We arrived at the port about 1:30 for our 4:00 PM departure. The line was outside the door for a long distance. My wife is disabled so I went into the building to ask direction. They were gracious to invite us forward, but when we said that we had registered for wheelchair assistance, the Carnival people said that there were none there and that it would be a two hour wait. They said we could go ahead on a shorter line as she walked with her cane. When we got upstairs to register and get our sail and sign cards, there was a very short wait. The ramp up into the ship was quite long and it was not easy for a disabled person.
On the other hand, debarkation was easy and the staff was quite helpful. We went to the "relaxation areas" waiting to debark. I saw a man with wheelchairs, and he said we could get assistance when our number was called. Almost immediately someone came with a chair and we debarked with help in a very short time. The baggage in the Galveston port was easily seen and retrieved.
Flow of ship: The Magic is a very large ship and it takes a while to get used to the "Traffic flow". We came in on deck three, Atrium lobby, where only one set of elevators was available. On deck three you cannot get from the atrium to the mid or aft elevators because the one restaurant, Northern lights, is in the middle of the ship. This is a problem for walking on this deck. Also I think it took much business from the atrium bar
"The Shops of Carnival" surround the atrium on Deck 5. Compared to other Carnival
ships, the shops themselves are much smaller and have a much smaller inventory. When
there was a special sale, there was no room to walk around the deck by the shops. The
new Candy Store was cute, but unless you had children or a terribly sweet tooth, it was
not a great place.
The pools on the Lido deck are quite small, but seemed to suffice in size for a ship that
was almost full. We even got deck chairs whenever we went to the pool. This may be
because there are two levels for seating above the mid pool. The aft pool was small, and
chairs were available there too. There is no longer a requirement that the hot tubs are
for adults only. They were always full. The hot tubs on the lanai (Deck 5) were not as
full, but they were not near a pool.
Food Generally, the food was very good, with some being excellent. In the dining room, the only disappointing meal was the fried chicken (comfort option). It was dry, tasteless and tough, not at all acceptable. The beef, seafood, pork and lamb entrees were all excellent. The desserts were good but nothing outstanding. Our wait service staff was the very best we have ever had, and they made each dinner even better. The Lido breakfasts were excellent with much choice; the lunch options were not as good, and they closed down at 2:30 or 3:30, depending on port days. We ate only one lunch and one breakfast in the dining room, and they were each good.
Cabins we were happy to get an aft balcony cabin. It had a very large balcony, which was nice. We were on the end, and we noticed that our friends next door, toward the middle of the ship, had a smaller balcony, but a larger room. Our cabin was very good, the bathrooms the same as usual and the beds extremely comfortable. There was a flat screen TV, a mini-bar and safe in the cabin. Unfortunately for us, being next to the housekeeping closet on our deck, meant that we heard alot of entering and leaving, as well as what we determined was the ice machine. We were on the Vista deck, below Lido, which meant that when chairs were moved in the early morning set-up, we got to hear the whole thing. During the day and night, there was no extra noise.
Gym - The gym is compact with sufficient cardio machines and a smaller amount of weights and machines. The studio for spin and other classes was the smallest I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The men's locker room was quite small, with only one shower and one handicapped shower. There is a sauna, but no steam. For those who want the Spa, whirlpool, two aromatic steam rooms and such upstairs, there is a $149 charge for the week for useage.
Entertainment: We only went to one show and it was not good.
Bars: the bars were in many places of course, and there was a style for everyone. The cost of drinks is reasonable, and is not any higher than it was before. The new Red Frog pub was wonderful with their signature beer and great atmosphere -- including the outside lanai
Photo Gallery: As on all cruises, the photographers were everywhere. They were respectful always. The Photo Gallery seems a little smaller, so that with such a big ship, there you do have trouble finding any portraits that you might want. There is not enough room to display all, so some sets are on shelves and counters in piles of hundreds of pictures. They do have anew system, based on face recognition, that finds your pictures digitally after you swipe your sail and sign card.