DCL had a fabulous deal on its May Med cruises of a category 12 guarantee plus kids sail free. We paid almost nothing for the cruise fare for the 4 of us. So, I decided it was time to give DCL a try. There was me, mom, 45+, DS14, DD11 and DS4. We had sailed several ships in RCCL's fleet and one Carnival ship previously. I had never been to the Mediterranean before.
The Magic visited 7 ports in 11 days. From Barcelona, the ports visited were Malta, Tunis, Civitavecchia (for Rome), Naples, La Spezia (for Florence), Corsica and Villefranche. We took private tours in Rome and Pompeii/Herculaneum and DCL tours for the rest. We stayed on the ship at Corsica. The DCL tours ranged from fabulous to totally forgettable. My ratings for the DCL tours from most favourite to least with 5 being great and 1 being awful. Perfumer's Apprentice in Villefranche (5), Malta for Kids (4), Lerici's Castle and Dinosaurs in La Spezia (2) and Sidi Bou Said and Carthage in Tunis (1).
The real star of the cruise were the activities on the ship. We were all going from morning to night. Except for ds14 who has become a hermit, there were so many activities that each of us wanted to do, there wasn't enough time in the day to do them all. DD11 loved Ocean Quest. DS4 equally loved the Club and the Lab. DCL has recently changed its age policies for the Club and the Lab and he was able to check in to whichever he preferred. He definitely preferred the Lab, because of the computer games.
The food in the MDR for dinner was great and the service exemplary. Breakfast and lunch were hit and miss. After one experience in the Topsider's Buffet, I gave it a pass for the rest of the cruise. There was very little selection and the single line moved very slowly. Pinocchio's pizza on deck 9 was sometimes great (yummy veggie pizza) and sometimes awful (what were they thinking with hotdog pizza?). Goofy's Galley served hamburgers and chicken nuggets. On the last day of the cruise, I found a fabulous seafood buffet in one of the main dining rooms.
Embarkation and Debarkation were sooo much better than RCCL and Carnival. Both were quick and efficient.
The room was a little dumpy. It seemed smaller than an oceanview or balcony stateroom on RCCL and Carnival. This was likely due to the extra room taken up by the split bath. One bathroom has a sink and a toilet. It was very cramped, even by ship standards, in this part. The other bathroom has a sink and a tub/shower. Even my 4 year old could not lie completely flat in the tub. The bed was lumpy. There were multiple channels on the TV, including quite a few that showed Disney movies around the clock. Definitely a hit with my kids. The stateroom "host" was not so great at the beginning of the cruise. Didn't make up the bunks until we complained, but she improved after I spoke to her manager.
Internet: The internet was abysmally slow for the first several days. It took close to 30 minutes just to log on. DCL really needs to improve this.
Age range: There were many small children on our cruise. I don't think I saw any other teenagers other than ds14. Most adults were in the 30-50 age range. The average age was probably 30.
In sum: The activities and the service on the ship were superb. Both of these really deserve a newer ship though. The Magic is showing its age. There were a lot of creaks and vibrations when we were moving. I didn't care for the layout of the staterooms. The bedding, carpeting etc needed refurbishing. The ship definitely did not have a wow factor.