2018 Canadian Cruise – Sea Day #2

Wednesday, October 3

Today was our second (and final) sea day. We, as is typical for sea days, didn’t really have any plans (that we could remember when we woke up – more on this later). So, we headed for breakfast at Cabanas, and they had Churro Waffles on the buffet line. For those who have never experienced this, a churro waffle is a regular waffle that’s been fried, and dipped in cinnamon sugar. They were pretty good.

After breakfast, we go to the rainforest room to use our last passes. After enjoying the sauna and the showers, Tracy left to go back to the room to grab a book, and I was relaxing on one of the heated loungers. After reading a few chapters, I decide to shower and head back to the room. As I leave the shower, I look at my phone, and see a text from Tracy. We had booked a mixology class that had started 10 minutes ago.

So, I raced to Keys (luckily I had a t-shirt and pair of gym shorts with me) and got there in time for the 2nd drink. The server came over and brought me the first drink they had made, so I could catch up.

We had done mixology classes before on the Fantasy, and noticed that the Magic has the classes setup a bit differently. On the bigger ships, they will bring folks behind the bar (in rotations) to make each of the drinks. However, with the Magic and Wonder, there’s no way to get behind the bar without going through a Crew-Only area, so everyone stays seated, and they bring the drinks (or ingredients) to you. Our instructor was great, and spend some time talking about how he became a bartender, some of his favorite drinks to make, and why he’d never make “fire” drinks, even if he was working in a bar on land. (Disney won’t let him do it on the ship, and he’s seen too many accidents with fire to ever want to do it)

It may have been the alcohol, or it may be that I’m writing this in February, nearly 6 months after we got back, but I have absolutely no idea what we did in the afternoon.

The evening show was “Dreams”. Typical Disney show – power of positive thought, dreams come true, believe in magic, etc. However, it was centered around a little girl who is visited at night by Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, and Tinkerbell is one of my least favorite characters, so I did not really like the show.

Dinner was great and bittersweet at the same time. Ove the course of the trip, we had enjoyed our serving team, and got along really well with our tablemates (as well as the brother of one tablemate, who worked on the ship and joined us a few times). We exchanged phone numbers, and as 1 couple lived in NY, and the others of us were spending a few nights in NY after the cruise, talked about a possible get together.

Time to go back to the room and pack.

Churro (or Churroo) waffles

2018 Canadian Cruise – Halifax

Tuesday, October 2

Today was, quite possibly, the day that I was most looking forward to on our entire trip. After reading John U. Bacon‘s excellent book, The Great Halifax Explosion, I was looking forward to seeing Halifax. Plus, I had an excursion booked that I was really looking forward to.

We got up, ate breakfast, and got ready to go. The weather was in the low to mid 50’s, and somewhat overcast, but not raining.

The excursion I had booked (independently, not booked through DCL) was a Segway tour. I had had a chance to do the World Showcase Segway tour at Epcot back when that existed, and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a fun experience for a cruise excursion. Someone on a message board mentioned that they had done a tour with Segway Nova Scotia on a previous cruise to Halifax and that they had really enjoyed it.

After signing off the ship, we made our way to the tour company office, which was a nice 2-3 block walk from the terminal. Our tour was supposed to start at 10, we got there around 9:40, and found the office locked up, nobody there. So we walked around for a little bit – the entire area is a (tourist) shopping area. We found a little shop with some ornaments and picked some up for family members.

Time successfully killed, we wandered back to the Segway place, right as an employee rolled up on a Segway and unlocked the office. We got started on filling out some paperwork (always the paperwork), and watched a short instructional video.

From there, we had a little training session, starting with how to get onto the Segway (just step up, stand still, don’t lean forward or back), to “ok, now move forward about 10 feet, and back”, to a small loop they had setup to practice turning (and also navigating a very small … maybe 1 foot of elevation change … hill), and a miniature obstacle course – steer between the cones, forward, try it backward, and then go over this bump.

Instruction complete, it was time to get started. Tracy and I were the only ones in the morning tour group, along with our tour guide Scotty. We were doing the city tour, which is exactly what it sounds like – a tour of the city. We got to stop and walk around the Public Gardens for a few minutes, and we also rode up to the top of Citadel Hill, in time to see the changing of the guard ceremony and the noon firing of the cannon.

Start of the tour
Changing of the Guard

After the changing of the guard ceremony, we headed back to the tour office, because our tour was over.

But wait, there’s more!

I had booked us for 2 tours back to back, which got us a discount, and a few more hours on a Segway. For our second tour, we would be doing the Dartmouth Trail ride, which included a trip over the Macdonald bridge to see the harbor from the other side of the water. The 2nd tour group was a bit larger, there were (I think) 6 other folks, along with our tour guide, Caley. Because there were more people, we all got a audio headset, so we could hear Caley, without needing to be right next to her.

This tour was also great. Not only did we get to cross a large bridge (twice, once going, and once coming back), but once we were on the Dartmouth Trail, we got to ride at full speed (about 12 mph), and got to see more scenery.

Although 4 1/2 hours on a Segway is a little fatiguing on the legs/feet, we both really enjoyed the experience. Tracy said that she was worried it’d be hard to balance, and hard to navigate turns, but after riding for just a few minutes, she was really comfortable on the Segways (well, both of us were, but I had already ridden before, and on an older model which was a little more difficult to steer, but still not bad). Segway Nova Scotia was a great tour operator, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do business with them again.

Top of the Macdonald Bridge

Once we got back to the ship, it was Pirate night. However, it was too windy to do the fireworks, so those were postponed until the next night.

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