Hey everyone...this won't be too long - I hope, but I just had to add our 2 cents so to speak about our great cruise on 7/7. It was DH 44, DD 17, DS 16, DD 13 and ME 42. We were travelling with another family with almost the same age groups. They also sailed with Disney before. We took the Cat. 4 Family Suite. We have booked this cat 3 times before on our 3 and 4 day cruises, and enjoyed it just as much on the 7 day. Well, let me just say that the 7 day cruise was more fantastic than I imagined. I knew what the Disney cruises were all about, but the increased activities, better food and shows just made the 7 day all the better! I could not belive Disney could top themselves, but they did. What an improvement from the Maiden Voyage of the Disney Magic back in '98. On that cruise anything that could did go wrong (no activities, long lines, no Cruise Director, Tide in the hot tub....yep, some kid through a box of Tide in the hot tub....slippery bubbles everywhere... We really didn't mind, it was our first cruise and we knew Disney would make good - they did (sent us a 50% off coupon for our next Disney cruise!) It helps to write letters!!!! I am not going to go into a day by day report...I thought I would just highlight my observations..... We got on the Castaway Club check in line at the terminal because we are repeat passengers thinking it would go faster than the regular line but it seemed to take twice as long to check in. I even had all our paperwork filled out ahead of time, had the passports out, etc. I don't know if it was because they were new people or what, but it took quite a long time. Definitely get on the boarding line after you check in. Leave one person in line and switch off sitting down. We were about 100th in line and after us the line snaked through the whole terminal. Parrot Cay had a great buffet, we thought we would try PC since we had always been at Topsiders before. It was nice to have lunch in A/C and beautiful tropical surroundings. It was a good way to start the cruise! The food on the 7 day was far superior than what we had on both the 3 and 4 day. Our wait staff (Karl-server, Pele'-asst. server, and Karoly (head server) and the service in the dining room was outstanding. On our other Disney cruises the head waiter only showed his face on the last night of the cruise. On this one, Karoly came to our table every single night. He even cut the shrimp out of the shells for the kids!! Of all the "fast food" on board, my family raved about the chicken fingers. Disney does know how to do chicken fingers. We felt Disney pushed the "wine package" a bit too strongly. We had to tell about 4 different people that we were not interested. I think the Palo reservation hype was just that...hype. Every time we walked by the restaurant there were tons of empty tables. When we ate at Palo's the last night of the cruise the dining room was only about 1/3 full. Ressies for Palo on the 7 night cruise are much easier to come by. The formal nights were great! What a pleasure to see most everyone dressed up. Everyone seems to walk with their heads a little higher when they are dressed nicely. The characters seemed very accessible throughout the cruise. The Mother Goose story time in the lobby looked great for little kids. One thing we noticed regarding kids on this cruise was that the 12-15 year olds seemed to band together and would roam the ship. Some of them got pretty loud at times. They would even congregate on the upper stairways making it difficult to pass. I told my DD 13 to stay outside on deck with her new friends. There was enough to do out there. The counselors in Common Grounds told the kids that this was the largest group of teens 13-17 they ever had on board! My kids were thrilled. They made many new friends. We did not see our kids except at dinner and an occasional glimpse of them on deck. They said it was the best vacation they ever had!!! I would have to agree!!!! We were invited to the Castaway Club reception with Captain Henry and staff and we were quite surprised to see how many other past passengers there were. We were told over 300 return guests on our cruise. They also said that was the most of any cruise so far....fact or fiction it still must be a feather in Disney's cap. If the product was not great, you would not have that many return guests. It was fun talking with everyone and comparing previous Disney cruise experiences! We took the Orient Beach shore excursion in St. Maarten. We booked the night before and had no trouble getting it. We also booked the St. Thomas beach day tour and booked that 20 minutes before the tour left!!!, again, no problem getting it. Both were very nice shore excursions. Orient Beach was a bit nicer....with great lounge chairs with big thick cushions and umbrellas. Lunch and two beverages were also included. Take note, Orient Beach has a section that is clothing optional!!!! Prepare your children.... you will see bare breasts and other parts!!! Also beware...in St. Maarten we bought round trip water taxi passes and were told the taxi runs all day and night. Wrong.... the water taxi stopped at 6 pm. Had we been told that, we would not have bought round trip passes. We were about 50 feet from the taxi (within plain view of the skipper) and yelled to hold the taxi but it took off with empty seats and without us!!! We waited around for awhile and realized no more water taxis were coming. We took a cab back to the ship. Another warning.....our kids ages 16-17 were offered drugs several times during their stroll through town. They walked by a Casino to check it out and were all offered drinks without having to show I.D. I would not recommend letting teens wander alone for too long or after dark. A different element surfaced on the street when the tourists started to head back to the ships! I would still let me teens go ashore by themselves, as long as ground rules regarding return to the ship were understood. They really felt like they had a vacation. We gave them pretty free reign and they handled the new found freedmon very well. I truly felt they could stay out late onboard and enjoy their new friends. All the older teens seemed to be a great bunch...as long as they were not jumping off . What can I say about Castaway Cay.....it is heaven on earth. It is truly a paradise. I was just sorry that man had a heart attack and had to be airlifted off the island. That must have been so traumatic for the him and his family. My kids watched the helicopter land and take him away. It was so strange to be at Castaway Cay after dark. Even the crew thought it strange....too bad we couldn't have stayed on the beach longer!!!! The laundry facility on deck 7 was wonderful. The machines had LCD read outs on them so you knew when the load would be finished. The price was very reasonable at $1.00 a wash and $1.00 to dry. The Beach Club at WDW was $2.00 each and the machines not nearly as nice. One tip...I brought along those new Whisk laundry tablets....they worked great....they come in individual packages and there was no mess at all. Just pop them in on top of the clothes. I noticed that the laundry detergent dispenser was sold out a few times. I don't normally do laundry on vacation but my family seemd to be extremely messy this trip!!!! I was glad the machines were available. The iron came in handy also! The shows were all top notch. The juggler they had on board was incredible.....we saw him in the show and then again in Rockin Bar D. He juggled everything....including the kitchen sink! He even juggled a bowling ball!!!! I really loved the "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer Show" It was alot of fun. Some real good trivia questions. After we left the ship.....boo hoo!!!!! we headed over to WDW at the Beach Club. Had three great rooms there, but we all really missed the ship. We realized what a great value the cruise was. It was quite evident when we kept reaching our hand in our pockets to pay for everything!!!! Even the kids missed the accessability of food at every turn. We missed our servers at dinner and someone to turn down the bed and make funny animals for us. We were definitely spoiled. Don't get me wrong...WDW was great...we just now have a special spot in our hearts for the Magic. Well I think that might be about it. So sorry it turned out longer than I anticipated. I kind of got on a roll. I know you will understand my enthusiasm. If I had to sum up the cruise I would have to say that it CLASSIC ELEGANCE WITH A TOUCH OF DISNEY WHIMSEY!!!! If you are are the fence about the 7 day cruise.....jump off and climb aboard!!!! Thanks for listening......MJ (mmouse37) 1979 - Poly - Honeymoon - Poly rate was $65 per night! 1982 - Poly 1983 - Contemporary 1984 - Poly 1985 - Poly 1987 - Poly 1988 - Poly 1992 - 1st Disneyana Convention - Contemporary 1993 - 2nd Disneyana Convention - Disneyland Hotel 1993 - Port Orleans 1994 - Caribbean Beach 1995 - Dixie Landings 1996 - All Star Music 1997 - All Star Sports 1997 - Beach Club 1998 - Maiden Voyage of Disney Magic - Poly 1999 - 4 day Disney Magic - Beach Club 1999 - 3 day Disney Wonder - Swan 2000 - Coronado Springs 2001 Disneyland Paris Hotel New York 2001 - 7-Day Disney Magic plus a few others I can't remember!