The Disney Magic's 2008 Eastbound Repositioning Cruise

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 308 - Disney Magic's Eastbound Repositioning Cruise

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Show run time 0:45:24

In today's show, Mark and Mike chat with Listener of the Month Sil Spagnuolo about his experiences with last summer's Eastbound repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal.

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Thanks to our sponsors

Today's show is sponsored by:

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. A luxury hotel one mile from Walt Disney World, where special MousePlanet rates ALWAYS get you at least 15% off the normal rates available for the property, and right now you can get rates as low as $129 per night – that's about what you'd pay for a Disney moderate resort!

Advantage Vacation Homes. A great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

Feature: Disney Cruise Line's 2008 Eastbound Repositioning Cruise

Mark and Mike are joined by Listener of the Month Sil Spagnuolo as they chat about his experiences with last summer's Eastbound repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal.

Sil actually started out booking a 4-day cruise, but when Disney announced the repositioning cruise, he decided that he had to do that, as well. After a lot of planning, he managed to book the cruise two and a half hours after the booking window opened. He understands that the cruise sold out about two and a half hours later. Mark and Sil discussed possible reasons why clients of Disney travel agents might have a better chance of getting their booking in, as well as why the cheapest available cabin seems to get more and more expensive as the day goes by.

One of the discussion forums that Sil is on had about 300 people on the ship and they planned many group events, including mini-meets held as much as 15-16 months ahead of the cruise. This allowed many of the people who would be cruising together to get to know each other before the trip and build anticipation even more. The 18 months of planning fun led to lots of fun before and on board the 15-day cruise.

Sil talked a bit about "fish extenders" and how they were used on board. Outside each cruise is a fish-shaped message board, and people can create a pocketed extension to allow many other people to leave small gifts for you. The large group distributed a cabin list so that all who wished to participate in the fish extender gift exchange would know where to leave all of their gifts. Sil also described the really interesting gift that he and his family left for the others. Sil also created a Roaming Gnome door magnet and described its travels during the cruise.

Prior to the cruise, Sil and his family enjoyed Disneyland for the first time. He and Mark discussed the park and some of the differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Sil and his family went to the port via chartered motorcoach, courtesy of the discussion forum group that Sil was part of.

During the stop in Cabo San Lucas, where Sil and his wife had honeymooned, they rented a car and drove the 20 miles to the hotel that they had stayed at and went to check out what had changed over the years. In Puerto Vallarta, Sil and his family paid for the Signature Dolphin Swim, where they had two dolphins for six people for about 45 minutes. He also laid in some supplies at the Wal-Mart across the street from the dock. Acapulco was a short stop, but was very disappointing as it appears to have declined over the years.

The Panama Canal took the better part of a day, and they had an expert give them a play-by-play of what was going on with the process of stepping through the locks. The port of Cartagena, Columbia was probably the best port of the whole trip. Between the architecture and the various things set up for the visitors, it was a great stop. Aruba was also a great stop.

During Castaway Cay date, many of the group's major activities took place, including a rugby game. The trip had lots of interesting entertainment, from a crew talent shot to Aly & AJ to Don "Ducky" Williams to high-stages bingo. On Pirates night, there were people with homemade costumes that were so good that they appeared to be commercial Disney characters.

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Twitter/Facebook poll questions

We're continuing our new trial of spending the Thursday Listener Feedback time reviewing the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

How many items of Disney paraphernalia/memorabilia do you keep in your workplace?

  • sadly, i think I only have 2
  • I have at least a dozen items including some art, lamps, and pictures from past trips. (It helps that I work from home and have my own home office space.)
  • Only 1 picture :(
  • I think I have 5...will have to count tomorrow.
  • Well, technically everything in my workplace is. But for the purposes of the question. Two, I keep a Monorail Green and a Mickey Mouse pin on me at work.
  • only my WDW trivia calendar
  • I stopped counting :)
  • Over 25 -- many of my pins are tacked to my cube wall!
  • I have about nine if you count the background on my computer
  • I only keep photos of my wife and I at the parks. I have 5 hanging up in my locker.
  • What is work?
  • Disney desk stuff @home
  • about half our Disney books are on top shelf; misc pens/pencils & Wall*E & Eve figures. Disney Desk stuff @ work: 2 trip photos on desk (and BUNCHES on screensaver/desktop!)
  • Minnie & Donald minifigs from kids' meals
  • I have a few pictures, a good luck Disney pen, and a coffee mug,
  • How much Disney stuff in my work place. My studio has quite a bit.
  • just a pic of Cheryl and my 1st trip to #WDW together
  • never was comfortable with too much personal stuff at work
  • Quite a few, since my workplace is now my home!
  • Sadly I keep almost nothing Disney at the office-we aren't allowed a personality at work. I do have some photos on my screensaver.
  • Zero Disney stuff @ work, except screensaver. Would be heartbroken if any disappeared.
  • I work from all of it is in my workplace :)
  • Let's put it this way: Somewhere under all my Disney junk, I've been told that there's a desk. :) Most of it's stuff that my co-workers have given me after they come back from visits to the parks.

Sil usually only keeps stuff related to his upcoming trip in his office, such as special offers, guidebooks, etc. Mike has his completion certificates from Disney University framed on the wall. Mark loads of stuff in his office, from plastic ride vehicles to old Mickey and Goofy kooshes, etc. Now that he moved into a new office, he'll probably be bringing a couple of posters in, as well. He also wears a Disney tie just about every day. His home office has just about all of the rest of his collection there.

What do you think?

In what way are you most like Walt Disney?

  • Well....he said that Disneyland would never be completed. A lot of projects I start never get completed either.
  • I share his philosophy when he said "Its rather fun to do the impossible." (Or something like that - going off of memory.)
  • I share his desire to keep the family together and experience wonderful things together as a whole.
  • Lived in Chicago, schooled in Missouri, moved to L.A. to make a dream come true after college (and to live closer to Disneyland). Favorite song for both of us: Feed the Birds.
  • He had a passionate love for animals and nature, as do I. Visited the Tri Circle D Farm at Fort Wilderness (WDW) the other day, and really enjoyed it. I think Walt would have loved all the involvement with animals that the company has continued...the Disney Earth stuff reminds me of the True Life Adventure films.
  • I am like Walt since I am creative and imaginative and I can work with others. I also like to know how things work.
  • My heart is cryogenically frozen.
  • Like Walt I find fun in attempting to do what people say isn't possible
  • A critic who can disect and analyze things and make something from nothing.
  • My determination to succeed even when others see it as impossible.
  • I'm most like Walt Disney in that I need places to take my kids where we all can have fun.
  • I definitely share Walt's love of trains. Monorails, steam trains, bullet trains, doesn't matter what kind
  • if a train passes by, you'll be guaranteed to lose my attention for a minute or two!

Sil couldn't come up with a way to compare himself to Walt, but he enjoys Walt's legacy. Mike likes the "it's kind of fun to do the impossible" quote. Mark thinks that he identifies somewhat with "it's kind of fun to do the impossible," as he likes doing things that surprise people and change their world view a little bit. He also feels that he's always trying to plus things, to improve them in little ways here and there, and to find better ways to do things.

Again, if you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

Meet Mike at Walt Disney World

Mike will be hosting a meet on Fridya night, June 26, at Epcot. The group will gather and chat, enjoy Illuminations, then enjoy Epcot during Extra Magic Hours. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

March of Dimes

Mark's walk for the March of Dimes went well, though he did not make his goal. MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners made up more than half of the non-Mark-contributed money - thanks so much! The donations page should remain active through the end of the month, so you there's still time to donate, if you'd like. Just go to Mark's fundraising page and help to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely.

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MouseAdventure at Walt Disney World, November 14

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Wrapping up

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