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-   -   Chip is a Maniac! aka A Magical Birthday Weekend (January 10 from PC - complete!) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3221386)

nancipants 01-13-2014 04:48 PM

Chip is a Maniac! aka A Magical Birthday Weekend (January 10 from PC - complete!)
 
Hello everyone! I'm Nanci, and this is my very first trip report. :cool1:

I just turned 33 and live in Orlando with my fiance and dog. I love Star Wars, Disney, reading, Star Wars, writing, HGTV, and Star Wars. :rotfl2:

Even though I've lived in Central Florida since I was seven years old, I wasn't always enamored with the Mouse. I first went to Disney World with my parents when I was five. I remember loving it, except for getting scared out of my mind on Snow White's Scary Adventures. (I wasn't able to go on that ride again until I was in my 20s.)

Two years after my first visit, we moved to Daytona Beach to get away from the cold New York weather. Over an hour away from Disney World, it wasn't exactly conducive to regular visits. But I visited occasionally over the years and always had a great time, even though the original Star Tours ride made me sick. It got a lot easier to visit when I moved to Orlando to attend college (Go Knights!).

Fast forward to 2011. I'd moved to the Davenport area, about 15 minutes from WDW, in 2008. Since it was much easier to get to Disney, I visited more often than before. I especially loved Downtown Disney (RIP Pleasure Island). Then, after years of hemming and hawing, I finally did it - I splurged and bought an annual pass. I will admit that a big part of the reason for that was Star Wars Weekends and the new Star Tours (that, for some reason, doesn't make me sick like the old one).

My fiance (Brian) moved here from Seattle at the end of July. He is also a big Star Wars/Disney fan, so first order of business was purchasing him an annual pass. A few weeks later his parents and sister visited, and they offered to take us on a Disney cruise. It only took us about five seconds to say YES. We'd taken a Carnival cruise in January 2013 when he was still living in Seattle. We loved cruising and even more, we loved the idea of a Disney cruise, but we weren't sure if we could afford it. (If I'd known about the wonderful Florida resident specials back then I would have booked Disney in a heartbeat.) So his parents offered to give us some financial help until he got a job.

The cruise was awesome! We sailed on the Disney Dream for three days and I fell in love with Castaway Cay. Brian and I had already been discussing going to Alaska for our honeymoon on Royal Caribbean out of Seattle. On the second day, I asked him if he'd rather do a Disney cruise out of Vancouver. Thirty minutes later, after looking at rates online, we were at the Future Cruise Bookings desk with passage on the Disney Wonder in July 2014.

I lurked on the Disboards for several months before finally joining. All during that time I was reading trip reports and getting antsy to go back on another cruise. July was too far away! And then I saw it: a Florida resident special on the re-imagined Disney Magic, sailing from Port Canaveral on January 10.

And docking at Castaway Cay on January 12. My 33rd birthday.

I sent Brian the link and it took him about five seconds to say YES. So we booked it. I was going to be in my favorite place in the world on my birthday. I couldn't wait!

I debated whether or not to do a trip report. I haven't been on the Disboards very long and wasn't sure if I'd have anything to contribute. But I love to write, and a bunch of people were asking for Navigators and information about the new Magic cruises from Port Canaveral, and I'd learned so much from other trip reports that I decided to throw caution to the wind and write my own.

Thanks for joining me!

lorimay 01-13-2014 05:09 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :good vibes

looking forward to reading along.

Just wanted to add you will love Alaska on The Wonder, we did it in September. Of the 7 cruises we have done so far its my favorite. The sites are just so beautiful.
We are heading on a 3 night Magic on the 24th for our 27th wedding anniversary. Then we are going with our children and grandchildren on The Fantasy in February to celebrate my big 5-0!

AquaDame 01-13-2014 06:01 PM

Happy birthday! We too will be pulling into CC on the 26th of this month for my 32nd birthday! I'm so glad to hear that it was a good idea, and that you had a great trip! ;):cloud9:

nancipants 01-13-2014 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lorimay (Post 50469060)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :good vibes

looking forward to reading along.

Just wanted to add you will love Alaska on The Wonder, we did it in September. Of the 7 cruises we have done so far its my favorite. The sites are just so beautiful.
We are heading on a 3 night Magic on the 24th for our 27th wedding anniversary. Then we are going with our children and grandchildren on The Fantasy in February to celebrate my big 5-0!

I'm soooooo excited for Alaska! I will definitely be doing a trip report for that one. :) Have fun on your cruises! Thanks for following!

Quote:

Originally Posted by AquaDame (Post 50469469)
Happy birthday! We too will be pulling into CC on the 26th of this month for my 32nd birthday! I'm so glad to hear that it was a good idea, and that you had a great trip! ;):cloud9:

Everyone should celebrate their birthdays on Castaway Cay! :D Thanks for following!

nancipants 01-13-2014 06:31 PM

Day One:

I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the day! Actually, no I didn't. I've gotten seasick in the past, and take Bonine to stave it off. Unfortunately, Bonine also makes me super groggy. I'd taken a pill Thursday night, hoping I could sleep through the grogginess and be okay on Friday.

Nope.

If I hadn't set my alarm, I would've slept right past 8 am. Thankfully after packing, picking up a few last minute items, and listening to "I'm On a Boat" on repeat while on the 528 driving over the Banana River, I finally got pumped!

(If you are an adult and are not offended by bad language, I highly recommend "I'm On A Boat" as pre-cruise music.)

(Side note: My dog got really excited when I started taking out the suitcases. She thought we were going to Grandma's house. It broke my heart to leave her. :( Thankfully a good friend of ours dog-sat and everything was a-ok when we got home. But still--sometimes I wonder how I'm going to be able to leave children when leaving my dog is so difficult. Then I think that leaving kids will probably be easier, because at least they can understand you're leaving. LOL.)

We got to the port around 11:15 am, with a port arrival time of 11 am. Perfect timing. We'd passed a Disney Cruise Line bus on the way and promptly left them in the dust so we wouldn't have to deal with throngs of people when we got to the terminal. We parked in the onsite garage and had no wait at security.

(Note: If you're parking at Port Canaveral, use the skybridge on the third floor instead of the first floor entry in order to bypass long security lines!)

We got inside, and there was no line to check-in. We got our Castaway Club lanyards (I was very grateful for mine as I couldn't find my Her Universe lanyard at home), our Key to the World cards, and were put in Boarding Group 4. Yes!

We had just enough time to take a picture with Minnie before getting on the ship.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3705/1...e1b08b0243.jpg
IMG_4079 by jedimara77, on Flickr


Day One Navigators:

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nancipants 01-13-2014 07:07 PM

They started boarding right after we were finished with pictures, and we were on the ship by 12 pm. After taking a few pictures of the lobby, we promptly went to Cabanas for lunch.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3808/1...f4e9e28722.jpg
IMG_4086 by jedimara77, on Flickr

I have failed in one of my first DIS initiation tests. I only have food pictures from Palo. :scared1: Suffice it to say that the food was standard buffet fare, in that it was wonderful.

After that we changed into our swim suits and spent some time at the Quiet Cove. I was very grateful to discover that the pools on the Magic are heated. I am a wimp when it comes to cold, especially cold water, and spent hardly any time in the pool last year on our Carnival cruise. It was almost even cold for me on the Dream in August! But the Magic pool was like bathwater and we spent so much time there over the length of the cruise.

We left around 1:30 to go to our room. We'd booked a deluxe oceanview stateroom with a verandah. The room was lovely as usual, with plenty of space for just the two of us. Especially after sharing a family stateroom with his parents and sister in August. We actually got to use the main bed this time! Woot!

Spoilers: It was really nice having a verandah, but I don't know if I'll splurge for it on future Florida resident specials. We didn't spend that much time out there and it would've been better for us to use the money elsewhere.

(That said, we are hoping to upgrade to a verandah for Alaska, for obvious reasons.)

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3733/1...d0f552ac7e.jpg
IMG_4089 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4090 by jedimara77, on Flickr

(Not sure if you can see on the couch, but that's the new Castaway Club tote bag. I liked it! We used it on Castaway Cay to keep Brian's camera out of the sand.)

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IMG_4091 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4092 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4095 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4094 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4093 by jedimara77, on Flickr

Generally, I didn't see much of a difference between the Magic and the newer Dream. I'd never been on the original Magic, so I can't comment on differences after dry dock. Generally, I thought the ship was beautiful and I preferred the smaller size. You can definitely tell it's an older ship, though.

However, I do have one huge gripe with the Magic.

The showers are awful.

My fiance and I shower together. It's nothing "naughty"--chalk it up to believing in water conservation. ;) Actually it's more of a remnant from when he lived across the country from me and we wanted to spend every waking moment together during his visits. It's become a habit and really, why would you want to break that kind of habit? ;) We have a stand-up shower at home and while it's small, it's plenty big for the two of us.

On the Dream, we had one of those circular showers and with the rainfall shower head and a hand-held one. It was great! But there was no way both of us could fit in the Magic shower (haha) and both be under the shower head, which only pointed downward right over the drain, and couldn't be pointed toward the middle of the tub. Also, the tub was so narrow that it was a very tight squeeze when we moved around each other. Normally that would be fine for a romantic getaway, but not when the shower pipes are making really loud rattling noises and you almost trip and fall and your teeth are chattering because you can't be under the hot water when your fiance is rinsing his hair.

So we decided it was best for us to shower separately (even though you should conserve all the water you can on a cruise!), and even then the shower sucked. I had to stand directly under the shower head because it wouldn't angle, and I felt so claustrophobic. Plus, the temperature was either Hoth or Tatooine.

That might all be TMI, but I love taking hot showers, especially on vacation. And I'm still in the "I want to spend every waking moment with my fiance" stage and we tend to have our best conversations in the shower! :rotfl2:

Oh well--it didn't ruin the weekend by any means. Just something annoying that I thought I'd note to any other couples who want to share shower time on the Magic. ;)

:hug:

nancipants 01-13-2014 07:22 PM

I forgot to add this picture from our room. I absolutely loved this artwork!

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IMG_4110 by jedimara77, on Flickr

While waiting for our suitcases to arrive, we did what any responsible adults would do and ordered room service.

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IMG_4100 by jedimara77, on Flickr

We got chicken fingers and fries (I don't know what Disney puts in their chicken tenders, but they are like crack), a Mickey bar for Brian (I prefer the ice cream sandwich), and chocolate chip cookies for me.

While eating we discovered Aladdin was on TV. Score! We sang and danced around the room. Then our suitcases arrived so we were responsible adults and unpacked.

Then I realized that we forgot to pack toothbrushes. :scared1:

We have an electric toothbrush, but there's usually regular toothbrushes in our toiletry bag for when we travel. However, we left them at my mother's house the last time we stayed over, because we figured that we stay there enough that we might as well have toothbrushes there. That was a good idea, except for forgetting to replenish the toothbrushes in our travel bag and/or bring along the electric toothbrush with us.

Anyway, that's a long way of saying that we had to make a walk of shame to Guest Services and ask if they had toothbrushes we could have or buy. Good news: if you're like us and forget toothbrushes, they have free ones! They suck but are adequate for three nights. You can also buy much nicer toothbrushes from the gift shop.

I also added a gift card (Thanks, Mom!) to our onboard account.

While on Deck 3, we decided to have a look around and I got a little silly outside Animator's Palate.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7405/1...7a3b1e6801.jpg
IMG_4105 by jedimara77, on Flickr

It's my birthday and I'll be crazy if I want to!

We also walked around Deck 4. One of the lifeboats was down for servicing/testing. It was neat to be able to see inside.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5529/1...a5ee6e1a4a.jpg
IMG_4107 by jedimara77, on Flickr




After that it was time for the much-anticipated muster drill. We stood around for a little while, covered our ears during the very loud alarm, and then it was time to sail away!

nancipants 01-13-2014 07:34 PM

This child was not very excited for Adventures Away.

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IMG_4119 by jedimara77, on Flickr

I, on the other hand, was!

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IMG_4121 by jedimara77, on Flickr

This would have been a really nice picture if my eyes weren't closed. Oh, well.

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IMG_4128 by jedimara77, on Flickr

Brian was wonderful enough to record Adventures Away. Watching this video has kept me from getting too depressed today! It kept timing out for me when I tried to upload it to YouTube, so it's on Facebook instead.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201902619705276

Adventures Awaaaaaaaaaay!

After the show, we went to the front of the ship. Another thing I didn't like about the Magic compared to the Dream is that there isn't much space to stand on the front of the ship. Last sail away we sat in one of the chairs around the radar bubbles and it was lovely. But at least we got a nice picture.

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IMG_4137 by jedimara77, on Flickr

We headed back inside because I wanted to get my picture taken with Chip and Dale. They are my favorites and I didn't get a pic with them in their sailor outfits last time. It was time to rectify that!

We had a few minutes, so we peeked into Fathoms (the adult lounge) and looked around the lobby. Minnie was taking pictures and the pianist was playing. Lovely ambiance to wait in line! Why can't they do that in the parks?

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IMG_4138 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4148 by jedimara77, on Flickr

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IMG_4156 by jedimara77, on Flickr

Success! I love those little rascals.

nancipants 01-13-2014 07:52 PM

It was nearly time for dinner! First we went back to the room to change. I'd gotten a Minnie Mouse dress for Christmas and wanted to wear it on the cruise. And even though we'd already gotten our picture with Minnie at the terminal, I wanted to get a picture with her while wearing my dress.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5502/1...1e486d42aa.jpg
IMG_4159 by jedimara77, on Flickr

She pointed at my dress and then made an excited gesture. I think she liked it! :)

After that we picked up an ornament at the gift shop, did some other browsing, then went to D Lounge for Mickey Mania. We were not picked to participate in the game because we are not a pair of one adult and one child. (I beg to differ! Adults are just big children, right? :laughing: ) It was a cute show and in a few years I'll be ready to participate with my own kids. :)

Dinner that night was at Lumiere's. Again, no photos, I'm sorry. :( I got the potato leek soup (amazing), the French onion soup (good), and the filet. The filet was way overcooked but the potatoes were tasty. Thankfully I was already full. But not full enough to skip dessert. Nothing on the menu caught my eye, so I had plain vanilla ice cream and it was delicious. Brian had the breaded and deep fried brie (he loved it), the duck confit (also enjoyed it - I tried a bite and it was tasty), and the lobster macaroni (also loved it). Like me, he had plain ice cream.

I did get another special dessert.

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IMG_4168 by jedimara77, on Flickr

The servers sang to me and gave me a birthday button. Yay! :yay:

Speaking of servers, we had Anita and Arya. Both were very good, especially Anita. She was always pleasant and took very good care of us. Arya was nice but sometimes slow (but I've gotten the impression from other trip reports that drink service is always a little slow). Still, I really liked him and was pleased with them. However, we never even met our head server, which I thought was a little odd. Oh well!

After dinner we went back to the room to change into more casual clothes and have an adult libation. This guy was waiting for us.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/1...737a6d19c3.jpg
IMG_4171 by jedimara77, on Flickr

I love when they use the sunglasses! Our stateroom host was Calvin and he was super pleasant. He brought us ice every day and always said hello to us in the hallway. And wished me happy birthday. :cloud9:

We went to Match Your Mate and again were not picked to participate. However, we did get some strategy straightened out for our next cruise, and hopefully we'll be picked to participate because it'll be our honeymoon. :cool1:

(One of the questions to the men was to name your partner's most annoying habit. I turned to Brian and said that he would say I didn't have any annoying habits. He nodded. And actually meant it! That's why I love him. :love:

I said his most annoying habit would be leaving the toilet seat up.)

After Match Your Mate we went to the Buena Vista Theatre. We hadn't seen any movies during our time on the Dream and were happy to be able to see some movies this time around. We'd already seen Saving Mr. Banks in December but enjoyed it so much that we decided to sneak in for the second half. We got there in time to see my favorite part--"Let's Go Fly a Kite"--and it was a great end to a wonderful first day!

We didn't get back to the room until around 12:45 am (I NEVER go to bed this late anymore and this must be the reason I am so tired today). We washed up, put our PJs on, watched a bit of Toy Story, and then fell asleep.

Reliving Day One has made me super exhausted, so I will continue with the trip report tomorrow.

(NOTE: I took the Navigators home with me and will be scanning them tomorrow at work. I'll add them to the first post for each day.)

nancipants 01-14-2014 12:42 PM

Just a note that I've added the Day One Navigators. More to come!

AquaDame 01-14-2014 02:38 PM

Thank you for these! :worship: I am so happy to see Rapunzel on there! I have never done a meet with her (yes I am a dork in that even as an adult I do like having my picture taken with characters!) :hyper:

nancipants 01-14-2014 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AquaDame (Post 50476437)
Thank you for these! :worship: I am so happy to see Rapunzel on there! I have never done a meet with her (yes I am a dork in that even as an adult I do like having my picture taken with characters!) :hyper:

I think most of us here are dorks, then. :)

I watched a bit of the Princess Gathering Saturday morning and Rapunzel was very cute. Definitely the most in-character Princess, I thought. I almost wanted to meet her even though I've never even seen Tangled! :rotfl:

Lisamarie4400 01-15-2014 12:00 AM

Thanks so much. I can't wait to read the rest as we leave next week. We did Alaska on our honeymoon an Norwegian and it was the most beautiful place.

nancipants 01-15-2014 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisamarie4400 (Post 50480452)
Thanks so much. I can't wait to read the rest as we leave next week. We did Alaska on our honeymoon an Norwegian and it was the most beautiful place.

Thanks for joining along! I hope the trip report is useful for you. You'll have a great time!

nancipants 01-15-2014 08:58 AM

Day Two

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