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Bob Salisbury

Age: 45

Occupation:Administrator - Foster Care Facility

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Disney

Ship: Disney Magic

Sailing Date: August 3rd, 2002

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I sailed with my family for a seven night cruise aboard the Disney Magic in August 2002. I must admit I was a bit reluctant to return to a Disney cruise after being very disappointed by a four night cruise in 1998. The first cruise was boring with very dull ports of call, but, as we are members of the Disney Vacation Club, we thought we would try out the new seven night cruise. I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements not only in the selection of ports of call, but also in service and food quality. The ship itself is a stunner – beautiful, sleek lines reminiscent of the golden age of cross-Atlantic cruises. A white top structure and yellow lifeboats complement a dark blue hull. A real beauty!

Inside, the décor is subtle but elegant. Rooms are certainly not spacious, but comfortable. We had a Category 6 room – which includes a verandah. This was a great place to go to get some fresh air, and a little elbow room. Food at all of the meals was excellent – for breakfast and lunch you have the option of buffet or table service; dinners are rotated among three dining rooms with different themes each night. Both our server and assistant server were wonderful. The entertainment fell into two general categories- very good and embarrassingly bad. OK, it’s Disney, so I’m not expecting Vegas style entertainment – but “Morty the Magnificent” was horrible – a script that was so bad I found myself cringing, and songs that wouldn’t have made the cut into a Saturday morning cartoon. On the flip side – “Hercules” was excellent with a terrific cast and great topical humor – Hades stole the show. This show, with some additions, could follow “The Lion King” to Broadway. The lounge entertainers were quite good – particularly as they are limited by Disney language and subject restrictions.

The ports of call this time around were much more interesting – Key West, Cozumel and the Cayman Islands, as well as the mandatory stop at Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. I have only one major complaint about Disney cruise ships– for God’s sake, add a casino! The ESPN sports bar on the top deck was deserted for the entire cruise; convert it into a small casino. I understand Disney’s desire to present a wholesome family image, but c’mon, it’s 2002 – gambling isn’t exactly a sin anymore. On a final note, Disney has the best service in the hospitality industry. No request is unreasonable, everyone is ready to help at any time. They really do make a traveler feel as though he was the only one on board.

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