As someone who has been to Disney World many times, I usually don’t stress too much about planning our vacations since I know what to expect. However, when we booked our cruise on the Disney Magic, I felt that fear of the unknown creeping in. I researched on the website. I reviewed deck plans. I browsed recent Personal Navigators on the Disney Cruise Blog so I would know what to expect. I was nervous.
But in the end, as usual, Disney doesn’t disappoint. We had an awesome cruise, and there were so many surprises along the way!
Here are some of the amazing surprises on the Disney Magic cruise:
- Applause as you board the ship – we were announced by name and applauded as we boarded through the main lobby… I can’t say I don’t love people applauding me…
- Cleanliness – everything was exceptionally clean and I loved the fact that there were cast members passing out wet wipes at the entrances to all restaurants. All the drink stations had signs advising to take a new cup for each refill, limiting the risk of contamination!
- It’s still Disney-level service! It is different in a cruise environment, but I worried they couldn’t replicate the service from the parks. Apparently they can!
- There were people without kids (that was surprising to me!)
- It never felt crowded (except for the pool) – okay, this picture doesn’t look that crowded but believe me, it was hard to get a lounge chair!
- The room was amazing! We got a Navigators Veranda, which had a balcony and a very big room as far a cruises go. I had a little bit of claustrophobia when we went with the interior room on a past cruise, so this was literally a breath of fresh air!
- Room service is included! One of the best parts of the cruise was ordering coffee and donuts from room service and enjoying them out on the balcony. No better way to start the day!!
- The food really is all-you-care-to-eat! I know food is a big part of cruising and that it’s basically available 24/7. But I assumed at the sit down dinners, you ordered like a regular restaurant. Wrong – if you want all the appetizers, you can get them! If you eat your entree and want another, just ask! If you don’t like what you ordered, pick something else! And when you order dessert, don’t be surprised if the waiter brings out a few extra Mickey bars.
- They recognize you! At dinner, there was a photographer who came around each night and took our photos. When we went to Castaway Cay, I saw a photographer taking our daughter’s picture in the ocean. What they never took was our name/photopass card (that doesn’t exist on the cruise) so we asked how they keep track of the pictures – face recognition! When we checked into the ship we had our pictures taken and apparently from then on we were recognized! Pretty cool, somewhat creepy, but when we looked in our photo folder, we were happy to see all our cruise pics!
- Always in the loop – Between the Personal Navigator and Brent, our cruise director, we always felt like we knew what was going on. It could be easy to get bored and not know all the activities going on at any given time, but the Personal Navigator daily newsletter gave a full matrix of time/location/activity – whether it was a movie by the pool or a game of Who Wants To Be a Mousketeer, we always knew what was going on.
Overall the cruise was full of surprises and truly exceeded my expectations (which were high to begin with.) While it’s completely different from a Disney Parks vacation, it is totally magical in it’s own way! What surprised you about your Disney cruise!? Let me know in the comments!