Carnival Magic Cruise Review by Simca
- Sail Date: October 2011
- Destination: Transatlantic
Carnival Magic was advertised as this large, brand new, technically advanced marvel. More on that later.
Our first disappointment was when we met with the Carnival representatives at the airport in Barcelona. We were to take an excursion that would end up at the ship. We presented the representatives with all of our documentation. We were told where and what time to meet. We wandered around the general area as we waited. Approximately one hour before our excursion was to meet and leave, we saw a Carnival representative caring a sign with the name of our excursion with a group of people following her. My wife and I commented to each other that this must be a popular and crowded excursion and that this was the first group to go. As our departure time approached we noticed other people lining up with a different color sticker. I suggested that my wife go over to a Carnival representative and ask about our excursion. My wife came back to me in a furious state of mind after finding out that our tour group had already left and we had missed it. We were absolutely certain as to the time we were to meet as it was repeated to us several times by the representative and we repeated it back before we wandered off. My wife was beside herself with anger so I took over communicating with the Carnival representative who eventually admitted that perhaps there was a communications problem. We were told of another excursion that would end up at the ship and we reluctantly accepted it. The satisfactory conclusion to this mix-up was that Carnival gave us a full refund for the more expensive excursion we had booked and gave us a 25% discount on the excursion we had reluctantly accepted.
When we finally boarded the Carnival Magic, the interior was the typical Carnival gaudiness, comprised of plastic, aluminum and pressed wood. I will now explain why I stated that Carnival cares more about appearance then what is best for passengers. This large, new, technically advanced marvel vibrated violently. The explanation given was that a thruster had gone bad even before we began our 16 day trans-Atlantic cruise in Barcelona. This was to be the Magic's maiden voyage across the Atlantic to it's newly built home port in Galveston, Texas. The press was invited, a concert was planned and other celebratory events were to be held as this great ship made it's way into Galveston. The vibration was so loud and/or the acoustics in the two main restaurants were so bad, one could hardly hold a conversation with the person sitting next to him or her. A table mate of ours, whose single person stateroom was on the first deck said she was literally bouncing around in her bed and unable to sleep well because of the noise and vibration. Several days into our cruise an announcement came over the P.A. system informing the passengers that there was to be a change in the itinerary. We were scheduled to go to Grand Turk Island for one day. Instead we were to go to Freeport, Grand Bahamas for two full days since that port had facilities for repair. Carnival did arrange for free transportation into town, which was a nice gesture. The problem was that they were only able to arrange for seven buses to transport possibly over three thousand people to town if they had not already booked a last minute excursion. The process was considered a fiasco by many passengers as it took many hours to leave the ship. Many people opted to pay extra money and take a cab into town. One was able to see the new thruster on a barge and watch as divers removed the damaged thruster. The next problem was that Carnival had scavenged nuts & bolts from a Princess ship to attach the propeller to the thruster. The thruster's purpose is to move the ship in and out of a dock or move the ship in circles of either direction. The scavenged nuts & bolts did not fit the damaged Carnival thruster, thus bringing it on-board still is disrepair. We left Freeport a few hours later then expected, but there was still plenty of time to reach Galveston as scheduled. The miraculous difference one noticed was that the vibrations had ceased, leaving one to consider whether the "thruster problem" was ever true. So, I ask you, did Carnival have the right to inconvenience over three thousand passengers to save face and make a grand entrance into Galveston with all the prearranged hoopla?
Now for some positive statements. The service and food were excellent. If one was lucky enough to be in the Southern Lights Restaurant, they had the pleasure of hearing the fantastic vocal expertise of Ken the singing Maitre d'. There was an Indian gentleman who came around to the tables to perform close-up magic with ropes and cards, which where unbelievably good. My wife and I never enjoy the stage productions, but we did enjoy several really good comedians, a hypnotist performance, in which I participated and Ron, the piano man.
We did meet new people and enjoyed ourselves. However, I will most likely not cruise with Carnival again.