CruiserAZ

CruiserAZ
Second Mate

Hometown: AZ
Joined: 10/08/2016
5
Cruises
4
Reviews
9
Helpful Votes

About CruiserAZ

I love being able to see different areas for a quick day so I know where I'd like to go back to for a week vacation. Love the ships, being out on the water, and seeing the world.


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Carnival Magic

October 2016 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western

Magic 2nd time around, changes have been made, not as good

This is our second time on the Magic. We were on here last summer going out of Galveston. Since then improvements have been made and some new features were added like Guy's Burgers and BBQ as well as several more bars.

 

We were really looking forward to being back on the Magic as we had such a great time last time. First thing we noticed, a lot of the entertainment had been taken out. Comedy shows were still there, but if you went two nights in a row, you got a repeat show. Outside of the comedy shows, there weren't productions going on with singing and dancing. They did have a hypnosis show one night which was eh, and the love show which is always good. During the day there is a lot of trivia going on, it seemed like there was trivia every hour but that was about it. We saw a lot of people playing cards the last sea day because there just wasn't much else to do, especially since it was raining on deck so ping pong, mini golf, pools were not happening.

 

The food was ok. It wasn't great and it wasn't horrible but I've had better food on cruises. Our favorite part of the meals was lunch time. The 24/7 pizza is great, the wok with Oriental food was great, and Guy's Burgers was good. It is better than the burgers they used to have but IN-N-Out has a much better burger, so nothing to write home about. The Pig and Anchor with Guy's wasn't bad but wasn't amazing either. We tried a little of everything here and the best part was the baked beans. The mac and cheese at breakfast is much better than here. The other addition to the ship was the Blue Laguna. I didn't like the burritos as the eggs and ingredients weren't kept hot, so when they made your burritos it ended up being cold, but the lines are definitely a lot shorter here than at the buffet. I really did like their huevos rancheros that they had at the Blue Laguna. That was excellent, as well as this corn meal thing with cheese in the middle.

 

If you are going in the Sept/Oct/Nov time of year, expect rain. It rained at almost all the ports we were at. We will not be cruising the Caribbean again at this time of year. The very last sea day it rained the whole time and the ship was rocking like crazy so if you get seasick bring those patches.

 

The ports were good overall. Costa Maya, Belize, Mahogany Bay, and Cozumel. Cozumel was a short trip though. We docked at 7am and got back on the ship at 2pm. Carnival could have easily had us stay till 5pm and make it back to Port Canaveral on time. A lot of people were complaining about this.

 

The shore excursions with Carnival are not cheaper FYI but I'd recommend the Carnival ones in Cozumel if you are going to Playa del Carmen so you know the ship won't leave without you and it is a 45min tender tide from ship to main land. If you do it on your own  you'd have to go from ship to Cozumel then take another tender to the main land and you'd kill a lot of time. A lot of the excursions are a good drive there so play it safe, but the other ports you can definitely get the same excursion for cheaper. We did this in Belize and saved $20/person on swimming with the sharks/stingrays and snorkeling.

 

Overall we enjoyed our vacation and we were grateful we only had 2 seadays as there wasn't much to do on the ship as far as entertainment is concerned.  We have decided we are done with Carnival for now and will be trying out other cruiseliners to see how they compare.

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Carnival Miracle

May 2016 - Carnival Miracle to Mexico

Great way to spend mother's day week!

Overall my mom and I had an excellent time. The embarkation was the worst part of the trip. They had loose wires and a loose carpet that my mom tripped over after checking in. It was a hazard, the staff knew it was a hazard, and yet no one did anything about it. My mom fell on a wheelchair and hurt her knee and couldn't walk for the rest of that day. Carnival did nothing but offered for a doctor to take a look at it several hours after we were on the ship, not even right away when we boarding. No discounts, no credits, and all we got were apologies. You will be hearing from our attorneys soon on this matter.

 

Outside of that, we went to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo.

Not a fan of Puerto Vallarta and I've been there once before so I knew this ahead of time. It is an old dumpy town in my opinion. We did 2 tours here, the tequila tasting which I highly recommend and the ATV which was just ok. If you have an overnight in PV I definitely recommend the evening dinner with the rhythms of the night tour. The first time I went to PV and it was awesome.

 

Cabo was awesome! Wish it would have been 2 days in Cabo and 1 in Puerto Vallarta.

We swam with the dolphins which was awesome. Only place I've ever been to that allows you to swim underwater with the dolphins.

 

The food was good overall and the comedy shows awesome. This ship isn't as nice as some of the other fleet Carnival has. The shops don't have much of anything in them worth buying or looking at. The mini golf was fun, pools too small. I wouldn't go back on this ship or itinerary but it was good for a 1 time experience. It was really cool looking outside of the ship because on over 10 occasions you could see dolphins swimming along side of the ship.

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Carnival Magic

July 2015 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western

Loved the trip, ship and great destinations too.

This was the first cruise for my husband and third for myself. We had an absolute blast.

 

The crew members of the Magic were all friendly, and they took the time to get to know our names. The only thing I would have changed was the dining time options. We did anytime dining which I didn't like as much because service was hit and miss depending on where you got seated. Definitely doing early dining next time so that way we get to know our table and the servers.

 

The ship had a lot of fun things to do. We loved the comedy shows the most as well as the art auctions. The mini golf was fun. The slides were eh, ok. We just went on each once because they weren't too thrilling. We didn't get a change to do the high ropes course because the day we chose to do it, it was closed because of high winds.

 

Overall the food was excellent. We enjoyed the pizza, wok, and the main dining room. 

 

The destinations were awesome. We went to Cozumel, Jamaica, & Grand Cayman. We loved swimming with the Sting Rays and Turtles in Grand Cayman and it was our favorite excursion.

In Cozumel we went to see the ruins. My husband loved ruins so that is why we went and overall it wasn't a bad experience, just a lot of hiking up the ruin...not the easier climb and very long bus ride.

Jamaica was interesting. We didn't do an excursion with Carnival this time, but rather went to one of the vendors. We ended up doing river tubing. We had a great time and our tour guide was excellent. Jamaica was overall my least favorite place. It was very ghetto to say the least and have never been hassled by so many people to buy their goods, not even in Mexico. We literately had a vendor waiting outside another shop to have us come to their shop. The Margaritaville looked sweet and I would recommend it. They have a slide that drops you into the ocean and a lot of bouncy castles and things in the ocean.

 

The only big complaint I have about the ship was the beds. The beds are hard as a rock and very uncomfortable but this is a carnival thing in general.

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Norwegian Sky

December 2014 - Norwegian Sky to Caribbean - Bahamas

Was disappointed overall, but still had a good time with family.

Overall I was disappointed with Norwegian, the destinations, and the food. This was my first and probably last time doing such a short cruise and I think that was probably part of the problem. The staff don't really get to know you and your name because everyone is in and out in a couple days. The ship wasn't very impressive overall. My favorite part of the ship was definitely the hot tubs as they had a good amount of them. The shops were eh, not much to look at our purchase.

 

The food was terrible, to the point where my parents and I had food being sent back from the main dining room. The cruise I went on with NCL in Europe had amazing food, so this was a huge disappointment. The service in the main dining room was slow slow slow. It was chaos.

 

The stops were eh. Bahamas was ok, not sure why such a big hype about it though. I would never go back there. We did a food trading tour which was nice but overall just not my type of place. Some of the shops on the main strip were nice and bought some cool clothes. 

 

NCL private island was ok, but water was too cold to get in to in December so we were sitting outside baking. The only people in the water for the most part were the kids. We paid extra to have a clam shell around our chairs which was helpful, but it got sooo freaking hot that it was uncomfortable. Make sure to get their early if you want a clam shell because they started running out of them quickly. We did do the jet skiing guided tour which was our favorite part of the trip. I definitely recommend an excursion otherwise you'll be board out of your mind for hours on the beach.

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Norwegian Dream (RETIRED)

July 2006 - Norwegian Dream (RETIRED) to Europe - Northern Europe

CruiserAZ's Tips

Carnival Magic Carnival Magic - Bring cards and other things to do. Activities are very limited versus what I have seen on other ships. They didn't have production shows, singing dancing etc. I asked if part of the entertainment crew was on vacation that week and was informed that we had only missed out on 1 show.
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Highly recommend XPlor, Xel-Ha, Coba Mayan Ruins. XPLOR is cool because it has a little of everything. UTV, cave swimming, Zip Lining. Xel-HA is great for snorkeling, cliff jumping, lounging, dolphin swi Coba I liked because it is one of the few ruins you can still climb. Most you can only look at.
Copenhagen, Denmark - I highly recommend doing a guided tour to see the most in the shortest amount of time. The mermaid was cool to see but very touristy. Loved the colorful buildings on the water way.
Stockholm, Sweden - I really liked Stockholm. Definitely take a tour to get the most for your time off the ship.
Galveston, Texas - Beautiful place. We wish we had time to check out the shops and streets but didn't. If you can, I'd recommend exploring the port area because it looks gorgeous and a lot to do around there.
Honolulu, Oahu - If you can make it to North Shore go to Ted's Bakery and you will have the best garlic shrimp of your life.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Tequila tours are great! The shops where the ship docks have a good selection. Check out the Rhythm of the Night tour, highly recommend it. ATV tours are ok just get prepared to get a lot of dust in your face. Oh, and FYI, a lot of buildings are made with asbestos here, especially roof shingles.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - The dolphin swimming was ok, but they'll only let you swim with dolphin once, vs in Cozumel there are places you can swim multiple times with the dolphins. Haggling with the street vendors is fun and a lot of good stuff at this port.
Venice, Italy - Don't do a gondola ride. They will cram 8 people onto the gondola and if you aren't first on you won't get the prime back seat. Overall it was our least favorite part of Venice.
George Town, Grand Cayman - One of my favorite ports ever. High class, gorgeous. We did swimming with Stingrays and Turtle farm. I would highly recommend both. One of the most memorable ports.
Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany - You have to take a train ride to get to Berlin but it was a fun experience. Berlin was awesome and I highly recommend doing a tour to get the most for your time.
Montego Bay, Jamaica - Just an FYI, if you like luxury, Jamaica is very ghetto overall. Get some rum cakes to take back as they are excellent. River tubing was fun, water is a little cold though even in July. Be aware, you will be hassled by people trying to sell you stuff like never before. Not this bad even in Mexico.
Cozumel, Mexico - Check to see where your excursion is taking you, sometimes you will have a long drive just to get to the destination and back. We saw Tulum and it was over an hour bus ride plus a 45 minute boat ride. We never got to see Cozumel because of the time constraints. I recommend Tulum and XPlor.
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation - We loved our stop in St Petersburg. We did an excursion through NCL and got to see all the highlights. I'd highly recommend doing a guided tour to see the most with the time you have their.
Nassau, Bahamas - Not very impressed with the Bahamas. We did a food tour which wasn't bad but it wasn't incredible either. The city is eh and the shopping was decent. I won't be coming back to the Bahamas, other destinations in the Caribbean are much nicer.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas - Make sure to get their early if you want a clam shell because they started running out of them quickly and they are needed because there isn't much shade. We did do the jet skiing guided tour which was our favorite part of the trip. I definitely recommend an excursion otherwise it gets boring.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas - We paid extra to have a clam shell around our chairs which was helpful, but it got sooo freaking hot that it was uncomfortable. Make sure to get their early if you want a clam shell because they started running out of them quickly. We did do the jet skiing guided tour which was our favorite part.
Norwegian Sky Norwegian Sky - Try a different cruise line. Was disappointed with the food which is one of the most important parts of a cruise for me.

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followed a discussion, When does a review post?, on the cruiseline forum.

replied to the discussion, When does a review post? on the cruiseline forum.

shared a quick tip for Carnival Magic"Bring cards and other things to do. Activities are very limited versus what I have seen on other ships. They didn't have production shows, singing dancing etc. I asked if part of the entertainment crew was on vacation that week and was informed that we had only missed out on 1 show."

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Carnival Magic and gave it 3 stars!

added Oct 22, 2016 cruise on Carnival Magic to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Loved the trip, ship and great destinations too.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Loved the trip, ship and great destinations too.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Miracle cruise review - Great way to spend mother's day week!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Loved the trip, ship and great destinations too.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Loved the trip, ship and great destinations too.