In 1998, Disney Cruise Line’s first vessel, the Disney Magic, left port on its maiden voyage, successfully launching DCL on its journey toward becoming ‘the’ multi-award-winning leader of family-friendly cruise experiences. Sixteen years later, Disney Magic is still helping DSL lead the pack with the October 2013 reveal of its exciting, brand new onboard experiences and re-imagined spaces. Whether you are looking to take your first family cruise or you’ve enjoyed a Disney oceangoing adventure before, the Disney Magic is bursting with new magical fun that will have you and your family heartily glad you left shore.
Though the Walt Disney Company welcomed Marvel Universe into its family several years ago, only now is the merger manifesting at sea via the opening of the Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where junior crime-fighters engage in a multi-day immersive entertainment experience in which they undergo “training,” assist with high-tech missions, interact with Marvel characters, and unleash their inner super heroes. In addition, the Oceaneer’s Club (for ages 3 to 12), where the Avenger’s Academy is housed, also unveiled a multi-level activity area called Andy’s Room where the stars of the Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” film trilogy come to life, including a giant, build-your-own Mr. Potato Head and a silly Slinky Dog slide.
Above deck, the fun gets wet and wacky thanks to the new AquaDunk water slide, an impressive new three-story body slide that begins with a surprise launch when the floor beneath guests’ feet opens like a trap door. The drop sends thrill-seekers on an exhilarating, swift and splashy ride in a translucent tube that extends 20 feet over the side of the ship. Yikes. The all-day interactive water play continues in the new AquaLab playground where families get delightfully drenched darting in and out of pop jets, geysers and bubblers, and swooshing down another water slide called the Twist ‘n’ Spout.
If adults are worried that all of the re-imagined goodness is just for the kiddies, never fear: Disney Magic thoroughly re-imagined adult fun as well, with an all-new lineup of clubs (including sleek venues for dancing, comedy, and variety shows) and several new spa services. “I am constantly impressed with how well Disney Cruise Lines creates its adult spaces,” says Tracy Torregrossa of Orlando who has been on two Disney Cruises in recent years. “Whether you want to go escape on a remote deck chair in solitude, pamper yourself at the spa, slow-down for a romantic dinner, or blow off some steam dancing for a few hours, all of the options are right there. I’ve had the time of my life on both of my cruises, easily as much fun as my kids had.”
As for ports of call, Disney Cruise Line recently released its 2014 itineraries with cruises to Europe and Alaska in the summer in addition to multiple trips to the Caribbean and the Bahamas that depart out of Port Canaveral and Miami all year long. Disney’s own Castaway Cay is the signature stop common to each of their warmer waters voyages, offering an endless array of fun-in-the-sun activities for families (snorkeling, bike riding, inner-tubing, beach games, and more), however, with so many uniquely re-imagined experiences now offered onboard, you can easily never set foot off the boat and still have a memory-packed, magical vacation.