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Mickey4me! 11-08-2009 07:23 PM

Our Magical 10.17 Western (with pics)....UPDATED Wednesday 11/25
I’ve had a really hard time deciding whether to write this trip report. First, it’s just too depressing to think that the cruise has already come and gone. After looking forward to and planning for it for almost 9 mos., now that it’s over it feels like there’s a big chunk of life missing. Second, writing is a lot like work and don’t like to start something I can’t finish. I finally decided that writing one might end up be therapeutic and help me pass the 13 months until our next cruise. Hopefully reading it will help someone pass the time until their cruise and possibly answer some questions along the way. I'm hoping it won’t get too long, but I’m not promising anything (remember this is therapy for me)….

Me – Ruth Ann 52 3rd Disney cruise and the one who does all the planning to make sure everyone has a memorable trip.
DH – David 54. 3rd Disney cruise and looks forward to them as much as I do (just counts on me to make all the plans)
DD – Ashley 25. 2nd Disney cruise. Actually Ash is my step-daughter but I feel like she’s mine. She’s so much fun and a blast to travel with and we’ve been a family since she was 8. :hug: Gets just as excited as I do and loves to plan as well.
DD fiancé - Chris 27. 1st cruise ever (even tho he was in the Navy for 4 yrs, that doesn’t count) Popped the question on Valentine’s Day and David and I are ecstatic about the upcoming wedding. Chris has been with on numerous beach and Disney vacations with us and is a joy to travel with. He loves experiencing new things. Chris is really into running, mt. biking and kayaking and loves the outdoors (Ash, on the other hand, is into temperature controlled shopping malls :lmao:)

We decided in Jan. of this year that since we had banked our ’08 DVC points that DCL would be a good option for a vacation. We chose Oct. because the weather would not be so hot and because points were lower. We usually do WDW in Nov. and enjoy fall vacations. I called Member Services and was able to book 2 cabins – veranda for David and I and a Navigator’s for Ash and Chris. I got 6132 for the veranda and tried to get 6134 for the other but it was booked so I settled for 6138 a few doors down. Then the waiting began. In the meantime, Chris FINALLY proposed to Ash on Valentine’s Day they set the date for May 15, 2010 and the wedding planning began :goodvibes. When they had been down for Christmas, Chris had asked David for his permission (how sweet!) and showed him the ring. He said he was going to wait for the right time and keeping it a secret from her had been killing me!

Planning the wedding really helped the time go faster and before we knew it we were at the 90 mark and able to make excursion, Palo and spa reservations. Chris and Ash came down for a visit (they live in PA and we live 3.5 hrs south in VA) the weekend that our booking window opened so we were able to discuss the plans before committing. I was on line about 1 min past midnight when the window opened and was able to get everything except the Electric Car with GPS in Key West. This was unfortunate as it was really the one David really wanted. After about 20 min on line, I had the following secured-
  • Sunday (Key West) – 12:45PM Back to Nature Kayak Tour – Chris & Ash
  • Monday (Sea Day #1) – 10:30AM Palo’s brunch (all)
  • Tuesday( Grand Cayman) – 8:15 Island Tour – Dave & me
    7:45 Shipwreck & Reef Snorkel – Chris & Ash
  • Wednesday (Cozumel) – 9:30AM Dolphin Observer – David & me
    9:45AM Dolphin Push, Pull, Swim – C&A
  • Thursday (Sea Day #2) – 10:30 AM AloneTime – ME!!
  • Friday (Castaway Cay) – 10AM Couples Cabana Massage – C&A
    1:15PM Castaway Island Crusie – Dave &me

The next few months crawled by. Airline reservations were made and I secured our hotels for the night before and the night after the cruise (we were scheduled to depart Orlando on Sunday). This was no small feat as everyone had different arrival and departure plans. Chris and Ash secured a great direct flight price on AirTran out of Harrisburg for Friday before the cruise with an 8AM departure for their return flight on Sunday. Ash got the ressies early in the summer so I started looking for flights from VA that arrived around the same time. Finally found a good rate with AirTran that departed at 7AM from RIC direct to Orlando arriving around 9AM. Since I’m an early riser, this was fine. Now David was a different story. See he’s really not a fan of flying….at all! He will fly if it’s the only alternative but would much prefer to drive. :confused3 Doesn’t mind it a bit while, I on the other hand hate long car trips which are like torture to me. So we (he) decided that he would leave on Thurs. and be there to pick us up at the airport. Fine with me. This meant that he could take all the luggage down and I would just have to fly with a small carry on. He even offered to drive up to PA the weekend before we left to pick up Ash and Chris’s luggage as well.

I was able to secure 2 rooms on Priceline at the Orlando airport Marriott for Sat night after the cruise for $50 each so I was really pleased!:cool1: I read all the info on the boards about where to stay at the port the night prior to sailing and finally decided on the Residence Inn. This ended up being cheaper for us since we needed two rooms and I was able to get a 2 bedroom suite for $179 which included breakfast and allowed us to leave the car there as well. I travel a lot with my job and usually stay at Marriott so I was confident these two hotels would be fine.

Finally – down to two weeks to go! :woohoo: I had been forwarding posts from the DIS boards to everyone for weeks. My goal was to make sure everyone was as prepared as I was for the trip. Not only did I want to make sure we all had a good time, but my real goal was to NOT be the “wadda we doing next” expert. I really wanted to relax on this vacation and not do anything close to work and that meant that when we boarded the ship, I was taking off my “planner/organizer” hat and putting on my “I’m on vacation too” one. We’ll see how this works out… I also found time to make some cute door magnets from some of the great graphics I found on the DIS. I printed up pirate Mickey ears for Ash and Chris’s door and Capt. Mickey for mine and Dave’s. I also made up a different one for each day of the cruise and sent them to Ash with the over-the-door shoe organizer I bought her for her birthday. She was familiar with the organizer and how useful it was because she had used one on the 2002 cruise and loved it. The one I sent her was a cute blue/brown polka dot one and FULL of useful stuff. She was also thrilled with the note I included in it announcing that her dad and I were paying for a couples massage on Castaway for her and Chris. She loved the idea of the door magnets and added to the ones I made by buying some Disney scrapbooking stuff and putting magnet tape on the back. They really turned out cute.

I was determine not to be rushing around at the last minute so I started (and finished) my packing about 6 days before we left. Earlier in the month, I had taken out our handy dandy DCL canvas tote and started throwing all the misc stuff in it – phone chargers, meds, highlighters, binoculars – all the stuff we’re usually scrambling for at the last min. This worked out great and I don’t think anything was left behind. I was also determined to not overpack. I usually start out with good intentions, but in the end throw in a lot of items at the last minute “just in case”. So, I spent the weekend prior to leaving making sure I had everything washed, ironed and packed. I was so proud of myself!

I really hate to iron but when I have too, this stuff is great.

It gives just enough body to cotton items to keep them from getting those hard core “I’ve been packed in a suitcase for a long time” look.

Finally Wed evening rolls around and I’m ready to get David’s car loaded! But wait, we still have to get his stuff in….Hmmm, seems like Dave has waited until tonight to pack. Sooo, what was going to be a easy night, just got harder. I spent the next few hours laying on the bed while he tried on most of his summer clothes to see if they all still fit. See he had recently lost 40 lbs so there were lots of things that he couldn't wear before and wanted to see if they now fit. So after many “how does this look?” and “does this fit?” we were ready to load it all. (I swear he can be such a teenage girl sometimes!) Now all that’s left is packing up the stuff for the dog and cat to take to the kennel with them in the AM. We’re so close to leaving, I can almost taste it…..:goodvibes

Speaking of tasting, since no one has come by to take my drink order or put my napkin in my lap, I guess I have to go figure out what’s for dinner. Thanks to those of you who are still reading and I hope to get the next installment up tomorrow. I’m going to try and post links to each new post at the bottom of this email because for me that is much easier to follow. Good night all!

Direct Links
Post #1Planning and waiting. Planning and waiting some more
Post #2 Getting there is half the fun??
Post #3 It's Finally Here
Post #4 Isn't Key West supposed to be WARM?!?
Post #5 Sea Day #1 and Palo's Brunch

yazee1 11-08-2009 07:51 PM

I can relate to your method of packing (especially the "just in case" stuff). What did you think of the Residence Inn? We have stayed there. I like it because it's clean and the service and amenities are everything we need in a hotel. Their breakfast is pretty good for a hotel breakfast bars but there's still the issue of crowding if you go at the wrong time. I hate the long wait for the waffle machine even more than the wait for the shuttle. :(

Mojodisney 11-08-2009 11:16 PM

Found you and enjoying your TR. Could you please tell me about the bottle cap magnets you had on your door. Did you make them, buy them, or what? If you made them, would you please share how? Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.popcorn::

Tinkerkell123 11-09-2009 08:39 PM

Love the TR already! :surfweb: Can't wait to read more! You and the DH sound hauntingly familiar... LOL My DH and I have the same vacay planning relationship! Congrats on the new soon-to-be son-in-law!:bride: Oh, and I was wondering about those bottle cap magnets too...

Dream426 11-09-2009 08:57 PM

Great start!! I can't wait to read more. :yay:

Mickey4me! 11-09-2009 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by yazee1 (Post 34257496)
I can relate to your method of packing (especially the "just in case" stuff). What did you think of the Residence Inn? We have stayed there. I like it because it's clean and the service and amenities are everything we need in a hotel. Their breakfast is pretty good for a hotel breakfast bars but there's still the issue of crowding if you go at the wrong time. I hate the long wait for the waffle machine even more than the wait for the shuttle. :(

We were really please with RI and loved their breakfast. We definitely hit it during the AM rush, but it wasn't too bad. I thought about making a waffle but decided I'd wait for a Mickey one! DH dropped us off so he was the only one who rode the shuttle and the rest of us were spared.


Originally Posted by Mojodisney (Post 34259838)
Found you and enjoying your TR. Could you please tell me about the bottle cap magnets you had on your door. Did you make them, buy them, or what? If you made them, would you please share how? Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.popcorn::

Ash made them from Disney scrapbook stuff she found at AC Moore but I'm sure Micheal's has them as well. She also bought a roll of self adhesive magnetic tape and stuck it to the back of them. They really turned out cute!


Originally Posted by Tinkerkell123 (Post 34272004)
Love the TR already! :surfweb: Can't wait to read more! You and the DH sound hauntingly familiar... LOL My DH and I have the same vacay planning relationship! Congrats on the new soon-to-be son-in-law!:bride: Oh, and I was wondering about those bottle cap magnets too...

I think it's a man thing. In all fairness though, I enjoy putting it all together and he really does appreciate the work it takes.


Originally Posted by Dream426 (Post 34272294)
Great start!! I can't wait to read more. :yay:

Glad you're enjoying it! I hope to get another post up tomorrow night.

MagicMe 11-10-2009 12:58 PM

Love the start of your report! Can't wait to hear more.

praisehisname 11-11-2009 08:35 PM

Love your report so far!

bourgie 11-11-2009 11:12 PM

Love your trip report so far. I was on the same cruise and LOVED your door!! I saw those Mickey Mouse Stickers too at AC Moore and wanted them but was not sure what I would do with i know! i guess i have to go on another cruise to buy and use them!! Clever idea!!

Can't wait to read more!!..

Mickey4me! 11-13-2009 06:35 PM

Getting there is half the fun????
Sorry it's taken so long to get #2 posted. Hopefully I'll get the next couple of days up this weekend.

David and I were both up early Thursday AM. He was hoping to hit the road around 7 AM and I had a ton of stuff to get done before I left on Friday. Since we already had the car loaded, we just had to throw (cram) in the dog’s stuff and the dog. I swear, getting the dog ready for 10 days at the kennel was similar to getting a small child ready to travel – lots of toys, blankets, food and whining… We have one very spoiled dog and she knows when we’re trying to sneak out of town and starts this sorta whine/bark that goes on and on and on until she’s in the car. It didn’t help that David had been taunting her all week about going to the “doggie hotel” :sad2:…. But we finally got everything and everyone loaded, said our goodbyes and they were off.

Our Maddie Dawg

Even though I had a ton of stuff to get done, I really started to feel like I was on vacation. After David left, I jumped on line to check in for my 7AM flight and print boarding passes. Next it was time to play hide and seek with the kitty who by now had figured something was up and wanted no parts of it. Got her in the crate and I was off to drop her at the vet then on to get my hair cut, stop by the mall for a couple of things, bank, post office and pedicure. Going on vacation is a lot of work! I finally got back home around 3 and all that was left was to straighten up the house. :laundy: Dave had vacuumed everything a couple of days before so I didn’t have much to do (such a sweetie :love:). Only thing worse than a vacation ending is having to come home and clean. David called about 7:30 and had stopped for the night about 30 min from MCO. He made great time and I was relieved to hear he had made it safely :thumbsup2. Even though I don’t like long car trips, I hate to think of him driving it alone and never really relax until I get that call that he’s safe and sound.

MaryAnn - never met box she didn't like to sit on

This is about the only time these two get along

Excitement and a totally empty house made it very hard to sleep that night. I tossed and turned until about 4AM. I finally gave up and got up, jumped in the shower, locked up the house and headed for the airport. Perfect timing as I ended up walking up to the gate just before they called my boarding number. Thank you honey for making it possible for me to travel sans luggage! Made it much less hectic. :hug:

The flight down was uneventful and I passed the time by starting my first vacation book! I love spending vacation time playing catch up on my reading list. I had picked two books from the ones I had collected over the past few months with high hopes of finishing both. Stay tuned to see how that works out….

SOAPBOX MOMENT: Big pet peeve of mine is lack of awareness of airplane/airport etiquette. I have a whole list of faux pas that people commit and some are really annoying. Topping the list are those that jump up out of their seat immediately when the plan stops. Why folks? Certainly you don’t think you’re going to storm the exit once it opens, do you? Airplane etiquette dictates that you exit in an orderly fashion by allowing the row in front of you to get out of their seats and move up the aisle first. I mean really, what are you in such a hurry for that you have to O.J. over everyone to be the first off? How rude. Here's a list that includes some other irritating rude behavior.
OK, rant over….

Yeah, I’m in Orlando!! :yay: I gave David a call when I got to the terminal and found out that he was in the process of checking out and on his way. He just needed to make a stop at Target for some sunscreen (he forget his and won’t use mine because it’s too girly). He also wanted to stop and vacuum the dog hair off the back seat so Chris and Ash wouldn’t be covered in it. I told him to just call me when he was in route and I would meet him curbside. Meantime I got some coffee and called Ash to see where they were. Ended up they were just boarding their flight and would be arriving in about an hour and forty-five min. I found a comfy seat to sip my coffee and people watch while waiting for David. I even fielded a couple of work calls (come on people..I’m on vacation!). My phone rang about 11:00 and it was David telling me he was just pulling into the airport so I hustled out to meet him curbside.

Happy to be reunited, we then began the game known as “whadda ya want to do now?” followed by the refrain “I don’t know whadda you wanna do?” This went back and forth for a minute or so until I finally ended the game with a look that said.. “don’t start this. I’m on vacation and not making decisions.” We finally agreed that we were both hungry and should find someplace to eat. Before he could open his mouth to start the Whadda ya game again, I told him to just pick a place. We ended up at Dennys and had a quick lunch then headed to the cell phone lot at the airport to wait for the call from Ash and Chris. For some reason, even though he hates to fly, David loves to watch airplanes take off and land.:confused3 While we were waiting I decided to try and get dinner reservations at WDW. I knew it would be doubtful since it was Friday, but decided to try. I called WDW-Dine and asked for a Whispering Canyon Café reservation but it was all booked. Same for Ohana’s and could only get an 8:30PM for Kona Grill. Oh well, that’ll teach me for not planning earlier.

Ash and Chris called a few min. later saying they had just landed so we told them where to meet us and headed off. Great! The gangs all here and ready to sail! We decided to head to the port and find somewhere for dinner there. On the way, David remembered that a colleague had told him about a place between Orlando and Port Canaveral that had great Rock Shrimp. I had gone on line and asked if anyone knew where it might be and got numerous responses back that it was a place called Dixie Crossroads in Titusville. Since the kids hadn’t eaten, we decided that we’d give it a try (even though none of us were sure what Rock Shrimp was…). We saw a sign for Titusville and Ash used her phone to find the address so Tom Tom could direct us. We eventually got there (though TomTom seem to take us on a tour of the not so lovely side to town) and we piled out of the car and headed inside.
It was only about 3:30 and the place was not crowded at all. Since we had eaten earlier, David and I were not very hungry so he just ordered some crab balls and I ordered a salad. Chris got the Rock Shrimp special and Ash order pecan crusted Mahi-Mahi. Everyone enjoyed their selection and we especially enjoyed the corn fritters. Yummy. After we ate we spent some time looking around in the gift shop, took a few pics and then piled back in the car to finish the drive to our hotel.

David and friend

As we passed the port, we noticed that the Wonder was sitting there. I thought this was strange but figured they were getting ready to leave. We got to the Residence Inn, checked in and found out that the Disney shuttle left at 10AM the next day. Since Dave was dropping us and the luggage off and then coming back to park and take the shuttle, we decided to leave the hotel about 9:25 the next AM. I had reserved a 2 bedroom suite and it was really nice and clean. If you’ve ever stayed at RI before (or any extended stay hotel for that matter) the setup is pretty much the same. 2 bedrooms off of a living area with full kitchen and a small dining table. The guys immediately turned on the TV to find the baseball game (too early) and Ash and I jumped on line to get some last min. info. That’s also where I found out that the Wonder had just returned from dry dock and wasn’t scheduled to sail until Sunday.:disrocks: That meant she’d still be there the next AM when we boarded the Magic. Cool!

A little later, David and I headed out to the bank (David needed some cash) and Publix for some diet Coke and something to munch on. The kids decided to check out Ron Jon’s. We all met back at the room later and after watching some of the game, I headed to bed around 10. Tomorrow was a big day and I wanted to be well rested and ready to go!

praisehisname 11-16-2009 05:51 AM

How cool to see both ships in port at the same time! Sounds like your trip down went pretty smooth!

podsnel 11-17-2009 12:02 PM

Subbing! :goodvibes I can totally relate to the "I've done all the planning, now I"M on vacation, too" sentiment. Anxious to see how that works out for you! And I'm looking forward to hearing about all the activities you've got planned- looks great!:thumbsup2

Mickey4me! 11-17-2009 10:53 PM

It's here, it's here...
It’s finally here! :yay: The day we’ve been planning and waiting for almost a year has finally arrived. I wish I could bottle that feeling. I don’t think any of us needed an alarm clock that AM. I got up and made coffee and could already hear Ash and Chris up and getting ready. I took a quick shower and started repacking our overnight bags. Ash and Chris emerged and headed to check out the breakfast bar while Dave was in the shower. By the time they got back, Dave and I were ready to check it out for ourselves so we left them in the room and went to grab a bite. It was a full breakfast buffet with eggs, sausage, gravy and all the other assorted b’fast bar items. Very tasty and getting very crowed by the time we left.

Ash and Chris were already out at the car. They had grabbed all our bags, loaded them and Chris was belted in and ready to roll! He was so excited to get on the ship.

We left the hotel about 9:25 and arrived at the terminal a few min. later. We pulled into the area where the shuttle vans were picking up all the sad people that just got off the ship. For a moment I thought, “next week, that’ll be us.” No time for sad thoughts now though. We had a date with the mouse! The attendant tried to direct us to the parking lot to wait but David explained that he was just dropping us off and had to be back to meet a 10AM shuttle. No problem! Just pull over and unload. Ash had already done that math and figured out that we needed 3 more luggage tags – 2 for Dave and I and 1 for her and Chris (glad to see that expensive college degree is paying off). There was a porter there immediately and he whipped out the needed tags, asked for our stateroom numbers and got the bags tagged. I tipped him $25 which was slightly more than $2/bag and he seemed pleased and kept telling us “not to worry” that he would personally make sure that our bags made it on the ship safe and sound (yeah, right buddy….) and then directed us to the entrance to wait for it to open. We headed down to stop one and a few minutes later we noticed someone was at the podium at the gate and a couple of people were moving through. We gave her our names and showed ID which she proceeded to check off a list and we were headed across the street to enter the terminal. This was about 9:50 – earlier than I expected. I think they started letting people in early because it was a little chilly outside and most people were not dressed for it.

There were only a few people in front of us and we got through security quickly and before we knew it we were on our way up the escalator. When we got to the top, I swear the heavens opened up and I could hear the angels sing!!:littleangel: It was such a beautiful sight to see an almost empty terminal with the Magic visible all the way at the other end. It was good to be back….

Ash and I found ourselves doing something we did a lot during this cruise – looking at Chris to see what his reaction was. He never disappointed us. I think it was some kind of validation that yes, it is as wonderful as we remembered and being able to share it with someone new really enhanced the whole experience.

Now, I know that a lot of people talk about boarding passes being distributed before they check-in but that was not the case for us. There were no CMs visible in the terminal. I think they had opened much earlier than expected. We looked around a bit and then noticed people lining up so we joined them in the Castaway line.

There were about 2 or 3 groups in front of us and a few groups in the other line as well. Several more groups arrived, but the terminal was still pretty empty. David appeared at the top of the escalator and we waved him over to our line. His trip to the hotel and back had been quick and uneventful. The CMs came out from the back and took positions at the check-in desk and about a minute later we were moving!! Chris and Ash were about the 2nd ones to check in a the Castaway desk and David and I were right behind them. After the CM checked our paperwork and we signed the “I swear I am not sick” paper we got our CC lanyards (silver) and our KKTW cards. She then handed us the coveted #2 boarding pass. Ash and Chris got the same (on our ’02 cruise I don’t remember them handing out numbers – I think it was just a mass line to get through the ears).

We made our way over to get our pics taken and I believe we were the 2nd group to do so. Ash was a little miffed that the guy never told her he was taking the pic and hers ended up as a side view. She was relieved that it wasn’t printed on her KTTW.

We had our choice of seats so we found some over by the window looking out on the Carnival ship (Destiny??).

Ash immediately started reviewing the Navigator (later in the cruise she said that she really looked forward to receiving the new one each evening) and I checked our KTTW cards to see what our dinner rotation would be – Early seating, PLAAPLA Table 54. I wasn’t really concerned with getting one over the other but was pleased that Pirate Night would be in Parrot Cay. That’s when we noticed that since it was his first cruise Chris hadn’t gotten a lanyard and his KTTW was white instead of gray and had Donald on it instead of Goofy. Since Ash and her BFF had been in their own cabin on her first cruise, she had her own CC # that I had used when booking their room. Ash was quick to tell Chris that one of the benefits of marrying her was that he would then be able to share her CC status and he was just as quick to remind her that after this cruise he would be a CC member as well.

We spent the next 1.5 hours watching the terminal fill up. Boy did it! We did hear one large group behind complain that one of the members in their party had been “stupid” enough to answer in the affirmative to one of the questions on the “ I swear I am not sick” papers. Apparently one of their kids had a cold/cough and they had been taken aside so that a doctor could evaluate and determine if they could sail. While the rest of their group was pretty vocal about how unhappy they were with this, I was relieved that Disney was taking their guests health safety seriously. Shortly before boarding the offending relative returned and had been given the all clear to board.

Mickey came out but I was not about to fight the mob to get a pic with him. I figured we’d have the opportunity later in the trip. Shortly after the mouse appeared, they announced that boarding was about to begin. I think it was around 11:50. When they began boarding group #1, we started to make our way towards the entrance.

People were beginning to gather close to the entrance, so it took us a few minutes to get through but then….WE’RE IN! We stopped for the welcome aboard photos and then after our welcome back announcement, we were on our way through the lobby and up the elevator to Topsiders. I prefer the outdoor dining experience for my first meal because it really makes me feel like I’m on vacation. We filled our plates and found a nice table outside. I didn’t eat much because I was busy taking pics (the Wonder was docked next door –how often does that happen!) but I do remember enjoying the corn dog nuggets and the tomato, prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich.

After everyone ate it was still way too early to get in to our rooms so we went exploring. The ship still seemed pretty empty so we got lots of good pics.

Ash took Chris on a tour of the ship and David and I stayed up on Deck 10. The sun had come out by now and it was warming up to be a beautiful day. Ash went with me to the Spa to see about changing my Alone Time appt. When I had made the reservation on line, the only villa treatment available for on line booking was the 105min. Alone Time. I really wanted the longer experience so I went to see if I could change it. No problem! They moved my appt from 10:30 on Thursday (sea day #2) to 10:45 and gave me an appt card. The attendant then showed us the villa rooms. Wow – they looked so relaxing. We went back out and found the boys and Ash took Chris to see the workout room. Chris runs and lifts weights so he was excited to see the facilities. Sure beats the view of from their health club at home!

Finally it was about 1:15 so we made our way down to deck 6 aft. The ropes blocking entrance to the hallways were still up so we waited along with everyone else until a supervisor took them down promptly at 1:30. We made our way down to mine and David’s stateroom first. I wanted Chris and Ash to wait so I could get pics of the basket I had ordered from The Perfect Gift (thanks Shirley and team). I also had one delivered for David.
David’s had a six pack of Lipton Diet Green Tea, pretzels, Twizzlers, a really nice puzzle, brain teaser book, some fresh strawberries and choc. fruit dip,Laughing Cow cheese and crackers and a nice t-shirt from Cocoa Beach surf shop. It was waiting on the bed along with our Castaway Club gift.

For Chris and Ash, I had Shirley put a six-pack of Stella beer, chips and salsa, 2 beach towels (a princess and a pirate one) some Hershey’s white choc. bliss and a beach paddle ball game. Both baskets were packed in these really nice vinyl totes that really came in handy when packing to go home.

Chris and Ash love the Navigators verandah. I had never seen one up close and the enclosed space was really cute. They were very pleased as were David and I with our room. I know it would have been a lot cheaper (less points in our case) to go with a porthole or inside room, but the verandah really makes the trip for me. I’m a very early riser (not by choice) and being able to sit on the balcony in the AM sipping coffee and in the PM prior to going to bed is one of the best parts of the trip.

We all relaxed in our rooms until time for the safety drill. It was so good to finally be here. Our room was port side this trip so we were facing away from the terminal and had a lovely view of the Wonder. I could see folks on it getting her ready for tomorrow’s sailing. About 3:45 we heard the announcement for the safety drill so we donned our lovely orange vests, met Chris and Ash in the hallway and made our way down 2 flights to the back of Animator’s Palate.

One of the benefits of the 6 AFT location is the safety drill is in Animator’s and it’s one of the reasons we love this location. We had a seat and waited for everyone to get checked off before being dismissed and making our way back up to our cabins. The drill was very quick and I don’t think we had any “no shows” in our group. We dropped our lovely orange life vests off at the room and then split up. Chris and David went to one of the bars to see what game was on and Ash & I went to the port shopping “infomercial” that was listed in the Navigator. Ends up it had been changed to Monday and the on board shopping guy had forgot to have it removed from the Navigator. I went back to the cabin and Ash went up to Deck 10 to meet the guys for the sail away party. I passed on it because I really felt grungy and wanted to get a shower before dinner.

When I got back to the room, half of our luggage was piled up in front of the door. I climbed over it and got it inside where I found the rest of our luggage. Seems the first half was delivered while Dave was in the room so he got most of it unpacked. I got the rest unpacked and then jumped in the shower. I may be in the minority but I love the showers! I thought the water pressure was fine and LOVE the hand held shower. And the larger size H2O bath products are wonderful! After my shower I got to hear the battle of the horns between the Magic and Wonder. Really neat!

I was dressed and ready by the time David got back to the room so he did a quick change and we all headed down to dinner. Parrot Cay tonight. Orlan (our server) met us at the door and escorted us to Table 54. We were all curious as to who are tablemates would be so we were surprised and somewhat disappointed to see that we were seated at a table for 4 – nobody would be joining us. We were a little sad at first because we have always enjoyed dining with and getting to know new people. However we soon realized that we had hit the jackpot by getting Orlan and Cindy as our servers. They were both outstanding! They truly made each evening something to look forward to and kept us laughing the entire cruise. Orlan was from the Philippines and had been on the Magic off and on since ’99. Cindy was from Trinidad-Tobago and was delightful.

The evening started with the suggestion of a wine package but since Ash and I are really the only ones that drink wine, we declined. Instead, Ash, Chris and I ordered cocktails – Blue Margarita for me, Banana Caribe for Chris and a Melon Mojito for Ash. David ordered Diet Coke. The puzzled look on Cindy’s face was priceless. Of course we all had to taste each other’s to decide who had the best. They all tasted good to me (David offered to share his DC for the taste test but we passed). Unfortunately I forgot my camera so no food porn pics for this night. Sorry – but I did get some later in the week. On to the good stuff – I ordered the Jamaican Jerk Chicken tenderloins (a little dry with LOTs of cumin) the Papaya/Mango soup (good) and the Island Spiced Grilled Rib Eye –YUMMY! Ash and David also got the Rib Eye and Chris got the Mixed Grill which he thoroughly enjoyed. Dessert was the sampler for me (love this addition to the menus), Crème Brulee cheesecake for Ash , S’more cake for Chris and Banana Bread French Toast for David. We did another sampling of each other’s selections and while we all enjoyed what we ordered we agreed that David had made the best choice. The banana French toast was soooo good.

While we sipped coffee, Orlan kept us entertained with some great jokes. He also told us to make sure we made it to Luminere’s for breakfast/brunch the next day. Since we were arriving later in Key West, they had added some lunch items to the traditional b’fast menu and he highly recommended taking advantage of it. He was great at letting us know each evening what was happening the next day and what we should not miss. He was also good at describing the items on the menu each evening and making recommendations. He was always spot on and when we deviated from his suggestions we felt really guilty.

After dinner David and I relaxed in our room while Chris and Ash went down to check out the bars. Ash had been feeling “weird” so I gave her the Sea Bands I had packed (just in case) to see if they helped. She said she didn’t feel sick, just strange. We met up later in Treasure Ketch for some shopping prior to the Welcome Aboard show and she said she was feeling better. The nightly shows are one of the highlights for me. This one was new for us so I was really looking forward to it. Clayton (the cruise director) MC’d the show and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We got a sneak peek at 2 of the entertainers on board – John Charles and Alfred&Seymour. Loved them both and I laughed so hard during Alfred & Seymour’s act that my stomach was hurting (that large dinner didn’t help).

After the show, David and I walked around Deck 9 and checked out the football game on the big screen. Chris and Ash planned to catch the Match Your Mate show but David and I were too tired to make it. We got back to our room and found presents!!

Along with a towel animal we had a DVC gift. It was a really nice Ship’s log with lots of nautical info as well as places to record cruise favorites – meals, excursions, shows, friends - as well as a place for autographs and pics. We relaxed on the balcony for a while and then finally hit the sack about 11. I know that for some the slight rocking of the boat is bothersome for me it’s so relaxing. I think I fell asleep about 2 min after my head hit the pillow. It had been a long day and we were excited about our next port – Key West!!

Stay tuned for our KW electric car adventure!

Mickey4me! 11-17-2009 10:59 PM


Originally Posted by podsnel (Post 34367468)
Subbing! :goodvibes I can totally relate to the "I've done all the planning, now I"M on vacation, too" sentiment. Anxious to see how that works out for you! And I'm looking forward to hearing about all the activities you've got planned- looks great!:thumbsup2

It worked out great! I consider myself really lucky because I have a wonderful hubby and daughter who really appreciates my efforts. Stay tuned to read how they showed their appreciation ;)


Originally Posted by praisehisname (Post 34349130)
How cool to see both ships in port at the same time! Sounds like your trip down went pretty smooth!

The two ships had a battle of the horns that was so cool. I have a video of it that I'll try to figure out how to post.

Kay1 11-18-2009 08:06 AM

Thank you for your excellent report! Do you happen to remember about how long it took to get from Dixie Crossroads to the Port?

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