written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist
I recently returned from my first experience on a Marvel Day at Sea cruise on the Disney Magic.
This was my second experience on the Disney Magic and I cruised just before the ship goes in to dry dock for a few updates – most notable, reimagining Carioca’s into Rapunzel’s Royal Table! But more about that once I cruise on the refurbished Disney Magic…
This was also my first 5-night itinerary, with 2 days at sea and a first visit to Cozumel – lots of firsts with this cruise experience!
Since we had just sailed on the Disney Magic in December, we knew our way around the ship and, even though we did not have the same stateroom as December, we were lucky enough to have the services of our same stateroom Hostess, Esther. She was always so friendly and accommodating, taking care of our every need – even things we didn’t know we needed – and she creates the best Towel Art!
One of the things we love about a Disney Cruise is the rotational dining. It’s fun to get to know your server team but to also be able to experience different dining options. As this was a 5-night cruise, we were able to experience Animator’s Palette twice – it’s my favorite in the rotational dining options. And, this time, we dined at Lumiere’s on our final night so our breakfast on disembark day was also at Lumiere’s.
While I have toured the other stateroom types, we have always chosen a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah and we prefer the starboard side so that we have a great view of the island when we arrive at Castaway Cay. The staterooms are good sized with under-bed storage for your luggage and we have never felt crowded in our stateroom when cruising with Disney, even on the smaller ships. My favorite feature is the elevated bed frames for under-bed storage of suitcases and other large items.
This Marvel Day at Sea sailing offered Marvel Character Meet & Greets and entertainment in addition to the normal onboard fun! We signed up in advance for meet & greets with several characters – including Black Panther – and then met some without “reservations”.
There were also characters roaming about the ship during our Marvel Day at Sea and an evening show with fireworks – Disney is the only cruise line that is granted permission to display fireworks at sea. [if you have read some of my other blogs, fireworks are a big deal to me!]
Even though this was a 5-night cruise, we only had 2 ports of call – Castaway Cay and Cozumel. While Castaway Cay is always my favorite port of call, Cozumel was a new experience for us. We were able to check out some “local” shops and also found a restaurant chain that we frequent back home.
While our Marvel Day at Sea was filled with lots of Marvel fun, on our second day at sea we were more able to enjoy the ship – movies, pools, water slides, games, dining, entertainment – it’s all included. We also signed up in advance for the Mixology session during our second day at sea. It was a very fun and informative session and, for $20.00 per person, the price was great as it included the 5 adult beverages that were featured during the session. I highly recommend any of the adult beverage sessions offered during a Disney Cruise.
Castaway Cay is my favorite port of call when cruising with Disney!! Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and is consistently rated by Disney Guests as their favorite port of call and it’s reserved exclusively for Disney cruisers. The ships will dock right at the island to allow you to come and go as you please while enjoying experiences such as snorkeling, boating, swimming and sunbathing. Bicycles can also be rented if you want to explore the island’s nature trails. While all areas of the island can be reached by walking, an island tram offers four stops to help you easily get where you want to go.
We are runners and, weather permitting, Disney Cruise Line offers a 5K on every stop at Castaway Cay. It’s very informal but you do get race bibs and a medal at the finish line. If you want to participate in the 5K on Castaway Cay, you can register at Guest Services once onboard your cruise. Your registration ticket, “Key to the World” and photo ID are required the day of your event to participate. The 3.1-mile out-and-back event is free and family friendly; it’s open to walkers and runners ages 10 and older. The race takes place first thing in the morning on the island, typically with a meeting time onboard of 8 am, and participants are the first Guests off the ship at Castaway Cay This is a very casual fun experience worth the early wake-up!
Your “Key to the World” card works for all purchases on Castaway Cay except at the local post office where you can send mail to your loved ones back home with a Bahamian postage stamp; the post card postage rate is approximately $0.65 USD each. Dining is also included as part of your cruise package with covered outdoor restaurants serving burgers, BBQ chicken and ribs and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. Families can have fun together at the Castaway Family Beach and, if you are traveling without children, Disney offers “adult only” areas at Castaway Cay – Serenity Bay, a secluded beach exclusively for adults.
After our 5K and lunch I spent my afternoon on Castaway Cay laying in a hammock on Serenity Bay – it was a simply amazing day and a great way to kick off our cruise!
Cruising with Disney is a very casual experience – I wore sun dresses and flip flops while my husband wore shorts and polos – we did dress up a bit for dinner but “cruise casual” attire is appropriate for dinner. The only exceptions are if you reserve adult only dining experiences at Palo or Remy which both have dress codes. We enjoy the rotational dining exclusive to Disney Cruise Line, experiencing a different restaurant and menu with the same servers each evening. And, unlimited room service is also included!!
In addition to exceptional dining experiences, Disney Cruise Line offers many entertainment options including Broadway-like musical productions, viewings of recently released Disney movies, character meet & greets that you often cannot find at the parks, deck parties, water slides and pools, dance clubs, karaoke, trivia and so much more! O’Gills Pub even offers a buffet of light snacks early evening with another buffet for late night snacks later each night. There is definitely enough to keep you busy on a Disney Cruise if you aren’t the lounging at the pool or beach type and you won’t go hungry!
And be sure to give a big wave to Goofy as you disembark, he’s busy helping the crew prepare the ship for the next cruise…