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Old 05-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #1
MC0810's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 338

Disney Magic Review-1st timer

Just got back from our First Disney Cruise on the Magic, 5 day keywest, nassau, castaway. Overall it was a great cruise, but did have a few bumps along the way. However, we did book a "dummy date" on board and hope to sail again 2013 or 2014 with Disney!

I read disboards several times a week for months before our cruise. Doing so gave me a lot of tips, BUT it also raised my expectations of DCL soo high, and in some cases they were not met.

Park N Cruise: We did save over $40 using Park N Cruise, however getting to the port took much longer than I expected. It took over 40 minutes from the time we got on the bus until we were dropped off at the DCL terminal. Waited for bus, then bus comes and we are told to wait another 10 minutes...then people show up and took forever to get on the bus and get their act together, then the driver drops them off first(which took additional time waiting in long bus lines) at their cruise terminal and lastly drops us off. I dont understand why the driver wouldnt drop us off first since we were first on the bus and sat so patiently for so long, not to mention we had 2 crabby toddlers who were tired of waiting. Not sure if we will use Park n Cruise again, felt like we wasted a lot of time. But if we need to save some money, I would give them another shot.

check in: going through security and checking in was a breeze, we were on the ship in no time! We were traveling w/ grandma & grandpa and had connecting reservations. When we got our room keys we noticed we had different tables AND different dining rotation despite myself and my MIL calling disney to request to sit together on 3 different occasions, each time we called we were told not to worry about it because we were connected reservations. I was shocked, why would disney split us up AND have us have different dining rotations? Off to another line to try to get it straightened out. We were told it would be hard to get us a table together but they would try. So for the rest of the day until dinner I was stressing about it, we were celebrating my sons birthday that night and would have been so sad if his grandparents weren't there. 30 minutes before dinner we found out they got us a table together, PHEW!

Dining: We thought the food on the magic was the same as any other cruise line, very hit and miss, but overall we enjoyed it.Our MDR servers were great though. They were much better with handling kids than other cruise lines. They did a great job keeping up with our 1 1/2 year olds demands and keeping my sons entertained. We felt they def.excelled over other cruise lines. Loved how you rotate to different dinning rooms, also love the crayons they provide on the table. I have a huge sweet tooth I thought the desserts were seriously lacking, especially the pirate night buffet. Sure they look pretty but were nothing to write home about. However you can NEVER go wrong with mickey bars, chocolate croissants,krispy kreme donuts and cookies. Really liked the sandwiches at Goofys Galley. Room service NEVER took the recommended time they gave on the phone, but was good every time we ordered.

Palo: after reading on disboards about how GREAT Palo is I was really looking forward to it but instead left disappointed. The food and service we recieved at dinner was just OKAY, not worth the extra charge in my opinion. We actually liked the adult pay restaurant on our Last Carnival cruise better. Didnt really like the decor, The masks walking in were kind of freaky, felt like they could have made it a little classier/fancy. Felt a little rushed by the server and didn't really explain himself well. Food was slightly better than the MDR but I personally felt it was over rated. The BIGGEST disappointment was the "famous Palo chocolate souffle", I was soo looking forward to it, it sounded delicious and the photos some of you guys posted had my mouth watering.The server puts the plate in front of me, Theres a huge smile on my face as I poor the white chocolate all over it. I get my little spoon to take a bite and then thought "thats it!?????" I'm a big desert lover and was sorely disappointed. The reservation guy for Palo came to our table during dinner to say hi, he then went on to tell us to enjoy ourselves because he just got off the phone with the kids club and the kids are doing just fine and having fun. My kids were never at the kids club so I thought it was just really disingenuous and cheesy.

Inside stateroom, was clean, good size, plenty of storage, room steward did a good job. However the room was showing some wear and tear, especially the sofa. That thing had holes in it,huge stains and looked dirty.I got a diaper wipe to wipe it down a little and lots of dirt came off that thing, it really needs to be replaced ASAP, our family's rooms sofa had holes and looked dirty too. I thought the brown toilet brush left by the toilet was also pretty gross. I Laughed SOOO hard when the comedians made fun of the dirty toilet brush. I laughed even harder when I came back to the room later that night and a NEW bathroom brush was in the room Loved the towel animals, def. did a better job and was more creative than at the Disney resorts, the little dwarf candy was a nice touch and the wave Phones were AWESOME!! Oh and the H2o products were great!

Disney excels in this department, enjoyed the Villains show the most. The comedians were also GREAT (forget their names, they were 2 guys) Husband and I were still laughing at some of the jokes 2 days later. Kids enjoyed the characters (wished they had some pixar/disney junior ones though), and the pirate party/fireworks. The princess REALLY looked like the actual ones. One night around 10:30 my husband and I were walking around the halls of deck 5 and saw snow white aimlessly walking around by herself, there was no one around (she didnt even see us behind her) and she was in complete character, dancing and singing and she walked down the hall by herself..very cute.

The ship: I really enjoyed the small size of the ship, it was easy to navigate, didn't look old (except for a missing elevator button on deck 7 that never got replaced). Was VERY clean, the kiddie pool was nice (in the morning before it turned into total chaos) the adult pool looked nice and empty when we passed by. It didn't have rock climbing walls, mini golf or any of that but we only had one sea day so no biggie. The kids club was REALLY nice when we went to the open family hours, we didn't sign the boys up but will when they get a little older. The movie theater with the latest movies was GREAT. Got to see half of Chimpanzee, would have saw more movies if we had more time.

Cast Members: All were friendly, just like on our other cruises. MDR servers were really good though. No wow moments to share.

Health Center: For those that are wondering its around $180 just to see the doctor (tests,perscriptions etc are more) and around $250 if you need to see the doctor during after hours when they are closed (after 7pm). My boys both picked up some strange upper respiroty type of infection on the ship, lasted about 2 days, lots of coughing and slight runny nose but no fever. I noticed A LOT of kids seemed to have had the SAME cough. We washed our hands a lot too.

Castaway Cay: My expectations were def. met!!! What a great little island. Very well thought out, just perfect. had a nice bike ride (loved that they had little water stations along the path). The BBQ was really good, and fruit stand was refreshing. THANK YOU disboards for giving the tip on getting the wagon. No Castmembers seemed to know about free beachtoys(shovels/pals) to use but I bought a cute Disney castle and pale toy for around $5, not a bad price! One of the life gaurds working Pelican Plunge talked with me about what it was like living on the island. She said she loved it, that cruises come 5 days a week and the other 2 days they do a lot of prep work. She said theres around 80 cast members working there, that they have free internet and a chef. She said they have great security and she feels very safe. Sawa cute little black cat who was getting a ton of attention. 2 Would love to spend several days there. I hope one day they also build a pool there!

Shutters: we took ALOT of photos,I would have gone broke paying $20 per 8x10 so I went with the $299 cd and photo package, well worth it. I havent gotten professional photos of the kids in awhile so I was satisfied. I also felt the quality of the photos were better than other cruise lines. A few (maybe 2) of the photographers seemed a little crabby though, yes my kids are small and don't look, but don't get aggravated, try your best to get their attention to look!

When we disembarked one of our suitcases was missing (the one with ALL of our clothes & shoes) we waited around for a long time hoping it would show up. The ladies that worked the luggage area were very sweet, they all tried to help us (while the porters all swarmed us like prey trying to get us to leave so they can hurry and get a tip), the supervisor was on her radio the entire time and would come and get us anytime lost luggage would come in. They seemed very caring and helpful, they encouraged us to head home and would call us with any updates, they told us they have an over 90% luggage return rate and were confident it would show up. about an hour later as we were driving home I got a call that our luggage was found at one of the Disney resorts and that they would ship it back to us and we would get it in a few days.

Overall: We had a great time on DCL. I do believe disboards inflated my expectations (my fault lol) however It was a great cruiseline and is now our cruise line of choice while my children are small and in love with the Mouse. We Love Disney World and we Love cruising, so incorporating the two of them together is perfect. DCL is obviously more $$$$, but you are paying for the Disney Brand and for bringing a bit of the Disney Parks onto the ship, oh and Castaway Cay..The BEST private island. With that said, I would still not hesitate to cruise with other cruise lines in the future if there is a great deal and a better itinerary. We could always save money on another cruise line and then spend some time at a Disney Park.

extra review, ATLANTIS Aqua Adventure: Was it worth the price for just a few hours? Probably not, but we did love it!! (is there a cheaper way to get into atlantis?would love to know!). There were so many pools to choose from, slides, tube rides, lazy river, the aquariums were great, it was beautiful!! So glad for the food voucher (that place is expensive). The employees were all very nice and helpful. The beach looked just OKAY. Overall We had a great time and recommend it. We took turns watching the kids, doing the slides.

Just some tips:

Bring soap for the bathroom to wash your hands in the stateroom, picked up a softsoap dispenser for 99cents at cvs on sale. Without it you only have a bar soap.

Dont forget to get a wagon at Castway cay, get it right when you get off the 2nd tram stop (family beach?) they go quick! Great to drag the kids through the sand and to load up with food!

I highly recommend these bags to put stinky diapers in when your traveling and in your state room, they are scented and keep your cabin smelling fresh:

Parents, of infants/toddlers I highly recommend these disposable table placemates that the kids can color on from, we used them for every meal and put the food right on it instead of on a plate that tends to be thrown and dumped. SOOO glad I brought them Great to color on, keep their food off the dirty table. to use in the MDR, topsiders, etc.

if your child has a sippy cup/bottle/paci I highly recommend a drink leash:

Last edited by MC0810; 05-24-2012 at 09:02 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes
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