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Old 05-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
mmackeymouse
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UPDATED 01/20/11 -January 2, 2010- First Timers Cruise on the Magic!- Tons of pics!

This is a few months coming, but it took me a while to wind down from the trip and get all our photos organized and whatnot. The final verdict: we had a blast! This was our first cruise, and while I expected to have a decent time, it far exceeded any expectations we had going in.

There may be some parts of this trip report that seem really mundane or even boring. I really want to invite you into our trip. For many who have sailed DCL or any line, some of this stuff may seem trivial. But, prior to our trip, I read tons of trip reports, and I cannot tell you how much I valued all the little details.

Let’s meet the fam, shall we? First up, we have Dad, James/Jim/Mick.


Then, there is Mom, Peggy.


Then, there is me, Melissa.


Finally, we have my younger sister, Jessie.


Being from Southern Indiana, we fly out of Indianapolis. We have family up there, and they were actually down at the World over Christmas week, so we hadn’t gotten a chance to celebrate Christmas with them. So, New Years Eve, Mom and Jess drove Luke, our labradoodle to the gal that was boarding him. I didn’t go, and it was probably a good thing. I would have been entirely too emotional. Andrea, the boarder has a great set up, and I knew Luke would get tons of playtime and attention. Still, the whole, “Are you leaving me, family? Please don’t leave me” look would have guilted me the whole trip, I am sure.

Jess gave Luke this big bone for Christmas, and the funny thing is, it is rawhide, but for the longest time, he did not want to chew on it, only carry it around.



Once they got back from dropping Luke off, we hit the road. Our car was packed to the max! On top of all of our luggage, we had loads of Christmas presents, too! The drive up to Indy took about 2 hours, and we arrived just about lunchtime. We decided to have the rest of the family meet us for lunch at McAllister’s Deli. I had a grilled chicken baked potato, and I am pretty sure that was my last healthy meal of the trip! Ha!

On the road up to Indy


Enjoying McAlister's



The immediate family and I then headed to the mall. I was on the hunt for a Butler t-shirt. (I’ve been a fan long before their Cinderella run). The only t-shirt I found was a 3X. No go. Dad had to get his brand new phone, which luckily arrived the day before we left, activated, and that took forever! Anyway, as I expected the day before we flew out was just craziness!

That evening, Dad, Jess, and I, being the good people we are headed to mass for Solemnity of Mary. Of course, it was probably the fact we would be missing mass that Sunday and the Catholic guilt associated with it that got us to mass that evening, especially considering the hectic day we had just had, and even more hectic day we had ahead of us. I dropped them off at my aunt and uncle (and cousins’) house where we would be staying the night, so that I could run some last minute errands.

I went to two different Kohls stores, Walmart, Sams Club, Target, and Meijer, all looking for those dang Butler shirts, but they were sold out. Everywhere. I was able to pick up a waterproof digital camera at Meijer. But, I ended up not even using it, and it may end up on eBay very soon. I also went to CVS to pick up some last minute medicine, Earplanes, stuff like that.

We exchanged gifts, ordered in pizza, and the boys played Wii Golf all evening. Mom and I spent the rest of the evening going through luggage one last time, tossing what we did not need, and weighing our luggage. My bag was originally about 53 lbs. By getting rid of some things, re-distributing others, I had it down to a much more manageable 47. At that point, I felt like I had been packing for a week, and I had! I had packed and re-packed so many times!

Dad playing some Wii Golf


We had an early flight ahead of us the next day, 7 am! I had every intention of going to bed somewhat early, so that I could be up fresh as a daisy the next morning. Unfortunately things did not go as planned, and it was about 11 before I got to bed. Not long after that, I fell asleep.

I'll post some more either this evening or tomorrow morning!
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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The planned rise and shine time was going to be 4 am. It is about an hour drive to the airport, and we figured on about an hour to get ready, that would get us down to the airport with about an hour to spare. That did not happen either. I actually fell asleep before I could set my alarm. I am the type of person that likes to get up a little bit extra early, so it gives me time to get ready at my own pace, check my email, check the news, check the weather, etc etc etc.

When I opened my eyes, I was wondering what time it was, but it didn’t feel like I had been asleep long enough for it to be morning yet. I popped open my laptop, and it was 4:45 am! What?!?! Apparently everyone else did not set their alarms either, so I went room to room waking my family up. Everyone shot up in shock once they realized what time it was.

Luckily, our luggage was pretty much ready for us by the door, ready to go. We all made sure to wear clothes up there and to bed that we could leave there, so we did not have to worry about doing any packing in the morning, other than hygiene things. So, despite the fact that we overslept and that I did not get ready as leisurely as I prefer, we were able to walk out the door at 5:20 am.

My early morning face (and hair)


Jessie, happy to be up and on vacation!


My uncle Rick was driving us to the airport and he made pretty good time. We had checked in online, so we were able to bypass that part of the process. Unfortunately, none of us were paying attention to what time it was when we got there, so we took our time getting some breakfast at the food court. Side note: this was my first trip to Indianapolis International’s new terminal, and it is fantastic! It is very organized and spacious. You never feel like you are rushed or cramped. The time of day we were there didn’t hurt, but I have been since at different times of the day, and it was still pretty pleasant.

While I am not a fan of getting up that early for a flight, it was still one of the more enjoyable airport experiences I have had. The line for security was blissfully short, pretty much non-existent. We were walking from security into our concourse, and that was when it happened. My eyes bugged out of my socket when I saw the clock on the wall: 6:35 am!

To understand why this is insane, you have to understand our family. We are the types that are always there the full 2 hours ahead, waiting patiently. We thought for a 7 am flight, that probably wasn’t necessary. I don’t think we realized how close we would be cutting it, though. Mom, Jessie, and I still had to make a pit stop before we boarded, so we headed to the ladies room. As we were in there, I heard them make a last call announcement for our flight! We were only a few gates down from our gate, so we did not have to run, but we did walk briskly. When we got down to our gate, there was not a soul around. We were amongst the last to board the plane. I think there were maybe two people after us. We chose our seats when we booked, so they were right there waiting for us. To tell you the truth, even though I am a planner and doubt I would ever cut it so close again, I actually did not mind walking right through security to our gate, then right onto the plane. I think I like that a bit better than sitting and waiting.

I wish I could say it was a pleasant flight. It was okay for a while, but once we went further south, the turbulence was pretty rough. It was quite cloudy and the clouds were thick and low. During most of our descent we could not see anything but clouds. In fact, we did not get below the clouds until we were pretty much landing.

We are total believers in Disney’s Magical Express. This was our first experience with it, but it was well worth it! It was great to be able to take our time getting from Point A to Point B, and not have to worry about fighting to get to our luggage and the rental car counter. We followed the signs for pickup service, and then we saw signs directing us to DME. Once we get down to the lower level, it seemed like a ghost town. Once we finally got down to the DME area, they were so friendly! We were the only family there! They asked where we were going and we told them. The ME bus that was sitting there was actually empty, so it was going wherever we were going!

Mom (jokingly) nervous about the ride from the gate to the terminal


Dad and Jessie so cool, they don't even have to hold on


I have read numerous complaints about ME being too crowded or not room; I am sure that is the case at times, but that was definitely not our experience. After we got on, two other families joined us, both headed for our destination, The BoardWalk. We waited to see if anyone else was coming, but not for a long amount of time, maybe 5 minutes. Needless to say, we had plenty of space for ourselves and our luggage. The little movie was cute, and it was a pleasant ride to BW. Dad just loved the DME! He is always the driver, so not having to worry about exits or tolls or fighting traffic…..it was definitely his cup of tea. We cannot see doing Disney any other way now!

Our ME chariot awaits


View of DCL bus from our seats inside....as you can see, not many people on our bus.


It was roughly 10 am when we arrived at the BoardWalk. We actually rented from a gal on the DVC part of the board. We really got a great deal; and she did a wonderful job making sure the DME and everything got set up. It is always a trust thing when you are renting on here, but it worked out great for us. We will definitely consider it in the future.

Again, we had already checked in online a few days prior. We fully anticipated the room not being ready for us, so we planned to leave our carry on bags and utilizing their new text message feature. Well, check in was easy peasy, and surprise, the room was actually ready for us!

The BoardWalk decorated for Christmas




They had a cute little gingerbread gazebo in the lobby. The cutest part is that the little train going around- each train car represents one of the shops on the Boardwalk.





Now, being that we were only there for one night, we were obviously not really too particular about the room. That said, we had no complaints. I had read that some BWV rooms can be quite the haul. Our room was just a few doors down from the elevators. It was kept up nicely. Jess and I slept on the pull out sofa, and we both got a good night’s rest.

Hanging out in the room


View from our room. Luckily for my sister who is afraid of clowns, we did not get a full view of the pool. Haha!



There was not really any unpacking or settling in to do, so we just kind of lounged around for a while. I probably could have laid there all day, but we only had one day on Disney property and we were going to make the most of it! We headed over to the Yacht and Beach Club to have lunch at Beaches and Cream.

The BoardWalk


Dad, Jessie, and I on the way to Beaches and Cream


Mom and Dad


More to come later!
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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Hi Melissa, Great TR so far. Love your pictures.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:37 AM   #4
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I love people who take lots of pictures. Looking forward to lots more.

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Old 05-21-2010, 09:05 AM   #5
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We love Beaches and Cream! It has such a cute little atmosphere. It is pretty easily accessible from Epcot, so if you have never been, I highly recommend taking the International Gateway and trying it, at least once. I got a burger and onion rings. The onion rings were fabulous! The burger is not as good as it used to be, but it is still a step above most counter service burgers. I will probably try the philly cheese steak next time, as it looked delicious! And definitely go for the onion rings. For dessert, Jess and I split the brownie ala mode. It is not as big as the humungous sundaes that B&C is notorious for, but it is plenty for two or three people. The ice cream was true vanilla bean ice cream, which was great!



Mom enjoying a Beaches and Cream burger. All of us had burgers, except for Jessie who had some soup


The amazing brownie ala mode








So, about the weather. Bear in mind, when we left Indy, it was 7 degrees out. 7 degrees, who knows what the wind chill was. Some of you may know, but for those who don’t, Florida was unseasonably chilly this January. Of course, it was better than 7 degrees! But, unfortunately, we did not get to use the clown pool. We went out and saw steam coming off the water. It was also a bit rainy around lunchtime.

At least someone got to enjoy Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club





Mom and Dad went straight back to the room. Jessie and I decided to head over to the Beach Club gift shop to see if they had anything cool or any good deals. No dice. Anyway, we walked out the back of the BC, and it was pouring, absolutely pouring. We were both wearing sandals, so we were thinking are we going to make a run for it? And then, like just out of a movie, we see one of the FriendShips sitting at the dock, destined for the BW, and as we start to try to get to it, it pulls away! Nooooooooooooo! Luckily the rain let up a bit, and we were able to make it back without getting too soaked.

Per usual for Florida, the rain was short lived. After a little nap, Jessie, Mom and I headed over to Downtown Disney. Dad was going to hang out in the room, go pick up the rental car, and meet us over there. On our bus ride to DTD, we passed Saratoga Springs. It looked beautiful, but it was HUGE. I would love to stay there sometime, but I would worry that we would be in the most inconvenient spot possible, and it would be quite the walk to get anywhere.

Jessie relaxing in the room, showing off her room key


While waiting for the bus to DTD, I took this one


Update soon, I promise!
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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Let me tell you, you have not experienced the Marketplace until you have been on New Year’s Day. I have been before on Christmas, and it was not even comparable. It was absolutely insane. Inside World of Disney, you would have thought there was a 90% off sale going on or something. I’ve never seen it so crowded.

Cool board games tree




We knew that our souvenir space was limited. I brought a small suitcase as my carry on and left it empty. I then used a large purse as my personal item. So, the empty suitcase was for the souvenirs, but still, I knew I had to be smart about today’s purchases. We began at the Christmas store, which is probably my absolute favorite store. If I had a million dollars, I would definitely go to town in there.

Mom and Jessie were ready to move on before I was, so we did split up for a while. My next stop was the Goofy’s Candy Company. I had never been there before, so was definitely wanting to get something there, as I had seen pictures online. I was still pretty full from lunch, and had some other things I wanted to try, so I decided to come back before I left. I didn’t. On my next trip to Disney, I will definitely make it a point to leave room for Goofy’s Candy Co.

Goofy's Candy Company


Look at this rice krispy treat! Waaaay too much sugar on one plate


I actually did not get to a lot of the shops. Just the Christmas Store, Design a T, and World of Disney. Of course, I was in World of Disney for quite a while. I did splurge and get a Dooney and Bourke Disney bag, which I love! I had about $200 in Disney gift cards that I had racked up, on top of some Disney rewards points, so I did not feel too guilty.

I made the walk over to DTD- Pleasure Island to Cookes of Dublin for a Doh Bar. I have mixed reviews on this place. I looked at the receipt, and from the time I ordered until the time I got my Doh Bar, it was 25 minutes! It was really busy, and everything looked wonderful! I honestly think the cashier just forgot about me. They say to be patient, as frying to order takes time, so I sat back and waited. And waited. And waited. I started to notice just about everyone that ordered after me were getting their food. About 10 minutes into my wait, I noticed what appeared to be possibly my Doh Bar set out under the hot lamp. But, I didn’t know, so I continued to wait. Finally, I said something to the cashier, and she turned, and grabbed the thing that I thought was mine. So, it had been sitting there for a little bit. I was underwhelmed by the Doh Bar. The inside was ooey gooey chocolatey delicious. But, the outside was not as crisp as I expected. It was a bit chewy. I don’t know if that is a result of not eating it right away, and that sitting out caused it to lose its crispness. I may try it again someday, as hopefully my experience was an anomaly.

They had several holiday scenes outside at Pleasure Island. This was the one representing Christianity


Cookes of Dublin


Doh Bar (I was wiping powdered sugar off me the rest of the day)


From there, I met up with Mom and Jessie. They wanted to go to Ghirardelli, and I probably should have held out for some Ghirardelli. They have a new setup since the last time we were there. The ordering part is actually much quicker and smoother than in the past. However, seating is still an issue. Because it was a bit chilly, I thought about ordering a hot chocolate, but I declined. Mom got a chocolate cone of some sort. My sister got an apple caramel sundae, it was a seasonal specialty. I thought it was so funny to go to Ghirardelli and NOT get something chocolate. But, to each his own, eh?

Jessie decided to head back to the room. I am a bit disappointed that I never made it to the Gourmet Pantry store and to Basin. Those are must do's for the next trip. Now, on the boards, I saw a picture of Earl of Sandwich’s Hawaaian BBQ Chicken sandwich, and I just had to try it. Now, at this point, my poor little belly was stuffed. This sandwich was comprised of grilled chicken, swiss, ham, pineapple, and barbecue sauce. I decided to have a bite while it was still warm and fresh. It was a very, very yummy sandwich. I decided to take it back to the room, and put it in the microwave later. Unfortunately, it was just not as amazing the second time around. For my money, I really believe that Earl of Sandwich is the best deal at DTD.

Hawaaian BBQ Chicken Sandwich- it was delicious


Here is a really great picture where you can see the layers of ooey gooey goodness


Eventually, Dad showed up with the rental car. We got a one day rental, for about $40 for the trip over to Port Canaveral. My dad was so enamored by the DME, he wanted to know why we did not just book the Disney Cruise Line bus. Haha! We explained to him that even for the one way trip, it would be significantly more ($100 more). Mom and I always say that it is not even the money, because, honestly, it may be worth it to have the leisurely ride over there. But, for us this time, it was more a time issue. Being first timers, we wanted to make sure we had the experience, were able to get Palo ressies, enjoyed the buffet and boat before it got busy. If they ever decided to have say an early bus and a late bus, and we had the option of making sure we arrived before boarding, we would definitely consider the bus option, even at the added expense.

More to come later!
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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Signing up. Great report, so far! Love all the food porn, BTW.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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Enjoying the trip report so far, love all the photos included, I always think photos really make a trip report!

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Old 05-26-2010, 09:13 PM   #9
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Talking Great Start

We are heading down for 7 nights on the Magic in October so keep the reporting coming!!

Thanks!!
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:52 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I kind of had a bit of a computer crisis and lost some data. I am working on getting everything back and in working order. Hopefully, I will have an update this weekend. I thought I would post some random photos just to keep things going.

They have this cute little pet store near the dock in St. Thomas. I went in to find something for Lukie, but alas did not really see anything. But, it is a great little shop.


Healthy? No. But when something is "free," why resist the urge of chicken fingers and fries calling your name?


Jessie and I both got pedicures a couple of days before we left at a local place. Trust me, waaaaaay cheaper than doing it on board. I chose Colts blue for my color. It was a great Caribbean color for a cruise!


Another view of the BoardWalk
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:52 PM   #11
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Hope you're able to recover all your data.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
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subbing...

Love your report so far! Hope you get everything recovered!
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:52 AM   #13
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I am subscribing, I am loving your Travel report and photos. I am taking my hubby and kids to WDW for Christmas 2011 and we are going to book a disney cruise I have been jotting down all your tips and hints as I have been reading your report.

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Old 05-31-2010, 01:36 PM   #14
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We drove back to the BW. At this point, we all took some meclazine (Bonine) as we had received tips to start taking the medicine ahead of time. Dad’s choice for supper was the ESPN club. Now, remember, this is January 1st, bowl season. Everything is a learning experience. We arrived maybe about halfway through the 2nd quarter of the first game. The line in front of us was not very long, maybe 15 people, but it was literally not moving. Everyone was there to watch the game, and they were staying to the end of the game. Even the bar area was standing room only. We waited in line for 2 hours! The thing is, once the first game got done and all of those people left, it cleared out pretty good. So, we could have been waiting 2 hours in our room or doing something else, and just came back after the first game and pretty much been able to walk right in. Live and learn. Because I was not super hungry, I just got a bowl of the chili. I was not a fan. They had chunks of sirloin steak in there, and I admit, that was a very nice change of pace. I quite liked that part. But, there was maybe only a handful of the sirloin chunks, so past that, I just did not like the flavor or the spice of the chili.

Mom and Dad on the way back from DTD


BW at night


Jessie and Dad getting ready to order. Dad obviously distracted.


We made it to our seats in time to catch Pre-game


Jessie got a Philly Cheese Steak, which as you can tell, is huge


Mom got the Home Run Hot Dog. Hard to tell by the photo, but the actual hot dog itself is HUGE and so thick! Mom and I could have split it and it would probably still have been too much.


Here is my Boo Yah Chili. Meh. I think chili is one of those foods that is so hard to get right, because every single person has their different interpretation of what chili should be: thick, thin, spicy, mild, beans, no beans, etc etc.


Back to the room for the evening. Dad and Jessie went to bed pretty early. Mom had brought a duffel bag full of fish extender gifts. Before we left home, we went through and made an excel spreadsheet on who receives what and how much (because there was a pretty wide range of children). I had also printed out some labels. So, for the rest of the evening, we started to divvy up and bag and label all our fish extender gifts. It took a pretty good chunk of time. I think we probably could have done it at home, but we just weren’t sure with security or if after they were all put together if they may take more space. So, it was a pretty late night.

Luckily, I run pretty decent on a small amount of sleep (as long as I can catch up with it later at some point). The goal was to be at port by around 9:45 am. So, I got up about 6:30 am, and went down to the gym to work out. They have the coolest bikes there, where it actually simulates you biking up a mountain range. So cool! After about an hour of gym time, I decided to head down to the Boardwalk Bakery to see if it was very busy. In the past, anytime I had been by there in the evening, there are always lines out the door. I figured mornings would be worse. It wasn’t; it was actually pretty dead. Bear in mind, I had on shorts and a cutoff tee from working out, but it was still really, really cold out. It had rained and was still drizzling a bit. And I could see my breath…in Florida! So wrong!

Yacht Club in the morning


I headed back to the room to see if everyone was up and at em’. And, they were. I got dressed and got all my stuff packed up. The plan was to wear my swimsuit underneath my clothes, but I think I just threw it in my carry on bag. As it turned out, because it was so chilly and windy in PC, it ended up not being necessary anyway.

Things seemed to be under control, so Jessie and I headed back to the bakery to pick up some breakfast. The cheesecake brownie looked soooooo good. But, I really wanted a chocolate croissant. Knowing we had a buffet ahead of us for lunch, I decided to play it conservatively and just get a croissant. It was good, but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I have made chocolate croissants at home, and those we eat warm, so the chocolate just melts in your mouth. But, it was still pretty good, and it definitely hit the pre-trip spot. We grabbed a chocolate muffin for Dad and a cinnamon roll for Mom. Jessie got a cappuccino (blech, I am not a coffee drinker) and an eclair .

The chocolate brownie that was so tempting


My chocolate croissant


Jessie's eclair




The Swan from our room. Even though it was drizzly early in the morning, the sun came out, and it was a gorgeous day. Sunny, with clear, blue skies.


And that's all she wrote for now. Have a great holiday!
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:25 AM   #15
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Subbing too. Enjoying the report so far and looking forward to more.
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