Trip Log Day 1: 3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Lighthouse Point Preview Cruise) – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Trip log, day one. Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Lighthouse Point Preview Cruise)
June 6, 2024
Guests Onboard: 3:00 pm
Personal Navigator – Day 1

Map Magic 3 Night Bahamian PEF LPT NAS

Our captain for this cruise was Jason Preston. As for our onboard entertainment, Matthew O’Neal was our Cruise Director. During this 3-night Bahamian cruise we will be visiting the ports of Lookout Cay, Nassau, and Bahamas.

Our day started with an early alarm and a ride to the Brightline Station at Orlando International Airport (MCO) from our friend. We booked the 6:50 AM train to Fort Lauderdale. Our friend dropped us off right at the terminal entrance and we proceeded inside. This trip will include a number of “firsts” for us, starting with our first Brightline trip.

Brightline Station MCO

We made our way to the Brightline terminal entrance and passed through the passenger and luggage security check leaving us a little over 20 minutes before being allowed to board the train.

I will go into more detail in a separate Brightline article in the future, but the overall process was great and we made it from Orlando to the Fort Lauderdale Brightline station in just under 3 hours. We ended up hanging out at the Brightline Station for a bit as we tried to time it so we would arrive well after our 10:45 AM port arrival time (PAT). The station had just cleared out so there were plenty of seats available to pass the time rather than standing outside the cruise terminal.

Brightline Station FLL

We were literally winging it, and just requested a Lyft which arrived within minutes and before tip was just under $15 (we did choose the ‘extra comfort’ option in order to be sure there was room for us and our luggage).

FLL Lyft Brightline To Port Everglades

We arrived at the terminal for our 2nd “firsts” of the trip, experiencing the new Disney Cruise Line terminal at Port Everglades. I guess this is really 2 “firsts” – this is also our first time sailing from Fort Lauderdale. As we approached Port Everglades we were stopped at a security checkpoint where everyone in the car was required to show ID. Keep this in mind and make sure you have easy access to all documents if you are driving to the port.

One of the great things about Cruise Terminal 4 is that the passenger drop off and pick up area is on the ground floor of the parking structure. This is a great setup to avoid exposure to the weather, specifically on rainy days.

As we made our way closer to the check-in area of the terminal, we started to see some Disney touches with murals along the walls similar to the hallway outside the Oceaneer Club on the Disney Wish.

There isn’t much to do when standing in line waiting except reading messages on the TV screen, but at least you are under cover.

A prominent prohibited items sign was out in the walkway to the terminal as a gentle reminder to all guests before reaching the security checkpoint.

DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Prohibited Items Sign

We knew when we booked this cruise on opening day in March 2023, that the experience would be abnormal. It was the first cruise scheduled to visit Disney Lookout Cay and even labeled as “Lighthouse Point Preview Cruise”. As a result, it was not really a surprise to see a jam packed terminal upon arrival. The Pearl and Platinum Castaway Club lines are shared at this terminal causing the line to back up out the door. However, the line moved rather quickly.

Once inside, we briefly waited for the next available Cast Member to check us in at a podium. As long as you completed the online check-in process, completed the online health questionnaire, and have your identification documents at the ready it is a quick process. This is also the time where you will be asked if you are using a DisneyBand+ or MagicBand+ so have those charged and ready so the Cast Member can link those for use onboard.

DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Check In Podiums

The waiting area at Cruise Terminal 4 is bright and bubbly with a concept that puts you under the sea with Nemo and friends.

We stopped for an embarkation photo where they offered a sign to hold featuring the name of the ship, itinerary destination highlight, and the month/year of the sailing.

DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Embarkation Family Photo

Here is a look a the Finding Nemo inspired mural along the wall where the embarkation photos are taken.

DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Nemo Mural

The iconic Mickey Mouse entrance from Port Canaveral also appears in Fort Lauderdale welcoming guests to the boarding area.

There is an elevator and escalator for guest to take to the second floor. Port staff requires one free hand to use the escalator and all strollers must use the elevator. The stairs were blocked off.

DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Boarding Escalator Stairs

Unlike the arrival experience at Port Canaveral, we did not see the Disney Cruise Line branded Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal until we were on the passenger boarding bridge. The branding faces the waterside of the port versus the shoreside arrival area.

We have not been on my favorite ship in what feels like 84 years. Actually, the last time we were on the Magic was a little over 4 years ago during our second group cruise in February 2020.

DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Disney Magic

We completed the boarding process just inside the ship on deck 3 and proceeded to the upper decks to get some lunch. We opted for the pool deck options to enjoy the tranquility of the pool deck stopping at Duck-In Diner and Pinocchio’s Pizzeria.

Shawarma and a slice of pizza hit the spot while Isabelle braved the growing crowd in Cabanas for a plate of peel and eat shrimp.

There were relatively no lines at any of the quick service locations and the bars were all walkups!

Isabelle couldn’t help herself when she saw something that was scheduled to end last September, a Silver Anniversary dessert. Technically, based on 7/30/1998, the Maiden Voyage date, it is still the year of the Disney Magic’s 25th anniversary.

Disney Magic Cabanas 25th Anniversary Mousse

It was getting close to 1PM when I received a message to come for a stateroom visit. Our friend was staying in a 2-bedroom concierge suite and one of the perks of sailing concierge is getting access to your stateroom before 1:30PM. I love any room with a nice table!

Shortly after 1:30 PM, the corridor on our floor was opened and we were able to pick up our KTTW cards from the Fish Extender and enter our room. We booked a Navigator’s Verandah for this cruise, which from afar look like an Oceanview, but it is actually a unique verandah with an open porthole. More on both staterooms later.

Disney Magic Stateroom 6136

I mentioned earlier, we booked this cruise on opening day in March 2023. Earlier this year, I was offered access to some media opportunities during the voyage as part of the preview of Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, and this included the opportunity to attend a panel discussion a month prior. To be clear, we paid full opening day rack rate for the cruise, but I was offered media access to some events during the voyage starting with a welcome reception in Fathoms where Cruise Directory Matthew talked a little about the new destination and culminated with a visit from Captain Mickey.

It was time to step into a Time Machine and muster like it’s 1999 with the in-person muster drill. After experiencing Disney self guided muster drill and branching out sailing on two different cruise lines for spring break the last couple years, this is one aspect of embarkation day I wish would glow away.

Back in 2024, we casually walked around the ship doing a bit of window shopping.

Disney Magic WhiteCaps Sail Away Merchandise

For tonight’s performances of Tangled The Musical, a floating lanterns photo backdrop was already in place outside The Walt Disney Theatre for an impromptu photo op.

Disney Magic Tangled Photo Op
Flower, gleam and glow
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was ours

Heal what has been hurt
Change the Fates’ design
Save what has been lost
Bring back what once was ours

What once was ours
THE SELF MUSTER DRILL

We stepped out to deck 4 to take a closer look at the cruise terminal. In other words, I wanted to take some photos of the ship and cruise terminal to use down the road in blog posts.

There is no doubt this is a Disney Cruise Line terminal with nearly identical features found just north at Disney’s terminal at Port Canaveral.

Friendly reminder 3 laps on the Disney Magic’s jogging track equals 1 mile.

Disney Magic Deck 4 Jogging Track Sign

We headed back to the room to finish unpacking and take in the views as we sailed out of Port Everglades.

Disney Magic DCL Port Everglades Terminal 4 Exterior

Here is a closer look at our Navigator’s Verandah that can appear to be an overview stateroom when first entering the room. There are teak panels, a table, chair and a bench seat. One wall features a nautical chart of The Bahamas and if you look close, you can spot Lighthouse Point in south Eleuthera.

I set up a GoPro to capture the sail away which was left running through sunset.

Upon arriving to our stateroom earlier, my wife called room service to request our complimentary bottle of Prosecco, which is offered as part of the ‘Welcome back’ Castaway Club perks. The idea was call early so it will be delivered in time for sail away.

Disney Magic Stateroom 6136 Navigators Verandah Castaway Club Pr

Our dinner rotation for this cruise started in Animator’s Palate, where we were served the standard Animator’s Palate menu which in my opinion is overdue for a refresh.

The quality of the food served tonight was a mixed of highs and lows with some dishes sitting too longer under a heat lamp. Considering we were at part of a 10 seat table, service was fantastic for the first night.

The warm sticky date pudding continues to shine.

After dinner we headed up to the Mickey’s Mainsail and WhiteCaps to see what we couldn’t see window shopping earlier.

The first item to catch my eye was the new Disney Lookout Cay Pandora charm.

I turned around and spotted 25th Anniversary Merchandise, most of it was absent from our actual Silver Anniversary at Sea cruise last summer on the Disney Dream. There was a full assortment all available at full price.

Glad to see the Animator’s Palate butter knives are still available for purchase. It is always a conversation piece when we use it during gatherings at our house.

Disney Magic WhiteCaps Merchandise Animators Palate Butter Knife

Looking for a bigger merchandise overview? Stay tuned, I circled back on day 3 for more merchandise pictures while the shops were empty during that glorious time when there is dinner service and a show underway in the Walt Disney Theatre.

We stepped out onto deck 4 for a bit and spotted the Disney Wish presented below in a very very high quality crop of a smartphone picture of the ship off in the distance sailing back to Port Canaveral.

Disney Magic Spotting Disney Wish

It was time to make my first big onboard purchase – an internet plan for the length of the cruise. Below are screenshots with the starting at prices for each level, as well the listing of commentary websites you can browse without a paid internet plan.

We returned to the room to prepare for what is likely to be a busy day ashore exploring a new destination.

Disney Magic Stateroom Towel Animal Peacock

Complete Trip Log Index

7 Replies to “Trip Log Day 1: 3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Lighthouse Point Preview Cruise) – Fort Lauderdale, Florida”

  1. Krista

    I don’t know why everyone loves Pandora, but they do not last…. They fade, rust out and turn. We have them here on the military bases and folks just love them. I purchased a few and charms for a couple of years, gave as gifts and then found they were not for me. I do not understand the fascination with a product that is not high quality for the price you pay. Disney really is invested in Pandora charms and I prefer to pass on the complimentary ones as well. Just a preference.

    Reply
  2. Tracie

    I didn’t know that about the Prosecco. It was totally free since you have cruised before? Also, do you remember the cost of the ride on Brightline? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Yes, Prosecco is one of the returning gift options starting at the Platinum Castaway Club level. I do not have the cost of the Brightline in front of me, but I will be doing a full write up on the experience where I will include this information. It is worth signing up for the emails from Brightline as you will want to book during a promotional period which we did making it a decent deal.

      Reply
  3. Michelle P

    I agree with you on the muster drill. Is it horribly sad that when picking our stateroom for an upcoming cruise, we picked one that musters in the theater to make the process a little less painful?

    Reply

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