Disney Magic Inaugural Galveston Cruise
Chris Roberts – 06-10-2012 – Disney – Disney Magic
This was the first cruise from Galveston by Disney and cruised to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel, a good balance with three sea days. The ship will be cruising from Galveston until Spring 2013 and cruises will include sailings to Castaway Cay, Key West and Port Canaveral which will include a trip to Walt Disney World.
Transfers from Houston Hobby and Houston International airports can be arranged by Disney at a cost of $30.00 per person.
Disney Magic is designed to evoke the flavour of the great early 20th Century Ocean Liners in Art Deco Style and offers areas for families, children, and adults only in a way that only Disney do.
When boarding into the Main Atrium your name is requested and you are announced to the waiting line of applauding ships staff, one of which guides to you to where ever you wish to go.
The ships siren is distinctively Disney, sounding out the first notes of When You Wish Upon a Star, putting all other ships departing port to shame.
The attention to detail is amazing and everything is kept spotless. Hand sanitizing towels are given to all guests before entering any of the restaurants and when returning to the ship, there is no way that you cannot avoid being sanitized.
On deck 9 is the pool deck which has three different pools. The Mickey’s Children’s Pool is shaped like Mickey Mouse’s face. To one side is the Splash Zone, a play area for kids under three, together with the water slide held up by a giant Mickey Gloved hand.
Forward of the aft funnel is the Goofys Family Pool which has hot tubs either side. The pool can be covered at night for featured on deck evening events, and on the aft side of the forward funnel is the giant Funnel Vision movie screen, and below it is a stage for outdoor events.
Forward of the forward funnel is the adults only Quiet Cove pool with hot tubs, wooden single and twin loungers with thick cushions, a poolside bar and the Cove café coffee bar, where you can get a gourmet coffee or cocktail, and relax in a quiet environment. The pool attendants bring around chilled towels to keep you cool and they ensure that the area is for 18 years and over. Towels are available freely from numerous lockers on decks 9 and 10 without the need to register and any return verification.
Forward of this area is the Vista Spa for all the pampering that you could possibly want at sea together with a large gym area, to help keep the pounds down, mind you I break out in a sweat just looking in there, preferring to walk the length of the ship on deck 11 or you can also walk around the deck on deck 4.
Down on deck 2, there is the Edge Tweens Club for ages from 11 through 13 where they can surf the internet, play video games, watch TV, and participate in organised activities.
On Deck 5 children have the best children’s facilities at sea, The Oceaneer Club for 3 to 10 years old has a Disney theme, with a giant pirate ship, and there are supervised activities throughout the day. Parents of children 10 and under that are signed in to the Youth activities progamme are given a ship wide wave phone so they are only a text or call away.
Opposite is the Oceaneer Lab, for the same age group, with a Toy Story theme. There are also computers, a science lab, and an animation works area. They can also eat here too.
Also on deck 5 is Flounders Reef Nursery decorated with a Little Mermaid theme and is open from early morning to late at night, for children aged 3 months to 3 years. With appropriate toys and individual cribs together with play areas. There are Youth co-ordinators to cater for the youngsters every needs.
On deck 11 teenagers have a hangout space called Vibe, located inside the forward false funnel and designed to look like the set from Cheers sitcom. It has computers, TVs, and all the items a teen could want for and has plenty of teen themed events and other organized activities.
On deck 3 forward is the adults only Beat Street district with three separate clubs. Rockin Bar D lounge, offering games by day and live music, dancing, and karaoke at night. Sessions, a piano bar with an Art Deco theme and Diversions, a sports style lounge.
The entertainment was unbeatable in the Walt Disney Theatre. Only Disney can provide such high quality Broadway quality shows virtually every night and outstanding Disney special effects and of course with the appearance of the Disney characters. There are no shows at sea that come close to this.
In the Buena Vista Theatre there are the latest Disney films in both 2D and 3D, there are several showings every day.
Disney is the only cruise line to offer Rotational Dining which mean that you are in a different restaurant each night, Lumieres, Parrot cay and Animators palate, you keep the same table number and servers for the rotation. There is the formal Lumieres, the Beauty and the Beast inspired main restaurant, serving French cuisine at dinner. Then there is a second main restaurant the Caribbean themed Parrot Cay, serving Caribbean grilled specialties. Both also serve breakfast and lunch. The third main restaurant, Animators Palate, has a decor that starts out black and white and gradually gets more colorful as the meal goes on.
On one morning during the cruise you are invited to Parrot Cay for a Character Breakfast, as the name infers all the Disney Characters attend each table whilst you are having Breakfast.
One night during the cruise is Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party which takes place on deck on the stage by the family pool, which is covered with decking to form a dance area, and at the end of the performance there is a Firework display, Disney cruise line being the only cruise line to have fireworks at sea.
On deck 10 there is an adults only restaurant, Palos, with spectacular views, which serves Northern Italian cuisine in a more formal atmosphere. There is a fee of $20 per head at Palos which is very reasonable compared to all other cruise lines and if you feel so inclined you can have more than one of each course.
On deck 9 there is also the Topsider Buffet restaurant, and on deck by the family and kids pools there is Goofys Galley, Plutos Dog House and by the family pool Pinocchios Pizzeria.
Like all the Disney ships the cabins are larger than normal that can sleep at least three or four with a fold out sofa and a bunk that pulls down from the ceiling.
The majority of staterooms have two bathrooms, one with just a toilet and sink, the other with a bathtub with shower above and sink. There is also a cooler fridge, lots of storage space. Other cruise lines could learn a lot about storage space from Disney!
One bedroom suites can sleep four or five comfortably, and two-bedroom suites sleep seven. About 75% of the outside cabins on board offer private verandas. Those that do not have Verandas feature oversized portholes which you sit in, yes they are that large!
Shopping is catered for on deck 3 with everything Disney imaginable in either Treasure Ketch or Mickeys Mates.
In the main Atrium area there are regular appearances of all the Disney Characters, times of which are shown in the Daily programme Personal Navigator. There are also surprise appearances throughout the ship on a daily basis.
The service was exceptional. Disney really emphasizes customer service and that makes a huge difference in the overall enjoyment.
This was our seventh cruise with Disney and will not be our last.
Going back to Disneys attention to detail, prior to boarding I spoke with several of the Galveston port workers who were all provided with Disney uniforms and were trained for 3 days into the way that Disney wants them to meet and greet. As one commented there were 75 port workers required by Disney compared to 25 port workers required by the other cruise lines using Galveston.
The Disney Magic will be going for a 6 week drydock , rumoured to be at Cadiz, at the end of its 2013 Mediterranean season and sailing empty back to Miami, there will be some major changes on board.
Talking with Senior officers on board they are all hoping that Disney will return to the UK in 2014, lets hope their Dreams come true.