My family thoroughly enjoyed our Disney cruise on the Magic. We flew from the US to London and used Disney transportation to get to the departure port of Dover. Disney employs local people to do the ground work such as greeting and driving ... Read More
My family thoroughly enjoyed our Disney cruise on the Magic. We flew from the US to London and used Disney transportation to get to the departure port of Dover. Disney employs local people to do the ground work such as greeting and driving as well as leading tour groups in each destination. Because these are people who live in the destination areas, they are able to provide more interesting and varied commentary on the locations and Disney seems to do well with vetting and training to ensure that they live up to the Disney standards for customer service. As an example, we had a guide in Cobh, Ireland who serenaded us with Irish folk songs as our bus meandered back to the ship from Blarney Castle after making us all laugh with his dry humor.
Our cabin was an outside room with a balcony. At about 300 square feet, it never seemed crowded, even with four adult sized occupants (mom, dad, and two teens) in it. We arranged with our cabin host to have the kids' bunks kept open all week. There was still plenty of space to walk back and forth between the desk and the lower bunk to access the balcony and the part of the room closest to it. We did not have any issues with noise, though we were located on deck 8.
The food on the ship varied from just ok to truly scrumptious. The fast service places on deck were decent but not memorable. The buffet at Cabanas was constantly changing and we did find that they quality of the food there was hit or miss. Nothing was inedible, but some dishes were quite bland or seemed to have too many ingredients thrown in to "elevate" them. My husband loved the eggs benedict. I had a curry dish one lunch that was fantastic. The kids always found something they liked. I had informed the staff in advance that I am gluten intolerent. My server went above and beyond to make sure that I always had something palatable to eat. Each night she showed me the dinner menus for the next evening, and took my order in advance. She also went as far as to preorder gluten free Mickey waffles for my breakfast at cabanas and a gluten free pizza from Pinnochio's for my lunch.
The three main dining rooms on the Magic are Rapunzel's, Lumiere's, and the Animator's Palate. The food is equally good at all three. What makes these places different from one another is the theme and entertainment. The Animator's Palate is my favorite. The sketches on the wall screens change and light up along with accompanying music. The waitstaff become part of the show as dinner ends.
Because our cruise was in England, Ireland, and Scotland in September, we did not take much advantage of the pools on board, despite the fact that they were heated. Mainly these were utilized by younger children and their parents. I felt bad for the lifeguards on duty, who wore winter jackets with their shorts and had few charges to watch. I have heard about people fighting for deck chairs on other cruises, but this was certainly not an issue for us!
The live shows (I saw three different musicals in my week on board) were Broadway quality. Each was just an hour long and over too soon for me, though perhaps a better length for younger audience members. These shows feature familiar music and characters along with some very cool special effects and actors frequently run up and down the aisles as part of the performance.
I have saved the best for last. The most memorable part of this cruise for my family: the Disney cast members. Many Disney employees went above and beyond to make the week a great one for us. Mariya and Anto, our servers, were so fun and helpful. Davisson the photographer always went the extra mile to make my shy teen smile. Our host, Ferdie, was efficient and accommodating.
Some people may hesitate to choose the older ships in the Disney fleet because they are smaller and older. Disney has done a great job of updating the Magic and I think it is a perfect size. The magic and the Wonder can carry 2,400 passengers. The Dream and Fantasy have a capacity of 4,000 passengers each! I am not sure that we would get the same feeling of knowing our cast members or fellow passengers if there were twice as many people on board. Read Less