WHO: Me (41) DH (40) DS13 (13) DS10 (10) WHAT: 7 day cruise on the Disney Magic WHEN: August 11 - August 18, 2001 SUNDAY - August 12 I woke up at 6:30 and got up a half hour later. I slept very well. DS10 also woke up so we walked around deck 4. I was hungry, and DH and DS13 were still sleeping, so DS10 and I went to Lumiere's for breakfast. We were seated by a window with a man from Chicago and an elderly couple from Florida. It was very nice conversing with them. When I made our reservations, I had requested a table for four. We got a table for six, but there are no others at our table - it's just the four of us. Maybe next time we'll request a larger table and be seated with other people. After breakfast I took him to the Mickey pool and it was pretty empty, so he had a bunch of turns on the slide. TIP: The Mickey slide opens at 9:00. This is a very good time to use this pool, since it is practially empty then. There aren't any/many activities scheduled for the morning anyway. DS10 was there at 9:00 every morning and there was never any wait for the slide, nor was there ever a problem getting a lounge chair next to the pool. Later we walked around on deck 10. The wind at the front of the ship was incredible! Very hard to walk. DH and DS13 met up with us after they had breakfast. The kids took off so DH and I went to the Quiet Cove adult pool for some laps followed by some hot tub time. DH went for his run afterwards, so I went back and showered and checked out the shops on board. Today at Topsiders was the Italian lunch buffet so DH and I ate there. It was very good. I especially like the large selection of desserts at the Topsiders buffets. We met up with DS10 on deck 4 and sat on those comfy deck chairs reading our books for a while. DS13 hooked up with JanMa's 13 year old son and they spent most of the day together. I wanted to attend the Behind the Scenes Stage Works Tour at 1:00 and the Art of Entertaining session on napkin folding, fruit carving, etc. at 1:30. Rats! A conflict! I decided to try the Behind the Scenes tour first...but that wasn't very interesting to me, so I left at 1:30 and went to the other. We learned how to fold napkins to make those fancy forms, such as "The Palo's Tuxedo". We also learned how to make some of their specialty drinks from one of their bartenders, such as the Bahama Mama. The last part of the session was spent on a demo by one of their chefs, showing the fancy fruit carvings and other sculptures made out of fruits and vegetables. Afterwards, we all got a Bahama Mama to sample. Yum! By now I was freezing, since Studio Sea seems to be kept at morgue temperatures. DH and I decided to go to deck 9, where it's warm and sunny, grab a lounge chair and read for a while. Ah, this is the life. TIP: Bring a sweater. Most of the public areas on ship are a bit cool, but the REALLY cold places are Studio Sea and Buena Vista Theater. Those are the only two places I needed to wear my jacket. I also usually changed into long pants before going to a movie in the Buena Vista Theater. Back to the room, we met up with DS10. Tonight was a formal night, and I wanted to us all to be ready by 5:00 so we could go down to the lobby for pictures. I wanted a formal picture of our family to update one we had a few years ago. The clock ticked closer to 5:00 and DS13 still was not back yet. He was still with JanMa's son, and he didn't have his family radio with him, so I couldn't call him. At 5:00 I was starting to fume, so I sent DH looking for him. It's funny, because I was thinking I should make sure DH takes a radio with him in case DS13 comes back. Sure enough, about 20 seconds after DH left the room, DS13 shows up. We got dressed up in our good clothes - I wore a tea length black dress with saphire flowers on it. I dressed it up with dressy black sandal high heels and my saphire and diamond necklace and earrings. My sons both wore suits, white shirts and ties. Then we waited for DH to get back. Finally he arrived, got dressed in his black suit, and we were on our way. The lines weren't too bad, and we couldn't decide which back ground we wanted, so we had our pictures taken with three of them. The first one was a backdrop of the sea at night, and it had a ship railing in front. Personally I thought this was a bit cheesy. Then we had some taken in front of the traditional backdrop. DS10 was being a bit fussy thoughout this because he was complaining his shoes hurt his feet. Finally we had some pictures taken in front of the Sailor Mickey statue in front of Lumiere's. As we were waiting in line, DS13 states that he wants to eat dinner in the dining room (Animator's Palate was our dining room this night, but DH and I had Palo's reservations). DS10 wants no part of this - he only wants to get back to the room, change his clothes, and get pizza at Pinnochio's. DS13 doesn't want to eat in the dining room alone, so we tell DS10 that he has to go to Animator's Palate, too. He breaks down and starts crying, just before it's our turn to be photographed. We compromise - he'll go to Animator's Palate if can go back to the cabin and change into his sneakers first. I agree to that (must've looked cute with his dark suit!) We dry his tears and get some pictures taken, and then we're done. We sent them on their way, and DH and I head up to Palo's. (When I was packing for the cruise, I had DS13 bring me his and DS10's dress shoes so I could pack them. It turns out that DS13 brought up an old pair of dress shoes for DS10 that were two sizes too small! No wonder he was complaining about his shoes hurting his feet! I didn't realize this until we got back from the cruise.) I got a tip from these boards to have your formal pictures taken on Sunday if possible. You can also get them taken on the Thursday formal night, but people often have sunburns or funny tan lines by then, so they might not look as good. In my case, my face and parts of my arms did get sunburned by Thursday, so I'm very glad we had done them Sunday. We got to Palo's 10 minutes early. We were the first ones there and I told the host that we're early (I didn't mind waiting) but he said "That's OK, we're open" and he showed us to a table by the window. Our server was Salvatore from Italy - how authentic...a real Italian waiter in the Italian restaurant. He was great - and kind of funny. We really enjoyed him and tipped him extra. I ordered the mozzarella and tomatoes (which was OK), the penne pasta with pancetta (this was delicious!) and the chocolate souffle (heavenly!). DH ordered the fried calamari (very good), tenderloin with hollendaise and shrimp sauce (excellent) and tiramasu (good). He also asked Salvatore to recommend a wine and ordered a glass of it (I don't remember what it was). Salvatore also brought us a chicken-olive-spinach pizza that he wanted us to try for an appetizer. It sounds strange, but it was actually very good. When our desserts were being served, he brough DH a chocolate souffle, but not the tiramasu he had ordered. He also brought us panna cotta (a creamy custard dessert) that he wanted us to try. DH told him "I ordered tiramasu". I guess Salvatore goofed. DH told him never mind, the souffle was fine, but Salvatore went and got him a tiramasu as well, so we had four desserts between the two of us! DH liked the souffle better than the tiramasu (and tiramasu is one of his favorite desserts). The panna cotta was also very good - and very rich. But nothing could beat the chocolate souffle. We were STUFFED by the time we left. We were the first diners to leave. Even though it was after 7:00, Palo's was only about 20% full. Where was everyone?? After dinner we went back to the cabin and met the boys. Our towel animal was a lobster, again made out of a blanket. Arnel and Dennis, our servers, had taken good care of them at Animator's Palate. (They told us the night before that our boys were welcome to eat in the dining room when we went to Palo's.) DS10 and DS13 told us they got to meet our head server, Gonzolo, who came over and handed them tickets to the character breakfast at Parrot Cay tomorrow morning. Tonight was the Captain's Gala in the Promanade Lounge. It was from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. for our dinner (first) seating. Since the boys didn't want to stay dressed up that long, and I didn't want to be dressed up for the show, we made a family decision to skip it. After changing our clothes, DS13 and I went to Shutters to check out our Welcome Aboard photo. DS10 looked grumpy in it. I didn't know if I wanted to buy it, so I left it there for now. Walking back to the cabin, I peeked at the Captain's Gala and it was nice seeing so many people dressed in their finest. Even Belle, with her beautiful ball gown, was there greeting the little children. We went to "Hercules the Muse-ical" a half hour early because we wanted good seats in the center section. Already it was quite full. It was cold in there, and I was glad I remembered to bring my jacket. As more bodies filled the theater, it tended to get more comfortable, temperature-wise. The show was pretty good, although I didn't care for the beginning. DS13 thought this was the best show all week (except for the comediens). After the show, we made the kids get ready for bed. We could tell they were getting over tired. DS10 decided he was hungry. He tried to order cookies from room service, but he was put on hold for 5 minutes so he hung up. He tried again, but the same thing happened, so he gave up and went to bed. So much for room service! DH and I had a busy evening. We caught Rich Purpura's comedy/magician act at 10:15 in Rockin' Bar D, followed by Dueling Pianos in Off Beat, topped off by the dessert buffet in Lumiere's at 11:30. The comedy act was packed and well worth our time. He was so funny! I also enjoyed the Dueling Pianos. We got to Lumiere's for the dessert buffet right at 11:30 but there was already a line to get in. Luckily it moved pretty quickly. YUM - there were so MANY good things to try. I took all chocolate things, being a chocoholic and all. I tried to take small samples of lots of things so I could try as many as possible without exploding. My favorite was a chocolate mousse-type of pie. We finished around 12:15 and went to bed. The ship is rocking a lot more tonight, but not so much that walking is difficult.