Great R&R trip from the busy northeast! On a quick semi-anniversary trip for 45-44yr olds with kids in college.
We got bumped from a couple flights and ended up having to fly into Tampa on cruise day instead of our original plan to stay at the airport Hyatt in Orlando. We were not happy after all that. We rented a car from Budget one way to Port Canaveral with less than 12hrs notice. Nice clean mid-size for total of about $50 including filling up with gas in Port Canaveral. They had a shuttle van waiting and brought us to embarkation at about 12:15pm. Total trip from Tampa airport to port was much quicker/painless than I expected, about 2hr 15min including gas/liquor stop.
We got through security and check-in in less than 15 minutes and was on board the Magic. The rooms are supposed to be ready at 1:00pm so he headed to Carioca's lunch buffet. Food was ok. Nice selections, hot food was hot and salad, fruit etc, was cold and fresh. Didn't have a great introduction with our server. He had no idea what sparkling water/Perrier/seltzer was? Muddled through with a couple of beers. (16oz aluminum bottles)
Rooms were ready after that, we went up and unpacked and had plenty of room in a 4A. Stowed bags under bed and met our great stateroom host, Derrick. We headed out for more beers and sat in Adult pool area for a couple of hours. Pool was super warm and not refreshing, but good sun and nice bartenders at the Signals bar there.
Watched a zillion kids partying at the sail-away party for a couple minutes, did the safety drill (no life jackets), and got dressed for show then dinner.
Picked up glass of coconut tequila with pineapple juice, a beer and enjoyed a well performed Disney themed Broadway style show.
Our dinner was in the Animator's Palette restaurant with better service, ok menu choices, and overall pretty pleasant. The assistant server gets the drinks, and can take a little while longer than you would expect. I found myself hitting a bar a walking into dinners with a full glass of wine/drink was a good way to speed things up.
Found a few adult activities in the bars after dinner. (Trivia games with enthusiastic, if under appreciated host, or Karaoke, or Bingo, sports on TV, etc)
The stop in Nassau wasn't appealing so we woke up late and had a busy/loud breakfast at Cabanas buffet. Food was plentiful and not too bad considering the masses that were there. Coffee not so great in my opinion. I'm not a coffee snob, but it is only ok.
Lounging and drinking our way till show-dinner-bar scene was the way the day went.
Dinner at Carioca's was ok. Menu options sounded nice, but was pretty limited. Nothing themed to the Pirate night going on.
We went to the Pirate party after dinner. It was great for kids and properly inebriated adults. Pretty hokey, loud current music hits, and games, conga lines etc. The fireworks were a nice touch. A DJ took over after fireworks and kept the energy up for a couple more hours.
The next day was the Castaway Cay private island day.
Great secluded adult only beach, Serenity Bay. Soft music, cold cocktails and a LOTS of beach servers. Water was a bit chilly, but refreshing. Plenty of lounge chairs/hammocks/umbrellas and we did not rush off the ship.
We had a nice BBQ style lunch with lots of great options. Ribs, steak, burgers, dogs, bratwurst, chicken, cold salads, fruits, ice cream machine, cookies, soda, juice and beer.
Headed back to the ship around 3:30pm. Took a shower/nap/hung in room drinking our own alcohol for a couple hours.
Nice that we could carry on beer, and a couple of bottles. Saved on the bar tabs a bit, and was not a pain to carry just the first short leg to the stateroom on Embarkation.
On the other hand, the bar tab added up pretty quickly every day. It seems I was signing a receipt every couple minutes. I also noticed that it wasnt much help tipping the bartenders much extra (for future rewards) because they rotated out often. I went to the same bar at the same time three days and saw 4 different bartenders during that time. I still tipped after the auto 18% gratuity a bunch.
Debarkation was quite smooth @ 8:45am for us. Our luggage was very easy to find and was through customs in 5 min!
Overall thought it was great even for adults without kids. They were mostly avoided if you want to or watched from afar.
Total trip was a little pricey if you include our hefty bar bill, but staff was very pleasant and helpful.
Lots of Disney characters on board as well with fairly short queue lines and they spent ample time with each child/family.