January 19, 2002 Magical Cruise! - Part 1

IrishCowboy

DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.disboards.com/s
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
First of all, let me say that I enjoy reading other cruisers trip reports. It helps me relive my own cruise experiences and also provides many helpful tips. I especially like lots of details and opinions. The more the better. So, with that in mind, I'll warn you that this trip report may be a little long winded and detail oriented.

Our cast, DW Vicki (35), DD Autumn (11), DS Billy (5) and myself, Bill (40). This was our second cruise, both on the Disney Magic. Our first cruise was back in May 2001. We were waiting to take our second cruise in May 2002 for the Western Cruise, but when DCL announced the $99 fall 3-day promotion and drastically reduced the cost of the cruise, I decided that a 7 day cruise in January would make a nice Christmas present to the whole family. We had a category 6 room, cabin #6610, towards the back end of the ship. Cost for the cruise was $2400.

Friday, January 18
We flew out of Birmingham early Friday afternoon on Southwest airlines. I was practically strip searched by security when our bags were x-rayed. I had to remove my shoes and was scanned with a hand wand. Also had my bags checked twice. FYI: When they search your bags, you aren't allowed to repack them, the security personnel must do so. Believe me, they don't take their time and do a good job. My children thought it was funny that the security personnel were forcing me to stand around with my shoes off. No biggie to me, at least they are taking their jobs seriously now.

After a 75 minute nonstop flight, we arrived in Orlando. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day, a sign of good things to come. We quickly gathered our bags and went to pick up our rental car at Avis. I had reserved a full size, one-way rental with drop off at the Radisson Hotel in Port Canaveral. Cost of the rental with all taxes was $43.65. We drove to the coast and decided to have dinner before we checked in to a hotel. We headed over to Merritt Island, on route 520, there are many restaurants and shopping areas available. We had dinner at the Outback and then stopped at the Super Walmart. We picked up some bottled water and a case of Diet Pepsi.

On our way to the Radisson, we stopped at the McDonald's across the street from the Radisson and picked up a copy of the "Space Coast Visitor's Guide". Inside was a coupon for a $69 room at the Radisson. The coupon was based on room availibilty. It wasn't the suite that we had last time, but we didn't check in until 8:00PM and all we needed was just a couple of beds and bath. Total cost for the room with taxes, was $75.90.

Saturday, January 19
We checked out of the hotel at 9:45 and headed towards the port to drop off our luggage. Upon arrival at the port, we were turned away by security guards informing us that we couldn't check in until 10:45. So we headed back to Ron Jon's in Cocoa Beach for a last minute purchase of sunscreen. We returned to the port to drop off our luggage. I had taped a case of bottled water and diet Pepsi together and attached a luggage tag. A baggage porter informed me that they were no longer allowed to accept beverages of any kind. He stated that they had a few problems with leaks and cans exploding. He said that I could carry them onboard if I wanted to do so. Great, I would have to spend the next 2 hours lugging around over 50 pounds of beverages! We returned the car to Avis and caught the shuttle back to the port.

About 3 weeks prior to our departure, my DD Autumn had started trading e-mails with Lisa/Gretel's Daughter, Emilee. Emilee had sent us a picture of her herself. While we were having our paper work checked at the terminal entrance, who do you think walked up beside us? Lisa and her family! What were the odds of that happening? Check was quick and we got a place in line. Vicki held our place in line while the children and myself set off to explore the terminal building and kill some time. At about 11:45, we had our first character appearance as Pluto came out for some pictures in front of the ship's model. After getting our picture with Pluto, we joined Vicki back in line. Boarding started at 12:05. We were announced as we boarded the ship and headed off to Parrot Cay for lunch. Lunch was very good, the shrimp were huge! Much better than last trip.

After lunch we headed up to our cabin. We were assigned #6610. We preferred this cabin location over our first cruise cabin location, #6034. The back of the ship worked much better for us. Most of our children's activities/interests were located at the back or middle of the ship (Mickey Pool/slide, Goofy Pool, Scoops's, Pinocchio's Pizzeria, Plutos' Dog House, Buena Vista Theatre, and Kids Clubs). Our cabin was very quiet, except for a few times when Atlantis was playing in the Buena Vista Theatre below us. I did notice a few times when we walked down the hall by the washers/dryers that it was very hot. I wouldn't want a room located near them.

At 1:45 I went to the Vista Spa. I was offered a spa tour but declined and told the spa staff that I just wanted to schedule a Surial Bath. I was second in line and all of the slots for Sunday were already gone. So I scheduled a time for Monday morning and returned to the cabin. TIP: Vicki registered the children for the kids clubs at this time and said that there was no line at all. Later that evening, we saw a long line of passengers waiting to register their children. Try to register your children asap.

We put on our swimsuits and headed up to deck 9. The pools were already full but we managed to find a place close to the Goofy pool.

After the mandatory boat drill, we returned to deck 9 for the Bon Voyage Sail-Away Celebration. We had a great time dancing at the Goofy Pool. I ordered a couple of sail away drinks. FYI: They come in a "souvenir" plastic cup that they charge $2 extra. $16 for two drinks seemed a bit high to me.

We headed back to the cabin and prepared for dinner. We were assigned first seating for this cruise. We had second seating for our first cruise back in May and we believe that the second seating worked much better for us. It just seemed that we were always rushed to make it to the first seating. It also appeared that the dinner service for the first seating was rushed as they have to get you out of the dining room and start preparing for the late seating. Also, the character breakfast is at 8:30 if you have first seating, 9:45 if you have second seating. And the final argument for second seating is the disembarkment breakfast. If you have first seating, you have must be out of your room and have breakfast at 6:45, 8:00 if you have second breakfast. Disembarkment was one of the down points of the trip, but I'll cover that later.

Our servers were Sacheet from India and Joseph from the Phillipines. Sacheet was excellent. He did a great job during the entire week and always tried to keep us informed. Joseph was average at best. He had trouble keeping the drinks filled. We had the PLAPLAP dinner rotation. For our first dinner in Parrot Cay, I had the Coconut Prawns (Excellent) and Vicki had the Grilled Vegetable Salad (good). I usually order 2 entrees each evening. I try to order what the server recommends and what I would like to try. I had the Cuban-style Grilled Rib-eye (Excellent) and the Seafood Creole (poor). Vicki and Autumn had the Large Pasta Shells filled with Ricotta Cheese (excellent). Vicki had the Banana Flambe for dessert and said it was the best dessert of the week. I had the Roasted Pineapple for dessert (OK).

After dinner, we checked Autumn into the Oceaneer's Lab and Vicki, Billy and myself walked around the ship. Autumn loves the Oceaneer's Lab and went every night and most afternoons.

Football Fans: The Chicago/Philly playoff game was televised in the ESPN Skybox and staterooms. The Oakland/New England was available until halftime and then the satelitte feed was lost.

That's it for part one. I'll try to add the others later today or tomorrow.
 
I very much enjoyed reading the beginning of your trip. We are going in March and somehow I can't stop reading all these posts! The information is very helpful! Looking forward to the rest of the trip report!

Cheryl
 
Really enjoying your trip report! I am looking forward to reading more. Like you, I love to read detailed trip reports -- more interesting and typically full of helpful ideas. Thanks for posting! :bounce:
 
GREAT report!! Keep 'em coming!! :) We sail Saturday (OMG!!!) on the Magic for the very first time. I am soaking up and memorizing every tip y'all veterans dish out. :D

-gina-
 
I enjoyed your trip report, now that I've been on one I can really enjoy them more!
 
I loved your trip report but am wondering where the rest of it is.
We are also from Birmingham and are sailing on Disney Magic in May. My brother and his family as well as our parents are going sort of a mini family reunion. We are all first time cruisers and have high expectations from Disney since we have always enjoyed the parks.
 

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