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3,311 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

Here are some of the good and some of the bad from this carnival cruise, it was fun, how can it not be, but it did not meet expectations. This is not my first cruise, but my first with Carnival. I will have to do some hard thinking before ... Read More
Here are some of the good and some of the bad from this carnival cruise, it was fun, how can it not be, but it did not meet expectations. This is not my first cruise, but my first with Carnival. I will have to do some hard thinking before I decided I want to give carnival another chance. If I were going to sum up the difference between Carnival and other lines (I have sailed Princess and Royal Caribbean) I would say Carnival is very Las Vegas like while the others are more like an upscale resort. The food and entertainment were decent but not the same level of quality as the other lines. There was also less choices in activities. Room: The interior room is plenty big for two people, which is mentioned when reviewing cruise lines that Carnival has some of the largest interior rooms. The beds were comfortable, and I don’t say that often about hotel beds. The steward was wonderful, although he did not introduce himself to us the first day as has been the habit in past cruises , the room was always stocked, cleaned, and had good turn down service (the towel animals were cute). I left a note requesting two extra blankets and they were there when we came back to the cabin later that day. (I believe his names was spelled Somak) Dining: Originally we were assigned the dining room that also shares with the "anytime" seating. We were sat at a table by ourselves and the service was only adequate. I wanted my daughter to have the traditional cruise dining experience so I requested we be moved to the other dining room for the remainder of the week. We were given a new assignment without any problems. We sat with two other traveling groups. The three waiters in Southern Lights; Ivan, Gabriel, and Wayan knew our names, how we liked our beef cooked, and were able to make suggestions before the week was up. The service in the dining room was excellent and we were treated very well. Club O2: There were a few minor issues with the Club O2 - the high school group did not actually hold the activities they listed on the program each day. The kids just sat around and "hung out" and when the counselors weren't in there several of the kids had the electronic cigarettes out. My daughter is allergic so she and some of the other kids left each day when that happened. I had placed a call to Carnival prior to sailing to ask three questions. One of them was about putting my daughter in the O2 club as opposed the Circle C club - even though she is 14 she is in high school and I knew she would have more fun with the high school group as opposed to the middle school group. I was told it would not be a problem; I would just simply have to register her on board instead of online. The first night, we went to the meeting and I filled the paperwork out for the O2 group. We took it to the club room and the counselor working there told me she would not be allowed to participate. I informed him that I had been assured otherwise by Carnival and he reluctantly agreed after making a rude comment, "well, she better be able to gel with the other kids." This did not set the tone well for the beginning of a hard earned vacation. OBC: Another of the three questions I had asked was what the on-board credit was able to be used for. I was told it would simply come off the top of the bill at the end of the week. I clarified that meant for the soda package, gratuities, shore excursions, whatever and was assured it was usable for anything. I booked one excursion in Nassau for the pirate adventure through the desk, we weren't sure we wanted to do any of the others so I did not book them, although we did end up using the Conch train in Key West (had I known at the time about what I am about to tell you I would have booked it through the desk). I checked my bill later that day and the 109.00 for the Nassau booking was deducted as on-board credit, but the other fifty was not listed. I asked at Guest Services and was told the credit was only good for shore excursions. I spent several minutes with them trying to determine why that was not the same information I had received from the carnival line when I called a few weeks ago, but they insisted that was what was publicized all along. In order to use the funds we went ahead and booked an excursion in Freeport, that excursion was cancelled due to weather (no one's fault) the guest service representative informed me she was very sorry, but unless I just wanted to give the money back I would have to book a different, more expensive, excursion in Nassau. I did – but I didn’t get to see what I really wanted to see. Casino: Another issue was in the casino. I played several times on three machines. At 1:53 a.m. the night before we ported in Freeport there was a charge from the casino on my bill. I went to the casino desk to inquire about this charge because I was asleep in my cabin as we had an early morning the next day. They left me standing there for about 45 minutes only to come back and say there was nothing they could do as they were legitimate charges and I must have loaned my card to someone. There were only two people in my party, my 14 year old daughter and myself. Not only would my daughter not even go in the casino, she thinks they are loud and stinky, no one would have let a 14 year old girl sit there long enough to do that. Therefore I know it was not another member of my party as they continued to insist. As I stated it was fun, all cruises are, but the customer service left much to be desired. Once Carnival could stay ahead of the others on price but that doesn’t seem to be the case now that more lines sail from the Texas ports. My recommendation for anyone planning to sail with Carnival is to ensure you have in writing any agreements made prior to sailing.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I have sailed with Carnival now about 7 times and the Carnival Magic is by far the nicest ship, loved the layout and the decor. A few things, however, have changed. I felt the food quality was way down. The dining room was average, first ... Read More
I have sailed with Carnival now about 7 times and the Carnival Magic is by far the nicest ship, loved the layout and the decor. A few things, however, have changed. I felt the food quality was way down. The dining room was average, first time ever that I didn't really care for the lobster. Nothing wowed me, not even the desserts. The best meal onboard was at the Prime Steakhouse, $35 per person and well worth it. The service there was amazing too. As for the drinks, they were about half the size and cost a lot more, approx. $11 for a mixed drink. If you want somewhat of your $'s worth, get a long island, Carnival is now offering a drink program for alcohol, but it is a pretty hefty cost on that too. So, to sum it up, average and that was a bit of a disappointment compared to previous sailings. The entertainment, as usual was great. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We had such a good time on the magic 2 years ago we decided to try it again but with a different itinerary. The ship itself is great. After all it is still carnival's flagship. Great layout, plenty of spaces to feel less like ... Read More
We had such a good time on the magic 2 years ago we decided to try it again but with a different itinerary. The ship itself is great. After all it is still carnival's flagship. Great layout, plenty of spaces to feel less like you're not onboard with 5000 people. Maybe some of the magic is gone however. The crew (although very accommodating) seemed a bit tired. I don't feel they get enough time off. The food is now just good but not great like last time. I didnt help matters more when the captain decided to cancel our first stop due to high winds. It was his judgement call to protect his ship however we got within a mile or two within docking at routan Honduras and turned around while another albeit smaller ship was already docked. Big dissapointment. The only redemption to this trip was the excursion to xunantunich in Belize. Incredible! Or as they like to say in Belize "inbeliezeable". Avoid just walking around in Belize city without an excursion. It's very seedy. Dirty. Run down. This is a third world country don't forget! Then there was cozumel. Been there enough times not to care. Very few public beaches. I won't pay an excursion to visit a beach. Imagine the USA then all the tourist trap shopping and sub par restaurants (our service was awful). I'm afraid to say but I'll say it. You get what you pay for. I wanted a cheap fun get away for the week and I got it plus a little less.I feel like I played Russian roulette with my vacation and didn't want to see 2 destinations in 1 week. The $13 of port charges for missing the first stop was a joke. We're taking a break from cruising because of this trip. The magic IS a good ship, but everything else was mediocre. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was not my first cruise with Carnival, we actually chose to go with Carnival over Royal Caribbean and now Im just wishing we went with Royal Caribbean. The experience we had was awful! The first few days were fun, my husband and two ... Read More
This was not my first cruise with Carnival, we actually chose to go with Carnival over Royal Caribbean and now Im just wishing we went with Royal Caribbean. The experience we had was awful! The first few days were fun, my husband and two daughters have never been so it was exciting to see their faces light up upon boarding. Our first port was suppose to be Isla Roatan, we never were able to dock due to "weather" this was perfect weather to dock in sunny calm waters and oh yeah there was another cruise ship who was able to dock that I and other passengers witnessed with our own eyes. After hundreds of complaints to guest services employees started to crack and we were told it was due to Cartel. Carnival was issued a warning back in December to inform future and current guests of the dangers in Roatan and instead of doing that and issuing refunds because they knew they would not dock they blamed it on beautiful weather so they didn't have to refund the money for that port. That day I was in the pool with my two daughters and husband and I was told I could not go swimming with my daughter/ have her in the pool period. She is 7 months old and was wearing a swim diaper and a swimsuit. I was told she couldn't be in the water because she could pee in the water. So basically I payed $500 for a baby who doesn't eat food and cant go swimming. I was furious! After that money went missing from our cabin and after hours with a security guard we went to my room to do a cabin search. While I was talking with head housekeeping the security guard went through my bags and pulled out a pair of shorts that I had NOT worn the entire time I was on the ship and pulled out the money...nice cover up. My family and I were just ready to get home at that point. Two days after getting home I was doing my daughters hair I found LICE!! I am a stay at home mom, my children are not in daycare nor are they around other children. It was from the cruise. I called them furious and all they had were excuses. Now today I went to check my accounts and noticed a charge to my card from the cruise after calling to find out for what they say I took multiple items out of the mini bar/fridge in the room. Well my husband and I brought our own sodas and never touched a single drink in there. They didn't just charge us for one drink but 6 drinks...how that is possible is beyond me! I was so disappointed with this cruise line it makes me sick. We saved up for 8 months to finally take a vacation and it was such a waste of money and our time. The cruise itself was nice, people were friendly and we had fun despite all of the horrible things that happened because I would not let thousands of dollars just go to waste but over all I would not recommend Carnival to anyone and they have not sone anything to assure us what happened will never happen again or apologize. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our first cruise and we were very excited. After reading a lot of reviews we were expecting long lines to embark on the ship, and since we had to fly out from out west, we had been up since 2 a.m. We were pleasantly surprised that ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were very excited. After reading a lot of reviews we were expecting long lines to embark on the ship, and since we had to fly out from out west, we had been up since 2 a.m. We were pleasantly surprised that within an hour of hopping off the shuttle we were on the boat and in our room. We dropped off the carry on bags and went to the Lido deck to grab a bite to eat. Marketplace was average. Much like any ordinary all you can eat buffet. I wasn't impressed, but I was hungry and it filled a void. We went exploring the ship, and it was very clean, and easy to maneuver around on. We don't mind climbing stairs so up and down we went, and front to back checking all the areas. I was interested in the gym, and was glad to see a few pieces of equipment that I was familiar with. So I will now go by different things I experienced. Gym: Lots of treadmills, but only one would incline above a 5. Not too impressed with that. All the other equipment worked fine, but was very cramped as each machine is within an inch or two of the next. You had to be aware when people used the equipment so as not be in their range of motion on some equipment. There is a shower and steam room across the hall from the gym, but no one told me that, but I found it on the next day. I had a friend tell me they had a great package for wet and dry saunas and mineral pools, I was very disappointed to hear this was $250 a person to use. That was ridiculous. Food: Marketplace, for breakfast was average. If you want something fast it was fine. I did eat an omelette every morning, and those were good. The line is worth the wait, but all other food was meh. Luckily there is Tabasco about everywhere. Southern Lights: Carlos was our waiter and he was great, he had a great group he worked with. The food was above average, It was a 6 out of 10 for most things. Others that we talked to also said the food wasn't as good on this ship as they had experienced on other ships. Burger Shack: by the middle pool was always busy, it was okay, I like a loaded burger and I was able to do that there. Deli on aft of ship: We ate there, we both had a sandwich there, my wife's arugula sandwich had absolutely no flavor. I had a Reuben, it was average, so we never even went back. Seaday Brunch: This was good, I had a steak and eggs, and the fancy french toast, it was actually probably my best meal on the ship. Allen was our waiter and showed some magic tricks, very nice. Room Service: We ordered sandwiches, and they were small and tasteless also. Although it did arrive promptly. Taste Bar: We thought you would get to taste a lot of different things there, ...not. 2 things and they were exactly that. A taste, less than a bite. Entertainment: Comedy Club: We went to the Punchliner a few different times and were highly disappointed. Just June was not funny, I don't think I laughed once. We saw a few more there, and all were pretty pathetic, whether you went to the family or the adult ones. I wasn't offended, it just wasn't funny. I am not a fan of George Lopez so I guess if he hand picks these, they are his style of funny. I am more of a Gabriel Iglesias, John Pinnette (RIP), Mike Birbiglia kind of person. Carnival Magic Dancers: Oh my gosh, I have seen better dancing from an elementary school play. They were pretty bad. I hope Carnival has them doing other chores on the ship as they shouldn't be riding for free from their dancing. Magician: I can't remember his name, as his whole show was forgetable, They said they had flown him out from Vegas. I suggest they fly him back and not do that again. Juggler: They had a Juggler, I think his name was Victor from Mexico. He was the best show on the ship. I never laughed so hard on the ship as I did during his show. I wish he had more shows, I would have went to each of them. Elane and her band: Not sure of their name, but they were very good, especially with the Motown and R&B. Her 80's was good, but you could tell where her heart was. She and the band were awesome and fun to watch because they all had fun with each other. Water Slides: While fun even for adults, beware of the super heated deck to walk on, and the seams in the tubes. Ropes Course: This was more fun that it looked on the ground. Added degree of difficulty is wind and the rocking of the ship. But it was fun. Staff: I know I mentioned some of the staff before, the ship was actually nice, clean, and all of the people we had were wonderful. Carlos, Emil and our other waiter, were wonderful in Southern Lights. They danced and sang and just had a great time. They kept our glasses full all the time and food coming. Our room steward and his staff, Eduardo, was wonderful, efficient and our room was always impeccable. Manuel at Shore Excursion desk was very professional, and we appreciated his help. I would have to say we only ran into one person that wasn't nice, and that was Robert from Poland at the Guest Services Desk. He was an ass. Kind of a snobby jerk when we asked him to help us. We took our non working cd with pictures to him first to just see if he had a computer to try it out so we could see if perhaps it was our computer not able to pull up the pictures. After talking with him for a minute he couldn't be bothered and told us to go to shore excursions. Oh you may wonder how many people were waiting in line at Guest Services? Zero, we were the only ones. Once over at Shore Excursions Manuel tried the cd and then called Dolphinaris and they told him they would email us a link with the pictures to download. Other than that, all the staff was wonderful. Like I said earlier, Elaine and Victor were awesome entertainers. Summary: This was our first cruise, possibly our last. While the ship was fine, the excursions were pitiful. We have done all inclusive resorts before and I like being in charge of my own destiny and not at the mercy of not going to a port. I would suggest not believing all the wonderful reviews on the excursions put out by the cruise lines, they are severely biased.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Living near to the port this was my fourth trip on the Magic in the last year. Each previous cruise had been very pleasant with many enjoyable memories. The two cruises that preceded this one had been delayed due to fog and I have to say ... Read More
Living near to the port this was my fourth trip on the Magic in the last year. Each previous cruise had been very pleasant with many enjoyable memories. The two cruises that preceded this one had been delayed due to fog and I have to say that Carnival did an excellent job of keeping us alerted to the situation via e-mail and also a phone call. I awoke the morning of embarkation and checked the webcams at the port and sure enough there sat the Magic so no problems with fog. Having Platinum status in the VIFP made embarkation a fast and efficient operation. Again, I have to give a thumbs up to Carnival for handling the priority boarding in a very good manner. The cabins were also ready and at that point I was all set to enjoy a repeat of all the good memories of the past cruises on Magic. On boarding I immediately noticed a different attitude from crew members than previously. Before there were smiles and warm greetings but this time the crew seemed stressed and tired. Reaching the 12th deckwhere my cabin was located I noticed that the halls were still littered with dirty linens and dishes. The cabin itself was ok, but appeared to have been hastily done and not up to the standard I had enjoyed before. I didn't see a cabin attendant anywhere and it wasn't until much later that evening that one was in the hall. From the conversations I heard it sounded like the cabin attendants were doing double duty and were overwhelmed. The Lido Buffet was the easiest option for lunch and as usual there was plenty of food, nothing special, but edible. I also noticed that the staff in the Lido area seemed to lack direction, many tables were in need of being cleared yet bus staff were standing around talking with each other. I don't want to be overcritical and realize this was embarkation day with a lot of extra work. On my past cruises on the Magic one of my favorite times of the day was 5:30PM where you could get a glass of wine in the atrium and listen to the soothing music of Two-Tones. They had been on all the previous cruises but not this one. Instead there were two people with guitars who couldn't sing and certainly not playing music that was danceable or enjoyable to hear. I realize that music tastes are subjective but at least have people who can sing on key or play taped music. Just to be sure that I wasn't making a hasty judgment I went back the following night and heard the same exact song. The one evening these folk weren't in the atrium the band that replaced them wasn't all that great. I'm not knocking country or rock music, in fact I enjoy them, just don't sing "Who Shot The Sheriff" every other song. The Dining room in the past had always been very enjoyable with Mr. Ante Kulsic as the Maitre'd. He was warm, friendly, and ran a first class dining room. Some people have called the singing in the dining room "cheesy," again music tastes differ and I always enjoyed hearing the young waiter Darwin sing. It gave the evening a feeling of class. Unfortunately, Ante is no longer the Maitre'd and the individual, Fernando, who replaced him is neither warm nor friendly. He never came around to any of the tables to say hello and when he did stand at the front door he didn't acknowledge anyone. I know everyone has a different management style, but from the service the wait staff offered and the unevenness of the kitchen something had changed drastically from several months earlier. The wait staff seemed to struggle to get orders correctly and often one side of the table would have their food while the other side sat with their hands in their lap. On past cruises the last thing you heard at the end of the meal was Ante making a short announcement about the upcoming day and closing with fun, fun, fun. I missed the warmth and humor he shared each night and hopefully this new Maitre'd can regain a little of the magic that was lost. I can't say I didn't enjoy myself, rather I was just disappointed that this cruise didn't have the feeling of fun and enjoyment the previous three had. It was apparent that there had been a lot of cut backs in staffing or this was a new staff that had little knowledge of what they were supposed to do. As an example, I went to the hamburger grill when returning on a port day and took a hamburger with some French fries. They were both cold and greasy. I took them back to the young man and told him they weren't edible. He said he couldn't make anymore hamburgers until the ones in the tray were eaten but he did fix some fresh hot French fries. This is really a trivial thing but it is all the little trivial negative things that add up to making a big difference. I had a maintenance issue with my balcony door. The plate at the bottom of the door had fallen off and was laying on the balcony. It was not only an inconvenience but also a safety hazard as you could easily trip. It took three requests before this was addressed, one with the cabin attendant and then twice with guest services. This may have been a case where there were too many issues being reported and too few people to address them. Another of those small things that add up. It isn't fair to only be negative so here are a few of the really good things that still had the "magic." **The staff of the Hat Tricks Bar were great as always. Jerome, Eko, and the lovely lady who's name I can't remember, always knew you by name, always smiled, and acted like they were pleased I had visited the bar. **The young lady who was the evening hostess at Cucine del Capitano (again I can't recall her name but she was from Macedonia) was outstanding. She greeted us, led us to our table, explained the menu, and made a real effort to let you know they were glad to have you dining with them. The food was also very good, in fact, the Spaghetti Carbonara was excellent. This is a great evening alternative to the main dining room and a bargain at $12. **The sea days grill on the 5th deck provided some tasty slider hamburgers with the salad bar inside also offering some enjoyable alternatives to what was offered at the buffet on deck 10. **The Cloud Nine Spa is still a first class spa and was maintained well. The staff at the desk were alert to any problems and promptly took care of anything you needed. I now look for ships that have Cloud Nine Spas as the Thalassotherapy Pools and thermal suite are big plusses. This certainly isn't one of those reviews that would make me say I won't come back again. I feel certain I'll continue to enjoy cruising; but the next time I'm on the Magic, I hope the magic is back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
EMBARKATION: 2 STARS Through no fault of Carnival our ship was delayed two days due to oil from a tanker collision in the Port of Galveston. The U.S. Coast Guard had shut the port down and the debarkation from the previous cruise was ... Read More
EMBARKATION: 2 STARS Through no fault of Carnival our ship was delayed two days due to oil from a tanker collision in the Port of Galveston. The U.S. Coast Guard had shut the port down and the debarkation from the previous cruise was delayed until very late that Sunday night and we were unable to board until early Monday Morning. The ship was not cleared to cruise until about lunch on Tuesday due to cleaning the hull and the Port of Galveston being closed. Again none of this was Carnival's fault, however they kept us updated well and provided us a two day refund along with the fees from missing our port of call at Jamaica. Carnival also provided us with a 25% off voucher on a future cruise. SHIP LAYOUT: 4 STARS This "Dream" class of ships is big, very big. I was disappointed with the fact that for the majority of the duration of the cruise that the front of the vessel was continually barricaded off for no access due to strong winds. One night I did find it open and did explore it only to find it almost pitch black dark and I felt very uneasy walking around the dark areas on deck 5. I did participate on the "Behind the Fun Tour" and realized why I almost always smelt cigarette smoke on deck 5 when we were there and it was because there were crew smoking areas just below on deck 4. Also the very front of the boat was only accessible by crew area and not those who love to explore, like me. During the tour I saw the front of the ship included smoking areas for the crew and two whirlpools for the crew. Even our tour guide Petra admitted that she knew some guests were disappointed because they couldn't reenact the famous scene from "Titantic" where Rose sailed out from the front of the ship. I stayed on Deck 11 Forward and was pleased with our access to the Lido Deck and buffets, but not our access to our evening reservations at the Southern Lights Restaurant. It seemed to be since it was difficult to get to at times that the Northern Lights Restaurant would have been a more logical choice. In fact the only real complaint we had about our room was it was in very close proximity to the elevators and the constant chimes of the elevators was quite distracting at times. FOOD, DINING ROOM: 4 STARS Every nice piece of meat we had was doused in gravy of some sort. The flavor of the meat was good, however I am not a gravy fan. Maybe the chef could consider putting the gravy in a small bowl to be put on by the guests if they so choose. Also many meals were too garlicky for me as well. SERVICE, DINING ROOM, 5 STARS The 18:00 hour dining staff of Ivan, Waylan and Gabriel were fantastic and only a few times were too busy to address our immediate needs and/or forgot what we had asked for or ordered. The nice personal touch provided by Ivan the first night of knowing all the names of everyone in our party was a nice added touch. FOOD, LIDO: 2 STARS Lido food was comparable to school cafeteria food at best... PIZZA PIRATE, 3 STARS The Pizza Place almost always had a line and an extended wait when we checked in. Pizza was sub-par lacking flavor at times and way too garlicky at other times. PORT of Jamaica- Cancelled due to late departure. PORT of Grand Cayman- Tender operation seemed to go flawless and our wait on both ends was minimal. Port of Cozumel, Mexico- The previous day's tender operation the day before spoiled us and this operation seemed unorganized and unplanned. We arrived well over an hour early and were directed by the staff to a long line stretching from the stairwell deep into the belly of the ship. The line we were in stretched throughout the entire first floor of cabins and consisted of two lines of people. We were stuck pretty much in the middle of the ship when both ends began to allow guests out. The problem seemed to lie where they were letting all guests use the available elevators and stairs and us who had been waiting VERY patiently in the cramped and VERY warm hallway were simply just stuck there until all the guests cleared the stairways and elevators. Even when we were almost out of the ship the elevators were still letting people out of the elevators at Deck 0 still munching on large ice cream cones while the rest of us were drenched in sweat. BURGERS, LIDO, 3 STARS Again tasted like cafeteria food. LIDO INDIAN FOOD, 4 STARS Can't 100% sure say this is were my wife became ill for two days with bouts vomiting and diarrhea and confined to her cabin, but this is the only place she ate the day she became sick. She ate here for lunch and during the beginning of dinner had to excuse herself from the table because she felt ill before she ate anything at the evening meal. I did eat here as well and did not suffer from any intestinal distress and did enjoy the food. BEVERAGE STATIONS, LIDO, 3.5 STARS Water on all the beverage stations seemed to flow at a trickle. After watching this for five days the days it seemed the line backed up the most was when guests were waiting to fill up their cups and water bottles. DRINK PRICES, 1 STAR Way overpriced. I also didn't like the fact we couldn't pay cash for a drink. It is VERY easy to lose control of how much you have spent with the sign and sail card, but with cash- when you don't have anymore you stop. Of course I understand why Carnival chooses to allow only the sign and sail card to be used (security reasons). SHOWS, COMEDY 2 STARS (Mutzie Family Show- 5 STARS) As with others, it was a little aggravating to have to empty the lounge after every thirty minute show and then go out in the hall around to the piano bar and stand in line for almost thirty minutes only for the staff to allow the people who just left the bar at the previous show to stand by the elevators and turn right back around and go inside while those of us who followed the rules were still stuck with seats near the back of the lounge. I attended several shows from three different comedians. Most were a waste of time except the Family Show Mutzie put on. I truly laughed until I hurt with his family show. His adult show- not so much. SHIP CLEANLINESS: 3 STARS The morning started out with the ship being very clean, however as the cruise went on it seemed like cleanliness went out the window. Especially in the Cloud 9 Spa. The last night I went in it was trashed with dirty towels and trash everywhere where I had paid $159 U.S. dollars to access for the week and nobody seemingly cared. Dirty dishes also seemed to stack up outside the staterooms as well as the week went along and around the tables and ice cream machine at times were filthy. FELLOW PASSENGERS, 4.5 STARS Seemed like all of Arkansas was on this cruise and aside from some teenagers banging on our door at two o'clock in the morning once- seemed mostly behaved. CABIN STEWARDS: 5 STARS Our steward, Mealano? sp?, did address my every need and ALWAYS called me by name. I was very impressed. BEHIND THE FUN TOUR: 3.5 STARS The tour guide, Petra, was very nice but it always seemed as we were too rushed. We had paid $95 U.S. Dollar for a tour and I would have liked to see many more areas of the ship that was not highlighted on the tour. The trip to the bridge was amazing, but as I figured the Captain seemed very arrogant and his jokes were not funny. Also the majority of the people who talked to us on the tour struggled with English and it was very, very difficult to understand them at times. I know there are 56 nations represented on the Carnival Magic, but maybe Petra could have attempted to translate somewhat for those of us who could not understand what was being said. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our tenth cruise. We had cruised on the Triumph almost two years ago and after that cruise had decided we were in no hurry to return to Carnival. I had a Carnival credit and a $200 gift card so we decided to go ahead and give ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise. We had cruised on the Triumph almost two years ago and after that cruise had decided we were in no hurry to return to Carnival. I had a Carnival credit and a $200 gift card so we decided to go ahead and give Carnival another try. We had heard good things about The Magic and so we were excited to check her out. Embarkation was really good because we had purchased faster to the fun and didn't have to deal with any lines. Our cabin was ready as soon as we got on so we dropped our luggage off and headed to the buffet for lunch. First thing we noticed was that this ship did not have the usual "Vegas" decor. It was beautiful with pretty blues and turquoise throughout. Very appealing! The buffet was the typical Carnival buffet (and honestly, we have never been Carnival buffet fans). While on our cruise we ate in the MDR's(ok..not great, but not bad), The burrito bar (pretty good!), The Italian restaurant (for lunch it is free!) and it was delicious! We also tried the steak house. Carnival knows how to do steak! We have sailed different lines but have always found the Carnival one to be the very best! The only negative is I wish they would lower the price a little and cut the steak in half...I mean who eats an 18 oz steak? :) We also tried the burgers and they were good. We never tried the pizza. The dining service was absolutely AWESOME throughout the cruise! We were very pleased with our servers and the service! They were so personable and truly made our experience even better! Our room was a balcony (different shape than normal) but it was nice and had wonderful storage space. Our room steward kept it clean however he was not very talkative and didn't always follow through with our request. He did the job, just didn't go above the basic. Entertainment was ok. The magic show was really awesome, the comedians were funny, but the Carnival singers were not so good. We just were not impressed with them..We did go to a Motown show and it was good! We had a singer in the dining room and he was the best singer on the ship... Not sure why he works in the dining room. We vote for him to move over and become one of the singer! He was very talented! The ports were great. We went to Secrets Adult All Inclusive resort in Jamaica. The beach was beautiful, the drinks were good, but not very strong and the food...not so great. I think this is a nice option but a little overpriced. We used Captain Marvin for our stingray and snorkel tour. It was great! In Cozumel, we were booked to go on an excursion but the tour operator told us it was overbooked so we cancelled and just hung out at the port area. The ship is beautiful and well kept. We enjoyed the deck however the chair "campers" were out in full force. Nevertheless, we did usually find somewhere to relax and soak up some sun. We never got into any pools because they were full of kids. I wish there was an adult pool! That would be a wonderful option. We checked out the serenity deck and it is a great option for those that want some peace and quiet. but it needs a pool!! After this experience, we would definitely sail with Carnival again. The Magic is a beautiful and fun ship. We enjoyed our trip and we are ready to cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was my husband and myself first cruise. We were in an interior stateroom #6365. Do not book this room!!! The first thing I noticed was the size. This room could not be more than 120 square feet total. There is no table or chairs ... Read More
This was my husband and myself first cruise. We were in an interior stateroom #6365. Do not book this room!!! The first thing I noticed was the size. This room could not be more than 120 square feet total. There is no table or chairs or couch in this room as there would not be room for them. There is one stool in from of the mirror/counter. Basically there is no where to sit in this room except the bed. The second thing I noticed was how filthy the room was. It had layers of dust on the headboard and any other surface that was not used constantly. I told my husband to wait to unpack and I cleaned the entire room and bathroom. It was disgusting. The worst thing about this room is it is right above the band stage in the casino. The music was so loud that our room was actually vibrating at times. This went on late into the night. OK, enough about the awful room. We were disappointed with the activities on board. The first show we saw was good but the second one we walked out of as it was plain inappropriate and the third big show was a burlesque. Seriously on a family cruise? It seemed to us that people were just drinking and acting rediculous from morning until, well I guess morning. It was a total party cruise. If this is what you go on a cruise for, than I guess it is for you. We would have liked to have gone to the casino but the smoke in there was unbearable. The few times we had to walk through I did it holding my breath as fast as I could. The food was o.k. Some nights the main dining room was quite good but one night in particular I could not eat either of the meals. I first ordered the fish which was so overdone it was inedible. I then ordered the chicken but when I cut into it there was blood. The poor waiter was beside himself. We still gave him a good tip because he was wonderful the whole cruise and it was not his fault. Overall, the ports are the reason we would go on a cruise again. The ship really did not have much to offer. We tried to lay out in the sun but it was always too windy. Some kids were having a super time with the waves in the pool caused by all the wind and the rocking of the boat but then they closed the pool. It was fun watching the kids. The best thing about this ship is the staff. Everyone I came into contact with was wonderful. We always had a new towel animal on our bed everyday. They were very creative. I cannot give too much praise for how hard the employees work and how kind they are. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Traveled with family and in-laws.had three rooms. First time Very relaxing, excellent food service and staff at the London lounge as we ate there every night. Great pizza on the lido deck. Breakfast gets hectic on Lido deck, suggest to ... Read More
Traveled with family and in-laws.had three rooms. First time Very relaxing, excellent food service and staff at the London lounge as we ate there every night. Great pizza on the lido deck. Breakfast gets hectic on Lido deck, suggest to take your breakfast in the Paris lounge, or better yet order continental from room service the night before (don't forget $2 tip for the server). There is plenty of water fountains on Lido deck so just take a refillable container with a cap, no need to take water bottles (as we learned). Ice tea and various juices as available on many dispensers on Lido deck. Plenty of hot water and tea and coffee. On shore excursions, fill up your refillable cup and take it with you rather than pay $$$ for water sold by carnival as you exit the ship or return back. ($4.25 for 1 liter bottle.) Take advantage of the formal night photo shoots, very nice background and reasonable prices compared to a professional gallery photo shoot (you are dressed for the formal night anyway). Suggest to purchase the faster to the fun pass - well worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Okay - so here is my review from start to finish. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to ask. Like I said above, this was our first Carnival Cruise so I'm by no means an expert on everything Carnival, but I am more than happy ... Read More
Okay - so here is my review from start to finish. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to ask. Like I said above, this was our first Carnival Cruise so I'm by no means an expert on everything Carnival, but I am more than happy to answer any and all questions about our experience. On Thursday, Feb. 20th, we arrived in Galveston to check out the sights and see if the Triumph had made her appearance yet. However, due to heavy fog in the Galveston Channel, the cruise returning from a 5 day was delayed getting in and didn't arrive in Galveston until about 1:30 that afternoon, instead of 8:00 a.m. that morning. So, since we were early - VERY early - we went to breakfast at Star Drug Store on 23rd Street. It is the oldest drug store in Galveston and has a lot of neat gifts and great breakfast - all the way down to the soda fountain counter in a horseshoe shape right in the middle of the store. Anyway, after breakfast we decided to go driving down the SeaWall and see what all was there. It has a lot of great places to hang out and shop or stay the night and even to play on the beach. We will be making a trip just to hang out there in the near future. After that we went back to the pier just to hang out and have a few drinks and some appetizers to get our party started early, as well as watch the Triumph come into port. Also, we had dropped our luggage right before this about 1:15. The Boarding Process - About 1:30 that afternoon, she finally arrived in Port. However, it was another good 2 hours before we were even allowed to start the boarding process. Thanks to someone on here mentioning the FTTF Pass (Faster to the Fun Pass) and spending the extra $50 - we were through security, got our cards and in the waiting area all in under 30 minutes. We kept saying the entire trip how nice it was that we had the pass and how much time it saved us just by having that little card. The FTTF is only $50 PER stateroom - NOT per person. It can be found under Shore Excursions in your booking info on carnival.com. They only allow so many to be purchased and they go very quick - I now know why. So... about 4:15 we began the actual boarding process and we were on the ship fairly quickly after that. - I'd say within 15 minutes max. They take the wedding parties, gold, platinum, faster to the fun first and THEN the rest of the passengers. Due to the late arrival and boarding, however, our cabin wasn't going to be ready until 5:30 that evening instead of being ready before we ever boarded (another perk of the FTTF - cabin is ready as soon as you board and you receive your luggage much quicker). So, the cokes and water we had, plus our carry on, we had to lug around for a good hour. But, since we had already met people on Facebook who were going too, we just met them at the Red Frog rum bar and put our stuff down and began to have drinks and make new friends! :) Our Cabin - Cabin number 6352 - At 5:30 we went to our cabin to check things out and see what our first towel animal consisted of. The cabin was VERY spacious (we had an Upper Deck 6 Interior cabin Mid-Ship - no port hole or window, or balcony). It was GREAT and VERY QUIET. There were 3 closets (one had the safe and life jackets in it), the others had robes and extra hangers and places for your shoes to go. The bathroom wasn't very big, but definitely had plenty of space for all of your stuff to go and the shower was very spacious. However, the shower head is actually one that you can just pull off the top and run all over you if you wish. And the other downside in the bathroom was the hair dryer - it looks more like an old timey square vacuum cleaner from many years ago that they hung on the wall. And the dryer part actually looks just like it as well. And... it does NOT dry your hair at all. I was glad I had brought my own hair dryer. On another note, regarding that - there is ONLY a plug in (on the dryer) that will allow a shaver to be plugged in - nothing more. I tried plugging my hair dryer into it, but it wouldn't work. Also, there is a bottle opener in the bathroom too. HA! In the room there are mirrors and drawers and extra cabinet space and there are 2 plug ins on that same wall right at the mirror area, so we had plenty of room to plug a hair dryer, phone chargers and flat iron into. Our room stewards were VERY nice and always smiling when we saw them. I can't recall their exact names, but I know that the "helper" was nicknamed "Indie". I can't recall the main guy's nickname though. They kept our ice bucket full at ALL times - from the very first day (without us even asking for them to do so). They provided excellent service and remembered our names and always had a huge smile on their face. We did tip them extra for their efforts as they well deserved it. Food - we had the early seating in the Paris Dining area lower - table 428. Our main waiter was Eugene (he was adorable and very efficient - and ALWAYS smiling). Also, he always remembered our drink choice and they were kept full for the most part without asking. I can't recall our other waiter's name, but he was very helpful, just not as friendly - kind of quiet and reserved. The dinner was very good the first night, but after that it left a lot to be desired to be honest with you. We sat at a table for 8, but only 3 of us couples showed up the first 2 nights and then the last 2 (actually 3 - but more on that later), then only 2 of us couples showed up. We actually ended up hanging out with the other couple that showed up with us each night. They were a lot of fun, our age, and live within a few hours of us. We have all become fast friends. :) Dinner on the last night was again, very good, like the first night. I think it was because it was supposed to be the first night's dinner for the next cruisers - but due to heavy and dense fog, we were on board an extra night because we couldn't get into the channel. I'm not sure why their food in the MDR wasn't that great, but it wasn't. My husband and I are not picky people at all, but some of the food was honestly inedible and we just went to dessert instead. However, some of their desserts weren't that great either - but the Melting Cake was to DIE FOR! It was DELICIOUS!!! The Pizza bar is opened 24 hours a day. It was just okay - nothing to rave about at all. We didn't get to try chopsticks because we didn't know about it in time. The buffet was pretty good - just your standard pancakes, bacon, eggs, etc., along with other options including sweet rolls and fresh fruit. Also, the 24 hour a day ice cream was available as well and it was good. Oh and of course, Dave's burgers was on the ship. The burgers and fries were delicious and we actually ate that for lunch every single day. We didn't get to try the italian restaurant or steakhouse or chopsticks at all, so I don't know how their food was. There was also a taco bar and a burrito bar as well as a deli. We didn't try any of those. Entertainment - leaves a LOT to be desired. My husband and I were both in drama in high school and college and love going to see musicals of most any and all kinds. The welcome aboard show on the first night was pretty good. However, the last 2 nights were very good. They entertainers preformed the Big Easy and it was a fantastic production. They are all really very talented. We didn't go see the very last night's show because we had to get up extra early the next day to disembark (this was after our extra night at sea). The Comedians were OUTSTANDING and VERY VERY FUNNY!! I cannot recall their names other than one of their last names was Foust. Would love to see them both again sometime! As far as the cruise director - we had Gumby. He was okay - not really funny, but just okay. I wasn't real impressed with him as a cruise director at all. There was also Irish Bob and Keely - as well as another couple of guys who were really good though. Bingo was good and fun. It cost $20 to $30 per person depending on how many cards and stuff you bought. The only thing we were disappointed about was that we thought we would at least play 3 or 4 games for that price but we only played one cover all game (we had a total of 3 cards between us) and the game was over within 30 minutes or so. Two people bingoed and were able to split $1,000 so we were happy for them - just disappointed that we didn't get a chance to play more games. They seemed to be running a lot (too many) shows and activities back to back in the Rome lounge, which meant things seemed to have gotten rushed a lot. The Love Game was great and VERY funny - but definitely not something you take your children to. They also had a game called the Liar game and it was the audience against the panel of 4 and that was really good - but also, not always something your children should attend. Drinks - VERY good and VERY strong. We didn't do the drink package but chose to bring on a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine when we boarded instead. (you are allowed 750ml per bottle and only one per person) We also brought a 12 pack of cokes and a 12 pack of water. (you are allowed a 12 pk of cokes and a 12 pk of water per person). We did drink Pina Coladas among beer and other fruity mixed drinks too though while on board. The tip is automatically added into each of your drink purchases. Which was fine because that way the bar tender was receiving their tips - however, I didn't feel like they ever went above and beyond to deserve extra tipping, so we never did. They didn't all seem to be very friendly or outgoing at all either. We mainly drank at the Red Frog but had a couple of drinks from the Blue Iguana as well. Mainly we enjoyed just hanging out there and having a few drinks with some new friends we had made. There was ABUNDANT lemonade, water, iced tea, coffee and hot chocolate on board at all times. The water was just fine coming out of the spout - it was filtered and never had a bad taste to it at all. We tried the specialty coffee bar once and it was okay. Nothing spectacular, but still good. The prices were VERY reasonable I thought - and much cheaper than Starbucks (I am a Starbucks junkie) and larger cups. In other words - a "grande" size on ship was only about $2.25 to $3.25. However, again, they had fresh hot coffee and hot chocolate there in the buffet area. Can cokes ran about $2.25 and beers in bottles about $4.25 and other mixed drinks ran about $7.50 each. And these were all before tips. Port of call - we only went to one port of call since it was a short cruise and it was Cozumel. My husband and I decided in advance that we were taking this trip mainly for relaxation so we did not plan any excursions while in cozumel. However, we decided to get off the ship and go to the shopping area right where the ship was docked. I can't recall the name of it - Punta something I think. It is a VERY clean and great shopping place with very reasonable prices on things. We bought liquor and jewelry there as a matter of fact. Our shopping guru on board was Julie and she was very good at directing you where to go for the best prices when it came to jewelry. Also, if you get the chance, be sure and go to her "Fun Finds" show in the Rome lounge and buy the $25 coupon book. It has a TON of FREE stuff in it (that you get that day you get into Cozumel - including free jewelry, spices, tote bags, and more) and is more than worth the $25 price. And, it can be used throughout the caribbean islands (not just cozumel) and is good until December 1st. So even if you're not going on another cruise, you can pass it onto someone else who may be and they can use it. The liquor prices are very good and we brought back 4 bottles of tequila. However, even though it says duty free and tax free - just be aware that if you live in Texas or will be in Texas for 48 hours after your cruise, you will be taxed on liquor, cigarettes and cigars. The tax is very minimal however. And an FYI - you are only allowed to bring out ONE liter TOTAL per person without having to pay a duty tax on the alcohol, which we weren't aware of when we went and purchased the 4 bottles. Also, just another FYI - make sure that whatever you do buy and are bringing back into the US - that you don't spend more than your allotted $800 per person. I'm not sure if you will get taxed or fined on that if you do. We purchased both alcohol and jewelry and luckily we spent only $600 total on everything between us. But, we were looking to exchange my ring and purchase a new one - it's a good thing I couldn't afford the $30,000 or even the $2,500 one either - can you imagine the taxes I would have had to pay on that??? Especially, the $30K??!! YIKES! On board shopping and photos - the shopping on board was great - they had a lot of really good deals. We actually were able to buy my husband a beautiful gold watch that was regularly $895 and we got it that night for $169 total - like I said, it was a great deal! The tshirts and such were reasonably priced too - though you can get much more for your money on tshirts in Cozumel ($4.99 each) than you can on the ship at $16.95 each. However, they did have some buy one get one free as well as some for $10 too. The photos are pretty expensive - $43 for two 8x10's to be exact. They are $21 each. We only purchased 2 from our formal night and that was because they turned out very very good. There are a TON of photo ops on the ship - you will never not be able to have many different photos made while there. Just be aware of the prices - however, they also give you a deal that if you buy 3 photos, you get a free gift, and so forth. The more you buy, the more free stuff you get - if you want to call it "free". But, all of the photographers were very good and very friendly. We didn't do the casinos, piano bar or the alchemy bar, so I can't really rate those places. Dis-embarking process - went VERY smoothly and VERY fast thanks to the "faster to the fun pass". We were off the ship, through customs and to our car all within 30 minutes total. Plus, we carried our own luggage on and off the ship - which was even better. And since we did that, due to having the extra night at sea, we didn't have to give up our luggage the night before like the others did, and we also didn't have to wait to have it re-delivered to our cabin once we had to stay on board another night. I highly recommend taking your own luggage on and off the ship, if you possibly can - it is so much easier. And, we parked directly across the street at "Galveston park and cruise". Very reasonably priced, very efficient and very friendly staff. As far as rating the Carnival Triumph (our first carnival cruise)- we were slightly disappointed in the food and entertainment - we have had much better food and entertainment on other ships in the past - however, we did enjoy ourselves tremendously on the cruise and were able to make some new friends. And, we have actually already booked our next cruise on the Carnival Magic going out of Galveston in September. We are going with our best friends who will be celebrating their 20 year and we will be celebrating our 17th year. All I can tell you is to go with the thought you are going to have fun no matter what. After all, no vacation is ever perfect - a cruise is just what you make of it. Only you can allow yourself to be miserable on board a ship. We, however, love to cruise, so I'm even more excited to have 2 booked in the same year! :) Again, sorry for the extra long review - however, if you have any questions about anything I may not have covered, feel free to ask away! And if you are headed for the Triumph anytime soon - enjoy yourselves! She is a beautiful ship and the staff are all VERY friendly, always smiling, very helpful and are always cleaning the ship. They seem to really love their jobs and always want to please you in any way they can. :)   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Our cruise started off a day late due to fog, which was no fault of Carnival. We came down a day early, so we had a hotel room to spend some time in, but after checking out, we spent the whole day we were supposed to be departing driving ... Read More
Our cruise started off a day late due to fog, which was no fault of Carnival. We came down a day early, so we had a hotel room to spend some time in, but after checking out, we spent the whole day we were supposed to be departing driving around town waiting for updates from Carnival. Updates were always later then Carnival had said they would be, with them finally telling us around 5pm that they would not be able to get into the port, so we were told that boarding would be the next day, possibly, depending on fog. Fortunately, we had purchased travel insurance, so our hotel and meals were covered for the extra day/night ashore. The ship came in sometime during the night and we were able to board the next day. Due to the fog delay, boarding was total chaos. Fortunately, we had FTTF, but even then, we had to wait in a short security line. After security, boarding was a piece of cake with us arriving at the FTTF seating area just as boarding was called for us, so we walked right on and went straight to our cabin to drop off our carry on stuff. We had pre-purchased a bottle of Skye, so we carried on a twelve pack of Sprite along with a bottle of wine. We had brought two bottles of wine, but drank one the night before in our 2nd hotel room. Our Skye was delivered to us after we left the port. Our cabin steward came to introduce himself to us as we were struggling to open the wine and he expertly took care of it for us! We asked for lots of ice and before bed, he had brought us a large white ice bucket, which he kept well filled for the duration of the cruise, along with the standard bucket. Jessy was great and was one of the best cabin stewards I've had! Our first stop for lunch that first day was the Blue Iguana Grill. IMO, there is no reason to even go into the buffet for lunch, as the food quality is not that great. It's pork or fish tacos for me! They make homemade flour tortillas and have a condiment bar. Guy's Burger Joint is good, too. This trip, the MDR served brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. You could still get what you wanted for breakfast, but the lunch menu was lacking. There is a filet Mignon that was pretty good for breakfast, but I was disappointed in breakfast in the MDR. The buffet has a smaller serving area in the center that has bacon, eggs and potatoes, so if that's all you want, skip the full buffet and go there. Overall, the food in the MDR for dinner was disappointing. The service was very lacking. I choose early seating because I like to get to know my serving staff and table mates and the staff gets to know your habits. Not on this trip. It was difficult to get tea or coffee, as they were never around and often didn't ask, and our eight person table was only half full with four of us and the next table was empty. My impression is that they have cut the dining staff and service is suffering. Some of the food was really poor quality and not very tasty. I actually sent a meal back, the first time I've ever had to do that. My sister and I spent time at the aft pool, which in the past has been an adult area. There were far too many unsupervised kids this time, which made our experience much worse than in the past. Once, I saw a staff member tell a kid not to jump in the hot tub, but that was the only time I saw any kid corrected. We chose not to go in the pool or hot tubs because with all of the little kids, one can only assume that they've peed them. It would be nice if Carnival would keep at least this area for adults only! I deliberately did not travel during Spring Break because I didn't want to deal with a bunch of kids! People, if you bring your kids, please abide by the rules as to when and where they can be and supervise them! That way, everybody has a great time! Having been to Progreso and Cozumel before, we chose to stay on board. I love the ship during port days! No lines and it is so quiet! My sister complains that the casino is closed, but that doesn't bother me. There are usually discounts in the spa during port days, but I didn't use the spa this time. Debarkation with FTTF was a breeze. We were told in a letter when and were to meet and we got off the ship after Diamond and Platinum as we carried our own luggage. We were off the ship probably around 8:30am and were in our car hitting the road by 8:45am. Getting off early meant that the wait at Customs was much shorter as we were some of the first people off the ship. We did not buy any liquor to bring back, but the state of Texas now requires state residents to stop and pay tax on all bottles brought in. The tax is not the problem, IMO, it's the service fee they attach! I'm not sure that you actually save anything with the tax/service fee! I've been cruising since the 90's and I've seen a decline in quality of service and of the food. The service has only gotten worse since they instituted mandatory tipping. I miss the days of giving tips on the last day and if someone has served me well, I'll go get envelopes from the Purser's Desk and hand out extra tips on the last day. My cabin steward certainly earned extra, but he was the only one on this trip, unfortunately. I've only cruised Carnival the last few years, so I think it's time I went back to another line to see if their standards have slipped, too. Texas has RCL, NCL and Princess to choose from and I've been pleased with all of them in the past! Well, except when NCL abandoned my sick mom in Guatemala! Thank heavens for travel insurance!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Background: This was my 11th cruise with Carnival, 2nd on the Triumph. I traveled with my husband (his birthday present); it was his 2nd time on the Triumph as well. This was also the 1st anniversary of the unfortunate stranding at sea ... Read More
Background: This was my 11th cruise with Carnival, 2nd on the Triumph. I traveled with my husband (his birthday present); it was his 2nd time on the Triumph as well. This was also the 1st anniversary of the unfortunate stranding at sea that Triumph experienced in February of 2013. And there were HUNDREDS of people onboard celebrating with "I Survived" t-shirts! Awesome! We live in the DFW area, and elected to drive to Galveston and park in a lot across the street (literally) from the ship (galveston park n cruise dot com). Allow extra time to get through Houston; it can take a while. If there is weather expected, allow even more time. It gets hairy; people are so freaked out by snow that they forget to use directionals, slow down to around 15 mph, etc. Embarkation was a breeze. When you get to Platinum, there are bypass lanes for check in and a different waiting room for boarding.. it's one of the best perks. (Second best perk is free laundry service. Amazing.) Our room 9202 was ready shortly after Noon; more about the cabin in a separate review. Service was uniformly excellent on this cruise. We were seated in the Paris Dining Room; our Head Waiter was Ivan from Serbia. Ivan and his team were outstanding, both in providing excellent service and in their ability to recommend dishes and anticipate needs. I cannot give them enough praise. Triumph now has the Blue Iguana and Red Frog Pub. We tried the Blue Iguana several times, and really liked it. The fish tacos are especially good! Sorry, we don't drink, but I saw that folks really enjoyed themselves at the Pub. It was always busy. :) The ship was clean, the crew was friendly (officers were not - they hardly ever are), the food was tasty, and the entertainment was creative (shows, trivia around the ship, piano bar with Russell Blues, and an exceptional guy in the Lobby who sounded EXACTLY like Waylon Jennings).. all had big audiences who were totally into it. Disembarkation was interesting. We were delayed by fog for around 4 hours, so Jen the Cruise Director had to scramble and put together activities last-minute. She did a great job! Plenty of trivia, the Casino re-opened, even free Bingo (!!) with good prize packages! And free ship to shore lines were opened up so that you could call and tweak your travel plans if necessary. After being cleared by Customs, we were off that ship in about 1/2 an hour. Use "Self-Assist" if you don't have a lot of luggage; it's a real time-saver. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My husband and I talked my two sisters into going on this 5-day cruise out of Galveston. One sister had never cruised, the other had but a long time ago. I was pretty anxious that they would have a good time. The cruise left on Monday, ... Read More
My husband and I talked my two sisters into going on this 5-day cruise out of Galveston. One sister had never cruised, the other had but a long time ago. I was pretty anxious that they would have a good time. The cruise left on Monday, Feb.10, and the fog had been bad recently in Galveston. Sure enough, as we got to Galveston, we got text messages that heavy fog prevented the Triumph from getting into port from the last cruise, don't come to the terminal until 2:30. Our usual routine is to get there about 10:30. This was our 8th cruise, 6 out of Galveston, and the first time fog was a problem. We drove around town to see the historic houses, walked on the sea wall, checked out a souvenir store, until 1:30 when we went to 81st Dolphin Parking, then were taken to the terminal. Wasn't too long of a line, got checked in and went to wait. We had some snacks with us for just such a time, and Carnival had lemonade and water for passengers. We finally got to board sometime after 3:30. Straight to the Lido deck and Guy's Burgers! Pretty good! Cabins were soon ready and then muster drill which wasn't too long or awful, although it was out on the deck by our lifeboat. After unpacking we wandered around the ship. We had Ocean View cabins, with a connecting door, which was nice. Triumph didn't look a whole lot different than before the refurbishing, but really liked the addition of Guy's burgers and the Blue Iguana. Good burritos. I think we set sail about 5:30. We had late seating in the upper Paris dining room, with a terrific team of Juan and Imade. We had excellent service every night, food was good, my sisters enjoyed the waiters dancing and singing, as did we! We hit the casino for a while, it was very smokey in there. Had a few drinks, then everyone was ready for bed, it had been a long day. Bed was comfy, slept well. In the morning we slept a little later than usual, then went to the brunch. The rest of the day was spent exploring the ship, sitting in the sun, drinking, really just relaxed. Checked out the shops, bought a few things. The next day in Progreso we had arranged for a trip to Chichen Itza with Auto Progreso. Got into town and found where to go to catch the van. We were supposed to be there by 9 and leave by 9:30, but it was about an hour later when we left. The four of us and two couples, with the driver and the guide were in a van which had good a/c. The drive is 2 hours. This tour was available through Carnival, but was about twice as much. I assured my sisters Auto Progreso would get us back in time. Chichen Itza was wonderful to see, although we didn't have much time there. The guide insisted we go to a nearby hotel that had a cenote, and that we would pay $15 for a lunch buffet. We said we weren't interested in that, but we went anyway and had to pay $7 each to get into the hotel grounds! I think the guide may have had a kickback going there. We did not have the $15 buffet! We eventually started back to Progreso. About to Merida, the van started having mechanical problems - we finally stopped and the guide called for another bus to come pick us up. It's getting late now, we were supposed to be back on the ship at 3:30, leave at 4. By now I'm sweating bullets, just knowing we won't make it and it's all my fault because I didn't book through Carnival! The bus shows up and we made it back to Progreso about 3:45, and onto the ship a little before 4! We were the last ones on, they had pulled in all but one gangway, the engines are running, people on board are yelling down to us! That was way too close a call! We had a much better experience in Cozumel. We had seen a shore excursion on line through Carnival that we wanted to go on, but it was sold out. When we got on the ship on Monday we had gone to the Shore Excursion desk and asked if they had a waiting list for it, and they did, so we got our names on it. The night before we got to Cozumel, the tickets were delivered to our cabin! It was called La Casa en La Playa Rocky Shores. We had docked at the International Pier this time instead of Puerta Maya, so the walk off was shorted. We found our tour guide, Charly, who said he was our host, and he loaded the 24 of us into 3 vans for the short ride to this lovely house right on the beach. It had a pool, and trees, and lounge chairs, cabana beds, hammocks and 9 staff and a chef! We settled into a shady spot in a little grove of trees, asked for some lounge chairs to be brought over and placed where we were facing the beautiful blue water! We were served anything we wanted to drink, appetizers, my sister went snorkeling - they had the snorkel equipment, water shoes as the shore was a little rocky, and towels. This tour was limited to 24 people, adults only, and we had the beach all to ourselves! We had a choice of about 6 dishes for lunch, which was cooked by Santos, the chef. The food was fantastic! I had grouper baked in garlic and butter, fish tacos, and grilled veggies. Dessert was crepes. This place was just paradise! After about 4 1/2 hours we had to leave, though. Will definitely do this again on my next cruise to Cozumel! At first we thought the $119 per person fee was a little high, but it was worth every penny. The next day we spent time on the Lido deck at the Red Frog Rum Bar, enjoying the sun and the dj, music wasn't too loud for a change, and all the people having a good time, my younger sister most of all!! This was something new for me and my husband, we usually don't spend any time on the Lido. A nice change! We also enjoyed the man in the atrium, can never remember his name - Luke? - who sings and plays his guitar, wonderful voice, draws quite a crowd. They had a country western band at the casino, good, but loud. Spent more time in the casino, actually was winning some money for a change! Went to the MDR for dinner, tipped our waiters and told them goodbye, back to the cabin to pack, gave our good room steward John a tip. He was unobtrusive and kept our cabin clean and our ice bucket filled, brought robes when we didn't have any. Saw very few kids on this cruise, and never had any loud people out in the hall late at night. Saturday morning we were up early to eat breakfast in the MDR, then out of our rooms by 8:30. We went to the theater to wait to disembark, as we were zone 30. Didn't have to wait long, one of the quickest and most efficient disembarkments ever. After a short wait we got a porter and were out quickly. 81st Dolphin van was waiting and got us right back to the parking lot and we were on our way home. I was so pleased that my sisters had a great time! They're ready to go on another cruise, think we should make this a yearly thing, if not more often. I'm all for it! I enjoyed spending time with my sisters so much, and the whole cruise was just excellent, except for almost missing the ship! One thing we were disappointed about, and it's such a small thing, but the map channel on TV that shows the location of the ship was not on. It was listed on the channel guide, but nothing was on. Other than that? Nothing worth mentioning! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We just completed our maiden Cruise on board the Carnival Triumph and can’t wait to book again. The sit down dining was superb, the buffets as expected, shows enjoyable, the service remarkable, the atmosphere dazzling. It was our 25th ... Read More
We just completed our maiden Cruise on board the Carnival Triumph and can’t wait to book again. The sit down dining was superb, the buffets as expected, shows enjoyable, the service remarkable, the atmosphere dazzling. It was our 25th anniversary so we chose a window cabin on the main deck. Our departure was delayed due to fog; it was wild watching the wake of the ship as the Captain made up for lost time. And although we were cruising at a faster than average speed we did not feel much movement on the ship. It’s easy to forget you are on a vessel and not in a luxury hotel. There are 3 tips I would give; first do not check your luggage. Some suitcases were lost or missed placed the first night. Do the "self assist" debarkation. When we arrived back to Galveston, the port was closed due to fog so we had an “Extra” fun day at sea. Having our stuff made all the difference, others were not so happy. I felt bad for the next group because they arrived Galveston during Madi Gras and had to find other accommodations while we partied an extra night. Keep this in mind when making flight reservations. There were some very upset passengers, but we took it as a boon. Next, bring a hair dryer. The dryers in the cabins are a joke. And although power strips are listed as acceptable items to bring on board, they confiscated mine sighting fire hazard. I don’t believe they would have taken a hair dryer. I had to laugh later at them for taking my power strip as a fire hazard when I realized smoking was allowed on board. But drinking, gambling and smoking do seem to go together. The Casino was the only area that the smoke got to me. No one was smoking in the dining room or shows. Finally, layer. There are areas of the ships that are downright cold even when it’s hot out by the pool. Pack a few tank tops to be worn under and a sweater. The only thing bad I could site about a Cruise are the drunks, but a Vegas vacation holds the same downer. The cruise line makes is so easy to over indulge, not just liquor but with food too! I swear I gained 5 pounds.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We took our first cruise with Carnival back in February 2014 and I am SO glad we did. We were excited that our ship (The Triumph) would have all kinds of new upgrades after being dry docked the previous year. Everything was just perfect! ... Read More
We took our first cruise with Carnival back in February 2014 and I am SO glad we did. We were excited that our ship (The Triumph) would have all kinds of new upgrades after being dry docked the previous year. Everything was just perfect! We got upgraded for FREE to an oceanview which made our first cruising experience even better. All the staff was so friendly and helpful and our cleaning service crew always said hello to us when they saw us walking down the hall, we loved how friendly they were! Our dinner crew was also great and I loved when they put on the fun 'shows' at dinner. Speaking of dinner...the food was GREAT! We really enjoyed trying several new things and the food was just incredible. I will say that although I loved the Mongolian Grill, Guy's Burgers and Pizza Pirate, I was NOT a fan of the buffet AT ALL. I can't say much about the drink service as we only had about 2 drinks the entire cruise...on our upcoming cruise this will be so different, as we saw so many we wanted to try! I think I'm really going to enjoy the rum and tequila bars though! Our cruise director was awesome- very bubbly and fun! She always made our time enjoyable when we saw her. Boarding and debarking the ship was super quick and painless, we didn't have a problem at all. We loved this cruise so much that we are taking another in November 2015 for 7 day on the Freedom...we hope we have just as awesome as an experience as we did on the Triumph if not better. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
The fog that prevented us from leaving on time and that kept us on The Ship of Fools for an extra twenty four hours was in no way Carnival's fault. What I do blame Carnival for is having really trashy cruising. We did get underway ... Read More
The fog that prevented us from leaving on time and that kept us on The Ship of Fools for an extra twenty four hours was in no way Carnival's fault. What I do blame Carnival for is having really trashy cruising. We did get underway late due to heavy fog. Considering the lateness of the boarding, embarkation was handled well. I realize that the demographic for Carnival is younger and lower cost audiences, but this was a bunch of yahoos. During our time on the ship, we were treated to someone throwing up on the deck chairs, yelling and screaming, a drunk couple duking it out on the elevator, filthy dishes left in the halls and not picked up, including the pizza that was face down on the floor outside our room. We often saw food strewn on the floor and not picked up. We never met our room steward. The casino's smoke invaded the stairwells and hung there. They stank. We noticed that since you now pay the "hotel charge" that goes into the tips kitty, that the staff is often attitudinal and sharp. This morning an elderly person commented that the coffee machine did not seem to be working and was rudely told it was being cleaned and with a gesture indicated she should leave and find another coffee dispenser. Also this morning during our attempts to have breakfast, a guy was bussing tables and stacking mountains of dirty dishes on our table. I asked him to leave. Anytime we called the front desk, the phone rang and rang unanswered. When I mentioned that I had been calling, and getting no answer after numerous attempts, I was informed, well, I am answering now. Our door would not lock. I called it in to have it repaired and was having a very hard time being understood. Many of the staff have a less than stellar command of the language. Our particular favorite was watching people show up at breakfast in pajamas and bathrobes, and some just wore the bathrobe. So attractive. And no standards of behavior or dress were too low. Food in the dining room was bland and often not hot. When we returned to Galveston, the port was again closed. Carnival did everything they could to help the situation. They were very good about setting up activities to help passengers enjoy their "bonus" day. I never saw a security officer around and I saw two separate incidents of couples having scary disagreements, one of which was so violent that another couple on the elevator was cowering in a corner and my companion and I stepped away from the elevator. I have done other Carnival cruises, but am really disgusted by the way this one went. Carnival is low end cruising at best. No more Carnival cattle car cruising for me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We were delayed getting on board the ship due to fog. Now, the fog was not Carnival's fault, but the way the embarkation process was carried out was certainly their fault. We received e-mail messages Saturday night and again Sunday ... Read More
We were delayed getting on board the ship due to fog. Now, the fog was not Carnival's fault, but the way the embarkation process was carried out was certainly their fault. We received e-mail messages Saturday night and again Sunday morning to give us information about the fog. We were told not to proceed to the ship as the Port Authority of Galveston had closed the port to all incoming and outgoing ships. A little after noon, we received an updated message saying that the ship would arrive in port around 2:30 and embarkation would begin about 5:30. Since we were already in Galveston, we decided to kill a little time and go to a movie. We arrived at the terminal at 5:44 pm. The traffic was horrendous. Other cruisers had disregarded that message and had already arrived and we were all herded into a Walmart sized room. I looked in and said, "Are we getting on a Holocaust ship?" People were sitting on benches, on the floor and against the wall while others were in line to be processed. We got on board at 10:45 PM! We were told when we got our Sign and Sail Card that the dining rooms and buffet lines would be open until everyone was fed. What a big lie! All that was open was the pizza line and ice cream. Our traveling mates decided to order room service rather than wait in the pizza line. It was delivered at 3 AM! Monday was much better as we were finally at sea and the night before seemed like a bad dream. During the week, we had a good time, but the food on the Carnival Magic is subpar! The buffet lines were always crowded and the food was mediocre at best. The best thing we found was the omelet line and I liked the stir fry line. We did find a little sandwich bar on Deck 5 that was pretty good, but it had limited hours. Overall, if you are hungry after about 9 at night, you are out of luck unless you want to stand in line to get some pizza or eat ice cream! We ordered room service one time and the food was disgusting. Our dining room wait staff was exceptional, but the food was only mediocre. We ate there every night and for the brunch on the days at sea. While I enjoyed several meals, I picked at most of them because the entrees were not that good. The lobster tail and shrimp night was good and one night I ordered the flat iron steak and it was tasty, but not exceptional. We had late dining and that was a mistake because we were only about to see two shows the entire week because of poor scheduling of events. We spent most of our evenings watching people sing karaoke. When Sunday morning came around, the captain came on and told us that we would be delayed getting back into Galveston because of fog. Again, Carnival could not help that situation, but the disembarkation process was about as screwed up as the embarkation process. We waited over two hours in line to go through customs. This was my sixth cruise, and the third one on a Carnival ship. I will most likely be giving Royal Caribbean or Princess my cruise dollars in the future. They do not give thrift store customer service! Sayonara, Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Well - my cruise started Sunday, Feb 9 with a major fog delay. Mother Nature - no one to blame. We finally began what I'll call "cruise of the lines" by lining up at the parking facility. After going thru that process, we ... Read More
Well - my cruise started Sunday, Feb 9 with a major fog delay. Mother Nature - no one to blame. We finally began what I'll call "cruise of the lines" by lining up at the parking facility. After going thru that process, we got to the port at about 6:00pm to start the maze of lines. Got thru all of that mess to sit & wait til 11pm to finally board the ship. The port process should have been a sign to us as to how the cruise would go. It was very chaotic. Lots of people with only vending machines & little to NO communication about what was going on. I would say that this is the port issue & not Carnival's fault ... however, Carnival should take full responsibility for ensuring that communication is done on a frequent basis as there is Carnival branding everywhere! Better communication could have helped change my opinion of what a poor job was done. Lesson: Waiting in line at parking facility put us far back in the process at port. Choosing to carry-on bags given the delays was a definite mistake. So, muster was at 1am. Not happy about that but did want to leave port when fog cleared. But, it was not until Monday morning about 9am or 10am when we finally departed. Our Key West port was changed from Tuesday to Friday. This was OK with us but the timing on the other ports of call were adjusted. Not very happy about that. Anyway - we were on our way. FOOD - During the cruise, the food in the buffet was poor in quality & temperature, choices were very limited, & lines VERY long. We thought this would change as the cruise progressed, but to our dismay we were wrong. Steakhouse food was excellent & service there was excellent (we even had a large party of 10 diners). Kudo's to Steakhouse. Also, the Italian restaurant was very good. The sandwich bar & Tandoori station at the back of the ship on 10th floor were our mainstays! Sandwiches were VERY good. Pizza was good, hot dogs & hamburgers were good too. We had "my time" dining. Generally food was OK -- just not as good as normal for the dining room. Lesson: Choose anything except the buffets & you should be OK. We chose excursions off of the ship at Freeport & Nassau. We chose a Carnival excursion for Key West. So - I'm less than satisfied with the service received from Guest Services with respect to getting our tickets. We ordered the morning before so that there would be plenty of time for delivery of our tickets prior to our Key West port of call. Long story short - I had to personally visit Guest Services 3 times to finally get our tickets. The 3rd time was on the morning of the port & they were already letting people off of the ship. I registered my dissatisfaction with them. Lesson: Careful about excursions off of the ship -- can't believe everything you read on the internet about how good places are. Nassau was a happy accident where we ended up getting a personal taxi to take us around for the day & show us a little of all of Nassau. Ensure you get your tickets ahead of time it choosing excursions on the ship. There was a medical emergency onboard that caused about a 4 hour or more backtrack to get helicopters to come out & airlift a passenger off the ship. This was something that was needed & could have happened on any cruise or trip anywhere. There was fairly frequent communication about this over the speaker system - much appreciated. So, next morning we were estimated to be reaching Galveston around 10:30am. There was NO updated communication until about 10am. UNACCEPTABLE as by this time, people assumed what they needed to do in order to disembark. Again with the lines! Lesson: The disembarkation process was a little better than the embarkation process but not by much.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
FOG!!! Delayed getting on the ship and again getting off the ship!!! NEVER AGAIN!!! This happens more often than they will admit. To get on the ship we were delayed for more than 8 hours and put into this huge room with chairs and ... Read More
FOG!!! Delayed getting on the ship and again getting off the ship!!! NEVER AGAIN!!! This happens more often than they will admit. To get on the ship we were delayed for more than 8 hours and put into this huge room with chairs and TV's. We stayed there for hours!!! Were not offered any food or water!!! There were so many families with little children that I felt terrible for. Apparently Texas and Carnival do not know how to learn a lesson. How hard is it to make water available to everyone?? Oh, if they did that then they would have to have more than 1 bathroom available to thousands of people!!!! Next, the ship left port 8 hours later than scheduled which was caused by "nature"! Most people on the ship didn't realize that the next day that is usually beautiful and warm was NOT because we lost 8 hours of travel time!!! Had to wear long pants and jackets!!! The 3 excursion days were great. Beautiful weather and everyone was happy. The thing that I noticed is that carnival is losing control over their excursions. On 2 separate days an excursion came back late to the ship. When I spoke to some friends that happened to be on both excursions they said that the comment passed by both excursion leaders was "It's OK. Carnival won't leave without you!" So thousands of us who obeyed the rules and got on the ship on time were inconvenienced! And it was not the fellow cruisers fault! I blame Carnival for not emphasizing the importance to these excursion leaders and take appropriate action when they do not comply!!!! Then we had a day at sea while heading home. I think the captain of the ship was in a great rush because we hit the cold weather again-long pants and jackets. And what was the big rush because he knew the port was closed that morning and would probably be closed again the next. And guess what? Fog on our embarkment day! I understand weather can't be controlled but customer service sucked!!!! They kept saying it is unusual and they can't help Mother Nature but they can help with air reservations. Unless you booked your flight thru them than they did not offer any help at all. Disembarkment was horrible. Considering this happens a lot they need to work on improving every aspect of this. Maybe consider changing the time they start and end the cruise to 4pm during the winter fog months!!! When I do something wrong once or twice I learn my lesson and adapt but not Carnival!!!! Then we finally get our luggage and wait on a line for over 1.5 hours to get thru security and look for our transfer shuttle. I had asked onboard the ship where it was located and just told to go out and turn right. Was never told about a very small desk surrounded by mobs of people trying to get on the ship!!!! Finally get a stupid red ticket to get on the shuttle and had to wait for 1 hour for other people. We met other guests on the shuttle that had express disembarkment that were there for over 1.5 ours already!!!! A lot of good that did them!!! Finally, we leave the port and are 1/2 way to the airport. maybe we can make the last flight out!!! But guess what? The shuttle driver gets a message to turn around! No explanation given to us at all and we travel over 45 minutes to go back to pick up 2 passengers one of which was a wheelchair passenger. Another person on the shuttle starts to get mad at the Carnival rep and say to him that he could have put this person on another shuttle or a private service rather than causing more than 18 people to miss their flight!!! 15 Canadians now had to pay over $600.00 each to fly out the next day. Finally we are dropped off at an airport that has nothing open! So again no water since 4 pm and it is 11pm!!!! Not helped at all with hotel reservations or rebooking flights. If this is Texan hospitality than you can keep it!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
I've read many positive and negative reviews here and while there were minor problems throughout the week, they were typical of travel and the overall experience was excellent. We were traveling as a group of 10 and chose early ... Read More
I've read many positive and negative reviews here and while there were minor problems throughout the week, they were typical of travel and the overall experience was excellent. We were traveling as a group of 10 and chose early dining as our daily meet-up. The Southern Lights dining experience was incredible and Reynaldo and his crew took excellent care of us. They remembered our likes and dislikes and engaged us in a friendly manner throughout the week. The food was mostly good-to-superb and the Didja selection each day was fun! I enjoyed the shows in the Showtime theater and endured the constant opportunity to play Bingo because it paid to arrive early and secure a seat. We also went to the comedy club twice for the family-friendly version and it was really funny one of those times and tolerably funny the other time. It was a little disconcerting how they filled and emptied the room so purposely between shows. We usually went directly after dinner and would have stayed through several shows and probably ordered more drinks, but it seemed there was an urgency to order and then hurry up and clear the room. The casino was surprisingly nice for its' size. I put up with the smoke in the smoking section because of the slot machine selections and it was only really bad once. Drink service was good. Our cabin was much larger than we expected for a interior on the 6th deck. Everything was spotless and our beds extremely comfortable. There wasn't any noise issues, but our steward wasn't especially attentive. He did improve over the course of the week; maybe it was the fog-related late embarkation that threw everything off in the beginning. The relaxation areas were nice; the serenity deck was large and well appointed and located with a perfect view. The waiting area at the spa was very nice. One problem with the spa area of the ship was trying to find your way in and out of the area. They need more signs at the elevators that go only to that area. Overall the experience was fabulous. There were weather-related issues at the beginning and end of the trip, but that gets filed under unexpected-vacation-sidetracking. I'm hooked on cruising now and would definitely go on the Magic again when time permits. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
EMBARKATION: 1 STAR The ship got in crazy late due to fog. Be advised that this is a common occurrence this time of year at this port. SHIP LAYOUT: 5 STARS This "Dream" class of ships has the all important reconfigured deck 5, ... Read More
EMBARKATION: 1 STAR The ship got in crazy late due to fog. Be advised that this is a common occurrence this time of year at this port. SHIP LAYOUT: 5 STARS This "Dream" class of ships has the all important reconfigured deck 5, with wrap around exterior common areas, and semi sheltered area mid ship, where the smoking is allowed. This is way better than having to go hand out on The Lido. Also, we recently ran into a layout where the cabin steward access door was directly across from our door. This really was not good. On The Magic however, these are down a side alley, so should one get any chatty Cathy clang clang stewards, it does not disturb one. The ( Teal ? Blueish evergreen ? ) and black color scheme is quite nice. FOOD, DINING ROOM: 4 STARS I liked everything. SERVICE, DINING ROOM, 5 STARS For a while, when any time dining was introduced, it seemed to me that some staff got sort of resentful, there being a disconnect in the personal experience, and thus less chance of additional tipping. There was no sign of that on the Magic. The dining room staff was attentive and upbeat. Delivery times were excellent. FOOD, LIDO: 4 STARS I think they do a great job. One never sees wilted lettuce or empty trays. PIZZA PIRATE, 3 STARS Again I say they need to have those glass shelves with lots of pepperoni slices ready to fly with no wait. Almost always a line. The garlic ( white ) pizza was very good. MONGOLIAN WOK: 4 STARS Long lines. Very good once one gets it. Be warned that the Szechuan sauce is SUBSTANTIALLY hotter than the Thai sauce. PORT, BELIZE, CAVE TUBING 4 STARS Really good, Be warned that you do have to carry your tube 20 minutes on a dirt path, and the ride there is hr 20 mn, but it is still quite an experience. PORT ROATAN, MAHOGANY BEACH, 3.5 STARS The sky tram is twelve bucks, but it turns out that it really is not that far of a walk from the terminal if you want to save the dough. The beach is nice, there are free shaded beach chairs, with upgrades available should one wish ( canopies etc ). FAT TUESDAYS BARS, MULTIPLE PORTS, 1 STAR' Too noisy, staff with attitudes, waaay over priced. STORE EMPLOYEES, COZUMEL, 2 STARS BURGERS, LIDO, 3 STARS I remember the as tasting a bit better. The Guy Fieri ones on other ships are noticeably better but there is a constant long line. The slider burgers at the sea Day Deck 5 BBQ were better. LIDO INDIAN FOOD, 4 STARS Everything I had was great, and there is always ( bizzarely ) lots of fresh Greek salad there as well. BEVERAGE STATIONS, LIDO, 3.5 STARS One can get lemonade any time, thank you very much. Coffee lines can get long at peak morning times. The cold water dispensers are way too slow. WATER SLIDES, 4 STARS Yes I finally tried it. Oh boy, the more intense one is really something else. One is tumbling about in the dark disoriented. I unceremoniously landed in a heap finally in the pool at the bottom. I thought it would be more of a tame kiddie type thing, nice ( I went and did it again ). They will not just let you walk down the street. They do not physically grab your elbow or anything, but there is always someone stepping near you yippy yapping about going into their claustrophobic store. I reflexively recoil from this sort of thing. LARGE HALL SHOW, 4 STARS We only saw one, some dancing lazer light thing, It was very professional and entertaining, they have upped their game from the sometimes lame but ( polite cough ) easy on the eyes medely reviews. INTERNET ACCESS: 1 STAR Yes I understand it could never be as fast as my home connection, but it is way too expensive. DRINK PRICES, 1 STAR Way overpriced considering how cheap they must be getting stuff with how much they buy, but hey, noone says one has to drink, right ? ART SHOWS, 1 STAR One teeny glass of champagne. Prices have trended higher every cruise. It was like listening to a time share pitch. Don't try to make a drinking game out of doing a shot every time one hears "Takay" or "Peter Max", or you will be knee walking out of the Conference room. CASINO, 3.5 STARS Nice looking with that color scheme, black table tops. Again some dealers look like they want to end their lives right there in front of you, perhaps they should consider doing something else. Sandra from Zimbabwe was very nice. SHOWS, COMEDY 4 STARS We saw a couple in the smaller venue. The older dude was OK, the one with the crazy hair with his routine about Dad driving the vacation car was very funny. SHOWS, MAGIC, 3 STARS Show a little short, magician a bit lacking in charisma. They had him tying balloons for the kids on deck the last day, earning his keep. SHIP CLEANLINESS: 4.5 STARS They really keep up with it. I would still like to see far more antiseptic stations, and more attention to them being kept full. FELLOW PASSENGERS, 4.5 STARS Mostly a Texas crowd, and I found Texans to be a nice group indeed, polite, friendly. Not alot of kiddies on this particular cruise, which worked for us. CABIN STEWARDS: 5 STARS Flawless.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
The fourth trip we were held up with the fog that blanketed Galveston. We could not embark on-time, we instead got sent to the holding room with 1000+ people. Carnival did a good job sending information on the text and email about the ... Read More
The fourth trip we were held up with the fog that blanketed Galveston. We could not embark on-time, we instead got sent to the holding room with 1000+ people. Carnival did a good job sending information on the text and email about the delays. Unlike the other times we read about, they did provide water and some snacks. We requested twin beds and got a full bed instead, and it was corrected quickly. We never did really meet the stateroom steward unlike the other times, he was like a vague shadow that we passed in the hallway. The dining room staff was very pleasant and entertaining. Unfortunately the food in the dining room was the same as the last times we cruised. We would have gone to the buffets, but they were closed early, we went around 6PM. We enjoyed the showtime theater, especially the illusionist show. Skip the gameshow, they did not seem like they knew what they were doing and numerous people left. The mixology was a lot of fun to watch, however they had a lot of entries and only used four of the people. A suggestion would be to drop the tired ice carving of the indian and have an extra mixology contest. Seem like the lido deck was very slippery this year and treacherous walking end to end. They should stress the need to be on the ship on time, as we had to wait for strays, one coming 45 minutes late. Nothing that will stop us for taking a 5th trip, but some things could be new for return cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Our time on the Magic was simply wonderful. It got off to a rough start because of fog which closed down the port and delayed everything until that evening. However, once the fog lifted and we were able to get on board, the crew did ... Read More
Our time on the Magic was simply wonderful. It got off to a rough start because of fog which closed down the port and delayed everything until that evening. However, once the fog lifted and we were able to get on board, the crew did everything to make it right. We only wish we had kept our coats on to get in line for hamburgers on the Lido deck because it was the only thing open and the lines were long. In retrospect, we should have ordered room service. It was so late, we went to our cabin and turned in. After that, we just relaxed, explored the ship, ate, and relaxed some more. We chose not to book any excursions this time, but did get off in Roatan, Belize and Cozumel and walked around. The sea days were nice and we enjoyed just discovering what the Magic had to offer. Our cabin steward, I Komang (I hope I got his name right) was great and took good care of us. I had a bottle of wine I was trying mightily to cool off using the small ice bucket. When we returned to the cabin, he had found a bigger bucket, filled it with ice and cooled my wine which enhanced the evening. The towel animals are a riot. I looked forward to what new creation would be waiting on the bed each night. We chose Your Time dining, which we will not do again. Only one floor of one dining room was set aside for it and the lines were horribly long. You either must get there early or very late to avoid them. This was the only time we encountered long lines, so we adjusted the time we got in line, or went somewhere else for dinner. Our server the first night, Oktariani, (and her team Anulfo and I Made) was awesome and she even remembered us when she saw on the Lido deck at breakfast the next morning, so we requested her when we next went to the main dining room, which the hostess was pleased to accommodate. She made the dining experience very nice. Breakfast was good. We got omelets every day, which are made to order. I loved the coffee bar, but it was only as a treat since you have to pay extra for it. I highly recommend going to the Italian restaurant, Cucino del Capitano for the lasagna, which was to die for. We just couldn't finish it! It's free if you go at lunch. I went for a spa mani and pedi and Lizelle did a great job and was nice to talk to. Go to the Punchliners shows if you can. The comedians were hilarious, especially Ronnie Bullard, who had us rolling in the aisles. The magic show was great too. It was a Vegas type production and we enjoyed it a lot. Get there early though to get a good seat! Coming back into port, Galveston was again blanketed in fog which delayed disembarking. However, once we were able to dock, things went reasonably quick getting off the ship and going through customs. It was too late to drive home, so we got a hotel and started out the next morning. This was our first seven-night cruise and I'm glad we went on the Magic. The crew was great, everything was clean (there are hand purifier stations everywhere!) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I'm sure we'll be booking on the Magic again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My wife and I just finished a week long cruise on the beautiful Carnival Magic. Background info: we're both in our mid-30's and traveled from Seattle to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We've cruised several times before, but ... Read More
My wife and I just finished a week long cruise on the beautiful Carnival Magic. Background info: we're both in our mid-30's and traveled from Seattle to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We've cruised several times before, but it's been seven years since the last one. Our two children stayed behind and spent the week with the grandparents. First, let me just say that we were a bit leery heading into the cruise with some of the reviews posted here. However, we experienced a fantastic voyage. I am beginning to wonder if some people look for things to complain about. The fellow passengers, mostly hailing from Texas, were a friendly bunch. We made a number of new friends that I'm sure we'll maintain contact with. The Magic herself is gorgeous! The bright colors throughout enhances the experience sailing throughout the Caribbean. We tried virtually every activity that was offered: ropes course, both water slides, spa treatments, fitness center (almost daily), shows, comedy, Vibe dance club, ocean plaza, karaoke, pools, hot tubs, outdoor movies, etc. The comedy was a highlight of the trip! The only minor disappointment was the performer who juggled on the second to last night. Many folks walked out and my wife and I thought that Noonan, the CD, should have used "the hook" to pull him off the stage. As for the food, overall we were quite pleased. The gastronomic highlight was most definitely the Prime Steakhouse. Wow! Try the lobster bisque and the chocolate sampler! Stellar service and five delicious courses. $35 each was a steal for a meal of this caliber. Cucina del Capitano was another hit with us. The eggplant parm was to die for! I'm Italian, and it was as good as I remember my grandmother's from childhood. The Indian station on 10 aft is excellent. You should definitely try the butter chicken. On sea days, the BBQ station is good and just inside Ocean Plaza is a great salad bar where you choose from about 30 items. The chefs then hand toss it for you. Very tasty. For breakfast, try the french toast, quite good! The food in the main dining room was good, but nothing to write home about. However, we loved our three waiters. Ask for Pepito and his team in the Southern Lights for friendly service. They seemed more engaged than many of the other wait staff in our area. The singing is cheesy, but my wife seemed to enjoy it. We were thankful to be seated with some great folks, and enjoyed good conversation each evening. One other comment regarding the food: we heard two separate groups of people complaining that "there wasn't enough food offered." My wife and I were shocked each time. I gained 7 pounds on the cruise for goodness' sake! We had a great time in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. The beaches at all three ports were exactly what we were looking for. We've traveled throughout North America, Europe, and South America, so Jamaica wasn't as "rough" a place a some had suggested. One definitely needs to be careful and aware what's going on around them, as in most new places. We really enjoyed having two bathrooms in our deluxe oceanview room. It was especially nice after returning form ports and the pool. One note, we were originally booked in 1275, but asked to be moved due to a banging noise coming from deck 0. We called early Monday and the purser's office sent someone to listen. After about five minutes the noise returned. Within the next 10 minutes, staff were helping us move to our new room, 1371, just down the corridor. 1371 was quiet and everything we wanted. On a final note, one purchase helped us enjoy the cruise just a bit more, the Faster to the Fun program. I read about it on CC, and we were both thrilled with it. With an embarkation delay because of a medivac, most people waited 2-3 hours to embark. It took us 16 minutes and our room was ready and waiting for us. We were about 6 hours late returning to port because of fog. With FTTF, we were called to disembark (self-assist) within 15 minutes of docking. We breezed through customs in about 10 more. Thanks to the Carnival Magic team for a wonderful anniversary trip. We're already considering bringing our kids on a cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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