Carnival Magic Cruise Review by IvanMike: Good & Bad
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Good & Bad
This was our first cruise and we were very excited. After reading a lot of reviews we were expecting long lines to embark on the ship, and since we had to fly out from out west, we had been up since 2 a.m. We were pleasantly surprised that within an hour of hopping off the shuttle we were on the boat and in our room. We dropped off the carry on bags and went to the Lido deck to grab a bite to eat. Marketplace was average. Much like any ordinary all you can eat buffet. I wasn't impressed, but I was hungry and it filled a void.
We went exploring the ship, and it was very clean, and easy to maneuver around on. We don't mind climbing stairs so up and down we went, and front to back checking all the areas. I was interested in the gym, and was glad to see a few pieces of equipment that I was familiar with. So I will now go by different things I experienced.
Gym: Lots of treadmills, but only one would incline above a 5. Not too impressed with that. All the other equipment More worked fine, but was very cramped as each machine is within an inch or two of the next. You had to be aware when people used the equipment so as not be in their range of motion on some equipment. There is a shower and steam room across the hall from the gym, but no one told me that, but I found it on the next day. I had a friend tell me they had a great package for wet and dry saunas and mineral pools, I was very disappointed to hear this was $250 a person to use. That was ridiculous.
Marketplace, for breakfast was average. If you want something fast it was fine. I did eat an omelette every morning, and those were good. The line is worth the wait, but all other food was meh. Luckily there is Tabasco about everywhere.
Southern Lights: Carlos was our waiter and he was great, he had a great group he worked with. The food was above average, It was a 6 out of 10 for most things. Others that we talked to also said the food wasn't as good on this ship as they had experienced on other ships.
Burger Shack: by the middle pool was always busy, it was okay, I like a loaded burger and I was able to do that there.
Deli on aft of ship: We ate there, we both had a sandwich there, my wife's arugula sandwich had absolutely no flavor. I had a Reuben, it was average, so we never even went back.
Seaday Brunch: This was good, I had a steak and eggs, and the fancy french toast, it was actually probably my best meal on the ship. Allen was our waiter and showed some magic tricks, very nice.
Room Service: We ordered sandwiches, and they were small and tasteless also. Although it did arrive promptly.
Taste Bar: We thought you would get to taste a lot of different things there, ...not. 2 things and they were exactly that. A taste, less than a bite.
Comedy Club: We went to the Punchliner a few different times and were highly disappointed. Just June was not funny, I don't think I laughed once. We saw a few more there, and all were pretty pathetic, whether you went to the family or the adult ones. I wasn't offended, it just wasn't funny. I am not a fan of George Lopez so I guess if he hand picks these, they are his style of funny. I am more of a Gabriel Iglesias, John Pinnette (RIP), Mike Birbiglia kind of person.
Carnival Magic Dancers: Oh my gosh, I have seen better dancing from an elementary school play. They were pretty bad. I hope Carnival has them doing other chores on the ship as they shouldn't be riding for free from their dancing.
Magician: I can't remember his name, as his whole show was forgetable, They said they had flown him out from Vegas. I suggest they fly him back and not do that again.
Juggler: They had a Juggler, I think his name was Victor from Mexico. He was the best show on the ship. I never laughed so hard on the ship as I did during his show. I wish he had more shows, I would have went to each of them.
Elane and her band: Not sure of their name, but they were very good, especially with the Motown and R&B. Her 80's was good, but you could tell where her heart was. She and the band were awesome and fun to watch because they all had fun with each other.
Water Slides: While fun even for adults, beware of the super heated deck to walk on, and the seams in the tubes.
Ropes Course: This was more fun that it looked on the ground. Added degree of difficulty is wind and the rocking of the ship. But it was fun.
I know I mentioned some of the staff before, the ship was actually nice, clean, and all of the people we had were wonderful. Carlos, Emil and our other waiter, were wonderful in Southern Lights. They danced and sang and just had a great time. They kept our glasses full all the time and food coming. Our room steward and his staff, Eduardo, was wonderful, efficient and our room was always impeccable. Manuel at Shore Excursion desk was very professional, and we appreciated his help. I would have to say we only ran into one person that wasn't nice, and that was Robert from Poland at the Guest Services Desk. He was an ass. Kind of a snobby jerk when we asked him to help us. We took our non working cd with pictures to him first to just see if he had a computer to try it out so we could see if perhaps it was our computer not able to pull up the pictures. After talking with him for a minute he couldn't be bothered and told us to go to shore excursions. Oh you may wonder how many people were waiting in line at Guest Services? Zero, we were the only ones. Once over at Shore Excursions Manuel tried the cd and then called Dolphinaris and they told him they would email us a link with the pictures to download. Other than that, all the staff was wonderful. Like I said earlier, Elaine and Victor were awesome entertainers.
This was our first cruise, possibly our last. While the ship was fine, the excursions were pitiful. We have done all inclusive resorts before and I like being in charge of my own destiny and not at the mercy of not going to a port. I would suggest not believing all the wonderful reviews on the excursions put out by the cruise lines, they are severely biased. Less
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Cabin review: 8425
Cabin was small as expected but plenty of room for all of our stuff. I didn't really notice how small it was after the first day because of the efficiency of the space used. Always cleaned, I swear they are ninjas when it comes to cleaning and making the towel animals and turning the covers down.
Port and Shore Excursions
Belize: We picked a two tank dive on Turneffe Atoll. We had read a lot about this trip and thought this would be wonderful. This was my worst dive I have ever done. The dive master was a jerk the whole time except when we were heading back. He didn't talk to anyone on the boat unless he was barking orders. The other dive master Abel was great, really nice, with my luck so far on this cruise I got the jerk for my dive master. The first dive was nothing coral, not many fish, a lobster and that was it. They got all of us on the boat and said we were going to go to the next area to dive. They pulled the anchor and turned the boat on but we didn't move, we floated for about 15 minutes and then they dropped anchor again and we dove the same spot again. Worthless. More coral and saw nothing. The other dive group took off and saw a ray and some other things, but our dive master just stayed pretty much under the boat. Lesson learned, don't get excursions through the cruiseline. Overpriced.
Dolphin Swim & Encounter
Cozumel: We picked Dolphinaris to swim with Dolphins and snorkel and other activities. The Dolphins were great, our trainer Anna was very knowledgeable and the Dolphin we had was the mother to some of the others. BEWARE: They are Pancho Villa when it comes to cameras, none are allowed as they will rob you later for the pictures they will sell you. After we were done with the dolphins, we grabbed our snorkel items and went with the group to go snorkel. What they don't tell you is they have a small area about the size of our living room that is where you snorkel, and they make you wear a life vest and you can walk the whole thing, so it isn't deep. Then they pack about 50 people in there and give you 20 minutes. So we declined this and asked if we could snorkel in the kayak/paddle board area, the answer in english and spanish was NO. That area was about twice the size of the snorkel area. So we went to the all you can eat buffet, it was worse than the Marketplace on the boat. We did buy the pictures and video, (they ask $250 but you can cut it almost in half) Later on the boat, we put in our CD for the pictures and it didn't work. It took me a few days and some calls all over Mexico, but I finally got the pictures. We heard later that the Chaakanab is the best excursion here in Cozumel. Anything would have been.
First off we were supposed to go to Roatan, and we were parked right in front of it, and then they decided to leave and go to Belize. They said it was due to rough seas. I have several pictures of the seas and I know I have been in my sailboat and other much smaller boats on seas much rougher than that. The waves were perhaps 2-3 at most. We had brought Christmas presents and other items with us to give to our son who lives on Roatan, this was one of our main reasons to actually go on this cruise. I couldn't believe that there wouldn't be other arrangements for tenders or the other port if this is the case.