June 24, 2023


Ep. 325 - Presto: A Family's First Disney Cruise on the Magic

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 325 - Presto: A Family's First Disney Cruise on the Magic
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 325 - Presto: A Family's First Disney Cruise on the Magic

Jun 24 2023 | 01:00:16


Show Notes

Hillary is joining Sam this week to chat all about the experience Hillary and her family had on their first Disney Cruise, a sailing aboard the Disney Magic from Galveston, Texas. Come hear what Hillary thought of her experience onboard, from character experiences to shore excursions, service, shows, entertainment, kids clubs and more! Hillary also provided some candid feedback on her family's thoughts about the food on DCL. All that and more on this week's episode!

If you want to join the DCL Duo Inaugural Podcast Crusie aboard the Disney Magic for her three-night sailing on June 19, 2024 from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassua and Lighthouse Point, you can head over our to our booking page at My Path Unwinding Travel to secure your room today!! Rooms are going fast and some categories are already sold out.  So, book today to ensure you can join us for all the fun in Summer 2024!!  We've got so many exciting things planned, you won't want to miss this opportunity.

If you are looking to book your next Disney Cruise, have been thinking about sailing concierge, have been eying an Adventures by Disney Trip, or are interested in what other kinds of vacations might be available, then head over to My Path Unwinding Travel so Karen and her team of expert travel professionals can help you find the perfect vacation for you and your family.  Karen and her team are knowledgeable, responsive and welcoming and we are so excited to have them as a sponsor of your show!

If you use Sea Bands to help prevent seasickness and motion sickness, then you need to check out Blisslets (via our affiliate link), a stylish alternative to traditional sea sickness bands designed to fit your lifestyle. 

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Episode Transcript

00:00.45 dclduo Welcome back. Everyone to another episode of the dcl duo podcast brought to you by my path unwinding travel I am your host Today. You may obviously recognize Brian did not do the show intro just now it's just me sam. Ah, but never fear I am not alone today I am joined by a wonderful guest who was a first time cruiser on Disney Cruise line recently welcome to the show hilar. Yeah, thanks for reaching out to us. 00:27.11 Hillary Benoit Hi. It's great to be here. Thanks. 00:33.38 dclduo I of course love talking to first time cruisers it always makes me like or it always brings me back to our first cruise and I feel like I'm reliving the cruise experience through someone else's eyes and it gets me all excited about cruising. You know every time really. Um, makes me look forward to my next cruise even more than I already do um, but Hillary. We usually start with people's Disney or Disney Cruise line background but you have like kind of a different background in that you were not a Disney parks person. 01:10.33 dclduo And you have a little bit of Cruise experience. But it's kind of from ah a while back tell us about that. 01:17.90 Hillary Benoit Yeah, so I didn't grow up going to Disney World um or Disneyland we live in Texas which is kind of far away from every um park and. It just wasn't something that we did as a family but I love disney I love disney movies I love disney themes I love disney merchandise so you know I've always really loved Disney and then when I have a family and I have two boys. Um, you know they just love. Disney movies and everything disney they are just very into it and so we wanted to bring the kids and it was important for me to bring them when they were still interested and it was still magical. You know they are huge toy story fans and I really just. Wanted to bring them to Disney World so at first we actually planned a Disney world vacation for this same time period. Um, my kids have this weird. Well one's in kindergarten but um and one's younger, but he has this weird. Um. 02:12.42 dclduo Oh interesting. 02:24.70 Hillary Benoit Bey holiday that I think a lot of school districts now are doing like a winter break and I just thought it was the perfect time. It. It wasn't on the marathon weekend you know and it wasn't the president's day week. You know? and so um, we'd actually booked it with auffle agent. Um, and i. Joke to my friends that I have a master's degree in Disney for somebody. That's never been like I just researched it and researched it and researched it but it was really overwhelming to me with the genie and the parks and how many parks should we do and where should we stay and I just. Kept thinking maybe a cruise would be easier and so um, you know we live in Texas we live about 2 hours away from Galveston and there was a perfect magic cruise like right in that time period and I just made the switch in like November when the restricted rates. 03:01.77 dclduo He. 03:20.48 Hillary Benoit Came out and so we did the restricted room and um I Just um I feel so much better about it. You know I didn't have to play on anything. It was perfect. 03:21.55 dclduo Hm. 03:32.89 dclduo Yeah, now how how long of a park strip were you originally planning? um and how many of you were in your traveling party. 03:41.94 Hillary Benoit Well, um, okay so at first we wanted to go um, my husband didn't really want to go. He's kind of a bumpy traveler and I don't know that he was really a Disney person and. You know he was like ah maybe I don't know and so my dad was going to come with me and the kids and we were going to drive and I think we were going to go to um to two parks I really wanted to go to magic kingdom of course and then hollywood studios for all the toy story things then the. 04:11.38 dclduo Right. 04:14.71 Hillary Benoit Agent was telling me about epcot and how it was just perfect for kids and there was a lot of a lot more to do there than I thought was for kids so we ended up planning three days um and I think we were leaving like on maybe like a Saturday and coming back on like a Thursday of that week um and so that's almost the exact time period. We were on the cruise then from Sunday to Friday so um, it kind of worked out but when we changed to the cruise. My husband was like well I guess I'll go and. But so I kicked my dad off the trip brought my students. 04:47.20 dclduo Ah, well maybe Dad'll get to go next cruise. But um, that's that's a funny ah planning story though. That's kind of unusual. Um, just you know the pivot. What about. 04:49.47 Hillary Benoit I know. 05:01.99 dclduo The cruise you know you had you had Cruise twice on carnival I think you said when you rode into us. Um, what sort of attracted you about the idea of cruising versus being in the parks. Obviously you said some of the planning. Why don't you talk a little bit about sort of the level of planning. You needed to for the parks or that you were starting to engage in for the parks and then maybe what you needed to do for the cruise. 05:28.60 Hillary Benoit Ah, for the parks we had planned to stay um on the skyliner because I was like I think it was art of animation or maybe it was Paul we changed to pop and I just thought that was great because then we could ride the skylineer everywhere so you know I tried really to make it a lot easier. And eventually I do want to take that trip but um for the for the cruise it just seemed like you know once you it. The price was very comparable, especially with the restricted rate. Um, that was a big factor too I think and then once. 05:58.27 dclduo M. 06:04.56 Hillary Benoit Got on the ship like you had some options but it was like you were on the ship. This is what you were doing and um, you know, reading about it and ah listening to different you know, podcasts like yours or um in the different Facebook groups. It seemed like it was a lot easier to meet the characters. 06:08.31 dclduo Right. 06:21.50 dclduo Here. 06:22.86 Hillary Benoit And because my kids are small and my oldest especially is extremely timid I was a little bit concerned already about the rides I was concerned that they wouldn't really want to ride or that it would be scary to them and so really the character interaction drove. 06:30.45 dclduo Oh good point. Yeah. 06:42.44 Hillary Benoit Want to go to Disney anyway. And so the the crews just really seem like more of the perfect. Um the perfect idea because everything I mean all of the characters. Well I won't say all of them because I would really like to see like the toy story characters and stuff. But. 06:45.00 dclduo Um. 06:57.78 dclduo Right. 07:00.40 Hillary Benoit Ah, most of the characters that they would have wanted to see you know we're going to be so much more accessible and I don't know in the parts. How accessible they are. It doesn't seem like nearly as much. So. 07:04.30 dclduo Yeah. 07:12.90 dclduo Yeah, the the lines for characters in the parks are way way longer. Um and the characters are very spread out across the parks and so depending upon where you're going will obviously dictate. What characters you can see of course if you go to toy story land at Hollywood studios. Yes, you will likely get to see Woody and buzz. Um, you may even get to see bo peep um, but that's really it I'm not thinking that there are. Other characters out and about regularly. Um and they're typically in ah the same place. So it's not like you're going to see them all one after another, you're going to have to go see one at a particular time and then come back and and see another and and so on and so forth. So. It's not the easiest thing I would say to see characters in the parks. Although obviously there are some more characters available at the parks than there are on the cruise. But I think you make an excellent point about your your kiddo who is timid because I will say a lot of those. Fantasy land rides that are they call them. The dark rides are actually a little bit scary for younger, kids particularly timid kids our son used to be. He is no longer a timid ah kid but he used to be afraid of all of those rides. 08:44.17 dclduo Now he'll go on all of them although he like prefers things like um, well at Disneyland for example, the incredible coaster. So he's a roller coaster kid now. Um and he's kind of like do I have to go on Peter Pan or something like that. But honestly, um. Yeah, there are I would say some of the rides are a little bit scarier. So I think that was ah a smart pivot. Um now I want to um, talk about cruising in particular because you you had 2 prior experiences on carnival but ways back were those positive experiences negative experiences neutral experiences. Just kind of curious as to how your view of cruising um, was before booking this cruise. 09:26.74 Hillary Benoit So I um I liked the cruises before they were in my early 20 s by you know, fifteen almost twenty years ago now um so um, they were both carnival one was like a bachelorette kind of party and so that was. 09:36.88 dclduo Here. 09:39.96 Hillary Benoit Fun. Um, and I don't really remember the other one but they were very similar one was out of Galveston and one was out of New Orleans because we're kind of in the middle of those 2 places. So both of those places are super easy to get to. Um I just haven't really um, necessarily wanted to go. We've we vacation. Before um, it to like tropical places we love beaches and and very cruise destinations. But we've flown there and stayed at like all inclusives. Um and but I like cruising. Um my husband was kind of a little weird about it beforehand he was. 10:06.37 dclduo E here. 10:18.66 Hillary Benoit You know, not too sure about the boat if he'd never been. You know so I was like it's fine. Get on the ship. It's fine. So I think he's okay now he really enjoyed it. Um, so that was good. That was a little bit of a hangup for me like is he going to like it is he going to enjoy it. 10:19.89 dclduo Here. 10:36.75 Hillary Benoit Like I said he's a little bit of a grum fory traveler. Ah so you know um I knew he would ah and he did so um, ah that was good and we've kind of got this first cruise behind us now I'm like let's book and see what else there is, but. 10:53.71 dclduo Ah I love it a little spoiler there for our audience that you're looking. Yeah. 10:55.58 Hillary Benoit As I'm tender I'm trying to bring him over. Yeah, exactly. 11:02.16 dclduo All right? So let's talk about the the room selection. Um, you know you I know you said you had done a restricted rate and so for those who haven't heard of this before. Basically you are selecting a a class of room that you would like to stay in but you don't get to select your specific room. And then Disney Assigns your room and ah these essentially it's a reduced cost for your room because you have less um you know, ah because you have no ability to choose your specific room so you can't say I want to be in the aft or I want to be in the forward or I want to be in the midship you're going to get what you get. And not be upset. Um, so tell us Hillary. Um, how did the room situation work out where did you end up and was it a ah good bad um or neutral I guess experience. 11:55.91 Hillary Benoit I was really impressed I really was I was a little bit concerned because I have a tendency to get motion sick. Um, so I had the little patches from Amazon I had. Dram mean I had the whole gamut and brought it all I think I used it and ah, we'll talk about a little bit of rough weather at the end. So but I was concerned that we were going to be in an area that I was not going to feel good with but that was not the case. Um, they had. Balcony rooms available on the restricted rate. But with my kids I just felt like it was a better idea. Not to do that but we got the ocean view which I'm so glad we did because both of the kids absolutely love to just sit in the window. All day long anytime we were in the room they're like put the little table under there and they would climb up in the window and just you know have the best time so they loved that ocean view. We ended up on the second. Um, what does that call on the second deck. Yeah. 13:00.51 dclduo Um, deck. Yep, but. 13:02.53 Hillary Benoit On Deck Two um and we technically I think we're forward. We were right by the forward elevators but to me it was almost midship. It was really nice. It was just a great. 13:10.54 dclduo This is. 13:17.90 Hillary Benoit Area because we were close to elevators but not so much that there was any noise. Um and you know we could go up real quick to the theater or it was down far enough where the elevators would come all the way down to pick us up so we were never waiting. You know So I think it was a great. 13:36.55 dclduo Nice. That's great and you had enough room for the 4 of you no issues with that. 13:36.78 Hillary Benoit But alike to where we were so. 13:44.67 Hillary Benoit Sure I mean it was a little tight but I think they're all cruise rooms are probably going to be a tiny bit tight. So we had the um of course with the bunk that came out of the um, the ceiling. My kids loved that they share a room right now and like we just spent. 13:55.24 dclduo No yeah. 14:01.62 Hillary Benoit Both of them have birthdays really soon. So we're looking at getting Bookeds for birthdays because they love the cruise. But but yeah, so they talk about it all the time. Yeah. 14:04.20 dclduo oh fun ah oh I love that that's awesome good yeah I mean all as you said all cruise rooms are tight Disney actually has some of the biggest in the industry. Um, so the square footage on Disney's rooms generally bigger than on other cruise lines but um, okay so we haven't talked about when you boarded and I feel like that's the moments that you know we love to hear about love to talk about. You know your you're boarding in Galveston as we said on, you're boarding the magic and this was. Was this a five night cruise or four night cruise I'm trying to. 14:43.11 Hillary Benoit It is a five night cruise um we um, it was about a 2 hour drive I was ah we got a really good booking time I think it was eleven fifteen um and so um. 14:52.42 dclduo Great. 14:56.83 Hillary Benoit The where we live we could either take like the fairy to Galveston or take like through Houston to Galveston so it's always kind of like a tossup when we go to Galveston like which way would be quicker. Ah but I was like well I don't want to get stuck on the ferry. So I'm definitely not taking the fairy. Ah, and if we got there used and we could stop at Bucky's and get breakfast. 15:11.93 dclduo Ah. 15:15.62 Hillary Benoit We did that. 15:16.84 dclduo Ah, we hear about buckeys all the time I'm telling you this is like a Texas institution. But. 15:20.55 Hillary Benoit I heard that on your last tour. Yes, so um, we definitely. We went through Houston that was great. Um, and I did want to point out that we bought ah we paid for like the express plot in Galveston and. I couldn't I don't think we could be any closer I mean it was always like we parked on the ship I mean we were so close. Um, so getting you know, getting there getting our luggage out. There was somebody to take it right away. We didn't walk far. Um, and. 15:39.35 dclduo Oh wow. 15:53.52 Hillary Benoit Um, the only issue like at the port really was there were like 2 lines and at first they told us like this is 11 and this is eleven fifteen so we went and gotten an eleven fifteen line and then that turns out it was like a later line like the 11 s and the Eleven fifteen s were in the first line. And so we were a little confused there but it was I mean like it took us maybe Twenty Twenty five minutes to you know once we got in like it was not that at all. Um and it was just so easy and. 16:16.20 dclduo Oh that's great. 16:25.40 Hillary Benoit Um, you know my kids were so excited we were walking onto the ship and they call your name and of course you know we loved that but they were just you know looking around and just in awe. So it was awesome I liked having the earlier time too because um, it was like you could. 16:45.34 Hillary Benoit Go straight to guest services. There were a couple of things I'm trying to remember what they were but I know I went straight there and they immediately took care of it. So I feel like um, trying to think. 16:59.77 Hillary Benoit What it was that we wanted. Maybe it was like we had a mixology but we wanted it in on different day and we ended up not even doing it. But you know she immediately switched us to the different day and I feel like just being early like that there were no lines at guest services. You know we immediately you know got. 17:03.32 dclduo E. 17:18.76 Hillary Benoit What we wanted taking care of taking care of and that was nice. 17:21.93 dclduo Yeah,, that's a really good point. Um, we of course like to board as early as possible as early as the boarding time will allow us for that Very reason hilary one you you've got um, less people on the ship. So if you're going to guest services or you're going to the spa. Or you're going to handle you know switch of your dining rotation. Whatever all of those things you can get taken care of more quickly because there's not lines ah yet and then you can you know have more time on the ship and if you want to go to Cabana's for lunch or the sit down lunch. 17:47.13 Hillary Benoit Okay. 17:55.98 dclduo Um, they're just less crowded, right? If you're the earlier. You are the the less crowded. It will be and then maybe you get to the pool deck and on that water slide a little bit faster. So um, I'd love to hear how you all started your your first day on the ship. What kinds of things you you did to kind of explore and orient yourself on the ship and of course. Where you ate lunch. That's a really important question. 18:18.22 Hillary Benoit Ah, well you know you would think and I'm new from you know, listening to y'all and to and reading the Facebook groups that like ah if you have an early time. Go eat lunch because there's no crowds but we had had breakfast at lucky. So we heard that. 18:33.69 Hillary Benoit So we actually went up to the pool deck we looked around. We sat for a little while we took a bunch of pictures like this is us with the ah you know the funnel and this is us and with the pool you know it just all of that stuff immediately my kids then I before I had given them some ah stitch. 18:42.71 dclduo Oh nice. 18:53.80 Hillary Benoit And a mickey doll that I got on Amazon like for you know on sale and um, they wanted to hold them so immediately. Of course my son loses his mickey. My youngness turns out he had left in the elevator. Um, but um, you know that was. 19:01.54 dclduo Oh no. 19:11.27 Hillary Benoit That was kind of some drama but I got on our Facebook group and it took a few days but 2 or 3 days later somebody returned him so that was that was nice that we were in that group. Um for our specific crewise. Um, so we got him back eventually. We ended up at cabana's um. 19:17.97 dclduo Oh yeah. 19:30.10 Hillary Benoit Ah, but I think it was right before they closed I want I don't remember if we went to the open house for the kids club first or if we went to cabanas first but by the time we got gotten into cabanas. It was pretty much cleared out so it wasn't too bad. Yeah. 19:33.27 dclduo Um. 19:44.39 dclduo That's good now. Um you explored. Of course the the kids club that's an important thing to do I Think for anyone to when they're entering their the ship even if you don't have kids frankly because that's probably the only time you're going to get to see the entire kids club. Um, in open house mode. There are other times where they have open house but it might not be the entire kids Club. It may only be half of the kids club the oceanerss Lab versus Ocean ears club on the classic ships. Um, but I think that's a great opportunity to do that and orient your kids to the kids club If if you want. Them to maybe go so you can have some adult time later on in the cruise you can't really do that until about dinner time on that first day on embarcation day because they do not have secure programming yet, but it's a great um thing to do um. I'd love to hear you know what? all you did you get to the sale away party and if so what you thought about it. 20:38.69 Hillary Benoit Yeah, so like I said we went to the kids club first. The kids loved it the on the magic. There's the big toy story land you know with this with the slinky dog slide and they just I was really hopeful that they were going to love it so much they wanted to stay sure. 20:45.57 dclduo In his. 20:57.20 Hillary Benoit Its about later. They loved it when we were with them not necessarily by themselves so much but they they really really liked it and then we went to our muster our muster station um was in the theater. Um, so that was nice. Um, but I will say um. 21:00.79 dclduo Really. 21:07.89 dclduo Oh nice. 21:16.21 Hillary Benoit I Was looking forward to the sellaway party so much and it was kind of hard to get from the theater up to the salaway. Um. 21:22.94 dclduo Yes, yep, that's a really good point if you to be honest, there's not really any necessarily good muster station to then get up to the pool deck. Um, even the ones even folks who have ones that are. 21:32.22 Hillary Benoit And. 21:40.40 dclduo On the deck. It's down on deck four. So it's not really any closer to the pool deck where the sailaway party is so yeah I have to say that the in-person Muster is a bummer to me and many other regular cruisers. 21:57.50 Hillary Benoit Ah. 21:58.51 dclduo Um, we wish that they would return to the virtual option. But I don't believe that that is likely to happen at all or at least not any time soon. Um, but it was really. 22:07.21 Hillary Benoit Keep saying it Maybe yeah. 22:11.30 dclduo I know maybe we keep exactly maybe we keep saying it maybe Disney will hear. But yeah everybody I think wants it to go to the other way but we hear that it's a bit of a staffing issue just that they have to have people stationed at these locations essentially all day on embarcation day for everyone to check in. 22:27.18 Hillary Benoit So. 22:31.10 dclduo And so it's actually it sounds strange but it's actually less personnel for everybody to do it all at once for you know the usually 15 minutes that the muster drill takes sometimes longer if you have a lot of people who don't show up. 22:46.42 Hillary Benoit That might have been the issue I'm not sure it seemed like it took a little bit longer than 15 minutes nothing that was annoying but then we we all lift the theater at the same time and the elevators are crowded so we just I'm not sure what. 22:47.27 dclduo And then there you know have to be located. 22:55.98 dclduo E. 23:02.40 Hillary Benoit Deck that's on but then we just walked up the stairs and I really wanted I didn't want to be close because of met him and Eli you know I didn't want him to you know, be overwhelmed so we actually wanted the the deck above ah but by the time we got there. There were so many people there was already like almost like too deep there. Um, and. 23:02.63 dclduo Right. 23:12.59 dclduo E. 23:19.82 dclduo Um, yeah. 23:21.32 Hillary Benoit You know there's a lot of adults I was like can my kids get of you. Ah, but there were some ah dead boxes that and I just plotpped my kids so I'm not sure if that's what you're supposed to do but that's what I did and so it ended up okay and Pushsh the sailaway party was just. 23:23.31 dclduo Yeah. 23:30.85 dclduo Um, yeah. 23:38.60 Hillary Benoit Magical. It was everything You know you see we've watched the videos but just hearing that horn play. You know it just brought brought tears from eyes even though I was kind of mad but you know it made everything better so you know that was just the perfect. You know if it's your first cruise. Especially. 23:49.16 dclduo Um, yeah. 23:55.81 Hillary Benoit You have little kids I think it's so important to go like it just sets this tone for the whole thing. 23:59.80 dclduo Yeah I think the deck parties are are quite fun. The sale away being probably the best 1 of all of them 1 thing to note there are upfront there are some kids only areas and so if your kid is a little bit more independent and willing to go up to the sort of the front. Near the stage on their own or with their sibling. It's a great place for them to get probably the best views of course. Um you know some kids are not maybe as brave to you know because you might not be within five or ten feet of your parent and so um. 24:30.99 Hillary Benoit And. 24:34.90 dclduo Some kids aren't going to go up into that kids' only zone but it's great that it's that it's available. But you're right, there are lots of very enthusiastic adults who take the spots right at the rails up above on. Um, what is that deck 10 or 11 depending. Yeah I can't remember um. 24:49.39 Hillary Benoit Yeah, one of those? yeah. 24:53.37 dclduo Yeah, and so it's ah yeah, those spots are are hard to come by for sure. So let's ah, kind of pivot here and talk about some of the things instead of going through the cruise day by day. Um because we could probably spend hours doing that. Um. 25:06.26 Hillary Benoit Hat shirt. 25:09.46 dclduo Let's talk. Let's talk about some topics I loved going through sort of your first day because it's just an exciting and crazy day in in many ways, but let's let's talk about ports before we talk about some of the stuff on the ship. What ports did you go to and then let's talk about what you did at each port. 25:26.30 Hillary Benoit Sure So we ah went to cosamil. Um, and um, all of the Disney excursions looked amazing, but with my kids just being as young as they are and that's really being peach people I really wanted to just go to like a resort or something like that. 25:41.10 dclduo Who. 25:43.56 Hillary Benoit So we did we just caught a taxi to a paradise beach which is one of their beach clubs there. It's about 20 minutes away it was super easy. You just walk across the the road through the port and ah, you know got a taxi they did try to like be like. 25:46.75 dclduo Oh nice. 26:03.36 Hillary Benoit Are you sure you want to go to Paradise We have all these other options and I was like no we have reservations. Ah so that was easy. You know we just told him no and they they took us right there. It was perfect for us. We got um I had reserved it like a beach bed I guess is what they call it. Um, and um. 26:19.17 dclduo Either. 26:22.96 Hillary Benoit Like a cabana but it's just like a bed and we were Happy. We had that it was kind of like a central location. My Youngest even took a nap. Um there that day they had a beautiful pool they it was all inclusive. They had delicious ah drinks in we had. Ah, bunch of shrimp tacos which is like our favorite thing so it was a nice.. It was a night they had inflatables and things like for bigger kids. Mostly we stayed in the pool. So um, we really enjoyed that in coza mail and then we came back in. Go ahead. 26:41.60 dclduo Oh awesome. 26:56.96 dclduo Wait wait. Let me stop you there. Where did you? How did you find out about um this about this resort and the speech. 27:05.20 Hillary Benoit Sure like I said I really checked out all of the disney excursions and they have like a beach break but they don't really tell you where they're going so like I kind of googled like um, what what is Disney Speech break and then it was a different resort. Um and then like it just. 27:08.74 dclduo It hit. 27:21.74 Hillary Benoit By googling that it was like which is better this resort this resorted this resort and you hear about several different ones I think there's one called san 1 forgets sanhos Mr. Sanoss or something I almost went there but we just looked and this pool looked really nice and I knew my kids would like the pool. 27:37.47 dclduo Oh good. 27:40.93 Hillary Benoit So um and it had great reviews. They have a Facebook group too I'm a researcher getting a tell. Ah. 27:49.80 dclduo Yeah, no, this is great I think this is great because a lot of people don't know where to look right when they're booking excursions. Um, a lot of people are a little nervous to go outside the Disney bubble which I don't blame them I Myself am someone who is kind of nervous about going outside the Disney Bubble Um, particularly at ah. 27:52.85 Hillary Benoit So. 28:07.60 dclduo I haven't been to? um so I think it's great to hear about you know other places you probably cost you less than the Disney Beach break um because ah. 28:17.77 Hillary Benoit I forget exactly. But it was comparable. Maybe but because we got the did each bed to um, we paid a little bit of a deposit and I forget how much the deposit was but I paid 80 for all 4 of us when we got there so eighty plus the deposit it was less. 28:26.38 dclduo Yeah. 28:34.83 Hillary Benoit And 200 for all 4 of us and the beach bed. So I thought that was very reasonable. 28:37.22 dclduo Yeah, that's really good I would definitely say I think generally speaking if you do a Disney Cruise line excursion for a beach break you you might pay about the same but you get less for it because you're not going to get at the day bed for it. You're just going to get maybe a chair. Yeah yeah. 28:53.50 Hillary Benoit I'm sure we. 28:55.98 dclduo Okay, so you spend the day at Paradise Beach you head back to the ship via taxi. 29:02.29 Hillary Benoit Yes, and I actually headed back. Maybe just a little bit too early but I was nervous. Not on a Disney trip. Um, and that was funny because actually our room overlooked. Um, the gangway where the people go come on and off and so when we were about to pull away I was like looking up I was like is anybody running town I was kind of curious but nobody was everybody made it as far as I could do ah but I was a little nervous so we came back a little early and um. 29:18.75 dclduo Yeah. 29:24.36 dclduo Good. 29:33.25 Hillary Benoit It was nice that they had the towels you know, um, that's 1 thing I will say is that on these adventures a lot of times they want you to bring the towels from the ship or you have to pay for them at the place so we brought the the Disney towels and just picked them up. You know on our way out and brought them right back and that was super easy. Ah, that was something I didn't know before I went and yeah, um I thought that the port at Comill was nice. You know there was a little bit of shopping to do they had Starbucks there which um, fixed Starbucks for so I was like yay coffee. 29:53.35 dclduo Oh that's a good. Yeah, that's a good tip. 30:10.50 Hillary Benoit And so we stopped in Starbucks ah and got a mug as my souvenir. So I appreciated that. 30:17.35 dclduo Nice, What were the other ports I know you had one port that you that you missed? Um, but why don't you tell us what were the other ports you were scheduled to go to. 30:27.75 Hillary Benoit So it was progresso which I'm not sure there wasn't a whole lot of information about Progresso I don't know if Disney just now started going there. Um, they say it's like the the longest ah dock or the longest. 30:42.71 Hillary Benoit Yeah, so it's like two miles from there. Um, from where the ship docks to the actual city I so you would take like buses in I was kind of looking forward to it but there really wasn't um, a lot of information about progresso. Um out there. Um. Have like an old city that you could go to and medi shop around like a market I think we ended up um, having a reservation at a newer place. It was called Sergio's house um and it's very close to the port. Um. And they had like a pool. It was a little bit of an all inclusive but it was very very small I think they they have a lot less It's not like a whole resort. Ah, but Sergio's tours 31:27.92 dclduo E. 31:32.95 Hillary Benoit Own sergio's house and Sergio's tours I think was a bigger company in Progresso and they run private tours a lot so it was kind of affiliated with them. Of course they have a Facebook page you can go check it out but it looked beautiful. But I think the weather they said that it was like thirty knots or something so the wind. 31:38.58 dclduo Um. 31:49.10 dclduo Oh wow. 31:52.30 Hillary Benoit The the weather was fine. The wind was crazy. Um, apparently um, and so they canceled that that port stopped So we didn't get to stop it all. Um, yes. 31:53.83 dclduo Right. 32:03.36 dclduo Was probably and they were worried about the safety of docking in the port rather than the safety of the passengers. Once you got to port right? It would be more of ah a docking issue than anything particularly maybe it's more of an issue with a longer dock as well I don't know I'm not a. 32:10.64 Hillary Benoit Yes, yes. 32:22.49 dclduo I'm not a maritime expert but I'm just you know I'm just guessing there. So what was the um, what did what? if anything did Disney do to compensate travelers for that you know canceling a port you know they have obviously it's very clear on the website and the terms and conditions when you book that they have the right. To cancel a port for really any reason whatsoever. Um, if they know far enough advance. They might try and alter the itinerary to get a different ports lotted in there. But when it's a last minute thing due to weather. That's obviously not a possibility I know refunding port fees is something that they ah. 33:01.56 Hillary Benoit I ah do think we got some port fees back. We got like a little bit of I wouldn't I wouldn't have noticed it was like less than $25 or something crazy alien it was real small but um I saw in our cruise group that they had said oh we're gonna get the poor piece back. So I think we did get those now. The only. 33:01.61 dclduo Typically do? yeah um yeah. 33:19.67 Hillary Benoit That really they might have added some things during the day. Um more you know arts and crafts type things they added something and I forget exactly what they called it but it was like um, a dance party like a character dance party. 33:24.11 dclduo Yep. 33:33.76 dclduo Oh oh a character Dan's party oh that's fun I was wondering if they did like a silent disco because they sometimes will do a family version of the silent deja party. Um, and sometimes they'll oh I love it. Yeah. 33:41.39 Hillary Benoit Now we did that one night and we had so much fun with a silent deeja that my kids love to dance and they just loved that you know it's a good 30 minute break so I definitely if you see that on your itinerary do that because the kids love that. But no, it was a character so it was. 33:59.94 dclduo Oh wow. 34:00.40 Hillary Benoit All the characters and this was I'm telling you this was the best thing that happened on the cruise was this character dance party I mean it was the fab 5 and daisy so that's 6 34:14.29 dclduo Um, yeah, and. 34:15.92 Hillary Benoit Ah, and and yeah it but it might have even even been more I'd have to look at my pictures again. It might have been um but I'm not a hundred percent sure about chip and Taille but they all came down the stairs and it was in the um atrium and like they would like um. 34:18.50 dclduo Probably chip and dale as well. Right? I they're usually yeah. 34:34.73 Hillary Benoit Cycle through like each side of the stage and all the characters were dancing I don't and this might be I'm not trying to be ugly. But I don't know why they don't do this on every cruise it was the best thing they did and the kids loved it. Um, you know it was. 34:35.98 dclduo Here. 34:45.58 dclduo Yeah. 34:53.19 Hillary Benoit So much interaction I know it's a lot of personnel but it was really only like 30 minutes and it was just amazing like the kids were it really could dance with each of the characters you know and there weren't a lot of kids down there. But. 34:58.33 dclduo Oh that's so nice. 35:08.69 Hillary Benoit Ah, you know we just kind of like left the pool. So my kids were in their swim suits and just ah, you know they were dancing it did it was just it was. It was awesome. It was really great. It was so magical. Yeah yeah. 35:18.29 dclduo oh that's so great Yeah, oh I love that yeah they do tend to add in if you get a canceled port day. They do try to add in some onboard activities I've never heard of this dance party option before I love that? Um, but yeah, even just some extra. Um. Crafts sometimes they'll add a bingo session because you're going to be out at sea. Obviously so they can do bingo and then maybe the shops will be open so there are some some activities on board that they'll try and supplement that they would not have done if you were at port. Um, it's not necessarily going to be some huge production number. But. Yeah they'll do some things. What was your you had 1 other port am I right? okay. 35:58.62 Hillary Benoit No, it was just those 2 Um, now we did have another kind of auto current and we kind of werere going slow back to Galveston because we've missed our port day. But then I think there was like a medical issue and um. 36:11.47 dclduo Um, oh. 36:16.54 Hillary Benoit That last c-day we kind of had to hurry back to Galveston so we actually went back close to Galveston and I think another like tinder ship or something met us and took the person off but we were like they had to close the stores and everything like we were that close to Galveston we were very close. 36:29.10 dclduo Yes. 36:36.60 Hillary Benoit And um, the closer we got to Galveston because it was February and the weather the weather got worse and it got really rocky. It was kind of put a damper on our on our last cday because then that it was kind of rainy and and rocky and you know that wasn't probably the best. 36:40.26 dclduo Right. 36:49.20 dclduo You hear. 36:54.40 Hillary Benoit Day it was unfortunate that that happened because when we were down by Mexico the weather was really nice even though supposedly it was it was ah the wind was really you know, um you know bad. But um, you couldn't really necessarily tell until the weather kind of turned when we got close to gal. 37:12.86 dclduo Yeah, well. 37:13.67 Hillary Benoit I guess but after that that was like on like the crus ended Friday morning and that was like on Thursday afternoon. So then they kind of headed back out just so they could reopen everything and we just kind of sailed around a little and then we were back. You know. 37:21.60 dclduo This is. 37:31.51 Hillary Benoit Friday morning to distant work. 37:33.54 dclduo Yeah, we've had similar experience. We actually ended up back in New Orleans at port the night before disembarkation. Um, because of actually two medical incidents or issues on board. Um, and it had ended up our. Fireworks and whatnot got canceled because of that. So these things can happen. You know they will make sure to handle the medical emergency and if that diverts the ship even for part of the day or for a whole day then that it is what it is you just hope that person of course is doing well yeah. 37:50.70 Hillary Benoit Oh heaven. 38:03.32 Hillary Benoit Oh absolutely And luckily our pirate night was the night that we were supposed to have been in progresso so we still had our fireworks and we still had that deck party which was awesome too. So it didn't change any of that for us which was a nice. 38:07.50 dclduo Um, but it. 38:10.54 dclduo Oh good. Yeah. 38:20.37 dclduo But yeah, that's great. That's yeah, um, you probably was a coast guard boat that would be my guess it was probably a coast guard goat that came and picked up that passenger to take them back to land. Um, okay so oh gosh. 38:25.00 Hillary Benoit Oh maybe? okay. 38:31.87 Hillary Benoit And I think it was a crew member too which is even kind of like I didn't hear what had happened but I think it was a crew member. So I'm not sure exactly. 38:39.11 dclduo Oh yeah, so let's shift gears a little bit and talk about some of the activities and things you you all got up to on Board. Um I'd love to hear you know how the we talked a little bit about the kids Club. He gave us a little bit of a teaser but I'd I'd love to hear a. What the kids thought of the kids club and what you all thought of the kids club. 39:02.33 Hillary Benoit Oh I thought it was amazing like you know, not even having gone before we didn't know I mean we keep really close eye on our kids and our kids are young but I just felt so Safe. You know dropping them off there I felt so um, you know like everything was. Gonna be fine with the the hand washshing stations where it's totally cool. They love that you they put your hands in there and they love that. Um, and unfortunately they found out pretty quickly that they just said that we wanted to see mom and dad and they were and but that's okay I mean you know they would. 39:24.74 dclduo I Love those. 39:38.24 dclduo Ah. 39:41.51 Hillary Benoit And about an hour in there at a time before they would call us when we booked. Ah um, a couple's massage. It was actually my husband's birthday on the thirteenth. So um, that was kind of like part of his birthday. You have to have booked that for us. 39:50.47 dclduo Um, low, nice. 39:58.15 Hillary Benoit And so we we made it through the couple's massage without you know by the time I got back to the little locker but message that was like like and like with boat like to be picked up as soon as possible. You know so we went ah and they were totally fine. They just wanted us to come play is what it was um. 40:05.67 dclduo You had a message. Ah. 40:16.30 dclduo Ah. 40:17.30 Hillary Benoit So you know they enjoyed it. Um, we really enjoyed the massage that was super nice that might have been actually what I talked to guest services about moving the time of the massage that might have been something too with it which they took care of you know, as soon as we got on board. Um I did try to do this Ah, um, ah, raffle or whatever that they had the first day but I was a little bit late. So if you want to do that. Get there early because if not your name will be in the house that was one trick that I learned I was like I was late to the rabble. Um, so um, anyway I forgot what else you asked. 40:38.66 dclduo He. 40:56.16 Hillary Benoit Yeah, what else we did. 40:56.85 dclduo No, that's ok, yeah, so so the um, it sounds like the kids had a ah I would say a positive experience. They're young so it doesn't surprise me that they would only be in there for you know about an hour at a time you know I think as you continue to cruise. They'll get a little bit more comfortable I think one of the things that can be a little bit overwhelming with the kids clubs on the ships is because they're such a wide age range for the ocean ears club and Ocean Ears Lab you know it's 3 to 12 years old if your kid is not the most like super outgoing ah or like Joiner. It can be a little bit overwhelming and so I do think that kids who go you know? Maybe when they're a little younger and then go ah again when they're you know, maybe in a year they'll have a little bit more confidence and. And might be willing to stay for an hour and a half so you can have Paulo Brunch or 2 hours you know 41:51.59 Hillary Benoit Yes, that's really what we want for sure next time I was veryly happy that they could go together. You know sometimes their ages are closed but sometimes with their ages like they get separated and things and they just do so much better together and so that was that was. Very nice that they could stay together. Ah in other 4 and 6 so definitely fit in that age range. So. 42:16.46 dclduo So Tell me what are the other some of the other maybe family activities you all got up to you mentioned the the silent Dj party. It sounds like they loved that you and had this character dance Party. Did you guys do any of the crafts or any of the family game shows or any of those kinds of um. Family activities. Um while on Board. Ah. 42:35.56 Hillary Benoit We spent so much time really chasing the characters like the kids loved those so much. So um, we went to a lot of the character interactions. A lot of the meet and Grades. We tried to get there a little bit early. Sometimes I would go stay in line for one and then my husband goes stand in line at the one you know the deck below it but my kids really enjoy that as far their ages right now but they and we got all the pictures and did all the things. Um, we learned a little trick that is it shutters where they review all the pictures I think. 43:02.51 dclduo Oh I Love it. 43:09.10 dclduo Um, yes. 43:10.67 Hillary Benoit Um, there's ah like a little door in shutters on the magic and all of the characters come out and in there that's like their backstage area and so we called it the ah the magic door the secret door or something so we just set outside of that door a lot of times and you would see almost all the characters going to their different events. 43:19.91 dclduo Ah. 43:30.21 Hillary Benoit Through that door and so a lot of times. 43:31.64 dclduo Oh nice. Yeah, you can catch a little ah catch a little impromptu character interaction as they're coming out to their their location. They won't stay and and and interact with you very long, but right you could see them and you might get a couple seconds interaction. 43:39.90 Hillary Benoit Yes, but you could see him. 43:46.97 dclduo It's always good to get that that camera out to get a little bit of video interaction of your kid with the character some of the best videos that we have of Nathan are are those um tell me were there any were there any characters that you were hoping to see that you did not get to see or anyones that were particularly good. Just kind of. 43:54.70 Hillary Benoit Yes, yes. 44:06.67 dclduo Curious I know you had said the toy story characters were obviously um, ones you did not get to see I will tell you that they are sometimes on some of the seven night cruises so on the fantasy you can sometimes see in particular toy story characters and sometimes you'll get um. Tink and Peter Pan and of course Captain hook and Sme do come out usually on pirate night. But um, they might come out even more. Also if you do a Pixar day at Sea Cruise in particular, you will get the toy story characters. And some other Pixar characters but curious as to you know was there anybody else you were sort of either hoping to see or surprised and happy to see. 44:48.45 Hillary Benoit I kind of researched it beforehand. So I knew that we probably wouldn't get those I did see that sometimes Woody would be out like on the kids day um like at the open house the first day but we did not see him there so you know, ah but which was fine. Um. 44:59.77 dclduo Is is. 45:06.90 Hillary Benoit It was really nice that there was a lot of stitch time Masssen Also really liked stitch and so that we were like went to the stitch goo making family event at the kids club. They loved that and there was lots of stitch there. Ah really, there were were more moral characters than I anticipated. 45:16.55 dclduo Yep. 45:23.69 dclduo With who. 45:25.19 Hillary Benoit And ah my oldest in particular likes the ah likes those a lot and so um, he didn't know all of them I'm not sure he knows like Thor in Spiderman but he was kind of sad not to see Hulk which if you think about it. Hulk is probably going to be hard with like makeup. 45:35.20 dclduo Right? right. 45:43.14 dclduo Yep there there is no hulk on the cruises. You can you? you will sometimes see um well at Disney Land you can see Hulk but he's in the it's not the regular hulk costume. It's like hulk in like the spacesu. 45:44.56 Hillary Benoit Ah, there's no hope. Yeah. 45:57.60 Hillary Benoit Oh and. 45:59.41 dclduo 1 I can't remember from which that spaceuit it's um I can't even think of that I think it's the end the suit they're in an end game. He's in like that suit. Um, and so but yeah, it's again, that's only at Disneyland I've never seen him on the cruise I doubt he's ever coming to the cruise for the exact reasons it's it's a little bit difficult to to do. 46:04.53 Hillary Benoit Sure. 46:16.52 Hillary Benoit Sure 1 thing that was nice about the characters is we were trying to catch mickey in his pyrite outfit but we were late we were doing something else I forget exactly what and so they had they. 46:18.91 dclduo Um, but yeah. 46:25.22 dclduo You. 46:33.23 Hillary Benoit Luckily we'll tell you that the line is over. You know, don't get in line the line's over but we were just kind of standing off to the side just that the kids could like see him and he was finishing up with um the last family and I said I'll just stand over here and we'll wave at Emily passes and then as he pass does. The cast member you know said would you like to walk with you know, Pirate Mickey and of course yes and so he just took both of my kids' hands and that was like the best pictures and the best interaction and we walked to the secret door so they on the long hallway to the secret door. Lots of hogs. 47:02.77 dclduo Oh. 47:12.30 Hillary Benoit You know that was we just happened upon that so that was very nice. Um, my son's favorite is Donald duck too and 1 time um we um were trying it was on the very last day the c day was very cold and. 47:13.91 dclduo This is. 47:30.59 Hillary Benoit Pay attention to when cabbaass closes because cabavas closes at two and we were there at like 2 15 I think we're kind of like a little bit off all the time on when we eat. We're a little bit late. Everything. Ah and so ah, we actually got food on the pool deck but it was too cold up there so we were looking for a place and so we had all this food and. Ah, we called an elevator and Donald just needed the elevator too. So it was nice. It was us and Donald and we wrote the elevator and my kids are just like wow you know it was amazing. So like fun things like that happen in you know you would never get that in the park. So. 48:08.76 dclduo Yeah. 48:09.98 Hillary Benoit So um, it's just the cruise was really the right thing for us. 48:15.27 dclduo That's awesome I love that? Um, okay, so let's segue a little bit to shows. We haven't talked about the shows on board the magic and I'm curious as you know you have young kids I imagine you had early dining because of how young they are did you all. Get to go to the shows did you watch them on your stateroom Tv or did you skip them. Oh. 48:37.96 Hillary Benoit Interestingly we chose slate dining and um, that's really because ah we eat later I'm not really at home. We eat a around so we eat like right in the middle time like the my mom has been you know grumpy is like. Ah, can't eat it fucked 30 and I can't eat an date. What is up and I was like yeah we're gonna eat it 8 just just roll with it. It's fine and ah you know so we chose to like our shows which I really enjoyed because I mean the later dining because I really enjoyed um the pool deck. 48:56.70 dclduo Ah, yeah. 49:09.83 dclduo Gas. 49:11.25 Hillary Benoit Without so many people. Um, so at least two days during like five thirty six o'clock there was nobody up there and even when it was a little bit cool. You could get in the hot tubs and there were no adults in the hot tubs. There was no nobody anywhere you know except for just a few other families and so that was really nice. 49:19.00 dclduo With here. 49:31.90 Hillary Benoit Ah, but I kind of bring out a Tom for the shows we did go to is it dreams the one where um, they have yes, yes we did do that one now my youngest slept through the whole thing which was nice because then we. 49:38.82 dclduo And Anne Marie who who takes a journey with Peter Pan yes dreams yeah Disney dreams. 49:50.96 Hillary Benoit But to dinner and he was in a great mood. It worked. Yeah, he needed enough and I just held him. Um, you know if it maybe is a tad bit long for my kids but it was amazing. I Really wish that we had seen the other ones too. Um, you know, but I wouldn't have taken in back the full time either. 49:53.73 dclduo Ah, he needed a nap. But. 50:00.40 dclduo It is. 50:10.33 Hillary Benoit You know? so it's just there's so much to do in. So little time you know. 50:11.19 dclduo There is There is honestly we tell people all the time you've got to figure out what your priorities are and do that and don't look back right? Like if you didn't get to see every show or you didn't get to go to every trivia. 50:19.20 Hillary Benoit Sure. 50:27.31 dclduo That's ok if your priority is character interactions and pool deck time. Ah, or you know kids club time. Whatever your priority is you know focus on that and if you miss some things that's ok, one. There's always the next cruise but 2 not every event is going to be 1 that everyone is going to want to go to anyway and that's okay. 50:46.99 Hillary Benoit Sure yeah I think I really would have liked the shows. Um and my husband really enjoyed it too. But the kids you know they it's just a little long forum at this age you know in a couple of years I think we'll be fun. 50:56.97 dclduo Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I I know we have to segue to food and I know that this is something I'm not going to spoil it for our audience. But. I Know you had an interesting experience with food. Ah or I'll just say a less than stellar experience with food on board and so I'm really curious to segue to that discussion and find out what? Ah what. Your food experience was like I know you had now you've told me if you had late dining I don't know if that played into it or um or what but I'm curious as to your experience. 51:39.21 Hillary Benoit Everything was very passable. Everything was Fine. Um, but I had read you know and heard and I was looking forward to the food and I won't say we're Foodies. We're really not but we are Cajun and we like maybe a little bit more spice. Everything. Just super duper bland and that's fine like I realize that they are trying to feed people from every walk of life from every place in the world but just nothing had any flavor even like the same even having just no flavor. Um, we. 52:05.90 dclduo Um, yeah I. 52:14.20 Hillary Benoit Enjoyed the pirate night food because it was more seafood based and that's really what we're used to. You know we like the crab cakes. Um, ah really the best food I had this is so weird but we ate like 10 of them were the hamburgers on the pool deck. They were pretty good. We really like. 52:17.55 dclduo Here. 52:28.81 dclduo I love the hamburgers on the pool deck and and Nathan Nathan pretty much eats a hamburger on the pool deck for lunch every single day when we're on the cruise and then usually if we go to Apollo or remy dinner. 52:31.72 Hillary Benoit So yes, that was good. We really liked it. 52:46.34 dclduo That he's usually having a hamburger on the pool deck for dinner that night as well. Yeah, but he's Mickey's Mac and Mickey's Mac and cheese all the way in the dining room even if it's not on the menu. That's what he's ordering. But. 52:47.81 Hillary Benoit I Don't blame him it. We're good. My kids. 52:58.45 Hillary Benoit Ah, well apparently yeah, you just say Mac and cheese and pizza and that's what my kids say that they lived on that just put it in their veins. That's what Pinocchio's pizzeria you know they were all about it. 53:07.64 dclduo Yep Yep! So yeah, so it doesn't surprise me as soon as you said your can I was like ok now it makes sense why you didn't why you didn't enjoy the food or or thought it was passable I should say it is. 53:16.35 Hillary Benoit And. 53:25.80 dclduo Food for the masses. We always try to tell people like this is going to be like maybe wedding food or catering you know, catering all food they are making it for the masses. So it is not going to be spicy. It is not going to be overly seasoned. It is going to be. More on the bland side and then if you want to add some salt and pepper on the table you can um you probably can ask for hot sauce if you like to add some more spice. Yeah, maybe maybe or some crystal sauce Brian likes crystal sauce. Um, so you can use to. 53:47.22 Hillary Benoit And we should have packed our Tonys there you go? Yes, well, you know there were some things like that just weren't good like the all of the bread was hard. Like it's super hard like the roles like you could tip a tooth on our roll and it's not just us like I kind of solve that in some reviews from the magic during like January February March I don't know if they still are having that but like I was like agreeing with people when they were saying like um, you know. 54:06.81 dclduo Um, oh oh interesting. 54:17.41 dclduo Oh interesting. 54:25.57 Hillary Benoit Ah, roll so hard and then of course like the cho waffles were fantastic. Why does Disney gate Keep the good food like they should have that every day they should have that all the time that was amazing and the desserts at the Royal table were really good like we um. 54:32.20 dclduo But every day I know people love those I know. 54:43.80 Hillary Benoit One day I ordered um ah when we when we had that rotation I ordered all the desserts because it was like the black forest cake and a crimberly cheesecake and the apples strudel I couldn't decide so I was just like bring me one and they were They were amazing. They were really good. 54:56.59 dclduo Yeah I love it I love it. Awesome! Okay, so so there's some standouts that's good to hear. Um you know I I know you didn't get to experience ah Paulo. Um, because but maybe next time it sounds like. 55:03.51 Hillary Benoit For. 55:13.10 dclduo You might enjoy that experience more I'd say it's a definitely elevated dining. There's more definitely more flavorful food. You'll get in apollo although it is italian so. It's very accessible to even people who are maybe have a more boring palate. Um, but I I i. I think it's great to always hear you know, honest reviews from people I think if there is any you know part of the cruise that is disappointing. You know there's nothing wrong with saying that you know Disney's not doing everything perfectly all the time. Yeah. 55:44.38 Hillary Benoit Well and like I said I wasn't there with the food I got so much more out of the cruise than the food if you were looking forward to the fruit if maybe not but you know that's not what I was there for and they had so many options if you can't find something to eat. You're not looking. I Mean like there were so there was there was really a lot of things in everything Nothing tasteed bad. It just wasn't any nothing was stellar. You know except for the desserts. 56:13.61 dclduo Um, nice. Um I'm trying to think if are there other things that I have neglected to ask you other topics that you wanted to particularly ones that might be helpful for other first time cruisers that we haven't covered. Before I subject you to my rapid fire. 56:30.87 Hillary Benoit Um, you know there I was really impressed too. A little bit with Disney we were there during Valentine's day and during super bowl Sunday and um so they had like super bowl Sunday was the was the day we got on the ship I know they had a big party. 56:37.84 dclduo Oh wow. 56:47.63 Hillary Benoit We walked through there in Mcgills at o gills o gills who said it? Um, um, and it was really nice. Um, um, they had food out there so they do special things. They have a little gift. It was like a bath sponge or something for. 56:53.64 dclduo Yep, oh gills. Yep. 57:06.83 Hillary Benoit Valentines that they had. 57:08.26 dclduo Oh yeah I know exactly what you're talking about because we sailed once over Valentine's day and they gave you. It was a hearts shapeped um bath sponge I can't remember the name of it. But it's like an exfoliant and it's got like a soap kind of built into it and I can't think of the name of the brand but they're. 57:12.48 Hillary Benoit Yes, yes. 57:24.76 dclduo They're quite nice actually. 57:26.44 Hillary Benoit Yeah, like it was just kind of surprising I didn't even really think about that my husband's birthday was the thirteenth and um, that night we had lumieres and we were exhausted and that night we we. 57:38.46 dclduo Um, this is. 57:41.90 Hillary Benoit And we might not have been in the best frame of mind either. But the food just wasn't what we wanted and we were just ready to go back to the room you know and so we had skipped out before dessert and our poor waiters were like oh my godsh. You're all okay and it was like yeah we're just tired. This is a big day and um, so the next night. 57:57.69 dclduo Ah. 58:00.90 Hillary Benoit We had animator's palette and I just cannot talk that was animator's palette that restaurant is amazing like that with when Mickey comes out my little boy he was for my youngest and he was so excited and he was just like. 58:08.36 dclduo Oh yeah. 58:20.16 Hillary Benoit Yelling Mickey over here over here Mickey you know and it just it just made me cry. It was just so magical like the whole music I mean Disney knows how to pull at your heart streams you know and it was just it was beautiful and ah anyway, so. 58:21.16 dclduo Oh. 58:29.37 dclduo Oh my god. 58:35.42 Hillary Benoit They brought out a big thing for my husband's birthday the next night because we had you know skipped down on dessert. So just them you know, knowing that and taking the time to really make that special was just the services unparalleled our room Stewart was amazing. Um, you know he was so nice. 58:39.41 dclduo Ah. 58:54.81 Hillary Benoit Room was awesome. He put Marvel sheets on for my kids you know and you know of course they do that probably for everybody but I mean you know. 58:59.68 dclduo Oh I Love that they don't They don't do that for every I want to tell you it's so when for anyone who is listening um the the sheets if you want like special sheets. 59:13.30 Hillary Benoit So ow, that's sweet. 59:13.75 dclduo That's a pixie dust thing that may happen that is not something that happens. Um I will ah give a little spoiler I asked for the special sheets for Nathan on our last cruise because we'd never gotten them in all of our cruises. He's never gotten special sheets. He didn't know that it even existed. 59:30.77 Hillary Benoit Yes. 59:33.14 dclduo And I only knew from the various you know Facebook groups and from doing the podcast and talking to people and hearing about it but it had never happened to us so I had to ask for it because we had also one of the nicest stewards we've ever had. Um, he was just super attentive and awesome and I asked on the first day I could just tell. That if somebody was going to be able to make it happen. It was going to be him and and so you know and he did it was marvel sheets I think there's only 2 maybe 2 different kinds of sheets and one is like princesses and the other one is Marvel so that's what you're. 59:53.30 Hillary Benoit It was going to be him. Yeah. 01:00:06.58 Hillary Benoit You know why I think we got those is because my son had a little bit of a cough and so I gave him cough medicine and he like dribbled it and it was the tiniest little dot of cough syrup on the sheet I mean I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But the fact that it but he changed him that night and I think he. 01:00:18.28 dclduo Yeah. Oh yeah. 01:00:25.68 Hillary Benoit All that you know I mean it was like microscopic little dribble of call syrup but to to me, it's like oh my godsh She saw that you know and he changed the sheets because of that and gave us these sheets. So I mean he was just the best. So friendly. 01:00:32.11 dclduo Right? Oh yeah. 01:00:41.19 Hillary Benoit Just the nicest I don't get better service anywhere. 01:00:42.59 dclduo Yeah, yeah, well I love hearing that all right now Hillary it has come to that time in the show where Brian usually says this but where we subject you or Sam subjects you to some arbitrary questions and a dash of judgment. 01:00:46.90 Hillary Benoit And. 01:01:00.90 dclduo This is the round that we like to call rapid fire. So I'm going to ask you some of your Disney favorites and then Disney Cruise line favorites will focus of course on the Disney magic since that's the only ship you've been on but Hillary what is your favorite or who is your favorite. Disney or Pixar character. Love it. 01:01:20.20 Hillary Benoit My favorites Gus Gus so from Cinderella back from when I was a kid I'm looking at his little Mcdonald's character up from a bookshop right now. Ah because we went to every Mcdonald's trying to find me guests guys. So that's my favorite. 01:01:28.60 dclduo Ah I Love that. 01:01:32.24 dclduo I love that awesome. What is your favorite Disney or Pixar movie. 01:01:38.16 Hillary Benoit Yes, I would think toy story one and 2 3 and 4 trash one and two are great. 01:01:45.10 dclduo Ah, you heard it here. 3 and 4 are trash hard agree now but 1 is better than two I mean I cry every time I hear when she loves me though from 2 So yeah, yes. 01:01:54.90 Hillary Benoit Oh I know and and then the horse. What's his name bulls eyes and 2 I love bulls on it. Yes, so but that's a hard one? yeah. 01:02:01.72 dclduo Love bullseye as well. He's awesome. Yes, all right favorite Disney song. 01:02:07.85 Hillary Benoit I would say the entire Aladdin Soundtrack it's like the golden age and I was like probably 10 to 13 when that movie was big and it. 01:02:13.93 dclduo Ah, so good. The golden age of Disney right? The 90 s. 01:02:23.92 Hillary Benoit It was just it was such a cultural phenomenon and every time I hear it I just start I mean it just brings me back. Yeah, and that was in dreams too. They had it like a whole Aladdin part. So I loved it I loved it. Yeah. 01:02:27.79 dclduo Just sing right? You have to sing along you know, Mr a lead and so oh that's right, they awesome all right? Well you and I are of the same vintage. So I totally understand why you love Aladdin all right. Favorite activity on board. The Disney magic. Yeah I love that. Ah. 01:02:53.38 Hillary Benoit Well I would have to say like the couple's massage that was great. Ah, but the silent deej was unexpected and we had so much fun with that. We really did so that was that was a fun family thing too. 01:03:01.57 dclduo Here. Awesome favorite space to relax on the ship. 01:03:13.75 Hillary Benoit Um, we took your advice and didn't get to dinner early a lot of days like you can walk right in when you're late and just that little What is it the Promenade lounge um you know, ah we we would always sit there. They always had chips and hot sauce which was great. 01:03:17.16 dclduo Here. 01:03:22.75 dclduo Yeah. 01:03:30.39 Hillary Benoit And we got the drink of the day there a lot and just kind of relaxed before going in to dinner and so that was kind of nice that we didn't feel like we needed to wait long. 01:03:38.71 dclduo Oh yeah, we love that space. We're hoping I'm crossing my fingers right now but we're hoping because the magic is in dry dock right now that that space is getting updated. We're you know it's it's it's fine as it is but it'll be nice if it get Yeah, it'll be nice if it gets a little facelift and maybe some. 01:03:54.30 Hillary Benoit It's not the cutest thing. Yeah. Oh. 01:03:58.78 dclduo Beaming because on the wonder its sistership that is the french quarter lounge and it is super well themed and of course it sits right outside of Tiana's on the magic it sits right outside of Rapunzels. We've been hoping for snnuggly duckling. 01:04:06.52 Hillary Benoit Moon. 01:04:15.11 dclduo We're hearing rumors. It's not going to be snugly duckling but we don't know. Yeah, we don't know what but something something themed is what we're hoping for. Yes. 01:04:19.80 Hillary Benoit Something yeah, sure it was nice that it was right there too. You know, um and we spent like 45 minutes there every day just kind of just waiting for dinner. You know and whatever it was just a good local hangout. 01:04:31.42 dclduo Yeah, it's awesome. All right favorite rotational dining. That's the perfect segue. 01:04:38.78 Hillary Benoit Were puzzles and animator's palette were amazing. Animator's palette and I can't I we're in pencils too like the both of the shows are incredible like it was just so much fun I don't know if we were just lucky but we had great seating for both of them right on the aisle. A lot of times. 01:04:48.31 dclduo Yeah. He. 01:04:57.75 Hillary Benoit And it was just magical both of them. 01:05:00.00 dclduo Awesome! Love it all right? Favorite sweet food item from the trip. 01:05:07.85 Hillary Benoit One day at the ice cream station. They had strawberry ice cream and it was delicious and that's my favorite so I would have to say the strawberry ice cream. My kids would say the jell-o like they would have perfect little blocks of jell-o and they wanted jello every I don't know why. But. 01:05:14.40 dclduo This. 01:05:26.10 dclduo Ah, ah that that's hilarious I do like the banana um flavored ice cream from the soft serve. It's quite good as well. All right? What was yeah I know it's you. 01:05:29.00 Hillary Benoit Oh I was disappointed. It was only one day again. Disney'satee keeping the best stuff you know, but they have to you know, rotate it out. Yeah yeah. 01:05:40.40 dclduo Chocolate and vanilla for the masses. That's what they do I know I know all right Favorite savory food item. 01:05:48.82 Hillary Benoit They had um at reuns um a ravioli that had like um, it almost tasted like like pot roast in it and it was surprisingly really, really good I Forget what it was called exactly but and it came with like carrots. It was just real savory and it was. 01:05:57.66 dclduo M. 01:06:07.57 Hillary Benoit Warm and it was It was good. It was really good. 01:06:08.84 dclduo Nice all right a favorite memory from the trip. 01:06:15.10 Hillary Benoit Ah, my favorite is probably going to be when Luke at Animator's palette was just like Vicky over here makey over here you know I he was just so excited. He was clapping his hands and he's he's really a sour puss. So for him. 01:06:24.21 dclduo Ah. 01:06:29.92 dclduo Ah. 01:06:32.23 Hillary Benoit Be so Excited. You know my oldest God Love Him. He's excited about Everything. He's so Sweet. My youngest is kind of the exact Opposite. So for him to be just and he loved this vacation. And just talks about it all the time and it's and no it made like these memories for him. So just seeing it that through his eyes. Really you know, made it special for me. 01:06:52.42 dclduo Awesome now my last question same question I ask everybody who does rapid fire which is what is your bucket list. Cruise you can go anywhere in the world on Disney Cruise line where are you going. 01:07:07.38 Hillary Benoit I have my eye. It's a little out of our price range. But I really have my eye on the same time period next February um, there's a Pixar Cruise um and it's not out of Galveston so it's gonna be a little hard to get to Florida but. 01:07:17.34 dclduo Oh yeah. 01:07:24.70 Hillary Benoit Um, you know I'm sure I mean everybody has to go. You know I was just really lucky. This was in Galveston but um, you know it is the Pixar Cruise has those characters that my kids love the toy story and the incredibles. They love the incredibles and so I'm hoping. 01:07:32.54 dclduo Yeah, yeah. 01:07:41.25 Hillary Benoit There'll be a restricted rate on that I'm just kind of watching you know, um, or maybe I'll just bite the bullet and you know book it. But it's just at the perfect time next year so I'm not sure if there's really a bucket what it was cruise but that is that's my dream right now. So we're hoping that that. You know happens. We'll see. 01:08:01.68 dclduo That's awesome I will say that there were definitely this past year. Some of the Pixar cruises did end up going on that restricted rate so they weren't completely. You know sold out. Um, even shortly before so I would definitely keep an eye out for that it it may happen. Um, unless you decide obviously to pull the trigger and just play the regular rate. But um, but that sounds like a fabulous cruise we did an episode. Um, if you haven't listened yet. We did an episode on Pixar day at sea and it sounds like the deck. 01:08:25.84 Hillary Benoit Um. 01:08:35.45 dclduo Parties and the character interactions were pretty incredible. So and of course included the incredibles. Ah yeah, yeah. 01:08:41.46 Hillary Benoit Yes, and the incredible is that we love the incredibles so that it's just the best of everything and it's longer I mean it's seven days which we're excited about um you know or I'm excited. We'll see ah. 01:08:51.24 dclduo Yep. Yeah, nice, well thank you for playing rapid fire and thank you for reaching out to us Hillary and coming on the show to talk about your experience your family's first experience on Disney Cruise line it's been a pleasure chatting with you today and we hope. That you'll be back after sailing maybe on Pixar day at sea. 01:09:13.23 Hillary Benoit Awesome!? Well thank you all so much I Just can't tell you I mean I listen to your podcast a lot while I'm working or while I'm working around the house or whatever and it's like a little.. It's like a little cruise every time and so it really you know helps take the sting away when you want to go Back. You know, right Away. So I appreciate all either company that y'all keep for me. So Thank you? Thank you. 01:09:34.85 dclduo Oh thank you.

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