Just back from the 1/17 Magic

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by DIScruisers4, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. DIScruisers4

    DIScruisers4 Mouseketeer

    Sep 15, 2003
    We just got back from the 1/17 Western Magic. I'm way too tired to write about the trip at this point, but wanted to say that we had a great time. I have been reading this board for more than a year prior to our trip and everyone's input was invaluable and very much appreciated. I'll provide more details of our experience real soon!
  2. gonna go cruising

    gonna go cruising Mouseketeer

    Apr 21, 2002
    We certainly look forward to your trip report as soon as you get settled back into the real world. I am sure you had a magical time.::MinnieMo
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  4. DIScruisers4

    DIScruisers4 Mouseketeer

    Sep 15, 2003
    Well, now that I've caught up on some sleep, I can report on our trip. Here are some general thoughts and observations, in no particular order. NOTE: This is very long.

    MCO - Hyatt: We stayed at the MCO Hyatt on Friday night, 1/16, because our flight arrived late and we were traveling with two other families. Overall, we had 6 adults and 8 children (ages 1-10) in our group. The Hyatt was excellent. The best part was that we were able to have our luggage transported directly to the Disney Magic rather than hauling it ourselves onto our limos. NOTE: We were able to do this even though we did not have Disney transfers and did not use Disney air. There is no secret to it as there is a big sign at the hotel lobby desk welcoming Disney cruisers. We told them that we did not have Disney air or transfers, but would like to have our luggage transported and they said, no problem. In fact, we put our Disney tags on the luggage Friday night and ther porters took all of our bags that evening. This was a HUGE help and made traveling to the port in our limos much easier.

    FL Tours - We rented a stretch and van for the three families. They were great. They picked us up at the hotel and were on time and professional for the trip to PC and back. They had movies in both vehicles for the kids. Water and soda in the limo also. They picked left at about 10:00 and were at the port by 10:45.

    Weather - the weather in PC and Key West was nice. Mid 70's, but both days were a bit windy. We're from the Northeast, so it felt very warm to us. The kids played in the pools both days. We remembered to pack their bathing suits in the day bag for the first day, so they were able to enjoy the pool in PC before it got crowded. It rained in the late afternoon/early evening in Key West, but otherwise was nice.

    Palo- we did Palo dinner and brunch, and both were excellent, especially the brunch.

    According to Jim - we did not notice much actual disruption from this filming. However, it seemed like reservations for the spa and Palo were more difficult to get. We were within the first one hundred people to board the ship and went immediately to make reservations. Almost all of the times were already taken, but we ultimately got brunch and dinner reservations. Also, I was second on line for hair braiding reservations and there were no time slots available before 5:00 pm. on any day, but again we ultimately got reservations and all of the girls enjoyed it.

    GC- It was sunny and warm, but high winds/waves created havoc! After the first few tenders left, the GC authorities stopped tendering for all cruise ships. At least 4 cruise ships gave up and left, but the Magic was awesome! It sailed to the other side of the island and was able to resume tendering to a different dock. Considering all of the logistical problems and shore excursions that had to be cancelled and re-booked, and all of the people that had to be transported on the island to the new dock, I felt that Disney did a great job.

    Captain Marvin's - they were great. Our friends had the 8:30 2- hour trip. They got a tender before they were stopped, but got to Captain Marvin's a few minutes after the bus left. CM actually called the bus and it returned to pick them up! NOTE: I would avoid the 8:30 trip. Disney gives preference for early tenders to those who are on Disney excursions. If you are not on a Disney excursion, then you have to try to convince them to let you go first. If unsuccessful, you will have to take a later tender and will likely not make it to CM in time. Captain Marvin's was also great in rescheduling our 11:15 trip. When they learned of the tendering problem, they rescheduled our trip for 12:15, and they even met us at the alternative dock. They made a hectic day a lot less hectic. Oh, stingray city and the snorkeling were very fun too!

    GC - 7 mile beach - we all met here after our snorkeling trips. We met at the beach across from the Holiday Inn. You can walk there from where Captain Marvin's returns from snorkeling. We did not stay long, and I thought the beach was only o.k. Disney apparently paid for some taxis to take its cruisers back to the dock! We were prepared to pay, but the van driver told us that Disney was paying for it. Again, Disney was amazing in handling the entire Grand Cayman day.

    Cozumel- We spent the whole day at Chankanaab. Got a van at the dock that fit all 14 of us. Make sure you confirm price before you go. The park was great. Something for everyone including a shallow lagoon type area with sand for the kids that was adjacent to the dolphin swim. The kids played there for few hours and some of us swam with the dolphins (this was awesome- we made reservations on line a few months earlier). The snorkeling at the park was cool, especially if you're a novice. There are many fish to see. We went to the early sea lion show ($5.00 per adult, kids free). The show was a little silly, but we enjoyed it especially because there were not many people. We sat in the first row and everyone was able to hold the beautiful parrot that they brought out before the show. NOTE: We noticed that the park got a bit crowded as the day went on and the later sea lion show was packed, so I'd suggest getting to Chankanaab early.

    Mini-golf - Went to Sally's mini-golf after dinner with the kids. It's a very nice place within walking distance of the ship. As many of you know, Sally has provided tons of valuable information about Coz and we thanked her for it.

    Castaway Cay - Beautiful as always. It was in the low 70's and sunny, but very windy so it felt a bit cool. The water sports were cancelled because of the winds. Some of us went bike riding and enjoyed it, especially the dirt path beyond the cabanas at Serenity Bay. The water was cool, but our kids didn't really notice (remember, we left 10 degree weather in the Northeast, so this was paradise!).

    The shows and entertainment - we enjoyed all of the shows. Many of us actually thought that Hercules was the best this time. We've been on two prior Disney cruises and liked that one the least, but this time it seemed more enjoyable for some reason. The entertainment was excellent also. I don't remember anyone's names, but the comedian, the jugglers, and the ventrilliquist were all fun and hilarious.

    Day rooms at MCO Hyatt- we checked our bags at American Airlines at the port, then boarded our limo and van for the return trip to MCO. We had two day rooms that worked perfect because we arrived at the airport about 9:30 am and our flight was not until 2:45. We all relaxed, slept, read, watched t.v., etc, then went downstairs at 2:00. It was very easy!

    Overall, a great trip with lots of memories and lots of sunshine (but just a bit too much wind!). We booked on board for next January and are considering joining the DVC. We're still hooked! If anyone has any questions, please let me know and I'd be very happy to answer them.

    Take care!
  5. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    Great recap!
  6. RKB

    RKB DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2003
    Sounds like you had a great time. I am glad that Grand Cayman worked out for you. We just did the stingrays and then the Cozumel dolphin swim the first week of January - so we know how great your vacation was!
  7. mardonna

    mardonna Mouseketeer

    Dec 27, 2003
    we are sailing on western acrribbean on jan 31st and I wanted to get some info from you. What nights were your formal, semi formal and tropical nights for dinner? Also what were soe of th main thester movies they offered? Was Brother Bear one of them?

    You mentioned that weather was in the 70's, was there a cold front? I went on weather sight and they ,mentioned 80's and 90's with high humidity.

    We are travelking with a 2 1/2 year old, and we are very much looking forward to cruise. We booked romance package so our palo reservations are done, but concerned about getting Flounders nursey reservations
  8. mark & sandra

    mark & sandra DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2002
    Hey DIScruisers4- We were on the same cruise. We were 5th in line for the hair braiding and we also were on the rescheduled 11:15 sting-ray tour. Which group on the boat were you? At the first stop my daughter was the only one afraid to get in the water and my son clung to my neck the entire time he was in the water. At the 2nd stop my daughter was brave enough to enter the water but freaked out upon seeing a ray and quickly left the water. Were you one of the people who took the bus back to the dock or to go shopping after?
  9. DIScruisers4

    DIScruisers4 Mouseketeer

    Sep 15, 2003
    Hi Mardonna:

    Formal night was Monday, semi-formal was Thursday, and tropical was Wednesday.

    Brother Bear was definitely shown. In fact, it was part of the kids program (5-7 yr. olds) one day. Other movies were Pirates of the Carribean, Teacher's Pet, and Calendar Girls. There may have been more, but that's all I remember.

    The weather in the Carribean was in the low 80's (Coz and GC were very nice, though GC was a bit windy as I mentioned). The low to mid 70's were in Port Canaveral, Key West, and Castaway Cay. I think that's about average for this time of year. Fortunately, we had a lot of sunshine and very little rain throughout the trip.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to answer them. Enjoy your trip.

    Hi Mark and Sandra:

    I'm not sure which group we were at Captain Marvin's. We just got in the boat they pointed us to and off we went! However, there were a few people who did not go snorkeling, mostly younger children, so maybe we were on a different boat. We were on the green bus after the trip and CM dropped us off at the Holiday Inn section of 7-mile beach. We took a van/bus back to the dock about 2 hours later. I hope you had as much fun on the trip as we did!

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