Great fun, service and food to be found aboard the Disney Magic

My friend Faye recently sailed on the Disney Magic; here’s her report on a roundtrip, 5-day New York City to Canada voyage. Kind Regards, Heidi

On Sept. 2nd, my hubby and I sailed on the Disney Magic– round trip from NYC on a five day cruise to Canada to celebrate my birthday.

Since this was my first Disney cruise, I have to thank my clients who helped me with their tips. Talk about a reverse situation!

After 20 years of cruising (10 of which I have been an agent), I finally experienced the perfect blend of food, entertainment and service.

From the moment we set foot on the pier, I knew it was different. Many times when I embarked from NYC, it was very hectic and there were long lines. Not Disney – we walked right on after a few minutes. We had an oceanview cabin on deck 2. It had a huge round porthole window which was so close to the water, you could almost touch it. There was an empty refrigerator which I love. The bathroom was unique since there were two small rooms – one with the toilet and sink and the other with a sink and a shower.

Sailing from NY Harbor is dramatic. There is still so much sadness not seeing the World Trade Center Towers (especially for me since I worked in the building next to the first tower and saw them go up). But we could see the new Freedom Tower for the first time and of course the very lovely and special Statue of Liberty. I have left from many ports and NYC is still my number one favorite.

Food – delicious. Truthfully I am not that interested in food. Just give me a strong cup of coffee (their coffee was good but not great), soft ice cream (available free 12 hours a day) and put me near the water (preferably the aft) and I am one happy camper. For the very first time (out of principle it always bothered me to pay extra) I went to a specialty restaurant – Palo – an Italian restaurant and only $20 each which is not expensive compared to the other lines The food was amazing! My hubby was in seventh heaven. Me – well I honestly am not fond of sitting and dining for over 2 hours but it was excellent.

The other three restaurants are on a rotation basis and your wait staff goes with you. Our team was superb. I was so excited about experiencing Animator’s Palate (their famous restaurant that changes color while you dine)

The ship was so easy to get around Usually I am lost but their lay out was so easy to navigate. There are three laundry rooms on the ship and also unlimited soda and juice 24/7 and a private area (pool and cafe) for adults only.

St John’s and Halifax were the two ports. We decided to stay onboard and explore the ship since we had been to the two ports before.

Children’s program – I did stop by to see all three of them – and their hours of operation were longer than other lines 9 AM to 12 AM. I also asked many parents what they thought and everyone raved.

Entertainment -anyone who knows me knows I either go to a show and walk out or do not go at all. I worked in the performing arts for many years so I am one big, fussy critic. Disney shows are the best. The Disney Dream show apparently won an award for the best show at sea. I loved the Disney Villains even more. Then of course they have their famous Pirates Party at night on deck 9 with fireworks (only cruise line that does this) It looked like a mini version of Times Square on New Year’s eve – so much fun.

Service – fabulous — and I am convinced it is because the crew loves working for the Disney company so their attitude was sincere and genuine. They were warm and friendly and no one ever said “No you can’t do this or you can’t do that.” Even towels were placed on each lounge chair so you did not have to check them in and out.

I love cruising and I love Disney, so the combination was perfect for me. It might not work for people who like to drink (not many bars) and gamble (no casino) I am not sure what I loved more – standing in line to take pictures with the characters or watching young children mesmerized by their favorite character, especially the little girls dressed in their Princess costumes, standing next to their favorite Princess. Carnival tries so hard to replace their party ship image for the fun ship image, but Disney is authentically and consistently FUN.

Thanks Walt Disney for bringing out the kid in us. Our world is filled with so many problems. Disney helps us smile and escape our worries. Nobody does it better!