487 Carnival Magic Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

This cruise was with family and they chose their favourite cruise line. We had been on the Inspiration and didn't care for the ship or experience but were ready to keep an open mind. Embarkation was swift except for some detail of ... Read More
This cruise was with family and they chose their favourite cruise line. We had been on the Inspiration and didn't care for the ship or experience but were ready to keep an open mind. Embarkation was swift except for some detail of where we were going after the cruise, which we had answered during online check-in, and which separated us from the rest of our group. Lunch was an opportunity to try Pig & Anchor, which was okay. Preference is lunch in a main dining room on embarkation day, which Carnival does not offer, and they do not offer lunch in a dining room at all - lunch is the buffet, Guy's, pizza or Mexican. The only 24-hour option is pizza, which wasn't great. The sandwich bar with grilled ham and cheese, Cubano, truffle fries, was excellent. We don't care for the dining room routine of dancing waiters and twirling napkins - our Carnival-experienced family members said that this is how waiters get promoted, so sad. Entertainment was very poor - the Hasbro game show is not a theatre show. Singers could not sing on key, singing along with recorded music and not a live band. The performer in the Red Frog Pub was best. Comedy was okay and too many people take small children to this venue when the material is not for children! Balcony cabin was excellent, room steward also very good. Loved the itinerary, booked two excursions which were well-run and worth the $$. Grand Turk was gorgeous, we rented a small car and toured on our own and that was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Relatives wanted to go Carnival. Guy Fieri burgers were EXCELLENT!!!!!! Dining room food and service, breakfast and dinner was excellent!!! The comedy saved us. Kathleen Dunbar had us roaring our guts out, with her PG and Xrated ... Read More
Relatives wanted to go Carnival. Guy Fieri burgers were EXCELLENT!!!!!! Dining room food and service, breakfast and dinner was excellent!!! The comedy saved us. Kathleen Dunbar had us roaring our guts out, with her PG and Xrated shows. Motown dance trivia was excellent. Strangers shouted out the answers to people who needed help identifying the songs and we all got in our old grooves and moves. Embarkation was very quick and smooth. The pools were so tiny - we are not Olympic swimmers but none of us [out of 10] went in the pools except me for 5 minutes, in the whole week. Our complaints were the entertainment was disappointing. The entertainers could dance very good and they put in a lot of effort; but the singing was strained at times, music was unknown/poor. Their director should start over. It even caused fights in our group - nothing else to do so people stayed...but others wanted to leave. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our 4th Carnival cruise (plus 4 Royal Caribbean, 1 Norwegian, 1 Disney). We chose this cruise for the ship amenities and the ports of call: Amber Cove, Dr; San Juan, PR; St Thomas, USVI; and Grand Turk, T&C. Embarkation was ... Read More
This was our 4th Carnival cruise (plus 4 Royal Caribbean, 1 Norwegian, 1 Disney). We chose this cruise for the ship amenities and the ports of call: Amber Cove, Dr; San Juan, PR; St Thomas, USVI; and Grand Turk, T&C. Embarkation was simple and fast. As in the past, we paid for the Faster-to-the-Fun to give us quicker access and more time onboard on our first day, but on this trip there was really no advantage. We were allowed to board at 12:00 noon, but we saw regular travellers arriving within 30 minutes, and nobody could access their staterooms until 1:30 pm. Our luggage did not arrive in our cabin around 4:30 pm. Overall there was no advantage to paying for the FTTF on this trip. The ship was in very good shape, clean, with average decor. Nothing fancy but no complaints. Unfortunately cigarette smoke was prevalent virtually everywhere onboard. It made us ill, adults and kids alike, and we spent a lot of time trying to avoid the Casino, all lounges, the Red Frog Pub, and much of the pool area due to so many smokers. While cigar smokers are relegated to a tiny area on an outer deck, cigarette smokers seem to have the run of the ship. I wish Carnival would bring their smoking policy into this century and restrict cigarette smoking to a single outside deck only, away from pools and the water park where children hang out. I suppose they'd have continue allowing smoking in casino too, given the demographics in that venue. Food at the buffet was adequate, but here are very few gluten-free or vegetarian choices. The main dining room food and service were excellent, and the Italian restaurant was very good also. One thing I could't believe was that Guy Fieri would allow his name to be used on this ships burger joint. The Guy's burgers on the Magic were absolutely disgusting. They were charred and overcooked, and dripping with grease. The floor anywhere near the serving area was slick and slippery with grease, and the greasy smoke from the grill permeated the buffet area. Yuk :( The water slides and splash area were great fun, but they were closed quite bit for safety due to high winds and rough seas. Beverage service was spotty on the Magic. On the pool deck it was virtually impossible to find a server. We had to go to the bar whenever we wanted a drink. That's fine if you can find a seat on the main pool deck, but a real pain if you are lounging two decks up by the water slides. The main lobby bar service was VERY slow, at one point taking 20 minutes to get a drink. Entertainment was, meh, just ok. The main-stage entertainers worked hard, but the singers were just average. We saw FLICK, and the choreography was confusing at best. Music on the pool deck was quite good. We liked the steel-drummer very much, and we enjoyed the Latin music by the Alchemy Bar but they need to dim the lights there so dancers don't feel like they are on display to everyone walking past. The deck parties were fun, but hey seemed a bit shorter than they used to be. After 3 or 4 obligatory line dances that was it. The cruise director and his team are very energetic, but the deck parties could be improved. At Amber Cove, DR we did the HANDS ON CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE AT CHOCAL excursion. A great alternative to hanging out the beach or the port. It was interesting to participate in planting cocoa bean and having the and harvesting and production explained (it was not harvest season), and of course we really enjoyed the final product...chocolates. Mmm, yummy. At St Thomas, USVI we did the KAYAK, HIKE & SNORKEL excursion. Kayaking in the wind was a bit challenging, but it was better than sitting on a bus tour or at a poolside bar. The hike was fun. We saw lots of hermit crabs, and the resident biologist explained the local flora and fauna. The snorkelling wasn't great due to recent storms stirring up the sand and making visibility poor, but we did see an octopus and a young barracuda. It was raining when we arrived in San Juan, PR so we opted to stay onboard. We spent only an hour at the beach in Grand Turk before returning to the ship, again due to rain. Our two kids (9 & 10 yrs) spent time at the Kids Club and really enjoyed themselves. One thing we did not like was the advertised Scavenger Hunt. No staff accompanied the kids on this hunt, they just let them go off on their own. For safety reasons we do not yet let our kids sign themselves in and out of the Kids Club on their own, so they couldn't participate in this activity. For us, the purpose of the Kid's Club is to know our kids are are having fun AND are supervised, which was not done during the Scavenger Hunt. Overall, we enjoyed the Carnival Magic and the itinerary. We would have loved the ship if only they would restrict the smoking onboard. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The skip's decor was nice but the food was really below par! We tried the main dining room the first two night and did not like the food so we tried the Italian place that we had to pay $15 a person for. The food, the atmosphere and ... Read More
The skip's decor was nice but the food was really below par! We tried the main dining room the first two night and did not like the food so we tried the Italian place that we had to pay $15 a person for. The food, the atmosphere and service was great. Couple more nights in the dining room...not that great so and we decided to try the Steak house which cost $39 per person. It was honestly the worst steak i have had and my husband loves steak so we have eaten a lot of them! This restaurant was trying to be so upscale that they really missed the mark from the appetizer to the desert. I would not recommend you spend your money on this restaurant. The shows on the ship were below par also. I have been on 6 cruises and this ship had the worst shows of then all. We loved the comedy shows! Just get there early so that you can get a seat and a drink. As far as excursions..Deep Sea fishing should be called Deep Sea Trolling. We got to hold the rod for 30 sec as we pulled the fish in. The boat ride as relaxing, but it was not what we expected. The best part of the trip was an excursion that was not one of carnivals. We went to Mr. Sancho's beach resort. WONDERFUL! Food, drink, wait staff and beach was great. Very relaxing and wonderful way to end the cruise. This resort is a 15 min tax (there are plenty) for $20 for two people. Highly recommend! Hope this review helps Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise to enjoy the Eastern Carib, and visit new places. I was excited to go on my second cruise, and my husband's first. We booked out a year in advance, got a nice balcony on level 2 (lower was preferred for us so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise to enjoy the Eastern Carib, and visit new places. I was excited to go on my second cruise, and my husband's first. We booked out a year in advance, got a nice balcony on level 2 (lower was preferred for us so we didn't feel the ship "roll" on higher floors, booked mid ship so we didn't feel much motion, and ended up being above the stabilizers, which sounded like canons going off from about 12:00 am - 5:00 am the first and second nights of our cruise. We were able to take naps during the day to catch up on sleep, but who wants to sleep all day while cruising?? It literally ruined our first days of vacation. Waiting at the bar for drinks, was another issue. At first, we just thought, wow, they are busy! But after hearing from other regular cruisers, who have been aboard other lines, this is abnormal. 15-20 minutes just to get waited on isn't fun. We didn't wait long in line at buffets, and the food was decent there. Loved the Blue Iguana meals, and even had the pizza delivery. Main dining was great - staff was wonderful. Food was pretty good most of the time. People complain about portions, but if you're a big eater, order double. Its allowed! Husband ordered "jumbo" shrimp, came out to regular sized shrimp, and 4 of them, as an entree. Our waiter came over and said, "what else can I get you", with menu in hand. The staff KNOW. Overall - Carnival was OK. We got a good deal, its a "budget friendly" line. Take your kids, but don't invade a hot tub full of adults - RUDE. There are pools and hot tubs all around, with other families. Also, felt like some of the time - pre-dinner and for shows, that people acted like vultures. We are all going to get dinner.. so we learned to show up 5 minutes after dinner started to walk right in. Or eating at the other places when the lines were low. Shows - get there early! Especially the comedians. They were hilarious, so filled up 15-30 minutes before the show. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose this cruise because I usually get out of the cold northeast in Feb.,once football season has ended.Embarkation was smooth.Debarkation &embarkation for the 2nd leg of my b2b was horrible.B2b patrons are supposed to be the last ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I usually get out of the cold northeast in Feb.,once football season has ended.Embarkation was smooth.Debarkation &embarkation for the 2nd leg of my b2b was horrible.B2b patrons are supposed to be the last ones off the ship&1st ones on for the 2nd half.Half the b2b patrons were on the gangway while the other half were still on the ship because the ship was not properly secured to the dock.Once we all finally got off & had cleared customs priorty patrons were already boarding ahead of b2b patrons.UNACCEPTABLE! I have been on CCL many times&have diamond status so I am familiar with most of the ships.Overall the ship &my interior cabin were fine,although the Magic does not have a separate sports bar.Dining was average at best, it seems like every CCl cruise I take they seem to be lowering the quality of the food.Deserts on lido deck looked appealing but the frosting had very little taste&why have they eliminated key lime pie?Entertainment was very good,the band in the plaza lounge was excellent,as was the piano player in the piano bar.Service was vetry good,with the exception being on the morning buffets on sea days or late debarkation for ports,they were understaffed.Many times it was difficult to find a Clean table while other times there was a sortage of utensils,coffee cups or coffee it self. I had been to all the ports before so I did not get off at any.As usual the strongest asset of CCl is friendliness of the staff,room stewards ,bartenders&dining staff were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for a sibling/extended family getaway. We flew from Houston and chose the Carnival bus for the transfer from the airport. At the airport Carnival personnel directed us to a Carnival desk where we got our boarding ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a sibling/extended family getaway. We flew from Houston and chose the Carnival bus for the transfer from the airport. At the airport Carnival personnel directed us to a Carnival desk where we got our boarding passes and transfer receipt for to and from the ship. The bus was prompt and the trip was fine. At the ship luggage was loaded without our having to touch it. Boarding was what we expected. Our balcony cabin was ready before the appointed time. Checked luggage was delivered promptly. In the cabin a hinge was broken on one closet door. The mirror in the bathroom was deteriorated, there were two holes in the couch and the locking device on the balcony door was broken. We called guest services and were promised quick repairs. They never came. Exterior maintenance of the ship was needed. Our cabin steward, Komang, introduced himself right away. He was one of the best cabin stewards we have ever had. (we have been cruising 40 years) The safety drill went smoothly and was not stressful as some are. Folks in the casino were friendly and helpful to new players. The dining room crew was very nice, except for Evelyn, in charge of seating, who needs and attitude adjustment. Bohan came to our rescue and arranged fro us to have a nightly table for 12. He oversaw things and our dining room experience was a highlight because of him. The food was average for cruising except for the lobster which was done to perfection. Entertainment in the theater is standard Carnival, one troupe performing for the entire cruise. Not bad but very repetitious. The ports were fine. We had been to Porto Rico and St Thomas before and really enjoyed The Dominican and Grand Turk. Debarkation was smoother than we expected but the transfer back to Miami airport was a bit stressful. Overall we had a good time and will sail with Carnival again, as we have many times before, but not on the Magic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall loved the ship. Embarkation smooth. Cabin lovely. Extended cabin aft. on the curve so a little larger. Underneath lido so had a roof when it rained. A little noise from folks dragging chairs but not a deal breaker. Steak ... Read More
Overall loved the ship. Embarkation smooth. Cabin lovely. Extended cabin aft. on the curve so a little larger. Underneath lido so had a roof when it rained. A little noise from folks dragging chairs but not a deal breaker. Steak House was fabulous as always. Italian restaurant nice ambiance way too much food for me. We could have split an entree and been full. didn't use the dining room at all as the menu was not appealing to us at all and we are not picky eaters. No vairety. Staff was great. olivia from fun squad an absolute hoot. We had so much fun with her and Adriann. would sail on Magic again. Not overly fond of the Miami port but not a deal breaker. All the staff was friendly from buffet to bartenders to cleaning staff. The girls at coffee bar were the hardest workers I have seen. The first show (Western) left me flat but the second Rock one was terrific. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Me and my family hasnt gone on a cruise for over 7 years. Last cruise my only child, she was 3, and now with 2 more kids, and my once was only child being 11, we all decided to do a magical cruise! And let me tell you right now, it sure ... Read More
Me and my family hasnt gone on a cruise for over 7 years. Last cruise my only child, she was 3, and now with 2 more kids, and my once was only child being 11, we all decided to do a magical cruise! And let me tell you right now, it sure was magical! When we first got on the ship, the staff was SO nice and greeted us. We didnt get our luggage until 2 or 3 hours after we got on the ship. We went to go sign our children up for Camp Carnival, the staff was amazing there too(Alice and others)! My oldest started throwing a fit because she didnt want to go, turns out by the end she was sobbing because she didnt want to leave! The ship was clean, and the outdoor activities were very fun and kept us all busy! The pools were both saltwater, which was unexpected and a little dissapointing... The cabin we got was Deck 1 room 1390. It had a large window with an amazing view. I reccomend this cabin for a family of 4 or 5, its safe and larger than expected. It has 2 bunk beds, a couch/bed, a master bed, 2 bathrooms, and a LARGE closet. Not only that it has a vanity with drawers and a giant mirror with lights around it. The early dining at 6pm at the Northern Lights dining at Deck 4 had food that is popular from the port, the food is called PORT OF CALL. Everynight, they have an option of a cooked animal. I tried RABBIT, ALLIGATOR, and ESCARGO (snails that taste like mushrooms, very good). My favorite was the alligator and escargo, the rabbit I personaly did not like, but others loved it. The entertainment is beyond amazing! The services are also good too, you can get a thing called BUBBLING BOTTLES or something like that for arouond $7 a night for free drinks whenever you want. The ports are gorgous. Moms that are picture addicted, bring your camera's because this is a ONLY TIME OPPERTUNITY PICTURE TIME! I hope this helped you! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a well talked about and loved cruise by many on Social Media. I have cruised out of Port of Miami in the past. The embarkation was very smooth. Arrived at port early due to early transportation drop off. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a well talked about and loved cruise by many on Social Media. I have cruised out of Port of Miami in the past. The embarkation was very smooth. Arrived at port early due to early transportation drop off. Was on the ship by 10:52am. Cruise director MarQ was good, but not the best I've seen. The ship was decent, could have been cleaner. The service was great in all areas except housekeeping. Major issue was the shower. There was a huge drainage issue creating a puddle whenever you showered. Everyday there were different issues, but we managed. The shows and bands were great. All other activities were just as Carnival promised FUN! Dining was great but after several cruises I am bored with The American Table Theme. I always like to try new items. Overall we had a great time. We are cruising on the Magic again In January 2020. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
El husbando and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by booking this cruise. This was our sixth Carnival cruise (we've sailed on the Glory, Legend and Valor) and we chose an aft, extended balcony cabin (7462) after doing a lot of ... Read More
El husbando and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by booking this cruise. This was our sixth Carnival cruise (we've sailed on the Glory, Legend and Valor) and we chose an aft, extended balcony cabin (7462) after doing a lot of research on this site. Overall, it was a fantastic trip and we both enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. This will be a long review, so the short version is that we especially liked the Ocean Plaza Deck 5 because there were lots of activities, you can get across the whole ship on that floor, and you can also walk around the whole outside of the ship. The service was good, though we've had better on the other trips, and the food was consistently good (don't miss the s'mores dessert in the dining room!). This was the third time we've done this schedule (I'm from Puerto Rico, so try to book cruises that include a stop in San Juan). Now for the more-detailed review for those of you who like to do tons of research. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived a little after 11 for an 11:30 a.m. appointment. We handed off our bags and were greeted warmly by port staff; Carnival staff gave us a card with a zone for getting on the ship. We quickly made our way inside after the usual security and passport checks (we had printed off all of the paperwork from the Carnival site, so that helped). There are two large screens on the walls showing which zones are being boarded. We were in the waiting area no more than 15 minutes when our zone was called, and were on the ship within 10 minutes (we had to wait for people in front of us to get their pictures taken, etc.). Once on the ship, we took the elevators to the Lido deck and got our first Guy's burgers. We were able to get some chairs right by the Beach Pool, and got a couple of drinks. We ate and chatted with new friends until about 2, when we meandered to our cabin. Because they now leave your sign and sail cards outside your cabin, we used our boarding pass (that we printed at home) to charge the drinks to our cabin. We also downloaded the Carnival Hub app and used it a TON on this trip. We paid for the messaging feature, but never used it because it was just the two of us; I can see how it could be super helpful if our kids had been with us. I also got the social media package and felt it was worth every penny because I could keep in touch with our kids back home through the Messenger feature. The cabin itself is very similar to every other balcony cabin we've been in. The balcony was indeed larger than a regular balcony and featured a full-size sun recliner, two chairs and a small table. I should note that we got a lot of shade on that balcony, even though there's nothing above you, except for during the afternoon after lunch. That changed, of course, once we started heading back north (and west) when we got a lot more sun. We had ordered both bottled water and some hard ciders delivered to our cabin. The fridge was empty when we arrived, so we loaded it up. Our room steward was fine. The cabin was kept clean, but he missed a few very minor things like providing additional bars of soap even when there was almost none left. His towel animals were on point! He frequently did one after his morning AND evening cleanings. He was also friendly and warm. First day at sea was uneventful. I run, so I spent some time on the outdoor track (runners can get more details here: http://lachicaruns.com/?p=3584). Dinner was good every night. Our servers were friendly, the food was good, but the service was super slow. It didn't bother us. We still made the comedians and music shows we wanted to see. We couldn't dock at Grand Turk because it was too windy. We were sad to miss this beloved spot, but completely understood it was a safety issue. Carnival automatically refunded the cost of our excursion, and we thoroughly enjoyed another day at sea. We sat in our balcony, reading and enjoying the soothing sound of the wake. Because we missed Grand Turk, we were in San Juan from (I think!) 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. This was a bonus for us because we got to see family. We spent the day visiting El Morro, had lunch at El Patio de Sam (excellent food and service, albeit slow), saw the umbrella art installation on Calle La Fortaleza, and had dessert at a new-to-us restaurant Flor de Trigo by the pigeon park. Their flan was homemade and delicious. Next couple of days were spent at St. Thomas and Amber Cove. We have been at both several times so didn't spend a ton of time in port. We shopped a bit and headed back to enjoy our balcony again. Dinner service improved (we loved Lusca in particular) at about day three. Some especially good dishes included all of the shrimp, the sea bass, the dishes inspired by the islands we visited, and the aforementioned s'mores dessert and the baked Alaska. Our anniversary was on Dec. 31 and we didn't know what to expect. There was no acknowledgment at dinner, which surprised us, but they seemed especially busy. There were hats and noisemakers on the tables, so don't worry about bringing your own. There were two gift cards in the cabin when we got back from dinner. One was for a $100 discount for jewelry that we couldn't afford and the other was for $100 toward photos that we never scheduled. Even just a happy anniversary would have been welcome and appreciated, but the cards were a nice touch. We did get a tiny (and yummy!) chocolate cake a couple of days later, which was very thoughtful. I did laundry early afternoon one day. The room was very clean and I was able to use two washers and dryers, no problem, but there were several people who came a little later and things got a bit backed up. Y'all probably know that you can charge the washers and dryers on your sign and sail card; each load was $3 (so $6 per load). I brought a few Tide pods, which worked out great. The washers took about 40 minutes; and the dryers about 50-55. The iron worked just fine. I went to guest services and shore excursions just once. Crew members at both were helpful and I didn't have to wait very long at all. Several areas on the ship were decorated for the holidays and there was a festive atmosphere. The New Year's Eve party on Lido was amazing. The place was PACKED and loud, but orderly. The countdown was super fun and the crew served complimentary champagne. It was a nice capstone to our anniversary. We never made it to the Showtime Theater, except for the "mandatory" meeting on the last sea day where they talked about debarkation. I could have just read the paperwork they left in our room, but I went just in case. There was nothing new that I didn't already know. I mentioned the comedians. We saw four and loved all of them. We were disappointed that one of them repeated the same routine for all of his scheduled performances, so we didn't go to the comedy club as often as we typically do. No big deal. I had read that you had to get tickets before each show, but we never did. The music talent was also pretty good. We especially enjoyed the Latin music (we celebrated our anniversary listening to salsa and merengue!) and a guitar/singer duo Kaleidoscope. Because this was a larger ship than the others we've been on, we noticed that there were more options for music/drinking/dancing. We went to the piano bar a couple of times, but we didn't really enjoy it as much as we have in previous cruises. I genuinely think that James Quigley ruined all piano bars for us because he was so awesome, that I still follow him on Facebook. He was amazing. I should mention that we had one of the best bar tenders on the whole trip at the piano bar. I can't recall her name but she's from Bulgaria and she was awesome. Again, we loved the Ocean Plaza and spent more time there, grabbing a drink and listening to the performers. We particularly enjoyed walking around the entire deck 5 at night. There is a spot where it was completely dark, so we spent a little bit of time stargazing. That was pretty sweet. We passed by the Barbecue place outside Ocean Plaza on Deck 5, but never tried it. It sure smelled good, though! We also noticed on our last day that there was a decent salad bar inside Ocean Plaza that I wish I had known about earlier. As for the pools, they were always very full, but they were also bigger than the pools in the other ships we've sailed on. I spent some time on deck 11 (I think!) in the pool. I liked that there was a very, very shallow area where I could sit and read. I've seen a lot of complaints about smoke smell on this ship. Yup, you will smell smoke more than on other ships. The casino smells horrible, but you can avoid it for the most part, or walk really fast. There are also several spots (at least three that I saw) outdoors for smokers, including one right under the running track, which was kind of annoying, but not enough to be bothersome. As for drinks, we don't drink much. Our entire bill for the trip was about $200, which included some drinks and a handful of toiletry purchases. El husbando especially enjoyed the frozen Margaritas; I had a pina colada, which was OK, but not great. Still very refreshing and the amount of rum was good, too. On debarkation day, we left our room at 8:30 and hung out at Ocean Plaza until they practically kicked us out at 10:30. We only brought carry on (and we still brought too much stuff!!!), so we walked out to the Carnival charter bus, which took us to Miami. The bus was clean and the driver was friendly and helpful. He had our bags outside when we got to our terminal and we didn't have any issues at all. In the end, this trip confirmed why we enjoy sailing with Carnival. There were no surprises and we felt like we got good value. I would definitely book the Magic again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Pros: The embarkation in Miami was a breeze. Carnival is usually a lower price than other lines. Carnival has good itineraries for the Caribbean. The Magic is definitely a large ship with many places to grab a drink or sit on the ... Read More
Pros: The embarkation in Miami was a breeze. Carnival is usually a lower price than other lines. Carnival has good itineraries for the Caribbean. The Magic is definitely a large ship with many places to grab a drink or sit on the deck. Carnival does a good job moving people off the ship and to their excursion or other transportation. The lines to get back on the ship after excursions were also efficient. Our family enjoyed playing the games that were out on the tables at the Red Frog Bar on 5. I did have a fish, pescado asada, which was good one night. We enjoyed some of the showcase theater entertainment and movie on the deck. We had awesome weather. Cons: Not enough bartenders because we always waited long for drinks. I just had the soft drink package and waited over 20 minutes to get a diet coke to have with lunch. The buffet lines were long, long, long, at breakfast and lunch. I called 3 different times to get a second pillow for one of the kid's beds. The beds were not really comfortable. I knew Carnival's food quality is mediocre at best, but some of the items were inedible. I had a chicken wrap that was filled with skin and gristle. I ate a lot of salad. Coming back to the ship after being gone most of the day left you with only a burger or pizza since everything else closes at 2:30. Dinner every night was cold. On night 3 before dinner, I asked the waiter to please make sure food was hot. Nope, not even close. Don't dare ask for the veggie served with another entree. No changes. Long waits for appetizers and the entree each night. They have a system and you better be ready to abide. Missing some activities due to almost 2 hours for dinner each night was not fun for the 9 and 11 year old. (I have found Royal and Princess to have much better food and be more accommodating.) I really hate the additional charges for everything such as the chat feature on carnival hub. Just price it in the cruise. The lines at guest services were too long at most times. I took my grandson to the arcade. One game worked by swiping my ship card We then swiped the ship card 5 more times on 2 different games. Nothing worked. We went directly to guest services. The woman at guest services was told about our arcade experience. She pulled up my bill and said no arcade charges are present and even gave me a paper copy at that point. I asked if the charges would show up later and insisted that all charges were up to date. So, i took my grandson back to the arcade. The next day I looked at my account on carnival hub and saw the charges were on the bill from our first and second arcade visit. I called guest services and spoke to Imen. She said she would pass the information on to someone and they would call. Guess what, no call, and charges remained. If carnival needs to cheat a retired grandma out of $13, then where else are they cutting corners. I will never choose Carnival for a cruise, life is too short. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my 8th cruise, 6th with Carnival, and it was definitely the worst cruise I've been on. I booked it mostly for the itinerary and price. The boarding process was fairly straightforward and fast, although it felt like we had to ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise, 6th with Carnival, and it was definitely the worst cruise I've been on. I booked it mostly for the itinerary and price. The boarding process was fairly straightforward and fast, although it felt like we had to walk through a maze during the process- lots of up and down and around,LOL. We got to our stateroom and noticed right away that even the hallway smelled strongly of mildew/sewage/something stinky. When we got inside we noticed that the counters appeared to be dusty and there was a smear of jam on the nightstand as well as a prior occupant's bobby pins. We got hand sanitizer and wiped those surfaces down. Little did we know that it was only the beginning! Later we found a razor head in the shower right next to the new bar of soap, as well as a contact lens on the bathroom floor. There was also a smear of jam or something in the mini fridge, socks under the bed and a condom beside the lounger on the balcony. We didn't see all of these things right away or I would have gone to guest services immediately. The floor had also not been vacuumed. We didn't see our cabin steward until day 3 but we left a note asking for ice and room service breakfast menus which we didn't get for another 2 days. We had to go find him on multiple occasions to request beach towels before we went ashore and also had to track him down one day when the washcloths weren't replenished. We stayed in stateroom 8462 which was aft and was tiny due to a crew staircase taking up part of the space but the balcony was twice as big as normal. There was no room for a sofa, and my friend's bed had to be pushed next to mine in order to open the bathroom door. There was plenty of storage. The food was hit or miss in the dining room, but our team waiter Bambang was very good. The burgers at Guy's Burger Joint were amazing as always, although the lines can be long. We usually ordered room service pastries and coffee or ate at Blue Iguana Cantina (also very good, huevos rancheros, burritos or arepas). The shows weren't very good and then comedians were pretty terrible. The ports were great, we did beach escapes in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic through Shore Excursioneer, took the ferry to St John/Trunk Bay from St Thomas and took a taxi to Governors Beach in Grand Turk. Disembarkation was a breeze. We had a 10:13 am flight so did self assist and were in a taxi by 7:20 am and were at the airport in plenty of time even with the holiday rush (December 23rd). All things considered, I doubt that I would choose the Magic again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Was on this cruise as part of a baseball camp/cross cultural game experience. I have cruised many times with both Carnival and Norwegian and have also cruised on Princess and Royal Caribbean. This ship has the most pleasant and ... Read More
Was on this cruise as part of a baseball camp/cross cultural game experience. I have cruised many times with both Carnival and Norwegian and have also cruised on Princess and Royal Caribbean. This ship has the most pleasant and accommodating staff that I have come in contact with in quite some time. They were all very welcoming throughout the course of the week unlike some ship reviews which have stated the staff appeared worn out and miserable. The food was also very tasty and the wait staff at our 8:15 seating were very accommodating. The buffets as usual were very crowded during peak times and even the dining room for breakfast had a wait. My cabin steward was excellent. Room kept in great condition, ice left as requested with towel animals further beautifying the cabin everyday. Didn’t see any of the shows in the main theatre but found the live music to be outstanding. Attended the Quest which was definitely R rated, and also experienced one comedian that was very good and another who should be fired. Arrived at around 1:30 and the lines moved briskly. Debarkation to the various ports was frustrating because people refused to follow directions and created traffic jams on the stairs and corridors as one person tried to stay a step ahead of the other person while at the same time trying to keep their group together. This brought things to a crawl. People did much better when we disembarked in Miami. The Magic as a ship is mid sized not too small but not so large that you become exhausted going from one end of the ship to the other. I would certainly go on the Magic again should it visit some ports that I have not experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our first cruise was on Carnival Magic. Even though I have nothing to compare it to, it has set the standard on what I will expect. We chose this cruise because it fit in my work schedule and was a good price. With 5 in my family we ... Read More
Our first cruise was on Carnival Magic. Even though I have nothing to compare it to, it has set the standard on what I will expect. We chose this cruise because it fit in my work schedule and was a good price. With 5 in my family we were on deck 1 with an ocean view room. The room seemed small at first with all of our luggage out, but after everything was put away it fit is nicely. The steward met us shortly after to introduce himself and find out about the family. From that point on he called us all by our names. He left towel animals for us each day, which the kids loved. We ate at the steakhouse on the first night, which was great. Not many took advantage of the free bottle of wine. Service and food was great. The fun started right away, the sail away party was in full swing after the safety briefing. The CD, MarQ, was constantly full of energy and seemed like he had clones because he was all over the ship hosting events and keeping everyone smiling. The shore excursions were fun, and let us experience new things. One of ours lasted a little long and the ship waited for us to return shortly a problem. Everything on the ship was well kept, everything was always cleaned even if it seemed like it didn't. I did notice that they emptied and cleaned the pools every night. We really enjoyed the movies at night on the lido, catching at least one a night. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We went on this cruise for our honeymoon and had an amazing time!! This was our first cruise ever and I’m so glad we chose this ship! Embarkation and debarkation were so easy and hassle free. Got on and off the ship very quickly and with ... Read More
We went on this cruise for our honeymoon and had an amazing time!! This was our first cruise ever and I’m so glad we chose this ship! Embarkation and debarkation were so easy and hassle free. Got on and off the ship very quickly and with no problems. The food was AWESOME and all the staff were incredibly friendly and kind. Guys burgers, smokehouse and Mongolian wok were our favorites... out of this world good!!! Our servers in the dining room and staff that made up our room... very personable and such great people!! Our ports & excursions were a blast. Only thing that lacked was the comedy club... wasn’t as funny as we would have liked but wouldn’t defer us from sailing on this ship again. Cruise director MarQ was super nice, funny and made the cruise sooo much fun!! We had extremely beautiful weather and no rough water which made for smooth sailing throughout the whole week! I would definitely recommend this cruise ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our sixth cruise with Carnival-we've not used any other company. Let's start off by saying the boarding procedure was fine and the disembarkation was tolerable. Service in all aspects was excellent but Carnival has ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise with Carnival-we've not used any other company. Let's start off by saying the boarding procedure was fine and the disembarkation was tolerable. Service in all aspects was excellent but Carnival has lessened the product. Our last cruise was two years ago and we noticed a definite downgrading in some of the dinner choices in the dining room as well as the quality of some dishes. I had to send back two meat entrees which were full of fat and muscle. Tilapia-a cheap bottom-feeder-was offered as a seafood choice one night. The quality of the nightly entertainment in the theater has deteriorated greatly. Losing the live orchestra was the first downward step and using the young singers and dancers exclusively without bringing in any outside performers just didn't cut it. On previous trips they were augmented with a hypnotist, a juggler and a ventriloquist. Two of the show themes made little sense and song selection at times seemed inappropriate and with so many more recognizable tunes available little-know songs were used as evidenced at times by the audience's reaction. There was no get-together in the theater this cruise where previous patrons could learn about new cruises and receive a complimentary beverage. As previous cruisers we were rewarded with 2 large bottles of complimentary water and 2 Carnival pins. As per last trip we were given a free drink coupon which could only be used on Day 7. We tried the clam strips at the Seafood Shack. For $5 I was given a portion of greasy bits and pieces of clam-not one strip in the serving. Oh how I long for Howard Johnsons! Correct me if I'm mistaken but this cruise featured only 4 different comics each performing six times. We sat with a lovely couple from Uruguay who spoke little English-we speak little Spanish BUT we really enjoyed each other's company. Just a shame that with the large number of Spanish-speaking guests there were no menus in Spanish available in the dining room. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I chose this cruise because of the 4 different ports and because it fell withing my birthday. I really loved amber cove because it had a pool and bar as well as activities and zip lining. I don't have much to say about st ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the 4 different ports and because it fell withing my birthday. I really loved amber cove because it had a pool and bar as well as activities and zip lining. I don't have much to say about st Thomas.really a bore if you don't have excursions. Puerto Rico is my culture so it was great to see San Juan as a tourist, i had some traditional Puerto rican food and piraguas. My birthday was spent at grand Turk with the most beautiful beach view of the ships, Margarita and an awesome DJ. I would def book another cruise in December because of the Christmas theme most of all. I took my 15 month old which caused me to be extremely tired by the time nightlife rolled around. There is NOTHING to do for under 2 year olds at all not even a swimming pool so I will not be cruising again until he is 2. just a heads up parents! Food was amazing and so was our steward and even for being on deck 1 everything was greatly accessible. Cruise director MarQ was amazing!!!!! Activities were all fun and family friendly. Great dining and a host of different foods. Unbelievably affordable for the 5 of us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We cruised from Miami on Dec. 2. We had an aft balcony. The airport check-in and transfer to the port was great. We got easily on the ship and straight to the room. It was downhill from there. My wife has asthma so tobacco smoke is a ... Read More
We cruised from Miami on Dec. 2. We had an aft balcony. The airport check-in and transfer to the port was great. We got easily on the ship and straight to the room. It was downhill from there. My wife has asthma so tobacco smoke is a deal breaker. First time on the balcony someone is smoking. According to the carnival website that is a $500 fine. We reported the people smoking. I paid the extra for a balcony that is a non smoking area I should be able to enjoy it. Guest services said that is important. Next day smoking on the balcony. Went to guest services to complain no results. Stayed away from balcony because of smoke. Thought we would try the balcony on the last day of the cruise, guy on other balcony has a cigar. Complained to guest services they basically say we have to see them. If like smoke free get an inside or Oceanview stateroom. Don't waste your money. The steakhouse was excellent far exceeded the standard dining rooms. Staff was very nice and friendly. Buffet lines were insane. Always a wait. They need to put the salad bar on the other side to keep a better flow of traffic. The Guy's bbq was great but only open for 2 1/2 hours only on sea days. There was a line nearly the length of the ship on the last sea day. Guy's burgers always had a line when open. The dive in theater was always a search for a good seat. The shows were average the theater was never full. The bands drew bigger crowds. Ports were fun. Debarkation was a joke, announcements were few and very delayed. People with early flights didn't make it to the airport in time. Luckily we had a later flight. But for me this cruise rated at the bottom for all of my carnival cruise experiences. I already had another balcony booked with carnival before this cruise. But never again. I will take my balcony cruises with a different brand. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I sailed with our son, who turned 2 on December 1, 2018, on the Carnival Magic’s December 2, 2018 sailing to Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk. This review will give a synopsis of our experience. We live in ... Read More
My wife and I sailed with our son, who turned 2 on December 1, 2018, on the Carnival Magic’s December 2, 2018 sailing to Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk. This review will give a synopsis of our experience. We live in Coconut Creek, Florida, which is just north of Ft. Lauderdale. We arrived at the Port of Miami at just before 12:30 PM on December 2nd. Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship by 1:00 PM. When we boarded the Carnival Magic, we went straight to Guy’s Barbecue, having read that the lines are very long on sea days. My wife and I loved the pulled beef while my son loved the mac and cheese. Unfortunately, this was the only time that we were able to enjoy Guy’s Barbecue on this cruise. After having lunch at Guy’s Barbecue, we registered our son in Camp Ocean. Carnival is the only major cruise line that will accept a 2 year old in their children’s program. Camp Ocean reminded us a lot of our son’s Montessori school. We can’t say enough good things about the staff. They seemed to genuinely care for the children. For those that are wondering, they give all parents of young children an old Nokia phone to call in case of an emergency. With the exception of the one day that my wife and I went on a ship-sponsored excursion in St. Thomas, my son spent about 3 hours a day on our cruise in Camp Ocean. One final great feature of Camp Ocean is that they let you wait with your child in the children’s area while waiting to disembark. After enrolling our son in Camp Ocean, we went to our cabin, a Deluxe Oceanview on Deck 1. We spent more time in our cabin, due to my son’s nap and sleeping schedule, than we did on previous cruises. The extra space and sink and bathtub came in handy with a toddler. I would book this cabin category again. We had most of our breakfasts and lunches on the Lido Deck. While I tried Guy’s Burgers early in the cruise, I preferred the Blue Iguana Cantina for breakfast and lunch. We also went to the complimentary pasta bar in the Italian restaurant once for lunch during our cruise and took our son to the Dr. Seuss Breakfast, which we recommend even for guests without children. All of our dinners were had in the Northern Lights dining room. Our server, Auth, was excellent. My son can get antsy and Auth made sure to get his meal out very quickly. We were usually in and out in under an hour. Our meals ranged from fair to good. While we did not go to any of the shows at night, there seemed to be a lot of activities onboard the Carnival Magic. Our cruise director, MarQ, was very visible and seemed to enjoy interacting with the guests. We did, however, take our son to the Build-A-Bear workshop (I bought my son a shark), the Dr. Seuss Seuss-A-Palooza, and the going away party in the Magic Atrium on the last night. My son had a very good time. The Carnival Magic is in very good condition and has top notch facilities. For example, my wife and I enjoy working out. We found the gym equipment to be in excellent shape. We also spent a lot of time together in the Serenity and with my son in the Magic Atrium. The only design flaw we found is that you have to walk through the smoke-filled casino in order to get anywhere on Promenade Deck. This cruise had a perfect itinerary for traveling with a young child. In Amber Cove, we stayed within the port area and took our son to the children’s splash area and water slides. My son loved going up and down the slides. In St. Thomas, we left our son in Camp Ocean when we went on a ship-sponsored snorkeling excursion on a catamaran to Buck Island. The unlimited Rum Punch after we went snorkeling with endangered sea turtles was the icing on the cake to a great excursion. In San Juan, we took our son to the El Morro and then walked back through Old San Juan. In Grand Turk, we walked along the beach to Jack’s Shack. The turquoise blue water was breathtaking. My son loved playing on the beach. Disembarkation was the worst part of our cruise. Unfortunately, CDC chose to do an inspection on the day we disembarked. To compound matters, the Allure of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, Norwegian Getaway, Disney Magic, and Carnival Horizon were also in port. We were not able to get off the ship until 10:00 AM. However, once we were off the ship, we quickly got our bags and went through customs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We love this ship and Carnival Cruise line. This trip had new destinations and traveled from a new port. We went in November 2018 and loved playing the Craps electronic game. This was a highlight. We were disappointed they removed this ... Read More
We love this ship and Carnival Cruise line. This trip had new destinations and traveled from a new port. We went in November 2018 and loved playing the Craps electronic game. This was a highlight. We were disappointed they removed this game. We played real craps and this was much harder to win and ended up losing a lot of money. We switched to slots. Carnival considers the casino as being too parts, slots and tables. If you play on the tables you don't receive any points for the slots. When we played the electronic craps game this was considered to be part of the slots. In the casino you are awarded points at the slots, and 1,500 points you are awarded free drinks. The metrics for free drinks at the tables are opaque. All of the money lost at craps (close to $2,000) didn't count for anything. I will not play on the tables again. I can't blame anyone but myself for my terrible luck at the craps table. The dealers are wonderful. I just wish the points would translate to the slots. I think of the casino as one casino not two parts that make up one casino. Now the problem with the slots is a little more severe. About 20% of the time when you check out of a slot machine the game does not put the money back on your card. Therefore, every time you leave a machine you need to make sure you got your money. The first time this happened, I left $40. on the machine. I brought it to the attention of the slots staff and they informed me another player got on the machine and took my money. They told me the person spent $5.00 of the money and stole $35.00. They refunded me $35.00 and I lost the $5.00. I assume they got the money back from the thief. After noticing how many failures these machines have, I think it is incumbent on the casino to rectify the problem. The customer should not have to pay for this engineering problem. It is not clear if the slots staff recognizes this as a major problem. I spoke with management and they returned the $5.00 and apologized (very happy with staff). I spoke with a customer about my experience and she told me she lost about $40.00 on the slots herself, but, she didn't realize until the next day. This problem must happen all of the time. I have no idea if this is Carnival wide or simply related to the Magic. Finally, the exit off of the ship was really bad. I think my wife and I got off after half of the guests got off the ship (therefore, our experience was not the worst). It was about 10:30 when we got off the ship. It was utter chaos in the port terminal. Miami International Airport is 10 times better organized. I don't know if the blame belongs to Carnival or the Port of Miami. I think since Carnival is a customer of the Port then they need to shoulder most of the responsibility. If their vendor (the Port of Miami) is incapable of providing proper customer service, then they need to fire them. Of course the last shuttle for parking was long gone before we got to the curb (last shuttle leaves at 10:45). It took us more than 20 minutes to get our two bags of luggage and another 10 minutes to go through customs. I would love to make this solemn vow to never darken the door step of the port of Miami again. We already booked our next cruise out of port Canaveral (Carnival Breeze) and will probably Cruise on Carnival Sunshine out of Fort Lauderdale in November. I will cruise another cruise line before going to Miami again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we wanted to get away to celebrate. This was our 6th Carnival Cruise. We had a balcony room on the Lido Deck. The ship itself is similar to the Breeze which we have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we wanted to get away to celebrate. This was our 6th Carnival Cruise. We had a balcony room on the Lido Deck. The ship itself is similar to the Breeze which we have sailed on twice, but it does seem a little more tired looking. The colour scheme of green seemed a bit dated. But, after a while you don't even notice. Breakfast - we did breakfast in the lido Restaurant every day. Choices were good, food was great and no issues except one day we literally stood in line for 40 minutes - I timed this due to another review. But this was only one day - rest of the time was fine and we probably just went at the wrong time with people wanting to eat before getting off the ship. Lunch - Choices were great and plentiful with Guys Burgers, the Burrito place, the deli or the Lido Marketplace. Enjoyed. Dinner - We had late dining and they were a bit messed up here and we had reserved a table for two months before, due to it being our 25th Anniversary. They had us seated with another couple. We politely explained the situation and they moved us to a temporary table for the first night and said it would be fixed for night 2. On night 2, the table they suggested was not great either but they quickly remedied this with a nicer table we had for the balance of the cruise. So, while a hiccup, they were quick to try and help. Faster to the Fun - we did purchase this and it was worth it for quick Embarkation, special guest services line, our room was ready when we boarded at 11:30 and one of three luggages showed up quickly. The other 2 were slower than most others without FTTF, but the pluses outweighed this. We had priority debarkation also. Entertainment - we enjoyed a movie on the deck one night. The violin players in the atrium were amazing and we enjoyed very much. Frankly, as we had late dining at 8:15, by the time you were finished dinner, it was hard to make the later shows. So we didn't go to any of them and I can't comment. I think next time we will opt for "Your time dining" as 6:00 is a bit early. On sea days, the deck entertainment is always fun. Rooms - Everything was basically fine but the beds are probably ready for new mattresses - not the most comfortable. Shower was good, storage good. Fridge does not get very cold - you will need to get ice to chill anything. Also, other reviewers mentioned that the air conditioning is not great and rooms are warm. This is true to some degree - while it was not terribly warm in the rooms - you couldn't get the room cooler if you tried and if you were a person that perspires easily, this could be an issue for you. Two complaints....there were two things about this cruise that were very disappointing. One was the Steak House which I booked for the night of our anniversary. The staff could not have been more uninterested. While our reservation had stated the occasion, they had no idea and seated us at a table for two that had another couple literally 12" from our table. Was impossible not to hear their entire conversation and was rather awkward for us to discuss anything privately. Additionally, on the other side, they seated a party of about 20 people and proceeded to put most of their attention to this large party. We were handed the menus two minutes after sitting down and they wanted our orders about two minutes later. The steak was very mediocre and the baked potato was dry and served with a teaspoon of sour cream. We were rushed and barely acknowledged. They brought a half glass of sparkling wine but they were giving that to everyone. It was not a great experience and I wish we had just gone to the main dining room where our waiters would have acknowledged the occasion more. Definitely not worth $38 per person - the setup on this ship is very crowded, tables too close together...lighting is quite bright and decor is pretty ugly. Complaints to guest services only got us forwarded to the Steak House and it took two visits to guest services and two days to get any response, a phone call from a junior who wanted another full explanation and suggested that because we "ate the steak", we were out of luck and no compensation would be offered. She also claimed they brought us a cake with a candle (they did not!) and took the work of the staff over ours. It was fruitless to complain and we got no refund. My advice - skip the steakhouse and go to the Italian restaurant. That was amazing and well worth the $15 per person. No more steak house for us. The other negative was "Dreams" photography. We were just getting regular photos done on photo night when we were asked if we were celebrating anything. We said yes, our 25th Anniversary and next thing you know, the photographer was introducing us to a girl he described as the ship's best photographer. She wisked us away to another level where she had a private studio area behind a curtain. She spent the next 20 minutes taking photos of us and set up an appt. for the next night to view the photos. I knew right then these were not the typical photos and there would likely be an outrageous cost. When we showed up for the appt, she had prepared a "Photo Book" and musical slide show which basically had the same photos repeated over and over with different "frames". As I do video editing in my profession, it was not a very impressive show. There were maybe 15 photographs of which 3 or 4 were good. In any case, the photobook, slide show, and digital photos will cost you $2,400. There were varying degrees of what you could get for amounts of $1,800, $1,200, $800 - crazy. We had no idea what we got suckered into here. We ended up taking 2 - 8 x 10's with no digital for $99 and we could not pick up until late on the last night of the cruise. When we showed up, she could not be more rude and was giving all her attention the the people that bought the big expensive packages. She practically threw the bag with the photos at my husband. When I got home and looked at the two pictures more closely, one had big marks through it. Anyway, just be ware of this. Overall though, this was a very fun and relaxing vacation and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We sailed on the Carnival Vista in October 2017 after not sailing with Carnival for years and were so impressed with the Vista we decided to sail with Carnival again. Part of this decision was based on the itinerary as well as a pretty ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Vista in October 2017 after not sailing with Carnival for years and were so impressed with the Vista we decided to sail with Carnival again. Part of this decision was based on the itinerary as well as a pretty competitive price. Overall we really enjoyed our cruise but we probably won't be sailing with Carnival again for a while especially during a holiday week. The exception to this would possibly be sailing in the Havana area of one of the Vista class ships but Carnival is really increasing the prices for those cabins since we sailed in one. More on that at the end of this review. Being that this was a cruise over Thanksgiving week we expected the embarkation process to be difficult but it was incredible. We were scheduled to board the ship between 1:00-1:30, arrived at the ship about 12:45 or so and we onboard by 1:00. Our room wasn't ready until about 2:00 but still a very impressive embarkation process. The ship was in overall pretty good condition but did show it's age in places. The decor was a bit odd at first but we got used to those funky eyeball things in the atrium. I personally liked a lot of the whimsical artwork in the stairways. The crew was constantly cleaning the ship and although I heard people complaining about the condition of the ship I thought overall it was pretty good. There were odd things about the layout of the ship though. It seemed you couldn't get anywhere without passing thru the casino which had a terrible smell of cigarette smoke. The adults only serenity area is located right next to Waterworks and is not very serene (even my 23 year old daughter thought that was odd). The entertainment was about average with the main shows being a little weak IMO. The comedians were all pretty good although one of them was simply insulting people for his comedy and just left everyone not really finding him funny. It was easy to find a seat in all venues and sight lines good regardless of where seated. The food on the ship was excellent in the main dining room but the buffet was probably the worst on any ship I've sailed on with the first two days being almost inedible. An odd thing is that the only drink available in the buffet other than water was iced tea or lemonade and both were terrible. Actually both were usually empty and would just trickle into your glass and it seemed they never were refilled. The itinerary for this cruise was really quite good and we enjoyed all of the ports. The weather could not have been any better and the ports made this a great trip for us. Amber Cove - We booked a poolside Cabana which was quite nice. Situated right by the pool as advertised, had decent AC, WI-FI (not the strongest but worked), some water toys, Hammock, our own bartender and unlimited access to the zip-line which we all did multiple times. Ended up being a good pool day. St. Thomas - Beautiful island with awesome beaches and scenery. We rented a 4 door jeep from Seashell Rentals which allowed us to tour more of the island. We ended up seeing most of the island and spent time on both Sapphire Beach and Magen's Bay Beach. We all enjoyed Sapphire much more than Magen's Bay although Magen's Bay really is a beautiful area, it was just to crowded for us although probably much better for kids. San Juan - We took a tour that we booked at the port for $25pp which turned out to be a great deal Robert was an awesome tour guide and took us to quite a few spots before dropping us off in Old San Juan. As a history buff I will have to return here with more time to explore. Grand Turk - Beautiful beach with crystal clear water. We ended up at Jack's Shack which was a pretty easy walk down the beach and we all loved this port. Jack's had good food, great drinks, good service and I even got to meet Jack as a bonus. One thing of note is that we saw sea turtles from the port side of the ship as we were getting to ready to dock. It appeared the boat was chopping up the surf and the turtles were head to deeper and calmer water...pretty cool to see! Before going into why we probably won't be sailing with Carnival for a while I would like to add that all of the crew members we met were fantastic (with the exception of the bartender at the Alchemy Bar who was an arrogant jerk). Our room Steward Jerry was a great guy and as usual worked really hard. Tommy and I Made were two waiters we met in the main dining room (anytime dining) and they were both exceptional and wow does Tommy have some dance moves!! Now for the not so good stuff.... Maybe it was just because it was Thanksgiving week but wow did this ship seem to draw some rude and entitled passengers. I couldn't believe how many of these people treated the crew and at times each other. I can't count how many times I saw other passengers drop food on the floor, ice cream, drinks, etc in the hallways, stairways and then just leave it there. At times it seemed like we were living in one those people of Walmart web pages. It also seemed like this ship had zero rules enforced at all. Everything from passengers just pushing and shoving their way out at every port resulting in huge crowds trying to get out with these same rude passengers yelling, complaining, pushing, etc. People in the dining rooms with swimwear, flip flops, baseball caps, one guy without a shirt on, etc. Then there was the buffet which is where most of the entitled people tended to hang out... once again people in the buffet in swimsuits with no shirt, barefoot, eating their food while in line and then using the utensils to scoop up more food,etc. There was also a fairly strong cigarette smoke odor on this ship and all of us noticed it right from the moment we boarded the ship with my 15 year old asking why the ship smells like smoke. The casino had a terrible cigarette smell but that's kind of to be expected but it was immediately obvious in other areas as well. The people in the adjoining balcony smoked on their balcony every night which made our balcony almost unusable at times, especially being that me wife has allergies and is very sensitive to cigarette smoke. There was also an odor of marijuana in many areas of the ship which makes you wonder how anyone could get it on board. It just kind of seemed like the crew had been instructed to simply let people do whatever they please without enforcing any rules. Another odd thing is that it seemed like the Cruise Director Malcom was almost invisible which may have contributed to the lack of rules. I didn't even know who he was until the second to last day of the cruise. Just very strange but this was his last sailing on the Magic before being moved to another ship so maybe things will improve... maybe skip whichever ship he is moving to. Then there was the final straw...debarkation. This was the worst debarkation I have ever seen and it was almost beyond belief. I was told by a crew member that Malcom tried implementing a new method for this cruise but I'm not sure if that was true. If so it was an epic failure! The process was so low and unorganized that at one point they announced they had closed the gangway due to passengers rushing the door (where was Malcom?) and by 11:00 they were only up to zone 10 (out of 31) for debarkation. Nothing was open as far as restaurants, eateries, etc as they all had closed at 8:30am and everybody was out of the cabins so there were people laying on the floor like an airport with all flights cancelled. Then at 11:30-11:45 they announced that all remaining zones could leave the ship so there was another mad rush for the gangway. Of course nobody's luggage was in the correct area so the yelling and screaming just continued into the baggage claim area where everything was just complete chaos. This was pretty much the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a very long time and was where I decided never again. I guess I should consider myself fortunate that we weren't one of the Diamond members or those that had paid for FTTF for the next cruise as we still had at least 1000+ passengers on board at 11:30 when they were supposed to be board. Ok, overall we had a good time and this was a good trip and I don't like to complain. That said, I have been on Carnival, NCL, Princess & RCCL and Carnival seems to be offering a much different product than the others. To be honest Carnival seems to be offering a much different product than they did in the past as well and with so many other options at least close to the same price point it may be a while before we return to Carnival, Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Just returned from a 7-day cruise onboard Carnival Magic and there was no magic onboard that ship. My family and I are avid cruisers and pretty much once a year during the week of Thanksgiving we do a 7-day cruise. We normally cruise with ... Read More
Just returned from a 7-day cruise onboard Carnival Magic and there was no magic onboard that ship. My family and I are avid cruisers and pretty much once a year during the week of Thanksgiving we do a 7-day cruise. We normally cruise with Royal Caribbean but thought we would give Carnival a try this year. Unfortunately, we were totally disappointed with the lack of customer service onboard the ship and the poor communication and organization onboard. We had a group of about 90-100 in our party and for the most part everyone in our party had some sort of problem with their stateroom, onboard accounts, etc. My problems with Carnival started as soon as me and my family entered our balcony stateroom. The room was extremely hot, the AC was not working. The safe in the room was locked so we couldn’t use it. I immediately went to Guest Services, which was around 4pm to let them know about the AC and the safe. I stood in a very long line to get to someone, finally I got a young lady who I explained my problems to and she said she was sending someone to our room to take care of the issues. In the meantime, my family and I went to have lunch and explore the ship while our room was supposedly being taken care of. It’s now 9pm and our AC still isn’t working and our safe is still locked. Turns out no one had even been to our room so Guest Services lied to us. Thankfully we had a balcony room because that night we had to sleep with the balcony door open since we had no AC. The next morning, I went back to Guest Services with the same complaints and once again they said they were sending someone to our room. We waited for a little while and once we realized no one was coming I tracked down our room steward and told him the problem. He tried to help, he called and got our safe open but the safe wasn’t working. We were given a new safe and that safe didn’t work. Another safe was brought to our room and guess what, that one didn’t work either. It took two days and 3 safes’ later for us to finally get a working safe. Meanwhile, we’re still dealing with no AC in our room and no one seems to have any real answers as to when the problem will be fixed. Turns out we were not the only one having an issue with the AC in the room. Several rooms on the ship had an AC problem and two days later Carnival finally acknowledged the problem by sending letters letting us know they were working on the AC. This was just an example of the poor communication and lack of customer service. They knew on day one there was an AC problem and they just lied and brushed off our complaints without being transparent about the problem. This let me know that Carnival does not value their customers. You don’t repeatedly lie to your customers when you know you have an AC problem and you’re not sending someone to our rooms fix the problem. Carnival must think their customers are stupid and they can just brush them off. Shame on them. There were numerous issues I could write about, like the long lines at the buffet, the long lines to, etc. This commentary would turn into a novel if I wrote about all the issues with Carnival. I will finish this up by telling you about the CHAOTIC and UNORGANIZED debarkation process Carnival has. Our debarkation was so bad, you would have thought this was Carnival’s first-time cruising. I’m used to the debarkation process on Royal Caribbean which I have gone through several times and I’ve never had a problem getting off the ship or understanding what I needed to do. First, let me start by saying Carnival placed debarkation steps and times in our rooms the night before. However, when it came to debarking, they did not follow those steps, or the times mentioned at all. Some of our party got off the ship as early as 7am. Then some of us were not allowed off the ship and we were being told that the ship had not cleared yet. The staff on board made us wait, people and their luggage were camped out all over the place because they wouldn’t allow us off the ship. It’s now about 10:00 am and no one on board is communicating to us as to when we will be able to get off the ship. All they would say is you have to wait here. Meanwhile, we see a long line of people moving to get off the ship so we decided to join that line. Once we got in that line a member from Carnival’s staff told us if we were to get off before they told us to, we would not be able to get our luggage. That turned out to be another lie. We finally got off the ship and our luggage was there. Some of the other members in our group didn’t get off the ship until 10:30am or later because Carnival wouldn’t allow them to get off. It was a total nightmare. Although me and my family found our luggage right away there were so many people who couldn’t find their luggage. Our groups debarkation nightmare started at 7:00am and it wasn’t until 12:15pm that the last family in our group got through the process of getting off the ship and finding their luggage. On Royal Caribbean were usually off the ship and on our way home within hour or two at the latest. With Carnival the debarkation process took us 5 hours!!! The last thing I will say is that I will never cruise on Carnival again and be aware if you’re planning to cruise with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Carnival Magic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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