Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

kchesneylover

Costa Magica Review - 3/5 - 3/12

Recommended Posts

We just got back from our Costa Magica cruise (March 5 – 12, 2006). Sailing together were my Fiancé (38) and I (34).

We had a fabulous time!!!

Our Itinerary

Arrive Depart

Sun – Ft. Lauderdale 4:30 pm

Mon – AT SEA --- ---

Tues – San Juan, Puerto Rico 5:00pm Midnight

Wed – St. Thomas/St. John 8:00am 5:00pm

Thu – Catalina Island, Dom Rep 8:00am 5:00pm

Thu – La Romana, Dom Rep

Fri – AT SEA

Sat – Nassau, Bahamas 1:00pm 6:00pm

Sun – Ft. Lauderdale 8:00am

EMBARKATION

We got up around 4am and loaded our car up with our luggage and headed to Ft. Lauderdale from Miami. Went and grabbed some breakfast and parked in the lot. We remembered to use our parking coupon for Park ‘n Fly in the travel documents as well as set aside around $55 dollars to pay for parking when we returned.

Embarkation was one hour and was not bad.

Once onboard, our cabins were not ready, so we headed to the Bellagio Buffet. GREAT FOOD!! They had an assortment of olives, tarts, savory tarts, pizza, prosciutto, Greek salad and more!! I thought the food was great.

After lunch, we went to the Steam Room, Sauna Room and Whirlpool. We didn’t find out about this free feature until the last day of our first cruise, so we made sure we utilized it the first day. So refreshing and nice. The steam room looks over the ocean and is very relaxing.

After that, we did the lifeboat drill. Yes it was in Italian, Spanish, French and English, but I have to tell you that it was not bad. It was organized and was shorter than our previous drill on the Carnival Valor. So those of you who fear this, fear not. Just bring a handheld fan with you and you will be fine.

THE SHIP

The ship is absolutely beautiful. We were on the Carnival Valor back in October and the Costa Magica is the same layout. The colors on the Magica are filled with deep gold and rich red tones. In the main atrium, when you enter the ship, you look up and see the beautiful windowed elevator in rich gold tones.

The piano bar opened up to the casino. Didn’t partake much in that. The Carnival Valor Piano bar (my only other cruise) was so much better. The piano rotated around while the people sat around the bar. Much more quaint.

THE CABIN

We had an inside cabin on the bottom deck. It was nice. Lots of storage space. I see no reason why people should bring over-the-door-shoe racks to hold their stuff. There is plenty of room for two peoples’ things on the shelves. Maybe if you have more people in your cabin, okay – otherwise, don’t bring it.

We had heard the Costa beds were uncomfortable. And yes, when we got to our cabin and sat on the bed, it was very hard. We immediately asked for a mattress topper. We received it and it made all the difference in the world. Remember when you sail Costa to ask for it.

Also, our Cabin Steward was AWESOME!!! Looked after our every need. Had no complaints.

THE SHOWS

I thought The Shows were great! There was a show with two brothers who were acrobats. They twisted themselves into very odd and unique shapes on ropes hanging from the ceiling. They also had a lady who sang “Don’t Cry for me Argentina!”. Really great, entertaining show.

THE FOOD

Okay – I was scared to death. I had heard so many horror stories on this site about the food and was ready to smuggle in food. To alleviate all of your fears, I thought the food was great.

They always had a selection of olives, Italian meats, breads and very good olive oil to dip the hard bread. It was funny to hear people complaining that the bread was too hard! I guess they didn’t know the Italian way of doing things!

One evening when we dined in the main dining room, I had a refreshing fruit cup for an appetizer, broccoli soup, a salad with blue cheese dressing and a delicious steak, medium rare. For dessert, I was so full, that I only had cheese and crackers – all of which was delicious. I cannot understand what people on Cruise Critic were complaining about the food. I had a wonderful dining experience each meal.

Went to Tea Time - very delicious! They had a variety of sandwiches and cookies. It was pretty good and if you do go on the Magica, don’t miss it.

Went to the Midnight Buffet one night. Hundreds of beautiful, tasty desserts, pretty ice sculptures and cheese carvings. Don’t miss that either.

On the last night of the cruise, we went to the Gala Dinner, where we enjoyed Shrimp Cocktail, delicious Risotto, Lobster and Champagne. The only thing I can complain about the last dinner was when the waiter’s came out with cakes with sparklers on them and the loud music. They turned a wonderful evening into a disaster for us. We were enjoying a quiet, nice meal – then it turned to chaos. They should not do this.

THE PORTS

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

We finally see the port of San Juan around 4:00 pm on Tuesday. I was not impressed and do not understand why the ships stop here, other than the fact that St. Thomas is only 8 hours away. Basically all we did was go shopping, get some T-shirts and postcards and looked around.

ST. THOMAS / ST. JOHN – VIRGIN ISLANDS

The main reason I booked this cruise was to take the ferry over to St. John. We arrived in St. Thomas around 7:30 – 8:00 am – We got off the ship and immediately hailed a Taxi to take us to the ferry. What a nice ferry ride we had. St. John is a magical, pristine, gorgeous place not to be missed. The scenery was even more beautiful than the pictures.

The reason St. John stays so beautiful is because in the 1950’s Laurance Rockefeller purchased 5,000 acres from a company in the West Indies and donated it to the United States.

We snorkeled at Truck Bay and I have to tell you to swim in these waters and look up and see these beautiful curving mountains jutting from the ocean is quite a sight to behold. We snorkeled and saw needlefish, blue tangs, lots of parrotfish and many other fish. If you go here, do not forget your underwater camera.

Got the ferry back to St. Thomas and went shopping. Got a great deal on a beautiful embroidered beach bag and some duty-free liquor.

I wish I could live on St. John! Needless to say, we didn’t want to go back to the ship! Wanted to note that I met a fellow American on the ferry and she and I wanted to find Kenny Chesney on St. John and kidnap him (we were joking around), but we didn’t have the time! I tell you what, Kenny sure picked a beautiful place to live!

CATALINA ISLAND / LA ROMANA – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

We tendered off Catalina Island early Thursday morning. This was out beach day and it was Costa’s private island. We were the first ones to the island and it was just beautiful. I thought it was really interesting how Costa used the lifeboats to get you to the island. The guy even let me steer the lifeboat to the island for a little while!! I was really impressed. It is nice to know that the lifeboats are motorized, covered and safe. I was really impressed with the lifeboat ride. Let’s me know that if there is ever a real emergency, you would be fine in the lifeboat.

Anyways, we get to the island and I go up to the shops on the island and was immediately bombarded with locals trying to sell me stuff. This turned me off, but I did not let this get the best of me. I returned to my chair, got my snorkel equipment ready and headed to the water. Saw huge schools of blue tangs, needlefish, puffer fish and these really cool tiny, blue, metallic fish.

They had a huge cookout there with hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, pasta, juice and cakes for dessert. It was a really fun day and I enjoyed snorkeling, sunning and relaxing.

Now onto La Romana. Went on a tour of La Romana. Got two inexpensive bottles of rum and a t-shirt. Took an unnecessary tour of the city. A waste of my time and energy. We should have gone back to the boat. Not much to see there.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Got up early – around 5 am – Saw the sunrise – really nice. Booked a shore excursion to go on a Catamaran to snorkel. The island of Nassau has some of the prettiest, clearest water I have seen. It also helped that it was a really sunny, nice day.

I was really nervous because I had heard that Bahamas was infested with sharks. But my nerves were quelled after I went snorkeling. I didn’t see one shark! We were the first ones off the catamaran and the last ones to get back on. Such a beautiful reef! We saw starfish on the ocean floor, Cayman fish, blue tangs, grouper, beautiful coral and sergeant majors. There were people feeding the fish cheez whiz (I know, I know), but the fish would swarm around you. I got some excellent shots with my camera!

On the way back from the excursion on the boat, we had some Red Stripe beer and got some awesome views of the mansions and expensive yachts on the shoreline of Nassau.

TOGA NIGHT

Costa has Toga Night the night before disembarkation. They give you a sheet and a gold paper crown and instructions on how to wrap your toga. I went by myself because my DF was so tired.

It was a lot of fun to see everyone in there togas. I think this adds a special touch to the Costa Cruise experience and I am glad they include it.

DISEMBARKATION

It’s always painless for us because we live in Miami. We are always about the last ones off the ship. We set our bags out the night before. Got off the ship and Park-N-Fly picked us up and took us to our car. This is a great tip for people parking their car at Ft. Lauderdale. If you look in your cruise documents, there is a coupon to get about $50 off the parking. We used this and only had to pay $52.00 to park for 7 days!!!!

Very sad the cruise is over!

SEA DAYS

We really had a lot of fun during the sea days on the Magica. We did the Arts and Crafts every sea day. We painted little clay saucers, clay pots and T-shirts. It was very relaxing. We also went to teatime and that was to die for!

It is also very relaxing to go to the spa during sea days. A lot of people do not realize that on the cruise ships, that in the Spa, the whirlpool, sauna and steam rooms are free of charge. The steam room looks over the ocean and it is all so very relaxing. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys this kind of thing!

Formal nights on Sea Days on the Magica are really fun too. Everyone dresses to the nines and we watched couples dance in one of the public rooms. It was very entertaining as they had live singers.

Also wanted to say that at the pool they do have a live band. The pools were cold and I didn’t use them, but the Jacuzzis were very nice and we used these on the sea days as well.

SIDE NOTES

The last day at sea, I went to breakfast and got my plate and went to go sit down. I saw a chair that was leaning against the table and did not think anything of it. A few minutes later, an older lady came up to me and told me that I was sitting at her table. Well I looked at the table and it was only me sitting there. I proceeded to look at the back of the chair and informed her that I did not see her name on the chair. She then proceeded to sit down with me and we had a “quiet” breakfast together (ha! ha!). I did tell her though, that I always got my breakfast first then picked out a table to sit at and not the other way around.

DECK-CHAIR SAVERS

They are really bad on this ship. One morning, I saw a man proceed to take all the towels off the towel shelf and throw them onto six different chairs. I watched for quite awhile as they proceeded to what I assumed, go get breakfast. I then watched an elderly couple look at these empty chairs and put their stuff on the chairs and leave.

I watched as the previous man’s wife comes along and move this elderly couples things and take "her" deck chairs back.

I was appaud at these “adults” behaviour. I would have expected this behaviour from teenagers and not from grown adults. A lot of people on this cruise (deck chair savers, table savers) had no class and they were all adults acting like this.

CONCLUSION

I would sail Costa again in a heartbeat. I had a blast. A cruise is what you make of it – You can either be miserable or have a great time. I chose to have a great time, and that is exactly what I had.

The lifeboat drill was short and to the point, the food was excellent, the ship was beautiful, the activities were fun and the ports were pretty good (except for La Romana, Dominican Republic and San Juan).

I recommend Costa.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)

 

 

Loved reading about your cruise... We leave on Sunday and I was so looking forward to reading about your trip. I am soooooo glad you had a great time... Also glad to see that you liked the food and didn't starve!! How was the pizza???

 

Did you have a Meet & Greet, and if yes, where/when/and how did it go? Also, what time was the Lifeboat Drill?

 

 

What time did you actually get to the Port on Sunday? We live in Boynton and were just discussing whether to arrive early or not... We also try to be one of the last ones off the ship!!!

 

I might have more questions for you later or I'm sure my fellow cruisers will so thank you in advance for your post and your answers.... :)

 

Elaine

 

Oh, another question.... Did you buy/get any good bargains on any of the Islands? I'm looking for a Coach bag in particular!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How was the pizza??? The pizza was so-so. It is nice in the middle of the night when you are hungry and don't partake of room service. Nothing to rave about.

 

Did you have a Meet & Greet, and if yes, where/when/and how did it go? Also, what time was the Lifeboat Drill?

 

Did not go to a meet and greet. The lifeboat drill was right after embarkation after everyone ate -

 

 

What time did you actually get to the Port on Sunday?

 

I have to laugh out loud at this because we got to the port at 6:00am!! I know, I am strange. You might want to ask someone else about this because I live in Miami and it's only a short trek for us to Ft. Lauderdale.

 

 

Oh, another question.... Did you buy/get any good bargains on any of the Islands? I'm looking for a Coach bag in particular!!!

 

I am one of those people who buy postcards for memories and local trinkets and t-shirts. But I am sure you will find excellent deals in St. Thomas on Coach bags. I overheard a lot of people talking about the great deals they got on these kinds of items.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always enjoy Monday mornings. Not because I am some freak who enjoys knowing that the weekend is over so I can get back to work. Rather, I enjoy living vicariously through the reviews of others.

 

I am patiently waiting for my own Magica adventure in about 27 days and have been scanning the message boards on an (almost) daily basis. So religiously do I check the message boards that my wife is convinced that I am suffering from Cruise Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A diagnosis I am happy to accept.

 

I enjoyed reading your review. The positive experience you related to us is one that we all hope to relate back to you upon our return. I cannot understand how anyone can go on vacation and find have nothing but bad things to say.

 

Perhaps if something terrible happened I could understand. But something as trivial as the room steward not adorning their bed with a towel animal or failing to leave a chocolate on my turned down bed, will not ruin my very limited time away from the riggors of work.

 

Thanks for the info on the steam bath. I would have thought that the cruise line would charge for that kind of service and view.

 

What was the approximate demographic breakdown of your cruise. More specifically, what was the age breakdown?

 

The last cruise I was on a couple of years ago was populated predominately by older folks. Not that there is anything wrong with that (except the jerks in the motorized wheelchairs kept running over my toes without caring).

 

Looking forward to reading other reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the week before. I thought the pizza was great! Excellent review! Thank you for sharing. We were talking about you on our cruise as one of the guys in our group writes music and is a big Kenny Chesney fan. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL!!!! Yes, there were a lot of older people on this cruise. We were about the only young ones. The jerks are the older folks saving the deck chairs and the buffet chairs!!!

 

What was the approximate demographic breakdown of your cruise. More specifically, what was the age breakdown?

 

The last cruise I was on a couple of years ago was populated predominately by older folks. Not that there is anything wrong with that (except the jerks in the motorized wheelchairs kept running over my toes without caring).[\quote]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review. We leave good old Indy for Fort Lauderdale in just 18 days, and cruise in 20. We're definitely getting excited. I had to laugh out loud when I read about your "quiet" breakfast.:D That's hilarious -- I'm sooo glad you didn't get up.

 

Anyway, as far as demographics go, I think from this week to about mid-April, the cruisers should begin to get younger, since the spring breaks are just starting. I know our son (18) is counting on it.

 

Thanks again for the great review. Cheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Define older. :D

 

We were in a group of about 85 and most were 50+ but there were a lot of younger ones too. I'd say that was pretty demographic to the whole ship. There were a lot of families with younger kids and there were a lot of younger people.

 

I did not see any saving of deck chairs,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't mind the older crowd; in fact I preferred it. It was a quiet cruise and a comfortable atmosphere. Actually, I am planning another Costa Cruise as we speak. Now if I could just come across the $$$.

 

Planning and booking, as we all know are two very different things! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why I've always enjoyed Holland America, the older crowd = having the pool to yourself almost & quiet, laid-back pace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extomcruise, very strange that you are mentioning HAL. I have been thinking about booking them for the past two days! I really like their itinerary for the Eastern Carib!

 

That's why I've always enjoyed Holland America, the older crowd = having the pool to yourself almost & quiet, laid-back pace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about anyone else, but if I had to complain about anything on a cruise ship it would be the a/c. I've noticed that when you're in port the rooms seem warmer no matter how low the thermostat is. My husband is one who likes it cold enough to hang meat, I just prefer to be comfortable, but I do notice the temperature in the cabin is sometimes warmer than even I would like. If anyone has been on the Magica recently, let me know if your cabins were always cool or not. We have a balcony this time so maybe it will be a bit more comfortable.:confused:

 

 

anyone remember if the Magica was cold or not? thnx

 

 

Elaine :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know about anyone else, but if I had to complain about anything on a cruise ship it would be the a/c. I've noticed that when you're in port the rooms seem warmer no matter how low the thermostat is. My husband is one who likes it cold enough to hang meat, I just prefer to be comfortable, but I do notice the temperature in the cabin is sometimes warmer than even I would like. If anyone has been on the Magica recently, let me know if your cabins were always cool or not. We have a balcony this time so maybe it will be a bit more comfortable.:confused:

 

when we docked in San Juan, my dh & I noticed that they actually had the air cond shut off in our room (it was great prior to that). So we called room service and complained. They asked if we had it on its coldest and did we have the balcony door shut - yes and yes. Maybe half an hour later, dh called and complained again. This was in the late afternoon and we did not get off the ship in San Juan (we've been there several times on land based vacations and didn't want to go to the casinos) and were trying to relax in the room and get ready for dinner. After his second call, the steward came by and said, "you called about air". When I told his yes, he said, don't worry, it's not just your room - it's the whole wing of rooms. All of his rooms were without air, they were conducting a test. DH told him, "we don't care about anyone else's rooms - we need air". Within 15 minutes it was back on and quickly back to our usual "walk-in freezer" temperature. When we got back from dinner, maintenance had left a short form for us to sign indicating

that our air was now working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

..

 

What about the showrooms/casino/dining rooms??? Were they comfortable or cold? Thnx.

 

Elaine :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
..

 

What about the showrooms/casino/dining rooms??? Were they comfortable or cold? Thnx.

 

Elaine :)

 

Elaine,

 

we didn't go to any shows, but all the public rooms we went to were fine - not too warm, not too cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. I was never too cold or too hot. I went to the shows and the temperature was fine.

 

Elaine, we didn't go to any shows, but all the public rooms we went to were fine - not too warm, not too cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the policy about bringing liquor aboard? We have never done Costa but on RCCL we pack it in our luggage and it arrives in the room just fine. When in port and you buy some liquor, as you reboard, they take it from you and deliver it the last night. We are thinking of doing the Mediterranea for next April8 to the Eastern Caribbean. Any words of wisdom on this ship?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have always taken liquor onboard in our suitcases, this time we took it as carryon along with the cola's so we could have a drink and relax right away, it was no problem getting it on and yes if you purchase liquor in port or prior to the last night onboard they do keep it until the last night.:)

 

 

What is the policy about bringing liquor aboard? We have never done Costa but on RCCL we pack it in our luggage and it arrives in the room just fine. When in port and you buy some liquor, as you reboard, they take it from you and deliver it the last night. We are thinking of doing the Mediterranea for next April8 to the Eastern Caribbean. Any words of wisdom on this ship?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • 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...