After spending twice what a "regular cruise" would cost I had some increased expectations for this cruise. My wife and I cruised Carnival on the Miracle a few years ago and that was a great value for what we got. The Disney loses every category hands down to Carnival except Disney has Mickey and the characters for the kids. That is the ONLY thing this cruise has going for it better than any other cruise. The service is fine which is what you expect on any cruise. The staterooms were nice and well kept but again you expect that and they were not anything spectacular. The ship feels small and the pools are very small and very very crowded with kids but my kids had a good time there. The food is just horrible. You have been warned here. There are a couple places you can get hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza just about any time you want. AVOID unless you just have to have something to eat. The quality of this food is gas station quality. There are also buffets for breakfast and lunch. Again food here is well below Sunday buffet quality at your local buffet. Very generic and low quality mass produced. Dinner is in a nice dining room and the servers are excellent. I have mixed reviews about dinner. We had 7 nights of dining and 4 were very good. However even the best meal I had on the Magic was not near as good as every night with Carnival. Again nothing special. The 3 bad nights of dinner if served at a local restaurant I wouldn't go back. The special nights where desserts were served late were also a disappointment. Food looks great and is presented well but tastes very generic and cheap like the pies you buy at the grocery store.
Entertainment on the ship was just ok. There were a couple of comedians that were funny and the Disney shows were good for the kids. We skipped the show a couple of nights because the Disney stuff gets old after a few nights even for the kids. There is no Casino which is probably good because of the family atmosphere they try to promote. The bars on this ship are in one word BORING. We were traveling with my wife's parents so we had people to watch the kids at night (we tried the Disney programs for the kids one night but they were bored to death) but the bars were mostly empty and had nothing going on. The sports bar diversions was the biggest joke on the ship. There were no sports. They had televisions everywhere but NO SPORTS. When questioned which I did several times the answer I got was that there was no signal or that they couldn't get ESPN due to contracts. This made no sense to me since Disney OWNES ESPN. All that was on was a few soccer games broadcasted from European networks.. No baseball, no college football, NFL or anything. I felt sorry for the workers here because the place was empty every night. The servers in there were great to talk to but this was supposed to be a sports bar. There were many many angry complaints made here because of this.
The excursions offered by Disney are all overpriced. My suggestion is to get off of the ship and look for a local excursion provider that will give you the same thing for half the price. Do not take any Disney excursions that are only transportation. Example, taxi ride at st. thomas is $16 round trip per person to Magens Bay. If you take Disney they charge you $42.
My kids are ages 7 and 8. They had a great time getting pictures and autographs with the characters but the lines were crazy. Princess night wait times were around 2 hours! As I said before this was the ONLY thing Disney has going for it. If you really want to see the characters I suggest you do Disney World for a day and save $3,000.
Overpriced and Under-delivered is the best way to describe this entire experience. We had a good time because we were all together. Disney however did not enhance this time we had one bit. We would have had just as good of a time on a much cheaper cruise with much better food. It was a lesson we learned and I know people will still go on Disney and give it great reviews because of the allure of Disney itself, but if you look at each aspect of the cruise and compare it to other options it is not worth the cost at all.