Jennifer and Dave's Western Caribbean Cruise Adventure
Dates: May 10-21, 2002
Transportation: Northwest Airlines (from Detroit Metro Airport), Avis, and Tiffany Town Car
Ship: Disney Magic (Inaugural Western Caribbean Cruise)
Resort: Dolphin Resort
Parks: Kennedy Space Center, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Pleasure Island
Restaurants/Eateries: Orbit (KSC), Fischer's Seafood (Cocoa Beach), Flamingo's (Radisson), every restaurant/eatery aboard the Disney Magic, The Dolphin Fountain, Chevy's (off-property), Bongo's Cuban Cafe, Restaurant Marrakesh, Palio, Yorkshire County Fish & Chips, and 50s Prime Time Cafe
Background: This was a R&R trip (relax and research) for Kennedy Space Center and the Disney Magic. We also spent three nights at Walt Disney World just for the fun of it.
|Day One - Friday,
May 10, 2002
rise and shine! After only a few hours
of sleep, it was time to wake and get ourselves to the airport. While our flight
didnt take off until 6:55 am, we wanted to arrive early so we could check out the
new terminal at Detroit Metro. Its absolutely gorgeous, with wide open spaces, lots
of moving walkways, plants, and a tram from one end to the other. If youre leaving
out of Detroit, take a Northwest flight so you can enjoy this wonderful
Once in our room, we noticed our room had no closet, though it had a large armoire had hanging space in addition to shelves and the TV. One interesting aspect to our room was that it had an air purification and water filtration system no stale air or metallic water here.
After checking out the room, we unloaded our luggage and headed off towards Kennedy Space Center. We
arrived at the center around 1:00 pm. We noted upon arrival that no weapons or luggage,
including backpacks, would be allowed inside. We left the backpack wed planned to
carry in the car, though we noticed that plenty of other people took them inside and were
not stopped. Oh well. Security was good otherwise.
After lunch we went to the Launch Status Center and walked through
"Explorer," a full-scale replica of a space shuttle. We also dropped into the
Space Shop and picked up an official tourbook ($5.95) and two bags of "space
food" (freeze dried strawberries, $2.95/bag). The strawberries were delicious, but if
you get them dont bother bringing them home. We stashed one bag in our suitcase --
by the time we opened it there was nothing more than strawberry dust.
We were each given a "tour kit," which was a folder with several photo/info cards of the shuttle, space station, and so on, plus a coupon for $2 of a novelty photo. The back of the kit has a map of the area, which we referred to on our tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable his father worked for NASA and you had the impression hed spent a lot of time around the center. The tour took us to several restricted areas, including an observation gantry from which you could see both main launch pads. We also stopped at the Saturn V Center, a modern facility with several interesting exhibits. At the conclusion of the tour (it lasted about ninety minutes), we were each presented with a small gold pin of a space shuttle. We loved the tour and highly recommend it! To learn more about the tour, visit http://www.ksctickets.com/nasaupclose.html.
Back at the main center complex, we swung by the Astronaut Encounter area to
listen to one of the visiting astronauts. Then it was off to the IMAX theater to watch
"The Dream is Alive." IMAX is included in your admission price and there were
two shows on the day we visited "The Dream is Alive" and the new
"Space Station" in 3D. I (Jennifer) really wanted to see "Space
Station" but the tour got in the way of that. "The Dream is Alive" was
quite good, though, and conveyed a lot of information.
Next: Day Two