Monday July 19th
Following a good nights sleep, we had breakfast at Topsiders, a nice fry up for me and a much more healthy choice for my DW.
Today was a day at sea which came in handy as I had one or two things to sort out to avoid any last minute panics.
We went up to deck 10 and immediately saw how different this cruise was when compared to the Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises we had done previously. Although it was not cold by UK standards, many of our fellow passengers were relaxing on the poolside loungers in sweaters and blankets which seemed very odd!
After a while we went to Cove Café for a cappuccino apiece where we were reunited with Pio who used to work in the adjacent Signals bar, but as is customary with DCL, the bar staff rotate their duties and work in different locations for certain periods of time.
Pio really seemed pleased to see us again and immediately asked my DW about how her Mum was coping. [For those who don`t know, my DW`s Father passed away on the last night of our previous cruise last year so we had to dash back home the day after the cruise.]
When I settled the bill using my Key to the World Card, Pio gave us a Cove Café redemption card which he stamped….purchase five speciality coffees and get the next one free…which we will take full advantage of during the cruise!
At 11.00 am we went to Rockin` Bar “D” to attend the “Gold and Platinum Castaway Reception” as per the invite we had received yesterday, and shortly after we arrived, Michelle, Doug and Dani came to join us.
CM`s were on hand offering complimentary drinks and canapés and giving everyone a Castaway Club champagne flute which was a nice touch.
Soon, Captain John appeared on the stage and gave quite a lengthy [off the cuff] speech, thanking us all for our loyalty and telling us about the future plans for DCL.
We then saw a short film about the making of the Disney Dream and from the look of it, the ship will be amazing.
After the meeting, my DW returned to deck 10 as I went to the currency exchange counter on deck 3 to obtain some “funny money” for the various ports of call that we were to visit.
We had been informed that credit cards were widely accepted at all ports of call and so the amounts that I needed were hardly likely to set the World`s currency markets alight! I only needed sufficient funds for tips and "knick knacks" while ashore.
I came a way with a few notes for Norway, Denmark, Russia and Sweden…I already had purchased some Euros for Germany prior to boarding, and the ship was not permitted to deal in Estonian currency.
Climbing the stairs to deck 4, I saw the Jocelyn [the Cruise sales lady] was sat alone and so I went ahead and paid a deposit on our 5 day cruise on the Dream for 2011 to coincide with the dates of Tom`s [catrancher and his DW] cruise which they had booked a few months ago.
From here I called into Shutters to collect the photographs we had taken yesterday, using some of the credits left on the card from our last cruise. It was good to see that Ruben [one of Shutters managers] was still on board the Magic and he made a point of joking “Do you still have your old Nikon D70”? Actually this is the camera that all the Disney photographers used to use but they have upgraded twice since then albeit keeping up the Nikon tradition.
After a snack lunch from the deck 9 outlets we were again reunited with Doug & Michelle who had just left a DVC meeting as they had become members last year. Doug had managed to get an additional couple of DVC baseball caps and lanyards from the meeting which he presented to us. [Dani by this time had already made friends with some other teenagers on board and so she was off somewhere doing her own thing!]
We were ready for dinner early tonight as it was the Formal Night and we all wanted to stand in line for our photos with Captain John and some backdrops in the atrium, with me in my tuxedo and my DW in her “posh frock”!
Dinner was in Animator`s Palate but as this evening was not the night of the “show” there, the décor remained in monochrome throughout dinner. We did however tell our other dining partners to have a good look at the décor and to remember it, as things would be different on their next visit. [As they were first time DCL guests, we didn`t want to spoil any surprises for them.]
After dinner we, along with Doug & Michelle headed down to Sessions where we sat next to Tim Moss as he played his piano.
Inevitably several of the songs he played were dedicated to us including “Michelle”, “Wonderful Tonight” and several melodies from “Phantom of the Opera”.
In between his stints, Tim came and sat with us, catching up on what has gone on since we last met.
At one stage Rainer [one of the lead singers from the on-board shows] joined Tim and sang a few songs to his accompaniment. Tim then introduced Rainer and her husband Jason to us and we quizzed her at length about life on board for the artists.
We stayed in Sessions until it closed at midnight, which was when we all retired to our staterooms, very grateful that we didn`t have to endure another time change this evening!
Tomorrow it`s Oslo!