Carnival Magic Cruise Review by Scott1975DC: Inaugural Carnival Magic Cruise - May 1, 2011
Overall Member Rating
Inaugural Carnival Magic Cruise - May 1, 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
This ship was nice and obviously brand new when we got on. Boarding was a breeze. Everything smelled like it was installed yesterday, which for most things, they were. We had an Inside Spa room which was a fine size. Unlimited access to Spa amenities was nice. Issue was they weren't ready for us and there were no bed skirts, but that was fixed when I asked for some and they got them for us. (Without the skirts it looked like you were camping on cots.) I would say though, don't do a Spa level room if you don't use the Spa a lot. Not worth it since you are at port so much anyhow. The rooms aren't any different from other inside rooms, except a little different in decoration and you get "upgraded" amenities. Just bring fancy shampoo, lotion, etc. and you'll be fine in any cabin. They are also so high up and far away from everything else on the ship that it gets to be a pain if you want to make a quick trip back to your cabin from say, the casino/club/dining rooms. Secondly, and I think More
this was an issue for all inside rooms. There was no arm chair or small couch to sit on. So you have to sit on your beds, or the small desk chair there is in the room. Odd for a new ship, something I normally have only seen on the oldest Royal Caribbean ships still around (tiny rooms).
The ports themselves were all nice, except Messina, Sicily. That's like the Nassau stop in the U.S. You can stay on the ship and not miss anything. It's not real clean and not super safe from what we heard. We got off and were back on in under two hours. We missed Monaco, which was disappointing, but you can't control the weather. The extra day at sea was welcomed for pool side sunning.
That brings me to the pool area. For such a big ship, the areas to sun in are not that plentiful. There are so many other large chairs or overhangs or large screens, that good seating can be hard to find. The Serenity adults-only area was always full when at sea, but as a previous review said, there were hardly any people on the seats with books/towels/shoes in their place. The bar service was also slow in terms of servers walking around asking for drink orders. Which if you cruise a lot, you know this can go either way. Either you are harassed constantly for a drink order or not at all seemingly. So, it was what it was. The Serenity area is nice as it was kid free. BUT, that annoying dump bucket bell ringing constantly HAS to go! It was not very serene with that going off every minute or getting stuck ringing. The bucket broke quite a bit and would just ring and ring.
Shipboard entertainment wasn't really ready for this first cruise, but that didn't bother my early 30's fellow cruise friends. I never expect much from these shows. This isn't Broadway people. The smaller entertainers, namely Ron Pass in the Piano bar, and the guys in the Red Frog Pub were so fun and great to listen too. To clarify other people's reviews about beer running out. They only ran out of the tap beer that was the Fred Frog special microbrew. But they got more of it after a couple days. There was plenty of other beer. What they did run out of on say day seven of the cruise was Sky Vodka. (Their well-quality selection.) So they would charge you more at the bar for the next level up vodka. Not my fault you ran out of vodka; charge me the lower price for the next level up. They did not. Most cruises I've been on will do that if they run out of their cheapest choice.
Anyhow, the piano bar was awesome and we were in it every night almost and met lots of great people there. The nightclub was dead for the most part, except the night that the crew was in the club. And the DJ was AWEFUL on this cruise. Who wants to hear tons of 80s/90s club/rock music when there is no one in the club to start with. This is my number one complaint on most regular cruises. The DJs are not actual DJs and have no idea what they are doing and have music selections that are preselected or they have the worst aged taste in modern club music.
Restaurants were good for the most part. The menu basically was the same each day in the Cafe, so that got boring. The Steakhouse was mediocre at best with super slow service. Food was not worth the price ... so skip it. We heard numerous people complaining and sending things back. Steakhouses on Royal Caribbean ships are much better. Never did Italian, as you could get similar food for free in the main dining rooms or cafe. We did the Chef's table and that was nice. Two of the four of us that were traveling together loved it. I thought it was good and a great experience. Just I couldn't eat some of the food as a number of meat dishes were raw or sushi style. At $75 it is a commitment.
This was my 5th Carnival cruise and 21st overall, and I did love the itinerary and the fact the ship was new. It's less gaudy than older Carnival ships so that was nice. And for people that write reviews thinking Carnival ships have neon and fake wood, yes they do, but Magic has much less than older ones. I hate gaudy ships and this was not so bad. And the crowd was younger(ish) since it was Carnival. Lots of 30/40 year olds from all over Europe/Australia/North America and Russia on our sailing. I hope to go on the inaugural Carnival Breeze cruise next year as well. Less
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