As I am suffering from some post-cruise depression, I thought writing a trip report would boost my spirits. I hope the information found below is useful to some of you reading this. Cast is DH (46), DS (almost 9) and myself, DW (42). This is Disney cruise #6 for us (3 on the Wonder and now 3 on the Magic) with three others planned. Clearly, we are hooked. We few out of Minneapolis on Friday afternoon with no weather issues (yeah!). We rented a car from budget for our drive out to the port. We stayed at the airport Marriott, but we headed to a local grocery store before checking in to pick up diet Coke and bottled water. Although both are available on board, we didnt want to hit the drink station every time we wanted a soda or water. Although the burden of getting these into a rolling suitcase and hauling them until we got to our stateroom fell on DH, he said it was worth it and we would do this again next year. The next morning, we headed to the terminal. We arrived about 10:00 and I was dropped off with the luggage. My goal was to get an early boarding number and check in, so that we could all enjoy our time in the terminal and look for other Dissers. The plan worked well because I received a card that let us board with group 2, and I was able to check us all in. We had been upgraded from a Cat 6 to a Cat 4 (more on that later), but I inquired about moving to a Cat 3. None were available so I cant tell you the $ associated with upgrading at the port. DS and DH dropped off the car at Budget, took the shuttle back and by 10:30 we were all back together. We had registered DS into the Lab via the web, but used this time to pick up the pager and get his wristband. We also hooked up with other Dissers, thanks to the green bracelets we were all wearing. Leejay22 who had purchased a bunch through a website. Before we knew it, we were boarding and having lunch at Parrot Cay! At 1:30, we headed up to our Stateroom. The Cat 4 is slightly bigger, and it was nice to have the extra room. However, as a family of three, we probably wouldnt shell out the extra cost for the space. I can see where a family of 4 might enjoy it, especially because the steamer trunk is bigger than the Cat 6. We were in 8506, which was pretty far forward with no cabins across from us which resulted in very little hallway traffic. We definitely appreciated the upgrade, but there was a rattle in the cabin, right above the bed which drops from the ceiling. Even when the ceiling bed was stored, the rattle was very prominent. We had very rough seas on each of our sea days, and the rattle really kept us up at night. We reported it to the Stateroom host, who then reported it to Management but we received no resolution. I reported our dissatisfaction on our comment card. Moving on, our servers were great. We had Wisanu (Thailand) and Ivalena (Bulgaria). Both were pleasant and treated us great. John from Scotland was our head server, and I just want to give him a plug if I can. He continually checked the various foods and desserts that DS was interested in for nuts (DS has a severe peanut allergy) and he was very engaging with DS. We also mentioned that on our comment card! Another treat was seeing past servers. Maria (Hungary) remembered us as did Emmanual (Phillipines) whom we saw in Palo. We always send pictures back to the Cast Mates, and will do the same this year. Don (Trinidad) was our stateroom host. He is friends with ODell, our Stateroom host from our 2003 Magic trip. ODell is now on the Wonder, so we are planning to send him a picture of Don & DS. Don taught DS how to make a stingray towel animal. He was really terrific and spent a lot of time with DS making sure he could do it.. Don had arranged for his supervisor to arrive at our room at a specific time, whereby DS was to create the stingray and get a certificate. Unfortunately, the supervisor didnt show, even though he or she was called twice and promised to be on the way both times. Although I know there are soooo busy, this was disappointing. Of course, Don made sure DS received his certificate. St. Maarten - We slept late and had a leisurely breakfast before heading over to Great Bay Beach on St. Maarten. We always have a blast there and could not wait to get back. You simply take a water taxi ($5 each adult, kids free) to the island. It just takes a few minutes. As we exit the pier area, we walk to the right and look for Miguel, who mans the lounge chairs with the orange umbrellas. For $10 we received use of two lounge chairs and an umbrella, and use of the bathroom at the restaurant right behind us. Miguel also delivers drinks and food from the restaurant right to the chairs! He even asked a lady bathing topless to put some cloths on, as there were so many kids on the beach that day. The beach has a beautiful view of the port and is nice and clean. There are ladies selling trinkets that walk up and down the beach, but I dont find them to obtrusive. I know there are probably some really great beaches on St. Maarten, but this is very convenient and also close to the shopping area. DH headed over to the shops and purchased some tie-die t-shirts while DS and I made sand castles. St. Thomas - We had never been to Megans Bay before, and decided this was the time to do it We didnt want to be tied down to the time lines of an excursion, so we did it on our own with no problem. We left the ship about 10:30 or 11:00. There were plenty of taxis, although we waited 5 to 10 minutes for our taxi to fill up before we left. The driver made a stop in downtown to let off a couple of folks who wanted to shop, and then we headed over the top of the island back down to the other side. Wow! What a view! Megans Bay has a small entrance fee ($3 adults, $0.25 children). We were dropped off in the middle of the stretch of beach. DH went down and rented two chairs ($6 each plus a $5 deposit for each. You get the deposit back if you return the chairs). It was kind of a pain to lug them back and forth, but it was nice to have chairs. We also had lunch at the beach and, I was impressed with the choices and quality. They also have a gift shop. We only stayed a few hours, and it was easy to catch a cab back. There were a lot waiting. We had to wait 10+ minutes for a couple other families to join us before the driver left, but we were back on the ship and in our room by 2:30 or thereabouts, which left plenty of time to relax before sail away at 5:00. Returning Cruisers Party - This was really cool! If you are a fan of the infamous travel channel video, you will recognize the name of Tom McAlpin (he talks about the original business plan in the video). He is now President of the cruise line, and was on board to honor the crew members who had been with DCL for 5 years or more. We had a photo op with him and also Captain Thord, who was more personable in my opinion than Captain Tom. (However, my favorite is Captain Henry from the Wonder, also on the TC video). We saw Tom McAlpin in several other spots around the ship, but I also saw him with his luggage on the morning we hit St. Thomas, so he must have been getting off before we got to Castaway Cay. Palo Brunch - This was spectacular! We prefer brunch over dinner because of the time of year we are sailing. Dinner is typically late enough that the sun is down and you cant see the ocean. Brunch has a nicer view. The food was amazing (as always) and Choi Romano was a great server. We also saw several other Dissers there, and had a mini Dismeet! Castaway Cay - I am always anxious that we dont be able to dock, but we had no problem at all. The day was breezy and a bit cool when the sun was not out, but for the most part we enjoyed sunny skies and lots of character greetings. The highlight was meeting another star of the travel channel video, Guenter who is the island manager. He was in a meeting early in the day, but before we went back to the ship we inquired again about his whereabouts. They radioed him, and he insisted on coming to us right away for a photo op! He was extremely pleasant. What a thrill!!! Before I forget, I want to mention that if you like visiting with the characters, the cruise is the best way to go. DS8 still is enamored by Minnie, and we saw her 4 times (character breakfast, CC, pirate night and semi-formal night). Because there are so many opportunities to meet the characters, they spend far more time with each child than they would at the parks. Minnie danced with DS (a major highlight for him). The Shutters photos we got from that night were amazing! Feel free to ask questions. We will answer them if we can.