43 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Carnival Magic Cruise Reviews

It all started on Friday, October 14, 2011. I left home with my packed bags at 9:30 a.m. After a few errands -â€" to the bank for a fistful of dollar bills for room service and other tipping, to the gas station to fill the ... Read More
It all started on Friday, October 14, 2011. I left home with my packed bags at 9:30 a.m. After a few errands -â€" to the bank for a fistful of dollar bills for room service and other tipping, to the gas station to fill the tank, to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and breakfast and finally to the nail salon for a mani/pedi -â€" I was on my way to the airport. The overnight flight to Barcelona via Paris on Air France was uneventful. I tried to sleep but only managed a few hours. The 3+ hours I spend at the Paris airport is something I hope never to repeat. Haven't they heard of heat? I was freezing and the tiny cups of overpriced coffee they sell didn't help. After a short delay, I was on my way to Barcelona, where we arrived about 20 minutes late. At Barcelona airport, I found out that the ATM machines don't work with savings accounts. Good thing I'd picked up some Euros before I left home. When my bags arrived I found that my large bag had some damage -â€" the zipper was separated from the top of the bag from the middle to one end. Luckily, nothing was missing. I adjusted the bag strap to keep everything inside and made a claim with Air France. They offered to repair or replace the bag and was given the name of a shop in Barcelona. Meanwhile, I missed my pick-up with my shuttle service and had to wait until they made their drop-offs and returned to the airport to get me. I didn't get to my hotel until 2:30 and after checking in, I found out that the luggage repair shop was closed for the day. Oh well. Good thing the bags are still under warranty. I'll deal with it when I get home. I spent my first day in Barcelona wandering up and down Las Ramblas and finally meeting all my new friends from the CC Roll Call. I solved the ATM problem by transferring funds from my savings to my checking and got the Euros I wanted. We had dinner -â€" tapas and sangria -â€" at a restaurant across the street from the hotel (Hotel Continental) and then wandered down the street for some amazing gelato. The next morning we took the bus we'd ordered to the pier and boarded our home for the next 12 days. It was a quick and easy boarding at 11:00 -â€" no one else was there. I spent the first day on board meeting and greeting more folks from the Roll Call, having my first DOD and enjoying a lovely lunch at the Cucina. My bags arrived and I unpacked. I was in Cabin 1210 -â€" a 1A with 2 portholes all the way forward. A lovely room, with a terrific room steward, Chris, and his assistants, Dominica and Nysom). No need for a wake up call on port days however. Good thing I'm a morning person and wanted to get up early on those days. Afterwards, I joined the gang for our nightly cocktail hour at the Plaza bar, headed to late seating for dinner and then to whatever nightly entertainment was offered. This evening schedule would be the norm for the entire cruise. Marseilles -â€" I took the CCL tour to Arles and Aix en Provence. Loved Arles, it was just as I had hoped it would be. Had a lovely lunch at a sidewalk café. Didn't much care for Aix -â€" much too modern and the people were not as nice as in Arles. I couldn't believe that the tourist office didn't know where we could find a restroom. Finally, another tourist helped us out. Savona -â€" I took the CCL tour of Genoa in the morning. It was very nice and the tour guide directed us to a wonderful place for lunch that served fresh pasta with pesto -â€" a specialty of the area. I had intended to walk around Savona in the afternoon, but we got back to the ship during siesta time and I decided to stay on the ship instead since I had a full day scheduled the next day. I was hungry in the afternoon so I tried the wings at the Red Frog Pub. Yummy! Rome -â€" I took the CCL Angels and Demons tour. Rome was packed with tourists but our guide and bus driver did a wonderful job getting us to all of the places we needed to see. The tour included lunch at a local restaurant which was very nice. Pasta definitely tastes better in Italy. As it follows the book, this tour does not hit all of the highlights of Rome -â€" it's a good thing I'll be back there next year. Naples -â€" In the morning I did the CCL Pompeii tour. What a fascinating place. The guide was not as upbeat and friendly as the first two, but I have to say she knew her stuff and kept us well informed. In the afternoon I took a cab from the ship to the HOHO bus starting point for the flat rate of €10. I asked for a restaurant recommendation for pizza -â€" of course! They sent me to a tiny restaurant nearby where I had my first real Italian pizza. It was wonderful. Then I spend a couple of hours touring Naples on the bus. Definitely not my most favorite place. If I ever have Naples as a port again, I will be heading for the countryside. After wandering around a bit on my own, I got in a cab for the ride back to the ship where I had a not-so-pleasant adventure. This guy obviously thought he had a sucker in his cab. He pretended not to understand much English nor to know where to go. Instead of a flat rate, this cab had a meter. After driving around for 30 minutes and running up the price, I finally got him to stop near the ship by another cab. I got out of the cab and told the second driver what was going on and that I knew the price should only be €10. The two drivers conversed and I got back in the cab and was at the right place in a couple of minutes. I gave him the €10 and got out. He didn't say a word. First Sea Day -â€" By now, I'm exhausted and fighting off a cold. I'd picked up some head cold medication the day before in Naples at a Farmacia which helped a lot, but now I also had a sore throat and a cough. I didn't want to go to the Medical Center because I didn't want to take the chance of being quarantined. So I went to the gift shop and bought the world's most expensive bottle of cough medicine -â€" 6 ounces of Vick's 44 for $17. I didn't think much of it until someone else told me they went to the Medical Center for a cough and got the same bottle for $5. I went to Guest Services to ask for an adjustment. Had the woman been (or even pretended to be) sympathetic before she said no, I would have just chalked it up as an expensive lesson. There was no need for her to have attitude about it. Now I was angrier at her than anything else. But I'm on vacation and I'm not letting anything get to me -â€" so I turned it into a joke and put it behind me. Other than that, my sea days were basically spent eating, reading, playing trivia and napping, with a little bit of shopping thrown in. Dubrovnik -â€" Having had enough of cities and crowds, I decided to take the CCL countryside tour to the farmhouse for lunch and local entertainment. What a wonderful excursion. The people was friendly and welcoming and lunch was great. The grape brandy they give you to taste literally takes your breath away. Whew! On the way bac, we had about an hour in Dubrovnik before returning to the ship. Just enough time to walk around a bit and do some shopping. Venice -â€" The first afternoon I took the CCL Jewish Ghetto tour. So much history there. It was absolutely fascinating. The second day, a group of us did the Doge's Palace secret tour and wandered around St. Mark's square for a while. It was colder than I had prepared for and I'm now the proud owner of a University of Venice hooded sweatshirt. After another great local lunch near the Rialto Bridge, we walked through the streets to a little local bar to meet up with friends, drink prosecco and eat delicious appetizers. I also did some shopping in the area and found the softest black leather gloves I have ever owned. And yes, I bought the obligatory mask -â€" mine is a cat. Second Sea Day -â€" pretty much the same as the first. The adult serenity area is a great place to spend a few lazy hours. In the evening, it was nice to be able to spend time in a smoke free piano bar. The bartender, Anton, was as entertaining as the piano player. Messina -â€" Eight of us took a private tour to Mt. Etna, a local winery, a local shop that sold honey, olives, olive oil and wine (with lots of tastings), and stops in Castlemola for lunch and finally some time in Taormina. At the winery we saw a local gentleman come in with 2 large empty containers that the winery owner filled with red and white table wine from the large tanks. One of our group had a couple of empty water bottled filled for only € 1 each. We stopped at a field to see the lava that had flowed during the eruption in 1992. Since the weather was iffy and cloudy, we decided not to spend the time driving up to Mt. Etna, but just saw it from a distance and went on to see and do the other things. Final Sea Day -â€" the same lazy day. Port days are so exhausting I didn't want to do much of anything on sea days. Loved the lunch choices on the Plaza Deck. The salad bar is not to be missed. Debarkation and Barcelona -â€" Chris, my wonderful room steward, came by with a roll of duct tape and sealed up my broken bag so I could get it home. Thankfully, it didn't get opened by TSA anywhere along the line. After getting off the ship I joined a small group for a private tour of Barcelona, where we saw the highlights of the city. At the end I was dropped off at my hotel near the airport. Spent a quiet night at the hotel, chatting with other cruisers. Saturday morning I boarded my Delta flight for NYC and then on to Dulles. Or so I thought. Snow in October? Really? Like many others my flight was cancelled and rebooked for the next day, but instead of JFK to Dulles I was now flying La Guardia to Reagan National. I spent the night at a hotel in Chinatown in Queens. Overpriced, but a nice room. Since when does a Best Western in Flushing cost $269? The bonus was the surprisingly good bowl of won ton soup at the tiny corner restaurant. Sunday morning I flew to DC. After I landed, I checked on the status of my bags and was told they were coming in later that day and would be delivered to me by 11:00 p.m. I then took the shuttle to Dulles, got my car and went home. No bags by 11:30 so I went to sleep. At 2:45 a.m. the phone rang. The bag delivery guy was on his way. The doorbell finally rang at 3:45. And so my Magical adventure ends. I'm still unpacking and doing laundry and I haven't downloaded my pictures yet. But I should have them up on my Facebook page this weekend if all goes well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We stayed in Barcelona for one night previous to our cruise. On the morning of the 16th October we left the Hotel by bus from the Hotel with several other CC friends who we had met through chatting on the Roll Call. The check in at ... Read More
We stayed in Barcelona for one night previous to our cruise. On the morning of the 16th October we left the Hotel by bus from the Hotel with several other CC friends who we had met through chatting on the Roll Call. The check in at Barcelona is one of the easiest we have ever encountered. Our room was ready and we had booked the same room for this B2B as we had on the Carnival Dream two years ago. A balcony cabin on the port side. We had a fantastic cruise in the Mediterranean. We did a few private tours and the rest we did with some friends on our own. The Transatlantic cruise was equally enjoyable. We both loved the Carnival Magic and cannot believe that we were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers that have written reports. However each to his own and we all have our own opinions. We like to eat late at a table for two. At breakfast and lunch we dine with different people but having run into several grumpy people feel we rather have dinner alone. We like to have fun and Carnival gives us super value for our Dollar which in this day and age is first priority. As long as they continue with this standard that we enjoy we will sail with them. Have to add that all the crew that we met on the B2B were admirable and friendly. We had the same Head Waiter Gaspar and Assistant Gede and same Room Steward Ernesto for 28days and they were amazing. Ken was wonderful as always in the Southern Lights Dining Room and Alina our Hostess was adorable. The later two we had on the Carnival Dream Transatlantic too. Have to admit that I was a little apprehensive when I knew that James was to be our Cruise Director. Our cruise had been booked for 21months and we were looking forward to Mr. John Heald being CD. He was our CD on the Inaugural Carnival Freedom and he was hilarious. Worries were unfounded as we found James and his entertainment crew did their very best to see that we were entertained. The only complaints I personally had during the whole 28days was the saving of seats in the theatre and the wearing of ball caps in the dining room during dinner. Very trivial complaints and nothing that upset me. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Booked this cruise for a group of friends for our anniversaries. Carnival has raised the bar with it's new ship Magic. The customer service and cleanliness were the best I have experieced on a ship. Here are a few notes about our ... Read More
Booked this cruise for a group of friends for our anniversaries. Carnival has raised the bar with it's new ship Magic. The customer service and cleanliness were the best I have experieced on a ship. Here are a few notes about our expereince: Embarkation: Was quick and efficient. Received our luggage prior to sailing. Rooms: We booked the back end balconies. Really enjoyed the panoramic views. It was great to be on the back of the ship as we were sailing out of port. My only compaint is that we had a cabin on the side and it was VERY SMALL compared to our friends cabins of equal price. Beaware, if you book an aft end balcony the ship curves on the sides and our cabin was SMALL. Housekeeping was amazing the room was clean and our cabin steward was discreet and did not bother us. We also opened all five balconies in our group and were able to hang out together on the balconies. Food: Carnival has really done a good job with food on this ship. We ate in the dining room every night and had outstanding service and food. We chose to do the Chef's Table on one night (a $75.00 per person up charge) it includes a 12 course meal, champagne and wine included. You meet with the head chef who explains each course, takes you on a galley tour, and shows you how they make the chocolate melting cake. It is for a small group only (12 people) and requires and advanced reservation. You eat at a large table in the kitchen and the food was incredible. We also ate at the Cocina restaurant. Good food and fund atmosphere. Be aware that they only allow you one main course per person. The lido deck food was the best I have inexperienced. They have the typical buffet fare as well as a Mongolian station with stir fry that is individual to you, a burrito station similar to Chiptole again that you customize. The day at sea I also got to see the dessert station. They have taken it to a new level with chocolate fondue with all of the fruit and pastries for dipping. My husband loved the sushi bar. All in all great food! Cleanliness: The ship was always being cleaned. I observed employees cleaning everything. I saw hand rails wiped down multiple times each day. Customer Service: The ship had excellent service. My only complaint is that the bar wait staff and bartenders were slow. Ship: The ship itself was nice. It has many amenities for kids and the Serenity deck would be nice if this was a family cruise. This sailing had very few kids on board so it was not a problem. Enjoyed the Red Frog Pub. Would have like it if there was not an up charge for food here. Itinerary: This was AMAZING! A new port each day with only one day at sea. We booked a private tour in Livorno, Rome and Monaco. This was perfect for our large group of 10 and was about the same price as the excursions. Most of the other ports had taxis that would take you on a tour for a set price. We did this in several ports and we also took the double decker bus it is a good way to see the city for a good price. I would highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We have been on several cruise lines and understand that Carnival is a great value. But when the price is low (as this cruise was), not everything can be outstanding. Here is a tip for anyone sailing from Barcelona - the terminal is ... Read More
We have been on several cruise lines and understand that Carnival is a great value. But when the price is low (as this cruise was), not everything can be outstanding. Here is a tip for anyone sailing from Barcelona - the terminal is too far from town to walk! Take a taxi and have some sympathy for the people you will pass along the way pulling their suitcases up and over the bridge to the terminal. My second tip is about chapels and churches. You will see plenty of them (Vatican, Pisa, etc.). Schedule your excursions accordingly. Embarkation was fairly smooth and quick. It did take a little while for our luggage to show up at the room but that was not really a problem. Even though the ship was pretty new, there was already a little rust showing and the elevators had dents and dings which I assume were from luggage handling. As I mentioned before, the quality of food is one thing that suffers a little bit on all Carnival ships. Breakfast is very repetitive, especially after 12 days. There are many choices for lunch however. There are 4 (I think) options on the Lido deck including a sandwich deli, tandori Indian food, pizza and hamburgers. On sea days, there was a barbeque at the Ocean Plaza on deck 5. Dinner was okay and selections changed daily. We were at a table for 8 but only 6 of us ever showed up. Our waiters had a few tables to take care of but overall, service was excellent. Entertainment in the main showroom was okay. The singers and dancers were very good but I can only remember 2 shows with the full group and one show with about half. The other entertainers in the Piano Bar (James Morris), Red Frog (two different guitar players)and the ship band were all very good. This is one area where Carnival excels over the other cruise lines. Ports - Rome was great but you will only be able to see about half of the attractions. Venice was also great especially since we had a day and a half there. Dubrovnik was surprisingly beautiful as was Taromena. Monaco was okay but Marseilles was a waste of time. Getting off the ship was odd because it started so early. We booked transportation to the airport and were off the ship at 6:30 am. High recommendations for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
About us: Australians on a month-long European tour, two teenage daughters along for the ride. The ship: Big, glitzy and new. Reminded me of a gaudy theme park but it still had it's own unique charm. Despite the huge number of ... Read More
About us: Australians on a month-long European tour, two teenage daughters along for the ride. The ship: Big, glitzy and new. Reminded me of a gaudy theme park but it still had it's own unique charm. Despite the huge number of passengers it rarely seemed crowded, at least in the places we frequented. The hideous decor was a bit of a shock for us after spending 4 days in stylish and beautiful Barcelona. The rooms were good but nothing special even though we chose a Spa cabin. Fellow passengers: Mostly Americans, but a mix of other nationalities as well - Spanish, British, Australians, Japanese. Like any American cruise there was a small percentage of passengers who acted like they wished they were still at home - complaining about having to use Euros, scared of using public transport, problems with foreign food, etc - but these were in the minority. Very few children on this cruise (i.e. almost none). Plenty of people got dressed up for the formal night but it wasn't over the top. Most people dressed tidy but casual. Ports: Good selection with plenty of time in each port to cater for those of us whose primary goal was to see as much of Europe as possible. Shore excursions are expensive but we chose to make our own arrangements for every stop except Messina. On a couple of occasions our shore itineraries were virtually identical to the ship's tours, but we paid less than half price to do the same things. The one tour we did do (Mt Etna) was good but not great. Entertainment: Didn't actually attend any shows myself but from the reports I heard they were pretty poor. Daily activities (trivia, etc) were fun but apart from the guy playing electric guitar in the Red Frog Pub the music was pretty woeful. Evening movies on the big screen at the pool were great fun with free popcorn and blankets provided to protect against the chilly evening ocean breeze. Staff: Guest services were OK but seemed to be operating to a script rather than trying to help you. On the other hand the cabin and dining room staff were superb and made our trip (big hello to Michael, George, Jurie and Gede). Entertainment staff were relaxed and friendly and never pushy or over the top. Food: Dinners were very good (chocolate melting cake...mmmm). Breakfast and lunch were OK (but what's with the inedible whipped cream?). Free pizza, ice-cream and frozen yoghurt all day was awesome. Drink prices were horrendous but this is typical for cruise ships. Overall this was a great cruise. It's not an old style, elegant cruise experience. This is a "funship". Relaxed with a few rough edges and you do get the feeling sometimes that Carnival are more interested in making money than anything else, but great fun just the same. When we spotted the Carnival Magic in port in Venice a week or so after our cruise it was like seeing an old friend. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Arrived in Barcelona a day early and stayed at the Avenida Palace about 1 block away from Las Ramblas. Able to walk to many of the highlights in the area or take the Metro Bus to Sagrada Familia. Bought our 2 bottles of carry on wine at ... Read More
Arrived in Barcelona a day early and stayed at the Avenida Palace about 1 block away from Las Ramblas. Able to walk to many of the highlights in the area or take the Metro Bus to Sagrada Familia. Bought our 2 bottles of carry on wine at Ingles Dept Store in the basement Mercado Later we walked to El Xampanyet for Cava and anchovies. Embarkation was easy and quick. Had lunch on Lido aft deck very pleasant. Luggage was in cabins by 4:30. Cabin stewards were excellent and accommodating. Dining room waiters and waitress Gordanya were exceptional in service and meeting our needs. Loved the RED FROG PUB-custom beer was great. The upcharge for the appetizers is reasonable $3.33 for the quantity and quality. Found the locker room and Sauna to be small. Ports were very interesting especially if you did your homework on history, art, architecture and etc. So much to see and do that this cruise can be tiring. You need to pace yourself. Shows were average but the naturally show of Stromboli volcanoe erupting was fantastic. Disembarkation was a breeze. Looking forward to next years 12 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
One of the main factors is selecting the cruise was the price and the fact that it was quite port intensive. Our party was made up of 4 adults - none of us having ever cruised before and two in our group not having traveled overseas ... Read More
One of the main factors is selecting the cruise was the price and the fact that it was quite port intensive. Our party was made up of 4 adults - none of us having ever cruised before and two in our group not having traveled overseas before. We hit a slight hiccup when we arrived at the cruise port - but it was sorted out quickly and before we knew it we were on board. We were very impressed with what we saw - many of the reviews etc that we had read said that the decor was garish, cheap and nasty.....Well we obviously don't have a clue. We went up to the Lido and had lunch - which was good. Nice selection - all fresh. We explored a bit and then sat in the Serenity area and just after one got to our cabin. We were more than happy with it. Comfy beds, clean and good quality linen, nice size bathroom, plenty packing space. To be honest we had envisage a smaller room - so were pleasantly surprised by the size. Our first night we ate dinner in the Northern Lights - the food and service were very good. My review is going to be my first so bear with me - Being first time cruisers we were open to anything - the cruise had quite a demanding iteninary but we were up for it!!. To highlight the ports First stop was Marseilles - nothing much to write home about. Second day was Savona - we booked a shore excursion to Monaco - what a trip - we had a wonderful tour guide and the experience was outstanding. The 3rd stop was Rome - again we had booked a shore excursion - however this was horrid. We had selected "Rome at its Best" - first we had to swop buses as the aircon was broken - the young lady that was on the vehicle with us said she was not a guide but a tour assistant. I will not go into detail as we could be here for very long......the tour was terrible. Eventually we picked up a local guide for the Basilica and the Colosseum - and then had a very rushed but good end of the tour. Stop 4 - we did our own thing and went to Sorrento on a Hydrofoil and then caught the train to Pompeii. Stop 5 Dubrovnik - again did our own thing - Walked the old city walls and did the Cable car. Stop 6 Venice - day 1 we did most of venice town and day 2 went to Murano Stop 7 Messina - walked around, did a tour on the local "train" and watched the anatomical clock at 12. The Ship - very nice, plenty to do and see The food - plenty of variety, always good. Sushi - very yummy. The drinks - EXPENSIVE The internet - very slow and then to make it worse - VERY EXPENSIVE The Deck and cabins - we were very happy.Situated on the 7th Deck. Why choose an inside cabin? - We only slept there!!! The staff - on a whole - very helpful and friendly - did however find a couple that really made you feel like they were doing you a massive favor and did it with attitude!! A special shout out to Arnaldo( hope it is right) and B - our room stewards.....nothing was ever to much trouble.Also a special mention to the two South African girls on the front desk!!! The Carnival Shore excursions - Very expensive and very little information or no information given out for if you wanted to do something on your own. The shore excursion staff - we took our complaint for the Rome excursion to the desk. The team member was not really willing to help. Gave lots of reasons for why it was not Carnival's problem!! After 3 days we received a discount for the excursion - this however was a small consolation for the fact that Rome was spoilt for us. The Entertainment - very good - really enjoyed the Adult comedy shows and Blood Power band!! The onboard facilities - used the putt putt, ropes, table tennis, pool - all good. For us there were a couple of negatives - On the 2nd day in Venice there was a transport strike. We had heard from guests the previous night. The cruise director only advise us on the morning of the 2nd day - why were we not notified before this??? Surely the cruise ships are made aware of this well before. The other thing that had nothing to do with the cruise - but actually with fellow passengers was the gluttony and waste. We come from quite a reserved family and to see how people dished up food and then never ate it - this was to much for our family There is so much that one actually could get quite carried away.We had a great time and already planning our next one. Thank you Carnival Magic for a wonderful memorable holiday Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Just came of 12 day sailing of the magic. We had hot weather and very calm waters for the entire stretch. We stayed in a SPA balcony suite, its worth the little bit extra. Food on the ship was excellent, particularly the Cucina and the ... Read More
Just came of 12 day sailing of the magic. We had hot weather and very calm waters for the entire stretch. We stayed in a SPA balcony suite, its worth the little bit extra. Food on the ship was excellent, particularly the Cucina and the MDR. While i will have a lot of positive things to say, The main issue - with a very full ship the LIDO area was a nightmare for breakfast and lunch - never a problem getting the food, just getting a seat. Although its a lot of ship - there was excessive crowding in the LIDO and getting a deck chair after 7am was not possible due to chair hogging. Also, the Prime steakhouse was a disappointment, the staff there were rude and immature. Now for the good - the room staff, and our MDR staff were excellent and we tipped them extra. The Red Frog felt like a second home and the wait staff were always friendly. John and Calvin were hilarious and greeted everyone warmly throughout the cruise. Did not see any of the productions but the uncensored comedy shows were hilarious. Almost everyone dressed up for Elegant night. Kids loved Circle C and Camp Carnival. Did not use Carnival for shore excursions so no comment. Carnival really went the extra mile on this cruise by getting us into Venice 12 hrs earlier than scheduled. Other than the small bothersome things I pointed out above it was a wonderful cruise and anyone thinking of a Europe itinerary with family will not be disappointed in Carnival. It was a lively ship with fun loving passengers and no shortage of activities in port or at sea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
There were many positives & negatives about our 9 day Mediterranean cruise on Carnival's Magic. First off let's get the negatives out of the way...The transfers from the airport to the hotel a day before the cruise ... Read More
There were many positives & negatives about our 9 day Mediterranean cruise on Carnival's Magic. First off let's get the negatives out of the way...The transfers from the airport to the hotel a day before the cruise was a nightmare. Everyone was cranky & tired after flying all night. We were made to wait in the very hot airport (haven't they heard of A/C in Barcelona?) standing up against a wall until there were enough of us to put on a bus. They Carnival employees seemed very disorganized & not very knowledgeable. It was not a good start to the cruise. After finally be dropped at our hotel we found that the rooms would not be available until 3:00. This was about 10:30 in the morning. Not great news for tired & cranky travelers. The next day we were picked up at 9:30. I am not sure why we needed to go to the ship quite that early but at least things went more smoothly. Embarkation was pretty painless but we were not able to get in our rooms until 1:30. The ship is huge. I have cruised many times but had alot of trouble navigating this ship. I seemed to get lost on a pretty regular basis. Also the decorating leaves alot to be desired...OMG...Those green lights in the lobby area reminded me of beady eyes staring at me. UGLY!!! The food & service were very inconsistent. Sometimes the food was wonderful & sometimes not so much. Everyone I talked to complained about the service in the dining room. I am not sure if it is because the wait staff is not as motivated as in years past to provide great service because the gratuities are just added to the Sign & Sail card or if the Anytime dining has thrown off their rhythm. It was quite disappointing to say the least. On to the positives and there were many...There was so much to do & people were taking advantage of all the ship had to offer. Because the ship is so huge there are so many different venues for entertainment. Some evenings it was hard to decide which to do...From a comedy club to movies on a huge screen on the Lido deck, to entertainment in all the bar areas, to the Showtime Theater. There just was so much going on & it was all good. I only went to the Showtime Theater one night & I have to say that it was, without a doubt, the best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship (Magician, Las Vegas type dancing & singing & even pyrotechnics. It was awesome!) The deck area outside the Red Frog Pub was wonderful for relaxing after all that entertainment. I chose this cruise because it was a new ship & because of the itinerary. I was not disappointed. The ports were wonderful. Palma de Mallorca was a delightful surprise. What a beautiful city! We did two Carnival excursions & booked the rest with other tour companies. Danny of Tuscan Hearts was wonderful; lots of personality & very accommodating. Rolando of Rome In Limo was wonderful as well. Very courteous & took excellent care of us. He made sure we saw as much of Rome as was possible in just one day. The Carnival excursions were okay. The one to Palma de Mallorca to see the Flamenco dancers would have been better if it were a little later in the day. We were served wonderful tapas & Sangria but it was a bit much so early in the day. Even so the entertainment was superb. All in all it was a magical week even with the glitches. I have not cruised with Carnival for at least a dozen years. During that time I have cruised with several other cruise lines but I have to say this cruise has wooed me back. Carnival definitely are the Fun Ships! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Although the Magic is new this year it is not radical and its layout will be familiar to anyone who has sailed on the Carnival Conquest and subsequent ships. Whilst familiarity is reassuring perhaps the time has come for Carnival to ... Read More
Although the Magic is new this year it is not radical and its layout will be familiar to anyone who has sailed on the Carnival Conquest and subsequent ships. Whilst familiarity is reassuring perhaps the time has come for Carnival to consider something more radical? Changes made from recent ships such as the Freedom are mostly related to increasing cabin capacity with the Lido deck being on level 10 instead of 9. A pub is provided on deck 5 which extends both inside and outside so smokers are accommodated. This was popular and a welcome addition although one thinks its themed to try to compete with the likes of Senor Frogs and Carlos and Charlies. Since the Ship will spend the majority of its life sailing in the Caribbean a contrasting theme might be more appropriate. The Piano Bar has been opened out into the main level 5 corridor and is non-smoking. It was therefore less risque than usual and not well supported. The cigar bar has gone and has been replaced with a teenager facility which I think makes a lot of sense. The steak house is much smaller than on other ships and is provided on the fifth level near the disco. The disco itself seemed quite small and the step down to the dance floor has been eliminated so will save on twisted ankles! An Italian themed eatery is provided above the lido cafe for which a surcharge is payable. This was a very popular alternative dining spot throughout the cruise. The Lido cafe was very busy throughout the day but with the exception of the Mongolian Wok station lines were never an issue. The food served was very familiar but I ate most days at the deli. Evening dinner was in the main dining room late sitting. The menus were also very familiar and followed the general Carnival trend of serving cheaper main dishes i.e. fried chicken and burgers on the menu! The days of filet and chateaubriand now seem past but having said that I always left the dining room full and the food was good. However the service was the worst ever. The Maitre D fancies himself as a Frank Sinatra karoke singer so instead of taking care of service he was more concerned with inflicting his singing on diners so twenty minutes were spent listening to him and the servers prancing around. This meant it was typically a hour and a half before we received our entrees as we had to wait for the Maitre D to indulge his ego. He really is at a career crossroads and needs to decide if his future lies in being a karaoke singer or organising a dining room because right now he is doing both very badly. Incidentally, on the ship dessert had to be ordered at the same time as the appetiser and entree so one would expected this would have speeded dining up but this wasn't the case. Dinner typical took nearly two and a half hours so be prepared to miss the start of the 10-30 show. The cruise was very port intensive so it was hard to assess the capacity for deck chairs etc. On the one sea day there didn't seem to be an issue but there were a lot of kids and teenagers on the Ship that weren't bothered with lounging in the sun. We were supposed to go to Majorca but as a result of a strike this wasn't possible, Carnival were somehow able to reschedule Marseille at less than 24 hours notice a day early and still provide all their tours. This was either an incredible feat of logistics or Carnival knew well in advance that Majorca wasn't going to happen. As a result of this there was controversy should the Ship have a sea day or return a day early to Barcelona. The powers that be decided to return to Barcelona a day early. This must have cost Carnival quite a loss of income from closing the casino a day early and other sales that result from a sea day. Personally I would have preferred another day at sea. Overnight in port always creates an eerie onboard atmosphere. Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and smooth no doubt when the Ship crosses the Atlantic this will deterioate significantly! Generally, the ship is as one would expect very clean, bright and much less gaudy than other Carnival vessels. It will be a good work horse if not memorable for Carnival over the years. The cruise was fantastic value for money vacation and whilst the poor service in the main dining room was disappointing it certainly didn't detract from the overall super cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Me and my Girlfriend sailed on the 12-night voyage on the Med departing 14th August 2011 from Barcelona. Firstly..... the ports of call. We have visited a number of the ports of call previously so on some days opted to take ... Read More
Me and my Girlfriend sailed on the 12-night voyage on the Med departing 14th August 2011 from Barcelona. Firstly..... the ports of call. We have visited a number of the ports of call previously so on some days opted to take advantage of having the ship to ourselves. Monaco - Did the hop-on-hop-off bus tour for 17EUR pp. This was a great way to see all of the sights in Monaco and leaves from the cruise terminal. Would recommend doing a full tour on the bus (approx. 1 hour) before deciding which sights to see in more detail second time around. Savona - Stayed on the ship, however trips to Portofino looked good and city nice enough to have a little walk around. Rome (Civatavecchia) - Visited Rome before so stayed on the ship and pretty much had the ship top ourselves. Naples - Hydrofoil to Capri (34EUR pp return) and arranged boat trip with Gianni's boat tours (see TripAdvisor). 3 hour boat tour was fantastic and recommended and great value at 30EUR pp. Capri is beautiful and we spent a couple of hours after the boat trip just sitting at the Marina eating the most beautiful ice cream. Messina - Stayed on the ship (as many others seemed to). Dubrovnik - What a beautiful place. Taxi from Port to Old Town cost 10EUR. We opted to go directly to the cable car which takes you to the top of the mountain with the most amazing views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea. Beware that you must pay for the cable car in local currency or credit card (costs approx 10EUR pp). We then walked through the Old Town which is not physically demanding and is great to do. At the end of the of the Old Town furthest from the Marina, there is a restaurant outside the gate to the town with fantastic views and reasonable prices. Venice - Sailed in to Venice as the sun was setting. Made an early start the following day and used the frequent waterbus (Vaporetto) to get around. This costs 18EUR for a 24hr pass and actually allows you to see most of the sights and get off and on at the major attractions (Rialto Bridge, St Mark's Square etc). If the ship allows for you to visit Venice during the evening, you must go to see St Mark's Square. Secondly...... the Carnival Magic. The ship is fantastic and is very well looked after, despite it still being pretty much brand new. The RedFrog Pub seemed a popular addition to the Carnival ships and boasts a good selection of draught beers. The food was fantastic, particularly in the Main Dining Room. We had an amazing table for two in the Southern Lights dining room (table 764) which had fantastic views out to see. Not only was the quality of the food fantastic, but the service was second-to-none, probably the best I have received on any previous cruise. Our waitress Yolanda Kristianos and her assistant, Aloyssos, were fantastic and made dining each evening a real pleasure; both are truly a credit to Carnival. The pool areas are possibly on the small side and don't get me started on the sun loungers situation. Carnival really needs to do something about reserving sun loungers, some from as early as 5am. Cabins were comfortable and clean, despite only having an inside cabin. Rooms were cleaned twice a day and the laundry was returned quickly and pressed to perfection. Entertainment was varied and mostly of a good quality. Cruise Director John Heald was entertaining and I personally found him to be very funny. We were a bit disappointed with the movies shown on the Seaside Theatre each evening, but I guess that is down to personal preference and when we did go up on to the pool deck, the fresh popcorn smelled great. Initial embarkation and disembarking after the cruise was stress-free, thanks mostly to details being inputted by way of online check-in. Overall, a fantastic holiday on the Carnival Magic and, apart from a few niggles that need sorting, we would most definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have just completed a 9 night Carnival Magic cruise in the Med and had a fantastic time. As we are new to cruising as a family I found the Cruise Critic Reviews helpful in my own planning for the trip - and so wanted to share some ... Read More
We have just completed a 9 night Carnival Magic cruise in the Med and had a fantastic time. As we are new to cruising as a family I found the Cruise Critic Reviews helpful in my own planning for the trip - and so wanted to share some feedback for fellow travellers to aid your own planning in the future. We embarked from Barcelona and we found the boarding process to be smooth and effortless. Compared to some other Ports we visited I would suggest that Barcelona is well organised and a good place to use for departing on a cruise. Debarkation is of course the time none of us want or like but that worked well too-the cab line was long but the wait was maybe only 30 minutes and cabs were plentiful. Our biggest concern going into the Cruise was that we opted for the Outside "5 berth" family Cabin. Would that work? Well - it did! Yes - we had some "moments" when all of us were in there together but overall it was fine and it allowed us to spend our money in far better ways. It really is a good sized cabin for 5. Our kids are 9, 11 and 15 and it still worked for us - so for younger kids you will be fine. I was also amazed by the cabin sound proofing - for 9 days you would never have known we had people either side of us. Very good! We were at the back of the ship and very low level (deck 1) so we did get some engine noise and also some noise when docking but it was not too bad. Further mid ships may be better though. The ship itself is magnificent and really does have something for everyone. The crew really do look after the ship and there seemed to be almost constant cleaning and touching up - especially in the early mornings you can see the Team hard at work to keep her gleaming. The Sports Square was great for all the family. Much golf was played as a family and the kids got to see both of their parents on the Rope Runners course! Food and beverage choices were plentiful. The "Sweet Spot" in the Lido Marketplace was my only real disappointment as deserts were quite bland -looked good and sounded good but taste was bland. Other than that we enjoyed all our meals and also treated ourselves to the Steak House one night and that was well worth the extra fee. A truly memorable meal. We also very much enjoyed the atmosphere in the Red Frog -a great place for pre dinner drinks. Highly recommended!! The Day at Sea was busy!! We learned over the 9 days that most folks do get off in Port each day and so you have much of the ship only half full or less until maybe 3pm. Then it fills up again. But for the day at sea extra sun beds were laid on but most were taken (or reserved with a towel) before 8 in the morning !! We didn't use the Kids Clubs and the shows were not really to our taste. We did though enjoy the Seaside Theatre and the movies shown under the starlit sky. As I have said - something for all tastes and for everyone to enjoy. Enjoy the Magic - we certainly did!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
It was very exciting to visit all the exciting Europe for the first time, and very exhausting as well. My cousin and I had to fly in the day of because of a wedding... big mistake. Despite all the warnings from the experts on the boards, ... Read More
It was very exciting to visit all the exciting Europe for the first time, and very exhausting as well. My cousin and I had to fly in the day of because of a wedding... big mistake. Despite all the warnings from the experts on the boards, we kept our flight plans just to accommodate the wedding.. never again! Delta airlines @ JFK airport in NYC didn't process our tickets properly, so when we arrived in Rome we barely made the second plane to Barcelona. No one seemed to know where they were going in Rome airport, the blind leading the blind! but when the woman @ the ticket counter finally gave me the time of day, she gave us the proper boarding passes... However our luggage did not make it to Barcelona.. we cruised our dream vacation w/ out our luggage,, only had outfits in our carry-ons! It was quite amusing to see ourselves dressed in the sparkly outfits from the gift shop! we had no other choice. luckily I had packed quite a bit in my carry on. Words of Wisdom I wish I took from the experts on the boards!!!: Never fly in the day of your cruise to Europe!! It leaves you quite exhausted and if you make your cruise,, it'll be by the skin of your you know what! next time I'll skip the wedding and fly in 2 or 3 days ahead,, it's worth the money! The ship was great.. it was my second cruise, first inside cabin. It was bearable and saved me money to spend in ports. The food was just ok, we did eat @ 'Cucina De Capitano' for a small $10 fee,,, the food was good, and the waiters were great fun singing Italian songs for us.. it was a nice experience. The shows were lacking again,, the comedians and karaoke were the best entertainment second and third to John Heald.. He is quite a nice fellow, and excellent cruise director with a great sense of off the wall humor.. I ran into him at the Red Frog Pub very late one evening, and even though he was visibly exhausted, he and his entourage still welcomed me with open arms for a nice chat.The ship was humongous and it was easy to lose track of front or back! the pools and hottubs were hopping.. kids seemed to enjoy the slides and other outdoor activities. i enjoyed the hammocks in the adult only "serenity" area.. even though people "saved" the hammocks by placing their belongs on them, I moved them aside until they would return.. they never did. This was a truly relaxing area, you can even order lunch from a limited menu from up there. Which brings me to the staff,, nothing short of fantastic!! My room steward and his assistant were wonderful,, always kind and attentive. the wait staff throughout the entire ship, indoors & out were also so much fun and great to be around! They were so enjoyable to be around! Now about the ports, it you're going to a bustling place like Rome.. please do yourself a favor.. book a tour with pros! We hired Albertina Cottuno from Michelangelo tours. I highly recommend her to pick you up in Civitivecchia .She was Fabulous!! you can contact her through her email: albertinacottuno@gmail.com. her rates were very affordable and reasonable, she was very professional and gave us the tour of a lifetime in Rome...believe me, with the small amount of time you have, use it wisely.. hire a driver! you won't be sorry. Ask her to take you to her 'secret place',, it's truly amazing!! For Livorno we hired "Travel Tuscany for Cruise" You can contact them @ simonabagnolia@gmail.com. She was also very kind and patient, and gave us a fabulous tour of Florence & Pisa. I highly recommend her as well, she also had great affordable rates. You will be quite exhausted on this cruise, so rest when you can! it was quite a memorable time & i'm very grateful to cruise critic for helping us 'meet' people ahead of time. i also met other friends that I keep in contact with. Live life... live your dream... go to Europe! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Just off the Carnival Magic. The good, the bad, the ugly and dispelling the myths. First, we arrived into Barcelona a day and a half early. We stayed at the ME Hotel, absolutely amazing hotel. If you are into the W hotels and like ... Read More
Just off the Carnival Magic. The good, the bad, the ugly and dispelling the myths. First, we arrived into Barcelona a day and a half early. We stayed at the ME Hotel, absolutely amazing hotel. If you are into the W hotels and like that super contemporary vibe and cosmopolitan feel, you will love it. The pool was amazing, the lounges were awesome. It is however, not located in the most central part of Barcelona, but walking distance to the beach. Our flight arrived 10 hours late, so, we did not get a chance to really explore the areas around the hotel as much as we would have liked to, but the hotel in and of itself was a great place to explore. We arrived at the Carnival Magic around 2:00 pm. When we arrived, we saw a line outside of the terminal doors, zigzagging around into the terminal entrance for security screening. It moves relatively quickly so no reason to be alarmed, if you arrive and see the same thing. Once through security, you are divided into 2 areas based on the deck your cabin is located. Decks 1-7 are on the upper concourse, decks 8-12, you are located on the ground concourse level. Once you are divided into your area, our cabin was on deck 8, we were greeted with yet, another line. This line takes a little longer. This line is the line where you register either cash deposits or credit card deposits and check in for the ship (you get your keys, maps, etc.). We stood in line for probably about 45 mins or so, but once we registered our Credit Cards, got our Sail and sign cards, we took the escalator up to the second level. We were given a zone number, but they were just collecting them and allowing people on board, it was very quick! In the terminal where Carnival was docked, they have a few shops with alcohol, flip flops, and misc. items you can purchase before getting on board. Well worth the stop. You can carry your alcohol purchases right onboard. Off to the ship. We boarded the Carnival Magic, nothing to be overly wowed at. It's a nice ship, larger than some others I've been on. But, if you've been on 1, you've been on them all. It was very nice and clean, still had the new smell. We took, what bags we had to our room, changed into flip flops and headed up to the Lido deck. The Cabin. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8. Standard Carnival orange. The room was well appointed, with a sofa, flat screen, bar and ample storage. I read in another review that things were falling apart and falling off the walls, etc., we didn't happen to see that in our cabin. Everything was in great condition, the room still had its new smell. Our cabin Steward Noor, was great. He kept the room clean, the ice bucket filled and the balcony doors and windows clean. Lido Deck. We ran up to the Lido deck to get food. I think Carnival learned a lot from past ships. The Lido food deck is broken into 8 areas. You have your burgers and pizza on the outside close to the pool; you then have The Wok just one level inside broken into two separate lines. Directly across from that, you have general food and whatever they are serving for the day, broken into another 2 lines. Down a little ways, heading to the back of the ship, you have another 2 areas of food, usually serving whatever the food of the day is and dinner. Across from that area is desserts and ice cream and the stairs that lead to El Capitano, the private Italian restaurant. I'll talk about that later. Just outside, by the adult pool, you have Tandoor (Indian Food) and the sandwich shop, which serves, you've guessed it...sandwiches, Panini's etc. With all of the reviews I've read, they said this area is crowded and people had to wait in long lines, well, I didn't really see that. You have to wait for the wok, as they are cooking your food to order. You may have to wait for an omelet, again, they are cooking to order; otherwise, we didn't wait very long for much throughout our entire trip. We had a chance to eat at El Capitano, it was great. The service was good and the pasta amazing. Worth the $10. The Ship. Okay after eating we decided to do some exploring to see what was new. Immediately, we noticed how they changed the main pool area. I love the comfortable chairs with cushions and padding aligning the pool area they've added on deck 10 and 11. It's a great area to relax and watch a movie under the stars or catch some sun. Another great new thing was the rear eating area. They've added an additional eating area on the rear of the ship with padded seats in a Tiki feel. Very nice look. On the other decks. We walked down to ocean plaza on deck 5, loved the Vibe night club, the piano bar area and the 4 cantilevered hot tubs hanging over the ships edge, nice touch. The highlight of Ocean Plaza is Red Frog Pub. What a great idea this was. It's set in island colors and all the staff are from one of the islands, you almost feel like you are on a beach somewhere. The Spa on this ship is 3 decks high. Very Very nice. We did manage to get in some spa time and it was well worth it. The best time to purchase is at the beginning after we've sailed, and towards the end of the cruise. Side Bar. We generally book Carnival during off peak times to avoid being overrun with kids in the pools etc. I could count the number of kids on board. The information desk stated the cruise before ours they had 900 children between 3-16 and this sailing they had roughly about 90. It was good. Please don't get me wrong, I love kids, but not when I am on vacation. Now back to my review. Entertainment: I went to 2 of the shows and the first one called "win" was cheesy and half way through, people were walking out. The 2nd show, which was like a Broadway production was GREAT! It totally made up for the previous night's show. I don't for the life of me, know why Carnival is still doing the Carnival Legend's show. It is truly time to let it go. We've been on multiple Carnival ships and they've done it on every single ship. Let it go already, think outside the box. Ports: I won't detail you with all of the Port details but some highlights. If you have a balcony cabin in Monaco, it is well worth it. I sat on my balcony for hours watching the yachts come in and out of the Port...AMAZING! Livorno, if you aren't going to Florence, no need to stop in Livorno. The city was pretty rundown, some decent shopping, but not worth spending much more than an hour there. Rome...the Port is about an hour and a half form the city. OMG! We had the best tour guide I met off line and it was well worth the price. He took us to Trevi Fountain, Palatine Hill, The Coliseum, The Vatican/Sistine Chapel (Totally buy the skip the line tickets...we did, walked out of the car right into the front doors, past thousands of people), The Roman Forum, The Pantheon and a Secret Garden...AMAZING TOUR! Naples, we walked right off the ship, did some shopping, ate some authentic pizza and took a small tour. Napoli, as it's called, is a very large city and has some beautiful beaches and the tour of the Amalfi Coast, AMAZING!! Messina, we walked off the ship again. There is a Cathedral that sits at the highest point of the island and has the most spectacular views. Amazing! But be prepared if you walk, it's a steep climb uphill. On the way down, we walked through some great shopping and tasted a few local wines. Good stuff! Palma De Mallorca, beautiful beach day. The weather was great. Marseilles was the last port. We took the shuttle from the ship into town, walked, shopped, ate. Great Port. All in all, we had a fantastic trip. The ship was great, the staff was amazing and the ports were all well worth the trek. Read Less
Sail Date August 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 first impression of the ship was really positive although the dEcor is still "over the top" Carnival, but it did not distract from our enjoyment of the cruise. On the first day there were crew members all over the ship ... Read More
My first impression of the ship was really positive although the dEcor is still "over the top" Carnival, but it did not distract from our enjoyment of the cruise. On the first day there were crew members all over the ship who wore "Ask Me" t-shirts and who were busy helping cruisers find their way around the ship. I thought that was a great addition to the cruise experience as this was our 4th Carnival cruise and we still had a few questions! I found the staff/crew to be very friendly, responsive to my needs and motivated to please the guests; I give them an A+ and I'm impressed how well everything went. I never saw long lines anywhere, not even in front of the Purser's desk. 70% of passengers were North Americans, 30% a mixture of Europeans (mostly UK) and 10% Asian. There were 1100 passengers under the age of 21 on our sailing, lots of kids, teens, families. There were also some older cruisers, but the overall impression was young and very active. I didn't ask how many passengers were on board, but the ship probably exceeded its full capacity (of 3646) which is based on a 2 per cabin occupancy, lots of cabins had 3 and 4, so my guess is there were close to 4000 passengers on board. Yet it never felt "crowded", I never had a hard time getting into something I wanted to do, I didn't line up for more than a couple of minutes at any time. Because there were so many young people on board Sports Square was usually busy and we had fun there. The Splash Zone and slides were great, the ropes course was not scary at all. FOOD Lido Food: first thing we ate on the ship was a Chèvre pizza, YUMMMM! I enjoyed the and husband loved the Deli. I am not a fan of buffets in general but the Magic buffet was actually really good! I had some Boston fish that was so tender and flakey, it was amazing. Actually I enjoyed everything, I didn't find anything that looked tired or dry or overcooked. Breakfast on the Lido was great, made-to-order omelets in at least two areas (not a lot of wait), really good stuffed French Toast, really tasty fruit, plenty of bacon and sausages, I enjoyed the coffee (I'm not picky, my husband is and he went to the coffee bar a few times), good juices, it was all good. I heard you could get ready to order waffles but didn't see it on the Lido. Then on the last day of the cruise I saw it: you can get fresh waffles on Deck 5 right by the coffee and cake area. Will try that next time. The dining room was wonderful as always, we had Your Time Dining and I love how you can just show up, no need to reserve, you just show up when you're ready. With RCI they wanted us to reserve a time that could be different every day, but we still had to reserve. I prefer how Carnival does it. We never waited at all other than on formal night. I think that food quality is as good or better than ever. CABIN Our cabin was #10251, an inside on the Lido deck (underneath the slides), it was a great location within 30 steps of the main pool yet quiet at all times. And we had a great steward who was really kind to us. I think another great cabin location on this particular ship would be deck 5, the Lanai, as there are several whirlpools there as well as bars, open deck all around, plenty of places to sit and lie, yet much quieter than the Lido. Quad cabins are very crammed and closet space was tight, do pack light! I hit my head on one of the upper bunks so many times I think a bike helmet might have been wise. But the bedding was really comfortable, sheets soft and pleasant, bathroom space adequate, and water pressure WONDERFUL. Temperature control worked well, both for water and air. As always air ventilation was outstanding, you could do a stinky in the bathroom and within 3mn the smell was all gone, and that's in an inside cabin! ENTERTAINMENT All entertainment and announcements were in English-only. John Heald was our Cruise Director and he was outstanding, warm and caring. Since we were on a port-intensive European cruise we didn't go out every night and we did not attend all of the shows, but we really liked two of them: Claire Gobin (classical violinist who played with the band) and Steve Rawlings (physical comedy and juggler). They were both great because their shows were fresh and new and the kept us on the edges of our seats. We did not like the magic show very much (Destination Unknown), same old-same old. We very much enjoyed the comedians in the Spotlight Lounge—watch out virgin ears! They don't censor themselves in the adult show and they do cater to an American audience, which is mostly who they had. I particularly LOVED the Karaoke with the band, it's too bad they only do it once on the first night of the cruise when everyone is jetlagged and not in the mood yet. Mark who hosts in that lounge was great. GYM There is a very nice gym on the ship as well as a mediocre outdoor gym on the Lido deck. It was crowded at times, but we managed. Overall we found most passengers were active and average age was pretty low. We did not use spa services. CONCLUSION We had a great time on this cruise, would do it again in a heartbeat and got home relaxed and missing all the services. We look forward to our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
A bit of background, we have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, Cunard and RCL. Our children are 15 and 13. We didn't choose the cruise for the itinerary as we have visited all the ports except Sciliy before. We were keen to try ... Read More
A bit of background, we have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, Cunard and RCL. Our children are 15 and 13. We didn't choose the cruise for the itinerary as we have visited all the ports except Sciliy before. We were keen to try Carnival as we had heard good things and the boat looked to have lots of child friendly features. We spent 4 days in Barcelona before the cruise which we enjoyed, staying at the Gravina hotel just of the Rambla's The embarkation process was excellent - Cunard could do with learning from this ! We went straight to the pool as we had swimwear all prepared and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. Our stateroom was very nice and probably the largest we have had from a standard balcony room. The kids had an inside cabin directly opposite which was also a good size. The bar area's, casino and nightclub were all very good with excellent staff who quickly learnt our regular drinks. We had chosen anytime dining - do not do this it is a disaster. The first night we waited for 40 minutes in a queue before being seated. The dining experience is not great there is no option to share, which we enjoyed on Princess, the service is slow, poor and disjointed. We had to wait to get a bottle of wine which only turned up with the starter. If you order a glass of wine the order is taken by someone else and is far quicker. The second night we waited for 50 minutes in a queue to be given a buzzer which would take another 30 minutes. The food was good though. We did not get of the ship except for Monaco and Scilly. On arrival in Napels we sat on the balcony and saw a dead squid, a dead seagull and a dead cat floating by! The kids had a great time, their clubs were great and we rarely saw them as they did not emerge until lunchtime on most days. They enjoyed the water park, the skywalks and pools. We enjoyed the comedians in the headliners lounge, but the other entertainment did not excite. We would certainly cruise with Carnival again when with the kids. Next time we would chose the set late dining. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Carnival Magic cruise in Western Mediterranean was a wonderful trip and great way to explore Europe. The cruise was great way to have housing at night and all the food you can muster during the day. I don't want to rehash all that was ... Read More
Carnival Magic cruise in Western Mediterranean was a wonderful trip and great way to explore Europe. The cruise was great way to have housing at night and all the food you can muster during the day. I don't want to rehash all that was mentioned before - so here are my summaries: Staterooms - we had balcony room on 6 - the rooms were large and comfortable. Staff kept everything well kempt and towels well stocked everyday. For those of us experiencing jetlag and could not sleep through the night, the 24 hour rotation of the same 2 movies every 3 hours was not helpful. Food - we had Your Time Dining (6:45 PM - 9:00 PM), never had trouble getting a table but did rotate about the dining room every night. At least we got a chance to meet a variety of diners and staff! Food was delicious - quite a feat since need to serve thousands of people every night. Lido deck was my least favorite for breakfast since there is always rush of people. During sea day we had lunch at Cucina Capitana - pasta was good - chicken was standout since I don't usually like white meat. Red Frog pub - great fun - we tried to see how much "tubes" we can finish but the staff retrieved them for other patrons to use. I wish we could get those pictures. Did not try their special brew. Casino - I was surprised by how clean and how well the filtering system must have been working - maybe new ship? Last time I cruised, I had asthma attack and sinus infection from smoke in the casino. Did not leave the ship coughing at all! Skytrack - I wish I can go back and run the skytrack again. It was so much fun - even though I was outraced by 7 yr old. 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
Went on Carnival Magic for a seven night cruise in July with my hubby and 16 year old daughter. It was our first cruise and we only booked a 7 night cruise just in case we hated it. My husband was not looking forward to the cruise as he ... Read More
Went on Carnival Magic for a seven night cruise in July with my hubby and 16 year old daughter. It was our first cruise and we only booked a 7 night cruise just in case we hated it. My husband was not looking forward to the cruise as he thought it would be like being on holiday in the Trafford Centre ( large shopping Mall in UK) we spent a week in Spain prior to the cruise to relax and get some sun which was nice. We arrived by taxi to the cruise terminal at approx. 11.30am and embarkation was very quick and efficient, we were on the ship within 20 minutes. We walked up the gangway onto the ship straight into the Atrium area and I thought it was impressive. We could not go direct to our cabin as they were not ready, so we made our way up to the promenade deck and found some sun loungers and got a cocktail which was lovely. The ship was getting crowded by now and everyone was in a good mood to start their vacation. The Lido Marketplace was in full flow serving food which looked fabulous. There was staff everywhere who were willing to help and answer any questions and give directions etc. We bought a Soda Card for my daughter and myself ( in hindsight I would not have bothered for myself because I did not get my monies worth, as I drank mainly cocktails and beers and wine all week). They announced over the speaker that we could go to our cabin at about 2pm and when we got to our cabin our cases were waiting for us outside the door. I loved our cabin, it was very new and bright and airy . We had a balcony cabin on the 9th floor. It had a double bed for us and the settee area was made up into a very comfy bed for our daughter. We we're called to a meeting in the theatre and then John Heald the Cruise Director dropped the bombshell that our whole itinerary had to be changed due to very rough seas toward Monaco, so they were going to go to Siciliy first, then Naples, Rome, Livorno and go to Monaco on the last day. This was a complete pain in the ass, as so many people (including ourselves) had pre booked private tours and tickets for specific dates for the Vatican etc. the queue at guest services was horrendous, with everyone trying to rearrange their tours which was not an enjoyable experience. FOOD Loved it Only managed to eat breakfast in the Southern Lights once, as it closed too early for us - so we had all our breakfasts in Lido. Lunch - there was so much choice in the Lido we did not get chance to try half of it. I did have a deli sandwich which was So good and the Tandoori was lovely. My husband liked the Burrito Bar but didn't get chance to try the Mongolian food as the queue was always massive and I refuse to queue for food. Dinner - we had anytime dining in the Northern Lights restaurant and we thought this was a really nice dining experience each night and had some great waiters (some very funny) and each night some of the waiters got up and did a silly dance which I thought was very funny and enjoyable. We got so much food for our Starter and Main Course that I only managed to eat a sweet twice. We ate in the Steakhouse once and it was a really lovely dining experience and the food was fabulous. SHOWS / ENTERTAINMENT We really enjoyed all the shows that we saw in the main Theatre. The first night was a silly show hosted by John Heald and I thought it was very funny, I was in tears laughing. He got people up from the audience and made fun of them. John Heald had a very dry sense of humour, and I found him hilarious. (being a fellow Brit). I Though the Magic show was spectacular and really good. Also the 70's Dance Show was fab, really great singers and dancers. My daughter loved the dance shows, as she is a dancer and wants to dance on cruise ships when she leaves dance college. The comedy shows for Adults only wes very funny too. We went to the Piano Bar or the Red Frog Pub every night after the shows for a sing a long and a Cocktail. We only went into the Vibe Club once and it smelled on smoke so we came out. We don't gamble so did not try the Casino, but we walked though it and it looked impressive. O2 Club Our daughter met so many teenagers on this cruise that we hardly saw her. She went to the O2 club every night after dinner to meet up with her friends and she had a great time. She cried when she had to come home. She didn't take part in many of the activities but just used it as a meeting place. she did tell us that she thought the club was a bit Childish for 16 sand 17 year olds. TOURS We only did 2 full day tours with Rome in Limo which was pre booked. We went to Pompii, Sorrento and Amalfi Coast. Also Highlight of Rome. Rome in Limo was excellent and would recommend them to anyone. Had two great days. We walked around Monaco and Messina ourselves. Stayed on ship in Livorno, as already been to Florence ad Pisa before. All in all we had a great week and really enjoyed the cruise experience with Carnival Magic and now want to try more cruises. Only Downside was the drinks are very expensive and you get charged gratuities on top of every drink, as well as the 10 dollars each per day that is taken from your sail and sign account for gratuities. Need more direction signs around the ship - got lost a lot. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
First off let me start by saying the ship was beautiful. At first I was going to say I wasn't happy with the Lido deck food but after realizing that it would be a total waste to have all the buffet's going when everyone was off ... Read More
First off let me start by saying the ship was beautiful. At first I was going to say I wasn't happy with the Lido deck food but after realizing that it would be a total waste to have all the buffet's going when everyone was off doing excursions I reconsidered. The food on the Lido for lunch time was always good with a decent selection. The only complaint was coming back from Rome... almost everyone on the ship did Rome on the 2nd day and all the people seemed to return at the same time and then deciding to eat on the Lido deck since they missed their main dining room seating time. Well that day the lines were awful since only 2 stations were open. It took a really long time to get your food, seemed that maybe they should have thought ahead and had more stations open for that day. The rest of the time however it was excellent. I am going to say that the quality of the food in the Main dining room has changed since I first started cruising Carnival. The wonderful quality of food that you get in the Steak house was the exact quality of food you got way back when I sailed on the Jubilee. Now it seems that the quality came down a bit and you have to pay for the better quality. Only my observation though. If it was my first time cruising I would have thought it was wonderful. What happened to the Midnight buffet and meeting the captain on elegant night? There use to be a meeting the captain night and on the elegant night was the midnight buffet with ice sculptures and bread's in all shapes and sizes and decadent desserts... that didn't happen this time. Where did it go? I wonder. Our room and room steward were awesome it was like magic if we left the room for even a short time and came back it was made up and neat ready for us. This man seemed better than any I have ever had. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on your shore excursions. Everything is so expensive I suppose it's just a tourist thing though. I mean everything is more than double what you would pay in the states. Cab drivers are the worst. Get your price before you get in the cab it can be a mind blowing experience if you don't. Gypsies are everywhere but we really didn't have a problem with pickpockets or the gypsies. All our excursions except for Monaco was booked with Carnival. I would suggest Carnival so you are assured a ride back to the ship with no problems. The shows were great. The uncensored comedians at the comedy club at night were hilarious. It was an all around good experience. I'm happy Carnival has a ship in the Mediterranean now. Thanks Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Food & Drink We thought the main restaurant (Northern Lights) in which we ate every evening was very good. We opted for the flexible time dining option and found this suited us well, as some of our excursions didn't get back ... Read More
Food & Drink We thought the main restaurant (Northern Lights) in which we ate every evening was very good. We opted for the flexible time dining option and found this suited us well, as some of our excursions didn't get back until quite late. Both the food and service in the restaurant were good, I especially enjoyed the lobster and shrimp on the Elegant night, and the steaks. The melting chocolate dessert was fantastic too. We ate at lunchtime in the Lido on the days we were not on excursions, this area was pretty busy some days, but the food always plentiful. The quality was not as high as in the dining room, but there was something for everyone. I particularly enjoyed the Tandoori Kitchen, Burrito Bar and Mongolian Wok counters. The wide selection of food available at breakfast was fantastic, we preferred the buffet at the Lido to the more formal sit down breakfast in the Southern Lights restaurant. I loved the French toast, and the eggs Benedict, along with the continental cheese and ham selection. Soft and hot drinks were available for free all day on board which was a nice surprise. Alcoholic drinks were reasonably expensive but not astronomically priced, in line with other decent hotels and bars. We found the 8% VAT and 15% service charge bumped the price up noticeably from the price on the menu, making the drinks more expensive than you would expect at first glance. We ate at the Steak House on our final night which was amazing. We had fantastic steaks and lobster and very large delicious desserts of which we could only manage a small bite. At $30/person, the charge for the Steak House is not nominal to us, however definitely worth it for this treat. There were many good and affordable bottles of wine here too, and we tried an excellent Tuscan wine. We tried several of the bars on board and particularly enjoyed the Red Frog Caribbean themed pub, and the sushi bar where we ate complimentary sushi accompanied by a very reasonably priced carafe of sake. Itinerary & Shore Excursions We thought the destinations on this cruise were an excellent selection, however did find the itinerary very busy in practice. It would have been good to have a sea day midway through the week. We had a little rain in both Barcelona and Monaco, and a heavy thunderstorm on arrival in Rome, however the weather then dried up and every day was about 28/82 degrees and lovely and sunny. After the first couple of evenings the temperature out on deck was very comfortable with just a light breeze. We booked shore excursions with Carnival for all of the ports before departure. Only one of our trips (St Paul de Vence from Monaco) was cancelled due to lack of interest, so instead we went sightseeing in Monaco independently, as the ship docked right in the Harbour. The other tours we did were The Best of Rome, Leaning Tower of Pisa with Tower Entrance (Livorno), Pompeii and Amalfi Coast boat trip (Naples), Mount Etna (Sicily), Barcelona Highlights and Spanish Village. My favourite day was Pompeii and Amalfi, and the Rome tour was very comprehensive, however 12 hours of sightseeing was quite tiring. Cabin We stayed in an outside cabin on deck 2 and were very lucky with our choice. We were in a room which was much larger than many of the staterooms in this class, and had a bed which looked out to sea through two large windows - a lovely way to wake up in the morning! Our steward was very friendly and efficient and kept our room spotlessly clean. At turn down he created a cute towel animal for us each evening. We were close to the back of the ship so did feel some quite strong vibrations as the ship was manoeuvred into dock each morning, but other than that it was a very calm voyage. Entertainment/Facilities We did a spa tour on the first day and were very impressed with the facilities. Treatments were reasonably priced and very varied. Sadly we did not get time to use the spa though, as we were so busy with excursions. We used the gym once during our cruise. It is large, has much hi-tech equipment and was not too busy. There was plenty of evening entertainment on board, although we found the timings to be strange as they did not fit well with the dining times. We found the general cabaret and magic shows to be a little weak, however enjoyed the comedy club (although some of the jokes were very US centric - the comedians did not always adapt their acts to the international clientele). The bingo sessions were well organised and had decent cash prizes. The pub quiz we took part in was also fun. We enjoyed playing the slot machines in the casino several evenings. We also loved the idea of the open air cinema in the evening (with pizza, popcorn and ice cream all provided!) however did not find a film on at a suitable time to suit our tastes - as with the shows, the movies seem to start at very strange times which did not fit in with the dining, excursions or other entertainment. The hot tubs on deck 5 were much quieter than those by the pool area, which were full of kids. We enjoyed the adults only serenity deck at the top of the ship, although this was always busy during the day and at night the hooded double seats which should have been so cosy could not be used as the wind had broken most of the hood mechanisms - I think a redesign is necessary here. General The electronic door keys/charge cards that we were all issued with were very convenient, and also enabled us to board/disembark the ship very efficiently. Being able to check our room bill via the TV was also very helpful. As first time cruisers we had not realised we would need to pack our suitcases by 11pm the night before disembarkation, which was a pain, and we would make sure we were more prepared with a larger hand luggage bag available next time. Neither were we prepared for how early the ship would dock in most ports and the early starts for excursions, so we found the cruise exhausting rather than relaxing, although very enjoyable. Again this is something we will note for future cruises and feel we want to share with future new cruisers via this site. The ship felt very crowded on the outside deck on the sea day with every sun lounger taken, despite there being thousands. We spent most of this day taking advantage of entertainment inside, such as the pub quiz and bingo. Boarding and disembarkation were both very quick and easy, and on arrival at the ship we were allowed aboard hours before departure and went up to the Lido deck for lunch whilst we waited for our stateroom to be ready. Overall, we had a fantastic time on this brand new ship. We explored some amazing destinations and enjoyed a great time on board with cuisine that exceeded our initial expectations. With regards to entertainment and facilities on the ship there was something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
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
We are a couple who are retired and holiday 7 or 8 times a year including cruises about once a year. This cruise was taken as part of my 60th birthday treats. We travelled to the ship independently and stayed in Barcelona for 1 night pre ... Read More
We are a couple who are retired and holiday 7 or 8 times a year including cruises about once a year. This cruise was taken as part of my 60th birthday treats. We travelled to the ship independently and stayed in Barcelona for 1 night pre trip and 3 nights after which worked very well. Embarkation was smooth and well organised. I have split the review into 4 sections for clarity: Superb The real star the Ship, spacious and comfortable. The Staff were very friendly and helful to us, all of them. The food especially the dinners in the Northern Lights. The lido and carvery all produced excellent food at lunchtime (and we did not use them in the evening.) Good The entertainment staff with special thanks to Danny Black the singer guitarist in the Red Frog Pub. The ports of call, especially Venice. The Red Frog pub itself. Comfort in the cabin even though we had an inside. Plenty of space in the cabin and the bathroom was great. Bad Lack of information for independant travellers. Cost of excursions. Ugly Misinformation to independant travellers. Distance to train station said to be a mile when it was 400 yards etc. Disembarkation (or debarking as it was called also was efficient and well organised. Our only critisism was you has to debark by 9am at the latest. Overall a great cruise to some nice ports of call Read Less
Sail Date June 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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