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Disney Cruise Line: Disney Magic

Fodorite Reviews

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Aug 28, 2017

Disney Magic terrible compared to Disney Fantasy

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.

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Jan 27, 2014

western

Have been on 28 cruises our 1st Disney NEVER AGAIN .!Our grandson was hurt on the slide ,he was told to go down when the light went green ..he did ,the gate at the bottom was not open ,He was hurt and we were not happy with the support and medical procedures that followed !! we have pictures of his injury's and of the holiday which was a disaster..we would NOT RECOMMEND this line ..we have taken our grandkids on Royal Caribbean and it was a lot more

kid friendly with clubs and service with safety in mind !! the food was not that great ...if you have kids and want them to stay with you at the table during the whole meal tell them Our grandkids are very well mannered and the 1st night the waiters gave them their food and we had to ask for ours ..the reply was are they not going to the Lab (kids club)no please do not instantly think all kids do not behave at tables when eating out our kids ate with us all 5 days and enjoyed their company this is what you call a family vacation spending time together .they have a kids menu grilled cheese ..fries..???not much on nutrition..3rd day we ordered them food off of adult menu ..food came out cold. .raw fish....not really good MacDonalds would have been better !!the restaurants very very noisy we think because of the low ceilings and did not like trying to find which dining room we were to eat in different every nite ..hard when you don't know where you are going we sat with a couple from Brazil .a VERY NICE couple with 2 little boys we felt the staff ignored them because they did not speak much English ..we communicated well and enjoyed their company .Did enjoy that they had a soda fountain stations for all no charge. Our balcony stateroom was nice .we did have a good cabin stewart and was good with the kids .She seemed to have more concern with our accident then the head people of the ship.really liked the 2 bathroom idea one has a tub and sink and the other a toilet and sink great for getting ready and with having little one . The kids liked the activities .we did not think the timing of the pirate nite party was good for young kids it was SO LATE 10.30pm. be prepared to wait in line to get pictures with the Disney characters they enjoyed that..photo's to buy are very expensive ...wait until your last nite to buy pic. then you can look at them all and pic from there .they do not throw them out until the end of the cruise .the LAB is where the kids hang out the staff were good and did a lot with them .we went to all their events and were thanked for that from the Lab staff ..this was a grandkids holiday we did not sit on chairs in the sun we did everything with them because we were worried something else might happen and not being with them ??? the private island is the best. we purchased blow up rings from the dollar store for the kids instead of renting them for 10.00 a day. they do let you use the life jackets when the kids go snorkling in fact they make them wear them. the kids took their own gear. wonderful time and all food is from the ship. when we arrived home we sent a message to head office telling them about our accident and Eric that delt with our problem said there was not much they could do ...we did not get that WOW FACTOR we went for and our grandson did not really have a good time for 3 days he did not want to talk about it he said he wished he could turn the time back !! he thought it was his fault esp. when we went to the medical office and they wanted money before they would look at him ...we said did you think we wanted this to happen!!!his neck and one side of his face were cut and bruised he was so upset and hurt ...we will NEVER GO ON A DISNEY CRUISE AGAIN and will NOT recommend it to NO-ONE I really feel if it was handled better that we consider to g again. the ship was nice and staff were good .We feel the higher up staff should get some lessons from the people that really make this company work !!

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Nov 12, 2013

Western caribbean

Had a different impression of Disney magic was all just name! for that company with such prestige this cruise is shame The buffet was bad, the other restaurants were good. The cabin was good, more or less, the bathroom is divided into two, the side where was the toilet was terrible all five days smelled of urine and cleaned it over was that smell .... and the side of the tub, one night we went to take a shower and there was no water,

we call and they fixed but smelled awful pipes. How were the activities? what activities? only two or three shows in the 5 days was good, the other was boring. Night of the Pirates of the Caribbean was a disaster. definitely not what I expected from Disney i'm very disappointed, poor characters, were easier to go to Orlando where you're going to find them all and more shipper....my daughter is 7 years old and bored in the Oceanner's.was fabulous all the attention of the waiters in restaurants....and to finish we left infected by the flu !!!!was amazing trip!

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Apr 15, 2013

Cozumel

We enjoyed the cruise but I have some commentary regarding our experience and whether or not it was worth the $$$s. We traveled out of Galveston the 2nd week of March. The good: kid friendly, lots of activities geared toward family and the Oceaneer's Lab also allow parents to take time away from the kids with fun-filled activities Disney Style without worrying. They provide a GPS like tracking system that keeps tabs on the kids. The shows

are amazing, some are Broadway quality. The food was definitely above other cruises we've been on but it's still "cruise food" that being said, we opted for pizza, burgers and fries (I know...junk) versus the buffets. The Ugly: we had the misfortune of being next to a room that was being completely repaired and was awakened at 8:00 a.m. the 2nd day of our cruise to hammering and drilling. It was really LOUD, so much so that when I stepped on the balcony the guests next to us were outside concerned that the ship might be in danger. It turned into quite the fiasco between the numerous calls, insulting misrepresentations of what was actually happening next door (they tried to tell us that it was a safety issue, but when I went in to check it was a complete renovation of the room next door, the crew doing the work advised me that they were getting it ready for the next cruise (vacant room) ) and candidly we didn't get the service we expected from Disney. The back and forth with the management went on for a day and a half all the time we were enduring the constant construction whenever we were in the room. I raised this issue because it wasn't until Day 3 when I took pictures, captured video and showed it to the Director that they begin to properly address the issue and shut down the construction. The Cruise Director contacted me mid-day (3rd day) to apologize and attempted to make good by providing us with a $400 onboard credit, a voucher to Palo's exquisite restaurant onboard, and a bottle of wine, etc. One might say a happy ending but for us it was too far into our vacation and our numerous calls and visits to guest services ignored when they could have stopped it upon 1st notice. The employees lacked empowerment and direction on what should have been a simple solution. Once back on land, we escalated to the main office in Celebration and spoke to one of the Sr. Directors about our experience disappointingly; I was informed that maintenance is routine and mentioned in the contract. I advised that what we experienced was beyond maintenance and more like major construction. We were very optimistic and confident about Cruising with Disney especially in light of the Carnival incidents thinking Disney would certainly have handled things differently. After the incident, we lost confidence in Disney and while we had fun when away from our room, we would not cruise with them. Ever. Again. It's a big difference being at sea versus on land dealing with this type of issue with no option but to stay on board. I'm usually not one to blast companies with such passion but we paid a lot of $$$s and was underwhelmed, frustrated and disappointed with Disney. Hope this helps anyone considering crusing with Disney.

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Jul 31, 2012

Bahamas

My husband and I took our 5 children on this cruise. They range in age from 6-14. The youngest ones had a great time. The older ones, however, seemed to not have as much to do onboard a most activities are geared for younger children. There is not much to do for adult, which I expected as it is a DISNEY cruise. Having been on cruises before with other cruise lines, I expected MUCH more in the food department. Each dinner seating is rotated

between the 3 different restaurants on the ship. Nothing was terrible - but nothing was memorable either. The breakfasts were lackluster and the lunches were barely edible. Your best bet for lunch is to stay by the pool and get a burger or hot dog from there. Don't waste your time in any of the restaurants for lunch. I honestly expected much better food quality and better selections while on the ship. The stateroom is your typical cruise stateroom. For those who have been on a cruise before, you already know that you shouldn't expect anything large. For first timers, I hope someone forewarns you prior to cruising that you should not expect a large stateroom unless you have booked a suite. That being said, the beds were comfortable and the rooms were clean. The onboard activities were just okay. There are different clubs for different age groups. Our 6 and 8 year old girls were able to go to the oceaneers club. It kept them entertained for only about an hour or so before they wanted to leave. The pre-teen clubs are lacking. They mostly had video games and other games here and there. We have a 12 yo boy, 13 yo girl and 14 yo boy who attended that club. Some of the activities included craft and postcard making. Are you kidding me? What 12 year old boy wants to make postcards? Because of that, our older ones did not spend much time there and ended up spending a fortune in the arcade instead. Considering the amount of $$ you pay to go on this cruise, I would expect that children of ALL ages would be entertained. Warning - characters are available at designated times and areas on the ships. You better get there early and prepare to wait on line to meet them. Castaway Cay was really nice. It's relaxing. The ship ports right on the island and there are trams to take you to and from the different sections. There were plenty of lounge chairs on the beach. My advice? Spend $6 for a raft and just relax on the island. Trust me you will need it in order to prepare for your day at the parks. Nassau - We booked the Atlantis beach day. I was unimpressed to say the least. It's expensive and not worth the money. My problem was not with the resort - the resort is beautiful and I've actually stayed there on a separate occasion (which is why I booked this excursion in the first place). It's advertised that you get a 25 minute tour, are able to explore the beach and aquariums and that lunch is provided. The 25 minute tour was nothing more than the walk from the bus to the beach...."Here is the hospitality desk, here are the lockers, etc." They take you to a separate section of the beach where chairs are scarce. You are on your own in finding the aquarium and lunch is SRO, as tables are scarce as well. Save your money. Do something else. Did the kids have a good time? Most of them. (After all, we did this for them - not for us). Would I do it again? Never.

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May 3, 2012

Eastern Caribbean

Been on 8 combined Disney Cruises on the Disney Ships Dream, Magic and Wonder. The Magic and Wonder are Disney's only ships, about 15 years old. They are smaller in size than the Dream and new Fantasy ship. The older ships allow 2600 patrons while the Dream and Fantasy can hold 4000 patrons. The food on all three of the ships I have sailed has been about the same. There are several menus, but all the ships offer most of the same dining

options. Alot of the dinner options will be determined by the number of nights you spend on the ship. Each ship has 3 main dining rooms that you rotate through. On a 4-day cruise you will hit one restaurant twice, and on a six-day you will hit all of the restaraunts twice. There is one basic menu for each dining room, after those menues there will be a different menu which is typically for the entire ship, so it doesn't matter where you dine you will get the same menu as everyone else dining in the 3 different locations. Depending on the number of nights you cruise, you will may have the Pirates Night Menu, Captains Gala, or any one of several other menues, Let me first say that I have only stayed in Verandah rooms aboard the cruise ships. I want to spend the extra money on the Verandah and for those wavering on selecting a Verandah, I would look at two different cruise criteria. The first (1) number of nights aboard the ship. I recommend that if you are staying more than 3 nights, to get a Verandah. The second (2) criteria would be the number of sea days. If you are spending any time at sea during the day, I recommend a balcony. Especially if you like to sit and drink coffee, soda, or if you like to take in a good book. If you have napping kids, a Verandah is well worth it in my opinion. The Category 5 rooms that i normally stay are all the same. The A-E option that you select when booking a room is your choice and will just identify where that type of room is located on the floor, meaning midship, forward, or aft. I prefer 5C which is generally about mid ship. The Magic and Wonder have the same rooms, which provide a split bath. Also I feel that they have a bit more room than the Dream or Fantasy. However, the Dream and Fantasy have room under their beds for luggage. The Magic and Wonder's space unter there bed is about 6 inches. The Magic and Wonder staterooms are older which means that the mattresses may be old and uncomfortable. This has been true the last two cruise I have taken aboard the Magic. The Matress on the Dream and the new Fansay are some of the finest mattresses I have slept on. The TV's are about the same size I noticed. However the intertainment on the televisions is great on the Dream and Fantisy compared to the Magic and Wonder. The new ships have a big selection of movies and disney related tv shows and allows you on-demand viewing. The Wonder and Magic have a few movies and there is no on-demand function. All of the ships have adequate on board activities. There is always something that you can do. The kids areas are nice and the pools on all of the ships are small. There is the AquaDuck on the Dream and Fantasy and some new areas on the Fantasy for getting wet on board. Each ship has there own live entertainment. Each cruise has several Disney productions and then they also have live entertainment they contract for each cruise. That entertainment will change and depending on the number of nights you have on board to fill after the live performances have all been viewed. They have a movies theater on each ship. They gerenally play first run Disney/Pixar films. I prefer the Dream and Fantasy's theaters because they have more leg room and really nice sound. The theaters on the Wonder and Magic are fine. They also have the big outdoor screen on the top deck of the ship. The genreally show clasic disney and are used for party events to show the live activity on the stage. Nice to grab a piece of pizza or a book and watch the big screen on a nice day on the ship. I am not going discuss excursions because everyone has a different idea in mind for excursions. I will say that the majority of cruisers love the Disney island Castaway Cay. It is one of the best days on the cruise. You can check on line for excursions using the Disney Cruise Line web sight. Also, if you don't see something you are interested in, see the cast members once you get on board the ship. They should be able to find out if there is an activity that you are inquiring about. I won't bore everyone with my trip details, but will tell you I have been on 8 Disney Cruises so far. I like the Disney brand and do not want to engage in material that is not suited for a family. They also do not have casinos on board. Also, if you are after the party all night long atmasphere, don't choose disney. Most areas on the ship are empty my 11:30 or 12:00. I will tell you about Pirate Night. That is a popular night on board ship. It is based of course on the Pirates of the caribbean movies. Bring your costumes and enjoy the party. You can dress up in your costumes for dinner and later enjoy the party and firework shows on the top deck. They also have a great buffet after the fireworks show at about 10:45pm.

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Feb 11, 2012

mediterranean

Wonderful cruise. Great ship and actiivites and an incredible itinerary. Western Mediterranean was the perfect cruise to go on. The food was abundant. The kids very much enjoyed the simple offerings near the pool, or calling for room service. We also loved our nightly restaurant meals, but that didn't always have a lot to do with the food. Being in those on board restaurants was a fun experience, and we enjoyed the entertainment aspects

of that a lot. As far as the quality of the food. Ours was good. We found something on each menu that made us happy, and if you ordered something that just wasn't tasty, they were ready and willing to replace it. We don't travel Disney for the stateroom. They are tiny. But who cares? The only times we are in there is to sleep at night, and to shower or get dressed. We found the beds to be comfortable, and it all felt clean. I suppose we might spend more time in the stateroom if we had a nice big one with a balcony; but I doubt it. My kids love the activities on board too much to hang around the stateroom. And after we have been at a port all day, we eat, watch the show, and crash into our beds exhausted and happy! I don't need a big room while I am sleeping. Fantastic. The kids clubs were a huge hit with all the different ages of my kids. My youngest wanted to live there. She talked us into leaving her on board when we went onshore in France, and could not believe we were back "already" when we returned for her 10 hours later. What a vacation for me!!! The live shows are so impressive. They are Disney quality shows...on a ship. We all enjoyed every show, and since it was a 10 day cruise, that is hard to believe. We also loved going to the movie theater on the ship. And the parties were fun! We especially enjoyed Malta. Took a city tour that was very informative. It ended at a small hole in the wall shop with junky soveniers, but we just walked outside and enjoyed the city. And just down the road there was a shop with beautiful handblown glass in it. Be careful in Tunisia. The street vendors will grab money out of your hand as you pull it out. They make street vendors in Mexico look like mild mannered hospitality hosts. You are better off just firmly shaking your head no and not talking to them all. Keep money out of sight. We still had fun...sometimes the crazy stuff is what you talk about most later! Also the gypsies in Italy are very cunning. Our Italian tour guide watched them like a hawk, and seemed very aggressive towards them, but I think it was a good idea. We still LOVED Rome. It is everything we thought it would be. I would go to Herculeum instead of Pompeii. Pompeii was very crowded, and tiring. And Florence was perfect! It is hard to see these places on a cruise ship, as your time there is simply too short. But we enjoyed every minute of it! Disney is our top choice for a cruise with kids. It is a little chaotic, and very busy. But we love it. I don't think we would go on a Disney cruise once the kids are grown, but until then it is the choice that makes everyone happy. I hate to pay so much money for a cruise. But for me it is a lot more of a vacation because everyone is happy and taken care of.

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Jan 23, 2012

Eastern carribean

This was our first cruise and were very excited to have a Disney experience. The entertainment, meaning shows were awesome. The kids loved it. The cabin was very spacious, with split bathroom. Which was really nice. The food was extremely disappointing. The pools really over crowded and small. All in all, not worth the money! The food was bad. First of all assigned dinner took forever! The food was always just lukewarm and tasteless.

We ended up skipping the sit down meals half the time and going to the buffet because it just took to long and wasn't worth the wait. You think with Disney they would take into consideration little kids and try and get everything out quick. But not the case. Buffet had limited hours. Room service had limited menu and the quick deck places to eat was hot dogs, hamburgers, crappy pizza, panini that were cold in the middle and undercooked. I really can't stress enough how disappointing the food was. Stateroom was great. Really spacious room. Bed was really comfortable. Had a mini fridge. Split bathroom. And lots of closet space. Room attendant was awesome. Twice a day service was unbeatable. Pools were way too small to accomadate all those kids. It was disappointing too. They had foosball, ping ping and basketball which was fun. The kids liked the kids club. But a lot of stuff started really late. The pirate party started at 9:45 pm. The shows start at 6:15 and 8 pm. All the entertainment started too late. In a nutshell, food was bad, entertainment great, cabin was great. All in all I wouldnt do it again. It isn't worth the cost. I would pick,a different cruise line that has a really good kids club.

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Jan 22, 2012

Western Caribbean

There is a lot of magic on this ship. Small enough to be really comfortable without being too overcrowded. Kids absolutely loved the Oceaneers Lab, Oceaneers Club, and the Edge. I love that they let them play games but limited it so that they also had other activities. My grandchildren (5, 7, and 10) never wanted to leave and couldn't wait to get back. I could hardly believe it. We checked on them regularly and they were ALWAYS having a blast. The

staff in the Children areas were wonderful. We loved our servers (Cindy and Joe) and had a great time each evening interacting with them. Very fun. The ports adventure for Grand Cayman was great for the first 45 minutes (learning about the Mangroves was really neat) but the last 2 hours were not great. Fast drive through town with a quick talking tour guide who showed us Wendy's, McDonald's, Library, etc. (boring). Key West is a favorite for us, Cozumel was wonderful, and Castaway Cay is the best! Loved it! Adult activities never changed and there were large time periods with no activities going on, which was rather surprising. Food was good. Kids get the same things but also always have a few choices extra. The buffet on Deck 9 was great but a little variety might have been nice. By the 7th day it was getting a little old but there was always a lot of variety to choose from. The ice cream was great, pizza was great, kids loved the open food bar and really, we were always satisfied! Coffee was not the best but doable. Shows were great but our favorite thing about the cruise were the staff. They really were wonderful no matter where we went. The Bingo was fun and we are still singing the B 11 song. What energy! So corny and just plain FUN! Stateroom was small but I really did not care. It is a cruise...I never expected to spend a lot of time there and I didn't. If you take this cruise, do your shopping on Castaway Cay early. They close the shops towards the end. We had planned to pick up several things before going back and everything was closed!

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Dec 18, 2011

western carabbeans

We have been really disapointed with the cruise. It is way overpriced for what we get. The ship was clean but the pools were overcrowded with childs with no parents. Also the movies around the pool were so loud we cannot talk. There was no control in the pool and it was very difficult to swim with the kids. We reserve a special for my kid birthday and we simply received cupcake at 9h30 PM. Very dissapointing from Disney crew for a 4

year girl. The food was simply OK and the coffee was disgusting: nescafe with coffee mate. The service was excellent but the restaurants were too noisy to understand the servers and to discuss with the familly for diner. The stateroom was clean but the vacuum toilet always left a waste tank odour the maintenance man was not able to solve. Also the bed were uncorfortable with always a spring in the bones even if i weigth only 180 lbs. The double mattress was simply 2 single bed put together. The activities were too late and not for young kids. I was expecting more presence of the characters. Even the firework was at 10h30 PM, the kids were in bed. We cannot complain about the activities. The ship arriving late at the dock made the excusion very short. Overall the trip went fine but was in no point relaxing (deck and restaurant noisy). The only relaxing area was the room balcony.

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By Sach_CR

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Nov 26, 2011

Eastern Carribean

We were on a 7 day cruise on the Disney Magic from Port Canaveral to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay, and back to Port Canaveral. Here are my thoughts: The service was exceptional. Disney really emphasizes customer service and that makes a huge difference in the overall enjoyment. It is a great safe environment for kids with hundreds of kid counselors all over the ship. Kids 8 and older may check themselves in and out of the kids club

without an adult. It doesn't take long to feel comfortable letting the kids walk around the ship on their own. Kid oriented services are amazing. For example, staff are always there to help kids with their trays in the buffet lines. At sit down dinners, they take your kids to the kids club after dinner so adults can enjoy their desert peacefully. The entertainment was unbeatable. Only Disney can provide such high quality shows virtually every night, featuring Broadway quality singing/dancing and awesome Disney special effects. All done with the Disney characters that the kids know and love. There were excellent separate adults-only shows as well. Compare that to the cheesy, budget entertainment often found on other cruise lines and all-inclusive resorts-it's no contest. Disney is the only cruise ship allowed to shoot fireworks at sea, which was the highlight of a fun. Pirates-themed deck party. Food was decent, even for vegetarians. And there was an Indian food option every night for those who wanted it. Things were kept very clean, including buffets. Hand sanitizing towelettes were given to all guests before each meal. Hand sanitizing was required when leaving and returning to ship also. They don't nickel and dime charge for every little thing as we had experienced before on other cruise lines. Though not everything is included. For example towels are given freely for use on and off the ship without towel cards or any return verification at all. St. Maarten was an excellent destination with honest friendly people and cheap two dollar beers. St. Thomas is a US Virgin island so AT&T/Sprint phones work without roaming. Beautiful fine white sand beaches. Castaway Cay is the highlight. Manmade, but gorgeous beach/lagoon with everything you could want on the island. Everything is made more fun by the Disney characters. They have scheduled appearances throughout the days and surprise appearances at events, meals, shows, etc.  My only criticisms: The cost is high (but you get what you pay for). We were slightly disappointed with the kids club organized activities, which didn't seem to be very impressive. The facilities are good (4 separate clubs for different age groups), but there didn't seem to be much organized activity especially for my 8 year old twin boys. (My tween loved the tween club) Overall I highly recommend it. Far superior to the three other cruises (Carnival, Royal Carribean, Norwegian) I have been on.

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Nov 2, 2011

Caribean

This was my first Disney cruise, but fourth overall. I have also cruised with NCL twice, and Royal Caribean. My overall cruise experience with Disney is that it was overpriced for what you get, when you compare it with similar styled cruise lines. The food quality was substandard at best. Most of our meals came out lukewarm, heavily sauced, and over salted. This was consistent throughout the duration of the cruise. It's almost as Disney

felt that since they were creating the Disney "magical" experience with the characters, that the adults and children wouldn't notice the lack of variety in food, fresh fruit or appetizing meals. I know that children's palates aren't as developed as adults, but please, there is just so much mac n' cheese (made with what seemed like velveeta), pizza and chicken fingers that a child can eat over the duration of a 7 day cruise. The orange and apple juice was only available during meal hours, so if you didn't plan ahead and bottle some for your stateroom, your child was drinking milk or pop from the soda station. We stayed in a family deluxe oceanview room. Our stateroom attendant was polite and did a great job of keeping our room clean, tidy, and well stocked with fresh towels, etc. The Disney meet and greets were fantastic for the children. You have alot of opportunities during the cruise to meet with the different characters. If your little ones are looking at getting some autographs and pictures, you will want to get the majority of them as early on in the cruise as possible. Disney runs their ship lean, which means closer to the end of the cruise, you have less opportunity to meet the characters as many of them double for the evening entertainment. Also, for those families that didn't get their quota of photos earlier on in the cruise, they are now scrambling to get as many photos as they can before the end of the cruise. Picture taking is scheduled, and random all at the same time. Since there always seems to be a character(s) walking around on the ship, you often end up taking unplanned pictures causing you to miss other onboard activities. Due to the lineups sometimes taking a 1/2hr or more for photo taking, kids often end up getting cranky. If you can take turns with lineup duties, and have your little ones join you just before their photo is to be taken, you will make your life alot easier. All three swimming pool areas for the younger babies, children and adults were extremely small and insufficient for the number of people onboard. The evening (Broadway type) entertainment was also fantastic, and is definitely a higher calibre to what I've seen on other ships. The shows were done "Disney" style, and they didn't disappoint. The pirate party was also fantastic, with the fireworks show at the end - Awesome! We did our own excursions and we were quite happy with the price and activities we were able to do on our own. I've always found that the excursions offered by cruiselines are often higher than what you can get if you plan it yourself, but make sure you do your research beforehand, so your not wasting time at port. If planning ahead isn't for you, then go with a pre-packaged excursion, since there's bound to be at least one which will interest you and your family. If you want to see as many Disney characters as possible - than this is the cruise for you. If you are looking for the best quality cruise experience for your dollar, I would recommend a similar styled cruise which offers some character events and children programs. Reading this review you might think that this cruise wasn't that bad, but please take into account that this itinerary only goes to 3 ports of call. Leaving alot of time spent using the amenities and onboard activities. Overall, this cruise was disappointing due to the cost, poor amenities, and the lack of quality food.

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Oct 7, 2011

Wester

We (husband, 10 year old son, 16 year old granddaughter and I) just returned from our first Disney Cruise, aboard the Magic, Western Caribbean, September 2011. It was an experience. Disney does try to do it all right, but I think they try too hard, or maybe they try to cram so much into one week, could never really figure it out. The confusion on the ship is amazing. I had booked an inside state room, but later was worried about the size, so

I up graded to a Deluxe Ocean View. After seeing the room, I am so glad I did. I would really hate to think what an inside room was like. I had really high expectations for this cruise, as I had cruised before with Princess Line. The cost of a Disney Cruise is not worth it. With the price you pay for the kids clubs, the characters, and just being Disney, it's a lot for what you get. After the first night, my 10 year old was bored with the club, and never went back, my 16 year old, only went to her club VIBE for something to do and she got to stay out after 10:00 PM. On the first night at dinner, we were seated with another family of 4, which we never got to know; because they didn't come back. They hated the food. We tried to eat at all the dinners, but again, the food was lacking. Believe me, we are not picky, I love it when someone else will cook and clean for me, the meals were just not there. My son loved it, he ate the Mac and cheese..can't go wrong with that. My husband and I don't really drink a lot, which is good, as the drinks on board are expensive. The Bars on board were ok..Nothing special. I know this is a Disney Cruise so it goes without saying that there will be kids on board, but there was so much for the kids, that those under the age of 10, especially the little ones, were on OVERLOAD. Sensory integration was big time on the ship. Parents running the kids from one end of the ship to the other, trying to get the autographs, the kids, by the 3rd day were DONE. There were so many melt downs, some nights the ship was NOT the happiest place on earth. Parents were yelling at the kids to stand still in the lines to get the autographs, smile when they did get to finally get a picture taken, it was just too much for so many kids. You have to walk around/through/and over all of these kids to get to dinner. It kind of takes the fun out of things when you are stepping over a child who is having a melt down and the parents are yelling. Disney has all these activities going on, wine tasting, bingo, etc, but you miss most of this because you never know what time it is unless you ask someone. I am on vacation; I am not carrying my cell phone. Very few clocks on board. The "wave phone" in the room never had the right time on it, so it didn't help to carry that around. I spent 7 days on the Magic Ship and I do not feel like I had a vacation. I met several other passengers who didn't feel like Disney lived up to their expectations, but these were passengers who had sailed with other cruise lines. Most First Timers were having a good time. There were passengers who had sailed many times with Disney, and loved it, to each his own. I heard some parents say they wanted to go on the Dream or the Fantasy, are you kidding me? The wait lines on this ship were over 1 hour long at times; can you imagine the wait lines on a ship that is twice as big? I can say, I have done the Disney Cruise, been there done that-- but won't do it again. Guess with all the hype you hear about Disney Cruise, I was expecting the "WOW" factor and it wasn't there, it was just ok.

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Aug 18, 2011

Carribian

My family has been on several cruises, to be honest only with Disney. I do not want to deal with the casino and drunk fest crowds. Instead I want to focus on clean entertainment and family centered events. The food is good and plentiful. Breakfast is a must, at least once. I prefer the buffet on the top floor for the breakfast. They have anything and everything you could ask for from fruit, biscuits and gravy, fried eggs, omelets and cinamon

rolls. Every member of the familly will find something. There is lunch served on the upper deck also. There is a buffet that the menu changes daily and hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken strips and pizza served at little shops on the top deck. Dinner is served in three dining rooms on a rotating basis. On cruises longer than 3 days, the menu will change based on the theme of the evening. Theme nights for those on longer cruises will have the same menu no matter what dining room you are in. The wait staff will rotate with you so they learn your eating habits quickly. Staff on the cruise ship is one of the selling points for me. Do not go on a Disney Cruise and expect the main dining rooms to serve incredible meals. They don't, the food is good and plentiful. If it is quality that drives you spend the $20 or $75 and eat at the exclusive dining rooms that are offered. Staterooms are fine. I will never stay in an inside cabin. I like sitting on the balcony while others are getting prepared for the day or just to hang out between daily events. Recommend spending the money for the balcony. As far as reserving the room, reserve the lowest level of balcony you can. Upgrades are possible based on the number of patrons. So, you might pay for a balcony at the back or front of the ship and be moved up to center of the ship. On 5 cruises, I have upgraded 2 times for free. With three guests the room is tight, not a lot of space to place luggage if you keep your clothes in the suitcases. I hang most everything up, so my suitcase can be placed out of the way. The two part bathroom is awesome, one can shower while another is brushing their teeth in the other part of the bathroom. The TV in the room is a good entertainemnt source. Has a news channel, ABC family, and numerous disney movie channels. Turn down service is provided nightly. Enjoy the candy and little towel animals. Plenty to do on the ship. All of the evening shows are great. Kids under 18 should have a blast doing somehting throughout the day. There is time to sit on the top deck, drink and watch a disney flick on the big screen. Pools are small but are big enough to get wet. There is a walking track around deck 3, I believe it is a quarter mile. It is nice for those that want to jog or just stroll. We did that after dinner, before the evening show. Check the gift shops daily for new merchandise and sales. I think they want to keep it interesting in the shops. They do a good job. Have done some excursions while on the numerous cruises. They are all pretty good. They are generally third party so if you are not completely satisfied, report to the Disney Staff. You pobably won't get your money back but they may remove from the list of excursions. Watch the times that you are going to be at locations. There is always travel time on the excursions. Figure how much time is "self guided" and "shopping" time. Don't pay for that time if you can help it. There are enough excursions out there that have good value. Eat a light breakfast before you arrive at the terminal. They do not start boarding till 11 or 12 so if you get to the ship earlier, be prepared to wait. You can wait an hour or so AFTER they start boarding. Just want to prepare you before you get there. Once on board, you will not be allowed to go to you room till at least 3:00 or even 4:00. Carry on swimming suites, lotions and creams should also be carried on if you do not want to burn on the first day. Eat a great buffet lunch immediately after boarding (top floor) and then go for a swim before the cruise ship leaves around 4pm. it is nice to be on the top deck as you depart the terminal. There is a party on the top deck. You will be required to place your luggage out on the night before returning to the terminal. You can carry off what ever you desire. I recommend that you do not atempt to leave until about a half hour after the departure begins. If you are downstairs and there is a delay in the process, you will be upset and so will everyone else. Take my advise, go updates and eat breakfast and plan on departing between 30-60 minutes after departation. Customs is a snap, have the documents completed and don't stress. Enjoy your cruise(s).

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Jul 16, 2011

mediteranian

The cruise was absolutely brilliant!!!!!!!!! My whole family enjoyed it. Our waiters were the best waiters on the ship. The kids clubs were great they had great things to do for all ages. The cabins were beautiful and spacious. The food was gorgeous. the shows were excellent and embarkation at the beautiful port of Barcelona was great. The food was absolutely gorgeous. The waiters were excellent and very very friendly to the whole family . And

there were always places to eat on the top deck like Pluto's dog house were you can get fast food . Pinocchio's pizzeria were you can get pizzas all day long or just go to topsider's buffet were you can go for breakfast, lunch and dinner The stateroom was very spacious and elegant and the whole family liked it . We had a navigators balcony were it's an open port hole on your balcony. Every room has HD television. The on board activities were excellent. There was something to do for all ages. You would usually never see someone bored and you would always see people at the activities all over the ship Pompeii half day in Naples was great. Pompeii is just a 20 minute bus ride away from the port. Pompeii is beautiful it a must see before you die. In Monaco we did a Monaco grand Prix track and marina Monte Carlo is a beautiful place a playground for the rich and famous. The trip was excellent our whole family loved the cruise we were never board at all on the ship.

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By Greg_CR

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Mar 16, 2011

Eastern Carribean

I really likes this cruise just I was expecting more. I see all these other cruise ships like Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Like there were only two pools and that was it for entertainment on the main deck. Like even the new one going to come out in like next year isn't suppose to like have a rock climbing wall or that. I liked the plays but they were pretty short. The rooms were nice but small and the made would come in twice to do our room. I really

do not need that. Only once. I would need to go out for like 30 minutes just because of the made. I was nice how they all say hello and were very nice. The cruise needs a pretty good update and the veranda was not very good needed a serious update. The Cruise was really really shaky. I got sea sick almost three times. The ship also broke down when we were heading to Cast away cay witch took a hour off our time there. The food was excellent and I loved how you rotated threw restaurants and you would still have the same waiter. The food was luxury. Like it was practically free and all together if I would go to a restaurant like luxury like it it would cost me like $100 even more per person because of how nice it would be plated. The only thing I did not like is that you would ask for chicken them you would get alcohol as like a little topping. Just chicken please. Anyway dinning was excellent. Stateroom was very small and the veranda was small and was old. It was nice though. The maid would come in twice a day and it took 15 minutes every time. I really only needed her to come in once. Overall the stateroom was nice. There were a few onboard activities. All I know I have a son that is 11 and the only thing he was interested in was the edge. He stayed there for a while. There weren't a lot for adults though. Stay away for the tours at St Thomas. We paid for the tour and sea world. I was disappointed at Sea World and the tour. It was in a noisy and bumpy taxi. Waste of money though I did like sea world.

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Feb 27, 2011

Bahamas

Cruised on the all-new Disney Dream, and was not very impressed. For what we paid, it was not worth it. We have two small children 5 and 2. We booked the cruise a year in advance, and even though we called throughout the year and supposedly put on a wait list for early seating, we were scheduled for an 8:30 PM dinner. This was a bad idea, because my kids are IN BED at 8:30 PM. The day we boarded, I went to the lounge to change our seating, as

was mentioned on the daily cruise brochure, and the maitre d told me that I was going to be put on a wait list. When I told him that I had been on one since May, he told me that they knew nothing of this wait list that I was speaking about. Annoyance #1. So, the only way that they were able to accommodate us was for us to show up to our dining room at around 6:30 after early seating started, which we did every evening. The food was nothing to write home about. It was fine. I have been on other cruise lines where the food was spectacular. Kids food? If your kids ONLY eat hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese 24/7, this is the cruise for you. This is ALL they served on kids menus, and it didn't matter where you were on the ship. In-between meals, they didn't have any snacks etc. Maybe I am a snob, but my kids eat healthy. It was very difficult to find food that they would eat (i.e. carrots, sliced apples, grapes, chicken, salad) at any hour of the day, and i was disappointed in that. Also, juice would have been a better option than soda pop, but it was either milk or soda pop. The lack of choice killed me. In the dining room, I asked for apple juice in the AM for my 2 year old. They brought it in a glass. Yes, a glass. I asked for a paper cup with a straw, and the server seemed annoyed at my request. Considering kids are their market, they have no clue. The last evening, I asked for the dinner server to bring my son a chicken breast with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes (things I knew he would eat, but that were on the adult menu). He looked at me and said "those are on the adult menu". I said "that's right, and that is what I would like for you to bring for him to eat. He doesn't like all of the crap you are serving kids on this ship". It was the first day that my son ate on the ship. I was worried because he was not eating anything but the ice cream at the pool. Stateroom was nice, but having been only the 5th or so cruise on this ship, a lot of the furniture was already beat up in our room. Makes me wonder if they moved furniture from another boat to this new ship? Didn't participate in many other than the pool (Mickey pool WAY overcrowded...and the child spray area is not even in the sun and cold...kids hated it and it was boring). We also played putt putt on the 13th deck once we learned it was there. Character appearances were fun for the kids. The kids club was nice, but my son is very shy and only went in once. The band the kids have to wear for it is awkward and ridiculous. I saw kids crying once they learned they had to wear it throughout the cruise. We reserved 2 hours of nursery time before our cruise and thank goodness I stopped in the nursery when we got on ship. ends up all reservations got wiped out of their system before we departed! There were some really upset parents. The Nassau Beach Day is a HUGE waste of money. The resort was overcrowded and the food was horrible that they allowed cruisers to eat. My kids enjoyed the trip. I think that disney does a nice job entertaining kids. I have been on much nicer cruises, though.

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Feb 22, 2011

Eastern Caribbean

This was my first time on a cruise, but have gone to all-inclusive resorts previously. Overpaid for Disney, and it's not worth it. I will go cruising again, but not with Disney. If it weren't for the off-ship excursions (all self-directed), the trip would have been a disaster. Food was fine. Generally lots of options, but everything was rich and heavily sauced. Plenty of fresh fruit, but not a lot of fresh veggies. I was pleasantly

surprised - room was big enough for all. Disappointed. I expected better from Disney. Pools were small and overcrowded. Waterslide was age limited so my youngest couldn't go on (nor could I for that matter). The live shows were good, but the organized kids club was little more than a mosh pit where you you drop your kids so they could play video games or watch movies. There were line-ups for foozball and ping pong. The sports deck came equipped with only 1 basketball net, and 3 well used basketballs - and the containment net was too low so any arcing shot hot the roof. We had brought a soccer ball along which was great. Go to St. John's. If you are tendering to get ashore, be early! Disney gives preference to those that booked excursions with them so they'll get ashore before you.

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By Rosh_CR

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Feb 13, 2011

bahamas

The cruise was on the new Dream boat. The food was horrible. Our 3 kids, 7,5,2, hated the kids clubs and nursery. Children under 3 are not allowed to even walk in the 3" water arouind the pool and had to be in this really simple water spray area, so the 2 year old cried because he couldn't be in the pool and was bored with the spray area. The dinners took 2 hours and the 2 year old could NOT sit that long. The food available during dinner hours

outside of the sit down dinner was really limited and not good. The only reason anyone would gain weight on these cruises is because the ice cream was the only thing that was good. There were so many bad things that this was definately the WORST vacation of our lives. Truly horrible. The food was the worst ever. the room was nice but only because we paid a lot for the concierge room. Lame. The kids heted the kids clubs and the people did nothing to help a shy kid fit in, even after asking multiple employees and multiple times. Don't go. The worst vacation ever.

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By KKF_CR

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Feb 3, 2011

Western Carribean

This was our first cruise. We were on the Disney Magic 7 day Western Carribean. We are a family of 5 with three tweens. It was the best vacation we've taken. Everything about the Disney Magic exceeded our expectations. The kids club EDGE was a favorite of my oldest son's. He really enjoyed the independence he was able to experience on the ship. He really liked the counselors. The handheld phones provided to us were great for us to contact

him when we needed to and give him the chance to go off and do whatever he wanted to. My husband and I were able to enjoy some time together in the adult area of the ship. There was really something for everyone of us. We had the late seating for dinner which I was a little worried about with the kids, but it worked out perfectly. We were not rushed to get to dinner after our land excursions. We caught all the early shows and then had a nice relaxing dinner. There is so much food available all the time that the early dinner would have been too early for us. We thought the food was really good, and never ending. The midnight dessert buffet was amazing. Even if you are not hungry you should still go just to see it. My kids loved all the different things available to them and enjoyed being able to order off the adult menu if something looked good to them. We had an oceanview family room with a balcony. It worked out perfectly for sleeping 5 people. The kids rotated beds every night because everyone wanted a chance to sleep on the top bunk. The turndown service and the towel animals were great to come back to after dinner and drinks. The split bathrooms are genious. With 5 of us in one room it made getting ready in the morning a much smoother process. We were also on Deck 8 Aft. It was very convenient because we were one deck away from the breakfast buffet and the soda station and we did not experience any severe rocking of the ship. Would request the same stateroom again. There is something for everyone. The shows are not to be missed!!! Such amazing entertainment. My daughter had her hair braided (make that appointment early because they book up), my sons played basketball, they enjoyed seeing a couple of movies and hanging out at the Edge. The pirate on-deck party was fun for everyone. We played a little bingo and shuffleboard. My husband and I enjoyed the adult only area and saw some great comedy shows. We especially appreciated that we were able to see the NFL conference championship game on the funnel vision. GO PACKERS!! We did the dolphin encounter on Grand Cayman. It exceeded our expectations. Worth every penny. We also went to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritiville there as well. Very fun and entertaining. Food was very good there. We did the Ruins and Beach Break at Cozumel. The Ruins were interesting and we enjoyed that. The bus ride was pretty long, but airconditioned and you got a feel for the whole island. The Beach Break was ok. I was glad we weren't there for too long. It was a little cool, so that probably didn't help, but the food was just ok and the beach isn't sand. It feels like it is all crushed up shells. Very rocky. Would not go there again. Disney's private island Castaway Cay is the best stop. Save your excursion money for this island and rent the jet skis. It is a 45 minute trip out into the ocean. A real highlight for my husband and son. They also rented Kayak's but it was pretty windy so that was more work than pleasure for them. The beaches are beautiful. The food was very good and plenty of it. My kids enjoyed the sports area. It was again a little cool out or we would have enjoyed the water and the waterfort more. We will definitely take another cruise as soon as we can. We will probably go in Spring rather than January. Weather was a little windy and cool some days. Disney does everything right though from the transportation, to the dining, the cleanliness of the ship to the entertainment. It was truly an indulgent, relaxing vacation and we can't wait to go again.

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By Evan_CR

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Jan 21, 2011

Caribbean

This is my eight the cruise, I always go with my wife my daughter and son. I was quite upset with the value of this trip. I felt like i paid around 500 extra dollars just because the name is Disney. The reason i put the food down as one star is because I'am used to Carnival and Royal Caribbean dinning which fantastic! The food on the magic was at a much lower level and i did not enjoy it as much. The cabins were comfortable, spacious, warm

and inviting. The beds very soft and comfortable. There was plenty of space for all of our clothes. The balcony was a very nice attribute to the room. Overall this was a great cruise! But my suggestion is to stick with Carnival and Royal Caribbean and save a couple hundred bucks.

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Jan 16, 2011

Cayman

Well I researched the NET and of course Disney is the best according to everyone out there so I booked my first trip for my Wife and three kids - 10, 11, and 14yrs. Now before I rant I will say that the kids loved it and want to go back tomorrow, we had no issues with the kids programs and we are glad we went for them. As for our experience, I will never do this again with Disney. Understand that we may seem as a one off unlucky family but the truth

can be summed up in this explanation - the Disney Dream was launched the day we left port canaviral on the Magic and for the entire cruise you could tell Disney had pulled all their best staff from Magic to fill the Dream. I suspect for training reasons as well as to maintain first impressions of their new flagship. Without sounding bitter I will sumerize or highlight if you will only some of what we went through; not happy with canned fruits and premade junk food cramped and engine noisy!!!! Ok it was on the second deck so expected but my trip ended at a grand total of $15, 000 for 5 of us so I think I have every right to bitch ok - the characters were fun and made you feel like a kid and made kids feel giddy Stay away - in Cozumel a man tried three times to pick up my 14 year old daughter even going so far as to ask me if I would take a picture of him with her and exchange facebook account info Bartenders who do not know how to make a singapore sling, did not have a book to refer to and when asking coworkers got a blank stare; at their top notch restaurant Paolo it took three attempts to cook the lamb medium rare and still they never got it right, well-done, then medium then raw even the maitre-d was emberrassed, no compinsation was made instead they blamed it on the fact that the food was cooked to order; the water according to the internet reviews is drink ready but yuck with some sort on non-chlorinaded flavour that you are forced to buy bottled and an outrageous price unless you are willing to walk to the one free tap on deck 9; fountains I tried were out of order; three days of miserable cold and rainy weather had the boat hitting 10 - 14 foot waves with a constant leg pounding shutter each time the boat was tossed up and landed back down on the water, this made it hard to sleep and a great number of ppl were kept in their cabins with illness as a result, no compinsation was offered and when swimming with dolphins was up we were not offered a refund so we had to stand 20 min in our bathing suits in the freezing down pour waiting for the go ahead to get in the water which would have been warmer, the kids were turning blue and none seemed to care we were cold all they wanted from us were smiling pics to sell back to us for a rediculous $25 per, ok granted this was not a Disney run excursion but Disney should have stepped up to the plate and offered us to cancel with a refund I mean the weather was so bad glasses on board the ship were falling off shelves and smashing to the ground; our waiter team concisted of a three year veteran and an assistant who was on board for the first time, he was our wine steward, we had to beg him to open our bottle of wine by the end of our appetizers as he had forgotten to do so when he brought us the wine, he also left us with no drinks on many other occasions right through until we were on our main course; on pirate night a staff member was unloading pirate gear for sale onto a table whne i approached to inquire as to what was going on she was very rude and made us feel as though we were bothering her; at customer service when we tried to complain we were met with blank stares and fumbling of words as they did not know what to do or where to direct us; there is only so much disney tv we can take, if the ship is going to coardin off all the pools and hot tubs and tie down the lounge chairs during sea days do to weather then for godsake give me movies or shows to watch other then the repeated christmas movies that were played on the incabin tv - we are mid-january and we are fed 24/7 four disney christmas movies: the grinch...christmas with the cranks...a christmas story...and elf oh and eat,pray,love and the spiderwick chronicles played 24/7 as well outside of these choices we had how to shop disney style and how to dissembarc ensuring you return your pagers which are not even offered anymore as Disney has modernized to stateroom cell-style phones; we had ordered cookies from room service after hearing that they were simply to die for as they arrive hot and fresh from the oven - not the case with us we received them hard and cold; the food is pre-prepped from cans - we saw at breakfast jars of precut grapefruit, peaches, oranges,mellon and so on being poured into the buffet table which ment we only had apples and bananas as fresh fruit to eat. Ok I think that is enough and yes there is more but you get the picture. I hope Disney wakes up and understands that by leaving the most senior staff at 3 years miggled with a high percentage of newbies is totally wrong, they lost us as repeat customers

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Jan 12, 2011

Western caribbean

My husband and I booked a one bedroom suite on the Disney Magic for our honeymoon. This was our first cruise and we wanted to go all out for our honeymoon, and we were not disappointed. The service was unbelievable, breakfast in bed, priority boarding, concierge service 24/7, escorted shore excursions... We never lacked for anything! Our concierge even brought Mickey ice cream bars to our stateroom in the middle of the day! We were a bit on the

edge about the price we paid for the suite, but when we saw it, all doubts left our mind! The room was so large we wouldn't have even had to see each other if we didn't want to! I could have never imagined such luxury to be available on a floating vessel. We had a living room, 2 bathrooms (one with a jacuzzi tub!) a full walk in closet, a vanity/desk area and a gorgeous bed. There were 2 very large verandahs that let us experience all of the breathtaking views. Our mini fridge was stocked with all of our favorite sodas and we received a different lunch time snack everyday! In all honesty, after we experienced Palo, our palates were in love and we couldn't bare to take ourselves away. We dined there the majority of the trip being pampered by our French server, and the Serbian chef, who delighted our taste buds every night with his glorious menu. We sampled and sipped, and dined in nothing than less than the ultimate in luxury. This place quickly warmed our hearts and awakened and delighted our culinary desires. The staff was superb, there was not a single moment we wanted for even one tiny thing and although it was considered the "formal" dining experience it was fine dining without pretense. Our questions were all answered with nothing less than pure hospitality and a genuine delight in our new culinary experiences. Palo's "surcharge" is virtually laughable compared to the dining experience, delightful cuisine and superb staff. This is a do not miss experience! Our suite was stocked with everything you could imagine, there was no amenity lacking, we even had bottles of h20 spa solar releif gel for those scorching days under the caribbean sun. Even for a suite, I felt the stateroom offered more than we could have anticipated or hoped for. Two verandahs, a lush queen sized bed with feather pillows and duvet, walk in closet, vanity/desk area, jacuzzi tub, two bathrooms, lush hotel style robes, an in room safe, a large living room, dining area, full sized sofa and lots of closet space. The entertainment was wonderful, broadway caliber performances nightly, that were absolutely breathtaking. There was always something to do and so much variety there was virtually something for everyone. The adults areas onboard were secluded from all children under 18 and were a lovely escape. A private pool deck with pool bar, 2 hot tubs, poolside entertainment, lush lounge chairs, a coffee shop... The adult bars were a great source of entertainment each night with fun things like the "match your mate" game (which we WON!), 70's disco night and great themed parties. If you are going to partake in shore excursions, be wise and book them through Disney Cruise Line. They take care of all the details, your transportation to and from the excursion site, and peace of mind. The trip was a glorious romantic honeymoon filled with magic you cannot even imagine. Disney truly does service like no other company. If you havent experienced a Disney cruise, it's a must... What are you waiting for!?!?

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Dec 28, 2010

Panama Canal Cruise

The great thing about Disney Cruise Line is that it is not all about catering to just the kids, it caters to adults as well. When you first see one of the Disney ships, the Magic or the Wonder, sitting in the port, you see this beautiful ship that looks like one of the ocean liners that sailed across the transatlantic of the thirty’s and forty’s.. I’ll never forget the first time my husband walked into the atrium on the Wonder

and looked at me and said “We are never cruising on Carnival again.” . In 2008, my husband and I took a fifteen day Panama Canal cruise on the Disney Magic for our twentieth anniversary. Onboard there were more kids than adults, but you would never had known it thanks to Disney’s wonderful kids programs. That trip by far is our favorite vacation ever, and most of it has to do with how Disney caters to adults on their ships. The great thing about Disney cruises is that they are family based so people tend to be on a better behavior. . Unlike other cruise lines where you dine in the same dining room night after night, on Disney you rotate nightly between three separate dining rooms. The great thing about Disney catering to adults is that they will set up their seating plan with adults traveling without children with other adults traveling the same way. If you want a break from the dining room, you can book in advanced a romantic table for 2 at their adult’s only signature restaurant, Palo’s. Here you can eat a formal dinner in quiet and romance. . The staterooms are decorated in woods for the cabinetry, not orange laminate, and the fabrics are in a dark blue nautical theme; most even have an old steamer trunk to store your clothes in. The bathrooms are in most rooms split, one side is the shower and sink, the other side a toilet and sink. No other cruise line has this design, and when you are getting ready for dinner it makes it very nice to have two separate areas to get ready in. The only mention of Disney is in the art work. In the rooms that we have had, there has been a picture of Walt Disney and his wife Lily standing on a deck of a ship by the railing, and over the bed is a quote from one of the many Disney songs. If you are lucky you will find a hidden Mickey in the comforter on the bed or in the curtains. To make your cruise more romantic you can book the romance package that will include a pass to the Rainforest room at the spa, a turn down service, and a dinner to Disney’s exclusive dining room for adults Palo’s. Or you can just order some chocolate covered strawberries and champagne or cider to be waiting in your room when you arrive on board. Up on deck nine, or the lido deck, Disney has three pools; two are for families and their children, the third though is strictly for adults eighteen and older, no kids allowed! The Quiet Cove area is strictly for adults and on Deck 9 Forward. Here you can order yourself one of those fruity drinks and lay in a lounge by the pool. If you do not want that drink but are missing your daily latte, you can step into the Cove Café and order yourself one, sit and watch the news, or read maybe read that book you have not had the time to get to. . If you want a little more pampering, step into the Vista Spa and have a massage either by yourself or bring your special someone along with you. On shore, Disney owns a small private island named Castaway Cay. This is Disney’s island, not a rented beach off the coast of another island. The island is broken up into three parts, one of them being an adult only beach call Serenity Bay. The name says it all and the whole point of this area is to sit back, relax and enjoy your vacation. At night you can head to the adult entertainment area of the ship or to one of their Broadway style shows. The shows are of course Disney based, but if you are a Disney fan they are not to be missed. Both ships offer three different bar areas. First bar is where you can enjoy a show that is adult based or a live band, and then they have dancing after. The second is more of a sports bar, somewhere where the guys can go while the girls are shopping upstairs. The third is a piano style bar, quiet and dark. My favorite thing to do though is holding hands with my husband and taking a stroll up on deck. Sunsets are amazingly romantic from a cruise ship. Look into Disney's excursions to see if there is something you like. Or look into doing your own. There are many websites that have boards with advice on how to do this. Just make sure that you are back on the ship before they leave or your excursion will suddenly become a longer stay. On their island Castaway Cay there are rentals for snorkel equipment and other floating devices. They also have a sting ray excursion. If you are going to Grand Cayman though I would suggest doing one of the ones on that island, you get more of an interaction with the rays there. . In 2008, my husband and I took a fifteen day Panama Canal cruise on the Disney Magic for our twentieth anniversary. Onboard there were more kids than adults, but you would never had known it thanks to Disney’s wonderful kids programs. That trip by far is our favorite vacation ever, and most of it has to do with how Disney caters to adults on their ships. If you want that relaxing vacation or that vacation where you can just let loose, Disney caters to it all with or without children in tow. I would do this trip over and over again. We traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Alcapulco, Panama Canal, Colombia, Aruba, and Castaway Cay. It was truely a trip of a lifetime. There was non stop activities for those days onboard, and the ports were nice as well. I never thought I would step foot in the country of Colombia just due to their history, but it was a very nice country with beautiful churches and people. Aruba with it's turquoise seas was beautiful The best part of the cruise was just getting to know people. With a longer cruise you get to know your tablemates better. My husband and I met some great people on the Disboards and cruised with them. We became fast friends with a couple from the UK. To this day we still keep in touch. I cannot say how great Disney is as a cruiseline. My husband and I travel with and without our daughter and it never fails to be a great time. Yes it is more spendy, but I will spend more to live without a smokey casino, or having drunks walking all over the place like some of the other party ships.

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Nov 3, 2010

Eastern Caribbean

We sailed the Disney Magic to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay. Hated the Disney Cruise Line website. Tried to book excursions and the website kept having errors. Called Disney and had to get a supervisor to get the excursions booked because they didn't want to book them for me. The cruise itself was awesome. The staff was really nice and very helpful. We don't have kids but this cruise is built for families, singles, and couples without

kids. There is always something to do. The only problems I had was the website and onboard airline checkin. DO NOT do onboard airline checkin. We did and my luggage never made it to the airport. Since we did the onboard airline checkin, you never see your luggage until you get home. Disney mailed my luggage to some man in Georgia even though I live in Oklahoma. When I called them, they blamed the man in Georgia (even though they mailed it to him), then they blamed the airlines (even though it never made it to the airport), they refused to take responsibility! They are sending my luggage to me but I wish they would just own up for their mistakes. I would recommend the cruise, but I would not recommend the onboard airline checkin. I don't care for their food but I am a really picky eater. My husband liked the food and choices. A couple of nights I wouldn't eat anything on the menu and the waiters went out of their way to find me something to eat. We loved our stateroom! The hostess was always around the corner, and as soon as you left your room she was in there cleaning it. Lots of onboard activities. Always something to do! 12 Metre racing in St. Maarten was AWESOME!! You have the option of being active, medium active or non active. We loved the experience, and the crew was awesome. Captain Ernie was the best!! Afterwords we went shopping on the island and wasn't impressed. St. Thomas was so pretty with lots of shopping. We did an excursion to St, Johns Trunk Bay. Highly recommend it! It was so pretty and looked like it was from a post card. And everything at Castaway Cay is awesome. Can't go wrong there! Must do the stingray adventure!

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Jan 9, 2010

Western

This was my 3rd cruise and it will be difficult to top. Everything from the facilities to the weather, staff, and food was exceptional. We were only 80% of capacity on the boat so things were never crowded. The cost was the same as most other cruise lines during this particular week. The dining room staff was amazing. I've never had things so easy and we were traveling with 6 adults and 6 small children. Our room was giant by cruise standards and

the two bathroom setup is genius. We all loved "Twice Charmed" the musical; even my teenage son. Disney did a wonderful job of everything. If you are willing to pull your kids out of school or don't have children and can travel the first two weeks in December, you will not find a better vacation for a better price. The food was excellent. The risotto was out of sight and I had 4 different kinds on the boat. The lobster was the best I've ever had. The cold soups were like dessert served first. And the trio dessert trays are so smart. There was never a dull moment. There were even 15 movie channels on TV showing Disney feature films. The character greets had long lines but at the character breakfasts, they came to you and if you ran into a character in the halls, they were so gracious and made every effort to connect with you. Go to Stingray City!

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By Ange_CR

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Sep 9, 2009

Western Caribbean

Our cruise was amazing! Disney does it right every time. We have traveled all over the world and Disney is by far the most customer centric operation. While the cruises are not inexpensive - they are worth every dollar. When you book your vacation through Disney everything is taken care of; from travel to transfers to lodging, etc. We've done strictly land packages with Disney as well as a combo of land and sea and then strictly sea packages (Bahamas,

eastern and western Caribbean, etc.). Adults and children alike enjoy this wonderful vacation because there is so much to do for every age group. This is definitely a family oriented cruise line, but there are quiet areas for adults only and entertainment geared toward adult audiences (and plenty of venues). I'm disgusted with the reviews from people who didn't like the cruise because there were children on board. What did you expect from Disney? They have the most extensive kids program around which means that everyone in the family enjoys their vacation. What a silly thing to complain about. This will be our 3rd Disney Cruise and we just keep going back for more because it is the best! The food is excellent - something for everyone (and tons of it)! There is a great variety in each restaurant which changing menues daily. Make sure to visit the late night dessert buffet (one evening during the 7 night cruises)! Also, if you don't feel like eating in your assigned venue for an evening, remember that there are other options onboard. Our room was clean, comfortable, cool and accommodating. The maid service was outstanding (very friendly and helpful on all fronts). Awesome variety for children and adults alike. Our son loves all of the children's programming and takes full advantage. While he's getting to know new friends, my hubby and I are lounging by the adult pool, taking in a cooking show, checking out the art work or having a spa. There are many decks on the cruise so it is not hard to find a quiet spot for two if you want some quality alone time. Our entire family enjoys these vacations. An ideal age for children to enjoy the cruise, in my hubmle opinion, is between 7 and 12. There are also teen activities for the older kids, though I can't comment on that since our child isn't old enough. Just know that you'll have every type of activity at your fingertips along with fabulous entertainment of every type. We've done several excursions which were all fun, depending on your level of energy and your preference. Many times we like to go out on our own and explore the ports of call, especially the beaches and areas native to the islands. Do yourself a favor and get a roundtrip ticket for cab rides on the islands- as it is less expensive than paying for each individual trip. Also, you cannot miss the chance to swim and interact with dolphins. I would describe this cruise in one word: INCREDIBLE! Disney is our preferred source of travel every time. You can't go wrong!

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Aug 24, 2009

Eastern Carabean

This was the best cruise we have ever been on. Disney goes above and beyond in many ways. This was the most upkept and pristine looking boat I have ever been on. There was always an employee cleaning, painting, lacquiring, or something. We were on an eastern cruise itinerary but we had to be diverted due to Hurricanes Ana and Bill. Disney made everything easy to adjust to and we ended up going to Castaway Cay twice, Grand Cayman, and Cazamel.

The activities for adults without kids and romance were easy to find and book. It was by far the best vacation my husband and I have been on in our 10 years of marriage. The food in the dining rooms was really good and included venasin and lobster. Disney chose our table mates with lots of thought. Being a couple without kids they sat us with two families with very mature young adults. This was great since we were afraid they would put us with some winny young kids. Our dinner server Wemick was a pleasure and did an amazing job. Our stateroom was very nice and much roomier than the other cruise lines we have been on. Our room maid was Phillip and he did an amazing job every day working around us and the activities we planned. He even surprised us one day after a spa treatement with a huge heart and two swans with a nice note saying "Happy Anniversary". He definately gets points for going above and beyond. There was always something available to do. The Disney shows were great. We especially liked relaxing in the Rain Forest Room and the Quiet Cove Pool for adults only. These were definitely where we hung out and did practically nothing. For those adults wanting quiet time, Serenity Bay is a must enjoy area. We loved the two tank scuba diving in Cazamel. I was a bit aprehensive due to having only 20 dives but it was well worth it and a great experience.

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By Jim_CR

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Aug 23, 2009

Eastern Caribbean

This was our 17th cruise and have cruised, Princess, Celebrity, Holland American, NCL, Sitmar, Big Red Boat, and Royal Caribbean. We have felt that Celebrity and Princess were the best, but Disney out did them all. It was Disney class from start to finish. It was pricey, but well worth the price. The food in the dinning rooms was superb, some of the best we have had on a cruise ship. The buffet in the Topsider was the worst of the cruise.

The food was just OK and the room is crowded. After one visit we stayed away. The buffet in Parrot Cay is much better and better atmosphere. We also went to Palo's which the food and service were superb. They have kids meals, but they really class it up for the adults as well. We had a delux outside stateroom, which was found to be larger than most on other ships. It also had a bath tub and separate toilet and sink from the tub area. We only had a tub on the Big Red Boat and in a suite on Princess. The stateroom was well furnished and well maintained by the steward. The onboard activities for the kids are awesome. There were many things to do for adults too. We were with our grandchildren and spent most of the time with them. The character experiences were great and never ending. Our cruise was re-routed due to Tropical Storm Annie and Hurricane Bill. We went to Cozemul, which we were not happy about, but the Dolphin Adventure was well worth the price for the kids and they only charged $25.00 for adults to observe. Their private island, Castaway Cay, is also well done. This is a don't miss for kids and even those who like to cruise, but don't go without kids. The entertainment was Disney class and style and very well done and enjoyable. They have a great kide program and the kids ask to go instead of spending time with their parents. You are never out of touch as you have a beeper for them to reach you if needed. We felt Celebrity Cruises had set a standard, but Disney set the standard higher. We probably will take the grandchildren back in a few years for another cruise.

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Aug 9, 2009

Eastern Caribbean

This was our second cruise as a grandparents/parents/kids group. All the kids were a little older this time, ranging from 7 to 9, perfect ages for this trip. My biggest piece of advice is to ignore what Disney tells you about flight times home (they tell you to make them late in the afternoon). Everyone has to be off the ship by about 9 am, and it would be almost impossible to get back to the Orlando Airport later than 10:30 am. Disney has a service

whereby you can tag your bags the night before departure, put them out in the hall, and the next time you see them is at your home airport. They also print out your boarding passes for you, so when you get to the airport, all you have to do is go through security and go directly to your gate. You can easily, safely, comfortably make an 11:30 or noon flight, probably with time to spare. If you follow Disney's advice on flight times, you will be one of the many unhappy families with tired, melting down kids spending hours and hours in the Orlando airport waiting for your flight home. The food was good, especially considering the number of people they are feeding. Take the galley tour - it's quite interesting. It was kind of annoying that fruit smoothies for the kids are an extra charge. If there is any way you can do it, buy your own case of water at the grocery store for $4 and bring it with you. You'll be happy to have the water, and even happier not to pay over $40 dollars for a case of water on the ship. Stateroom was fine, queen bed for the parents, bunk beds for the kids. Kids love the "towel animal" that is left for them on the bed every night. There were 2 sinks, 1 toilet, 1 shower/tub, flat screen TV, fridge and a safe. Much better for the 8 - 10 age group than on our previous trip with 3 - 7 age kids. One of our kids on this trip was actually 6 (2 weeks short of 7) and they let her be in the 8 - 10 group so she could be with her 8 and 9 year old sister and cousins. We did this by talking to a yellow shirted kids' counselor when registering the kids and getting our beeper at the embarkation center. The excursions are all very expensive. Bring your own snorkel gear for Castaway Cay - much cheaper than renting it from Disney. We were somewhat limited since some members of our party were in their 80s, but lots of families just get off the boat and grab a cab to a nice beach for the day, or rent a jeep and explore on their own. That being said, my brother paid $90 for 2 hamburgers, 4 cokes, and 4 ice creams on St. Maarten! Overall it was a great trip, enjoyed by everyone from 6 - 81 years of age. Charges add up fast - for our family of four, tips, excursions, water, wine, and things the kids tortured us into buying for them added up to $1800 for the week. The cabin stewards and meal servers work primarily for tips, and work incredibly hard, so we always give them more than the suggested amounts.

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Jul 31, 2009

Eastern Caribbean

We have sailed 3 times on the Disney Magic. I thought the Disney Cruise was the greatest cruise ever and that they took your needs into consideration. I found out how very wrong I was with this cruise. We have a cruise coming up on August 29th and I have called them 3 times to ask for a somewhat midship cabin since I get motion sickness if I am in the front or the back. Looks like they scheduled the rooms yesterday and I have the last cabin in

the back of the ship! I called and asked them what they can do about it. Of course they said nothing could be done. I asked them if they can see that I called 3 times and they said yes and that they were sorry. I would love to cancel but my son has been looking forward to this so I will spend all of this money (Disney is pricier) to throw up for a week. I can hardly wait! Prior cruises room was great - had cabin with verandah No casino. The activies are just as good as any other ship - nothing stands out from the other ships.

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Jun 16, 2009

Eastern Carribean

To celebrate my mom's 70th birthday this year, we decided on a Disney cruise. About our party: Gma (69), I took my best friend instead of my husband and two of my three children (15 & 17). My sister's family included a 7 year old boy. My teens said it was the best vacation they have ever taken. The 7 day eastern Carribean had 3 full days at sea and 3 days at port. We stopped at St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. We thought the food was

great. Not used to such fancy food but we tried quite a bit of new things. Each night in the scheduled dining room was a choice of several appetizers. Main dish selections included beef, poultry, seafood & lamb. This was too wierd for my teens so one ordered macaroni and cheese from the kids menu every night and the other one got either a steak or chicken breast with a baked potato. There was a choice of about 5 deserts each night, all presented very nicely. There was not much we didn't care for. We got in the habit of ordering extra appetizers or deserts so that we could all try them. I would recommend choosing the earlier sitting. They have dinner at 6:15 and 8:15 and the meals take about 2 hours. By the time we were done at 10, we were too full and tired to go to other activities and enjoy the late night snacks that they have available in different areas (The 11:15pm desert buffet one night was so awesome). My sister also said this was too late for her son to eat. You have to ask but they will arrange it so that the kids can eat fast and go back to the fun zone. There was also a pizza joint, burgers and hot dogs and a fruit/sandwich/wrap place. The Topsider buffet ran different themes (Mexican, Chinese, American). We ate breakfast there several times and lunch a few times. They also had a kids line-my sister used it on Chinese day. The fancy adult restaurant, Palo, was great for my sister and her husband who went for their anniversary. She said the chocolate souflee is as good as I read in other reviews. We also went there for high tea one day. Only $5 extra. We got to sample as many teas as we wanted and they brought us a plate of finger sandwiches and a stacked tier plate of deserts. It was fun for the 4 grownup women to hang out for tea (even tho two of us don't drink tea - we tried it anyway). Soda is free on deck 9. If you order it in a bar, it's $2/can! We got a standard small stateroom that slept 3. I wish we could have upgraded to the version that had the split bathroom. They were not available in the area near my mom's room which was one with a veranda. They loved the veranda. The first couple of nights were cool and they just left the door open all night. We just happened to see a whale while standing there in her stateroom one day. My teens were slobs, I think that if they would've unpacked and organized their stuff into the cabinets right away, our room might not have seemed as small. The room attendant comes and makes the beds in the morning (or whenever the teens got up) and comes back in the evening to turn down the beds and make the couch back into a single bed. They also amused us with the towel animals each night. Since we did not have a window, I turned the tv to the view from the bow so when I woke up, I could see if the sun was up or if we were in port yet. There was a hair dryer provided in the bathroom. The onboard activities were very fun. They had a variety of trivia games at different times. Mostly Disney themed. They had karoke several times. Live music and comedians also played in the lounges sometimes for adults only and sometimes for families. The kids programs sorted by age were great. They also have daycare for kids age 2 and under but you have to pay extra and make reservations. The teens got to make up their own schedule of activities and each of my daughters picked a different group of kids to hang out with. They stayed out late and roamed the ship. They liked to go to a kids room that had a bigger suite and they would order room service. Lots of pizzas and cookies. The broadway type shows were great. They also showed UP that is in theaters now in 3D. There was also another movie theatre that played several Disney/Touchstone/Pixar movies throughout the week. I made it to Bedtime Stories and Race to Witch Mountain. We could also watch movies on the big screen from the deck or the family pool/hot tubs. The pools were pretty good. Sometimes they seemed really warm. Not good on a hot day with a sunburn. There is a toddler and kids pool by the water slide (kids only darn), then the family pool which isn't too deep and also has two hot tubs available. The adult pool was nice for short laps or just cooling off and also had two hot tubs. We didn't use the spa but my friend used the very nice excersize room almost every morning. St. Maarten: my sister and husband took the Eco Hike where they were bussed up a mountain and walked down. It was loose and rocky and they had to concentrate. We took a water taxi ($6 gets you unlimited round trips to downtown and back to the ship all day). There is a pretty nice beach there and a lot of shops and restaurants in that area. It was so hot the shopping wasn't that much fun, so we ran back to the ship to get swimsuits on and spent the afternoon swimming on the beach. St. Thomas: We booked the Coral World Marine Park Semi-Submarine Ride. We took a wild taxi ride (seats mounted on the back of a pickup) across the island. It was hot here too and they divided us in half where some went on the boat ride and some walked around the exibits. There was a beautiful beach next door but we didn't have time to check it out since as soon as we were done with the submarine ride, we had to take the taxi back to the boat. We could've stayed but then would have had to pay for the taxi ride back. We wanted to do the sky tram up to the top of the hill near the ship, but they were having technical difficulties so we missed that. Went through a few shops near the boat and then had to go rest and cool off. This is part of US Virgin Islands so we sent home postcards from here using American stamps. They still drive on the left side of the road. Castaway Cay: The adult beach was great. The family beach snorkel area is kept separate from the swimming area to keep from scaring the fish. I did not have fins on the first time I went out and had to work pretty hard and never got all the way out to the submerged Minnie. It was shallow and nicer at the adult beach. The BBQ was awesome. We also signed up for the stingray event ($35). After a short educational program, you got to feed trained stingrays with their barbs removed. Then we could swim with them for a while. After they ate they went deeper and since I can't see without my glasses and the water was murkey becuase they stir up the sand, I didn't have much luck finding them after that. 17 was scared and wouldn't even try it so that was a big waste of $35. The teens also didn't like the submarine ride saying it was boring. Compared to snorkeling in Hawaii, I was disappointed. I only wish that I had signed up for some snorkeling trips where you could see more fish. Pool towels are available to take ashore on all islands which was very nice. All in all, we were all satisfied with our great vacation. If you like Disney characters, this is the place to find them. They were all over the ship at scheduled and random times. You could stand in a short line to get your photo with them and they didn't care if you also used your personal camera at the same time. The character breakfast was fun when they all came to our table to take pictures but that was the one meal I didn't care for. Everything felt very relaxed and the staff were all very friendly. They had one formal night (Golden Mickeys-sort of like Oscar night walking the red carpet on the way to the show) and one semi-formal night and one pirate night. I didn't take any dress up clothes, but no body cared. If I had had my whole family along, it would've been great to dress up and do family pictures. They had several stations set up with different backdrops. The photographers were very good, but since the photos were pretty expensive ($10-20 each depending on size), we didn't buy any. My friend did get one of her with Goofy. Our group of 8 had 4 digital cameras so we figured we were covered. Getting on and off the ship was so easy. The hard part was getting the bags packed and out in the hall before 11pm the night before getting off. You fill out a form to go through customs and they ask do you have any tobacco or liquor and we said no and left the building. It's that easy. I had read that it's easy to use a lanyard to carry your roomcard around. They were about $6 so the cheapskate that I am, dug out some old nametags on lanyards from meetings I had been to and my kids, mom and friend used those to keep their card in. I still carried a bag around since I thought I needed my "Navigator" with me at all times. This is the schedule of events that gets delivered to your room each night for the upcoming day. Embarkation: I would recommend getting on the boat as early as possible and getting in on the tour of the ship right away. I took one later on in the week and learned a lot of interesting things. It would also help figure out where everything is faster for first timers. They have a form you can fill out at the end of the trip for recommended tips. Using the recommended amounts for head server, server, assistant server and room attendant, it came to about $250 for three of us. Then they printed out tickets for us to put in an envelope to hand to those people and it went on my final credit card statement along with the shore excursions, any alcoholic or smoothie drinks and things out of the souvenir shops on board.

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May 15, 2009

Western Caribbean

As a travel consultant, it's imperative that I continually set out to new destinations and try new experiences. At the time I hadn't sailed with Disney's relatively new cruise line, nor had cruised with our son (6 months old at the time) before. What an experience! While Disney is always associated with family oriented themes and theme parks, I was surprised at Disney's somewhat split personality with regards to cruising. I noticed that one section

is set aside for multi-generational sharing of facilities and another, albeit smaller, caters exclusively for adults not traveling with children or those parents and grandparents who would like a break from the kid's world. The separate adult facilities include bars, lounges, entertainment, restaurant and swimming pool. These numerous offerings make for many different wonderful experiences. My overall impression was extremely favorable for both us and our fellow cruisers. This was likely our favorite aspect. The ship has three theme restaurants that we rotated through on successive nights, keeping the same wait staff and even table numbers. Very innovative! This set the Magic apart from the other big-ship crowd. The 1930s-era Lumiere's one night, the tropical Parrot Cay another, and finally the signature Animator's Palate restaurant. Here, the high-tech eatery starts out completely black and white, then gradually becomes awash in reds, blues and greens as the walls, ceiling, and even the servers' uniforms take on color. The food throughout is typical cruise fare, geared to kids and adult tastes. The Topsider Cafe serves buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and other poolside options include pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs. For adults only away from the fray, Palo offers a whimsically decorated 138-seat Italian restaurant. It's worth the small service charge. The stateroom was good, not spectacular, but solid. Bigger than what I'd experienced before with HAL and Carnival in similar categories. We had a verandah cabin. Disney programs on stage and in films dominant the entertainment program. Children are catered to in specific age groups. In addition, one swimming pool is for young children only, another for families and a third adults only. Adults also have their own entertainment. The nostalgic Walt Disney Theater is better equipped for surprises than most land-based theaters. Kids, divided into five age groups, are looked after by a small army of well-trained counselors. Teens have a separate lounge and video game arcade. Parents can be provided with beepers during the day in case they would like to take some time off. A nursey takes kids in the evening and private babysitting is also available for a charge. Kids can also eat with their counselors in the Topsider Cafe. On the captain's welcome night, Minnie and Mickey are dressed formally and kids flock to have their pictures taken. Disney characters are all around the ship during the day. We got some wonderfully memorable pics with our son. An adults-only enclave offers a piano bar, rock 'n' roll music, comedy club, disco, and films. Couples without children love it. Ahh. Not much to report on this front. Our ship was diverted because of a storm so we only stopped at Cozumel. We had been before and weren't impressed. Nothing very memorable to share unfortunately. Naturally, the atmosphere is casual when heading to the Caribbean, and this was exactly the easy-going experience we wanted. The staff on board made our first real trip with a child in tow very lovely and magical. Disney permeates the service excellence and the Disney characters moving about the ship and Disney entertainment - shows and films - in the theaters make it all the more memorable. What I took away from the trip though was that adults who come aboard can have their own cruise experience without children present. Very smart move by Disney!

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Oct 13, 2008

Bahamas

Our whole family had a great vacation. We think it was the funniest vacation we have ever had! We will definitely cruise with Disney again. Our cabin was very nice and well maintained. Our steward was very accommodating, the food was delicious at every restaurant, the shows were spectacular: as well as being entertaining and appropriate for the whole family, and the children's programs were such that our children didn't want to leave them. The ships

employees were very friendly and seemed to really want us to have a super vacation. We recommend this cruise for all families. This cruise was different than the other cruises we've taken on other cruise lines in that the smoke, liquor, and profanity wasn't there. That in itself made this a great family vacation! Thanks Disney! Delicious! The choices were nice for the family. The children loved the Pizzeria and Plutos. Great! The two bathrooms were very convenient and the large porthole was nice. Very nice. Thought the bingo was a little expensive.

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Mar 20, 2008

Western Caribbean

It was wonderful. At first I did not want to go since it was Disney and all but i went anyways. It was the best time of my life. I really enjoyed how they had a common grounds for kids/teenagers and i met wonderful people while on the cruise. Two i am still am in touch with that i visit now and then. It was a wonderful vacation and a great way to get to know people.

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Jul 26, 2006

Castaway Cay

Truly you must experience the Magic it to believe it. From the moment you arrive, Disney goes above and beyond to create a stress-free vacation for families. After an easy pass through customs, we boarded the grand vessel and headed to deck seven to find our room. Disney’s Magic boasts of the best cabins in the industry and for good reason. The larger-than-average rooms allowed plenty of room to move around and a split bath makes it

perfect for families. There’s even sleeping privacy. The large verandahs are delightful for spending private family moments. The entertainment begins the moment you step foot on to the ship. Disney characters meet and greet passengers and crew members are busy with smiles for everyone. A bon voyage deck party complete with live band and dancing was held (our kids were in the swimming pools before we even set sail). And as the whistle blew and we left the shore, I saw more than one person with tears in their eyes as the familiar strain of It’s a Small World After All played. We needn’t have worried if the kids would need us. They didn’t. They were too busy digging for whale bones, swimming, playing ping-pong and basketball, learning animation, creating their own volcanoes, dancing with princesses and meeting new friends. Since the children were happily involved in their own activities, my husband and I went to wine tastings, shows, relaxed and made new friends of our own. The only challenge for the week is how to fit in all the wonderful activities. There’s so much to do on the Magic. Thankfully, Disney’s on top of this too. Each evening, an itinerary of the next day’s line-up is delivered to your stateroom. A favorite of our kids was the children’s program. Nearly an entire deck is devoted to children’s programming. The Oceaneer Club is for ages 3 to 7, while the Oceaneer Lab is for ages 8 to 12. Activities are further separated by appropriate age groups. For example, the 3 and 4 year olds, 8 and 9 year olds, etc. There is also a nursery for ages 3 months to 3 years and a teens-only supervised program Reassuring is Disney’s commitment to a secured safe program. They take the security of the children very seriously and are constantly upgrading our security measures. Pagers are given to the parents so if a child desires to be picked up, mom and dad are only a quick page away. A password, which is provided at the beginning of the voyage, must be given for designated members of the party to pick-up a child. At times, our four-year old still experiences separation issues and his counselor Desta went above and beyond to make the transitions much easier. On the ship there’s something to fit everyone’s tastes. And speaking of tastes, there's not enough ink to talk about the delightful dining experiences. It’s certainly true that one can literally eat their way around the clock (thank goodness for the exercise room). The nightly dining is superb as you and your wait staff rotate together between Parrot Cay, Lumiere’s and Animator's Palate. There is also an adults-only option at Palo’s. Palo’s is an Italian restaurant overlooking the ocean (reservations are required). For those who need an in-between meal snack fix, there’s a 24-hour pizza station, soda station, ice cream and more. (And don’t forget about those midnight buffets.) A highlight of the week was the mid-week top deck pirate party. Passengers were encouraged to don their best pirate apparel and take part in lively fun. The party featured Captain Hook and Captain Mickey and dancing, food, and music kept the happy crowd on their feet. A sensational fireworks display capped the night off. To add to the theme, Disney showed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest throughout the entire week. Disney has extended the on-ship magic to its private island – Castaway Cay. At this 1000-acre Bahamian island, families can get up close and personal with stingrays, snorkel, parasail, fish, go boating and more. Shop, dine and listen to live music amid the beautiful beaches. Or simply lay in a hammock as the gentle breeze of a palm tree blows. For adults wishing a little time alone, Serenity Bay is an adults-only beach. On the island, children can participate in organized activities. On our cruise, we had the luxury of two days at Castaway Cay. Its incredible beautiful and well worth two stops. Lending a helping hand to families, Disney suggests and reserves shore excursions for additional port stops. Ports can be extremely busy and crowded, so take their advice and let Disney handle the particulars. There is so much to do and see yet Disney takes all the work out of it. Aside from the wonderful places and activities we were involved in; it’s the people we miss. My son’s new best friend lives 1000 miles away but is as close as e-mail, the crew who are from all over the world - new friends but truly not forgotten ones. Aptly said during our last evening “what you can’t see with your eyes, lives in your heart.”  

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Jun 26, 2004

Eastern Caribbean

Just back from a 7 day Eastern Caribbean sailing on the Disney Magic and thought I would share my thoughts. Some background first. This was my and my wife's 2nd cruise, having done a Royal Caribbean cruise before the kids were born. The boys are 7 and 4. This was a family reunion with a group of 21 people (11 grand kids, 8 'parents', and 2 grandparents). We all traveled there independently and arrived at approximately the same time.

We purchased the transfers from the airport and I would definitely recommend this option unless you are really set on saving a few bucks. You could probably get it cheaper by shopping around, but going with Disney allows you to give them your luggage and you won't see it again until it shows up at your stateroom later in the day. The busses are comfortable and they show videos that talk about the ship, the cruise and what you can expect. Once you arrive at the cruise terminal, you have to check in. The line for this was quite long, but moved quickly. I'd guess we spent about 12 minutes or so in this line. They check your travel documents, issue you 'passport' keys which double as charge cards, and send you on your way. After that, you can walk on the ship. They ask your name and where you're from and then announce you over the loudspeakers. I was a little taken aback but the kids liked it. We immediately set off to make Palo and Vista Spa reservations and neither one was too big of a deal. The Palo reservations were split into 3 lines depending on which days you wanted. Sunday and Monday in this line, etc. We wanted to go early in the week and had no trouble. Someone else mentioned that they couldn't make reservations until 2PM but in our case I think we did this around 12 noon. No line, no fuss. The Vista Spa was nice. We decided after touring the facility that we wanted to do the Rasul. This was around 12:30 and it was already booked on all of the 'at-sea' days. We ended up having to cut our day at St. Maarten a little short, but it was definitely worth it. If you want to try this, get in early. They were totally booked by the end of the day. The major issue is that there is only one Rasul room and it has to be sanitized after each use, so they only have like 4-5 appointments a day tops. The massages were a bit more available. Dining - With a group of 21 we were assigned 3 tables with 1 waiter and assistant waiter. We were also next to two windows in the rooms with windows, so the kids could get up and watch the ocean go by (without bothering other guests). Expect the meals to take about 2 hours. They seemed to speed up as the trip went on. The last day only took about 1 1/2 hours. The food was great, but not spectacular. The service was consistently good. The portions are what you would expect. You could eat 3 courses plus a desert and not feel like an extraordinary pig, though you would definitely feel FULL. The waiters were both good with the kids. The head waiters (that cover multiple table groups) seemed to have all be trained in magic. They could all do slight of hand tricks as well as silly distraction tricks on the littlest ones that made the older kids feel good knowing they 'knew the secret'. Palo Dining - The up charge for this is now $10, per person. You can only make one reservation for dinner, until everyone has had a chance to be accommodated, then you can come back and try to get in again. My parents, who had paid for the whole family and were assigned a concierge, were able to get into dinner 3 times and the brunch at least twice, but I think that was the exception. Dinner was great there. We went with another couple from our group and were pleased with both the service and the food. Soft Drinks and Ice Cream - As most know, the soft drinks are no longer a chargeable item. The first day at dinner the waitress actually was offering the mugs for $3, but it wasn't a hard sell. Soft drinks are available on the 9th deck aft by the MIckey pool. There's a whole station with ice and drinks available. Ice cream is on the other side in the same general area, but it's not 'self serve' and it closes sometimes when the ship is in port. Soft drinks from the bars are still a chargeable item ($1.50). Arcade - You can buy debit cards for the arcade in $10, $20, and $25 increments. The games seemed to range from $0.50 to $1.25 per play. You can't tell how much is left on your card until you 'run out' of money. It's a small area with about 15-20 games I would guess. There's a little Air Hockey game in the middle which is a good break from the electronic stuff. As a funny aside, my sister overheard a lady talking to her teenage son going over the bill, "Here on June 26, here's $10, and here's $10, and here's $10, then on June 27, here's $20 arcade, and $10, and $10." I guess I would say turn the credit off of your kids room keys if you don't trust them. Everything they need is free so there's really no need to let them charge. Sports - Pingpong - There were 2-3 tables on each side of deck 9. In suprisingly good condition with plenty of balls and paddles. Basketball - Located foredeck on 8 or 9? Would generally be really busy. I don't play but it looked like there were some reasonable games going on. Right behind the basketball courts was an open area. The only time I saw it being used in the some sort of organized was was for something that looked a bit like dodgeball played with a black leather ball the size of a cabbage ball, but it looked hard. Shuffleboard - Down on deck 4, port side. The equipment is all in a box/stand next to the court and the rules are posted if you don't know hoe to play. Kids Clubs / Oceaneer lab - I only had a couple disappointing experiences here. When I first got there with my 4 year old on the day of arrival, we had missed the 'get to know the counselors' session, and kind of wandered in to a free time moment. I sat down with my son (to get him comfortable) to play with some of those hanging monkey things and these kids just flocked to me. To be fair, there was a girl at the drawing table with crayons and a couple of kids, one was doing the digital pictures they take to make mouse pads and one was playing with the Connex stuff, but I had like 8 kids playing with me. Whenever I go to a new place with the kids, I expect someone to make an effort to help my kids feel comfortable and start playing with the other kids, and I was really surprised it didn't happen at a Disney facility. Once they started doing something together they all moved over to the other side and Sean got engaged and started having more fun. He didn't even acknowledge me when I went to say good bye. :) The only other disappointing thing was the computers. I cam eback to check on Sean about 2 hours later and he was playing on the computers in the middle of the room and neither his nor the little girl's next to him were working properly. It was like a little story game and the camel thing was talking but you couldn't hear a word. The little girls was just totally locked up. On a positive note, the are further forward where the big kids check in was a great play area. The younger kids spend a fair bit of time here as well. Our kids didn't spend that much time in the kids club, but would go in the afternoons sometimes when their energy level made them want to play and our energy level made us want to take a nap. Oh and one last thing, as the kids walk in the get a squirt of soap and go wash their hands which was good to see. Summary IT was an awesome trip, but very expensive. We wouldn't have been able to go had the major portion not been paid for by my parents. For half the money we could spend the week at the beach in the summer, or skiing in the winter. We were on the 8th floor and could certainly have saved money by moving down, but the stateroom with the veranda was sweet and it would be hard to go back to a porthole. We all talked about whether we would want to go back, and I think we all enjoyed it very much, but I don't think we would want to try it again for a couple years at least. If I had $8,500 burning a hole in my travel budget, I don't know that I would spend it on the Disney cruise or any other. I think their may just be better ways to spend the money.

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Apr 24, 2004

Western Caribbean

My husband planned a wonderful surprise for my 40th birthday and booked us and our 9 year old son Evan, on our first ever cruise aboard the Disney Magic. We were extremely anxious at the time, given the fact our actual cruise was booked the year before, but due to a severe ice storm at the airport, we missed our flight entirely, and had to rebook for the following year. Rebooking our cruise for the same time period required a change

in venue. We had originally picked the Eastern itinerary, but the following year did not have the same availability so western is was. We chose the Disney ground transfers and flew in a day early, as we did not want to take any chances this time around, getting delayed at the airport. I highly recommend this to any first time cruisers. Being stranded at an airport with zero flights going out and an 8 year old in tears is no way to begin a holiday. We chose a Disney hotel that was part of the Disney cruise package, The Port Orleans resort. When we arrived at the airport, we were directed to the Mears shuttle service that took us directly to our hotel. Choosing the Port Orleans hotel, even for just the one day, was a true bonus. The cruise line info desk was right there, and they handled all of our paper work the minute we arrived. Another bonus surprise with booking into the hotel, was passes to the Disney parks, which thrilled our 9 year old to no end. So it was a perfect day for all of us, and enjoying a day at the Disney park. The Disney bus arrived on schedule to take us to Port Canaveral where the mighty Magic awaited. What a site, truly. The Disney facility is truly amazing. I must say, you pay a little more for Disney, but it is truly worth the extra cash. We were told to head straight to the entrance, and bypassed this huge line-up where a sign read Passports Declared. When we got to the entrance we were then told that as Canadians we were supposed to go to the counters first, and hand in our passports. Our initial reaction was "fury". The gentleman, realizing we were not happy with this information immediately escorted us back to the massive line-ups, walked us to the front of one of the lines and had an agent handle all of our paperwork within minutes. This was very impressive and very Disney!! Once on board we went directly to our cabin, #6128. We decided to spend a little more and get the balcony. If you can afford a little extravagance, I highly recommend it. Some days you just want to open a sliding door and sit on your own, put up your feet and gaze out at the beautiful blue ocean. Having the balcony was heaven, expensive heaven indeed, but again worth it. The people aboard those "other" cruise ships always seem to be envious when looking at the Disney line. The horn that sounds is hilarious, and there is no mistaking it. The ship's decor is stunning. Things to Avoid: As first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect, what to avoid really. When you start to walk around the ship there are a 101 things to consider and want to buy. When you approach the bar, try not to get suckered in to buying the coke program, which if I recall is around $30.00 U.S. Yes, you get a great souvenir mug and all, but we bought one for each of us: $30.00 x 3 and already you have spent over $100.00, and it does not permit you to get a can of coke, only applies to the watered down version at the bar, under the hose. They have fruit juices, water, lemonade for FREE and we would have been very happy with that. Pictures. You are going to be inundated with someone wanting to take your picture. For every activity, for every dinner, for every second of the day, there is a Disney character just dying to have their picture taken with you and your darling children. And then, conveniently, as part of the pathway to the theatres, there is the Camera Shop, where all those pictures that were taken of you each day around every corner are displayed. Think about it, $20.00 for an 8 x 10, $35.00 for a special package, $40.00 for that, etc, etc. It was a bit much and I found it another "money making" machine that I was not interested in buying in to. The formal night.........be prepared for the flashes. Pictures with the captain, pictures with Goofy, pictures with the ship as a backdrop, pictures behind the moon, pictures, pictures, pictures. I was so sick of the pictures. Also, the off shore excursions do not necessarily offer the best deals. If you are patient, and willing to investigate on your own, once on shore you can get some great deals. We negotiated a great deal with some reputable vendors on shore in Grand Cayman and saved a bundle and had a great time. Benefits of Disney: Another great thing about Disney is the attention to convenience. When you see the other cruise ships when in port, notice the line-ups for the other ships when returning to the ship. We were in Grand Cayman and before heading back I was sitting down near the gate waiting for my husband to get his bottle of rum. I saw him frantically waving his arms at me, to say "hurry up and get over here in this line up" When I looked at him like he had five heads, he suddenly realized that maybe that was the line up for the "other ship"...........Disney had an endless supply of tenders, where required, so again, just another example of why it pays to go Disney. Also, unlike many other cruise lines, Disney is reasonable with what you bring aboard during off shore excursions. Buy your booze while on shore, and keep it in your fridge. The wine packages are too expensive, and drinks add up. We met countless couples whose bar bills were absolutely absurd. I want to spend my money on exciting excursions, buying souvenirs, clothing, jewellery, not on a $8.00 rye and coke x 12 per day. We bought beer, rum, vodka, a few bottles of wine, and walked around the ship happy as can be. There are also machines for lemonade and fruit juices as well, no charge (vodka and lemonade was popular). Don't get caught up on buying the "drink of the day either". Once or twice is fine, but really, if you don't watch it, your bill will sky rocket. This is where cruise ships make their money, selling endless streams of booze to those suckers who think they can afford it, and then fall out of their chairs when they see their final bill on the last night of the cruise. Trust me, if your not making a mental note of each drink you order, it adds up.............FAST!! When we asked to view our bill mid week, we were given the wrong room by accident, and their bar bill alone was $400.00.............ludicrous!! Things to Take Advantage of: Enrol your child in the Kids Club, but I strongly recommend you stay with them first, to get their bearings and introduce them to another child. Not every kid is Mr. Personality, and if they are a tad shy at first, when you pick them up hours later, the last thing you want to hear is "I don't want to go back to the club anymore" I made a point of making sure I hooked up my son with another kid his age, before I left. The counselors are great but you cant expect them to play match up each and every time the child walks in. That was my preference and it worked well. The programs are amazing and it was well worth it. They get some nice surprises on the last day of the cruise too. The Disney shows are out of this world. The "Golden Mickey's" gala was fabulous. It usually airs on the formal night, and you get to line up to take pictures with the Disney characters, in their tuxedos, and its done up like "Oscars Night". These shows are better than Vegas. The lighting, the music, the dancers, everything is beautifully done. They even have a Theatre to watch Disney shows. I have read many reviews where the food was given a mediocre rating. Not having been on any other cruise line I cant compare, but all I can say is the service was fabulous. Changing venues each night is a thrill, the presentation, the waiters, everything about the dining experience I truly enjoyed. There isn't an endless supply of choices on the menu, but what is available is very good. My husband enjoyed every meal, and I took advantage of the Vegetarian Cuisine, and surprisingly, there was only one dish I found a bit bland and unappetizing. I recommend sharing a table with 2 or more couples, just to make it interesting. It's a gamble for sure, but I always enjoy meeting new people and talking to others during our meal. We chose the early seating, which worked well for us. Just make sure you arrive on time each night. We were out of sorts the first night, and were about 7 minutes late. Very embarrassing, as the other members were waiting for us, as were the servers. Just common courtesy. We were never late again, and got into a great routine, knowing how much time we needed each night to prepare for dinner, etc. The cabins were great. I had no problem fitting everything into place. I am a neat freak and like everything in its place, and had no troubles putting everything away. Once unpacked and clothes hung in the closets, there was plenty of room to fit the luggage and bags into the closets. There is a separate little room for the shower, with sink, and another room for the toilet and sink. Great idea when you have kids, and a husband who likes to read........... We will take another Disney cruise for sure. It was wonderful, the staff are top notch. Anytime we had a concern, or needed something, they were eager to help. I have always abided by the golden rule of treating others the same way you yourself would expect to be treated, and everything is resolved, and everyone remains happy. There is no need to fly off the handle if something is not 100% perfect, or a staff member has not delivered your 8th glass of wine within minutes. Be patient, be respectful, and you will get the kind of service usually found in your dreams. Those who complained alot, were usually the chronic misery loves company types, who would complain if something was perfect, so I just laughed at those individuals, who wouldn't know a good time if it bit them in the behind. In closing, the checkout procedures are flawless. From claiming your passport, to the collection of your luggage, to the color coded system where you retrieve your luggage once off the ship. It was truly amazing how smooth the transition was with so many people on board. Again, take the Disney transfers and save yourself a huge hassle getting taxis, etc. If you have any questions about this cruise line, do not hesitate to email me. I would be happy to answer your questions.

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Jul 28, 2003

Eastern Caribbean

This is my review of my recent sail aboard the Disney Magic. In order to understand everything, you must know that I travelled with my grandparents (who have now cruised 38 times on the various lines and itineraries) and my young cousin, age 9, Robert. Each grandchild gets a coming of age cruise at 9. Mine was on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - and I thoroughly enjoyed and remember it. This was the first time I had cruised Disney - and the

absolute last time. There are just some things that aren't really a vacation. I'll rate everything on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest that I have experienced, 1 the lowest. Embarkation (rated 7): There were no major problems boarding the Disney Magic. We entered their building (after going through all the detectors) and checked in, and boarded the ship. The whole process did not take very long, but we were moved to the head of the line on account of my grandparents AAA status, perhaps 30 minutes. We were enthusiastically greeted onto the ship, and walked into the unimpressive atrium (compared to the Monarch/Grandeur of the Seas RCL). There were minimal activities that day that we attended, but we did check into the Oceaneer's Lab for the kids. Robert was somewhat unenthused about the program, and although the staff was the required cheerful, there was nothing special, and because it was a Disney cruise (and PACKED with children, duh) each child was treated as a child. For my previous cruises on Royal Caribbean, each child is treated as an adult, and expected to behave. There were no such standards on DCL. STATEROOMS: (rated 6, necessary) Our room was, of course, small, but well located midship on deck 6. The steward did a wonderful job of keeping the room tidy, but also making towel sculptures of animals. It was a nice touch for the kids. The room was pretty much the basic room - inside stateroom. The biggest issue was wasted space. A minibar took up useless room that we didn't use, and there could be a captains style headboard to place many personal items with the double bed - but that whole area wasted much usable space. RCL was much better about that. FOOD: (rated 7) The food was generally well prepared, and good. A nice option was the "lighter fare" that provided a similar option everyday - steak and baked potato. I had Robert (since I was his guardian for the week) scrap the lousy children's menu, and had him order from the adult menu. The children's menu was pathetic and monotonous, though the adults was always varied and wonderful. DINING: (rated 3) The rotation dining was interesting, and not necessarily bad, however, the dining rooms (Formal, Tropical, and ever special Animator's Palate) were PACKED with tables, which were PACKED with people and their whiny, rotten children. I KNOW it is a cruise FOR children, but when you are seated so closely to the same family (elbow to elbow almost) every night, it ruins the dining experience. We had the early dining, which was miserable. The noise was constant from all the tables, and ruined the Animator's Palate show (where the room changes color, etc.). Also, the Parrot Cay Tropical Dining Rm and the Animators Palate are foolishly located at the aft of the ship, which is sickening, especially when dining! Another problem - the supposed "dress code" is not enforced, nor is appropriate table manners. I wasn't expecting Emily Post from these children, but one 5-6 yr old stripped in the FORMAL dining area, and ate, bare-chested and in his underwear, with no correction from anywhere. People dined in shorts (TABOO) and bathing suits. DCL should have requested that these people dine at the buffet on Deck 9, or change their attire. Instead, they did nothing. SERVICE: (rated 8) Even with the rotation dining, the waiter and asst. follow you to each dining room each night. Their service was good, with each trained to interact with children. Robert had a peanut allergy, and our waiter would always go over the menu with us and tell us what he should not eat, (along with Gabor's personal recommendations). It was not possible to mix and match any orders, you simply received both meals, and ate what you wanted from each. WASTE. ENTERTAINMENT: (rated 8) Aboard, we enjoyed most of the shows in the Walt Disney Theatre, which all had talented performers, even in a mediocre settings. The theatre though, allowed children with wet bathing suits, which consequently wet the seats for the next viewing crowd. There was little leg room between the seats - felt like sardines (kind of like in the dining rooms!). Again, this was at the aft of the ship, and the movement was easily felt - stupid construction on Disney's part. We also enjoyed the jugglers and comedians in the Welcome Aboard show, but also in the Beat Street later in the week (though the lounge was NOT well suited to accommodate so many people). The movies shown were good, but often at odd, inconvenient times. What we enjoyed better were the game and trivia shows - where everyone could play. We played one nearly everyday, and the host of most of them was a fantastic fun director, Ellen. She worked to make our experiences uniquely wonderful. In fact, that was the best part of the cruise - playing the games together. CHILDREN'S PROGRAM: (rated 4) This program was poorly designed for something so high tech. It is much like a dump off day care, and many children, including Robert, did not care for it. He went when I asked him to, enjoyed himself remotely while there, but never wanted to go back unless I made him. Their activities are interesting, making flubber, and Goofy Gumshoes, etc. but not geared at the individual level. Signing In/Out, was like dealing with a max security prison - and always a HUGE hassle, a wholly negative experience, as the counselors failed treat us with respect. The pagers were a pain to keep up with. A watch and agreed time of departure works just fine. This children's program was not up to par. On RCL, I remember winning prizes and loving the children's program because we were treated as mature beings, and so acted like it, and were able to have infinite fun being the young on board - not the case on DCL. THE SHIP ITSELF (rated 5) The ship was poorly designed, and poorly maintained. The carpets were dingy everywhere, and the ship seemed overfull- just crammed with people, and kids, all out of control. And there is nothing DCL will do about it. People throwing stateroom parties at 2am, were "guests of DCL, and we cannot do anything to quiet them" (so I was told on the phone when I called on the 4th offense). Children ran up and down the halls, staircases, in their swimsuits (wet) and barefeet. No wonder Disney had health problems!!! The staff tries to keep everything clean, however, I rarely saw someone doing anything but powerwashing the upper decks. Most everything was relatively accessible on the ship. The pool deck was always crowded, and the pools were too small to accommodate such a volume of people. The "family" Goofy pool, could hold maybe 3 four person families, if that - and only for splashing around, not games or anything like that. The Mickey pool, again, too small. The slide is WAY overrated. The adult pool - again, too small. It was good only for standing in the water, not actual swimming. Robert DID love going to the pool - crowded or not with wild children. There needed to be a lifeguard at the children's pools, not just monitoring the slide. Not to really save anyone, but to ensure a safe environment. The pools, so highly used, needed to be larger and more entertaining (i.e. a jumping (not diving) board. Kid's love to jump and splash, but jumping from the side lands them ontop of other children!) PORTS OF CALL: (rate 6) St. Maarten - limited. The ship ports around daybreak, right at the dock, however, the town of philipsburg is 2 miles away - a nice hike if you travel with young ones. Just to look and shop, is a $3 per person taxi ride there. We walked there and back, and only spent a few hours there before returning to the ship. We weren't there long enough to make our own excursions. Also, car rentals should be located at the dock, not in town. St. Thomas USVI. We weren't here but 8 hours, plus we had the early AM immigration check (anyone who snuck onto the ship will NOT come to immigration check, duh!), although our group managed a bit of fun. We all taxied to Red Hook and caught the ferry to St. John to visit the National Park, which was very disappointing, unless you wanted to shell out $50 each person to get a guided tour. I thought the NPS would offer more. We did some scenic hiking before heading back to the ferry. We avoided the beaches, knowing that the Disney island was a beach day. We are not sun worshippers - and therefore do not need to lay on the beach all day or on the top decks all days at sea. WORTH it at St. Thomas - the Paradise Point tramway, a cable car to take you up to scenic heights. Beautiful views, not crowded, and cheaper than most everything else, plus, easy walking distance from the pier. We could have spent more time up there, but had to get back to the ship. Also worth a visit, Maegan's Bay, but you have to take a tour for it. Castaway Cay (this gets its own rating - a 6). This island is Disney's own, and was not well accommodating to the hordes from the ship (dying to beach). The snorkeling area was pathetic, and all the lifeguards did was tell people they were in the wrong area. Snorkeling, watercrafts rentals, and swimming beach are all kept separate and contained, with not enough beach to go around. The BBQ style lunch was good, but the drinks needed to be more accessible for refills. We found it was better to walk than take the silly tram car. Not far at all. Stupid Disney needs to put towel collection bins by the beach, where the people use the towels. Many towels do not make it back on the ship because people must carry them back. THE BEST PART OF THE CRUISE: - The trivia shows led by Ellen - The food and dining service, even if the dining experience was miserable so crowded and unkempt. - Deck 4. Nice deck chairs, running track, shuffleboard (could DCL please wax that floor, darn near impossible to play) and best of all, generally free from dripping wet pool rampant children! - the entertainment (not shows), jugglers/comedians, magician, ventriloquist, etc. The shows were decent, but these were better, and good for the whole family with a much closer view. WORST PARTS (and I'm only listing the absolute worst, not everything) - the lack of security/ authority/control. Children ran wild and ruined many vacations (not just ours!) and DCL does NOTHING, enforces nothing. Not the dress code, quiet hours, polite behavior, etc. This was the WORST as it affected me 24-7 while onboard. - The ship, and its subsequent entertainment areas are TOO SMALL for the volume of people. The pools are too small, the dining areas, atrium and public areas are too small, the theatre, etc. - the children's program was a HUGE disappointment. Poorly designed and executed. - the constant sales pitches and exorbitant prices of everything, and its pitched to the kids, and it works to make the parents shell out. How can it be a vacation, when you'll have to work OT the rest of the year to financially survive it? Walt Disney did something very special to the imaginations of millions, as he was a visionary for each child to have dreams and goals, and a playground for their imaginations. THIS cruise was an abomination of Disney's vision as it had very different goals - get the money from the parents by using the children, pack as many people onto a ship, and obtain maximum profits, regardless of anything. It was disgusting. Overall, I have to say, I would never recommend this insane experience to people, with or without children. If you want to have a family vacation, where you and your children can have fun together - and apart, pick a different cruise line where your child can be made to feel special, not just one of the means to Daddy's wallet on the DCL. The Disney characters and other desirable marketing points are ruined by the crowded ship of sheep waiting to be sheered. Take my advice, put your money towards another cruise line - Royal Caribbean or HAL and have wonderful cruising experiences. You don't even need to be on the brand new ships (in fact, the older ones were not designed for high volume and can be WAY better - even without the ice rinks and climbing walls. Make your own fun). The positive aspects of the Disney Cruise line are not special enough (that you could not get it elsewhere) to compensate for the atrocities and flaws in the negative aspects. I may have just had a bad experience - but my complaints are not specific to just my voyage - these are criteria that just would not vary from sailing date to the next. The dining rooms would always be too crowded, as would the entertainment areas, etc and the kids will go wild, it is a DISNEY cruise. But why waste your money when a better cruising experience is out there.

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Jun 21, 2003

Western Caribbean

Just completed 7 days of fun on the Disney Magic. This was our first cruise for my family. Wife, Kids (9 & 3). We booked the cruise 5 weeks prior to departure due to last minute vacation popping up. Just a word of caution... if you book at Disney within two months of sailing you might miss out on the shore excursions... they fill up fast (bookings for shore excursions open up 2 months out). We booked our own flight arrangements but

opted for the transfers from airport to the port... best $200 I have spent. The bus ride to the terminal at Port Canaveral was 45 minutes... they took our bags and we jumped on the bus. We arrived at the Terminal at 1030am and immediately jumped in the lines to get our boarding cards (key to the world). We originally booked a Category 10 inside but asked for an "upgrade" at the terminal. They said 3 Category 5's were available (verandah)... I paid another 650 to jump 5 room types... second best investment on this trip! I would recommend going early to the port if you want an upgrade... 1st come 1st served. They offered a Cat 4 (family room) but wanted another 300... for 25 more square feet... it did not make sense. After boarding we immediately went to Palo reservations (Its Awesome!)... do this first! After this we stopped by the Spa and booked our massages and the "ritual chamber"... the ritual chamber is not what its cracked up about... save your money and have fun in the cabin. The cruise itself was simply magical... the ship is immaculate... the characters are awesome... the child care is great... and the crew is very friendly. The only two things I did not like was the restaurants (all but Palo) and the tipping recommendations. The service was horrible and the food was just as bad. I would rate the food at 3 of 10 and the service at 2 of 10. Palo's was a 10 of 10... eat here every night! We had a formal and semi-formal night on the trip. Don't bother getting a tux... you will be one of 50 on the whole ship! People don't have a clue these days on what to wear at formal and semi-formal nights! I wore a dark suit and was well overdressed. Our room host was awesome... never needed to ask... and the towel animals was a treat! Our food servers were terrible... did the minimums and did not make us feel "special". Food always cold and it took over 1:45 - 2:00 to finish the service. With our 8:30pm sitting it was a loooonnnnng evening! I would highly recommend the 2nd seating however... it gives you more flexibility on the shore excursions... you never rush! My second complaint is about the tipping. Our service sucked for 6 of the 7 days and then our servers started "begging" for our kind comments and of course tips. I told them our service was lacking and it was a shame. We told our server on day 2 that we were disappointed with there service... but they never improved. For a family of 4 the "recommended" tip was over 300 dollars. I did not hesitate to tip our room host... but did not give the "recommended" amount to either of my food servers... maybe they will get the hint? Overall we love the disney cruise product... our kids are a little on the young side so we are going to plan the next one in about 3 years... Don't expect much for the food!

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Jun 7, 2003

Eastern Caribbean

I'm just a kid, but I think that the cruise was awesome! Dining was great because if I didn't like something, the server would bring me something I liked. Desserts! Oh my gosh. Yummy! The pools are cool too! My parents went to paulo and loved it. So you might want to go there. The islands are beautiful. Snorkeling is awesome too, although I am a bit afraid of fish. Well I just want to say, THE

DISNEY CRUISE LINE IS TOTALLY AWESOME!

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Mar 29, 2003

Western Caribbean

Disney First let me say that this is a long review. This was our first cruise. My husband, Jeff, and our daughter, Heather, (age 7) looked forward to a fun-filled 7 day cruise aboard the Disney Magic. Everything was so magnificent. At the airport we didn’t have to worry about our checked luggage as there were Disney personnel there to pick it up and transport it to the ship. Also there were numerous staff members with signs to let

us know where they were and we were lead to the shuttle bus (which was very nice) to take a 45 minute ride to Port Canaveral. When we boarded the ship there was a man that asked our last name and where we were from and announced our arrival. That made us feel so special. The first thing we did upon arrival was head to guest services and make it so my precious daughter did not have any charging privileges. We headed up to deck 7 to our stateroom to drop off our carry on luggage. Then off to Topsider's Buffet for lunch. Our stateroom had a veranda and it was so nice. The split bath was great. Our luggage was delivered to our stateroom by 4:00. Our stateroom host was Brian from India. He did a fabulous job of keeping the room nice and neat. Each night we came into our stateroom to find the linens turned down, chocolates and best of all a different towel animal sitting on the bed usually with my sunglasses on. The crewmembers were all so nice. Every crewmember spoke to us when we walked by. Heather was quite excited about going to the Oceaneer’s Club. There were so many activities for her to do she didn’t want to leave. Jeff and I had a reservation to eat at Palo the adult only restaurant. It was so lovely in there. I don’t know the server’s name but he was very attentive. I wasn’t feeling well and he very kindly arranged to have my dinner and desert taken to my stateroom. The next afternoon (Sunday) a cold front passed through and most of the passengers and half of the crew were seasick. We ate in Lumier’s that night and we got to meet our table mates. We were seated with a single father, Sergio, and his daughters Jessica, 8 yrs old and Bijioux (pronounced Beejew), 3 ½ yrs and a single mother K.J. and her daughter Nicole, 8 yrs old. Our Head server John was nice, he is from England. Ferdinand our server and Dante our assistant server are both from the Philippines. They were so attentive. Jeff never had to order his drink after the second night of eating in the rotating dinning rooms. It was waiting for him on the table. There are 3 rotating dinning rooms that you eat at and your servers rotate with you. The order for us was Parrot Cay, Lumier’s and Animator’s Palate. Parrot Cay is tropical and festive, Lumier’s is the most formal of the three with the Beauty and the Beast theme and Animator’s Palate starts out as black and white sketches and turns to full color by the end of the meal. The servers had on black and white vests and at the end of the meal they came out in very colorful vests. The food was fabulous and there was never a lack of it. You could get food at almost any hour via room service. There was Topsider’s buffet, Pinocchio’s Pizzeria, Pluto’s Doghouse and Scoops (an ice cream shop). The entertainment was non-stop. Every evening the Personal Navigator was delivered to your room for the next day’s activities. There was Character autograph sessions several times each day, family shows, movies, lounge acts, you name it and it was there. Plenty to do for adults only, family and kids. The only downside to our cruise was weather related and not the fault of Disney. As I spoke of earlier, there was a cold front that came though on Sunday afternoon and by dinner time there were 20 foot swells reported and most everyone was seasick. The first port of call was supposed to be Key West but it was postponed, so we had a day at sea and sailed to Cozumel. All the excursions that had to do with sailing and snorkeling were cancelled. Our excursion was for the Fury catamaran sail and snorkel. We ended up going on a shopping tour lead by Clyde. God bless that man’s heart. Normally his tours are about an hour and a half and consists of about 20 people, but because of the excursions being cancelled he ended up with about 200 people on his tour and it took about 3 hrs. We stayed in Cozumel twice as long as we were supposed to (because of the storm). Captain Tom decided that the Grand Cayman Island was too dangerous to go to he chose to sail further down the Yucatan peninsula to Costa Maya. At Cayman there are no docks and a ferryboat shuttles us to the island. We were really bummed about having to cancel the Grand Cayman Island because we had our excursion set up to snorkel with the stingrays. Oh well, can’t do much about the weather. After Costa Maya we sailed to Key West and took a trolley and museum tour. That was fun. Next was off to the Castaway Cay. We finally got to snorkel. It is a great island with so much to do, snorkel, swim, lay out and tan, kids area, family area and adults only area. Overall it was a good cruise. More activities were added and the changes went smooth. We will defiantly cruise with Disney again and hopefully Mother Nature will not intervein again. I hope this review answers some of your questions. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I love chatting about my cruise. Thanks for reading my very long review and happy cruising.

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Oct 16, 2002

Western Caribbean

The crew members that work for Disney made this cruise made it one to remember forever. The entertainment, the food and the variety of facilities made this a dream come true. Now along with the positive there were two things I think they could improve upon. The first and foremost was that the officers on board did not seem to have the same friendliness and helpfulness as the general crew on board. Secondly, I found the weclome aboard

outfits a little to formal for my taste. People are going on vacation to get a way from suits and hav some fun. It would be great the next time I sailed to see them wearing some shorts and tropical shirts. Just a thought Disney. Other than that it was amazing and would recommend it to anyone.

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Aug 25, 2001

E. Caribbean

Jan Roelofs   This being my 5th cruise, I will be reviewing the Disney Magic compared to other cruises I've taken. I can't help but do so, plus I think it's helpful to readers deciding on a ship or line. First of all, I would highly recommend this cruise to others, and would consider this ship or another Disney cruise in the future. By category, here are my comments: 1. Embarkation: Very quick and smooth. It

helps that DCL gives you the forms to fill out ahead of time. Short, quick-moving lines were the rule. Nice job. As we entered the ship my 7 yr. old son was thrilled to see Mickey, dressed as a ship captain, waving us hello from an upper balcony. 2. Food. Overall, excellent and consistent. I was happy with the selection and quality. Not terribly creative, but fresh, tasty and satisfying. I was used to FABULOUS desserts, and DCL's were good but not usually great. Exception: Chocolate souffle in Palo's. More about that later. The dining program is unique in that you rotate, with your servers, to three dining rooms, all with different themes and decor. We enjoyed all three, and found out ona galley tour they have different kitchens and chefs. The best dishes were prime rib on the last night, lobster tails, and mahi mahi. We enjoyed the animator show in Animator's Pallette(Palate), and International Night, even with "It's a Small World" played loud. Other eateries include a buffet style casual place on the pool deck and a hamburger/hotdog/pizza/ ice cream counter available all day, also near the pools. On the top deck is Palo's, an adults only Italian place, beautiful, with a gorgeous view and excellent service. The food is a notch above dfownstairs, which is saying alot. 3. Service: Overall, very good, bordering on excellent. We had a slight problem in that our table mates had a habit of running late. This caused a delay for us getting our menus orders taken or main courses delivered. I thought that each family or group should be waited on as a separate entity. However, the servers were very accommodating, pleasant and helpful. I was impressed that they knew all our names, even our kids, who spent most dinners in the kid's program. More on that later. 3. Entertainment/Activities: Contrary to popular opinion, there's plenty for adults to do. More than I could squeeze in, really. Everything from bingo to Disney Art of Entertaining series, including cooking classes, table setting, napkin folding, etc. I attended the galley tour and Ice sculpting demo, went to the gym almost every day, and went to the nightly stage show, well, nightly. All great. The stage shows were excellent, all Disney themed, but if you like that kind of stuff, well, you are on a Disney trip, after all. There was also a full movie theater with first run movies, all Disney, but something for everyone-Pearl Harbor, Spy Kids, Atlantis, The Princess Diaries, to name a few. My husband and kids went to several of these. After hours there were more adult type entertainment, I did not go to any but my table mates- New Yorkers with discriminating tastes- enjoyed the comedy and magic acts especially. 4. Excursions: We generally don't do these, as they are usually overpriced and too structured. However, I heard nothing but positive comments overall. 5. The ship itself: In a word, beautiful. The prettiest ship I've been on. Elegant and tasteful with subtle Disney touches and nautical details. Lots of wood and marble. Plus, it has a nice flow. Traffic moves smoothly. 2500 passengers were well accommodated. It doesn't have the problem most ships have of "You can't get there from here" where you have to go up or down to go from one end of the same deck to the other. Cabins were roomy and pretty to look at. We were on deck 2, outside starboard. I was concerned that the noise from the upstairs disco/ nightclub areas would bother me but no problem. What we could hear was everything from our adjoining cabin, everything. Fortunately, they were a family with young kids like ours, so there was no loud partying or other annoying sounds. This was my only true complaint, a minor one, fortunately. Cleanliness is the rule on DCL, apparently. People are cleaning everything all the time. There's no time for anything to get dirty. Our cabin was kept in good shape too. Paulette, our hotess, was friendly and efficient. 6. Ports of Call: St Maarten/St. Martin: Not the prettiest island, and trying to recover from Hurricane Louise in 95. St Thomas: my third visit there, it gets better if anything. Beautiful, clean, good shopping and nice people. Megan's bay does live up to its rep. as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Castaway Cay: Gorgeous,  Disneyfied but natural at the same time. We really enjoyed our day there and so did the kids. Plenty do do or nothing if you want. 7. The guests: as expected, families with kids, but some couples and singles too. Generally, a well behaved middle to upper middle class crowd, and very friendly. Most people were from the Northeast, N.Y. or N.J. but also some Europeans, Canadians and a few Asians. We were lucky enough to get good table mates at dinner and got together other times with them too. 8. Children's Programs: Saving the best for last. As expected, GREAT! My kids, boys 7 & 10 loved it. They wanted to be there all the time. I literally had to drag the little one away. Two huge areas to play and have age appropriate structured activities, plus a nursery for infants, and a coffee shop for teens. The kids staff was tireless, positive and cheerful all the time. A special thanks to Sally, Emily, Jessica and Vivian for their excellent loving care of my 7 yr. old who can be a handful. He loved them and the whole experience.  9. Debarkation: A total breeze. No waiting, no searching for your bag, no hassles at all. Quick, smooth and painless. I usually hate this, but with DCL it's a pleasure, if you can call the end of a fabulous family vacation a pleasure.

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Aug 19, 2001

7 Day Bahamas/Caribbean

This was my second Disney Cruise in a two year period. Initially having done 4 days on land and 3 at sea, we enjoyed it enough to go back and book the 7 day cruise. Please note that August is hurricane season in the Bahamas, but The Mouse Does Not 'Do' Hurricanes. There were no less then 3 storms out there and while we missed several scheduled ports of call, we did not ever have water that was anything but smooth. We were re-routed to Cozumel and

spent extra time at Disney's Castaway Cay, where we took advantage of beautiful water and snorkeling. While at sea we enjoyed the spa facilities. After a manicure took a beating from the snorkeling adventure the crew in the spa were happy to do a 'repair' for my sister and I, gratis. The steward assigned to us remembered our names from the day we started. She looked exhausted but was always wearing a smile. Please keep in mind that you will need to tip these folks and you will want to! Plan accordingly when you budget your vacation. The team of waiters that was assigned to us immediately assessed my need for cappuccino after a meal and only chocolate of some variety for dessert. It's easy to grow accustomed to the catering that the ships staff does. Disney truly does specialize in catering to children. As an adult I would have been happy on this cruise sans children, because of the tender loving care provided by captain and crew. The food was incredible and possibly due to the newness of the ship, it was immaculate at all times. The few nights we didn't indulge in assigned dinner seating the room service was phenomenal. If you've seen the commercial for the Disney cruise packages where the little girl assesses her daily itinerary with her parents, believe it. It really DOES work that way. I was able to roam the boat carefree. My son paged me when he needed me or had enough of the children's activities. The itinerary they gave us for his age group when we signed him in the first night was priceless. I did not ever feel like I was leaving him with a babysitter to go have a 'night' out. While the scheduled 'off ship' activities can be a bit pricey (snorkeling for two adults and one child was $200) the experience was worth it. There were enough activities on board to keep us more than busy or better yet, more than lazy. My only disappointment was the afternoon high tea in the elegant 'Palo' restaurant. We were served as graciously as possible but the temperature in the restaurant was easily 83 degrees. A little too much sun coming in, I'd say. If you are not a heavy drinker (alcohol on these cruises is high!) and you really want to enjoy a family vacation, do this. The Mouse knows how to take care of his guests. When my family is able to, we will go again. Definitely! Oh and don't miss the fireworks from the smoke stacks. They are an awesome sight!

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Jul 21, 2001

Eastern Caribbean

We just returned from a week on the Disney Magic and had a great time. The children's program is phenomenal - our 8-year old daughter had a great time and would have stay there all week if we let her! The program runs from 9 am to midnight or 1 am and is far better in terms of quantity and quality than on the Majesty of the Seas, which we were on two years ago. The food, in general, is fine, though not quite as fancy as on Royal Caribbean.

Palo's, the adult-only restaurant, was excellent and worth doing for an evening. We enjoyed rotating through the three restaurants and liked the overall decor of the ship. We had a cabin with a verandah and strongly recommend it. It costs a few hundred more than a porthole room, but it really is nice to be able to sit out on your verandah and watch the water go by, especially at night. The room itself was huge and very comfortable, and the split bathroom made getting ready for dinner much faster. Lots of fun Disney activities, as to be expected, including several very nicely-done shows, especially "Disney Dreams". This was an excellent show that both children and adults really seemed to enjoy. The ship was immaculately clean, which my wife really appreciated, and all of the crew and staff were unfailingly cheerful and friendly. St. Maarten and St. Thomas were fine, but Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, was fabulous. Beautiful water and beaches and lots to do, including two nice snorkeling trails. Much nicer than Royal Caribbean's Labadee private island. Overall, a great vacation for adults and kids. The only real downside is the extra cost over a Royal Caribbean or Carnival cruise.

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By Ryan_CR

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Jul 7, 2001

Eastern Caribbean

The food on the ship is excellent, our servers were beyond anyone’s expectations, and were very interactive and even remembered some stuff about our family. Like our servers could actually order for us because they could see what type of foods we stuck to after a couple nights. I thought that was an excellent thing on their part. After dinner we went to see the welcome aboard show and we had a great magical experience. I highly recommend

this show, it is funny they have dancing and speakers. An excellent production. I thought that the first day the staff did an excellent job welcoming us aboard and getting us settled in on the ship. The second day got a little rough at sea and you could definitely notice swaying on the ship. Many people started complaining however things settled down that night. Disney is a great place to meet friends and now that I’m home I have so many friends to email my fingers are numb. It was actually upsetting to me having to go on the island knowing that I couldn’t spend the day at sea hanging out with all my friends. That night when I went to sleep I noticed that my ceiling and walls were creaking and rattling. I had an inside stateroom and was told that it was just the settling of the ship. Don't be alarmed. If it keeps you awake go to guest services and they will give you some earplugs to help you get to sleep. On the fourth day we woke up to the beautiful island of St. Maarten. We got off the ship very easily and proceeded to hail a taxi to the Belair Beach Hotel, were we got to stay for free because we know the owner. The island is gorgeous and the water was actually pretty nice but cold when I went in. O well. we were all aboard at 930 to set sail for 10. We took off and headed to St. Thomas. let me pause now and give detail about ship. The rooms are very comfy but noisy. not to many amenities in the lower class rooms none the less doesn’t matter cause you only sleep and shower in your rooms anyway. The crew members are very nice and wont ever not say hi to you when you walk past them. They always are smiling and I applaud there hospitality in welcoming us aboard. Don’t waste your money with Disney excursions when you can just hail a taxi for a low fare and go to the same place Disney would take you but for less. Just don’t miss the ship because Disney doesn’t have to wait for you unless your on a Disney excursion. However the captain is very nice and waited for one family who was not on Disney excursion and missed the boat when we pulled out of St. Thomas. that same day a kid jumped over off of deck 4 and was found and lets say he didn’t eat dinner like the rest of us for those last couple of days. The ship made me feel very safe like I could go to sleep and leave my door open because the people that go on there are families just like yours and mine. Disney seems to attract a better type of clientele then say carnival which attracts the teenager party type clientele. My mom says that no one would want to steal your kids because they have enough of there own. but seriously its true, I saw no trouble makers aboard the ship except that teen that jumped overboard, but security is very strict and will not tolerate much of anything. The only thing I noticed that Disney needs to add more of are clocks. There are no clocks anywhere on the ship except at the front desk. But this is because Disney wants you to have fun and forget all about what the time is. but this is also bad because if you need to make dinner or a show you need to have a watch or ask someone who does because you cant look up on the wall to find out. Castaway cay (say it like you would say key, that is the correct way to pronounce it), same for parrot cay. The island is beautiful but doesn’t have enough umbrellas so I recommends get there as quick as you can or bring your own. Also the way you get off the ship could be better for this island only because if you have a 10 o clock appointment you will never make it. Also Disney could add ropes like they have at Disney world that way the people who have been waiting longest can get on the tram to the beach easier. we have a senior citizen and missed our tram because all others pushed there way in front of us and hopped on. and there is no one there to right that wrong. other than that the island truly was a most magical experience. Let me back up and say that at St. Thomas I highly recommend Magens Bay because the view you will see coming up the mountain looking out over the ships (Grand Princess will be docked with you) is truly breathtaking. Ask for Steve’s taxi service member of vi taxi company because they are very nice and if you get Steve himself you will be lucky because he is very informative and very nice. he stopped to let us take pictures when he heard us gasp at the view we saw. Magens Bay is gorgeous and is truly not to be missed. I rented a kayak for 20 for an hour. It was so much fun, my family and I toke turns going in the kayak and we were actually pretty good at it. The water is the clearest of the whole trip and is very soothing. Don’t snorkel there because you can take a pair of goggles and see just as fine out by the rocks where you would go anyway for no money if you do it on your own. I truly loved this vacation and we all cried when we had to debark that Saturday morning at 1200 o'clock. You might be wondering why I say 12 well listen to this. At Castaway Cay a man had a heart attack on his way to do laundry. He was only in his 40's. We had to wait for a helicopter to fly in from Miami. So we stayed docked at the island until around 1030 when the copter came to take the man to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami. So we sailed back and instead of arriving at port at 630 that morning we arrived around 830 that morning instead. They let us stay later on the ship and to our surprise added more activities for that morning after breakfast for us to enjoy before we left. Our prayers go out to that man and his family. Disney did a great job on their cruise and I recommend this to anyone else who is thinking of cruising in the future.

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Dec 16, 2000

St. Martin, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay

Bob Jurgensen FOOD:   in a word, excellent.  Ample portions, very delicious with rare exceptions, a few times it could have been warmer.  Lot of desserts, menu changed every evening, SUPER waiters (Greggor and Sasha)were VERY attentive to my 8 and 14 year old daughters.  Other than one incident when we were "late" by 20 minutes and got ignored for another 20 (our punishment?) it was very pleasant.  We got over it...

STATEROOM:   Category 4, Suite 8520 - if this room is 304 sq. ft. I will eat my shoes!  I wish I had a tape measure with me because it did not feel like any 304 sq ft I have every been in and I sell real estate.  They must be including the veranda AND the hallway.  TV didn't work for the first four days of the cruise due to a "short" in the wiring (very reassuring to be at sea with a short circuit) but Disney finally got it fixed after I raised heck with the purser.  Had to threaten to call the Coast Guard and report them to get action (at the next port), but they did react to my threats.  Also offered me a $500 cash credit on our next cruise, which we accepted.  Fair enough. BEDDING:   Pitiful, cheap mattresses (admittedly I'm a big guy, 6'5" and 300# but hey, lots of people are large and these mattresses were made for little skinny people.  WAS SO BAD our steward (who was wonderful and fretted over us the whole time because he thought we were unhappy with HIM-not so) had the crew buy a piece of plywood and cut it to fit to put added support under our crummy mattress.  DISNEY REALLY SHOULD ORDER AND STORE ON BOARD (as a minimum concession) at least a few FIRM and EXTRA FIRM quality mattresses.  Some people may find these mattresses OK but I bet my last dollar that most people couldn't wait to get off that ship to sleep on even a hotel mattress.  NO SLEEP=NO FUN. ITINERARY:   St Martin - dirty little place, people not particularly friendly - acted as if we were intruding on their day BUT THEY LIKED OUR MONEY.  Rude at a local lunch outdoor restaurant on the French side (would you expect anything else?) and they really need to learn what a trash can is FOR on that island.  Pretty to look at from the ship but get off and start riding and nothing but trash, trash, trash everywhere you look. ST THOMAS: My how things change.  I remember the sleepy little island that was so friendly.  VERY commercial now.  And the taxi drivers are OBNOXIOUS.  But we banked a few good jewelry deals and a watch and had fun at a nice restaurant eating fried conch.  Overall a pleasant place. Castaway Cay:   Bad weather day, very cloudy and chilly - not a good experience but not Disney's fault.  They could use a few more island "stores" and food concessions.  Beaches and hammocks (need more! people were fighting over them, hawking them, you move and you lose) were nice. EXCURSIONS:   Forget the Butterfly Tour in St. Martin - not worth it.  COMMON GROUNDS TEEN LOUNGE:   this is a joke.  Read the literature and you think you teen is going to be hanging with other "nice" kids and counselors and drinking Starbucks style coffees and sodas at the "coffee bar" which is as far from the truth as it gets.  The "bar" never opened - it was merely a place for counselors to hide behind and not have to mingle with the kids.  NEVER WAS A DRINK MADE at this big, fancy looking "bar".  Kids had to leave the lounge and go to a pool side bar to get sodas and/or whatever and then bring it back there.  Lame movies - not much involvement by staff so my 14 (going on 18) year old daughter grew weary of this in a day or so.  Gave it another try and same results.  Finally she decided to "hang with us" (what fun!!!) for the entire week.  SHOWS/ENTERTAINMENT:   ship had JUST come out of dry-dock in Norfolk and was not really ready to sale when they arrived in FL to pick us up.  Mechanical stage didn't work several times, shows had to be stopped (once for nearly 20 minutes) to correct problems.  "Who wants to be a millionaire" (Disney style) was bizarre in that they were very unfair to a contestant - the audience booed so loud and complained they finally gave her the big prize (a free cruise!  good deal?  not so sure!) PIANO LOUNGE: (forget the name) but it smelled like "SMOKE" - was a great place to relax and look out at the ship's wake, listen to music on the headphones at each side table and enjoy a quiet drink BUT stinky place!)  NO MIDNIGHT BUFFETS!!!!   Only pizza one or two nights and then a "left over" on deck buffet one night.  PEOPLE WITH NO MANNERS:   on formal night nearly one quarter of the guests on board IGNORED the request to dress up.  While you are running around in your tux or three piece suit, some clown is pushing past you in his dripping swim suit long after the cut off for swimming.  BIG TURN OFF:   Kids running wild:  I swear, who in their right mind would ever turn lose 6 and 7 year olds to run unsupervised around this HUGE ship?  Plenty of people, I can tell you that.  MORE THAN ONCE we boarded the elevator to find a young child, all alone, riding the elevator and ALL THE BUTTONS pushed for each floor.  My, parents are so thoughtful of others.  STILL, IN SPITE OF MY CRITICISMS , it was over fun - especially the deck parties, the unique Disney horn and the reaction of other ships when we left ports (cool!) and there was plenty to do.  It would be nice however if Disney would enforce the rules about ADULTS ONLY areas and not allow children to swim in the ADULTS ONLY pool but apparently they don't have the desire to enforce their own rules and so people just do whatever they wish.   I've cruised on adult only ships and the elegance of the formal evenings and midnight buffets were wonderful, unforgettable moments, that even 20 years later are vivid my mind.  Not so Disney but then it again, it's DISNEY.  So go have fun.  But beware, it's not for everyone!

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Nov 11, 2000

Eastern Caribbean

This was my second cruise and my husband's first. Since it was our honeymoon we wanted to go all out and went on Disney's new 7 day cruise and then to Disney World for 5 days. Boarding the ship we had similar waiting times and lines that I have heard all cruise lines had. Since we didn't know what to expect (my first cruise being 13 years before) we still had our patience and optimism. Our cabin was fine, but cramped. We had a veranda,

which was nice, but we never spent any time on it. We were greeted with chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne which was sent from my mother. That was a very nice touch. Back to the veranda. It seems that all interiors of the ship were smoke free and although we specifically requested a non-smoking cabin because of my husband's allergies, they put us between rooms with smokers and their veranda was considered and EXTERIOR. Every time we went onto the veranda, including 2:30am, there was someone to the left or right who was smoking. After many, many phone calls we were told that we could move to a lower deck. After seeing that room smaller and basically a down grade we decided to keep our current room and not use the veranda we paid for. Eventually, 2 days later, after the phone calls and visits to the concierge, they found us another room. We were previously told that they were fully booked. The two shows we saw were only ok. There was a comedian and then a spin off of Millionaire- Disney style. The problem with the shows are that the times are the same as the late dinner. So, your choices were to eat at 5:00 and then go to a show or see the show at 5:00 and then go to dinner at 8:00. After dinner there is nothing to do or eat. The room service consisted of tomato soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and nothing else is open after 11pm. No beverages are included so for a week of water (we don't drink soft drinks or alcohol) our tab was $1900 on top of the cruise price. The Magic had a gym and jogging track. Being a runner who travels about 20-25 miles a week I was thrilled to be doing so out on the ocean. That thrill did not last since they roped off the track and began maintenance in the middle of an afternoon at sea. They also had crews working in bright yellow jumpers about 5 feet above Goofy's head as he danced in a show by the pool! One night we decided to go dancing and we heard the disco thumping and lights spinning. Unfortunately, there was not a soul in the place. Only the staff and it was 10pm. We did not use the pool because after about 2 hours of circling the decks we could not find a seat and the pool water had a yellow tint making the white of Mickey's head yellow. The shore excursions to St. Thomas, St. Marten and Disney's private island Castaway Cay) were the best part of the trip. Although St. Marten never fully recovered after a hurricane, we were told, our trip only included ocean kayaking. The water was beautiful and the trip was challenging. St. Thomas was beautiful all around, but after being on the ship we thought we would have been better off going on a direct trip to an island. Thank goodness Disney World was there waiting for our return. We think that Disney spread itself too thin and entered a business they know nothing about. That cruise has turned us off to all cruises. Our once in a life-time honeymoon was spent on what we refer to it as, the Disney Tragic. I wrote the company upon our return and received their thoughtful answer... "Sorry".

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By Gray_CR

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Nov 4, 2000

7 day Caribbean

Gray Our family of 5 adored this cruise.  My kids (10,8, and 3) talk about it constantly and we all agree that this was a family vacation of a lifetime. I read all the reviews prior to embarking on this cruise so I knew what to expect.  Food:  The food is not good.  Most of the reviews say this and it is true.  My husband says I was too critical but if these restaurants were in my town I would not

eat there.  Breakfast, stick with omelets.  Waffles are embarrassingly horrible. They are the size of a baseball and weigh about as much.  Don't wait in line for them. Lunch, wasn't as bad as some of the reviews, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, taco's (yuck) and French fries were available poolside.  Buffet was O.K.  most days you could find jumbo shrimp and/or crab legs. Dinner, selection was minimal,  pasta was never offered, strip steak or filet was never offered it was always some sliced beef concoction that was mediocre.  The courses were also few:  Only appetizer, meal, desert.  Soup and salad were clumped into the appetizer section tricking less savvy cruisers into thinking they can only order one. Palo was very good, it was worth the effort. Room service menu was too limited, but decent food. Unfortunately, I learned not to expect much. Entertainment:   Excellent,  Disney Dreams was exceptional in every aspect,  Hercules was great, the variety show was very entertaining ( I wasn't looking forward to it thinking "great a magician and ventriloquist)  it was excellent the ventriloquist's dummy was a little boy from the audience!  We loved it.  We also love "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer?"  Patterned after the game show with real money prizes and a grand prize of another free cruise.  They are remarkably liberal with the player and allow the audience more latitude in commenting on answers than the show.  C'est Magicique was uninspiring,  Magic was obvious and it is pattered after Circ d'Soliel.  Definitely different, kids did not enjoy nor did we. I'm sure there is an audience for this type of show but it was too odd for me. Service:   Average, our room steward was not that good.  We met him once and he would repeatedly forget to clean things until we called an complained. For those of you who cruised before you know that you should know your room steward well.  Others onboard did not have our problem so maybe it was isolated.  Waiters and bar waiter were also substandard.  We only received one drink, never seeing the bar waiter again to reorder because he was busy serving dinner.  I hate to fault them because I think they had way too many responsibilities to be that attentive. Kids Club:   Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!!  I never send my kids to the clubs at hotels because I was weary.  One look into the club and your apprehensions disappear.  There is even a closed circuit feed of the 2 clubs on a television near the theatre so you can watch via TV and see what's going on.  I can't say enough about this program it is top notch, the staff is incredible, and these programs show their true Disney colors.  Embarkation:   Great, trouble free Pools:   Mickey pool is great and does not have the salty taste of some cruise pools although I'm told it is ocean water but filtered.  You really can't tell.  Seating is a premium this was a little annoying. Characters:   They are everywhere all the time.  My biggest complaint about the theme parks is that you send several days there and if you don't wait in a 2 hour line to see Mickey you don't see him. Here you will see not only Mickey but tons of other characters walking around, taking pictures, signing books.  They are very accommodating.  This really impressed our 3 year old. Photos:   You will have at least 10-30 pictures taken of you on this cruise.  The prices $10 for a 5x7 and $20 for a 8x10 are too much.  It's a shame because I would've liked more of them but short of spending several hundred dollars on them I had to stop myself. Islands:   Don't get off the boat in St. Maartin.  It is dirty, run down, and people are constantly hawking you to purchase things and get braids. There is one beach that was pretty nice, (although clothing is optional and set off to one side, there is an occasional nude person)  (sorry I forgot the name of this beach)  But it is costly to take the cab ride here and back.  St. Thomas was O.K., cleaner than St. Maartin, and no one begging you to buy things.  So that was a pleasant.  The shops here tend to be the same tourist stuff. We went to Magen's Bay which is touted as one of National Geographic's Most Beautiful Beaches.  It's o.k.  I've seen much better.  The beach portion was very small and only about 15 feet of sand from water to the end to the beach,  Too small and crowded our cab driver tried to talk us into another beach but we though this one sounded nicer, we regretted it and wished we would have listened to him. CASTAWAY CAY is in capital letters because it deserves to be. I was incredible.  Disney should stop here longer.  It was immaculate and safe.  Only 16 people live on the island so there is no tourist places or island locals to bother you.  It is all run by Disney employee's.  Lifeguards are everywhere, the lunch was good, the beach was great! One of the best day's of our trip. Despite some of the negative comments, the positives were so exceptional it negated some of the negatives.  If Disney could just do something about the dining experience it would make it that much better.  We would all go back in a minute.

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Aug 1, 2000

Not Given

This cruise ship was outstanding!!! It is very family oriented. They have an entire deck just for kids! Dining was outstanding and the entertainment was family friendly. No one wanted to get off the boat!

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Jul 14, 2000

Nassau, Castaway Cay (Disney's Private Island)

Move down all other cruise lines....Disney has done their homework and makes the 3-day cruise a classy, fun and exciting time! From the moment we met the airport personnel to the time we got back on the bus to go home, Disney was a 4 star example of what the other cruise lines should be! We have taken many cruises on the other lines but none have compared to the service and entertainment that we received on board the Disney Magic. The 4 of us (two

kids, ages 14 and 10 and my wife)enjoyed a spacious indoor cabin that came with bunk beds for the kids AND a queen bed for my wife and I. The room was huge compared to the smaller rooms on the other cruise lines. Every night you ate in a different restaurant (Animator's palate-where the room changed from black in white to full color pictures of Disney animated characters; Lumiere's-a classy and elegant dining experience; and Parrot Cay, a tropical garden with pirate parrots). Characters were available at different times for photos and autographs, which was nice (no the same ones all the time). There were pools for the family, alduts only or just for kids. Every night was a Broadway-type musical (thank you for not having another dated Las Vegas show!). The teen center (Common Grounds) was teens only (I was met at the door and an employee went and got my teen; no adults allowed). My youngest was always up in the kids center and made Flubber, helped in other science projects and we always knew when to find him. We only walked around Nasau for about an hour (we've been there before) and then hurried back to the ship for more fun. It rained and thundered when we docked on Disney's island the next day, but the sun came out and we played in the water until the storm came. The barbecue was a feast and we sampled a little of everything. Snorkeling was fun and the man-made reefs attracted a lot of fish. The sunken ship (Seaworthy Sue) was great, including the Mickey figurehead (you'll need an underwater camera). The two hour wait to disembark the ship....forget it! Once we cleared immigration, you could get off at your leisure. Looking for your suitcases....Disney lines them up so you can find them quickly. We were off the ship and on the bus in 15 minutes. Other cruise lines, take note! We're already talking about taking the 7-day cruise that starts in August 2000. Thank you, Thank You Disney for making this the best cruise ever!!!!!

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May 11, 2000

4 Night Cruise

The way this ship is advertised, I thought it would have a lot to offer someone my age but apparently not.  This ship is for families or those who really love Disney.  If you don't like the mouse, there isn't much you can do.  The food was okay and the embarkation process ran smoothly.  Castaway Cay was the highlight and I wish we could have spent more time there.

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Oct 5, 1999

Nassau and Castaway Cay

My wife and I sailed on an inaugural cruise (Disney’s term) on the Disney Magic.  This was our first attempt at cruising.  We are 27 years old and have been married 3 years, with no children.  I’ll warn you now, this may get long, but it may be entertaining along the way.  At least that is my intent. Our journey began rather inauspiciously.  My wife works for an airline, so we gambled on a stand by flight.  We

were smart enough try to fly out on Friday for a Monday sailing.  Living in north Texas, rain is not normally an issue during August.  But, the one night of the summer that it decide to rain, we need dry conditions!  The airport was shut down essentially for the majority of the night.  We finally gave up on our last hope at 1:30 in the morning and returned home to rest for a try in the morning.  As it turned out, many flights were canceled that morning as well.  We were told by an agent, if we flew stand-by, we could make it there possibly by Wednesday the following week.  That was no good at all.  So, we put our thinking caps on and settled on renting a car one-way.  National allowed us to this for about $175 and we were on our way.  We stopped in Montgomery , AL along the way (hugging the coast was not an option as a hurricane had just ripped through the gulf coast) and arrived in Gainesville, FL 45 minutes short of 24 from our departure time, so we got charged for two days (ouch).  Oh well, we are in Florida and around 24 hours from boarding our ship.  We spent the afternoon with my grandparents and they took us to the port the next morning. Driving over the bridge, we were told, we’d be able to see the ship with no trouble.  That was an understatement.  It was a moment I think neither of us will ever forget.  The big beautiful ship was before us – and we were going to be sailing aboard it for 4 days! Embarkation was a breeze.  We ascended the escalator of the gorgeous terminal (after having our bags checked by porters), waited not more than 5 minutes to check in and we had our Key To The World.  We took a few moments to take in the terminal (good idea since you don’t see this part again upon return) and said goodbye to my grandparents.  I think they were instantly envious of our vacation.  My grandfather is a Navy man.  He was impressed by the site of the beautiful ship. We boarded through Mickey’s ears and were taken to the buffet lunch on Deck 9.  This was a nice lunch that we enjoyed outside.  We were just beaming to be on board, this was so much better than we expected and now we could nearly relax.  The site of the Space Shuttle on it’s launch pad was an added bonus across the horizon. We found our cabin and settled in with our day bag.  Our Navigator was provided with the activities listed for that night and Monday.  We learned where we needed to go to sign up for Palo’s and Spa treatments.  My wife went to Palo’s and I took the spa tour.  Using my best judgement, I booked two treatments.  My wife adjusted our seating to late (8:30) and then got us an evening at the adult’s only alternative dining room.  Now, we could relax! Our inside cabin (Category 10) was nice.  It was a little cramped, but more than we needed as we used it very sparingly!  The closet space was more than ample for the two of us.  Nice wooden hangars were provided.  A small cooling box and safe were available.  We used our sofa as storage for our luggage (unrefined first time cruisers that we were!) and placed all our clothes in the ample drawer space.  The bathroom was a tight squeeze, so we learned to use it one at a time!  The water pressure and temperature was fine and the provided toiletries were sufficient.  We both enjoyed the hand cream as the salt water and sun dried us out quite a bit.   The vanity in the small living area was perfect for my wife.  She would sit there to dry her hair, put in her contacts, and apply her makeup.  The small television was next to the vanity, which offered older movies, NBC, ABC, and the Disney channels (who else?).  I believe NBC has been removed from the lineup.  My favorite touch was the view from the bridge.  That was our alarm clock in the morning, the TV came on to show us where we were headed and the direction and speed we were sailing. Our room was made up daily and turned down at night.  Chocolates and artcards were left on our pillows each night with our Navigator detailing our next day’s activities.  The drape that one could pull in front of the bed separated the living are from the bed.  It was dark in there - so if you need a night light, be forewarned.  It was wonderful to have it so dark, we slept wonderfully! The first night was Disney Dreams in the theater.  I missed it as I was getting a spa treatment.  My wife said it was good.  The following night was Hercules the Muse-ical.  My wife missed this one as she had her spa treatment that night.  Night three we were in port at Nassau and locals came on board for a nice slice of island entertainment.  The final night was the Ghost Ship, my favorite of the shows I saw.  The stage is something of which many local directors would be envious.  The sound, lighting, staging, and effects were first rate.  Sight lines were not a problem, almost all seats were good seats in the two sectioned, but single storied theater.  Drinks could be brought in from the bars down the hall, but no service was provided in the theater. Dinners were art 8:30 each night.  The rotational dining was a treat.  Each night was a new location.  Our first night was in Animator’s Palate.  The attraction here was not so much the food as it was the décor.  Fiber optics in the walls helped transform the black and white room into a colorful array of characters and movie scenes.  Even the dining staff changed with the room!  We skipped Lumiere’s the second night for a seat at Palo’s.  The adults only dining alternative was a special treat for our anniversary.  We found the food here to be average and the service became poor when we passed on any wine for the evening (we do not drink alcohol – have never developed a taste for it).  It was obvious from that point forward our waiter was in a rush to move us along.  Parrot’s Cay the following evenings was a splash of Caribbean color and sounds.  This was a fun restaurant!  The food and wait staff was much better than our experience at Palo’s, so we felt better.  Each morning we at in the dining rooms, where we served omelets, skillet meals, or a la carte breakfast items.  They were much better than the buffet offered on Deck 9 outside. Lunches were also at different dining rooms and very good offerings were had as well. After dinner each evening we caught at least one show at the Improv comedy club.  What a riot some of the shows were.  Of course, improv is only as good as the crowd, so some shows were average, but the funny comedians made us roll several times.  We did not do any dancing in the country bar.  Even though we are Texans, country music can scare us from a mile away!  No night was complete without a stroll along the promenade or upper deck to enjoy the stars, moon, and sea breezes. Nassau was our first port.  Our first experience outside the U.S.!!  We pulled along side the Big Red Boat (not the same thing as DCL!!!).  It looked more like a tug in comparison.  Our only plan was to stroll downtown and shop.  We found some jewelry for my wife.  We enjoyed seeing a bit of Bahamian culture as we strolled the streets and visited the Straw Market.  That afternoon was spent on board enjoying a near empty ship, good books, empty swimming pools and working on golden brown tans.  I could get used to that. The next day was at sea.  Wow – I never thought I would enjoy that as much as I did.  We booked the Rain forest spa experience (saunas, steam rooms, and different showering rooms) and found time to rest and catch first run movies.  A game show ended our leisurely afternoon in Studio Sea.  We are always on the go.  This day at seas forced us to relax, although there was plenty to do.  A perfect combination. Castaway Cay was day 3.  A beautiful island paradise was waiting for us on the video screen. I got ready hurriedly in order to watch us pull next to the dock (no tender to this island!).  We ate breakfast and departed to explore the private island.  We rented snorkel gear and explored the protected lagoon.  It was a good first snorkeling experience, although the amount of fish was not overwhelming.  We walked to the adult’s only private beach to allow us some sight seeing on the island (a tram is provided).  We spent some time in the paradise there before returning for lunch at the family beach.  An adequate barbecue and fruit lunch hit the spot.  We then rented a kayak and enjoyed paddling right near the Magic for some up close views.  Soon, we were worn out and headed back to the ship to get ready for entertainment and dinner.  Good timing too, as a storm was brewing and rain came shortly after we boarded. Our last night on board was somber as we knew our fun was about to end.  But we had a great meal, enjoyed some more comedy and packed our bags.  We skipped breakfast as we wanted off as soon as possible to try to catch a stand by flight home.  We were unable to fly directly back to DFW, so we flew to Miami where we then headed home.  We arrived home safely and I drove to drop off our film (good thing we saved some of our budget, that was not cheap!). We did purchase a few photographs taken by the ship’s photographer.  All that were taken were nicely done, but at about $10 a piece, we had to limit our purchases.  I did find some nice gifts, art work and a watch to bring home from the on board shops. We have since sailed on the Wonder and will sail Magic again this September (2000).  We are hooked.  DCL is definitely a line for adults.  Yes, children are numerous, but many opportunities exist to avoid the crush.  The ships are beautiful and the entertainment is first rate.  The food is not the reason you sail Disney.  But if you enjoy living like a king, while being able to act like a grown up kid, you’ll feel right at home on DCL.  This cruise is about having fun and escaping the pressures at home!

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Nov 30, -0001

Not Given

In February 2006, our family took our fifth cruise. We had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean once and Disney on three other occasions. We have been, up until now, loyal Disney customers. If you have sailed before, you know that dinner on a cruise ship is a special affair. However, during our February cruise, our server became ill after the second evening on board. While we understand that this happens, we can't understand why Disney is unprepared

for such an event. There apparently is no contingency for an ill server and we were without a server for the remainder of the week. We fortunately had a decent beverage waiter who tried his best to make our dinners pleasant, but was not able to keep up with the demands of both positions. Our meals were delayed by well over an hour each night, the food was cold and the service was certainly not “Disney” quality. Each night, we were assured that our server would be back the next night or the next morning, but she never returned. In the month since we have been home, Disney has dismissed our complaints. We have been told this was an issue that should have been resolved onboard. They have even said we shouldn’t complain because, after all, “we were taken care of eventually.” We are disappointed in Disney’s lack of caring and will be looking for a different cruise line for future sailings.

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Nov 30, -0001

St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay

Disney Magic 7 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise September 16-23, 2000 My wife and I (both 29) sailed on the Disney Magic with no children.  To answer the question we get most often, yes, you can enjoy a Disney cruise without kids.  And no, the kids do not rule the ship.  The new 7-day itinerary is a perfect vacation for children, families, or adults.  This was our third Disney cruise and by far the best. Embarkation

was a breeze.  We stayed at a Disney resort for two days prior to cruising.  When we checked into the hotel, our card was issued that worked with your stateroom as well.  So, once off the bus, it was 2 minutes through the terminal to the ship.   Chronology and Entertainment We arrived a little after 1:45 and our stateroom was ready, so we went directly there to drop off our carry on luggage.  Our stateroom host met us in the hallway.  Javier was always smiling and greeting us warmly.  The room was in great shape each morning and beds turned down in the evening.  When did he rest?  We then went to the lunch buffet upstairs on deck 9.  It was adequate.  Let the gorging begin! We participated (voluntarily of course) in the safety drill.  This took maybe 20 minutes and then we were off to the sail away party.  As we ascended the stairs, we recognized rain (living in Texas this summer we had forgotten what it was like!).  This drove us back inside as we pulled out of the port.  The veranda was a perfect alternative.  We sat outside and watched as we steamed into the ocean. That evening we simply relaxed prior to the evening show.  It was the welcome aboard variety show.  A humorous puppet/ventriloquist and a funnyman (no other way to describe his act) were a big part of this show and we were off to a great start.  For those with second seating (like us) there was a cabaret time that has been inserted between the shows and dinner.  This night we visited the family version of Dueling Pianos.  It was pretty mediocre, but the kids seemed to enjoy it and that is important. The first day we were at sea.  Lots of wind and large swells rocked the ship a good deal, but I was armed with meclazine.  I suffered no seasickness at all and my wife did fine without any medication.  On sea days, Disney rolled out the activities.  Behind the Scenes was a nice series that featured jack of all trades Jeff Kurtti.  He worked for Disney in many different capacities, but now is his own boss.  He has written multiple books for Disney and is now involved in producing DVD’s for Disney.  He had a wealth of information regarding his career path and the workings of Disney corporate culture.  Not only were his talks informative, but quite humorous with his self-deprecating style.  This series, in addition to the entertaining track and the navigation track, was a fine addition to the activities available on board. The afternoon was spent relaxing followed by a great show.  Hercules the Muse-ical was presented that night.  Although it followed the story line of the recent movie, it strayed from the plot line with many twists on the original, with hilarious results.  Hades stole the show with his monologue ¾ of the way through the show.  The male muse and Hades’ minions also provided great comic performances.  The cabaret show was quite good with Chucky the duck puppet!  This was also the first formal night – the Captain’s Gala Reception.  It was terrific seeing a large number of guests dressing in the formal attire. Day two was also at sea.  My wife went to a skin clinic at the spa while I went to a dessert cooking class (complete with samples and a wine pairing) and then another session with Jeff.  This second session was more informal and some nuggets were revealed (I could share them but I’d have to kill you!).  In the afternoon, we attended a backstage tour of the Walt Disney Theater.  The theater is very impressive.  It is on par with Broadway stages technically and esthetically.  We then went to a showing of a short film titled “The Making of the Disney Magic” followed by a forum with members of the crew.  This was very informative and revealed a great deal of the amount of work for which the crew is responsible.  That evening’s show was the final performance of “Voyage of the Ghost Ship” aboard the Magic.  It was retired in order make room for a new game show and the props for a show later in the week.  The cast seemed energized by the finality of this show and gave a great performance.  The cabaret show was Michael Huggins and he had more antics and magic to amuse the families in attendance.  It was standing room only in the Rockin’ Bar D.  We attended the adult version of Dueling Pianos.  It was only slightly better.  As the alcohol began to flow the show became much less Disney and fairly raw in nature.  Some of what was being said and sung was material we laughed at and then felt embarrassed to admit we found it funny!  I wonder how long Disney will keep this type of show; I found the Improv comedy on board last year more entertaining. Day 3 we were in port at St. Maarten.  We took a sailing excursion as we raced 12-Meter yachts that competed in the 1987 America’s Cup race.  Although our boat did not win – we did finish second!  The crew was very patient with us landlubbers and we were able to do a fair job of moving the sails.  This excursion was wonderful.  My wife was very apprehensive about doing this but admitted it was a highlight of the trip.  She chose to take a less active role in the race and had a great time as the timekeeper.  Other jobs available were cooler queen and cheerleader!  I chose to grind and was not sore the next day, as I feared.  That afternoon we did some shopping and strolling downtown Phillipsburg. There was no show that evening as we were in port until late.  After dinner there was a deck party.  As a dance troupe was performing the heavens opened up with unexpected rain.  The troupe paused momentarily considering whether to finish the dance, but the show went on and they finished in a steady downpour.  Most guests scrambled inside or below deck. Day 4 we were in St. Thomas.  We did not take a Disney sponsored excursion.  We chose rather to take a Taxi to Magens Bay.  For $30 we got two people to the beach, a stop on the way back to downtown for some shopping, and then back to the ship.  The price for a similar excursion was twice that price.  We had a great taxi driver that splits his time between NYC and ST. Thomas driving cabs.  His information was quite helpful and interesting.  That evening C’est Magique was performed.  This show is difficult to describe, but it was fantastic.  It was a show I am not sure I understood immediately.  But as I replay it in my head, I think I did enjoy the performance.  It had a great soundtrack to it and only two words spoken.  The music was based on operatic themes from some of the great composers (Bizet, Mozart, Wagner, Beethoven…) and illusions were presented.  The magic card trick was a nice feature of this tantalizing show.  In the cabaret show , a juggler put on a fun show, culminating in three beanbag chairs being juggled in the middle of the room! Day 5 we were at sea again.  We had our character breakfast this morning.  Although it is definitely designed for kids, it is great fun to see the smiles on their faces and listen to giggling and merriment going on all around.  Young at heart can enjoy this as well as the kids!  We spent a great deal of time on the upper deck worshipping the sun gods that day.  Be careful, the Caribbean is much closer to the equator and the sun is intense.  You don’t feel it since the sea breeze cools you, but we got out of the sun and saw the effects! We had one more question and answer session with Jeff and Darren of the cruise staff.  Lots of nice fun nuggets and the revelation that Disney bought ABC (this information was new to a guest)! The show that evening was Disney Dreams.  It has been awarded with accolades and great reviews from cruise industry professionals.  Although it is a nice show, I found the other shows more entertaining.  The cabaret show this night was an ESP presentation.  The entertainer did some amazing things with providing names, dollar bill serial numbers, and other information to unknown participants.  My wife was called on stage; her  participation was not prearranged. The final day was at Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island).  This place was beautiful.  There was a lot of construction going on to fortify the dock and breakwater against further hurricane damage.  Once completed, this tropical paradise will be heaven on Earth.  As it was, it was spectacular.  There was a lot of soft, white, powdery sand and palm trees swaying to the tropical rhythms.  The ground coverings were very pretty with indigenous plants and flowers along walkways.  There were plenty of water sports to keep one busy and bars were easily located to quench your thirst.  That day we had sunscreen handy! The evening’s show was a farewell variety show featuring the juggler and ESP act from the previous evenings and illusions from the star of C’est Magique.  It was amusing, but not up to par compared with previous evening’s entertainment.  One more cabaret show that we attended was a family game show titled “Walk the Plank.”  This was definitely kiddy oriented, but it was our last night and we were so tired.  Any old chair would have held us just perfectly! Food Food was good at times, but disappointing on occasion.  I was adventurous and tasted some new dishes that were previously untested.  I must admit I enjoyed every new meal.  I selected duck, lobster tails, lamb, tuna steak, and sea bass.  All were received with very nice results.  Those meals were quite good, including the good old stand by Prime Rib.  Each night I followed the recommendation of my server Cedric (from France).  When my wife would stray from his choice, she was generally disappointed.  Way to go Cedric, I am sorry I could not muster the courage for Escargot!  Ben, (England) our beverage server, was adequate and had a great personality.  On Disney ships, dining is rotated among 3 unique restaurants.  One is the French Lumiere’s, the next is Parrot Cay (a tropical theme room), and finally Animator’s Palate (a black and white room that comes alive with color as your meal progresses with fiber optic lights in the walls).  Each dining room had its own galley and chef overseeing the meals.  In addition to the unique dining room evening, there were 4 evenings where no matter what room you were in, the menu was the same.  These nights were the Captain’s Gala, Tropicalifragilistic night (Tropical theme foods), Master Chefs night (recipes inspired by chefs from Walt Disney World), and the International evening celebrating the nationalities of the crew (55 countries represented).  Disney has certainly been criticized for its food, but it is improving and the chefs are listening.  Many evenings we saw chefs visiting tables, talking to guests, and taking notes. Overall Comments The Magic is a beautiful ship.  The cast members work very hard to keep the ship looking like new.  Magic is about two months from going into dry dock.  One has to wonder what could be done to spruce this immaculate ship up from its current condition.  The cruise staff is attentive and responsive.  There were several instances where guests were disappointed or upset.  In every instance the staff went above and beyond the call of duty.  A more accommodating staff could not be found.  Disney does consider customers as guests and nowhere is it more evident than on this ship.  You feel as if you are visiting friends for the week and they are sharing their ample facilities. This itinerary is only into its first full month of operation and they seem to have been doing this for years.  Disney has hit a homerun with this more upscale and adult friendly cruise.  With this kind of performance, the repeat cruiser reception will continue to increase from its all ready large numbers. Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reply.

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Nov 30, -0001

7 day to St. Maarten, St. Thomas & Castaway Cay

MORE HINTS:   If you plan on snorkeling, and have your own equipment, bring it.  When you have to rent it, it is $25/person.  The formal nights were very formal on our cruise.  Lots of tuxes and long dresses (dark suit is fine for men too).  Don't bother bringing bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion.  You are kept well stocked with it.  You never need beach towels, as they are provided even when you go off the boat. 

Don't rent any floats, or bikes on the ship for Castaway Cay.  They are readily available and you may or may not find that you want them or need them.  If you reserve them in advance, you pay whether or not you use them and there was no shortage. DISAPPOINTMENTS:   The ESPN skybox was a neat place, but didn't play any olympics, pro or college football.  It seemed a waste to just show polo or sports that most don't follow.  The pools were too small for the number of kids on board especially but they always seemed to have fun anyway.  The adult pool was never crowded.  The fitness area was not nearly large enough.  The paying areas for facials, massages, etc. were very spacious, and the free areas were way too crowded.  it is very obvious where the priorities are here. They need to make St. Maarten a short day and St. Thomas or Castaway longer.   I have saved all my personal navigators (schedules for each day) spa sheets with services and charges, kids area schedules, etc.  So if anyone has any questions , please feel free to contact me.  You'll have a great time! Bon Voyage!

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Nov 30, -0001

Eastern Caribbean

Lou Del Vecchio Trip Report - 7 Day Disney Magic - 8/26/00 This was the 3rd  cruise of the Disney Magic on her new 7 day route.  This was our 5th  cruise and the 2nd for our 2 boys (age 7 & 9).  As much has been posted about the 3 & 4 day cruises, I'll limit much of my report on what's  been added on the 7 day cruise.  Disney must be doing something right as we ran into many couples who were on their 2nd Disney cruise! 

Not bad for a cruise line in business for just over 2 years. The seven day cruise leaves Port Canaveral on Saturdays and visits St. Martin, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay (Disney's private island).  We arrived by car at 11:15 am, dropped our bags at the curb and parked about 50' feet from the front door of the terminal.  Parking is $7 per day and they do take charge cards.  There were plenty of people working the check-in desk so it took all of 5 minutes. The ship does not allow boarding until 12:30 so don't bother getting there too early.  Palo's Following the advice of the newsgroup, we sent one of our party to Palo's (the adults only restaurant) for reservations. Waiting in the Palo lounge were 2 other fellow newsgroup readers who expected a big line. There wasn't any this early.  The restaurant manager stopped by and told us they would start taking reservations at 2:00 PM.  He did us a favor and wrote our reservations on a piece of paper and told us to go enjoy ourselves at lunch.  The first of many nice gestures by the Disney cast.  While the line for reservations got very long by 3:00 PM, they did not sell out the first day on our cruise.  Obviously the extra days for the 7 day cruise is helping the demand issue for Palo's. In addition to Palo dinner ($5 extra per person), Palo's also will let you reserve a champagne brunch for days at sea (Sunday, Monday and Thursday).  It's $10 per person and includes a glass of champagne.  It is worth going to.  My advice, skip breakfast, get an early reservation (10:30 AM), so you will feel like eating dinner later.  Brunch starts buffet style with a starter  course of cold cuts, cheese, crab legs, shrimp and breads.  You pass by the open kitchen were the chef describes the main course. Your waiter delivers the main course to your table when you request it. They have little pizzas which my wife and I split in addition to our main course - fabulous. Shows Disney went all out on the entertainment.  The theater is state of the art with the stage taking up 5 decks in height.  Even the movie theater is first rate with dolby sound and first runs film. Gone in 60 Seconds and  The Kid were showing for example. The live entertainment was good in all the clubs also.  People were enjoying themselves. St. Martin is quite a distance, so you spend the first 2 days at sea.  The opening show is a variety show which features the ships dance and show cast as well as some of the night club acts.  All shows are at 6:30 & 8:30 PM with some afternoon shows added to handle the demand if needed.  Sunday is the first of the Disney major production shows, Hercules the Muse-ical.  The production is very good and not just for kids.  Lots of laughs for the adults too.  Monday hosts another Disney production Voyage of the Ghost Ship.  The kids liked it better than I did.  There is no show Tuesday as you are in St. Martin until 10:30 PM.  Wednesday is at St. Thomas but since we sail at 4:30, there is a show.  It's a standard magic show like you might see in Vegas (sorry, no tigers).  Not bad, but not spectacular. Thursday hosts the main show of the cruise, Disney Dreams.  Based on Peter Pan, many of the Disney characters are included.  If you like Disney (why else would you be here), do not miss this show.  A special 3:30 PM was added to ensure everyone could see it  Finally, Friday is the Farewell Variety Show.  By the way, the Bingo jackpot hit $3,800. Dining. You are assigned the same table number for all dinners as you rotate through the ships three main restaurants.  All the tables are numbered so check out your assigned table after lunch Sunday.  Your dining rotation ticket will be in your stateroom.  If you don't get the dinner seating you requested, or you wanted a table for 4, go to the sessions lounge immediately (deck 3 forward) and request a change.  They will not change your rotation but can do most anything else if you are early.  We had hoped for a table for 4 at the early seating but got a table for 8.  They quickly reassigned us to the late seating table for 4.  As it turned out, the late seating had no small children and we were never hungry at 6:00 PM anyway. Pizza, hot dogs and chicken are available afternoons and evenings pool side (no charge).  Our kids would rather eat pizza than join us for dinner so about half our dinners were very relaxed. Breakfast and lunch are open seating with no early or late times assigned.  Lumiere's is the sit down restaurant for breakfast and lunch except when in port.  It's nice you can eat a sit down breakfast anytime but I miss having my assigned waiter. During days in port there is no sit down lunch - only buffets at Topsider or In Parrot Cay. Dress We saw our share of shorts, T-shirts and Dale Earnhardt hats at dinner but most people abided by the suggested dress guidelines.  Palo's is Jackets all nights.  Palo Brunch is resort casual.  Sunday and Thursday nights are formal in all restaurants as are some nights at Lumiere's depending on your rotation.  Most people were ignored the extra formal nights in Lumiere's and were casual. Arcade Be warned - the arcade is popular and expensive.  We had requested that our children's door keys not have charge privileges.  Our 12 year old wasted no time testing his and sure enough it was capable of charging video games.  You insert your room key into a dispenser and a plastic card comes out with $5 or $10 worth of play.  One kid had run up a $200 bill in the arcade alone!  I feel sorry for him when dad gets the bill. Some final thoughts: We ran into a senior group who were very disappointed.  Their travel agent told them that they would not see any children on the seven day cruise -  somehow Disney would make them disappear.  Hey, Disney can do magic but you cannot make 800 children disappear.  Honestly, the kids were there but never an issue.  Most hung out in the goofy pool or arcade.  If you want to limit your exposure, stick to the late seating and the adult pool.  As mentioned earlier, open seating for breakfast will expose you to the occasional screaming 2 year old and they don't keep quiet during the shows.  (People - why are you taking 2 year olds on cruises?) The ship is magnificent - much better appointed than I expected.  Touches of Disney here and there but never overpowering.  The staterooms were the largest I have encountered.  Even our interior category 11 had plenty of room for 2 adults and 2 kids.  Meals were good but our waiter had to replace a few items as they were delivered cold from the kitchen.  If there was a wine steward on board, we never saw him.  Your server or assistant server takes your wine order and delivers it.  It sort of disrupts his routine.  Our head server visited our table a grand total of once during our entire cruise but that was the limit of our negatives.  Overall we rate the cruise excellent.  We plan to try the 3 or 4 day Disney cruise next year. Lou Del Vecchio

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Nov 30, -0001

Eastern Caribbean

  Deluxe Outside Stateroom, Deck Six Forward, No Verandah.  We've read many Disney Magic Cruise reviews, and I approached the seven day cruise with mixed anticipation. Some things were executed wonderfully, The embarkation and debarkation procedures were flawless, with the minor exception that we received the wrong baggage at our stateroom in addition to all of our luggage. No big deal. Excellent marks for this part of the experience.

Some reviewers have said that "children do not rule the ship", but we disagree. We go to Disney World three times a year. We enjoy being around children, and there were over 1,000 on our cruise in mid-October! There were indeed children everywhere and by the end of the week, with friendships made, the older ones were all running through the hallways, pushing all the elevator buttons, racing up and down the stairways, girls teasing the boys, boys scaring the girls, etc. A week long cruise might be too long in this environment for adults traveling without children. The ship was beautiful. The stateroom was large and well appointed, with more than enough drawer space. Housekeeping was top notch. A word of caution, pick your location carefully. We were deck 6 forward outside, and the location was excellent. We spoke to people on Deck 2 rear, and they all complained about engine noise and nightclub noise that required headphone use nightly to try to get some sleep! We noticed first hand the loud engine noise in Parrot Cay Dining Room at the rear on deck three. The common areas were spacious, well laid out, and beautifully appointed as well. Hint: Take the Navigator's Bridge tour. It was very interesting and informative. Also, the question and answer sessions with the Captain were informative and entertaining. We've read much about the food, and we too, felt that overall, the food was very disappointing. The rotational dining experience, which brought you to three different dining rooms, was useless. The food all tasted the same and was unimaginative. Don't go on this cruise for the food. You will be disappointed. Note especially that the adult restaurant, "Palo",  was not worth the hype or the effort to get the coveted reservation. A quick survey of guests corroborated our feelings. The food, preparation, and variety of selections, were all sub-standard. Afternoon Tea at Palo was terrific, though. We highly recommend Afternoon Tea, but skip the dinner at Palo. Dinner in the other restaurants was the best meal of the day. Lunch and breakfast were quite poor. The pancakes were always cold and rubbery. The same for the waffles, the hamburgers, and french fries. Skip the breakfast and lunch buffets. A sit down breakfast and lunch is available. This is your best option. Order the omelets. They were always prepared fresh and were the best choice. A word about the service. While overall the wait staff was attentive and cordial, they really pressured you into ordering alcoholic beverages. If this isn't something you enjoy ordering at every meal, be prepared for unpleasant pressure. Disney should not pressure the wait staff to push drinks on the travelers. The great deal of pressure was a negative in our dining experience. The entertainment was excellent about ½ of the time. The welcome aboard variety show, Hercules Musi-ical, and Disney Dreams shows were very good to excellent. Skip the late week variety and magic shows. Go to a movie in the excellent theatre instead.  First run movies on our cruise included Duets, Clash of the Titans, and Fantasia 2000. It felt as if the entertainment quality "ran out of steam" for a seven day cruise. The deck party was a lot of fun when we were in port. We also enjoyed the late-night dessert bar that was offered sadly only once during the week. The late night snacks were generally poor consisting mostly of cardboard tasting "bowling alley" pizza and sandwiches. A word about dress codes. The ship is very informal. This is your vacation. Dress comfortably. While it was nice to see people dress formally for dinner twice in the week, the formal wear served no purpose other than to allow Disney to charge $20.00 for a photo. There was no grand or special dining experience, no orchestra, no dancing, and again, the same, average meal. Travel light. Leave the formal wear home. We went to three different ports, and by a wide margin, Disney's Castaway Cay was the best stop. The beach was beautiful. The bar-b-que afforded some of the week's best dining experiences. We would have liked to spend more time there. St. Marteen was disappointing, with vendors hawking you to purchase inferior merchandise at prices that were no bargain. Save your money. Shop back at home. All the beaches at all three ports were beautiful. If you are looking for Disney character photo opportunities, the cruise is the place to be. All the children were afforded numerous photo and autograph opportunities. Without question, and universally agreed, a big disappointment was the ESPN Skybox. The place was beautiful, with state of the art television and transmission capability. But there was no football coverage on Sunday, a full day at sea, and only sporadic baseball playoff coverage throughout the week. The bartender, Simon, in the Skybox, was terrific, but frustrated at the inability to broadcast major sporting events due to "contractual restrictions while at sea". Even the captain noted that the lack of sports transmission capabilities was a "guest dissatisfier" (the Captains phrase).  Overall, we have many fond memories of our week at sea, and met lots of nice people, both fellow travelers and staff. This was my second cruise. It wasn't the "vacation of a lifetime" though, and if we do decide to cruise again, we'll opt for a three or four day excursion instead of a week long cruise.

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Nov 30, -0001

Eastern Caribbean

Laura OPENING COMMENTS: We really enjoyed this cruise.  We are former cast members so we knew what to expect from the Disney crew.  If anything we tend to be more critical and see things regular guest miss.  The embarkation was hassle free.  We got there early  and a line had formed but they entertain you with games and characters appear for your first photo opt.  As soon as clearance was given boarding went very quickly

and the lunch they served was great.  By the time we ate our inside stateroom was ready.  We have cruised before so we decided instead of getting a room with a balcony we would use that same money for excursions, the spa and some extras.  The room was very large compared to other ships and the storage was unbelievable.  We immediately met our steward Norman who was always helpful and friendly.  Believe me keeping two females' stateroom clean is a chore.  We were able to explore the ship and tour the spa.  We too were disappointed with the ESPN club.  The selection of games played was terrible and we were looking to watch any of the Florida college football games but none were on.  DINING:   Make sure you make reservations once you have boarded if you want to go to Palos for dinner, tea or brunch.  For the adults this is a must do, but very shortly after they started taking the reservations the times quickly disappeared. So check on that as soon as you can. As for dining, I know many have been critical on the food served.  Don't expect five star meals, don't get me wrong we thought the food was very good as was the selection.  We loved our servers Tamara and Bettina who quickly learned our names and made sure every evening our regular drinks were waiting on the table for our arrival.  Listen to their suggestions regarding entrees they truly know what they are talking about.  We loved the rotation of restaurants and the chance to get dressed up.  We never felt pressure to get alcoholic drinks on board, except for the usual drink of the day sale.  If you don't like what you ordered send it back. If you don't see something you want ask for it, most times the servers will go out of their way to make you happy with your meals.  Then remember this come tip time.  You can order as much as you want.  One of our tablemates ordered 5 escargot orders. We ate at Palos for tea, dinner and brunch.  Let me just say the servers were impeccable.  They could not have been friendlier, we had past servers come by just to say hello and then they sent us thank you letters for coming. Food & Wine selections were excellent. Loved it!!! CABIN:   I also heard some complaints about the lower and back rooms.  You could hear the loud engines in Parrots Cay & Animators Palate, so I cant imagine having a cabin back there.  I wouldn't recommend the window outside rooms either.  They are on the lower decks. Save your money unless you are claustrophobic or just get the balcony room. We were on deck six, midship, it was convenient and on the rockier nights it was not that bad.  If you get queasy go for a walk on deck 4, take an antihistamine or Dramamine and drink lots of water. ACTIVITIES: As on any cruise you can do as much as you want or as little as you want.  There are plenty of activities.  Check out the Inside Disney tour series, very good.  Plenty for the kids to do as well.  Some I wish adults could have done.   They offer trading cards to the kids which make great collectables at every event, but adults without kids were not allowed to collect them.  This was a big let down and we were only able to get a few.  If you are pin collector there are trading times available too.  The selection of excursions was good too, we had already decided which ones we wanted to go on before we boarded.  So that was pretty easy but we did hear some filled up very quickly.  Our one regret was that we only went on one, a snorkel & sail in St Thomas aboard a pirate ship, "Doubloon".  We wish we had done the sailing regatta as well we heard it was excellent too.  Maybe next time.  If you have never sailed or snorkeled the crew was very attentive and made all of us feel special. The kids hoisted the sails and piloted the wheel. Believe me when I say do an excursion instead of going on your own on an island.  We tried this in St Marten and ended up returning to the ship early.  We did not care for this island and would rather have had longer in St Thomas, Castaway or at sea then this island. Disney has no gambling unless you count bingo.  This missing item never bothered us and found we could better spend our money elsewhere.  But if you cruise to gamble this is not the ship for you! ISLANDS:   Loved the time at sea it was so relaxing and the crew can keep you very busy.  We also loved St Thomas and Castaway Cay.  They give you towels when you disembark at Castaway, grab a few extra and bring you own snorkel equip. to save a few dollars.  Also watch the ship during your stay there a few crewmembers always drill and test the emergency boats.  Pretty interesting to watch.  As you leave every port attend the deck party.  Its great to watch the reactions of other ships to our special horn and a few surprises when you leave Castaway. MISC:   We lived in our swimsuits and shorts.  We did dress up two evenings in formal attire.  Most of the women wore evening dress or the classic black dress, but nice dresses were worn as well.  Ladies it was a great place to pull out that Formal dress you never get to wear.  Men wore suits and tuxedos.  The children were accordingly dressed in formal attire.  These are the nights to get a variety of photos taken and you get free cocktails while you wait in line.  Recommend going down early or between seatings.  To save some money we suggest bring some drinks to put in your mini bar.  We bought a case of sodas & water and kept our little fridge stocked, it really saved us on drink orders.  They don't stock the bar unless you request it.  Children can get mugs to refill for the entire cruise for a reasonable fee, but nothing like that offered to the adults unlike WDW.  Bring your own snorkel and fins, they provide free life vest and you save a few $$.  Check out your TV daily, you will find info on activities and if you missed the seminar on excursions or duty free shopping they play it continuously 24 hours after it is been given.  Lifeboat drills are mandatory, they check off each cabin & guest, think of it as a photo opportunity.  As two single females and experienced cruisers we did not expect the love boat but did hope that with school in session there would be fewer children.  We were wrong, but for the most part they have too many of their own activities.  It is also where you go.  We spent time at the adult pool, restaurant & beach, and went to the clubs after 9pm for adult fun.  The only place where it became annoying was during the nightly show in the Walt Disney theater, but they seemed to calm once the shows began.  Once you get your bearings you will find the quiet niches. SPA:   This was our only real let down.  We had been to the spas at WDW, with good experiences.  If you want to attend a class or get a treatment you have to sign up the first day.  We both got facials at the same time and had different experiences.  My facialist was ok but it was the horrible sales pitch for products at the end that really irritated me.  I had every intention of a few purchases but she was very hesitate to disclose the price until I had chosen the products.  Needless to say they were all over $90 and I quickly changed my mind.  My sister had a better experience.  The facialist explained the products and gave her written prices and when to use them.  She has a different skin type, but the prices were all in the $20-$40 range.  If you want to go to the spa go for the reasonably priced mineral bath or the all day access Rainforest sauna.  Massages go very quickly reservation wise. We took two classes walking & taebo. They were pretty strenuous for beginners.  We found deck 4 and ended up walking at all times of the day.  It was the best exercise, they play great music to get you moving.  Most of the time there were only a handful of people out their exercising or reading on lounges. WRAP-UP :  We had the best, most relaxing week aboard.  If you are given good service remember the crew members name at the end of your voyage and reward them.  Most of these employees work very hard at only a little above minimum wage.  All were friendly and helpful and if we had a problem we tried to be very nice about it.  Which seemed to get us quicker service.  Overall this was the best cruise we have taken.  Bon Voyage and Have lots of Disney Days!!!!

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Nov 30, -0001

4-Night Bahamas

    We flew into Orlando and took the bus to the ship which is about an hour ride. We were delighted to find we had an upgrade from an ocean view room to one with a balcony. I asked how our luggage would find its way to our “new” room and was told not to worry it would appear like “magic”. After waiting several hours for it we decided to see if it was sitting by the room we had originally been assigned and there it was. We then

lugged it back to our room with no help from any of the crew who saw us struggling. The elevators on this ship are a joke – they are small and because of the shape of them a couple of people would have to get out whenever someone wanted off. Our balcony room had a split bath and even though there was only 2 of us, that was very nice     As soon as we got on the ship we went to Palo’s restaurant to get reservations for that night. They were already booked up for a couple of the evenings. This is an adult-only restaurant and had the best food. They charge $5 per person which is for gratuity and then give you a receipt before you leave that gives you an opportunity to tip even more (which I think is a bit tacky). The couple sitting next to us had a great waiter that brought them a lot of food to taste that they did not order. Our waiter just brought us what we ordered which was fine but they seemed to be having fun trying different things. The chocolate soufflé is a must! They served it warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream and then topped it with chocolate hazlenut sauce and then a vanilla custard sauce. Pure heaven!     We ate breakfast and lunch at Topsider’s Buffet which is very crowded and very noisy. For dinner each night we ate in a different restaurant and our wait staff rotated with us. We really enjoyed this. I wish other cruise lines would do this. We liked the food at Parrot’s Cay the least. We shared a table with a very nice family. They had 2 children ages 10 and 13 who seemed to be enjoying the activities for their age groups.     We went to the late show each evening and there were some kids there but not a lot. The shows are Disney quality with a lot of special effects, great music (although loud) and great costumes.  One night was the “Who wants to be a Mouseketeer?’ (based on the millionaire game show). This is usually reserved for the 7 day cruise, but since that ship was drydocked they moved it to our ship for this cruise.     The first day we spent at Freeport. It not only rained all day – it poured! Disney  gave us all rain ponchos but we only ventured across the street from the ship. My daughter spent the afternoon at the adults pool. They have 3 pools on the ship and several places to get a snack near the pool areas. We then went to the theatre and saw “Princess Diaries” which is very good. Because of the rain they showed an extra movie.     The next day we spent in Nassau. We took a taxi to Paradise Island ( 5 min.) and toured the Atlantis Resort. I recommend going there to see their ‘walk-thru aquarium”.  We strolled through the shops which was across the street from the ship. The Marketplace which is so well known had just burned down the week before.     The third day was beach day at Castaway Cay. Even though there was a very dark cloud in the distance we decided to go to the beach. There is a nice adults beach but it is quite a distance and you need to take the tram. Even the other beach is quite a walk from the ship. Before we got there it started to rain so we went into a little shop to wait it out.  After about an hour we decided to go back to the ship, have lunch and hope that the sun would come out.     It was Sept. 11 and when we were walking to our cabin  the Captain announced that something tragic had happened. We turned our TV on to CNN and saw the horrible events that had taken place 2 hrs. Earlier in New York. After lunch the sun did come out so we went to the beach for awhile. We were all wondering if our ship would stay on this island or if they would let us back into the country. And if they did, how would we get home? The mood on the ship was very somber but they decided to have the show that evening and it was a nice diversion. They also had a prayer service.     After the show they announced that the airports were closed and that the next morning when we docked they would take us by bus to Disney World and let us stay there until we could fly home. Our bus driver was a great guy that works another job as a DJ for a jazz radio station. He kept us entertained and I was thankful for that.  They divided us into 3 groups and our group stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which is new. They also gave us a ticket to use at one of their parks. It was difficult to get our minds off the tragedy but we had to do something so we walked around MGM. They set up a special desk at the resort for those of us from the ship and were very accommodating. They re-scheduled our flights for the next day (even for those of us who did not book our flights through the cruise line!) and then when the airports were still closed the next day they offered lodging and a ticket to everyone again. We were anxious to get home so we decided to rent a car and drive. I had to pick up my car at the Dolphin resort and someone from DW drove us over there. National Rental Car waived the one-way fee and twelve hours later we arrived home in North Carolina, very tired!     Disney really took good care of us in the midst of a bad situation.  I know other people who were on other cruise lines at this time and they were on their own to find lodging and at their own expense.     I would highly recommend  a Disney cruise to anyone. As adults we enjoyed the cruise very much and the kids seemed to be really enjoying themselves. The characters were available to meet several times each day. (Their schedule was in the newsletter). It is a very family-friendly cruise. You will not see a casino on a Disney ship. Also, the waiters don’t push alcoholic drinks – instead they have strawberry and chocolate milkshakes. We saw several 3-generation families enjoying themselves.  I will go again and take my grandson when he is a little older. I will be glad to answer any questions about this cruise – just email me  -

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Nov 30, -0001

St. Martin, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay

Let me begin my review by saying that this trip was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, so it was just my husband and myself and we are both 43 years old. We actually began our vacation by spending 4 nights at the Contemporary Resort at Disneyworld so the morning we boarded the ship we were still at the hotel. This was our first cruise, but hopefully not our last! Saturday, January 13: Got up about 6:30, showered and packed suitcases

back up to have ready at the door by 8:00 to be picked up. Went to the food court for breakfast. Went back to the room after stopping on the 15th floor to check out the restaurant (expensive!) to finish packing and relax before checking out at 11:00 to go down to wait for the cruise bus to go to the ship! J Boarded the cruise bus at 11:45 then made stops at a few other resorts to pick people up, including an unscheduled stop to pick up a woman and her kid who had missed the bus at their scheduled stop! L Didn't arrive at Port Canaveral until 1:45, but no crowd so we quickly boarded. Next time we'll drive ourselves so we can get there earlier. If we had wanted to make reservations for Palo's or the spa we probably would have been out of luck arriving as late as we did. Didn't have to "check in" since we already had our "Key to the World" cards from the resort so that saved some time. We immediately went to our room to drop off our carry-ons. We had a beautiful verandah room, #6082 on deck 6, port side, right above one of the stabilizers. We had a queen size bed with twin nightstands/reading lights, a couch and table, large lighted vanity with stool, huge double closet, tons of drawers (and a large trunk-type closet with shelves). Had a split bathroom (one room had toilet and sink, hair dryer and small corner shelf), the other had a tub/shower, and another sink). Then there was a sliding glass door leading out to the private verandah, which had two chairs and a small table. We admired our room and enjoyed the verandah a few minutes, then headed up to Topsiders to enjoy their "welcome aboard" buffet, and the jumbo shrimp!! J After that we went back to our room, and were surprised with a large tray of chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of sparkling wine from Autumn, our travel agent!! Muster drill was at 4:00, and didn't take very long but is necessary, then we unpacked and started exploring the beautiful Disney Magic!! J We changed for dinner, at Lumiere's. We had table #31, which we shared with a couple from Salt Lake City, Utah and their three children. I was rather surprised we were seated with children, as the brochure states couples are seated with other couples and families are seated with other families. They were nice enough though, so we didn't ask to be seated at a different table, but we didn't have much in common with them so we really didn't "bond" with them or anything. But conversation around the table came fairly easily so it wasn't bad. Our server was Roger from Brazil, and Edit from Hungary was our assistant server (she mostly did the beverages), they were both great. Very friendly, pleasant and attentive. The head waiter was Dale from Africa. He was visible every evening, greeting people as they entered the dining room and then walking around the room overseeing things. He stopped to talk to people every night, and occasionally I saw him serving food and drinks as well. For dinner that night I had pearl melon balls in port wine, roast duck with orange sauce, and crème brulet for dessert. It was all delicious!! Hubby had escargot, sea bass, crème brulet and another dessert Roger brought for him. He enjoyed everything except the escargot, too much garlic. After dinner we went to the welcome aboard variety show in the Walt Disney Theater and enjoyed that. Then we explored the ship some more, so beautiful!! Loved having the verandah door open at night to be lulled to sleep by the ocean sounds! Javier, from Costa Rica, was our state-room host and kept our room cleaned and straightened all week. He was great, turning down the bed in the evening and leaving chocolates on the pillows, fixing the drapes, leaving a light on, etc. He made several towel animals for us during the week including a swan, elephant (with Kirk's sunglasses on), monkey, dog, cobra and a frog. So cute!! I saved them all week, so I could take a picture of them all together. We had to set our clocks ahead an hour that night, so it was 1:45 a.m. when we went to bed. Y-A-W-N!! Sunday, January 14: Up at 6:45, and had a small breakfast (coffee and orange juice, muffins and croissants) delivered to the room. In the top drawer of the vanity are cards you fill out for morning room service, just leave one hanging outside your door before you go to bed and your breakfast will be delivered at the specified time the next morning, really convenient, and nice not to have to pay for it, just tip the person who brings it! J It arrived at the promised time and was a very nice way to start the morning out on our verandah. About 8:30 we went up to Topsiders for the breakfast buffet, it was delicious! I had slices of cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and fresh pineapple along with bacon and a fresh croissant…yum!! We walked around on deck after breakfast, and relaxed in lounge chairs for awhile. About 10:00 we went to Shutters to look at our welcome aboard photo - didn't like it so didn't buy it. Did some shopping at the Treasure Ketch and Mickey's Mates - bought a coffee mug, t-shirt, Magic figurine, Christmas ornament, a large photo album and a key chain. At noon we went to Topsiders for the lunch buffet - really good - and delicious desserts too (tiramisu, chocolate mouse and a fruit tart). Went back to the room for a nap - Kirk went exploring and to use his GPS. Had the verandah door open - so nice. Went up to the pool area and listened to the island music of Kool Breeze (good) and had drinks (me - Bon Voyage and Kirk - Bahama Mama, in souvenir glasses). Started getting ready for formal night at 4:00. Kirk wore his suit and I wore a long red dress. Went downstairs at 5:00 for formal pictures and to meet the captain (our photo with him didn't turn out well, so didn't buy it, but did buy several formal photos and others throughout the week). They had complimentary cocktails (Mai Tai's and whiskey sours). Had dinner in Animator's Palate (no color show though as it was Chef's Series night - all food the same in all restaurants but each item by a different chef). Dinner was long as Roger forgot to take Kirk's order - no big deal but put us behind. Got out just as the line was forming for "Hurcules the Muse-ical" - had very good seats for the show but we weren't very impressed with it. Kind of boring (maybe because we hadn't seen the movie first), plus I had a headache. Took Motrin and went to bed at 10:00. Kirk went down to the Rockin' D bar to listen to the comedian, Michael Harrison. He enjoyed it. Monday, January 15: Got up at 7:00, and went to Topsiders for the breakfast buffet. Very good, again! Put on swim suits and went to the jacuzzi by the adult (Quiet Cove) pool - very enjoyable. Then we relaxed in lounge chairs by the pool for awhile. I was hungry so went back to Topsiders for another breakfast (same as I had before - fresh cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple, a croissant with butter, and 3 slices of bacon). J Went to Shutters and looked at our photos from the night before - spent $80. Took a walk on deck #4 around the ship - once around is a quarter mile. This deck is very nice, wooden floors and lots of wooden/cushioned lounge chairs scattered about. And quieter than the pool deck. Had lunch at Topsiders buffet, good but not quite as good as the day before. The swan pastry puffs were beautiful (all the desserts were wonderful!). Went back to the room and I relaxed and took a nap - with the verandah door open again. J Kirk took the 2:00 tour/show of "the Making of the Magic" and he learned a lot about the ship and really enjoyed it. About 3:30 we went all around the ship taking pictures and video, then had drinks. Kirk had the "drink of the day" which was a "Yellow Bird" and I had some sort of ice cream drink. Tonight's dinner was at Parrot Cay - we had a table by one of the large port holes. Very colorful and fun restaurant - chandeliers were decorated with parrots and bananas. A very relaxing dinner. I had tropical fruit to start out with - Kirk had coconut shrimp (excellent!). I had stuffed pasta shells - really good, then bananas flambe for dessert - it was OK but didn't "flambe" at the table like I thought they would. L Took Mickey ice cream bars back to the room and read information about St. Maarten (shopping and restaurants). About 9:00 the ship was coming up onto St. Thomas, we could see the lights. Went down to listen to the dueling pianos at 10:00, only stayed about 10 minutes as we didn't care for it. There were very few people there and the guys playing the pianos wanted "everybody to sing" and we're just not into participating like that so we went next door to the Rockin' D Bar to see Dan Riley's show which was much better. J Stayed afterward to listen to the band, danced one slow song before going back to the room (Kirk picked up some pizza on the way) then we ordered room service. J Got a tuna sandwich to share and a tray of crackers, fruit and international cheeses - excellent and delivered well within the 30-minutes they quoted. Tuesday, January 16: Got up at 6:30, we were already docked at St. Maarten, never felt it!! Went to Topsiders for breakfast, ate outside - awesome view of the island. At 8:30 we went to the Walt Disney theater for our "Under 2 Flags" tour ($19.00 each). It lasted almost 3 hours. Very enjoyable, but we sat on the wrong (right) side of the bus so didn't see as well. If you go, try to sit on the driver's side of the bus as you'll have the best view of the island. Had a photo stop where I took some panoramic shots and a 45-minute stop for shopping in the market place at Marigot. Not long enough, an hour or more would have been better. The scenery was beautiful though. Got back to the ship about noon and went to Topsiders for the buffet - flank steak and cold salads were excellent, desserts too! J Got back off the ship and took a water taxi to the shopping area of Phillipsburg (the Dutch side) - spent too much $$$ but had fun! J The shopping area is very old-world looking and quaint, very enjoyable. Stopped at an open air bar for a drink before getting back on the ship. Dressed for dinner, at Lumiere's again. It was tropical night. Kirk wore khakis and a tropical shirt. I had a sleeveless tropical dress. They gave everyone leis to wear too. A lot of people never showed up though, since we were in port until 11 p.m. Our tablemates didn't show up either, so it was kind of nice to have "dinner for two." J I had beef won tons (just like ravioli) as an appetizer, then stuffed pork (apricot) tenderloin with mashed potatoes and broccoli, with white chocolate cheesecake (with macadamia nut crust) for dessert - delicious! Had a tropical photo taken (bought it). Went to Rockin' D bar for "Name That TV Show" - it was fun even though we didn't do very well. Went back off the ship to take night time pictures and video of the ship - then back to our room by 9:00 to relax. Wednesday, January 17: We were up at 6:30, already docked at St. Thomas. Another gorgeous sunny day (no rain at all so far since our vacation began). Kirk went to Topsiders for breakfast. We went to the Promenade Lounge at 8:45 for our tour - the Atlantis Submarine ($75.00 each). We had a boat ride to Buck Island, then about 45 minutes in the sub. There were 48 people, plus 2 crew members. We went down 60 - 80 feet and saw lots of beautiful fish, a small ray, turtle and a few shark. It was enjoyable. My photos didn't turn out very nice, but the video did. I used 400 speed film and turned off the flash as they suggested, but they still turned out very blue looking so I was quite disappointed in them. We got back about 11:00, and went to Topsiders for the buffet - delicious again. About 1:00 we headed over to Havensight Mall (50 shops,right across the dock)for shopping. Got back on the ship about 3:30 and gathered up recipts for souvenirs and condensed bags while Kirk went up to play with his GPS. At 4:45 we left port. We were sandwiched between the Grand Princess and Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Norwegian's Norway was anchored nearby. Enjoyed watching us leave port from the verandah. The ship blew its horn ("When You Wish Upon a Star") several times as we were leaving, and the other ships blew their horns, everyone was waving). Went to 6:00 dinner at Animator's Palate - beautiful color change show. Fiber optic system cost over $8,000,000!! Dinner wasn't all that great - the lobster and shrimp wrapper appetizer was good, but my sirloin steak (cooked medium - rare as I asked) had a lot of gristle so I only ate about half of it. I was surprised as I thought Disney would have only "the best" steaks. Dessert was double fudge chocolate cake - just so so. The C'est Magicque show was nice, but too much "show" and not enough "magic." We went to the Rockin' D bar for the 10:15 show by the Hill Brothers (comedy and juggling) and enjoyed that. Lots of motion on the ship tonight, could feel it in our room as well. Thursday, January 18: Got up at 7:30, and decided to try Lumiere's for breakfast since it was open seating. It wasn't busy, there were LOTS of empty tables so we asked the maitre 'd if we could sit by ourselves but he said we would be seated with another couple. We told him we really wanted to sit alone, so turned to leave, but he called us back and said he would arrange it. He told the guy who was to seat us, "a table JUST for two." But the waiter started to seat us with another couple and we said "no, we want to be alone." He rolled his eyes and made a face so we knew he wasn't pleased so we just turned around and left. This was really the ONLY time we weren't pampered and catered to the entire weekso I really can't complain. We just went back up to Topsiders instead and enjoyed the buffet, and sitting at our own table. J After breakfast we changed into swim suits and enjoyed the jacuzzi then relaxed in the sun on lounge chairs awhile. Came back to the room for a nap (Kirk stayed topside) then about 1:00 we went to Topsiders for the seafood buffet (peel and eat shrimp, large lobster claws, crayfish, and other goodies!). Kirk relaxed topside while I came back to the room to start the dreaded task ofpacking. L Wrote several post cards and put together the tip envelopes. Had dinner (formal night) at Parrot Cay tonight. Twin lobster tails were what just about everyone seemed to order! J Roger, Dale and 3 other waiters brought us a cake for our anniversary and sang to us, sure wish I would have had the video camera for that!! But it was really nice. Went to the "Disney Dreams" show in the Walt Disney theater after our dinner, it was spectacular!! Wish they would have allowed video, I would have loved getting some clips of it on tape. After the show we went to the Rockin' D bar for the cabaret show at 10:15, a comedian, Rich Purpura - he was great, then we stayed for "Match Your Mate." They chose one couple married 5 days, one couple married 12 years and one couple married 50 years. It was a lot of fun to watch. We took a midnight walk around the ship then back to the room for a drink of champagne to celebrate our anniversary. We were still too full to eat the cake though. Tonight we turned the clocks back an hour. Friday, January 19: Woke up at 6:00 and went out to enjoy the verandah. Breakfast was delivered at the requested time of 7:00 (croissants, muffins, coffee and chocolate milk). We watched the ship pull into Castaway Cay - and were able to get off about 9:30. We walked to the second tram stop and then took the tram to Serenity Beach, the adult beach. It was so nice with no kids around! J We had no trouble finding lounge chairs with an umbrella and a cabana (never used the cabana though, too hot inside). We waded into the water, saw fish and a ray that was quite close to Kirk. We took beach chairs into the water and sat awhile. Went to the adult BBQ (burgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads, fresh fruit including mango - it was great!!). Spent a couple more hours relaxing in the lounge chairs then took a tram back to the second stop and walked the rest of the way, taking pictures and video. We went to the disembarkation talk (informative but later we learned that it is also played on the television in your stateroom so we could have just watched it there) then dressed for dinner. Dinner tonight was again in Lumiere's (wish we would have had 3 times in either of the other 2 instead of Lumiere's though, as Lumiere's was our least favorite restaurant, too stuffy for us). We dressed up but others didn't - even some in jeans and t-shirts. It was an excellent dinner, "International Night." The foods were from all different countries, and the waiters had a parade half way through with flags from their countries. I had a Greek salad as an appetizer, then prime rib (wonderful!), topped off by a chocolate torte with apricot sauce, delicious!! We handed out tip envelopes (we gave more than the recommended amount to each) and said our good-byes to Roger, Edit and Dale and to our tablemates. Kirk went to the farewell variety show while I stayed in the room to pack (next time we won't take so much!!) and fill out the debarkation form and comment card. Later we took one last walk up on deck 9…sniff sniff, boo hoo Saturday, January 20: Got up at 6:00 - already docked at Port Canaveral. Did last minute packing of our carry-ons (other suitcases were left outside the door the evening before), then went to Lumiere's for breakfast (tablemates didn't come) then to the Promenade lounge to wait to disembark. Cleared customs and were able to get off the ship by 8:00. A porter helped us with our luggage and to go through customs. He asked where we were going and we said back to the airport so he told us which bus to get on and made sure our luggage was put on the same bus. These guys don't work for Disney, so tips are appreciated. I think we tipped him $1 per bag. The ride back to the airport wasn't nearly as exciting as the ride to the ship and we were there by about 9:00. So depressing to have the cruise over so quickly, the week just flew by in the blink of an eye! The only bright spot for us was that we had a rental car waiting for us at the airport, for another fun 'n sun-filled week in Florida before had to go home! J Some final thoughts: We were a bit concerned about seasickness and took Bonine along but never had to use it. We felt very little, if any, motion in our stateroom. We occasion-ally felt motion in the restaurants and theater but not enough to cause us any problems. We had no problems getting lounge chairs, even on "at sea" days. I don't know if it was because it was January and the ship wasn't completely full or what, but we were able to find chairs whenever we wanted them. We occasionally saw chairs being "saved" but not a lot of them. Disney does a great job of separating adults from children. Even though we have two grown children and two young grandchildren of our own, I'm really not "into" other people's children and had been quite concerned about having them around. There were 900 children on our sailing, but we rarely saw them! They had their own areas of the ship, and from what I've heard they have very good programs for them. Even at the shows they were not a bother, very well-behaved and quiet so I had no complaints at all about the number of children. Take advantage of the ship's photographer, get your picture taken whenever possible. They display them at Shutter's and you can decide if you want to purchase them or not. The smaller ones are $9.95 and the larger ones are $19.95, so kind of expensive but worth it. Please be sure to tip your servers and room host, they are paid very little by the cruise line and depend upon the tips they receive to make their living. They work very hard, with little time off, so they deserve their tips. We gave more than the recommended amount in each case. One more thing, keep your camera with you at all times. Most nights I didn't take mine to dinner and wish I would have. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, every minute of it, and hope to repeat it in a couple of years…..after the credit cards are paid off!

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Nov 30, -0001

Eastern Caribbean

Annette Baldwin This is our second time on the magic. Our first time was a four day and we couldn't wait to do the weeklong cruise.  Embarkation was a breeze you can actually check in starting at 12:00 and they start boarding the ship at 12:30.  There is a lunch buffet waiting for you on deck 9 at topsiders.  When we checked in I inquired about an upgrade for our cabin, we were booked in a cat 6 but were able to upgrade to a

cat 3 (one bedroom suite).  I'm not sure but I think it might have been cheaper than booking it in advance.  If you're able to BOOK THIS ROOM!!! We have two girls 10 and 8 and it was wonderful having basically a double room. My husband and I felt it was worth every penny to be able to spread out we each had a full bath and a sliding door to separate us at night.  They had their own TV and so did we, we didn't have to watch the Disney channel all the time.  Someone recommended bringing walkie talkies on board, this was a great idea.  Our kids didn't want to go to the kids club but I felt very comfortable letting them go off on their own (together) with the walkie-talkies.  We all enjoyed the shows, my 10 year old was even called as a contestant on Who Wants to be a Mousketeer game show, we had a great time but didn't win a free cruise.  My family enjoyed the food at all the restaurants and usually the kids entree's came out with our appetizers so when they finished they would go to an activity while we enjoyed a quiet meal.  We didn't choose to go to Palo's although I heard it was nice.  My husband and I did some of the tours of the ship which were very interesting.  He liked the bridge tour and I liked the galley tour, it's amazing how many meals they prepare every day.  I went to the spa on our first sea day.  I chose the seaweed wrap and massage, I don't think I would do the wrap again but I sure did enjoy the massage.  On St. Martin we did a shore excursion to the butterfly farm and it included an island tour.  We've been there before but the tour guide was very informative and we learned some interesting things about the island.  By 12:00 we were back on board for our lunch and enjoyed the pool almost to ourselves, it was wonderful. On St. Thomas we rented a convertible from Avis (you can see their building from the ship) for $79.00 for the day.  This way we could go to Meagans bay one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, you could also take a taxi, I think it was $5.00 per person each way.  We liked having the freedom of a car.  We also went to coral world just for the snorkeling it was great. Castaway Cay was very nice but I suggest getting off the ship early to get a good beach location.  They had plenty of floats to rent and lots of lounges and chairs and umbrellas.  Again we boarded the ship by 2:00 to enjoy some quiet time in the pool.  Our cabin was located on deck 8 aft, #8080 a very convenient location for the pool and the buffet.  With kids you were only a short distance to everything.  The only time we had noise problems was the night of the deck party because it was right above our cabin.  If you're traveling without kids a better location might be in the forward part of the ship where the spa and quiet pool are.  Our cabin steward was adequate, our last time the steward was fabulous making animals out of the towels for the kids so maybe we were spoiled.  Our servers were excellent they really treat the kids special.  We don't really have anything bad to say about the trip.  The ship is in excellent condition and all of the staff has a smile for you when ever you see them.  We would go again tomorrow if possible and our kids are already asking if we can go next year!

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Nov 30, -0001

Castaway Cay

Rita Parker The Cast Members Me: Rita, single mom, 34 DS: Ryan, 10 DD: Ashley, 2 ½ The other family KA: my friend from work, single mom, 30 something KASON1: my friend's 16 year old son KATWIN1: my friend's 13 year old twin son KATWIN2: my friend's 13 year old second twin son I have wanted to go on a cruise since I was 10

years old living in Honningsvag, Norway.  We would have a lot of cruise ships arriving all summer long bringing in tourists who came to see North Cape.   I would use to go down to the wharf and talk to the people who disembarked.  A wonderful American couple brought me on board the Royal Viking Sun and showed me around.  That made a huge impression on me and I have always wanted to cruise since then.   Luckily security was more lax back in the 70's so I was able to see that beautiful ship from the inside.  Even though we were not cruising the Norwegian Fjords, I was truly looking forward to this cruise. We arrived at Port Canaveral around noon on May 1st.  When we came into the terminal we sat down to wait.  There were comfortable benches around, and the TV's were playing Disney cartoons.  There was a sign that said we could board at 1pm, but they actually started boarding at 12:15.  When boarding started I was asked if I had a card for my 2 ½ year old, and I did not.  When we checked in at the Port Orleans resort at Walt Disney World,  they did not give me one for her, because she did not need a card for the parks.  I waited less than a minute and a card with Ashley's name on it was handed to me.  The rest of us had blue cards, but she got a brown one.  Then we went through the security check, where they hand checked the stroller and we had to send the carry on's through the x-ray machine.  It was fairly quick and painless, and we were on the ship within 5 minutes. We walked onto the ship and they announced us by name, "We welcome the Parker family onto the Disney Magic".  That was really nice.  They directed us towards the elevators to head for the buffet.  Then I noticed it.  Oh, no, we must be on the wrong ship, we must be on Carnival's Tropicale, what a stench of raw sewage.  I was in shock, I was incredoulous, how could this beautiful ship stink like this.  It smelled on the third deck, but when we got to deck 9 the smell was gone.  We smelled it again later when we came off the elevators on deck 7.  Luckily the smell disappeared after the ship started sailing, and we never smelled it again.  My assumption is that they were emptying the sewage tanks of the ship, and the smell drifted into the ship.  Thank heavens it was only temporary.  People who arrived later probably never smelled it.  Disaster averted thank heavens The lunch buffet was good.  Smiling CM's were handing out trays and utensils.  We were at Topsiders and got Jumbo Shrimp, salad, bread, desserts, all sorts of good stuff.  The drinks were ice-tea and fruit punch.  We all hurried through our lunch because we wanted to see our stateroom. We got to our stateroom and we had an inside stateroom, category 11 on deck 7.  It was stateroom 7119.  It was the closest inside stateroom to the elevators.  We were next to crew work areas, but we never heard any noise from this stateroom.  It was quiet during the entire trip.  I thought the stateroom was large.  We did not have a split bath, but the room was big.  The safe was large enough to fit all of our wallets and my Sharp camcorder.  It locked easily with my key to the world card.  I made DS put his key to the world card on top of the phone, next to mine, so it was always in one place.  Nikki was our stateroom hostess and she was always smiling.  She always had something nice to say to my kids, and our cabin was immaculate.  She folded our clothes, hung our wet swimsuits on the clothes line in the bathroom, and made towel animals for us.  She also brought fresh ice twice a day.  Nikki, if you are reading this, I want to adopt you. I had brought a six pack of diet coke ½ liter bottles on board, and put those in the fridge.  It is really a cold box, not a fridge, but it worked.  Later on I also put my DD antibiotics in it.  I unpacked everything and got things put away.  Unfortunately the stroller and suitcases were to large to fit under the bed.  I put them all on one side of the bed, and that worked. The stateroom is beautifully appointed.  Lot's of woods, nice colors.  A small tv that you can pull out, nice remote to go with it.  I liked the table that we could put lower or higher.  The navigator and other guides were waiting on the counter for us.  Lots of towels, shampoo and lotion.  I was impressed.  I layed down on the bed for a minute and thought "I can't believe we are actually here."  Unfortunately DD and DS only allowed me a minute of laying down before they wanted to explore.  I let DS explore while I sternly told him to make sure he was in the stateroom at 3:45 to get ready for the life boat drill.  He got back on time, and we grabbed our life jackets and headed to the assembly station.  For DD they had left an infant flotation device that I knew was never going to work.  It was sort of a raft that you can put an infant in, and it completely encloses.  My little escape artist would be out of that in 15 seconds flat.  Also it is not meant for a 2 ½ year old.  When we got to the assembly station I held it up for the CM there and they said they would have a childs lifejacket sent up to us later, and they did.  Since DD did not have a life jacket to wear,the experience was a little easier on us.  We also got to assemble inside in the nice air conditioned Animators Pallet and they had us sit down inside.  We sat and sat, my DS and I wearing life jackets, and DD not having to wear one.  This made things easy, since she was not restrained and complaining.  It was over in 20 minutes and we headed back to our stateroom.  I later found out from KA, that they had assembled outside in the heat with screaming children everywhere.  For no other reason than to get assembly station T inside, get stateroom 7119. We headed topside to deck 9 and Goofy's pool for the bon voyage party.  Goofy and Pluto came out and everybody was dancing.  My DD got up and danced with Pluto.  He held her hand and they danced.  It was so cute.  I love to watch little children dance.  The party was great, good music, bubble machine, characters, sunshine, CM's serving drinks.  Everybody were in a great mood.  Then we heard the horns blow "When you wish upon a Star", and off we went.  We could hardly feel the ship moving.  I went to Pinochio's with DS and bought him a drink sticker for his card for $16, and he was now set for all the sodas he could ask for for the remaining of the cruise. Now the time was 5pm, and I took DD and headed for the medical facilities.  They are open from 4pm-7pm in the evening, and outside those hours there is an extra charge.  They also have open hours earlier in the day.  I wanted to have DD ears checked out ASAP, and went to the front of the ship, 1st floor.  We were the only ones in the waiting room, signed in, and I asked for a Norwegian, English, or US doctor.  We were told the pediatrician was US, and was happy with that.  Minutes later we were escorted to the Snow White examination room.  It was decorated with Snow White and the 7 dwarfs.  There were lot's of Disney toys in there and DD found them and started to play.  The nurse, male nurse from the UK, came in and took DD vitals, and we waited a few more minutes before the doctor came in.  What a wonderful pediatrician.  He is a board certified pediatrician from Oregon.  He is slowing down his practice in Oregon getting ready to retire, and works on the Magic from time to time.  He was really gentle with DD and found pink bunnies in DD ear.  He gave us an antibiotic called Ampicilin, and gave us antibiotic ear drops.  He said he treats the little ones more aggressively on the ship, because he wants them to be able to enjoy the trip.  He would normally not give the ear drops unless it was an ongoing ear infection that was hard to cure.  He was the best.  I laughed when he told me to keep DD out of the pool and the water.  He laughed too and said he "just had to say it", but understood that would be hard.  All in all, he was great, and we were treated well. When we got back to the waiting room, they prepared a bill, and charged the $81 to our stateroom.  I got an itemized bill that I could give to my insurance to try to get reimbursed.  While we were doing the paper work, there were several parents of Make a Wish Foundation kids that came in.  They came to find out if lab work could be done for their children being treated for cancer.  That was not a problem, so my understanding is that this medical facility is well equipped. During our trip I saw several children being sponsored by the Make a Wish Foundation, and because of the joy I saw being brought to them, I have decided to make it one of the charities I donate to.  What a worthwhile cause to bring such joy to seriously ill children. After seeing the doctor it was time to get changed for dinner.  We were at table 62 for first seating in Parrot Cay.  DS was not in the cabin, so I left the tickets where he could see them, got changed into a skirt, and grabbed DD and went to dinner.  DS is 10, and if he can't be there on time, he will go without.  I got to the table and KA and KATWIN1 was there.  She was missing KASON16 and KATWIN2.  We were 3 kids short, but we were not the ones that would go hungry.  Actually the boys walked in 15 minutes later together.  Our server was Nalin and our assistant server was Immogen.  The head waiter came around and introduced himself, and that was the only time I saw him the entire trip.  Guess where that one is leading to on tip night.  Anyway, I tried to warn KA against the Surf'n'Turf, but she wouldn't listen.  She had some and did not like it.  Just lobster pieces covered with gravy.  They got to do something about that.  The bread was great, they had delicious banana bread.  They served my DD soda in a fancy glass, and I wished they had had some covered cups or something like that for the little ones.  She was good though, and did not spill at all, or break any glasses the entire cruise.  The same cannot be said for one of the twins.  We started our repeated ritual of moving all the cutlery and glasses away from DD, and she got crayons to color the kids menu with.  I had the coconut shrimp and onion rings and they were great.  My entre was Sun dried Tomato crusted Snapper.   It was pretty good.  I really liked our dessert of Bananas Foster Flambe, but they did not prepare it at the table.  It tasted really good though.  The boys all got specialty drinks with dinner.  They were $4.50 each + gratuity.  They all got virgin strawberry daquiris.  Later KA paid for hers with the onboard credit she got from Dreams Unlimited.  After dinner we headed to deck 5 to sign up DS and KATWIN2 for Oceaneer Lab.  KATWIN2 is 13 and belonged with the teenage crowd, but he saw the lab and wanted to go there instead.  It took us over 30 minutes to get them signed up.  Later KATWIN2 changed his mind and got changed back to being with the teens again.  He thought the lab was booring.   I gave DS the authority to sign himself in and out, and because of this, did not receive a pager.  I did not need one. We explored the ship some more.  It is so beautiful.  Then DD was having a melt down and we went back to our cabin.  I loved how the beds were turned down, All the lights were off except the bedside lamps, and the curtain was drawn.  It looked so inviting.  Chocolates and poems on our pillows.  I can get used to this.  I watched TV while DD fell asleep and I soon fell asleep myself.  The ship was rocking a little bit, no much though.  We all slept very well. Since there were not parks to hurry up and run to, and since our dolphin swim was not until 1:30, we slept in today.  We got up around 9 and went to top siders for breakfast.  I have heard others complain about runny scrambled eggs, I did not see that.  The eggs I had were good.  Also had pastries and I especially like their chocolate filled danish.  I thought the food was yummy.  To drink they had OJ, and iced -tea.  We grabbed their containers with milk.  I had lots of toast and that was good too. TIP: If you are going to get bagels for breakfast, it is on a separate buffet.  The butter and cream cheese is next to the milk on the main buffet.  Grab some if you know you are going to have a bagle, instead of having to backtrack to it. While we were eating we were watching the people on the ship next to us.  It was a Carnival ship, I think it was the Fantasy.  I think our pool areas looked much nicer than on the Carnival ship.  On the other side of was the Big Red Boat, and further away was the Royal Caribbean Ship Sovereign of the Seas.  If I am going on a different cruise line it will be either Royal Caribbean or Princess.  While I have kids we are going to stay with Disney. KA and her boys got off the ship and walked into Nassau to shop.  They later told me they had a great time.  KA bought a wrap to wear over her swimsuit.  After breakfast DD and I changed and got into our swimsuits.  We headed for the Mickey pool, and I watched as my daughter played for an hour.  It was a beautiful day.  This is what I had been looking forward to. We stayed in our swimsuits and put our cover ups on.  We grabbed some towels from the pool deck for our excursion since I had read on this page that they were not provided at Blue Lagoon, thank you DIS.  We  had lunch at Topsiders and then went to the front of the ship to get off.  I thought we would have to walk forever to get a taxi, but as soon as we got off the ship, there was a taxi a few feet away.  To get off the ship we had to have our key to the world cards scanned, I was glad I had remembered to bring DD card.    The taxi we drove in was actually a black limo.  It was quite nice.  It was fascinating to look at all the sights as we drove towards Paradise Island.  The charge was $4 per person, and we agreed on the price before getting in the car.  In addition there was a $1 toll on the bridge that KA paid.  The ride took about 10 minutes. We were 15 minutes early for the boat to take us to Blue Lagoon, so we just hung around in their little termina.  This is where DD discovered ash trays and how fun it is to play with the sand in those ash trays, ugh.  Most of the time was spent keeping DD out of trouble. The boat to Blue Lagoon was a 2 story Calypso boat.  DD and I stayed downstairs, while KA and the boys sat outside upstairs.  I had been a little worried about the safety of this boat and maybe a lack of lifejackets.  No worry, right above our heads, the entire ceiling was lined with lifejackets.  The same kind they have on the Magic.  They had both adults and children's life jackets onboard, in easy reach. The boat rocked a bit on the trip, and if you are prone to motion sickness, Bonine may be necessary.  The boat ride took between 20-30 minutes. We got off the boat at Blue Lagoon at 2pm, and were ushered into an information area.  They basically told us how to behave around the dolphins, and what we could or could not do.   They emphasized where we could touch the dolphin, and where we could harm the dolphin, if we did, like around the eyes etc.   It was only about 5 minutes before they split us up.  KA and the boys went to do the swim, while DD and I went to do the encounter. We were all ushered down onto the docks and we sat with our feet in the water.  We had been pre warned we would get wet.  DD has her little feet in the water and suddenly she sees the dolphin.  You would have thought she saw a shark.   I have never seen her little feet move so fast, out of the water they came, and behind my back she went.  I managed to get her to sit down again, but she would not put her feet back into the water.  The dolphin was big and beautiful and he drenched us.  He swam around and splashed us and we were soaked in cold, salty, sea water, Yuck, But it was fun.  Then everybody lined up to have the dolphin kiss them and have their picture taken.  That was the whole encounter.  DD would not go in the water with me, so we did not even get to touch the dolphin or get a picture.  Oh, well, such is life with a 2 year old. DD and I went looking for KA and the boys, and boy did they have a great experience.  If you are going to the Blue Lagoon, contact them direct at www.dolphinswim.com and book the dolphin swim and not the encounter.  KA and the boys spent over 30 minutes in the water with the dolphins.  They touched them, got dolphin kisses, had the dolphins jump over then, and they fed them.  The best part was when one by one, the instructor had them do the "dead-mans'float" in the water, the dolphin then swam up behind them and put his nose on their feet and pushed them through the water at 25 miles per hour.  It was incredible, I am so jealous I did not get to do it.  At least DS was able to do it with KA and her boys.  This experience is what we came for and it was out of this world.  A must do. TIP: They don't provide towels at Blue Lagoon.  Unless you want to be wet and miserable, bring towels from the ship. After the swim KA bought the video from the experience.  They also had pictures, but we did not buy any of those.  We waited around until the boat went back.  We did not get off the boat at Paradise Island.  We stayed on it, and it took us directly to the cruise ships.  This saved us $29 taxi fare.  On the boat trip home DD climed up on my lap and fell asleep.  There was quite a breeze on the boat, so I wrapped a couple of towels around her to keep her warm.  It was such a nice boat ride with DD cuddled up to me, and the boat moving through the water.  I love that little girl so much, and holding her on that boat ride, no worries, no schedules to keep, nothing to do but be together, that was a moment I will cherish. TIP: A stroller is not necessary if you are doing the Dolphin Swim or the Dolphin Encounter.  We were picked up feet away from the ship, we were dropped of feet away from the Calypso boat.  Blue lagoon was very small, lots of stairs and small paths, and it would have been a pain to fold and unfold a stroller the entire time.  If you do not need a stroller for a child to take a nap in, don't bring one. We got back to the ship and had to walk the lenght of the ship to board.  If it had just been me, it would not have been a problem, but 25lbs of squirming 2 year old was a pain.  This was the only point where I had wished for the stroller, but the hassle would not have been worth it.  We got onboard and they scanned our cards, and had us put our carry-ons through the x-ray machines.  We took the elevator to the 7th floor and went to our cabin.  I could not wait to get our salty wet swimsuits off.  I took first dibbs on the shower to DS dismay, and made him watch DD while I showered.  He was a good sport about it. We made it back before 6pm, so we got ready for our dinner at Lumieres.  I wore a pant suit, and the kids were all dressed up.  We walked to the Atrium and had our pictures taken with Captain Mickey at the Captains Coctail Party.  I tried to get a picture taken with Captain Henning, but he was done for the night. As we walked into Lumieres, we walked by Captain Henning, and lo and behold, it said Norway on his name tag.  Henning is a Norwegian name, so I figured he was from Norway, but I wasn't sure.  I asked "Kan vi fa hilse pa Dem?", and he looked floored.  We spent the next few minutes talking Norwegian together..  He is indeed from Norway, and he is very nice.  I really enjoyed  meeting him. We got in to Lumieres and were escorted to our table.  We immediately started removing all cutlery and glassware from my DD immediate vicinity.  Gave her her childs menu, 1 crayon this time instead of 50, and some bread.  I had brought a sipper cup and poured her drink into that.  Amazingly all the boys were present, and on time tonight. I had the creamy lobster soup, which was ok.  Then I could not decide between the Herb Crusted Sea Bass or the Red Wine Marinated Lamb Shank, so I had both.  Gluttony on the high seas.  I loved the Sea Bass, KA hated it.  I hated the Lamb Shank.  The Sea Bass was fantastic.  For dessert I could not decide between Creme Brulee or Layered Chocolate Truffle Delight, so again I had both. (By the way I started Weight Watchers this week, so I am paying for it).  The desserts were good, and I liked the Creme Brulee the best.  It was a nice dinner in a wonderful atmosphere. After dinner I took DD to Flounders Reef.  We got there at 8pm and I left here there until 10pm.  She cried when I left, but I expected that.  They issued me a pager, and I went to do something exciting during my break from her.  I did laundry.  I hear everybody say WOOOOW.  It needed to be done, and there was no live show this evening.  I got the laundry, grabbed a dollar bill and my key to the world card and went to the laundry.  Oh, no, the detergent was 75 cents, 3 quarters needed in exact change.  Back to the room, and luckily I had 3 quarters.  While the laundry was spinning, I went back to the cabin and read.  It was quite nice not to have to chase DD around. After laundry I went to pick up DD at 10pm.  She was asleep, I carried her back to the cabin, and put her to bed.  Nikki had again turned down our beds and the chocolates were there. It was so nice.  DS came in and said he was hungry, so he ordered 4 cookies from room service.  They arrived in 15 minutes, and he tipped the waiter.  He felt so adult, it was pretty neat. Woke up around 9am and headed for Topsiders for breakfast.  KA and her boys were already there.  Food was good, and we were discussing where to go on the beach.  We were all excited to see Castaway Cay so we hurried through breakfast and got ready to get off the ship.  I put sun block 45 on DD, DS and I. In Nassau we got off the ship at the front.  At Castaway Cay they had us get off the ship towards the aft. TIP: You can buy beach toys at Castaway Cay, or check them out from Scuttles Cove.  I had bought some toys at Toy's ‘R' Us and brought them along.  DD loved playing with them, so they are a must.  Even the boys ended up using them to bury each other in the sand. We took the tram to the beach area and got some beach chairs under umbrellas.  We then headed to the water and it was COLD.  Most of the day we spent at the waters edge playing with DD toys.  It was a lot of fun.  The ships photographer came around, and when I saw DD pose for him and look really cute I knew I was sunk.  I would be spending a fortune on pictures. We were close to Cookies Bar-b-que, and had lunch at 11:45.  It wasn't crowded yet.  It was pretty standard fair.  I grabbed several bottles of water.  DD loved the potato chips and ate hers as well as mine. I was tired and ready to get the sand off, so we walked to the tram.  Of course DD wanted to be carried.  DS bless his heart helped out and carried her part of the way to the tram.  We got to the ship and rinsed off most of the sand before entering the ship.  Again I had first dibs on the shower (selfish mom), and it felt good to get all the sea water, sand and salt off. We went down to Shutters to look for pictures, but they were not open yet.  The lady who worked there snapped at some passengers and told them rudely that they did not open until 5.  She wasn't very nice to them, and should consider getting a different job.  This was the only openly rude person I saw during the entire cruise. While waiting to go into dinner, I watched them cast off and the ship get under way.  It was a beautiful evening with a setting sun and calm waters.  It was so beautiful.  We went outside on Deck 4 and sat for awhile enjoying the ocean breeze and watching the horizon.  This is what cruising is all about. Dinner tonight was at Animators Pallet.  I really enjoyed the show and the changing colors.  I had the Ceasar's Salad, Pan Seared Salmon, and Parmesan Crusted Veal Chop.  Yes, you can probably tell I could not make up my mind about the entre and had 2 again.  The salmon was good, the Parmesan Crusted Veal Chop was great.  For dessert they brought out a bunch of samples of different desserts.  My favorite was the chocolate mousse.  I would like a bucket of chocolate mousse, a good book, a quiet reading/eating spot, and I am set.  The chocolate mousse was a chocoholics dream. Tonight's show was Voyage of the Ghost Ship.  I took DD to Flounders, and she screamed when she realized I was leaving her with a sitter.  She kept up the crying for 3 minutes.  I hurried out of sight and she calmed down, I never got paged and she did well.  KA and I went to the theater.  It is very nice, but the show was not very good.  KA said Hercules was a lot better.  After the show KA and I looked through some of the shops and caught a couple of minutes off the improv at the comedy club. Picked up DD and went to bed.  Slept really well. We are getting up later and later every morning.  Spent most of the morning watching DD play in the pool.  If it sound like I don't talk much about DS, it's because I hardly saw him.  He checked himself in and out of the Oceaneer Lab and was busy most of the day. Since the boys had disappeared KA and I decided to try Lumiere's for lunch.  Boy did I wish we had done that before. BIG TIP: Don't waste your time on Topsiders.  Eat in the restaurants, the food is so much better. We got to Lumieres and asked the waiters for a table where others did not have to observe DD.  KA was worried we had to dress up for lunch at Lumiere's, but nobody else had.  The waiters were great.  Wished we had them for waiters instead of our regular ones.  We started out with fresh fruit, then I had some sea food, then for dessert we got fruit coctail in rum with vanilla ice cream.  It was so yummy.  Best lunch we had all week.  The waiters kept DD entertained.  One of them even picked her up and hugged her as we left.  Learned a big lesson here about where to eat lunch in the future. Went to Shutters and spent $100 on pictures.  It was a pain finding our pictures, but DD was able to find hers.  She loves to pose for pictures and I bought every one she was in.  Note for self, bring more money for pictures next time.  I got 2 formal pictures of all 3 of us together, and they are the only formal ones we have.  Normally I get nice pictures of the kids and I am never in the picture, now we finally have some of all of us together. Went back to our cabin and got my tip envelopes out of the safe.  I had brought cash in individual envelopes with me, already sorted out in the correct amounts.  I am really glad I did this when I saw the line at Customer Service.  I put the envelopes in my bag and headed for dinner.  Outside our cabin I saw Nikki and handed her the tip envelop.  I thanked her, and I feel she earned every penny of the tip. Our final dinner was at Animators Pallet again.  They had all the lights and colors already on, and did not run the show again.  It was very nice though.  For appetizer I had the Lamb Skewers and CousCous from the Moroccan Chef.  It was excellent.  Then for dinner I had Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and it was ok. For dessert I had both the Apple and Cranberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream, and Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.  I loved the Cobbler, did not like the Chocolate Pudding.  KA and I handed our servers the tip envelopes and left.  The head waiter never came around, and I did not go in search for him to give him a tip. It was 7:30 by the time dinner was over and I headed to Flounders with DD.  This time she only cried for 2 minutes after I left.  She is getting better. I was excited about watching Disney Dreams.  It was great.  I loved every minute of it.  The special effects were incredible.  I had tears in my eyes.  This is the not to miss show.  KA liked Hercules better.  After watching Disney Dreams I picked up DD and headed back to the cabin to pack.  I watched the debarkation video on the TV, it played over and over again, then I packed.  I had red colored luggage tags and put them on the suitcases.  I removed the old tags to make sure the luggage did not go on another cruise without me.  It was sad to pack, but all good things have to come to an end.  The suitcases had to be outside our cabin door by midnight.  I put everything outside except our carry on, and stroller. I had given DS a 10:30pm curfew on the last night.  (Thank you parents who warned me about the all nighter the kids try to pull the last night).  While I was waiting for him I went to the very back of the ship and outside on the deck there.  It was quiet, peaceful and nice.  The only noise was DD.  We cuddled up on a chair for a minute and just spent some quiet time together.  It was really nice. Back in the cabin DS decided he was hungry.  He ordered room service, and I had him get me the kids chicken fingers dinner.  I arrived promptly and was very good.  After we ate we set the alarm for 6:30 and went to bed.  We had to be at breakfast by 7am. The alarm rang and we got up at 6:30.  We made it to Animators Pallet for breakfast by 6:50.  I was surprised to se our regular servers, I did not think we would see them again.  Breakfast was over by 8am and we went to the Atrium deck 3 to disembark.  We waited outside on the promenade on deck 4.  It was another beautiful day and we just sat out there watching the ocean.  The ship was cleared by 8:15 and we walked off.  The depression set in.  We found our luggage and a porter hauled it to the Delta counter.  It was really nice to be able to check the luggage right there.

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Nov 30, -0001

Nassau & Castaway Cay, 3-night cruise.

My wife Mona and I set sail on the Disney Magic not knowing quite what to expect. From the reviews we had read passengers either thought it was the best cruise they had ever taken or the worst. In fact, it's a little of both. You really can't compare Disney to other cruise lines because it does so many things differently. Some things Disney does much better than anyone else. Others fall short. One thing you notice right away about a Disney cruise

is the kids, lots of them. Unlike other cruises, where parents can take their kids along, this is a cruise where children take their parents. If you're traveling with kids, this is the greatest cruise you could ever take. Don't hesitate for a second. The activities for kids, from toddlers to teens, are excellent. If you're traveling without kids, you'll only like this cruise if you like Disney, and you have the patience to vacation with lots of children. The areas where Disney excels are embarkation and debarkation, stateroom comfort, activities for children, entertainment, and its private beach island. We felt it came up short in cabin and dining room service, cabin noise, the quality of food and the convenience of show times. Embarkation is very smooth. New buses take you from the airport or the resorts to the ship in about an hour. Time goes by quickly as you watch a video on what to expect on your cruise. Disney's passenger terminal is new and modern and check-in lines are short. We arrived at the airport at 11:30am. By noon our bus was leaving for the ship. And by 1pm we were in our stateroom. The ship was an almost full, 2300 passengers. The staterooms are relatively roomy, comfortable and well-planned. Our steward never greeted us upon arrival, but otherwise was friendly and did his job well. One of the great things Disney did was to put a bath-and-a-half in most rooms. One has a sink and toilet. The other has a sink and shower/tub. Both bathrooms are tiled. There's a bedroom area and a sitting area with a couch that can turn into a bed. Plenty of storage space. Beware of cabins on deck two toward the rear of the ship. I had read of mysterious engine noises in other reviews and wound up experiencing it myself. This was the worst engine noise we had encountered in all our cruising. It was not constant and may have been related to the thrusters. But when the noise occurred it was very loud and disturbing and you could not possibly sleep through it. Avoid these cabins if you can. The first thing most passengers do after arriving in their rooms is have lunch and make reservations for the adults only restaurant, Paolo's. The best item on the buffet lunch is the jumbo shrimp. Everything else is just ok. But you're not taking this cruise for the quality of the food. Dining on Disney is different than on other ships. There are three main theme restaurants in which you and your serving team rotate each evening. Animator's Palate has a show about animation. The restaurant slowly turns from black-and-white to color as you dine. Parrot Cay (pronounced Key) is a Caribbean restaurant. Lumiere's is a more formal French restaurant that's the nicest of the three. Although our waitress said some passengers actually ask not to eat there because they've never dined in a French restaurant and they think they won't like French food. If you want to eat at Paolo's, and most people loved it, I would recommend you make your reservation for the night you would dine in Parrot Cay. If you have to give up one restaurant I would make it Parrot Cay. You can have breakfast or lunch there one day to see what it's like. If you're on the four-night cruise you can eat in Paolo's on the night you would repeat dinner in one of the three theme restaurants. Overall we felt the food was good to very good, but inconsistent. We found the best way to order was follow our server's recommendations. When we didn't we were disappointed. This is not the fine dining you'll get on Princess or Celebrity. It's much less formal with fewer courses. On most menus the food is grouped into starters and main courses, leaving many diners to believe you are expected to order one from each group. And most do. But you can order an appetizer, soup, salad and main course if you want. In Animator's Palate we liked the crab legs appetizer and veal chop entrée. In Parrot Cay go for the shrimp cocktail and lobster. In Lumiere's it's the escargot and sea bass. You also can get simply prepared steak and chicken or vegetarian dishes in each restaurant. For desert we had our server bring a variety of different selections -- most good, nothing exceptional. During the day there are hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza and ice cream available on the pool deck most of the time. There are late-night snacks passed out by waiters in the lounges but no traditional midnight buffet. Some passengers seemed to miss this. One point about dining and entertainment times. Unlike anything we had encountered before on cruise ships, on Disney when you have late seating dinner at 8:30pm, you go to your show before dinner at 6pm. So even if you have late seating dinner you still start your evening at 6pm, the same time as early seating diners. The show runs about an hour so by 7:15pm you out of the show and still have one hour and 15 minutes before dinner. There are plenty of things to do during that time but it seemed like an inefficient schedule that defeated the purpose of late seating dinner. The three entertainment productions shows are excellent and all the singing is done live. They all involve Disney themes. The first night was a show about Hercules. The second night one about a ghost ship. The third night is Disney Dreams which showcases Disney fairytales and which brought many people to tears. Since I waited until now to talk about kids' activities you probably realized we didn't travel with them. But we did tour the facilities on the ship for children and they are phenomenal. Kids are divided into three age groups, 3-8, 9-12 and teens. Each group has areas of the ship reserved just for it. And the organized activities are not just fun but educational and interactive, including using computers. Teens even have their own nightclub. And there are plenty of opportunities for pictures with Disney characters. Adults also have their own parts of the ship including a separate pool and lounge area, health spa, separate restaurant, ESPN bar, piano bar, comedy club, special movies and a disco. And there's a separate adults area at the private beach. The Disney Magic is a beautiful well-appointed ship but it's different from other cruise ships in its size and class. Some ways better, some ways worse. Some very unique, like a ship's horn that plays "When You Wish Upon a Star." With its two smokestacks, long bow and black-and-white paint, it actually looks more like a ship than many of the newer cruise ships. But you'll have a hard time figuring out who, if anyone, is in charge. Neither the full names of the captain and cruise director nor their pictures were ever printed in the daily newsletter. After awhile we learned out the captain's name was Hans and the cruise director was Rachel. The captain was very accessible during his cocktail party. But poor captain Hans was walking around looking for people to talk to while captain Mickey Mouse had a line of people waiting to shake his hand and get their picture taken with him. A few more differences -- there are no deck chairs on the promenade deck and there is no casino. While the décor is luxurious and creative, the loungges tend to be small and intimate rather than grand and striking. The main show room has stadium-style seating and does not have drink service. If you want a drink you have to buy it yourself at the bar outside and carry it in. There's plenty to do at night and we never even made it into some of the lounges. The ship only calls on two ports, Nassau and Castaway Cay (also pronounced Key), the private beach island. Several tours are offered in Nassau or you could just walk off the ship and explore the town on your own. Many passengers weren't very impressed with the town. And Nassau is not a shopper's paradise like St. Thomas. We took the all-day beach trip to the new Atlantis Hotel and really enjoyed it. The Atlantis is large and dramatic with outdoor pools, a water slide and beach area. Although it's privately owned and operated it looks like the type of hotel Disney would have designed. It has a walk-though underwater aquarium that's definitely worth seeing. If you take the Disney tour to Atlantis you can use the beach but not the pools and water slide. Most people agree Castaway Cay is the nicest private beach of any cruise line. The ship docks at the island and a tram takes you to the beach. There are more than enough beach chairs and umbrellas. There's a snorkeling trail and water play area for the kids. We picked out a nice double hammock overlooking the water. My only complaint would be the 20 minutes it took waiting in line for lunch. But I suspect much of the slowness was due to people taking a long time to decide what they wanted to eat. There were about six buffet lines and all seemed to be well supplied. Three nights is too short for a cruise. The morning after our great day at the beach it was time to leave. Debarkation on the Disney Magic was the best we had ever encountered. There was no hanging around in lounges waiting for your color to be called. If you have early seating dinner, breakfast will be early, 6:45am. But by the time early seating breakfast ended the ship was cleared. When late seating breakfast began at 8am the early folks were walking off the ship. When our late breakfast ended about 8:45am we simply walked out the door of Lumiere's turned right and in 50 feet we were off the ship. The luggage was color coded and easily retrievable. By 9am our bus to the airport was on its way. All things considered we enjoyed the cruise. Disney has worked out many of the problems that occurred in its initial months. We'd definitely take it again with kids but probably not on our own. Disney might want to consider running some seven-day cruises, changing some ports of call, or having its two ships run different itineraries. Otherwise, once you've taken this cruise you have a reduced incentive to take it again because the next one will be just the same. I hope this will be of some help if you're considering a Disney cruise or about to sail on one. Please e-mail me with any questions or comments. Tom Giusto

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Nov 30, -0001

Not Given

We had a great time on the magic, The rooms were large and nice, service was great . The private island was the best it docked right there no tenders to deal with. They had fireworks from the smokestack at night. The food was good we like the idea of a different restaurant each night, your waiter goes with you. They weren't all over you taking pictures like other cruises . The negative things were There were no soft drinks during the day just

water, so you had to buy sodas for the kids which added up, BRING A CASE OF SODA WITH YOU there is a fridge in the room and ice. There wasn't much to do after 10pm there was a lot of people just wandering around if you didn't want to go to an adult only club. There should have been more organized activities going on like bingo (not just Adult bingo at 2:30 in the afternoon ) Most of the movies were around the late seating dinner time. When booking your cruise try to get early seating dinner then you will have some activities to do after dinner. The late seating dinner didn't start until 8:30 and we didn't finish until 10. There were more good thing than bad about this cruise and we are now thinking about the Disney Wonder.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Disney knows how to do things right and does again. It's venture into the cruise market was a good one and the Disney Magic was superb. From it's food and interesting dining rooms (you change every night) to its Broadway style productions, everything was superb in every way. A very peasant surprise was the noticeable lack of numerous children running all over the ship. While Disney, or course, caters to children and there were certainly plenty

on board, they were not in the least bit intrusive. As an adult, and a senior one at that, I highly recommend this cruise, especially if you like Disney and who doesn't. It's not just for kids and it's outstanding in every way. No exceptions! And wait til you see Disney's Castaway Cay...WOW! Do it! See it! You won't regret it.

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Nov 30, -0001

Castaway Cay

This was our 4th cruise with the Disney Cruise Line, which in itself is a statement of our prior experiences with DCL. While most think people think Disney as a family experience with lot's of children running wild, this is not the case. The children actually disappear. We have never witnessed a tantrum on board, or seen an embarrassing drunk. There are plenty of adult only areas, which are strictly enforced, and an equal amount of children areas,

or family areas only. You will pay a premium to go with Disney, on either ship, but before you book a cruise, check the times at port's of call. See where you will actually dock at. The Disney ships are generally first to dock, and last to leave each port of call. And the Disney ships get the premium parking space{dock}. Disney ships are able to do this because they are 3 to 5 knots {MPH} faster then the industry standard. As an example, at Grand Cayman, The Disney Magic was anchored closest to the shoreline, and if you wanted to go to shore were shuttled in by local ferry boats, as opposed to life boat transfers, as used by other lines that were anchored further out. Some say no big deal as for any of these convinces, but just think of how good you feel when your 1st in line. Category 6, is just wonderful, and large by industry standards. It has a full sized veranda, that offer's wonderful vista's 24 hours a day. Another feature rarely mentioned is the divided bathroom facilities. Check out the room lay-outs, and see for yourself! A nice private feature. As far as all of our services, the food, the wait staff, and stateroom personnel, all have been exceptional. Both ships, having been on both, are so well maintained, that each cruise seems like a Maiden voyage. These ships are clean and kept! Embarking, and disembarking at Disney's own terminal are so smooth, and easy. It's a little more expensive than most lines doing the same port's of call, but Disney delivers. There really is something for everyone on board a Disney Cruise, and it's the Disney tradition, of giving you a vacation experience of a lifetime. I don't get to surf on board, and I don't get rock climb on-board, and there's no mini golf. I can't gamble on-board either. And I can't ice skate either on board. These features that other lines provide, are just like make-up! They have to make up for what they lack. And finally Castaway Cay, Disney's own island, is yours for a day. You have to experience it, to understand it's all Disney. And by the way we have re-booked to take our 5 cruise in 4 years, with DCL. Enough said. Dillon

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

I went on this cruise with my daughter who is twenty six, the ship itself was very impressive and we were lucky and was upgraded from a category 10 cabin up to a category 6 which meant we had a balcony which was lovely. The cabin itself was very spacious and our cabin steward was wonderful and so creative with the towels which he put in our cabin each evening he made frogs, elephants and one night a monkey hanging from our light fitting

sporting my sunglasses it was one of the highlights of the cruise.  The embarkation was very efficient although we were on board the ship by 1pm and our luggage did not arrive in our cabin till 7.30pm even though we did contact guest services at least three times it still seemed like a very long time. All in all the embarkation and disembarkation was very well organized and we did not have to hardly stand in line at all. The entertainment on this ship was a little limited I felt if you had young children say under the age of twelve it would be very good but not really for adults. Beat Street the adult only evening entertainment venue did have a good band which we enjoyed, but I wish the production shows had been more for adult tastes. I know that on a ship like Disney they are catering for a lot of families and therefore the shows need to reflect this, but it would have been nice if there had been an earlier show for families and then later a Broadway style show without Mickey Mouse and his friends. The food on board was average although my daughter and myself are both vegetarians so we do not eat meat or fish so we are a bit in the minority. The choice for us was very limited with one vegetarian option on the menu at best, and our waiter did not really put himself out much to help us find an alternative. The buffet was a little better for us but still not more then one or two options apart from salad. The itinerary was good with stops at Nassau and Disney's private island Castaway Cay which was lovely and we enjoyed our day there a lot. I think you have to have children of a young age or really love Disney to appreciate this ship. I feel it was not the correct choice for us, there are a lot of children on this ship who all seemed to be having a wonderful time. I think the literature we read before booking this cruise was a little bit misleading, we were led to believe that it was also the ideal choice for adults only, even honeymoon couples. I disagree with this but that is just my opinion, I think if you are a family looking for a cruise that will keep the children entertained with some lovely locations to visit thrown in it cannot be beaten. For adults who can only take so much Disney-mania and have been on other more traditional cruise ships without quite so many children, I would not recommend this ship.

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Nov 30, -0001

8 days Disney World 4 Day Cruise

This is part of Walts Dream..True to his reflections even though not with us now.  The Disney Magic is huge and spacious, actually exactly 100 ft shorter than the largest aircraft carrier afloat. I include this because I don't think anyone got seasick on our cruise, as you hardly knew it was moving. They have a fully staffed hospital on board and dispenses medicine if needed. We met the bus at our resort and headed to Port Canaveral

a little after 1 PM and we were onboard the ship by 3PM Our luggage arrived in our room in just a short amount of time and everything was great. Let me tell you the rooms are perfect! Large and plenty of space for your luggage including two separate bath areas one with toilet the other sink and bath with shower. very smart with Disney's design ideas. The Cruise was absoultly perfect in every way, you had a schedule put under your door every night  describing the shows and events that were available the next day. This made every thing easy to plan and the show which i liked was "Disney Dreams" true to the true Disney touch and its a show you will not soon forget. The Disney theatre was magnificent, get their early as the theatre fills early (900 seats!!!) Dinner was superb. Trully excellent food at all four meals,and served by very good waiters that really cared about how you meal was. Even thought this ship is built with children in mind, we were never interrupted by their presence at all, we really have to say the folks at Disney did a great number on planning it that way, the adult pool and all.) The trip to Nassau was very pleasant even if it rained for a short period, then it was nice, try the horse and buggy ride and enjoy the slow pace and visit some of the shops. We went to Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island on a tour which included a tour of the Harbor.. Very interesting narration by the natives. The Atlantis Casino and Ocean aquarium is something not to miss.. the largest indoor collection in the world. .Don't miss the Piranha's (about 1000 in the same aquarium just waiting to be fed.) The next day we awoke in Castaway Cay and went to the most beautiful Island, complete with huge crystal clear beaches, both for children and one separate for adults.. They had a bar-b-cue to die for and they had everything you could imagine for lunch and plenty of everything to eat. It all ended by 4:30 as the ship had to leave before low tide. Next day was a pleasant day at sea and enjoyed every minute of it. No phones etc. all in all I don't think you will find a nicer ship done up the way this was put together, especially with the nice way Disney put the finishing touches aboard and the complete character enhancements  .Children and Children at heart will truly love this ship and everything about it. Just remember this is a ship built for children and their parents and if you don't mind them and are like us you will enjoy every minute of your cruise.

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Nov 30, -0001

4 day cruise

This was our first cruise, myself, Sue my wife and the kids, Thomas (age 10) and Rebecca (age 7). It was a marvellous holiday and one which I would not hesitate to recommend for families. We combined the cruise with 3 days in The Polynesian Resort in Disneyland, the entire package was seamless, easy and very relaxing. However we were very glad that we booked an additional week in Orlando after the cruise:- there simply wasn't enough time

to see everything. Having read other reviews from more experienced cruisers they all commented on the ease of boarding. This was true, but as a non US citizen more time consuming than for Americans. I rather resented having our passports taken away by the company. However once on board the atmosphere was pure Disney, friendly and fantasy in equal measures. On boarding the ship your family is announced over the PR sytem to be arriving - rather nice. The cabin (stateroom seems a somewhat over-enthusiastic term) was comfortable. The 3rd bed was well hidden and its apparent absence caused some discussion. The cabin overall was good with the open air balcony a real pleasure (very well guarded to prevent children going overboard). There is also an (empty in our case) minibar fridge. We stocked this up with cans of soft drinks for the kids (soft drinks are not free except at meals). I also found that it was good to be able to escape from the madding crowd and sit on the balcony with a cold beer and a book. The room steward was helpful (by the way they do not get a salary and rely on tips)and efficent. Most Europeans will not be used to the amount of tipping expected. A 15% tip is added automatically to any drink you buy. Disney offers you a "recommended amount" to cover the steward and various waiters. This added up to around $160 for the four of us. Although our tour company had pre-paid this for us it could be an expensive surprise. We had a very calm sea for the trip, but I did not notice when the ship started to move, rather the hooter blasted out the first few notes of "when you wish apon a star" You just have to go with it. I didn't see anybody being seasick and at times you didn't know the ship was moving. One of our concerns prior to boarding was perhaps rather silly, but we were concerned about the children falling overboard. In fact the main deck that the children use is glassed in, really very reassuring. For families the facilities are marvelous, with entertainment throughout the day. There was a show in the main theatre for 3 nights and a family show in the afternoon on the day when there was no evening show. All were worth going to. The cinema showed a range of family and adult films. There were family quiz shows each night, also good fun. There are excellent clubs for kids of various ages where you could theoretically leave a child from 7am to 12 midnight (you are issued a beeper for emergencies or when they get fed up). The food was good but not outstanding. There are 2 sittings for the evening meal, 6.30pm and 8.30pm you specify which one at the time of booking your cruise. It is worth knowing that this choice affects the time of breakfast on your last day:- those who attend the 6.30 sitting have breakfast at a very unrelaxed time of 7.00am. The kids graze all day on burgers, hot dogs, fries and ice cream which were available more or less all the time. The soft drink bill soon adds up - they are only free during adult meal times! You rotate restaurants each night, the same service team accompany you, we found our servers to be excellent and helpful:- making up a makeshift bed on the floor for overtired children was no problem (childless couples may wish to avoid viewing such spectacles by eating in the adults only restaurant!). However I think it fair to say that you don't take this cruise for the quality of the food. The day at Nassau is potentially very good or alternatively mediocre. We had been previously warned that the organized trips were expensive and a little disappointing, our fellow passengers who took them seemed generally to agree with this assessment. The islanders seem to regard the cruise ships as fruit for picking and we got 3rd world hassle at 1st world prices when walking the streets. We had previously arranged a dolphin swim with Dolphin Encounters over the internet. They are not the most organized of companies but the whole family loved this - do it if you can, but book months in advance as space is limited. You are boated out to an idyllic island and small groups (8 people in ours) have about 40 minutes of really close contact with these marvelous mammals. Take a towel, its $15 for the cheapest if you have to buy one there. You can buy a video of the event after for around $50. The following day was a day at sea. In fact all the ship did was go round in circles. This is fine because being on the ship was a pleasure, but another port of call, or indeed 2 days at Castaway Cay would have been much better. Castaway Cay was great, a really beautiful island. Get off the boat early if you are planning to stay on the beach near the boat, as the hammocks soon get snapped up. Towels are handed out as you get off the boat. There are plenty of loungers to go round. There are 2 snorkeling trails (equipment hire extra!!) with lots to see (fish, artifical reef which needs some time to become interesting, and I even saw a turtle). The snorkelling area is netted off from fish with big teeth and is watched by quite zealous lifeguards who don't like you swimming outside of the rope. Lunch is barbeque food which took about 40 minutes to get because of queues. No bicycles were available for hire because the hurricane had scrapped them, but a walk of about a mile past the adults only beach brings you to a deserted but beautiful sandy area where you can happily play Robinson Crusoe (no shark net though). I would head straight here with a picnic on a return visit. The debarkation was pretty grim as a non US citizen. We were told that we had had to present ourselves at 6.30 to US immigration in one of the bars on board. In fact we overslept and were woken at 7.00 with a phone call and did not have to queue at all. I'd recommend this approach, as frankly getting up at that hour is most un-holiday like, and it is being done purely to allow Disney time to clean the boat before the next trip which leaves in the afternoon. Still the immigration officers were surprising pleasant. Overall I would highly recommend this as a fantastic family holiday. Surrender to the atmosphere and you'll love it. Don't imagine that you'll get away without spending money on board, the cheapest bottle of wine with dinner was $26, cokes etc are $2, tips are expected, Nassau is expensive and things like snorkeling equipment add up. But go, you'll love it. We did.

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Nov 30, -0001

Western Caribbean

Having read others reviews, I decided it was my duty to provide my two cents worth. Past cruisers have said, "once you cruise, you won't want to vacation ANY other way" and, quite frankly, I can now say I agree 110%. My husband and I took our 1st cruise with our daughter, 12 and son, 8 in Sept 2002. Wanting a wholesome atmosphere and a fairly predictable lot of fellow cruisers, we invested what I considered a small fortune in our choice

of a 7 night W. Caribbean Disney Cruise on the Magic. I must admit I was concerned it might not be as "magical" as the promotional video and brochures lead to believe . . but I was so, so wrong. It was better!!! It was worth every penny and these memories will DEFINITELY last a lifetime. From the moment we boarded, we were treated like royalty. The ship was immaculate. The room adorable. Beds incredibly comfortable . . I slept like a baby . .lulled by the gently wave motion perhaps. I thought I'd feel trapped/confined, but no. So much space, many places to call your own. The attention to detail was incredible. The kid's program was phenomenal. The counselors were so patient, nurturing, considerate. They truly gave their all to make this the vacation of the kids AND the parents' lifetimes. The pagers provided gave that added reassurance, esp. when my husband and I left the ship to explore St. Thomas with the kids onboard. Our hostess Lily was sweet and attended to our room not once or twice, but what seemed numerous times a day when we were out . . . picking up after us, replacing the constant barrage of towels from swimming or single tissue thrown in the trash. Whether it was the towel animals at turndown or her gentle, unobtrusive manner, we could not have been in better hands. Unless . . by our servers in the dining rooms who attended to us throughout our cruise. They knew our desires before we could communicate them! Carved my daughter's steak, tucked my chair in nightly, and would never settle for bringing ONE extra roll rather than a basket! Our servers, Jean from France and Marvin from Honduras, became part of our family before the week was out. How we still smile and miss them! My expectations were for fairly patronizing, tip hungry, servers and room attendants . . FAR FROM IT! These people aim to please. I never sensed for a moment any wrongful motives, though they worked so very hard and were certainly most deserving of our gratuities. The shows were incredible, worthy of Broadway. Not one night was I disappointed. The food was equally pleasing, from the posh Palo to our regular 3 dining room choices. Topsiders is a great choice for breakfast, but don't waste your time (settling for ho-hum) at other mealtimes. Our trip was only the 2nd time the Magic visited the port of San Juan. Hurricanes prevented us from taking our planned itinerary. Many were disappointed, but we credit Captain Tom for taking us to pretty, sunny weather . .wherever that might be. And how could we complain about enjoying not 1, but 2 days at Disney's wonderful Castaway Cay where I swam with Sting Ray and held a starfish, sea urchin and sand dollar that I'd found on the ocean floor. By the way, if you have not visited the Caribbean and wonder if that water could be as wonderful as it looks, IT IS! Soft sand, warm, turquoise colored water! It was heavenly and time stood still. I could write so much more, but will conclude now. We cannot wait to return. After 12 yrs. of being a SAHM, I've started a part-time job just so we can cruise again some day. Thanks for reading this far and if you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try to help. P.S. Get a verandah room, it is worth it!!!!

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Nov 30, -0001

Western Caribbean

I sailed with my family for a seven night cruise aboard the Disney Magic in August 2002. I must admit I was a bit reluctant to return to a Disney cruise after being very disappointed by a four night cruise in 1998. The first cruise was boring with very dull ports of call, but, as we are members of the Disney Vacation Club, we thought we would try out the new seven night cruise. I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements not only in

the selection of ports of call, but also in service and food quality. The ship itself is a stunner – beautiful, sleek lines reminiscent of the golden age of cross-Atlantic cruises. A white top structure and yellow lifeboats complement a dark blue hull. A real beauty! Inside, the décor is subtle but elegant. Rooms are certainly not spacious, but comfortable. We had a Category 6 room – which includes a verandah. This was a great place to go to get some fresh air, and a little elbow room. Food at all of the meals was excellent – for breakfast and lunch you have the option of buffet or table service; dinners are rotated among three dining rooms with different themes each night. Both our server and assistant server were wonderful. The entertainment fell into two general categories- very good and embarrassingly bad. OK, it’s Disney, so I’m not expecting Vegas style entertainment – but “Morty the Magnificent” was horrible – a script that was so bad I found myself cringing, and songs that wouldn’t have made the cut into a Saturday morning cartoon. On the flip side – “Hercules” was excellent with a terrific cast and great topical humor – Hades stole the show. This show, with some additions, could follow “The Lion King” to Broadway. The lounge entertainers were quite good – particularly as they are limited by Disney language and subject restrictions. The ports of call this time around were much more interesting – Key West, Cozumel and the Cayman Islands, as well as the mandatory stop at Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. I have only one major complaint about Disney cruise ships– for God’s sake, add a casino! The ESPN sports bar on the top deck was deserted for the entire cruise; convert it into a small casino. I understand Disney’s desire to present a wholesome family image, but c’mon, it’s 2002 – gambling isn’t exactly a sin anymore. On a final note, Disney has the best service in the hospitality industry. No request is unreasonable, everyone is ready to help at any time. They really do make a traveler feel as though he was the only one on board.

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  • Value

Nov 30, -0001

Western Caribbean

This was my 3rd cruise overall but first one with kids and while I was looking forward to it, I was also a bit apprehensive about the logistics of traveling with kids. This cruise more than exceeded my expectations. Everything was well-organized from getting on the boat, getting off the boat, meals, luggage delivery, shore excursions, etc. The best part was that the kids were the focus of the trip (although lots of stuff for grown-ups too) and that

made us parents able to relax and enjoy ourselves too. Food was overall excellent - on par with other cruising experiences. Appreciated that the kids menu went beyond the typical chicken fingers/hamburger/pizza/mac-n-cheese menu to include different things every night like pork chops, pasta and vegetables, etc. We dined in Palo one night (without kids) and the meal was really excellent. Only drawback was having a single beverage station on the 9th floor. Would have appreciated more availability of (free) beverages on the 3rd-5th floors. Excellent. We had a curtain divider between where the kids slept and where we slept, so we didn't have to time our "lights out" for the kids bedtime. Stateroom host was very accomodating about having the bunk set up for naptime. Rooms were clean - split bathroom a big plus. Balcony was a nice size. Great - we enjoyed the movies, evening entertainment and had plenty of "character" time. We did not take advantage of any of the kids club activities but heard they were great. Pirate's party left a little to be desired - didn't start until 9:30 pm and food wasn't served until 10:30 pm. Leave the little ones in the stateroom for this night. Would recommend all of the evening shows - everyone in our group from the 3 year old to the grandparents - enjoyed them. Enjoyed the nautilus excursion on Grand Cayman (perfect for young kids). This was our only shore excursion but it was extremely well organized and easy to manage. Castaway Cay was my favorite stop because it had everything you needed for a beach day easy accessible. Could have done without Cozumel but we saw it on a rainy day, so that may be an unfair review. We spent 7 nights on Disney Magic visiting Key West, Cayman, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay. Our weather was overall good but we had 2 cool/overcast/rainy days. We rarely were at a loss for something to do. Topsiders buffet was great for breakfast and lunch and the dining rooms were all wonderful for dinner. Getting on and off was extremely easy and well organized. Very little wait time anywhere and we were always able to get good seats for the evening shows. All the cruise staff were amazing - friendly, helpful, and genuinely interested in exceeding our expectations. Castaway Cay was great!

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