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Magica Review (Mar. 12-19 W. Carib.)


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Just came back from Costa Magica (Mar. 12-19 to W. Carib) and here is my review. I am 36 yrs old and I cruised with my wife and 7yr old daughter.

This was my very first cruise so this review will be based on my personal opinion of the ship and no juxtaposition among other cruise lines.

Embarkation – After going thru the metal detector, I was on registration line at 12:01PM and by 12:16PM, I was on deck 9 having my lunch buffet. Is that fast enough for you?

Ship – This is fairly a new ship so everything looked clean and in working order. 3 salt water pools and a nice slide with plenty of chairs everywhere.

Décor – A lot of gold trim and paintings. I read other reviewers calling the décor gaudy and some said beautiful. Personally, I couldn’t care less. As long as it was clean and different than my livingroom at home, I was fine.

Cabin – Nice and clean. Small fridge and safe in the room. Nothing to write home about.

Food – Somewhere between local family restaurant and Spago of Beverly Hills. I ate better on Magica than at home so I was happy. Those who complain about the food… GET A GRIP!!!!

Entertainment – Some bad, some good. Magica Dance team was awesome. Cinemagique was a lot of fun.

Squok Club/ Teenager Club – My 7 yr old loved Squok Club. I felt safe in leaving her with the staff and she had absolute ball. She won bunch of prizes too which was cool. Teens on the other hand… If I were a teen, I would love Magica. As a parent, I would be leery as they had Midnight Pool party by themselves in the aft pool and Midnight Dance Party at the deck 4 dance club. I saw many teens making friends and hanging out together.

Ports – Key west - Too small, nothing to do but take a few pictures and get some sodas. Cozumel -: Stilll destroyed and Paradise beach was awful. Beach water was so brown, public toilet water seemed more clean. Tourist trap where they will take every dollar you have. Jamaica – Ocho Rios beach near the pier was nice. $3.25 entrance fee is well worth it. Safe enough for little kids and clean/safe enough for anyone. Cayman – Seven mile beach rocks! Wow… what a beach. Everything is expensive here. Taxi charged $5 per person to the Seven Mile Beach.

Disembarkation – Not fun. Getting taxi in front of the pier 21 was hectic.

Conclusion :

After Magica, I realize that I am not a cruise type person. I prefer more active vacation and most passengers seemed to be overweight or old and cruise itself is design towards people who are NOT active. Some passengers were obnoxious and some were too loud. This cruise being Italian cruise, I have seen few people who definitely talk too animatedly and loud. But it’s OK. Vacation is about experiencing different things so no problem here….except…. this one lady who was 6-7 months pregnant and chain smoking while playing blackjack.

Don’t get me wrong here. I enjoyed Magica experience. I had spent quality time with my wife and daughter over good food and excellent staff. This cruise being the cheapest out there, I believe it was worth every penny and more. I just loved the feel of sailing when we were flying at 20 knots.

Tips : Take your wine and booze as security and waiter do not care. Buy few sodas at each port of call to save some money. Buy cocktail of the day (make it extra large for $.50 more).

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Hi Roger,


How did you carry on your alcohol? Did you put it in checked luggage

or carry on?


Did you have excursion in GCayman? if not how long did it take to get

on tender? and same for cozumel? did anyone go to different beach

than paradise? and say they enjoyed it?


Did you have an inside cabin? If so, what deck and layout?


Thanks for your reply in advance, we are first timers on 4/9 magica



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We were the college kids by the pool and hot tub all day, suspect we might be the loud and obnoxious ones......:) As for sneaking on alcohol, I got on 3 fifths in luggage, no problem. Then in Key West bought a case of beer and put it in a beach bag, then watched it go through the x-ray with the security guard and laughed as I could make out each can. Then I filled a bucket with my own beer, which wasn't even sold on the boat, and drank it by the pool all day. Waiters and bartenders and security don't speak enough English to care what you do......

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Yes I saw your picture w/ the bucket of beer, had to laugh... Sounds

like we would have had fun w/ yall but we don't sail til 4/9!!! liked

the review, need pictures of toga night! Enjoy it while you can, one day

you'll be married w/ children.



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Alcohol - just put them in your bags. Don't carry them in your hands. Security will not search your bag as long as there isn't anything dangerous inside.


Excursion - I didn't do any excursions anywhere. I am a beach person and I wanted to check out best beaches.


Tender - Cozumel tender was a big mess. By the time I received the ticket to actually landing on the pier, it took 1-1/2 hour. I suggest you take a ticket go back to your room wait a while then head out. Grand Cayman tender was much shorter. Wait time was about 30 min.


Cozumel Beach - When you get to the pier, you will be amazed at how clean the ocean water is around the pier. As you exit the pier, you will see taxi line and drivers will tell you that Paradise, San Francisco, Nachos... etc. beaches are nice and so on. These are all tourist traps. Beach itself is free but these beaches are run by one restaurant/activity center on each location and they will hassle you to spend every dollar you have. The moment I put my bags down at the Paradise beach, waiter came along and said that I had to spend $10 per person on food to enjoy the facility so I said "Hasta luego" and came straight back to the ship. Beaches were horrible. Water was disgusting brown.


I hope this helps.

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Cozumel tender service begins at 8:00AM so naturally I over slept a little and went to get my tickets around 8:40AM. I got group #09 tickets and at that time #05 group was still waiting on board the magica. So I went to my room to wait a little went back to the theater (waiting area) around 9:20AM and found that group #07 was next. At this time people were getting group #15 tickets. I could see some frustrated people. Around 9:40AM #09 got called up so got on board the tender service boat. This is where I saw the problem.


Cozumel tender service uses rather large boat for tendering as oppose to mid size ship in Grand Cayman. By the time I was on board the tender ship, it was about 60% full. We had to wait another 20 minutes just on board the tender ship (it rocks a lot and many people got sea sick) to have it fill up. By the time I landed on the pier, I was pissed off and tired.


Grand Cayman uses mid size ships so they move in and out faster.


So... for Cozumel, get your ticket and go back to your stateroom for about 30-40 min. then go to the theater.

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We had no trouble tendering in at any port. We got our ticket at 8:00 am and were in Cozumel by 8:45. We rented a jeep, and went to Playa Mia. Then drove around to inspect the hurricane damage. Some beaches were OK some were not. It is just going to take time for them to recover. El Cozumeleno Resort is still in great shape (we just walked in and hung out on their beach) and some of the north end beaches are OK. Having been to Cozumel a few times before it really broke my heart.

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Casino.... most of the slots do not pay. Slots begin at $0.01 and goes up to $1. I have seen Jackpot Party and Wheel thing pay off often. All the others didn't. As for the table games, you got your usual stuff. Blackjack and 3 card poker minimum bet is $5. Good luck!


Watch out for Romanian dealers.. they are brutal. My favorite was Mirko Rossi. He wasn't mean when he took my money. Others were.

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I could have written the same review. I agreed with everything you said. The tendering process in Cozumel was horrible. It took us 2 hours from the time we got our tender tickets to the time we arrived at San Francisco beach. I agree, the water at the beach was horrible. The kids loved playing at the beach and paid to use the beach toys at Paradise. We did not have very personable waiters in the dining room. We asked for a couple of things that were not on the menu and we were flat out told "no" that we would have to wait. For example, I asked for bruschetta for the table and was told "no". On my first Costa cruise we asked on the first night and it was served every night after that. My husband asked for coconut ice cream on the last night (they had served it the night before and it is his favorite) and he was told no. Someone else at our table asked for shrimp coctail, once again NO. I don't think these requests were outlandish but I guess there are rules. Don't get me wrong, we all still had a great time and the food was wonderful. We will sail with Costa again, the price is awesome.

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"We asked for a couple of things that were not on the menu and we were flat out told "no" that we would have to wait. For example, I asked for bruschetta for the table and was told "no". On my first Costa cruise we asked on the first night and it was served every night after that. My husband asked for coconut ice cream on the last night (they had served it the night before and it is his favorite) and he was told no. Someone else at our table asked for shrimp coctail, once again NO. I don't think these requests were outlandish but I guess there are rules."


This has nothing to do with rules. Have you ever worked in a restaraunt or see how a fine dining establishment works? The kitchens on the boat serve THOUSANDS of meals each day, in order to do this effectively and efficently with the litterally TONS of food they must serve the process must be streamlined. this means you have out, ready, and prepared just the items that you are serving at this particular meal. it is incomprehensible to have every item prepped and ready to go in a few minutes, plus take into account the space considerations. when they are serving shrimp, they have hundreds if not thousands of shirimp ready to go, all at once, which takes hours to prepare. when they are not serving shrimp, they are packed away in a freezer somewhere. even icecream, if tonight is vanilla and not rum raisin, they will have dozens of tubs of vanilla out ready to serve, not rum raisin. and for a cook to stop to go into the freezer, find the tub of rum rasain and get one serving would serverely hamper the wheels of progress.

i'm not scolding, i'm simply saying when you ask for something off the menu realize it is a HUGE hassel for the cooks and servers to break out of the expidited routine and take time for a special request. somethings are easier, like icecream, otheres are hard, like a special fish that was on the menu last night or a different steak.

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Okay! I am going to sound petty, but with all due respect Joetrizeo, is it necessary for you to jump onto EVERY thread?

Perhaps I am wrong, but I think that I might speak for a lot of people when I say we are glad that you loved your cruise on the Magica and that you were willing to share your experience. But one week does not an expert make!


Those of us who are still eagerly anticipating our trip are very hungry for information, but everything in moderation.

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This is an open forum, he can post anywhere he wants. Not like his posts have been rude, crude or socially unacceptable. Most posts are to the point and informative. People come on these forums to find information you shouldn't criticize someone who is willing to provide it.

He may have only been on the ship for a week but that's a week longer than most of us.


I hope you have a wonderful trip and can provide other users with valuable feedback when you return, just like Joetrizeo.




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I have really appreciated all of Joetrizeo's posts. Please, Joetrizeo, keep them coming. I want any and all information I can get. For Fotoguy -- If you aren't interested in reading something -- just skip over it -- Everyone has a right to post here. That's why it's called an open forum.

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The only reason I thought to ask for things that were not on the menu is because I had read to do that on these boards. I believe there was a thread titled "Secrets Costa doesn't tell you about". I read a lot of info before I sailed on the Magica and I just thought that I would ask to receive some things that were not on the nightly menu. Unfortunately, it didn't work to our favor. We still had a wonderful cruise and the food was still great. I am looking forward to another cruise with Costa.

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Skolega - i appologize. this is true, it is listed in the tips and secrets thread and your request was totally reasonable. our waiter did honor our request for a dessert that was on the menu the previous night. i guess it is up to the waiter weither he would like to spend the time to get that special item for you, or lie to you saying it's not possible.


btw, what i failed to mention is that my previous post was NOT based on my cruise experience but rather my job experience as a server at a high class banquet facility where i was part of a team responsible for organizing and serving over 400 dinners at once from a pre-set menu (like at a wedding for example).

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No offense taken, Joe. When I am on vacation anything goes. Did I let not getting certain menu items ruin my week? No way and I still gained weight. I am a stay at home mom and just to have someone wait on me hand and foot is a huge treat. I loved my vacation and am already looking to book another one.

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Come on people.... Why all the fuss about the food? Don't you have anything else to do? You are on vacation. Just relax and go with the flow. It won't kill you if dining experience doesn't go your way. There are worse tragedies in life so be glad that you are fortunate enough to cruise on a nice ship to somewhere in caribbean.


Like I said before....


What is the big deal about food? Why is this even an issue? Do you eat better at home? Did you pay top dollars for this cruise? Did someone promise you additional piece of meat?


If you have the time to complaint, spend it on your travelling companion as I am sure he/she deserves better than that.

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Food is VERY subjective, each to his/her own on this matter. The reviews run the gammit on this area simply because people are use to all different types of food.

If you love italian food, different food, and dare i say 'weird' food, you will love the food on costa.

If you are use to burgers, fries, casseroles, pasta with just spaghetti sauce or the crap at 'olive garden', you may not like the food on costa.

Lets face it, not many people have eaten, seen or even heard of the differnt types of seafood, fish and elaborate dishes served on costa. And if they are unfamiliar with it or just plain dont like it, they tell it like it is.

I can say with out a doubt, costa's food was by far the best i've ever had. And i consider my self an expert on italian food being italian myself, raised italian and having also worked in a fine dining italian restaurant.

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