Last week, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the Disney Magic, one of the four ships in Disney Cruise Lines' fleet. We had a great time, and even though we're certified experts in Disney's Travel Agent program (the "College of Knowledge"), we got even better insight into how Disney Cruises are perfect for families.
Pretty cool, huh? The great thing about cruising with Disney is that they're experts in taking care of families. At the same time, there are plenty of "adults-only" areas, where mom and dad can have a civilized moment, just to themselves, while the kids are off on their own. And, don't worry, the kids won't miss you. Boarding had already started while we were in the tween area, and when a bunch of grown-up travel agents (like, um, me) wandered in to take pictures, one kid turned to the newly-met friend who was playing video games with him, and said, "Ugh. I thought we were going to be able to get away from parents, here."
Our tour moved at a pretty brisk clip, so we weren't able to cover everything in the video, so here are a few other highlights:
- Before you even board, there are character meet-and-greets in the cruise ship terminal. Waiting in line to check-in and board won't have your kids climbing the walls--they'll be too focused on meeting their favorite characters!
- Your dining rotation will take you through all three of the dining rooms, probably at least a couple of times on your cruise. So, if you opt to go to Palo, the adults-only dining option, on a night when you were scheduled to dine at, say, The Animator's Palate, you'll still have another opportunity to eat at The Animator's Palate one other time on your week-long cruise. (Pro tip: Don't skip the Animator's Palate entirely, of the three main dining rooms. We don't want to give away why, but you'll thank us later.)
- All of the cabins have very similar decor, but what you really gain with the suites is additional room. Nearly all of the staterooms (except for inside cabins) have split bathrooms, which is terrific for families. The beds in all rooms have recently been upgraded to super comfortable mattresses, but with lots of room under the beds to store luggage. Even in smaller staterooms, you won't feel cramped at all.
- Disney really knows how to make it easy to travel with families. The programs for kids are broken into age groups, with different areas for babies and toddlers, for kids, for tweens, and for teenagers. Each program has a clubhouse feature, with security and wristbands for your kids, so that no one gets lost.
- If you've got a slight aversion to being immersed in Disney-mania, rest assured that you won't go into Disney overload. Though there are lots of special Disney touches on board, and the branding is definitely there, they don't club you over the head with all things Disney. Plus, there are lots of adults-only areas, from the Fathom lounge to the Irish sports pub, to the piano bar. And while your kids are off entertaining themselves with their new-found friends, you can dine at the adults-only restaurant, or hang out in the concierge lounge (assuming that you've upgraded your experience).
- The food is really good. Not just passable, but actually good. As part of our tour, we had lunch on-board, as our guests were embarking onto the ship. We ate the same food as the traveling guest, and it was terrific. I started with a delicious spicy seafood gumbo, and then, my prime rib was perfectly cooked, to my taste. The carrot cake was delicious, as well. And the cast members who work in the dining room knew their stuff. I'd ordered my prime rib rare, and the woman next to me ordered it well-done (which I didn't understand, frankly, but to each her own, I suppose). When the meals arrived, they didn't "auction off" the food, as in "Who had it rare?" Great food and terrific service.
We had a phenomenal time touring the Disney Magic, and we've got lots of ideas for how to share the Magic with you. We happen to be experts in Disney vacations, having graduated from Disney's Travel Agent program. So, when you're ready to plan your Disney vacation--whether it's a visit to a resort, a park, family adventure travel or a cruise--get in touch with us!