Carnival Magic Cruise Review by VegasMark
- Sail Date: October 2019
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th St. prior to the cruise. I'd highly recommend this hotel based on its location, facilities, and free breakfast and happy hour. We paid approximately $140/nt with no added resort fee. This presented great value for what we received.
The ship is in overall good shape, but the reports about rust are not an exaggeration. Nothing here will impact your experience much, but when you first get on the ship and look up, you will see rust spots all over. This is the worst example of a rusty ship I've seen on my 31 cruises. Sometimes, rust areas will "leak" down the windows causing unclear views from windows. Again, I don't want to sound like one of "those" people, but it would be nice if they addressed this in the near future. Otherwise, the ship was in pretty darn good shape. Previous reviews spoke of sewage smells. I never smelled sewage once, and I was all over the ship always taking the stairs. Check out the deck plans before your voyage so you don't spend wasted time getting lost when on the ship. You cannot pass through decks 3 or 4 due to the main dining room galley, so you will be forced to transit above or below. They should do more to "suck in" the smoke in the casino. Their only solution thus far is a large blower fan at the entrance that forces the smoke in the casino so it doesn't get too far outside. This helps to keep it in, but the smell is repugnant inside.
I'm a pretty active guy. If there are sports activities, I'm there. I was disappointed that over an eight day cruise we only played dodgeball and volleyball once each. These are cruise ship staples that I like to see at least three times each. It's not like there was anything else going on in the Sky Court besides people shooting hoops on their own. This is an easy add for more organized sports. What was offered was great.
Service onboard was universally great! Everyone was eager to please and friendly. Shout outs to our room steward, Gede and My Time Dining hostesses Anna and Severna (?). They were all very friendly and did their jobs exceptionally well. I miss each of you!
We booked this sailing primarily for the ports, as I'd never cruised to Half Moon Cay, Aruba or Curacao before. We were very happy with each port. Half Moon is a very pretty beach with a nice buffet. Grand Turk is a nice beach with great snorkeling. Aruba is great if shopping is your thing. I usually just walk around when in new ports. Next time we go, we will look into excursions.
Embarking was mostly painless, except that the Coast Guard was doing drills/inspections which delayed boarding by almost an hour. Disembarkation was very smooth. We docked around 6:30am and the first folks off left at about 6:45am. We left around 7:45 and even dawdling, we were inside the airport well before 9.
Cabin 8375 was in very good shape overall. The balcony was a little dirty, as were the balcony chairs - mostly paint over-spray and rust. Gede, our cabin steward, was exceptional with his cleaning and friendliness! The cabin is in a great location - very close to the mid-ship stairs and the only noise was from passengers in the hallway.
I love Carnival for it's dining. There are more places that you can dine for free than any other line. There are also more choices on the menus than comparable restaurants. For example, Royal will only have about five total appetizers on the main dining menu each night (only two-three which change). Carnival will offer about nine choices, and only shrimp cocktail is the same every night. They also have a port menu each casual night that includes a drink, appetizer, and entree specific to the port/region. I enjoyed most of what I got from the dining room, and liked the dinner, breakfast, and brunch menus. Please don't cut back, Carnival - you are an industry leader!!
The entertainment was honestly better than I expected. I was on the Horizon last year which had some pretty great shows. These were not quite as good, but very very close. I'd see each one again. I liked that in the country show there was a plot with dialogue in lieu of the normal sing and dance with no theme.
All in all, this was a pretty good cruise. I would strongly recommend the Magic for all types of cruisers.
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