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Debbierpof

Carnival Magic - Just returned, any questions? Review coming soon!

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On 7/10/2019 at 5:24 AM, KmomChicago said:

I see you had several journeys on Conquest-class ships prior to this jump to Dream class.  I have also seen many reviews from folks who say they like Dream class best of all of Carnival's fleet, even more than the newer Vista class. So, I would like to know, what about Magic felt like an upgrade / improvement over Conquest class, and what, if anything, did you think Conquest class does better?

 

1. How does the decor on Magic compare with Conquest ships?

2. Overall flow and layout of the ship comparison?

3. Any significant differences between teen club venue or management?

4. Entertainment comparison?

5. Dining quality comparison - both included and upcharges?

6. Crowd management in dining areas (especially Lido Buffet) and public spaces like pool, showtime, trivia?

7. Anything else better or worse, even if you feel it is the sort of little quirky stuff that is just personal preference?

 

Sorry if this is too demanding.  We sailed the former Triumph out of New Orleans. It is one of the closest options if we don't want to fly.  DH was interested in Vista class, but I told him the reviews are quite uneven and Dream class seems better loved. . . but Glory and Valor are in NOLA, and often better priced than either Dream or Vista class, so I'm not sure I want to rule them out entirely.

 

First of all, I don't know where you live but (in case) I hope you're safe from Hurricane Barry.

 

We sailed the Glory last summer and have been on the Valor twice. They are both fantastic ships.

  • I really don't think there was much difference in the decor (which is great).
  • On the issue of flow, on the Magic, the Northern Lights Dining Room (located on decks 3 & 4 on the center of the ship) is confined to the interior (on deck 4) -- which means there are walkways along one side (no need to go up or down one deck to go to the back or front of the ship).
  • Sorry, but we didn't hang out at the pool and didn't go to the Lido deck (except for ice cream or pizza 🙂 ).
  • The ship felt very familiar, like an old friend, but not crowded at all.
  • We were on the Spa deck on the Glory (top deck/11th floor) and on the Spa deck on the Magic (top deck/12th floor). While not much of a difference in the room, the balcony seemed more private on the Magic. 
  • Glory had Effy jewelry, Magic has LeVian jewelry. 
  • If the Glory or Valor have an itinerary you like and it's easier/more cost effective than the Magic, I think I'd go with a NOLA option. But if cost and time isn't a factor, I'd try the Magic. Not sure I've helped. You can't go wrong!

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On 7/12/2019 at 9:26 PM, Debbierpof said:

 

First of all, I don't know where you live but (in case) I hope you're safe from Hurricane Barry.

 

We sailed the Glory last summer and have been on the Valor twice. They are both fantastic ships.

  • I really don't think there was much difference in the decor (which is great).
  • On the issue of flow, on the Magic, the Northern Lights Dining Room (located on decks 3 & 4 on the center of the ship) is confined to the interior (on deck 4) -- which means there are walkways along one side (no need to go up or down one deck to go to the back or front of the ship).
  • Sorry, but we didn't hang out at the pool and didn't go to the Lido deck (except for ice cream or pizza 🙂 ).
  • The ship felt very familiar, like an old friend, but not crowded at all.
  • We were on the Spa deck on the Glory (top deck/11th floor) and on the Spa deck on the Magic (top deck/12th floor). While not much of a difference in the room, the balcony seemed more private on the Magic. 
  • Glory had Effy jewelry, Magic has LeVian jewelry. 
  • If the Glory or Valor have an itinerary you like and it's easier/more cost effective than the Magic, I think I'd go with a NOLA option. But if cost and time isn't a factor, I'd try the Magic. Not sure I've helped. You can't go wrong!

 

Thanks! We are in northern Illinois but also hoping for safety for all impacted by the hurricane - New Orleans is hardly "close" to us but relative to the fact that no cruise port is within easy driving distance, it is closer (12-13 hours) than anywhere in Florida (16-20 hours) and doesn't have quite such daunting cities / choke points to pass through ( Nashville, Chattanooga with its mountains, Atlanta).  Baltimore is actually the closest (11 hours) but we haven't tried it yet.  So far the ships, itineraries, and pricing from Baltimore have not particularly wowed us. But when driving straight through you get to that exhausted point where every hour feels like it takes twice as long as the prior hour, so every mile is worth considering.

 

For your last thought - cost and time are ALWAYS a factor - LOL. In addition to potentially saving on pricey flights, cruise rates out of NOLA are often excellent.  Good to know we won't be missing out too much if we hop on Valor or Glory rather than Dream class.

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I have booked the Magic for December, 2020 and I will be traveling with my granddaughters that will have just turned 18 the month before.  Were their any social activities for older teens to meet?  Did they offer volleyball? Thank you.

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On 7/9/2019 at 8:26 AM, Debbierpof said:

 

The Steakhouse is great and offers an appetizer that pairs steak tartar with bone marrow (delicious - it's what I ordered). 🙂

 

We were in 12042 - quiet hallway, easy access to every place on board, and very friendly steward (very long, difficult name to pronounce).  Don't forget to ask for your complimentary scrub kit at the Spa front desk. Complimentary for spa deck rooms.

We are in 12044 in Jan same itinerary..hows the privacy??

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10 hours ago, dramaqueenjan said:

We are in 12044 in Jan same itinerary..hows the privacy??

 

Hey there, dramaqueenjan!

We'll be just down the hall from you in 12030, so had the same question.  If you scroll back to post #38, you'll see that she responded, complete with photos.

 

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On 7/10/2019 at 9:47 AM, purplephenom said:

 

Yes that's ultimately my goal.  I was hoping to do 2 dives in Aruba, and possibly 1 each in Bonaire and Curacao (that way if something goes wrong on our Aruba day hopefully we have time to adjust).  But, the person I'm waiting to get certified with is really hesitant about this whole thing, so I'm honestly not sure it'll happen.  I'd do it at home and be certified for our cruises if it were 100% my call.

After doing my training, I will say that having a consistent instructor would be plus as much as possible.  There is also something to be said about doing your cert at home, so you can focus on actually seeing things in the beautiful locations you will be at.  3 of the 4 open water dives are really focused on skills, and not much on sight seeing.

 

Either way you do it, if you are like me, you will be hooked.  Good luck.

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3 hours ago, rukkian said:

After doing my training, I will say that having a consistent instructor would be plus as much as possible.  There is also something to be said about doing your cert at home, so you can focus on actually seeing things in the beautiful locations you will be at.  3 of the 4 open water dives are really focused on skills, and not much on sight seeing.

 

Either way you do it, if you are like me, you will be hooked.  Good luck.

 

Thank you for the tips. What you say definitely makes sense 

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I'm doing the Chef's Table in September. Do you have a menu or remember any of the items that were served?  Thank you.

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Going on board next August 15!!  Flying out of Philly to Ft. Lauderdale with my aunt and uncle.  Looking forward to my first Carnival cruise in ages!!  The last one was on the VICTORY to the Canadian Maritimes.  I've never been to the Caribbean before so I am looking forward to it.  I bit the bullet and paid the single supplement for a Cove Balcony cabin.  I don't like sharing cabins with anyone.

Edited by Rex1965

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We are looking at the Cloud 9 interior room and didn't know if it is worth the $100 for the both of us compare to a normal interior.

I have never been in the spa of Carnival and not sure how nice and what it is like?  Have only been on one Carnival cruise 13 years ago.  Then didn't know if deck 11 or 12 is best?

 

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Can you elaborate on the Steakhouse?  I just submitted a request for a reservation on the first night.  Want to try it and figure the first night will be the best for us.  Was it worth the $38 a person?  Do you know if they still give a bottle of wine for people booking the first night?  Not a big deal if not, we will have the drink package.

Anything you recommend besides the bone marrow?  Not sure about that.

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

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22 hours ago, kskelley40 said:

Can you elaborate on the Steakhouse?  I just submitted a request for a reservation on the first night.  Want to try it and figure the first night will be the best for us.  Was it worth the $38 a person?  Do you know if they still give a bottle of wine for people booking the first night?  Not a big deal if not, we will have the drink package.

Anything you recommend besides the bone marrow?  Not sure about that.

Any info will be greatly appreciated.


Yes- on the first night of the cruise, the Steakhouse gives either a complimentary bottle of table wine, or 50% off any bottle on their wine list.  As for appetizers, I'm a sucker for the lobster bisque, and the chocolate sphere is usually the go-to for dessert. 

Value is always relative, and I'd say if you're a vegetarian, it's not worth it.  And having the drink package may mean the wine isn't that much of an allure.  But they do steak well- the only place I've been able to get my steak "blue" and have it done perfectly.
 

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I love lobster bisque.  It is my "good luck" charm for playing BJ or poker in the casino so that will definitely be my appetizer.   I also love a good medium rare steak so that is the main reason I am thinking of splurging on it.  We have been on NCL lately and have gotten their specialty dining package as a perk for our cabin, so we are a little spoiled on dining outside of the MDR.  Mainly looking forward to Guy's burgers.  Had one about 3 years ago and I still remember how good it was!

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On 7/22/2019 at 2:24 PM, lisadees said:

I'm doing the Chef's Table in September. Do you have a menu or remember any of the items that were served?  Thank you.

he has a very detailed review of the chefs table on magic with pictures if you are interested!

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9 hours ago, xtraquispe said:

he has a very detailed review of the chefs table on magic with pictures if you are interested!

 

Thank you. That was very helpful. It looks great.

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On 7/22/2019 at 2:24 PM, lisadees said:

I'm doing the Chef's Table in September. Do you have a menu or remember any of the items that were served?  Thank you.

I'll try to post it later. I think we had 14 different courses! My favorites were an olive oil poached seabass and slow cooked crispy lamb. Delicious! And the constant flow of champagne and wine.... 🙂  

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On 8/12/2019 at 1:48 PM, sj25 said:

We are looking at the Cloud 9 interior room and didn't know if it is worth the $100 for the both of us compare to a normal interior.

I have never been in the spa of Carnival and not sure how nice and what it is like?  Have only been on one Carnival cruise 13 years ago.  Then didn't know if deck 11 or 12 is best?

 

If you're in an interior room then it doesn't make a difference if it's deck 11 or 12, EXCEPT make sure the deck 11 cabin is still a Cloud 9 room. Also, deck 12 has less traffic (I think). If you plan to use the spa amenities (sauna, etc...) then I think it's well worth it.  My in-laws were on the Magic a couple of weeks ago and paid about $250 to use the spa for the duration of the cruise. You also get a little gift. I really like the location because you have quick access to the shops, lobby, casino, exit to ports... Whatever you choose, it will be fantastic! I'll try to post photos and more info on the spa! 

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On 7/18/2019 at 9:57 PM, Ellaleah said:

I have booked the Magic for December, 2020 and I will be traveling with my granddaughters that will have just turned 18 the month before.  Were their any social activities for older teens to meet?  Did they offer volleyball? Thank you.

 

Club O2 is for up to 17 year olds (which is a bummer because we will be back on the Magic in December and our son turns 18 next month). I just asked him and he says they have volleyball tournaments (over 18), basketball tournaments... I'm sure they'll have a great time! So much to do!

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On 8/12/2019 at 4:50 PM, kskelley40 said:

Can you elaborate on the Steakhouse?  I just submitted a request for a reservation on the first night.  Want to try it and figure the first night will be the best for us.  Was it worth the $38 a person?  Do you know if they still give a bottle of wine for people booking the first night?  Not a big deal if not, we will have the drink package.

Anything you recommend besides the bone marrow?  Not sure about that.

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

The Steakhouse was definitely worth it!!! Avoid the Italian place. I believe they still have the wine offer. Large and delicious portions. The mushroom appetizer and the lobster bisque were great, too. Enjoy!!!

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On 8/13/2019 at 4:37 PM, kskelley40 said:

I love lobster bisque.  It is my "good luck" charm for playing BJ or poker in the casino so that will definitely be my appetizer.   I also love a good medium rare steak so that is the main reason I am thinking of splurging on it.  We have been on NCL lately and have gotten their specialty dining package as a perk for our cabin, so we are a little spoiled on dining outside of the MDR.  Mainly looking forward to Guy's burgers.  Had one about 3 years ago and I still remember how good it was!

And their lobster bisque was delish!

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Not a full review of the Chef's Table, but here are some photos. This weekend I'll try to post my review of our experience. By the way, the parmesan roll thing is to die for!!! And the magician is always a fun treat and break! 🙂 

Table setting.jpg

Menu.jpg

Table setting 2.jpg

Olive bowl.jpg

Parmesan roll and butters.jpg

Pea and matcha soup.jpg

Crispy lamb.jpg

Crispy lamb 2.jpg

Green apples veal.jpg

Quail parmesan risotto.jpg

Seabass.jpg

Making chocolate lava cake.jpg

Citrus cream lime snow and elderflower caviar.jpg

Chocolate hazelnut basil moss cocoa logs and chocolate soil.jpg

Staff.jpg

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