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Cruising Magic For All Ages

Designed to emulate the classic liners of the past, the Disney Magic stands out among today's cookie cutter vessels. Designers have cleverly woven classic characters into the elegant Art Deco surroundings so Disney enthusiasts of all ages can find themselves in a floating playground for 2,400 passengers and crew.


By cruise standards, Disney staterooms are large and well-designed. Most feature two half-bathrooms—a great feature for families. Standard inside and outside staterooms are a generous 173 square feet, while those with verandas measure 253 square feet. One popular stateroom that comfortably sleeps four or five people in 291 square feet, sells out quickly. Suites of 591 square feet feature a separate bedroom, while deluxe suites have two bedrooms, can sleep up to six, and come with private concierge service.


Onboard dining is always a treat, but Disney adds a fantasy approach to its restaurants. The Magic offers scheduled rotation dining, where guests and their waiters move from one themed dining room—Lumieres, Parrot Cay, and Animator’s Palate—to another. Of course, the biggest thrill for kids is breakfast with the characters. For those seeking an alternative to the rotation, there’s the Topsider Buffet and quickie food outlets: Pinocchio's Pizzeria, Pluto's Dog House, and Scoops ice cream and fruit bar.

Activities for kids of all ages

The Magic has unique areas just for kids, families, teens, and adults. Deck 5 is the fun deck with kid-friendly areas so parents can enjoy their own grown-up activities. The Oceaneers Club is for ages three to eight, featuring a pirate ship play area and dress-up room. For ages eight to 12, there is the Oceaneers Lab offering interactive electronic games, computers and fun experiments. Parents, take it from me, there's no guilt dropping the kids in the playroom aboard the Magic. The 55 onboard counselors keep the kids so busy and entertained they don't want to leave. For peace of mind, parents are given pagers. Kids have their own mealtimes and can be looked after until 1 a.m., leaving parents free to enjoy dinner and the late-night clubs. For kids 12 weeks to three years, group babysitting is available at Flounder's Reef Nursery for $6 per hour. Teens have their own hideaway. Common Grounds is a private coffeehouse where they can listen to their favorite music, and hang out with other young people.

During the day, adults can attend Disney's Art of Entertaining series where cooking demonstrations and decorating ideas are presented. There's also wine tasting, dancing lessons, lectures, games, and deck sports. For passengers looking for some pampering, the Vista Spa offers a variety of beauty seminars and exercise classes, along with treatments available for a fee.

For cooling off, there are three pools and four Jacuzzis. Young kids splash about the Mickey Pool, with its waterslide held up by an oversized Mickey hand. Older kids prefer the Goofy pool. And there’s another pool for guests 18 or older.


What would a Disney experience be without grand entertainment? The Magic offers original musical and other productions in its three-deck-high, 955-seat Walt Disney Theatre. In the evening, adults can head off for a comedy show, dancing and live music, or watch sports in the ESPN Skybox. The one adult thing Disney does not have is a casino. However, no one seemed to miss losing money at sea.

Western Caribbean shore fun

While there's plenty to do on the ship, it’s fun to debark and enjoy the ports. For the Western Caribbean itinerary, Disney offers a variety of shore excursions, including snorkeling and SCUBA, Mayan ruin exploration, deep-sea fishing, glass-bottom boat sightseeing, and beach activities. Swimming with the stingrays in Grand Cayman was by far the most popular shore excursion.

All Disney voyages make a stop at their spectacular 1,000-acre private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay. Caribbean music and a beachside barbecue set the backdrop for a fun day. Adults have their own mile-long beach, Serenity Bay, where they can indulge in a massage in a private cabana located right on the beach.

Real Traveler thoughts

Parents, if you want a relaxing Disney experience, take the cruise. With all the adult amenities and kids’ programs it's the antithesis of the parental slave theme park experience. Expect to encounter kids gone wild squealing with delight. You might witness a few temper tantrums, too. Still, this cruise isn't for everyone and should be avoided by those who want gambling, and don't like being around large numbers of children.

If you go

This is an upscale family experience and can be pricey. Currently, the Disney Cruise Line offers four different cruising options, including a seven-day land/sea package, three- and four-night cruise-only packages to the Bahamas, and the seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Three-night cruise-only rates start at $399 per adult, $199 per child. Four-night cruise-only rates start at $499 per adult, $299 per child. Seven-night cruise-only rates start at $899 per adult, $399 per child. Taxes and gratuities are extra. Visit Disney Cruise Line's website for more information.

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