2/2/2 Magic part 1


Sep 26, 2001
We are myself 35, DH 37 and DD 3 1/2. DH and I have cruised 7 times previously (on Holland America, Crystal, Princess, Celebrity, Windstar and Radisson Seven Seas).

We arrived in Florida the day before sailing. I can't recommend this enough! Contrary to the airline's insistance that they do 100% bag matching, one of our bags didn't arrive until 12 hours after we did. Luckily they were able to get it to our hotel before we sailed. We stayed at the Hilton in Cocoa Beach. For $35 on hotwire.com it was hard to go wrong but the Hilton is a peculiar hotel. None of the rooms have balconies or allow you to open the windows. The pool deck is very small. It seems like it was built to be in an office park, not on the beach. The Resort on Cocoa Beach is right next door and looked wonderful. We rented a car from Hertz which worked out well. However, don't pay any attention to the people at the return desk when they tell you to wait until noon to go to the port. Go around 11 and you'll be fine. The shuttle driver was very nice and offered to stop to let us pick up drinks or groceries if we wanted.

We met up with an old friend the night before and had a very nice dinner at Cafe Margaux which is in old Cocoa Village. A really cute victorian place to check out.

We got to the port around 11:15 and there were no lines for check in. The line to board was starting to build so I stood in line while DH and DD checked out the ship model and met Pluto. Boarding started at about 12:15 and went quickly. We headed straight to Topsiders for the infamous shrimp (as good as everyone says). Palo ressies were scheduled for 1:00 but I went up at 12:45 and they were already in full swing. No matter what the Navigator says...get there at least 15 minutes before if you want something specific. This applies to the spa, tickets for tea with Wendy and seating changes too.

There was a bit of a mix-up as we had received confirmation of main seating but our KTTW card had us as second seating. No one could seem to explain how this happened, but it was fixed easily. We had the PLA rotation which was great. My TA had requested it, not sure if it had any effect, but we did get it.

Rooms were ready by 1:15 and (yippee!!) our luggage was waiting for us when we got there. The KTTW cards seem to work best if you don't insert and remove them too fast. As one of the room stewards told me in his Bahamian accent "Slow down, Mickey don't like it when you're nervous." Good advice!

The cabins are very nice (although the bed was a bit squishy, probably from so many kids jumping on them). The split bath is a great feature. The cabin is among the largest I've stayed in even among the upscale lines like RSSC. Everything is SO CLEAN on the ship. I don't know how they do it, but they do it very well. The beverage cooler was by no means cold but it got the job done.

We hit the Mickey pool and I did the last little bit of running around for the afternoon (they don't call it a ressies scramble for nothing!). The drink of the day was available in a plastic DCL mug (which is identical in size and shape to the ESPN mug) for only $2 more. All week, you could then have it filled with draft beer or the drink of the day for the price of a regular size. Not a bad deal! After all the running around I treated myself to a Bahama Mama.
Vacation is really starting now!

More later....:D
Didn't realize you could get the DCL refilled for price of reg. drink all week! Great info. Anxious to hear more about your trip.


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