We took the Disney Magic 7 night cruise out of Galveston this past December, and we had an absolute blast!
This was our 2nd time on a Disney cruise. The 1st time was for only 3 nights out of Port Canaveral, and we've been shopping around trying to get a good deal on a 7 night since then. Well, it finally happened at the end of last year, when Disney was introducing itself to Galveston.
We were able to afford 2 balcony cabins, 1 for us & 1 for our 2 teens, which was amazing, since Disney cabins have 2 bathrooms in each cabin. It was amazing for all of us to be able to prepare for dinner at the same time!
Our itinerary included Grand Cayman, Costa Maya & Cozumel:
In Cayman we took a snorkel tour (booked off the ship at the port = cheaper) to Stingray city & 2 other snorkel spots. It was awesome! We had a wonderful time feeding the stingrays & the water is absolutely stunning!
In Costa Maya we just took a cab to the near-by Senor Frogs beach, which was a great choice. We paid for the all-inclusive bracelets and got all the drinks we wanted all day. There were lounge chairs & palapas available, as well as a refreshing swimming pool. The beach & ocean were very pleasant. When it was time to eat, we walked a few feet down the sidewalk inside the resort & had quesadillas at a little restaurant owned by a really nice lady, Maria from Mexico City. She was great!
Our port day in Cozumel was ruined by bad weather, but we still slogged through the flooded streets to do some shopping. We've been to Cozumel several times, so it was no biggie that we missed it. Usually we take a cab to San Francisco or Paradise beach and have a wonderful, affordable time at a gorgeous beach.
The ship itself is beautiful, and the staff go above and beyond to make sure you're having fun and have everything you need. Our restaurant staff were the absolute best, as were our room stewards. Our 16 year old just wanted to lay out and eat the whole week, and it took us a while to talk our 13 year old into going to the teen club to make some friends. Once he did, we almost never saw him again! They kept him so busy, and he made a ton of friends that he still keeps in touch with 8 months later.
It's great that each cabin comes with 2 cell phones, so were able to keep in touch with each other when needed, free of charge.
The food was very good on board, even the buffet, which I'm not usually a fan of on ships. The sit-down restaurant rotates each night, so it's nice to have a different venue each time. For the 7 night, you repeat them twice + 1. The shows in the evening are Broadway quality, and we truly enjoyed them. Our sons loved seeing current movies at the theater every day. Pirate night was fun, and it was really cool to view fireworks at sea that night. We brought our own costumes, but it's possible to get them on board too.
I would really recommend this cruise to families. I don't know if I'd cruise Disney without kids, even though they do everything first class, because I think it would be a different experience than what we look for when we're not with the kids.
Being able to cruise out of Galveston was amazing. I wish Disney would stay in Galveston, but it doesn't seem they're staying beyond 2014 unfortunately :(
Costa Maya is developing and growing, so it's not fancy. We took a cab to the near-by Senor Frogs beach resort. It was a 5 minute drive and very affordable. We got all-inclusive bracelets for all the drinks you want at the bar. There's a nice swimming pool, the beach was pretty, and the lounge chairs and palapas were included. There are restaurants in walking distance within the resort, as well as shopping. It was an easy, affordable port, and we were able to stay a long time and get our money's worth, since we were so close to the port.