Excellent cruise. Monaco port was closed on first day of cruise itinerary due to bad storms, so Captain reversed itinerary and we had a Day at Sea then started at Messina and finally the last port was Monaco! It was nice that the cruise still saw all the ports.
Service was stellar. Been on 6 cruises in the last 10 years, majority with Carnival. All employees were exceptional and met any needs. Room Steward was very personable and also did an excellent job with her daily routine in our room.
Food was great. Cruised RC last summer and their food was lousy. Was not sure what to expect on Carnival with the economy and recession. But the food was really great. Went to teh Main Dining every night except once when at the "Chef's Tables". Only the initial night on the cruise (Sunday) was I disappointed in the dinner selections. Every night onward was fantastic! Breakfast buffet was a large selection and standard every morning. The lunch buffet was a huge selection in addition to the burrito bar (yummy!) Tandoori (very authentic!) and the Mongolian Grill -- I did not think the Mongolian Grill was worth the wait after I tried it once -- but just my opinion.
Chef's Table --- INCREDIBLE experience! Only if you are "in the know" do you hear about it -- no advertisements on the ship, etc since it only occurs 2x in a 7 day cruise and limited to 12 people. $75 but worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY! Head Chef spent 3 hrs with us, we ate in the galley, toured the galley etc. The preparation that goes into make each of the 12 courses is unbelievable and understandable why it should be limited to a small number of people. I was just blown away with all the courses and how much thought went into them. If you get lucky enough to get a reservation, it's not to be missed and worth it! (Reservations made via email the same way you make a Steakhouse reservation! Chef Table starts at 6:30 pm.)
Entertainment was also 5-Star. I had heard mixed reviews on the entertainment on the Magic but wow, we were impressed. The main show -- "Unknown" is incredible, the most lavish Las-Vegas style-themed show we have ever seen on a ship. It is supposedly the most expensive show to produce on any of the Carnival Ships. We were also luck to see a phenomenal ventriloquist and some great comedy shows --
John Heald was hilarious -- never had him on a cruise before but an excellent cruise director. I can see why he is paid the big bucks -- gotta love his rendition of Dick Little.
The band that played in the pool area was fantastic, they had a great voice and really kept the crowd going. Only bummer was when they took breaks...a dumb DVD was shown on the screen....
Only negative I have of the entire cruise was out in the main pool area, they showed this stupid video of all the ports of call advertising to buy it and take home. What made it terrible was the awful music that goes along with the video -- not pool music at all. Carnival needs to change that!
Only other thing I want to add is save your money and get an interior room on a western med cruise. All the ports are ugly to look at in Italy except Monaco's port. We had an inside cabin and it was fine, didn't spend much time inside and if we had a window or balcony doubt we would have spent any more time in it.