October 2016 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western
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.