My wife and I just finished a week long cruise on the beautiful Carnival Magic. Background info: we're both in our mid-30's and traveled from Seattle to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We've cruised several times before, but it's been seven years since the last one. Our two children stayed behind and spent the week with the grandparents.
First, let me just say that we were a bit leery heading into the cruise with some of the reviews posted here. However, we experienced a fantastic voyage. I am beginning to wonder if some people look for things to complain about. The fellow passengers, mostly hailing from Texas, were a friendly bunch. We made a number of new friends that I'm sure we'll maintain contact with.
The Magic herself is gorgeous! The bright colors throughout enhances the experience sailing throughout the Caribbean. We tried virtually every activity that was offered: ropes course, both water slides, spa treatments, fitness center (almost daily), shows, comedy, Vibe dance club, ocean plaza, karaoke, pools, hot tubs, outdoor movies, etc. The comedy was a highlight of the trip! The only minor disappointment was the performer who juggled on the second to last night. Many folks walked out and my wife and I thought that Noonan, the CD, should have used "the hook" to pull him off the stage.
As for the food, overall we were quite pleased. The gastronomic highlight was most definitely the Prime Steakhouse. Wow! Try the lobster bisque and the chocolate sampler! Stellar service and five delicious courses. $35 each was a steal for a meal of this caliber. Cucina del Capitano was another hit with us. The eggplant parm was to die for! I'm Italian, and it was as good as I remember my grandmother's from childhood. The Indian station on 10 aft is excellent. You should definitely try the butter chicken. On sea days, the BBQ station is good and just inside Ocean Plaza is a great salad bar where you choose from about 30 items. The chefs then hand toss it for you. Very tasty. For breakfast, try the french toast, quite good! The food in the main dining room was good, but nothing to write home about. However, we loved our three waiters. Ask for Pepito and his team in the Southern Lights for friendly service. They seemed more engaged than many of the other wait staff in our area. The singing is cheesy, but my wife seemed to enjoy it. We were thankful to be seated with some great folks, and enjoyed good conversation each evening. One other comment regarding the food: we heard two separate groups of people complaining that "there wasn't enough food offered." My wife and I were shocked each time. I gained 7 pounds on the cruise for goodness' sake!
We had a great time in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. The beaches at all three ports were exactly what we were looking for. We've traveled throughout North America, Europe, and South America, so Jamaica wasn't as "rough" a place a some had suggested. One definitely needs to be careful and aware what's going on around them, as in most new places.
We really enjoyed having two bathrooms in our deluxe oceanview room. It was especially nice after returning form ports and the pool. One note, we were originally booked in 1275, but asked to be moved due to a banging noise coming from deck 0. We called early Monday and the purser's office sent someone to listen. After about five minutes the noise returned. Within the next 10 minutes, staff were helping us move to our new room, 1371, just down the corridor. 1371 was quiet and everything we wanted.
On a final note, one purchase helped us enjoy the cruise just a bit more, the Faster to the Fun program. I read about it on CC, and we were both thrilled with it. With an embarkation delay because of a medivac, most people waited 2-3 hours to embark. It took us 16 minutes and our room was ready and waiting for us. We were about 6 hours late returning to port because of fog. With FTTF, we were called to disembark (self-assist) within 15 minutes of docking. We breezed through customs in about 10 more.
Thanks to the Carnival Magic team for a wonderful anniversary trip. We're already considering bringing our kids on a cruise next year.