Trip Report - 1/26 Magic-Long

Alihall

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
I promised a trip report because I gleened so much info from these boards.

Cast: Me(40), DH(42), DS(12) & DD(3.5)

We chose this cruise after being at WDW last July and were woo'd by the cruise commercial. When you have children and want to travel, if they are happy then your happy. We were hoping DD would take to clubs a little bit so we could get some much needed couple time. We booked in August, by the end of November our price had dropped almost in half.

Anyway we left Fri. 1/25 and stayed at the Hampton Inn at Cocoa Beach. It was nice. We ate at the Sunset Bar overlooking the water(river) in Cocoa Beach-nice and relaxing. Returned our car to Avis at 9am after driving to port to get our first look at the Boat! It's Huge - says DS and DD just schreeked. The Radison was nice and pool was really nice!!!!! Don't waste time with other accomidations. This is where we should have stayed especially if a pool is important especially for the kids.....and you could meet other people, too.

We grabbed the first return trip to port at 10:00 and were first up the escalator, first to check in and first in line!!!!! So cool. The terminal is beautiful. We got on the ship at 12:15 did the lunch thing and our room was ready at 12:50 and baggage followed soon after. We were deck seven aft w/verandah. Beautiful room, lots of space everything fit away nicely. Our room steward did a great job. The verandah is a must with small children as they tend to poop out and need some down time or nap time. DH and I took turns staying in the room w/ DD in the afternoons. Usually we read on the verandah. By the end of the trip this room gets very small.

Our servers were great Predrego from Yugo..... and Oka from Indonesia. Meals were always fantastic with the excepton of the last night. We enjoyed the breakfast and lunch buffets as well. No complaints allthough we can get much juicier and tastier tenderloins here at home. Deserts were nice and Predrego always brought extra appetizers, entrees and deserts to share.
DD ate with us at all meals and was well behaved, DS turned up once in a while. Not a big fan of cuisine, but he loved Plutos and Pinnochios. We ate at Palos on Tues. evening after bribing DS to stay w/DD in room.
He paged us at 10:30 wanting to know if we were having a good time - go figure. Palos was indeed excellant and a highlight of the trip. We went to the adult jacuzzis after that as kids were sleeping. - nice nite.

The first two days at sea were a little rough as DD decided no club for her(no couple time for M&D) and DS was hot and cold with his. We cancelled our Palo brunch resies for Mon am. and started doing the switching off thing with DD. Caution - I'm not going to be nice here. The pools were rediculously crowded. Way to many kids for the size and getting chairs was next to impossible. This was the biggest disappointment of the cruise. Children love pools and its such good entertainment for them, but this was crazy. We were not alone in our dismay as I saw other familes loosing it. Maybe one less sea day and another port would be nice here. 3 days is to long with a 3.5 yr old who won't club. Enough said - just be prepared, this age group gets tired and there is a lot of walking.

St. Martin- Went to Divi Little Bay Beach Resort ($12 cab ea way-10 min ride) Rented two chairs($10) Beautiful property and nice beach, gorgeous view, nicer than the public beach. We had lunch for 4 ($45.00) at the pool rest. and swam in the pool. Fantastic day. Got back to ship at 4:00.

St. Thomas- Beautiful view from verandah, can't say enough about the verandah-just get one! DS had a sunburn from to much body surfing on Tues in St. Martin, so stayed on boat. The rest of us went to Morningstar Beach - took cab (5 min $12.00 ea way) got chairs,ect..nice beach not very big, nice shadded bar area for food, ect... very relaxing. Still wished we had gone to Magens Bay.
Animators Pallate was a fantastic meal and great show. Really enjoyed that just as much as Palos.

Thursday am we had Charactor breakfast which was ok. Don't expect as much attention as WDW meals as the characters move swifly thru the diniing room. We countinued to switch off with DD as it was a boat day. By now the cold DH had at the begining of the week has caught up with me so I spent a fair amount of time laying down in the cabin w/DD. After our dinner at Lumiers, someone threw up all over the back of DD's dress while we where in Shutters-yuck. My cold and the cleanup kept us from Disney Dreams-really wished we had gone in the afternoon.

Fri-Castaway Cay- Beauftiful, Beautiful...... until 2700 people take over the family beach!!!!!Give me a break. We did get chairs and umbrella and hamock near Cookies. The kids loved it and had a great time. Too many people for me. Next time Serenity Bay - tell me it wasn't that crowded please......

The Farewell variety show was great and I spent way too much $$ at shutters, but I've got some beautiful pictures. We were off the boat at 8:30 on Sat. and the cold breakfast buffet is fine, don't kill yourself to get up for 6:45 breakfast in the dining room, because you have to be out of your room by then. We had our car rental by 9:15 and headed to Orlando as our return flight was not until 7:20pm. We'll we thought of going to River Country, but the weather looked iffy. So Magic Kingdom here we come. It's not busy this time of year is it hon? Yes, the woman who couldn't take one more minute with 2700+ other people was smack in the middle of Magic Kingdom with probably 50,000+ people. We had a blast, did 5 attractions, Micky's Toontown Fair, Pictures with Mickey and Minnie(DD'S FAV), ate lunch, saw all charactors on stage and watched the 100 yr. anniv parade - they even pulled DD out to dance around the princess float. So cool!!!!! We were at the airport by 5 pm.

Overall it was a great family trip. Our highlights -
Palos, Food, Servers, Shows(did not see enough though)
beaches, service in general, the beautiful boat and views, beautiful weather 7 days in a row and the Verandah, DD's eyes when she hugs Minnie, DS's face in St. Martin, Magic Kingdom on the way home. Rainforest room and massage(I snuck away for an hour on Friday)

Regrets
Not making it to the DIS meet, sorry guys I couldn't get DD away from the stage during the sail away party. Big regret - wished I could have met some of you. Lisa - sorry don't know what happened with the boys...I pushed.
Not getting DD into club, we really needed to relax, without that we found the cruise very busy(IMHO).
Getting a cold on the trip and drinking coffee everynight with desert(yum). It took me till friday to figure out why I couldn't sleep at night (DUH). Next time I'll bring some tylenol pm.
Not seeing Disney Dreams....
Not doing any the adult or club things at night.....
Immigration at St. Thomas at 7am...
Not bringing more beer and soda on board, drinks are expensive...
The guy in the room next to us who smoked cigars constantly.....now that's a long story.

Will we go again???? DH & I will try the $99 deal this fall -alone- thank you!!! It will be a few years before we go as a family again. I just think(IMHO) DD needs to be older - 6 or 7. If we got a similar discount, yes, it was a great value for the money. I would not pay book price at all. We would probably do the western because of the extra port. It's nice to get off the boat and move around as well as enjoy the boat when everyone is at port. HEE HEE...

Any questions let me know.
 
Just wanted to say thanks for a very good trip report. I really appreciate your honesty. I hope my dd's will like the clubs, but your report opened my eyes in case they dont.

Thanks!:)
 
Don't get me wrong, lots of little ones went to the clubs and I'm sure their M&D's had a fabulous time because of that. For us it did not work so therefore we were running around alot! We gave the trip an 8 out of 10.
 
Divi Little Bay Beach Resort?
Sounds like a hotel property?
Do you have to pay to use the facilities for the day?
Or just pay for the beach chairs?
No one cares that you're not staying on the property?

Thanks very much for the trip report. We leave in 11 days
and I'm already cringing about the number of kids and lack
of pool space. I'll have to start preparing dh and dd.

Oh did you save all your Navigators? On the back page
there's a tiny little blurb about the SPA. If there's any
specials, they post them there. :) Would you mind checking
and reporting back? :) The last Navigators I checked were
from Michele on her 12-8 cruise, and yes there was one
special deal offered on both port days, plus castaway cay
day. Just want to get any updates!

Thanks again! :)
 
The Divi tip we got from friends who have a time share there and were actually there when we went. No$$ to get in. But anybody can go. It is frequented by cruisers...but not crowded at all. They will ask you if your from a cruise ship and if you want to do a time share tour and get credits(for casino and water sports) just be polite and say no a couple of times and you can procede to beach area and rent chairs (5.00 each.) Bring towels from ship. There is also a full water sports area so you could rent jet ski, sun fish, ect....we didn't, just enjoyed water and sun. Walk the beach down on the left is the pool and rest/bar area outside. Grab a table have lunch then ease into the pool. No one should bother you, because its not that busy due to tourism being down. They will appreciate your $$$$. Little Bay is on the other side of great bay and in our opinion much nicer. Our do it yourself excursion was $95 for 4 people including lunch and beer.

Our cruise was completely full and reported 1100 kids so maybe yours will not be so bad.:rolleyes:

The spa did offer a $60 alpha capsule something on shore days, but when I went on Wed. to try to get an appt for massage they only had dinner hours avail. I settled for an 8am on Fri. before docking at Castaway Cay but paid full shot $89.00. They advertised 50% off, but I don't know on what and was too stupid to ask.

Have a great time! Relax it will be fun!
 
It's too bad you didn't get to the meet, LisaTxUSA was looking for you :) Oh well, it's harder when you have kids!

Serenity Bay was wonderful! We got there early and grabbed the last hammock. I tell ya, after spending the week with 2700 people, it was nice to be at Serenity Bay, it wasn't crowded at all...seemed like we had the whole island all to ourselves over there :) We walked back around 2pm and saw the family beach and both said "oh my goodness" !!! It was busy busy busy!!
 
Sounds like you had fun, but it's too bad your little one didn't want to go to the club so you could have enjoyed yourselves more. Or it may have been even better if you could have left her at home, with grandparents. :) Oh well, a good excuse for you to go again when she's older. Yikes, a cigar smoker next to you! Ick!! That was one of my big concerns about our cruise last January, that we would have a "chain smoker" in the room next to us and we wouldn't be able to fully enjoy our verandah but thankfully we never had a problem with that, so I don't think either of our "neighbors" were smokers. Personally, I think they should ban cigar/pipe smoking to just one small area. Cigarettes are bad enough, but a bit more tolerable than smelly cigars. It would be nice if Disney would have staterooms on one side of the ship for smokers, and staterooms on the other side for us non-smokers. Then us non-smokers wouldn't have to worry about someone in the next stateroom beside us spoiling our time on our verandahs!! :D
 
Hello I was on the 1-26 as well and can relate to many things you wrote . I also never did meet up with anyone from the boards . It was me and DD8 .She loved the Mickey pool and yes at times it was packed . And yes all chairs near by were taken 1/2 with bodys the other 1/2 with towels . BUt everytime I was there I looked around a while picked a chair moved the towels off and plopped down ,Now I was prepared to gracefully give up the chair when the previous towel owner came back but in the 6 times I did this no one ever showed up to claim their chair .Yes the Family beach was also packed wall to wall people but the weather and the island and the water (After first 2 mins ) was so wonderful we just enjoyed that day so much .I got sick but not until sat morning so that I did not miss anything on the ship. I hope your 3 days is a great time for you .Enjoy.
 

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