF returned from golf around 3pm. They changed and DF gathered his family to meet us at the pool. At 4:30, we decided to head back and try to get a little nap before our evening plans – Hoop Dee Review dinner show with the whole group! :cheer2: Cruise kickoff !

And nap we did. The kids went down pretty easy, DH was out immediately. I even snoozed for 20 mins – just enough for me. We were supposed to be ready by 6:15 to meet up with the group and bus it over to Wilderness Lodge. They call at 5:45 and say be ready by 6 – we hadn’t even woke the kids up yet. We rush to get ready and meet up with the group. Finally meet DF’s in-laws – my parents totally click with them right away. Yeah! :yay:

Bus to CBR lobby then bus to DTD then bus to Fort Wilderness Resort and then to the campground. Whew. Long trek – but got there just as things were starting. Got a great group shot of all 13 of us outside the show – that we got sucked into paying big bucks for – oh well, there were 4 families and 4 pics – we each got one and split it. Chow bell rang and it was time to head inside. We had a floor table off to the left side of the stage and pretty close up – perfect. Server was great for our large party. The show was fun, especially for the kids.
We enjoyed the wine and beer included with dinner. And loved that everything was served it heavy metal buckets - fried chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, salad & cornbread. The glasses were mason jars. Tons of food, laughs and singing. DFFIL and DFMIL were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on this trip so we drew attention to ourselves and they had to get up and dance in front of everyone. Nice moment. :love:
After the show, we decided to take the water ferry back to WDW and then catch a bus to our resort. The ferry was fun – my kids considered that a ride in itself. Everyone was tired when we got back so it was straight to bed for the kids. We had packing to do – luggage pick up was 8am! We decided to skip bringing suits to swim onboard since we weren’t getting to port until after 1:30 at best plus had to check-in still, fix Palo reservations and had early dinner seating. So we packed and went to bed.

Next up - Finally getting to the MAGIC

Still working out the picture issues but will add lots when I can!

Mickey'sfriend 05-09-2007 02:43 PM

Love your story! Can't wait to hear more!popcorn::

nenner1 05-10-2007 02:17 AM

Great so far, subscribing!!!


DreamCruiser100 05-10-2007 09:24 AM

Loving your report, subscribing!!:goodvibes

CRSNDSNY 05-10-2007 10:05 AM

SUbscribing! :)

meegster 05-10-2007 11:51 AM

Thanks everyone for checking this out!

eph94: hope this encourages you to do your trip report. disneypoor was my motivation! She was on our cruise as well and did a great report!

More to come soon! And adding pictures ! :yay:

meegster 05-11-2007 12:22 PM

Saturday, March 24, 2007, Part One:

Woke up early to get showers and pack toiletries. We wanted to carry on as little as possible since we were getting on late. Bags were picked up promptly at 8am. Then we left for breakfast back at the food court at Old Port Royale. We didn’t need to rush so we took our time. We even ran into DF and his family there. We decided to meet up around 11:30 since we heard a line for the bus started early.

We went back to the room and cleared it out and went back to the Old Port Royale to just hang out in the courtyard by the pool. We bought snacks for the bus and got tattoos. DS got a pirate on his arm, to match DFS’s. DD1, my princess, got a little Minnie Cutie on her ankle. DD2, my tomboy, got a little Mickey cutie on her LEFT ankle as she’s a proud lefty. Now they matched DFD who got a fairy on her ankle. DFW and I decide to join in the fun too. I got a little Tink on my lower back – made me consider getting one for real!  DFW got one on her lower back too – of all seven dwarfs ! So funny. Forgot to take pics, darn.

We got an update on our missing bag – it was located in Phoenix but obviously wouldn’t get to Orlando in time so they were sending it back to our home airport, SNA, and would hold it until we came back. At least it was found.

Around noon, we moved inside the food court area where the bus check-in was supposed to be. DH and DF were ready to pounce on those nice DCL folks trying to get the first boarding numbers – think they were antsy to get there? DFFIL & DFMIL had rented a car and drove to port early. They called from on board already and we hadn’t even got on the bus from CBR yet! DARN! Not doing the bus next time – we’ll rent a car or get our own shuttle – will probably still check bags from the resort – heard you can do that. Will have to research that for next time.

So even though we got numbers 1-11 to board, they didn’t board in order. We were still kinda close to the front. The bus finally left around 12:30. The drive was long, or so it seemed. The nice DVD we were supposed to have to watch was broken so it was a long quiet ride. We were hoping DDs would nap but no good. Finally, over the hill, out on the horizon, there she was. More beautiful in person that one can imagine. So very excited at this point. DF and family had already checked in at the resort so they jammed on-board. We were in such a rush to get onboard we didn’t even check out the terminal. The shame ! We had issues checking my DS in since he was listed with my parents and they already checked in but he didn’t. DH worked that out while I ran to get kids checked into their respective Kids Clubs and get the pager. Done. Done. Let’s board!

Up next - getting ON the Magic !

meegster 05-11-2007 12:28 PM

Saturday, March 24, Part Two:

Embark photo was a downer – we were tired from the long boring bus ride and just wanted to get onboard ! They announced our name to a lobby with 2 CM’s in it – no one else. I don’t think anyone noticed how special that was supposed to be. I was on a mission. Had to change PALO ressies from 2 to 4 people. We called Disney 3 times before our online window was open and were told we could only book PALO for the adults in our cabin. We wanted to go with DF and DFW and our reservations were linked yet we were told no. DF couldn’t even get a PALO ressie online by the time he tried – he slept in. I got one for 7:30 on the night we wanted but only for party of 2 and after having no luck getting any help to change it prior to cruise even though I was so misguided by CMs over the phone, there in person it was a piece of cake. I was VERY worried about that whole thing – now I know how accommodating they are and won’t ever worry again. I cancelled the 9pm we were holding for DF since we got the change. Excellent. We also confirmed we got the LAP 6pm rotation we wanted – more excellence. :cool1:

We walked around a little bit, took the required porthole pictures
and then headed to our cabins 7040 & 7042 – since it was getting close to the drill time. I popped up our door signs – nothing fancy but cute just the same. Made one for each family’s cabin. DFW thought the cruise line made hers – had to break the news to her it was me! The kids were totally cooperative and the drill was painless and quick. Can’t believe this picture-freak didn’t take the obligatory lifevest picture! We dropped the life jackets back off and headed up to the party. We loved our cabin location – deck 7 midship – easy to get to everything! We filled our plastic Diet Coke bottle with our buddy, Jack Daniels, that we brought onboard and headed to the drink station on deck 9 and were our own bartenders. We found our friends already up at the party with a table. Perfect. The dancing began. DD’s were interested in watching but wouldn’t dance! DS joined DFS and DF out on the dance floor. Then they asked for a volunteer to come be part of their boy band performance. DF got picked. He LOVES to dance. So he got right up there, learned the steps and busted out some major moves. He was up on the Dumbotron and everything. Where was my camera?! Luckily DFW got pics.
We hung around up top for a little while as we finally left port. Saw the Mickey Hands waving us goodbye and headed back down to change for dinner.

Luggage was arriving but there was no time to unpack. We changed and headed to Lumiere’s for our first dinner aboard the Magic. I think we had the biggest table right in the middle of the restaurant each night. We met our server, Gabor, from Hungary, aka Zsa-Zsa, and his assistant, Evandro, from Brazil, aka Rambo. Polar opposites we’d learn but the BEST servers!! (right disneypoor?!) Dinner was a blur with all the excitement of being on the ship. The kids got the lecture about trying stuff from the adult menu and if they didn’t like it could use the kid menu as a back up – didn’t work too often. I don’t remember what any of us had that first night – sorry. Never took any food pics!

After dinner, we stopped into the clubs for a quick look around. DDs didn’t want to leave so I assured them they’d be there first thing in the AM due to PALO brunch with my parents. The Club seemed a little young for my DS so we checked out the Lab. Way more his speed so we had him bumped to the 8-9 group. He wanted to stay too but we explained the brunch thing to him too and he was ok to go. We headed to the Welcome Aboard show. We got a preview of the acts to come – really looking forward to Gary Delena’s shows. DF got called up on stage AGAIN during the Jeff Civillico portion of the show – DF helped with his unicycle/juggling act and was here-on-out nicknamed Chicagie. Strangers greeted him by that name the rest of the cruise! DD2 got sick toward the end of the show – seasick, lovely. So I had to leave early to get her back and cleaned up. She went straight to bed. Everyone met back up with us at the cabins and we called it a night – kinda early but ok, it was a long day. Had a really hard time falling asleep – but I was the only one.

Up next - Checking out Key West

Lindy Loo 05-12-2007 06:27 PM

what a great trippie!

Thank you, i love the detail and photos!

we go in Oct, so it would be great to get lots of info :thumbsup2

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