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Magic in Manhattan: What to Sea/What to Do

The exciting thing about a Disney Cruise (or a cruise in general) is you are stuck in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to go. No phones, no internet, no cleaning, no work to drive off to. It’s really just you and a lot of time. On any day you basically need an appetite, a bathing suit, your room key (which also serves as your credit card), and this:

Your personal navigator. Every night, along with a piece of chocolate and a towel animal, your room attendant will turn down your sheets and leave you one of these babies. A four-page newsletter that changes from day-to-day, featuring 16 hours of entertainment and activities for all ages.

It sort of looks like a TV Guide listing.

The back page listing times for various places on the ship.

It’s another positive to cruising. It is up to YOU to formulate your day. You can be like James and I who are perfectly content to swim and read all day (and leave for a few activities here and there) or others who choose to stay inside most of the day, jumping from activity to activity. A sea day never feels boring… you never feel like you are counting the minutes until you see land again. There is literally something for everyone to do whether you are 4 years old or 101.

Just to prove it to you, here’s a tiny sampling of what’s offered on the ship:

If you like music…

- Family karaoke
- Live duo playing almost every night in the Lounge; they also play by the family pool at selected times.
- Sessions, the piano bar, hosts several events (Broadway tunes, Nat King Cole tribute, etc.)
- Themed dance parties with a live band at Rockin’ Bar D.
- DJ at Rockin’ Bar D for the adults at midnight.

If you like art…

- Animation classes.
- Family craft classes including origami!
- Towel folding.
- Walking around the Magic’s animation gallery.

For movie fans…

- Buena Vista Theater plays first-run movies (including 3D). This trip it played Muppets, Chimpanzee, Reel Steel, John Carter, The Avengers, and Cars 2.
- Funnel Vision at the Family Pool on Deck 9 is always playing something from classic cartoons to full-length movies including Brother Bear, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Bolt, Remember the Titans, etc.
- Even though I don’t recommend spending that much time in your room… there is a pretty great movie selection in there as well. This time: Joyful Noise, The Vow, Twilight, The Adventures of Tintin, etc.

For the competitive…

- Bingo! (The jackpot was really big by the end of the trip.)
- Shuffleboard.
- Who Wants to Be a Mouseketeer?
- Game Show: The Wheel.

For the Disney geeks/enthusiasts:

- tour of the ship’s details
- exclusive set of events for Magic called “Innovations” — the first was dedicated to innovations in the theme parks and the second in animation. It was a Top 10 (minus Stacey) with parts of the film and documentaries.
- talks with a Disney employee. (As I mentioned, this time around Jason Surrell, Imagineer, talked about his work on the behind the scenes book for The Avengers, as well as his contribution to the new Star Tours attraction. In the past, we also had the pleasure of attending a talk by Bobby Podesta, former supervising animator for Pixar.)
- Tons of Disney characters to meet throughout the day.
- Disney trivia.

If you like pina coladas…

is the song stuck in your head now?

- Beverage tastings (for a small extra fee): beer, margarita, champagne, tequilla, etc.
- 2 for 1 drinks at Diversions, the sport’s bar, at select times.
- Nifty drink of the day (which is listed on each calendar) and is about 4 dollars a piece.

If you like to work up a sweat…

Some people actually like to work out on their vacations…

Fitness center overlooking the water.
- Running track on Deck 4.
- Castaway Cay 5K on port day.
- There’s also a sports deck with basketball hoops, etc.

So what do you think? That’s just a taste of the Disney Cruise offerings that were available on our recent trip. That doesn’t even count the daily live shows before (or after dinner), the nightly entertainment (comedy, magicians, etc.) or the great food you can pick up whenever you want (ice cream, pizza, healthy wraps, fruit, 24-hour soda/ice tea/water/coffee/tea station).

It’s nice to be the one to decide just how busy you want to be, and not feel forced to go anywhere if you don’t want to. (You can even skip the shows and dinner in the dining rooms if you want.)

Even if you forget to check out your itinerary, there is a friendly and enthusiastic Cruise Director who checks in throughout the day to remind you of what’s happening.

Well, unfortunately, I don’t have bingo and paper folding on my itinerary today so I just have to do my best to use my imagination.

Have a great Monday!

Wish I was here.

About Estelle Hallick


Estelle is a Disney enthusiast with a soft spot for Muppets, theatre, and small details. She thinks Animal Kingdom is a full day park, the BoardWalk feels like home, and nothing is better than watching Illuminations. When she's not writing about Disney, she enjoys hanging out with her cat and her husband, having adventures in Queens, New York. She can also be found geeking out over books at Rather Be Reading Blog.

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