Second Mate

Joined: 03/23/2016
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duckie1210's Past Cruises

Carnival Magic

March 2017 - Carnival Magic to Caribbean - Eastern

Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

Our 7 night cruise departed from Port Canaveral. Embarkation was a little annoying. Carnival asks guests to book a check in time during online check in and these times begin about 10:30, half an hour time windows.  Presumably, this cuts down on large crowds and rushes to board the boat all at once. How ever, they don't begin boarding til about noon which means, if you have a 10:30 window, you'll be sitting around for an hour an a half waiting for your boarding number to be called. My advice, pick a later check in time, and get on the boat more quickly.

This cruise, I was surprised to learn that rooms are only cleaned once a day. The steward came around and asked our cleaning preference, morning or evening. Every other cruise I've been on, the rooms are cleaned twice a day. Maybe this is a new policy, fleet wide or just Magic? Also, it seemed as if the shelves and glasses in the bathroom weren't even wiped down before we arrived. They had about 3 weeks worth of dust on them. I'm a stay at home mom of three. Believe me, I can tell how long it's been since something was cleaned.

We had Your Time Dining, so we could choose to have dinner between 5:45 and 9:00. The first night we were seated with a waiter that was so slow it was almost unbearable. Dinner took over two hours!  I saw our meals arrive and sit for at least 15 minutes before they were brought to our table.  That's pretty awful. The next night, we were seated in a different section and the waiter was much better. He was friendly and we were in and out in about and hour and a half.  When you're dining with kids, this is important. We made sure to request his section every night after that.

Overall, the ship is clean and everything moves along nicely.  It's a cruise with 3k plus people on board, so expect long lines and difficulty finding deck chairs on sea days if you're not out early. I was a little disappointed with Camp Ocean, the kids program. In years past, the agenda was so detailed and the activities were so fun and involved. My kids begged to go. This time around, the agenda was so vague, like "kids choice" from 11-12 or simply, "arts and crafts" from 1-2. Nothing seemed interesting. No face painting, no tshirt decorations, no candy necklaces or anything. They focused so much on build a bear, there wasn't much else, and that costs $30.

Food was pretty good and the variety was sufficient. The one thing Carnival needs to figure out is the amount of time it takes to serve pizza. The line is ridiculous and the process is slow. When the pizza place is the only food open, expect a wait. One might think that they would just make the 5 pizzas they have on the menu, continuously, especially when a large crowd is expected.

My favorite part of the cruise was the Dive in Movies.  Carnival does a great job of offering different blockbusters each night. There are usually 2 shown, depending on length and they are pretty nice.  Grab a deck chair, a blanket and some popcorn and you're all set! The comedians were also pretty great.

The main highlight and the one reason you should sail the Magic? The cruise director is the BEST!!!! His name is Dr. E, the good reverend. lol He's amazing, hilariously funny and totally involved with the guests. Do not miss anything he is involved in.  I've been on 10+ cruises and I have yet to find a cruise director that does it better than Everson Belvelle. If Carnival is smart, they will pay this man anything he asks and have him train other cruise directors.  

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MSC Divina

November 2016 - MSC Divina to Caribbean

Nice Cruise BUT needs a few adjustments to compete with the big dogs

My family and I sailed on the MSC Divina on 11/19/2016.  Overall, it was a great cruise. We took it mainly because it was dirt cheap for a balcony room over Thanksgiving.  We couldn't pass up that deal even though it was a cruise line we knew nothing about. With that said, we got what we paid for.

Let me start with, this ship is the most beautiful I have ever been on, and I've been on a bunch.  It was like a spa resort and the staff does an amazing job of keeping it clean all the time.  This could not have been easy considering the slobs on board. 

Our room was 8262, balcony.  It was clean and spacious enough for four of us. My oldest child stayed with my parents in their balcony room.  We were at the very back of the ship and it smelled of sewage the entire cruise.  Everywhere else was fine, but literally, the minute we got to our doorway, the smell would hit us.  I was beginning to think we were over using our toilet. 

The staff was good, some still need to work on their personalities but overall, I have no complaints.

Dining was terrific on the buffet deck for both breakfast and lunch. There were lots of options and I feel like I never waited in line for anything.  I'm not suggesting it wasn't crowded.  Oh it was a zoo for a good 12 hours a day.  I didn't wait in line because manners and waiting your turn seem to be an American trait and this ship was full of foreigners.  The main dining, service was decent. We had an awesome waiter the first night.  He was funny, personable, and seemed to really enjoy what he was doing. Sadly for us, he was switched to another restaurant and his replacement had the personality of a celery stalk. I'm envious of the table that ended up with our original waiter. Also, the children's menu was terrible. I'm convinced that the menu planner must not have children. Pasta with peas? Meatloaf? Grilled chicken with mixed veggie?  Sounds healthy and all but it's a vacation.  This kids want to indulge too. Thankfully, we had a server, not ours, that helped us out and brought the kids whatever they wanted.

Entertainment was decent in the theater but everywhere else was nothing to write home about.  They have a nice big screen out by the pool and unless you are sitting right in front of it, the view is constantly obstructed. It sits way too low.  This would be a problem if they used it for anything other and concerts from the 80's. I think there was a movie shown 3 out of the 7 night, Ride Along 2, Daddy's Home, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Zootopia was supposed to be shown but it never came on.  I guess it made the printed schedule just not the final cut.

The kids program was nice if you could actually find them. They rarely followed the itinerary they handed out and spent 45 min on snack time and 2 hours on dinner.  I dropped my kids off for arts and crafts and ended up watching them do a cooking lesson.  It was completely fine and enjoyable but it was never on the itinerary and I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. 

All in all, it was a fine cruise.  If you get a good deal, go.  I would do it again and not expect much.  I think I compared it to other "fun ships" I've been on and didn't realize that the Divina is a much slower pace.  Either way, I didn't have to cook, clean, or do laundry for seven days so I was a happy camper

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Carnival Breeze

March 2016 - Carnival Breeze to Caribbean - Southern

Nice cruise, staff could use a lesson in service

Embarkation, easy and efficient with very little "standing around" time. Our stateroon was clean, for the most part, but one of the bathrobes had waded up tissues shoved in the pocket which means they were either washed with the robe and the pockets were never checked prior OR the robe was never washed. We were on deck one and sometimes the sewer smell was unbearable. 

The food at the buffet and the dining room was good. Some people complain about it, I think they are being picky. The ship needs new ice cream machines and definitely more than just two stations. I have been on smaller ships with probably 10 stations. One is always available. These? Always long lines and the machines are literally dying.

Decks are crowded (to be expected) and food lines are long but this is mostly because of slow, stupid people in line and not the fault of Carnival staffers. 

The worst part, the dining room. Some nights we sat for over an hour waiting for our dinner. Appetizers would come and then we wouldn't see anything for an hour. Our water glasses were filled occasionally and when the waiter remembered.  I think this is due to the size of the ship and the lack of staff. Our first night, my husband got up and got menus from the waiter station because they were never brought to us. We were seated at a table for six but they insisted on squeezing a 7th person on the end. This made dinner at an already crowded table even more uncomfortable. Kids meals showed up almost immediately after they were ordered but our meals didn't arrive for an hour or more. Once the kids were done eating, it was over for us. It became an hour of us trying to entertain them and then eat our meal as fast as we could because our toddlers timer was up. 

Aside from that misery, overall the cruise was fun. All the ports were great except La Romana. The port is literally in the middle of the ghetto and the place is a dump. Don't bother leaving the ship that day.

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duckie1210's Tips

Carnival Magic Carnival Magic - Don't miss any activities or events involving the cruise director. He's the best ever!

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received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Magic cruise review - Carnival Magic 3/11-3/18/17