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Old 02-28-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
blkim
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Smile 8 day on the Magic from Galveston

Hi all

I havent been to this board in so long, I had to change my email details etc. But I surfed and found great information, so thanks for that.
My family and I (husband, two children B14, G11) took the 8 night cruise out of Galveston on the Magic, 2/15. It was our third Disney cruise, we went on the Wonder 4 night Feb 2010 and the Wonder to Mexico February 2011. Going to go in order of days

Day 1, well, thats the day before I think, in Galveston. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Seawall and it was great. My son left something in the room, not realizing it until we had checked out and were at the port and they sent it back to us. Gold star for customer service

Embark Day- My first tip on this? Ignore your PAT. We got a time of 12noon (new to me, previous trips we just got to show up whenever) We wanted to check for upgrades so we wanted to be there early. We chanced it and showed up at the port at 10am. We were thru security and checked in by 10:30. No upgrades available, but hey, we wanted to ask. We were in a verandah room. On our Wonder cruise in 2011, we upgraded to a suite, it was so nice and we did that just at the port, so we got lucky. The Galveston terminal is NOT as nice at LA or Port Canaveral, but whatever. Ship started to board about 11:30. We got the boarding number of 5, so that was nice. Another tip: If your kids are going to be in the Edge or Vibe club, dont wait in line to check them in. No locator bracelets etc are needed in those clubs, its very come and go casual. My kids loved the clubs, we barely saw our 14 yo son the whole time.

Getting on board a CM tells you to go to Topsiders for food/lunch, rooms are ready at 130p We went to Parrot Cay as this is what we remembered from previous trips. Tip: Go to PC if you want, lunch is offered in both places and we like PC better than the crowded feel at Topsiders

Dinner that first night was Lumieres. Tip: We shared a table and that was fine, but there are more than a few tables of 4, so you can ask for that if you want. The other thing is location. You would think it wouldnt matter right? It does. Ive never seen a table map online for the ships, nor would I have thought to look for one, but I hated our table location. In every dining room, table 44 is either two feet away from a servers dish station or right in front of the kitchen door. In Animators we could not see the show where Mickey the Wizard came thru and we were not really near any of the paintings. Same in Lumieres and parrot Cay, right behind the dishes. It wasnt a huge deal, but FYI, there you have it. I noticed that in all three restaurants, table 22, for four, is really nice

Sea Day 1- Not great weather, but we had left two feet of snow in New England so I was not complaining. Seas were a bit high, the boat was steady rocking, but I never felt ill. A little cold for swimming, but not too bad. The hot tubs at the Quiet Cove pool were off a little. One was really hot, but jets were not working. The other was lukewarm, but jets did work. Also, in my opinion the quiet cove area is NOT that quiet. The seating areas outside the cafe are the pass thru area for anyone that comes up in the forward elevators and walks in the aft direction to the kiddie pools etc at midship. So its almost a constant stream of kids, strollers etc, not a complaint, just an observation. Also starboard side is smoking, so if you smoke go there, and if you dont, DONT, because its wicked smokey smelling.

This night was the formal night on the ship. Some wore long dresses, some short cocktail style, and I didnt see any tuxes on the men. Tip: Ladies if you wear hose, bring two pairs. Mine ran while getting them on and the shops on board dont sell them. I went with the run, it wasnt noticeable. There are free cocktails being passed in the lobby and a meet and greet with the captain. John Charles was the entertainer in the adult show, and the family show was Twice Charmed, it was very good. We saw John Charles' family show later in the cruise, hes really good.

Sea Day 2- Still rocking, but having a good time. Tip: On this trip, 8 nights is a while, and theres lots of sea days. Get the Couples Spa pass to Vista. Its $172 for the duration and my husband and I become Rainforest Room devotees. Four warm tile loungers, two or three steam rooms and the sauna has tile benches that curve to your back, which felt great. Not too crowded. The fitness center is free to use, and I think a lot of people used that, then went in the RR, without paying (a day pass is 16.00) That is tacky people! Locker rooms are clean, there are spa robes etc. Tip: Ask if you can borrow a robe and keep it in your room. They are very nice about that. THe sandals however are really uncomfortable, bring your own flip flops. Also there is a scale in the ladies room. Why, I have no idea! I stayed away from that LOL Its coed, and you need a swimsuit in there.
We saw John Charles as the family show, and Jason Bishop in Rockin Bar D, both were EXCELLENT.

Castaway Cay--I did my first 5K!!! Its a good course, mostly flat. You meet in Rockin Bar D at about 830am to sign up, and you go off the ship as a group. Tip: You WALK from the ship to the 5K start which is near the bike rentals That adds about a mile. Not like you can hop the tram while the rest of the runners are all fit and happy and joggin it as a warm up. Our race started right about 920am. They say 9am, but hey, its island time. The CMs overseeing it are on bikes along the route, and they are at the finish line until about 10:15. You get a really nice Mikey Medal at the end. I wore mine all day, because Im a huge dork. The weather was breezy and not awfully warm, but Cookies BBQ is awesome and we did swim a little. Pelican Plunge looks like its really far out in pics, but its not, even the littlest dog paddlers can get out there easily.

The show that night is Villians, main character Hades from Hercules. Hes funny, even if the plot is a little cheesy, he has great one liners

Port Canaveral Day: This is the day after CC. Omg, we're going to the parks! We got on the 730am bus to Magic Kingdom, which arrived there at about 845am Oh, whats this? Kelly and Michael are there? Dear Jeeesus, wicked crowd, so we booked it to the back of the park and rode the teacups and the dumbos with very little wait. Under the sea is nice, but with the new fantasy land construction, its a little confusing getting around. Lines, yes, there were, but since we had been before we didnt need to see everything, so we skipped a few. Tip: They tell you not to bring food from the ship. Customs, blah blah. Well, yes, thats true. However, no one even got spoken to at customs on our trip, it was a big wave thru. At the parks they check bags, but they dont care if you have food. I wished Id brought some, sandwiches etc. We paid $41 in the MK at Caseys Corner for four hot dogs, four fries and some drinks. Ouch. Obviously, make your own decision on whether to risk it, I think the worst that would happen is customs makes you throw the food away. We also did EPCOT and a quick shot at Animal Kingdom. Tip: DO THE EPCOT FIREWORKS PORT ADVENTURE. If you do nothing else for PAs do this. $49 a person, for gorgeous private seating, right on the lake in front of the UK paviliion near the Friendship bridge. Desserts to die for, tons of them. Ice cream, coffee, tea, milk etc. No staking out spots two hours ahead of time. At the end, your group gets taken thru a back gate onto a waiting bus back to the ship. Super fast! Repeat: book this, you wont be sorry.

Sea Day-- more spa time! Loved it. Also played Bingo, which I resisted at first but was really fun. Possibly because Id gone to the Martini tasting first:::hic::: It was really small and friendly, its $15 but its worth it, you get about three or four full size drinks. And it makes Bingo fun...The show that night was Michael Harrison, who does ventriloquism. Omg, hes hilarious Appropriate for families, of course, but really funny. Then there is the Pirate deck party. Well, ours had an electrical malfunction. It was so odd, the entertainers just kept dancing on stage, with no lighting and no sound, I felt bad for them. No Mickey Ziplining as a result. The fireworks were so so, lots of duds, but hey, fireworks at sea are always fun. The buffet afterwards at Topsiders. OK, they have two sides to this dining room, each with two lines. Why then when 90% of the passengers are heading for this all at once, do they have one side, with one line open? Big mistake. I was chatting with someone in line, she had been on five cruises and said they have yet to really manage this well, its always a zoo. Oh well, still good food, and really fun.

Key West: Get off the boat early if you are going. Trolleys will take you to Mallory Sq, its not really walkable. If you want to see the Southern most point, I dont know how you do that. Its about a mile from where the Trolley drops you off, you cant get off there on the way to Mallory Sq. Only a few hours here, so we got conch fritters at the food truck near the Aquarium and just buzzed around the stores. By the time we figured out where the Southern most point was, it was too late for us to walk there and back. The show on this night is "Dreams" and its great, if a little corny with Peter Pan and Mary Beth ( or whomever the girl is) Both she and PP fly tho, on harnesses and its awesome to see. Make sure you let your kids know, that faith trust and pixie dust aside, if a boy comes to their bedroom window and tells them they can fly, they should scream for help! LOL.

Last sea day! No, it cant be over so quick! We went to the towel folding and more Bingo. It was a 7800 dollar jackpot and so exciting, even if we didnt win. The show is "Remember the Magic" and it was great. Singing in the Atrium, "Till we meet again" is very sweet too.

Debark Day: Late seating for us, Lumieres at 830. Its worth going, the food is hot, lots of pastries etc. Previously on the Wonder it was very much "heres your hat, whats your hurry, see ya bye" but it was nicer on the Magic. All in all, a great trip. I love the smaller ships and cant see myself wanting to go on the bigger ones. I dont like crowds and the Magic and Wonder didnt ever seem crowded.

General impressions: The ship looked great. Extremely clean, and ya, if you look you could find a scratch here and there, so what? Tip: Bring your own hair dryer and bring an outlet power strip. There is like ONE outlet near the desk, thats it. Also, the bathroom outlet is for shavers only, not anything else. The hair dryers are awkward to use, and the handle gets hot! Our room steward was new, I think. Not very outgoing, never came and introduced himself or said hi, but the room was always clean, he brought more lotion when we needed it and he was very nice, just I think shy, and new.

Food: I love the food, its not high end, but its not cafeteria style either. Our servers were Lucie and Sem, and they were great, they did little table tricks, and were extremely accomodating. My son remembered having potato gnocchi on our last trips, and they dont offer it anymore on the menu, but twice during the trip our Head Server Levent, got it for him. Big kudos for that.

Service in general: Disney cant be beat on this. At one point I thought I lost my camera. I called and got someone at Guest services who said (rather abruptly I thought) that I had to come down and ask. Ok, I did. And I got the same person Id spoken to. She was very brisk, checked and didnt find it. I said I thought maybe it might have been on the bus or at the park since I had it on the park day and her reply was "you would have to check with them" and then she just walked away. Um..hello? I said "excuse, Im not done, should I keep checking with you, or is there a form I can fill out" She turned back, handed me the form and said " when you get off the ship, all the items are on a table, you can look there" I asked if a camera would just be sitting out there for anyone to claim and she snickered and said "no ma'am, of course not, fill out the form" And walked away again. Hey, everyone had a bad day, I only mention it because it was so out of the norm for Disney service. I went down and checked again, and got someone who was light years nicer and more helpful and gave me a card with the park numbers, bus numbers etc. Luck of the draw, I got someone on a bad day, it happens.

Had a great trip tho, and would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
blkim
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I meant to add, I have all the Navigators, the Spa price list, list of movies, Castaway and ship map, "cruise a glance" sheet and the Key West shopping map. But no scanner. Im happy to mail them to someone (Im not an axe murderer, I promise)
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
ptlawree
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thanks for the info! We're first time cruisers (much less on DCL), booked 5/10/13 on the Magic. Any info is much appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:54 PM   #4
chrisrunty
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Thank you! There has not been too many reports with the Magic out of Galveston for the 8 day... your trip report is most appreciated!
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #5
phinz
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I like your thread just because you embarked at Galveston. I grew up spending my spare time fishing from Flagship Pier and the groins on the beach. Galveston holds a *very* special place in my heart.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:29 AM   #6
phinz
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edit: I posted this in the wrong thread. Duh.
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Last edited by phinz; 03-01-2013 at 10:08 AM. Reason: I'm
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
nunzia
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Thanks! I have booked the Illuminations fireworks dessert thing and am glad it ends up being a good choice
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:52 AM   #8
Karen87
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Going on same cruise April 26th

Thanks so much for the TR! My DH and I are going on the same cruise on April 26th (55 days!). I sent you a PM about your Navigators.

Also, I booked the Illuminations show. It's our favorite show, and I've never had reserved seating before. I can't wait for our cruise! Which is why I'm on the DISboard instead of working...
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
blkim
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You wont regret the show, its the best way to see it and the quick way to get back to the ship
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #10
Dlanod
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After Illuminations, you said that they took you to your bus out the back. Did you go behind the International pavilions, or did you have to walk to the front of the park? Thanks! Also, if you hadn't done that, what was the time for the last bus back to the port?
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
blkim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlanod View Post
After Illuminations, you said that they took you to your bus out the back. Did you go behind the International pavilions, or did you have to walk to the front of the park? Thanks! Also, if you hadn't done that, what was the time for the last bus back to the port?
There is a restroom, right adjacent to the UK area of shops etc, and theres a big wooden gate there. We were taken thru that gate, to a parking area, where the bus was. I think the last bus from EPCOT was 10p? And that was at the front of the park. Thats what I liked about this dessert thing, besides, you know DESSERT and reserved seats. Your own bus, right there
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:52 PM   #12
Cackyschmackers
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Great TR! I laughed out loud several times; never did that before on these boards! We were on the Magic in Jan for one of the only two West Caribbean 8-nights out of Galveston, before this new itinerary change. The weather the first two days was very cold, windy with rough seas (missd a port b/c of swells) . I wonder if it's often like that cruising out of Galveston. I needed the third day just to recover. Glad you had a ball!

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Old 03-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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We were on the same cruise! Always enjoy reading others trip reports . My Dd and her bff are 15 and 14 and had a blast in Vibe. Wonder if they met your son? I know it was mostly boys in there, only a few girls. My DS 11 also enjoyed Edge.

We were also on the Wonder during Presidents week in 2011!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:08 AM   #14
mickeydavis
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I was asking about the dessert party on another thread. So awesome I was able to hear your take on it and excited I signed up for it this coming May. Can't wait. Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkim View Post
Then there is the Pirate deck party. Well, ours had an electrical malfunction. It was so odd, the entertainers just kept dancing on stage, with no lighting and no sound, I felt bad for them. No Mickey Ziplining as a result. The fireworks were so so, lots of duds, but hey, fireworks at sea are always fun.
I was on this cruise too. Almost right next to the stage. I felt so bad for the cast members, but they did good at winging it (the dance-off Lee had with Stitch was funny!). At least they had the regular music to dance to, but they should have called "uncle" long before they did. The fireworks... those were cut way short, barely any shot off. Definitely a malfunction there as well. I'm grateful to have seen the show and fireworks on our previous cruises, so I didn't feel like we missed anything, since I knew what to expect anyway. But for first-timers, I promise they show they put on and the fireworks are great... when they work
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