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Old 08-26-2001, 08:19 PM   #1
NboroGirl
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Post Grandmother of all Magic reports - FINAL chapter

WHO: Me (41)
DH (40)
DS13 (13)
DS10 (10)

WHAT: 7 day cruise on the Disney Magic

WHEN: August 11 - August 18, 2001

SATURDAY - August 18

I didn't sleep very well last night. I pretty much dozed on and off from 4:00 to 5:30, which is about the time I actually got up. We had early seating, so our breakfast time was 6:45 and I wanted to make sure we didn't oversleep, so I put in for a wake up call at 6:00. The Mouse himself called at 5:55 and told me there was a lot to do today, so I'd better get going. He called again at 6:05 just to make sure I was up.

We got our charge slip for the cruise under the door. It was for $757.80, which included our tips. Not bad, but still more than I thought it would be, since we hardly ever ordered any drinks (DH had a glass of wine with a few dinners), didn't really buy much on board, and didn't do any excursions. The tips, the spa (including the $50 Ben-Gay), the rentals at Castaway Cay and those glasses of wine add up.

Our breakfast was in Lumiere's. We could have gone to Topsiders, but they just have a continental breakfast up there, which I took to mean juice and rolls. In the dining rooms, you order breakfast off the same menu they use during the cruise. I wasn't very hungry at that hour but I knew it would be a while before I got lunch, so I ordered sausage and hash browns. I was a little disappointed that the hash browns weren't the chunks of potatoes and onions that I had for breakfast at Lumiere's earlier in the week. Instead they were the patties that Topsiders serves. They are good, but not AS good. DH got an omelet and the kids ate light (just a bagel for one, and a pancake for the other.)

After we ate we noticed a line forming in the atrium to get off the ship. We weren't in any hurry so we went up to a deserted deck 9 for a while, then down to deck 4 to sit in the comfy deck chairs one last time. DH, who thought he had been carrying his book around, all of a sudden didn't know where it was - he thought he lost it. After rummaging through his carry-on he located it and was relieved. Shortly after, we noticed that people were getting off the ship so we decided it was time.

Once off the ship we went to the blue section of the baggage claim, where our bags were placed, and had a hard time locating our luggage. It didn't seem to be in order by room number. We finally found 3 of our 4 bags but it took us a long time to locate that final bag.

TIP: I noticed a cast member in each colored section with a clip board. He asked me my cabin number and then told me which rack our bags were on (this was after we already found 3 of our bags and DH was just about to find the fourth).

There are several porters offering to take your luggage - I was tempted to get one so we wouldn't have to drag our suitcases in the customs line, but we managed on our own. We sailed right through customs and were out the door.

Here's where things got a bit interesting. Once out the door, the Disney buses are to the left, and the other transportation pick-ups are on the right (Avis, Tiffany town car, etc.) I wanted to check our bags and asked a cast member where Delta was - he said go to the left, all the way down. Sure enough, there was Delta, as far away is it could be. We showed Delta our airline tickets and they checked our bags, so we started leaving the airline/Disney buses area to head to the Avis shuttle area. We were then accosted by a Disney employee named Chris who demanded to see our KTTW cards. DS10 was still wearing his on his lanyard, so we showed her that one, but it had a sticker on it from the Oceaneer's Club, so she asked to see someone elses. I fished for mine in my purse as she asked "Did you purchase Disney transportation?" I answered no. She then looked at my KTTW card and informed us the airline luggage check-in was a courtesy only for those passengers who purchased Disney transportation. We didn't know - as a matter of fact, I got a tip off these boards that when renting a car from Avis to drive to the airport, you can save money by renting a smaller car since you can check your bags at the port. DH then asked how much we needed to pay, then. She replied "It's $24 per person" at which DH quickly replied "Forget it! We'll go back and get our bags back, then. That's a rip off!!" She said "Now, now, I'll tell you what I'll do for you. I will charge you for just one person", so DH followed her, credit card in hand, to pay the $24 transportation charge just so we could get our bags taken to the airport. Fortunately for us, Chris could not find her charge slips, so she told him never mind - our luggage would get a free ride. I wonder if we had used a porter to check in our luggage, if we would have even encountered this problem. They probably wouldn't have even noticed. The people behind us in line used a porter, and I heard them asking "What airline and flight number?" and the people in line just told them (didn't even need to show them an airline ticket). The porters then wisked their luggage away through a side door right to the airline check-in counters.

We continued walking to the Avis area with just our carry-ons, and it was here DH realized he could not find the baseball style hat he bought in St. Maarten. He remembered carrying it out of Lumiere's and figured he must've put it down back on deck 4 when he was looking for his book. He was bummed, because it was the only souvenir he bought.

Avis showed up right away and took us to the Radisson, where we picked up our Oldsmobile Alero at 8:15. The drive to the airport was quiet and somber. I was not really feeling sad that our cruise was over, because I was looking forward to getting back home and getting our dog. But I think we were all tired.

At the airport, DH had a difficult time returning the car to Avis, because back in Port Canaveral, they wrote the check-out time as 9:15 instead of 8:15. We tried returning the car at 9:00, which, according to their computers, was BEFORE we even checked it out. It took several minutes to get that straightened out. Luckily we had plenty of time until our 11:40 flight.

Inside the airport, we obtained our boarding passes from those EZ Check-In computer terminals and noticed our flight was delayed until 12:00. We settled ourselves at the gate and I took DS10 to the Disney store, where he bought yet another stuffed Eeyore. (He collects them. He now has five, all different sizes.) Later, he and I went to Nathan's and got hot dogs and cheese fries. I also got cheese fries to take back to the gate for DS13, who wasn't too hungry, while DH went to Burger King to get some lunch.

Our plane to Boston was late arriving in Orlando, which further delayed our flight. We finally took off at 12:25, 45 minutes late and arrived in Boston at 3:10. It took us almost 2 hours to get our luggage, pick up our rental car, another Mitsubishi Diamont, and drive through traffic-clogged Boston, arriving home at 5:00. As we were walking in the door, I said "Well, the Magic is about to set sail on another cruise!"

We had a wedding reception to attend at 7:00, but luckily it was next door, so I managed to get two loads of laundry done that night.

It was good to be home.
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Old 08-26-2001, 09:29 PM   #2
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WOW! Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed report. Did you call DCL about DH's hat?

Interesting twist to the luggage checking. You would think that if you were flying that airline, the tickets would be all you had to buy. Is the luggage on the Disney Buses or on a Delta transport? I can understand if DCL is carrying it. Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-27-2001, 08:27 AM   #3
NboroGirl
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Thanks, Relling Twin. I told DH he should call DCL and they probably have his hat, but he didn't. It's probably too late now.

As for the luggage thing, I don't believe the luggage went on the Disney buses, but I'm not positive. It seemed as though it was independent of the buses, which is why I didn't give it any thought. I never would have checked it with Delta if I had known.
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Old 08-27-2001, 04:14 PM   #4
Keline
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Thumbs up

Thanks for a great job. I kept looking forward to a new post every day. (I'm sorry your trip is over:D) Although I felt exhausted for you after reading the final episode with the luggage! We will be leaving in a few weeks and your notes have helped us greatly. Thank you for the time you took to write it and in such great detail!
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Old 08-28-2001, 09:04 PM   #5
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Wow! I hated to see your vacation trip end almost as much as you did. What a great report. You held my interest every day and had lots of good tips. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this.
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Old 08-29-2001, 01:57 AM   #6
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about Delta -

We used a porter to help us, when we left the 7/7 cruise on 7/14.

This was a crazy day, as there had been a medical emergency the night before, and no one left the ship until 10:30am.

We walked right out of the terminal, and immediately were asked what time our flight was (1:05), and we follwed the porter to the Delta "Desk". It was just a small podium in front of the back of a small (18-ft?) truck, that luggage was being loaded into as people checked their bags.

We almost had 2 SNAFUs - the skycap who helped us tagged our bags to Dallas rather than all the way to Las Vegas, and we asked him to fix it. (we had ticket-less tickets, and only had an itenerary to show him, and he still got it wrong with the flight #s right in front of him) Then another skycap started putting someone else's tags onto our bags, and I had to tell him, no that's not their bags, those are mine, and I watched them all like a hawk until I saw that all of our stuff was on that truck & tagged properly.

No one asked to see the transfer ticket that was included with our cruise documents. We only purchased one way. Anyone could have checked bags & walked right onto a bus.

Maybe they didn't care because they just wanted the ship and the terminal cleared of the 7/7 passengers and only wanted to run us all out!! But if they ever compare their bus passenger counts to how many transfers actually sold, if the numbers don't match they may see it as losing $$$. So maybe that's why they cracked down on you.
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Old 08-29-2001, 01:28 PM   #7
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thanks very much for such lovely trip reports..
it was great to relive cruises already taken on the magic and gear up for the next!


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Old 08-29-2001, 02:33 PM   #8
NboroGirl
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I appreciate your kind words - it made typing in my trip report worth it. If I helped just one person with a future Disney cruise, then I'm happy, because I've gotten so much useful info off these boards, I wanted to try and pay some of it back. And I'm relieved to see I didn't bore you (well, at least I didn't bore everyone. :D
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Old 08-30-2001, 04:07 PM   #9
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FANtastic

I think I got a little misty when we got to the last day. What a great trip report. I learned so much. I hope mine is as good. I sail next month and simply can't wait.

Thanks again
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Old 08-31-2001, 12:30 AM   #10
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NboroGirl-
Thank you soooo much for your detail orientated, thoughful and insightful trip reports. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one.
I specifically remember the last days' breakfast being a big dissapointment (especially the McDonalds like hash browns - yuk). I know what you mean about the luggage scramble when debarking. We too, flew Delta and it was fast and confusing getting out of there. I didn't think it made a difference weather you used Disney transportation or not. We were so tired from the cruise/activities/sun and having to get up so early the last day that we rented a room for the "day rate" of $60 at the Hyatt at the airport and napped as our flight home was not until 3 pm! Thanks again for the excellent trip reports!
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Old 09-07-2001, 05:51 PM   #11
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Talking

Thank you for the grandmother of all reports (and for answering all my questions)! I'm sure I'll have more.
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