My Husband and I cruise the Carnival Magic 04/15-22/12 sailing. I have broken this review up into categories instead of days.
We arrived at the port around 1230 noon. There was traffic but it was very organized. We were able to unload our bags and make it through check in. The lines were long but they were moving. We were assign zone numbers for boarding. We made it on board at 1:30pm. We were able to go to our cabin and drop off our carry on. We were off to explore the ship.
On boarding day they will advise you to go to the lido deck for the buffet but the Italian restaurant is open as well and is free for lunch. There is no lines and no waiting. Pasta is made fresh and is very good. The Indian food bar is also open.
The fitness center is not huge but it gets the job done. Besides you are not going to spend your whole day in there. The machines were new and fitted with the latest technology.
I have read previous reviews from those complaining about the long lines at the buffet. After this cruise there is nothing anyone should complain about. With all the options to eat, you do not have to eat the buffet. Carnival has done a great job making sure that you have dining options. with over 3600 people on board, there will occasionally be lines, however you can prevent standing in a line if you refer to your fun times which has the opening and closing time of each food venue.
The ship is very nice. deck 5 and 10 are the main decks. There are seating all around the pool area and on deck 5. The staff is very nice and they are always cleaning and smiling. The main shows are in the theater located on decks 3 and 4 and the spotlight lounge are located on deck 5 aft. The muster drill is different. Instead of standing outside in the heat, you escorted to your muster location inside the ship and the crew demonstrate to you how wear the vests. After that we were off to get a good spot for the sail away. The have kiosks that allow you to check your account on board and with draw cash out. That way you will not have to stand in line. There are computers spots located all over the ship if you feel you need to be connected to the outside world.
We ate breakfast in the buffet and the main dining room. The food was great. DH ate omelets and pancakes everyday. I enjoyed the hash browns and sausage. We ate lunch in the Italian restaurant. They have a free pasta bar that cooks to order. It was very good. We ate there for 12 per person on Monday night and the food and service were great. We ate at the pizza shop, burger place,and sushi. They all were good. Most nights we ate in main dining room which was fantastic. The wait staff really makes the meal even better. There are a variety of options so you should never find yourself starving or waiting in lines. One place that stands out is the Reg Frog Pub. The food and signature beer is so good!!!! You must try this place before the cruise is over.
You can choose to relax and lounge around or you can choose to be active and the many things going on around the ship. We mostly lounged around the pool area during the day and saw shows and went to the vibe club at night. Make sure you get there at least 30-45 minute early so that you will have a chance to get a good seat. We played in the casino and won. We found that if you go around 2 in the morning, your chances are better. There were the usual activities around the pool area that was fun to observe. We also found comfy seating at the tides pool which is at the back of the ship. The adults only area was a very nice addition as we did not travel with kids and wanted to get away from other people children.
Over all we really enjoyed it and was sad to leave the ship. I look forward to planning another cruise with carnival on one of their other new ships!!!