we spent a week in Spain prior to the cruise to relax and get some sun which was nice.
We arrived by taxi to the cruise terminal at approx. 11.30am and embarkation was very quick and efficient, we were on the ship within 20 minutes. We walked up the gangway onto the ship straight into the Atrium area and I thought it was impressive. We could not go direct to our cabin as they were not ready, so we made our way up to the promenade deck and found some sun loungers and got a cocktail which was lovely. The ship was getting crowded by now and everyone was in a good mood to start their vacation. The Lido Marketplace was in full flow serving food which looked fabulous. There was staff everywhere who were willing to help and answer any questions and give directions etc. We bought a Soda Card for my daughter and myself ( in hindsight I would not have bothered for myself because I did not get my monies worth, as I drank mainly cocktails and beers and wine all week). They announced over the speaker that we could go to our cabin at about 2pm and when we got to our cabin our cases were waiting for us outside the door.
I loved our cabin, it was very new and bright and airy . We had a balcony cabin on the 9th floor. It had a double bed for us and the settee area was made up into a very comfy bed for our daughter.
We we're called to a meeting in the theatre and then John Heald the Cruise Director dropped the bombshell that our whole itinerary had to be changed due to very rough seas toward Monaco, so they were going to go to Siciliy first, then Naples, Rome, Livorno and go to Monaco on the last day. This was a complete pain in the ass, as so many people (including ourselves) had pre booked private tours and tickets for specific dates for the Vatican etc.the queue at guest services was horrendous, with everyone trying to rearrange their tours which was not an enjoyable experience.
Loved it Only managed to eat breakfast in the Southern Lights once, as it closed too early for us - so we had all our breakfasts in Lido. Lunch - there was so much choice in the Lido we did not get chance to try half of it. I did have a deli sandwich which was So good and the Tandoori was lovely. My husband liked the Burrito Bar but didn't get chance to try the Mongolian food as the queue was always massive and I refuse to queue for food. Dinner - we had anytime dining in the Northern Lights restaurant and we thought this was a really nice dining experience each night and had some great waiters (some very funny) and each night some of the waiters got up and did a silly dance which I thought was very funny and enjoyable. We got so much food for our Starter and Main Course that I only managed to eat a sweet twice.
We ate in the Steakhouse once and it was a really lovely dining experience and the food was fabulous.
SHOWS / ENTERTAINMENT
We really enjoyed all the shows that we saw in the main Theatre. The first night was a silly show hosted by John Heald and I thought it was very funny, I was in tears laughing. He got people up from the audience and made fun of them. John Heald had a very dry sense of humour, and I found him hilarious. (being a fellow Brit).
I Though the Magic show was spectacular and really good. Also the 70's Dance Show was fab, really great singers and dancers. My daughter loved the dance shows, as she is a dancer and wants to dance on cruise ships when she leaves dance college.The comedy shows for Adults only wes very funny too. We went to the Piano Bar or the Red Frog Pub every night after the shows for a sing a long and a Cocktail. We only went into the Vibe Club once and it smelled on smoke so we came out. We don't gamble so did not try the Casino, but we walked though it and it looked impressive.
Our daughter met so many teenagers on this cruise that we hardly saw her. She went to the O2 club every night after dinner to meet up with her friends and she had a great time. She cried when she had to come home. She didn't take part in many of the activities but just used it as a meeting place. she did tell us that she thought the club was a bit Childish for 16 sand 17 year olds.
We only did 2 full day tours with Rome in Limo which was pre booked. We went to Pompii, Sorrento and Amalfi Coast. Also Highlight of Rome. Rome in Limo was excellent and would recommend them to anyone. Had two great days. We walked around Monaco and Messina ourselves. Stayed on ship in Livorno, as already been to Florence ad Pisa before.
All in all we had a great week and really enjoyed the cruise experience with Carnival Magic and now want to try more cruises.
Only Downside was the drinks are very expensive and you get charged gratuities on top of every drink, as well as the 10 dollars each per day that is taken from your sail and sign account for gratuities.
Need more direction signs around the ship - got lost a lot.