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Debbierpof

Carnival Magic Review - June 22nd Sailing

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Carnival Magic Review

This was our first time aboard the Carnival Magic – and it’s my new favorite! It didn’t feel crowded, even with a nearly sold-out sailing. Great itinerary. So much to love!

 

Quick facts:

  • June 22 - June 30 (8-day cruise)
  • Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Oranjested, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; 3 days at sea
  • Family of four - two adults, two teens (14 & 17)
  • Two cabin types
  • Active when in port
  • Foodies

 

There’s much to describe so instead of a long narrative, I’m just going to break it down by areas.

 

Embarkation

Parking: Self-parking at Port Everglades is great. It’s $20 per day. It took my husband a little bit to figure out how to get to the entrance of the garage after he dropped us and the luggage off up front. Close to the entrance so it didn’t take him long to walk from the truck to the gate.

Porters: We had been given embarkation time of 1:30 – 2:00 pm. We arrived at 2:30 pm. The porters stopped taking luggage at 2 pm which meant we would have to carry all our luggage onboard – and who wants to do that?! We had our SCUBA gear with us (and I may have packed 2 bags too many 😊) so didn’t want to haul all that around.  I persisted with the port personnel and one older porter agreed to help. Just as we were getting ready to enter the terminal, a tour bus arrived – not sure why porters will just stand around and not help passengers because they’re done at 2 pm.

Documentation/Getting on the ship: All went smoothly! Digital checking-in makes it quick, too! Our keys were waiting in the mail holder at each stateroom.  

Muster Drill: Loved that we didn’t have to stand outside in the muggy heat! We were assigned to the Showtime Theater. Actually, both 12042 and 11231 were assigned to the Showtime Theater, different levels. 😊

 

Cabins

This year we decided that the kids (ages 14 and 17) would have their own room. We were able to get a balcony on Deck 12 (12042) and an interior room on Deck 11 (11231). The stairs are right by the rooms so easy access. My daughter and I were assigned to 11231 and my husband and son were assigned 12042. Well, those were the official assignments. My husband and I stayed in the balcony room (I requested an extra key for this room) and my son stayed with his sister and received an extra key to that room. Not a problem. Both rooms are considered Cloud 9 Spa rooms which means adults have full access to the Spa amenities, such as the Thalassotherapy pool, thermal suites, sauna, steam rooms, etc… You also get a complimentary Elemis scrub kit (one per Spa stateroom) and these rooms are given Elemis shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion. These products are wonderful!

Cabin 12042 (see photo) – Balcony room that was very comfortable. A new feature for us was the use of a key card to keep the lights on in the stateroom.  The light switch will not work without a key card (or any card) being inserted in a slot next to the front door. A good way to save energy. Balcony had two chairs and a small table. This is where we kept our snorkeling/dive gear. Bathroom is still cramped so I mostly used the showers in the spa instead (much better – large and terrific shower heads with strong water pressure). They also have several blow dryers in the spa bathrooms – great for getting ready. No electric plugs by the bedside so make sure to bring an extension cord or two. There is a small fridge and a safe box. There are three small drawers and three closets. Our room steward, Athikom, was very nice and kept things tidy.

Decorations

o   Yes, we decorated our room and door. I used Command Strips and magnets, but did see many decorated stateroom doors that used tape.

o   Winner: Dry erase board – we kept a “Cone Count” – still talking about it. Bought it at the Dollar Tree. Used one Command Strip to hold on the door. (see photo)

 

Cabin 11231 – Typical interior room, except it included the Spa amenities mentioned earlier -- complimentary Elemis scrub kit (one per Spa stateroom) and Elemis shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion. These products are wonderful! Just down the hallway is access to the Spa and Serenity area elevator (single, blue glass elevator) – this is separate from the general elevators. Also includes a small fridge and a safe box.

·         Alicia was the steward and she was fantastic. Example: Just as our debarkation number was called my daughter realized she had left her card in the room (two hours earlier). I went over to talk to Alicia and she had it waiting for us. 😊

 

More coming soon!

Carnival Magic - 12042.jpg

Cone Count.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Sure sounds like this is going to be a Very Fun read. Been awaiting your review (you answered a few quick questions for me in another post Thank You) Yes Less the 2 months to our Carnival Magic Sailing.

PS: sure looks like Sofia enjoys her Ice Cream !!

Edited by phoneman69

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Great so far! Sailing in just over a month on the same itinerary and cannot wait.

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19 minutes ago, dctravel said:

Great so far! Sailing in just over a month on the same itinerary and cannot wait.

Leave a few Beers for my Sept sailing please.

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So excited to see the balcony room. We are booked for one in October. It's our first spa room so super excited. Glad to hear the shampoo and conditioner is great. Less for me to pack especially since we are flying. I love the Magic. It's my favorite so far. Hubby likes the Sunshine the best.

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Sounds like a great trip! We are packing now to leave on the Magic next Saturday.

 

I’m curious how well the Hub app worked for you for communicating with each other in ship. We were in the dream 2 years ago and it was pretty spotty

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Thank you for posting! My husband and I are taking our first ever cruise on the Magic next June.

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7 hours ago, phoneman69 said:

Leave a few Beers for my Sept sailing please.

I will try, but it will be a challenge. 😜

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8 hours ago, lagienomai said:

So excited to see the balcony room. We are booked for one in October. It's our first spa room so super excited. Glad to hear the shampoo and conditioner is great. Less for me to pack especially since we are flying. I love the Magic. It's my favorite so far. Hubby likes the Sunshine the best.

 

Our room steward was perplexed that I kept asking for extra shampoo and conditioner (I have long hair and definitely wanted to condition). The Spa benefits are fantastic!!! 

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5 hours ago, sprint180 said:

What is digital checking in?  

I think that's the proper term... They just do electronic check-in (they use a phone or iPad). Very quick.

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3 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

Do you have the Club02 activities schedule?

 

I've looked through all the papers I brought back and can't find a schedule for ClubO2 (sorry). My son says they did many of the same activities as Circle C. He's taking the ACT in the morning so haven't asked him for details - I will when he returns. 

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4 hours ago, bearybubba said:

Thank you for posting! My husband and I are taking our first ever cruise on the Magic next June.

 

You will love it!!!

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7 hours ago, dreamv said:

Sounds like a great trip! We are packing now to leave on the Magic next Saturday.

 

I’m curious how well the Hub app worked for you for communicating with each other in ship. We were in the dream 2 years ago and it was pretty spotty

 

The HUB was great! It only works if the app is open - and that was a challenge sometimes. But it was a great option, especially with two teenagers!  So glad you mentioned (I'll have to add to my review 🙂 ).

 

Bon voyage!!!

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Posted (edited)

Dining

I meant to eat at the Red Frog Pub and Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor, but didn't have a chance. I actually never even saw Pig & Anchor. I think I had soup at the Lido once, but no meals -- only ice cream. 🙂 The Seafood Shack smelled wonderful, but didn't try that one either. And this was the first time I never ordered room service. I also never purchased anything from the coffee shop. We also brought a ton of candy on board. Why? We love candy (not chocolate, but Twizzlers, Skittles, Hot Tamales, etc.). Yes, they have a candy shoppe that is adorable, but we had our own stash. 🙂 

 

We purchased the Bubbles! program for all four of us -- unlimited sodas and juices. You can buy the reusable (souvenir) Carnival cup, use their cups, or bring your own (we brought our Yeti/Rtic tumblers). Keep your key card ready to display at dining when you order -- make it quicker for the server. 

 

Main Dining: It’s late dining for us (8:15 pm) in the Northern Lights Dining Room, Table 451. Our head waiter was Allan (funny, given that my husband’s and son’s name is Allen). As usual, the staff is fantastic and engaging! (see photo) There were a couple of nights that my husband and I did not eat in the dining room – the kids did and had a great time.

 

Breakfast: With the exception of debarkation day, we always ate in the Southern Lights Dining Room. Nothing against buffets, but this is such a treat! And we especially loved the brunch days (at-sea days) -- ends at 1 pm. Eggs benedict was my family’s favorite. I loved the fruit plates and special pancakes. The special french toast (fruit loops/cheerios) were fun to look at but really sweet. Eggs were always great. And the Steak & Eggs was wonderful. And order the orange juice -- it's freshly squeezed and delicious! Grapefruit juice was also good, as was the ginger grapefruit. 

 

Specialty Dining

 

Guy Fieri’s Burgers – I wasn’t too sure about this, but I loved it! I really loved the toppings. 😊 Grilled mushrooms and onions were perfect with fries. The burgers are quite tasty - good bread, great self-topping options. The fries are pretty good. Someone always in line, but it moves quickly. 

 
Pizza – Always good, always predictable, always busy. Add pepperoni to the quattro pizza. Yum! 

 

Steakhouse – Fantastic! Worth the $38 per person. We made our reservations for two on our second or third day on the cruise. We had a long wait to be seated, but it was due to a belligerent and unhappy patron who accused wait staff of losing his wife’s key card. All he did was complain (loudly) and make demands of getting a free meal and more. One of the officers had to come to take care of the situation. Once they were gone, it was a perfect place. The waitstaff is exceptional and the food terrific. We brought our own bottle of wine, so there was a $15 corkage fee. The bartender aerated the wine and brought to the table in a decanter. (see photo) So much food! The sides were great (couldn’t get close to finishing). Very chic décor and loved that you could watch the kitchen at work. see photo

Steakhouse2.jpg.bd9622056d4d02986c07cf3b8417e653.jpg          Steakhouse1.jpg.2a8f137753c96d0f691fca99e2cc9ef7.jpg  

 

  • Appetizer – I had the steak tartar & bone marrow as my appetizer (delicious).see photo  My husband really enjoyed the mushrooms (Lauren with Park West art raved about them) see photo. Lobster bisque was pretty tasty, too. see photo   

          Steakhouse5.jpg.d4f6281fb913517a5a72ad8dbbbcc1eb.jpg       Steakhouse3.jpg.e8104feb454b5d9227f83d2f95fbe094.jpg      Steakhouse4.jpg.8b6b5f9e4be647ee53a5b2dbb1f0fadc.jpg

 

  • Main course – I went for the surf & turf (4 oz filet mignon & half lobster tail). see photo More than enough! Cooked to perfection. My husband had the 8 oz filet - perfect.

Steakhouse6.jpg.9467cc018e19a94b2c2c0b6b7f8aa2c8.jpg

 

  • Dessert – I ordered some chocolate bomb thing that melted when our server pour a hot liquid over it. see photo Quite tasty. My husband really enjoyed his cheesecake. They also brought a chocolate dessert for my birthday and our anniversary .

Steakhouse7.jpg.1a0e2decb5561c09a880e3597ca2f515.jpg    

 

Cucina del Capitano – Now, I’m not trying to offend anyone. This was not worth the $15 per person. Took a while to be seated (restaurant was fairly empty). The food was good; not great or memorable. Wait staff was friendly and tried to be helpful. We had pasta (shocking) but it wasn’t anything special. I really enjoyed the minestrone soup. When it came time for dessert, our server (before any comments or questions) offered that we should probably order the apple pie and if that wasn’t good he could probably get a lemon ice cream. So three apple pies and one lemon ice cream, coming right up! The best thing I tried that evening was the lemon ice cream. Absolutely delicious! Still, I don't recommend.


 Blue Iguana Cantina – We only had breakfast here once (debarkation day) – and it was great! Highly recommend. Oh, their toppings bar has sliced watermelon (no need to run in to the Lido). 🙂 

 

Short video is of the Steakhouse dessert!

Edited by Debbierpof
Explain video

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50 minutes ago, Debbierpof said:

 

I've looked through all the papers I brought back and can't find a schedule for ClubO2 (sorry). My son says they did many of the same activities as Circle C. He's taking the ACT in the morning so haven't asked him for details - I will when he returns. 

Good luck on the ACT!

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Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (HMC)

 

Always a great day on the private island. As beautifully breathtaking and perfect this beach is, we took our time this morning. After breakfast in the Southern Lights dining room, we finally made our way to the tenders around 11 am. Long line to get out. They had been calling tender numbers but they were out by the time we tried to get one.

 

Note: Exit to tender is front deck 0 -- another reason I loved the location of our stateroom. 😊

 

Once you arrive on HMC, you’ll be in the “mini-cruise center”. There are a few shops, a fountain that sea gulls like to visit, and directions to every site on the cay. Instead of heading straight to the beach, we first took some of the trails – trying to get to Bone Fish Lagoon. We only made it to the Lagoon (which isn’t very scenic) but it was hot! We did see a hummingbird and at the end of the trail there was a sign with a list of different animals, trees and plants you may have seen along the way.

 

 99364007_CarnivalMagic-HMCTrail.thumb.jpg.f766bf390bfb0ea0260398b3d487e711.jpg                1709358411_CarnivalMagic-HMCTrail2.thumb.jpg.3ca7530ee6768187b17a0e50c244608a.jpg  

 

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We brought snorkeling gear but ended up not going all the way to the point (quite a long walk). I had read on CC boards that the point was the best place for snorkeling. Being that it was already passed noon and it was a scorcher. We stopped and settled at a pretty white “cabana” just passed the cabanas – we think this may have been usually used by cruise employees (oops).  Half Moon Cay is one of the prettiest beaches I’ve seen – perfect sand and crystal clear water.

 

426312264_Pathtobeach.thumb.jpg.16825f27ba1aa0f557469bb41346e700.jpg      981583855_CarnivalMagic-HMCbeach.thumb.jpg.41ad5ee19e027b978a406d2912f833d4.jpg

 

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 😥 In all the years we have been to HMC, this was our only incident and the only incident on this cruise. Our daughter took off her fins, laid them on the sand by the shore, and went up to ask her dad a question. When she walked back, her fins were gone. A woman says she saw a man walk by and grab them like he owned them. Really unfortunate and tough lesson that people behave badly, even on a private island.

 

After a couple hours, we decided to start walking back and head to the area on the other side of the kids’ water park (by the private large cabana that has a water slide). This area was rocky which might be great for seeing fish. I had brought a croissant so that the kids could feed the fish. It’s a great spot! Even if you don’t have snorkeling gear, it would be fun to go by and see, and maybe even feed, the fish. The water is very clear so you can’t miss them - tons of sergeant majors and palometas, some coral, sea worms, and other juvenile fish. 

 

27370254_HMCMap.thumb.jpg.c1e820e05179137dbe1744799420f297.jpg

 

   1415215198_HMCPrivateCabanaAJ.jpg.1253ab4ef8c540d611d19304a6335580.jpg                  543613865_HMCBigCabana2.jpg.b2e9a4a3c02a313f90d5017b4c826fd7.jpg     

 

 

2113013657_Sofiaandpalometa.thumb.JPG.1087cc9b297dc4761cb2261e4eae0273.JPG    1209810611_Allenfeedingfish2.thumb.JPG.f644b479b6c32468e6e12091e9c7523f.JPG

 

 

 

 

    1858784186_HMCseaworm4.jpg.a82926d221040d6f9354ade356a57af4.jpg          236380957_HMCseawormcoralsand4.jpg.dadc51fbe2e1f428faa64efd2091d9f8.jpg

 

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Since we were now close to the mini-cruise center, there was no panicking that they’d leave us on the cay (although, there could be worse things). We snorkeled for a while and with 40 minutes before the last tender, rinsed off and went to visit the shops (they were closing). No waiting in line – who wants to do that in the heat after a long day in the sun. Smooth tender to the Magic.

 

Food/Drinks – Since we had a hearty breakfast and brought water from our room, we didn’t eat or drink anything from the island.  I know there’s a great grilled lunch available in the food pavilion – included at no extra cost – with the usual, burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, and tons of sides. If I recall correctly, they offer tea and lemonade. We’ve enjoyed it in the past. Your sail card/soda doesn’t work here (or at least it didn’t in the past). There’s a bar (don’t think they offer food) that you can’t miss – it’s the big pirate ship. 😊 Great views from here! There are also servers walking along the beach taking orders and selling drinks.

 

Cabanas/Umbrellas – We have rented a cabana in the past and it was so nice to have. It would have been something nice to split with another family. They are worth the money, especially if you are there for most of the day.

Water activities – I noticed there were people on kayaks and snorkeling. They had a place you could rent water toys, but we didn’t use.

 

Chapel – We celebrated our 20-year anniversary less than a month before the cruise. I had looked into renewing our vows sometime during the cruise (something very, very simple) but the cost on any island or the ship was ridiculous – I had even created a post asking CC members for recommendations. One recommended going to a beach, standing by the water, and just telling each other we’d do it again (and it would be free 😊). So we literally walked through the tiny and adorable chapel and just said, yup, I guess we’d do it again. Our kids took our picture and that was that. At least this was before the messy snorkeling hair! 😊 By the way – it’s worth stopping by the chapel – it’s really simple with a million-dollar view.

 

1533291274_Renewvows.thumb.jpg.0c2c51e2eff6e3ec747ba0598a47fbf5.jpg

 

Recommendation: If you like to be around crowds and in the action, go early and reserve your spot in the sand. If, like us, you’d rather feel like this is a private island and have it all (almost all) to yourself, then make the walk passed the cabanas and umbrellas. It’s worth it.

20160102_012812.JPG

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18 hours ago, phoneman69 said:

Sure sounds like this is going to be a Very Fun read. Been awaiting your review (you answered a few quick questions for me in another post Thank You) Yes Less the 2 months to our Carnival Magic Sailing.

PS: sure looks like Sofia enjoys her Ice Cream !!

 

Yes, she does!!! 🤣🤣🤣  BTW - there's regular ice cream and frozen yogurt. 

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Posted (edited)

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

 

Easy time getting off the ship at this port (no tender). There are plenty of shops at the Grand Turk Cruise Center  - and plenty of tour operators and taxi cabs just outside.  Margaritaville is right there ready to entertain hundreds/thousands.

1134043997_GTMargaritaville.thumb.jpg.12ba4518a2db7ed5609f851a2def92a0.jpg

 

 

We weren’t up for partying today (check out the photo and how the pool is totally filled with people). The beach was a bit crowded, so we decided to walk to Governor’s Beach (taking a cab would have been much faster 😊). We walked all the way to Jack’s Shack, about 500 yards from Margaritaville, grabbed some drinks, and made our way to the street.  Walked for 15 minutes (hot and dusty!).

 

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387323345_GTLocationsonmapandwalkingmap.thumb.jpg.7328a0ae1652cc35ac9c4df4737bd4da.jpg

 

Finally -- Governor’s Beach! Beautiful, quiet and relaxing!

 

  824226944_GTGovernorsBeach.thumb.jpg.e5492cc00fa24934e97008ef5306d213.jpg    

 

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276401646_GTGovernorsBeachfromwater.thumb.jpg.bde7a1962e7779919a912078f61380ba.jpg

 

There are chair vendors and a woman selling drinks and snacks. This is the same location at the big shipwreck (you can’t miss it – it’s the Mega One Triton). My husband got in a comfy chair and the kids and I went snorkeling.

363087912_GTAJsbeachview.thumb.jpg.e438ab78342abba021b66d2ce5c26953.jpg

 

Most of what you’ll see here are juvenile fish. We saw damsel, squirrelfish, bluehead wrasse, French grunt, flounder, parrotfish, grouper, butterflyfish, and even (unfortunately) some lionfish. There were plenty of sea urchin, sea anemones, Christmas trees (sea worms), very tiny blue cleaner shrimp, and much more.

20160103_003048.thumb.JPG.e2c2f9ff648d1a21442ec4c7060f0957.JPG   

Fan Coral with french grunt below 

 

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Sea Anemone, small elkhorn coral, christmas trees                                                                                     & juvenile damsel fish           

 

 20160103_002022.thumb.JPG.1a44b95e29ed8600c55acf3761995d0c.JPG   

Lionfish, fan coral

 

388116650_GTCoral.thumb.jpg.ff93420c7cb1daafec9f0ead35cea171.jpg

Brain coral, sea anemone, star coral,  black sea rod

 

1831431811_GTReef.jpg.d33a6d61e9787e9f6d01c3e0f70ee905.jpg     

 

 

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Lots of bluehead wrasse

 

At least three ship tours made stops here (but didn't seem to stay long). After a few hours, we decided it was time to go. Instead of walking, we took at cab – back to the Cruise Center in less than 10 minutes. No rushing, no crowds, no drama. $20 for the ride (for four of us, $5 per person). We used Four Corners Taxi, Tour & Sightseeing, Jack & Kathy Williams, Jack: 1-649-243-4141, Kathy: 1-649-247-0216, Email: JandKFourCornersAgency@yahoo.com. Kathy was our driver and she went back to Governor’s Beach to pick up another family. Very nice!

 

Beware of wild donkeys: They’re everywhere! The donkeys like to snoop through people’s bags looking for food (I guess). This young woman was in the water when saw a donkey close to her bags. She ran up behind it to “shoo” it. Public Service Announcement – Never go behind a horse or donkey. She ended up getting kicked in the thigh. We never had any problems with them.

 

1271348085_GTdonkeys.thumb.jpg.f9dbef3fb8f11b0364287cbcd6720049.jpg

 

 

At the Cruise Center we did some shopping and then checked out the NASA interactive exhibit (Mercury Program).

641160065_GTNASAexhibit-Mercury.png.4238c35b3f03c6ef75f8ecbab7b3f830.png

 

Another great day in the Caribbean!

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GT View of the beach.jpg

 

 

 

The underwater video is shaky (snorkeling not diving). 

Edited by Debbierpof

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I have seen the shipwreck from the ship many a time. Never thought to go to that location for swim or snorkel. Water sure looked as clear as ever. Nicely done. 

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