1/26/02 Sailing TR From Single Mom Debbie-Part 1


Earning My Ears
Feb 15, 2002
Cast of Characters:
Debbie, 39 year old single mom
Raquel, 8 year old daughter

On Saturday, we had to get up at 5am in order to get to my sisters house for 6:30am so that we could be at the airport at 7am for our 9:20am flight. My sis drove us to the airport so we didn’t have to leave the car at long term parking. I haven’t flown since 9/11 so I didn’t know how good (or bad) the airport check-in was going to be. I have heard stories where someone has gotten strip searched on top of waiting over 2 hours to get to the gate and I’ve heard stories where people have waited 15 minutes. Well wouldn’t it figure, we waited 15 minutes at the most! But hey, it’s better to be safe then sorry.

We arrived at Orlando airport with no problems. I had purchased the cruise through travelocity.com (for $599/each) and also booked the transfers with DCL (Disney Cruise Line), although I did book the airfare on my own ($140 round trip per person from Newark to Orlando, not too bad). I booked the transfers w/ DCL since I had never sailed out of Port Canaveral and I wasn’t too sure how to get there otherwise. I did realize after the fact that I could have taken a Mears Shuttle. None the less, the DCL bus was really nice. They showed a video about the ship that lasted pretty much the whole trip to the ship. It was exciting to watch it and anticipate what the ship would look like and all the different things we would be doing on the ship.

Once we got through the gate area, the DCL reps were waiting for us with their signs. It was a very simple process. We waited in a short line to hand in our transfer tickets and then we got on the bus. One thing I did notice on the way home (day of debarkation). They never asked us for transfer coupons from the port to the airport. I almost wondered if I could have just paid for a Mears shuttle one way and then just taken the DCL bus back to the airport. Curious…anyone know anything about this?

Once we were very close to the port, the bus driver told us that when we got to the top of this one big bridge that we could see the ship in the distance. Sure enough, we could. We were getting very excited! Once we came into the port, there she was, the Disney Magic! The first thing I noticed was Goofy hanging off the ship “painting”. That was really cute. You pretty much know you are going on a Disney ship when you see Goofy hanging off the side of the ship.

We walked into the welcome area and checked in with no problems (other than a 20 minute wait in line). The welcome area was really pretty with a nice replica of the ship. Once I took care of everything for check in, we “embarked”. We walked right onto Deck 3 where the Atrium was. The man asked us our names and then he announced over the loud speaker “The Disney Magic welcomes Debbie & Raquel Hrabinski”. That was pretty cute. And of course there were the ships photographers waiting to get our pictures right away. Captain Mickey was on one of the balconies overlooking the atrium waved to everyone. That was really cute.

We quickly ran to Deck 6, Cabin 6085 to see what the cabin looked like. It was category 11, an indoor stateroom. Being that it was the lowest category cabin (well aside from category 12 which pretty much looked the same to me), it was very nice with a decent amount of room. I had been on ships before where I’ve had an outside cabin and I wondered if I would miss having a window. Frankly I didn’t even notice it all week! In fact some days it was very nice because I wanted to sleep a little bit later and I didn’t have the sunlight gleaming in on me.

I was very pleased with the cabin and the quality of the room in general. Our cabin hostess was excellent too. Her name was Paulett and she did an excellent job of keeping the room clean every day. I gave her a $60 tip at the end of the cruise since she would do nice things for us like straighten up our paperwork and fold clothes for us. She always was very prompt and we never came back to a dirty cabin or a cabin that wasn’t done for us. After talking with a couple people on the ship, their cabin stewards were not nearly as good as Paulett. Also every night we would come back to a different “creature” made out of the towels. My daughter thought that just the best. Sometimes she would leave dinner (while the adults were eating) and make up an excuse just to go back to the cabin to see what was waiting for us in the cabin. One night it was a dog with my glasses on. Another night it was a monkey hanging from the picture frame with my sunglasses on! Another night it was an elephant, another night a snake.

After we were done looking at the cabin, we strolled around the ship and tried to get our bearings a little. Then we would intermittently run back to the cabin to see if our luggage had arrived. One thing that I didn’t do which was a mistake…I didn’t pack any bathing suits or clothes in my carry-on. My daughter wanted to go in the pool and I didn’t have anything to put on her! She was disappointed and I learned my lesson. Though she had plenty of time for the pool and the beach throughout the week. Our luggage finally showed up in the cabin sometime after 5pm. We had to get ready for dinner fairly quickly since we were on the early sitting at 6pm.

We were at the Mandatory Boat Drill at 4pm. That is always a pain in the butt, but a very necessary pain in the butt. There were a lot of crying kids because they just didn’t like the big bulky vests around them. And it seemed to be taking forever to get everyone’s cabin numbers and get the process finished. There was one child that was crying hysterically about having the vest on. The lady who was taking care of us told the dad that he could remove the vest.

We made sure we were on the top deck when the ship sailed so we could take pictures and video. I wasn’t sure if I should bring my video camera but I’m really happy that I did. I wound up not bringing the whole “set-up”. Instead I just packed the video camera right in my carry-on. It has a strap that I used to carry it when I wanted to walk around with it. I brought 3 purses with me (don’t ask…I have no idea why!) and all week long you didn’t see me walking around with *one* purse! I was carrying the video camera on one arm and the regular camera on the other arm. I didn’t want to miss out on any photo opportunities. I would put my Key to the World card in my camera case and any money that I wanted to carry with me right in the camera case.
to be continued...
First off, I have to say that I love your screen name, piginmud!! :D My husband is a farmer and we used to raise pigs!! He is in partnership with his Dad and they raised them for approximately 25 years!! I used to love the baby pigs, they were so cute, and I collected pig items (still have a lot of them) too!! So, how did you decide on your screen name? Also, you said your stateroom number was 6085, we had 6082, right across the hall from you, on our trip a year ago!! :D We're going to be on the "other side" of the ship on our next trip next January though. Can't wait to go back!! :D
Hi Chattyaholic,
I love pigs! I was an Animal Science major in school and worked with swine my first year in college and just sort of started liking them! I've been collecting pig stuff ever since. I think at last count there were about 160 various pigs in my house.

I used to have my own pig buy unfortunately we had to put him down some time ago. Wilbur was a good friend tho :)

I don't know where I'll be on my 12/5 3 night cruise, but hopefully in a similar location. I liked being on Deck 6 and 6085 was midship, a good location to be in. I had absolutely no problem with the inside cabin. I've read a lot of TR's where the people have said "get a veranda" it's the only way to go. Frankly I was not in the room that much and considering that I was able to go out after my daughter went to sleep, I wasn't cooped up in the cabin all night.

Now with that said, if Disney decides to upgrade me to an outside cabin for the 12/5 cruise, I'm certainly not going to turn them down!!!


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