This was our 4th cruise, 1st time on Magic. Let's get to the not-so-great. Do your homework and check what is above and below your deck. I didn't and when we got to our balcony stateroom on Deck 6, we discovered we were right above the Red Frog Pub. This was NOT going to work so we approached Guest Services in hopes that we could get another balcony suite or an upgrade. Thankfully, there had been a no-show and they moved us to an identical suite on Deck 11 at no additional cost. Now, that high up, you do tend to feel the rocking motion of the ship more than on the lower decks but that does NOT present a problem to us.
Embarkation was the usual hassle unless you are VIP but you plan for and expect that. We prepaid parking and that helped a lot. The safety training went quickly and then we were off.
This was our first time dining on our time and we discovered that around 7:15-7:30 in the evening, there were no lines waiting to be seated. We will do it again for sure. The menu offerings didn't seem as interesting as they did on Ecstasy and the first few nights our food got to us cold, but improved as the cruise went on.
Dining on the Lido deck usually meant you waited in line for a while to get your meal and again looking for a place to sit. Room Service delivered our requests on time and they were most satisfactory.
Our balcony stateroom was adequate for our needs and our steward was very attentive and respected our wishes to not be disturbed. He kept it very clean and we were very satisfied in that regard.
We thought it was easier to get around on Magic than it had been on Conquest, it seemed like you could get anywhere from Decks 4 & 5. We did our share of getting lost but charged it up to extra exercise.
I took advantage of the Spa on 4 different occasions and it was just great. I had two treatments, two different times so the 2nd time was deeply discounted which I liked a lot.
Besides my bad decision booking our stateroom, the only other "Not So Great" had to do with the photographers. The photographers on Ecstasy and Conquest seemed to want to do their best to take the most attractive photos of us. Regretfully, the photographers on Magic believed in quantity over quality. We ended up not purchasing any photo packages at all.
Bottomless Bubbles, Carnival's unlimited soft drink offering, was on the pricey side at about $52 for the whole cruise. You couldn't buy for specific days, only for the entire time. They made money off of us for that. We weren't bothered very often by the servers approaching us to purchase other beverages or their "Drink of the Day". However, in the Casino, it was sometimes hard to find a server to bring something.
We purchased minutes for internet access and one thing we really liked was that there were "Fun Hubs" located in all areas of the ship. However, their wireless access did not work with personal laptops and we would have to go down and connect our laptop in order to use it rather than sit in our suite or in one of the common areas.
There is a lot of seating available in the common areas, something that we really liked about the ship.
We don't care much for shows but did enjoy the piano bar a couple of times. We also played a couple of kinds of Trivia. The Casino is divided into smoking and non-smoking areas although, it was pretty much impossible to eliminate the smoking smell from the non-smoking area.
The shops offer typical Carnival items and are pretty pricey so we did our souvenir shopping in port.
We visited Montego Bay Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. We took excursions in Jamaica and Cozumel and we felt very rushed with little or no time to shop before we had to be back on the ship. I know part of it had to do with the authorities clearing the ship before the passengers disembarked but that wasn't much consolation.
We did not self-disembark but waited on comfortable seating for our zone to be called. If people would just follow the rules and do what they were told, instead of trying to be self-important and the first off, disembarkation would be a lot more pleasant for everyone. The longest we waited in line during the process was in the terminal going through customs and that is not a thing that Carnival can control.
We have already put a deposit on Cruise #5 and plan to sail again in the fall.