Disney Cruise Line Ship Spotlight: Disney Magic

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Disney's original 2,700-passenger, 83,000-ton ship was launched in 1998 and hailed as revolutionizing family cruising. The ship was designed to offer the nostalgic appeal of a classic ocean liner (with a blue hull and pointy bow, like Disney's other ships) with modern, family-friendly updates, including a huge amount of play space for kids. After 15 years of service, the Disney Magic recently underwent a complete overhaul that included a general lightening and brightening; dark Art Deco decor was redone in lighter tones. At the same time, the Disney Imagineers added new wow factors, not the least of which are AquaDunk (a new "thrill" waterslide) and a water play area, AquaLab.

Disney Magic Returns to Venice, Italy
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The Senses Spa has been updated in a soothing contemporary decor and includes Couples Villas, romantic retreats where twosomes can indulge in a side-by-side massage and spend time together in a private, open-air Jacuzzi.

At Marvel's Avengers Academy in the Oceaneer Club, kids ages 3 to 12 can do a multi-day superhero training program based on Marvel comics characters including Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Disney's first shipboard Marvel tie-in includes a virtual reality game to become Iron Man and missions to fight super-villain Red Skull. Captain America himself makes appearances shipboard.

Dining The new Cariocas restaurant features a Brazilian-influenced menu with such dishes as impressively presented churrascaria-style meats and rum-marinated swordfish, in a space done up with Latin flair including colorful lighted lanterns.

Wow factor
Don't miss the 37-foot-tall AquaDunk body slide. You climb a tall staircase to the top of the ship's red funnel and lie down in a translucent "time capsule." Water rushes down your back, you listen to Donald Duck do the countdown and then a trap door opens and you plunge and whirl feet first -- including a 20-foot section that extends off the ship -- before a splashy water landing. It's a blast. (You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride.)

2014 itineraries
Bahamas, 3 nights
Eastbound Transatlantic, 14 nights
Mediterranean, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 12 nights
Southern Caribbean, 7 nights
Western Caribbean, 4, 6 and 7 nights
Westbound Transatlantic, 12 nights

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