Be Prepared!: Carnival Magic Cruise Review by Margaret Hanlon

Carnival Magic 3
Margaret Hanlon

Overall Member Rating

Be Prepared!

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
We booked the cruise and flight separately as Barcelona has cheap flights from the Uk.

We liked the itinary and the ports of call lived up to our expectation. However the ship did not.

It is an American ship and as such be prepared for high drinks prices, cheapest bottle of wine 26$, can of fosters 6$.

The entertainment was very poor, a show lasting 1 hour, only 3 cabaret shows and the others quest singers/comedians/jugglers. On 3 nights, John Heald cruise director uses the audience to entertain, the usual topic 'how long have you been married?'

The kitchen is in the center of the ship located on deck 3, and all the food in the main restaurants comes from there although the standard is very good, it is luke warm when it arrives on your table, and for the 3 courses will take you almost 2 hours, they group nationalities together, so there were lots of tables with just 2 people on, incidently the tables were rectangle to accommodate the numbers.

The More Lido food is just OK, not a lot of choice at 3.30pm cleared away, all thats available till evening meal is burgers and pizza's, even on sea days.

I am not a fussy eater or one to complain, this is the first time I have ever done a review on a cruise ship.

I would compare this to Ocean Village which sadly we no longer have, and it is not in the league of celebrity, which has high prices but food to die for.

The food is average, the entertainment is average, it is casual dining and should not be more than 3 stars.

I have never seen so many shorts and T shirts worn on the evenings and even in the dining rooms, 2 formal evenings and about 60% made the effort. I strongly reccommend that you book an overnight stay at the end of your cruise.

Carnivals policy is to empty the ship by 8.45am at the latest (only if you carry of your own luggage) if not they give you an earlier time to collect of the dock.

As a result of this it was mayhem at the port in Barcelona, we were docked behind, Fred olsen Braemar, iberia, and NCL epic, and all 4 ships were using the port shuttle service, we waited well over an hour in the sun with our suitcases, the queue for taxi was even bigger.

If you had a shuttle service from carnival booked to the airport, they took you straight there regardless of the time of your flight, the couple sharing our table, were shipped of to the airport at 8.15am and their flight was at 8.50pm. If you had an excursion they loaded your suitacases on the coach and dropped you off at the end.

The only way to avoid lugging your suitcases around all day is to book a Hotel and go there to store them till you can check in.

This ship leaves a lot to be desired and you feel all they want is money all the time and when its time to go, they want you off as quickly as possible, as if they do not care at all.

I have been on 5 cruises and never experienced this before.


We docked with the cargo ships so the views were not good and you could not walk directly in. The shuttle service was 5 euro. We joined another group of people there were 8 of us and had a mini bus for the day for 320 euros, it took us to Florence about an hour and half away and then Pisa on the way back. 40 euros each, well worth it, as it would have cost us at least 22 euros to do shuttle, bus, and train, plus lots of waiting and lost time. Less

Published 05/29/11

Cabin review: 4G8326 Interior

8326 Inside cabin on deck 8. Good size room, highly reccomend this location our friends on Deck 2 balcony at front had lots of noise every time we docked, and our other friends on deck 10 inside had water motor sounds all day starting at 6 am. Carnival's solution ear plugs given.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We were told it was 4.5 miles to the old town, so jumped on the shuttle bus, 10$ or 8 euros., return. I would say its about 1.5 miles around the bay but it is hilly. Dubrovnik are after making money out of tourist, you pay to walk the walls, go in church, museums etc and they want their currency, so your option is to go to the cash machine or use your card, we managed to find a pizza shop selling slices of pizza for 2 euro's.

The ship docked at Monaco, and you could walk straight of and round the luxury yachts and up the hill to the palace - absolutely beautiful place.

Love love it. We were docked near port de Roma, and could walk in easily to st Marks square, apparently its a 20 minutes walk, but it took us about an hour, and we got lost coming back and it took 1 and half hours, but even so it was amazing, getting lost is half the fun. there is a 'canal bus' it costs 6.5 euros one way, and makes lots of stops on route. we were overnight in Venice and returned back to the ship at 11.30 pm, we had all day there the next day but were determined not to be late back so caught the 'canal bus' Wonderful place.
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Margaret Hanlon
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