May 28, 2024


Ep. 428 - Bonus - The Mighty Mississippi: A Sailing Out of New Orleans Impacted by Bad Weather

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 428 - Bonus - The Mighty Mississippi: A Sailing Out of New Orleans Impacted by Bad Weather
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 428 - Bonus - The Mighty Mississippi: A Sailing Out of New Orleans Impacted by Bad Weather

May 28 2024 | 00:51:30


Show Notes

Andrea joins us this week to share her family's experience sailing on the Disney Magic out of New Orleans. Andrea's West Caribbean sailing was impacted by bad weather which altered the cruise itinerary. How did Disney Cruise Line (DCL) adjust course (literally) and what did Andrea think about sailing out of the Big Easy? We're covering the experience end-to-end to answer all your questions about sailing from this unique depature port under interesting circumstances. All that and more on this week's episode.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Actually, on my first date with my husband, he asked me if I thought about having kids in the future, and I said yes, and we will go to Disney World every year. Yeah. So I don't know why he's so surprised now that every family vacation revolves around disney. But. [00:00:29] Speaker B: Welcome back, everybody, to this week's episode of the DC podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding travel. And Sam, we got a review to read on the air. I'm going to skip your commentary ahead of time because we're a little pressed for time with our guests this morning. So I want to make sure we make the most of having our guest on. So this review comes from our magical travels. Who writes best cruising podcast? The DCL duo podcast is by far the best cruise podcast out there. They have lots of great guests with varied perspective and honest reviews. They are not afraid to say if something was bad, good, or in between. I like the mix of elevated experiences, even though I will probably never be able to afford them. And standard staterooms. If you're planning for a cruise, not just DCl, they cover other cruise lines from time to time or just trying to keep yourself sane between trips. This is the podcast for you. So thank you for that. Thank you for that. Our magical travels, we appreciate it. And yes, we do try to cover some other experiences out there in the space. Disney has our heart, but, you know, not full access to our pocketbook any longer. So. So that's just the way we roll. But yeah, Sam, you want to get us started here with our guest? [00:01:32] Speaker C: Yeah. First, I want to say thank you to that listener for that review. I'm very flattered. There's lots of cruise podcasts out there. Obviously there's not as many Disney Cruise focused podcasts, but there are lots of cruise podcasts out there. So thank you for listening and thank you for that lovely compliment. But I do want to introduce first time guest to the show, Andrea, who is also a first time cruiser. So of course, we get one of my favorite show topics today. Andrea, welcome to the show. [00:01:58] Speaker A: Hi. Thanks for having me. [00:02:00] Speaker C: Yeah. So tell us, Andrea, where does your Disney love come from? And I know you don't have any prior Disney cruise experience. Do you have any prior cruise experience before booking on DCL? [00:02:13] Speaker A: No. No prior cruise experience. I guess my Disney background is grew up child of the nineties. You know, Disney movies were everything. I think I was every princess for Halloween at some point, you know, in my childhood, and I always wanted to go to Disney World growing up. All my friends did. And, you know, unfortunately, my family just didn't travel much. But I kind of made a promise to myself that when I had kids someday, you know, I'd give them that idyllic american childhood, those memories. And so, you know, that's what I committed to doing. And actually on my first date with my husband, he asked me if I thought about having kids in the future. And I said yes, and we will go to Disney World every year. [00:02:58] Speaker C: So. [00:03:00] Speaker A: Yeah, so I don't know why he's so surprised now that every family vacation revolves around Disney. But that's, you know, I warned him up front. [00:03:10] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:03:11] Speaker A: So when our girls were four and two, we took him to Disney World for the first time and I was totally hooked. Started planning my next trip while we were still on property. It's just kind of taken off from there. [00:03:29] Speaker C: Awesome. All right, well, a Disney family then. Or at least you've roped your husband into being a Disney family. And I take it your girls are into the princesses themselves. Yeah. Oh, I love that. All right, well, why did you decide to book a Disney cruise then? You hadn't been on a cruise before. Your girls are six and four now. You mentioned why Veer from the parks and venture into Disney cruise line. [00:03:57] Speaker A: So I listen to a lot of Disney world planning podcasts, you know, all day, every day, basically at work, in the car, always listening to Disney podcasts. And there's a lot of crossover there. So I heard enough about Disney Cruise through those podcasts that I decided to finally check it out myself. We had originally planned during the same time frame that we went on the cruise to go to Disney World. And somehow I found myself on the cruise website and just, you know, I don't somehow. [00:04:32] Speaker C: I don't know, I just somehow got on the cruise. [00:04:34] Speaker B: I find myself there all the time. I find myself there all the time by accident. Yeah. [00:04:40] Speaker A: Accidentally searched the dates and I found this cruise and it fit perfectly. So I messaged the. Our travel planner and, you know, apologized that she had to change. [00:04:52] Speaker C: Undo a Disney world vacation. [00:04:54] Speaker A: Yeah. Because it was actually the night that I put down the deposit for the Disney world vacation. I like, never mind, let's try this instead. [00:05:04] Speaker B: I've stopped apologizing to our travel planner. I'm sorry, Kayleigh. I just don't. I don't apologize anymore. Just like, you know, we're crazy people, so you just have to roll with it. [00:05:14] Speaker C: Yeah. Yeah. We have a tendency to change up our vacations, like significantly. Like we'll be booked on one ship and decide to go on a different ship, we'll be booked on one cruise line, decide to go on a different cruise line, we'll decide to change the year of the trip. Like, we just have. Yeah. We have a tendency to rearrange things multiple times. So travel planners, I think, in general are used to people like us, but if they, if they, you know, if they want to keep the relationship and they're a good travel planner, they're patient and will accommodate as best they can. [00:05:47] Speaker B: Apropos of the discussion we're about to have, I remember when we got on the wonder in New Orleans and you experienced concierge for the first time, and within, like, the first, like, hour and a half, we're like, I love this. And having to email our travel advisor at the time, like, can you price out what it would cost to upgrade all of our remaining cruises? [00:06:05] Speaker C: Which is ridiculous, by the way. [00:06:07] Speaker B: But anyway, speaking of which, speaking of which, we're going to be talking about a New Orleans sailing. So, Andrew, you want to set up the itinerary here and all that sort of fun stuff? [00:06:19] Speaker A: Yeah. So it was a four night out of New Orleans. There was two sea days, and then in the middle was a day in Progresso. [00:06:26] Speaker B: And you were in New Orleans for the day before or a couple days before? [00:06:30] Speaker A: We flew in the morning before. [00:06:32] Speaker B: Morning before. What did you get up to from a highlight standpoint in New Orleans before the cruise? And had you been before or was this your first trip to New Orleans? [00:06:40] Speaker A: No, this was our first trip. And the fact that it left from New Orleans was a big part of, you know, why we selected this one because it's always been a bucket list place to visit just due to the history and architecture and all the nerdy stuff there. And so we stayed in a hotel that was about like a five minute walk from, you know, like Jackson Square and, you know, that whole area. So we just kind of walked around eight beignets and shrimp po boys and slowly meandered around. [00:07:12] Speaker B: Nice. [00:07:13] Speaker C: That's the way to do New Orleans. We got to ask you where you ate beignets. Did you go to Cafe Dumont? Did you go to Cafe Beignet or someplace else? [00:07:20] Speaker A: We went to beau. [00:07:22] Speaker B: Did it. [00:07:23] Speaker C: Right now we have to ask you the verdict between Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet. We have not aired yet what our verdict was, but that's. [00:07:33] Speaker B: It'll probably come out before this episode. [00:07:35] Speaker C: Yeah, it will, but it will come. But Andrea doesn't know yet. So we literally just recorded an episode yesterday with somebody else who sailed out of New Orleans and we had this discussion, but I am curious. Which one was your favorite? Andrea? [00:07:51] Speaker A: Cafe Dumont. [00:07:52] Speaker C: That's the right answer. That's the right answer. Cafe. No insult to Cafe Beignet. Their beignets were also very different. Good, but different. Different. Too big and a little too doughy? I thought they were. [00:08:06] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:08:06] Speaker C: More like a doughnut. More like a real donut. I feel like that is closer to a doughnut than a beignet is, I feel like. [00:08:15] Speaker B: Although, speaking of Jackson Square, I just remembered we forgot to give one tip on a restaurant that we love that's in Jackson Square. That's called Stanley's. Oh, yeah. It's just really, really great. It's right off the square, so it's usually really, really busy. But they have really good food, and they're especially good for, I think, brunch and have a great. [00:08:33] Speaker C: And Brian likes your bloody Mary. Bloody Mary, yeah. [00:08:36] Speaker B: So many spicy beans in the Bloody Mary. It's so good green beans. I should say so. Great, great spot for a little brunch in New Orleans. Jackson Square, maybe, before you embark on your cruise. So great, great spot to visit. Where'd you. Where'd you stay, Andrea? In New Orleans? [00:08:50] Speaker A: We stayed at. It's called the Bienville house. It's just, like a little historic boochie hotel. [00:08:56] Speaker C: Yeah, right in the corridor. That's a great location. Yeah, yeah, it's perfect. [00:09:01] Speaker B: How did you get from there over to the ship? Did you just take an uber or. Yeah. How'd you get over to the ship? [00:09:06] Speaker A: Yeah, we took an uber. [00:09:08] Speaker B: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. How'd you find the embarkation port there in New Orleans? Was it organized, disorganized? Somewhere in between, controlled chaos? [00:09:19] Speaker A: You know, it went great. Like, better than I had expected. We had a port arrival time of 415, and we just started to get antsy. So we got there a little bit early, and we were able to walk right in. Super smooth process. The staff, you know, directed us exactly where to go, and it. It went, you know, better than expected. [00:09:41] Speaker C: Awesome. You know, I forgot some of these sailings out of New Orleans. I think most of these sailings out in New Orleans had very late departure times. They don't always have that, but I know this season it seemed like they had. I think almost all of the sailings out in New Orleans had had significantly later departure times. So people listening are probably like, what, 415? No, no, that's, like, normal, because they probably didn't start until, like, the earliest. They probably started was, like, 315 or 330, something like that. So that's not a late time for your sailing, even though it might be late for most people who have sailed out? Well, it would be very late for most people sailing out of Port Canaveral because the ship is all aboard is already done at that point. Yeah. All right, so a fairly easy boarding process. What did you all think the first time? You know, you've got your, it's you, your husband, and your two daughters, ages six and four. What did you all think when you first saw the Disney magic in port in New Orleans? I mean, you're dropped off by your uber and immediately you can see the ship. [00:10:42] Speaker A: Yeah, it was just magical, I guess, is the word. It was just, you know, big, beautiful, and just look like a beautiful, classic ship. [00:10:53] Speaker C: Yeah, that's how we feel. Yeah, that's how we feel about it. I think there's. There's nothing prettier. Pretty is, I think pretty is the right word. There's nothing prettier sitting in a port than a Disney ship like you see, especially if you see other ships, like, in comparison, the Disney one's hands down the prettiest, with maybe the exception of, like, the Queen Elizabeth two. Right. But that we never see in these ports, frankly. But she looks, you know, the old sort of ocean liner feel, and they're just gorgeous ships. Okay, so you get through the embarkation process, the boarding process at the port, and you go across the gangway, you enter into the beautiful Disney magic atrium. Your family name is announced. One, did you know that was going to happen? Did you tell your kids it was going to happen? And what is that moment like for all of you? [00:11:44] Speaker A: Yeah, I warned everybody it was going to happen. You know, if. Let's just do enough podcast. That's part of the process. And it was, yeah, it was just magical. You know, you felt like, I'm finally there and this is really happening and let's just soak it all in. [00:12:00] Speaker C: Yeah, absolutely. I got to know what you all got up to on day one. I always love to hear, particularly from first time cruisers, that first day is a little bit chaotic. We all know your weather is probably not super warm at this time of year in New Orleans. You're at the, you know, in early February, so it's not necessarily a great time to hit the pool deck. But what did you all do on that first day to sort of get yourself acclimated to the ship? And I'd love to know if you did sit down, lunch or cabanas and what you kind of thought of the experience. [00:12:35] Speaker A: Yeah. So as soon as we got on board, our room was actually ready. [00:12:38] Speaker C: Oh, nice. [00:12:39] Speaker A: Yeah, that was awesome. So we went straight, we had a room on deckchu in the aft which ended up being perfect. And our bags were already outside the door as soon as we got there. [00:12:50] Speaker C: Wow. [00:12:51] Speaker A: Yeah. So that was really nice. We were able to, you know, unpack right away, kind of feel really settled before we went up on the deck. Girls wanted the ice cream. That was what they were most excited for was unlimited ice cream. Yeah. So we just, oh, yeah, you're already. [00:13:08] Speaker C: All after lunch so it's, you're not gonna go get lunch. I guess probably at 04:00 in the afternoon you're about to have dinner. Probably. Probably. [00:13:15] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we had early dinner so we didn't have a whole lot of time to walk around, but we hung out on deck, waited for the sail away party and yeah, we just kind of did that until dinner time. [00:13:29] Speaker C: What time did they do the muster drill for you all? That's the one thing, I have no idea. I have no frame of reference for these later departures. Yeah, what time? [00:13:39] Speaker B: It's always about, it's usually about an hour earlier than departure time, I feel like because then they want to start the deck party. So. [00:13:45] Speaker A: Yeah, so it was a mustard drill was 08:00 maybe it was after dinner. I remember that. [00:13:52] Speaker C: Oh, okay. [00:13:53] Speaker A: It was total chaos. [00:13:55] Speaker C: Oh, I bet. [00:13:56] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:13:57] Speaker C: That would be hard because you've got, so they did it after first seating but before second seating of dinner. That's, yeah, that's, that's kind of rough. And then, because then you all are running. Well, maybe not rushing to finish dinner but that's late for a muster drill. And then for those who have late dinner, they're sort of rushing to dinner right after that. Did they do, I imagine they didn't do a show that night then in the main theater because that would be probably too much going on. [00:14:27] Speaker A: Yeah. Correct. No show that night. [00:14:28] Speaker C: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. What time did you all actually sail away? [00:14:35] Speaker A: I'm thinking it was around nine or so. It was. [00:14:41] Speaker C: You don't get to see anything going down the Mississippi obviously that night. Even when you leave port at a sort of earlier time, closer to the sort of standard departure time, which is 5530, you still can't really see anything going down the Mississippi because you're mostly sailing at night. It gets dark on the earlier side this time, that time of year because we've sailed out of New Orleans in February as well. And. Yeah, it's not, you can't really see much, unfortunately, sailing down the Mississippi that night. All right, well, let's talk. Let's rewind a little bit and talk about the planning for the cruise. This was just your immediate family, right? You didn't have other folks with you on the sailing right now, you all were first time cruisers. So you're in that last booking period for the, you know, any onboard activity bookings and excursion bookings and then your, on your check in process, you're at that, you know, the, what is it, 75 days and then 30 days for all those things. How did the online booking process go for, you know, onboard activities and excursions? Did you have any difficulty as a first time cruiser, you know, getting what you wanted? I mean, I always warn people, your first time cruise, really not to book a lot because there's so much going on. The pre booking stuff you really don't need, except for maybe a port excursion. So what were you guys going for, if anything? And what did you end up getting. [00:16:16] Speaker A: As far as port excursions go? We weren't planning on anything. We were just going to get off the ship and then. So Progresso has the longest pier in the world. [00:16:26] Speaker C: Apparently that's their, their gimmick, their claim to fame. [00:16:30] Speaker A: And we were going to take the free shuttle from, you know, where the ship docks to the beach and just kind of hang out there, explore a little bit. So we didn't plan any port adventures, but my husband and I wanted to do a drink tasting. That was our big thing. And we wanted the girls to do Bibbidi Bobby boutique. And we got the tequila tasting right away. I think there was an opening on our first day that we were able to book things. And I watched it like a hawk to try to get a bibbidi bobbidi boutique, you know, trying to find two times that were relatively close to each other was tricky. But I, I found it, you know, we got two back to back appointments. [00:17:14] Speaker C: Oh, great. [00:17:15] Speaker A: Yeah, it worked out perfectly. [00:17:17] Speaker C: Yeah. Did you have a particular night that you were hoping for, for bibbidi bobbidi or did you have. Or were you more flexible as to the particular? I mean, somebody. Some people want to do like the pirate night, you know, so that they do the pirate night makeover, for example. Others are like, no, I don't want to do it on pirate night because my kid wants to be dressed up as a princess and she's going to wear a costume, a pirate costume on pirate night. So, you know, we don't want to do that. Did you have any sort of preference like that. [00:17:45] Speaker A: Not for the day specifically. I was just hoping for something like in morning or afternoon. There were some openings, like at 09:00 at night, and that seemed a little, you know, a little unrealistic for a six and a four year old to get makeovers at 09:00 at night. But I was able to snag like a 02:00 perfect 02:00 time for them. [00:18:07] Speaker C: Yeah, I think. I mean, that totally makes sense. Why? I mean, your kids are going to be falling asleep in the chair at 09:00 at night when you're getting the makeover. Plus, the whole benefit of the makeover is they get to walk around as a princess the rest of the day. Right. So if you did it at 09:00 at night, and then they went like, you might take a couple pictures and then they go right to bed, let's be honest. Like, that hair and makeup and stuff is going to be not gone in the morning because they put a lot of spray and a lot of sparkle in it, but it's not going to look the same in the next morning as it did the night before. So, yeah, it seems a bit of a waste for an expensive experience as well. All right, well, let's fast forward back to being on board and talk about some of those experiences. Let's start with Progresso, actually, because I know Progresso was a little bit of a, there was a bit of an alteration in the schedule. We heard about the. [00:19:03] Speaker B: Before we get to Progresso, though, Sam, can I just ask? I know the storm is going to impact here in Progresso. Was it rough getting from New Orleans to Progresso or was that fairly smooth sailing and then the storm kind of impacts the port experience there? [00:19:17] Speaker A: You know, the weather was great. [00:19:19] Speaker B: Okay. [00:19:20] Speaker A: We didn't have any rush seas, no rain, nothing like that. [00:19:23] Speaker B: Okay. [00:19:24] Speaker C: Awesome. [00:19:24] Speaker B: All right. [00:19:24] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:19:25] Speaker B: So you get to Progresso and what happens? [00:19:28] Speaker A: So we were only able to be in port from a few hours, I want to say, like two or 3 hours before we had to leave and turn around. So everyone's port adventure was canceled. Everyone got a refund there. And I would say 99% of people didn't even get off the ship because we were, we were only there for a very short amount of time. So it ended up. Yeah. So we ended up having three sea days, which I won't complain about. It was totally fine. [00:19:57] Speaker B: And so you had to turn around and head back, straight back to New Orleans. Right. That's what they decided to do. [00:20:04] Speaker A: Yes. Yeah. Trying to outrun the storm. They decided to cut the port a really short and just turn right back around. [00:20:10] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:20:11] Speaker B: So you. [00:20:12] Speaker C: And that was right in the middle. Right. So you had like sea Day, you're supposed to have Progresso and then c day. So you just have three c days in a row. [00:20:20] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and so you leave New Orleans to head to Progresso. You get to Progresso that day turns into get back to New Orleans. So you have basically the rest of that day, the c day. But you arrived back to New Orleans a full day ahead of schedule, right? [00:20:35] Speaker A: Yeah. About a half a day ahead of schedule. [00:20:38] Speaker C: Yeah. The night before, right? [00:20:40] Speaker A: Yes. Yep. So our, our last night was actually docked in New Orleans. [00:20:45] Speaker B: Yeah, I want to talk about that in a second. So first I want to ask about did they plan some extra activities on board or did they offer extra activities on board now that you skipped Progresso and were basically kind of at sea again? [00:21:01] Speaker A: Yeah. Yep. They added several, several things to the navigator. [00:21:06] Speaker B: Yeah. What kind of stuff? [00:21:07] Speaker A: Yeah, I think they added another bingo, if I'm not mistaken. We didn't end up going to bingo at all, but more drawing classes, trivias, you know. [00:21:18] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:21:18] Speaker A: Funny things like that. [00:21:20] Speaker C: Yeah. That makes sense. [00:21:21] Speaker B: So what did you get up to? I mean, so most of your time now is on the ship. You said the weather was pretty good. Yeah. All of your time. So you said the weather was pretty good. So presumably had access to pool deck, but. Yeah. Like, what kinds of stuff did you get up to on board? And I'd also be curious, I think you said at the front of the show, four and six year old, like, did they get into the kids club and enjoy it or not? Yeah. So, like, what kinds of stuff did you get up to on board as a family, as adults, as kids, all that sort of fun stuff. [00:21:49] Speaker A: Yeah. So the girls went to the kids club and they loved it. Actually, we only had access to, I believe it was the lab side. One of the sides was close due to remodeling. [00:22:01] Speaker C: Oh, of the bathrooms, we heard. Yeah, we heard the bathroom was being remodeled in the club side, I think. And so only the lab side was open. Something like that. [00:22:12] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah, one of those. So they only had half the space, but they didn't mind. You know, they, they loved going there. It was so much fun. We were affected by the age restriction thing now that three and four year olds have to be like with a teacher. If not, they're not free roaming, I think, like they used to be, but I was totally fine. My husband. [00:22:34] Speaker C: Oh, yeah. So your four year old then was doing organized activities rather than. Whereas your six year old was doing more free roaming type activities. Is that. [00:22:45] Speaker A: Yes. Yeah. So we were hoping that they could play with each other, but they really weren't able to due to that age limitation. It ended up being. [00:22:53] Speaker B: Okay. [00:22:53] Speaker A: I don't think they might. [00:22:55] Speaker C: Okay, well, that's good to know. Yeah. That's definitely one of those changes we really haven't heard much about. We obviously have heard about impacts on people whose kids have aged out earlier than they expected to. But that's good to know that the four year old enjoyed the activities on board. You mentioned you all did the. You booked the tequila tasting. What did you think? Yay or nay? Would you do it again and would you do other tastings on board? [00:23:24] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. We loved it. It was, I think it was a good use of, what, $45 a person. You know, you got several drinks, so it's economical and we learned a lot. That was really fun. [00:23:37] Speaker B: Yeah. And so. Yeah. What else did you, did you all get to experience the spot all on board? Did you do any activities together as a family? [00:23:44] Speaker A: No. Spa, but we did. We went to a movie. We went to wish on board. The girls loved that. Went to the pool for a little bit, and we weren't able to do the aqua dunk. We didn't get on that one, but the girls did the other slide. Lots of ice cream, snacks. Yeah. My husband and I went to trivia, where I lost by one point, and I am still very bitter about it. [00:24:13] Speaker C: Oh, which trivia was that? [00:24:15] Speaker A: Which top the Disney parks? [00:24:18] Speaker C: Oh, that's a. Those are really hard. I mean, there's no way I would ever win a Disney Parks trivia, but I feel like the ones that, the times that we've, like, sort of sat in and listened, it's really, really, really hard. So that's like, coming in second place is amazing, actually. Yeah. In my opinion. So good job. Good job. [00:24:38] Speaker A: Thanks. [00:24:38] Speaker C: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's awesome. I love, we love doing, you know, several of the trivias on board. I think they're super fun. Did you get to do any of the family game shows together? Those are always a cute experience. [00:24:51] Speaker A: Yeah, no, we didn't make it to any of those. [00:24:54] Speaker C: Yeah. What about character experiences? You. Yeah, you're. And I actually, we have to ask you about bibbidi Bobbidi, too, but let's talk characters first, and then we'll talk about bibbidi Bobbidi. [00:25:03] Speaker A: Yes. The girls love characters. I think we met, you know, we went to the royal gathering on our first morning, they loved the princesses. We also met Minnie and goofy Pluto. All the big ones. [00:25:19] Speaker C: Yeah. Now, when you guys go to the parks, do you do character meets there, too, or are you running around hitting up rides? What is your strategy there and how would you compare it to how the character meets went on the cruise ship? [00:25:34] Speaker A: At the parks, we've only been able to meet a couple characters because the lines are always so long that the girls just don't want to wait in that. So it was, the cruise is perfect for that. You know, I think the most we waited was maybe ten minutes. [00:25:50] Speaker C: Oh, wow. That's really good. Yeah. I always try to warn people because there's some special characters can tend to be, you know, longer or special costumes tend to, you know, have longer lines. But in general, the waits are much shorter than, than the parks. Sorry. [00:26:05] Speaker B: Can you describe for folks what the princess gathering is? Andrea, so that they know? [00:26:11] Speaker A: So you sign up for a chime and then you show up and you get to meet four princesses. It's in the atrium and you just kind of go down the line and hug a princess and take a picture. [00:26:23] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:26:24] Speaker A: Yeah. It was super, super cute. [00:26:26] Speaker C: Yeah. And you can get autographs, too. [00:26:29] Speaker B: Yeah. We know that people trust Disney for their vacations, and it can sometimes be a little nerve wracking to think about trying something new. Sam yeah. [00:26:38] Speaker C: Whether youre considering branching out to a new cruise line, an all inclusive resort, or exploring Europe, the team at Mypath unwinding travel has the expertise and connections across the globe to plan almost any vacation. They can even help with the universal parks. Theyve helped us plan our vacations beyond Disney, including Royal Caribbean princess cruise line and virgin voyages. [00:26:55] Speaker B: Their team of travel professionals all understand the needs of a Disney traveler can help you decide if another option is right for you and then guide you through every step of your new vacation experience. Whether you are dreaming of a fun getaway to an all inclusive resort, a river cruise in Europe, or an adventure in Costa Rica, the folks at my path unwinding are ready to help. Even if you have already booked, reach out for a complimentary consultation to make your next vacation even more amazing. [00:27:17] Speaker C: If you want to learn more and take advantage of the amazing team at mypath unwinding travel, then head over to dclduo or email to let them know we sent you their way. Thanks. My path unwinding for sponsoring today's show. Now back to the episode. [00:27:39] Speaker B: You mentioned in your. In your email to us pre show that you all got selected for a very special, like, character meet and greet. You wanted to tell folks about that. [00:27:49] Speaker C: Ooh, yes. [00:27:50] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. That was the most magical part of the whole cruise, I think. So during our three days on the cruise, I think we ran into Cinderella six times or so. The girls just kept running into her, and every time they met her, it was, you know, they were so excited, asking for hugs and, you know, excited to meet her. And then on our last day, right after the girls got done at Bibbidi Bobbi boutique, we saw Cinderella in the atrium again, and the girls, you know, screaming, excited to see her. And Cinderella, is it like the handler or the helper? She kind of chased after us and said, cinderella wants to send you something special later. So she took our stateroom number and our names, and a couple hours later, we had a message in the app that we were invited to a special event going on that evening. And that's just, like, a limited event for just our stateroom, and if you select others. So we went to that, and we got to meet. All of the princesses were there, and, you know, Mickey May, Donald, Daisy, goofy Pluto. It was just like a dance party, essentially, with all the characters. [00:29:01] Speaker C: Oh, that's amazing. Was this, like, in d Lounge? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So we've. We've heard of this, but we have never experienced it, because, as you mentioned, this is, like, a special invite only thing. And it's usually, as we understand, it's a bit of pixie dust magic that happens when a cast member, an entertainment cast member. So either character. Character handler essentially picks your family, and it's usually based on they've had multiple interactions with you or had a really special interaction with you, and they just want to give you a little bit of pixie dust. So that is so magical, because this is a rare thing. Like we said, 25 cruises for us. We've never been invited once to this thing. [00:29:47] Speaker B: Please make a plea for people listening to the show. Cause I always worry when we share these kinds of experiences, suddenly everyone's gonna, like, go to guest services, demand that they get access to it. Or if you're in concierge demand, please don't, like, let's. Let's have nice things together. Okay. And, like, leave this as, like, a little pixie dust moment for some people on board, and, you know. Cause otherwise, if we start inundating guest services or whoever with requests for this, and they're just gonna kind of quietly take it away, so. [00:30:15] Speaker C: Well, and I don't think it happens on every single cruise. I mean, I don't, we don't know for sure because obviously it's a very limited event, but I don't think it happens on every cruise because I don't think they are able to necessarily fit it in the schedule, you know, to have all those people at once on every cruise. [00:30:30] Speaker B: So it reminds me of used to be able to, like, drop off a pillowcase or a picture frame or stuff at guest services and they'd take it in the back and they'd have all the characters sign it. And that has quietly gone away because people started bringing ten pillowcases and, you know, can you sign this trophy that I got from whatever. Right. And it's just, let's have nice things together. Okay. That's my PSA for the day. [00:30:54] Speaker C: Love it. [00:30:54] Speaker B: Even if we never get to experience it as a family, I love that it exists. That's what you. [00:30:59] Speaker C: Yes, absolutely. Now, Andrea, I've got to ask you about shows. Your girls are four and six. That's young for shows in general. But were you able to take them to. Well, one, did they, I don't know which shows they would have had because they probably wouldn't have had all three shows that are on the magic, I'm going to imagine, and you tell me if I'm guessing correctly, that they had tangled and Disney dreams but did not do twice charmed on your sailing and then if you brought the girls to either of the shows. [00:31:31] Speaker A: Yeah. So we were able to go to twice charmed was the first, or I guess it would be night two. [00:31:38] Speaker C: Oh, so they had it. Wow. [00:31:40] Speaker A: Yeah. So that was the first one and tangled, and we took the girls to both of them. They love them. Both of my girls are musical theater nerd, I guess. [00:31:50] Speaker C: Love that. [00:31:51] Speaker A: Yeah, we take them to shows, you know, at home all the time. [00:31:55] Speaker C: Oh, wow. Yeah, they're able to sit through like a long, because these, I feel like the benefit of Disney Cruise line shows is that they're shorter. Right. Like they're an hour, an hour and 15 minutes max. Whereas you take them to, like, Aladdin, Broadway national tour and you're talking two and a half hour show with intermission. Yeah. That's amazing that your girls can sit through long of a show. I love that. [00:32:21] Speaker A: Yeah, we actually took them to Aladdin a few months ago and, yeah, they, they sat through it and went well. And so on the third night or fourth night, I guess. Sorry, I'm getting my nights mixed around instead of having, like, an evening show. They moved the is it believe. I don't remember which. [00:32:39] Speaker C: Disney dreams. [00:32:40] Speaker A: Yeah, Disney dreams. We ended up not being able to go to it because they moved it to a matinee to accommodate for the customs process that we had to go through that night. [00:32:50] Speaker C: Oh, because you all got in early. That makes sense. That makes sense. [00:32:55] Speaker B: I want to talk about that in a second because it's different from what we experienced when we had that medical emergency on board. Yeah. So I do want to talk about that. What did you think about the dining on board and the shows and the experiences? I assume you didn't do any adult dining, that everything was just rotational dining. So what did you think of the rotational dining on board and the shows and experiences there? [00:33:17] Speaker A: Yeah, we loved the rotational dining. I thought it was perfect. We had a great table to catch the shows in animators and in rapunzels. And, yeah, I thought it went super, super well. The food was great and entertainment was wonderful. [00:33:32] Speaker C: Awesome. What did the girls think of the entertainment and of the food? [00:33:36] Speaker A: So they loved it. My youngest is terrified of the thugs at Rapunzel, like the hook hand, specifically when he was up walking around. [00:33:49] Speaker C: Oh, and he's so funny. [00:33:51] Speaker A: Yeah, she was scared to death of him, so she didn't love it quite as much. But my older daughter, you know, she got up and did the dance around the kingdom dance or all of that stuff. Yeah. [00:34:04] Speaker C: I feel so bad for your four year old because hook hand comes around to lots tables, and he's so funny. And, like, we've had, like, several times on the magic, the same guy playing that role, too. And, like, I'm, like, picturing him. I have, like, multiple pictures. Like, we took selfies with him and stuff, and he's hilarious and lovely, but it's just. I can just imagine the four year old being terrified. [00:34:31] Speaker A: Yeah. Oh, she was so scared. [00:34:33] Speaker C: That's too funny. Well, I would love to hear about, you know, the sailing, sailing back, because you did get to sail back up the Mississippi during the daytime. And as we've mentioned on the show previously, and I sort of alluded to earlier in the show, you really don't get to do that because normally you're sailing the Mississippi at night to get either, you know, either leaving New Orleans or coming back to New Orleans, you know, what did you think of being able to sail up the Mississippi that day? Of course, it's not as warm as it would be if you were out in the Gulf of Mexico, but, yeah. What was your impression of that? [00:35:10] Speaker A: But, you know, it was neat. It was definitely, you know, a very different scenery, you know, sailing in the middle of the ocean. But it was kind of a cool experience to see, you know, all of the trees and everything. And I couldn't believe it was an eight hour sailing to New Orleans, you know, from where you entered the Mississippi all the way up. Yeah, that's a pretty long way. [00:35:34] Speaker C: Yeah, we forget how long that river is. Right. [00:35:38] Speaker B: It meanders. It kind of like you leave New Orleans and you sail pretty far east and not pretty far. You sail east and then you make a bend and you sail back southwest, and then you start to head south. Yeah. And I love the. So our sailing was also impacted by a medical emergency, so we had to sail up the Mississippi during the day to get back to New Orleans. [00:35:58] Speaker C: Yeah, the last day. [00:35:59] Speaker B: And I loved. You would see these kind of old, dilapidated plantation homes sitting right against the river, you know, then, of course, then you'd see the oil processing factory. [00:36:13] Speaker C: Some of it's not iconic, and some of it's very iconic. [00:36:16] Speaker B: I also love the river traffic that you get to see the different barges coming and going and the boats because the river is very narrow, so they pass, and ships pass, especially ships the size of the wonder. They're not far away. They're fairly close, so you can really kind of see them up close. I thought that was just. It's kind of neat. It's kind of a neat experience to sail that sort of iconic Mississippi river delta during a time when you can actually see what's going on on the river, so. [00:36:39] Speaker C: Absolutely. Absolutely. Hey, you know, I realize we didn't ask you what kind of stateroom that you had chosen, and I'm curious, especially to hear from a first time cruiser what stateroom you chose and then what you thought about it and how it worked for your family. [00:36:54] Speaker A: Yeah. So we actually booked a guaranteed inside standard. [00:36:57] Speaker B: Oh, wow. [00:36:58] Speaker A: Okay. Yeah, the price was absolutely unbeatable. I figured any room on a Disney shift is a great room was kind of the mentality I went in with, and we were assigned a inside deluxe with the two bathrooms. So we got a bonus bathroom on there. And, yeah, we were on deck two. And, yeah, I thought it was perfect. I would absolutely book that same room again. [00:37:26] Speaker C: Awesome. That's always good to know, because sometimes people, you don't know necessarily what to book your first time, you don't know what's going to work the best. And so when it works out by chance with a guaranteed room, even better, because you got a better rate on your cruise than, you know, having picked your room. Absolutely. Yeah. [00:37:44] Speaker B: Yeah. So you get. You get back to New Orleans. I'm really interested in this. So they had you actually, everyone had to disembark and get back on just to stay the one night because. Wow. For those listening, that is very short. Andrea's nodding her head. You can see that on our YouTube version of the show we're publishing. For those of you who don't know, we're publishing these shows out on YouTube as long as the guest is okay with us filming the video. But, yeah, that's different than the experience we had. We got back to New Orleans and they just kind of parked. I don't think they. They did open the ship for people to get off that night if they wanted to disembark a night early, since we were already back in New Orleans. [00:38:20] Speaker C: But they only opened it for, like, an hour window. Right. Like, if you wanted to disembark on that night, you needed to disembark between, I'm going to say, 530 and 06:30 p.m. i don't remember if that was the exact time, but I remember there was an hour window because they would have customs. Right. They have to have the customs officers there. And you also had to take your own luggage off if you wanted to do that. So we, of course, didn't do that. [00:38:45] Speaker B: Why would I do that? I need to stay here for another night. So. Yeah. [00:38:47] Speaker C: Well, I wanted, you know, I was going to see Disney dreams that we were going to go eat, you know, in. [00:38:53] Speaker B: We paid for a five or six night. It was a six night. We paid for a six night cruise. Why would I turn it into a five night for the same price? But, I mean, I understand. I understand. Some people might make a different choice, but. So you. But you all had to get off and get back on. Did you have to get off? Presumably not with your luggage. But then I'm wondering how they did customs the next day when everyone actually disembarked the ship. [00:39:12] Speaker C: Yeah. Did you have to do it twice? [00:39:14] Speaker A: No. So we only had to do it the once. We didn't have to bring our luggage, just had to bring our key of the world card. And it was a really crazy process. So we had to door was the normal door that you exit, but the traffic or the line was, like, wove around the ship, like, twice because there were so many people in line. [00:39:36] Speaker C: Right. [00:39:37] Speaker A: And so we ended up getting in line right by the Walt Disney theater. And then the line, like, wrapped around, snaked around twice. [00:39:45] Speaker C: Oh, my God. [00:39:46] Speaker A: So it was a lot. A lot of very unhappy people, because it was, you know, our last night there. I think right after dinner, we had to get in line. It did move faster than we thought it would, but it. No, it took up a good hour or so of our last night there. [00:40:06] Speaker C: So what happened the morning? Wait, let me. What did you actually have to do? You have your key to the world card, so they make you tap out off the ship, and then do you have to go see a customs officer with your passports and then tap back onto the ship? Is. [00:40:22] Speaker A: Yeah, that was exactly what it was. So we had to get out, go through the building, the fort building, and. Yeah. Just talked to the officers there, and then just lined back up and got back on board. [00:40:35] Speaker C: So silly. I don't understand why they did this if nobody was getting off. It doesn't make any sense to me. Right? Like, yeah, that's so odd. Okay, so what happens in the morning? [00:40:46] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. [00:40:47] Speaker A: So the next morning, you know, we just got our little tag to get off the ship, and we picked up our luggage, and that was it. [00:40:56] Speaker C: Oh, so you don't see any customs officer. You just tap out and then grab your bags, and then you're off. Okay. At least you didn't have to do it twice. But it. Obviously, you don't care about maybe it taking an hour on the day you're leaving because you've already. You're already off the ship. It's not eating into your ship time. Whereas if you're waiting in line on the ship, having to go out and then come back, it's probably taking, I would imagine, at least an hour or more for that whole process. And that's on the last night of your cruise. What a bummer. I'm sure this was something out of Disney's control. Let me just say that for those listening, this was probably mandated by the port, but it's a very odd thing. We've never heard of this before. [00:41:36] Speaker B: It's odd to be mandated by the port, if you think about it, because they weren't expecting the ship until the next day, and they could have just told Disney, no one gets off. Right. [00:41:45] Speaker C: Well, exactly. That's what I want. [00:41:46] Speaker B: Park your ship. We'll tie you up. But no one's getting off until tomorrow, so it's a little. It just feels weird that they would accelerate it. Nope. We're going to make a special trip down tonight with a bunch of customs officers and force everyone to get processed. Like, yeah, I just. It's just weird to me. It's just weird. But yeah. Did they? I'm assuming because this was all weather related, Disney didn't offer any, like, onboard credit or anything like that. Yeah, yeah, that's, that's typical. That's typical. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I assume you still had a good time in the last night on board, despite all of the challenges. This having been your first Disney cruise. Andrea, we always like to ask, you know, you gonna go back? Are you gonna. Placeholder, are you thinking about another Disney cruise or just another cruise at all? And, yeah. What's your thought? [00:42:32] Speaker A: Yep, we got the placeholder, and we actually have our next one booked for October. [00:42:37] Speaker C: Oh, fantastic. [00:42:38] Speaker B: Where you going? Where are you going? [00:42:40] Speaker A: So it's a Halloween on the high seas, on the fantasy, and it will be going to look at p. Oh, awesome. [00:42:47] Speaker C: And is it a seven night then? [00:42:50] Speaker A: No, it was a four. It's another four night. [00:42:52] Speaker C: Ah, bummer. Okay. Yeah, fair enough. It's all right. You'll like it, though. Halloween on the high seas is super fun. It's also going to be a jam packed cruise like this was and perhaps even and more so because you'll actually get a port stop and this hopefully. [00:43:09] Speaker B: And pro tip for your, for your girls or the Halloween on the high sea sailing, they have a special, they usually have a special roped off area just for kids right down by the special pumpkin tree, for the pumpkin tree lighting. So, uh, they can get the best seats in the house, and the adults can all stand around in the atrium. So, uh. [00:43:25] Speaker C: Right. [00:43:25] Speaker B: Make sure they get down there for those special seats. Cause I love that they rope that area off for kids. So. Yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:43:30] Speaker C: Absolutely. Absolutely. [00:43:32] Speaker B: Well, yeah. [00:43:34] Speaker C: Well, Sam, are you ready? [00:43:36] Speaker B: I don't need to be ready. I think Andrea needs to be ready because we have reached that point in our show where I need to hand you back to Sam for some, some arbitrary questions, some arbitrary rules, and a dash of judgment of the round we know as a rapid fire. So, Sam, take it away. [00:43:48] Speaker C: All right. Thank you, Brian. Well, Andrea, you listened to the show, so you knew this was coming. I'm going to ask your Disney favorites and then Disney cruise line favorites. Since the magic is your first ship and she's the first ship to ship in the fleet, we're going to limit your Disney cruise line answers to something on the magic. So. But first we have to start with who is your favorite Disney character? And Disney means anything that Disney owns. As I said on a recent show, you can pick Bart Simpson if he's your favorite. It. [00:44:15] Speaker A: I will go with lady from lady in the Tramp. [00:44:18] Speaker C: Oh, I love her. And she's a cocker spaniel. Got to give a shout out to the cocker spaniels, because Brian and I are the owners of two crazy cocker spaniels. For those who didn't know, yes, we are dog people. All right. What is your favorite Disney movie? [00:44:32] Speaker A: Mary Poppins classic. [00:44:34] Speaker C: Love that. Yeah. What's your favorite Disney song? [00:44:37] Speaker A: That one is trickier. I think right now it's at all costs from Wish Fiona. [00:44:44] Speaker C: Oh, you know, we haven't seen the movie yet, so I feel like I've heard the song, but it's. I don't feel like I know it well enough, but that's. I'll have to start listening to it then. All right, favorite Disney cruise line stage show. You can choose, obviously, between tangled and twice charmed, and I'm going to leave it at that. [00:45:03] Speaker A: It's tangled. [00:45:04] Speaker C: That's right. Thank you very much. Not that there's nothing wrong with twice charmed. It's actually a really cute show, but it would be a rung answer for you to say twice charmed when you have the option of tangled. So thank you for not giving me the wrong answer there. Okay. Favorite onboard activity that you got up to on this cruise? [00:45:24] Speaker A: Probably the trivia. We went to a few. A few rounds of trivia, and I thought that was really fun. [00:45:30] Speaker C: Yeah. What was the favorite activity for your girls on board? Was it like Bibbidi Bobbidi, meeting a particular character? I mean, just curious as to that. [00:45:39] Speaker A: Yeah, they loved bibbidi bobbidi boutique. They also really loved the kids clubs. They were always asking to go back. [00:45:46] Speaker C: Oh, I love that. [00:45:48] Speaker A: Yeah, they loved those. Those parties in there. [00:45:51] Speaker C: Yeah. Well, there you go. That totally makes sense why you booked another cruise. That's one of the huge benefits of, I think, Disney cruise line in particular. All right, favorite rotational dining? [00:46:04] Speaker A: Rapunzel. [00:46:05] Speaker C: Yeah, that's an awesome space. And I love the show and Rapunzel's as well. Did you have a favorite adult bar space on board? We didn't really get a chance to dive into that, but obviously it was a shorter cruise in your first cruise and with young kids, but, yeah. Did you have a favorite? [00:46:21] Speaker A: You know, I think probably Ogilvy. It's just a really cozy space, and my husband and I are, we like to play card like Jim Rummy, and sometimes just a really nice space to just have a drink and play some cards and just relax. [00:46:35] Speaker C: Yeah. Love that. We love to play cribbage. That's our kind of thing. Well, no, not cribbage. We love to play. Oh, my God. I'm blanking on the word. Backgammon. That's it. Backgammon. We like cribbage, too, but backgammon more. Yeah. All right, gotta talk food. A favorite sweet item and then a favorite savory item. We start with the sweets because the savories are my favorite, so. Yeah. What is your favorite sweet item from the cruise? [00:46:58] Speaker A: So I loved the grand Marnier souffle and vermeers, and there's also these raspberry caramel tarts at the COVID cafe, and I ate an embarrassing number of those. They're so, so good. [00:47:14] Speaker C: Well, I'm glad I don't like raspberry, because I love caramel, and so it's probably good that I stay away from that. All right, favorite savory item on board. [00:47:25] Speaker A: I will have to go with the Orc Tenderloin Wellington. [00:47:30] Speaker C: Oh, yeah. [00:47:31] Speaker A: It was on the first night menu. [00:47:34] Speaker C: Yeah, that's the. Let the magic begin menu. Yeah, that is a. That's a great menu. You don't get it on a lot of sailings because they do it when. Well, it kind of depends where you get a pirate menu, whether you get, you know, a standard. You get all three standard rotational menus, but that's a great, great menu. Love that. Okay. All right. We know your favorite ship is the Disney magic. Obviously, she doesn't have any competition quite yet, but soon to have competition on the fantasy. But I've got to ask you, what is your bucket list cruise? If you could go on a Disney cruise line ship and go anywhere in the world, even someplace that Disney Cruise line doesn't currently sail to, where would you go? [00:48:17] Speaker A: Probably Alaska to Australia. [00:48:20] Speaker C: Ooh. Yes. [00:48:21] Speaker A: Both in one sailing. Yeah. [00:48:23] Speaker C: I love that. Yeah. That's, like the ultimate Pacific sailing. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Andrea. It's been a pleasure talking to you. We'd love to have you come back after you do Halloween on the high seas in October. And I'd love to hear, you know, what the girls decide to dress up as. For Halloween, as. As you may have heard, people really go all out for Halloween on the ship, from the adults to the little kids. It's a huge range of costumes, you know, princesses to Jack Skellington to whatever. But, yeah, we'd love to have you come back and thank you for joining us. [00:49:01] Speaker A: Yeah, thank you so much. This was so much fun. [00:49:08] Speaker B: Well, thanks to everyone out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can keep getting great content from us every week. In fact, twice a week we publish shows. So be sure to hit the subscribe button to get all of those great episodes. And if you want to watch us live, we have a live show now every week, Monday nights 05:30 p.m. pacific 08:30 p.m. eastern over on dclduo so be sure to head over and check that out. If you want to help support the show, be sure to hit those five stars on Apple podcasts. And if you leave us a written review, a five star written review, we will read it at the top top of one of our main episodes. So please head over there and hit those five stars. Of course, you can also help support the show by supporting our fabulous show sponsor, Mypath unwinding travel. You want to book your next Disney vacation? Head over to dclduo or email [email protected] so they know we sent you their way. If you've got questions or you'd like to connect with us, the best way to do that is to head over to dot. It's got links to all all of our things. Full catalog of the podcast episodes including a searchable catalog for the podcast. Links off to our vlog, a link to our Etsy store. We sell some fun, fan inspired magnets. Link to our Patreon if you'd like to help directly support the show each and every month, just head over to the website or dclduo. Also, as a way for you to sign up for our substack newsletter that we're hoping to start really pumping out monthly here, at least on a few blog articles that we've written. So is the best way to connect with us. You can also, of course, email [email protected] or reach out to us on our voicemail line at 402-413-5590 that's 40 241-355-5590 the DCL duo 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 the Disney Company or Disney Cruise line. If you have questions if you have any questions about a Disney Cruise or a Disney vacation, please contact the great folks over at Mypath unwinding travel or Disney directly or your own travel agent thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next time for another fabulous adventure with the DCL duo. Good night.

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