Interview with Cruise ‘Hotel Director’.

Interview with Lloyd Machado, Disney Magic Hotel Director

Autumn has come, the clocks have gone back and the summer cruise season is coming to an end.  Yes, some of you lucky types will continue to ride the waves but for many, it’s time to start saving up for the next cruise.

To kick off our own autumn season, we thought we’d try and bring you a few ‘working on board’ videos.  Cruise ship operations are fascinating to many of us.  Organizing and running a floating hotel with thousands of guests is an epic task, yet every ship seems to manage this achievement week in, week out!

To start, we have found a short video from 2010.  Disney Magic Hotel Director, Lloyd Machado gives a little insight into the day to day management of over 600 members of staff (hotel side) and 2000 plus guests!


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Disney Magic is a cruise ship owned and operated by the Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. She has 11 public decks, can accommodate 2,700 passengers in 875 staterooms, and has a crew of approximately 950. The interior of Disney Magic is decorated in the Art Deco style, in contrast to her sister ship, Disney Wonder, which is decorated in the Art Nouveau style.

The ship has twenty bright yellow lifeboats which, along with the black, red, and white colors of the ship itself, match the colors of Mickey Mouse. This change from the standard safety orange took a waiver of international maritime rules.  As with other Disney cruise ships, the ship’s horn blast plays an excerpt from Disney’s famous flagship tune, “When You Wish upon a Star”. Disney Magics Godmother is Patricia Disney, former wife of Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney.

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Disney had cruise ship designs drawn up by February 1994.  In 1995 Disney Cruise Line commissioned Disney Magic and Disney Wonder from Fincantieri in Italy. The ship was built in two halves with the bow built at Fincatieri’s Ancona shipyard and the aft at their Marghera shipyard. The planned maiden voyage was for March 12, 1998.  In January 1997, the first ticket for Disney Magics first trip was raffled off on the cable television channel Lifetime, while ticket sales would begin in September 1997.  Continuing delays on the MS Rotterdam kept additional workers from Disney Magic, thus by November 1997, the cruise line rescheduled the ship’s initial voyage to April 30, 1998. Further delays, from suppliers and weather conditions, at Fincantieri forced back the maiden voyage of Disney Magic a few more months. The bow was towed to the Marghera shipyard where the halves were joined.

With livery and design evocative of the RMS Queen Mary,  the Disney Line Disney Magic set sail on its maiden voyage on July 30, 1998, out of Port Canaveral, Florida, as the cruise line’s launch ship. The ships initial cruises were to Nassau, Bahamas, with a stop at Castaway Cay, over three to four nights.  However, as of 2011, Disney Dream has taken over doing these cruises.

Originally, from 2000, Disney Magic had been offering weekly cruises to Castaway Cay and multiple Caribbean islands out of its home port in Port Canaveral.  In June 2005, Disney Magic was dispatched to the West Coast in honor of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

In May 2007, Disney Magic started her inaugural Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona, Spain. At the end of the summer, she returned to her home port of Port Canaveral. Disney Magic returned to Barcelona in 2010 for another summer of Mediterranean cruises, as well as several northern European cruises before again returning to Port Canaveral in September.

In May 2012, Disney Magic was relocated to New York City, where she sailed 8-night cruises to the Bahamas, New England, and Canada. In September, she was relocated to Galveston, Texas, for the remainder of the year and offered 4 Night Caribbean Cruises, 6, 7, and 8 Night Western Caribbean Cruises, and 8 Night Bahamian Cruises.   In June 2013, Disney Magic was re-positioned to Barcelona, Spain for the summer.

Disney Magic was put in for an overhaul at Navantia shipyard, Cadiz, Spain.  In October 2013, Disney Cruise Line completed renovations to Disney Magic   including updates to the ship’s cabins, lounges, restaurants and spa and introduced new features including; “Marvel’s Avengers Academy”, a play area based on Marvel’s Avengers characters, the AquaDunk, and the AquaLab, consisting of a pool and waterslide.

In 2016, Disney Magic sailed Disney Cruise Lines’ inaugural Northern Europe itineraries, homeported in the port of Southampton, 80 miles from London, England. She sailed to Norway, the British Isles, and the Baltic Sea during her brief three-month season. She will return to the region in 2017.

Disney Magic Stateroom


Entertainment on Disney Magic includes live Broadway-style shows with many Disney characters, two movie theaters, the Walt Disney Theater and the Buena Vista theater, which feature both Disney classics and occasional first-run movies, several night clubs and lounges, several pools, and many Disney-themed parties and celebrations, including a Sail-Away Celebration and Pirates Night.

On the ship’s forward funnel, there is a 24-by-14 foot LED screen known as the “Funnel Vision”, due to its location on the rear of one of the ship’s funnels, where guests can watch various movies and shows either from the deck or from inside Goofy’s Pool.

Shows from the Walt Disney Theatre may include: All AboardLet The Magic BeginA Final Farewell ShowTwice Charmed: A Twist on the Cinderella StoryTangled the Musical, and Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic.  Former shows included Villains Tonight! which was replaced by Tangled.

Disney Magic Theatre


Several kids’ clubs are available on board. It’s a Small World Nursery is a play area for infants while the Oceaneer Club, and the Oceaneer Lab, offer children from three to ten a variety of guided and individual activities from computer games, dress-up, themed activities, experiments. The Edge offers 11- to 14-year-olds an interactive play space designed like the ship’s bridge. The teens-only Vibe club offers teens television, video games, music, Internet access, and a variety of social activities.

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There are two seating times offered on board Disney Magic – early and late. Early caters more toward young families while the later tends to be for older children and primarily adult families. Disney uses “Rotational Dining” to describe how to ensure guests experience each of the themed restaurants on board: Lumiere’sCarioca’s, and Animator’s Palate. Guests share the same table guests and wait staff each night. Lumiere’s is themed after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast movie[ while Carioca’s has a South American theme.

Disney Magic features the Palo restaurant on the aft deck number 10 which serves Northern Italian fare for dinner. The restaurant is limited to 130 guests 18 years of age or older.

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Facts & Figures

Name: Disney Magic
Owner: Disney Cruise Line (The Walt Disney Company)
Operator: Disney Cruise Line (The Walt Disney Company)
Port of registry:  Bahamas
Route: 4 Night Caribbean Cruises,5,6,7 and 8 Night Western Caribbean Cruises,2,3,4 and 8 Night Bahamian Cruises,4,5,7,9 and 12 night Mediterranean Cruises, Special Cruises
Ordered: 1996
Builder: Fincantieri Marghera, Italy[1]
Cost: US$400 million
Yard number: 5989
Launched: April 17, 1997
Christened: 1998
Maiden voyage: July 30, 1998[1]
In service: 1998–present
Refit: October 2013
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Magic-class (Disney) [1]
Type: Cruise Ship
Tonnage: 83,338 GT[1]
Length: 984 ft (300 m)[1]
Beam: 106 ft (32 m)
Draft: 25.3 ft (7.7 m)
Decks: 11
Installed power: 43,000 kW (57,600 hp)
Propulsion: Diesel-Electric; *5 × Sulzer 16ZAV40S; two shafts
  • Cruising 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)
  • maximum 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph)
Capacity: 2,700 passengers
Crew: 945

All details: WIkipedia