17 Carnival Magic Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

If you like noise, chaos and lines this is the cruise for you. Very disappointed in this huge over crowded ship. Noisy everyehere. Lines for everything. Two singers every night in atruim that were so loud it was difficult to communicate ... Read More
If you like noise, chaos and lines this is the cruise for you. Very disappointed in this huge over crowded ship. Noisy everyehere. Lines for everything. Two singers every night in atruim that were so loud it was difficult to communicate with guest services personnel or shore desk.literally had to holler to ask a question. Staff acknowledged and advised they would report once more to entertainment staff. You could not sit and enjoy the music and most chairs /sofas were empty in this area as likely no one could stand sitting there due to the piercing noise. . Serenity deck was fairly peaceful but difficult to get a spot. No place throughout ship for solace to go read a book unless you went on very off hours and sat in lido restaurant.. Unlikr Holland America which has the crow's nest where you can sit and look out.Our balcony was on 6 th floor port side which was just above the hot tub. So each time we went on the balcony we heard screaming folks in the large hot tub pool. Young and old till 9 pm. We always enjoy the balcony but spent little time on it due to the noise below. Our shower overflowed every day and every day they said they fixed it. We used all the towels to sop it up so proactively got where we just turned shower on and off while showering to avoid the overflow.. It seemed that chairs were always being dragged somewhere above or below our room.Gym adequate but of course crowded. Wait staff nice but very rushed. Food fair.folks imprperly dressed at every seating. Cabin steward very kind and sweet. I usually enjoy the singer/ dancers but this group was mediocre to say the least. Comedians each night were very good.and we looked forward to attending all their performances. Embarkation/ debarkation was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
New Years Eve Cruise With Friends~~~~ We flew into Orlando the day before and stayed at The Marriott Lakeside. We loved the shuttle service offered. Call the hotel when you arrive and they send the shuttle! Well, a nice hotel stay and ... Read More
New Years Eve Cruise With Friends~~~~ We flew into Orlando the day before and stayed at The Marriott Lakeside. We loved the shuttle service offered. Call the hotel when you arrive and they send the shuttle! Well, a nice hotel stay and then we arranged an Uber XL for the Port. Very inexpensive considering we had 3 couples. the driver took us to the local grocery store for wine and snacks etc... We arrived at the port and because of our diamond status we got right on the ship. The magic really is a beauty. Typically we try and stay on the lower floors due to the easy access on and off the ship on port days. Also, if the ship rocks at all usually it is not as shaky on the lower floors. We sailed to 4 ports, St Thomas ( we rented a boat at Compass Point and snorkeled), Grand Turk ( hung out at the beach and drank local beer ,Turks Head). In Puerto Rico we went to Barachinna and had local food and a Pina Colada, also went for a stroll through the streets of Old San Juan- I love this port. In DR we hung out at Amber Cove. Beautiful weather and people. Spent some time in the casino, It was very smoky and that is one of the main reasons I didn't hang out there more. The Comedy clubs had some good comedians and we really enjoyed Arvin Mitchell, so very funny. The shows and activities were abundant. The cruise director was hilarious with his I love you, I love you more routine...Young , fun crew on this ship. We also spent some quiet time on the upper decks away from all the music , just enjoying the sun and good company. I have been on 40 plus cruises and I will have to say The Magic is up there on my list. Please ask any questions @ expresgal1@aol.com as I don't often check cruise critic. Bon Voyage Liz Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
As a frequent traveler with Carnival - we found this ship as providing the lowest standard of room and dining service we have ever received. The staff appeared to be over extended. Our dinner took more than an hour - after ordering - to ... Read More
As a frequent traveler with Carnival - we found this ship as providing the lowest standard of room and dining service we have ever received. The staff appeared to be over extended. Our dinner took more than an hour - after ordering - to receive, for three of the five days. Our room service was basic - on scale of an economy hotel - bed spread and fresh towels only. The carpet on the floors did not look like they had been vacuumed in several days. The entertainment the first night was the cruise director attempting humor by making fun at the various people boarding the ship / the actual comedians were mediocre, There was mold/mildew in the showers at the spa. It appears that Carnival has cut cost in areas that has reduced the level of services as well as entertainment. Next time, for us; it will be different ship and possibly a different Carrier. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. Embarkation was really bad. Fortunately we have Platinum status, so unlike most passengers, were able to sit indoors during the 3 hour delay boarding. Many people waited for hours outdoors in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. Embarkation was really bad. Fortunately we have Platinum status, so unlike most passengers, were able to sit indoors during the 3 hour delay boarding. Many people waited for hours outdoors in the heat. It would have been helpful if they would of kept the passengers informed on what was going. I never learned about the cause of the delay. Food: loved the new additions of Guy's Burgers! Also, the Blue Iguana Cantina was really good. I had breakfast burritos for breakfast everyday. The buffet was average. The desserts at the buffet were disappointing. The Tandoor Indian buffet for lunch was very good as was the pizzeria. We skipped the pay restaurants because based on the menus they didn't seem to worth the up charge. The Northern Lights restaurant (main dining room for My Time dining) was very disappointing. The service was very slow and the food was cold. We ate there only twice due to the first two experiences. Bars/lounges: The bar staff at the Alchemy Bar were very friendly and entertaining, even when they were slammed. Stvatava made me a custom cocktail which was delicious. The Red Frog Pub was fun. Good atmosphere and friendly staff. We didn't drink a whole lot so can't really rate the other venues. But speaking of alcohol, we were unpleasantly surprised to learn on the last night that alcohol bought on board would not be delivered to our cabins. We had to pick it up at 6am the morning of disembarkation. Had I known that I would never had purchased any. When we asked why they were doing this, we were told that when alcohol is delivered on the last night passengers were drinking it. Seriously? Even if that was true, how much money would they have lost. It definitely was a major inconvenience. Our cabin steward was always very friendly and did a great job of keeping our cabin tidy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Don't waste your hard-earned money, it's not worth it. It was really expensive, much more so than advertised. These guys charged $3.75 for water....Water!!! I was told the food was so great, but it all fell short, other than fine ... Read More
Don't waste your hard-earned money, it's not worth it. It was really expensive, much more so than advertised. These guys charged $3.75 for water....Water!!! I was told the food was so great, but it all fell short, other than fine dining, which was passable. 99/100 employees were fantastic, hard working people( who told us they made $50 a week). Everything I wanted to do was preceded by long lines, only to be extremely let down. Our cruise advisor lied to us, telling us we didn't book on spring break. Guess what? We did our honeymoon on spring break. It's advertised as 8 hours per port, but you're lucky to get 3. My wife and I just felt lied to and ripped off, to the point we'll never cruise again. I compared our cruise to Walmart on black Friday, with triple prices, that you can't escape. With the hefty upfront price, I assumed we were paid in full, and certain needs would be met, like water. There was no shortage of tourist traps while aboard. Heavily overpriced drinks were rapidly offered at every turn. The Photoshop charges $20 per print. I can get them for 49 cents at Walgreen's. That's not profiteering, it's blatant price gouging. The casino magically charged us extra, although we only gambled cash. The machine I did play on felt very rigged. The pointer would suddenly jump, when you got close to winning, and I kept my cash in pocket. The rooms were actually quite clean, as they push their foreign staff much harder than their American counterparts. There were 2 tiny swimming pools, which were massively overcrowded. The hot tubs were down more than they were full. I got into one, only to get right out from the funky smell. They are very strict about bringing water or alcohol on the boat, which puzzled me at first, but I saw the prices and had a light bulb moment. I'm not a rich person. We saved for this and were very excited to go. After going through customs at debarkation, I felt free. It must be what prisoners feel like when they serve their time and are freed. In summary, we won't be back.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
If you can get Faster to the Fun: Get It! It is well worth the price. Picture long lines at Guest Services with one Carnival employee behind the counter waiting on cruisers, each with some kind of "issue". Picture standing in ... Read More
If you can get Faster to the Fun: Get It! It is well worth the price. Picture long lines at Guest Services with one Carnival employee behind the counter waiting on cruisers, each with some kind of "issue". Picture standing in longer lines wrapped around the ship just waiting to get on a tender boat. Guess what, if you have FTTF, you don't have to. You get to just walk up to Guest Services and get waited on immediately, and FTTF folks don't wait in the line for a tender boat. They get priority boarding. We were one of the first cruisers on the ship and one of the first off the ship, with no wait through Customs during disembarkation. My husband and I mostly cruise on Princess. I can tell you, it felt like there were more activities and people stayed active later on Carnival, then on Princess. The last Princess cruise we went on, it almost felt like the ship was deserted after 11pm. We spend a lot of time in the casino on cruise ships. This casino definitely gave out the most free drinks to players than any cruise we have ever been on. In addition, they had great raffles and giveaways. They gave out money and cruises, not just hats and t-shirts. There are a couple of things. though that I feel the casino could improve. 1. On Princess, the Casino Host is available for a "meet and greet" on day one. The Casino host makes an effort to get to know the players during the week. On this ship, this did not happen. (I had to ask who the host actually was.) I spent most of my time in the Casino at the Poker Pro table successfully winning with $1750 in my Poker Pro account by the end of the cruise. When I went to the cage to have my Poker Pro money transferred to my sail and sign account, I was told to wait. A casino supervisor came out of the back room and questioned me. He wanted to know if I had "meant to withdraw a large sum " off my sail and sign account. At first, I had no clue what he was even talking about. I quickly found out he was insinuating that I was trying to scam the casino. If you want cash off of your sail and sign account to play black jack, roulette, etc, the Casino charges a "fee" for this money. But, when you withdraw money from your sail and sign card through the Poker Pro table, there is no fee. Apparently, people must have figured this out trying to get "fee free" money to play other games with. He could have easily taken the time before questioning me to look at my Poker Pro activity and realize that I was not one of these people. He didn't though. I am female. I believe he took one look at me and made an assumption. I explained to him that I had been playing at that Poker Pro table all week long, and shame on him for not knowing his players. 2. The casino employees dealing the Ultimate Texas Holdem table game made many mistakes with the hands. Twice my winning hand got folded into the muck, and we had to call the Pit Boss over to pull the cards. I saw mistakes made several times. Mostly to the casino's advantage, but once the dealer overpaid me. I stopped the action, called the pit boss over and showed her. I know my husband was not happy that I did that, but I wanted her to know the mistakes were going both ways. None of the dealers I saw seemed happy. When I asked why so many mistakes were being made, I was told the game is new to them (9 months) and that they are overworked and are tired. Carnival really needs to rework their buffet and drink kiosks. It is the worst set up I have ever seen. First, this cruise was sold out. Typically, when we cruise we barely even know there are thousands of people on the cruise with us. This time we definitely knew and the buffet was packed with people every time we went. Carnival Magic has two buffet rooms each with two identical sides which merge in the middle for a specialty item, like burritos, tacos, etc. The first problem is that I never saw both buffet rooms open. Every time we went to the buffet, only one room was open. The first two thirds of the buffet were filled with stuff like olives, sandwich meats, cheeses, salads. You have to trudge through this line to get to the last third of the buffet which actually has the hot food. By the time you get to the hot food, there was typically not much there. The staff had a hard time keeping up replenishing the food. After you make it through this line, if you want a hand made burrito or taco, etc you merge with the line from the other side and wait again. Carnival should really consider redesigning this set up. Just expanding and placing the hot food first in the line makes more sense. If you did not want olives, pickles, or salad, etc. you could then just step out of the line. Next, you have to go after your own drink. Carnival has this tiny ice/water machine, coffee and juice machine tucked in a corner or small area. Everyone is on top of each other trying to get drinks. On port days, I saw people filling up large jugs of ice to take off the ship and depleting the small ice machine of ice during breakfast. Again the employees could not keep up. Those of you who have cruised on Princess know that the employees serve drinks at your table at the buffet. This not only makes it so much easier, but these employees have to engage in conversation with the cruisers. I think Carnival is missing an opportunity by not providing this service. Unlike, the main dining staff and the cabin stewards, the buffet employees don't have much verbal communication with the cruisers because they are not serving them. This could be one reason why there seems to be a disconnect with certain Carnival employees. These things aside, we still had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was my first Carnival cruise, and I can see why someone that has never cruised another cruiseline might be impressed. But they have no idea! My first concern was before we even boarded. The older gentleman that was checking us in ... Read More
This was my first Carnival cruise, and I can see why someone that has never cruised another cruiseline might be impressed. But they have no idea! My first concern was before we even boarded. The older gentleman that was checking us in took forever from the time he finished with the couple ahead of us before he was ready to begin our check-in. Which would have been fine except that when we were finally called forward and handed him our completed health questionaires (that are mostly questions geared toward illness and potential exposure to ebola), he realized that he had forgotten to collect the questionaires from the previous couple. He started to go after them, but realized that they were long-gone by then. After boarding but prior to departure, my cabinmate and I decided to grab some grub. The female employee that was supposed to be slicing the hot beef was too busy playing with a male employee to realize that I was waiting to be served. A fews days later, while eating cole slaw from the lunch buffet, my cabinmate found a long blond hair (we both have short, dark hair). GROSS! Although we signed up for the early dining (which I prefer because I enjoy eating dinner in the restaurants, but finishing early enough to go see the shows and stand-up comedy), we were assigned the late dining. We ended up eating at the restaurant only three nights, which was just as well because apparently the wait staff couldn't get the orders right. My cabinmate and I always got what we ordered, but most of the other passengers at our dinner table complained that at some point during the week they either they didn't get something they had ordered, or what they got wasn't right (usually it was the former). The comdians were part of the George Lopez Punchliner tour and they were pretty funny (Caroline Pickard and Billy D. Washington were great). But it turns out there were only two shows in the theatre- both magicians. One of them was flown in from Vegas, and the show was good but the music was incredibly loud which made it difficult to understand the words to the songs. The third performance in the theatre was a show that passengers were invited to try out for, with the "Carnival Magic Dancers" participating as well. But it was difficult to discern the "professional" dancers from the amateur passenger performers. The other performers on the ship (bands and singers at the piano bars and in the lobby areas) were also very loud and not very good. I know karaoke singers that sound better. And the midship pool on Deck 10 was always blaring loud music- sometimes live, sometimes recorded, but always so loud that you had to shout to be heard over the music. And there are very few places you can find on the (rather large) ship that you will find peace and quiet. Even Serenity, the deck area for ages 21 and over only, always seemed to have music playing despite its name. Most frustrating was that loud music always seemed to be blaring in the mid-ship atrium, which is where guest services is located. I spent a good bit of time at guest services, due to some miscommunications, which may or may not have been directly related to that fact that between the loud music and the foreign accents, it was very difficult to understand. I don't usually have a problem with foreign accents (in fact, at my place of work I am sometimes teased about the fact that I often have to repeat what a foreigner said so that a coworker can understand). But even I had trouble with the combination. Bottomless bubbles is a joke. In order to get a soda, you have to go to one of the bars and wait in line to be helped. So you either have to get your drink first, and then carry it around through the food lines (which have large plates, but not trays) along with your eating utensils or you need someone to watch it for you while you go through the food line. The only time it is convenient to get a soda is if you are either eating in a dining room or if you can wait for a server to come by (such as when you are out on one of the decks or in the lounges, but you can only have one soda at a time so it's not really bottomless unless you keep getting up for a refill). I didn't have any hand sanitizer with me (I don't usually carry it or use it much) and although there are a few hand sanitizer stations on the ship, only a few are prominently displayed and they are mostly just where the food is served. Restrooms also aren't easy to find. On the upper outside decks and outside the Northern/Southern Lights restaurants they are easy to find. But I couldn't locate any on the fourth or fifth decks mid-ship (which is where the shopping is) without going through the casino (which always reeked of cigarettes), unless the theatre was open so I could use those rest rooms. One would expect there to be more signs directing passengers to nearby restrooms. Interestingly enough, the rest rooms has only hot air blowers for hand drying, no paper towels unless you used the small, thin paper towels on the backs of the exit doors that are designed to be used to grab the door handle without touching the door directly. Why don't they just put paper towel dispensers with full-sized regular-strength paper towels inside the restroom? The bathroom in our cabin didn't have a vent. Unless it was the button on the wall that was pushed all the way in. I reported to Guest Services that one of the buttons next to the cabin bathroom light wasn't functional (when I tried to describe where the button was located, they asked what the button was for- I told them I didn't know because the button didn't work!) and I was told that the previous occupants had already reported it broken. The next day, I thought it had been fixed, but when I pushed it to find out what it did, the button just went back into the wall and didn't come out. So apparently they didn't feel the need to fix it, just pull it back out. Interestingly enough, another guest told me that the button in the location I described was supposed to be an emergency switch. Glad we didn't have an emergency! I was also surprised to find that the ship had only two movie channels on the tvs, and each shows only one movie all day long beginning at 3, 6, 9 and 12. Fortunately we had good weather and I didn't get sunburnt so it didn't really matter, although they did show a couple of movies that I would have liked to have seen if they began at convenient times. Likewise, the big ("Dive-In") movie screen shows only two movies, one showing of each at night. So you might have to choose whether you want to go to dinner, see a performance or watch the movie. Perhaps Carnival could save some money by showing eaching of the movies more than once, throughout the day, rather than pay a band or DJ to perform. Although they advertise that cash cannot be used on the ship, that is not entirely true. You will need change to do laundry ($3 each for washer and dryer- and you have to put $3 in the dryer for 90 minutes whether you need 90 minutes or not) and can get quarters from either the dollar changer in the laundrette (assuming it works and has change in it) or the casino. Apparently the casino is cash-only also. Good thing I don't gamble! Lastly, the layout of the Fun Times schedule could be better. Instead of offering a grid of locations and times for the whole day, they just have lists in various places of what's going on. I guess the idea is that you go to the section that lists the activities you are most interested in, and then figure out what time you need to be where. But it would be easier if you could just find whatever time you want and go down to see what is going on at that time- be it movies, shows, contests, etc. My takeaway? They have some very nice, funny and professional staff. I suspect that most of them will moving on to other (better) cruiselines. If you are looking for a 24/7 bar scene or are happy gambling you days away, Carnival might be for you. But personally I would rather spend a little bit more money and get a much better value by going with another cruiseline. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Carnival Magic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 4.5 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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