From lack of sleep/exhaustion and ⅓ of a Dramamine, other than one time of surprisingly being too cold, I blissfully slept 11pm to roughly 7am. Wonderful. Except I still didn’t feel fully rested.
After a quick shower, it was up to Cabanas for a quick breakfast. After feeling miserable (over-stuffed) last night, today I tried to commit to only eating when I was hungry. I’d heard on a different podcast the Magic now offered Churro Mickey Waffles. I initially wondered if this was a holiday-only item, but there they were! Sure enough they had deep-fried Mickey Waffles & covered them with cinnamon sugar. (FYI they would be better with the chocolate sauce instead of the strawberry.)
Kara: As we were sailing out yesterday, the Captain gave a weather report for today which said he would rock us gently to sleep during the night and we’d wake up to gorgeous weather. He couldn’t have been more right. We both slept very well and woke up just before our 8 a.m. alarms.
Neither of us was hungry but decided juice and coffee were in order so we headed up to Cabanas and noted that they had the Mickey Churro Waffles!!! This possibility is one of the many wonderful fun things that traveling with a travel agent who is so experienced with Disney can give you. Gayle knows about all these possible little special surprises. And these were delightful. So, two mini waffles and some strawberry sauce along with some Greek yogurt accompanied my coffee. (Not hungry on a cruise - blasphemy!).
Being Marvel Day at Sea many guests were arriving in various level of attire from ignoring the whole theme, to basic Marvel shirts, to full-on ComiCon-level costume! One of the things I love about Disney Cruise Line is there is always wonderful Disney music in the background playing throughout the ship. And on theme days, the music will match. So as I’d hoped, we consumed breakfast with the Avengers Theme setting the tone for the day.
We also overheard rumor of a “horn battle”, which usually means one thing. While we missed the battle, from the Cabanas patio we spied the Disney Fantasy.
She also left her port yesterday, which was Port Canaveral on a modified 7 night Star Wars Day at Sea sailing.
Since it was early enough, we headed for Marvel Origins in the Buena Vista Theatre at 9:30am.
(Thanks BFF Kara for the Iron Man pin!)
This was a look-back on how the company began, historical evolution, summary of the main Avengers characters, reminders of current film & D+ streaming series, and all that’s announced for the future.
Kara: I liked that this included both a narration by a cast member and the video features from Marvel.com. The cast member said if you were a super fan you probably didn’t need Origins. That said, while Gayle and I are definite MCU fans, I wouldn’t describe us as true super fans - especially not where the comic books are considered so we both agreed we still learned something.
Having some time before our next scheduled event, we wandered the lobby, seeing “Arrive & Wave” (socially-distanced “Meet & Greets”) with various characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye, Dr. Strange, Thor, & Loki.
While I would have enjoyed Thor & Loki, the line (as expected) was quite long. With these you also never know when they will swap out the characters or which characters will be appearing at certain times.
This is a significant change since COVID, as the App used to show precisely which characters would be available at a particular time. If I were intent on meeting a specific character, I wouldn’t be very happy with this change. Even if they cannot do it for all the characters, at least try to do it for some. We are presuming and hoping the current practice is simply an issue of COVID-related understaffing???
We then quickly headed for the shops. There was only one key display of Marvel merch and another rack behind it.
Most was kid-focused. There was only one style of t-shirt for all ages and it wasn’t very interesting. Thus, the merch situation was completely disappointing. The crew had on Marvel Day at Sea shirts with the small iconography. Perhaps these had been offered in years past? Anyway, I was way more interested in the crew’s attire than what was offered in the shops.
We then waited outside for our pre-registered Character Encounter with Iron Man & Black Panther at 10:30am. (Usually these Activities are available to schedule when your pre-cruise booking window opens aligned with your Castaway Club level. Thus, ours should have been 120 days in advance. However, due to COVID, they only posted these online 60 days in advance for everyone. :( (And in years past this also included Spider-Man.) Luckily, they had times virtually all day, so claiming a slot wasn’t a problem.
Walking into D Lounge the entire space was draped in Marvel.
The line first took you to Iron Man and then Black Panther, both with their own Disney Photographers. Unfortunately the activity is still social-distanced and requires face masks during the photos. (I’d heard if you had a photo with the official photographers, you could briefly take off your mask, but that didn’t seem to be the case.)
Kara: I agree that not being able to take off our masks made this a little more disappointing. The photographers also didn’t try to stage the photos well and gave no real indication of when they were shooting.
Iron Man exceeded my expectations. He had either pre-recorded sayings or a voice simulator that sounded JUST LIKE TONY!. The armor had blaster (lights) and even the whirl sound when they were firing up! Well done Marvel! It was a fun encounter and I wish it had been longer. (Actually, I wanted to take him home!)
Black Panther embodied the royalty and formality of the character, making it feel authentic.
(There was also a Character Encounter with Groot, but we didn’t sign-up for that one.We heard on a different Marvel Day at Sea Peter Quill was a surprise addition with Groot - and so was Spider-Man!!! Grrrr.)
Kara: We don’t know that Spider-Man was in the encounter on our trip.
We were actually done with all of that by 10:30am. So we were able to get to the Marvel Comic Academy by 10:45am. (This was an animation class.) I was excited we were drawing Iron Man for 2 reasons: 1) He’s my favorite character and 2) The character is more geometric, and easier for me to draw! (Kara has always done much better at these drawing classes than I ever will.)
I was trying much harder than usual and am quite pleased with the outcome!
Kara: We cruised through the shops (meh) and then headed to the Promenade Lounge for Marvel Comic Academy which is the animation drawing class on Marvel Day at Sea. These are ALWAYS one of my very favorite things to do as I love to learn to draw more things. Gayle is sometimes hit or miss on whether she enjoys these or just finds them stressful. Thankfully, she really enjoyed this one as it was Iron Man - both of our favorite characters. We both did a great job following along and ended with great creations that we were quite pleased with.
Another activity they had was Marvel Vault, which was simply where they lent you iPads with various Marvel Comics to read.
We took a very brief break back in our stateroom to keep up with this blog, Kara rested her eyes for a bit, and we discovered the Marvel Day at Sea window cling on our verandah window. I also got an App reminder about ordering our Platinum treat, which we’ll do later in the cruise.
Kara mentioned Rapunzel’s (my favorite!) is again open for lunch. While we usually aren’t ones to do the sit-down/table service lunches, we had enough time and interest to do that today. And we have to fuel-up, as it’s a full day and night of Marvel adventures!
Kara: While, again, neither of us was really hungry, we opted for the quieter sit down lunch in Rapunzels. Today’s lunch was a piece of halibut on saffron rice with a tomato sauce with olives and a grilled tomato on top. The halibut was a bit overcooked but the simple addition of those olives in the tomato sauce made it very delightful for me. One of those things I need to remember when I get home to try.
Note the themed plate of the seafood! ;) Then it was pecan pie for Kara and another flavored (hazelnut maybe?) lava cake for me, which was delicious!
Next it was off to the Walt Disney Theatre for Journey into the Mystic Arts with Dr. Strange at 1pm. This was a show about the use (& misuse) of the Dark Arts/Dimension as Dr. Strange trained his new apprentices. It was better than I expected from reading past reviews.
Kara: I can’t quite give this a “better than expected”. I hadn’t read anything about it before we boarded so I didn’t know what to expect but I didn’t like the portrayal of Dr. Strange. I just thought that actor was quite weak.
Apparently they had to make COVID-related changes to the show. As I understand, it previously included children from the audience.
Note: While most all of the activities today were only 30 minutes, we did end up standing in line or biding time in an event venue. Since many of these venues already have limited space, it was important to arrive early to get seats due to their social-distancing protocol.
Kara: This left us with a LOT of waiting time. Our main topic of conversation during these lulls on this trip so far has been developing better appreciation for the nuances of the various ships. I’ve always been very much of the belief that any day on ANY Disney ship is better than just about any day anywhere on land. That said, that view does keep me from anticipatory joy about what the subtle differences are on each ship. For instance, on the Magic you have Rapunzel's which during its dinner show features live music and a lovely show. Another example - on the Dream, you have Vanellope's - their epic sweet shop. These nuances are very important and they can enhance your enjoyment of a cruise.
After an uncharacteristic late start with Dr. Strange, we headed to Fathoms for the Star-Spangled USO show at 2pm. If you are into 30s/40s swing music, this is the show for you!
A duo of crooners and a trio of chorus girls, we were transported with their period singing and dancing to such classics as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Sing sing sing”. From my days of tap classes, I wanted to hit the (available & empty) dance floor in front of the stage! Of course the finale included stirring inspiration from Captain America. So far, this was the hit of the day!
Kara: Gayle and I both agreed that this was the highlight of the day thus far. We’re both music nerds and love this kind of music so it’s not surprising.
With 50 minutes before trivia, it was a chance to pop back to the room for a bit.
Because I’m a big geek, I watched the Star-Spangled USO show again at 3:30pm while Kara napped in the stateroom!
I brought cups of ice back to the room before we went to the 4:30pm Marvel Trivia in O’Gills Pub. Having not prepared, we did “ok”. (There were roughly 3 other times for Marvel Trivia, which we would usually do, but there was so much offered today!)
Kara: We had a pretty long break before our next plan which was Marvel Trivia (which we won when we were on the Fantasy in October 2021) which we planned at 3:15 so we headed back to our stateroom for a short rest. I am an ENORMOUS ADVOCATE of naps. I’ve been working on shorter naps (20 - 30 minutes) but the ship just has this way of lulling me to sleep. Gayle woke me briefly to tell me she decided to forego early trivia and go back to see the USO show a second time. I opted to get in an excellent long nap.
She returned to the room around 4 and we headed up to O’Gills for the next scheduled Marvel Trivia. O’Gills was making fresh popcorn so I grabbed a container of that and we settled into a corner seat for trivia. (FYI just like the concession stand by the theatre, the popcorn had a fee. We know they are trying to recoup their COVID losses, but since O’Gills usually has a complimentary appetizer bar, this felt like a rare “nickle & diming”.) O’Gills is another of those subtle differences on the ships. O’Gills is by far my favorite of the “sports bar” themed clubs on any of the ships.
Trivia went well but we did not win. We ended with a score of 10/15 and had the second highest total correct. There was a tie for 12 correct which they broke and a dad and son won. Yay for them.
At some point we stopped in the empty Atrium for a few more pix to commemorate the themed cruise.
They also offered the Marvel Super Fan Face-Off. While we didn’t get to this on this sailing, we had experienced it in October. So wanting to provide comprehensive information, we’ll go ahead and share a description here. This competition is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 is general Marvel trivia (movies, TV, comics, etc.) for all the teams or families that have gathered for this event. Roughly the top 5-6 have one player then move onto Part 2. This is where the players are given questions to answer on a dry erase/whiteboard paddle. (Our October game had a mix of kids and adults.) Then the top 2 from that make Part 3 - the final round. This final round is FAST and INTENSE as each finalist has to name as many characters as are shown to them on a monitor within roughly 30 seconds! You definitely have to be an expert on all-things Marvel to win this one!
Next we went up to Deck 10 for a “dance party”. We don’t precisely remember the name, but it was something along Mickey & Friends Super Hero Celebration at 5pm. This is for the littler kids, where Classic Disney characters are in Marvel-inspired attire. It was cute.
VIDEO of the end of SUPERHERO CELEBRATION
Kara: They brought each classic Disney Character (dressed in their own Marvel outfit) on stage one by one and assigned a dance move to the character they represented. Then, they put them all together. I was set and ready for disappointment that Pluto would be completely left out but they even brought him out at the end - albeit unassociated with any specific character. It was a glorious day to be out on deck and the show was cute so all in all a good time.
We had a few moments to grab evening items in the stateroom prior to our 5:45pm dining in Animator’s Palate. True to the day’s theme, it was a Marvel-inspired menu. My favorite parts were the matching black and white graphics on the LED screens. (These were all true black and white, but no matter what I did, my iPhone read them as yellow! Clearly I’m no photo expert.)
We were gifted with our multi-page menu in comic book-style, which we were able to keep.
I swear I took a photo of this!
We finally were able to officially meet our dining team of Server Ashley (India), Assistant Server Somang? (Indonesia), and Simone (Italy). Ashely is a veteran of all the ships, while Somang is brand new. (This might have been his 2nd sailing with Disney after years with Norwegian.)
Kara: At Gayle’s suggestion we actually went to Animator’s Palate last night and met our head server and server. The Dining Team is one of the key features of a Disney Cruise and they can make or break your experience. On what, for us, is a very short cruise, building a relationship with them is hard so we stopped in to at least introduce ourselves. This made quite the impression as our head server sent us a fruit and cheese platter as an extra appetizer during our meal tonight.
The crab cake appetizer was excellent. Then we were presented with a surprise cheese plate. Our cod was good, if a bit bland. Ashley also brought us a bonus gift of gnocchi with tomato sauce, which was amazing. I ordered the chocolate Devil’s Food cake, while Kara got a Mickey Premium Bar. Then we were again surprised with a Marvel rocky road sundae.
Kara: Ashley also made us a napkin Groot which was adorable!
As is custom we were presented a spatial analysis game; this one was a physical puzzle, which was new to us. Surprisingly we struggled. Also, I got surprised by a trick ketchup bottle, which we will not discuss.
Kara: We’ll discuss the ketchup bottle a little. Ashley asked if we wanted more sauce for the gnocchi and had a traditional red squeeze ketchup bottle in his hand. He squeezed it and a red string of something came straight at Gayle. My first reaction was OH S*#&@ but then I realized it was just an actual string. That said, I know Gayle doesn’t like things like this but a quick check in said she was doing okay which was good because I couldn’t control my laughter (inappropriate laughter is unfortunately one of my hallmarks).
Completely stuffed we wobbled back to the stateroom. While we could have gone to Marvel Trivia again at 7:45pm, we expected people to start gathering early for the evening show, a Marvel Day at Sea highlight. It begins at 8:30pm (for us since we are on Main dining).
We left our stateroom at straight-up 8pm. Our experience gathering for “the deck show” was quite different on the Magic than on the Fantasy back in October. Primarily, there was no guidance to viewing “spots”, nor was there any social-distancing. We BARELY got a spot on the deck 10 railing with a view of the stage and Funnel Vision.
Finally at 8:30pm we were treated to Marvel Heroes Unite.
SPOILER WARNING! If you ever want to see this onboard and NOT be spoiled, skip to the “Spoiler Warning End” below! I will be providing key details to this show.
First, this was THE BEST “top deck” stage show I’ve ever seen on any of my 15 sailings!
To get things start, a new Captain was steering the ship….
The premise was simply for Tony to unveil new power technology and had invited a few friends. However, you knew chaos would ensue. It started with F.R.I.D.A.Y. announcing the show along with a “reporter” and 6 camera views from around the ship.
It began with, of course, Tony, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America. Then “gloriously” Loki showed up in an attempt to steal the new Core Power source. So Thor needed to intervene.
However, Red Skull showed up, but so did Black Panther who Cap had on stand-by should they need additional help. Red Skull made his appearance at the top of the aft funnel as two of his goons repelled down.
To counter, Black Panther dropped down from the forward/Funnel Vision funnel!
One of the reporter’s cameramen had been in disguise only to later engage in the battle as it was actually Spider-Man! He both repelled up the aft funnel AND dropped down from the forward funnel!
Red Skull had sent drones, which Tony had to fight off. He blasted off the ship (via fireworks)! There were fight scenes (filmed) from all over the ship.
Seeing those scenes truly made it feel like an immersive experience - especially when Iron Man blasted a baddie right outside Cove Cafe!
Later Captain Marvel also zip-lined into the action, as everyone worked together to defeat both Loki and Red Skull.
At the end the Guardians of the Galaxy arrived to take the Core Power to their home planet & keep it safe.
In a bit of an oddity, a finale dance battle broke out between Star-Lord and Spider-Man.
Let me assure you, most deck parties have at most one character repelling/zip-lining between the funnels, but this had 4?! Imagining the fireworks being Tony fighting drones was awesome. However, this wasn’t a “fireworks show” in and of itself. (FYI more than one other cruise ship was easily viewable in the distance as they “borrow the view of our fireworks”!)
NOTE: We are NOT professional videographers. Yet, thanks to THE BEST FRIEND EVER, Kara for the endurance of video recording the entire show! I consider this an awesome early birthday gift!
SPOILER WARNING END!!!!
As everyone was dismissed we waited for the crowd to dissipate. We grabbed some ice at the drink station and it was back to the room around 9:30pm to write this, putting out the overnight room service order for breakfast, and start packing for tomorrow. Packing? Yes, as…
Kara: After the show we stopped to refill our water bottles and headed back to get some shut eye. We’ve done the basics of getting our bags ready for tomorrow and we put out our breakfast order which will be delivered at 7 a.m. before we have to start hopping in the virtual queue to debark at Castaway Cay hopefully a little after 8:30. Weather looks like it will be an amazing day which we are both looking very forward to. We’ve also agreed that it will be our last morning with an alarm clock before the dreaded debarkation morning when Disney makes sure you’re awake and no alarm clock is actually needed.
Tonight was my favorite “towel character”. Even if it is the simplest, it’s definitely the Mightiest! (And we kept it in-tact for the rest of the cruise!)
Next up: Castaway Cay Day!
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Next Up: Castaway Cay Day #1