My wife and I along with another couple sailed on the Magic on March 4th - March 11th, 2012. We booked an SUV through a Limo Service to take us to the port of Galveston from the Houston Hobby Airport. We arrived at the terminal around 1pm and were onboard by 1:30pm. There were lines in the terminal building but the were almost continuously moving. Once on the ship we went right to our balcony stateroom on deck 9 and dropped off our carry-ons before exploring the ship. Although this was my 4th cruise it was my wifes first and we were both quickly impressed with the size of the ship, the cleanliness, and the overall beauty of the decor.
The room was quite spacious by cruise ship standards. We had the King sized bed configuration which was basically against the window looking out on the balcony. This provided wonderful views even from the bed when we got up in the morning and opened the curtain or in the evening while relaxing before dinner. In addition the room had a sofa and table, along with a great deal of storage space. There are 3 closets, drawers, cabinets, and of course the space under the bed as well. We used the balcony a lot whether for reading, relaxing, or just watching the ocean pass by. The bathroom was plenty sufficient for our needs and the shower was always hot. The room was as good as we could have hoped for.
We all enjoyed the many things that the ship had to offer. We went to the showtime theater every night and to the spotlight lounge a couples times also. We enjoyed the ocean plaze and the deck outside on deck 5 where you could walk all the way around the ship. We spent time at the pool areas both the beach pool and the tides pool, we really really liked the Red Frog Pub and the service there was outstanding as was the thirsty frog red private label beer. The couple we were with used the spa on several occassions and really spoke highly of it along with the workout facilities. The sports deck was nice with its full-court basketball, miniture golf, ropes course, etc. The waterslide was fun as well.
There are so many options for dining. We ate breakfast once in the room with room service, twice in the main dining room, and the rest of the time on the lido deck at the buffets and omolette stations. All was good and there is plenty of choices with everything from fruit loops to eggs benedict. For lunch we ate at the lido buffet, ate at the burrito bar, had mongolian wok had the burgers from the grill, ate at the sandwich place by the tides pool which makes a wonderful grilled reuban sandwich I would highly recommend, the tandoor indian restaurant, had the pasta bar at the Italian restaurant and tried the pizza as well. We enjoyed everything although were not particularly impressed with the pizza. For dinner we ate at the Southern Lights Dining room every night and thoroughly enjoyed the service from our waiters Oli, and Danyella. We always received excellent service, recommendations, great conversation, and dinner truely was an event each night. Oli is a 17 year veteran and was a wealth of knowledge, information, and impeccible service. The matree dee would sing each night and his voice is very good indeed. The final 2 nights one of the waiters who was discovered by John Heald was asked to sing and his voice was incredible as well. In addition to the service we received the food was all very good.
We attended the big show each night in the showtime theater - Welcome aboard, Groove Line(70's theme), Destination "Unknown (Illusionist), Juggler, and Carnival Legends. We enjoyed them all particularly the Juggler who is very entertaining and very funny and the Illusionist was also very very good. We went to one of the family friendly comedy shows and it was pretty good. We watched the Ice carving demonstration out by the pool and too many things to list but suffice it to say that we were never bored.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jamaica is a beautiful place and is very scenic. It does, however, not feel like the safest place. We booked the zip line canopy tour through Carnival and were transported by bus about 30 mins to the 'base camp'. We were given a orientation and our equipment. Our guides Marvin (people call him Usher) and Magnum were clearly very good at what they do and very funny all the while doing it. The ensured that everyone was safe and kept us laughing the entire time as well. We all enjoyed the excursion. Afterwards the bus took us back to the port and we looked through the shops in the terminal before going back on the ship. None of us ventured out into town as it didn't seem the safest thing to do.
This is an extremely nice place and appears to be completely safe. We booked the Dolphin swim, turtle farm, and stingray encounter. We again were transportedby bus to the dolphin explorer area where we first went to the turtle farm and held turtles and were told everything that you could want to know about the sea turtles. The turtle farm is really worth seeing. Then we were to the stingray pool and were able to touch one that was being held by the guide. This was okay but not a big deal for us. Finally it was time for the Dolphin swim. There were 10 in our group and everyone got a chance to be pushed on the boogey board, ride belly to belly with the dolphin, have several pictures taken with balls, Dolphin kiss, etc. This was amazing and beyond incredible. Everyone should experiance this at least once. We all would do it again today if we could.
We really liked Cozumel a lot. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect. This again seemed to be a very safe place. We booked the Isla Pasion by twister excurion where you go to a private island paradise that includes an open bar and buffet lunch and you get there by a jet boat that goes 50mph and does 360 degree spins. Our drivers/ guides were Miguel and Montoya and they were both very skilled at what they do and very funny and entertaining as well. My wife and I feel somewhat guilty but we liked this even more than the Dolphins! It was a true day in paradise. Our friends went on the Harley Davidson motorcycle tour around the island of Cozumel and reall enjoyed it and it was their favorite port as well.
We had a wonderful time. I never witnessed the long lines that some people speak of. There are so many places to eat that if one is busy just go to the next one. Our food at dinner was always served hot and the service was outstanding. Disembarkation was a pretty smooth process as well. We ate breakfast and then went to the theater to wait for our zone and we were the first after self assist and were off the ship through customs and on our way to the airport by 9am. We would definitely cruise on the Magic again as well all have many experiences and memories that we will cherish from this trip.I hope everyone has as wonderful of an experiance as we all did!