Disney Cruise Line - Is it all that ?

Disney Magic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Experience: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 0
Helpful Vote: 1

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Sail Date: January 01, 2010
Ship: Disney Magic
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 8 years ago
I've been on many cruises over the years. Eastern and Western Med cruises, Island cruises in the Carribean and South America. I've cruised on Carnival, Royal Carribean, Crystal Cruise Line and now Disney, so I'd like to think I have a bit of exposure to what the industry has to offer. In my experiences, I've come to realize that the real test of a Cruise Line is how the respond and adapt to unusual circumstances. Weather should be one of those things you would expect a cruise ship to have figured out. Disney seemed like they were learning as they went along. When we got to Orlando it was unseasonably cold. 31 degrees and sleeting and snow flurries. The first 2 destinations were very cold and windy as well. Disney could have figured it out a bit better. The shore excursions were amateur at best. You show up on time for the gathering time, and no staff would be there. They would show up late, herd everyone off the boat into the cold and screaming wind then make you stand there for 20 minutes before they figured out what to do. Guides would escort you to a museum then abandon you and tell you to ask the lady in the museum gift shop for walking directions to the next museum stop... Carnival's drunken highschool excursions are much more coordinated. Over priced for what you get. The ship is very well appointed. The common areas are very nice with just a hint of Disney. The various dining options are great too. Animator's Pallet is a real experience, which the kids and adults will love. The balcony cabin we had was very spacious for what I've seen, even compared to the Balcony rooms on the Crystal Symphony. The ship has recently been renovated however it is still showing it's age. Our cabin had a split bathroom. Tub and sink in one room, toilet and sink in the other. The toilet stunk from day one, something reminiscent of a Shell station. All throughout the cabin we found little things that past visitors had tried to fix themselves. Matchbooks shoved behind a picture to keep it from rattling, a wad of paper in the glass on the balcony to keep it from rattling, wedges under the crown moldings to keep them quiet, etc.. There was also some VERY loud hydraulic equipment in the walls that went off for 30 seconds or more ever 3 minutes and around 2am would go off constantly with only 20-40 seconds between. It kept me awake almost every night. If you are a light sleeper it would be a deal breaker.

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food was wonderful. The variety was unbeatable and every night there were multiple things on the menu that were interesting. The wait staff were very nice and more than willing to get you anything to please you or the children. If you have kids, make sure you book the LATE seating. The daycare staff collect the children halfway through dinner and take them off to do activities only during the late seating. Early seating is out of luck.


3 out of 5
The shows are good. The stage shows are excellent if you like Cinderella or have little girls. Little boys and Daddies may not be so entertained. The schedules are a bit regimented for my taste. Too many rules and such. The lounge with family board games kicked us out twice because they had a scheduled presentation for the Disney Vacation Club, and the other activities were just too late for us to attend with little kids. The Pirate party started at 9:30pm and the fireworks at 10:30pm. Our little guy was bushed by 8:30pm and in bed. As cruises go the show quality is the best I've seen, it is however a one-trick pony. Cinderella and Disney characters. If you are a Disney drone you'll be in heaven and in good company. If you are 60, with no kids and you know the dialog to Snow White and you have 7 Dwarfs Franklin Mint plates you are on the right boat.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
The daycare attendants yelled at our son the first day for playing with the large Tonka Trucks too close to the other children and he didn't want to go back. All the nifty stuff you see in the marketing videos is roped off for most of the day and the children must participate in the scheduled activities or choose to color or sit. It's not the fun free-for-all you see on the video. So we only used the 'daycare' for a total of about 90 minutes. If you are not one of the Disney addicts who think anything with Mickey is perfect, think twice. If you just plan on dumping your kids off and letting some college kids deal with them then you'll probably enjoy the freedom. Older kids will be happy. Younger children who need more coaxing and interactive play will hate it. Keep in mind they good stuff entertainment wise is all geared to start late. Dump the kids in daycare and go have fun. If you want to enjoy FAMILY fun forget it.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The wait staff are the same at every meal even when you change dining rooms. They remember what your drink preferences are and have them ready when you come to dinner. They really aim to make everyone super happy. The cleaning staff is nice but they are constantly cleaning. They clean your room at least 3 times a day and are constantly in the hallways with huge carts and equipment. It can be difficult getting through the hallways during the day.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
The ship is actually laid out VERY well. The elevators are ample for the amount of passengers and moving from on place to another was very simple.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The size is unmatched. They are very spacious and much more generous than any I've ever seen before. Decor is nice as well. The ship is just showing it's age. The TV's are new, the paint and such are nice but it's just showing age.

Pros: Friendly service and wonderful wait staff.

Cons: The 'perks' disn't add up to my expectations.

Recommends Disney Magic? No.

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