All of us are senior citizens, my sister, her husband and my husband and I just returned from Feb 5th sailing on the Magic. We had connecting cove balcony rooms, 2314/2318. The cove balconies were wonderful and in this center location noise from above activity was nonexistent. The slamming of the balcony doors might be a problem for some though it did not bother us as we are early risers and usually up and on our balcony before anyone else, the door slamming did not wake us up. We spent a lot of time on our balconies. Boarding the ship was quick and easy since I am a Platinum member. We arrived at the port at 11:30am and were on board by noon. Our rooms were ready at 1pm.
We used the Southern Lights Dining Room for breakfast and dinner on most of the days with only a few exceptions for lunch we ate on the lido. Friday was my sister's birthday and our waiter, Marion, made arrangements for her to have a cake and all the other waiters sang to her. The Matre'D, Ken, sang a special song. They also made a special effort to help my husband and I celebrate our anniversary. They made us kiss while they sang to us. The whole dining experience was wonderful and we enjoyed it immensely every night. The food and service were both good. Marion, our waiter, suggested that dining was not so much about "eating" but about the "dining experience" and we had to totally agree with him. It is not to be rushed but to be enjoyed and savored for two full hours. The dining team exceeded our expectations. And taught us something that we had forgotten in our rushed real life; slow down, savor and enjoy life's experiences. They always went out of their way to assist my brother in law who uses a walker too.
FOOD: The food on the lido deck at the buffet was basically the same every day but there was a wide selection so that you were able to have some variety daily. They also had many different types of food stations, Mongolian, Hot dogs/Hamburgers, deli style sandwiches, Pizza or the Italian Restaurant. We found the lines to any of these to be long and seating was crowded always.
SHIP AMENITIES: The ship is beautiful and well maintained. The promenade does get very congested when the photographers are out and people are congregating around them. We loved the outside promenade. We played dominoes for hours outside the Lanai on the outside promenade near the hot tub.The hot tub was hot and always bubbling. My sister and I enjoyed them very much, especially after our sore muscles screamed after the Tranopy Tour. We watched with envy when kids were playing at the water works. That one will have to remain on our bucket list until our next cruise. We also made a deposit at the casino on several nights. We did enjoy it very much even though we were not winners; the machines let us think we "might" eventually hit the jackpot if we would just make one more deposit! We are suckers, you say??? HAH! It was fun anyway. We were very disappointed with the comedy shows. They were always full and we could never manage to get there at a right time to get into one of them. The show theater was also always full and mostly impossible to find a seat that had any kind of view of the stage. We decided that what they need to do for all the shows was to issue reservations tickets. That way at least everyone would have a chance to see it if they wanted to see them. Carnival has a huge problem with people trying to get off the ship in port too. It was an absolute madhouse in Jamaica. We had an early tour but people did not care. They jammed up the elevators and all the hallways making it impossible for those that needed to get off or miss their tour. I had to get guest services to assist us to even get off at all in Jamaica, we missed our tour time and had to take the next available tour time. Here again, they need greater control. They have no control whatsoever right now. We paid $331 for two of us on the Tranopy tour only to have to miss 2 hours of it because of inability to push and shove to get off the boat. I could have pushed and shoved and poked someone in the eye to get off but my husband is not that scappy so.... If you follow the directions and congregate in the showtime theater if you have an early tour, you are too late when they tell you it is time to go. Next time we will get in the elevator and "ride" it until it is time to go.
In Jamaica we did the Tranopy Tour. I give it a five star.
It was well worth the money. The ride up the mountain on the sky lift had awesome views of the sea, of ships in port and of the jungle below us and in the distance. We got a good bird's eye view of the island. The main thing for us was whether they could accommodate someone in a walker. I have to tell you that from the time they picked us up at the port until they delivered us back to the port, they totally took care of us and our semi-handicapped traveler. They tied the walker on to the back of the sky lift chair, stopped the chair so that we could get on and made sure we were all in safely before it started again. When we got to the top there is a beautiful, shaded area to just sit and enjoy without actually doing anything else. My sister and I did the bobsled first. Since we are both senior citizens, they were calling us Queeny and made sure we were in the sled and strapped in. They hooked both of our sleds together and wow! what a trip that was. I was scared I was going to lose my teeth from screaming so much! It really upset us that they take a picture of you on the bobsled but when we got inside to purchase the picture their printer was not working. Without a picture for proof, who is going to believe that two old ladies did this??? Both of our husbands could also have done this but they chose not to. It is a little rough with no springs to soften the bumps but you can slow down with the brake. My sister would not apply the brake even when I said, brrrrrake, dammmmit, braaaake! Then, after we ate lunch and rested a bit, she and I did the zip line while our menfolk took the sky lift back down the mountain. Although we are older, we had always wanted to do a zip line. We asked again if they were sure we could do this and they assured us that we could, "no problem, mon", we will make it go slow for you Queeny. That was a half-truth! Once you are on the line, you go! The first two runs were great and we "wee wee wee'd" but after the third longer run, I was expecting the end. But it was not the end at all. There were at least 3 other runs, I lost count. Then we repelled down from the platform. Now that was scary! We watched as others before us "fell" free fall from the platform and by the time it was my turn I was begging for an elevator, PLEASE! No elevators, little grandmother, we will make you go SLOW! HAH! They did slow it down some but I had my eyes closed and did not realize when I was at the bottom until they helped me stand up again. They took great care of us all along the way. We had to catch the sky lift to finish our descent to the bottom of the mountain. That was a nice touch too because it allowed us to catch our breath and our knees to stop knocking. We walked back to the bus like we were experienced athletes! The only down part of it was there was no water, it was very hot with no breeze in the dense jungle and too many people on the platforms to get any relief from their sweaty body heat. If you do this tour, take paper towels in your pocket to wipe the sweat out of your eyes. Age is not a factor on this excursion, they take care of you. You just "sit" in the harness and pick your feet up. If you plan to take this excursion, heat and exhaustion or your stamina should be considered. Unless you are crazy old women like us, then don't consider anything, just do it!
We did the Atlantis Submarine. I give it a 3 stars
They have this excursion listed as "easy". We found this to be an error. From where the tender ported there was a half mile walk to the Atlantis Submarine office and back after the tour. Then, you had to board another tender to take you out to the submarine. Even though guest services assured us that someone with a walker would be able to do this, we determined that it was not doable. First, he could not walk with a walker on uneven ground to the submarine office. The excursion description leaves this part out. Then, when you board the tender to the submarine, we had to climb stairs to the top. Which someone with a walker could not do or with great difficulty. The description did not include this fact either. We asked the operators about this and they said that this excursion was not for those who had mobility issues. Had they picked us up at the port the way the information stated, he could have been able to climb down and up the seven stair ladder and left the walker at the office, but this was not all that this excursion required. Three of us took an early tender and left our semi-handicapped traveler on board intending to go back and pick him up if the excursion was doable for him. We discovered that it was not within his scope of ability so the three of us took the excursion. We did enjoy seeing the underworld but it was not something we would do again. We would spend our excursion money on some other tour. Carnival did refund the cost of this tour for our member who did not participate. It would have been within their right not to give us a refund and we did not expect or ask for a refund either but the guest services associate (wish I could remember her name) did the right thing and gave us a refund. The guest services associate did remember us asking about it and asking for her recommendations. We also wanted to report back to them so that they could better serve future cruisers with semi-handicap people. That is also why I am including it in this review.
We stayed on the ship because we had been to Cozumel so many times before we wanted to see what it was like to stay on the ship. We were not disappointed. It was a day of total relaxation in the hot tub, playing dominoes on a deserted deck, eating with no lines and napping before dinner.
Cautions: There were not many kids on this cruise but the ones between 10 & 15 were allowed to roam the ship (as they do on all cruises) and they are a problem running the stairs and hallways. They think they are too old for Camp Carnival and too young for the young adult venues. They can sign themselves in and out of Camp Carnival and the parents (giving the parents the benefit of the doubt here) think their child is being supervised when the child is running willy nilly throughout the ship. We observed them hanging daredevil style over the handrails in the atrium, and over the rails above the water on the outside decks. Add alcohol to that and someone is bound to get hurt. I don't know how many kids are hurt on cruises, but I am thinking it is only by the grace of God that more are not killed. Running the stairs, we have observed them losing their footing and tumbling down. They also are not watching and run into and over other people. Maybe the worst thing we saw was one night we were out on the deck and the kids were drinking the "dredges" or the bottom of the glass of mixed drinks and beer that people had left sitting there. We got in the elevator with one youngster that was so drunk he didn't know where he was or what floor he needed to get off on to find his room. He was vomiting and when we offered to help he said he just needed to lay down somewhere, but he didn't know where so he decided to lay down in the elevator. I know that Carnival is trying to complete with Disney with more family friendly cruises and never having been on a Disney cruise I am in no position to judge, but it seems to me that certain age groups need MORE supervision not LESS on these cruises to truly make them family friendly and more importantly, SAFE for the kids to roam freely unsupervised. Having 16 grand children and 4 great grands, I am not opposed to kids vacationing with family, but I believe parents need to be more involved and vigilant rather than transferring responsibility for their kids' safety and well being to others that have no ability to corral their youngsters. In the end, it is the parents responsibility but these same parents will want to blame Carnival and hold the cruise line responsible. As summer approaches, I expect the situation to only get worse. It's sad really.
This was a wonderful cruise, as they all are, and we cannot wait for next year to go again!