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Magica 12/16-19/05 review


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I am a cruise only travel agent with 6 Princess cruises behind me. With the Magica offering such incredible rates for it’s 3-night sailing, I thought this would be a perfect time to try Costa. My husband and I drove up from Key West and parked in the Park and Fly lot for $7.50 per day. Shuttle service was prompt and by noon we were in the terminal.

I had our passports and embarkation forms in hand and as we snaked through the Disney-like line, I filled out the Bahamas form. There was a Costa agent at the end of the line directing folks to the next available ticket agent. I had completed the pre-registration on-line so the whole check-in took less that 5 minutes although the line took 15 minutes. Each female was given a long stemmed rose, which was a nice touch.

Before going up the escalator to the very large waiting area we were given a number and told to wait until our number group was called for boarding. But the waiting area was empty so we were told by another agent to continue down the hall to boarding. The photo gal was there, and then we went through one last security check before actually boarding. There were many staff members waiting at the door to direct us to the appropriate elevator. Upon exiting on deck 7, another staff member directed us to our cabin. Our personalized Costa cards were waiting for us as well as a copy of the day’s activities. It was 12:45.

I had read about registering our credit card so after unpacking a bit, we went straight away to the Salon where there was no line at all and got our credit line all arranged. Then we set out to explore the ship.

What an amazing ship! The Magica is just breath taking. The 9 story atrium with glass elevators is impressive as is the 11 layers of deck chairs by the main pool each with it’s own towel. The lighting, furniture, artwork, hall murals, and lounges are a delight for the eye. The casino was large, well laid out, and the slots were more giving than on Princess. There was no smoking in the lounges where a wide variety of music was offered for dancing. The cruise staff had an excellent variety of activities packed into this short cruise. Our cabin was well appointed and the room steward was excellent.

The theater was awesome with 13 levels of seating, which could be accessed from 3 decks helping to ease any congestion. The variety show the first night was good, the best part being an incredible laser light show. The “Magic of the Magica” the second night was excellent. The tenor on the 3rd night wasn’t to our taste so we left after 2 songs.

We had selected early dining and were placed at a table for 6 although one couple never showed up. Our service was consistently poor, slow, with a long waits between courses and dirty dishes left on the table for very long periods of time. Our waiter was friendly but seemed overwhelmed even though he only had 4 tables. Never met the maitre’de. The second night they had a Baked Alaska parade, which was clever, too bad the dessert was just ho-hum. The 3rd night was Italian night and the wait staff danced with us as well as put on quite a show. That was a lot of fun to watch.

Freeport was, well, Freeport. We took a taxi into town, walked around, went to the casino for a while, bought some souvenirs, and were back on board for an afternoon of sun by 1. In order to find a place without noise, we went far forward top deck. The Steel Drum band (which was very good), water slide, and a million kids in the pools and hot tubs just made sitting by the main pool too noisy.

The grill by the pool was popular as was the buffet, but in my opinion; the food was terrible no matter where we ate. In the dining room, the food served looked stale, like it had sat under a warmer light for many hours. Nothing was served hot, just room temperature. The salads were wilted. The iced tea was served without ice and was minted. The coffee was undrinkable. The pasta was just nasty. The desserts were tasteless. At breakfast, the eggs benedict had congealed hollandaise. The English muffins were not toasted. The breakfast pastries were disgusting. The pizza was greasy. The hamburgers were not fresh cooked but warmed over pre-frozen/cooked. The shrimp was old, spongy and smelled bad. The French onion soup had no onions in it, and one pathetic piece of bread floating in it. The waiter then sprinkled Parmesan. That’s not French onion soup folks! In fact, the only thing I ate in 3 days that was good was the fresh fruit, a freshly made omelet, and the filet minion. I could actually lose weight if I went on a Costa 7 day cruise!

The cruise ended on a disastrous and totally avoidable note. The disembarkation procedure was botched by Costa. Each guest had been given a color tag and assigned a waiting area after being told to vacate the cabin by 8am. Our color group was supposed to get off at 9:15. At 11:00 our color was finally called but when we got to the stairwell, all the stairs were packed full of angry people. So we took the elevator down only to discover a lobby crushed with people. Apparently there was only ONE person scanning the Costa cards in order to let people off! They had called color groups before the previous color group had cleared the area. People were pushing and swearing, babies were crying, feet were getting trampled and not a Costa staff person was in sight to attempt to manage or control this dangerous situation. All it would have taken was one person to fall on the stairs and there would have been serious injuries. We finally got through the crowd and were on the curb at noon, just as other passengers were arriving for their 7 night cruise.

The Magica was beautiful but based on the food, service, and disembarkation; we will choose another line in the future. It was an experience I needn’t repeat, nor will I recommend Costa to clients should my opinion be solicited.

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Thank you for your review. We have a cruise booked on Caribbean Princess, but because of the boring itinerary, we were considering Magica's cruise to Bermuda instead. Maybe boring itinerary isn't so bad after all....:p

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You see new2cruzng, everything I said was true. Looking back we should have waited but once you got in the line to get off, there was no way to get out of it. And there was no way of knowing how bad it was going to get from where the line started.


Now I understand why you were a little upset with some of the reviews. I take it you'll be sailing the Magica. I do hope things get worked out before you go. This review was right on although I didn't think the food was as bad, I just thought the buffet selections were awful.

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We Also Were On The"inaugeral" Cruise For The Magica.. I Have Read All The Reviews And My Dw Has Posted A Few Replies.. I Was Going To Post A Long Review But Most Of Every Thing That I Was Going To Say Has Already Been Said... Rest Assured Fellow Cruisers The Negative Comments Posted By The Folks On This Cruise Are About 99 Percent True..it Reminded Me Of A Chinese Fire Drill.. I Will Be Hard Pressed To Ever Book Costa Again.. We Have Cruised Abobut 15 Times And We Have Never Had Food Portions So Small.. Re: The Duck And Beef Entre. Many Other Negatives Just Too Numerous To Mention.. I Just Booked The Majesty Of The Seas Rccl A Few Moments Ago For Feb.. Have To Get The Bad Taste Out Of Our Mouths.. Good Luck To Future Magica Cruisers. Maybe They Will Get Their Act Together.. Max,the "cruise Director"was A Real Joke.. Never Heard From Him Except At The Show.oh ,by The Way ,we Missed About 1/2hour Of The Show 1st Night Due To A 2 Hour Dinner.. We Got Out Of Dining Room Around 11:00 Pm.. Dinner Service Was The Worst We Ever Have Had On A Cruise..

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Overall, our vacation was fantastic! But then the weather at home was 8 degrees so how could it not be! My glass is always half full and I am always trying to see the positive in every situation. But everything these folks are saying is unfortuantely true. I kept hoping it would get better. All the deserts seemed sugar free, the port in Ft. Lauderdale and Freeport was in the middle of an oil refinery, disembarkation was a disaster and we were the first ones off the boat! I expected to gain weight during this trip and did actually lose 2 pounds because the food was so bland and the same thing every day at the buffet. We are a very active couple that like to explore and by 10 p.m. that first night we had seen everything on the ship, so the rest of the time was a little boring. We only paid $190 pp for our inside cabin, so I can't complain too much- it was worth the price we paid. I would however, be extremely upset if we had paid more. I'm just glad we did not have our children along- there was plenty of waiting in line and plenty of rowdy bad exampled children to watch. We will never sail Costa again, and while we loved the experience of cruising, will choose a different cruiseline next time.

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Booking Majesty wont get the bad taste out of your mouth. Shes an old ship and shows it. Have heard many people on Magica who loved it....so it just depends on your tastes I guess. Im an agent and Ive never had one complaint from clients about Costa.

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My wife and I were on the Costa Magica December 16h cruise.


I thought their boarding process was efficeint and I was surpirsed at how quickly we got on board. Based on previous posts on this board I was expecting a long wait.


Our cabin was very nice. This is a beautiful ship that is easy to get around.


The staff was friendly to us always saying hello.


We thought the food was good. We didn't use the main dinning room, we always ate at the buffet. We are both vegetarians and we were pleased with the variety offered. All of the soups that we had were excellent and they always had fresh pasta.


The layout of the ship made it easy to enjoy the deck without the noise coming from the main pool area.


Magica has a very nice cigar bar that was always empty. It was a nice place to get away from all of the noise of the main lounge and casino.


The disembarkation in my view was caused by the passangers that refused to follow the rules. We waited until our group was called and we didn't have an issue with getting off. Granted it was an hour late, but that was caused by people causing a major jam by trying to leave before their group was called.

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You see new2cruzng, everything I said was true. Looking back we should have waited but once you got in the line to get off, there was no way to get out of it. And there was no way of knowing how bad it was going to get from where the line started.


Now I understand why you were a little upset with some of the reviews. I take it you'll be sailing the Magica. I do hope things get worked out before you go. This review was right on although I didn't think the food was as bad, I just thought the buffet selections were awful.


Thanks, I hope it gets worked out as well.

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I agree with everthing on the first post . The reason disembarking was so bad was because of credit card, and none payment issues. People were trying to get off the ship without paying , and were sent back up through the lines. This is something they need to fix. If they would take your credit info when you board the ship, like every other cruise line does then they would not have these issues. The food was very bad, and the service was even worse. The first night we left our table, after 2 hours because we had only been served out Apps. I could go on and on..but what is the point.



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This was our 42nd cruise always wanted to try Costa since our very first cruise was on the Italian Line in 1969 out of NYC. and I am 1/2 Italian We booked many months ago and overpaid by several hundred $. Without a doubt it was the very worst cruise we have ever taken. The cruise from hell or rug rats run amug. Did not find out until we were leaving the ship that Children went free think they brought the entire neighborhood even the adult pool was filled with kids and with Costa employees when I questioned was told they were giving lessons the hot tubs (clearly stated no one under 12) filled with pre schoolers some in training pants. They did not even have coment cards in the rooms to fill out. The dance floor after midnight more kids under 10 than adults.We are used to children on cruises for the past 20 years we have taken a cruise over the Christmas vacation and a summer cruise since Mary Jane was a teacher and we have three children but nothing was like this no control by parents or crew.


Frank and Mary Jane


Palm City, Florida

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