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  1. Just back from Carnival Magic Leap Day cruise. All in all, a great cruise. Cabin 9256 balcony--great location. Quiet for the most part. A little noise from neighboring cabins using their outdoor voices in the hallway, particularly the last night. Embarkation was a breeze. We bought FTTF due to early flight out of MIA, so needed to be off ship in Port Everglades quickly. We were onboard by 10:45. Cabin wasn't quite ready, but that's understandable due to being onboard so early. We didn't meet our cabin steward until midway through cruise. We were only given morning service--no choice given. We were fine with that, but wish we had at least met steward and been given a choice. Cabin was kept very clean--no complaints about that at all. Toilet wouldn't flush on second day, but that was due to plumbing problems on deck above. It was quickly fixed. On the third day we came back to a terrible sewer smell, but that disappeared in about five minutes. That was the extent of our issues. We heard cruisers on deck 10 complaining about plumbing problems lasting for most of cruise. We ate most of our evening meals in MDR, and we thought food was really good. Lido buffet seemed to have fewer choices than on previous cruises, but there was plenty of food to keep us happy. Guy's Burgers was, as usual, heaven on earth for DH. Pig and Anchor BBQ was delicious. We were disappointed with the Seaday Brunch menu changes, but the Aft deck BBQ sandwich was absolutely delicious. Coffee bar was inconsistent this time compared to our other cruises. When Florin made the drinks, they were spot on, but otherwise it was hit and miss and the misses were sometimes pretty bad. Room service coffee is usually great, but not this time. Playlist performers were somewhat disappointing. "Flick" was probably our least favorite show of all we have seen. America Rocks was entertaining, but the vocals weren't that great. We only caught one comedy show. The first female comedienne was really funny, but she left in St Maarten. Weather was very windy and chilly until we got to St Maarten. Our port days were all very nice weather. Tortola was one of our favorite ports of all time, and we enjoyed St Maarten. We have been to San Juan several times, and can see the progress made since we sailed on the second cruise out after the hurricanes. Skipping Grand Turk was a disappointment, but totally beyond control of Carnival. Glad to hear the two passengers in need of evacuation were gotten off the ship, however that was accomplished. We were given $100 per person refundable OBC, which was incredibly generous IMO since Carnival had no control over the situation. Crew worked very hard to keep everyone happy and entertained. I know that updates were not as timely as we would have liked, but after learning that they were fighting to even get the pax in need of medical services off the ship, that is totally understandable. We were all safe and sound, so the captain/crew were handling things as they should have. I was disappointed in the behavior of several of our fellow cruisers over the situation , but most handled things with a good attitude. Simon London is now one of our favorite CDs. Always out and about and full of energy, and didn't feel the need to be on the intercom any more than necessary. We sailed with friends we "met" on the old Funville forum. We have emailed daily for 7 years, and finally met in person. We had the best time ever, and this cruise will be remembered as the best ever!!!! We did the early FTTF disembarkation carrying off our own luggage. It went smoothly. We had Carnival transfers to MIA, and arrived in plenty of time for our 12:25 flight.
  2. I’ve browsed some reviews but most don’t have the info I’m looking for. My husband and I sailed carnival once 7 years ago on the Freedom. We didn’t love it. Food and entertainment were not as good as we’re used to with NCL. We are looking to cruise the Carnival Magic in August with our 4 year old. Is the Magic a good ship for kids? Has the food gotten any better in 7 years? [emoji23] Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  3. Happy Hump Day, So what would you pick I would love some input, raves and rants on these ships please! Summer Cruise for a family of 5 (2 adults, 13yr, 10yr and 6yr old) We don’t have to pay for flights because we live in central Florida. We don’t mind visiting the same port again. We are pretty laid back and just enjoy the cruise and we usually explore on our own. Carnival Horizon: 8 day cruise Miami, 2 sea days, Aruba, Bonaire, La Romana, Amber Cove, sea day $400 more One room: Family Harbor Suite Mid ship deck 1 We have been to Amber Cove. Carnival Magic: 8 day cruise (we have been on the breeze) Miami, 2 sea days, St Marteen, St Kitt, San Juan, Grand Turk, sea day $400 cheaper 2 rooms: One porthole and one door down a ocean view. Front of the ship.. like first rooms on the 1st deck. We have been to Grand Turk and PR Thank you!
  4. I was just watching my local news when they made the announcement. We will get a Carnival Ship for 5 yrs namely the Magic. 12 cruises at this point. Not sure of the exact schedule but I will definitely be taking a trip. https://www.13newsnow.com/article/life/norfolk-makes-a-five-year-deal-with-carnival-corporation/291-12573b7b-b5e2-4d71-b08f-c9a20cb64d66
  5. Good morning everyone. We are in the process of researching/booking a cruise for spring break 2022. I know are really far away, but we like to plan in advance to get the best pricing. We live in FL and both ships will be leaving from FL at the time of sailing so travel to/from the port is not a big factor in our decision making process. The itinerary for both sailings offer a mix of new and old places for us so that is also not a big factor in our decision making process. The biggest factor is the on board experience. It will be myself, my wife, and our daughter (10 as of this sailing) on the cruise. We prefer a ship that offers the "modern" amenities and activities for kids (water park, mini golf, family oriented shows/activities, etc) and also some of the upgrades you may find on the newer ships (variety of bars, lounges, restaurants, etc). My daughter does like going to the kids club as well. While not a complete deal breaker, we also like to look at the flow of the ship, the flow of people on this ship (quick service, getting on/off, etc). At the time of this sailing we will have been on Carnival Elation, Inspiration, Liberty, and Mardi Gras (July 2021). We have also been on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas (x2), Allure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas (x2), and Serenade of the Seas. We have also been on Norwegian Sun, Dawn, and Escape. Outside of the Mardi Gras sailing, all of our Carnival cruises have been shorter sailings on older ships so we really don't have much to compare the ships or on board experiences to. I will say that all of those sailings tended to feel very crowded and you always felt like you were in a line (getting on/off the ship, getting a drink, etc), but we were still on a cruise on vacation so we still had a great time. With all of that being said, please give me your thoughts on Carnival Freedom vs Carnival Magic. Any input is welcome and appreciated. Bonus points to those who have been on both.
  6. Hi, we are just about ready to leave on a 6 night Caribbean trip on the Magic. Can anyone tell me how many formal nights we will have and when they will be? I have the Steak house booked for day 3, Half Moon Cay day, but would not want to book this for formal night or lobster night in the MDR. Thanks!
  7. 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.
  8. We just did a back to back on these 2 ships (Magic out of Fort Lauderdale/Horizon out of Miami). This was our 7th and 8th Carnival cruise, but we have also sailed NCL and Royal. I would be happy to answer any questions, but here are some notes I took... Carnival Horizon is beautiful ship with a modern decor but has some significant design flaws. The elevators are pathetic (and all you Carnival lovers better not blame "user error" because having just got off the Magic we consistently had MUCH longer wait times on the Horizon and every elevator stopped on 4 or 5 floors). By the end of the cruise, guests were getting on the first elevator to open and hoping it would stop somewhere near where they were headed but were content to walk up or down a couple floors so they didn't have to wait on an elevator. Horizon's show theater is poorly designed with the balcony offering poor visibility from most seats. Even when we got a front row seat in the balcony we still had a prop to contend with (see the large rose in the attached picture). The shows are visually beautiful but very artsy and lack a broad appeal. We walked out most nights asking each other "Did you get the storyline?" Even though there are more guests on board there seemed to be less (unique) comedy shows. Maybe that's because the Punchliner is smaller than most ships forcing the comedians to repeat shows so that they don't run out of room in the club. I'm puzzled by how Carnival, after all these years, can't design better soundproofing for cabins. We were in 2212 for Horizon and while I know that forward lower cabins have more noise, I was disappointed when it sounded like the thrusters were immediately below us and when we hit a wave (a mere 6 ft wave) it sounded like we hit another ship! My wife was awake for 3 hours in the middle of the night in spite of the fact that we had asked for a fan to drown out the noise. Someone in the neighboring cabin stopped me in the hallway and said "WHAT IS THAT BANGING NOISE?" I told him that I believed it was waves hitting the side of the ship and he said "How could that be, the seas are like 6ft? What happens when there is a real storm?" The Magic is a more traditional Carnival experience. The shows are comparable to the other ships, as is the food. I will say that the food was generally better on the Horizon. Same food, better flavor, cooked better. Both ships offer good value, but both ships had a ton of drunks! I suspect folks figured "we saved money on the cruise, so we can afford the all you can drink plan!" And then they attempted to get their money's worth. I saw a guy nearly throw up on the comedian. His buddy stood up in the middle of the comedy show for no apparent reason. We also had a group of young girls talking loudly the entire comedy show, a really loud group at dinner, another really loud drunk in the Serenity hot tub, and a fight on shore where the girlfriend punched her boyfriend in the jaw after he called her a terrible name. My suggestion is that Carnival offer a 1/2 plan at a reduced cost. Maybe some folks will recognize they don't need 15 drinks and we will all be better off.
  9. Does anyone know where muster station D4 is on the Magic? I know to look on the back of the door. I was just trying to find out before we get there.
  10. Just back from our 8th cruise with Carnival. Didn't take my computer with us this time because I was determined I wasn't going to fight with the wifi to do any work so I'll put a review and synopsis together over multiple posts. All in all we had a good time and will certainly be cruising again. Had a few things that I'll mention that we'd change or avoid given the opportunity to do it again. We had a cove mid-ship, late dinning, and did the steak house. Our group was 12 total and always had something to do! We live in Central Florida so we didn't have to deal with flights or transfers. Other than Port Canaveral, we always go down the evening before and this time was no different. Since it was Super Bowl weekend, rooms were scarce when we started looking about 7-8 months out! We couldn't figure out what the issue was and finally did a search for Miami and the dates and it became obvious. We were going out of Ft Lauderdale but best room that wasn't crazy expensive was an hour north near West Palm. It was a Best Western that was fine for the price. We had hoped to sit by the pool and order in a pizza. It rained all night and the only chairs for our group of 10 that drove down was in the lobby so we ate fairly quick and then headed to rooms. With no place for the group to gather, we ate breakfast and headed to the port. We had planned to get there early anyway since we'd rather wait in port than staring at a hotel wall and we were glad that we did. Getting to the port was easy, and luggage drop off went great. Since we had 10 people and 2 cars the plan was to drop luggage and 8 people at the curb, park, and then meet up for check in. Luggage drop went fine, but we didn't realize that the parking garage that we dropped luggage right next to the ship wasn't the garage we would park in. That garage is still under construction so we ended up headed out of that garage and then around to the other side to park in the existing garage. It was pretty busy and the signage was limited at best. Took a wrong turn but finally found a place. Then the signage got worse on the way back to the check in terminal but we eventually met up with the others. To get from the garage you walk through scaffolding and gates and come in from the backside of the terminal and then we had to walk against the line of people trying to get on the ship to get to the end of the line. Check in went super easy. We used passports and boarding passes and breezed right through. We didn't pack and soda because we had Cheers and Bubbles. 2 in our group that flew in brought some soda in cans and they never even opened his backpack to check what it was. In other ports we've been required to each carry one bottle of wine through so they could match the person with the bottle. This time we just sent the two bottles through and the adults weren't together. All in all they didn't seem nearly as picky as some of the other terminals we've used so the line kept moving and we were done in no time. Our boarding check in time was I believe 12:30-1. We met up after parking at just after 10:30 and were on the Lido with a drink at 11:03. As we walked though the end of security they did an all call for all zones. Had we been about 2 minutes earlier we could have beat the 'rush' since our boarding number was part of the group already called and we ended up behind the terminal of people that were after our zone. BUT, to be on Lido at 11:00 and had already dropped bags off in a cabin that was platinum was great. The whole process (other than parking and meeting back up with our group) was great and very efficient. We used our paper boarding passes for drinks and headed to Cucina for a sit down lunch. They didn't open until noon so we found a spot to sit and waited knowing that we didn't have anywhere to be for the next 8 days. It was nice to have a sit down, get waiting on, lunch for a group of our size. As we were being seated the other 2 that flew in met up with us and we were all 12 able to sit at the same table. Doing that in lido at noon would have been a challenge. We walked back down through there after lunch and it was of course packed. I don't know how we would have found a place with a couple of tables near each other. The food in Cucina was decent. We never ended up back there again for lunch or dinner. The ability to sit, out of the way of the crowd, and actually talk to everyone was nice so we'd do that again probably. There are always plenty of food options and we ended up filling up on pizza before we sailed away. Our bags were delivered before muster and we had everything unpacked well before we had to report for the drill. This was the first time that we had to actually check in with our keys for attendance and maybe that helped to speed up the process. It went quickly and easily and was over before we knew it. We are so thankful they changed long ago from going down to get your vests, meet in the meeting point, put the vests on, then go outside on deck! I'll put together some more thoughts through the next couple of days. We have some of the FunTimes but they are available online too. We didn't get them delivered to the cabin every day and just used our phone most of the time anyway. I'll share our excursions that we booked direct in St Maarten, St Kitts and Grand Turk. We also did the steakhouse and might have a few pictures from there. Did most of the shows and I'll put some thoughts together about entertainment, service, and everything overall!
  11. Where are the smoking areas on the Magic. We are considering a Transatlantic, which is a long cruise, and a decent smoking area is a must. Please don't make this a pro and con. Just the locations. Thank you in advance.
  12. Here you go guys...... https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/22393-carnival-magic-to-europe-nyc-and-port-canaveral-in-2021.html
  13. (1:55 p.m. EST) -- Carnival Cruise Line will offer additional European itineraries in 2021, deploying Carnival Magic from four homeport cities in the Mediterranean. The 3,690-passenger ship will offer two transatlantic crossings along with an assortment of European voyages, in addition to a summer schedule of cruises operated out of New York and ... View the full article
  14. Hi all! I really wasn't sure if I was going to write a review because I didn't take a lot of pics. I also didn't do a lot on this trip. This was just mostly a hang out and relax trip, not just for me but also the whole family. It might be short or it might be long. I have been told I can make a short story long. Another problem is I can't get my pictures from my phone to my computer, so we will see how that goes. I just took pictures on my phone and they aren't great but they get the point across. Also, since this is CC I feel like I have to say, this was my experience. It is OK if I didn't like something and you did. We all have different experiences. So, here goes..... I decided Febr. 2019 that I was going on a cruise. Well, in our house it is sort of a collective. Someone says, "where we going next time?" Everyone says if they are in or out and it just goes from there. For this trip it was myself, Vicki, 50, my husband 51, our 5 kids, 3 girls age 28-31 and two of their husbands. Also, 2 boy age 21 & 23. My 3 grandkids didn't get to go because they were in school which kind of made me sad. But this is actually the first vacation ever that my family has all been together on so that was good. The criteria for this trip was it had to be January or early February. We are farmers so farming starts in April and goes through November. My busy time at work, doing the farming paperwork is December. We also have cattle so the end of February - March is out. January it is. My SIL wanted to go over his birthday which is Jan 10th so the decision was made. We have all been on between 1 and 8 cruises so we have some experience in cruising and have tried 4 different lines. Carnival, NCL, Royal and Princess. We have loved all our cruises and all the lines and had a wonderful time on each. We were excited to go back on Carnival because we had a blast last time. I have no problem getting off work, I kind of work for myself. My daughter and SIL are in the military and they had to wait until a month before the trip to ask for that time off which made me nervous. Also my other SIL started a new job and told them about this when he started but there was still a small hiccup when another worker wanted the time off also, but it worked out. After booking I headed to AARP to take my quizzes and earn point to buy the gift cards. I took as many quizzes as I could, in english and spanish. Strangely I did just as well in spanish as english and I don't know a lick of spanish. But, ordered my cards and saved $1000. Yay! Used those cards to pay off the cruise and buy the extras everyone wanted. Also got FTTF. Was it worth it for this trip. I'd say no. There was no tendering which is what I would want it for but, I got it anyway. And we did like it. But more on that later. Usually I research everything to death. This time I did not. I didn't even book any excursions in advance. It seemed like time just flew because work was so busy that the cruise was here in no time. I was so relieved when Christmas was over because then I had a week to enjoy thinking about the cruise.....
  15. Interesting, wonder if this will happen to other ships? https://cruisefever.net/carnival-cruise-ship-will-have-4-different-homeports-in-2021/
  16. I’m a long time reader, infrequent poster, and first time reviewer (please be gentle!). I devoured everything I could find here before our cruise and wanted to give a little bit back. We just got back from a 6 night NYE cruise on Carnival Magic. We went to Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, and Grand Turk. About us – we are early to mid-forties with a 15 yo son and 13 yo daughter. This was cruise number 8 for the family (my wife and I have done a few more without the kids). This was our first time on Carnival as a family after 4 on Disney and 3 on Royal Caribbean (all Oasis class.) I wanted to give a quick rundown of things that our family cares about (and doesn’t care about) on a cruise so you have some context for the comments. Since we all travel so differently things that might matter to you (like an amazing spa or chair hogs) make no difference to me. Things we care about: Entertainment options Trivia Production shows Breakfast & lunch quality/options Main dining room quality/variety Walking/jogging track Balcony size Crowds Things we don’t really use: Spa Pool loungers (we prefer to hang on our balcony or in adult area) Specialty dining Nightclubs Bingo Casino Anything after midnight (other than sleep!) Formal dress Overall, we had a very enjoyable trip and Carnival compared very well to our experiences on RCCL. We would cruise Carnival again on the right itinerary/price. We felt that there was much more in common than different between the two lines. This won’t be a full play by play but happy to answer any questions you might have. Pre-Cruise Hotel We stayed at Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale and we wouldn’t stay there again. The staff and location were great but the rooms really show their age (who doesn’t have HDTV in the rooms now?) and it was just way too crowded. Embarkation/Debarkation We had a port arrival time of 12:00-12:30 at Port Everglades and a boarding group of A02. We had to check out of our hotel at 11:00 so we just headed over to the port to try our luck. We arrived at the port around 11:30 or so and they just waved us through. No lines, quick check in, and we were on the ship by 11:45. Couldn’t have been smoother. Debarkation was a bit less smooth. They had to stop the process a couple of times and were running about an hour behind the expected time. Once we got off there was a long customs line but it kept moving. No major issues getting an Uber – took maybe 15 minutes from clearing customs until we were on the road. The Rooms We had a balcony cabin and inside cabin on deck 8 toward the front of the ship on the starboard side. I was concerned about noise coming from the promenade deck/hot tubs but it generally was a non issue. We also couldn’t see the promenade when seated which was nice. I would be careful about getting a cabin above the smoking section (think it was port side aft) and wouldn’t want to be on deck 6 with the noise/privacy. I’d also recommend avoiding rooms near the atrium as there was quite a bit of noise in that area. Cabins were plenty spacious, beds were comfortable, showers were tiny but sink/bathroom storage was good. Cabin steward was good and we got twice daily service (he asked us to fill the form). TVs are pretty small but that isn’t a big deal for us. Balcony is pretty small as well – miss having the footstools from RCCL – but adequate. The Food I don’t like the layout of the Lido Marketplace – seemed to encourage long lines. I much prefer the different stations on RCCL. We avoided the Lido after the first day there for breakfast other than to grab some desserts (the cakes were pretty good – much better than RCCL or Disney.) We went to the dining room for breakfast most days and the service was good – good variety, made to order, reasonably fast. That was really the first cruise we’ve done that and we will probably do that more going forward. Loved the variety of free options at lunch – had lunch twice at the pasta bar, had more Guy’s burgers than we can count (we thought they were great – esp. the fries), had a few tacos/burritos from Blue Iguana (also really good) and even got some BBQ from Guy’s (it was OK – nothing to write home about but I still ate it.) My pizza loving son hated the pizza – had one piece and never went back for more. RCCL win’s big here in his eyes. My ice cream loving daughter loved the 24/7 ice cream options – can’t get that on RCCL. Main dining room was OK. The service was good and fast (which we like). The quality was hit or miss but we didn’t go hungry. The Bars We are moderate drinkers and were paying by the glass. We brought on our two bottles of wine (and ordered two more at dinner). We also ordered a liter of whiskey for the room. Drink prices seemed reasonable compared to other cruise lines. Bar service could be quite slow at times. The candy straws are pretty terrible – get very floppy before I could even finish a drink. Not a fan. The Entertainment We enjoyed the production shows – thought the cast in general was pretty good and we liked the music. We saw 88 Keys (although technical difficulties meant they basically just did the singing), Flick, and America Rocks. Simon London was the cruise director – I’m not sure that guy ever sleeps but he seemed to do a good job engaging the crowd. CD doesn’t really play a major role in my enjoyment of the cruise but we liked him well enough. Loved the piano bar – Scott Lyles was amazingly talented. Ended up there a few nights. We didn’t make it to the 18+ comedy (tried once but couldn’t get seats) but saw both comedians do the PG shows and they were entertaining. The Ship The ship is showing it’s age a bit. I know it spends it’s life in salt water but I was surprised at the amount of surface rust all over the hull, rails, etc. I remember constantly seeing people on Disney touching up the paint during the week and didn’t see any of that on Carnival. It didn’t really detract from the vacation but it is very noticeable. Interior finishes are also a bit worn but it was much less noticeable. Again, didn’t really impact the trip for us. The pools were always very crowded but I think that is just part of cruising. Really liked the promenade on Deck 5 and you could always get a lounger on that deck (at least on the shady side of the boat). We didn’t love how small the jogging track was so we just used Deck 5 for our sea day walks and it worked fine. Seemed to have plenty of elevators for the crowd although being in the middle of stuff on Deck 8 (and eating lots of cheeseburgers) meant we usually took the stairs to everything. Never felt overly crowded except for the buffet and the pool deck. Casino was pretty smoky – we generally tried to avoid the whole area. We liked Red Frog Pub – played a few board games, shuffleboard, foosball Trivia could be hard to get seats on occasion but generally the space was large enough Sports deck was fun – water slides were OK, kids loved the ropes course, played some mini-golf. Serenity deck was nice – went up there for a couple of hours on a port day when our balcony faced another ship on the dock. Again, overall it was a fun trip. Had just as much fun as the RCCL trips (and therefore a bit higher fun/$ ratio). Our next cruise is on NCL (Baltics 2020) but I am sure we will be back to Carnival again. Thanks to those who made it this far and if I missed any topics or you have questions let me know.
  17. We just returned from 6 days on Carnival Magic. I will list all the positives and then a couple of not so positives at the end. Background: We were a group of 8 mostly retired ladies, some single and the rest of us left our husband’s home because they were not interested in cruising. We each had our own cabin and were mostly near the front on decks 1 and 2 with one lady on deck 11. Feel free to ask any questions. Positives (we all had a great time) Flight on Southwest Airlines from Albany, NY to Ft. Lauderdale was onetime and stress free. We arrived at 10:30 the morning of the cruise (January 12). A Carnival representative was right at the baggage claim and he immediately walked us over to a check-in area. One of the ladies didn’t purchase Carnival ground transportation in advance, and she was able to purchase it for both ways right there. We were loaded on the bus and quickly taken to the Port. Luggage was unloaded, we turned our luggage over the the waiting porters. It’s a good idea to make contact with a porter, show him you luggage, tip him a couple of dollars so you can watch him put your luggage on the cart. We arrived at the terminal at approximately 11:15 a.m. We had check-in times of 12:00-12:30 and 12:30-1:00 but were all able to enter the terminal and go through the lines smoothly. Didn’t take long at all to go through check-in process and security. We were probably onboard by 11:45. First stop was the Shore Tour/Excursion Desk to select our Beach Villa for Half Moon Cay. Then 4 of us headed to my room to drop off our carry-ons - I am Platinum so my cabin was ready. The others were off finding lunch. We headed to the Cucina del Capitano Italian Restaurant on Deck 11 because it is usually a quiet place to have lunch on embarkation day. Good food and service. This is an extra charge place for dinner, but no charge for lunch. My room was on Deck 2 inside category but with portholes. The room was really nice with a standard bathroom and closet, sofa, desk, and a single bed. The sofa could be made into another single bed if necessary. The room was clean and comfortable and my room steward took excellent care of it. I did feel the motion of the sea but it did not bother me. There was some noise from waves hitting the hull and perhaps engine noise, but that’s ok, this was the lowest priced cabin and worth the minor inconvenience. Dinner in the Southern Lights Dining Room was awesome every night. On Elegant Night the lobster tails were the best tasting that I’ve had in a very long time. Desserts were decadent. We ate most breakfasts in the dining room, either open seating on port days or Sea Day Brunch on sea days. Always a good experience. Guys burgers were good as were Deli sandwiches. Didn’t get a chance to try the pizza or the Guys BBQ; will have to do that on another cruise. Carnival HubApp - worked fairly well. We had to keep signing out and back in to get messages sometimes. The App was helpful but it would be great if they could improve it to be more reliable. One of our group forgot to download the HubApp from home but was able to do that on the ship with help from Guest Services and/or a Carnival Hub area. First stop was Half Moon Cay. This is my all time favorite port. We rented the Beach Villa which was awesome! The Villas are 2 story buildings with a porch on both levels. The lower level has a full bathroom for our private use and a 5 person hot tub. Also available were float mats and snorkel equipment for our use. The upper level had a dining table with seating for 8, a refrigerator, sink, counter area. They provided a cooler of soft drinks and water, trays of veggies and dips, salsa and chips and plates and utensils. Even though the Villa is open in the front and has open windows, there is an air conditioner blowing a cool breeze. We got our lunch from the dining pavilion (Carnival food and included) and brought it back to eat in the comfort of our Villa. We sat on beach chairs and floated the ocean. The sand is soft and white and the ocean absolutely beautiful. Divided 8 ways, the Villa cost $75 each and was well worth it. Grand Turk is another nice and easy stop. The ship docks and you walk in to the port. We walked to some chairs in Margaritaville and it was much too sunny and hot for me, so 2 of us went to a Starbucks and sat in the shade, enjoying a nice breeze, and using their free WiFi while enjoying our drinks. We found some beach chairs with umbrellas and went into the ocean and swam around for a while. A rain storm blew in and it rained hard. We figured we couldn’t get any wetter and stayed in the water for a while. It cleared quickly and we dried off and went back to the ship. Amber Cove is a fairly new port that I’ve never been to before. Most of our group took a Carnival tour into town to shop and see some things. I and one companion went into the pool area and found a nice spot in the shade. There are plenty of small palm trees that will eventually grow and provide more shade. People whiz by on the zip line over the pool and sitting area. There are plenty of cabanas visible and a swim up bar in the pool. Also music going on. My friend and I found a shady spot under a bridge and spent some time there enjoying the water and atmosphere. Everything is beautifully set up on Amber Cove. Casino was fun and I was able to play Roulette with my predetermined gambling money and was still able to buy some tanzanite earrings and pendant spending only my allotted amount. So I was happy. Debarkation was easy. We all had zone 1 tags because we had an early flight. Flight was on-time and got us home to Albany, NY in 3 hours. Negatives: We had to get off the ship and go home to a very snowy day west of Albany, New York. Didn’t get much sleep the last night possibly due to engine noise. Not really an issue because I did have the cheapest cabin they sell so I am not complaining. When you have a single occupied cabin, you pay double cruise fare so I did not want to pay for a premium cabin for just me. We are looking forward to sailing again in a couple of years.
  18. WWYD? I previously asked for opinions on Breeze vs Dream, but I found a different itinerary that I am interested in. Breeze - 7 night eastern caribbean: Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, 2 sea days Magic - 8 night southern caribbean: Aruba, Curacao, La Romana, DR, Amber Cove, 3 sea days Price is within a few bucks of each other, looking at an oceanview guarantee on both. Magic is a few extra hours drive to Miami (Breeze is PC) which would involve me driving the day before and spending money on a hotel, but since price is the same for an extra day, that's a wash to me based on a per-day rate. It will be me (female) with my 2 young daughters, 8 and 13, if safety is an issue at any of the ports. We really, really want to go to Aruba, and the ship is in port all day (9am-11pm), so it seems like a no brainer, but it makes me wonder why the 8-day isn't substantially more money. Dates are exactly the same.
  19. Good Morning! I am getting married on embarkation day on Jan 18, 2020. I would love a fairly recent copy of the Magic 8 day Southern Caribbean fun times for our cruise to share with our guests. I've searched quite a bit and can't find any. Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance!
  20. Hi all, Can you please direct me on where to find the daily schedule of activities? I have searched and have come across other cruise lines into but of course not this. TIA
  21. My husband and I will be going to Grand Turk and Amber Cove on the Carnival Magic in February. We heard the snorkelling was only okay in Grand Turk and that the excursions can be very crowded and rushed. We saw better reviews for the power snorkelling excursion and wondered if anyone had a positive experience there with it? We saw it is also offered in Amber Cove and wondered if we should try there, as some said it has better snorkelling and smaller groups. Any advice and experience reviews for either would be appreciated!!
  22. Has anyone taken Carnival Magic? And if you have what cabin did you stay in? And was there any bad smell in that area?
  23. We leave on the 8 day Southern sailing this Saturday and were wondering what the two formal nights will be? I'm thinking Sunday and either Thurs or Friday. We're wanting to book the Steakhouse for whichever night the second one is. Saturday- Port Everglades Sunday- Half Moon Cay Monday- Grand Turk Tuesday- Day @ Sea Wednesday- Aruba Thursday- Curacao Friday- Day @ Sea Saturday- Day @ Sea Sunday- Port Everglades
  24. I keep seeing posts about the poor shape the Magic is in. Can anyone confirm this? The daughter and I love going on cruises, but the wife is less than thrilled. I chose this cruise (June 6, 2020) because of the itinerary. Based on the reviews I am seeing, I am considering moving to another ship/cruise. If the Magic really is in bad shape, I do not wish to expose my wife to less than excellent conditions to sour the taste of cruising even more. We are trying to convince her in to booking more! We are still 8 months out from our cruise, so conditions will only get worse........ I am seeing rumors that the Magic will go to dry dock September 2020? Is this accurate? Of course it is, AFTER we cruise. LOL. My luck. For those that will say "cruise without her" not an option. We are a tripod, we only stand together. (family joke)
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