Disney Magic 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise December 2007

Disney Cruise Pictures

GPS Map of Route

The following pictures and commentary describe my Disney Cruise to the Western Caribbean. The cruise was a 7 Night trip through four different islands. I went with my mom, my brother, his girlfriend, and her family, giving a total of six people in two cabins.

Arrival

Disney Cruise Line Entrance 1 This is my second Disney Cruise. I really liked the first one and said I would definitely go on another cruise, although probably not on Disney. Disney caters towards children really well, but I don't have any! However, I once again got a great deal and no hassle setup through Sara's family, so here I am again.
Disney Cruise Line Entrance 6 Here's my family at the start of the adventures. My mom and I look pretty good for having traveled all night and my brother had a cold that he caught during his previous week spent in Disney World. Now we get to find out how much we can bother each other when stuck together in a small room for a week.
Disney Cruise Line Entrance 7 Here we are combined with Sara and here parents. Everyone has their "Key to the World" cards and is ready to get on the ship.
Disney Cruise Line Entrance 8 2500 people can pack a lot of stuff, so the luggage is actually taken at the door and brought directly to your stateroom. My biggest problem was that I was traveling from California, where it was 50 degrees and partly cloudy to Florida, where it was 70 degrees and sunny, and then directly to Spokane, where it was 20 degrees and snowing. I had to ditch the skiing gear and pack mostly for the cruise instead.
Disney Cruise Line Entrance 9 One difference between this cruise and my last one was that we upgraded ourselves to a room with a window. This is definitely worth the expense. It is awesome to be able to just look out and watch the waves!
Disney Cruise Line Entrance Carnival Well so once again I'm on a Disney cruise. They do a lot of things really well and I am happy with them, but sometime in the future I'll eventually try one of the other lines. Here's the Carnival parked right next to us in the home port at Port Canaveral.
Disney Cruise Line Entrance 4 This is a view of the parking lot from the top of the ship. It gives you a good perspective of just how high up ten stories is.
Disney Cruise Line Entrance 5 This is a bridge visible from port. It amazes me just how much of Florida is barely above sea level. They better hope that global warming is just a fluke.

The Disney Magic

Disney Magic at Sea I posted a bunch of pictures of the Disney Wonder on my last cruise. I'm now on the Disney Magic, but they are essentially the exact same ship, so I tried not to repeat too many pictures from last time, but instead will fill in some of the holes. I still ended up with a lot of pictures.
Disney Magic Entrance Chandelier Here is the entrance chandelier, which because of the lighting is almost impossible to get a good picture of. After many tries I finally got one that turned out well. This is a huge chandelier in the three story entrance of a ship! It still blows my mind every time I walk into this room.
Disney Magic Hallway I love the shiny finish on this hallway near the gift shops and Walt Disney Theater. The second National Treasure movie came out during our cruise, so there was a midnight premiere showing on the ship (free of course).
Disney Magic Elevator I don't think I got a picture of the elevators last time, so here is one. There are four elevators in each of three elevator shafts on the ship, but even though they are fast, there is still often a wait. Unless I'm walking nine floors, then I usually just climb the stairs.
Disney Magic Hallway It is difficult to capture the feel of this in a picture, but we were on the second deck, where the hallways run straight for hundreds of feet and it feels like you are just continuously looping. The black spec in the center is actually a human in the distance!
Disney Magic Room Our stateroom with its wonderful port hole. Our room was much cleaner this year, due either to only having three people instead of four, or having my mom around to keep it clean. I don't know which has the larger influence.
Disney Magic Forward Tower Here is the forward tower with the bridge and the real command and control of the ship.
Disney Magic Crew Pool The next few pictures are all repeats of my last cruise, but I'm amazed by the number of pools that are on a ship, so I felt like documenting them again. This one is reserved for the crew, but I didn't see anyone use it the entire time, so either they are all too busy or think it's too cold.
Disney Magic Mickey Pool The Mickey Pool is for the younger kids. This does a great job at keeping them away from all the rest of the guests.
Disney Magic Mickey Pool Slide How come the young kids are the only ones who get a two story slide?
Disney Magic Mid Stack The smoke stacks for the engine. One tower is real, while the other one is just for show and has a teenager only getaway room with a bunch of video games and no parents!
Disney Magic Mid Pool The main pool, just mostly used by older kids and teenagers.
Disney Magic Mid Pool Hot Tubs Hot tubs by the main pool.
Disney Magic Outdoor Theater One addition since the last time I sailed is a huge movie screen on the top deck of the ship. This also shows the stage during the sail-away and pirate night parties, amongst others. This is great when the deck is packed because you can still see everything that is going on.
Disney Magic Aft Pool The pool where I spend most of my at sea ship time is the adults only pool shown here. One advantage to sailing in December is that it is a little bit cooler, and thus the pool is empty much of the time. The weather report was funny, "There is a cold front moving in, so tomorrow will cool down to the low seventies."
Disney Magic Aft Pool and Hot Tubs The hot tubs were nice, but never hot enough. I like hot tubs at 104 degrees, but no one seems to keep them like that.
Disney Magic Trailing Wake Here is our wake with the sun starting to set of to the left. This picture always makes me feel more peaceful.
Open Ocean One of the advantages to sailing is that when you are out in the middle of no where, without land visible in any direction, then you are truly disconnected from the rest of the world, and don't have to worry about checking email or voicemail or anything else.
Sail Boat in Open Ocean 1 Although one day I did notice an adventurous sole out in the open ocean in a pretty small (maybe 40 foot) sail boat. There were some pretty good waves at times, so hopefully they know what they are doing.
Sail Boat in Open Ocean 2 It does sure look like fun sailing out there, so I had to get another picture.
Disney Magic Desert Buffet 1 The pirate night desert buffet. Just what you need after eating way too much food for dinner is a late evening desert, right?!
Disney Magic Desert Buffet 2 This is actually from a different desert buffet on another night. You definitely eat a lot on the cruise. I gained 4 pounds during the trip despite running or swimming at least every other day.
Disney Magic Desert Buffet 3 Desert for those more health conscious passengers.
Disney Magic Desert Buffet 4 Of course everything has to be presented well, even the cantalope!
Disney Magic Desert Buffet 5 So let's get away to the Bahamas, where there is never winter, and then bring along someone who does ice sculptures. At least you know he has job security.
Disney Magic Desert Buffet 6 Sweet! This year there is a white chocolate fountain in addition to the dark chocolate one that you can just make out in the background on the left.
Disney Magic Ginger Bread House This isn't exactly edible, but follows the desert and Christmas theme.
Disney Magic Ginger Bread House & Family I suppose I have to throw in an occasional family portrait, too.
Proposal Cake So one of the most exciting parts of the cruise was that my brother asked his girlfriend to marry him, so he is now officially engaged. Here is cake and sparkling champaign from the event, minus the chocolate strawberries which were all quickly eaten.
Sara Showing Off Ring Here's the new fiancée showing off her ring. My brother was sick for the beginning of the cruise, but in the end did a pretty awesome job arranging a couples massage on board, having everything start out like a normal massage, and then having the crew bring out the cake and treats and ring on a platter. Then leaving them in the private hot tubs with a view directly out on the ocean.
Disney Magic Mickey & Sean & Sara Okay, I guess it's now family photo time, here's the new couple.
Disney Magic Mickey & Sean & Mom My brother and mom in front of the Mickey Statue.
Disney Magic Mickey & Susan & Sara Sara and her mom in front of the Mickey Statue.
Disney Magic Semi-Formal Night with Sean & Sara Sean and Sara on one of the formal nights.
Disney Magic Semi-Formal Night with David, Sean & Sara Don't we look good!
Disney Semi-Formal Night with Mom & Susan The moms.
Life Boat Drill 1 So before you can leave the home port, the ship must do a life boat drill. This has two advantages, you can walk through stairwells and passages normally reserved for crew only, and you get to wear super bright life vests. The second part is really only an advantage because I get to play around with the color accent mode on my camera and thus take some nice photos. See how the camera mode makes Sara look crazy!
Life Boat Drill 2 Wait Sara looks fairly normal in this photo, so I guess it's not the camera mode! Sean doesn't look too happy right now, but this is the beginning of the cruise when he still has a cold.
Life Boat Drill 3 I guess I need a picture of myself, too.
Life Boat Drill 4 Hum, maybe I see where Sara gets some of that crazy picture posing from!
Towel Origami Snake Of course, since I now know about the awesome towel origami left out each night, I was able to get a picture of each one. The cleaning staff does a great job keeping your room clean. You go out for breakfast or dinner and come back and your room is clean and waiting for you. Here is the snake towel that greeted us the first night.
Towel Origami Swan The next night was a swan. You might notice the sun glasses propped on these, which were my mom's and used to add to the effect.
Towel Origami Lizard Apparently my mom's pajamas were also just right to be used and got turned into a lizard.
Towel Origami Elephant Then there was an elephant. Although the ears don't have the Dumbo look to them, so maybe this doubles as a ram, I don't know.
Towel Origami Rabbit Day 4 - Rabbit.
Towel Origami Giraffe Day 5 - Giraffe.
Towel Origami Frog Day 6 - Frog.
Towel Origami Whale Day 7 - I' calling this a whale, although I guess any sort of fish or dolphin would qualify.
Towel Origami Mickey Of course, since it's the last night my mom's pajamas once again got added into the mix as a Mickey Mouse head!

Key West

Florida Keys Map Okay, on to the islands. Our first stop was Key West in Florida. This doesn't have quite the feel of a normal stop, since you are still in the US and don't need a passport or don't have to worry about exchange rates, but it was still a fun stop. We didn't go on any shore excursions here, but walked around and did some shopping.
Florida Keys with Sean and Sara Most of the islands from my last cruise were full of steep mountains and scenic view points, but these stops were all pretty much flat, so there weren't too many places to get a good view of the ship from. This shows Sean and Sara with part of the ship in the background. You do get a very good view of the beautiful green coastal waters.
Florida Keys Navy Ship Here is a picture of a Navy ship we passed on by on the way into the port.
Florida Keys Brick Building This is a beautiful brick building just off the dock.
Florida Keys Westin Hotel I guess I was hooked on the hotels here, so here is The Westin.
Florida Keys Hyatt Hotel Wrapped around on the other side of the beach is the Hyatt.
Florida Keys Key Lime Pie Factory If you go to Key West, then I guess you have to try the Key Limes. They were pretty good, and for a bit of trivia, key limes are slightly smaller and when ripe are yellow instead of green.
Florida Keys Bike Rack One of the coolest bike racks I've ever seen.
Florida Keys Wachovia Bank My brother just graduated with an Economics and Finance degree, so I told him he should get a job at the local bank!
Florida Keys Chicken Crossing the Road There were a lot of wild chickens just walking around on the streets, so I snapped a picture of one crossing the road. I just can't say why...

Grand Cayman

Welcome to Cayman Islands Next on to the Cayman Islands. This felt a little more like traveling, since we were outside of the US, although the language and currency was still the same.
Ships at Sea 1 One downside to this stop is that due to the corral reefs surrounding the island, they don't have a dock built for all the ships, so we hand to take a tender to shore. This added about 45 minutes of travel time to disembark and re-embark on the ship, so our shore time was much more limited. Also, this is apparently a quite popular stop based on all the other cruise ships docked. My last cruise was an unusual route and therefore we were always the only large ship at port. This route was much more standard and much busier.
Grand Cayman Beach 1 We did however get to go to a private part of the seven mile beach and get away from the crowds. This was a fairly sunny day and the water was warm.
Grand Cayman Beach 2 Another view down the coastline.
Grand Cayman Beach Jet Skis The jet skis looked nice, but you had to pay extra for those, so we passed on them. Also, at one point two of them came un-tethered and someone had a nice quarter mile swim to get to them and drive them back.
Grand Cayman Beach 3 There were a bunch of beach chairs and umbrellas set up for us, and one of the really nice features about this beach is that there was no one there trying to sell us stuff. We got free drinks as part of the deal and could go to the nearby restaurant if we got hungry.
Ships at Sea 2 This spot gave a nice picture of all the cruise ships docked out at sea. They are actually a couple deep and had 8 or 9 docked at one point in time.

Cozumel

Cozumel Coast The next stop was Cozumel and it finally felt like we were doing some traveling. Everyone was speaking Spanish and the signs were in Spanish, with speeds in kilometer per hour and prices in pesos. Of course, it is still a tourist town, so practically everyone also spoke some form of English and gave equivalent dollar amounts.
Cozumel Bar On this trip we went to a beach to do some glass bottom kayaking and snorkeling. I bought an underwater camera and have some pictures included below.
Cozumel Tattoo Stand I like the looks of the thatched roofs and palm trees, since it made it feel much more exotic.
Cozumel Glass Bottom Kayaking 1 This is my mom and me in the first part of our excursion. It was advertised as a glass bottom kayaking adventure, but in reality it's a completely clear plastic (acrylic or fiberglass maybe?) kayak. It was fun to look through, but you don't really see that much when you are bobbing up and down on the waves and trying to synchronously paddle somewhere.
Cozumel Glass Bottom Kayaking 2 Sean and Sara are almost viewable in this picture. The downside of the cheap waterproof camera is that it doesn't have a zoom and doesn't take very good pictures. The kayaking part was about 45 minutes long, and consisted of paddling to a pier and back. Three kayaks were submerged and needing the guide's help to get back going again, but luckily neither of our two had any problems.
Cozumel Snorkeling 1 Here's my mom snorkeling on the next part of our excursion. For this we walked about a quarter mile down the beach to a flat sandy spot to get in the water, and then the current mostly took us back to our starting spot with no real swimming required.
Cozumel Snorkeling 2 Things started off a little slow, with mostly empty sand and an occasional fish hidden around, but changed quickly.
Cozumel Snorkeling 3 The number of fish picked up dramatically, and you could pretty much see one at any time, and get within about 4 feet of them before they swam away.
Cozumel Snorkeling 4 We started getting back into some vegetation, including lots of this plant, although I have no idea what it is.
Cozumel Snorkeling 5 Then there were bits of corral reef with tons of fish hiding around them.
Cozumel Snorkeling 6 I'm glad to see that a lot of the corral looks alive and healthy, so even with the vast amount of tourism, the ocean life can still do well. Our guide was also happy to see so many fish and some of the star fish and other animals that have just started returning since the last major hurricane in the area.
Cozumel Snorkeling 7 This picture shows a school of smaller fish hanging out near the rocks.
Cozumel Snorkeling 8 This rock out-cropping is the outlet of an underground fresh water stream and is therefore a favorite hang out for tons of fish.
Cozumel Snorkeling 9 This is our guide for both of the excursion, Asiel. He did a great job leading us around and his Spanglish was very easy to understand. Here he is diving down to show us a sand dollar. It's the first time I've seen one in the open ocean before. He is also in about 18 feet of water here, and makes the dive look easy. I tried but couldn't get nearly that far down let alone have time to look around at the sea floor.
Cozumel Snorkeling 10 For a cheap, disposable camera, this picture turned out remarkably clear. I wish I had more like this.
Cozumel Snorkeling 11 This star fish is about a foot across, and is in about 12 feet of water, so I was just able to swim down to it and take a picture. I also saw a sword fish at the end of the swim, but the picture was too far away to turn out. However, overall I was very impressed with this excursion and would love to do it again.
Cozumel Beach with Sean and Sara Sean and Sara wimped out on the snorkeling part of the adventure but got to relax in the sun instead. It was a little chilly getting out of the water, but I still think it was well worth it.
Cozumel Dog We did get one beggar coming through this beach, but he was pretty laid back!
Cozumel Ships at Dock 1 Luckily this port had a nice large dock for all the ships to pile into, although some still had to dock off at sea and tender in.
Cozumel Ships at Dock 2 I got a nice picture of one of the Norwegian ships here. I think they are the ones who advertise the free planned cruising without all the planned meal times and strict schedules that Disney runs with. I might have to try that sometime to see the difference.

Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay View From Ship 1 Of course the last stop for any Disney cruise is in their private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. This is an awesome place to stop, because it's basically a huge extension of the ship. The food is free, and you can use your room key for any purchases in the stores.
Castaway Cay View From Ship 2 The walkway leads directly from the ship, past the couple stores and post office, and onto the beach.
Castaway Cay View From Ship 3 This shot shows the back of the Flying Dutchman, with the planks covering the exposed portions of the prop used to film inside the ship.
Castaway Cay View From Ship 4 From the walkway you arrive at the beautiful beach, and around on the far side of the island in the top of the picture is an adult only beach if you want to get away from the kids.
Castaway Cay View From Ship 5 There is also a natural sand bar that makes a beautiful cove that is perfect for snorkeling. Although the weather wasn't co-operating, so the seas were a bit stormy and the tide was out, so a bunch of silt was kicked up and cut down the visibility under water to about 5-10 feet. I didn't take any pictures, but still got to see a bunch of fish and spend about 1.5 hours snorkeling, until I was too tired to go back out for any more.
Christmas Greeting I left out most of the Christmas themed pictures from this page, but if you check out the Disney World part of my trip, then towards the end it will show all the Christmas trees and decorations that were put up everywhere.
Ship Supplies Of course you also have your normal ship themed decorations.
Trees in the Wind As the palm trees can attest to, it was a little windy and stormy, with some occasional rain, but the temperature was still in the 70s, and it was great in the water. Although I did miss the sun bathing part of the stay, since you never got warm enough to quite be comfortable lying still.
Flying Dutchman View 1 Of course I can't pass up on a picture of the Flying Dutchman sitting out on the sand bar.
Flying Dutchman View 2 Here's a shot trying to replicate my favorite picture from my previous cruise. The skies were a bit stormy that time, too, so I don't seem to have much luck with this island, but I still really like it.
Flying Dutchman View 3 I just love these view points, so I had to take some more pictures.
Flying Dutchman View 4 Lastly, one final picture with some jet skis heading out. This is the end of my cruise part of the trip, but afterwards I spent two more days in Disney World.