Vision of the Seas & Disney Magic
This review is written by Amy Blume.

Nothing is more iconic to the history of Southern California than Disneyland.  So it was with pleasure I learned Disney Cruise Line was going to base Disney Magic out of San Pedro this summer for a series of Mexican Riviera cruises.  Disney Magic was their first foray into the growing cruise market. This 83.000grt ship had her maiden voyage on the 30th July 1998 and was followed a year later by Disney Wonder.  On August 17th, 2008, her final call to Los Angeles for the year, I was finally fated to get to the port to see this lovely ship.  Disney Magic was berthed in Pier 93 facing starboard - an unusual arrangement that left me with no ability to get a really good picture of the front of the ship.  We were unable to take the harbor cruise as the Tall Ships Festival that was happening along the water impacted traffic all over the entire city of San Pedro.

The good thing about Magic being parked to starboard was that we had a good view of Goofy doing his paint touch ups on her pretty stern.  Everyone around us (and there was quite a crowd) kept saying how lovely she is.  She's really got a great presence even though she's on the small side compared to most of today's behemoths.  My mother and I thought it was ironic that she reminded us more of QE2 and the other Cunard liners than the new Queen Victoria did.
At around four o'clock we heard Vision of the Seas' horn, but we were busy taking pictures from close to 93 where we couldn't see her leave.  Four thirty, Magic's usual departure time, came and went, but we heard an announcement over her tannoy which said, "The captain is about to sound the ship's whistle."  Then a moment later the captain played the unmistakable, "When You Wish Upon A Star" whistle.  We all thought the ship would be underway but she waited another half hour in the blistering August heat before we noticed them dropping her lines.  At a little after 5pm the warning and the whistle played again (and I was able to get it on tape which I was very excited about).  She was off and I was able to get my favorite pictures of the day from this point as she was sailing out forward from 93 and turned down the channel.
We had been planning to race the ship to Land's End as usual but the horrible traffic made that idea moot.  Instead, we headed for Cabrillo Beach, where we were able to get some last photos of both Vision and Magic as they sailed out into another beautiful SoCal sunset.

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© Amy Blume 17th August 2008
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