The schedule necessitated an early start. We awoke before dawn and prepared thebig surprised for the kiddo--a personalized letter from Mickey Mouse himself, welcoming her aboard the Disney Magic! She was excited about the letter, but the contents didn't really seem to register. I guess that's to be expected--does any three-year-old really know what a "Disney cruise" or "Mickey's ship" is before they're immersed in it?
Got all checked out and loaded onto the hotel shuttle to take us to the port. Claire insisted on sitting with another little girl about her age, and the two became instant friends. The atmosphere was so great--so much excitement and joy. The kids practically rioted with delight when they caught sight of the Magic at port, screaming and jumping and hooting and cheering. To be honest, I don't think I felt more than a third of my age.
I was very happy to discover that our driver took care of all the luggage hand-off, meaning we only had to worry about getting out backpacks and the kiddo's one small suitcase (blankets and stuffed animals) through the boarding process. The terminal's nice, and I'm glad to see it's being expanded, as it was very crowded. The kiddo had a couple of meltdowns (she's really not used to the whole "hurry-up-and-wait" game), but we got through it and eventually were allowed to board. We were announced as "Princess Claire and Her Entourage".
We lunched at Parrot Cay (buffet, but decent), then found our way to our stateroom. Our bags arrived in short order, and once we'd unpacked, I set out on my traditional top-to-bottom, foreward-to-aft survey of the ship. The Magic is just lovely, all '20s art deco inside, and with a similar retro design and color scheme outside, reminiscent of the great trans-Atlantic ocean liners of yesteryear. Really gorgeous and classy.
Danced and cheered and felt like a kid again at the sail away party, waving streamers with mad abandon.
Dined at The Animator's Palate, a restaurant which is entirely black and white and covered in pencil sketches at the outset of the meal; over the course of dinner, it gradually blossoms into full, vibrant color. Even the servers' uniforms change from monochrome to color! Claire made it through most of dinner before being picked up to go to the Oceaneer's Club to play while Liz and I finished our meals.
Seas were rough tonight--15-foot swells! The crew did a great job of pressing through it, serving dinner as if it was nothing at all, and it settled down to a gentle rocking by the time I hit the pillows for bed.