Transatlantic - Sea Day 9
After 3 days of exploring different ports, it was nice to get back to a day at sea. It was also sad to know that it was our last day at sea.
I started out with the last session with Ian Gooding. It was an open question and answer session. It was very well attended and could have gone on for a lot longer than an hour. He answered questions about the animation process as well as what it takes to become an animator for Disney.
I then went to the atrium to get a spot to watch the character dance party. The characters came out and mingled with the guests dancing to different songs. Each character would also take a turn on the stage dancing. It was very cute and you could tell the kids enjoyed it.
After lunch, I started the packing process. We knew we would have a busy day in Copenhagen so I wanted to pack most of our things and leave out just want we would need for the last few days.
When I finished, I took advantage of something that had been going on for the whole cruise. In the movie theater, they showed different "Modern Classics" throughout the cruise, such as Forrest Gump, Ghostbusters and Top Gun. I hadn't gone to any but had time today and went to see Sleepless in Seattle.
The show was Disney Dreams which is a big Disney production show and was very well attended.
Between the show and dinner, there was a Officers Dance Party in the atrium. All of the officers were there as well as all of the characters in their formal wear. Again they all mingled and danced with the guests. I have posted some videos on my facebook page. www.facebook.com/magicaladventuresawait.
Our dinner was at Carioca's and it was the Til We Meet Again menu. Even though it wasn't our last night, the next night we would be in port overnight in Copenhagen. I think the thought was that some guests may do dinner on their own in Copenhagen so they did the farewell dinner tonight.
After dinner, we had an event we were really looking forward to... the PremiEAR at sea of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! Everyone was encouraged to come in their pajamas. I put on my PJs and a sweatshirt, grabbed my blanket and we went to the theater. The movie was great and it was a fun way to see it.
Transatlantic - Amsterdam
Next stop: Amsterdam I was really looking forward to checking out this city and after you read about our day, I feel like I need a do over.
Our port adventure for the day was a two hour walking tour and then a visit to Anne Frank's House. Anne Frank's House was my "must do" for Amsterdam. Yes, it was possible to get tickets on your own (they go quickly so you have be online as soon as they become available). But that would mean figuring out how to get there on our own and then we probably wouldn't have seen much more of Amsterdam. So this port adventure would give us a walking tour around the highlights of Amsterdam (they bus you to the center of the city first) and then we get into Anne Frank's House so we didn't have to worry about tickets on our own.
We met our guide and on the bus she gave out listening devices so that we would be able to hear her on the street. She said this was the first time she had used them and, of course, when we all go to test them out on the bus it doesn't go well. When we get out of the bus, we try again and some people can hear, some people can't hear at all, some people can hear a little. I could catch some of what she said but often had static. Chris' didn't work most of the time. At that point, there really isn't much she can do about it so we just have to carry on.
We are all looking around as we wait to get going and see piles of trash everywhere. There are beer bottles and paper everywhere. Someone asks the guide and she said that the day before had been a soccer game that Amsterdam had ended up losing but they were winning at one point and there were premature celebrations. The day we were visiting was a national holiday so the sanitation department was closed. Ok, that was an unfortunate series of events. But at least we knew why and once we got out of that one area there wasn't any more trash.
So we started our tour and, again due to the holiday, the streets were crowded. Our guide walked fast and it wasn't easy to maneuver through the crowds and keep up. She also wasn't very aware of this and didn't seem to keep a count or be sure she had everyone with her. And of course, most of us could only hear about half of what she was saying. We did stop a few times and gather up and then we got some information about the area and got a chance to regroup for a minute.
I do have some photos from a few times when we stopped but not that many because our walking time was spent just trying not to get lost.
While it was a shame that we didn't enjoy that part of the tour, we were still glad that we were going to the Anne Frank House. Our guide brought us to a side entrance and we were let in and given audio guides. There were no photos allowed inside.
There is an annex building that has rooms you start off in that give you information about the history of the time and of Anne Frank's family and story. Then as you step into the house itself, the audio guide says there will be no more audio until you exit the house. So you walk through the house, in a single file, in silence. There is information in each room to tell you about that room and about the family's experience. All of the rooms are empty because the Germans removed everything when the families were taken and when Otto Frank returned he said it should stay that way. It was a very powerful experience and a very well done exhibit.
When you come out of the house, there are actual pages of the diary that you can see and some more information on the audio guide. I was so glad we got to experience the entire exhibit.
We met our motor coach and headed back to the ship. In all of our Disney cruises, we have never had a "bad" tour though some have been better than others. The walking tour was not good but it was really because our guide was not the best. That is always an unknown variable. It was still all worth it to get to go to the Anne Frank house and hopefully some day I will get to return to explore more of Amsterdam
The show for tonight was JUNNK which was a combination of singing and percussion on various objects (like STOMP if you are familiar with that). For dinner we were in Animators Palette and it was animation night. You get to draw a character and then later in the evening, everyone's characters come to life on the screens around you. It is a lot of fun.
Transatlantic - Dover, U.K.
Our next stop was Dover. I always like to take a look out on the balcony first thing in the morning when we arrive in port. This is what it looked like on this morning.
But thankfully, the fog lifted as the day went on and we had a great day.
We did a port adventure to took us to the town of Sandwich and then to Dover Castle.
The ride to Sandwich was maybe 30 minutes and again our guide gave us some information about the English countryside as we drove there.
When we arrived in Sandwich, we followed our guide through the small town to the center area. It took about 10-15 minutes of walking and she pointed out some of the architecture of the buildings. We then had about 15-20 minutes to explore on our own before meeting back at the bus. It was early in the morning so many of the shops were not open yet. There was an old church that we walked too and I took some photos there.
In hindsight, it was cool to walk around the little town for a bit but nothing overly exciting. Perhaps there was more there that we missed... maybe a more in depth tour would have revealed more.. or maybe not.
Our next stop was Dover castle. We had watched a documentary about Dover castle before our trip so we were anxious to see it in person. When we arrived, our guide gave us our admission wristbands and we had about 90 minutes to explore on our own. There are underground tunnels and a free guided tour is available. We debated because we wanted to do that but if we did, it would take up most of our time and we wouldn't get to do much else there. So we decided that we wouldn't get to do the tunnels and we set out to do as much of the rest of the castle as we could.
We got a map and really were able to cover most of everything else. We even climbed all the stairs to the top of one of the towers.
We really enjoyed our visit here. We could have used a bit more time to do the tunnel tour but other than that we think we saw most of the grounds.
In hindsight, we could have done this day on our own, without a Disney excursion. Disney ran free shuttle buses to the city of the Dover and to Dover Castle. We would have missed seeing Sandwich, but we would have had more time at Dover Castle. Of course, we didn't know that beforehand... so there is a tip for future cruisers.
When we got back on board, all the morning fog was gone and we were able to see the White Cliffs of Dover.
The show that night was John Kimmons. He was a magician / ventriloquist. I thought he was ok. I like his magic better than his ventriloquism act.
We were in Lumiere's for dinner and the menu was "Princes and Princesses"
Transatlantic - Portland, U.K.
With all but one of our sea days behind us, we were now about to start exploring the port stops of the cruise
Our port adventure did not leave until late morning and there was an 8:30 am showing of Moana in the movie theater so I decided to start my day there. I had already seen it but after listening to all the talks by Ian Gooding, I had wanted to see it again to try to take notice of the details he had talked about. The theater was very quiet with only a handful of other guests and it was a nice way to start the day.
We didn't even give our port adventure choice a second thought. We wanted to see Stonehenge. We typically don't like excursions that require spending a lot of time on a bus to and from the destination but we made an exception in this case figuring that the chance to see Stonehenge would be unlikely to come up again.
We arrived at our meeting location on the ship, checked in and pretty quickly were escorted off the ship and onto our motor coach. It was about a 90 minute drive out to Stonehenge but our guide was great at providing information along the way.
When we arrived, we were given an audio guide and a little snack bag that had a scone, a cookie and an apple. You had to take a shuttle bus for about a mile or so to reach the stones. Once you were there, there were numbers in the grass along the way. You would press the number on your audio guide and it would give you information based on the location you were standing. There was a path that made its way all around the stones as you followed the audio guide so you saw the stones from all different angles as you walked around.
We headed back to the shuttle bus with about 20 minutes before our tour bus was scheduled to leave. I am not a big souvenir person but I do like a magnet from wherever I travel and I wanted to buy one from here. Well, the store was packed with a huge line so I gave up on that idea and we went to see a little exhibit that they set up at the visitor center to show what the huts may have looked like for the people that lived when Stonehenge was built. There was also a model of how the people may have moved the stones. You could pull on the rope and it would electronically tell you, based on your arm strength, how many more people you would need.
We got back on the bus and started our trip back to port. The guide gave a little more information but said she figured we would probably like to rest and maybe take a little nap so she was quiet after that.
As we got closer, we started to hit traffic and the guide said that we would be late arriving but she had called ahead to the ship and let them know. This is when it pays to be on a Disney excursion. We ended up being quite late but no worries about the ship leaving without us because they will wait as long as you are with a Disney port adventure.
We got back and got on board and we knew that we had already missed about 10 minutes of John Charles in the main theater. He is one of our favorites so we decided to go right there and see what we could. Well, unfortunately, there was hardly anyone at the show. We started gathering information from what he was saying and apparently over 900 passengers had traveled to Stonehenge on Disney excursions that day and many were still on buses heading back to port and stuck in traffic. His show is really best when he has a big audience to feed from but he did his best and we were glad we had gone to his adult show the night before.
Our dinner was at Carioca's and we had the World of Flavour menu.
Transatlantic - Sea Days 7 & 8
Sea Day 7
It was almost like "Well, one day of touring was fun but tiring. Glad we are back to sea days for a rest." :)
We slept in and then attended the Gold and Platinum Reception at the Walt Disney Theater. This refers to the loyalty program on Disney Cruise Line. Gold members have completed five or more cruises and Platinum members have completed 10 or more. This was the first time Chris was also gold (yes, I sometimes cruise without him so I have more accumulated than him). I haven't gone in the past but I know from other people that they are usually small with some drinks and appetizers and a visit from a character. Because this cruise had a large number of Gold and Platinum cruisers, the reception was held in the Walt Disney Theater.
There were servers passing free drinks and then Leslie, the cruise director, came out and talked a little bit about Disney Cruise Line and their appreciation of their loyal cruisers. Then they said they were doing something different and showing us a "behind the scenes" element of Tangled the Musical. What they did was present one of the scenes from the show and then they did the scene change in slow motion with the microphones on for all of the backstage crew. We were able to see and hear all that goes on when there is a scene change. It was a lot and they slowed it all down for us to see. It usually happens in less than a minute. This was the first time they had done this and it did seem a little awkward but it was interesting enough. As we were leaving, everyone received a Mickey rice krispie treat.
We had received a notice in our stateroom that today we needed to pass through immigration on the ship. Our assigned time was right after the reception so we made our way there only to find a huge line. There was a Disney cast member who said they decided to re-open at 2 pm so we should come back at that time. Fine with us We headed to the buffet for some lunch.
It was nice outside so we sat outside for a bit and even saw Mickey doing the same! Then we went down for the immigration again. The line was already forming at it was only 1:50 pm. It took us about 30 minutes to go through the line and get our passports checked and stamped. It really wasn't a big deal but there was definitely a lot of complaining going on around us by other guests. To me, there really are worse things in life and, while it was a minor inconvenience, it certainly didn't ruin our day.
I did some reading out on our balcony until our evening activities began. The show tonight was ABBAFAB, which was a tribute ABBA band, We almost skipped it because I'm not a big ABBA fan. And when the show was over.. yeah, I'm still not a fan of ABBA.
Between the show and our dinner time, we went to Fathoms, one of the adult lounges, for a special performance. Some of the performers in the Disney shows were ending their contracts at the end of our cruise so they had put together a little Cabaret style show. They sang all Disney songs but some different ones that you don't hear often and they also told some stories about what brought them to perform at Disney Cruise Line.
Our dinner was at Lumiere's and we had the "Vista" menu. Honestly, I am not sure that is the title of this menu. It wasn't listed anywhere so I asked the servers. One didn't know and the other one told me it was Vista. All of the food seemed to have a California theme so I am thinking it came from the West Coast cruises.
Sea Day 8
I went to another Anyone Can Cook presentation this morning. This one was a little different. It was called Battle of the Chefs. They had two chefs set up to cook a dish that they chose and then they chose three guests to be the judges. Leslie, the cruise director, served as the emcee. One of the chefs really liked to trash talk which make it entertaining. In the end, the dishes were very different and all the guests said they enjoyed them both so it was basically a tie. But it was fun to watch.
The main show tonight was Tangle the Musical so there were a lot of little Tangled themed activities throughout the day. If you went to the desk in the lobby, you could pick a "Spot a Thug" activity page. Around the ship, there were "thug" decals and you had to find them and match them with the location. I didn't do it, but I got the sheet and did see a few when I was around the ship that day.
The rest of the afternoon, we did something I have always wanted to do.. we just sat on the top deck and watched movies on the Funnelvision. The Funnelvision is the big screen by the family pool. Typically, this area is full of families and can be pretty noisy so I retreat to the adult only area. But this cruise had a smaller number of families with children so it was pretty quiet. We found some chairs in the sun and enjoyed relaxing with some Disney movies.
The show, as I mentioned, was Tangled the Musical which was very good. And our dinner was at Animator's Palate. We had the "Land and Sea" menu.
Afterwards, we went to see the adult show by John Charles We have seen him on other Disney cruises and always enjoy him. They call him the "human jukebox" because he knows about any song you could name. He plays guitar and will go around and talk to people and take requests. He is also very funny. He was supposed to play for 45 minutes but he said he was having fun so he did well over an hour. I was glad we went because his main show the next night got a little messed up... stay tuned for that.
We have hit land! Yes, after 6 full days at sea, we arrived in our first port of call. Ponta Delgada is located on Sao Miguel Island. This was the view from our room when we arrived.
We had a full day port adventure booked through Disney Cruise Line (we did all of our port adventures through Disney Cruise Line). We met our guide, boarded our motor coach and we were off to our first stop of Riberia Grande. Just on the bus ride you could see how beautiful the island is and we hadn't even seen the best parts yet.
When we arrived in Riberia Grande, we had about a 25 minutes stop but our guide kept us together as a group and guided us around. He was very organized and kept everything running on time. He walked us through the city center that was established in the 1500s. He gave us some history of the buildings and the areas (which I should have written down because I don't remember it now). It was a beautiful and clean little town.
Our next stop was a tea plantation. Chris and I both agreed that we had never really thought about where tea comes from so we found this interesting. Again, our guide walked us through and showed us the machines that are used to dry and sort the tea leaves. We then at a little time to walk around, sample some tea which was available for free and take some photos.
On to stop number three, which was the botanical gardens. There were port adventures that spent a lot of time in this location. Our time here was just a brief stop in one area for pictures but it was my favorite stop on tour. We were very high and the views were amazing. The area was just beautiful
Stop number four was at the geothermal springs. Right in the middle of this little town is a whole series of hot springs.. like boiling hot. There were multiple signs warning you not to touch because it is boiling hot water. There is steam coming up from them as well in different spots. There is also a distinctive sulfur like smell as well. More about that later.
Our next stop was at Furnas Crater Lake where there are even more hot springs. In this area, pots are buried in the morning containing Portuguese stew and the stew is cooked by the heat from the springs underground. Around noon, the different restaurants come and dig up their pots and take them back to serve. You could see the different mounds where pots were buried and signs marking which restaurant that pot belonged to.
There was also a beautiful lake on the other side. We saw some ducks and big fish in the shallow end of the lake. The sulfur like smell was really strong and we wondered what that constant breathing in of that does to the wildlife there. There was no mention of issues so I guess it is ok or they are used to it. I know the smell was starting to get to me.
Our final stop was to go to a hotel that had a large banquet room where we would get to have a lunch of the Portuguese stew that was cooked underground like we just saw at Crater Lake. Servers came around with large trays and unless you asked for something different, they gave everyone "one of everything." Well, that sounded like a good idea because you would want to try a little bit of everything in the stew. But there was a lot of items in the stew and we all ended up with huge plates of food. There were potatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, cabbage, carrots, pork ribs, chicken, beef, chorizo,and blood sausage. And it all smelled like sulfur. Now thankfully, it didn't taste like that. For the most part, everything tasted ok. Most items were soft, as if you had cooked them in a crockpot. But there was so much food and the smell was getting to me. I only ate about half of my plate and most of the other people at my table did the same. I hated to see all this food wasted and I wish this had been set up as a buffet or maybe family style with large bowls so everyone could take what they wanted.
We ended with a dessert of sliced pineapple and some coffee and then we had a few minutes to walk around before boarding our bus to head back to the ship.
I really loved this city and port adventure. Ponta Delgada was beautiful. I felt that the port adventure gave us a great overview of a lot of aspects without feeling rushed. Our guide was great on keeping everything moving and he answered questions on the bus as well as providing information.
When we got back on board, we had a little time to relax and then it was time for our night time activities. The evening show was Greg Lonvini who was a violinist. He was definitely talented but 45 minutes was more than enough for me.
Our dinner was at Carioca's and we had the Season's menu.
Transatlantic - Sea Days 5 & 6
Sea Day 5
Started the day with another talk by Ian Gooding. The topic for today was Storytelling through Color. Again, my mind was blown at the level of detail and thinking that goes into Disney animated movies. While it was mostly about Moana, Ian also worked on The Princess and the Frog and he started off by talking about how color was used in that movie. He said they took the colors of New Orleans, green, gold and purple and assigned attributes to them. For example, purple was bad or evil. He then showed pictures of where that was used throughout the movie. He said it is never meant for the audience to say "oh I see purple so something bad is going to happen." but it is a subliminal technique.
Tonight on the ship was Pirate night. We have done this on many cruises and had decided to skip the main dining room tonight. Instead, we decided to do a sit down lunch in Lumiere's which we had never done before. We enjoyed it and I actually had my favorite dessert of the whole cruise there, warm apple fritters. YUM!
Next up was an Oil and Vinegar seminar. Like the cheese seminar, there were little cups with a sample of different oils and vinegar. In the center of the table, we had a plate with bread cubes to use to dip in and taste. One of the chefs gave information about each and we got to try. Also like the cheese seminar, there was nothing exotic or new to me, but it was a fun activity.
Then it was time for my afternoon walk before our evening activities.
The show for the evening was Danny Buckler who was a magician. We had seen a little preview of his show on the first night. I really enjoyed him. He was very funny and worked well with his audience volunteers. At the end of the show, he had all of the audience volunteers stand up (there had been two children and one adult) and he said the show was not about him but about them and for everyone to clap for them. A big difference in personality and style than Hector from a few nights earlier
From there we went to the Promenade Lounge where a singing duo were going to doing some Beatles music.
Because we were not going to do the dining room for dinner, we decided while most of the rest of the ship was at dinner or the show, it would be a great chance to do a load of laundry. There are only a handful of machines available on three decks so isn't easy to find an empty machine. But this was a perfect time. We started our wash, went up to the top deck to grab a snack and then returned to throw it into the dryer.
Sea Day 6
Started once again with Ian Gooding. This was basically his last presentation. He would be doing one more session on the last sea day where he would take questions. Today was called My Journey as a Production Engineer. And it was just that. He spoke about growing up in Jamaica, how he started to love Disney and his journey to working for them. He is a very interesting person and I enjoyed this talk and all of his others.
I then went to a Q & A session with Bret Shuford who was the Broadway performer who had done the main show a few nights earlier. It was just ok. Just some questions about how he got started and advice for younger folks who would like to be on Broadway in the future.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. My foot had decided to act up (tendon issues) and we had a full day of touring the next day so I gave it a rest from walking. We found a spot to sit and did some reading and just hung out.
The evening show was called "Walt Disney: The Dream Goes On." It was a Disney production show that was about the life of Walt Disney. It was fun seeing old movie clips and there were some good music production numbers as well. Those shows tend to be on the corny side, but I like them.
Our dinner was at Animator's Palate and we had the Transatlantic menu.
We went from dinner to the adult area of the ship because we wanted to see the adult performance by Danny Buckler, the magician who did the main show the night before. There was a game show called "The Feud" going on which we caught the end of that was entertaining and then we saw Danny Buckler. He was funny again and I was glad we went, even though it was past my bedtime!
Transatlantic - Sea Days 3 & 4
Sea Day 3
We started this day with Palo brunch. Palo is the adult only restaurant that requires reservations and an additional fee. We had done brunch before and it is one of my favorites! You start with a buffet of pastries, seafood, cheese and meats. You can then order from a menu that offers a variety of brunch items. And finally you have your choice of tasty treats from a dessert buffet. This was the only time I took pictures of my food. It was all so good!
We rolled out of Palo and went back to our room to change. We wanted to go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. We got to the theater and found a huge line waiting to get in. Luckily, we were able to find seats but it was completely full. We enjoyed the movie a lot!
Next up was lunch and I actually replaced my afternoon nap with 2 miles of walking around Deck 4.
Our evening show was "Hector is Magic." He was a good magician but I didn't really care for his personality. I didn't think he had much showmanship and he seemed very egotistical. Our dinner tonight was at Animator's Palate and it was their standard menu.
Sea Day 4
Prior to boarding, we reserved seats for a character breakfast this morning. It is included in the cruise fare but reservations are required. It was a nice way to get some good pictures with the characters.
We finished our breakfast in time to make the second session of Ian Gooding about the Making of Moana. (We missed yesterday's session because of Palo's brunch but watched in on the stateroom TV).
Then we did lunch and I did my 2 miles again around Deck 4.
The evening show was a performer named Bret Shuford. He performed on Broadway in The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast in the ensemble. He did a show cabaret type show about his life. It was good. My favorite part was a medley of Sherman brothers songs that he did towards the end.
Our dinner tonight was at Carioca's. This is when the menus started to get interesting as we had gone through the standard menus for each restaurant already. Tonight it was a Toy Story menu. Now, there used to be a Toy Story show that was done in the main theater and when you saw that show then you had the Toy Story menu that night. But the show has been retired. So the menu was just sort of random. And at the end Minnie came out and did a little Latin style dance. It was very cute...but I thought that would fit more for when it was the standard menu for Carioca's.
Transatlantic - Sea Days 1 & 2
Our cruise started out with 6 days at sea in a row before our first port of call.
Sea Day 1
Every day for the first six sea days, there was a special presentation by Ian Gooding who works for Disney animation. He was the production engineer for Moana. He is an artist and animator and has worked on many Disney animated movies. The topic for his first talk was "Bringing Characters to Life." He spoke about how they researched Moana, came up with characters and the work that goes into creating the look for each of them. No photos were allowed at any of the presentations but I always took a photo of the starting slide before the presentation began.
e Our next activity of the day was seeing the Disney Nature movie, Born in China. We usually see all the Disney nature movies and had missed this one when it came out a few week ago but figured we would catch it on the ship. We weren't alone as it was pretty crowded. It was a nice little movie and we enjoyed it.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, reading and there may have been an afternoon nap.
Our evening activities included the show, Twice Charmed which is a Disney musical production show that is a twist on the Cinderella story. We have seen it before and enjoyed it. It was just as good this time. Our dinner tonight was at Carioca's which replaced Parrot's Cay when the ship was remodeled so it was our first time dining there.
The Navigator's and menus for Sea Day 1 are below:
Sea Day 2
Started out today attending an "Anyone Can Cook" presentation. I have attended these presentations before on Disney cruises. A chef will prepare a dish in front of you and you receive the recipe and a sample to taste. The recipe today was for Pistachio Baklava. It was fun to watch and the chef was funny as he explained how to make it. It is not something I would make at home as I know that working with phyllo dough is a pain. We each got a little taste and it was really really good.
By the time this ended, I had enough time to meet Chris for the second presentation of Ian Gooding. (He did a 10 am and an 11:15 am session daily. And if you missed it, they showed the presentations on a loop on the stateroom televisions.) Today's topic was Costume Design. The amount of detail and research that went into the costumes for Moana was amazing. Because of the use of computers now, they actually research the weight of the fabrics and then input that information into the computer. Then when the character moves, the clothing moves the correct way in terms of the size and weight of the fabric.
We moved right from the presentation to Champagne Tasting. Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of beverage tasting throughout the cruise. Typically, you can book the tastings when you board or at any time at Guest Services. In this case, I was part of a Facebook group of people that were all going on this cruise. The woman who organized the Facebook group also organized several on board activities. Chris and I have always wanted to do champagne tasting but have always found it to be sold out on previous cruises. So when we saw we could sign up through this Facebook group, we went ahead with it.
We met our group at Keys, one of the adult clubs on board, There was about 20 participants and our places were set with 4 samples of champagne. We had 2 more samples added later as they needed to be kept chilled. The session was led by a bartender who gave information about champagne in general and then started the tasting. He wanted us to try to guess the brand name of each champagne. We don't really know brands so we weren't very good at that, but we enjoyed the tastes.
Wow, looking back now, this was a busy day. We finished the tasting and went to a cheese seminar. Each place setting had 5 little cups with a sample of different cheeses. In the center of the table, there was a plate with some crackers and grapes. It turned out to be a very popular activity and they had to keep adding seats for guests until the room was completely full. When it started, a chef gave a presentation about cheese in general and then some information about each specific cheese while we tasted. I was hoping to try some cheeses that I had never tried before. Unfortunately, there was nothing really exotic but it was still a good activity.
It was about 2:30 when we finished, so we still had time to relax a bit and get in an afternoon nap.
The evening show was "The Edge Effect," which was an acapella music group of five guys. They did a mix of pop music and some Disney songs. I am a fan of acapella music and I enjoyed the show. Our dinner that night was at Lumiere's and we had their menu there.
That evening they offered a Star Gazing activity on the top deck. One of the officers led the group and said he had charted out four stars that we should be able to see clearly. The lights from the ships and some cloud cover made it challenging so he ended up having us walk to each end of the ship to see if we could improve our view. We didn't see as much as we probably could have but we did see a lot of stars and found two of the four that he had charted out. It was a fun activity to offer.
After over a year of waiting, it was time to get on the Disney Magic.! We used Disney transfers, which means the first step was having someone pick up our luggage from our room at around 8 am. You don't need to be present, but I was there when the gentleman from bell services arrived to take our bags. The next time we would see them would be at our stateroom on board!
Our bus pick up time wasn't until 12:30 so I had some breakfast and walked around the resort a bit and then we left the room about 11 and just hung out in the lobby area. The representatives from Disney Cruise Line were already there so I was able to check in with them. Right on time, our bus arrived. We were surprised to find that our resort was the only pick up location and the bus wasn't full so we had plenty of room to spread out and had a nice leisurely ride to the port.
I know some folks don't like Disney transfers because you arrive at the port on the later side, but we like the luggage service and the fact that it is usually open boarding and no check in line when you arrive. That was also the case this time as well. We were checked in and on board in less than 10 minutes.
Our stateroom for this cruise was 7122 which is a Navigator's Verandah. As you see from the pictures, the balcony is enclosed but open to the air with a large porthole window. We had the same category room when we cruised to Alaska and liked the enclosed area for the cooler weather. Since we thought we may have cooler weather on this cruise, we went with this category again.
We got settled in, had some lunch, participated in the mandatory muster drill and by then all of our bags had arrived. I was able to get everything unpacked by the time our evening activities began.
The show for the night was "Be Our Guest." It was a variety show with a short sample of some of the different acts that would be performing on the cruise as well as musical performance of "Be Our Guest." with Disney characters.
We went back to our room to change and then headed to dinner. For those new to Disney Cruise Line, you are assigned a dinner rotation and two servers that will follow you to each restaurant. We started our rotation at Animator's Palate and the menu for the evening was "Let the Magic Begin."
I took photos of all the Navigators (which are the daily schedules) and the menus. I will post them at the bottom of each day's report.
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.