WHO: Me (41) DH (40) DS13 (13) DS10 (10) WHAT: 7 day cruise on the Disney Magic WHEN: August 11 - August 18, 2001 PRELUDE - Thursday, August 9 I spent the day doing laundry and getting things together to pack. It was a scortcher of a day, 100 degrees when we picked up the rental car at 12:30, and very humid. It was day four of a five day heatwave. Around 8:00 p.m. Delta phoned to inform me our 8:00 a.m. flight from Boston to Orlando tomorrow was cancelled. They put us on a 9:00 a.m. flight, which included a connecting flight in Cincinnati, arriving at 2:30 p.m., 3.5 hours later than we planned. We also could not get assigned seats on the Cincy-Orlando leg of the trip until we checked in at the airport tomorrow. This upset me a bit - mostly the uncertainty of it, (I'm a planner) but it was out of my control so I was determined not to let it bother me too much. DS13 was visibly upset because we'd have to skip our planned excursion to Kennedy Space Center. We wouldn't have enough time Friday for the visit. So much for plans! I decided to check Delta's web site to see how full the flight from Cincy to Orlando was, trying to determine how likely it would be we'd get bumped. I couldn't even get the flight to come up, indicating it was full and not accepting any more reservations. So I checked my reservation on-line. Delta had already changed the flight numbers and times on my itinerary, and it was then that I saw that they put us in first class for that Cincy-Orlando flight. Well, maybe this won't be so bad after all! This made us all feel better. DH had to go into work at night...his chip was nearing completion and he wanted to see his engineering team and check on its status before he left. I went to bed at 10:40 but had trouble falling asleep. I think I finally fell asleep around 11:30, shortly after DH got home. FRIDAY - August 9 I woke up just before 5:00 a.m. It's warm - 79 degrees and very humid. I did all my tasks - fed the dog, dried the dishes, reprogrammed the A/C, watered the plants and finished my packing. I woke the kids up at 5:45. They got ready pretty fast and played with Kirby, our dog (we were really going to miss him). We finished packing, loaded up the rental car, and started off. We had only gotten to the end of the driveway when I realized I had forgotten to put on my jewelry. So back we went. Hopefully, that will be the only thing I forget, and luckily I caught it in time. We left the house for real at 6:40. I'm almost glad our flight was changed - otherwise we would have had to leave the house before 6:00. We got to the airport about an hour later. Traffic in Boston wasn't bad at all. Check-in and boarding went smoothly and YES! We DO have first class seats from Cincy to Orlando. We took off about 1/2 hour late. In Cincy, we bought some slices of pizza and breadsticks at the airport and didn't even have time to eat it all before it was time to board. Each DS got a window seat, so that was nice. DS10 was sitting in the row behind me, eating breadsticks dipped in marinara sauce when he dripped some of the sauce down my back on my white shirt. Argh! The flight attendant brought me some club soda, which helped to fade the stain. I sat in row 5 with DS13. He was so thrilled with all the first class perks (his first time riding in first class)... drinks BEFORE takeoff, glass glasses, and "a seat that is actually too big" for him. Our flight left on time and we landed on time. We grabbed our bags and I noticed our large suitcase was severely dented. It's a soft-side, but the frame was bashed in, and the wheels were crooked. I stoped at Delta's Service desk to show them. First they told me "We don't do anything about wheels", and when I showed them the dent, she told me "that's normal wear and tear". I couldn't believe it! She said I could always rip the suitcase, or cut it with something, and then file a complaint. That seemed rather sleezy and dishonest to me, and I didn't want to cut up my suitcase anyway, so we were on our way to the AVIS rental office. Holy cow...first we need to take an elevator downstairs. Then we need to walk down a hallway, then take an escalator upstairs. What a bizarre airport. We finally got to the AVIS rental office. I had rented a class "E" car to ensure plenty of trunk space. DH is a preferred AVIS member, and he vaguely remembers getting a letter a while back saying he would be automatically getting an upgrade each time. We ended up with a Cadillac Deville! It was huge, and quite luxurious! I joked to my husband that he was just like the seniors living in Florida, driving his big, fat Cadillac. We got to the Radisson Port Canaveral around 4:00. Wow, it's a very pink hotel. It reminds me very much of Disney's Carribean Beach Resort. The rooms look the same and have the same layout, and are even decorated similarly - the only thing missing are the pineapples. Also, the buildings are 2 story and are motel-style, there are multiple buildings that look the same and are connected by twisty and confusing corridors and paths. It's not as big, though. My only complaint was although it had nine individual buildings it had only three elevators. We were on the second floor and didn't want to haul our suitcases up the stairs, so we had to walk way out of our way to get to the elevator, and then it was a long way to our room from the elevator. TIP: If you're staying someplace the night before, pack your luggage such that stuff you'll only need for the cruise is in separate suitcases. We had 3 suitcases and a garment bag for the four of us. The garmet bag had all of our formal clothes in it, and one of the suitcases had my and the kids cruise wear, and other cruise stuff. DH had all his stuff in the small suitcase, and in the 4th we had stuff that we'd need for our hotel stay, such as some clean clothes, PJs, swim suits, etc. That way we only needed to bring two bags up to the room, and we left two bags in the trunk of the car. We learned that yesterday's planned launch of the shuttle Discovery had been postponed to today, and its new launch time was 5:15 p.m., so we headed to the port to view the launch (along with a lot of other people). We parked along the road and walked to the shore. I guess it's a good thing we never went to Kennedy Space Center after all; we probably wouldn't have gotten near that place! We arrived at our viewing spot about 1/2 prior to the launch time. It was hot - 96 degrees, and humid. The boys were a bit cranky. The launch was moved up 5 minutes and finally, at 5:10 we saw the liftoff. It was so neat! The shuttle was trailed by a bright orange stream of fire. After about 30 seconds of delay, we heard its mighty roar! DH and I were impressed, DS13 nd DS10 just wanted to go back to the hotel and swim. We stopped at Subway, next to the hotel, for a quick dinner, and then went back to the Radisson for a swim. The water was bath water warm. The pool had a neat waterfall over the middle of it. We swam quite a while. Back in our room DS13 and I took our showers while DH and DS10 went to the store to buy some sodas. I called my mom to let her know we made it to Florida OK. We relaxed in the room watching TV and reading until it was time for bed.