4-26-2013 Magic 8-Night Bahamian Cruise Completed!
Its been just over a month since I left for my Disney Cruise and its about time I get around and start up a trip report.
I had booked this cruise last year while on the Wonder to receive the onboard credit and cruise discount. When the Magic changed its schedule to the Bahamian cruise with ports of Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral & Key West it was yes for us to take this trip.
I would be traveling with my mom and my grandma who has mobility issues when going distances. She is usually fine with her cane but we brought a transporter chair with us for getting through the airport, boarding the ship and for the ports.
Day 0 - prenight
We decided to leave the day before and stay the night at the Houston Airport Marriott Hotel. The hotel is located directly in the airport and made for a super easy low stress day for my grandma. Our flights were direct from John Wayne Orange County, Ca airport to IAH Houston. The flight was on time and no real issues besides sitting on a plane for 3+ hours.
We were greeted by a Disney Cruise castmember at the luggage carousel and escorted to the hotel. At check in we were given our cruise document and room keys and made our way to the room.
The room was very nice and the beds were really comfy.
The view out of the hotel was of the airport which was expected since the hotel is in the middle of the airport.
We ate at the Flight Lounge restaurant in the hotel and just relaxed for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow we would be boarding the Magic and headed off to our Magical 8 night cruise.
I will be updating here as I update my blog. Ill also have many many more photos and more on the blog itself.
Looking forward to more of your TR. We did this itinerary on the May 10 sailing and had an incredible time!
Day 1 - Galveston
I have added day 1 Galveston on my blog.
The full post will be there but I'll include some highlights here.
We left the hotel via Disney Transportation and were on our way to the ship.
1 hour 15 minutes later we could see the Magic.
We were given boarding number 2 which I am not quite sure if its because we had taken Disney transportation or if they noticed my grandma in the transporter chair. Either way we were quickly on the ship and enjoying lunch in Parrot Cay.
We were able to get into our stateroom and enjoy our veranda right away.
We attended the safety drill then the sail away party.
Once you hear that horn you know your Disney Cruise has officially started.
Once back in the stateroom we met our host Damian and would enjoy his company throughout the cruise.
We had late dining so we went the All Aboard:Let the Magic Begin show in the Walt Disney Theater.
For our dining rotation this night we had Animators Palate and it was the show night. We met our dining staff which included assistant server Dwi and head server Oliver. Its funny because Oliver recognized us right away as we did him. He was our server 14 years ago on our first Disney cruise. Funny how time flies but it was nice catching up with him during the cruise.
Of course while on the Disney cruise it doesn't matter how old you are but you need to enjoy one of these yummy treats!
We had a very nice low stress first day which is good because we would have the whole cruise ahead of us. We did enjoy the first day and yes I did mention that many times in the report! :rotfl2:
The next day would be a day at sea and we could just enjoy the ship as we like.:)
We were on that cruise, too. Loved all the days at sea. I'm enjoying your TR/blog. Thanks for sharing.
Day 2 - Sea Day
Today was our first sea day, we would have 3 more sea days on this trip. I like the sea days and look forward to them. There are always many activities on the ship and you also have the luxury of just doing nothing if you so please.
The weather was warm and in the low 80's and the seas were fairly calm. It was also formal night so Twice Charmed was playing in the Walt Disney Theater today which also included a 2pm matinee performance.
Here is a view off my balcony for this day. The weather was great.
This morning was also our turn for the character breakfast. Even though we didn't have any children with us this cruise we wanted to attend. The characters are so friendly and it was nice to just see everyone having a good time.
There were a number of opportunities for character meets including Princess gathering in the Atrium.
I liked this shot out of the porthole on deck 4 midship.
Since we have been on a few Disney Cruises we choose not the attend the main show but to just enjoy the ship. Tonight was also formal night so I was able to have the Quiet Cove pool all to myself. I admit that it was nice to just actually relax and enjoy the pool and Jacuzzi area.
For dinner we were in Parrot Cay which is not my favorite restaurant for formal night. I like dining in Parrot Cay any other time so it wasn't so bad.
Here is our assistant server Dwi looking very handsome on formal night.
The menu for tonight was Prince and Princess which included some yummy bread and yogurt dip.
Our food was good and I have to admit that this cruise the main dining room wasn't great but just ok overall. I must clarify that the food was just ok but the service was excellent as usual. :thumbsup2
Dessert was the exception to the above thought and the Lemon Cheesecake made it better.
I have more photos and info in my blog.
It was nice to have our first full day on the ship as a sea day because it makes for a more relaxing and enjoyable trip to me. Its nice to have so many activities available and if you choose to do just nothing that is ok too. Hey its your vacation and you can do what you want to, That's what I like!
Tomorrow would be another sea day which was alright by me because I really enjoy them.
Day 3 - Sea Day
Another sea day was upon us but we enjoy them just as much as the ports.
I have once again posted the full report on my blog.
This morning started off with the Castaway Club reception which took place in Sessions. It was a smaller group of people than we have had in a while. We were able to talk with Captain John and Officer Anthony.
We ended up having to leave early as we had a Palo Brunch reservation today also.
Our Palo brunch server was Mirko from Croatia. Since our favorite server Claudia is not longer with Disney we were lucky to have Mirko and enjoyed his company and service.
Brunch was agreed that it was our favorite meal of the whole cruise. We shared dishes and enjoyed all the yummy goodness of the food stations and dessert stations.
A big favorite is the spicy sausage pizza.
We also shared a sampler of the desserts.
Back in our stateroom we found our cabana information awaiting us. We would have our Castaway Cay day tomorrow and we reserved a cabana for our use. The info left on the bed included instructions, wrist bands and this cute little mini cabana.
We later attended bingo but alas didn't win. 3 different games we came within 1 number of winning...so close!
The day flew by with all the activities available and soon we were ready for dinner.
There was a beautiful sunset from our veranda this evening.
Dinner was in Parrot Cay and featured the Island menu. I included the photos of all our food on my blog post but wanted to post our dessert on here.
We had them make a sundae with the coconut ice cream and chocolate sauce. It tastes just like a Mounds Bar and is so good! :)
We did some walking after dinner and listed to Midtown Duo on the Promenade Lounge. It was getting late and we wanted an early start to Castaway Cay in the morning so we headed back to the stateroom. Our stateroom host Damian had a Brontosaurus waiting for us.
Tomorrow would be Castaway Cay with our Cabana awaiting us. :cool1:
Day 4 Castaway Cay
Today we woke up to our favorite day of the cruise, it was Castaway Cay at last!
We had a cabana booked for today so we put on our wristbands and headed off the ship as soon as they let us.
I took tons of pictures of the cabana and they are all on my blog.
We had cabana 17 which was on the family beach. It was a great location as it was all the way at the end all by itself. I had read that when the tide goes out there is no water left but that was not the case and we swam and floated all the way up to when it was time to get back on the ship.
The cabana was awesome and all of us enjoyed it. It was nice for my grandma to have someplace to sit or lay in the shade. It was so very peaceful and it definitely was that perfect day we had dreamed about.
I took this shot when we were off the ship and awaiting the tram to leave.
Here is our cabana with the Magic in the back ground
There was an area at the family cabanas which had floats and tubes available. We grabbed one of each and took them back to the cabana when we arrived and used them throughout the day. We enjoyed the time just out in the water and there really was no one else in this area so it felt like it was almost our private island. It was quiet and peaceful and one of the most enjoyable days we could have imagined. Another nice thing about the cabanas is they come with sun screen.
OK I like this picture and it turned out much better than I thought when I first took it.
Another cabana and Magic shot.
This photo was taken late in the day and there was plenty of water to swim and float. To the right was more water and no people which made it more Serenity than family beach.
We enjoyed day on the island and we got a cart lift back to the ship which was great since the tram was hard for my grandma to get in.
Once on the ship we watched the rest of the guests board and then watched the saddest sight of the night...the ship leaving Castaway Cay.
It was an early night for us after dinner since tomorrow would be Port Canaveral and our Disney World Day.
It was sad to leave Castaway Cay, this is my favorite port of all time and have never had a bad day here. I hope to return as soon as I leave and hopefully I will once again soon.
Day 5 Port Canaveral and Walt Disney World
Today was an early day since we were docking at Port Canaveral and had our Walt Disney World excursion.
We had a nice view of the Disney Cruise Terminal from our veranda in the morning.
We were off the ship at 8:45 and had to go through customs. We were surprised there were absolutely no lines and we smoothly sailed through the custom area and to the bus boarding area. We let the castmember at the bus boarding area know we needed an accessible bus and we were directed to one already waiting.
In just over an hour we arrived at Epcot and made our way in.
The flower and garden festival was still going on during our visit so that was a bonus. We all enjoyed stopping and enjoying the flowers and topiary.
I did make us a lunch reservation for Via Napoli and we were happy to sit in the cool inside by this time. We were seated in the patio area.
There was a nice breeze coming from the door and it seemed a lot less crowded than the main restaurant.
We ordered and split a few items including a large pizza. The pizza was delicious and when they say large they mean large , we had slices left over. We ordered 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 spicy sausage.
We decided to leave Epcot through the World Showcase exit and walk around the Beach Club. We found a nice seating area in the lobby and got some cold soda's from the Marketplace and just relaxed in the air conditioning.
They once again have resort specific merchandise at the Beach Club so I had to pick up a light baby blue tshirt for myself.
We ended up taking the boat from Beach Club over to Hollywood studios to catch the bus back to the Magic. It was a nice ride and easy to have my grandma get on since she didn't have to get out of the transporter chair.
We made it back on the ship and has some dinner at Plutos Dog House since there was no rotational dining tonight.
We called it an evening and were ready for tomorrows relaxing day at sea.
I have more photos and info from this port also on my blog.
Really enjoying your report!
Jill in CO
Day 6 Sea Day
A much needed day at sea and day of rest was upon us. We had 2 fun days at Castaway Cay and Walt Disney World but with all the sun, heat and humidity we were ready to just relax.
My daily photo from the veranda shows nice calm seas.
I was able to finally make it to a Disney's Art of Entertaining series held in Studio Sea. The guest Chef was Michael Gonsalves from the Yachtsman Steakhouse at Yacht & Beach Club. The recipe was for Frutos Do Mar.
We also made it to Cove Café today and I had a Café Latte which I enjoyed and it came with a biscotti which was good.
Before dinner we joined the family dance party in the Promenade Lounge.
Ok we didn't dance but we watched and enjoyed.
Midtown Duo was playing and the place was packed. Tonight was also Pirate Night so everyone was decked out in their finest pirate garb.
Time to go up to deck 10 and watch the Pirate deck party then the fireworks.
Mickey saves the day! always:)
I love the fireworks at sea. It is definitely one of the best parts of the Disney Cruise.
It was a very relaxing day after the 2 prior port days. Tomorrow would be a short stop at Key West and then another day at sea.
Day 7 Key West
Today we were in Key West for half a day. We docked at port and didn't have any plans and the weather looked nice so we decided to just go on the free trolley to Mallory Square. We were docked on the Navy Pier so you could not walk and had to take the provided transportation due to security measures.
From our veranda it looked like it was going to be an ok day as far as weather was concerned.
We decided to take the free trolley and made our way to Mallory Square. From there we headed up Duval Street.
It was still nice weather when we stopped in the Starbucks.
Like the weather here it changed to a monsoon within minutes.
My blog has more about our poor experiences here in Key West so I wont rehash and post them here.
After a crazy day we were back on the ship and changed into dry clothing.
We went to lunch at Parrot Cay and they had the yummy sundae bar available.
We went back to the stateroom and watched the lightening and then the Magic pulling out of port.
We had a nice dinner with the Captains Gala in Parrot Cay tonight but didn't do much else for the evening. There was a premEAR at midnight for Iron Man 3 and Disney Dreams in the Walt Disney Theater.
Upon returning to our room from dinner we had this little guy waiting to greet us and cheer us up.
Tomorrow would be another day at sea before arriving back in the Port of Galveston where we would debark and return home from our vacation.
Day 8 - Sea Day
After our exciting action packed day in Key West we were happy to have another sea day. As happy as we were the realization that this was our last full day on the ship sunk in.
My daily veranda picture
We woke up and enjoyed the nice weather this morning then made our way up for some breakfast at Topsiders.
Since it was a sea day there were a number of activities going on all over the ship.
At 12:15pm there was a character dance party in the atrium. It was packed and the DJ was rocking.
Everyone was having a great time and the characters did a great job interacting with everyone.
We hit Cove Café and some of the sweet treats offered along with our drinks.
Dinner was at Lumieres and it was the Til We Meet Again Menu.
We enjoyed our entrees but nothing could be better than dessert.
It was a nice and relaxing last day on the cruise. We would pack and set out our luggage so we would not have to worry about lugging it out ourselves. We would have a long day ahead of us tomorrow with debarking the ship and our flight home to California. It was sad to see our trip coming to an end but we all enjoyed our trip. The time I was able to spend with my mom and grandma is priceless and something I will never forget.
Day 9 Galveston, Texas Disembark
Well our time on board was over and we needed to make the long journey home. We woke and got dressed and finished packing our left over items. We had late dining so that meant we had late breakfast this morning. When it was time for breakfast we made our way to the aft elevators and down to deck 3 as we would be dining in Lumieres since this was the restaurant we had dinner in last night. Imagine our surprise when the elevator opened on deck 3 and there were so many people we couldn't make our way out. We had my grandma in the transporter chair and a good thing we did since there were so many people. I have never remembered the lines being like this and we were not even trying to get off the ship, we were just trying to make it to breakfast.
Some how we made our way over the Animators Palate and one of the Head Servers helped us make it to breakfast. He told us not to worry and he would get us through the crowd. He took my grandma and pushed his way through the crowd and we followed closely behind. Some how in some miracle he made his way through and we were at breakfast at least. What service! lol
We ate and said good bye to our dining team and talk with Oliver and Dwi for a while. Finally we saw a clearing in the atrium so we decided to make our shot to get off the ship. Its strange because we never heard any announcements about disembarking. It seemed strangely unorganized for Disney.
We were off the ship and located our luggage then made our way out to the bus area. We had Disney transportation so we were directed to the buses. Unfortunately there was trouble with our bus lift and it took a 1/2 an hour before they could get the lift down. In the mean time people started lining up behind us for the last bus to George Bush airport. Its crazy how inconsiderate some people are as they push in front of you. We were there for a while and its not like the bus was going to leave them. I just don't get it.
Anyways, we were on our way and back to the airport. All of the passengers except for us were at a different terminal so they let them off first then took us to our terminal. Of course the lift didn't want to work so it took a while longer before they could fix it and get my grandma off the bus. Our driver was a very small lady but she worked just as hard as the big men to get the lift fixed.
We checked our luggage and the airport was nearly empty. There was no line to check the luggage and print our boarding pass and no one in line for the security check. This was odd but we were happy to not have to deal with any crowds.
Once in the airport we had time for some lunch before our afternoon flight home.
We made it back to Orange County and collected our luggage then I went and picked up the car in Main Street Parking.
About 20 minutes later we were home.
I later friended Will and Sharon on Facebook and she wrote the most thoughtful touching email to me and my family. You never know what friendships and memories you will make that you didn't expect. This was definitely one of them.
What a great trip and I know I stated it before but it was a trip I will treasure forever. Being able to take this vacation with my mom and grandma and share this experience with them means more than anything to me.
I hope I can have this experience again but I would not have traded it for anything.
Nice TR. I enjoyed your photos. I agree with disembarkation at Galveston. On our cruise they announced the express walk off but there were no other announcements. It was a real free for all getting off the ship. We waited awhile on deck 4 and watched the crowds make their way across the atrium and off the ship. We finally decided to get in line.....and it still stretched all the way back to the aft elevators! :eek:
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