|11-10-2013, 04:34 PM||#1|
Picture is Disney Wonder at Cabo San Lucas
Join Date: Feb 2012
Disney Magic November 6 to 10, 2013
Disney Magic November, 2013
We are just off the fourth cruise of the "Newly Re-Imagined Disney Magic," November 6 to 10, and we had a blast!
First, we stayed in Room 6105, a small interior room with a single (not split) bath. Myself, my wife, and daughters ages 15 and 13. The room was clean, the new bed and mattress was very comfortable, and our stateroom host was quick to make up the room each morning and evening. The toilet worked fine, the shower/tub drain was very slow, and the tile was fine but dingy. Of note, we did not care about dingy tile, I am just trying to be accurate. We had hot water; our sink could get very hot, our shower mildly hot. Water pressure in the shower was fair; the valve to switch from tub fill spout to shower would not completely close, so some water would go through the tub filler rather than the shower. As others have reported, we would occasionally find spots in hallways that had water either welling up from below or leaking from above.
Again, we were not upset by any of tile, water pressure, or water leaks; I want to paint a reasonably accurate picture of what you might expect. We had a great time. I know a couple people still had non-functioning toilets, but I did not hear many other complaints. I feel for those people: a toilet is really important.
The Atrium is beautiful. I love the carpet, the new wall / window trimmings, and the new layout. I did not miss the second stairway, and getting into Lumiere's was a much easier task.
Oceaneer's Lab and Oceaneer's Club are amazing! Truly upgraded. I wish I was a kid. Edge and Vibe are pretty much unchanged. Edge could have used a little pixie dust, but Vibe seems like a perfect hangout for teens. I don't see any need to redecorate there.
The pools and slides are great. The change from Mickey's Pool to Aqualab with Twist N Spout slide and a Nephew's Splash Zone is perfect. The slide is very fun (they were letting adults on it), the water splash park for kids provides a lot more entertainment than just a pool, and the new pool is fine.
The Aquaduck is a blast. The wait could get up to 15 or 20 minutes during the busiest part of the afternoon. On the other hand, I went on three times in a row with no other riders one evening around 8:00. I rode the Aquaduck 33 times. Many kids had enough fear of stepping into the launch capsule and waiting for it to close, then waiting for a countdown, that they could could not ride it. My daughter ran back down the stairs the first two times she tried to get in the ride.
A big big thank-you to David the lifeguard, who was running the Aquadunk one evening. No one else was riding, so he was able to help my daughter. He let her step foot in the launch capsule, then back away, then hang out in the waiting area, then try again. When she got up the courage to step all the way in, she got scared and jumped back out. That repeated itself several times, then she got up the courage to let him close the door. Halfway through the door closing, she got scared, so he immediately opened the door and let her out. David also gave her two or three practice runs of just closing the door, standing in the capsule for a few seconds, then getting back out. Finally, after dozens of mistarts over half an hour, she managed to ride the Aquadunk! She could not have accomplished this without David's extreme patience and friendliness. Again, we would not have been able to do this except on this deserted evening. One young fellow was also riding, but we just let him past all of us whenever he came up the stairs.
While the adults-only pool is unchanged, I find it perfectly serviceable. A nice pool, a warm hot-tub, a hot hot-tub, a bunch of loungers, and a bar! Sounds great to me!
The quick service restaurants on the top deck are very much as before. Daisy's de lites, formerly Goofy's Galley, is in the same spot and serves pretty much the same food. The soda fountain and coffee spot is the same, with the addition of pomegranate lemonade, which I liked a lot. Pete's Boiler Bites, formerly Pluto's Dog House, has the same food and location. Just forward of Pete's, on the starboard side of the ship, is Frozone, where you can purchase frozen smoothies and that sort of thing. Just forward of that is Eye Scream, our beloved self-serve complimentary soft served ice cream. Most of the trip saw vanilla/chocolate/van-choc swirl at two of the machines and blueberry/banana/blueberry-banana swirl at one machine. My daughter did see strawberry/banana/strawberry-banan swirl one time. Don't think of that list as perfect; it's not like we were checking on ice cream flavors every half hour!
Cabanas. I much prefer Cabanas to Tosiders. First, let's consider the buffet. At breakfast, several of the choices repeat several times down the line, so you can skip to an area that has no line. The food was pretty similar to the past. Cabanas has much more room for inside seating, better ability to move through the seating areas, and it still has a few tables outside. Also, there is a stairway from aft deck 9 seating area behind Cabanas to aft deck 10 behind Palo, where you can find a few more tables and chairs. The deck behind Palo is much expanded, which allows some outside seating space for Cabanas. At dinner on this cruise, Cabanas had sit-down service. Disney does this to help train new servers and give guests an option outside their main dining room. A bonus consequence is that dinner seating is inside at Cabanas, so you do not have swimsuit-clad diners just outside your window at Palo!
Animator's Palate is what I have always wanted Animator's Palate to be! Spoiler alert!!! I am about to describe the Animator's Palate show. If you want to be surprised on board, skip this paragraph. The show is ten times what it used to be! The transformation of the walls is much more complete. There are four or five times as many active screens. The drawing process is shown on the screens. The screens go to full color and full animation at the end of the show. I had been sad that we would not get Animation Magic on our 4 night cruise. I thought it would be easy to add at the end of the classic Animator's Palate show. I was wrong. The new version of the classic show is so much more than before, that it would be impossible to add Animation Magic.
Carioca's is the bomb. It may have the best food of the main dining rooms. The Jose Carioca is a meat-lover's dream, the shrimp and Mahi-Mahi skewer is fantastic. Best of all, the desserts are really good! This is a huge improvement from Parrot Cay. The only bad part of Carioca's for us is the noise. It is really loud. We had to shout to be heard across our table. Really loud.
Lumiere's was essentially unchanged. Good, because I don't know what my older daughter would have done without her escargot.
Palo had a light refreshing of some fixtures and a new lighting fixure in the ceiling, but it basically feels like classic Palo, which made me happy. The menu keeps most of our favorites. Palo now has a six course tasting menu with wine pairing. The menu says the tasting menu with wine pairing is an additional $59 per person. Be advised that the $59 is in addition to the $25, so it costs $84 total per person to do the six course menu with wine pairings. The wines were great, and generously poured. I felt it was well worth the price. Also, my wife strongly dislikes mushrooms and truffles, so they substitued a dish for one dish that had mushroom, they matched a different wine to her substituted dish, and they made sure to not put truffle oil on one other dish. A big thank-you to Kristian, our Palo dinner server, for his help.
Brunch at Palo had all of our favorites. We ate far too much, as always. Thank-you to Andrea, our server at Palo brunch.
D Lounge, formerly Studio Sea is much improved. Those stupid low walls that prevented you from reaching your family are gone. Better views of the stage and better layout of tables and chairs. Bravo!
Reaching After Hours, formerly Beat Street, we find a similarly improved Fathoms, formerly Rockin' Bar D. Again, better layout, better seating, better sightlines of the stage. Both D Lounge and Fathoms feel more open and user-friendly. O'Gills is not much different than its predecessor, Diversions. Many of the tables and chairs in the center of the pub have been replaced with tall tables and bar stools. They still have sports events on the televisions, although perhaps not as many as before. I love an Irish pub, so I am pleased with O'Gills. One glaring error at O'Gills: the Guinness is all from cans! No Guinness on draught. If it wasn't for the fact that Jessica, Irish bartender extraordinaire over from the Fantasy to help open O'Gills, was pouring the Guinness, I might have stormed out in protest! (That's not true. I would not walk away from any Guinness.) Finally, Keys, a piano bar that replaced Cadillac Bar, is very nice. My wife and I sat down to enjoy a nice drink and some piano playing by Joe, from Fort Worth. Darn good piano playing.
The health center, men's changing room, and rainforest are unchanged. I did not see the new areas of the spa. I can say that the new mother and daughter 45 minute massage treatment option was well received by my daughters and wife, who consented to go twice, once with each daughter.
We cruised the Disney Magic in June, 2013 in the Mediterranean, then again in November to the Bahamas to see the changed areas. We love the changes, and we are anxious to cruise on her again. We do have a dummy cruise booked.
As always, the castmembers are the real source of Disney magic on any Disney ship. A big shout-out to Brent who was always friendly and visible on deck, Thomas from Austria who runs the hotel and is fun to joke with, our servers Edgar and Budi who were very efficient, Jorel who was our server in the Med and came over to say hi when he saw us, pastry chef Greg who was traveling as a guest but stopped for a little conversation on disembarkation morning, and biggest thanks of all again go to David, the most patient lifeguard on Earth!
Wonder 11/19/09 Bahamas // Magic 08/07/10Mediterranean // Wonder 03/27/11 Mexican Riviera
Dream 11/17/11 Bahamas // Fantasy 03/31/12 Maiden Voyage // Wonder 06/11/12 Alaska
Wonder 09/10/12 Vancouver to LA // Magic 06/15/13 Mediterranean // Magic 11/06/13 Key West & CC
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