Our cruise was 6 nights so this will take me a few entries. I'll start with the introductions. Me (mom), my daughter (Maizie) 19, son (Ben) 17 and son (William) 8 and my parents. We traveled without my husband as he was working (and to be honest he's a bit of a scardy-cat about cruising). This cruise was a birthday gift for Ben. Maizie got have her 5th birthday party in Carnation Cafe in Disneyland and then chose a trip to Disney World with two friends for her 16th birthday. Ben always felt like he had been jipped (even though he was present for both of those trips they weren't centered around him!) I figured he was right so we surpised him with this cruise for his 17th birthday. We drove down to Galveston from Missouri. It was a 13 hour drive so we left EARLY (3am). We were all very excited so the drive was just part of the fun. We arrived in Galveston by 5:00 and checked in to our hotel (travelodge I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL, it was filthy) We had time to go to the beach for a few minutes and then went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. The next morning we had time to go down to the beach again, to run in some waves and comb the beach for shells. We dropped our van at Discount Cruise Parking and they drove us and our bags right to the terminal. It was nice to only make one trip in and it was cheap. There was a little confusion as to what to do with our bags from there, we had lugged our bags up to security ourselves as we didn't want to have to pay a porter. Then at the door to security we were told we would have to use a porter to get our bags inside. After a few moments of confusion my dad broke down and got a porter to put our bags on his cart and roll them the couple of feet inside. With our moods undaunted we headed in. We got through the security lines quickly and headed to the check in counters. That line was fast too and we were through with our boarding number (group 15) quickly. We had time to sit and be excited, and to wait in a small line to get our picture with Mickey. It didn't take long to hear our number and we gathered up everything and made our way down the gangway where we were announced and cheered onto the Magic (this is the part in the story where you pause to hear the angles sing) We made a quick stop at guest services to drop off our things to be signed by the characters. Then off to Topsiders for lunch. After lunch we headed to the spa for a tour (and received little samples of a teeth whitener which is AWESOME!!) Then to the kids areas for the open houses just to check everything out. By then we could go to our rooms so we separated from my parents and all went to see our new homes and drop our carry-on bags. The kids and I spent a little time excitedly inspecting every drawer and closet and put out our fish extender. After our quick safety drill we were able to watch the shoving off from deck 10, spot some dolphins in our wake and do some dancing at the sail away party. When we went back to our room to get ready for dinner, the bags were there and so was our first fish extender gift. We were thrilled!! We were in the first seating for dinner and met my parents and our dining servers at Animators Pallet. This was a highlight for my daughter who said she had been waiting for that moment since she saw the first Disney Cruise special on the Travel Channel years ago. After dinner we stopped by the shops just to check them out. It took everything in me to stop my 8 year old from spending all of his money right then. We practiced some patience and good money management and headed to our first show. After the show and a full day we were pretty tuckered out and headed back to room. Ben (the 17 year old) decided he wasn't as tired as the rest of us so he headed to Vibe. He took the wave phone so I was comfortable with him just going. Ben came back sometime around 1:00 but the rest of us were snoozing by then. We ordered cookies from room service and were lolled to sleep by Disney classic cartoons. It was a great start to a great vacation!