We returned from our 1st & (most likely last) Carnival Cruise. We sailed out of Galveston on 10-21-12 (Sunday-Sunday). We were to sail to Jamaica, Grand Cayman & Cozumel. Well, Hurricane Sandy totally changed that! We knew Sandy was out there & heading toward Jamaica two days before we sailed, but not a word of where we were going until Monday afternoon. Our captain took us to Key West on Tuesday morning. Which I applaud him for keeping us in calmer waters & out of harms way. However, we had too little time to figure out an excursion, so we got off the ship & just walked Duvall St. Which is fine (done it before). The next day was an @ Sea day. We spent the day on the Serenity Deck. Which was nice & quiet, but it was HOT & there is only one small HOT tub & it was full all the time. We had to cool off with the showers that were close to the HOT tub. CARNIVAL.... needs to dedicate ONE pool to ADULTS ONLY!!! There are two pools & a huge fun water park on board & they are full - all the time - with kids! Costa Maya was the next (unscheduled) stop. Been there, done that. Hung out in the pool at the Cruise Ship Village. Then Cozumel on Friday. Again... been there, done that.
The Magic ship is BEAUTIFUL I must say. I loved all the options for entertainment.... however Jay @ Karaoke was the HIGHLIGHT of of our week! I hate Karaoke....but Jay was the funniest guy I've ever seen! He cracked us up every night! We went to one comedy show.... no seats left, so had to stand (the 1st attempt was "sold out"). The guy was FUNNY. We went to the Theater to see two shows, the dancers are great & the costume beautiful, but the main singers were very weak. The Casino Slots are VERY tight.... I never saw anyone win on them.
The main dining room waiters were GREAT! The food was just average. Not bad, but nothing to get excited about. I have to eat Gluten Free & they went our of their way to make sure I was well taken care of, except at the Italian restaurant. I wound up walking out before I ever even ordered. The waiter was CLUELESS as to what my needs were & he had no clue how to help me. He was rude & he embarrassed me to the point that I got up & left.
Now to our Balcony Cabin... 8340. Don't book this cabin! It is TWO decks under the Pizza Station.... which is open 24 hrs a day... there is a CONSTANT noise of chairs being drug around at the Pizza Station on deck 10. CONSTANT! How the noise can travel TWO decks is beyond me, but it sure does. Also, the walls of the cabins are paper thin! We could hear our neighbors TV, talking to each other, stirring their coffee in the mornings.... not to mention the SLAMMING of their balcony doors every time they came in or out. They also turned on the balcony light every night! They weren't even out there. WHY???? Were they expecting company? Gees. The light ruined the night sky view from our balcony. :-(
Please be good neighbors.... don't let the doors slam & don't turn on your porch light, for no reason.
Also, we could hear complete conversations outside in the hallway. The walls & doors are thin on this ship... thank goodness I had earplugs.
On Friday night, the hubs began to feel ill. By 6 AM Sat, he was in full blown Norovirus status. Then shortly after, I was too! We stayed in our cabin until we HAD to vacate the cabin on Sun AM. We were so sick. Our cabin steward checked on us often & was very sweet. Once we got off the ship & began the journey home, we began to converse with our fellow FACEBOOK group members (150 strong!)... we learned that at least 12 others had also gotten sick at various times on this cruise.
CARNIVAL...... PLEASE add more than double the amount of Hand Sanitizers to your ship that are currently on board. There were some, but not near enough...they need to be "in your face" everywhere you go. We sailed on a HAL ship in Jan 2012 & they were placed outside the restrooms, on both sides of the elevators, on both sides of the restaurant entrances & at main mealtimes... they even had extra people standing in the doorways squirting it onto your hands as you entered! In the Buffet, they also served you your food & drinks for the first two days, so no one had to touch the serving spoons or the juices, milks, etc.
The Carnival Magic scored a 100% from the CDC the week before we sailed her & she was sparkling the whole time we were on her... but we sure got sick, which we have never done before on any other ship.
So, any really positive memories we had of the cruise were dampened by getting so sick.
Would I sail Carnival again? Me? Probably not. If you have kids, then this is the cruise line for you. I prefer a more adult atmosphere. I like to have fun, don't get me wrong. But, I'll stick to the RCCL's from now on.