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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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