My wife and I got back a little more than a week ago from our trip on The Magic. After reading other reviews, I have to wonder if we were on the same ship. If you are a pissy person in everyday life, no cruise line is going to change that. Magic is in the eye of the beholder sometimes, so here's my view with some helpful tips.
As we live really close to Galveston, it was our best choice. We hitched a ride and were dropped off at the pier at about 11:30. By 12:30, we were on board, heading for lunch. Tip #1; eat lunch in the Italian restaurant, as it is free for lunch. The Chicken Alfredo was probably the best I've ever had! Our room was ready by 1:00, so we dropped off our carry on and went for the drink of the day (loved it!). Tip #2, they will refill it for a cheaper price, so keep the glass! Our room steward was really good (he goes by Sue). The fridge didn't cool very well, so he got us a bucket of ice to put our soda in. Based on the delamination of the counter top in the area, it appears to be a problem for others as well. Tip #3, the room was the standard size, but the cove balcony was larger than the standard balcony (cheaper rate too). We didn't care for having to keep a room key in a slot by the door to keep the lights on. Turns out (tip #4) that you can put a playing card or business card in the slot to do the same job. The galley was above, so we heard noise sometimes during the day, but never at night. No neighbors to one side, so again, very quiet.
After we set sail, we explored the ship. Overall, we loved the ship and the decor. The decor on The Legend really wore on me. While it was a big ship, it never seemed any more crowded than any of our other cruises, even in the buffet area! Even in rough seas, the ship didn't move that much. We really like that most of the kids' indoor stuff was on deck four, while the bars/clubs were on deck 5. We didn't like walking through the smoky casino to get from one end of the ship to the other though. As with other Carnival ships, it is sometime easier to get from one end of the ship to the other by going through a floor with all cabins. We also learned that during busy times, it is sometime easier to just get the first available elevator, no matter what direction it is going. The flow of traffic seamed really good, except when they had a good sale in the gift shop area. They should consider doing the special sales in a lounge, as it clogged the walkway. Water slides were very fun, rope course was also fun. Miniature golf requires some co-ordination, as one of the holes covers two floors and the kids behind us didn't have comprehension skills that they should wait for someone else to finish below before they start.
The buffet was good, burrito bar really good, pizza and burgers were okay. We didn't get to the rest. The Asian buffet was always more crowded than we wanted to wait for (why wait?). The rest of the lines were NOT THAT BAD, maybe five minute wait at most. We made good use of the time to chat with fellow cruisers and get more ideas. Crazy, I know! We did the main dining room for breakfast once. It was good, but even they had the powdered eggs. Yuck! The main dining room food for dinner was always terrific! Some have said they were under staffed, but that's not what I saw. With so many waiters walking by, it was hard to get up! Dinner generally did take an hour to an hour and a half. They did run late one night and we missed a comedy show. I know, end of the world! Get over it people! If it's going to interfere with your drinking, you can order a drink in the main dining room to tide you over! Our waiter was really good, as were his helpers! The only negative here is on formal nights, the dress code should be enforced like on The Legend. Shorts on formal night? Go to the buffet people!
The entertainment could use some work. We got on board to Boy George's "Coma Carnelian." Really? The only Caribbean type song we heard the whole week was "Margarita-ville," once. If you love trivia, this is the cruise for you. Seemed like there was trivia every hour on the hour! Good thing we are good at entertaining ourselves during the day! The comedy shows were okay. Tip #5; get to the magic show at least thirty minutes ahead of the show! We got to the theater about 25 minutes early and almost didn't get a seat. The juggler show was also very good!
Room service never made it the day we docked at Roatan. This was obviously aggravating. To make the day worse, we docked at an alternate port due to weather. Due to this, they canceled my wife's Mahogany Bay excursion. They should have bussed those with that excursion over there. My scuba dive at Antony's Key was excellent though! They helped make sure we had all the gear we needed, and even helped us put it on. I only wish they had somebody shooting video (they are missing big sales here).
Belize was nice, did a snorkel beach break at Rendezvous Key. For the price we paid, the food should have been included. I was with the expert snorkelers group, yet I think I was the only one paying attention and people kept swimming into me, so I dropped to the back and let them swim on top of each other, which was amusing. The beach was really pretty though, and everybody who worked there was nice.
In Cozumel, we did the glass bottom boat. Was a little disappointed after scuba diving in Roatan, but my wife (who isn't certified) enjoyed the view. The air conditioning didn't work very well. The tour did give us enough time to shop though! Looked like others needed more shopping time. Some folks also had too much to drink (I hope your parents see the video of you on that I posted on YouTube). Due to the lines, we were at least a half hour late leaving, but that was okay.
Debarkation went really good, except some people didn't want to wait in the line they were put in. We did the self-assist and were called off at 7:45. By 8:30, we were waiting for our ride home.
We really enjoyed our cruise, but some passengers made it hard. I read a recent review by somebody who basically expected room service to drop the other 4000 passengers and cater straight to them. I suggest they rent a yacht next time! As for us, it depends on my job status. We would like to just go to Roatan next year. After that, we may try another cruise line, as we have done three Carnival cruises in a row and would like a change of scenery. But if we can't afford those, we would be happy to disappear again on The Magic. I only wish I could make the crabby people disappear!
I joined this website to get tips to make my cruise better. I hope I've helped out others like me. Too bad too many people let little things ruin their vacation. Don't be like them, and you will have a super time!