Trey Clark -- September 1998 -- Disney Cruise Trip
Day 1, Leaving Tampa
We left our Home in Tampa around 1pm. Made a few brief stops to get gas and lunch at subway. Our friend Glen had paid for the three of us to go on the cruise so troy and I decided to treat him to a night at the Lake Buena Vista Resort and Spa. But we did not tell our friend that we were going do this. We decided to spend part of the day at the Animal Kingdom and see Disneys newest theme park.
Animal Kingdom was great. The famous Disney attention to detail was amazing. Everything was themed. Right down to the fact that they do not provide straws with drinks (this is done to protect the animals from ingesting them). We went on a couple of the different rides at the Animal Kingdom and Just had a blast! But since this is a cruise report, I will skip you the details. Needless to say the Animal Kingdom is an awesome theme park.
We left Walt Disney World around 10 am. Since we signed up for the "Cruise only" package we did not have a transfer to worry about. We drove our own car to the Cruise line terminal. After driving for about an hour and a half we finally saw the ship.
This is an experience that is very hard to explain and put my finger on. You are driving on this bridge and you go over a water way, Once youre on top of the bridge you get your first glance of this HUGE and Glorious ocean liner. She is HUGE. The ship dwarfs anything you have seen before (she is the third largest cruise ship afloat). Everything about her just seems to fit. Nothing is out of place on the looks of this ship. Even the life boats look like they belong on her. The life boats are a totally different color than other cruise ship life boats. Under maritime law life boats are painted an orange color. The Disney Cruise line got a Waver from this rule and painted them a safety Yellow so that they match the color scheme of the ship. Its this attention to detail on the ship that makes this ship by far the most elegant ship afloat.
We arrived at the terminal that Port Canaveral built for the ship around 12 noon. Let me just say that this is just the beginning of what is in store for you when you walk across the gang plank. You walk in the entrance to the building and precede the take an escalator up three stories to the Terminals main room. After spending about 10 minutes for setting up our onboard charge accounts and getting our "keys to the world". We were ready to Board the ship. We took a couple of pictures of us with Captain Mickey.
It took about 6 minutes to board the ship. As you walk on and off the ship you hand your "key to the world" to the ship personnel and they swipe it in a card reader. This allows them to have a total list of everyone aboard. Anyone going on to the ship must have a key or id that gets swiped. This provides for total safety for all passengers while on board. As we walked on board a crew member met us and showed us where to go. You walk in to the ships atrium. This is probably the most elegant and stunning atrium afloat. It has a sweeping marble stair case and four glass elevators. The entire 4 story atrium is done in marble, polished chrome, Different types of imported polished wood, and hand woven carpeting. This room sets the mood for the rest of the ship. A mood of elegance and attention to the details.
When we arrived in our cabin we found our luggage inside waiting for us already. We did not want to spend a great deal of money on the cabin so we opted for the second cheapest cabin class. (category 10, was the deluxe inside cabins on the 2 deck). This cabin was so nice. And we could not believe the size....... It was huge. It had a king size bed, a twin bed hidden in the ceiling, and a sofa bed. During the day we had a sofa that was larger that a love seat and a king size bed. We had two bathrooms. Each of them had a sink and shelf space. One of the bathroom had lots of shelf space to store all your toiletries. Each bathroom had a huge mirror and was done up in beautiful tile. The bathroom had a tub in it (this tube was large enough for two people to shower at once! I know we did! We deiced to help the environment and conserve water!)
The living area had a fridge and make up table. The coffee table in the middle of the room raised and lowered to make for a dinning table if you would like to eat in your room. The art in the room was very nice but yet not over stated.
We traveled with 5 very large suitcases and a hang-up bag. They all fit very comfortably under the king size bed for storage. This was very nice just having them out of the way for the entire cruise.
The welcome abroad lunch was in the Topsider buffet at the stern of the ship. Had lots of shrimp and cheeses about 5 different hot items along with freshly cooked vegetables. My only complaint with topsiders was the size of the drinking glasses. They were very small and I had to get constant refills. Lucky they had lots of staff that would make sure your glass did not stay empty for very long.
This is one of the few times that we ran into a lot of kids. As a group of three adults we were rather concerned about all the Little Rug rats that should be on board.
The welcome aboard lunch was very good and we enjoyed it. This was only two times that we ate in the topsides cafe.
We then went back to the cabin and picked up our personal navigator. This is a two-sided sheet of paper they leave in your cabin to let you know what is offered as far as activities for the day. At two oclock the vista spa starts running a series of tours for the spa. If you would like to reserve the massage cabanas on the beach of Castaway Cay you must be at the door at 2pm. To be honest Im not really sure why anyone would want to be massaged in a hot humid environment like a beach. But hey we all have our opinions, likes and dislikes. I would much rather get a good massage in a nice relaxing, air-conditioned, zero humidity, massage room. After signing up for a couples spa treatment (more on that latter) we then proceeded to go to Palos for reservations for the Adults only restaurant (they take reservations from 3pm to 5pm). I HIGHLY recommend making these reservations. The seating is every 30 minutes from 5pm on. We made a reservation for the night that we would were supposed to be eating in the restaurant called Parrot Cay. On the magic you eat in a different restaurant every night of the cruise. Your wait staff travels with you to each new restaurant. Unlike most cruises we never had to share a table with any other people. Looking around the restaurants it seemed that this was the case with most people. It appeared that the only time you shared a table was when there was just two people in a party.
Rest of the Day
We then proceeded to go to the Guest services desk on deck 4 and purchased tickets to the wine tasting and made arrangements for our bridge tour. When your at guest services if you see a host by the name of Chad PLEASE say hello for me. This guy is the best. If you pay for your cruise with an American express card you get to go on a tour of the bridge to see all the neat knobs and buttons.
The wine tasting was a fun time. It was lead by the Cellar Master of the ship. Was a great time. Was geared to the very basic wine person. My knowledge of wine is very advanced and so I was the person answering most of the questions. If you have a good knowledge of wine I would recommend skipping this tasting. Other wise it was very enjoyable.
First Night show
We had the 6:15pm show seating. The Magic has a different show every night of the trip and to say the least they are AWSOME! Leave it to Disney to bring TRUE Broadway quality shows to the high seas. The cast was awesome and the talent was truly amazing. The shows have everything from a stage that rises and lowers to lasers and fireworks. You must see the shows they are a not to be missed. My only request and the only time we ever had problems with kids was the fact that some parents have not learned how to keep there kids silent during a show. Im not talking about the babies that do no know any better. Parents really should be able to keep a 5 and 8 year old quiet. If not they should leave the play. The ruin it for the rest of us. Enough said on that point.
We had the 8:30 seating (second seating) for the trip. The first night was at Artists palate. This is the signature restaurant for Disney cruise lines. When you walk into the restaurant it is totally black and white with no hints of any color. And as the night progresses the room begins to fill with colors and lights. This is one of those things that you have to see to experience.
Our head waiter was a gentleman named Ansel and our assistant server was Kim. Kim was the greatest she was helpful and bent over backwards to make us happy. Kim basically worked like crazy to make sure we were happy. She earned every cent of her tip and we felt very good giving her double the suggest amount. Why Kim is not a waiter we are not sure she was just the best.
Late night Entertainment
After dinner we changed clothes and went to the adult nighttime entertainment district called beat street. This place was wild. We had a great time. The Bathroom is got to be the nicest bathroom I have ever seen. You will just have to see it to believe it.
WE decided to sit in the comedy club and take in a show. If you have ever been to the comedy warehouse at pleasure Island in Walt Disney World you will feel right at home. The do stand up comedy and they do comedy troop style shows. My other half was pulled from the audience to participate. This area was a blast.
Session is the piano/relaxation area of the ship. The have a pianist playing a grad piano in this lounge along with personal listening stations for couples. In this room they have huge portholes that are about 5 feet across. So you can relax while watching the world sail by. This is a very romantic spot on the ship for couples (NO KIDS ALLOWED).
Day 2, Next morning Breakfast
We woke up early to see the ship arrive in port at Nassau. The ship is a truly amazing ship. The ship was designed so that it does not use any tug boats at all. The ship is able to dock totally under its own power. The ship can even turn itself around in a 360 degrees. The ship pulled itself in backwards into the dock at Nassau. We were docked with the Sovereign of the seas and the Big Red Boat. The Magic made both of these ship look so much smaller. The Big Red Boat looked more like the Old Red Boat when compared to the Magic.
We had breakfast in the Formal French restaurant called Lumihres. This and Palo are the two restaurants where gentlemen should wear jackets for dinner. It is really a shame that some people felt it was okay to come to dinner in a bathing suit or in jeans and a T-shirt. Seems like a thing of the times though. Breakfast was very good probably the best waffles I had ever had. The service was fantastic. They always seemed to know what I wanted and when.
We disembarked the ship from Nassau around 9am. When you leave the ship you hand your "key to the world" to the crew member and they swipe the card. This again identifies who you are for safety you will do this again when you come back aboard the ship.
I have to say this about Nassau ...you can tell they are trying to change things. BUT I would rather have just stayed on the boat instead of going ashore. This City is GROSS. The city is trashy and full of litter. We were off the ship for not more than 10 steps when we had been approached for a taxi ride. We were constantly asked to buy this and to buy that. But I have to say in the straw market it was nice the fact that everyone was polite and very friendly about it. Once you said no thank you, they left you alone.
Next time we go on the cruise we will not even bother to leave the ship in this city.
We went back to the ship for Lunch. We ate in the one restaurant we did not have dinner in (topsiders is closed for dinner unless you are a kid signed up in the kids program) called Parrot Cay. Parrot Cay is a Caribbean themed restaurant. That day we had an all you could stand to eat buffet. I have to admit that everything (especially the beef tenderloin) was just fantastic. ( to give you an idea on the way I like my food, I am what you basically would consider a food snob, I really enjoy eating at fine restaurants and being waited on hand a foot). Lunch was enjoyable.
We went back to the cabin and took a nap until 3pm, at 3:30 we had reservations for the wine tasting at Palo on deck 9. After the wine tasting which ended around 4:45 we had a tour of the bridge from 5 until 5:30. The bridge and ship can be only summed up in three words state of the art. I highly recommend paying with your American Express so that you can tour the bridge.
Second Night Entertainment
The show for the second night was a play on Hercules. Again it was full of special effects. You will just have to see it.
This night was the night we were to have rotated to the Parrot Cay restaurant. We chose instead to have dinner at Palos . This restaurant is just superb. The food was great the view was even better. This has to be the best restaurant on the ship. The open kitchen design and the over look to the restaurant just make this the greatest on board. The food in northern Italian with a hint of fusion thrown in for added excitement.
We decided to go with some friends into Nassau for so night time entertainment. We went to a local bar called Drop off. This is evidently where all of the different cruise ship staffs go to blow off steam. I would say that 95% of everyone there worked for the Magic, sovereign or the Big Red Boat. We had a blast and drank WAY to much. The ship sailed from Nassau around 3 am.
Day 3, Next Morning
The cruise ship arrived around 7am at Castaway Cay. This is by far the greatest island in all of the Bahamas. Disney really showed their style and grace with this island. The ship pulls right up to the dock. You do not need to take a tender to go ashore. You just walk down a few steps. Could not be any easier. Just goes to show you all it takes are the details to make something special GREAT.
We brought our own snorkeling gear so we would not have to rent it on the island. The water was PERFECT that is the only way to describe it. You could have not have asked for the water to be any clearer. The tropical fish were just every where.
They provide a barbecue lunch on the island. We had Barbecue the other night at Disney world and decided against it. Plus we wanted to enjoy the air-conditioner aboard the ship. We went back to Parrot Cay and had a nice sit down 5 course lunch. Again this is a great lunch restaurant . I highly recommend having lunch in it.
We had made reservations for a couples spa treatment at the Vista spa for 4:15 in the afternoon. We went back to the room after lunch and fell fast asleep. We woke up when our roommate came into the cabin and told us it was 4:30. We were getting dressed when we got a call from the spa wondering where we were. We raced up to the spa and signed in. They took us to the changing areas where we were told to get butt naked and put on the cotton terry cloth robs they provided us.
They escorted us to the room and explained how to apply the mud and the sea salts. They then left us to play in the mud. The way it works is that you bath each other with the spa bath products that they give you (two types of body washes mint and lavender, then hair shampoo and conditioner). Once completed you then rub the mud all over you other half and they do the same to you. You have three different types of mud (one for face, torso and legs and arms). After rubbing the mud all over your self you go to the steam room and allow the mud and steam react with each other. You then go back into the main room and wash off all the mud. You then rub essential oils that they give you all over each other. After the oils are applied you then go back into the steam bath and let them soak in. After about 50 minutes of all this you do a finale shower and are escorted back to the changing room. This is a great experience and very romantic. I highly recommend that all couples try this one. It costs 60 dollars for one hour.
The last show of our cruise was the Tale of the Ghost Ship. Again Disney has created a AWESOME new show. This show in an original production. It is not based on any Disney animation feature or Disney movie. You will absolutely Love this show. As a side note when I find the mother and dad that let their kid talk and babble for the entire show, I will personally post your name and address on the Internet so that everyone will know how rude and inconsiderate you are. Parents please remember to keep your kids silent. If they can not Take them back to the cabin and get a baby sitter. Disney provides baby-sitters for a very inexpensive fee. USE THEM!!! The kids talking during the shows were not huge problems just mere inconveniences.
The Third and final Dinner on the ship was at Lumihres. You reach this restaurant on the fourth deck in the atrium. This is the Most elegant of all the Ships restaurants. Please make sure you dress up to show the respect that the restaurant deserves. The food was great and was a full five course dinner.
You have to have your luggage outside your state room at 10 PM they start at the top of the ship and work there way down removing the luggage. On deck 2 they had not removed our luggage by 11pm. Disembarkation went very smooth there is no reason to be worried about it in the least bit. There was one guy at guest services that was demanding to know every little detail about disembarkation. I had to look at him and say "sir there are 2,500 people getting off the ship at that time dont you think they would make it simple and easy?" He finally agreed and went on his way.
The New Disney Magic is by far the greatest ship afloat today. The beauty and majesty are just awe inspiring. I highly recommend it to everyone. We are already planning our second trip. But this time it will be the 5 day four night trip. I did not want to leave this floating palace. If any one has any questions please feel free to email me