This is our second carnival cruise and we booked this vacation in January and counted down the days until it was time to set sail. We decided to invite another couple to join us who we've been friends with for many years.
We arrived in Houston Hobby airport the Saturday before the cruise so we could check out Galveston before we set sail. Flying into Texas and getting around the airport was easy, we didn't have a plan for ground transportation since everything was expensive. Galveston is about a 45 mile drive from Houston hobby and a cab ride cost us about 100 dollars for 4 of us in a suburban which was nice. In Galveston we booked a night a the Howard Johnson hotel which was cheap and was one of the only hotels with a one night minimum. It coat about 100 dollars to stay there and I wont ever stay at another Howard Johnson hotel. This hotel was disgusting, We got to our room and the toilet was clogged and the furniture had a bunch of weird stays on the seats. I called the idiot behind front counter to address the toilet problem and he came to my room and handed me a plunger! Sunday morning I went down and ate everything I could at the continental breakfast to get my money's worth and asked if I could make some copies of my boarding pass. Idiot B informed me they where out of copier paper so I used the gas station copier next door. We arranged transportation to get to the port and checked in at the ship which was easy and quick.
The Carnival magic is one of the newest ships in Carnivals fleet and I was looking forward to seeing it. Once we got on, it was amazing to see in person. The boat was very clean and had lots of things to do and see. We enjoyed spending time in the back pool and spa area every day and loved the sandwich bar at the pool deck. The food on the ship is alright, the sandwich bar, hamburger bar and food at the red frog pub was great. The buffet was okay, breakfast was good, lunch alright, and dinner sucked. We elected to have the open dining schedule which was nice, the seating was open and you can eat basically whenever you want. The dining room area was one of the areas of disappointment for us. The servers where disorganized and communication was difficult because of language barriers. The food was also very poor for sit down dining.
The dining at the steak house was amazing, the food was wonderful and worth the extra 30 dollars a person. We also enjoyed the Italian restaurant, they have an excellent pasta bar for lunch.
This trip was longer the the first cruise we took so we had a chance to catch more shows this time and try some of the activities. The punch liner comedy club was awesome. Each night a couple of comedians would perform live and most of them where hilarious. We caught the magic show which I thought was dumb and fell asleep at. The juggling act was funny and worth seeing. Oh check out the piano bar its small but a lot of fun singing with the host. We spent everyday and some nights in the red frog pub, the beer is good and the food is excellent. It's a relaxing beach bar atmosphere with live music at night. We spent some time in the casino since it was the only place with sports on the television. The problem is getting sport games sucked. We couldn't get all the basketball playoff games. Carnival need to have a sports bar with more televisions, it would be a hit.
Overall the ship is excellent and easy to get around and I would cruise on this ship again. It was worth the money we spent and we really enjoyed it.
We signed up for a cruise voucher and look forward to hitting the eastern Caribbean again next year!