Been cruising with Carnival since 2003 and over the past few years I watched Carnival hit the skids, but still kept my faith that this cruise line would get it right and they did. So my fifth cruise gets a big WTG Carnival! I was very impressed with the Magic.
Embarkation? No big deal. Spent a lovely morning, early afternoon strolling the ocean boardwalk, ate lunch at Bubba Gumps of Galveston, and walked on the ship at 3pm. And every one of the embarkation staff had a nice smile, friendly attitude, very accommodating
We had a spa room with a balcony. Our room steward, Agus, was very congenial, friendly, and treated us with utmost respect. We never had a need in our room for anything. We had fresh ice, clean towels, clean, clean, clean everything AND endearing towel creatures on our bed every night, we felt so pampered and spoiled. And our bed was super comfortable as well. We spent a lot of time on our balcony, reading and relaxing. We could still slightly hear the thumping of the music on the Lido deck, calling us to join them, a reminder of being on a totally entertainment-galore cruise liner; alas, there is a lot of activity to go to if boredom takes over.
Our spa room was literally footsteps from the gym door (for us workout fans), one floor below the spa with the Thalassotherapy pool and fancy sauna rooms, and two floors down from the beloved "Adults Only" Serenity Deck, absolutely No Children (don't get me wrong, I love children, raised three myself, but we didn't vacation on cruises.) so I totally loved the Serenity Deck.
I'm used to Carnival food, I like it. Carnival has changed their buffet protocol...hand sanitation stations at every plate/flatware distribution area; Carnival employees serving food in the buffet lines; constant employee monitoring of food stations; constant employee cleaning of food stations, tables, and surrounding floors. I was very impressed at the close attention that Carnival pays to these areas which I did not remember in my prior cruises.
We ate "Your Time" dining. We dressed according to cruise dining code every night. I noticed more guests than not were dressed in compliance with the nightly cruise dining code and I believe guests are becoming a little more serious about dining room etiquette. We never ate something we didn't like. And every employee who served us was nice, friendly, congenial, helpful, and some were downright funny!
Didn't go to any stage shows, didn't go gambling, didn't go dancing, but I loved the outdoor movie big screen where we watched two movies on two separate nights. Imagine cruising (water to your right, or left), looking up at the stars, and watching a movie all at the same time, living large.
Since I am now a Gold VIFP member, we got to go to the VIFP member appreciation party. We danced and drank and ate hors devours and the captain was there for a little bit with some of his crew, it was so much fun and went by fast. I'm looking forward to doing that again.
I took three excursions. I think Carnival's blog is the best place to read individual experience on excursions, so I won't blab about that.
We got off the ship quickly, but I don't want to share that secret; it took being a five-time cruiser to find out a "best kept" secret. I'm sharing this because not all debarkations are nightmares.
The last thing I want to say is I am very impressed with the overall customer service of Carnival and the cleanliness of the Carnival Magic. Carnival has their guests best interests at heart and the Magic reflects that. At one point, I actually thought Carnival had employees assigned to approach bewildered guests with a "How Can I Help You?" because this happened to me half-a-dozen times when I couldn't find something in the buffet, or in the public areas, or looked lost, or bewildered. Our time on the Magic was totally worth every penny we spent for our dream vacation.
I highly recommend the Carnival Magic!