We took our Sun-Sun cruise on Aug 11th, we were hopefully, since last August we had been on the Carnival Triumph and had some misgivings, with all the negative media concerning the cruise line. We prayed our trip would be incident-free. IT WAS!!
We had great weather arriving in Galveston.
PARKING: Did the E-Z cruise parking because of the coupon online. Paid around $60. We decided to drop-off luggage first at port, although E-Z cruise carries your bags with you. They are rough with the bags, and stack them on top of each other so poorly, that each turn getting to port, a bag would topples over. Small luggage were always at the bottom. I recommend dropping them off first if your doing shuttle to port. Saves you having to tip twice! HINT: Try to be the last on the shuttle, to sit up front, and have your bags at port. (transporting bags by shuttle is a joke!)
EMBARKATION: The lines were super long, the length of the terminal, not to forget the corral of lines inside the building. It was hot, thanks to Carnival, they were passing out water, we by-passed all lines with F2F. We arrived at port at 12:30, we were on the ship by 1:00. Ship was delayed because credit card machine was down! Great...everything was done manually!
CARNIVAL MAGIC: Beautiful and very clean ship, Crews always cleaning and polishing the ship. Deco is nice, with the 4 glass elevators at the center of the ship, absolutely amazing, how they make it looks so nice and colorful.
CLOUD SPA: Room was not spacious at all, but has enough storage space for 2 adults and 2 children. The kids loved the berth, oldest got to sleep on-top. Level 12 hallways are quiet, and balcony quite private. Another ++ on this level is the water park/slides. The main play area for my kids, and us too! The water park/slides is great!
FOOD/DINING: As I have said before, buffet is buffet! Not to many choices, but feeds plenty of people. There are choices of hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, etc.... but you have to join the l-i-n-e-s. Formal dining was OK, my wife always ordered the dish for the night, I ordered from the alternate... Fried Chicken practically every night. (I'm not a seafood person) Kids had their chicken nuggets, hot dogs and mac/cheese. Did the Italian Restaurant on board. Hint: Don't spend your money on this food. It was not very good, and didn't have any flavor. After having a steak for dinner, I quite wonder if the steaks in the steakhouse restaurant were any better. They were tough and chewy! At this point, stick to buffet... you have better choices. There are several nice spots on the ship that are great. On deck 5, mid-ship salad bar, they build your salad the way you want, along with the delicious turkey rolls. The sandwich deli, in front of the stage is another great food place to grab food. The chicken salad is wonderful , and has different soups w/ fixings available. This was the place my son loved for grilled cheese sandwiches. Aft ship, another sandwich shop that I believe is 24 hours, makes a great sandwich.
On sea days, look out for the bar-b-q on deck 5, it's OK, check out sliders (mini burgers), and their version of a chicken quesadillas. All-in All, look around for food you like, there's gotta be something you will love!
SHOWS-PERFORMANCES/MUSIC/MOVIES: The performances at the Showtime Theater are OK. The 3 or 4 main singers,alternate songs, while a cast of dancers fill the the stage with different dances and movements, it is so high-schoolish. Some of the sets are good, while some of the costumes are ridiculous. 1 scene had a dancer groping the lead singer, I quickly put my hand in front of my kid's face! From that point on, I was guarded with every musical number. The Jackson 5 musical number, I found offensive, almost derogatory. You gotta to see it to believe it. The range of music and genre used covered to many years to be effective. The Illusions and Trick-Comedy performances were the best.
Music on deck was OK, but not always available. Movies on screen mostly old concert videos from Beyonce, Randy Travis???(really), and others.
DECKS: The swimming pools are small for the amount of people on the ship, only two, nice hot tubs on deck 5, at least 4 of them. The sky coarse was a hit with the kids. Mini-golf, foo-ball, and giant checkers. Basketball court is great, along with weight machines. Plenty of space to sit, areas to sit were always available, even though there are thousands on board.
THE CREW: These people went out of their way to make us so comfortable, room steward (Oka & Su) were Fantastic. The kids loved them, they cried when we left. I was always greeted with a "Good Morning" or "Hello" from every crew member I encountered. The Staff at Carnival really treated us great. From the dining crew to the Photographers. They are the main reason we will be back!
THE CONS: Sorry, the cruise director James...Boring and uninterested! and his sidekick 6'3" (that's her name) really didn't have the energy level I have had the experience with other cruise directors. They are the spokesperson for the cruise ship, they need more that parlay around acting snobby, or using language that only related to certain people's culture.
Adults complaining about kids getting them wet while splashing in the pool. Slippery floors (I saw at least 6 children and 4 adults slip and fall during the cruise) Heavens knows how many I didn't see. and let's not forget: the Food hogs and Food wasters.. enough said!
THE PROS: The Carnival Magic is one the best ship we have been on and the Kids ruled the ship! The crew, again, was Fantastic!
Cherry on Top, Kids Favorite! (candy Store)
DISEMBARKATION: Because we did F2F, our tags #1, with the process staring at 7:00 a.m and carrying our own luggage off the ship, we were on shore by 7:30 a.m.... This was the fastest I ever gotten off of a ship! I am still shock!
And as we drove over the bridge to connect with IH-45 north to Houston, We realize that we had not even explore the whole ship or used most of it's amenities.