The Long and short of it. Very Long and detailed. Volume III Dec 15-22 Magic


Earning My Ears
Jun 14, 2000
Myself - 37, Compulsive planner Disney Nut
DW, A year or two older coming along for the ride who knows I am Nuts!!!!
DS - 12
DS - 9

Got up at 6am ready for some action. Looked out the window and it was still dark. Could not see a darn thing. It was a little overcast. It got to be around 7am and after watching a little TV on the cannels not owned by Disney I got my fill of Starsky and Hutch on TV Land and was ready to do some recon. We let the boys get a swim in the pool as it was around 72º and that is fine for swimming coming from MD.

After returning to the room I looked out the window and to my amazement the resemblence of a ship appeared. If appeared to be small since it was "parked", "docked" in the port from the Aft end showing. We loaded up the car and headed over to the exit for the port for a little peak. WOW did not know what security would be like so we u-balled at the ship exit and pulled off on the shoulder. I was overwhelmed with the size of the ship. No picture does it justice.

I wanted to hurry back to the room and get our things settled with the Radission and Avis and hitch a ride back to that beauty. My wife reminded me if we were heading to the port we neded to get something to eat since we would not be eating until 1pm. Ate at McDonalds across the street from the hotel.

I then had my wife wait out front with the bags as I checked out of the Radisson and also turned the keys in for the rental car. They asked if I wanted to get a ride over to the port and I said what is the earliest time you have left and she said I have a driver outside right now if you would like. It was 10am and I said not a problem. Went outside and informed my wife we were taking the shuttle to the port through Avis.
TIP: Even if you do not use the Rental Car Company they will allow you to use their Shuttle as it is Tips the drivers are looking for. We opted to arrive a litle early. Go figure!

When we got to the port there was a family of 4 with DK's that were 7 and 5 and they were just coming off the boat. Me one not to miss an opportunity to get a Disney fix asked them how they enjoyed thier trip. You could see and hear the sheer joy in the voices as they described they ship, Cast members, entertainment and the food!!!! We were getting excited!!!

There were about 10 people in the parking lot the driver dropped us off at across from the ship. Once you place you bags within the coned off area and the driver of the baggage car stops you can point you bags out that are to be checked with your yellow tags on them including any drinks and he will take them and load them on his carrier. At that point you must walk around to the entrance which is about 50-60 yards away to the side of the terminal. From what it sounds like check-in has changed within the last couple months. Please have all you documents out at this point because you will need them to go any further. We passed by National Guard and local police as we entered the terminal. It was around 10:25 and I had my wife and kids go up to the roped off area next to the Mickey ears and place our stuff in line and have one of them stay there while the other two took the terminal in. We were second in line to board the ship. I stood at the counter and waited for the CM to help me. I was at the first counter after the Castaway Club(returning cruisers) counter. I figured that would be the first one they would set-up at. At the time I needed my wife for the picture ID she appeared to ID herself to match the drivers license and BC I had for her. It took about 10 minutes.

I was done by 10:45 and they had provided me with the first day Navigator(daily itinerary) so we had something to read. I got the Dinner rotation we had requested through our travel agent which was PLAPLAP late seating. This seems to be the best IMHO because it lines Lumiere's up with the Captain's Gala on Sunday and Tropical night while at St. Maarten in Parrot Cay. You also do not miss the light show your first night at AP since it is not formal the first night you go.

We got our KTTW cards (the first of many as I would soon find out, but that is another volume) and we were ready to go. I got in line with my DS12 and DS9 as my wife went around the terminal taking pictures. As we were waiting to board a Castmember by the name of TOM asked if our sons would like to be included in counting down from 10 to let us board the ship. They were game and along with a pair of kids from Calif. We got a nice certificate to remember the moment. We got on the ship at around 12:15. My son was wearing a santa cap for the send-off. Really cute picture. Please make sure you treat the check in at the port as if you were boarding a plane. You can not walk onto the plane with any sharp objects. Two of the four lines were being held up because of this. Items getting taken away before the cruise.

My wife was not worried about eating so she went to look around the ship and checked the boys into the Club. DS12 was given check out privledges, DS9 was not initially. (Later gave DS9 check-out privl.) I walked straight up to deck 10 aft to get my Palo's Ressies. Since we had the PLA rotation I thought it would be best to have Brunch on Sunday and Dinner on our St. Thomas night. It worked out great because I got both the days we wanted. Have a plan when you go up there because they have it down to a science. I did notice that some times were blocked out and I can only assume it was for conceige service. You may want to check back later in the day as maybe some of those slots become available? After we got those straighted out we went to Topsiders. Again the Motorolas worked great as I did not have to search for my DW or DS'.

I am the big shrimp eater so I saved alot of room on my plate for the shrimp. As a matter of fact a had a seperate plate of the shrimp and cocktail sauce. LOL

The rest of the food was very nice with a selection of breads and the jamacian beef patties that tasted very good.

We took a peak at our room (6070) around 1 o'clock and our bags were already in the hallway. We were told by our room stewart that we must have arrived at the port early because they deliver the bags in the order they receive them at the port. FYI. Our room was very nice. It had a verandah which we enjoyed but did not use enough to warrant the additional cost. We used it the morning and evening and to dry the swimming trucks off. That was it.

Had our swim trucks and while everyone else was walking around enjoying the sites we did a little swimming with 3 people in the pool. Our DS12 and DS9 did most of the swimming as DW and I took control of one of Goofy's Hot tubs. After 1 1/2 hours of the pool we headed back up to the room an got ready for the mandatory life boat drill at 4pm. This was the time getting somewhere early hurts you as we counted approx. 45 people that were just getting to the drill at 4:15pm. Very inconsiderate.
You can be there right on time and be ok.

Got ready for the sail-away party and that was a blast. alot of dancing and singing. If you are on a budget and do not want to spend a mint compared to a small fortune wait until the end of the sail-away party as my wife found out they have 2for1 drinks at that time. She picked up a second Bahama-mama. LOL

Saw the Variety show with Michael Harrison who was a ventriliquist (sp?). Very funny Also Gary Selena? who was on the guitar with some funny songs. He sang about a large man with a small speedo and a hairy back. He said you would see this guy during the week and not only did we see him, I believe he has a brother.

Walked around until dinner. They boys ate at Pinnochio's and Pluto's doghouse with Pizza and Burgers which were very good. We had Parrot Cay the first night. We sent the kids to the Clubs to get introduced to the counselors and other kids but they did not seem to enjoy the clubs as much as I would have thought. They went but not that often. They preferred playing basketball or ping-pong or shuttleboard with a few friends they met. My DS12 was in the club with mostly 10 yr olds who either wanted to kick each other or throw things. Did not seem to fun for him.

We met Manuel from the Phillipines (Server) and Sarah(AS) from the Netherlands. They were both fantastic!!! Stick with their suggestions. They were concerned that our sons were not with us an they wanted to know if they would be able to meet them tomorrow. We said yes of course. After dinner we headed up to get the boys and went to bed after a long day. No towel animal so I was worried we did not have a room stewart that did TA's

DINNER included App. of Coconut Prawns (Very big shrimp) as Manual explained with Onion Rings, Jamacian Chicken Wings and Pot stickers. My DW had the Pasta shells an I ha the Cuban Style Rib-eye with Yucca which is a naturally sweet root or potato. It was extremely good. For dessert DW had the Banana's Flambe and I had the Rich Custard Cream also very filling but for me not necessary. I will be doing alot of stair walking on this cruise.

That's all for now. Next Volume - Brunch at Palo's and How many 4-5 year olds can fit in a 6 person adult jacuzzi? I counted 14 one day.
Very good, detailed report!!
14 kids in a jacuzzi, yikes!!!
What a great trip report!! I especially enjoy learning the times that you arrived and about how long things took. Helps so much with the planning.

Are the Avis shuttles able to handle all the luggage well? or should I drive to the ship and drop off the luggage with my family and drive back alone to return car and take the shuttle? Just one of the little details I haven't worked out yet. We are also planning to get to the terminal around 1030. Thanks so much - I am really enjoying reading about your trip.

12 days for us!! MNmom:jester:
The Avis Shuttle they have at the Radission is a Commuter van that runs every 10 minutes or so. It also has more than enough room to hold eight I believe and all the luggage. They told me I could arrive as early as I wanted to at the port however I think getting there around 10am was good. That gave us time to get oriented and talk to any Cast Members that may be able to help us. Good luck with your trip. I am glad I planned as much as I could because it saves being blindsided by something. And also it gives you any idea of what you do or don't want to do on your vacation.

My son will be one week shy of 12 for this cruise - we did the cruise two years ago and he didn't like the clubs then either. What is there for a 12 year old boy to do besides breaking the bank in the arcade?
Just scanning my DS12 navigator he did Animation where you learn how to Draw in his case Donald Duck on Monday.

On St Thomas day they are able to make Flubber.

On Thursday they have animation hour where you make you own commercial. They also have k-nex exhibition on this day

On Castaway Cay day they have a show called discover the Magic that they show clips of all the kids and every child that participates in the show receives a shirt.

They did have a few things to do and also they have what is called Activity time which is what my DS12 dd not really like since that is when the 10 yr olds took over the lab. He only knew maybe 4 12 yr olds that went to te lab when he was around. They mostly hung out on the days at sea playing basketball, ping-pong or shuffleboard. He did have a great deal of fun playing with his new found friends and having the freedom while at sea of just exploring. Hope this helps and I wish you luck with more older kids in the lab. We were told later that the 1/2 a week our son missed school since he is a midle school student was not a popular week for parents, most parents did not take there middle school children out during Christmas break early. The following week was full of midle school students. Go figure.
We were practically neighbors on deck 6. (6060 &6059)
My family had a great time also.
You are doing a terrific job of detailing the cruise!
Did you go to the early show the first night?
My son Connor was Michael Harrison's "Dummy".
I have never laughed so hard in my life!
He was a celebrity all week on the ship.
We also did brunch Sunday(The best I've EVER had)
and dinner at Palo's Wed. (We were the 4 laughing all night
long with Salvatore!) Hope we weren't too loud.

Thank you so much for writing everything I didn't!
I also think you should have a few drinks or skip
Hercules. It Did not live up to the rest of the shows.
Way toooooo corny and slooow. Except for the Muses.
They were good!
Thanks again and looking forward to the rest.

Hey Jules
My wife and oldest son were up on stage at Studio sea when you were playing that game Mickey Mania with your daughter. They had the Mickey Hands on their heads. Looking at the stage you were second from the right? My son was the one that had a fit when his mother said Pinnochio's nose did not turn into a nest and have birds in it and said, He was scholded. Conner was a RIOT......My son kept yelling from the audience " I have stinky feet but I don't like girls. I wish I would have videotaped your son.......

We are truly enjoying your trip report and going to copy it :)
Have planned for over a year now and are doing a Dis cruise family reunion Dec 14-21. We will fly out of BWI day before and give us a day to adjust before our long awaited trip. When do you suggest we start pricing air tickets?? Glad you all had a wonderful time. I am paying particular attention to all your little details ~ times for flight and drive, Radisson, Avis, entertainment, clubs for kids, food, etc....sounds really exciting......LOVE IT !!! Keep um coming !! :D
I had airline tickets from a previously bumped flight, however I woul try to get them as soon as you can. When flying with Delta the hae a site on their website that will allow you to see how full the plane you want to be on is. I believe you can book a flight with them 341 days(I believe) in advance. I booked ours that day because of a long story with the tickets we had and I wanted to exchange them for real ones as soon as possible. I had the vouchers for the tickets redeemed on that day and I am glad I did and did not wait as Delta called me back after 9/11 and tried to tell me had I not redeemed those vouchers they would have been voided and a lesser amount reissued.


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