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cyndid 10-29-2008 10:46 PM

October 17-27: Our Magical Dream Vacation - updated 5/7/09 -LOTS of PICs
Just got back from a wonderful 7-night cruise on the Magic with two days afterward at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter. I feel the need to write a trip report as a means of therapy to combat my post-cruise depression. ;)

Our adventure stars:

Cyndi: Me. Just turned 40 on the Magic!
Frank: DH. Beat me to the big 4-0 by several months
DD1: Autumn. 12 years old.
DD2: Mariah. 8 years old.

The adventure was conceived back when I first heard about cruising with Disney aboard the Big Red Boat. I really can’t remember how long ago that was, or even if I had children at that time, but I knew that cruising with the Mouse seemed like a great idea. DH and I had taken a cruise for our honeymoon aboard Norwegian Cruise Line. We loved it and vowed to cruise every two years for the rest of our lives. Funny how the reality of life changes your plans, isn’t it?

Fast forward to June, 2007. This cruise was actually birthed as a result of something bad that DH did. He went behind my back and did something that he knew I did not approve of. When he realized that I was furious and did not wish to talk to him for days, he decided that rather than send flowers he would offer me something even better. “Gee honey, I know I was bad. Can you ever forgive me. I know….let’s take that Disney Cruise we’ve always talked about.” The ink had not even dried on this promise (okay, it was verbal not written, but I like the saying) when I immediately began researching my options. I ran to the bookstore looking for books on Disney Cruising; found the Passporter and I was OFF! Strange thing is that DH does not recall the initial exchange. He does not recall that it was his fault…er, idea, that we started on our journey toward a Disney Cruise. No matter…we were going! I started saving that very day and within a month had booked the cruise. I was REALLY glad for the Passporter because I do ALL my travel planning and would never have thought to book through a TA. But, booking through a TA got us $150 in onboard credit!

Now the waiting begins.

Somewhere in there I found the DIS boards. I believe that was a direct result of surfing based on recommendations in the Passporter. But, once I found the boards, I felt like I had hit planning Nervanna. I even found a thread with people who were going to be on the same cruise that I was!

And now the time had arrived.

cyndid 10-29-2008 11:05 PM

The Day Before Departure
After what seemed like an excruciating week tying up loose ends with my business, I finally “left” work yesterday around 2 pm. I drove to my best friend/employee’s house to drop off the credit card machine she would need, a disk with various needed files, and some instructions. I was totally pooped by the time I left.

I really did think that I was done. FOOL.

I woke up this morning around 5am and had my short list of last-minute things that needed to be done before I could REALLY be done. Somehow, that 2 hour list seemed to stretch into 5 hours! How could this be? I still had to clean the house, feed the family and get to bed by 8 pm.

I have been diagnosed by as being a perfectionist (If you’ve never visited the site, you should. Occasionally I actually shine my sink…that is often the only thing that gets done. Go to the site; then you’ll understand). Those that know me best probably find this diagnosis laughable given the perpetual state of cluttered chaos that I live in. However, I really believe it to be true. If I can’t do it right, through to completion, then I don’t want to start it. That coupled with the fact that I grew up with a mother who was clutter-phobic and was very controlling, seems to be why I am the way I am. This was uncovered after many hours of therapy. Just kidding. I digress…

So, around 11 am I began a marathon cleaning session. Why clean the house when we live like this normally? Well, our neighbor was going to be checking on our cat. While she has seen our home in all its cluttered, chaotic glory, I had visions of people being invited in and shown around with murmured expressions of, “Yes, they really do live this way.” Or, “See. You didn’t believe me. This is why they meet visitors at the door. Yes, you may take pictures and post them on YouTube.” With all due respect to my absolutely wonderful neighbor who would never, ever, ever do such a thing…the visions still persisted. So, marathon cleaning session ensued.

Poor DH also works from home (as do I) and was “supposed” to be working this day. It was really difficult for him, I’m sure, with me frantically cleaning all around him. And, whether he’s working or not, shouldn’t he be as frantic as I am? I mean, really?

While I was frantically cleaning the house, DH stepped out to take the dog to the kennel. I image it was sometime around lunchtime. Although in my cleaning frenzy I failed to note the time.

With all this obsessive cleaning, it was a REALLY good thing that I had printed out all of our documents, magnets, driving directions, confirmations, etc., days ago. It was also helpful that I had been packing for months in advance, because the last-minute packing paranoia was brief. I KNEW I had packed everything. I HAD a list afterall and all items were checked off. Unfortunately, this did not appease my last minute, “EEK! Where is the pirate night thus-and-so.” (Sorry, I don’t remember what the actual item was that I frantically searched for through EVERY single piece of luggage.)

Oooooh! I forgot one MAJOR thing! Our bank had a system-wide glitch that caused double debits for one entire day. While they credited back most of the duplicates, there were a couple of charges that shouldn’t have been on our accounts and the duplicate debits and unauthorized charges caused overdrafts on DHs account. So, during this crazy, clean-the-house, finish packing, make sure the business is set for my absence and make sure we’re ready day, we have to run to our bank to make sure that we are not going to be slammed with $150 in NSF fees! Unbelievable.

We had decided to leave our debit cards at home because of the increased risk of loss due to fraudulent charges (debit cards are not as easy to recoup from as standard credit cards). This made me a little paranoid about how much cash we were going to have on hand in case something happened with our one lone credit card. So, while at the bank being reassured that all was fine with our accounts, I withdrew $500 and put it into traveler’s checks….just in case.

After leaving the bank (This was at lunch time…now I REALLY don’t know when DH took the dog to the kennel.), we went to Subway and bought sandwiches. After cleaning the house so thoroughly, the LAST thing I wanted to do was have to cook and dirty dishes! So, we counted the Subways toward our cruise expenses and took them home.

The girls got home from school and DD2 was almost literally bouncing off the walls. She was so excited! While she didn’t want to lend much of a hand cleaning, she was happy to help throw things in any suitcase as needed. She also packed her “personal item” for the plane. DD1 was excited, but a bit more subdued.

Around 5 pm we ate our Subway sandwiches. I continued my frantic cleaning marathon and finished with a clean and clutter-free family room, living room, front hallway, kitchen counters, downstairs half-bath, upstairs hallway, and upstairs girls’ bathroom. The doors to the remaining rooms were closed. The floors got swept and mopped and two loads of dishes washed and one put away. Unfortunately there were still dishes in the sink (our Calphalon pans that had to be hand-washed), and the floors did not get vacuumed. But, for us, it was CLEAN!

DD2 eating her Subway sandwich

After dinner I frantically made sure that all the luggage was complete, all travel documents were accounted for, etc. and finally crashed into bed around 9 pm. The girls went to bed around 7:30 pm. That doesn’t mean they slept...too excited. I set the alarm for 2:30 am and hoped that DH would eventually come to bed. I have no idea when he finally made it to bed, and I didn’t ask.

Coming up…the Cruise Fairy Visits and We Lost the Dog!

(Any similarities to Zweihunds writing style is no coincidence. I am seldom original and tend to imitate what I like. I like her you'll see it a lot.)

cyndid 10-29-2008 11:06 PM

I am well versed with html, but can't figure out how to add size parameters to the image tag here so it isn't so ginormous. If anyone has any hints, let me know. I have LOTS of photos to post.

cyndid 10-30-2008 09:19 AM

Getting There Part I
Departure Day

The alarm rang at 2:30 am and I rolled out of bed. I showered, woke DH up and went down to get my breakfast while he was showering.

When I came downstairs there were gift bags at everyone’s place at the table. “Awwww,” I thought, “That’s why DH had stayed up later last night. He was preparing a little farewell surprise.” I left the bags alone, ate my breakfast and finally went up to wake up the munchkins. They were surprisingly easy to get out of bed. Wish they were this easy to get moving on a school day.

DH had packed the car the night before, so the only thing left to do once the girls were ready was to tear into our little gift bags. When the girls saw the bags they said, “What’s this?” I don’t remember who replied (I think it was me) and said, “I think the Cruise Fairy came.” Inside each bag was a lanyard and a Disney trading pin. Mine was a Disney Cruise Line bon voyage pin. How sweet. Now I had two pins…one that I picked out for myself at Disneyland in February when I was there for business, and now this one commemorating our cruise. My lanyard was a DCL Castaway Club lanyard. This would prove to be quite a conversation item for us for the rest of the beginning of the trip. Of course the Cruise Fairy left one for DH also.

The Cruise Fairy strikes

We finally got into the car and on our way. I don’t know how we manage to do this: we were on time and ready to go for some time and yet STILL managed to leave 40 minutes later than planned. I often remind my children that there are two things that make me CRAZY (I mean head-spinning, pea soup spitting nutso): 1. Being late through no fault of my own. 2. Losing things. I’ve really been working on these things. There has been much less pea-soup spitting than years ago, but sad to say, occasionally the head still spins. Fortunately for all of us, while I was teetering on the verge of nutso at my family’s inability to get in the car, I remained calm. Maybe it was pixie dust? Thanks Tink.

Despite leaving 40 minutes later than planned, we arrived at the airport roughly when planned. I slept on the way and therefore did not monitor DHs driving speed, but I have a feeling that we may have hit new driving records to achieve this. The airport we were flying out of was a really little airport. We knew that there would be no line up at security and the gates were all close. So, we were good!

We waited to board our flight and finally we were allowed to board. I looked at DD1 and said, “We’re going on a Disney Cruise.” She smiled and nodded, placating me.

DD2 and DH waiting in the terminal

DD1 and DH on the plane. DD1 is a little nervous about flying

We hopped on the plane with DD2 and I sitting together and DD1 and DH sitting together. DD1s favorite stuffed animal, a dog named Mackenzie, rode in her lap the whole way to Atlanta…our layover stop.

Those of you who have travelled through the Atlanta International Airport will understand when I said that I had been nervous from the start that we had only 40 minutes between flights. It is inevitable that our plane lands on tarmac A gate 1 and our next flight leaves from tarmac Z gate 101. I have many *fond* memories of running through the Atlanta airport. But this time was different. Tink must’ve been following us and spreading the pixie dust as this was the EASIEST time I’ve ever had in the Atlanta airport! We got from our arrival gate to our departure gate in under 15 minutes.

There are families with several children who love each other and who do not fight. I often look at these loving families wistfully and wonder what they do to make this happen. This just simply is not so in our family. The DDs find every conceivable way of pressing each other’s buttons and making the other crazy (and their parents in the process). Sitting at the terminal in Atlanta was no exception. They must have finally awakened (or the pixie dust wore off) because they began picking at each other. DH wound up having to separate them. There was yelling and crying…I’m sure those around us were thrilled.

Then they finally called our boarding group. DD2 and I once again sat together. We were one of the first boarding groups called, so we had been sitting there for a few minutes when DD2 looks at me horror struck and says/cries, “Where’s Mackenzie?” Oh no! I had absolutely no idea where she left the dog, but she certainly wasn’t on the plane. Could it have been in the bathroom? The waiting area? I had no idea. I was sure that Mackenzie was gone for good. I turned to DH, who was sitting behind us, and told him what all the commotion was about. He said, “They are still loading passengers. Get up and go see if you can get off real quick and look for her.” In my panic this thought had not crossed my mind. See, I thought that once on a plane, no one got off.

Well, I trudged up the aisle like a fish swimming upstream and said with imploring eyes, “My daughter left her stuffed animal in the terminal. Can I get off to look for it?” I don’t know if it was the imploring eyes, the worry of a crying child all the way to Tampa (DD2 was wailing back at our seat), or a little left over pixie dust, but she told me I could get off. She had to call forward to announce that I was coming out for security reasons. I walked up the ramp and emerged in the waiting area. I told the guy who I was and showed him my boarding pass and he let me past. As soon as I turned I saw a woman sitting in the very first row holding a stuffed animal that looked just like Mackenzie. As I was contemplating my retrieval attack, she saw my determined eyes looking at the old, worn stuffed animal and said, “Is this yours? I was going to turn it in here at the gate.” “Yes, oh yes!” I exclaimed and snatched up the dog. Crisis averted, no attack needed. Thanks Tink.

I got back on the plane holding the dog above my head. I received several happy comments from other passengers and crew, and presented the stuffed dog to my daughter who now shed tears of joy. We were all thrilled, but inwardly knew that this crisis would not have happened had the girls not fought at the terminal. Someday my children will be nice to each other and get along!

Up next: Miracle at the Pool and "Are You Diane?"

nokidz 10-30-2008 09:47 AM

Jumping on to re-live the cruise....LOL:cool1: Great report so far......

Mozart 10-30-2008 10:13 AM

Ahhh...the ATL. Where I've spent many a delay inside the Budweiser bar right in the middle of all the terminals. It seems like after 20 years of running behind constantly on their flights, they would have just figured out how to space the planes apart a little bit more.

I'm surprised they let you off the plane.

TiszBear 10-30-2008 02:30 PM

Great report so far. Can wait to read more.

Colmenares3 10-30-2008 05:24 PM

Cyndi, I'm SO happy you are writing this. Woo hoo - thanks for taking the time, the effort, and helping us all recover, post-cruise. :goodvibes

MaryAz 10-30-2008 11:56 PM

Great report so far! I had to to the same "please let me off the plane to get the stuffed horse my daughter left in the waiting area" last Spring.

TonytheWop 10-31-2008 09:06 AM

Is it me or TR by installments are like the old miniseries on tv ...they keep you in suspense and you have to wait for next week for the next installent.
Come on ...get on with it !!:surfweb: :confused3 :rolleyes1

cyndid 10-31-2008 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by nokidz (Post 28442070)
Jumping on to re-live the cruise....LOL:cool1: Great report so far......

Good to see you in here. It's been really quiet in our own thread.


Originally Posted by Mozart (Post 28442565)
Ahhh...the ATL. Where I've spent many a delay inside the Budweiser bar right in the middle of all the terminals. It seems like after 20 years of running behind constantly on their flights, they would have just figured out how to space the planes apart a little bit more.

I'm surprised they let you off the plane.

Atlanta is one of the craziest airports to get around. I often have to go between the furthest points at O'Hare, too. So...when flights are delayed. Watch out!


Originally Posted by TiszBear (Post 28447721)
Great report so far. Can wait to read more.

I'm having a blast writing it. I have an AWFUL memory so by writing it down while it is still fresh in my mind, I can save the memories.


Originally Posted by Colmenares3 (Post 28450957)
Cyndi, I'm SO happy you are writing this. Woo hoo - thanks for taking the time, the effort, and helping us all recover, post-cruise. :goodvibes

Thank you for organizing our meet thread. It was really a lot of fun to get on the cruise and already "know" some people.


Originally Posted by MaryAz (Post 28456577)
Great report so far! I had to to the same "please let me off the plane to get the stuffed horse my daughter left in the waiting area" last Spring.

It's such a crisis. I'm glad the attendants are understanding.


Originally Posted by TonytheWop (Post 28459501)
Is it me or TR by installments are like the old miniseries on tv ...they keep you in suspense and you have to wait for next week for the next installent.
Come on ...get on with it !!:surfweb: :confused3 :rolleyes1

:rotfl: Glad I'm keeping you on the edge of your seat.

cyndid 10-31-2008 03:57 PM

Getting There Part II
We arrived at the Tampa airport at about 10:30, went to baggage claim and headed to the car rental place. We arrived at Budget at about 11 am. Our TA had scheduled our car rental for 12 pm. I didn’t think at the time that that was an issue. Quite naïve of me. Maybe this hour was an issue, or maybe they decided to use it as a way to squeeze a few extra pennies out of us, I don’t know. BUT, we weren’t leaving there at 11 am with a rental car unless we upgraded a category. So we upgraded to an SUV and headed out. The luggage area of this little SUV was so small we were almost sure we would have had more room in the full-size that we had originally reserved. After squeezing everyone and the luggage in, we began the exciting trip to Cape Canaveral.

The girls and I fell asleep on the way to Cape Canaveral. DH woke us up as we were nearing Cocoa Beach. While we knew the Magic wouldn’t be there…it wouldn’t arrive until the morning, it was really exciting to see the other cruise ships in port. We also saw the Disney terminal!!! Woo-hoo! We’re REALLY here. We headed on into Cape Canaveral and to the Radisson Resort at the Port.

The Radisson is beautiful! It is beautiful on the outside. The lobby is beautiful. The pool area is gorgeous. Our room was beautiful, too! At $99 for the night, we thought we did really well.

The beautiful pool at the Radisson
Our room at the Radisson

It was nearing 2 pm when we checked in and we were able to go to our room right away. DH had arranged a surfing lesson at the Cocoa Beach Surf Club at 3 pm. So, he came in, unloaded and left right away. He took his cell phone, but we would discover that like me, he had turned it off…more on that later.

The girls and I put our bathing suits on and headed for the glorious pool. It was a beautiful day and it finally hit me that I was on vacation!!! I lounged by the pool while my children played…together. They got along and actually seemed to enjoy each other’s company. Miracles can happen! I guess when they have no one to depend on but each other, this is what ensues. It was wonderful.

Girls at the Radisson pool

I'm too sexy for my feet
Told you I wasn't original - got the idea from Zweihund and actually had a pedicure just for these shots

My youngest daughter had been lamenting all along that DD1 had some possible friends her age through our DIS board meetup, but there was no one her age. So, I was thrilled when she met a young girl at the pool who was also going on our cruise. Her new friend, Hannah, was only a year younger. They had a great time together. . I did note that the music playing by the pool was really very nice and I enjoyed very much relaxing by the pool listening to it. This was what vacation was all about. Did I mention that I had also gone to the bar and had a fruity drink in hand?

As it was approaching 5 pm I began to realize that I had not arranged with DH a meeting time for dinner, nor had we decided where to eat. Of course, with my never-ending planning, I had some ideas: Grills being at the top of the list. I had arranged with one of our meetup members to meet each other by the pool around 8 pm. So, we needed to eat and return to the Radisson in time to do this.

At 6 pm, still no DH, but I decided we needed to go get cleaned up for dinner. Once at the room I turned on my cell phone with trepidation (I did NOT want to see any messages…I was sure there’d be one from my accountant or some emergency business thing to deal with) and called his phone to see where he was. Of course it went straight to voice mail. He didn’t want to deal with calls either…how foolish of me. We finished dressing and headed down to the pool area at about 6:45. I was getting really frustrated with the idea that it was late on a Friday night…restaurants would be busy and I had a meeting to get back to! I sent DD1 back up to the room around 7 pm and she came back down with DH. It was really too late to go out to eat anywhere but at the hotel, so we opted to eat at Flamingos. Big mistake. Note to self: walk across the street to McDonald’s before ever eating here again.

While waiting for DH and DD1 to come down from the room, DD2 introduced me to her new friend Hannah’s parents. They wound up eating in Flamingos at a table near us, too…this would wind up becoming a trend.

Our waiter at Flamingos was very nice and likeable. Unfortunately, the service there was simply AWFUL! I ordered an appetizer that I made sure I said should be delivered BEFORE our dinner (I’ve had problems with this before). Well, we sat. And sat. And sat - with no food. Finally, our DINNER arrived without us ever having seen the appetizer! If it weren’t for the fact that DD2 was going to eat the chicken strips off of the appetizer as part of her dinner, I would have told them not to bother. The food was only so-so in quality. It seemed that service throughout the restaurant was questionable as on at least one occasion (I think there may have been more than one) a different waiter came out and tried to deliver food to us that wasn’t ours.

By this time I was truly wiped out. I had been up since 2:30 am, and although I had a couple of quick cat-naps on the plane and in the car, I was fading fast. I headed to the pool to try to find our DIS meet friends, Diane and her family. I didn’t realize how foolish I had been to think that I would be able to recognize her and her family from their small signature line picture. That coupled with my awful inability to remember faces/names anyway AND my extreme fatigue….meeting up was not looking good. I did notice a family or two that had children around the ages that Diane’s children were and asked, “Are you Diane?” Alas, I did not find Diane. I was nodding off while standing, so I decided to leave DH and girls at the pool, looking for Diane, and head to the ABC store. After all, I did have my priorities…. Sleep or wine for the cruise? You know which one won out.

After difficulties finding our rental car – even though it was exactly where DH told me it would be – I headed to the ABC store. I was amazed at how reasonable the prices were there! I purchased a LARGE bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel, and got a small bottle of whiskey to mix with drinks. I also ran to Walgreen’s to pick up Sensodyne toothpaste for DD1 who was complaining that her teeth were hurting from sensitivity. Too bad she didn’t think to tell me that she had forgotten her knee brace at home. :sad2:

***Interjection*** The last week before we left not only did I have a bazillion loose ends to tie-up with my business, but we wound up at the doctor’s office, too. DD1 had been participating in cheerleading and was at a practice the Sunday before where she landed a jump wrong and twisted her knee. She complained mildly about it that night but woke up the next morning unable to put any weight on it at all. Oh no!!! This can’t happen! WE ARE GOING ON A CRUISE! You can be injured later…not now! Anyway, I wound up driving her to school that morning, stopping at CVS at the ungodly shopping hour of 7 am and picking up a pair of crutches so she could attend classes that day. When I got home I called the doctor and got her in the same day. While I was at it, I decided I should have the Dr. look at me, too since I was sure I had a sinus infection. Better safe than sorry. Jump forward…DD1 had water on the knee. The Dr. didn’t think she needed Xrays and said she would most likely need the crutches for another day or so, but should keep it elevated and iced as much as possible. He gave me antibiotics for my sinus infection, and kindly called in a prescription for DH who was suffering from the same symptoms. (I’ve read the other posts…don’t freak out about this. Our Dr. is actually a personal friend and asked a variety of questions about DH after I said the we were going to be making an appt. for him for the next day. He does not prescribe medication “in case.”)

Well…because DDs injury happened AFTER all my packing lists were made…guess what didn’t make it onto the list and subsequently didn’t get packed? The knee brace we had purchased for her to make it easier for her to walk when her knee was sore. We actually wouldn’t realize it was missing until the next day.

***Back to where we were****

I got back to the room and crashed into bed around 10 pm. I groggily asked my loving family, “Did you find Diane?” As I was drifting off to sleep I remember them saying, “No. We never did find her.” Oh well.

Next up: Lucky Number 7 and Chance Encounters

orlandothebeagle 11-01-2008 02:17 PM

Great so far, I am looking forward to formal night pictures!:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: ;)

cyndid 11-01-2008 05:51 PM


Originally Posted by orlandothebeagle (Post 28477907)
Great so far, I am looking forward to formal night pictures!:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: ;)


I have the ones you scanner isn't working correctly, so I haven't been able to scan the Shutters' pictures.

I've been writing the TR in Word and just finished up to the part you're talking about. The pictures are definitely better with the story that goes with them. :rotfl:

Just got back from my sister's horse barn. I thought of you.

cyndid 11-02-2008 09:16 AM

Embarkation Part I
Embarkation Day (Saturday, Oct. 18)

I slept in until about 7 am (Yes, this is sleeping in for me.) I got up, showered and got everyone else ready to go.

After our lovely experience at Flamingos, we walked next door to Zachary’s Family restaurant where we enjoyed a nice breakfast. The price was no cheaper than the hotel restaurant, but service was good and so was the food. And….the Cruise Fairy struck again!
The cruise fairy visited us at breakfast. DD2 looks over the pins on mom's lanyard.

After breakfast we returned to the room, lugged all of our luggage to the lobby (Which by the way was actually more difficult than it should have been because one of our larger suitcases had a broken wheel!), and DH returned the car to Budget. We had reserved a spot on the first shuttle out to the Magic, which was supposed to leave at 10 am.

Anxiously awaiting the shuttle.

Waiting in the lobby with us was a large group of VERY nicely dressed people. When the first shuttle arrived at 10 am, it wasn’t there for us, but rather for this group of people that were going to a wedding on board a Carnival ship. The WHOLE shuttle was for them and their luggage.

DH got back from Budget with plenty of time to spare.

DD2 was very anxious to get on our shuttle and also VERY bored waiting for it. Finally, at about 10:15 or 10:20 the shuttle arrived and we were the second or third family called to board. Yippee!

STILL awaiting the shuttle.

Our driver was a little disconcerted that we were not showing as much enthusiasm as he would have liked. He kept trying to pump us up early in the trip. He then began a dialogue about the Magic…..when it came into view I hooped and hollered! I imagine he was hoping for the enthusiasm earlier when he wasn’t imparting information to us regarding the ship. But, hey, I was EXCITED!

We got off and got our stuff organized. Tipped the porters who were taking our luggage (Actually at their request. Really. They “reminded” us that they didn’t work for Disney and that any gratuities would be appreciated.) and headed to the beautiful terminal. We were here. Really here. I, of course, had to document every step through photos…much to the chagrin of my DDs who simply wanted to “get there.” It had to be recorded! They’ll appreciate it later in life.

We're REALLY here!

We went through security…the one area that I had never seen via the DIS boards as you are not allowed to take pictures. No problems with our alcohol, even though their sign says not to bring firearms, alcohol (maybe something else) into the security area.

After security it was up the tall escalator to the beautiful terminal. I had seen so many pictures of the terminal that it was no surprise to me, but I was here now…it was very special. We were handed our boarding pass….group 7. I frowned. My children said, “Mom, 7 is a LUCKY number!” Of course they were right. (Any number for a Disney cruise is a good number, right?) However, I was really hoping for 2 or 3.

It's not a 2, but it'll do.

We wandered around the terminal, me taking pictures, DD2 hanging out with her new friend Hannah that she had located, and DD1 just checking things out on her own. I couldn’t talk DD1 into taking a picture with me and Mickey, and DH was in line to register for the kids’ clubs, so DD2 and I got our first meeting with the mouse.

As I wandered back toward the children’s services area where DH was, someone said, “Hey, are you Cyndi from the DIS boards?” It appears I happened upon a DIS meeting right there in the terminal. My greeter was Melissa and her husband, Arthur (thecooley). Next to her was Diane and family – “Are you Diane?” (diMitch), behind was Erica, our meetup coordinator (colmenares). How exciting to encounter everyone there. Melissa indicated that she couldn’t wait to meet Lynne (from Scotland…orlandothebeagle) because she was such a hoot on the boards. I was excited to meet Lynne, too. We had communicated a lot via the boards as her niece that was traveling with them was the same age as DD1.

BTW...thanks Diane for the extra lanyard for DD1.

Melissa and Arthur (thecooley)
DiMitch and family

We took a variety of photos both in and out of the terminal when they finally announced the family of the day. It wasn’t us. But, the family of the day stayed at the Radisson, too. Anyway, they were beginning to board. Yay!

DD2 was very restless and kept begging me to crawl under the rope with her and get on. Where does she get this stuff? I have to keep an eye on her.

They finally announced boarding group 7 and we began our walk through those beautiful ears. How exciting! We stopped for the obligatory embarkation photo. I knew at the time that I wouldn’t be purchasing it…I’ve never been a fan of those.

We walked across the gangway and I had the presence of mind to turn on the video on my camera. So, I caught our first interaction with what would turn out to be one of the girls’ favorite counselors – Crazy Sarah – and also caught on film our Magical introduction. What a great memory. I highly recommend doing this yourself when you cruise.

Up next: "I'm Going to Tell Your Mother" and Lover-Boy Mickey


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