EMBARKATION: 2 STARS
Through no fault of Carnival our ship was delayed two days due to oil from a tanker collision in the Port of Galveston. The U.S. Coast Guard had shut the port down and the debarkation from the previous cruise was delayed until very late that Sunday night and we were unable to board until early Monday Morning. The ship was not cleared to cruise until about lunch on Tuesday due to cleaning the hull and the Port of Galveston being closed. Again none of this was Carnival's fault, however they kept us updated well and provided us a two day refund along with the fees from missing our port of call at Jamaica. Carnival also provided us with a 25% off voucher on a future cruise.
SHIP LAYOUT: 4 STARS
This "Dream" class of ships is big, very big. I was disappointed with the fact that for the majority of the duration of the cruise that the front of the vessel was continually barricaded off for no access due to strong winds. One night I did find it open and did explore it only to find it almost pitch black dark and I felt very uneasy walking around the dark areas on deck 5. I did participate on the "Behind the Fun Tour" and realized why I almost always smelt cigarette smoke on deck 5 when we were there and it was because there were crew smoking areas just below on deck 4. Also the very front of the boat was only accessible by crew area and not those who love to explore, like me. During the tour I saw the front of the ship included smoking areas for the crew and two whirlpools for the crew. Even our tour guide Petra admitted that she knew some guests were disappointed because they couldn't reenact the famous scene from "Titantic" where Rose sailed out from the front of the ship. I stayed on Deck 11 Forward and was pleased with our access to the Lido Deck and buffets, but not our access to our evening reservations at the Southern Lights Restaurant. It seemed to be since it was difficult to get to at times that the Northern Lights Restaurant would have been a more logical choice.
In fact the only real complaint we had about our room was it was in very close proximity to the elevators and the constant chimes of the elevators was quite distracting at times.
FOOD, DINING ROOM: 4 STARS
Every nice piece of meat we had was doused in gravy of some sort. The flavor of the meat was good, however I am not a gravy fan. Maybe the chef could consider putting the gravy in a small bowl to be put on by the guests if they so choose. Also many meals were too garlicky for me as well.
SERVICE, DINING ROOM, 5 STARS
The 18:00 hour dining staff of Ivan, Waylan and Gabriel were fantastic and only a few times were too busy to address our immediate needs and/or forgot what we had asked for or ordered. The nice personal touch provided by Ivan the first night of knowing all the names of everyone in our party was a nice added touch.
FOOD, LIDO: 2 STARS
Lido food was comparable to school cafeteria food at best...
PIZZA PIRATE, 3 STARS
The Pizza Place almost always had a line and an extended wait when we checked in. Pizza was sub-par lacking flavor at times and way too garlicky at other times.
PORT of Jamaica-
Cancelled due to late departure.
PORT of Grand Cayman-
Tender operation seemed to go flawless and our wait on both ends was minimal.
Port of Cozumel, Mexico-
The previous day's tender operation the day before spoiled us and this operation seemed unorganized and unplanned. We arrived well over an hour early and were directed by the staff to a long line stretching from the stairwell deep into the belly of the ship. The line we were in stretched throughout the entire first floor of cabins and consisted of two lines of people. We were stuck pretty much in the middle of the ship when both ends began to allow guests out. The problem seemed to lie where they were letting all guests use the available elevators and stairs and us who had been waiting VERY patiently in the cramped and VERY warm hallway were simply just stuck there until all the guests cleared the stairways and elevators. Even when we were almost out of the ship the elevators were still letting people out of the elevators at Deck 0 still munching on large ice cream cones while the rest of us were drenched in sweat.
BURGERS, LIDO, 3 STARS
Again tasted like cafeteria food.
LIDO INDIAN FOOD, 4 STARS
Can't 100% sure say this is were my wife became ill for two days with bouts vomiting and diarrhea and confined to her cabin, but this is the only place she ate the day she became sick. She ate here for lunch and during the beginning of dinner had to excuse herself from the table because she felt ill before she ate anything at the evening meal. I did eat here as well and did not suffer from any intestinal distress and did enjoy the food.
BEVERAGE STATIONS, LIDO, 3.5 STARS
Water on all the beverage stations seemed to flow at a trickle. After watching this for five days the days it seemed the line backed up the most was when guests were waiting to fill up their cups and water bottles.
DRINK PRICES, 1 STAR
Way overpriced. I also didn't like the fact we couldn't pay cash for a drink. It is VERY easy to lose control of how much you have spent with the sign and sail card, but with cash- when you don't have anymore you stop. Of course I understand why Carnival chooses to allow only the sign and sail card to be used (security reasons).
SHOWS, COMEDY 2 STARS (Mutzie Family Show- 5 STARS)
As with others, it was a little aggravating to have to empty the lounge after every thirty minute show and then go out in the hall around to the piano bar and stand in line for almost thirty minutes only for the staff to allow the people who just left the bar at the previous show to stand by the elevators and turn right back around and go inside while those of us who followed the rules were still stuck with seats near the back of the lounge. I attended several shows from three different comedians. Most were a waste of time except the Family Show Mutzie put on. I truly laughed until I hurt with his family show. His adult show- not so much.
SHIP CLEANLINESS: 3 STARS
The morning started out with the ship being very clean, however as the cruise went on it seemed like cleanliness went out the window. Especially in the Cloud 9 Spa. The last night I went in it was trashed with dirty towels and trash everywhere where I had paid $159 U.S. dollars to access for the week and nobody seemingly cared. Dirty dishes also seemed to stack up outside the staterooms as well as the week went along and around the tables and ice cream machine at times were filthy.
FELLOW PASSENGERS, 4.5 STARS
Seemed like all of Arkansas was on this cruise and aside from some teenagers banging on our door at two o'clock in the morning once- seemed mostly behaved.
CABIN STEWARDS: 5 STARS
Our steward, Mealano? sp?, did address my every need and ALWAYS called me by name. I was very impressed.
BEHIND THE FUN TOUR: 3.5 STARS
The tour guide, Petra, was very nice but it always seemed as we were too rushed. We had paid $95 U.S. Dollar for a tour and I would have liked to see many more areas of the ship that was not highlighted on the tour. The trip to the bridge was amazing, but as I figured the Captain seemed very arrogant and his jokes were not funny. Also the majority of the people who talked to us on the tour struggled with English and it was very, very difficult to understand them at times. I know there are 56 nations represented on the Carnival Magic, but maybe Petra could have attempted to translate somewhat for those of us who could not understand what was being said.