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Disney Magic Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
498 Reviews

Another "greatest-vacation-of-our-lives"

Disney Magic Cruise Review by Doug.Rubin

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2018
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

This was the 3rd long'ish (>10 days) cruise we've gone to Europe via the Disney Magic, and it was once again, one of the best vacations we've ever had. So many reasons . . . I will miss many..

We love the ship, as it is just the right size for us and we booked very early, snagging one of the least expensive (white metal) veranda's in the stern of Deck 7 at a pretty reasonable price considering. And yes, we do the place-holder's on every cruise to lock in an extra 10% discount. The embarkation in Copenhagen was ok, as they chose a dock with a sufficient indoor facility for processing .. . . much different than the "magic" at Port Canevaral, but still adequate.

The food service is just right as my wife has many allergies, and I like to experiment a bit. We like the late seating as the pace of the evening works well for us (we don't drink or nightclub much). The shows were fantastic and we even were able to meet two of the fantastic performers (Eddie Brandt and Lisa Karlin) who were super-talented and actually, very nice people!

Our son loves the kids, now teen, clubs and he is considering the idea of being a Youth Activities Counselor after college (loans permitting). We see him at dinner and he accompanies us to some (but not all) of the shore trips.

We don't do Disney excursions because a) they are expensive, and b) more so, because they are set up for the lowest-common-denominator of traveler (kids, disabled, uneducated) and we like to do a little research and explore on our own. That being said, the choice of ports on this North Sea adventure was fantastic -- 3 little cities in Norway (Kristiansand, Stavenger, and Alesunc); incredible Rekyjavyk Iceland; and way underrated Invergordon - gateway to Scotland's Eastern Highlands.

I am still struggling to determine what there actually was to do in Kristiansand, but Stavanger has some terrific museums and shops and even was having a big athletic and concert weekend when we visited. I would spend 2+ days there easy. Alesund was picture-postcard pretty (although it rained hard when we were there). The Hop-on/Hop-off bus was a good choice. Iceland is exploding with tourism the past few years and I can see why. Incredible natural sights - volcano's, geological rifts, geysir's, hot springs; really nice people and an incredible culture of sheep, unique horses, good food, and hospitality. I want to go back. I had done a 2-week intensive tour of Scotland on my owne 25+ years ago, but the day in Invergordon was an unexpected treat. Instead of going south to see Inverness (a great little city) or west to see the famous Loch Ness, etc., we went north by hired taxi to see Dunrobin Castle (amazing) and toured through the charming town of Dornoch, but ended up buying most of our souvenirs at McCrae's in Invergordon where the owner and staff couldn't have been nicer (and the prices were very fair!).

Finishing up with a 1/2 day in Dover to see the Castle and downtown was well worth it for the history and the vistas, as we delayed our trip back up to London.and enjoyed another few days in Britain. What a great trip.


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Cabin Review

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
Cabin 06A 7237

We like the lowest level of Verandah, just fine as I mostly want to be able to breath the air and see what the ship is passing. We have no problem with any pitching motion even though we are at the stern and we like the "secret stairway" between the 4th and 9th decks.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Copenhagen

A terrific city . . . worth 3~5 days to see everything . . . but this was after an overnight flight via London as I was bushed. Wife and son went downtown to celebrate Danish Pride Night and had a good time. Safe, festive, friendly, not inexpensive.

Kristiansand

First port, first day, and even after looking at the maps 4 months later, I still struggle to identify what there is to do there. Nice small city walk around and shop for stuff. Yarn, farmer's market, usual stuff. Not especially interesting.

Stavanger

Beautiful, interesting town with a terrific "Oil Museum" explaining the history of Norway's presence in and wealth from the North Sea oil exploration and extraction since the 1970's.

Also the Fish Canning Museum which was an interesting example of a sardine processing plant from the 1920's - 1960's.

Very festive day we were there as there was an sports festival aimed at differently-abled athletes. And a live musical concert right by the main square. This is a very interesting city.

Those who like fjords can explore inland on those fast boats . . but we walked around the city and truly enjoyed meeting very friendly people. Just remember in Norway, Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!

Alesund

Another good port to try out those good clothes, because in the early morning it was driving horizontal cold rain . . . but by 1pm it was bright and sunny and a bit warmer. A few good museums, great view from the Byrampen and a nice town center. We should have done a little more shopping and had a meal there.

Geysir Walking Tour

My wife planned a full 8 hour combination tour with Saga Travel where we say Thingvellir, the Geysir's, Gullfloss Waterfall, the Secret Lagoon and many more sites (plus we stopped for ice cream at a dairy farm). My wife and Saga's & Oscar; did a great job as we were able to basically fill a 22 passenger mini-bus and we did more than two cruise excursions could do in 1/3rd the time.

View All 6 Geysir Walking Tour Reviews
Golden Circle

My wife planned a full 8 hour combination tour with Saga Travel where we say Thingvellir, the Geysir's, Gullfloss Waterfall, the Secret Lagoon and many more sites (plus we stopped for ice cream at a dairy farm). My wife and Saga's & Oscar; did a great job as we were able to basically fill a 22 passenger mini-bus and we did more than two cruise excursions could do in 1/3rd the time.

View All 122 Golden Circle Reviews
Gullfoss Waterfall

My wife planned a full 8 hour combination tour with Saga Travel where we say Thingvellir, the Geysir's, Gullfloss Waterfall, the Secret Lagoon and many more sites (plus we stopped for ice cream at a dairy farm). My wife and Saga's & Oscar; did a great job as we were able to basically fill a 22 passenger mini-bus and we did more than two cruise excursions could do in 1/3rd the time.

View All 9 Gullfoss Waterfall Reviews
Thingvellir National Park

My wife planned a full 8 hour combination tour with Saga Travel where we say Thingvellir, the Geysir's, Gullfloss Waterfall, the Secret Lagoon and many more sites (plus we stopped for ice cream at a dairy farm). My wife and Saga's & Oscar; did a great job as we were able to basically fill a 22 passenger mini-bus and we did more than two cruise excursions could do in 1/3rd the time.

View All 4 Thingvellir National Park Reviews
Highland Day Tour

We had an idea that we wanted to see Dunrobin Castle (as seen in "Barry Lyndon") but also walk around a town . . . Our driver complied and customized a very nice trip where we took some time, stopped several times for pictures and enjoyed the beautiful town of Dornoch. We also enjoyed walking around Invergordon and highly recommend McCrae's for souvenirs, etc.

View All 69 Highland Day Tour Reviews

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Doug.Rubin
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