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Perhaps we've grown accustomed to Royal Caribbean, as this was our first Carnival cruise in 13 years. We arrived at the terminal around 11;00 am. Our baggage handler refused to check our case of water and the Capri Suns in with our suitcases. He said that they needed to be placed in their own suitcase and checked in with the baggage or carried on by us. (Usually I place a room tag on each case, tape them well with clear packing tape, and they are delivered with our luggage to our rooms.) I didn't have a spare suitcase, so we opted to leave the water in the car. After rearranging our carry on bags, we were able to fit the case of Capri Suns (From Sam's) into one of the bags. It was heavy, but it was something that we found necessary to bring since we were travelling with young children. There were no issues with security, the line moved fairly quickly. We were then directed to a lady that had to "inspect" our Capri Suns. She proceeded to rip open the sealed plastic packaging and tear open the cardboard boxes! We asked her why she was doing all of this, and she said she was looking for alcohol smugglers! I asked her how we were expected to carry all of these drinks since she had basically destroyed all of the packaging, and she just shrugged her shoulders. Luckily, my husband was able to find some tape at a nearby table and was able to tape together most of the packaging that she had destroyed. I have never been so insulted! We obviously had young children with us, and she was treating us like we were criminals. Not a great way to begin a vacation. We waited for a short time in the seating area prior to boarding the ship. We are accustomed to having ice water and cookies for the children while we wait to board. There was water available, but there were no cups. Our cabins were ready much faster than expected, so we were able to begin to drop off our things after our lunch on the Lido Deck. I had prepurchased the Endless Bubbles soda cards for my older children and was told that the stickers for their Sail and Sign cards would be in our cabins when we arrived. (If they are prepurchased on RC, it is automatically printed on the Sail and Sign card.) Unfortunately, they are not left in the room, and I had to call Guest Services to find out how to get the soda stickers for the cards. I must have been on hold forever. Finally, I was told that I needed to go to the Coffee Shop on Deck 5 to retrieve them. It took me a while to find this place, being that I'd never been on the ship before and that only a few elevators were open at that time. (There are no service elevators, and some of the regular elevators were being used for luggage.) At one point, I asked a baggage handler/cabin steward for directions, and she just looked at me and didn't answer. Our cabin boy was very friendly and efficient. I was very pleased with the half bathrooms with the bathtubs. It was a nice change from regular cabin bathrooms, and made it easier for bathing our little ones. Our dining room staff was efficient, however the first formal night we almost ran out of time for dessert. They were ready for the late seating to come in, and we were just being served. I think that this was due to the fact that he had been assigned several large tables. Trying to get a soft drink at dinner was like pulling teeth. Most of the time we were halfway through our meal before the kids would get their sodas. The food was fair to good depending on the night. There really wasn't anything that was memorable or outstanding about the meals. There was nothing horrible except for the scrambled eggs at breakfast. We found them to be disgusting powdered eggs with a weird consistency and no flavor. They were served on the Lido deck as well as in the MDR. As far as the Lido Deck food, we found it to be mediocre at best. We still can't figure out what type of cheese they used on the pizza, it was not good. The grilled burgers and hot dogs were good and always seemed fresh. The inside buffet often had empty trays and needed to be restocked. The food didn't always look fresh, and the lines didn't always look too clean. Also, with RC, we are used to waiters working in the Lido area, offering us cocktails and soft drinks. This was not the case with Carnival. Once again, if you wanted a soda with your meal, you had to hike out to a bar to find one. We did eat in the Steakhouse one night. The food was very good and the staff efficient. We booked our excursions with Carnival. The river tour and ruins in Belize was outstanding. The French Key excursion in Roatan was a nightmare. The tour company left us along with another family on the island, and we barely made it back to the ship. You can read my review of it on the Carnival excursion website. Cozumel was wonderful, as always. My kids always participate in the youth programs. The younger ones liked Camp Carnival, but they said that their teachers were very hard to understand because of their thick accents. My older children did not like the teen program. They are accustomed to scheduled activities that encourage the kids to make friends and have fun. They said that there were hardly any organized activities and that it was boring. We chose leisure debarkation and put our luggage out the night before we were due to leave. We waited for our group number and proceeded to retrieve our luggage. We were then told that they had very few luggage handlers, that they were all at lunch! We had to handle all of our bags, which were quite numerous for a family of six! Dragging them through the customs line took nearly two hours! We were travelling with other family members, including my 76 year old father, who had to handle he and my mom's bags. I have been on seven cruises, and have never experienced anything like this debarkation! If we had known that we were going to have to carry our own bags, we would have opted to keep them overnight and leave early in the morning to avoid the chaotic crowds.  

Not what we expected

Carnival Magic Cruise Review by eandrsmom

Trip Details
Perhaps we've grown accustomed to Royal Caribbean, as this was our first Carnival cruise in 13 years. We arrived at the terminal around 11;00 am. Our baggage handler refused to check our case of water and the Capri Suns in with our suitcases. He said that they needed to be placed in their own suitcase and checked in with the baggage or carried on by us. (Usually I place a room tag on each case, tape them well with clear packing tape, and they are delivered with our luggage to our rooms.) I didn't have a spare suitcase, so we opted to leave the water in the car. After rearranging our carry on bags, we were able to fit the case of Capri Suns (From Sam's) into one of the bags. It was heavy, but it was something that we found necessary to bring since we were travelling with young children. There were no issues with security, the line moved fairly quickly. We were then directed to a lady that had to "inspect" our Capri Suns. She proceeded to rip open the sealed plastic packaging and tear open the cardboard boxes! We asked her why she was doing all of this, and she said she was looking for alcohol smugglers! I asked her how we were expected to carry all of these drinks since she had basically destroyed all of the packaging, and she just shrugged her shoulders. Luckily, my husband was able to find some tape at a nearby table and was able to tape together most of the packaging that she had destroyed. I have never been so insulted! We obviously had young children with us, and she was treating us like we were criminals. Not a great way to begin a vacation. We waited for a short time in the seating area prior to boarding the ship. We are accustomed to having ice water and cookies for the children while we wait to board. There was water available, but there were no cups.
Our cabins were ready much faster than expected, so we were able to begin to drop off our things after our lunch on the Lido Deck. I had prepurchased the Endless Bubbles soda cards for my older children and was told that the stickers for their Sail and Sign cards would be in our cabins when we arrived. (If they are prepurchased on RC, it is automatically printed on the Sail and Sign card.) Unfortunately, they are not left in the room, and I had to call Guest Services to find out how to get the soda stickers for the cards. I must have been on hold forever. Finally, I was told that I needed to go to the Coffee Shop on Deck 5 to retrieve them. It took me a while to find this place, being that I'd never been on the ship before and that only a few elevators were open at that time. (There are no service elevators, and some of the regular elevators were being used for luggage.) At one point, I asked a baggage handler/cabin steward for directions, and she just looked at me and didn't answer.
Our cabin boy was very friendly and efficient. I was very pleased with the half bathrooms with the bathtubs. It was a nice change from regular cabin bathrooms, and made it easier for bathing our little ones.
Our dining room staff was efficient, however the first formal night we almost ran out of time for dessert. They were ready for the late seating to come in, and we were just being served. I think that this was due to the fact that he had been assigned several large tables. Trying to get a soft drink at dinner was like pulling teeth. Most of the time we were halfway through our meal before the kids would get their sodas. The food was fair to good depending on the night. There really wasn't anything that was memorable or outstanding about the meals. There was nothing horrible except for the scrambled eggs at breakfast. We found them to be disgusting powdered eggs with a weird consistency and no flavor. They were served on the Lido deck as well as in the MDR. As far as the Lido Deck food, we found it to be mediocre at best. We still can't figure out what type of cheese they used on the pizza, it was not good. The grilled burgers and hot dogs were good and always seemed fresh. The inside buffet often had empty trays and needed to be restocked. The food didn't always look fresh, and the lines didn't always look too clean. Also, with RC, we are used to waiters working in the Lido area, offering us cocktails and soft drinks. This was not the case with Carnival. Once again, if you wanted a soda with your meal, you had to hike out to a bar to find one. We did eat in the Steakhouse one night. The food was very good and the staff efficient.
We booked our excursions with Carnival. The river tour and ruins in Belize was outstanding. The French Key excursion in Roatan was a nightmare. The tour company left us along with another family on the island, and we barely made it back to the ship. You can read my review of it on the Carnival excursion website. Cozumel was wonderful, as always.
My kids always participate in the youth programs. The younger ones liked Camp Carnival, but they said that their teachers were very hard to understand because of their thick accents. My older children did not like the teen program. They are accustomed to scheduled activities that encourage the kids to make friends and have fun. They said that there were hardly any organized activities and that it was boring.
We chose leisure debarkation and put our luggage out the night before we were due to leave. We waited for our group number and proceeded to retrieve our luggage. We were then told that they had very few luggage handlers, that they were all at lunch! We had to handle all of our bags, which were quite numerous for a family of six! Dragging them through the customs line took nearly two hours! We were travelling with other family members, including my 76 year old father, who had to handle he and my mom's bags. I have been on seven cruises, and have never experienced anything like this debarkation! If we had known that we were going to have to carry our own bags, we would have opted to keep them overnight and leave early in the morning to avoid the chaotic crowds.
 
eandrsmom’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1385
The cabin was nice and roomy. I didn't feel much movement while at sea. We would have some vibration while docking, but it wasn't bad. We liked the half bathroom with the mini bathtub.
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