Family Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Magic

Sailing from Galveston on the Disney Magic

The Disney Magic began cruising from Galveston in September 2012.(Courtesy photo)

The Disney Magic began cruising from Galveston in September 2012.(Courtesy photo)

When we left Indianapolis, the sky looked like cold oatmeal. Roads were slick and icy. Snow swirled through the early-morning sky. Wind chill temperatures were below zero. Even our heavy winter coats couldn’t keep out the bone-shivering cold.

But, oh, what a difference a flight made.

Our plane landed in Houston to sunny, short-sleeve warmth. And this was only the beginning of our winter getaway.

Catching an airport shuttle to the historic Hotel Galvez in Galveston, we breathed a sigh of relief and eagerly awaited our six-night Disney Magic cruise. With possible bad weather and undependable flights, I always try to arrive a day early for a cruise. Ships don’t wait and I sure want to be aboard when an ocean liner sets sail

My grandson Logan poses on the staircase of the Disney Magic.

My grandson Logan poses on the staircase of the Disney Magic.

For this trip, I’ll be cruising with my sister Elaine, my daughter Kelly and grandson Logan. Not sure what Logan will think about a Disney-themed cruise. After all, he is 22 years old – way too cool for Disney, I worry.  Will let you know how it goes.

After a delicious dinner in the Hotel Galvez dining room (I had scrumptious crab cakes), we get a good night’s sleep. That’s another advantage of arriving a day or so early for a cruise. It’s great to be rested when boarding the ship. No one wants to be worn out for the first evening of cruising and festivities.

The next morning, we catch a shuttle for the 10-minute trip to the dock. Check in is easy. Disney knows how to handle crowds and minimize paperwork.

Before long, we are walking onboard the Magic to the loudspeaker announcement of “Welcome to the Finch family!” Felt like a celebrities treading the red carpet with ship officers clapping and welcoming us aboard.

Like all good cruises, food is waiting.

Shrimp, roast beef, pork, pasta, cheese, scalloped potatoes, fruit, huge salad bar and so many tempting desserts – the buffet is awesome. Soft drinks are free (not something that all ships do but should) and a server quickly brought our Cokes and kept the glasses filled.

Our cabin aboard the Disney Magic has two twin beds plus a sofa bed and a bunk bed overhead. The cabin attendant prepares the extra beds every night and puts them back in the morning.

Our cabin aboard the Disney Magic has two twin beds plus a sofa bed and a bunk bed overhead. The cabin attendant prepares the extra beds every night and puts them back in the morning.

Then it is off to explore the ship and find our stateroom where our luggage is waiting. The room is beautiful with a Disney nautical theme, including a framed photo of Walt Disney and his wife Lillian aboard a ship. I mean it as a compliment but I think Mrs. Disney looks a bit like Minnie Mouse in her polka-dot dress.

Our cabin has a mini-fridge, flat-screen TV and bunch of drawers to store our clothes. Elaine will have one twin bed, Kelly the other, I’ll take the sofa bed and Logan will sleep in the pull-down bunk over the sofa.

Most importantly to us, the cabin has a lovely large balcony. From past experience, I know that I will spend hours sitting on the balcony and watching the ocean.

Minnie Mouse welcomes the Disney Magic to the port of Galveston, Texas. (Courtesy photo)

Minnie Mouse welcomes the Disney Magic to the port of Galveston, Texas. (Courtesy photo)

Our stateroom also has two bathrooms – or rather one bathroom with a vanity, sink and shower and another bathroom with a toilet, vanity and sink. Sure makes it easier when four adults are trying to get ready. I imagine it also is handy when children want to use the bathroom in a hurry and somebody else is taking a shower in there.

Heading to the top deck, we watch the Magic pull away from the Galveston shore with much fanfare at the Sailaway Party. Disney certainly knows how to throw a celebration and this is only the first of many on our cruise.

Then it’s on to dinner at Parrot Cay and a welcome-board show in the Walt Disney Theatre. Stay tuned for more of our cruise adventures. Tomorrow I’m going to look for some Texas cruisers to see if Disney’s new port in Galveston prompted them to take a trip. Bet I won’t have any trouble finding some Texans. Good night for now.

About Jackie

Jackie Sheckler Finch fell in love with cruising 35 years ago when she rode the magnificent Mississippi Queen riverboat in its inaugural 1976 voyage. A newspaper reporter, photographer and travel writer, Jackie has cruised on large and small vessels on numerous rivers and oceans. Read more...

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