Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Disney
Ship: Disney Magic
Sailing Date: September 8th, 2001
Itinerary: 4-Night Bahamas
We flew into Orlando and took the bus to the ship which is about an hour ride. We were delighted to find we had an upgrade from an ocean view room to one with a balcony. I asked how our luggage would find its way to our “new” room and was told not to worry it would appear like “magic”. After waiting several hours for it we decided to see if it was sitting by the room we had originally been assigned and there it was. We then lugged it back to our room with no help from any of the crew who saw us struggling. The elevators on this ship are a joke – they are small and because of the shape of them a couple of people would have to get out whenever someone wanted off. Our balcony room had a split bath and even though there was only 2 of us, that was very nice
As soon as we got on the ship we went to Palo’s restaurant to get reservations for that night. They were already booked up for a couple of the evenings. This is an adult-only restaurant and had the best food. They charge $5 per person which is for gratuity and then give you a receipt before you leave that gives you an opportunity to tip even more (which I think is a bit tacky). The couple sitting next to us had a great waiter that brought them a lot of food to taste that they did not order. Our waiter just brought us what we ordered which was fine but they seemed to be having fun trying different things. The chocolate soufflé is a must! They served it warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream and then topped it with chocolate hazlenut sauce and then a vanilla custard sauce. Pure heaven!
We ate breakfast and lunch at Topsider’s Buffet which is very crowded and very noisy. For dinner each night we ate in a different restaurant and our wait staff rotated with us. We really enjoyed this. I wish other cruise lines would do this. We liked the food at Parrot’s Cay the least. We shared a table with a very nice family. They had 2 children ages 10 and 13 who seemed to be enjoying the activities for their age groups.
We went to the late show each evening and there were some kids there but not a lot. The shows are Disney quality with a lot of special effects, great music (although loud) and great costumes. One night was the “Who wants to be a Mouseketeer?’ (based on the millionaire game show). This is usually reserved for the 7 day cruise, but since that ship was drydocked they moved it to our ship for this cruise.
The first day we spent at Freeport. It not only rained all day – it poured! Disney gave us all rain ponchos but we only ventured across the street from the ship. My daughter spent the afternoon at the adults pool. They have 3 pools on the ship and several places to get a snack near the pool areas. We then went to the theatre and saw “Princess Diaries” which is very good. Because of the rain they showed an extra movie.
The next day we spent in Nassau. We took a taxi to Paradise Island ( 5 min.) and toured the Atlantis Resort. I recommend going there to see their ‘walk-thru aquarium”. We strolled through the shops which was across the street from the ship. The Marketplace which is so well known had just burned down the week before.
The third day was beach day at Castaway Cay. Even though there was a very dark cloud in the distance we decided to go to the beach. There is a nice adults beach but it is quite a distance and you need to take the tram. Even the other beach is quite a walk from the ship. Before we got there it started to rain so we went into a little shop to wait it out. After about an hour we decided to go back to the ship, have lunch and hope that the sun would come out.
It was Sept. 11 and when we were walking to our cabin the Captain announced that something tragic had happened. We turned our TV on to CNN and saw the horrible events that had taken place 2 hrs. Earlier in New York. After lunch the sun did come out so we went to the beach for awhile. We were all wondering if our ship would stay on this island or if they would let us back into the country. And if they did, how would we get home? The mood on the ship was very somber but they decided to have the show that evening and it was a nice diversion. They also had a prayer service.
After the show they announced that the airports were closed and that the next morning when we docked they would take us by bus to Disney World and let us stay there until we could fly home. Our bus driver was a great guy that works another job as a DJ for a jazz radio station. He kept us entertained and I was thankful for that. They divided us into 3 groups and our group stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which is new. They also gave us a ticket to use at one of their parks. It was difficult to get our minds off the tragedy but we had to do something so we walked around MGM. They set up a special desk at the resort for those of us from the ship and were very accommodating. They re-scheduled our flights for the next day (even for those of us who did not book our flights through the cruise line!) and then when the airports were still closed the next day they offered lodging and a ticket to everyone again. We were anxious to get home so we decided to rent a car and drive. I had to pick up my car at the Dolphin resort and someone from DW drove us over there. National Rental Car waived the one-way fee and twelve hours later we arrived home in North Carolina, very tired!
Disney really took good care of us in the midst of a bad situation. I know other people who were on other cruise lines at this time and they were on their own to find lodging and at their own expense.
I would highly recommend a Disney cruise to anyone. As adults we enjoyed the cruise very much and the kids seemed to be really enjoying themselves. The characters were available to meet several times each day. (Their schedule was in the newsletter). It is a very family-friendly cruise. You will not see a casino on a Disney ship. Also, the waiters don’t push alcoholic drinks – instead they have strawberry and chocolate milkshakes. We saw several 3-generation families enjoying themselves. I will go again and take my grandson when he is a little older. I will be glad to answer any questions about this cruise – just email me -