1. Disney fans of all ages will thoroughly enjoy interacting with Disney character favorites and sporting their favorite Disney apparel. My favorite part of our recent Disney cruise was being able to interact with so many beloved Disney characters without having to wait in long lines. Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, and Goofy roamed the ship throughout the day and into the late-night hours. Marvel characters made an appearance during our first day at sea aptly named the “Marvel Day at Sea” and were present for the remainder of the cruise. I missed taking pictures with a few of my favorites towards the end of our cruise. Luckily during our last evening on the ship, I just happened to be hanging out before the “Till We Meet Again” event on Deck 4 midship. I was able to take 4 pictures in less than 15 minutes – score! It was so much fun being part of the character experience wearing my rose gold Minnie ears and sporting my Disney apparel. I wish I would have planned a bit better and brought outfits for the Marvel Day at Sea and Pirate Day at Sea. Many families were decked out in costumes (note: masks covering the face and any costume items resembling guns, knives, or weapons will not be allowed onboard the ship).
2. The cabins are family friendly with unique and thoughtful features. Our Disney Magic cabin at 184 square feet was one of the roomiest inside staterooms we’ve ever had. In addition to the sleeping area, there was a large sitting room, and a tub/shower combination in the bathroom – a great feature for bathing little ones before bedtime. Another thoughtful touch was the divider curtains that could be drawn to separate the sleeping area with the rest of the room which came in handy when I had to wake up earlier than my husband for a ship activity. Our cabin was beautifully decorated in dark blue, maroon, and white Disney colors with a touch of Mickey here and there. I usually ask for the little annoying table in the sitting area on other cruise ships to be removed but our table was large enough to function as a coffee table I elected to keep it in our room.
3. Entertainment line-up is outstanding. Our five-day cruise had three Disney-themed musicals. These Broadway-quality shows were perfectly cast, imaginatively designed, and had me singing along to my favorite Disney tunes. Twice Charmed was based on a reimagined version of Cinderella. Tangled the Musical was shown the second night. The last and best musical, Disney Dreams, incorporated iconic Disney storylines and characters. I was so immersed at this point of the cruise that I was blissfully belting out my favorite tunes with the rest of the cruisers. Disney movies were running all day in two large theaters, the main Walt Disney Theater on Deck 4 and the Buena Vista Theater on Deck 5. On this cruise, there were multiple showings of several movies including Frozen II, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, and Avengers: Endgame. Another “theater” was the pool deck and a huge outdoor screen mounted on one of the fake funnels. Animated movies are continuously shown on this venue aptly named the Funnel Vision. Marvel Day at Sea and Pirates IN the Caribbean Day at Sea culminated in shows on Deck 9 complete with fireworks. Absolutely do not miss out on the smaller but fun Star Spangled USO Show in the Fathoms lounge featuring Captain America.
4. Your family will love the unique Disney dining model. We rotated between three fancifully decorated dining rooms with the same table mates and servers. The three main dining rooms on the Disney Magic were Lumiere’s beautifully decorated with key elements from Beauty and the Beast; Rapunzel’s Royal Table with a Tangled theme, and Animator’s Palate that covered the waterfront of popular Disney characters. As we dined, there was entertainment in Animator’s Palate and Rapunzel’s Table. The food was absolutely delicious. Our favorites were the rack of lamb and Black Forest cake dessert in Rapunzel’s Table; butternut squash soup, tuna steak with Bernaise sauce, and lemon icebox pie in Animator’s Palate; and the escargot and Ahi tuna salad in Lumiere’s. Each dining venue had its own separate menu which changed after our first visit. For our 5-day cruise, we dined in Lumiere’s two nights, and one night each in Animator’s Palate Rapunzel’s Royal Table. For our third night we would have dined in Lumiere’s but we elected to visit Palo, the Italian specialty restaurant. If you enjoyed a dish from a previous rotation and it is served that day, you could request it in your current dining room. We loved the Black Forest cake in Rapunzel’s Royal Table so much that we asked for it again the next evening when we dined in Lumiere’s.
5. The children’s programs are outstanding. There were three children’s programs – Oceaneer Lab and Club from ages 3-12; The Edge for kids from ages 11-15; and The Vibe from ages 14-17. The older kids’ programs were on the upper decks close to the pool and two water slides. Oceaneer Lab and Club were on the 5th deck near the Buena Vista Theater and convenient to Deck 4 midship, the main character interaction area. A cool feature was that each of the kid’s programs had open house periods where parents and kids could utilize all three areas regardless of age category. The It’s a Small World Nursery was for babies and toddlers younger than 3. Services were available for a fee. The pool area was amazing. The “centerpieces” were the two fake ship funnels that house two ginormous water slides, the Aqua Dunk and Twist and Spout. There was a water park and splash area for the smaller kids to enjoy.
6. Adult-only sections of the ship offered relaxation, peace, and quiet. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of activities and areas that catered to adults. The Cove is an area on the ship with a separate pool, bar, and two whirlpools for adults. Only cruisers 18 years old or above were permitted to stay in this area. The Cove Café served free snacks and espresso beverages and drinks for an extra fee. The Senses Spa was conveniently located on the same deck adjacent to the Cove. The Rainforest in the the spa was one of my favorite areas. This oasis had five heated tile loungers, aromatherapy steam room, mild steamroom, and three themed rain showers and was only accessible to cruisers 18 years old or above. We had to pay for our access passes but it was well worth it. There were a limited number of passes so I never had to wait for a lounger or to use any of the showers. The large and nicely outfitted fitness center was located in the spa area and includes showers in the dressing rooms. There was no fee to work out and use these areas. I often elected to start the day with a shower in the ladies dressing room to avoid juggling bathroom time in our cabin. Just off the Walt Disney Theater, there are 3 bars. Our favorite was O’Gill’s Pub that hosted trivia events, happy hour snacks and drink specials.
7. Castaway Cay is a fantastic beach with different zones to please every member of the family. Many family groups completed the event together. It was a fun and relaxed event with runners, joggers, and walkers enjoying the route. After changing into my bathing suit and taking a quick rinse under an outdoor shower, I took the tram to the adult-only area, Serenity Bay. It was so secluded and peaceful. I didn’t have a problem securing two loungers, an umbrella, and two beach chairs. The water was surrealistically several shades of blue and perfect temperature. The water was shallow enough to wade out to an offshore sandbar. The swimming area was very well marked and a lifeguard was vigilantly watching swimmers in Serenity Bay and the main area of Castaway Cay. In Serenity Bay, lunch included prime rib which is not offered in the dining venues on the family side of Castaway Cay. For families, there were a number of activities. Boat rentals, bike rentals, snorkeling gear, and float rentals were available. Scuttle’s Cove offered supervised children’s programs. Cookie’s BBQ and Cookies Too BBQ offered lunch. In the snorkeling lagoon my husband saw a small sunken boat and got to shake Mickey’s hand underwater. There were three shops selling Castaway Cay logo merchandise and Bahamian arts and crafts.
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