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Old 02-02-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
JackieO
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Magic-al 1/26/13

Our cruise was 6 nights so this will take me a few entries. I'll start with the introductions. Me (mom), my daughter (Maizie) 19, son (Ben) 17 and son (William) 8 and my parents. We traveled without my husband as he was working (and to be honest he's a bit of a scardy-cat about cruising).

This cruise was a birthday gift for Ben. Maizie got have her 5th birthday party in Carnation Cafe in Disneyland and then chose a trip to Disney World with two friends for her 16th birthday. Ben always felt like he had been jipped (even though he was present for both of those trips they weren't centered around him!) I figured he was right so we surpised him with this cruise for his 17th birthday.

We drove down to Galveston from Missouri. It was a 13 hour drive so we left EARLY (3am). We were all very excited so the drive was just part of the fun. We arrived in Galveston by 5:00 and checked in to our hotel (travelodge I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL, it was filthy) We had time to go to the beach for a few minutes and then went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner.

The next morning we had time to go down to the beach again, to run in some waves and comb the beach for shells. We dropped our van at Discount Cruise Parking and they drove us and our bags right to the terminal. It was nice to only make one trip in and it was cheap.

There was a little confusion as to what to do with our bags from there, we had lugged our bags up to security ourselves as we didn't want to have to pay a porter. Then at the door to security we were told we would have to use a porter to get our bags inside. After a few moments of confusion my dad broke down and got a porter to put our bags on his cart and roll them the couple of feet inside.

With our moods undaunted we headed in. We got through the security lines quickly and headed to the check in counters. That line was fast too and we were through with our boarding number (group 15) quickly. We had time to sit and be excited, and to wait in a small line to get our picture with Mickey.

It didn't take long to hear our number and we gathered up everything and made our way down the gangway where we were announced and cheered onto the Magic (this is the part in the story where you pause to hear the angles sing)

We made a quick stop at guest services to drop off our things to be signed by the characters. Then off to Topsiders for lunch. After lunch we headed to the spa for a tour (and received little samples of a teeth whitener which is AWESOME!!) Then to the kids areas for the open houses just to check everything out.

By then we could go to our rooms so we separated from my parents and all went to see our new homes and drop our carry-on bags. The kids and I spent a little time excitedly inspecting every drawer and closet and put out our fish extender.

After our quick safety drill we were able to watch the shoving off from deck 10, spot some dolphins in our wake and do some dancing at the sail away party.

When we went back to our room to get ready for dinner, the bags were there and so was our first fish extender gift. We were thrilled!!

We were in the first seating for dinner and met my parents and our dining servers at Animators Pallet. This was a highlight for my daughter who said she had been waiting for that moment since she saw the first Disney Cruise special on the Travel Channel years ago.

After dinner we stopped by the shops just to check them out. It took everything in me to stop my 8 year old from spending all of his money right then. We practiced some patience and good money management and headed to our first show.

After the show and a full day we were pretty tuckered out and headed back to room. Ben (the 17 year old) decided he wasn't as tired as the rest of us so he headed to Vibe. He took the wave phone so I was comfortable with him just going. Ben came back sometime around 1:00 but the rest of us were snoozing by then. We ordered cookies from room service and were lolled to sleep by Disney classic cartoons.

It was a great start to a great vacation!
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
iloverags2
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Looking forward to hearing about your cruise! What a fun picture of the family with Mickey!
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
javaj
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Looking forward to the rest of your report!

How was discount cruise parking, any issues when you returned? How far away was it from the terminal? Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Great so far! Nice birthday gift!
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
JackieO
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Day 2:

Day 2 started early with our character breakfast in Parrot Cay. We had a very nice table right at a window. We enjoyed seeing our awesome servers again who were already getting to know us and brought gluten-free muffins for my mom and the dinner menu so she could choose anything on the menu to be made gluten-free for that evening. We met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Dale, and Pluto, who each took a couple of pictures with us and spent a few moments hugging and playing with the kids.

After breakfast we headed back to our room to spend a few down minutes. William watched our new favorite channel (with classic Disney cartoons playing in a loop) while Maizie and Ben looked over the Navigator to plan our day.

We did a little shopping (noticing that there were some new items in the stores) this time William did buy a plush Dale that he hadn't stopped talking about since the night before. We then took our Disney World travel mugs up to deck 9 for some drinks and William went swimming while my parents and I soaked up some much missed rays. Maizie and Ben went off to do some Disney Trivia which they won handily.

Later I managed to talk William in to going to the Oceaneer Lab for Stitch's Great Adventure. I had to promise to wait at the door where he could see me until he decided if he wanted to stay and then go right back to the room to wait in case he called and be back AS SOON as the adventure ended. I did as I had agreed and he did have a great time but it was the only time he was comfortable going in alone.

Ben spent most of his day with his new friends at Vibe and only met up with us again at dinner. We had dinner that night at Parrot Cay, again my mother was able to choose her dinner for the next night to be made gluten-free.

After dinner we headed to the Walt Disney Theater to wait for good seats for Twice Charmed. We all LOVED Twice Charmed!! Great music, great dancing and a very clever story.

We were off to bed after the show. Ben, though, headed back to Vibe. Before he left he asked if he could wake me up later in the night to walked the empty decks with him because he had so enjoyed the calm the night before when the rest of the ship was asleep.

Maizie, William and I ended our night again watching Classic Disney Cartoons and being rocked to sleep by the sea.

Ben came back from Vibe around 2am and woke me. We went out to decks 9 and 10 and walked around enjoying the peace of the ocean and just chatting with each other about our day. This will forever be one of my favorite memories!
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
JackieO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javaj View Post
Looking forward to the rest of your report!

How was discount cruise parking, any issues when you returned? How far away was it from the terminal? Thanks!
We had no issues with Discount Cruise Parking. I don't know exactly how far they are from the terminal but they weren't more than a few miles. Our shuttle ride didn't take more than a few minutes. We allowed an hour to get from our hotel to the terminal because we just weren't sure how long dropping the van, moving the luggage and the shuttle ride but we were 30 minutes early so the whole thing went very quickly. Our van was safe and just like we left it when we got back to it. They have a red and yellow umbrella just outside of the terminal for drop off and pick up so it's easy to find when you get back. When we got back there wasn't a shuttle or employee at the umbrella but I called (the number was on their sign) and they were there within 2 minutes.

FYI the gas stations right across the street from the parking were much higher than other areas.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
violetmonarch
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Looking forward to reading more about your trip...I was on this same cruise with you, and at Animators the first night!
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
TrixieM
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Gluten free

Thanks for your great trip report!! I am looking forward to hearing all about your trip. Could you share a bit more about your mom's experience cruising gluten free. Both my daughter and I are gluten free.

It seems that DCL will do a great job meeting our needs. We are a family of sharers and I wonder if they will let us know which items on the regular menu do not contain gluten ingredients. I am OK with tasting food prepared in a regular kitchen (with risk of cross contamination) if I know that it doesn't contain any gluten ingredients.

Also, do you know if any of the room service options are gluten free? I would love to try the cheese and cracker plate or cookies and millk if GF options are available.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:25 PM   #10
JackieO
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Day 3

On day three William and I woke early and let the big kids sleep in. We headed to Topsiders for breakfast. This quickly became our favorite restaurant. We food was great. Even though it was pretty crowded we never had any trouble finding a table and the food was always well stocked.

Ben met us while we were eating and Maizie came in as we were finishing. It was very rocky that day so Maizie wasn't feeling well. I got some pastries from the buffet and took them back to the room for her.

Maizie gets motion sickness just sitting in the back of the car so we knew this was going to be a problem. We got the patch from our doctor for behind her ear and she had been wearing it from the morning we boarded. That morning she was having a real headache so I called down to medical to ask if she could take tylenol with the patch and was informed that Disney doesn't recommend the patch because it can cause headaches. Maizie has had trouble with headaches from Dramamine before. The nurse on board recommended removing the patch and getting the motion sickness pill from the customer service desk. This is what we did and Maizie's headache was gone by midday. She felt queezy the entire time we were at sea but I'm sure it would have been a lot worse without those pills. (FYI, these pills are given out for free, just ask.)

We spent the morning in our room relaxing (not Ben, he was off to Vibe after breakfast) in hopes that Maizie would feel better. We enjoyed hanging together and watching movies. We didn't feel like we were missing out. We ordered room service for lunch. (I forgot to mention before that we ordered cookies every night before bed). After a great lunch of pizza and macaroni and cheese we headed to a lesson in drawing Minnie Mouse.

Maizie was feeling better by that time and we enjoyed our drawing lesson. We were going to stay and learn to draw Stitch but, right when we were finishing up with Minnie, Ben called on the wave phone and said he was outside of the shops and Princess Minnie was there with no line. We hurried over and had no wait at all (we never waited in line to meet the princesses, those lines were LONG). Minnie signed our drawings and we took pictures.

We knew we were going to have an early start the next morning so we decided to go to the early show of Villains Tonight. Because it was earlier and we hadn't just eaten dinner we ordered some popcorn. The popcorn was very good and very reasonably priced! What a great show too. It was my favorite. They have such talented people in their productions. Hades was very funny!

After the show we shopped a little and went to the Deck 9 drink station. William and I spent some time up on deck, he watched cars on Funnel Vision while I sun bathed (in my new Disney Cruise line bathing suit purchased at Mickey's Mates.)

That evening was Lumiere's for dinner. Ben was brave enough to try escargot, he didn't finish it but I was proud of him for trying it. He spent a lot of his time each day on deck 9 snacking at Pluto's Dog House, Pinocchio's Pizzeria and Goofy's Galley so he wasn't usually hungry at dinner and didn't mind trying things because he wasn't there to fill up.

After dinner we wandered the decks for a bit and then went to our room. We got in to our jammies and watched Villains Tonight again (yes it was that good) on the in-house channel.

Before going to sleep we ordered our nightly cookies from room service.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
JackieO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetmonarch View Post
Looking forward to reading more about your trip...I was on this same cruise with you, and at Animators the first night!
I wish we would have remembered to go to the meet up on the first day. I forgot a lot of things. I hope you guys had as much fun as we did!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrixieM View Post
Thanks for your great trip report!! I am looking forward to hearing all about your trip. Could you share a bit more about your mom's experience cruising gluten free. Both my daughter and I are gluten free.

It seems that DCL will do a great job meeting our needs. We are a family of sharers and I wonder if they will let us know which items on the regular menu do not contain gluten ingredients. I am OK with tasting food prepared in a regular kitchen (with risk of cross contamination) if I know that it doesn't contain any gluten ingredients.

Also, do you know if any of the room service options are gluten free? I would love to try the cheese and cracker plate or cookies and millk if GF options are available.
I'm not sure about the gluten free options from room service. I know they were very concerned about not giving my mom anything with gluten. She's just sensitive and one evening she ordered a slice of cheesecake off of the regular menu one night and our server didn't want to bring it to her. She had to convince him that she could just leave the crust and it would be fine. He made her promise she wouldn't eat it. It was cute. They were always willing to find out if something had gluten.

I'll ask her about room service and get back to you.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
TrixieM
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Thanks so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackieO View Post
I wish we would have remembered to go to the meet up on the first day. I forgot a lot of things. I hope you guys had as much fun as we did!



I'm not sure about the gluten free options from room service. I know they were very concerned about not giving my mom anything with gluten. She's just sensitive and one evening she ordered a slice of cheesecake off of the regular menu one night and our server didn't want to bring it to her. She had to convince him that she could just leave the crust and it would be fine. He made her promise she wouldn't eat it. It was cute. They were always willing to find out if something had gluten.

I'll ask her about room service and get back to you.
Jackie,

Thanks very much for checking with your mom. I'm glad to hear that the servers were looking out for her. Thanks for sharing your trip with us>
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:30 PM   #14
violetmonarch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackieO View Post
I wish we would have remembered to go to the meet up on the first day. I forgot a lot of things. I hope you guys had as much fun as we did!
I actually only stayed for about a minute...I am too shy to stick around long. I was at that same Minnie Mouse siting with my two kids, we must have just missed each other. Really is a small world! Tell us more
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #15
avinsmomma
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We must be from the sane general area in Missouri. We are driving to Galveston and mapquest shows it to be a 12 hour drive. Did you stop midway for the night or just do one long day?
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