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Just returned from Magic. Time for break from Carnival?


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We just returned on Saturday from a 6 day on Magic.  There were some things that Carnival did really well and others, not so much.

 

Embarkation  - We had the 12:00 to 12:30 check in time.  Our shuttle from our hotel only had the 10AM slot open, so we took that.  Arrived at the port and it was crazy with passengers just getting off the ship.  We went to check in and it went very quickly and efficiently.  I believe we were aboard around 11AM.

 

Dining - We immediately went to the barbeque on deck 5.  there was no line and plenty of seating.  the food was good. We ate our breakfasts in the main dining room.  Food and service were always good. Went to the Italian place one day for lunch.  Very good!  We did Guy's for lunch one day.  Good burgers and fries.  The rest of the days we were in port.  Never did eat at the buffet except for the chocolate extravaganza.  What's not to like?  We ate dinner in the Northern Lights dining room.  We had assigned early seating.  This normally takes place in the Southern Lights dining room, but I emailed the maitre'd and asked to be seated as mid ship as possible as we have some in our group who are sensitive to movement.  I was very pleased he placed us in the mid ship dining room.  However, the meals were very hit or miss.  Some nights the food was excellent and others just average. Our waiter Joseph and his assistants were excellent!

 

Room  -- We had a mid-ship balcony.  Our steward asked if we wanted morning or evening service.  I asked for both and he accommodated us with stellar service and attitude!

 

Entertainment  -- This is where Carnival seemed to falter.  We had four different shows but with the same cast.  The Carnival singers and dancers were OK, but seemed to be trying too hard.  A lot of screaming instead of singing.  The quality is just not up to the standards of other cruise lines we have sailed.  The Comedy club was good!  Saw two different comediennes and enjoyed them both.  The Love and Marriage show is always a hoot!

 

Ports  -  LOVE Half Moon Cay. Grand Turk was good, although we didn't get a chair at the beach. The locals were charging $50 for 2 chairs with umbrellas.  We found spots at the pool and enjoyed that.  We stayed on the ship at Amber Cove.  Just felt that lounging on the ship would be less hassle and more relaxing.

 

Disembarkation  -- Did self assist. We were at the airport by taxi at 7:30.

 

Overall thoughts. -  I can't say I didn't enjoy our cruise.  I just think we're more in tuned for a more upscale experience in dining and entertainment.  I still think Carnival gives you the biggest bang for your buck, but you do get what you pay for.  I'm ready to try Princess and see how it compares.  if there's something I didn't mention and anyone has questions, I'd be happy to answer.

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Not sure I am following your message. Seems as if besides the shows you had a good time and great service. You should always try new things as you never know if you will like it more. Good luck with Princess - but you may want to wait for the plague to pass as they seem to be a magnet for it. 

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Sounds like you may be better off with a different product. Carnival is great at a lot of things, for a great price. If you want better shows, you're not going to be satisfied with the product anytime soon.

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4 minutes ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

  I just think we're more in tuned for a more upscale experience in dining and entertainment.  I still think Carnival gives you the biggest bang for your buck, but you do get what you pay for.  I'm ready to try Princess and see how it compares. 

I would be interested to hear the experience if you try Princess. We did, and felt the food was very lacking compared to Carnival. Nothing had any flavor. We gave up on the dining room and tried the Steakhouse; and to us, that was just marginal. Missed Blue Iguana and Guy's soooo much. Not much happening on board. The Voice was good, but I don't know if they are even still doing that, And it was an 8 day cruise. Those were some long sea days.

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3 minutes ago, Stick93 said:

Not sure I am following your message. Seems as if besides the shows you had a good time and great service. You should always try new things as you never know if you will like it more. Good luck with Princess - but you may want to wait for the plague to pass as they seem to be a magnet for it. 

When I go on a cruise, I just want to laze all day.  but once the sun goes down I would like an excellent meal and outstanding entertainment.  I just felt a little let down.

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Entertainment can mean many things to many people.  Some (you it seems) associate it to shows and some to music playing around ship and yet others to more subtle things.  If you are wondering if moving on after a cruise where your review lists nothing nad, than it sounds like you should.  Happy cruising, and thanks for doing the review.  

Edited by jimbo5544
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LPYRCRUISER , thank you for your honest review.  We board Magic next month (different itinerary 8 days instead of 6).

 

We've cruised Princess -  very laid back- this is not the fun ship cruise line. With that said, we enjoyed ourselves- food is very subjective as is how you receive the entertainment - a vacation (land or sea) is what you make of it.   

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32 minutes ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

We just returned on Saturday from a 6 day on Magic.  There were some things that Carnival did really well and others, not so much.

 

Embarkation  - We had the 12:00 to 12:30 check in time.  Our shuttle from our hotel only had the 10AM slot open, so we took that.  Arrived at the port and it was crazy with passengers just getting off the ship.  We went to check in and it went very quickly and efficiently.  I believe we were aboard around 11AM.

 

How did you get on before your check-in time? Did you have FTTF or Platinum? No early/late line?

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43 minutes ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

We just returned on Saturday from a 6 day on Magic.  There were some things that Carnival did really well and others, not so much.

 

Embarkation  - We had the 12:00 to 12:30 check in time.  Our shuttle from our hotel only had the 10AM slot open, so we took that.  Arrived at the port and it was crazy with passengers just getting off the ship.  We went to check in and it went very quickly and efficiently.  I believe we were aboard around 11AM.

 

Dining - We immediately went to the barbeque on deck 5.  there was no line and plenty of seating.  the food was good. We ate our breakfasts in the main dining room.  Food and service were always good. Went to the Italian place one day for lunch.  Very good!  We did Guy's for lunch one day.  Good burgers and fries.  The rest of the days we were in port.  Never did eat at the buffet except for the chocolate extravaganza.  What's not to like?  We ate dinner in the Northern Lights dining room.  We had assigned early seating.  This normally takes place in the Southern Lights dining room, but I emailed the maitre'd and asked to be seated as mid ship as possible as we have some in our group who are sensitive to movement.  I was very pleased he placed us in the mid ship dining room.  However, the meals were very hit or miss.  Some nights the food was excellent and others just average. Our waiter Joseph and his assistants were excellent!

 

Room  -- We had a mid-ship balcony.  Our steward asked if we wanted morning or evening service.  I asked for both and he accommodated us with stellar service and attitude!

 

Entertainment  -- This is where Carnival seemed to falter.  We had four different shows but with the same cast.  The Carnival singers and dancers were OK, but seemed to be trying too hard.  A lot of screaming instead of singing.  The quality is just not up to the standards of other cruise lines we have sailed.  The Comedy club was good!  Saw two different comediennes and enjoyed them both.  The Love and Marriage show is always a hoot!

 

Ports  -  LOVE Half Moon Cay. Grand Turk was good, although we didn't get a chair at the beach. The locals were charging $50 for 2 chairs with umbrellas.  We found spots at the pool and enjoyed that.  We stayed on the ship at Amber Cove.  Just felt that lounging on the ship would be less hassle and more relaxing.

 

Disembarkation  -- Did self assist. We were at the airport by taxi at 7:30.

 

Overall thoughts. -  I can't say I didn't enjoy our cruise.  I just think we're more in tuned for a more upscale experience in dining and entertainment.  I still think Carnival gives you the biggest bang for your buck, but you do get what you pay for.  I'm ready to try Princess and see how it compares.  if there's something I didn't mention and anyone has questions, I'd be happy to answer.


Maybe I am reading this wrong, but it sounds like your cruise was pretty good based on your comments.  

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42 minutes ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

When I go on a cruise, I just want to laze all day.  but once the sun goes down I would like an excellent meal and outstanding entertainment.  I just felt a little let down.

I have enjoyed all of my Carnival cruises.  I was on the Magic from February 15 - 23, 2020.  My one experience on the MSC SeaSide has spoiled me.  That ship was truly gorgeous and impressive!  And the evening theater shows were very professional quality, Broadway style performances my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed!  But, Carnival is the industry leader for a reason.  I have never been on a disappointing cruise.  Maybe you should try MSC or Royal Caribbean just to try a new cruise experience.  

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29 minutes ago, kollarism said:

 

How did you get on before your check-in time? Did you have FTTF or Platinum? No early/late line?

None of that.  I expected we would be placed in an early line, but that didn't happen.  The was a separate line for FTTF and priority but the rest of us were all in the same line.  Maybe noon was the earliest boarding time and they were ready for us and let us board.

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I loved the Magic.  I will agree with you regarding the MDR.  It was hit or miss. A huge hit for me was the Tandoor.  Sadly, it was removed from all the ships. Truly, food is not a huge issue for me. Besides, there are plenty places on the ship to find something you like. 

Edited by Butterbean1000
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As someone who tried to branch out and try different lines, I can tell you I’m very happy to return to Carnival. I cruised two RCCL ships, the Indy and the Oasis. Let just say they lived up to their motto of WOW. They were gorgeous. But anytime you need to reserve your shows before your cruise even sets sail, was not appealing to me. And then to sit through CATS was pure torture. And they were the biggest culprits of nickel and dimeing you onboard. No thanks. We left RCCL, and decided to try NCL. We found Freestyle Cruising absolutely fabulous! We loved the more casual atmosphere and the ability to eat wherever and whenever we wanted. And their Broadway show, Million Dollar Quartet, was awesome! But there was something lacking that we missed, and that was the “fun factor”. We returned to Carnival last year, and were so glad we did. The food was better, and there was always some activity and music everywhere! Their shows are just the right length—30 minutes (endured CATS on RCCL for THREE HOURS!!), but I admit, some were just terrible. The shows and performers on my Breeze cruise last year were awful, but the shows and performers on my February Glory cruise were excellent, and we really enjoyed them. I will be cruising the Magic in April for a B2B, and if I find the shows or performers to not be so good, I just won’t go to another show on another night. There is plenty of other entertainment to keep us busy. And we love how the price point of everything Carnival fits our retirement budget. RCCL has gotten way too pricey, and NCL’s price point is creeping up to cover their Free At Sea promotions. So, for now, I am more than happy with Carnival, but everyone has their own expectations and needs in a cruise, and they need to go wherever t makes them happy. It’s worth it to try. Who knows, you may coming running back, as I did.

Edited by grandmarnnurse
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1 hour ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

 

 

Entertainment  -- This is where Carnival seemed to falter.  We had four different shows but with the same cast.  The Carnival singers and dancers were OK, but seemed to be trying too hard.  A lot of screaming instead of singing.  The quality is just not up to the standards of other cruise lines we have sailed.  The Comedy club was good!  Saw two different comediennes and enjoyed them both.  The Love and Marriage show is always a hoot!

 

Not sure how often you cruise with Carnival, however we have for over 15 years and it has always been the same entertainment cast to perform the playlist productions.  Sometimes the performers aren't as seasoned on all the ships, however we do recognize the effort put forward.  The only time other forms of entertainment have been onboard is on Journey cruises, which we have done quite a few also, with some good shows and some not so good.  We are getting ready to go on a Princess cruise in May, so will be curious to compare the two.  But it does sound like you did have a good time regardless of some disappointments.  I will  just be glad to hopefully get to go my cruise in May with everything right now.😄 

Edited by 13cheermom
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22 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:


Maybe I am reading this wrong, but it sounds like your cruise was pretty good based on your comments.  

 I can't say I didn't enjoy our cruise.

this was in my original post.  maybe it's because I'm now of medicare age and my tastes and needs have changed over the last 35 years.  I've always defended Carnival to the haters and I'm not trying to slam them now.  I've always wondered if the lines where you pay more, Princess, HAL  & Celebrity, were worth the extra. I'm very frugal, and Carnival has always delivered.

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I understand where you're coming from. There's nothing wrong with wanting to try other lines to see if they meet your needs better based on what your expectations are for food and entertainment. We've sailed on Carnival, NCL, RCCL, and Celebrity. But, we keep coming back to Carnival. For us, it's just the FUN vibe we get on board that keeps us coming back to Carnival.

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2 hours ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

Disembarkation  -- Did self assist. We were at the airport by taxi at 7:30.

 

How was self assist handled and what was the process?  On other cruise lines, we just walk down with our luggage and get in line until they are ready to let passengers off and then walk off based on your place in line.  Someone else said on Carnival you wait in a lounge and they let you off by floor numbers.  Is that correct?  

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21 minutes ago, choppe said:

How was self assist handled and what was the process?  On other cruise lines, we just walk down with our luggage and get in line until they are ready to let passengers off and then walk off based on your place in line.  Someone else said on Carnival you wait in a lounge and they let you off by floor numbers.  Is that correct?  

Those with early flights went down to deck three, forward.  We were directed to the Showtime Theater.  We waited there until the ship cleared and those with early flights could depart.  We went before FTTF. The lines moved very quickly.  we never stopped walking or had to stand in line. I never expected to be off the ship so quickly!

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After 15 Carnival cruises we were looking to try another line and my boss raved about Princess. We cruised with them in November and we weren't impressed, nothing too crazy, it just wasn't what we envisioned after my boss repeatedly referred to Princess as an upscale and classy line. It was ok, but we wouldn't cruise with them again. We are heading out on the Miracle on the 22nd and are looking forward to going back. 

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18 minutes ago, LPYRCRUISER said:

Those with early flights went down to deck three, forward.  We were directed to the Showtime Theater.  We waited there until the ship cleared and those with early flights could depart.  We went before FTTF. The lines moved very quickly.  we never stopped walking or had to stand in line. I never expected to be off the ship so quickly!

ok thanks.  I hope that happens to us.  How early did you go down?

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52 minutes ago, choppe said:

How was self assist handled and what was the process?  On other cruise lines, we just walk down with our luggage and get in line until they are ready to let passengers off and then walk off based on your place in line.  Someone else said on Carnival you wait in a lounge and they let you off by floor numbers.  Is that correct?  

The early debarkation for those with early flights would be a different scenario than just general self assist debarkation. I was the one who said by deck number. We had a late flight and were not out of the terminal until 11 because we happened to be one of two last decks called and it was a cluster at customs. That said, I suppose you could not tell the truth about your flight, but since we did not need to rush, we followed the rules and did as instructed. I purposely never book early flights because it's stressful. And, arrival could be delayed for any number of reasons, such as is common with Galveston, fog. You never know.

 

OH and as an added bonus, it was much easier to get a rideshare out of Galveston later from Ubers/Lyfts that were dropping later arrivals to the port. No surge charges due to heavy volume going back either! 🙂

Edited by amyotravel
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3 minutes ago, choppe said:

ok thanks.  I hope that happens to us.  How early did you go down?

around 6:30.  it was earlier than we intended, but hubby was up early.  he went for coffee at 6 AM and saw people starting to go down.  Once I was ready, we went down.

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2 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:


Maybe I am reading this wrong, but it sounds like your cruise was pretty good based on your comments.  

They didn't say it was bad.they just felt it could have been better.i know how they feel .my third carnival Cruise made me go in a different direction even though I come back and forth.carnival serves a purpose but it's not "the one" to everyone.

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