January 2014 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Western
We left Galveston, at the same time an artic vortex was hitting the US, whatever the heck that is?? All I knew was that all my tropicals would be dead when I returned home, ugh! The first two days at sea were a bit rough, we were thrilled that we had a room in the Cloud 9 spa area, worth the extra money, trust me, because while others were bundled up trying to find something else to do when it was too cold to lay on the deck or swim, my hubby and I were enjoying the steam rooms, suanas and private whirlpool and really relaxing. We also took advantage of the workout area which was clean with updated equipment and did not smell of dirty socks, we ARE NOT workout finatics, but really enjoyed it. We also took advantage of the Serenity area any moment the sun peaked out of the clouds. So if you are like my hubby and hate crowds, book Coud 9 spa room and use the immentities, enjoy the on deck whirlpools and seclution chairs in the Serenity Area. The shows were great, DO NOT miss the Magic Show (forgot name ) mid week or the 70's show the dancers are very good and the lighting is first rate not cheezy. Word to wise, always arrive 20-30 minutes prior to shows or you will end up on top level or way in the back, they fill up because they are good, I am not easily impressed either. The adult comedy shows were pretty funny, but really crude, IF YOU ARE AT ALL OFFENDED DO NOT GO!!! they start every adult show with this disclaimer and they mean it. Again, arrive 15-20 minutes ahead of time or you will not get in. There are so many other events happening everyday but as we dislike crowds , we stayed on the fringes of these, looked like those party animals loved the party however. It was cool that there were areas and events that we could really relax and get some peace too. ok on the food: We are not big buffet eaters, there were lines and we end up eating too much, that being said, the best breakfast was in the dinning room, we enjoyed sitting at a linen covered table being waited on hand and foot, not having to scavenge for an empty table being served fresh coffee constantly, eating lox and bagels, eggs benedict, fresh fruit and meeting new people every morning at a shared table ( just us 2) the food on this ship is very good quality, not exceptional but very good, I have cruised on a lesser Carnival ship and thought it was Ryans( yuk) best lunch was the Tandori Grill in the back deck of Lido, opposite the deli sandwich area (meal reuben BTW) Indian food, made by Indians, need I say more, if you love tasty and spicey this is your MECCA!!! Pizza line ordered Prociutto or Fungi pizza did not disappoint. Dinner we were back in the dining room with anytime dining, we like this best as different days and activities brought differwent times we preferred to dine. We were originally assigned late dinning in the Southern Lites but we liked the seating better in Northern Lites more tables and chairs for two vs booth type seating (we don't like) so we made a request of the head Maitre d' and they changed by second night. Also, we had a great waiter, if there was ever anything we did not like or felt like we missed out on all we needed to do was ASK!!! a new entree or extra like loster would quickly arrive. if we wanted to try appetisers no problem to have 3-4 brought out for both to share, more if we liked something.. Also, we bought the 5 wine package for $133.00 which was a good deal since they were wines we liked and we were able to keep them in the room and bring them to dinner with us without a cork fee (unless you go to the Italian or Steak place, we did not) if we did not finish the bottle at dinner we took it to the show with us or the comedy club, no oneseemed to mind. Don't forget you can bring (2,) 750 ml wine or champagne on board with you for 2 people, we brought a lovely one of each, a bit pricey but we enjoyed them in our room or on the serinity deck. We did not drink the sweet pricey drinks of the day, they had mucho calories and mucho rack up your bill, so we stayed clear except a good bloody mary at breakfast. Excersions: FLASH< FLASH if you want the behind the scences tour of the ship $95.00 book the second you get a chance, it sells out in the first hour it can not be purchased in advance and my hubby wanted to do this but was not able, sold out. Other popular packages sell quickly, suggest book on line, before cruise. We did Dunns River Falls in Jamacia, it was fun, shopping trip with it was a bummer, best to shop at the Falls from local vendors. People who did zip line said it was the best ever!!! Next time we would do this. In Cayman we did swim with Stingrays City and CoraL Blossom snorkel, was great!!! Good operation and good snorkling. People who did 7 mile beach said it was just ok. In Cozemel we did Passion Island, it was not as good as it was last trip, drinks were watered down and the food was just ok, the beach was restricted, I did not like as I am a shell hunter aqnd the water was cloudy. I think next time I would opt for Chakenob or other snorkling. The shops on the boat were ok, we would have like more high end products like clothing leaqther etc. but the duty free deals are good. We are not gamblers or smokers (walking through casino was very smokey)so no comments on those. The staff was first rate all the way, service desk was quick and helpful, everyone seemed to walk away satisfied. The weather and the warm water in the ports was a blessing great vacation. Always amaze how well, they pull off making so many people happy, week after week.