We went on the Carnival Magic for a seven day Western Caribbean Cruise April 1-8 2012. We screwed up and booked it during this time because we thought Spring Break was over by then. We didn't realize a lot of states have their Spring Break during this time. Oh well, a vacation is what you make of it and we decided to have fun no matter what, and we did. We did get woke up every night by college kids partying in the hallways, banging on doors and yelling. One night, there were about 10 or 15 of them outside our door in the hall literally having a party there. I know because I looked out my peep hole to see if it was really as many people as it sounded like. It's such a big, pretty ship, why the
hallway? Anyway, finally a kind young man in the group said "shhh, come on everybody let's get out of the hallway" Thank you, whoever you are!
I have only been on Carnival and Royal Carribean Cruises so I don't have a lot of experience with staterooms, but I was More
really happy with our balcony stateroom. The bed was comfortable, the linens were very nice. The lighting was good. The shower and bathroom were great! The only thing I think could have been better is if they had sliding glass doors rather than a window next to a glass door. Also, the shower gel and shampoo that come in the dispenser are kind of watery and not very good quality. You have to use a ton of the shower gel before you really get clean. Other than that, I loved our stateroom and balcony. But it would be nice if they put a table on the balcony that was tall enough to eat on.
Food: The food in the main dining room was good, but I didn't like waiting for 30 minutes in between each course. It usually took us a couple of hours to eat. The lobster was not as good as most of the lobster I have had. It seemed a little rubbery to me, not flaky like good lobster should be. Almost everything else we had in the main dining room was delicious, but I thought their deserts could use a little improvement. I think a lot of Americans such as myselfare accustomed to deserts being sweet and a lot of other countries tend to have deserts that aren't as sweet. The cakes I tried didn't seem very moist either. Every night, the four of us would taste each other's food and see which plate was the best. Some dishes are definitely better than others. We all decided some of the best dishes we tried were the fried chicken tenders (starter), Linguini with Italian Sausage, the braised style short ribs and the prime rib. We had anytime dining. We never had to wait for a table and always got one by the window as we requested, but we usually went to eat around 6:15 pm. It might have been a longer wait if we had showed up later. I think it's a design flaw that the upper dining room (designated time) doesn't have windows to look out of! Also, the anytime dinning on the third floor has obstructed views because the lifeboats block a lot of the view.
The buffet food quality was pretty good in my opinion. The only problem I had and I think a lot of people have is that they don't offer enough variety in the main buffet line. The same items were offered every day. The hamburgers offered on the lido deck were very good. My husband loved the Mongolian wok, but it takes about twenty minutes to get your food there.
The room service food was typical of Carnival. Not a lot of variety, but I recommend the chicken quesadilla served with salsa and sour cream. Very tasty! It takes about 45 minutes to get your order. We ordered room service numerous times and it always took right around 45 minutes.
The pools and outside activities:
The worst thing about the pools is typical of most cruise lines, the saltwater ? Also, they really should have one adult only pool. That being said, my favorite spot on the ship was Waterworks, I loved playing in the water with all the little kids. It was fun to walk along and let them dump water on me. I would always pretend like it surprised me and it just cracked them up. The best part? It was fresh water! Not saltwater! Plus it was so cool and refreshing. Being from Colorado, I enjoy my water cool, not warm. I don't know if I will ever be able to go on a ship without waterworks and have as much fun. They have so many things to do on the sportsdeck. We enjoyed it, but it was awfully crowded there.
Red Frog Pub:
One of my favorite places other than waterworks, was the Red Frog Pub. We would buy a beer tube and play shuffleboard, fooseball, checkers, or other board games. We had a lot of fun there. I thought it would be a smoky bar and I wouldn't be able to go there because I have asthma, but no smoking was allowed inside the pub, only in the nice outside part. They have some cool swinging chairs and table outside. If you like draft beer, this is by far the cheapest place to go on the ship. They also have a ha grub menu for 3.33 each. It looked very good, but I didn't try any of it.
Shows and entertainment:
What a fun job it must be to be one of the dancers or singers on a ship!? I haven't been on a lot of cruises, so I don't have much to compare it with, but I enjoyed the shows. I also thought our cruise director, Butch, was great. The singer and keyboard player in the atrium were good. But they seemed to sing the same songs every night. A little strange? Fun fact: we happened to share an elevator ride with them and they are very friendly. We also enjoyed some karaoke and bingo. I liked to go to the fourth floor and sit on one of the couches overlooking the atrium and watched couples dance and listen to the singer. I told my husband before our next cruise, I want us to learn to dance so we can be on the dance floor too!
I don't know if we will be leaving out of Galveston anymore. The cruise terminal is so far from the airport and it costs $150 for a taxi from the HIA airport to the terminal. Plus, we wanted to be on the safe side and get there the day before since it is far from the airport, so we had to get a hotel. I think it might have been cheaper for us to have flown to New Orleans and spend $20 on a
taxi to the cruise terminal instead.
One last thing I will mention is something I have read about in other reviews as well. The ship seems to have a strange "shimmy" or "vibration" to it. Not the usual swaying you might feel on a ship, but a constant, fast back and forth movement. Maybe due to mechanical problems that haven't been properly addressed? Not normal. Anyway, we had a great time!!! Less
DON'T GO TO PLAYA MIA! What a disappointment. We figured spending the day on a beautiful beach with unlimited drinks and food would be great. So our group of four took a taxi from the ship to Playa Mia for $15 and bought the deluxe package for $52 a person. Unfortunately, This beach is not pretty at all. When we first walked on the beach I was so disappointed that the beach was not the clear blue water that we saw from the ship at port. The water was murky and dirty. It was not inviting at all. Even so, I wondered why there weren't more people swimming in it being that it was such a hot day. It took us a while to find a place to sit because it was so packed. I decided to try and ignore the ugly looks of the water and TONS of little pieces of sea weed floating in it and take a dip to cool off. The water was choppy and I was nervous that it might have a steep slope because you couldn't see the bottom. I don't know why they have snorkel gear there because there's no way you could see through the water. Definitely not the beautiful waters we saw in Jamaica or Grand Cayman the day before. Anyway, after taking a few steps out I realized why nobody was swimming. There were rocks on the bottom, not sand! It was painful trying to get out. We headed for the pool. It was packed also. But we really wanted to cool off so we found an empty spot and got in. Now, I know that a lot of people like the water warm, and I like it a little cooler than most. But it was hot! Not refreshing at all. Being that we had spent over two hundred bucks, we decided to make the most of it and sat in the shallow spot in the smallish pool and drink our money's worth. Of course, the drinks come in small plastic cups, but they did allow you to order two at a time. The buffet food was decent but didn't have much variety. Basically a salad bar and items to make tacos, burritos, or fahitas. If all you are looking for is a place to eat and drink, this will do the job. If I ever go back to Cozumel, I will do some research and find a better spot to spend the day. I'm sure they have a nice, calm, clean, sandy bottom beach somewhere. I wish we would have went to Chaankanaab park like we had planned. At least there we would have been able to snorkel.
We had no problem making our early excursion that we had booked with Captain Bryan's snorkeling tour. The tender was easy to board and took only a couple of minutes to take us ashore. Grand Cayman has the most beautiful blue water I have ever seen! I don't recommend Captain Bryan's Catamaran tour only because it is a sail boat and they don't use the motor. It took us forever to get to each of the snorkeling spots and I felt rushed at each of the spots. It took our whole day because the catamaran goes so slow! I so wanted to visit 7 mile beach as it's suppose to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But by the time we were done with our 4 hour excursion, we didn't have time. The Cannibal also has very little shade. Other than that, Grand Cayman would have been my favorite port. The water was breathtaking and it is the richest of the Caribbean Islands. It isn't run down and trashy like Jamaica and Cozumel.
We took a 12 minute taxi shuttle ride to Doctor's Cave Beach which cost $5 per person. The entry fee was $6 (cash only). We rented an umbrella and two chairs which were $6 each for the day. The wood chairs are old and uncomfortable. The water was beautiful, clear, and the perfect temperature! I was afraid the water would be too warm and not refreshing, but it was just right. We snorkeled around the pier and it was wonderful. The calm water is so clear and there are lots of fish. The Bar and outside restaurant was a bit pricy, a large hamburger and fries was around $10, but tasted good. Anytime you want to leave, there are dozens of taxi shuttles waiting to take you back to the ship. Be sure and tell them exactly what ship and terminal you are going to! We would visit here again.