11 Carnival Magic Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean from Barcelona

I have just returned from the Carnival Magic Western Med tour and to say I am bitterly disappointed is an understatement. I have travelled with Carnival Cruiselines twice before, both times whilst on holiday in America. I found the cruises ... Read More
I have just returned from the Carnival Magic Western Med tour and to say I am bitterly disappointed is an understatement. I have travelled with Carnival Cruiselines twice before, both times whilst on holiday in America. I found the cruises to be great fun the entertainment good and the food was good quality. That was probably about 7 years ago. I feel the standards on Carnival have dropped considerably. This particular cruise is obviously aimed at Americans who want to see several countries in Europe whilst staying in a floating hotel. Myself and my husband are English. We had a cove balcony stateroom which was fine, quite spacious really and I would not fault the accommodation or indeed the ship, but the food (although plentiful on the buffets) was fairly bland and tasteless. We had opted for the formal dining option, but our waiter's understanding of English was pretty limited and the service was poor. Our food was never hot and the quality disappointing. Most of the vegetables were either pureed or undercooked! The buffet on offer at breakfast and lunch was quite good and varied and so we tended to make lunch our main meal of the day if we were not out visiting the various ports of call. As I mentioned previously, this trip is aimed at American visitors who had made long Trans-Atlantic journeys to join the ship in Barcelona, they then were out on exceptionally long shore excursions (sometimes up to 10 hours!) to make sure that they visited as many European destinations whilst on the cruise. Most of the bars close at about 12.00 a.m. with the exception of Vibe nightclub and the Casino bar which closes at around 1.00 a.m. (apparently according the Cruise Director because the American guests had complained if they were awoken after long shore excursions or had gone to bed early because their coaches were leaving the ship at 7.30 a.m. the next morning for a trip). The entertainment was very lacklustre, indeed there was no show at all on the first evening of the cruise because most of the Americans had gone to bed early and on the second night, in the 'Showtime Theatre' the Cruise Director picked 4 members of the audience and gave them each two handbells and they then over the course of the next 30 minutes or so learnt and then performed a song. One other evening's entertainment was on a similar theme - this time recruiting passengers onto the stage and humiliating them by requiring them to pass a spoon tied onto a piece of string through their clothes - what fun.....not! We did have a 'magic' show one night and a 'multi instrument' playing lady another(supposedly a 'favourite' with the British Royal Family) who did a Glen Miller themed act - really cutting edge! Hardly the high end entertainment we had expected from Carnival's promotional advertising. Throughout the week there were 'shows' consisting of karaoke auditions to recruit guests to perform in the 'Living Legends' final night show as 'Elvis Presley' ' Frank Sinatra' 'Tina Turner' etc etc. We felt that there was an over emphasis on audience participation shows and also total lack of consideration for European guests who were not jet-lagged and were looking for a more relaxed cruise and indeed more professional entertainment. The high points for us during the cruise were spent in the Spotlight Lounge which was also known as Punchliners Club when there were late night (10.30 & 11.30) Adult comedians. The Cruise Director was constantly 'plugging' the various expensive shore excursions and in the theatre and this was even repeated on the cabin television channel. I will not be travelling with Carnival Cruises again and would strongly suggest that this particular European Cruise is only ever marketed to Americans, who will all want early nights because of the gruelling shore excursions.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We had previously cruised Europe on Celebrity and there was no comparison. I decided to try Carnival for the ports and the fact it was a new ship. The ship was fine- large with plenty of lounges- but it lacked the ambiance of other cruises ... Read More
We had previously cruised Europe on Celebrity and there was no comparison. I decided to try Carnival for the ports and the fact it was a new ship. The ship was fine- large with plenty of lounges- but it lacked the ambiance of other cruises I have been on, the service at some places, and the food was poor. Embarkation was very easy at 11 AM and we were on the ship within 10 minutes after arriving at the port. We immediately headed to the buffet for lunch which was not yet crowded. At 1:30 PM our cabin was ready and our luggage arrived shortly thereafter. We had a balcony room (I guess a mini-suite but not called that) which was fine although it did seem smaller than on other cruises. Our room was always clean but this is the first cruise that the room steward did not come and introduce himself. We never saw him except an occasional wave in the hall. Our main complaints were the rudeness of some of the staff plus the lack of knowledge of the ports. The shore excursion desk was not at all helpful. We were given the wrong information on several times. I do not think they cared about answering questions about the port unless you took their excursions. With the exception of Naples where we took the ferry ourselves to Capri, all of our excursions were booked through the ship. On our first night, we received word after 8 PM that our tour the next day in Monaco was canceled due to not enough people signed up. By then the desk was closed and all tours were filled. If there were on 6 signed up for a tour for 40, they should have contacted us early in the day to say there was a possibility the tour would be canceled and what was our second choice. Then when I did speak to someone the next morning, he led me to believe there would be tours you could take at the port. Other than the 30 minute train ride around Monaco, there were none. Luckily, I guess they had a lot of complaints so they added a bus and made an afternoon tour to the French. They misled us about the shuttle services to town in other ports also. The time was not properly utilized on excursions- we were given 45 minutes in places that had nothing and yet less time in places with a lot of shops and cafes. The staff in the perfume shop were very unfriendly and rude. I saw that a sample of perfume I wanted to try was empty and asked if they had another tester. I was rudely told "not until the next cruise." The staff in the casino was also rude. We asked one attendant how to cash out a few dollars we had won and she acted like she was doing us a favor by showing us and was fresh. The same with the man in the cashier cage. The hours for currency exchange was also limited if you had an excursion booked or dining plans. However, our dining staff in the main dining room were great. Our waiter, Caesar, was wonderful as well as Made and Suraj. We thoroughly enjoyed their attentiveness and service. The comedians were great! I was not impressed at all with any other show. TV in the room just featured showing the cruise director and news. We were not on the cruise to watch tv but when we were getting dressed or relaxing, it would have been nice to have a choice. The food was nothing special - with the exception of a few entrees or desserts in the main dining room. The breakfast buffet was very poor- everything was not presented in a convenient location (pancakes, waffles, and french toast were only by the pool) and the selection was poor. There were no nice fruits like strawberries, pineapples, sliced oranges - only cantaloupe and water melon everyday. It never changed. Most items were cold. The deli was very good as well as the grill by the pool- the pizza didn't compare to that on Princess. Room service was very limited for breakfast if you had an early excursion. I just felt Carnival lacks something major. I doubt if I would cruise it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Pools too small very crowded, hot tubs not hot at all,plus chairs by the pool very scarce. The information given by the cruise director was very often conflicting to what was printed in the daily planner in the room. Much of the ... Read More
Pools too small very crowded, hot tubs not hot at all,plus chairs by the pool very scarce. The information given by the cruise director was very often conflicting to what was printed in the daily planner in the room. Much of the information in regards to excursions was inconsistent which caused unnecessary aggravation and lost time trying to explore ports. Shuttle buses told to be available at port and were not, times between shuttle and destinations were also incorrect. The dining room food was great selection sometimes lukewarm. Waitstaff sometimes seemed overwhelmed. My cabin was very roomy and always clean, but never received body soap,good thing we had hand soap. This is the consensus we got from other people at the pool and at our dining table. Entertainment was fair, only one contest at poolside on the first day at sea,other 2 days nothing. Shows at night not Broadway by any means, but I had been told that on European cruises they don't invest the money on shows because of the long day excursions. But having passengers volunteer to karaoke stars and perform for the last night show was a little lame. don't want this to be all negative, I had a great trip of a lifetime, ports of calls were just beautiful and the ship was like coming back home at night after a full day and having everyone wait on you till bedtime. Great way to see Europe! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Our cruise on the Carnival Magic started off on a bad note. When we checked in we were told that the itinerary was changed. Instead of going to Naples Italy, the ship was diverted to Marseilles,France this was due to a worker strike in ... Read More
Our cruise on the Carnival Magic started off on a bad note. When we checked in we were told that the itinerary was changed. Instead of going to Naples Italy, the ship was diverted to Marseilles,France this was due to a worker strike in Italy. I think we should have been notified prior to the departure date so we had time to change our plans. I do not hold Carnival at fault for this situation, in fact they helped us make the changes we had committed to. Now comes the next problem. My wife and I were put in a cabin that was located above the Steak House Galley. We turned in about 10:30 pm and at 11:45 pm we were woken by load noise coming from the galley. It continued for about an hour or more then quit. Just as we were finally getting back to sleep the noise woke us again about 3 - 3:30am. After the 2nd night we got up up at 3am and went to deck 5, the door to the Steak House was open and went in. We discovered the source of the noise, it was a cleaning crew cleaning a stainless steel galley at 3am. At that time we wnet to guest services and complained. The next day Anna the guest service mgr and my wife and I met and discussed our problem. We asked for a different cabin but there were none since the ship was full. I do believe Anna tried her best to rectify the problem especially since they duplicated the noise in the galley and listened in our cabin. The noise continued for the rest of the cruise although after our complaint it seemed like they were aware of the problem. Although the Magic is a larger and newer ship it was designed to make room for more cabins and everything else was downsized. The entertainment was not great and they had fewer 8 o'clock shows. In the future we will stick to the smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Stateroom: Excellent all around - our room steward was all but invisible, but always there to clean up no matter how little time we were out of the room - bravo! Food/Dining: Fair to Very Good - Dining room team was just OK; ... Read More
Stateroom: Excellent all around - our room steward was all but invisible, but always there to clean up no matter how little time we were out of the room - bravo! Food/Dining: Fair to Very Good - Dining room team was just OK; not real personable, but reasonably efficient except for syncing up coffee/espresso/cappuccino with dessert delivery. Had some trouble getting drinks; if you didn't order a drink the prior day, you didn't get asked the next day (huh?). Food quality was good to excellent (wife liked fish dishes very much); we are not food snobs, but the cuisine on the Magic compared quite well to Celebrity. I am, however, a coffee snob and I found the regular coffee offering virtually undrinkable. I like bold (Sumatra or equivalent) roast coffee and ended up going to the espresso bar to get my morning coffee (@ $1.50 per tall cup) and ordering a double espresso (free with dinner) in the evening (overall, a minor issue). Breakfast at the Lido Marketplace was very good - had a custom-made omelette just about every day; also, whoever was in charge of potatoes did an outstanding job in both taste and variety of offerings. Had morning room service on a few days and while punctual, on multiple occasions the muffins, pastry or toast were stale. Barbecue on Promenade Deck (sea days) had burgers, hot dogs, and (beef & chicken) tacos, but no pulled-pork or barbecue chicken - so, a bit of a misnomer. The burgers were very good, though. Entertainment/Activities: The cruise director (John) was excellent - entertaining and informative; best we've experienced thus far. The entertainment was, overall, the best we have experienced to-date. We went to every evening show (except for the light opera night). We also went to the late-night (uncensored) comedy shows in the Punchline Comedy Club - the ventriloquist was outstanding; the other comics were not quite as good, but funny nonetheless. The live music sprinkled throughout the ship (day and evening) was also of very good quality. Amenities: The Serenity Deck is a great option for just lazing around (sea days and other times); however, it was very popular, resulting in difficulty finding a place (circular lounge w/ canopy, hammock, deck lounge chairs) to land. Kudos to Carnival though - they tried hard to enforce the 45min "unattended" rule, removing towels and other stuff when time ran out. The fitness center was well appointed and I used it almost every other day. Meeting People / Other Cruisers: Best by far for meeting people to become social with. Had great dining table mates and also met very nice people on our (non-Carnival) shore excursions. Significant Concerns/Negatives: While I realize Carnival is updating its smoking policy, we can't stand second-hand smoke; every morning, leaving our stateroom, we had to smell smoke (in the hallway) emanating from those smoking in their staterooms. Additionally, smoking was allowed on the port-side of the pool deck (10) and in (and around) the aft bar (deck 10). This is major negative for us and we will be watching Carnival's smoking policy before booking another cruise with them. The other concern is that, because this was a new ship, Carnival had "stacked the deck" with their A-team. In asking other veteran Carnival cruisers if this was a typical Carnival cruise, we received mixed replies - many said it was the best Carnival cruise they had experience, while (fewer) others said it was typical of a Carnival cruise. All-in-all, we would definitely do another Carnival cruise, based on our experience with this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
As seasoned cruisers who have travelled the world extensively and who rated the Carnival Liberty as our favourite cruise a few summers ago out of Civitavecchia (Rome), it was a shock to experience our Cruise from Hell aboard ... Read More
As seasoned cruisers who have travelled the world extensively and who rated the Carnival Liberty as our favourite cruise a few summers ago out of Civitavecchia (Rome), it was a shock to experience our Cruise from Hell aboard Carnival's new Magic from Barcelona. We knew it was a big ship with about 4600 passengers and 1400 crew members but we expected smooth sailing with lots of amenities. The ship has the potential to be great and the crew in general were polite and friendly but we were put off by all the extra costs for things that used to be included on a cruise. For example, we both like the spa and used the (free) dry sauna daily BUT were shocked to learn that the steam sauna was located on a different floor and at a cost of $175 per person for the duration of the cruise. Locating the saunas on different levels doesn't make any sense and only means inconvenience. The food was quite good both in the dining room and in the Lido buffet area although we did notice the absence of fresh berries and smoked salmon. The dining room assigned us a table for eight even though we had requested a table for two many months in advance. We ended up walking out of the Southern Lights dining room the first evening and managed to secure a table for two at the Northern Lights. We were happy with our servers who were personable and very bright. We ordered some wraps, salad and dessert through room service only once: the food was satsifactory but the dressing arrived with no salad. We enjoy watching movies on our t.v. to relax but the choice was pitiful: they played the same James Bond movie (a few years old) every 3 hours and then replayed the same movie a few days later (!) There was a movie preview channel that only showed previews in the hope that we would fork over our dollars to watch what used to be free. We did enjoy, however CNN, the BBC and Sky News, as well as a French channel to follow current events. Luckily we brought some good books with us to read. As wonderful as the ports were, we were dismayed to find no city history/background information; instead just a list of stores to spend your money plus a blank page to keep 'notes.' We appreciated the complimentary ice cream and frozen yogurt station, as well as the tandoor and pizza stations. The pizzas are well done but you need to order and wait for a specialty pizza like goat cheese. The complimentary coffee was okay but my first - and last -pay for latte on the lobby deck following a smooth embarkation was terrible. Our cabin was kept clean but when we asked for another stool to sit on our attendant promptly refused. And now for the worst part that ruined our cruise: directly across from us were two teenagers whose parents decided to have a separate holiday six decks up. Unfortunately they and all their friends had decided to party all night and they used their cabin as Party Central all night (they went to bed at 6 a.m. and got up at 4 p.m.). After a couple of sleepness nights we complained to Guest Relations and Security but little was actually done besides a couple of visits and warnings by security. The problem continued until the very last night and this ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing and memorable cruise. Carnival supposedly has policies but doesn't enforce its own rules with consequences and that is the core problem. We saw this several times,such as passengers placing towels on deck chairs first thing in the morning, then walking away and leaving their chairs empty for hours at a time. My partner and I walked by early one morning at sea and were amazed to see every single deck chair - we're talking hundreds! - covered with a blue towel and/or a magazine but nobody occupying them. We watched with dismay one evening as four young unattended boys fought in the hot tub in the aft of the ship and pushed each other under the water. Nobody intervened, whether it be passenger or crew member. The huge outdoor entertainment screen overlooking the pool would blast noise (only on some occasions would it actually be something akin to music) and this translated into headaches and cacophony. We were constantly put off by all the rude passengers who walked right in front of you without saying 'Excuse me.' It was quite upsetting after a few days of this. The crew members were all polite and well mannered, it must be said. The entertainment in the main lounge was substandard with the exception of one British singer who impersonated several female singers. Overall, a big disappointment. We skipped the comedians as we prefer intelligent humour without all the swearing. Being both non-smokers, we were upset to have to inhale second hand smoke further down our corridor each time we had to navigate to a different part of the ship. It would be nice to sail on a truly smoke free ship one day! Disembarking took longer than normal and there was a terribly long lineup for taxis (well over an hour) as there were other cruise ships that had docked that day. Lastly, the cruise review questionnaire that was supposed to be emailed to us two days after disembarking has not yet arrived almost 3 weeks later. Nor have any of the postcards we handed over to Guest Relations at the end of our cruise after purchasing $22 worth of European stamps. We're keeping our fingers crossed but right now we're not impressed. Think we'll vote with our feet and our pocketbooks - sorry, Carnival, but we're not happy customers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Upon flying into Barcelona, we were met by Carnival representatives and efficiently transferred to the ship. The boarding process was extremely well done. So far, so good. Our balcony cabin was a decent size. Very comparable to our ... Read More
Upon flying into Barcelona, we were met by Carnival representatives and efficiently transferred to the ship. The boarding process was extremely well done. So far, so good. Our balcony cabin was a decent size. Very comparable to our last cabin on Holland America except there was a shower and no tub. The balcony was a little smaller but perfectly adequate. The bed was very comfortable. Our cabin steward provided first rate service. Magic is a very large (4500+ passengers)brand new ship. It was quite attractive but did not have the "wow" factor of the new Royal Caribbean ships or the elegance of the Holland America ships. Nohing bad, but nothing special. We had open dining and ate in the dining room five nights and in the specialty restaurants twice. Two of the meals I had in the dining room were good, two were tasteless and one was awful. The specialty restaurant served one of the best steaks (a porterhouse) I've ever had, although $30 per person is steep. We ate the other night at La Cocina di Captaino. We were surprised to find the menu to be limited and the food nothing special. The dining room and restaurant service was excellent. My wife has mobility issues so we only took tours described as Easy. Easy Rome was a problem. The bus dropped us quite a distance from St. Peter's. Much too far to walk in the summer heat. Many on the tour just gave up walking to the Vatican and went to grab some pizza a place to sit in the shade. Our tour in Messina was a ride to Mt. Etna and a visit to a jewelry factory. The sightseeing at Mt. Etna was very interesting but my wife was very upset when we found that the factory was in a villa and it was necessary to climb an eleven step marble staircase, without a banister. We wound up sitting outside for an hour. I believe that Carnival did not adequately describe these two excursions. We had a major problem with Guest Relations that I won't get into other than to say that they had the worst attitude I've encountered on any cruise. Overall, I was disappointed in this cruise. The ship was okay but nothing special. The food was not up to the competition. The attitude at Guest Relations was totally unacceptable. I don't expect to cruise on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My wife and I visited Europe for the first time. We had a great itinerary visiting ports & tours at Barcelona, Monaco (tour of Nice/Eze/French Riviera), Rome, Florence/Piza, Rome, Naples (Island of Capri, Pompeii, Almafia Coast, etc), ... Read More
My wife and I visited Europe for the first time. We had a great itinerary visiting ports & tours at Barcelona, Monaco (tour of Nice/Eze/French Riviera), Rome, Florence/Piza, Rome, Naples (Island of Capri, Pompeii, Almafia Coast, etc), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Venice (1 1/2 days), Messina/Sicily (Taromina & followed "Footsteps of the Godfather" movie), & return to Barcelona. The tours we took were long-hours (8-10hrs), much walking over cobble streets & hilly, hot in 80s, especially in Rome, Florence, Island of Capri. Ship tours were expensive but worth it. Our one problem with the tours were the tour guides walked too fast. Fortunately, we had headsets from most of tour guides so we could listen to their descriptions and discussions of the various points of interests. Our long hours of tours included a sit-down lunch at various Italian restaurants. Our cruise director strongly recommended bringing a bottle of water, wearing a hat, & secure against "pick-pocket" attempts especially in crowds. Carnival Magic ship is a beautiful ship with its inagaural voyage was May of 2011. The decor, the casino, the clubs, the theatre & our inside stateroom was suitable for us. However, the theatre did not have enough seats. Maybe, 2 theatres would have accommodated most of the 3600 guests aboard. It's new, clean. We had a very nice, friendly & helpful stateroom attendant. Their were many activities on-board. However, although there were 2 pools, they were small for the amount of guests. There were not enough lounge chairs around the ship. Unfortunately, there were many guests aboard who placed towels or personal belongings on lounge chairs to reserve them. The ship also had 6 hot-tubs with 2 of them in their "Serentiy" adults-only area. We have been on 6 cruises and no matter what the itinerary is, Carnival always seems to have the most "kids" under 18 (about 1100 this cruise). Because of long and late tour-returns, it was only convenient & timely for to eat once in the regular dining rooms & we even took the free-style (anytime dining-time). But we did select to eat in their speciality dining restaurants, their Steakhouse and the Italian restaurants. We felt that the Italian restaurant should have more menu choices. We had $560 shipboard credit for booking on the "early saver" account; so we used some of it for the specialty dining. The buffet areas is where we ate on our late tour-returns. It was above-average. Their one buffet area needs a convenient area to prep your coffee or tea. For our overall rating we would give this cruise an A- rating including the ship & its amenities, the itinerary, the tours and the crew. It was Magic's new ship & its itineary which "hooked" us on choosing this cruise. We are most satisfied we took this cruise & the excursions. This cruise was the best so far and lifetime of memories, pictures & new friends we met aboard. Great job, Carnival !!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Spent 2 days pre and 1 day post in Barcelona at the Hotel Colon. Great hotel location, in plaza with the cathedral. Short walk to La Rambla. Ate at La Locanda, around the corner from hotel. Great food. Embarkation was very smooth. Very ... Read More
Spent 2 days pre and 1 day post in Barcelona at the Hotel Colon. Great hotel location, in plaza with the cathedral. Short walk to La Rambla. Ate at La Locanda, around the corner from hotel. Great food. Embarkation was very smooth. Very clean and modern terminal. Great VIP lounge.Embarked about 10:30. As with all cruises, waited on Lido deck until cabins available at 1:30. If you don't like waiting on Lido deck with your carry on luggage, wait until later to embark.The ship is great. I did not feel any crowding at all. I love the glitz of Carnival ships so I did miss that. I know there were a lot of kids on this cruise, which I am aways sensitive to, but I did not encounter any rude ones. I think the water park was a great addition and kept them busy. It looked like a lot of fun and if I was younger I would have liked it myself. I really liked the Red Frog Pub and think it is a great addition. The new Carnival brew is very good. For those people who complain about chair hogs, there were so many loungers on this ship there is no way you could NOT find a place to sit. They were on lido deck as normal, all along deck 11, aft area and all along deck 5. I loved the cushioned chairs and small couches on deck 11. Great area for those who are not sun lovers, but still like to be in the open areas. I did not visit the casino so can't commit on that, did walk through and it looked like a normal casino. We had a balcony cabin which we always enjoy. Normal Carnival balcony cabin with lots of storage space. Cabin steward was good and very attentive.We were a little disappointed with the MDR food. We did your time dining for the first time. We requested a table for two, but the tables for two are so close together you might as well be at a table for four. We did like the fact that we could go anytime we wanted. We always go early and never had a wait. Food was just so so, not up to Carnival standard as on other ships. We actually started going to the buffet where the food was much better. Breakfast was normal eggs, ham, bacon and variety of fruits, cereals, pastry's etc. I never ate the omelet, but partner always has it and likes them very much.Lunch was good variety of buffet food, grill, sandwiches, pizza etc. I ate one day in the pasta bar which was very good. Lunch is free in the pasta bar, but at night there is a charge which I think is a little ridiculous. Would like for the grill and sandwich bar to stay open in the evening. There are other areas with food that I did not visit, one can only eat so much. Only did room service once for coffee.We were a little disappointed with the night time entertainment. The two variety shows were ok, but other than that, they were just so so. Since John Hearld is so famous, I guess I expected a little more. John has a morning show which is shown on the big screen on Lido which was entertaining. Since this is such a port intensive cruise, we were to tired to visit the bars, so can't commit on themWe booked this 12 day cruise for the ports. I booked all Carnival excursions except one. I was not disappointed, the buses were clean, and all of our guides were very knowledgeable. I booked a private guide in Rome. I booked DriverinRome, had Stephano as my driver and he was absolutely great. As I did this tour alone, he was able to take me to a lot places not normally seen on a regular tour. I highly recommend this company. Croatia was an absolute surprise port for me. It was so beautiful and so clean. I did the country home tour and it was great. We went to a home outside the city and had lunch along with some local entertainment. It was great. Did not walk the wall, did not have time. Old city was very crowded.Debarkation was painless although it did start a little early at 5:00am for those who had early flights. I thought this was thoughtful on Carnivals part. We stayed an extra day in Barcelona so were not in a hurry to get off the ship. We debarked about 8:00am and did not have any trouble getting a taxi. They were lined up outside the terminal.Taxi's are not all created equal as far as prices. Arriving trip from airport to hotel was 28E, trips to port and from port about 28E. Departing trip from same hotel was 38E, go figure.Barcelona airport leaves at lot to be desired. For those on Delta flights, their check in counters are located in the far left corner of the terminal. We had a hard time finding it. Don't bother asking anyone, no one knows anything. Also for those wanting to get a tax refund for purchases, be sure and go to customs before going through security. I went through security and what I thought was customs but ended up being just a passport check. Once I went this far I could not go back out, very confusing. I do not know where customs is, just that it is somewhere before you go through security. I am VIP with Carnival so obviously I am a fan. Can't wait for the Magic to go to Galvestion.Would I do this itinerary again, in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
This was the most special trip imaginable. Most of us had cruised before (14) and we were all overwhelmed with the ship, the ports, the food, and the service. Our staff throughout the ship was outstanding. The food was delicious, ... Read More
This was the most special trip imaginable. Most of us had cruised before (14) and we were all overwhelmed with the ship, the ports, the food, and the service. Our staff throughout the ship was outstanding. The food was delicious, plentiful, and their was variety at every meal. Dinner meals were high end featuring gourmet to comfort selections. The Italian restaurant was unique as we ate lunch there two days. We enjoyed our dinner staff so much, we did not want to leave our regular evening dining crew to go to the Italian restaurant or Steakhouse for dinner. We could not select a favorite port as each stop offered its own special blend of local attractions and special moments. Our group booked private tours through local tour companies which was very affordable and we could personalize our tours. Our staterooms featured US and Euro outlets, a safe, hair dryer, and an surprise supply of shampoo and body wash. Our group was located side by side and we were able to open our balcony doors for a nice three room open balcony space. The two rooms on the ends of our group were unable to open their balcony as they would be unable to exit their stateroom.Our Cruise Director was none other than John Heald who was funny and informative throughout the 12 days. This was our third cruise with John and his evening show was the best evening entertainment to me.We have typically cruised the Caribbean and this was a completely different experience. The amenities of this large, beautiful ship was impressive. There was something for every person, every age, every interest. A favorite happy hour spot for the adults was the Red Frog Pub. This was a new featured Caribbean-style pub. It seemed like just another place for beer, but RedFrog beer was featured along with the beer Tower. This was a fun location to hang out after a day's excursions and before getting ready for dinner or later for the guitar playing singer for late night entertainment.If there was one thing I would recommend, it would be to have more washers/dryers. (Who does laundry on a cruise?) We did laundry onboard the ship, and so did many of the other 4100 passengers! There were about 12 washers and 24 dryers. Lines were long unless you wanted to do laundry early in the morning or stay onboard while others were in port. I would recommend this cruise for families who want a nice sample of Europe (mostly Italy). What a perfect blend of luxury, variety, and economy. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
First of all I'm a Dutch resident, so if my English sometimes is not correct, you know why. We were travelling as a couple ages 50-60. The cabin Our first cruise with Carnival. We took an inside cabin while the cruising ... Read More
First of all I'm a Dutch resident, so if my English sometimes is not correct, you know why. We were travelling as a couple ages 50-60. The cabin Our first cruise with Carnival. We took an inside cabin while the cruising is mostly at night and with one sea day, far away from land, there was no need for a balcony. The cabin space was sufficient, the beds were good. There are three closets that are a good size and a dresser with three small usable drawers. The bathroom small but efficient. Located mid-ships you're in the middle with everything. The beds are high enough to slide a good size suitcase under them. The cabin stewards were excellent, which we had aimed for since deck 7 is the deck with the most expensive cabins and the best staff is working there. We didn't miss the balcony at all. Pool deck The pools are rather small. But the music at the Seaside Theatre is sometimes that loud that after one hour we relocated to the side boards of the ship, where always was plenty of room. For a cool down you could use the showers at the spot. In general there were always loungers available. The band playing Blood Power was good. Entertainment I found the entertainment, with exception of the comedians in the Spotlight Lounge, a big disappointment. But why have one comedian perform for 30 minutes, pause 30 minutes, and than the second one. By the time you finally had gotten your drink the show was over! Some of the musicians playing at the ship were not up to level, sometimes really lousy, with a repertoire that is very limited. I guess that Carnival can do way better at this. Food The food was OK. Except for the day at sea there were hardly no queues. The Lido buffet is large but could do with a bit more variation in the food offered. Both Tandoori and Mongolion Wok were good. The dinner in the Southern Lights was in general good. Disappointment was that after purchasing a wine package we were informed that only half of the wines were available! So there was a very limited choice. Excursions The excursions offered are a rip off! So we organized everything, except for Naples, ourselves and that went perfectly. A Birg ticket to Rome that includes public transport in Rome, for example is about $ 5! The shuttle bus in Marseille, which you really need to avoid a more than 1 hour walk, costs € 12,00 rt. Also here Carnival could do much better. In Livorno we stayed aboard, since public transportation was on strike. Livorno has nothing to offer, it's a dirty city with pidgins everywhere. The advantage is that you have the ship for yourselves. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. Annoying Going from the Southern Lights dining room to the Spotlight Lounge you had to pass at least 6 or 7 photographers, all of them stepping in your way trying to push their photo's. Every night again! Well that is becoming really annoying. Conclusion Looking at the price/value this cruise in general met our expectations and sometimes exceeded it. Sure, there were some flaws, and some niggles need to be sorted out, but we would not hesitate to book another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
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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