Carnival Magic Cruise Review by c771456
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
My husband and I recently enjoyed an 8 day cruise on the Carnival Magic’s. We have been long time cruisers on Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Celebrity.
I wanted to share our recent experience.
We left on Saturday, June 22 from Fort Lauderdale. We drove to the port from Orlando. Parking and our embarkation was incredibly easy. We sailed through security and before we knew it, we were on our cruise. Our room was 2264 located on the second deck. We easily found our room and it was ready for our vacation. The room itself, was in good shape. The temperature was fine and the room was waiting for us. However, the table in front of the couch had leftover jelly smeared on it. A quick wipe with a wet towel and I was able to clean it off.
We took some time to explore the ship before the Muster drill. We went up to the buffet where we found the lines were not long, the food was hot, and there was plenty of seating. We grab a quick meal of the roasted turkey which was moist and tasty. After we had our snack we went back down to our room to prepare for the Muster drill. The Muster drill was uneventful other than the fact people were coming into our assigned area through multiple doors so it got a little confusing but people were respectful and the employees were terrific.
Our first night we ate dinner in the specialty steak restaurant. It was fabulous. I had the surf and turf and my steak was cooked perfectly. The lobster was very flavor and dessert was amazing. We had the dessert they prepare at your table. After dinner, we meandered to the casino. That’s where things got a little dicey. The casino is overwhelmingly smokey. We asked about the non-smoking area and were pointed to a small area of slot machines. This was a huge disappointment. We may not be big gamblers but we do enjoy spending some time in the casino after dinner for a few hours. Even when we were sitting in the non-smoking area, people that were smoking would come over and stand behind us. There has to be a better solution. Whether it’s a better filtration system, or a larger non-smoking area, or better enforcement, something really needs to be done. Just as I believe smokers have rights, non smokers also should have rights to be free of second hand smoke.
The next thing we encountered that was problematic was the next day when we were at the private island Half Moon Cay. We got up as usual, showered, packed for the beach, and went upstairs to grab a bite to eat. We saw the lines of people waiting to leave. After making some inquiries we found out we needed to get a ticket for the tender. We went down to grab our tickets and were informed it was going to be at least an hour before our number was called. I understand the purpose of crowd control and trying to move large amounts of people from a ship to an island however, my suggestion would be, the day prior to going into the private Island, all interactions with the guests should end with please make sure you go down to get your tender tickets to the private island. Whether it’s interaction with the room steward, waiter or waitress, or spa, they should all be informing the guests of the need of picking up their ticket first thing in the morning. We ended up staying for the majority of the day on ship and enjoying the pool, slides, and spa. In the mid afternoon we did meander to the island for a quick bite to eat and check out the amenities. Another thing that we found odd was the Captain Morgan‘ shipwreck Bar. My husband was thrilled since he drinks Captain Morgan, however, when he asked for a Captain Morgan and Coke, he was told they didn’t carry it. Very curious since the name Captain Morgan is prominently displayed at the bar. Again, just like the casino, as we were sitting in the lounge chairs by the beach we were assaulted with smokers all around us. I would recommend an area be set aside for those of us who don’t want to sit by smokers.
We had the late seating at 8:15, and that was the only time available for us. Because of the late seating, never did eat in the dining room for dinner. Most of the time we ate at the buffet. We found the food there to be quite acceptable. There was always something available and plenty of seats. One day we ate lunch on the 5th floor at the barbecue. While it smelled wonderful, the food was pretty bland. Basically my husband and I were not impressed. Seasoning and marinades need to be punched up a bit. However, the burger joint on the 10th floor was wonderful. The french fries and full of flavor and and the fixins bar was terrific.
We ate at the Italian restaurant the last night on the ship. It was average at best. I wouldn’t recommend spending the money to eat there. The Calamari was so chewy, the meatballs didn’t have much flavor and while the spaghetti was okay I would think they could make home made pasta for the specialty restaurant.
We found the crew on the Magic so accommodating and professional. We enjoyed the cruise director Simon London. He always had a smile on his face and laughter in his voice. We had a great time at the promenade parties. He had a way to bring everyone watching the festivities together for a few good laughs.
We had great anticipation of the Glow party but we were so disappointed. We anticipated a fun dance party with a lot of lively 90’s music and dancing. What we found was a let down. It seemed like every dance needed to choreographed with the crowd and in between the dancing, they would crowbar in the lip-synch and other contests. We stayed for about 45 minutes before we had enough. You could take a page out of NCL’s glow parties.
Several mornings we ate breakfast in the Southern Lights dining room. The breakfast was wonderful. Good food and the servers were a chatty fun group
My husband and I joined the spa. We took full advantage of the amenities. This was money well spent. We both also indulged in massages. Both our massage therapists were attentive to our needs. I am so glad we decided to do that. I would single out Elma and the staff as making our cruise so enjoyable. The only detractor was the towel hampers would slam shut when people put their dirty towels away. A rubber bumper, similar to one’s used behind a hanging picture frame would solve that problem. These cost less than $5.00 and the issue is resolved.
Sea days were tough on board. First the deck was scorching hot. You could not walk anywhere on board without shoes. Secondly, the boat is in dire need of more pools. I refused to enter either pool. It was so jammed packed with guests you had to ask people to move out of the way so you could get into the pool. It truly was a bath with friends but skivvy as best. The only way to cool down was to take advantage of the showers. Another thing lacking any sense was not having a towel area on the back of the boat. To get a towel you had to walk through the dining room to the middle pool deck. It is such an easy fix.
The ship itself was okay but in need of some TLC. There was a lot of rust to the eye and it needs a really good cleaning. Every window was dirty and hard to see through. Whether it was in the dining room(s), buffet, pool desk(s) or any other area with windows, the windows were filthy.
While sitting in the deck I wanted to order 2 drinks in the specialty cup (shark) to bring home for friends. We were told they ran out of specialty shark cups around 1:00. Such a shame and clearly the specialty cups were a hit. Opportunities lost for people to spend money.
While unpacking I realized I had forgotten a pair of the bottoms of my tankini. I went down to the shops and was unable to find anything. Actually the selection of women’s bathing suits was limited at best. One would think the shops on a cruise ship would be prepared and outfitted with bathing suits (all sizes). This is a revenue stream you are missing out on.
Our take always:
Positive – staff was amazing, food was very good, ports were fun, rooms and bed were comfortable, Dine in Theater, comedians, embarkation and debarkation, Spa
Detractors – casino, tenders, 90’s Glow Party, pools, hot decks, lack of towels, general cleanliness, smoking
Bottom line I would take the Carnival Magic again but I think attention to detail and the trip would have been a home run.
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