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  1. #1

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    We're Going On Our First Disney Cruise! Could Use All the Advice/Tips We Can Get!

    My wife and I are huge Disneyland fans who are finally going on our first Disney cruise. 6 night Western Caribbean, out of Galveston, aboard the Disney Magic. We're in our mid 30s and have no children. Our ports are Cozumel and Grand Cayman (no Castaway Cay, unfortunately). We bought the guaranteed Deluxe Oceanview Verandah room, which means we'll have a balcony room on the ship, but we don't get to choose where (bit of a crap shoot there, but we figured we'd be happy in any balcony room, and we saved a lot of money).

    We're really excited and could use all the tips and advice we can get. We've only been on one cruise in the past, and it was a little 3 day Ensenada cruise on Carnival out of Long Beach. So this is a big step up for us.

    Any tips or advice? On the ship itself (Magic), the ports, The Disney cruise experience, what you wished you would have known beforehand, etc? We'd love to hear anything! Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: We're Going On Our First Disney Cruise! Could Use All the Advice/Tips We Can Get!

    Have a great cruise! The Magic is a beautiful ship. I think they offer a tour of the ship- so take that. Palo is best (in my biased opinion) for brunch rather than dinner. Definitely worth going a time or two, though (bring nicer clothes, they have a dress code). They may offer high tea, too, which is something I haven't yet been able to do.

    The spa offers deals, so you can take advantage of those. They have a sauna room (rainforest room?), which you can get a day pass for and which is a really nice place to relax.

    We aren't fans of formal night (love seeing everybody dressed up, but not interested in doing it ourselves), so on that night we went to the buffet, which for evening is table service! It was on the Wonder, anyway, and I'm assuming it will be the same on the Magic.

    I've found that two port days in a row are tiring, so one of the days we will avoid scheduling any excursions, just wander the area, get lunch, and have a quiet day of it. Something to think about.

    Excursions are good to schedule through the cruise line, in spite of being a bit more expensive than what you could get on your own. But if you do go through the cruise line, and anything happens to make you late, the ship will wait. If you schedule things on your own, they don't.

    Movies in the theater on board, live shows in the big theater every night, characters and games, educational seminars: all things to take advantage of. We've done a tequila tasting and a whiskey tasting, for which there is a slight charge but are a lot of fun. I've also seen cheese tasting and beer tasting offered. There's a coffee shop in the adult area (they charge for the coffees, just like you pay for alcohol) which is a great place to hang out, play games with your friends, or just watch everything.

    They have a pretty good little gym on board: elliptical machines, treadmills, and some weights and machines. Our strategy is to use the gym as many days as we can, maybe take the spin classes or yoga classes, and always use the stairs to get around on the ship. We've made it through three cruises now without gaining weight on them.

    Look at your daily Navigator newsletter- it will tell you everything that's going on that day.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  3. #3

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    Re: We're Going On Our First Disney Cruise! Could Use All the Advice/Tips We Can Get!

    I was on the Wonder which is the sister trip a while back, so hopefully the locations are still accurate.

    You can carry on, must be carried on, liqour and other drinks. If you like rum and coke bring a couple liters of each. A case of beer, soda, bottle water and wine it's all fine. There is a corkage fee if a room attendant needs to bring a corkscrew but it's usually waved so tip. If you bring bottle to dinner you will be charged a corkage fee of $20. I have heard of people coming to dinner double fisting.

    If you drink beer there is a refillable beer mug available for about $15, and refills are about $4.25 including the mandatoryt ip. Tap beer only. If someone likes beer this is a good deal if you refill it a bunch of times.

    You can carry drinks into dinner with you. Not allowed if it's from your carry on stuff, but overlooked anway.

    Free non alcholic drinks and soft serve ice cream was on deck ?9? and to the aft end. Take this to the shows with you instead of paying at the theater concession stand. Get cookies or rice crispys from the free room service(plus tip) to take to the shows also.

    Bring some simple costume things for the pirate night. Eye patch, crazy long ear ring, bandana, and a white button up shirt with pants is a great start.

    The first run movies are awesome. If you are there and something is just out watch it on the ship instead of a theater at home. They have midnight showings on release days.

    There is a secret deck, at the aft of deck 7. It's usually empty and a romantic quiet spot, but sometime hosts wedding and other private funtions.


    You rotate through the dining locations, and you server follows you. If you want to dine alone rather than with other guests just ask.

  4. #4

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    Re: We're Going On Our First Disney Cruise! Could Use All the Advice/Tips We Can Get!

    I thought the Palo dinner was better than brunch, but both are fantastic. The dinner show at Animator's Palate only happens on your first visit, so try not to schedule Palo that night.

    I agree that full day excursions can be tiring, especially two full days in a row. Shorter excursions with some casual on-your-own time in the ports could be the way to go.

    Everyone goes to the big events, like the musicals, but look for smaller events to attend as well. On the Wonder, the Flubber workshop for adults was a highlight of the cruise.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  5. #5

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    Re: We're Going On Our First Disney Cruise! Could Use All the Advice/Tips We Can Get!

    This is GREAT information! Thank you!

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