I have sailed with Carnival on 4 other occasions besides this one and Magic left me disappointed! I previously had great experiences with Carnival, especially on my other trip out of Galveston on the Ectasy, however this one left much to be desired.
The ship was a large ship, however besides the new seating furniture and sports deck, and slides it was very similar to other Carnival ships I have been on. The large size wasn't necessarily a good thing, as it took a long while to walk from one end to the other, although this is to be expected.
The serenity adult section was very nice, however I did not get to experience it too much because it was either too crowded or closed due to high winds.
The thermal spa was very nice and relaxing although comes at a fee. (149/pp or 250/couple for a week or you can pay 35/day) My complaint about the thermal spa was that they give out 50 passes so it can get crowded, and the hot tub was cold and was closed on one of the days we were trying to use it due to rough sea conditions.
On that subject, out of the 10 hot tubs on board there was only one which was hot, the rest were luke warm at best and others felt like pool water.
The main pool was nice, but also ended up being closed due to wind and water conditions.
The wind/sea conditions also closed the water slide and ropes coarse almost every day at sea.
I typically don't spend much on the stateroom, because I don't spend much time in the room, so I only had the basic inside room. I had no complaints about the room or the room steward other than they kept taking our used washcloths and not giving us new ones.
The service in the stateroom was excellent and no complaints about the cleanliness of the room.
Of all my cruise experiences, the Magic proved to be the WORST dining experience I have ever had. Although the dining areas were more plentiful and there were more eating areas, the food was horrible, the selection was horrible and my entire family of 5 ended up eating hamburgers or deli sandwhiches almost everyday because everything else was not good.
The Lido deck buffet offered the same things as the dining room in the evening so there was no real reason for us to wait until 8:15 to eat everynight. The dining room food quality was poor and the service was even worse! We often spent 2 hours to eat when we were in the dining room, and had to wait for drinks to be refilled. The staff never tried to get to know our names or interact with us in anyway, so we were not sure what was taking so long.
Another issue with the food was the times that were posted for food in the daily cruise bulletin were not accurate. This really sucks when you plan your activities so you can eat, then you go to eat and the only food available is pizza and ice cream.
Breakfast in the dining room also had the same food as the Lido deck, and service was terrible! They forgot to bring us parts of our order and it took 2 hours to eat breakfast! I didn't make that mistake more than once!
In the end, we decided not to eat in the dining room and actually were so disappointed with the overcooked lobster, dry filet mignon that we decided to reduce the tip that was allocated for the kitchen and dining room, as we chose not to eat there the rest of the trip.
Activities on the Magic seemed also lacking compared to other ships I have been on, we often found ourselves haning in our cabin, becuase there was nothing to do, especially since the pools, rope courses and serenity decks were closed due to high winds.
The cruise started by us having to turn around after sailing about 2 1/2 hours out to sea due to a medical emergency of a guest onboard. This didn't really bother me too much, as they made the time up and we still arrived into our first port timely.
The second strange thing was the "Bravo" distress call on one of the last nights out at sea. This apparently is the Man overboard call. After searching for a short while and announcing for someone to call 7777, shining spotlights on the water and doing a u-turn, the cruise director stated it was a false alarm. Don't know that I believe that or not after reading how common it is for people to go overboard and that ships often make a call to local authorities to continue the search, and continue on the way!
All in all I was completely disappointed in my experience on the Magic. Although I loved having time away from work, and spending time with my family, I felt let down by my vacation on this ship. Maybe they just need more time to "get it together" and I found myself trying to make excuses for the experience I had. I think my time and money is much better spent on the smaller, less extravagant Ecstacy ship which had excellent food, staff, service and activities!