Joined: 04/21/2014
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Carnival Magic

April 2017 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

The Carnival Magic is perfectly fine: newish, clean, and plenty to do. However, at these prices is fine good enough? We are Platinum-level Carnival cruisers so we've been around the stern a time or two, but there were several factors that seriously lessened our enjoyment of our time on the Magic. At the risk of offending, it seems that Carnival has become the WalMart of the cruise world: appealing to the least common denominator, marketing to the masses, and choosing quantity over quality. While that is probably an effective business model, it certainly dulls the gleam on the romanticized notion of what a cruise should be. For example, Carnival seems to have completely abandoned any sort of dress code in the dining room. What had been a dining event has morphed into a shorts wearin', tank-top lovin' trip to Golden Corral. Rush in, gobble down some grub, and rush out.

As a school teacher, I have cruised many times during spring break but I have never been on a ship with so many children. Apparently, parenting has devolved to the point where parents  just dropped their surly brood off at the terminal and picked them up seven days later. Packs of teens literally ran all over the ship day and night. They would make camp in the elevators and ride all night long. The food fight in buffet area drew the attention of some adults but not Carnival security. There must have been hot doughnuts in the security office all week because I didn't spot an officer at any time.

I overheard the cruise director (easily the most annoying person on the entire ship) say that guests wanted more live music during the evening and Carnival responded by adding more performers. Once again they must have lowered their standards because three of acts included terrible singers. We actually checked the schedule of events so we could avoid the areas where those performers were working.

The ship features a large outside adult area called the Serenity Deck. While it was kid-free there were actually no shady areas; no chance to find a cool spot to relax and escape the sun.

Lest you think all I can do is complain, let me say that the staff were very friendly and helpful. The ship was well maintained and everything went smoothly.

Would I recommend this cruise? Maybe. If you are new to cruising or have kids then yes, this ship will provide you with a great experience. If you want to wear a bathing suit and t-shirt for seven days, then yes indeed. As for us, it's time for us leave Carnival and sit at the adult table on Celebrity or Holland America.



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Carnival Elation

November 2016 - 4 Night Bahamas (Jacksonville Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Elation

Celebrity Silhouette

March 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette

Celebrity an excellent choice for relaxing cruise

Sailed on the Celebrity Silhouette on March 29, 2015 from Ft. Lauderdale; in a word - excellent!

Profile: Two gay professionals (53 & 46); experienced travelers; more than 20 cruises on various lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, & Celebrity.

From the top: ignored Celebrity boarding advice and arrived at the terminal around 11AM. No line, no confusion; on the ship in 15 minutes. Explored, found the buffet, room ready around 1:30. Booked a guaranteed veranda room and was a little anxious as to what that would actually mean. Turned out not to be an issue: the life boats were right below our balcony but did not interfere with the view.

Cabin: Our room (6283) was as represented; however, I was a little surprised at the limited shelf space, but we used the cabinets above the bed and all was well. The bathroom was larger than expected and I was glad to see a door on the shower as opposed to a curtain. Our cabin assistant, Vilma, was great: helpful, efficient, and visible. The room was quiet and comfortable.

Food: We ate dinner in the MDR every evening and found the menu interesting, varied and tasty. The wait staff was cheerful, earnest, and helpful. My only disappointment in the MDR came on the last night when the menu featured recipes from Top Chef contestants. All of those dishes were pedestrian and uninspired. The food tasted fine, but it was a lackluster finish to an excellent week of dining. We did not eat in any of the add-on restaurants. The Oceanview Café, the buffet area, was excellent. There was large variety of food that changed through out the week. As on any ship, if you eat lunch at 12PM it will be a little crowded but we did not wait in line for anything except ice cream (real hand-dipped ice cream, not soft-serve). Frankly, there was a longer wait at the poolside grill. Ordered room service once - took 40 minutes to arrive which is what I was told when I ordered.

Entertainment: Attended most of the shows. They were the usual cruise fare: Vegas-style singing and dancing. There are worse ways to spend an hour.

Excursions: Booked through Celebrity prior to boarding. The catamaran snorkeling in St.Kitts was as promised. Saw lots of the marine life, had some laughs on the catamaran. Booked The Ultimate Catamaran & Beach tour for St. Maarten. It was VERY disappointing: crowded zodiac boat, no marine life, barren beach (no chairs, umbrellas, NOTHING.) This was the only major disappointment of the entire trip.

Drink package: Our fare included the Classic Beverage Package. Although we are seasoned cruisers we have never purchased a drink package because we are moderate drinkers. The package included unlimited beverages, up to $8 each. We drank more soda and bottled water than cocktails mainly because we could. In the future If given the choice between a lower fare and the drink package, I would probably pick the lower fare since we only had maybe a dozen cocktails over the course of the week. It is worth noting that many of the specialty drinks ere $10-$14, although a fellow traveler told me that you pay the difference when you ordered above the $8 limit.

Miscellanies: The ship was full but never felt crowded./ On the sea days most of the outdoor seats were taken./ Ample elevators that were quick meant no waiting./ The captain was the most out-going, accessible captain I have ever seen in my 20+ cruises. He was witty and articulate./ Celebrity is not a late night cruise line. The ship was very quite after 11PM, although there were pockets of shenanigans If you went looking. If you are looking for a party barge this is definitely NOT the ship for you. Also, if you have small children this is probably not the best choice either. While there were activities for children this is mainly a ship for adults of a certain age.

Summary: Excellent itinerary for relaxing (3 sea days) in very comfortable surroundings. This trip was exactly what we had hoped for.

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aclee's Tips

Cozumel, Mexico - Spent the day at the Iberostar Cozumel All-Inclusive resort. It was terrific. You to book at
Philipsburg, St. Maarten - more cosmospolitan than most of the islands. If nothing else go to the airport to see the jets take off & land.

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received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Silhouette cruise review - Celebrity an excellent choice for relaxing cruise

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic is fine...if that's all you want

added Apr 1, 2017 cruise on Carnival Magic to their profile.

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