I've been on 3 cruises but I had the most fun of all on the Magic. This was a family cruise with my husband and two children. After experiencing this cruise for myself I could not believe so many people in the past wrote such bad reviews about the Magic.
We parked right across the street at a lot called Park N Cruise for $50. Embarkation was a breeze.... We arrived at the port at 11:00 a.m., checked in, and went right onto the ship.
The entire ship was clean and new. I constantly saw employees cleaning everywhere. On sea days we chose to spend all day hanging out by the pool on the Lido deck. There was entertainment out there, as well as, line dancing. That was a blast to me. The only shows I attended were the illusionist and the comedians. Both were great.
One thing that I personally didn't care for was movies playing so early on the big screen on the Lido Deck. Movies started way before dark while many were still enjoying the deck & pool. In my opinion, movies should be later in the evening.
The food on the ship was mediocre. The food was better than NCL but not as good as the food I experienced on the Carnival Elation. I chose anytime dining because I prefer to eat when I'm hungry and I don't really care if the waiter knows my name or knows what I like to drink....... My experience was great except for the 1st formal night. The line that night went from the dining room throughout half the ship. However, it was not a line to eat, there were plenty tables available, the line was to be seated. Maybe Carnival should consider having 2 hostesses doing seating on that night. The line took about 45 minutes. I didn't complain because where I live it's the norm to wait 30 -- 45 minutes at a nice restaurant.
I enjoyed all of the ports; Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. We went to Sunset Beach in Jamaica which was all inclusive. Had a great time there but I must say that the drinks were watered down considerably. After 10 cocktails I wondered if there was any alcohol in the drinks at all. Normally, after 2 cocktails I'm done! The pools and slides were very nice; however, the lazy river only has about 6 tubes to float on, REALLY!!! In Grand Cayman we snorkeled at Paradise Snorkel Center which was in walking distance of the ship and it was free because we had our own snorkel gear. You could rent snorkel equipment there for about $14. The food was very expensive there. A plate of chicken wings was $20 US dollars and a few drinks later we spent $100. But lots of fish to see! You could see about 5 huge tarpons swimming around before even entering the water. After snorkeling we headed to 7-mile beach and went to Calico Jacks. Totally enjoyed the atmosphere, food, and drinks. The restaurant and the beach were very crowded. I'm bored on secluded beaches so it worked for me. In Cozumel we went to Chankanaab which is always awesome. It was my first time docking at this particular pier in Cozumel and we completely enjoyed hanging out at Three Amigos before boarding the ship.
My youngest son (9) attended camp carnival and he totally enjoyed it. My oldest son (13) attended Circle C and I was very disappointed. Circle C ended at 1 a.m. and most of the kids stayed in the club unsupervised until the early morning hours. Of course my son wanted to stay with his new found friends and felt totally left out when I'd make him come to the cabin at 2 a.m. This to me was ridiculous...... In my opinion, I'd prefer if Carnival would enforce a curfew to young teens.
I've read many times that the crew on the Magic was not friendly. I personally did not experience this. All employees were polite and hard working. No, they did not treat me like royalty and they may not have a continuous smile on their faces but everyone should understand that they work very hard and work many hours a day catering to thousands of people. I think they did a great job.
My favorite part of all, without a doubt, was joining the roll call and group facebook page that someone created for this particular cruise. I chatted with about 50 strangers for about 2 months leading up to the cruise. By the time our cruise got here we all felt as though we knew one another. Getting to meet this wonderful group of people in person made it feel as though I was cruising with 50 family members. It will be very hard to top the fun we all had together on this cruise!