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Blueboss

Carnival Magic Jan. 20 Isle of Roatan, Belize and Cozumel

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This is the first review I written for CC, so bare with me. I also have a day job and may not be able to finish this in just a few days. One of the most often repeated questions, I've seen on other reviews, is what kind of camera took the pictures? The pictures in this review were taken with a Nikon D3100, with either the 18-55mm lens or 55-300mm lens and a Panasonic Lumix TS10 waterproof point and shoot.

 

This is our second cruise, the previous one was on Elation Sept. 2011. This time it was just DH and myself, celebrating 10 years together and empty nest.

 

We left our house and 12 degree temps, in Missouri, on Jan. 17th, taking two days to drive to Galveston. I'm going to start this review with our pre cruise activities in Texas. I will include information about these in case others are looking for things to do before the big day but won't get too detailed about them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I will answer them as soon as I can.

 

Now, on to the review! I have decided to write the review day by day and then follow it with pictures from that day. I took almost 2,000 pictures in 12 days (our whole trip), by using this format, I hope to keep things in order.

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We arrived in Texas City, Texas on Fri. Jan. 18th, checked into Candlewood Suites. Every room has a kitchen so you have the ability to cook your own meals if you don't feel like trying to find a restaurant or don't want to get back in the car again.

 

Saturday Jan 19th, we drove the 14 miles over to Galveston Island. Our first stop was Pelican Island and Seawolf Park ($6 parking). We watched the freighters pass through the shipping lane, on their way to inland ports. We toured the USS Cavalla Submarine and the USS Stewart Destroyer. If you like history, the $5 pp admission fee is worth it. Next, we drove to the western end of Galveston Island to Galveston Island State Park ($5 pp) to enjoy the beauty of the beach as well as pick up a few shells. After a quick lunch, we went to the Texas Seaport Museum (next to the cruise terminal) to take an hour long harbor tour ($10 pp). This was a very informative sightseeing trip. The Captain of the boat shared a wealth of history of Galveston as he talked about the sights along the way. This was also a very good way to see dolphins, we saw several on our ride. At the conclusion of the harbor tour, we walked down the pier in front of Harbor House Hotel to watch Carnival Triumph sail. We met a few Magic passengers that had the same idea as we did.

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Kitchen at Candlewood Suites.

 

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Seagull at Seawolf Park

 

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Freighter coming from the Gulf.

 

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USS Cavalla and USS Stewart

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Free ferry from Galveston to Point Bolivar. A lot of people park on the Galveston side, walk on the ferry to ride across and back. Can also see dolphins from the deck.

 

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This is a 10 story parking lot. It hauls cars and, in this case, John Deere Tractors. They drive them on and then drive them off when they get to their destination.

 

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Triumph sail away!

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Wow....you gotta love discussion forums and Cruise Critic. From arcane details of a ship, food details, drink details, questions and details about rooms........and of course great trip reports with pictures. Thanks for your report and looking forward to reading the rest!

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Thanks for the pictures. Lived in Galveston when my kids were little and spent many an afternoon at Seawolf park with them. For those who like history the public library has a floor with tons of history info, especially on the 1900 storm that killed 10,000 people. Moody Mansion is also a great stop. For those with little kids go to Moody Gardens, the kids will love it.

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Thank you for your review and great pictures. We will be on the Magic in March and can’t wait to here more about all things Magic.

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Looks like the beginning of a good review! Question for you- did Magic have internet available outside the internet cafe'... so that one could use their own devices. My daughter is close to her due date and I want to stay on top of things. Usually wouldn't bother with tech on a cruise, but it might be handy on this upcoming trip.

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Looks like the beginning of a good review! Question for you- did Magic have internet available outside the internet cafe'... so that one could use their own devices. My daughter is close to her due date and I want to stay on top of things. Usually wouldn't bother with tech on a cruise, but it might be handy on this upcoming trip.

 

Yes they did. For $39.99 you could get internet for one personal device laptop, tablet or iphone. Not sure how many minutes it was for though. DH said I was to stay unplugged this entire cruise. :(

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Sunday Jan 20th. Boarding Day!!!!!! We woke up to fog on the mainland but very little at the port. Turned on the webcam and was relieved to see Magic dock about 6 AM. We headed to the port about 10 AM, dropped off our checked bags with the porter and went over to Lighthouse Parking to park our car. We will be using them again. Easy to get in and out of, covered parking and a short shuttle ride to the terminal. We had pre booked online, got a $5 discount, be sure to print out your email confirmation to take with you. We just showed the parking attendant the email and he directed us to our parking space.

 

We had bought the Faster to the Fun pkg. and breezed right through check in. After a short wait in the terminal, we boarded the ship. My first stop was the Shore Excursion Desk to book the Behind the Fun Tour. This excursion is a tour of the ship areas passengers are not normally allowed (more about that later). It is very limited on the number of guests, so book it as soon as you get on the ship, it sells out quickly. We then went to our cabin (8293) to drop off our carry on bag and sit on the balcony for a bit. I had read on CC, that once you go with a balcony, you will always have to have one. I had the attitude that as long as I'm on a cruise, I can stay in any cabin. My DH, however, said we will always book a balcony for our future cruises! :D We decided to explore the ship a little and have lunch at the Lido Buffet. The ship is beautiful but the buffet food was nothing to write home about. That was the only complaint DH had. He could tell a difference from our last cruise. We did not go hungry, just wasn't anything to rave about. After wandering around the ship a little more, it was time for Muster Drill. I was a bit surprised with the passengers at this point. The last Muster Drill we attended was an absolute nightmare! Passengers not going to the drill and then would not shut up and listen. Both of which delayed our sailing. This time, everybody got to their stations and was dead silent during the drill. I think we got done in record time! We found a deck for sail away and watched Galveston slip behind us. We went back to our cabin, unpacked our bags, and relaxed some before going to dinner. We had late seating in the Southern Lights Dining Room. Our waiter was Eduardo and was helped by Hazel and Wipprejana (I think I spelled that right). We were seated with two other couples, that never showed up during the entire cruise, so we had a big table to ourselves. Our table was upper level of the dining room, next to the back windows, center of the ship. Not sure I want the aft dining room again, we felt a lot of movement that was rocking us to sleep. :)

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Going up the gangway!

 

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Our cabin

 

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Looking out over the terminal

 

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Samples in the bathroom

 

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Bathroom sink/counter

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Yes they did. For $39.99 you could get internet for one personal device laptop, tablet or iphone. Not sure how many minutes it was for though. DH said I was to stay unplugged this entire cruise. :(

 

Thanks for the info:)

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The awkward hairdryer!! The cord runs through the back of the drawer and you have to hold the button down, continually, for the darn thing to work! Gotta love the safety features. :rolleyes:

 

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The safe can be used by sliding a credit card or punching in a code of your own. Instructions on how to set your code are on a card left near the safe. We used a code with no issues.

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So excited to read your review. We will be on the Magic in May and I am soaking up all the info I can in the mean time. We will be taking two days to drive to Galveston as we are coming from Arizona. We are also staying in Texas City for two nights pre-cruise. Did you find it inconvienent to be in Texas City instead of Galveston? We looked into staying in Galveston but since it will be a holiday weekend everything was very pricey. We found a reasonable priced room at the Marriot, Fairfield Inn in Texas City.

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Can't remember what this dish was called. DH had it for lunch and said it was good. I'm not going to eat anything that is staring back at me!!

 

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Part of the waterworks

 

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Our door decorations

 

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Sailing past Seawolf Park. The Harbor Tour boat is in the lower left corner.

Edited by Blueboss

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Vibe Lounge on Deck 4 near the back of the ship

 

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Vibe Lounge

 

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One of the hot tubs on the side of Deck 5

 

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Magic Atrium

 

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First sunset

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Cherry on Top Candy Store.

 

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Appetizer-Chips and Salsa

 

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Appetizer-Shrimp Cocktail

 

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Main Course-Fried Chicken

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Main Course-Tilapia with mac and cheese

 

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Dessert-Creme Broulee

 

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Dessert-Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

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So excited to read your review. We will be on the Magic in May and I am soaking up all the info I can in the mean time. We will be taking two days to drive to Galveston as we are coming from Arizona. We are also staying in Texas City for two nights pre-cruise. Did you find it inconvienent to be in Texas City instead of Galveston? We looked into staying in Galveston but since it will be a holiday weekend everything was very pricey. We found a reasonable priced room at the Marriot, Fairfield Inn in Texas City.

 

It was actually very easy to get to Galveston from Texas City. Just follow highway 145 south, it will bring you into I-45 right before you cross the causeway.

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What was your approximate time of checking in and wait time to get on board? Also, how did you make your door decorations? We did this on DCL and used magnet printer sheets.

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What was your approximate time of checking in and wait time to get on board? Also, how did you make your door decorations? We did this on DCL and used magnet printer sheets.

 

We checked in around 10:30, was onboard about 45 minutes to an hour later. The door decorations are party decorations from Dollar Tree held on with sticky tack. The white sign in the middle was something I designed and printed out. The doors on Magic are not metal, or at least didn't feel like they were. The sticky tack comes right off the door and doesn't leave any residue.

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Monday Jan. 21st, Fun Day at Sea. We ordered a light breakfast from room service to be delivered between 6:30 and 7:00 AM. It was close to 7 when it was delivered. The day was overcast and still cool but we ate on our balcony anyway. The plan was to eat, wander the ship before other passengers woke up and then head to brunch. We got to the Lido and a crowd was already there! Apparently, Texans are early risers. ;) The Punchliner Brunch was something else I won't be writing home about. The food was good and it was easy to ignore the 5 minute advertising for the comedy club. We just didn't see what all the hype was about. If you are a past guest, they leave a drink coupon in your cabin to be redeemed at the brunch for a drink, wine, specialty coffee or soda. That was the first time I've ever had a margarita with sausage and eggs. Not a great combination for DH, he was off alcohol the rest of the day. We did buy the Bottomless Bubbles pkg along with the souvenir tumbler, it was worth it for us. We wandered the ship until it was time to meet up with new friends at the Red Frog Pub. I never did take any pictures there but it seemed to be a hot spot on the ship. I ordered a bucket of beer, thinking DH would help me drink them, ended up drinking them all myself. :eek: We moved up to the Lido and waited for the Hairy Chest Contest to start. It's cheesy but we had our share of chuckles from it. We explored the ship a little more, took a nap before getting dressed for the first of the two Elegant Nights. We went to the show "The Groove Line", it's not Broadway but still fun to watch and a lot of foot tapping going on. No pictures could be taken during the show. When it was over, we strolled to the dining room, stopping along the way to have our Elegant Night pictures taken. Another observation on this cruise, a lot of passengers dressed for dinner every night, not as dressed up as the Elegant Nights, but still 'night out on the town' dressed up. Our waiter, Eduardo, did tell us that Carnival had made an exception in policy for the cruises out of Galveston that allows new, starched jeans for the men on Elegant Night. Not sure if that is true or not, but everyone looked really nice. DH grew up in Texas so I understand starched jeans, shined boots and the dress hat IS dressing up to a Texan. Besides, I'd rather see a well fitting pair of Wranglers on him over a suit any day. But that's my opinion and to each his own.

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Bottomless Bubbles Tumbler

 

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Fresh Fruit from room service

 

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Bread and pastry basket at Brunch

 

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Breakfast for the cast iron stomach! Cheddar grits, sausage, spinach and cheese omelette.

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Deck 5 outside Red Frog Pub

 

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The Lanai outside Ocean Plaza Deck 5

 

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Rinse off shower next to one of the hot tubs

 

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The casino Deck 5

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Sports deck

 

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Water slide

 

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Waiting for the show to start

 

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Appetizer-Alligator Fritters

 

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Main course-Lobster Tail & Tiger Shrimp

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Loving your review so far...Great pictures! It was a pleasure to meet you guys in Roatan.

 

Nice to have met you too! Your pictures will be coming.

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Tuesday Jan. 22nd, Another Fun Day at Sea. Looked like we were going to get some sun. Checked the channel on the TV with the map and speed of the ship to see where we were at. That became a morning ritual for us. They do offer the Today Show and CNN, but we chose to ignore the real world for a week and just enjoy ourselves. We got out of the cabin a little earlier this morning and took some more pictures around the ship before a lot of other passengers got out and about. Had breakfast on Lido and spent most of the morning visiting with different passengers and taking random pictures until the ice carving started. If you have not seen this, take a few minutes to watch it. That guy was amazing and fast! After they got the ice carving mess mopped up, it was time for the Synchronized Swimming. I really didn't know what to expect, but was glad we stayed to watch. It was hilarious!! Afterward, we went to Cucina Del Capitano to try their lunch. There is no extra charge for lunch, $10 pp for dinner. A hostess gives each guest a slip of paper with all the ingredients to 'build your own pasta dish'. Doing this from memory, there was 3 choices of pasta, 3 choices of sauce, several choices for the 'add ins' such as shrimp, eggplant, broccoli, Italian sausage, etc., you can also order rolls, Caesar Salad and Lasagna. Just mark what you want, the waiter picks up the slips and brings your meal out shortly. It was very good and filling. The only downside to having lunch here is the basketball court is right overhead. If there is a game going on, it sounds like the ceiling is going to cave in on you and lights sway. A couple of times DH ducked it got so loud. Have no idea if it is the same way for dinner that you pay extra for. Might be something to ask before making reservations. That evening we went to the Punchliner Comedy Club for the family friendly show. Once again, no pictures during the show :(. The guy was funny and interacted with the audience very well. At times I was laughing so hard, I had to wipe tears. The comedian was Mike Pace. After dinner, we hung around the Lido for the Red Frog Pub Deck Party. Looked like everyone was having fun dancing and doing the Limbo.

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