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Gray

Age: 31 to 40

Occupation:Realtor

Number of Cruises: 3 to 5 Cruises

Cruise Line: Disney

Ship: Disney Magic

Sailing Date: November 4th, 2000

Itinerary: 7 day Caribbean

Gray

Our family of 5 adored this cruise.  My kids (10,8, and 3) talk about it constantly and we all agree that this was a family vacation of a lifetime.

I read all the reviews prior to embarking on this cruise so I knew what to expect. 

Food:  The food is not good.  Most of the reviews say this and it is true.  My husband says I was too critical but if these restaurants were in my town I would not eat there. 

Breakfast, stick with omelets.  Waffles are embarrassingly horrible. They are the size of a baseball and weigh about as much.  Don't wait in line for them.

Lunch, wasn't as bad as some of the reviews, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, taco's (yuck) and French fries were available poolside.  Buffet was O.K.  most days you could find jumbo shrimp and/or crab legs.

Dinner, selection was minimal,  pasta was never offered, strip steak or filet was never offered it was always some sliced beef concoction that was mediocre.  The courses were also few:  Only appetizer, meal, desert.  Soup and salad were clumped into the appetizer section tricking less savvy cruisers into thinking they can only order one.

Palo was very good, it was worth the effort.

Room service menu was too limited, but decent food.

Unfortunately, I learned not to expect much.

Entertainment:   Excellent,  Disney Dreams was exceptional in every aspect,  Hercules was great, the variety show was very entertaining ( I wasn't looking forward to it thinking "great a magician and ventriloquist)  it was excellent the ventriloquist's dummy was a little boy from the audience!  We loved it.  We also love "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer?"  Patterned after the game show with real money prizes and a grand prize of another free cruise.  They are remarkably liberal with the player and allow the audience more latitude in commenting on answers than the show. 

C'est Magicique was uninspiring,  Magic was obvious and it is pattered after Circ d'Soliel.  Definitely different, kids did not enjoy nor did we. I'm sure there is an audience for this type of show but it was too odd for me.

Service:   Average, our room steward was not that good.  We met him once and he would repeatedly forget to clean things until we called an complained. For those of you who cruised before you know that you should know your room steward well.  Others onboard did not have our problem so maybe it was isolated.  Waiters and bar waiter were also substandard.  We only received one drink, never seeing the bar waiter again to reorder because he was busy serving dinner.  I hate to fault them because I think they had way too many responsibilities to be that attentive.

Kids Club:   Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!!  I never send my kids to the clubs at hotels because I was weary.  One look into the club and your apprehensions disappear.  There is even a closed circuit feed of the 2 clubs on a television near the theatre so you can watch via TV and see what's going on.  I can't say enough about this program it is top notch, the staff is incredible, and these programs show their true Disney colors. 

Embarkation:   Great, trouble free

Pools:   Mickey pool is great and does not have the salty taste of some cruise pools although I'm told it is ocean water but filtered.  You really can't tell.  Seating is a premium this was a little annoying.

Characters:   They are everywhere all the time.  My biggest complaint about the theme parks is that you send several days there and if you don't wait in a 2 hour line to see Mickey you don't see him. Here you will see not only Mickey but tons of other characters walking around, taking pictures, signing books.  They are very accommodating.  This really impressed our 3 year old.

Photos:   You will have at least 10-30 pictures taken of you on this cruise.  The prices $10 for a 5x7 and $20 for a 8x10 are too much.  It's a shame because I would've liked more of them but short of spending several hundred dollars on them I had to stop myself.

Islands:   Don't get off the boat in St. Maartin.  It is dirty, run down, and people are constantly hawking you to purchase things and get braids.

There is one beach that was pretty nice, (although clothing is optional and set off to one side, there is an occasional nude person)  (sorry I forgot the name of this beach)  But it is costly to take the cab ride here and back. 

St. Thomas was O.K., cleaner than St. Maartin, and no one begging you to buy things.  So that was a pleasant.  The shops here tend to be the same tourist stuff.

We went to Magen's Bay which is touted as one of National Geographic's Most Beautiful Beaches.  It's o.k.  I've seen much better.  The beach portion was very small and only about 15 feet of sand from water to the end to the beach,  Too small and crowded our cab driver tried to talk us into another beach but we though this one sounded nicer, we regretted it and wished we would have listened to him.

CASTAWAY CAY is in capital letters because it deserves to be. I was incredible.  Disney should stop here longer.  It was immaculate and safe.  Only 16 people live on the island so there is no tourist places or island locals to bother you.  It is all run by Disney employee's.  Lifeguards are everywhere, the lunch was good, the beach was great!

One of the best day's of our trip.

Despite some of the negative comments, the positives were so exceptional it negated some of the negatives.  If Disney could just do something about the dining experience it would make it that much better.  We would all go back in a minute.

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