Disney Magic--Not very magical....

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by cruisingsoon, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. cruisingsoon

    cruisingsoon Earning My Ears

    Feb 23, 2006
    We just got back from the Disney Magic Eastern Cruise. I have been on the Carnival Cruise line years ago and had remembered it very fondly. This cruise however was not at all as my Husband and I had hoped. We are frequent Disney World visitors and have always been blown away by our experiences there, so we were expecting the best--especially since the cost was over double the amount we ever spent staying at the Disney resorts (all expenses included).

    Here goes, in no particular order.

    We stayed in a category 4 suite, which had such terrible creeky noises all night long (almost every night of our cruise) that my 3 year old son woke up time and time again afraid of the "big noise". That was fun. It was a nice size though for a cruise, and our room host was AMAZING.

    The food was average--at best, and that is being very generous. I was expecting much better food. The breakfast is horrible, imagine (old?) Krispy Kreme donuts everyday with all of the glaze sliding off, a selection of not good pastries AT ALL, powdered scramble eggs (yes you could have gotten an omlete but that is not the point), bacon cooked in a deep fryer, toast that was never even warm... Lunch was okay, dinner was not great again. There was no real taste to the food. It was like they were afraid to use seasonings and fresh herbs, etc. Very bland. Dessert was never outstanding. We missed Palo, but had no choice since we had no safe place for my son.

    Which brings me to the children's club. I personally stayed with my son every day we went to the club since the program for the 3-4 year olds was poor. Often the 3-7 year olds were running (and I mean RUNNING) around in the same room often out of control--not great for a small 3 year old who still got hurt a couple of times with me watching out for him. The crafts are great if you have a pushy kid who will fight to get at the small table and get adequate supplies for himself (often with the bigger kids there too)--no one is really helping any of them. The play dough table is down right horrible--I saw kids getting shoved in order to steal a bit of play dough from them... Also, for the parents who think their kids of this age had such a great time there, I saw so many of them crying (and being ignored), getting shoved, looking like they were in shock, etc. for long periods of time. There was very VERY few happy little ones. If many of the parents had stayed behind to watch, they would never have felt comfortable to leave them. At least I would hope not. In "the closet" room at one point I counted 48 3-4 year olds, there were 2 councelors, one of which left the room constantly. The other one was over at a computer for almost 30 minutes. Kids were left to fend for themselves. On occassion they would do a group activity but to me it was too little. I would expect closer interaction, supervision for my 3 year old. I did hear that the kids programs for the 8+ group are wonderful.

    We went to the shows at night which were nice, but actually I feel that the shows in the parks have better or at least as good of performers.

    We went to the movie theater, nice, but the camp kids were all there taking up the last several rows of the theater and were very noisy.

    The spa was okay, my husband and I used it, but were not wowed by it either. The gym was nice, although I think it is very bad that they were charging even more for spinning classes, etc. You would think + $9,000 for a week stay would include adequate resources for that. Very bad.

    The excursions were wonderful though, no complaints at all.

    The seas were rough for our trip and MANY MANY MANY people were sick on the boat. Some kid threw up in the pool and it was closed for the day. I saw 2 kids throwing up in trash cans, an adult throwing up over board, my husband spent a whole day crippled throwing up in the room. My son complained constantly of being "dizzy". I was sick too but fought through it. Even servers were sick and missed work. A lady I talked to on the bus said her 11 year old daughter spent most of the trip in bed sick. I know the seas are not Disney's fault, but it can happen.

    I wish we had opted for a week long stay at the resorts instead. There was absolutely no comparison in our mind.
  2. tlynk

    tlynk DIS Veteran

    Feb 15, 2005
    Wow- sorry to hear about your trip :guilty: . The last cruise I went on was for 4 nights on RCCI and I was so sea sick that I'm afraid to take a 7 night cruise. My family loves Disney World, but we are dreaming of taking a 3 night cruise (we had to cancel this years trip). I hope we won't be dissapointed if we go in 2007- DCL is too expensive to not have a fantastic experience!! Thank you for your trip report. :)
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. ricka47

    ricka47 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponso

    Mar 8, 2002
    I'm sorry that you had such a rough trip. While we did not find our recent Magic cruise "magical" by any means, it was not as bad you faced. We found the food mostly tasteless as well compared to other lines. Although I had read that this was the case, I still hoped for something better.

    We did enjoy the shows and found the crew to be among the friendliest that we have had on all of cruises. But, the price/value ratio doesn't work out in my mind although we are going again in September primarily because of the Florida resident discounts.
  5. milestogo

    milestogo Disneyland Local

    Mar 13, 2006
    Wow, I'm shocked that you had such a bad experience. We have taken the cruise twice out of Los Angeles and have dozens of friends who have taken it 4-12 times and couldn't have had a more opposite experience from yours. I'm so sorry to hear that it was that poor. Every meal we had was spectacular (and we are cooks and big eaters.) Everyone at our table was begging for recipes and couldn't get enough of the varied lunches and fun breakfast and dessert bars. We went every day to the kids clubs and had quiet, organized well attended, fun atomospheres. Every element was so impressive far and above any other cruise line we'd ever been on. Gosh, I hope your next one is better.
  6. JeannieH

    JeannieH Mouseketeer

    Oct 19, 2005
    My recommendations:

    Wear ear-plugs if the creaking noises keep you awake. Its the same on all cruise ships that use that good old-fashioned natural resource of wood.

    Breakfast is perfectly adequate for every person aboard. Those of us who prefer to eat healthily find the abundance of fresh fruit/toast/juices/cereals much nicer than sticky unhealthy buns.

    Your "experience" with the childrens clubs is NOT what our we many friends who are CMs advise. The levels of care are probably way better than most nursery schools provide. There will always be isolated incidents with children jostling others, but if this was the norm, then no child would ever want to go there again.

    I presume your children WERE left in the clubs while you spent time in the spa and gym?

    As for the rough seas, well, as you say - Not something Disney can do anything about.

    What did GS say when you complained about all these "incidents"? :confused3
  7. LisaSp

    LisaSp Mouseketeer

    Apr 8, 2005
    Sorry your trip was not magical. Just have to mention that there is no charge for spinning classes!!
  8. MeRiVan

    MeRiVan Earning My Ears

    Aug 29, 2005
    I feel like we couldn't possibly have been on the same ship! I'm sorry you guys didn't have a great time. We LOVED it and DS3 loved the club. I checked on him every 15 minutes or so and I was floored by how attentive and courteous the staff was. I never kept him in for longer than 2 hours at a pop but it looks like we must have timed it just right.
  9. cruisingsoon

    cruisingsoon Earning My Ears

    Feb 23, 2006
    Ear plugs in a 3 year old? Yeah right.

    Breakfast was I guess could be considered "adequate" as you say. I had to eat cereal and fruit because nothing else was any good. Adequate is not what we would have expected from the Disney we absolutely adore.

    As for the kids club being better then most nursery schools, maybe? Who knows as I have only visited a few. I only care about where my son is. We pay for and expect only the best when it comes to him. I would have happily paid many more dollars if that meant he was in a small group of say 8-12 kids and was well monitored, with more age appropriate activities.

    My son was not left in the club while my husband and I went to the spa and gym. We took turns since there was no other option for us.

    I am glad to hear you have had wonderful times on DCL. Maybe there was some other contributing factors in your experiences. To add perspective to my opinions, there have been people who have complained about Disney World and Disney Land vacations too on the DIS boards, I have read them and wondered what went wrong and was glad it never happened to me. I have never ever had a bad experience in the World or Land and have been going since I was a small child. I look forward to going next year back to the resorts.
  10. MoiMoi

    MoiMoi A Disney Nut since 1958...

    Aug 18, 2005
    Sorry to hear you were not pleased. This was our 2nd Disney Cruise and it was even better than the first. Guess different people have different expectations. The unexpected side trip to San Juan P.R. was unfortunate but unavoidable and yes after that there were a couple of rocky sea days.

    We took Bonine since the first day and didnt get sick although I agee that many others did, but that's likely to happen on any line. We ate breakfast in Lumiere's every day and I had eggs cooked over easy to order each time. We do avoid the breakfast buffet.

    Palo was great and Sasha our server for both dinner and brunch there was outstanding. We signed up for a Western in Jan of '07 while onboard too. Have never cruised with any other line so perhaps I would be more impressed with another company.

    Castaway Cay was great over at quiet cove (we have no kids). The Atlantis submarine trip at St. Thomas was a hoot!

    Sorry your experience wasn't as good....
  11. Tarabra

    Tarabra DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2005
    Sorry you feel the way you do. I LOVE the breakfast! I LOVE the eggs and bacon and all the fruit! I've never had a donut so I wouldn't know, but I would imagine it's tough to keep them fresh while at sea. As far as lunch, I loved trying all the different things at the buffet. If you didn't like something at dinner you could always ask for something different. I had friends who were disappointed because they are steak and potatoes people and didn't like all the different things. (I believe they now offer steak at every meal) . I'm sure being seasick didn't help matters. As far as the kid's club for the most part I always hear good things. My DD wasn't born for our last 5 cruises, so I don't know first hand. $9,000 for 3 people sounds incredibly high. That's like 3 times what we will pay for 3 and a cat. 11. So, I guess I get what I pay for at $3200 and love every minute of it! Maybe next time a lower cat., smoother seas, and an older child in the clubs might make a difference. Don't give up on it. We've done 5 and can't wait to take our DD16mos.
  12. WDWLVR

    WDWLVR <font color=green>DVC @ The Boardwalk</font><br><f

    Feb 17, 2000
    Sorry that you didn't find the cruise magical. We've been on 7 so far and have loved them. I can't address the clubs because we don't have kids but I know that our friends who do had very positive experiences.

    The only thing I could suggest for breakfast was to ask if you had tried the sit-down breakfast in Lumiers instead of the buffet up on deck 9. That might have given you choices that might have been more to your liking.

    I think we've always heard a little bit of creaking on the ship since you are moving overnight. As you said the seas were bad which weren't Disney's fault and could have caused more creaking than normal.

    Sounds like the parks are a better vacation for your family. Hopefully your next vacation will be magical!
  13. need_a_Disney_fix

    need_a_Disney_fix DIS Veteran Extraordinaire DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Jun 24, 2005
    I am so sorry the cruise was not magical for you, but our January Eastern was very MAGICal for us. So much that we rebooked another and we are looking forward to it.
  14. sandraB

    sandraB Mouseketeer

    Jan 14, 2005
    I feel like we were on different boats!!

    To my recolection, there was only one rough sea day, and it really wasn't all that bad, I for one didn't see anyone sick, and my son and husband get motion sickness.

    The breakfast buffet....I too thought the eggs and bacon were yucky, but I didnt even eat them, because there was tons of fruit, and yogurt and cereal....

    Our experience with the kids clubs was great, we couldn't drag our son out...however he is in the 8+ age group. Our older one really loved the movie theater, and went several times...I think he saw four movies....

    We also paid under 3000 for our trip for four, and were amazed at the value of the vacation for our money!! We had awesome servers, and a great time...I am sorry you didn't...that is too bad, I imagine you had high expectations...as we did too.

    Just goes to show how different everyone is, and that is ok.

    We did a couple of days at WDW after the cruise...and we were soooo not impressed...hot, long lines, no free food!!!!

    We don't plan on visiting the parks again for a long time....but we are dreaming about our next cruise....LOL

  15. BuzzBoyMom

    BuzzBoyMom <font color=navy>My boys are my world!<br><font co

    May 23, 2003
    Different strokes for different folks.

    We've had our kids in the Clubs and the Labs and NEVER thought it was how you described.

    To everyone else reading this and getting concerned with the kids clubs - please read multiple threads. I reallly don't think this one thread is indicative of most people's experience.

    But my question - you really paid 9K for 3 of you in a Cat. 4? I've been quoted prices like that for Cat. 3 for 4 of us. Hmmm....
  16. Favorite Auntie

    Favorite Auntie <font color=red>8 Disney nieces & nephews!<br><fon

    Apr 30, 2003
    I have cruised 5 times, my parents 13+, and the rest of my family are also Castaway Club members. We have never had the experience that you have described. I have 8 nieces and nephews (range from 2 - 22) and everyone of them has loved the clubs! (except the 2 yr old!) They would rather be there than with us. I have visited the clubs many times, and there always seemed to be an over abundance of counselors, and plenty of seats at the crafts tables...no need to push to get a seat. The breakfast buffet is just that, a buffet. Good, but not spectacular. But I like if for the convenience and the fresh berries (YUMMY). The other meals I think are GREAT! Never had a bad mean or something that I wanted to send back, and I am a picky eater. I have found the ship can be noisy at night, but I think it is part of the charm, we have never been bothered enough to go ask for ear plugs (which are free...) and the kids have always been so exhausted that the noises never bothered any of them.

    Maybe cruising just isn't for you?
  17. cruisingsoon

    cruisingsoon Earning My Ears

    Feb 23, 2006
    --9K was including airfare, bus transports, pictures on board (a fortune, but worth it to us), 3 bottles of wine, 1 beer, 1 cocktail, a couple of soveniers, 2 excursions for the 3 of us.

    --Kids club, I would imagine that most people have had better experiences. I just have to say as an observer--I was actually there a couple of times a day with my son, our stays were ~hour each time. Most parents after the 1st day drop their kids off and leave within minutes. I was there to see what happened after that. Only a couple other parents spent significant time there. They also mirrored my concerns(perhaps that is why they were there too).

    For the older kids it was not as big of a deal. They can fend for themselves better, share a bit better, have better coordination, and better communication skills.
  18. MNrae

    MNrae Earning My Ears

    May 17, 2005
    We paid approx $9.5K for family of 4 cat 6! Just the cruise price (no add ons) I just looked on DCL right now and our cruise has only cat9 available, family of 4 $8.9K. Guess we picked the WRONG time to travel :rolleyes2
  19. ricka47

    ricka47 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponso

    Mar 8, 2002
    Wow....for that kind of money you should have had a better time for sure! We paid $2379 (cruise price only) for the Magic on 2/25 for three of us in a Cetegory 9 and I would be very bummed if I had the type of trip that you described!
  20. thompson princesses

    thompson princesses Mouseketeer

    Sep 27, 2005
    Cruisingsoon-We were on the Magic Jan 28, 06. We had a wonderful time. I have to say my dd was 3 at the time of the cruise and always wanted to go back to the club but who knows...I didn't check on her often. It did seem like the ratio of staff to kids was very low though. I need to comment on the food in the dining room. Our family has been on several cruises. (My dd earns/wins them through Ford) so I believe we have had a good taste of what is out there (pardon the pun)...ANYWAYS the food in the dining room was exactly as you described....bland! I don't use salt and am not into really spicy things...every meal I ordered just didn't seem to have any flavor. Palo is something entirely different...that is what the dining room food should taste like. :stir:
  21. clovely

    clovely Mouseketeer

    Jan 1, 2006
    I'm just curious as to whether your son is very often in a nursery, daycare, or preschool situation? Some people, parents and children, may just be more comfortable in that environment, or in new situations in general, than others.

    A couple other factors, though, is that he didn't have anyone to really go in there with. I realize most of the children, even travelling with siblings, are probably in different age categories with any other children they may know. So I guess most probably go in alone. I'm so glad we're going now because my kids are 5 & 6 and can go together and that's very important. We have thought about going to Beaches but I believe our kids would be separated. I don't want to send them off alone and I don't want to go on a family vacation where the whole family goes their separate ways either!

    I wonder, also, how much the tone and environment changes from cruise to cruise. If there were two or three rambunctious children running wild, setting that tone, it could affect all the children in the room. Especially at that age. I would say that this would be something the CMs should be prepared for and able to handle but we also have another thread of a former CM (a manager, I believe) who related one or two horror stories where a child couldn't be controlled and parents were no help. I wouldn't want that job!!

    Just random thoughts.

Share This Page