Hey y'all, I've been lurking around here for the last several weeks in preperation for our Disney cruise vacation. I've read through what seems like hundreds of tips and numerous trip reports and had such a fun time doing it I thought I would go ahead and do one of my own. It is EXTREMELY long and I'll try to keep it all to one thread for easy access... The Background Info: This was our second cruise, both on Disney Cruise Line. We took a 4-night cruise on the Disney Wonder three years ago, loved it, thought it was the best vacation experience ever, so decided to shoot for a 7-night straightaway. Unfortunately it took three years to get to the point where a 7-night Disney cruise was plausible. Funny how finances, work, school, and pretty much all of life tend to get in the way of the fun stuff sometimes. So here we go Cast of Characters: Ward thats me Cheri the darling wife Sadie the lovely 13 year old daughter Saturday, May 20th - Day 1 Part 1: The Arrival Cheri and I woke up at 6am and I must say that I am shocked that we slept that late. I was sure that we wouldnt be able to sleep a wink and would be up by two or three a.m. We got our showers and got Sadie up to start getting ready. I ran to the bank. I figured we might need a little bit of money to take with us. My dad agreed to drive us over to the Port so that we wouldnt have to leave a car there for the week so we arranged for him to pick us up at the house at about 9:30. We were all ready by 9am so we just had to sit around and be all excited!! He came right on time and we were off! Ive read numerous Disney cruise trip reports in the last several months leading up to our vacation and almost every single one of them talks about seeing the ship as you come over the bridge approaching Port Canaveral. Im afraid Im not going to be unique in any respect. The sight is one of awe and wonder for sure. As if the excitement level in the car could have been any higher, the sight of the ship and knowing that within the next several hours we were going to board that luxurious vessel to have the time of our lives was just amazing. In my eyes, the most beautiful ship on the seas for sure. So we got there at about 10:30am and my dad dropped us off at numbered stations right in front of the terminal. This is just a bit different from when we went on our 4-night Disney cruise three years ago when he dropped us in the parking lot where they loaded your bags onto a truck and you crossed the street over to the terminal building. This time we got right out of the car, unloaded our bags and a porter was immediately at our side offering assistance (which we gladly accepted). I firmly believe that the Wells family of Orlando has the largest and heaviest luggage on the planet. Must have something to do with the fact that my wife and daughter think there are shoes for the morning, shoes for the evening, and shoes for every hour in between. Mental tip for next time: A suitcase devoted entirely to footwear theirs numbering in the double digits and my three. Anyway as the porter was loading our behemoth bags onto the cart, my wife was giving me that you-have-a-bunch-of-ones-right(?) look. Ah tips! Right I forgot about that aspect of things. Amidst all of the excitement of the arrival, tipping slipped my mind. I quickly pulled out my wallet and luckily I had some singles in there which I handed to the nice man (who absolutely looked like he was glad that my wife had that look down pat). It was then that I made another mental note to make Guest Services one of my first stops after boarding to get many many more singles for the rest of the journey. We said so long to my dad and the porter took our bags one way and we went another way heading towards the terminal. Now, a brief pause for some more background information May 23rd is our wedding anniversary, so the timing of the cruise worked out perfectly to be able to spend our eighth anniversary at sea on the Disney Magic. I wanted to get my wife something special, so a few weeks prior to the cruise I got her a gold three diamond drop necklace and put it away to surprise her with on the cruise. She had no idea that I bought it or bought anything at all and I had hidden the necklace at home. On this morning as we were packing up to leave, I finally pulled the gift from its hiding spot and not really knowing what to do with it; I put it in my pocket. I didnt want to put it in the luggage for fear that she would find it. Okay, we now return to the regularly scheduled programming Upon entering the terminal we had to go through security. I walked through the metal detector and of course beeped, so I went back through and had to empty my pockets into a dish. I put my wallet in the dish and my keys. I was so worried about the jewelry box in my pocket because I really didnt even want Cheri to know that it even existed. I wanted it to be a total surprise. So somehow when she wasnt looking I managed to get it out of my pocket, into the dish and sent the dish on its way through the X-ray machine thingy. So I went back through the metal detector and beeped again! So they made me come off to the side and wave the magic wand all over me while in the meantime the dish comes out the other side of the machine with my wallet and the jewelry box and my wife is over there picking up our other things. Turns out my belt was causing all of the mayhem and I was allowed to go. I got over to the dish right as my wifes eyes set upon it. I just grabbed it and put it back in my pocket. I know she saw it and now she knew I had it. I was really upset but ah well, what are you going to do. Im not the quickest of thinkers sometimes, so I wasnt about to think of something to say or some grand story. I didnt say anything and she didnt say anything so We made it through security and there was a nice lady at the base of the escalators handing out the numbered boarding passes. This is another of those new items since our last cruise. We got boarding number four which we were fine with and headed up the escalator. As the moving steps take you higher and higher the wavy metallic ceiling comes into view, the dull roar of excited guests becomes clearer and clearer and then you reach the top where the enormous terminal opens up before you, brilliantly blinding aquamarine floors and walls, an ocean before leaving land. So beautiful! We headed over to the check-in and were greeted by a Cast Member there making sure that we had filled out all of our forms. We told her we had done that online using the new online check in process and she told us that we still had to fill out all of the forms in the booklet. So we went to one of the freestanding tables in the middle of the terminal and worked on our forms. We didnt really understand why we had to do this if wed already done it, but no big deal. Check in was quick and painless. We were assigned stateroom 5646 deck 5 aft with a PLAPLAP (my new favorite word!) late dining rotation. Again, we were absolutely fine with this as we really didnt have anything to compare it too. Were pretty easy going people, plus Parrot Cay is my wifes favorite restaurant so it worked out great! So there we were all checked in. We went over and grabbed some seats next to the window. By this time it was about 11am and the terminal was fast filling up. At check-in we were given some information and the events of the first day so we read through that and just sat staring out the window. The Carnival Miracle was docked just next door and I wandered the terminal a bit. Checked out the kids clubs registration area, went outside to watch them load pallets upon pallets of food onto our ship (Yay!), grabbed an introductory sheet on the events of the Stack for my daughter. Goofy and Mickey came out so we watched them interact with the kids for a while. Pretty much just hung out waiting for boarding to begin! Up Next: Boarding and a Door Issue.