Friday, April 17, 2009
Welcome aboard (finally)
(back to the cruise posts after much icky, boring reality) My plane landed in Orlando on March 21st at 10:30am. Douglas picked me up after i collected my luggage and we set out for Port Canaveral. I still had a few errands to run and we needed a little snack since breakfast had been at 5am so we finally drove over the bridge to the port around 12:30. There she was in the distance, my boat - the Disney Magic : You had to drive around the back of the ship to get into the parking lot, and there was abundant staff to direct us right up to the terminal It never ceases to amaze me how organized and well run things are with Disney - it is an enormous company, but everything clicks right along like clock-work. Inside the terminal we had our passports scanned and were given a boarding number. While waiting to be called i spotted my first photo op : Sailor Minnie by the scale model of the ship and then it was through the Mickey-shaped entrance and down the hallway to be swiped onto the boat. Like most cruise lines Disney uses your room key as a charge card during the trip, but it was also cool that they kept track of who was on or off of the boat at all times by always swiping each person at the gangplanks. There were tons of people and kids, but the lines moved fast. Once again Disney efficiency showed itself as there were 4 matching photo backgrounds set up so that each family had their picture taken before being announced onto the boat over a microphone by a cute English guy wearing white Mickey gloves. At this point i was literally shocked by the sheer coolness of it all and completely forgot about taking pictures. You enter the boat on Deck 3 Midship in the sweeping, vaulted lobby (obviously NOT a picture taken by me!) and pass the fabulous statue of Mickey as a ship's captain There was just too much to see and take in all at once. I wanted to run and see everything, but i really, really wanted to get to an open deck to revel in the reality of being on a ship about to set sail so it was up to Deck 9 for us. There was already a buffet laid out at Topsiders so we decide to grab some lunch. How much do you love that we were still in dock and there was already a buffet? Not to mention already ice sculptures and fruit carvings! We found a seat out on deck that was under some cover (i hadn't anticipated needing sunblock yet and it was in my luggage) that happened to be on the terminal side of the boat. The ship was massive. Even understanding the physics of buoyancy it just seems impossible that something so large floats. Here is my view from our lunch table: The tiny gold spot third from the left of the fourth row is Douglas' Highlander; we were really high up. Just as we finished eating a waiter wandered by with Bahama Mamas. Now i had told myself that there was no reason to be one of those people that have drinks in their hands before they even leave dock, but it was in a pink glass souvenir glass for goodness sakes. A girl only has so much strength when it comes to rum in pink glasses on outside decks of large ships about to leave on the adventure of a lifetime, people.