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Elaine Atkinson

Age: 37

Occupation:CSA

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Disney

Ship: Disney Magic

Sailing Date: September 28th, 2002

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Having read others reviews, I decided it was my duty to provide my two cents worth. Past cruisers have said, "once you cruise, you won't want to vacation ANY other way" and, quite frankly, I can now say I agree 110%.

My husband and I took our 1st cruise with our daughter, 12 and son, 8 in Sept 2002. Wanting a wholesome atmosphere and a fairly predictable lot of fellow cruisers, we invested what I considered a small fortune in our choice of a 7 night W. Caribbean Disney Cruise on the Magic. I must admit I was concerned it might not be as "magical" as the promotional video and brochures lead to believe . . but I was so, so wrong. It was better!!! It was worth every penny and these memories will DEFINITELY last a lifetime.

From the moment we boarded, we were treated like royalty. The ship was immaculate. The room adorable. Beds incredibly comfortable . . I slept like a baby . .lulled by the gently wave motion perhaps. I thought I'd feel trapped/confined, but no. So much space, many places to call your own. The attention to detail was incredible. The kid's program was phenomenal. The counselors were so patient, nurturing, considerate. They truly gave their all to make this the vacation of the kids AND the parents' lifetimes. The pagers provided gave that added reassurance, esp. when my husband and I left the ship to explore St. Thomas with the kids onboard. Our hostess Lily was sweet and attended to our room not once or twice, but what seemed numerous times a day when we were out . . . picking up after us, replacing the constant barrage of towels from swimming or single tissue thrown in the trash. Whether it was the towel animals at turndown or her gentle, unobtrusive manner, we could not have been in better hands. Unless . . by our servers in the dining rooms who attended to us throughout our cruise. They knew our desires before we could communicate them! Carved my daughter's steak, tucked my chair in nightly, and would never settle for bringing ONE extra roll rather than a basket! Our servers, Jean from France and Marvin from Honduras, became part of our family before the week was out. How we still smile and miss them! My expectations were for fairly patronizing, tip hungry, servers and room attendants . . FAR FROM IT! These people aim to please. I never sensed for a moment any wrongful motives, though they worked so very hard and were certainly most deserving of our gratuities. The shows were incredible, worthy of Broadway. Not one night was I disappointed.

The food was equally pleasing, from the posh Palo to our regular 3 dining room choices. Topsiders is a great choice for breakfast, but don't waste your time (settling for ho-hum) at other mealtimes. Our trip was only the 2nd time the Magic visited the port of San Juan. Hurricanes prevented us from taking our planned itinerary. Many were disappointed, but we credit Captain Tom for taking us to pretty, sunny weather . .wherever that might be. And how could we complain about enjoying not 1, but 2 days at Disney's wonderful Castaway Cay where I swam with Sting Ray and held a starfish, sea urchin and sand dollar that I'd found on the ocean floor. By the way, if you have not visited the Caribbean and wonder if that water could be as wonderful as it looks, IT IS! Soft sand, warm, turquoise colored water! It was heavenly and time stood still. I could write so much more, but will conclude now. We cannot wait to return. After 12 yrs. of being a SAHM, I've started a part-time job just so we can cruise again some day. Thanks for reading this far and if you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try to help. P.S. Get a verandah room, it is worth it!!!!

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