Monday, February 11, 2013

Our MAGICal Disney Cruise Day 1 Part 3: First evening


YouTube Music Video:
Our MAGICal Disney Cruise

Day 1 Navigator
Day 2 Navigator
Day 3 Navigator
Day 4 Navigator

Trip Report:
Day 1 Part 1:  Intro and getting there 
Day1 Part 2: First afternoon on the ship 

So it was 4:30 p.m. on our first afternoon on board the Disney Magic.  The kids' clubs and everything else was closing down in preparation for the mandatory lifeboat drill.  We saw Mickey Mouse in the atrium...

Since we still had a few minutes before we had to be at our lifeboat station, we decided to go to the super secret Deck 7.  I say super secret because supposedly not many people know that on the very back of the two classic ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, if you go past all of the cabins there is a door leading to this small outdoor deck.  Supposedly it is never very crowded and it's a great place to lounge and read.  We were the only ones out there this afternoon.

 Some views of Galveston...

I had every intention of visiting the super secret Deck 7 again on the cruise to read or write, but sadly that never happened.  Next time, hopefully.

Off to the lifeboat drill!  Our muster station happened to be inside the Animator's Palate retaurant.

We just had to check in and sit down and wait for the safety demonstrations and announcements.  At one point, the alarm bells went off, but they warned us in advance. If you have small kids, it's probably a good idea to give them a heads-up about the loud alarm.

No time to delay, after the lifeboat drill the Sail Away party was starting.  It had already started when we arrived.  We went up on Deck 10 to watch the party down below to avoid the crowds. I think it's easier to see from the deck above anyway.

At the end of the party, there is a countdown, the ship's horn blows (to the tune of "When You Wish Upon a Star"), and then the ship sails away.  Except in this case today, it didn't sail away because people were still boarding due to the fog delay.  I really wanted to wait and watch us sail away, see us pull away from land and see the dolphins that typically ride the waves of the ship...but we had to rush off to dinner at Animator's Palate.

On a Disney Cruise, there are three differently-themed restaurants that you rotate through for dinner over the course of your cruise.  Depending on the length of your cruise, you may eat in some of those restaurants more than once. Your servers rotate with you. The Topsiders Buffet restaurant is also available for dinner (but as a sit-down a-la-carte restaurant, not a buffet), as well as fast-food restaurants on the pool deck and room service (which is mostly free, except for a few items like candy bars).  There is also an adults-only restaurant, Palo, which requires reservations.

We had requested to begin our dining rotation with Animator's Palate because we knew that was the restaurant the kids would enjoy the most and they would be the freshest on our first night.  We also wanted to schedule a Palo dinner later in our cruise and didn't want to miss Animator's Palate.  We were able to request this dinner rotation through our travel agent, and although requests are not guaranteed, our request for starting at Animator's Palate was met on both of our cruises.

Since we were a party of 6, we were seated at a table by ourselves.  Disney does combine smaller families together at larger tables sometimes, but on both of our cruises so far we had a table to ourselves.

Animator's Palate restaurant is different on the Disney Magic compared to the Disney Dream, so we were excited to experience this restaurant.  When you enter, everything is in black and white, and as dinner progresses, things turn to color.

We met our servers, Jerol from Thailand and Eric from India.  Both were excellent.  They put our napkins on our laps and cut up our kids' food for us.

Black and white early in dinner

Turning to color later in dinner

Animator's Palate


Sitting down for dinner at Animator's Palate was the first time I started to relax and breathe.  We all felt rushed earlier in the afternoon. The kids were pretty happy to be on the ship.

Mickey Mouse ketchup

Eric cutting my son's chicken strips

The show
Dinner is a 4-course meal.  You can choose an appetizer, soup/salad, main entree and dessert.  This first night, dinner lasted about an hour and 45 minutes.  I think it's a little longer in Animator's Palate due to the dinner show with an appearance by Mickey Mouse.

Magic trick
Our assistant server, Eric, did a magic trick for the kids every night.  This first night, he laid out two triangles with crayons and challenged the kids to move only one crayon to make 4 triangles. We were stumped.  Do you know the answer?

Eric also showed the kids a magic trick where he made a fork flip over.  He taught  my oldest son how to do it.

I didn't take pictures of the food or menus, but I had a delicious potato soup (similar to one I had on the Dream) and a salad with goat cheese.  And chocolate cake.  I don't remember what I had for my entree.

By this time, it was almost 8:00 p.m. and I had made a reservation for Alyssa in the nursery.  We dropped her off and took the boys to the Oceaneer Club. We had some time before the evening show, so we went to the gift shops to look around.  I bought a DCL charm for my charm bracelet.

At 8:45 p.m. we went to the evening show called "All Aboard!  Let the Magic Begin." The Cruise Director, Darren, had a few announcements and then there were a few Disney musical numbers, followed by an act by a ventriloquist.  The ventriloquist's name was Michael Harrison and he was very good! He was a finalist on America's Got Talent and did a show that was very family-friendly and had everyone laughing.  Although our kids were in the clubs, there were a lot of kids in the audience.  Brian thought our boys would like him, so we decided we would take them to his subsequent shows.

The show was over at 9:30, and I picked up Alyssa from the nursery and the boys from the clubs. We decided to get Alyssa and Joshua down to sleep while I took our oldest son out to deliver our Fish Extended gifts with Nana.  It took us a while and it was 10:45 p.m. by the time we were done.  Nathan wanted to order a Mickey ice cream bar from room service, but since it was so late I convinced him to just have some Skittles instead.

For our FE Exchange, we gave the adults and older teenagers these post-it notes with our cruise info on them. And breath mints.

We gave the older kids Skittles and a can of glow sticks.  The younger kids also got Skittles and various Jake and the Neverland Pirates things--tatoos, erasers, pencil bags, etc.

It was about 11:15 p.m. when we got to bed.

Next up:  Sea Day

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