By David Highfield

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Disney World is a popular vacation spot for Pittsburghers, but have you considered cruising the ocean Disney style?

The iconic mouse has four ships, including one that’s gotten a massive makeover.

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KDKA-TV’s David Highfield got a tour of the Disney Magic cruise ship to see the cool, new things it has to offer.

The Disney Magic is what you get when you combine the wonder of Disney with the adventure of cruising the ocean.

Crew members even applaud guests as they arrive.

You’re going to notice the same attention to detail you see in Disney parks. There’s an art deco three-story lobby complete with an impressive chandelier and of course, Mickey is there to greet you.

However, it’s not just the lobby that has been redone.

“It was time for a brand new makeover and pretty much, they’ve done it from top to bottom,” Cruise Director Natalie Bailey said.

Bailey gave Highfield a tour of the ship.

“This is actually our children’s area and right behind you, see the brand new aqua lab,” Bailey said.

There’s also a new water slide for taller kids and adults which begins when the floor below you drops.

And when you come sliding down, you actually go out over the ocean. The tube goes out over the side of the ship.

Inside, one of the new restaurants has screens on the walls which show sketches that evolve into Disney animations by the time dinner is over.

Something called the Oceaneer’s Club is where kids ages 3 to 12 can enter the world of Toy Story or attend the new Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where children, and occasionally television reporters, can train to be Ironman.

“The kids can come over where the parents are enjoying a nice dinner at Palo or enjoying a massage, enjoying a drink,” Youth Activities Manager Erika Solano said.

State rooms on Disney cruises have a unique feature to help families getting ready.

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“We have split bathrooms, so there is no line in the morning,” Hotel Director Thomas Praxmerer said.

There are also some creative uses of space that include tucked away beds.

Guests are also given wave phones to stay in touch with others on the ship.

Right now, the Magic cruises out of Port Canaveral, which is about an hour from the Orlando Airport with trips to the Bahamas, including a stop on Disney’s private island.

For a family of four, Highfield looked online and found an ocean view room on a three-night cruise in May going for $1,835.

That price includes meals, but not gratuities or alcohol, which brings us to our first money saving tip.

Unlike most cruise lines, Disney allows you to bring your own alcohol.

If you want a room with a private porch, you can spend less by going for something called a navigator’s verandah, which is more enclosed than a regular verandah.

On one cruise Highfield checked, it could save you about a $175.

Disney also offers discounts to members of the military. There’s a deal next month for just $115 a night.

For $70 a person, Disney has a roundtrip shuttle from the airport to the ship, which unless you have a large family, is probably less money than renting a car and paying for parking at the port.

Finally, in mid-May, the Magic is moving to Europe for the summer and there are some low prices for that transatlantic trip.

For 12 nights in an interior cabin, two people can go for as low as $103 a night. Of course, you still have to fly back from Europe, but you have plenty of time to check out the ship.


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