Reading the ship reviews is one of my favorite things to do on this board, so I was eager to let you know about our experience.
We just got off the Carnival Magic which went to Roatan, Belize & Cozumel. This was our first cruise in the month of January. While we LOVED the prices, we didn’t particularly like the “iffy” weather in January, which was at times chilly, overcast or drizzly. We only had about 1 ½ days of good deck weather where we could actually sit in the sun on deck and enjoy relaxing in a deck chair. It was never warm enough to enjoy the Dive-In movies which we have enjoyed on other cruises.
First, I’ll tell you about our stay in Galveston. We used Priceline, and got the Galveston Beach Hotel which is right on the Seawall & 17th, and is an EXCELLENT hotel! We were so pleased, and we only had to pay $70/night! We had a balcony that looked right out on the ocean. I believe all their rooms have balconies. It does not serve free breakfast, but does have a dining room where you can buy breakfast. We went to Denny’s about a block East of the hotel which was a lot cheaper. I believe this hotel does offer free cruise parking to guests that stay at the hotel, and their parking is behind the hotel in a locked fenced area. You have to have a code to enter the gate. We had already made previous parking arrangements or we might have considered it. Anyway, you only had to drive north on 17th to Harbor Side Drive to any other parking place to get to the ship. We chose Park-n-Cruise because it has covered parking (in an actual inside garage). We parked, pulled our 3 pieces of luggage across the street to the terminal & turned them into the porter and entered the terminal building. On return, we were some of the first to disembark after the VIP’s, and we were across the street & in our car heading home by 7:30AM.
Check-in was a breeze. We have passports, and that makes things go so quickly. We were directed to the waiting area, and had to wait until about 1PM to board the ship. The cruise before us had arrived late because of fog.
Lunch first day: Once on the ship, we went directly to the Italian restaurant, by-passing the Lido buffet which was busy. (stairs to this restaurant is located in the Lido, behind one of the buffet lines). The restaurant is free every day at noon, but costs $12/person at night. They give you “menu” & you check off what kind of pasta, sauce, meat, bread & salad you want. It comes in a bowl. Its very tasty. Then downstairs for dessert at the buffet.
Cabin: After lunch we checked to see if our room was ready, and it was. We were on deck 2 in a Cove balcony for the first time, midship in room 2338. It was a very quiet room, and we only occasionally heard any noise from above at night, but all was quiet after about 11:30 or 12AM. It was awesome being that close to the water. One day I did see dolphins, but they were more towards the front of the ship. Last year we were on the 7th floor in a balcony, and I think our room might have been just a little bit bigger. If we remember correctly, I think our bathroom might have been a little bigger. However, the size of the Cove’s bathroom was just fine. We were just 1 floor down from our dining in Southern Lights. Being at midship on 2 was pretty smooth, even though we had a few bumpy rides during the week. The only disappointment with this room is that our steward wasn’t the best. We’ve always had super service, but this time was not as good. I never even met the steward all week. My DH talked to him once the first day. We passed him in the hall a couple of times, but he never really engaged us, other than a hello. He would never fill our ice bucket – and we’ve never had to ask for that on any other cruise. We finally left him a note to please fill it every day. A couple of times I put dirty towels in the floor, and he hung them back up! Our bed was made every day, but the sheets would always be scrunched up at the foot, and I would have to pull them down & retuck them to make it comfortable. We had one small water glass in the bathroom, and he never replaced it all week – or brought another for my husband to use. Our deck windows or door were never wiped down, and looked pretty bad by the end of the week, to where you couldn’t see out of them very well. The banister of our balcony always had salt on it, even after he had just cleaned – so I don’t think he ever touched the balcony at all. However, we would walk by other rooms being cleaned and saw the stewards cleaning the glass, etc. I guess the service could have been worse, but it definitely wasn’t the best we’ve ever had on ship.
Sea Days: We decided that January may not be the most ideal time to cruise if you want to enjoy much time on the deck. We probably had a total of 1 ½ days at sea that we could really enjoy without getting chilled. We discovered the BBQ place on deck 5 about midship during sea days. They had sliders and hotdogs. The sliders cooked over charcoal were delicious! We ate there every sea day except the last one – and that was only because the weather was so cold & windy outside they didn’t have it open. We also loved the salad bar just inside the door from the BBQ. You can choose the type of greens, meat, toppings & dressing. It was only open at lunch and was so good!
Dining Room: We had every night meal at the Southern lights and sat at a table for 8. We had 3 other couples at our table, and we all came every night. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the food. I don’t think we had anything we didn’t like. Our waiters were very good, and would remember our choice of drinks, bread, etc. , and all of our names. We had a table by the window – which really doesn’t matter much in January because it was always dark by 6pm – our dining time, and you couldn’t see anything anyway. From our table, we also couldn’t see anything going on in the middle part of the dining room, so when they had the waiters singing we couldn’t see anything – just hear it. That was a little disappointing. Other than that, we really enjoyed the dining room. The food was great. One note: We received the tickets for a free drink, available only during brunch. We didn’t go to redeem them until the last day at sea. They have two drink stations set up outside the Southern Lights dining room. We didn’t realize that you really didn’t have to eat brunch to get the drinks. Just a FYI for anyone who gets these free tickets! We did eat there for brunch, but we weren’t that impressed with the selection. Mostly breakfast type dishes, and we were there more towards lunch.
Sports & Activities: My DH joined in on a dodge ball game the first morning at sea. His team won that day. He went back every other sea day to play – and by the last day, it had become a pretty big deal on ship! Pretty much the very same players came back every day (about 20 on each team) and they had developed fan bases that were watching on both sides. The coach was awesome, and even though there was some high competition going on , all the players were very good sports and were all having fun. My DH’s team won every day of the challenge, and my DH was even chosen as one of the MVP’s of the week – the coach chose 6. He got a medal which he is very proud of. He also played bean bag toss, ring toss, ladder toss, AND got to judge the Miss Carnival contest. He got 2 more medals for winning ring toss & judging. We enjoyed a couple of comedy shows, and main theater shows. My DH volunteered a couple of times and was on stage. Once he dragged me along – when the Magician did his card trick. The next time he was on the stage with the juggler – which turned out to be hilarious. My DH is more of an “extrovert” where I tend to just like to sit back and watch. There was always something to do on the ship, even though we did have to stay indoors a lot because of the weather. We did get to do the ropes course one afternoon, and played a game of putt-putt. Both are fun and challenging.
Spa: This was my first time to enjoy the spa. I had a Tip-to-Toe massage one of the Sea days when they run ½ price. It cost me $160 (which included a 20% automatic gratuity). It was an awesome massage, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, they try to sell you all the products they used on you once it is over, but I just said a polite “no” and left .
Overall, we really enjoyed this cruise. We met some wonderful people. Our dining-mates were all very nice, and we had things in common with all of them. We met others during excursions or around the ship. We exchanged phones & emails with some of them, because we want to keep in touch. The only downside to this trip was the weather wasn’t ideal the entire time, but not enough to spoil the trip. You make your own fun. We feel we are on vacation, being treated like royalty, eating super good, getting entertained – so what is there to complain about?
I have left reviews on the forum pages of all of our ports, and will also add them below.
Magic is a great ship. We hear she will dry dock next February for about 40 days to be fitted with the new upgrades.