NYC to Disney for Gold! November 2018

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by MnkyGirl, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. MnkyGirl

    MnkyGirl Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2015
    Hey Y'all and welcome to my very first trip report! We just finished our trip on the Disney Magic for a 7-Night Very Merrytime Bahamian Cruise from New York City with stops at Castaway Cay and Port Canaveral (that's right, DISNEY!)

    Those of you who have followed along on our Pre-Trip Report will know a little about us already, but for those who didn't, here's a brief overview. :)


    I'm the one on the right. Beside me is @jennRR457 We travel together. A lot. A chance meeting at work made us lifelong friends and travel buddies. Even though we live in different states, we still manage to get a trip in just about every year. Due to us both changing jobs and states in the last couple of years, we had to put travel on hold for about 2 years (minus the odd weekend trip) but this cruise officially marked the return of travelling!

    I'm going to apologize up front because I swore I would take LOTS of pictures and notes (4 sea days means plenty of time right??), and I ended up barely doing anything. :) But I will spend a good amount of time documenting our arrival and departure for the cruise. I've found after searching high and low that a LOT of people who take this itinerary are either locals or drive from a short distance away so I thought it might be helpful to people like us who flew in from a bit away to have an idea what to expect travelling in.

    Friday 11/9-Travel Day

    Saturday 11/10-Embarkation Day

    Sunday 11/11-Sea Day 1

    Monday 11/12-Sea Day 2

    Tuesday 11/13-Castaway Cay

    Wednesday 11/14-Port Canaveral (Disney Day!)

    Thursday 11/15-Sea Day 3

    Friday 11/16-Sea Day 4

    Saturday 11/17-Debarkation Day and NYC Day

    Sunday 11/18-Travel Day

    I'll be back soon with how things actually went... :)
    Ladybugx87 likes this.
  2. dnllmz

    dnllmz DIS Veteran

    Jul 13, 2011
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  4. MnkyGirl

    MnkyGirl Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2015
    Day 1 (Travel Day)

    So the beginning of this report (you know, all that important travel stuff) won't have very many pictures... in fact, these are the only two I took for travel day:

    56350101549__92B0F63D-369A-4B00-B23D-888CBC9B64C2.jpg IMG_7647.jpg
    And these were to demonstrate to my dad (who I was on the phone with) that I had indeed found a quiet corner in the airport. LOL

    Original Plans for Friday:
    Jenn: Leave Ohio at 9:45am and Arrive at Newark at 2:30pm. Pick up bags. Ride AirTrain to P4 stop. (This is where all of the hotel shuttles pick up) Catch free shuttle to hotel. Check into SpringHill Suites at the Newark International Airport at 4pm.
    Jessica: Work. Leave North Carolina at 7:45pm and Arrive at Newark at 9:20pm. Pick up bags. Ride AirTrain to P4 stop. (This is where all of the hotel shuttles pick up) Catch free shuttle to hotel.

    So, let's back up to the beginning of the day... I woke up very early on Friday morning to ensure that I was completely packed. My flight didn't leave NC until 8:20pm which was already a schedule change from when I originally booked it for 7:45pm with a 9:20pm arrival in Newark. Remember that... (she says ominously...) Once I was sure I was packed, I headed to work for the "longest day ever." You know those days that already seem long because your vacation starts at the end? Add to that the fact that I was very busy at work. The day JUST WOULDN'T END! To make matters worse, @jennRR457 had taken the day off of work and left Ohio at 9:45am. Thus I was getting travel updates from her all day as well. (She ended up with a delayed flight in Chicago, but still managed to make it to our hotel before I even got to the airport.) So finally after I had had just about all I could take at work, I had a friend come pick me up and we went to pick up some dinner and coffee. All the while our temps in NC start dropping. I, the obsessive planner, had failed to check the weather that morning and so missed the fact that a crazy cold front/storm was moving thru the eastern half of the country causing delays everywhere.
    So like the good little traveler that I am, I got to the airport about 2 hours before my flight to ensure plenty of time for check in and Security. Everything went smoothly and just as I'm putting my shoes back on, I get a text informing me that my flight has been delayed. Ok, no biggie, only 45 minutes... I can do this! So I start to walk laps and talk on the phone to my parents to remind them I will be out of contact for the next week. Annnnnnd I get another text message. Another delay. And then another. And this, boys and girls, is why I always fly in the day before the cruise. By the time we actually get on the plane, it's 9:15pm. I should have been landing at EWR at this point... and then the captain comes on and tells us we are going to have to reset the plane due to a minor technical difficulty. Let me tell you, few things are more creepy than sitting on a plane with absolutely no power running to it in the dark. And to add to it, everyone on the plane was deathly silent. You could hear a pin drop. But the plane resets and we are ready to go... until the captain comes on and tells us we are delayed AGAIN! I think at this point, 75% of the people on the flight just went to sleep.
    By the time we left NC, it was 10pm. But in some stroke of luck, our hour and a halfish flight became just under an hour. (I guess the pilot wanted to get to Newark as bad as the rest of us LOL) When I got to Newark, everything ran super smoothly as far as getting off the plane and getting my luggage from baggage claim. Then came the true headache of the night. Remember how I said that storm was causing delays all over the east coast? Well a ton of flights all arrived in Newark around the same time. So the normally smooth *ish* running AirTrain was thrown into chaos. By this time it's around 11:20pm and the AirTrain (the transportation between terminals) has moved to its sporadic late night schedule. It also felt like just about everyone there was heading to the P4 Stop to either rent a car or catch a free airport shuttle. So as I approach the station a train is pulling in. Such good luck, right? The airport employees helping out are all saying that everyone should get on this train. "Yes of course it will take you to P4!" So everyone crams on. Now, during the day, yes the train would make a stop at all the terminals and parking garages with P4 as one of the last stops, but the train has switched to the late night schedule. We go to all the terminals, and no parking stops. We end up at Terminal A and getting forced off the train because this one is going to the actual train station. So now the already crowded Terminal A train station is packed with another whole train worth of very frustrated people. And we get told that there will be about 3 more trains before the P4 train comes thru in 15 minutes. At this point people start looking around and realize that there is NO EARTHLY WAY that all of the people waiting will fit on one train. People start to strike up friendships and formed small groups. I made friends with a flight attendant and a couple going on a different cruise. We determined to get on the next train to P4 regardless of the consequences. Finally the right train arrives and it is an all out war to get to the train. By some miracle, me and my new friends all make it onto the same train. Sure I had to throw my bag on the seat and then climb on top of the bag... but we made it! Then we get to P4 and realize that not only is it cold outside, it's raining and we have to wait outside for our shuttles. But, we're SO CLOSE! We can do this! Only... Springhill only runs their shuttle on the 15 and 45... and, you guessed it, we missed it by 5 minutes. Hahahahaahhaha (also, my new friends? all ended up staying at the same hotel as me!) By the time I actually made it to the hotel it was about 1am. We had gotten a King Suite with a King size bed and a pullout couch for just under $115. Fantastic deal! I walk into the room to find Jenn already asleep. I was exhausted at this point and didn't even bother pulling out the couch, I just dropped into bed with Jenn. That bed was SO BIG! I slept all night long and didn't even notice that there was someone else in bed with me. Seriously... the thing could have had it's own zip code.

    So there you have it! The crazy adventure from Day 1 (Travel Day)
    Some thoughts to wrap up... Although flying out after work is super convenient, I don't know that I would do it again. I was low key stressing around the 3rd delay that I may not make it to Newark before the ship left. Also, late nights at busy airports are not a good start to your vacation. On the bright side, SpringHill Suites was fantastic. This is the second time I have stayed at the Newark Airport SpringHill and I will definitely stay there again if I am in the area. The price was very good and the rooms were very nice.

    Next up: Embarkation Day!!
  5. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2016
    Following along! Sounds like a fun cruise! I've always wanted to read a trip report of a cruise that goes to Disney.
    MnkyGirl likes this.
  6. MnkyGirl

    MnkyGirl Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2015
    :welcome: Are you back from your cruise yet? I can't remember when you were going...

    :welcome: It's my second time doing it and still as fun as I remember it... although I'm older this time around so I definitely felt it the next day LOL
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  7. MnkyGirl

    MnkyGirl Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2015
    Day 2 (Embarkation Day!)

    So you would think that after a night like I had at the airport, I would be able to sleep in a little. Our PAT was 11:00 and we had plans to arrive around 10:30. (We like to get there early, but then, we like to get everywhere early...) That means we really didn't have to get an early start. We were both still packed and the hotel had free breakfast so we could sleep pretty late. But this is the day we got to get on a Disney Cruise so of course we wake up before they even start serving breakfast... We wasted some time rearranging things in the suitcases and getting ready and then basically sat around and took selfies to send to our friends to make them jealous.

    FINALLY breakfast opened and we tried to waste yet MORE time eating breakfast. Needless to say, the morning DRAGGED. But we were also keeping an eye on traffic, so we decided to leave a little earlier than we had planned.

    Plans for Saturday
    Sleep in
    Eat breakfast at hotel
    10am Lyft to Port
    11am PAT
    Kids Club Open House?
    Spa Raffle @3
    Mandatory Assembly Drill
    Sail Away Deck Party
    See the Statue of Liberty!
    Change for dinner?
    DVC Event @7:30
    Clubs: Adults Only Entertainment

    We ended up getting a Lyft sometime between 9:30 and 9:45. Honestly, it was probably just as much to do with crushing boredom and anticipation as it was the traffic that made us leave early. LOL For those wondering, it was SUPER easy to get the Lyft right to the front door of the hotel. In fact, there were several people doing it. We had originally considered riding the free airport shuttle back to the airport because taxis have had a hard time finding the hotel in the past (it's got a really weird entry) but we didn't have a problem. I think the Lyft ride took about 40 minutes? And most of that time was spent in traffic after the tunnel. Our Lyft driver dropped us off curbside. Literally right next to the luggage drop off.

    This picture was literally taken immediately after he dropped us off. (also, take note of the wind... the day was crazy windy so this was the best our hair looked all day. Also, it meant that I ended up carrying my super cute hat all day instead of wearing it.)
    We dropped off our luggage with the porters and took the elevator up to the security screening. (honestly, we had so many security screenings this trip, I forgot we had one at the port.) That was an absolute breeze and then the LONG walk thru the terminal to check in. For those who haven't been, Manhattan Cruise Terminals are literally on the docks, so they are long and skinny.

    This picture is from their website. They usually have check ins for two ships in the same terminal. The Norwegian Gem was also in port the same time as us, so their check in was at the front of the terminal and Disney's was at the back. So we had to walk thru all of the Norwegian check in processes before we got to ours.

    YAY! Finally found Mickey! (also note the hat... the only time I wore it all day)

    We checked in and got the Silver lanyards for the last time! Cruise number 5 for the both of us means GOLD next time! Yay! After that we sat down and planned the rest of our day and checked out our dining rotation. We were ARL_ARL. (Disney day was open dining since most of us didn't return to ship until well after 10PM) I would say that we arrived somewhere in the middle of everyone else arriving. It really didn't feel like there were a whole lot of people there even though there were. I think I was feeling the difference between the Dream class ships. The last 3 cruises we had been on were on the bigger ships. We were in boarding group 4, so we knew we would be called pretty quickly, so even though neither one of us particularly like the crowds, we hung out in the waiting area near the line for boarding. We also got to watch the character meet and greet which was rather entertaining.
    The great part about where we were sitting was that we could see which characters were coming next. So when Goofy walked by the window, everyone headed over the the character meet and greet to line up for his arrival. Well, probably one of the best parts of the day happened next. :) We were watching him walk by (and trying to catch a picture) when a woman yells "Excuse me! I need to see my husband!" I turn around and there is a woman trying desperately to get thru the crowd to the meet and greet. Everyone hears her and lets her pass, and then you hear her squeal with joy when she saw Goofy walk in. :rotfl2:The best part was her son (maybe around 9 years old?) walking slowly behind her just shaking his head and apologizing to everyone. He kept saying "Sorry, she really loves Goofy" hahahahaha So Mrs. Goofy, if you are reading this, just know that you made our day! :)

    While all that was going on, they called our boarding number and we got to leave the masses to get on the ship! Just to give everyone an idea for timing, our number was called at 11:55 and we walked onto the ship at 12:01. (It's a LONG walk to get out of the terminal and onto the ship)

    Normally the minute we get on the boat, we head up to the buffet and claim a table outside with a view, but it was cold and as I mentioned before, WINDY. So we decided to eat at Lumiere's. :) I'm going to warn y'all now, anyone who wanted to see the food, this is NOT the report for you. I'm a fat kid at heart and only remember to take pictures when I'm done eating...:laughing: But, I did manage to snag a few!
    This was the Sliced Roast Beef Sirloin and it was the PERFECT start to the cruise! And judging by the tables around us... everyone else thought so too! LOL We both got this dish and everyone at all three tables around us got it too.

    After lunch we did some general exploring to orient ourselves to the ship. This was Jenn's first time on the Magic and I hadn't been on her in 5 years. Pretty sure that we got some coffee from Cove at this time too.

    And then the rooms opened! YAY! Time to check out our first ever Oceanview room! We walked in to find gifts galore! :) Some we had ordered for ourselves (Jenn really wanted that Holiday Blanket) but most were sent by our friend who was supposed to join us, but ended up not being able to come. She sent a cheese plate (which we literally ate for 3 days and I basically NEED every time I sail now) Sparkling Cider, and onboard credit! Talk about being spoiled! Our room was a fantastic location. We were in 2092 and it was an easy walk to just about everywhere that we wanted to be. It also had the split bathroom, which we have decided that we can't live without any longer on cruises. (You'll notice that we say that a lot on this cruise... we tried new things and it really changed how we think on cruising. So the tally right now is: 1. Fly in earlier on the day before 2. Oceanview room 3. Cheese platter for sail away 4. Split Bathroom (which comes with the Oceanview, but still notable enough to mention))

    So after a quick snack and dropping off things we didn't want to carry (i.e. my hat) we headed to the Spa for the tour and raffle. We didn't win. :( But it's got to happen eventually, right? After the raffle, we headed back to the room to unpack and wait for the Muster Drill.

    By far the COLDEST Muster Drill I've ever been to, but happily, I somehow ended up in the back of a row. Those of you who have done a muster drill on deck in the summer know that it is torture and standing in the back is the worst because it's such tight quarters that it gets hot really quick. This time it worked in my favor to have all those people smashed up against me. (also, I think this is probably the most excited I've ever been to have Muster Drill... at least judging by my face...)

    After drill we headed up to watch the sail away party, but decided to stop at the front of the boat to take some pictures first... annnnd ended up never leaving. :) The pictures were too good and we got a great spot. This is also a great spot to mention that Jenn had never seen the Statue of Liberty, so seeing it from the front of the Disney Magic as your first time is an opportunity too good to pass up.

    Andddddd we waited a while... and the sun started setting, and the temperatures started dropping, and still we hadn't left. (It probably wasn't as long as I make it sound, but I HATE the cold so it felt really long to me.) Funny story, while waiting, we decided to call our parents to say goodbye, and NO ONE was answering. Wow... we felt so loved. LOL But it did make for some interesting voice mails.

    (Continued in next post)
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  8. MnkyGirl

    MnkyGirl Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2015
    Day 2 (Embarkation Day! Part 2)

    And then finally, just as we thought we were going to lose the sunset, we pulled out! Which turns out to have made for some fantastic pictures.



    And then, just as I thought I was going to lose no less than 3 toes to frostbite... There she was!
    (sorry for the blurry picture, but wind and shaking hands and a moving ship don't combine for clear pictures...)

    We left the deck IMMEDIATELY after this. I think even Jenn (who does not get cold easily) was cold at this point. It was 5:40 and we had just enough time to run downstairs and get ready for the rest of the night. (and drop off the hats, gloves, scarves, and jackets) We had second dining so we went to the show, and then right to Fathoms for the DVC Welcome Party! Once again, I always think I'm going to win something here, and I never do, but at least I get a cute ballcap, free drinks, and the chance to see what the deals are for adding more points. We were initially really concerned about the timing of this because we go every cruise and it always seems to run longer than the allotted hour (and this one was only 45 minutes) but we didn't feel rushed at all and made it to dinner in plenty of time.

    Our first dinner was in Animator's Palate! Personally, I prefer Animator's Palate on the classic ships. Maybe because my first experience was on a classic ship? But you really can't beat the show on the first night with the restaurant changing from black and white to color and ending your meal with Mickey!

    And are you ready? The ever elusive food pictures!

    (Jumbo Shrimp Salad)

    (Grilled Tuna Steak) I'm assuming this was delicious, but honestly I only remember eating the shrimp salad. :)

    And then MICKEY!!

    (Gluten Free Celebration Cake)

    So, another really funny moment happened right after Mickey left. Our servers come out to have a conversation with me. AND they bring the Head Server. I thought they were just going to bring me my menu for the next night. (I have an intolerance to gluten. Disney Cruise Line is THE MOST accommodating place I've ever eaten. There are always options on the menu, but they go the extra mile and ask you the night before what you want and do their best to modify just about anything on the menu) Turns out that I had baffled the serving team by ordering a celebration cake, but not noting anything about a celebration on my reservation. :laughing: I had to explain to them that no, I wasn't celebrating anything, I just really enjoy "Cake of the Day" and since my diagnosis I can no longer order it. I just took it upon myself to have cake in my room for every day. :rotfl: Pretty sure that was the first time any of the three of them heard that reasoning. But being the awesome team that they are, they cut it into 7 slices and packaged it to go with silverware to take to my room.

    And a time out here to shout out to THE BEST serving team we have had EVER. Even our Head Server was amazing. Andrae from Jamaica and Zayn spoiled us rotten. (And this is HIGH praise from us considering we've had our favorite, Maria from Romania, TWICE)

    We finished off the night in Fathoms to see one of our favorite club hosts ever TISA! The entertainment was Magic Quest (Which was hysterical and a great ice breaker for those of us who ended up in Fathoms every night of the cruise) and then Lynn Trefzger's Adults Only show. She was HYSTERICAL. Honestly, we weren't too excited about the entertainers this cruise based on the preview we got during Be Our Guest!, but we both ended up glad that we gave them a chance because they really pulled out the stops for the adults.

    And with that, the first day on the ship came to a close! More later!

    Next Up: Sea Days!
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  9. lorimay

    lorimay Celebrating 32 Ears

    Dec 11, 2008
    Love those pics of the sights of NYC as you sailed out!!!
    My favorite sail out city!
  10. lilsonicfan

    lilsonicfan <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b

    Jan 20, 2003
    That NYC sailaway is just so beautiful!!
    Looks like a really fun BFF trip :)
  11. MnkyGirl

    MnkyGirl Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2015
    Mine too! It really was awesome being able to do it at sunset too. :)

    It really was a great trip!
  12. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2016
    That is hilarious!

    This is a gorgeous shot of the city.

    I bet it was totally worth the cold to see that. What a cool and unique way to see it.

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