WHO: Me (41) DH (40) DS13 (13) DS10 (10) WHAT: 7 day cruise on the Disney Magic WHEN: August 11 - August 18, 2001 THURSDAY - August 16 This was our last day at sea, and I expected to spend it relaxing and doing not much of anything. I got up around 7:00. The ship was creaking a lot last night and this morning, although I'm not sure why. I see I'm still pretty sunburned on my collar bone and face. DH10 and I went to Topsider's for breakfast. I had my "usual" half bagel, 2 pineapple slices, 2 slices of bacon, 1 sausage link, chocolate danish, juice, and chocolate milk. Wow, did I really eat that much for breakfast every day? (I'm not usually much of a breakfast person.) I asked him if he'd like to go down to deck 4 and try shuffle board with me. I've never played before, and it was one of the things I wanted to try on the cruise, and time was running out. He was happy to accompany me. We don't know what the rules are, so we just shuffle our pucks back and forth, and tally up the points we get. At first I was wacking the pucks, more like playing pool, and I couldn't get them to move very much no matter how hard I smacked them. But DS10 showed me how to slide them and I did much better after that. It's funny how a 10 year old who has never played this before can figure it out, but I needed to be showed. It started getting hot so we went to the cabin to check on DS13 and DH. They were going to breakfast, so I took DS10 to the Mickey pool for is favorite activity - sliding down the Mickey slide a bunch of times. It's barely 9:00 so there is no one there. I grabbed a lounge chair in the shade since my sunburn is a bit itchy today, and read my book. While there, I noticed the black smelly smoke billowing from the smoke stack. The Mickey pool is in the back of the ship, just below the smoke stack, and I noticed several times this week while at the pool that the diesel-smelling smoke would drop down on the people at the Mickey pool. Is that good planning or what? Soon DS13 joined DS10 on the Mickey slide. After an hour the three of us returned to the cabin. I had left a note for our state room host (the kids tell me his name is Jose, although he never came and introduced himself to us) next to the towel "animal" he left us the night before, asking him what it was supposed to be. Apparently last night it fell over on the bed, so Jose had reassembled it for us on the couch, where it was able to stand up better, and it was obviously an elephant. We also received our tip envelopes and tipping form on the desk. The form is for if you want to charge your tips to your room. You fill out on the form how much to give each person and take it to Guest Services, where they will make the charges and give you tickets to place in each of the envelopes indicating the amount of the tip. DH, DS10 and I were interested in the galley tour later today, so we went to pick up passes for it outside Studio Sea. The passes have a time printed on them for when you should report to Lumiere's. Ours was 3:45, which conflicted with the matinee showing of Disney Dreams I had planned on seeing. Since we were practically in front of Lumiere's, I talked DS10 into eating lunch with me there. That was another thing I had wanted to do at least once this week - eat lunch in the dining room. So far I had done the buffets and the fast food on deck. DH decided to check out the seafood buffet at Topsiders and planned to bring DS13 with him. DS10 and I were seated with a couple from Rochester. At first I thought they were brother and sister, and I also thought they were in their late teens. But it turns out they are married. They were very friendly and chatted with my son about all the things he liked on ship so far. They had done a short cruise last year, so this was their 2nd Disney cruise. DS10 and I both ordered cheeseburgers, which were very good. I also ordered potato skins for my appetizer. For dessert, I just had to try the white chocolate cheesecake I was contemplating on last night's dinner menu and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I told DS10 how good it was and thought he'd really like it. He ordered some apple dessert that he really liked. The two of us waddled back to the room to digest, we were both so full. DH, DS13 and I wanted to see the 1:00 showing of Atlantis in the Buena Vista theater. I was tired, and so full, that I kept nodding off during the movie. (And it's a VERY loud movie!) After that, I walked down to Guest Services to charge our tips. I read on these boards that it's best to do this on Thursday before the lines get long. Next I met DH and DS10 in the atrium for our galley tour. The guided tour takes you back into the kitchens of Lumiere's and Parrot Cay. During the tour, they offered cookies in the bakery section of the kitchen, but I was still too full to take one. After our tour, DS10 wanted me to play shuffle board again. We were on the sunny side of the ship and we got hot, so we didn't play for too long. I had to take a shower when we got back to the room, though. Tonight was the Captain's Gala dinner and we ate in Parrot Cay. We got dressed up again but we didn't have any formal portraits taken tonight. Which is just as well, since my face was a bit red from my sunburn still. We saw Leonard Malten again; his table is near ours. Leonard Malten was the guest celebrity on board. Apparently he wrote a book about Disney movies and did a book signing one day. The book was available for purchase in Treasure Ketch. He also gave a talk sometime during the week. I didn't attend either, so I can't comment. He was on board with his wife. Some people actually came up to him while he was eating to ask for his autograph and to take pictures of him. He was gracious about the whole thing, but we thought "How could they be so intrusive?" I was still feeling full (well, not hungry any way) from lunch, so I skipped the appetizer tonight. DH had the grilled shrimp and it was very good. I had the beef tenderloin with bernaise sauce that came with a twice-baked potato. Both were delicious. I didn't like the vegetable au gratin that came on the plate, though. It was a sort of muffin with the texture of an omelet, with vegetables baked into it. DH ordered the scallops and fettuccini in champagne cream sauce. It came with only four scallops, which where very good, and a lot of pasta, which was "OK". We both had the chocolate lava cake which I thought was delicious and very chocolatey. It reminded me of the chocolate souffle at Palo's. I thought this was the best meal of the trip (except maybe for Palo's.) DS10 ordered the white chocolate cheesecake for dessert and it was the same thing I had for dessert at lunch today and he LOVED it. He couldn't finish his entire piece so he asked Dennis (our assistant server) if he could bring the rest back to the room. Dennis brought back a new piece, covered, for him to take back and DS10 added his leftover piece to the plate so he could take that back as well. Tonight was supposed to be "semi-formal", but I saw several people at several tables who were dressed casually. DS10 said that if they're not dressed appropriately, they should not be let into the dining room. HA! People were definitely less dressed up tonight than they were Sunday. I still saw a handful of tuxes, though. After dinner our assistant server encouraged us to fill out the comment card that would be left in our room, regarding the food and service. It seemed like he was fishing for compliments, and I half expected him to say "Don't forget our tips!" Later went to Disney Dreams. DS13 did not want to go - he seemed to know the premise of the show, and indicated he did not want to see a show about a girl who dreams about Disney characters, but we told him he was going with us and that was that. (He wanted to see the movie "Princess Diaries" instead.) We got there 1/2 hour early to get good seats, but it was already quite full, with most of the lower center section already filled. We saw a string of 12 empty seats in row L and grabbed four in the middle. I was in the very center. Then a kid around 12-13 years old came over and said he was saving all those seats. I replied "You're not allowed to save seats in the Walt Disney theater. The Navigator says so." And we stayed where we were. DH and I really liked Disney Dreams. It was their most lavish production on the entire cruise. The costumes and the scenery were beautiful. DS13 was determined not to like it, since he was forced to go. DS10, who did not mind going, did not really care for it either. What's wrong with my kids? It probably appeals more to little girls because of the romantic nature of many of the Disney movies that are portrayed in Disney Dreams. After the show the kids went back to the room. DH and I went to Treasure Ketch so I could get a gold bracelet made (gold plated, really). I had been in there earlier in the day and saw all the spools of different kinds of gold chain for sale, ranging in price from $.95 per inch to $1.50 per inch. I knew my skinny wrists only required 6" and I chose a $1.50/inch chain, so the bracelet was only $9. They cut the chain and would add a clapse and it would be ready tomorrow after 7:30. We strolled a little on deck 4 and then went to the deck 7 aft veranda to look at the stars. As usual, there was no one else here. It was a clear night with no moon, so you could really see the stars well. We were able to see the Milky Way! And all around is it's so black, except for the ship's foamy white and blue wake. It must be scary to be on a small ship in the ocean at night. Tonight's towel animal was a really fantastic peacock, which I just had to get a picture of. We went to bed fairly early (by 11:00) so we could get an early start tomorrow on Castaway Cay.