The Disney Magic is one of four and the oldest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Disney Magic entered an extensive dry dock in 2014 making some huge changes and upgrades.
This was our second sailing on the Disney Magic and it was a 7-night western Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral.
We flew into Orlando International and booked a transfer with Black Cabs Orlando. I would not recommend them and urge you to avoid them. We had lots of issues and were over charged on multiple occasions with a long process to get our money back.
Pre-Night we stayed in the Hilton Cocoa Beach. This was a fantastic hotel with a short walk to a supermarket and right on the beach. It was a short and cheap taxi from the hotel to the port.
From the moment you step into the terminal the Disney experience begins. Staff members greet you in that renowned Disney way, characters will come out to entertaining the eagerly waiting guests and the sounds of Disney classic tunes fill the whole terminal.
We turned up at our boarding time and had roughly a five-minute wait at security. Once we arrived in the main check in hall we breezed through with no wait times.
Within a matter of minutes, the Disney cast members were calling our family name welcoming us on-board the Disney Magic.
From the moment you enter Disney Magic’s atrium you notice how beautiful she is. The art-deco theme is tastefully executed with the level of detail that Disney is famous for. All around small details are thoughtfully placed with nods to Disney past and present.
The art-deco and classic sailing style makes the Disney Magic feel like a luxury cruise liner but is not over-the-top with the handmade chandelier in the lobby a testament to that.
Disney Magic has three main stateroom classes: Inside, Oceanview, and Verandah. There is also “secret” verandahs and porthole staterooms which are a lower price, as well as mini-suites and oversized rooms.
We booked into stateroom 6626, an Ocean View Stateroom with a verandah.
Our room was instantly welcoming and homely with a nautical décor and more Disney touches all the way around. My favorite touch was the lamp shades which show a map depicting the Disney parks around the world.
Being only two of us I can’t comment on how well a family fit in but you can see Disney have designed them with families in mind. The split bathroom is a testament to that which makes it easy getting ready at the same time. Also the curtain separating the living area from the double bed means the room can be split when children are sleeping on the sofa beds.
TV in the room shows a wide mix of Disney movies and select Disney Channel, Freeform (previously ABC Family) programming. There is also a limited number of live channels as well as radio channels playing Disney classics all day long.
Balconies are a perfect size and very private. We would enjoy a pre-dinner drink on here watching the sunset.
These rooms are one of our favorite on any cruise liner.
Disney Magic has three pool areas; a area for smaller children featuring the AquaLab, Twist n Spout slide, Nephews’ Splash Zone. The family pool area and the adults only pool area. The adult’s area was our favorite spot with live relaxing music at various points throughout the day, plenty of space and sunbeds with lots of shaded areas.
There are also two slides. A smaller slide for the younger children, it’s fun… we tried, and the Aquaduct. A slide where you stand in an upright coffin and the floor below you disappears…. No joke. The Aqueduct is incredibly popular and while Ben loved this… I was not a huge fan and found it slightly terrifying.
Cabanas is open as a buffet during Breakfast and Lunch. There is a wide choice of food to suit all tastes and a huge selection of fresh fruit and seafood. It can get a little crowded at breakfast but if you head up a deck from the staircase at the back of cabanas to there is also tables upstairs which are never used! We always sat here and you have a amazing view from the aft of the ship.
Disney Magic has three main dining rooms which guests rotate round each night; Lumiere’s, Cariocas and Animators Palate. Everyone has a set dining time and while more and more cruises dislike this, it really did not not bother us and we actually liked rotating with the same servers each night.
The food in the main dining rooms was the the best we have had on any cruise liner. While Cariocas was our least favourite it was not by far the un-edible but a disappointing menu compared to the other main dining rooms.
Lumiere’s had beautiful décor and was a favourite of mine. The Beauty and the Beast inspired restaurant feels elegant with nods to the movie all around.
Animator’s Palate is a spectacle as the whole restaurant transforms from black and white to a sea of colour! Including several costume changes by the servers. Only on Disney do you get these unique and truly amazing experiences in a main dining room.
I can’t say enough how amazing the wait staff are in the dining rooms. Our servers Tomasina and Willy were outstanding. They got to know our tastes, would bring out extra dishes for the table just to try and even extra portions of our favourite foods. You really get to know your wait staff and they get to know you.
If you don’t fancy the main dining room Cabanas is available. This is not a buffet on an evening but an alternative sit down restaurant option for anyone to walk up to with no reservations.
The only specialty restaurant on board is Palo. This is an extra charge that serves brunch and dinner. Palo is adults only and is a must-do. The food is outstanding with remarkable service and atmosphere. It’s perfect for couples wanting a meal for two or anyone who loves food!
Palo is incredibly popular and on sailing, partially with a large amount of repeat cruisers such as the transatlantic, can be fully booked. If this is the case call Disney prior to sailing or check with Palo as soon as you board.
Soft drinks on-board are complementary from the soda fountains. These are located on deck 9 aft so can be a walk if your cabin forward. Soft drinks from the bars are not free. I love that you can just go and grab a drink without the worry of cost. Same with the soft serve ice-cream which you can fill your boots with!
There is also the cove coffee shop. This is a quiet space to read a book and enjoy some cake. The coffee is an extra charge but the cake is included. Personally I very rarely used this but I was popular whenever I passed.
Alcoholic drinks are reasonable and Disney does not offer a drinks package. There is a cocktail of the day which is offered at a reduced price and an offer on draft beer when you buy the Disney beer mug. This is huge but you can cash it in for a token whenever you want so you don’t have to carry it around. You can also use the token on your Disney next cruise to save you carrying the glass home. It does make for a nice souvenir though!
Each bar on Disney is unique and there wasn’t one place that we didn’t enjoy. The Promenade Lounge is good for pre-dinner cocktail with live music and snacks. Keys is a charming venue with amazing cocktails and was home to the incredible live singer Clara Oman.
O’Gill’s is a great venue that intimate and relaxing. You can play board games and cards in here as well as quizzes. Snacks featuring nachos and seriously amazing pies are served in here on evenings.
As you would expect from Disney, entertainment is top notch. The nightly shows feature Disney story-lines and characters and are all must see! There is plenty of live music thought out the ship and quizzes during the day. The night time venues after dinner can be tame but fun with some adult-only game shows and comedians.
Thought-out the day and into the evening the movie theater shows newest releases from Disney and its associated studios. You can see films the same day they are released in the US which for many Brits is months before its UK release. Larger more popular screenings along with 3D movies will sometimes be shown in the main Walt Disney Theatre. The movie theatre is fantastic but a little tight on legroom in some rows. We never had any trouble getting a seat. Popcorn is offered just outside (for a small charge) – it smells and tastes divine!
An alternative to the cinema is the big screen on deck the open deck. This shows movies all day and on an evening the staff set up loungers with blankets to enjoy a film under the stars. It’s perfect with a cup of hot chocolate!
One evening is dedicated to Pirates night, so don’t forget your costume! The open decks host’s a huge pirate party with Mickey and friends all topped off with a fireworks display!
As you would expect the kids clubs on board are the best on any cruise line. While we did not have children travelling with us, I can say I was wowed just looking around the kid’s clubs! We had a look around on our first day as the clubs had an open house and we even tried the kids slide… for research of course!
There looks to be something for all ages from the It’s A Small Nursery to the teenagers club.
Overall Disney Magic holds a special place in our hearts. Not only was she the first ship we sailed on and our honeymoon, Disney Magic feels intimate and is like coming home when stepping aboard. I love that she is small and how beautiful she is.
The food in the main dining room is the best on any cruise line in our opinion and the children’s activities are unparalleled. On top of this there is a level of service on-board that is beyond anything we have experienced.
Unlike other cruise lines Disney offer very few to no discounts on its sailings. Our biggest advice is to book as soon as you even consider going on a cruise. Deposits are fully refundable up to a cut off day. Check out the official policy on the Disney Cruise website.
Whilst Disney’s sailings are pricey, there are limited options to spend money on-board; Palo, gift shops and alcoholic drinks, shore excisions and photos. This is something to factor in when weighing up the price against other cruise lines.