There were many positives & negatives about our 9 day Mediterranean cruise on Carnival's Magic.
First off let's get the negatives out of the way...The transfers from the airport to the hotel a day before the cruise was a nightmare. Everyone was cranky & tired after flying all night. We were made to wait in the very hot airport (haven't they heard of A/C in Barcelona?) standing up against a wall until there were enough of us to put on a bus. They Carnival employees seemed very disorganized & not very knowledgeable. It was not a good start to the cruise. After finally be dropped at our hotel we found that the rooms would not be available until 3:00. This was about 10:30 in the morning. Not great news for tired & cranky travelers.
The next day we were picked up at 9:30. I am not sure why we needed to go to the ship quite that early but at least things went more smoothly. Embarkation was pretty painless but we were not able to get in our rooms until 1:30.
The ship is huge. I have cruised many times but had alot of trouble navigating this ship. I seemed to get lost on a pretty regular basis. Also the decorating leaves alot to be desired...OMG...Those green lights in the lobby area reminded me of beady eyes staring at me. UGLY!!!
The food & service were very inconsistent. Sometimes the food was wonderful & sometimes not so much. Everyone I talked to complained about the service in the dining room. I am not sure if it is because the wait staff is not as motivated as in years past to provide great service because the gratuities are just added to the Sign & Sail card or if the Anytime dining has thrown off their rhythm. It was quite disappointing to say the least.
On to the positives and there were many...There was so much to do & people were taking advantage of all the ship had to offer. Because the ship is so huge there are so many different venues for entertainment. Some evenings it was hard to decide which to do...From a comedy club to movies on a huge screen on the Lido deck, to entertainment in all the bar areas, to the Showtime Theater. There just was so much going on & it was all good. I only went to the Showtime Theater one night & I have to say that it was, without a doubt, the best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship (Magician, Las Vegas type dancing & singing & even pyrotechnics. It was awesome!) The deck area outside the Red Frog Pub was wonderful for relaxing after all that entertainment.
I chose this cruise because it was a new ship & because of the itinerary. I was not disappointed. The ports were wonderful. Palma de Mallorca was a delightful surprise. What a beautiful city! We did two Carnival excursions & booked the rest with other tour companies. Danny of Tuscan Hearts was wonderful; lots of personality & very accommodating. Rolando of Rome In Limo was wonderful as well. Very courteous & took excellent care of us. He made sure we saw as much of Rome as was possible in just one day. The Carnival excursions were okay. The one to Palma de Mallorca to see the Flamenco dancers would have been better if it were a little later in the day. We were served wonderful tapas & Sangria but it was a bit much so early in the day. Even so the entertainment was superb.
All in all it was a magical week even with the glitches. I have not cruised with Carnival for at least a dozen years. During that time I have cruised with several other cruise lines but I have to say this cruise has wooed me back. Carnival definitely are the Fun Ships!