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Old 05-12-2014, 08:18 PM   #1
'The other TwinPrincessMermaid'
TwinPrincessTWINKIE's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39

Magic 05/05: The great, the good, the interesting tidbits I didn't know beforehand

Magical Moments in order of rank:

#1: Blue Lagoon Sea Lions and just the overall visit to the island. Even the ferry ride's amazing.

#2: Palo Brunch. DH and I had high expectations and it exceeded it. I don't see anyone ever talk about the 'death by pancakes' meal but I highly recommend it, especially for gluten free. Cheeses were also amazing. So was the caviar, trout mousse, desserts, on and on.

#3: Castaway Cay catamaran snorkeling and the bbq lunch. DH was really really impressed with the mahi mahi I think it was. I was too busy enjoying a bunless burger and banana ice cream so I didn't get a chance to try it myself... we all had marvelous food over at Serenity Bay so no issues there!

#4: Massage in the spa. Always always is great, I never worry that my money isn't well spent. I had an added challenge this time, in that it was Castaway Night and I had gotten really sun burned. She had a solution for that too (apparently that happens more than I thought. Their cooling lotion was really helpful and my massage didn't suffer at all.)

Also tied for #4: Whiskey tasting. Learned a lot and enjoyed the experience.

#5: Main Dining Room & Animator's Palate show where they bring your drawings to animated life.

#6: Excellent cabin and bed which for the first time, I ended up using a decent amount! Our bathroom faucet never shut off but it didn't really detract from our experience. Excellent cabin service as well.

#7: Liked the Preludes area for character greetings, and the atrium and lobby, the lounges, the gym - the overall appearance of the ship is gorgeous. Nice layout, easy to find anything after about a day. It was home for me.

#8: The food was in general great. I can tell they bring it down a notch in the main dining rooms. I imagine you can't do things too saucy, salt, spice, rich etc. Everything's slightly muted in a way that makes me thing they are aiming to please the most people. Again the Sundaes stole the show for me, as did the appetizers.

Extra points for good gluten free food.

#9: Quite Cove, very nice, could have lived here if I wasn't so busy with excursions or asleep.

#10: Musicians, singers, and shows all were good...

I have to be honest here since I'm in this industry myself that I can be more critical of the people that Disney hires. (Probably in the same way those who are in the hospitality/service industry might look more closely at waiters...) To me, the majority of the talent hired was just so-so and I want to see and hear people on those stages blow me away. For example, I really thought our Belle for Dreams did not work at all. Her voice would have been much more successful as Aurora or Snow White (they sound completely different!). Time would fail me about several versions of Part of Your World I heard performed by the professionals...

But everyone else in our group was over the moon and enjoying the singers and musicians, so looks like I am the minority here. However, I also I find it beneficial to study other performers, and the production value is always excellent. There were some pretty amazing special effects during Twice Charmed! that still leave me wondering how they did that...

Things that didn't make it on the "Magical" list above:

-No personal engaging or entertainment by our dining room staff. I guess they were just too busy doing excellent dining room service. And they had some impossible shoes to fill with our last group who had riddles and magic tricks every night we showed up on the Dream. For this Magic cruise, we watched our next door table be completely doted on by the other team with napkin hats and jokes and the like. They made the other tables wish we were cute 18 year old girls celebrating their graduation too...

-No one really showed or made Karaoke fun, kid or adult nights. I don't know if it was that there were so many less people on this ship, and it's a percentage game or what. Karaoke is usually really, really fun - the participants we had on the Dream were literally a Dream with humor and talent and in general, fun - and on this cruise it just felt like hard work. Also I've never seen so much on and off stage drama. Water works and angry shoves all over!

-Ok well Pirates IN the Caribbean is a let down after you've seen the Dream's pirate show. Stitch dancing was actually pretty funny and entertaining, but the dance party needs to be integrated with the other show's action, stunts, plot, actors, etc. It feels like this one was way out of date.

-The things no one tells you: After midnight you can't really enjoy the deck because they are power washing it and you have to leave. There were lots of people milling around at that time, and we all more or less had to keep moving tables or were shooed away. For those of us on Pacific time, midnight ET is just getting the night started....

-Another thing no one told us: Before the 4:30 Day 1 muster drill, all service suspends from 3:30 - 4:30. That includes drinks, so don't expect anyone to bring anything after about 3 pm. (Good thing you can bring something to your cabin for the 90 or so minutes before the muster.)

-Another thing we didn't know: They shut down the line for the slides even earlier than 3 pm prior to the Muster, if they think they have enough people left to go until 3:30. There's no sign or reason about this, other than a rope across the stairs. We found a guy who eventually told us why we couldn't get to the slide at 3 pm. Being adults, we shrugged and moved on but thought I should share that with new cruisers, especially if you've got little ones. Get your ride in early on embarkation day or you'll have to come back - at 4:30 for the Twist and Shout and 6 for the AquaDunk!

-Another thing they never tell us: The running/jogging track on Deck 4 actually takes you through engine room areas. Around 8-9 am each morning, we'd get stopped by a rope and a sign that said something like "Maintenance in progress. Track closed." We managed the same distance running one way around, then turning around and running back, but seems to me that would be a nicer thing to do at night.

-Another thing I hadn't heard mentioned before, but might have missed it. THERE IS NO ATM ON BOARD. I kept looking for it. Finally Guest Services confirmed it doesn't exist on the Magic. The best they could do for me was to phone in a bank authorization of a personal check that I thankfully had on my person. If you don't bring a check though, you might be stuck. It took about 45 minutes to do (which she assured me was not typical, but there went my water slide time).

Mostly great, some good, all worthwhile. Definitely by mid-Sea Day I was wishing I didn't have to leave the ship. Especially since this time around I was actually not running myself ragged, and was slowing down to enjoy the whole experience.

In summary: I don't think I can compare the Dream and Magic. While the Dream has more technology, the people who were sad there was no detective agency were too preoccupied to have the time to even do it... so it's not like I needed yet another activity to fit in. What I may have missed most from the Dream had to do with the people sailing, and their lack of participation for going to the game shows and karaoke etc.

Last edited by TwinPrincessTWINKIE; 05-12-2014 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Yay for grammar...
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