Welcome to my very first trip report. I was so thankful to be able to set sail aboard the Disney Magic on DCL's first Thanksgiving sailing from the port of Galveston this last week, November 17, 2012.
I'm Lorelei (or Lori to my friends) better known as cruisecrasher (like partycrasher, not like the Titantic) here on the boards.
In tribute to my sister who is forever posting bathroom mirror pics on facebook. I think I was trying to check the back of my hair when I took this pic.
I love DISigning, when I'm not in full on dream come true vacation planning mode, which seems to be all the time. A goofball, spaz, and all around pixie-dust nut with the occasional OCD planning tendencies (more on that later).
I'm wife to a kind Disneyholic supporting man, Benjamin, he's ketchAggie here on the boards, though he tends toward the lurking end of things.
After our honeymoon at the world, he was originally skeptical about DCL, trying to plan future trips with our kids around juggling both a short stay at WDW and a short cruise. Then we took a short 3 day cruise out of Port Canaveral, just to "try it out" without the kiddos. Now it's going to be like pulling teeth to talk him back into the parks and off of the ships...oh, well, I guess we'll have to do both.
I'm a mother of two darling children who have never been to WDW or on DCL (I know, bad mommy!)
Christopher is 6 and in kindergarten, Kylee Anne is 3 and is allergic to dairy. She and I both live as vegan as possible, while my DH and DS both make up for us in the meat and milk eating capacities.
The original big plan was for us to pay off our house sometime around my birthday this September, then save up for a super deluxe WDW DCL vacation for sometime around our tenth anniversary in early 2014 with the caveat of "if they ever come to Texas, we'll jump right on that" as we live in the north Houston suburbs and the cruise sans airfare is much more reasonable.
When DCL announced sailings out of Galveston in April of 2011, we did the whole crazy stay on hold opening day bookings thing, right as the NYC and Galveston itineraries were released. Thus giving us a lesiurely 19 MONTHS to sit and wait for our cruise. That makes for a really long paper chain, FYI.
At least it gave me plenty of time to potty train Kylee, get to know my FE group and DISboards meet group, make sure the kids had plenty of swimming lessons, order some cute clothes for the kids and DISign some pretty magnets for the holiday and generally organize the gee wilikers out of it.
We got online at eleven pm 90 days out and booked both brunch (new to us, as our last cruise was too short for it) and dinner at Palo as well as an excursion my son has wanted to go on since he was 4. Actually, it appeared to be much easier to secure reservations on this cruise than our previous one out of Port Canaveral.
As the days ticked down, suddenly everything seemed to fall into place.
The paperwork arrived just in time to start packing like mad amid all the little preschool Thanksgiving parties and class feasts. Ben took the week before the cruise off as well, so we spent alot of family time doing class parties together and just generally trying to relax and get the packng finished a bit before the cruise. I felt much better the afternoon before embarkation once all of the bags were packed and took the evening off to go catch Breaking Dawn Part 2 with some mom friends.
More to come!
I'm in! You are off to a great start. Your kids are cuties.
Jill in CO
Good start!! Can't wait for more. Can I ask where you got the clothes from?
The hats are from the dollar bins at target just after Halloween.
I'm leaving Saturday on the Magic. Can't wait it's my first Disney Cruise :cool1:
And we're off
So after a good night's rest, the kids shot out of bed predawn, much like on Christmas mornings while I tried not to forget any of the last minute odds and ends.
They got out their little pre-cruise goodie bags so they were armed with sunglasses, pirate bandanas, lanyards and even some "My First Cruise" journals (some handwriting worksheets specific to our itinerary, coloring sheets off the castaway club website, car scavenger hunts for the way down, pirate bandanas, etc.) to hopefully keep them amused during the drive down to Galveston. I enjoyed the last of the free stateside wifi and 4G to do a little websurfing and found out something terrible on facebook. My acquaintance Kathryn and her family were to be sailing with us (their first cruise ever) but she sent me a note late the previous night that they could not for the life of them locate her DH's birth certificate. She pretty much said they wouldn't be making it. I sent her a quick note saying to text me WHEN they made it. And started praying that they find it or a way around it.
After a stop into Egg and I for a quick breakfast of Mickey shaped pancakes for the men and oatmeal with all the fixings for the vegans, and a forced restroom run, we set out for the ball, errr, for Galveston anyway. While driving southward, the kids managed to direct their pixie dusted enthusiasm into finding green cars, campers, semis, cement mixers and whatever else appeared in their scavenger lists.
Thank you DISigners! Ben managed to get us all the way south of town where we encountered our first snag. Kylee's favorite jacket lost a button during our one and only pit stop, which as luck would have it, occurred in a Walmart. So I procured a travel size sewing kit, pocketed the wayward button and promised princess that I would sew it on as soon as the opportunity presented itself...it still hasn't, but I haven't lost the button yet, so it's still a possibility, although quite remote as later events will reveal. And again, the sewing kit did end up getting used during this cruise, so it wasn't a total waste.
We passed the port en route to out parking area and got our first glimpses of the Magic from Harborside. After trying to get several good photographic angles as we drove past, I concluded that maybe the reason there aren't very many photos of the Magic in port is the very industrial feel of the port just didn't look very vacation-y.
Ben thoughtfully pre-booked at EZ Cruise and the turn by turn directions on the iPhone spared me the general stress of navigating an unfamiliar terrain while maintaining peace in the backseat. The bright orange signage along the EZ Cruise aided made it, well, easy to spot. Parking breezed by and after unloading the suitcases and preschooler from my vehicle in a clown car type maneuver a helpful employee ushered us and our luggage into the shuttle.
Minutes later we hopped to the curb, another porter to the terminal and our bags ventured into the unknown of port security, hopefully to be reunited with us later in the afternoon. We looked at our phones, and it was still a while until the terminal opened. Our port arrival time was 11, but we still had about an hour to kill.
Thankfully, the kids felt like we were finally on vacation and quite enjoyed dancing about outside the terminal and walking around until they let people inside around 10:30. Also thankfully, the restroom in the terminals was available even when we were still waiting outside.
The Castaway Club line let us walk directly up to check-in and the people at the next check-in desk were hearing that no upgrades were available as the sailing was full, so we didn't ask about them. Ben and I got our first Silver lanyards, boarding group card, first day navigators and key to the world cards.
We all headed over to the kids program registration area. We met Beth, the kid's club counselor who cheerily explained that the computers were down, but we were welcome to hang out and let the kids color while they worked on it, or go take our seats in the open part of the terminal. We opted for patience. Besides, Kylee could color endlessly and be cheerful about it. Chris can too, for that matter. So we had a fair amount of time to talk to the Californian behind us in line, who as chance would have it, later ended up being selected as family of the day and boarded the boat first. She also loves running, but as it was her first cruise, hadn't any idea how exactly that would work out as a 12 miler is a bit much on a treadmill. She seemed skeptical, about the laps as much as the whole "Disney cruise thing" blaming her sister for setting it up. I let her know I prefer running laps on deck 4. We ran into each other repeatedly, but never while running and she seemed to buy into DCL as whole heartedly as anyone else I've seen. The counselors fixed the computers and we had our first Q/A about Kylee's diet and age with the counselors (yes, she's really three, she just talks incessantly and clearly, no she doesnt have an anaphylactic reaction to milk, no she doesn't have an EPIpen). She explained that special meals could be arranged for delivery to the kids clubs or we were welcome to take her out and feed her and drop her back. And with their new bracelets, the kids cheerfully wandered off to the open seating to wait for our group to board. Around 10:50, another mom wandered by and pointed out Mickey needed company at the other end of the terminal. So off the kids went to meet Mickey for the first time.
Chris sauntered right up to Mickey, although Kylee originally needed to be restrained to keep from going directly under the ropes to meet the mouse, a couple steps from the fateful meeting, she realized he is humongous in real life. They announced boarding would be delayed until 11:30, so we got the first of several really awkward family photos.
The family of the day got called to board (Hey, we know them, cool!) and then they called groups 1-27 to board. After the mad rush to get the obligatory boarding photo (which believe it or not is even worse than the one above), they welcomed Chris and Kylee and their entourage on board the Magic. I got so choked up watching the awe in the kids' eyes, that I didn't get a single photo. I remembered to head straight to guest services and request four Tea with Alice tickets and drop off pillowcases and sharpies, while Ben and Chris hit the restrooms.
And the eating begins
We headed into Parrot Cay for our first vegan meal attempt onboard. Ben and Chris plowed through the buffet while I asked a server what was vegan. He asked us to wait to one side as he went to get a chef to come help us. After speaking to a chef, he promised to bring something vegan to the table for Kylee.
It was a little unnerving ordering the first plate of vegan food and having the fear of a week of steamed unseasoned veggies settle on me. I can do it, but I wasn't thrilled about it. I raided the salad bar and fruit bar and made a mental note to come up with ideas for future meals. Thankfully, this problem seemed to be short lived.
We headed to Rockin Bar D to make sure our reservations noted the proper dietary restrictions (they did) and then wandered around the ship for a bit to let the kids feel oriented.
They loved the oceaneer club, were unsure about the lab and loved the large porthole windows on deck 3. Our room was ready and our bags were already waiting, so I plowed through the unpacking before the safety drill started. Also started browsing through the Voyage Navigator, entertainment schedules and checked out excursion tickets and Palo invites. I think this is around the time we sent our last few phone calls to let everyone know we'd made it onboard the ship. I know that this is when I finally got word from Kathryn that they had managed to get onboard. (Yay!) And in small world fashion, ran into them nearly daily for the remainder of the cruise.
More exciting, we got our first Castaway Club backpack, keychain and snacks (the pretzels are vegan! Whoop!)
Then we headed up to the sail away party and saw one of the oddest things.
Chris started really getting into the dancing and steps.:dance3:
He has NEVER done anything like that before, and we were even halfway expecting to have to take him up to deck 10 if the crowds were bothering him. Instead, he was busy dancing right by the ropes, spinning around breakdancing and even heading up on stage when they let the kids join the crowd at the end of sail away.
After lots of dancing, we headed up to deck ten to watch as the ship pulled out of port and turned our phones onto airplane mode. Then we headed back to 5020 to get ready for main dining and decorate the door. Lumieres is lovely, although it is a bit odd to see Lumieres instead of Tritons. We met Giuseppe our server and Patricia our lovely assistant server. She seemed quite well pulled together and joyfully assisted in anyway possible.
The menu seems to have a lot more vegetarian and healthy options than I recall from our previous cruise, but I may not have been looking as hard for them.
So I ordered the citrus salad and the grilled marinated tofu, roasted zucchini, eggplant, and red peppers on lime-cilantro couscous from the menu. And we amused ourselves by taking goofy pictures while waiting for our food.
The tofu was pretty good, although the plating size seemed a bit ridiculous, I could easily have shared this plate with Kylee and still had plenty leftover. Nevermind the fact that each of us ended up with a full salad in addition. However, since they brought us two full orders, I felt like I had to make the best of it and eat up. I'll blame it on the tiny lunches, but somehow we managed to make sizable dents in our meals, despite the overwhelming nature of the portion size.
After dinner, our head server Luis dropped by to help us preorder food for the next day. We opted to let Kylee eat in the oceaneer club the next day, so we preordered her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some apples for delivery around noon. I think we let the kids play at the clubs for a little bit after dinner, but honestly, don't remember. We ended up altogether in our room well before the second "All Aboard!" show started. A stingray towel waited for us and the kids pretty much collapsed after all the excitement of the day.
This night began a tradition of me reading the following day's navigator quietly with Ben after the kid's were passing out to cartoons on the TV or the broadcast of the evenings stage show. If you're curious I have scans of all of the Thanksgiving week Navigators
I did not submit them to the webmasters as they aren't in PDF format and I couldn't figure out how to convert them for free.
I'm enjoying your TR. Your kids are adorable! Can't wait to visit the Magic in just a few days now for our cruise!
Do you happen a link to the pages you made for you book? By the way, my daughter goes to same school as yours. Ballet too! Knew that I recognized you. We leave on Saturday
There were actually several people from TWUMC on our sailing, so I'm not surprised that there are more of us. Off to get the links off of my laptop.
So, Milliepie has pulled down her 4shared site that has the pages, I'll PM you with what I have, though. If that's okay?
That would be great!!! Thank you!
I had a Giuseppe server on my Magic trip but he had a different assistant-do they switch up or is it probably a different server? Mine was so sweet and easy going!
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