April 2017 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western
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.