Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
xitappers2bx

Carnival Magic Review, Inc. Fun Times

Recommended Posts

Hey All.  So, my kiddo and I are now back from the Magic.  I've tried, and failed, in the past to do live reviews, so here's one after the fact.  We've been on the Magic before, so I didn't take a ton of photos, but lots of things to talk about.  It's apparently easier for me to do things after the fact.  This was also the first cruise that I did not have to do any work while onboard, so while I usually have to buy an Internet package, there was none of that.  I do know there were tons of complaints about the quality of the Internet... it's one of those things where you're in the middle of the ocean and it's just not always going to be that great.  In my own past experience on most ships I have found the Internet to be okay-ish late at night and early in the morning.  We've had the best Internet on NCL's Escape when we cruised to Bermuda.  

 

Up first.  I'm a mid-30-something who likes to do as little as possible and worship the sun gods, and the kiddo is 15, and she loves to do everything or nothing, and there is no in between.  We are fairly loyal to Carnival, although we have cruised on all major lines with the exception fo Celebrity, so we aren't die-hard Carnivilians so much as we are just die hard travelers.  We have traveled fairly extensively, both cruising and not, and I like to think we are pretty tolerable creatures that roll with the punches. 

 

Why this cruise?  The Magic is our favorite Carnival ship.  We booked this cruise in May 2019... I learned the hard way if you want to vacation during winter break, you have to book at least a year in advance if you want a decent room selection.  We had a different cruise booked (NCL Epic out of San Juan), but the airfare was stupid, and I couldn't justify it, so instead I stalked this cruise.  The only requirements we really have for staterooms are somewhat mid-ship, and a balcony.  We much prefer 8 night cruises to 7 night cruises, which made this one attractive as well.  There's something about having "more than a week" that makes the 8 nights feel so much longer than a 7 night cruise.  I booked this cruise in the middle of the night, having randomly checked to see if any rooms with a balcony had opened up that would hold just two people.  There was one cove balcony that was a bit more forward than I am comfortable with, and one ocean suite, and the OS was only about $600 more, so I went with it for the bathtub and my preferred location.  So, yeah.  Booked the suite (which we tend to cruise in suites, so this wasn't a hard choice, I recognize for many people the balcony means nothing).

 

Itinerary: Sea Day / Grand Turk / La Romana / Curacao / Aruba / Sea Day / Sea Day 

 

We don't usually book excursions in advance, and will see what we feel like doing once onboard, but we did this time book the Monkeyland excursion in advance, we knew we really wanted to do it (and I will share lots of photos of this because it was hands-down the best excursion we have done in 20+ cruises) and it was sold out before we boarded, so if this is something you want to do (and you should do it) book this one early.  Once onboard my kiddo saw the excursion for the ostrich farm in Curacao so we booked that.  

 

We did something pretty cool and new to us to get to Florida, but I'll save that for the next post.  And please, I know there have been lots of questions about the Magic, feel free to give me any questions and I'll do my best in answering them.  I also have all of the Fun Times.  I will post them all together after scanning them in.  There will be some changes from the "regular" ones, since this was the Christmas cruise and there was a lot of holiday stuff, but many of the activities are also the same.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Living in Philly, there is nothing quite as attractive in December as getting as far south as possible as quickly as possible.

 

For anyone living in Philly looking for a quality airport hotel, I would strongly suggest the Four Points by Sheraton.  We got a great deal on a park and stay rate, our car was there for 11 days, and the hotel itself is surprisingly nice.  The breakfast was okay enough, the service was good, and the price fairly cheap for being hotel food.  The staff were also quite nice and helpful.  We spent the night of the 18th there and the room was clean and comfortable, and was obviously recently renovated.  We would definitely stay here for a night in the future.

 

So of course, I decided to knock off a bucket list item and instead of flying down to Florida a few days early and basking in the sun, I decided to essentially lock my child and I into a minuscule bedroom of the Amtrak sleeper train.  We saw these trains on the west coast years ago and this was something I've wanted to do for ages.  it was a fine experience, just 28 hours with a teenager and super spotty wifi is a lot.  it's also quite loud at night, which makes sleeping a ton of fun.  I would strongly suggest the sleeper accommodation though.  It was a pretty cool experience, and the beds were surprisingly comfortable.  

 

Here are a few photos:

 

This is the entire space, I'm standing in the doorway, which is basically a sliding glass door with a latch on the inside (does not lock from the outside, so if you both leave, your stuff is all unattended).  The angled metal to the right is the upper bunk, which is perfect for a teenager, you could not have paid me enough money to climb up there.  Across from the longer couch is a captains chair, that folded up so you could access the bathroom.  

IMG_6089.thumb.JPG.3433ed38e7c7a166198f08ef4c2665cf.JPG

 

This is the only table in the space, which is a pretty decent size when totally open.  We were able to fit my mac in the center to watch movies while playing Uno or eating.  The wifi, while free, sucks.  I would have totally paid a bit to have dedicated, quicker, wifi.  

 

IMG_6671.thumb.JPG.845dca19177659946ab2e218ed7f57f2.JPG

 

The door to the left, is the bathroom.  It was miniscule... now I am certainly a person of a larger size, and it was very claustrophobic.  The kiddo, who is quite tiny for her age, thought it was perfect kid-sized.  But, it was our own private bathroom, and that made it absolutely wonderful.  Another one of the sleeping accommodations are roomettes; the toilet in those is baffling, you have to close your door (the whole room is just the width of the chair and then another 24" where there is a toilet that otherwise is like a little table when closed), shut the curtain, and then do your business.  In walking past those rooms, it seemed like very few people keep the doors closed when not doing their private business.  They're just that small.  Perfect for one, or great for two children.  

 

In this photo below, you can see what it looks like in the mirror with the top down.  There was a shocking amount of storage, which is really a necessity.  You can see we just about used up what few inches remained of the floor space with the bottom couch turned into a bed with my backpack down on the floor and a bag of snacks.

 

That door was also the bane of our existence.  It was noisy, it rattled ALL THE TIME.  Finally, I mentioned it to our steward, and he was able to shove some brochures in there (the things sticking out), and while it helped, it still was super noisy all night.  That door is the shared door with the other bedroom on the train.  If you book both, you can open it up and have a larger space for a family.  The couple in the other room were great, quiet and respectful, and absolutely hilarious after a bedtime bottle of wine.  They did leave their cell phone in there, which I was surprised at how serious the employees took it, and the lengths they went to reunite them with their phone. It was great.

 

IMG_7313.thumb.JPG.0669d6789e27c3d08bee9b5365916a12.JPG

 

So, ultimately, this was a bucket list trip.  I don't know that I would do it again, but If the price was right, and we were on the train with the dining car and not the cafe care, if you twisted my arm, I'd probably do it again.

 

So, we left Thursday at about 12:30.  We spent about 30 minutes in DC having the engines changed, and then sped our way down south.  We arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 5:30pm on 20 December.  

 

 

 

Edited by xitappers2bx
.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fort Lauderdale... Train debark to hotel stay

 

So, before continuing on.  Some info for full disclosure.  Nine weeks before our trip, I was hit in the head in my gym, and rebounded off a cement wall, giving myself a pretty serious concussion that put the entire trip in jeopardy.  I am insanely lucky, and happened to go to the urgent care the day after the blow to the head that tends to see a lot of these injuries in kids, and was immediately referred to a specialist (Rothman Concussion Network for anyone in the Philly area that might ever need it) who was amazing.  This sports doc was able to pinpoint the worst symptoms, and connect me to the health care providers to treat it.  

 

The snark in me is still strong, so if anything I say sounds mean, it isn't intended to.  I also still am having inappropriate emotional and physical responses to stimuli, so when we boarded, the anxiety of the process had me looking like I had just run a marathon, although all I had done was sit in a room and then walk up a ramp.  So there won't really be any photos of me, but this also will taint the entire review. I was just so happy to be ABLE to go on vacation, that the small annoying things we encountered were not big deal.  Immediately following the injury I couldn't walk 10 feet in a straight line and not be violently motion sick... getting onto a cruise ship was a miracle.

 

Alright.  So I didn't die on the train, the concussion caused anxiety didn't have me jumping off the train and jumping onto a plane, and I generally held it all together.  We got off the train, and all hell broke loose in my brain.  

 

We debark the train at Fort Lauderdale... and it was almost dusk, and hot, and incredibly overwhelming.  The signage is not all that great.  There was a ton of confusion regarding the process to obtain your checked bags, and figuring out where one was supposed to go to either obtain a cab or an uber/lyft was hard because there was no signage or anything that made sense.  Coming from train stations in the Northeast I was expecting something closer to NYC/Philly/DC and this was more suburban train stop, outdoors, no one inside working the desks, and a mass of people.  We ended up with an Uber Lux, which I guess is the Uber Black equivalent in the NE.  The driver was great, he was there in a few minutes, and he was able to find us with no drama.  Quite possibly the best Uber driver we have ever had.  He's also a realtor, and had me super sold on living in South Florida.  

 

There are an insane number of hotels available in the Port Everglades area.  One of my best friends strongly suggested the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, she stays there once a year when her family cruises, and the price with the shuttle was fine knowing that it was a holiday weekend.  It seems like hotels there are very hit or miss, I had wanted to book the Renaissance, which is one of our favorite brands, but the reviews were terrible, and at a similar price point to the Hilton, I went with what I knew would be good.  My friend's reviews did not disappoint.

 

The Hilton was great, and the serve was phenomenal.  We arrived around 6:15 and the hustle of the hotel was in full swing.  The bell hop immediately had our bags out of the Uber and on a cart, followed us to check in, and then immediately brought our bags up to the room.  The desk staff were also great, I had a few questions, and with my slower than normal brain that had also been overly exhausted after the few hours of sleep on the train, she was so patient with me and it was busy enough that it would not have been shocking had she been rude.  We ordered room service for dinner, and the food had no business being as good as it was.  Dinner was stupid expensive, but the front desk woman had added complementary breakfast to our reservation, so I used our budgeted breakfast funds and it was all good, and just as hot and fresh as if we had gone downstairs to the restaurant.  But we got to eat dinner in bed, in jammies, watching Legally Blonde.  

 

The next morning we somehow ended up eating breakfast with the basketball players there for the tournament that weekend.  And while I felt incredibly OLD and short, they were really nice, and my kiddo had a great time with kids about her own age (well, closer to her in age than she is to my age).  The breakfast was buffet style, and was good.  I loved how they were constantly replenishing the food, and keeping the entire area insanely clean (my two biggest pet peeves when it comes to buffets).

 

After breakfast, I repacked some of our stuff, added our luggage tags, and then we checked out.  Our rate included a shuttle, and I was kind of annoyed that there was space in the shuttle that was sitting outside when we got there, but the shuttles are so quick, we only waited a few minutes for the next one to arrive.   The port is less than 8 minutes from the hotel, and the driver was great and got us there safely, and quickly.  The anxiety that is now part of who I am following this concussion had us leaving earlier than we needed to, but after a good hour of imagining every impossible thing that could happen that would prevent us from getting to the port, we decided it was just better to get there and wait around to end the doomsday scenarios running through my mind (sharknado anyone?).  

 

Next up... checking in... 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Checking In.  We arrived at the terminal around 10:30 for our check in time of 12-12:30 (priority/suite guest/FTTF)

 

This isn't the first time we've cruised out of FLL, but it's been a handful of years, and a lot has changed since.  The Magic was in Terminal 4, there's construction going on right there, and the chaos was strong, but if you have a shuttle driver, they know where they are going.  If you're driving, just be careful and take your time.  Also, be thoughtful about where you park, apparently there were many cars damaged by flooding waters while we were gone (although I do not know all the details, I only know this from reading comments about it on that other social network's cruise page).  

 

We were dropped off towards the end of the drop off area, but there were loads of porters ready, so we were able to immediately drop our luggage.  Then it's maybe a three minute walk around the building to the entrance.  "Regular" boarding was the longer line to the right, and priority/suite/FTTF was to the left.  My biggest gripe was that in this line, there were more folks receiving assistance than actually with priority boarding.  My brother is ID, so I understand needing extra assistance, but if you haven't "earned" the priority boarding, then you shouldn't be afforded that luxury (this would also be my major debarkation gripe, but that's to come later).  I heard tons of people complaining about this, and while it annoyed me, definitely don't let that ruin your mojo.  

 

The doors opened at about 10:45-ish, and the let in the line to the left.  It was really a quick process, from stepping into the doorway to sitting upstairs in the priority waiting area was about five minutes.  The kiddo and I showed our boarding passes, put our backpacks through the scanners, walked through the metal detectors, showed our boarding pass to a very kindly woman, who directed us immediately to one of the little check in desk stands (almost like a podium a speaker would speak at--and that small).  When I checked in online I put in all my credit card information, and they didn't need it during the check in.  The gentleman scanned our passports on his tablet, and sent us on our way--no photo's needed, it uses the passport photo.  

 

At this point, our paths diverged from non-priority check in... it looked like if you're doing normal check in you just went towards the right after the check in area, and I think they were broken down by boarding group (but I only heard this second hand, I don't know for fact).  We looped around to the left towards the escalators, and up to the left was the area where Faster to the Fun passengers sat, while up the escalator were the sitting areas for priority (suites and closest to the escalator), then platinum, and then diamond closest to the walkway.  We did not sit for very long, maybe 15-20 minutes before boarding.  The process was absurdly smooth, and all of the anxiety I had about having to wait in long lines with a lot of people to get to that long check in desk was totally for naught.  

 

We have done a lot of cruises from many different ports.  It has never been as easy as it was in FLL.  I don't know if this is the process in all ports, this was our first cruise in about 18 months (did a bunch of land based traveling), but it's really great and I hope that all ports are either doing it like this, or starting to roll out a quicker process like this.  Not having that long loopy line just to get to check in was amazing, having someone at the doors controlling how many people got in was also probably helpful.  I could see, though, in the heat of the Florida summer this might be a nightmare if you have to wait in super long lines, so I would assume it's really a good idea to just follow your check in times.  And if you have crazy anxiety like I currently do (thanks brain) I just felt better being there, and was fully prepared to hang out in line outside of need be (the weather was a really comfortable 75).

Edited by xitappers2bx
.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review. Loving getting some updates on the Magic. I sailed on her in October of 2016 and have another planned for November 2020.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magic is our favorite ship! We got married on her in May 2017!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following - we are going on the Magic for 8 days in June. So excited! Some reviews speak of horrible smells. Did you have much of that? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the review and I am so glad that you were able to go on the cruise and the concussion wasn't worse. Just as I get older, the changes in my brain are scary. It would be even scary to happen all at once from a TBI. Glad that things are on looking up for you.

 

And the magic is my favorite as well! What was the actual cabin number you were in? Only $600 more for a suite sounds amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, afergvip said:

Following - we are going on the Magic for 8 days in June. So excited! Some reviews speak of horrible smells. Did you have much of that? 

 

I noticed no smells the entire time other than some funk in our bathroom.  I also never smelled anything the other times we have been on the Magic.  I do know a lot of people complain about it on the lower decks, we have only ever stayed on decks 7 and 8.  I will say this time, on the first day, the bathroom had a weird smell, like heavy cleaner that wasn't exactly clean, but by the end of the evening, the smell was gone, and it didn't bother me.  I took a deviation to the second deck accidentally and noticed nothing.  In the page on that other social network people were complaining about terrible smells, I just never experienced it myself.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, five. said:

Thank you for the review and I am so glad that you were able to go on the cruise and the concussion wasn't worse. Just as I get older, the changes in my brain are scary. It would be even scary to happen all at once from a TBI. Glad that things are on looking up for you.

I was really, really lucky to have a medical team that got me into the right specialists right away.  3x a week of vestibular therapy and then once a week with a vision specialists to force my eyes and ears to work together appropriately.  I also didn't buy insurance for this cruise, so we really were going no matter what.  But, I think I probably had a better time than I ever thought possible just because it was so up in the air for so many weeks.  

25 minutes ago, five. said:

And the magic is my favorite as well! What was the actual cabin number you were in? Only $600 more for a suite sounds amazing.

We were in 7335, and I LOVED the room, the location, and the fact that it wasn't too close to the hot tubs on deck 5, which was a big concern (when we have cruised on the Magic previously, we have been on deck 8, but closer to the hot tubs which would get loud and made reading on the balcony less than fun).  There were only two balcony's left that held two people, the cove and the OS, so I went with the OS.  It was still a pretty expensive trip... we're doing a cruise around Japan next summer, and this cruise was only about $1000 less... Christmas is not cheap.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, afergvip said:

Following - we are going on the Magic for 8 days in June. So excited! Some reviews speak of horrible smells. Did you have much of that? 

I noticed said smell 1x in Sep while we were headed to exit ship at port on lower level. 

 

I think we were deck 8 or 9 and had no issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting onboard.  

 

Time to get on this ship.  They called Diamond, Platinum, and then Suites, and it was time for us to get onto our ship for the next eight nights.  As we walked around the upper level towards the walkway on, there was a table set up selling inexpensive lanyards (I think they were $2) but we don't use them, so we didn't get one.  Although, I think next time, I will insist the child wear one instead of putting her S&S into her phone case.  She didn't lose it, but she did leave it in the stateroom more than once.

 

Alright, so you look around, passing the table with the lanyards, and then you are a short walk to the gangway.  This was probably the most difficult part of the morning for my brain; the walkway is very steep.  This is something I don't think I have ever thought about, but for a person with a mobility issue (or a concussion) this could be a very difficult, if not entirely limiting thing.  The kiddo went ahead of me, and the people behind me had a toddler and a baby in a stroller, so no one was rushing me, but my eyes really struggled with the steepness of the walkway, and it took about twice as long as usual to get up onto the ship.  But we made it.  And it was crazy for the ship to be so quiet.

 

Even though we cruise in suites often on Carnival, we have never been on the ship so "early" and getting on, we were probably the 50th or so person, which was insane.  We were able to hop right from deck 3 to deck 7 to drop our bags (we also had faster to the fun).  Remember how I said nothing really bothered me?  Well, here's something that didn't bother me, but might really piss someone else off.  We had FTTF, so in theory our stateroom (ocean suite, 7335 mid/aft-ish, close to the elevators, great location) should have been ready.  It wasn't.  Everything was clean, but the beds were still pushed together and not made.  For the two people who don't know what FTTF is, basically, you pay $99 for the privilege to board after the suites do, and your stateroom is ready for you when you get on, and you get quicker luggage delivery.  Our room wasn't ready, but whatever, we're on vacation.  I was able to put our backpacks and snack bag into a closet and our steward closed the door so no one but him could get in. 

 

We also were able to grab our keys, which were in a sealed envelop in the mailbox.  If you don't have FTTF and follow the rules, you just use your boarding pass which has the information that they need to charge you for purchases.  We took our keys, and went up to Lido to find food.  It was about noon, and the ship was still incredibly empty.  I went right to the Mongolian Wok, my favorite, and there was no line (this would be the only time this is true).  The kiddo wasn't hungry, and we didn't go crazy on the junk food like we typically do during our first meal on board. 

 

By this point it was about 12:30, and we went back to the room, which was completely done and ready for us at this point.  I know there has been a lot of talk everywhere about the smells on board the Magic.  I did not experience this at all, any of the times that we have been on the Magic, but, at this point, I did think we had encountered our first experience with the dreaded smell.  The bathroom had a weird, not quite sewage-y, rank to it.  Almost like dirty cleaner, which was a gross thought, but everything was clean.  I was really worried, but it wasn't overwhelming, and I figured that was possibly an issue for later on.  In reality, by dinnertime, the smell was completely gone, and I had totally forgotten about it until I read comments above about it.  

 

Our luggage arrived around 1:30/2:00, until that came I sat outside on the balcony with my eyes closed, just enjoying the weather.  It did look like it was a bit rainy, but the balcony was protected enough where it wasn't raining on me.  The kiddo managed to drag the bags into the room, and the unpacking began.  By this point, we had been living in suitcases for three nights, and I was 100% over it, and ready to not see a suitcase for days.  So we unpacked, and I realized that I did not have any dryer sheets and a plastic trash bag for our dirty clothes (basically, I put the trash bag into the carry on size suitcase, with a bunch of lavender dryer sheets, and then the dirty clothes don't rank up the suitcase, and I can be a little less dramatic when I finally do the laundry once at home).  Oh well.  I put a suitcase half open to act as our hamper next to the sofa behind the end table there, out of the way.  

 

It was great to be totally unpacked, with lunch, and having taken a little rest before the muster drill, which started a bit late.  Muster was pretty much the same as it always is, we were in the Northern Lights Dining Room, Deck 3, getting there was a little chaotic, but I think there were a huge amount of first time cruisers, so understandable.  We found a table with a kind gentleman.  It's great we don't have to bring life jackets.  So much easier to not have to line up on deck wearing them.  After muster I went up to the Lido Deck, got a drink from Blue Iguana (that was amazing), and then kiddo and I headed back to the room to chill a bit (ie: talk to my parents, say goodbye, she could text her friends) before leaving.  I had assumed that because we all had to be onboard by 3, we would be the first of the six or seven ships in port to leave.  We were the second, if you're into the blowing of the horns, I caught the end of the Princess ship's horn which was fun.  The video is attached below.  

 

Something that was pretty cool during the muster drill was the fact they now have a "special needs" section.  I don't know if this was the official name, but after muster, I was going through all the papers in the cabin, and there was information about how the Magic is now a sensory certified ship.  Inclusion is something that is really meaningful to me, my little brother is developmentally disabled, and seeing the extra length that cruise company's are willing to go to be more inclusive is really great.  There were a few kiddos in wheelchairs, and lots of differently abled kiddos and adults, and it was really good to see Carnival going the extra distance to make sure that everyone has a similar experience.  It was also great to see the sign language interpreters at the shows and during the Muster.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Really enjoying your review!  We are on the Magic in around 3 weeks, but on the 6 day cruise.   It is our first time on Magic and I am really looking forward to the rest of your experiences - especially debarkation, which has been not-so-great the last few times out of Port Everglades when we cruised on Conquest.  

Edited by pe4all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2019 at 12:27 AM, xitappers2bx said:

Living in Philly, there is nothing quite as attractive in December as getting as far south as possible as quickly as possible.

 

For anyone living in Philly looking for a quality airport hotel, I would strongly suggest the Four Points by Sheraton.  We got a great deal on a park and stay rate, our car was there for 11 days, and the hotel itself is surprisingly nice.  The breakfast was okay enough, the service was good, and the price fairly cheap for being hotel food.  The staff were also quite nice and helpful.  We spent the night of the 18th there and the room was clean and comfortable, and was obviously recently renovated.  We would definitely stay here for a night in the future.

 

So of course, I decided to knock off a bucket list item and instead of flying down to Florida a few days early and basking in the sun, I decided to essentially lock my child and I into a minuscule bedroom of the Amtrak sleeper train.  We saw these trains on the west coast years ago and this was something I've wanted to do for ages.  it was a fine experience, just 28 hours with a teenager and super spotty wifi is a lot.  it's also quite loud at night, which makes sleeping a ton of fun.  I would strongly suggest the sleeper accommodation though.  It was a pretty cool experience, and the beds were surprisingly comfortable.  

 

Here are a few photos:

 

This is the entire space, I'm standing in the doorway, which is basically a sliding glass door with a latch on the inside (does not lock from the outside, so if you both leave, your stuff is all unattended).  The angled metal to the right is the upper bunk, which is perfect for a teenager, you could not have paid me enough money to climb up there.  Across from the longer couch is a captains chair, that folded up so you could access the bathroom.  

IMG_6089.thumb.JPG.3433ed38e7c7a166198f08ef4c2665cf.JPG

 

This is the only table in the space, which is a pretty decent size when totally open.  We were able to fit my mac in the center to watch movies while playing Uno or eating.  The wifi, while free, sucks.  I would have totally paid a bit to have dedicated, quicker, wifi.  

 

IMG_6671.thumb.JPG.845dca19177659946ab2e218ed7f57f2.JPG

 

The door to the left, is the bathroom.  It was miniscule... now I am certainly a person of a larger size, and it was very claustrophobic.  The kiddo, who is quite tiny for her age, thought it was perfect kid-sized.  But, it was our own private bathroom, and that made it absolutely wonderful.  Another one of the sleeping accommodations are roomettes; the toilet in those is baffling, you have to close your door (the whole room is just the width of the chair and then another 24" where there is a toilet that otherwise is like a little table when closed), shut the curtain, and then do your business.  In walking past those rooms, it seemed like very few people keep the doors closed when not doing their private business.  They're just that small.  Perfect for one, or great for two children.  

 

In this photo below, you can see what it looks like in the mirror with the top down.  There was a shocking amount of storage, which is really a necessity.  You can see we just about used up what few inches remained of the floor space with the bottom couch turned into a bed with my backpack down on the floor and a bag of snacks.

 

That door was also the bane of our existence.  It was noisy, it rattled ALL THE TIME.  Finally, I mentioned it to our steward, and he was able to shove some brochures in there (the things sticking out), and while it helped, it still was super noisy all night.  That door is the shared door with the other bedroom on the train.  If you book both, you can open it up and have a larger space for a family.  The couple in the other room were great, quiet and respectful, and absolutely hilarious after a bedtime bottle of wine.  They did leave their cell phone in there, which I was surprised at how serious the employees took it, and the lengths they went to reunite them with their phone. It was great.

 

IMG_7313.thumb.JPG.0669d6789e27c3d08bee9b5365916a12.JPG

 

So, ultimately, this was a bucket list trip.  I don't know that I would do it again, but If the price was right, and we were on the train with the dining car and not the cafe care, if you twisted my arm, I'd probably do it again.

 

So, we left Thursday at about 12:30.  We spent about 30 minutes in DC having the engines changed, and then sped our way down south.  We arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 5:30pm on 20 December.  

 

 

 

Following, as I board the Magic in April for a B2B. We take Amtrak all the time to our daughter’s home in Minot, ND from ours in Buffalo, NY. But we just book coach. A lot harder sleeping for two days in a seat that barely reclines—LOL! I’d love to have a sleeper, but they are really very pricey. Can’t wait to read your full review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following, as we leave for an 8 day on Magic in 72 days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, xitappers2bx said:

 

I noticed no smells the entire time other than some funk in our bathroom.  I also never smelled anything the other times we have been on the Magic.  I do know a lot of people complain about it on the lower decks, we have only ever stayed on decks 7 and 8.  I will say this time, on the first day, the bathroom had a weird smell, like heavy cleaner that wasn't exactly clean, but by the end of the evening, the smell was gone, and it didn't bother me.  I took a deviation to the second deck accidentally and noticed nothing.  In the page on that other social network people were complaining about terrible smells, I just never experienced it myself.  

Thanks so much for the info!! We did book a Cove Balcony - only because I had one on the Breeze and LOVED it! I can't really be in the sun unless I'm in water or shade. I get very sick quickly in the sun so my thought was I could sit on the balcony even in the heat of the day and still have an abundance of shade with the cove balcony. Maybe I should re-think that and move up??? Not sure what to do on that one - but LOVING your review so far! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, afergvip said:

Thanks so much for the info!! We did book a Cove Balcony - only because I had one on the Breeze and LOVED it! I can't really be in the sun unless I'm in water or shade. I get very sick quickly in the sun so my thought was I could sit on the balcony even in the heat of the day and still have an abundance of shade with the cove balcony. Maybe I should re-think that and move up??? Not sure what to do on that one - but LOVING your review so far! 

I'm pretty pale, and do my best to stay out of direct sun because skin cancer.  There was some sun on our balcony, but without sunscreen I did not get any color, but we also were getting ready for dinner/at dinner during the sunset and slept through sunrise, so really weren't ever out on the balcony when the sun had a direct path to my skin.  I sat outside for hours at a time, it was so nice and hot, but still somewhat shady.  This was also weak winter sun (which was still pretty strong).  From the other social media page for our sail page, people on decks 10/11/12 said they noticed smells and a few people on deck 2 said they noticed smells.  For full honestly, I never went in the room hallways that high, and was only down on deck 2 once, and noticed nothing then.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm working on scanning in the Fun Times.  I want to attach them as I go through the days.  Tomorrow there will be more!  I'm happy so many people are enjoying this.  I imagine that I'm an okay story teller, I just wish I had taken more photos.


With that said, here are a few more that I did actually take !

 

This was a message waiting for us for when we got into our stateroom! 

 

IMG_1003.thumb.JPG.f7a7db44e53892309690a8e9d1d9fa02.JPG

 

The kiddo and I are Jewish, but we (as in me) love Christmas.  My sister was awesome enough to let me borrow some Christmas decorations.  There was a lot of confusion and debate about what you can and cannot bring onto the ship.  Carnival's rules are pretty clear, but then again, there did not seem to be any real following of the rules pertaining to decorations.  I saw tons of doors decorated held up by tape directly onto the door (supposed to be a big no no), lots of battery operated fairy lights on doors (also a no no, we also had two small strings of them), etc. etc. etc.

 

You can kind of get an idea of what the suite looks like too, just look into the mirror.  The four water bottles were actually ours, and should not have had the price tag on them--each person in the suite gets one, and then you get one for being gold VIFP.  They were dusty, I also bought a ton of smaller bottles, so we didn't need them.  

 

IMG_2899.thumb.JPG.eb236b66ae01abdeed4fa5a2c7c28fb8.JPG

IMG_2090.thumb.JPG.b5086c26ce6da789279bf38d6ae1e6ab.JPGIMG_9064.thumb.JPG.92e29174cb2025eb8943e1577aa981df.JPGIMG_2859.thumb.JPG.0e1d63fecd41dd008570a39535f2c85c.JPG

 

As you can see, I got stuck with twin beds.  This was a nightmare.  Carnival has done a great job forcing you to book rooms only of your occupancy... so I was completely not able to get a room that held 3 people, instead I was stuck with rooms that did not have a sleeper sofa.  Which I totally get--because Carnival is a business out to make money.  But, when you're the parent, and you've paid for your vacation, the last thing you want to do is sleep in a twin sized bed.  This bed was really the worst part of the entire trip (and let's be real, is that really all that bad?  No.  But still, later on I'll give all you a few good laughs at my expense because of that bed).  We have been cruising NCL more recently (and have two cruises booked on them for this upcoming year) and this is really something that puts NCL slightly ahead of Carnival--they allow you to reserve a room for two people in rooms meant for three.  I should also note, if you book with a travel agent, as I typically do (totally all about supporting women-owned small, local businesses!), they usually can book you in a room for three.  I booked this cruise literally in the middle of the night on a major travel agency website that's a triple vowel, and while I entirely regretted the experience and will never use them again, it was my own fault, and no one elses, that I ended up in a twin bed for 8 nights.

 

Outlets.  In the third photo you get a good shot of exactly one half of all the plugs--in the entire room.  This is something that took Carnival a really long time to catch up on.  Their more recent ships have USB and outlets by the beds... but on the dear ole' Magic in a non-suite stateroom, you get exactly two plugs, in a suite you get four, two as seen in the photo, and two in the dressing room.  I ended up using my Mac to charge my phone overnight so the kiddo could charge her devices in the plugs (and it kept her off her phone before bed... mom win!).  

 

Seriously though.  Get a power strip.  I had a crazy weekend before leaving, and didn't do the best job packing (thanks concussion and my crazy life), and left our power strip at home (I love ours because it came with a ton of international adaptors and has a bunch of USB ports as well).  It was annoying not to have it, but really, we survived just fine.  

 

So... we've gotten into our room... we've unpacked... we've done muster... tomorrow I will scan in the Fun Times... and then we'll be that much closer to The Best Day Ever.  And there are photos.  Lots of them.  Until then, it was about this time that housekeeping/room service (not sure which, but I think housekeeping) brought us the three dozen bottles of water I pre-bought.  I bought a soda card as well for myself and the kiddo, and drank all but 4 bottles of water and exactly 8 sodas---all in the last 2 days, because yeah.  I realized I totally wasted a ton of money. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I guess one more thought.  The newish/newer ships all make you put in a card of some type to have the electricity.  We see this a lot in Europe, but not in most American hotels... it seems to trip up people... I just stuck my monthly train pass in there, and just remembered not to waste electricity and turned off my own lights. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading along. We sail in 56 days and I am appreciative of all of your info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...