I'll start off by saying that this was my 12th carnival cruise, 13th overall (1 on RCL) and the Magic was truly AMAZING!! I have skimmed over the bad reviews and just rolled my eyes. Reading that there was no hot water, staff was/were/is rude was completly false!!
We flew into IAH since i used my airmiles for United airlines and flying into Hobby was MUCH more expensive on southwest. from there we took supershuttle ($127) to our hotel in Galveston. We stayed at the Best western plus inn and suites on the seawall. the hotel was very clean and nice. the woman at the front desk knew we were cruising since we looked excited lol.she even upgraded us to a room with a view of the ocean. we paid $89/night for the room and breakfast in the AM was very nice. hot waffles, cereals etc.
We took a quick $10 cab ride to the port and arrived around 9:40am. traffic pulling in was a bit heavy, but that was due to some morons parking their cars in the driving land, getting out, picking up people and putting there luggage in the trunk instead of pulling over, but we hopped out of the cab, dropped off our luggage and inside the terminal bulding within minutes. NO LINES AT ALL!!! we were in the VIP lounge by 10-1015 AM. We were on the ship around 11am.
The ship inside and out is truely amazing and beautiful!! very clean! we went up to the lido deck for lunch. the food was very good. the fries were hot and fresh. I dont know what "sewer smell" people talk about, but we never smelled anything. I heard it was around the 6th deck mid-forward of the ship, which is where our room was about located...NO SMELL!!!
There were PLENTY of activities. i read a review that said there weren't many...WRONG!!! something to do all the time. I played the friends trivia and won the wonderful ship on a stick and also answered a question right during their morning talk show and won another one. Calvyn and James (james being the cruise director) were both outstanding!! wonderful job to both of them. Calvyn is so funny and i would love to see him as a cruise director sometime in the near future.
I also read in a review that the staff is rude. EVERY SINGLE staff member i ran into said hello, good bye etc. and with a wonderful carnival smile. our room steward was outstanding and said hello to us everytime we saw her. Our waiter on the last night (we had your time dining) thought my brother and i were twins, when im actually 4 years older....he told me i looked younger than 28. that puts a smile on my face lol. About 2 hours after we set sail on the first night we did have to turn around due to a medical emergency and on the second to last night a possible man overboard situation which turned out to be false
We had a balcony room 6211 on the starboard side deck 6 in the front (3rd balcony from the front). I was afraid we wouldnt get sun due to us being directly under the bridge...WRONG! plenty of sun on our own balcony. We were also above the show lounge and happy to say...NO SOUND!!! im wondering if people say the hear the shows just to complain lol. The room was a great size and so was the bathroom. lots of closet and drawer space.
We stopped at cozumel, grand cayman and montego bay. we just did margarittavilles at each stop. I have been to cozumel and grand cayman ALOT and went to Montego bay for work before. but the weather at each port was great!!
We ate in the main dining room a few times. service was always outstanding. we had anytime dining and never had to wait for a table. the food was great! We really loved the prime rib. We ate the pasta bar for lunch (free of charge) a couple times. Highly recommend it! Its so hot and fresh...waiters aren't bad looking either lol!!
Entertainment on the magic was very well done. the show Win. was so much fun since a fellow guest was part of the show, this made it really fun to watch. We also had Marcus monroe on board for a show. He is a VERY entertaining young juggler/comedian. He did a great job since his show was interrupted a few times due to the man overboard situation which was false..thank goodness.
Disembarking the ship was a breeze. We met in the Northern lights dining room on deck 3 (Platinum VIP meeting point) at 7am and were off the ship and in the bus at 7:10am. We choose to try the carnival transfer service for the first time. we first stopped at Hobby and dropped off a few people then made our way to IAH. We managed to get on a 11:45am flight home instead of our 2:30pm flight. I wouldnt book ANYTHING out of IAH no later than 1:30pm though. we made it on the first bus and left at 8am...people were quick getting off, this isn't always going to be the case.
I really enjoyed the magic. The slides, food, crew, EVERYTHING was top notch. the candy store was so much fun to visit. I would recommend this ship to everybody and dont always listen to the negative reviews. Everything i read bad about the ship was false. and YES the thrusters are working and for crying out loud...there is hot water!