Imagine the excitement of our product manager Nadine when she heard the news that she had been invited aboard the newly refurbished Disney Magic to meet Mickey and Minnie…it was so extreme that we had to send General Manager Sharon to chaperone. Big mistake. We then had two ladies bouncing off the walls. Here is how they found the experience…
Thursday 24th October 2013
Today we arrived at Heathrow and met our Disney representative Lindsay Dixon. We were introduced to some of the group (12 of us in total) and then we went to check our bags in. Once we had done this we went to see a Virgin Atlantic rep to see if we could change airline seats as we were in ‘E’ & ‘F’ in the middle of others. We were able to change to 56 ‘A’ & ‘C’; these had extra leg room so we were really pleased. There is a huge selection of movies on board to watch along with TV programmes and music.
We were given a menu for the aircraft of the food we would receive. I had crisps for an appetizer, vegetable pasta for lunch, a fab ice lolly, cheese & pickle sandwiches for dinner and drinks were free flowing.
Virgin seats are very comfortable and it was a great airline to travel with. There was a bit of turbulence that made my tummy go a few times but was fine apart from that.
We arrived in Miami to 24 degrees heat, it took us one hour to get out of the airport, and it was a slow process. We got a taxi (organised) to come and take us to the Marriott Biscayne Bay, it was exciting to see a yellow taxi. Once we checked on we had one hour to get ready for dinner in ‘Catch’. I had tomato soup for starter (this was very spicy) and chicken for mains (very nice). After dinner we all took a taxi to South Beach where we went for a drink & dance. We partied in ‘Cleavlander’. This was great fun, vodka & orange was around $15 for a double. We ended the evening about 12am as we had an early start on Friday.
Friday 25th October 2013
I woke up quite early today (around 0630 am). When we woke it was dark but we could see Disney Magic in the distance, this was very exciting.
We went to Salon E to meet all the trade for breakfast. After breakfast we had a presentation by Joe Lanzisero (Senior Vice President of Creative – he heads up the animation/creative for Walt Disney, Disney Cruise Line and Hong Kong Disney). He talked us through all the changes that occurred on Disney Magic. I love the way they talk about the characters as if they are here with us now. Every character has a story. Once the presentation was over MICKEY MOUSE walked in, I was sooooo excited. We had pictures taken with Mickey Mouse. At 11am we checked out and made our way to the ship.
We then boarded Disney Magic, this was magical, Goofy was running around and all the kids were getting very excited. Once we got on board we headed straight for the restaurant and went for lunch, this was a buffet lunch and was delicious.
We then went to look at the children’s areas (these were open between 1:30-3pm only). The first one was a baby’s nursery; they take children as young as 3 months until 4 years. There are toys, cots and learning equipment, babysitting facilities are also available. Net we went to Oceaneer Club, this was for 5-11 year old, there are four rooms in here; Pixie Fairy’s’, ‘Mickey Mouse Club’, ‘Andy’s Room’ and ‘The Avengers room’. The Avengers room allows you to control Iron Man, it is awesome. There was a man filming in here. From here we moved on and went to Oceaneers Lab, this is for children 11+ years, it has craft rooms, game rooms and learning rooms. Every age group is accounted for.
We then went to see ‘Minnie Mouse’ and have our photo taken with her, she was very cute. Then we toured the facilities, restaurants, clubs, pubs and swimming pool. We ended at the adults bar and pool and had a few drinks. At 4 pm was the life boat drill and straight after this was the sail away party, we went along for a dance. All the characters came out to see the kids and get the party started. At 5 pm we went to get ready for the show and dinner. At 6.15 pm we entered the theatre to watch ‘Twice Charmed’, this was a beautiful show about Cinderella and the step sisters breaking her glass shoe so she could not marry Prince Charming, but love conquered all and they lived happily ever after, after all.
From here we went for a drink in the ‘D Lounge’ and then made our way to ‘Animators Palate’ for dinner. As you walk into the restaurant there are sketches on the wall of all the character, these are all in black and white, the waiters are dressed in shirts that are black and white, there are plates with Mickey’s face on and knifes shaped like a paint brush (from Fantasia).There are screens all around the room that throughout the evening draw the characters in black and white, throughout the night, the room changes into colour. There was a show of all the films on the screens, these were in colour and when the waiters came out they had coloured ties. At the end of the meal Mickey came out dressed in his Fantasia outfit. For dinner I had a tomato and goats cheese tart, veal for main and cookies and ice cream for dessert.
After dinner we went to ‘Gills’ (the Irish pub), they played live music in here, which was very good. We then went to ‘Fathoms’ and danced the night away.
When I returned to the room there was a Monkey waiting for us made of a towel. Sharon and I sat on the balcony and watched the world go by. We then went to bed.
Saturday 26th October 2013
Today we woke up around 9 am, got ready and went to see Chip and Dale outside the Theatre; we queued up and got our picture taken with them. After this we went for breakfast in the buffet restaurant (on deck 9), the food was lovely, we then went onto top deck to see if anyone was around. When we found Anna & Sara we decided to go shopping so we made our way to deck 3. We spent a lot of time in here as there was so much to choose. I was not able to buy everything I wanted as I did not have enough space in my suitcase, therefore I had to scale down.
Once I spent $165 in the shop I went back to the room to drop everything off. We then chilled on the balcony for a bit. Then we went to the top deck to get some lunch and meet up with the rest of the agents. Sharon and I took a tour on top deck and had a chat about what Disney could do and what we could do when we got back from our trip.
I then went to meet the girls and Sharon went to the room. I stayed with the girls chatting and drinking and then went to get ready.
Once ready we went down to the theatre to see the show ‘Disney Dreams’. This was absolutely fantastic. The story was about a young girl called ‘Anne Marie’ and she wanted her dreams to come true like they do in the Disney films. This was absolutely magical, Peter Pan came to her with tinker bell and told the story of each Disney film, there was Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King (Timone & Pumba sang), The Little Mermaid (of which Sebastian was singing from a treasure chest), Cinderella & Aladdin. When Sebastian was on all these bubbles came out from the roof and when Beauty and the Beast was on, snow fell from the ceiling, this made everyone very emotional and they were all crying. This was by far the best show. After the show we went for dinner in ‘Carioca’s’, we were all able to sit together on one table. I had steak for dinner and it was very nice. There was a great theme in the restaurant tonight, which was like Mexican, all the staff where dressed in bright yellow.
After dinner we went to ‘Gill’ for a couple of drinks and played Fantasy Football, we came third (which was good even though we did not know what we were doing). Next we went back to ‘Fathom’s’, tonight was 70’s night, this meant a lot of dancing. I went to bed around 12 am and packed my suitcase ready for our trip home. It was a struggle as I had too many presents to take home.
Sunday 27th October 2013
Today was a sad morning as we knew we were leaving. We got up and went to breakfast; we were eating in Lumiere’s restaurant. This restaurant was amazing, the cup and saucer was shaped like ‘Chip’ from Beauty and the Beast. We ordered our food from a menu and it was lovely. The restaurant was themed just like the film, fabulous.
We then went back to our room, grabbed our bags and disembarked. We were taken back to the Marriott Biscayne Bay where we had a day room to leave our bags and freshen up in.
Sharon, Jemma, Roz & Jo stayed in the hotel and arranged to meet us later in South Beach for lunch. Anna, Kim, Sara and I all decided to go shopping in Miami. The Marriott offered a free shuttle to South Beach; this was great value as the drive was around 20 minutes from Biscayne. Once there we started our walk, the first place we came to was ‘Miami Ink’, we went in here and took some pictures, which was amazing, and met some the men on the TV programme. We brought some souvenirs. Next we walked to the shopping area and browsed through the shops (there were so many). We also came across a flea market. We headed back to the main road, once here we went to South Beach and walked along the beach (this was miles long and beautiful). We then walked down Ocean Drive and met up with the other four ladies where we had lunch.
After lunch, we caught a taxi back to the Marriott, this took forever and cost lots as every Sunday in Biscayne they have an event, this week it was cycling so the road was closed. Out taxi driver was very erratic and it was not a very nice experience. We arrived at the hotel, freshened up, said our good byes to Lindsay as she was staying on in Miami and then made our way to the airport.
On arrival at the airport (which was a very small terminal), we checked in and luckily for us they were offering a discount on one of the lounges, it was only $10 for drinks and food and free Wi-Fi. This was great as it really helped the time go by. We boarded our flight (we were mostly all sat together), the Virgin Flight was great and I managed to get some sleep through the night (Sharon said there was quite a bit of turbulence due to the storm – but thankfully I did not feel it).
Monday 28th October 2013
We arrived at Heathrow the following morning with no complications, checked out and made our way home.
Overall, this was the best trip I have ever been on, it was absolutely amazing and Disney is completely under rated. The brand is not in your face, if you want to see it you can. It is very subtle across the whole ship and even if you do not have children, you can really enjoy this cruise. It is definitely worth the money you pay. The whole experience was so magical and I would definitely cruise with Disney again.