Occupation:Real Estate Broker
Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Disney
Ship: Disney Magic
Sailing Date: December 16th, 2000
Itinerary: St. Martin, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay
FOOD: in a word, excellent. Ample portions, very delicious with rare exceptions, a few times it could have been warmer. Lot of desserts, menu changed every evening, SUPER waiters (Greggor and Sasha)were VERY attentive to my 8 and 14 year old daughters. Other than one incident when we were "late" by 20 minutes and got ignored for another 20 (our punishment?) it was very pleasant. We got over it...
STATEROOM: Category 4, Suite 8520 - if this room is 304 sq. ft. I will eat my shoes! I wish I had a tape measure with me because it did not feel like any 304 sq ft I have every been in and I sell real estate. They must be including the veranda AND the hallway. TV didn't work for the first four days of the cruise due to a "short" in the wiring (very reassuring to be at sea with a short circuit) but Disney finally got it fixed after I raised heck with the purser. Had to threaten to call the Coast Guard and report them to get action (at the next port), but they did react to my threats. Also offered me a $500 cash credit on our next cruise, which we accepted. Fair enough.
BEDDING: Pitiful, cheap mattresses (admittedly I'm a big guy, 6'5" and 300# but hey, lots of people are large and these mattresses were made for little skinny people. WAS SO BAD our steward (who was wonderful and fretted over us the whole time because he thought we were unhappy with HIM-not so) had the crew buy a piece of plywood and cut it to fit to put added support under our crummy mattress. DISNEY REALLY SHOULD ORDER AND STORE ON BOARD (as a minimum concession) at least a few FIRM and EXTRA FIRM quality mattresses. Some people may find these mattresses OK but I bet my last dollar that most people couldn't wait to get off that ship to sleep on even a hotel mattress. NO SLEEP=NO FUN.
ITINERARY: St Martin - dirty little place, people not particularly friendly - acted as if we were intruding on their day BUT THEY LIKED OUR MONEY. Rude at a local lunch outdoor restaurant on the French side (would you expect anything else?) and they really need to learn what a trash can is FOR on that island. Pretty to look at from the ship but get off and start riding and nothing but trash, trash, trash everywhere you look.
ST THOMAS: My how things change. I remember the sleepy little island that was so friendly. VERY commercial now. And the taxi drivers are OBNOXIOUS. But we banked a few good jewelry deals and a watch and had fun at a nice restaurant eating fried conch. Overall a pleasant place.
Castaway Cay: Bad weather day, very cloudy and chilly - not a good experience but not Disney's fault. They could use a few more island "stores" and food concessions. Beaches and hammocks (need more! people were fighting over them, hawking them, you move and you lose) were nice.
EXCURSIONS: Forget the Butterfly Tour in St. Martin - not worth it.
COMMON GROUNDS TEEN LOUNGE: this is a joke. Read the literature and you think you teen is going to be hanging with other "nice" kids and counselors and drinking Starbucks style coffees and sodas at the "coffee bar" which is as far from the truth as it gets. The "bar" never opened - it was merely a place for counselors to hide behind and not have to mingle with the kids. NEVER WAS A DRINK MADE at this big, fancy looking "bar". Kids had to leave the lounge and go to a pool side bar to get sodas and/or whatever and then bring it back there. Lame movies - not much involvement by staff so my 14 (going on 18) year old daughter grew weary of this in a day or so. Gave it another try and same results. Finally she decided to "hang with us" (what fun!!!) for the entire week.
SHOWS/ENTERTAINMENT: ship had JUST come out of dry-dock in Norfolk and was not really ready to sale when they arrived in FL to pick us up. Mechanical stage didn't work several times, shows had to be stopped (once for nearly 20 minutes) to correct problems. "Who wants to be a millionaire" (Disney style) was bizarre in that they were very unfair to a contestant - the audience booed so loud and complained they finally gave her the big prize (a free cruise! good deal? not so sure!)
PIANO LOUNGE: (forget the name) but it smelled like "SMOKE" - was a great place to relax and look out at the ship's wake, listen to music on the headphones at each side table and enjoy a quiet drink BUT stinky place!)
NO MIDNIGHT BUFFETS!!!! Only pizza one or two nights and then a "left over" on deck buffet one night.
PEOPLE WITH NO MANNERS: on formal night nearly one quarter of the guests on board IGNORED the request to dress up. While you are running around in your tux or three piece suit, some clown is pushing past you in his dripping swim suit long after the cut off for swimming.
BIG TURN OFF: Kids running wild: I swear, who in their right mind would ever turn lose 6 and 7 year olds to run unsupervised around this HUGE ship? Plenty of people, I can tell you that. MORE THAN ONCE we boarded the elevator to find a young child, all alone, riding the elevator and ALL THE BUTTONS pushed for each floor. My, parents are so thoughtful of others.
STILL, IN SPITE OF MY CRITICISMS , it was over fun - especially the deck parties, the unique Disney horn and the reaction of other ships when we left ports (cool!) and there was plenty to do. It would be nice however if Disney would enforce the rules about ADULTS ONLY areas and not allow children to swim in the ADULTS ONLY pool but apparently they don't have the desire to enforce their own rules and so people just do whatever they wish. I've cruised on adult only ships and the elegance of the formal evenings and midnight buffets were wonderful, unforgettable moments, that even 20 years later are vivid my mind. Not so Disney but then it again, it's DISNEY. So go have fun. But beware, it's not for everyone!