This was our twelfth cruise on Carnival. We were on an 8-day Southern Caribbean itinerary during the week of July 20-28, 2019. Our ports were Half-moon Cay, Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao. We left from Fort Lauderdale.
We flew into FLL the day before on Delta and stayed at the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott. Breakfast included. Uber to port the next day---best way to go at best price. (Note: Cannot Uber out of port on debarkation day---Ubers will not come into port area)
Check-in: was a breeze. We are platinum and were part of the first group to board the ship. We carried on our luggage and we all set and in out cabin by 11:45am
Standard Carnival buffet set up.
My complaint is always the same----many people do not use sanitizer although it is right there.
Pizza: On this ship, is not as good as the ships with an actual stone oven. They have an oven with a moving chain----like Costco. Not the same as an authentic stone oven like the Sunshine or the Vista. Carnival pizza is authentic Italian thin crust pizza made with double zero flour. If you are expecting American style pizza------then think New York style not Chicago and not big Chain store pizza.
Ice Cream: For Sundaes, go to the dessert buffets get a small bowl and use the things that are there to make a Sundae-----Vanilla sauce, cookies, fruit compotes------put crushed snicker-doodles and brownies on a bowl of ice cream
Guy's Burgers: Always complimentary. Guy's is Excellent.
BBQ: This was excellent. Chicken, beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and various salads.
On deck 5 but first day and seadays only.
The Blue Iguana was also excellent. Very fresh ingredients. You must be willing to wait because orders are made as you go. Excellent shrimp taco bowl salad that they build to order. Perfect for lunch if you do not want to eat heavy.
Sea Day Brunch: Excellent food with a different menu from the dining room. Great selection. Loved the steak and eggs. No pastries brought in a basket anymore you must ask or they will not offer.
Lido Deck, Pools: The pools are too small as they are on all ships. On the Magic there is a water park and bucket and slides. So, pools are less important. The slides were a blast when open. (Remember that they close slides and rope course due to high winds. Southern Caribbean cruises are notorious for high winds---so be prepared to have these facilities closed. Mini golf, basketball, jogging track are all as usual.
Main Dining Room: The food was excellent as always. Our servers however took 3 days to bring things up to normal speed, even though the dining room was never crowded. Also asked for coffee and didn’t get it the first two nights---nor was it offered.
After speaking to the Maître D, things turned around quickly.
Cabin: We had connecting cabins on deck two 2276and 2280. The location was excellent. Cabin Steward Maynor was excellent and attentive.
Entertainment: Live band and live shows were very good. We had excellent dancers and great lead singers. “Flick” was excellent as was the “America Rocks” show both incorporated live music.
Teatime: The cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon and sweets are as expected. The desserts here are superior and worth a visit.
Cruise Director and Staff: Excellent. The best in a long time. London, David, JoJo, KoKo. This was a Dr.E ship and these guys are continuing the tradition.
Photo Gallery: Bought nothing. Packages are too expensive. They have gone digital but are still printing and charging for prints. No one was buying---even staff was sitting around doing nothing because people weren’t buying. Passengers were not even bothering to pose. I had never quite seen this before.
Guest Services: Excellent. Darwin was wonderful. When approached at the desk they were always helpful and polite.
Casino: Nothing out of the ordinary. Remember to achieve free drinks you must play 1500 points at $2.50 a point. That means you could easily lose $500plus to get free drinks with poor service in a smoke-filled environment.
Caveat Emptor: Always be careful when buying anywhere. Jewelry----in particular! Beware----know what you are buying or buy at home. Know your prices before you go. Many items I saw were more than back home. Beware the tax-free pitch. You can only bring so much back home with you and often the prices are the same. Lastly don’t hesitate to look something up on Amazon or Costco there are always hotspots with free Wi-Fi. Those are the prices that they must beat on the islands----not the ship.
Halfmoon Cay: Literally the best beach ever! We had a Villa on the beach. They are $599 for a party of 10 or less. We were given priority debarkation and driven to the Villa once on the island. The villa has washroom, shower, hot tub, dining area with AC, balconies, snorkel equipment, and soft drinks and water plus snacks delivered. We were two families and had a blast. Lunch is included on the island and in at a very short distance. We had Villa C. I would choose D or E just to be a little farther away.
Grand Turk: Walked around the shops. The green umbrellas are free if you want beach as well as clam shells on the rock side. Jack’s Shack is also down the beach on the left when facing the port. Check out the many videos on all these ports on you tube.
Aruba: Took the Carnival Beach tour. Bus was not AC. $20 per person 3hrs at beach. At beach you pay for umbrella and chairs. $25 dollars umbrella and $10 chair. Washroom $1 across the street at Eagle beach. You could just take a cab yourself.
Note if you are planning to shop the stores close at 6pm or earlier.
Curacao: Took the glass bottom boat excursion and tour. We loved it---but pricey. After that we walked around downtown---shopping here has improved.
Debarkation: Was delayed by about an hour port issues with Gangways----everyone walked off on deck 0. Interesting but no big deal.
Conclusion: We had an awesome cruise on the Magic. This was our second time on the Magic, and I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to friends.
We had connecting cabins on deck two 2276 and 2280. The location was excellent. Cabin Steward Maynor was excellent and attentive.
Halfmoon Cay: Literally the best beach ever! We had a Villa on the beach. They are $599 for a party of 10 or less. We were given priority debarkation and driven to the Villa once on the island. The villa has washroom, shower, hot tub, dining area with AC, balconies, snorkel equipment, and soft drinks and water plus snacks delivered. We were two families and had a blast. Lunch is included on the island and in at a very short distance. We had Villa C. I would choose D or E just to be a little farther away.View All 28 Beach Reviews
Took the Carnival Beach tour. Bus was not AC. $20 per person 3 hrs at beach. At beach you pay for umbrella and chairs. $25 dollars umbrella and $10 chair. Washroom $1 across the street at Eagle beach. You could just take a cab yourself.View All 125 Beach Reviews
Took the glass bottom boat excursion and tour. We loved it---but pricey. After that we walked around downtown---shopping here has improved.View All 17 Semi-Sub Reviews