Co-written by Vanessa Prince and Andrew Prince, Disney on Wheels
Ahoy! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a Disney cruise with Lou Mongello from WDW Radio and Beci Mahnken from MEI/Mouse Fan Travel? Well, we had the opportunity to do just that on November 5, 2016! Our adventure also included a WDW Radio E-Ticket kick-off event in New York City the night before we sailed for Puerto Rico.
On Friday, November 4, 2016, our adventure began with a cruise kick-off event at HB Burger in NYC! Wow, what a turn out! There were so many people who came into the city just to see Lou, many had never met him before but were avid followers of his podcasts and blogs. There were fellow cruisers in attendance, and it was nice to meet them before our cruise. There were even Disney on Wheels followers who were happy to finally meet me (Andrew) in person. Lou and Beci mingled with each table through the course of the night. The event was only two hours, but spilled out onto the street afterwards. It was really fun to meet so many great people who enjoy following Lou.
Our adventure really began as we embarked on the Disney Cruise Line’s Magic for a six-night sailing to Puerto Rico. The itinerary included three days at sea and a stop in St. Maarten and Tortola before reaching San Juan, Puerto Rico. Once we were on board, we met up with Lou and Beci at Fathoms, a nightclub on deck 3. There we were given our WDW Radio/MEI travel lanyards and group activities schedule. We also signed up for the door decorating contest to be held on Tuesday. Later, we met again on deck 9 for the Sail Away party. It was fun to hang out with Lou and his family along with Beci and all fellow cruisers. After the horn sounded and we were under way, we headed up to deck 10 for spectacular views of NYC as we sailed out of the harbor. The skyline was so impressive and the Statue of Liberty was beautiful as the sun was setting as we sailed passed her.
The group all had main seating (5:45 pm) for dinner, and we were seated with people we “met” beforehand on the Facebook group for the cruise. Our fun table included Vicki and Phil, Donna and Gareth, Bruce and Mary Ann, and Michele and Milton. DCL offers rotational dining which means you sit with the same people each night, but in a different restaurant based on your rotation. Our rotation was CLACLA – Cariocas, Lumiere’s, Animator’s Palette, Cariocas, Lumiere’s, Animator’s Palette. We really enjoy this feature of DCL as it is fun to enjoy different venues and menus each night. One night our waiter, Roland, brought us food from India that was not on the menu – kind of a bonus sampling of food from his country. Plus, we still ordered off the menu! Another night we were all treated to lasagna courtesy of the Head Chef at Palo!
After dinner each night. there was entertainment all over the ship. The shows in the Walt Disney Theater are just like sitting in a production on Broadway. This is another reason why DCL is so amazing. The shows for our cruise included Lynn Trefzger and her puppets, Twice Charmed, Pirates in the Caribbean Party, Tangled the Musical, and Buckets N Boards comedy act. This sailing was also the first Merritime Cruise for 2016 and included a tree lighting ceremony, Winter Wonderland Ball, and other special events during the cruise. All of the daily activities can be found on the Personal Navigator which is delivered to your stateroom the prior night. View the Personal Navigators for November 5, 2016 and November 6, 2016 here.
Our first full day was a day at sea, which meant we had the entire day to explore the ship and to have fun with our new friends. That morning we met at Fathoms nightclub at 9:15 am to participate in “Match-Game at Sea.” Lou had several teams competing against each other trying to win a chance to have brunch at Palo with him and Beci. The game was fun to watch as Lou would ask Disney-related questions and teammates had to try to match their answers. In the end, several people attended brunch. We actually had Palo brunch reservations already for this day. Check out our review of Palo Brunch at this link.
The rest of the day we checked out the stores, played trivia contests (which our team won), and explored the ship. Dinner was at Lumiere’s and had a French cuisine menu. After dinner and the show, we stopped by Keys lounge for an adult meet-up. Several people then went to the late 3-D showing of Dr. Strange which was just released on November 4. The movie was shown in 3-D in the Buena Vista Theatre and was at capacity for such a late-night movie. DCL is also known for premEARing their own movies while at sea at midnight the night before the release. So, if you were lucky enough to be on a ship on November 3 at midnight, you would have been able to see the premEAR before those on land saw it later in the morning!
The first sea day was full of magical events with WDW Radio and brunch at Palo. Please join us for more posts on our E-Ticket Cruise including 12 laps of Christmas run, ice cream social, Marvel pajama party and many more surprises! Check back soon!
(Photos are property of authors, Bruce Brodsky, Michele Carter, Sami Grant, John Mallonee, and Darlene Nagi. Logos ©WDW Radio.)
Andrew is a 19-year-old high school graduate from Ohio. He was born with cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair. He has been to both US Disney parks, several D23 events and is a DCL Gold Castaway Club member. If you would like to contact him feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or look him up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andrew.prince.7161 and on Twitter https://twitter.com/Andrew1arp
Vanessa has been going to Walt Disney World since 1971. She is happy that her three children and husband enjoy Disney as much as she does. Vanessa is an Annual Passholder, a member of Disney Vacation Club, Platinum Castaway Club, WDW Radio Running Team and a runDisney participant. Her son Andrew writes Disney on Wheels for the WDW Radio blog. When she is not at Disney she is a stay at home mom and uses her masters in marketing background to raise money for her children’s schools. Vanessa also enjoys planning her next trip home to anywhere Disney.