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When is big too big? When it's Carnival Magic. This was my sixth cruise (4 on Carnival), and this is the only one I did not enjoy. I had also been to the three ports before (Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan) and had enjoyed them, but this was a very different experience. The larger dock needed for this ship has prompted huge commercial ventures; one has to walk through a mall to get to the excursions. First the activities...what activities? Trivia, trivia, trivia, karaoke, trivia, trivia, trivia, bingo, trivia, trivia...you get the drift. Where was information about the ports? Shopping info only. Where were games? Where were crafts? (Maybe kids got those). Where were movies on hot afternoons? There was plenty of space to hold activities, but it was all locked up during the day. On other cruises, I've enjoyed reading on Lido deck during the day, but the music was so loud and there were so many people that this was impossible. Service...this was the most sullen and uncommunicative crew I've experienced. Maybe it was management's fault or maybe they just had too many people to serve. I could feel the bar staff cringe when I showed my bottomless bubbles card because they figured I wouldn't tip...and they were right. There were a few personable waiters in the restaurant, but not enough. They did their work, but they didn't interact with the passengers. Excursions. The guide on the Mayan ruins tour in Cozumel was informative, but there wasn't really much to see. The Belize airboat tour was our favorite as we got to see the city and have an informative tour as well. Roatan Pirates and Monkeys? Not worth it for many reasons. Entertainment...Sure there were dive-in movies, but Spongebob at 10PM? Not for this adult. Third part of the Hobbit? My friend hadn't seen the first 2, so that was pointless. The popcorn line was so long (and none was made up ahead of time) that one could watch 1/3 of the movie standing there. Why are the comedy shows only at night? The PG variety could have drawn a crowd during the day. They started so late that, frankly, after a day of touring in the heat, we couldn't stay up that late. The variety shows are too loud for me; no wonder young people lose their hearing. Lest I sound completely negative, the dining offered the best variety I'd ever seen. Indian cuisine & BBQ in addition to the usual offerings meant there was really something for everyone. In the restaurant, most things I ordered were good. They've forgotten how to make their melting cake, though; it's more like a bowl of hot pudding with no cake around it. Disembarkation was chaotic, and I blame both the passengers who didn't follow instructions and the lack of sufficient elevators. There are no more elevators on this ship than on ships that carry 1000 fewer passengers, and that's not good. Overall, would I cruise on Carnival again? Probably. On Magic? No way.

No Magic here

Carnival Magic Cruise Review by mmekline

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
When is big too big? When it's Carnival Magic. This was my sixth cruise (4 on Carnival), and this is the only one I did not enjoy. I had also been to the three ports before (Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan) and had enjoyed them, but this was a very different experience. The larger dock needed for this ship has prompted huge commercial ventures; one has to walk through a mall to get to the excursions.

First the activities...what activities? Trivia, trivia, trivia, karaoke, trivia, trivia, trivia, bingo, trivia, trivia...you get the drift. Where was information about the ports? Shopping info only. Where were games? Where were crafts? (Maybe kids got those). Where were movies on hot afternoons? There was plenty of space to hold activities, but it was all locked up during the day. On other cruises, I've enjoyed reading on Lido deck during the day, but the music was so loud and there were so many people that this was impossible.

Service...this was the most sullen and uncommunicative crew I've experienced. Maybe it was management's fault or maybe they just had too many people to serve. I could feel the bar staff cringe when I showed my bottomless bubbles card because they figured I wouldn't tip...and they were right. There were a few personable waiters in the restaurant, but not enough. They did their work, but they didn't interact with the passengers.

Excursions. The guide on the Mayan ruins tour in Cozumel was informative, but there wasn't really much to see. The Belize airboat tour was our favorite as we got to see the city and have an informative tour as well. Roatan Pirates and Monkeys? Not worth it for many reasons.

Entertainment...Sure there were dive-in movies, but Spongebob at 10PM? Not for this adult. Third part of the Hobbit? My friend hadn't seen the first 2, so that was pointless. The popcorn line was so long (and none was made up ahead of time) that one could watch 1/3 of the movie standing there. Why are the comedy shows only at night? The PG variety could have drawn a crowd during the day. They started so late that, frankly, after a day of touring in the heat, we couldn't stay up that late. The variety shows are too loud for me; no wonder young people lose their hearing.

Lest I sound completely negative, the dining offered the best variety I'd ever seen. Indian cuisine & BBQ in addition to the usual offerings meant there was really something for everyone. In the restaurant, most things I ordered were good. They've forgotten how to make their melting cake, though; it's more like a bowl of hot pudding with no cake around it.

Disembarkation was chaotic, and I blame both the passengers who didn't follow instructions and the lack of sufficient elevators. There are no more elevators on this ship than on ships that carry 1000 fewer passengers, and that's not good.

Overall, would I cruise on Carnival again? Probably. On Magic? No way.
mmekline’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
Cabin 4J 6206
My cabin was made up efficiently every day, but they've eliminated the pampering; no chocolates on the pillow at night; no conditioner in the shower. We had a window onto the observation deck, and it was almost like having a balcony. The first few nights, we were awakened by sounds like explosions that shook our room; customer service said it was waves breaking up, and that it echoed through the theater below us. Don't know about that, but it was disconcerting. Smaller than any cabin I'd had on previous cruises, but adequate. Bed was so bad it left me almost paralyzed.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Air Boat Tour
    This was a very enjoyable experience even though we didn't get to see any manatees. We had different guides on the shuttle going and coming back as well as one one the airboat, and all were friendly, informative, and good-humored. I felt like I learned something about the way of life in Belize City and their economy as well as seeing some of the natural environment. On a hot day, an airboat is not a bad place to be!
    View All 45 Air Boat Tour Reviews
  • Mayan Ruins
    Use bug spray...liberally! The mosquitoes are horrible, so be sure you get a repellent with Deet. Our guide was very informative, but there is very little to see at these ruins. The beach stop was worthless; vendors selling the same overpriced souvenirs and not much sand or view. It was still worth it because Alex was a good guide and the bus ride gave an overview of what the island is like.
    View All 372 Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Galveston
    No excursion here.
    View All 667 Galveston Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Galveston Cruise Port Review
  • Gumbalina Park
    The good news is the monkeys are cute. That is all the good news.
    We were crammed into a van for the 45 minute ride to the park with a driver who spoke no English and didn't even want to answer questions in Spanish. When we got to the park, we were dumped out with no one to tell us where to go. When we found a park employee, he arranged to combine us with a guide's group--and that guide was not happy about it. We started up the hill, then up the stairs (in 104 degree heat) and led to a room with displays of insects. After wandering there for 10 minutes (no explanations), he started uphill again, at which point I pooped out. I was about to give up the tour, but another employee saw me and said that for $5 I could have a golf cart and driver, which I took. He met up with the group at the macaws, monkeys, and caves, and then took me back to the beach. My friend said she would relay anything the guide had told them, but there was nothing to tell. At the final stop, the cave (pirate part of the tour), or guide decided that he didn't want to do that part, and started back to the beach. After sufficient time looking at souvenirs and deciding the dirty beach full of seaweed wasn't inviting, we asked how to get back to the ship and were shown a place to wait. No bus will come until there are 25 people to fill it, so we waited in the heat quite a while. Rode 45 minutes in silence back to the ship. I don't recommend this tour unless you just have to see a monkey.
    View All 162 Gumbalina Park Reviews