We just got back from our 7 night Western Caribbean on Carnival Magic. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the evening before, and made a poor choice of staying at the Days Inn on Broward ave(stay away!), and took an Lyft to Port of Miami. We had ... Read More
We just got back from our 7 night Western Caribbean on Carnival Magic. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the evening before, and made a poor choice of staying at the Days Inn on Broward ave(stay away!), and took an Lyft to Port of Miami. We had a group of 13 people, ages from 5 to 71 years, so we took 4 different cars.
We arrived at the port about 20 min prior to the assigned boarding time and there was NO line! It was awesome! We were able to get through security with no problem and onto the ship within 15 minutes! It was awesome! Last year for the Vista there was a huge line plus we had to wait inside to be called and then it was still another line to board, so this was fantastic!
Once on board we went through the traditional photo opp, lunch and then right to our rooms, 6243, 6245, 6247, 6453, & 6455. They were ready by 1:30pm, and even some of our luggage was waiting, with the rest delivered within the hour. Our steward Ganda was great! He was happy to see us each day and we struck up many hallway conversations through the week about our adventures, and was very quick to replace pool towels or full fill requests we had left by notepad.
We prebooked excursions with local companies via the internet.... it saved us so much money! Our first stop was Grand Cayman and we booked a private boat charter with Discount Excursions. It was $700 for the day, it says for 4.5 hours but it was all day. It ended up being $55 pp plus tip. We had 2 guides whose names escape me now, that took us to 3 places. We went to Stingray city to pet, kiss and feed them. Since we only had 13 people we didn't feel rushed or over crowded, despite the fact that there were at least 10 other boats(most with large groups) also anchored there. We were probably there for about 45 min to an hour. Next we headed to Starfish beach. It was a nice secluded beach, though only 2 starfish to be found. We spent about 45 minutes just wading in the water, letting kids play and taking pictures, then we headed to Rum Point beach. It has a couple (seriously overpriced, like $14 for 1 drink) food & drink huts with tables, beach chairs, volley ball court.... but our boat couldn't go to the dock since it was privately owned do we had to drop anchor about 50 feet off shore and swim/ walk up. Lots of seaweed/ocean grass in the area so not a great experience. Definitely a stop we would say is not worth going. Almost anything else would have been better. Though while we were up exploring, my mom stayed on the boat with my niece who was snorkeling and she had several stingrays swimming with her and even let her give them belly rubs... we weren't anywhere near stingray city where they are used to people feeding and petting them. It was a great opportunity for her. And the guides went out to find a conch to chop up and mix with something to make a little snack for those who wanted to try it. Overall the day was a good experience and worth the $, I do wish our guides would have played music or had drinks to offer.
Next excursion was at Mahogany Bay in Roatan. We used Dilbert Tours. Chris and Charles were fantastic. They took us to a sloth & monkey sanctuary where we held and petted a female sloth while a male was above us thoroughly taken with my 6'9 brother in law(maybe he thought he was a tree to climb on). Then we went into the capuchin monkey pen that had 2 brothers in it. They leaped, climbed, playfully bit and tried to steal things from us all. We tried to hold & pet them but they are quite wriggley! Then we were given some history of Roatan as well as some interesting info on some plants there. From there 4 of the 13 of us went ziplining! The others stayed below at a open air restaurant/ bar while we hit 16 lines in about 40 min. IT WAS EXHILARATING! First time for me so I had a racing heart, but pushed passed it and leaped off! Ernie & Bert(I think it was actually Pete, but we joked about it so thats who he was to us) were experts and dardevils! The 2nd to last line there was a malfunction on my gear so Bert/Pete had to come pull me back in and swapped mine for his. After we finished ziplining (they had someone snapping pictures the whole time with us, so for $30 we got about 75 digital pictures) we headed to West end beach. It was right by town and wasn't the sprawling beach i imagined but was ok. I could have done without the ladies begging to have braids in our hair, man on drugs trying to sell us his paintings or the other ladies selling us on a beach chair.
Overall Dilbert Tours runs a great business. We told them we would rather skip the chocolate & rum factory tour and they took us to a grocery store instead & helped us shop for some snacks & drinks for the day. Thanks to Michael the owner of Dilbert, we were able to save $ on this excursion by prepaying and taking advantage of discount tickets to monkey/sloths, so each person only paid $28 for monkey sloth beach tour and the 4 of us zipliners only cost an additional $15! Fantastic for a full day and lots of fun!
Belize was our last planned excursion and we did Cave tubing with Raul. We had only done this by email and had not put any money down. Raul picked us up just outside port terminal, gave us a rich history on Belize on the way to the caves. Once there they fitted us w/head gear, tubes & life jacket. They carried the kids tubes along with my 71 year old mom & friend. They did a great job educating us as we walked though the rain forest before coming to the mouth of the caves. We got all hooked together and they began to pull us through the caves. It was about 45 min plus some extra float time after we exited caves and floated back to where our rainforest hike began. Then off to an open air tiki hut style restaurant for our lunch that was included. It was chicken, rice, homemade potato salad & small green salad. Then back to the van for our hour ride back to the port. Great experience for all!
We had no plans in Cozumel so it was a free for all.
Back on the ship each night we had great service & food in the main dining with Asmara, Pande & Melody.
MarQ our cruise director was fun and quick witted, and though he wouldn't let my sister & I join the hair chest contest with our hair man swim suits, we did get to be judges.
I think i gained 7lbs that week from all the delicious food!
The kids enjoyed Camp Ocean and especially the Water works area. Our 5 year old asked if we could live on the ship! We wished they would run some of the trivia, scavenger hunts & games more often and also they ran a couple things like balloon drop event and some shows at times that late diners couldn't make it to.
The Magic is showing wear & tear and maybe could use a week of refurbishing on some little things like worn woodwork, maybe some fresh carpeting but overall its a great ship. Read Less