Departure from NYC
The Manhattan Cruise Terminal was a breeze for us compared to Port Miami, although the size of the ship may have accounted for that also. We arrived at the tail end of our 11:30am-12pm boarding time and walked through security/check-in and onto the ship with no lines. We spent the afternoon on deck looking at the skyline of NYC. After watching the Sail Away Party on the 9th level pool deck we watched the city pass by as the ship got underway. After an hour we returned to the stateroom to see the Statue of Liberty from the balcony.
Navigating the Ship
The Magic is one of the smallest Disney Cruise Line ships, and we enjoyed being able to easily and quickly get to our destinations. We also preferred the pool layout on the 9th deck, with three distinct sections.
On the aft top deck of the ship was the Wide World of Sports, an open area with basketball, foosball, and ping pong. This was also the location for infrequent (and mostly early morning) fitness classes. The 10th deck forward included a large outdoor area and Palo restaurant inside.
Rainforest Room in Senses Spa
SPA TIP: I attended the opening spa reception in the fitness center, where 10 guests received spa gift certificates from the raffle.
The Rainforest Room is an interior section of the spa, and includes two steam rooms, relaxation chairs, and scented showers that alternate in temperature and imitate rainfall/mist. A separate pass was required for The Rainforest Room
All pools were on the ninth deck, surrounded by an upper deck with more lounge chairs. Goofy’s Pool and the Funnel Vision movies attracted older kids, while the AquaLab area was better for families with younger children.
We liked that there were two smaller slides instead of just one that wrapped around the entire deck. The Aquadunk had an intense plunge that was a rush for adults too.
Room Tip: Bring a nightlight to navigate your room overnight.
Our room (7524) was conveniently located just two floors below the Senses Spa and Quiet Cove 18+ swimming area. Spa services included everything from manicures and men’s haircuts to acupuncture and coolsculpting. The Quite Cove had two hot tubs and a warm swimming pool that was 6 feet deep. Signals Bar and Cove Café were in the adults only area to meet our adult beverage needs.
Our Veranda Stateroom was well situated, with a lot of drawers for organization and storage.
The pre-teen & teen lounges, Vibe and Edge, were smaller than other ships, but packed with lounging areas and plenty of screen time activities.
On the fifth floor, the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab were massive, connected by a long hallway. In the Lab, the play area for young children was Toy Story themed, and a Marvel character area included activities and props. The Club had a large central area for games led by staff and tables for crafts and dining.
On Disney Cruise Line, guests rotate through the restaurants with the same set of servers. On the Magic, these include Rapunzel’s Royal Table, Lumiere’s, and Animator’s Palette. Each meal included an appetizer, soup/salad, entrée and dessert.
Palo is an adult-only Italian restaurant with panoramic views of the ocean. We chose not to reserve a spot on this trip and pay the additional price fixe or ala cart fees. However, on a more than 5-night cruise we would definitely find the benefit in adding another dining experience to our rotation.
During dinner at Rapunzel’s Royal Table we celebrated Rapunzel’s birthday with the Ruffians and Flynn. Throughout the meal they went between visiting tables and performing songs. Children were also invited to dance around the floor by the characters and our servers.
Cove Cafe on the Quiet Cove pool deck has a bit of a cult following in the DCL world due to the decorative foam art.
Animator’s Pallet was much different in both theming and activities than on the Disney Dream. When we arrived, we each drew a character that was later added to an animated show on the nearby screen.
There were plenty of options for families and adults-only activities throughout each day.
We learned that the most popular activity for regular cruisers was Bingo, especially on the last day. While we didn’t win the $4000 cover-all prize, we did cover our $50 costs with an $80 prize.
The Silent Disco was a favorite for many families.
Other activities that I had flagged on the Navigator App (that I didn’t attend despite my best intentions) included morning yoga, napkin folding, baking seminars, animation class, and a ship history talk.
We played trivia three times (Disney movies, Disney Parks and Star Wars themed), each time realizing that we thought we knew way more than we actually do.
Now that characters can give full on hugs and sign swag, the lines are extremely long; we didn’t even try to meet Jack & Sally or the “Sanderson Sisters.” Occasionally they were walking around the deck and greeting casually outside Cabanas, and on the last night there was a WDW style “Character Palooza” (IYKYK) after the Bon Voyage show in the Atrium Lobby.
Halloween on the High Seas
We started our Halloween-themed evening with trick-or-treating and backdrop photos in the Atrium Lobby. Costume-clad Mickey, Minnie and friends then led the kids in a dance party that included the characters circulating the lobby and interacting with families.
Our towel bat from Alfredo, our room attendant, was the highlight of Halloween Night.
The Pirate Night experience was nearly identical to our time on the Disney Dream in June 2022. The night opened with an opening show on the pool deck, followed by a Caribbean themed dining experience. There wasn’t a Broadway-style show in the Walt Disney Theater that evening, but we did enjoy an hour-long performance with comedian/juggler….. The culmination of the evening was a fireworks show and dance party.