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Old 06-09-2014, 02:51 PM   #121
tweis
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I will start my recap and comparison very soon!
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:17 PM   #122
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I will start my recap and comparison very soon!
Looking forward to reading it
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:59 AM   #123
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Looking forward to reading it
Thank you.
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:38 AM   #124
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RECAP

POR- We absolutely loved POR. It is a large resort so it definitely requires a lot of walking but it is so beautiful. If our next WDW stay is short, we will choose a smaller, more convenient resort because I feel that you need a longer stay to fully appreciate and explore everything that POR has to offer.

Fast Pass Plus- I know this is a touchy subject for many but honestly, we had zero problems with our fast passes and only a small issue with our Magic Bands. I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but for the first few hours, Trystan's band was the only one that would open our door. We also had zero problems with the My Disney Experience site. We found the app very helpful while in the parks. It was very easy to check the wait time on my phone instead of running from ride to ride only to find out it has a 45 minute wait.

Parking at Port Canaveral- I said this in my last trip report and I will say it again, we will always pay extra for the convenience of parking at the port. I just do not like relying on shuttles to get me to and from the port in a timely manner. I prefer to have some level of control over that. Some area hotels offer 40% off parking at the port if you stay with them and I think this is a great option.

Atlantis via Comfort Suites- This seemed like a lot of hassle at first but it worked wonderfully and saved us $$$. This is probably not the best option for everyone depending on the time of year you are cruising but we booked well in advance and got a great rate. The only thing that I would try to do a little different next time, is to try to find a taxi that will drop you off at Comfort Suites instead of Atlantis because you have to cross the street and folks drive crazy!! We had an absolute blast here and plan to make this a stop every time we are in Nassau.....assuming lots of other ships aren't in port.

Carrying alcohol on- We have did this our last 2 cruises and will probably do it from now on. We scaled back this time and only carried on beer because we find the drink of the day very reasonably priced and very tasty. It can get expensive when you ordering other drinks (Blue Tang) so make sure you know the price up front (we did but we splurged) or ask or you may be in for a shock when you sign your ticket. Also, make sure you check the ticket before you sign it. We had a discrepancy on a few of our tickets on CC day and were being over charged for our drinks of the day. We did get this corrected but it will save time if you read before you sign.

Trip insurance- This is a question that gets asked a lot on the boards and I think about it like this.....Are you okay with losing the $$$ that you spent on your trip? If the answer is "no" then I would get insurance. If the answer is "yes" then I probably wouldn't worry about it except for the medical portion. We have gotten insurance for 2 of our 3 cruises and have used the same company both times. We find that Travel Guard gold works well for us and kids are free.

Booking on board- We did not book on board during our first cruise and I really regretted it after the fact but we really thought DCL would be a one time thing. We were one of the lucky few that received a 10% off prevailing rates voucher in the mail after our first cruise. Unfortunately, it had to be used very quickly so we were unable to take advantage of it. Since then, we book on board. If you even think you may sail again within the next 18 months then I would definitely take advantage of the on board credit that is offered and a reduced deposit is offered on sailings of 7 nights or more. The on board credit offered by DCL can be combined with OBC that travel agents offer but cannot be combined with the OBC offered by Chase with the Disney Visa.

Travel agent or no travel agent- We have used a travel agent for all 3 of our cruises and will most likely continue to do so. Our first cruise, we used a local TA that I had used many years before for a trip to Jamaica. She was very helpful and very easy to contact in the beginning. I found that after our cruise was paid in full and they arranged our pre-cruise hotel stay, that it took a little longer for my questions to be answered. This was before I discovered the Dis and had no idea about OBC. When DCL released 2014 dates, I emailed her to see if they would offer any kind of OBC and she said they could offer $25 which happened to be exactly what DCL was offering for booking online. Hmmmmm....... When rates came out she went ahead and put a hold on a room for us but when I contacted her to let her know that was not the room we wanted nor would those dates work for us, it took her over a week to respond. I contacted Dreams Unlimited and the rest is history. Beth at DU has handled our last 2 cruises and the WDW portion of this last trip. She will also be handling our next cruise. This does not mean that working with a TA is right for everyone but so far, it is right for us. The OBC doesn't hurt either.

Is a veranda worth it?- We have had a veranda on our last 2 cruises and really enjoyed it both times. The boys also really liked being able to go out and look at other ships, the water, dolphins and to wave at passengers on the other ships in port. It is also really nice just to be able to go out there and have a drink and relax. I keep meaning to have coffee out there but it hasn't happened yet. We had a cat 8D on our first cruise on the Dream and that has the huge porthole that you can actually lay in. We really enjoyed that room also. I would love to try an inside on the Dream/Fantasy with a magic porthole because those just look awesome! We booked an inside on the Wonder for Alaska and honestly I think Alaska would be the only time that I could handle that. We got to look at an inside room on the Magic and while it was lovely, I really need some light I think. I think I could do Alaska simply because it's Alaska and I would do just about anything to be on the ship. Only you can decide whats "worth" it to you and your family. We love having a veranda but wouldn't be a deal breaker if we couldn't have one.

More to come.....
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:33 AM   #125
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Magic/Dream Comparison


I will now do a side by side comparison between the ships. Keep in mind that these are MY opinions and My experiences. Yours may vary.

Boarding- Boarding started later on the Magic than it has on the Dream in the past. After reading some reports I realize that this is pretty standard for the Magic/Wonder. I would have arrived later had I known that we would be boarding later so I have to give this category to the Dream because boarding usually starts around 11:30.

Food- I found the food very comparable between the two ships. Neither one is better/worse than the other. We always find something to eat.

Palo- We loved our Palo experience on the Dream but our experience on the Magic blew it away. I'm sure most of that was due to our extraordinary server, Andre, but some of the food actually tasted better and I liked how the restaurant seemed better lit than on the Dream.

Pools- The pools on BOTH ships are WAY too small for the number of passengers on board. The pool in the adult area was better on the Magic than the Dream but the Donald pool on both ships make for "kid soup". The Magic has the Aqua Dunk and the Twist & Spout while the Dream has the Aqua Duck and the Mickey Slide. My boys (and husband) really enjoyed the Twist & Spout and we all love the Aqua Duck. The Aqua Dunk is over really quick and I think that's why my kids prefer the Duck. Both ships have equally entertaining "slides" but I give a slight edge to the Magic.

Cabanas-Cabanas is busy on both ships and that's just a fact however, the Magic really can't seem to handle the crowds of people that eat there. The CM's were placing silverware and S&P on the tables on the pool deck! We had to eat breakfast on the pool deck because there were no empty tables inside or outside on deck. We have never had this problem on the Dream. Yes, its crowded but we have always been able to find seating.

Staterooms-Obviously the staterooms on the Dream are newer but with the Magic being re imagined last year, I expected "new" staterooms and that's mostly what we had. The Magic has the same great beds and bedding as the Dream, carpets are new, and all the furniture seems new. We did have some rust on our veranda and you could tell that the tile was not replaced in the bathrooms but overall the room was great. I didn't find one to be better than the other.

Kid's areas- My boys do not like the clubs on either ship. My boys did visit the club/lab on both ships and they both "look" great but apparently they are boring if your an 11 or 12 year old boy which brings me to Edge. Honestly, when I saw this area it just seemed like they had space on the ship that they needed to find a use for. I have NOT seen Edge on the Dream so I can't compare the two but on the Magic it's really just a room with bean bag chairs and walls of video games but not any fun games according to my silly boys.

Food on the pool deck- I love that the Magic has the shawarma station but missed the margherita pizza. Chicken tenders tasted the same on both ships.

More to come....
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:16 PM   #126
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I am loving your report! Especially the side by side comparison. We have sailed the Dream (2012) and the Fantasy (2013) and in Nov will sail the Magic. Each ship was only a year old and the Magic will be a year out of dry dock so I'm anxious to get aboard! Thank you for taking the time to do this
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:40 PM   #127
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I am loving your report! Especially the side by side comparison. We have sailed the Dream (2012) and the Fantasy (2013) and in Nov will sail the Magic. Each ship was only a year old and the Magic will be a year out of dry dock so I'm anxious to get aboard! Thank you for taking the time to do this
Thanks you! I have a few more comparisons to make before I reveal which ship I prefer.

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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:00 PM   #128
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ok - so I am still happy about choosing the Magic
And even happier that I can enjoy a peaceful breakfast in our suite after reading your opinion about Cabanas
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:15 PM   #129
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ok - so I am still happy about choosing the Magic
And even happier that I can enjoy a peaceful breakfast in our suite after reading your opinion about Cabanas
I should have clarified that we had issues with Cabanas on our sea day. The other days we had no problems but we were also eating earlier. We could have gone to the MDR but we had already made our plates so we sat on the pool deck.
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:07 AM   #130
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Great report! I am finally all caught up. I will be very interested to see which ship you prefer. We will be back on the Dream this fall, and having decided 3 days was not enough, we recently turned it into a B2B! One of these days we will have to try both the Magic and the Wonder. They are on my cruise wish list. That is why I am interested in your comparison. I am pretty sure, though, that no matter what Disney ship we may sail on we will have a great time!
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:55 AM   #131
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Great report! I am finally all caught up. I will be very interested to see which ship you prefer. We will be back on the Dream this fall, and having decided 3 days was not enough, we recently turned it into a B2B! One of these days we will have to try both the Magic and the Wonder. They are on my cruise wish list. That is why I am interested in your comparison. I am pretty sure, though, that no matter what Disney ship we may sail on we will have a great time!
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have to agree that you will have a great time on any Disney ship.
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:22 AM   #132
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Comparison continued

Size- This is a tricky one. I loved the fact that it was a lot easier to get from point A to point B on the Magic due to it's smaller size but I did not love the size of the tiny elevators. I think the sign inside the elevator says either 12 or 13 maximum but you can only fit probably 6 comfortable.

Animator's- I love the brightly colored chairs on the Dream in AP but honestly, Crush gets a little annoying to me. I LOVED AP on the Magic with or without the the animation show. I love how it's all black and white and then it changes to beautiful vivid colors.



Castaway Cay- Honestly, CC has never felt crowded to us so we didn't feel a huge difference. The beach wasn't as crowded obviously and there were plenty of empty loungers but we have never had problems with this in the past. We did encounter less people on our bike ride and the boys didn't have to wait in line very long for Pelican Plunge so I guess it felt less crowded in those aspects but for lunch it actually felt like there were MORE people on the island. All of the tables under the covered area were all taken which we have never experienced before. We were able to find a table that was covered by an umbrella though so we were happy.

Service- I will get into this more in a little bit but for right now I have to say that the Dream wins hands down.

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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #133
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Public Spaces- I love the atrium on the Dream and in my opinion, it trumps the Magic. The chandelier is more suited to the size of the room and it's just a more grand area on the Dream. It just feels more special to me. The adult areas such as Fathoms and Evolutions on both ships are equally great and we enjoyed them on both ships. We have never really just sat in any of the bars except to listen to music so I can't really compare those but Skyline on the Dream is beautiful and we really enjoyed having mixology there.


Magic


Dream
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012

Last edited by tweis; 08-20-2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:25 PM   #134
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I know some of the comparisons may sound petty or like we are just looking for something to complain about but that is not the case. Remember, these are my opinions and experiences and your's may vary.

Overall, we enjoyed our cruise on the Magic but not as much as we have enjoyed our cruises on the Dream. We found the DCL service that we have come to expect, very underwhelming for the most part. Let me tell you why.....


We NEVER met our room host. The entire trip we never met him. I take that back, we did see him in the hallway but we had no idea that he was our host until the last night when we were getting our tip vouchers ready and realized his name was the same as the guy we had seen in the hallway a couple of times. Not only did he never introduce himself to us, but we literally ran out of shampoo before he gave us more. We were never able to get ice because we had no ice bucket and could not ask our room host for ice or the ice bucket. When we had maintenance issues, we called guest services and we would have told our room host had we known who he was. He kept our room clean and he resolved our plumbing issue (I'm assuming it was him) when our tub would not drain and he left us our navigators and chocolates and made our towel animals but I find it unacceptable that he never once introduced himself to us. We have never had an issue with this in the past and I was just completely blown away that we would encounter this on the Magic after hearing what great service the ship offered.

I also was very disappointed with the fact that we never received our dining tickets nor either of our Palo invitations. Problems could have been avoided had we received our dining tickets. The rotation on our KTTW card was wrong and we were not told that on the first night when the issue came up. I feel that the host at AP that looked our table number up using our room number and KTTW card would have told us that we were given the wrong rotation. We were asked for our dining tickets more than once during the course of our cruise and we repeatedly answered that we had not received them and you would think that someone would have given them to us knowing that we had never gotten them.

Mark and I only dined in the MDR twice and I can tell you both times that it was absolutely the slowest dinner service that we have had to date. I also did not care to be scolded for not coming to dinner and choosing to go to Cabanas instead.

I find waiting an hour and a half for cookies and milk very unacceptable. I understand that it was the last night of the cruise but don't tell me that the order will be there in 30 minutes if it is not. When I call back don't tell me that it is going to be a few more minutes when clearly you have no idea how long it is going to take. In the past, room service has never taken more than 30 minutes. Generally, it is there in half the time. I had already filled out my comment card but I did go back and change it after the lack of service that we received from room service.

From all of this, you are probably inclined to think that I did not enjoy my cruise but that is not correct. There are some things that I absolutely loved about the Magic like the fact that it takes no time to get to where you are going. I felt more comfortable allowing the boys to go explore and do things on their own due to the ship's size. I really enjoyed pirate night and I think I like the deck party better than the one on the Dream just because it's a more fun atmosphere in my opinion and more kid friendly.

I have read on these boards many many times how service is lacking on the Dream and that it is better on the smaller ships. I disagree. The best service that we have had to date was on a 3 nighter on the Dream. Maybe I went in with my expectations a little too high but many polls show the Magic being the preferred and best ship in the fleet so I was expecting better than the Dream but the Magic just did not deliver.

One area that the Magic excelled in was Palo. We had a wonderful table with a beautiful view and delicious food but best of all, we had the best server ever. We really felt like Andre was our "pixie dust" for this cruise.

The boys enjoyed their cruise but they like the Dream better. They do not like the kid's clubs on either ship but they just kept saying that the Magic was so small. Their favorite part of the entire vacation was Atlantis and Castaway Cay.

I am glad that we finally got a chance to sail a classic ship and I would sail the Magic again in a heartbeat if a good deal came along for the Bahamas or the Caribbean or if it is ever in our budget to do the European itineraries. I do not dislike the Magic but it's not my favorite ship.

We booked the Wonder to Alaska for 2015 but I was recently promoted at my job and the dates I can vacation are very limited. We cancelled Alaska and currently have a 5 night on the Wonder out of Miami booked for next April. I am very excited to sail the Wonder before it is re imagined. I know that it will be a great cruise and I can't wait to see what the Wonder has to offer.

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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:16 PM   #135
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What a great trip report! Thank you for your honest comparisons about both ships.

We too had such excellent service on our Dream cruise last year that I'm so nervous it won't be repeated again. Everyone we met went out of their way to make our stay so magical. Especially our room host. She was super sweet. My kids still talk about her.

Hope you have a magical time on your Wonder cruise next year. Can't wait to hear about that comparison!
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