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October 1, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - The Food

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And if you're not all tired of hearing about the cruise by now...here's the food blog.

I didn't enjoy the food quite as much this time as on other cruises - I guess I've seen most of the menus too many times in the last 18 months. This cruise didn't have any specialty menus, which disappointed me. We had the rotational meals in each of the three restaurants, the Pirate menu, and the 'Til we Meet Again menu. Nothing new on any of those as far as I could tell.

We had an excellent server, Vlado, who really kept our meals moving along - no long waits between courses, and we were usually done with dinner in under an hour and a half. It was nice NOT being some of the last people out of the dining room, especially since we had late seating.

Our assistant server wasn't as good - not very efficient in getting the drinks out or in some of his other duties, though he did better the last two nights after we spoke to our head server.

After boarding on Wednesday we went to the buffet at Topsiders. I always enjoy the peel-and-eat shrimp on embarkation day. They had a nice chicken salad on a brioche roll, and a really delicious cheesy au gratin potato dish. We tried a couple of chocolate chip cookies for dessert, which are normally quite good, but these were dry and tasteless.

As usual, we were in Parrot Cay on our first night. Five cruises on the Disney Magic and Wonder, and we have always had the same dining rotation with Parrot Cay the first night.

I had in mind to try some different menu items on this cruise, but I wasn't always successful - there were some things I had and in looking back at previous food blogs I see that I tried them before! :-) But they aren't always prepared quite the same way I had them in the past.

So....I started with the St. Maarten Stack, which is a couple of pieces of grilled squash with mozzarella and a vinaigrette. It's quite tasty, but a small serving.

Lee had the Baked Crab Martinique - I think he almost always gets this! It's a hot crab dip served with tortilla and plantain chips.

Next up we both had the Parrot Cay Salad. This is a very nice salad, with spinach and egg and onion. It's served with what they call "warm bacon dressing" - but it doesn't taste like bacon at all - we've noticed that before on Disney ships.

My entree was the Pan Seared Grouper. This may have been the best entree I had all week. The fish was delicious. I requested steamed vegetables in place of the rice.

Lee ordered Vlado's recommendation, the Mixed Grill. This included beef tenderloin, lamb chop, bacon-wrapped sausage and jumbo shrimp, served on mashed potatoes. He enjoyed that.

I actually didn't have dessert, since none of them were worth the calories. Lee ordered the Sweet Temptations, with creme brulee cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate s'more vanilla cake.

We didn't do anything special for breakfast and lunch on our sea day, so I didn't take any photos. :-)

That evening we were in Lumiere's. There was no formal night on this cruise, but it was "dress-up night", so that's always my favorite restaurant for the more special occasions. I don't really like anything on the appetizer menu (no escargot for me!), so my first and second course were both off the soup and salad section. I love the french onion soup, so that's what i had (Lee had it as his second course). And it was nice and hot and cheesy. I think the serving size has been reduced over what it was when we first cruised, but that's ok - that was a little too big. This particular dish has been consistently good on our cruises.

Lee ordered the Smoked Bacon and Wild Mushroom Tart. He enjoyed this. I had a bite, and I would've enjoyed it, too - it was more like a quiche, and not very mushroomy.

One of our tablemates had the Jumbo Shrimp, which also looked good.

Next course was Market Green Salad with peppered goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. It's a nice fresh salad but unremarkable except for the goat cheese. I enjoyed it, though.

We both ordered Triton's Seared Sea Bass, though I had mine with vegetables again instead of the mushroom risotto. It was another tasty fish dish. All the seafood I had on this cruise was good.

I actually did get dessert that night, and had the Sweet Temptations with creme brulee, chocolate mousse, and a Praline Petite Choux. (Which was a fancy name for a meringue cookie. I don't know where the "praline" part came from, since I didn't detect anything praline'ish about it.) The mousse was creamy and chocolatey and good, and I enjoyed the creme brulee as well.

Lee had the full-sized serving of creme brulee and liked that.

Before we went into Saint John we had breakfast at Parrot Cay. It's a breakfast buffet with the usual selections. We often feel that we don't get very good service in the dining rooms for meals other than dinner, but we had an attentive server this time - a little too attentive, since he really wanted to chat and we were trying to eat! But he actually added hot water to my tea cup a couple of times which I appreciated. Those cups are VERY small and often on our cruises I never get a refill, though they come around with coffee frequently. I'm afraid my breakfast choice was quite boring - oatmeal, melon, and yogurt. :-) But they had a few toppings available over by the yogurt/granola area so I was able to add some flax and sunflower seeds to it. I wish they had Craisins since I don't care for raisins.

When we returned to the ship after our day in Saint John it was too late for lunch so we went up to the fast food places on deck 9. It was an overcast day - I would've liked something like soup, but ended up with a veggie burger and fries instead. The burger was just ok, but the fries were surprisingly good. Lee had pizza - that's his favorite meal.

I think that was the day that we went into Cove Cafe and they had some cookies/sweets in their refrigerated case. They had a "blonde brownie on a stick" that was pretty dry and not very good, but they also had some kind of a layered brownie bar and that was very good! I didn't take a picture though. We went back a couple of other days during the cruise, but were never in time for anything but the brownie lollipops, and didn't try those again.

That night we were in Animator's Palate for the "show" dinner. This isn't my favorite menu and I actually wanted to do dinner at Topsiders instead, but Lee wanted to eat in the dining room...so I wasn't in the best frame of mind for this particular meal.

I started off with the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, served with bacon and chives. One of my observations on our cruises has been the sometimes the soups are not very hot by the time they make it out from the kitchen. This one was warm, but not as hot as I would have liked. But it still had a good flavor.

Lee had the Sesame Flavored Rock Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Cheesecake, which is what I usually order, too, and it's been one of our favorites. But he said it wasn't as good this time - the shrimp was undetectable and it just wasn't quite right somehow.

My second course was Smoked Salmon and Trout with Goat Cheese Salad. It was served with sliced almonds and cranberry-balsamic vinegar dressing. This was pretty good, though I found the smoked salmon flavor a bit strong.

Lee had the potato soup as his second course.

I usually get the Black Bean Chipotle Cakes, but I wanted to try something different so I ordered Lemon-Thyme Marinated Chicken Breast instead. I should've stuck with the black bean cakes - this was the worst entree I had the whole cruise. For one thing nothing on my plate was hot - only the mashed potatoes were anything more than barely warm. And the chicken was dry. The sour cream mashed potatoes were good, though. I asked for steamed veggies in place of the roasted root vegetables. I didn't eat much of the chicken. Our servers really wanted to get me something else when they saw I wasn't enjoying it, but I'd had enough to eat, and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it.

Lee had one of his favorites, Asian Marinated Beef Tenderloin. And I think he enjoyed that as much as he always has.

There wasn't anything on the dessert menu that appealed to me so when Vlado asked me, I said: "Nothing for me." And that's what I received. :-)

Lee had the Buckled Warm Apple Crumble. Sorry that the photo is out of focus - they had dimmed the lights in the dining room for the procession with Sorcerer Mickey and my camera couldn't focus properly, I'm not sure what makes this "buckled" and opposed to "unbuckled", but Lee enjoyed it. :-)

Though there's no champagne bar on the Magic we checked out some of the other bars in the adult district. We found some champagne cocktails on the menu in Sessions (which was a very nice area - classy, relaxed, with some live music). This is the Elderbubble, which has the same name as the drink we had on the Fantasy in Ooh La La, but this one was a little different - still tasty, though.

We had breakfast at Topsiders on the morning we sailed into Halifax - it was a beautiful morning to sit outside! This is Lee's plate - he had one of the omelets that was already cooked, though they will make them to order if you're willing to wait.

I had oatmeal and fruit again. It was interesting to see that different buffets had different toppings available - I think overall I preferred the toppings at Topsiders. And the oatmeal was always good - not too thick and not too thin.

I mentioned this in my cruise blog already, but I'll mention it again here. :-) One of the food highlights of the trip was definitely the BeaverTail stand in Halifax. These used to be available at the Canada pavilion at Epcot and they were always one of our favorites, but the stand has been gone for a number of years now. I read somewhere that there was a stand in Halifax, so I was determined to find it! (It was easy to find.) Lee ordered a more classic type, with cinnamon-sugar, and I had one spread with Nutella. We watched with eager anticipation as the cook pulled them out of the hot oil, drained them, and then finished topping them. It was tough, but we managed to restrain ourselves from gobbling them down long enough to take a picture! They were soooo good!

That night was Pirate Night and we were back in Parrot Cay - that's always an appropriate restaurant to be in on Pirate Night.

I started with Pirates Golden "Pot Stickers". These are fried pork dumplings and not really that exotic - but they were still quite good. :-) Served with some pickled vegetables and a good dipping sauce.

Lee had Black Beard's Jumbo Crab Cake. It came with a carrot and coconut slaw. Lots of crab in the crab cake, so Lee enjoyed it.

For a salad course I had Mr. Smee's Bibb Lettuce Salad. This was more of a deconstructed salad, and not quite what I expected, but all of the parts were tasty.

Lee had the Jerk Chicken Salad, with jerked chicken strips, greens, and plantain chips. The chicken was good, and the plantain chips give it a different touch.

My entree was something I've enjoyed before: Sunken Vegetable Treasure, which is black eyed pea and quinoa croquettes with mushroom sauce. I always think of croquettes as patties, and these look more like sausages. I asked for my usual steamed broccoli with it. I'm a little surprised this dish doesn't come with some accompaniment, since it's not very attractive by itself. It's very good, though.

Lee tried Jack Sparrow's BBQ Marinated Beef Short Ribs. I think he always orders these. :-) But why not? They have been consistently good, and these were very tender - falling off the bone. Served with red bliss mashed potatoes and a tamarind BBQ sauce.

One of our tablemates had Captain Hook's Macadamia Nut Dusted Mahi Mahi, with Jasmine rice, sauteed pineapple and a mild curry sauce. It was VERY mild (as in almost undetectable) curry, and there wasn't much pineapple, either. She said it was good and had a nice flavor, though.

I didn't order dessert, but Lee had the Rum Soaked Chocolate Cake, and he enjoyed that.

One of our tablemates had the Sweet Temptations, with samples of the Rum Cake, Fruit Cobbler, and Floating Island. I almost ordered the Floating Island, which is meringue and fruit, and I've enjoyed that before.

The next morning was my favorite meal of the entire cruise- brunch at Palo. I booked this as soon as my booking window opened (which is 9:00 p.m. - sometimes there are advantages to being on the west coast!) The experience had a bit of a rocky start, though. We had a reservation for 10:00, which is when the restaurant opens. We were seated, and then we waited...and waited...and watched other tables get "the tour" from their servers and begin to go through the buffet...and waited some more. Finally, Lee went back to the podium and talked to the head server, who came over and apologized profusely - we'd been seated at the wrong table, and didn't have a server assigned.

So we got a server and got our champagne and our tour...and multiple apologies over the course of the meal and when we left. I was a little surprised (and disappointed) that they didn't offer us anything more - like free refills on the champagne. But oh well.

There are multiple stations at the brunch. First is "cold foods", with items like crab legs and shrimp, cheese and crackers, grilled vegetables and fancy appetizers like prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

I always enjoy seeing the ice sculpture.

Next is the station with pastries and fruit. There is a wonderful selection of pastries, and I could easily fill myself up here! But all I usually go for is my very favorite thing - the sticky buns. They are sooooo good! Tender pastry and cinnamon-gooey goodness.

And then there's the dessert station - but even I don't start there. :-)

My opening plate, though you can't see the sticky bun hiding in the back.

Instead of a buffet line for hot foods, they have quite a selection of menu items that you order from your server and they are freshly prepared. There's breakfast foods like pancakes, frittata, eggs Benedict, eggs Julia, and eggs Florentine, and brunch items like Oysters Rockefeller, and tilapia and risotto. You can also order pizzas - we had goat cheese and sun-dried tomato.

I ordered the Chicken Parmesan, which is a specialty of Palo, but I'd never had it before. It was excellent - tender chicken and a really tasty tomato sauce.

Lee had the Eggs Benedict.

And he also ordered the Tilapia with Asparagus Risotto. I had a bit of that - the risotto wasn't quite as creamy as when we've had it before.

There were lots of really wonderful looking desserts, and I did my best to try a number of them. I had chocolate mousse, a mini sacher torte, a fruit meringue, a fruit cheesecake parfait, and some chocolate-covered strawberries. Though they were covered in white chocolate, which isn't really chocolate at all. The mousse was my favorite, and the cheesecake was also quite good.

Because we'd had the Palo brunch we didn't have lunch, but we needed a late afternoon snack to hold us until dinner so I went to Goofy's Galley. I noticed this "sculpture" watching over things - very cute!

I had a couple of sandwiches - one was smoked salmon on a bagel, and the other was turkey and cranberry. It didn't seem like the sandwiches changed day-to-day as much as we have seen on other cruises.

Before dinner we went to Diversions for a drink. Something we'd found out the day before was that they have daily drink specials in Diversions. During certain hours, both the drink of the day and draft beers are two-for-one. And if you're not finished, you can take your drink to dinner with you. We shared that night's two-for-one drink of the day, which was called a High Tide.

That night was our final dinner on the cruise, with the 'Til We Meet Again menu. We were in Lumiere's for the second time. We both started with the Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon. This is layers of sliced potatoes and goat cheese. We'd had this on a previous cruise and loved it, but this time, rather than an attractive stack with layers of potatoes and goat cheese it seemed all glopped together on the plate. There was too much goat cheese - and that's saying something, because I really like goat cheese.

I ordered the Cranberry Salad with mixed greens, Craisins, and cranberry dressing. I requested they leave off the blue cheese. It was quite good - I really liked the cranberry dressing.

Lee had the Potato and Leek Soup. That's always been a pretty safe and good choice.

My entree was Green Pancakes and Stewed Lentils, which I thought was something I hadn't tried before, but in looking back at other food blogs I see that I had. And when I had it before I wasn't that impressed, but this time I really liked it. It looked a lot better than the last time, too.

Lee ordered Garlic and Rosemary Marinated Lamb Sirloin served with leek and potato gratin and bacon-wrapped asparagus - the latter item was not noted on the menu. He really enjoyed it.

For dessert I had the Chocolate Decadence. They have a very different idea about what constitutes "decadent" chocolate than I do. :-) The chocolate cake and parfait cup were fine, but I wouldn't call them decadent. I don't get the meringue cookie thing at all.

Lee had the Baked Alaska - he always gets that, so he must like it.

We went back to Sessions for a final drink. This one had champagne in it and I don't remember the name - but it was blue. :-)

That brings me to the end of this food blog - the next morning we needed to be off the ship early and didn't have breakfast in the dining room.

This was probably my least favorite cruise as far as the food goes. I wanted to try a few different menu items rather than going with all of my favorites, but most of the new items I tried were disappointing. And actually, a couple of things I've enjoyed in the past (like the goat cheese napoleon) were not as good. I tried a lot of salads, and those were all good. The greens were all fresh and crisp, and most of them had some extra ingredient too make them a little more special. But a lot of the desserts were of the "not worth the calories" variety for me, which is why I skipped them so often. Though one thing I've noticed, especially on the desserts, is that the menu descriptions are quite inadequate, and really don't describe what comes out on the plate very well at all. There are some desserts I might have ordered if the descriptions had been more accurate.




September 24, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - Part 4, At Sea, New York Sail-In

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We went back to the Eastern timezone overnight, so we got back that hour that we lost the other day, which meant we could sleep in this morning - yay!!!

It's another beautiful day - some puffy clouds but sunny. The seas are a little choppier than they have been, but I'd still say they are pretty smooth. I can feel that we're moving now, whereas I felt very little movement the first few days. Our cabin is still nice and quiet, though. :-)

We went out running on deck 4 after we got up this morning. It was a great morning for running - nice and cool. Not too many people out, there, either.

Speaking of people...this cruise is sold out (or very close to it), but the ship really doesn't feel crowded - sometimes we've been out on deck and hardly see anyone at all! But I think there are fewer kids, and a lot of older couples, so the average age is a little higher than usual.

Our big event for the day was brunch at Palo, which I think is my very favorite meal aboard ship.

This time we didn't start off very well, though. We were seated promptly, but then sat there and waited - No one came over to serve us or offer us water or anything. Lee finally had to go and talk to the maitre'd, who apologized - we'd apparently been seated at the wrong table, which didn't have a server assigned. Anyway...things were fine after that, and we had a wonderful brunch. There's always way more things we would like to try than we can eat. They had a cheddar-chocolate cheese this time that was very good. My favorite is still the sticky buns, though.

I have usually been disappointed in the brunch desserts at Palo, but this time they seemed a lot better than I've had in the past. The chocolate mousse was very good, and so was the "vertical cheesecake". Very pretty and really tasty.

After brunch we had another wine tasting seminar in Sessions. Still two whites, two reds, and a sparkling wine, but all different than we had on Thursday. (Thursday seems like a long time ago!) These didn't appeal to me quite as much but we still learned interesting things.

When we returned to our room there were all the reminders that our cruise is coming to an end - our luggage tags and customs form had been delivered. Sigh.

There was an absolutely spectacular sunset tonight...it just kept getting better and better! Wow. It was just amazingly beautiful.

So, that's what I wrote on our final day...this part I wrote after we arrived back at home...

That evening they announced that we would be sailing into New York around 4:00 the next morning, and should be going by Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty around 4:45. How often do you get to do something like that? We got up around 4:15 and went up on deck 10 forward. We weren't the only crazy people who were up early!

About 4:35 we were approaching the Verrazano Narrows bridge.

And we went by the Statue of Liberty just after 5:00.

While we had could see lower Manhattan and the Tower for quite a while, we had the best view about 5:15. That's a VERY tall building!

As we sailed up the Hudson River side of Manhattan we had a beautiful view of the lights, with the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in the background.

We went back to bed after that - we had a little time until we had to get up and leave the ship. Disembarking is always rather sad and anti-climactic. :-(

This was the Magic's final cruise out of New York, it's off to Galveston now. Instead of taking on new passengers after we disembark, they will be taking on some contractors who will be doing work on the decks during their five-day trip to Galveston. The crew will stay busy doing a lot of cleaning and inventory and other maintenance. They've called it kind of a mini-dry dock.

The Magic will be undergoing an extensive dry dock in the fall of 2013. Throughout the cruise we have spoken with various crew members about what the dry dock will involve and what changes might be made. So the following is what we've been told, and may not be 100% accurate.

After completing its Mediterranean cruises next year the Magic will be staying in Europe for a six-week dry dock. Apparently Karl Holz told the crew that it will be an all-new ship with quite a "wow" factor when it comes out. The staterooms will be completely refurbished, as well as the public areas. The pool areas will all be redone. The adult area, Beat Street, will be updated, and converted into five different (smaller) bar areas.

Palo will be expanded. The area that is currently a walkway outside will become seating area for the restaurant. The new part may be more like a patio and only partially enclosed.

Animator's Palate will be updated - though that would only be a surprise if they DIDN'T do anything with it.

Things that we'd like to see in addition to the above...Enchanted artwork, a new ship's horn, Magical Portholes, an expanded upstairs area for Cove Cafe, and video on demand in the staterooms. And a champagne bar. :-)

It was a really nice cruise. With two sea days and only two port days we had more time to relax than we usually do. It was great to be able to watch some movies and do the wine tastings. As far as the ports went, we weren't really that impressed with Saint John, but we enjoyed Halifax. If Disney comes back to Canada again I'd like to see a longer itinerary which visits perhaps Prince Edward Island and one or two U.S. ports, like Bar Harbor, Maine.


The food blog will be coming soon!




September 18, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - Part 3, Halifax

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Today we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When we woke up this morning we were still off the coast of Nova Scotia and the skies were clear - yay! But as we approached closer to Halifax we went into a fog bank again... boo!

Fortunately by the time we docked and were able to disembark, about 10:00, the fog had lifted, and we had a mixture of sun and clouds (mostly sun) the rest of the day. Yay!!!

When I came downstairs after watching us dock I was able to get my picture taken with a certain mouse - such a gentleman!

We had again chosen not to take an organized excursion, but instead to wander around town on our own - there were a lot of sights to see not far from the port, and in fact we didn't have time to do all of the items on our list. We could've used the extra two hours here that we had in Saint John yesterday. (Saint John was 8:30-4:30, today was 10:30-4:30.)

On our way to the Citadel we went through The Public Gardens. This late in the season the plantings were a little disappointing but it was still a very nice area, and quite large.

We saw these G.O.U.S. there. (Geese Of Unusual Size, for those of you who are not Princess Bride fans.) They were kind of scary looking. First giant beavers and then giant geese - is EVERYTHING bigger in Canada?

The Citadel is one of the "must-see" attractions in Halifax. It's a star-shaped fort, originally built in 1749, and re-fortified multiple times after that. Halifax is in a strategic position because of its large natural harbor, but (probably because of the defense system) it's never been attacked. It was about a 2-mile walk from the Magic.

Since the Citadel is on a hill above the city there's a lovely view from there, so we were really glad that we had a clear day today!

Inside there are several museums and a couple of movies, as well as costumed soldiers who do live demonstrations. There's a changing of the guard ceremony every hour, and we saw a demonstration on firing a breech-loading rifle.

At noon every day (except Christmas) since 1856, they fire one of the cannons - the Noon Gun. We were there for that, and enjoyed seeing it - I plugged my ears during the actual firing of it, since it's pretty loud! :-)

We also walked up on top of the walls all the way around. There was a fair bit to do there - we were probably there for a couple of hours and didn't see everything.

I'm sure a lot of you remember the BeaverTail stand they used to have at the Canada pavilion at Epcot. It was always one of our favorites, and we were very disappointed when it closed. Well, before we left home I discovered that there was a BeaverTail stand close to the port (along their Harbourwalk), so that was the #1 item on my To Do list for Halifax!

And it did not disappoint - yummy, warm, freshly fried crisp and chewy dough. Lee chose the classic, coated with cinnamon-sugar, and I had Nutella spread on mine. Oh soooooo good!

Another recommended sight in Halifax was the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. It had quite a few different areas, with exhibits on shipwrecks, sailing and steam vessels, the Halifax Explosion of 1917 (which leveled much of the city), and cabling ships which laid/repaired the transatlantic telegraph cables. The most popular exhibit was on the Titanic - people are endlessly fascinated by that. I thought most of their other exhibits were more interesting, though. By then we were getting a bit tired of being on our feet so probably didn't enjoy the museum as much as we might have earlier. But since it was closest to the ship we did it last since we knew we could get back to the ship in time from there. As I said before, we really could've used an extra two hours in Halifax.

On our walk back to the ship we saw this cutie in the water. I think he was probably trying to beg bait from some people who were fishing - or maybe he was stealing the bait from their lines and then coming up to gloat.

We'd hoped to do a brewery tour but didn't have the time, but there was a place very near the ship that offered tasting sizes, so Lee was at least able to try a couple of tastes in the short time we had left. As it turned out we didn't really have to worry - at 4:20 the line to re-board was quite long, and we didn't actually pull away until 5:15.

We had a very full day in Halifax and enjoyed the city very much - a lot more than Saint John. It's a place I would return to, whereas I have more of a "been there, done that" feeling about Saint John.

Tonight is Pirate Night... but perhaps Disney should be a bit cautious about advertising that around here... in the Maritime Museum we saw what they do to pirates in these parts!

Tomorrow is a day at sea... it'll be nice to kick back and relax a bit on our final full day on board.




September 15, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - Part 2, Saint John, New Brunswick

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Today we were in Saint John, New Brunswick (not to be confused with
St. Johns, Newfoundland!). It's on the Bay of Fundy, which is
well-known for its extreme high and low tides (if you've seen the O
Canada movie at Epcot you might remember seeing boats floating at
high tide that are completely beached at low tide), though the tides
aren't that bad here.

It was grey and foggy when we arrived - the forecast called for it
to clear up by lunch time, but unfortunately that never happened,
and it was foggy all day. :-(

We moved into the Atlantic timezone last night, so we lost an hour.
Still, we were scheduled to be in port from 8:30-4:30, so that was
plenty of time. We slept in a bit and had breakfast (buffet) at
Parrot Cay before disembarking around 10:00.

The port building is downtown, so there's plenty of places to walk
to. Lots of old buildings dating from the 1700s and 1800s.

There's a very nice walking/cycling bath called the Harbour
Passage
that goes along the edge of the Saint John Harbour and
out along the Saint John River towards one of the main tourist
attractions: Reversing Falls. The high tide in the Bay of
Fundy causes the current in the Saint John river to reverse, so the
flow of the rapids changes direction depending on the tide. It's
not really a waterfall but a series of rapids.

It's a couple of miles from the port, and was a very nice walk for
us, though it would have been a lot nicer on a clearer day. We
could only barely see the Disney Magic in the distance.

It was just past high tide when we got to the falls area, and we
could really see how fast the current was flowing.

The Reversing Falls area would be a lot more attractive if not for
this huge pulp and paper mill across the river! There wasn't really
a lot to do there - there is viewing from the Reversing Falls
bridge, where the photo above was taken, and also from Fallsview
Park (photo below), which is another 1/2 mile or so up the river.
That's where the jet boat tours are, and where the zip line is.

We went across the bridge to Wolastoq Park where there were a
number of statues of various historical figures (Benedict Arnold was
one!), including two that told a First People story about Koluskap
and the Giant Beaver. Thanks to him, beavers are much smaller now! :-)

On our walk back we could see how much the water level had changed
in just a couple of hours - this area was under water when we walked
to the falls.

We wandered around the downtown area and visited a couple of parks
and the Trinity Church. There was a coffee place called the Java
Moose - the three girls working there were all wearing various kinds
of Mickey Mouse ears since our ship was in port. :-)

And then there was this fabulous site, where, in 1897, nothing
happened. Wow. Who knew? :-) (Lee gets the credit for spotting this
sign!)

We didn't have to be back on-board until 4:30, but by 2:30 we had
seen what we wanted to see...if it had been a nicer day there were
some other things we would have ventured out to see, like Rockwood
Park and the Carleton-Martello Tower, but with the fog, there wasn't
a view of anything. Tonight when we left port, within about 5
minutes we couldn't see anything around us but fog. :-(

Since we were back early we decided to watch a movie in our
stateroom, and enjoyed that. Oh, while I'm thinking about it I
should say something about our stateroom...unlike most of our recent
cruises this stateroom has been very quiet - no creaking, banging,
vibrating or other bothersome aspects to it. It's just a little bit
aft of mid-ship, so it's a very convenient location, especially to the
restaurants. Though we still get plenty of exercise going up to
deck 9 for beverages and snacks several times a day!

Dinner tonight is in Animator's Palate.

Tomorrow we'll be in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hoping for better
weather there, though it looks like we might have fog again.




September 14, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - Part 1

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We're back on the Disney Magic for our five-night cruise to Canada!

Before the cruise we spent three days in New York City, and had a
great time sightseeing - Central Park, the Empire State Building,
United Nations, Staten Island Ferry, and the World Trade Center
site. We were in the city on September 11, and we went to Lower
Manhattan that night to see the Tribute Lights. That was
quite beautiful.

The Disney Magic has been berthed at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal
on the west side of Manhattan while it has been here. It was pretty
easy to find, and it was lovely to see the ship!

We actually arrived early enough to board WHEN our boarding group
was called for a change! I have to admit that, since our last two
cruises have been aboard the Fantasy and the Dream, that the atrium
of the Magic seemed pretty small when we walked in.

After lunch we walked the length of the ship taking some photos...
and that also seemed a lot shorter. We actually really like the
Magic, and I think we actually prefer it to the larger ships, but we
really noticed the size difference this time.

We're trying an experiment this time, and are in a deluxe oceanview
stateroom rather than a stateroom with a veranda. We figure we can
spend the money we've saved on other things (though alas, there is
no Ooh La La on this ship!). Lee now has his very own Castaway
Club backpack - I laid claim to the one we got earlier this year
(which I brought on this trip as my airline carry-on!).

The ship sailed just before 5:00, and of course the highlights were
sailing by the various landmarks of the Manhattan skyline, and then
sailing by the Statue of Liberty. The light wasn't good for photos,
but it was still a great moment.

Instead of seeing the opening night show we opted to see Brave
in the Buena Vista Theater, since I hadn't seen it. Unfortunately
they had a problem with the sound system and most of the dialog was
very hard to hear. Oh well.

As always, our first night dinner was in Parrot Cay. We've done
five cruises on the Magic and Wonder, and we have always had the
same dining rotation, which starts in Parrot Cay. Sigh. I'll have
a separate food blog after the cruise.

Today was a Sea day. We woke up to clear blue sky and absolutely
smooth water - I couldn't even tell that we were moving.

For a sea day we were pretty busy, though we had a good time. We
went to the DVC Member celebration (where they served us Mimosas),
then a reception for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members (where
they also served us champagne cocktails). We grabbed a quick lunch
at Goofy's Galley (salads and sandwiches), and while we were on
deck 9 we ran into Christine, one of our fellow Team AllEars members!
We'd seen her at the Disneyland Half Marathon, but we didn't realize
we'd be on this cruise together until she saw some Facebook posts
from me yesterday!

After lunch we went to a wine tasting in Sessions, where we sampled
two white wines, two red wines, and a sparkling wine. They call
the tastings "From Stem to Stern" - very clever. They gave us a
pin with that phrase on it at the end. We enjoyed that a lot.

So after all of that wine...we took a nap in the afternoon. :-)

Instead of seeing tonight's stage show, Twice Charmed (which we'd
seen before), we went to the Buena Vista Theater and saw The
Avengers instead. I'm happy to report that the sound system was
working properly today, and we both liked the movie. When we came
out of the show we saw the end of a beautiful sunset!

There's no Formal Night on this cruise, but tonight was Dress
Up
night. Dinner was in Lumiere's - that's always a nice place
to be on the night we get dressed up.

Tomorrow we'll be in Saint John, New Brunswick. Looks like
the weather will be sunny and in the high 60s, so it should be a
very nice day to be out wandering around the city!




September 11, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - Preview

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The Disney Magic has been sailing out of the port of New York this summer, and venturing both south to the Bahamas and north to Canada. Lee and i will be on the final Canada/New England Coast Cruise. This is a five-night cruise with stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick, plus two days at sea.

On departure day we'll get to sail out of New York Harbor past the Statue of Liberty! I'm looking forward to that.

We've heard that both ports are very walkable, so we haven't booked any excursions. I have to admit that one of the things I am most looking forward to in Halifax is going to the Beaver Tail stand! I really enjoyed those when they were in the Canada pavilion at Epcot.

I am planning to blog while we're on the cruise - but as always that will be dependent on how good/bad the internet connectivity is.




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About Canada 2012

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Canada 2012 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Alaska/Pacific Northwest 2011 is the previous category.

Dream Bahamas Cruise 2011 is the next category.

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