First of all, this is going to be a little long because I want to give the best review possible.
This was my 2nd Cruise and the first as an adult & with my wife. We were originally scheduled for the Triumph but got the MAGIC 2 weeks later with a discount.
We read posts in the forums and all the reviews for months looking for the best things to do and what to expect.
All of those horrible stories of LONG lines, bad service, unhappy crew members were all very UNTRUE!
(If you plan things right)
If you go in expecting a bad cruise it will be bad. We went in expecting a great memory.
We embarked on Sunday morning as we had (FTTF)Faster to the fun.
We showed up at the port at 9am and were first in line. They let us go thru and start the process about 10am.
I never showed anything to get onboard other than my drivers license and my boarding pass.
We took birth certificates and only used them at customs when we got back. Once we received our sign and sail cards we moved forward to the waiting area and then allowed to board the ship early.
We enjoyed a sit down lunch as soon as we got onboard and it was ok.
We took our bags to our room as it was already ready again thanks to FTTF. (Well worth $50)
We explored the ship and had a meet and greet with our Facebook group.
I realized that like an idiot, I left my keys at the baggage check and had to race back down to get them.
Carnival guest services was very helpful and got me where I needed to go just in-time, again, thanks to Faster to the Fun.
We ate dinner in the Northern Lights upper dining room on most nights and we were very pleased with the service. The food was not real hot but with 3000+ people to feed you can't expect perfect. It was awesome food nonetheless. The chocolate melting cake is wonderful.
I don't remember their names and I apologize for that but they all did an awesome job, called us by name, and knew what we wanted to drink after the first night.
Several worked at other places on the ship and again, knew us by name and remembered what we wanted to drink. The bottomless bubbles was a really good deal if you drink soda but water tea and lemonade were free everyday anytime.
We had an inside room on deck 2
Stateroom 2265. It was always clean. Carlos was our housekeeping person and always did an awesome job. We made a few odd requests and he fulfilled them all with no question.
He called us by name from the first day and even his help knew our names and called by our name and greeted us in the hallway with a smile every time they saw us.
I can't say enough how please we were with this cruise. It was truly MAGIC.
We booked excursions in Jamaica for the Dolphin Swim and Dunn's River Falls. Other than feeling rushed thru the shopping area,(I knew why later on) We really had an awesome time. The pictures and DVDs are very expensive but we prepared in advance to get things paid for that we wanted to do.
Anita was our guide and Uncle Ben was our driver. The drive there was long and she kept us entertained with stories about the locals and information on her culture and really did a good job of keeping the group engaged and involved in our trip.
Jamaica is not the safest of places and as long as we stayed in our group, we felt safe. We were never offered drugs but the hints were there. Nonetheless they did a great job with our excursion and we left with memories that will be with us forever.
The next port of call was Georgetown, Grand Cayman on the British West Indies (cayman islands)
We knew in advance that this was the more upper-class place of the 3 ports. We didn't book excursions and just shopped at the local stores.
They had some great deals on watches, diamonds and jewelry.
We bought all of the above.
I purchased a very nice Bulova maritime pro watch for almost half price (all I can say is Haggle)
We ate lunch at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville and although the food was good we felt raped over the prices $45 US-Dollars for lunch!
Bought a few souvenirs and went back to the ship.
All in all a great experience with good deals.
The last port we went to was Cozumel. We didn't go thru carnival for these excursions because there were no worries on the time.
(Carnival won't leave you if you book thru them) we booked the Mr. Sanchos All Inclusive Beach Club.
All you can eat-all you can drink(alcohol included too!)
We also did the Horseback riding excursion thru the jungle and on the beach.
Again, memories that we will NEVER forget.
We ate in the main dining room (early dining 6pm) on most evenings and if we missed it or time wasn't available then we used the buffet or the other restaurants as our backup but we enjoyed the service and took advantage of it as much as we could.
Now let me get to some of the negative parts. First of all, let me say we Love children. But by the second day I had my fill of unsupervised kids. Running in the halls bumping into people. Hitting every button in the elevators, hogging the hottubs and the deck chairs. But with exception to that it was a very pleasant experience.
We booked the Thermal Couples Package in the Cloud 9 Spa, which included unlimited access to the Thelasso Therapy pool, Aroma Therapy steam room, oriental steam room, mineral shower, and heated chairs with a full view out the side of the ship. A great deal if you used it every day like we did. It was $249 for the week and came out to like $17 each per day. I highly recommend it if you can afford it, do it.
The Adults only Serenity deck was also an added bonus.
We took advantage of the other amenities of the ship when we were not busy doing other times.
Sky walking on the rope course, walking around the track, full basketball court even tho we didn't use it, dodge-ball was a cool option.
The outdoor theatre was very cool and parties every night.
Always something to do. And if you just wanted to chill out and relax in the room there were up to date movies available.
We kept track of our sign and sail account very closely via the TV in our room and everything came out to the exact penny.
We took pictures almost every evening and took even more on the dress up Elegant nights.
The pictures are VERY expensive but again, we prepared in advance to get what we wanted and planned accordingly. The average price of an 8x10 was $21.99 and the 5x7s were $ 11 or 12.99.
We went in expecting things to be above average and they blew us away. It was truly MAGIC.
We loved the cruise so much that we have booked the Carnival Triumph for November 9th.
Don't believe all the horror stories
Carnival did us RIGHT!