My Re-Imagined Disney Magic experience was supposed to begin October 20th, on the first cruise out of dry dock. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that cruise was cancelled. The ship had hit bad weather during the crossing and was not ready for guests. As I learned more about the ships issues, I was almost glad to not be on the very first voyages.
As compensation, we received a full refund (which showed up very quickly) and the option of a free 5 night cruise on the Magic between October and May or a 35% discount on a future cruise. Since we were locals and didn't have airline changes to contend with our cancellation was fairly simple, in relative terms. Turned out we had friends already booked on a November cruise, so we opted to take our free cruise with them on November 15th.
Laura and Lee were on the Disney Magic for the 2 night media cruise. They did a great job documenting the new areas of the ship. So for extensive photos and videos check out their series of blogs about the Magic here: http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/disney_cruise_line/reimagined_magic_2013/.
So, how is the ship, now 3+ weeks since it began sailing again. Overall the ship is in decent shape, but there are still issues.
The parts of the ship that were re-imagined and are finished, look great - Carioca's, Kids areas, Water Play areas, After Hours, Senses Spa and the staterooms themselves.
However, every day, several times a day, I saw contractors and Disney crew working in cabins on Deck 7 as well as the public areas on the ship. Clearly, there is still work to be done.
We absolutely loved Carioca's. What a huge improvement from Parrot Cay. The restaurant is nicely appointed with soft colors and refreshing decor. They really did a nice job here. The Server costumes were colorful and added to the theming quite well. In addition, we all agreed our best meal in the main dining areas was the South American night in Carioca's. Different foods, new tastes and a huge improvement.
The Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club - a fantastic redo of an area that had been in bad need of being reimagineed. Technology has advanced greatly since the Disney Magic was designed back in the 90s and the kids area was in desperate need of a rehab. A walk through the kids clubs made me almost wish I was 10 again. Even better is the fact that all kids can roam from the Lab to the Club and back again, no more age separation so siblings and friends can all play together.
From the amazing Avengers Experience to romping around Andy's Room, these adults remained wide eyed and a bit envious of the new play spaces for the younger set.
The new Aqua Lab and Aqua Dunk are great additions to the ship, as is the Twist and Spout slide that will accommodate both adults and kids. I saw many families delighting in the Aqua Lab water play area. If there is a downside -- it's very small (compared to the Fantasy and Dream). However, with the space available, they certainly fit a lot in!
The shaded areas in the adult water area are very nice additions too.
However there are still areas that need help. We were in a Category 7 Navigator's Verandah on Deck 7 aft. This has always been our favorite cabin/location on the Magic. While our stateroom had new furnishings and upgrades, our verandah was in sad shape. So bad we didn't use it. In a nut shell: the railing was loose and almost fell off in our hands not to mention the masking tape on it in several places, there was often standing water on the floor from a plumbing leak at the railing, most of the verandah appeared to have been scraped for painting that never happened, rust, and the entire area needed to be refinished.
Around the ship we saw areas that needed finishing, areas that had been stripped but not refinished.
Computer problems were also an issue. For instance on the first day we tried to book several of the "tastings", but everything had to be hand written and our tickets delivered that night, once the computers were back up. Same issue with dining. Also, a few times we tried to make a spa appointment, but again, the computers were down, please call back. Even later in the cruise, there were issues in Palo with the computers.
There is a Character Meet and Greet at the Port of Miami but you have to search it out. Go to the far right end of the check-in area and there may be signs, certainly ask a Crew Member.
The Aqua Dunk is NOT for the claustrophobic.
Grand Cayman shops are almost all closed on Sundays.
The Duty-Free shop at the port in Cozumel had much better prices for alcohol (scotch actually) than the one in Grand Cayman.
Especially in the lounges, buying a bottle of wine or champagne is a much better value than ordering by the glass. You have the length of your cruise to enjoy it and it can be moved to where ever you are dining. Just like wine purchases in the main dining room. Ice Imperial anyone?
Each lounge has a different selection of adult beverages including, wines and scotchs.
Palo Brunch is as yummy as always.
It's fun to visit with the characters, even if you are an adult and doing it by yourself.
Make sure to visit with Captain America!
One last important cruise reminder! Even though your bags may only be going from the ship to the port, be SURE to have anything important in your carry-on luggage. One of our group had a missing suitcase for several days.
As I said in the beginning, we enjoyed our cruise but the Disney Magic is still a work in progress.
Leave your comments/questions and I will do my best to answer what I can.
The previous post in this blog was Pin Sale - For 3 hours Only Collectables for a Cause .
The next post in this blog is Happy Thanksgiving.