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Disney Magic - Re-Imagined

Deb's Digest Blog

Disney Magic in Grand Cayman with Tender

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.

Misc Tidbits:

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.

Comments (6)

Mary Robinson:

How was your stateroom (7620)? We are booked in 7620 for an October cruise, and I was just curious as to whether you found any problems. I know that 7620 is not a real Navigator's veranda room, but is a CAT 7A because of the partial obstructed view. I am anxious to hear your impression of the stateroom.


We had some issues with the balcony, however that was several months ago and I'm sure things are taken care of now. I haven't been back on the Magic to look around since our trip.


We sailed on the Magic last week and had a wonderful time. I didn't notice any repair crews or anything that needed attention. So they must have taken care of it.

The shows and entertainment were awesome. The adult clubs were practically empty every night but my husband and I enjoyed them. I guess that most people had younger children and couldn't leave them alone at night. We have teenagers and it wasn't a problem for us.

DEB: Glad to hear they are moving quickly with remaining issues!!!


We sailed the cruise immediately before you. We got off, you got on.

The only issue we had was day my husbands room card stopped working. That was a hassle, they were going to charge us for a new card. Said we had already asked for additional cards. Then they finally had my husband go back up to the room and wait with someone, to verify that the card wasn't working. Then we got a new card. This doesn't seem to be an issue because of rehab, though.

Other then that, the cruise was fantastic. Our verandah was one of our favorite places on the boat. We too were on deck 7 aft.

Our families lest favorite restaurant and meal was Carioca's.

My son's one complaint was the kids pool. This was his 16th birthday trip. He is too old for the kiddy area and too young for the adult area. The kids pool is so small and so crowded. He so wanted to go into the adult pool.

Great cruise, great cast members!!!


We set sail from Miami on Jan 2 for 3 night cruise (surprise trip for my daughters, and completes our grand slam) :) We have room 7620 as well - I've read awesome reviews about it on-line, like it's a perfect private viewing area for the fireworks (we've seen the pirate show multiple times) but there was a comment about the drain backing up on the verandah, I'd hoped was fixed! After being on the Dream and Fantasy I know this ship will be a bit of a "shock" in size and newness, but I was hoping with the redo it would be in tip top shape! :( Thanks for your honest feedback!

DEB: I too have sailed the newer ships, there are pros and cons to each. One thing we all loved about the Magic was the size of the dining rooms. They still feel "cozy" for lack of a better word. On the Dream and Fantasy I feel like I am in a huge huge dining hall and just don't care for that as much.


I am amazed that Disney has allowed the ship to start sailing again even though it seems to not be completely ready. I knew they would be losing money by not sailing, but with all the negative publicity you are hearing lately about the cruise industry, you would think they would want their guests to have a positive experience with no problems.

Mikki Fowler:

So glad you had a good time despite the still needed improvements.
We have never been on the Magic and booked a short 3 night weekend cruise in January, just 2 adults & our 17 yr old daughter. We were so excited because Disney had made it seem as if the ENTIRE ship was being re-imagined, now we are quite nervous......especially since we have a Navigator's Verandah (7620). We have only been on the Wonder once & the Dream twice. I am sure we will have a good time, but hopefully we can enjoy that stateroom verandah, because I think it is too late to change.

DEB: If for some reason your cabin/verandah is not what it should be, go right to Guest Services and let them know.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 24, 2013 6:42 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Pin Sale - For 3 hours Only Collectables for a Cause .

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