Relaxing January getaway

Disney Magic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

4.7 out of 5
Disney Magic

4 Night Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 02, 2019

Ship: Disney Magic

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 2620

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Very nice winter getaway 4 night cruise before the kids went back to school. Very relaxing and low key for us (because that's what we wanted from it). Our only major issue was on embarkation and after that it was smooth sailing. My son didn't get to parasail on Castaway Cay but since its our third cruise, he knows that is a 50/50 chance since it seems to often be very windy in January and most excursions there get cancelled (at least on every cruise we've been on). it was the first time he was big enough to try it. We're planning to try again next year!

Embarkation

3 out of 5
poor compared to other sailings. The person that checked us in matched our kids to their cards based on her assumption of which one was which rather than asking, so the pictures were on the wrong cards and we got stopped just before getting on the ship and had to go to the side to have our cards fixed. This effectively took us from being in boarding group 6 like we were and made us about boarding group 20. There was only one person fixing issues and some person at the front of the line hadn't signed all her forms, so they were waiting for someone to bring them up for her to sign. Meanwhile the people in front of us and our family waited for what was a fairly simple fix for an extended time before they finally moved her to the side and fixed our badges. We typically go straight to Cabanas for lunch and the early boarding group is great because it is usually really uncrowded and easy to find a table. Because of the delay, finding a table there was chaotic and both issues combined made for an very un-relaxing and chaotic start to our trip which is not typical of other Disney Cruises I've been on at all. Plus there is just something defeating about getting all the way to the base of the ramp to board and being told you can't board.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
This was our first experience with Rapunzel's Royal Table and it was great. We were there twice on this sailing. Our servers, Anthony and Stillyan were excellent and we had a great time with them, as well they were very attentive and helpful!

Vibe

5 out of 5

Great space for teens! Relaxing and engaging, places to have a quiet moment or play video games on comfy chairs, even their own smoothie bar! I admit I really wish there was an adult lounge like this somewhere as the quiet nooks would be great for reading!

Lumiere's

5 out of 5

A favorite in my family, my boys and husband love their escargot appetizer! My favorite is the deep fried Brie with Orange and Cranberry Chutney. Also love the Farmhouse Salad and Chateaubriand! Although they are famous for the Grand Mariner Soufflee, the Creme Brulee is also great!

Animator's Palate

5 out of 5

I really enjoy this venue due to the decor and the show that happens during dinner. I enjoy the menu here as well although recently the Black Truffle Pursiettes were not as good as on previous cruises. The Baked Potato and Cheese soup is terrific!

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Loved the adult games run by Matt, did most of those as well as a lot of trivia. The movie selection was mostly geared towards little kids and not much variety but was happy to see the new Mary Poppins. I was hoping Christopher Robin would still be showing but it stopped a week or so before our sailing. I had missed it in theaters. The fitness center, which we couldn't find on our first time on the magic since it is hidden in the back of Senses (and NO signs on the ship direct you to it), was really nice.

Shutters Photo Gallery

5 out of 5

our preferred method is to get the USB drive with all of our cruise pictures to save a little money and not have to choose. If you do that, get lots of pictures taken and be sure to pick up your thumb drive on disembarkation morning in shutters (usually 7-830am)... they'll have an envelope ready for you, so go to the table with the boxes of small envelopes.

Guest Services / Shore Excursions

5 out of 5

The staff at Guest Services is top-notch. Always helpful and friendly.

Fitness Center

5 out of 5

Hard to find without asking someone (Not that people aren't helpful, but I'd prefer there be signs so I don't have to stop and ask early in the morning when I'm not fully awake). We never found it on our first cruise on the Magic, but found it this time and really enjoyed it. I think the location thing is a common issue because I heard people at Cabanas talking about also not being able to find it. (I found it because a forum post between the two cruises gave detail on how to get there). One nice thing is that it seems to be less crowded in general than the Fantasy's fitness center. Maybe because that one is easy to find and this one is hidden? Either way, it was nice.

Entertainment

2 out of 5
We didn't attend the regular stage shows because we don't have any girls and they were all very girl-focused. (we have seen Tangled in the past and enjoyed it due to the humor, but that was when Mary Poppins was playing). We did attempt to see JunNk which was the featured variety act, but we left pretty quickly as it was not our cup of tea. It was billed as "musical comedy" but they never once spoke in the 20 min we were in there, and we didn't find it funny at all. I can only guess the "comedy" refers to their physical gestures or clothing, but it was mostly just a percussion show where they used recycled items to make percussion. Again, some people liked it, but it was not on par with normal variety acts I've seen on Disney ships and I would avoid it if they were on another sailing.

Walt Disney Theatre

5 out of 5

Good venue, good sound, good seating. Nice place to enjoy an evening show!

Buena Vista Theatre

5 out of 5

Excellent theater for watching movies. Arrive early if raining or its a very new movie as the theater often fills up for popular showings. The back row has ZERO leg room. I'm 5'8 and can't sit there at all, my legs won't fit at all in that row. If you are tall at all, go to literally any other row.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Our kids had a great time at Edge and Vibe, of all of their sailings this was by far the best experience with the tween club (and our first experience with the teen club). Although some of past experiences were due to other factors, one thing that I think really made a difference on this cruise was that the boys attended the "icebreakers" on the first night and met several friends that they could text on the app and hang out with through the week. My 14 year old befriended another 14 year old which was nice because they could go to Edge or Vibe since they were the "border age". Normally we have not done the icebreakers because for some reason Edge offers that at 1030pm! We usually keep normal bedtimes on the ship because we cruise alot right before the kids go back to school after winter break and it helps the transition. My youngest was really not happy with the 1030-1130 icebreaker time, but he went anyway and it was worth it. (That said, Its not clear to me at all why Vibe's icebreakers are earlier than Edge's...why would we keep the 11-14 year olds up later than the older teens?)

Edge Tween Club

5 out of 5

Nice venue, good variety of activities. My boys especially like the sports or active challenge activities like Brains and Brawn, as well as the selection of video games. The location makes it a good meetup place for kids to hang out.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Excellent. Our steward was very friendly and attentive. We did experience that our room was turned over every day really late in the day (like 1-3pm) which made relaxing in the room after shore excursions, etc awkward. Not sure what drove that. The Dining staff and service was impeccable!

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
loved it!

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Overall as expected. Serviceable size since we were rarely all in there at the same time. The cabin was very clean and in good shape. There is some noise in this cabin on shore days because the gangplank is right beneath the cabin if we dock on that side (so in one port we heard it, in the other we didn't). the sound was noticeable but did not wake anyone in my family up. I am an early riser so I heard it more than the others. The boys did enjoy watching people running at a dead sprint to not miss the boat at the designated "back on board" time and that became a favorite port spectator sport in our room. :) This room has one large porthole, but is not one of the ones with the pad in it where you can sit.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
no excursion. port was fine, this was our embarkation/debarkation port. We stayed at the Hilton Miami and it was a terrific hotel for the night before the trip.

Key West, Florida

5 out of 5
Easily accessible on foot, we explored without an excursion and just walked to things we wanted to see. This was easily done and we enjoyed the freedom of just doing whatever caught our fancy. Plenty of shopping, the boys liked the aquarium which is a turtle rescue center, and we visited the southernmost point in the US. (If you want a picture there, leave the ship early after the all ashore call and go straight there to avoid the really long line that seems to always be there. we did not, but just took a picture from the side instead.)

Castaway Cay (Disney Private Island)

5 out of 5
Love lunch at Cookies Too! Very windy so all excursions were cancelled, but enjoyed the 5K which was not as hot as usual (yay). Just after getting back on the boat at 1pm it started to rain heavily, but we still had a great time on the beach all morning swimming and hanging out in spite of the wind.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Terrific! Efficient and quick. We carried our own bags off.
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