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Age: 37, 36, 9, 3


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Disney

Ship: Disney Magic

Sailing Date: June 21st, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Just completed 7 days of fun on the Disney Magic. This was our first cruise for my family. Wife, Kids (9 & 3). We booked the cruise 5 weeks prior to departure due to last minute vacation popping up. Just a word of caution... if you book at Disney within two months of sailing you might miss out on the shore excursions... they fill up fast (bookings for shore excursions open up 2 months out). We booked our own flight arrangements but opted for the transfers from airport to the port... best $200 I have spent. The bus ride to the terminal at Port Canaveral was 45 minutes... they took our bags and we jumped on the bus. We arrived at the Terminal at 1030am and immediately jumped in the lines to get our boarding cards (key to the world). We originally booked a Category 10 inside but asked for an "upgrade" at the terminal. They said 3 Category 5's were available (verandah)... I paid another 650 to jump 5 room types... second best investment on this trip! I would recommend going early to the port if you want an upgrade... 1st come 1st served. They offered a Cat 4 (family room) but wanted another 300... for 25 more square feet... it did not make sense. After boarding we immediately went to Palo reservations (Its Awesome!)... do this first! After this we stopped by the Spa and booked our massages and the "ritual chamber"... the ritual chamber is not what its cracked up about... save your money and have fun in the cabin.

The cruise itself was simply magical... the ship is immaculate... the characters are awesome... the child care is great... and the crew is very friendly. The only two things I did not like was the restaurants (all but Palo) and the tipping recommendations. The service was horrible and the food was just as bad. I would rate the food at 3 of 10 and the service at 2 of 10. Palo's was a 10 of 10... eat here every night! We had a formal and semi-formal night on the trip. Don't bother getting a tux... you will be one of 50 on the whole ship! People don't have a clue these days on what to wear at formal and semi-formal nights! I wore a dark suit and was well overdressed. Our room host was awesome... never needed to ask... and the towel animals was a treat! Our food servers were terrible... did the minimums and did not make us feel "special". Food always cold and it took over 1:45 - 2:00 to finish the service. With our 8:30pm sitting it was a loooonnnnng evening! I would highly recommend the 2nd seating however... it gives you more flexibility on the shore excursions... you never rush!

My second complaint is about the tipping. Our service sucked for 6 of the 7 days and then our servers started "begging" for our kind comments and of course tips. I told them our service was lacking and it was a shame. We told our server on day 2 that we were disappointed with there service... but they never improved. For a family of 4 the "recommended" tip was over 300 dollars. I did not hesitate to tip our room host... but did not give the "recommended" amount to either of my food servers... maybe they will get the hint?

Overall we love the disney cruise product... our kids are a little on the young side so we are going to plan the next one in about 3 years... Don't expect much for the food!

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