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jam19872016

Carnival Magic 8 Day Eastern Cruise Review

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11 hours ago, zencruisers said:

Following along. Enjoying your review and pictures.

 

 

Thank you.

 

6 hours ago, jamscckmc said:

Congrats on your casino win! Wondering compared to other ships how smoky the casino was. Was there any ventilation? Any nonsmoking machines? Thanks!

 

Thanks! 

 

That is a hard question to answer so let me preface it by saying this is only my opinion. I think overall the ventilation was no better or worse than any other Carnival ship. I think what effects the true level of smokiness is how crowded it is. A casino event cruise is going to be crowded. This was the quietest casino I have ever witnessed on Carnival (which I will dig into my theory on that at the end) and so to me smoke was not an issue.

 

That said, it was still full of people passing through with the hysterics turned all the way up. Shirt over their face, rude comments, the whole nine yards.  I say that as a non smoker so I'm not offended by the "drama" just felt it was unnecessary and makes me believe most people smell what they want to smell because to me, it truly did not stink. Just to be sure, I gave my shirt the smell test each night when I went to bed and my clothes smelled like cigarettes only one night out of eight. The clothes don't lie, if it is smokey your shirt will absolutely stink afterwords.

 

Again that is all my opinion, and YMMV.

 

As to non smoking machines, I did not pay attention but in my experience non smoking machines are placed along the same row as smoking machines, so that even if the rules are being followed you are still surrounded by smoking machines. That is something Carnival needs to work on.

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On 7/31/2019 at 2:52 PM, jam19872016 said:

 

Solo cruising is the best! The double cost sucks but it is so so relaxing to just do your own thing the whole week! 

 

 

Thank you!

 

According to my Fun Times the shore excursion desk was open from 11:30-7 on embarkation day.

Thank you!!

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Day 2: Fun Day At Sea

 

Today was our first fun day at sea. I got up and went to brunch. There was a large crowd to get in so I went by the coffee bar first and enjoyed a nice iced coffee then went back for brunch. Magic is still using the old brunch menu. I was really hoping to try out their new menu. I ordered the steak and eggs with a side of sausage and cheese grits (not pictured)

 

 

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Everything was very good. I looked over the menu for stuff that I would miss and although there are a lot of great choices, it's time for change. I can't really say there is anything on this menu that I will be upset to see replaced. Which is why I went with steak and eggs even though it is on the new menu. Bring on the new brunch items :classic_biggrin:.
 

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This towel animal is ready for elegant night.

 

 

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The afternoon was spent in the casino for the fireball raffle. Despite them skimming down the drawings so I would not have to be in the casino all the time, the fireball raffle runs every 30 minutes for three hours. So if you want to be present when your name is called, you can't really do anything else for three hours. The drawing was done a little differently than before. Each round is worth $100 and rolls over if the name is not called. This means a total of $700 is given out in total. Before, each round was worth more. Starting at $50, then adding $100, $150 and so on. Meaning in total the amount given out if you do the math was $1400. 

 

I wasn't doing real good in the casino so I snuck out a couple times so I would not give them their money back too fast. For lunch I went to Guy's BBQ where I had a nice view of the beautiful blue ocean.

 

 

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A nice BBQ lunch with a wonderful sea breeze and the sight of the ocean, this was one of those moments where everything just felt right in the world and I was at total peace!

 

I also made a trip up to Lido to continue taste testing the cakes. The buffet caught my eye. It looked pretty good. I've completely given up on Carnival's buffet, its pretty bad but that is okay because there are so many other things to choose from. But they had a decent looking spread going today, I did not try any I was far too full but I did get a picture of the menu.

 

 

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I'd have to come give this a try another day and see if the taste has improved.
 

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Back in the room some sweet treats had arrived.

 

 

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I would enjoy these later that night, and did not have to share them this time 😄

 

Tonight was elegant night. I forgot to put my memory card back so no pictures of the menu or dinner tonight. But lets be honest, I've done this a time or two and I order pretty much the same thing each time so I am going to just recycle some pictures from a different cruise.

 

Dinner menu.

 

 

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One minor correction to this menu, the lobster was served with toasted orzo on this menu. On my cruise it was served with a mushroom risotto which I have only seen it served with a time or two. I could eat bowls and bowls of just that risotto and be happy, so so good.

 

For my starter I had the fried oysters.

 

 

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These were just not good tonight. They had a weird taste and I did not care for them. Usually they are very good.
 

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For my main I had the lobster and spaghetti carbonara.

 

 

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Both were very very good. 

 

For dessert I had the WCMC with two ice creams.

 

 

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This was also very good, but it was well done to the point of pretty much cooked all the way through.

 

Dinner was very good tonight and again service was top notch. I understand the wait staff is understaffed and very busy so I don't expect the extra attention to detail, but this crew delivers it anyway. I've been very impressed with how good the service has been so far in the dining room.
 

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Back in the room I had a towel animal and my VIFP gift - a lanyard.

 

 

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I believe that you should always be thankful of a gift. Some gifts are better than others, some I would never use. I will definitely use a lanyard and I think most of us would. So I am not sure why there is so much grumbling about this gift. Thank you Carnival for the gift.

 

I rounded out my evening with a comedy show. I arrived about 30 minutes early and the club was about half full.

 

 

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I feel like this is a self fulfilling prophecy. Everyone says you have to show up a half hour early to get in, so we do. It never really filled in much more than this until about 10 minutes till the show started. Then it filled to about capacity but never standing room only. They did not make us clear out between shows if we wanted to stay. He was very funny and I enjoyed the show and a couple drinks.

 

After the show I hung out on the promenade finishing my drink and then made my way to Lido for a little late night snack. I wasn't sure if I wanted pizza or the deli. I was leaning towards the deli and when I saw the pizza line - it must have been 40-50 people deep, I knew I wanted the deli. I can't believe how many people were standing in that line just to save $5. I would have thought the delivery program would ease this problem - I guess I was wrong.

 

I got a pastrami sandwich and fries and headed back to the room. It was quite tasty and I did not miss the pizza at all. After I was done eating I turned in for the night. Next up is another fun day at sea.
 

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Day 3: Fun Day at Sea

 

Today was another fun day at sea. I used to prefer the two sea days at the end of the cruise but I have come to like it better this way. When I was new to cruising and more active, I liked having those sea days at the end to rest but now I rest pretty much every day anyway lol. Having those sea days at the end makes the cruise feel like it is over just a little bit quicker.

 

For breakfast I went to the Blue Iguana for a breakfast burrito. This used to be the best thing ever but the last few cruises it has been hit or miss. It started to redeem itself last cruise, and then I got one that was ice cold in the middle and it turned me back off to these but I know they can be so good so I tried one today. It was fine today, nothing bad about it but nothing to rave about either.

 

Can't beat the view though.

 

 

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I had some time to kill today since the casino did not demand my presence for a drawing I would not win :classic_tongue:.

 

I was very happy to see that the Magic had on demand movies available for purchase. I know this is not important to many people, but I love to watch TV on vacation. I don't watch TV at home so for me this is something different. And at $4.99 a movie, it is still less than people pay to keep their snapchat streak going with a social media plan. 🙄.

 

I got hungry in the middle of the movie so went back to Lido for lunch. I was eating light since I had Cucina reservations for dinner. I decided now was a good time to try out some new buffet items.

 

 

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I was pretty hesitant so just got small bites of everything I tried. But everything was actually pretty good! I wanted to try more but remembered I was saving room for dinner tonight. The buffet was much improved!

 

I walked by the cakes and stared a bit. They called me in by name to come get some cake. They either have very good vision to see my card from so far away, or very remarkable memory. I don't even remember her, maybe my assistant waitress from the first night - it was the only female waitstaff I've had who wasn't European but wow they continue to impress me with their amazing ability to remember your name.

 

She did not help my mission to eat light.

 

 

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Two very generous portions of cake. I took these back to the room to enjoy with my movie.
 

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Next was dinner. You must be thinking, did all he do today was eat and watch TV? Yep, pretty much. God I love vacation 😄

 

I did spend a little time walking the ship today so there was some interruption to being lazy.

 

For dinner I had reservations at Cucina Del Capitano. I think you would be fine without reservations, I was by myself and sat at a table for four so there was no shortage of tables for walk ins. My first time dining here was on my last cruise on the Sunshine. I did not know what to expect and have seen mostly lukewarm to negative reviews. I was very impressed and thought the meal was fantastic and so did my mom who is admittedly much harder to please. When I got back home I immediately made a reservation for a return trip on this cruise.

 

I ordered a peach bellini.

 

 

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OMG that was so good. If it wasn't such a small glass I would have probably ordered a few of those but it was a little pricey for such a small serving.

 

I'd totally forgotten about the bread.

 

 

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I seldom eat bread. It just fills you up when better food is on its way, but this bread is so good! They offered to bring more but I resisted.

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For my starter I had Nonna's meatball and the calamari.

 

 

 

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Oh Nonna. Why will you only bring me one of your delicious meatballs. Those things are simply amazing. A+++ for Nonna's meatball make sure you order this!

 

The calamari were good, but I think less is more with these. It was very good, nice and crispy and flavorful. But it was just too much and I got bored with them by the end especially without enough marinara sauce. This might be good to split, otherwise I wouldn't order them again.

 

For my main I ordered the paperdelle with a side of broccoli and cauliflower.

 

 

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Both were outstanding but I was a little too full at this point to enjoy them completely. Darn you lido cake! If I could do one thing to improve the paperdelle, I'd make it spicy. I love a nice spicy dish but this was still very very good.

 

For dessert I ordered the biscotti with coffee gelato.

 

 

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Another wonderful item.

 

The service was pretty good but a bit odd. By luck of the draw I think I got a distracted waitress. There were a few points where I seemed to be waiting for service and the hostess actually came by and handled my order. Not sure what was going on there but I still had great service and enjoyed a wonderful meal in under an hour.

 

The food was simply amazing and a great bargain at $15. I highly recommend you try Cucina Del Capitano if you do not mind a small upcharge for dinner, it is worth it!
 

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As I finished dinner, the sun was setting outside.

 

 

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Back in the room I had a towel animal and a $50 gift certificate to the spa.

 

 

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The casino was a little nicer to me tonight and overall I made back a little of the money I'd lost the night before thanks to this good hand on video poker.

 

 

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I played for a little while tonight then turned in for the evening. Tomorrow would be our first port of call - St.Maarten.
 

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Great trip report so far! Thanks for sharing!

looking forward to more!

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Thank you for taking the time for this review! Wonderful so far! Sailing Nov 9th. 

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Thanks for taking the time to write this! We are going on Magic for the first time at the end of the month, so I'm enjoying following along on this review.

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23 hours ago, d-train said:

Great trip report so far! Thanks for sharing!

looking forward to more!

 

On 8/2/2019 at 8:08 PM, Cairns Cruisers said:

Enjoying your report looking forward to more.

 

Thanks for reading along!

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15 hours ago, beachgal58 said:

Thank you for taking the time for this review! Wonderful so far! Sailing Nov 9th. 

 

6 hours ago, Super27 said:

Thanks for taking the time to write this! We are going on Magic for the first time at the end of the month, so I'm enjoying following along on this review.

 

Thanks for following my review. Enjoy your cruise, Magic is wonderful!

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Day 4: St. Maarten

 

Today we were in St. Maarten. This is my fourth time at this port of call but I had no plans of getting off the ship today in fact I had no plans of getting off this ship this week except in Puerto Rico.

 

With no plans today I headed down to the dining room for a nice leisurely breakfast. I ordered a yogurt parfait and the masala dosa with a side of hash rounds.

 

 

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This was my first time trying the masala dosa. It is an Indian breakfast item served in a crepe. It was good and I enjoy Indian food but I'm not sure I would order it again. If you like Indian food it is definitely worth a try at least once.
 

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I spent the morning enjoying another movie on the stateroom TV and before I knew it it was time to eat again. Everyone was off the ship so there was no line for Mongolian Wok so I ate there for lunch.

 

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I love that sczhuan (sp?) sauce, it is the real deal when it comes to something calling itself spicy! I can't handle the line on sea days but when it is short like today it is my favorite lunch on the ship!

 

Lunchtime buffet choices.

 

 

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I sampled a bit again and everything was good. I also got a couple slices of cake. No need to save room for dinner tonight so I might have overdone it just a little at lunch 🙂
 

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Next I rolled myself down to the Ocean Plaza for an afternoon of trivia. The host was Maddie and she was pretty good. She is heading soon to the Fascination so not sure how much longer she will be on the Magic.

 

The first round of trivia was general knowledge. I earned myself one of these.

 

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Finally got another one of these to add to my collection after quite the dry spell. Last one I earned was in November of 2017. Nothing at all in 2018! 

 

I thought I was going to get another one on slogans trivia I was in the lead until the last team called out their score. Bummer.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in the room and sent out a thing of laundry before heading to dinner.
 

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Tonight's dinner menu.

 

 

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For my starter I had the baked meatballs.

 

 

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Cannot even begin to live up to Nonna's but they were very good still.

 

For my main I had the portobello mushrooms and the salmon from the everyday menu.

 

 

 

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Both dishes were excellent.

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I somehow forgot to take a picture of the dessert menu. I must have been distracted by showtime ooops.

 

I ordered the apple pie and a banana split from the kid's menu.

 

 

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That apple pie is very good. You never know with apple pie, but it has been good quality every time I've ordered it here. The banana split was also very good, seems bigger and with more toppings than before. Almost an adult sized banana split 😄

 

Dinner was great again tonight and service continued to shine. Only 40 minutes from start to finish even coming in just a little bit later tonight.
 

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My towel animal friend waiting for me back in the room.

 

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Tonight the casino held me hostage again with a hot seat promotion. Every 30 minutes from 10 until midnight one slot player and one table player would be randomly chosen and get to select a cash prize (funplay not real cash) from $50 to I believe $250. I couldn't get on a roll tonight so I only played during the drawings because I want to walk off with as much of Carnival's money as possible 😄

 

 

I ordered a drink from Alchemy and tried to sit in Ocean Plaza and listen to some music in-between drawings. The band was doing Latin music and I couldn't really get into it. I find it interesting that every cruise I've been on has a Latin band, but the only time I've seen a country band was when I sailed out of Mobile. It's great if you want to dance, but looking around the room, I don't think a single person knew any of the songs playing. I ended up just making a few trips back and forth to my room. I didn't think about the Piano Bar but I will try to remember to check that out for the next Hot Seat Promotion later in the week.

 

I finished out the night with enough points to qualify for my Drinks On Us card from the casino. I resisted the urge to tell them how I feel about being made to qualify for this each cruise now because I know they have no control over it. I could book on NCL, Royal, Celebrity, or MSC and walk on the ship with free drinks not just in the casino, but also the casino bar. Cruises may be limited and prices may be more or less than rates I get from Carnival, but they will all offer me drinks in the casino which is a standard courtesy offered to established casino players along all major cruise lines, except Carnival.

 

Before going to bed I stopped by the Lido for a little late night snack. Magic has their late night menu on the buffet which I prefer. Some ships offer Pizza Pirate+ which means you still have to line up in the pizza line. There were a few offerings and were what you would expect from a late night buffet but they hit the spot. 

 

Tomorrow we would be in St.Kitts.
 

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