March 08, 2024


Ep. 400 - The Path Between the Seas: The DCL Duo Sr. Share Their Panama Canal Cruise on Disney Cruise Line

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 400 - The Path Between the Seas: The DCL Duo Sr. Share Their Panama Canal Cruise on Disney Cruise Line
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 400 - The Path Between the Seas: The DCL Duo Sr. Share Their Panama Canal Cruise on Disney Cruise Line

Mar 08 2024 | 01:15:21


Show Notes

Our good friends Tracy and Michael (aka the DCL Duo Sr.) join us this week to share their amazing 14-night eastbound Panama Canal Cruise with Disney Cruise Line aboard the Disney Magic. Come hear what they got up to in each port, what it was like to sail through the canal, and what special entertainment and food offerings they had onboard this amazing and unique cruise. All that, rapid fire and so much more on this week's episode.

If you want to join the DCL Duo Inaugural Podcast Cruise aboard the Disney Magic for her three-night sailing on June 19, 2024 from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau and Lookout Cay, you can head over our to our booking page at My Path Unwinding Travel to secure your room today!!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: So I set my camera up on a chair to try and videotape us while we were. While we were dancing. And the couple that we met, Chris and Danielle and their daughter Maura, they were dancing next to us. And so I set up the camera and I hit record. And Michael and I are video of them. Yeah, we danced right out of the frame. And we have a great, like, ten minute video of Danielle and Chris. Salsa ink. [00:00:36] Speaker B: Welcome back, everybody, to this week's episode of the DCl duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding, travel. And, Sam, you know what time it is? [00:00:45] Speaker C: It's review time. Hooray. [00:00:48] Speaker B: It's review time. So this one comes from Sarah Webb, who writes great listen, exclamation point. I have so enjoyed this podcast and listening to all the different viewpoints from guests and from Sam and Brian. I've been able to pick up some great tips and tricks as well as just relive the magic until we're able to get on our next cruise. This has been my happy place. Just getting to go and stick my head in the Disney clouds. These guys are so easy to listen to and very well spoken. Thanks, guys. Well, thank you, Sarah. Right? [00:01:14] Speaker C: Sam? Yes, thanks, Sarah. Well, we're both trained lawyers, so I'm glad that we are good speakers and easy to listen to. But we really appreciate your review. We love that you get tips and tricks from us. We aim to please in that regard. [00:01:28] Speaker B: That's right. I've got a plaque. [00:01:29] Speaker D: I got a plaque. [00:01:30] Speaker B: Remember I got an award that one time. Sam, best oralist. That's right. [00:01:33] Speaker C: I know that sounds so terrible. Brian. It wasn't a plaque for me, folks. [00:01:40] Speaker B: I can't help but the award was titled, oh, my God, Sam. That's awful. That's awful. You're terrible. Well, with that note, I guess I don't know how to make the transition there. Sam, would you like to introduce our guests? [00:01:53] Speaker C: Yes. I'm super excited because we have friends with us today. You may remember them from early on in our catalog. You may remember them from being on the wish maiden voyage with us. They have been on the show multiple times, and they are fondly known as the DCl duo senior some places on social media, even though that's not a self identifying term. But we're so happy to welcome back to the show Tracy and Michael. Welcome, guys. [00:02:25] Speaker A: Thank you. [00:02:26] Speaker D: And I think it was Tracy who initially came up with that because of the DCL junior. It's like, well, then we'll be the. [00:02:34] Speaker C: That's right. That's right. [00:02:36] Speaker B: How about the DCL duo junior at heart? There we. [00:02:41] Speaker A: Go. I actually had somebody approach me on the cruise. We're going to talk about actually two people who asked me if we were the DCL duo senior. We were on the podcast because they listened to the podcast and they recognize our name. So that was kind of fun. [00:02:56] Speaker C: I love that. That's awesome. [00:02:57] Speaker A: I felt like such a celebrity. [00:03:00] Speaker C: I love it. [00:03:00] Speaker D: Famous by association. [00:03:05] Speaker C: That's awesome, you guys. Well, as we mentioned, you are here to talk about a specific cruise. The one that we're going to talk about is the Panama Canal Cruise, which is totally freaking amazing. But before we dive into talking about the Panama Canal cruise that these two went on, we have to ask you for some updates to your cruise creds. It's been a while since you've been on the show. We obviously know that you are platinum cruisers with Disney Cruise line. But Michael, why don't you give folks an idea of how many cruises you guys have taken and what kinds of itineraries you've taken before this Panama Canal cruise? [00:03:41] Speaker D: I've taken 19 and Tracy's one ahead of me. She did a girls weekend after doing the Princess marathon a few years ago, so she's one ahead of me. And yeah, that helped us get on the wish maiden voyage because she was at that time right at where we could still call in to get the reservation as platinum. The next day I could do it online, but that's when they actually sold out, so we were able to get ahead of even that platinum crowd. Our favorite cruise has probably been the southern. We've done that a couple of times, and that's where we actually met the DCL duo the first time before they were the DCL duo, I may add. The podcast hadn't quite started yet. Our favorite is that one. And a lot of the reason for that is the different islands that can be visited. They're not the typical, just east and westbound stops. We've done it twice, I believe, and each time it's been different islands. But we've also done the quick trips back to back to get the status, just to get the cruises completed, to climb up. And then we have once gone to Alaska and then the Panama Canal cruise is the latest endeavor of the specialty cruises. [00:05:05] Speaker C: Awesome. Tracy, why don't we start with why you guys chose this cruise itinerary and which ship it was on? [00:05:14] Speaker A: We were on the Disney magic and we chose it a couple of mean, obviously a longer cruise, which is always better in my book. But we also chose it because it was the give and take of our marriage. Michael wanted to go to Alaska, and I don't like cold, so I said, we can go to Alaska if we do the Panama Canal cruise. And then Covid hit. And so the Panama Canal got pushed back till this year, but we got it in, and it was everything I'd hoped for and more. [00:05:49] Speaker D: If that wasn't her answer, I was going to say, that's why it's like it was a trade off, because I wanted to go to Alaska. And we did that. We did just a quick trip because she didn't want to do the full week or longer cruise. So we managed six days. Our only real port stop was beautiful sunny day in Ketchikan. And that didn't sell her on it, because the next day, everyone was wrapped up in beach towels on the deck trying to enjoy the last day going back into Vancouver. So this was definitely the payback cruise for that. It's been on her list probably since we started sailing with Disney. [00:06:29] Speaker C: Yeah. And I remember you had also looked at the schedule, Tracy. I remember from us talking about couple or whenever it was you booked it, that, based on the itineraries and whatnot, where the wonder was now going to Australia, New Zealand, that we weren't sure if there was going to be another Panama Canal cruise, at least for a couple of years. So this was kind of your last opportunity to do it in the short term, right? [00:06:54] Speaker A: Absolutely. And that's another reason why we, and we had to book it around our daughter's volleyball schedule. So we couldn't do the east to west, we had to do the west to east. So it just was kind of worked out because as far as we can tell right now, that's the last one for a while. [00:07:11] Speaker C: Now, your kids are all young adults, and I know you left them home for this cruise. Were they upset? [00:07:20] Speaker A: No, I don't think so. I mean, they're all kind of on their own. Our youngest is in college. Our twins are living in the workforce and living on their own. And our oldest is married. And so they were kind of like, will you be home for Christmas? And we're like, yeah, we'll be home in time for Christmas. And so they really didn't notice. [00:07:39] Speaker D: Now, to put it in perspective, as we, we stayed in San Diego a couple of days before, we had two full days in San Diego. Then at the end of the cruise, we did two full days in Waco, Texas, with like a morning afternoon in Dallas before we flew back home. We then came home for eight days over Christmas, and then we left and went to Florida for basically the month of January. We actually just got back last week. We spent several weeks there, so they seemed not to care that we were gone. They didn't miss a know. No more communication or less communication than we're at home. [00:08:20] Speaker A: The advantages of the empty nest, people. The advantages of the empty nest. [00:08:25] Speaker C: All right, well, let's talk about where you stayed pre cruise. We know you're coming from Ohio. You were headed to California, San Diego, specifically. Where did you guys decide to stay in San Diego? [00:08:36] Speaker A: We stayed at Hotel Indigo in the gas lamp district. Great location. We did have to take some transportation to get to the port. It wasn't walkable, but it was a really nice area. [00:08:50] Speaker D: But not with three or four suitcases. [00:08:52] Speaker A: Yeah, not with the amount of suitcases we had for a three week trip. But it was a really nice area because there was lots to do to be able to walk. There were restaurants and bars and things to do. And of course, it was Christmas time, so there know lots of that kind of stuff going on. So it was great location if you want to spend a few days before your cruise in San Diego. Great location. We walked everywhere, and really, the only time we took an Uber to the zoo and we took it to the port. And with that amount of luggage, we highly recommend an XL Uber. [00:09:29] Speaker C: Yeah, good point. Good point. All right, well, let's talk about any snags or issues with the booking process. Or was it smooth sailing with the exception of the fact that you just have to wait for check in a long time? [00:09:44] Speaker D: I don't remember exactly, but every time I've booked, it's been smooth sailing. With the hiccup on this one that I actually had to rebook it because we booked the wrong cruise and had to immediately move it within the same hour. I'm sure I did that, but otherwise, everything went along as planned. In that waiting time before our window opened to book activities, we researched what could be possible, had a score sheet of everything that was possible with three options at the different ports that we wanted. By the time our booking window opened, we knew when various tastings were going to be. So we kind of planned out. It's like, okay, here's how we want them. So we've got 14 days. We don't want to stack everything in days two, three, and four and then sit back with nothing to do. So we did several tastings, spread those out. We did Apollo brunch that I said, well, let's make that at the midpoint of the cruise. So we'll try for day seven and then several activities at each port we had picked out and by the time our booking window opened, we were able to get everything that we wanted at the time that we wanted it. [00:11:00] Speaker C: Yeah, and that's a good point you make, Michael. You've got 14 days so you're probably going to be able to get everything you want. As far as onboard bookings, you might need to be flexible on what day or something like that for a mixology or for Palo, for example. But even that, there's probably quite a bit of availability because the demand is spread over those 14 days. So it's a really good. [00:11:22] Speaker A: The only thing we didn't book previously was the rainforest pass. When we got on the ship, I went directly to the spa and had no problem getting one. [00:11:32] Speaker C: And you got the length of cruise pass, I take it. That was probably all I know. They've changed the availability now with that, it seems like it's really difficult to get single day passes. You can get them, but you have to be willing to go in the morning and specifically ask for the availability for that day and then they'll tell you yay or nay. So if you want to play it safe and you absolutely want the rainforest room, you're going to have to buy that length of cruise package. So let's talk about the boarding process in San Diego. You guys obviously regularly cruise out of Port Canaveral, so this was a new port for you. Obviously you've done Vancouver, you mentioned before, but how did the sort of boarding process go in San Diego? Did you find it to know disorganized or did it go okay? [00:12:19] Speaker D: It went okay. It's definitely different. Port Canaveral or Miami are the two we've sailed out the most and there comes a time and everyone can get in. Depending on the cruise, they may or may not be checking your port arrival time to see if you're jumping the gun. But for the most part you can get in and relax and wait for your group to be called. Yeah, San Diego is definitely different, very small terminal. You get there and when we got there, our Uber driver was actually early. I had scheduled it to be sure we had it. So he showed up about ten minutes early and it was only about a 510 minutes drive. So we got to the port like 15 minutes before I expected and we were lucky. They line you up outside by your port arrival time and kind of do. It seems a staggered rolling as one group goes in. Then they change the time on that to the next 15 minutes window when we got there, our window was just open up, so we did have a line to go to, but that unorganized part is there were a lot of people standing around that had a later arrival time leading up against various signs, walking around the sidewalk, blocking the sidewalk for people that were trying to get to where they want. The worst thing for us is where we were standing for probably about 45 minutes or so was right by a crew access door. So every time we heard someone coming, we kind of had to spread to let them through. Finally, I think we had enough people around us. It's like, okay, we can just leave that open. Everyone knows what's going on and let the door open up, but different experience. But it worked out for us. It had rained overnight, but it was a nice, mild day by the time we got to the port. Not too hot, not too cold. Definitely wasn't raining. I could see that being an issue, but we didn't have to deal with any of that. [00:14:27] Speaker A: That was the thing that I thought about while we were standing there for 45 minutes, because they had, like, three lines 15 minutes apart. And by the time we got to the back end of the line, we couldn't tell what line we were in because they had all kind of merged into one. And so we kept saying, are you in the 1145 line? And yes. No. We don't know. And people were just in line, and I thought, all these people standing out here outdoors, if the weather turned, I mean, I know you're in San Diego. It's supposed to be sunny all the time, but if it was raining or a bad day, that would be awful. [00:14:56] Speaker C: Yeah. And when the weather is cold there, it is also not fun to be standing out there. And sometimes it's just too sunny because there's not really a good shady spot there right in front of the port. I know exactly where you're talking about. I would say the one good thing is, although the signage is pretty terrible, you can usually drop your bags off right away. So at least when you are waiting in your line or waiting before the line even opens, you at least have dropped your bags off with the porters before that point. [00:15:23] Speaker A: Well, our Uber driver took us in through, like, a gate into the parking lot and stopped, and so we literally got out of the car, and there was a guy there that just took our luggage. So we just basically had our backpacks, and that was all we had, which was nice to get rid of it right away. But, yeah, it was definitely. Well, like you said, we're used to fort never, where you go in and you sit down and you can use the restroom or you can open up your backpack and get a drink. We were literally standing there for 45 minutes, so not my favorite, but we were basically on the boat. We started going in at 1230, and that particular part of the process was very smooth. Once you got moving, you went in the building, you went through security, you went up, you checked in, they told you all the things they have to tell you every time. And then we basically walked onto the ship. It was just literally walk right on, which was nice. [00:16:17] Speaker D: No staging area inside to queue everyone up. [00:16:20] Speaker C: Yes, that part is really nice. All right, well, let's talk a little bit about the onboard stuff. Let's talk first. You mentioned Michael. You mentioned mixology or drink tastings in general. Which ones did you do on this cruise? [00:16:37] Speaker D: Mixology is one we always like to do, and we like to do it early in the cruise because we found it's a good way to meet people. And this length of cruise, we thought, okay, we'll do it at the beginning. Then if we meet people, we'll know them throughout the cruise. So we did mixology. I don't actually think we ended up hanging out with the people from that class as much as we would normally think as we meet them, but we did meet other people, so that's always fun. I did the bourbon tasting. [00:17:10] Speaker A: Shocking. [00:17:11] Speaker D: We did martini tasting together, and then Tracy did the champagne tasting. [00:17:17] Speaker C: Nice. Yeah. I'm not surprised. You did the bourbon and that Tracy did the champagne, right? [00:17:24] Speaker D: Yep. If you know us, that's definitely not awesome. [00:17:28] Speaker C: Awesome. What kinds of things on board? We'll talk about some onboard offerings first, and then I do want to transition to talking about the ports, but what kinds of special onboard things did they have going on? Considering this was a longer cruise and it was the Panama Canal sailing, obviously we're going to talk about going through the canal, but did they have any kind of onboard seminars or special performers or things like that? [00:17:53] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:17:54] Speaker D: Adding to what you mentioned, it was also a maritime cruise. [00:17:57] Speaker C: That's right. [00:17:58] Speaker D: So we had all the Christmas and other winter holiday. Yeah. [00:18:05] Speaker A: So one of the things that I think will kind of give people an idea, even though it was a maritime cruise, because it was such a long cruise and it started while school was still going on, there were only 1900 passengers on the ship and about under 300 kids, so it was not full by any means, which was lovely. But they did have a ton of stuff to do. They had stargazing, which they did that two different kind times. And that was fascinating to go to. It was like at 1030 at night on deck ten, like where goofy's play area is. That was fascinating. We had two sea days where they had to empty the pools because the seas were rough. And believe it or not, that was on the Atlantic side, not the. It was very. Because everybody warned us about the Pacific side. They're like, oh, Pacific side's going to be rough. You guys are used to Atlantic. Pacific was perfect. Atlantic was not so much. Go figure. [00:19:04] Speaker C: You never know. [00:19:05] Speaker A: I know, right? So they emptied the pools out, and one of the days it was quite rainy and stormy, so they added very quickly, added quite a few things. So, I mean, obviously they had. John Ashton was there, the chef, and he did some of the cooking classes. Michael went to those, but then they threw in, like an oil and vinegar seminar that was free as well. So you could go to that. You went to that, right, honey? [00:19:31] Speaker D: Yeah, I went to that. [00:19:32] Speaker A: Okay. And then they threw in a cheese seminar, which was. [00:19:35] Speaker D: Yeah, I think that was one. They added the oil and vinegar one was planned. [00:19:40] Speaker A: Oh, I didn't see that on the itinerary, but maybe the cheese one was added. I think they had a couple there that was teaching dance classes. So, like, one day they would teach the waltz, and one day they were teaching salsa, and one day they were teaching the rumba. I don't know, whatever the didn't. We did not do that, because when we talk about the itineraries, I'll explain why didn't do dance classes. But anyway, so I think they added more dance classes. And then one evening, like in the evening time between dinners, they had the dance couple in the lobby dancing and teaching people dancing there. So it just seemed like they really were prepared for Oop. We might need some additional things. And things would just pop up in the navigation and you'd be like, oh, okay, I didn't know that was on there. [00:20:27] Speaker C: Let's check that off. [00:20:28] Speaker A: And so I felt like they really handled that very well because they did have a couple of days where you really couldn't go out on the deck. I mean, they had deck four roped off, so you could not go out onto the deck at all. [00:20:38] Speaker D: Yes, two or three days. That was the case most of the day. [00:20:41] Speaker A: Yeah, they had, like, ropes across the sliding door so you couldn't go out at all because it was just so rough and so windy. We didn't see anybody not feeling well. And while we probably looked like we were drunk walking down the hallway, it was not the worst sailing. We've ever been on. I mean, we've been on worse where when you're walking down the halls, you're, like, hitting the walls on either side as you're walking. [00:21:02] Speaker D: This is the second time we've seen the bags around, but this time they were not overt about it. Last time we had really rough seas, they were in the Walt Disney theater handing them out. Instead of taking drink orders. They were walking around with bags for everyone. This time, it was definitely more covert. You'd go into one of the restrooms and there'd be a few sitting there that you could grab. But, yeah, I didn't see anyone, actually, didn't hear anyone talk about getting sick, but it was definitely more than we've experienced on most of the cruises we've done. [00:21:39] Speaker A: And I'm curious to ask you guys this question. This was something that we had not experienced in any other cruises. They were doing hour long happy hours at specific bars. So, like, the pub would have an hour where you could get a Guinness for a discounted price, 50% off drafts. [00:22:00] Speaker D: I've seen that every bar, every day had an hour, and it was pretty much scheduled at the same time. So we met friends that they really wanted to wait until that 09:00 time to go to the pub to get that beer because it was half price. Keys and currents and others had their hours. [00:22:22] Speaker A: It was like a martinis were priced lower or whatever. [00:22:26] Speaker C: I feel like I've seen it, like, in 1 bar, but not in all of the bars. This sounds. [00:22:30] Speaker A: It was like every night, each bar had an hour, and we had never had that before. I'd never heard of happy hour, so I didn't know if you guys had noticed that, like, on your Christmas, your trip, or not. [00:22:42] Speaker B: I've seen happy hours before. I don't know that I've seen it structured in the way you're suggesting, but I do remember there being times when the pub would do a happy hour and there'd be discounts on beers and things like. [00:22:53] Speaker D: Yeah, yeah. [00:22:55] Speaker C: But like I said, as Brian said, not to the scale that you're talking about. And I don't think I've ever seen happy hour discounts at the other bars other than the pub. I think the only one I can remember is seeing ones for the pub specifically for beer. [00:23:08] Speaker B: Well, they do the morning happy hour for the beignets and coffee. [00:23:11] Speaker C: Well, yes, but that's on the wonder and frankly, on the magic. They call it happy hour, but I think they do on the wish, too, for, like, it's just the coffee and beignets. It's not actually any special. They just call it happy hour as a cute name. Anyway, let's transition to talking about the ports, your port stops, and then we'll come back to a few more of the onboard things that a few more of the onboard happenings. What was your first port of call after departing San Diego? [00:23:41] Speaker A: Cabo. [00:23:44] Speaker C: Nice. [00:23:45] Speaker A: And you guys know how excited I was to go to Cabo. I had a specific mission, and it didn't happen. [00:23:51] Speaker C: Yeah. So tell us what your plan was for Cabo. Did you book any excursions and what did you end up doing? [00:23:57] Speaker A: So we did book the salsa. And salsa. Thank you, Sam and Brian, for recommending that one. It was a ten out of ten. If you're going to Cabo, book that one if you can get it. It was fantastic. But the plan was to go to that, and then it was only supposed to be like 4 hours, and then we were going to walk to Cabo Wabo from the Sammy Hagar's bar. Well, our excursions, all of them on this trip went long, and so we literally got back almost every single one of our excursions. We didn't even get to have time to go shopping, really. [00:24:30] Speaker D: I think on that one, we were expecting to be back at 01:00 and we got back at three, and all aboard time was 345. [00:24:39] Speaker A: Oh, wow. [00:24:40] Speaker D: It would probably be a 1520 minutes walk to get to where we wanted. And they just said, we don't have time and they won't wait for us. [00:24:48] Speaker A: You know what that means? [00:24:49] Speaker C: Yes. [00:24:49] Speaker A: To take me on a Mexican Riviera cruise. [00:24:52] Speaker C: Nice. Well, we'll let you know. [00:24:55] Speaker D: We won't schedule any port adventures, but. [00:24:59] Speaker A: The salsa and salsa was definitely a ten out of ten. We met some great people on that part of the trip that we hung out with for the rest of the cruise. But for anybody who doesn't know what it is, you're taken to, like, a resort, and then you get to make salsas. And they teach you how to make salsas. And they have all the stuff on the table. There is unlimited margaritas, which are dangerous. Dangerous. And then after they've liquored you up and you had salsa and chips and all the food and some taquitos. Yeah, we did some food. Then they teach you how to salsa. That's where the reason we didn't take any dance classes happened, because we did. [00:25:41] Speaker D: All right. We don't have the video proof because we moved out of frame on a. [00:25:47] Speaker A: Chair to try and videotape us while we were dancing. And the couple that we met, Chris and Danielle and their daughter Maura, they were dancing next to us, and so I set up the camera and I hit record. And Michael, I have a video of them. Yeah, we danced right out of the frame. And we have a great, like, ten minute video of Danielle and Chris. Salsa ink. [00:26:10] Speaker C: I love it. Well, I love that you guys loved this excursion. I was hoping you would, because we loved it and Nathan loved it specifically. But we thought that the instructors were super engaging. The food was good. The salsa was good. The margaritas were good. It was a nice resort. I actually would have loved to explore the pool and stuff at that resort, but that's not part of the excursion, of course. But I've also heard good things about that same excursion at some of the other ports because they actually do a version. Don't know if it's run by the same tour company or anything like that, but it's offered at a couple of different ports. But we did the same one that you did at Cabo. [00:26:46] Speaker A: There was one offered in cozumel later in the cruise, but we knew that you had done the one in Cabo, and we really wanted that. So. [00:26:53] Speaker C: Perfect. What was your second port of call? [00:26:56] Speaker A: Puerto Vallarta. And this one involved a mexican cooking experience. This one. It's same kind of thing as they took us to a place and then we made guacamole. We used an old fashioned press to make tortillas. The problem with this one was there were a lot of people, they were very spread out, and the people that were running this one didn't have microphones or speakers or anything. So if they turned their head to the left and you were sitting on the right, you couldn't hear anything that they were saying, and vice versa. So even though we were there with people that we knew from the cruise, whatever, it just wasn't as engaging. The food wasn't. You guys know me. And for anybody who's listened to me on this, you know how picky I am. And so a lot of the food was things that I wasn't going to eat. So some of the stuff that they offered, I was not partaking in. They also. [00:27:53] Speaker D: It was one of my favorites because we made chili riano. [00:27:59] Speaker C: Oh, nice. For those who remember Tracy and Michael from the wish made in voyage, or perhaps even the most recent cruise on the wish with them and Willie and Rebecca celebrating Willie and Rebecca's wedding, michael comes to enchante with us, and Tracy goes to main dining. And Tracy is a meat and potatoes girl. She loves her steak and potatoes. And she's perfectly happy coming to Palo. She's also perfectly happy doing main dining and skipping. Enchante. [00:28:31] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:28:32] Speaker D: She probably didn't do main dining when we went there. She probably got pizza. [00:28:36] Speaker A: Chicken strips or pizza, let's be honest. [00:28:40] Speaker C: Fair enough. Fair enough. Well, somebody's got to eat with Nathan. Come on. [00:28:46] Speaker A: I know. Exactly. Totally. Nathan and I, we are. [00:28:50] Speaker D: Maybe that is what you did. [00:28:55] Speaker C: Thought so. You liked this excursion, Michael? Tracy, not so much. But would you say the same criticisms as Tracy, though, about the. It sounds like it was more of an issue of know, not having the audio equipment. [00:29:07] Speaker D: And to kind of add, I think they did have mics with, like, a personal speaker, but it was a directional speaker. So, like Tracy said, if they turned away from you, you can get the sound. So there was no speakers around that stop people from talking. So if the table next to you was talking, it was hard to hear what they were saying. When you did hear what they were saying, they were clear, concise. They were giving good information, but you just couldn't hear it all the time. This is one. I mean, it got crowded. We actually had two buses for the same excursion. [00:29:49] Speaker C: That's like 80 people or something or more. Yeah. [00:29:53] Speaker D: Right before we actually got to the destination where we were doing the cooking, the bus stopped in this really small cobblestone alleyway with a tortilla factory. [00:30:07] Speaker A: Oh, I forgot about that. [00:30:10] Speaker D: We got there both buses about the same time. So, yeah, 80 people waiting. I don't think they were quite open yet, or the machine and conveyor wasn't running yet. So we stood in the street for probably 15 minutes waiting for that to start, and then you got to walk through. See how they made the tortillas with kind of more an assembly line mechanism, which there's a story to add to that. But you kind of walk through this little storefront, and at the end, they gave you a fresh tortilla to taste. This entire shop was this contraption that the balls of Masa went in at one end. It flattened them out, and it went through the oven. We were at a restaurant in Orlando called Uncle Julio's, and they had a machine that did the same thing that was probably in a two by two footprint in the restaurant that we watched them put in the balls, and you watched it go through different levels there. The one in Puerto Vallarta, it was. [00:31:20] Speaker A: Just like a conveyor belt. Like if you picture like an old conveyor belt out of a bad movie. [00:31:25] Speaker C: Yeah, the one in Orlando going from top to bottom or something. [00:31:29] Speaker B: Michael, the one in Orlando is not. [00:31:34] Speaker D: How the Portugal may disagree. [00:31:38] Speaker A: And the funny thing was, in the place in Puerto Vallarta, we all walked through there. No hair nets. [00:31:45] Speaker C: Oh, yeah. [00:31:46] Speaker A: No hand. Like all of us. Just as they're running these tortillas through this, and it's all open. I mean, there's nothing covered. And it was just like, the people. [00:31:56] Speaker C: Who are listening to this, I am cringing in my face right now. You can't see me, but my face is making an ew face right now. [00:32:03] Speaker A: It was one of those things where we all, as we got back on the bus, everybody was like, well, that would never fly in the United States. [00:32:09] Speaker D: And the only other comment on the excursion itself is because these were back to back days. So we went to Cabo one day, Puerto Vallarta to the next. At this point, we're changing time zones. So we came from eastern time zone out to Pacific, spent three days. So we were acclimated to Pacific time. Then you get on the cruise, it's like, first night you're going back an hour. Second night you're going back an. So these are happening kind of rapid fire for the first few days. [00:32:42] Speaker C: You're losing an hour each of those first couple of nights because you're going from west to east when you're going. Yeah. So Cabo is 1 hour, technically 2 hours east. [00:32:53] Speaker D: And they're not that far apart. Yeah, they're not that far apart. [00:32:56] Speaker C: They aren't. They're just right over the border of the time zones from one another, actually. Yeah. [00:33:03] Speaker D: The two excursions were very similar. We got to make the guacamole and salsa at both. The only difference was the dancing at one and the chili Riano at the other, and rice and beans that they had. [00:33:22] Speaker C: Yeah. So a little bit more of a full meal, but maybe not as good of a class, I would say. All right, well, when you get back to Puerto Vallarta, was this a full day, or did you have time to kind of explore on your own at all? [00:33:37] Speaker A: No, this is. Again, we got back later than we anticipated. Pretty much all of our souvenirs were purchased in the ports as they drop you off there. So it was fine. It was fine. And then we had four sea days in a row, people, you want to talk about the best cruise ever? Four sea days in a row. [00:33:58] Speaker D: I think it may have been five. [00:34:04] Speaker A: Well, somewhere. [00:34:05] Speaker C: Did you have a stop before you went through the canal? [00:34:08] Speaker A: No, not between Puerto Vallarta and the canal. [00:34:11] Speaker D: So we had two stops on each side of the Panama canal. [00:34:16] Speaker C: Great. Well, let's talk about going through the Panama canal, because that is, I'm calling it a port excursion. Of course, you're on the ship the whole time, but it is an event. Tell our audience how long it takes you to go through the canals because it's obviously multiple locks. It's one canal, multiple locks, but how long it takes you to go through them and what you guys thought and. [00:34:38] Speaker B: How early you have to be up in the morning in order to really. [00:34:41] Speaker A: Get the God awful. You know what? I did not need to see that first lock. It was like 435 o'clock in the morning. We were the first ship to go through and it was a God awful time. And I was like, there's no way. [00:34:55] Speaker D: Before 05:00 in the. [00:34:57] Speaker B: Yeah, which, which for listeners out there, Sam and I have done this trip, and I will tell you one important fact. You're given a time, not on Disney, but going through the canal. You were given a time. If you are late, you will wait until they find another time for you. And the ship owner has to pay the canal before you can go through. So they have to wire them money. It has to be in the bank account of the Panamanians before they'll let you go through. And if you miss your time, you miss your time. When they're getting there at 430. Yeah. When you get there at 430 in the morning, it's because that's the time they've given you and you don't get to choose. [00:35:34] Speaker D: And the captain had told us the night before, even during the day, we heard, it's like we're going to be the first ship going through. Now, that said, there's actually two, because there's two sets of locks of smaller ships are going through the older locks. So I know people. I didn't go up on deck. Tracy can talk about that later, at least early. I didn't go up on deck. I basically set an alarm. We had a veranda room. I got out and was taking photographs from there. And then I could lay down, wake up in another 20 minutes, see where we were. But the locks themselves, it was about 20 minutes for each lock. And there's three as you enter that take you up. So quite interesting. A door opens, you go in, they actually moor you to the side. So they have a crew working on each side that they finish up. They tie you off, close the back door, fill it up with water. And that process seemed to be about 20 minutes on average to fill up there to then open the next gate, whose water level is at that level already, the crews untie you, let the ship go through, they hop in their pickups, go around, and then they meet you on the other side to do it all over again for the three locks. [00:37:01] Speaker C: And the crew of the ship is not really in control of the ship. When you're going through each lock, really, the people who run the canal, I don't know. [00:37:11] Speaker D: The captain actually gives up control of the ship to a Panama canal pilot that actually boards the ship, takes control with. I don't know if they bring other people in or. I would think they mostly use the crew that's there, but they know the locks, they know everything about the river. You're going down to keep you where you need to be. So they're definitely in control and giving commands. [00:37:42] Speaker C: How many hours total would you say before you guys got to the other end? You were going opposite direction than we went. We went east to west. You guys were going west to east. [00:37:51] Speaker A: I think we were done around 330. [00:37:54] Speaker D: Is that what you remember? It was probably an hour to go through the initial locks. Going down the river was probably about two and a half hours, maybe a little bit longer, and then going through. We did have a delay in the second set of locks on the departure side. We were there forever. There was some hiccup with opening the gate for us to go into the third one. That one probably took us about 45 minutes or an hour to get through. And it's interesting because that one I was actually watching as we went through the first one and how everything worked, how they have the basins off to the side that the water comes either in or out, depending on which way the ship's going. And we had cleared the first one, the gates were all open. We were in the second one. I go about doing something else, and 45 minutes later we're still in the same spot. [00:38:56] Speaker B: Maybe Disney's check bounce. I mean, they have been having some financial. [00:39:00] Speaker D: We're not letting you out. [00:39:03] Speaker A: Forever. [00:39:04] Speaker D: Yeah, well, that fee is not a lot. It is a lot. It's not a little fee to go through because it's based on basically the tonnage of the ship going through or whatever is going through. I guess we heard of someone swimming through it and they had to pay like $0.50. [00:39:25] Speaker A: So the interesting thing was that I thought for just discussing how DCl handles it. So 430 in the morning. They had coffee and juice on the deck, they had pastries on the deck. It was interesting because when we got on the ship, of course, you know how it is. You get on the ship. It's a special cruise. The first thing you do is go to the shop as soon as the shop is open and try and buy merch. Right? So they had very limited merch when we got on the ship, and we were just like, what? Why would you not have merch? And they kept saying, we're missing a shipment. We can't find the shipment of our stuff. We don't know where it is. Well, we found out later that when they got to the Panama Canal, they had boated it out to us, and somehow they had gotten it out to the ship. And so when I went up on deck, I'm like, up there watching whatever. And then I came around a little corner and they had, it was like a card table set up cups and t shirts and quarter zips and all the stuff that had come in, because I don't know whether they couldn't have the store open, I guess because when they're in port, they can't have the store open. So I don't know why they did it on the deck. [00:40:36] Speaker B: We can't have a store open, but we can set up a card table like a high school fundraiser here. [00:40:41] Speaker C: I bet they could have opened the store. Yeah, because you're not at port. So I bet they could have opened the store. But it was probably just probably somebody came up with this really smart idea because frank. Yeah. People were up on to see, and people are probably not walking by the store in the middle of the day thinking, oh, I'm going to buy merch. This is probably a way to get attention on the merchandise, because if they didn't sell it on that cruise, it was going to end up in cast connections or the outlet stores. [00:41:09] Speaker A: Right. [00:41:09] Speaker C: Because it's branded Panama Canal cruise. Nobody else is buying it. [00:41:14] Speaker D: To back up this just reminded me of talking to some of the crew that this was a 14 day cruise, much longer than what they typically do. And crew were telling us there were areas that they can usually walk through and in the storage area and each restaurant, bar, whatever, has their own area. Since this was a 14 day cruise, they told us it's like we could barely walk around in those areas. They were so stacked up, they said, we hardly ever see them like this with supplies because you didn't have stops. [00:41:50] Speaker C: You had all those days at sea in the got, you said, like four days before you hit the Panama Canal, you've got a full day going through the Panama Canal, and then you've got a couple more days at sea before you hit your next port. [00:42:01] Speaker A: Right. [00:42:02] Speaker D: No, it was the day, I think. [00:42:04] Speaker A: The next day was. [00:42:06] Speaker C: That's right. But it's probably not a great restocking port for certain things. It might be fine for some, but not everything. Yeah, but that's still a lot. [00:42:15] Speaker D: They want to have most of what they need. So at the beginning of the cruise, a lot of it in the shops was, we've got pellets in storage that we need to find and then bring out. So some of the merchandise, it was coming up that way. We found a pallet, here's a merchandise. But it was like all the small quarter zips. So for days there were 50 small quarter zips on the rack and no other size. But then, yeah, they did realize either they found all the pallets and the merchandise was just going, or it's like we haven't found it, we need to have merchandise or they found, we left it in San Diego, we need to get it to somewhere. So yeah, I guess a ship came out from Panama City to deliver merchandise. [00:43:13] Speaker B: Well, it sounds like an amazing sailing through the canal. On the other side, you got Cartagena and what else? What other reports do you hit up? [00:43:20] Speaker A: Cartagena, grand Cayman. And. [00:43:27] Speaker B: You know, we get the question all the time. Should I use a travel agent to book my next Disney cruise or should I just book with Disney directly? And I'm going to tell you, if you have that question in the back of your mind right now, you should stop what you're doing and head over to slash dclduo. The folks over at Mypath unwinding provide an amazing service. They are so knowledgeable and so friendly. We rely on them ourselves to book our family vacations and they provide an amazing service. And the best part is you don't pay anything extra for it. Disney, other tour providers and other cruise lines have built the cost of their commission into their pricing. So if you're booking directly, you are just paying that money back to the provider when you could be spending it on the kind of service you would get from mypath unwinding travel. You've heard from their agents on our show. They are so knowledgeable, so giving of their time. They know so much about Disney Cruise line, sailing concierge, other cruise lines, other all inclusive vacations and adventures by Disney that if you have a vacation in mind, they are the ones to book it for you. So again, head over to slash dclduo so they know we sent you their way. Thanks mypath unwinding for sponsoring the show. And with that, back to our episode. [00:44:36] Speaker C: All right, well, let's start with Cardahania. Yeah. [00:44:38] Speaker A: So we did the Chiva bus tour, and it was an open air think. Oh, gosh, think, like kalamanjeri safari. Like that kind of a bus. [00:44:50] Speaker D: Colorful, blasting music. It was like the best adventure ever. When we were driving in the streets, there were guys on the corner that would dance to the music that was playing open air dirty. [00:45:08] Speaker A: When you got in your seat, it was very colorful. It was like a bench seat. So there were, like five people could sit on a bench. So there were three women on the end of our bench, and Michael and I were on this end. He could have literally fallen off the thing as they were driving. There was not even a chain. The stairs that they used to get you on and off the bus, they lifted to the top of the bus while we traveled. And then in front of you was three metal circles that were, like, sticking out, like, look kind of like a cup holder. Two cup holders. And then, like, something bigger. Well, what they did was they brought you a child's bucket full of ice to put in the big one, and then they brought you two coke beers. [00:45:48] Speaker C: Oh, cokes. [00:45:49] Speaker D: Two coke. [00:45:50] Speaker A: And two bottles with some cups and two bottles of rum. And you were mixing your own drinks. And then the guy that was not driving, he had the ox cord to his music, and he was just picking songs, and it was blasting out. And we're driving through Cardijena, and people on the street are dancing, and they're having a good time. [00:46:11] Speaker C: It was a party. [00:46:13] Speaker D: Good. It looks the mean. I know we don't have the visual here, but look up the shiva bus tours, because they're very colorful. They will stick out in any. Yeah, I mean, everyone knows who they are. [00:46:29] Speaker A: We went to a fort. Do you remember the name? I do not remember the name of the fort. Oh, no, sorry. They took us to this beautiful fort, and they let us walk around. It was a little bit nerve wracking because there were lots of people approaching you. They would literally come up to the sides of the bus trying to sell you whatever they had. When we got off the bus at the fort, there was a person there. There was a lot of women. Looked like colombian dancers in full costumes. And if you got your picture taken with them, then they wanted you to pay them. There was a guy with a donkey who. If you wanted your picture taken with the donkey. So it was a lot of, no, thank you. No, thank you. No, thank you. And I even asked the guy who was our tour guide. I'm like, is there anything else I can say to let them understand that we're not interested? And he's like, no, just keep saying no, thank you. [00:47:19] Speaker D: They understand that. [00:47:21] Speaker C: Yeah, you can say no, cross. Yes. [00:47:24] Speaker A: We did the tour. There was a lot of beautiful pictures because it was, of course, overlooking a cliff, overlooking the ocean. So that was really nice. [00:47:32] Speaker D: We were both inside and outside the wild city. So we got to drive around it, in through it, saw along the beach, and then went to the little shop with the only restroom you don't have to pay to use. [00:47:49] Speaker A: Yeah. So these little shops used to be a jail. They were little. [00:47:55] Speaker C: I mean, it'd be cool to look at. [00:47:58] Speaker A: They were little, like arch doors. And each one was a shop. And he took us to the one shop they were selling emeralds, I remember, right? [00:48:06] Speaker D: That was their biggest thing. [00:48:07] Speaker A: Yeah, they had a lot of emeralds you could buy really cheap. And then they had a bathroom that you could use that you were only allowed to do number one, not number two. There was a big sign that told you that, which I thought was hilarious. And then when we came back out to the bus, they had somebody there who had made fresh empanadas. And so we each got empanadas and you could grab a colombian beer if you wanted to. If you ran out of rum, they'd give you another bottle of rum. It was very warm that day. We did a lot of free flowing drinking, which we didn't plan on. [00:48:43] Speaker C: Were there kids on this tour? Like, was this open? [00:48:47] Speaker D: I think that one was an adult only. [00:48:50] Speaker A: I don't remember there being any kids on that one. [00:48:53] Speaker D: As we said, there were only 300 kids on the boat, so there even weren't that many doing much of anything. Just one other story on the restrooms. One of the guys in our tour did go somewhere else and he paid to use the restroom. They wanted one colombian peso. It's 4000 pesos to the dollar. [00:49:17] Speaker C: Yeah, I was going to say, I bet that's like nothing. [00:49:19] Speaker A: But wow. [00:49:24] Speaker D: He ended up giving him a quarter because it's like. I'm like, that's well less than a penny. [00:49:29] Speaker C: Yeah. Wow, that's crazy. Well, which one was your next port? Was it cozumel or Grand Cayman? [00:49:36] Speaker A: We had a sea day and then Grand Cayman. [00:49:38] Speaker C: What did you guys plan for Grand Cayman? [00:49:41] Speaker A: We did the tour of Grand Cayman. And so this was an air conditioned bus with walls and things. I wasn't worried about my husband falling out the side. And they took us to Starfish Point. They took us to the blowholes. Then they took us to a little restaurant called the Eastern Bar Fish Fry. All of them were absolutely remarkable. The place they took a starfish point, there were literally starfish, like, all over in the sand, in the water. You could just go out and look at them, take pictures of them, whatever. They do have a rule there that you can't take it out of the water. If you take it out of the water, you will get a hefty fine. So it was interesting to watch parents with their kids as the kids were trying to hold them and the kids are trying to pick it up out of the water and the parents are. [00:50:31] Speaker C: Like, no, we don't want to pay the fine. [00:50:33] Speaker A: Yeah, don't do it, don't do it. And then there was, as an RN, it never ceases to amaze me. There's a medical issue when I go places. A lady fell getting basically around the bus, like, face planted on the gravel at the blowhole. And I was coming out right after her, so I helped her up and I felt terrible because the bus driver was also the owner of the tour company and he just kept saying, I have to file a report. I have to file a report. And I'm like, do you have a first aid kit? [00:51:06] Speaker C: Yeah, we need to. [00:51:07] Speaker A: I'd like to make the bleeding stop, please. [00:51:09] Speaker C: Right, let's say one thing at a time. [00:51:12] Speaker A: Yeah. So it ended up. She was fine. Then Michael and I took just a quick minute to run down some cement stairs to get a quick selfie with the blowholes behind us. And as we're climbing back up the stairs, a snake. What did you say? 3ft, you thought? [00:51:29] Speaker D: Yeah, it was about three. [00:51:30] Speaker A: It was not very thick, but it was like 3ft long. Was on the stairs, slithering across from. [00:51:37] Speaker D: One side to the other. [00:51:38] Speaker A: I nearly jumped right out of my skin. No joke. [00:51:41] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:51:42] Speaker D: It basically was where the steps go. It was in the crack at the. [00:51:46] Speaker C: Lower one as Tracy walked over it. Oh, my God. [00:51:50] Speaker D: Well, it was going by pretty quick, but it was going through as Tracy took a step up. [00:51:56] Speaker A: I've never been so scared on an excursion in my life. [00:52:00] Speaker C: Yeah, that's terrifying. [00:52:05] Speaker D: We were on a trail somewhere else at once and we heard, yeah, there might be snakes. Kind of be out. We got about 5ft into the trail and there was a snake. So she was done. She's like, I'm going back to the car. You can go in if you want. I did, because it was somewhere I wanted to go in to photograph. I think it was a lighthouse at the end of the miss. She was done. [00:52:27] Speaker C: I'm with you, Tracy. [00:52:28] Speaker D: That was it. [00:52:29] Speaker C: I will be heading back to the ship for some champagne tasting. All right. Well, Cozumel was your last port of call. Tell us what you all planned and what you ended up doing in Cozumel. [00:52:41] Speaker A: We did probably between the salsa and salsa. And this one were probably our two favorite of this whole trip. And this was the sail snorkel beach day with fury tours. It was like a catamaran or a boat that took us out. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes. The guy who was out hunting for the fish, he has the big floaty, so you know where to go, wherever he's at. I think he had some food in his pocket because we saw so many beautiful fish and all sorts of. I mean, they were, like, literally in your face. It was probably some of the best snorkeling we've really had. So that was really fun. And then they took us to a beach area that had water inflatables, beach chairs, umbrellas. They had kayaks, they had paddleboards. All of that was free. [00:53:36] Speaker D: And we're in Mexico. So they provided lunch. So we had hamburgers. [00:53:40] Speaker A: Yes. They didn't provide lunch. He said, this is the only thing with where they take you on this. He said, the guy who had the tour, he said, I've been trying and trying to tell them to do some authentic mexican food, and all they'll do is cheeseburgers. Now, they were chief Angus cheeseburgers. So it was a good cheeseburger that was available for purchase, but everything else. [00:54:05] Speaker D: We got that for free. [00:54:07] Speaker A: No, we did not. We paid $11 for that. I don't know why I remember that. Check your notes, honey. Check your notes. [00:54:15] Speaker C: So, definitely a good excursion. [00:54:18] Speaker A: Highly recommend. [00:54:19] Speaker C: Awesome. Okay. [00:54:21] Speaker D: Yeah. Our favorite excursions are the catamarans. We love to do that. [00:54:28] Speaker A: In fact, that's where we met. Yeah. [00:54:31] Speaker C: That was still one of our favorite excursions as well. All right, well, let's hop back on board the beautiful Disney magic. We've got to talk shows. You had, obviously, the three standard mainstage shows. I don't know if you guys had seen all of them before, because it had been a while since you'd been on the magic, from my memory. But did you go see all the shows? What did you think? And then, were there any special shows, considering that this was a longer sailing? Like, did they do a variety show or talent show or something like that? [00:55:03] Speaker A: Yeah, we're not big variety show people, so we did go to the magician show, and that was quite good. There was a ventriloquist, I believe. We did not go to that one, so I can't speak on how that one was. But the magician was very good, very funny and really enjoyed that. We did go to the Broadway style shows. We saw twice charmed. [00:55:26] Speaker C: We saw tangled and Disney dreams. Okay, that's the one with the girl who's going to middle school. [00:55:36] Speaker A: Gotcha. Okay. Yep. So those were the three that we saw. I felt like twice charmed was a little bit different, actually, that one. And dreams were. There was just a little bit of different twist to it since the last time. We haven't been on the magic since. What did we decide, 2000? Yeah, it'd been like nine years or something. [00:55:59] Speaker D: We've been on it like six or seven times. But we looked and it was definitely front loaded in our 19 or 20 cruises that it seemed like at the beginning. That's the only ship we were on then. [00:56:12] Speaker A: We haven't been ventured out. [00:56:14] Speaker C: Yeah, well, it certainly could have been. I know that dreams was updated at some point because I think that's the one. [00:56:22] Speaker D: Originally, there was a father with her at the beginning that came back at. [00:56:27] Speaker C: The end, but I'm thinking. I don't think so unless you're confusing it with believe, which is the one with the father and the daughter and the flower. But there are some different. I think they did update it to change a couple of the musical numbers. It was still a while ago, but I think it has probably been updated over time. I don't know. I've only seen twice charmed more recently in the last couple of years, so I don't know if that was updated as well. But did they do any cast member talent show? Did you see that? [00:57:00] Speaker D: Yes, they did. We did not attend, or at least I did. [00:57:04] Speaker A: We did not make it to that. That was probably a happy hour. [00:57:11] Speaker C: We haven't had the opportunity to experience one of those, but we've heard really good things. Were there any other special events or unusual things that you noticed? Obviously, you said there were just more offerings because you had so many sea days and so they seemed to try and fill the schedule, particularly on days where the weather wasn't great. But were there anything else that sticks out in your mind that was different or new for you? [00:57:34] Speaker A: There was a gentleman that did a lot of talks about the Panama Canal. We did not partake in those either. And there was that. [00:57:43] Speaker D: We met Chris did, but he's like, yeah, the guy's really boring, but he. [00:57:50] Speaker A: Wanted to get the dry. [00:57:52] Speaker D: Okay. [00:57:53] Speaker A: And then there was also didn't have. [00:57:55] Speaker B: Like a goofy version, know Donald and Goofy talking, riffing on the Panama Canal. [00:57:59] Speaker A: That would have been awesome. And then there was another Disney historian gentleman and he did some talks as well. Again, didn't make those either. It's interesting because I was really nervous about going on a 14 day cruise because I was afraid that I was going to run out of things to do, I was going to get bored, I was going to be sad about being on the ship. And honestly, day 14, I looked at him and I said, I could stay on here for another 14 days. They had so much stuff we couldn't keep up. And then we had made a bunch of friends, a nice group of friends on the ship. And so we were all doing things together. We did some trivias together. Oh my gosh, they had every trivia you could ever. [00:58:42] Speaker D: Some of the trivias, they were as bad as we were. So it worked out really well. [00:58:47] Speaker A: I said we're not going to win any. We got a couple of second places, but we didn't win. [00:58:51] Speaker D: Although I did almost win brain teasers on my own. [00:58:54] Speaker C: I was a couple nobody else wanted to join. [00:59:00] Speaker A: He doesn't need me at all. I'm not good at that one at all. [00:59:03] Speaker C: That's the only one that Brian and I can regularly win is brain teasers. [00:59:11] Speaker D: You, Brian? If we put Becca in there and. [00:59:14] Speaker A: We won, that's the one we won, wasn't it? Was that brain teasers that we won? [00:59:19] Speaker C: It was. Yeah, we were right. Becca is fantastic at it. Yeah. [00:59:24] Speaker D: One of the things to mention they had, it seemed fairly new, at least they were trying it out. But I think especially since we had a stop in Columbia, they had an encanto celebration. [00:59:39] Speaker C: It's a newer offering, post dry dock. So it came on. I can't remember if it came on right after the dry dock or just shortly after, but we got the opportunity to do that as well. It's only on the magic. And then I think they did it on the wonder in the Australia sailings. But that's been unique to the magic other than, like I said, the wonder on the Australia sailings. But yeah, that's a fun one too. Cool. Well, sounds like there was a lot going on on the ship. We would be remiss if we didn't ask you about food, because that's always an important part of a cruise. We knew food and drink, of course, we've talked a little bit about the mixology and whatnot. [01:00:23] Speaker B: What we really need to know about are special menus because you should get a full complement of special menus on a 14 night cruise. [01:00:32] Speaker D: Every menu they have. [01:00:34] Speaker C: That's right. They dust off every menu from every possible thing. Right? Yeah. Anyone's in particular that stood out for you? Did you get, like, the Thanksgiving or Christmas menu? Could you tell even. [01:00:48] Speaker D: Yeah, I think there was thanksgiving. [01:00:50] Speaker A: Thanksgiving one. I don't remember. [01:00:51] Speaker D: There was one menu where you could order and it was basically turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce. [01:00:59] Speaker C: Yeah. I bet it's because the Thanksgiving and Christmas menus are the same. And one of the choices, there's always, like, an apple pie, not a pumpkin pie, but they have, like. It's essentially a turkey dinner. Yeah. So, yeah, it doesn't surprise me. I bet they brought out, like, they'll bring out the California menu, they'll bring out the world menu. [01:01:24] Speaker A: And the thing was, I can say this because I've done 20 cruises, it's basically the same food. And one of the things I made a note of to mention was that because we've done so many cruises, sometimes I look at the menus and I'm just like, it's just the same thing. It's not bad, and that's okay. But I do feel like Disney could take a step back and be like, what can we do to enhance this or make it better or add something different to it? As we've talked many, many times. You're in Mexico. Put a mexican dinner out there. Or in Colombia. We were in, like, put something out there. I mean, it's always steak and chicken. [01:02:12] Speaker D: And a vegetarian word we used was mundane. It's just. After nearly 20 cruises, it's just mundane. I basically ate off of the actual menu the first night because I had to. And one other night, there's a story there, too, but it happened to be the sea bass. It's like, yes. [01:02:41] Speaker A: What? He had. [01:02:42] Speaker C: He had indian food. [01:02:43] Speaker D: I ordered indian food, which I mentioned it to the server the first night. He's like, we can't do it the first night because everything's new with the people going through. But he's like, I'll put in the order. And basically the second night, he's like, is it okay? I said, just make it the standing order unless I tell you the night before. That's what I want to have. And then our dining. One of the things with this cruise is because there were only 1900 passengers, there were a lot of two parties, couples like us that were seated by themselves. So we just had our own table. There were two other couples kind of near us that different nights we started talking to. But then the friends we met, by the third night, fourth night, they said, hey, why don't you join our table? And we said, yeah, that's fine. They talked to their head server, had us moved. They're like, it'll show up in your app. We changed from, we were doing late dining, we switched to early dining, and we're at a table of ten because they had already joined two families together. And then they said, we have two more openings at our table. Do you want to do it? We're like, sure. [01:04:06] Speaker A: It was interesting because they really did have everybody separated out. I don't know if they wanted it just to look fuller, but we like people. So we were kind of lost sitting there, just the two of us, and talking across the aisle way to maybe another couple. So that was an interesting. [01:04:25] Speaker D: And they did say that they could put us at the same table if we wanted. But their default, at least on this cruise, the way it worked out, was pretty much every couple was going to have their own table, depending on the restaurant. We were seated next to one of two other couples and the one we talked to for a couple of nights. And then the third night, we're another, and then we switch. And it worked out because it's like, oh, that night, I like the menu, so it's like, I'll order off it. And then I talked to the new server about and got his indian doing the indian food. And that server initially tried to say, well, it's only supposed to be every other night. [01:05:10] Speaker C: You're like, no, I know better. [01:05:12] Speaker D: But then real quick, it's like, okay, yeah, you want the indian food? Sure. [01:05:17] Speaker C: He just doesn't want to do more work. Yeah, because it just means making sure he's getting the food from really the crew. Right. So we're getting it sent up or. [01:05:26] Speaker D: Yeah. [01:05:27] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, Tracy, Michael, it sounds like such an amazing cruise that you had. I think we've reached that point in our show where I need to let Sam subject you to some arbitrary questions, some arbitrary rules, and a dash of judgment of the round we know as rapid fire. So, Sam, what have you got in store for Tracy and Michael as returning guests? [01:05:48] Speaker C: Yeah. So we're not going to do your favorite character, your favorite movie, or your favorite song. I prepped well, but we're going to do an updated of your favorites from DCL because it's been a while since we had you on for sort of a regular show like this. The last couple of times we've had you on, you've been on the ship with us. So we're just handing the, the mic and we don't do rapid fire when we do those shows. So we got to start with the most important question, which is your favorite Disney cruise line stage show? You guys have been on all of the ships in the fleet and of course, now you've been on the updated know, Tracy, what is your favorite show? [01:06:31] Speaker A: I'm going to get dinged for this one right off the bat. I'm just going to say it now. Aladdin. [01:06:37] Speaker C: Yeah, you are going to get dinged. It does depend on the genie. [01:06:41] Speaker A: It does depend on the genie. [01:06:42] Speaker C: It does. [01:06:42] Speaker A: But the last time I saw it, the genie was fantastic. [01:06:46] Speaker C: Okay. All right. [01:06:47] Speaker A: Fair enough. I knew right away when you asked that I'm going to get dinged. [01:06:51] Speaker C: All right, Michael. [01:06:52] Speaker D: And is it of all time or current? [01:06:56] Speaker C: Of all time? I'm going to say of all time. [01:06:59] Speaker D: So there could be one tonight. [01:07:01] Speaker C: Yeah, a lot of people. [01:07:04] Speaker D: And it was the same one that was the first time we saw Aladdin and it was with villains tonight. And the same actor played the genie and Hades, and he was fabulous. And then there's the famous line about how Maleficent and the evil queen met Facebook. [01:07:25] Speaker C: All right, favorite bar across the fleet. Michael, we're going to start with you. [01:07:30] Speaker D: Meridian. [01:07:31] Speaker C: Oh, wow. Still, even after the wish. All right, Tracy, I'm going to go with Meridian, too. Wow, nice. I mean, that's a good choice. [01:07:41] Speaker B: Can I ask the next question? Sam, can I ask one rapid fire question? [01:07:44] Speaker C: Yeah, of course. [01:07:45] Speaker B: Favorite drink on Board Disney cruise line. And Michael, why is it the smoked old fashioned? [01:07:53] Speaker D: Oh, see, Natalie introduced me to a straight up gin martini filthy with blue cheese stuffed keys. So that kind know at least this cruise, I probably had that more often than anything else. [01:08:11] Speaker C: Yeah, well, and as Brian had told you, I think the smoked old fashioned, he said was best in which one was better. The soulcat versus keys. I can't remember, Brian. [01:08:23] Speaker B: Soulcat. [01:08:24] Speaker C: Soul cat. That's right. Yeah. But if you were hanging out in keys because it's a better, I feel like keys is a little bit of better venue, but soulcat had better drinks. [01:08:32] Speaker D: Okay, but Brian, I did have both. [01:08:35] Speaker A: If you have to compare between Soulcat and Barbery. [01:08:40] Speaker B: Oh, no, no question, hooks. Barbery is the best smoked old fashioned in the fleet. Yeah, for sure. [01:08:46] Speaker C: All right. Okay, Tracy, your favorite drink now that Brian. Hi. [01:08:51] Speaker A: The bartender at Keys made me. Well, I think we had it when we were on the ship this summer. It was part of the celebration. That blue. [01:08:59] Speaker C: Oh, yeah. [01:09:00] Speaker A: I don't know. [01:09:04] Speaker C: The DBC cocktail. [01:09:05] Speaker A: Yeah, that was delicious. [01:09:08] Speaker C: Awesome. Okay, favorite onboard activity, Tracy. [01:09:14] Speaker A: Oh, golly, the rainforest. [01:09:18] Speaker C: There you go. I love it. Michael, what about you? [01:09:22] Speaker D: The tastings. [01:09:23] Speaker C: The tastings. All right. Love it. Okay, favorite rotational dining again, across the fleet. Michael, what's your favorite? [01:09:29] Speaker D: Now it doesn't matter because I ordered the indian. [01:09:34] Speaker C: Okay, well, what restaurant would you want to eat your indian food in? Okay. Like, for atmosphere, entertainment, all the things. [01:09:43] Speaker A: Oh, wow. He's really having to think about that. [01:09:45] Speaker D: Yeah, I'm trying to think. Probably Tiana's place. [01:09:49] Speaker C: All right, Tracy. [01:09:51] Speaker A: Yeah, that's probably my favorite too. I love the show there. I like that it's on a stage and it's not in the middle. Like the frozen. Like the frozen show. It's not quite as loud. [01:10:02] Speaker C: Okay, this is a really important question. Aqua dunk. Aqua duck. Aquamouse, Tracy. [01:10:09] Speaker A: Aquamouse, 100%. [01:10:11] Speaker C: Oh, interesting. Michael, what about you? [01:10:14] Speaker D: Aquamouse. [01:10:15] Speaker C: Wow, nice. Okay, this is another controversial question. Which one is now your favorite ship, Michael? [01:10:24] Speaker D: Whichever one we're on. [01:10:26] Speaker C: Good. That is the right answer, Tracy. Right answer. Is your answer the same? [01:10:31] Speaker A: That's my answer. Several people ask us on the cruise, you've been on all of them. Which one's your favorite ship? I'm like, whichever one you love. The one you're with. People love the one you're with. [01:10:41] Speaker D: And we've been on all five ships at least three times. [01:10:46] Speaker C: Yeah. Do you have a favorite class of ships, would you say? Do you have a preference between magic class, dream class, or wish class? [01:10:54] Speaker A: For me, I like the adult spaces on the dream class better, and I like the spa, I think better on the dream class, but I kind of like the intimacy of the smaller ships, and then I like the wish just because it's new. Just depends on. [01:11:14] Speaker C: You like them for different reasons. [01:11:15] Speaker A: Yeah, different reasons. For sure. Yeah. [01:11:17] Speaker C: What about you? [01:11:18] Speaker D: I say the dream class because of the Meridian. [01:11:21] Speaker C: Yeah, that makes sense. [01:11:24] Speaker D: The wish class, they kind of ruined that for the everyday experience. I understand why they did what they did. [01:11:32] Speaker C: All right, well, my last question is your bucket list cruise. You have now checked off the Panama Canal from your bucket list, and you've, of course, checked off the. You've checked off Alaska previously. You've checked off a maiden voyage. I know you're going to check off the treasure maiden voyage. I also know you're going to check off the DCL duo inaugural podcast cruise. So that's another bucket list, which is on. [01:11:56] Speaker B: No one's bucket list anywhere. [01:12:00] Speaker C: Listen, that is on Tracy and Michael's bucket list because one, we get to sail together again and two, because it goes to Lighthouse point. But what is next on the bucket list that you don't have booked that you're really hoping to do on Disney. [01:12:18] Speaker D: Because of the wish maiden voyage being pushed out? We actually had a Mediterranean cruise canceled so that that's what I would say would still kind of be on the immediate bucket list. And then, as I know Brian and others have said that around the world cruise would be nice. [01:12:38] Speaker B: Well, Tracy, Michael, as always, it is such a pleasure to have you on the show and we can't wait to catch up with you in June. I can't believe we don't have a Disney Cruise played before now in June, but we don't. So our first cruise back on Disney will be in June and can't wait to catch up with you then. But for now, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your fabulous Panama Canal cruise with all of our listeners out there. [01:13:01] Speaker A: Thanks for having us. We love you guys. [01:13:03] Speaker D: Thanks Brian, Sam. [01:13:09] Speaker B: Well, a big thank you to all of you out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you can keep getting great content from the DCL duo each week. We'd also love it if you'd head over to Apple Podcasts and leave us a five star review. If you hit those five stars, that's great. 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