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This is my husband and I's 7th cruise together, my 8th. We LOVE cruises and this one was probably our favorite. It was the biggest ship we have ever been on (even though they are all set up the same). I was really nervous about lines/cleanliness etc based on reviews I read before I left, but this was by far a great vacation and fantastic ship. We flew into Fort lauderdale the day before and stayed at the La Quinta inn and suites. They have a free shuttle that picks you up from the airport and takes you to the hotel. Expedia, however, lost our hotel booking and after an hour of the front lady going back and forth with Expedia, it was resolved. The hotel upgraded us to a suite for the mix up. We took an Uber from the hotel to the shuttle the next morning. Getting on the ship: Embarkation was extremely smooth and efficient. We almost instantly got on the ship even though we were early. We grabbed lunch at Guy's burger and found a set of seats under an umbrella outside. The day everyone was getting on the ship was the busiest of any of the days and had the longest lines. They weren't even that long though! I read some other reviews of 45 minute long lines throughout the cruise.... I'm not sure what they were trying to wait for because we didn't experience anything like that. Ship: Great ship. More modern than the other ships we have been on, so that was nice. The lanai on deck 5 was pretty great! Clean and well maintained. There are a ton of hot tubs on this ship! Dining: We had anytime dining and showed up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30. We used the app to reserve our table. This was our first cruise using the app and it is such a GREAT addition. We would reserve it in our room and by the time we walked to the dining room, our table was ready. We always requested to sit by ourselves and it was always honored. Food was always great and prompt. I even had a few odd requests like an additional side of mushroom risotto or extra plantain chips that was used as a garnish for a dish (so delicious!) - and they would always bring them to me. Also - if you're new to cruising, know that you can order multiple things. I usually would get 2 appetizers. Shimp cocktail and a salad, or a salad and xyz. Food: We usually order room service the night before for the coffee and some fruit in the morning but this was the first cruise we didn't do this regularly. We are usually early risers and so when we ordered room service - the coffee was stale/burnt and it just wasn't worth the hassle of trying to make sure we were up and dressed. That's another big thing about ordering room service - they come INTO your room to set down your order. I have made the mistake of not being fully dressed when answering the door. So fair warning! - I WISH I WOULD HAVE TRIED THE OMELET STATION SOONER! I tried it on the day we got off the ship and it was SOOOO good. - I ordered 24 bottles of water before we got on the ship for $10? and it was delivered to our room when before we arrived. Best decision ever, as I hate the taste of tap water on the ship. Specialty coffee: Grab a latte on level 5. They are priced well and well made. Make sure you go on the first day and get the punch card. If you end up getting 1 drink a day, you'll get your last one free. You can use the punch card for multiple people too. Entertainment: We LOVE going to the comedy shows but the shows need to be held in bigger venues. I'm not kidding when I say, we had to show up an hour beforehand if we wanted any choice in seating. The place is full 30 minutes prior. We loved the shows though. Make sure you go to the Love and Marriage show. I will say this, there were quite a few dead times on the ship. Compared to 7-9 years ago, I feel like they have cut back on things to do in general. This has nothing to do with the Magic specifically though. If you JUST started cruising though, you would know no difference. We usually go back to the room and take naps during the dead times. Our last cruise with Carnival, they had a magician on board. That would have been a great addition to the Magic. No pun intended haha Service: As usual, we had great service. There was one incident with people under us having a bose speaker that was vibrating our balcony from how loud it was playing. Carnival handled it quickly and in a professional way. I read other reviews of crew members being mean or acting like they don't care..... again... not sure how that is possible. Staff was always fantastic, no matter where we were on the ship. Ports: Half moon cay + Amber Cove + Turks and Caicos HMC - this was our 3rd visit to half moon cay but by far our best visit.... simply because this time, we brought our own inflatable rafts. I went to 5 below before our trip and bought 2 rafts. We unfolded them and blew them up and floated for hours. Everyone around us kept asking where we rented them from. It was the best $5 we ever spent! Make sure you get off the ship early so you can have your choice of a chair and bring plenty of sun screen. Drinks on the Island are pretty expensive as well even though they sell a ton. Amber Cove- This was our first time we visited Amber Cove. I'm glad we booked an excursion because just like Freeport and a few other ports, if you don't book something, there would be nothing to do. We did the waterfall of damajargua (spelling?). It was an amazing excursion and was ran extremely well. We brought our Gopro to take videos and pictures, but they did a good job at taking pictures/video that are available to purchase. I believe it was $50? I would highly recommend the excursion. Turks and Caicos - this was our second time here and we didn't book an excursion, so we just ventured around the shops for a bit and then enjoyed the pools on the ship while everyone was off the ship. We also were the only ship in all the ports all week, so it was awesome that we weren't crowded! WARNING WARNING - GETTING OFF THE SHIP! I am SO glad we didn't book early flights. Getting off the ship when the cruise ended was the worse de- embarkation we have ever experienced. They kept stopping everyone because the gangways, customs were backed up. We didn't get off the ship until 11 am. The worst part is that THEY SHUT OFF THE WATER AT 9 AM. That means you couldn't flush toilets, get water to drink, wash your hands etc. There were still a ton of us on the ship, so I found this extremely frustrating. You had to be out of your room by 8:30 am, so there were hundreds of people just waiting anywhere they could.

Fantastic kidless vacation

Carnival Magic Cruise Review by ARelbot

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This is my husband and I's 7th cruise together, my 8th. We LOVE cruises and this one was probably our favorite. It was the biggest ship we have ever been on (even though they are all set up the same). I was really nervous about lines/cleanliness etc based on reviews I read before I left, but this was by far a great vacation and fantastic ship. We flew into Fort lauderdale the day before and stayed at the La Quinta inn and suites. They have a free shuttle that picks you up from the airport and takes you to the hotel. Expedia, however, lost our hotel booking and after an hour of the front lady going back and forth with Expedia, it was resolved. The hotel upgraded us to a suite for the mix up.

We took an Uber from the hotel to the shuttle the next morning.

Getting on the ship:

Embarkation was extremely smooth and efficient. We almost instantly got on the ship even though we were early. We grabbed lunch at Guy's burger and found a set of seats under an umbrella outside. The day everyone was getting on the ship was the busiest of any of the days and had the longest lines. They weren't even that long though! I read some other reviews of 45 minute long lines throughout the cruise.... I'm not sure what they were trying to wait for because we didn't experience anything like that.

Ship:

Great ship. More modern than the other ships we have been on, so that was nice. The lanai on deck 5 was pretty great! Clean and well maintained. There are a ton of hot tubs on this ship!

Dining:

We had anytime dining and showed up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30. We used the app to reserve our table. This was our first cruise using the app and it is such a GREAT addition. We would reserve it in our room and by the time we walked to the dining room, our table was ready. We always requested to sit by ourselves and it was always honored.

Food was always great and prompt. I even had a few odd requests like an additional side of mushroom risotto or extra plantain chips that was used as a garnish for a dish (so delicious!) - and they would always bring them to me.

Also - if you're new to cruising, know that you can order multiple things. I usually would get 2 appetizers. Shimp cocktail and a salad, or a salad and xyz.

Food:

We usually order room service the night before for the coffee and some fruit in the morning but this was the first cruise we didn't do this regularly. We are usually early risers and so when we ordered room service - the coffee was stale/burnt and it just wasn't worth the hassle of trying to make sure we were up and dressed. That's another big thing about ordering room service - they come INTO your room to set down your order. I have made the mistake of not being fully dressed when answering the door. So fair warning!

- I WISH I WOULD HAVE TRIED THE OMELET STATION SOONER! I tried it on the day we got off the ship and it was SOOOO good.

- I ordered 24 bottles of water before we got on the ship for $10? and it was delivered to our room when before we arrived. Best decision ever, as I hate the taste of tap water on the ship.

Specialty coffee:

Grab a latte on level 5. They are priced well and well made. Make sure you go on the first day and get the punch card. If you end up getting 1 drink a day, you'll get your last one free. You can use the punch card for multiple people too.

Entertainment:

We LOVE going to the comedy shows but the shows need to be held in bigger venues. I'm not kidding when I say, we had to show up an hour beforehand if we wanted any choice in seating. The place is full 30 minutes prior. We loved the shows though. Make sure you go to the Love and Marriage show.

I will say this, there were quite a few dead times on the ship. Compared to 7-9 years ago, I feel like they have cut back on things to do in general. This has nothing to do with the Magic specifically though. If you JUST started cruising though, you would know no difference. We usually go back to the room and take naps during the dead times.

Our last cruise with Carnival, they had a magician on board. That would have been a great addition to the Magic. No pun intended haha

Service:

As usual, we had great service. There was one incident with people under us having a bose speaker that was vibrating our balcony from how loud it was playing. Carnival handled it quickly and in a professional way. I read other reviews of crew members being mean or acting like they don't care..... again... not sure how that is possible. Staff was always fantastic, no matter where we were on the ship.

Ports:

Half moon cay + Amber Cove + Turks and Caicos

HMC - this was our 3rd visit to half moon cay but by far our best visit.... simply because this time, we brought our own inflatable rafts. I went to 5 below before our trip and bought 2 rafts. We unfolded them and blew them up and floated for hours. Everyone around us kept asking where we rented them from. It was the best $5 we ever spent!

Make sure you get off the ship early so you can have your choice of a chair and bring plenty of sun screen. Drinks on the Island are pretty expensive as well even though they sell a ton.

Amber Cove- This was our first time we visited Amber Cove. I'm glad we booked an excursion because just like Freeport and a few other ports, if you don't book something, there would be nothing to do. We did the waterfall of damajargua (spelling?). It was an amazing excursion and was ran extremely well. We brought our Gopro to take videos and pictures, but they did a good job at taking pictures/video that are available to purchase. I believe it was $50? I would highly recommend the excursion.

Turks and Caicos - this was our second time here and we didn't book an excursion, so we just ventured around the shops for a bit and then enjoyed the pools on the ship while everyone was off the ship.

We also were the only ship in all the ports all week, so it was awesome that we weren't crowded!

WARNING WARNING - GETTING OFF THE SHIP!

I am SO glad we didn't book early flights. Getting off the ship when the cruise ended was the worse de- embarkation we have ever experienced. They kept stopping everyone because the gangways, customs were backed up. We didn't get off the ship until 11 am. The worst part is that THEY SHUT OFF THE WATER AT 9 AM. That means you couldn't flush toilets, get water to drink, wash your hands etc. There were still a ton of us on the ship, so I found this extremely frustrating. You had to be out of your room by 8:30 am, so there were hundreds of people just waiting anywhere they could.
ARelbot’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8F 9464
Very Clean.
Loved being on deck 9 because it was only 1 deck up to the pools, fun and food.

HOWEVER!!!!!! This room is positioned under the outside bar/pizza place on deck 10. This was the loudest room we have EVER been in. People were constantly moving chairs around which was SOOOOO loud in our room. Then once the people were gone, the staff would move the chairs to clean. It was a never ending sound of chairs being dragged across the floor which continually woke us up.

My husband wishes we were more in the middle of this ship, as when you got off the ship it was on deck 0 on the opposite side. Also, dinner was on deck 3, opposite side so this made for extremely long walks everywhere.

Room was clean, air condition worked well.

A new feature is that you are supposed to leave your room card in the light slot to keep the lights on. You can actually leave any card in there. We used our room stewards "business card" that he gave us the first day.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews