We sailed on April 29, 2012 and Magic turned one year old on May 1st. Carnival had a very nice celebration.
The night before our cruise we stayed at Gaido's Seaside Inn in Galveston. It was a nice, clean room with a wonderful staff. Many of our fellow cruisers were also guests at Gaido's, so we got to meet some people early.
Getting onboard was easier than ever. We parked in Lot B, first dropped off the luggage, parked the car, went through embarkation and was on the ship in less than an hour. We could have left our car for free at Gaido's, but we opted not to.
Our stateroom was ready by 1:00 p.m. We had an 8-E balcony on the 9th deck, cabin 9271. It was a prime location and the cabin was very roomy. The balcony was small, but it held two chairs and a small table and was perfect for the two of us. Our room steward, Heru, was absolutely wonderful. He always remembered our names and kept our small cooler full of ice.
About the cabin, I would recommend bringing: A powerstrip, a small oscillating fan (for white noise), your own pillow and your own hair dryer. Also bring a small collapsible ice chest. You can also bring two bottles of wine and 12 sodas - which we did. I also ordered a bottle of rum from Bon Voyage. We also brought a 2 quart plastic pitcher and a container of pink lemonade crystal light packets. We made all our own drinks. This may be too much, but I also brought two small limes, a knife, cutting board and a bottle of cherries - we had really good drinks! The cabin had 3 closets and lots and lots of storage space. The bed was very hard (I like a soft bed), and the pillows were too firm for me (I like down feather). Since this was my 11th or 12th cruise, I knew what to bring to keep me comfortable. I brought the extra drink-making ingredients because we had a party in our room for some fellow cruise critics and was able to give everyone a good drink (I also brought a roll of plastic cups). For the party, I ordered a cheese tray from Bon Voyage - it was really, really good. I absolutely loved our cabin. It was by the elevators, looked down on deck 5, had a smooth ride, and we could still hear the water and waves.
The Magic is a beautiful ship - it is well laid out. We loved the Serenity area, the Northern Lights restaurant, the Steakhouse (surf and turf, extra yummy), the Red Frog pub, the buffet, room service - well, we loved everything! It was so nice making friends on Cruise Critic before we cruised, many of us felt like we already knew each other and it was really nice. DH and I always cruise alone - this cruise we did not feel alone - everywhere we went it seemed like we knew someone and that was totally awesome. The people we met all were wonderful and I hope that we have the opportunity to cruise together again. We had a Meet and Greet and 97 people signed up. Wonderful turnout. We went to several of the shows and the late night comedy club. We also watched Movies under the Stars - it was dreamy. We had perfect weather throughout the cruise.
In Jamaica we went to Sunset Beach - this was our third time going there and it did not disappoint, it was a perfect day. We stayed on the ship in the Caymans - we have been there many times and I had hurt my foot so did not want to do a lot of walking. In Cozumel, we went shopping and drank some good tequilla and made it back on the ship in one piece(thankfully!)
We loved Magic, the staff was incredible, the ship beautiful and the friends we made all warmed my heart and made our cruise so extra special. I cannot wait to cruise Magic again.
Getting off the ship was just as easy. We were Group 20 and we were off the ship and in our car heading back to Dallas at 9:30 AM - home at 2:15 and back to reality. This was a perfect vacation.