Barely Live from March 25-April 1 Magic! NEW TRIP REPORT ADDED

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by dlf246, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. dlf246

    dlf246 Mouseketeer

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    I was so surprised that noone has started a live thread... so I will barely give you one. 1) because I am not good with computers and am paying by the minute.. and 2) it is great weather and fun!!!!

    But there are some things I need to report.

    In particular, I am told that this is the inaugural cruise for a big clamp down on health safety:
    ALL buffet lines have CM servers at every point. So you are not allowed to pick up plates, get food, drinks, even silverware. Even topsiders. This is our first DCL cruise, but multiple servers tell us this is new, and most have a sad expression (I think they may be a little upset at increased workload, but are trying to come across supportive)... I have asked multiple CM and all have said that nothing has prompted this, such as a recent outbreak (let me be clear: there has NOT been any recent outbreak), but that this just happens to be the voyage picked for initiation.

    Now I am a physician and I have to say I am impressed. So far the lines at buffets have been minor, and the food worth waiting for!!!

    Second... yes, I know this has been said a million times on the cruise board: make getting Palo reservations one of your highest priorities.... get up at 2 or 3AM on that first available online reservation day for you, and get those ressies... it is worth the lost sleep!

    Third: for those who do the pillowcase thing, I can tell you this via a GS person: 1) if you do not bring sharpies, the characters will use their own, no problem, 2) if you don't bring mat, no problem. 3) If you do supply sharpies, characters only use those... (my thought, might be better to not put them in, so you get better variety of colors.????) 4) they WILL deliver to stateroom Friday.

    The only thing I will add (after all the boards have unbelievable info... thanks to all for the posts of the past 6 months...) is that I have traveled on many cruises, including one "upper class" (see signature below), and this cruise has been spectacular. The food is great, the workers are great, and it is so so attuned to the kids (one of ours is DD5 and seems in heaven).

    Lastly, thank you Gimpeaux for getting the Disbands; sorry we did not attend the Dis meeting. This is our first DCL and we were just getting oriented... and fact we still are!!!

    WARNING: this thread says "Barely Live" for a reason... this post in no way obligates the OP to any further posts UNTIL we return.

    Oh, and one more thing (as beloved Lt Columbo would say), I dedicate this pitiful little thread to who I thought has done the best thread ever in the history of these boards: Tenorator!! Now Tenorator, you must, must book soon so we all get an encore!!!
     
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  3. mdoodle

    mdoodle Earning My Ears

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    We were on the cruise last week. Also had the same thing with servers handing you everything as you get into the buffet lines, plus the wet wipes to wipe your hands before you go into any restaurant. Also thought this was a great idea.
     
  4. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    Glad that you are enjoying your cruise. :) If the navigators are new and include the kid's activities PLEASE could someone onboard grab an extra set or scan them so that we can update the boards? TIA!
     
  5. tinkerbellmagic

    tinkerbellmagic don't hate me because I loved the castle cake

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    Cool, I came here to see if there were any live reports from the March 25 cruise. I was supposed to be on this cruise, but had to cancel. Still, my heart is out there with all of you. I keep saying to my daughter, "It's 1 pm. We'd be boarding by now," or "It's 6 pm. We'd be sailing by now." She just rolls her eyes. Anyhow, I hope you have a most magical cruise!

    I will check back for any updates, but will not make you walk the plank for not doing so. :goodvibes

    Looking forward to future trip reports. :D

    Tink
     
  6. churchlady

    churchlady Mouseketeer

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    We cruise May 20th. I want to hear about EVERYTHING!!
     
  7. dlf246

    dlf246 Mouseketeer

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    mdoodle: I think it has gone another step than that. At each station (salad, meat, etc) there are 1-2 CM to whom you say, 1 carrot, some lettuce, 2 of that cheese... etc.
    I did find that the condiments, beverage bar, and ice cream are not manned.
     
  8. dlf246

    dlf246 Mouseketeer

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    lbgraves: we got our pic of DD5 in her Cinderella outfit with Cinderella last night...
    I will keep all Navigators and scan in April... I don't know how to post, so will probably later get email address to send. I will not be able to know if they are "new".
     
  9. dlf246

    dlf246 Mouseketeer

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    Too busy to say much... too much fun.

    Yesterday was our day of glitches... but you will have to hear about them after we get back.

    Yes, BARELY an update..........
     
  10. ibouncetoo

    ibouncetoo <font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi

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    You guys were switched to Costa Maya (instead of Cozumel), right?

    The April 8th Western is still scheduled for Cozumel....as of yesterday anyway...but there are going to be 7 ships docked there!

    My good pal, geffric (Susan) is on your cruise.....hope you are all having a blast!
     
  11. castlegazer

    castlegazer <font color=9933cc>Soccer Mom - no really, I am a

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    Maybe geffric can do some updates - did we tell her to bring back navigators? we should have.......... NEED NAVIGATORS - NEED NAVIGATORS!!! Thanks for the mini updates - it's all good info to have.
     
  12. dlf246

    dlf246 Mouseketeer

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    Still been great in all categories. Again, I am going to save reporting glitches until we get back.

    Just wanted to update the one thing that is NEW: the food serving... just to show how the servers are still dealing with the change, the beverage station at Topsiders buffet is a gray area. Some servers insist on you telling them what drink, and they get the glass and do the machine while you stand next to them. Moments ago at breakfast the server said no problem for me to both pick up glass and get the soda!!

    After a cool sailaway (but sunny), and cool and bit cloudy Key West, it has been warm and now today at Costa Maya (yes, Ibouncetoo, Costa Maya but we've known that for almost 2 months) it is hot!

    Again, will post full list of great things and glitches when we are returned and rested...
     
  13. taeja71

    taeja71 <font color=deeppink>I'll type real slow...<br><fo

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    Thanks for the semi-live report. I haven't seen one in a while.
     
  14. dlf246

    dlf246 Mouseketeer

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    OK, here are the promised quickie "greats" and "glitches". If it helps: this is our 1st DCL cruise: 1st cruise overall for DD5, 2nd cruise for DD16 & DS14, 4th cruise for DW and 5th for me (no age will be offered)

    I am just going to list items that are either real important or new:

    Speaking of "new", be sure to read my earlier posts above on food serving changes that started on this Magic. (bottom line: as a physician, I liked them, will be interesting to see if they can continue since labor intensive).

    Let's start with glitches:
    1) our stateroom attendant Bryan for 7118/7119 was very thorough, great towel animals, did his job, but... we found that whenever we asked for anything that was not routine, he would usually looked pained in the face for a moment, or would start to seem to object... and then went on his way.

    Here is best example. We were 5 people sharing 2 rooms. Our DD5 wanted to sleep 1/2 nights in one room and 1/2 in other. We dutifully explained this the 1st night, and promised to tell him early in the day which bed to make up that night. That first time, he got that uncomfortable look, but said nothing.

    The 2nd afternoon (early), we told him to do same bed for that night (our room), and he looked uncomfortable, but said nothing. Then the 3rd day, when I told him that was a night to make up bed in the teens room. He surprised me by saying that he will do that, but that he will make up our room's third bed also, and will make our room's third bed all week, as it is too hard to not do it that way. Any night she is sleeping with teens, he will make up their bed, but we will still have our extra bed made up.

    2) shore excursion info. (disclaimer: we only did 3 DCL excursions... so this is anecdotal). DCL emphasizes the independence of the local operators... and we think that is RIGHT! but not exactly best... a: the shore excursion desk person was very misinformed in the Key West snorkel catamaran excursion b: we thought 2 of the excursions were modified by the local operator in a way that other cruise lines would not have allowed..., and c: we noticed that we never had surveys specific to the excursion (some other cruise lines do this, and probably allows them to keep the excursions better).

    3) Teen program.... I was sad that my teens did not bond much with the DCL (Stack) program... now I think 95% of this is the nature of the challenge of bonding teens, but 5% of me was disappointed that DCL was not able to do better than Royal Caribbean/Princess much in that category.

    Before doing greats, I would like to make some random comments:

    1) Suggestion for castaway Cay: bring some kind of banner or wind sock to attach to your umbrella or palm tree. This way your family can find your spot easier.

    2) PLEASE, Disney lovers... be calm on this... but I think potential cruisers should be aware that in various areas (especially Topsider's buffet) there is constant and an occasionally loud Disney music. I was ok with it and of course DD5 loved it. But I think that if DGM & DGF were with us, they would have gone nuts sometimes... Again, just something of which to be aware.

    3) I found the pirate party to be 5% fireworks (outstanding to be sure), 5% drama, and 90% frenzied dancing. The sail away party was 5% drama, and 95% dancing/singing. To me, that meant that if your kids are falling asleep, it is not too bad to miss... just IMHO.

    4) We did not do about 80% of the available things to do. Finally, I can understand why some people come back annually to do the same cruise. (1st night, found our our tablemates were on their 7th cruise, and I was amazed... but no longer am amazed now!!)

    Greats:
    1) I have never been on a cruise with so few, and relatively minor glitches!!!

    2) Food: With a narrow exception (described in a moment) I found the food to be superb. (Now if you have low expectations, you will never be disappointed...! so keep in mind that I didn't expect 5 star food at the Topsider buffet and Cookie's BBQ on Castaway). Palo was everything people say... great. DCL is the very best I have ever found in cooking beef at correct amount (i.e medium, medium well, etc.) One very strange exception was chocolate cake (always bland and dry...) I mean the CAKE, not the sumptious and varied chocolate filled items. (Oh, and why do they have to overbake all of the choc chip cookies....?)

    3) Pride: I found the CM's uniformly felt proud of their work and of the ship.

    4) Moving people: Disney is an expert at moving people with strategically placed helpers, line barriers. As a type "A" person, I really appreciated this.

    5) DCL air/transport/night before hotel program. This was great. While I don't think we spent that much extra compared to doing on own, the fewer headaches and the good job by all involved really would be worth extra $ in my opinion.

    Feel free to ask specific questions. And for the last time: thank you to the hundreds of posters who helped us these past 9 months of preparation.
     
  15. camom3

    camom3 Mouseketeer

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    Third: for those who do the pillowcase thing, I can tell you this via a GS person: 1) if you do not bring sharpies, the characters will use their own, no problem, 2) if you don't bring mat, no problem. 3) If you do supply sharpies, characters only use those... (my thought, might be better to not put them in, so you get better variety of colors.????) 4) they WILL deliver to stateroom Friday.


    Hi,

    We were also on the 3/25 cruise and it was awesome. I had 3 pillowcases and one photo mat signed. I forgot to bring colored sharpies and they used only black sharpies. I wish I had remembered the colored pens. Oh well.

    I'll try and write a trip report later - I have alot to say about 90% of the pool chairs having towels, etc. and no bodies on them at 7:00 a.m.

    Jen
     
  16. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    Thanks for the report!!! So glad to see that you had a fantastic time after all the planning. :) If you look at the navigators here http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/cruise-new/cr-staterooms.htm#navigators then they haven't changed. Did the kids area have their own navigators or were their activities included in the main navigator? If so, we really would appreciate the new format so that future cruisers can familiarize themselves with them...as well as us vets...before the next cruise. :) Thanks!
     
  17. lflynn

    lflynn Mouseketeer

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    They are totally new and different. Some of the staff were having a hard time figuring them out. They have all the activities on one two sided page. I think i brought some home... I can send along when I finish unpacking.

    We had an amazing trip....i thought the service, the food, the staff were all extraordinary. It was one of the best vacations we have ever taken. Palo was great.

    I do agree about the kids club, my DD loved it but given that there are so many children coming and going throughout the week it is hard for kids to bond. Once DD made a friend it was hard to ever find them again! Not sure how to get around that.

    :cheer2: :cheer2 :banana: :banana: :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :cool1: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :hippie: :hippie:
     
  18. roysbrew

    roysbrew Mouseketeer

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    Did you do any excursions in Costa Maya with your DD5? We are going on the double dip in July. I'm looking for a good excursion. Our DD & DS are 4.
     
  19. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    YIKES! OK, I will try not to panic until I have seen them. ;) Why mess with a good thing? ;)
     
  20. tinkerbellmagic

    tinkerbellmagic don't hate me because I loved the castle cake

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    Thanks so much for the report! :)

    What a great idea!

    You got that right. I remember being able to relax more on our second cruise knowing we wouldn't get to do most of what is offered and will have other chances to do so on future cruises.

    Well, I know many folks like those cookies, but I don't like them at all. I wasn't sure if the problem was overbaking or what. They just didn't taste good to me (on 4 cruises). But we are used to baking our own, so that could be it too.

    It sounds like you had a magical time. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Tink
     
  21. videogal1

    videogal1 DIS Veteran

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    Yep, like cardboard...
    pirate: aargh
     

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