Great for families, but don't expect the photo package to deliver its promises
Disney Magic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
The best part of my cruise was that I got to see a Broadway quality show after dinner each night- fabulous! The performances were all great. The movie theater was never crowded, either. The ship was beautifully decorated for Halloween, a favorite holiday of mine and my daughter's. I have decided cruising is how I want to vacation from now on- there was no shortage of activities. Service was pretty good- the dining room staff was great- except they kept hounding me to fill out comment cards and asking for feedback while I was relaxing and trying to enjoy my meal. One server talked right over a dessert I was planning on eating- I was afraid to eat it after she breathed all over it. It detracted from my meals. I did not bother to fill out the comment card after being asked to do it so many times, either.
The photography package was deceptive. I paid upfront online months before my cruise, expecting to get lots of shots with myself and my family. I found myself either waiting on long lines with an impatient 4 year old to take pictures with characters, or having to hunt down photographers after they left the dining room (the rare times they were there) to take pictures of me and my family. I actually forgot my phone at home, and had no way of taking any shots myself. Any time a staff member asked if I had my camera to take a picture of my child, I had to ask "where is the ship photographer?". I was always told they do not take those types of shots- I was disappointed. I was oversold and they under delivered. I must say that the pictures I did get came out beautifully. I may do something differently next time. I paid $359 and expected more candid shots- we got none. the ticketed events such as a character breakfast were a lot of fun- however no photographer's were there! They were at a Frozen gathering, however. I loved how the characters, especially the princesses, interacted with my daughter. Cinderella in particular was fun because she noticed my daughter had a dress with cats on it- she told my daughter that her cat, Lucifer, wasn't nice. It was funny!
Food was awesome, and varied. I loved that there were healthy options. No complaints about the excursions- Castaway Cay was a lot of fun- and I'm not a beach person either. They had a yoga session on the beach- it was incredible. Not many others took the fitness classes- I like to work out even on vacation- so it was nice not to be in an overcrowded gym. The instructors were great! I'd recommend to adults to go to Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay- if you have a spouse who wants to play on the beach with your children, go off to that area if you can. They have bike trails that are scenic and I had some nice walks on them. The food is also great in that area- little things like lemon for your water and specialty salads that are not available on the main part. I had fun exploring on my own!
Animator's Palate was my favorite restaurant by far- the lighting, the entertainment during meals- all great fun. My child was engaged. It helped that we had a great family as table mates- their daughters quickly befriended my child and they looked forward to seeing each other each day. We frequently stayed after all the other tables left, and even got together to have lunch. Great people and great conversation.
The kids club is good if your child wants to go. However, I was told only one parent could go in at a time. I wanted my child to show me her favorite parts of the club, tell me what she did, and missed out on that one day. I didn't put her in the club often, however I did have to assert myself once to get in to see my child along with my husband. The girl I dealt with most of the time was difficult to understand.
I was happy that the dining staff did not up sell all of the time. They understood when I said no and didn't push often. I was afraid of that, and it was not an issue. I'm on a limited budget but splurged on this vacation anyway, I wanted to give my child that Disney experience, and I have been dying to go on cruise. I'd love to do it again but due to finances may have to price other cruise lines for my next trip. I did feel it was a good value for my money. We had an inside stateroom cabin- the least expensive category- and it was fine. I didn't need views of the ocean in my cabin because I was on the ship so much. For a small family like mine, 3 people it worked though if any more people were in the cabin it would have been very cramped. The bed was comfortable, too.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Don't expect roving photographers- you'll have to take many of your own pictures. Disappointing if you buy a photography package. Dining room staff is helpful and friendly but too chatty - especially when I am trying to eat my meal. I had to be polite and listen to them as my food got cold.