18 Carnival Magic Repositioning Cruise Reviews

On this cruise,the quality of all the baked goods.Bread,rolls,and even paid for desserts from the coffee shop,where dry,tasteless and barely edible.There was no room service menu,(except morning menu),in our room.And the bread ,that was ... Read More
On this cruise,the quality of all the baked goods.Bread,rolls,and even paid for desserts from the coffee shop,where dry,tasteless and barely edible.There was no room service menu,(except morning menu),in our room.And the bread ,that was supposed to be toast was like warmed up stale bread.And the biscuit on the sausage biscuit we paid for was nothing like biscuit texture,from that menu.We requested Anytime seating,and a table for 2.And their idea of a table for 2 is now,2 person tables,shoved so close together,with other tables for 2.That you bump arms with the people sitting next to you.And a private conversation is completely out of the question.The entertainment was a whole lot of trivia.And very little live music.In anything but the showroom.Our room steward was told to not come to our room,before 12pm.Because my husband likes to stay up and watch all the late shows.He consistently tried to come in each day.And after my husband told him the third time.He started cleaning the adjoining room next door and smacked the vacuum cleaner on the door.And we could hear him laughing about it each day.The quality of this cruise,has me really hoping this isn't Carnivals new norm.As we have an Alaska cruise in August. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
This was my second Carnival cruise and I must say I was not disappointed. In general the newest ship is very nice. Embarkation/Debarkation processes were extremely quick compare to Long Beach. If you were a VIP check in, you probably ... Read More
This was my second Carnival cruise and I must say I was not disappointed. In general the newest ship is very nice. Embarkation/Debarkation processes were extremely quick compare to Long Beach. If you were a VIP check in, you probably waited a bit longer than the normal cruiser. Our Stateroom was on Deck 10 Fwd and it quite large for a corner stateroom. The only disadvantage was when we had rough seas, you felt it and its also next to the room stewart closet where they fill their buckets up. Our Room stewart Hadu was the best. Food was above average which was good, but on my last night I actually sent my mahi mahi back and asked for something else for which out waiter accomodated my request. We had anytime dining which is growing in popularity and this work out very well. We were treated to the singing waiter from the Philipines who I believe needs to team up with Ken the maitre D and do a duet on stage. Otherwise the dining experience was good with no real complaints. Red Frog pub is must as the Amber Ale is grrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeattt! Entertainment wise, I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the shows as they were not Carnival's best in my mind. The Punchliner comedy club was as always very funny. The main atrium where the lobby, photo gallery and fun shops are on decks 3,4 and 5 are typical and cramped with passengers which made getting around it challenging at times. I was also disappointed by the lack of an adult pool on board, but spent much time on the serenity deck in the hot tubs. The sports court, sky course, and water slides were alot of fun especially for this 52 yr old. There is always opinions on if people should take Carnival tours or do something on their own. I booked a carnival tour and we were late getting back to the ship so they waited for us. This would not have been the case had I booked tours on my own. The itinerary was good Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Just wish Grand Cayman would build a pier. Would also prefer to dock in Ocho Rios as well. When i compare the magic to the splendor the magic wins in my my mind. Generally had a great time and a great cruise. yeah a few things could be better, but I know that Carnival will make them right. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
The Magic should, theoretically, provide more fun things to do than a smaller ship because there should be tons more space. Well, no. A lot of that free space is taken up by many more cabins and two more "premium" restaurants ... Read More
The Magic should, theoretically, provide more fun things to do than a smaller ship because there should be tons more space. Well, no. A lot of that free space is taken up by many more cabins and two more "premium" restaurants for a total of three. Since it's a new ship, it's obvious they're still getting the kinks out of their systems - figuring out how long they need to get everyone off and on the ship to shuttles for excursions, for example, is something they haven't quite gotten down. They stage departures for shore excursions from the main theater on this ship, and that is somewhat smooth, but if there's a port that requires a general shuttle into town, you'll want to go quite early to the theater if you don't want to wait for a long time. The boat, which is nearly brand new, also "broke" and had to have a thruster repaired which meant this sailing missed Grand Turk to go to Freeport for repairs. They gave all passengers $25 credit as a "we're sorry" which, in my opinion, is completely inadequate since a cruise to Grand Turk costs quite a lot (and there are none coming out of Galveston), and considering that they managed to arrange and film a commercial from a helicopter in Freeport, there were a lot of people suspicious that Carnival had been planning to hit Freeport all along. On the other hand, apparently the ship has to go BACK to Freeport instead of its next itinerary to Costa Maya, so if that's true, then Carnival was telling the truth - but it still is Carnival's fault that we did not go to Grand Turk, and it would have been a great gesture to do more than they did. Here are some of the good aspects: The best beds I've ever slept on in a cruise ship. Sleeping is very difficult for me, and I slept very well. An amazing staff. Our stewardess, Jolanta, was wonderful as were her assistants. Our waiters, A.K., Dario, and Sergh were so hard working and very friendly as was the beverage steward, Marijana. I was very impressed with the staff in the Lido, the coffee shop, the piano bar, room service staff, and the chef, Daniel Anulraj. The food was generally quite good. They seemed to have changed how they do things as they don't have both a starter and a salad at dinner, but, obviously, if you're still hungry after a three-course dinner, there's always more food to eat. If you enjoy the premium restaurants, the Magic's steakhouse was superb as was the Chef's Table event which is $75 per person, but provides seven courses, wine, and a tour of the spotless and impressive galley. The entertainment staff were a fun bunch, and gosh did they have to put up with a lot of grouching from unreasonable passengers demanding live television in the middle of the ocean. Major kudos to Carnival for their unflagging good cheer. Usually, I don't think of Carnival as a great line for "enrichment" but they had a number of useful photography classes led by Radu, and a photography competition that generated a lot of participation. Last, cove balconies are fantastic. If you have trouble with the claustrophobia of being cooped up indoors on a ship for days on end, you need to try a cove balcony room. Seriously awesome. Here are a couple suggestions for potential passengers: The "smoke-free" casino did not work out to be smoke-free (at all) as there are a few smoking areas, and the smoke permeates the entire area. If that's not going to work for you, perhaps start a petition to have a completely smoke free night like they do on Princess. Second, a lot of people caught a moderate cold on this sailing - They have Purell before you eat and before you use the computer, but you're touching the slot machines just as much as a computer keyboard and there's no Purell. Go around the corner to the "Fun Hub" (a computer/internet area - there are several on board) and use Purell before and after losing your money to the slots. :-) If deck five is too crowded and noisy, there's a row of couches on four across from the teen disco where you can read or have a quiet conversation. There's no sea-view, but there are also no beverage servers, so it's an area where you can feel like you can sit as long as you want without needing to buy a drink. Probably on most vessels it's difficult to get good seats for the shows unless you go very early and sit for an hour or more. Well, even though this ship is bigger, it doesn't seem like the theater is bigger nor are other venues, so even something like the "future cruise talk" can be jammed to capacity. Popular areas like the Ocean Plaza can be crowded with people playing cards instead of taking part in whatever activity is supposed to be taking place. So plan ahead and go early to the events you'd like to hit. In all seriousness, it's apparent that a lot of mistakes were made when this ship was built based on facts such as the damaged, dinged, and cracked sconces in all the elevators from poorly driven hoverounds (they were removed in Freeport, by the way) - apparently no one predicted that. Well, they also didn't predict how overcrowded the buffet or other popular areas were going to be at peak periods. So when they get around to overhauling the ship, I hope they find a way to reduce congestion. I love Carnival and will certainly sail with them again, but I wish I could hijack this wonderful crew and sail with them on a different vessel. Still this was a relaxing cruise, and, despite the Grand Turk mix up, the vast majority of guests seemed to be having a great time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This wasn't the best or most enjoyably cruise that my wife, Rosy and I have been on, but I want to celebrate the good things and not dwell on the negatives, except to say that we were unwell for much of the cruise and some thieving ... Read More
This wasn't the best or most enjoyably cruise that my wife, Rosy and I have been on, but I want to celebrate the good things and not dwell on the negatives, except to say that we were unwell for much of the cruise and some thieving toe-rag nicked my camera on the last afternoon, so no pictures! We boarded 4 days late as we attended my mum's funeral the day after we should have left Barcelona, so we missed out on the first port - Palma, Mallorca and joined the ship at the second port - Malaga. We were very excited to be finally boarding our dream voyage and to be meeting many of the people we'd talked to on CC and Facebook, for the last few months. On arrival at the port we seemed to take everyone by surprise, as they were not expecting any passengers to embark, so we clashed with all the day-trippers leaving for their excursions. We quickly established that there had been a breakdown in communications, which was soon sorted and we dis-embarked for a sight-seeing trip, whilst Carnival got our Spa Balcony Stateroom ready. They had to find our Bon Voyage gifts etc. We took a train journey along the coast, but unfortunately there were quite a few tunnels and the track was inland so not many views, so we returned on the bus, which was much more enjoyable and very cheap. When we re-boarded, our room was ready and we were ready for it. We had bought to large bouquets, one for us and one for Ana Maria the Guest Services Manager, who we were having a lot of dealings with, but in keeping with the positive, I'll not discuss why! She loved her flowers and we Rosy, GSM and me) hugged and kissed and had a chat. She kindly gave us her direct line number and offered to do anything she could to improve our cruise. She sent us some 'Champagne' and chocolate-covered strawberries and provided a vase for our flowers. We toured the ship and spent some time in the spa, which was included in our fare. By dinner time, my BV gifts had arrived, bottles of Bourbon and Rum. I had brought, two bottles of proper Champagne, together with water and coca cola, emptied the fridge contents into the sofa bed draw and we were all set. At dinner, late seating, we were seated at a large table in a group of mixed CC folk and Guttersnipes (a break-away group off CC'ers). These people were all extremely kind and friendly and gave us a warm welcome. We knew we would have a great cruise. The Maitre'd arrived and presented us with a bottle of wine, which we drank surprisingly slowly, but we had been drinking 'fizz' just before dinner. The following day we docked at Las Palmas, where we rented a car for 33 Euros and toured the island, including visits to botannical gardens. The following day, we hosted the first of two 'all you can drink' cocktail parties, in the Vibe Nightclub. Carnival include snacks and the party-goers at $12pp enjoyed copious amounts of alcohol and there was soon a very merry atmosphere. These are wonderful events and we had over 100 participants at each. They are great ice-breakers and are great vfm. That night I started feeling unwell (a chesty cough) seemed to be doing the rounds, and it stayed with me for the rest of the cruise, making sleeping very difficult and as a consequence I started dozing during the evening entertainment! In general, I found the food to be excellent, the drinks very expensive and the entertainment to be mostly very good at night, but we felt there weren't enough daytime activities to stimulate the brain. There were two formal nights, when I was indebted to GSM, who lent me some dress shoes, as I had left mine in the case of funeral clothes! We were treated to a very nice meal, with drinks, in the Steakhouse, courtesy of that very nice Mr Heald and dinner with El Capitano and other staff officers, travel writers and VIP's in the Italian Restaurant. This was on the penultimate night and unfortunately Rosy was now stricken by the chesty cough. Rosy enjoyed the water slides and we both enjoyed the rope course and the putting, but missed deck quoits and shuffle-board. Freeport was a disappointment compared with the scheduled stop at Grand Turk, but we made the most of it, walking around some nice areas of Port Lucaya and finding a nice bar with free wi-fi (Sparkys) and nice, cheap cocktails and conch fritters. The Radisson Resort was offering day passes for $20 including all beach facilities, but no food or drink. We spoke to folk from another ship who had an excellent package, much cheaper than Carnival, which included transportation, a glass-bottomed boat trip and a day pass with food and drink, for $63! Disembarkation was much easier and efficient than when we previously experienced Galveston, on the Conquest, and we were soon outside in the warm sunshine, awaiting our CC shuttle, which Rob had kindly arranged. It was chaotic outside the terminal, but by the time we left, the dock was almost deserted, so clearly it's only busy for a short time frame. All-in-all a wonderful cruise, with very nice people, who we will miss. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We took a trans-Atlantic cruise 3 years ago on the Carnival Freedom, and it was one of the best we've done. This has to rank among the worst. We pick a cabin mid-ships for Trans-Atlantic crossings on Deck 1 and have never had a ... Read More
We took a trans-Atlantic cruise 3 years ago on the Carnival Freedom, and it was one of the best we've done. This has to rank among the worst. We pick a cabin mid-ships for Trans-Atlantic crossings on Deck 1 and have never had a problem. On the first night we heard loud talking, shrieking, laughing and screaming after 11:30 and called Security. since it wasn't on our floor, we presumed it was coming from above us, but Security could hear nothing. We were given ear plugs, but could hear the noise until we fell asleep, so we have no idea how long it went on for. We complained for the next 2 nights and were offered a cabin aft, which we considered a downgrade. I went to Customer Service to ask what could be causing the noise, and was told that the Staff Lounge is directly below us and the BARTENDER had been asked to lower the music. We do think that the crew deserves a place to unwind,but they could have been honest with us from the beginning. So we did move...., but everyone agreed that the ship is generally noisy. Our dinner service was exceedingly slow(first seating)and for the first few nights, we were leaving as the second seating was entering, Our waiter had 3 tables and always took the other tables' orders first. The food, while generally tasty, was often cool by the time it got to us. There is very little information given....None at all for our second and third ports, not even the shopping map. We actually had to ask how to get to town.there apparently was a chocolate buffet in the Lido , but since we ate in the dining room, we didn't find out about it until the afternoon....No announcements,which is actually funny, because the Cruise Director, James, was more an announcer of events that an Entertainment Director...pleasant but only announced activities...perhaps one joke before the show. The theatre didn't semm big enough for the number of passengers, and neither did the Casino. If there was 1 show at 10:30, we'd probably would have had to skip dinner to get a seat, because going at a reasonable time never worked. On the majority of evenings, they held a bingo in the theatre, so even if we went 30 minutes early, we always had to sit in the rear. The Piano Bar was a huge disappointment. People sat on stools around the piano and we could never see him, because the tables were much lower and we couldn't see over people's heads....On other lines, it's much more intimate. We were detoured to Freeport for 2 days for engine repairs and had free shuttles for the 25 minute ride to the shops and when we went on the first day at about 11:00, wwe were told that the wait is at least 1 1/2 hours and it would be faster to take a cab at $40-$50. When we went out, there were mini-vans at $5 pp...more mis-information. But the biggest slap in the face was at the November 11th Remembrance day service. The Captain was supposed to open the service at 10:45 to lay the wreath, but didn't come until 10:58, walked up to the stage, laid the wreath and left!!! How disrespectful to all the veterans in the audience....Four of our table-mates were new to Carnival and they wouldn't take the line again as would 4 other of us.... Extremely disappointing!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Cabin steward was a gem. Attentive, smiling, efficient and helpful. Remainder of staff seemed indifferent to everyone. Ship well laid out and never felt crowded with the exception of the main theater which is very undersized for the ... Read More
Cabin steward was a gem. Attentive, smiling, efficient and helpful. Remainder of staff seemed indifferent to everyone. Ship well laid out and never felt crowded with the exception of the main theater which is very undersized for the capacity of the ship. If you wanted to see the one big production show on the one night it was performed you had to arrive an hour and a half early or you wouldn't get a seat for the 8:30 show. Since the 10:30 show was too late for us, because we were traveling with our 3 year old granddaughter, I don't have first hand knowledge of seat availability for that one, but was told by fellow passengers that it was packed early as well. The food was mediocre at best. Lido Buffet was a step up from school lunch but a couple of steps below Old Country Buffet. We tried the Northern Lights dining room on 3 separate nights but gave up because it was taking over 2 1/2 hours to get a 3 course dinner and the food wasn't much better than the buffet. I get annoyed when it takes almost an hour between clearing our plates and getting dessert. Actually, I believe the buffet was fresher and hotter. The lobster and "jumbo tiger shrimp" was laughable. The smallest lobster tail I've ever seen, 3 bites max, and the "jumbo" shrimp were about the size of my little finger. Not to mention that neither had any flavor at all. So, if you want a cruise where you can sit back, read a book and not gain any weight then the Magic may be for you. Just don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Len Stanchick, Cabin 10267: We (4 adults/numerous cruises), sailed the Magic's recent 'Maiden Trans-Atlantic Voyage'. We were only out of Barcelona a short while, when we were notified we would have an Itinerary change ... Read More
Len Stanchick, Cabin 10267: We (4 adults/numerous cruises), sailed the Magic's recent 'Maiden Trans-Atlantic Voyage'. We were only out of Barcelona a short while, when we were notified we would have an Itinerary change due to a damaged rear thruster. Instead of sailing to Grand Turk for a day stop, we were now going to Freeport, Bahama's for a 2 day repair stop. Repairs for the rear thruster, that (reportedly by repair crews at Freeport) had been damaged near Italy back in July. (3 months earlier!) (If this is true, this should only be considered as fraud!) A rebate of $25 was given to our 'ship account'. Losing the Grand Turk stop, plus losing a 'sea day' for $25, & being stranded in Freeport, looking at sand piles & a container ship yard is not 'Magical'. I should add, we were supposed to debark from Freeport at 5 p/m on the 2nd day, but that was even delayed an additional 3 hrs.. We finally left at 8 p/m. We NEVER arrived at any port or left any ports during the trip at the scheduled times. And, most of the sailing was done at nearly the ships 'posted max. speed' of 23 knots (we sailed at 21.5 - 22.5 knots most of our cruising time). The only 'Magic' in the Magic's 'Maiden Trans-Atlantic Voyage' was we magically made it to Galveston at all. Albeit, scheduled docking in Galveston was scheduled to be at 8 a/m, but the day before we were informed it would be at 5 a/m, but then we actually docked at 6 a/m. They 'dumped us off' as rapidly as possible, (it took 1.5 hrs. from ships edge to on board the Carnival scheduled bus to airport, another 1.5 hr. trip ona bus with broken air-conditioning),obviously to prepare for the big Maroon extravaganza party scheduled later in the day. Carnival should rename this bucket of bolts the "Carnival Maybe", captained by Captain Ahab. Maybe You'll Get There - Maybe You Won't! They got your money, they don't care then. Let the buyer beware! Never again, for me! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Where to begin to describe this inaugural transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Magic? Good points: 1. Spacious cabins, but small balconies. 2. New ship, but gaudy décor. 3. The ship's "wine card" which ... Read More
Where to begin to describe this inaugural transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Magic? Good points: 1. Spacious cabins, but small balconies. 2. New ship, but gaudy décor. 3. The ship's "wine card" which offered a discount on the selections of wines on that card is a great idea and welcomed feature. OK points: 1. Cabin service. Cabin stewards were generally competent and eager to please. 2. Red Frog Pub. This is a novel idea on a ship, and the draught beer was welcomed. Unfortunately, waiter service was hit or miss. 3. Rope obstacle course--when it was open and attended by a cruise staff person. 4. Water slide--when it was open and attended by a cruise staff person. Not so good: 1. Food service was the worst I have experienced in over 25 cruises. Servers frequently took orders from the men ahead of the ladies at the table. Servers did not refill wine glasses--the diners had to refill their own glasses. Food was often served cold. Frequently food was not served as requested, e. g. served a well done steaks when medium rare was ordered. Servers often reached across a diner with a plate to another diner. Menu selection was adequate, and food was generally tasty, but the presentation was mediocre at best. 2. Diner was interrupted by the excessively loud singing of the matre d' each evening in the Southern Lights restaurant. The volume was so loud that you could not hear anything but the singing. Additionally, he would frequently engage the waiters in little dances and skits which took them away from serving and exacerbated an already slow service. This was not a FUN event. 3. Although the ship offered a wine card discounting a selection of wines, our waiters informed us that the dining room had run out of 3 of the 5 reds offered on the wine card and we would have to choose from the remaining 2 red wines. However, the piano bar and lounge one deck up had those wines in stock that the dining room did not have. The dining waiters said they could not use the Piano Bar's stock, so I had to walk up to the Piano Bar and get a bottle using my wine card and take it down to dinner. What kind of service is that? 4. Entertainment was the worst I have experienced on any cruise. In 16 nights of cruising, we only saw the dance ensemble for two shows. The second show was a new magic stage presentation that marginally involved the dance ensemble. Often the "fly on" entertainers were second tier at best, especially the hypnotist. 5. The primary show room had some of the worst sight lines you can imagine. The main floor was not inclined and it was hard to see the stage from mid to rear seats. There were several seats in both the main floor and balcony that had poles blocking the view of the stage. To get a seat for one of the shows, you would have to get into the theater at least 45 minutes prior to show time. (Show time as was many other activities would start on "Carnival Time" instead of the published time. It seemed that the Cruise Director and his staff did not have properly functioning timepieces.) 6. Cruise Director and Cruise Staff. Despite a meager selection of activities on the transatlantic cruise, those that did take place often began late due to either the cruise staff showing up late or forgetting to show up at all. At least on two occasions one cruise staff member forgot he was hosting trivia and had to be summoned. The cruise director was well spoken, but he continually changed the timing of activities from what was published in the FUN Times schedule. The uniforms (more accurately described as gym attire) of the cruise staff were sloppy and did not portray a professional appearance. 7. At a ceremony to honor the military and veterans of the US, Canada, and UK, the ship's captain showed up nearly 15 minutes late for a wreath laying ceremony which disrupted the sequencing of the entire ceremony. And when he finally showed, he appeared like a deer caught in the headlights at the ceremony--not the captain's finest hour. 8. Plumbing issues were apparent everywhere. Our cabin steward tried to convince us that the pitching motion of the ship was the cause of our sink and shower backing up on two occasions. I did not buy that, would you? 9. Bar service outside was practically non-existent. Every time I had to go to a bar and get my own drink because I couldn't find a bar waiter. 10. Bar service in the Piano Bar's lounge was slow. Only one bar waitress was usually on duty even though the lounge was filled with passengers in the early evening. 11. It was admirable that the ship's crew cleaned and vacuumed common areas often. However, it would seem that the crew could have picked a more opportune time to clean and vacuum the rear staircase and elevator areas than during the time when passengers were using those stairs and elevators to get to first dinner seating each evening. Walking on a pitching ship and trying to step over or around power cords and vacuum hoses on the way to dinner was bothersome and unsafe. 12. Disembarkation/embarkation at each stop was crowded, slow and cumbersome. 13. Port information was almost non-existent. The cruise director gave a couple of port talks that consisted solely of advertisements of the ship-sponsored tours and activities. Rarely was any information available about transportation available at the ports (except Freeport when it was incorrect) for those not taking a ship-sponsored tour. No maps or printed information about ports were available. Set sail time was incorrectly given for two ports, but was corrected on the port day after some passengers had already disembarked. On one occasion the ship was an hour late in departing due to ship-sponsored tours to Granada arriving at the dock an hour later than the announced set sail time. In carrying on with the misinformation put forth by the ship's crew, several days into the cruise passengers were informed that the ship had to divert into Freeport, Bahamas instead of going to Grand Turk to repair an aft thruster. However, some of the engine room and deck crew revealed that the thruster was malfunctioning days before arriving in Barcelona, and the decision to go to Freeport was made prior to departing Barcelona--not a mid-cruise decision as was told to the passengers. Twenty-five dollars of cabin credit and tough, over cooked shrimp at dinner did not make up for docking in Freeport for two days instead of one day at Grand Turk Summary: Although this was my third Carnival cruise, it convinced me that it will be my last. There are too many other better cruise lines available at competitive pricing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
I have always been a Carnival fan. Even my wedding was on Carnival, but this newest ship is headed the wrong direction. The 16 day transatlantic was the final leg of cruising completely around the world. When we arrived on board it was ... Read More
I have always been a Carnival fan. Even my wedding was on Carnival, but this newest ship is headed the wrong direction. The 16 day transatlantic was the final leg of cruising completely around the world. When we arrived on board it was surprising how much damage there was for such a new ship. The lightweight aluminum cones in the elevators and halls were bent and damaged from the countless scooters and wheelchairs on board. What were they thinking when they put the Serenity area right next to the Water Works. I found nothing serene about hearing the screams all the way down the two slides. I used to say that Carnival's food was better than Princess, but not on this voyage. Pasta and fish was undercooked, variety missing, but worst of all our waiter was so overworked that he didn't ever have the opportunity to check back to see if the food was OK. Once it was served, we didn't see him again until he brought dessert because he was so overwhelmed. Even the Maitre-d made an announcement to everyone one night apologizing for the food and service. The single biggest problem, I could identify is that it is too many people for the size of the ship or they have not yet figured out how to manage 4,000 pax like RCCL. There were always mobs waiting to get in for the shows. If you were not in a seat 45 minutes before a show, you were out of luck. The cruise director tried to compensate by not even promoting the final shows in hopes that enough would not see it in the "Fun Times" publication. Every day the "Top Ten" recommended things to do had at least five that required spending more money. I felt like I had paid for a 16 day commercial always being asked to spend more, spend more, spend more. Every time we ordered a drink and specifically asked for "House" liquor, they upgraded and charged extra. After confronting them, they would no longer come by and ask us if we wanted a drink. The other overall problem was noise pollution throughout the ship. Speakers were too loud, acoustics in the dining were so bad we could never hear the conversation at our 10 top. On a more positive note, I did find the cabin roomy and I'm glad they have returned to having dancing in the Atrium. Thanks also for placing the second area for entertainment not "in" the promenade walkway, but rather beside it. Overall, I would say that the Carnival Magic has cured me from wanting to go on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We finished a cruise on October 26 and flew on Ryan Air from Rome to Barcelona. We had a wonderful time in Barcelona. What a magnificent city! It was far more than we expected, and we want to go back and spend time. One full day of ... Read More
We finished a cruise on October 26 and flew on Ryan Air from Rome to Barcelona. We had a wonderful time in Barcelona. What a magnificent city! It was far more than we expected, and we want to go back and spend time. One full day of touring was not enough by a long shot. Our cab driver to the ship was from Colombia and was very talkative. We enjoyed the drive. Embarkation involved a long line, but was a breeze and rates a grade of A. Luggage was delivered in a reasonable period of time. The ship decor was toned down compared with some other Carnival Ship. Slight echos of the MGM Grand in Vegas, but mostly quite pleasant, imho. Room: We booked a balcony guarantee and were given the farthest forward balcony cabin on the port side, deck 6. It was a handicap room, so it was spacious. Neither of us are in need of such a room. The only seat in the room was a stool at the vanity/desk. The flat screen TV was oriented to be watched from a wheelchair, not so much from the bed. On our previous cruise out of Rome on Mariner of the Seas our balcony room had twice the storage and closet space compared with our Magic room, but the Magic space was adequate for our needs. The bathroom shower area had a fold up seat. This seat was dripping a bright red substance onto the tiled floor when we first entered. It looked like blood. It was not. It was rust. This rust continued erupting from the chair for three days, but it gradually turned more rusty and less bloody in appearance. On the third day the other side of the chair began leaking a black tar substance. The repair staff worked hard to solve the problem. Finally, filling the metal tubing with silicon chalk ended the eruptions, at least for the rest of our cruise. This reduced the room cleaning workload, since the continual staining on the tile floor ended. I now think I have a better handle on what happens when church statues drip a blood-like substance, but the tar is still a mystery to me. The shower drainage design failed. Taking a shower while the ship was moving resulted in a stream of water flowing under the door into the room carpet. The solution from our ship staff was for us to put towels under the door. This stopped most of the flow, but the carpet still got wet. Since we were on a transatlantic cruise, the ship was usually moving. Except for a small wire shelf in the shower, the bathroom contained only a very small area on the sink to put anything. The kleenex box was perched on a towel rack. About ten days into the cruise our room door would not open. We had a hard time convincing the guest services person that reprogramming our sea pass would not solve the problem. We would not hand over our cards. She pouted a little but agreed to send someone to fix the door. We had to wait about a half hour, but he did come and got the door latch working. He said the whole mechanism needed to be replaced and that was done the next morning. For a six month old ship, I thought a lot was going wrong. On deck six (and only on deck six), the port and starboard forward balconies have sweptback partitions that allow not just a side view, but a panoramic forward view. That is nice, but it means that the people on the adjacent forward public deck can look into the balcony and into the room. Also the ocean view rooms at the front must tightly draw their curtains, if they want privacy. However. almost all of the balcony rooms have an extra partition above the railing that provide a higher level of privacy than it found on many ships. From our balcony, I saw lots of flying fish. In Galveston Harbor we saw dolphins. Public areas: Most of the public areas on the ship are wonderful. Lots of good places to sit and read or visit. Lots of places to be near the pool or hot tub. Shaded areas. Sunny areas. Great bars and snack bars. The Serenity Deck for adults is fabulous. The library is well run and inviting. Given the advent of the Kindle, the relatively small size of the library is less important than it would have been in the past. The fitness center was slightly smaller than I expected, but it was well managed and well equipped. The pools, hot tubs and the water park are all superior. I often walked on deck five, the Promenade Deck. Usually, I did this very early. I saw several rainbows, including a full double rainbow ahead of the ship with the illusion that we would be sailing beneath it soon. I like to play trivia. My wife did handicrafts and I played on trivia teams. Lots of people from Texas. Lots of Canadians. Those groups bring lots of good will and friendliness to social life on board, and nice people mean a great deal on a cruise. The theater: The main theater is very beautiful and well designed for serving drinks. However, the spaciousness provided for passing waiters reduces the seating capacity to 1300. Even with two shows, this is a problem. When they have only one show during the evening, forgetaboutit. Entertainment varied from poor to very good on this cruise. Rouch sea conditions adversely affected the entertainment. I expect that the new cast for cruising from Galveston will provide quality entertainment. Theater lighting and special effects are impressive, but they have bulky equipment haphazardly taking up some of the seating space on the main floor. How can that be so on a brand new ship? The stainless steel pillars in the theater are very attractive but seem to be designed to maximize the number of people who have some of their stage view blocked. The buffet: I thought the buffet was very good. The barbecue and ethnic offerings, such as tandor, were good. The deli was very good, as is usually true on Carnival ships and never true of other ships. Many people complained about finding seats and tables in the buffet, but I thought it was less of a problem on this ship than on many other ships. Dining room: We were assigned late seating in the Southern Lights dining room, deck three. The first night was very poor. Not the food. It was good. We were at a table for 10 with one other couple. We lacked silverware, especially spoons. They were setting up for breakfast and seemed much more into that than in providing any service to us. The other couple managed to move to early seating. The next night we hooked up with two couples assigned to the adjacent table for 10. We shifted to their table and the six of us ate dinner together for the rest of the cruise. Our service improved over the course of the cruise. We began to instruct the waiters to provide salt shakers and other supporting material. On a couple of nights, we actually got offered pepper from pepper mills. They quickly learned to provide a plate of lemon slices. I think with more training, the waiters will be successful. We got our main courses cold, but hot desserts usually came hot. Four of us always ordered the same drinks with dessert, but they never remembered that we did. Most of the green veggies provided on this cruise were more of a garnish than a side dish, but you could always request more. Carnivals food is good in general. They are not into pies, but their desserts tend to be quite good. Breakfast and Lunch in Southern Lights was way, way below any reasonable standard of service. It was as if they wanted to punish us for having the audacity to show up. The breakfast menu was always the same. Special requests clearly pained the waiters to the point of ruining their days. Ken, our Maitre'D, has a beautiful voice and sang for us every night. The waiters served as chorus and dancers. They were better at that than at waiting on tables. Excursions: Our ship's tour to the Caves of Drach on Mayorca was terrific. Our ship's tour to Grenada from Malaga is something I will treasure forever. On Gran Canaria Lynn needed to see a dentist to get a prescription for medicine, so we did not take a tour. The dental office was ultra-modern and the dentist quite young. We speak Spanish. The office visit was 20 euros and the pharmacy charged 3.50 for the medicine. We did a lot of walking, drank beer, used the internet and enjoyed our Gran Canaria time. We were going to go on a ship's tour snorkeling on Grand Turk, but that was canceled so the ship could put into Freeport in the Bahamas to repair a damaged rear thruster unit. That damage caused our cruise to be rougher than it should have been. The ship was subject to great vibrations and many noises one would not expect from a new ship. Being in a far forward cabin we had howling wind and many thumps and bangs and wave poundings. Although they did not get the complete repair done in Freeport as hoped, the ship seemed to handle better on the two full sea days between Freeport and Galveston. Disembarkation: This went very smoothly and our trip to the airport was nice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
First of all my wife and I experienced cruisers who are not very particular, demanding or complainers. We take events as they come along and always make the best of any situation. We make our own good time. Carnival Magic was ... Read More
First of all my wife and I experienced cruisers who are not very particular, demanding or complainers. We take events as they come along and always make the best of any situation. We make our own good time. Carnival Magic was advertised as this large, brand new, technically advanced marvel. More on that later. Our first disappointment was when we met with the Carnival representatives at the airport in Barcelona. We were to take an excursion that would end up at the ship. We presented the representatives with all of our documentation. We were told where and what time to meet. We wandered around the general area as we waited. Approximately one hour before our excursion was to meet and leave, we saw a Carnival representative caring a sign with the name of our excursion with a group of people following her. My wife and I commented to each other that this must be a popular and crowded excursion and that this was the first group to go. As our departure time approached we noticed other people lining up with a different color sticker. I suggested that my wife go over to a Carnival representative and ask about our excursion. My wife came back to me in a furious state of mind after finding out that our tour group had already left and we had missed it. We were absolutely certain as to the time we were to meet as it was repeated to us several times by the representative and we repeated it back before we wandered off. My wife was beside herself with anger so I took over communicating with the Carnival representative who eventually admitted that perhaps there was a communications problem. We were told of another excursion that would end up at the ship and we reluctantly accepted it. The satisfactory conclusion to this mix-up was that Carnival gave us a full refund for the more expensive excursion we had booked and gave us a 25% discount on the excursion we had reluctantly accepted. When we finally boarded the Carnival Magic, the interior was the typical Carnival gaudiness, comprised of plastic, aluminum and pressed wood. I will now explain why I stated that Carnival cares more about appearance then what is best for passengers. This large, new, technically advanced marvel vibrated violently. The explanation given was that a thruster had gone bad even before we began our 16 day trans-Atlantic cruise in Barcelona. This was to be the Magic's maiden voyage across the Atlantic to it's newly built home port in Galveston, Texas. The press was invited, a concert was planned and other celebratory events were to be held as this great ship made it's way into Galveston. The vibration was so loud and/or the acoustics in the two main restaurants were so bad, one could hardly hold a conversation with the person sitting next to him or her. A table mate of ours, whose single person stateroom was on the first deck said she was literally bouncing around in her bed and unable to sleep well because of the noise and vibration. Several days into our cruise an announcement came over the P.A. system informing the passengers that there was to be a change in the itinerary. We were scheduled to go to Grand Turk Island for one day. Instead we were to go to Freeport, Grand Bahamas for two full days since that port had facilities for repair. Carnival did arrange for free transportation into town, which was a nice gesture. The problem was that they were only able to arrange for seven buses to transport possibly over three thousand people to town if they had not already booked a last minute excursion. The process was considered a fiasco by many passengers as it took many hours to leave the ship. Many people opted to pay extra money and take a cab into town. One was able to see the new thruster on a barge and watch as divers removed the damaged thruster. The next problem was that Carnival had scavenged nuts & bolts from a Princess ship to attach the propeller to the thruster. The thruster's purpose is to move the ship in and out of a dock or move the ship in circles of either direction. The scavenged nuts & bolts did not fit the damaged Carnival thruster, thus bringing it on-board still is disrepair. We left Freeport a few hours later then expected, but there was still plenty of time to reach Galveston as scheduled. The miraculous difference one noticed was that the vibrations had ceased, leaving one to consider whether the "thruster problem" was ever true. So, I ask you, did Carnival have the right to inconvenience over three thousand passengers to save face and make a grand entrance into Galveston with all the prearranged hoopla? Now for some positive statements. The service and food were excellent. If one was lucky enough to be in the Southern Lights Restaurant, they had the pleasure of hearing the fantastic vocal expertise of Ken the singing Maitre d'. There was an Indian gentleman who came around to the tables to perform close-up magic with ropes and cards, which where unbelievably good. My wife and I never enjoy the stage productions, but we did enjoy several really good comedians, a hypnotist performance, in which I participated and Ron, the piano man. We did meet new people and enjoyed ourselves. However, I will most likely not cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We are very new to cruising, this one being our second - so many of you may not think we know enough to write a review, and we probably don't since our first was on CCL Ecstasy and we loved it! The problems started almost from the ... Read More
We are very new to cruising, this one being our second - so many of you may not think we know enough to write a review, and we probably don't since our first was on CCL Ecstasy and we loved it! The problems started almost from the beginning, not all Carnival's fault. The first CCL problem was that we were promised a CCL rep would met us at the airport to make sure we were transported to our CCL arranged hotel, no one ever showed. After the large group of us found our way thru the airport and around the building we found the shuttle pick-up, but the hotel only brought a small van (They used the large vehicle to transport groups for other things), so we waited over and over for the van to return until it was finally our turn (even though several people thought they were to good to wait in line). The CCL arranged hotel was nice & the staff very helpful. The next CCL problem was that a CCL rep was suppose to be at the hotel on departure day for those of us that arranged a pre cruise tour. That rep never showed and when the CCL rep in charge of the shuttles from the hotel to the port arrived she met with a very angry mob. After many phone calls, our tour bus arrived over an hour late and with not enough seats and no room for our luggage which was suppose to be transported with us according to the tour description. After more phone calls and loud arguments between the tour guide, the CCL rep and the concierge about what to do with all our luggage - it was finally decided that we would leave it in the lobby and the CCL rep would stay with it until it was transported by truck to the ship. We later learned that she did not stay with it and many people had items stolen from their bags (ours were locked). The tour was nice, but a bit rushed due to leaving so late.Embarkation was difficult, but probably our fault. We purchased a souvenir on the tour that the Spanish customs wasn't sure we could take with us. Since no one spoke English and our Spanish is weak, the only thing we got was that our walking stick might be considered a weapon, but no one was sure. The CCL rep & CCL security would only speak to the Spanish customs staff, no matter how many times we tried to ask questions or offer to just leave it behind. Finally we were told they would check into it and if we could have it they would give it to us in Galveston (yes we received it in Galveston). All that time and mess for a 10 euro wood walking stick. By the time we were onboard our room was ready. We dumped our stuff and then joined the fantastic CC Roll Call on deck for a M&G and sail-a-way. This was the first time we had joined a Roll Call and the group was so nice and really added to the cruise for us. It was also the first time we noticed that we could not find a waiter to get a drink. This continued for the entire cruise no matter where you were. We never had this problem on our other cruise and I have heard many people talk about how the bar waiters drive people nuts trying to get them to buy drinks. Since I don't have a lot of experience to compare to, I can only talk about things I thought were a problem and would have been a problem on a cruise or any vacation. The shortage of bar waiters was in almost every location, except the Red Frog (we saw 4 and no customers). The Spotlight (comedy club) holds about 200 to 300 people. We only saw one waiter every time we were there and was only able to get one drink at one show and it arrived just as the show ended. We only saw 2 bar waiter in the casino and were NEVER able to get a drink from them. We were only able to get a drink from the bartender in the casino and only if we went to the smoking side and hollered and waved. The rest of the time we were totally ignored. We had Your Time Dining and saw 2 bar waiters there. If we sat in the back we had a very nice young lady who really watched her tables, but the 2 times we sat in the front we had a young man that would never come to our table, even if the head waiter told him to. He spent more time vising with his friends, even sitting at their table and talking. We saw a few waiters in the Showtime Theater, but could never get them to wait on us (maybe our S&S card was the wrong color). At the Past Guest Party we ask 4 waiters if we could have a glass of white wine, then each tried to tell us that someone else would bring it to us. We were able to get 2 cubes of cheese and then at the end of the party we got to glasses of hot white wine. The people in the seats behind us never got any food or drinks. We were very lucky that our CC friends gathered us up and took us to the Farewell Party on the last day. That was the only time we had a bar waiter that brought drinks and checked on us. I know some people have complained about the lines for all the venues. As far as dining, that really depended on what time we ate. The lines for the shows started at least an hour before the doors opened and people stampeded like cattle to grab seats. Knocking people over and saving seats (sometimes those seats were never filled). If they can issued tickets for the shuttles, then why can't they issue them for the shows? The food in both the buffet and dining room was ok, but we never had a meal that was the correct temperature. The cold food & hot food were both room temperature. The waiters served it as soon as it came from the kitchen, the kitchen was just not doing their job. The steak house was wonderful and worth the money. The Cucina (Italian) was pretty good for the free lunch, but I got food poisoning from the dinner. Our room steward was very nice, but nothing special. Guess we were spoiled on the Ecstasy. It was 3 days before we had a towel animal and they were removed everyday. :-( The minibar refrigerator was not refilled unless we asked and we had to ask each time. The thing that stood out more than anything else was how old & worn the ship looked. The back of every elevator had a beautiful glass panel with 2 modern metal sconces. Every panel was shattered and the scones dented. We noticed the transition strips in many areas were coming lose and some were coming off. Worn carpet, worn upholstery, deck chairs with torn place. Even our cabin look old and worn. We took CCL tours at most ports. They were ok, but we felt rushed on every tour.We are very confused about the staffing problems. I seem to remember a Facebook posting about how the ship was going to be staffed with the cream of the crop - the employees with the best reviews from the customers. Well if staff that doesn't speak English, that is rude or ignores customers or just plain doesn't care, are the cream of the crop, then maybe Carnival needs to rethink their employee reviews. Will we sail CCL again? Yep - we have heard too many good things to let this one sailing keep us away. Will we sail on the Magic again? Probably not, at least until CCL get all the problems fixed. Rumor has it that the ship is cursed - I am beginning to think maybe it is. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This review will be broken down into three parts, first the ship and cabin, second food, dining, and bars service, and lastly Carnival cruise lines itself. We were located in Cabin 1300 which is on the first floor, center of the ship, ... Read More
This review will be broken down into three parts, first the ship and cabin, second food, dining, and bars service, and lastly Carnival cruise lines itself. We were located in Cabin 1300 which is on the first floor, center of the ship, ocean view cabin. We always pick this type of cabin on Ocean crossings. The cabin was of a very good size with plenty of hanging closet space, but somewhat short of draw space. Where there should have been draws there was a safe, or a small refrigerator. The refrigerator was filled to the brim with items for sale which left no room for personal items. When we requested these items be removed they were not taken from the room just stored in what should have been our storage space. The beds were extremely comfortable with heavy comforters. This required the a/c to be turned down when we slept but was enjoyable to us. The room had two problems, one being the lighting and the other being the hallway. The lighting was supplied by low and small bedside lamps or by ceiling lights which were on the opposite wall from the bed. This made reading in bed very difficult since if the lights were on they were very bright and if the ceiling lights were off the bed lamps did not provide enough light to read by. The second issue is the hallway. The Hallway entering the room is between the bathrooms and the closets. this area is very narrow. Two people can not pass in this area and when coffee is delivered to your room in the morning the tray must be brought in the long way keeping it off balance. The cabin also has a bathroom and a half. The room has two sinks and two showers and two sinks. We could have done without the second shower and would rather have had a second toilet, but in either case the extra was a great improvement over older ships. The main problem in the cabin was the noise. Waves hitting the ship sounded like you were inside a drum and when the person in the next room coughed or spoke you herd it clearly. Everyone complained about the noise levels so it is obvious they tried to save by leaving out the sound insulation. This was a big enough problem that I would never cruise on the Magic again. The ship is a fair weather ship. Almost all lounge areas are on exposed decks. In bad weather weather everyone goes inside and their is simply not enough seating areas. It was very difficult to find an area to play cards or games. Most of the tables were of the oblong bar type, not the rectangular type need for games. There were a few around the Red Frog Pub and they were always taken. This was a serious enough issue that quite a number of fights were witnessed. When it rains you must go inside, their is not even a walkway around the ship hat is not exposed to rain. During the evening the very obnoxious photographers set up their cameras the available seating is reduced by half and the the scramble for seats really begins. Very poor design. The food: Main Dinning Room. In thirty five years of cruising I doubt that I have ever sent a meal back. On this cruise I sent back over twelve items before I finally gave up. Everything arrived at the table cold. Every time we had a hot soup it went back, escargots were sent back, and what the cooks did to meat was almost criminal. They could not get the concept of searing the outside while leaving the inside rare. The quality of the meats were good it was just the cooking. I almost cried when they totally ruined the rack of lamb. The wait service was excellent but no matter how hard they tried they food always arrived cold and very late. Soups were uniformly terrible, too much water and funny flavors. There is no relationship between what the menu says and what you get. This was not just us, but almost everyone. It became a running joke on the ship. Everyone knows what a Lobster Bisque should taste like, well not on this ship, it was swill. Bread service was one piece of bread when you sat down, the bread was hand served then taken away. It probably was a good thing the sauces were terrible, because you had no way of soaking them up it they were not. This ship actually served a 3/8 inch thick piece of ribeye and called it a steak. Unless you consider Denny's gourmet cooking find another ship. One last thing almost every meal was served with mashed potatoes or if seafood yellow rice. The Buffet area was divided into four main serving areas inside the ship. Food was neither bad nor good, just plentiful. One section made Mongolian barbecue which caused so much smoke we could not eat in the entire area. The Deli on the back deck was good. Pizza was terrible, hamburgers ok. The best thing on the ship was the french fries. After nine o'clock no food served anywhere except for the Pizza. Hamburgers start again after eleven pm. Carnival Cruise lines. The Magic was broken when we boarded the ship. The Magic had a problem in Naples on a prior cruise with one of the drives. Carnival kept this from the passengers until were were all boarded and left the dock. They then notified us the ship would be going 700 miles out of its way so it could be repaired in Freeport, Bahamas rather then fixed in Europe where we were at the time. In essence they kidnapped an entire ship of passengers and took us where we did not want to go. They knew about the change of itinerary prior to the passengers boarding, but keep it a secret until we were on board and could not change our plans. I for one would not have boarded the ship if I had known. Carnival then sailed the broken Magic into extremely bad wether at a high rate of speed so the could get to Freeport to make their repairs, causing many passengers to get seasick. The company assured us we were in no danger with the broken drive but had I known I would have never allowed myself to cross the Atlantic on a broken ship. I do not get on airplanes with broken engines either. Maybe they did not need the drive to cross the ocean but where my life is concerned I expect everything to be working correctly when I board a ship. I did not sign up to visit a repair center no mater how nice the repair center is. I also checked that if Carnival had crossed the Atlantic on its original course we would not have encountered the bad weather we did. Final note: I will probably never cruise Carnival again. Bases on my experiences I suggest that you do not either. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Pre-Ship CCL rep met us at airport to direct us to our hotel shuttle and was there for us for our pre-board excursion to Monserrat which was enjoyable. We stayed at the Catalonia Bernia which is a lovely hotel with a great location & ... Read More
Pre-Ship CCL rep met us at airport to direct us to our hotel shuttle and was there for us for our pre-board excursion to Monserrat which was enjoyable. We stayed at the Catalonia Bernia which is a lovely hotel with a great location & staff -â€" I am sorry to hear that Carnival is not using the hotel for next year's Ocean Breeze TA. Ship/Cabin/Staff I did like the more subdued colors and the addition of the Red Frog Pub along with the non-smoking Piano Bar with Ron Pass. I feel the public theater areas are not large enough for the passenger count. Having 2nd seating meant if any seats were available they were not in any prime locations. Add to the fact that the Bingo players were in the theater already most seats were taken. We did the water slides and the ropes course; both were lots of fun. We had a spa cabin which we had done on the Carnival Dream last year and thought with all the sea days using the spa would be worth the extra cost. Unlike the Dream this spa area was crowded every day and we were not able to utilize the Spa features as much as planned. I saw many folks with day pass bands and felt that too many day passes were sold. Because of this I would not spend the extra money on a spa cabin again. Also there were no spa amenities in my cabin and when I inquired I was told that they had run out of products. I complained and by the second day was given some conditioner and lotion. The gym class area was way too small. Morning classes were so busy that one needed to sign up for upcoming classes to reserve a spot. This caused such a problem that ship security needed to intervene. I know the staff tried to move the classes to another area but was told there were no locations available. With these many sea days alternative areas should be made available. I must give kudos to the gym trainers Barry and Scott who were great in handling this issue. To help alleviate the issue they added an additional 6:30 am morning class. I booked a spa treatment (buy one & get one ½ half). I pointed to the treatment I wanted and when the treatment was done I was charged for the 111 minute treatment instead of the 50 minute treatment (a big price difference). I thought the treatment was running long but since the spa staffer told me that we would be starting late (and there are no clocks) I didn't know for sure just how long the treatment took until it was over. When I complained I was told that it was assumed I wanted the longer treatment. I stood my ground and was charged for my original appointment. It was nice that John Heald took time to stop by (I was disappointed that his original schedule was for the TA & Carnival changed his schedule) Guest Services dealt with many unhappy passengers and I applaud their patience. Embarkation/debarkation was fine Dining: Did Chef's Table and food was very good, this was our 4th Carnival Chef's Table (Dream, Freedom, and Glory). I have noticed that the Carnival Cookbook is no longer part of the package and this time although we were shown how to prepare Melted Chocolate Cake we were not served any for dessert. Our past Chef's Table had two desserts which included the Melted Chocolate Cake. Did Steakhouse and the food/service was as excellent as we have enjoyed on prior cruises. Did the Cucina and enjoyed the singing waitstaff. For me the food was fine, but my expectations were higher. Most likely I would not book this again for dinner, but the pasta lunch was good. Did traditional dining at Southern Lights Restaurant and the Waitstaff did a great job. However the last evening they were rushed and were down a server because they need staff to get ready for the Galveston port. We did have the pleasure of listening to Ken the singing Maitre d'. Also one night the close-up magician stopped by our table and he was very good. My husband purchased a wine card discounting a selection of wines however before the end of the cruise we were informed that the dining room had run out of 3 of the 5 reds offered. The Lido Dining area had too many folks who weren't dining but using tables for card playing, crafts, etc. Funtimes mentioned that passengers shouldn't be using these dining tables for such purposes but this was never enforced. Having a breakfast area by the main pool was very convenient and their stuffed French toast with toppings was a hit for me. Activities Did Caves of Drach CCL excursion in Mallorca and was very happy with tour. I have seen many, many Welcome aboard shows and was happy to hear that the show had been changed. However I was disappointed that there was no dance number and no introduction of the Entertainment staff. I was glad that there was some time given to the Comedians Enjoyed water aerobics, they were a nice addition to the activities. Was told this was just for the TA. I hope Carnival considers adding this on other cruises. I didn't enjoy the constant "Buy your vacation DVD" programming on the Outdoor movie screen. Comedy shows: Because comedy is so subjective I don't feel I can review whether or not the comedians were good, but for me I enjoyed them all except for the Venquilitrist Jerry Goodspeed because I thought his jokes were old. Juggler Goronwy Thom was very good. Enjoyed the Magic show Destination Unknown (too bad our seats didn't allow us to see the entire show) Enjoyed the burlesque show. Disappointed that most Halloween activities were geared to those folks not at 2nd seating. The timing of these activities meant that I didn't get to attend. Enjoyed music acts especially Blood Power. Enjoyed hypnotist The ship needed more free in-room movies, the same movies would be shown for multiple days. The Library had recent books available for passengers. Having lunch available at the Serenity area was nice. Magical World Cruise (scavenger/activity game that needed 8 people for teams) -â€" it was hard to get team members on such short notice (teams diminished quickly) perhaps making note of this activity in the Funtimes a few days prior would allow passengers to arrange for teams. I was disappointed that I didn't get a chance to participate. There were too many activities that couldn't be attended if you were at 2nd seating I booked a spa treatment (buy one & get one ½ half). I pointed to the treatment I wanted and when the treatment was done I was charged for the 111 minute treatment instead of the 50 minute treatment (a big price difference). I thought the treatment was running long but since the spa staffer told me that we would be starting late (and there are no clocks) I didn't know for sure just how long the treatment took. When I complained I was told that it was assumed I wanted the longer treatment. I stood my ground and was charged for my original appointment. Summary We had a great cruise and we made the most of our vacation. Yes, I wish that Carnival would have made their repairs before my cruise and we went to Grand Turk instead of Freeport. However, I look forward to my next Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My wife and I had a very enjoyable cruise on the Magic. I am surprised by some of the negative reviews, as we were very pleased overall with our experience. We understood that it was going to be a transatlantic cruise, and that the ship ... Read More
My wife and I had a very enjoyable cruise on the Magic. I am surprised by some of the negative reviews, as we were very pleased overall with our experience. We understood that it was going to be a transatlantic cruise, and that the ship was really built for 7 day Caribbean cruises. For these reason, we paid much less for this cruise. It was a great value for the price paid. The cabin stewards,Clemente and Putu, and wait staff, Jose, Oswaldo, and Angel were excellent and attentive. The food was excellent. We had lunch in the Italian cafe and went to a demo and ate in the Prime steak house and both were excellent. The cabin was very comfortable. Since we spent ten days in Spain before boarding, we only left the ship in the Canary Islands and Freeport. I won't go into the change of ports, as it has already been covered by other posters. We enjoyed the trivia, bridge lessons, and meeting new people and learning new card games. The comedy club is a great addition. We used room service and morning breakfast without problem. The Magic crew does need to improve control of the lines that form to get into the shows, and more handicapped seating is needed. This was a trip of mostly senior cruisers, and more attention was needed in helping these people and their companions. More people also attended shows than a normal cruise, probably due to the passenger makeup, and thus there was overcrowding at shows. We also will never step into a cruise casino as long as smoking is allowed, even in just part of it. We found that the passenger deck hallways and the promanade smelled of smoke also. I have read that Princess is not going to allow smoking in rooms and balconies, which will surely influence our next cruise purchase. Debarkation needed better signage to explain lines. All and all, there are cruisers and there are complainers. We enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Overall great experience. Staff and service were great. Entertainment was mostly very good. A few negatives: mostly lukewarm hot tubs; no free steam room; cramped men's locker room; A section of the buffet line should have been ... Read More
Overall great experience. Staff and service were great. Entertainment was mostly very good. A few negatives: mostly lukewarm hot tubs; no free steam room; cramped men's locker room; A section of the buffet line should have been opened before 7AM. With the 7 time changes breakfast kept getting later and later. The back walls of the elevators were damaged--an obvious design flaw. The $12 meal in the Italian Restaurant was well worth the money. Food was great and the staff was very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
It is not surprising that many people write negative reviews. There is always something one can find to write about that didn't meet their satisfaction. However, having spent 16 days on the Magic across the Atlantic and reading the ... Read More
It is not surprising that many people write negative reviews. There is always something one can find to write about that didn't meet their satisfaction. However, having spent 16 days on the Magic across the Atlantic and reading the experiences of some I really can't fathom how people could have had such an awful time when I was on the exact same cruise. Barcelona was great, an amazing city to explore and depart from. It rained but the last time I checked it is a city on this planet that is subject to weather. So sometimes it rains. We took a raincoat and an umbrella, stayed dry and had a marvellous time. Mallorca, Malaga and Las Palmas were likewise all great ports to visit. We looked after ourselves in each and every port and made the most of the scenery and local dining options to enjoy. We do a lot of walking and in each port walked on average 15 kilometres (10 miles). The crossing itself was very relaxing. There was for us too much activity to enjoy. On the first day of the crossing we tried to do everything and ended up exhausted with the day just flying by. So we decided on Day two to spend more time relaxing. Mornings we spent having breakfast and then enjoying the hot tub on Deck 5. I noted that a comment from one person was the hot tubs were not hot. I think by my count there were 7 hot tubs to choose from and whilst the temperatures were not consistent in each, each one seemed to be a consistent temperature. So if you wanted a nice hot jacuzzi the one on the starboard side aft was nice and hot. If you wanted something not so hot then the port side aft Deck 10 was a good one. You just had to get around and find what was going to be right for you. After a hot tub we would read and journal for about an hour before taking a ballroom dancing lesson. Then it was lunchtime. Off to Cucina el Capitano for some fantastic gourmet pasta watching the ocean go by. Back down to Deck 11 starboard side to lie down on the deck chairs, some sudoku, reading and mah jong on the iPad whilst enjoying the band playing some fantastic music. I can appreciate that had the style of music been something I didn't like then had I stayed in that location maybe I would have found the music overbearing and not enjoyed myself. Had that been the case I would have moved to another part of the ship and found the music or entertainment that was more in keeping with my likes. At 330pm there was always a movie on at the Seaside Theatre (Lido Deck) that could be watched from Deck 10, 11 or 12 each of which had a different atmosphere. We are not Lido people so we always used Deck 11 as against Deck 10 by the pool. If we didn't catch the movie it was because we were snoozing enjoying the motion of the ship a million miles away from the tensions and stress of life. After the movie it was off to do an hours exercise and then to Cloud 9 to enjoy each of the saunas and the other facilities. Whilst we enjoyed Cloud 9 I do not think it worth spending the extra money. The gym and hot tubs would have sufficed for us. I noted one writer complained of people talking and it was always busy. If the beds weren't available we sat in the sauna or used the Thallossotherapy pool until a bed became available. Whilst it was always busy I found this to be a very peaceful area of the ship and people did not talk whilst relaxing. After an hour in Cloud 9 it was off for a shower and clean up for dinner. Every other night there was a family comedy show before the 815pm seating for dinner that we took in. We always enjoyed the comedy show and they seemed to be of good quality. Some complained at the type of humour. I have Christian values and beliefs and I guess some humour I might not appreciate but that is life. Some things are going to be consistent with my values and beliefs and others not. It is a ship of 3690 passengers and the cruise line can't cater for all tastes but it does a pretty good job of it on balance. If you didn't like the type of humour then like most other things on a ship this size you could go and find something more to your liking. After the comedy we would go to dinner and enjoy 2 hours over a lovely meal with new found friends. The dining experience - We tried breakfast at first in the Southern Lights dining room. We thought the menu was limited and didn't enjoy it. So ... we didn't eat there for breakfast anymore we took our business elsewhere and we enjoyed brekky from the buffet on Lido every morning. Don't let anybody tell you the meals were poor or not cooked. These people I believe will complain about anything. Had they gone back they could have got the meal cooked to their liking or found something that would have satisfied them. Without spending too much more time here the meal choices are astounding. You can have pre- prepared food and serve yourself or you can get an omelette cooked to your liking in front of you. There is the usual fruit, cereals, meats, salads, pastries, pancakes, syrups and if you are so inclined - ice cream. The last time I checked, my breakfast at home consists of a piece of toast and a cup of hot tea. There are more options than I can describe on the Magic. Same for lunch and dinner. If you didn't like something then you could always try somewhere else. Cucina el Capitano. We only ate at the one specialty restaurant and this was outstanding. The service was impeccable, the food was extraordinary and the evening memorable. We only ate here once because we so enjoyed the dining experience in the Southern Lights with our group of fellow cruisers and our wait staff. When you are on a good thing, stick to it. Coffee shop - there is a specialty coffee shop on Deck 5 and I had as a ritual a Soy Chai Latte every morning when I was reading or writing. The staff got used to me and I didn't even have to ask after a day or two. They saw me coming and would just about have my cuppa ready by the time I was ready to ask for it. They also sold specialty cakes here that were huge and tasty for the meagre sum of just over two dollars. That is if you couldn't get enough from anywhere else on the ship!! It was my wife's birthday during the cruise and I ordered a cake, that I would have been happy to pay probably 30 dollars for but fell over when it cost only 6 dollars and fed our table of 8 people over dinner. I could also order fresh flowers, choose a lovely present have it gift wrapped and delivered to our cabin whilst we were out and about for the day. A nice surprise for my wife when we returned to our cabin. The flowers lasted for almost two weeks. Shops - All good with a good range of stock. Unfortunately the prices are always too good and we come away well stocked with jewellery and clothes. No complaints here. Showtime Theatre - One previous comment regarded inadequate seating in this theatre for the size of the ship. It holds 1300 people which will not take the whole ship in the planned two seatings each night. BUT.. there was only one night this was an issue and this was when John Heald flew in for the night. Everybody wanted to see him so the first seating was overwhelmed. I think this an extraordinary event as there is this fascination with John Heald (I have cruised with him and agree he is an outstanding asset and adds significantly to any cruise) so everybody wanted to see and listen to him. The second seating was also nearly packed but there were seats available. Every other show during the cruise there were always spare seats available. I think the comment made in a separate post is not justified. The size of the theatre is appropriate for the size of the ship. Any bigger and it would be space wasted. We also sampled the Piano Bar, yes there are seats around the bar and if you sit in the lounge area I guess you can't see the performer but you get the atmosphere and the music (another previous comment). The Red Frog pub was great. We tried the Sushi Bar and enjoyed this most nights. There is a special salad bar for lunch and it is just a salad bar. On Royal Caribbean the salad bar is amazing and we would do this for lunch every day. Don't expect the same experience. But if you don't like the salad bar then do as we did and go to the gourmet Italian, or have Burritos, or pizza or burgers or the Outdoor BBQ or the other 20 or so selections one of which will be to your taste. If you can't find one then maybe you shouldn't cruise. Whilst on the ship we heard many complaints about the movement of the ship during the crossing. I would refer to my previous weather in Barcelona comment. Being a planet (Earth) that has weather the sea does tend to get whipped up by wind and storms. The average swell on the crossing was at times in the order of 4-5 metres (10-15feet). If the distance between swells is not great the ship can ride over these better. If there is a reasonable distance the ship will go up and down. Most cruise ships have stabilisers that mitigate the effects of roll due to sea state and being a 25 year Navy man I can safely state the Magic was quite stable in roll. There is not a great deal you can do with ship pitch movement. Suffice to say that once you start cruising on anything other than a lake, cruise often enough and the ship WILL move. The best defence against ship movement is to either not cruise or ensure you come armed with the wrist bands and medications that will aid in prevention of motion sickness. I have also read some comments about ship vibration. I think it depends where you are located on a ship as to the experience of noise that you have. We choose the aft facing cabins on these ships as we enjoy the vibration of the ships propellors and the view down the ship's wash. But you do get that vibration and because you are lower and closer to engine rooms and so on you will experience more machinery noise. If you are on Deck 11 it will be quiet because you are further away. So if you are a Deck 11 cruiser and then you take a cruise that puts you on Deck 2 aft you will I guess be somewhat surprised at the propellor vibration and machinery noise from time to time. For my part I have always found it still quite peaceful on the lower decks. But I am sure there are some cabins that have extra noise because they sit over a staff recreational area or something like that. We did a cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship and had cabins that from previous reviews warned against ever having these because of the proximity of the night club and ice rink. We found them to be the quietest cabins we had experienced and would actually ask for them next time. Stern Thruster issue - The ship is a moving city with over 5000 people on it. I am an ex military and now a commercial pilot. My military pilot experience was in the Navy. It would likely surprise most people that pretty much every flight you go on the aircraft breaks. It is a piece of complex machinery with many moving parts and passengers that take little care of that they are sitting in. A ship is a massive piece of engineering and things break. On the Magic there was an issue with the stern thrusters. This required a change in the itinerary from Grand Turk to Freeport in the Bahamas and an extra day in port. I can well understand that people would be disappointed in not going to the original port. I can also see that Freeport as a port and shopping destination also loses its shine after an hour or two. But as with most things it is what you make of it. We hired a scooter and found a private beach off the beaten track with some magnificent swimming and snorkelling. We also did other things and had a grand time. There is always something to do. We took the time to look at normal community life and count our blessings for the way in which we live. The ship did make some effort at compensation with a credit of $25 each to our cruise account. It was a nice gesture for my part. If I was to be critical on the stern thruster issue I think Carnival, the Captain and Cruise Director could have been more pro-active about it. Sailing from Freeport we didn't receive any advice as to how the repairs had progressed. There was great interest in this and I believe would have been well received by the passengers. One passenger comment that I heard was "how interesting would it have been for a camera to have been set up and the repairs being shown on the ship's TV." Maybe a short interview with the Ship's engineer explaining the nature of the problem. On the last Royal Caribbean Cruise we enjoyed the Captain made himself available in the Theatre for a couple of hours to answer any questions regarding anything about the ship. There wasn't an issue with the ship but it was interetsing to hear the questions and level of interest people had for the life of a Ship's Cpatain and his perspectives. Needless to say it was very well received. Something similar would have been well received by the passengers just on this issue let alone as something of general interest. Captain - The Captain gave a daily address that consisted of a prepared format regarding weather conditions and a safety message of the day. Whilst this captain may have been lacking in personality and may have been excellent at his job, as a ship's captain, perhaps Carnival can give some training here so the daily address could be a little more "fun"?? I read a comment about James the Cruise Director. I do agree some of the comments about his style. He seemed to be a franchised Cruise Director that is there is a format and that is what he did. But compared to who? I think most cruisers were expecting John Heald for this cruise. So if you get anybody else you will be disappointed. John Heald is outstanding so he will always be a hard act to follow. I think I have said enough. We are seasoned travellers and there is always going to be a problem that arises or something you don't like when you travel. I have always found it best to address the issue if you can, If you can't, then get over it and find something else to do or somewhere else to eat. You can on a ship this size. That's our experience anyway. That said we paid $849 for an outside cabin for 16 nights visiting six ports. That comes to the grand total of $53 per day per person. Heck I can't have dinner out in Sydney for that yet I was getting accommodation, all meals, transport, entertainment and then some. Outstanding value. I think on that basis alone this review should be a 5 however I think the military pilot in me will only allow a 4 because there will always be areas for improvement. Having said that we had a 5 star time. Thanks to Carnival but as some other cruisers have stated it is what you make of it mostly. So I think also thanks to my lovely wife for joining me and for us both choosing to have a fantastic time. But that was a pretty easy choice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Carnival Magic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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