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Carnival Magic review, March 18-25, 2012

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We just got off the Magic on Sunday, and I'm changing a few things from my original review, now that I've got more info. The moderators can delete my first one.

This cruise was a Spring Break cruise, with very few Texans on board. So this review is probably not representative of what a typical Magic cruise would be, in some respects (chair hogs, guests attitudes, crowds). I did enjoy the cruise overall, but there are some definite complaints I have, some to do with the ship/Carnival, and many to do with the fellow guests. Even when I get negative, please remember that I mentioned that I liked the cruise overall, but things just need to be said. I’ll start with some negatives, but hang in there. The positives are coming.

 

We booked this cruise only a month ahead of time. We’ve never done a Spring Break cruise, or at any other peak times. But the price was too good to pass up, and the low price for what we got was only available for about a day. For those that don’t have Spring Break in March, just know that March is Spring Break month for much of the country, and it most certainly is for cruising. An April cruise is not a peak time. Because this was a peak time cruise, almost every single bed was filled. We had over 4600 on board. When we cruised the Dream, the Magic’s sister ship, there were 4100 & 4200. The extra 400 to 500 people on the Magic made a HUGE difference. It was more crowded. The Dream class has more of an issue here than other Carnival ships, because they have so many more 3rd/4th/5th beds than the others. I won’t get into the statistics of it right now. But simply put, a Dream class cruise at peak time is more crowded than other Carnival ships at peak time. However, a Dream class cruise not at peak time is about equally crowded to other Carnival ships not at peak time. --with the exception of Spirit class, which has a very favorable public space to guest ratio. Now, we totally understood all of this before booking this cruise. So the crowds alone did not bother us. In fact, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Buffet lines were surprisingly not long at all. I still had longer lines on the tiny Holiday & the tiny Celebration. Only the Dream and Miracle had shorter lines than the Magic, in my experiences.

 

The main problem was with chair hogs. I’ve dealt with those before, but nothing at all like this. On the Dream, I could always get a chair any time. People would pick up their towels when leaving for even 30 minutes or less, because they knew they’d find another one when they were ready to come back. On this cruise, it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. I’m guessing that very very early, a few people came out with hundreds of towels & just put towels down on every single chair. A few guards would keep watch in a chair, to turn away people, and they’d switch out, until the chairs finally started getting used around 11:00-noon. People who threw the towels to the side to take a chair would be confronted, and it could get ugly. I chose to avoid it all, and just find somewhere else to relax & get sun. I don’t want to argue with people like that while on vacation. And, no, Carnival was not enforcing any time limit rules. There was even a report from a lady that Carnival was siding with the chair hogs, saying that they knew the chair had only a towel and no person on it for hours, but they will still not remove the towel. "You should've been out here earlier and did what they did." There were just too many towels getting the sun that I was wanting.:cool:

 

I probably shouldn't even mention this next one, but I will anyway. Another problem was the preferential treatment I saw a few guests in particular getting. I’ve been on many cruises, but I don’t demand to have reserved front row seats in the theater. If I want those premium seats, I show up extra early. I don’t schmooze my way into getting reserved seats, and show up right before showtime, after hundreds of people come down, see the reserved signs, and walk away disappointed. I felt bad for those people. A few guests in particular got all kinds of special attention and special treatment. I’ve cruised with many very loyal guests, some of which are on these boards regularly. And they have never been like this.

 

I don’t like what they’re doing around the main pool now. It used to be calypso music. Whether it’s one guy or 2 or 3 people, it’s always been Caribbean style music. They play some music & sing, with tracks to back up their music. I don’t need a whole 4, 6, or 8 person band, like some people on these boards recall having. But that Caribbean style music really puts you in the cruising mood. But for the Magic, it’s just a DJ playing popular music. I do like that we get to do the Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, and other dances like that more often, and at random times out there. However, the music is usually just today’s popular songs, not calypso music. And they play the same ones over and over. It just doesn’t give you that cruising feel out there. I don’t know who came up with that horrible idea, but I pray that this stays on the Magic only and doesn’t make it’s way onto any other ship.

 

The ship does seem to have some motion problems, by comparison to the Dream. The Dream handled some rough waters pretty well in our experience. On this cruise, we ran into some very tiny tiny tiny tiny waves. And we would hear crashes and booms all over the ship, constantly. We were told that it was the tiny waves causing that. It happened on the days heading to the port, but not coming back. It’s almost as if the ship wasn’t put together right. It may not be that the ship struggles with rough waters, but more of a problem with how the ship was built.

 

Carnival can’t ever seem to get the beds right. I guess they just do the opposite of whatever you tell them online. We requested 2 separate beds on there, and it was one bed when we arrived. We requested for them to be separated, which they did. The paper that our room steward got said that my mom & I were a couple. I’ve heard that actual couples seem to always get the 2 separate beds. I don’t know why they even allow us to choose one or the other, if they’re just going to switch it on us anyway. We were also put at a table for 2 in the dining room…again! People who are couples would like this table. They need to stop putting my mom & I at it. We were able to get that changed too, and starting on the 2nd day, we were at a big table with other people.

 

Embarkation was as smooth as can be. We were on board before 11:00. Self-assist debarkation was a bit of a mess. It’s been worse before, but it’s crazy that the Dream can get people off so quickly while the Magic has people jammed up on deck 3 & the stairways. It took awhile to get off once we got down to deck 3. On the Dream, we walked right up, only stopping to scan our cards. Here, there was a very long line. Part of the problem was that they didn’t do self-assist by decks. They simply called for everybody, all at once. A bigger problem was that the people weren’t doing what they were told. They went down to deck 3 long before they were supposed to. Huge crowds were there, despite the announcements to not come down there yet. I just don’t understand people sometimes. The cruiselines know the best way for it to be done. If we follow their directions instead of deliberately disobeying, we will all be better off. Everyone will walk right off the ship without having to stop, piece of cake.

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Okay. Now onto some good stuff. I like to start off with the bad so we can work our way up. The ropes course is a very nice addition. I did this right when we got on board. It was closed the first 2 sea days, because of the winds. I did it again on the Jamaica day (our ship-to-ourselves day). It’s a lot of fun. I’m scared of heights, and I don’t always trust my instincts, but I still gave it a shot, and I loved it. The mini golf was fun. It’s 9 holes.

 

The waterslides are a little different than the Dream’s. The Dream’s waterslides are more bumpy. They’ll leave red marks on your back. The Magic’s can too, but it’s not quite as bumpy. Both ships have Twister & Drainpipe. The Dream’s Drainpipe is sharper & faster, and it allows you to spin around the bowl more than the Magic’s. I like the Dream’s Drainpipe much better. The Twister on the Magic is much different, and it leads to more of a figure 8 pattern, which is a pattern that allows you to really pick up a lot of speed. The Dream’s Twister makes many strange turns, not nearly as good of a pattern. I was flying down the Magic’s Twister. The Magic wins with that one. The Dream has 2 small racing slides, about one story high. Magic doesn’t. Magic instead has a big structure off the side of the slides, that you can climb up to different levels and squirt people with water. There is a drencher that periodically tips over and soaks anyone below. You can go up the steps in this whole structure to reach the waterslide lines, or you can go up the steps along the sides of the ship. I would go up the structure, because I knew the kids got a kick out of squirting me as I made my way up. I liked this structure. Magic wins here. So, overall, their waterpark is better than Dream’s. But both are so much fun! Great for the kids and the big kids like me.

 

I liked the food overall. There have been some cutbacks on the menu, as has been reported by others. Other cruiselines are getting the same kind of reports though. The food was still good. I’m a picky eater, but I’m not a “foodie”. I’m not that hard to please. I’ve always enjoyed Carnival’s pizza, but the pizza on Magic was not good. I really enjoyed the lanai BBQ. I ate there twice. Neither time had a very long line. The buffet lines were never very long, which shocked me. With over 4600 guests, I could still be grabbing a plate immediately to get food, even when eating at a peak time. At breakfast, there would sometimes be nobody in one of the buffet lines at all. You could walk right up and immediately get anything. The last sea day, with the chocolate buffet taking up one side of the buffet, had longer lines, as expected.

I mentioned the switch we made to our dining room table. We had a great wait staff at where we were the last 6 nights. They worked so fast too! I couldn't believe how quickly they would get our food to us. We've gotten used to being in the dining room from 6:00-7:50. On this cruise, we were finishing dessert at about 7:15 or earlier. The showtime, where the waiters would sing & dance, was taking place around 7:10, instead of 7:40 on our other recent cruises. The ship seems to be much better & quicker. In the aft dining room, the maitre 'd would sing for us a few times during the week, which was always enjoyable. He's got a great voice. And of course, I love it when the waiters sing & dance. I got up and danced with them.

 

We were very unfortunate on this cruise when it came to the CD and part of the entertainment. We were supposed to have John Heald as our CD, but he got called away, as he usually does. Then, we were supposed to have Butch as our CD, as he was scheduled to come on duty with our cruise. Those are considered the 2 best CDs that Carnival has, although some would certainly argue that. We had Butch ripped away from us on our last cruise in November, and now it happened again. This time, we didn’t find out until we were on board and saw that our CD was James Charlton. He was alright. Not bad, nothing great. We also missed out on the band, Blood Power. I had them on Elation, and they are spectacular!!! They’re on vacation. So we had a substitute band, that was not good at all. They rarely had more than 10 people there listening to them. I felt sorry for them, but they just weren’t good. Having nothing going on at all in that venue would’ve drawn more of a crowd. Their name was Music Society. The piano bar guy was good, Imani. His voice was good enough, and he actually would play songs. Some piano bar guys get distracted, and wind up chatting for 10 minutes between songs. This guy would play songs. A guitarist & singer, named Will Marion, played in the Red Frog Pub, the atrium, the piano bar, the lido deck. He was at different places every day. He was very good. The comedians were good, especially Mutzie. I didn't catch Just June. I caught one each of Cowboy Bill Martin & Percy Crews' adult comedy shows. Bill's was raunchy, with tons of profanity, but if you like that style, he was good. Percy was light on the profanity, which I prefer, and very witty.

 

In the theater, there was a dead night once again. At least it fell on a night with comedians and the deck party, so there was actually stuff going on, unlike the Miracle, which had the whole ship shut down on the dead night. The best show of the week was certainly the magic show, Destination: Unknown, with Jason Byrne. My mom isn’t into illusions, but I totally love these kind of shows. Having only been to a few in my life, I can’t adequately judge the quality and execution of the tricks, but I did really enjoy them. The singers & dancers play a big part of this show, which really added to it. The magician did not speak in the show, but it worked the way they put it all together. Don’t miss this show! My 2nd favorite show was actually the comedy juggler, Marcus Monroe. I saw him on the Miracle too. He is really good, and very funny! The humor is kind of dry & subtle, just the way I like it. He had us rolling in the aisles, at least those of us who can appreciate this kind of humor. We got to see the new Legends Show, which I think is much better than the old one. There are some of the same ones with the same songs, but some needed deletions and additions. I don’t like the new Welcome Aboard Show as much. The old songs that the singers & dancers did here were better. The other 2 song & dance, production shows were not that good. These are usually my favorite shows, and often the highlights of my cruises. The 2 they did this week were not that good. The singers & dancers were certainly great. But the shows were just odd. The songs & themes were very obscure, & not nearly as entertaining as I’ve seen on all my other cruises. So a little bit of a mixed entertainment report from me.

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We got a spa interior room on deck 11. It’s a great location for daytime stuff, but an inconvenient location for nighttime entertainment, getting off & back on in ports, and for debarkation. The spa part of it was nice. The therapy pool was great. I really enjoyed the sauna-like rooms. There were 4 different kinds of rooms. Two were very hot. One was a little hot. The other was warm. They had different scents in the rooms, and 3 of the rooms overlooked the ocean, although you could barely see out the hot room that had the view. The shower for rinsing off was really nice. This was all included with having a spa room. Day passes and weekly passes can be purchased by others, but those are limited. So it will not get crowded in there, unless everyone goes at the same time. We didn’t partake of the free classes that came with our room. The pool & those 4 rooms are the main things, and those were nice. They were great to have, for getting away from chair hogs & get some great relaxation. For me, it would refresh me, so that I could return to watersliding!

 

I brought a tape measurer, so that I could measure our interior room. I’ve always told people than interior rooms on these larger ships are much smaller than the indoors part of a balcony, even though Carnival claims them both to be 185 sq.ft. I just knew this couldn’t be true. I’ve had a regular interior on Dream & Valor. We had a 195 sq.ft. room (indoors) on Conquest, plus a 185 sq.ft. French Door room on Miracle (I measured that), and we had what turned out to be a true 185 sq.ft. 1A porthole room. All 3 of those were much larger than the regular interiors we had. Or, could it be that our perception was deceiving us? I finally got a chance to measure and find out. Perception was absolutely not deceiving. Our regular interior room (category 4 spa interior, with 2 regular beds), was only 150 sq.ft. This room is listed as being 185 sq.ft. I don’t know why Carnival doesn’t just report the size of rooms accurately. Trying to boost those stats, to make it seem like they have larger interiors than other cruiselines’ interiors, is not cool. My mom thinks that our other 2 regular interiors (Dream & Valor) may have been slightly longer. I don’t think so, but she thinks it’s possible. If so, it can’t be by much more than a foot, which would make those 160 sq.ft. So from now on, when I talk about room sizes on these boards, I will report that the regular interiors on Carnival ships (except Fantasy class) are 150-160 sq.ft, and not the 185 that they claim. I’m also doubting the Fantasy classes universal 185 sq.ft. room claims for all their regular rooms. But since I’ve only been in a 1A & GS on those, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. A 150 sq.ft. room is still enough space for 2 people. For 3, it can still work out alright. 4 could get cramped. A true 185 sq.ft. room (like the indoors of a balcony) or a 220-230 sq.ft. oceanview room would work better if you’ve got 4 people.

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This cruise wasn't much about the ports for us, since we've done them before.

 

Jamaica: we stayed on the ship. It was nice to have the ship to ourselves, and be able to do whatever we wanted. I rode the slides a few million times, did the ropes course, and just had a nice relaxing ship day. One couple reported to us that they stopped selling the hop-on-hop-off shuttle tickets at the port, because they had sold too many. That's what can take you to Doctors Cave Beach and other places. So I'm glad we decided not to do that, and just stay on the ship.

 

Grand Cayman: we took the bus out to 7-Mile Beach, at the Royal Palms. The bus is very difficult to find, so I recommend spending the extra couple bucks to take the cab. At the Royal Palms, they were already out of umbrellas, and they had very few set up. That wasn't a good thing. We were able to get chairs under the trees, for some shade. I did some snorkeling out there, and saw some fish. It didn't seem to be as many fish as when we were here 3 years ago. But it was still a very nice day, with beautiful waters & a beautiful beach. We took a cab back, after trying to flag down a bus. All buses that passed were full, so again I recommend taking the cab. We were very lucky to be on the Magic here. The RCCL Freedom of the Seas had a monstrously long line to get back on the tenders. The line was wrapping all around the entire port area. I hate to think of how long they had to wait there. We walked right onto a tender, no problem at all.

 

Cozumel: We took a cab out to Paradise Beach. This is such a great place!!! $2 for a beach chair, free admission. The water toys have changed since a year and a half ago. No more iceburg, one more slide. I climbed on them, and I did the kayak, which was included in the $12 wristband for water toys. If you don't do the wristband, they do expect you to spend $10 or more on food/drink, which my mom did. They had good nachos. The workers there are so friendly. They just do everything the right way here! The new pool is very nice. I did some snorkeling at the end of the pier that is right there, where there are TONS of fish. I even chased a stingray as he was swimming away, and I found another stingray hiding out at the bottom. I had a great time at this beach, so much more fun than any Carnival excursion, and for much much cheaper. There were 6 ships (at least) and over 25000 cruise guests in port today!!! One of the most crowded days that they could possibly have. Paradise Beach was starting to get a bit crowded. Late-comers could not get chairs next to each other, because the ones left were scattered throughout. It never felt overwhelmingly crowded to me though. The water toys never were overwhelmed with people, and kayaks seemed to always be available. It was a great day. At the port, the Conquest had a monstrously long line to get back on the ship. Again, for us on the Magic, we had almost no line, and got right back on. It was a really great view seeing the Conquest and their littly bitty waterslide from our ship, as we were docked right next to each other.

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I've never seen any group being given preferential seating in the show lounge. Did you inquire of a Carnival rep if this was legitimate? Sounds more like some family got clever, made up some reserve signs hoping that nobody would challenge them and apparently it worked.

 

There is specific language in the Fun Times regarding no seat saving, so it would surprise me to find out that this was sanctioned by Carnival.

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Love the review! We will be on the magic in Jan and we have kids so my thoughts are paradise beach in cozumel also! Thanks for the info

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I've never seen any group being given preferential seating in the show lounge. Did you inquire of a Carnival rep if this was legitimate? Sounds more like some family got clever, made up some reserve signs hoping that nobody would challenge them and apparently it worked.

 

There is specific language in the Fun Times regarding no seat saving, so it would surprise me to find out that this was sanctioned by Carnival.

I am k2excursion's Mom. I have never saw preferential treatment in the show lounge before, but this time it did happen. This man was milestone. We didn't have to inquire if it was legitimate since he seemed to know most of the crew. They were always hugging. One night he came to his reserved seat from backstage. They talked to him (calling him by name) from the stage.

One night they didn't put the reserved seat sign out and they were not happy about it. When they claimed the seats were supposed to be reserved for them, one man gave up his seat for them. Now it wasn't a group, just a man and his wife. The next night the reserved seat sign was there. He apparently has sailed from Galveston many times before. The crew mentioned that he had sailed with them on the transatlantic cruise.

Sharon

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We were on the same cruise and I totally agree with what you had to say in your review. The chair hogs were right down crazy!!! My friend thought someone was leaving and she tried to get that chair only to be told that she should have gotten up earlier if she wanted a chair! Very rude rude people!

I really liked the ship but will never cruise on a spring break again.

We also went to paradise beach! That sure is a beautiful place and I will visit it again someday!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Spring break is always a nightmare, we weren't on a cruise but we had gone to Wendover, Nevada and I didn't think about spring break when I booked it..I won't make that mistake again. Way too many drunk obnoxious kids.

 

We were on the Magic for the 1st. sailing out of Galveston and had a good time. There were a few issues, but I decided a lot of it had to do with so many new crew members that had just came aboard in Galveston. They will get those problems worked out.

 

I too have never seen "reserved" seats in the show room. Maybe the Milestone cruisers do have some extra perks. After that many sailings, they should be entitled to a good seat in the show room. I have no problem with that.

 

Like you said, there were a few "bumps" but we enjoyed our cruise. I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of motion on the Magic when the seas were not very rough. I just figured they weren't using the stabilizers.

 

Doug

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Love love love your review! It's honest and straight to the point. We can not wait to sail on Magic in May.

We also sailed on the dream and was very surprised that it didn't seem as crowded with so many people on board.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We were on the cruise right before you and a group had the last 2 seats reserved with signs. It was Austism of the Seas and it didnt bother me one bit that they had a few rows reserved because of the sensitive issue some of the kids may have with loud noises and needing to leave the showroom in the middle of the show. Several nights not many were seated there and an adult always came over to those standing and offered them seats. No biggie. We had heard about a gentleman that had just boarded his 100th cruise on another ship. Perhaps this was the guy with reserved front row seating? We loved the Magic and all the newness of it! Sailing her again in Dec. Thanks for your review!

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Spring break is always a nightmare, we weren't on a cruise but we had gone to Wendover, Nevada and I didn't think about spring break when I booked it..I won't make that mistake again. Way too many drunk obnoxious kids.

 

We were on the Magic for the 1st. sailing out of Galveston and had a good time. There were a few issues, but I decided a lot of it had to do with so many new crew members that had just came aboard in Galveston. They will get those problems worked out.

 

I too have never seen "reserved" seats in the show room. Maybe the Milestone cruisers do have some extra perks. After that many sailings, they should be entitled to a good seat in the show room. I have no problem with that.

 

Like you said, there were a few "bumps" but we enjoyed our cruise. I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of motion on the Magic when the seas were not very rough. I just figured they weren't using the stabilizers.

 

Doug

 

Sorry but I just had to say that it really cracked me up that you went to Wendover for springbreak. I have family that lives there and nobody goes there on purpose.

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Sorry but I just had to say that it really cracked me up that you went to Wendover for springbreak. I have family that lives there and nobody goes there on purpose.

 

Free trip...

 

Doug

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This was arriving at the port in Galveston. Here was the best shot I got of the ship the whole cruise, since we were ported behind other ships, or with the nose of the ship facing us in Grand Cayman.

 

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I do like how they changed the pool area, from the Dream to the Magic. You can sit in shallow waters along the sides of the pool. The pool never seemed to get very crowded the whole week, despite it being such a full ship.

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And, of course, my favorite: the waterslides

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And here's the ropes course, with mini golf, among other things, below.

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This is a spa interior room on deck 11, and is actually 150 sq.ft, but it is listed at 185 sq.ft. Don't believe the generic 185 that Carnival likes to throw out for most of their rooms.

 

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All Cloud 9 spa rooms, even the interiors, allow you access to the 4 special sauna-like rooms & the mineral pool. These were very nice, and worth the little bit extra we paid for this room. I don't have pictures of the 2 hot rooms, as those are very steamy. The rooms varied with the temperature and the scent.

 

This room is the least hot of the 4. The room with the inbetween temperature, which was my favorite, is through the door to the left.

 

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This is the same room, looking the other way. The shower, where you can rinse off, is off to the right. Straight ahead is the door to one of the hot rooms.

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This is my favorite. This room is warmer, but not as hot as the other 2. The door to the other really hot room is straight ahead.

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And here is the therapy pool, with mineral water, that we hear so much about.

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And here is another room, right outside these special rooms and therapy pool. Our room key got us into those places, but no key was needed to get into this room. They also use this room for people who just received spa treatment. They have lemon water, and you can make a cup of tea.

It overlooks the front of the ship.

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Edited by k2excursion

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The waterslides: the Twister and the Drainpipe:

 

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The main pool area:

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The aft pool area:

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The aft pool:

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Here's the lanai. As you can see, decks 6 & 7 balconies don't really have privacy, nor a very clear view of the water.

 

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From the lanai:

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Here are some pics while we were docked in Jamaica, along with the Conquest, during our awesome ship-to-ourselves day. This first one is taken from the waterslide entrances, way up at about 5280 feet above sea level.

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For those who have sailed the Dream, there are some big differences that may not be visually noticeable, but they will make a difference. The Magic's spa is smaller, plus the therapy pool on the Magic can be seen from the serenity area, looking through the windows. The Dream's therapy pool is more private. The Magic's serenity area is only on one deck, while the Dream has that, plus a small part of a 2nd deck.

On the Dream, the steakhouse is on deck 12 in the aft. On the Magic, the deck 12 aft is the basketball court. The Dream has a basketball court, on deck 14 aft. On the Magic, deck 14 aft doesn't exist. So the Magic took away space that the Dream had. Even though the basketball court on the Dream is above the steakhouse, they should have the court shut down by dinner time. I thought something seemed very different at the aft on the Magic. So where is the Magic's steakhouse? Down on deck 5 aft. Where the Jazz Lounge is on the Dream. So all these differences have added up to less public space on the Magic, and one less entertainment venue on the Magic. Oh, and the steakhouse on the Magic takes up much more space the Jazz Lounge on the Dream, cutting into the lounge where they do the comedy club. That means that the Magic's comedy club lounge is quite a bit smaller than the Dream's, and that was extremely noticeable, as that lounge would get stuffed with people very quickly. Unfortunately, the Breeze is following the Magic with these things instead of the Dream.

There are 2 fewer hot tubs on the Magic. Dream has hot tubs on deck 11, right at midship, on both sides of the ship, that are always utilized. On the Magic, there is nothing there. Fail! Breeze too. Fail!

The dance club on the Magic is set up very different than the Dream or Conquest/Triumph classes. The set up on Magic is not very inviting for people to dance, however, plenty of people were dancing in there all week long. You're pretty much on the dance floor once you walk in, and most people have to pass on the dance floor to go in or out. It's weird.

The Red Frog Pub is alright. I'm not a drinker, nor was I ever so hungry that I needed to buy their food, so I can't comment on those things. It's in the place of the Dream's art gallery, so that's no big loss (to me).

So basically, I'm not really a fan of many of the changes from the Dream to the Magic. However, I do like Magic's waterpark more, and the addition of the ropes course is nice. I think that for most people, I would recommend the Dream over the Magic, if they were torn between the two. However, the Magic is still a great ship, and I would certainly be willing to sail her again. I would just be smarter and not book it at a peak time (March, holidays, summers). I wouldn't recommend the Dream during those times either, but I highly recommend the Dream at non-peak times.

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My family (wife, 3 kids, and mother-in-law) are going on the April 29-May 6th Magic Cruise. My wife and I want to make reservations for the Steakhouse on one of the nights but I don't want to accidentally book it for the same night as the formal night. Do you know which night it is or how I can find out? We were thinking of booking for the second night (when at sea) but I wouldn't be surprised if that IS formal night. Thanks... I really enjoyed your review!

 

Cheers!

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My family (wife, 3 kids, and mother-in-law) are going on the April 29-May 6th Magic Cruise. My wife and I want to make reservations for the Steakhouse on one of the nights but I don't want to accidentally book it for the same night as the formal night. Do you know which night it is or how I can find out? We were thinking of booking for the second night (when at sea) but I wouldn't be surprised if that IS formal night. Thanks... I really enjoyed your review!

 

Cheers!

Elegant nights were (Monday) the first sea day and Thursday (Grand Cayman). So the night of the second sea day (Tuesday) should work for the Steakhouse.

Sharon

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Yes, the 2nd night (Monday) is the elegant night with the lobster on almost all Carnival cruises. It has been for all 11 of mine. The 2nd elegant night doesn't have nearly as good of a menu though, for my tastes.

 

This is from Grand Cayman. As I mentioned, we just took the bus to 7-Mile Beach. I recommend spending a couple extra bucks for the cab, because it's so much more convenient. The Royal Palms stop seems to be a good location, but they are very very limited on umbrellas. The water and sand are so pretty here, and there's good snorkeling right off the beach, but I do remember it being better 3 years ago.

 

In this pic, the back of the Magic is barely peaking out from the trees on the far left side.

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Now, we're back on board the ship. As I mentioned before, when we were getting on the tenders to get back on the ship, the tender was already there, loading people, and we got on that one. Practically no wait. Meanwhile, the other ships had waits. And the RCCL Freedom of the Seas has a monstrously long line that was wrapping all around the port area many times. I'm serious! That line was so long, you'd think it would take 8 hours to get just those people back on the ship. I don't know how they made it in time, and there were certainly many more people that would be joining their line. Our ship had more guests than any other, and we had the shortest line. Pretty awesome! Here is the Freedom of the Seas, with the Carnival Conquest behind it. That tender boat needs to hurry, as there are several hundred people in line.

 

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This is after we pulled away, with the Conquest following right behind us, as we both head for Cozumel.

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Edited by k2excursion

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Great review. Love the pictures!

 

Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

 

Thank you.

 

Here are some pics I took with our underwater camera while snorkeling in Grand Cayman:

 

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As I mentioned, we took a cab to Paradise Beach in Cozumel. 2nd time we've come here. Free admission, $2 beach chairs, $12 wristband for the water toys. And if you don't get the wristband, they expect you to spend $10 on food/drinks. Despite many reports on these boards, this beach doesn't seem to get that overly crowded. Maybe too much for some peoples' tastes. This day had about 25,000 cruise guests on the island (about as high as it gets), so the beach was running out of beach chairs, but the water toys never got overrun with people, nor did it feel that crowded on the beach. I loved our day at this beach; I didn't want to leave. It was getting pretty empty by the time we did leave, at around 3:15.

 

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The water toys have changed since Nov 2010. No more iceburg.

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Some pics from along the pier

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Next door, down a little ways, is Playa Mia. This is where the Carnival-sponsored beach break is. That excursion is very expensive, especially compared to coming to Paradise Beach. And they have also removed their iceburg.

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There was alot of seaweed on this day, for some reason

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From the pool area. The pool is pretty new. It wasn't there in Nov 2010.

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Here's the pool:

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Docked right next to the Conquest. It's cool to see how tiny their waterslide looks, right next to ours. Some people on our ship actually knew people, from back home, on the Conquest, and they were calling to each other.

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Excellent review! We will be sailing the Magic in December and cannot wait. Thank you for all the pics and detailed review!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Finally someone posting pics of the Spa Interior. Love it!!!! Enjoyed your review. We will be on her in September and it will be our first Interior room ever. Can't wait.:D

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There actually is some great snorkeling around the end of the pier at Paradise Beach. Tons of fish gather around there. Here's a video of me chasing a stingray that I found out there. He wound up getting away:

 

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I am k2excursion's Mom. I have never saw preferential treatment in the show lounge before, but this time it did happen. This man was milestone. We didn't have to inquire if it was legitimate since he seemed to know most of the crew. They were always hugging. One night he came to his reserved seat from backstage. They talked to him (calling him by name) from the stage.

 

One night they didn't put the reserved seat sign out and they were not happy about it. When they claimed the seats were supposed to be reserved for them, one man gave up his seat for them. Now it wasn't a group, just a man and his wife. The next night the reserved seat sign was there. He apparently has sailed from Galveston many times before. The crew mentioned that he had sailed with them on the transatlantic cruise.

 

Sharon

 

 

I am milestone and have never been offered reserved seating or would I want this to start happening. I think seating should be first come first serve. I do believe that some people like to feel they are superior to others. I know RCCL does this and most of the people who are able to sit there do not. But there are a few that push their way through to get to "their" seats.:rolleyes:

 

It is already bad enough with the chair hogs by the pool could you even imagine if that started happening in the theater also.

 

I was on the first cruise on the Magic out of Galveston and had a great time.

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Here again is my video of the stingray that I was chasing:

 

I've got pics of this same stingray in these:

 

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Here he is:

 

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This was a different stingray. He didn't move very much:

 

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This cruise wasn't much about the ports for us, since we've done them before.

 

Jamaica: we stayed on the ship. It was nice to have the ship to ourselves, and be able to do whatever we wanted. I rode the slides a few million times, did the ropes course, and just had a nice relaxing ship day. One couple reported to us that they stopped selling the hop-on-hop-off shuttle tickets at the port, because they had sold too many. That's what can take you to Doctors Cave Beach and other places. So I'm glad we decided not to do that, and just stay on the ship.

 

Grand Cayman: we took the bus out to 7-Mile Beach, at the Royal Palms. The bus is very difficult to find, so I recommend spending the extra couple bucks to take the cab. At the Royal Palms, they were already out of umbrellas, and they had very few set up. That wasn't a good thing. We were able to get chairs under the trees, for some shade. I did some snorkeling out there, and saw some fish. It didn't seem to be as many fish as when we were here 3 years ago. But it was still a very nice day, with beautiful waters & a beautiful beach. We took a cab back, after trying to flag down a bus. All buses that passed were full, so again I recommend taking the cab. We were very lucky to be on the Magic here. The RCCL Freedom of the Seas had a monstrously long line to get back on the tenders. The line was wrapping all around the entire port area. I hate to think of how long they had to wait there. We walked right onto a tender, no problem at all.

 

Cozumel: We took a cab out to Paradise Beach. This is such a great place!!! $2 for a beach chair, free admission. The water toys have changed since a year and a half ago. No more iceburg, one more slide. I climbed on them, and I did the kayak, which was included in the $12 wristband for water toys. If you don't do the wristband, they do expect you to spend $10 or more on food/drink, which my mom did. They had good nachos. The workers there are so friendly. They just do everything the right way here! The new pool is very nice. I did some snorkeling at the end of the pier that is right there, where there are TONS of fish. I even chased a stingray as he was swimming away, and I found another stingray hiding out at the bottom. I had a great time at this beach, so much more fun than any Carnival excursion, and for much much cheaper. There were 6 ships (at least) and over 25000 cruise guests in port today!!! One of the most crowded days that they could possibly have. Paradise Beach was starting to get a bit crowded. Late-comers could not get chairs next to each other, because the ones left were scattered throughout. It never felt overwhelmingly crowded to me though. The water toys never were overwhelmed with people, and kayaks seemed to always be available. It was a great day. At the port, the Conquest had a monstrously long line to get back on the ship. Again, for us on the Magic, we had almost no line, and got right back on. It was a really great view seeing the Conquest and their littly bitty waterslide from our ship, as we were docked right next to each other.

 

Can you please tell me which port she docked at in Cozumel?

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Can you please tell me which port she docked at in Cozumel?

 

Sorry. I haven't checked my review in awhile. We docked at Puerta Maya, which is the most southern pier, and is one that Carnival created. Not all Carnival ships dock here though. If there are more than 2 Carnival ships, one will likely be at the International pier, which I was at when I sailed the Holiday. It would be nice for Carnival to dock at the downtown pier when it's available, but they haven't in my experience.

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We also missed out on the band, Blood Power. I had them on Elation, and they are spectacular!!! ...In the theater, there was a dead night once again. ...

 

Thanks for the review, we love it as we're cruising Magic in August. Any idea when (if) blood power will be back? We loved them when they were on the Conquest.

 

Are the dead nights now part of the regular itenerary or did something happen?

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