October 2015 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western
My wife and I cruise frequently. This was our 7th cruise in 5 years. This was our second cruise with Carnival. Reluctant to select another cruise after a first bad experience on Carnival, we were drawn to try again by the affordable price.
Upon arriving to the airport, we located our Carnival transportation specialist to take us to the port (45 min away). We were asked to wait in a holding area in baggage and we waited and waited, and eventually (4 hours later) we arrived at the cruise ship.
Once on board, I went to the customer service desk to inquire about the whereabouts of my tuxedo rental ($200). I was told that the cruise line stopped offering those services 2-3 years ago. When I told the individual that I ordered and paid for it through the Carnival website, I was told again "we don't do that". I was told to "prove it" and if I provided a receipt, I could come back again. (a 45 minute line). I went to my personal email, printed my receipt and the person at the counter said he would look into it. It wasn't until the next day I was called and told to go to the candy store and they had it there.
On another instance our cabin lights were not working. It took 4 hours and 5 calls to finally get an electrician to my cabin and reset a fuse breaker. Unlike other cruises our rooms were not thoroughly cleaned each day and the little attentions to detail, turn down services were not evident.
Most of the entertainment was "C" at best, with more game show and bingo events. The piano singer was terrible and comics somewhat funny at best.
As far as the food goes, the menu in the general cafeteria was the same for lunch and dinner every day, with very little changes. Unlike our past cruises, if you wanted to not have a formal dinner night your choices were a burger bar or Pizza pirate. The cafeteria was closed after lunch. In the dining hall several items required you to pay an extra $20 for steak or seafood. For this price I would go to the actual steakhouse on the cruise ship.
We were at sea two days, in port three days in a row and at sea two days coming home. The trip could have been 5 days or less from another port. We participated in activities on each stop and the ports were more designed to "sell you something". In Belize it was recommended not to leave the shopping center at port. In Honduras, it was Carnivals port and private beach. Boring...
We did go snorkeling in Belize. We were very exited about this excursion, however we boarded a boat with 40 people, taken out 30 minutes from the ship and dropped in the water. I expected "the great barrier reef with clear water and colorful fish. Instead we were told to follow our guide whereby he would go under water and use a stick in the coral to make a few fish appear. Needless to say we were very disappointed.
Normally I am a very positive person however we had one disappointment after another. I will certainly avoid Carnival in the future and I would not recommend this itinerary to anyone.