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Carnival Magic Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,404 Reviews

Lovely vacation (and a good value)

Carnival Magic Cruise Review by redpage75

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean Suite

We sailed on the six-night itinerary to Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Nassau on December 15 as an early Christmas present to ourselves (side note: at $680 for a suite, it was a steal).

The Magic is a lovely ship—this was our second time cruising on this ship, and I wouldn't hesitate to book a third. I've noticed that other reviews include a lot people complaining that it's run down, but I didn't notice anything looking shabby. To the contrary, staff are constantly cleaning, polishing, painting—doing everything they can to keep the effects of a lifetime at sea at bay.

It was our first time staying in a suite, and I have to say, it was absolutely, 100% worth the money. The bathroom is a REAL bathroom, complete with jetted tub and double sinks. There was also a dressing room area with a door between the cabin and the bathroom, affording a bit of extra privacy when getting ready. There was storage for days, and I swear, we even had extra glassware.

Our steward, Julio, went above and beyond. We had some pretty nasty weather one night, causing the ship to rock and roll (enough that our bathroom door was slamming and glassware was clinking), and my daughter got really seasick. We made good use of the trash can that night. Anyway, I did my best to clean it up, but you know. Puking kid + small room = Big Mess. I called him to let him know, and he had the place spotless by the time we got back from breakfast. And he left her a bag of cookies with a sweet note.

Being a suite guest also made embarkation a breeze—we were pretty much ushered through an empty terminal while the less lucky masses waited in long lines. Debarkation was much the same. In short: if you can swing a suite, do it. You won't regret it.

Food ranged from just fine to really good. I am not a buffet person—in fact I hate them with every fiber of my being, especially in the morning, when I have not had coffee and am forced to deal with hordes of people—but they were fine. There did seem to be less of a selection than there used to be, but what there was was enjoyable. I highly recommend the omelet station in the morning. Also, head to the back of the buffet rather than hovering at the front—there's generally more seating back there.

The Northern Lights dining room was uniformly delicious. I don't know what people are complaining about—there was filet mignon, prime rib, lobster, and plenty of other fancy dishes, but you could also get more "ordinary" food like fried chicken and salmon. We had Your Time dining, which worked really well—I hate being locked in to a specific time. When we wanted to eat, we reserved a table in the app, and it was generally ready by the time we got there. The servers treated my daughter like a queen—one even cut up her prime rib for her (she's almost 11). It was pretty hilarious.

We also did the Chef's Table, which was an amazing experience. There were seven main courses (as well as a few appetizer courses), and each one was artfully presented and exquisitely prepared. The sous chef played host and told us a lot about how their operations work, in addition to describing the food. Side note: it's in the main galley, so there's some pretty good people watching.

Activities: we didn't really use the pools. They're too dang crowded, but nice, if hanging out in a sea of people is your thing. The water park area is pretty fun, and the shows were decent. We're pretty low key in general, so we didn't do a whole lot of "participating," if you know what I mean.

The Cloud 9 spa thallasotherapy area (I just murdered the spelling) was amazing. Quiet, relaxing, and totally zen-like. I only made it up there once (kids. sigh.), but thoroughly enjoyed the two hours I got to myself.

The ports were nice. We just hung out at the pool at Amber Cove, and if you ignored all the drunk people, all was well. The waterslides are also pretty amazing.

In Nassau we did the Dolphin Experience at Blue Lagoon, which I highly recommend. It was great fun, and is certified by the humane society (pretty rare for an attraction like this). The dolphins seemed truly happy and the trainers seemed to love their jobs. Plus, the island is ridiculously beautiful.

And in Grand Turk, we sat on the beach. It was 80 degrees and sunny in December, the water was that beautiful turquoise color, and you could even snorkel. What else do you need?

All in all, it was a highly enjoyable vacation and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Magic to anyone.

redpage75's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean Suite

See my review above. TLDR: if you can afford it, do it. You won't regret it.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


It was super fun. It lasted about an hour and everyone got to take turns interacting with the dolphin.

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