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Found 395 results

  1. Just arrived in our room Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. I know Simon is on vacation, anyone know who is filling in for him ? Will be leaving Nov. 3.
  3. Just off the Magic, so I thought it would be a good time to write my first review! This was my fifth cruise and my girlfriend's third, and the first on the Magic for both of us. It was also our first time sailing out of Fort Lauderdale. Pre-Cruise/Embarkation We drove to Fort Lauderdale and used Park N Go as opposed to parking at the port, and we feel like we made a GREAT choice. I think it was a little more than half as expensive as parking at the port, and they have a shuttle that takes you to and from the parking lot. When we got to the lot, the attendants unloaded our bags for us and put them right on the shuttle, we gave them our keys, and were on our way to the port within about 5 minutes. Our check-in time at the port was 12:30, and there was a long line once we got inside but it moved very fast. I saw a couple boarding passes in front of us for later check-in times, so it doesn't seem like they were enforcing the times at all. It didn't really matter though, because I don't think we ever stopped moving once we got in line, and were on the ship within about 20 minutes of being dropped off at the port. Stateroom We had a balcony on deck 7, and were very impressed with the room itself. It seemed bigger than the balcony staterooms we've had on other ships, and it had plenty of storage for all of our stuff. It also had a refrigerator that kept things pretty cool, even without keeping the door to the cabinet open. There was a hairdryer in the cabin as well, and my girlfriend made a note not to bring her own next time because the one in the cabin worked so well. Our steward, David, was incredible the whole week. We're pretty low maintenance, but any time we needed something he was right there for us. I'm always impressed with the quality of the stateroom stewards on Carnival, and this time was no exception. Now to the negatives with our room. I know there's quite a bit of talk about the sewage smells on the Magic, and we definitely experienced that for ourselves in our stateroom (among other places on the ship). It wasn't there all the time, and it seemed like it was coming through the AC or the vents in the room, but it was definitely noticeable and was quite strong at times. Another problem we had was the noise that our stateroom made during the evening from the rocking of the ship. Now, this trip in general was quite a bit more rocky than others we've been on, so it may have just been more noticeable this time than it has in the past, but every time the ship rocked back and forth, there was a creaking or clanging sound that sounded like the metal from the ceiling clanging against the metal on the walls. It looked like people before us have noticed it before too, because there was paper wedged in between the wall and the ceiling in quite a few places, but it didn't seem to help much and the room was pretty noisy during the night. Also, the stateroom shower was pretty inconsistent in its water temperature. There was one time where we couldn't get the water warm at all, but there was another time where the shower was so hot that I couldn't even get in and just had to wait until later in the day. All in all though, none of these bothered us enough to ruin our cruise, so please don't take it as that, but these are all issues that we've never had before on previous cruises so they definitely stood out to us this time. Food/Dining I think we tried just about every food option on the ship, and were never disappointed! We had anytime dining, and it never took more than about 5 minutes from the time we requested a table on the Hub app to the time we got a notification that our table was ready. The food options in the main dining room seemed to be a little more limited on some nights than they had been on past cruises, but everything we had was great. We ate at Cucina del Capitano for lunch on embarkation day - and liked it so much that we went back for lunch on our last day too. The service was pretty slow in there, but the food was great and worth the wait. My girlfriend also had the sushi from the promenade deck and said that it was amazing, but as somebody who doesn't eat sushi I'll have to just take her word for that. And of course we had our fair share of Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina, and pizza from the lido deck. Guy's Pig and Anchor was also fantastic, but because it's only open on for lunch on sea days, there was almost always a line whenever we tried to go there. One thing that we really enjoyed on this ship was that they had a late night buffet option available. We hit that up three times, and it was always the same offerings - meatball subs, pasta, macaroni salad, grilled ham and cheese, and a couple other options. So it wasn't a huge selection, but it was great for late-night food options when you didn't want to wait in line for pizza. I don't think this has been available on any of our previous cruises, so we really loved having this as an option. We also tried the pizza delivery through the Hub App, and both times the pizza was there in probably less than 15 minutes. It's even delivered in a pizza delivery bag so it's hot and fresh when it gets to you! This is definitely a great feature that Carnival has added, and was worth the $5 when we didn't feel like walking up to the Lido deck. The best meal we had the entire cruise, though, was in the steakhouse. Oh man, was it worth the $38. The steak in the main dining room just doesn't compare to what you get in the steakhouse. I got the cowboy ribeye, and it was as good or better than any steakhouse meal I've ever had at home, including those that cost much, much more. I can't recommend the steakhouse enough if you're on the fence. You won't regret it. Entertainment We thought the entertainment on this cruise was better than any we've had on our previous cruises. There was a string trio playing in the lobby most evenings and they were fantastic, and we spent quite a bit of time listening to the Sea Monkeys play in the Ocean Plaza area of the ship. The Playlist Production shows on this cruise were 88 Keys, Flick and America Rocks. 88 Keys was absolutely incredible, so we went to both of the others too. Flick was just as good as 88 Keys, but we weren't big fans of America Rocks. Some of the singers just didn't have the voice for the songs they were trying to sing, and it seemed a little more corny than the others. Overall though, the theater shows were absolutely some of the best we've seen. We went to the comedy club two nights, and both nights it was standing room only about 15 minutes before the show started. One night there was a line that ran all the way from the lounge on the back of the ship to the midship casino waiting to get into the comedy show. It's a little ridiculous that Carnival won't have these shows in the main theater, especially when there's nothing else going on in there at the time. Our cruise director, Simon London, is one of our favorites, and he didn't disappoint. This is our second time sailing with him, and he's the only cruise director who's ever really made a difference in my cruise one way or the other. Everything that he hosted, from the music trivia to the Love and Marriage Show to the dance parties, was such a blast. I don't know how he manages to be everywhere at once, but his energy and humor really made our cruise that much better. We don't necessarily pick a cruise based on the CD, but if all else were equal and we had a chance to sail with Simon again, we absolutely would choose to go on the ship on which he's the CD. Ports We were originally scheduled to go to Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove and Grand Turk, but Hurricane Dorian's damage to Half Moon Cay forced us to go to Nassau instead. Because we had been to Nassau before we weren't thrilled with the change, but since it was our first port day we decided to get off the ship to find something to do. We weren't able to book excursions until we got onto the ship due to the last-minute port change, so we decided just to play it by ear once we got off the ship. We ended up doing a "glass bottom boat" tour that we booked at a stand right outside of the port area, and it was...ok. We only paid $35 each so we were fine with it, but the "glass bottom" was really just a hole in the floor that they uncovered for a few minutes, and they never delivered on their promise to drop us off at the beach after the tour so we ended up just going back to the ship once it was over. Like I said, we were fine with it for only $35, but it's definitely not something we would do again. At Amber Cove, we got off the ship to do a little exploring in the port area, but we were a little late getting off the ship and the pool was so packed that we just did some shopping and got back on to enjoy the empty ship. We ended up spending most of our time in Amber Cove on the Serenity Deck, which was a ghost town. It was pretty much the only time we could get a clamshell, and the hot tubs were empty, so we felt like this was a day well spent. In Grand Turk we booked an excursion through Carnival called Home Away From Home, and it was the best day of the entire cruise! The shuttle took us to a private home about 10 minutes from the port, where we had an open bar and an amazing buffet lunch of jerk pork, roasted chicken, rice, corn, macaroni salad. They also had a trampoline in the water, kayaks and snorkels that were all free to use, and there were less than 100 people there so it never felt crowded at all. We absolutely loved this excursion, and would do it again in a second. There was a natural rock barrier in the water, so I would recommend water shoes, but I can't think of a single thing to complain about from this entire excursion...although that may be the result of the open bar. Debarkation We always do the self-assist debark and just carry our own luggage off. Getting off the ship was no problem at all, and we were off the ship and into the port about 5 minutes after we left our stateroom. Now, getting out of the port was a different story. There were only 4 customs officers at the port checking 4k passports, and the line snaked around the entire port. We were probably inside the port for about 40 minutes waiting in line to go through customs after we actually got off the ship. It was a mess. At one point they even closed the gangway off the ship to let the line for customs clear out. Like I said, this is the first time we've sailed out of Fort Lauderdale so I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but this was by far the worst experience going through customs that I've had in 4 previous cruises. Getting back to our car, though, was just as easy as getting to the port before the cruise. The shuttle was waiting when we got off the ship, they loaded our bags on, and we were in our car in about 10 minutes. The shuttle driver even dropped us off right beside our car in the lot and unloaded our bags from the bus for us. If we cruise out of FLL again, we'll definitely be using Park N Go. Final Thoughts This was probably the best time that we've ever had on a cruise! Sure, there were little things that we could complain about, but we don't really sweat the small stuff and definitely don't let it ruin our cruise. The Magic seemed to handle the crowds as well or better than any ship we've been on before, with the exception of the usual crowds in the buffet area. I wouldn't hesitate to sail on the Magic again, but would like to try the other Dream-class ships as well. Hope this is helpful (or at least informative), and if you have any other specific questions please feel free to ask!
  4. Does anyone know who the current piano player and Alchemy bartenders are on the Magic currently?
  5. I have tried 3 times in the past 3 days to submit my Carnival Magic review. Each day after submitting, it just spins and spins and never gets submitted. I have spent about 3 hours in all writing 3 different reviews. This last one is still trying to submit. I took pictures of everything I wrote this last time so I don't have to spend as much time writing it -if I try again. Has anyone else had trouble submitting your cruise review?
  6. 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)
  7. We are going to the Steakhouse on the 1st night of our cruise in a few weeks. I know we get a free bottle of wine, but would like to see what other wines we could purchase at 50% off. Thank you for any info.
  8. I have the same room booked on the Magic for 2 cruises 5 months apart. Do i leave myself a note ? Thinking yes like on masking tape in closet above shelf. Maybe bed frame. Would you give this a try and were would you put it?
  9. Have booked an L shape balcony cabin on the Magic can anyone tell me that has stayed in one how they liked it compared to a regular balcony cabin
  10. We are going on the Magic in a few weeks and have YTD and on several of our past cruises have found a waiter that we enjoyed and asked for their table every night. I wanted to know if anyone had any recommendations for a favorite waiter. We had one on our Breeze Journey cruise that we still correspond with, , she is now on the Glory. Thank you.
  11. Sailing in three weeks on the Magic and just wondering if anyone can provide some insight/advice on the boarding process for the tenders going to Half Moon Cay? I have heard that it can be a cluster trying to obtain a boarding number and they only have a couple of tenders available. Any tips for getting early boarding numbers WITHOUT Priority Boarding or Faster to the Fun? THANKS!!!
  12. Hello everyone. I just got back from the 7/6-7/14 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Magic. I love reading other people's cruise reviews while waiting for my next cruise to begin and I hope that by sharing my trip with others, I can help someone else pass the time as well. A couple disclaimers, I LOVE cruising and always have a good time. But I like to be honest in my review. Everything is not perfect on a cruise and I do intend to include the bad with the good. Just because I complain, does not mean I did not have a great time. Also, I may not hit on everything that interests you as a cruiser. I would say from reading many reviews that my cruise style is different from the norm, and that is okay. Please feel free to ask questions about something I do not cover and I will do my best to answer anything that you would like to know about. About Me: I am 31 years old and am lucky enough to live in Florida so taking cruises is more affordable and easier to do than for many people. This was my 24th cruise, my 19th cruise on Carnival and my second time on the Magic. This is my first time writing a review in a few cruises due to some technical difficulties I was having with my camera. I somehow forgot to pack my charger one cruise and since this was a trip to Cuba, I saved my battery for that instead of taking pictures for a review. Then on my next trip my memory card died. I think I spilled water in my camera, I was just glad it was only the memory card and not the camera. All photos are backed up online so nothing lost. Then as I was getting ready for my next cruise I somehow managed to lose my charger again and didn't have time to replace it. I still have no idea what I've done with it, but I have bought a replacement charger and appear to be good to go. I am taking this cruise solo. Both the people I cruise with are a little bitter about it, but I love solo cruising. It is the ultimate relaxing vacation, you do what you want when you want and don't have to work around someone else's wants and schedules. Perfect. I can't always afford to cruise solo, but I have decided to make it work at least once a year. This was going to be a cruise on MSC Seaside but I waited too long to book and when I went to book it, all inside rooms had sold out. I had a voucher from MSC casino for 30% off and $225 OBC but I would need to use it on a balcony and to be honest, I was not impressed enough with my first MSC cruise to pay that much to sail with them again. I already had the dates locked in at work and I could have gotten them changed, but I just didn't feel it was worth the effort and so I let my voucher with MSC expire. I also had a voucher for Carnival for 30% so I started looking at what was available on that date. I really wanted to do the Breeze. It was my first Carnival cruise and it is very close to home at Port. Canaveral. Knowing I was going solo, I just couldn't get past the price tag that Carnival wanted. Horizon was my second choice but it was doing a 6 day cruise which I just don't have a desire to do at this time. I ended up picking the Magic and although not my first choice, it was a pretty good choice because it was an 8 day cruise which is always better than 7 🙂 It also was still a Dream class ship. I am finding myself a little bored with the Conquest class and older ships. It is a great problem to have indeed. Although a lot less expensive than Breeze this still ended up being the most I have ever paid for a cruise even with my 35% off. A balcony on MSC was only a little more, but I bet their prices start going up soon. If they are sold out of inside rooms four months out, it won't take them long to realize they are under pricing their cruises.
  13. Anyone know where I can see the 8 nt Magic menus? Please don't say Zydeco, his are from 2014. TIA
  14. Just curious. Rarely do they impact my vacation one way or the other, but I’m cruising on the Magic Oct 12th and was wondering.
  15. I truly am asking this for a co-worker. I am an experienced cruiser but on another line. A co-worker is sailing fir the first time. She is going with friends on the Carnival Magic. Her friends told her there is an iron in her stateroom. I did not think any ship/line allowed irons or steamers in the room. I don’t want to tell her wrong! I had heard that Carnival has an “ironing room” where you can go iron. Her friend says there was an iron provided in her stateroom on the Magic last year. Can anyone confirm if the Magic has an iron in the stateroom or is it ironing room only? Is there an ironing room on each deck or one for the ship? Thanks!
  16. I'll be doing a new year's cruise on the Carnival Magic out of Fort Lauderdale. Have a couple of questions for those that have sailed her recently: What was your internet experience like? Plan to buy prior to boarding, don't want to overspend if everyone is reporting a poor experience. Any recommendations, as far as excursions, for Grand Turk or Amber Cove? Considering going for an ATV like excursion. Open to suggestions. How was anytime dinning for you? Was there a long wait to get a table? If you have done a new year's cruise with Carnival before, any tips? I'm sure it will be completely sold.
  17. Has anyone cruised Magic recently? Do you know if the cabin televisions have HDMI ports so that movies displayed from an iPad or laptop? Thanks
  18. Just off the Magic and after the recent reviews and questions I have read here, I thought I would share my observations. This won't be an in depth review and I have no pictures so just a 10,000 foot view. Some quick info about me so you know where my views come from. This was my 14th cruise, 13th with Carnival and my 11th different Carnival ship. It was just me and my angel, no kids or friends joining us. We had a cove balcony, mid-ship on the starboard side. Our favorite room type! I reached Platinum (finally!) on this sailing and so we had the benefits that come with that. Here are the top 10 in no particular order. Deck space by the main pool was extremely hard to come by. Not many chairs and a lot of chair hogs. Our experience was nearly identical on the Breeze (same ship class). Alchemy Bar was far more crowded than we have seen on any prior sailing. The location and layout seem to contribute to this as there is limited seating at the bar and the Ocean Plaza draws additional patrons to hear the live music. It was hard to get to the bar to get a drink even if you were looking to sit remotely. The drink quality was great however; the bartenders did seem more conservative this go-round. The Punchliner was filled to capacity regularly. 15 to 20 minutes prior to show time it was standing room only. Again similar to our experience on the Breeze. Although this is nowhere near the oldest ship in the fleet, she is showing more signs or wear and tear. Carpet patches in the elevator landing areas, more rust than typical on railings and stateroom just looking tired. Didn't lessen our experience but after seeing other's comments it was pretty apparent. Service overall on the ship in one word - outstanding! Best ever service experience on any cruise. We had a different wait staff in the MDR every night and they all shined. Cucina and Steakhouse were on their game as usual. Room steward was great and every bartender, drink server or Carnival employee we encountered was pleasant and professional. Food quality in the MDR seemed below par to us. The menu seems to have been abbreviated slightly and the food just didn't have the wow taste factor we remembered. Out of 8 nights we didn't feel we missed anything by visiting the cucina and steakhouse instead on 2 nights. Don't get me wrong, it was good just not great. We have had great from Carnival prior. The live music on-board was fair. The primary band was the Sea Monkeys and they were good and talented but their sets just weren't dance type music. More of a lounge act than a dance floor band on a cruise. They also had a string trio in the atrium, an acoustic singer in the Red Frog as well as a Latin duo in the Ocean Plaza. Something for everyone. As so many ask, yes, the casino on Magic was smokey. One of the worst we have experienced. They had fans but it wasn't enough. Judging from the crowds testing their luck, it didn't deter many though. The buffet has new menus from our last cruise and the quality of the food seems better. We did miss some of our favorites though like jerk chicken. Where there seemed to be a theme to the menu previously, the options now are all over the place. The new desserts were much improved and the cake selection was really good. Cruise Director Simon was great. He had energy, personality and a great attitude. We enjoyed any event he hosted. A couple other details, we arrived at the port about 10:30 and with priority boarding we were on-board at 11:30. There was some delay to allowing us on although I am not sure of the cause. Getting off the ship took about 40 minutes to clear customs again using priority zone 1 debarkation. We had a great time, after all we were on a cruise, so take any of these with a grain of salt. This is not meant to be a complaint list at all and of course, your mileage may vary.
  19. We just got off an 8-night cruise on the Magic, so I thought I'd share a quick review. As a bit of background, it was me (31) and my girlfriend (33) traveling together. This is our third cruise on Carnival, the previous two being on the Breeze and Liberty. Rather than do a play-by-play, I'm going to just hit the highlights of the things we experienced. Port Everglades I'll say one thing about Port Everglades: NEVER AGAIN. I used to think LaGuardia Airport was the most inefficient and poorly run transportation hub in the country, until I discovered Port Everglades. It's understaffed, disorganized, and clearly not well-enough equipped to handle the number of passengers that it does. The lines were insane for both embarkation and debarkation. Debarkation was the worse of the two, most likely because they only had half of the customs windows staffed. The only positive shout-out I'll give is to the sheriff's department. They were walking around handing out bottles of water to folks standing outside in the heat in line. Bottom line, if you decide to cruise the Magic while she is at Port Everglades, consider Faster to the Fun a MUST. Ship in General Overall I was pleased with the Magic and would definitely cruise her again. That said, she is a little rougher around the edges than her sister ship the Breeze. We noticed minor wear and tear around the public areas; little things like chair cushions that were badly worn, holes in some of the umbrellas, carpets that needed replaced, etc. The crew did a great job keeping everything clean though. I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the public restrooms in particular. Also, any trash that was left on tables in areas like Ocean Plaza was almost immediately cleared away. One thing I really like about the Magic (and the other dream class ships) is the lanai deck and Ocean Plaza. It's my favorite place on the ship to go to just sit and relax with an adult beverage or cup of coffee. There's almost always some type of activity or music going on near the stage in Ocean Plaza, but there are plenty of quiet spots both indoors and outdoors on that deck that you can go read a book, work the crossword/sodoku (pick up puzzles free by the coffee shop), watch a movie on your iPad, etc. The only drawback to Ocean Plaza is the location of the Alchemy Bar there. Because it is so centrally located, it is always PACKED. I much preferred the setup on the Liberty, where it is a bit more out of the way, and never seemed to be overly crowded. Since it is talked about so much on here and on FB, I feel that I need to at least mention the topic of smells. I've read many horror stories about awful mildew and sewage odors throughout the ship. I can only speak to my personal experience, but I didn't notice any particularly offensive odors. There were a couple times walking down hallways that I got a whiff of something unpleasant, but it was momentary and wasn't strong enough to bother me. I might not have even given it a second thought but for all of the complaints I had read online before the cruise. I'll also say this: I traveled for a living for many years, and I've smelled way worse things in hotel hallways than anything I smelled on the magic. Food The most important part of a cruise for me is the food, and the Magic did not disappoint. Here are my thoughts on the places that we tried: MDR: Overall it was good. We did your time dining, which we prefer, but I really didn't like the new reservation system. They are basically forcing you to request a table via the mobile app. In theory, that works great, but there's no good way to request specific waitstaff that way. I tried to go up to the hostess stand to check in manually, and one of the crewmembers literally took my phone out of my hands to open the Carnival app and request a table that way. The other issue is that the lines by the hostess stand are not well organized, and it gets very congested because I think they "ping" a lot of people from the app at once. My advice, particularly if you want to sit in a certain section, is to just put your phone in your pocket, tell them you don't have it with you, and go check in manually. When we did that the last night, we were seated immediately, ahead of people who had used the app and were caught in the chaos on the other side of the hostess stand. Once seated, the food and service did not disappoint. The highlight for me was the prime rib. I expect decent prime rib from Carnival, but this time it was absolutely outstanding. Just make sure to ask for extra horseradish if you like that, as theirs is not spicy at all, but still very flavorful. Another thing I recommend doing in the MDR is the wine package. It isn't well advertised, but if you ask your server the first night they will bring you a card with all the details. We did the 5 bottle package, and if you buy the package you save about 20%. versus buying bottles individually. Steakhouse: Highly recommended. It's a little bit off the beaten path, and features a nice quiet ambiance. The service is professional, but I didn't find the servers to be as friendly or outgoing as the servers in the MDR or the Cucina. The food, though, is incredible. I did the french onion soup, and then the Australian Wagyu beef for my entree. The Wagyu was a flat iron steak, which I ordered rare, and it was delicious. Perfectly cooked, very tender, and incredibly flavorful. My girlfriend had the filet, which was also prepared beautifully. Italian Cucina: I can't say enough good things about the Cucina! We went twice for dinner and once for lunch. Keep in mind the lunch is free, and is the perfect place to go on embarkation day because nobody will have found it yet and so it'll be EMPTY. As for the food, the spaghetti carbonara that I had for dinner was by far the best meal I had on the entire trip. The service is also second to none. The servers strike the perfect balance of being professional and maintaining a slightly upscale atmosphere, while also being down to earth, very outgoing and personable, and a ton of fun. If you go in the near future, ask for Grozdana as your waitress, she's awesome! For $15/person, dinner here is an absolute steal, so I highly recommend giving it a shot. Guy's Burgers: As always, they were great. I don't think I can say much more than has been said a million times on here. Staff was really friendly and did a great job of keeping the line moving. Blue Iguana: Ditto with Guy's Burgers. I'm not even a big fan of Mexican, but I love this place because everything just tastes so fresh. Also, if you like spicy, definitely give the habanero sauce from the toppings bar a try. It's the one with like five of the little pepper icons next to it. I love it when a sauce that's supposed to be spicy is actually SPICY! Sushi at Sea: This is on deck 5 near the Red Frog Pub. We tried a California Roll and a couple pieces of salmon and yellowtail sushi. To be honest, I wasn't particularly impressed. The roll had a bit of a fishy taste to it, and the consistency just seemed a bit off. The individual pieces tasted fresher and were not at all fishy, but the rice was warm, and so by the time I was served and ate it, the fish sitting on top of it was no longer cold. I'd avoid this place, not necessarily because it was particularly awful, but because there are just so many better options. Pizza: We tried pizza delivery twice. The first attempt was a bit of an epic failure. We were sitting in the outdoor seating of Red Frog Pub. My girlfriend placed the order and entered the location. Long story short, the pizza never came, and we later found out that he had been wandering around inside the pub, but never looked right outside - and the place wasn't crowded either, we were the only people around. So, moral of the story, make sure you are very specific on your location, and if it says they are there and you don't see them, get up and look around. They did automatically refund the $5 for the missed delivery. The second time we had pizzas delivered to the room, and it showed up on time and was delicious as always. Sea Day Brunch: Magic is still using the old menu, which made me happy! I had the hen ala diavola, which is amazing, and sadly is being taken away when they roll-out the new menu. My girlfriend had the mac and cheese, which was pretty disappointing. It's not the same they serve at dinner; this was more like glorified Easy Mac. The excellent banana cream pie ended the meal on a high note. One other food option we really enjoyed was the "light lunch" they served in Ocean Plaza. The soups were delicious. They also do a continental breakfast in the same area that never seems crowded. Most mornings I did room service breakfast. We tried two of the extra-fee breakfast sandwiches. My girlfriend did the sausage biscuit with hash browns ($3), and it was not very good at all. I tried the salmon bagel ($5), and it was delicious, although very heavy on the cream cheese and therefore very messy to eat. While I enjoyed mine, I probably would stick to the free options going forward. Also, don't forget about tea time! They only do it for an hour or two in the afternoon on sea days, but it's well worth it! It's peaceful and quiet, and the little sandwiches and treats they have are actually really good! Casnio I spent a LOT of time in the casino this cruise, and really enjoyed myself. For the most part, the dealers are a lot of fun, and the pit bosses do a great job of making you feel welcome. The selection of table games isn't bad. There are 2 roulette wheels and 1 craps table. In my opinion they need another craps table. Card games include blackjack, Fun 21, let it ride, heads up hold-em, and 3 card poker. Minimums for most tables were pretty low, with craps, blackjack, roulette, and 3-card poker all being mostly in the $5 range. They also offered $10 blackjack pretty much all the time, and one $25 table only at night. That was my table of choice, because it was the only 3:2 table in the casino. There's also a ton of slots obviously, and about 12 video poker machines. I pumped some money into the slots, but not much. Everyone is always asking how tight or loose they are...in my opinion they are a little tighter than the Vegas strip, but not by much. I earned the drinks-on-us card the second night, and took full advantage of it. I found the cocktail servers to be very quick, and my glass was rarely empty. Staff/Crew Can't say enough good things about the Magic team. The staff goes out of their way to be helpful, and consistently does so with a smile. Bar service was generally fast and friendly, and as always with Carnival the bartenders and servers made an effort to get to know us and our drink orders. The only bar that really didn't impress me in terms of service was the Red Frog Pub. Simon the cruise director seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and was very enthusiastic. At times, though, it seemed like he was kind of disorganized and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Some of his announcements were way behind what was actually happening. It also seemed like a lot of the events on this cruise started late and ran long. I'm not blaming that on him specifically, though. The one exception was muster drill; he did a great job of getting that done efficiently. Entertainment Apparently I'm in the minority here, but I really enjoy the Playlist Productions shows. 88 Keys is INCREDIBLE, and the male and female lead both had amazing voices that were really well-suited to the playlist. It's so upbeat, fun, and entertaining I would have gone back and watched it a second time that night, but we were starving and needed to get dinner. Flick was great too. And while I enjoyed America Rocks and the performers were great, the song selections just weren't up my alley. We skipped Country Roads, but we did go to the variety show (comedy juggling), and really enjoyed his show! We stopped by the piano bar one night, and stayed about 5 minutes. Russell Blues seems like a fun guy, and plays piano well. He's got a decent voice, but he's more into doing voice impersonations and trying to be funny rather than just singing the songs. I know a lot of people like that type of show that includes some comedy and chit-chat, but it's just not my cup of tea. Due to the time spent in the casino, we didn't make it to any of the other shows or the comedy club this time. Bottom Line The Magic is a nice ship with an absolutely fantastic crew. While she may not be the crown jewel of the Carnival fleet, I think the wide variety of food/beverage/activity options onboard make this ship an ideal choice, especially if it's your first or second cruise and you want to try out a lot of different things to see what your niche is. Feel free to ask any questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can!
  20. This was our 5 cruse, 4th on Carnival, 1st on Magic and our favorite cruise so far. Loved the itinerary and met so many great people on board. It was also our first time in an aft balcony. More on that later :) Also, this is my first review so hopefully it flows. I will say that we are really laid back and pretty easy to please people. We don't ask a lot and can make a good time out of almost any situation. We like to take our time and drive from NC to Florida for our cruises. Wednesday 8/28 - Charleston, SC We stayed at the Mills House Wyndham for one night. It was a pleasant enough stay: clean room, neat view of Meeting St, friendly staff. We parked in the city parking garage a couple of blocks over so we could charge our car overnight. I believe it was $20 for the night. Great location within walking distance to pretty much anything near the battery. We arrived pretty late so we just walked a few blocks to a little bar called The Griffon (there are signed dollar bills covering the walls - it was kinda neat). The food was great, wait staff was fun. Thursday 8/29 - Daytona Beach - Ft. Lauderdale It just so happened that my FIL and his girlfriend were staying in Daytona Beach for the week so we stopped by their time share and spent a few hours with them. They stayed at the Wyndham Ocean Walk Resort. Looked like a really neat place to stay. Tons to do for families and lots of restaurants! Continuing on to Ft. Lauderdale... We stopped a couple times to charge the car and do a little shopping. We like to charge before our scheduled stops and this time we are glad we did. Somewhere on the Florida Turnpike there was (what we assume to be) a fatal accident. Traffic was stopped for well over an hour and thankfully we had plenty of charge. We weren't too far from the site and could see a large truck had overturned and caught fire. The cab was crushed. I truly hope it turned out better than it looked. As an aside, I ended up texting with the front desk clerk of the hotel where we were staying to let them know we would be arriving late, and he was so helpful and understanding! Thursday 8/29, Friday 8/30 - Ft. Lauderdal We stayed at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina for 2 nights. We had a room on the 14th floor with a view of the port and it. was. amazing!! I got up early on the 31st to watch Magic and Celebrity Equinox pull in to port. We had a king room with a balcony. Room was clean though did show signs of wear and tear. It could definitely use some TLC. However, we wouldn't hesitate to stay again. We stopped by Walmart to grab some snacks...or so we thought!!! At this time, Dorian was still headed for Florida and the shelves were EMPTY!! We meant to stop further north on the way down but totally forgot. Oops. We were able to get a couple of things, then stopped by the gas station for additional provisions :D. That was quite a show too... the lines for gas were sooo long. Thank goodness for electric vehicles! Once at the hotel, we checked in and then did self parking. Parking was $30/night for self parking and I believe it was $35/night for valet. We actually ended up parking in the valet lot as they had an EV charger there. It was in use the first night but we were able to use it the second night. Since we arried so late, the food options were limited so we ended up ordering a pizza from a local place (can't recall the name). It was decent enough to satisfy 2 weary and hungry travelers! Day 2 we slept in (glorious!!) then drove to Plantation Mall to charge the car and grab some food. We stopped at a little pizza place to grab a drink and it was over $3.00 for a 20oz bottle of root beer!!!! Won't do that again, but we did savor every drop ha! I got a burger from 5 Guys and it was delicious. After charging we drove to the port to find the parking deck. We had no trouble finding it, but there was a looong line of cars waiting to get in to park. They were all brand new cars that appeared to be just off of a carrier. I'm sure they were probably moving them to protect them from Dorian. This made me panic a little as I was afraid all the spots would be taken. (They weren't). Then we went back to the hotel to relax for a while and went for a quick dinner. DH had Chinese from some local hole in the wall place that he said was very, very good. I had PDQ. We had some spotty rain throughout the evening. That reminds me - the balcony is VERY slippery when it's wet!! Also of note, I was watching NOAA to monitor the storm track, as well as the Port Everglades site and the Carnival site. We also were signed up for texts from Carnival. I felt like the communication from Carnival was adequate to keep us informed of what was going on. Saturday 8/31 - Embarkation day!!! As stated earlier, I had set my alarm to get up at 3:30 to be ready to watch Magic pull in to port. She was slated to arrive at 4am. I got up every few minutes to watch for her and finally, I believe, between 4 and 4:30 I saw her coming in. It was really a beautiful sight! I took pics and DH took a video. He left his phone propped up on a table on the balcony while we went for breakfast to capture the full arrival and the sunrise. Equinox came in right behind Magic so he captured that as well! Breakfast was at Lester's Diner. It was very good, but be aware that the portions are HUGE!! After breakfast, we went back and finished packing up and headed to the port. We had FTTF so I wanted to get there early to make sure we had a good parking spot. Since Dorian was still sort of aiming for Florida, we wanted to park on a middle level just in case of flooding. I think we got there around 9:30 or 10 and had no problem finding a spot. I believe we headed in around 10 or 10:30. We handed off 2 sea bags to the porters, tipped them, then headed in. For carry ons, we each had a military-style back pack, a shoulder bag, and each of us had a 12 pack of soda and I had a small backpack/purse with our documents/passports. Entry was quick and easy though we were sent to the wrong waiting area. They sent us upstairs to the priority area first, then we were sent back down and finally arrived at the FTTF area. At that time there were plenty of seats. After 11:30 passed and no one had moved, I figured something was wrong. (We found out later from a crew member that a 45 year old man punched an 80 year old man in the face during the disembarkation process. Authorities and paramedics were called and the 45 year old was arrested. Horrible!! Please be patient... everyone will get off the boat!!) Sometime while we were sitting there we realized that we left our lanyards in the car so DH went to grab them and to have a smoke. To be clear, he DID clear this with security BEFORE he left the building. He had his passport and boarding pass with him. After some time I heard they had started boarding the platinum and diamonds and DH still wasn't back. Minutes later he called me FURIOUS... they weren't letting anyone else in the building due to lack of seating. I get that.. however, DH explained that he had already been inside and that I, his wife, was still inside. They still refused and said he would not be allowed in until after regular boarding had started. Again, he said he already had a seat and that there was no way I could carry all of our luggage on by myself. Still no go. I told him I would just wait until he got inside and we would board together, but he said if I could find someone to help carry our things, to go ahead and board and he would see me in the room. We hung up and they called FTTF. I got up, put a back pack on my front, a back pack on my back, placed my shoulder bag on my shoulder, put the small back pack/purse in the front on top of the front back pack and had someone hand me the 2 packs of soda. I was loaded down!!! As I got up to the security lady, she gave me quite the look and I told her they wouldn't let my husband back in. Turns out she was the one he asked and she was livid for him. She took off to go get him but right as she turned to go, he came through. It takes a LOT to push him to that level of angry, but he was irate, and rightfully so I believe. The lady security guard told us to make sure we mention everything on a comment card. He tried to take some of the bags from me (he said he looked like an a$$hole with me carrying everything) but I was locked and loaded so there wasn't an easy way to give him any bags. I did let him carry the soda though. :) From that point it went pretty quickly.. up some stairs and down the gangway and we were on. We went straight to our room (which was ready!!). Our key cards were in the mailbox right outside the door. Dinner calls so I will finish the review later....
  21. We are going on the Magic and have read a few times that people have been having a sewer smell at times in there cabin that can be strong. Has anybody had that problem when sailing on the magic?
  22. Hi all! We are looking at booking a Cove Balcony on Carnival Magic. We have stayed in balcony cabins higher up but are wanting to try a cove this time around. The cabin we are looking at is 2365. I have heard some reviews about sewer smells in hallways of deck 2 and on certain balconies and also noise being heard from the galley with the cove balcony cabins. Was wondering if anyone that has stayed in this cabin or anywhere close can comment on your experience. Also was curious if this cabin has a lifeboat overhead? Thanks so much for any and all replies 🙂
  23. Cruising on the Carnival Magic next month, is there a sports bar on the ship? I've not been able to locate a sports bar on the deck plans, we 're hoping to watch some or any baseball playoff games onboard. Thanking any replies in advance
  24. Finally getting around to writing my review for my cruise on the Carnival Magic. This was my family's first cruise ever. As a family we have been to an all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic and with my wife I have been to Sandals in both St. Lucia and Jamaica. We are a family of 4, with a 11 year old son and a 15 year old daughter. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on the 10th and stayed at Embassy Suites. We took an Uber between the airport and the hotel and had absolutely no problems with the ride itself. It did take a little while to make our way from where we picked up our luggage to the ride-share pickup location. It was annoying making our way through numerous people offering to give us a ride even though there were large signs in the area talking about not taking rides from unofficial sources. Embassy Suites We picked Embassy Suites because several years ago I use to have lots of business trips to Ft. Lauderdale and would stay at either Pier 66, Embassy Suites, or the Marriott Marina (now Hilton Marina.) Based on reviews and the fact that there were 4 of us, I liked the fact that we could have two separate rooms, "free" breakfast, and close to stores. The rooms were exactly like I remember, other then new flat screens, nothing has been updated in the room since I was there YEARS ago. The rooms are in need of updating. For lunch we walked around and actually went to Hilton Marina. Probably would stay there next cruise. Since it was a Saturday, we went to church and then had the Uber drop us off at the beach area for dinner. After dinner we returned to the hotel and turned in. While the kids got ready for bed I quickly walked to a nearby liquor store to pick up my two 750 ml bottles of wine. Breakfast was OK, nothing special, but we would later find out it was probably better then the breakfast buffet on Lido, much less lines and similar quality things like pancakes. That morning we had no problems calling an Uber for drop-off at the Port. Just make sure you download the port app to know which terminal your cruise ship is docked. Uber needs that info, can't just enter Port Everglades as your destination. Also make sure you keep your passports out in the Uber. EVERY person in the car needs a picture Id to get through port security, so if your kids don't have drivers licenses, they need their passport. Embarkation The Uber dropped us off right at the terminal. Our bags quickly were turned over to the porters and we got in line. We were surprised that there was nothing telling us where to go, but we just followed everyone else and got in the long line. We had a 12:00 check-in time and didn't have FTTF. It was 12:00 so we were right on time for our check-in time. The line wound toward the side of the building but moved very fast. Once we were in the terminal itself there was only a 5 minute line to see the people that check your passports and boarding passes. Another 5 minute line for the x-ray machines (I held up the line a little because I didn't realize my wallet had a metal lining.) After that we had our pictures and went straight for the ship, only stopping a few times when people had to again check/scan our boarding passes. Other then stopping at those points we just kept walking, no lines at all. We kept walking up the escalators, up the ramps and soon were on the gangway to the Magic. By 12:30 we were on the Magic. A little confused since the only people to greet us were people handing out safety forms and handing out spa raffle forms. There was someone with a sign that told us to ask him if we had any questions, but through this board and Youtube sites like Parodeejay I knew what to do. My son who had been doing tons of research was actually amazed at how small the atrium looked compared to what he thought it looked like based on videos and I had to tell him how different angles and lens make things look. We quickly took our pictures in the lobby and made our way to the elevators. We went to the express elevators to 5 and 10 and based on feedback from people on here, instead of going to the buffet we gradually made our way to the Italian restaurant. Stopping for things like the pictures in front of the life-rings, pictures off the side and things like that. Cucina del Capitano After activating our Hub app and looking at ship's maps we made our way to Cucina del Capitano. At first they assumed we knew the drill but as soon as they found out we were first timers they explained everything. The restaurant was almost empty. We made our way to the table and sat down, filled out our forms and quickly decompressed from the rush and hurry of what happened. I highly suggest this instead of the buffet on the Lido deck, much better then the rush and lines in the buffet area. The food was good and the options were great for a variation of appetites. My wife is Italian so has her wants, my son just wants to check EVERY box he can and my daughter is a butter pasta type person. All were able to get what they wanted and the food was pretty good for what it was, just quick stir-fry type Italian. The fact that it was so quiet and an easy place to store the carry-ons made it worth its weight in gold. Room 2254 After lunch we made our way to the room. It was a cove balcony room. My wife is prone to sea-sickness so we purposely wanted a room as low and middle of the ship as possible. We also specifically wanted a balcony since she figured being able to see out and get air would be better if she had issues. We were a little nervous about noise since we were right next to the forward elevators. The room was exactly like we expected. I had to do the mandatory bed bug check and my wife had to do the room whip-down. Of course there were no bed bugs or that would have been brought up much earlier in this review. We did find a couple dusty areas (top of TV and top of a picture frame) but for the most part it was clean. We then went and looked around the ship, getting our baring and things like that. Muster drill was no problem at all. We had the upper level of the middle dining room. There were only announcements for two cabins that were late and they were found pretty quick. After muster drill half of us went back to the cabin to watch sail-away and the other half went to the atrium for the sail-away party. Due to an incoming rain storm they moved the sail-away part to the atrium. It was a little crowded there but my daughter loved it.
  25. Hi fellow Cruise Critic members! We recently returned from a family cruise on the Carnival Magic. I love reading all of the member reviews and learn so much from them. I wanted to do a review of our cruise, and hopefully help some of our fellow cruisers out there who may be going on the Magic, or to any of the cruise ports we visited. First, a little bit about us. We live in Miami, so we have lots of cruise ports to choose from! Our family consists of myself, my husband, and our sons Ryan (10) and Danny (5). This was our fourth cruise (second one for our kids). Last year, we decided we wanted to do a short cruise to test out if the kids liked it. I booked a five day cruise on the Mariner of the Seas. Needless to say, they are now hooked! A couple of weeks after that cruise, I booked our cruise on Carnival Magic. I was able to get a great deal on a balcony cabin. There were several firsts for us on this cruise: first time visiting the ports on the itinerary, first time cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale (we’ve always gone out of Miami), and first time staying in a balcony cabin (spoiler alert: we loved it and I’m not sure I can do another cruise without staying in one again!!!) Our itinerary was as follows: Sunday, July 28 – Board Magic at Port Everglades Monday, July 29 – Sea Day Tuesday, July 30 – Half Moon Cay Wednesday, July 31 – Grand Turks (we went to Jack’s Shack) Thursday, Aug. 1st – Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (we did an ATV tour with Marysol Tours) Friday, Aug. 2nd – Sea Day Saturday, Aug. 3rd – Back at Port Everglades More to come soon!
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