Wonderful ship - great fun time!: Carnival Magic Cruise Review by luvabreak

Carnival Magic 4
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Wonderful ship - great fun time!

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
The Carnival Magic appealed to me initially as it was part of a well known brand and secondly as it was on its second voyage. I also loved the itinerary of its 12 night Mediterranean cruise visiting 7 ports. We departed from Barcelona - which is a beautiful city. So clean and the food, once you find the good restaurants, are delicious! We stayed in Barcelona 3 nights pre-cruise and 2 nights post cruise.

We had travelled on the Disney Magic 3 years earlier with 2 young children so we were interested to see how the Carnival compared to Disney.

Firstly, you cannot compare the 2 ships - its like comparing an apple to an orange. Disney is family orientated, with no casino and Disney themed activities, movies and on-board entertainment. Carnival has a casino on board (which we didn't visit as we are not gamblers), and a variety of entertainment to suit different tastes.

The Carnival Magic was definitely a winner for us. Our room was 1312 on level 1, mid ship. It More had an ocean view but no balcony - why pay for a balcony when you can meet wonderful people on the upper decks! We chose the lower deck so that we would have to walk up many levels to reach the food and pool decks (no lift for us). This way we hoped that we wouldn't put on too much weight. Unfortunately, this theory didn't work as the Italians sure know how to cook and on all our shore excursions we ate 5 full courses! Of course you must try a tartufo in Rome, a gelato in Venice and a cannoli in Messina!!

The ship, being brand new, was very clean and beautiful. The staff work tirelessly day and night to make the ship sparkle. Our cabin was big enough for 2 and would have even slept 4 comfortably with a pull out. There were 2 bathrooms, one with toilet and sink, the other with a sink and shower/bath. the bed was king size and very comfortable. The only criticism is that the ship only has 1 type of pillow. My husband is asthmatic and needs a rubber pillow but they only had feather/down ones. He put a towel inside the pillow case and this made the pillow a bit firmer, so he was happy.

Our cabin housekeeping team were amazing. We had Ernesto and his team. The cabin was spotless after breakfast each day and at night they turned down our blankets and left a program of the next days' activities and a towel creation on the bed (with 2 mint/chocolates too).

Our main dining room was the Northern Lights. Initially we chose the 6pm seating but after having a couple of shore excursions returning around 7/7:30pm we asked to be moved to the 8:15pm seating instead. We thoroughly enjoyed our servers Martin, Chonthica & Erik. Very efficient, friendly and great fun! Our drink waiter was Zenobia - she was wonderful. She knew our order each day - service with a beautiful smile!! We met a wonderful group of Americans who were seated beside us at the late dinner seating. They were ordering 2 or 3 appetizers, then a main then dessert and coffee; so we started ordering this way too! Bad move - I now have to lose 5kg to get back to my pre-cruise weight!! Delicious food - no complaints.

We ate most breakfasts in the Market place on the Lido Deck (level 10). A great variety to suit all tastes, from omelettes, to cereals, fresh fruit, cold cuts, cheeses, fruit compote, hot & cold selections. Out by the pool they had french toast, waffles and more! When we had very early shore excursions, we got room service - a small selection of continental items.

Lunches we also ate either in the Market place on the Lido deck (buffet) or out by the pool (salad, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, mexican). Again, a huge selection of delicious foods to suits all tastes. Not fine dining by any means but what do you want from a buffet - good, clean and hearty food. We also found another place to eat salads and soups, inside on the casino level- Plaza Bites.

We ate at both of the specialty restaurants on board. The steakhouse was exceptional - a true fine dining experience. There was a small additional charge for eating here but it was well worth it. We also tried the Italian restaurant - Cucina Del Capitano. This was not so enjoyable and we actually preferred the Lido deck to this restaurant.

The ship has a couple of pools, one of which is adults only. The serenity deck was lovely for adults to relax. At this time of year there weren't many children on board so even spending time near the main pool was pleasant and relaxing. The water slides looked amazing although we didn't get a chance to try them out. We did try the suspended rope track. I only managed to walk 1/10th of the way around as I was too scared of the height and of course looking out at the ocean didn't help my vertigo!

The evening shows were a fun way to end the night. There wasn't a show in the main showtime theatre every night, but I went to see all the ones they did have. We saw a funny comedian, a crazy magician, an amazing female soprano, a talented musician and a male singer (who reminded us of Jon Lovitz in the wedding singer).

We didn't go to the piano bar or the night club. We did play bingo a few times which was fun.

I booked all our shore excursions in advance before the cruise. The tour guides were excellent, all spoke at least a little english and were very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend taking the shore excursions as they are well organised and always ensure you make it back to the ship in time for departure. One couple actually missed the ship in Venice and had to spend a small fortune making their own way to the next port!

Internet is terrible on board the ship. They don't guarantee you good reception so don't expect to get any. It's quite pricey too.

I would definitely book another Carnival cruise. Less

Published 06/19/11
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 6M1312 Deluxe Ocean View

Cabin 1312 - Category 6M - Deluxe Ocean View Located midship - minimal movement felt whilst sailing. Quiet cabin. Great size cabin with 2 bathrooms.

Read All Deluxe Ocean View (6M) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We visited the old city and the Jewish quarter. Our tour guide was very informative and spoke very good english.

We ate lunch in the old city at one of the restaurants that served the biggest platters of seafood for a very reasonable price. Staff here also speak english.

As we were visiting Florence then Pisa the tour was quick and we didn't get time to shop in Florence at the market. We visited an outdoor museum, where we believe one of our fellow tourers had her purse stolen.

We ate a traditional, 5 course, Italian lunch then headed to Pisa. Very dirty city, Pisa, but once you get to where the monuments are, it is clean and beautiful. Too many souvenir shops all selling the same rubbish. We climbed Pisa. Very interesting how you really feel the pull of gravity on one side of the building as you climb up a very narrow staircase to the top. Lovely view from the top (but too high for me)!

The ship docks right in Monaco at the harbour. Very beautiful place to visit. We didn't take a shore excursion and decided to see it all by foot. The distance form one side of Monaco to the other is about 1km. But as the city is built along a cliff side, the walking tracks are quite steep so wear comfortable shoes.

We visited Princess Grace & Prince Rainier's burial plots; very scenic walks overlooking amazing harbours and scenery.

We then walked all the way to the other side of the city to the Hotel de Paris and the Casino Monte Carlo. the inside of the Casino foyer is beautiful; - they were charging 10EURO to go into the gaming room but we didn't go in.

We had a coffee at the cafe outside the Casino and enjoyed the view.

We visited Positano, Sorrento & Pompeii. Must see places! Positano is picturesque - had a coffee and cake overlooking the houses on the cliff side & ocean. Close your eyes whilst in the tour bus as you won't believe how daring other drivers and mostly vespa riders are along the windy, narrow roads. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the views not the road!

Sorrento, lovely bustling little place with lots of shops and cafes. We had lunch here with the tour.

Pompeii is huge. Didn't realise how big it actually was until we set foot inside. It blew us away. We were very aware of the fact that many lives were lost in this place, it is a very well preserved burial ground. Tourists should respect this and not litter (we did see some cigarette butts and bottles). You can see Mt Vesuvius very clearly and can only imagine the terror they people of Pompeii felt watching the lava flowing down towards them. Incredible - must see.

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

Beautiful city. We did the highlights of Rome tour and visited the Vatican Museum & Basilica.

Vatican is incredibly huge and beautiful. Sistine chapel very lovely but hot and stuffy in there with all the tourists. They say no cameras but everyone was taking photos. Just ensure you don't get seen by the guards as we saw one tourist get dragged out by the camera.

Another one of our fellow tourists had their purse stolen from her backpack sometime during the Rome tour. Take care of your personal belongings.

We docked at the port of Messina. Took the tour first to Taormina. We had only 20 minutes to look around the main street. It is very pretty and we could have spent longer looking around. We did manage to have a coffee and cannoli in that short time! We next went to the Greek Theatre(Teatro Greco), which is so picturesque and lovely. The view from the top of the theatre ruins is breathtaking and you can see Mt Etna in the distance. After lunch, we travelled 90 minutes to Mt Etna. A very long way up some windy roads. The drive would have been more pleasant if our tour guide would have taken a break from speaking. She managed to describe every rock, crack, building and whatever else she could talk about. She did not stop - I had to ask her nicely to allow us to take in the scenery rather than listen to too much information. The whole way back she didn't say a word. Mt Etna was interesting. Very cold where we stopped. There is a souvenir shop where you can buy gifts and food. There is a chair list if you wish to go up the mountain a bit higher. The craters are huge. We couldn't believe how many people wanted to get ever so close to the edge of an enormous crater to take a photo - thank goodness they didn't slip in. We took some volcanic rocks away with us as souvenirs.

Lovely way to enter the city of Venice - by ship down the great canal. All other boats are whizzing by whilst a pilot boat leads us along the canal to the docking area. A water taxi then took us to St Mark's Square where we disembarked and started our tour of Venice. We visited St Marks Square and the Doges Palace. Also visited Ca Rezzonico. We stayed in Venice for 2 days. On day 2 we visited the Jewish Ghetto.

Read 1130 Venice Reviews

Compare Prices on Carnival Magic Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruises

Read more Carnival Magic cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Magic Review >>

Compare Prices on Carnival Magic Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruises

Member Since 2011
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Carnival Magic deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Carnival Magic 70% Loved It

7 Day Exotic Western Caribbean
See all Carnival Magic Deals >>