Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Disney
Ship: Disney Magic
Sailing Date: January 13th, 2001
Itinerary: St. Martin, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay
Let me begin my review by saying that this trip was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, so it was just my husband and myself and we are both 43 years old. We actually began our vacation by spending 4 nights at the Contemporary Resort at Disneyworld so the morning we boarded the ship we were still at the hotel. This was our first cruise, but hopefully not our last!
Saturday, January 13: Got up about 6:30, showered and packed suitcases back up to have ready at the door by 8:00 to be picked up. Went to the food court for breakfast. Went back to the room after stopping on the 15th floor to check out the restaurant (expensive!) to finish packing and relax before checking out at 11:00 to go down to wait for the cruise bus to go to the ship! J Boarded the cruise bus at 11:45 then made stops at a few other resorts to pick people up, including an unscheduled stop to pick up a woman and her kid who had missed the bus at their scheduled stop! L Didn't arrive at Port Canaveral until 1:45, but no crowd so we quickly boarded. Next time we'll drive ourselves so we can get there earlier. If we had wanted to make reservations for Palo's or the spa we probably would have been out of luck arriving as late as we did. Didn't have to "check in" since we already had our "Key to the World" cards from the resort so that saved some time. We immediately went to our room to drop off our carry-ons. We had a beautiful verandah room, #6082 on deck 6, port side, right above one of the stabilizers. We had a queen size bed with twin nightstands/reading lights, a couch and table, large lighted vanity with stool, huge double closet, tons of drawers (and a large trunk-type closet with shelves). Had a split bathroom (one room had toilet and sink, hair dryer and small corner shelf), the other had a tub/shower, and another sink). Then there was a sliding glass door leading out to the private verandah, which had two chairs and a small table. We admired our room and enjoyed the verandah a few minutes, then headed up to Topsiders to enjoy their "welcome aboard" buffet, and the jumbo shrimp!! J After that we went back to our room, and were surprised with a large tray of chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of sparkling wine from Autumn, our travel agent!! Muster drill was at 4:00, and didn't take very long but is necessary, then we unpacked and started exploring the beautiful Disney Magic!! J We changed for dinner, at Lumiere's. We had table #31, which we shared with a couple from Salt Lake City, Utah and their three children. I was rather surprised we were seated with children, as the brochure states couples are seated with other couples and families are seated with other families. They were nice enough though, so we didn't ask to be seated at a different table, but we didn't have much in common with them so we really didn't "bond" with them or anything. But conversation around the table came fairly easily so it wasn't bad. Our server was Roger from Brazil, and Edit from Hungary was our assistant server (she mostly did the beverages), they were both great. Very friendly, pleasant and attentive. The head waiter was Dale from Africa. He was visible every evening, greeting people as they entered the dining room and then walking around the room overseeing things. He stopped to talk to people every night, and occasionally I saw him serving food and drinks as well. For dinner that night I had pearl melon balls in port wine, roast duck with orange sauce, and crème brulet for dessert. It was all delicious!! Hubby had escargot, sea bass, crème brulet and another dessert Roger brought for him. He enjoyed everything except the escargot, too much garlic. After dinner we went to the welcome aboard variety show in the Walt Disney Theater and enjoyed that. Then we explored the ship some more, so beautiful!! Loved having the verandah door open at night to be lulled to sleep by the ocean sounds! Javier, from Costa Rica, was our state-room host and kept our room cleaned and straightened all week. He was great, turning down the bed in the evening and leaving chocolates on the pillows, fixing the drapes, leaving a light on, etc. He made several towel animals for us during the week including a swan, elephant (with Kirk's sunglasses on), monkey, dog, cobra and a frog. So cute!! I saved them all week, so I could take a picture of them all together. We had to set our clocks ahead an hour that night, so it was 1:45 a.m. when we went to bed. Y-A-W-N!!
Sunday, January 14: Up at 6:45, and had a small breakfast (coffee and orange juice, muffins and croissants) delivered to the room. In the top drawer of the vanity are cards you fill out for morning room service, just leave one hanging outside your door before you go to bed and your breakfast will be delivered at the specified time the next morning, really convenient, and nice not to have to pay for it, just tip the person who brings it! J It arrived at the promised time and was a very nice way to start the morning out on our verandah. About 8:30 we went up to Topsiders for the breakfast buffet, it was delicious! I had slices of cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and fresh pineapple along with bacon and a fresh croissant…yum!! We walked around on deck after breakfast, and relaxed in lounge chairs for awhile. About 10:00 we went to Shutters to look at our welcome aboard photo - didn't like it so didn't buy it. Did some shopping at the Treasure Ketch and Mickey's Mates - bought a coffee mug, t-shirt, Magic figurine, Christmas ornament, a large photo album and a key chain. At noon we went to Topsiders for the lunch buffet - really good - and delicious desserts too (tiramisu, chocolate mouse and a fruit tart). Went back to the room for a nap - Kirk went exploring and to use his GPS. Had the verandah door open - so nice. Went up to the pool area and listened to the island music of Kool Breeze (good) and had drinks (me - Bon Voyage and Kirk - Bahama Mama, in souvenir glasses). Started getting ready for formal night at 4:00. Kirk wore his suit and I wore a long red dress. Went downstairs at 5:00 for formal pictures and to meet the captain (our photo with him didn't turn out well, so didn't buy it, but did buy several formal photos and others throughout the week). They had complimentary cocktails (Mai Tai's and whiskey sours). Had dinner in Animator's Palate (no color show though as it was Chef's Series night - all food the same in all restaurants but each item by a different chef). Dinner was long as Roger forgot to take Kirk's order - no big deal but put us behind. Got out just as the line was forming for "Hurcules the Muse-ical" - had very good seats for the show but we weren't very impressed with it. Kind of boring (maybe because we hadn't seen the movie first), plus I had a headache. Took Motrin and went to bed at 10:00. Kirk went down to the Rockin' D bar to listen to the comedian, Michael Harrison. He enjoyed it.
Monday, January 15: Got up at 7:00, and went to Topsiders for the breakfast buffet. Very good, again! Put on swim suits and went to the jacuzzi by the adult (Quiet Cove) pool - very enjoyable. Then we relaxed in lounge chairs by the pool for awhile. I was hungry so went back to Topsiders for another breakfast (same as I had before - fresh cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple, a croissant with butter, and 3 slices of bacon). J Went to Shutters and looked at our photos from the night before - spent $80. Took a walk on deck #4 around the ship - once around is a quarter mile. This deck is very nice, wooden floors and lots of wooden/cushioned lounge chairs scattered about. And quieter than the pool deck. Had lunch at Topsiders buffet, good but not quite as good as the day before. The swan pastry puffs were beautiful (all the desserts were wonderful!). Went back to the room and I relaxed and took a nap - with the verandah door open again. J Kirk took the 2:00 tour/show of "the Making of the Magic" and he learned a lot about the ship and really enjoyed it. About 3:30 we went all around the ship taking pictures and video, then had drinks. Kirk had the "drink of the day" which was a "Yellow Bird" and I had some sort of ice cream drink. Tonight's dinner was at Parrot Cay - we had a table by one of the large port holes. Very colorful and fun restaurant - chandeliers were decorated with parrots and bananas. A very relaxing dinner. I had tropical fruit to start out with - Kirk had coconut shrimp (excellent!). I had stuffed pasta shells - really good, then bananas flambe for dessert - it was OK but didn't "flambe" at the table like I thought they would. L Took Mickey ice cream bars back to the room and read information about St. Maarten (shopping and restaurants). About 9:00 the ship was coming up onto St. Thomas, we could see the lights. Went down to listen to the dueling pianos at 10:00, only stayed about 10 minutes as we didn't care for it. There were very few people there and the guys playing the pianos wanted "everybody to sing" and we're just not into participating like that so we went next door to the Rockin' D Bar to see Dan Riley's show which was much better. J
Stayed afterward to listen to the band, danced one slow song before going back to the room (Kirk picked up some pizza on the way) then we ordered room service. J Got a tuna sandwich to share and a tray of crackers, fruit and international cheeses - excellent and delivered well within the 30-minutes they quoted.
Tuesday, January 16: Got up at 6:30, we were already docked at St. Maarten, never felt it!! Went to Topsiders for breakfast, ate outside - awesome view of the island. At 8:30 we went to the Walt Disney theater for our "Under 2 Flags" tour ($19.00 each). It lasted almost 3 hours. Very enjoyable, but we sat on the wrong (right) side of the bus so didn't see as well. If you go, try to sit on the driver's side of the bus as you'll have the best view of the island. Had a photo stop where I took some panoramic shots and a 45-minute stop for shopping in the market place at Marigot. Not long enough, an hour or more would have been better. The scenery was beautiful though. Got back to the ship about noon and went to Topsiders for the buffet - flank steak and cold salads were excellent, desserts too! J Got back off the ship and took a water taxi to the shopping area of Phillipsburg (the Dutch side) - spent too much $$$ but had fun! J The shopping area is very old-world looking and quaint, very enjoyable. Stopped at an open air bar for a drink before getting back on the ship. Dressed for dinner, at Lumiere's again. It was tropical night. Kirk wore khakis and a tropical shirt. I had a sleeveless tropical dress. They gave everyone leis to wear too. A lot of people never showed up though, since we were in port until 11 p.m. Our tablemates didn't show up either, so it was kind of nice to have "dinner for two." J I had beef won tons (just like ravioli) as an appetizer, then stuffed pork (apricot) tenderloin with mashed potatoes and broccoli, with white chocolate cheesecake (with macadamia nut crust) for dessert - delicious! Had a tropical photo taken (bought it). Went to Rockin' D bar for "Name That TV Show" - it was fun even though we didn't do very well. Went back off the ship to take night time pictures and video of the ship - then back to our room by 9:00 to relax.
Wednesday, January 17: We were up at 6:30, already docked at St. Thomas. Another gorgeous sunny day (no rain at all so far since our vacation began). Kirk went to Topsiders for breakfast. We went to the Promenade Lounge at 8:45 for our tour - the Atlantis Submarine ($75.00 each). We had a boat ride to Buck Island, then about 45 minutes in the sub. There were 48 people, plus 2 crew members. We went down 60 - 80 feet and saw lots of beautiful fish, a small ray, turtle and a few shark. It was enjoyable. My photos didn't turn out very nice, but the video did. I used 400 speed film and turned off the flash as they suggested, but they still turned out very blue looking so I was quite disappointed in them. We got back about 11:00, and went to Topsiders for the buffet - delicious again. About 1:00 we headed over to Havensight Mall (50 shops,right across the dock)for shopping. Got back on the ship about 3:30 and gathered up recipts for souvenirs and condensed bags while Kirk went up to play with his GPS. At 4:45 we left port. We were sandwiched between the Grand Princess and Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Norwegian's Norway was anchored nearby. Enjoyed watching us leave port from the verandah. The ship blew its horn ("When You Wish Upon a Star") several times as we were leaving, and the other ships blew their horns, everyone was waving). Went to 6:00 dinner at Animator's Palate - beautiful color change show. Fiber optic system cost over $8,000,000!! Dinner wasn't all that great - the lobster and shrimp wrapper appetizer was good, but my sirloin steak (cooked medium - rare as I asked) had a lot of gristle so I only ate about half of it. I was surprised as I thought Disney would have only "the best" steaks. Dessert was double fudge chocolate cake - just so so. The C'est Magicque show was nice, but too much "show" and not enough "magic." We went to the Rockin' D bar for the 10:15 show by the Hill Brothers (comedy and juggling) and enjoyed that. Lots of motion on the ship tonight, could feel it in our room as well.
Thursday, January 18: Got up at 7:30, and decided to try Lumiere's for breakfast since it was open seating. It wasn't busy, there were LOTS of empty tables so we asked the maitre 'd if we could sit by ourselves but he said we would be seated with another couple. We told him we really wanted to sit alone, so turned to leave, but he called us back and said he would arrange it. He told the guy who was to seat us, "a table JUST for two." But the waiter started to seat us with another couple and we said "no, we want to be alone." He rolled his eyes and made a face so we knew he wasn't pleased so we just turned around and left. This was really the ONLY time we weren't pampered and catered to the entire weekso I really can't complain. We just went back up to Topsiders instead and enjoyed the buffet, and sitting at our own table. J After breakfast we changed into swim suits and enjoyed the jacuzzi then relaxed in the sun on lounge chairs awhile. Came back to the room for a nap (Kirk stayed topside) then about 1:00 we went to Topsiders for the seafood buffet (peel and eat shrimp, large lobster claws, crayfish, and other goodies!). Kirk relaxed topside while I came back to the room to start the dreaded task ofpacking. L Wrote several post cards and put together the tip envelopes. Had dinner (formal night) at Parrot Cay tonight. Twin lobster tails were what just about everyone seemed to order! J Roger, Dale and 3 other waiters brought us a cake for our anniversary and sang to us, sure wish I would have had the video camera for that!! But it was really nice. Went to the "Disney Dreams" show in the Walt Disney theater after our dinner, it was spectacular!! Wish they would have allowed video, I would have loved getting some clips of it on tape. After the show we went to the Rockin' D bar for the cabaret show at 10:15, a comedian, Rich Purpura - he was great, then we stayed for "Match Your Mate." They chose one couple married 5 days, one couple married 12 years and one couple married 50 years. It was a lot of fun to watch. We took a midnight walk around the ship then back to the room for a drink of champagne to celebrate our anniversary. We were still too full to eat the cake though. Tonight we turned the clocks back an hour.
Friday, January 19: Woke up at 6:00 and went out to enjoy the verandah. Breakfast was delivered at the requested time of 7:00 (croissants, muffins, coffee and chocolate milk). We watched the ship pull into Castaway Cay - and were able to get off about 9:30. We walked to the second tram stop and then took the tram to Serenity Beach, the adult beach. It was so nice with no kids around! J We had no trouble finding lounge chairs with an umbrella and a cabana (never used the cabana though, too hot inside). We waded into the water, saw fish and a ray that was quite close to Kirk. We took beach chairs into the water and sat awhile. Went to the adult BBQ (burgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads, fresh fruit including mango - it was great!!). Spent a couple more hours relaxing in the lounge chairs then took a tram back to the second stop and walked the rest of the way, taking pictures and video. We went to the disembarkation talk (informative but later we learned that it is also played on the television in your stateroom so we could have just watched it there) then dressed for dinner. Dinner tonight was again in Lumiere's (wish we would have had 3 times in either of the other 2 instead of Lumiere's though, as Lumiere's was our least favorite restaurant, too stuffy for us). We dressed up but others didn't - even some in jeans and t-shirts. It was an excellent dinner, "International Night." The foods were from all different countries, and the waiters had a parade half way through with flags from their countries. I had a Greek salad as an appetizer, then prime rib (wonderful!), topped off by a chocolate torte with apricot sauce, delicious!! We handed out tip envelopes (we gave more than the recommended amount to each) and said our good-byes to Roger, Edit and Dale and to our tablemates. Kirk went to the farewell variety show while I stayed in the room to pack (next time we won't take so much!!) and fill out the debarkation form and comment card. Later we took one last walk up on deck 9…sniff sniff, boo hoo
Saturday, January 20: Got up at 6:00 - already docked at Port Canaveral. Did last minute packing of our carry-ons (other suitcases were left outside the door the evening before), then went to Lumiere's for breakfast (tablemates didn't come) then to the Promenade lounge to wait to disembark. Cleared customs and were able to get off the ship by 8:00. A porter helped us with our luggage and to go through customs. He asked where we were going and we said back to the airport so he told us which bus to get on and made sure our luggage was put on the same bus. These guys don't work for Disney, so tips are appreciated. I think we tipped him $1 per bag. The ride back to the airport wasn't nearly as exciting as the ride to the ship and we were there by about 9:00. So depressing to have the cruise over so quickly, the week just flew by in the blink of an eye! The only bright spot for us was that we had a rental car waiting for us at the airport, for another fun 'n sun-filled week in Florida before had to go home! J
Some final thoughts: We were a bit concerned about seasickness and took Bonine along but never had to use it. We felt very little, if any, motion in our stateroom. We occasion-ally felt motion in the restaurants and theater but not enough to cause us any problems. We had no problems getting lounge chairs, even on "at sea" days. I don't know if it was because it was January and the ship wasn't completely full or what, but we were able to find chairs whenever we wanted them. We occasionally saw chairs being "saved" but not a lot of them. Disney does a great job of separating adults from children. Even though we have two grown children and two young grandchildren of our own, I'm really not "into" other people's children and had been quite concerned about having them around. There were 900 children on our sailing, but we rarely saw them! They had their own areas of the ship, and from what I've heard they have very good programs for them. Even at the shows they were not a bother, very well-behaved and quiet so I had no complaints at all about the number of children. Take advantage of the ship's photographer, get your picture taken whenever possible. They display them at Shutter's and you can decide if you want to purchase them or not. The smaller ones are $9.95 and the larger ones are $19.95, so kind of expensive but worth it. Please be sure to tip your servers and room host, they are paid very little by the cruise line and depend upon the tips they receive to make their living. They work very hard, with little time off, so they deserve their tips. We gave more than the recommended amount in each case. One more thing, keep your camera with you at all times. Most nights I didn't take mine to dinner and wish I would have. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, every minute of it, and hope to repeat it in a couple of years…..after the credit cards are paid off!