After reading several critiques of the Magica (particularly the food), our expectations were less than when we booked our cruise to the Baltic. I can honestly say, the Magica exceeded our expectations exceptionally. We departed Copenhagen on Sunday, May 20 and returned on the 27th.
The ports were Tallinn, Estonia which is a charming old city. The excursion to Old Town was exactly as it was represented in the pre-cruise information. Second port was St. Petersburg. Only one day was spent there and it could easily take 2 or 3 days to do this beautiful city justice. The only way a person can really see the highlights of this city is on a private excursion. The Hermitage was beautiful, but we really became tired of looking at paintings, but are sure others were pleased. Helsinki was a disappointment because the excursion we booked turned out to not be as advertised. Several people did the city on their own and I believe if we ever returned to this city, that would be our choice. Stockholm was probably the highlight for us. We took a canal cruise on our own in the morning and then a bus tour in the afternoon that went to Old Town and ended at an Ice Bar. Great and fun experience. Should be on everyone's list of things to do.
Now about the food. It was outstanding. Previous reviews criticized the beef, the temperature and the service. We found no problem in any of these areas. The entire table of 8 people agreed. Everyone tipped the wait staff in addition to the daily amount that the ship charged. Our cabin steward was also outstanding, and every staff member on the ship was friendly and always greeted us with a smile. Because if information found on the Cruise Critic website, we purchased the X-1 card, which covers wine, beer and water during dining hours (lunch & dinner), but we found that the bar people treated us like second class citizens when they saw this noted on our room cards. They always had discussions among themselves as to which wine they were supposed to serve us and even what kind of glass to put it in. It is a good purchase, but has to be done prior to sailing. Just be aware of how you will be treated before you purchase it.
The only complaint we would have would be the bedding. Since Costa is now owned by Carnival, we would have expected the same luxurious bedding and beds as on the Carnival fleet - but there is no comparison. The mattresses were 4 inch pads of foam rubber and the pillows very thin. The blanket was a thin sheet of felt like material. Costa could improve in this area greatly and hopefully will in the near future.
We did not attend any of the entertainment, but feedback from our tablemates was that it was a waste of time. We enjoyed meeting our tablemates after dinner each night in one of the lounges for drinks and visiting. English speaking people were in the minority (200 out of 2700), but all staff members were able to communicate with us and the excursions accommodated us very well. All in all, we were extremely pleased with this cruise, the ship, the ports and staff members. Would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have if they are considering this trip.