My husband and I live in Texas and we decided to sail on the Carnival Magic because it was a "new" ship, we liked the itinerary, and the convenience of driving to Galveston. Unfortunately, the itinerary did change due to tropical storm Sandy in the Caribbean. We last cruised twenty years ago on the Holland American Westerdam. After reading the many "pro and con" Magic reviews, we decided to go for it.
We chose to stay in a spa suite cabin with the VIP embarkation, so the embarkation process was a breeze. The first day on the ship was a "shocker" and very stressful for me. I guess that I was not expecting the impact of over 4000 "fun-loving" Carnival cruisers. By day two, we sought out the less crowed areas of the ship that better suited our lifestyle.
Listed below are the wonderful things that we experienced on the Magic.
The spa suite 11205 was fantastic. The cabin is located at the very forward of the ship on the starboard side. Thank goodness, all the spa cabins and balconies are smoke-free. We loved spending time in our lovely cabin and on our large balcony where we had a chaise lounge and two chairs. Our cabin steward GaGan "G" was wonderful.
The spa was our refuge. We loved going every day to the Thalassotherapy Pool and Thermal Suite. The steam rooms were fantastic! Our cabin included spa robes and slippers. Also, they give you Elemis products in your cabin.
The very best place to eat on the ship was Tandoor. This was the only restaurant where we noticed the ship crew eating regularly. We ate there every day for lunch. Also, we enjoyed Cucina del Capitano for dinner (great appetizers) and the Prime Steak House was lovely and very good. We loved the Cruise Critic tip about the complimentary bottle of wine at the steak house on the first night.
The Illusionist Show was excellent. It was the only show in the Showtime Theater that we attended, so I have no comparison. The "family friendly" (maybe, not so kid-friendly) comedy shows were fun. We were sorry that we waited until our last night to see the comedy shows.
Port days on the ship were great due to the lack of cruisers on board. The Tides pool area was a nicer pool area for adults. The water slides were a blast!
The ship is very pretty with an outstanding, hard-working staff that keeps every area clean and nice with a smile.
Thanks for the following great tips from Cruise Critic members.
Bonine (I took this every night at bed time and never got sick.)
Taking the Carnival "legal" amount of bottled water, soft drinks and wine on the ship during embarkation. It was worth the hassle.
Lunch on the first day at Cucina del Capitano
If you are expecting gourmet food, Broadway caliber shows, romantic private areas (other than your cabin), and/or non-crowded exotic ports of call, this ship is not for you.
With that said, we had a great time on the Carnival Magic by "chilling out" and finding the food, activities and areas of the ship that we enjoyed. We are early risers and early to bed people, so we were able to avoid the crowds. Also, a positive attitude goes a long way. My sweet husband had to remind me of that on the first evening of our cruise.