90 Disney Magic Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

Our very first time on a cruise. We were family of 6, adjoining rooms with daughter, son in law , 4 yr old and 6 yr old. Rooms were immaculate and the veranda views were beautiful. Disney app made scheduling character sessions, shows, ... Read More
Our very first time on a cruise. We were family of 6, adjoining rooms with daughter, son in law , 4 yr old and 6 yr old. Rooms were immaculate and the veranda views were beautiful. Disney app made scheduling character sessions, shows, activities and messaging between family members easy and convenient. Food at cabanas was very good and varied. Shows were fantastic and magical for both the children and adults. Kids enjoyed the kids club and attended 3 out of 5 days for 2 hours each day which was a little nice break for both them and the adults. Prices at clubs for drinks and food were comparable to city eateries. Kids were able to see each character because we kept an eye on timing and made sure we were early for each activity plus set alerts on the app which were very useful and we took our own pictures , no need for photo package. Since it was a repositioning cruise our port stop was Antigua, took a brief walk to see some local sites, church and people then headed early back to ship for some pool/slide time in a calmer atmosphere. Pools are small so one needs to be flexible with when to attend. Every single Disney employee was friendly, helpful and pleasant. The dance party’s in the atrium were crowded yet they were short enough that kids enjoyed without getting overwhelmed. Servers in restaurants were like friends and attentive to children and their wishes. Overall it was a wonderful experience for the little ones and priceless to watch their excitement. Few suggestions for Disney would be to figure out the WiFi difficulties and charges, to add more some comedians for adults and to have the characters Moving around ship more to make surprise sightings opposed to only scheduled ones. Thank you Disney for our magical cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were so fortunate to have such a wonderful family vacation aboard the Magic. We have food allergies and are huge Disney fans so this was a perfect fit for us. Everything from our wonderful transfer guide in Puerto Rico to the ship staff ... Read More
We were so fortunate to have such a wonderful family vacation aboard the Magic. We have food allergies and are huge Disney fans so this was a perfect fit for us. Everything from our wonderful transfer guide in Puerto Rico to the ship staff and accommodations excided our expectations. Our kids were 14,12, and 5 at the time. They did not spend much time in the kids clubs but that is more our kids than lack of things to do. Our dinning staff aka "T" and "K" were amazing. They played with the kids at each meal and made very considerate efforts to make special desserts and meal selections we could all enjoy. Our youngest cried when we had to say goodbye to them. We all hope to see them again someday. The weather was quite rainy in Tortola but we made the best of it. It also poured in St. Kitts but that's the chance you take in the tropics.We did the Dolphin encounter in St. Kitts and it was wonderful. The pictures are very pricey but worth every penny. We are hoping to take our next Disney Cruise next year and seeing what the Western Caribbean has to offer. For busy families with kids, we highly recommend the DCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I researched all cruise lines & ships that focus on kids, because I was taking my 8 yr old grandson on his first cruise, for Christmas. Disney was the winner. And Disney Magic had activities I thought he'd enjoy, as well as island ... Read More
I researched all cruise lines & ships that focus on kids, because I was taking my 8 yr old grandson on his first cruise, for Christmas. Disney was the winner. And Disney Magic had activities I thought he'd enjoy, as well as island stops that I liked. My 2 adult children wanted to come so we were four. All four of us LOVED this cruise. The onboard shows were first rate. My grandson very much enjoyed being dropped off at the Oceaneer Club/Lab (supervised fun for his age group) - and I did not expect this from him. He loved it. That provided unexpected adult time for my kids and me! The port excursions were all great fun. Two got rained out on Castaway Caye, but we had fun anyway. The food was delicious. The staff was excellent. The cabin was wonderful - spacious enough for all 4 of us in one cabin (7008). The Stateroom host prepared our beds (1 couch bed, 1 pull-down bunk, 1 queen) each evening when we left for dinner, plus there was always that coveted towel animal waiting on the bed! Then when we left in the morning, the stateroom host would put it all back, so we could enjoy the couch, and not bump our heads on the bunk.There was a laundrymat on our deck so we could pack light, knowing we could wash clothes. Our room had a large porthole window, which was nice. Our assigned restaurant servers were the best! We rotated between 3 restaurants, and they followed us. We did 2 port excursions outside of Disney at one island stop, and these worked out well, with no problems or worries. With our smart phones we were able to text each other all over the ship, using the Disney Navigator app that we downloaded before the cruise. Someone on cruise critic suggested a magnetic white board for our exterior cabin door, so I brought one, but the magnet wasn't strong enough. If I had bought an additional strong magnet, I could have hung it. But with the Navigator app, it wasn't needed anyway. We have so many "pure joy" expression photos of my grandson. Disney definitely has the market on magic! Hands down. The final night, there was the usual farewell performance. All the Disney characters were there. It hit home to my grandson that this meant the cruise was over. He collapsed into a sobbing heap, so sad that it was over. He wanted it to last forever! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our 2nd cruise and I will admit I was geared up for disappointment based on my previous cruise (Carnival). I could not have been more wrong about what to expect by sailing with Disney. From the moment we arrived at the airport to ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise and I will admit I was geared up for disappointment based on my previous cruise (Carnival). I could not have been more wrong about what to expect by sailing with Disney. From the moment we arrived at the airport to take the Disney transport to the port, everything was top notch. Transportation staff was very friendly and professional. After arriving at the port, the professionalism continued which was great. It was nice to be treated like a guest rather than a herd of cattle headed to the trough. Once on board the Magic, that's when my expectations started to be exceeded. The ship itself is beautiful and elegant with a twist of Disney mixed in. The overall layout really worked well and the ship was really easy to navigate. *FOOD & DRINK* The 3 restaurants in the rotational dining, Lumiere's, Animator's Palate & Carioca's were all fantastic with exceptional service. Animator's Palate was our favorite out of the three. Seeing the characters come to life right before your eyes was great and having your own design come to life was pretty cool aswell. The food and presentation was 5 star in my opinion. The only negative I could find about the three restaurants was the very limited selection on the kids menu. The other food options on board were Cabanas (buffet style) which had many different options for breakfast and lunch. The overall quality and flavor of the food was a solid 7 out of 10. Busy place in the morning for breakfast but that's to be expected. Never had a problem finding a table inside or outside. Pete's Boiler Bites was another family favorite for lunch or anytime throughout the day. The chicken strips and fries were awesome, but then again the many choice offered were all really good. A solid 8 out of 10. Daisy's Delights was decent for fruit or a mid day wrap of sandwich. Lastly, Pinocchio's pizzeria was another family favorite. Several flavors of pizza to choose from all cooked on crispy flatbread. Delicious pizza. *ACTIVITIES* There were plenty of activities on board to keep everyone of all age groups occupied throughout the day. Movie theaters, kid's clubs and scheduled activities were plentiful. The live Broadway style shows were excellent. Adult areas were quiet, attractive and relaxing. Shops were stocked with many items with decent prices. *STATE ROOMS*. Our state room was a inside standard which was big enough for a family of 4 and never once felt like we were on top one another. I personally didn't care about a window or balcony (only used the room for getting dressed and sleeping). The room itself had plenty of storage and looked very classy. Never had a problem with hallway noise or other rooms. The room steward was fast and friendly. Never had I problem leaving items on the table (nothing ever went missing). Our first stop was Tortola (BVI). Beautiful island with very friendly people. Excursion was booked though DCL and was run absolutely perfect. Our second stop was St. Thomas (USVI). Nice island, not as friendly people. Shopping was plentiful. Excursion was booked though DCL and was run absolutely perfect. The private beach excursion was very private and beautiful. Last stop was of course Castaway Cay. Excellent beach with great snorkeling. My overall expectations for the Disney Magic and Disney Cruise Line were far exceeded in every way shape and form. Even though this was only our second cruise, it was really nice to have activities for everyone to do. This is truly a family cruise line. We look forward to our next cruise in January 2018. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have been on every major cruise line since 1997. This was my first time going on a family cruise with my wife and children 2 & 4 years old. I must say i was a little concerned that i wouldn't enjoy this cruise due to the Disney ... Read More
I have been on every major cruise line since 1997. This was my first time going on a family cruise with my wife and children 2 & 4 years old. I must say i was a little concerned that i wouldn't enjoy this cruise due to the Disney aspect. I'm pleased to say i absolutely loved it! The Disney aspect was always a cornerstone of the experience but the true star of the show was the customer service. WOW From the great people who cleaned our room, to the awesome 5 star service in the restaurant I was absolutely floored! I must say top shelf service! some things i want to pass along to anyone thinking of going on this ship The coffee shop is in the adult area of the ship, should be the first stop every morning. The nightly shows are awesome! The food is over the top good. The service is that of a 5 star hotel The pub is great! The activities for the kids is the best in the industry Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We did Disney for Adults to celebrate mom's 85th birthday. She had been on 20+ cruises but never Disney and loves the parks. We blew her away booking a concierge 1 bed room suite. At special check in the Disney team escorted her on ... Read More
We did Disney for Adults to celebrate mom's 85th birthday. She had been on 20+ cruises but never Disney and loves the parks. We blew her away booking a concierge 1 bed room suite. At special check in the Disney team escorted her on board and we went to the champagne reception in the concierge lounge where our personal team went over our plans on the trip. Then on to the room. Mom was grinning ear to ear. She had the bedroom side of suite with its own temperature control and we had the living room side. Besides two separate TVs we had two full baths and her's besides the shower had a garden tub with jets and a large vanity and walk in closet. The was a single bed murphy from the wall in the bedroom and a convertible sofa on the living room side of suite (we heard on newer ships sofa bed changed to murphy as well) We had a double veranda and pocket doors to separate the two suite rooms. The room was convenient to both mid ship and forward elevators. We enjoyed the concierge lounge buffets, cocktail parties, snacks and coffee machine and special parties. The food on the ship was fab. We did the Palo brunch our day at sea and loved it. The shows were excellent! In the evening when mom turned in early my sis and I enjoyed the clubs. Besides our veranda we had a private sun deck at the concierge lounge. Doing Disney for Adults we could have the quite areas aboard ship and on Castaway Cay adult only beach and turn a corner and join the magic of the family areas. We took it all in, doing all the photo shoots, visits with characters and dancing with Pluto just to mention a few. Well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
First let me say that overall we definetly enjoyed the cruise. We were on the Disney Magic, which is approx 17 years old, and this is obvious when you board. Perhaps some of the let down was on me, as I set my expectations based on the ... Read More
First let me say that overall we definetly enjoyed the cruise. We were on the Disney Magic, which is approx 17 years old, and this is obvious when you board. Perhaps some of the let down was on me, as I set my expectations based on the Disney brand, hype, and increased costs compared to competitor lines with the same itinerary (allbeit not Castaway Kay but rather their own private island). My expectations were much higher than what was provided. We paid much more than the other cruise line options and when I booked, I justified this by noting that we were paying for the Disney experience, i.e. Exceptional service, unique entertainment focused on Disney Characters, amazing food, and a "magical" environment. Unfortunately, none of these proved true. In general, the food was good (though nothing was fantastic or stood out, other than the daily lunch buffet which was excellent). Making this worse, our wait staff, while friendly, was terribly slow, missed at least one thing each night (did not bring everyone's appetizer/soup/etc.), we were lucky to have at least one glass of water or soda and almost never received a refill despite multiple requests, and on multiple occasions had only part of our party's dinner arrive, having to wait as long as an additional 9 minutes (timed it as by this point I was beyond frustrated) for the missing plate. The "head server" was 10 feet away looking at us, saw we were upset, and simply walked the other way, only coming by twice throughout our trip to say hello. In regards to the ship itself, you can definetly tell it was 17+ years old. There was no grand entrance, the elevators were so small, and overall there was little in the way of places to go and sit or shop. I have been on Royal Caribean and Celebrity, and these were not only less expensive (not to mention for 7 nights) they were so much nicer and had much more in the way of options and locations to spend time during your trip (I.e. Library, computer stations/business center, arcade, more shops, etc.) The Magic essentially had two stores (there is also a kiosk on the pool deck and what is essentially a kiosk for Star Wars merchandise hidden by a bar), which was surprising given Disney's ability to market and take advantage of their brand. In regards to the Disney "magic", this was probably my biggest disappointment, the only time there were characters were for pictures which were only three to four 15-30min sessions throughout the day, with absolutely no other option to meet Mickey or his friends (I do believe you could meet some of the princesses in the boutique, but not sure of the details as I have two boys that were not keen on the princesses.) In summary, average cruise though above average costs with below average Disney "magic". Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Disney does a lot of things right, which is why they cost a significant amount more than other cruise lines. This one however, was a bust. It was partially our fault for thinking that just because a room cost $4K it would be nice (inside ... Read More
Disney does a lot of things right, which is why they cost a significant amount more than other cruise lines. This one however, was a bust. It was partially our fault for thinking that just because a room cost $4K it would be nice (inside state room). We are used to having a balcony or at the least, a port hole. DO NOT EVER get an inside room. It was not just us. There was a constant creaking in the walls that lasted all 7 nights. I was more stressed from sleep deprivation on this vaca and just wanted to get back to work. So what can you do if you cannot tolerate the tiny box you are living in for a week? You get off at every port, partake in excursions and drink. Our tab for this was over $1,800 for the 7 nights. The one excursion we took was in the Grand Caymens. We departed the boat, went to the very bustling port, and got directly on another boat (convenient and nice). However, that boat proceeded to take us about 50 yards away from the port, into the dead center of about 4 other cruise ships to do our "shipwreck snorkeling." There was nothing relaxing or exotic or private about it. Would not recommend. Then off to Mexico. We decided to go on our own excursion with a donkey and carriage ride through the city. This was the best part of the trip and had nothing to do with the cruise line and only cost $90. The food on the boat is remarkable. It by far beats any other ship and I have been on every one. Holland America is runner up. Where else can you get stone crabs almost every day? The service is great as well and you cannot complete with the kids club if you have young ones. However this trip, our pager wasn't working properly and part of the niceness of having the kids club is knowing that your child is safe, happy and when they want you, they page you. My daughter on 2 separate occasions waited over an hour for us to get her because no one ever paged us (it wasn't working I assume) and that is just sad. At that point, we had to just start checking in with her every 45 min to see if she wanted to be picked up. Aside from the room that was on par with a Celebrity cruise that made a constant knocking sound, a defective pager, a smaller/older Disney boat, and the PRICE, all was well. MY most fun day was the day we got back though. This was an over $6K trip and ALL BOTH me and my husband wanted to do was come home after the first night. That just isn't right. My 9 yr old had fun though. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We cruised on the Disney Magic during March Break. We were a party of 10 with 4 children ranging from 4 - 17, 2 sets of parents and 1 set of grandparents. There was so much breathing room on the ship. Lounge chairs were always available. ... Read More
We cruised on the Disney Magic during March Break. We were a party of 10 with 4 children ranging from 4 - 17, 2 sets of parents and 1 set of grandparents. There was so much breathing room on the ship. Lounge chairs were always available. Staff members remembered us when we would pass them in the hall and the servers at dinner were exceptional. Food, entertainment, cabin and activities (for both children and parents) exceeded all expectations. Character wait times were less then 10 minutes. Every need was met and I cannot think of any area in need of improvement. Disembarkment was easy and efficient at each port (usually 5 - 10 minutes). It was a truly magical week and we plan to cruise again with Disney. One thing to note is that I have an anaphylactic allergy to shellfish. Having a la cart, sit down meals each night with the same servers was so helpful! I did not have to explain my allergy to a new set of servers each night at dinner. I also ordered my meal for the following night the night before. My meal was prepared seperately to ensure no cross contamination. I know of no other cruise ship company that does this. This is an example where Disney's service goes over and above. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Disney made this trip as easy and painless as possible. We were shocked at how easy it was to stick to a budget, only dining with an upcharge was Palo. The ship was beautifully appointed and the staff was wonderful. Stateroom Our ... Read More
Disney made this trip as easy and painless as possible. We were shocked at how easy it was to stick to a budget, only dining with an upcharge was Palo. The ship was beautifully appointed and the staff was wonderful. Stateroom Our party split up into two rooms, a balcony stateroom and an inside stateroom. The balcony room featured split bathrooms (one room with toilet and sink, one room with shower and sink) that were extremely helpful. The standard inside staterooms only feature one. There was lots of storage in the room and under the bed. The bunk beds were surprisingly comfortable and the kids looked forward to seeing the towel animals each night. We also used the curtain at night which excited the kids to have their own "room". I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the Wave Phones as we used them consistently. They work throughout the ship, are permitted everywhere, and feature texting as well. Entertainment The shows in the Walt Disney Theatre were fantastic, our family would never miss them. We watched a few movies in the Buena Vista Theatre and enjoyed that. The deck parties seemed to target younger kids with the characters but we still had a good time. Character greeting lines appeared very long and we avoided them as much as possible. Take advantage of the photo service since we were disappointed as to how few we had at the end of the cruise. Dining Rotational dining was unique and we loved it. We looked forward to checking in with our waitstaff and telling them about our day each night. We only realizes halfway through the trip that Lumiere's serves breakfast and lunch. This is a much better alternative to the crowded buffet. We did Palo brunch one morning since it was much easier to get reservations and was cheaper. The food was fantastic and totally worth the extra fee. We even snuck some chocolate covered strawberries back to the room so the kids could enjoy them. When considering ordering room service, keep in mind that even though the food is free, you will still need to tip. As an alternative, simply run up to Cabanas buffet and bring your food back to the stateroom. You just leave the plates in the hallway. Youth Clubs The youth clubs were fantastic and the staff made all the children feel welcome. Encourage your kids to go to the open house so they can meet the counselors and other kids. We had an 11 year old who was worried about being separated from our group in the oceaneer club (rest of kids were ages 12-14) but the staff let him into Edge and he loved it. Our 14 year old tried the teen club, Vibe, but felt too young so he stayed at the the preteen club Edge. Ports and Shore Excursions All of our shore excursions were booked through Disney, which made things very simple. Our snorkeling in Key West was disappointing, the water was 10 feet deep, very cold and murky. We still had a great time and the staff was nice. The open bar on the way back was appreciated. In Grand Cayman, we did the dolphin interaction and turtle farm. That was absolutely spectacular, though pricey. In Cozumel, most of our group was ill so we canceled our tour of the ruins. Disney gave us a full refund even though we canceled the day of. Two adults in our group got off the ship and took a cab to the ruins. This worked well and we enjoyed moving at our own pace. Castaway Cay was wonderful and it had everything we needed. Our group booked a kayaking tour, but it felt unnecessary because there was so much to do on the island already. I would recommend simply enjoying the beaches or renting bikes or kayaks on your own. Activities The family pools were extremely crowded but might be fine for younger kids. The Twist n' Spout waterslide was surprisingly fast and our kids had a blast. The AquaDunk was very exciting and neat. If you want to enjoy the pool areas and have short lines, get back on the ship a little early on port days. When the boat is at sea, the upper decks get pretty crowded. The daily navigator was extremely useful. I bring different colored highlighters and the family each highlights activities they might be interested in doing. You can also pick up extra copies at guest services. In summary, the Disney cruise was very enjoyable and I'm sure your family will have a great time too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our 12th Disney cruise and the first transatlantic crossing. We had plenty of issues with our stateroom during the first 5 days on the ship. For several days the toilet didn't flush for up to 3 hours because there were ... Read More
This was our 12th Disney cruise and the first transatlantic crossing. We had plenty of issues with our stateroom during the first 5 days on the ship. For several days the toilet didn't flush for up to 3 hours because there were "issues in this section of the ship" - if Disney would at least had told us BEFORE using the toilet rather than just acknowledge there is a problem once we called it in. Then there was a constant issue with the veranda door. First it wouldn't close properly and after the second attempt to fix it the veranda door closed so well that it locked someone out at the veranda and it took two people to open the door again. It hasn't been too long that the Magic came out of dry dock so I was very disappointed to see that many technical/mechanical issues. Other than that the Disney Magic is a wonderful ship and the staterooms are very comfortable. Barcelona (Spain) was a beautiful city and is worth spending a few days before or after a cruise. We took a tour from Malaga to Granada to visit the Alhambra - that was one of the best shore excursions ever! Tenerife was awesome. However, the shore excursion we booked had too much in too little time and turned out to be a rush and we didn't got to enjoy the things that matter. Go and see Mt. Teide. In Antigua the souvenir dealers were all over us during our shore excursion and it was annoying. Disney cancelled the scenic railroad tour in St. Kitts on us last minute without any explanation (other than saying it was to improve guest experience).   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Went on the Valentine's Day weekend cruise. We had a standard inside cabin, which was perfect for me and my husband. We didn't spend much time in the room, as there's so much to do on the ship. We took advantage of the adult ... Read More
Went on the Valentine's Day weekend cruise. We had a standard inside cabin, which was perfect for me and my husband. We didn't spend much time in the room, as there's so much to do on the ship. We took advantage of the adult only areas and activities onboard and also enjoyed the shows presented in the theater. Pirate night is fun. We appreciate the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff. We went ashore in the Bahamas and visited the Atlantis to see what all the hype is about. We enjoyed the adult only Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay. There is plenty to do onboard for entertainment. We had early seating for meals and never felt pressured to leave. Who wants to sit down that long anyway? There was a show to go to afterwards, with adult only bars/entertainment after that. We would be so tired, we never made it past 10:30 . The ship has been recently refurbished. It looks great. The crew genuinely enjoys your company. We saw many people meet and greet staff like family. The way it was explained to me was that if you had the same job day after day after day, the only thing that breaks up the routine is meeting new people. We met some wonderful people. It was a truly incomparable cruise. In fact, we were adopted into the Disney family by room service operator Elizabeth. It's an honor bestowed upon certain guests by staff who can choose a guest family to shower with proclamations and daily surprises delivered to the room based on your interaction with them. Elizabeth even took time from her busy schedule to meet us. We can't wait to book our next cruise on the Magic and see the new friends we made. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We booked this family cruise last year with only about 2 months to go! I was in sore need of a vacation and the price was very attractive, even received a balcony upgrade! We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. My daughter and granddaughter ... Read More
We booked this family cruise last year with only about 2 months to go! I was in sore need of a vacation and the price was very attractive, even received a balcony upgrade! We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. My daughter and granddaughter shared an inside room across from me & Hubby. I loved this cruise so much that I booked the same time this year. We live in central Texas, so it is very convenient to drive to Galveston to board....It was nice to visit Galveston as well. Very easy to park and board the ship. The Disney experience on board was wonderful! Food was a little bit above my expectations for such a mass produced eating experience and of course, I ate way too much! The desserts were fantastical every night! We enjoyed the entertainment every day and evening--top notch in all venues... I highly recommend Disney for all ages.....The kids club was spectacular---they of course, know how to entertain kids of all ages. Our waitstaff and cabin steward are underpaid for their incredible friendliness and service....I could not find even one thing to complain about. I returned home a new person....refreshed and ready to get back to work! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Summary: Disney Magic was great. Great service, great entertainment, good to fair food, occasionally long lines. Ship is showing wear/tear, still beautiful but lots of dings, fraying, etc. I have been on two Celebrity cruises (Alaska ... Read More
Summary: Disney Magic was great. Great service, great entertainment, good to fair food, occasionally long lines. Ship is showing wear/tear, still beautiful but lots of dings, fraying, etc. I have been on two Celebrity cruises (Alaska & Mediterranean) and one Royal Carribean prior to his cruise. Detail: -Concierge service was nice but not sure worth the additional cost. Able to skip the boarding line and had a concierge lounge (I think one of the lounges was used) waiting for us with snacks and drinks. Danny, our concierge, was fantastic and was constantly present without bring overbearing. He made and changed reservations, brought us snacks, etc. Disney is now asking guests to tip concierges, but there are no guidelines as with other servers so we hoped we left a generous tip. -Pool areas are small and the chairs get taken early and often, but you can generally find chairs on 10 even later in the day. I found the loud music blaring constantly and the audio from the large TV annoying but how can avoid it. Even in the adults area, they had loud Muzak playing. Bring headphones. -Excursions. We went on one through Disney on St. Maarten and booked independently on St. Thomas. The nice thing about booking through Disney is you don't have to pay for transport. Taxis can get very expensive on the islands. Castaway Cay is truly fantastic. On the Magic, there were plenty of chairs on the beaches and never felt crowded. We had a family cabana, and although a nice splurge, our kids wanted to play with some friends who could not be on the cabana beach area which is guarded by staff who check to see if you have a cabana wristband. The cabana beach is fantastic, secluded, and more well kept than the main beaches. -The 1BR was spacious but we could hear kids running and chairs being moved above us on 9. And could the mattress be any lumpier and uncomfortable? Very disappointing. -Can't avoid lines especially at peak times or places: lunch lines, waiting for elevators after a show, character pictures, guest services the last full day as everyone is attempting to calculate gratuity, etc. -The quality of food was uneven. Generally, food was about on par with an Outback-type restaurant. We thought it was very good at dinners at the three main restaurants, fair at lunch in Topsiders, and the fast food was mediocre but edible (burgers are all well done, pizza was flavorless, tacos could be school cafeteria quality). The self serve ice cream is suprisingly delicious. The healthy options from Goofy's Galley were good. The weakest meal was breakfast wherever you ate it (McDonald's quality hash browns, overcooked waffles and pancakes, greasy thin strips of bacon, Krispy Kreme donuts). There are few healthy options and the fruit selection is limited to grapes, pineapples, melons and cantaloupe. Food on Castaway Cay was fine, but again more like a school cafeteria. Expect long lines. Palo was very good, and easily worth the $20. -Service was exceptional considering how incredibly busy it can get. Restaurant staff and housekeeping make the bulk of their salary from tips-so be generous and think how difficult it is to serve so many people at one time. Our kids loved our servers and keep asking us to find and friend them on Facebook for them. Odds/ends: We rented a car from Thrifty as one way trips. Each leg cost about $100 for a premium car. We rented months ahead and was able to avoid the one way surcharge. I dropped off the family and bags, dropped the car at the Port Canaveral Thrifty, and took the shuttle back to the ship. After the cruise, we had to wait for a Thrifty shuttle (almost a 30 minute wait while Hertz and Avis was running more regularly) but otherwise, a smooth pickup. -If the ship is full, get to the theater for a show 15 minutes before it begins. The seafood lunch buffet, as expected, will have long lines - and sushi is served too. Bring your own water, beer, and wine. A glass of wine at dinner ranged between $14-$28, and you don't know the price until you get the statement at the end of the cruise. - we were told the Magic will go into dry dock for a major overhaul after it's Mediterranean cruise in the fall of 2013.-we found the Lab and Club a nice diversion but not for extended visits as there was too much time to play computer games (old games). Also, the night we went to Palo, our servers offered, and which we accepted, to watch our kids at dinner and then escort them to the Lab.-wave phones are great but use the old method of texting.-only whole milk is offered in the self-service beverage area.-rooms need video on demand which I think the newer ships have. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Let start with the great, the embarkation is as smooth as possible, probably the best we ever had. The entertainment blows away the competition with the shows and parties. The adult shows and games that go on were great. Danny the ... Read More
Let start with the great, the embarkation is as smooth as possible, probably the best we ever had. The entertainment blows away the competition with the shows and parties. The adult shows and games that go on were great. Danny the concierge was on top of everything. Our servers were great very friendly. My kids say that the clubs are the best they have ever been to. Palos was very good. The condition of the ship is really good, while there is always a little rust or wear it is right up there with any 5 star hotel. Sitting on the veranda having a drink was probably the most relaxing time of my life. The good, the food in my opinion and my families was not up to the other cruise lines, while it was good. The breakfasts were ok, buffets were so so, the sit down lunches seemed to be the best meal of the day. Dinners were good but never really said wow. Kids tried many different foods from Patrick have escargot to Alex, who is very picky, having lamb. Lobster night was good, desserts were ok. Castaway Cay was good but felt RCL was better, maybe just a one time deal or just expecting to much. Food on the island was ok and the closed at 2:00. Beach was ok also. The bad, Stateroom host just did what he had to. Felt the servers by the pool and selling the packages were to pushy, I don't need to asked every five minutes if I want something and no I do not want to purchase a case of water so please do not ask me again. While the Stateroom was nice the noise from above was quite loud. It did not wake me up but it was there all day and night. On Pirate night it was really bad. The Ugly, We had 2 showers in our room for 5 people but one of them would not get hot, complained several times and was never fixed. Soap dish in the other shower was broken by the stateroom host and never fixed. They need to come up with a way to police the saving of chairs by the pool. I am an early riser so I would get up and have a cup of coffee by the pool, every morning I would see people come out and put bags on a couple of the chairs and leave. then later on around lunch time I would see the same bags but not the people. It is quite aggravating since there is not a lot of seats around the family pool. Overall I had a great time and will love to do another, maybe next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
I took this trip back in March and reading a particular review sparked me to write this review. I am a single mother of an 8 year old at the time of cruising who wanted a mother and son trip. I layed down some rules such as we must eat ... Read More
I took this trip back in March and reading a particular review sparked me to write this review. I am a single mother of an 8 year old at the time of cruising who wanted a mother and son trip. I layed down some rules such as we must eat together, swim together and watch all shows together other than that he is free to attend the kids club. During his kid club indulgence I found some relaxation time of my own. I can't go on enough about this amazing trip Service: Disney cast members have a way of making you feel like you are the most important people on the ship. Food: I think it is telling of your own character if you can't find something delicious on this ship. The themed restaurants and buffet is loaded with many options and if you don't like what you were served they will get you something else. I never really liked any of the beef options that I tried but the chicken, fish, pasta were aweseome. Entertainment: Alot of negative reviews that I read didn't even try the entertainment, well guess what, that is your loss...you missed out. Each show was wonderful. KIDS CLUB: I read a review where a single mom didn't have their child go to the club because it was their time together, and they really seemed to want an in your face disney experience and they felt ripped off. Well in my opionion it was that individuals son that was ripped off. My 8 year old went to the club and I had to force him to leave for quality time together. They have so much to do for kids just take the time to read the daily list of activities, and if that does not suffice there is sports, entetainment, swimming, movies indoor and out. Castaway Cay: I don't know how it is even possible to complain about this place. So much to do, so beautiful. Most negative reviews did not reflect the castaway cay that I visited. The kids pool is a little small but my son didn't care. If you are a closed minded person you will have a bad time. I read some reviews and laugh because the things that are being complained about is so trivial. These people seem to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Despite being sea sick for two days, then a lung/throat infection for the remainder of the time (caught from the long train ride I took to orlando from New york) it was one of the most wonderfully memorable experiences one could hope for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Disney Magic - Eastern Caribbean - Feb 11th - 18th, 2012. General gestalt summary - we loved it. We cannot report many negatives. However - I think that it is important to be very clear and honest with yourselves about your ... Read More
Disney Magic - Eastern Caribbean - Feb 11th - 18th, 2012. General gestalt summary - we loved it. We cannot report many negatives. However - I think that it is important to be very clear and honest with yourselves about your expectations. If you expect 5-star luxury, you will not find it here. If you expect a magical experience for your child(ren) - you WILLNOT be disappointed. Let me put this review into perspective. The travellers - Myself (age 35), Wife (30), Daughter (turned 3 on board), and our Nanny. My wife and I usually cruise alone - although we consider ourselves young, we travel twice per year - this was our 5th cruise - Previous experiences being Celebrity Millenium Aqua class x 2, Seabourn Legend, and the Azamara Journey. We had the 1 bedroom Suite on the Magic. We decided to bring the Nanny because , although our daughter goes to early childhood education, we weren't sure how the oceaneer's club would be for her - turns out to be a good call - the one day we dropped her off at the Oceaneer's club, we were paged after 1 hr to collect her as she was 'asking for us'...we don't know how much of an episode it may have been... in any case, the Nanny allowed for a bit of a taste of, as the Disney advertisments state, "it's your vacation too..." (more on that later). let's break this up in segments - #1. the Boat - I've read reviews before stating that 'the Magic is Showing its Age'... well it didn't show it to us. The boat was Gorgeous....some of the classic nautical design maybe construed as Dated to some, but we loved it. We thought that the ship was beautifully finished, and witnessed no chipped/peeling paint, no dirty carpets, no aesthetic deficiency whatsoever. the layout was also very well done - the adult section was at the forward side so no children would have to pass through on their way to other venues. the Gym was a good size with plenty of cardio equipment, free weights upto 65lbs (the highest on a cruise boat so far) and well chosen weight training machines. ( I am a bit of a gym rat - so this is important to me)... we did not make use of the Spa services... The pools were pretty much perfect. - the splash pool was perfect for our little girl - and the funnel vision pool was also not too deep or rowdy, I could easily go inthere with my daughter in my arms. #2. Dining - again, we can't/won't complain. This is where it is important to have realistic expectations. Does it compare to Seabourne or Azamara? - don't be silly. You just shouldn't compare the two - I did find that dinner moved quickly, appetizer, entree dessert - bang,bang,bang - but in retrospect - it sort of had to - my daughter probably would have found it very hard to sit at the table for a long, drawn out, european style dinner. although the food is not of the calibre of these luxury ines, it was still very very good, and in fact, one meal from the lumiere's regular menu ranked right up there with the 6 star lines - (seabass on risotto) Palo was also quite good, but I think that as specialty restaurants go - all cruise lines could learn a thing or two from the Olympic on the Celebrity Millenium - still our favorite. Breakfast was so-so, but unless you have a carving station and Champagne with breakfast, you can only offer so much... lunch was a pleasant surprise and was usually terrific. #3. Entertainment - 3a - Adult entertainment - we made it to the piano lounge for an hour one night, and really really enjoyed it. - he played music from the Rat pack, and with a grey goose vodka martini on hand...I could have been on any of our previous boats... However, that was the last bit of " it's your vacation too" Don't kid yourself - this is all about the kids - and it really should be - We wouldn't want to just drop our daughter off and not see her - afterall, what we're paying for is tha ability to vicariously live through her eyes, adn witness the wonder and awe in her face... As far as the kid's entertainment goes - it is top notch. # b. - "kids" entertainment - it really isn't "kids" entertainment, but it does appeal to the kid in you - a specialty of Disney. the shows - Dreams, Villains, Twice charmed - all broadway calibre in our opinions - and we saw Beauty and the Beast and Lion King on Broadway - so I hope that you can trust us when we say that this was Broadway class entertainment. the Character events - worth the price of admission right there - not only was there an abundace of scheduled photo ops, but at the Dance party (do NOT miss) the characters came out into the crowd and actually tried to dance with everyone... Same with the Pirate deck party. The Character interaction was amazing, and really made cruising the better choice than the theme parks for us. #4. Service - again - you have to have expectations in check - There is no pampering and ultra attentiveness the way we got on SB or Az, but none of those waiters/attendants did magic tricks, or had to entertain any children either. The Concierge was very good, and trained in hospitality in Europe. But again, you quickly submit to the fact that it's not about you. the wait staff in the restaurants - agian I think that they do the absolute best they possibly could given the venue. I will say, that I only once had to mention that I would like an Artisanal cheese tray on the menu, and it became a nightly staple. What did I leave out? - not sure, hopefully your questions - should you have any - will fill in the gaps, but it's late now, so I'm off to bed. In summary - the trip was absolutely magical. you can argue up and down whether or not a 3 yr old will lay down the memories to a significant degree, but I and my Wife will never forget some of those moments - and I am sure that enough of them had a significant emotional impact for her that they will be ingrained somewhere in her memory. you cannot put a price on her seeing belle on the floor above her, her waving to Belle, and Belle in return running down the stairs for a hug... I'll trade that for someone brushing the crumbs off of my table any day... It would be interesting to re-experience the cruise with a pre-teen who would want to be away from us as much as possible - this allowing us to see if it can be an adult cruise... but I think that Disney works best as a family with young kids... of course, we are looking forward to our next trip alone...as this really wasn't a 'Vacation'... So overall - great great trip - zero complaints - highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Let's get one thing out of the way before anything else. I am not a big fan of children. They scream, they throw tantrums, they make a mess. And they scream. Did I mention they scream? Their parents are sometimes even worse. So why, ... Read More
Let's get one thing out of the way before anything else. I am not a big fan of children. They scream, they throw tantrums, they make a mess. And they scream. Did I mention they scream? Their parents are sometimes even worse. So why, do you ask, am I taking a Disney cruise? Simple: I love Disney. Despite the crowds, the noise, and the strollers, I have a deep-rooted, incurable love for Mickey and the gang, and the magic of Disney. So here is an unbiased account of the doings aboard the lovely ship called the Disney Magic. EMBARKATION Disney is a well-oiled machine, so I expected their usual perfection in herding the hoards of sheeple quickly and efficiently. I was not disappointed. This could not have gone any smoother. The cheerful guys at the terminal quickly unloaded our luggage and rolled it away almost before I got out of our car. My mother was just getting over a very bad cold, and since it was February, the air had a bit of a bite to it, which made her cough. One of the porters took her by the arm and said, "Let's get you out of the wind," and told the rest of our party where we could find her. That was the typical thoughtfulness expected of Disney cast members, and I knew we were in for an easy time of it. Once inside the terminal (which is enormous), we were directed to the counter without a smidgen of fuss, duly processed, and we boarded the ship based on an assigned number that was called over the intercom every few minutes. I was pleased to see not one, not two, but four "Welcome Aboard" photographer stations, which kept the wait to a minimum and kept the line moving. Our rooms were not ready yet, so the cast directed us to the cafe or the Parrot Cay restaurant for some lunch. And right on schedule, we were settled in our staterooms, and with a blast of the horn (which plays "When You Wish Upon a Star," how completely cool!), we were on our way. THE SHIP I love cruising. It's the best way to travel. Where else can you go to sleep and wake up in a whole new location, and be treated with such lavishness while on board? Heaven! My favorite cruise line is Celebrity, and I found myself comparing the Magic to Celebrity many times on this ship, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I will start with my major complaint, just to get it out of the way: the noise. Good grief, what a racket! The only quiet spots were the adult pool and our staterooms. The main area before dinner -- in front of Lumiere's restaurant, where children could line up to get pictures taken with characters -- was sheer insanity. Picture a hundred screaming kids (either shouting in play or having a meltdown), their equally loud parents, a hundred people trying to talk over each other, and a woman thumping out Disney capers on a piano, and you have the intro to ELO's "Fire on High" combined with a day at the Indy raceway. I wanted to stab my eardrums with a steak knife or beat my head against the wall within 15 minutes. The kid's pool (with the cool slide) was just as loud. I was thinking that the noise outside would be better, but apparently it bounced off the stratosphere and got regurgitated back down onto the ship. We would go up to the deck for lunch, grab something as fast as we could, and run down to the adult pool area. The noise in the restaurants defies description -- a casual conversation resulted in leaning across the table and practically yelling at the person across from you. I don't know if this had something to do with sound-proofing or building materials, or if it's because it's the first Disney ship, or if we just have extra-sensitive ears...but this, for me and my entire family, is where Disney lost a star in their rating. The decor overall - Disney theming definitely beats your standard ship decor, no matter how opulent. If you're a Hidden Mickey junkie, you will be running everywhere to find the famous silhouette; it's everywhere you look -- in the carpets, in the banisters, even in the paintings in the elevator tubes. The ship is showing its age, though -- there were some threadbare carpets, lots of rust out on our verandah, faded or scratched paint, etc. The elevators are surprisingly, remarkably small. If more than 6 adults get on the elevator, an overload alarm sounds -- my family had to turn people away when we were in the elevator because it just managed to take the weight of all of us. We also had a lot of wooden shims tucked between the closet and the ceiling in our stateroom, which made us wonder how loud the creaking was before the shims were in place. Time for dry dock, guys. That didn't stop me from appreciating the overall effect of Disney charm and happiness, though -- I'm certain these things will be fixed in the future. Shopping -- Well, the Magic has only two stores. One Disney store and one ship-themed store. Compared to the miles and multiple levels of shopping delights on other ships, this seems a little disappointing. But hey, think about it -- how many stores of Disney stuff do you really need? And the staff is extraordinary. My sister and I are avid pin traders, and the cashiers went out of their way to complete some of our sets, even digging in the back to find pins we had been looking for for a long time. We were decked out with the 2012 cast lanyard collections before we even got to Disney World, and the Disney World staff was amazed ("Wow, you got the paint can collection already!"). Major kudos to those guys, we had a blast. Shows -- I always avoid cruise line shows. I think they're silly. And I avoided the ones on this cruise as well. But my parents love cruise line shows and always find something positive to say about them, no matter how silly they are. They couldn't say enough good things about the Magic's shows. They said there were more themed shows involving the entire cast, more than they've seen on other cruise lines. (Of course, Disney has more to work with involving themes.) From the pictures I've seen, they look pretty amazing. Now I wish I would have gone. Maybe next time. Because there WILL be a next time. I don't know how many permits and promises and red tape Disney had to go through to get fireworks -- FIREWORKS! -- launched from their ships in the middle of the ocean, but my brain just could not wrap itself around that. Fireworks at sea! For fun! The Pirates in the Caribbean party should not be missed. (I unfortunately did miss it because I fell asleep, of course -- but I heard about it from other members of my family.) The staterooms -- Despite what I said about the shims above, the rooms are really nice! There was lots and lots of space, and tons of shelves, nooks, crannies, and drawers, and the huge, lighted closet had lots of sturdy hangers. There were so many nooks and crannies that I actually forgot about some of my stored items, and ended up leaving behind two shirts and a pair of jeans. Check all those spots, folks! We were fascinated with our stateroom's "split bathroom," meaning there were two rooms, one with a good-sized shower and sink, the other with a toilet and sink. I thought of the number of times on past cruises where I left the room cross-legged in search of facilities because someone was in the shower. This is a stroke of brilliance that I haven't seen on any other cruise line. These aren't in every room; my sister had an "inside" stateroom and she had your usual bathroom -- all facilities in one room. Don't expect it in every stateroom, but it's a nice surprise when you have it. I've always gotten a kick out of towel origami creatures, and our cabin steward was a genius at different critters every day. I was so taken with them that he kept them with us on the entire cruise, making a little menagerie on the couch. Our towel monkey even got a bandanna on his head for the Pirate Night. Excellent. Overall, Disney = 4, Celebrity = 5. Fix that noise problem, guys, and you will give Celebrity a run for their money, guaranteed. DINING Again, Celebrity has always had my top vote for dining experiences. But now they're running neck and neck with the amazing Disney staff! I simply love the rotating restaurant concept -- eat in French-themed Lumiere's one night, then switch to a Caribbean-themed Parrot Cay the next night, and finally on to the fascinating Animator's Palate. All the while, your waiter comes with you. In the spirit of Disney fun, we even got a Character Breakfast one morning, which tickled me to death -- getting reservations for a Character Breakfast at Disney World is a difficult task because they're always sold out. It was a hoot getting our custom-made napkin origami hats and pictures with Mickey and the gang. Our waiters, Louis and Jonathan, were exceptional, and if you are lucky enough to have Kapoor as your maitre d', you can bet that everything will be top shape. My dad loves Cherries Jubilee and always asks for it for dessert whenever we are on a cruise. The Disney Magic didn't have this on their menu and Dad just mentioned to Kapoor that they need to put that on the menu for future cruises. The next evening, Kapoor and our two guys came to our table with Cherries Jubilee that the kitchen made just for Dad. How awesome is that? Gold stars all around. PORTS We took the 7-day Eastern Caribbean tour, and we have been to all the islands before, so we didn't set up any tours. I won't even bother talking about St. Thomas or St. Maarten because I'm sure you can read other peoples' reviews of those two islands (we love them, by the way). What I want to rave about is Castaway Cay. W-O-W! What a beautiful place, a little Disney World in the middle of the Bahamas. Tram cars take you everywhere you need to go on paved roads. There's beautiful scenery, clean white sandy beaches, colorful umbrellas, incredible food, great music...there just isn't enough adjectives to describe this place. It's too bad you can't stay overnight here. I would recommend a Disney cruise just to go to this island, actually. DISEMBARKATION This is where Disney knocked it out of the park for me. I have always dreaded disembarkation. It takes forever on other cruise lines, Celebrity included. But Disney has the power to move the herds of people, and they absolutely shine here. Let me give you comparisons: The night before -- "Get tags for your luggage and set luggage in the hallway before 11pm." All cruise lines do this, nothing new here. The next morning -- "Ship docks at 5am at home port, long before anyone wakes up, and luggage is quickly removed and sorted by room in the baggage pickup area." Nope, this was new for us. Every other ship gets in way past 9 or 10am. And sorted luggage? SORTED? That's a first. "Eat breakfast at whatever restaurant you had dinner at the night before. Bring carryons with you." Really? Nope, every other line I've been on is go eat first, then go back to your room, get your stuff, and proceed to your designated waiting area. "When you're finished with breakfast, feel free to leave the ship." Whaaaaat?! Seriously? No going to the auditorium, or Bar A, or Lobby B, and waiting for an hour or two before your tag color and group is announced on a barely audible speaker system? No fighting people for a place to sit? No wading through a pile of luggage to leave the room? No waiting for all strollers and handicapped people to leave first? No waiting for an elevator because every one of them is jammed to the gills? Nope. Just go. Like you're leaving to go on a tour. We were off the ship in 10 minutes. TEN. MINUTES. How. Freaking. Cool. The staff outside were lined up outside, pointing the way to the baggage pickup area (all wearing Mickey Mouse gloves, naturally). We were met by a cheerful man who took us directly to our area (Grey Daisy Duck) and after asking our cabin number, found all of our luggage for us and put all 20-plus pieces on his cart. We were out by the curb in another 10 minutes. That guy got one hell of a tip and Disney Cruise Line got my forever respect. Every cruise line in the world needs to take a tip from this incredible disembarkation process. I have never seen its equal. Well, there you have it. The only problem I had with Disney Cruise Line was the noise, and even that won't stop me from taking another cruise with them. Celebrity, you have some serious competition. All it takes is faith, and trust, and pixie dust. I'm a fan. I'll be back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We are very big fans of Disney Cruise Lines and 3 of our last 4 cruises have been with DCL. The biggest reason for this comes down to service. The crew and CMs on board the DCL ships we have been on are just there to serve you. We ... Read More
We are very big fans of Disney Cruise Lines and 3 of our last 4 cruises have been with DCL. The biggest reason for this comes down to service. The crew and CMs on board the DCL ships we have been on are just there to serve you. We decided a long time ago that we would skip taking a cruise yearly on other cheaper priced cruise lines to go every other year on DCL. At some point, as our kids get older, we will move on. We flew into Orlando on the 13th, coming from Minnesota in January requires you plan for the worst and leave early. We rented a car from Hertz and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express using some of my points from business travel. We arrived around 11AM, so we had most of the day to kill. We didn't want to go nuts and spend 100s of dollars going to one of the WDW parks so we opted for checking out Downtown Disney. We had a blast. The boys and I went to the Disney Quest, a multi-level arcade facility. Imagine Dave and Busters on steroids. My wife walked and shopped. After a few hours of gaming, we met up with my wife and went to eat. Nice way to spend the day. Embarkation Day, we went back to MCO, dropped off the car, dropped off our luggage at the curb with the DCL staff and went in to get checked in. You do all your check in at the DCL terminal in MCO now, which speeds up your boarding process. We had our KTTW and our bus assignment (we did the transfers) and were on a bus in 20 minutes. 40 minute ride to port and we were in the terminal waiting for our boarding number to be called. We had pre-registered my youngest for the Kids Club so we just walked up to get his wristband, and had our photos taken with Minnie. Soon, out number was called and we were on board and heading up to Topsiders for lunch, yum! We had a DISboard meet and greet on Secret Deck 7 and then back to our rooms to get ready for Muster. Muster went smooth except for the group who decided to show up late, holding up our group to be released. After muster we went to our rooms, unpacked and prepared for Dinner. Our dining team, was great. Wira was our restaurant head server, and our table servers were Vlado assisted by Suittibong (Tony). They were all awesome. Day 1 - At Sea. Lots of exploring the ship. Martini tasting. Swimming. Day 2 - At Sea. See Above. Beer Tasting. Swimming. Movies on Deck. Day 3 - St. Maarten. Loved this port. Pirate party that night was rained out before the big show could finish with Mickey Mouse ziplining to save the day, but they still did the fireworks show, and the pirate buffet was awesome. Day 4 - St. Thomas. We had a lot of fun here going on the Dubloon Sail and Snorkel and getting back to the ship early enough to enjoy it mostly empty, having the pool and a lot of the activity areas to ourselves. Day 5 - At Sea. RR. Swimming. Hot Tubs. Capatin's signing in the gift shop. Day 6 - Castaway Cay. AWESOME day. Perfect weather. The fact that CC has been expanded for the bigger DCL ships made it feel pretty spacious for those of us on the Magic. Plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the beaches without wall to wall people. Day 7 - Disembark. Went smooth. Did the on-board checkin so our bags were taken the night before and we didn't see them until we got back to Minneapolis. Made customs a breeze. Nothing to carry through. Great trip, great service, great memories. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
My husband and I cruised on the Disney Magic without our kids, and I was a little worried that the Disney Magic wasn't the right ship to go on. Fortunately, I had no reason for concern -- there were plenty of things for adults to do. ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the Disney Magic without our kids, and I was a little worried that the Disney Magic wasn't the right ship to go on. Fortunately, I had no reason for concern -- there were plenty of things for adults to do. We absolutely loved almost everything about our trip. In my opinion, there are two big differences between Disney and other cruise lines in the Caribbean. One is the entertainment -- absolutely first class, over the top! The second is the private island -- all you'd want in a tropical paradise without the hassles of the major ports. More details on those later. Embarkation was a breeze. There were tons of helpful employees and hardly any people checking in (we checked in at 2:30). We absolutely loved the special touch of being introduced while stepping onto the ship and having the fake paparazzi pretending to snap photos. Definitely a special greeting! Our room was great. We had a balcony room that was spacious for a cruise ship. I loved that it had two separate bathrooms -- one with a bathtub/shower and sink and the other with a toilet and sink. I don't know if all the rooms are set up this way, but it was really convenient for my husband and I to each have a sink area. The shower was significantly bigger than any other I've ever experienced on a cruise ship. The public areas of the ship are also lovely. The dining rooms are especially attractive. The only space that I was less than impressed with was the sports bar. It was nice, and we enjoyed watching the football game in there, but I would hardly describe it as a sports bar (they could use a little decorating advice from ESPN club). The food was definitely a couple of notches better than what we've experienced on RC and Carnival. The quality was better -- for example, restaurant quality filet of beef on the menu most nights (as opposed to tougher grocery store quality we've experienced on other cruises). We ate at Palo twice, and it was wonderful; well worth the upcharge. The service and food were both equivalent to any very upscale restaurant. My suggestion to future cruisers would be to try Palo at least once. Also, stick to the sit down restaurants for breakfast and lunch -- not just for dinner. The buffet food was very good, but the line was a bit cramped and seating was a little difficult to find. One little touch that I have to comment on -- staff members personally hand everyone at sanitary wipe on the way in to all the restaurants and buffets. Great idea, and I really appreciated the extra effort to keep everyone from getting sick. The staff was absolutely great! I have nothing but exceptionally good things to say about our servers, cabin attendant, and everyone else we encountered on the cruise. Definitely an area that Disney stands out in. The same can be said about the entertainment. Starting with the paparazzi greeting, the entertainment just kept going. Surprisingly, there was a lot of entertainment for adults. I attended origami classes, a cooking class, movies, and two talks by a Disney Imagineer. We watched all three of the full stage productions, and although the subject matter was aimed at kids, we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. They were of the caliber of any show you'd see at Disneyworld -- I don't know how they manage that on a cruise ship! The only part of our cruise that wasn't absolutely outstanding was our shore excursions (I guess because these are third party companies). We did a bus tour on St. Martin that was just average. The tour lady was nice, friendly, and knowledgeable, but it was a bit boring. We did a snorkel cruise on St. Thomas which was better -- the snorkeling at honeymoon beach was great. The only problem was that there were people from other cruise ships on the same excursion, and there were some obnoxiously drunk folks from the Norwegian Epic. I'm still shocked at their behavior. It hadn't hit me until then that one of the pleasant things about the Disney ship is the lack of that type of behavior among the guests. No wet t-shirt contests and constant pushing of alcohol drinks. The final port was the grand finale -- Castaway Cay. It was great! You just walk right off the ship onto this tropical paradise. We headed to the adults only beach, which was huge! Plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas. The bay was just gorgeous -- very shallow, so you can walk out really far. My husband encountered a dolphin; it actually played with him a little. It swam around him and smacked its tail before heading off. Debarkation was also super easy. No lines at all. Just a little sad that the week was over! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Our 2nd Disney Cruise was the seven day Eastern Caribbean over Thanksigving. Overall Disney is first rate and really fosters an amazing family experience. Breaking down the cruise in parts: Service: Absoultely excellent. Tremendous ... Read More
Our 2nd Disney Cruise was the seven day Eastern Caribbean over Thanksigving. Overall Disney is first rate and really fosters an amazing family experience. Breaking down the cruise in parts: Service: Absoultely excellent. Tremendous staff - rotating serving team was awesome...they brought out tomatoes for my son every night knowing he really likes them. Loved the towel animals and turndown service. Staff aboard the ship was always very friendly. Amenities: Plenty to do on the ship during days at sea. Just enought to avoid being bored Dining: This was the only slight negative. Most food was done well, but a few of the meals were misses. Beware of anything disguised as a seafood bisque. Room: We had a 2nd deck oceanview...was VERY quiet even though it was in the proximity of tha bars and lounges. The ship creaked a bit at night though, so I'm wondering if that's a second deck thing or maybe the ship is showing a little age. Ports of Call: LOVED Magens Bay in St. Thomas. Absolutely gorgeous and relaxing. Beautiful, calm blue water. Orient Bay in St. Martin was fun as well, again it's beautiful, though I could have done without all the peddlers on the beach. Some of our co-travelers spotted beachgoers in shall we say less attire (nude beach not too far away). Fortunately for us, we missed all of that. Kids Club: First rate - my son really enjoyed it! Overall, an experience we will treasure. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
On this cruise, we sailed with another couple along with one of their parents and a single friend of ours. Two of the group had never been on a cruise before. The other two had been on Holland America but not on Disney. We had ... Read More
On this cruise, we sailed with another couple along with one of their parents and a single friend of ours. Two of the group had never been on a cruise before. The other two had been on Holland America but not on Disney. We had previously sailed on the Wonder. This trip had been almost a year in the planning and were all greatly looking forward to it. We had used DVC points to pay for the cruise while the others paid cash for theirs. We used hotwire.com for hotel the night before as we had previously done and ended up at the Crown Plaza at the airport. It was okay. The property and the rooms were actually nice but the whole place has a musty, moldy smell to it as others have mentioned and we did notice that as soon as we opened the door to our room. After we were in it a little while and had the air on it wasn't so noticeable. We used Happy Limo for transportation to and from the Port. We had used them before and this time had an actual stretch limo which was a lot of fun. Their service is impeccable and is a better value than using DCL transportation. Embarkation was flawless. As before, we had selected the earliest possible arrival time of 11am. Some of our group had 11:30 but we were told to just present our 11am slip and tell them we were a group. That worked like a charm and we were on board having lunch by noon. We didn't wait in line at all to check in. Just to summarize some key points: Food - I suspect this is true of most cruise lines, but I would give DCL a 'B' overall for food. Some of the food in main dining rooms is great, some not so much. The quick service food by the pool is very much like fast food but tasty none the less. The pizza is good but not great. But if you like a particular style of pizza and that isn't it you will be disappointed. We ate at Palo for the first time and the food and service were spectacular. Public Spaces - This ship isn't new. It is 13 years old and it went through a major dry dock at 10 years old. There are places where you do see some wear and tear, but as another writer said, your house probably has wear and tear as well. We did see them doing some maintenance here and there. I think I was looking at this with a magnifying glass after reading comments on here. There were some surprises - the adult pool area is surrounded in wood and there are places that doesnt' look very good. There are spots where you see rust in small amounts around the ship. We thought there was mold on the ceiling of this one spa room but when we inquired we were told it was rust and they were waiting for a special paint. Is it perfect? NO Is it fine? For us sure. Is it okay given a premium price? I'm going to say that unless a ship is brand new I would think you would see this stuff on most ships. We are on the Dream in February so it will be interesting to compare. Shows - The shows are classic Disney and they are perfection. The audience and us loved them. Nobody can do this better in my opinion. I know RCCL has Chicago and Hairspray and they are probably great for that one show. Drinks - We were pleasantly surprised by drink prices. Typically we found drinks to be priced comparable or less that what we would have paid at a local restaurant. Service - Our service experience was excellent, worth every penny. Our dining team was terrific, the cabin host took care of everything you could imagine. I will also say that with two Disney cruises now under my belt that there is NO pushiness in my opinion from drink servers, photographers, etc. They may ask you if you want a drink but if you say no they just go away and the same one won't likely ask you again at that time. So having said all that I have to take a step back and think about it from an objective place. I know if you are paying cash, DCL is a premium. We are planning a small group cruise in 2013 to western Caribbean and originally I planned on Disney Fantasy. However, I am now considering RCCL Oasis/Allure, as well as the HA Ryndam. They start at around $700 for inside while Fantasy would start around $1100 (both for inside room based on double occupancy). I think for the value comparison it is possible we will use a line other than DCL. I think we'd get comparable food, service, and rooms on the other lines. The entertainment won't be the same. We are a largely kid free group so cannot comment on the kids programs. I know I will sail on DCL again, particularly on the Magic and Wonder. Taking a group and recommending it, I may lean toward a different experience from the value proposition. So, in the end. I love sailing on DCL. Is is perfect all the time? No. But I doubt any cruise line is...I could be wrong though. I will sail on other cruise lines also...trying a 3 night on NCL Sky in 2013 just to try another line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our 9th cruise but first with Disney. There were 10 in our party: 8 adults and our two grandchildren, 7 and 11 years old. Except for my wife and I, everyone else was a first time cruiser. The ship was well maintained, the staff ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise but first with Disney. There were 10 in our party: 8 adults and our two grandchildren, 7 and 11 years old. Except for my wife and I, everyone else was a first time cruiser. The ship was well maintained, the staff and crew were terrific and we all had a great time. The first time cruisers were very impressed but, they had nothing to compare it to. My wife and I, on the other hand, do have a few issues. Food service was less than we expected. Of the seven dinners, only two were very good and the rest were just okay. (Even the two that were very good were not as good as what we've experienced on our last two Holland America cruises.) Most of the food, including breakfast and lunch, was delivered luke warm. I'm baffled by this as the two very good meals were delivered hot. On the plus side, the waiters and assistant waiters were very, very good and especially so for the two kids in our group. We had a lot of fun with them. Disney has rotational dining, where you (and the wait staff) eat in three different restaurants over the course of the cruise. It's not a bad idea but all three had very high noise levels and it made conversation difficult with anyone other than those sitting right next to you. To my surprise, the food in the Topsider Buffet on the Lido deck was pretty good. I'm not a fan of buffets but they did this well and we had most of our breakfasts and lunches there. The only drawback here is the relatively small space available to tables inside the buffet; most of patrons wound up eating on deck and several days were pretty windy. However, if you get there early you can get a seat inside. The nightly floor shows were elaborate and done on a scale we haven't seen on a cruise ship before. The costumes were colorful, the singers and dancers were enthusiastic and very good (I counted 15 cast members in one number, more than any show we've seen previously) and they even had special effects, something else that was new to us. The music was not live but the singing was. All in all, very impressive. Each of the major shows was geared toward the kids (no surprise) and were variations on Disney characters or movies. After a while they seemed repetitive. Some of the non-staff entertainers performed more adult themed shows in the various bars and clubs elsewhere on the ship but they didn't start until after 10 PM. Our last issue was the overall noise levels on the ship. There really weren't any public areas (except perhaps the spa) that were quiet. On the lido deck there was constant Disney music and frequently movies and cartoons being shown on a large video screen. There was an adults only area, Quiet Cove, where the noise levels were less but it was still noisy. Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, was the last stop on our trip and it was very, very nice. Lots of things for everyone to do or, in our case nothing. And, it was pretty quiet where we were. Again, we had a very good time and my comments should not deter you from a Disney cruise, especially if you have children. However, as you would expect, it's geared primarily for them and that part of it is done very well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Disney Magic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 4.2
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.7
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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