I was blessed to go on a limited "test run" itinerary on the Disney Magic going to the Southern Caribbean. They did 4 runs in September and October 2014, and DCL is undecided if they will renew this itinerary. I SURE HOPE THEY ... Read More
I was blessed to go on a limited "test run" itinerary on the Disney Magic going to the Southern Caribbean. They did 4 runs in September and October 2014, and DCL is undecided if they will renew this itinerary. I SURE HOPE THEY DO!! The islands were wonderful! We went to Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, and St. Kitts. The locals were extremely nice and friendly. They were accommodating and shared their islands with us for the day with lovely, hospitable attitudes. I think DCL is trying to steer cruisers more toward their own corporate, man made, cultureless "island" Castaway Cay, and Disney is not necessarily going to continue this itinerary. I can tell you that I and my children benefitted from seeing other cultures, meeting new people on the islands, hearing the wonderful music, and eating the local food in a way that COULD NEVER happen on a man made corporate island like Castaway Cay. Unfortunately, the typical Disney clientele will be too unintelligent and too inter-culturally awkward to realize this.
As for the ship, my state room was wonderful. We splurged on a 1 bedroom concierge level suite and it was well worth it for our family of 5. My mother saved her money and booked a very inexpensive stateroom that had no windows just for her, and it was also fine. She had no complaints. So both extremes on the ship as far as rooms go are plenty good. Overall the service was impeccable. Our stateroom hostess Beverly kept the room immaculate twice a day, including the night time turn down service. The room was really nice and well maintained. It was cozy, and having a verandah is the way to go if you can spend the extra money. I also loved having a bathtub and 2 bathrooms.
The food, however, was a great disappointment! Our servers were absolutely wonderful people, but the food was mediocre at best. Aaron and Kristi were great servers, and Aaron especially was outstanding at his job. I never told him how I really felt about the food because he was trying SO hard that I could never complain to him. I am a foodie. Here's what I can tell you about Disney Cruise food. It is over-abundant and very impersonally prepared. You could tell that it was created on a factory like assembly line. The cooking staff was obviously exhausted from churning it out day and night and had lost all of their creativity and love for food in the process. I never had an actual bad meal, but I never had a good or memorable meal onboard, either. It was excess availability of average food, all the time. It was always served lukewarm. Even the fruit tasted like Costco half-ripe and picked too early corporate fruit! Wouldn't you expect to have amazing fruit in the Caribbean?! Children were offered kids menus that included nothing but chicken fingers, spaghetti, and mini burgers, with an occasional fish, ALL THE TIME. If your kids live on chicken nuggets and pizza at home then I'm sure they'll love the food onboard. If, however, your children are good and well-rounded eaters, they will despise the children's menus, trust me.
The ship itself had something for every age group. I must tell you, though, that my 8 & 9 year old kids wanted nothing to do with the Oceaneer Club/Lab. My kids only went to the Oceaneer Club/Lab once during the entire trip! My 4 year old had fun there twice, but my older boys would have nothing to do with it. They had a wonderful time hanging out in our room, going to the arcade, ordering room service (very average food, but who doesn't like ordering free room service?!), going to shows and a new release movie, and of course riding the water slides.
All in all, I would say this was the best vacation of our life. For me, it was the amazing ports that made it such a phenomenal trip. We booked 2 excursions that were awesome, but we had just as much fun on the 3 days that we got out and found our way by ourselves. Tour guides with vans are at every single port, so you do not have to pay all that money for an excursion, although Disney won't tell you that! The ship was great, the staff was great, and the destinations were absolutely wonderful. Aside from the food being average, everything was totally wonderful all of the time! I really hope DCL will stop forcing cruisers onto Castaway Cay, and wish that they would continue to offer culturally diverse destinations in the Caribbean. I doubt they will however, because they have spent so much money creating a man made corporate ISLAND, WHY BOTHER GOING TO A REAL ONE? I think that is super lame. If DCL wants me as a repeat cruiser to the beautiful and exotic Caribbean, they need to renew this fabulous itinerary. NO CASTAWAY CAY for me. I like to meet real people and see real places, thank you very much. Read Less