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Old 25 Jun 16, 07:39 PM  
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Stewboy
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No Trolling: A Norwegian Saga Day 1 - Dover

Sunday 29th May 2016

From home to port
And were off again! It feels like only yesterday we returned home from our amazing WBTA cruise and now here we are; cases packed, up and at em, drinking tea at 6:15 on a Sunday morning, getting ready to head down to Dover to get back on the Disney Magic.

After the aforementioned tea in bed - a pot no less - we woke Isabella up and while I got ready Jo did the breakfast; nothing fancy just some fruit and fibre with blueberries - healthy (that wasnt going to last!). Isabella opted for something a bit heartier - porridge with almond butter.

Once Id eaten breakfast I loaded the car while Jo and Isabella got themselves ready and by 8:10 we were on our way, only 10 minutes behind schedule.


Isabella's excited...


Jo's excited...


I'm excited!

The drive was easy and uneventful; anticipation and excitement was high. The journey took us round the M25, over the Dartford Bridge and onto the M20. We were making good time, in fact we were half hour early for the car park so we stopped off at Maidstone services for a couple of Bacon & Egg McMuffins and coffee. Isabella had a hashbrown and a fruit bag - ordered as part of our meals.


Someone enjoyed their McMuffin

Once finished we hit the road again for the last leg of the journey, along the last stretch we saw a bike on the inside lane that obviously fallen off of someones car; we passed the car about 5 minutes later pulled over on the hard shoulder. Theyd obviously only just realised theyd lost it and were probably trying to work out what to do about it!

We drove into Dover and found the (off port) Port Parking with no problem; no traffic, no wrong turns - its only a couple of minutes from the port itself. Driving in, we parked up, unloaded the car and then waited in line for the bus to pick us up while watching our car being added to the long line of those already arrived.


I can see the sea


I spy the Magic!


Waiting for a bus


Barely able to contain her excitement


Bye bye Katie Blue (that's the name of our car)

After about 10 minutes and one bus full, it was our turn. We got on the minbus and were driven the short distance to the port. Traffic had now started to build up around the port but the drive still only took about 5 minutes.

We parked up outside the terminal building and headed inside leaving the bags with the minibus driver to hand over to one of the porters. Dover Port Parking Ltd were great by the way, definitely recommend them to anyone getting a cruise from Dover.

Despite it being a nice warm day it was very windy at the port. In the drop off area a sheet had been put up and there were paramedics and police in attendance. I assume someone had had an accident or been taken ill, hopefully they were ok.


On the bus


There's the Magic again

All aboard
Once inside the terminal building we were quickly through passport control and joined the Silver & Gold Castaway Club member line; were currently Silver (2+ cruises) having been on 3 cruises before, our next cruise will make us Gold members afterwards (5+ cruises).

The queue for checking in was considerable shorter than last year, probably due to our earlier Port Arrival time of 11:00 which Jo had had to get up at 5am one morning to book! We checked in and popped to the Youth Activities desk to get Isabella her magic band for entry into the Oceaneers Club & Lab; Jo had already pre-registered online so it was a straightforward process. Despite some earlier technical problems theyd just got the system working again so we were all set. All that was left to do now was to wait our turn to board.


Checking in


Check it out


Sitting in the waiting room (Ahhh...)

With a boarding group number of 5 we shouldnt have to wait too long. After about 30 minutes the first family were taken on board and then the first group were allowed to board. It was only another 5 minutes until we making our way onto the ship, but not before the obligatory embarkation photo.

Excited probably doesnt do justice to how we were all feeling right now. The smooth transition from the car parking to the boat via passport, check in, boarding had helped to keep us in the mood. Not even Key to the World card issues could dampen our excitement. The problem was solved quickly - apparently our cards hadnt been assigned to our faces - and The Sear Family! were back on board the Disney Magic. Cue applause...


Almost there...


Obligatory embarkation photo


Here we go

Right, first things first, there was some stuff we needed to book, namely tomorrow mornings Princess Gathering and the Frozen Meet And Greet later in the week. A quick visit to the Port Adventures desk and we were done. Now we could eat

We made our way to Cariocas and as we entered who should I bump into but Gabriel, our server from last years WBTA. He recognised me straightaway (which was nice) and we shook hands and said a brief hello. We had considered requesting him again but in the end decided not to, even though he was great.

We employed our usual buffet tactics and after a few of trips each we were sated. The food was as good as we remembered and hoped, especially the lamb chops, steak and the pumpkin pie dessert.

On my last trip to the buffet I bumped into Gabriel again and we chatted for a little longer, turns out he would be on a different dining rotation to us so he definitely wasnt going to be our server again.


She likes bread with her butter


Happy with her buffet choices


Lunch round 1


Isabella enjoying her lunch


Lunch round 2


Isabella's dessert


Pumpkin pie. Yum

With lunch over the next thing to do was book up the mixology class for Jo and I. Wed really enjoyed that one last year and definitely wanted to do it again. This was also done quickly and we were free to wander; reacquainting ourselves with the Magic. It was windy up on deck 10 so after a few onboard selfies we got coffee and headed back down.

There was open house in the kids clubs so I took Isabella in for a look around so that she could remind herself of what they have on offer. She made a beeline for the iPads and showed me one of the many Disney games they have on them. After 10 minutes or so we made our way back to join Jo who was relaxing on deck 5 overlooking the atrium.


Waiting patiently


Deck 10 cuddle


Deck 10 cuddles


It was windy on deck 10


Oh look, a white cliff


Isabella thought this was a bandstand...


On the iPads

It was now 1:30pm which meant that we should be able to get into our stateroom. Making our way down to deck 2 the crowd of people and roped off doorway indicated that the rooms werent quite ready. We headed back up and went for another wander but it was only a minute or two before it was obvious they were now ready so we made our way back to deck 2 and went in search of room 2576.

We arrived at our stateroom to find one of our cases had beaten us there. Unfortunately there was still an issue with Jos Key to the World card so Isabella and I went in the room and got her ready for her nap while Jo popped back up to Guest Services to get the card sorted. It wasnt long before she was back - the magnetic strip wasnt working but it was all fixed now.


On our way to the room


We found it!


Two Five Seven Six


Not sure about the view!

Isabella had a nap on our bed while we relaxed on the sofa. I may have had a little snooze myself while Jo read through the various books, leaflets and menus in the room.

At about 3:35 we woke Isabella in time for the 4 oclock muster drill. As another of the cases had arrived Jo did some unpacking until the alarm sounded and we headed up to deck 4 area K for the drill. This is definitely the dullest part of the entire holiday; standing around for about half an hour doing nothing but invading each others space.


Tangled


Sleeping Beauty
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Old 25 Jun 16, 07:40 PM  
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Stewboy
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Sail away, sail away, sail away
But it was soon over and now it was cocktail time! We followed the herd as we made our way to deck 9 for the sail away party. I got the cocktails while Jo and Isabella found a place to stand. I generally find the sail away party slightly irritating and overcrowded but this one was ok. Isabella entered into the kids area and thoroughly enjoyed it - slowly edging her way closer and closer to the front of the stage!

After the usual mix of singing, dancing, characters and cocktails the party was over. Not that wed actually sailed anywhere yet; it was more of a Planning on sailing away in the next few hours party. We made our way back to our stateroom where Jo finished unpacking and we got ourselves ready for dinner. At this time we also put up our door magnets and fish extender; Jo had entered us into a fish extender group on a popular social media site which meant that we would be giving and receiving gifts over the course of the week. We had created bookmarks for everyone in our group - 52 people in 15 staterooms.


Jo meets an old friend


Happy Sears


Sail away party


Dancing

Once that was done Isabella watched some Mickey Mouse cartoons and ate some Pom-Bears to tide her over until dinner; wine was sufficient for us

As it neared dinner time - we were on the first rotation at 6:00 - we finally set sail. As we looked out of our stateroom window (no balcony this time around as we figured we wouldnt need it sailing to chilly Norway) Jo was convinced the firemen on the dock were waving at her so she waved back. A pilot boat then pulled up alongside and she waved at them too Yes dear, Im sure they could see your little face in that little porthole on that big cruise ship




It was now finally time for dinner. We left the room and made our way to Animators Palate on deck 4 aft. Having a stateroom on deck 2 midship turned out to be great as everything was a short distance away. Last year we were deck 6 forward which is a long way from the restaurants. Also as we left the room we found our last case had arrived and also noticed that someone had already put some gifts in our fish extender

After a short walk to the restaurant we were shown to our table and introduced ourselves to our table mates - a nice couple from Dover with a daughter about 6 months younger than Isabella. We chatted to them over dinner - it was their first cruise. As anticipated the food was very good and we had the following:

Me - Sliced Serrano Ham / Ginger-Teriyaki Dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin / White Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake
Jo - Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes / Grilled Tuna Steak / Cookies 'n Cream Sundae
Isabella - Mac 'n Cheese / Mickeys Premium Ice Cream Bar

To drink we had Coke Zero and Isabella had milk.

Our servers introduced themselves; Ruben from Portugal was our server, Carla from Spain our assistant server and Ronald from India our head server. They were all friendly and efficient.


Enthralled


Sliced Serrano Ham


Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes


Mac 'n Cheese


Ginger-Teriyaki Dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin


Grilled Tuna Steak


White Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake


Cookies 'n Cream Sundae


Mickey bar!

During dinner there was an animation show on the screens that decorate the walls all around the restaurant. Isabella was enthralled and really enjoyed it. The little girl on our table made friends with Isabella; at one point she asked her to come to her house and play. Cute. Once dinner was over they decided they wanted to go and play together in the kids club so we dropped them off and then Jo and I went for a drink in the Promenade Lounge on deck. We noticed our table mates come in and sit down so we invited them to join us and we all had a nice drink and chat.

After about an hour we collected Isabella from the club and made our way back to the room only to find our aircon being replaced; Jo had commented earlier that the room felt hot. We were lucky that they replaced it on the first day as we noticed throughout the cruise that they were often in rooms doing the same work. They told us it would only take a few minutes so we went up on deck 9 to get coffee (for us) and milk (for Isabella in the morning) and when we returned they were gone.

Back in the room we discovered the first of our nightly towel animals - I think this one was a crab - tomorrows Personal Navigator and the reminder for our Palo brunch reservation later in the week


Fine Whines playing in the atrium


Artist at work


Towel crab

Once Isabella was bathed we put her to bed; the sofa bed had been made up by our lovely stateroom host Claret from Colombia, who Id met earlier after we dropped Isabella off at the kids club when I went back to get the wave phone.

To help with Isabellas sleeping and (hopefully) drown out the sound of Isabella and my combined snoring, Jo had got me to download a white noise app on my phone so once Isabella was in bed I put that on and Jo and I got ready for bed. The app was really effective.

Jo wrote out the order for room service in the morning and hung it on the door and by 11:00 we were in bed.

And that was that. Were back on board the Magic and on our way to Norway.

Next up: A day at sea as we sail up the east coast of Britain towards our first Norwegian port of call.

Thanks for reading.


Day 1 by Isabella
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Old 25 Jun 16, 08:44 PM  
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A great start for you and will follow this cruise with interest as we are looking at the May 28th Copenhagen Cruise next year ... looks odd seeing you all wrapped up for the British weather lol
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Old 25 Jun 16, 08:56 PM  
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I love her drawing at the end. I've never been on a cruise, I get a little seasick so I'm not sure how it'd work for me but I love reading your reports about them!
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Old 25 Jun 16, 09:24 PM  
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Dissie
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Great start. I always enjoy your trip reports so looking forward to the rest.
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Old 25 Jun 16, 09:24 PM  
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Really interesting - can't wait to read the rest

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Old 25 Jun 16, 09:48 PM  
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Yay, I've been waiting forever for this

I'm in one of your photos! We must of been in front of you at boarding walking down the gangway.

Regarding your comment about the police and ambulance and the sheet... We were probably on the main bus from port parking just before you and at that point there was no sheet in place. A large man was being given chest compression by paramedics. He had no top on so I assume a defibrillator was getting prepared for him. I actually cried on seeing this, I can't imagine how sad this must of been for his family there watching and it so easily could have been my family. It was a bit of a wake up call in all the excitement of getting to the boat and I said a prayer for him and his family then.
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Old 25 Jun 16, 10:04 PM  
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Great first day - I didn't even know you could cruise from Dover with DIsney but will be investigating further as my Mum can't fly long distances.
Looking forward to reading more
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Old 25 Jun 16, 10:30 PM  
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Also been looking forward to this! Great start, must be so handy being able to drive to the ship

Do hope that man was ok

Sounds like you had another round of nice table mates which is always such a relief isn't it!

Food looks great X
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Old 25 Jun 16, 10:35 PM  
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Excited to see a new trip report from you!
We did the Norwegian DCL Cruise last year but it was out of Copenhagen
Really looking forward to reading about your cruise. Oh, and we need a good photo of Jo's nails as they look like they may be Disney-fied!
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