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Quick Magic Overview 8/31 - 9/8


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Just off the Magic and after the recent reviews and questions I have read here, I thought I would share my observations. This won't be an in depth review and I have no pictures so just a 10,000 foot view. Some quick info about me so you know where my views come from. This was my 14th cruise, 13th with Carnival and my 11th different Carnival ship. It was just me and my angel, no kids or friends joining us. We had a cove balcony, mid-ship on the starboard side. Our favorite room type! I reached Platinum (finally!) on this sailing and so we had the benefits that come with that. Here are the top 10 in no particular order.

  1. Deck space by the main pool was extremely hard to come by. Not many chairs and a lot of chair hogs. Our experience was nearly identical on the Breeze (same ship class).
  2. Alchemy Bar was far more crowded than we have seen on any prior sailing. The location and layout seem to contribute to this as there is limited seating at the bar and the Ocean Plaza draws additional patrons to hear the live music. It was hard to get to the bar to get a drink even if you were looking to sit remotely. The drink quality was great however; the bartenders did seem more conservative this go-round.
  3. The Punchliner was filled to capacity regularly. 15 to 20 minutes prior to show time it was standing room only. Again similar to our experience on the Breeze.
  4. Although this is nowhere near the oldest ship in the fleet, she is showing more signs or wear and tear. Carpet patches in the elevator landing areas, more rust than typical on railings and stateroom just looking tired. Didn't lessen our experience but after seeing other's comments it was pretty apparent.
  5. Service overall on the ship in one word - outstanding! Best ever service experience on any cruise. We had a different wait staff in the MDR every night and they all shined. Cucina and Steakhouse were on their game as usual. Room steward was great and every bartender, drink server or Carnival employee we encountered was pleasant and professional.
  6. Food quality in the MDR seemed below par to us. The menu seems to have been abbreviated slightly and the food just didn't have the wow taste factor we remembered. Out of 8 nights we didn't feel we missed anything by visiting the cucina and steakhouse instead on 2 nights. Don't get me wrong, it was good just not great. We have had great from Carnival prior.
  7. The live music on-board was fair. The primary band was the Sea Monkeys and they were good and talented but their sets just weren't dance type music. More of a lounge act than a dance floor band on a cruise. They also had a string trio in the atrium, an acoustic singer in the Red Frog as well as a Latin duo in the Ocean Plaza. Something for everyone.
  8. As so many ask, yes, the casino on Magic was smokey. One of the worst we have experienced. They had fans but it wasn't enough. Judging from the crowds testing their luck, it didn't deter many though.
  9. The buffet has new menus from our last cruise and the quality of the food seems better. We did miss some of our favorites though like jerk chicken. Where there seemed to be a theme to the menu previously, the options now are all over the place. The new desserts were much improved and the cake selection was really good.
  10. Cruise Director Simon was great. He had energy, personality and a great attitude. We enjoyed any event he hosted.

A couple other details, we arrived at the port about 10:30 and with priority boarding we were on-board at 11:30. There was some delay to allowing us on although I am not sure of the cause. Getting off the ship took about 40 minutes to clear customs again using priority zone 1 debarkation.

We had a great time, after all we were on a cruise, so take any of these with a grain of salt. This is not meant to be a complaint list at all and of course, your mileage may vary. 

 

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We were on this sailing as well and it was our favorite so far!  I'm planning to do a review as well, once I recover.  We just got home today after a long drive home.

 

As for the delay getting on, one of the crew members told us that a 45ish year old man punched an 80ish year old man during debarkation.  Paramedics were called as was security and the man was arrested.  Terrible situation.

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Great review - thanks. We loved the magic in January. 

Alchemy bar is very busy on this ship. I agree it was more crowded than any other ship we have been on. 

I noticed more rust on my last ship (Sunrise) as well - but apparently every ship has rust even if you don’t see it and the rust on Carnival is no worse (I’ve been told on these boards). It doesn’t make the experience any difference but it’s one of the first things people see. Next cruise I will pack the white paint! 

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11 hours ago, Stick93 said:

Great review - thanks. We loved the magic in January. 

Alchemy bar is very busy on this ship. I agree it was more crowded than any other ship we have been on. 

I noticed more rust on my last ship (Sunrise) as well - but apparently every ship has rust even if you don’t see it and the rust on Carnival is no worse (I’ve been told on these boards). It doesn’t make the experience any difference but it’s one of the first things people see. Next cruise I will pack the white paint! 

Not to steal the thread, I saw your pic of the Sunrise, did not see that when we were on her (was not actively looking, bu think it would have stuck out).  Were you sure it was rust?  The entire hull was painted black and then white over in the March timeframe. Again, not trying to hijack the thread, meant to post to your Carnival maint. issue post but forgot.  

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The picture is what I saw. There was quite a bit of that on the ship which surprised me as it was in dry dock 4 months ago. It looks like rust and I only point it out as it’s the first optic people see when they come to the ship or when it’s seen in port. 

 

Jimbo - I respect your posts and you can ask me anything. I am cynical which doesn’t help my posts as some are more negative than what I truly mean. 

 

I didn’t put the picture back up as it doesn’t help or change the experience happening on the ship - the magic is a great example as I loved the ship and would go back on it in a heart beat even if the whole thing was rusted over.

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1 hour ago, Stick93 said:

The picture is what I saw. There was quite a bit of that on the ship which surprised me as it was in dry dock 4 months ago. It looks like rust and I only point it out as it’s the first optic people see when they come to the ship or when it’s seen in port. 

 

Jimbo - I respect your posts and you can ask me anything. I am cynical which doesn’t help my posts as some are more negative than what I truly mean. 

 

I didn’t put the picture back up as it doesn’t help or change the experience happening on the ship - the magic is a great example as I loved the ship and would go back on it in a heart beat even if the whole thing was rusted over.

All good, meant to follow up at the time and forgot, was not doubting you and it seemed weird a ship just painted would do that.  Thanks for the reply.

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Thank you for the review. I will be on the Magic in April for a B2B for our 50th Anniversary, and am really looking forward to it. The long buffet lines and the Smokey casino were 2 issues we had with the Breeze this past March, so I’m sure that won’t be a surprise to me. Especially since one leg of our B2B is during Easter week, and I suspect the ship will be PACKED.......with kids! We found the food on Breeze excellent, so Im hoping for an equally good experience. As for the smoke in the casino, I do wish they’d ban smoking in there. It keeps us from going in there, and we are at our local casino every week! I’m sure many more people would be in there gambling if it was banned, contrary to the naysayers that say smokers gamble more. I say not true in this day and age where most people are more educated to the dangers of smoking, and less people smoke. It doesn’t mean they don’t like to gamble. So, until they ever decide to make Ships totally smoke free (which may never happen), the least they could do is ban it in the casino.

Edited by grandmarnnurse
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3 hours ago, havanadaydreaming said:

 Alchemy was indeed busier than other ships and I, too, credit that to it's centralized location. 

I can’t disagree with this either. Alchemy was very busy. The interesting thing to us what’s that when we sailed on the Magic in 2017, it was almost always empty. Same location in Ocean Plaza. Weird that it would be so different a few years apart. 

 

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4 hours ago, aainsjen said:

How were the seas? I always cruise in February and this is my first time sailing Oct 5th...

Thanks in advance...

 

For our trip, the seas were some of the calmest we have ever experienced! Considering Dorian was in the Bahamas headed to Florida at the time we were expecting worse but the captain headed towards Cuba and the seas were like lake water.

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I was disembarking on the 31st and the whole process was a mess, slow and disorganized .Too much people in the Atrium, long lines that reached the elevators.I was just reaching security to get out and  we ear that there was a fight somewhere.All security went there to sort it out and left the exit.We had to wait maybe 15 mins to exit the ship.I had no wait the customs area.

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IMO I think the Alchemy Bar is getting more poplar because of the different reviews there has been a lot of great reviews here on CC they have just made me want to try all the great drinks I see and there are a lot of vlogs that features the Alchemy as well.

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