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View Full Version : The Slowhands cruise around Europe ~ Part 2 [Dover]



Slowhand
02-08-2010, 03:14 PM
Sunday July 18th
I had arranged for Alan [a friend of mine who owns an executive taxi company who we use whenever we go to Florida] to collect us at around 7.30 am to take us to Dover, aiming to board the Disney Magic after the initial rush to get on board yet still in time for lunch.
Alan actually arrived at 7.00 am so after loading up his Mercedes 7 seater with our luggage that was ready and waiting, we had a cup of coffee in the kitchen while waiting for everyone to surface! The vehicle easily swallowed up all of our bags together with all 5 of us along with Alan as we set off finally at around 7.45 am.

The traffic was fairly light as it was a Sunday, and after a restroom/coffee stop at the motorway services [yuk!] near to the Dartford Crossing on the outskirts of London, we finally descended the hill down to the Port of Dover at around mid-day where we caught our first glimpse of the ship gleaming in the sunlight in the harbour. :banana:

We seemed to have timed things perfectly as there were no queues at the dockside and I was very surprised that we didn`t even have to show our documents to the official who simply directed Alan to the drop off point.
No sooner had we unloaded our bags than they were whisked away by a porter as we said our goodbyes to Alan and made our way into the Cruise Terminal (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2593145590049486169lcSoil) where a one man band (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2225493970049486169gHBsxN) welcomed everyone inside.

The boarding process was a breeze. :thumbsup:
After putting our carry on items through the x-ray scanner and signing a couple of health forms confirming that we were not suffering from anything contagious, we were directed to the check-in desk to complete the boarding paperwork.
As we had all already taken a minimum of 5 previous DCL Cruises, we were given Gold Castaway Club lanyards to house our “Key to the World” cards.
After checking that we all were assigned the same dining arrangements we then went to where the ship`s photographers took our pre-boarding photos after which we walked directly onto the gangplank and into the ship`s atrium.
Noticing our Gold lanyards, a crew member asked our names and said “Welcome back aboard” as our names were announced to applause from two lines of crew members in the atrium. :wave:

We were told that our staterooms would be ready by 1.30 pm so Doug, Michelle & Dani headed up to Topsiders on deck 9 while my DW and I went immediately to Rockin Bar “D” to make our dining reservation for Palos.
Doug & Michelle had already made their Palo reservations on line and we had agreed that we would dine there on a different evening to them so that we could accompany Dani for dinner while they were at Palos as she was not classed as an adult….even though she could easily pass for an 18 year old. I also wanted to make our reservation for one of the evenings when we were assigned Parrot Cay [our least favourite of the regular restaurants].
From here we made our way up to Topsiders where we joined our friends for an excellent buffet lunch sat at an outside table which was quite an experience in itself as it had become very windy!

From here we made our way to our staterooms [we on deck 6, and our friends on deck 2], to find that two of our cases were already outside the door waiting for us in the corridor. No sooner had we unpacked these cases than our final two cases arrived which was perfect timing.
Waiting for us on the bed was our Castaway Club gift, this time a [very useful] tote bag containing drinking mugs, a key ring a few snacks.
The Personal Navigator (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2825437150049486169nUGmGv) was also there and I immediately noticed how more colourful it was that those we had seen previously, a definite improvement. :thumbsup:
Alongside the Personal Navigator was a letter invitation to join the ship`s officers for a “Gold & Platinum Castaway Reception” at 11.00 am tomorrow.

Following a brief [and breezy!] walk around the outside decks, it was time for us to return to our stateroom and don our life jackets and go to our assembly point on deck 4 for the mandatory safety drill before we set sail.
Once this was over we all met up on deck 10 to view the "Adventures Away" party (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2024853230049486169QZQEoB) with a glass of Melonvine, the cocktail of the day. Although it was a sunny day it was a darn sight colder than when we cruised before and it seemed odd to see the passengers in sweaters and trousers instead of shorts and tee shirts! :lol:

Doug and I hung around deck 10 while my DW, Michelle & Dani went down to check out the on board shops as Michelle wanted to buy some remedy in case she had a bout of sea sickness during the cruise.
After a while they reappeared and my DW said to me “I`ve just earned a $25 credit”. She then went on to say that she had just bought a DCL Dooney & Bourke handbag and Gold Castaway members were entitled to this credit when they spent over $100 in the shop! When it was described by this method I think that I saved some money! :unsure:

After a while the countdown began and after a blast of “When you wish upon a star” from the ships horn we slowly moved away from the dock and made our way towards the English Channel.
The Captain [an English guy named John] came over on the pa system and told us that he was taking the “Cliff View” route out of Dover, keeping the coast in view for as long as possible.
As we made our way along the coast of Dover (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2150813210049486169ynWjTu), he pointed out several places of interest as we passed by.
At one stage we passed a small community called St. Margarets (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2020999260049486169fKIAkl) where Peter Ustinov and Ian Fleming used to own beach side houses. The local pub was named Moonraker and the bus service into Dover was number 007 which was rather apt!
After soaking up some more coastal views we all headed off to our staterooms to get ready for dinner.

On entering our stateroom I noticed that some slips of paper had been placed on our bed by Sean, our stateroom host.
These were confirmation of the on-board credits that we were entitled to.
Before our cruise, I knew that these were forthcoming, however the actual amount totalled $1,000 which was rather more than I had expected, but naturally it was very much appreciated! :banana:
While my DW was getting ready I made my way down to Sessions on deck 3 to say “Hi” to Tim Moss, the pianist there with whom we have become close friends.
As soon as Tim saw me enter the bar he waved, stopped playing, and then re-started playing “Wonderful Tonight”. Tim knows that I am Eric Claptons` no.1 fan and he normally plays this for me each time I enter Sessions, if not, then he plays a tune from Phantom of the Opera, another of my favourites.
I ordered a Tom Collins from Benita [the bar tender] and after a while, Tim came over for a chat….little did he know about the surprise that we all had in store for him later during the cruise…more later. :yes:
After a second Tom Collins my DW finally joined us, just in time for us to go to Lumiere`s for dinner.

There we were reunited with our friends from LA, and we shared a table with Robert and Margaret from Edmonton and their three children, Christopher and Joshua [teenagers], and their lovely 10 year old daughter Rebecca, and soon we were chatting away like old friends. So yet again we had some lovely dining partners for the cruise.
We were also introduced to Oppie [our server], Isaac [asst. server] and Zan [our head server], who all promised us a great cruise.
I ordered a wine package for the cruise so my DW and I shared our first bottle over dinner. The “share” was actually 75% for me and 25% for my DW as I soon discovered when we left the restaurant! :p010: The combined effects of a long day, two very strong Tom Collins and several glasses of wine kicked in so rather than topping up even more by returning to Sessions, I said my “Goddnights” and headed back to the stateroom.

On entering the room I noticed a card telling us to turn our clocks forward one hour tonight. Just what I needed right now [NOT], losing an hours sleep tonight! :thumbsdown:

Tink
02-08-2010, 03:24 PM
Nice beginning! :yes: (Well, all but the loss of an hour). The One Man Band is pretty impressive. I've always wondered how anyone can actually coordinate all those different instruments at one time! I am far too clumsy for something like that!

Thanks for a great report!

Slowhand
02-08-2010, 03:26 PM
Nice beginning! :yes: (Well, all but the loss of an hour). The One Man Band is pretty impressive. I've always wondered how anyone can actually coordinate all those different instruments at one time! I am far too clumsy for something like that!


Yep. I can just about manage to pat my head with one hand and rub my tummy with the other. Adding any leg movements to that scenario is too much for me! :lol:

catrancher
02-08-2010, 03:43 PM
Doug and I hung around deck 10

Hmm... I can't help but wonder where you and Doug might have been hanging out on deck 10, Terry. :unsure:
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Say no more!

Great report! And glad to see the piccies accumulating. Keep it coming!

And thanks for accepting my invitation! :thumbsup:

Tom (:macwave:... who's been know to favor deck 10 occasionally, hisself!)

daveann
02-08-2010, 05:35 PM
Great report :)

Disneybumble
02-08-2010, 06:24 PM
I'm hooked:tongue:

uscwest
02-08-2010, 06:42 PM
Great start Terry. You do know that you are becoming entirely too well known on board don't you? LOL

Isafari
02-08-2010, 08:14 PM
Your trippies are brilliant Terry :yes: I get so engrossed in them that I can really imagine being there onboard with you all.

The blast of “When you wish upon a star” from the ships horn sounds so special to start the journey with.

Tinker
02-08-2010, 10:18 PM
Brillant Report Terry and nice to know I can tell Jim about the $25.00 credit when I purchase my D&B purse . :lol:
Have you decided on a date for The Dream . We have yet to book, but we're thinking May . But then again it'd be great to see you & Sue again . :hug2:
Keep these trippie reports coming . :bounce:

Deafjeff
03-08-2010, 07:10 AM
I love your report and inspired me to consider taking disney cruise. Would you mind PM me some details (if possible prices, and the best way to book it etc?)

Slowhand
03-08-2010, 11:01 AM
I love your report and inspired me to consider taking disney cruise. Would you mind PM me some details (if possible prices, and the best way to book it etc?)

I reckon it would pay you to have a look at the official DCL site Jeff here (http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/).
This will give you full details of all the cruises on offer and loads more info also.
If you can afford it though I would certainly go for a cruise with a minimum of 5 nights duration as it seems as though no sooner are you on the ship than it`s time to leave on the 3 & 4 day cruises.
My DW and I have only done one 3 day cruise, the remainder have been for 7 days or more.

I have always found that DCL respond very quickly to any email requests and you can book a cruise on line.
In addition you can talk to the DCL reps who have a desk at some of the WDW resorts. I dunno exactly which ones they are but there is definately one at the GF which is manned at certain times.
The most cost effective way though is to book your next cruise while on board the ship [if you become hooked on cruisin` that is!], as you get a 10% discount as well as on board credits etc..

Hope this helps but if you need any more info then just holler!

Slowhand
03-08-2010, 11:04 AM
You do know that you are becoming entirely too well known on board don't you? LOL
It never ceases to amaze me how some of the CM`s remember you when you return John, many of them even remember your names which makes you feel really at home when you meet up with them again.

Slowhand
03-08-2010, 11:07 AM
Your trippies are brilliant Terry :yes: I get so engrossed in them that I can really imagine being there onboard with you all.

The blast of “When you wish upon a star” from the ships horn sounds so special to start the journey with.
Thanks for your kind words Issy.:hug2:

Yep that ships horn really does get to you, especially when you leave the ports of call.

Slowhand
03-08-2010, 11:09 AM
Have you decided on a date for The Dream . We have yet to book, but we're thinking May . But then again it'd be great to see you & Sue again . :hug2:


All will be revealed in one of these reports Tinker. :wink:

catrancher
03-08-2010, 11:13 AM
It never ceases to amaze me how some of the CM`s remember you when you return John, many of them even remember your names which makes you feel really at home when you meet up with them again.

I'd have to agree with that one, Terry!

It was 2 years after our first cruise that we took the second one. Of course, we had dinner one night in Palo on both of them. On our first one, Marco was our server. By the time we took our second cruise, he had moved up to maître d’ but still remembered both my DW and I. I know he actually remembered and didn't just look at the names on the guest list because he started asking my DW how she liked being retired now that she had a couple of years to get used to it! :eek:

Unbelievable! Wish I had a memory like that!

Tom (:macwave:... who am I?)

foreverducky
03-08-2010, 03:15 PM
Love your trip reports! The pictures are beautiful!

DisneyFreak
03-08-2010, 04:50 PM
You're giving me cruise fever again Terry. :yes:

Deafjeff
03-08-2010, 06:21 PM
Love your trip reports! The pictures are beautiful!

PICTURES?!!?!?!?! WHERE?!

catrancher
03-08-2010, 06:29 PM
PICTURES?!!?!?!?! WHERE?!

Click on the hyperlinks in his first post in this thread Jeff. Takes you out to his pictures on WebShots. :thumbsup:

Tom (:macwave:... click, click!)

Deafjeff
03-08-2010, 06:29 PM
I had a look at the Disney Cruise website and could not find any dates that leaves UK.... Am I doing something wrong?

catrancher
03-08-2010, 06:36 PM
I had a look at the Disney Cruise website and could not find any dates that leaves UK.... Am I doing something wrong?

Nope. Nothing wrong. There's nothing more scheduled out of the UK this year. They're all in the past. There's a couple of Mediterranean cruises that are going out of Barcelona in August and September but that's all for this year.

Tom (:macwave:... self appointed Assistant Cruise Director. :sail: )

Deafjeff
03-08-2010, 06:38 PM
Ah! Right sigh would prefer to ship out from the UK as not done cruise before so would like to know where to go as opposed to flying to Spain and trying to find the cruise etc....

Maybe 2012.....

Slowhand
04-08-2010, 07:21 AM
Ah! Right sigh would prefer to ship out from the UK as not done cruise before so would like to know where to go as opposed to flying to Spain and trying to find the cruise etc....

Maybe 2012.....
I know how you feel Jeff.
It really was quite a novelty going on a DCL cruise without having to catch a plane beforehand.
As catrancher said, the Disney Magic is normally based in the Med during the Summer so this involves a flight to Barcelona beforehand.
This year was the first time that the ship has sailed from the UK where it used Dover as its home port while it did four cruises in the Baltic and we had booked on the last one for this year.
The ship is now doing a "repositioning cruise" back to the Med.
Due to the popularity of the cruise itinerary that we did this year I would be surprised if this did not become an annual event. :fingers: