Magic Mediterranean Vacation: Disney Magic Cruise Review by LA Phil

Disney Magic 5
LA Phil
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Magic Mediterranean Vacation

Sail Date: August 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
This is our third cruise on the Magic. Our first was when our son was 9, second when her was 11 and third as a recent high school graduate, age 19. This cruise we splurged and booked a concierge one-bedroom suite. We did other splurges as well, and it made for a truly wonderful, memorable vacation I can't stop thinking, dreaming about. The one-bedroom suites are really beautiful, the woodwork is artistic, the decoration tasteful and thoughtful. We had a concierge that was limited to about 9 families (as we understood). He, Rolando, and his assistant, couldn't do enough for us. We wanted shore excursion, reservation, special service, DONE! As we are only three, my spouse and I had the privacy we wanted in our bedroom, and our son had his own room and bathroom at night. Room service was always wonderful as we had a dining room table. We ate either at their Reservation Dining Restaurant Palo every night, except two nights when we were too tired from long shore excursions and had room More service. Concierge took care of all dining reservations, including changing whenever we wanted them changed and placing our room service orders. Palo dining was absolutely delicious, and we went through the entire menu. I'm allergic, but my son assures us that the lobster ravioli is to die for. As we are modest drinkers, wine or champagne, was corked each night and brought back to us the following evening. Our server, Andrea, at Palo's couldn't due enough for us. Brunch at Palo was also outstanding.We went to the adult pool in early evenings and it was peaceful.

We had very mild weather and seas, compared to our prior cruises we were cruising in a bathtub. Alot of the cruise was spent at ports on shore excursions, but we did a few ship side events. We indulged in the spa the first day. Also attended an art auction. The entertainment on board is really focused on children, but we still had fun. They have a beautiful movie theater and saw some late night shows. A comedy act for adults, Alfred and Seymour was very funny. The disco bar was smoke free, as was most everything, and the singers and musicians excellent. We attended a concierge reception when sailing out of Corsica, FUN, intimate. The last day at sea I took a tour of the kitchens, the chefs were actually kind of arrogant and overconfident, which explained to me why I never cared a great deal for their main dining rooms. If we hadn't dined at Palo, whose chef is fantastic, it would have been a very different cruise, for the worse. I have to say though that when our son was young the dining rooms were fun because of the entertaining and sweet staff, so we didn't much care about the less than stellar food.

Our experience of the ports was mixed. Great - Naples, La Spezia, Villefranche, Good- Ajaccio, Rome, OK - Malta, Not OK - Tunis. Tunis, for a variety of reasons is not appropriate for a Disney cruise. When we were there it was Ramadan, in the summer heat, which means the local population was uncomfortable from the daily fast, while we were vacationing.

In summary, the additional money spent for the suite and concierge service was well worth it, for us. We had a true luxury cruise experience. I can't wait to go back! Less

Published 09/27/10
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: T

the one bedroom concierge suite, for our family of three, was worth EVERY EXTRA PENNY. We had privacy, dining room space, a double balcomy. two TVs, two bathrooms, all beautifully maintained.

Port and Shore Excursions

Ajaccio is in a beautiful bay, cruising in and out is really lovely. The city is surprising unlovely, not ugly, but not pretty. I speak French, we didn't take a tour. I didn't hear much English at all, anywhere. Went to the Fresch Museum, excellent collection of Italian art, including a Botticelli. We went to a recommended cafe from the Michelin guide (Grand Cafe Napoleon), for lunch, it was empty but fully booked (they were expecting a group of 40, monsieur), we ate elsewhere, and noticed later that this group of 40 never arrived. The outdoor cafe we had lunch in was OK, nothing special. We did some clothes shopping and was surprised by the excellent selection and great service, my spouse, who loves to shop, and does not speak French, was given some info in halting words of English, but with my French it all went very well. So surprise, without all the big name designer stores in more touristy areas, clothes shopping in Ajaccio is a great deal for quality goods! Two local men in a cafe almost came to blows, were yelling real loud and got many locals involved in calming them down. There is something very authentic about Ajaccio, if not charming.

Our day in Naples was Magical. We took a shore excursion arranged by Disney. First we were whisked to Capri. Even on a crowded August Sunday, it is truly a beautiful place. The sweeping views of the sea, the charming plazas and white buildings, and the generally happy people. I had an espresso, took photos and my spouse bought a $300 shirt (made in Italy). Then off to Sorrento, to lunch in a patio under lemon trees! Then I bought pottery for cooking (my hobby), wonderful and not that expensive, and made in Italy. They to Pompeii, our guide, Luca, made it very interesting, and there was an afternoon breeze that took the sting out of the heat. Pompeii was special, but Sorrento and Capri were captivating. All we saw of Naples was from the tour bus driving back to the ship. it looks interesting, with narrow streets, but probably a little challenging for a day tripper.

Read 1173 Naples Reviews

Tunis, for a variety of reasons, is not appropriate for a Disney cruise. When we were there it was Ramadan, in the summer heat, which means the local population was uncomfortable from the daily fast, while we were vacationing. We traveled on shore ourselves. I speak French as do most Tunisians, we got a cab at the port, for 60 euros he takes you to three sites, Carthage, the Souk and Sidi Bou Said, the port (not Disney) arranged this. The cab driver was nice, but he was fatigued as the hot summer day wore on, and he was fasting. At all three stops we were greeted by merchants who quite aggressively had something to sell. Nothing was anything any of us wanted. Everything we saw in the Souk seemed made in China. Sidi Bou Said appeared to be a nice wealthy suburb, and nothing more, Carthage was beautiful. Well, I've been to Africa, at age 60, it may be both my first and last time!

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LA Phil
Member Since 2010
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