Embarkation: Let the Fun Begin!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. My family’s nom de plume is Murphy.  That law that you’ve heard about?  We live it on a daily basis, and this day was no exception.

Sorta like being in the airplane’s middle seat, but with better beverages

I won’t bore you with the details.  Instead, I will share some helpful hints so that YOUR embarcation goes more smoothly than ours.

Parking at the port was easy.  We arrived a little after noon, drove to the terminal (entrance is on 55th and 12th Ave– the ship was berthed about another block or two south of the entrance) where porters were waiting to help unload the luggage.

If by any chance you have forgotten the preprinted luggage tags Disney sent out with your cruise package, not to worry.  The porters had extra and quickly solved the problem.

Dad parked the car, while mom, the girls and aunt (that would be me) made our way inside to a terminal that was not crowded at all.  Cruise parking at the Manhattan terminal is $40 per 24 hours, payable in advance.

The girls met some very friendly greeters.  In case you’re wondering, their shirts say “My aunt is the coolest”.

Two other members of our group (my sister/girls’ grandmother, my nephew/ girls’ uncle) who drove from Massachusetts, reserved off site parking that charged half as much as the port. The best part–their service included driving you to the terminal in your own car, and helping unload luggage.  Good thing too, because between more than one stretch of bumper to bumper traffic and getting lost, they almost missed the boat.  They had no time to spare, to look for a space in the Port parking lot, park the car and high tail it back to the embarcation area.  There’s a lot to be said for arriving the day before departure.

IF you arrive around 12:30 PM, with proper documentation, you could probably be on the ship by 1:00 PM.  If, however, you happen to be missing a legal document, such as an official birth certificate for a child, you CAN have someone either fax or photograph it and email or text it to you.  See if you can figure out how I know this.

By the time some of us were on board, (2:15 PM) our rooms were ready.  Checked luggage arrived around 5 PM.

All’s well that ends well, with everyone checked in and aboard by 4 PM. The wonder and glory of sailing out of NYC might have been lost on the smallest member of our group, who was far more interested in her burger, but the rest of us loved watching the city’s skyline and Lady Liberty roll by.

Mother, daughter, and a young, cool grandmother also known as my niece, great niece and my “little” sister

About those Fish Extenders (FEs) that I mentioned in a previous post?  This is what they

 

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look like.  Notice the metal fish above the room number?  That’s where the name came from.  The idea is that group members leave little surprises for each others’ children in their FEs.

Wanna know how great some of the other passengers were?  My niece discovered the Facebook group (and FEs) about a week before departure–too late for her to create or purchase surprises for other group members.  Despite her inability to reciprocate,  people STILL left gifts for her girls.  The white board was one of the gifts–another was stuck inside the fish.  No extender necessary.IMG_5135

Lots of VERY kind, considerate shipmates were aboard!

Disney’s Magic

Every now and then you have to experience a very different kind of travel, and for me, that time is tomorrow.   I’ve never been on a big cruise ship, never chose a cruise that featured only one port and never cruised with children.  If those things had been on my bucket list, I’d be getting ready to cross them off.

Disney’s Magic sets sail tomorrow from Manhattan’s cruise terminal for a 4 night trip to St. John, New Brunswick, then back.  Just getting ready for the cruise has been a learning experience.  For example, Cruise Critic is NOT the “go to” place to get information about THIS cruise.  Nope. My niece discovered that the happening site is Facebook, where she located a private group just for our particular cruise.

Let me tell you, there is quite a Disney culture out there.  People have been getting ready for this event for some time, creating their “FE’s” and special gifts to put in the FEs.  Until yesterday, I had no idea what an “FE” is, and I bet you don’t either.  It stands for “Fish Extender” and it is some sort of container that you hang from your door.  Does that help?   I promise a future post will include at least one photo of a Fish Extender, so if a Disney Cruise is in your future, you can decide whether or not you want one.

The people on the page are all very helpful and friendly, so I’m looking forward to a great time.  The theme for this cruise is Halloween on the High Seas.  Not only is there an opportunity to wear a Halloween costume, but there is also “pirate night”.  There IS a costume, of sorts, in my luggage.  I’m going to be a princess.  I know,  not very imaginative, but SOMEONE has to lower the bar, right?

Speaking of princesses… right now these two are en route from Massachusetts, with mom and dad.  Arriving shortly.  The excitement level is sky high!