There is no doubt that when you buy into to anything Disney you are sure to get a little extra magic. And Disney cruise lines is no different. My family and I recently set sail in January 2016 upon the Disney Magic.
Our family is not new to cruising. We had been on a Royal Caribbean Cruise the “Liberty of the Seas” the previous year in February and we liked it. The price was perfect for our budget and the service was great. The only downfall was that it was a bit disorganized. My husband and I also went on a Disney Cruise back in 2003 and though we liked it the price was too high so we opted for a something cheaper for our next cruise. However, this year we wanted to give Disney another try and see if the higher price is worth it.
Let me first say that you do not have to be huge Disney fans to love this cruise. We met all types of families and couples on this cruise. Many already loved Disney but there were quite a few that said they choose a Disney Cruise because they knew that they would receive excellent service.
So here is the good, the bad and the ugly of it all.
When you think Disney you think kids. And this is where they excel in my opinion. The youth programs and clubs are amazing on the cruise. Every child receives a wristband that tracks the kids while on the ship. They are much like Magic Bands that you wear in Disney World. Before you leave for the cruise you register your child and create a list of people who are allowed to pick them up from the club.
Pro’s: Your child will love the clubs and have loads of fun
Con’s: Your child may never want to leave the club.
Tip: When you get to the port finish your registration while you wait to board
We saw some of the most amazing shows during our stay on the cruise. These are live Broadway like productions that the whole family can enjoy. Even if you are not a fan of Disney themed movies these productions are interactive and amazing. Especially the Rapunzel show. That being said be sure to check your newsletter each day so that you know what is playing. Our first night was a welcome show and I would have much rather skipped that and explored the ship.
Pro’s: Fun for the whole family
Con’s: Spots fill up fast so get there early
The pools are split up in three areas. The first is a splash pad with tiny pool and slide for kids. Our daughter loved the slide and went on it many times but the splash pad was a bit cool to use during our cruise. The tiny pool was meant for toddlers so we never used that pool.
The second is an extremely small pool and two semi-hot tubs for kids and another slide. We were extremely disappointed with the pool in this area. This pool is so small and so many kids and parents try to pack into it. You’re supposed to be able to swim and watch movies at this pool however you just end up standing in the water and watch the movie. My husband and I got kicked so many times in the face and stomach. The two hot tubs are just warm water for the little ones to sit in.
And the third is the adult section which includes two hot tubs and pool. This area I fell in love with. If you want peace and quiet on the cruise this is where you need to be. Adults can sit and relax and have a drink by the pool.
Pro’s: All the pools were heated
Con’s: The family pool was way to packed
Disney has thought of almost everything here. One of my favorite things was the options of food right by the pool. If you have kids, it’s hard to get them to stop to eat when they are swimming. You can quickly grab a hot dog, burger or pizza that is right by the pools. You also have unlimited ice cream as well and soda. If you brought something to put on after swimming you can walk right into the buffet as well for exceptional food.
The best part of dining on a Disney cruise is that you have rotating dining. You get to experience different restaurants during your stay. And of course there are other dining options like Palo that you have to pay extra to dine in. I do have to say that on the Magic our servers seemed to be highly stressed and they did not have a handle on things. We waited for a long time for many things.
Pro’s: If dinner isn’t what you like, there is always room service or buffet.
Con’s: The food was a bit too fancy. Not enough options for the kids at dinner time. They stay the same for all nights. There were not enough options at dinner time for people who do not eat meat.
Since it’s Disney you know that there are going to be characters. Disney provided so many character appearances during our cruise. When we walked onto the ship we saw Rapunzel right away and there was almost no wait time. They also have beautiful backdrops right before dinner to take some great family photo’s. Disney also has a photo package that you can purchase.
Pro’s: You come home with so many adorable photo’s.
Con’s: With the backdrop photos the photographer WILL NOT take a photo with your phone or camera. Something that really surprised me with Disney and extremely disappointing.
Tip: If you have the extra money for it, purchase the photo package for your photos.
There are many cruise line options out there for you to choose from and many of them are cheaper. However, if you have the money I highly recommend Disney Cruise lines. They go the extra mile to make you feel welcomed and special. It’s the little details like announcing your family’s name as you come on the ship to welcome you. Or the way every cast member smiles and asks if you’re having a good cruise.