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stacycakes1

Carnival Magic review with pictures!!!

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Hello everyone! I have been meaning to post this review for some time now and am finally free enough to do it. This is a review of the Carnival Magic from June 2011 (I know, it's been almost an entire year)! My dh and I were fortunate enough to set sail on the Magic's 7th trip out to sea. Here is the itinerary for our trip:

Day 1 – Flight out of Chicago and Paris

Day 2 – Paris

Day 3 – Flight out of Paris and Barcelona

Day 4 –Barcelona and Embarkation

Day 5 – Monaco

Day 6 – Rome (port of Civitavecchia)

Day 7 – Pisa, Florence and Tuscany (port of Livorno)

Day 8 – Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi Coast (port of Naples)

Day 9 – Taormina Sicily (port of Messina)

Day 10 – Fun Day at Sea

Day 11 – Debarkation and Barcelona

Day 12 – Barcelona and flight home

This was our honeymoon and we were both so excited to finally go to Europe! We thought this would be a great way to check out some great cities and then know which ones we would one day want to come back to see in more detail.

Well here it goes…

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Day 1 - Flight from Chicago and Paris

 

My DH Paul and I had gotten married on a Saturday. It was a fantastic wedding and we had the time of our lives with all of our friends and family. We would have been so sad that it was over but fortunately we had our cruise on the Magic coming to keep us in excitement mode.

 

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Fortunately we did have some down time before we had to head to the airport on the following Wednesday to collect ourselves and pack. Our flight was leaving at 5:30pm and we would be on the redeye to Paris, France.

 

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We decided to fly Air France because they have a great deal where you can stopover in Paris for free for however long you want before connecting to your final destination.

 

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The flight went great. We both got lots of sleep and actually felt okay when we landed at 8:30am Paris time (Which is like 12:13am Chicago time).

 

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Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of strolling along the Paris sidewalks with the man I love and I was about to get my wishJ

 

We headed out of the airport and waited for our hotel shuttle to arrive.

 

The ride on the shuttle from the airport was CRAZY!!! My DH is a pretty crazy city driver so I didn't think it would be that bad but I was actually scared at some points! Especially around the Arc de Triumph! It was mass chaos!!!

 

Anyway, here are a few pics from the drive:

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We stayed at the Marriott Rive Gauche. Both my DH and I travel for work quite a bit and had been saving our Marriott points for forever. We were able to stay in both Paris and Barcelona for free during our trip. The hotel was perfect, not overly fancy but very nice and comfortable.

 

 

After getting our stuff settled we headed out on the town! First we stopped and picked up our two day all inclusive Paris passes from the Hard Rock. These included admission to almost every museum and monument without waiting in lines. We also got to ride the Metra for free the entire two days and got a free bus tour. It was totally worth it and made life in Paris very easy. They were $120 each and more then paid for themselves. Our next stop was the Arc de Triumph. We actually enjoyed the view from the Arc de triumph better then the Eiffel Tower!

 

 

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My favorite pic this day...

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Next, we boarded the bus tour that came with our passes. This was a great way to get a feel for the city. Here are some of the pics from the roadJ

 

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We took like a million pictures of the Eiffel Tower…

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By the time we got off the bus tour we were starved and exhausted! It was already 7:00pm so we decided to head back to the hotel and find someplace to go to dinner. The nice thing about our hotel was we were a bit off the beaten path and most of the places near us were filled with locals. We found a cute bistro and settled in for some yummy dinner. I only got pictures of our drinks and dessert. I was so starved I gobbled everything down before I got the chance to take a pick.

 

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Mmmmm, Creme Brulee, my fave!!!

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After dinner we dragged ourselves back to the hotel room and proceeded to get some much needed sleep.

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Day 2 - Paris

 

We woke up on Day 2 completely revitalized! I thought it would take days before we got use to being on the 8 hour time difference but because we stayed up the entire day the day before we felt ready for anything when we woke up. Today was going to be spent at the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and a few other museums and hot spots. We got up early and had a traditional French breakfast at a corner café. It was truly lovely!

 

 

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Paul looking very French:)

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After breakfast our first stop would be the Louvre. Here are a few pictures we took on the way there...

 

 

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We thought we would take a quick look in the Louvre at some of the more famous pieces and then move on. Well, if only it was that easy! We ended up spending a lot more time here then we thought and took SO many pictures!!! I won't bore you with all of them but here are some of the highlights...

 

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Mona lisa was SOOOO tiny! I had to fight threw quite a few asian tourists to get to the front for a picture...

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After taking MANY photos of various statues and paintings (not sure what we will do with those now) we decided we were hungry and that we should grab some lunch.

 

We headed out of the Louvre and went to the restaurant Le Grande Colbert. This is where Diane Keaton and Jack Nicolson ate in the end of Something's Gotta Give. The food here is amazing and they lunch prices are a great way to try out a more expensive place on a budget. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of our lunch but here is the restaurant...

 

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loving this review... but so dang jealous.. you are living my dream...what a beautiful way to spend your honeymoon with your love...

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Your Paris photos are gorgeous. That is one of our favorite cities. Looking forward to more! And, congratulations on your wedding!

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After lunch we walked around Paris and took in all of the sites! There were so many beautiful things to see. We did a seine river tour and checked out Notre Dame and a few other churches and museums.

We had prebooked our tickets for the Eiffel Tower at 7:00pm that evening and decided to stop and grab some items from a local grocer to have a snack on the lawn before that. I think this was my favorite part of our entire stay in Paris...

 

 

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We went up to the entrance at 7:00pm and walked right into the elevator. One thing I have to say about planning this trip is do your research and book anything you can ahead of time. The line at that time to climb the Eiffel tower was 2 hours long and we didn’t wait at all. The same for the entire day, we walked right into every place we went with our passes, it was amazing! We also had this luck later on the cruise as well (thanks to all of you cruisecritic pals out there) which I will talk more about later.

Here are a few pics from on top of the Eiffel...

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After the Eiffel Tower we walked along the Champ Elysees to shop and find a place to eat dinner. We had planned on eating on a budget while in Paris but the romance in the air got to us and we decided we deserved one fancy dinner in Paris on our honeymoon and went to Le Fouquet's. Dinner was AMAZING! I got the Steak and Pomme Frites and Paul got the Duck...

 

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It was really late (yet still light out surprisingly) and we had a long day the next day heading to Barcelona so we decided to head back to the hotel.

 

We saw some really cool stuff on the way back that were great photo opportunities like a big group of bikers. Also, if you haven't figured it out yet from some of the randomly added pictures, Paul and I like to take some silly pictures every once in a while. Well the walk/train ride back to the hotel was no exception:)

 

 

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Loving your review and all the great pictures! I've never been to Paris so your photos were a real treat to see.

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Love your review so far ... but asian tourists :confused: are they different than other kinds of tourists or something?

 

As soon has I read her post I knew someone was going to jump on it!:cool: Not politically correct but, speaking for myself, I don't think she meant anything about it. Just kick back and enjoy her wonderful writing and beautiful pictures.

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Day 3 - Breakfast in Paris and Sangrias in Barcelona

So far I have been keeping the comments light and posting more pictures then anything. I really want to save the heavy comments for the actual cruise partJ Please let me know if you have any questions so far or need any info on what we did or where to find something!

So today we would leaving beautiful Paris and heading to Barcelona. Our flight left at 11:00am so we decided to get up and walk down the street to find a place for breakfast. We found a cute little café and enjoyed our last breakfast in Paris…

 

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After breakfast we were picked up by the hotel shuttle and zoomed off to the airport. The ride back to the airport was just as eventful as the ride in! I really don’t know how there aren’t more accidents in that city with the way they drive.

Once we got to the airport we said to each other “we’re on vacation, let’s have a drink”! So Paul snagged us some beer and cookies and we drank up before our short flight to Barcelona.

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Our flight into Barcelona went very smoothly. We landed on time and decided to make our way to the hotel shuttle pick-up. This was actually the most confusing part of the trip because the pick-up area was across the street from the airport but no one there seemed to know this. We walked around the airport for a good hour before we finally figured it out.

 

Oh and for those of you who are saying right now "why didn't they just call the hotel" welllll, we tried:) We could not figure the pay phone out for the life of us! We are both pretty smart people and actually work in tech centered careers and we were just baffled at that phone! Thank God we finally found the right spot by talking to another person who was on their way there also.

 

We stayed at a Marriott in Barcelona as well. This Marriott was overflowing with cruise passengers. The hotel was great for getting to the cruise port by offering free shuttle service but it was difficult to get downtown so we decided to take a cab. It wasn't long until we were enjoying Sangria on the Mediterranean and walking Las Ramblas!

 

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