We had a wake-up call for 6:45am on August 24th. Boarding day for our Mediterranean cruise.
Lucky thing the phone woke us up. I suspect that we would have slept in for much longer if given the chance.
We needed to provide our bags to Disney by 8:00am. We would then check-out from the hotel and gather at the lobby for 11:00am.
This gave us an opportunity to walk through downtown Barcelona. We decided to explore the many small alleyways in the town that connect to the main tourist street called Las Ramblas. These alleyways were wonderful adventures — old buildings and architecture combined with recent street art. I had a field day shooting with my camera.
We returned back to the hotel and it was quite busy at the front desk. Lorraine queued while Matthew and I returned to the room. For some reason the staff had already cleaned and cleared the room even though we had yet to check-out. Fortunately they were still in the room when we arrived and they quickly retrieved our belongings. I’m not sure what would have happened if they had left the room.
The Disney Cruise Line bus arrived a bit early and the process to board the bus was quick and painless. A pleasant 20-minute bus ride to the terminal. We arrived at the terminal around 11:15am.
We queued to show our passports and cruise tickets. The line moved along quite well. Then through security and into a line for final registration. There was a separate queue for Silver Castaway members although it did not seem to matter. Perhaps everyone coming on board had already sailed with Disney beforehand. The wait at this line was a bit longer than expected. We were given our boarding call number: the number 35.
At the time, I did not understand the significance of boarding call number 35. But, as we gathered in a huge, featureless room, it became clear that 35 was not a good number. We arrived to the waiting area at about 11:30am and, after half an hour of calling boarding numbers, we were only at 4. Why on earth would Disney transport us from the hotel at 11:00am only to make us wait 2 hours or longer to board?
We were told that the issued number was based on some loyalty system: how often you have sailed with Disney, how many port adventures you purchased, when you booked your cruise. The maximum number was 40 so clearly we are not viewed as particularly important to the good folks at Disney.
After waiting another hour, Lorraine went and had a few words with the boarding agent.
Upon hearing how long we had been waiting, she let us pass.
We made it on the ship by 1:00pm. We headed over to Parrot’s Cay for a buffet lunch and then from there to our stateroom. A bit of a wait as the stateroom was not ready on time.
We finally gained access to our stateroom but our bags had not arrived so we really couldn’t get ourselves organized nor could we change our clothes. No matter. We had a ship to explore.
The Magic is a beautiful ship. Not as large as the Disney Dream — a ship we had sailed on a few years back — but very classic in terms of design and layout. Our stateroom includes a verendah which offers amazing views of the ocean and coastal areas.
We participated in the mandatory fire drill and 4:00pm and returned back to our stateroom at 4:45pm. Still no luggage. And the ship was departing at 5:50pm.
We called guest services to see if there was a problem with our luggage. They said that they would look into the issue. We asked our hostess if she had seen the luggage. She had not.
Then I thought about the change in reservations that occured after we had received our luggage tags. Lorraine had requested a change in staterooms from 7586 to 7092. Because we had already received our luggage tags labelled with stateroom 7586, Lorraine asked if Disney would be sending out new luggage tags. No need for apparently they use scanners to deliver the bags to the correct stateroom.
Except in our case.
Acting on a hunch, I suggested to Lorraine that we walk over to 7586 just in case our luggage had landed there.
And it had.
Well, one less thing to worry about on our vacation. With our bags back in our possession, we were able to unpack and get ourselves organized. We went to bed early and slept for about ten hours. Still not fully adjusted to the new time zone.