After sailing the Conquest out of Galveston for the past 4-5 year, we were excited to have a new ship coming to Texas.
The ship was late getting into port, so things were a mess at the terminal. We were really glad to have the VIP boarding (10 previous cruises with Carnival).
The ship is a really nice ship. With the name "Magic" I was expecting it to be a bit gaudy, but it was really nice. The outdoor areas are good, but it was kinda cool this week, so not many folks were hanging out at the pools. My son and I really enjoyed the ropes course.
The room was pretty typical, but we did have a "Cove Balcony" room which was pretty neat. These are balcony rooms down on the 2nd deck. Very close to the water. They do have an outer water tight door that I guess they close in high seas, but we never had to close it even though it got pretty rough one night.
The only issue we had with our room was the next door neighbors going out on their balcony at 6am each morning and letting the door slam. I guess the 2 folks in that room would each go out once. Person 1 out... BAM, Person 2 out... BAM. Person 1 back in..BAM... Person 2 in ...BAM. We usually had at least 4 slams each morning. This was pretty annoying as the balcony door is right next to where the head of our bed was.
SHOWS: We were pretty impressed with the opening show (70s). After seeing "Point and Click" on the Conquest 3-4 times it was a nice change. As the cruise wore on, we were less impressed. There were major crowding issues, as the showroom is just not big enough to accommodate the number of passengers on the ship. If you did not get to the showroom early, you might not even get in.
GAMES: We love to play the trivia and beanbag games. Unfortunately, the lounge that they hold these in is a central walk thru point, so there were issues with noise and crowds. The entertainment staff was very competent, and ran things well.
Dining: The Prime Steakhouse is fantastic. I highly recommend it. (hint - if you go on the first night, they get out a free bottle of wine.) We always do the Steakhouse the first night.
In the main dining room, the food was was pretty typical Carnival fare. Overall pretty good, with a few standouts, and a few misses. However, I think once again this ship is suffering with size issues, as the service was really slow. We often waited 10-20 minutes between courses. Just sitting there with an empty plate.
Overall - While I would say this was an overall good cruise experience, we have had better. We did the Carnival Spirit last January down to Baja. It had all the positives of this cruise, with none of the negatives. I think they need to work out some timing issues with the crowds. Not sure how, but I waited in more lines on this cruise than on any other cruise.