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41 Disney Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was our first Disney Cruise in Europe and 5th overall. Having traveled other cruise lines, I find Disney to be a step above the rest in quality of food, cleanliness, customer service and size of staterooms. We selected this ... Read More
This was our first Disney Cruise in Europe and 5th overall. Having traveled other cruise lines, I find Disney to be a step above the rest in quality of food, cleanliness, customer service and size of staterooms. We selected this itinerary mainly for the ports of call, and planned to spend as little time on the ship as possible when at port. Overall I noticed a net decline on the food and shows on the ship. If you have taken a Disney Cruise in the past, the menu is exactly the same - no change. The shows have minor revisions and are repeated on another night. The variety shows were different and entertaining. Our room while spacious vs. other cruise lines, but was very noisy during the late nights. Lodging a complaint only diminished the noise the first night. Adult sections of the ship are the best since most are with their young children and have ample selection of the best pool and bar areas. Definitely a cruise I would recommend if you are traveling with no children, and don't plan to spend too much time in the common areas. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Our cruise was the 7-night from Barcelona to Rome, which we chose to give us more time to explore those cities before and after the cruise. While we enjoyed our cruise on the Disney Magic, we noticed a quality decline from our previous ... Read More
Our cruise was the 7-night from Barcelona to Rome, which we chose to give us more time to explore those cities before and after the cruise. While we enjoyed our cruise on the Disney Magic, we noticed a quality decline from our previous cruise 18 months earlier (and from our Disney Wonder cruise last summer). The food in particular was nothing special. The breakfast menu barely changed each day, if at all. Dinner service was slow and the food was very bland and overcooked. Our assistant server took a long time to get drinks out and Disney also had her trying to upsell kids' drinks in specialty cups each night, which I could see being a problem if we had young kids. She forgot to offer or deliver coffee two nights, Our main server brought out the wrong items several times. We almost skipped dinner one night and just ate chicken wings in the pub. Bar service was very good, especially in Promenade and O'Gills and definitely in Cove Cafe. They were trying the new thing of running the same show two nights in a row and doing the variety acts in Fathoms, and that did not work for us. We'd seen all of the shows before so we ended up skipping them and the one main variety act, Junkk, was repetitive after just a few minutes. Buckets and Boards did the same percussion shtick on our previous cruise but were much funnier. The club host repeated the same tired jokes at every trivia or show and that was tiresome. She also took trivia way too seriously, telling people to mark answers wrong if band names were misspelled or you listed "Joan Jett" and didn't add "and the Blackhearts". Her remarks about home schooling, while funny to us the first time, probably hit a sour note with some of the moms in the audience. The one "Anyone Can Cook" was the same apple struedel we'd seen on our last cruise. They don't have any other desserts they can demo? Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We traveled with our 6 and 8 year old children. They loved the kids club, the amazing shows and the ability to interact with the characters. I loved that we had childcare that was high quality when we needed some downtime. The boat left ... Read More
We traveled with our 6 and 8 year old children. They loved the kids club, the amazing shows and the ability to interact with the characters. I loved that we had childcare that was high quality when we needed some downtime. The boat left a lot to be desired for adults. The formal dining rooms are very cramped and service can feel rushed, chaotic, and inattentive. I used the gym once and it was so hot and humid and crowded, I did not return. Embarkation was a nightmare. We flew overnight and arrived at the port at 11:00 AM. Because we had not done a Disney Cruise in the past, we did not have priority so they pushed us to the back of the embarkation process. We just had to sit there for over two hours even though we arrived at the port very early. The line for photos was backing up so they slowed down the boarding process even though there was no actual line to board the boat. I begged them at a certain point to speed up embarkation or just let us board but they said no. I then stood right at the entry point next to the coordinator and let him watch as my children cried with hunger and exhaustion while they held the few remaining people in the terminal for boarding. We had spent $7,500 for the week long cruise and this was the service this tall man with a beard felt comfortable giving us. Photos took a priority over boarding. My daughter did the BB Boutique. The treatment was 17 minutes long. I thought that they would put a little more time and effort in for the $69 charge. I found the food to be repetitive in the breakfast buffet and the common deck spaces (pools especially) to be so cramped and small. The children did look like a flock of penguins in the pools and hot tubs, all piled on top of each other. I kept comparing it to my mind to a RC cruise. Obviously, Disney has the entertainment and the kids club, but I preferred RC in every other way. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had been told that Disney Cruises are the best, especially for families with teenagers, but that was not our experience. At the end of the trip, after getting off the ship, I looked at it again to check that we had been on a Disney ... Read More
We had been told that Disney Cruises are the best, especially for families with teenagers, but that was not our experience. At the end of the trip, after getting off the ship, I looked at it again to check that we had been on a Disney ship. We were. First; we did not get the rooms we ordered and paid for. We were downgraded without notice or compensation. Second; the crew was focused more on getting tips than the well-being of passengers. In fact they have a whole ceremony at the end of the trip so the staff can get their tips. One tip I'd give you - don't tip as you go. Hold your tips till the end because you don't get any recognition for gratuities given during the voyage. It's a silly system. Third: hanging around the deck, especially in the evening, was like visiting a sewage treatment plant. It smelled like sewage treatment plant. Terrible to say but there's no better description. We were told the boat had some issues and would be going into dry dock for repairs. I kept picturing the ship pulling alongside a massive "honey wagon" to get pumped. The day trips were very nice and well organized. The only exception was the trip to the Coliseum in Rome. The guides lost us in an unruly mob lined up to get in. We were eventually extracted by the police. Food was very average and after a few days everything started to taste the same. The only other constant was the pungent evening odour on deck and in parts of the ship. The whole experience turned us off cruises and we wouldn't consider one again. The last point: we're Disney Vacation Club Members, so this review was written by a person who likes Disney. Less so now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We just returned from our family cruise this week on the Disney Magic. Adding insult to injury, I was informed by one of Disney's staff members that this is the last trip for the Disney Magic until it gets entirely rebuilt and ... Read More
We just returned from our family cruise this week on the Disney Magic. Adding insult to injury, I was informed by one of Disney's staff members that this is the last trip for the Disney Magic until it gets entirely rebuilt and modernized. We spent a week on the Disney Fantasy voyage to the Caribbean in December and found the quality of the food and facilities to be superior to any other cruise line. The Disney Magic is a much older boat, and this trip did not live up to our expectations for Disney. -Palo Restaurant was excellent in both boats -other restaurants the food was inedible -fitness area in the Disney Magic was drab and the equipment was worn down and unusable -Rainforest area in the Disney Fantasy felt almost like an actual spa; in the Disney Magic it was sparse and disappointing I met with the Guest Services Manager and discussed my issues in detail with her. I received a follow-up call from someone in Disney corporate customer service and the person did not understand my frustration with how inferior and wore down a boat Disney Magic is compared to Disney Fantasy. This was not a satisfactory experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I wanted to see Italy, and due to costs for a family of 4 , seeing all the different ports , a cruise seemed the less expensive way to travel, allowing us to try out each spot so we could make a return trip for a longer stay in the ... Read More
I wanted to see Italy, and due to costs for a family of 4 , seeing all the different ports , a cruise seemed the less expensive way to travel, allowing us to try out each spot so we could make a return trip for a longer stay in the future. A friend had booked Disney Magic and loved cruising with them prior, so i jumped on board, literally. Alcohol policy: You are now permitted to bring 2 bottles of wine or 6 CANS of beer per adult on the cruise and at each port. This is the way to go. We took our own glass of wine to dinners, and poured our own beers during the day as Alcohol is VERY expensive on any cruise ship, example is they were selling 20 Corona beers with a cooler for $130.00 US. A glass of wine is $13 Can, cappuccinos $4 US. Hint: Take on your own water bottle and refill as you need too, they sell you water for the excursions with a mini cooler for over 40 dollars. CHECKING INN: easy, quick and efficient ROOMS: not having anything to compare the room too as this was my first cruise, it was 200 sq feet, 2 bathrooms, one with a sink and toilet, one with a shower and sink. we had an inside cabin.. room 2068.. DO NOT TAKE THIS ROOM..it is a great clean room, but it is right under the main lobby where all the characters and little ones meet, nightly live music and stays active until 11pm every night. Also we were on top of the hydrolic pistons that are very noisy and go off every 3 mins or so especially when you arrive at port. Sleep was not happening, we did ask for a different room but they were fully booked, after the 4th night i was so tired i could have cried, i went back and some people hadn't reembarked so we given a different room. Thank you Disney FOOD: you will not be hungry. no complaints at all, nothing bad to say , there is something for everyone almost 18 hours a day, plus room service at no cost , only tipping. SERVICE: I have never seen so many happy workers, all smiles and accommodating. My servers for the trip Duante and Noel were AWESOME.. I MEAN THE BEST SERVERS I HAVE EVER HAD. They even cut up my sons chicken from the bone..Its a hard life being on a cruise ship, long hours, time away from family yet these fellas do their jobs with a smile and such happiness and kindness. Thank you. EXCURSIONS: SHIP ONES.. DO NOT DO.....They are way over priced and not what they appear.. you can do all the ports on your own for a 1/4 of the cost. Hint.. don't be the first off the ship, be one of the last ones, the cabs that are left are willing to haggle the price so they don't leave without a fare. and you end up with your own tour guide, we did this for all ports and had no troubles and saved over 3000$ doing it this way. The excursions for a family of 4 range from 500 euro - 1000 euro, and the Euro is 1.60 .. so you are paying up to 1200 $ for one day out, and that does not include any food or entrance fees.. Send me any questions regarding excursions. I would not suggest taking a young one to Pompeii, you can stay for a week and never see the whole town, its hot, little shade ,one restaurant that is very busy and tons of walking on old stone that is slippery and steep. Colosuim and Vatican: def take a cab and pay for a tour guide that offers you front of the line, worth it or you will spend your day in line waiting.. Vatican is 4 hour wait . CRUISE SHIP: Clean clean clean.. they are very aware of germs and you use bacterial wipes before entering any place of food. but for anyone over the age of 7, there is little to do on the ship on sea days, there is an adult pool that is quite small, a Brilliant gym, but anything else is cost. bingo is 50 dollars. other than that they do have a daily agenda , but nothing that would make you jump up and down .. keeping in mind its a Disney cruise, they really are geared to kids, which run around the ship laughing and dressed in super hero costumes and princess dresses all day. movies are run all day on a big screen for the kids, and there are 2 water slides and a teeny tiny kids pool that was packed like sardines, and had to be evacuated once a day for poop clean up. We didn't see any shows, as our dinner seating was 815 , and by the time you have finished its close to 10 pm and i had a teen that couldn't come into any of the pubs or discos, so we didn't go. I was disappointed with Disney charging 6 dollars for a small box of popcorn at the movie theater.. come on Disney, that cost you 50 cents to make, we paid over 9 thousand , you can't give the popcorn to the kids.. that ticked me off, its a money maker, every where you turn, for photos, for bottles water to the alcohol and the disney store, they are making a good coin, so be prepared to have some type of tab when you check out. Personally, i wouldn't do another cruise, was not my thing, to much down time, pool too small, drinks overpriced, excursions are a total rip off.. you pay a lot to take one of these, I did expect more wow and a bigger ship. But if you have princess's and princes who are Disney mad, they would have a blast. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My wife and I are frequent Holland America cruisers and have sailed Princess during out honeymoon in Bora Bora. By all means, we are seasoned travelers. Disney cruise was never something I would have picked however having a 2 year old ... Read More
My wife and I are frequent Holland America cruisers and have sailed Princess during out honeymoon in Bora Bora. By all means, we are seasoned travelers. Disney cruise was never something I would have picked however having a 2 year old daughter, we had to try it out. We received a $200 on-board credit. What surprised me the most was the staff and service that they provided. It was beyond exceptional. All the staff on the ship were wonderful except for a handful of experience however it didn't deter me from providing a 5 star rating for their services. Our server Roston and Ronald who took care of our cabin was really great. On the first night of our journey, my daughter fell asleep in the middle of dinner service. I then picked her up and carried her so she can sleep on my shoulder. I was surprised when Roston who brought my entree which was the prime rib, went ahead and started to cut my steak into bite sized piece so I can easily just fork it. He was aware of everyone's situation and provided a customized service. Truly wonderful. Ronald always provided a smile, ensured that our cabin was always clean and provided assistance immediately when we need him. Entertainment was a major advantage over the other cruise lines, the Broadway-style productions ensured that both Adults and kids are entertained and will enjoy the show. Watching them nightly was truly a highlight and a nice way to end the day from a tiring day from excursions. Food, I have to be honest, I expected more from the food that was being served. It's not the server's fault for the type of food that are being served on the ship, it lacked creativity, taste, and flavor. It was the worst offering of food I've ever had on a cruise ship. Out of the 7 days, only 2 nights were good, the rest was "meh". I was more excited getting out of the ship so I can have "real" food. The breakfast offering at buffet section was pretty much always the same except for the scrambled eggs that changed its toppings. The scrambled egg tasted that it came from a box which most likely it was. They only had 1 area if you wanted fresh eggs to be done which means queue will always be long. Orange juice is by minute maid, not freshly squeezed like Holland America's offering. The coffee is a concentrated version which is mixed with hot water prior to dispensing, so it taste "off". A 3-in-1 instant mix taste better. Dinner offerings did not fair any better, any shrimp or prawn on the menu means it's from a thawed shrimp cocktail. ie (marinated shrimp = cocktail shrimp with whatever sauce they had). The highlights of the meals were the beef wellington served on the last sea day, the swordfish for lunch at the buffet on embarkation, baked lobster on formal night, and the mickey ears ice cream. You'll actually lose weight if you're a foodie. The pool deck offerings of burgers, pizzas, and shawarma was pretty bad. The burger patties was always dry and tough, the buns were stale, the chicken fingers were dry, fries were a hit and a miss at times, pizza with its pre-formed/cooked dough was horrible. With that, I will still sail Disney in the future because it bring so much joy for my daughter. It was worth the price of admission and I already booked our next trip next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I wanted the experience of a Disney cruise. The children are 5 and 7 years old. This should have been a good experience for eveyone in the party. The children went to the 'club' on several occasions to particular activities but ... Read More
I wanted the experience of a Disney cruise. The children are 5 and 7 years old. This should have been a good experience for eveyone in the party. The children went to the 'club' on several occasions to particular activities but those activities just did not happen. There was plenty of supervision but it was mostly over playing games on computers. They had hoped for the face painting that was supposed to happen on the 'pirate party ' night. But this did not happen. Dining was plentiful but much of it was 'junk' food standard. There were good retuarants - we went to the 'French cuisine' on the first night but service was so slow for the 5 year old in particular that we elected to go to the self service on other nights. Cabana can only be described as crowded all the time it was open. A great choice of food but so much of the 'fries with everything' variety. We enjoyed 'Tangled ' on one night but 'Dreams' sadly miss fired on the last evening and the hour long preformance was stopped due to 'technical problems' after half an hour. A whole 30 minutes passed with a Bingo caller and chants of get on with the show from the audience. Awful. The swimming pool for children was overcrowded all of the time it was open.I think Disney really need to look at the provision of facilities for children that they are providing. For me this was an experience I would not like to repeat. This ship could have so much more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I choose this cruise based on a friend's vacation photos and I have no regrets and I am not a "Disney Devotee." I went with my husband and our 4 year old daughter, who can be difficult. I really had no major complaints - ... Read More
I choose this cruise based on a friend's vacation photos and I have no regrets and I am not a "Disney Devotee." I went with my husband and our 4 year old daughter, who can be difficult. I really had no major complaints - the food was good, service excellent, my daughter loved the Oceaneers' Club, pool, slide, etc. Advice/info that I would provide to future travelers; - The Oceaneers' Club opens before the earliest shore excursions. We left our daughter in the Club when taking all-day trips to Rome, Florence and a half-day trip to Pompeii. No issues. She loved it! Some people took kids on those excursions and it was a mistake - it was really hot, over 100 degrees F. - For excursions, pay-up and book the trips which include all tickets (Coliseum, Vatican, Statue of David). You only have one day in these cities and the lines for tickets are pretty long. Don't waste your limited time. - There are lots of people without children. They all seem to be having a fun time while staying in the adult-only pool, restaurant, etc. - There are tons of opportunities to get character pictures. I understand that at the parks and Caribbean Disney cruises, the wait time is hours. We never waited more than 10-15 minutes (daughter with no patience) and have tons of pictures of Mickey, Minnie, Princesses. I booked another Disney cruise while on board. At the end, I wasn't sure if the cruise was more for me or our daughter who can't wait to get back on "Mickey's Boat." Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We loved our cruise on the Disney Magic. Our stateroom with a verandah was a good size for a family of four, and the hospitality staff that kept the stateroom clean was amazing (twice a day refresher). The food onboard was above average ... Read More
We loved our cruise on the Disney Magic. Our stateroom with a verandah was a good size for a family of four, and the hospitality staff that kept the stateroom clean was amazing (twice a day refresher). The food onboard was above average with only a couple of clunkers. I liked that you had the option to eat in the buffet (Cabanas) if you weren't able to make your scheduled seating. Palo, the high-end restaurant, was also a nice experience. The kids loved the shows and the character picture opportunities. The stops on the cruise were good - although the excursion offerings were very expensive. For example "Rome on your own" was $100 pp by organized bus, but you could get yourself onto a train relatively easily for less than 20 Euro roundtrip. We did do the Hurculaneum tour, which we enjoyed. The Disney Navigator app was good to use while on board to follow the schedule and bookmark events you were interested in. It also had a nifty chat function to chat with others in your party (or new friends) while on ship. The biggest plus for us, however, was the service we experienced when our child fell in Rome and needed a hospital visit for stitches. The Magic staff stayed in touch with us during our ordeal and really supported us as we got back to the ship late. They also followed up with us over the next two days to see how he was doing. A couple minor negatives: all pools and the main splash pad area are off limits to toddlers and babies that are still in swim diapers, with only a small splash pad as an option away from everything else. The Explorers club for kids kept having open houses when we wanted to have our oldest stay for the day, requiring all checked in kids to be moved to the Explorers Lab. The lines for the character apprearances were always at least 10-15 minutes (but everyone was always very gracious), and of course all extras cost - the pictures are highly expensive if you want to get copies of the official pictures made ($20 for a single 8 x 10, $350 for the cruise CD). Wifi was also expensive, and timed out on occasion. There aren't a lot of activities appropriate for children under three who don't yet "get" the characters. A small playground would have been wonderful, too, to help burn energy off. Some of the lounges seemed under-utilized.. turning one of these into a little rumpus room for smaller children (small slide, climbing blocks, etc.) would really be great. Finally, the navigator app could be improved by allowing off-ship communication (with wifi) and/or syncing with your reserved activities - such as your excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We trust Disney products. We heard a lot of bad things cruising with NCL, MSC, and Carnival brands from our friends. We are not very price sensitive and we want t0 make sure the ship is clean and safe. The Disney transportation did a ... Read More
We trust Disney products. We heard a lot of bad things cruising with NCL, MSC, and Carnival brands from our friends. We are not very price sensitive and we want t0 make sure the ship is clean and safe. The Disney transportation did a very good job picking us up from Hilton and sending us back to the airport. I particular like the split bath room arrangement in the cabin. The service is excellent. The food is very good and our servers gave us a very good service. The port adventures are a bit pricy, but the quality is very good and we have a wonderful time seeing Italy and southern France. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and somewhat friendly. The tour guide for the Rome trip is very helpful. Her performance is above and beyond her duty. The nightly entertainments are excellent, may be it is due to our family is Disney fans. We are going back again taking the same cruise this year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our first Disney cruise and it was faultless! We travelled with our 6 year old and he didn't want to leave, we booked onboard for our next one. I consider myself quite picky when it comes to holidays and ever expectation ... Read More
This was our first Disney cruise and it was faultless! We travelled with our 6 year old and he didn't want to leave, we booked onboard for our next one. I consider myself quite picky when it comes to holidays and ever expectation was exceeded on this cruise nothing was to much trouble. Our bathroom light started to flicker as a test we said nothing and it was fixed when we came back to our room. Our little boy got tangled in the sheets at night so they found him a duvet. Room service even wrote him a little personalised letter commenting things he had done on the cruise. In summary Food, lots of choice and of a high quality Drink, non alcoholic drinks like juice and soda are free and endless. Take some empty drinks bottles so you can pop some in your fridge or use by the pool. The small card ones they give you don't last long and with kids and straws sometimes it can get messy! Entertainment, my husband was even prepared to go to the theatre shows as they were so well produced. Don't sit in the front row as sometimes the smoke machiene goes a bit crazy , quite a few people left because they started coughing. The latest cinema releases were all on board. Room service, there is a limited menu but if you order once they sometimes give you a extended menu. The deck parties are amazing. A bit of pushing and shoving so get yourself on deck 10 and you can watch all the action without being disturbed. The fireworks are breath taking! Tour. We went on a half day to Pompeii. The tour itself was great but I think the guide had a deal with the restaurant so he omitted to mention the free toilets at the exit of the site. The ones around the shops all cost 50c. In itself that's not a lot but if you don't have any change you then have to buy something first to brake the note and a small Sprite was 3euros. The clubs are great, lots to do and the id band and wave phones mean the children can have the free run of the ship and it is completely safe. This did mean kids running about and screaming at 2am a couple of nights and I hate to say they were all British children but as it Disney I let it go! Sorry couldn't resist ! The gym is good but they only do the spin classes while at sea. Which meant there were only 2. You could use the bikes only in classes? Disney Magic! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our third Disney cruise - we have done two Caribbean cruises and were very excited to take our 11 and 9 year old daughters to Europe for the first time. This is a very port intensive trip (only two at sea days) and we loved every ... Read More
This was our third Disney cruise - we have done two Caribbean cruises and were very excited to take our 11 and 9 year old daughters to Europe for the first time. This is a very port intensive trip (only two at sea days) and we loved every minute of it! Rome - we used Rome in Limo - we had Giovanni as our guide and Kate as our private guide for the Vatican. I can't recommend them more! They are AMAZING! We did the excursion with another family and it was less than half the price we would have paid for a similar one on Disney and we would have seen about half as well. Giovanni picked us up in a beautiful air conditioned Mercedes van with cold water waiting. It was a 45 minute drive to Rome and he talked to us about the countryside and all about Rome. We first stopped at the Colosseum and went inside (Giovanni stopped for a photo op for us first!). Then off to Circus Maximus (where they did chariot races) and got to drink from an Italian fountain, then to the Forum, the Pantheon, a lovely lunch (although if you need time you can't really rush and Italian lunch), Spanish steps, the Trevi fountain and off to the Vatican for our private guide Kate - I am amazed that my kids actually paid attention and still talk about what they learned from her! I wish we had used them in Napes as well! Naples - we did the Disney excursion to Capri, Pompeii and Sorrento. They were all beautiful but honestly it was a lot of travel time and VERY limited time in each site - so my advice - pick one or maybe two - but don't try to do all of this in one day! Livorno - Disney excursion to Cinque Terre - do it- SO SO BEAUTIFUL! Great boat ride and we stopped at two different villages - the second stop was longer and we swam at the beach and ate lunch there and skipped the tour of the city. They fed us focaccia bread and local wine on the boat ride back. Great excursion! Villefranche - the pretties of the actual port towns - you take a tender in - we went to Eze and made perfume at Fragoman through DIsney - beautiful drive along the coast! Disney is amazing - the kids love it and we love it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I have always wanted to go on a Disney cruise with my family before my kids get "too old for Disney" and combined with my wish for them to see Europe and without my having to pack and unpack every day, this was going to be my ... Read More
I have always wanted to go on a Disney cruise with my family before my kids get "too old for Disney" and combined with my wish for them to see Europe and without my having to pack and unpack every day, this was going to be my ideal vacation! We embarked and disembarked in Barcelona. Day 2 (formal night on Day 2) and Day 7 were sailing days. We stopped at Naples (Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii) on Day 3, Civitavechia (Rome) on Day 4, Livorno (Pisa/Florence) on Day 5 and Cannes on Day 6. We booked our own private tours with companies found on tripadvisor.com. Totally worth the extra research. We were able to save hundreds of dollars over Disney excursions with as much personal attention and flexibility we wanted and without having to travel in a pack with 30/40+ fellow passengers. The private vans were able to drive through narrow European streets that big tour buses were not permitted - i.e., see more and much less walking. We felt more like locals than tourists! This is not our first cruise. We've sailed on Royal Caribbean (on the Oasis class) and Princess in the past. Disney has a reputation in the cruise industry to have amazing food, service and entertainment - we were told by the cruise director that all 4 Disney cruise ships made it onto a Top 10 list of best cruise ships for 2015. This made me wonder if most of the reviewers were Disney cruise-only loyalists or first time cruisers with nothing else to compare with in their cruising experience. Let's start with the positives. I loved that our deluxe family ocean view stateroom with verandah was able to accommodate my brood of 5 without any major brawls among the siblings. The split bathrooms with 2 sinks was brilliant and a god-sent (esp. with a brooding teenager in the mix!). The Frete towels were unexpected and so very soft! The Disney characters photo sessions were a big draw for me and my tween kids. The 2 showcase musicals were well produced - Disney knows how to put on a show. The Magic was small enough that we were able to dock at Livorno (instead of Spezia) for Pisa/Florence which saved us a great deal of driving time. We were also able to anchor off the beach of Cannes that the mega ships otherwise wouldn't be allowed. We ate breakfast outside overlooking the French Rivera coastline and the picturesque city sky line! We even saw a dolphin in the distance. Here are the not-so-positives. (1) Despite its dry dock renovation, the Magic was showing its age. Due to its small size and 20-year-old designs, common spaces seemed crammed. It lacked outdoor space and amenities commonly found on newer ships. Other than the pools (and waterslides), they only had one basketball hoop (which had a very low hanging net overhead which impeded ball passing and shooting, 2 ping pong tables and 2 foosball tables. (2) While we loved our dining room waiters and stateroom attendant, we found that the staff around the ship (who were pleasant and never rude) to generally look unhappy when they thought no one was looking. I am aware that working on a cruise ship is hard physically (the long hours with no days off) and emotionally (being away from their families 6 months at a time). However, that is true across all cruise lines and the staff on our RC cruises were simply brighter and more cheerful in just the way they expressed themselves with their body language. It definitely did not give off the "happiest place on earth" feeling. (3) If you need a reminder that you were on a Disney cruise, you need to look no further than the main live-entertainment. 5 of the 7 nights featured a musical act that centered around popular Disney movies (heavy emphasis on princess ones). Let's try to mix things up and incorporate Marvel and Star Wars characters in the plot! (4) Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the food. Other than the midnight feast on pirate night (to which I applaud the effort put in by all), the selection and quality of the food in Cabana (buffet restaurant) was a big let-down. It reminded us of eating at the theme parks. Plenty of chicken nuggets type offerings - catered to very young kids' palette. Scrambled eggs were soggy every morning. We didn't eat at Palo (adults only; $30 pp) so maybe the more interesting and better tasting food was offered there. There are 3 main dining rooms on the ship. You're assigned one of the 3 restaurants as your "home" restaurant - that's the one you go to on your first night and morning of disembarkation. Along with the entire wait team from that first night, you'll then rotate through the other 2 restaurants. So, on our 7 night cruise, we ate at the Animator's Palate (our "home" restaurant) 3x, Carioca's 2x and Lumiere's 2x. Food at the 3 restaurants were ok but again lacking in varieties. We chose different options every night within our family so we can sample different dishes but invariably, the best option was always some sort of steak. My husband had veal one night and the meat was so dry and tough he had a hard time cutting through with a steak knife. My daughter had pasta with scallops that was overcooked and too salty. Our tablemate ordered something off the health fare options a few times. They always looked bland and reportedly, the taste was equally bland. Our dining experience was saved by our amazing waiter. Whenever she saw that we didn't eat much of our dish, she would come over to see if we wanted to try something else. It made me think that people disappointed by their food happened quite often. I do understand that cooking for so many people is an extremely difficult task. We've just had fresher, better tasting and more sophisticated food consistently on our RC cruises that had multiple times the number of diners. (5) However, my biggest pet peeve had to be that Disney charged extra for popcorn at the live-shows and the movie theater. Just like at the theme parks, you can purchase a souvenir bucket and get a discount for refills with the bucket. In the grand scheme of things, $25 dollars after what we paid for the cruise was a drop in the bucket. On the other hand, was the $25 worth it in negative customer satisfaction??? All in all, we had a pleasant time. I would recommend this 7-night Western Mediterranean itinerary. I only found the general onboard experience on the Magic to be so-so. Unlike Aulani (the Disney resort on Oahu), this cruise was too much little-kids-Disney all the time - even for a life-long Disney fan such as myself. If you are travelling with young kids (under 6 or 7) whose joy of seeing Disney characters or movies every waking moment on board the ship trumps everything else, go for it. If you are travelling with teenagers and grandparents who don't want to be surrounded by majority of passengers being young kids (screaming or otherwise) or all things Disney, take a closer look at other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise was incredible from embarkation to disembarkation. Our extended family group of 14 (ranging in age from 4 to 74) enjoyed every moment of the week we spent on this ship. There was always something to do for everyone -- from ... Read More
This cruise was incredible from embarkation to disembarkation. Our extended family group of 14 (ranging in age from 4 to 74) enjoyed every moment of the week we spent on this ship. There was always something to do for everyone -- from exploring the port cities, to lounging by one of the pools with a cold drink. There were trivia challenges, multiple-per-day movies in the on-board theatre, informative lectures, organized scavenger hunts and games, and crafts. The dine-around system ensured we were never board and the restaurants varied in theme and menu. Scrumptious options! (and brunch at Palo... I'm still drooling!) The entertainment (ABBA Fab, String Fever, the ventriloquist whose name I can't remember, and Hector the Magician) was top-quality. If I had to complain about anything, the shows were a bit too short. Only downside was the constant push to buy-buy-buy. The staff are trained to up-sell, and we did grow weary of it. But even that couldn't detract from our enjoyment. Thanks Disney, for making our family holiday truly MAGIC! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We switched to this cruise when Disney changed the itinerary of the 12 night cruise to remove Greece and Turkey. This cruise allowed us more time to tour on our own and in our opinion adequately explored the same area as the new 12 night ... Read More
We switched to this cruise when Disney changed the itinerary of the 12 night cruise to remove Greece and Turkey. This cruise allowed us more time to tour on our own and in our opinion adequately explored the same area as the new 12 night itinerary. We had a marvelous time. It was our first ever cruise on any ship. WE found the appearance and upkeep of the ship to be wonderful, our room accomodated my family of four very well, the staff were friendly and attentive and the activities were plentiful. As this was my first cruise I expected there to be more downtime to unwind and relax, but there was always so much fun and interesting stuff to do we didn't really experience that. The onboard entertainment was really special. We enjoyed the broadway style shows and live musicians. We even got to see Pete's Dragon on the opening weekend. We played trivia and family game shows, my wife won a game of bingo, it was just fantastic. The server team traveling with us to the other restaurants really enhanced our vacation. My son bonded with our assistant server and it really helped bring him out of his shell and get into having a really good time. I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise to other travelers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
First time cruiser and really impressed with the experience. Traveled as a family of four and the standard and attention to detail of the ship was excellent. Great on-board, and off ship shore, activities that suited all ages in our party. ... Read More
First time cruiser and really impressed with the experience. Traveled as a family of four and the standard and attention to detail of the ship was excellent. Great on-board, and off ship shore, activities that suited all ages in our party. Staff were excellent and we felt they wen the extra mile to make our experience special. Plenty of food and activities all day and most of the night. Cleanliness and security were both rigorous and .appropriate without being oppressive. Days at sea passed well and the times in port were well planned, even when there was some travel required .to reach the destination. Will look at another cruise in a couple of years with a different route. We had a room with a veranda and was pleased with the choice as it gave more options while arriving into port or changing for dinner (also would have helped if the sea state had worsened. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My 12-year old daughter and I just returned from a wonderful week onboard the Disney Magic. I was apprehensive; some of the reviews on this ship haven't been stellar, but we loved almost every aspect of it. Staff went out of their way ... Read More
My 12-year old daughter and I just returned from a wonderful week onboard the Disney Magic. I was apprehensive; some of the reviews on this ship haven't been stellar, but we loved almost every aspect of it. Staff went out of their way to make it a great week, and I can't say enough about Guest Services. Delta Airlines lost my luggage (until the last night of the cruise); but the Guest Services staff kept calling and trying to track it down and sending us bathrobes, slippers, toiletries, and letting us do laundry for free. They really helped me keep the focus on having fun! Food was great (dining rooms) to ok (burgers and pizza). Pools were, as others have noted, a little small. We got assigned an accessible stateroom (7636) which was downright roomy. Our stateroom host kept it tidy and clean and left my chocoholic daughter extra chocolate! We loved most of our port adventures (Jumping Back into Eternal Rome was a tad long and disorganized, though). We loved the shows and even bingo! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My husband and I recently sailed with our 4 children(13, 11, 6 & 3) this was our 4th cruise, having previously sailed, Disney Wonder, Oasis of the Seas(x2). We stayed at the Hotel Alexandra, who were really good, we would stay there ... Read More
My husband and I recently sailed with our 4 children(13, 11, 6 & 3) this was our 4th cruise, having previously sailed, Disney Wonder, Oasis of the Seas(x2). We stayed at the Hotel Alexandra, who were really good, we would stay there again. We took a private taxi to the cruise port, and had no problems with embarkation, very efficient and speedy. We booked two interconnecting balcony cabins(6120 & 6122) which were pretty spacious, we had an issue with a leaking water sprinkler, but thanks to Fanny from Guest Services for sorting everything out. Food was good, it had improved vastly from when we had sailed before in 2010, and our servers Angelina and Janna were amazing, and went way beyond the call of duty! Thank you so much ladies for your memorable service! We have two children with food allergies, one to gluten and the other to nuts, this was no problem to these ladies, Deneval, the head waiter was also brilliant, thank you! Kids' clubs were great, my 11 year old son has special needs, and was included there without any problems, my other two(6 & 3) loved it, and they all had a ball! My 13 year old loved the Edge, unfortunately he accident there, where he fell over whist running and dislocated his knee, medical staff were great and put it back into place, but be warned if you need any medical treatment at sea, you have to pay all fees upfront to ship, we were presented with a bill of over $1,880-charged to your room card! You claim from your travel insurance afterwards, but always make sure you take out the additional cruise cover, so glad we did... A special shout out to Lauren from Edge, she was great! Entertainment was good, but night life was a bit flat, not too much of a problem as the cruise was quite port intensive, so lots of early starts...we used a company called Rome and Florence Connections, for our excursions and they were excellent, cheaper than Disney, and we had a private tour, would definitely recommend them. We loved the Irish bar, and the waitress Danielle was lovely, always smiling, and always made time for a chat. Thanks also to our cabin steward Edwin for looking after us so well, he deserves a holiday after putting up with us lot for the week lol! Disembarkation was again speedy and efficient. Despite the dramas of that week, we had an amazing time, and loved it! The personal and friendly service of the staff really made the holiday, and the scenery of a Med cruise is breathtaking....still miss the ship, we will be back :-)   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
It is fair to say that this review is written by a first time cruiser and a disney fan however I will try to keep this as objective as possible.My wife and two daughters aged 3 1/2 and 18 months booked through cruise a considerable time ... Read More
It is fair to say that this review is written by a first time cruiser and a disney fan however I will try to keep this as objective as possible.My wife and two daughters aged 3 1/2 and 18 months booked through cruise a considerable time before the sail date. W booked through a travel agent as we were travelling from the uk and Disney did not seem to offer an air package from the uk to Barcelona. Otherwise the price offered for the cabin and cruise was identical from both the agent and the Disney website.We chose DCL as I am a big disney fan and I always liked the idea of a cruise. I was delighted to see that DCL returned to the Mediterranean this year. This made the choice of ship easy as I wanted to cruise the med and I wanted to sail with DCL therefore the Magic was the only option.I researched the cruise in a lot of detail as well as the facilities on the boat this really helped in knowing what to expect. There are very few negatives written about the Disney Magic and I will comment on them as well as the positives.Embarkation: There was a fairly long line to get into the port. We had been allotted a port arrival time and we were much earlier, this did not seem to prove a problem for Disney and the check in process was well organised. Following check in we were allowed access into a large waiting room. I don't know what other cruise lines do at this point but Disney provided Mickey and Minnie Mouse to keep my children happy. Yes there was a line to see them but it was nothing like the line you encounter in the other disney resorts. We signed our eldest into the children's club and then boarded the ship. We were announced on board and a member of the crew came straight over and explained our options for accessing our stateroom and for lunch. We found this very helpful and there were clearly plenty of staff on hand to offer this service to all the boarding guests.Stateroom: We gained access to our stateroom at 1.30. Here comes the first negative, everywhere I have read that DCL offers larger than average staterooms. If you have never cruised before please still do not underestimate that staterooms are still much smaller than your average hotel room. That being said after the initial shock there was more than enough space and storage for four people's clothes, suitcases and for the amount of time we spent in it awake it was more than adequate. We selected a stateroom with a verandah, for the extra money this was probably not worthwhile as we did not use it. However I still appreciated the fresh air. I have read negative comments about the upkeep of the Magic, I did not see anything that caused me to comment. There was a tiny bit of rust on the verandah but only noticeable because I was looking. Within the stateroom the room was immaculate and kept so by our wonderful room steward who was never once caught cleaning the room but clearly did it twice a day to an exceptional standard.Dining: breakfast and lunch were nothing special. For breakfast we tried both the buffet options and the table service option. By far our best choice was Parrot cay for breakfast, waiters took care of table and drinks and we just had to concentrate on food for us and the children. The main buffet always seemed to be a little disorganised. Rightly of wrongly we did not eat in a restaurant for lunch apart from the buffet on the day of embarkation, which we did not like both in food choice or organisation. We were much more comfortable with the fast food establishments which needs no more review, it was plentiful and fairly tasty. It kept the children happy. The main event is obviously dinner. We were on first sitting. We met our servers, Andre and Supatcha, my daughters who are usually wary of strangers at first appeared to immediately fall in love with Andre and it is fair to say that he was excellent both them and us. The food was good, I am not going to rave about it as we have eaten in a number of Michelin starred restaurants and the food on board did not come close but it was good and the choice was excellent. My parents who are regular cruisers with P&O have looked at our menus and commented that the choice was much wider than P&O. Public areas: These were all very nice, the only comment I would have is that the public restrooms did not all have baby change facilities. This is unusual given the otherwise child friendly nature of the ship. Hopefully they will take this on board when dealing with the refit.Children's clubs: As far as my 3 year old is concerned Disney get this right. Our difficulty was getting her out of the children club. The staff were excellent. I do have one issue, the age range for the main children's club is 3 - 12. Personally I would prefer that my 3 year old was not mixing with 12 year old children, the age gap is too wide and Disney need to look at this for the future.Entertainment: I either read this on this site or another but it sums it up perfectly, most cruise lines are cruise lines trying to do entertainment, Disney is an entertainment company doing cruises. One area they really excel is the entertainment. The children are regularly wowed by the scheduled and unscheduled appearances of some of their favourite characters, yes there are always lines but as I said above this is nothing like the lines you experience in the other disney resorts. As for the shows they are superb. Even after a long day on excursions they are unmissable.Excursions: Disney excursions (port adventures) we did two, they are expensive and having discussed it with fellow cruisers we could have arranged it independently for a fraction of the cost. On this occasion we booked through Disney and the descriptions of the excursions and timings were accurate. Disney organisation was good so for the extra money you do receive considerable peace of mind. One criticism of the Rome excursion. The night before we received a letter stating that Rome was extremely busy at the moment. We were then further advised that Wednesday was the busiest day in Rome and it was! Perhaps not docking on a Wednesday would be a better idea.Disembarkation: Described by others who have travelled DCL as a shambles. We were assigned early breakfast, attended, wandered off the ship without a line, collected our luggage and boarded the bus to the airport, no fuss no hassle. The only problem was the feeling that none of us wanted to get off the ship as we had had such a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Disney did a superb job from start to finish, including a last minute change of port due to a local strike. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the crew was helpful, welcoming and incredibly friendly. The kids loved the Disney characters and ... Read More
Disney did a superb job from start to finish, including a last minute change of port due to a local strike. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the crew was helpful, welcoming and incredibly friendly. The kids loved the Disney characters and the unlimited ice cream! The Ports of Call were beautiful, especially Naples and Villefranche. The ship was elegant and clean. The motif was classical, reminiscent of the 20's but with all the modern conveniences. The dining rooms were each unique, with the Animator's Palate a real treat. We left the ship sad and wanting more! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
To summarize the preface above: We sailed (two people) on Disney's Magic for 11 nights in the Western Mediterranean to the ports of Valletta/Malta, Palermo/Sicily, Naples/Italy, Civitavecchia/Rome/Italy, La Spezia/Florence/Italy, ... Read More
To summarize the preface above: We sailed (two people) on Disney's Magic for 11 nights in the Western Mediterranean to the ports of Valletta/Malta, Palermo/Sicily, Naples/Italy, Civitavecchia/Rome/Italy, La Spezia/Florence/Italy, Ajaccio/Corsica, Palma/Mallorca. Embarking in the wonderful Catalan city of Barcelona. We sailed July 9th to July 20th (for reference, we arrived in Barcelona 7/7 and left 7/21). We stayed in the Hilton (great hotel) and had transfers to the ship directly from the hotel. (warning - it was a very early transfer and it only goes once) Traveling together (Mother & son), we were very excited to be on our fifth Disney cruise and to be on our second European cruise. I was personally disappointed by not being able to visit Tunisia, as Carthaginian history is fascinating, but I understand the rationale for canceling and I hope the Tunisian Revolution proves a success (for a secular European-style democracy). The ship looks dated and the quality of the kid programs are not what they used to be. (We were pleasantly greeted with kids playing with car toys on one of the windows, while on our way to lunch one of the sea days) We had great service as per usual, our head server (Cedomir from Croatia) was excellent and definitely helped us in many ways. We also enjoyed a visit from Deneval (who we met originally on a Disney cruise 5 years ago) and had great service from our server (Aditya from Mumbai) and assistant server (Laura from Liverpool, England), last but not least we spent some of our time in the Promenade lounge (mostly after returning from a port adventure) and made friends with Angel (from the Philippines). Our cabin boy (officially "Host") was nothing like our former ones, while he did clean the room well, he moved around our belongings in an unusual fashion. The entertainment was decent, but not as action-packed as previous cruises, "Who wants to be a Mousekeeter" our favorite show, was only played once in the cruise (compared to 4 times on our 7 night WC cruise) and it was only right before Dinner so we didn't get to see it! We went to Disney Trivia and that was so-so. We watched Pirates IV on the ship, the 3D element was nice. Onboard shopping was great. Shopping in port was almost non-existent (no shopping time on 5 of our port adventures). Dining-wise, the food selection was poor so we had steak frequently. We enjoyed the ravioli as an appetizer and our desserts were all very good. I loved the Butterscotch sundae! We were unable to visit Nice-Monaco (port of Villefranche) due to weather conditions, I believe this was the first time Disney cancelled this port. So instead we visited Palma de Mallorca, Spain. We would recommend this cruise to every cruiser. Port Reviews are below. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We sailed (2 adults 2 9 year olds) on Disney's Magic for 11 nights in the Western Mediterranean to the ports of Valletta/Malta, Palermo/Sicily, Naples/Italy, Civitavecchia/Rome/Italy, La Spezia/Florence/Italy, Ajaccio/Corsica, ... Read More
We sailed (2 adults 2 9 year olds) on Disney's Magic for 11 nights in the Western Mediterranean to the ports of Valletta/Malta, Palermo/Sicily, Naples/Italy, Civitavecchia/Rome/Italy, La Spezia/Florence/Italy, Ajaccio/Corsica, Palma/Mallorca. Embarking in the wonderful Catalan city of Barcelona. We sailed July 9th to July 20th arriving morning of July 9th. Embarkation was embarkation except for the fact that when the check in person tried to give us a Gold lanyard for our son's friend who was not gold the supervisor had a fit and would not allow the person checking us in to give us the gold lanyard..he slipped it to us anyway. We waited quite a while to board the ship but once on all was smooth. Our cabin steward was great and we were well taken care of. Some of the UGLY. Our Head Server was a complete JERK. Before we had gotten on board I had requested a specific server..not once but twice! When we get to dinner the first night we don't have the server we requested so we talked to the head server who told us that it was our fault as we should have gone to guest services when we got on board. He would not reassign David to our table! David wound up spending time with us anyway and our actual assigned server was terrific but just not David! Disney has apparently transferred a whole bunch of the really good staff to the new ships as some of the crew just was not up to usual DCL standards. 5 or 6 mornings on the ship when my husband went to get coffee or milk at the beverage station they were either out of coffee, milk or 1/2 & 1/2 for the coffee (2 mornings there was a woman standing there restocking cups and lids but not taking care of restocking the actual beverages) Palo was AMAZING as always! The rest of the food...well it is cruise food and our expectations are never high so when we had a couple of really yummy items it was a wonderful surprise. As always the excursions were TOP NOTCH and it shows that DCL chooses who they use carefully. There is not enough space for me to write about all our wonderful adventures. While we had to skip a port due to high winds in true DCL style we cruised to another port...got the excursion we wanted in the new port and had a ball. Debarkation was flawless and we got on our final excursion to Montserrat and it was WONDERFUL and were dropped off at our hotel. While there were some negatives we would NEVER cruise any another cruise line(until we are older with out child) other than DCL. We have our next 3 cruises booked! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Our family just got back from the 6/8 Med sailing. Just a quick recap of our trip for anybody interested.Our five include three daughters aged 11, 15 and 17. We did all stops on our own with the exception of Rome which we used Rome in ... Read More
Our family just got back from the 6/8 Med sailing. Just a quick recap of our trip for anybody interested.Our five include three daughters aged 11, 15 and 17. We did all stops on our own with the exception of Rome which we used Rome in Limo. Tons of savings, but also some occasional frustration waiting on local transport. I'll try to outline what worked and what didn't. We departed 6/4 from Chicago O'Hare on the only non-stop flight from ORD via Pakistan Air. Yes, an odd choice but with a savings of over $500 per ticket and the extra time savings...it was a great value. Both the check-in and the boarding process were a disaster. Long lines and no order, but the plane left nearly on time...about 30 minutes late. The flight itself had lots of families with young children which can always be a challenge. Additionally, the food was not terrific...they offer a Pakistani and European meal neither of which was terrific. However, the seats were decent and they do have a personal video player at each seat with several western film selections. We arrived on time and gathered our luggage and proceeded to our hotel the Barcelona Airport Renaissance. Day 1 - Barcelona - The hotel is not ideally situated as it is about 20 minutes from downtown Barcelona. There is a free shuttle to the hotel (although if you arrive in terminal 2, you need to call the hotel to schedule pick-up). Because we arrived at 10:30 AM our room was not yet ready, but we enjoyed the lounge until our rooms were available. The hotel also offers a free shuttle service to Las Ramblas a couple times a day (and two or three other times per day for 5 Euro per person). But, instead we mostly used local transportation as there is a bus stop right across the street from the hotel. Bus line 65 starts here and as a result, there is almost always a bus available...on demand. We rode this bus to Placa Espanya where we grabbed the Metro (~30 minute ride). So, with a T-10 card @ .75 Euro per person (including a transfer) we switched to the L3 metro and rode up to the Vallarca stop where we 'hiked' up to Park Guell. Park Guell was great, there was lots of activity with tourists, musical acts, human statues and plenty of 'sales people'. We enjoyed the views and Gaudi's design as we wandered about the park. From here we walked back to the metro and found a tapas restaurant and enjoyed a quick meal. Then took the bus back to the hotel. Day 2 - Downtown Barcelona - Bus 65 again to the Metro and hopped off at the Columbus statue by the harbor. Wandered up Las Ramblas...grabbing some breakfast at La Boqueria. More wandering through Barri Gotic and visited the Barcelona Cathedral. Walked up to the Modernista Casa Batilla...then up to Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and went up to the roof. Great views of Barcelona and more Gaudi excellence. Back to the Metro (L5, I think) to La Sagrada Familia. Stopped for a pizza just outside the cathedral then toured the church. Back to Metro with a transfer to L3 and Bus 65 back to the hotel.Day 3 - Day Trip from Barcelona - Decided to rent a car to explore outside Barcelona. Rented from Sixt which it turns out is much further from the hotel than I thought. I walked to the rental location which was probably about a mile away. (Should have chosen Avis which is right down the street from the hotel). Unfortunately forgot my passport so I had to go back to the hotel and pick it up prior to getting my car...oops. We went out to Girona, but the place was packed and I couldn't find a parking spot, so we bagged it and proceeded out to Figueres. We went to the Dali Museum which is quite a spectacle. An interesting visit, but I was a tad bit disappointed as all the major exhibits are well covered by the various travel shows (that I am a junky for). The kids were a bit perplexed but I think they enjoyed it. Grabbed some lunch then proceeded out to Cadaques. The last 15 minutes of the drive are beautiful, winding and scenic. Unfortunately a rainstorm arrived about the time we did. We still got out and walked down to the beach as everybody else was heading home. My kids loved the rock beaches and the scenic white homes on the hill were beautiful. We had a wonderful Nutella crepe and skipped rocks into the water. Overall, everybody had a good time.Day 4 - Embarkation - We took a couple taxis from the hotel (~20-25 Euro per taxi) to the pier. Somebody grabbed our luggage and said we could go into the terminal. There was a line, but I just walked in per the instruction to find nobody else in the terminal except a bunch of Disney folks milling about. We filled out our health checks and got our keys all alone in the building. They pointed us to the waiting room and about 10 minutes later others started to join us. About 11:30 they started boarding the Magic...we were on board around 12:00. We were directed to Parrot Cay and enjoyed lunch. Kids were off to explore shortly after and we milled around until 1:15 when we were allowed into our rooms. The rest of the day was pretty standard first cruise day.Day 5 - Day at Sea - We got up late and then ate and ate and ate. I attended the lecture on Rome which was terrible. Not particularly informative and even less interesting. I also attended the Imagineer lecture which was better, but not stellar. The well versed Disney fan didn't have a lot to learn at the lecture, but much more entertaining than Rome. Perhaps my biggest quibble on the cruise was a lack of interesting adult options. Lounged about the rest of the day, until time to dress up for formal night.Day 6 - Malta - We were one of the first families off the boat and took the hike up the hill. Found the 81 bus at the terminal and rode out to Rabat. Followed some locals who pointed me over to Mdina, but apparently I didn't follow the instructions quite right. We wandered about Rabat for about 20 minutes until a quick stop in a convenience store pointed us in the right direction. We entered Mdina and enjoyed a stroll around the old medieval city. We decided to do the Mdina experience which was sort of informative but probably not worth the time or money. We went to St. Peters and were impressed. Eventually made it back to the bus and my youngest and wife went back to the boat. My other two daughters proceeded onto Valletta. We were really impressed by St. John's Co-Cathedral. Then tracked down St. Paul's Shipwreck Church, but it was actually closed mid-day (but we still got a peek inside). Grabbed some local snacks (delicious pizza and pastry). Back to the boat and Palo for dinner. We left the kids and enjoyed an outstanding meal at Palo...the kids were delighted as our servers brought them every dessert on the menu to share. Day 7 - Palermo - I was a little disappointed that Tunisia got dropped from our itinerary (and very disappointed by the required 18% VAT now required with all EU destinations). I didn't put a lot of effort into planning Palermo and as a result we didn't have a great time. My kids didn't want to go the Crypt and a little church fatigue was already starting to set in. So, we wandered to Piazza Pretoria stopping along the way at some local stores including a department store that the kids bought some things. Made our way to the local market and picked up some fantastic Italian loaves and focaccia bread. The back to the ship.Day 8 - Naples - Off the boat and straight to the ferry for Capri. Caught the 9:00 AM boat and arrived on the island to find out the Blue Grotto was closed due to rough water. So, we took the bus up to Anacapri (long bus line that thinned out gradually as next bus was over 15 minutes late to arrive). The buses are very small and can only hold ~25-30 people, so plan accordingly if you see a long line. In Anacapri we headed straight for the lift and took a chair ride up to Mt. Solaro. Amazing panoramic views of the whole island. We elected to only take the lift one way and walk back down. I think we were the only ones to do this since, in about 5 minutes it felt like we were the only ones on the island. Not another sole around. It took us about 30 minutes to walk back into town, not sure how much the kids enjoyed it, but they do remember it! It's a fairly steep hike with lots of loose stones on the grounds. Being hungry for the first time since we had been on the cruise, we enjoyed some Napoli style pizza in Anacapri. We did a little shopping (Somehow, I forgot to visit the San Michele church) then decided to avoid the bus and take a taxi back to Capri (20 Euro). We enjoyed some gelato and shopped around a bit with the masses before taking the funicular back to the Grand Harbor. Caught the 3:00 PM ferry back to this ship.Day 9 - Rome - Our driver (Rome in Limo) Maurizio was waiting for us right at the pier. Despite some heavy traffic on the way in, he was terrific taking us all around Rome...we saw Circus Maximus, the Forum, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Castel St. Angelo. He took us to an excellent local restaurant (we arrived at noon and pretty much dined alone) as well as an outstanding gelato shop. Additionally, he did a terrific job of explaining some of the history and brought us to some great photo stops with fantastic views of the city. I know Rome can be done by yourself pretty cheaply, but I was not disappointed that we had a guide at this stop. Day 10 - Pisa/Cinque Terre - My kids really wanted to do Pisa and I really wanted to see the Cinque Terre. I made online reservations to climb the tower at 10:20 AM and was a little bit nervous to get there via train. In order to try to both, I decided to rent a car here. I wasn't sure exactly where the Hertz office was in relationship to the tender drop-off...as it turns out about 1.5 miles. Dragging the family through the narrow La Spezia streets wasn't ideal but worked out just fine in the end. Picked up our car and an easy drive down the highway to Pisa, we arrived by about 9:30. Took the shuttle from the parking lot over to Field of Miracles and exchanged our reservation for tickets and were standing in line at the tower by 10:00 AM. We did the tower climb took our photos and were back on the road by a little after 11:30 AM. My plan was drive back and park at the La Spezia train station and train into the Cinque Terre, but I couldn't find any parking. I thought there was supposed to be parking at the train station, but I sure couldn't find any. So, we switched plans and took the rental car to Riomaggiore. We made it into town around 1:00 PM only to find there was no parking there either. So, we re-routed to Manarola where we found some parking. Unfortunately, I only had enough coins for to park until 5:00 PM. So, we took the steep climb down into town which was a lot of fun. Didn't run into any tourists until we got down by the train station (amazing how quick an uphill hike can thin the crowds). We enjoyed the town immensely and grabbed some lunch (amazing pesto focaccia bread). We walked down by the water and the kids hiked amongst the rocks and took some amazing photos of the beautiful natural harbor. Eventually, we made our way to the walk along Via Dell'Amore and enjoyed the hike back to Riomaggiore. It's a really easy walk and amazingly scenic, the kids loved this walk. We went down to the harbor and spent some time on the beach collecting shells and sea glass. Eventually, made our way to take the short train ride back to Manarola. Very disappointed I didn't make it to Vernazza or Monterossa but I'll definitely be back one day. An easy ride back to the tender to drop off the family. Then I returned that car and made the walk back to the tender myself. Day 11 - Ajaccio - Unfortunately, my 15 year old started to not feel so good today. So, my oldest daughter and I were the only ones on tour today. We walked right into town and ended up at the local marketplace where we picked up a few tasty snacks. We wandered about trying to find Napolean's birth house, but first ended up at the Musee Fesch. It was on my list of things but to see, but upon arrival it didn't look that inviting and we decided to keep on walking. We finally found the house, but inexplicably closed at 11:30 (scheduled to close at noon). Oh well, didn't appear that we missed much. Wandered down by the water to see the beach. Back to the market to pick up a few goodies for those not on tour, then back on the boat. Day 12 - Eze/Monte Carlo - Everybody back on tour today, we made the first tender again and walked up the hill to catch bus 100 back to Nice. Made a mistake and took the bus all the way to the end, then had to hike back to a previous stop to catch the 112 bus up to Eze. Eventually, made it to Eze around 9:00 AM. Explored the town and enjoyed the Exotic Garden and its fabulous views. Eventually made our way back down and to the local Patisserie from some croissants, pastries, and quiche. Then walked down to the perfume factory...didn't do the tour but visited the gift shop. Made our way back to the bust stop where the bus was about 45 minutes late (the family was not pleased with this wait, but couldn't even find a taxi to take us...sigh). Took the bus to Monte Carlo where it was an easy walk to the casino and harbor. Eventually grabbed the 100 bus back to Villefranche.Day 13 - Day at Sea - Uneventful relaxing day at sea.Day 14 - Disembarkation - Because this was an all EU cruise, no need to go through customs. So, it was literally only about 10 minutes to get off the boat, grab our luggage and out the door. I had scheduled transport for 9:00 and so we lounged around through breakfast and re-distributing luggage in the terminal until our driver picked us up. Back to the airport to find a much shorter Pakistan Air line (less than 40 people picking up the flight in Barcelona...the rest already on from Karachi). The PIA boarding process again, very messy. They actually make everybody get off the plane and go through passport control then re-check them through security body/bag search. It's a ridiculous process but eventually on the plane and another direct flight back to Chicago. Observations - It takes a co-operative family to manage all the transport on your own, but there are some amazing savings that can come from this and you can typically see far more than if you are touring through cruise shore excursions. Overall, I was very pleased with the cruise itinerary and the activities we decided to. I would make a few changes...if I were going to visit Girona/Figuerues again I would probably take the train, but Cadaques made it worth the effort (too bad we didn't have better weather). To do it again, in Malta I would grab a taxi at the harbor and go their blue grotto, then bus or taxi to Mdina. There is plenty of time to that as well as Valletta. I really wish we had been able to do Tunisia, but Disney probably made the right call to skip it. I should have made better plans in Palermo as that stop was thoroughly unmemorable. I don't have any regrets about visiting Capri, although as mentioned before I would probably do the grotto in Malta as it seems to be more reliable. Next time, I would probably visit Herculaneum (having already been to Pompeii) and then Ravello, Positano, Amalfi and check out the beautiful Amalfi coast drive. In Corsica, I would just plan to spend the day at the beach as it is a quick walk and at this point in the cruise everybody is already pretty tired. Overall, a fantastic trip...Disney service and the experience on the boat were great. An exhausting, but rewarding itinerary. Happy to answer any questions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
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