The Disney Magic cruise off the coast of England felt like a foreign vacation

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MY son and I tore off our Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles, our very friendly American waitress wished us “a great day” and we are on our way to meet Goofy.

No, we are not in Florida. Thanks to quarantine restrictions and travel bans, we are instead getting our Magic Kingdom fix on board the Disney Magic cruise ship off the English coast.

We are repairing our Magic Kingdom on board the Disney Magic cruise ship off the English coast

Disney is the master of entertainment, and from waking up until well after bed, there is fun for all ages

Disney is the master of entertainment, and from waking up until well after bed, there is fun for all ages

Andy's Room, a new multi-story room in Disney's Oceaneer Club on Disney Magic

Andy’s Room, a new multi-story room in Disney’s Oceaneer Club on Disney Magic

Together with millions of other Brits, we decided to swap a vacation abroad for a place to stay this summer.

But after a rainy camping trip to Dorset, I began to regret my decision when friends flew to Spain.

However, despite the ongoing lack of sun, this two-day sea-cation cruise may have cured my FOMO.

Decadent luxury

The world-famous Disney hospitality makes it feel like a vacation abroad, and if the fog didn’t darken the horizon, I could see for myself that we are sailing in the Gulf of Mexico.

I’m a cruise virgin and have always found these huge ships a bit claustrophobic, especially when you don’t really have the opportunity to go ashore.

But it took eight hours on board to convert.

Disney is the master of entertainment, and from waking up until well after bed, there is fun for all ages.

There are meet-and-greets with Disney stars, including Donald Duck, as well as Marvel superheroes.


Plus plenty of activities, including animation classes, a science lab, cooking classes, game room, Disney quizzes, family game shows, origami, bingo, and two movie theaters with Disney movies. Not to forget the two children’s pools with aquadunk slide, which we visited on both days despite the 17 ° C midday temperature.

Then there are the live shows. There are different musicals every night – we saw a little 30-minute Frozen-Dance-a-long on the upper deck on the first night and cheered as cannons blew artificial snow during Elsa’s performance of Let It Go.

There was an award-winning Disney Stars musical later that night, then a musical based on the Tangled movie the following night.

These are West End caliber performances that you would pay a fortune for in London theaters.

And the conversation doesn’t stop there. In all main restaurants, dinner is served with its own mini-show. On our first night we ate at Animator’s Palate, where guests were asked to draw a personalized stick figure on their placemat.

Halfway through the meal, these stick figures come to life on screens around the room and perform a dance with Disney characters. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The ship’s other fabulous themed restaurants offer more entertainment and excellent food. There’s French cuisine at Lumiere and American classics with a Disney fairytale difference at Rapunzel’s Royal Table.

For breakfast and lunch you can enjoy a wide selection at the buffet or enjoy table service and bespoke dishes in the restaurants.

There are also quick service stations that serve pizza and burgers, ideal for refueling the excited kids on the go. But you don’t have to have kids in tow to enjoy the joys of Disney Magic. The ship’s refined Art Deco style oozes decadent luxury, and there are special adult-only venues, from the Italian-inspired Palo restaurant to bars with late-night karaoke and dancing.

You can also indulge yourself at the Senses Spa, gym and several shops.

You could fill in every second of every day and still not lose sight of the activities on offer.

As I was traveling with a two year old, we spent a lot of time in our room, but that wasn’t a hassle either as it was surprisingly spacious.

With a queen bed and sofa bed, plus a balcony to admire the ocean waves, it would happily house a family of four.

Covid has had an impact on the cruise experience, with pool sessions limited to 20 minutes so everyone has a chance to enjoy the water.

Best trip of the year

Kindergarten for kids under two is currently closed, but the excellent youth clubs for the three-year-olds are still up and running – including the popular Marvel Super Hero Academy, as well as games, music, and movies.

It’s also a bit of a pain to wear a mask this often – it needs to stay inside at all times except when you’re in your room or eating and drinking.

The Covid security procedures also made pre-boarding complicated. All adults must be fully vaccinated and children under the age of 18 must have a negative PCR test performed up to five days beforehand. You will then do a lateral flow test in port before you are allowed on board.

The tests, while a little annoying, are understandable as the cruise industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

If this is required for a safe cruise vacation, so be it.

They are small hoops that you can jump through for our best weekend this year.

There are meet-and-greets with Disney stars, including Donald Duck, as well as Marvel superheroes

There are meet-and-greets with Disney stars, including Donald Duck, as well as Marvel superheroes

It's also a bit of a pain to wear a mask this often - it has to stay inside at all times except when you're in your room or eating and drinking

It’s also a bit of a pain to wear a mask this often – it needs to stay inside at all times except when you’re in your room or eating and drinking

GO: DISNEY CRUISE

GO: DISNEY CRUISE

SAIL THERE: A three-night, full-board stay in the UK aboard Disney Magic, leaving London Tilbury on September 17th, costs from £ 598 pp. The price includes meals, entertainment, taxes, fees and port fees. Covid tests are extra. Book a visit Disneycruise.de or call 0800 171 2317.

Disney Cruise Line announces new details on its next ship, Disney Wish, including the princess that will appear on its stern


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