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My Review of Disney Magic Cruise Ship

Captain Mickey and First Mate Minnie on the Disney Magic

Read my review of Disney Magic cruise ship and find out was it really magical.

I had the chance to tour Disney Magic when it was docked in Dublin Port recently. The first thing that struck me when I saw the 2700 passenger cruise ship was how different it looked compared to other modern cruise ships. It appeared old-fashioned, but when I heard that it was specifically designed to resemble one of the iconic ocean cruise liners from the 1920s, (similar to the one that Walt Disney himself honeymooned on), I suddenly found myself loving its outward appearance.

It was a modern take on an old classic – how wonderfully Disney! Like everything on board, the attention to detail is exemplary. The hull is painted a marine navy that was especially designed for Disney to match Mickey Mouses’ coat, and the life-boats are yellow in colour to match Mickey’s shoes. Disney needed special dispensation from the US Coast Guard to use these colours, as all other life-boats are orange.

review of disney magic cruise ship

That pretty much set the tone for our tour. When you look closely you can see Mickey Mouse iconic ears everywhere, in the lampshades, the wallpaper and on occasion even the carpets. Some of our group felt it wasn’t ‘Disney’ enough but I liked the understated style rather than feeling you were in Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse all day long. 

The Atrium is classic cruise style, beige and gold colours, warm and welcoming and thankfully not too dark. The pool decks are as you would expect from Disney, full of fun for kids of all ages. There is a small splash park for the little ones with a large water slide. 

The entry to ‘AquaDunk’, is located in the one of the funnels of the ship close to one of the teen zones. The floor opens like a trap door and you slide right out over the side of the ship!

review of disney magic cruise ship

There are tween and teen zones on board too – the Edge from age 11 – 14 and Vibe from 14- 17yrs. Movies are shown in many areas, in the 3D cinema and at the large screen at the pool.  I was amazed to learn that new releases are shown on board too, on the same day that they are released in the US, so no matter when you cruise, you wont miss opening night. 

As well as shows and kids clubs, children also get a chance to meet their favourite characters on board. There will be specific meet and greet times in the Atrium, but they also allow the characters to wander around the ship at various times so children can also come upon them by chance.

review of disney cruise ship

The Small World Nursery takes babies from 12 weeks and the Disney Oceaneer kids club from age 3-12 years. This is home to Andy’s room from Toy Story, complete with all his favourite toys!

Even the corridor outside the kids clubs have lower ceilings than in other parts of the ship, to make children feel taller – Disney really do think of everything. All kids clubs are open from 9am to midnight and parents can drop their kids in at anytime.

review of disney magic cruise ship

Disney Magic is renowned for its shows and the 977 seater Walt Disney Theatre is impressive. Tangled the musical is currently showing and Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for the winter. These are top class West –End / Broadway style shows and suitable for all the family.

Disney are the only cruise ship to have fireworks at sea and in true Disney fashion, they have a Pirates IN the Caribbean show on pool deck where fireworks light the night sky.

Disney is also proud to have the largest collection of Marvel Super heroes and Super Villians ever assembled at sea. Following the show, guests will be treated to a deck party with music, dancing and of course fire works.

review of disney magic cruise ship

What surprised me most about the cruise ship was how it catered so well for adults. The rotating dining system means that you are able to dine in three different restaurants throughout the week, twice in each one, and all of this is included in the price of your cruise.

You are accompanied by the same serving team in all three restaurants so they get to know your names and tastes. Apparently after a couple of days they have your favourite drink poured when you arrive.

There is one specialty dining Italian Restaurant, Palo, but with three others to choose from you may just decide to give it a miss. If you do fancy a romantic meal for two, remember the children can stay in the kids clubs till midnight. There is also an adult pool area with a spa and hairdressers.

At night-time you can enjoy a lively drink in McGills Irish bar or a quiet one in the piano bar. Suffice to say if you want some chill time away from Mickey and Minnie, there is no shortage of options.

review of Disney Magic cruise ship

The cabins are spacious with a nautical theme. Most of them sleep two adults and two children, with some sleeping five, and there are also interconnecting cabins for larger families. 73% of cabins have an ocean view and the Disney touches are noticeable throughout.

 I particularly liked the cushion on the bed that read ‘A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep‘ 😍. The privacy curtain allows you to have some chill time if the kids need a nap during the day. Inside staterooms also have a ‘magic’ porthole where a monitor displays real time videos from HD cameras outside the ship.

review of disney magic cruise ship

We ate in Lumieres restaurant and once again there were subtle Disney references throughout. The over head lights have the enchanted red rose inside. The menu had plenty of choice and was very family friendly. I wouldn’t say it was the best meal I ever had, but then you don’t go on a Disney Cruise for fine dining. Mind you the ice cream sundae was superb!

I was particularly impressed with Animators Palate Restaurant which you visit twice during your cruise, at no extra charge. This black and white room transforms half way through dining.

The waiters change into coloured waistcoats and the walls ‘come alive’ with animation. Children are encouraged to draw pictures when they enter and their drawings come to life on the walls of the restaurant. Well it is Disney after all!

review of Disney Magic cruise ship

With Mickey Mouse as first officer and Minnie his first mate, non stop entertainment and the chance to hang out with Disney characters, a Disney Magic cruise can only be pure magic ✨


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My Review of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Taller than the Eiffel Tower, can carry 5,780 passengers, has 7 different neighbourhoods and 20 restaurants. Is it possible that Royal Caribbean’s massive cruise ship can live up to the hype? Find out in my review of Harmony of the Seas.


When I was asked to visit and a review of Harmony of the Seas, I was a little nervous. I thought it would find it too big. My sense of direction is SO bad, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to navigate my way around it. I even worried that my kids might get lost at some stage!

However, once I stepped onto the Royal Promenade my fears dissipated. My kids ran to the nearest Shrek character, while I stood there ogling at the promenade deck that was packed with shops, bars and restaurants. My jaw was hanging open and on numerous occasions, friendly staff approached me asking if I needed any assistance. There seemed to be so many of them (2,100 in fact ) and this was evident throughout my cruise. I was given a map with all the highlights but by the time I took it out of my handbag, someone was beside me giving me directions.

They also have smart screens throughout the ship showing where everything is located. I would contend that it is impossible to get lost on this ship. We managed, under duress, to make our way to our stateroom. Passing the bionic bar (where actual robots make and serve you drinks) and the designer shops, I had an awful pang in my stomach. What if I don’t have time to come back?

review of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Our stateroom was adequate for four, although I did manage to get a glimpse of some of the family rooms and was very impressed. They were so spacious, the largest I have seen in any ship. They comfortably sleep six with a large double bed, double sofa, bunkbeds and lots of space over all. I thought they were more spacious for six than many staterooms I have seen for four. All rooms are furnished with all mod cons including usb ports, flat screen tv’s and plenty of storage space.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Once we unpacked, it was a case of, where to begin…! There are seven different neighbourhoods on board, each with their own activities and distinctive vibe. The kids went straight for the splash park and water slides and it was hard to get them to leave! The pool deck caters for kids of all ages. They have a tots area, a splash park for kids from about five to eight years, and three large slides for older kids. We tried them all! I had great fun racing my 8 year old down the Perfect Storm trio of slides. There are also plenty of different swimming pools, so if slides are not your thing, no worries.

waterpark on Harmony of the Seas

We rounded off our first afternoon with a trip to The Boardwalk. We had a spin on the hand crafted carousel (crazy I know!) while the kids climbed up their own rock climbing wall (there are two other rock climbing walls for adults on-board!). The boardwalk is a cool place to hang out, complete with a Mexican restaurant, a Starbucks café and even a Johnny Rockets diner – straight out of Grease.

review of Harmony of the Seas

Speaking of Grease, that night we managed to catch the broadway version in the Royal Theatre. It was spectacular. I’m not one for musicals per se, but it was as good if not better, than I have seen in London’s West End. The kids loved it too, in fact I had to download the soundtrack when I got home and it’s still requested every time they get in the car! The night entertainment continued until the small hours. There was a street party taking place in the Royal Promenade, an ice show in the ice skating rink (did I mention there was one on board?) and an open air aqua show, at the aft of the ship. We debated about using the kids club which is $7 per hour after 10pm, but decided against it as the kids were exhausted.

grease on Harmony of the Seas

The kids clubs are terrific, they are suitable for kids aged 3 to 11. Facilities include an adventure science lab, an imagination studio, a dedicated children’s theatre, all free until 10pm! You can even leave the kids on board while in port so you are free to explore on land. They have creche facilities from 6 months to 3 years, a charge of $10 per hour applies. Royal Caribbean have teamed up with Dreamworks so from time you time you will see Shrek, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda and other characters out and about. They will pose happily for photos with kids – a nice touch I thought. Kids can also watch the latest Dreamworks movies in their own theatre or in your stateroom. Teenagers are not left out, they have dedicated teen only zones, as well their own nite club and the numerous sports facilities on board.

On Harmony of the Seas, if you fancy some quiet time, there are plenty of places to hide. I thought how nice it would be to skip off to the adults only solarium, chill by the pool or enjoy a spa treatment, while the kids were happily playing in the kids clubs. They also have a medi spa where you can get acupuncture and even teeth whitening! And if you fancied a night cap or a trip to the casino after 10pm, just pay $7 an hour  – that’s a pretty good deal.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

After our relatively early first night, we were up early to see as much as we could on our last day! First up was the largest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss. This is a pair of slides that offer a 100 foot drop over 10 decks. It is the iconic picture of two purple slides you see cantilevered at the aft of the ship. Personally I didn’t find it as scary as I was led to believe, however you are in complete darkness. The zipline on the other hand, OMG! I faced my fears that day and ziplined across the open air atrium. I was suspended nine decks above the boardwalk, and all in the name of research!! I guess everyone has fears. Stepping off that ledge, was one of mine. It was terrifying!

review of Harmony of the Seas

I headed straight for the bar, still shaking, and downed one of their signature cocktails! The kids were proud of me though, does that count? Mind you they were more interested in showing me how well they were doing at mini golf than listening to me recount my experience. We decided to leave the surf simulator and rock climbing wall for another time and instead watched the kids finish off their mini golf game at a leisurely pace.

mini golf on Harmony of the Seas

After all that exercise, it was time for lunch.  Out came the map again, how do you decide where to eat when there are twenty different restaurants on board? We decided to pop down to Central Park. There seemed to be plenty of dining options there. This turned out to be my favourite part (or neighbourhood) of the ship. The centre of the ship is completely open to the sky which creates a fabulous atmosphere. You don’t think you are on a ship at all. We enjoyed a few drinks at the Trellis bar before taking a stroll through the park. There is a staggering 12,000 trees and plants here! Luke spotted someone eating a tasty panini outside the Park Café, so in we went. This is a great choice for a family lunch if you don’t fancy the main restaurant and there is no additional charge.

central park on Harmony of the Seas

I’m not sure if it was the action packed morning, the food, the wine, or perhaps the combination of all three but suddenly I had the urge to chill out on a sun lounger…  How cool is it that one minute I’m on a zipline, the next I’m dining in central park and then I’m flaked out by the pool. Welcome to the world of cruising…

The kids played happily in the splash park and the pool whilst my husband and I enjoyed some much deserved R’N’R. The kids loved the self serve ice cream parlour by the pool where they could pull their own cones. This was their first experience of an all-inclusive arrangement, so they were ecstatic that they didn’t have to pay for them and that I didn’t need to know how many they were having!  There are even miniature sun loungers for kids when it all gets too much for them too. Harmony of the Seas caters so well for families. You have to hand it to Royal Caribbean, they really have thought of everything.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

That evening we had the pleasure of visiting one the speciality dining restaurants, Coastal Kitchen. Situated on deck seventeen, with stunning ocean views and a strong Californian vibe – I loved it. The food, the service, and the ambiance was superb. The kids loved it too. Although they didn’t have a separate kids menu, they offered to make anything to suit their tastes. There are plenty of pizza, pasta or burger restaurants on board as well as a massive buffet restaurant so trust me when I say there are huge choices for kids. I thought Coastal Kitchen was special though. I wondered whether all the speciality dining restaurants were as good? I did eat in Jamie’s Italian restaurant on Ovation of the Seas and it was great too. I’m thinking, I tried two and both were great, I can only assume they all are.

review of Harmony of the Seas

Of course you have to pay for these top class restaurants…Prices vary from $25 for dinner at Jamie’s and $49 in Wonderland. However, if you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun!), try the four-course menu in 150 Central Park for $89, where each course is paired with wine. With over 5700 passengers on-board you will need to make a reservation for the most popular restaurants. You can do this on line before you cruise or by using the Royal IQ app on board. The app is very easy to use, the fact that the wifi is excellent (the fastest at sea) probably helps! There is a charge for wifi, a bit steep at $13.95 per day. There are packages available if using numerous devices in the one stateroom, and discounts for pre-booking are available online. I would advise to check these out before you board.

review of Harmony of the Seas

After our meal, we went to the open air aqua show. The setting is remarkable, an open air theatre with the backdrop of the ocean across the horizon. The sun started to set just as the show began – perfection! The modern show featured professional acrobats, divers and synchronised swimmers. There were acrobats walking tightropes above us along with trapeze acts dipping in and out of the water. It was quite exhilarating. We didn’t know what was going to happen next, it really had a WOW factor. That said, when it was all over, I wasn’t sure what to make of it all. It was seriously impressive, but I thought a little disjointed in parts.

review of Harmony of the Seas
Time for a quick night cap in the Royal Promenade before bed. I liked the Rising Tide where the entire bar and all those in it, elevate between the Royal Promenade deck and Central Park. It moves very slowly so it is a lovely experience and you can see what’s happening in both decks. You don’t miss any of the action! We also ordered a drink from the bionic bar were the ‘staff’ are efficient but somewhat lacking in personality!! The kids found it fascinating and although it is a bit gimmicky, you can’t deny the innovation is incredible.

review of Harmony of the Seas

You can’t deny the overall innovation is incredible. It seems that the development of Harmony of the Seas was led by imagination and thankfully not the budget! It’s not only the size of the cruise ship that is mind blowing, it is whats on board. It is colossal and of course not for everyone. If you want non stop action with an excellent choice of dining and entertainment, then I think you will not find better at sea, or even on land for that matter. The attention to detail, like the miniature sun loungers, show how much they care about keeping the younger clientele happy too. So I think the answer to the question: Does one of the largest and most innovative cruise ships at sea live up to the hype? In a word. Absolutely!


Like my review of Harmony of the Seas? Why not pin it!


Like Royal Caribbean cruises? You might like:

My review of Ovation of the Seas

My review of Independence of the Seas 

10 reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises.



travel deals


October Mid Term Break, Royal Caribbean Cruise. 10 Nights, inc Flights €1169!

Rhapsody of the Seas_opt

Spend the October mid term break on Royal Caribbean’s newly refurbished Jewel of the Seas, for only €1169 per person.

Jewel of the Seas has just undergone a massive $30 million makeover and can now boast contemporary styling, smart technology and an even outdoor movie screen! It his bright and airy, with floor to ceiling windows, glass canopies and skylights, all ensuring a fantastic ocean views.  If you are feeling energetic, try the running track, rock climbing wall or fitness centre.  For those who want to relax, take some time out at the whirlpool, spa, or take in a show. If travelling with kids, the Adventure Ocean programme is sure to keep them happy. There are numerous restaurants on board including three new speciality restaurants and the popular Windjammer café.

Rhapsody of the Seas offer for the October Mid Term Break from The Travel Expert

And if all of this wasn’t enough, you will be visiting some of Europe’s most loved destinations! Cruise from Rome and visit Crete, Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, Ephesus, Sicily and Naples before finishing your cruise in Rome. Price of €1169 per person includes flights from Dublin on the 27th of October, a ten day cruise on a full board basis, baggage and transfers!

The only other advice I can give you is book your October mid term break Royal Caribbean cruise now, before the prices increase!


Click here for more details:


Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

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