The Land, The Sea and The Dark Side ... With a Toddler! The (cruise) TR! 8/27 UPDATE!
Hey y'all, if you're jumping on over from The Land portion of this TR :wave2: I'm so glad to have you on board with me!
If you are climbing aboard as a new reader :welcome: this TR is a three part vacation that started at Walt Disney World with a two night stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. If you're interested in our memories there please jump on over :goodvibes
If you're only interested in the cruise portion of this TR, you are in the right place and I'm so glad to have you as a new reader!
Here's a quick intro for those only joining us at sea :thumbsup2
(from left to right) First up, there's me. I'm Shannon, a 30 year old Disney lover, dreamer, planner and self-proclaimed addict. I don't think I will ever tire of the magic that is in a Disney vacation whether it's on land or at sea.
Next up is the Hubs, Candi. Also 30, he got bit by the Disney bug a few years back and now encourages our yearly rendezvous' with the Mouse! He does, however, prefer our cruise trips to our land trips and has this strange belief that vacations are for putting up your feet and relaxing :lmao:
That cutie in the arms of my Handsome man is our son, Candido. He is fifth generation so we go by his middle name, James or his nickname, Cinco. James tunred 16 months during our trip and although this was his first trip where he could experience all Disney has to offer, he technically had been on a Cruise and to Epcot in my belly ;)
Joining us on this trip we also had my parents, Ken and Mary. This was their very first cruise and their first time to WDW since our family vacation in 1998 :scared1: Since they live over 600 miles away from us I was beyond ecstatic for them to be able to create these memories with their Grandson!
A Few Quick Details:
Ship: Disney Magic
Embarkation Date: May 18, 2012
Debarkation Date: May 23, 2012
Itinerary: Key West, Day at Sea, Nassau, Castaway Cay
This cruise was originally planned to be a double dip at Castaway Cay on board the Disney Dream. However, too much hemming and hawing over time off resulted in there not being any more rooms available for DVC (which is how the three of us were booking). So, we chose a cruise that fit the dates we wanted which was this one. Would we miss our second stop at Castway Cay? How would we like Key West? Would we be sad that we were on an "oldie" and not a "newbie" ship? And, just how would a cruise live up to my parents expectations?
Coming over from the Land portion!
Can't wait to hear all the details.
Jill in CO
Jumping over with you!!
YAY! I'm excited to read your report! We are taking our little one along with my parents on their first cruise this October and DD will be 16 months!
Can't wait to live vicariously through your trip report. :)
Cruise Arrival Day: Part One
The plan was to be up and about at 9:45 this morning, but the long travel day and packed MK day had caught up to us. Therefore, neither of us even thought twice before hitting the snooze button ... 3 times OOPS! Technically not a big deal, except when I went to knock on my parents door they had already left the room, which meant we needed to hustle so we could meet them downstairs for breakfast.
So, quickly went back to our room and started folding up the clothes that we had washed last night to get them packed up. This is when I found out that when Candi went to get the clothes from the dryer, for the second time, they still weren't dry and he had to run them through again ... and again. Yep, it took 4 cycles of the dryer to get the clothes dry :headache: I'm not sure what was wrong with the dryers, but I sure hope they got it fixed after we let them know about it.
Speaking of laundry, we took one of those Dollar Tree pop-up hampers with us on this trip. Candi made fun of me profusely about it, but it ended up being such an awesome thing to have with us. It kept the room cleaned up, as we could just throw our dirty clothes in there instead of having them in the pile in a corner somewhere. And, it made life so much easier when taking the laundry to and from the laundry room :thumbsup2
After I got the suitcases packed up I hollered for Candi to come wash up while I did the same so I could pack up toothbrushes etc. I had put out our clothes for the day the night before, so it was super quick to grab our clothes and get dressed. Then we just threw our dirty clothes into a trash bag from the room and threw that into a suitcase and we were good to go. One more quick look around the room to ensure we didn't forget anything before bidding our studio farewell and heading down to The Mara for breakfast.
As suspected, my parents were already waiting for us when we got there, but they said it was no biggy as they just spent time exploring until we arrived.
We dropped off our suitcases by the table (no need to take them to bell services for such a short time period) and headed in line to get some food. My Dad said he would wait at the table with the baby as he wasn't feeling too good and wasn't interested in any food this morning :worried:
A quick glance at the menu and we decided we were all interested in the bounty platter. When we got to the counter we saw they were actually flipping everything over to lunch, but luckily they still had some breakfast food that was fresh and were able to fill our orders. Not that lunch is a horrid thing, but I really wanted breakfast potatoes :laughing: They filled our plates before going to pay, so there wasn't any wait we just headed back outside to our table. The Mara was currently pretty slow so there were plenty of tables inside, but the weather was just too perfect to not be outside!
We all enjoyed our breakfast platters, especially James who absolutely loved the eggs off my platter.
With breakfast complete we had sufficiently used up all our dining plan credits. Pretty easy, I guess, when you are only there for two nights ;) I did a quick tally in my head and realized that the cost of the dining plan covered the cost of our entrees at each meal. All else (drinks, snacks, mugs) were just bonus, as in free! Great choice to do dining plan this trip ::yes::
After we were all full we made our way back to the lobby to meet up for our cruise pick-up. There was already a CM there crossing people off the list and she let us know it would be a couple minutes before we started loading up. Candi decided it was the perfect time to answer his call to nature. Of course, no sooner was he out of sight then they started asking us all to line up and head outside. I stood there waiting for everyone to go ahead of me and then began to worry when the last person made it up the stairs and Candi was still nowhere to be found. My parents helped me get all our stuff and we slowly followed the line towards the buses, looking around for Candi as we did so. Thankfully, we were about halfway across the lobby when I saw him come running towards us.
The line moved quickly and we were aboard the bus after one more quick glance back at our home for the last two nights
They checked our room keys as we boarded the bus and crossed our names off a list, so there was no need to do a roll call after we boarded. After everyone was seated we took off to pick up passengers at All Star Sports and Movies.
After those two stops the bus was pretty full and the driver announced we would now be making our way to Port Canaveral and turned on the little movie and the whole bus erupted into loud cheers. Gotta love that Disney excitement!
The drive to the Port was pretty uneventful. The movie did a pretty good job of keeping James occupied for about 20 minutes. When that no longer worked I pulled out the cotton candy from the night before and he was good to go the rest of the way. Snacks people! Snacks are key for traveling with toddlers; especially ones they aren't usually allowed/given at home :thumbsup2
Pretty soon we were driving up over the bridge and the excitement started rolling through the bus. You cold hear everyone murmuring, oohing, aahing, and just their outright excitement. Us included!
How could you not when you saw this on the horizon?
We were there, we were really there. The next part of our adventure had begun...
Can't wait to hear about the cruise portion! We will be sailing with a 2 1/2 yr old and would love to see how your experience was!
Checking in for the cruise portion!
I sure hope your dad got to feeling better! And yay! for making it to the ship! :cool1:
I'm here! Can't wait to hear how the cruise went- I'm on pins and needles!! :)
I was worried about James not being able to be in the real pools too. But, we did make some visits to the splash zone to see how he would make do there instead :rolleyes1
Cruise Arrival Day: Part Two
Once we reached the port it didn't take long at all to park and let everyone off the bus. We quickly grabbed the carry-ons we had stored under the bus and made our way into the line for security. That's when I got worried about all the food we had in our carry-on. I wasn't sure what the rules were and we had an open bag of cotton candy, an open container of toffee, a Mickey cookie and a few other random snacks. It wouldn't be a huge deal to have to toss them, but still a bummer.
The line for security was relatively long, about a dozen families ahead of us but moved quickly and efficiently. When it was our turn I set my bag down on the conveyor belt, walked through the metal detector and waited to see if they would make me toss all our food. They didn't! Phew!
James and I stood to the side while waiting for everyone else to get through security so we could all enter the terminal together.
I was loving the lack of crowds there! Once we got into the terminal we grabbed a set of seats with a table off to the side to gather all of our documents. While all that was going on we each made a restroom stop and then I went to the table to grab the "we are not sick" forms for everyone and helped my parents sort out what they needed to check-in. For a split second my Dad thought he had forgotten some of the paperwork and started to panic. I assured him it wasn't a big deal, we had done it on the last cruise, and they would be able to get new copies for him. But, he opened the last compartment on his bag to find it there. Isn't that how it usually goes? Always the last place you look! :rotfl:
Candi, James and I headed to check-in first, while my parents waited with all of our stuff. We were able to go through the Castaway Club line, which was non-existent and we were at the counter as soon as we walked to the front of the line :thumbsup2 We handed over all of our documents and quickly got our picture taken and received our packet of information for the cruise. It included our lanyards, card with room information (time and room #), that day's Navigator and our KTTW cards. I was ecstatic to finally have a KTTW card that had my married name on it! During our honeymoon cruise it was in my maiden name because there wasn't time to change everything before sailing and on our babymoon cruise I never got around to changing my name on my passport thus having to go by my maiden name then too. It felt good to be married ;)
Once we were done we switched places with my parents so they could get their check-in taken care too. Since this was their first cruise they had to go through the regular line, where there was a slight wait. Still, it was less than 10 minutes before they were heading back to our seating area to await boarding.
With everybody checked-in we all did our own thing while waiting for our boarding number to be called. My Mom set off to explore the terminal, my Dad stayed put since he still wasn't feeling very good, I went to go change James and then we just sat chit-chatting about all the excitement ahead of us.
I don't recall what boarding number we had but I can tell you that we didn't wait more than 20 minutes before our number was called. Once it was, we made our way under the Mickey ears and waited in line for our group photo. I had heard that they used your boarding photo for facial recognition to group all your other photos together so you could view them on computers throughout the ship, so I didn't want to skip it. Come to find out, there wasn't an option to skip it anyway so it worked out well. For us, at least. There was one group very loudly complaining about being forced to take pictures and asked every single CM they saw to push them through the line and let them enter. At a certain point I think they just didn't want to deal with their complaints anymore and someone came back and allowed them to enter ahead of everyone else without taking their picture :mad: I understand not being interested in the picture and I understand wanting to get on board to see the ship, eat etc. But, it drives me crazy that people can make a scene to get their way, thus doing it every time they don't like something. Ugh! Ok, moving on!
We waited about 15 minutes for our turn to take our picture and board. About 10 minutes into our wait James declared he was hungry. Thankfully, our snacks weren't confiscated at security so I was quickly able to deter a fit from happening :thumbsup2 Even more thankfully, he didn't object when it was our turn for our picture and I took the snacks away from him temporarily.
After taking our picture we stood in one more extremely short line before we boarded the ship. I told my parents to go ahead of us so they were surprised at the entry. When they were standing at the doorway a CM asked for their name and my mom was like "theirlastname" and then goes "no, 'ourlastname'" I was like "Mom, no, we'll enter separate give them your last name." The CM just shook his head and laughed before announcing them in. A couple seconds later we entered and even Cinco was full of smiles. I was a little bummed though, I didn't realize how long it took the camcorder to power up and so I missed both our entries. And, in hindsight, I wish my parents would have entered second so we could have taken pictures of their faces as they walked onto the ship. Ah well!
Once we had all boarded a CM came up to let us know the options for meals, both Parrot Cay and Topsider Buffet, and to also let us know the rooms were ready. We all very quickly agreed that we wanted to go to our rooms to put away our stuff before doing anything else. We made our way to the elevator which was ridiculously crowded so we made the crazy decision to take the stairs. With 3 carry-on suitcases, 2 camera bags, a diaper bag, a snack bag and a 20 pound toddler :scared1: I was never so excited to see room 7124!
We both entered our rooms (my parents had 7122) and relieved ourselves of all the extra luggage, and checked out our living quarters for the next 5 nights. Prior to the cruise I was hoping they had changed out the bedding to match the Dream/Fantasy like they had on the Wonder. They hadn't, but it didn't take away from the excitement of being on the ship. I was also very excited to see that they had changed the Castaway Club gift since last time we cruise. Somehow I don't have a picture, but it was a blue and black backpack with the logo, a new style of keychain (which I actually use) and two packs of snacks (perfect for the toddler!) :thumbsup2 After settling in all our stuff we went out onto the verandah where we quickly heard my parents talking. Seems like they had the same idea! We hollered over that we were hungry so they said to come to their room and we could all head out together.
A quick diaper change for the baby and we went next door to my parents room to make eating plans. I had wanted to grab something light from the pool deck and then head over to the spa tour to be entered into the raffle. But, before I could say anything my Dad asked if we wanted to head to the buffet because he was feeling better and starving. No way was I going to say no, I was just so happy he didn't feel like poo anymore! My Mom said she just wanted to freshen up a little first. I told Candi it would be a good idea to go check out the nursery open house to see if Cinco would like it. So, we decided that the three of us would go do that and then meet my parents in the buffet in about 15 minutes.
As we headed out to go to the open house we ran into our room host, German, who was super friendly and very excited to realize that Candi could speak Spanish :goodvibes They stayed talking for a few minutes and then we made our way up to Flounders Reef, where there was a short line of people. There were 2 families in front of us, one who had a quick question and then one who was doing reservations for their children. While we waited for them to complete their reservations the CM let us know that we could go in and look around while we waited. I wish I would have taken pictures, but I somehow forgot my camera :confused3
Immediately upon entering there was a room with a TV, a couple of rocking chairs and a few toys. Straight back from there was a room with cribs. To the left was a room full of toys and to the right of that was a room with changing tables, a sink etc. We felt more relieved about leaving James there during our Palo reservation when we saw that he liked it. After exploring for a few minutes the CM motioned for us to go back to the front desk, as she was done with the previous family. We just double checked that our reservation was in there and gave her a password for pick-up. She gave us a flyer with FAQs and then we headed up to the buffet.
My parents were waiting outside the buffet when we got there, but said they had only been there a couple minutes. As we entered we were handed the mandatory sanitizing wipes and then got into line to get our food.
The CM that gave us our trays commented on our shirts and told us to enjoy our first cruise. We smiled and let her know this was actually our third cruise, but my parents first and our first time on the Magic. I think she got slightly embarrassed, which wasn't my intention, and told us to enjoy our time anyway.
The line for the food went quickly and after our trays were full we made our way to a table outside. Again, the weather was just too beautiful not to enjoy!
We all enjoyed the food. It wasn't anything spectacular, but beautiful scenery, people buzzing with excitement, extra friendly & helpful CMs and great company made it beyond enjoyable!
Soon enough the announcement came to remind us of the muster drill coming up so we finished up our plates and headed back to the room until then. When we got back we saw our luggage outside our doors. Perfect! I could work on unpacking until we needed to head out to the drill.
One of the things I did when packing for this trip was separate James' clothes for each day into gallon size ziplocs, including swim wear, diapers, disposable bibs etc. This made, not only unpacking, but getting ready for the day so much easier. As an unexpected bonus, it also kept the room more tidy because I wasn't tearing through the closet/dresser each day trying to find him outfits. I would pull out the ziploc marked for that day (yes, I was that ridiculous about it :rotfl:) pull out one of the outfits to dress him, then put the rest of the baggie (with the change of clothes, diapers etc) in the diaper bag. This made the days Candi got him ready extra simple and allowed us the baggy for wet clothes if needed that day. Candi made even more fun of me for this than the hamper, but was beyond pleased with how easy this made everything and insisted we do it for every trip!
While I was unpacking, my Mom came next door; she was worried because one of their suitcases didn't make it to their room. I let her know that it probably just got separated from the rest and that it would show up by dinner. I could tell that she was still worried about it so I told her if it wasn't there after the muster drill I would go with her to Guest Services to inquire about it as we wouldn't be sailing out yet. This clearly made her feel much better and she headed back to her room.
I had a chance to unpack Cinco's suitcase and the toiletries from our suitcase when the signal went off to head to our muster station. As we exited the room we tried to wait for my parents, but a CM pushed us through stating we could not do so. I was a bit frustrated by this but kept on walking to our station, which was Animator's Palate. The drill went by quickly, as usual, and we made our way back to the room, hoping that my parents had found the station easily as we hadn't seen them during the drill.
When we got back to the room we saw that they had already made it back to theirs and my Mom said a few minutes later her suitcase had been delivered. See Mom, Daughters know best :lmao:
And with that sigh of relief we headed up to the top deck. It was party time...
I have a question about the Castaway Cay check-in line at the terminal: Do you have to have a certain level of Castaway Cay membership before you can use that line to check-in? Or is it for any Castaway Cay member? We've only gone on one Disney cruise and will do our 2nd one this coming June. Just wondering if we can use that line for check-in.
So glad y'all made it on the ship! I love the way Disney announces families onto their ships. So fun!
I'm glad to hear that your dad started feeling better. Especially before y'all started sailing.
And that's great that y'all got to check out the nursery & confirm the reservation.
Sounds like y'all definitely got a lot done before the muster drill & the Sail Away party! :thumbsup2
Hi Shannon! I'm joining in! I'm so excited to read about the cruise part of your trip because I know nothing about cuising - Disney or otherwise! I can't wait to find out all about what a cruise vacation entails! :goodvibes
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