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Old 02-28-2009, 02:19 PM   #121
OurOhana
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Day 7 – castaway cay

It was pretty apparent late Thursday that our parasailing excursion on Castaway Cay would be canceled. It was really windy, the ship was rocking more than on most days, at least in my opinion. But guest services said they weren’t sure late Thursday.

So not too long after we woke up Friday morning, we had a message on our phone telling us the excursion was canceled. In all honesty, it didn’t break my heart. I was a little nervous anyway, but I would still like to give a try – maybe on the next cruise. But my hubby told me I should be grateful. He thought if they had gone ahead with the excursion, with the winds, I wouldn’t like it.






So we had our normal room service. (Boy do I miss room service) but not a ton, because we decided to try a restaurant for breakfast. We had already tried Lumineer’s the first day, and didn’t love it. We liked Parrot Key for our character breakfast, so we decided to give it a shot.

It was tasty. We highly recommend it. It seems so odd to me that food could be better in one restaurant than another on the same ship – especially things like eggs – but it’s true. I wasn’t starving, but I got cereal and I think a chocolate croissant. DH had an omelet. DD had cereal and yogurt. It was a nice easy morning, as we waited for the ship to dock at Castaway Cay, and for us to hear we could get off.




Once we did, we stopped for pics with a few friends


And then grabbed the trolley to get to the Family Beach. We did a few more pics.



There were still plenty of chairs. We took a few closer to the beach, so DD could build sandcastles and play in the water a little. Our tablemates met up with us, so the girls could play together, which was perfect.

Well, maybe not perfect, only because it was chilly. But at least it was sunny. But I definitely kept my sundress on over my bathing suit – and later needed my husband’s jacket, which he only brought because I refused to bring one. I knew I wouldn’t need one. OK, I thought I wouldn’t need one. (I hate saying he’s right – but since it doesn’t happen often, I’ll give it to him on occasion.

DH went to get DD a Nemo bucket and shovel, since her friend had brought one with her.








Then after a while, we took DD to the club on the island because we had a noon appointment for a couples massage. I apparently wasn’t paying attention as we started walking toward Serenity Beach. I wanted to get a trolley (It was a vacation. What’s with all the walking?) But DH thought a walk would be great. We missed the stop for the trolley. (I’m also not overly excited when he wins, but it happens on occasion.)

We got to the cabanas a little early, so we sat in some chairs and waited for our massage therapists. Now I’m forgetting their names, but they were both great. The guy took DH, who wanted a deep tissue massage. DH said the massage was great, and he’s really picky about them. The girl took me, and I wanted a little more than a Swedish massage, but I couldn’t handle a real deep tissue. She was also great.

But by this time, I was getting cold. Being the not-always –bright-person I can be on occasion, I suggested they open the cabana doors so we could enjoy the breeze. About a second later, I suggested they close it again. Even with the towel and sheet on me, I was cold, but the massage was still good.

So it was right after the massage that I put on the jacket, and we grabbed lunch in Serenity Beach, since it was right next to the cabanas. It was really very good – we had a burger, plus they had ribeyes. Both were pretty good, I thought. And I really enjoyed the cookie dough ice cream, which I had read about ahead of time. I had a second cup.


Feeling very full, and relaxed, we waited for the trolley (I guess that means I won this time, but I’m sure even DH wanted to continue feeling relaxed.)
We went to get DD, but she didn’t want to come with us yet. (They don't take the kids near the beach, but they do have water for them to play with, to help them build sandcastles - plenty of toys in there too - and they were playing games when we went by.


Her friend was with her. So we decided to let her stay, and we’d go shopping. I don’t remember getting much of anything, but it was around 2:15maybe, and I knew the club would close soon – and I knew DD would need a nap. I think we did a few more pics on our own about this time.





So we thought we’d go back for her and go back to the ship. By our tablemates’ daughter was with our DD, and she started to get upset when DH took DD. So we decided we’d just sit and wait for our tablemates to come back to get their daughter, so she wasn’t left alone. (Again, it was so nice for the girls to have each other to play with – and who would have thought we’d all get along so well. It’s one of the nice perks of sitting with other people at dinner. Our daughters felt like they knew each other well.)

So after our tablemates got their daughter, we got ours, and we headed back for showers and naps.

Next up, dinner, goodbyes and Til We Meet Again
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:47 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by OurOhana View Post
I know our daughter will love seeing it when she's older.
Until her first boyfriend comes over?

We leave on our 1st cruise tomorrow!
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:57 PM   #123
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Day 7 continued

We were all at the table tonight, for the final dinner. This is where it had started just a week before. And I was definitely sad to have it end – but a week’s vacation was really a nice time. I just appreciated the time we had, and hoped I wouldn’t cry tonight!

Within just a few minutes of sitting down, my DD was getting cranky and wanted to go to the club. Our tablemates’ daughter also wanted to go. So the guys took the girls to Topsiders for dinner with their clubmates. DH told me what he wanted for dinner, but when I started to order, I knew he would change his mind.






He said he wanted the split pea soup, but Toney told me it was cold. So I said go ahead and bring it, but please bring him a romaine lettuce salad too. He had the lamb, and a ribeye off the lighter menu. He liked his meal.

I had the lobster bisque (which was just OK) and the spinach salad, which was really good. I also had the lamb and ribeye. I didn’t finish the steak, but I loved the lamb. Both were really good, actually. It was a nice end to the cruise.

DH had the apple pie, and I had the baked Alaska. We both really liked it. And we finished it off with coffee. Then we gave our servers their tips. And we all got some photos together.

Then we did some shopping, and went to get our pictures. They couldn’t find the one of DD with Cinderella, and they were having problems with the kiosks. But they were able to pull the negative sheets so we could find the Cinderella picture. The other pictures were still on display. They told us to come by in the morning to pick up the print of the Cinderella picture. So after paying for the pictures, we headed back to get DD.

But she was having fun in the club – dressed up as Cinderella (I loved that they had costumes the kids could wear all the time – and said she didn’t want to leave yet.




Now we let her stay in there later this night than any other night, but I figured she could stay there for a few minutes more – I was trying to keep her awake for the Til We Meet Again. It’s not a traditional show, like the others in theater. This one is in the lobby, and all of the characters come down the stairs, mingle a little, let parents snap pictures, give autographs and then head out.

I told DD I would wait for her, and she could play a little more. But she told me, “No, Mom, You have to leave.” Great, DD turned 13 on the ship. What in the world was that about? (Yeah, I guess I didn't need to feel guilty all week when she was in the club. She had a blast.) I decided to go sit outside for a little bit. A short time later, I told her the time was up, we had to go. She was already starting to cry, as we turned the beeper into the counselors. But I told her we were going to see some more characters, so that stopped her. Of course, by this point, she should have been in bed (she’s just used to going to bed early) so I knew I was pushing it by keeping her up.

I figured DD would love it. DH wanted to get some pictures, so he went upstairs to try to get a good shot- it was already getting crowded in the lobby. So DD and I stood in the lobby and waited for the characters to come down. I brought the camcorder with me, and was trying to get some video. We were standing in an area where the characters were coming straight down the middle. As Mickey, and then Minnie started coming down the man-made aisle, my DD darted out to hug Minnie. Again, the characters were always great, as I tried to grab my daughter.

So I’m decently confident that she knows not to dart out anymore. My hubby is up on the fourth level, looking down, and I’m still holding the camcorder, as Belle makes an appearance down one side of the steps, and Cinderella comes down the other.

By now, you all know DD loves the princess, and this is obviously just too much for a 3-year-old to handle, without chatting with the princesses. So there she went -running up to Belle first.

This is the picture my husband got from above


I couldn’t get up to the front – she was so short, she got through people’s legs. I obviously couldn’t do the same. So I literally held my camera up, with the screen pointing down so I could see it – and see her. My husband kept his camera on her the whole time too - since he wasn't sure from where he was if I could see her. But my camera helped (since I was too short to see over all of the people.) That’s how I kept an eye on her, until I could get to the front. By this point, she was trying to talk to Cinderella. The castmembers didn’t seem amused, and who could blame them.




I eventually got DD back near me. And I made a mental note that I shouldn’t bring a camera with me to Disney World, because I would need to hold her hand the whole time we go there next time so she doesn’t run off. (I will say, that’s one of the nicest parts of being on a ship – I knew she couldn’t go that far, thankfully.

So the characters mingled for a bit.




And then they get up on the stairs to sing a final goodbye – the M-I-C-K-E-Y song.


About this point, DD spots Anne Marie and Peter from the Disney Dreams show, and now she’s crying because she wants to go talk to them. But it was getting late, and I was hanging on to her this time.

When the “pixie dust” or little Mickey-shaped confetti started coming down, DD stopped getting upset enough to pick up some. I kept a few – and when we got home I put them by her bed. I also surprised her by putting a pillow case on her pillow at home with the autographs of all the characters. I had dropped it off maybe on Wednesday or even Thursday to see if guest services could get it signed. I left four or five fabric markers with it. (I, of course, got the idea from the disboards. When DD saw the pillowcase and “pixie dust” at home, I told her Tinker Bell must have come by before we got home to give us a little goodbye surprise.

So now it was late. We went back to the room, and ordered our last room service. I got another cheese plate, and used some baggies I had bought to put some away, along with some grapes that came with it, so DD could have a snack in the morning.

We had already done most of our packing, so we just had to take off our clothes from the night, and get our last showers, and put our bags out to be picked up. We kept a rolling duffle we had bought on the ship for our night clothes and toiletries we would need for the morning.

Up next: Goodbye Disney Magic, plus later some overall tips and thoughts about our cruise.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:13 PM   #124
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Day 8: Goodbye Disney Magic

We had decided that 6:45 was just too early to get up on our last day of vacation. So breakfast in the dining room was out of the question. And while we could have gone to Topsiders, we decided to just sleep in late. Plus, we didn’t love the coffee anyway, so we decided to get Starbucks when we go off the ship anyway.

So at about 7 a.m., we got up. DH went to shutters to pick up the Cinderella photo. He also picked up coffees from the 9th floor (just to get us through disembarkation). I think we had a couple of bananas in the room from the night before, (They always had them out at Goofy Galley when it’s closed. It was nice to have the fresh fruit in the morning. And it was better than the fruit bowl that came from room service.)

Once he got back to the room, we decided to leave. We just walked right off the ship – no problems, no lines. When we got out, we went to get our luggage, and found a porter. My DH helped him find the luggage, and then we took our passports and customs form (which we just the items we had bought in the shops and at the ports, and estimated a total based on receipts) to the customs person. I don’t think he even looked at our passports. He did briefly look at our customs form. And then off we went. The porter loaded our stuff in the truck, we tipped him and then we were out of there. The whole thing probably took 10 minutes.

We really had a great trip – from beginning to end. Sure, the weather could have been nicer – but it also could have been much worse. Who cares – we were on the Disney Magic. It was really quite magical. Our DD still talks about it.

Some odds and ends:
This was in our room the last night to prepare us for debarkation



And our luggage tag:


Coming up next, I’ve written some summaries by topic of our thoughts on everything from the accommodation, the food, the ports and the service. I’ll finish it up and post it soon.

Thank you everyone for reading our trip report. I had fun writing it, because it helped me feel like it extended out vacation a little bit. Now I’m a little sad I’m wrapping it up. We have definitely decided to take another cruise later this year for the $99 per person. We can’t wait.

If anyone has questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I was able to learn so much from the disboards. I found being prepared made our trip much more enjoyable. So if I can help you, I’m happy to try.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:18 PM   #125
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Odds and ends

Just another quick note.

Here are some things I've scanned that didn't really fit anywhere else.

The laundry form:


The internet/cell use form:



Also, I wanted to let you all know that the lost and found is pretty good. My husband left his flipflops in the room inadvertently. We called the next day to see if they were found. The lady called us back within a day to say they weren't turned in yet, but she would call back the next Saturday to see if they were turned in them. Sure enough, she called to say she had them. We got them a few days later in the mail.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:44 PM   #126
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Thank you for your TR and for posting all of the menus, navigators and other forms.

We go on our first cruise in May and all of the TRs have really helped with the planning and the excitement!!!!!!

Our best to you and your darling little girl!
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:41 AM   #127
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Thanks for sharing your trip with us! I have really enjoyed reading your report!
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:10 AM   #128
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Great report! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. And your daughter is adorable!!!!!!
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:02 PM   #129
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I just wanted to thank you so much for all you shared! We just got back from our 1st Disney Cruise with almost 3 yr old DD and had a blast! It will be better when she's a bit older and the weather's a bit warmer, but it was still phenomenal!
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:15 AM   #130
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Thanks everyone for the nice comments. It has been fun writing.
And pooh, I'm so glad you had a great trip. I can't wait to hear more. Off to work now, but I'll be back on later or this weekend. Thank goodness for weekends.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:55 PM   #131
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I've also followed your trip report & enjoyed it. Your DD is adorable.

Thank you for taking the time. There aren't many reports on here of the Eastern, which is the one we are booked on. So it was especially nice to see yours with all the wonderful pictures. Now, if only time would go a tad faster!
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #132
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I've also followed your trip report & enjoyed it. Your DD is adorable.

Thank you for taking the time. There aren't many reports on here of the Eastern, which is the one we are booked on. So it was especially nice to see yours with all the wonderful pictures. Now, if only time would go a tad faster!
Thank you. I know you will have so much fun. And I know what you mean about speeding up time. We're going on another cruise later this year, and I just can't wait.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #133
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Great report, thanks for sharing your time with us.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:49 PM   #134
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Final Thoughts

OK. This is later coming than I thought it would, but it’s been crazy lately (thankfully I finished the trip report already.) But here are my overall impressions/thoughts/comments about our Disney Magic cruise

Food – Overall, not great. But certainly could have been worse. Seafood was not great. Meat was really good, surprisingly considering they have to cook so much. Dessert left something to be desired. But you’ll never go hungry – just find what works for you. And don’t worry if you want to order two items – or double of one item – you’re on vacation. Go for it. I would recommend the porterhouse steak at Topsiders. I loved the blue cheese risotto on the semi-formal night. I got it as a side to my lobster, even though the risotto was actually a vegetarian entree. The lava cake was pretty good in the dining room. We tried a few cakes from room service, but they just weren’t good. The cheese platter from room service was great. And the steak sandwich was great too. Also, try the Mickey bars in your room too, if you want. They’re not on the menu, but they’ll bring them to you. In general, anywhere you are, just go ahead and ask if they have something, even if it’s not on the menu. We also enjoyed grabbing fresh fruit from Goofy’s galley at night before we went back to our rooms – so it there for us in the morning.

Safety – To me, this is the most important part, and I was impressed. And I’m a stickler about such things. First, the lock on the verandah in our room was so difficult at first, my husband had to show ME how to use it. Let’s just say I wasn’t worried about DD getting out without us. We followed the simple guidelines DCL gave us, which was not to let DD out on the verandah on her own. So while there were times we would have liked to keep the veranda door open, we didn’t, so she couldn’t get out without us watching. Also, I liked the glass that lined the railing on the verandah, and all of the decks. I again felt very safe.

I also thought the counselors were great in the kids’ club. They never failed to check our ID, and our daughter’s wrist band every time we left the club. I was watching to see if they’d get less vigilant later in the trip, but they didn’t. Not even when they knew us, and could see our DD greeting us enthusiastically.

Cleanliness – The magic is about 10 years old, and there were signs of it here and there. But that’s to be expected when thousands of people are on the boat every week. I was highly impressed with how clean the ship was – from the staterooms to the public bathrooms. When we got sand on our floor after St. Croix and Castaway Cay, the steward was there vacuuming it up. And every morning and evening, our room was straightened up and cleaned. We always had plenty of towels, and anything else we needed.

Also, while some might think Disney went overboard with all the handwipes, I thought it was great. We had just gotten over a cold when we got on the cruise, and I was so worried we would get a flu or something. But it didn’t happen. They gave out wipes from the minute you got on the ship, every single time we entered a restaurant and again when we got on the ship at a port. Also, when our DD went to the kids’ club, the counselors put soap on her hands immediately and made her follow a star-pathway to the bathroom to wash her hands. I thought it was great.

Service – It was just as great as we had expected. I always think Disney does a great job with service, and this was no exception. Everyone really wanted us to have a great time, and they made sure it happened. I can’t think of one bad server we encountered – not one person who had a bad attitude or anything. Now some people were a little slower than others, but that’s going to happen. But we were on vacation, and for us, this was great.

Photos – I like that there were many opportunities for pictures. There were plane backdrops for formal family pics, plus there were many characters out every evening to get pics with them. I wish we’d had a better idea of when all of the characters would be out each day, but when I look at the navigators, I think they were on there. I just didn’t always notice. They did list them on a tv screen in the lobby, which we checked each day to see where we should go so DD could see her favorites.

Room – No complaints here. We had been on HAL and loved it. But this was a little bigger. Plenty of room for the three of us. We were in 8014, a category 4 family suite, and it was pretty quiet, even on the nights when they had the Pirates Party. The only thing to let those of you know who might want to watch the fireworks from your room, you should book on the starboard side, since that’s where they’re displayed. We were on the port side. Also, I thought the storage space was great. We had plenty of room, plus some to spare. We didn’t even use the over-the-door organizer, since we had plenty of drawer space for our odds and ends. I posted pics of the storage at the beginning of this report for those of you would like to see. One note – large suitcases won’t fit under the bed. We tried. Medium size ones were fine, but we put one of ours in the closet and the other on top of the double trunk.

Entertainment –This was a highlight. My daughter still talks about the shows. I think they got better every night. They also had quite a few movies. My one suggestion for Disney would be to show the movies more often during the day. We never got to see a movie, usually because they were playing at a time when we wanted to see one of the shows in the theater. And we never stayed out really late. But if they had more movie times, we might have made one. Also, I loved that they had a matinee of the Twice Charmed show. I wish they had done that for Golden Mickeys, which was also a sea day. It was just a nice touch.

Another thought – while there were quite a few television channels, I would have liked it if they repeated the movies on the tv a little less. Since our DD was in bed decently early most nights, we watched some tv while she slept. Every other night they repeated the same movies. So by the end, there was little to watch. I ended up watching news, which I would have been just as happy to avoid on this great vacation. Now this wasn’t even close to a problem, just a suggestion. Maybe if they rotated three days of different movies, for those people who are stuck in their rooms at night.

Ports – St. Croix was our favorite. We loved our excursion – the miniboats with Island Networks. We booked it through Disney for $79 per person. Our daughter stayed on the boat, and we felt she was perfectly safe and happy for those few hours. We didn’t love St. Thomas – just too busy, people constantly trying to get you to take a tour, crowded streets, a lot of traffic. Maybe we would have liked it more if we had done an excursion and gotten into the water. We did do the skyride on this day, but we weren’t impressed. We didn’t get to go parasailing as planned on Castaway Cay day because of the wind. We were refunded our money with no problem.

Spa – We didn’t do it on ship, but we did get a couples’ massage on Castaway Cay. They were really very good. My husband got a deep tissue, which he loved. I got something a little less than deep tissue, but not really a Swedish. It was also really good. And the people giving the massages were really nice. We also had gotten massages on HAL, but they were really bad. So we weren’t expecting much on Disney. But we were pleasantly surprised.

Odds and ends - We brought many $1 bills to tipping – great idea. We also got on board early to get palo reservation and had no problems at all. We did all of the registration online, brought a pillow for autographs, which my daughter really enjoys. (We told her Tinker Bell brought it for her before we returned.)
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:32 AM   #135
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Subbing! Just getting started reading your TR and am loving it. We are going on our first cruise in just over 3 weeks! Also 7 day Eastern.

By the way, I'm from Orlando (Not living there now though ) and totally understood about not being able to swim unless its at least 80ish!
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