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.


Updated 11/21/03

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Day Four - Monday, May 13, 2002

I awoke on Monday morning with a luxurious stretch and a pleasant thought: today was our first full day at sea! Having not been on a seven-night cruise before, this would be a first for me – and I was relishing the thought of an entire day to enjoy onboard the Disney Magic.

Our first meal of the day was a character breakfast in Parrot Cay. Our server had given us the "tickets" for the character breakfast at dinner the night before. We had the second seating and we arrived at Parrot Cay (Deck 3 Aft) at 9:30 am. We were immediately seated at our usual table (#55) with our friends and our usual servers. It didn’t take us long to realize that Deb and Linda were wearing princess tiaras! They playfully explained that wanted to play at being princesses at their character breakfasts. How fun! I’ll have to borrow that idea one day.

The character breakfast menu was similar to the one we’d seen the day before at Lumiere’s. Interestingly, the character breakfast menu was less bountiful, missing the oatmeal, mueslix, eggs Benedict, Denver omelet, French toast, waffles, and daily skillets available at Lumiere’s. I ordered orange juice, sliced fruit, cream of wheat, and wheat toast.

The characters were already out and about when we arrived at Parrot Cay. We were favored with visits from Chip and Dale, plus Goofy, who had fun with Deb and Linda’s tiaras. We also noticed Mickey and Minnie in their tropical garb, though we didn’t get a chance to pose for pictures with them. At one point, we were all encouraged to wave our napkins high above our heads and the characters frolicked around in the center of the restaurant. It was a fun experience, but it didn’t seem quite as magical as character breakfasts at Walt Disney World – perhaps that was simply because this wasn’t something I’d planned to do, but rather was presented to me. This was an opportunity available to everyone on the ship, however, and doubtless the children enjoyed it.

After breakfast, Deb, Dave and I wandered over to the Promenade Lounge for an informal gathering we’d announced shortly before we sailed. We didn’t expect to see many folks, but we were pleasantly surprised to meet several fellow cruisers. I didn’t catch all their names, alas, but I did get a lovely photo of us.

Our little Internet gathering.

We’d made arrangements to meet our friends Ahnalira and Alan (from for lunch at 12:30 in Lumiere’s. This was the first time we’d met them in person, and we were delighted to find them warm, friendly, and very charming. We swapped webmaster (or webmistress, as the case may be) stories over lunch and in general had a wonderful time.

Ahnalira, Alan, Deb, Dave, and me at Lumiere's for lunch.

Lunch itself was delicious – the menu was a slightly more casual version of that which you get at dinner. I ordered the Curried Pumpkin Soup as a starter (yummmm!) and the Broiled Filet of Tilapia for my main course. When dessert was offered, I simply said "nothing, thanks." After all, I was trying to eat well and I’d rather save a decadent dessert for the evening. When the desserts were brought out for the rest of the table, I was astonished to realize I was also being presented with a dessert plate. Only my plate had the word "Nothing" elegantly written in confectioner’s gel across the surface. I’m sure I blushed, but I soon got over my embarrassment and laughed along with the rest of the table.

Did I really order "nothing"?

After lunch, Dave went up to the Ernie Sabella (the voice of "Pumbaa" from the Lion King) autographing session. He also took the Disney’s Navigator Ship Tour, which looked at the artwork and theming in a few areas of the ship – he says the tour was pretty unremarkable. I peeked in on the Mickey 200 race, where up to 18 teams can compete to make a race car out of vegetables and then race them on a special track. It looked like gobs of fun for families with school-age kids, or just some fun-loving adults. After the Mickey 200, I stopped at the Buena Vista Theatre (Deck 5 Aft) to see the Island Magic Stage Show, which features Captain Mickey and several Disney characters. Alas, I’d just missed it and it was ending. Oh well… I’ll be sure to catch it on my next cruise!

Besides being our first full day of cruising at sea, this evening was our first formal night. This is an event I’d been anticipating with delight for months. I utterly adore dressing up, but find very few excuses to do so at home. So when I learned that we’d have a formal and semi-formal night on the 7-night cruise, I began planning my wardrobe! I did have to do a bit of shopping, but thanks to some patience and extra leg-work, I was able to get a new evening gown for a great price. Dave, on the other hand, had it easy – he only had to rent a tuxedo from, which is the contracted tuxedo rental company for the Disney Cruise Line. We received information about it in advance, and we were able to reserve the Classic Black Tuxedo package plus a vest and tie set with their online reservation form. As noted earlier in this report, our stateroom hostess delivered Dave’s tux to our room on our first evening.

So with happy smiles, we donned our formal wear, paid a bit more extra attention to our grooming reigimens, and set out arm in arm. Deb and friends had invited us to her stateroom for pre-dinner drinks and we leisurely made our way up to deck 5. Because I’m not drinking alcohol, I brought a bottle of sparkling cider to sip instead. Deb had ordered crackers and cheese from room service for our little cocktail party, and we all gathered around for photos of one another in our finery. Everyone looked so nice!

The girls -- Sue, me, Linda, and Deb

After a drink or two, we ambled down to deck 3 for formal portraits. Or at least that had been our intention. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea and the lines for portraits were much too long. We did wait for a bit, but left when it became clear we could not get our portraits before dinner. I was disappointed, and felt I should have planned the evening a little better. But then I remembered that we had our semi-formal night coming up later in the week, and we would be able to do portraits again.

Tonight’s dinner was in Palo at 8:30 pm, which we’d made reservations for on our fist afternoon onboard. We arrived a few minutes early and had a short wait before we were seated. I took the opportunity to have a photo of the group snapped by the hostess.

Waiting for our table at Palo's.

We were seated in the middle of the smallish restaurant, in a cozy half booth that accommodated all six of us. Our server was a delightful Australian woman who took exceedingly good care of us. The Palo dinner menu was full of delicious choices, and our server informed us of several specials that were not on the menu. I chose to order a special salad (greens, endive, pancetta, and asparagus) with the dressing on the side. For my main course, I had another special dish – Mahi Mahi with angel hair pasta. Everything tasted superb, just a notch above what we experienced in the main dining rooms. Our server also brought out a few pizzas for us to sample, as well as some of the other starters. For dessert (see menu), everyone ordered the Chocolate and Hazlenut Souffle with Vanilla Bean Sauce (yes, even me!). Oh my… what a wonderful treat! So warm and rich. I did keep the vanilla bean sauce off my souffle, as it likely had a lot of cream in it.

We lingered in Palos, laughing and swapping jokes with our server until we were practically the last table to leave. We bid one another good night and ambled back down to our staterooms. On the way, we noticed something interesting in Lumiere’s – the Gala Dessert Buffet was set up in the middle of the restaurant. Our bellies were full, but we took a peek anyway. Stunning confectioner’s displays and ice sculptures were set up along the buffet table, all lit with dramatic overhead lighting. It all looked scrumptious enough to eat, but we resisted the temptation. The buffet is more suited to those diners who have the earlier seating, I believe. The buffet did last until 12:30 am, however, so late seating diners could still sneak in some treats.

The sumptious dessert buffet table.

Back in our stateroom we relaxed on our verandah, appreciating the warm glow you get at the end of a good day. We watched the waves dance by in the dark, and felt very fortunate to be in this place, this time.

Until tomorrow…

Next: Day Five

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