I have to start by saying that I really appreciate the opinions posted by all of the past cruisers. The information presents a great resource to be used by all. As a first time cruiser, I can't imagine needing anything more than a great attitude, information from the posts and a ticket to board the Carnival Magic.
My cruise was a family trip from Alaska to the Western Caribbean. I saw the cruise listed as a Rovia "dreamtrip", looked at the ship and itinerary and jumped in with both feet.
Travel during the holidays is potentially hectic, I tried to do my homework ahead of time in order to make the trip as seamless and painless as possible.
Travel to Texas, arriving Christmas day, one day before departure in Houston was the first home run. We stayed in a great resort in Galveston after an hour drive in a rental car. The car cost for the week was about the same price as a limo or 5 R/T tickets on any transport other than a city bus. We had free parking during the cruise,and a shuttle to and from the port. I dropped our luggage off at the port early on departure morning and we were able to "travel lite" on the shuttle to board the ship. With 5000 people boarding, the lines were not too bad. At 1:30 we entered the line, 1 hour later we were being welcomed to the Carnival Magic, sail and sign cards in hand. I booked 2 rooms, one triple, 1 double. 1 room in between, adjoining was not available when I booked. We got two extra keys and switched the 3 kids to the triple and took the king bed for ourselves. After about an hour of unpacking and settling into the rooms, we put dollar store dinosaurs on the doors to distinguish them and went out to explore our new cruise ship home.
The ship was amazing, elevators were handy, 2 sets mid-ship, 1 bow and 1 stern. We often took the stairs up or down as the 8th floor seemed very central to all of our destinations. We enjoyed a snack at the buffet prior to setting sail. muster drill in the MDR was painless and informational. When it ended we finished a walking tour of the ship and got ready for 8:15 dining.
My family normally eats around 7:30, 8:15 was a little late for us but it allowed us to make the most of every minute of the days on board. We loved the MDR staff. They were very attentive to us, we were served whatever we asked including a special fruit plate each night for our 6 year old to snack on before and during the meal. 12 year old usually went to kids club right after dinner, 6 and 10 went to the shows every night, family comedy on a couple of occasions and wonderful walks around the ship enjoying the various venues until the kids were tired. this included live music, board games and books in the library, pizza and a movie under the stars on the Lido deck and even late night Caribbean line dancing one night. New Year's eve was incredible. It was "elegant night" we had dined on lobster and prime rib, then were treated to complementary champagne toasts throughout the night. We were surprised with a bottle of champagne from "James" the cruise director, delivered to our room at turn down service on New Years Eve. A gift he promised when reading our anniversary announcement during his morning show.
The staff worked tirelessly and were gracious, professional and friendly. They went out of their way to make sure we felt welcome and took time to sign autographs, pose for pictures and engage in conversation with us and our kids.
Our kids enjoyed limitless fun and activities, met lots of new friends, played , relaxed and tried to make the most of every moment we were blessed with on this trip.
Our shore excursions consisted of 2 great scuba trips where the 4 divers in our family were able to explore the beautiful Mexican reefs and see some colorful marine life.
We had a meal in the Steakhouse, even better than the great meals in the MDR. Also enjoyed the Cucina de Capitano for lunch, great food at no additional charge. If I have to think of any complaints, the only two I have would be;1- Had to get off of the beautiful ship and go home, 2- so many great lunch options,(sea day BBQ, tandoori grill, cucina, burrito bar and Mongolian grill) that I didn't have enough chances to thy them more than once.At least there was always time for a casual snack of the yummy pizza when strolling around the lido deck.
Breakfast was a pleasant surprise in the MDR as being seated with new table mates each day really facilitated some nice conversation, the chance to meet new people and the opportunity to run into them throughout the cruise for a smile or a chat.
I started this trip with a positive attitude and now I am positive that I would love to cruise again on the MAGIC.