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Panama Canal Cruise WB 2008 Archives

June 18, 2008

Disneyland - Day 18 Trip Conclusion

I ended my last blog with a photo of us being silly!

Group photo in Disney's California Adventure

Ok, where was I?

We composed ourselves and headed over to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area. It's time to go see Monster's Inc! It was one of the few "must sees" I had on my list for California Adventure.

I loved everything about this attraction. The themeing at the entrance was awesome!

Monster's Inc in Disney's California Adventure


Ann decided to do her impersonation of Roz... what do you think?

Monster's Inc in Disney's California Adventure

Plus, there was a great photo op there as well!

Monster's Inc in Disney's California Adventure

I think there is something to say about not reading much about attractions before you go on them. I honestly don't know if or what I had read about Monsters, Inc, but let me say it was awesome! The themeing was SO well done, kudos to the Imagineers who worked on this attraction. The attention to detail was ever present, the ride followed the storyline fairly well an it was one of my favorite parts of my Disneyland Resort experience!

Monster's Inc. in Disney's California Adventure

After our ride with Mike, Sully, and Boo, LindaMac wanted to ride California Screaming! It had been down earlier in the day but she spotted it running. So off she went!

LindaMac California Screaming  in Disney's California Adventure

She was SO excited when she got off the ride. We gave her a huge round of applause for being... er braver.. yea, that's it, braver than the rest of us!


LindaMac California Screaming in Disney's California Adventure

We walked past the Golden Vine Winery and well, had to relax with good friends and a glass of wine.

Golden Vine Winery  in Disney's California Adventure

Golden Vine Winery in Disney's California Adventure

After a brief rest, we soon found ourselves at the west coast Tower of Terror.

Tower of Terror in Disney's California Adventure

Since we were in the Hollywood Section and the park would be closing in about an hour, we decided to revist the friendly monsters....

 Monsters Inc in Disney's California Adventure

We had two fantastic rides and really turned into children. The attraction was pretty empty so we quickly exited and got right back on the ride.

We were headed out of the park and found ourselves inside the amazing Disney Animation Building. We had missed the final showing of the day of Turtle Talk but found plenty to amuse ourselves with. We practically had the whole place to ourselves.

I couldn't really get a good photo of the main area that you walk into....but there are several very large movie screens with Disney animated features playing.

Soon, we were face to face with the Mirror!!!

 Disney Animation Building in Disney's California Adventure

Next Beast's Library where Lumiere helped us discover what Disney character LindaMac is!

Beast's Library  Disney Animation Building in Disney's California Adventure

Beast's Library Disney Animation Building in Disney's California Adventure

One final glimpse of Disney's Calfornia Adventure!

 Disney's California Adventure


Across the way, Disneyland was still open. Being my last night, I wanted to see everything I could so in we went. We rode Indiana Jones one last time...a favorite of all of us. And soon, Disneyland was going to close too.

Walt and Mickey said "See You Real Soon"

Walt and Mickey in Disneyland

As we headed back to the Grand Californian, we all knew this wonderful day was coming to a close. Raleigh and I recalled some of the days highlights.

Deb and Raliegh

All good things must come to an end and my trip was quickly coming to a close.

I said goodbye to my dear friends Mari and Raleigh and hoped I'd see them again soon.

My ride to the airport was picking me up at 9:30, so LindaMac, George, Ann and I decided to have one last breakfast together - the character meal at Storytellers!

Characters were fun and there were lots of them. Chip and Dale, Timon, Terk, Brother Bear, Meeko.

We had barely sat down when Meeko came running over to me with an Autograph Book. I wasn't sure at first what was going on and then realized he, umm, borrowed it from a young girl at a nearby table! Soon as I realized what he had done, I got right into the fun and gave him a hard time for taking away her shiney book!

Storytellers Character Breakfast in Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort

The food was super..best omelet of my whole vacation I think!!!!

Storytellers Character Breakfast in Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort

 Storytellers Character Breakfast in Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort

Storytellers Character Breakfast in Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort

Storytellers Character Breakfast in Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort

We had an incredible server who was always at the table getting something or refilling something. She was great fun too!

Overall a great experience! I highly recommend!


Storytellers Character Breakfast in Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort

As I rode to the airport I reflected back on the last 3 weeks. A trip that began by flying out of Maryland and into Orlando. I visited several countries, crossed the Panama Canal, and docked in Los Angeles. What an amazing amazing experience. How fortunate I am to experience so many incredible adventures. I never dreamed, even 10 years ago, I would travel to the places I have visited.

To all of you who have followed my blog of this journey through the Panama Canal. Thank you. I hope that you enjoyed my narration and the photos. I enjoyed sharing it with you!

To all the people I met along the way, including those I traveled with, thank you for making this another amazing journey of discovery, imagination, wonder and friendship. I look forward to future adventures.

Til next time.....

Follow my Panama Canal Cruise and Disneyland Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Deb


June 3, 2008

Disneyland Resort - Panama Canal Trip - Day 17

May 26, 2008
Disneyland Resort
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 60s.

The alarm went off bright and early. As I reached for my glasses, they weren't there. Huh? I hesitated for a moment and then I realized I wasn't on the ship anymore. 15 nights in one place will do that to you. I opened my eyes and found my glasses, LOL.

I showered and found my way to the Paradise Pier concierge lounge for some early morning coffee. The lounge is huge, very spacious and inviting. I found some “Hidden Mickeys” on part of the floor in the lounge too! There was a nice selection of fresh fruit and pastries along with cereal and bagels. The strawberries were outstanding!

Paradise Pier Concierge Lounge

Hidden Mickey Paradise Pier Concierge Lounge


Ann, George, Linda Mac and I all had a fun time at the Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast at the PCH Grill in Paradise Pier. Since it was fairly early, the restaurant was pretty empty and the characters spent lots of time with us. We probably saw each one twice. On the other hand, the service was mediocre at best. We were in the process of actually sitting in the chairs the first time when the server came over to find out if we were doing buffet or menu. Umm.. can we sit down first and see the menu and buffet? Also, refills were slow as was the clearing of plates. In addition, we noticed lots of folks with Hawaiian leis and Lilo and Stitch buttons, we received neither.

Food is buffet style and very good. Made to order eggs, all kinds of fresh fruits, pastries, breakfast items and more.

This first one of Goofy is for Masayo.

Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast Paradise Pier

Lilo, LindaMac, Deb, Stitch, and Ann at the Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast Paradise Pier


Next port of call -- Disneyland! One of the things I planned to do was search for Hidden Mickeys. My good friend Steve Barrett has published several editions of a WDW Hidden Mickey Hunt Book and also one for Disneyland.

Deb and  Hidden Mickeys at Disneyland

We oogled at the Main Street Vehicles and made our way to Adventureland to get FastPasses for the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Adventureland at Disneyland


While waiting for the Fast Pass time we took in two great classic attractions – first the Enchanted Tiki Birds.

Tiki Birds in Adventureland at Disneyland


Tiki Birds in Adventureland at Disneyland

… then the Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise in Adventureland at Disneyland

There was a huge promo going on regarding the new Indiana Jones movie. It includes many fun thing to do and see including Random Acts of Indy. Laura blogged about it.
While I didn't see any random acts of Indy, I was part of a very quick, hmmm "Act of Jack Attack" LOL.

We found Jane at her meet and greet just on the other side of Tarzans' Treehouse. As I began talking with her, Jack Sparrow snuck up behind and startled her. It all happened so fast, not one of us got a photo. Special Kudos to LindaMac for trying.

Jane in Adventureland at Disneyland

Then it was time for Indiana Jones!!

Indiana Jones in Adventureland at Disneyland

For lunch we'd be joining Laura Gilbreath (All Ears Disneyland Reporter) and her husband Lee, along with Beci and Chris at Blue Bayou.

While we waited for the place to open, Ann and George had a Magical Moment and received First Time Visitor Buttons!

Ann and George getting First Time Buttons at Disneyland

LindaMac, Laura and I posed on the New Orleans Square steps for a photo op.

Laura, LindaMac and Deb in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

Next up Pirates of the Caribbean (much better than MK counterpart).

Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland at Disneyland


At this point, Laura and Lee left us and went over to tour the DVC exhibit at Paradise Pier.

Next stop, Haunted Mansion . The recent enhancements in the Florida Attraction really give that one the edge in terms of our favorite.

Haunted Mansion  at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion  at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion  at Disneyland

Everyone enjoyed Winnie the Pooh. Unlike WDW, the DL version begins outside.

The Canoes still operate in Disneyland and I love the nostalgic feeling of them.

Over to Tomorrowland for Buzz AstroBlasters. Again, enjoyed this much better than WDW especially since you can remove the laser gun to maneuver it easier. Another cool feature is that you can email yourself the photo taken during the ride!

Buzz AstroBlasters at Disneyland

Buzz AstroBlasters at Disneyland

Buzz Astroblaster E-PostCard

On the way to ToonTown we saw Narnia's Prince Caspian riding by. The "construction" covering behind him is at Its a Small World.


Prince Caspian at Disneyland


I had never been to Disneyland's ToonTown and it was a most pleasant surprise. We all LOVED the theming and spent a great deal of time wandering around. We rode Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin and Beci did a good job keeping the taxi from spinning! We then spent time touring Mickey and Minnie's home. Goofy even has a place here too! Lots of fun scenery, lots of gadget to play with.

Toon Town at Disneyland

Toon Town at Disneyland

Toon Town at Disneyland

Toon Town at Disneyland

I was starting to get really tired and needed to go back to the room for a short rest. Linda Mac and I left the park and ended up stopping at the La Brea Bakery for a late lunch. It was quite good and helped to recharge our batteries!

After my rest, I met Linda Mac and attended the special DVC Member Gathering! Linda has reported on it already. I met some great Cast Members and learned a few things in the process. Linda has already blogged about the event.

I also forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog, that I got a tour of the new Grand Californian Studio and One-bedroom villas. No photos allowed, but I really like the new layout. The dining table is larger than current one bedrooms, there are 2 full bathrooms, and the living area has a floor to ceiling window for more light. The balcony is accessible via a side door or from the master bedrooms.

A full and delightful day has come to an end. Tomorrow my last day in California so we plan to spend time at both parks.

Follow my Panama Canal Cruise and Disneyland Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Deb


June 1, 2008

Disney Magic Cruise - Port of Los Angeles and Disneyland - Panama Canal Trip - Day 16

May 25, 2008
Port of Call: Los Angeles -- Disneyland Resort

Much as we wanted to sleep in, Linda had to disembark by 7:30am so we were up early. While she got ready, I went up on Deck 10 to watch the Disney Magic come into Port.

The sun was just coming up which made for a pretty sky. It was a beautiful sunrise on the starboard side.


We were escorted in by a boat shooting water fountains.
And greeted by a group of folks waving Mickey Hands and a Welcome Back banner.

Back in the cabin I looked at the report from the bridge and wowed at where we traveled the last 2 weeks. Follow the white line from north of Miami Florida to LA California.

It was quickly time for Linda to head to customs and Los Angeles Airport. She had a 1pm flight home. I was heading to Disneyland.

Breakfast on Disembarkation morning is at the restaurant you dined at the night before. So, minus Linda and Sharon, the rest of us gathered. For some, it was hugs and teary goodbyes (until we meet again), for others we were headed to Disneyland.

As we were getting our belongings ready to depart, I received quite an amazing surprise! Disney Magic Captain Thord, who I had not met, came up to me and called me by name! WOW! That was an incredible magical moment and I was very honored.

Clearing customs was a lengthy process, but we were ready for that. It is quite different from Port Canaveral, so those used to that process will need to adjust. You leave the ship by group (character stickers are provided) and then clear customs withOUT your luggage. Once you are passed customs, you go down to the luggage area. A porter will be available to take your bags outside.

Although this photo doesn't show it, the outside area is small and conjested so keep your group together.

Before long we were on our van and our way to Disneyland!

Ann, George and I got off first at the Paradise Pier, Beci and Chris went onto the Disneyland Hotel. I had quite a difference experience this time at the Paradise Pier. It was packed in the lobby, the check in area is small, luggage service was SO backed up and the room was not ready. Ok, I wasn't expecting the room to be ready but....

I was staying concierge and the experience is QUITE different than concierge at a WDW resort. For those of you contimplating a concierge stay at Paradise Pier, I would advise you to think again.

First, there was no pre-arrival contact from the resort. At WDW, you either receive a phone call or a letter from the itinerary planning department to assist in pre-arrival dining reservations etc.

Next, there was no separate concierge check in. At WDW, you tell Bell Services you are concierge and are escorted to the club lounge to check in and get some refreshments. Also, if your room is not ready you then have a quieter place to wait and decide what to do next.

At Paradise Pier, there was no such experience and the Cast Member at the front desk actually seemed put out when I asked questions.

Ann and George's room was not ready either, so we decided to head over to the parks. While we didn't plan to go inside, I wanted to show them just how close the hotel was to Downtown Disney as well as the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park.

Tired as we were, we meandered to the park entrance. It was neat to see their expressions as it was their very first vist. Here they are near the mural of California Adventure. From what I understand, the mural will be going away as part of the extensive rehab scheduled for the park.

When we returned to the Grand Californian, we wandered over to Napa Rose. Dinner tonight was here to celebrate friend's anniversary.

Soon it was time for lunch at Storyteller's Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel. This is perhaps my favorite sit down restaurant at Disneyland for all 3 meals.

We met back up with Beci and Chris and AllEars team member Linda Mac (who arrived in town several days earlier).

Also at lunch, the table next to us had 2 AllEars Fans, Walt and Liz, who also happened to be on the Panama Canal cruise!

We hung out more after lunch and then about 3:20 our rooms were ready! YEA!

It was supposed to be an upgraded room. Ann and George thought it looked the same size as their room, but mine had a make up mirror in the bathroom. It was on the third floor (335) but a patio room. It would have been very convenient for a family who used the pool. My preference is not to have a room on the ground level as I like to keep the curtains open for light and the door open at night for fresh air. If I wasn't so tired, I would have asked to move.

I took a quick 20 minute power nap, showered and was met my friends at the Grand Californian Lobby: Mari, Raleigh, Allison and Lauren. Linda and I had met Raleigh and Mari in 2005 on the Mexican Riveria Disney Magic Cruise. Last year, all four of them were our tablemates for the 11 night Mediterrean Disney Magic Cruise.

Gary and Karen were also part of dinner (as well as Ann, George, Beci and Chris) and also were on the cruise last year.


Our experience at the Napa Rose was VERY disappointing. The food was spectacular the service bordered on horrible. I'll be writing a separate review on our dinner.

After dinner, everyone went their separate ways. We'd be enjoying Disneyland in the morning!

Follow my Panama Canal Cruise and Disneyland Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Deb

May 25, 2008

Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Final Sea Days 14 and 15

May 23,- 24 2008
Port of Call: The Sea
Weather: Cool and Cloudy

The last 2 days at sea also mean the last 2 days on this magnificant cruise. It was really nice to have the sea days to take time to re-enter "reality" and not have to rush to pack. Just about all other Disney cruises the last day is Castaway Cay, which makes a very rushed evening prior to getting off the ship.

So the final 2 days on the ship.....
We spent Friday enjoying our friends and talked, watched dvds of previous trips and just had a nice relaxing time.

Dinner on Friday was Formal Night. Here are a few pics:


I woke early in hopes of catching a last sunrise at sea, alas... it was quite cloudy. I did get to see the moon once again.

Saturday morning we relaxed in the cabin and then had one final meal at Palo's - Brunch.

Time to pack.....we spent a couple hours organizing ourselves. Linda is flying home Sunday as we get off the ship. I will be traveling to Disneyland for 3 nights and then home on Wednesday.

It's hard to summarize the trip...so much has happened and so many memories. After I return home, I hope to write a wrap up to the whole trip.

To everyone who has emailed us and read our blogs - we thank you!!!!! We hope you enjoyed traveling with us via the web.

Bright and early Sunday its off the ship and on to Disneyland!!!!

Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Deb and Linda

May 24, 2008

Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Cabo San Lucas Day 13

May 22, 2008
Port of Call: Cabo San Lucas
Weather: Cool, 70s, Partly Cloudy

Cabo was our favorite port in 2005 and once again it wins the honor!!! It's a picturesque, clean port with lots to see and do.

One of the most famous attractions is Los Arcos rock formations. If you stay port side on the Disney Magic, you will face them while in port. Actually, the Disney Magic tenders here meaning you take a smaller boat into the port.

Here are the photos as the Magic arrived in Cabo:

Our selected excursion was the Scenic Cruise and Harbor Drive, approximately 3-4 hours. Very easy, laid back excursion.

We boarded a catamaran to cruise around Los Arcos. Many photo ops were available. The crew also too pictures but they were $15 each for a 5x7. We decided at that price, our digital cameras did just fine. We all really enjoyed this 40 minute cruise. The one thing I did not care for was that smoking was allowed in certain areas of the boat. Because the boat was full of people, that didn't leave a separate area for the smokers.


After disembarking the boat we walked about 5 minutes and boarded a bus to take us to the overlook location. We went to the Sunset de Monalisa Italian and Seafood Restaurant. The outdoor patio area was simply gorgeous. Lots of room to walk around and enjoy the amazing view of the Disney Magic and Los Arcos. We had about 40 minutes to relax here. No one really wanted to leave.

Once back in town, we wanted to eat at Cabo Wabo, unfortunately there was a long wait. Eventually our small group ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe. I passed on lunch and went back to the ship. It was a lovely 20 minute walk back to the port area. The tenders were quick and before I knew it was back on the Disney Magic.

We spent a leisurely afternoon doing the usual -- nap, eat, relax LOL.

Tonight was pirate night and we had an awesome time dressing up and getting into the spirit of the night.

Our last port day has come to an end. It was bitter sweet becauce it means only 2 sea days and then we arrive in Los Angeles.

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!

Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Deb and Linda

May 23, 2008

Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Puerto Vallarta - Day 12

May 21, 2008
Port of Call: Puerto Vallarta
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 70s

This is the second visit to Puerto Vallarta for Linda and I. We stopped here on the inaugural West Coast DIsney cruise in 2005! Here are the Puerto Vallarta photos from the 2005 trip

Here are photos coming into port:


Your faithful blogger......

When I looked at the excursion choices and saw the same one I had taken in 2005, Horseback Riding, I quickly signed up for it and brought some of my cruisemates along as well. Linda really wanted to do the Zip Line again, but she's had some shoulder issues and thought it be best to pass.

The ride to Rancho Capomo was about 45 minutes. The drive was as I remembered, through very poor areas of the country. Many homes were not completely built, or missing windows, or broken roofs. A way of life so foreign to me and I was thankful for the life I have and all I am able to do. Our guide told us average salary is $5 US dollars per day for the local residents.

Upon arrival, we were treated to a small breakfast with some very yummy chocolate cinnomin coffee. Soon it was time to be assigned horses.


We rode through shallow riverbeds and lots of country. This time of year is just before the rain season and so everything is still very brown and the water levels are very low.


After approximately 50 minutes of horseback riding, we parked the horses and began our hike to the waterfall. The guide had warned us earlier that there was only a trickle at best (very different from my previous visit where we all frolicked in the water).


We hiked along suspension bridges that challenged the courage of many of us!



Despite the lack of "waterfall" we all enjoyed the time off the horses to stretch our legs.

Soon we were hiking back to the horses for our return trip. We took a very different trail and enjoyed different parts of the area.

I believe this was my first up close and personal experience with an unhappy donkey. Boy, did he/she let out quite a loud and long HeeeHawwww!


We returned to the ranch for Tequila to celebrate our journey, lunch, and local entertainment.


All too soon, we were back on the bus and headed to the Disney Magic.


Tonight's entertainment was the Crew Talent Show. It was well done and lots of fun to watch!

At dinner, we always enjoy ourselves :)


Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda


May 22, 2008

Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 11 - Sea

May 20, 2008
Port of Call: SEA
Weather: Warm/hot and Sunny

An editorial note....I'm still 2 days behind with the blogs. In reality I am writing this at 5:30am Mexico time on Thursday the 22nd. In a hour or so we will be arriving in Cabo. Ok, now back to our Tuesday Sea Day!

Best I can recall, we spent yet another lazy morning in the cabin. Friends dropped in and out and we enjoyed coffee and catching up with what we've all been up to.

Linda and I scheduled a Spa Villa to enjoy as our special spa treatment of the cruise. We figured if we both did something we wanted, it would have just about added up to the cost, so why not!

We checked into the spa about 10:40 and filled out the required paperwork. Soon, we were meeting our 2 spa folks for a couple hours of beautiful relaxation. They brought us to the spa and talked about what our experience would be like and offered a few options of treatments for us to consider. They were really good about mix and matching things so we got to enjoy a couple treatments instead of just one.


The villa is two rooms separated by sliding glass doors. The first room has the massage beds. The 2nd room is open air, with a jacuzzi tub, relaxing lounging couch. We could not have asked for a better weather day. The blue sky, mountains in the background and cool breeze were just perfect.

After deciding on our treatments, we were asked to change and then brought into the open air room for a ritual foot bath.

Next we were treated to a bubble bath in the jacuzzi, the water was just warm enough to be soothing but not too hot. We enjoyed a good 20 minutes having the jets get our muscles ready for the treatment.

I had planned to have the staff take photos of me having the algae wrap, but totally got into the experience and forgot. So, I had an algae wrap which came with a scalp and foot massage. Then I had a back and shoulder deep tissue massage. Benita also added some stone massage for me as well. It was heavenly!

Linda opted for a facial and back massage. She also totally enjoyed her experience.

After about an hour or so, that part was over and I showered to get all the algae off. We were then taken back to the open air room for total relaxation. Tea and fresh fruit (including chocolate covered strawberries) were provided.

All too quickly it was 1:30 and time to go.

Linda rushed off to a champagne tasting with Beci. I returned to my cabin to get ready for my next event.

Palo High Tea! I had only attended one on an early cruise and thought it was time to go again. Originally I had booked it for Sharon, Sandy, Linda and I but they all decided to pass. I offered their tickets to the Grandons who agreed to join me for tea.

Right after we were seated, George and Ann were seated next to us, so I asked the manager to kindly seat us all together. They were happy to accomodate us.

The tea was basically an eat-fest and certainly is NOT for diabetics. I just had little tastes of some of the goodies and adjusted my insulin accordingly. It was certainly a treat for someone like me who lives in a sugar free / no sugar added world.

We had little sandwiches, pettifours, pastries and a lemon tiramisu.


After some great tasty treats and wonderful conversation, I excused myself and was off to the Concierge Reception at the outside verandah of Topsiders.

Sandy joined Linda and I. The weather was again perfect, warm and a slight breeze.

Once again, Richard and Connie were the perfect hosts and our special guest Donald was a hoot.

Glo, Donald says You Are Number 1!!

Whew! Tonight the entertainment is Joey Fatone and Alphonso (Carlton from Fresh Prince). I wanted to see them, but needed sleep more...so Linda and I did not attend the show.

Our dinner at Animator's Palate was themed the Mickey Mouse Club! It was fun with the servers all dressed in white turtle neck shirts, the head servers in red turtle neck shirts.


Another awesome day had come to an end. Next we have back to back ports of call days!


Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 21, 2008

Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 10 - Acapulco

May 19, 2008
Port of Call: Acapulco
Weather: HOT HOT HOT

Hello out there..... We want to say a special hello this morning to Tim and Dan and Lorna and Deb who are keeping on eye on our house... Thank you! Also hello to Debbie Hall and a thanks for all her emails!

We are reading all your emails and hopefully will have time for a mailbag blog soon.

Linda and I treated this as a Sea Day. We had no desire to go walking around on our own, nor did any of the excursions entice us. So we enjoyed the ship with most everyone off of it!

The ship TVs have a channel called Report from the Bridge, which lets you know where you are, weather, sea conditions, etc.

Here is our journey thus far. We have traveled 3,329 miles from Port Canaveril Florida!

The local pilot prepares to board the Disney Magic.

Here are some photos as we arrived in Acapulco!

This rowboat didn't seem the least bit interested in the fact that this huge cruiseliner was SO close to them. They stayed way too close for our comfort for way too long.

I did a morning 3 mile walk, Linda, yes, was at the pool :)


We enjoyed lunch with 2 Passporter Message Board Moderators, DrDolphin and Leslie.

Enjoyed meeting Jake at Guest Services.

Linda and I attended the showing of Prince Caspian. I'm not sure what to tell you about this. It was a great, action packed, moved right along movie. I'll just say we didn't walk away from it like we did the first one. Hmmmm I'll look foward to read what others thinkg.

Beci managed to get a last minute Palo dining reservation so of course we said YES!

Acapulco at night:

Next up, an official sea day!


Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 20, 2008

Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 9 Sea Day

May 18, 2008
Port of Call: At Sea
Weather: Hot and Overcast

Another sea day, we love them all!

Today I was up early checking email.

Linda once again spent the morning poolside. I went to see author Jeff Kurtii's talk on the Art of Disney Parks. It was an awesome talk which explained how different animators would collaborate and add their specialty to a particular Disney attraction. He discussed several artists and animators and their contributions to the early park designs. The crowded Buena Vista Theatre all seemed to enjoy the talk.

After his talk, Jeff entertained questions from the audience and then signed copies of his books in the back of the theatre.

Again, the rest of the day was probably taken up with eating, napping and reading.

Our group decided to have a pre-dinner meet in Sessions, an adult only lounge. We had a great time.

Sharon and Chris enjoy a Margharita!

I ordered a glass of Chappellet red wine blend. A surprise when it arrived with this small tray of goodies with which to enjoy the wine. Some berries, dark chocolate, and blue cheese. It also came with a note explaining some of the differences one might taste as you enjoyed the wine with each item. I really enjoyed the special touch!

At dinner we kept on laughing and enjoyed some fun times with the help of Orlan, our great server!

Our head server, Yolande, enjoyed a few laughs with us as well. She is a fantastic head server!!!

After dinner I returned to the cabin while much of the group stayed out for the late night show in the Walt Disney Theatre

Thus another magical day on board the Disney Magic came to an end.

Next port of call Acapulco!!!

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 19, 2008

Day 8 - At Sea Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise -

May 17, 2008
Port of Call: At Sea

The Disney Magic was very slow to waken this morning. Everyone spent the Panama Canal day visiting all parts of the ship, taking photos, enjoying every moment, not wanting to miss a thing -- that we were all quite tired.

The sea was like shimmering glass .. so beautiful and tranquil.

Before getting too far along, I want to send a big HELLO to my friends in the Parklawn Building: Mike, Harry, Don, Denise, Bob, and everyone else!!!!! They listened to my tales of anticipation for weeks prior to the cruise. Plus, they are at work today, and well, I"m on a ship in the Pacific :)

I also want to send a big hello to the AllEars team who continue to work hard while I"m on an extensive research trip. Thank you all for minding the home front.

Ok, now onto our Sea Day.

Our 2 main activities for today would be a talk by Ducky WIlliams and dinner at Palo. We had hoped that Prince Caspian would be shown, but it was not. It was shown on Panama Canal day, but we certainly didn't want to be in a theatre on such a historic day.

Before arriving at the Walt Disney Theatre, I ran into Sharon and Sandy.


Don Ducky Williams is the premiere Disney Character artist. His talks include an inspiring story of never giving up on your dream! He also draws characters throughout the presentation and then numbered tickets are drawn for lucky winners.

This one is for all Goofy fans and especially Masayo!!!

This one is for all you Jiminy Cricket fans, especially Debbie Koma!

This one is for all Belle fans, especially Mike Scopa!

And this one for all Eeyore fans, especially Ames.

I can't recall what I did the rest of the day, but I'm sure it involved eating, sleeping, reading Barbara Walter's new book and general frivolity!

Prior to our dinner at Palo, I realized we could go on Deck 10 and see the sunset. It was full of beautiful colors.

Soon it was time for our dinner at Palo. This is the premiere adult only restaurant on both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. The best servers and chefs work here.

We all "cleaned up nice" and were excited for our evening dining experience.

Linda and Deb

Gary and Karen

Chris and Beci

Ann and George

Sharon and Sandy

I had heard several times already about Cecilia, one of the Palo servers. Everyone spoke about how awesome she was. Lucky for us, Cecilia was our server!

Another incredible day has come to an end.....

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 18, 2008

Panama Canal Part 3 - Miraflores Lock -Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise

SIDE NOTE: Karen emailed asking what type of camera I am using. It is a Canon S5IS, an advanced point and shoot camera. It has a 12x optical zoom and a 48x digital zoom. To get good use of the digital zoom it must be on a tripod or other stationary object. I have done very little post processing of the photos...basically just clicking the auto correct for lightness and some cropping.

Now, back to the Canal.

There was little time between the Pedro Miguel Lock and the Miraflores Lock. Time was passing ever so quickly now. Once again, we caught up with the US Submarine.

We also learned that internet and live video cams from the locks were turned off due to security reasons surrounding the submarine. Also the helicopter fly over to take photos of the Disney Magic in the locks had been cancelled, same reason.

The photos show the locks, the Disney Magic on the left side, the US Submarine on the right side.


At this point, the US Submarine was in the Pacific Ocean and sailing off to destinations unknown. What a priviledge to watch it cross the Panama Canal.





A look back at the Miraflores Lock we had just passed through.



We now approach the Bridge of the Americas which we watched from our balcony.




The City of Panama.



An old Spanish fort.


For those of us onboard, it was a most historic day. We not only were able to transverse the Panama Canal but got to watch a US Submarine do so as well. It cost the Disney Magic $400,000 to cross through the Canal. It was an amazing day that is definetly a life list event! I probably took over 700 photos...hoping to capture that perfect moment. I haven't looked at Linda's photos yet. She was in different parts of the ship than I
was so her pics will be great to look at.

I hoped you enjoyed sailing through the Panama Canal with us. It is rich in history, not just US history, but World history.

Now, 2 sea days to catch up on!!!

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 17, 2008

Panama Canal Part 2 Pedro Miguel Lock - Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise

After an extensive morning approaching the Panama Canal and going thru the three steps of the Gatun Locks; it was time for LUNCH!


Approximately 2pm we began our approach to the Pedro Miguel Lock. What was really cool was that we got to watch the Submarine go through the lock just ahead of us. Unlike Gatun that had 3 steps of the lock, Pedro Miguel has only one step.

Centenial Bridge

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 16, 2008

Panama Canal Part 1 Gatun Lock - Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise -

May 16, 2008
Port of Call: Sailing through the Panama Canal
Weather: Hot and Humid

Filing several reports throughout the day. Scroll down for the most recent.

12:37 PM CST
The ship came alive very early this morning. I hear that a number of folks slept out on Deck 10 to get primo viewing spots for going thru the canal.

Here are some early morning photos...... as we are just outside the Panama Canal getting refueled:

ReFueling Outside the Panama Canal Very Early in the Morning

ReFueling Outside the Panama Canal Very Early in the Morning


ReFueling Outside the Panama Canal Very Early in the Morning

ReFueling Outside the Panama Canal Very Early in the Morning

Our entry into the canal was delayed when a US Submarine surfaced and requested passage through the canal. They got priority over us.

Submarine Surfaces just outside the Canal

UPDATE: 1:30pm CST

As I mentioned above, our schedule was thrown off by the sub. We were originally scheduled to have the Panama Pilot onboard at 5am, it was announced he was onboard at 6:50am.

We were scheduled to approach the Gatun Lock at 8am, instead we approached at 10am.

Gatun Lock  Panama Canal

Gatun Lock  Panama Canal

See the 3 steps of the lock? There is a ship on the left side in the 2nd lock.

Gatun Lock  Panama Canal


Gatun Lock  Panama Canal
Tons of folks were packed in the front of the ship. Lots.

Gatun Lock  Panama Canal

Special Panama Canal TShirts were being sold today only, so of course Linda and I got one.

Panama Canal Tshirts


Even Minnie wanted to see the locks.


The Gatun Locks begin to accept the Disney Magic and the Gates Open...

We have been inside the 26 mile Gatun Lake since about 10am this morning (after passing through the Gatun Locks). We will soon be approaching the Pedro Miguel Lock.

3:00pm CST

Before arriving at the Pedro Miguel Lock we passed under the Centenial Bridge. WOW. the expansion of that bridge!!!!

Once again, the US Submarine slowed us down. However, we got some amazing views of it.

We are now coming out of the Pedro Miguel Lock. Only one more lock to go. I put in my 4G card and realized just now, my card reader only goes to 2G. I'll try to find someone with a new reader.

5:00pm CST
We have completed our transition of the Panama Canal and are now in the Pacific Ocean! What an amazing day!

8:00pm CST
More Gatun Lock Photos

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

Day 6 - Sea Day Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise -

May 15, 2008
Port of Call: SEA

I'll file this report at a later date.

Tomorrow we go through the Panama Canal. The whole ship is buzzing with excitment.

Here is the Panama Canal Port Authority WebCams.
Follow our journey through the Canal.

May 15, 2008

Day 5 - Aruba Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise -

May 14, 2008
Port of Call: Aruba
Weather: High 80s, Low Humidity, Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon

Approaching Aruba

 Approaching Aruba

Linda enjoys the view from our balcony.

 Linda enjoys the view from our balcony

About Aruba:
According to the Aruba Tourism Authority website, "the first people to inhabit the island were a nation of Arawak Indians called the Caiquetios who migrated north from the Orinoco Basin in South America and settled here approximately 2,000 years ago.

The native language is a creole dialect called Papiamento which is made up of elements of Dutch, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, a number of different African languages, and Arawak Indian. Nearly everyone on the island is able to speak English and Spanish, in addition to Dutch, which is the official language of Aruba."

The Aruba local pilot boards the Disney Magic.

Aruba Pilot boat Approaches

When Linda and I spoke to folks who had visited Aruba before just about every person commented on the beaches and snorkling.

We decided on a snorkling excursion. We bring our own snorkle and mask and use the fins and lifejacket from the tour company. You certainly don't have to bring your own as everything you need is supplied on the boat.

Turns out Ann and George were on our Sail and Snorkle excursion! It's really funny because without talking about what we plan to do, we tend to end up sharing excursions together. We gather in Rockin Bar D to leave the boat and head to the catamaran!

Waiting for our excursion to begin

Sailing and Snorkling Excursion:
Escape to an underwater world of colorful fish, unique coral formations and the Antilla shipwreck during a sailing and snorkeling adventure off the coast of Aruba.

Disney Magic in Aruba


Disney Magic in Aruba

Our sister boat, duplicate of what we are on, sailing to the snorkle stop.

Snorkle boat in Aruba


We sail about 40 minutes to Boca Cathalina. Located on the west coast of the island, Boca Cathalina is a picturesque beach hideaway brimming with white sands and swaying palm trees, and is considered to be one of the best snorkeling spots in all of Aruba for its vast array of fish.

Deb dons her snorkle gear.

Snorkle boat in Aruba

The water level at this first stop was about 15 feet and seas were calm. The water was warm and felt great to be swimming around. After 40 minutes, we were back onboard the catamaran for a short sail to our 2nd stop, the world-famous Antilla shipwreck.

Built by the Germans in 1939, the 397-foot, World War II freight ship was sunk in 1940 by the very country that created it in direct response to the inescapable threat of being commandeered by the Dutch. Today, as the second largest wreck in the Caribbean, it is home to a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and is considered to be one of the world's top 10 snorkeling sites.

At this location the water was about the same temperature, but the seas were 60 feet deep and very rough with strong currents. Little ones, well, even some adults, had a difficult time navigating the waters. Our boat docked right on top of the ship wreck, so we didn't have to go far to get an incredible view of the ship and the tropical fish. I probably saw 4-5 different types of fish. Next time I'll have to study my fish guide before I go snorkling!

It was fascinating to explore the ship and see all the fish. There was a group of scuba divers at the ship as well. They were quite interesting to watch.

Linda and I got back on the boat after about 30 minutes, most folks were already on board.

We had a wonderful 45 minute sail back to the Disney Magic. The crew served all types of beverages and that's where I found Linda, George and Ann.

Snorkle boat in Aruba

Snorkle boat in Aruba

Snorkle boat in Aruba

Snorkle boat in Aruba

Snorkle boat in Aruba

Back onboard the Disney Magic we showered and yes, took a nap LOL. I don't know what it is but we are so relaxed we just seem to want to nap.... hehe

We depart Aruba about 6pm. Would you love to stay at this resort we passed on the way out of port!!!

Aruba

One of the channels on the ship TV is the Report from the Bridge. You can get weather conditions, location of the ship, sea conditions and all kinds of neat information. So far we have traveled......

Miles from Port Canaveral in Florida

The ship had changed to a more southwestern course so the sunset is no longer off our balcony. We went up to Deck 10 and enjoyed this evenings sunset out of Aruba....

 Sunset

Linda and Sunset

We relaxed for a while in Cove Cafe with George and then began to slowly wander to our dining destination for the evening, Animator's Palate.

Along the way, we encountered this crazy man!

Mad Hatter and Alice

Characters really seem to be out all over the ship and it's great fun to just run into them as you walk the decks.

Tropical Fiesta Night on the Disney Magic. Here is Orland, our server explainig tonights menu. The next photo is Deb and Orland dancing around the restaurant.

Tropical Fiesta Night on the Disney Magic

Tropical Fiesta Night on the Disney Magic

There was a deck party complete with buffet, but Linda and I passed and returned to our cabin. A great day in Aruba. Another day at sea and then we sail through the Panama Canal!


Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Beci and Chris' Blog Panama Canal Blog.

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

Panama Canal Lock Times

On Friday, May 16th, we journey through the Panama Canal.

Follow our journey...... CENTRAL TIME USA

Here is the Panama Canal Port Authority WebCams.
Follow our journey through the Canal.

Approximate Times for May 16th....

Pilot Arrival 5am (6am East Coast US Time)

Approaching Gatun Lock 6am
Departing Gatun Lock 8am

Approaching Pedro Miguel Lock 1pm
Departing Pedro Miguel Lock 2pm

Approaching Miraflores Lock 2:30pm
Departng Miraflores Lock 4pm

Passing under the Bridge of the Americas 4:30pm

Depart for Acapulco 5pm

Weather prediction: HOT and HUMID.


May 14, 2008

At Sea Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 4

May 13, 2008
Port of Call: SEA
Weather: Hot, Low Humidity, Sunny

Ah....we awoke to get a glimpse of the sunrise about 6:30am. The humidity is gone and so the cabin doors are wide open. We enjoyed coffee, listened to the Panama Canal History Lecture on the TV and I caught up on email.

While Linda continued to enjoy the cabin, I decided to do a power walk. I started on Deck 10 and after a mile realized it was WAY too windy. I refilled my water and went to Deck 4. Ah, much better. I walked about 3+ miles. It felt great to be walking again after a week off.

Soon it was time for Palo Brunch with Ann and George.

Ann, George, Deb and Linda Palo Brunch

While at the brunch we saw our neighbors Gary and Janice - HELLO FOLKS!

 Palo Brunch Dessert Table

Our server was Fernando from Chile. We met Fernando 5 years ago on the 7 Night Disney Eastern Caribbean cruise. At the time, he was an assistant server. He has now worked his way to Palo Server!!!! Yea Fernando!

Fernando and Linda at Palo Brunch

Linda's seafood platter at Palo Brunch

After our wonderful meal, Linda went sunbathing. I waited for the gift team to arrive so we could make our bags for Day 5. There are items called Fish Extenders, which you hang outside your cabin. They have pockets and allow for small gifts to be left for you. I joined the DIS boards Fish Extender swap and our day for delivery is Aruba. So far we have gotten really neat items like neck coolies, themed buttons, magnets for the door, candy, dry erase board and much more.

Our team is delivering Pirate Tatoos, kid's bracelet, AllEars Pens, Chapstick and a Castaway Cay postcard,

Imagineer Jeff Kurti was giving a lecture at 3pm. I really wanted to attend, but also wanted to nap. I have decided on this cruise, I would give in to my desire to nap. LOL

This evening's show is When Mickey Dreams. It was introduced last year on the Meditterrean Cruise (for those cruises only). I was very excited to read it was back for the Mexican cruises. It's a combination of Tapestry of Dreams and Cirque de Soliel! The acrobats and gymnists are breathtaking....incredible. I just love it!!! Here are some pics:


 When Mickey Dreams Disney Magic Theatre Show

 When Mickey Dreams Disney Magic Theatre Show

 When Mickey Dreams Disney Magic Theatre Show

 When Mickey Dreams Disney Magic Theatre Show

 When Mickey Dreams Disney Magic Theatre Show

Linda, Beci and I decided to skip dinner at Lumiere's and watch Dancing with the Stars. We ordered dinner in the room and enjoyed the show.

Soon it was time to say goodnight and get ready for our day in Aruba!!!!!

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda


May 13, 2008

At Sea Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 3

Monday May 12, 2008
Port of Call: SEA
Weather: Hot and Humid

Ah...... Sea Days! One of the best parts of cruising and we have 2 in a row. We were up around 6 and had just missed the sunrise. Room service coffee came quickly and I logged in and Linda is on the couch reading.


Before I tell you about today, I must tell you about the surprise I had on Embarkation Day. During the sail away party, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to find my dear friend Deb Grandon who I had not seen or talked to in, well, way too long! Her daughter Kelly is all grown up now. They all looked WONDERFUL...oops, I guess I should MAGICal.

Deb, Scott and Kelly Grandon

Also, another update! Apparently Donnie Osmond was the originally scheduled special entertainer, but he has canceled and we will see Joey Fatone instead. No offense Joey, but I would have LOVED to see Donnie! Oh Well!


The Concierge held a reception at 10:30 in Sessions. Our wonderful concierge team invited me to bring along some of my traveling party, so Ann, George, Beci and Chris accompanied me.

Here's Ann and George waiting for us in the lobby.

Ann and George


WOW! I guess because I had no expectations...but there was quite a nice continentel breakfast spread, including some awesome berries!!!!!


Concierge Reception

Shortly after arriving, our special guest arrived. Everyone was surprised and we had great fun watching her with the kids.


Cinderella

Linda spent the morning at the Rainforest in the Spa.

We regrouped in the cabin and Beci, Chris, Linda and I went to the 12:30 showing of National Treasure 2! It was great!!!!!

The afternoon flew by and soon I was back in the cabin for a late afternoon nap :)

Tonight is formal night and not only did the passengers dress up,

Deb and Linda

but so did the characters.

Donald and Daisy

The evening show, Golden Mickeys, was as great as always.


Mickey and Minnie in Golden Mickeys

Tomorrow....a SEA DAY!!

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link!

Thanks for the email about this blog, keep it coming!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 12, 2008

Castaway Cay Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 2

Sunday, May 11, 2008
Castaway Cay

Our day at Castaway Cay was beautiful. It's like coming "home" again when we pull into port and see all the pastel colored umbrellas and the waving DCL and Castaway Cay flags from the post office. The starboard side of the ship has a great view of the island and the pirate ship.

Castaway Cay

Over on the port side we get to see all the crew members docking the ship. It is actually quite fascinating to watch the whole process.

Castaway Cay

After a very leisurely morning of breakfast in the cabin, I decided I was recovered enough from the 26 mile Avon walk of last weekend to begin walking again. Bandaids on the almost healed blisters and off I went. Because of my fair skin, I always have to stay protected. Good high spf sunscreen and my wonderful LL Bean ultra light sun protected clothing and hat. Of course, Beci and Linda had a good chuckle when they saw me.

Deb Wills

Have I mentioned how HOT and HUMID it was???? I was glad for my training otherwise I don't think I could have done the walk. I headed off the ship. Ran into Sharon at Marges Barges, who was waiting for Sandy who went ParaSailing. Then off I went. I planned on an hour walk, 30 minutes out an then back.

It was here I realized how few children really are on the ship. The teen beach was empty, the family beach about half full. I heard that Serentiy Bay (adult beach) was absolutely packed well before 11am.

I walked out to Serenity Bay and back. Very grateful that Disney has ice cold water jugs along the way. I filled up 3 times! Saw Sharon again who looked at me and couldn't believe I was still out walking!

While I was on the island, Linda got a day pass for the Rainforest Spa. The one day (or length of cruise pass) allows you access to the Rainforest room, sauna, and 2 steam rooms, showers etc. The wonderful warmed stone beds really are soothing to the body.

Back on board for my first of several nap times. I'm also reading my first book in years, Barbara Walter's "Audition". It's quite good so far.

The day was a lazy one indeed...after all, that's why we chose this cruise! At lunch we met 2 ladies we sailed the Mediterrean with.

Late in the day our concierge team, Connie and Richard, came by. What a delightful pair of Crew Members. These folks are AWESOME!!!!! Already we feel as though we are old friends. (A much different and much more positive experience than we had on the Wonder last year)

A few minutes before 6, I ran downstairs to put my RSP in for the Panama Canal pins. If you are into pins you know what that is..basically a random drawing request list for limited edition pins. The whole process was rather confusing to me and I even had used an RSP before.

I then ran into Fish Extender Team Mate Suzy Snyder.... Then Sandy, Sharon, George and Ann in the shops. They were buyin merchandise, I was just window shopping.

As we headed out to dinner at Animators Palate, we walked along Deck 4, above the atrium. This was one of the beautiful images we saw. This is when I really wish I had a digital SLR camera so I could have really captured the moment. Not to bad tho with my Canon S5IS.

Belle and Child

Ran into Terry (DrDolphin) and Leslie from the Passporter Boards...they had a great day parasailing.

Animators has changed their menu, but it still does nothing for me. Most of us at the table were also like, eh... Plus, now that we have seen the show so many times and the technology (which was a WOW in 98 when the ships came onboard) has grown old.

One cool surprise was that during the Crew parade through the dining room, Sorcerery Mickey led the way. None of us could think of when we have seen Sorcerery Mickey other than in the Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic. It was a WAY cool surprise for us all.

Sorcerer Mickey in Animators Palate

After dinner, the grown ups all went out to the club and the kids (like Linda and myself) went back to the cabin to call it a night.

Next 2 full sea days....yea!!!!!

Are you on the cruise with us? Are you blogging? Send me your link to include here!


Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb and Linda

May 11, 2008

Embarkation Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 1b

Today we got up early and met Sandy and Sharon, at the Dolphin's Fresh, for Breakfast.

At 9:30, Happy Limo picked us up for our journey to the port.

Outside the Dolphin Hotel waiting for our ride

As you might imagine, Port Canaveral was just BUZZING with excitement. Over 2,000 passengers were about to board the ship for a 15 night cruise through the Panama Canal and to Los Angeles California.

At the port, the line for check-in was quite long. I had a secret surprise for Linda that I have been keeping for quite sometime..... she didn't know but I had booked a 1 bedroom suite instead of our regular Navigators Verandah. As I led her to the concierge check-in, she was quite surprised!!!!! I'm not sure how I kept the secret since we booked in January 2007! Plus, as it got closer to the cruise, I started telling a lot of our friends.

When we arrived in the state room we had a beautiful floral bouquet, thanks to Cathy and Bryant! And Beci had left us a Spa basket. Two very nice treats! Soon, a small fruit platter was delivered for us. Then we met Nick our cabin guy, who seems VERY on the ball and a great personality. We are going to like him!!!!

Normally we wouldn't want all this space, but since we have a large number of sea days, I thought, what better way to splurge! And so we did! It's already been nice as we had our group of 10 in before the sail away yesterday. While a bit crowded...we all fit and it worked.

There are a lot of plusses to the suite and concierge service, I'll leave that to another blog entry.

One Bedroom Suite - Category 3 Disney Magic

So we board the ship and off we went to Parrot Cay, our favorite embarkation day lunch destination. We all had different boarding group numbers, so it took a while for all 10 of us to get on the ship.

Our next surprise of the day - Sandy had special T-Shirts made for each of us.

Special Mickey T-Shirts

It's Mickey in the Sea No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. "What happens at sea, stays at sea!" It was a grand surprise and perfect for the theme of the cruise.

Soon it was time for the Muster Drill and then the Sail Away Party!!!! As usually, the characters were all out and helped wish us all a great sailing.

Sailaway Party


Sailaway Party


Sailaway Party


Sailaway Party

Linda and I took a short nap before our 8:15 dinner seating. We have both been really tired, she's fighting a cold and I had the 26 miles walk just a few days ago.

We all gathered at dinner and most of us were pretty tired from traveling, work and everything else. We all agreed that had it not been the first night, most of us would have skipped dinner. As it was, I ate my chicken and then excused myself and headed right to the room to call it a night.

Concierge had left our trip itinerary and we were thrilled to see that Donnie Osmond would be doing a show later in the cruise.

Well, as I write this we are pulling into Castaway Cay. We are drinking coffee and watching the ship pull in (7:30am on Sunday, May 11). We have no plans for today and we will just see what the day brings.

I'll end now and write more later.......

Follow my Panama Canal Cruise Blogs. Beginning entries at the top, for most recent entries scroll down.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

Deb

Embarkation Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise - Day 1a

Linda and I flew into Orlando on Friday. I slept on the plane and awoke bright eyed and ready to go! Once the plane stopped rolling I got up and started moving around getting excited. Linda laughed with me. The trip of a lifetime had begun.

We had a quick reunion with Beci and Chris as they were staying at the airport Hyatt and met us in baggage claim for some quick hugs. They had taken the red eye flight in from Seattle Washington.

We had a smooth ride to WDW via Quicksilver and when we got into the Dolphin I saw a packed lobby, which probably meant rooms were not ready. Turns out there were over 1000 departures that morning.

A dear friend had emailed me a few days ago to let me know they had a surprise visit to WDW this weekend. We used our phones text messaging and set up a small surprise for Linda at lunch. Once we were eating at Picabu (Dolphin), someone came up behind Linda and surprised her. I HOPE it's ok now (since this will publish on Sunday) to say it was our dear friend Mike Scopa.

At 2:30 our room still wasn't ready and I had a 3pm massage at Mandara Spa. I didn't want to have to go from a massage to sitting in the lobby. So, I returned to the front desk and asked if any room was available. The Cast Member was most helpful and got us a great room with a balcony.

I got back to the room from the massage about 4ish and Linda was getting ready to head down for her massage. We both had the Sweedish Massage and both of us rated it average. Nothing special, but nice. The real plus was the heated massage bed to lay on....very relaxing.a

I was meeting John from OwnersLocker at 5:30 at the lobby bar, so no time to nap, LOL

Linda eventually joined John and I and then he departed. It's always good to catch up with John and talk "shop". While we sat finishing our beverages, we spotted 2 of our cruise mates entering the hotel, Sharon and Sandy. So, we had our second reunion of the day. We picked up right where we left off one year ago. We love to travel with these cousins...they are huge fun!

Now back to the room and quickly off to dinner.

We enjoyed a great dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse with our dear friends Steve and Vickie Barrett and surprise guest Mike Scopa. Our server YUN, was great, friendly and knowledgeable. She made it a fun evening. Near the end of dinner I remembed I had met the manager of the Steakhouse in the fall, so I asked for him to come by the table. It was good to see Mark again and we told him we had a great dinner and super server. During dinner, my phone rang and it was our friend Masayo from Japan. She wanted to say hello and wish us a bon voyage!!!!! It doesn't get much better than having friends from all around the world!!!!

(By the way, the Deb and Steve cruise this September has a few cabins remaining - well, as of this blog).


May 8, 2008

Planning the Disney Magic Panama Canal Cruise

I'm very excited to be on the Disney Magic in just a couple days as it sets sail through the Panama Canal on it's way to Los Angeles. In 2005, the Magic did it's first Panama Canal sailing and while I really wanted to go, I couldn't take that much time off from work.

Well, over a year ago when the 2008 Disney Cruises were announced, I jumped on the Panama Cruise! We've got our favorite Category 7 (Navigator's Verandah) cabin. It's 15 nights and there are more sea days than port days -- which is perfect for me. I find the ship a very relaxing way to travel and enjoy the days onboard.

As Mickey says, Big dooin's goin on, so let's get started!"

Our ports of call as we leave Florida are: Castaway Cay, Aruba, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. We don't dock in Panama; we spend the day going thru the canal. Everyone I talk with speaks so highly of the canal day that we are really excited.

We also have Palo fine dining reservations for brunch and high tea and a group dinner in the private dining room.

And since I mentioned we are traveling with a group, here's a listing of who we are traveling with. Most of these folks we met on a Disney Cruise and we have been sailing together yearly (or almost yearly) every since. We have traveled on various cruise lines and visited various ports of call in the Caribbean, Alaska and the Mediterranean.

Deb (me) and Linda - From Maryland
Sandy and Sharon - Sandy from Michigan and Sharon Georgia
George and Ann - from Ohio
Beci and Chris (MouseFanTravel.com) - Washington State
Gary and Karen - New York

And then there around 100 cabins of cruisers from the DISboards community.

Here is the itinerary:

Saturday, May 10 - Depart Port Canaveral Florida
Sunday, May 11 - Castaway Cay
Monday and Tuesday - At Sea
Wednesday, May 14 - Aruba
Thursday, May 15 - At Sea
Friday, May 16 - Panama Canal
Saturday and Sunday - At Sea
Monday, May 19 - Acapulco
Tuesday - At Sea
Wednesday, May 21 - Puerto Vallarta
Thursday, May 22 - Cabo San Lucas
Friday and Saturday - At Sea
Sunday, May 25 - Port of Los Angeles

After the cruise, I am spending a few nights at the Disneyland Resort.

Follow our journey on the DIsney Magic. The call sign is C6PT7

This link will show you in red dots where the Magic is. You can use the ZOOM in and out feature to get a better idea of where the ship is.

To see all cruise ships sailing click here. Then you can click on any area of the map to get a closer view.

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About Panama Canal Cruise WB 2008

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Panama Canal Cruise WB 2008 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Mediterranean Cruise 2007 is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.