17 Disney Magic Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was our first time cruising Disney alone without kids and our 3rd Disney cruise overall. We had an amazing time. I love spending time with the adults only activities, the alcohol tastings, hanging out in the adult sections etc. I ... Read More
This was our first time cruising Disney alone without kids and our 3rd Disney cruise overall. We had an amazing time. I love spending time with the adults only activities, the alcohol tastings, hanging out in the adult sections etc. I have never been on another cruise line for fear of missing the magic, service and cleanliness that Disney brings. We like to see characters in passing, but don't need pictures with them. We like seeing all the cute kids enjoying the magic. We always do first dining because we don't like to be full when we go to bed. I keep hearing first dining is louder or has more kids, which makes sense but we have never been affected by that. I love Disney songs in the hallways, I love Disney shows, the service, the overall atmosphere of Disney. I was worried it wouldn't be as fun without the kids (our kids are late teen's early 20's now). I did miss them, because we love hanging out with them, but it was perfectly fine just the 2 of us. We enjoyed the spa for the first time on this trip. I can't think of a bad thing to say about it. We plan to go again in May 2020. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is our first Disney experience and first cruise with your 3 year old daughter. It was a 5 day Bahamian cruise with one Marvel day at sea. CHECK IN: we were picked up easily in baggage check by a Disney agent holding a sign with ... Read More
This is our first Disney experience and first cruise with your 3 year old daughter. It was a 5 day Bahamian cruise with one Marvel day at sea. CHECK IN: we were picked up easily in baggage check by a Disney agent holding a sign with our name. She quickly got our bags and whisked us away to the Four Seasons Miami in a very comfortable SUV. The transportation (Disney) to the cruise ship was not so easy. We were in a huge bus and had to wait for everyone to get on. When we got to the port, it was very crowded and we were not sure where to go. There was a very long line although we were in concierge level. We are not familiar with cruising so we expected a private check in. But, maybe that's not how concierge cruises go? ROOM: Our room was absolutely gorgeous with a long balcony (not deep though). It was a one bedroom suite with two bathrooms and two showers. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The rocking of the ship made it very easy to sleep. Our room was kept tidy and we had special treats every night by Ferdie. He was great and very friendly and eager to please. The mini bar was convenient as we always had sparkling water and other drinks available. Concierge made sure we had the drinks we specifically wanted. We put the baby in a crib and she fit nicely next to our room and we still had our own space. CONCIERGE: I cannot imagine what this first experience would have been like without the concierge team: Emanuela, Kamesha and Amanda and help from staff, Hikmet, Nicholas and Jermain. We needed a lot of "hand holding" as we had not had any cruise experience on a ship this big. I expressed my concerns to Emanuela the first day and although I was a bit tired and frustrated after a long day of travel and some confusion, she was very, very patient and understanding and put me at ease and guided me through everything I needed to know. Every day, one of the team members would go through the itinerary with me and I greatly appreciated it. Kamesha and Amanda made Jacqueline my 3 year old feel very welcome and comfortable. They were able to get her the non dairy milk that I had requested and also the sparkling mineral water. We were able to get a last minute reservation at Palo which was absolutely incredible. FOOD: We ate at Lumiere's, Animator's Palate, and Rapunzel's Table. Our servers were Munir, Steve and Gerardo. Gerardo is very good at magic tricks and kept Jacqueline entertained. The dinner was great and food was very good with lots of choices. I only eat seafood but always found something I liked. On the Disney Magic, dinner is not just food, it's a show, a whole production. This was the first time, 5 days in a row our daughter sat at dinner and did not want to watch the ipad. The first night, she was very tired and crying though..Munir was so sympathetic and ran to get her a stuffed puppy. It cheered her up right away. Steve was always there to help us make great choices on dishes and he quickly learned our likes and dislikes. PALO: Palo is the adults only italian restaurant. It is a must do. Mehmet was our server and he had me almost in tears laughing. Dinner was so great. We had the Osso Bucco and the Dover Sole. CABANAS: this is the buffet option which we chose for breakfast and most lunches. It is excellent with a wide variety of choices and something different every day. The staff is excellent. Alexandru was so caring one morning when my daughter insisted on strawberry ice cream. He went out of his way to get it for her. Bee was so helpful and helped me carry my plate as I had my daughter in both arms. CASTAWAY CAY: This is Disney's private island and it is absolutely spectacular. It is so beautiful and serene. We stayed in cabana 14 and this is a perfect location right across from the washrooms. The beach was calm with no waves and white sand. the water was crystal clear. It is almost like a dream. The only place more beautiful than this was our trip to Bora Bora. I do have to mention that some of the staff i.e. the driver of the train and one of the golf cart drivers were not representative of Disney standard. not friendly. not helpful. short. gruff. SHOWS: We were only able to stay up for one show which was Dreams. This was the first time she ever watched a show from beginning to end with no coaxing. She was completely enthralled with her eyes glued to the stage. CHARACTERS: The character meet and greets come with long lines but I realized that this is going to be unavoidable on a cruise..lines....lines to get out...lines to get on the ship, lines to see characters, lines to go to eat. lines. but, it was worth the wait for the memories. Jacqueline had several unforgettable memories. On two separate occasions, she ran into Ariel and Sophia. They were both so endearing and played with her and held her hand and walked around the ship with her for quite a while. It really made her trip. These are memories she will keep with her. We took videos. OCEANEER'S CLUB: This is the part I was the most disappointed in. Although, it turned out well on the last try. We tried 3 times to get our daughter to go to the club, but she just would not go the first two times. The first time was not a good first impression. When we walked in, the girl at the check in was not very friendly or welcoming and seemed like she just didn't want to be there and had already had too long of a day and just wanted us to go away. I asked if I could walk my daughter in and this was not allowed. I came by 20 minutes after i dropped her off and she was wandering around by herself. The second time we tried, she cried again. The third time, luckily, we met Sophy. She was very helpful, patient and understanding. She let me walk Jacqueline around and get her acquainted. She requested for someone to come to her to help her get comfortable and we got Nic. She asked Jacqueline if she wanted to do face painting and she quickly went to her. That's all it took. I wish we had met Sophy and Nic on the first day. Other friends have said that their kids did not want to leave kids club, but our experience was totally the opposite. I did not see the big hype here. Hopefully, we have a better experience on our next cruise. CHECK OUT: We had to get on a big bus again. I sat in the back because they fill the bus up so that there are absolutely no seats empty. I had motion sickness. My only suggestion would be to have an option for private transportation. I really enjoyed the bags checked through from ship to destination. That was very helpful. We will definitely try this again. We will stick to the one bedroom suite. It is a perfect location in midship room 8022. It is one floor below all the action at the pool and just below concierge lounge. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Everyone was telling us how incredible the Disney cruises were, so we paid a premium price to take our daughter (7r old) and took off. It was a good cruise. But nothing to write home about. We've been on Princess twice and those ships ... Read More
Everyone was telling us how incredible the Disney cruises were, so we paid a premium price to take our daughter (7r old) and took off. It was a good cruise. But nothing to write home about. We've been on Princess twice and those ships were better. Customer Service on the ship and cleanliness are what stands out for Disney. The biggest issue was the pools are ship, layout are small and terrible. And then get this, the waters were slightly rocky so the captain decided not to visit one of our ports - Grand Cayman! Seriously?? They could have at least tried to compensate us in some way but refused (visit another island, voucher, etc). When I called customer service after the cruise, she flatly said no they wouldnt do anything to make up for this. I was annoyed. Also the food was lukewarm during dinners because they've expanded their restaurants to hold more pple. Great decor but mediocre food. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my 8th DCL cruise and my third time on the Magic. I just adore this classic ship. The larger ones are nice, but not intimate like the Magic and Wonder. We noticed our last cruise on the Magic had a bit of a tired menu and the ... Read More
This was my 8th DCL cruise and my third time on the Magic. I just adore this classic ship. The larger ones are nice, but not intimate like the Magic and Wonder. We noticed our last cruise on the Magic had a bit of a tired menu and the cooking seemed 'off'. This cruise was not the case. We had many new menu options and the quality of the food was really good. Shore excursions included a regatta in Cozumel that was very good for the price - I'd do that one again. Our cabin was in fine shape, but there were parts of the ship that seemed like they needed a bit of paint. It wasn't a distraction; perhaps I am simply picky since I am used to DCL being pristine. Service on DCL is unparalleled. It's just that good. Everyone seems genuinely interested in making sure you are having fun. Entertainment for adults is not lacking on DCL. We attended 'Match Your Mate' which is hilarious, spent time in all of the bars, saw an adult ventriloquist, and a great group called 'The Fly Boys'. They are worth seeking out in another realm outside of a cruise ship. We have done DCL with and without kids. It's great fun either way. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
the ship was fanastic the shows was reallly good and reallly Invested invested a lot of thought about the shows was a restaurant cabanas while I liked because it Bofmh and Afsrlraot what you take varnish and I loved the restaurant Inimator ... Read More
the ship was fanastic the shows was reallly good and reallly Invested invested a lot of thought about the shows was a restaurant cabanas while I liked because it Bofmh and Afsrlraot what you take varnish and I loved the restaurant Inimator palace food is very tasty and restaurants investments tours were very interesting and told a lot of information about the places we visited service was excellent illustrations were very teaspoons and very considerate was Sheehy six frozen night because the wind so it really was a freezing night and I loved it all at the party details and finally the show (disney dreams) it was great show and it was inrsitng show the movies how been in the show: ppinocchio, toy story , cinderella , simba the king lion , frozen, peter pen and fainally the talk mickey and minnie i very like the show i don't know how in another cruise but disney is Special and I hope that star wars don't take disney from 10 i give 12 the cruise is very good! and the stateroom was good and comfortable ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I wished I had booked a longer cruise on Disney, but sadly we couldn't afford it. My husband, myself and our 4 year old son were on the Disney Magic for our honeymoon. The ship was very clean and mostly well organized. Our host was ... Read More
I wished I had booked a longer cruise on Disney, but sadly we couldn't afford it. My husband, myself and our 4 year old son were on the Disney Magic for our honeymoon. The ship was very clean and mostly well organized. Our host was very nice and friendly. The only issue with our stateroom was we kept bumping into the bed as the space between the bed and the wall is minimal. I was excited that we had a tub for our son, but the water leaked out very quickly. I don't know if this is normal or not. Dining was great. The food was pretty good most of the time. Palo was amazing. Our wait staff was fantastic. I don't know if anyone can ever top them. The shows were pretty good, but I wished there were more show times for the movies in the theatre. Service was mostly good, but there were a couple of interactions that were unDisneylike. The shore excursions were pretty poor. I don't know if this is the same for all cruise lines (because this was our first cruise) but I really wasn't impressed for the money we paid. We did love Castaway Cay. The water was clear blue. Our son LOVED the Oceaneer Club, but not the Oceaneer Lab. He literally cried when we left the ship. Embarkation was perfect and disembarkation was faster than expected. Overall, I would love to take another cruise, but I don't think it will be for a long time because of the cost. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
DH and I made this our 6th DCL cruise on Magic Dec. 23 - 27. It was just the two of us and as a couple who usually travels with others or MANY others, this was a nice reprieve. Here is a few thoughts... In no order whatsoever!! The ... Read More
DH and I made this our 6th DCL cruise on Magic Dec. 23 - 27. It was just the two of us and as a couple who usually travels with others or MANY others, this was a nice reprieve. Here is a few thoughts... In no order whatsoever!! The ship is lovely. I didn't find it run down, worn or full of strange smells. The crew is VERY proud of their ship and will continually tell you it is the BEST. The Christmas decorations were perfect, not too much and never in your face. Classic and beautiful. Palo is a must do. We did dinner and brunch and will never miss either, if we can help it!! Lamb at dinner is phenomenal as were the lobster pasta, mushroom risotto and the beef tenderloin. At brunch, the chicken parm is a big hit but the frittata is also excellent. Skip the desserts and go back for the sticky cinnamon rolls. Yummy. Jane was our server both times (by request for brunch after dinner!!) and she was superb. The adult entertainment is seriously lacking. While Jo the Entertainment host tries super hard and the games/game shows are fun and well organized, the actual entertainment for adults is sad. The magician was downright bad and the musicians certainly aren't stellar. Entertainment aboard other ships is FAR superior. However, Tangled is the BEST SHOW I have ever seen onboard a ship. Hopefully this is the future of DCL entertainment. Castaway is as always, beautiful. We had a cabana this time for the 2 of us. I know, excessive. And while it was pampering at its finest and comes with some lovely perks, it just isn't necessary. Ran the 5k and we did a bike ride for the first time as well and really enjoyed it. Lunch was good but nothing special about it. Had several frozen drinks which are always good and enjoyed the fantastic weather. Unseasonably warm winter was fine with us!! The low tide mid day made for some cool sand bar experiences on Serenity. Key West. We went to Blue Heaven for breakfast and had lobster eggs benny, shrimp omelet and key lime pie. All 3 were stellar. This is a must do for breakfast lovers, seafood lovers and key lime pie lovers. IT WAS AWESOME. Get there early, it gets packed. We then went to Hemingway house and did the tour. A great stop and we aren't big readers but it was interesting and fun. Great guide too. Worth the price of admission to see the 6 toed cats. Walked every inch of Key West after that...saw the southern most point and the cemetery. Both are skips in my opinion. Missed Truman Home...next time. Stopped at B.O's fish wagon and split a fried grouper sandwich. Good but not great. Another skip if ya ask me. Christmas Day!! We had a special dinner menu and the Chilean Sea Bass on that menu was the best entrée item I have ever had in a MDR. We played bingo 3 times and won twice!!, saw Star Wars in 3D and Bridge of Spies. We had a great time...feel free to ask questions. We stayed 3 nights prior to the cruise in Ft Lauderdale. We did a Segway tour there, enjoyed the beaches, shops and restaurants. Wasn't impressed with Las Olas and nightlife is a snore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Background Information Last year on the Mediterranean DCL cruise, we played with the idea of booking a new trip onboard, this time to Norway. The idea nearly felt a bit preposterous - as we were both native Norwegians living in Norway - ... Read More
Background Information Last year on the Mediterranean DCL cruise, we played with the idea of booking a new trip onboard, this time to Norway. The idea nearly felt a bit preposterous - as we were both native Norwegians living in Norway - should we really do a Disney Cruise to our own homeland? Then again, thousands of Norwegians travel the coast of Norway with Hurtigruten, so why should going with the award winning DCL be any less of a choice? Thus, we booked this June 6th inaugural sailing to our "own" Norwegian fjords. We had to go first to Copenhagen, Denmark, to embark the Disney Magic. Travel To Port of Embarkation We took the transportation ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen the day before the cruise, arriving the morning of the first cruise day. The Norway-Denmark ferry is rather far away from where the port of the Disney ship (5+ kilometers), and taxis were few and far between. We were waiting in line for nearly an hour, and had no Danish currency to pay for the bus. Finally, several taxis showed up, and we could relieve some stress as we were taken to our "final" destination, the Disney Magic. The taxi was less expensive than in Norway. Checking in was pleasant, as we were met with the regular (in other words, wonderful) cheery Disney service. We had not received our luggage tags in the mail (do to an oddness of more than one address registered in the DCL systems), and could not find the registration print-outs we were supposed to have at check-in. Luckily, this is not a problem, and all things were taken care of swiftly. Stateroom As we are budget travelers for the moment, I had asked the booking agent to "give us the most affordable stateroom she had". Which was both spacious and comfortable enough for our liking. We didn't spend much time there anyway. The bathroom was not split this time (we still survived), and the tub is really tiny. I did notice some wear and tear in the bathroom, which is unfortunately expected, especially when running water is involved. Ship Info The Disney Magic is one of the two older DCL ships. Everything looks (and is) clean, polished, and working seamlessly. We have started to avoid visits to the spa, however, because of the disappointing visit last year. It's dark (inside, now windows), showers are broken, and in stark contrast to the Disney Fantasy, where it's simply amazing. There is a certain scent to some of the hallways outside the restaurants which I can never place - it's distinctly "Disney food scent" or perhaps it's the scent of Florida. Who knows. It is ALWAYS a thrill to enter the now familiar atrium with the Mickey statue and chandeliers. That is in my opinion the heart of the ship. The bars are great, and as always, there is absolutely no awkwardness in being a childfree couple on a Disney cruise. This cruise line really caters to all sorts of families - and singles. Dining Animator's Palate is always a thrill. On the main show night (yes, it is a show with a dinner), we were seated with a delightful couple that provided "wow factor" animated figures. I always try to make grotesque figures. Food was good, although I was surprised at some of the "regional inspirations". Norway has a far better cuisine than I could trace here, so although tasty and well done, it could have been even more Norwegian fare. Oh well. Lumiere's is in my opinion just okay as a restaurant, and Cariocas is downright almost boring (as a location). The food in every location, however, is excellent. If you leave this cruise hungry, you have not been on a cruise. We also ate at Palo (with our great Facebook pre-cruise group!), yet another delightful experience. Palo is a must. I am glad it's only available on the Disney cruise ships... The rotational dining system is nice, as always. The Coconut Tres Leches cake at Cariocas which was drenched in a caramel sauce last year was a disappointment this time around. Come on, DCL, gimme more caramel! Oh and breakfasts at Cabanas were better than ever before, I think! Very tasty food. Kudos for no dry pancakes this time. I almost prefer this to the Lumiere's breakfast, which is nearly dull in comparison. Activities Because weather was fairly cold (unusual for this time of the year - May and early June was below normal temperature wise), we only used the adult pool once on the final sea day. Usually I am crazy about the pool, but this time we huddled with lots of provided fleece blankets and read books on deck. Cove Cafe provides cakes, food is of course omnipresent, and we brought our own coffee travel mugs (the Bodum french press kind) because the DCL coffee is, well, not as good as we are used to. We also did the Tequila Tasting, Margarita and Caipirinhia Tasting, and Chocolate and Liquor Tasting. All good fun. We do these on every cruise anyway. Additionally, we attended the Anna's Chocolate Hunt or whatever it was called. We saw families, both adults and children, doing this. The rice crispie treat we got didn't exactly meet our expectation of an award for a "chocolate hunt". I think it had white chocolate on it... oh well, no biggie. We tend to really enjoy relaxing on deck with a drink and a book. Service Disney service is usually above and beyond. It is always promptly and excellently delivered, so we were happy. It's one of the delights you get to indulge yourself with when on a Disney cruise. I have to say it is great to be recognized an entire year later by cast members. Entertainment I finally got to see Twice Charmed! I loved it, what an excellent show! Although every show is great, I found the "welcome aboard" part a bit strange. They could have regionalized it more - this wasn't the Med or the Caribbean. I have to say, the Frozen part of Disney Dreams - An Enchanted Classic, was INCREDIBLE! I was not expecting much as I am already very tired of Frozen, but wow, this was amazing. They have added effects for this part, also with the Lion King bit. Well worth the watch! Villains Tonight! was fun yet again. We watched Clara Oman singing and playing the piano each night at Keys. The Frozen Deck Party was really nothing to write home about. Home being Norway, the place that inspired Frozen. No fireworks (which is okay), but not very funny or entertaining either. So many missed opportunities. We rarely interact with characters, although this time Mickey, Minnie and Daisy wore Norwegian costumes (bunads), and Goofy was dressed in Viking gear! The non-Disney show The Magic of Light was also great! Kind of a strange storyline, but still not something you would want to miss! Port & Shore Excursions The Port Adventures we did through Disney. We did the Lysefjord Cruise (SV01) from where you get to see Prekestolen (The Pulpit Rock) from underneath. It really shows high far up and gigantic this vista is! Several spectacular views on this trip. Also, we did the Iconic Norway By Train And Bus (BG36) from Bergen to Flåm, Voss, and Stalheim Hotel, where we were served a buffet lunch (it was okay). Would do the last one again in a heartbeat. People said they wish we had more time at the different stops. In Ålesund we walked up to Aksla by ourselves, and went to the Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium. Unfortunately, we were met with a very rude and unpleasant service upon entering the aquarium. It made the wolffish on display seem friendly. Luckily, the guy in the shop was nice when we left later on. The Stavanger Oil Museum was just okay. It seems dated to me. Disembarkation On disembarkation day we were just sad. Having met so many great people, it's sad to know you won't be seeing them again for a while, if at all! We went with newfound friends to Tivoli Gardens in the middle of Copenhagen (I have been many times as a child) and enjoyed a splendy sunny half-day there. You don't need a lot of time to do most things they offer - but at least try the gigantic Danish ice creams "with everything". Summary To quote Walt Disney: “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality”. Whether it is the cast members or other guests, we always feel exceptionally lucky to be surrounded by so many friendly, interesting, and nice people. We meet new friends from all over the world (oh who am I kidding - it's mostly Americans), and make wonderful memories together. So is a Norwegian Disney cruise worth it for Norwegians - and everyone else? Only if you love life, and all of the above. Come on. Of course it is. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first cruise and our family had a terrific time on the Disney Magic. The ship is 17 years old and the condition and cleanliness of the ship was impeccable. The staff was just what I expected from the Disney family, fun, ... Read More
This was our first cruise and our family had a terrific time on the Disney Magic. The ship is 17 years old and the condition and cleanliness of the ship was impeccable. The staff was just what I expected from the Disney family, fun, courteous, friendly, and always accommodating. Our waiter staff for dinner service was great. Edward was from England and Putu was from Indonesia and they always exceeded our expectations. They would finish off each meal with a some sort clever finale. Whether it was a Magic trick, origami, making napkin hats, or just a nice farewell note. We found ourselves looking forward to going to dinner to more acquainted more with Edward and Putu each night. Both of them were genuine and were sad to say goodbye on our last day. The entertainment was unbelievable. Great live shows, comics, ventriloquist, and entertainment staff(especially Katie from England). We went to amost every live stage production and the quality of the productions is equivalent to Broadway productions. The cruise director Brent Davies was exceptional. His energy level was contagious and you could tell he truly enjoyed making everyone's experience truly Magic. Our family will definitely be booking another cruise with Disney in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We sailed in celebration of our tenth anniversary,along with a dear friend who lives in Orlando. We had two cabins. This was my second, our friend's 11th and my husband's first cruise. We loved it. We were on the ... Read More
We sailed in celebration of our tenth anniversary,along with a dear friend who lives in Orlando. We had two cabins. This was my second, our friend's 11th and my husband's first cruise. We loved it. We were on the Disney Magic on the 6th deck, in inside cabins. That part I would do differently on another cruise. I missed seeing the outside and felt a little trapped at night in the utter darkness of the inside cabin. It would be fine if we were never in the cabin, but we did spend enough time there to make the lack of a deck or porthole noticeable. The room was minuscule, but worked for just two people in ours through careful unpacking and organzing. The closet was almost too big. I would have loved some drawers in there instead. The food was excellent in the general restaurants and in Palo, where we dined one night. We chose the second seating. 8:15 was late for dinner for us, but it was relaxed without feeling the pressure of another group coming in behind, and I am sure there were fewer children up that late, making it dinner much calmer. Traveling as an adult group was fun. We kept busy enough, with down time when we wanted it and lots of places with quiet away from children when that was desired as well. The adult pool was crowded on our trip. And deck chairs anywhere were hard to come by. We usually found a some for the three of us after 10-15 minutes of scouring the ship. Castaway Cay was our favorite stop. The island is well thought out and staged, with lots to do from bikes and hikes to just sitting in the sun on the lovely beaches. We brought our own snorkeling equipment. It was much cheaper than the cost to rent on the island. The other two stops, Cozumel and Grand Cayman, felt like places to shop for merchandise made in China. None of the excursions offered really appealed to us. We were less than thrilled with our time on those islands and quickly headed back on the Magic. I think you have to have a sense of whimsy to sail as an adult on a Disney cruise. We are all Disney lovers. We are not drinkers, so avoided the bars and discos, but they do exist for adults interested in that sort of thing. We had our pictures taken with Disney characters, watched movies (including a just released in theaters that day comic book movie) and enjoyed the shows quite a bit. On a separate note, we were very grateful to the Disney team in helping us with a medical issue. My husband takes a daily injection that has to be kept uniformly cool. We were warned that the refrigerators in room were not designed to stay at a steady temp. They kept his medicine in a behind the scenes refrigerator that would protect the temp, and were very gracious about getting it for him each night. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We surprised my niece on Christmas 2013 with a Disney cruise as part of her present from Santa. She was so excited to go, but obviously she had to wait a few months. The magic started before we even went onboard the Disney Magic - Whilst ... Read More
We surprised my niece on Christmas 2013 with a Disney cruise as part of her present from Santa. She was so excited to go, but obviously she had to wait a few months. The magic started before we even went onboard the Disney Magic - Whilst waiting to go onboard, we were greeted by Mickey Mouse who took a photo with our niece. Once we were onboard, she was provided with a wristband that would track where she was incase anything happened... She LOVED the play areas which were safe, friendly and full of fun and entertaining activities. At dinner we had a lovely assistant waitress - Sammy Della Porta; she made our cruise 100x more magical. She was so loving and friendly... She adored our niece and made her feel so comfortable and happy. Our stateroom was always super clean thanks to our stateroom attendant - Isai Reyes Calvo who was lovely to speak to aswell. The only thing I think could be improved is the Disney shop even though my niece bought 3 fancy dresses from there, they were lacking in some products and once the ones on the shelves were sold, that was it - They didn't have spare ones in a store (especially the ever so popular Frozen items!) I recommend this for anyone with children aged 3+ which is the age where you can leave them in the playroom as they enjoy it so much and it also gives you some time to relax. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
BACKGROUND INFO As our choice of Disney Cruise Line last year was such a success last summer (Western Caribbean), we booked this Mediterranean cruise onboard the last time. We are a male married couple (33 and 36) from Norway. HOTEL ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFO As our choice of Disney Cruise Line last year was such a success last summer (Western Caribbean), we booked this Mediterranean cruise onboard the last time. We are a male married couple (33 and 36) from Norway. HOTEL INFO We arrived at Barcelona late morning the day before the cruise, and headed straight to Hotel Miramar (got it through Hotwire! Excellent choice!). I am sure the hotel has the most splendid view of Barcelona in the entire city. There were people coming up to our hotel just to check out the view. It is also fairly close to the cruise port (5-10 min cab ride). I'd rate it 8/10, mostly because they didn't follow up on some of the requests I had (I asked for a little more shower gel, never got it). Will recommend anyway! They gave us free Cava when we checked in. Barcelona, by the way, is amazing! Consider staying there for an extra 2-3 days if this is your port of embarkation. TRAVEL TO PORT OF EMBARKATION We did not book any Disney transport this time, as I would rather do the Magical Express coach when in Florida. Taxi was rather cheap, and the port is easy to get to and visible from the Hotel Miramar. I would not recommend walking there if you carry a lot of luggage (which, and let's be honest - if you're going on a 12-night cruise - you will). SHIP INFO The Disney Magic is one of the two oldest in the Disney cruise ship fleet. It was renovated summer 2013, and despite some elements they probably couldn't and wouldn't change, it was spotless. Nothing seemed worn, which is a major plus. I can unfortunately not compare it to how it was pre-refurbishment. Despite being significantly smaller than the Disney Fantasy, there still will be a lot of walking! I did wish the adult outside area was larger, but I might just have got spoiled from the Fantasy. Theming is good, perhaps a tad less than on the Fantasy? Still, it's Disney standard so you won't notice unless you are very picky, like me. Walking into ship on the first day really felt like "coming home". STATEROOM Having a stateroom with "only" a large porthole window felt slightly less luxurious compared to last year’s choice with a veranda. Price was the deciding factor. Plenty of space, and the standard split bathroom, were both a plus. I did not expect the tub to look so worn! Either they didn’t change it during the 2013 renovation, or it had suffered heavy use since then. Our stateroom host and staff kept it immaculately clean at all times – I almost felt bad. A minor leak/spill in the bathroom (we guessed from a drain maybe) was fixed and cleaned promptly. I don’t think it even took 5 minutes. The only negative thing I will say was that the bathroom had a distinct unpleasant odor when we arrived. I believe the staff fixed this quickly, as it went away. DINING We were yet again treated to the pleasantness of the Disney Dining Rotation, and paired at table 32 with two other couples, one from the US and the other from Australia. Just like last year, we felt it was a perfect match. These were funny, sociable, and pleasant people to dine with every night. Our servers were Sana from Indonesia and Joy Vusani from South Africa. They were both poured from Disney’s finest Service Excellence bottle. Rarely have we been taken so well care of. You know that when you hug your waiter on the last day of the cruise. Joy’s catchphrases were “Certainly!” and “May I?” We are certain to request her should she still work for Disney Cruise Line next year. Our server at Palo, Mirko, had a gleam in his eye (we dined there twice), and treated us royally. As for the restaurants: Animator’s Palate is probably the crown jewels of the fleet. I have to say I do prefer the old black-and-white style to the Fantasy AP version. Lumiere’s is a nice restaurant, but lack the incredible splendor and luxuriousness of Royal Court on the Fantasy. The theme is Beauty and the Beast, and it could easily do with some more magical effects to make it “pop!”. We were underwhelmed by Cariocas. While it is a nice restaurant, the food is just okay, and I don’t get the South American theme. It did have one of the best desserts though! Palo, while a bit smaller than on the Fantasy, serves perfect food in a perfect setting and with flavors to die for. Everything has just the right texture, temperature, spicing, and garnish. Do not miss out on either brunch (buffet style serving) or dinner (table service). We did also have pizza from Pinocchio’s Pizzeria (freshly made from scratch, of course), assorted wraps, cheeseburgers and fries from the outside deck area quick service restaurants. All as good as you can expect. The 24 hour included room service was swift and delightful. The drink stations on deck 9 were great, as expected. Breakfast was normally served at Cabanas, as it was the first thing to open in the morning. Sadly we only got to try table service breakfast once during the cruise, at Lumiere’s. Oh – and Disney! Here’s something to improve – get better croissants! We get better frozen ones from the grocery store! ACTIVITIES We did feel like the ship had fewer activities than on the Fantasy. This was never a problem, and our Port Adventures were often from early morning until late afternoon, so all we managed to make was usually the show of the night and then dinner. After that we were almost exhausted. We did, however, find time to do some activities such as Mixology, Whiskey Tasting, Chocolate and Liquor Tasting, and Tequila and Margarita Tasting. These were somewhat less interactive than on the Fantasy – some of the drinks in Mixology were already mixed? It was confusing. Otherwise, a lot of fun. Pro-tip: Sign up for classes the moment you get on the ship! No joke! We also found time to try the spa. Unfortunately, the cheap spa visit option is not to be recommended. Half of the showers didn’t even work (!), and one of the saunas was so hot I couldn’t stay there more than a minute. It’s dark and gloomy compared to the Fantasy, and we will skip it next year. It is not up to Disney standards, which is odd even though it’s outsourced. SERVICE Of course you will be engulfed in the Disney Difference that only Disney can provide. Every person you encounter will greet you, smile at you, and make you feel noticed. I must say, though, after having roamed the stateroom halls a few times (Fish Extender business if you’re into the tradition), the endless greetings and “Hello sir, how are you?” tend to bend over to the tiresome side. I am sure some of them asked me two or three times in the same day. Having 10-15 people ask you how your day is… well, they need to work that out. People everywhere will smile at you, and brighten your day at every turn. From the constant cleaning to the cruise director – they all dance around in an orchestrated and cohesive experience that is sure to melt the coldest of hearts. A curious note: When reentering the ship with our Key to the World cards, they had our face pictures on file from last year! That’s quite impressive! ENTERTAINMENT The shows are still great, just as we hoped for. Unfortunately some of the voice talents were a little lacking this time. The “All Aboard: Let the Magic Begin” was forgivably expected (“you’re on a Disney cruise!”), but “Villains Tonight!” was great fun! “Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic” was beautiful (also award winning!), but I think they should have switched the actress that played the main character with the actress that sung Circle of Life. She could have had her own show, singing the entire Lion King soundtrack, and no one would ever question why! We MISSED “Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story” (due to some of the activities mentioned earlier), and also the main show at Animator’s Palate. It kind of crushed my soul. A musical show by Kerry Butler (who I had no previous knowledge of), a French juggler show, and random character appearances (random to me, as I don’t really look up their showtimes) spiced up the remainder of our free time. Pirate Night is great, but mostly for the kids. I did enjoy the fireworks, naturally. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS Unlike last year, every Port Adventure (shore excursion) was a good choice this time. Our least favorite must have been the Dassia Beach Package on Corfu (from what we understood, Glyphada Beach is a much better choice). The Mediterranean was surprisingly cold for swim – and I’m from Norway! Weather was 90% amazing, except for our day in Rome. We booked and did most excursions through DCL so that we wouldn’t be stuck in any port, being our first Mediterranean cruise. The only non-DCL activity we did was Crawling Through Venice’s Cicchetti Pubs through Rick Steves. Highly recommended! DISEMBARKATION There comes a time when all good things come to an end, and a Disney cruise is no exception. We had a final breakfast, this time in Lumiere’s, and brought our suitcases with us when leaving through Venice. A short cab ride (they are right next to the cruise terminal) brought us to Marco Polo, the Venice airport. All stateroom charges have been charged to our credit cards, so after filling out a short survey and tipping our servers and hosts, we could leave the ship without a care in the world. SUMMARY Mind you: Disney Cruise Line does not do any marketing in Norway. Apparently, they don’t need to, as their ships are pretty much full to capacity on every itinerary. They cater mostly to Americans, meaning the ship is as good as devoid of any Scandinavians but us. It’s odd – given that DCL is an award winning cruise line company – but we’ve come to enjoy some time off from our fellow countrymen and neighbors. We booked a new cruise for next year – this time, 7 nights along the Norwegian fjords! See you all real soon! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
A quick note about embarkation, we stayed and did some park days prior and then got to port (we park offsite), had a fine experience getting our shuttle and getting to port and getting right on. We were eating lunch on deck by 12:30 and if ... Read More
A quick note about embarkation, we stayed and did some park days prior and then got to port (we park offsite), had a fine experience getting our shuttle and getting to port and getting right on. We were eating lunch on deck by 12:30 and if we had gotten out earlier, we could have been on even earlier than that. Embarkation at Port Canaveral is a breeze, even with a crowd. This was our second Disney cruise, and one that we planned far in advance (as opposed to the first one on the Dream last year which was short notice and we didn't know a lot of what to expect.) Our 2013 Dream blew us away so we booked a 4 night this year on the updated Magic. Because we loved our Blue Lagoon Sea Lion experience at Nassau so much, we decided to do over the same itinerary as last year, and both islands again wowed us. (Nassau and Castaway Cay.) As for our cruise experience, overall, its definitely in one of my top cruises. A big part of this is due to the incredible staff we experienced all over the ship. Special kudos to their Adult Cruise Entertainment Director Andy from England. From the very first 80s themed night and Magic "Quest", he and his crew had us literally (and I mean quite literally!) rolling all over the floor in absolutely laughter. It was one of the funniest nights of our life. It was wonderful that Disney had the adults only entertainment that was top notch without needing 4 letter words or getting a bit too uncomfortable. Perfect balance here. We actually spent time every single evening in the AfterHours area in O'Gills Pub (with trivia, and also had a wonderful nacho, veggie and dip and appetizer bar which helped get us to our 8:15 dinner), and Keys (incredible pianists and very relaxing and the best Martini our friends had ever had), and Fathoms (with karaoke, or game shows, or dance club, or trivia, or bingo, a little bit of everything.) Continuing on the Entertainment theme, should be a very special mention for the Twice Charmed stage show. This show currently sits in my top favorite due to its high end look and feel (even though it is about Cinderella, it wasn't overly juvenile). I felt like I was watching a colorful, perky version of Cinderella meets Les Mis, that is how good the caliber of talent was. The set and costumes were top notch. Prince Charming, is this guy for real!? 5 Stars there alone for him! :) A close second was the very enjoyable but somewhat more juvenile Disney Dreams stage show. Big applause goes to their Peter Pan, who committed every minute to his character. I would have loved to play all night in my room with him like Ann Marie did. All the talent in this one was good also, and lots of good effects. It was like every Disney movie you have ever watched: Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Peter Pan, Pinnochio, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and so on. Definitely not one to miss, but slightly less appealing to me than Twice Charmed. If you like Disney parades, you would like this show. It had a staged parade feel to me with all the characters. Very fun and a great way to the end the cruise. In third place was the variety ventriloquist who had the kids laughing in the aisles (and we enjoyed it too.) A very distant fourth place mention goes to the Magic version of Villains Tonight! We had seen this show on the Dream, and its set and talent were quite a bit better (nothing against Ursula or Cruella though). It seems like they needed something to fill the night, and it wasn't nearly as elaborately done as the Dream version. Hades did carry his roll and there were laughs, but I was glad that they placed it on the opening show night, since it got dramatically better from there. Unfortunately some of our group who went to Villains didn't bother coming back to Twice Charmed the next day, which as you can tell, I find very unfortunate! Since that was the star for me. Still, anyone of these shows blows away the competition for any of the other cruise line staged shows I've seen. Not at any point did I wish to have my 45 or so minutes back. And the Twice Charmed and Dreams left us utterly delighted. In addition to these live entertainers, we enjoyed thoroughly the new Captain America movie that played in the giant theater on the sea day. We packed the place out, it was a cool enjoyable afternoon and we appreciated the movie admission included. Never made it to Frozen, unfortunately. Speaking of which, the Kids karaoke, that was about all any of them sung! If you go to the DLounge for Family Karaoke (typically a favorite), be prepared to hear a TON of Snowman and Let it Go! since they just got those songs in about 2 sailings ago. My condolences to the karaoke crew! Moving on to dining, we had top notch experience again. Bo from Croatia was impeccable. He was perfect for our mostly adult needs (in that he didn't do magic tricks, but he got all the orders right), and you can tell he likes delivering professional service. The beverage waiter, although highly recommended, seemed a bit behind this time. However, I got plenty of tea and coffee so I can't complain. Andre from South America was our Palo brunch waiter. Bo and Andre were both STELLAR for handling out Gluten Sensitivity. We had placed this on our reservation early, and we had all kinds of goodies waiting every night. The chef would already order a GF desert for us so it would come with everyone elses. Additionally, Levent from Hungary was our Head Waiter. I would dearly love to take that man home with me! He ordered an entire apple pie made for our table (not the kiddie pie) since my husband LOVES apple pie, he made sure all of our allergies were handled (I think he was the one ordering the GF deserts for us), and even had 2 platters of GF chicken tenders made for us, and warmed up for later since we weren't able to pick them up at 6 before the show. This is a Head Waiter who earns every bit of his tip. (Normally on cruise lines, its like who is that guy? NOT so with either of the Head Waiters on Disney.) Top marks to all our dining teams. Andre would snap his fingers and order us GF pizzas, and the king of the Palo brunch for us: DEATH BY PANCAKES, gluten free. Where else could we ever eat so decadently and not pay for it later? I give our dining a 99% grade. And as far as dining goes, this one fits snuggly right in between DINING and ENTERTAINMENT as we got to experience the highly anticipated interactive drawing show in Animator's Palette on the last night. It was MUCH more involved and delightful than I had thought. They even inserted the characters into classic Disney scenes, and we had just drawn them a few minutes earlier! Major kudos for this technology. It was REALLY special. I was glad, because last year's Nemo themed Turtle Talk in Animator's on Dream blew our family away, and they had high expectations. My favorite dinner choice was Carioca's, because it was a meat/seafood paradise. Although I did enjoy the brown rice risotto (it was off the vegetarian menu but they added tiger shrimp for protein for me.) Some kind of pink marshmallow dessert the chef sent us was our favorite desert and we are still talking about it. Also, the cheesecake was great too. We couldn't finish it before Pirate night, but we took it back to the room with us and had it with tea before bed. In all instances, having a good sensitivity presented no problem at all. I would give the food a solid 90%! And we had great service from quick service at Pete's Boiler Bites too. The shwarma stand was well received in general. Another note about Palo brunch, my steak and potatoes man did not like it, it was a waste for him. My oysters rockerfeller loving brother in law was in pure HEAVEN and thought the cheese plate alone was worth the extra fee. So if you have a husband that like burgers and steaks, skip the brunch. If your husband (or you) LOVE seafood, than sit by me and we will enjoy it! :) Moving on to the actual ship, I have already mentioned the updated Animator's Palette, which was high tech and BEAUTIFUL. Carioca's, lively and exceptional menu and pretty as well. These are new updated areas. We did ride the Twist n Spout (felt the seams along my back, and a bit slow for adults, but you gotta try it right?) We also did AquaDUNK. Not Duck, DUNK. Thrilling, most definitely. Fast, like lightning. My experience featured getting tons of water EVERYWHERE it could go. In my eyes, in my nose, and more, but I'll leave it there. Time and preference meant I only rode it once. I ended up in the Quiet Cove hot tubs more than on the slides. Nice guitar music, I LOVED that area. Somehow, despite the rock concert loud pool deck, this spot really was quiet! Unless you happen to be in the hot tub when the ship horns sound to leave the island, like we were. What? I can't hear you! Talk about an UNQuiet Cove at that moment! (The horns are right above us.) But this was a lovely area in general. Adults only too, but they didn't seem to be entirely strict about that. We have the premise that as long as you don't bother us, we don't care. None of the "are they really 18?" bothered us, so we didn't care. The halls, the atrium, the dining areas, the show areas, the AfterHours areas, all the NEW areas were every bit as nice as the Dream. Unfortunately, the staterooms don't come close. The bathrooms were not part of the update, and you can definitely tell. One stateroom (7129) in our group had a continual leak, but they didn't complain because it's more Disney's problem than theirs. We had an AC vent (7127) that was creaking and clamoring all night, and when an officer in the atrium asked, my husband told him about it. It never did creak again (they might have had maintenance come while we were on the island because it was much quieter after), but I had constant telephone calls from Guests Services the entire cruise asking to follow up about it, (and 2 bottles of wine were left in our room as apologies. Sadly, we never got to open them, but we did appreciate them! Family drove back with them since we were flying, and they will be our next family reunion goody.) The biggest complaint came from our parents in 7130, a solid wall veranda. Turns out, that solid wall is QUITE high, so even though I told my parents it would be solid, they couldn't see past it at all. That wasn't necessarily Disney's fault, just fyi to everyone else out there. They claim they would have paid more for a see-through one, but who knows. Their chief complaint about their room came from some sort of floor problem. Either a major dip or hole or some kind of big bump under the carpet. They complained throughout the trip. On the final cruise morning, the staff finally moved them to another room, and this time they could see through the veranda. So guest services did finally do the right thing and move them, but with one night left. Not sure how much of this was my parents complaining or an actual concern that with them being aged, they could actually trip over it. Our room was comfortable, but the consensus of the group is that there is a lot more to be desired for the room conditions and their updates. The beds slept GREAT!!! They were so comfortable, the carpet and hair dryers (although they left the nasty old ones up?) were great updates. I also just now remembered that our friends in 2139 actually got stuck in their bathroom when the door jammed. The room steward busted them out, but someone else I met on the cruise talked about actually having to be let out by maintenance. We didn't spend much time in our rooms, our room steward was wonderful, and after they fixed the vent, we slept well. But the dry dock did not fully address the rooms, and as I have been told, they are still continuing to work on the AC and plumbing problems. This was the biggest part that we noticed that could use more pixie dust. The youth counselors didn't effect me personally (no kids here), but friends that were with us noted that they seemed very overwhelmed and did not give their service or their activities as high marks as their Dream counselor activities. The 8 year old with them was glad when we picked him up from Castaway Cay clubs, and that was in stark contrast to his first Dream cruise on Castaway Cay where he begged and begged to stay longer. We also dropped him off after 12 since he went on the catamaran snorkel with us, so it could have been timing too. They wouldn't let him do the whale dig after that. In general, I can say that the ship entertainment and dining and guest services staff did a wonderful job with what they had, which is a really pretty older ship with new carpeting and water slides, updated dining and adult areas, and atrium, and a fresh coat of paint. But its still an older ship and you can tell. It was fine for me for 4 days, but I was not jumping at the gun to book it again for something as expensive as Europe. After my 4 days, I felt like I had done everything I needed to do and enjoyed my trip immensely, although the family complaints were a bit annoying. The non cruise of the bunch (brother in law) actually said he had no complaints and thought nothing was wrong with the cruise. That is about as good as we could have hoped. We had great weather, great experiences on the islands again, but the ship did feel crowded to us (and most of the time, people think Dream is more crowded) and the island did too. I feel like the entertainment staff outdid themselves because they had perhaps less people so they could connect more with us, or maybe its because we were there every day. It felt very personalized. I have been on some beautiful newer ships on other cruise lines that I couldn't wait to get off because the staff was so unprofessional and rude, or unfriendly and not helpful. So to me, I appreciate the wonderful ship experience in terms of the people. We got photos with Rapunzel and she was SO fun! (But there were lots of lines for characters, I even saw one mother about to jump the handler if she didn't get a photo with Jack Sparrow when he informally cut the line off.) The photographers took wonderful photos and we bought a few, and they also took some with your own camera. So the experience was definitely Magical! It does make me question booking on the Wonder though. Family members still preferred the Crush show on the Dream to the interactive animation show. Others lamented that their weren't the midship detective interactive games all over the ship, and I was hoping for the on demand channels similar to the Dream, although we always found something good to watch when we wanted something. I think for us, we will stick to the newer ships if we are with our family. Regarding Pirate Night, we still preferred the Dream with Jack Sparrow as the pirate dance party seemed much, much more geared for young kids. (Although lookout for Stitch's awesome moves! Wowee!) Mickey comes down the zipline, and its ok. But the fireworks still receive great marks! But it wasn't the same as the Dream for us, it was just for the younger crowd. (Thankfully, it was 2 for 1 happy hour so I enjoyed myself anyway! And we got GREAT pirate costume photos!) We really enjoyed our catamaran snorkel on Castaway Cay, although they didn't take you very far around the island (so not a lot of boat time), but we did see lots of fish and even a barracuda and had wonderful service on that excursion as well. Our Blue Lagoon sea lion was changed up a bit due to sea lions in encounter training (the one we had last year was recovering from some sort of ailment so they had to bring in a younger one), and so the majority of the encounter was out of the water and it was HOT (even though they had shade.) The last part in the water was nice, but not as good as last year. Still, they are much more concerned about their animal's welfare and for that, I appreciate and salute them. The dolphins were great to watch, and one came and threw a basketball up to me while I was waiting on the deck! We passed it back and forth, so that was neat. Bottom line, I wouldn't hesitate to book the encounter or go to the island in a minute as it still wowed everyone anyway. Thankfully, all the rain that came through the few days prior had stopped and we had nothing but sun, and LOTS of it. We also had calm seas the entire time and not a bit of ship motion. Thank goodness! One note about cleanliness, which Disney typically receives incredible remarks for. A few of the public restrooms' conditions surprised me. I figured the cleaning crew hadn't been by yet... On a different note, we used the fitness room on the Magic, and while it was really cramped, there was plentiful equipment and it was as good as any gym I have used on a cruise ship. It didn't look old and was well kept up. Everyone on the machines had fun things to choose, such as movies or even games like solitaire. If it is just me, I would cruise Magic or Wonder in the future since I loved the personal experience and entertainment and don't need moving pictures to make my cruise. In general, everyone had a really great time on the cruise, and it was as successful as one could have hoped. (Which is more than I can say regarding the Land portion in the parks with their new fast pass system. But that's not the cruise line's fault.) However, as a group, I would consider only the newer ships from here on out. We started on the Dream, and the Magic was just slightly under that from a ship point of view. Another quick note about debarkation, we let our parents collect our luggage that we put out the night before, and we ran to breakfast, got through customs at about 7:40am and made it to SeaWorld by 9:20 (we had to wait for a few others, or else we would have been even earlier.) Our parking shuttle was right there waiting for us even at 7:40, and it was easy peasy to debark the ship. I hope this summary helps you in your cruising future!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We sailed the Canada five-day itinerary on the Disney Magic from September 7-12. This was our 6th cruise (our third on Disney -- our first two cruises were on the Wonder and the Dream). We drove down to New Jersey the night before ... Read More
We sailed the Canada five-day itinerary on the Disney Magic from September 7-12. This was our 6th cruise (our third on Disney -- our first two cruises were on the Wonder and the Dream). We drove down to New Jersey the night before and stayed at the La Quinta Suites in Secaucus (won on Priceline). Decent hotel for a night. It was right next to the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, which gave us quick access to the cruise terminal in Manhattan. Parking on the roof was easy, as was the trip down into the terminal to check in. Embarkation: We arrived at the terminal at 11:30, and had only a short wait to check in. Actual check in took probably 3 minutes. We were in boarding group 3, with a boarding time of 11:30-12:00. They did not even begin boarding until noon, but they quickly went through the first 2 groups, and we were on board by around 12:10. We quickly realized this was going to be an unusual Disney cruise, as we mainly saw adults waiting to board. We heard later that there were only about 100 kids on board (due to the fact that school had just started, as well as the itinerary being less interesting to kids). Cabin: We were in cabin 5520. We loved our cabin, our best yet on a Disney ship! It is classified as an inside cabin because it is an obstructed view, but really, you can see out just fine. There is an outside wall to the one side, and you look out over some barrels, but none are hanging right in front of the porthole. We had a fine view on sea days. The cabin itself was comfortable -- no smaller than any other cruise ship we've sailed on. The split bath is awesome -- with two sinks, there was a lot less fighting over getting ready! Dining: We had the main seating at dinner (5:45). This was an error, as we had requested late seating, but we decided to give it a try and really liked it. It gave us more time to do other things after dinner, and we were not quite so stuffed. Our waiter and assistant waiter were awesome as always, and got us everything we requested. As a vegetarian, I appreciated that all the vegetarian appetizers and entrees were presented in a separate section of the menu so I did not have to hunt around for them. Most all of the food was average to above average. The buffet on Deck 9 was good if you wanted something quick. It's nice to eat on the patio on the back of the ship. The other eateries around the pool (pizza, burgers, etc) also were decent for what they are (fast food). There is also a soda fountain by the kids' pool. We've found it helpful to bring our own re-usable mugs (the ones from the WDW resorts work perfect). The paper cups provided are pretty small, and it seems like such a waste to throw so many away. Just seems more environmentally friendly. In addition to soda, there is also coffee and cocoa available. There is also a selection of meats, cheeses, sandwiches etc. available in the Cove Cafe (coffee bar by the adult pool). If you can't find something to eat on this ship, you just aren't trying! By far, the best food on the ship, however, is at Palo. We made our reservations as soon as we boarded the ship (they were actually set up downstairs in one of the clubs the day of embarkation, so make sure to check on their location to avoid going all the way up to the restaurant.) We were able to get dinner and brunch reservations. There is a $20/pp upcharge for each meal. And totally worth it! The food is excellent, and there is a wide variety of selections. Dinner is ordered strictly off the menu, but brunch is a combination buffet/order from the grill. Brunch also included champagne (all alcoholic drinks at dinner are extra). We had the same server for both meals who made sure we had everything we could possibly want (even went to the trouble of sending someone to one of the other restaurants to get soy milk for my coffee). We loved the selection at brunch, and the view was spectacular (it was a sea day). At dinner, it was dark, so we really couldn't see the ocean, even though we were next to a window. Ports: We had two ports (Halifax and St. John). In Halifax, we mostly just walked around the port and browsed in the shops. In St. John, we rented a car. The Enterprise dealer was about a 20 minute walk, but in hindsight, we could have made arrangements for them to pick us up at the port. When we returned the car, they drove us back and saved us the hike. We drove to the Fundy Trail, along the Bay of Fundy (The beginning of the trail is about an hour drive from the port). Absolutely beautiful scenery! Definitely a must for photographers. We wish we had more than a day to enjoy it all. Activities on board: For those who are concerned about taking a Disney cruise without kids, I can only say -- it's not a problem! While this cruise had an abnormally small number of kids, we have been on other Disney cruises that had a high population of little ones. The kids clubs are so popular that a lot of the kids seem to stay in those areas, and the cast members really do a great job of keeping them occupied. We've had more issues with kids on Royal Caribbean cruises, where they just seem to run wild on the ship. At dinner, we have always been seated with other adults traveling without kids -- if you like Disney, you will make new friends who love it just as much as you do! And even though there is plenty of Disney theming on the ship, it is not as over-the-top as you might think. There are plenty of activities for adults. The quiet pool is very peaceful. We never found the whirlpools to be crowded in the evening. The spa is very nice, and I enjoyed some time in the rainforest, which is a collection of steam rooms, sauna and heated loungers (I think it runs around $15/day for use). Very relaxing. There are also a variety of clubs, which are restricted to adults after a particular time in the evening. We liked the sports bar, which has a variety of board games you can play. It was particularly popular on Sunday for football. They also had a small buffet every evening with finger foods. My husband loved their wings. We did not see any of the shows, but we did watch Brave and The Avengers in 3D, both of which we really enjoyed. There were several other movies shown as well. In addition, you can take advantage of tours of the ship (we did tours on both the Wonder and the Dream, and it's fascinating to hear the thought that went into the design of the ships), and animation classes -- I can almost draw Mickey! There are usually pretty long lines to take pictures with the characters, but it's similar to the parks. I did happen to catch Snow White in the hall on her way to a meet and greet and she was gracious enough to strike a pose, so sometimes you just have to be on the look-out. We also enjoyed walking around to see the variety of artwork around the ship. There is a lot of really fun animation. Debarkation: Debarkation was pretty painless. We were scheduled for breakfast in the dining room at 7 am, which was too early, so we headed up to the buffet just before it closed at 8:30. By the time we finished eating, our debarkation group had already been called, so we walked right off the ship and collected our luggage. It only took about 5-10 minutes to get through customs and we headed up to the car. My only complaint about this trip was that it was too short! I've read complaints that the Magic was looking unkempt, but we just didn't see it. It definitely is ready for dry-dock to spiff it up, but we really saw very little peeling paint, faded carpeting or chipped wood. If anything, they were constantly cleaning and painting. Little things here and there, but you really had to be looking for them. For her age, she looks fabulous. Even though Disney cruises are more expensive than other comparable cruise lines, we think it is worth the premium. The cast members go out of their way to make your vacation special. As you walk around the ship, everyone from the Captain on down to the guy painting the railings will stop and greet you and ask if they can help. The ships are classic looking, well maintained and fun. Feel the magic, and you can't go wrong! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Two years ago we took a cruise to the Mediterranean in April 2010 on the same ship, the Disney Magic, and were pleasantly surprised at how well our allergies were taken into consideration. (I'm celiac & my husband is allergic to ... Read More
Two years ago we took a cruise to the Mediterranean in April 2010 on the same ship, the Disney Magic, and were pleasantly surprised at how well our allergies were taken into consideration. (I'm celiac & my husband is allergic to milk. We joke we're Jack Sprat and his wife.) However, in those 2 years, things have changed. The only place to get allergy free food when dining rooms are not open is now room service. And room service took an hour or more to deliver _and_ would only deliver to your room, so you had to sit and wait getting more hungry. Eventually, I decided it was easier to starve. I actually _lost_ four pounds on this cruise. How wrong is that? Secondly, we were not particularly impressed by the food at meal times. Unlike our last cruise, the chefs didn't bother to tell us when they couldn't do our choice. They just sent out something else, which was not always something we liked. The staff of the Disney Magic was superb and did the best they could under the circumstances. We had an unrelated problem with our room (the air conditioner wasn't working and the whole room smelled of locker room) and the staff was absolutely fabulous with their response, giving us another room that was HUGE. However, it seemed like they were laboring under institutional changes that made their ability to respond to our food needs harder, if not impossible. We sent a longer version of this review to the Disney cruise line and got back a "kiss off" form letter. Feeding an food allergy sufferers is not easy, we know. But, for the love of god, try some other cruise because Disney Cruise line has decided that they're not going to try to feed us anymore. Otherwise, the ship dearly needs to be refitted as it is rather run down. The staff were great and the ports were fun. However, I was so hungry that it was hard to enjoy it all. Moreover, the spa, while nice, seems to have gotten frenetic in trying to sell more services. Very, very expensive services with a 500% markup... Overall, we're not cruising with Disney again for a long time. Too bad as our first cruise was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Disney did not disappoint again. Our first DCL cruise was 2 years ago and we still had plenty of magical moments! (Note: My reviews have the good and the so-so in them -- every line has room for improvement!) Being that we were ... Read More
Disney did not disappoint again. Our first DCL cruise was 2 years ago and we still had plenty of magical moments! (Note: My reviews have the good and the so-so in them -- every line has room for improvement!) Being that we were using rewards points from the cruise line's card, we went pretty frugal and booked cat 12 and ended up in a cat 11. The basic inside rooms on DCL are fine and more than enough room for 2 adults. Our fare was $599 pp and total cost came in under $1500 including rt port transfers. Our pre cruise night was a $109/night web deal at Dolphin -- well worth it for that price. The food: Outstanding. Disney really sets itself apart with the customer service in this area, too. The head waiter was always around, the waiter and asst waiter were always attentive and eager to please. The desserts were just ok, but the savory foods were absolutely outstanding. Palo was fabulous, too. Although we still think the Emerald Room on Carnival Glory was the best meal of our lives, twice. It was more intimate and just a superior quality. The room: Like I said, it was sufficient. The walls are pretty thin, though. We could hear our neighbors on either side (including a screaming baby) most of the time. The bathroom was little and the shower curtain stuck to me. Ugh. Hate that. The base NCL showers blow DCL out of the water. Regardless, aft 5 deck was lovely and not very busy. The room steward did the "knock and barge in without a response" thing a few times, which was annoying. This seems par for the course on cruise lines these days. We did call on the first day about the screaming baby, but we were told that the ship was full. Although our table mates in a balcony room did get moved due to a screaming baby, so it seems like it might be a "money talks" sort of thing. Anyway. The entertainment: We saw Up and Bolt in 3D -- very cool. We also caught Golden Mickeys. To be honest, we don't care much for the non adult oriented shows on DCL. It would be great to get the kids all wrapped up in jammies and take them to a princessy skit, but.....no thanks. The quiet cove pool has started being un-quiet with cheesy muzak-y boat songs in the afternoons. Kid would love the offerings, though. It's a Disney cruise! Although there were a lot of completely unruly and unhappy kids to be found all the time. I didn't get that! The spa: Paid $148 I think for a 7 day pass for husband and I to use the rainforest room. Not worth it. The NCL spa area was a hundred times better. This spa was clearly aged and had no whirlpool or plunge pool. There was also no view. Overall: We've realized that we need more port days on DCL because of the lack of adult stuff to do. This is no fault of DCL, but it was obvious that DCL's attempt to be a cruise line for families and for couples too was not successful. Our next DCL cruise would be no longer than 4 days, I'm sure. But the service and cleanliness will be hard to match on our next endeavour. There are opportunities for improvement here -- but overall it's still the best line we've been on. Our utopian cruise line would have great food, cleanliness, and impeccable service like DCL.... with better adult shows, lots of ports, and more activity offerings. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
My wife and I just got back from a 7-night Disney cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate our one-year anniversary. It was my first cruise, and her second; her other experience was on RCCL. We chose to cruise DCL mainly because we ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from a 7-night Disney cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate our one-year anniversary. It was my first cruise, and her second; her other experience was on RCCL. We chose to cruise DCL mainly because we are Disney Vacation Club members and we needed to burn two years' worth of 'vacation points' on a one-week vacation, as we won't have time to go next year. Here were our impressions of the Magic and the Disney cruising experience: CHECK IN / BOARDING THE SHIP: This took about an hour once we arrived at the port terminal. While that seems like a long time, NOBODY herds crowds of people through long lines as artfully as Disney. The hour came and went painlessly and before we knew it, we were on the ship. CAST MEMBERS aka THE SHIP'S SERVICE CREW: In the 'mass hospitality' industry in general, Disney sets the standard as far as training their employees to treat guests like gold. Our DCL experience was consistent with that, starting with the greeters who welcomed us aboard, to the dinner servers and bartenders, right down to the maintenance staff. Every single crew member consistently said "hello" and smiled even when they were not serving you; even if, for example, you caught their eye while passing them in the hallway. The service was always prompt, friendly, and outstanding and no one even gave a hint of attitude that they were taking the customers for granted. At no time did we feel that we were just "cattle" being farmed for gratuity money (even though as a cynic I know that is fundamentally true). They definitely work for their money, though, and leave you wanting to tip more than the minimum. Again, this all boils down to training. I even heard secondhand that one of the crew was overheard being berated by a superior for "not being friendly enough"! Employee friendliness is evidently an aspect of the cruise that Disney takes very seriously! STATEROOM - SIZE, AMENITIES, AND CLEANLINESS I found the stateroom to be more than adequate for two people. I doubt I would have been comfortable squeezing into it as a family of 4. However, it is possible that my requirements for personal space might diminish once we have kids. I am told by my wife it was "about the same size" as her RCCL stateroom was, though Disney claims their rooms are larger. The bed was king sized which was great and was relatively comfortable. The pillows are soft and very squishy, which I prefer. There was also one quite firm memory foam contoured pillow in our room, but I was not clear on whether that was standard or had been accidentally left behind by another guest. The first night it did not have a pillowcase, but starting the second night, our stateroom host started putting a pillowcase on it. The blankets on the bed are nothing to write home about, and are not very heavy. My wife and I like the feel of a heavy comforter on us, so we used the bed cover on top of the blankets. After the second night, our host figured this out and stopped hiding it under the bed when he turned down our covers during dinner. The AC kept the room at a perfect temperature and did not make any noise to speak of. For people like my wife who need white noise, this was not a problem, as the ship's engine generates plenty of its own droning white noise. The TV was large sized (24" LCD flat screen) which was visible even with the curtains open. There was typically good programming to catch while getting ready for dinner, and several good current movies on the movie channels if we wanted to nap in front of the tube for a bit. The sofa flips into a twin bed which was frankly more comfortable to lounge on than the sofa. Electrical outlets in the room are few, and they are not thoughtfully placed in the cabin. If you need to plug in a charger that hangs down below the outlet, like a camera battery charger, the only spot to do it is behind the TV. The other outlets have no clearance below them, as they are nearly flush with the desk. We had a balcony, of which I made frequent use. I liked how private it was; when you're out there, no one else could really see you unless they happened to be in the adjacent room and they craned their head all the way around the divider to deliberately invade your space. However, the balcony is fairly small. It can comfortably accomodate two people sitting down, but no more. I was concerned at how vulnerable they were to secondary cigarette smoke; however, we lucked out and were not placed near any smokers. I never once detected a whiff of tobacco while out there. Lucky us, I guess. The people we sat with at dinner were not so lucky. The split bathrooms are a fabulous idea, says my wife. Having two sinks is ideal for expediting the shaving/teethbrushing part of the cruise. Also the bathtub, while not big enough for two, is definitely adequate for one average-sized adult. We were very impressed with the ingenuity and layout of the bathroom area in general. Closet space was minimal but adequate for one week. Disney provides plenty of hangers (about 20) which was a real plus. Dresser space was unfortunately lacking. We ended up using the desk as a second "dresser" which worked out Ok, but again, if we had two kids I don't know where we would have put their clothes. FOOD / DINING: This is one of the highlights of the ship, again lending credit to Disney's expertise in the 'mass hospitality' arena. Disney's servers are trained to give you whatever you want. Period. Want two appetizers, two salads, and/or two entrees? That's fine! Want something not on the menu? Fine! Want to start with dessert first? I never tried that one, but I suspect it would be just fine. The quality of the food overall was 5/5. The fruits and vegetables were always impeccably fresh and crisp. The appetizers were thoughtful and there was great variety. The salads were always very good. The soups were hit-or-miss, particularly some of the fruit-based soups. Nearly every entree I tried was a complete success. The chefs definitely know how to maximize the flavor in ingredients that are designed to present a cost-effective mid-to-high range meal with mass appeal. At no time did I feel that Disney was skimping on quality to save money during dinner; the meals were all, at minimum, comparable in quality to something you would get at a nice chain restaurant. Most were better. The only complaint I have is regarding the desserts; they were of lesser quality than the other courses and were very repetitive. They re-used the same basic ingredients and just found different shapes and names for them throughout the week. Their cheesecake, specifically, is pitiful; it tasted like one of those no-bake Jell-O cheesecake mixes. Granted, those are yummy in their own right, but they aren't actually cheesecake and shouldn't be called such on a menu. They re-used the same chocolate ganache and chocolate cake, the same custard base, and that awful Jell-O cheesecake mix in nearly all of their desserts. We also dined at Palo. Palo uses more expensive ingredients in many areas of the meal and is easily worth the upcharge if you are culinarily savvy enough to appreciate the difference. The service is also more energetic and personalized in Palo; the waiters in the general dining area get promoted to Palo if they are good enough, so you are getting the best of the best of Disney's service here. Palo's food is comparable to that found in a very expensive restaurant; caviar, king crab, exotic cheeses, etc. As with the other restaurants, you can try as many things as you want, so don't be shy here. Not every dish will resonate with everyone, but the increase in food preparation expertise and in ingredient quality is undeniable even in dishes that "miss" with your expectations or preferences. I must add here that Palo's dessert selections were a welcome change after a week of the repetitive desserts in the other restaurants. The lunch buffet at Topsider's and the quick-service locations were delightful, in my opinion. I had expected much lower quality food in these locations, and I was consistently impressed to the contrary. Even the pizza in Pinocchio's Pizzeria was darn passable. Imagine how difficult it must be to bake pizza and keep it from getting moist, in 95% humidity at sea level. I don't know how Disney did it, but they did it. ENTERTAINMENT - SHOWS: Disney's shows are top-notch, Broadway-quality, but as you'd expect, they are all Disney themed, which got quite boring after two or three days of it. I found myself wishing for a NON-DISNEY themed show, just something random for variety's sake. Guys and Dolls or Brigadoon or something. A magic show. A stand-up comedian. Anything. Just please, give us a break from shoving Disney down our throat once in a while! It especially got dull when people started reprising their roles from the previous shows, later in the week. For example, the same actors in their same costumes for Cinderella and Prince Charming in "Twice Charmed", later appeared in TWO other shows afterward. Show me Cinderella waltzing with Prince Charming once, okay, that's a nice refresher. Twice, three times, it just gets old and does not warm the heart or feel magical anymore. It's sort of like the dining room chefs re-using the same dessert ingredients and calling it a new dessert. It doesn't fool anyone, we know it's the same dessert with a new name. The Disney-written one-hour shows were very thin on plot, and were mostly just flash and costume wrapped in brilliant vocals singing all-too-familiar (read: tired and overplayed) Disney anthems. The actors that Disney employs are far too talented to be wasted on this. These kids can sing and dance at the highest levels needed for stage theater. Disney should put them to better use than they currently are. Twice Charmed and Disney Dreams are keepers, but the rest of the shows need to be reworked or replaced. ADULT ENTERTAINMENT - THE REST OF IT (NOT THE SHOWS) If you're an adult and you like: a) the bar scene b) the nightclub scene c) playing bingo all week d) lounging around a pool (or your stateroom) all week e) bidding on overpriced wall art prints at auction ...then you'll be fine. Chances are that most people can probably fill a week being "comfortably bored" aboard the Magic. I frankly do not enjoy most of the activities they had scheduled for adults, but I managed to deal with it because I enjoy downtime, and I was there for a relaxing vacation filled with empty leisure time and a ton of great food, which is exactly what I got. However, I can easily see how an adult in need of more engaging activities than Bingo and teenybopper-style deck dance parties could feel out-of-place and bored on this cruise. OVERALL My wife says she will never go on a non-Disney cruise again if she can help it. It was heads and tails better than her RCCL experience, which she has always raved about prior to this cruise. Since this was my only cruise experience, I have nothing to compare it to, but I would rate it 5/5 on a scale of 1 to 5. The gripes I listed above about show variety, adult entertainment and activity variety, and dessert variety are minor, and are easily overlooked during the span of a week. I have heard stories about other cruise lines that make them sound like a weekend in Las Vegas. I definitely appreciate Disney's family-friendly atmosphere compared to a seedy-feeling party boat. Overall, now that I've tried it, I don't think cruising is my favorite way to vacation, though I will probably cruise again in the future. It is just too expensive for what you get. I could eat like a king for a lot less money elsewhere, if all I'm going to do is lounge around or read a book in the meantime. Speaking of value, I understand that Disney in general is more expensive than other cruise lines. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to compare values for you. All I can say is that the Disney service was impeccable, their service is top-notch, and the food was excellent. I am not blinded by a love of Disney, those are my true opinions about what I got for my money. I'm a frugal man and I don't see the value in cruising, in general. However if I were going to cruise again, based on what I've heard, read, and experienced first hand, I would probably spend the extra money and cruise Disney again. It was an excellent experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
Disney Magic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.2
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 4.0
Service 4.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 3.7

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