Before going on our cruise I heard some negative comments about the Carnival Cruise line. After going on our cruise I can say I give the Carnival Magic an A+ rating. It may have had something to do with the time of year we chose to travel but we were not inundated with kids as many of the reviews stated. Our captain was fantastic! We had a medical emergency on board and he had to turn the ship around and head back to Galveston. He was communicating with the Coast Guard for their assistance for an emergency medical evacuation. He also was communicating with the passengers aboard the cruise ship. After the Coast Guard arrived and did the air lift we turned around and made it to our first destination on time. Obviously he had to pick up speed in order to do so. We were on the 8th floor and felt a "little" rocking but nothing too major. I actually thought this is how a baby feels when being rocked to sleep it actually felt rather nice.
The food was fantastic! On the Lido deck is where we went for breakfast all but one morning. Highly recommend the Omelette Station where they will make you an omelette to order. For lunch you have several options. We had Mongolian BBQ the first day also on the Lido deck. One day we did the Sea Side Grill on deck 5 that was good. We also tried the Cucina del Capitano for lunch one day. This is their Italian Restaurant that is complimentary for lunch but costs extra in the evening - portions were small but the food was very good.
The evening meal we ate every evening in Southern Lights at the early setting. Everything was so good we didn't feel the necessity of going to any specialty restaurants. The only negative comment I heard is if you tried the anytime dining option. People said they had to stand in line too long because if you reserved the early dining option you got seated before any of the anytime diners did.
As far as the entertainment goes we only did the early evening entertainment and everything was excellent. I can not comment on the late evening entertainment.
We booked our shore excursions through Carnival on the internet before leaving on our cruise. This I would highly recommend being several shore excursions were sold out before we even set sail. Also, that meant they were already paid for before cruising - much easier on the budget.