Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...sounds like a good idea! COMPLETED
Hi to anyone that may follow along as I stumble through another trip report from Galveston. :wave2:
Castmembers for our 8 night sailing are....
Jenny (47 and counting, but trying not to) & Scott (ridiculously younger but will be good for my retirement ;)) We are self-confessed WDW & DCL addicts who are always up for another adventure on the Magic (or any DCL ship) especially when it is sailing from our home port...
our friends who 1) have never sailed on Disney before, 2) have never taken their kids to WDW before and 3) were on the cruise to celebrate A's 40th birthday which had been a month earlier, although I think we can all agree she doesn't look a day over 39. :lmao:
So! With lots of adventures awaiting us we busily got planning and before we knew it the time had flown by and it was time to go! :cheer2:
Our Itinerary was:
Thursday - Overnight in Galveston
Friday - Sail away on the Disney Magic
Saturday - At Sea
Sunday - At Sea
Monday - Castaway Cay
Tuesday - WDW
Wednesday - At Sea
Thursday - Key West
Friday - At Sea
Saturday - Disembark
Scott & I decided to take an extra day at the beginning of our trip as we both had a ton of stuff going on at work, and I knew there was no way I'd be able to get ready during the evenings prior to Friday. We started packing on Thursday morning while trying to juggle last minute work panics and finally got away from the house at about 1:30 pm after stuffing down a pizza that was delivered while all the packing chaos was going on. :thumbsup2
The (world famous) Buccees was first stop for gas and a car wash..because no respectable girl can be seen pulling up to a cruise terminal in an vehicle that is no color other than DIRT!!
I took this photo just to drive Scott nuts with my picture taking :goodvibes but even he has now conceded that it's a pretty cool photo!
Coming up....our overnight stay at Harbor House hotel because Photobucket is acting up and I don't want to lose anything I've done so far. :upsidedow.
Getting across Houston in the early afternoon on a Thursday was a piece of cake and we arrived in Galveston at about 3:30 pm. Harbor House has a check in time of 4 pm but were happy to set us up in our room a bit early. We got a rate of $89 a night for a king room, plus $10 for 1 night of parking (plus all the other fees, taxes and misc money that seems to make its way on the bill).
We have stayed here one time before. The rooms are a really nice size, but the bathrooms could do with a bit of renovation. I'm sure I read somewhere that the hotel is due for renovations this fall. We really like the fact that it's walking distance to the cruise terminal, has plenty of really great restaurants and bars right at its door step, and is really close to the Strand area. :love:
View from our room...
It was fairly obvious when we stepped out of the car that Galveston was NOT as balmy and warm as it had been in Magnolia :scared1: and instead of being in the 70's was in the low 60's. In fact, I was decidedly CHILLY, and at that moment I recalled my rash decision to put my light jacket BACK into the closet just a few hours earlier. :crazy2: This led to us making a quick trip to the Walmart on the island after we had checked in, although Galveston was firmly in the "fun in the sun" mode and although there were plenty of bathing suits to be seen, not a single jacket was in sight...nor at the Academy just down the street. So we decided that we would have to move on to plan B....which was to drink something alcoholic to ward off the chill. :banana:
We drove back to the hotel and went to Nonno Tony's which was ridiculously close (within stumbling distance should that be required) and also had a great happy hour menu going on.
I had a cosmo, Scott had some kind of draft beer (both were $3.00 I think) and we had calamari and bruscetta for a snack. The calamari was really good, the bruscetta was just OK. After sitting outside for a while and braving the chill, we decided it was time to move to an indoor bar. :rotfl2:
We were planning on dinner at Olympia Grill anyway, and they conveniently have a great bar to sit at, so we moved on into their bar to continue our happy hour. We were happy indeed! They had Stella on happy hour price (Scott's fav) and some good white wines, so we chatted with the bar tender there until we decided we were hungry enough for dinner. Olympia Grill is fantastic - their food is SO good, and they had just been awarded Food Networks "Best Seafood" award the day before so I'm glad we managed to squeak another meal in before it becomes completely overrun when the program airs sometime this month.
Because we were staying at Harbor House (and mentioned it), they gave us a free bread pudding dessert which we took back to our room :thumbsup2. Full bellies, a couple of drinks and half a bread pudding later, at about 9:30 pm we finally crashed and fell asleep.
Thanks for posting. Looking forward to your report and more pics!
Great start Jen, looking forward to reading about your cruise ::yes::
Finally Friday...we leave today!
I was awake early and just had to peak out of the window to see if I could see the Magic coming in. Much to my disappointment, she wasn't there, and she wasn't showing up on my Marine Traffic app on my phone as being in range. :rolleyes2 This forced me back into bed, only to keep hopping out like a kid about every 5 minutes and probably really annoying Scott in the process! :rotfl: Eventually my persistence was rewarded and I watched her sail on by and turn around to dock at about 6:30 am.
Zoomed in a bit...
Docked....the real view :)
We both took a quick shower and packed our overnight bag and then headed to the 2nd floor to see what they had for breakfast. The breakfast offerings were a little scarce. They have a complimentary continental breakfast, but that morning there was cinnamon toast and about 4 danish pastries left. They were also out of coffee, although thankfully they replenished that fairly quickly, but the food stayed the same while we were there.:confused3 We were meeting Susana, who works on the Magic, outside the terminal at 9:30 am to go to breakfast anyway, so it wasn't the end of the world that there wasn't much food, although there was one little boy in there who definitely believed it WAS the end of the world. ::yes:: I felt sorry for the Dad who had obviously been sent on a food run and so they wiped out what was left of the pastries.
We slapped our luggage tags on, and loaded up what we had used overnight and drove to the cruise terminal to pick up Susana and spent a great couple of hours with her at Denny's enjoying breakfast and catching up. She wanted to get back to have an hour or so of internet (free wifi is ALWAYS popular with the CMs) before she had to go back, and so we dropped her off close to Starbucks.
We were back at the cruise terminal at 11:15 am and dropped our bags and set off in search of BOI Valet parking. It took us a while, and a couple of trips around the block to find them. If you are reading this, and are using them in the future, they are inside the very FIRST building on the corner - if you get to the street where Park N Cruise are located, you've missed them. The drop off procedure was fairly easy. It took us about 5 minutes to wait on the people in front of us to get unloaded and then we were on our way across the street with our hand luggage.
The terminal was busy, but not chaotically so. We didn't have to wait in line for anything for more than a couple of minutes. Soon, we were checked in with boarding group 3 and we had about 20 minutes to wait until they called our number.
We called our friends to see how they were doing on their journey. They had to pick up their little boy from school at 10:30 am so that he wasn't marked down for a day of absence and so they were just a little behind us.
We got through the security lines and at the top of the escalators Mickey was on his way down to take some photos...
We snapped some of the ship from the gangway...
We walked on board about 12:15 pm and made our way straight to Rockin Bar D to add our friends to our Palo brunch reservation. We also made a reservation for the martini tasting and the mixology session. :thumbsup2
They had a drink sales table set up outside and we got a Dasani water package.
From there we headed up to the pool deck as we weren't hungry and we needed to get a good phone reception so we could guide our friends to where they needed to go.
Scott managed to snag his first drink while I was in the restroom...
We got a call that our friends had arrived. He dropped off A and the kids and went in search of their parking...
By the time they texted to say that they were on the way onto the ship, we scrambled into an elevator that stopped at every floor, and then missed them walking onto the ship by about 10 seconds. :guilty: I wanted to get photos but it was actually funny that they could see us coming down in the glass elevator and so we all waved frantically at each other and met in the lobby to exchange hugs and share the excitement of actually all being on board. pixiedust: :cheer2:
By this time it was about 1:15 pm and despite the fact that the whole family were about the chew off their arms they were so hungry, we decided to head to Deck 6 and wait on our rooms so that we could drop all of our bags. The rooms were available promptly at 1:30 pm and we got our first look at our home away from home for the next 8 nights.
Our room was in great shape. There was nothing that was ripped/torn/badly worn or smelled unpleasant. :thumbsup2 The verandah has some signs of rust, but all in all we were happy as clams that we were back. :dance3:
Galveston doesn't have the prettiest water in the world and is fairly industrial, but we are somewhat interested in all the goings on around there, so we took all of it in.
They were doing something with the life boats, but I think it was painting of some sort...
We then all headed up to Topsiders so that the G family could finally eat.
A bunch of rowdy seagulls were making life difficult for the CMs...:rotfl:
The second most important thing for the G family was ice cream so as soon as they were done with lunch we headed straight for it (and as you can see from the photos so did nearly everyone else! LOL) and the kids were on ice cream #1 of the trip....I think we lost count of how many ice creams were actually consumed by them...:laughing:
We wandered the ship some, A went to the kids clubs and checked the kids in, and then it was time for muster drill, which went quickly and was uneventful. :worship:
By the time we got back to our staterooms the G family luggage had arrived, but of course there was no time to do anything with it as the Sail Away party was about to begin!
We watched from Deck 9 - this was a first for Scott and I as we usually avoid that deck at all costs and stay up on Deck 10. It was fun to see the kids enjoy it from down there.
OK, so maybe not just the kids...:goodvibes
The really cool thing about Deck 9 is that it has a bar VERY close to all the action :worship: First drink for me...Bahama Mama....:love:
Scott went up to Deck 10 and snapped these of the characters...
We all decided to head up to Deck 10 to wave goodbye to Galveston and all the people waving back who were NOT on our cruise. :laughing:
Harbor House where we had stayed overnight...
The Offshore Oil museum...
And a lot of stuff from Del Monte...
The G family went to see the show at 6:15 pm while Scott and I did our unpacking and we all met up for dinner. Tonight we were in Parrot Cay, which I love to be in on the first night so I was a happy girl. :woohoo:
Forced picture in the elevator :lmao:
Our servers were Sampong (Sammy for the remainder of the trip) and Ayhan and they were a lot of fun. Ayhan created this cute plate for J-bug.
We had late dining at 8:15 pm and by the time we were done, the kids, big and little were all exhausted and we all agreed to call it a night.
Back in the room we had this guy waiting for us...
And in the envelope were these commemorative cards showing the new improvements to the Magic when she is out of dry dock. They were cool and a nice touch as Disney had made the announcement that day (which none of us had seen) about the new changes to the ship.
We also got this nice little goodie package for being Gold members...
I read my book for about 15 minutes before I was out cold with the gentle swaying of the ship. :goodvibes About half way through the night I wondered why the room was creaking so badly, it sounded like a river of pebbles running over the roof. :listen: I finally I figured out it was the empty hangers in the closet that we hadn't used, so got up and took care of that before falling back to sleep. :faint:
A great start to your cruise Jenny. I wish we'd been given those commemorative cards, that is a lovely touch, I look forward to your next update ::yes::
What a great start to what seems to be a fantastic vacation. I love the Magic - I think it's the perfect sized ship and I love the adult pool area!
Can't wait to read the rest.
I love your trip report so far! I will be on the Magic with my family this summer - our first ever cruise, and although we will be sailing from Barcelona, I'm getting so excited reading all about the ship itself. I look forward to reading more of your updates!
Love your report so far!
We were on the Magic out of NYC this summer. and we had a server named Sompong. Any chance the server on the left was your server too? We loooovvved him! He was so funny but a very efficient server as well. He gave us one of our best laughs ever, and we still count him as one of our favorites. Just curious if it is the same person. :) (Hope you don't mind the gigantic pic of strangers on your TR... I can delete it if you like...)
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