Day 8: All aboard!

The day starts with a surprise. The Bell desk wakes us with a phone call at 8 AM to inform us that they will shortly pick up our luggage. As we won't leave the hotel until 12:30 PM, we cannot quite believe this. We stay in bed only to have the Bell boy knock on our door 5 minutes later. We haven't even started packing our luggage!

We pack in a hurry and have the luggage picked up a short while later. Then we go back for some more sleep. Check-out isn't until 11.

After leaving the room, we head for breakfast at the Mara fast food restaurant. By this time they are only serving lunch items.

Around 12:30 PM we board the bus to port Canaveral. The transfer takes about 1 hour. Security checks and check-in only take a couple of minutes. We are now ready to board.

When we arrive at stateroom 6514, our luggage is already waiting for us. It had a 5 hour head-start! We have a category 8 stateroom with a large porthole. The room is obviously smaller than the one at Animal Kingdom lodge, yet it has a dual bathroom.

Our first task on board is to secure reservations for the renowned Palo restaurant. Next we head for a buffet lunch at the Topsider restaurant on deck 9. Next up is the mandatory security drill where all passengers meet up on Deck 4, each wearing their life-vest.

Finally we get some time to explore the Disney Magic. It is one of Disney's two nearly identical cruise ships. The Magic is usually assigned to the 7-day Caribbean cruises. It sails with 990 crew members who cater to our every needs. There are 7 restaurants, several bars, 3 tax free shops, a show theater, a movie theater, a spa, a fitness room, 3 pools, dedicated areas for adults, teens and children and much more...

On deck 9 the first party has already started. We celebrate the start of our cruise. Shortly past 5 we set sail.

We leave the party to get a last view of the shore and to continue exploring our home away from home.

At 7:30 PM we have reservations for Palo. This is an upscale restaurant with a rather strict dress code. A Lacoste sweatshirt doesn't do the trick. A shirt with collar is required. Sebastien, our French server, takes good care of us. He obviously enjoys chatting with his guests.

We have the most excellent dinner. For starters we have Mozzarella and Tomato. This variation on the popular dish is served with peeled tomatoes, pesto sauce and Balsamico. For main courses we respectively have a risotto and a rack of Lamb. While food at Tusker House and Boma was excellent, this is better yet! The dinner culminates with a Chocolate Souffl√© for desert. The manager promises to get us the recipe. We look forward to serving this exquisite dish at home.

© 2008 Susanne & Pierre Bernard - Text & Images