WHO: Me (41) DH (40) DS13 (13) DS10 (10) WHAT: 7 day cruise on the Disney Magic WHEN: August 11 - August 18, 2001 TUESDAY - August 14 I woke up at 6:00 and got up 45 minutes later. DS10 and I went topside to view the docking at St. Maarten. We backed in (just like we'll back in on St. Thomas and Castaway Cay). RCCL's Monarch of the Seas shared the dock with us. I wanted to video tape some of the coastline, but when I turned on our Sony camcorder, it beeped a few times and then went dead. I tried to remember what the flashing symbol I saw in the viewfinder meant, but I didn't know. I figured the battery pack must be dead. We went back to the cabin and tried changing the battery pack, but I still couldn't turn on the camera. Hmmm...there IS a lithium battery in it too. The manual says it only lasts about 1 year, and we've had it over 2 years, so I'll get a new one in town and hope that fixes the problem. DH, DS10 and I sent to Topsiders for breakfast, while DS13 still slept. It was our first time eating here in the morning and I liked it. There was a lot of variety - scrambled eggs, omelets, sausage, bacon, hash browns, assorted danish and rolls, assorted fruits and melons, cereal, bagels, toast, juices, and milk. I loved the pasteries filled with chocolate. My only complaint is the toast/bagels aren't very warm so the butter wouldn't melt on them. I'm thinking I'll probably end up eating here the rest of the week. We came back to the cabin after breakfast to wake up DS13, and DH took him to Topsiders to get something to eat. I went to the excursion desk because I wanted to shop in St. Maarten, and I wanted to stay within walking distance of the ship, but it didn't look like there was any place to shop nearby. The person at the desk assured me there was shopping at the end of the dock. We left the ship and walked to the end of the dock and there is a small, VERY small shopping area there. It was really only two stores - a small store with a limited selection of shirts, hats and post cards. DH bought a baseball type of hat here. The other store was a sort of 7-11, selling snacks and drinks mostly. We decided to take the water taxi to the real shopping district. The taxi was $5 per person, but DS10 was free. We were on a mission to buy tropical shirts for the tropical dinner tonight. I wish we had shopped at more of the stores before deciding. It was so hot, though, and I think the kids wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. DS10 found a bright orange shirt that he liked. It also came with a pair of matching shorts that he assured me he would wear some time, but thus far has not. The shopkeeper said the set was $8. DH also bought a shirt in this same shop, but I didn't really care for the one he chose. I wish he'd looked around a bit some more. His shirt was $7, but we only had to pay $14 for both. I decided not to try and haggle the price down because a) they were so inexpensive to begin with, and b) I figured we earned a lot more money than the people here did (maybe this is a false assumption) and I didn't want to try save a couple of bucks at their expense. DS13 was more finicky and checked out a couple of stores before settling on a shirt for $10. I liked his shirt best of all, and it appeared to be better made. I didn't need a shirt - I'm going to wear a bright floral shirt I bought in Hawaii years ago. We walked around the shopping district a bit. There are people standing on the corners handing you slips of paper with discount coupons for various stores, trying to entice you to go there. We bought a lithium battery for our camcorder and some post cards. It was so hot, so we caught the water taxi and headed back to the ship. On our walk back to the taxi, I got asked several times if I wanted my hair braided. I just said 'no' and kept going. There's an ATM machine in the little shopping plaza at the end of the dock, so DH stopped there to get us some more cash. We figured we would need about $100 for tomorrow's visit to St. John. By now it was 11:30. The first thing we did back on board was try the lithium battery in the camcorder, but the camcorder still would not power on, which means it must be broken. DARN! Why do these things always happen to us on vacation? When DH and I went to Paris two years ago, my 35mm camera decided to break on day 1, and I ended up using disposable cameras the entire week. The kids and I went to deck 9 and it was deserted. They were thrilled because there was no one in line for the Mickey slide. I had read on these boards that someone (an adult) asked if she could go down the Mickey slide while the ship was in port since there weren't any kids in the pool and she was allowed. I tried to coax DS10 to ask the cast member at the top of the slide if I could go down, but he wouldn't ask. DS13 asked and was told "Sorry, the slide is only for kids." Oh well. We decided to have lunch at Pluto's. I had a chicken sandwich that was pretty good. The only drinks available at the drink station 24 hrs. are coffee (and tea and hot chocolate), milk, and ice water. You can get ice tea and punch at Topsiders when they are serving lunch, so we went there for fruit punches and for our desserts. BTW, today's buffet at Topsiders was the Mexican buffet. The boys wanted to see Spy Kids, playing at the Buena Vista theater, so we changed and the three of us went to the movie. It was pretty empty, and FREEZING in there. While we were at the movie, DH went to the internet cafe because his company was announcing his chip to the world today, and he wanted to read about it on the web site. He spent almost an hour on-line for $41. He said his company would reimburse him for it, though. After the movie we went back to the Mickey pool, which by now was starting to fill up more. The slide was still empty, though. It was real windy on deck, especially considering we were docked and not moving at all. Being frozen from the movie theater, I was still a little cold on deck, even with all that sunshine. DH decided to see Pearl Harbor, which was showing in the theater after Spy Kids. He really wanted to see that movie but after seeing it thought it was "just OK". The rest of us went back to the cabin for some rest time before dinner. Tonight was tropical night, so we donned our bright tropical shirt and headed to Lumiere's. I had the pineapple boat, the beef tenderloin teriaki and the triple chocolate layer cake. All were good, but none were exceptional. The pineapple boat came with a banana covered in coconut. I don't like bananas and I'm not overly fond of coconut, so I didn't eat it. My waiter kept trying to get me to try it and I kept saying I didn't want to. He made me feel a bit uncomfortable. If I had wanted it, I would have eaten it, and since I didn't, he should have just let me be. All the waiters wore brightly colored shirts. They said they were going to perform for us. I remember on RCCL on tropical night, the waiters danced around with flaming desserts on their heads, some balancing wine bottles on their foreheads doing the limbo, some balancing spinning trays on their head and on each hand, all while dancing the limbo REALLY low. The only thing the waiters on the Magic did was to start a conga/limbo line, including several of the children in the dining room. It only lasted about a minute and it disappointing since I was expecting so much more. DS10 and DS13 joined the conga line and appeared to have fun. I wished I had my camcorder. I had Dennis, our assistant server, take our picture with our bright shirts and leis, and I took their pictures, too. The ship photographer stopped at our table and snapped a couple of pictures of our family. Gonzolo, our head server, stopped by our table again to chat briefly with us. After dinner the boys and I went ot Studio Sea for Name That TV Show. We got there a little late and missed the first few theme songs. I got the next couple and then didn't do very well on the rest. One family got 35 out of a possible 36 points. All I could think was "get a LIFE, people!" Either they have fantastic memories, or they watch a LOT of TV. I later stopped at Mickey's Mates for some post cards and took them back to the room to write out. Our towel animal tonight was a cobra. I wanted to bring some food on our trip to St. John tomorrow, so I called room service to see if I could get some sandwiches delivered tomorrow morning to take with us. This was a tip I got off these boards, since food at the snack bar at Trunk Bay was supposedly expensive. However, I was promply informed that we are not allowed to take food off the ship. So much for that tip! At 10:00 we went to the Tropicalifragilisticexpialidocious (sp?) deck party. The band played the same songs as they did during the sail-away part from Port Canaveral. They didn't play very long, either - mostly it was the DJ. We danced a bit. A dessert buffet opened up on deck at 11:00, so I grabbed a bunch of cookies, so I could at least take something with us tomorrow. I also grabbed what looked like that yummy mousse cake I had at the dessert buffet Sunday night but it wasn't that and I didn't care for it. It sprinkled (back where I come from, we say it "spit") for about 20 seconds. We finally pulled away from St. Maarten and we watched the coast line disappear on the back of deck 9. Then it was time for bed.