Carnival Magic Cruise Review by michael_e_maddox: Just what the doctor ordered
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Just what the doctor ordered
We were on the 11/4/2012 sailing of Carnival Magic to Montego Bay / Georgetown / Cozumel. This was our 11th Carnival cruise (2nd time on Magic) and our 28th cruise overall.
Embarkation - There as a "Biker Weekend" going on in town the day of embarkation, so earlier in the week we received an e-mail from Carnival to arrive early. When we arrived at 11:00 traffic was a non-issue (we stayed on Harborside Drive). In fact, after we dropped off the baggage and parked the car, we checked out some of the vendor displays associated with the event. This proved to be a bit of a mistake as by the time we finished (12:30) there was quite a queue to embark. I didn't think too much about it as we are now Platinum, but to get to the "VIP" embarkation line you first had to wait in line with everyone else. This is something that Carnival could improve. In any case, once we did get into the VIP line, going thru security, getting the sign and sail card and boarding took just 10 minutes. More By this time it was 13:00, so we were able to drop off our personal belongings in the room and go to a delicious lunch at the Cucina del Capitano. Muster drill on Magic is nice in that we assembled in the theater rather than out on the lifeboat deck. It was much more comfortable / relaxing. One thing that surprised us in a positive way on the sail out were the number of dolphins in the harbor. They were everywhere! Who would think that the turgid waters of Galveston Bay would be teeming with dolphins.
Dining - The food was generally good. We had made to order omelets each morning that were great. Carnival has added a George Lopez branded comedy brunch on sea days. One of the 2 comics on board would give a 15 minute set at the top of the hour. This was a nice, pleasant surprise. One night we paid the $12/person for dinner at the Cucina del Capitano. The food was OK, but IMHO not worth the premium over the regular dining room. One gripe is with the 'anytime' dining. My wife and I are pretty introverted, and we like dining alone. However, in the dining room the "tables for 2" are adjacent to the next couple's table. Didn't like the arrangement at all. We didn't try the steakhouse this time as we tried it last year and were disappointed with it (especially at the $35/person price point).
Entertainment - Since we saw the production shows last year, we mainly attended the Punchliner comedy acts. Most shows were entertaining and I'm glad we attended.
Shipboard Activities - On the sports deck, we did the Sky Course. I enjoyed it a lot, my wife not so much. I also tried the water slides. They were a blast, but the seams on the slide will rough up your back!
Ship's condition - Generally quite good. The crew does a fantastic job keeping things ship shape. One thing needing painting was the ship's funnel. It was severely faded.
Montego Bay, Jamaica - We took a taxi ($5/person) to the Twisted Kilt. It's a pub located just about 50 yards from Doctor's Cave beach. They have great food there (the Jerk Chicken flatbread is to die for) and very good cocktails (try the "Twisted Special"). We noted that Margaritaville was closed, in part due to damage from hurricane Sandy. We also a 75 foot boat lying on its side
Georgetown, Grand Cayman - It rained in the morning and stayed cloudy until mid-afternoon. Things were windy while a Cayman. So windy that we were the only ship to anchor in the usual location. The 2 other ships calling on the port anchored on the south side of the island. We had hoped to snorkel here, but the sea was just too choppy. Ended up just going thru the shops along Harbour Drive. A real treat was to see famed local artist Guy Harvey painting in his store!
Cozumel, Mexico - Since the weather was unusually cool and cloudy for Cozumel, we walked from Puerto Maya to downtown San Miguel (3 miles). We had lunch / drinks at Viva Mexico. Wow, what an experience. As we were seated were given tequila shots (he same thing happened when we left). We each had a couple of their "fish bowl" mango margaritas and nachos. Needless to say that after the margaritas we took a taxi back to the ship.
Disembakation - She ship was tied up along the pier by 06:50. Platinum / Diamond members have access to a priority debarkation lounge (the Northern Lights dining room on deck 3) starting at 6:45. This was very nice, but could be improved. Noted that there were several non Platinum / Diamond persons there. Access should be denied unless they have earned this perk. In any case, by 07:05 we were off the ship and by 07:20 we were leaving the parking lot. Driving back up I-45 just past the Galveston causeway, we saw a flight of 4 pink flamingos. A very nice way to end a wonderful cruise. Less
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