This was our 3rd cruise, all on Carnival. Our first cruise was on the Breeze in 2015 and we liked the layout of the Breeze, and the Cove balcony room. That was one reason for choosing the Magic. This was our first time in the Western Caribbean.
We flew to Miami on Saturday, March 2nd. We rented a car from Budget and had made a prepaid reservation. I cannot recommend Budget. Once we arrived at the rental office, at the airport, we had to wait in line for over and hour and 20 minutes before getting up to the counter. During the time waiting, my wife watched the other rental company counters and the average time to wait in line, get help, and be headed to the garage to pickup your car was just over 15 minutes. After we got our paperwork we headed to the car and went to leave the garage. Were sent back by security because the clerk at the counter wrote, and verbally told us, the wrong car we were assigned. Had to go back, park the car and then get the correct car. By the time we left the rental garage it took 2 hours. When we went to the cruise only passenger Budget office downtown on Sunday, we again had to wait about 40 minutes to turn I the car. Then the Budget shuttle to the cruise port was another over 1 hour wait in line since the shuttle held only about 12 people/luggage and there were almost 45 people in line. We took a cab to the port instead to arrive at our assigned boarding time.
Embarkation was smooth. We were on the ship in about 20 minutes. We liked the Magic. Lots of variety in places to eat. Overall the food was good. The ship was reported to be sold out for our cruise but it really did not feel that way. A few times my wife commented she didn't think the ship was full.
Cabin was clean and everything was in order. Room steward, Maynor, was great.
Stayed at a Homewood Suites near the airport the night before the cruise. Renting a two bedroom/2 bathroom suite was cheaper for the four of us than renting two regular hotel rooms. First time at a Homewood Suites. Very nice.
Got off the ship and did a bus tour of the island. We enjoy the tours as it gives us a chance to learn about the port and what life there is like.
Rented a cab with driver for the day. Good price, $40 each for the four of us. Only problem was the driver spoke very little English so a communication problem. But we worked through it and had a nice day.
Took a cab downtown, walked and shopped. I had read this was a good port for shopping and it is. A nice leisurely day.