Well what can I say? This was the "When You Wish Upon A Star" cruise!! We had a great time. The Disney Magic is the only new ship where you feel you are on a REAL ocean liner, not another floating box. But I would not say this ship is for everyone; I think it's mainly for families and people who love Disney.
Disney has the best terminal we have ever seen. Embarkation was a breeze. They have a great model of the Magic in the lobby, not to be missed. We got on the ship at 12:30; when you go on the ship they announce you: "the Gerbehy family from New Jersey has just boarded the ship!" and they give you a big hand! Our cabin wasn't ready yet, so we went up to Topsiders for lunch. We had jumbo shrimp, the biggest I have ever seen on a cruise. I had the Seafood Newburg, too, which was great.
After lunch we went to our cabin -- let me tell you, the cabin on the Magic was the best we ever had. It was three times the size of the one on the Nordic Empress, which we were just on in August. We had an inside cabin (2081) on Deck 2. There was a queen-sized bed, and a couch that opened out for the boys. We had a refrigerator. The bathroom was great: almost like having two! We had the most closet space we have ever seen.
Dining on the Magic
I found the food to be better than RCCL -- just not as many choices. We did not have Room Service at all. The food in Topsiders [the buffet restaurant] was very good but they could give you more choices there, too. They always helped us take our trays to the table. We had breakfast and lunch there. You could always get hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza by one of the pools. The food at Topsiders was as good as Celebrity's, not as good as HAL's, but much better then NCL's, RCCL's and Carnival's. We rotated dining rooms for dinner every night. We could not get in to Paolo's, but I was told it was great.
Our first night, we had dinner at Animators's Palate: the food was very good. The next night we had dinner at Parrot Cay, which was a fun place to have dinner. It's like Jimmy Buffet's at City Walk; we had a great time that night. This is the most "casual dress" ship we have ever been on, and it works very well. The last two nights we had dinner at Lumiere's. This is the most stunning dining room on the Magic. All and all, I would say the food was very good on this cruise.
Shows & Night Life
The shows we saw on the Magic were wonderful! The shows are Broadway, not Vegas, with a Disney theme. "Beat Street" is the part of the ship for adults at night; it looks and feels very much like a Carnival ship. There is a lot going on and we had a lot of fun there after the shows.
In Nassau, we spent the day at Blue Lagoon Island, which was great. We were docked next to the Wonder: it was a great sight. The other ships in Nassau that day were the Oceanic (our first cruise was on her when she was with the old Home Lines back in 1981), the Fantasy and the Sovereign of the Seas. We were on the third cruise of the Sovereign of the Seas.
We spent the day at sea sitting by the pool. The boys were in the kids programs, which they loved and had a great time and made a lot of friends.
Castaway Cay was great. One of the best things about it is that they dock at the island so they almost never miss it. It was a little windy that day and the water was a little cool, but we had a great time. The boys were in the kids programs all day and had a ball. The lunch on the island was very good. I think HAL's Half Moon Cay is better - not as many people - but Castaway Cay was great.
Most of the ship feels and looks like Princess and Celebrity ships. Beat Street is very much like something on a Carnival ship. Other parts are very Art Deco. There is a three-deck high atrium with two enclosed elevators. The elevators are fast, you don't have to wait long at all.
The ESPN Zone was great -- I am a big Vikings fan and they were on Monday night football. It's the best sports bar at sea that I have seen. There were a lot of lounges, but we didn't have much time to enjoy them.
The Walt Disney Theatre was the best theatre we have seen on any ship; there is not a bad seat to be had. The Buena vista movie theatre was beautiful to look at, although we did not get to see any movies.
Disney does this the best -- we were off the ship by 8 am with no waiting around. We stayed in Coco Beach for that night before heading home. I went over to jetty part in the afternoon to watch the ships going out again; this is a great place to watch them go.
I really think four days is not a lot time on this ship: you really need seven days [Ed.: 7-day Disney cruises are now available.] I think mainly families with kids and people who love Disney would like this cruise, and you really do feel like you're on an ocean liner.
Photos courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.
Kenneth Gerbehy can be reached for question or comment at WSMets123@webtv.net.
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