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View Full Version : Our fantastic 7/7/01 Magic Cruise!


mmouse37
07-19-2001, 02:48 PM
Hey everyone...this won't be too long - I hope, but I just had to add our 2 cents so to speak about our great cruise on 7/7.

It was DH 44, DD 17, DS 16, DD 13 and ME 42. We were travelling with another family with almost the same age groups. They also sailed with Disney before. We took the Cat. 4 Family Suite. We have booked this cat 3 times before on our 3 and 4 day cruises, and enjoyed it just as much on the 7 day. Well, let me just say that the 7 day cruise was more fantastic than I imagined. I knew what the Disney cruises were all about, but the increased activities, better food and shows just made the 7 day all the better! I could not belive Disney could top themselves, but they did.

What an improvement from the Maiden Voyage of the Disney Magic back in '98. On that cruise anything that could did go wrong (no activities, long lines, no Cruise Director, Tide in the hot tub....yep, some kid through a box of Tide in the hot tub....slippery bubbles everywhere... We really didn't mind, it was our first cruise and we knew Disney would make good - they did (sent us a 50% off coupon for our next Disney cruise!) It helps to write letters!!!!

I am not going to go into a day by day report...I thought I would just highlight my observations.....

We got on the Castaway Club check in line at the terminal because we are repeat passengers thinking it would go faster than the regular line but it seemed to take twice as long to check in. I even had all our paperwork filled out ahead of time, had the passports out, etc. I don't know if it was because they were new people or what, but it took quite a long time. Definitely get on the boarding line after you check in. Leave one person in line and switch off sitting down. We were about 100th in line and after us the line snaked through the whole terminal. Parrot Cay had a great buffet, we thought we would try PC since we had always been at Topsiders before. It was nice to have lunch in A/C and beautiful tropical surroundings. It was a good way to start the cruise! The food on the 7 day was far superior than what we had on both the 3 and 4 day. Our wait staff (Karl-server, Pele'-asst. server, and Karoly (head server) and the service in the dining room was outstanding. On our other Disney cruises the head waiter only showed his face on the last night of the cruise. On this one, Karoly came to our table every single night. He even cut the shrimp out of the shells for the kids!!

Of all the "fast food" on board, my family raved about the chicken fingers. Disney does know how to do chicken fingers. We felt Disney pushed the "wine package" a bit too strongly. We had to tell about 4 different people that we were not interested. I think the Palo reservation hype was just that...hype. Every time we walked by the restaurant there were tons of empty tables. When we ate at Palo's the last night of the cruise the dining room was only about 1/3 full. Ressies for Palo on the 7 night cruise are much easier to come by.

The formal nights were great! What a pleasure to see most everyone dressed up. Everyone seems to walk with their heads a little higher when they are dressed nicely. The characters seemed very accessible throughout the cruise. The Mother Goose story time in the lobby looked great for little kids. One thing we noticed regarding kids on this cruise was that the 12-15 year olds seemed to band together and would roam the ship. Some of them got pretty loud at times. They would even congregate on the upper stairways making it difficult to pass. I told my DD 13 to stay outside on deck with her new friends. There was enough to do out there. The counselors in Common Grounds told the kids that this was the largest group of teens 13-17 they ever had on board! My kids were thrilled. They made many new friends. We did not see our kids except at dinner and an occasional glimpse of them on deck. They said it was the best vacation they ever had!!! I would have to agree!!!!

We were invited to the Castaway Club reception with Captain Henry and staff and we were quite surprised to see how many other past passengers there were. We were told over 300 return guests on our cruise. They also said that was the most of any cruise so far....fact or fiction it still must be a feather in Disney's cap. If the product was not great, you would not have that many return guests. It was fun talking with everyone and comparing previous Disney cruise experiences!

We took the Orient Beach shore excursion in St. Maarten. We booked the night before and had no trouble getting it. We also booked the St. Thomas beach day tour and booked that 20 minutes before the tour left!!!, again, no problem getting it. Both were very nice shore excursions. Orient Beach was a bit nicer....with great lounge chairs with big thick cushions and umbrellas. Lunch and two beverages were also included. Take note, Orient Beach has a section that is clothing optional!!!! Prepare your children.... you will see bare breasts and other parts!!! Also beware...in St. Maarten we bought round trip water taxi passes and were told the taxi runs all day and night. Wrong.... the water taxi stopped at 6 pm. Had we been told that, we would not have bought round trip passes. We were about 50 feet from the taxi (within plain view of the skipper) and yelled to hold the taxi but it took off with empty seats and without us!!! We waited around for awhile and realized no more water taxis were coming. We took a cab back to the ship. Another warning.....our kids ages 16-17 were offered drugs several times during their stroll through town. They walked by a Casino to check it out and were all offered drinks without having to show I.D. I would not recommend letting teens wander alone for too long or after dark. A different element surfaced on the street when the tourists started to head back to the ships! I would still let me teens go ashore by themselves, as long as ground rules regarding return to the ship were understood. They really felt like they had a vacation. We gave them pretty free reign and they handled the new found freedmon very well. I truly felt they could stay out late onboard and enjoy their new friends. All the older teens seemed to be a great bunch...as long as they were not jumping off .

What can I say about Castaway Cay.....it is heaven on earth. It is truly a paradise. I was just sorry that man had a heart attack and had to be airlifted off the island. That must have been so traumatic for the him and his family. My kids watched the helicopter land and take him away. It was so strange to be at Castaway Cay after dark. Even the crew thought it strange....too bad we couldn't have stayed on the beach longer!!!!

The laundry facility on deck 7 was wonderful. The machines had LCD read outs on them so you knew when the load would be finished. The price was very reasonable at $1.00 a wash and $1.00 to dry. The Beach Club at WDW was $2.00 each and the machines not nearly as nice. One tip...I brought along those new Whisk laundry tablets....they worked great....they come in individual packages and there was no mess at all. Just pop them in on top of the clothes. I noticed that the laundry detergent dispenser was sold out a few times. I don't normally do laundry on vacation but my family seemd to be extremely messy this trip!!!! I was glad the machines were available. The iron came in handy also!

The shows were all top notch. The juggler they had on board was incredible.....we saw him in the show and then again in Rockin Bar D. He juggled everything....including the kitchen sink! He even juggled a bowling ball!!!! I really loved the "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer Show" It was alot of fun. Some real good trivia questions.

After we left the ship.....boo hoo!!!!! we headed over to WDW at the Beach Club. Had three great rooms there, but we all really missed the ship. We realized what a great value the cruise was. It was quite evident when we kept reaching our hand in our pockets to pay for everything!!!! Even the kids missed the accessability of food at every turn. We missed our servers at dinner and someone to turn down the bed and make funny animals for us. We were definitely spoiled. Don't get me wrong...WDW was great...we just now have a special spot in our hearts for the Magic.

Well I think that might be about it. So sorry it turned out longer than I anticipated. I kind of got on a roll. I know you will understand my enthusiasm.

If I had to sum up the cruise I would have to say that it CLASSIC ELEGANCE WITH A TOUCH OF DISNEY WHIMSEY!!!!

If you are are the fence about the 7 day cruise.....jump off and climb aboard!!!!

Thanks for listening......MJ (mmouse37)

1979 - Poly - Honeymoon - Poly rate was $65 per night!
1982 - Poly
1983 - Contemporary
1984 - Poly
1985 - Poly
1987 - Poly
1988 - Poly
1992 - 1st Disneyana Convention - Contemporary
1993 - 2nd Disneyana Convention - Disneyland Hotel
1993 - Port Orleans
1994 - Caribbean Beach
1995 - Dixie Landings
1996 - All Star Music
1997 - All Star Sports
1997 - Beach Club
1998 - Maiden Voyage of Disney Magic - Poly
1999 - 4 day Disney Magic - Beach Club
1999 - 3 day Disney Wonder - Swan
2000 - Coronado Springs
2001 Disneyland Paris Hotel New York
2001 - 7-Day Disney Magic
plus a few others I can't remember!



:jester:

leslieh
07-19-2001, 08:44 PM
mmouse - Good Report. We were on the cruise with you. I thought everything was top class. We had no problems, plenty of food. We did the 3 day wonder in 99 that was great also. I was just curious in your posts about all your trips, are you a DVC member. If not you should be. We have been there over thirty times since 1985. More since we bought DVC at OKW in '93. We used points for the cruise.

JanMa
07-19-2001, 11:29 PM
Thanks for the great report. I really like to
hear about teenagers enjoying themselves.
People keep asking me if I think my 13 year
old will have fun. They think that he is too
old and the cruise is geared towards younger
kids. (We all know better!) Thanks again for
the positive report. I'm getting even more
excited- if that's even possible!

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

:jester: Jan

tezb
07-20-2001, 12:23 AM
We were also on the 7/7 cruise last week and my 2 older teen sons (15 1/2 and 13) both said also that there were 300 teens on board...that is a lot. My teens also loved the cruise and had complete freedom since they can't get it at home as much. We rarely saw them except for dinner which we told them they had to come eat w/ us. Just curious your kids names?? My boys were Jeremy and Brandon from Calif. We just got pics back of their friends on the cruise. They really had fun (this is our 2nd cruise ..went on 4 day last July) and want to go again on the Western...probably not til 2003. Thanks for sharing your report..

mmouse37
07-20-2001, 10:39 AM
Hey leslieh,

To answer your question, no, we are not DVC members. This is a sore spot between hubby and myself. I wanted to join the first year it was available and I tried to convince him....but no luck. I know it would have paid for itself by now several times over. We drop so much money each time we go. I just keep rubbing it in that we should have joined! He can't get over the "time-share" stigma thats out there. I try explaining that you are not locked into the same week each year...but he is stubbord and doesn't want to listen. I keep trying though!!!!! My friend just joined a few months ago and loves it. When we were at the Beach Club in WDW after the cruise they were adding new DVC accommodations. They were building them right in front of the existing rooms, by the original bus stop. They relocated the bus stop closer to the Yacht Club side. I was just glad we could not see the construction from our rooms - what a bummer if we did.
MJ (Mary Jane):)

Credit Man
07-20-2001, 10:50 AM
Great report! Thanks for posting.

mmouse37
07-20-2001, 11:04 AM
Hi tezb

My 13 year old Allie spoke of some kids from California. Maybe it was your boys!!! She keeps telling she wants to go back on the cruise---but with all the same kids she met on this cruise!!!! I have never seen them so excited about a vacation. The 7 days really made a difference. We also just got pics back from the cruise. There was a whole group of them in the photos. It would be funny if our kids were in each others photos!! We were traveling with another family so Allie was also with a girl named Ashley from New Jersey (we are from New York). Our older kids were Brian 16, Keri 17, and Danielle 16. They hung out with kids from all over. One of them, Derek from Texas, was also staying at the Beach Club after the cruise so they got some extra time in with him. We are also thinking about 2003 for the Western.
Can't believe that a week ago today were at Castaway Cay!!!!

My DD Keri 17 is going back to St. Maarten tomorrow for 2 weeks. She is staying with her friend and friends family in a time-share. At least she got a feel for the place before she left.

MJ (Mary Jane) mmouse37

mmouse37
07-20-2001, 11:12 AM
Hi JanMa

My kids have never been so excited about vacation. They keep talking about it. We love WDW but my older ones have become a bitjaded about going to WDW. We go mainly for me!!! My kids laugh at me because I am so into Disney. I even had my brother-in-law make me a hardwood Mickey about 3 feet high to inlay into our hardwood floors!!!! Now I am going to have him work on the cruise line logo (ears with the three waves behind it).

Back to teens on cruise....this cruise is for teens of any age. They all get into it. My 16 and 17 year olds did not spend as much time in Common Grounds as they did on other cruises but made so many friends and they loved the freedom it allowed them. I was not on their back every minute about where they were going. It was quite a culture shock when we got home and I reinstated the curfews!!!!

Don't hesitate about taking this cruise. We would do it again in a second....probably on the Western in 2003. If you have any questions....please just give a yell.

MJ (Mary Jane) mmouse37

tezb
07-20-2001, 11:25 AM
Mary Jane...my son Brandon (13) says he knows Allie and has been talking to her on line! He knows all the names you mentioned...even Ashley. They too want to go again but w/ the same kids. Actually before this cruise, my kids were saying they didn't think it would be as fun compared to last year, because the kids from last year wouldn't be there. Well they had just as much fun ...even more since they had a full week to get to know people. I was just thinking also that at this time last week we were on the cruise. Doesn't seem possible since we're back at home and continuing with the usual. It's a small world after all...my boys are Jeremy 15 1/2, Brandon 13 and Justin 9 1/2...from Northern California.

mmouse37
07-20-2001, 11:42 AM
hey tezb

I just spoke with Allie and she sure does know your sons!!!! She confirmed she was talking with Brandon on line. She couldn't believe I was talking to their mom (I think it's their mom!) She said Oh....cool....we had so much fun with them!!!! Allie is very tall for her age....so if you have pics I am sure your son can pick her out!!! Ashley has super long hair. She told me to make sure I stay in touch for the 2003 cruise!!!

MJ

tezb
07-20-2001, 12:14 PM
MJ,,,my sons especially Brandon feel the same. they want us to pick the same week for the 2003 Western Cruise. We don't have dates yet but would probably go in early July again so to avoid hurricanes which are more likely in August, Sept, Oct. So far we've cruised both times in July and it's worked out. We remember Ashley because both my husband and I were surprised to hear she is only 13? She looked much older to us...very pretty girl.

mmouse37
07-20-2001, 12:49 PM
I would actually like to book soon to get choice of cabin and best price, but I don't think DH would go for it quite yet. Wait until he see's how much I charged at the shops on board!!!!! I didn't let me him see the final bill slipped under the cabin door. I tucked it away and reviewed it by myself!!!! My daughter will be starting college next Sept and I am hoping she will still want to come with us, but who knows. What category were you guys in. We were in Cat 4 Family Suite Cabin 8552 and our friends (who have Ashley - I'll pass on the compliment to her!) were in 8578. We love those cat 4's. Plenty of room. I would love to stay in the Cat 3's, and from reading these boards I would pick one of the bigger cabins in Cat 3. I just don't think the finances are there! I will have to keep saving!!!!

The timing of this cruise was perfect. I could not get over what great weather we had. We also had great weather when we went in July in both '98 and '99. Hubby and I went on the Wonder 3 day in Oct of 99 for our 20th anniv and we had some rain on embarkation day.

I brought along an extension cord which helped out tremendously. We also took the advice from these boards and brought along over the door shoe holder. My family thought I was crazy until they see how well it worked. It kept so many things off the floor and freed up clutter on the dressers.

I looked for people wearing green ribbons by the Goofy pool but I did not see anyone so I didn't know who was on these boards or not. They said there were about 80 people on the cruise the boards.

MJ

tezb
07-20-2001, 01:00 PM
How funny....We were in Room 8590 (close to you) and last year 8044, more mid ship. Next time we might go for the 2 rooms since kids are bigger...maybe one inside stateroom and one w/ verandah. Not sure. We liked the Cat 4 but just a bit crowded and each night I heard the boys coming in late. Can you book for 2003 now? We may wait til we have more points w/ DVC which won't be til end of year. Used all of our points for this last cruise.
I swore I wouldn't spend as much this time but I still did. I spent more on the first cruise but still bought the Shutters pics and didn't plan on doing it. Still spent more than I wanted. I know what you mean about your oldest. My oldest son will be 17 1/2 in 2003 and hope he;ll still have a good time. There were older teens so maybe he will. Did you oldest dtr still have fun this time and have enough to do?

I didn't commit to meeting everyone w/ green ribbons just because I wasn't sure if we would show up. Anyway, I happened to accidentally meet the guy Kurt who was in charge of the meet at the Goofy Pool. He was quite disappointed as he told me no one showed up for the meet! Or maybe just one person. He didn't know what happened to everyone since so many responded to meeting the day of the cruise. They had even brought gifs for the kids. I felt bad for them but told him everyone probably got busy or something and lost track of it.??

Let us know if you do book, maybe we can choose the same week. We're pretty open but do like July....

IowaMom
07-20-2001, 11:41 PM
Our families match up, well almost DH45, DD17, DS16, DD13, DD12 and myself. We are sailing for the first time at the end of Dec. on a 7 day. I have some questions if you don't mind. What activities did your DD13 enjoy, did she go to common ground? My 12 and 13 are very close, I know my DD12 will not be happy in the younger club. I am not sure what to do. What did your kids do at CC? How did they enjoy the excursions you did? and one more(for now) How did they dress for formal nights? Thanks for your report and hope you don't mind all the questions, I am sure I will have more. It nice to find someone with kids the ages of mine, that have cruised. Thanks Sherry

leslieh
07-22-2001, 08:01 PM
Me Too, I was so busy keeping the us and the other family in order that I did go to goofy pol. We watched the sail away party on the upper deck. I did not see any green ribbons. I kept asking people all week if they were on the DVC boards? Only found a few. I feel bad for Kurt, I didnt realize he went out of his way for a meet. Sorry.:(

mmouse37
07-23-2001, 10:43 AM
Hi - I would be happy to answer any questions that you have. I love talking about the cruise!!!!

Our families are quite similar in age....with six people travelling, what kind of accomodations are you staying in. Two cabins, I am assuming...anyway....when we cruised with Disney two years ago my then 11 year old did not like the Oceaneer Lab. She felt it had too much emphasis on computers and learning and she was on vacation!!!! Don't worry - it did not deter her from having fun. She just did not visit the club unless other friends were there. She spent most of her time on deck and in the pools. Believe me, the kids will find friends immediately and have a blast.

On this cruise Allie was old enough to go to Common Grounds but I don't think she spent that much time physically in CG. The first night there was a meet and greet for all the teens and she made new friends. There were so many teen that they spilled out into the pool area. They pretty much hung out on deck, went to movies, had lunch together, when to the the arcade, etc. I bet your 12 year old would fit right in with no problem. I didn't get the impression they checked ages at the door of CG....so maybe your 12 year old might be able to slip in for awhile. Or they could hang with your 13 year olds new friends.

My 16 (Brian) and 17 (Keri) years olds had a fantastic time. They did not get back to the room until about 2:30 each morning. They hung out with kids their age both in Common Grounds and elsewhere. All the kids onboard seemed to be a great bunch. There were one group of young teens that were a bit loud, but nothing terrible.

As far as shore excursions we did beach days at both St. M and St. T. The kids loved them. At St. Maarten they had jet ski rentals and the water was so beautiful we all just hung out and swam and sunned!

Allie also did the teen excursion in the evening at St. Maarten that was a disco cruise. She really enjoyed that. There was food and soft drinks served onboard.

I will be honest...I let my kids stay out very late on the cruise. I felt confident that they were behaving (I hope I was not living in a fantasy!!!). There are so many rules at home I wanted them to have a little freedom on their vacation! I told them if I found anything out that I didn't like I would pull their freedom privileges. My only request was that they have dinner with us each night. After dinner they could go find their friends. That worked out very well...which brings me to your question about formal night. My girls 13 and 17 both brought long formal gowns. I did not go out and buy them specifically for this cruise...they wore their dresses from their formal school dances. I thought it a great opportunity to get some usage out of the dresses. On the "more" formal night they wore their long dresses, and on the other formal night they wore regular evening type dresses. Most of the teens on board looked very nice for formal nights. My husband wore a dark suit both nights and I wore a long black skirt and two different "evening" blouses (some sparkly things on them), My 16 year old son put up a fuss about dressing up,,,but he did. He just wore a sports jacket, tie, and khaki slacks.

My biggest advice is don't over pack....during the day you hang out in your bathing suit and cover-up. I brought things I never, ever wore. I did bring an over the door shoe holder (a clear one approx.$15.00) that was a huge help - heard about in these boards. It helped organize all the shoes and sun tan bottles, sunglasses, etc. they are usually all over the floor and dressers. Bring singles for room service tips...

If there is anything else, please don't hesitate. Thanks.

(mmouse 37) Mary Jane

tezb
07-23-2001, 10:54 AM
Mary Jane,,,,we did exactly the same thing. Let our teen boys have freedom on the ship and they came in pretty late...sometimes 2-3:00 am! Our only request also was that they have dinner with us unless of course they were unable like the night of the teen dance cruise. We were the early sitting, Table 66.

mmouse37
07-23-2001, 11:25 AM
We were late sitting, Table 41. How did you like main seating? We always felt we might be too rushed to eat at 6:30. We would order room service to tide us over until 8:30 pm

MJ

tezb
07-23-2001, 11:39 AM
MJ,

We also did main seating last year and because it worked well, chose to do it again this time. Also because we didn't want to eat so late at night. There were times when it seemed to come too quickly, but glad to be done w/ dinner by 7:30 so we had the rest of the evening to do other things. My son Brandon keeps asking me if I've talked to you anymore lately....

Therese

mmouse37
07-23-2001, 02:28 PM
Hi Therese:

Allie just showed me her "Disney Cruise Memory Book" that she created and she has quite a few photos of Brandon!!! Very handsom young man!!! She said he was alot of fun to be with.

Also, I checked with Disney about the Western Sailing in July 2003. They do book already and beyond....into 2004 already! For a Cat 4. on July 19 (Western sails on the 5th and 19th of July) it was approx. $7800 for cruise, insurance and transfers. I did not ask for air at this time. I only paid $5100 w/o insurance and air this time. The July 5th sailing was slightly higher because they are considering it the holiday week.

Our friends we travelled with this time want to go again in 2002, but I don't know if we could swing it so soon. Talk to you soon.

MJ:)

tezb
07-23-2001, 04:53 PM
Mj,

So did you book already? Which week did you take July 19th? I can't believe they're already into 2004! We will not be going next year...we did this 2 yrs in a row and will take a break financially. We want to use our points but won't have enough til the end of this year. I wonder if we can book anyway??Will have to find out. Let me know if you did book already. Are you guys still going with the Cat 4? How many are you? We're 5 and kids getting older so don't know if we should maybe get 2 rooms on Deck 7?

ILuvDVC
07-23-2001, 08:07 PM
If I had to sum up the cruise I would have to say that it CLASSIC ELEGANCE WITH A TOUCH OF DISNEY WHIMSEY!!!!

I couldn't agree more . Awesome report! You are so right about the quality of the cruise....I liked going on the 3 and 4 day cruise...but loved the 7 day cruise. And the food was so much better. And, they even did the Baked Alaska on the last night.

Thanks for the report, and letting me relive the cruise again in your eyes :)

mmouse37
07-25-2001, 10:55 AM
Hi Therese,

No, we did not book yet,,,,I was still getting prices. Let me give you my e-mail address as this thread is getting pretty long!!!!
MMOUSE37@AOL.COM

Allie told me last night that you did book already (according to Brandon).

I am trying to get my family (I am one of 5 sisters who all have 3-4 kids) all to commit to a family reunion type cruise in 2003. I think we would probably go with 2 cabins for my immediate family because my older ones are talking about bringing friends with them. They will be 19 and 18 by then and I know they wouldn't want to share a room with us! I don't know all the logistics of how many total cabins I would need for the extended family....I also want to find out how many cabins constitute a group and if there is "group price". I'll keep you posted.

MJ

IowaMom
07-25-2001, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the info. we have two ajoining cabin booked in cat. 10.
We are going Dec.29th - Jan. 5th. I would love to have a veranda but not this cruise, am thrilled to be going at all. With 4 kids we always have to have two rooms and that really adds up. I have really trust worthy kids and I know there will be no problems with droping curfew while we are on the cruise. It will be nice for my DD to get some use out of all those formals from school dances that are hanging in her closet. Thanks

britt
08-16-2001, 02:37 PM
hi tezb i know ur son justin i was on the 7/7 cruise too. he hung aound with mike,ryan, and tex...does he talk to any of them? well write back!