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Our Carnival Magic Spring Break Review

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Hi Everyone.  We are finally settled back into our normal routine after our week cruise on the Carnival Magic.  We sailed March 31-April 7 with stops in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel.  We left from Miami.  


 It was myself(Brooke), my husband Mike, and our 2 children Hayden (10) and Amelia (8).   We are from Pittsburgh.  We were meeting up with my husbands family members from Utah.   They booked this cruise and my husband wanted to join them.  We booked this cruise over the summer along with my mother and father in law, my husbands 2 sisters and their husbands, and their 8 kids.   So 18 of us.   Unfortunately my father in law passed away in October.  We weren't sure if my mother in law would join us or not.  She ended up bringing a friend along.   We were happy that she decided to come.   Spending time with family is so important.  


Spring break is not my favorite time to travel.  The cost for this cruise and airfare is way more than I ever paid before so that was tough for me.  I try to cruise less busy times.  We didn't pick this cruise.  My sister in law did since she had kids in high school and it was their break.   So our kids missed a week of school.  Sister in law picked the magic because it was similar to the breeze (which we had cruised on last family trip a few years ago).  She knew her teens liked the water slides and ropes course.   This would be their 2nd cruises.  We have been on 8 cruises.  Mainly on carnival but also NCL, Disney and few others.  


We have already done this exact itinerary.  I was hoping to try some new islands but sister in law booked the cruise and the others followed.  Husband still wanted to go so we also booked.  I did a lot of  research on these boards before the cruise to find new things for us to experience at the different stops.  Hopefully this review will be helpful to others as I found so much helpful information here.   


More to follow...




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Can't wait to read your review.  I had something similar happen to me but at least it was a different ship with the same itinerary.  Spending time with family is very important to us too.

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We had a hard time finding flights at a good price.  We had some southwest points so that helped.  We found decent priced flights to Fort Lauderdale for Saturday a day before our cruise.  Direct flights from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale were all taken or there were a few left at triple the price.  So we booked the flight with a short layover in Orlando.  Our flight left around 7pm.   Then we would leave orlando around 10:30 and arrive in Fort Lauderdale before midnight.  Again not ideal but spring break is expensive so we took what we can get. 

I didn’t really take any photos at the airport. Just a quick snapshot of my daughter and I.  🙂


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The first flight was uneventful.   We arrived at Orlando and were told our flight was delayed an hour.  Darn.  It was already going to be late when we got there.  I am not sure what happened but they moved us to a new gate and we left on time.  So that made us happy.  We were really tired. 

Our flight to Fort Lauderdale was short and we arrived on time.  We were staying at the Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Center.  We were able to get the room for free with my husbands points from work.  We got our luggage (very quickly) and went out to the pick up area and saw the shuttle just leave.  Ugh.  It was already midnight so I didn’t want to wait.  We took an Uber which came in 5 minutes and we were off to the hotel.  We got settled and headed to bed. 



Edited by brookeq
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The Hyatt Place had two beds on side of the partition, and pull out couch, and small fridge, and a desk area on the other side.  It has plenty of room for our family of 4.   Some quick pictures I took of the room.  



****Just a note.  I do have a nice SLR camera and good underwater camera.  But a lot of the pictures in this review (esp ones with no people in them) are just quick snapshots with my iphone.****




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Breakfast was included with our stay.  They have a decent breakfast.  We walked across the street to kmart and got some pop (or soda as most people call it).  I got some cokes and my husband got some sparkling waters.   We headed back to hotel and got an Uber to take to the port.  Carnival assigned us an arrival time of 12:30.   Well our Uber driver got to our hotel super fast and then we hit no traffic so we arrived a bit early.  The terminal was a bit crazy.  Apparently the ship was heald up in customs and it took a long time to get everyone off.  There were still tons of people waiting for a shuttle/car from the previous cruise.   We headed over to the terminal and saw a long line all the way down the terminal.  It was around 12:00 and we were a bit early but I went to the front to see if they were taking people by their scheduled times like last cruise.  Nope.  Everyone is one line.  So we got in line. 





It moved fairly quickly and we were going thru security right before 12:30.   So no big deal for us.   We got our boarding number 23.  We didn’t even have to sit down, they called it a few minutes after we entered the room. 




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We headed up the stairs and got our first photo taken.  





Now let me stop this review and talk about my son for a minute.  He does not hide his feelings at all… as you can see in this picture.   His face gives everything away.  We have been having some behavior problems with him and he is seeing a psychologist because he is not very happy.   We are doing our best.  He can be very sweet and then so angry at the drop of a hat.  So you will see that a lot in pictures.  If you were on this cruise you may have seen us dragging him to the room a few times.    Its getting better but still a work in progress.   So in this picture he is just tired of waiting.  He complained to me the entire time in line how he was starving.  But he refused to eat breakfast at the hotel.   So not much I can do for him.   He thought getting the picture was slowing us down.  But there was another line to board right after .   I am actually surprised at the semi fake smile/scowl.   We usually get full grump face.   


We are going to have a ton of pictures of him being grumpy to show on his wedding day!

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We finally got on board and headed up to the lido deck since everyone was hungry.  I hate this part of the cruise.  Everyone is pretty much crowded onto one deck and its just too busy for me.   Today was no exception but I was prepared.   We walked around for awhile until we found a table.  It was packed.  All four of us wanted different things so we split up each taking a kid.  Its tradition for me to get tacos the first day.  I load them up with cheese and green salsa.  Yum



My husbands tradition is to get a guys burger. 




My son went with him but then saw they had woks going.  So he got In the line for mongolian wok.  He got chicken and noodles.  He liked them but it took forever.  He never did it again this cruise.




My daughter got some pizza and she was happy.  





I was very excited to try the new cakes this trip.  They looked fantastic.  But they just weren’t that good to any of us.  The cake part was good but the icing tasted like butter.  (not butter cream just greasy butter).   So disappointing. 

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The kids went on the water slides.  They enjoyed them.



And my son did the ropes course.  




Our muster drill was in the theater.  We were so thankful for that.    I hate when its outside.   This was quick and painless.  🙂  They did have to call a few stragglers.  


After the muster drill we met up with some family and attended the sail away party.

Good bye Miami



My daughter got the bottomless bubbles.  She paid for half of it with her own money.  She loved being able to go the bars and get herself a drink.  Here she is at the deck party with her first. 




We played some mini golf





And had the first of many ice cream cones.











Edited by brookeq
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 He does not hide his feelings at all… as you can see in this picture.   His face gives everything away. 



Hey, no judgement here. We've dragged our son (who is now taller than me and almost as tall as my husband) back to the room a few times for behavior issues. And he's also usually rocking the resting grump face.

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We had early dining.  We were given one large circular table and smaller one.  We had the adults and three oldest cousins at one table and all the rest of the kids at another.  Our serving team of Benda, Iputu, and main waiter Atmaguna were awesome.   They were very helpful and patient with the kids (and some of the adults at our table).  They knew each of us by name after the first night.  Even though we never sat in the same spot.  I will say I didn’t like the circular table.  You could only really talk to the person next to you.   The rectangular table we had last time you could talk to the people across from you also. 


Here are the menus for the first night.




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I didn't remember to take pictures of everything this time.  

I had the strawberry soup.  Always a favorite.  My main course was the brisket.  This was very good. 

My husband got the strawberry soup and the spring rolls for his appetizer.

His main course was the mahi mahi which I barely remembered to get a photo of.  He enjoyed it. 

I sampled the rice which was really good.  He also got the sweet n sour shrimp which he devoured and  I didn’t get a picture of.  I did sample it and really liked it. 

We both got the chocolate melting cake for dessert.                                                     


The kids each got steak from the adult menu.  They did this most nights.  Our servers cut my daughters for her.  

We really enjoyed dinner.  We were one of the last tables to finish.  This was true most nights.  It didn’t bother me since this was our family time.  It bothered my brother in law and his kids a bit since they wanted to see the movies each night.  




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After dinner we checked out the candy shop.   I had to order my daughter a birthday cake for another night.  



We tried to get a better family photo.  We didn’t end up ordering any but Hayden did smile. 




The kids went in the aft hot tubs.   And the adults played some games.  


Eventually we headed back to the room.   There were some gifts waiting for us at our mailbox. 




Before our cruise we joined a roll call group on another unmentioned site.   We organized a mail box drop.  Basically a gift exchange.   We got two gifts then. 




I didn’t take pictures of anything else we got for the week.  But It was fun.  The kids loved all the small gifts and candy they got.  


I tried to be creative.  We gave small bag with a magnet we made with the ships photo on it.  Then we gave some things from our hometown – a Pittsburgh pirate pen and some local chocolate.  If there were kids in the cabin the boys got small water balls, and the girls got unicorn chapstick.  We also included some reef safe sunblock. 




We met our room steward.  I don’t remember his name.  He was just starting back again after a trip home.  He didn’t have any cards yet.   We didn’t see him much but our room was always clean and he kept our ice bucket filled like we asked.  We chose morning service and it worked out good for us.  (esp since all of the 4 port days were early morning ones)


We went to bed that night exhausted but excited to be on the ship. 





Edited by brookeq
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I laughed outloud at your getting on the ship photo.  And then cringed when you took the time to explain because really no explanation necessary. I remember the constant stress of wondering when my daughter was going to blow her top.  Its exhausting.  Looks like everyone had fun!

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22 minutes ago, Nevada Jen said:

I laughed outloud at your getting on the ship photo.  And then cringed when you took the time to explain because really no explanation necessary. I remember the constant stress of wondering when my daughter was going to blow her top.  Its exhausting.  Looks like everyone had fun!

Its so stressful.  Being with our in laws made it a little more stressful.  They aren't really around him much and can be judgmental.  So that adds a bit more stress. 

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We booked this cruise over the summer and I watched for price drops like a hawk.  We ended up with over $200 in credit from calling and getting price drops.   I also got some more credit but I will explain that later.  It was nice to have “free” money to spend on drinks and photos and other things. 

The first thing we did was pay for the group chatting feature on the hub app.   It was $5 per device.   We got it for my phone and my husbands phone.  Our family members also got it.   It was helpful to have it when it worked for me.  It worked great for everyone.  But for some reason I only got select messages and missed out on most group ones.  Even though my husband kept checking and making sure I was on it.   He would even recreate the groups each day and I would only get one or two of the messages.   My messages between my husband and I worked.  I didn’t complain about it since it was only $5 and it did work somewhat.  But I gave it a bad review at the end of the cruise.


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