The reviews of this ship are all over the place. After talking at length with my family, we have agreed that maybe our expectations were set very high since this was a new ship with some great amenities. We had a great cruise and a wonderful vacation. There was absolutely nothing that was horrible or would cause me to not sail on this ship again. I think it is safe to say that with all trips you take, you walk away with a few suggestions for improvement and this trip was no exception. Let me break it down for you-
The ship itself is huge!!! It took a while to learn the layout, but I liked that. It felt like an adventure of sorts. Even though it was very large, we managed to find each other daily as well as coming across people we met throughout the day. I would have thought it would have been much harder to do so.
There are not enough lounge chairs for everyone by the pool area. However, there are places on deck 5 on either side of the ship that always had lounge chairs available. Some of those areas were smoking places and you had to go from one side of the ship to the other in order to follow the sun as the day progressed but I do not think you will find any vacation destination that will allow everyone to have prime lounge chair real estate. There was also plenty of seating on this ship, just not enough lounge chairs for all 4600 to sit in at the same time. It is completely unrealistic to think a ship that carries 4600 people would be able to fit all of them around the pool. Now, there is definitely a problem with people getting up at 6:30 A.M., placing towels on chairs and never being seen again until 11 or so. I did see the staff removing towels on our last sea day but they were met with such a fierce attack from the passengers, it didn't last long. It says right in the Fun Times that you can not reserve a chair for more than 30 minutes. They need to stick to this rule with no exception and I think things would improve. The main pool has a wading area around the perimeter with benches and even seating in the shade. This is a very nice design and it seems like you can accommodate more people. Yes, children jump in and splash but show me a pool where that does not happen. If there was an adults only pool then children splashing would not be an issue but everyone knew signing up for this cruise that an adult pool was not a feature on this ship. To complain about it seems silly to me. Kids will always jump in pools and you will never fit 4600 people around a pool on a ship this size. I liked the fact that there was a second pool as well as all of the hot tubs. I never felt cramped in the pools.
There were plenty of places to eat on this ship. The Oceanside BBQ next to Red Frog Pub on deck 5 never had more than 3 people in line. I did not go to the pasta restaurant that was free for lunch, but I heard that was not really crowded. The deli at the back of the Lido deck was only crowded after our Cozumel day. Any other time I went there I had a custom sandwich grilled and ready to eat within 5 minutes. There was also chicken, tuna and pasta salads available on deck 5 without a line. The Lido buffets were crowded but there were a lot of people to feed!! Yes, the line for pizza was long but there were 2 guys back there to feed thousands of us pizza. Back home, if I order a pizza I have to wait 30 minutes or more. The longest pizza line, if you ordered a specialty pizza, was 10 minutes. I do not think that is unreasonable. The food quality was what I expected. It is not gourmet but it is good, with some items being better than others. There is such a variety of things available if you are willing to look for them and I am fascinated that they can serve that many people so efficiently. I had read that there was no variety for breakfast on debarkation day and I have to disagree. We had everything we normally had including the omelette station. Red Frog Pub is really fun. The wait staff does a nice job and the food is very good. I love the $3.33 price point for their food and the fish bowl drinks at $22.00 were great to share.
We were in Southern Lights for dinner and the really enjoyed the singing waiter. We looked forward to hearing him every night but there were 2 nights when they did not do a show at all. We were the late seating for dinner and felt the show was a little late, usually 9:15 or later. The servers only did dances 3 nights if I remember correctly and they did not involve everyone as they did on the Fascination. This was a little disappointing but it was not something that ruined my trip.
We love Imani at the piano bar. He has amazing talent and great interaction with the crowd. Each night we watched more and more people come see him. By the last night the entire lounge was full with everyone dancing and singing. The rest of the entertainment, unfortunately just did not impress us. It seemed very armature. Even the illusionist that everyone raved about was just ok. It was definitely exciting to see pyrotechnics on a ship but that was the best thing that happened. The 2 main singers were good and some of the dancers were great but it was all very underwhelming.
Butch, our cruise director, was a fantastic host. Very pleasant and friendly, his energy was infectious. He genuinely seemed happy to be there and excited to meet each passenger. He is a huge asset to this ship and I hope to sail with him again sometime. We never encountered a rude employee. I am not sure what the complaints about the staff were about. There are some that don't speak much English. Maybe people have mistaken this for rudeness. We were greeted daily by our room steward who kept our room clean all day and we were treated very well by our servers.
My kids really enjoyed Circle C. They are 12 and 13. They met lots of nice friends and had a great time doing the activities that were set up for them. The staff did a great job keeping them interested and involved.
There were some times that were printed wrong in the Fun Times and some things that were cancelled but we did not know. You would show up and walk around wondering where everyone was. It was also very hard to hear the announcements from the captain or Butch in certain places. There were several announcements that were missed because of this.
There is always room for improvement and I think the Magic is no exception. I hope Carnival pays attention to the comments people make and can implement some changes to improve passengers experience while on board the Magic. All in all, it was a great trip and we would do it all over again!!