May 14-18, 2012, I surprised my 8 year old son by taking him on the Disney Magic for his birthday present. I found the price of the trip to be fairly reasonable and my thought was that I could get the excitement of Disney and the luxury of a cruise all in one. My excitement was extremely short lived.
At the terminal we were pleased to see Mickey Mouse!! Just as soon as we got in line to meet and get our first picture with Mickey, it was his break time so Minnie came out. I can understand that everyone needs a break, but I would have thought that on Day 1, when all of the passengers were waiting in the terminal, Mickey would have been around THE WHOLE TIME! I came to realize that this was to be expected with every character appearance for the remainder of the trip. Each day brought on new realizations that this Disney Cruise was a HUGE waste of money!!! Going into this trip, I was under the impression that it would be Disney everywhere, but I quickly realized that it was not the case AT ALL. The character appearances were few and far between and it seemed that every time we saw a character, the line would already be cut off.
Our excursion to the Aquaventure in Atlantis was exciting!! That feeling was short lived when after only about an hour into the fun, the water park was shut down due to sever thunder, lightening and pouring rain. I understand that weather is not predictable. Back to the ship we went to find ourselves bored out of our minds!! What is there to do besides spend money playing bingo, or in the arcade?!!? My son did not want to go into the youth activity room so other than that, there is truly nothing to do as a family when the weather is bad. By the 2nd night on the ship, we both wanted to go home. Day 3 brought us to Castaway Cay. Another HUGE disappointment!!! It was a boring island. Leading up to the cruise, I was under the impression that Disney's private island would be packed full of Disney fun. All we found was a beach, 2 waterslides, and small game area. The weather was cloudy which made for even more of a disappointing day. Not to mention, a few short character appearances. We went back aboard the ship early...again
The Pirate Party which wasn't much of a party. It was signing and dancing by the staff and a few fireworks. Oh, and this so-called "party" started at 9:30 which is not exactly a good time for CHILDREN!
My whole extended family is planning to go on a Disney Cruise next year and I thought it would've been a memorable trip. I was looking forward to experiencing one of the newer ships but after this past week on the Disney Magic, I will not be going on the family trip next year and I am actually trying to get them to book another cruise line, or just a trip to the parks. I feel that the advertising for the Disney Cruise is extremely misleading. There should have been Disney characters EVERYWHERE and ALL THE TIME!!!! There should have been more Disney decor and activities. There should have been more family activities for families like mine who have children that did not want to be separated and sent into "daycare". I did not take him on vacation to have him spend time with other people I tried very hard to make the best of our disappointing week because, remember, this was my son's 8th birthday present.
Looking back on our trip makes me incredibly frustrated and sad. I feel like my son and I were robbed of a fantastic vacation that we deserved and paid for. I spoke to a few others on the trip and they had the same feelings that I did. They were disappointed as well. I would definitely NOT recommend this trip to anyone.
I sent my concerns to Disney Cruise Line but have yet to hear back from them. I will never agian cruise with DCL but look forward to going on another crise with a different company.