To say that I’m getting excited about my upcoming Westbound Transatlantic cruise on the Disney Magic would be a slight understatement. We booked the cruise in May 2014 and as I am writing this, it is nine weeks today until sailaway – the time has gone by so quick! For a couple of weeks this summer, the Magic is operating several cruises out of Dover so I had the perfect opportunity last week to go and see the ship for the first time in person before she heads to Barcelona in August.
As I live close to London, Dover is an incredibly easy drive. However given all the chaos of the car ferries and the Channel Tunnel in the last few weeks Operation Stack is currently in place in Kent. It didn’t affect our drive however as we simply took the slightly longer M2/A2 route into Dover which was completely traffic free.
Cruise ships use the Western Docks in the Port of Dover and from studying Google Maps the night before I saw that there was a small car park area near St Martin’s Battery on South Military Road which had a great view overlooking the harbour – and the perfect view of the Disney Magic in the sunshine.
Our original plan after taking these photos was to drive through the town and to head to the White Cliffs with a picnic we had bought with us to watch sailaway.
However from our viewpoint in the car park, we could see people walking on a pier close to the Magic and we could see a car park close to it so we thought we would see if we could get down there to get some better photos. The pier is called the Prince of Wales pier and it is open from 8am until 9pm in the summer months and it turned out to be the perfect place to take photos of the Magic and to watch sailaway from.
There is a cafe at the end of the pier where many people were sat outside enjoying the sunshine as well as many other people who like us, were visiting Dover just to see the Disney Magic. We arrived just before the muster drill started and we heard the alarms on the ship sound before watching the passengers assemble on deck four.
After the muster drill finished, we watched and listened as the sailaway party started up on decks nine and ten and was able to hear the “When You Wish Upon a Star” ship horn during Adventures Away – the happiest sound on earth.
Sailaway was delayed for about an hour. We were just about to call it a day and head back to the car (our parking had nearly expired too) when the horn sounded again and a few minutes later, the Magic left Dover and headed out to the English Channel on her way to Copenhagen.