Our first cruise from Galveston on the Carnival Magic was smooth sailing all the way. Embarkation and debarkation were flawless with smiling, helpful employees, bags were delivered to our staterooms in a timely fashion and the whole process was quick and easy. Our balcony stateroom was a bit smaller than on Norwegian and Princess, but we still had enough room to move around and there was plenty of storage. There was a lack of refrigerator storage for our wine, due to the mini bar items for sale stored there. Our stateroom was kept clean and neat for the entire cruise.
We dined in the Northern Lights anytime dining room each night with Todor and his team as our wait staff. They were fun to talk to and did a great job. The food was good and we enjoyed the variety. During the day, we ate in the marketplace buffet (ok, considering the vast amounts of food prepared). The pizza was pretty good; the barbeque served on sea days was good.
The entertainment was overall pretty good. The piano bar was weak, as were the comedians. However, the shows were better than expected, especially the magician. We spent very little time in the casino, but it was big and busy. The Red Frog pub was fun.
The pool areas were fun; we spent our sea days at the aft pool on deck 10.
We only went on one Carnival excursion in Montego Bay. It was a catamaran snorkeling trip. Lots of fun, but getting off the ship was terrible. Only one doorway to get off the ship, making the line tremendously long. The other 2 ports were no problem with multiple exits. We booked our own excursions in Grand Cayman (Stingray City with Moby Dick Tours) and in Cozumel (Nachi Cocom resort). I recommend both. Moby Dick Tours did a fantastic job and Nachi Cocom resort is a great place to unwind and just enjoy the beach.
All in all, our first time on a Carnival ship was a pleasant experience, especially in light of Carnival's past problems. The Magic was big enough to not feel crowded and there were enough activities to please everyone.