This was my fourth cruise on the Disney Magic. What could be better than 7 days on the Magic. Eight days of course!
We had a check-in time between 11 am and 11:30 am. It was very organized. We arrived and were handed the day's Navigator before we even got in line. We were directed to the correct line, since there are different lines depending on your Castaway Cay status (How many times you've cruise or if you booked concierge level.) The line moved quickly and we were completely checked in by 11:30. Minnie Mouse was out in a Lady Liberty costume for a photo opportunity. Once our boarding number was called we headed onto the ship and saw Mickey Mouse in an Uncle Sam outfit as he was headed over to relieve Minnie. Once on board, I headed over to Guest Services to get the Alice and Mad Hatter Tea Party tickets for my granddaughter, daughter, friend and me. Then I met up with my family at Parrot Cay for a WONDERFUL buffet. Our luggage was delivered very quickly and everything arrived and I was completely unpacked before the 4 pm lifeboat drill.
The 8-Day NYC sailing had a fourth Broadway type show added. The shows were all wonderful and everyone in my group loved them. From my 2 year old granddaughter to my 93 year old dad! None of the other cruises I have taken have shows that even come close to the ones Disney puts on.
As far as character appearances: They are all over the place. Your Navigator lists appearances but if you go down to the lobby in the morning, there is a screen near guest services that scrolls through the day showing times and locations of character greetings. You can also call a number on your wave phone or stateroom phone and they'll run down the day's appearances as well. It is important to know that the time they give is a 15 minute time frame. This does NOT mean they are only out 15 minutes. This means that you MUST ARRIVE AND BE IN THE LINE within those 15 minutes. So a cast member will cut the line off at say 1:15 pm and not let anyone else in. If the character is being replaced, they will say, "Sorry, the line for Mickey is closed, but Minnie will be coming next if you wish to wait for her." Mickey will NOT leave until all the people who got in line within the 15 minutes have seen him. My granddaughter saw all the characters multiple times and we never felt rushed when it was her turn.
There are activities and movies all day long for all ages. My granddaughter loved Toddler Time, and Playhouse Disney Party every morning. There are games for the entire family, like Magic Quest, Mr. Toad's Wild Race, Game show type games. Tours of the ship, family crafts, adult activities like wine tasting, etc. Honestly, if you are bored on the Magic, it's your own fault because I found there were not enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted to do.
Castaway Cay is by far the most beautiful private island there is. Where other cruise lines claim to have a "Private Island", what they actually have is a rented out beach somewhere. Disney actually owns the entire island. There are character appearances throughout the day, parasailing, fishing, snorkeling, jet skies, etc. There is a Whale Dig Site for the kids, stingray adventures; you can rent a giant inner tube for $6 for the entire day. There are PLENTY of chairs and umbrellas. There is an area called In-Da-Shade Games which have basketball, billiards, ping-pong, chess, checkers, etc. The water slide is amazing! You can rent bikes, play tetherball, volleyball, and soccer. The little ones have a huge water play area called Spring-a-Leak. There are three barbecue areas. Two on the family beach and one over at the adult beach. There is music and dancing at the gazebo, shuffleboard tournaments, crab races, etc. The teens have their own private area. The private cabanas, are pricey but so worth it if you are lucky enough to snag one. The day is jammed packed with things to do.
The food was excellent and the servers we had were amazing. The cabin hosts on our deck were all nice. They always had a smile and were extremely helpful. On WDW day, my dad stayed on the ship. I'm so glad he did with all that rain we had. When we returned to the ship around 8:15 or so, we got off the elevator and found my dad standing in the hall near the elevators with 3 cabin hosts. Danny who was my host , my dad's host and another host from our deck. When we got off the elevator the 3 of them saw us and said, "There they are Julius!! They are back!! And then they said to us. "We were just going to order room service for him! Where have you been, he's been looking for you!" It was nice to see that they had been helping him while we were away and were actually going to get him fed.
My whole family loved this cruise and we are already booked for our fifth Disney Cruise next year! I can't wait!