I believe anyone that could complain about the beautiful, new Carnival Magic just likes to complain!
We boarded 3/25 during the Spring break periods of Chicago, and Louisiana, among others, I'm sure. Embarkation was very easy. We arrived at 11:45am, dropped our luggage off, and went to the Lighthouse parking ($55.00 for the week). Very quickly brought back by their shuttle.
Once inside, the line for security was very quick. Sent to a table for our bags to be checked (for the water, soft drinks, and wine we brought). This table had one person checking bags, and a long line of people, so we just skipped. Had another friend who stopped there, and her shrink-wrapped 12pack of water was unpacked, and the carefully hidden rum in the middle bottles was confiscated. Seems that when they shake it, if it is not water, it will bubble. There was no communication from the security screeners and the booze checking table person, so they don't know or care if you stop or not.
Once inside, we went straight to the Italian restaurant for lunch. Not too many people know about this on the first day. In fact, some of the employees were not aware that it was open for lunch on the first day. It is free for lunch. I tried farfalla pasta with chicken, shrimp, broccoli, and alfredo sauce. Came with bread and ceasar salad. Was very nice.
After lunch, our cabins were ready.
We had a balconey on deck #6. Was in the back of the boat and very roomy. Lots of space for anything you could bring. The bed was comfortable, though a bit harder than I remember on other carnival cruises. Our balconey was nice, though we never seem to use it enough to justify the extra charge. Did find that the constant slamming of others balconey doors and cabin doors was very annoying, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Could also hear people talking in the hallways. We did have to call security one night to quieten a teenage party next door at 1am. The noise level would be the ONLY thing I could complain about this cruise. Next time I will pack a small fan for the white noise.
The food in the main dining room was the best I have every had. Superior to Disney, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and (especially) Norweigian. Had large tiger shrimp almost every night on the menu. Filet, tenderloin, prime rib. Even had alligator and frog legs for those that wanted to try something exotic. The soups were all terrific as well. Best of all, the food was always hot! We went to the main dining room most mornings for breakfast, and the french toast (which was the best) was always hot enought to melt your butter! The LIDO marketplace buffet had good food as well, but you could get everything in the DR, and not have to wait in the lines.
We tried the Indian food once for lunch, and it was too hot for our tastes. Burgers and dogs ok, and the pizza was good. Just had to wait a while as they never seemed to have enough cooked.
Loved the red frog pub. The coconut shrimp there was wonderful. Worth the $3.33 for an occasional treat. Problem was when to find time that you are hungry, with all the meals/food constantly available.
The staff were all very pleasant. I have found if you treat people well and with respect, they will return it. These people work so hard, away from their families. They are polite and always smiling.
Our wait staff in the main dining room were quick and efficient. The head waiter from the Phillipines sang for us two nights, and he was splendid! Such a wonderful voice. The wait staff did have to do corney dances, but they were so much fun to watch.
Loved the comedy shows. Did not go to many of the main shows, as we spent most time in the Punchline comedy club. Also enjoyed the piano bar singer.
We have been to all the ports before, and still enjoy them. In Cozumel we took a cab for $14 to Paradise beach. They now charge $2.00 per person to get in, but they have added a beautiful swimming pool since we were last there. They require you to spend $10 per person for food. The nachos are awesome.
In Grand Cayman, we always use Fat Fish Adventures for their jet-ski stingray city/snorkeling tour. Great people and a very fun time. Very good value also.
Jamaica we did the hop on/hop off bus for $15.00 per person. Went to Doctors Cave beach $6.00 per person to get in there. Stopped at Margarativille afterwards, but really don't waste your time there. Overpriced margaritas and way too crowded.