A Disney fan blog about the good things in life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Best Disney Cruise Line Boat -- According to Me

When I started "cruisin'" back in 2007 I really had no idea that the boat was part of the journey. Today I have 5 Disney cruises under my belt and now I realize the ship you sail on can be more important than the destinations.

For those considering a Disney cruise and trying to work out what itinerary to select, here are my unscientific, completely personal feelings on the ships that make up the Disney fleet.

The work horse of the Disney fleet, the Magic travels the globe. From Europe to Hawaii, this ship has seen it all. I sailed on her both prior to the recent refurb as well as after. Like any classic, there are both charms and quirks.

    Look, lets be real, the Magic is still a massive ship. If this is the first cruise you have ever taken, chances are you will feel overwhelmed by this floating city. However, if you have sailed another cruise line, or the Disney Dream or Fantasy, it will feel quaint and maybe slightly disappointing in its moderate grandeur. So how is this a pro? Well talk to me when you have boarded in record time, found a deck chair without issue, got a space at Palo during a day at sea, and even snagged a Cabana on Castaway Cay. Debarkation is a breeze with half the people and half the luggage. Less people = more time not throwing elbows. You get the drift. 
The Magic. Massive yet somehow small

    I loved the way they designed the new pools on the Magic. I have two boys-- seven and four. The pools on any cruise ship can get nuts and my guys think they are much bigger dogs than they actually are. On the Magic, the kids area is nice and contained. I could sit at a table and watch/lurk as they both ran around the spray park, waited in line on the Twist and Spout slide, and splashed in the appropriate depth pool.

My deck chair vantage point. Nobody is drowning on my watch. 

    One thing The Magic has over other the other Disney ships is the Marvel theming at the kids clubs. My boys could not get enough of the "Becoming Iron Man" experience and the Avengers Academy. During Avengers Academy they not only became super heros but hung out with Captain American for a bit. Don't get me wrong, the Dream and Fantasy kids clubs are still amazing but they are themed slightly different and DO NOT have this same Marvel experience. 
Avengers Academy

Captain America salutes
while my kids apparently have sun in their eyes

I am grouping these together because they are virtually the same ship. If you love one, you will love both. Surprisingly these massive ships don't go nearly as many places as the Magic and the Wonder. I have a theory that the overhead for taking these big boys across oceans might be cost prohibitive and that they might not fit in all ports-- let me know if you ever see one of these guys at Key West. Don't fear though, you can always count on your standard Bahamian and Caribbean itinerary-- which, lets be real, is not too shabby.

    While the size of the Dream and the Fantasy can be overwhelming, being bigger means being able to offer more space for programming-- specifically, adult programming. 7AM yoga classes on deck,  a large work out space in Senses, and my personal favorite-- a whole other adult deck to lounge on.

    Satellite Falls, located on Deck 13 on the Fantasy, is an extra bit of welcome space in the adult pool section. Containing a small splash pool/water fountain you can actually sit in (I wasn't 100% sure at first) with an abundance of deck chairs, Satellite Falls was our go-to retreat when we needed some real quiet. I'm not sure if people just never discovered this section of the boat, or we went at the best times-- there was just never anyone there.      
It was seriously always this quiet
    Hands down the AquaDuck found on both the Fantasy and the Dream beats out the AquaDunk on the Magic. Full disclosure-- I did not attempt the AquaDunk. I watched lots of people go down and have their bathing suits compromised, but I didn't really want to try it. I like to keep my top on thankyouverymuch. The AquaDuck on the other hand is like a fast lazy river around the circumference of a boat. Did I have you at lazy river? It's pretty awesome and makes both the Dream and the Fantasy a bonus. My husband went on the AquaDunk and immediately after pulling his bathing suit down from around his neck said, "you will not like it." I trust him.
"Oh Heeeeyyyy"
    I've been to some classy joints in my time but Remy was hands down the most interesting. With JR Ewing to our left and British royals to our right, we could not help but be entertained. It is fine dining so there was a whole thing about the cheeses, the wines, the breads and the truffle experience but I also got the feeling that people were just itching to spend their money. JR Ewing and his (maybe) wife walked out with a $1300 bill. The British folks opted for the truffle experience, the wine pairing, and chefs tasting which ran them around $900. My husband and I high fived (I kid you not) when we walked out with a $250 bill. No truffle up charge for this gal. It's $75 a person and what you get for that price is just fine. 
Remy Menu: I don't know what it means either but it was good/

So is it a cop-out if I don't pick the best boat and say I like them all? I liked the charm of the Magic and the majesty of the Fantasy and Dream. I've never been on the Wonder but rumor has it that she will be getting a makeover like the Magic sometime in the not-to-distant future. Each ship has something special about it which makes picking a favorite almost impossible. 

A fellow cruiser and I were talking about her recent experience on the Magic. She has been on some of the Royal Caribbean ships and I asked if the Magic felt too small by comparison. Her response was no, it was not too small and really it was about the activities that keep you busy during the day. No matter the Disney ship you will be swept away. And with that, I leave you with this moment of zen.

Disney does sunsets right

Do you have a favorite boat or a fav cruising experience? We would love to hear from you.

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