Finally, after almost a year of planning, the trip was upon us. Since we are left-coasters, getting to Orlando or Florida takes all day. So, we flew out the day before, taking the earliest flight we could (6 am) and just said "we are already on Florida time". We rented a car from Avis and drove out to the Port. We booked a room at the Radisson back in February and had a Whirlpool Suite w/breakfast. Once checked in, we went in search of a quick dinner. After a quick bite we hit Winn-Dixie for some last minute needs (water, kleenex) and returned to the Radisson. After making sure our Cruise Docs were all filled out, we hit the hay.
We woke up and could see the Magic from our room window. It was easier with the binoculars, but we could see it either way. The excitement grew. We had a breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant and packed up. Then, we returned the car, checked out, and loaded into the Avis shuttle to the Port. Due to the increased security, you are dropped off across the street from the terminal in the parking lot and DCL shuttles you over. By 10:40 am we were in the terminal (which we had mostly to ourselves, there were maybe a dozen of us there) and checking in. We decided not to be the first family in line... so we were the second. We would have wandered around longer but once one family got in line we just had to join in. Taking turns we each wandered around and explored the terminal. After about an hour or so in line I noticed the women in front of me had a lime green ribbon tied to her purse. That is how observant I am, it took me an hour of casual conversation to spot the ribbon, good thing it was bright, otherwise I might never have seen it. I asked her if she was from the DIS and she said she was HappiestInDisney. While we were talking the women behind us joined in and as it turns out she is MOG. Funny how the first three families in line were all from the DIS. We waited until we could share our love for Tom (if you've done it, you will know) and were let on the boat (I said boat instead of ship because at this point I still didn't know better, although Tom was quick educate us on this fact).
As they were announcing us, the microphone went out and we were told they would remember to announce us again later. So, we smiled and went to Parrot Cay for lunch. We ate with six others, two of the women work on costumes for the shows on board. It was interesting to talk with them. From there we ran up to Palo, we arrived 10 minutes before the time listed in the Navigator and they were already out of High Tea times, but we got both the brunch time and dinner that we wanted. Then we ran over to the spa. They had a table set up outside with two girls waiting to help us - no one else around. So, I made my nail appointments and got our week-long passes to the Rainforest Room (45 min. before spa ressies were supposed to start).
We couldn't take it any longer and had to see where we would be sleeping for the week and went down to deck 7 to check out our room. I was thrilled, after hearing how small staterooms can be I was pleased to see some room to breathe. Once we checked it out, we decided to explore the ship. We opened our door to find bag 1 of 3 sitting outside our door. So, we brought it inside and quickly unpacked it, then set out once more to explore the ship. When we opened our door, bag 2 of 3 was sitting outside. So we brought it inside and unpacked it. Then we peaked outside our door to find - you guessed it - bag 3 of 3 waiting for us. Heck lets just unpack already! Once all unpacked we decided to explore the ship. We wrapped up our exploring with the shore excursion presentation by Darren in the Buena Vista Theater. We had booked the 12-meter regatta prior to leaving home so were only interested in info on St. Thomas excursions. Based on his expanded descriptions we decided on the Buck Island Sail and Snorkel and dropped off the paperwork later that afternoon.
This brought us to the life boat drill which was easy and quick. It did get a bit warm but not to big of a deal. After returning our life vests to the homes in our closet we went up and staked out a spot on deck to watch the departure from port. I left hubby to hold down our spot and went to the spa for a hair consultation. Although I waited longer than I expected for the consult, I liked what we talked about and scheduled a haircut for Monday. By then the ship was on its way and I joined hubby to watch the sights of the port fade away. We hung out until we completely cleared the port and were in the open waters. On our way to the show we stopped by the Internet Café and signed up for the week-long pass. The show was great fun, both entertainers were great. We took a few minutes to scope out the onboard shops on our way to dinner. Dinner was at Parrot Cay and our table-mates were great. Our servers Melwin and Cecila were awesome. Following dinner we went to Dueling Pianos, which was lots of fun. We left at the break and hit the hay.
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