This review will be broken down into three parts, first the ship and cabin, second food, dining, and bars service, and lastly Carnival cruise lines itself.
We were located in Cabin 1300 which is on the first floor, center of the ship, ocean view cabin. We always pick this type of cabin on Ocean crossings. The cabin was of a very good size with plenty of hanging closet space, but somewhat short of draw space. Where there should have been draws there was a safe, or a small refrigerator. The refrigerator was filled to the brim with items for sale which left no room for personal items. When we requested these items be removed they were not taken from the room just stored in what should have been our storage space. The beds were extremely comfortable with heavy comforters. This required the a/c to be turned down when we slept but was enjoyable to us. The room had two problems, one being the lighting and the other being the hallway. The lighting was supplied by low and small bedside lamps or by ceiling lights which were on the opposite wall from the bed. This made reading in bed very difficult since if the lights were on they were very bright and if the ceiling lights were off the bed lamps did not provide enough light to read by. The second issue is the hallway. The Hallway entering the room is between the bathrooms and the closets. this area is very narrow. Two people can not pass in this area and when coffee is delivered to your room in the morning the tray must be brought in the long way keeping it off balance. The cabin also has a bathroom and a half. The room has two sinks and two showers and two sinks. We could have done without the second shower and would rather have had a second toilet, but in either case the extra was a great improvement over older ships. The main problem in the cabin was the noise. Waves hitting the ship sounded like you were inside a drum and when the person in the next room coughed or spoke you herd it clearly. Everyone complained about the noise levels so it is obvious they tried to save by leaving out the sound insulation. This was a big enough problem that I would never cruise on the Magic again.
The ship is a fair weather ship. Almost all lounge areas are on exposed decks. In bad weather weather everyone goes inside and their is simply not enough seating areas. It was very difficult to find an area to play cards or games. Most of the tables were of the oblong bar type, not the rectangular type need for games. There were a few around the Red Frog Pub and they were always taken. This was a serious enough issue that quite a number of fights were witnessed. When it rains you must go inside, their is not even a walkway around the ship hat is not exposed to rain. During the evening the very obnoxious photographers set up their cameras the available seating is reduced by half and the the scramble for seats really begins. Very poor design.
The food: Main Dinning Room. In thirty five years of cruising I doubt that I have ever sent a meal back. On this cruise I sent back over twelve items before I finally gave up. Everything arrived at the table cold. Every time we had a hot soup it went back, escargots were sent back, and what the cooks did to meat was almost criminal. They could not get the concept of searing the outside while leaving the inside rare. The quality of the meats were good it was just the cooking. I almost cried when they totally ruined the rack of lamb. The wait service was excellent but no matter how hard they tried they food always arrived cold and very late. Soups were uniformly terrible, too much water and funny flavors. There is no relationship between what the menu says and what you get. This was not just us, but almost everyone. It became a running joke on the ship. Everyone knows what a Lobster Bisque should taste like, well not on this ship, it was swill. Bread service was one piece of bread when you sat down, the bread was hand served then taken away. It probably was a good thing the sauces were terrible, because you had no way of soaking them up it they were not. This ship actually served a 3/8 inch thick piece of ribeye and called it a steak. Unless you consider Denny's gourmet cooking find another ship. One last thing almost every meal was served with mashed potatoes or if seafood yellow rice.
The Buffet area was divided into four main serving areas inside the ship. Food was neither bad nor good, just plentiful. One section made Mongolian barbecue which caused so much smoke we could not eat in the entire area. The Deli on the back deck was good. Pizza was terrible, hamburgers ok. The best thing on the ship was the french fries. After nine o'clock no food served anywhere except for the Pizza. Hamburgers start again after eleven pm.
Carnival Cruise lines. The Magic was broken when we boarded the ship. The Magic had a problem in Naples on a prior cruise with one of the drives. Carnival kept this from the passengers until were were all boarded and left the dock. They then notified us the ship would be going 700 miles out of its way so it could be repaired in Freeport, Bahamas rather then fixed in Europe where we were at the time. In essence they kidnapped an entire ship of passengers and took us where we did not want to go. They knew about the change of itinerary prior to the passengers boarding, but keep it a secret until we were on board and could not change our plans. I for one would not have boarded the ship if I had known. Carnival then sailed the broken Magic into extremely bad wether at a high rate of speed so the could get to Freeport to make their repairs, causing many passengers to get seasick. The company assured us we were in no danger with the broken drive but had I known I would have never allowed myself to cross the Atlantic on a broken ship. I do not get on airplanes with broken engines either. Maybe they did not need the drive to cross the ocean but where my life is concerned I expect everything to be working correctly when I board a ship. I did not sign up to visit a repair center no mater how nice the repair center is. I also checked that if Carnival had crossed the Atlantic on its original course we would not have encountered the bad weather we did.
Final note: I will probably never cruise Carnival again. Bases on my experiences I suggest that you do not either.