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Just off Magic 1/26-2/1


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This was cruise # 27 on Carnival, but first time on Magic. Sailed with dd31, who is special needs.  This was our annual mother-daughter cruise.   Had a really great cruise over-all.  Will break down cruise into topics to make it easier.

 

PreCruise/Embarkation:   DD and I flew into FLL Friday for Sunday cruise.  We have a condo (hardly used as dh is still working) right off Las Olas Blvd. and stayed there.  Ubered over to port- at around 10:30 Sunday morning.    Cost was $10.  Port is under construction so drop-off area was a bit different than last time we cruised out of Port Everglades.  Dropped off luggage (2 pieces- tipped porter $5) and walked around building.  Barely any line at priority checkin - were through in literally 2 minutes, went upstairs, where Platinum area was pretty full already.  At 11:10 they called a wedding party to board, immediately followed by Diamond, and then us.  We were onboard dropping off our backpacks in cabin at 11:15!!  Sail and sign cards were waiting in mailslot.  Went to guest services to put some gift cards on our account, and walked ship to re-acclimate ourselves. (we have been on Breeze and Dream, but not for a while.)

 

Food:  Pretty much ate everywhere.  Steakhouse was really, really good, and service outstanding.  Buffet was - well, a buffet!  Had Cucina del Capitano for lunch - very good pasta made to order.  Room service (ordered once) came quickly, food well-prepared.  Guys Burgers, Pig and Anchor, Blue Iguana wraps for breakfast, sushi, etc. all decent.  We did not eat Mongolian wok or pizza.   Had New England clam chowder from Seafood Shack - was really delicious, served in a hard bread bowl.  Did not go to Red Frog Pub.  We did not starve!

 

Entertainment:  We are early to bed, early to rise people.  In gym by 6 a.m., back in cabin by 10 pm at night.  Having been on so many CCL cruises, we did not partake in many activities or entertainment.  Did bingo for first time in around 10 cruises - surprised at how expensive the cards were.  On Magic they sell markers to mark your cards - $2 each.  It was interesting how they "ran out" of the $30 package on our first sea day- ended up with $40 package.  The bottom level of the theater was totally filled for our session.  For the paltry prize money they gave out ($180, $250, free cruise - no, we did not even come close to winning!) we will give up on bingo on our next cruises. Did waterwork slides and dump bucket, played some basketball with dd.  Did a ton of walking on ship - no elevators if we could help it. (deck 0 to 8 was the exception)

 

Cabin:  8378 - great steward!  Cabin was spotless, a/c worked great, was quiet except for neighbors letting their balcony doors slam shut.  On a few nights our neighbors decided to have very loud conversations right outside our door at around 1 a.m.  Oh well.

 

Ports:  Nassau (meh - after 15 times there we just got off ship and walked around for 2 hours .   Amber Cove -4th time there - just hung out.  Usually zipline and do slides there, but weren't in mood.  At Grand Turk we hung out at the Margaritaville flow rider/pool.  Flowerider was open for a bit, then shut down for rest of day - superchlorinating the water, they said.  

 

Casino:  This was a Premier cruise.  Casino was smokey, as usual, and pretty jammed most of the time. Slots open more hours than usual.   Casino sent gifts, cookies, steakhouse dinner etc. to our cabin.  Free drinks in casino.  Nice party to start cruise.  I went home with some of their money - even better!

 

CCL Hub App:  worked great.  Got the chat feature for dd and myself.  Liked that I could make YTD dinner reservation on app, get a message that our table was ready, head down one level and were led right to table.  Making a reservation can't be done for YTD until the dining room literally opens, but you really get a head start on the long line of people waiting who did not use the app.

 

Things I wasn't too happy with:  So, I drink caffeine-free diet coke at home, so I wasn't happy with the changeover to Pepsi products.  I always purchase Bottomless Bubbles before I cruise.  On board, I literally went to every bar, and could not find caffeine-free diet Pepsi, except for the atrium bar.  I mentioned this to the bartenders there, who said "yes, we are the only bar to have it."  Great, except that when I am at Serenity, or aft pool, or elsewhere, I don't want to have to shlep to atrium bar.  Many times I switched to club soda if I was no where near the atrium bar, which was given to me in a tiny can that did not even fill 1/2 of the cup! Giving me a glass filled to the top with ice and then a tiny can of soda which (even with the ice) only took a couple of sips to finish wasn't great.  They used to give club soda from a bar spigot - would have preferred that.  Also, do not like the sugar straws they gave for frozen drinks. They disintegrate.   The casino ran out of them 2x.  I took a bath once when I tilted the Sangria Swirl frozen drink to take a sip, and 1/2 the drink sloshed out on me.  DD thought it was the funniest thing - me, not so much.  I did pack plastic straws, but of course left them in the cabin most of the time. 

 

Aft pool:  After cruising on Conquest, with the aft pool (when I cruised last January) dedicated to adults only, I was disappointed with the number of kids in the aft pool and hot tubs.  Now, don't get me wrong - I was an elementary school physical education teacher for 37 years, (K-6th grade) and love kids.  Even have 2 of my own.  However, having 2-3 year olds in the hottubs is not my cup of tea.  There was a "lifeguard" on duty at all times the pool was open (great) and now and then they would go up to a child in the pool and ask where their parents were.  Never went to check the hottubs that I saw.  Many parents were pretty far away sitting on lounges- not even near the pool.  I kept my eyes on the younger kids.  No, it was not my responsibility to do so, but old habits die hard.  I could have hung out in Serenity, or near the hottubs on deck 5 which were usually filled with only adults, but being the lazy person I am on a cruise, did not feel like heading over there once I was planted on a lounge happily reading my kindle.   

 

Debarkation:  We were zone 1, and took our time and did not leave the ship until around 9.  Another pet peeve - we have the mobile passport app on my phone, for which we pay $12 a year for the enhanced version.  It is supposed to be accepted at Port Everglades- it says as much on the website and app.   Last year it was not, and again - the same for this year.  If you are not going to accept it, correct the info on the sites.   Rant done.  

 

I do not have the funtimes (could see all activities on the hub app) nor do I take pictures (CCL ones or pics on my cell.)  If you have any questions, let me know.  All in all we had great weather, a great cruise, and can't wait for our next one.  Happy cruising to all!

 

 

 

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In using the Hub app for Your Time Dining (YTD), were you able to request a specific section to keep the same wait staff or is it pretty much pot luck where you will get seated. Would like to be able to use the Hub App but also like to keep the same wait staff for dinner each night.

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8 hours ago, SDPadreFan said:

In using the Hub app for Your Time Dining (YTD), were you able to request a specific section to keep the same wait staff or is it pretty much pot luck where you will get seated. Would like to be able to use the Hub App but also like to keep the same wait staff for dinner each night.

No, we could not pick a certain section with the app.  At that point you have to wait on line for the maitre'd to seat you. The waiters will ask what table you are at, and lead you there. 

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17 hours ago, pe4all said:

CCL Hub App:  worked great.  Got the chat feature for dd and myself.  Liked that I could make YTD dinner reservation on app, get a message that our table was ready, head down one level and were led right to table.  Making a reservation can't be done for YTD until the dining room literally opens, but you really get a head start on the long line of people waiting who did not use the app.

 

Do you know if you have to wait until you are on board to purchase the chat feature?  We don't care about any of the plans, but it would be nice to go ahead and purchase the feature.

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4 hours ago, pe4all said:

No, we could not pick a certain section with the app.  At that point you have to wait on line for the maitre'd to seat you. The waiters will ask what table you are at, and lead you there. 

 

I was wondering about that too.  We love ATD, but if we like our waitstaff, we want the same ones each time.  Disappointed you can't do that.

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We were on this cruise.  I agree with all points.  The sugar straws were lemon/lime flavored and did not add anything to the drinks!  Actually were pretty gross.  We had YTD and used the app for a table for 10 and were seated at the same table with the same dining team every night.  I believe you need to be on board to buy the chat feature, but it took 3 minutes to do it on the app once on board.

 

Also had the customs app, but thankfully just the free version. But was told "we don't use that here".  whatever, it went quickly anyway.

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1 hour ago, Kadiem said:

We were on this cruise.  I agree with all points.  The sugar straws were lemon/lime flavored and did not add anything to the drinks!  Actually were pretty gross.  We had YTD and used the app for a table for 10 and were seated at the same table with the same dining team every night.  I believe you need to be on board to buy the chat feature, but it took 3 minutes to do it on the app once on board.

 

Also had the customs app, but thankfully just the free version. But was told "we don't use that here".  whatever, it went quickly anyway.

Do you know if there is a limit to how many can check in?  We have 14 in our group next month, and wondering how it will work.

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Our group of 10 reservations were linked for dining purposes so that is why I think we were able to book for 10.  We made new friends on the cruise so we added 2 more and had to do that at the podium, but I think if you link your reservations by calling Carnival you will be able to book for 14

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Carnival will be able to link your reservations - give them a call.  You will need all the names/reservation numbers to do this.  You can only buy the chat feature once literally on board. I tried from home and from inside the terminal.  No good.  Once we stepped on the ship we were able to set everything up.  We ate at the dining room 3x using the app to "reserve" a table, and were seated at a different table each time- but there were only 2 of us, so they could "stick" us anywhere. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Does Carnival allow you to carry your own bags and "walk" off on your own instead of leaving bags out the night before and getting an assigned debarkation time?  We always carry our own bags and walk of very early on RCCL and Celebrity.

 

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8 minutes ago, choppe said:

Does Carnival allow you to carry your own bags and "walk" off on your own instead of leaving bags out the night before and getting an assigned debarkation time?  We always carry our own bags and walk of very early on RCCL and Celebrity.

 

Yes. But you will wait in common areas and be called off by deck number of where your cabin was.

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Just now, amyotravel said:

Yes. But you will wait in common areas and be called off by deck number of where your cabin was.

That kind of stinks.  We usually get coffee and stand in line so we can be one of the first few off.  Sounds like it could take a while to get off after they clear ship.  We have a long drive back to Michigan from FLL during spring break and was hoping to get a jump on it.  There will be lots of snowbirds driving back from Florida that day.

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1 minute ago, choppe said:

That kind of stinks.  We usually get coffee and stand in line so we can be one of the first few off.  Sounds like it could take a while to get off after they clear ship.  We have a long drive back to Michigan from FLL during spring break and was hoping to get a jump on it.  There will be lots of snowbirds driving back from Florida that day.

You could get lucky and be one of the first called, but no guarantees. Just be glad you are not trying to get to a flight.

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Just now, amyotravel said:

You could get lucky and be one of the first called, but no guarantees. Just be glad you are not trying to get to a flight.

I will keep that in mind because we have another Carnival cruise out of Galveston in December, which we are flying in and out of.  Thank you. 

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6 minutes ago, choppe said:

I will keep that in mind because we have another Carnival cruise out of Galveston in December, which we are flying in and out of.  Thank you. 

Actually, you will fly in and out of Houston. Hobby is closer, but still far. IAH is really far. Customs was a mess in Galveston last month, and it was nearly 11 AM before we got out of the terminal. We had an 8 PM flight so no worries there.

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2 minutes ago, amyotravel said:

Actually, you will fly in and out of Houston. Hobby is closer, but still far. IAH is really far. Customs was a mess in Galveston last month, and it was nearly 11 AM before we got out of the terminal. We had an 8 PM flight so no worries there.

Oh, wow.  Maybe we will consider flying back home  on Sunday instead of Saturday and hang out in Houston for the night.  That will help reduce my stress level.

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3 minutes ago, choppe said:

Oh, wow.  Maybe we will consider flying back home  on Sunday instead of Saturday and hang out in Houston for the night.  That will help reduce my stress level.

No need to stress at all. Just don't book a flight before 2PM or so in case. Or, sure, stay and play in Houston and add a day of vacay! 🙂

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35 minutes ago, choppe said:

Does Carnival allow you to carry your own bags and "walk" off on your own instead of leaving bags out the night before and getting an assigned debarkation time?  We always carry our own bags and walk of very early on RCCL and Celebrity.

 

 

Yes you do self-assist and the info regarding this will be in your cabin the night before. They usually call for self assist people around 6-7am.

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Just now, Buffalofirsttimer4 said:

 

Yes you do self-assist and the info regarding this will be in your cabin the night before. They usually call for self assist people around 6-7am.

Have never been called anywhere near that early.

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On 2/3/2020 at 6:34 PM, pe4all said:

This was cruise # 27 on Carnival, but first time on Magic. Sailed with dd31, who is special needs.  This was our annual mother-daughter cruise.   Had a really great cruise over-all.  Will break down cruise into topics to make it easier.

 

PreCruise/Embarkation:   DD and I flew into FLL Friday for Sunday cruise.  We have a condo (hardly used as dh is still working) right off Las Olas Blvd. and stayed there.  Ubered over to port- at around 10:30 Sunday morning.    Cost was $10.  Port is under construction so drop-off area was a bit different than last time we cruised out of Port Everglades.  Dropped off luggage (2 pieces- tipped porter $5) and walked around building.  Barely any line at priority checkin - were through in literally 2 minutes, went upstairs, where Platinum area was pretty full already.  At 11:10 they called a wedding party to board, immediately followed by Diamond, and then us.  We were onboard dropping off our backpacks in cabin at 11:15!!  Sail and sign cards were waiting in mailslot.  Went to guest services to put some gift cards on our account, and walked ship to re-acclimate ourselves. (we have been on Breeze and Dream, but not for a while.)

 

Food:  Pretty much ate everywhere.  Steakhouse was really, really good, and service outstanding.  Buffet was - well, a buffet!  Had Cucina del Capitano for lunch - very good pasta made to order.  Room service (ordered once) came quickly, food well-prepared.  Guys Burgers, Pig and Anchor, Blue Iguana wraps for breakfast, sushi, etc. all decent.  We did not eat Mongolian wok or pizza.   Had New England clam chowder from Seafood Shack - was really delicious, served in a hard bread bowl.  Did not go to Red Frog Pub.  We did not starve!

 

Entertainment:  We are early to bed, early to rise people.  In gym by 6 a.m., back in cabin by 10 pm at night.  Having been on so many CCL cruises, we did not partake in many activities or entertainment.  Did bingo for first time in around 10 cruises - surprised at how expensive the cards were.  On Magic they sell markers to mark your cards - $2 each.  It was interesting how they "ran out" of the $30 package on our first sea day- ended up with $40 package.  The bottom level of the theater was totally filled for our session.  For the paltry prize money they gave out ($180, $250, free cruise - no, we did not even come close to winning!) we will give up on bingo on our next cruises. Did waterwork slides and dump bucket, played some basketball with dd.  Did a ton of walking on ship - no elevators if we could help it. (deck 0 to 8 was the exception)

 

Cabin:  8378 - great steward!  Cabin was spotless, a/c worked great, was quiet except for neighbors letting their balcony doors slam shut.  On a few nights our neighbors decided to have very loud conversations right outside our door at around 1 a.m.  Oh well.

 

Ports:  Nassau (meh - after 15 times there we just got off ship and walked around for 2 hours .   Amber Cove -4th time there - just hung out.  Usually zipline and do slides there, but weren't in mood.  At Grand Turk we hung out at the Margaritaville flow rider/pool.  Flowerider was open for a bit, then shut down for rest of day - superchlorinating the water, they said.  

 

Casino:  This was a Premier cruise.  Casino was smokey, as usual, and pretty jammed most of the time. Slots open more hours than usual.   Casino sent gifts, cookies, steakhouse dinner etc. to our cabin.  Free drinks in casino.  Nice party to start cruise.  I went home with some of their money - even better!

 

CCL Hub App:  worked great.  Got the chat feature for dd and myself.  Liked that I could make YTD dinner reservation on app, get a message that our table was ready, head down one level and were led right to table.  Making a reservation can't be done for YTD until the dining room literally opens, but you really get a head start on the long line of people waiting who did not use the app.

 

Things I wasn't too happy with:  So, I drink caffeine-free diet coke at home, so I wasn't happy with the changeover to Pepsi products.  I always purchase Bottomless Bubbles before I cruise.  On board, I literally went to every bar, and could not find caffeine-free diet Pepsi, except for the atrium bar.  I mentioned this to the bartenders there, who said "yes, we are the only bar to have it."  Great, except that when I am at Serenity, or aft pool, or elsewhere, I don't want to have to shlep to atrium bar.  Many times I switched to club soda if I was no where near the atrium bar, which was given to me in a tiny can that did not even fill 1/2 of the cup! Giving me a glass filled to the top with ice and then a tiny can of soda which (even with the ice) only took a couple of sips to finish wasn't great.  They used to give club soda from a bar spigot - would have preferred that.  Also, do not like the sugar straws they gave for frozen drinks. They disintegrate.   The casino ran out of them 2x.  I took a bath once when I tilted the Sangria Swirl frozen drink to take a sip, and 1/2 the drink sloshed out on me.  DD thought it was the funniest thing - me, not so much.  I did pack plastic straws, but of course left them in the cabin most of the time. 

 

Aft pool:  After cruising on Conquest, with the aft pool (when I cruised last January) dedicated to adults only, I was disappointed with the number of kids in the aft pool and hot tubs.  Now, don't get me wrong - I was an elementary school physical education teacher for 37 years, (K-6th grade) and love kids.  Even have 2 of my own.  However, having 2-3 year olds in the hottubs is not my cup of tea.  There was a "lifeguard" on duty at all times the pool was open (great) and now and then they would go up to a child in the pool and ask where their parents were.  Never went to check the hottubs that I saw.  Many parents were pretty far away sitting on lounges- not even near the pool.  I kept my eyes on the younger kids.  No, it was not my responsibility to do so, but old habits die hard.  I could have hung out in Serenity, or near the hottubs on deck 5 which were usually filled with only adults, but being the lazy person I am on a cruise, did not feel like heading over there once I was planted on a lounge happily reading my kindle.   

 

Debarkation:  We were zone 1, and took our time and did not leave the ship until around 9.  Another pet peeve - we have the mobile passport app on my phone, for which we pay $12 a year for the enhanced version.  It is supposed to be accepted at Port Everglades- it says as much on the website and app.   Last year it was not, and again - the same for this year.  If you are not going to accept it, correct the info on the sites.   Rant done.  

 

I do not have the funtimes (could see all activities on the hub app) nor do I take pictures (CCL ones or pics on my cell.)  If you have any questions, let me know.  All in all we had great weather, a great cruise, and can't wait for our next one.  Happy cruising to all!

 

 

 

Thank you for the excellent review. I will be on the Magic in 32 days for my B2B. I sailed the Glory in February, and the aft pool was adults only. A bit disappointed to hear that kids are allowed in the aft pool on the Magic. I guess the area to hang is either the Serenity area or deck 5 hot tubs. 

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