You would expect Carnival's finest ship to be well above it's other smaller fleet ships, but it was really just a very large ship with the same cheap, cheesy features as a small, dinkyer ship. Yes it is large, but very poorly designed. There is a majical walkway that gives you access around most of the ship's public area, but there is nothing majical about it, it is small with low celings, now view and doesn't even go across the breadth of the ship, yet 4,500 people had to jam in there to try to get places. In comparison to Royal Carribeans main street with 8 story views and central park and boardwalk both huge and inviting. Because carnival doesn't have a main street, there is really no place for people to gather for informal entertainement, street performers, parades and such. Instead there is a tiny and I mean tiny atrium with a 4 foot dance floor and a cheesy lounge singer that couldn't even fit there usually had to be on the stair landing above, people who wanted to watch were had to hang over the 11 balconies. Most of majic's informal event gathering took place at the seaside theater which had adequate space, but the weather is not always conducive for gatherings.
The entertainment in one word TERRIBLE...no comparison to Royal Caribbean at all shouldn't event be in the same sentence, from a tacky juggler who kept dropping things to two tacky lounge singers who sang at EVERY show and a muder mystery where 4 plain clothes ship personnel came out said 2 sentences or less and the audience had to figure out who did it...this ridiculousness took all of 20 minutes, worst than a ad hoc skit.
Worst of all was the show time theater itself...exteremely small and not well built many areas were behind poles and you couldn't see also because of the small capacity you had to get to a show at least 45 minutes and stand in line to get a seat...and for what since all of the shows were sub par 80's old school. Perhaps I was spoiled by royal caribbeans's REAL broadway shows like hairspray and chicago and there excellent professional ice skating and water shows. Carnival may not have a ice skating rink and a water show, but at least put time and effort into putting together a professional nice show instead of tired d class performers and the same ones every night that looked like they threw something together the night before.
The cruise director TERRIBLE ...dry not the least bit funny really should be called communication director all he really did was give information on safety and try to sell things.
Food - the food was ok, comparable to other lines, however the set up was not inviting at all I kept calling lido the cafeteria, because that's what it looked like it was huge with the kitchen in the middle that seemed to stretch forever, I will give them this there was seating where as on Royal Caribbean seating is almost impossible in the windjammer.
However, it lacked the intimacy of having various small spaces to sit where you don't feel like your being coralled in for the mid day feeding. All the free food is right together so you miss the intamcy of being able to go to different spots and feel like you eating at different venues it's just one long feeding frenzy. If different venues were broken up in different locations it would help with the crowd control as well.
Also, some of the concepts were nice in the lido, but not practical, like having made to order burritos, omlettes and wok dishes although nice with only 2-3 cooks for 4,500 plus people not really practical, made waiting time an experience to say the least.
Now onto the rooms...very disappointing, especially since Majic was almost 35% more expensive than oasis. I got a ocean suite which I usually get on similar ships...it was TINY! Not well laid out at all, the vanity area seperate from the bathroom was nice, but made the rest of the living space minisucle. Also the balcony was like a small pebble you couldn't even turn the lounge horizontal facing the ocean because the balcony was only like 35 ft, whereas the suite comparable on royal caribbean the balcony was over 100 ft! It was huge had two lounger both facing the ocean with room to spare a table that could seat four and still room to walk around. Carnival had 1 lounge vertical with no room a miniscule table that could barely seat two. Also the door and window to the balcony were confining there was a regular glass door(not sliding) and large square windows(not floor to ceiling) On royal carribean the entire balcony wall is glass floor to ceiling and there is a sliding glass door. Also, every night around 2-3 am there was loud clanging, grinding sound, first night I thought there was some mechanical problems...don't know what it was, but very annoying...I was on the 7th floor.
Service- I thought service was very good, considering all the negative comments I heard the dining staff for the most part did everything they could to please the service was fast. The room attendant did a good job also, although the staff overall didn't seem very happy they were always polite and helpful.
Now...what did I like...The outside space which I think is what this ship was built around was nice, although generally directed for kids(that was ok because I have 1), but the layout with everything seperate was nice. The slides in their on spot, the fitness and sports court in seperate spot and the adult area was nice also. On the downside the 2 pools were miniscule and ice cold.
If you like cheesy shows, line dancing and gambling for entertainment, mediocre food and in my opion and overall subpar vacation, nothing special, low expectations then this may be the ship for you. Most of the people onboard were from texas so they didn't have to drive far so it is convienent if you live close by, but if you want over the top entertainment, beautiful venues, top rate cruise director...awesome venues...really a jaw dropping experience then royal caribbean.... that's where I'll be.