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May 14-28, 2005
AllEars.Net thanks their "On Board" reporters:
Linda Neeley, Rob Costello, and Cynthia
May 21-28, 2005
(Read Week One, May 14-20, Reports HERE!)
Last Updated: 5/30/05 10 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Linda Neeley writes: Woke up early today as we had an early shore excursion and wanted to see the ship arrive into Mazatlan. The ship arrives at the port which is closed off to the public, so there was not much fan fare, but the town was buzzing with excitement.
We had chosen
to go on the Deer Island Kayak Adventure. We met at 7:30 a.m. and then
were on our way. There were shuttles that picked us up at the pier and
then dropped us off where the boat picked us up. It was a two decker boat
(open deck). Our tour hostess, Alma, was wonderful. She provided commentary
all of the way over to Deer Island and told us all about Mazatlan. Once
at Deer Island we were instructed how to properly use kayaks and how to
board them, paddle, etc. Never having been on a kayak before, this was
all new to me, but it was actually very easy and my husband and I had
a great time. The water was very calm on the bay side, but definitely
changed as we reached the point where the ocean came into the bay. The
waves and the bobbing up and down made me get a little motion sickness,
but I took a dramamine and was just fine. We never tipped the kayak over.
The guides were very informative and I was very impressed each time the
lead guide saw trash in the water he paddled over and put it in the back
of his kayak. The island is owned by the federal government and no improvements
can be done. So everything is hauled in and out by the kayak company everyday.
Under the canopies they had a refreshment stand set up with complimentary
pastries, drinks, and fruit. They also had a really great portapotty setup
and had 1 person stand up tents where the air flowed in and under trees
so you zipped up the tent and.....ta da.....had complete privacy. It was
the cleanest portapotty I've ever been in! After returning from kayaking,
we rested a bit and then headed on an easy hike to the top of the hill
that overlooked Mazatlan. Got some great pictures overlooking the bay
Returned to the ship about 1 p.m. and then headed out to Mazatlan to do a little exploring. The city is definitely cleaner than Acapulco. The people weren't as pushy and we bought a few souviners. Also ate lunch at The Shrimp Factory. It was very good.
Got back to the ship about 4:45 p.m. and then the ship departed about 5:30. Many people were lined up near the end of the bay where they could access the ocean. The kids were thrilled to see Captain Mickey and Minnie waving to them!
Casual night in the dining room. Then it was off to the big line up for the Muppet Show and Bob Saget. Bob Saget, in my opinion, was very disappointing. DCL could have just had the Muppets and it would have been great. During our show they lost the sound system and Kermit was just hilarious as he ad-libbed without a microphone. They actually closed the curtains and brought in some of the cruise staff to entertain while we waited. The Hecklers were awesome too. The Muppet portion was awesome.
Then we headed off to the adult cabaret show with comedian Rich Purpura. He should have been the main entertainment instead of Bob. He was funnier and had all of Rockin Bar D hysterically laughing.
After that we danced in Rockin Bar D for awhile and then called it a night. A very fun day in Mazatlan.
Can't believe the cruise is coming to an end.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Linda Neeley writes: Another sea day! Although I don't know if it is more tiring being at sea or in port.
this morning until 9 a.m. and then ran and got a bite to eat (Krispy Kreme)
before heading to Disney's Behind the Scenes with Tom McAlpin, president
of Disney Cruise Line. It was packed but we got there early and got great
seats. Here are some of the highlights he shared: when the ship goes into
dry dock this fall the conference rooms downstairs will be changed into
more children's club area and it will become a
ship's navigational area with a simulator where kids can simulate bringing the ship into port and stuff. Immediately the men in the audience wanted to know if they could participate also! The exercise area in the spa is going to increase in size and then there will be additional changes with some additional couples massage rooms and stuff expanded with verandahs and stuff. My husband took pictures of the drawings as they were on the screen in the Buena Vista Theater! There will also be some changes made to the atrium, but he didn't go into detail. Talked about DCL. Yes, there are plans to build a new ship, but until the dollar goes up in value and has a better exchange rate against the Euro, it's just not going to happen. I won a free t-shirt for answering a trivia
question. It was one of the limited PC tshirts, but there are none cuz his were sold that he had stashed, so it will be mailed to me!
Most of the direction DCL goes is based on customer feedback and word of mouth, so he encouraged everyone to continue writing comments because they are reviewed. He took questions, but for a very limited time. Oh, the other big announcement is that there will be an excursion added (I think after dry dock) and you will be able to swim with stingrays at Castaway Cay!
After that, we grabbed lunch in Lumiere's and then got in another line to get into Ducky Williams presentation. There were over 500 people attending his first Behind the Scenes presentation and about 300 at his second presentation. He did "spill the beans" and say that on Friday night we will all be receiving a commemorative lithograph; he has already gone through and signed each one individually to be delivered to our staterooms! YEAH!
After that, headed off to change for dinner where they introduced the new A Taste of California menu. It was okay.
Then headed to the Boyz II Men concert. It was a ton of fun. They sang their hit songs and it was like a personal concert since the theater is not huge. Definitely a hightlight of the trip. Rachel announced at the end of the concert that tomorrow night we get Bob Saget and the Muppets with Kermit the Frog!
Now we are headed to 70's night in Rockin Bar D and then we get another extra hour of sleep tonight at we turn the clocks back another hour. Tomorrow we will be on Mountain time as we head into Matzatlan!
May 24, 2005
writes: I know I haven't sent you anything since the first day but
it has been so wonderful and fantastic that I haven't had time!
We are all being treated like royalty - lots of "firsts" - 3-day murder mystery with teams and characters with a terrific Det. Silvestri as the MC - also a Princess Party on Sunday. We have been greated with warm receptions every we dock and the Panama Canal was enthralling, exciting fantastic. Disney has given us beautiful gifts and we also have had several Castaway Club parties - another one tonight! We had fireworks during the Pirates deck party last night - in the Bay of Acapulco!
Wonderful theme nights - none of us want to leave!
Did have issue about the limited edition pins but that was only due to a few complainers.
Anyway, more when I return on Saturday...
Monday, May 23, 2005
Linda Neeley writes: Well, we started with an early morning. We didn't want to miss our arrival in Acapulco so we were up at 6 a.m. and up on deck by 7. Wanted to be at the front of the ship since we had heard rumors that Acapulco was going all out for our arrival.
We actually were met out at the entrance to the bay at about 9:15 or so by the pilot boat and the circled the whole ship and sprayed both their hoses all the way around and then came up alongside the ship and escorted us into the port. There were also some military ships in the distance keeping an eye on our big beautiful ship. We were out this morning early enough to see the bell getting shined on deck 5 forward and for the raising of the DCL flag. We all cheered the CM who had that task when completed. Got some pictures too! Not something we have ever seen before on our previous cruises.
People were cheering and yelling upon our arrival as Captain Mickey backed the ship into the port with the assistance of Captain Thord Hagen! About the time we started backing into the port, we moved from deck 10 to the secret deck 7 and it was basically empty. Got some great pictures as we backed up in and then we ran down to deck 4 and after being there a couple of minutes the Disney characters showed up (Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale) and we got pictures with all of them and we were along the rail as they waved to everyone welcoming us in Acapulco.
On the dock
were 4 people on stilts with colorful costumes and a mariachi band in
white uniforms and a dozen or so dressed in colorful Mexican costumes.
We got some great pictures. Acapulco had the red carpet out for us. The
port authority (Roberto) went out of their way for our warm welcome. He
was running up and down the dock waving and taking pictures of us and
we were waving and yelling "ROBERTO, ROBERTO!" back and
taking pictures of him too. I think he was more excited than we were!
It took awhile to get the ship into place and they were having a problem when they shot out the rope to the shore at the front of the ship. The first rope went under the dock so they were fishing it out of the water and it was stuck underneath, so there was a delay.
When we finally got anchored into place, they brought out the gangplank, laid out the red carpet and I counted 10 customs officials coming onto the ship. By then it was 10:10 a.m. and we had a shore excursion at 10:30 so we hustled back to our stateroom for our excursion.
We met our group for the Shot Over Jet Ride at 10:30 but the ship had not been cleared and it wasn't until about 10:45 that customs finally cleared us to get off. There were 7 different shore excursions heading out at the same time due to the delay. I was the 445th passenger off the boat in Acapulco.
By the time we got off the ship, Goofy's assistants were already out with their tarps and setting up to paint the ship back into tip top shape for its arrival in California! We had a few scratches when entering the canal which is pretty normal for ships our size. But, by the time we returned, the scratches were gone and Goofy's assistants had moved onto other chores for the day.
20 of us
headed on a 30 minute bus ride. The group's tour hostess was very informative
on the bus and made the ride enjoyable. The traffic was terrible. Thought
I was in Los Angeles for a minute! When we got to the shot over jet ride,
we all signed those liability papers and then split into two groups of
10. We all got on lifejackets and then had a 40-minute wild ride up the
lagoon doing 360's and manuvering around mango trees. Saw and heard lots
of birds and even saw two crocodiles! Never imagined croc's in Mexico!
Lots of mango trees too! The excursion was a blast. At the end they offered
to sell us a CD of our excursion for $15. They were not pushy about it
at all. They had great pictures
of us doing 360's and our tour and all. ?And then they added wildlife pictures. They had ?a computer right there where they downloaded the pictures and made our CD and we returned to the ship with it in hand. Loads of fun.
Got back to the ship at about 2:30 and saw some boxes being loaded onto the ships that had "THE MUPPETS" on it. Hmmmmmm...
Also heard rumors that Boyz II Men had gotten on board. No official announcement though.
I got back on the ship, Don "Ducky" Williams had already boarded
and is just a few doors down from our stateroom.
Ate a quick lunch and then headed for a little pool time. Then I headed out for a quick shopping trip. Ran into Roberto in the cruise terminal and gave him some of my Mickey soaps and stuff for him to share with friends and family. He said that they were going to shoot off 30 fireworks when we left from the fort right by the pier, but then he was able
to get the port to pay for 60 fireworks to be shot off and to watch for them at 9:45 when we left. He said last Friday he didn't get any work done as he was on the Panama Canal site all day watching the Magic!
Well, before I knew it, it was time to get ready for my favorite night, "Pirates of the Caribbean" (Although we are no longer in the Caribbean). Our group had all brought pirate costumes and dressed for dinner and for the deck party. Had a fun dinner. I had the Shiver Me Timbers for dessert. We all got to keep the menus. We all received bandannas also.
Right when we left at 9:45 sharp, the fireworks over the fort in Acapulco started. There were over 1000 well-wishers screaming and yelling at the Magic as we left and we were all doing the same back. The fireworks were spectacular that Acapulco did. I knew that our fireworks were coming shortly for our final farewell to them also.
We danced and partied up on deck 10 during the party and the Magic positioned itself in the Acapulco Bay and then the fireworks started. They seemed more spectacular and longer than when we were on at Christmas. Don't know if it was because we were in Acapulco for the first time, but it must have been a magical site from the shoreline.
fireworks ended, we just seemed to sit and float in the bay. Kept watching
to see where we were going, and we just weren't going anywhere at all.
About 30 minutes later I saw three of the ship's officers so I asked them,
"Are we staying in Acapulco for another day?" They laughed and
said we were sitting in the bay waiting for... LUGGAGE.
Go figure. Anyway, we sat there circling like the teacups (but much slower) until sometime after 11:30. Someone told me the boat finally brought some luggage to the ship around midnight, but by then we had headed in pirate costume for the 11:30 Pirates of the Caribbean movie. We had about 100 show up in pirate costumes and we all were having a blast during the movie saying aarrgghh matey, and other pirate sayings. Have
a great time until 2 a.m. with our buccaneer buddies! Headed off to bed at 2 a.m. I think I must have fallen asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Our navigator was delivered and said that we are having a Boyz II Men Live in Concert Tuesday night! Also received a note in our room that each stateroom will be allowed to have 1 item autographed by Ducky and that we must take to our floor AFT between 1-2:30 on Tuesday to leave for his signature and it will be returned to our stateroom on Friday.
Can't believe all this magic ends this Saturday. I am NOT ready to get off the ship.
May 22, 2005
Linda Neeley writes:
Another sea day. I just love a day at sea. I always bring books along to read, but the problem is I take them back home and have never opened them at all!
We got up this morning and went to see Doug Wilson from ABC Sports talk about sports history, olympic history, etc. It was very interesting. He brought along a lot of footage to share.
After that, we participated in a Digital Scavenger Hunt which a friend of ours put together with people in our group. There were about 50 of us running around the ship with our partners and our digital cameras trying to find the answers to the questions and taking pictures with one of us in the picture. Many passengers kept asking us what we were doing. It was a blast. Had a hard time finding Goofy eating a hot dog though, but finally found where it was! We actually won and received two Mickey Pez Candy machines. I think everyone else on the ship wanted to play, too!
Then a group of 10 of us went to Lumiere's for lunch. The food was excellent and we spent about two hours eating and talking about how much fun going through the canal was.
Shutters is doing their best in getting pictures up as fast as they can. I have never seen so many pictures on the walls. They are really working overtime down there.
After lunch we went and spent some time at the pool. It had rained while we were at lunch. The seas are very calm and it was a beautiful day outside.
At 4 p.m., DCL held a Behind the Scenes with some of the cast from Twice Charmed. There were five of the cast members there. They had a Q & A but were very evasive when asked questions about the new show.
Tonight we ate in Animator's Palette. When we entered, there were signs in all the places where the animated pictures usually are with Mickey Mouse Club. We sat down and received a Mickey Mouse Club button with Disney Magic Westbound Panama Canal Voyage 2005. It is a round button, about three inches in size. During dinner, the old black and white Mickey Mouse Club shows were playing on all of the screens. Then after dinner two of the cast members came out dressed in Mickey Mouse Club outfits from the show and then for the first time on this cruise they were introducing the Mickey Mouse March with all of the characters. They came in and then gathered up a bunch of us and we marched around the dining room to the Mickey Mouse March and kept singing....and it went on and on! It was a blast. Got lots of pictures. They had a big banner hanging and we got pictures afterwards. All of our servers had long sleeved white turtleneck looking shirts on to look like the old shows and they all had Mickey Mouse ears. The head dining room servers had red shirts on.
After dinner we went to a show called the Bumblesquats. It was a wacky show which had acrobatic performances and hilarious surprises. It was funny and the acrobatics were sensational.
There is late night comedy going on with Gary DeLena in Rockin Bar D and '80s Time Warp after that.
We are about 250 miles from Acapulco and are due in about 9 a.m. There is suppose to be some fanfare upon arrival.
I also met Wendy who is Mrs. California today and she was telling me she had a photo shoot with all of the Princesses today and that she will be out on deck with the Princesses as we bring the ship into California on Saturday. Disney has provided her with her "costume" for Mrs. America in July, which will be in Las Vegas. She will be Tinkerbell! She is 6 feet tall and will represent California well.
Tomorrow night is the Pirates in the Caribbean Party (but we aren't in the Caribbean anymore). A bunch of us kept asking for the ship to run the movie tomorrow night at 11:30 p.m. and we kept bugging them, bugging them, and bugging them. They kept giving us the 100 reasons why they couldn't do it. And then lo and behold, tonight I got my navigator and they changed their minds! A special showing of Pirates will take place tomorrow night at 11:30 p.m. after the deck party. We depart Acapulco at 9:45 p.m. (which just about coincides with the fireworks) and then there are a bunch of us heading down to the theater in pirate costume for the show.
Don "Ducky" Williams is getting on the ship in Acapulco. Can't wait to go to his presentations. His story is incredible and he is so pleasant. Can't wait to see him again.
the Sunday update. It has been a very enjoyable day at sea. Can't wait
to get to Acapulco in the morning though. We are planning on getting up
about 6 a.m. as we don't want to miss the fanfare upon our arrival!
May 21, 2005
Linda Neeley writes:
there was not a lot of movement first thing this morning on the Magic.
Guess everyone was pretty worn out after our historic day yesterday! Everyone
is still talking about it. I can truly say that the memories will last
a lifetime. I am so glad we came on this cruise.
had a group of 14 go to Palo's for brunch this morning. I had reserved
the Private Dining room about three months ago with DCL and received confirmation
of our date and time about three weeks before the cruise. We had requested
a sea day and were lucky enough to get it. As usual, the food was outstanding.
The fruit selections are getting a little low
though. We were told more food is being flown in from the USA into Acapulco for us! Krispy Kremes are getting low too!
Tom Wolber, the Senior Vice President of Operations for DCL, conducted a Disney Behind the Scenes workshop on the logistics of the new Lights, Motor, Action stunt show at Disney's MGM Studios. I can't wait to see the show when I am in Florida with our daughter next month. We saw it at Disneyland Paris a year and a half ago. He talked about all of the challenges here compared with Paris. He told a lot of the secrets about the show also, which we already knew. Hope he didn't spoil too much for the people who haven't seen it yet!
There was another wine tasting with Master Sommelier, John Blazon, in the morning. We haven't attended, but heard they have been excellent.
Rehearsals are continuing for Twice Charmed, the new show debuting on the Magic on Thursday evening. Everything is hush, hush. The Walt Disney Theater is closed most of the time so no one has access to anything.
The Navigator series continued with a Q & A with the chief engineer of the Disney Magic. Also, Doug Wilson did Behind the Scenes with ABC's Wide World of Sports Odyssey...a 40 year voyage in The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat. It was excellent and very well attended. He will present another series tomorrow.
Galley tours were available in the afternoon and the line formed at guest services and wound all around the deck. They ran out of tickets but are going to offer it again on Tuesday.
Pirate training took place for children so they could learn how to be a real pirate. Also, the Mickey 200 took place (making race cars out of vegetables) in the Promenade Lounge in the afternoon.
There was also an Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting going on in the afternoon.
Jason Surrell did an autograph session in Treasure Ketch for his imagineering books. Too bad DCL only had about 40 books on hand. They were gone in five minutes and they could have sold 100's. I wish I had one, but they were gone (kinda like everything else!)
Tonight in the Walt Disney Theater they presented Disney Dreams, one of my favorite shows. The theater was packed and it was excellent, as always.
Late night stargazing took place and an adult cabaret show took place in Rockin Bar D with Mike Super.
All in all, it was a nice relaxing day on the Magic! Seas were a little rougher, but not bad.