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Carnival Magic Cruise Review by Stevesan

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Carnival Magic
Carnival Magic
Member Name: Stevesan
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Galveston
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: 8F
Cabin Number: 623
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Carnival Magic Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5+
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 5+
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Magic Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Magic Deck Plans
Snorkeling the Western Caribbean
Shore Excursions:

I only snorkel. If you aren't into diving or snorkeling, skip this part.

The Western Caribbean. Is world class for diving and snorkeling.

Roatan: Unfortunately, Maya key is an exception. Near shore is sand and grass. Entry is at the end of a long pier with many other snorkelers crammed into a small area. Most of the coral is dead and there was very little marine life. I previously visited Tabyana beach. It has excellent snorkeling off shore. Once I did a boat snorkel with Anthony's Key Resort on the West side. That was magnificent. Anthony's is a 5 star operation.

Belize: I spent most of the day in my cabin with a stomach problem. However, I can attest from previous trips that snorkeling at any of the small to mid size islands is excellent.

Cozumel: I repeated Eagle Ray Divers three-reef boat snorkel. It's a small operation with excellent guides. They often mix divers and snorkelers with a separate guide assigned to each group. Eagle Ray also offers a two-reef trip, but they only visit near shore reefs. That doesn't compete with the off shore reefs such as Columbia, Palancar, Punta Sur, etc.

Highlights:

There was Minimal crowding in public areas, despite nearly 4,000 fellow passengers. Food and service in MDR was excellent In and out in slightly over an hour. That's record time in my experience (25 cruises and counting).

Balcony cabin (deck 10, Lido) intelligently designed and comfortable, with lots of storage space. The balcony is small, but adequate for drying out snorkel gear :=)

Kiddy programs are first rate. Topside water features are everything a child could ask for. The kids are well cared for, and also well behaved. Attribute the latter to most passengers being from Texas where children have a proper rearing.

The grill located aft on Lido deck provides good deli sandwiches and other munchies.

Soft serve ice cream and drink stations more than adequate.

Many activities throughout the day. They are varied enough everyone should find a few things they like.

Lowlights:

Pools are too small for swimming.

Boarding began early but cabins were not accessible until 1:30PM, even though disembarking guests are "encouraged" to be out of the cabins by 7:30->8:00AM. Princess has the same timing, but their cabins are available between 11:30AM and 12Buffet area (Market Place) design is disjointed and difficult to maneuver. But the food was okay. Good omelet stations.

Charging for small snacks, cookies, etc, at the Ocean Plaza's coffee bar is miserly.

Worst were the cruise director's PA announcements. They are FREQUENT, LOUD, LONG and studded with SALES PITCHES. They're reminiscent of a key phrase in David Mamet's Glenglarry Glen Ross film: "Always be Selling"

Immigration lines were loooooong There was a one hour plus wait. Not the fault of Carnival or the Immigration officials who had nine stations open. 4,000 is a lot of folks to process. Princess has the same timing, but their cabins are available between 11:30AM and 12Noon.

Buffet area (Market Place) design is disjointed and difficult to maneuver. But the food was okay. Good omelet stations.

Charging for small snacks, cookies, etc, at the Ocean Plaza's coffee bar is miserly.

Worst were the cruise director's PA announcements. They are FREQUENT, LOUD, LONG and studded with SALES PITCHES. They're reminiscent of a key phrase in David Mamet's Glenglarry Glen Ross film: "Always be Selling"

Immigration lines were loooooong There was a one hour plus wait. Not the fault of Carnival or the Immigration officials who had nine stations open. 4,000 is a lot of folks to process.

In summary, a very good cruise,only 60 miles from my driveway.

Publication Date: 09/24/12
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