Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Best of a Bad Situation

I am on my third day of my seven (really, six) day cruise aboard the Disney Magic and it finally feels like everyone is starting to relax into “cruise mode.” Our adventure getting aboard the cruise was anything but relaxing, but considering the situation, I find it hard to find fault with Disney.
Saturday began like any other day of getting onto a cruise, until we were told that the Magic was stuck in the Bahamas and would not be arriving anytime soon. It seems that a medical emergency prevented the ship from leaving Castaway Cay on time, and by the time the ship was ready to depart, the weather had taken a turn for the worst. High winds prevented the ship from leaving port and sent the plans of around five-thousand people into disarray.
For our part, Disney promptly sent everyone to Epcot at Walt Disney World where a pavilion was set up to try to coordinate everything. Many people had to be shuttled by Disney, because they arrived by airplane or had already returned rental cars. Snacks and entertainment were provided in an attempt to make everyone as comfortable as possible. When it became clear that the ship would not be arriving on Saturday, accommodations for about 2,500 people had to be found.
Nearly everyone was placed in an area resort (Disney was almost booked full), and attention was turned to getting everyone onto the ship the next day. This was not as easy as it sounds since the Magic’s sister ship, the Wonder, would also be there on Sunday preparing to receive its passengers. An alternate dock was found, and everyone was transported to the new location.
Once we arrived at the new dock, we went through security and were given our room key. Finally, we set foot on the boat and got to our rooms. Somehow, Disney managed to weather the logistical nightmare and get everyone onboard, albeit a day late.
This is not to say that there were not many frustrating moments and problems to overcome for those of us without a ship. My biggest was the piece of luggage with all of my clothing that my shuttle driver dumped on the street because he forgot to latch the trailer. It was eventually found and made it aboard the ship. Overall though, I think Disney did a good job of making the best of a bad situation.
Well, it has now been a couple of months since the cruise, and I thought I would give you an update. Disney did refund a portion of the cruise. It does not make up for the frustration of standing in long lines and missing out on St. Maarten, but it is something. I still feel that Disney did all they could, and am looking forward to sailing on the Dream next year.

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