|04-22-2013, 01:12 PM||#1|
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Apr 2012
Cruising the Magic Without Our Kids
Intro: On April 16th, 2013 my husband and I sailed a four night to Cozumel on the Disney Magic. Last April we did a four night on the Dream with our two kids (ages 8 and 10 at the time). This was our very first vacation without kids. On this cruise we were able to participate in some of the adult exclusive activities on board.
The day before our cruise we drove into Galveston and stayed at the Galvez. The hotel was nice, and had the feel of a Victorian era gone by. Our room was small, but well appointed and clean. We had fun exploring the sea wall shops across from our hotel. If you have time the day before I highly recommend dinner at Gaido's. Every time we go to Galveston we try to eat dinner there. Be sure to try the Pecan Crunch for dessert. It is made fresh in house each day.
The next morning we ordered room service for breakfast. The Galvez offers transportation to the port and back so you can leave your car in their covered secure parking. My husband and I wanted the freedom of being able to leave right after the cruise so we opted to park at BOI parking. The parking is cadie corner from the port and an easy walk. The parking attendant was very friendly and when we returned we called and he had our car pulled out and ready to go. We were also able to pre pay online.
We arrived at the gate around 9:30am and already a line had formed. They didn't let anyone into the building until around 9:45am. Since we were Castaway Club members we were able to check in through a shorter line and were given a boarding number of 14.
No one was allowed on the ship until 12:45pm. Boarding was a bit muddled. It was hard to hear number announcements and the lady at the gate did not check boarding numbers so many people just boarded ahead of their number.
Once on board we headed to Parrot Cay for a buffet lunch and then toured the ship. The spa offered some specials for the day, and my husband and I took advantage of the couple's massage and rainforest rasoul. We booked the massage for 4:30pm that day and did the rasoul the following day. The massage was amazing, but we could have skipped the rasoul. After being on the Dream last year, I would say that the rainforest room was much better on the Dream. I doubt I would use the rainforest room on the Magic.
We had late dining, and since our kids weren't with us we opted to try it out this time around. We were able to request a private table prior to the cruise and we did in fact have a table for just the two of us. Typically we are early dinner eaters and eating at 8:15pm was rough. I doubt I would do it again. One night we skipped our normal rotation and had dinner at Palo. Palo lived up to the hype. We had 6:15pm reservations on Pirate Night. If we could have eaten there every night we would have. It was peaceful, and we enjoyed watching the sunset over the ocean. Our waiter was Laslo and he was fantastic! I had the beef ravioli and my husband had the sea bass. Both did not disappoint. For dessert we both had the chocolate soufflé. We also ate at Palo for brunch. It was really good as well, but I would say dinner was better.
Our main dining was really a huge disappointment. Our servers were not good at all. Neither seemed to enjoy their job. Last year on the Dream our servers went above and beyond. My husband and I wondered if service was lacking because we didn't have kids with us. However, one morning at Parrot Cay our drink server was Ricardo. He was superb! He asked us if we had kids back at home, and when we told him that we did, he showed us how to fold some napkins to show them when we got home. He even asked what table we were at for dinner and said he would come by and say hello. We wished we had him for dinner.
Our room had a balcony (6086) and was mid ship. The room was very comfortable and our room attendant was very nice (Charlie). I know I was curious about the condition of the ship, since it is going into dry dock soon. Honestly, the ship was in great condition. Disney, in my opinion, corners the market in this area. They are constantly cleaning, scrubbing, or painting to keep everything looking fresh. Our room on the Magic was every bit as good as it was on the Dream. For our next cruise I think I would be just as comfortable with a porthole window. We honestly didn't use the balcony much. Our neighbors were heavy smokers and often times we could smell smoke from inside our room. I will say that being in mid ship was great as far as motion of the ship goes. We seemed to feel motion the most at the very front. In fact, the ladies in the spa told us that they really get motion there.
For our excursion we chose the Eco Tour and Snorkeling. When we arrived in our room on the first day our tickets were waiting for us. We were instructed to meet in one of the lounges at 9:30am. Two other tour groups met there as well. Basically you check in with a cast member and they give you a colored sticker for your group. We were yellow Minnie. They also provide towels for you to take with you. When it is time, a cast member escorts you off the boat and then you look for a sign with your color and character. Our tour guide was Al and he was fantastic. He did a great job taking care of us and keeping us all together. He even snorkeled with us and made sure we stayed in a group. I would highly recommend this tour! It was a good mix of snorkeling and exploring. Al was full of interesting info on the island, the Mayan culture, and even what makes a good tequila (apparently Blue Agave). I think the kids on this tour had fun as well. At one stop, Al set up a Piñata for the kids. It was filled with bags of Mexican candy. I thought that was a really nice touch. We were back to the port by 3pm and had about 30 minutes to shop. We had to be back on the boat by 3:45pm.
Weather and Waves
Our last full day was at sea. Really the only day of nice weather was our Cozumel day. The last day started off over cast and dreary. Late morning it grew darker and much more windy. By lunch, the waves were pretty sizable and the ship was really rocking. I even noticed some of the cast members seemed impressed by the amount of rocking on the boat. My husband started to feel the effects, and had to take some bonine and put on some sea bands. I never felt sick and actually thought the rocking and waves were fun. Weird, I know. We did notice that sick bags were placed around the ship that day. By the time we at dinner at 8:15pm the waves had considerably settled down. The captain did make an announcement at lunchtime and briefed us on the weather. I felt totally safe and knew that Disney would go above and beyond to keep us safe and comfortable. We grabbed a Ginger Ale from one of the bars and one of the bar tenders told us that the busier you are, the less you notice the waves. He said he was a pilot back home and had lots of experience with motion sickness. His advice was to stay active and keep your mind off of it. He also said lying down can sometimes make it worse. Taking his advice, we headed to the Rockin D Lounge for some Bingo. I think it helped, because after that my husband felt much better!
The Disney Difference
All and all, my husband and I agreed that we enjoyed the Dream better than the Magic. Really it all boils down to personal preference. To me, the Magic seemed more crowded. The kids pools really were tiny and looked like kid soup. The adult pool seemed larger than the kid pool. I think features like the Aqua Duck and Mid Ship Detective Agency also help with crowd control.
While our dining team was unforgettable, I did see touches of Disney magic other places on the ship. When we boarded the ship after a long day in Cozumel, cast members were passing out ice cold wash rags. Such a nice treat after a hot day on land. On our last day at sea the weather turned cold quickly, and I noticed a cast member on deck passing out warm blankets to people. Since this was our second Disney Cruise, we were given Castaway Club lanyards. When we wore them just about every cast member we encountered, welcomed us back. Someone was always cleaning. For this germaphobe, it was a nice thing to see. Our last night on board we stayed up late and attended the Pop Culture game show and 80's trivia. This was the most hilarious thing ever. You are divided into two teams and assigned a Cast Member to head up your team. Our team lead was Andy from England. Andy was a hoot! He led our group on the dance floor and got us to all dance some of the same moves to intimidate the other team. I don't think I have laughed so hard!
While on board you can purchase an Internet package, or pay $.75 per minute. We bought the lowest package and it worked great for our 4 night cruise. I never tried to connect in our room with our iPad. We always went down to the lounge near Parrot Cay. They had about 6 or 7 computers. I never had any problem logging on to check my email. I loved being able to stay connected to the GrandParents and getting reports from our kids. We also made a short phone call from our cell phone when we docked in Cozumel and were able to call just fine.
All and all, we loved our time on the Magic. I would love to sail the Wonder and the Fantasy someday as well. Being from Texas, it was so easy to get to Galveston. I am sad that Disney is pulling out of Texas next year. The Disney Boards were so helpful in planning this cruise as well as our cruise last year. I f you are cruising Disney for the first time or 100th time, I have no doubt that you will enjoy yourself!
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