As an experienced cruiser with probably 40 plus different cruise experiences I was disappointed in the Magic. I had not been back on a Carnival ship for almost Five years because I was very disappointed in that cruise compared to what was being offered on RCL / NCL / Princess.
I was lured back because of a basically free cruise offer. I totally got my money worth out of the cruise. I felt everything about the cruise had its good and bad parts. With a little effort this cruise could of rated with my best ever. Problem was it always fell short because of what I consider poor management.
On the plus side there was:
1) Ship - One of the most beautiful ships I have ever been on. Problem was they did not utilize their facilities properly. Main show room was rarely utilized but smaller venues (particularly comedy clubs) were too small.
Tried to go to several of these and found that unless you showed up a hour in advance it was impossible to get in. More
Suggested to staff that they could of held these in main showroom as it wasn't occupied and was told they could not due this due to drink waiters not being available.
2) Entertainment staff on most part was excellent. Never saw the staff work so hard. Problem was other than the Green Frog People and comedy people the hired featured acts were terrible. Never saw anyone at the piano bar center court or even main court as the country group was so poor. Both the Magic show and juggler specialty shows were among the worst I have ever seen. It was so bad and the crowd so small at the Juggler show that he turned to insulting people as they left. This was the best part of his show.
3) Food - thought the Breakfast and lunch were great really. Liked the Brunch, BBQ, Indian food, sandwich / fifth deck food. Main lunch line was terrible as it was over crowded and of poor quality. Dinner buffet was even worse. Lines were always closed just when large crowds formed.
Dinners were of considerably lower quality than any other cruise line I have ever sailed (they made even NCL food look good). Ate at both the Italian specialty restaurant and Red Frog felt they were well worth the additional expense.
Felt like the dining room schedule was set up for the servers to get their rest and not for us the customer.
Probably will not take another carnival cruise again unless they want to give me another free one. Will stay with RCL / princess as their food is far superior and entertainment is almost as good. Less