May 04, 2024


Ep. 420 - Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dennis and His Family Cruise the Disney Magic from Galveston

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 420 - Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dennis and His Family Cruise the Disney Magic from Galveston
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 420 - Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dennis and His Family Cruise the Disney Magic from Galveston

May 04 2024 | 01:12:24


Show Notes

Dennis joins us this week to share his family's experience sailing Disney Cruise Line on the Disney Magic out of Galveston to Mexico. We love covering Disney's port experiences outside of Port Canaveral, as these overlooked ports sometimes offer a really great option for those not on the East Coast, or looking for something a little bit more manageable than what Port Canaveral offers. Dennis also took some really interesting excursions to the Mayan Ruins and compared those excursions for us on the show. Dennis and his wife also sail with two teenage boys, and we wanted to hear how they think about staterooms, onboard activities, and whether DCL remains their preferred cruise line as a family. All that and more on this week's episode.
Dennis is also the host of Podcast Stardust - a Star Wars focused podcast that is definitely worth a listen. Find it wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

If you are looking to book your next Disney Cruise, 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. 

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

Would you like a little downtime for date night or just some time to reconnect as adults on your next Disney vacation, check out Nanny Land and use affiliate Crown Code: KING85 to get a discount.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Hey, I dropped Nathan off at the port for a, you know, six month stint being a child actor on board Disney cruise line. [00:00:07] Speaker B: Oh, Brian. And then somebody calls CPS on us. [00:00:12] Speaker A: He's an international waters. He's an international waters. No law applies. Welcome back, everybody, to this week's episode of the DCL duo podcast that's brought to you by my path, unwinding Travel. And Sam, it's time for another five star review. Are you ready? You ready for the positive vibes and good energy? [00:00:40] Speaker B: I'm ready. It's, you know, middle of the day on a Friday as we're recording, so I could use actually some positive vibes and good energy because I've got, like another few hours of work ahead of me and I am kind of swamped. So I need something to energize me. [00:00:54] Speaker A: All right, well, this week's review comes from curly 0506, who writes, thank you so much. I have cruised before, but never on Disney. I have been to Disney World and several times, I think they meant to say, and used to be a DVC member. I live in California and go to Disneyland quite a bit. Both of my kiddos are adults. I was wondering if you had a show about adult Disney. My daughter and I are booked on the three day Disney cruise out of San Diego in October. My daughter has always been a huge fan of Disney. I was wondering if you can provide me some tips and tricks for adults. Once again, love the show. Thanks, Judy. Well, Judy, first, thank you for the review. Thank you for listening. We have elected not to cover the Disney World Disneyland very much on this show. We've sort of stuck to our swim lane here, here. Now that we're well beyond the pandemic and the ships are sailing again. But we do like to discuss sailing Disney cruise line as adults. We have lots of shows out there where we've talked to guests who have sailed as adults only. And I think we even have a few shows in the catalog specific to adults only cruising, so be sure to check those out. But we really generally, we don't cover the parks on this podcast. We leave it to some of the experts out there. It's too much for us to keep up with. We do occasionally cover our park trips over on our Patreon. If you want to join, it's a dclduo. But leave this show to the cruising, right? [00:02:08] Speaker B: That's right. But I would say do all the signature dining. That's what I would say. There's like the kids prices on signature dining are ridiculous. I'm not talking about character meals. I'm talking about, like, California grill and Topolino's and things like that. So, you know, really. There are some really good restaurants at Disney Springs and at various Disney resorts. Not so much in the parks, but I feel like those are, you know, it's a lot to kind of do a full park day and then schlep your kids all the way to a resort for dinner. And so I feel like, for adult only trip, like, take advantage of some of that really yummy signature dining and, you know, kind of go out of your way and go have drinks at trader Sam's, you know, go to poly and have drinks there. So, yeah, there's lots of great things to do. Adults only at the parks, but as Brian said, we're certainly not the experts on that, so. Yeah. [00:03:01] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, with that said, we've got an exciting and fun guest and a fun show tonight. You want to introduce our guests for the. For the evening? [00:03:08] Speaker B: I would love to. I am so excited, actually, to welcome this guest for the first time. I can't believe this is the first time he's been on our show, because we've actually interacted with him quite a bit over the last several years, even going all the way back to, like, the start of our show. And in the middle of the pandemic, we organized a virtual five k with Dennis and his podcast, podcast Stardust, which is a Star wars focused podcast. But this is the first time that Dennis is coming onto our show, so welcome, Dennis. [00:03:41] Speaker C: Hi, Sam. Hi, Brian. I'm so excited to be here. I've been a fan of your show now for years, and it's got me through so many dog walks in the morning, and I love getting to relive cruising by hearing your guest experiences. So this is a real pleasure. [00:03:56] Speaker B: Oh, awesome. Well, we love that, too. And as dog owners ourselves, we appreciate that you're listening to our podcast while you're walking your dog. [00:04:05] Speaker A: Dennis, I got to ask you, before we dive into the cruising topic, maybe we can cover it as a part of your cruising background memory. Sirs, you did go on Galactic Star Cruiser. [00:04:17] Speaker B: No, he didn't. [00:04:18] Speaker C: You didn't? No, I didn't get the chance, man. You know, it was one of those things where it was the galactic Star cruiser for two nights or a cruise with my family for a week, and so it was. I haven't done as many cruises as y'all have done, and so I was just putting it off a little bit, and I waited too long. So did not get a chance to do it. [00:04:39] Speaker A: Bummer. I think you would have loved it. [00:04:41] Speaker B: Have you ever done Star Wars Day at sea cruise? [00:04:45] Speaker C: COVID ruined my opportunity to do Star. [00:04:47] Speaker A: Wars day at sea. [00:04:48] Speaker B: So, yeah, no, I will say those were fun, but they weren't, like, at the level of some other or even the parks experience in Batuu. So while those were fun, they weren't the end all, be all. And as we haven't been on Marvel Day at sea yet, but we have heard enough about it to know that Marvel Day at sea is a lot better of an experience than Star Wars Day at Sea was. So just more activities, more interaction, better shows, things like that. Yeah. [00:05:19] Speaker A: Well, Dennis, now that we've knocked out some things you haven't done, let's talk to people about what you have done. So why don't you tell folks about your Disney cruising background, your background with Disney, all those fun things. [00:05:29] Speaker C: We started doing Disney vacations when I was a kid. I think from the time I was six, that was the annual family vacation. Then when we got to be teenagers, my brothers and I, we did a surprise trip to Disney World for my grandparents for their 50th anniversary, where we sent them postcards from all over the world, anonymously giving them clues is what we're going to do. And then when my wife and I got married, we honeymooned there. And then I started taking my boys when they got a little bit older. So about 2013. And then in 2017, we decided to try out cruising because we wanted to start branching out with a little bit more international travel. And that afforded us the opportunity to have a home base where the picky eater could come back and have something to eat at the end of the day, and we didn't have to worry about finding things for him. [00:06:14] Speaker B: And chicken fingers pizza, we know that's going to be on board. So if he doesn't eat lunch, then you're whatever, right? Yeah. [00:06:22] Speaker C: And so since then, we've done six more Disney cruises, including this one. I've sailed once on Viking, been on all the ships, but the fantasy. Done Alaska a couple times, been out of port canaveral multiple times, and San Diego. [00:06:34] Speaker B: Nice. And this cruise that we're going to talk about was your first time sailing out of Galveston, is that right? [00:06:40] Speaker C: That's correct. [00:06:42] Speaker B: And tell us what the itinerary. We know it's the magic because that was the only ship in the last year that's sailing out of Galveston. But tell us what the itinerary was and why you chose this cruise in particular. [00:06:53] Speaker C: Sure. So the itinerary was six nights, had three days at seas and then a stop at Cozumel and then one at Costa Maya. It departed on January 2. The reason we picked this is because a couple of years ago, we decided to get away from doing gift heavy christmases and working more towards experiences. The problem with that is just finding something that works in everybodys schedule. Ive got a college student, Ive got a high schooler. Ive got my wife who works in a university. I'm self employed, so that doesn't matter. But trying to find something that's going to fit into everybody's schedule. And ideally, we try not to travel over Christmas, so. And plus, we were trying to do something that's new. And we had not been to Costa Maya ever, and we'd never sailed out of Galveston, so this worked out really well for us because we were going to spend New Year's Eve with my in laws, and they are just outside of Austin. I live just north of, north of Dallas, so we could drive. Well, it's not quite halfway because you're thinking of a triangle, and it's four and a half hours if you drive directly from here to Galveston, about 3 hours from Austin, but still save some time there and we could. Yeah. So, first time I sailed out of Texas, it was convenient, and it worked on everyone's schedule. [00:08:03] Speaker B: Nice. So you went from Dallas to Austin to Galveston. Basically. Um, and this is right after the holidays. Did you guys spend any time in galveston, or did you, since you were driving, did you drive, you know, morning up? [00:08:19] Speaker C: We decided against the morning of. I ended up getting an 1145 port arrival time, and I was starting to hear some of the horrors of how traffic come back up outside of Galveston. So we went in on the first. We basically had a brunch with my in laws, took our time, packed up, and then we got down there late in the afternoon. Uh, we stayed at the tremont house, which is essentially a block away from the port. When we woke up the morning of the second there, the magic was outside the, the window. Um, that having been said, my boy stayed in one room with two queen beds. My wife and I stayed in a different, with a king. And that hotel was built in the 18 hundreds, so they didn't have connecting rooms. And so I was looking out over the main street, and then I went up to make sure they were. Cause they're teenagers. And when I wandered in there, yeah, I was like, oh, you guys got a view. And, you know, the magic was there. One of the carnival ships was there, and it was really convenient. [00:09:12] Speaker B: Awesome. And where did you guys plan on parking, then? Cause I know that's logistically right. You've got a car, and it's not a rental car, it's your own car. Is there convenient parking at the port or nearby the port or what did you sort of plan? [00:09:28] Speaker C: If you go online and you search for Port of Galveston parking, you'll find a number of lots that are in the area that you can reserve parking, and I highly recommend it. I know as we were getting closer and closer to the cruise, the Facebook group was talking about lots selling out, and so we ended up. I actually had to buy parking twice. I had a reservation in an express lot that I bought almost a year in advance and lost the reservation. Could not find hide nor tail of it. No communication with a lot was helping at all. So I ended up buying another parking spot. No, I just had to. And I'm not sure express is all that necessary. It was one of the regular lots. They had shuttle buses stacked up to get us to the port. We parked, and within minutes, I was waiting to get on board the ship. [00:10:13] Speaker A: So when. Yeah, presumably you drop your luggage before you park. So you're not trying to wrestle luggage onto the shuttle bus. [00:10:18] Speaker C: Or is they had guys there to put the luggage onto the shuttle bus for us and get it off the shuttle. [00:10:24] Speaker A: Okay. Okay. So kind of like a rental car shuttle at an airport, then, sort of thing? [00:10:28] Speaker C: Yeah, that's a good way to describe it. [00:10:29] Speaker B: That's great. Um, well, and it's convenient if it's just a few minutes away. I take it it's not walking distance, but the short drive. [00:10:38] Speaker C: You could if you had to, but I would recommend the shuttle. Cause there is at least one busy street that you have to cross. [00:10:43] Speaker B: Gotcha. All right, well, did you guys do anything fun in Galveston? Obviously, you only had the single night there, but any sort of. Any takeaways for. I mean, we. We have one show back in our catalog a long ways ago, unfortunately, on Galveston. I say unfortunately because we love to update these port experiences so people know what there is to do. [00:11:06] Speaker A: Not only. We have multiple shows on Galveston back in the catalog, including one with our friend Rebecca, who was in defensive sailing out. No, I thought Rebecca was the one who was in defense of sailing out of Texas. Or she knows. She said, don't sail out of Texas. [00:11:21] Speaker B: No, that's not. No, you're mixing it up, Brian. She said, spend the time in Houston, don't spend the time in Galveston. She said, sail out of Galveston. But spend time in Houston because Houston's only like an hour away. I believe some, I was gonna say. [00:11:35] Speaker A: There'S no, there's no texan who would say, don't come to our state. [00:11:38] Speaker B: So, yeah, she just was saying there's more to do in Houston than in Galveston. But, yeah, Dennis, you guys got in, you said, in the afternoon. So did you guys, you know, explore Galveston at all? How do you, had you been to Galveston previously? [00:11:51] Speaker C: That was my first time in Galveston. I've been in Texas for about 26 years now, and I've been to Houston. I've been to San Antonio. I've been to much of the south and the east portion of the state. We got there and the weather was not great. It was overcast, drizzling the day of embarkation. It was really kind of cold. It was also the first. And so things were just kind of dead because everyone had been celebrating New Year's the night before. I heard it was a fantastic party the night before that. But when we got there. [00:12:20] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:12:20] Speaker C: I mean, we walked by a few restaurants. Again, I still have a picky eater in the family, so I was just looking for someplace that everybody could eat, and we ended up at a place called LA Playground, which was average when it came down to it. But again, they had burgers, they had barbecue pizzas and things like that. They had a great confectionary down the street from that that we loaded up on some candy and some chocolate and ice cream and had a great time at, but there just was not a lot available on that night, given the time of year. [00:12:49] Speaker B: Yeah, I didn't realize. Yeah, New Year's Day, a lot of stuff is closed. That totally makes sense. All right, well, you get up the next morning, you get to your parking lot, you get on the shuttle, and then you're at the port. Tell us about the port experience as compared to other ports that you've been to, because I know you said you sailed out of San Diego and Port Canaveral. How was the port experience in comparison? [00:13:13] Speaker C: So the port is very industrial. You're going to see a lot of industry there around the port, and it doesn't have the great Disney touches like you're going to get in Port Canaveral or Port Everglades. That being said, I was very impressed with the port. Our port arrival time was 1145. They let us in at 1130. I was on the ship at noon, and so. [00:13:35] Speaker B: Wow. [00:13:36] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:13:36] Speaker C: It was really, really efficient. [00:13:38] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:13:39] Speaker C: And so I don't really have any criticisms of it at all. It's not someplace that I would necessarily want to spend an hour or two, but it was. I mean, I remember, you know, Vancouver, I still think is the fastest I've ever gotten on a ship. You know, from the time I left a hotel, I was on a ship in 24 minutes was. But this, this was hard to be, considering. We still had to park a car and get on a shuttle bus and then get onto the. And then get on the ship. [00:14:04] Speaker B: Yeah. Wow. Okay. So smooth sailing, for lack of a better term, and getting on. Well, let's, let's talk about, let's start with ports before we talk about onboard experience, because I know you chose this cruise because it went to Costa Maya and you also went to Cozumel, which was your first port. [00:14:24] Speaker C: Of the, of the two, Cozumel was the first one. [00:14:28] Speaker B: What did you, what did you all plan on doing? Well, you, you all were gold at this point. Right? Um, what did you plan on doing? Did you have any difficulty booking excursions in advance? And what did you end up booking for Cozumel? [00:14:43] Speaker C: So this was the second time I'd been to Cozumel. The first time was also on the magic. It was my first cruise post COVID Mary time over Thanksgiving in 2021. I asked my family, what are you guys interested in doing? We like beaches, but we're not the biggest beach people, and so we didn't need a lot of time at the beach. Back in 2021, we had done an excursion where we went to San Gervais to see the Mayan Rugens, think it's called. We went to the Playa Mia beach and then we went to the Mayan Cacko company. I asked my family what they wanted to do, and they said they want to go to San Francisco, Playa Mia beach, and the Mayan Cackle company again. So that's what we did. And it was great the first time because, again, it was post COVID era, and there just wasn't many ships in harbor and there wasn't as many people at all these places. It was considerably more busy. I think there was seven cruise ships in port that day and. [00:15:33] Speaker B: Oh, wow, wow. [00:15:34] Speaker C: And it was a little bit later getting a start on this excursion than what we had done before. Great, great guide. We went through Disney for this excursion, of course, and he had all kinds of fantastic information about San Gervaso. My sons say that if they were going to want to do a tour, they want to have a guide who's going to tell them all about it, everything that's going on. And this guy filled the bill, told us all about mayan culture, what all the buildings that we were seeing were for. You know, they're all in ruins because the property, the guy that owned it, was blowing them up, looking for artifacts all those years ago. So you have to use your imagination a little bit. But we really enjoyed that. Lots of iguanas out. I can't remember the name of the critter that kind of looks like a raccoon was around that were out around on the property they were taking pictures of. It was a fantastic visit to the ruins. The highlight of all that for me is the Mayan Cacao company, if for no other reason, I have to get my chocolate margarita when I go to Cozumel. And, hey, we got. We got there. And typically in 2021. And on this trip, we were supposed to do the chocolate tour portion first and then the beach. But there were at least three or four tour groups stacked up in front of us at the. At the Mayan Cacko company. So we went to the beach first and put our feet in the water, hung out. We decided to use some of that time to go to the gift shop and shop for chocolate. And I got a margarita, and then we did the tour, and I got another margarita. And the tour guide said he wanted to be like me when he grew up. And I said, hey, I don't know when I'm going to get back, so I'm telling advantage of this when I can. And, yeah, if I end up in Cozumel again, I don't know that I necessarily do the exact same excursion, but I definitely go back there. [00:17:15] Speaker A: So. Wait, wait, wait. I need to know what's. I need to know what's in a chocolate margarita? Is it tequila and, like, Bailey's or, like, what. What is in this drink? Dennis? I need to know. [00:17:24] Speaker C: Well, when it was first described to me, I thought it sounded gross, but it's not. It's very creamy. It does have tequila in it. It's got chocolate, and I'm not. I can't remember what kind of cream they put in there, but you can taste the bite of the tequila, but you're predominantly getting the chocolate flavor. They put, like, a handful of chocolate chips in there that make it. Yeah, it's really quite good. [00:17:46] Speaker A: So the flavors complement. They work well, because I was with you where I was, like, tequila and chocolate, that doesn't sound like it would go together. [00:17:52] Speaker C: It's surprising, but it is so, so good. [00:17:56] Speaker A: All right. [00:17:56] Speaker B: I'd be paying for that. We have. I will say we haven't done the chocolate factory there and we haven't done the ruins there either. We have done that playa mia beach excursion. So our playa maya, whatever it's called. But anyway, that beach excursion, it's the same one, but we also did it in the COVID era. And so we only had access to sort of a certain area of the beach and a small buffet area, rather than, I think, the whole place, which has, I mean, some, like, water slides and things like that we didn't get access to. [00:18:29] Speaker A: Well, if they've got chocolate margaritas already. Head of the scottish Willy Wonka experience that recently, so I think it might be worth checking out, Sam? [00:18:36] Speaker B: Yeah, no, it does. It definitely sounds good. Well, let's talk about Costa Maya. Since this was a first for you all. Did you have any difficulty, first of all, in booking whatever excursion you wanted to book? And then what did you end up booking and then tell us about it. [00:18:52] Speaker C: Of course we wanted to see more mayan ruins. And you have some options when you get to Costa Maya. And we ended up booking a Chuck Choban, which was fantastic. I had no trouble getting it. We did the deluxe version of that tour through Disney. The advantage of that was, is that the four of us ended up on a van with another family of four, the tour guide and the driver, as opposed to being in a bus with about 30 or some odd other people. Plus they provided refreshments on the van as well. It was really the way to go because we had our own guide. She was there to take pictures of us, no problem. We weren't waiting for any. Anybody to do anything like that. She was very personal. Her name was Ali, like Prince Ali. And she was. She was quite fantastic. She basically talked the entire hour from the time we left the port to the time we got to the ruins. She did a really great job presenting at stopping us, pointing out some of the wildlife, because you are walking into the jungle when you get there, explaining what the different temples were about and the purpose behind them. She stopped and we found a monkey in the trees and let us watch that for a while. And that was kind of delayed things for a little bit. That was still fun to see one in the wild like that. Those ruins were everything I hoped they'd be. We had an opportunity. We have more than enough time to explore because there's three temples essentially there and I guess they've discovered another one, but they're still unearthly digging it out. [00:20:15] Speaker B: Yeah, well, there's a whole bunch that they. That they believe. I mean, there's like whole big areas of that ruin site that they see sort of evidence that there's more, but they just don't have the resources to go and like you said, excavate it. And so it's a huge site. We were super impressed when, when we went on that we went on the group excursion, not the vip version, but we actually took the adult only one because that was the time we were sailing without Nathan and we thought it was also fantastic. How would you say, how would you compare the ruins that you went to near cozumel versus the ones near Costa Maya? Because I'm curious, if somebody was only going to do one ruins excursion, which set of ruins would you recommend between those two? [00:21:04] Speaker C: Checkshoven all the way for me, because you're getting real temples, you're getting a much larger piece of real estate with this stuff spread out on it. You're getting a much better idea of the scope of what these civilizations are like. The only reason I would not recommend that one is it does take like an hour and 15 minutes worth of driving one way just to get there. If you're in Cozumel, you're driving for about 30 or 40 minutes, maybe one way to those ruins and then you're hitting the other things on the way back. And so if you're adverse to the bus time, go to San Gervaso. Otherwise I would say Chechobin. Definitely. [00:21:39] Speaker A: Yeah, we enjoyed Chechobin. That's the ruins we went to. My only hesitation about that excursion, the bus time is the bus time. I agree with you. It's far more manageable at 30 minutes to 45 minutes to get there. I don't know if Nathan would have enjoyed it. I don't know what you think, Sam, but I think that was our stumbling block because I just don't think he would have had. [00:21:58] Speaker B: I think Chechoben would be great for older kids and teens who are interested in history, I think for younger kids. And we went, Nathan, he wasn't with us, but he would have been probably like eight at the time because this was a couple of years ago now. Yeah, I don't think at that time he would have enjoyed it, but also it was ungodly warm and humid when we were there. And you're in the middle of the jungle, as you mentioned, Dennis. And so I think the weather, uh, would have also been difficult for him. Oh, and by the way, I got bitten by tons of bugs. So for those like me who have a strong reaction to bug bites and also bugs love us, put on that bug spray before you leave for the excursion, like, and lather yourself up in it. At least that was my experience. Brian gets like, no bites wherever we go. I think for some reason I used. [00:22:56] Speaker A: To get bit all the time until I met you. And now I just bring you everywhere. And the buffet is open over here next to me, folks. So there you go. [00:23:04] Speaker B: I don't know what it is. I must have sweet blood or something. But, yeah, bugs just love me, and I have a very strong allergic reaction to bug bites, so it's like a double whammy for me. So anyway. Okay, so what did your teens think about this excursion? I'm curious as to that because it sounds like they, I mean, you said they liked the guide in the Cozumel excursion, but obviously you have a day that's broken up into sort of three parts, versus Chechoben is really just the ruins. What did your teens think about it? [00:23:37] Speaker C: Oh, they were enamored with the place. They really, really quite enjoyed it. They're 16 and 19 right now, and the idea of the ancient world really appeals to them and getting to see things like that. And so my youngest is Alec, who's 16, and he really gets into all of the. The mythology, the gods and things like that. And so, you know, there's the moon temple. And he went and he was so excited, he got to put his foot on the moon temple. And then we wanted to go take a picture in front of the bigger temple, the sun temple, and he's like, well, I'll take my picture in front, but I'm not stepping on it. You chose your gods. I chose mine. I mean, he really, he really had a good time with that. And then DJ, my 19 year old, he just, he was fascinated. He stopped and read every plaque and every bit of information. There was not a ton of those plaques, but he stopped and absorbed everything that the guy had to say and looked around every corner and really just thought it was amazing. [00:24:30] Speaker B: Oh, I love that. That's awesome. All right, so sounds like two really great excursions for this trip. Did you consider booking outside of Disney or was that like, no, I'm going to go with the safety of Disney. I know I'll get back to the ship, that sort of a thing. [00:24:45] Speaker C: So on all my previous cruises, I've always done the excursions through Disney, and I've got an upcoming cruise where I'm getting a little bit more adventurous. And I started doing some research to book outside side of Disney with some private companies. The problem I ran into with doing research for Cozumel and Costa Maya was is that you start looking up things like private excursion and its a service wants to take you a beach here, a service wants to take you at a beach there and they dont. Its harder to find things that want to do stuff like this. You end up just getting recommendations of take a taxi to someplace. Well im not taking a taxi to Chakchoban from Costa Maya. So that's why I was not adverse to going the private route. It just didn't, I was having a hard time finding a viable option. [00:25:32] Speaker A: Have you checked out? There's that website that our travel agent recommends. [00:25:38] Speaker B: It's like or something like that. [00:25:42] Speaker A: I think it's worth mentioning that website because when you go there what you do is you actually put in your ship and your sail date and it, it has the itinerary and then it starts to show you what's available in each port. Now I can't speak to, I've never looked at a cozumel Costa Maya itinerary to see if they do the ruins but that would be one place. And then, I mean the other place I go to all the time, he probably did this and it just didn't come up is Tripadvisor. I will scour that website for. They've got some really interesting tours, although I will say they tend to pivot more toward the like, you know, here's a private group tour with a, you know, a college kid in the town, you know, those sorts of things as opposed to the organized tours out there, although they have some of that too. I've seen those in London, but those are the two sites we use but may not work in every port as you're suggesting. [00:26:26] Speaker C: Dennis Tripadvisor is amazing. I'm a huge fan of that site. In fact, for an upcoming cruise, what I've done is I go to Tripadvisor, I see what's available in the port, find some of the companies and then you go to their websites and you find more options that aren't necessarily listed on a place like TripAdvisor. And so I found that to be a great resource and I tried that for, for this trip and it just didn't work out as well. I found some groups going to Choctaw but I didn't have enough details to feel comfortable booking it that route. [00:26:56] Speaker A: So that's why I also feel like those local tourism industries are still a little bit impacted. They're still trying to come back from COVID economics globally aren't always the greatest. I feel like there's. There was a lot of stuff you could do pre pandemic that still just hasn't quite returned post pandemic, for whatever reason. So that could also be hampering things here, but. Yeah. Well, I know Sam's next question is going to be, we covered the ports, so what did you get up to on board the ship? Uh, you know, what are some of your favorite activities to do on board the, uh, on board the Disney ships, Dennis? [00:27:33] Speaker B: Darn it, Brian. Stealing my thunder here. [00:27:36] Speaker A: I'm gonna do rapid fire next. Watch out. [00:27:39] Speaker C: Oh, wow. Okay. [00:27:42] Speaker A: Less judgmental rapid fire from Ryan. That's what's coming up. There you go. Yeah. What'd you get up to on board the ship, Dennis? [00:27:49] Speaker C: So here's the advantage that I found of having taken this many DCL cruises is I don't feel like there's any one thing that I have to do anymore because I've been to the trivias, I've been to the drawing classes, I've been to the towel folding. We've done the tastings and stuff like that. So we did a lot more just relaxing on this cruise than we've ever done before, which included getting snacks through room service at the room and watching stuff there and dividing up a little bit more. And just my wife and I would go sit at signals up on the pool deck, which I had never really done before. Spent any time there, and my wife and I had a great afternoon after check Choban. My boys needed some downtime. They went to their cabin and chilled out, and we went up there. I discovered the Dicerona sour and had a couple of those. She had a couple glasses of wine. Really fantastic even doing that. We are big fans of trivia. I think we did four or five. I came in second every single time. [00:28:49] Speaker B: Wait, even. Did you do Star wars trivia? [00:28:52] Speaker C: I did Star wars trivia, and I lost on a technicality. [00:28:58] Speaker A: Oh, no. How do you lose Star wars trivia, Dennis? [00:29:01] Speaker B: No, well, technicality, that's how, Brian. [00:29:04] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. So what was the technicality? [00:29:05] Speaker C: Yeah, well, there was a question that had to do with the animated series of rebels, and they were asking about a specific character. The problem was there was actually two characters that could have been that answer, and so I selected the wrong one. And so, yeah, it is what it is. I've won my fair share of Star wars trivia in the day, so it's. Okay. [00:29:24] Speaker B: Well, and now, you know, if you go on again and you get that same question, now you know which one of the two characters they actually want as their answer. Right? [00:29:32] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:29:33] Speaker C: And I had never actually done Star wars trivia on a cruise prior to this one. [00:29:37] Speaker B: Oh, wow. [00:29:38] Speaker C: Well, so many times they don't always have it. They don't always have it. And a lot of times it's adults only, which I couldn't have brought my boys with me. And so I've done a lot of Marvel trivia over the years, and my kids enjoy that one. But Star wars has been elusive for that reason. My wife and I did a tasting. We did the stem to stern, uh, tasting, which I had done before. But I really appreciate wine, so this is. That's a favorite. And so we made sure to get that one done again. [00:30:07] Speaker B: We've never done that, one of all things, like. And we actually also love wine, but we've. That's one of the ones that sometimes it's not offered and where it's offered, but it's not at the right time. Right. Or not a time that works great for us. And so we haven't done that, but I'm glad to hear that that's a good one. We'll have to try that at some point. [00:30:24] Speaker A: Did they bring out some of the really good wines from, like, a palo? Well, you wouldn't have had Remy on board, but do they bring out some of the really good wines for that tasting? How is it? [00:30:33] Speaker C: Oh, it's phenomenal. You get to try three reds and three whites during the tasting. And I remember. Don't ask me the names. I can't remember them. And most time, you can't find the wine that you tried on the ship anywhere near you anyway, afterwards. But I looked up some of the prices, and you're getting some fairly expensive pours to try. And so it was worth it, I. [00:30:52] Speaker A: Would say, with Disney cruise line, if there wasn't a Skywalker wine in there somewhere, then you're missing a sure bet. [00:30:57] Speaker C: So, yeah, there may have been not. You mentioned it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. My wife and I got an opportunity to go check out match your mate for the very first time. [00:31:07] Speaker B: The first time. Wow. [00:31:09] Speaker C: Yeah. That was. That was an experience. Like I said, I'd heard about it, and I'd heard people talk about it. You know, there was, of course, the couple that had been together for a few years. They were fun. Then there was, of course, the couple that had been together, you know, your 40 or 50 year type of a thing. So we fell in the middle of that, and we were busy debating whether or not we were going to try and get on stage and we had no shot. The couple that took that spot, well, this is a family show. I can't tell you what they did to get on stage, but there was no way we were going to live up to that. But that was a good time. And then when we saw those couples around the ship for the next few days, it was. [00:31:50] Speaker B: I love match year mate for that reason, because it definitely makes like shipwide celebrities for a little bit. But to get that middle couple spot, you really need to like, be willing to, I don't know, shake your booty or whatever kind of like competition. They, they sort of put pre show before the, you know, in order to select that couple. Because you're right, there's usually, you know, that sort of younger couple or just married couple. Like, there's usually only one or two of those, you know, on board. And if they'll usually pick the one that's been together the shortest amount of time, or literally a honeymooning couple. And then again, there'll only be one or two couples who fit into that box of been together for 40 years or 50 years or whatnot. And so they try to get the longest together couple in that spot. So that middle spot is highly coveted. But, you know, in some ways, it's good to not get selected, I think because those people reveal a lot of really personal information. [00:32:54] Speaker A: Well, then they become, to your point, they become known as like, oh, there's the. We won't get into why. Yeah, there's, there's the Volkswagen couple. Yeah. [00:33:02] Speaker B: Right. [00:33:04] Speaker C: Yeah, it didn't hurt our feelings that we didn't get selected after we experienced that for the first time. [00:33:08] Speaker A: Yeah, we tried out exactly one time, and that was one time too many, in my opinion. [00:33:12] Speaker B: Yeah, we're glad we didn't get selected, but it was, yeah, it was early on in our, in our, it was before we had the podcast, actually, and so now we wouldn't want to be selected because you just don't want that kind of personal information out there in the world. [00:33:25] Speaker A: So says the person who literally talks about herself at least twice weekly. [00:33:31] Speaker B: It's different, though, the kinds of information. Brian is a different type of information and met your mate. [00:33:37] Speaker A: Well, now we know how CM structures are passwords, I suppose. But anyway. Hey, Dennis, this is a bit off topic, but since we've been talking Star wars trivia and such, I feel like never gotten the chance to ask you the hyperspace lounge on the wish. Have you been on the wish? [00:33:56] Speaker C: I have, I have. I had a feeling this was going to come up. What do you think even though we're. [00:34:00] Speaker B: Talking about a cruise on the magic? [00:34:02] Speaker A: No, I just. I mean, look, he's got a Star wars podcast. I got to ask the question, what do you think? What do you think, Dennis? [00:34:09] Speaker C: I like it a lot more than you do. When we did. We've done one cruise on the wish. It was a maritime back in December, 2022. And. Is that right? Yeah, that's right. And we went in there four times. We really had a good time with it. Now, I don't know how many people know every single ship that's going to show up on that screen behind the bar, but my boys and I did, and we got a kick out of picking all those things out of there. I've heard some of your all's commentary and constructive criticism about it, that it doesn't carry the story that the sublight lounge does, that Oga's does. And that is completely valid. I think I've decided it to, friends, is that you think more hard rock cafe when it comes to this. It's a way of presenting a theme, but you're not necessarily getting the story with that theme. And I think it works well when you think of it. More of a canto bight from the last Jedi as opposed to the Mos Eisley cantina from A New Hope. [00:35:08] Speaker B: Well, that's a cool way of thinking about it. Now, we don't recognize any of the ships, but we are like, I like to tell people we're casual Star wars fans. We are not hardcore Star wars fans, if that makes sense. Like, we've seen all the movies, have. [00:35:24] Speaker A: Watched all the movies, have watched a lot of the tv series, but none of the movies, but none of the animated and none of the books. That's where we sort of. That's so, like, there's things happening in these tv series we know tie back to the animated series or the books or things like that that we're just oblivious to. So. [00:35:40] Speaker B: Yeah, well, and to be fair, we still haven't watched Ahsoka. So that tells. [00:35:44] Speaker A: We started. We started. We just didn't finish it. [00:35:47] Speaker B: We watched, like, the first two episodes, Brian. That doesn't even count. But I will tell you. But I loved Andor, so if they made, you know, more andor, I would be, like, all in on that. [00:35:57] Speaker A: I don't actually don't know if we can call ourselves casual Star wars fans if we have four lightsabers and we sailed on the Chandra la Halcyon. I think we have to, like, we're somewhere between casual and non casual, but I don't know what the word for that is. [00:36:12] Speaker C: There is so much Star wars to absorb these days that it is hard to keep up with all of it. I mean, I've got shelves full of books and models and things in here, in my office and all kinds of art on the wall and stuff like that, but that's not required to be, to call yourself a Star wars fan. I've got two brothers, and one of them's got three girls, and they're just now getting into it. And it is overwhelming, is how he's put it, how much there is to try and catch up. And not all of it's for everybody, and that's fine because there's plenty to choose from. [00:36:42] Speaker A: Yeah, well, it's like the amount of content they're pumping out around Marvel now. I mean, it's, it's, it's so we. [00:36:48] Speaker B: Can'T keep up with that even. Yeah. [00:36:49] Speaker A: Yeah. Sam. Sam wanted to watch one of the movies, and I said, oh, but I've read you have to finish this entire tv series before you can watch the. [00:36:54] Speaker B: Movie because it won't. We haven't finished the most recent season of Loki, and so I want to see the Marvels. And so Brian was saying, oh, we have to. We sell. We got to finish Loki. I don't want to finish Loki. I didn't really like that. I like, I like Loki the character, but I'm telling you, that whole timeline thing was, I don't even know I had enough to understand it in season one, but in season two, I don't know where it was going. I really, I can tell you. I don't understand the timeline stuff in season two of Loki. So we stopped. [00:37:32] Speaker A: We'll get you on a marvel day at sea, and all will be revealed. So there you go. [00:37:36] Speaker B: I just need, I'm going to need a Marvel expert to, like, explain it to me in like, as if I'm like a child. I think. [00:37:45] Speaker A: You know what, you have access to one. It's called chat. GPT. [00:37:48] Speaker B: Just go ahead, ask questions you need. Dennis and I were talking ahead of time. He's also a big marvel fan, so he probably. [00:37:55] Speaker A: There you go. For sure. For sure. All right, well, let's get back to the, let's get back to your cruise on the magic. Dennis, I want. [00:38:00] Speaker B: Yeah, I have another question, though. I would love to hear about what your, your teens get up to on board the cruise, because they are, well, one is still in the club in vibe. The other is in 1820. Society range. Do either of them participate in any of those, you know, sort of group activities or meetups? And if not, what. What kinds of things did they like to do on board besides going to trivia with you? [00:38:31] Speaker C: So back in 2017, when on our first cruise, Alec was ten. Yeah, ten. And so he would do the kids club and absolutely loved it. By the time we got to our knicks cruise, which was in 2019, he had aged out of the Oceaneers club. They tried the, you know, the. Well, I can't remember which one is which. The edge, I suppose you're right. [00:38:55] Speaker B: Yeah. The only way I know that is because edge is like, oh, you're between the. You're in the edge of being a teenager, but you're not a kid anymore. [00:39:03] Speaker A: On the edge of being in the vibe, but you're not. [00:39:05] Speaker B: Right. That's the only way I remember that. Literally, I have to do that. Like, use that, like, mnemonic to. Yeah, that works. [00:39:12] Speaker C: That works. But I remember on that cruise, we said, hey, we got. We just want you to go try it for an hour. And they did. And they both came out and said, pass. They're a bit more introverted when it comes down to that. So they don't really get into the clubs. That being said, they'll go exploring. They love wandering around the ship. They love the promenade on deck four. And we'll spend all kinds of time wandering around that. They love to get food and watch funnel vision. They do pick out movies in the Lake Buena Vista theater and go check those out. Tend to do things as a group of four, other than when my wife and I are doing Paolo brunch or when we're doing tastings and stuff like that. So they spend most of their time with us. And that's awesome. [00:39:53] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:39:53] Speaker C: Now, Alec is a 16 year old. He needs a certain amount of time on his own, and he's happy to do that just in the stateroom by himself on his device with something on the tv. And that's great. It's his vacation, too. He can do whatever he want. But the most part, they tend to do the same things that we're doing. [00:40:11] Speaker B: Nice. Has your oldest been to palo yet? [00:40:14] Speaker C: No. And the only, we actually were thinking about doing that this pastime, because we went, the structure of the cruise was embarkation, sea day, cozumel, Costa Maya, and then two sea days. And we had Paolo brunch on that second to last sea day. And they told us they had availability for the next day. And we offered that to him if he wanted to go with my wife. And he thought about it for a second. He's like, no, I just kind of want to spend my last day taking in the other aspects of the ship. And I said, do you realize what you're missing? So anyway, he kind of indicated that he wanted to wait to do that until his brother could go as well. [00:40:50] Speaker B: Oh, that's so nice. Oh, that's really sweet. So they're obviously close. I mean, I know they're only three years apart in age, but they're close. It sounds like they spend a lot of time together on board and with you all, which is really, really nice. Wow. You don't hear that about teenage boys all the time. So that's refreshing. [00:41:10] Speaker C: This day and age, it's hard to get all four of us together at the same time anymore. And so that's the beauty of the cruise, is that we're not on anybody's turf. And we, you know, we can go do things other on the ship, but it's not. No one's getting a work call, no one's getting pulled by school or any other activities going on. And, yeah, that's why I spend the beauty and the attraction of the cruise for us. [00:41:30] Speaker B: Awesome. Now, do you guys do the shows perhaps in the Walt Disney theater, or do you skip those? [00:41:37] Speaker C: We usually do them. The only time we really skipped any of those is because we had done the wonder, like three times in two years. So we'd kind of seen everything a lot. But we went to see the gold Mickeys and we saw tangled, and I guess it said believer dreams. That's on the magic dreams. My boys get irritated by the fact that there's an adult playing a child, and so they kind of refuse to go see that one anymore. And so we found other activities to do in place of that. But we do enjoy the stage show, so those are a lot of fun. [00:42:09] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. Well, listen, I understand that, but child labor laws prohibit Disney Cruise line probably not having kids on board. [00:42:17] Speaker C: I would go, but I'd be going by myself. And like I said, you feel like you're missing out when everybody else is doing something and you're on your own. [00:42:25] Speaker A: Hey, I dropped Nathan off at the port for a six month stint being a child actor on board Disney cruise line. [00:42:34] Speaker B: Oh, Brian. And then somebody calls CPS on us. [00:42:38] Speaker A: He's in international waters. He's an international waterist. No law applies. Hey, edc al duo fans. 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, stop what you're doing and head over to 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 my path unwinding travel 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 dclduo so they know we sent you their way. Thanks my path unwinding for sponsoring the show. And with that, back to our episode. [00:43:55] Speaker B: Should we talk food a little bit? [00:43:57] Speaker A: We have to talk food. We always have to talk food. [00:43:59] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, it had been a little bit since you guys had been on the magic, and it had been probably, you mentioned it was the COVID protocols when you last sailed on the magic. And so I imagine they might not have had the Rapunzel sort of dinner show, although they probably still had the animator's palette one. But yeah. Curious what you thought about the entertainment during dinner. And of course, if there were any highlights of food in particular as well. [00:44:30] Speaker C: Well, you brought up rapunzels. The big difference between when we were there in 2021 and this past cruise is that they did the entire birthday party in one night in 2021, and they spread it out over the two times we were in there on this cruise. And so it kind of got chopped in half. And so that was a surprise to us. Of course, there was far more people in the dining room because I think the ship was only two thirds to three quarters full back in 2021 when we were on it. And just as an aside, you know, the magic had been through the dry dock between the two times I was on it, and it was a noticeable difference as far as I was concerned. The way the ship looked, it looked slightly better kept this time around overall. But I just wanted to make mention of that while I was thinking about it. Food is fantastic. Again, the prior sailing on the magic was five nights, and so this was sick. So it was only the difference of the one night on the cruise. I am team black truffle presettes, so that was really good. The only disappointment I had as far as the rotational dining when it came to the food is in. When you do the tangled restaurant, they have that Flynn riders skillet with the various pork things on it. [00:45:40] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. It's all right. Yeah. Yeah. [00:45:43] Speaker C: Well, it got recommended to me both times in 2021, and this time, and I heard other people just rave about how fantastic it was, and I thought it was dry both times that I got it, and it just didn't. Didn't work for me. [00:45:54] Speaker B: It doesn't work for me. Yeah. [00:45:56] Speaker A: Second seating or main seating, Dennis? [00:45:58] Speaker C: We always do second seating. Um, it's just with. We never eat at 05:00 here. [00:46:04] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:46:04] Speaker C: It's just too early. Yeah, well, no one's at home at 05:00 and usually people are not getting home from activities until 8830 anyway, so. [00:46:13] Speaker A: Yeah. So I wonder if. I always wonder if part of it is they make all the food fresh for the main seating. I'm sure they. You know, they do more. They make more between seatings, but if you think about the amount of prep work that goes into making that food, I'm sure some of it is those appetizers sitting under heat lamps. They're just drying out. Yeah. [00:46:30] Speaker B: Yeah. I just. I also think, though, that that dish is not. I don't know. I. That dish, I had it once, I think, and it didn't work for me either, Dennis. So, yeah, it's not. Not my jam. I like the tangled pasta dish that they have. That. That's. That's probably my favorite one. Oh, and. And what you mentioned about the. The show, I wanted to say that that has some variation depending upon the length of sailing. So if you are on a longer sailing on the magic, you will see the version. Typically, this is not. It doesn't happen always, but typically, you'll see the version where it's the birthday celebration is split into two nights. So one is sort of birthday, and then the other is the lantern, although obviously, both are supposed to happen on her birthday. So they do kind of split it into two nights for the longer sailings, and then they do sort of this. I'll call it a condensed version, but it is both. There are elements from both pieces on one night if it's a shorter sailing, and that tends to be like five nights or less, because you're obviously not guaranteed to have two nights in rapunzels on those sailings. So that's, I think, how they normally do it. I'm sure. Like I said, there are probably exceptions to that rule, but for folks who want to see sort of both, you need really, like a seven night sailing and not always even guaranteed on a six night, because if you've got a pirate night, then they sometimes just do the condensed one night show as well, so. But, yeah. Glad to hear you got to see sort of both. Both pieces of that. [00:48:06] Speaker A: Sorry, Dennis, did you mention, did you did or did not do any adult dining on board? [00:48:10] Speaker B: They did brunch. [00:48:11] Speaker C: Yeah, we did. We did Apollo brunch. [00:48:13] Speaker A: How was it? I feel like it's always the same. [00:48:16] Speaker C: Oh, it's amazing. It was absolutely. It was only the second time we'd ever done it. And the first time was in Alaska a couple summers ago, and my wife and I like or had way too much food the first time we were there. And so we tried to make a plan this time where, you know, we got one antipasta dish at the beginning and then got the different items and we still came out way too full when it was all said and done, but it was, you know, we tried. The highlight for me was the Palo martini that they make with the limoncello there. Yeah. Because they offer you the mimosa, the glass of champagne when you sit down for brunch. And then we wanted another beverage, and we were looking at the menu and our server, Bence, recommended this and we said, sure, why not? And it was really, really, really good. I highly recommend that one passing. [00:49:05] Speaker A: I feel like they usually recommend the Palo Bloody Mary, which is also good. But, man, I'm going to try the lemon cello martini the next time we go, so. Yeah. Sam, what else? What else do you have for. Yeah, what else you have for Dennis? [00:49:16] Speaker B: I was going to say, I don't know if we. I feel like we've probably covered anything, but is. Are there any, like, I've got a. [00:49:23] Speaker A: Question, and with your sailing party, what kind of room did you book? Did you book one room, two rooms? Like, how do you handle the stateroom? [00:49:29] Speaker C: That's a good question. The first time we did the magic, we had so much cruise credit built up from COVID that I was able to get us two staterooms, and we had done veranda staterooms, and that worked out well. And it was a mistake because then my boys wanted that for every subsequent sailing. Now, we couldn't do that the next time we cruised on Alaska, because there was just not two rooms available for that cruise. But I went ahead and did that again. And this is one of the few cruises I found where ocean View was a significant savings over veranda. And so we went, and this is the only cruise I've ever done ocean view on, and it worked out really well for us. Uh, the boys can't sleep on the top bunk. [00:50:11] Speaker B: Yeah. Or the boys. I mean, I I think I've mentioned on the show a couple of times, there was one night where one time I I decided I was going to try sleeping on that top bunk just because Nathan wanted to sleep on the couch. This was, like, years and years ago. I. It was horrible. It was horrible. It's like, it's one. It's short, so it's not meant for, like, a full sized human being. Um, and it's like a foam mattress thing. It's not like a real mattress. So that that couch bed is fine, right? Like, it's a single bed, but it. And so it's a little narrow, but its length is okay. And. And the mattress is, I think, pretty comfortable, but, yeah, that bunk bed. So you'd have to get a room that has one of the Murphy beds and the couch, I think, for your boys to be decently comfortable in those beds versus the main bed. So that makes sense to me. I think ocean view is great. I mean, I know people want. People like to have a veranda. They want a veranda maybe for Alaska or certain. Certain itineraries. Panama Canal is another one that sort of rings out to me. But I think the ocean view state rooms. Yeah, I think they're great. And especially if you can go for two when you've got, you know, two large, large human teenagers. Right. Like, large humans about it. [00:51:32] Speaker A: But you have, as opposed to two medium sized robotic children, or, I mean. [00:51:38] Speaker B: That you have teens that are probably adult size, right? A 16 year old boy and a 19 year old boy are adult sized human beings, not child sized human beings. [00:51:47] Speaker A: Have you ever. Dennis, have you ever looked into doing the. We had travel agent once who was saying that she liked to book the veranda for her and her husband, and then the inside stateroom right across the hall from them for the older teen kids. Have you ever looked into doing that? [00:52:04] Speaker C: I haven't, but that's not a bad idea. And as I was mentioning earlier, when we were at the Tremont hotel before this, we were on the second floor. My kids were on the fourth, and it worked. They didn't have to be in a connecting room with us or even right next door to us. I would not be adverse to just getting staterooms wherever they might be on the ship going forward. But, yeah, that is definitely a thought. This cruise didn't really need a veranda. I mean, no offense to Cozumel or Costa Maya. You're just. There's not as much to see on the coastline as you're sailing around as, say, Alaska, where I really. If you can. If you can swing it, you definitely got to get the veranda there. Yeah, I didn't miss it so much. Like, the rooms, the portholes were cool to have. It was nice to be able to look out there without having to worry about the sliding door waking anybody up and things like that. And I'd do it again if that's what was available. And I wanted to go on a cruise without even worrying about it. [00:53:04] Speaker B: Yeah. Especially if it's a. When it is a significant savings between those. Those two categories. It isn't always, as you sort of mentioned, it's not always a huge savings between the ocean view. [00:53:15] Speaker A: It's usually only, like, a couple hundred bucks. And, you know, I prefer we book the ocean view, even with that little bit of saving, just because we don't really use the veranda most of the time if we're sailing, you know, not in, like, a concierge stateroom, if they had ocean view. They do have ocean view concierge, and we loved it. And those are actually more expensive than sometimes. But, yeah, we like it. And it's also forward, which we like. And, yeah, so, yeah, I just wish they would make that nice bench seat in the porthole window. Just give me five more inches and then I can sit in there, you know, with a book. [00:53:49] Speaker B: So, yeah, I think generally for the Caribbean and the Bahamas, I mean, some people find a veranda essential. I think for us it's not essential, so. And like you mentioned, there's not generally, in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, there's not a ton to see, or that's necessary to see from. From your stateroom, so. Well, Dennis, anything that we have failed to ask you about, any highlights or lowlights from this cruise that we haven't discussed? [00:54:17] Speaker C: You know, I don't really have any complaints about this. You know, as I said earlier, I was just amazed how much fun we were having just hanging out this time around without being involved, so hyper involved in all the activities on there. You know, now that I've got a 19 year old, he went down one evening with my wife and I to keys and hung out, which he wasn't able to do so much in the past, and he wasn't drinking anything. But being able to be in that space, which is that someplace he could typically go was pretty cool. And then the soul cat lounge was new for us when we got on the magic, and I really, really liked that space. I found it was someplace that pictures don't do justice. My only issue with that is that tend to be where they did most of trivia and most of the drawing classes. And it wasn't ideal for either one of those things. I found that, you know, with the, the drawing classes there on the magic, and I haven't seen this on the other ships I've been on. They've gone to the video where there's an artist teaching you through it, and you can't always find a good seat looking at one of those screens. The tables aren't necessarily big enough for that, and it goes at a faster pace than I think most people are able to keep up with. So, um, I was disappointed by that. But I've drawn so many pictures of Mickey Mouse now that not being able to do one this time around wasn't that big a deal. [00:55:31] Speaker B: So I agree with you. I think the best use of that soul cat lounge is craft activities are fine, and music, just listening to music and drinking, having a drink, that sort of chatting with your family and friends, that, to me, is the right use for the soul cat lounge. I don't think trivia and drawing classes are great in that space either. [00:55:52] Speaker A: It's interesting because usually they do the drawing in Ogils more in the pub. Yeah. Yeah. So that's. I haven't seen him do it in the soul cap before, and I agree, that's not a great. The way that space is laid out, there's only kind of so many places with tv, so that. Yeah, I'd agree. I'd rather see it in Ogils. Dennis, let me ask this. Uh, before we. Before I send you over to Sam for rapid fire, you know, your, your kids are, you know, they're getting older. Do you think you're still going to keep sailing Disney cruise line? Have you looked at sailing other cruise lines? I'm just, I'm, I'm curious about this question now, uh, with different guests because we like to do the compare, contrast across. But, but have you looked at other cruise lines or you think, is Disney. Is Disney the cruise line for you? [00:56:32] Speaker C: I think as long as they continue to give us options, you know, new ships, places we haven't been. We're going to continue to do stuff like that. My parents are loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers and we've had discussions on going on cruises with them. You're all show about the difference between those two. Convince me that I want to stick on Disney, but they, it's funny, convinced. [00:56:59] Speaker B: Some people of the opposite. So I'm actually glad to hear that because I feel like not glad to hear that we convinced you not to try it, but glad to hear that, that people can come out with both effects. Yeah. Because I was surprised. I saw quite a few comments after the show that folks who are now more royal curious and that wasn't our intention, is obviously not to necessarily promote either cruise line. Right. Like, we are cruise enthusiasts, we don't make money selling cruises ourselves. Right. So. Yeah, so. But it's, it's interesting to me because some people came away with it saying, oh, I'm now royal curious. It's funny that you came away saying, I'm not royal curious or less than I was before. [00:57:41] Speaker C: Right. I have looked into a norwegian cruise because it was going around the United Kingdom on an itinerary that Disney does not offer. My wife and I did that on Viking for our 20th anniversary a few years ago and had a fantastic time. But there is not as much to do on that ship, is there, as a Disney ship or anywhere else. They call it the thinking man cruise. Um, and that's definitely what it is because it's very much reliant on the ports and the excursions are going to put you on and things like that. I am comfortable on a Disney cruise. I like the passenger mix with families on the cruise. My kids are big Star wars fans, big Marvel fans. They like all the Disney stuff that's out there. So they're happy doing that as well. But that being said, if they're place we want to go and Disney's just not the best option for getting there, then we'll look into something else. But when it comes to picking out a five or six night cruise around a holiday, we're most likely going to stick with Disney, if that works. [00:58:35] Speaker A: Yeah, no, it makes sense. I'm really curious about this now. I was talking to a friend this morning about the Disney pricing is getting a little high and I think that there is something to the Disney strategy seems to be they increase the price, they don't necessarily change the offering that much. To your point, I'm not seeing them sail to new ports a ton. I mean, Australia was added. Eventually they'll open up Asia although big question marks around whether or not those are going to be geared toward bringing people from the US to Asia, as much as satisfying those markets is what they seem to do with Australia, it's still like you get on the ship, there's one water slide, there's three rotational restaurants, there's some bars, some theming the characters, that sort of stuff. You watch the Royal Caribbeans and the celebrities. It's like they're kind of like a one up battle over what. Can we launch you into space from this ship for $49.99? That's the next experience we're coming up with. Which might appeal to a Star wars fan, by the way, but they're constantly one upping and their prices are going up, but they're still less expensive. We adding more so we can justify the cost, or we're not increasing the cost. We're just charging you a little bit more on board if you want to do this experience kind of thing. And so I'm just curious where people net out on this, because I could see the argument of, I think you said earlier in the show, I don't need one more character picture with Mickey. Yeah, I've got hundreds of those in the catalog. I've eaten my fill of Paolo brunch. I've done Remy, all the experiences on board, I think Sam and I have pretty much done. So it's sort of that trade off of do I keep doing what's familiar, or do I branch out and try something new? For everyone at home, it will always be the DCL duo. We love scaling this design, don't worry. But, yeah, it's just, it's interesting to hear where people land on that kind of thing, so. Well, Dennis, with that, I think we have reached that point in the show where I need to hand you over to Sam for some arbitrary questions, some arbitrary rules, a dash of judgment, or the round we know as a rapid fire. So, Sam, take it away. [01:00:38] Speaker B: Why, thank you, Brian. All right, we're going to start with your general Disney favorites, and then we're going to move, of course, to your Disney Cruise line favorites. And when I say Disney general, I mean anything that Disney owns, so any of the IP, which includes, obviously, the Star wars and Marvel universes. So let's start with who is your favorite? [01:00:57] Speaker A: For half a second there, say, when you said. When I say Disney, I was waiting for some sort of call and response there. [01:01:02] Speaker B: When I say Disney, you say cruise line. Disney. [01:01:06] Speaker A: Cruise line. [01:01:07] Speaker B: There you go. [01:01:08] Speaker A: Let's try it. When I say DCl, you say duo. DCL Duo. There you go. [01:01:13] Speaker B: All right. That was a weird interlude. Okay, well, Dennis, who is your favorite Disney character? [01:01:20] Speaker C: Quick disclaimer. I talk about Star wars all the time, so I'm going to put that aside for this conversation. [01:01:25] Speaker B: Fair. [01:01:26] Speaker C: But as far as Disney character, Jack Sparrow is my favorite. [01:01:29] Speaker B: Oh, nice. Awesome. Okay, favorite Disney movie. [01:01:33] Speaker C: Oh, right now, I've been watching Moana a lot, so I'll go with Moana. [01:01:36] Speaker B: Oh, love it. Okay. Favorite Disney song. Mm. [01:01:40] Speaker C: Friend like me. [01:01:41] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, I love that. So I was thinking we were gonna get, you know, I don't know, Han Solo, a new hope, and he just. [01:01:51] Speaker A: Said he was gonna set aside those Star wars. [01:01:53] Speaker C: Well, it would be Obi Wan Kenobi. [01:01:56] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. [01:01:56] Speaker C: Obi Wan Kenobi. The Empire strikes back in the imperial march or the Star wars questions. [01:02:00] Speaker B: Okay, so I got one out of three. Imperial march. [01:02:03] Speaker A: Wait, hold on. Dennis, which Obi Wan Kenobi? Are we talking Ewan McGregor? Are we talking the original? [01:02:11] Speaker C: We're talking the prequel Obi Wan Kenobi, which covers. Ooh. McGregor and the animated version that James Arnold Taylor voices. [01:02:17] Speaker B: Oh, interesting. All right. Okay, now we're going to move on to the cruise line. What is your favorite Disney cruise line? Stage show? And you don't have to pick from the magic. You can pick from any of the ships you've been on. I know you've been on all except the fantasy. [01:02:32] Speaker C: So I haven't seen Beauty of the beast because that wasn't on the dream when I sailed on that, so I wanted to, because I know that's a point of judgment. So tangled. This is my favorite show. [01:02:42] Speaker B: Okay, favorite bar. Let's talk adult bar on board any. [01:02:48] Speaker C: Of the ships, I'm tempted to say hyperspace lounge, but that is. I guess families are in there quite a bit as well. So I'm gonna actually, you know, this past cruise, the time I had with my wife at signals was fantastic, so I'm going to go with that. [01:03:01] Speaker B: Oh, I love that. All right, favorite onboard activity. [01:03:05] Speaker C: Tastings. Absolutely. Tastings. I love scheduling those and learning all about where the wine comes from, where the champagne's from. What's the difference in the history? Those are my favorites. Yeah. [01:03:17] Speaker B: Favorite space on the ship outside of adult bar spaces. [01:03:22] Speaker C: I am a huge fan of the french quarter on the wonder. [01:03:27] Speaker B: Yes. [01:03:29] Speaker C: I've been on that ship three times, and we spends so much time there. Uh, they've got great staff. The beignets that they've got there in the mornings. Uh, they usually have great entertainment there. So, yeah. Go with the french quarter. [01:03:41] Speaker B: Totally agree. That is a great space. Okay. Favorite rotational dining. [01:03:46] Speaker C: Favorite rotational dining. Hmm. Oh, uh, 1923 on the. [01:03:50] Speaker B: Ah, that's a good. Yeah, that steak is just really good in there. And. And the, you know, the atmosphere with the. With all the animation stuff is really cool, too. [01:04:01] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:04:01] Speaker C: The wine flight I had on the wish in there was really, really, really good. [01:04:04] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:04:05] Speaker B: Oh, okay. Nice. All right, we gotta talk food items. Since we're on, we've been talking rotational dining, but let's talk. Yeah, food. Give me a sweet item first, and then we'll do a savory item, but a favorite sweet item on board a Disney cruise. [01:04:20] Speaker C: All right, go with me. The favorite sweet item is the dole whip, which I realize is not the real dole whip, but it is a family tradition. My oldest DJ and I, we get one day, one on the cruise. After lunch, after the mustard drill, we head up to the deck. He loves those things. And so that's just become our tradition across seven cruises. So that's it. [01:04:42] Speaker B: Yum. I love that. And you're right. I think it's a good. It's a good dish. Even though it's not the original. I will say the only thing that's annoying is that you have to pay for them, that they're not, like, part of the included food. Okay. A favorite savory item. [01:04:56] Speaker C: The chicken parm at Palo. [01:04:58] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:04:59] Speaker C: That's the best chicken parm I've ever had. It's really fantastic. [01:05:02] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Aqua dunk, aqua duck, aqua mouse. [01:05:09] Speaker C: I am not qualified to answer that question. I have only been on the aqua duck the two times I've been on the magic. This, you know, including this last cruise, it was the days I thought to go on the dunk. It was too cold to be doing that. When we got on the wish, we just never got around to getting on the aqua mouse. We were so busy in the hyperspace lounge and taking in other aspects of the ship. So by default, it has to be the aqueduct. [01:05:35] Speaker B: Okay, fair enough. Okay, and now the most controversial question of all, which is which one is your favorite of the ships that you've been on the wonder? [01:05:46] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:05:47] Speaker C: And part of that is just because of where it goes, you know, the two cruises to Alaska that we've done, I had a great cruise out of San Diego on it. Love all the ships. Ships. It's really whichever ship you're on. But when I think back, the wonder and the itineraries we've been able to do with that, that gives us the edge. [01:06:03] Speaker B: Awesome. All right, well, the last question you've already won because you chose the wonder, but the last question I still have to ask you, what is your bucket list cruise? If you could go anywhere in the world on a Disney ship, even if Disney cruise line doesn't currently sail there, where would you go? [01:06:16] Speaker C: I want to do a cruise around New Zealand and Australia, and I'm not just talking about their cruises to nowhere that they're doing now. I want to start in Auckland and in Sydney and, um, see that continent. That's something that's been on my list for years now. So that's it. [01:06:32] Speaker B: I would love that, too. That would be a great itinerary. But I agree with you. What they're currently doing is not that. And I wouldn't necessarily want to do what they're currently doing. These cruises, you know, it's like the UK state staycations, but maybe that'll change after a couple of years of doing what they're currently doing. All right, well, thank you for playing. As I said, you won because, frankly, you chose a great stage show with tangled. I feel like rotational dining. I don't ever really judge people because they're all good, so none of them are. Well, I guess if somebody chose enchanted garden, I might judge them on that one. But other than enchanted garden, I don't think there's really a wrong answer, but yeah. So thank you for playing and being subject to not too much judgment there. [01:07:17] Speaker A: Well, Dennis, I always like to know what's next. [01:07:19] Speaker C: All right, so next this June, we are going to the Mediterranean and doing a nine night cruise on the dream, leaving from Barcelona, hitting up Greece, Turkey, and Italy. We're doing the ABD Rome escape right after that. So this is, this is a cruise that we've been trying to do since 2019. We booked it then, and then, of course, got canceled twice because of COVID which is where all my credit came from. Couldn't do it in 2022 because the ship was full. I mean, we could not get a cabin we wanted in the magic and the weeks we had available to do it, had it booked for last year. But then my college son ended up needing to take a couple of hes a computer science major, so theres some math courses he had to take over the summer. So knock on wood, nothing else is going to get in the way. And were finally going to get to do this five years later this summer. And so I cant believe its actually happening. And then beyond that, weve got a cruise on the treasures set for spring break 2025. [01:08:13] Speaker B: Awesome. Well, you have to come back to talk to us about that med cruise and the, and the short escape in Rome, of course, because we love to cover ABD. We do have an episode that covered the Rome short escape previously, but, you know, they change it, I'm sure, year to year. And yeah, we'd love to have you back, Dennis. Why don't you tell folks where they can find you, though, if they are interested in hearing more and talking more about Star wars as we, we've talked a little bit about it on the show today, but we are, as we mentioned, not Star wars experts. You are a Star wars expert and you also are Star Trek expert. I think so, yeah. Why don't you let folks where they can find you if they want to hear more? [01:08:53] Speaker C: Well, thank you so much. This has been a lot of fun. I've had a great time talking to you all. I've been looking forward to this all week. Podcast artists is my show devoted to Star wars. It's been around for about five years now. We put out three shows a week, usually covering the news, reviewing whatever current show on Disney might be, and then having some other general discussion. You can find it on your podcatcher of choice. We're available pretty much anywhere. Harder to find is Warp Trails, which is a Star Trek podcast I host with my wife. It is on the Retrozap network podcast feed. There's a bunch of shows there, so it kind of gets buried if you want to, if you want to hear what I have to say about Star Trek, and especially my wife, since she's the big Star Trek fan, Everett's and you can find those shows there. [01:09:34] Speaker B: Awesome. Well, thanks so much for coming, Dennis. We really appreciate it. We appreciate, of course, our interactions with you also in our Facebook group as well as on our live show. You were like super active, I'm thinking just the other night you were super active in our, in our live feed during our live show, talking about Facebook groups. And it was such a pleasure to hear from somebody as knowledgeable as you and as obviously passionate about Disney Cruise line as we are. So, yeah, we really appreciate it and we definitely look forward to having you back on the show. [01:10:04] Speaker C: Oh, again, it was a pleasure. Thanks so much. [01:10:11] Speaker A: Well, a big thank you to all of you out there for listening this week. [01:10:14] Speaker C: We really, really appreciate it. [01:10:16] Speaker A: Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast. 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. If you leave us a written review along with a five star review, we will be sure to read it on the air at the end of one of our main episodes. If you're hovering over anything less than five stars, we really want you to reach out to us so we can take your feedback. [01:10:38] Speaker C: Best way to do that? [01:10:39] Speaker A: Head to to find all the ways to connect with us. It links to our podcast, our vlog. Our blog has all the ways you can connect with us on social media, has our Etsy store where you can find our fun beach bags and magnets that we designed as enthusiasts of each of the Disney cruise lines ships. Has a link off to our Patreon if you'd like to help support the. [01:10:59] Speaker C: Show we really, truly appreciate each and. [01:11:00] Speaker A: Every one of our patreons for helping to support the show. Each and every month has a link off to our show sponsor, my path unwinding where you can get more information about booking a fabulous vacation, which also really helps to support our show. All the things are there, including a way you can sign up to be a guest on the show if you'd like to share your Disney Cruise line experience. Most importantly, you can always email [email protected] if you'd like to connect with us or you can call our voicemail line if you'd like to leave us a message. We love to include the voices of our listeners in our show. Just dial 40 241-355-5590 that's 402-413-5590 and that will head straight to our Google voice voicemail line. The DCL Duel podcast is not affiliated with Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Company, or the Disney family of theme parks. The views expressed on the show are solely those of the individuals on the podcast and in no way reflect the views of of the Disney Company or Disney cruise line. If you have questions about a Disney cruise or a Disney vacation, please contact Disney directly or your own travel agent or the great folks over at Mypath unwinding travel. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time for another fabulous Disney adventure with the DCL duo. Goodnight.

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