Our Magical Westbound Transatlantic Voyage Sept 2010. (Day 15 & 16 added 29/5/11 )

TotallyAngelic

Disney Addict
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
DAY 7 : MADEIRA

We woke up at about 7am and were soon up in Topsiders for breakfast with the beautiful backdrop of Funchal in Madeira:









We had no specific plans for today, other than to walk up to the Cable Car, take a ride up to Monte and then walk down into town and just wander around. Once breakfast was finished we headed to our room and picked up what we needed for the day, before disembarking. On the top deck the crew were busy painting over the sides … no rest and relaxation for them:



Nearby the ship you could walk up some steps which took you to the top of a cliff …. no railings or anything just the ocean and rocks below … not exactly the most health and safety conscious place I have visited:



The walk to the cable car was along the promenade, with a few stops to take photographs of the Disney Magic, the beautiful flowers and the wonderful views. It was a very pleasant walk along the sea-front, apart from the hassle from endless taxi drivers touting for business, and I took lots of photos:
























Once we arrived at the cable car station we bought tickets and were straight on to the cable car.









The trip up the mountain was rather nerve-wracking to say the least, as we were suspended high over houses and steep ravines etc and I managed to take my mind of the enormous drop by filming with my camcorder, as the views were incredible. As we were getting settled into the cable car someone leaned in and took our photo, needless to say as soon as we got out of the car at the terminal, the staff were there trying to flog us the photo and they were not too happy when we said we didn't want it. One thing I noticed about the locals on madeira is that they didn't miss a trick to try and part you from your money.

Once in Monte we had a wander round, had a look at the beautiful church which was situated on the top of the hill. We stood a while and watched the banter of all the local guys who were operating the toboggan rides.





to be continued ......
 

TotallyAngelic

Disney Addict
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
I took a few photos of the lovely church:









We then had a short stroll around the hillside, and I was captivated by the stunning flowers which were growing in this area. They were enormous.







The view from Monte:





At one point we were walking along a quiet lane by ourselves when we came across a random chap playing an accordion. As we walked past him minding our own business he rushed over and gestured in a rather aggressive manner at the tip tray on the top of his accordion. I was rather surprised as we hadn't really acknowledged him or asked him to play, but he was a bit threatening so we put bit of lose change in his tray and hurried past. I was glad I wasn't on my own to be honest, as he would have been quite intimidating.



Before arriving at Madeira I had stated categorically that no way would I do the toboggan ride, it was way too touristy for me, I mean I wouldn't even ride on a gondola when I was in Venice for the same reason. But for some reason I had a split second change of heart and we decided to give it a whirl. Other people giving it a whirl were captured on the camera:









So we paid our fare and jumped in one of the toboggans and off we went. The ride was really quite tame and I managed to film the whole way down, and it was interesting in a way, but I won't be rushing back to repeat the experience. On the route once again someone popped out and took our photo and then they tried to sell it to us at the end. Then when our ride was approaching the end of the run, one of the chaps, who had said not a word up to this point, leaned forward and asked if I had enjoyed the ride … to which I replied yes, and then I asked him how often he did it during each day, mainly because I was interested, I thought it was a lot of hard work and I try and engage locals in conversation to find out more about them etc etc. However I realised it was not conversation he was after, when he replied … “I hope you are going to give me a big tip then”... and he certainly wasn't smiling. I must admit at this point my opinion of the local population was not a particularly positive one.

click on the link to see our "on ride video" of the toboggan ride:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLt0SXrzh1w

Once off the toboggan we decided to start walking down to the town, as we hoped to find the Old Town and maybe somewhere where we could have lunch. The walk down was really lovely, the lanes had little water gulleys running alongside the roads and the flowers were beautiful.







Very fresh bananas:



A local resident:



We walked through a lovely residential area and also had stunning views out across the ocean.











to be continued .......
 

TotallyAngelic

Disney Addict
Joined
Aug 14, 2005










When we reached the town we started to look for the Old Town but without much success and we found ourselves in a local market. This was very interesting, all the local produce was there for sale: flowers,



fruit and vegetables,







spices,



and fish ,



including the local speciality the Scabbard fish … a bit of an ugly brute to be honest:



We stopped in a terrace cafe above the market for a local beer and just watched the world go by for a while,


and when we were leaving we asked our server for directions to the Old Town. We wandered down along the sea front until we came to a older part of the town, with lots of pavement restaurants and a fortress type building, and we assumed this was the elusive Old Town.













We were approached by a lot of people trying to lure us into their restuarants, and we eventually were persuaded by a girl who was singing. We sat down on the terrace of the restaurant, and ordered omelettes and drinks, and continued to watch the world go by, including a very strange looking chap who looked like he had walked straight off the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. The food was simple and very nice and we chatted to the restaurant owner, who was a complete football nut and had even heard of our local (and very small and insignificant) football team in North Wales.

After the meal we wandered back along the sea front and attempted to find some shops, but unfortunately we never came across any significant shopping area, so that put paid to any serious souvenir shopping, so we decided to head back to the ship.

to be continued
 
  • TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    how annoying to have all those people trying to get money off you.
    It was .... I know they are only trying to earn a living but I am sure they would do much better for tips if their manner were less aggressive and less obvious.
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    It was .... I know they are only trying to earn a living but I am sure they would do much better for tips if their manner were less aggressive and less obvious.
    What a beautiful island Maderia is with it's picturesque villages and pretty flowers, but nothing is more off putting that the hard sell, and this would make me less inclined to tip. Love all your photos Sarah and I look forward to your next update :thumbsup2
     
  • TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    Once back on baord we decided to head to the Quiet Cove pool to relax a little. I had a little swim and even went in the hot tub. While we were relaxing Amy came along and gave me an enormous bag of my favourite American chocolate …. Reece's peanut butter cups, which she had left over from the candy swap. So I was a happy bunny, chilling by the pool with an ice cream, a coffee and more than my own weight in peanut butter cups. In the end I made Tony take them away from me as I would probably never make it to dinner if I carried on munching at that rate :scared1:

    We wandered around the deck a bit and watched the Captain and the officers negotiating the departure from Madeira.











    Then we went to get ready for the show, which was to be a hypnotist called Ricky Kalmon. The show was entertaining, but it was obviously all staged. The best bit was Amy getting hypnotised and she had to act as though she had her pet mouse Remy with her on stage, and she was getting the mouse to do tricks. There was also a chap who ended up thinking he was Miley Cyrus. At the end everyone had to pat Brent the cruise director on the head ….



    It was entertaining for what it's worth. After the show we spent some time in the lobby mingling and having photos taken with Woody and Jessie:







    Then it was time for dinner in Lumiere's for the French dinner. I had applewood smoked bacon and wild musroom tart, followed by market green salad. For entree I chose Lumiere's seared sea bass which was delicious. I was really loving all of the fish dishes on board. Dessert presented a dilemma because I absolutely adore Crème Brulee and Michele was advising me that I simply HAD to choose the Grand Marnier Souffle as it was divine. So not wanting to look totally porcine and order two desserts I opted for the souffle, and I was not disappointed. It was divine.

    Following dinner we decided to go to the late show which was Jason Bishop, a magician who I found quite entertaining and I did enjoy his show and the way in which he presented his act. Warren however could tell exactly how he did all his tricks as he had trained in the field of magic himself. I was, however, rather impressed and clearly being of inferior intellectual capacity couldn't work out zip!

    After the show we followed our usual pattern of a nocturnal stroll on the deck, before turning in and setting our clocks to go back one hour during the night. This was the first of five hours we gained on the trip, and if you can get five free hours on board the Disney Magic you certainly don't knock it !!!
     

    squitty

    <font color=006633>With a little bit of Pixie Dust
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2001
    I don't think we will be doing any toboggan rides, unless there is another way up the mountain Sarah;)

    Fantastic photos again.
     

    TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    For those of you who are interested in the Madeira toboggans and what it is like to ride on them this is the video I took while Tony and I were riding them last year .... obviously if you don't want to know what it's like and want a surprise when you get there .. don't click:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLt0SXrzh1w
     
  • TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    Day 8 – Day at Sea:

    Another incredible morning dawned on the Magic, Tony was up to the gym and I was really tired, despite the extra hour in bed. What is about doing nothing on board ship .. it really wears you out. However I got up and got all dressed up because this morning we were heading to our Palo brunch and I was very excited about that, because ever since I had joined the DIS and developed a peculiar obsession with the Disney Cruise Line the Palo Brunch was the one thing that everyone sang from the same hymn sheet about …. . and it was lengendary. On my first cruise, when I was in the humble position of being a non-castaway club member, I had failed to secure a Palo brunch reservation, but this time I had staked my claim in Rocking Bar D on embarkation day and victory was in sight.

    Because our Palo reservation was at 11pm, we went for a latte at Cove Cafe at about 9am, but not wanting to make any dent in our appetities, we left any food well alone at this point.



    This was to be a very sensible decision. Well what can I say about Palo brunch, I don't really think there are words in the English language that have been invented to describe the divine experience that is Palo brunch. We were welcomed and introduced to our server, Sylvester from India, who immediately made us feel relaxed and pampered. We were shown around the various delights on offer, and given a delicious champagne cocktail.











    The food was amazing …. I started with a few nibbles from the appetisers selection, including fabulous smoked salmon and a lovely salmon mousse which I had with the melba toast.



    After the appetisers we shared a pizza, which had one of the most perfect thin pizza bases I have ever had. After this I decided to hit the breakfast product selection where I had a warm cinnamon bun which was to die for, and some of the delicious stollen bread with whipped cream and strawberries.



    Descriptions to do not do it justice. Both Tony and I decided to forgo the cooked meals, as we were already too full, and I wanted to leave room for some of the little desserts.

    My selection:



    Tony's selection:



    We also had lovely coffee and Tony had a second glass of champagne. It was lovely to be in such a perfect place, looking out at the crystal blue ocean, while eating such delicious food in such amazingly relaxing surroundings, and being able to just chill and take our time. I loved it !! We must have wobbled out of Palo, and I am sure that is a familiar feeling to a lot of people reading this.

    By now it was 1pm and time for the famous DIS Champagne girls get-togther. I whizzed down to the cabin to pick up my bottle of fizzy stuff and my pink feather boa. The party was being held in Sue's suite so a big thanks to Sue for this, as she willingly handed over her cabin to a motley crew of pink clad women, drinking champagne at a very early hour in the afternoon, who knew what would happen. Fortunately we were all on our best behaviour. A group photo was taken in one of the starirwells:



    We must have looked a very strange sight to any passers by. The Champagne girls meet upw as a great success … I really enjoyed myself chatting to all the ladies face to face who I had been virtually chatting to for 2 years.









    Our lovely hostess:




    Once the Champagne Girls gathering was over, I met up with Tony who had just finished his beer tasting session in Animators:



    to be continued .....
     

    TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    After wandering around the ship a bit more we headed to meet our tablemates Michael and Michele at the mask making session at 5pm.





    We had brought a couple of masks with us but they had snapped in transit and so we were hoping to produce something half way decent for the masquerade ball which was being held that evening. It was surprisingly good fun making the masks, and we had a good giggle. Tony was exceptionally proud of his results.



    As the glue was still wet we took the masks down to the cabin to hopefully dry before they were needed at dinner. So it was by now already time to get dressed in our purple and black themed villainous clothing and head to see the show “Villains Tonight”



    This show was really fantastic, really upbeat and funky and the cast gave an amazing performance.









    Once the show finished we dashed down and picked up our masks, which were still a little bit tacky with the wet glue, and we headed for a mingle in the atrium, and then to dinner …. the Villains Dinner, in Animator's Palate.



    Cruella de Vil aka Kimberly was sitting nearby:



    Our neighbours:



    I particularly loved the music playing during dinner .. which was all of the villains' numbers from Disney soundtracks !! Dinner choices for this evening were: Appetisers : honeydew melon with prosciutto ( although I didn't eat the prosciutto, as it was too salty for my tastes ) and baby green salad. Entree – jumbo shrimp and porcini mushroom tagliatelle which was delicious and for dessert I chose the sweet temptations of sugar-free Raspberry Cheesecake, Maleficent's Ricotta Crème Brûlée with Raspberries, and The Villains Chocolate Ending





    Straight after dinner we headed to the atrium for the Villains Masquerade ball where the Villains from Villains Tonight were having a meet and mingle session with the guests.















    The masquerade ball was actually nothing like a ball, more like watching the very energetic cruise staff dancing to cheesy pop tunes and party songs such as macarena, cha cha slide. What is it with DCL, they have all of the fantastic Disney soundtrack repetoire at their disposal and what do they come up with … the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide and Hey Baby for goodness sake. It's the same at the sailaway party … drives me crazy. And surely they must know the definition of a Ball, just think Cinderella, Enchanted etc ….. the one thing Disney should know is how do throw a proper Ball. OK, I'm off my soap-box. Against my best intentions and probably because I had had a couple of glasses of wine at dinner mylegs somehow found themselves on the dance floor doing a very poor rendition of the Macarena with the very energetic cruise staff and the Queen of Hearts, a very surreal moment that was !



    When I had embarrassed myself enough I returned to the safety of Deck Four and watched the festivities from above.

     

    TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    At the end of the night they cascaded millions of black and white dots of confetti down from the ceiling,





    which was very impressive and very pretty but made an almighty mess,



    and before the last piece of confetti hit the floor the cast members were out sweeping it up.



    So the masquerade ball was a bit of a disappointment, but entertaining none the less, and I did take lots of photos of everyone in their masks.





    After the party we popped into Rocking Bar D where there was some karaoke going on so we stopped and had a drink with some of our group Mandy, mark and Karen




    Some of the singers were actually very good, so it was quite entertaining. End of the evening brought a lovely stroll on the deck for some fresh air and then to bed.
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    What a great day Sarah ::yes:: we love Palo Brunch, and Sylvester was so nice and chatty. The Champagne Girls meet looks like so much fun too, you all look fab ::yes::
     

    Pinky166

    <font color=deeppink>a little on the OCD side<br><
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2008
    I've just sat down with a cuppa and read your entire report.....WOW, it's been fabulous!! More, more, more!!! :hyper: I can't wait until September when you & Tony get to do it all over again & I get to experience 14 nights of bliss! :cloud9:
     

    squitty

    <font color=006633>With a little bit of Pixie Dust
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2001
    Fantastic Sarah...well worth the wait ;);)

    I agree with what you said about the music that they choose to play at the Sailaway party..why?

    I am so looking forward to doing everything you've mentioned :thumbsup2

    Roll on September:cloud9:
     

    granmaz

    Dis Veteran and Old Geezer
    Joined
    Oct 17, 2005
    I love Palo Brunch the best, but it makes me eat sooooooo much. I just can't stop.:blush:

    There is a photo of you and Tony at the 'ball' and it looks like John there to the left. I had to look more than twice, but John doesn't have a shirt like that. Goodness, what a likeness. Never saw him around though.
     

    TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    I love Palo Brunch the best, but it makes me eat sooooooo much. I just can't stop.:blush:

    There is a photo of you and Tony at the 'ball' and it looks like John there to the left. I had to look more than twice, but John doesn't have a shirt like that. Goodness, what a likeness. Never saw him around though.
    Nah ... John is much more distinguished looking and not as podgy as THAT guy :thumbsup2
     

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