4 Carnival Magic Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean from Barcelona

I booked this cruise over a year ago when I saw the prices that Carnival charged that were much lower than we had paid before with Costa or other advertised cruises. The best deal is the 2-port hole cabin for the inside cabin price. ... Read More
I booked this cruise over a year ago when I saw the prices that Carnival charged that were much lower than we had paid before with Costa or other advertised cruises. The best deal is the 2-port hole cabin for the inside cabin price. There's only about 6 forward cabins with the port holes. We wanted to see more of Italy and if you're paid in US dollars this is about the cheapest way to do it. My wife & I enjoyed our experience with the Carnival Magic. We had the any-time dining at the Northern Lights Restaurant and liked it very much. We also enjoyed the food & service with our meals. Our 7-night cruise from Barcelona was very busy with an excursion each day except for the one sea day returning to Barcelona so we didn't see any shows or spend time at the casino or bars much. I was surprised how many 20's & 30's couples there were on board. It certainly wasn't a cruise for old geezers though we are rapidly approaching that age group! We enjoyed talking to all the other Americans, Europeans & Aussies on board. Everyone was very friendly & fun to talk with. The pool area with the out-door movie screen was very popular. They'd show a family film in the early evening so couples with children could have a good time watching a film together eating pop-corn! We did spend some time at the Red Frog Pub in the evening and enjoyed Danny playing his guitar & songs. There was also a damn good rock band that did some good cover versions of Led Zeppelin at the pool area. We met a few Americans that had never been to Europe before & I think Carnival offered them a good way to experience Italy with low stress & low cost. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and had a lot of fun. With their new smoking restrictions coming into place in December we won't be on Carnival again but if you don't smoke & want to experience Europe at an affordable price, I don't think you'll find a better deal than what Carnival has to offer! I enjoyed hearing the cruise director John Heald'shumorous announcements. Especially to discover if the Salmonds made it back to the ship before we sailed! It seemed that couple were always at the last minute to get back to the ship! John made it an hilarious nightly airing! The crew work hard and are cheerful. It is a Fun Ship! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Excellent cruise. Monaco port was closed on first day of cruise itinerary due to bad storms, so Captain reversed itinerary and we had a Day at Sea then started at Messina and finally the last port was Monaco! It was nice that the cruise ... Read More
Excellent cruise. Monaco port was closed on first day of cruise itinerary due to bad storms, so Captain reversed itinerary and we had a Day at Sea then started at Messina and finally the last port was Monaco! It was nice that the cruise still saw all the ports. Service was stellar. Been on 6 cruises in the last 10 years, majority with Carnival. All employees were exceptional and met any needs. Room Steward was very personable and also did an excellent job with her daily routine in our room. Food was great. Cruised RC last summer and their food was lousy. Was not sure what to expect on Carnival with the economy and recession. But the food was really great. Went to teh Main Dining every night except once when at the "Chef's Tables". Only the initial night on the cruise (Sunday) was I disappointed in the dinner selections. Every night onward was fantastic! Breakfast buffet was a large selection and standard every morning. The lunch buffet was a huge selection in addition to the burrito bar (yummy!) Tandoori (very authentic!) and the Mongolian Grill -- I did not think the Mongolian Grill was worth the wait after I tried it once -- but just my opinion. Chef's Table --- INCREDIBLE experience! Only if you are "in the know" do you hear about it -- no advertisements on the ship, etc since it only occurs 2x in a 7 day cruise and limited to 12 people. $75 but worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY! Head Chef spent 3 hrs with us, we ate in the galley, toured the galley etc. The preparation that goes into make each of the 12 courses is unbelievable and understandable why it should be limited to a small number of people. I was just blown away with all the courses and how much thought went into them. If you get lucky enough to get a reservation, it's not to be missed and worth it! (Reservations made via email the same way you make a Steakhouse reservation! Chef Table starts at 6:30 pm.) Entertainment was also 5-Star. I had heard mixed reviews on the entertainment on the Magic but wow, we were impressed. The main show -- "Unknown" is incredible, the most lavish Las-Vegas style-themed show we have ever seen on a ship. It is supposedly the most expensive show to produce on any of the Carnival Ships. We were also luck to see a phenomenal ventriloquist and some great comedy shows -- John Heald was hilarious -- never had him on a cruise before but an excellent cruise director. I can see why he is paid the big bucks -- gotta love his rendition of Dick Little. The band that played in the pool area was fantastic, they had a great voice and really kept the crowd going. Only bummer was when they took breaks...a dumb DVD was shown on the screen....Only negative I have of the entire cruise was out in the main pool area, they showed this stupid video of all the ports of call advertising to buy it and take home. What made it terrible was the awful music that goes along with the video -- not pool music at all. Carnival needs to change that!Only other thing I want to add is save your money and get an interior room on a western med cruise. All the ports are ugly to look at in Italy except Monaco's port. We had an inside cabin and it was fine, didn't spend much time inside and if we had a window or balcony doubt we would have spent any more time in it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My husband and I are both retired and enjoy cruising. We have cruised on four different cruise lines but we much prefer Carnival because we believe it offers better value and more fun. The new Carnival Magic is a beautiful ship which never ... Read More
My husband and I are both retired and enjoy cruising. We have cruised on four different cruise lines but we much prefer Carnival because we believe it offers better value and more fun. The new Carnival Magic is a beautiful ship which never seemed crowded even with over 4000 passengers and crew. Our balcony cabin was roomy enough to easily have another couple visit, offered ample storage, and provided luxury linens and a comfy bed. On many of the upper decks inside cabin passengers can easily access the outside by going to the forward outside deck. On most other cruise ships this highly desirable area is for private balconies. Before the cruise we stayed in Hotel Ciutat Del Prat. I highly recommend this four star hotel that provided airport and cruise terminal shuttles plus a great breakfast for less than $150 per night. Embarkation and debarkation were flawless as was debarkation at the ports of call. Since this was our first visit to Italy this 12 day cruise was perfect. We visited all the most popular sites with two days in Venice which allowed us time "to get lost" in this fascinating city. We booked tours privately with other passengers met through Cruise Critic's roll calls. This is a great service. I must put in a good word for Aequa Limo tours of Amalfi Coast, a great and great tour and they didn't even require credit card great tour and they didn't even require a credit card #to reserve a tour. Service on the ship at all levels was friendly and professional. The ship's staff went out of their way to be helpful. When I got word from home that my Mom had fallen and was hospitalized, the ship's staff not only rescheduled our flight home but arranged a call to the hospital. Food was always good in the dining room. Lido deck food was ok but desserts not so good. This was a fantastic cruise. My only complaint is a problem seen on many ships and that is passengers who reserve lounge chairs and leave them unattended and unused. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
The Carnival Magic appealed to me initially as it was part of a well known brand and secondly as it was on its second voyage. I also loved the itinerary of its 12 night Mediterranean cruise visiting 7 ports. We departed from Barcelona - ... Read More
The Carnival Magic appealed to me initially as it was part of a well known brand and secondly as it was on its second voyage. I also loved the itinerary of its 12 night Mediterranean cruise visiting 7 ports. We departed from Barcelona - which is a beautiful city. So clean and the food, once you find the good restaurants, are delicious! We stayed in Barcelona 3 nights pre-cruise and 2 nights post cruise. We had travelled on the Disney Magic 3 years earlier with 2 young children so we were interested to see how the Carnival compared to Disney. Firstly, you cannot compare the 2 ships - its like comparing an apple to an orange. Disney is family orientated, with no casino and Disney themed activities, movies and on-board entertainment. Carnival has a casino on board (which we didn't visit as we are not gamblers), and a variety of entertainment to suit different tastes. The Carnival Magic was definitely a winner for us. Our room was 1312 on level 1, mid ship. It had an ocean view but no balcony - why pay for a balcony when you can meet wonderful people on the upper decks! We chose the lower deck so that we would have to walk up many levels to reach the food and pool decks (no lift for us). This way we hoped that we wouldn't put on too much weight. Unfortunately, this theory didn't work as the Italians sure know how to cook and on all our shore excursions we ate 5 full courses! Of course you must try a tartufo in Rome, a gelato in Venice and a cannoli in Messina!! The ship, being brand new, was very clean and beautiful. The staff work tirelessly day and night to make the ship sparkle. Our cabin was big enough for 2 and would have even slept 4 comfortably with a pull out. There were 2 bathrooms, one with toilet and sink, the other with a sink and shower/bath. the bed was king size and very comfortable. The only criticism is that the ship only has 1 type of pillow. My husband is asthmatic and needs a rubber pillow but they only had feather/down ones. He put a towel inside the pillow case and this made the pillow a bit firmer, so he was happy. Our cabin housekeeping team were amazing. We had Ernesto and his team. The cabin was spotless after breakfast each day and at night they turned down our blankets and left a program of the next days' activities and a towel creation on the bed (with 2 mint/chocolates too). Our main dining room was the Northern Lights. Initially we chose the 6pm seating but after having a couple of shore excursions returning around 7/7:30pm we asked to be moved to the 8:15pm seating instead. We thoroughly enjoyed our servers Martin, Chonthica & Erik. Very efficient, friendly and great fun! Our drink waiter was Zenobia - she was wonderful. She knew our order each day - service with a beautiful smile!! We met a wonderful group of Americans who were seated beside us at the late dinner seating. They were ordering 2 or 3 appetizers, then a main then dessert and coffee; so we started ordering this way too! Bad move - I now have to lose 5kg to get back to my pre-cruise weight!! Delicious food - no complaints. We ate most breakfasts in the Market place on the Lido Deck (level 10). A great variety to suit all tastes, from omelettes, to cereals, fresh fruit, cold cuts, cheeses, fruit compote, hot & cold selections. Out by the pool they had french toast, waffles and more! When we had very early shore excursions, we got room service - a small selection of continental items. Lunches we also ate either in the Market place on the Lido deck (buffet) or out by the pool (salad, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, mexican). Again, a huge selection of delicious foods to suits all tastes. Not fine dining by any means but what do you want from a buffet - good, clean and hearty food. We also found another place to eat salads and soups, inside on the casino level- Plaza Bites. We ate at both of the specialty restaurants on board. The steakhouse was exceptional - a true fine dining experience. There was a small additional charge for eating here but it was well worth it. We also tried the Italian restaurant - Cucina Del Capitano. This was not so enjoyable and we actually preferred the Lido deck to this restaurant. The ship has a couple of pools, one of which is adults only. The serenity deck was lovely for adults to relax. At this time of year there weren't many children on board so even spending time near the main pool was pleasant and relaxing. The water slides looked amazing although we didn't get a chance to try them out. We did try the suspended rope track. I only managed to walk 1/10th of the way around as I was too scared of the height and of course looking out at the ocean didn't help my vertigo! The evening shows were a fun way to end the night. There wasn't a show in the main showtime theatre every night, but I went to see all the ones they did have. We saw a funny comedian, a crazy magician, an amazing female soprano, a talented musician and a male singer (who reminded us of Jon Lovitz in the wedding singer). We didn't go to the piano bar or the night club. We did play bingo a few times which was fun. I booked all our shore excursions in advance before the cruise. The tour guides were excellent, all spoke at least a little english and were very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend taking the shore excursions as they are well organised and always ensure you make it back to the ship in time for departure. One couple actually missed the ship in Venice and had to spend a small fortune making their own way to the next port! Internet is terrible on board the ship. They don't guarantee you good reception so don't expect to get any. It's quite pricey too. I would definitely book another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Carnival Magic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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