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Moonstruck705

Carnival Magic May 26, 2018 Eastern Caribbean - Review

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The Who: DH (age 30), baby brother (age 28), my parents in-law, and me (age 30).

 

The Where: 7 day Eastern Caribbean aboard the Carnival Magic (Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Grand Turk)

 

Cabin: Ocean Suite 7355

The in-laws enjoyed an aft balcony on Deck 6.

 

Dining: Your Time in the Northern Lights

 

 

Overall? I would love to sail on the Magic again.

 

Embarkation was smooth! We arrived at port around 10:30 and were on board by 11:30. Our suite was ready for us when we arrived on the ship. I’ve read others have had different experiences with suites being available at embark, but everyone at port indicated such to us. We were thrilled!

 

We booked a suite because my brother joined us and we wanted the extra space with three people. I hope to sail in a suite again, although for only two people it is hard to justify the expense, to me. We loved the bigger balcony. The tub was so-so...I’d prefer a regular shower.

 

My in-laws were not pleased with the aft, and we agreed it was not ideal. My MIL uses a scooter and it was a long “commute” to the aft. More than that, though, the price you pay for aft gets you very little extra space. There’s not much shade in the back of the ship. Also, it’s difficult to see the ports when you’re headed into a new spot. DH and I are canceling our aft balconies for Christmas/NYE after seeing theirs. Would not recommend.

 

The Magic is an awesome ship. Red Frog Brewery is so cool, as are Guys and Blue Iguana (seriously, get a breakfast burrito!). I loved the Alchemy Bar.

 

Ketut and his team served us dinner every night, and he also worked in the Tides bar during the day. We loved him. He learned our ordering habits and took superb care of us. I highly recommend his team to future dining guests.

 

Our CD was “cousin” Cookie. He annoyed me, at first, but by the end I was a believer. He made me laugh and also showed great compassion during a few on-board medical emergencies. Impressive. I watched a few of his shows in the atrium and just loved them.

 

The spa was beautiful. We enjoyed a spa pass, although with such a busy itinerary, we didn’t use it as much as I’d like. It was my fave spa (compared to Dream & Splendor).

 

Steakhouse dinner

On our fourth night we hit the steakhouse. Having dined on other ships with excellent service, the Magic was a bit of a let-down. This steakhouse is small and the servers seemed very awkward. We were rushed at times, and then neglected. The new menu is fun, though. The chocolate sphere was pretty gross - a puddle of chocolate. My in-laws did the art dessert and that was very fun!

 

Cheers!

We opted in. It was my bro’s first cruise so he wanted to sample everything. We definitely got our money’s worth.

 

Casino — seemed small-ish to me. Not sure if that’s the case. I prefer the Dream or Splendor casino.

 

Ports:

Amber Cove - DH and I did a resort VIP excursion last time at this port, so we decided this time we would stay in port and have a pool day :) It was very relaxing.

 

St. Thomas - we headed to Sapphire Beach while the in-laws stayed in port and shopped. We booked through Carnival and that was a MISTAKE. The transportation getting to the beach was absolutely insane, driving way too fast over mountain roads and hitting debris. The beach itself was beautiful; I recommend water shoes. We found our own cab back to port and ate the cost. That was fun, though, because they took us through Charlotte Amalie and we saw more of the island.

 

San Juan - my fave port of the trip. The entire fam took a taxi to Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Magical. There’s a small cost ($7 pp) to enter the fort and look around. Then we walked to Barrachina, home of the pina colasa, for food and cocktails.

 

Grand Turk - this was my fave port on my last cruise but I was bummed this time. We arrived in port in the early afternoon so the beach and pool were very crowded. The pool area has limited seating; areas were designated “reserved” and subject to a $35 charge for two chairs. We wandered for a bit but couldn’t find anywhere to settle in and just went back to the ship. Any tips are appreciated! Upside: Horizon was in port with us and it was exciting to see the new ship.

 

I’m happy to answer Magic questions. :)

 

 

 

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Grand Turk - this was my fave port on my last cruise but I was bummed this time. We arrived in port in the early afternoon so the beach and pool were very crowded. The pool area has limited seating; areas were designated “reserved” and subject to a $35 charge for two chairs. We wandered for a bit but couldn’t find anywhere to settle in and just went back to the ship. Any tips are appreciated! Upside: Horizon was in port with us and it was exciting to see the new ship.

 

 

Next time get away from the 329872394 people at the cruise terminal and go down to Jack's Shack or even further to Governor's Beach. GT will become your new favorite port if so. :)

 

Good review, we disembarked the Magic the day you embarked. I told my wife as we were at our hotel in Orlando, "someone right now is enjoying a Guy's burger like we were yesterday" and that must've been you. :)

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Hey, thanks for the great review! My cruise is coming up in two weeks, and it sounds like we have a lot in common. It's my husband and I, we're both 32, and his parents (my inlaws). We have a lot of the same plans as you- pool day at Amber Cove and hopefully a beach day at Grand Turk, but I will keep this in mind. We like the Margaritaville area more than Jack's Shack personally, but if it's packed on the beach I'd walk down there or just stay on board.

 

Any particular reason why you hit the steakhouse on Night 4? We're trying to find a good night to go- obviously not Night 2 (Formal night). Just wondering when the best and worst menus are so we can pick.

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That’s good to know your room was ready before 1:30. We’re in an ocean suite for the first time in September and I was debating on trying to get FTTF but I guess we don’t need it!

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That’s good to know your room was ready before 1:30. We’re in an ocean suite for the first time in September and I was debating on trying to get FTTF but I guess we don’t need it!

 

Keep in mind that there's more to FTTF than just early embarkation and your room being ready. Also keep in mind your room being ready is NOT a perk of having a suite. I think the OP just got lucky on this sailing but technically early embarkation is the only perk you get of having a suite, aside from the suite itself and getting to pay extra in gratuities.

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Teknoge3k: I ate so many Guy’s burgers I am ashamed to admit the number! Ha :) My first ship with Guy’s ... such a treat!

 

The menu that night was a factor in our selection of Steakhouse night 4. I will say that the next night we weren’t thrilled about dinner in MDR and it ended up being my fave meal (except lobster) - portobellos with spinach and butternut squash.

 

I have done FTTF before, esp if cruise has tender ports. We didn’t this time and expected to wait. We probably did just get lucky :)

 

 

 

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Thanx for the review this just gets me hype for my upcoming August departure

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That’s good to know your room was ready before 1:30. We’re in an ocean suite for the first time in September and I was debating on trying to get FTTF but I guess we don’t need it!

 

 

Its rare that happens. All suites are located in one area. There is just no way the stewards can turn over that many cabins in 2 hours to be ready by boarding time.

 

People without FTTF are not supposed to go to the halls before its time. and cards are not usually in the mail box before 1pm

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Grand Turk - this was my fave port on my last cruise but I was bummed this time. We arrived in port in the early afternoon so the beach and pool were very crowded. The pool area has limited seating; areas were designated “reserved” and subject to a $35 charge for two chairs.

Wait, what? Was this at the Margaritaville pool? I thought all the loungers there were free...

We wandered for a bit but couldn’t find anywhere to settle in and just went back to the ship. Any tips are appreciated! Upside: Horizon was in port with us and it was exciting to see the new ship.

Ahh, no wonder it was already crowded. I always hate being the second ship to arrive at Grand Turk.

 

As others have mentioned, there's Jack's Shack or Governor's Beach for less-crowded options, or possibly the undeveloped beach on the other side of the pier by the John Glenn exhibit and the relatively new Beached Whale grill and bar.

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Can you tell me the names the of the main stage shows in the theater? We are big Carnival cruisers but have noticed that the stage shows have been repetitive lately on all their ships. We cruised 3 Carnival cruises last year and the show "FLICK" was on every single ship. That was a let down. Is "FLICK" on this ship as well?

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The Who: DH (age 30), baby brother (age 28), my parents in-law, and me (age 30).

 

The Where: 7 day Eastern Caribbean aboard the Carnival Magic (Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Grand Turk)

 

Cabin: Ocean Suite 7355

The in-laws enjoyed an aft balcony on Deck 6.

 

Dining: Your Time in the Northern Lights

 

 

Overall? I would love to sail on the Magic again.

 

Embarkation was smooth! We arrived at port around 10:30 and were on board by 11:30. Our suite was ready for us when we arrived on the ship. I’ve read others have had different experiences with suites being available at embark, but everyone at port indicated such to us. We were thrilled!

 

We booked a suite because my brother joined us and we wanted the extra space with three people. I hope to sail in a suite again, although for only two people it is hard to justify the expense, to me. We loved the bigger balcony. The tub was so-so...I’d prefer a regular shower.

 

My in-laws were not pleased with the aft, and we agreed it was not ideal. My MIL uses a scooter and it was a long “commute” to the aft. More than that, though, the price you pay for aft gets you very little extra space. There’s not much shade in the back of the ship. Also, it’s difficult to see the ports when you’re headed into a new spot. DH and I are canceling our aft balconies for Christmas/NYE after seeing theirs. Would not recommend.

 

The Magic is an awesome ship. Red Frog Brewery is so cool, as are Guys and Blue Iguana (seriously, get a breakfast burrito!). I loved the Alchemy Bar.

 

Ketut and his team served us dinner every night, and he also worked in the Tides bar during the day. We loved him. He learned our ordering habits and took superb care of us. I highly recommend his team to future dining guests.

 

Our CD was “cousin” Cookie. He annoyed me, at first, but by the end I was a believer. He made me laugh and also showed great compassion during a few on-board medical emergencies. Impressive. I watched a few of his shows in the atrium and just loved them.

 

The spa was beautiful. We enjoyed a spa pass, although with such a busy itinerary, we didn’t use it as much as I’d like. It was my fave spa (compared to Dream & Splendor).

 

Steakhouse dinner

On our fourth night we hit the steakhouse. Having dined on other ships with excellent service, the Magic was a bit of a let-down. This steakhouse is small and the servers seemed very awkward. We were rushed at times, and then neglected. The new menu is fun, though. The chocolate sphere was pretty gross - a puddle of chocolate. My in-laws did the art dessert and that was very fun!

 

Cheers!

We opted in. It was my bro’s first cruise so he wanted to sample everything. We definitely got our money’s worth.

 

Casino — seemed small-ish to me. Not sure if that’s the case. I prefer the Dream or Splendor casino.

 

Ports:

Amber Cove - DH and I did a resort VIP excursion last time at this port, so we decided this time we would stay in port and have a pool day :) It was very relaxing.

 

St. Thomas - we headed to Sapphire Beach while the in-laws stayed in port and shopped. We booked through Carnival and that was a MISTAKE. The transportation getting to the beach was absolutely insane, driving way too fast over mountain roads and hitting debris. The beach itself was beautiful; I recommend water shoes. We found our own cab back to port and ate the cost. That was fun, though, because they took us through Charlotte Amalie and we saw more of the island.

 

San Juan - my fave port of the trip. The entire fam took a taxi to Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Magical. There’s a small cost ($7 pp) to enter the fort and look around. Then we walked to Barrachina, home of the pina colasa, for food and cocktails.

 

Grand Turk - this was my fave port on my last cruise but I was bummed this time. We arrived in port in the early afternoon so the beach and pool were very crowded. The pool area has limited seating; areas were designated “reserved” and subject to a $35 charge for two chairs. We wandered for a bit but couldn’t find anywhere to settle in and just went back to the ship. Any tips are appreciated! Upside: Horizon was in port with us and it was exciting to see the new ship.

 

I’m happy to answer Magic questions. :)

 

 

 

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Great review! We are doing the same itinerary on the 7 July sailing of the Magic (only 25 days until my first of many Guy's burgers)! :cool: Like you guys, we are huge Alchemy Bar fans. Who are the current mixologists at the Magic Alchemy Bar? The mixologist are a huge part of what makes or breaks an Alchemy Bar experience.

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Great review! We are doing the same itinerary on the 7 July sailing of the Magic (only 25 days until my first of many Guy's burgers)! :cool: Like you guys, we are huge Alchemy Bar fans. Who are the current mixologists at the Magic Alchemy Bar? The mixologist are a huge part of what makes or breaks an Alchemy Bar experience.

 

 

 

To be honest, I was not impressed with the service. The drinks were fun and the vibe was always good but the servers were meh.

 

 

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Wait, what? Was this at the Margaritaville pool? I thought all the loungers there were free...

 

Ahh, no wonder it was already crowded. I always hate being the second ship to arrive at Grand Turk.

 

 

 

As others have mentioned, there's Jack's Shack or Governor's Beach for less-crowded options, or possibly the undeveloped beach on the other side of the pier by the John Glenn exhibit and the relatively new Beached Whale grill and bar.

 

 

 

Yes @ Margaritaville! I was very surprised.

 

We hit the John Glenn side of the beach first because of the crowds and there were rocks everywhere under the water.

 

 

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Can you tell me the names the of the main stage shows in the theater? We are big Carnival cruisers but have noticed that the stage shows have been repetitive lately on all their ships. We cruised 3 Carnival cruises last year and the show "FLICK" was on every single ship. That was a let down. Is "FLICK" on this ship as well?

 

Yes, FLICK was on this ship. I didn't get it and none of us liked it.

 

We were on this cruise also. We had a great time because we had our two grandchildren (10 and 5) with us but unfortunately, and it hurts me to say this, we were so underwhelmed and disappointed with many things on this cruise that we are seriously thinking about canceling our Miracle Panama cruise in Sep. but really can't because we are traveling with 2 other couples.

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