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-   -   Magic 8-day out of Galveston, February 15-23, 2013 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3099369)

dgmommie 04-21-2013 12:57 AM

Trip Members:
Allen (47) – 6th cruise on Disney
Debbie (48 ) – 6th cruise on Disney
Connor (16) – 4th cruise on Disney
Elyssa (10) – 4th cruise on Disney

This trip was decided on somewhat last minute (at least, last minute for us). A couple months earlier, our oldest son mentioned that he had seen a Kids Sail Free offer for Disney cruises out of Galveston. Debbie checked it out, and showed Allen. We already had a March spring break cruise scheduled that Disney had decided to change from one 8 day cruise to two 4 day cruises, so we were planning to reschedule it. This worked out great for us, so we cancelled those dates, and booked this cruise. Bonus was that two of our kids would be free! The oldest wouldn’t be traveling with us because it just wouldn’t be possible for him to miss college and that many days of class work. He is in a photography program, and his class work is mostly hands-on rather than lectures, so not really the type of thing you can miss. We’ve promised him he will be back on our next cruise with us. Still, we missed him the entire time. Guess this is what it will be like taking trips as our children grow up and leave home... very weird feeling to have a family vacation with one of the family not there.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:00 AM

Thursday, February 14th – Travel from Tulsa (Broken Arrow), OK to Galveston, TX
 
The kids had a full day at school. Debbie had a full day of teaching preschool, and then went to Elyssa's school to do her homeroom mom duty and put on a Valentine's party for Elyssa's class. Allen left work and was on his way home. Everyone made it home around 4pm. We packed last minute items and loaded the car to get on the road to Galveston.

We stopped briefly at a McDonalds just south of Tulsa (in Okmulgee) and got dinner to go. We kept driving thru Dallas and stopped at a WalMart south of Dallas to get a few snacks and buy some cough medicine for Elyssa. She was over whatever she had, but still had the lingering cough that was annoying. We kept driving and breezed thru Houston around 2am. With zero traffic, this is the fastest we have ever driven thru Houston; wish it could always be like this.

We finally made it to the Hampton Inn near the seawall in Galveston just before 3am. This was a great place to stay as we did not have to wake up early to deal with Houston traffic, and we were only 5 minutes from the port.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:05 AM

Friday, February 15th – Boarding the Disney Magic
 
We slept in a little bit but did not have any problem waking up. We packed up everything and put on the luggage tags for the ship. We put everything in the car and then ate breakfast in the lobby which was not very crowded. After eating, we got in the car and made the short trip to the port by driving along the seawall. They have built a boardwalk amusement park where the hotel used to be that was demolished by the last hurricane.

We pulled up to the terminal at 10:30am. We dropped off the bags. Everyone got out and headed into the terminal. Allen drove over to EZ Park which was just a few blocks away, and then took a shuttle over to the terminal. After a short line thru security, we made it to the check in counter. We were hoping that they had upgrades available because we were hoping for a room with a balcony, but they said that the ship was full. Oh well, we had a room with a great window view on deck 7. We had boarding number 7, and we were waiting for them to call for boarding. Then it dawned on Allen  he had forgotten his backpack with his computer and CPAP machine in the car. Doh! So, he went back to the loading area outside of the building and called the EZ Park people so they could take him back to the car. It only took a few minutes, and they took him back. He went thru the car to make sure he had everything this time. Then back to the terminal and thru security. Debbie and Elyssa were in the line for the Oceaneer Lab check-in. It was a long line, but they were almost thru it when he came back. (Yes, we knew we could do this on the ship, but there was nothing else to do in the terminal, so they waited in the line.) Then they started calling numbers, and it was our turn when they finished checking in. We walked thru the long hallway where they took the boarding pictures. Then they scanned our KTTWs before we went up the escalator to the boarding bridge.
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From there we made it to the entrance to the ship, and we were introduced onto the ship. We have been on the Wonder several times before and are fairly familiar with the ships layout. We walked to the aft elevators and took them up to deck 9 to have lunch at Topsiders and then explored the ship. Being a classic ship, it was smaller than the two newer ships, but it was still in great shape since it is almost 15 years old. Now that we were on the ship we have now completed the Grand Slam Club (we have now been on all 4 Disney ships) and Allen and Debbie have completed the Grand Slam Plus Club (all 4 ships plus the Big Red Boat).

We walked over to the front funnel to take a look at Vibe (the teen club). This was Connors age group, but he was not interested in doing any of the activities they had. (He wasnt on our last cruise either; he preferred to spend time with us.) Then we went to take a look at the Oceaneer Club and then the Oceaneer Lab (this is where Elyssas age group was located). We played some of the computer games and looked around at all of the activities they had. Then we went to Edge to look at the tween club. This is where Elyssa will be for our next cruise. It was finally 1:30pm, so we went to deck 7 to check out the room. We were in 7510, right next to the forward elevators, and it was super convenient. We did not have any problems with noises or anything else; this was a perfect location, and we would definitely book this room again. This trip we just had one room since there were only 4 of us; the past few trips we had to adjoining rooms since we had 5 or 6 people. So, it was a bit more crowded in the room than we are used to being.

Then we went to the DIS Board Meet at Preludes and met some of the people who are on the DIS Boards. After, we went to the Spa for the drawing for free services and, as usual, not win anything. Before we knew it, it was time for the lifeboat drill. We were outside on deck 4, so we walked down the stairs and out on the deck. It was cool outside today, but we were in the sun and were able to stay warm.
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After the drill we went to deck 9 to watch the Sail Away Party. The classic ships are nice because of their size. We were fairly close to the stage on deck 9, and it did not seem very crowded at all. Elyssa was even given streamers to wave during the party.
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Then, we watched as the ship sailed down the channel towards the Gulf. After that we went back to the room and relaxed for a bit before dinner. Looking out our window, we could see some offshore platforms.
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Before dinner, we went to Mickey Mania in Studio Sea. This was the first time we have seen this game. It is basically several teams of two that compete against each other by answering trivia questions; it was entertaining and a fun way to start the evening.

Next we had dinner (we had late seating at 8:15pm) and were in Lumieres the first night. We had Ricky from the Philippines as our server and Gede from Indonesia as our assistant server and Kapoor from India as our head server. Ricky and Gede were both great and worked well as a team. They kept things moving as we never had to wait very long for food and drinks the entire trip. Kapoor was the most attentive and informative head server we have had in the six cruises Allen and Debbie have taken on Disney Cruise Lines. We cant remember what we had to eat that evening because we did not take pictures of what we had, but everything was good.

After dinner Debbie and Allen went to Magic Quest in Rockin Bar D. This was the first time that we ever saw this on any of our cruises, and it was hilarious. There were a few embarrassing moments and maybe even a few pictures that the kids do not need to see. We played the game with FloridaFun (Beth) and her mom and Gina (Gina) from the DIS Board group and had a lot of laughs.
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Allen is the one in the striped shirt.
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When we returned to our room we received our first fish extender (FE) gifts, and, as usual, we had a towel animal on the bed to greet us.
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dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:13 AM

Ah, the first of many days at sea! Once we woke up, we went to deliver our first set of FE gifts. This was the first time in all our cruises that we had ever done FEs, and it was a great chance to see the ship. When we returned to the room, we met our stateroom hostess, Jane. She was from San Palo, Brazil, and was really nice. Over the next few days we mentioned that we really like the H2O Plus products in the bathroom, and she made sure that we went home with plenty in our suitcase. Then we went up to Topsiders for Breakfast. We sat outside to eat, but after a while we headed inside because it was a little cool outside.

After that Connor and Allen decided to try Bingo in Rockin’ Bar D; it was free card bingo, so we got an extra card to play. We also decided to try the electronic bingo devise, and it was very simple. It tells you when a number is called and when you have a bingo. All you have to do is stand up and shout it out if you win. This was the first of several bingo sessions we played, and we while we didn’t win anything this first session, we did fairly well in later sessions. The activities crew that ran the bingo was a lot of fun; we enjoyed the entertaining things they did during the session. B11 can still get us singing! B-11, B, B, 11...… you’'re welcome. :-)

Debbie and Elyssa went to the Princess Gathering in the Atrium. They got there 30 minutes early, and there was already a long line all the way down the long hallway, but it kept moving once the princesses arrived. Finally Elyssa was up and took pictures with all the princesses. Elyssa now has pictures with Belle (her favorite princess) on all four ships. We have framed them, and they hang on the wall in her bedroom. It’s a nice momento of her trips and fun way to see her grow up with the Belle.
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Then Debbie and Allen went to the Wine Tasting (Old World Wines) in Sessions (12:30pm). This was our first time doing a wine tasting. It was very informative,, and we enjoyed most of the wines. There were 2 reds, 2 whites and a champagne. We will have to remember to do this again. After this we grabbed some lunch in Topsiders and then went back to the room.
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We all tried our luck at Bingo in Rockin’ Bar D (Vista Spa Jackpot) (3:30pm), and Debbie won $26 – our first win of the trip! It could have been more, but there were 8 winners that game. Then we decided to search for Hidden Mickeys all over the ship after buying the Hidden Mickey Guide (available in the gift shops). We will need to remember to take this on our next cruise as it is good for all 4 ships and Castaway Cay). Definitely a fun family activity!


It was time to get ready for dinner, and we did some formal pictures in the atrium since we were all dressed nicely. Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palate. Since it was formal night, they waited until tomorrow night to do the show with the changing colors.
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Elyssa was tired at dinner and went back to the room before desert. Ricky made an origami flower for Elyssa and insisted on giving us a dessert to take back to the room for her. When we returned to the room she was fast asleep in bed, still in her formal clothes.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:15 AM

Sunday, February 17th – Day at Sea
 
Since we had dinner in Parrot Cay last night, our Character Breakfast was schedule for this morning (9:45am in Parrot Cay). The servers kept us entertained by dressing us up in costumes as queens, pirates and such with napkins and tablecloths while we waited for the characters to come around. The characters come to each table. They do make the rounds to each table, but beware – they are QUICK. Don’t expect a long session with each. It’s a quick photo, and they move on. I think this is the only way they can get around the entire dining room so quickly.

After this we went to bingo in Rockin’ Bar D (11:15am), and Allen won $62 (there were three other winners) and on top of this won a gift bag of goodies during the raffle between games. Then Debbie took Elyssa to the Spa for a Princess Treatment, nails, makeup, glitter (pixie dust). If you are thinking of doing this, keep in mind that the nail polish wears off quickly – as in, that same day the polish starts chipping. This is more for the experience than anything else, and it is quite pricey. Debbie and Elyssa said they wouldn’t do it again.

Then we went to see the movie “Lincoln” in the Buena Vista Theatre (12:45pm). After this we ate lunch and then went by the future cruise desk to book our next cruise so we get our rebooking discount. We are on the Western Caribbean Cruise on the Fantasy in March of 2014.

I can’t remember what else we did that afternoon, but we did go to “Who Wants to be a Mousketeer” in Studio Sea (7:30pm). We were hoping to have our number called so we could play, but no such luck.
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After this, we had dinner in Animator’s Palate; this time it was with the full show with color changes and all. After this we went to the Promenade Lounge to play Disney Tune Trivia; we did fairly well but unfortunately did not win. Then we headed back to the room to relax and get ready for a day at Castaway Cay.
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dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:18 AM

Monday, February 18th – Castaway Cay
 
When we woke up we were getting close to Castaway Cay, so Allen went upstairs to watch the ship dock and take some pictures. This morning we went to Parrot Cay to eat. Then we went down to deck 1 to disembark. It was cool in the morning so we wore jeans (except Elyssa), and then as it warmed up, we changed into swim suits.
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First we decided to rent bikes and ride the bike paths. Then we went to the game pavilion and played basketball, ping pong and Connect Four. Before too long it was lunch time, and we ate at Cookies and saw Gede (our assistant server) when we were in line for food. It’s kind of fun to see how their faces light up when the servers see someone they recognize.
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After lunch, Allen, Connor, and Elyssa went snorkeling in the bay and saw all of the underwater sights, Mickey, Minnie, submarine, boat, and even some colorful fish; Debbie opted to stay out of the water in an attempt to stay warm. Later, Debbie and Connor decided to go back to the ship, while Allen and Elyssa tried the water bikes (water trike) over at the boat beach. They pedaled around the bay and then headed back to the beach. They stopped in the stores to get Elyssa a “mine bird” (from Finding Nemo) shirt and then back to the ship. (Elyssa is a big “mine birds” fan!) Elyssa decided to swim a little in the pool on the ship and then back to the room.

We decided to go see the show tonight, so we went to the Walt Disney Theatre at 6:15pm to see Villains Tonight. Then we went to Mickey Mania in Studio Sea at 7:30pm, and then off to dinner at Parrot Cay.

After dinner Debbie and Allen went to Match Your Mate in Rockin’ Bar D at 10:30pm. This is one of our favorite games on the ship as there are usually some interesting couples with their answers to the questions. Years ago Debbie and Allen played this game and became known as couple number 2 the rest of the cruise as we had the whole crowd enjoying our answer to one of the questions. This time we were not lucky enough to be picked to play. For the most part the 3 couples playing were somewhat entertaining but not that interesting/exciting because they were either holding back on the really “interesting” answers (embarrassing) or truly led boring lives. We’ve seen this game played twice before, and both other times were very funny; this time was definitely different due to the couples being so reserved; thankfully the host made the show entertaining! After this we headed back to the room so we could get some sleep for a long day tomorrow.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:24 AM

Tuesday, February 19th – Port Canaveral (Walt Disney World)
 
This was the highlight of the cruise – a free park hopper and bus transportation to Walt Disney World! We woke up at 5:30 am so we could have a quick breakfast before getting off the ship for our 6:30 am bus to EPCOT. This was the early opening park, and we got there right at 8:00am when the park opened. This was the first time we have ever gotten off the ship in Port Canaveral only to get back on the ship at the end of the day. Usually when we get off the ship here it is time to go home; this time we still had half of the cruise left. This is also the first time we have ridden the bus between the port and WDW. They had cartoons and other entertainment on the TVs on the bus that made the hour and fifteen minute trip fly by.
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When we arrived at EPCOT, there were some pretty long lines to get in the park. We went to one side and notice that the lines were a bit shorter. As soon as we got in the park, we split up and Allen ran to Soarin’ to get fast passes so that we could go there after going to Test Track. Then he ran over to Test Track to meet up with everyone so we could get in line. The line was growing quickly, and it took awhile to finally get to the stations where you design your car. This was our first time on the revamped ride; it is definitely different. Allen isn’t sure that he likes it better than the old ride; Debbie liked the old Test Track better. After riding we walked over to Soarin’ and used the fast passes; this saved a bunch of time as the standby line was long. Then we went to Journey into Your Imagination with Figment (hold your nose in the smell room!) and then went to Coca-Cola Station to try the different drinks from around the world (beware Beverly!). After this it was almost 11am, and we decide to start heading over to the Magic Kingdom. We were thinking of riding Spaceship Earth as we walked by it going to the entrance, but the wait was over 30 minutes. We decided against it as we are used to this being a walk on ride and could not see waiting that long in line.

We took a few pictures with a PhotoPass photographer by the entrance since we were given the cards to use so they would put it on our Shutters Pictures CD on the ship. This was a nice perk as we always buy the Shutters CD since we take a bunch of pictures on the ship.
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We walked to the monorail station, and then rode it to the Ticket and Transportation Center then transferred to the Magic Kingdom monorail. Once at the entrance of the park we saw where they were filming “Live with Kelly and Michael.” It was crazy busy, and they had cast members to keep people moving.
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Once past there it was still busy on Main Street. We found a photographer to take pictures of us in front of the castle. It’s a miracle that they were able to take photos that didn’t have arms of people in front of our bodies in the pictures!

The one thing that Debbie was adamant that we do was check out Belle’s area in Fantasyland, and it had to be done first to make sure we got it done. So we walked back to the New Fantasyland to see what it looked like. Then we got in line for “Enchanted Tales with Belle” and waited about 30 minutes until we went inside the cottage. While in line it was getting hot outside and the sun was very bright; there was an older gentlemen that was a little bit ahead of us in the line that had briefly passed out from the heat. The cast members were quick to respond, and they immediately got him to a shaded area. With a brand new attraction like this, you would think they’d put more shade in the outside area; maybe it will grow in as the trees grow? Once inside the cottage we went thru the orientation and saw the magic mirror that changes to an opening doorway in the wall. It really is amazing how they do it, and it happens so fast it is hard to tell what happens. Then we went into the next room to get ready to meet Belle and then went into the story room. Elyssa was chosen as part of the storyline, and got her picture taken with Belle at the end. Again this was neat how they animated Lumiere and the story was very cute. They take pictures of the kids, and then they give you a photo pass at the end so you can purchase the pictures.
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Allen went to get fast passes for Space Mountain right after we entered the park, and we headed over there since it was almost time. We decided to grab lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café; once we ordered we looked for a place to sit. We usually like to watch Sonny Eclipse in the main dining area, but it was packed. Not a seat inside or outside. We looked around and found some seats by the bridge that goes to the center of the park by the castle.

After we had lunch Allen ran to Big Thunder Mountain to grab our next set of fast passes. (See a theme here with Allen running for fast passes?) Then he ran back to meet up with everyone, and we went on Space Mountain before the first set of fast passes expired (now they check for the expiration time). After Space Mountain we went on the Carousel of Progress, Stitch’s Great Escape, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. Then at some point we wondered over to the other side of the part to do the Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain (and again later in the evening). At some point we rode Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Alladin’s Magic Carpet Ride. We had dinner at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Café.

Connor maxed out his score on Buzz Lightyear!
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Overall we rode over 18 rides today which was incredible considering how busy both parks were (fast passes are awesome!). During the day we were all able to do our favorite rides and get our favorite things – Allen was able to get a Dole Whip, Connor got a Churro, Debbie got some Disney popcorn, and Elyssa got to sit in the very back of the train on Big Thunder Mountain.

As we were getting ready to finally leave, we did our shopping on Main Street. Connor and Allen were looking for 2013 t-shirts similar to the ones they got in Disneyland earlier this year (Connor’s marching band marched in the Rose Parade this past January and got to march down Main Street in Disneyland on New Year’s Eve); they had to look at several other stores in the park and finally found them in Liberty Square. Then we were waiting in line at the photo pass counter to get Elyssa’s picture from Tales with Belle. Finally we walked out the front gate just before 11pm and went to the bus stop to get on the cruise line bus. While in line for the bus, they handed us cold bottles of water; that was a nice touch!

We were on our way back to the ship, and as we got close the port, it was neat to see the ship with all of its lights, something we never get to see. We pulled up to the port around midnight and went thru the empty terminal (this was weird) and then back onto the ship. It was a surreal feeling to get back on the ship after a day at Disney World, but one that we all very much enjoyed! Allen had to run back to the room to get on his computer and send a work file to someone while we still had internet. Debbie, Connor, and Elyssa went up to Topsiders to grab food before they closed. Our server Ricky saw them there, and ran to the door to help Debbie open it – always quick to help! They brought the food back to the room. After eating we all went to sleep after a long day. This was a really fun day, and it was the best excursion we have ever done on a cruise!!!

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:26 AM

Wednesday, February 20th – Day at Sea
 
After sleeping in a little from the previous day’s events, we woke up and looked out the window to see the Florida coast and the many condo towers between Palm Beach and Miami. Allen have an aunt and uncle that have a condo on the coast near Palm Beach, and he was almost going to call them and tell them to wave to us.
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After a quick breakfast, Allen went to see “Brave” in Buena Vista Theatre (10:15am). He missed getting to see the movie when we were on the Fantasy last summer, so he finally got to see it this time. Then Debbie, Connor, and Elyssa decided to play Pictionary in the Promenade Lounge (11:30am). Then after lunch, we all went to see “Wreck it Ralph” in Walt Disney Theatre (2pm). The theatre was crowded, but we were able to find decent seats.

Then Allen and Debbie went to the DVC presentation in Diversions; we received a nice portfolio and a few other things. Allen has never wanted to join DVC, but after this presentation, he is rethinking it. Overall it is interesting and maybe next year we might consider joining as we do like to take Disney vacations (as evidenced by Debbie’s DIS signature!).

Allen and Connor went to play Sports Trivia in the Promenade Lounge at 6:30 pm, and they were shocked to see that they were the only two playing. Now neither of the two are sports aficionados, but obviously they scared off the competition. This became an opportunity for bragging rights in the family as they were now competing against each other. Now Allen, being the elder, has the advantage, but Connor watches ESPN Sports Center everyday and enjoys watching most sports on TV. In the end it was a close game, but Allen prevailed with a score of 14 correct answers (out of 25) over Connor’s score of 13. But, they were both winners as they both won the “Winner” medallions and lanyards that are given out for the 5K run on Castaway Cay (and they did not have to run the 5K!).

Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palate, and it was Pirates Night with the pirates menu. Afterwards we went up to deck 9 by the stage and were able to get fairly close to the stage. We had a few people trying to work their way in front of us, so we had to protect our territory, otherwise it was not too crowded. Things started out OK with the show, then they had problems with the sound system and they just could not get things working. The cast members did a good job trying to keep the audience entertained, but after 20-30 minutes even they were getting tired. They tried launching some of the fireworks, but only did about 5 minutes of them and then stopped. They tried a few more and then called it quits. We were a little disappointed, but we have seen it before, so it was not a big deal. Then we went to the Topsiders for the buffet and enjoyed a few desert items. After that it was back to the room to call it a night.
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dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:32 AM

Thursday, February 21st – Key West
 
We got up and went to breakfast in Parrot Cay and were then ready to get off the ship since we had a limited amount of time in Key West. Allen had driven to Key West years ago (1990?) when he was working in West Palm Beach for a few months, but he did not remember much when he first went there. We got on the trolley bus since that is the only way that you can leave the pier from we docked at the Mole (Navy) Pier.

The trolley takes you to Mallory Square, and we decided to take the Conch Train Tour to see the island in just a few hours. We rode around and saw some of the sights like Ernest Hemmingway’s house, Duval Street, and then got off at one of the stops to walk a few blocks to the Southernmost Point Marker so we could take a picture in front of it. Then we walked back to the train stop and found a key lime pie store, and we each got a key lime pie on a stick; it was good but messy. Then it was back on the train to finish out the tour and make it back to Mallory Square. At this point we had an hour to shop and then get in line for the trolley back to the ship by 12:30pm. There was a long line, but they had a steady stream of busses/trolleys to get us back to the ship.
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While on the trolley we were sitting next to some parents that had obviously been to Margaritaville and had their kids with them. The moms were a bit loud and obnoxious (drunk), and we felt sorry for their kids that had to be embarrassed by them. The funny part was when we stopped at the check point to go on the navy pier and the security team came on the trolley to check everyone’s KTTWs and IDs. They specifically told everyone before getting off the ship that you must have your ID to get thru security; well one of the obnoxious parents realized that she did not have her ID and was panicking as they were checking them. Her husband realized he had a picture of the ID on his iPhone and then showed it to the security person who said OK. Allen was really tempted to slip the security person a $20 to have some fun with them and make them get off the trolley!

After going to the room, we went to Topsiders for lunch and watched the ship pull away from the dock as we were sitting on the back deck enjoying the sun. Sometime during the afternoon we were in Diversions and decided to play Giant Jenga. This is one our family’s favorite games, and playing it on a moving ship adds another element.
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Then Allen and Connor went to play Chip it Golf in the Atrium (2:45pm). This is a golf game where you hit the golf ball to score points on where it lands on the targets. Allen went first and did very well, scoring 6 points. Then Connor went and scored 10 points. Then others went. The last person went, scored 12 points, and had one more ball to hit; they went and ended up losing 5 points, so Connor won! He received a DCL glass case with golf balls and tees inside.
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Connor and Allen also played Cruisin’ for Trivia in the Promenade Lounge (6:30pm) and did OK but did not win anything this time. Then we went to Who Wants to be a Mousketeer in Studio Sea (7:30pm) for another chance at the hot seat, but again no luck.
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Dinner tonight was at Parrot Cay and was good as usual. Then Allen and Debbie went to see Michael Harrison Comedy & Ventriloquist – Rockin’ Bar D (10:15pm). This was the adult show and had its share of adult humor. After that we went for a brief walk outside, and then it was time to call it a night.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:34 AM

Friday, February 22th – Day at Sea (& Allen and Debbie’s Anniversary!)
 
Today was Allen and Debbie’s 21st wedding anniversary! To celebrate, we had booked brunch at Palo (11am). We enjoyed all of the choices of things to eat; we made a few trips to the different tables, and then ordered entrees. Now we were full, but our server brought a plate that was beautifully decorated for our anniversary. He told us to take it back to the room, so we could show our kids (and we did). Then it was time to change back into comfortable clothes and enjoy our last day on the ship.
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Allen and Connor went to the Towel Folding Class in Rockin’ Bar D (2:00 pm); they have done this before on previous cruises but decided to perfect their skills. Debbie and Elyssa went to Tea with Alice in Studio Sea. This was originally scheduled for 2pm, but there was a scheduling glitch at Guest Services so they had to reschedule it for 4pm. (Everyone but the characters showed up at 2pm due to Guest Services’ scheduling mistake; they told everyone to come back at 4pm, and then gave us all a great show.) Because of the scheduling issue, they gave each of the kids a bag with some small gifts; this was a nice touch!

Allen and Connor went to Final Jackpot Bingo in Rockin’ Bar D (3:15pm) in hopes of winning the winner take all jackpot, but it was just not meant to be. Oh well, they will just have to try again on the next cruise. Then we went back to the room to relax and start packing some of our bags so we were not rushing to do so that evening. We all went to play The Wheel in the Promenade Lounge (6:30pm). The room was split into two groups, and we ended up being on the winning team; no prizes were given out, but we did win. Then back to the room to finish packing and get ready for dinner.

Tonight’s dining was in Lumiere’s and did not disappoint. After this we went back to the room to put our bags out in the hall, and then Allen and Debbie went to see Matt Baker Comedy in Rockin’ Bar D (10:30pm). The show was great, and then it was time to take one last walk on deck 10. It was windy out, and the weather was cooling off as we were getting closer to Galveston. Off in the distance we saw another ship which ended up being a Princess Cruise ship that docked next to us in Galveston. We headed back to the room to call it a day.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 01:38 AM

The ship pulled into port around 7am, just behind a Princess cruise ship. We were hoping that the port would be fogged in and would be delayed docking so we could spend more time on the ship, but it was not meant to be. So we woke up, started getting ready and packed up the remaining things. Since we had late Breakfast in Lumieres, we took our time and even watched a few Disney cartoons on the tv before it was time to leave the room. In Port Canaveral, we never get off the ship this late, so this was a luxury to us being able to stay in our room and have a late breakfast like this. Since we were driving from Galveston we were in no big hurry to leave the ship and wanted to enjoy it as much as we could. We had breakfast at 8:30am and enjoyed being served by our Ricky and Gede for the last time.
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Then it was time to leave as they made announcements that telling everyone that they need to leave! We walked down to the big luggage room, and it was easy to find our bags as there were not many left. Then we walked up to the Customs counter, they asked a quick question or two, and we were walking to the shuttle bus to the parking lot. We loaded the bags into the back of the minivan, and we were driving towards Houston. We made a stop at IKEA to do some shopping since we dont have one in Tulsa. Then we promised Elyssa we would make a quick stop at the American Girl Store. And as usual, we did not make it out of there for under $100 (probably a good thing we dont have one of those in Tulsa either!)

Then we started heading north and made a stop in The Woodlands to see our old house and see how much the area has changed. The population there has doubled since we moved from there in 1997. The woods part of The Woodlands seems to be getting forgotten with progress through the years; that was one of the reasons we moved there from Houston all those years ago. In the newer areas, there arent much woods left, it appears.

After grabbing some food to go from Chik-Fil-A, we headed towards Dallas and made a quick stop at Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana. They have incredible cookies and pecan pies, so we got some to take home. Then after getting stuck in traffic from an accident north of downtown Dallas, we made a stop at In N Out Burger and then took a quick look at Cabellas (we dont have these in Tulsa either). Then we drove the last 3 ½ hours to get home around 10pm. Wow, what a great trip!!


SUMMARY:

We all enjoyed the cruise. This was the longest cruise we have been on, and we enjoyed all of the sea days! This was also a great itinerary with Castaway Cay and a day at Walt Disney World. We also figured that this would be a unique itinerary because of the limited time for cruises going out of Galveston. We also liked being able to drive to Galveston and not having to fly to Florida. And most important, Disney did a great job and did not disappoint. Every DCL cruise we have been on has been first class, and this one was one of the best. Our servers and all crew members were excellent, and the smaller ship did not feel crowded one bit. What the smaller (classic) ships lack in amenities like the Aqua Duck, Mid Ship Detective Agency, and Goofy Mini Golf, they make up for with the Character Breakfast, games, and other activities.

We really enjoyed doing the FE exchange. We will for sure be doing that on future cruises. We got things from cheap candy to nice gifts. We didn't care - it was all great. It was the thought that counts, and it was appreciated by us all.

Joining our cruise thread at the last minute on DIS (two months out) didn't give me much time to get to know people, but I recognized a few names at the DIS Meet onboard. And it was fun to run into the same people over and over and recognize them. I loved playing games with Gina and Beth often during the week, and spending time with Dorothy and her daughter that last day.

One more thing to add. At home, our teenage son Connor (16) spends most of his home time in his room, barely says a word to us on his own unless he wants something or has to convey some news. Trying to carry on a conversation with him can be almost painful at times just to get more than one word out of him. On the ship during this week, he chose to spend ALL his time with us, talking and laughing freely. You can see in the pictures just how much fun he was having. THIS is why we cruise Disney so often. I love the joy it brings our children and my husband, as well as the joy it brings me.

THE END

KsquaredMomma 04-21-2013 05:37 PM

I really really enjoyed your trip report! Thanks so much for posting. My family and I are taking this same exact cruise next month (19 days but who's counting? lol) This has made me even more excited, if that were even possible. Thanks again for sharing!

BCV23 04-22-2013 10:40 AM

I really enjoyed reading your TR. We are doing the same cruise soon and can not wait!

Your last comments about family time with Connor were very touching. What great memories you made.

fatfish 04-22-2013 02:53 PM

Debbie,

Great trip report! I felt like i was back on the ship. ;)

Jiminy'sGirl 04-23-2013 01:51 PM

Great report.... I loved hearing about all the activities besides the shows and the food! Thanks for including all of that!

Your last paragraph about Conner sums up why we go to Disney over and over... even though we don't have teens yet, we go our separate ways so much with school, work, sports and friends that it is nice to have something bring us all together and make everyone smile together.


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