A grumpy, middle aged gay guy that doesn't really like kids wound up on Disney doing a back to back (B2B)... and loved every minute of it. Go figure! These were my 68th & 69th cruises, but very first on Disney. If you never thought about a Disney cruise before because you don't have kids, aren't a Disney fan, or can't imagine yourself on a Disney ship this review ís for you. Disney has something the others don't and you feel it in everything they do. This review will skip over the basic cruise stuff that everyone talks about and focus on things that we, as experienced cruisers, or people who never considered Disney, might find helpful.Anyone flying into Orlando and wondering how to get to Port Canaveral without paying enormous fees should check out the various rental car companies like Hertz and Avis who have agencies in both the airport AND only minutes away from the cruise port. Taking advantage of early booking deals or compact car rates (always remember the luggage) as well as the free shuttles, can make your entry into Port Canaveral (or even Port Everglades in Lauderdale) very, very easy. We picked up our cheap rental car at Orlando International upon landing($30) and drove over to the port, dropped our luggage at the cruise terminal first (why struggle?) and then headed over to the Cape Canaveral car rental office to drop off the car and take the free shuttle back. No stress, no hassle, and cheaper than any taxi or shuttle service. Who can't drive a strait line to the well marked port? We have done this so many times we can't believe other people haven't started doing it, too.
One thing Disney is excellent at doing is moving people. Check-in at their beautiful terminal was not only easy, but also entertaining. (I tell you this because it is the foreshadowing of how they take EVERYONE'S needs into consideration for the whole cruise.) We breezed through security (at noon) and went up to the check in area. We were escorted to the correct line, waited less than two minutes, and were then directed to the next available guest service agent to check in. Unlike some lines who curiously ask you to pre-fill out forms online, yet still need you to do the same thing again upon getting to the port, Disney had our forms, our boarding cards, and everything ready and waiting; and with a swipe of our AMEX for onboard charges, we were given a number for getting our picture taken and to board the ship. During the 5 minute wait, Minnie Mouse was in the hall, posing for pictures, and distracting any possibly impatient child into smiles and giggles. Not a cry or whine in the house...thanks to the mouse. We were about to board the happiest ship on earth.
Bibidi Babidi Boo... in less than 15 minutes of entering the terminal we were on the ship. Entering the Magic was something in itself. You can imagine that after 67 cruises, the process of getting on and off a ship is kind of routine. Other than seeing the ship for the first time, something I still love, it takes something to impress me. Well, Disney sure did. Asked for our names and hometown upon entering, we were announced to cheers and applause by a receiving line of white coated escorts as we got on board. We felt like stars. Although cabins aren't ready until 1pm, the ship's welcome staff asked us if they could point us in any direction, and instead of pointing, they escorted us there while identifying various places of interest. Hmmmmm
Great design and layout with more than enough space (we had 4 large suitcases). The split bathroom idea was great! We enjoyed spending time on our balcony and felt like our cabin was a home away from home.