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Old 09-04-2006, 06:22 PM   #1
PoohJen
Willing to share a Mickey Bar?
I brought it with me everywhere on my Disney cruise
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Smile Magical Double Dip Cruise - Aug 19-26, 2006 - LONG!!!

This was the second Magic-al voyage for me, DH, DS 13 and DS twins 9, booked practically two years in advance!!! We were joined by DMom and DDad, and DF and her 11 DS. I love reading a good long trip report when I need a DCL fix, so be forewarned! ;-)

We left Virginia late Wed and drove through the night. Stopped for breakfast and outlet shopping (got some great last-minute cruise clothes!) in St. Augustine, and arrived in Orlando on Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want us to be rushed, or risk any problem getting to the Port on time!! (DF much more adventurous; flew into Orlando morning of departure). Mom and Dad arrived later that evening. We stayed in the Embassy Suites hotel near the airport; nice one bedroom suite, plenty of room! Even had a microwave, wet bar and fridge.

Friday was Blizzard Beach!!! We’re Disney vets, but had never been to a Disney water park! Fantastic variety of rides, and fun theming, of course! I hadn’t planned on staying the whole day – wanted us rested for our voyage tomorrow – but we were having too much fun to leave early. Got back to the hotel w/ plenty of time to reorganize and get rested, when something TERRIBLE happened around 9 pm. DH realized HE HAD LOST HIS LICENSE!!!! I only share this distressing experience b/c, unfortunately, I’m sure this will happen to others in the future.

We spent the next 3 hours searching for it, unpacking EVERYTHING, looking EVERYWHERE. Blizzard Beach was of course closed. DCL info line – closed til tomorrow. The long term distress is that it had ALL DH’s vital ID info on it (grrrrrr), the short term issue, of course, was getting onto the Magic.

I tried not to freak out but after a few hours, got really upset – two years of waiting, all my best laid plans for an early arrival at the terminal… I called Disney security to ask if BBeach possibly turned a license into them (DH believes, though, that he had accidently left it out in the hotel room). Very nice security officer said sorry, no license. So I asked, expecting he couldn’t help with this at all, if he knew what we should do about contacting DCL. He was SO NICE and reassuring (I’m sure I was struggling through tears and probably muttering something about “Divorce!”), he said this HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, not to worry, DH would be allowed on the ship. He told us to file a police report, and get the file number, and “did DH have any sort of picture ID?” Yeah, a YMCA membership card (lucky for him! I cleaned out my wallet pre-trip and only brought essential ID!). They said that was good enough (whew! Shocking to me in this post-9-11 world of security), along w/ his birth certificate.

Needless to say, it took several hours to sort through this all, we were emotionally and physically exhausted, and I kept my fingers crossed til morning…

Day 1 Embarkation and Sail Away
We arrived at the Port by 9:30 a.m., the second car to arrive, just behind a family from NY. We had a great time chatting with them while we waited in the parking lot. Finally, around 10, they let us drive up and drop off our luggage and park the car right outside the terminal!!! So easy! We portered just about everything, including our rolling cooler (SWEET!) stocked w/ beer and a case of water. Nice not to have too much to carry around on board. Breezed through security and was handed our boarding group number…THREE!!!! WHAT!!!! You HAVE GOT to be kidding! There’s hardly anyone here!!! I was disappointed, but didn’t dwell on it; I knew from these boards it didn’t really matter (it’s just the principle of the thing ;-) ). For those who care, what I think happened was this: The young woman on the left escalator had a pile of 2s and the young woman on the right had grabbed a pile of 3s. We went thru on the right. There is NO way they could’ve handed out all the 2s ahead of us.

We stopped at the counter, dealt w/ all the paperwork; proceeded to the Castaway Club counter, where, by the way, I had to ASK about CClub lanyards (oh, you’re a Castaway Club member?); fortunately, the numbers did show up for both our rooms (DS13 was in w/ my parents), and we all got lanyards and two pins - one to wear and one to share! Also, DH spoke to security about his ID problem, and they issued him a DCL picture ID; he didn’t have any problems using that to reboard the rest of the trip!

Dkids settled down in front of one of the cartoon screens, my folks explored a little, and I registered the twins for the Lab (btw, the kids needed to be with me for that so they could get their id bracelet). Saw DDad chatting it up with someone; turns out there was a huge family group from Long Island celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary, and Dad knew some of the folks!

The terminal was quickly getting crowded (it was EMPTY when first got up there!). It was fun picking out so many “familiar” faces from the DIS boards. Ran into DF and son and then quickly lost them again.

Before you knew it, it was time to board! I think we only waited about 10 minutes after they first called for Group 2. I had Disney t-shirts made for everyone in our family, and the boys and DH also wore tropical mickey shirts over those; great family picture! They announced our family, and in we went; it is so awe inspiring when you first enter the atrium!!! Not much time to look around, though as they do hurry you along.

We opted for lunch at Parrot Cay, b/c I figured my folks would appreciate air conditioning during lunch. Very nice buffet, shrimp and mango soup were both delicious, of course. I tried to pace myself as this proved to be the beginning of a non-stop eating cruise! It did seem to be meal time every time you turned around this week!

After lunch we went up to Deck 9 for some swimming and lounging.

Tip: Wear or pack swimsuits in your carryon when embarking. This is a great time to enjoy the pools without much crowding!


The twins enjoyed the Mickey pool slide before heading up to the sports deck w/ DH. DDad quickly found more food (Pluto’s??) and DMom and I toured the spa. We had pre-booked our spa appts, but decided to change Mom and Dad’s single massages to a couples “spa taster”, b/c I was afraid Dad would chicken out and cancel his appt.

Tip: If you take the spa tour, you stop at every station – hair, treatment rooms, gym – and politely listen to the specialist in each area describe his/her offerings. After a few of these I let our hostess know what we wanted to see, so that we didn’t waste anyone’s time.

After that, it was time to check out our cabins! Our Castaway Club gifts were waiting on the beds (one set for each room; other threads spell out the contents, so I'll not repeat it, in case anyone wants to be surprised!). A few of our suitcases had even arrived! I quickly assembled our door magnets, and handed out a few others I had made for Dis’ers on our floor. What fun!! Thanks to Disneycrazzy for the fun nautical letters spelling the boys' names and the surprise Mickey ears for our doors, and to VerandahMan for more special magnets later in the week!!!

Tip: Door signs are just for fun!! They’re a blast to make while getting excited about your cruise, and a great keepsake when you are done. And they help you locate your cabin a little bit more easily throughout the week.

We had connecting Cat 6s (verandah). Just like our first cruise, when I first walked in I thought the cabin would be way too small. Nope!!! The cabins are completely adequate, and have lots of rooms for all your clothes.

Tip: If your family has two rooms, I recommend getting connecting rooms. I didn’t find that we lost/missed any space. It was much easier communicating b/t the two rooms. On our first cruise, our cabins didn’t have a connecting door and it proved to be quite an inconvenience.

Time for the long-planned DisMeet up in the Promenade Lounge! Hi 8/19 Dis’ers and 3Circle friends!!! We had so many Dis’ers, I never did meet EVERYone! It was of course fun putting names with faces and meeting in person so many people that I had been in contact with for almost two years! Even DS13 had shown up, chatting with a very large group of DisTeens; altogether, a nice bunch of kids!

Time for Muster Drill. Everyone puts on their bright orange lifevests and gathers at the assigned spot. Ours was out on Deck 4 under the life boats. It seemed much more organized than in the past and was over quickly (last time our meeting place was in Animator’s Palate and was hot and LOUD and confusing).

Quick, quick! Put those vests away and head up to the Sail Away Party! Very LOUD music (it bothered the twins, who preferred to be up on Deck 10 where it was less noisy), dancing, overall festive atmosphere. We were sailing before I even realized it; quick off to the side of the ship in time to wave back at the CMs at the terminal waving goodbye with their Mickey hands!



Gather up the kids, time to get ready for dinner. We had linked with a large group from another board and were able to get the APL rotation (which put us in Parrot Cay for Pirate Nite and Lumiere’s for Formal Night); but that meant being seated at 5:30. We received a warm welcome and were quickly seated at our table. Table 3. Back here, in the corner. Behind the serving station. So far tucked away that in Animator’s Palate, the person sitting at the foot of our table was actually served from behind through the emergency exit door.

If you haven’t been in these dining rooms before, this may sound petty. Otherwise, you know what I am talking about. The effects and display of Animator’s Palate were practically lost on us. We could see barely anything but the picture next to our table. And, btw, dinners are VERY LONG. It would have been nice if the children at our table could see ANY of the screens playing classic Disney cartoon scenes. But alas, we couldn’t see a thing. I was frustrated for the kids, and felt bad that my parents and friend wouldn’t get the whole AP effect, but they didn’t seem to mind and enjoyed dinner.

Our servers were Deneval from Jamaica (I’m sorry, I’ve massacred the spelling, I’m sure!) and Lisa from Scotland. Both VERY nice and helpful. Lisa quickly picked up on my insisting the kids drink milk (chocolate) every night before any soda, so quit asking them and just brought the milk! Other than the milk issue, I let my kids pick out whatever they wanted every night. One twin in particular is a very fussy eater; no sense getting in a power struggle with him during vacation (he certainly wouldn’t suffer from malnutrition). So, for him, of course, dinner EVERY night consisted of pizza and mac & cheese!

After dinner we finished unpacking and headed for the opening show. Very enjoyable for all in our family; I loved watching DSons laugh and laugh all week long.

Tip: My kids wouldn’t mind being in the kids’ clubs all week long, so I set the expectation for certain family times before we leave for the trip. We have dinner together every night in the dining rooms and take in the main show together. Letting the kids know ahead of time what the plan for the week was really helped cut down on any, um, potential resistance…

Finally…bed time…NOT!! DS13 was headed to the Stack and the all important 411 meet and greet there, and the twins wanted to go to the Lab. I know recent threads have said that the clubs were only if accompanied by parents first night, but this wasn’t the case at all. The Navigator says “Family Time, Explore the Children’s Spaces”. I’m wondering if this is a way of welcoming parents to stay if they want. The rest of the week, you don’t usually see parents “in” the children’s areas.
I was so ready for bed, but as DH and I strolled along the almost empty Deck 9, my favorite movie was starting up on the Dumbotron! How simply “magical” to be watching Mary Poppins under the stars while setting out to sea. DH and I pulled up a lounge chair and settled in (DH eventually did go and get the twins to share this time with us). Halfway through the movie, a sudden downpour took place, and we took that as our cue to head to the room for bed. First we stopped by the Stack to reinforce curfew communications with DS; hope we didn't embarrass him too much!

Tip: as you can see, a long day! To get the most from your first cruise day, arrive early and well rested!
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Last edited by PoohJen; 09-15-2006 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
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Yeah! A double dip trip report! And a 'meaty' one too Make it looooong and hardy, PoohJen, filling and satisfying, just like dinner at Palo!

BTW, if you kept your Navigators, could you let me know which restaurants were available for lunch on Thu (second sea day)?
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:05 PM   #3
RobinMarie
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Excellent beginning! I had no idea your serving team included Lisa from Scotland. She was our assistant server last year when we sailed through the Canal home. We had great fun with her and I enjoyed seeing her this cruise.

More More More!
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
PoohJen
Willing to share a Mickey Bar?
I brought it with me everywhere on my Disney cruise
Quick, get to the hammock!- Castaway Cay
 
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TiggerSis, the Thursday lunch restaurant was Parrot Cay; but who has ANY time or room left for lunch by then?!!!
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MNSSHP '04, '05, '06 MVMCP '07 and a few All Star quickies DCL Magic Nov '04 Eastern Trip Report Magic Wstrn Dbl Dip Aug '06 Trip Report, Wonder Dec '07 Trip Report Magic Dble Dip Aug '09 Trip Report Wonder Feb '10 DCL Dream July '11, Aug '13
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #5
Denise W
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Great so far, Jen. I can't wait to read more! Thanks for doing such an in depth report!

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Old 09-04-2006, 08:00 PM   #6
ibouncetoo
I get excited by the little things!
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I'm not allowed to buy any more craft supplies till I actually MAKE something LOL
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoohJen
TiggerSis, the Thursday lunch restaurant was Parrot Cay; but who has ANY time or room left for lunch by then?!!!
Well, I don't know that we're going to eat as much as PARTY!!!! We're planning a DIS celebration lunch for all the birthdays/anniversaries/wedding and vow renewal that are going on with our group that week! Actually a PC buffet may work better, as we can switch around seating between each trip to the buffet, for better mingling
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:09 PM   #7
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Great start Jen, can't wait to read more!!!
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:32 PM   #8
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Jen..thanks for the tips. I will make sure to bring more than one photo ID. I love the report and look forward to day 2.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:38 PM   #9
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Great report and great pics! Really enjoyed them.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:46 PM   #10
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Can you make this report last until my cruise?
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Old 09-04-2006, 10:36 PM   #11
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hey, I was so happy reading and looking at your pictures I was sad to see it stop.....more please :-) My twin sons will be almost 16 when we sail again. I'm anxious to see how your older son liked the Stack.

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Old 09-04-2006, 10:39 PM   #12
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Hi Jen,
I'm enjoying the report so far! It's fun to read how things went for someone else on the same cruise!
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:42 AM   #13
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Table 3, we had the same table on our panama canal cruise last year. It shouldnt be used, it sits so far in the corner
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:13 AM   #14
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Excellent day one can't wait to hear all of the details of the rest of you week!
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:20 AM   #15
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Excellent report, looking forward to reading more!!!
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