Hubby and I decided to take the Western Caribbean cruise out of Galveston- Jan.29-Feb. 5-to celebrate my retirement from teaching...20 years in Kindergarten! This was our first Carnival cruise. Our other 2 cruises have been on Princess, both times to Alaska. We live in Arlington Tx. and left for Galveston a day early on Sat. Jan. 28. The drive was easy...about 4 and a half hours...and we spent the night at La Quinta across from the Sea Wall. We left home about 10am and had enough time to walk on the beach, have some appetizers/wine by the pool (bought them at Walmart close by), enjoy a nice dinner, and even see a movie at the theater next door. We had a continental breakfast the next morning, left our car at the hotel ($15) and they took us to the ship the next morning. We were on the ship by 11:30 a.m. All very smooth!
What a Grand ship the Carnival Magic is! There are lots of activities or you can just relax and cruise as we chose to do. We had our first balcony stateroom and enjoyed coffee, wine, reading, and sunsets out there. The bed and bedding was extremely comfortable and we slept well. We enjoyed all the clever little towel animals we received each day. Plus, our room location (8405) on the 8th floor was close to elevators, dining, and lido deck.
Activities we enjoyed onboard included movie trivia, bingo, the piano bar, and the casino. We actually won money in the Casino...but put it back in again. You know? It was fun! We took advantage of the hot tubs, pools, big screen movies, Lido deck music and activities.
Service was good, remember many staff members speak little English...their smiles are freely given. We especially enjoyed dining in the Southern Dining room-third floor. We loved all the singing, dancing, and merriment by the staff. Our food was presented attractively and tasted good. We also enjoyed the Deli bar, outside grill, pizza bar, and Sushi bar. We ate at the buffet a couple of times, smaller selection than I imagined, but convenient.
We saw the opening night show, magic/burlesque show, comedy, and final show with cruisers entertaing. We enjoyed them all. There were a few shows we didn't get into because they were full...but that was okay, we just went to the casino.
We enjoyed all the ports and experienced gorgeous weather the entire trip...probalby in the upper 70s. Disembarkation in Cozumel and Jamaica was very easy. Grand Caymans required a little boat to take you to the island and bring you back, but was no big deal. We did our own excursions...took a taxi in each place to the beaches, paid the small fee to get in, and rented chairs and an umbrella. In Cozumel we enjoyed Paradise Beach complete with a lovely pool, and ordered a bucket of beer. Ahhhhh! In the Caymans we visited Sea Grape Beach. In Jamaica, (my favorite), we spent a nice day at Doctors Cave Beach. We bought the usual t-shirts and of course rum in Jamaica.
When we returned to Galveston it was raining and cool. Waiting for the shuttle took a while...heard there was a Marathon that day in Galveston, hence the traffic. Shuttle took us back to La Quinta to pick up our car. Cool, wet weather made us ready for our next cruise!