I was part of a group of 26 people ranging in age from 20 months - 65 years. We all had a wonderful time and found the Magic to be a great ship.We had 9 cabins in on three different decks,interior to balcony.The cabins on the 1st deck all have two bathrooms. (One throne, two sinks, two showers) and the family of five sharing a cabin loved that! They had three teens, and everyone fir comfortably. The families with the toddlers had a balcony so they could enjoy the outdoor view during nap time.
Embarkation is always a bit stressful, but most of us were on in around an hour. Our luggage arrived promptly. We were met by an awesome cabin crew. Noel was friendly, prompt, and even helped us decorate another cabin for a birthday. We sailed on Celebrity last fall in the "concierge" level, and could never get any service, find our steward, and the room wasn't cleaned till after lunch a few times!Noel even left us towels in critters I had never seen before. :)
I'm not sure where the people who complain about the food ate. Ours was hot, cooked the way we ordered, and served with a smile. We had lots of seafood,tried most of the "did ja" option and ate things like alligator, shark, oysters Rockefellow, and ate fruit soups till we couldn't hold another drop. The food was certainly as good as the Clebrity choices. There are always long lines at the buffet at lunchtime. The Magic has lots of fun choices with no lines- Tandoor at the back of the ship, BBQ on the 5th deck, and the Italian place were our favorites. Two from our group did the "Galley Table' and loved it. It came with 7 courses of gourmet food, wine, a tour, and a 8x10 picture to remember the evening. Book VERY early, because it is not offered every night and only holds 12 people. It's $75/person, but our duo loved it.
The problem with the tenders is standard on every ship.GET AN EARLY TENDER NUMBER! We had no problems getting to our privately arranged tour on time because we picked up our numbers early. We waited two hours in a calm harbor when we were the only ship in port last fall because we forgot to get an early number. I can highly recommend "Moby Dick" in Grand Caymon. We felt totally safe, theri equipment was great,and the guys even knew the rays by name!
The theater on the Magic is it's only real weakness. Poor views, filled up with the Bingo crowd before the show, so it was hard to get good seats. The shows are OK, not great, with the exception of the magic show. It was awesome!
For those who claim Carnival should do something about the fog in Galveston, get real. We were fogged out of the harbor for 6 hours. They started movies, games, fed us, and let us stay in our cabins. I felt bad for the crew who had to turn over the ship when we got off so late, but felt Carnival did a great job keeping us content.
All in all, we have sailed on Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Princess, and we keep coming back to Carnival. Best ever for a family fun time.