Disney Cruise Line
Repositioning Cruise
May 14-28, 2005


AllEars.Net thanks their "On Board" reporters:

Linda Neeley, Rob Costello, and Cynthia


WEEK ONE
May 14-20, 2005


Read WEEK TWO (May 21- 28) HERE!

May 20, 2005 - Part 2

Linda Neeley writes:

Well, we made it through the Pedro Miguel locks, no problem. However, the ship has picked up a few new scratches from the locks, but the DCL Vice President on board told us "No problem, we brought plenty of extra paint!"

Around late morning, the dining crew started working on the first ever largest bbq on Deck 9 midship! Guess we were the guinea pigs for this event. Talk was that they were trying this because for the California cruises. They don't have a Castaway Cay day so they are planning a beach party day with an all-out BBQ. The food was totally incredible. The
bbq pits (about 15 of them) were fixing rib eye steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, bratwurst, and salmon and shrimp kabobs. We took plates of everything up to deck 6 to one of the verandahs and had a big deck party as we went through the second set of locks and under the Centennial Bridge.

One of our fellow cruise friends had been corresponding the past year with an "internet friend" she and her husband had found on the internet who lived in Panama. Well, as it turned out, one day she was talking to him about the Magic transitting through the canal and did he know who she would contact about finding out who our pilot would be. Well, lo and behold he was one of the Panama Canal Authority Pilots and it was possible he might pilot the ship through the locks. Well -- he actually got the assignment and he piloted the Magic through the first and third set of locks! In between, he had been given a day room by Disney for use but he came to our friend's room and joined our deck party and had lunch with us and stayed most of the day. He signed our books, postcards, etc. We gave him some gifts for his wife and children to take back to Panama and then our friend gave him the LE PC beach towel and two other beach towels for his children. He couldn't speak at the end as he was crying and so was she! It was the most incredible experience to have shared our transit through the canal with the actual pilot who brought the Magic to the Pacific for the first time! He was able to answer all of our questions during the transit. Everytime we would say "what's that" he would have the answer. We even passed by the Panama Prison!

Our ship stopped for a short time in the second set of locks to take a passenger off who wasn't feeling well. The person chose to leave; it wasn't Disney sending him off because he wasn't feeling well. We have seen a lot more people getting dehydrated and sick due to hot temperatures and humidity.

We entered the last locks at approximately 3:41 p.m. At the Miraflores locks there were about 800 people at the Miraflores building out on the four or five decks with signs and well wishes cheering us on. Many of us had tears in our eyes as we came through and we were cheering them on too. Goofy came up on deck and you could hear the children "GOOFY" "GOOFY". It was so fun. We had been in contact with the webcam controller and I am sure we were driving him nuts. I think the Panama Canal site probably took more hits in that hour then they thought imaginable! We all cheered when the cables were dropped from the mule trains and the Captain was given back control of the ship and the Magic's horn was sounded over and over again.

We had our banner over the AFT of the ship and the web cam picked it up. It says "Taking the Magic from Kingdom to Kingdom - Disney's 1st ever Panama Canal Cruise". We have saved the banner for our remaining ports and will put up as we leave each port of call.

The ships photographers were out on one of the Panama Canal pilot's boats taking pictures of the ship and they took photos of our sign and all 20 of us out on the deck. They told us we could have a picture for $10! They yelled for us to take their picture too. So we did and we told them they could have our picture of them for $10, too!!

After exiting the canal, you could look back to Panama as we went under the Bridge of the Americas and see the canal and the city of Panama to our right. We exited just at the right time because the weather started getting overcast and you could see lightening way back in the canal. But for us the weather couldn't have been more beautiful the whole day.

By the time we exited and took a quick dip in the pool it was time to get ready for dinner. It was casual night. Disney had a commerative menu prepared for dinner that each person got to keep. The desserts were named after the different locks in the canal! The food is not disappointing. After all the wonderful food on deck, there was prime rib and lobster on the menu for dinner!

In the Walt Disney Theater, Gary DeLena did two comedy shows which were quite well attended. The theater was pretty much filled for the 2nd show which we attended, but the ship was swaying somewhat and I think a lot of us were having a hard time keeping our eyes open.

Right after the show, we all decided it had been a very long and historical day and we were calling it a night! It is the first night I've been in bed by 10:30 p.m.

When we got to our room, we had an 8 x 10 commerative sketch from Don "Ducky" Williams (one for each person in the stateroom) to commemorate our historic day through the canal.

It was the end to a perfect day. I think my head hit the pillow and I was sound asleep within ten seconds!

I am still smiling and my memories of being on the Disney Magic for the 1st crossing of the Panama Canal will be etched in my mind for many, many years to come. We have made many new friends and our journey still has another week to come!

I will continue to send updates and I hope you enjoy hearing what is happening on the ship!

*****

May 20, 2005 - Part 1

Linda Neeley writes:

Okay, so it is Friday morning May 20. If you haven't heard already, the Disney Magic has made history! We entered the locks at approximately 6:30 a.m. and we were on the webcam by 6:44 a.m. There are pictures already posted on the internet. (I can forward the site if you want it). There is also a movie from the webcam as the Magic came through the first set of locks.

We were up and going by 5 a.m. this morning. Some passengers camped out last night on deck 9 to get a good spot. Disney had helicopters flying above to get more movies and the photographers got out and came across the bridge and took pictures of the Magic. I am sure they will be in Shutters tonight! The weater is absolutely beautiful out there. It is definitely a day for sunscreen!

We have also made history a second time today! The Disney Magic is now sailing in fresh water for the first time ever!

After going through the Gatun Locks, the captain set the anchor down in the lake because we had to wait for about an hour so we could continue on our historical journey. During our passage through the locks, we had a commentator over the whole PA system.

Also, right now you can go purchase Panama Canal Postcards and postage stamps. If you drop off your postcards by 2:30 p.m. they will be taken off the ship and mailed with a Panama postage stamp this afternoon. Postcard sales are up!

In addition, starting in about an hour is the largest Disney Deck BBQ for the Panama Canal Crossing. The weather seems to be just holding up fine.

The lake is beautiful.

Upon entry into the canal we were told we were S 8 Zulu and no longer the Disney Magic and throughout our transit we would be referred to be the canal as S 8 Zulu. We were then told what that meant. S for we are headed South; 8 for we are the 8th ship to enter the canal for the day, however, we also learned that if you are heading south you are an even number and if you are headed north you are an odd number, so we were actually the 4th ship to enter the Gatun locks today. Then Zulu means that we are a passenger ship. Just a little bit of navigational information there!

We are scheduled to enter the Pedro Miguel locks shortly after noon and the the Miraflores Locks around 2:20 or so.

Okay, off for some fun in the sun!

*****

May 19, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

The Thursday update: It was such a relaxing day at sea today!

Started by working out with a personal trainer. Boy, did I ever get a workout! Now, if I could just take him home with me!

The TV show "Live From the Magic" was taking place at 9:15 a.m. We were asked to participate by Rachel, the cruise director, so my parents, and husband and then some of our friends joined in. I stayed off camera and took photos of the show. Today the finale of the Murder Mystery is taking place. The Inspector was a guest on the show and they talked about the detectives on board trying to solve the murder. I didn't go to the final "Dark Waters" episode, so I am not sure what happened.

Behind the Scenes took place this morning in the Walt Disney Theater with Jason Surrell and today he talked about Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean. This was the actual last attraction that was personally supervised by Walt before his death. They showed rare imagineering art and magical memories from Walt's original pirate crew. It was very informative and is now playing on the televisions in your stateroom.

There was also a family craft session and the families made "Magic" ships.

The Art of Entertaining series featured "Dazzling Desserts" with Panda the Chef de Cuisine. He made the Artist Point Berry Cobbler Served with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce! Everyone got one. It was yummy. My mother had asked Panda after the presentation for a recipe from the bread pudding the night before and before we even returned to our stateroom it was in her "fish mail!"

At noon, the Captain did his 1st of 3 different signings in Treasure Ketch. We were near the front of the line. We did receive a book from DCL for the commerative sailing through the Panama Canal in our stateroom so we had him sign inside the front cover. I had some metallic archival safe pens I brought and the inside cover was black, so I had him
sign with my gold metallic pen to coincide with the Golden Anniversary of Disneyland.

Art auction in the afternoon!

In the afternoon another session of Disney Behind the Scenes took place and Costume Designer Helen Huang shared the extravagant costumes used on the Disney Magic for the shows.

The evening entertainment was the Magic and Illusions of Mike Super. We heard great things about the show but did not attend since we had a reservation for Palo's. The food was wonderful and the Chocolate Souffle was to die for!

Also, we stopped in Animator's Palatte so we could see the show and Sorcerer Mickey performed with the servers and each person received a Sorcerer Mickey Atennae Ball.

Then, for the first time (or so they say....) the Oceaneer Lab was closed to the kids at 10 p.m. and the adults were allowed to come in and be kids for a couple of hours. There were many activities going on. We were able to do a couple of different things. First we painted "cels" with our favorite Disney Characters and then we made flubber with that mad scientist in the lab! Talk about crazy. When we entered the club we were given soap in our hands and required to go clean up and wash in the restrooms. The sinks sure are low in there. Also, I had never been in there, but there is an airport in there coming through the speakers and your can hear the tower and they are giving instructions to the "planes" as they are landing and taking off.

After the kids club we got to call it a night after we "borrowed" some chairs from deck 9 to take to the aft for our Panama Canal historic crossing tomorrow.

We also gained an hour tonight, so as we hit the sack we were able to get an extra hours sleep. The Captain says we will enter at 6 a.m. or so in the morning.

**********

May 18, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

Today we got to Curacao early! We were headed into the port around 6 a.m. in the morning. It was raining as we arrived. They hadn't had rain for quite a while, so it was quite humid! The rain quit though. The boats escorted us in and shot the fire hoses. We had a helicopter in the air (which I think DCL is bringing into every port) to film the
Magic as she arrived.

I must say Curacao was beautiful. The walking bridge from the port to the market on the other side is incredible. The people were so friendly. My husband went on a scuba dive adventure and ended up being out for 6 hours for 2 dives (it was a DCL excursion). Everyone loved the dive and said the water was very warm and comfortable. They dove down to 80 feet and said they probably could have done without wet suits.

My parents went on the Ostrich Farms and Hato Caves tour. They ended up getting back late (but the ship waited!) because they were having trouble with the roads being a little flooded and hard to travel across. The feedback from everyone I have heard from is they loved the tours and loved the island.

The send off was incredible. There were probably over 1,000 people in Curacao to see us off. The characters came out and were waving to shore and the people on shore were yelling and waving. We were all waving and yelling and cheering and saying "Thank You Curacao". The boats that escorted us out then gave us the 3 horn salute and the Royal Carribean ship still in port blew their horn and then the Magic blew ours!! It brought tears to our eyes. We just had an incredible day.

In Curacao, I went shopping and bought some clothes really cheap! They had alot of clothing, shirts, and stuff. I also took my San Disks from my camera since I am having trouble with my laptop over to the Internet Cafe on shore and I downloaded all of my pictures and put them on a disk for $3.00.

They also have the internet for $2.50 per hour and you can actually download files and print there! YEAH! I had heard quite a few people came off the ship and used their services. Even some took some CD's in and emailed pictures home to friends and family.

After the ship left Curacao, it was Tropicalifragilisticexpialidocious Night! All our men had hula skirts and hats and we had brought along umbrella straws and stuff. Daniel, the head dining room manager (over all the dining rooms) came to our dining room and asked to have his picture taken with our 4 hula guys! We put a hat on him and had fun.
Then, he came out about 15 minutes later from the kitchen and brought the head chef, because he couldn't believe their were men in the dining room with hula skirts on! He wanted a picture too. We obliged. I am going to go into Walmart in Acapulco and get copies made and give them to them before we get off the ship!

The deck party was alot of fun. One of the people in our group brought along glow in the dark bracelets and everyone had them on. The party was not crowded at all. Mickey, Minnie and gang came out and danced the
conga and the party was the same as before. The temperature was perfect and just a slight breeze.

The movie of the day was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and that was shown in the Walt Disney Theater for the evening entertainment.

A couple of new people got on the ship in Curacao. I have heard "rumors" of who they are but nothing confirmed and I haven't visually seen the people that I heard were on, so I'll post as soon as I know for sure!

We also received in our room Wed. night a letter from Tom McAlpin, President of Disney Cruise Lines apologizing for the inability of being able to get pins, t-shirts, etc. Basically he said that from now until the end of the cruise that you can go into Treasure Ketch and order your shirts and they will be mailed (free to the passenger) to your home to arrive about 2 weeks after we get off. Also, DCL has designed a new pin that has the Magic on it and the dates of the cruise and each person or stateroom (it didn't say) will be mailed the new exclusive pin about 4 weeks after the cruise had ended. The letter said how much they appreciated us being on this commerative cruise and all that stuff.

The hardest thing I am having problems with is getting Internet time. The internet has either been down, or there is a line up of about 10 people waiting to use the computers every time I have come to log on. DCL is still working on fixing some of the computer problems and I know many passengers have asked for a refund on part of the $179 fee they are charging.

That's the Wed. Update!

 

May 18, 2005

Rob Costello writes:

Boy for a vacation it has been non-stop since Friday!! I have *finally* made it to the Internet cafe. The cafe is one of the many happening spots on the ship this cruise. Let me just say this is no ordinary cruise.

A quick rundown of what has happened that is special, new, or otherwise noteworthy. Keep in mind I haven't been onboard since last May, and I don't always know what is special for this cruise vs. what is new for this or future cruises.

Arriving at port was a sight - I don't know what time they opened to take repo cruisers but the line outside was LONG and by the time we made it inside it was even longer. There were just so many people! Thankfully we are concierge this go around so we had no wait to check in and no wait to get on board.

Greeting us onboard were complimentary adult beverages served in the atrium (kids varieties available too). Immediately from that off to the concierge meet-greet to make our reservations. Grabbed a quick bite from Topsiders afterward...wasn't too hungry.

Sailaway was lots of fun. Different music from last time but still old favorites. The giveaway for sailaway was a Mickey's hand on a stick that said "Disney Magic Panama Canal Crossing" and the dates. I'm sure you'll see those appearing on ebay soon! We got to wave our own goodbye with our Mickey hands! Saturday's dinner menu was the new "Welcome Aboard" menu.

As a special treat we arrived in Castaway Cay early with an early ashore. I little extra time to enjoy paradise! I noticed at the adult beach there weren't many (if any) hammocks left.

Dinner after Castaway Cay was in Animator's Palette. The menu was regular/restaurant rotation. The animation show was the same as always, but at the end Sorcerer Mickey made an appearance to a theme of Fantasmic music, parading around the restaurant with the wait staff and head servers. We were all given a Sorcerer Mickey antenna topper as a special gift. What a fun way to end the meal!

Golden Mickey's night was formal night (Golden Mickey's menu in all 3 restaurants). There was also the captain's reception with complimentary beverages of the adult (and kids) varieties. We had a fabulous meal in Palo. During the day we sailed very close, 1.5 miles I believe, to Cuba. We could see a lighthouse and other structures along the easternmost end of the island. That is probably the closest most of us Americans will get to Cuba! After the Golden Mickeys and dinner there is an "after party" for the Golden Mickey's, complete with DJ-spun music, Disney characters, a golden balloon drop (and pop!!) and plenty of confetti. What an exciting event!

Today was a mixed day of sun and clouds. Still a beautiful day nonetheless. The day started with brunch at Palo but I kept a low key after that. So far, at least before dinner tonight, I am in the negative column for weight gain! I'm hoping to stay there for the entire cruise--it's hard work! The Castaway Club reception was today. The vast majority of cruisers are repeat cruisers, some 80-90%!! The reception was held outside, midship on decks 9 and 10 because of the huge number of people. Our dinner tonight was back in Lumiere's with the regular rotation menu. Before dessert was served a special "show" including Beauty AND the Beast dancing with men and women from their royal court appeared in the restaurant. Aftward we were treated to Beast pins (men) and Beauty pins (women). Another special treat!

Speaking of pins, WHEW! I am not a big pin collector, though it would have been nice to have the special set of pins for the canal crossing. Pins have been a source of agony for guests and cast members alike. The lines for the first two days were crazy. Some people were very unhappy. In the end, DCL announced (via letter to staterooms last night) it would release ALL of the remaining pins for the cruise all at once this morning at 8am. The line for those pins started at 11pm last night!! So people slept in line for their pins.

Some things defy logic...Disney creates some of their own problems. Several functions that to the casual, or even "Disney" observer, would seem to attract a large group, at placed in venues that are far too small. The first Panama Canal-oriented session was in the movie theater and was standing room only 15 minutes before the start time. The Navigator for the next day listed the next PC talk in Rockin Bar D. Thankfully they moved it to the Walt Disney Theatre, where all things Panama Canal should be! The large number of adults vs. children seems to show in some places and not others.

At times the adult pool and even the family pool and decks 9/10 overall seem deserted. I've seen them much busier on regular cruises. Maybe there is just too much to do! The Internet cafe always has a wait, even now at 1230am. I think part of that has to do with the fact that so many people want/need to stay in touch for the two weeks we are out of the country. By the way, rumor has it the Magic is in process of be wired for stateroom Internet (be that wired or wireless, I don't know). Pricing would change accordingly (no more unlimited package a possibility).

I think that's about it for now. Curacao is tomorrow. I see lots of shopping in my future. I must say one of the BEST parts of the trip are the DIS Boards members. We have had SO MANY gifts appear on our "fish" (or "fish extender," as we've called one of the gifts which allows our fish to collect so much). We have such a large community on board and it is great to see and meet everyone with whom we have chatted for so long. DIS Board members are the best!

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

May 18, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

Last night we had Who Wants to Be a Mousekeeter hosted by Joey from N'Sync. Golden Mickeys happened night before last. I'll send you a report today or tonight sometime on that day.

The new show is going to happen during the cruise. I'll have to look at what night.

Taylor Mason did an adult show last night, he is getting off the ship here in Curacao and DCL is bringing on new entertainment but they haven't announced who. It is not happening tonight as there is a movie playing in the Walt Disney Theater for the evening entertainment.

Tonight is the Tropical dinner and the deck party.

It is raining here in Curacao. Hopefully will clear up.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

May 17, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

Okay -- here is the Tuesday update. It's a little fuzzy in my memory because there was quite a contoversy going on, but here's what I can remember at this point!

Just as an update, after I posted Monday PM, I headed over to the Golden Mickey "after" party in the atrium around 10 p.m. As I got there in the atrium, some of my friends said "did you get the letter?" I said no since when I had checked an hour earlier the navigator had not made it to my stateroom.

Well, the "letter" was from DCL and on Monday PM the decision was made that DCL would release every single remaining pin the following morning at 8 a.m. as a one time only, finish the pins, be done, and let us continue with the vacation we had hoped for.

After the wonderful golden balloon drop with confetti in the atrium, we headed over to upbeat to see what was going on (around 10:40 p.m.) Still dressed in our formals from Monday evening, there were already about 40 people in line. We decided we werent' missing out on pins, so along with about 300 others, the first ever Disney Slumber Party down Beat Street occurred. DCL knew this would happen so they brought drinks, food, etc and tried to keep us happy. Somewhere between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. there were over 500 people in line and the LE pins that were limited to 500 were gone.

At 8 a.m. sharp the doors were opened and each person received a voucher for the remaining pins and for the large hubcap pin. It was very well organized and went very smoothly. Passengers have until Saturday to pick up their pins. I have picked up mine and have the complete set. They are very nice.

After the historic slumber party, our group headed off to Lumiere's and we had over 60 people eat breakfast in their jammies! We had arranged this with Daniel (head dining room manager) and the dining staff loved it.

Many activities during the day including Behind The Scenes with Jason for the Haunted Mansion and also the Art of Entertaining Series was continuing.

There was also a Panama Canal presentation with the historical information presented.

In the afternoon there was a Castaway Club reception on deck 9. The captain said there were over 1100 Castaway Club members on board. He said that DCL would be announcing some new changes that would happen on the Magic while we are on board, but did not go into detail. He also said some things would happen while the ship is in drydock this fall. Rumors have been circulating about the internet going wireless, but their has been no confirmation of this fact.

Who Wants to Be A Mousekeeter was hosted by Joey Fatone from N'Sync and was fun, but no one won the seven day cruise!

Then in Up Beat Taylor Mason did an adult show that was hysterical. He was getting off the ship in Curacao the next day since he had to be to meetings in Nashville.

It was 60's night in Up Beat and everyone had a great time!

That's the Tuesday update!

 

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

May 16, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

Today was our first official "sea day" so the day started out with----what else-----LE pins"

The pin was to be released at 10:30 a.m. this morning. I headed to the spa at 8 a.m. for an ocean wrap. After I left, my husband got a call from our friends that said he better come on down and get in line. He got there at 8:10 a.m. and they were starting to hand out vouchers cuz the line was all the way from Beat Street at the Cigar and Liquor Shop all the way to the atrium! People had been lining up since 6 a.m.

It was a mess. Anyway, we did get the pin since this is the only pin that has a LE of 1000. There is now talk of how they are going to release the remainder of the pins because it is out of control. Many suggestions have been given by the guests, but DCL is not real receptive to anything we suggest. We have told them we don't want to spend 4 hours each day of our cruise in lines waiting for a pin. We were told by the "manager" of the shop that she created the voucher system and part of the excitement of releasing the pins is getting the pin on each different day when you are arriving at a port and getting in line. We basically told her she was nuts and we did NOT want to spend 40 hours trying to get pins on the cruise we want to enjoy the cruise. For the most part, everyone just wants a complete set of the whole thing so they had a commerorative set. However, we do have a couple of "collectors" on board, who have brought their whole family and anyone else they can hook in so they can turn around and sell.

The sad thing is DCL could have avoided this whole thing with some planning!

DCL started the navigator series today and also started a series on the Panama Canal as well as the food stuff (appetizers today I think).

DCL also introduced the 1st Mystery At Sea Series and it is a 3 day (3 different days at sea) of a murder mystery that needs solved. It is for adults only over age 18. We were told if we missed today we could catch up tomorrow.

About 4 p.m. this afternoon we were headed down the east side of Cuba! We were only 1 1/2 miles away from the shoreline. The Captain said that so I am not sure if that was actual mileage or nautical miles, but Cuba was pretty darn close! We were then going to head south towards Curacao after getting to the end of Cuba, but we had a wine tasting event at 4:30 p.m. so don't know quite sure when the ship turned towards Curacao. It was a little overcast at the time but you could see Cuba clear as can be.


Captain's Gala tonight and then the Golden Mickey's. It was our first formal night! Tonight was the first night that I actually felt that the atrium was crowded!

Tonight after dinner when we returned to our stateroom we had a note from DCL thanking us for being on the cruise along with a real nice book entitled "Portrait of the Panama Canal" by William Friar. Then a picture on the cover and then at the bottom it says Disney Cruise Line (then logo) Commemorating the 1st Passage of the Disney Magic Through the Panama Canal May 20, 2005. It is a very nice book.

One great thing that happened today? Well I was able to have my Magical Moment! I have wanted to be the person to blow Mickey's Horn forever and today at noon I was able to go to the bridge with my husband and when Captain Thord Haugen made the 12 noon Captain's Update I got to push the green button and blow the horn. It was just awesome! My husband was able to take pictures of the whole thing. I was like a little kid in a candy store! It brought back memories of going to Disneyland in California when I was a child. I was just so thrilled to have the chance to do that. And then tonight I also received a certificate signed by the Captain with my name, date and my magical moment for the Disney Magic!

My husband and I wore our Disneyland 50th Golden Anniversary Ears we purchased at Disneyland 5-5-05 and we got many pictures taken.

Oh, by the way, Joey from N'Sync (can't remember his last name) is on the ship with his wife and daughter (I think that's who the woman and girl are anyway). And he has been everywhere on the ship and pretty much goes everywhere he wants. He will be hosting Who Wants to Be A Mousekeeter. I think that may be tomorrow night but the Navigators aren't in the room yet. I think the schedule changes 50 times before they print, so it seems to be getting later and later each night!

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

May 15, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

Got to Castaway Cay earlier than normal on Sunday. We were in by 7 a.m. and ready to get off the ship around 8 a.m. The weather was beautiful and there was no wind! I don't think I have ever been here when it wasn't windy!

We went on a nice snorkel over on Serenity Bay and then in the afternoon went on the Eco Tour on Waverunners. That was a blast. The family beach stayed pretty empty for most of the day. Just only 350 kids on board so it has been very quiet!

Great lunch at Cookie's on CC. Had some great bbq. The island has been cleaned up since we were here in December from the hurricane. Everything looks like it is back in place. One thing I noticed this time I haven't before is the hundred of flowers in bloom. We have never been here before when flowers were in bloom. Very pretty colors!

Got back on the ship at 4 p.m. and headed directly to Up Beat for the pin line for the 2nd pin. Pin release was suppose to be at 5:30 p.m. We got in line at 4:15 p.m. and we ended up #287 out of 500 pins. People got in line at 2 p.m. in order to get pins. By 5 p.m. the vouchers were handed out and many were unhappy again about the whole pin situation!

Headed to dinner in Lumiere's and during dinner, Belle and Beast came into the dining room with two other couples in ballroom gowns and tuxes with them and they danced and it was such fun. We are at Table 23 so we were front and center for the whole thing. After they had danced, it was announced that Belle and Beast starting on this cruise would now be available for portraits and we were to check our navigators for dates and times! Everyone cheered! Then they gave each female guest a Belle Pin and each male guest a Beast Pin (open stock pins).

Then we went to the variety show in the Walt Disney Theater and Taylor Mason did a whole show and he was hilarious!

Afterwards, did some more shoppping in the gift shops.

The LE stuff they had in shops to start with was a men's t-shirt, women's white long sleeve t-shirt, a laser engraved Panama Canal commerative thing (like the ones you get your laser picture at Epcot); a PC coin, a mug, a large journal, a small journal, an ornament, a small map, a large map in a mat, the large map matted and framed, a PC beach towel, a hat. I think that's everything they originally had, but most of it was long gone the 1st evening within the first coule of hours.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

May 14, 2005

Linda Neeley writes:

Got to the terminal around 9:45 a.m. There was already a big line up. The porters were not ready for the onslaught of passengers! Since DCL will have the Port Canaveral parking lot closed after passengers return from Los Angeles (for those flying LA to Orlando), they had called and advised prior to embarking that they would not be able to pick up their cars. So everyone was being dropped off and it kinda created a mess! Once that was over we all got in security and everything went just as normal. DCL took both passports and birth certificates. One or the other, it didn't matter. No questions asked.

Boarded the ship about 12:15 p.m. Since we had already made our reservations for Palo's and the Spa on line last week, we didn't have to run around making reservations, so went right off and had a wonderful lunch. Then headed to our room and there was a burgundy blanket with Disney Cruise Line Panama Canal Crossing on it for each stateroom.

We were suppose to sailaway at 5 p.m., but DCL was still waiting for luggage and we were all pretty darn impatient wanting to get the ship off and on its way. At 4:30 p.m. they started the party and gave everyone Mickey Hands (plastic laminated hand type signs) for us to wave goodbye to Port Canaveral. That was pretty much the extent of DCL'S big send off. However, we did make a banner about 50 feet long by 3 feet high that said "TAKING THE MAGIC KINGDOM TO KINGDOM - THE DISNEY'S MAGIC'S 1ST PANAMA CANAL CRUISE" We held out the banner almost to the end of the channel. There were many Disney fans at both restaurants on the Port Canaveral Channel and the outside dining was packed as those on shore anxiously awaited for us to sail by. We could hear everyone yelling at us and cheering us on. It was a magical moment and brought tears to many of our eyes knowing we were part of history as the ship was headed out. All I can say is I know I won't forget being a part of this for a long time!

Since we didn't leave port until about 5:40 p.m., it created a problem in that the LE pin was being released at 5:30 p.m. It wasn't marked very well in the navigator at all, so I figured I wasn't going to miss sailawy for my pin. I did go down right at 6 p.m. and get my voucher in order to get the pin. Had to wait in line about 15 minutes, got my voucher and then went to dinner (15 minutes late) and then went back and got my pin after dinner. The pin voucher system is worthless and it is pretty pathetic what is happening each day with the pins around here and the DCL CM in charge of the shop is not being very responsive to the passengers complaints. I feel bad for many of the CM's being the brunt of getting screamed and yelled at. But when there are no LE pins, no commerative t-shirts or hats, or mugs, or other stuff within two hours of sailing because everyone has bought everything up and been fighting in the stores over merchandise, it gets pretty crazy. Passengers on this ship are NOT HAPPY AT ALL about the way DCL has been handling the merchandise on this cruise and it has continued every day.

Dinner was normal for 1st night. New menu offerings they said.

The show for opening night was Taylor Mason (ventiloquist) who was wonderful (we had seen him on the 10 day Christmas Cruise) and a juggler whose name I can't remember right now.

I think that about does it for Saturday the 14th. More details to follow. Any questions, let me know.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

May 14, 2005

Cynthia writes:

I need to leave soon for the lifeboat drill but a quick report - beautiful 80+ weather - slight breeze. As always the first sight of the ship is dazzling - no other cruise ship around our "Magic" - passengers definitely keyed up for the cruise. We arrived at 10:30 am and there was already a 30 minute line for security. After security we checked in very quickly - we first got in the Castaway Cay line but it was much longer than "US Citizens" so we went to that line and were done in a few minutes - of course we had filled out our documents ahead of time.

Additional piece of paper was to allow Disney to use pictures they take of us for publicity. We weren't allowed on board until noon - by then the lines were amazingly line - both for check in and to board. Boarding was wonderful with the announcement of our names (after our picture was taken) - lots of streamers from the ceiling and confetti - we were greeted with a welcoming cocktail (non-alcoholic and alcoholic).

We "ran" (with five carryons!) to the Palo line - yikes - found out that starting a week ago you could check in on line - so all brunches and high teas (only on "at sea" days were already booked) - did manage to score a dinner reservation on my birthday - the 19th! Yippee! However many many passengers very upset about knowing about the on line reservations. My daughter Kelsey (12 yr 10 mons) went to Stacks to see about getting her in the teen group - they very graciously said yes so then off to our stateroom which was now open (1:30) -our room steward greeted us with a gift and welcome card (Castaway Cay) - beautiful burgundy beach blanket with the club name on it. Darling Suta is our room steward. All the crew members I spoke with said they are very excited about the trip. Then off to Topsider's for lunch to meet our friends- very crowded so I decided to book spa appts. - very short line but people didn't know what they wanted or when so 30 minutes later I booked our appts. Again, can do it on line but very few knew - my travel agent never told us nor did Disney in our cruise documents.

Lunch was delicious - peel 'n' eat shrimp and that melon soup - yummy. Still very crowded at 2:30 - hard to find a table. Beautiful sunny weather - everyone is very happy.

Now I am in "the Cove" emailing you - this is a very hurried email

Anyway, back to lunch - family already ate and went to the stateroom. So I need to join them for the lifeboat drill - I am going to have a cocktail first tho! I'm not much of a writer but will try to do better tomorrow. I have the unlimited internet package - $180 (yikes!) but necessary.