Thursday, January 30, 2014

Disney Magic 2.0 Day 3 Part 2: First night on the ship

Still Monday, January 20, 2014:

So we had been on board the re-imagineered Disney Magic for almost 2 hours now, and had eaten lunch and checked out the new kids' clubs. It was 1:30 p.m. and our staterooms were now available. I decided to head to the room by myself to drop off some of our backpacks while Brian stayed in the Oceaneer Lab for a few more minutes with the kids.

We stayed in Stateroom #8500, Category 4B, Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah (fits 5 people). We had never stayed in a room with a verandah before, because we've never wanted to spend the extra money (on our past cruises it would have cost us about $500 more for a verandah). But for some reason, on this cruise, a verandah room was only about $10 more than 2 inside rooms. We decided to splurge and try the verandah.

We loved our stateroom location. It was on deck 8, starboard side, the very first room on the forward side. There was crew space across the hall and to our left, so we only had one neighboring stateroom. Being at the front of the hallway made it very quiet. Also, we were close to the forward elevators, which are a lot less busy than the mid-ship elevators.

I hung our fish extender and put our personalized magnets (all free from the DIS boards and a Facebook group) on the door. The kids always enjoy seeing these.
The staterooms on Disney ships are larger than most other cruise lines. Our room had a queen-size bed, bunk beds and a pull-down murphy bed near the verandah.
It had a desk and dresser for storage, as well as two closets.
Suitcases fit under the bed.
Since we are Castaway Club members (anyone who has cruised with Disney before), we had a Castaway Club gift on our bed. It was a tote bag with a magnet dry erase board inside. Our tote bag actually broke the next day, but we went to guest services and they gave us a replacement.
The dresser:
The room had two bathrooms: one with sink/shower, the other with toilet/shower/bath.

Our verandah was next to the ship's bridge. The officers waved to our kids when we were out there at the same time.
The Disney Cruise terminal from outside of our verandah.
Brian and the kids came to our room about 10 minutes later, and we already had a few of our suitcases delivered. We hung out in our room for about an hour unpacking, watching Disney TV and enjoying the verandah.

At 3:00, we went to a DIS board group meet-up in the promenade lounge. We met other people on our cruise through the DIS message boards, and this was a chance for adults and kids to meet. One of the members got all the kids together to play games like Simon Says and duck duck goose. These meet-ups are great for kids who are shy and may be hesitant about going into the kids' clubs alone...if they already know some kids they might have more fun.
We were only there a few minutes when my youngest was whining that she was hungry. She hadn't eaten much at lunch. My 6-year-old was having so much fun at the meet-up, Brian stayed with him there while I took the other two kids up to the pool deck for a quick snack.

We went to Daisy De Lites, a quick-service restaurant on deck. They have healthier fast food including wraps, yogurt and fruit. After a drink and some food, the kids felt better (and so did I).
Brian and Joshua met up with us there:
Everything started to close down in order to get all the passengers going to the mandatory lifeboat drill at 4:00. We we made out way to our muster station, which was outside on Deck 4. Everyone had to line up in a single file line by family and listen to the safety instructions. Alyssa insisted on being carried and fell asleep during the drill. After the drill, most people made their way up to decks 9 and 10 for the sail away party. Since Alyssa was still sleeping, I sat down with her in my arms on deck 4 while the boys went to the sail away party. Alyssa awoke about 15 minutes later, and we joined the party already in progress.

Just woke up!

We always like to view the sail away party from the deck's less crowded and easier to see when the ship starts sailing away.
The sail away party is like a big dance party with crew members and characters. It gets everyone pumped up. At the end of the party, the ship sounds the horn to the tune of "When you wish upon a star."

Alyssa was upset that she missed part of the sail away party. She kept saying she wanted to "shake it" more.

At the end of the party, the ship hadn't quite started sailing yet. So we went back to our cabin and watched us sail away from our balcony. We had a great view!
We sailed by Fishlips, which owns the Port Canaveral Webcam. We waved.
We sailed by Jetty Park, a campground with a lot of spectators waving:

And we saw the pilot boat pick up the pilot:
This is my favorite picture from our verandah...the view of cocoa beach, our last bit of land before sailing out to sea.
We received our last suitcase and were able to have our room completely unpacked before dinner. We captured this picture of the sunset from our verandah before heading down to dinner:

Soon, it was time for our first dinner on the ship. On a Disney Cruise, the passengers rotate from dining room to dining room with the same servers. On our 3 Disney cruises, I've always requested to start our rotation at Animator's Palette restaurant (and our request has always been granted). Why? Because I think it is the most entertaining restaurant for the kids, and on the first night they are most alert and least tired/grumpy. Dinner lasts about 90 minutes, and the first night was the only night we had the kids at dinner with us for the entire meal.

Animator's Palate starts out in black and white.

Throughout the meal, animation comes to life and the restaurant turns different colors. (The animation show is different on each ship).

This website has copies of menus on board. I enjoyed the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes for an appetizer.
And also the baked potato soup:
The kids had their own kids menu with coloring and crayons for entertainment, as well as kid-friendly meal options.
Of course, ketchup is always served Mickey Mouse style.
Brian and I both enjoyed the chocolate walnut cake for dessert.
The kids each had ice cream--a Mickey bars for the boys and a sundae for the girl.

We had Senol from Turkey for our server and Mugu from India as our assistant server. Senol gave us menu recommendations every night and served our food, while Mugu got our drinks and entertained the kids. During this meal, Mugu made the kids origami birds with a sound-effect. The kids were really impressed! Our serving team was fantastic.

At the end of dinner, the animation show ramps up and sorcerer Mickey makes an appearance in the dining room (on the Magic and Wonder only). Alyssa was so thrilled! She was screaming for Mickey Mouse. I captured some of her excitement in our cruise music video):

After dinner, Nathan wanted to go straight to the Oceaneer Club/Lab, but Joshua and Alyssa wanted to get their photo with Minnie Mouse first. Then they went to the clubs.

After the kids were at the clubs, Brian and I headed to the gift shops to peruse. We bought a mug and a tervis cup. Then we headed to the evening's show, Villains Tonight. This was only the second show we've seen on a Disney Cruise. It was entertaining, I thought it was more geared for adults and my younger two kids probably would have been scared.

After the show, I picked Alyssa up from the club. I took her to the ice cream station on deck 9 before putting her to bed. Brian picked up the boys for ice cream about 30 minutes later. We tried to stagger their bed times to get them to fall asleep easier.

Of course, we had a towel animal and the next day's navigator waiting for us in our cabin.
The first day on the ship is always so packed.

Up next: Nassau/our own "sea day"

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