When the pandemic hit cruising had to stop. The Disney Magic sailed over to Dover and docked there without any cruisers. Darren would see the ship when he had to visit Dover with work. He would send me pictures of her and we would talk about our sailing to Norway. We wished we could be on the Disney Magic even if it was just for lunch. Last year the UK government worked with the cruise industry giving them the chance to sail their ships in UK waters. We were very excited about the prospect of being able to set foot on the Disney Magic again. This is our experience of sailing on a Disney Magic at Sea UK Seacation.
Preparing For The Disney Magic At Sea UK Seacation
It was amazing news that we would be able to experience some Disney Magic in 2021. When we visited Disneyland Paris after the first covid lockdown visiting France was relatively easy. When the pandemic progressed new restrictions were put in place for travel. Negative covid tests were required as well as proof of vaccination. These were also required to board the ships. This meant we had some hurdles to overcome before we could even think about boarding the Disney Magic.
Covid Vaccinations For Adult Travellers
All adults wanting to board the Disney Magic had to be fully vaccinated against covid. Meaning that you would have to have both doses of the vaccine 14 days before travel. As the rollout of the vaccine was still pretty new this did rule out quite a few people wanting to travel. Thankfully time was on our side. We wanted to sail from Southampton on the four-night cruise, this cruise was taking place at the end of August 2021. At the time of booking the cruise, I had already had my doses due to being Ethan’s carer. We knew Darren would have his vaccines soon because his age bracket was soon opening up.
PCR and Lateral Flow Tests
As children were not yet able to have vaccines they had to have PCR tests taken three days before boarding the ship. They had to be negative to be allowed to travel. These tests had to be paid for. All passengers also had to have supervised lateral flow tests at the port. The costs of these were covered by Disney. With the test result being negative you would be allowed to board the Disney Magic.
Practising Covid Tests
Ethan has always had sensory issues when it comes to his mouth. Teeth brushing is a struggle for him. We have good days and bad days. When the PCR tests were introduced I knew we would have issues testing Ethan. Ethan had his first experience of one when he fell ill in October 2020. It was a horrendous experience for us all. I knew if ever we wanted to travel anywhere again we would have to practise these tests.
Thankfully Ethan’s love of a Disney Cruise was a perfect motivation. It was slow progress that took months. We had to start showing Ethan the testing stick and then moving it closer to him. Then closer and closer to his nose. Then little tickles near his nose. All the time telling Ethan he needed to do this to see Mickey. By August Ethan was ready. We also did this process with Little E so that they worked on taking the tests together. They were so proud of themselves when they took the official PCR tests. We were so glad that we were going to be able to experience the Disney Magic At Sea UK Seacation.
Our Disney Magic At Sea UK Seacation Experience
We opted for the 4 night Disney Cruise. Believe it or not, Disney Cruises are exhausting, I would say even more so than visiting a Disney Park. Granted you don’t officially walk as much but there is so much to see and do there is never a dull moment. We wanted to have as much time as possible on the Disney Magic. Even if that meant we had to book a cabin on Deck One. Which was surprisingly a fantastic location and just as enjoyable as the cabin we had on Deck Two on our Norway sailing. We wanted our Seacation to be about enjoying and exploring the Disney Magic.
Disney’s Oceaneer Club, The Kids Club
Before covid Disney’s Oceaneer Club on the Disney Magic was open access for the children. Parents could drop them off as and when they wanted. The children could stay for as long as they wanted to. Covid protocols meant the number of children in the club had to be limited. Time slots would have to be booked. The time in the club was also structured with groups of children rotating around the activities.
This did make us worry as Ethan loves the kids club. He likes being in there and doing his own thing. It was a worry that this structure wouldn’t be suitable for him. Little E wasn’t a fan of the kids club when she was five. She wanted to be with us rather than be in the club. We did ask her if she would go to the activities and keep an eye on her brother. We booked the children in every day for the two-hour slots. From social media, we already knew that every day the sessions would have different themes and different activities.
Did The Children Have Fun?
Both children had a great time in Disney’s Oceaneer Club. They made slime, did crafts and met lots of Disney characters. The cast members also left gifts for them at our stateroom. I’m so glad they had this time to experience the club together as Ethan will soon be too old to attend this club.
I think Ethan did struggle with the structure of the club by the end of our time on the Disney Magic. But they are very understanding of autism and they took lots of details about Ethan’s needs before his first session. When they could they gave him the time he needed in Andy’s Room. He loves the slinky dog slide in there. They will also contact you via the app if they feel they need to or the children request it. We didn’t have to collect them early once during our sailing.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Little E has been able to experience a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique princess makeover a few times. At three she had a makeover on the Disney Dream and also at Walt Disney World. She also had a Frozen makeover during our Norway sailing. It was a pleasant surprise that she wanted another Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience on this cruise. It would be different as there were going to be covid protocols in place and facemasks had to be worn. Little E loved every minute of her makeover I’m so glad I was able to book one for her. The experience was still as magical as ever.
The Rainforest Room
This cruise was possibly the last cruise we would go on where Ethan could go in the supervised kids club. So we wanted to take advantage of the adult-only areas of the ship. The Rainforest Room in the Senses Spa & Salon was one of these areas. On the Disney Magic At Sea Seacations the covid protocols gave you the chance to book this area for your party only for a small fee. This would give you 45 minutes to use the saunas and experience all of the different showers. We couldn’t pass this opportunity up. We also purchased salts to detox our skin. It was great getting the chance to experience this area who knows when we will visit again.
Senses Spa Massage
We also booked a massage at the Senses Spa whilst the children were in the kids club. It was quite an expensive treat but after living through a pandemic I thought it wouldn’t hurt.
Palo is an adult-only restaurant and the Bruch experience had been on our bucket list for a while. I was able to book a brunch reservation at the same time as a kids club slot. We have been warned to have empty stomachs for brunch so we made sure only the children had breakfast on our brunch day. Palo is an Italian restaurant and both the food and the experience are amazing. The brunch menu offers both breakfast and lunch items. We tried a bit of everything. I even had a Mickey Waffle and it’s the best Mickey Waffle I have ever tasted.
What About The Characters?
Just like our return to Disneyland Paris after its covid closure, you would be able to meet the characters at selfie spots. There were themed days for different character appearances. Mostly the appearances were in the morning and to meet all of the characters you would have to travel all over the ship. We actually didn’t meet that many characters as we were too busy enjoying the rest of the ship. The interactions we did have were amazing just like they always are.
Where Did We Sail On The Disney Magic At Sea UK Seacation?
This was a question that everyone asked. Where did you sail to? Our captain for the seacations was known as Captain Sunshine. He would sail in the UK waters making sure the Disney Magic stayed in the sun. Our cruise followed the English coastline to Cornwall. We had lovely weather but I did find the water rough at some points. I could also feel the ship turning. Thank goodness for those travel sickness pills.
I’m so glad we could make more memories on the Disney Magic. We were so lucky to be able to experience Disney again in 2021.
We love sharing our Disney Cruise Line adventures on our blog. Make sure you visit our Disney Cruise Line Trips and Experiences post to read about all of our adventures at sea.